1 Thursday, 15 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. If I could remind you, Admiral, of
7 the affirmation.
8 Yes, Mr. Rodic.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: MIODRAG JOKIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic: [Continued]
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I start off by asking for the
14 usher's assistance to distribute a document and hand one copy to the
16 Your Honour, I have to say at the outset that this document has
17 not been translated into B/C/S. We were disclosed the document by the
18 Prosecution during the cross-examination, so we were not able to have it
19 translated, and I'll just briefly be asking a few questions and introduce
20 it by the witness.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Did you mean to say it had not been translated into
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I misspoke. I said B/C/S, but
24 what I meant was English.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Well, that's the one mistake you're allowed today,
1 Mr. Rodic.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Jokic, is this document familiar to you?
4 A. Yes, this is a regular combat report from my command. It is dated
5 the 6th of November.
6 Q. Did you take this document from the military archives?
7 A. I don't know about that. I didn't take anything from the
8 archives. You cannot take anything out of archives, so I wasn't able to
9 take a single piece of paper out of the archives.
10 Q. But you received a copy of this document, did you not, from the
11 military archives?
12 A. I don't know about that. I think that the Defence counsel might
13 have been given copies, but I haven't see it. But I did see it in the
14 archives, yes.
15 Q. Are you familiar with the contents of this document?
16 A. Yes, I am.
17 Q. And the signatory is the chief of staff, captain of the
18 battleship, Milan Zec; is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. And it's a regular combat report of the command of the 9th VPS.
21 Is that right?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. Tell me now, please, under point 1, what do we have there? What's
24 this about? Could you make things a bit clearer, because as I said, we
25 don't have the document in English, so I should like to ask you to explain
1 it to us.
2 A. In point 1, it is stated that the enemy went into the following
3 action: From 1330 to 1515 hours, from the position -- from a position 150
4 metres left of the Libertas Hotel, from Srdj and Nuncijata and Lokrum,
5 82-millimetre mortars were used, and 100-millimetre ones. And our
6 positions at Dubac were fired at, Zarkovica, Brgat. Dubac, Zarkovica, and
7 Brgat were targeted. 80 --
8 Q. It says 50 here.
9 A. Yes, approximately 50 fell on Dubac, about 60 on Brgat, and at
10 Zarkovica, an unascertained number of mines. The enemy recorded our
11 positions exactly because the mines fell to within 5 metres of our front
12 line, front flank. At the same time from the positions at Bosanka,
13 machine-gun fire was opened at the Zarkovica position, and rifle fire as
15 Q. Tell me now, please, the facts contained in point 1 of this
16 regular combat report dated the 6th of November 1991, do they correspond
17 to the facts and figures that we read out and saw yesterday in document
18 D54, which you recognised by its style, the style in which it was written
19 and you said that yes, quite possibly it was compiled by your assistant
20 for political affairs. First of all, with respect to the figures, the
21 numbers of shells falling on JNA positions and the positions from which
22 the JNA was targeted.
23 A. Well, they do correspond in part, but I must say why I reacted
24 yesterday when it came to the number of shells that were listed, and I'm
25 going to be, as I always am, very frank and open and honest. Under my
1 level of professional soldier -- or when I read that the assistant for
2 political affairs in my command --
3 Q. Could you speed up a bit, please.
4 A. As I say, when he says that 61 shells fell on one position and 63
5 or 53 - I can't remember the exact number - shells, and on the 3rd, 100 or
6 200 shells, it is not possible to ascertain this exactly. So it's a
7 little suspect, or rather, I did not accept this piece of information
8 readily. However, we see here the exact figures as they would be compiled
9 by a professional, objectively acceptable facts and figures. It says,
10 "approximately 50," "approximately 60," and so on and so forth. So that
11 is the professional attitude, and that is my explanation along with it.
12 Q. So the difference is in those precise figures.
13 A. Yes, absolutely correct.
14 Q. Thank you. I should now like to ask you to look at point 2 of
15 this same document and to tell us what point 2 is about. Once again, it
16 refers to JNA units, a description of JNA unit activities.
17 A. It says here that our units from the position -- from their
18 positions targeted Bosanka, the sports hall, and Hotel -- the sports hall,
19 Hotel Libertas, Srdj, and Bosanka with cannons and from tanks. And Srdj
20 and Bosanka were targeted with a cannon of 130 millimetres and
21 122-millimetre cannons.
22 Q. This 122 millimetres, is that 12 shells of a 122-millimetre
24 A. I don't really know.
25 Q. It says 12 HA 122 millimetres. Would that be Howitzers?
1 A. I can't really tell you. I don't know.
2 Q. You have the figures, the digits, "1 times 130 MX," and then "12
3 HA 122 MM." So what would that be?
4 A. Well, the deployment, or rather the unit at Srdj and several
5 houses in Bosanka from which they opened fire. On our side, there were no
6 casualties. We mined the area and placed obstacles on approaches to the
7 Trapit hill.
8 Q. Tell me, please, did the JNA units open fire only after there was
9 fire, as described -- extensive fire and targeting of their positions as
10 described in point 1?
11 A. Yes, that's right. From this, we can see that on our side we
12 opened fire only after we had been fired on and targeted by the enemy
13 side, after 1515 hours.
14 Q. Was this legitimate action on the part of the JNA?
15 A. Absolutely correct, yes.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I have the usher's assistance
17 again, please, and could he please hand D49, Defence Exhibit D49, to the
18 witness, please.
19 Q. Mr. Jokic, we've already seen this document. It is your order for
20 the deployment of the artillery issued on the 6th of November, once again,
21 at 9.00 in the morning. It says "urgent," and it was sent to the 472nd
22 Brigade. This is -- rather, we now have this regular combat report as
23 well in front of us.
24 Tell me, please, are there any contradictions between these two
25 documents? How is it possible that you forbid something, whereas the army
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 goes into action, into operation?
2 A. Yes, I understand. You mean how -- I'm forbidding something here,
3 and yet the army is going into operation.
4 Q. Yes, you forbid the use of the artillery because of the
5 negotiations underway with the EC mission.
6 A. Yes, I understand that now.
7 Q. And you issued this order at 9.00 in the morning, and you marked
8 it urgent. Is that right?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. Tell me now, please, looking through this regular combat report
11 which was signed by the chief of staff Zec, that the action your units
12 went into are described under point 2, they are completely legitimate and
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Would you explain that to us, please. How can that be possible?
16 A. Well, here, what is stated is the following: This order does not
17 exclude the obligation of the units and command of the 472nd Brigade to
18 suggest the use of artillery if they evaluate it as necessary.
19 And in the combat report issued on the same day at 1700 hours, we
20 can see that operations from the opposite side, from the enemy side, by
21 using artillery between 1300 hours and 1500 hours targeting the Dubac,
22 Zarkovica, and Brgat area was so strong that we needed to react.
23 Q. Now, your command, did it give the okay to go into action and
25 A. From this report, we can also see that the artillery battalion
1 didn't go into action, the 130-millimetre ones or the 122-millimetre
2 batteries. All that happened was an order that was issued for two cannons
3 to go into action. And I can't read the third one. It's probably a
4 120-millimetre mortar. But at all events, there were two or three
5 artillery pieces which were intended for precision targeting of point-like
6 or dot-like targets with the aim of neutralising fire at one location, at
7 one position, and not as support to a unit engaged in an attack or to go
8 into operation in a broader area.
9 Q. Mr. Jokic, under item 2 of the regular combat report, it says that
10 your units opened fire against the following: Srdj, Bosanka, and the
11 sports hall near the Libertas Hotel with cannons from tanks while Srdj and
12 Bosanka, with 1 times 130 millimetres and 12 HA. That is -- that
13 designates a Howitzer, and it's 122 millimetres.
14 So it is not one objective; it is several objectives or targets.
15 A. I said it was two cannons, not two targets. I said it was two
16 cannons that were supposed to fire. These are very precise cannons from
17 the technical experimental centre. It is not a tactical unit. That was
18 my point.
19 Q. Just tell me, is HA a Howitzer? A 122-millimetre Howitzer?
20 A. Instead of that number 2, it's probably supposed to say 1 times HA
21 122 millimetres.
22 Q. Is it perhaps 12 shells from a Howitzer of 122 millimetres?
23 A. I don't think so because there is no number of shells, how many
24 shells were fired from the 130-millimetre piece. So probably it's just a
25 mistake, a typo.
1 Q. At any rate, a Howitzer is not an artillery piece that is intended
2 to engage point objectives or targets.
3 A. Why not? Why not? A Howitzer of 105 millimetres and 150
4 millimetres are real Howitzers, whereas this is the so-called Gvozdika
5 Howitzer of 122 millimetres, so it's not a classical Howitzer.
6 Q. In accordance with your morning report of the 6th of November,
7 artillery could only be used on orders coming from the command post and
8 the forward command post of the 9th VPS. Is that right?
9 A. Yes, that's right. But that was for the 472nd Brigade. It was
10 addressed to it specifically, and this report does not refer to that
11 brigade. That's what I wanted to say.
12 Q. And which unit does this report speak of?
13 A. It is obvious that there are two cannons. It is well known where
14 these two cannons were. These are only two cannons. A brigade cannot use
15 two cannons only for firing.
16 Q. Can a battalion, a company?
17 A. No, they cannot. A brigade and a battalion did not have
18 130-millimetre cannons or Howitzers. It's only a command brigade that has
19 this, and also an artillery battalion, and that is 10 to 15 kilometres
20 from the area where it is used.
21 Q. Which unit was then engaged in this shooting?
22 A. I've said already that these were two cannons of the technical
23 experimental centre under the command of the sector 130-millimetre
24 battery. That is the chief of staff Zec. He had it under his direct
25 command. It was used rarely, only for engaging point targets where it is
1 necessary to have very precise targeting, without any deviation or error.
2 These cannons were used only a few times.
3 Q. What about when Srdj was targeted? Was there a danger of hitting
4 the Old Town?
5 A. No, not with these cannons, no. Only if a battery that has that
6 large margin of error in the ellipsis, or if there are misses as such,
7 then it is possible.
8 Q. Could this cannon also miss a target?
9 A. The cannon could miss a target, but it doesn't have an ellipsis;
10 it is one shell. So that's why I said that with this, that it's not a
11 reservist or some squad leader who used this cannon for targeting. It was
12 done by a specialist from the technical experimental centre, and he only
13 used that cannon.
14 Q. And he could not miss. That's what you're claiming?
15 A. He could not.
16 Q. So this cannon did not have any shell dispersion?
17 A. Any one can, but his was minimal, perhaps up to 20 metres, 30
18 metres. But not a hundred metres or 200 metres.
19 Q. But since you say that this was directly under the control of your
20 chief of staff Zec --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- he was not afraid that due to the targeting of Srdj and the
23 sports hall near Libertas there could be mistakes, errors, that the shells
24 would fall too far away or too close?
25 A. No, he certainly had no such fear. That is why he took these
1 cannons, as I said, and these two specialists who were trained to such an
2 extent that they certainly could not have had any misses.
3 Q. Can you tell me the names of these two specialists?
4 A. I don't know. They are civilians. They did have one
5 noncommissioned officer there. I remember that. But they had two
6 civilians, too, I think, who belonged to the Military Technical Institute,
7 and their task, even in training, was to maintain with maximum precision
8 these cannons.
9 Q. What about the guns from the tanks that you refer to that opened
11 A. At Zarkovica, in the area of Zarkovica, we had two tanks - I think
12 they had been brought there by then - that were within the 3rd Battalion
13 because the battery -- or rather, the tank company that the tactical
14 group, the 2nd Tactical Group had was disbanded, this company was, and
15 only four tanks remained.
16 Q. Are these tanks of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised
18 A. At that time, they were not within the battalion because this
19 battalion had not been brought in as such. It was on leave. However,
20 they were at Zarkovica then for defence. They were dug in for defence of
21 the area of Zarkovica.
22 Q. Under whose command were these tanks?
23 A. Probably the unit that was there, the 4th Battalion was there
25 Q. Of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, that's right. It was there then.
2 Q. Are these old tanks, the old type of tanks?
3 A. Yes, T-32.
4 Q. How precise are their guns in terms of targeting anything in town?
5 A. These are guns, cannons, that have a particular trajectory. They
6 can only target the targets they see. They cannot target anything they
7 cannot see. They are precise for 3 to 4 kilometre distances, although the
8 tanks -- so if the tanks themselves are in a very bad condition, the
9 cannons could nevertheless take any objective. They could fire straight.
10 Q. Are these tanks from the Second World War?
11 A. Yes, T-32s are, yes.
12 Q. In view of how old these tanks and guns were, how could the chief
13 of staff allow to have targets engaged in town by such weaponry?
14 A. No engaging of targets in town is referred to here.
15 Q. Where is the Libertas Hotel?
16 A. The Hotel Libertas is by the sea. Well, in all fairness, yes,
17 it's a part of town, but it's a very protruding building, and there was an
18 85-millimetre cannon near that hotel, and it was targeting our positions
19 all the time. It was right by the sea, 100 or 200 metres away. That is
20 absolutely at a distance from the settled area.
21 Q. Was there no risk of this tank missing that particular target by
22 the Libertas Hotel and hitting, say, a civilian building?
23 A. There was a risk. There's always a risk. I agree. However, I
24 say that these are not mortars or cannons that shoot from a long-range, 10
25 or 15 kilometres. For example, from Zarkovica, they look through
1 binoculars and if they were targeting one particular gun, they can see
2 exactly through binoculars where they had hit. This is not battery
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I would like to have
5 this document tendered into evidence, please.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked D55.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to help
9 distribute the following document.
10 Q. Are you familiar with this document, Mr. Jokic?
11 A. Yes, I am. This is a regular combat report. I see. It pertains
12 to the 8th of November.
13 Q. Who was it sent to?
14 A. To the superior command of the 2nd Operational Group.
15 Q. Who else?
16 A. The IKM, that is to say, the forward command post of the command
17 of the 9th VPS.
18 Q. So in addition to the 2nd Operational Group, it is also sent to
19 the forward command post of the command of the Military Naval District.
20 Is that right?
21 A. Yes, that's right. We sent documents to them so that they would
22 keep abreast of what was going on.
23 Q. Did you regularly report to the command of the Military Naval
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you submit these regular combat reports to them, all of them,
2 and the orders you issued?
3 A. No, only combat reports.
4 Q. What about combat orders?
5 A. I don't think so.
6 Q. Can you tell me why you sent this to the command of the Military
7 Naval District?
8 A. I've already said at least once. In order to keep my command
9 abreast of all developments in the units of the 9th VPS, because my
10 command in terms of establishment was and would certainly return to the
11 command of the Military Naval District. And it once again would become
12 subordinate to it. So it would not be all right if combat reports,
13 regular reports, were not sent to that command.
14 Q. Did anybody order that kind of thing, to have it sent to the
15 command of the 9th --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, interpreter's mistake.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. -- the Military Naval District?
19 A. I don't know if that was the order, but it was the practice, the
20 everyday practice that all reports that were sent to the superior command,
21 the command of the 2nd Operational Group, that also they be sent to the
22 Island of Vis to the forward command post there.
23 Q. Who established this practice?
24 A. Probably Admiral Kandic and the previous commander of the 9th
25 Sector because that can be seen there. It dates back all the way to the
1 1st of October and even before that, as a matter of fact.
2 Q. Isn't it strange that you report to two superior commands?
3 A. There are no two superior commands. I never said that, either.
4 There is only one superior command, and that is the command of the 2nd
5 Operational Group. That is my command.
6 Q. And do you have approval from the command of the 2nd Operational
7 Group to send regular combat reports along parallel lines, not only to
8 them but also to the command of the Military Naval District?
9 A. I don't think that that approval is required. And I don't know if
10 my predecessor had it, General Ruzinovski. I don't know. But I think
11 that it is absolutely a particular practice that had no effect whatsoever
12 over the performance of combat duties.
13 Q. Tell me, when you were in -- the commander of the 9th VPS from
14 1983 to 1989, who was your superior commander?
15 A. The commander of the Military Naval District.
16 Q. And in 1991, when you came to the 9th VPS, who was your superior
18 A. The commander of the 2nd Operational Group.
19 Q. And who did you receive orders from, or rather orders and other
20 command documents?
21 A. From the commander of the 2nd Operational Group.
22 Q. Why did you send combat reports and information to two addresses
23 rather than one; and in this way, did you jeopardise the elementary
24 principle of military command, and that is the principle of singleness of
1 A. This principle of singleness of command was not jeopardised in any
3 Q. What about the practice of vertical communication from you, as
4 commander of the 9th VPS, to two commands that are formally at the same
5 level, the Military Naval District and the 2nd Operational Group? Was
6 that one of the hindrances in the effectiveness of command in your
7 particular command?
8 A. It was not a hinderance of any kind. You cannot even understand
9 this. The combat orders I got from my superior command were not sent to
10 the command of the VPO of the Military Naval District. That would be
11 jeopardising the rules. This simply meant keeping them abreast of what
12 was going on. My -- keeping my former command abreast of what was going
14 Q. All right. Let's not waste any time over this. You've already
15 given me an answer. Let's go on.
16 In the regular combat report, under point 1, enemy, it says that
17 on the 8th of November -- rather, the 8th of November, one is enemy; two,
18 the activities of our units. Now, do you describe there an attack that
19 had taken place on the village of Bosanka and that members of your units
20 were wounded?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. So what actually happened?
23 A. Well, an attack on Bosanka had been ordered, and in the fighting,
24 eight JNA soldiers were wounded.
25 Q. Which units took part in that attack?
1 A. Those units were a mixed detachment of the Territorial Defence
2 which was established on the 6th of November.
3 Q. Is that the mixed detachment of the Territorial Defence that you
4 yourself established?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. Tell me, please, within the frameworks of that mixed TO
7 detachment, was there a unit of Territorial Defence from Herceg-Novi, for
9 A. Yes, that's right. There was a platoon.
10 Q. Tell me, please, were there any casualties from that unit of the
11 Territorial Defence of Herceg-Novi, I mean?
12 A. Yes, there were. Two dead and two wounded.
13 Q. Tell me, please, did it take two or three days for the dead and
14 wounded members of that unit to be pulled out from those positions?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. Why did it take such a long time to pull the dead and wounded out
17 from the area?
18 A. Because the ridge, the Dubrava Greben between Bosanka and Srdj is
19 a completely bare area, no trees growing there, no vegetation, just rock.
20 And from town, and from Srdj, you could see anybody moving around, any
21 soldier moving around the area. So we tried, we did our best, to contact
22 the Crisis Staff of Dubrovnik and to request that they allow a Red Cross
23 ambulance to go in and pull out the dead and wounded. However, we did not
24 succeed in doing that, in having that agreement.
25 Q. What did you do then amidst the fighting?
1 A. For two days we tried by using volunteers. We tried to pull the
2 dead and wounded out with the help of volunteers. There was a great deal
3 of pressure coming from Herceg-Novi itself. And finally, I sent the chief
4 of staff to see General Strugar to prevail upon him to give us one or two
5 APCs because we weren't able to do what we intended even with tanks.
6 Q. So were you unable to do this for such a long period of time
7 because the enemy side was targeting you all the time?
8 A. Well, yes, that was the most important reason, the basic reason.
9 There was so much heavy firing, and two more soldiers were killed and
10 three more wounded from all the firing at us. So we ended up having more
11 casualties pulling these out than we did in the combat itself.
12 Q. And you had to pull out the dead and wounded, didn't you?
13 A. Yes, of course.
14 Q. Now, as a result of all this, was there dissatisfaction among the
15 members of that territorial Herceg-Novi detachment -- company?
16 A. Yes, that's right. Up until then in the fighting it was usually
17 the Montenegrins who were killed outside the Bay of Boka. This was the
18 first time there were casualties from Herceg-Novi and Boka, and one or two
19 dead from Kotor.
20 Q. Were there some very well-known sportsmen among the casualties?
21 A. Yes, that's right. The commander of the platoon himself was one.
22 His name was Vojica Pejovic, and there was another sportsman from one of
23 the sports clubs, the Zvezda sports club. I've forgotten his name now.
24 He was a volunteer from Herceg-Novi.
25 Q. Tell me, please, after that, were there protest in front of the
1 headquarters at Kumbor staged by members of that unit and civilians from
2 the town of Herceg-Novi?
3 A. Yes, that's right. There was a protest rally. It was the result
4 both of what had happened and this general dissatisfaction because of the
5 casualties, and also because I prevented the attack on Srdj. I did not
6 wish to allow an attack on Srdj to go forward by any means. But also,
7 that attack was inspired by the letter that we read out here yesterday
8 from Mr. Vucurevic, because people get to hear about it in the units. The
9 soldiers hear about all this.
10 Q. These are your conclusions, because in Mr. Vucurevic's letter
11 there's not a single word about this situation at Bosanka.
12 Now, I'm going to ask you about another protest staged in front of
13 your headquarters --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, you've then just given your
15 interpretation of things. If you want that to be posed as a question to
16 see whether that is the view of the witness, you can. But otherwise, your
17 summary is not relevant.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. I'll
19 move on.
20 Q. Tell me, please, in front of your headquarters, in front of the
21 command during those days, were protests staged by the reservists as well
22 who had returned from the Lora port, military port or wartime port in
24 A. Yes, it wasn't during those days. It was in October, the month of
25 October. And they did not succeed in staging protests in front of the
1 headquarters because I had ordered that they line up and that the police
2 confiscate their weapons as soon as they left the vessel, left the ship.
3 But what they wanted to do was to stage protests in front of the
4 headquarters, that's true.
5 Q. Very well. Now, tell me this, please: In this regular combat
6 report, it is stated that in the fighting around the village of Bosanka, a
7 wounded ZNG member was captured. He was given medical attention and
8 examined and questioned, and he informed the 9th VPS that in the village
9 of Bosanka there were 74 members of the ZNG, the Croatian National Guards
10 Corps, and that he himself had come on a ship upon which Stjepen Mesic,
11 the president of the Yugoslav state Presidency, had sailed with him. Is
12 that the soldier you told us about here in Court? His name was Damir Kos,
13 unless I'm mistaken.
14 A. Yes, that's right. That is the soldier, Damir Kos, the one we
15 spoke about. Yes, indeed.
16 Q. Tell me, please, now, because of this operation and action and the
17 casualties was the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade introduced
18 because of that? Was it launched into the fighting in the further
19 operations because of that?
20 A. Yes, that was from the aspects of the 2nd Operational Group. And
21 I accepted that, although that was not the demand I had made.
22 Q. And from your viewpoint, did you feel that those units of the
23 Territorial Defence should have continued to have casualties of that kind
24 and not to accomplish their goals and targets? Is that what should have
25 been continued?
1 A. This unit suffered losses without any reason and through the error
2 of its commander. Its commander was to blame. The Bosanka fortress had
3 been taken control of without a single soldier being killed.
4 Q. Mr. Jokic, what I'm asking you is this, and it is something you
5 yourself said: That you were not able to pull your dead and wounded out,
6 and that you had to go to the command of the 2nd Operational Group for
7 assistance, to help you out. Is that right?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. And when those killed and wounded were being pulled out, some more
10 soldiers were killed and wounded in the process. So were these
11 considerable losses?
12 A. Yes, they are losses. But I'm saying that Srdj was attacked
13 counter to my orders, and that is why these casualties and losses came
14 about. They were completely unnecessary, without any military or tactical
16 Q. And who ordered the attack on Srdj?
17 A. Well, nobody ordered the attack on Srdj. That's what I'm saying.
18 The platoon commander, instead of setting up an ambush, which is what it
19 said in the order to him, instead of that, he started to attack Srdj, to
20 make himself famous.
21 Q. What did you do with that platoon commander?
22 A. That platoon commander was killed. He's the one we're talking
24 Q. All right, fine.
25 A. Pejovic is his name.
1 Q. And what was undertaken to prevent anything like that happening in
3 A. Well, the unit was pulled out from combat. It was a platoon,
4 actually, a special platoon, that was what it was referred to, from a
5 Herceg-Novi company. And the steps that were taken are these: Until the
6 very end, I didn't allow Srdj to be taken control of, the facility at
7 Srdj. And if there is occasion, I should be happy to explain this.
8 Despite the order from the 2nd Operational Group, I did not allow that
9 facility at Srdj to be taken.
10 Q. Tell me, please, during this period of time, your chief of staff
11 was very active, was he not, in the field, in the area where the units of
12 the 9th VPS were deployed? That's right, isn't it?
13 A. Why, yes, it is. Those are the orders he was given. He was at
14 the ridge with Colonel Kovacevic. And he was in charge of carrying out
15 those tasks.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like to tender this
18 exhibit into evidence. May it be given a number, please, as a Defence
20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: This exhibit will be D56.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I have the usher's assistance,
23 please, in distributing the next document.
24 Q. Is this your order for attack dated the 9th of November 1991?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. There's some -- the document starts off with some handwriting, and
2 then the typed out text is identical to that. This order for attack was
3 addressed to the 472nd Brigade, the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade, and
4 the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade, the mixed TO detachment, and the
5 16th Border Naval Detachment. Is that right?
6 A. Probably, because I haven't seen this document for a long time,
7 so I have to look through it. But I assume what you say is correct.
8 Q. Tell me, please, under point 1, you are describing the situation
9 linked to the enemy, the enemy positions.
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Does it state here under point 1, referring to the enemy, that the
12 fortress of the Old Town centre is being -- is using mobile MB
13 82-millimetre mortars and 60-millimetre mortars?
14 A. Yes, that's what it says.
15 Q. Is that how it was? Is that what actually happened, Mr. Jokic?
16 Now we have your order for attack. That's it. So you stand behind it.
17 It doesn't say Zec or anybody else.
18 A. Yes, I stand behind this order. But I can't stand behind every
19 nonsensical thing. I didn't think all this was nonsense.
20 Q. Is this true?
21 A. Well, the truth has been imprecisely stated. If you want to hear
22 the real truth, the 82- and 60-millimetre mortars cannot target from the
23 fortress. There is no theoretical possibility of that being possible.
24 Q. So why did you write that?
25 A. I didn't write that. It says from the shelter of the fortress.
1 But a mortar has to be on firm ground. It cannot stand on stone. It has
2 to be placed on a platform. But, yes, it says on the fortress or from the
3 shelter of the fortress.
4 Q. And were they in the shelter of the fortress?
5 A. Well, yes, but as I say --
6 Q. The mortars attacked your units, did they not?
7 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. It was an interrupted
8 answer, and it would be good if the witness could finish his answer.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Are you able to conclude that, Admiral?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In order to be more precise,
11 from the shelter, the fort in the Old Town was being used, as it is stated
12 here, by the enemy. This doesn't necessarily mean that they were firing
13 on that same day, but the fort was being used to shelter the mortars they
14 were using. That would be more precise reading of the document, if that's
15 our intention.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. What is it you just told us, Mr. Jokic? What are these mortars
18 doing in relation to the forts inside the Old Town?
19 A. They were using the turrets as shelter in the Old Town. And from
20 those sheltered positions, they were able to fire on our targets, on our
22 Q. Under point 1, you say "enemy." Was the enemy, too, in a position
23 to fire, to target you from there, your units?
24 A. The enemy is firing by 82- and 60-millimetre mortars from the
25 forts inside the Old Town centre.
1 Q. What is stated here is that they are using mobile mortar units.
2 A. Mortars as a rule are always mobile. They are not stationary
3 weapons. Well, yes, firing; what else should they be doing?
4 Q. They are firing on your units; isn't that right? Or are they
5 perhaps firing into the sea?
6 A. I think we would probably do well to stay serious. Of course they
7 were firing on my units, but not every single thing is stated here.
8 Q. But why are you not saying it? I'm asking you for the third time
9 in a row now. That is the only thing you're supposed to say. Enemy
10 mortars firing on your units.
11 A. What I'm telling you is that it's not stated literally here but
12 that is understood, it's implicit in the text. They're not just there for
13 purposes of a military parade
14 Q. So why are you not stating that? You are telling your units about
15 the positions of the enemy, aren't you, under point 1?
16 A. I don't know, I'm just reading the same thing that you've just
17 read out, and this is what it says. Now that you're asking me, I'm
18 telling you exactly what you want to hear. You're asking me, what were
19 they doing there? Well, they were firing. But I'm only reading what it
20 says here, what is written. It is not stated here that they are firing;
21 they are using shelters, from which they were probably firing.
22 Q. The objective of the 9th VPS, the task of the 9th VPS, according
23 to this report, was to complete a total blockade of Dubrovnik from both
24 sea and land and force the enemy to surrender. Isn't that correct?
25 A. Yes. What I received as a task from the commander of the 2nd
1 Operational Group is stated here accurately in this point.
2 Q. Under point 4, you state what your decision was. You describe
3 what your decision was, to introduce the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade
4 into the combat disposition of the battalion, of the Trebinje Brigade, and
5 so on and so forth.
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. In your decision under point 4, is it not stated that those units
8 should break out of the line, Zarkovica, Srdj, Strincjera, Gradci,
9 Komolac, Rijeka Dubrovacka, and establish full blockade of Dubrovnik from
10 land and sea and force the enemy to surrender?
11 A. Yes, indeed.
12 Q. So Srdj was included in the definition of this line that your
13 units should have reached?
14 A. This was an order given by the command of the 2nd Operational
15 Group. The line is defined on the ground when you look at the features,
16 at the facilities providing the specific positions of that line. But in
17 my order it is never stated that the facility of Srdj should be taken. I
18 simply did not allow Srdj to be taken.
19 Q. So how can you reach a line including also Srdj without taking the
20 facility itself?
21 A. Well, yes, of course, you can. It can be 500 metres in front or
22 behind the feature itself. It doesn't mean that every single facility,
23 every single feature along the line must be taken. If you write that down
24 - and you have failed to provide us with a document of the 2nd
25 Operational Group, we don't know what that one says - take the fort of
2 Q. Where can you see that?
3 A. That's the order of the command of the 2nd Operational Group for
4 this day and for the following day.
5 Q. Where do you have that order?
6 A. It's probably somewhere in the files.
7 Q. Well, why didn't you simply bring the document if that's indeed
8 what it says?
9 A. I could not take that document or any other document.
10 Q. What about the documents that you handed over to the OTP?
11 A. Only the ones that I was given, but I did not take anything
13 Q. Mr. Jokic, is it your submission that you and your Defence team
14 did not receive the copies of documents you required from the Belgrade
15 military archives?
16 A. What I told you is that we requested 700 documents and were only
17 given 60.
18 Q. Yes, I've heard that explanation before. But all I'm asking you
19 now is whether you obtained from the military archive copies of those
20 documents, regardless of whether it was just one document or 50 of them.
21 A. We requested about 700, but the ones we could actually use
22 amounted to less than 30. These were not handed over to me personally,
23 but rather to my Defence team, so I don't know.
24 Q. And the ones you were actually given -- the one that's somehow
25 missing is precisely this command of this 2nd Operational Group. Isn't
1 that the case?
2 A. Yes, it is true that we did not receive even a poor copy. It's
3 simply not even there in relation to the 10th, 11th, or 12th.
4 Q. Where is it that it's missing; in the files?
5 A. No, it must be in the files. It's just that we weren't given it.
6 Q. So if the task was not to take Srdj when talking about reaching
7 the Srdj-Strincjera-Zarkovica line, what was your task, then? To try to
8 take your units as close as possible to enemy positions at the Srdj fort
9 itself, wasn't it?
10 A. No. The aim was to take the series of forts along the Dubrava
11 ridge. Gruska Glava, Gradci, Strincjera, and to get close to Srdj itself
12 along the ridge but not take the facility itself. And I believe the order
13 was for me to take it, but in my decision I refused to do it.
14 Q. Can you please explain this distinction between the ridge of Srdj
15 and the facility at Srdj, the feature. What's the difference between the
16 two and what exactly does it amount to?
17 A. It's a huge difference. The facility of Srdj itself is just a
18 small part of the ridge, which comprises the so-called Imperijal Fort.
19 It's a massive fort dating back to Napoleon's time, and then there is an
20 underground tunnel linking the fort to the town of Dubrovnik itself.
21 Q. In the fort itself, there were Croatian forces, weren't there?
22 A. Yes, and when the fort of Srdj falls -- it has a central position
23 in defending Dubrovnik from land. As soon as the fort falls, the whole
24 defence of Dubrovnik collapses, and the units are free to walk down
25 straight into town. There is no other line of approach. The distance
1 between the fort and the Old Town is about 500 metres as the crow flies.
2 Q. But Mr. Jokic, I wasn't asking you about any of that. What I'm
3 asking you about is to explain the distinction between the ridge of Srdj
4 and the fort of Srdj because you are bringing your units there, as you
5 say. They are supposed to reach the Srdj line. How far is it from the
6 actual fort?
7 A. The ridge from which they could have fired on the fort, but not
8 actually take it, from Strincjera -- between Strincjera and Srdj, there
9 are about 500 metres.
10 MS. SOMERS: He has interrupted.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I wouldn't have called that an interruption. It's
12 a difficult line to draw between interruption and trying to direct
13 attention to a particular issue. I think Mr. Rodic was doing that.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Yes, that's
15 precisely what I have been trying to do, and I'm doing my best to have my
16 answers as brief and concise as possible.
17 Q. Therefore, Mr. Jokic, this ridge, is it just a barren ridge?
18 A. No, not on that side. It's the lee side, and these are actually
19 positions in front of the Strincjera fort facing Nuncijata and Srdj.
20 Q. All I want to know is the following, the distance between that
21 position being reached by your units at the ridge, what is the specific
22 distance between that position and the fort of Srdj itself?
23 A. Between five and six hundred metres, I believe.
24 Q. Awhile ago you said 300 metres, didn't you?
25 A. Well, listen, you want me perhaps to give you specific positions
1 for each of the individual trenches, don't you? No units being brought
2 there, are they? Only weapons are being placed there, and there is a
3 trench at the Strincjera fort so the side of Srdj itself. Weapons are
4 being placed there to prevent weapons from Srdj from strafing across
5 Dubrava and inflicting losses in our units. This is all about the
6 communication between these various forts, Bosanka, Gradci, Strincjera,
7 and so on and so forth.
8 Q. Can you please try to be succinct. If I understand you correctly,
9 your unit reached the position at the ridge in order to fire on enemy
10 forces deployed at the Srdj fortress. Those enemy units were disrupting
11 your units, the work of your units on some other positions, weren't they?
12 A. Well, that's partially true, but --
13 Q. So can you please tell us the entire answer. Can you please
14 perhaps explain, if that's any easier for you, where your units had been
15 positioned prior to this order for attack. Where were they supposed to be
16 once this order was carried out?
17 A. Prior to this attack, the units had been positioned at Bosanka.
18 Q. So what is the distance between Bosanka and Srdj?
19 A. About 700 metres. Six or seven hundred metres.
20 Q. If we look at your order for attack, what were they supposed to be
21 doing from this position, given that they were already at Bosanka? What
22 were they supposed to be doing in relation to Srdj? Where were they
23 supposed to go from there?
24 A. The problem is that you can't see the overall picture, and I can.
25 I know the context. I'm familiar with that area. I had crossed it a
1 hundred times. From Bosanka you can't see Srdj. You can't target Srdj.
2 What they were supposed to do is pass along the whole series of forts;
3 Gruska Glava, Gradci, Strincjera. This is a wreath of fortresses which
4 you use to reach Srdj from Strincjera, and that's how you gain access to
5 Rijeka Dubrovacka. As for the units at Bosanka, those were not supposed
6 to move towards Srdj. They were not supposed to even budge. It would not
7 have been possible anyway, without taking Srdj, without taking the town of
8 Dubrovnik itself.
9 Q. So tell me, please, how exactly was this supposed to be carried
10 out pursuant to your order? Which lines exactly were they supposed to
12 A. My order was carried out precisely as I had planned, these forts
13 that I had talked about were taken.
14 Q. Can you please give us the specific lines that pursuant to your
15 order dated the 9th of November your subordinated units were supposed to
17 A. As I said --
18 Q. If you want to refresh your memory, I think we're talking about
19 point 4.
20 A. We're talking about the Dubrava ridge; Gruska Glava, Gradci fort,
21 Strincjera. This is the line. From that line, I would have been able to
22 secure access to Komolac, Tikovici [phoen], and taken control of the
23 various settlements in Rijeka Dubrovacka.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you.
25 A. There was a great deal of pressure to take Srdj on the part of the
1 3rd Battalion also. And that's what the situation was, roughly, that the
2 line was to be taken, including Srdj.
3 Q. We'll get back to that later. But what I'd like to ask you next
4 is the following: Under point 4, what is stated is: "Use the remaining
5 part of the forces to control the territory and to carry out tasks in
6 terms of the logistic support for the units of the 9th VPS and the
7 Military Naval District." What exactly was supposed to be done in
8 relation to units of the Military Naval District?
9 A. At the outset, I spoke about this briefly, I believe. My task, in
10 addition to my involvement in the Dubrovnik operation, was to receive the
11 forces of the Military Naval District being evacuated from the Italian
12 border, from the port of Kotor, down through Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split,
13 Sibenik and all the way down to Dubrovnik. The entire Military Naval
14 District had hundreds of battalion-level units, platoon-level units, and
15 so on and so forth.
16 Q. Mr. Jokic, we've heard this before, and I'm not going to challenge
17 this. I just wanted you to tell me briefly in this order you wrote, this
18 order for attack, you also make provisions for the logistical support for
19 the units of the 9th Military Naval District being evacuated from Croatia
20 at the time.
21 A. Yes, that's true, plus providing security for the vessels relying
22 on ports within my area. We were providing their supplies also.
23 Q. Under point 5, the tasks of units, specifically here in relation
24 to the 472nd Motorised Brigade, the 1st and the 2nd Battalions in
25 cooperation with the mixed detachment, the 16th Naval Border Detachment
1 and forces of the 9th VPS. From the Bosanka village area on to the
2 village of Ivanica, the attack is to be carried out along the following
3 axis: Bosanka-Mulin Do-Strincjera, and by 1600 hours reach the line
4 Srdj-Strincjera-Gradci. There is an elevation given for Srdj, trig point
5 403, and in relation to Strincjera K412, and for Gradci K413. Can you
6 please tell us specifically where this elevation 403 was.
7 A. Srdj is 412, trig point 412, that's Srdj. Maybe on a different
8 map, it would have been given this other number, 403. I'm telling you
9 again the line is defined here, but it does not state anywhere take the
10 actual facility. That's a very important distinction. And furthermore,
11 what we see here is the axis towards Srdj, but it's not actually stated
12 anywhere that the facility itself, Srdj, is to be taken.
13 Q. Perhaps it's not explicitly stated, as you say, and the actual
14 wording is not there, "take Srdj."
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. But the order is to reach the Srdj line by 1600 hours, and then
17 the following elevation and trig point are provided, 403. Is that then
18 the task?
19 A. Yes, of course. I'm telling you again, this was the task but not
20 to take the actual feature, the actual feature of Srdj. If you insist, in
21 relation to that, I can tell you exactly what steps I took and what
22 explanations I demanded from the order of the 2nd Operational Group in
23 relation to this order to take Srdj itself.
24 Q. Could you please just explain the following --
25 JUDGE PARKER: I think it might be preferable for that to happen
1 after the break, Mr. Rodic. I think what you're about to put will take --
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Very well, then, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We'll have the first break.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 And may I have the usher's assistance again, please, to hand the
9 witness a document from tab 22. It is the Jokic Prosecution Exhibit P132,
10 tab 30, actually. P132, tab 30.
11 Q. Mr. Jokic, we said under 5.1 that the task of the 3rd Battalion of
12 the 472nd Brigade was to get out of Bosanka to Biljavaca, and to attack
13 towards Mulin Do-Strincjera, and by 1600 hours to reach the line
14 Srdj-Strincjera-Gradci. Srdj is trig point 403. Can you point this out
15 on the map, this trig point.
16 A. [Indicates]
17 Q. Srdj. This trig point 403?
18 A. Yes. On this map, yes. It's a very small-scale map, and yes, it
19 is 403.
20 Q. Is this an inaccurate map?
21 A. It's an accurate map, but I'm saying that on larger scale maps,
22 the place is the same but it is 412, an elevation of 412. But never mind.
23 Q. When you say that by 1600 hours, they have to reach the line Srdj
24 trig 403, does that mean that your unit should take that position, get
25 that position?
1 A. No.
2 Q. In your order, does it say or does that mean that that unit should
3 get 300 or 500 metres from point 403?
4 A. The map shows that there is no other feature that could be marked
5 except for Srdj.
6 Q. I would like to ask you to answer my question, please. Did you
7 order them to reach the line that was 300 to 500 metres away from point
9 A. I ordered them, or rather, the chief of staff who was in charge of
10 this operation and Colonel Kovacevic, that they must not take Srdj, if you
11 want a precise answer from me. Ask the command of the 2nd Operational
12 Group why it says "take Srdj." The chief of staff of the 2nd Operational
13 Group, General Damjanovic, signed that order, not only for that day but
14 also for the 11th and the 12th.
15 Q. You say that you said that to the chief of staff Zec and Colonel
16 Kovacevic, who was your assistant for land forces. Is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. Is it correct that in your order for the attack on the 9th of
19 November, there is no mention of that? In the written order, that is.
20 A. Yes. In the order, it does not say "take the feature of Srdj."
21 For all of those three days, the fighting went on, but for every one of
22 these days the order was "Do not take the feature of Srdj."
23 Q. Mr. Jokic, it is no longer necessary for you to mark anything on
24 the map so would you please focus on the questions now.
25 In your order, it says "Reach Srdj at point 403," in this order
1 dated the 9th of November that we're reading. But if I understand things
2 correctly, apart from what it says here, you said to your chief of staff
3 and your assistant commander for land forces not to take Srdj.
4 A. Yes, absolutely.
5 Q. Can you tell me why you did not write that in your written order
6 for the attack?
7 A. Well, that's what I have been trying to explain to you, but you
8 won't let me explain. As soon as the order came from the command of the
9 2nd Operational Group, I asked for an explanation why Srdj is being taken
10 and whose order this is. Is it the order of the command of the 2nd
11 Operational Group or of the chief of General Staff? Since the commander
12 was not at the OKM, General Strugar was not there, and the signator of the
13 10th of November, there was a decision on action to be taken by the 2nd
14 Operational Group, and it was signed by General Damjanovic. It was his
15 signature that was there. He said to me that this was the order of the
16 command of the 2nd Operational Group but that also in the directive of the
17 General Staff, there is mention of that. I said that we would carry this
18 out, but that we would not take the feature itself.
19 In these operations, I was by the 3rd Light Brigade that was
20 operating in the Sumet/Komolac area. I was with Colonel Bojovic, because
21 this was the first time that that unit was being brought into combat, this
22 3rd Light Brigade.
23 Q. You said all of that to General Damjanovic, who is deceased now,
24 or rather he has been deceased for a long time now.
25 A. Well, look, that decision bears the signature of General
1 Damjanovic who was alive then, and his signature is on that document.
2 Q. Did you write anything to the chief of staff of the 2nd
3 Operational Group, Damjanovic, or to the commander of the 2nd Operational
4 Group? Did you object in writing in relation to that? Did you give your
5 reasons why you thought otherwise? Are there any written traces of that?
6 A. No, there aren't.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 Further on, under 5.1, it says that the objective is to break
9 enemy forces in the broader region of Srdj/Dubrava. And when reaching the
10 ordered line, should be fortified at the line of Zarkovica point 315, Srdj
11 point 403, Strincjera point 412, and Gradci trig point 353. And in this
12 way, establish full blockade from Dubrovnik land and Gruz from the
13 southern side of Rijeka Dubrovacka. Is that what it says here?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you see that section?
16 A. Yes, I said yes.
17 Q. Now, tell me, when you say "upon reaching the lines ordered, take
18 inter alia Srdj, point 403," where was that supposed to be? Where were
19 they supposed to fortify themselves there?
20 A. I said --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer
22 because the interpreters did not hear the first part.
23 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. The witness is not wearing
24 his headphones, so perhaps that is why the -- if we could just go back and
25 repeat the question. Thank you.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for your capacity to observe, Ms. Somers.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
3 MS. SOMERS: A whole line of questioning appears to have been
4 missed. If we could perhaps repeat that.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It is only the witness's
6 last answer that we did not hear from the beginning, all the villages
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I'm going to repeat the last question. When reaching the lines
10 ordered, it says "To be fortified on the line of Zarkovica, Srdj,
11 Strincjera, Gradci." Can you tell us, in relation to Srdj, point 403 as
12 it says here, where were they supposed to be fortified? Where were your
13 units supposed to be?
14 A. I said that the front part should take the ridge, between the fort
15 of Strincjera towards Srdj, so that they could target Srdj from the flank
16 and Nuncijata on the right. But without taking the actual feature.
17 Q. Please, how far away is this ridge from point 403, Srdj?
18 A. I cannot give you the exact number of metres. Is that what you
20 Q. No, you don't have to speak in terms of a single metre, but say 10
21 metres or so.
22 A. Where a position can be established and where there can be proper
23 shelter for artillery pieces to shoot at a given target but be protected
24 at the same time. That is to say, without reaching the fortress. And for
25 them to be able to operate successfully from the flanks by machine-guns
1 and so on.
2 Q. So what distance was this? Where were they supposed to stop, your
3 units? Where were they supposed to stop?
4 A. 500 or 600 metres away from the fort itself.
5 Q. Tell me, why did you not write this in your order for attack?
6 A. You cannot write in an order every single thing. My basic
7 intention was to take this line of fortresses that prevented the entry of
8 the 3rd Light Brigade into Rijeka Dubrovacka, to disable fire from Srdj
9 and action from Srdj, but not to take the fort itself. That was the basic
10 tactical concept that I abided by for all the three days of these
12 Q. All right. Could you please explain to me whether the units of
13 the 9th VPS sustained any losses. Did they have any soldiers who were
14 killed or wounded due to fire coming from Srdj, due to Croatian forces
15 firing from Srdj, to be precise?
16 A. Yes, yes. There was a constant fire in that period, before that
17 and after that. That was the most heavily fortified position for the
18 defence of Dubrovnik.
19 Q. Let's not elaborate this any further. We've already heard that.
20 Tactically speaking, how did you envisage stopping the action of
21 Croatian forces from Fort Srdj if you came within 500 metres of them?
22 A. By gunfire. That we can always cover the fort with gunfire so
23 that they cannot operate. That was very possible because our fire was
24 several times stronger than theirs. It was possible to do that from a
25 shelter without getting to the fort itself.
1 Q. And is that why you came within 500 metres of them?
2 A. Yes, that was the underlying idea. Absolutely.
3 Q. Tell me, in terms of their points of departure where the units
4 left from on the 9th of November, were there also some shelters from where
5 action could be taken towards Srdj?
6 A. Yes, of course. Yes.
7 Q. And from these initial positions, on the 9th November, from those
8 shelters, did you use firearms and artillery pieces in order to shoot at
9 Srdj, and could you reach Srdj in terms of range?
10 A. Yes, of course. This was not on the 9th. The order was written
11 on the 9th for the 10th. The operations took place on the 10th. There
12 weren't any on the 9th in this attack.
13 Q. When I say the 9th, I'm referring to the date when the order for
14 attack was written.
15 A. And the attack was taking place --
16 Q. On the 10th, and that is what it says in your order.
17 A. Yes, this could happen from the initial position. It was within
18 range. And now if you want to know what the underlying idea was, why the
19 attack was launched, if that was the question.
20 Q. No. My question is as follows: Since you could from those
21 initial positions shoot at Srdj from shelters, too, and actually reach it,
22 then why did you move closer, a very little bit only, so that you would
23 get to a distance of 500 metres from the Croatian forces?
24 A. Well, we did not move from Bosanka towards Srdj. We went around.
25 If you look at the map, you can see that this line of forts goes along the
1 ridge. Gradci, Strincjera. So it's that ridge, it's these forts. That's
2 where the Croat forces were that were operating not only towards Bosanka
3 and Zarkovica, but also Dubrovacka, Rijeka. From that ridge, they were
4 preventing the 3rd Light Brigade from getting down to Rijeka. That is the
5 basic tactical idea for this attack. We were not attacking from the
6 Bosanka/Srdj line, but from Strincjera/Srdj, on the flanks. Because the
7 ridge -- I mean, this part where Bosanka is, it is completely bare and
8 open, and no movement was possible there.
9 Q. Can you please tell me when Strincjera was taken.
10 A. It was taken on the 12th, entirely taken, including the broader
11 area surrounding the fort. On the 11th, Captain Kovacevic reached the
12 fort with certain elements of his unit, but as for taking the entire
13 broader area surrounding the fort, that took place on the 12th.
14 Q. Can you please look at point 5.3 of the order for the mixed TO
15 detachment. We can read here that the task of the mixed detachment was to
16 support the attack by the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade by
17 using a tank company to attack Zarkovica, the village of Bosanka, and
18 Srdj, Dubac, Orsula, the village of Sumet and the village of Komolac; is
19 that the case?
20 A. Yes, by all means.
21 Q. So does this constitute an attack on Srdj, then?
22 A. Yes, you can use a tank company to carry out an operation along
23 that axis, but this is only the axis. This is not about elements of the
24 infantry moving because they cannot operate in this area. The infantry
25 elements moved along the succession of forts past Strincjera and that's
1 where they took up adequate positions. But not from the direction of
2 Bosanka because there you could only use tanks. This was probably not
3 even a company, there were just three or four tanks there.
4 Q. Did you then order that tank company to attack along this axis,
5 Zarkovica, Bosanka village, Srdj?
6 A. Yes, by all means. That would have been the only possible axis of
7 attack. Use tanks to fire to make it impossible [as interpreted] for
8 infantry elements of the 3rd Battalion to carry out an attack from the
9 forts of Strincjera, Gradci, and Srdj, and the access to the feature of
10 Srdj itself. That was the idea, for the firing to focus on the feature of
11 Srdj and to make it possible for elements of the infantry to get as close
12 as possible to the ridge, in keeping with the law and to make it
13 impossible for them to fire on us from the fort itself, but it could have
14 taken any number of axis, the attack itself from Srdj then.
15 Q. What about the tank company? In this order that we can see here,
16 was it firing in a stationary manner from where it was, without ever
17 moving, or was it supposed to simply move along down this axis, Zarkovica,
18 Bosanka village, Srdj?
19 A. There was no moving there. There were two tanks that were dug in
20 at Zarkovica this whole time, and two of them were mobile. And probably
21 they were moving about, yes. Quite naturally. I can't be familiar with
22 every single detail.
23 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honours, I need to bring to your
24 attention a transcript error which needs to be attended to I think
25 urgently. On page 40, line 23, I believe the witness said "use tanks to
1 fire to make it possible for infantry elements of the 3rd Batallion..."
2 The transcript reads "impossible," and I wonder if that could be cleared
3 up, please. Again, that was page 40, line 23.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Jokic, can you please clarify this for us. The task of the
6 company, of the tank company, was to attack down the axis Zarkovica,
7 Bosanka village, Srdj. What was this supposed to make possible?
8 A. This attack by the tanks was supposed to use tank fire on the
9 feature of Srdj, and this was to make it possible for the infantry
10 elements to operate from the flank, from Strincjera, to fire on Srdj and
11 get as close as possible to it. The tanks were there to link up their
12 fire to the fire from Srdj in order to ensure for a successful attack from
13 the right flank for infantry elements. That was the tactical idea behind
14 this particular piece of support.
15 Q. What about the tank company, then, pursuant to this order? Does
16 it have the task, among other things also, to attack Srdj?
17 A. Yes, that's precisely what I said. To fire on Srdj, to attack
18 Srdj by firing, and thus ensure the link-up between the defending forces
19 and Srdj and make it possible for the infantry elements to attack from the
20 direction of the Strincjera fort.
21 Q. Further, LAV PVO 20/3 millimetres and LAV PVO 40/1 millimetres
22 should be maintained at their current positions and provide fire support
23 for the attack of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Trebinje Brigade. Can
24 you please tell us, which weapon exactly are we looking at here and where
25 was it positioned?
1 A. These are two incomplete batteries, 20 and 40 millimetres
2 respectively, that were used for anti-aircraft defence of the entire
3 Zarkovica area and Bosanka. And at the same time, they were part of the
4 mixed detachment as they had no artillery of their own.
5 Q. Where were these weapons positioned?
6 A. These pieces were at Zarkovica, at the Batutovo fort. I believe
7 that was the name of the fortification. It was in the Zarkovica area.
8 They had their positions in the Zarkovica area, and anti-aircraft defence
9 is what their task was, as well as providing support.
10 Q. In terms of this specific task, were they supposed to fire along
11 these axes, the axis that the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade was
12 moving along?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 Can you please look at point 5.4 now. This is in relation to the
16 16th Border Naval Detachment with RTOP 403, isn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In the second sentence, it says: "Prevent the movement of enemy
19 forces during the night from Dubrovnik towards Zarkovica, Bosanka, and
20 Srdj. Discover the enemy's combat positions in the area --"
21 A. North-west.
22 Q. Is that a position?
23 A. Yes. North-west of the island of Lokrum.
24 Q. North-west of Lokrum. The passage near the Belvedere Hotel, the
25 [Realtime transcript read in error "forces"] fortresses in the Old Town,
1 and the coastal area between the old port and Cape Petka, and these are to
2 be destroyed, keeping in mind that the Old Town should not be fired on.
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. These units of the 9th VPS, were they not supposed already during
5 the previous night, during the 9th and 10th November, to prevent any
6 movements by enemy units along the Dubrovnik axis and once it was
7 ascertained that there were manoeuvres by these units.
8 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honours, I'm sorry to interrupt but
9 there is a misleading reading in the transcript. Page 43, lines 13 and
10 14. It says "forces in the Old Town." That is not to be found in 5.4
12 JUDGE PARKER: I think the word may be "fortresses" rather than
14 MS. SOMERS: I'm terribly sorry; "fortresses."
15 JUDGE PARKER: I see there's general agreement by Mr. Rodic and
16 the witness. Yes.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] We have no choice but to agree because
18 that's precisely what the document states, Your Honour.
19 MS. SOMERS: I believe that what it says is "forces within the Old
20 Town" on the transcript, as opposed to "fortresses." If the Chamber --
21 JUDGE PARKER: That's precisely -- that is precisely where we'd
22 got to. Thank you.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. May we continue, please, Mr. Jokic. These units of the 9th VPS,
25 was their task already during the previous night, between the 9th and 10th
1 of November, to prevent any manoeuvres by enemy forces from Dubrovnik
2 along these axes, as we said a while ago?
3 A. Yes. Any time of day and night, there were two boats patrolling
4 the line.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you. What about these positions that are marked
6 here, that are referred to in this item, this point of the order? These
7 navy units, where were they supposed to operate?
8 A. Well, it says here "firing on possible forces," the reference here
9 is to possible reinforcements that may be brought in along the Zarkovica,
10 Bosanka, Srdj axis. This is a special reference to artillery forces that,
11 from the area of new town, Petka, Lapad, could be sent towards the Old
12 Town. And the only way to discover this is from the sea. If you patrol
13 the lines, the sea lines.
14 Q. Is this also a reference to a position of the enemy forces at one
15 of the forts inside the Old Town?
16 A. Yes, the Belvedere Hotel, the passage there, it is completely
17 isolated by a concrete wall. It is impossible to target from land, and
18 the fortresses inside the Old Town, yes, as well as Cape Petka, where the
19 weapons were positioned for the support being given to their defence.
20 Q. And as soon as firing points were discovered, these were to be
21 reported to the forward command post of the 9th Military Naval Sector in
22 order to coordinate the remaining mortar and artillery fire. Isn't that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we would like to tender
2 this document into evidence, and may it please be given a number as a
3 Defence exhibit.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: This document is D57.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can we have the usher's assistance,
7 please. I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit P126 from tab 24.
8 Q. Mr. Jokic, you've seen this document during the
9 examination-in-chief, haven't you? This is a combat order by the command
10 of the 9th VPS, dated the 10th of November 1991, isn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Under point 1, we can see the following: "Use the forces of the
13 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade, extend the attack along the
14 general axis of Bosanka village, Dugi Doci, Strincjera --" again we have
15 the trig point defined here, 412 -- "and by 1700 hours break through to
16 the following line: Bosanka village, Srdj trig point 403, Strincjera trig
17 point 412, Gradci elevation 353." Is this the same axis that we talked
18 about in the previous combat order dated the 9th of November?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. Just underneath, does it not say that the remaining forces should
21 stay at the lines reached and support the actions of the units taking part
22 in the attack?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you please tell me which artillery weapons were supposed to
25 keep supporting this attack by the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade,
1 which specific pieces?
2 A. Well, what it says here is support by the mobile border naval
3 battery, 130 millimetres, from the 107th coastal artillery battery, as
4 well as the 122 Howitzer and a 130-millimetre gun from TOC as well as a
5 120-millimetre mortar from TOC.
6 Q. Are these heavy artillery forces?
7 A. This is one battery and three guns. Certainly, this could be
8 defined as heavy forces. But this is not, for example, an entire division
9 taking part in the operation.
10 Q. But I assume this would have been sufficient?
11 A. Yes, by all means.
12 Q. And this was the task in relation to the 11th of November?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you please look under point 1.4 where again the order is
15 specified, the order to the artillery. What it says here is "Pursuant to
16 the command -- to an order of the commander of the artillery of the 9th
17 VPS, support the combat activities of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd
18 Motorised Brigade with the emphasis on artillery hits on the enemy in the
19 Srdj, Strincjera and Gradci sector in accordance with the firing as
21 In the course of the 10th of November when this order was written
22 in relation to the next day, was any firing by these artillery weapons
23 being planned on these positions or in terms of the time and quantity of
24 the firing?
25 A. Yes, that's right. Because they were fortresses, fortified
1 facilities, so the firing was planned in advance with all the elements and
2 weapons. And the forts had not been taken at that time, so this was how
3 matters were regulated.
4 Q. Were you afraid, in view of the strength of the artillery pieces
5 and the axis of attack in the Srdj area, that hits could have been
6 possible to the town of Dubrovnik or the Old Town itself? Were you afraid
7 that that might have happened?
8 A. No. The fire positions of the 130-millimetre battery and the
9 artillery pieces from the TOC were located at Cilipi airport and in the
10 village of Mocici near Cavtat. The axis of attack of that artillery fire
11 went via Srdj, or rather at Srdj, Strincjera, and Gradci. Therefore, it
12 was leading towards Rijeka Dubrovacka, towards the Greben ridge and
13 further on to Dubrovacka Rijeka, whereas the Old Town and the city of
14 Dubrovnik would remain to the left, more than 90 degrees that way. So
15 there was absolutely no possibility of a shell falling into the city of
16 Dubrovnik at all.
17 Q. What was the distance from which these artillery pieces were
18 active in that situation?
19 A. Between 8 and 12 kilometres.
20 Q. Do you know how far it is, what the distance is from the runway at
21 Cilipi airport, which was where the pieces were located, artillery pieces,
22 to Srdj, the target?
23 A. Well, it's between 10 and 12 kilometres, 12 or 13 kilometres
24 perhaps, as the crow flies. The greatest danger for the Old Town, if I
25 could put it that way --
1 Q. May I just ask you this: What was the nearest distance from Srdj
2 to the first houses in Dubrovnik? On the slopes of Mount Srdj, in the
3 direction of the Old Town? What was the distance from Srdj to the nearest
5 A. Well, a very small distance because the houses on the slope, if
6 you go down from the top of Srdj, they lie at two to three hundred metres.
7 You would find the first houses at two to three hundred metres.
8 Q. Is that in the direction of the Old Town?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. Can you tell me where the 120-millimetre mortar was located?
11 Where was that positioned? That is mentioned under point 1.
12 A. I don't understand your question.
13 Q. The 120-millimetre mortar position that was supposed to give
14 firepower support to the 3rd Battalion, where was that?
15 A. All those three artillery pieces from the TOC were at the Cavtat
16 fire positions, firing positions at Cavtat.
17 Q. What about this 120-millimetre mortar? Did it open fire from
19 A. You're asking about one mortar, whether it went into operation,
20 whether it fired, and at what targets.
21 Q. Well, I'm asking you because it says here very precisely in great
22 detail in your order. So I'm not construing anything. I'm just asking
23 you on the basis of what I have read here. It says that the mortar lent
24 support -- a 120-millimetre mortar from the TOC, lent support or was
25 supposed to lend support to the forces of the 3rd Battalion along the axis
1 of attack. Is that correct? So I'm interested in knowing where that
2 mortar was positioned.
3 A. That mortar did not have that range, an effective range. It's
4 effective range was 6 kilometres. It can target at 10. But for an
5 effective range, the effective range was up to a maximum of 6 kilometres.
6 So it could have targeted the Hotel Belvedere, which was fortified, but it
7 couldn't have targeted Strincjera, for example. And it probably didn't
8 open fire on Strincjera.
9 Q. Was it able to reach the Old Town at all?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Why do you say no if you say that it could have reached a target
12 at a 10-kilometre distance away?
13 A. That was its -- the furthest it could have reached, the absolute
14 furthest point. With a rifle, your range would be 6 kilometres. But of
15 course, you use rifles to target targets of up to 1.000 metres, whereas a
16 bullet can hit effectively at 6 kilometres.
17 Q. All right. Well, perhaps this person manning the mortar could
18 have extended himself in targeting that. But tell me something else:
19 Where was the artillery of the 3rd Battalion --
20 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour; speculative and comment.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. -- of the 472nd Brigade?
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I accept that, Your Honour, yes.
24 Q. Can you tell us where the artillery of the 3rd Battalion of the
25 472nd Brigade was when the battalion was going into an attack along the
1 prescribed axis?
2 A. I don't think the axis was prescribed. It was ordered.
3 Q. Yes, I apologise. As it was ordered. Pursuant to the order.
4 A. The firepower of the mortar battalion of the 3rd -- of the battery
5 of the 3rd Battalion were Ivanica-Uskoplje. That was the axis. I think
6 that they were at the Uskoplje at the time, because that's where the
7 positions were designed and were not changed practically throughout the
8 entire operation.
9 Q. Were those the same positions at which the -- on the 6th of
10 December -- at which they were on the 6th of December 1991?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. The artillery battalion, was it also supposed to lend support to
13 its battalion in the attack?
14 A. Yes, that's right. That was its basic task. The battery's basic
15 task was to lend support to parts of the battalion.
16 Q. And did it indeed lend its support pursuant to this combat order?
17 A. Yes, it did. Absolutely so.
18 Q. Under point 1.6, which relates to the artillery and mortars of TOC
19 Prevlaka, and it says, "Under the leadership of the chief of the artillery
20 and the commander of the Prevlaka TOC, in coordination with the unit
21 commanders, during the attack provide support to units attacking in the
22 Srdj Dubrava sector and the wider Rijeka sector."
23 Is that right?
24 A. Yes, that's right and clear.
25 Q. When it says "in coordination with the unit commanders to provide
1 support in the attack," were there direct links and communication between
2 the commanders of individual units taking part in the attack and this
4 A. Yes, that's right, there were. Of course they existed, but if you
5 want me to explain how you give support and who maintains links and
6 communication with whom, I can.
7 Q. Well, what you've just said is sufficient. Now, with the
8 artillery battalion, the artillery of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd
9 Brigade, and you said that it lent support to its battalion's attack, tell
10 me please whether from those positions at which it was, did it have a
11 range which would reach the town of Dubrovnik and the Old Town in
13 A. From the firing positions of this area -- of the area of Uskoplje,
14 that particular battery could reach the Old Town area and another
15 kilometre further perhaps.
16 Q. Were you afraid of this danger, of the danger of firing possibly
17 at the Old Town when you ordered the deployment and use of that unit and
18 the artillery? Weren't you afraid you might hit the Old Town?
19 A. I did not order the deployment and use of that artillery. I was
20 in command only of my own artillery, and that was the artillery that you
21 enumerated. And from this document, you cannot see the artillery of the
22 3rd Battalion coming into use because that was regulated by the commander
23 of that particular battalion. But I can explain this if you want me to.
24 Q. Tell me, please, according to this order, pursuant to this order,
25 is it true and correct that you ordered an attack of the 3rd Battalion of
1 the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
2 A. Yes, I did. Certainly.
3 Q. But tell me something about the doctrine of the deployment and use
4 of units in the JNA. According to that, would an artillery battalion take
5 part in lending support to its infantry forces within the battalion?
6 A. Yes, absolutely so. That is its purpose.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I ask for the usher's assistance,
9 again, please. Another document to be distributed.
10 Q. Mr. Jokic, is this a regular combat order of the command of the
11 9th VPS for the 10th of November 1991?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Combat report. Interpreter's correction:
14 Regular combat report.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Was this document compiled at your command?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Are you familiar with the contents of this document?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Under point 1, describing the enemy, you report, or it is being
21 reported that on the circular basis of -- the defence has been persistent,
22 great persistence in defending and fired at our positions on Zarkovica,
23 Dubac, Brgat, Ivanica with MB 82 and 120 MM, and with one to two cannons
24 76 MM ZIS, fired from the region of Bosanka village and the region of --
25 it says Svet, perhaps that's an error, on to our positions at Zarkovica,
1 Batutovo, and Koratak [phoen].
2 A. Well, yes.
3 Q. From mortars at Lazaret used to target positions. Now, can you
4 tell me what it says here, "region of Svet." Perhaps that's a typing
5 error. What do you think?
6 A. I think it's Sumet, Sumet.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 Now, in the next sentence, does it state that the hotel resorts
9 and walls of the Old Town are still used for mortar positions?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. And was that noted during the combat operations? I assume, since
12 it was included in your regular combat report.
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. From the island of Lokrum, from fire from a 20-millimetre cannon,
15 sniper fire, were the JNA positions at Dubac being fired at?
16 A. Yes, they did have a 20-millimetre cannon in the forest at the top
17 of the hill on the island of Lokrum.
18 Q. And you can also see that there was strong sniper and machine-gun
19 fire that the enemy resorted to and that they had the Zolja type and Offa
20 [phoen] type weapons, hand-held rocket launchers, basically.
21 A. Yes, anti-tank-type guns.
22 Q. And under point 2, it says that the units of the 9th VPS, along
23 with support from the artillery, as well as vessels from the sea, and
24 first of all the 3rd Battalion of the 472rd Brigade, Motorised Brigade,
25 launched an attack at 7.00 in the morning, 0700 hours, and that by 1800
1 hours it had reached the line of Kriz, Bosanka village, trig point 326.
2 Is that right?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. When it says "Kriz" is that the crossroads above town?
5 A. No. Not by Srdj fort. This is another Kriz, or cross, near
6 Bosanka. A small settlement. It's the cross.
7 Q. And what direction did it reach the Kriz or cross position?
8 A. How do you mean, what direction? It says here "line."
9 Q. It says "broke out on to the line of Kriz."
10 A. Bosanka village had been taken control of, and you can see what
11 the line was. Bosanka was taken control of by this date, the 10th of
12 November. Bosanka wasn't taken on that particular day, it was taken
13 control of between the 8th and 9th. But you couldn't draw a line
14 otherwise but drawing it Kriz-Bosanka because that is the only point on
15 the earth, on the ground, that he could have stipulated.
16 Q. Where is Kriz, or cross, in relation to Bosanka?
17 A. It is to the left of Bosanka. You have Kriz, then you have
18 Bosanka, Gruska Glava, and then trig 326. And then it goes to Gradci,
19 Obod, the ridge, the edge of the ridge, and so on.
20 Q. When you say that it is to the left of Bosanka, is that looking
21 towards town? Towards the town of Dubrovnik?
22 A. Yes, you could put it that way. It was closer to town, at any
23 rate. But it was not the Kriz or cross up at the fort itself.
24 Q. Yes, we understood that. How far is this cross or Kriz away from
25 Bosanka? What is the distance?
1 A. Several hundred metres. I can't be preciser than that. It is
2 situated between Zarkovica and Bosanka. That's where it ought to be.
3 Q. And how far did we say Bosanka was away from Srdj? What's the
4 distance between Bosanka and Srdj?
5 A. You mean Bosanka and Srdj?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Well, between seven and eight hundred metres. Less than a
8 kilometre anyway, as the crow flies of course.
9 Q. And Kriz is situated between --
10 A. It's not on that axis. It's a line, curved line. You can see it
11 on the map if you take a map.
12 Q. Very well.
13 Have a look at what it says underneath, "PS of the 9th VPS held a
14 blockade at the port of Dubrovnik." What does "PS" mean?
15 A. It means naval forces.
16 Q. So the naval forces of the 9th VPS held a blockade and supported
17 the firepower of the land forces. Is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, do you know what the axes were there?
20 A. In the previous document, we said that from the sea, if you have
21 artillery pieces which reinforce the first line of defence, and what can
22 be seen from the sea, then those ships were active with those pieces, such
23 as at Cape Petka, the Libertas Hotel, the Belvedere Hotel, the Usek, the
24 passage there, and you can only target that from the sea. Then there was
25 the island of Lokrum. All these were artillery pieces or weapons which
1 prevented the units of the 3rd Battalion from gaining control of the fort
2 and fortresses.
3 Q. Was there any artillery around the Belvedere Hotel itself?
4 A. Yes, of course.
5 Q. And was that artillery in a shelter or screened? If you look at
6 the area in which the JNA units are targeting from the land?
7 A. Yes, absolutely correct. You couldn't reach them.
8 Q. Is that why the ships of the 9th VPS had to be deployed and act
9 from the sea, targeting those artillery positions of the Croats at the
10 Belvedere Hotel?
11 A. Yes, that's just how it was.
12 Q. Were there any refugees in the Belvedere Hotel?
13 A. No. As far as I know, no, there weren't, because the Belvedere
14 Hotel was at the front line of defence. That was the Belvedere/Srdj line,
15 Nuncijata line, and no refugees were allowed to be there.
16 Q. Were there any Croatian forces, forces of the Croatian army put up
17 at the Belvedere Hotel?
18 A. Oh, yes, that there were.
19 Q. Do you know, since this report relates to the 10th of November,
20 and previously we saw your order of the 9th of November for the units and
21 their deployment for the 10th of November, do you happen to remember,
22 compared to the previous day and what happened on the 9th of November and
23 activity going on there, whether there was a step forward made; and if so,
24 what advancement had been made by the units in their attack between the
25 9th and 10th of November?
1 A. No major progress had been made. And you can see from the line
2 given in this report.
3 Q. Very well. Thank you.
4 Now, can you tell me why there was no major progress? Was there
5 strong resistance perhaps?
6 A. Yes, one of the reasons was, of course, strong resistance. And
7 the second reason was this: The firing of the 3rd Battalion, the actions
8 of the 3rd Battalion weren't best expressed with respect to placing the
9 -- the way in which they placed the companies introduced into battle.
10 Q. Now, along with the 3rd Battalion, was your assistant for the land
11 forces there, Colonel Kovacevic?
12 A. Yes, that's right. He was there throughout.
13 Q. And what about the chief of staff, captain of the battleship, Zec?
14 Was he at the positions and axes of attack of your units, especially the
15 3rd Battalion?
16 A. Yes, that's right. He was at Zarkovica himself, which was where
17 they had a vantage point for the commander of the 3rd Battalion, a lookout
18 post. And from there, they were able to maintain constant links and
19 posts, from that observation post, in fact.
20 Q. And the chief of staff, Zec, did he happen to inform you that
21 there had been some artillery hits perhaps on to the Old Town in view of
22 the fact that he was at the observation post at Zarkovica?
23 A. No. He informed me in the evening when he reported to me and when
24 we were preparing for combat action the following day.
25 Q. Can you tell us what he reported to you about? What did he tell
2 A. Well, he informed me that there was targeting towards town by the
3 chief of staff, Major Komar. He didn't know exactly -- he couldn't say
4 exactly whether it was the Old Town in actual fact, but he did speak about
5 targeting towards Srdj and towards the town. Now, we didn't know at the
6 time about the hits in the Old Town. But already the next day, you could
7 see on television and in the press and in the protests by the Dubrovnik
8 Crisis Staff that that was what had happened, that there were hits, that
9 there were shells which fell on to the Old Town basically.
10 Q. Tell me, please, is it correct that in the regular combat report,
11 there was no mention about that, the one that's in front of you?
12 A. That's right. There is no mention of that. Well, he did not even
13 know that shells had fallen into the Old Town. At least, that's what he
14 reported to me. But he thought that the chief of staff acted
16 Q. How come he didn't know then if he was observing from Zarkovica
17 what was going on in town? All of town can be seen from up there at
18 Zarkovica, especially the Old Town.
19 A. You were asking me what he saw?
20 Q. Do you know where the position -- the observation post is on
22 A. Absolutely.
23 Q. From that observation post can the Old Town of Dubrovnik be seen?
24 A. Yes, it can.
25 Q. Can even Stradun be seen from there?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. On that day, was Zec at the observation post at Zarkovica?
3 A. Yes, he was. His duty was to coordinate the action taken by all
4 units, and he was not stationary at one particular point. He went from
5 one unit to another; he changed places.
6 Q. And during the course of the day, was it possible, because we see
7 here now that, for example, the attack of the 3rd Battalion lasted from
8 7.00 in the morning until 1800 hours in the evening. So within that time
9 span, could he notice that something had happened, that a shell had fallen
10 into the Old Town?
11 A. Well, he certainly could have, if he looked, certainly he could
12 have seen it. I cannot say what he was looking at. I was telling you
13 what his task was and where he was.
14 Q. And what was the exact information he gave you?
15 A. He told me that the brigade artillery had opened fire beyond
16 orders and that Komar particularly used artillery fire from the area of
17 Vrastica. That's a ridge below Uskoplje. It's a hilly area where the ZIS
18 cannons were.
19 Q. Did he include that in the regular combat report?
20 A. Of course not.
21 Q. Why not?
22 A. Because he did not establish what he had opened fire at, what
23 Komar opened fire at, and we discussed that at the command post in Kupari
24 when I came from the position of the 3rd Light Brigade from Rijeka
1 Q. In relation to Uskoplje, or rather Vrastica, and the artillery of
2 the 472nd Brigade, you mentioned ZIS cannons. Are they 76-millimetre
4 A. Yes, they are.
5 Q. And what did Zec tell you? Where were these cannons operating?
6 A. He established that Major Komar, with his radio transmitter, was
7 issuing orders and guiding the gunfire of that artillery. He stopped him
8 from doing that any further, and then he reported to me when I came to the
9 IKL in the evening, to Kupari.
10 Q. That was the evening of the 10th of November?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The shell of a ZIS cannon, in terms of its line of operation, from
13 those positions of Vrastica, can it hit the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
14 A. Yes, it can, if it misses Srdj. If it misses Srdj. And if,
15 objectively speaking and professionally speaking, speaking in expert
16 terms, if fire had been observed and if one did not want to hit the Old
17 Town, there is no way it could have been hit.
18 Q. Did Zec establish exactly that a possible hit in the Old Town
19 came from a ZIS cannon at the position of Vrastica, that is to say, a ZIS
20 76-millimetre gun from Vrastica?
21 A. No, no, he didn't establish anything. He just established that
22 Komar was handling the fire, and he asked him what he was doing and what
23 it was that he was targeting. And he said to him that he was setting the
24 sights of the cannons on Srdj, or rather the antenna, that that is what
25 was being sighted, a pillar like that. Obviously, that was not true.
1 Q. What do you think? If some shells did fall into the Old Town,
2 where could this have come from, bearing in mind all that artillery and
3 the artillery support given to the attacking units during those days?
4 A. Looking at the possibilities, the firing possibilities and the
5 range of the guns, the cannons, that were in this encirclement at that
6 time, on the 10th, 11th, and 12th, it could have been all the cannons of
7 the 472nd Brigade. It could have been the artillery pieces of the 3rd
8 Battalion; that is to say, its mortars. Less probably tanks. And it
9 could have been the ZIS cannons that we were discussing.
10 But there was also another possibility. From the firing positions
11 of the 1st and 2nd Battalion, notably the 1st Battalion, which was in the
12 Golobov-Kamen area above Rijeka Dubrovacka, because that was also within
13 the range of the Old Town. It should be borne in mind that the entire
14 brigade was around Dubrovnik then, and the units that were taking over
15 from that brigade, they had already arrived, the 3rd Battalion of the 5th
16 Brigade, and two battalions as well of the TO Trebinje, which is quite
17 unlikely. The 3rd Light Brigade could not have because it was not within
19 Q. Was it only your artillery that could not manage to engage such a
20 target, to hit that far?
21 A. My artillery could have targeted the Old Town if they wanted to do
22 it on purpose, because they were within range. However, when I spoke a
23 short while ago about the risk involved in the operations of my artillery,
24 that is to say, whether there could be any misses in terms of the Old
25 Town, I precluded that possibility because what should be borne in mind is
1 where the firing positions of these artillery pieces are. It's all clear
2 to me now, but I'd have to show it to you on a map, why I exclude this
3 artillery, my artillery, and I do include all the other artillery.
4 Because the cannons of my artillery are facing Rijeka Dubrovacka. To the
5 left is the town of Dubrovnik at a 90-degree angle. And all the cannons
6 from Trebinje are facing the Old Town. And all the cannons of the 3rd
7 Battalion are facing the Old Town. It is such an obvious thing.
8 Q. But is it correct that then the Old Town was within everybody's
10 A. Yes, it can be put that way.
11 Q. Is it correct that you cannot say with any degree of certitude
12 from which artillery piece a shell possibly fell into the Old Town? You
13 cannot say that with any degree of certainty?
14 A. I cannot speak with 100 per cent certainty. But when an estimate
15 is made, say, within 80 or 90 per cent, then it can certainly be said
16 which artillery pieces they are. As I said, I cannot say 100 per cent,
17 but those artillery pieces that were operating against Srdj, those
18 artillery pieces could have caused the falling of one shell, one
19 particular hit or, say, 20 or 30 shells. And it is well known which
20 artillery pieces do that.
21 Q. And did these artillery pieces operate in accordance with your
22 order to attack Srdj?
23 A. I've told you already that I commanded my own artillery and the
24 commanders of the subordinate units used their own artillery, and they
25 have their own targets which they receive through my combat order. I was
1 not in charge of the entire artillery or is that my obligation. If we
2 were to pursue that logic, then the commander of the 2nd Operational Group
3 gave orders to take Srdj.
4 Q. We are not going to proceed according to that logic.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Nor are we going to proceed just at this moment,
6 Mr. Rodic. We'll have the second break.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Jokic, we established before the break that this regular
12 combat report dated the 10th of November does not contain the suspicions
13 of a possible information as to the effect that the Old Town had been hit.
14 Isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Was this perhaps included in some other combat report of the 9th
18 A. No, it wasn't.
19 Q. In that period of time, between the 10th and 12th of November, the
20 chief of staff, Zec, and the assistant for land forces, Colonel Kovacevic,
21 were they staying at the command post of the 3rd Battalion and did they
22 organise the coordination of units?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did they coordinate artillery fire of the 9th VPS?
25 A. No, they were not in charge of that. That was not part of their
2 Q. By coordinating the attacks carried out by the units, since if we
3 look at this order we see that the artillery units, too, had certain
4 tasks, were they in a position to be in touch with those units that were
5 at the time providing artillery support?
6 A. Yes. They were at an observation post from where the firing was
7 being controlled. Artillery officers were doing just that, and they were
8 in a position to make sure that the tasks given to the units were carried
9 out. And that includes the tasks of artillery fire.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we would like to tender
11 this document into evidence and be marked as a Defence exhibit.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: This document is D58.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance,
15 please. May the witness be shown Exhibit P118 from tab 18.
16 Q. We have gone through this document during the
17 examination-in-chief. I will ask you in relation to point 1 of this
18 combat order dated the 11th of November, what about the 472nd Motorised
19 Battalion, were they supposed to provide artillery support by using
20 122-millimetre Howitzers between 8.00 and 8.30 to fire on the Srdj
21 feature, and to use the 120-millimetre mortar to fire on Komolac between
22 8.00 and 9.00? Is that correct?
23 A. I'm not sure where you're getting this from. Where precisely is
24 this stated?
25 Q. From the combat order.
1 A. And the point?
2 Q. Point 1, 472nd Motorised Battalion. This is the second sentence.
3 It says 120-millimetre Howitzers. Can you see that now?
4 A. No, no, that's not the document I have in front of me.
5 472nd Brigade, without the 3rd Battalion. Is that what you mean?
6 Q. Do you have in front of you --
7 A. This is dated the 20th of November.
8 Q. The one I'm talking about is dated the 11th of November. Do you
9 have that document now?
10 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. After preparing the artillery, forces of the 3rd Battalion,
13 together with a Territorial Defence platoon from Niksic, were to continue
14 the attack along the Gruska Glava-Bosanka village axis with the focus on
15 the Gruska Glava-Srdj axis, weren't they?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Under point 2, in relation to the 3rd Battalion of the 5th
18 Brigade, the last sentence, I'm reading in relation to artillery, it says:
19 "120-millimetre mortar, this battalion was supposed to support the attack
20 of the 3rd Battalion of the 472 Motorised Brigade, carrying out strikes,
21 firing on the broader Nuncijata sector, and provide troop reinforcement
22 from Nuncijata towards Srdj." Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In relation to the 3rd Light Infantry Brigade, the last sentence,
25 it enjoys the artillery support of a 120-millimetre battery belonging to
1 the 472nd Brigade in the Komolac area, 120-millimetre Howitzer from the
2 TOC, and a 120-millimetre mortar. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Under point 4, is any artillery firing from the Prevlaka TOC
5 specified using Howitzers and mortars, both 120 millimetres, that were to
6 provide support for the attack of the 3rd Light Infantry Brigade?
7 A. Yes, indeed.
8 Q. On page 2 of this document, it reads: "Between 8.30 and 9.00 on
9 the 12th of November, carry out strikes on Srdj using 122-millimetre
10 Howitzer and 120-millimetre mortars." Isn't that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Under point 6 of this combat order, it states: "The units are
13 forbidden from using weapons on parts of the Old Town, except in case fire
14 is coming from there that is lethal for the unit."
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Does this not in theory create a possibility for firing on the Old
17 Town in case the unit was under lethal fire?
18 A. No. This is only a possibility to neutralise firing coming from a
19 certain weapon that was firing on the unit and, thus, inflicting lethal
20 fire on unit.
21 Q. If I understand you correctly, the JNA then is free to use its own
22 weapons against weapons positioned inside the Old Town, or rather, around
23 the Old Town, weapons that are inflicting losses on these same JNA units,
24 that is.
25 A. We had no information, nor did anyone ever tell us that there were
1 weapons from inside the Old Town that were firing. In all the documents
2 that have been made available so far, the only reference was to a
3 20-millimetre gun that was mounted on a lorry that was from time to time
4 moving about inside the Old Town. As for any other weapons inside the Old
5 Town or any firing by those weapons from inside the Old Town, there was no
6 such thing. However, it was from the direction of the Old Town, from
7 sheltered positions behind the forts, and the ramparts, yes, that's
8 another thing, and that's something we had in our documents.
9 Q. Can you tell me specifically in relation to this lorry with an
10 artillery piece mounted, this lorry that was moving about the Old Town, if
11 it fires at JNA units, in that case, would your unit enjoy the right to
12 return fire, rather to neutralise that weapon as a firing point?
13 A. No, that 20-millimetre weapon was not used to inflict any fatal
14 losses. This was merely a weapon used for carrying out acts of
15 provocation. They would fire a volley, and then they would take shelter
16 again to fire another one. But this sort of weapon, a 20-millimetre
17 weapon, could not have been used to inflict any losses from that kind of
18 distance, let alone fatal losses. Therefore, this weapon could in no way
19 have been neutralised or fired on.
20 Q. Was this a three-barrel gun, in this case, a three times
21 20-millimetre three-barrel gun?
22 A. We did not have this information. We did not know if this was a
23 single-barrel weapon, a double-barrel, or a three-barrel weapon. We did
24 not know for sure what sort of weapon this was.
25 Q. Were there several such weapons mounted on lorries moving about?
1 A. Yes. In the Grude area, we captured two trucks with weapons
2 mounted when Admiral Djurevic's helicopter had been shot down. But we
3 didn't find anything like that again until we approached the Old Town.
4 Q. What about the sort of weapons that was mounted on those trucks
5 you captured?
6 A. One of them was a single-barrel weapon. The other had two or
7 three barrels, but I can't be sure. One was a single-barrel weapon.
8 Q. So this sort of weapon is being used to fire from the Old Town on
9 Zarkovica. Can this fire possibly kill one of your soldiers?
10 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. It's talking about from
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a hypothetical question. A
13 soldier could also be killed by rifle fire, sniper fire from the Old
14 Town. Of course this is possible. The answer to your question is yes.
15 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, the objection goes to the fact that the
16 witness never said there was firing from the Old Town. And the question
17 poses specifically to Zarkovica. There's nothing in evidence to suggest
19 JUDGE PARKER: As I understand it, it's put on a hypothetical
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous interpretation continues]...
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In the reports of the 9th VPS, is there ever any reference to
25 enemy fire coming from the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
1 A. Yes, there were such reports. And we continued to carry out
2 assessments. Our intelligence, information coming from our observation
3 posts, indicated that from sheltered positions behind the ramparts and
4 fortifications, some mortars were positioned, because that's where the
5 fire was coming from. But not from inside the Old Town, as I said before.
6 Q. The walls or ramparts surrounding the Old Town, in your opinion,
7 is it part of the Old Town itself or not?
8 A. The walls or ramparts are without a doubt part of the Old Town.
9 But I'm talking about from behind the ramparts, from behind the walls of
10 the Old Town.
11 Q. More specifically, which side?
12 A. Our information, our intelligence at the beginning, when we
13 reached the Dubrava ridge, was that between the Argentina Hotel and the
14 Excelsior Hotel there was a 120-millimetre mortar positioned and that they
15 had a warehouse there, because from time to time there was a lorry
16 shuttling between Ploce and positions outside the Old Town. That's one
17 piece of intelligence that we had. This has been verified and is
18 considered to be reliable.
19 Another piece of intelligence that we had was that from the west
20 of the Old Town, from the old hospital area, at about two or three hundred
21 metres from there, there were two weapons positioned. And in our
22 assessment, those were 120-millimetre mortars. Also, at the Pile gate, if
23 you approach the town from the west, in the Bogisica park - we checked
24 this and we know this for sure - there were firing positions with mortar
25 positioned there, 80- and 120-millimetre mortars, three pieces altogether.
1 Q. In your order of the 9th of November, the combat order, under
2 point 1, and we've already referred to this sentence, you say: "Enemy,
3 from the towers or turrets of the Old Town nucleus, uses mobile mortars of
4 80 and 162 millimetres -- 120 millimetres."
5 A. Well, I reacted because it's really nonsensical. A mortar cannot
6 be used from a fortress, from a turret. Otherwise, everyone is mobile.
7 So that's why I reacted. But I said that the turrets and towers were used
8 as a screen because it's behind the walls, ramparts, and turrets. So they
9 were positioned behind this shelter.
10 Q. Why under point 1, when you give out information about the enemy,
11 what is the purpose of this piece of information vis-a-vis your own units
13 A. Well, the purpose is to inform the units of the location of the
14 weapons and the fire that can be expected to come from those weapons.
15 Q. And when it says here from the fortress of the Old Town nucleus,
16 what does that imply? What's meant by that?
17 A. Different people think different things. It depends.
18 Q. But you signed this document.
19 A. Well, I've stated my own views. It is impossible to -- for
20 mortars to be fired from a fortress or turret. That is clear to every
21 soldier. I don't know if it's clear to you. The only weapon that you can
22 use from a turret is a rifle, a missile, but not a mortar. It cannot be
24 Q. Not even the light ones, light mortars?
25 A. No. It must have a soft foundation. You can't place it on stone,
1 concrete, or the like.
2 Q. But can it have a provisional soft base, foundation?
3 A. Well, I don't really know what you mean. But I don't think it can
4 have anything like that.
5 Q. Can a mortar be fired from a truck, for example? That's what I
7 A. Very difficult, because it is -- it has a recoil which, when a
8 shell is fired, it must have 2 or 3 metres free space in front of it for
9 the trajectory. It can't be fixed. So that's the greatest problem that
10 you encounter with mortars. That's the problem. They have to have a soft
11 basis or foundation upon which to be positioned.
12 Q. Well, what does this piece of information, what purpose does
13 serve, then, that these mobile mortars were placed along the turrets or
14 towers of the Old Town? Was this false information on your part? Were
15 you giving out false information to your units and superior command?
16 A. That is what you say. I had nothing to do with that assertion.
17 Q. It's my question to you.
18 A. And I've answered it. I've already told you.
19 Q. Well, I assume that the -- you didn't mention mortars up on
20 turrets as a tourist attraction but as a potential danger to your units.
21 Am I right?
22 A. Well, we can say what we like now. You can speak about tourist
23 attractions now if you like. But if we're having a serious conversation
24 and dialogue, then I have already stated reasonable arguments, put forward
25 reasonable arguments, professional arguments, sensible arguments which
1 other people will believe. If you don't believe me, now, there were
2 thousands of documents like this. It's not possible to have every word
3 and sentence absolutely exact and correct. And of course, all the reports
4 that were written, do you think they were correct in every aspect? They
5 cannot be 100 per cent correct. 800 Ustashas within the walls of the Old
6 Town? I don't know if you've ever visited the ramparts themselves. Have
7 you? Do you know what they look like? Do you know whether that would be
8 possible? Can you put up 800 people there? So that's another thing we
9 found among one of the documents. I think we mentioned the document
11 Q. Now, is this information coming from your units, from your
12 intelligence sources, from your command? Is that where that information
13 comes from?
14 A. It is unreliable, incorrect data which has not been checked out,
15 or first-hand information that was never verified.
16 Q. But they go down the chain of command to subordinated units. Is
17 that right?
18 A. Well, yes. You have information coming from the highest level
19 which is not always correct, let alone other levels.
20 Q. Tell me another thing now, please. Now, a truck with a
21 double-barrel gun or with three barrels, what was it doing in the Old
22 Town? You said that was checked out and verified and that it had been
24 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour, that was not said by the
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps I heard
2 otherwise. But I don't mind, I'll repeat the question again, if need be.
3 But I think that the witness did say something like that.
4 Q. Now, Witness, did you say that you had information about the
5 movement of a truck with weapons on it moving around the Old Town?
6 A. Yes, I did say that we received information to that effect within
7 the context of your question when you asked whether it could be a source
8 of fire that led to the death of some men, lethal fire, so then I said
9 what this kind of weapon was used for.
10 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, the objection went to the number of
11 barrels. The witness never indicated the number of barrels as to Old
13 JUDGE PARKER: Your question at line 8 and 9 of 73 did
14 specifically mention a double or triple barrel.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really do think the
16 witness mentioned on page 67 and 68 of the transcript, of the LiveNote,
17 the kind of weapons and what calibre they were on the truck. But
18 regardless of that, let's give the witness a chance to say what he knows
19 about that once again, to repeat it.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said that we received
21 information according to which on that truck there was a 20-millimetre
22 weapon, probably the Erlikon that they had because those were the ones
23 that we seized, but I don't know whether it was a single-barrel,
24 double-barrel, or triple-barrel gun. And I said as a soldier what such a
25 weapon could have caused at the distance from which it was fired, and the
1 firepower that it had to jeopardise our units.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Did you say that it was a weapon placed on a truck in the Old Town
4 and that it was used for provocation?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And in what way was provocation effected towards the JNA from this
7 weapon on this truck? How was that achieved?
8 A. Well, when there's a cease-fire, the weapon fires a volley and
9 masked behind the buildings in town, or sheltered and screened behind the
10 buildings, you don't know where this volley of gunfire came from. But it
11 is firepower as provocation. So you can't actually target anything with
12 that weapon, that wouldn't be possible from the Old Town, and you can't
13 inflict any lethal bullets, lethal fire. And that's what we were
15 Q. Let's make ourselves quite clear here. So when they engage in
16 this type of provocation, does that in fact mean that they open fire from
17 the Old Town and that then they hide behind the buildings within the Old
18 Town of Dubrovnik? When I say "Old Town," I mean the Old Town nucleus of
19 Dubrovnik. Does that mean that?
20 A. Yes, that's quite right, it does, absolutely.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, from the Old Town of Dubrovnik, what is the
22 distance, as the crow flies, to Zarkovica?
23 A. About 2 kilometres, 2.000 metres.
24 Q. By firing from weapons of this kind, of a 20-millimetre calibre
25 weapon, at that distance, can anybody be killed who is at Zarkovica from
1 that position in the Old Town? Could you kill anyone?
2 A. Well, yes. I've told you that you can even hit someone with a
3 sniper and kill them, from the Stradun, and kill a man up at Zarkovica.
4 Of course you can.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I have the usher's assistance
7 again and present P128 exhibit from tab 26 to the witness.
8 Q. This is a combat order dated the 12th of November, and it was
9 intended for the following day, the 13th of November.
10 A. No. On the 13th of November, there was no combat because a
11 cease-fire came into force, the truce.
12 Q. And what about the 1st Battalion? Take a look at point 1, please.
13 The 1st Battalion, in coordination with parts of the forces of the 3rd
14 Light Infantry Brigade, was it supposed to improve the combat deployment
15 and carry out a blockade of the villages of Prijevo and Bracevo Selo
16 pursuant to the combat order of the 12th of November?
17 A. Yes, all that's true and correct. That's what it says. However,
18 during the night, an order arrived -- I don't know exactly what it was,
19 but if we look at the next date, the 13th of November, that was when the
20 cease-fire came into force, and the order came from the General Staff in
21 actual fact during the night, so I don't think these tasks and assignments
22 were ever carried out.
23 Q. All right. Very well. But it was a combat order nonetheless,
24 regardless of what happened the next day. Is that right?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. Was this combat order sent to the 2nd Operational Group and the
2 command of the Military Naval District at the forward command post? Was
3 it also sent to them so that they could be informed of its contents?
4 A. That's what it says here. As far as I know, we just sent in a
5 report. So this could be a mistake as well. I can't really say whether
6 it was an omission, an error, or whether it was intentionally compiled in
7 this way.
8 Q. A moment ago you just said that the regular combat reports were
9 sent to the commander of the Military Naval District.
10 A. Yes, that's quite right.
11 Q. This is a combat order, a combat document.
12 A. Yes, that's what I'm just saying. I think that that might have
13 been a mistake because I don't think that we sent out combat orders, but I
14 didn't pay attention to that. There was no need for us to send out this
15 type of document. But of course, I couldn't be a hundred per cent sure.
16 Q. All right. Thank you.
17 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honours, there is a translation error
18 I want to bring to Your Honours' attention. In the English version, where
19 it says "two," it says 472nd, and instead of having -- well, it should
20 read "the 2nd Operational Group" instead of 204th. It's not Mountain
21 Brigade, after 472nd, it's Motorised Brigade. It seems to have omitted
22 altogether the 2OG and mistaken it for 204th, which is not a relevant
23 unit. It is conceded by the Defence, it was mentioned, of course, that
24 there was the 2OG as well as the KVPO.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that for
1 purposes of exactitude, my colleague should indicate the third mistake as
2 well that's in that sentence. And that is that the KVPO is not the tank
3 platoon but it is the command of the Military Naval District.
4 MS. SOMERS: That's correct, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We seem to have tidied up a lot of
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May we have the usher's assistance
8 again, please, for the next document.
9 Q. Is this the document that according to which the subordinate unit,
10 the 472nd Motorised Brigade, is sending to the command of the 9th VPS?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. Are you familiar with the contents? Or rather, did the
13 subordinate units have the duty of informing you and reporting to you?
14 A. Of course. This was a soldier who was seriously wounded in the
15 Osojnik region, and he died, succumbed to his wounds, at the hospital in
17 Q. Did the command of the 9th VPS regularly receive reports of this
18 kind from their subordinate units?
19 A. Yes, that's quite right.
20 Q. You had records and lists of the dead and wounded, I assume? Kept
22 A. Yes, we did.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 May I tender this document into evidence as a Defence exhibit and
25 it be assigned a number.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked D59.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment. I'm sorry.
4 Can I have the usher's assistance, please. May the witness be
5 shown the following document, P125 from tab 23.
6 Q. Mr. Jokic, under point 1, you can see an order on setting up a
7 joint detachment of the Territorial Defence. Is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Further, you can see that the task of this mixed detachment on the
10 6th of November by 1500 hours to take the area of Vrastica and Cibaca and
11 take over from the 4th Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade. Was this
12 carried out as ordered?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it not further stated that in coordination with the special
15 detachment of snipers and the special platoon of the Niksic TO company,
16 they are to improve the combat deployment and break through to the
17 Srdj-Bosanka sector, fortify there, and organise the defence and control
18 of the city of Dubrovnik? Is that what the task was of this mixed
20 A. That's what it says.
21 Q. Is that what actually happened?
22 A. You can't have a mixed detachment organising the control of the
23 town of Dubrovnik. Observation, perhaps.
24 Q. Observation. Would that imply the positions at Srdj and Bosanka
25 where the defence was to be set up?
1 A. It is not stated anywhere explicitly that their task was to take
2 Srdj. Their task was to take up this position and reach the Srdj-Bosanka
3 area, not to take Srdj.
4 Q. Does it not say that they should fortify at Srdj and organise the
5 defence and control of the town of Dubrovnik?
6 A. No, that's not what it says.
7 Q. But you can see that sentence right there.
8 A. What it says is where they are to fortify, but it doesn't say that
9 they should take the Srdj feature. How in the world could a mixed
10 detachment carry out a task like that, on the 5th of November of all
11 days? This is a Territorial Defence unit. They do not have the capacity
12 for that.
13 Q. So why is that what is stated in the document, then?
14 A. What I'm telling you is that it is not stated anywhere that they
15 should take the feature of Srdj itself. It only says that they should
16 reach the area, the sector.
17 Q. Which sector do you have in mind?
18 A. The Srdj-Bosanka sector. In fact, they didn't even take Bosanka
19 to begin with.
20 Q. Then what was the idea about this detachment setting up the
21 control of the town of Dubrovnik?
22 A. This detachment held Zarkovica, and they observed the town from
23 there, as did the 4th Battalion.
24 Q. From those positions in the Srdj area, as you say, where they were
25 supposed to dig themselves in, the mixed detachment, and to organise the
1 defence, were they in a position from there to control the town of
3 A. Yes, they could carry out observation.
4 Q. Observation, in your opinion, is it the same as control? These
5 two different terms, do they have the same meaning?
6 A. As I said, observation is a concept that means exactly what it
7 says: You're able to observe. Whereas control is something entirely
9 You can read it any way you like. You can take it to mean exactly
10 what it says.
11 Q. We do agree that control and observation are two different terms
12 with different meanings, don't we?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Under point 4, if you could have a look, please, the last
15 sentence, the Territorial Defence platoon from Niksic is to be used in
16 combat reconnaissance on the Zarkovica-Bosanka-Srdj axis; readiness:
17 Immediate. Which means that as early as on the 5th of November, they were
18 supposed to go out and carry out that task, didn't they?
19 A. I don't know about that. You're talking about point 4, right?
20 Which page is that?
21 Q. Page 3, point 4, last sentence. Have you found it?
22 A. No, unfortunately. Page 3, but I can't pin it down.
23 Q. On page 3, you can see points 3, 4, and 5, can't you? This --
24 A. Command of the republican TO staff units.
25 Q. Yes. Please have a look at the last sentence, point 4.
1 A. The Niksic TO, yes.
2 Q. Was it supposed to carry out this reconnaissance task along the
3 Zarkovica-Bosanka-Srdj axis immediately?
4 A. Yes, that's what it says.
5 Q. But is this what happened?
6 A. Well, I can't say. But this combat order is absolutely unusual
7 because tasks are being given here in relation to the 7th of November,
8 what was supposed to be done, and the 10th of November.
9 Q. Mr. Jokic, I'm afraid I must interrupt you. This is an OTP
10 exhibit, and this was tendered during their examination-in-chief, an
11 occasion on which you failed to express your surprise when examined by my
12 colleague about this document.
13 A. I don't think I've seen this one before. This document says 1800
14 hours, the 5th of November. If you look at page 4 -- rather, page 2, it
15 says "The remaining units of the 472nd Brigade by the 10th of November
16 will carry out the following tasks..." Please, the 7th of November.
17 Q. Just for the sake of brevity, during the examination-in-chief on
18 the 26th of March, this document was given an exhibit number. This is
19 P125. My apologies. P125.
20 A. Oh, yes. Yes.
21 Q. [No Interpretation]
22 A. [No Interpretation]
23 MS. SOMERS: There's no translation.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is about the engagement of
25 units over the following period. I was not paying attention.
1 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. Much of that exchange was
2 not translated before. I wonder if we could go back. The Admiral did say
3 some points that were significant.
4 JUDGE PARKER: I must ask you to try and repeat what you said
5 then, Admiral.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was simply not
7 careful enough, and I failed to notice what this document was really
8 about. So I can only offer my apologies in relation to my remarks a
9 moment ago.
10 What we see in this document is the engagement of units of the 9th
11 VPS over the following period of time, which means between the 5th and as
12 late as the 11th, as I have been able to observe, the 11th of November,
13 which covers a period of the next six days.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Jokic --
16 A. But this is not an executive order and it's not a combat order.
17 Q. But there was no question about that in the first place. No one
18 asked you about this being or not being a combat order. Please, let's not
19 waste time. I merely asked, in relation to this document, talks about the
20 deployment of units of the 9th VPS over the next period of time, dash,
21 order. No one said anything about a combat order. I'm just asking about
22 what this document is about. And we only have two brief questions left in
23 relation to this document.
24 Under point 9 --
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may just be allowed
1 to clarify point 9 of this document, in view of the time remaining.
2 JUDGE PARKER: No time remains, but carry on.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Q. Under point 9, Mr. Jokic --
5 A. Yes, I can see that.
6 Q. -- is it true that artillery units were given the task of
7 fortifying the combat deployment on the firing positions and organising
8 communications system and also to carry out orders from the Kupari forward
9 command post and Kumbor command post?
10 A. Yes, indeed.
11 Q. If you can just look briefly at point 10 now, the same period of
12 time, the remaining units, the remaining part of your units, were they to
13 provide logistical support for the units that were being evacuated from
14 Croatia during that period of time?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that completes my
17 examination in relation to this document, so...
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. That will be time then. We
19 will break until tomorrow.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Friday, the 16th day of April,
22 2004, at 9.00 a.m.