1 Monday, 19 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. If I can remind you, Admiral, of
7 the affirmation that you took.
8 Mr. Rodic.
9 MR. RODIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: MIODRAG JOKIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jokic, were your ships targeted by rockets
14 wire guided from the top of the ramparts of the Old Town?
15 A. No, they weren't.
16 Q. I will now show you what you said in your interview to the
17 investigators between the 1st and 5th of July, 2002, English page 154.
18 You say: "My information was that there was shooting by rockets
19 from the tops of the ramparts of the Old Town."
20 The investigator said: "What sort of weapons were being used?"
21 The answer was: "Rockets."
22 Q. Which kind of rockets?
23 A. Guided rockets. It was either the Maljutkas or the
24 German Armbrust. I'm not sure what the name was. There
25 is such a rocket.
1 Q. What was the target; land or sea?
2 A. The target was the sea.
3 Q. How many rockets were fired on ships?
4 A. You're asking me about details. I wasn't there in
5 that battle yesterday.
6 MS. SOMERS: Would it be possible to provide the witness with the
7 transcript if it is available, and also to give a time frame. The
8 question was quite open.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe we discussed
10 this last time: If my learned friend is stating that I am misquoting that
11 particular transcript, please let her say so in order to avoid wasting any
12 more time.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Can you assist me with the time frame of the
14 question? Is that apparent or is the questioning not directed to any
15 particular time frame?
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] It's in relation to October, November,
17 and December 1991, Your Honour. I believe the answer will indicate that.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Admiral --
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have not completed the
20 quote since I was interrupted.
21 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, I thought you had well and truly
22 completed it.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So the question of the investigator was: "How many rockets were
25 fired on ships?"
1 And the answer was: "Well, you're asking me about details. It
2 wasn't yesterday that I was in that battle. I only know that there is a
3 recording containing that information and I know that my ship was hit by a
4 rocket. There were six people wounded, including the commander of the
6 Q. And when did the rocket hit your ship?
7 A. I don't know. Well, the operations around Dubrovnik
8 were under way.
9 Q. October, November, or December?
10 A. I believe in November. And as I said, there is a
11 recording which shows the exact position of the rocket
12 that was being fired from the town walls. We can show
13 the tape and we'll see about that.
14 Mr. Jokic, is it true what you stated to the investigators in July
15 2002? Briefly, please. Yes or no.
16 A. Roughly speaking it's true, but I can tell you --
17 Q. Please just tell me whether it's true or not, what you stated back
18 in July 2002. Its's as simple as that. I do not need any further
20 MS. SOMERS: [Previous translation continues]... be allowed to
21 answer, Your Honour, please.
22 JUDGE PARKER: The counsel is asking for an answer to his
24 Yes, Mr. Rodic.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Can you just please say whether it's true or not, what I just read
2 out to you, that portion of your interview in July 2002.
3 A. I was not allowed to complete my answer about that rocket that hit
4 the ship when there were six people who were wounded, and I wish to
5 provide an explanation now. There was a later interview where I was given
6 a chance to explain that. However, you're not quoting that one. I
7 explained the position of the rocket, I explained the exact date, I
8 explained exactly which the ship was in question, and I can repeat that
9 for you if you'd like me to.
10 Q. No need for that, let's move on, please. Were there any
11 ammunition warehouses inside the Old Town?
12 A. Yes, there were. Not within the town walls, though. There was
13 something to the east near the Ploce gate, near the Excelsior Hotel,
14 perhaps 2 or 300 metres away from the Excelsior Hotel.
15 Q. What about the truck-mounted weapon? Did it target your positions
16 from Stradun? And Stradun, as we know, is within the Old Town.
17 A. We received information from our subordinate commanders from
18 Zarkovica, Bosanka and Strincjera that there was such a weapon firing
19 sporadic volleys, and then taking shelter immediately.
20 Q. In relation to this warehouse, there's something I want to ask you
21 about as I have received my answer about the weapon. The English page is
22 160, the last line, and then continuing on 161, the investigator's
23 question is, in July 2002 -- the investigator's question is: "Please let
24 us clarify this. Regardless of the fact that you had received reports
25 about your units on both land and sea coming under fire from the firing
1 positions inside the Old Town itself, you still believed that the Old Town
2 was a demilitarised zone, didn't you?"
3 "A. Yes, I did, although there had been violations.
4 They had weapons. They had a truck-mounted weapon which they used for
5 firing from Stradun, which is in the centre of the Old Town and for firing
6 in our positions. They also had an ammunition warehouse inside the Old
7 Town just next to the Old Town harbour, and they're making no secret of
9 Is it true that you stated that back in July 2002?
10 A. Yes, that's precisely what I said, next to the Old Town harbour,
11 which is outside the walls, the Old Town walls. That's quite correct.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you. In November 1991, was the Old Town
13 targeted? Did you have any information to that effect?
14 A. If what you have in mind is that we had received information or
15 reports from subordinate commanders, no. We had no such official report.
16 Q. Were the reports to the effect that firing positions outside the
17 Old Town were being targeted?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, there may be an error in the
21 transcript on line 15. The very first part of it I think counsel is
22 reading and it has been quoted as an answer. Perhaps I can be corrected
23 if wrong, but we heard it as a quote. I think it was from the transcript.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I was quoting both the question and
25 the answer from the interview.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MS. SOMERS: Right. It has gone down as an answer in the
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. The transcript then appears to be misleading
4 in that respect. Thank you for the correction.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Your operations officer, Kozaric, did he at any time on the 6th of
7 December order for the attack to be stopped? By conveying your own order,
8 of course. Yes or no.
9 A. Yes, of course, several times.
10 Q. Was Kozaric authorised to convey such an order?
11 A. By all means. The Chief of Staff was not around, and he was the
12 most senior officer at the operations centre.
13 Q. This order, would it have been sufficient for Kovacevic to stop
15 A. Yes, by all means. The commander was supposed to get back to me.
16 He was not supposed to launch an attack. That was the fundamental thing.
17 Q. You said that at around 7.00 in the morning on the 6th of December
18 you received a phone call from General Strugar.
19 A. Yes. Between 7.00 and 8.00 in the morning. I can't be sure about
20 it right now.
21 Q. If at 4.45 in the morning you had been informed by Kozaric about
22 the firing and the incidents in relation to the 3rd Battalion on the 6th
23 of December, why, then, was the superior command not informed about that
24 before 7.00?
25 A. At 6.00, I received information that an attack had been launched
1 by the commander of the 3rd Battalion and that there was one man dead and
2 several men wounded. I was on the phone to Kozaric all the time, and I
3 ordered him everything that needed to be done. The basic idea was to stop
4 the attack being carried out by one of my subordinate commanders without
5 proper authorisation. And wilfully, he wilfully launched some sort of an
6 attack on Srdj. That was the fundamental thing for me.
7 Q. Very well. Thank you. You said that at about 9.30 you received a
8 second phone call from Minister Rudolf and he told you there was an attack
9 under way against the Old Town and that he returned the receiver in such a
10 way that you could hear the sound of shelling through the phone as you
11 were talking to him and you believed what he was telling you; isn't that
13 MS. SOMERS: [Previous translation continues]... counsel has
14 misstated the time of the phone call.
15 JUDGE PARKER: What do you say the time should be?
16 MS. SOMERS: My recollection from earlier evidence is about
17 8.30-ish, if the testimony is reviewed.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Do you want to adjust your question, Mr. Rodic?
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 4047, the times
20 are given as stated by the witness. Therefore, my learned friend can go
21 back to that record and verify that. This second call by Minister Rudolf
22 came at 9.30, as has been stated.
23 JUDGE PARKER: So you persist in your question?
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes indeed, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Admiral.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, even back then I said I
2 wasn't sure about the exact time. I was on the phone in Cavtat. I was
3 supposed to arrive there at 9.30. Then this might as well have been the
4 exact time of the call. If I was talking from Kumbor, then it wouldn't
5 have been possible for me to reach Cavtat by 9.30. Then we should
6 probably put the conversation a bit earlier, but I wasn't sure even then,
7 because I had at least two different phone calls with Minister Rudolf; the
8 one we're referring to and another one much earlier when the minister
9 claimed that the Old Town had come under attack, which I denied because I
10 had not received any reports to that effect.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you very much. In this second conversation you had with
13 Minister Rudolf, did you tell him that you would sort things out by 11:00
14 or, rather, that things would be sorted by 11.00?
15 A. No. I didn't say anything about sorting anything out.
16 Q. How is it possible that it takes two phone calls from Minister
17 Rudolf for you to believe that the Old Town was under attack if as early
18 as 7.00 you were told that you had to go and see the Federal Secretary for
19 a briefing and that they had received calls from Dubrovnik in relation to
20 the attack against the Old Town and that this had already been reported to
22 A. No, that's not how it was. It was on the basis of my conversation
23 with General Strugar that I understood that, and General Kadijevic had
24 told him that the town of Dubrovnik was being targeted. I wasn't sure,
25 and I don't think it was said that the Old Town was in question. They
1 just said the town of Dubrovnik generically, which would have been just as
2 disastrous for us. During a cease-fire, there's a battalion launching an
3 attack and targeting Dubrovnik. For me, that would have constituted
4 sufficient reason to alarm everyone and try to stop the attack. I was not
5 aware of the fact that it was the Old Town that it was being targeted.
6 That was something that was for me to ascertain then.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You issued an order to stop the attack at 11.00, didn't you?
10 A. No, certainly not. I issued one at 6.00 in the morning. Between
11 6.00 and 7.00 I was on the phone constantly to the command post at Kupari
12 and to Brgat.
13 Q. Very well. We've heard that already. So if you could please tell
14 us what exactly happened at 11.00 as you remember it. Was there supposed
15 to be a cease-fire?
16 A. Yes. At 11.00 Minister Rudolf called me and asked for an
17 immediate cease-fire. I told him that some of my lines were down and that
18 at 11.00 I would make an attempt to stop the attack. Yes, to stop any
19 kind of attack at 11.00. That was the general meaning. We agreed on
20 11.00 although he has asserted 11.30. That's possible it may have been at
21 11.30, but what really happened is that the fire died down, subsided at
22 11.30 in actual fact.
23 Q. Is it true that at 14.45 Kovacevic informed the command of the 9th
24 VPS at the forward command post that he could no longer hold out at Srdj
25 and that he had a number of different reasons to evacuate his men from
1 there? Yes or no.
2 A. 14.45 I was not around, and this is the very first I hear of it.
3 Q. Very well. Was his attention drawn to the fact that he should
4 evacuate people in an organised way and to mind the mortars and that it
5 wasn't before 14.45 that the forward command post at Kupari approved
6 Kovacevic's withdrawal?
7 A. No. I wasn't there at the time, but this is the first I hear of
9 Q. Is it true that his withdrawal had not been approved prior to
11 A. No. That's got nothing to do with the truth.
12 Q. Did Kovacevic need an approval to withdraw at all, given that he
13 had never been ordered to attack in the first place?
14 A. Of course it would not have been necessary. There had been no
15 order in the first place, so it was all about Kovacevic. That's what I
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance,
18 please. I would like to distribute a document.
19 Q. Mr. Jokic, is this a regular combat report of the command of the
20 9th VPS dated the 6th of December, drawn up by the Chief of Staff, Milan
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Are you familiar with this document?
24 A. I should first be given a chance to just go through it briefly. I
25 need some time to go through it and see exactly what it says in terms
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of --
2 JUDGE PARKER: Please do so.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This document was sent from
4 the operations centre of the 9th VPS at Kupari.
5 Q. Thank you. Please, if you look at item 1, passage 3, it says:
6 "The enemy changed the positions of the mortars so fire was sporadically
7 opened also from Stradun and from the area of the Old City port."
8 Are you familiar with that?
9 A. I'm reading and that's indeed what it says.
10 Q. Very well. If you could look at the last passage, the very last
11 sentence. "Because of the impossibility to hold out at the position under
12 such circumstances, pursuant to the request of the battalion commander of
13 the 472nd Brigade, there was an approval from the forward command post to
14 evacuate the unit from Srdj and bring it back into the earlier combat
15 disposition, and this was done by 1700 hours."
16 Does this, too, mean that he received approval to return to his
17 previous position, an approval by the forward command post?
18 A. Yes, but the document states exactly when the cease-fire was
19 ordered for.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't get the question because
21 the speakers keep overlapping.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is an approval from the Chief
23 of Staff not to go there.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. If you could look under item 4 on the next page. Item 4 on the
1 next page, "Morale." The third sentence says: "At the same time, the
2 success of the action in response to the long-lasting provocations from
3 Srdj has positively influenced the morale of the units."
4 Can you see that?
5 A. Yes, I can.
6 Q. That's your Chief of Staff. He's the one who wrote this, didn't
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence would like to
11 move this exhibit into evidence and may it please be assigned a number as
12 a Defence Exhibit.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: The number for this document is D62.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Can you tell me - you've seen this regular combat report now - why
17 Kovacevic was not allowed to withdraw earlier?
18 A. I think that it says quite nicely in this report, and you omitted
19 that, that at 700 hours he should stop action and stop the attack. You
20 omitted that.
21 Q. Let's go on. Was Kovacevic not allowed to withdraw earlier
22 because it had been expected of him to succeed in keeping Srdj?
23 A. No. That has nothing to do with anything. This is actually
24 contrary to the substance of the report that we've looked at just now.
25 Q. All right. Is it correct that the command of the 9th VPS at 1540
1 on the 6th of December sent a message with the following content to the
2 Crisis Staff of Dubrovnik? I quote: "Our forces have ceased fire in all
3 parts of Dubrovnik at 12.45. We absolutely reject the possibility of
4 having our forces operating at that given time, especially not against the
5 Old Town. According to our information, the positions of Petka were hit
6 from Kolocep, the command of the 9th VPS."
7 INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they don't have the text
9 MS. SOMERS: Where is counsel reading from so we can all orient
10 ourselves and know what it is that's being referred to and being put to
11 the witness?
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm reading from my
13 notes, the questions that I made for this witness, and on the basis our
14 investigator's investigations and the information that he obtained.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I take it you're giving the witness an opportunity
16 to comment on what will be your evidence; is that it?
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, that is precisely
18 what my question is all about.
19 JUDGE PARKER: He may be able to, or he may not. We will find
20 out. And I take it further, just in case there's any doubt, that this is
21 not presently the subject of any evidence before the Chamber. Thank you.
22 Carry on.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] It's not, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Jokic, I've read this message out to you. Are you aware of
1 A. I don't recall that message. Perhaps I was aware of it, but I
2 wasn't there at the time; I was on that trip to Belgrade. But I can say
3 one thing: As a soldier, I cannot accept, even in that situation, that it
4 was possible from the island of Kolocep the other side was targeting the
5 Old Town of Dubrovnik.
6 Q. Do you know who was on Kolocep, which forces?
7 A. Their forces.
8 Q. When you say "their forces," you mean Croatian forces?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you. Through this message does the command of the 9th VPS
11 say that the Croats are targeting their own forces, shooting at their own
13 A. It looks that way.
14 Q. Do you know that at 1605 Captain Stojadinovic informed the forward
15 command post that because of the crossfire of the Croatian forces Petka,
16 Lapad, Kolocep, the ship Rodos II could not sail into Dubrovnik? Is it an
17 officer of the 9th VPS who is reporting about this internal conflict among
18 the Croatian forces themselves?
19 A. I remember the Rodos ship incident. It had something to do with
20 fire that was opened from land and from the islands, but I can't say what
21 the nature of this fire was and who targeted who there. I remember it,
23 Q. All right. Tell me, how is it possible that through the forward
24 command post in Kupari the artillery observers at Brgat and Zarkovica,
25 with whom there was contact, that they did not inform you in Kupari about
1 the attack on the Old Town?
2 A. I really didn't understand what you were saying. Whose attack on
3 the Old Town; our forces or --
4 Q. JNA forces, on the 6th of December, 1991.
5 A. Their observations were probably such that implied that artillery
6 pieces were being targeted in order to neutralise their operation. It's
7 not that the Old Town was targeted. That's not information that I got.
8 Why would I get this information from them? I had my own Chief of Staff
10 Q. Why, then, did the Chief of Staff not inform you that the Old Town
11 was being hit, inter alia, or that shells were impacting on the Old Town?
12 A. Well, I've been saying he did not inform me while I was there that
13 the Old Town was being targeted or, rather, that was his assessment
14 perhaps, or perhaps there is some other reason, but I do not have any
15 precise information that the Old Town was being targeted or that it was
16 being shot at. I did not receive such information. But I did agree that
17 shells were falling on the Old Town when I talked to Minister Rudolf,
18 because I thought there was no reason for him to deceive me because it
19 would soon be established.
20 Q. You agreed, then, around 9.00 or 9.30 that morning, the 6th of
21 December, that the Old Town was being hit; is that right?
22 A. Yes. I believed that, yes.
23 Q. Why, then, did you not insist with your subordinates, because you
24 had four colonels at positions near Captain Kovacevic, that the attack be
25 stopped urgently and at all costs, the attack on the JNA operation?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. You keep forgetting that the link between Kupari and Zarkovica had
2 been severed completely throughout the operations in town. Since I did
3 not succeed in doing that, I issued an order from Brgat to have something
4 done from Brgat, where the headquarters of the 3rd Battalion was, that the
5 officer go to Zarkovica twice to stop the attack. That was at 12.00 and
6 later on, I don't know exactly when, after 12.00.
7 Q. Did you have contact with Brgat?
8 A. Yes, Kozarac could reach Brgat, yes. It was a weaker link, but it
9 was there.
10 Q. And how many metres is Brgat away from Zarkovica?
11 A. Metres?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. About two or three kilometres. Certainly two kilometres.
14 Q. How much -- how far away is Kupari from Zarkovica?
15 A. From Kupari to Zarkovica, as the crow flies, there is perhaps
16 about six or seven kilometres; and by road, because it has to go via
17 Brgat, it must be ten to 15 kilometres or ten to 12 kilometres.
18 Q. Are you sure of this order of magnitude?
19 A. No, I'm not but because since you keep asking me what the
20 distances involved are I cannot be sure of that.
21 Q. What about from Kupari to Cavtat by land?
22 A. From Cavtat to Kupari, about 15 kilometres. It's much closer by
23 sea, but by land it's about 15 kilometres.
24 Q. And how far away is it from Cavtat to Zarkovica, approximately?
25 A. To those 15 kilometres add those ten or 12 and that's it.
1 Q. How much time does your vehicle need to cover that distance?
2 A. About half an hour.
3 Q. Can you tell me why on the 6th of December from the morning when
4 you were informed about the incidents and until 14.15 when you took off
5 from Cilipi you did not come to your command post in Kupari?
6 A. When I talked to General Strugar and when everything that General
7 Kadijevic had ordered was conveyed to me, I had told him about -- I
8 actually told him what I was informed of from the forward command post in
9 Kupari, and I said what I would do, and he agreed with that. That is to
10 say that I was supposed to go to Cavtat. The negotiations were completed
11 and the cease-fire was signed, and that was planned for 10.00, and at the
12 same time the links with Dubrovnik that were rather weak from Kumbor or,
13 rather, it took time to have it established, it was a direct link from
14 Cavtat through civilian cables, and that was the main reason why I went to
15 Cavtat. And then, as I waited for the helicopter that would come but the
16 negotiations --
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the transcript does
18 not correctly reflect what the witness said. He is saying that
19 negotiations had been scheduled on that day, the 10th of -- on that day at
20 10.00, and in line 21 that cannot be seen clearly.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Tell me, why did you not set aside half an hour on the 6th of
24 December to go from Cavtat to Zarkovica and to personally stop the attack
25 since you say you could not have found anyone through the communications
1 system and if none of the people who you sent to Zarkovica was effective
2 in stopping the attack?
3 A. One has to look at the facts clearly and then judge. I sent my
4 deputy, the Chief of Staff, to Zarkovica. Then Colonel Kovacevic, who I
5 personally saw prior to my departure, and I even told him that he should
6 replace the commander of the 3rd artillery battalion if he could not stop
7 the attack in any other way. That is what I personally told him from the
8 vehicle. I met him just on the outskirts of Cavtat. So I had my two most
9 senior officers from my command there. And if the situation is unclear,
10 according to our rules of combat, the commander should be at his command
11 post, that he should not leave, and that was Kumbor. If I told General
12 Strugar that I would be in Cavtat and hat we are not giving up on signing
13 the cease-fire that had been scheduled for 10.00, and later on it was
14 postponed until 12.00 and Rudolf agreed to that, that meant that I could
15 not leave Cavtat before 12.00. Then the last thing: Why would a
16 commander of my rank, a corps commander, go to Zarkovica where his deputy
17 already was and also his assistant commander for the land forces? Would
18 this ever happen that a commander of a corps commander rank and his deputy
19 and his assistant go to one battalion in order to stop that kind of
20 attack? It was not fear.
21 Q. Did you have any results in stopping the attack and having your
22 order carried out? Were there any results in respect of that order of
24 A. At the -- even at present when I look at the facts, when I look at
25 them square in the eye, what I did was absolutely proper. To stop a
1 battalion, if this was being done by officers, if they were carrying out
2 my orders, if they were operating the way they were supposed to be
3 operating, there would have been no problem.
4 Q. Did they operate the way they should have and did they carry out
5 your orders?
6 A. Well, in all likelihood, they did not let the attack end, and the
7 unit did not go back within the time realistically possible, about two
9 Q. All right. You said that you did not see Kovacevic for seven or
10 ten days. In respect to the 6th of December, that's what you said.
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher --
13 Q. Mr. Jokic, this is an interview of Captain Kovacevic to the
14 Politika daily newspaper. Are you familiar with the content of this
16 A. No, I'm not.
17 Q. This interview was conducted at Zarkovica, above Dubrovnik, on the
18 9th of December. You can see that by the journalist's report; right?
19 A. Yes, that's what I see written here.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Somers.
21 MS. SOMERS: The witness has indicated no familiarity with this
22 particular document. I don't know if there becomes any more relevance
23 once he's said that, over the content.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Can you support what it is that you want to do with
25 the document? It's not a document of the witness or of a conversation
1 purporting to be with the witness, and he says he knows nothing about the
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I'm going to put
4 questions to him in relation to the content of this document because I
5 assume that he would have to know about some of these things, some of the
6 information contained in this article.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Why don't you simply put those facts to him: Does
8 he know about this or that or whatever they are. The document's just an
9 unnecessary complication.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Savo Jovanovic, a TV cameraman from TV Montenegro who was in
12 Dubrovnik with a group of JNA officers on the 8th of December when you
13 sent that commission to record the damages incurred -- and this is
14 referred to in the one-but-last paragraph of this article.
15 A. Possibly. Possibly. I mean, I cannot remember all of that.
16 Probably. His name is there if he was with that group of officers there
17 on the 8th, but I cannot remember him just now.
18 Q. Did you have a press conference on the occasion of this particular
19 event, the 6th of December?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. Did you, at this press conference, say that the action on Srdj was
22 not militarily justified but it has to be understood because this was a
23 great burden on the officers and soldiers as human beings?
24 A. Yes, I said something to that effect because this was
25 arbitrariness of a lower-ranking officer. His soldiers got killed, and he
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 wanted to revenge their deaths, and that things like that sometimes happen
2 in war.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to ask this
4 document -- for this document to be admitted into evidence and to assign a
5 number to it as a Defence exhibit.
6 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: I don't think that will help you, Mr. Rodic. You
8 have the admiral's indication that he did give or make a statement to the
9 media which was along those lines. Isn't that what you want? You don't
10 need the document.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but the substance of
12 that is reflected in this document and that's why I moved that. But we
13 can also have it merely marked for identification and just move on,
14 because later on we will have another exhibit which has to do with this
16 JUDGE PARKER: This will be marked for identification because of
17 time. At the moment I don't see why. Can it be given a Defence marked
18 for identification number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This document will be marked
20 for identification as D63.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance,
22 please. I'd like to distribute the following document.
23 Your Honours, there is one thing I must explain in relation to
24 this document. The fact is we do not have an English translation, but the
25 document was obtained from the OTP during the cross-examination by the
1 Defence. Therefore, we have not had sufficient time to obtain a
2 translation, and I only have a very brief question in relation to this
4 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Jokic, is this a document of your command?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you tell me whose signature that is? There is a mark there.
9 Is that you as the commander of the 9th VPS? Is that your signature?
10 A. No. I think this is the Chief of Staff Zec's signature.
11 Q. Can you please have a closer look.
12 A. I'm not sure. It's not his either.
13 Q. Could it be Kozaric's signature perhaps?
14 A. Yes. Yes, indeed, that's it.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may this document please
17 be given an exhibit number as a Defence exhibit?
18 JUDGE PARKER: Which Kosovic?
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Kozaric, the operations officers at
20 the command of the 9th VPS.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. It will be received.
22 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, just for the record, since we have no
23 translation or understanding of where Defence is going with it, I'm not
24 quite sure. We'll put this at the submission. And for re-examination, it
25 would be a bit limiting unless we know where Defence is particularly
1 highlighting its provisions.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. I've noticed it's merely a document
3 apparently bearing a date in October and all that's said about it is that
4 it's signed not by this witness even though it's over his printed name. I
5 agree with you you couldn't do much with that.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This document will be D64.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Is it true that you talked to Captain Kovacevic about what
9 happened around Dubrovnik in 1991 prior to your departure to The Hague in
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Can you then tell me why in your interview dated July 2002 you did
13 not even mention to the -- you did not even mention the fact that on the
14 5th of December Kovacevic was in Trebinje, as allegedly he told you
15 himself? Why did you not mention that to the investigators?
16 A. I didn't mention that. He really did tell me that, but I did not
17 believe that was sufficient confirmation. He could frequently be
18 unbalanced. I wasn't sure about the truthfulness of his statement once it
19 was confirmed by officers from the command staff of the 2nd Operational
20 Group, and when they told me about everything they talked about at the
21 command post, it was then in 2002 or 2003 that I told the investigators
22 about that.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance
25 again, please.
1 Q. Mr. Jokic, are you familiar with this document?
2 A. Yes, although I did not manage to track it down in the archive.
3 I'm not sure where it was.
4 Q. Is this a report on the action taken by the 3rd Battalion on Srdj
5 on the 3rd of December, sent to the 1st administration of General
6 Simonovic in Belgrade?
7 A. The transcript states 3rd of December, and it should be the 6th of
8 December, not the 3rd.
9 A. I found the document in the archive, the half-page report, less
10 than a page, but I have never seen this one. In terms of how it looks, I
11 would say that --
12 Q. It's a detailed one, isn't it?
13 A. Yes, detailed by all means, but I don't think it was there in the
14 archive. It was never filed, which I found slightly surprising, because I
15 had gone through the files. I checked. Was this done without me knowing
16 about it, I don't know.
17 Q. Can you see the stamp of the military archive, military files in
18 the upper right corner?
19 A. Yes, I can see that but I can't see my signature.
20 Q. Is this a document that belongs to your command?
21 A. In terms of how it's made, how it looks, yes, but I didn't see
22 this document in the archive, which means that I have not seen it for the
23 last 14 years. Therefore, if I may just be allowed to -- to go through
24 it, to have a look.
25 Yes. Yes, in terms of substance it's all right, yes.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please. Microphone for
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Under item 1, the following information is provided in relation to
5 Captain Vladimir Kovacevic, and the last sentence reads: "An
6 exceptionally capable and brave officer." Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. You state the same in relation to Lieutenant Colonel Miroslav
9 Jovanovic, don't you?
10 A. I was not the one who wrote this, and I don't know this person. I
11 think he only spent four days with me. Therefore, you should take this
12 document only in very relative terms. I never met him, not even then and
13 not up to now.
14 Q. If you could look at item 4 of the document, the next page. The
15 last bullet, the commander of the 3rd Battalion, Partisan Motorised
16 Brigade removed from his position.
17 A. Yes. Not the commander. Not the commander. He was a stand-in
18 for the Commander Jovanovic. The commander was Srboljub Zdravkovic. He
19 was a perfectly okay officer.
20 Q. So where was Zdravkovic at the time? Did you allow him to leave
21 the unit because of family problems?
22 A. Yes, he had family problems and I allowed him, I authorised him to
24 Q. If you could look at item 5, the first portion: "Final and
25 all-encompassing measures will be undertaken after investigation and the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 assessment of the overall situation."
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is there reference in this document to how the attack of the 3rd
4 Battalion on Srdj on the 6th of December, 1991, came about?
5 A. Yes, there is.
6 Q. Are the -- is the time line for the events on that day given?
7 A. Yes. Do you want me to go through it and read out?
8 Q. No. No need for that. Thank you.
9 In the document, we can see that the command of the 9th VPS, the
10 forward command post, as early as 6.50 in the morning, ordered the
11 commander of the 3rd Battalion to cease operations of the 120-millimetre
12 mortars but his unit was in such a position that this would only have
13 caused further losses; is that correct?
14 A. That's what it says. Whether it's true or not is a different
16 Q. It goes on to state that at 10.00 all commanders were again
17 ordered to observe complete cease-fire, which our units did at 11.15;
18 isn't that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. And then it is stated that part of the forces of the 3rd Battalion
21 remained on Srdj and they were under fire from the mortars of the National
22 Guards Corps until 13.45 when it was decided that the unit should be
23 evacuated from Srdj and sent back to its previous position. Who made this
25 A. Whoever was in charge, in command over there. But I do not think
1 this --
2 Q. So who was it who was in command there?
3 A. The Chief of Staff.
4 Q. What about Chief of Staff Zec and Colonel Kovacevic, your
5 assistant for land forces otherwise in charge of the 3rd Battalion on that
6 day? Were they in command of this particular operation?
7 A. No, they weren't.
8 Q. How do you know that?
9 A. I established that once I was back and when I looked into this
10 case, and I requested statements from them on what exactly happened.
11 Q. Was the commander of the 3rd Battalion or, rather, the stand-in
12 commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel
13 Miroslav Jovanovic, removed from his position on account of these events?
14 A. Yes, he was.
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may this exhibit please
17 be assigned an exhibit number as a Defence exhibit?
18 JUDGE PARKER: The action report will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked D65.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Just another question in relation to this document since I didn't
22 hear the answer. Is it true that this report was sent to the 1st
23 administration, to General Simonovic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When you spoke about the meeting you had in Belgrade with the
1 Federal Defence Secretary on the 6th of December, you said that throughout
2 the meeting, throughout the briefing with General Kadijevic, General
3 Strugar remained silent.
4 A. Yes, he did.
5 Q. Chief of Staff Blagoje Adzic and General Simonovic from the
6 operations centre of the general staff, did those two attend that meeting?
7 Chief of the operations centre; my apologies.
8 A. He was the chief of the 1st administration of the General Staff.
9 The answer is yes.
10 Q. All of them, including yourself, remained silent while the Federal
11 Secretary, General Kadijevic, was speaking, didn't they?
12 A. Yes. None of them spoke.
13 Q. General Kadijevic, according to the rules of service, would
14 address you in the formal way, wouldn't he?
15 A. No. There is nothing about that in the rules of service. You
16 can't have rules for every single thing in the rules. He spoke to us
17 as"Vi," he addressed us in the formal way, bearing in mind both myself and
18 General Strugar.
19 Q. But did he also refer to General Adzic and General Simonovic when
20 he spoke that way?
21 A. No, he never said anything to them.
22 Q. So this "Vi," this formal address, you distinguished yourself who
23 that was a reference to, didn't you, who he meant by "Vi."
24 A. I'm only telling you how it was.
25 Q. Very well. According to JNA doctrine, is it customary for the
1 Federal Secretary to criticise a superior officer in front of his
2 subordinate officers, a superior officer in front of that superior
3 officer's subordinates? Is that a customary way to go about it?
4 A. The doctrine doesn't say anything about. That's not what a
5 doctrine is about. The doctrine is about the use of armed forces, about
6 how --
7 Q. Let's move on, please. In practical terms, can you try to --
8 MS. SOMERS: [Previous translation continues]... the witness
9 finished with his response.
10 JUDGE PARKER: I think it was sufficiently indicated and it's been
11 accepted and we're moving on. Thank you.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
13 Q. You, as a higher-ranking officer, as a commander, would you
14 criticise a colonel who is superior to a captain in the presence of that
15 captain? Just give me a yes or no answer, please.
16 A. In just any old situation, no, I wouldn't do that, but in a state
17 of emergency, once the chips are down, you don't look at these
18 conventional matters, at these military conventions.
19 Q. Were you aware that General Kadijevic wanted you over for a
20 briefing because on the 6th of December, 1991, all of this was happening
21 within your area of responsibility, and your units were taking part in
22 those things that were happening, units under your command? Were you
23 aware of that or not?
24 A. No. He called us to attend a briefing, not a report. He called
25 the commander of the 2nd Operational Group, and he called me. We were the
1 two people who were summoned. He didn't summon me because I was
2 responsible for everything that was happening there. He called both my
3 commander and myself.
4 Q. So why did he summon General Strugar, then, if General Strugar
5 would have been perfectly able to explain everything himself? Or, rather,
6 why didn't he leave you out?
7 A. He probably assessed that General Strugar could not explain
8 everything and that I need to be called too, but it is well known who was
9 the most responsible in carrying out the Dubrovnik operation, because he
10 gave orders to Strugar not to me. Not a single order during the operation
11 was received by me from General Kadijevic or General Adzic. I never
12 received a telegram from them, a dispatch, or did I ever talk to them.
13 Q. Did you offer your resignation to General Kadijevic and did you
14 propose to have Kovacevic removed? Yes or no.
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Yes, what? Can you tell me exactly?
17 A. Well, you asked me yes or no and I said yes.
18 Q. Can you tell me how is it possible that until you returned from
19 Belgrade you did not know that the 3rd Battalion was in action, the 3rd
20 Battalion of the 5th Partisan Motorised Brigade? How come you didn't know
21 about that until you returned from Belgrade on the 6th of December?
22 A. I don't know on the basis of what I could have known that.
23 Between me and this 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade there is a distance
24 of about 30 kilometres or even more. Between us there are units and there
25 is artillery, and they were operating all the time. And the firing of
1 shells for 30 or 40 minutes from that battalion is something I could not
2 hear at all.
3 Q. And did the forward command post or your operations centre inform
4 you about this?
5 A. No. They didn't know about it either. Only Zarkovica knew about
6 that or, rather, the men at Zarkovica.
7 Q. Tell me, please --
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Actually, I would like to ask the
9 usher, please, to distribute the following document.
10 JUDGE PARKER: You will have three or four minutes at the most on
11 the tape, I think, Mr. Rodic.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, isn't the first session
13 until 3.45, for half an hour? That used to be the usual length until now.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Again you've caught me on the quarter hours, Mr.
15 Rodic. You're quite right.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Jokic, is this a report in the Politika daily newspaper dated
18 the 9th of December, 1991, and does it have to do with the press
19 conference that you held in Herceg-Novi on the 8th of December, 1991?
20 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
21 Q. In the introduction, it says that on the 7th of December -- it
22 says "yesterday," but since the press conference was held on the 8th of
23 December, that means that on the 7th of the December on the ship Krila
24 Dubrovnika, a cease-fire agreement was signed the sixteenth time. Was
25 that the way it was?
1 A. No, that's not the way it was. Maybe that's what written here but
2 that's not true.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. First of all, it is not a cease-fire, it is an agreement. There
5 were 16 cease-fires, but not a truce as such. There is a difference.
6 Q. All right. Look at the sub-heading "Fighting in Town." "Admiral
7 Jokic especially pointed out that a huge fight occurred the day before
8 yesterday in town itself between the members of the MUP and the ZNG on one
9 side and the members of the HOS or Paraga's fighters on the other." Is
10 that in accordance with the reports that I asked you about before?
11 A. Yes. I did not deny that. I did not say that there was no
12 fighting. I just said that there was no artillery fire. That's what I
13 was suspicious about. As for firearms in town, I mean, that happened even
14 in October, before that, the 29th, whatever.
15 Q. The Croatian forces among themselves?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could this number please
18 be assigned a number as a Defence exhibit?
19 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This document is D66.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Is it correct that in this interview or, rather, I'm sorry, at the
23 press conference, did you say that you found moral justification for what
24 your battalion commander did on the 6th of December?
25 A. That's what I said. That was the expression I used. I had to
1 find some justification when that unit had five dead and 14 wounded. What
2 was supposed to be done was to minimise in a way or hush things up.
3 That's the conclusion one would draw now. And even then, too.
4 Q. Why would you hush things up?
5 A. Because such a big unit, a battalion, arbitrarily set out to
6 attack despite all orders to the effect that this was not supposed to be
7 done and because we were given such information about the damage in town
8 and the casualties so that a person could not but feel affected by
9 something like that. We thought that the JNA unit could not and should
10 not do such a thing at any cost.
11 Q. I would like to ask the usher to put document P61 before the
12 document, tab -- before the witness. 39, tab 39. That is the binder from
13 Mr. Hvalkof.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, we know you've been under pressure of
15 time. What we propose is to break now to give you 20 minutes to collect
16 your final thoughts and then give you the balance of the time then. I
17 think that might be the best assistance to you rather than have you finish
18 right now. So we will break now for 20 minutes.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 --- Recess taken at 3.38 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.04 p.m.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Jokic, is this a report of your command or, rather, commission
25 regarding the damages in the Old Part of Dubrovnik dated the 9th of
1 December, 1991, that was sent to the Deputy Federal Secretary for National
2 Defence, Admiral Stane Brovet?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you tell us why this document or, rather, the report on damage
5 sustained by Dubrovnik is being sent to the deputy federal secretary?
6 A. I don't know about that. Probably because he asked for it.
7 Q. On page 2 of this document, is it correct that it was established
8 in the one-but-last sentence that the origin of all the damages incurred
9 cannot be established or the perpetrators named because obviously many
10 were not caused by attacks from outside the Old City centre?
11 A. Yes. That is the conclusion of the commission.
12 Q. Is it correct that you could not name the perpetrators?
13 A. I appointed a commission that established the facts and gave its
15 Q. Was that opinion conveyed to you and were you made aware of the
16 details that had to do with the findings of that commission?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. By your signature as commander and the most responsible person, do
19 you stand by that opinion?
20 A. I appointed a commission that gave its opinion. That is its
21 opinion. I was not asked to give my own opinion.
22 Q. Mr. Jokic, you said yourself that the deputy federal secretary
23 asked for this kind of report from you. Is it correct that the deputy
24 federal secretary did not appoint a commission consisting of these members
25 of the command of the Military Naval Sector but that this was done by you?
1 A. I appointed the commission, and it wrote its opinion which is at
2 the end.
3 Q. But this task has to do with you and your name, not this
4 commission or any member of this commission. The federal secretary or,
5 rather, the deputy federal secretary is giving you this task; isn't that
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, aren't you wasting time over something
8 that is crystal clear? It is the report which the admiral was required to
9 prepare. He did not prepare it. He appointed others to prepare it. The
10 report's contents are the work of those who prepared it, not the work of
11 the witness. He forwarded it. They're the facts. It's not his opinion,
12 but he accepted it and forwarded it. It was prepared by others.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the report that he sends
14 to the federal secretary and that is the subject of my questions was
15 compiled by the witness. He signed it, and he signed it as the most -- as
16 the most responsible commander from the 9th VPS. The members of the
17 commission did not send any kind of report to the deputy federal secretary
18 with their own signatures.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I don't know, Mr. Rodic, why we're debating this.
20 We do not disagree about the facts. I was pointing out to you that you
21 seem to be going over the facts and losing time when you don't need to.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. I'll move on.
23 Q. Actually, before introducing a new document, I would like to ask
24 you whether this report addressed -- was addressed to Admiral Brovet just
25 like the report dated the 7th of December that you sent to General
1 Simonovic. Are they the result of the investigation that you carried out
2 in the field upon orders from General Kadijevic?
3 A. Yes, that is part of that investigation that I had proposed to
4 him. It's not that he ordered me. I proposed it to him and he agreed
5 with that. He agreed, and General Strugar agreed.
6 Q. Was it already on the 6th of December, before you went to
7 Belgrade, that you sent a letter to Minister Rudolf in Dubrovnik, stating
8 to him that General Kadijevic asked for an energetic investigation to be
9 carried out regarding the responsibility of the JNA with regard to the
10 events of the 6th of December?
11 A. Yes. That is what General Strugar conveyed to me.
12 Q. Are these the results of the energetic investigation ordered by
13 General Kadijevic?
14 A. No. This is just part of it, to ascertain the damage in
15 Dubrovnik. That is not the entire investigation.
16 Q. Are the perpetrators referred to in these reports?
17 A. The only thing that this says is that the origin of all damages
18 cannot be stated with certainty.
19 Q. I asked about the perpetrators. In the report of the 9th of
20 December and in the report of the 7th of December that you sent to
21 Simonovic is reference made to the perpetrators who are responsible for
22 the events of the 9th -- of the 6th of December?
23 A. No. The perpetrators are not referred to, but it can be
24 implicitly weighed, but explicitly there is no reference to them.
25 Q. Can you say then why the perpetrators were not referred to
1 explicitly or the persons who were guilty for the events of the 6th of
3 A. They could not have been mentioned because investigation had not
4 been carried out. Statements had to be taken from all the responsible
5 parties involved. This was only the very first crude material that was
7 Q. Did you take statements from your officers who took part in these
9 A. Yes. I conducted a hearing.
10 Q. Can you tell us exactly who you heard.
11 A. The Chief of Staff, Colonel Kovacevic, Colonel Jovanovic, Frigate
12 Captain Kozaric.
13 Q. Did you conduct a hearing with regard to anyone from the 3rd
15 A. No, I did not.
16 Q. Did you hear Lieutenant Colonel Jovanovic before you removed him?
17 A. I got a report as to when he opened fire, how many shells he used,
18 against which targets. On that basis I informed General Strugar and asked
19 for his urgent removal. I did not hear him, though.
20 Q. During this testimony, why do you mention for the first time the
21 report of the commander of the 3rd Battalion, that it was written, and
22 that he was at the command post of the 2nd Operational Group when you said
23 a few minutes ago that you did not hear anyone from the 3rd Battalion and
24 also that you did not have any reports from them?
25 A. I never stated that I had no reports. I said awhile ago that I
1 did not hear them. The report did arrive, but not the one that we were
2 shown, this two-page report here. Rather, there was a brief report that I
3 found in the archive, hardly a page long, and this report states exactly
4 what the 3rd Battalion did and why it launched an attack. We found this
5 report at the command post of the 2nd Operational Group.
6 Q. Whose is this report?
7 A. A report of the 3rd Battalion.
8 Q. Who signed it?
9 A. I think its commander, but this should be easy to verify.
10 Q. Who was it sent to?
11 A. To the command of the 2nd Operational Group. That's where we
12 found it.
13 Q. Can the 3rd Battalion send a report to --
14 MS. SOMERS: [Previous translation continues]... both implicated
15 in this report and it would be very helpful to know about which is being
16 spoken at any given moment.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, good point, Ms. Somers. Could you make clear
18 which 3rd Battalion, Mr. Rodic, and you have two more questions.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour.
20 Q. I have in mind the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade.
21 That's the one I'm referring to. Is that the report that you had in mind,
22 Mr. Jokic?
23 A. Yes. Yes. That is the report of the commander of the 3rd
24 Battalion. It is possible that it came through the operations centre in
25 Kupari but I can't be sure now. It was found in the archive and it
1 describes what the 3rd Battalion did.
2 Q. Where do you have that document now?
3 A. I said a while ago that that was the document that I found in the
4 archive and not the one I was given a minute ago. That's the one I'm
5 referring to.
6 Q. So my question is: Are you in possession of that document?
7 A. No, I'm not, not here.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could I have the usher's assistance,
9 please. I would like to have the transcripts of the following exhibit
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, you've run out of questions and time,
12 I'm afraid.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we may just tender
14 this into evidence. I'm perfectly aware of what you said.
15 JUDGE PARKER: What is it?
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] This is a tape, a very short tape.
17 It's not even a minute long, in relation to a press conference or, rather,
18 the statement that Admiral Jokic made on the occasion in relation to the
19 6th of December.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I think not, Mr. Rodic. We'll have to call it a
21 day. We've stretched and stretched to accommodate you. It is perhaps a
22 great pity that much of this very significant material was not dealt with
23 much earlier in the cross-examination when so much time was lost. That
24 will have to be the end of the cross-examination.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, I would
1 like to address you briefly.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I think not, Mr. Rodic. We've had enough. Thank
4 Ms. Somers.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may we at least tender
6 the interviews into evidence?
7 JUDGE PARKER: The ruling was no, Mr. Rodic.
8 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
9 Re-examined by Ms. Somers:
10 Q. Good afternoon, Admiral Jokic. I am going to ask you some
11 questions that have arisen during the course of cross-examination, and I
12 would like to start with something that's fresh before you. If I could
13 ask that you be shown what was marked as Defence 62, please. It is D62.
14 We could put D65 together if it would save steps for the usher as
16 Admiral, I'm aware that because these were just put in front that
17 the time of study them has perhaps not been very great, but I would like
18 to ask you about the document D62, which purports to be a -- a report, a
19 combat report of the day's events of 6 December 1991, purporting to be
20 issued at 1700 hours. Was this after you had had your discussion with
21 General Strugar about what you would tell the press as to the events of
22 the 6th of December?
23 A. Well, it's difficult for me to be sure about that now, but I'm not
24 sure which report you have in mind, the one to the 1st administration or
25 the regular combat report.
1 Q. Right now we're looking at the combat report that has --
2 A. All right.
3 Q. -- has Captain Zec's name on it. Was this done after General
4 Strugar had indicated what version of the facts you were to accept, or the
6 A. No. I believe this one was made before then.
7 Q. Did you instruct Admiral Zec -- I'm sorry, Captain Zec at the
8 time, to send this report, to compile and send it?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Did you have an opportunity to look at the contents of the report
11 before it was sent?
12 A. No. No, I had no opportunity to look at them.
13 Q. Does -- do the contents of this report tend to agree with the
14 version of the facts that you were instructed by General Strugar to
15 accept? In other words, the Kovacevic version.
16 A. Yes. You could put it that way.
17 Q. Does this set of events as recounted in Zec's order reflect what
18 you have described as a sense of regret that you communicated to Minister
19 Rudolf not once but twice on the 6th?
20 A. No, this doesn't reflect that.
21 Q. Does it reflect -- does this report reflect accurately the facts
22 as you know them or really knew them to be?
23 A. No, it doesn't.
24 Q. Do you agree with the contents of this report?
25 A. I do not agree with all the details. For the most part, I do
1 agree. Naturally, there are a number of details that I do not agree with.
2 Q. May we take a look for a moment, Admiral, at D65. That is the
3 other report which discusses various officers. Does this reflect
4 accurately your own views and conclusions about the officers described
6 A. No.
7 Q. Although it purports to bear your signature, or at least comes out
8 under your name, were you in a position to put your own views of what
9 actually happened on paper? Were you permitted to do so? In other words,
10 were you free or did you find yourself under any pressure with regard to
11 contents of these types of reports?
12 A. I was in no situation to be banned by my superior from writing
13 such a report, but I was not able in such a brief time to verify every
14 single detail in order to be able to draw up a report like this and send
15 it off. That was up to the staff. Together with General Strugar, I
16 accepted the view that, as it states here, the commander of the 3rd
17 Battalion had been provoked into launching or, rather, provoked by firing
18 from the Dubrovnik side to launch an attack on Srdj. I agreed with that,
19 but I did not draw up a report.
20 Q. At the time, you agreed with that. Did there come a point where
21 you learned that that was not accurate, not true?
22 A. It was perhaps several days later or thereabouts, when I wanted to
23 carry out a proper investigation, that I realised that prior to launching
24 the attack at 6 hours -- at 6.00, Captain Kovacevic had not suffered any
25 casualties, and none of his soldiers had been wounded or killed. All of
1 the dead and wounded were killed or wounded during the attack but not
2 prior to the attack.
3 Q. Look -- I'm sorry.
4 A. That's -- that's what I found suspicious immediately, first thing
5 in the morning at 6.00, when he did not even dare pick up the phone and
6 speak to his own commander about the losses and casualties and perhaps to
7 request an investigation. He failed to contact his commander for that
8 whole day to seek advice on what to do.
9 Q. The document D65, in its entirety, if you look at it in its
10 entirety, does it entirely reflect facts accurately?
11 A. No, not entirely. When they talk about acts of provocation by
12 firing, there is a certain amount of exaggeration, and some facts are
13 deliberately minimised.
14 Q. Thank you very much. If we could move on to D66, I believe it is,
15 the press articles. And 63, if I could try to save some steps for
16 Mr. Usher.
17 Admiral, there are two news articles or two open source articles
18 that were presented today to you, and my only question to you is: These
19 come from the publication Politika; correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. In 1991, at the time of their issuance, can you please give us the
22 orientation, the inclination, the tone, as it were, of Politika. What
23 type of publication was it considered to be? What viewpoint did it
25 A. Politika was a newspaper playing up to the regime in power. They
1 were among the warmongers very often. They were toeing the nationalist
3 Q. I'd like to ask you to take a quick look at D66 under the rubric
4 "Fight in the Town" which you were asked about on cross-examination. Did
5 ever have information, as is suggested by Politika, that the forces on the
6 6th of December, the Croatian forces, were fighting among themselves? Is
7 this something that you had heard about on the 6th of December? I'm
8 focusing on that day in time, 1991.
9 A. I don't think so. Those clashes occurred on the 29th and 30th of
10 October, and also, as far as I can remember, in November. However, in
11 relation to the 6th of December, I don't know about that. I only know
12 that after the 6th of December, the Orthodox church was damaged by an
13 explosive that was placed at the threshold, but that has nothing to do
14 with the fighting or anything that's stated in this article. However, as
15 to the 6th of December and these clashes, I don't think we really had any
16 such information, at least no reliable information to the effect.
17 Q. So then as to this information that is contained about the
18 so-called infighting, it is an inaccurate report?
19 A. You could call it unreliable. There were too many sources of
20 information and too much information. It was only after a certain time
21 that you learned the truth. I think this was one of the first things that
22 came in from a source that was perhaps unreliable.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. Can we take a look, please, at D57. And I'd
24 also like to ask if we could have a map - let's see now - given to you for
25 your use.
1 Looking at, first of all, D51 -- I'm sorry, 57, excuse me.
2 There's a reference in the first paragraph. There's a reference to the
3 use of an 82-millimetre and a 60-millimetre gun. It says "from the
4 fortresses of the Old Town."
5 Can you please, first and foremost, explain what the fortresses of
6 the Old Town were.
7 A. Well, those were the fortresses at the corners or edges of the
8 town ramparts, at each of the corners; you had altogether four such
9 fortresses. Specifically, Bokar, St. John's, Minceta, and Revelin. Those
10 are the four names.
11 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you in a moment to try and point them out,
12 but as you refer to these as fortresses, were they situated within the
13 walls of the Old Town or are you making a reference to the turrets, the
14 turrets of the walls of the Old Town?
15 A. Yes. Those are towers with turrets. They have an entrance and an
16 exit inside the walls, the body of the walls. Therefore, they're half
17 inside the town, in a manner of speaking, and half outside, facing
18 outside, at least. Their function was to defend from outside attacks when
19 they were built back then.
20 Q. You have mentioned sheltering behind the walls and behind the
21 fortresses during the course of cross-examination. Did you intend to mean
22 within the walls or outside the walls when you discussed sheltering of
23 perhaps weapons? If you give me just a second, I'll give you -- I'll try
24 and get the wording that you used.
25 You had indicated that there were weapons sheltered behind the
1 walls, behind the fortresses. Did you have in mind outside the walls?
2 A. Yes. That's precisely what I had in mind.
3 Q. Does this response that you've just given about outside the walls
4 also apply to the reference of fire being opened from the fortress in the
5 Old Town by a 120-millimetre mortar?
6 A. Yes, of course.
7 Q. Excuse me just a second. Then just to make sure it's clear, the
8 weapons that were referred to were outside the Old Town; is that correct?
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think this is
10 extremely inappropriate the way in which my learned friend and colleague
11 is asking her questions. He's talking about a fortress, a fortress. It's
12 a concept which should be clear to everyone what is a fortress, what is
13 the Old Town. We've talked about that dozens of time in this courtroom,
14 and let my learned friend and colleague is persistent in trying to somehow
15 twist the meaning into having this fortress that is around the Old Town,
16 that is part of the Old Town centre somewhere outside the Old Town. So
17 please can we try to be fundamentally accurate about the geography of the
18 Old Town. This fortress is simply an integral part of the Old Town.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I think that's perfectly correct, Mr. Petrovic, but
20 what Ms. Somers is asking about is the evidence of the witness when he
21 spoke in particular about forces sheltering by the walls or into the walls
22 or sheltering behind the walls of the fortress, and what's essentially
23 being cleared up is whether that meant they were inside the fortress or
24 outside the fortress. I think that's a useful and correct approach.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, just one
1 sentence. What my learned friend and colleague is taking as her departure
2 point is the sentence that reads: "From the fortress of the Old Town
3 centre." That's where she starts out from when providing document D57.
4 That's the point of departure, from the fortress of the Old Town centre.
5 Thank you very much, Your Honours.
6 MS. SOMERS:
7 Q. Admiral, when I ask you, please, when we discussed the
8 120-millimetre mortars that you just explained that you had in mind were
9 outside the Old Town, what was the time frame? Can you tell us when this
10 would have applied during the period? During what period would it have
12 A. It would have applied to the period starting with the beginning of
13 October and on when the units under my command arrived in the Zarkovica
14 area, and prior to that, until the 26th or 27th of October, I don't know
15 exactly. I was in no position to be receiving reports nor were my units
16 in the area, therefore, my statement relates to the period of time after
17 the 27th of October.
18 Q. In the document D57 that you have, can you please look at the
19 document and indicate whether or not there is any reference to mobile
20 mortars being used by the -- what is described as "the enemy" in the
21 document. I ask you this because Defence counsel had put to you the use
22 of mobile mortar units. Can you indicate if that is in fact in that
24 A. Well, yes. I believe I provided a very detailed description of
25 that the last time around. There are for me no mobile mortar units --
1 Q. I'm asking you if in the document itself there is a reference to
2 mobile mortars.
3 A. Yes, there is reference to that.
4 Q. Can you please tell us where.
5 A. In the paragraph under 1, "From the fortresses of the Old Town
6 centre, the enemy is using mobile mortars, 82- and 60-millimetre ones." I
7 said back then that this wasn't possible, to use mortars to fire from the
8 Old Town walls in view of the concrete surface in which these mortars
9 would have been positioned. This would not have been possible. It was
10 possible for them to be placed adjacent to the walls, near the turrets
11 where there was sufficient shelter from behind which they could operate.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may --
13 JUDGE PARKER: Sorry. I was just waiting for the translation to
14 finish. Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] If I may point out an error in the
16 interpretation. There is something missing. From the walls of the Old
17 Town centre they were using mobile, mobile ones. Unfortunately, that's
18 missing from the transcript. [Previous translation continues]... "[In
19 English] using MB."
20 JUDGE PARKER: It's on page 55, line 9.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, yes. By your
22 leave --
23 JUDGE PARKER: I think you're saying it's missing from the
24 translation of the document, not from the transcript.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'll explain now.
1 It's not in the transcript because it's not in the written document. That
2 is the situation we have.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
4 MS. SOMERS:
5 Q. Admiral, when you referred, page 55, line 13, placed adjacent --
6 we're talking about, this would not have been possible. "It was possible
7 for them to be placed adjacent to the walls near the turrets." Are you
8 referring to outside, again outside the walls?
9 A. Yes, of course.
10 Q. I'm going to ask you to take a look on -- I hope the map you have
11 is adequate.
12 If the ELMO is able to depict the area of the Old Town or at least
13 allow the admiral to look at the area of the Old Town.
14 Are you able to see -- could you identify, please, Admiral Jokic,
15 the area on this particular map which would identify the Old Town.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Is this --
17 THE WITNESS: [Indicates]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Your Honour, please.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Is this Exhibit D57?
20 MS. SOMERS: This is not. This is a map that we have just put in
21 front of --
22 JUDGE PARKER: This is a different and new map, is it?
23 MS. SOMERS: We have moved away from an inquiry on D57, Your
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 MS. SOMERS:
2 Q. I'm sorry, Admiral. I was looking up at Judge Parker. Could you
3 do that again, please.
4 A. [Indicates]
5 Q. So the Old Town area, if you could just show its overall area.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Are you in a position to identify the positions outside the walls
8 where the alleged 82-millimetre and 60-millimetre guns referred to in D57,
9 as we just talked about, or 120-millimetre weapons, referred to in another
10 exhibit, D51, may have been? And if you can, could you mark, please, as
11 you understand the locations. I just want to -- before I have you mark, I
12 need to check the colour for the Prosecution. With a blue marker, if
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection.
15 Objection, Your Honours. Perhaps the witness is in a position to say
16 something about some other 60 and 82-millimetre mortars but certainly not
17 these from document D57, because what it says here is from the walls of
18 the Old Town. Therefore my learned friend and colleague may also choose a
19 different question, but if she's asking a question in relation to this
20 document, that's certainly not what we're talking about. Thank you, Your
22 MS. SOMERS: I think the witness had answered what his intention
23 was when he answered that question; we're discussing outside the walls.
24 JUDGE PARKER: You've got all of us confused, Ms. Somers.
25 MS. SOMERS: Sorry. Sorry, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: The witness said of D57 that he meant outside the
3 MS. SOMERS: Yes.
4 JUDGE PARKER: But he also then went on to say that there was a
5 reference to the enemy using mobile mortars from positions in the turrets
6 of the Old Town, and he added his observation that that was simply not
7 possible because mortars could not be fired from those positions because
8 of the nature of the surface on which a mortar would be placed. They need
9 to be on earth, if I recall his evidence, not on a surface such as stone.
10 So we've got --
11 MS. SOMERS: I appreciate that.
12 Q. I mean to confine my question to the areas outside the walls,
13 outside the walls where mortar units you have discussed may have been
15 A. May I point this out? It is here where it says this part, "Pile,"
16 park. That's where the 120-millimetre mortars are.
17 Q. Is there a particular name that you associate with the park?
18 A. Well, that's Pile, the Pile park. That's the area of the Old City
19 hospital. That's where the Old City hospital is.
20 Q. Is there a -- have you heard of a reference to a place called
21 Bogisica park?
22 A. Yes, but that's a different park on the other side. I don't see
23 it here, though. Or maybe I made a mistake, but I think it's on this
24 side. I didn't have this map before, so... On this other map it says
25 Bogisica park, so it would not have been confusing in any way, but this is
1 a new map that I haven't seen before. That park is not marked on this
2 map. The colour map, that's where it is.
3 Q. Are you able to tell us, Admiral, whether or not that is the
4 120-millimetre mortar group that may have been referred to in one of the
5 documents, like probably D51?
6 A. Yes. That is one or two mortars of 120-millimetres. That was
7 also confirmed by witnesses and some other sources, some intelligence
8 sources. As for the exact time when they fired, I cannot say for the
9 120-millimetre one. As for the 82-millimetre one from Bogisica park, the
10 situation is clear.
11 Q. Are you able to, if you can from this map and I realise you say
12 you haven't seen this particular map before, indicate the positions of the
13 alleged 82- and 60-millimetre weapons? Again, only if you can from this
14 map. These are the ones that Defence counsel placed on D57 in their
16 A. It's approximately these positions, 82 millimetres in Bogisica
17 park, four artillery pieces that fired the most on the 6th of December,
18 and all the time they were firing at Srdj.
19 Q. Can you give us, if you are able --
20 A. Here at the Srdj feature it says 412 metres. That's the altitude.
21 Q. Right. I'm going to ask you another question, if I could, please.
22 The distance from the locations of the mortars, if you can, to the Old
23 Town first, please.
24 A. As for 82-millimetre mortars, the distance is 200 to 300 metres.
25 As for 120-millimetre ones, the distance is somewhat longer; 300 to 400
1 metres, approximately.
2 Q. Thank you, Admiral. Are you able to indicate Lokrum island?
3 Lokrum island? I'm going to ask if you can indicate several locations on
4 this map.
5 A. The island of Lokrum.
6 Q. And can you indicate also, please, the Belvedere Hotel. If you --
7 if you'd like to, before you leave Lokrum --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Ms. Somers, please.
9 MS. SOMERS:
10 Q. Before you leave Lokrum, if you'd just mark it with an 'L' with
11 your marker so we know that's what you've identified, please.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Thank you. And now moving on, if you could show us where the
14 Belvedere Hotel is, please.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Would you be kind enough to move the map over so that we can --
17 yeah. Good. All right. The 'B' is for Belvedere, Admiral; is that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The Hotel Libertas.
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. If you could mark it 'HL' for Hotel Libertas. Make it a little --
23 because you've used that initial already. Just 'HL.'
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. The Argentina.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. That's the 'A.' And the Excelsior.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. 'E.' And Cape Petka.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. You've marked that with 'RP'; is that correct, Admiral?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you -- if you're able to see it on that map, could you
9 indicate where the Kolocep island is, please.
10 A. On this map it cannot be seen. It is outside this map, but it's
11 on this side.
12 Q. Okay. We'll try perhaps -- we appreciate that. We'll try another
13 map later that will have it. Can you give the distance of Kolocep island
14 from the Old Town of Dubrovnik -- or to the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
15 A. It's a long distance. I can't estimate it. You should have a
16 look at the map and then it is quite clear that I cannot estimate the
17 distance between the port of Gruz and Kolocep. It's over ten or 12 miles;
18 that is to say over 15 kilometres. Then from the port of Gruz to the Old
19 Town there is another six or seven kilometres. It's a long distance. It's
20 over 20 kilometres, maybe even 30.
21 Q. Is that -- is the distance why you indicated it was improbable
22 that fire in Kolocep would have been directed against the Old Town and
23 caused damage?
24 A. Yes, it is physically impossible to target something like that. It
25 would be hard to expect anyone to fire at the Old Town from Kolocep and to
1 actually hit it, because there are many artillery pieces in town if
2 anybody wanted to target it at much closer range.
3 Q. Admiral, are you able to give the scale of the map that you're
4 looking at, please?
5 A. This is 1:5000, I think. It's not even a real map. It's a plan
6 map. It is like a town map, not a real, proper map.
7 Q. In -- in cross-examination, Admiral, you were asked and you
8 indicated markings for the suspected 120-millimetre position between the
9 Argentina and Excelsior Hotel. I think you said on the Ploce gate side.
10 Are you able, first of all, to indicate in what time period you had that
11 in mind; and if you could indicate on this map.
12 A. It's here. The warehouse that was referred to was here.
13 Q. Would you mark it --
14 A. Where it says "Ploce," that is where the ammunition depot was. We
15 thought it was there, in the area of Ploce. And the mortar, according to
16 some reports, was here, in this area, and we did not know whether it was
17 120-millimetres or 82-millimetres, but for a while it operated from here.
18 We --
19 Q. Could I ask, just for the record, Admiral, you have an 'S' for
20 where you indicated the warehouse, is that correct, an 'S,' the letter,
21 and then an 'M' for mortar?
22 A. [Indicates]
23 Q. Yes?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You indicated what you indicated was an ammunition warehouse. Is
1 that correct, Admiral? Thank you.
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Are you able to give an approximate distance between what you have
4 marked as 'S' to the Old Town?
5 A. About 200 metres, 250.
6 Q. And 'M,' what you have marked as 'M,' the distance from 'M' to the
7 Old Town, please?
8 A. About a kilometre.
9 Q. Other than the positions that you have marked, did you have any
10 information of any Croatian military positions within close proximity to
11 the Old Town?
12 JUDGE PARKER: At what time is this, Ms. Somers?
13 MS. SOMERS: Between the 7th of October when the admiral took
14 over, 7th, 8th of October and the 31st of December.
15 Q. Did you understand my question, Admiral? If not, I will repeat it
16 for you.
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. What is your answer then, please? Did you have any other
19 information of any Croatian military positions within close proximity to
20 the Old Town in that time period other than the positions that you have
22 A. Apart from these positions, of course I followed intelligence
23 reports which came down the chain of command from the 2nd Operational
24 Group during the month of October, although I was not in a position to see
25 this and confirm it until we came to the town itself or, rather,
1 Zarkovica. We had information that in the month of October, and even at
2 the beginning of November, from the positions of the walls and turrets
3 there was firing coming from small arms and sniper fire, too, and there
4 was even one particular piece of information that defenders were noticed
5 who had a rocket launcher as well. In order to be as objective as
6 possible, this information was often corroborated, sometimes reliably and
7 sometimes unreliably, but the fact was that there had been gunfire from
8 small arms coming from the walls. There was no firing of rockets, but a
9 rocket launcher operator was seen.
10 Later on during the month of November, probably when the UNESCO
11 mission came, on the walls defenders could no longer be seen with weapons
12 or was there any such fire coming from the old walls. So in addition to
13 the positions I pointed out, that is what was written in our intelligence
14 reports and what was noticed from features and positions close to town.
15 Q. The information, then, you're referring to only goes up to
16 approximately early November, as I understand what you've said. On the
17 6th of December --
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection. As far as
19 I could see, in 64, it says: "Later on during the month of November,
20 probably when the UNESCO mission came..." That is page 64, line 8. What
21 we have here is knowledge about what was going on in November and also
22 when the mission came in November. So it certainly cannot be put the way
23 my colleague put it, putting the question in an inappropriate manner.
24 MS. SOMERS:
25 Q. Would you be good enough to try to give the time frame, then, as
1 to when you no longer believed it was the applicable situation.
2 A. I cannot link myself to any date, but following the operations of
3 the other side and on the basis of our observations and reports, I can
4 only see such a sequence of events. If I want to be quite frank and quite
5 truthful, that is the only thing I can say. I cannot link myself to any
6 particular date. What happened in October and the beginning of November,
7 perhaps up to the middle of November, I don't know. There were such
8 things observed, but later on there weren't. Because I do not know the
9 exact date when the representatives of UNESCO came and whether this had to
10 do with them at all, but I'm just assuming.
11 Q. Let us -- let us then ask -- let me ask about the 6th of December.
12 Was this situation the situation as you may have been informed on the 6th
13 of December?
14 A. No. On the 6th of December we did not have any such observations,
15 namely that on the walls or within the Old Town there were operations or,
16 rather, that there were weapons except for what I marked a short while
18 Q. Looking back for a moment at D57 - do you still have it in front
19 of you? I'll try to finish all references so we don't have to go back and
20 forth to it.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. If you look at paragraph -- I believe it is 5.4, there is
23 the passage in the middle where it says: "Discover the combat enemy
24 positions and they should be destroyed in the region," et cetera, et
25 cetera, "and report on enemy positions and be mindful not to act on the
1 Old Town."
2 Do you see that, Admiral? It starts out saying, "Discover combat
3 enemy positions --"
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. And at the end it says, "while being mindful not to act on the Old
6 Town." Now, does this indicate that any discovery should be reported to
7 the command and that there is no fire to be permitted at such positions
8 first, even if discovered?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you receive any reports of such discovery pursuant to this
11 order from your subordinate units?
12 A. No, I did not, apart from what I drew on the map and what it says
14 Q. Thank you. You have indicated that your subordinate officers on
15 vessels had reported to you that they had been fired at and that they had
16 fired at positions in the vicinity of the Old Town. I'm talking vessels,
17 Admiral. Do you know what those positions were? Were they the same
18 positions that you had already marked on the map?
19 A. Yes. It's all these positions that are marked on the map,
20 including the positions on the islands. It's not mentioned here, but on
21 the island of Lokrum there was a 20-millimetre cannon on the top of this
22 hill, where this 'L' is. Then also on the island of Kolocep there was a
23 20-millimetre or 40-millimetre gun. And on the island of Sipan, there
24 were cannons of 85 and 88 millimetres. However, that's far away from the
25 town of Dubrovnik. That's where they had rocket positions, too,
2 Q. Admiral, you had stated that they had reported to you that they
3 had fired at hotels in the vicinity of the Old Town. What were these
4 hotels? Were they the same ones you have indicated on the map you just
6 A. Yes, it's those hotels: Belvedere, Argentina, Excelsior,
8 Q. You were asked during cross-examination about the firing rockets,
9 I believe. Rockets being fired from the walls of the Old Town. You
10 started to give an answer and you were interrupted. Are you able to
11 complete the answer? It was a reference, I believe, from one of the
12 interviews. Could you please complete what you started to say.
13 A. Yes. Patrol boat 137 on the patrol line in the Kolocep channel on
14 the 20th of November was attacked by two rockets, 9K11 Maljutka, of which
15 one hit the command bridge and wounded the commander and five sailors as
16 well. That was in the area and light -- of the island and the lighthouse
17 of Olip, but --
18 Q. Could you do it as quickly as possible, in the interests of time,
19 if you could explain your answer.
20 A. Yes. It's over 30 kilometres away.
21 Q. In the interview as was referred, was the reference to firing from
22 the Old Town correct? The walls -- excuse me, the walls of the Old Town,
23 if I remember correctly, is what was cited. Was that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's what was said, but I didn't manage to finish my answer
25 as far as the rocket fire was concerned. It was that rocket fire that I
1 referred to just now.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you, Admiral. You had made reference during
3 cross-examination to an ammunition warehouse outside the Old Town in the
4 harbour area, I think you said near Ploce -- near Ploce or near the
5 Excelsior. Is that the same ammunition warehouse you had marked on the
6 map just a few minutes ago?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You had indicated that despite orders from the 2nd Operational
9 Group to take the facility in Srdj, you did not allow it to be taken. Can
10 you explain why not and what your concern was.
11 Will you be referring to the map, Admiral?
12 A. That's what I thought, but... On the map Srdj can be seen quite
13 clearly. Trig point 412, which constitutes the central bastion on which
14 the defence of the town was based. The Defence line goes from Srdj to the
15 Belvedere Hotel and to Nuncijata. When Srdj would fall, which has this
16 enormous so-called Imperijal fort and also an underground tunnel that goes
17 to town, if that feature were to fall, the defence of town would fall too.
18 When an attacker would take that particular feature, then there would be
19 no obstacles on his path in terms of entering the Old Town. The Old Town
20 is, from Srdj, is not more than 600 metres away from Srdj as the crow
21 flies. So it would have been a catastrophe for any ordinary soldier let
22 alone commander to take -- to have that feature taken, especially in a
23 situation when around the town in a blockade there is a brigade plus a few
24 battalions. That's about 10.000 men. Who would be in a position to
25 exercise any kind of control in terms of this battalion that would take
1 the fortress? Who would ever stop them from entering town as well?
2 On the 8th of November, we had a particular case when Bosanka was
3 taken and when a group of about 20 soldiers came of their own free will to
4 Srdj, and they suffered losses there. Of course not only because of that
5 case but because of the importance of the feature of Srdj and our
6 intention and objective of the 2nd Operational Group not to take the town
7 and not to fire at the Old Town.
8 I think that my primary duty was to prevent the taking of that
9 particular feature, and at the same time to make it impossible in terms of
10 that facility that was the most heavily armed and heavily fortified to
11 prevent any kind of fire to come from there vis-a-vis our units and --
12 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would kindly ask that
14 the witness be allowed to finished this answer because he was stopped in
15 half-sentence in terms of what were the things that were supposed to be
16 done according to his own idea.
17 MS. SOMERS: I think the witness has given the answer.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Is there more you wanted to say, Admiral?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. May I, just a minute?
20 So the objective was to disable any fire coming from that feature,
21 to use fire to destroy the weapons that were firing at our front end. We
22 succeeded in doing that. On the 11th or 12th, because of major losses
23 suffered, Srdj will be abandoned [as interpreted]. However, we did not
24 take it although it had been abandoned. And when the defenders saw after
25 three days that we were not entering Srdj, they went back. That is the
1 real truth about the feature of Srdj, which was the key of the defence of
2 Dubrovnik and a lure for our units. And one particular commander on his
3 own bat tried to take revenge for his own losses and therefore wanted to
4 take Srdj.
5 MS. SOMERS: What I wanted to get a response --
6 JUDGE PARKER: I'm just going to call a halt now. I think we've
7 had more than an answer to your question, Ms. Somers.
8 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: And we will have the break now and then if there's
10 any further question you want to put, you can.
11 Now, Mr. --
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may.
13 JUDGE PARKER: -- something?
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Just in relation to the
15 interpretation. Page 69, line 18, it says "Srdj will be abandoned." What
16 the witness said is that "Srdj had been abandoned." So the forces under
17 his command did not take Srdj.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
19 We will have the break now and then see if there's more needed on
20 this topic at all.
21 --- Recess taken at 5.24 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 5.49 p.m.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Somers.
24 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'd like to tender the map
25 into evidence, please.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
3 THE REGISTRAR: This document will be marked P146.
4 MS. SOMERS:
5 Q. Admiral, we are under a tremendous time pressure, as you can
6 appreciate, so I'm going to ask you to answer briefly my questions and
7 even where there are exhibits we'll try to move very quickly.
8 If I can ask you to please have a look at a document that will be
9 passed out by the usher imminently.
10 While we're distributing the document, I'm going to ask you,
11 Admiral, Defence used a number of reports prepared by the assistant
12 commander for morale, political and moral affairs, as sources to describe
13 the situation in the zone of operations. I'm going to ask you just very
14 briefly to provide an overview of the activities of the assistant
15 commander for political and moral affairs, looking at the document in
16 front of you which is the rules, basically, on the -- it's the 1990 corps
17 peacetime report.
18 If you would turn in English, please, to what is page 1. It ends
19 in ERN 0014. And, Admiral, for you it would be in the B/C/S, it ends --
20 up above in the right-hand corner it says 01147081. It has the number
21 page 23 at the top.
22 Perhaps if the usher is in a position to -- it starts at 01147080
23 in the B/C/S. You don't have to worry about going through the whole list.
24 I'm going to ask you a very quick question about it, but -- yes, sure.
25 JUDGE PARKER: I can only say, Ms. Somers, that the numbers you
1 gave do not coincide with the numbers we have, but I don't -- just so that
2 the record reflects that. We have the document and you cannot delay about
3 sorting out the numbers.
4 MS. SOMERS: What I'm asking you to turn your attention to, Your
5 Honours is the organ for political work and -- sorry. Organ for political
6 work and legal affairs. That's the rubric.
7 Q. And I'm going to ask you about the propaganda aspect involved in
8 this position. If you look at paragraph 20 -- or point 20, excuse me,
9 under the general title of Assistant Commander for Political Work and
10 Legal Affairs, Article 21, there are a number of points. The reference is
11 to the studying political and propaganda work in the armed forces of
12 potential aggressors and proposing and taking necessary steps. Is a
13 propaganda element part of the job of moral -- or political and moral
15 A. Yes. We're not talking about propaganda here. This is about
16 political activity.
17 Q. But is propaganda, and not necessarily in a bad sense, but
18 propaganda meaning an objective attached to a particular type of speech,
19 is that part of the job of a political and moral officer?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MS. SOMERS: I'd ask that it be received into evidence, please.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This document --
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] We're not objecting to having this
3 document tendered into evidence but as this is a new document, we would
4 like to have at least three or four minutes to cross-examine the witness
5 in relation to this document since this is the very first time that we see
6 this document. Therefore, we are adamant that we should be given a chance
7 to ask a couple of questions in relation to this new document. Thank you,
8 Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, Mr. Petrovic, the answer is no. The
10 document is put in in response to detailed cross-examinations based upon
11 the work of the officer of this description, and the document is tendered
12 merely to give some indication of the role of that officer. You may, in
13 final submission, if you wish, draw upon its content, but not to
15 Carry on, Ms. Somers.
16 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Admiral, can you explain to the Chamber, please --
18 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, we haven't yet got the number.
19 MS. SOMERS: Oh, I'm sorry. I got ahead of myself.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Number for this document is P147.
21 MS. SOMERS: Thank you. My apologies.
22 Q. Admiral, can we move on to another topic, please. Can you please
23 explain how you were able to determine which unit of the 2nd Operational
24 Group was responsible for shelling the Old Town in November 1991? Now,
25 you did not receive reports from subordinate units, but how -- how did you
1 determine what units were responsible? Again, please, as quickly as you
3 A. I didn't exactly determine which units, but I said which the units
4 were that were objectively in a position to target the Old Town, which is
5 the artillery of the 472nd Brigade, and the 3rd Battalion of that same
7 Q. And for December 1991, for the 6th of December shelling?
8 A. As for the 6th of December, it could only have been the 3rd
9 Battalion of the 472nd Brigade.
10 Q. You indicated you had not received reports from subordinate units
11 on these incidents. Despite the absence of reporting, did you learn that
12 the Old Town had been shelled in November of 1991, even though you did not
13 receive reports from units?
14 A. Following those operations, based on direct reports, or, rather,
15 indirect reports through the media and secondary sources of information
16 from the accounts of refugees, we learned that damage had been caused to
17 the Old Town.
18 Q. Thank you, Admiral. Moving on, can you explain to the Trial
19 Chamber what the impact was of the creation of the 2nd Operational Group
20 on the territorial borders which you drew on maps D41 and D42. If you
21 need to see these, I can quickly put them to you.
22 A. No, there's no need for that.
23 Q. Okay. Do you understand the question then?
24 A. Yes, I do. If I understand your question correctly, it's about
25 the task or, rather, what the objective was surrounding the setting up of
1 the 2nd Operational Group. Is that your question?
2 Q. Well, the question has to do with the territorial borders, the
3 impact of creating the 2nd Operational Group on the territorial borders
4 which you drew on those two maps. Were the boundaries that you had drawn
5 on those two maps still relevant once the 2nd Operational Group came into
7 A. The boundaries drawn there, you mean the republican boundaries.
8 Q. No, no.
9 A. I'm not sure which boundaries you have in mind.
10 Q. Hold on. We'll show you very quickly the documents. D41 and D42.
11 Do you have them in front of you? And you can take a look at them
12 quickly, Admiral. You showed certain boundaries. Okay.
13 A. Well, yes. Those are the boundaries between military districts --
14 Q. Did the -- okay.
15 A. -- in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. I don't know them
16 by heart, but I'm afraid I don't understand your question.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] We can't see the ELMO. We can't
19 see what's on the map.
20 MS. SOMERS:
21 Q. Can you see them, Admiral? Okay. Did those boundaries, did the
22 boundaries that are drawn have an impact on the operations of the 2nd
23 Operational Group?
24 A. Yes, of course.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you briefly describe the impact.
1 A. Well, according to the existing boundaries, the way the armed
2 forces were structured and organised in the then-JNA, the objective that
3 had been set could not be carried out without setting up a new command
4 that would unite all the operations or coordinate all the operations in
5 this area under the existing boundaries of the various military districts
6 shown on this map. The task could not be carried out. So-called
7 Dubrovnik Operation could not be carried out. A new command had to be set
8 up with new units that would carry out the task and obtain the objective
9 of that operation.
10 Q. So these boundaries were not relevant to the operations of a 2nd
11 Operational Group?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. I'm going to ask you quickly a couple of questions of -- first of
14 all, sorry, let me just ask you this: What was General Jeremic's
15 formation, please?
16 A. He was the commander of the 2nd Corps, of the Podgorica Corps.
17 Q. And to which formation was the 2nd Corps subordinated?
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps we should have
19 a time frame for this. May my learned friend and colleague please ask
20 about the specific time frame.
21 MS. SOMERS: [Previous translation continues]... indictment.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. He was the commander of the
23 2nd Corps. He had been prior to the Dubrovnik operation also. The
24 establishment was it was a command that was resubordinated to the 2nd
25 Operational Group the moment it was established.
1 MS. SOMERS:
2 Q. From 1 October through 31 December, was that the situation that
3 prevailed? Is that yes?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Okay. Admiral, are you familiar with the 1984 rules
6 of service of the security organs in the armed forces of the SFRY as well
7 as are you familiar with the 1985 service regulations of the SFRY armed
8 forces military police? These are two different bodies of regulation.
9 A. Yes, of course.
10 Q. I would ask the usher to distribute simultaneously these two
12 If I can ask you if you have in front of you the document that
13 would be labelled -- that would be called Rules of Service of the Security
14 Organs of the Armed Services. Can you please take a look at Article 16 as
15 well as 17. 16 is the principal one. Yes.
16 This is the 1984 publication, Your Honours.
17 From the provision that says, "The security organ is directly
18 subordinate to the commanding officer of the command, unit, institution or
19 staff of the armed forces in whose strength it is placed in the
20 establishment and it is responsible to that officer for its work while JNA
21 security organs in organisations for NVO are responsible to the competent
22 Assistant Federal Secretary for National Defence."
23 Are you familiar with this provision?
24 A. Yes. It's a well-known provision. Every officer knows it.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. SOMERS: I would ask to move this into evidence, please.
2 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received, but could we be informed what
3 "NVO" is.
4 MS. SOMERS:
5 Q. Admiral, would you be kind enough to explain the abbreviation
7 A. This NVO organisation, armament and military equipment. These are
8 semi-military organisations in charge of armament and military equipment.
9 These are actually military factories, and they're under the Assistant
10 Federal Secretary for National Defence. They have a slightly different
11 structure. These are no combat units, these are military factories.
12 Q. Thank you. And moving quickly on to the second document in front
13 of you. I would ask you to turn your attention, please. This is the
14 document on the military police. If you could look at paragraph -- or
15 Article 12, paragraph 12, please. The provision --
16 JUDGE PARKER: We haven't yet got the number of that last
17 document, Ms. Somers.
18 MS. SOMERS: The -- I'm sorry, the ERN, Your Honour, or --
19 JUDGE PARKER: No, no. The exhibit number.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, Your Honour.
21 MS. SOMERS: Should I do it one by one? I was going to try to
22 move them together but --
23 JUDGE PARKER: I understood you had moved them.
24 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'm in such a hurry I'm ahead
25 of myself.
1 JUDGE PARKER: We're receiving the one dealing with the security
3 MS. SOMERS: That's right, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Which will be Exhibit?
5 THE REGISTRAR: 148, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Exhibit P148. Thank you.
7 Q. MS. SOMERS: Sorry, Admiral, for confusing you.
8 The second document I'd ask you to look at, Article 12. The
9 familiarity with the provision, "The officer in charge of the military
10 unit, an institution within whose establishment the military police unit
11 is placed or to which it is attached commands and controls the military
12 police." Are you familiar with this? Yes or no.
13 A. Of course I am.
14 MS. SOMERS: I'd ask to move this into evidence.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] As my learned friend and colleague is
18 introducing documents that have to do with military regulations and it is
19 very important that in addition to Article 12 the witness also explain
20 Article 13, which is directly related to it, because there is a separation
21 in relation to the command and control over military police, and I believe
22 the witness is in a position to explain what it's about.
23 MS. SOMERS: I don't think it's relevant, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: You've drawn the witness's attention to 13 -- to
1 MS. SOMERS: Yes.
2 JUDGE PARKER: And you're asking for comment or explanation.
3 MS. SOMERS: Just an acknowledgement of familiarity. Thank you.
4 Q. Now, based on JNA doctrine, would this mean, looking at this
5 provision, 12, would this mean that General Strugar was authorised to task
6 the security organs and the military police of the 2nd Operational Group
7 to investigate alleged violations of the laws of war?
8 A. Yes, indeed.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what my learned friend
10 and colleague claims is simply not in evidence. During the
11 examination-in-chief, the witness said that the 2nd Operational Group had
12 no other kind of military police except for the military police that was
13 attached to the command, and that's the only thing that the witness stated
14 in order to provide security for the command, for headquarters, nothing
15 else. And there's no other role that the witness attributed to this
16 military police during the examination-in-chief. Therefore, what my
17 learned friend is insinuating now is nothing that the examination-in-chief
18 seems to indicate, or the cross-examination for that matter. If you would
19 please have a look at what she's implying by asking this kind of question.
20 Can we please have a question stated in a fair manner and say
21 exactly loud and clear what it's in relation to and what it's supposed to
22 clarify. When was this ever referred to during our cross-examination,
24 JUDGE PARKER: I think the question does arise out of
25 cross-examination, Mr. Petrovic, and the question posed is whether by
1 virtue of 12 of chapter 2 it was within the competence of General Strugar
2 as the officer in charge of 2 Operational Group to task military police of
3 that group to do certain things. And the answer is?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in this article, by
5 your leave, Article 13, just under Article 12 --
6 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues]...
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Article 12 is sufficiently
8 clear. The military police are subordinated to the commander of the unit
9 of which it is part, and the same goes for the security organ.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 MS. SOMERS: And we would like to put it in evidence, please, Your
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, what is this continual one alternately
15 with the other interrupting that's going on? There is a very tight time
16 frame. If you have a serious objection, you may raise it, but this was a
17 clear question arising out of your cross-examination. We have noted that
18 you want us also to take note of Article 13, and we will do so, but it's
19 up to Ms. Somers whether or not she wishes to ask about Article 13.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wanted to say something
21 in relation to the cross-examination. During the cross-examination and
22 also during the examination-in-chief, the witness indicated that the
23 command of the 2nd Operational Group only had one platoon, one police
24 platoon to provide security for the building of the command itself, and
25 there is a huge difference between that and what is being asked now in
1 terms of these military regulations. I think the witness is well placed
2 to explain that and that's why I wanted to speak about it, because the
3 military police has a clear structure and the witness indicated exactly
4 which structure of the military police General Strugar had inside the 2nd
5 Operational Group.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Somers. If you'd carry on.
7 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much. I think my last request was to
8 tender that document into evidence.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked as P149.
11 MS. SOMERS:
12 Q. I don't think you have in front of you but I'm going to ask to
13 have placed quickly in front of you a -- the All People's Defence law, an
14 excerpt from it.
15 While it's being -- while this document is being distributed,
16 Admiral, I'm going to ask you -- well, I think it probably makes more
17 sense to wait until you've seen it.
18 If you could look, please, at what is an excerpt of the 1982 Law
19 on All People's Defence and turn your attention to Article 93, Article 93.
20 Are you familiar with this provision, Admiral?
21 A. Yes, of course.
22 Q. The provision obliges at all times and in all circumstances
23 abiding by international laws of war. Does a lack of sufficient number of
24 military courts relieve a commander of his obligation to maintain and
25 restore military discipline including the obligation to act against
1 alleged violations of the laws of war? And I take -- ask you to look at
2 it in the context that I have just raised.
3 A. I believe this Article is unambiguous in providing always and
4 under all circumstances for this, irrespective of whether there is enough
5 military police or military courts.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MS. SOMERS: And I would ask to please move the document into
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: This document is P150.
11 MS. SOMERS:
12 Q. Admiral, you had referred during your examination to certain
13 difficulties communicated to you by the military prosecutor in Split. Are
14 you aware of any request that has been submitted either by your command or
15 the command of the 2nd Operational Group requesting adequate staff and
16 officers for the military court from the relevant organs of the JNA? Just
17 a yes or no, please, because of time.
18 A. No, we didn't submit anything like that.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MS. SOMERS: Can I ask the usher to distribute, please, rather
21 quickly, another document.
22 Q. What you have in front of you is a document proclaiming existence
23 of imminent war danger in the SFRY. Are you familiar generally with this
24 -- this provision?
25 A. Yes, I am.
1 Q. You stated in your testimony that although a state of war had not
2 been declared, the factual situation on the ground was that of a war. As
3 such, although a state or a declaration of state of war had not been made,
4 the environment, the time was also not considered peacetime either?
5 A. Yes, roughly speaking.
6 MS. SOMERS: Can I please move this document into evidence, Your
8 JUDGE PARKER: We seem to have two different documents --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
10 JUDGE PARKER: We seem to have two different documents distributed
11 to the Chamber. I have two pages, one in English and one in B/C/S.
12 Judge Thelin has a much larger document.
13 MS. SOMERS: In fact, Your Honour, there should be one in B/C/S
14 and then effectively three pages attached in English. Is there -- was
15 that misdistributed perhaps?
16 JUDGE PARKER: I've now been given one the same as the other two
17 members of the Chamber, which is the one you apparently intended.
18 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour. If the Chamber has a chance to
19 glance at it, does it show Belgrade 1 October 1991, Your Honours?
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Now, the problem on the second page - in the
21 English translation it's the first page - is that it's speaking of a
22 Gazette of 18th of October 1991, speaking, if one goes to the last
23 paragraph above the heading Proclaimed Existence of Imminent War Danger,
24 it's speaking of a session held on the 1st of November and yet gazetted on
25 the 18th of October.
1 MS. SOMERS: We could ask the admiral to explain why the
2 differences in the dates.
3 Q. Admiral, do you still have the document in front of you? The
4 question, Admiral, is the actual existence of imminent war danger in the
5 SFRY has a date of 1 October 1991, which you can see in B/C/S where
6 Dr. Kostic's name appears, but that the overall document in which it is
7 contained, the Sluzbeni List, has a date of 18 October, 1991. Are you
8 able to explain why the different dates occur? Is there something in the
9 administrative code? Could you clarify?
10 JUDGE PARKER: I think we have found the answer to our problem.
11 I'm sorry to interrupt you, Admiral. It's a mistranslation. If one goes
12 to the B/C/S, the date there is 1st of October, not 1st of November. So
13 we'll make that alteration and you needn't trouble the admiral.
14 MS. SOMERS:
15 Q. Thank you, Admiral, for your willingness.
16 Admiral, along this theme, however, in addressing the Defence
17 question on the issue of the difference in the regimes of law and
18 regulations applicable when there is a state of war as opposed to
19 peacetime, you went on to say that the law provided that during a state of
20 war, small misdemeanors and offences which would otherwise be punishable
21 during peacetime go unpunished because military courts have to concentrate
22 on actual crimes.
23 First, can you give us what is your understanding of misdemeanors
24 or offences, with possibly an illustration, as quickly as you can given
25 the time.
1 A. No. I said the following: That disciplinary infractions -- I did
2 not say misdemeanors; I said infractions or offences, minor ones, are not
3 investigated and punished in a state of war, and that is what is written
4 in a particular set of rules. Probably because there is not enough time.
5 There is no possibility to do that. It is only for crimes that people are
6 held accountable.
7 Q. Can you give an example of an infraction, something you had in
8 mind as an infraction.
9 A. For example, if two soldiers fight or if a soldier gets drunk but
10 does not commit a particular offence or cause any damage, that would be
11 sanctioned in peace but not in wartime.
12 Q. Thank you. Would shelling a protected civilian object, such as
13 structure or structures in the Old Town, be considered as an actual crime?
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is a legal
15 question for the Honourable Trial Chamber. I do not see how the witness
16 is going to respond to this question. I kindly ask that such questions do
17 not be put to the witness. All similar questions that the Defence wished
18 to put with regard to this subject were objected to by my colleague and
19 were therefore rendered impossible.
20 MS. SOMERS: [Microphone not activated] This is something in the
21 commander's determination as a command decision, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: If you're asking not the question you asked in so
23 many words but whether as a commander he would treat the shelling as of
24 this nature, you may ask that question.
25 MS. SOMERS:
1 Q. Putting the question in the command framework, as a commander,
2 would you consider shelling a protected civilian object, such as one in
3 the Old Town of Dubrovnik, would you consider it as an actual crime?
4 A. Absolutely, yes.
5 Q. Now, is it an actual crime immaterial, irrespective of whether or
6 not it is a peacetime or state of war or imminent threat of war? Does
7 that make any difference or does it remain an actual crime that is
8 punishable at the time? Excuse me. I'll make sure I've got the question
9 as I have drafted. Hold on a second.
10 Let me rephrase it so there's no confusion. My colleague points
11 out it could be confusing.
12 Is it an actual crime -- sorry. Is an actual crime such as
13 shelling of the Old Town punishable immaterial of it being peacetime or
14 state of war or imminent threat of war?
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the same objection.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
18 MS. SOMERS: As -- may I rephrase it then in the command light.
19 Q. As a commander, would you view as an actual crime the shelling of
20 the Old Town as an actual crime being punishable immaterial of it being
21 peacetime or state of war or imminent threat of war?
22 A. Yes, I would consider it to be a punishable crime irrespective of
23 the state that the country is in.
24 Q. Thank you. Do you consider, as a commander, the fact that a
25 declaration of war had not been made as an impediment in any way to
1 investigating the shelling of the Old Town in October, November, and
2 December, 1991?
3 A. It should not be an impediment. I would always consider it that
5 Q. Thank you. Was the 2nd Operational Group in command of all the
6 units - JNA, TO, volunteers - all units involved in the Dubrovnik
7 operations from 1st of October, 1991, until May of 1992?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. At all times during the period 1 October through 31 December 1991,
10 were all of the battalions of the 472nd Motorised Brigade, in particular
11 the 3rd and 4th Battalions, within the overall composition of the 2nd
12 Operational Group even when they were under the direct subordination of
13 the 9th VPS?
14 A. Yes. They were always under the 2nd Operational Group.
15 Q. Thank you. You stated that the 472nd Motorised Brigade was the
16 unit that faced the most serious problems, especially in terms of its
17 shortage of trained personnel in the use of artillery. You also stated
18 that since you did not consider there to be a serious threat to the 2nd
19 Operational Group forces from the Croatian forces in the region, you did
20 not consider it necessary to have the presence of heavy weapons so close
21 to the city of Dubrovnik, including the Old Town.
22 Under these circumstances in this context, what would you have
23 considered to be appropriate weapons to have been deployed in the area,
24 especially considering the proposal which you made to General Strugar to
25 withdraw the brigade, the 472nd Brigade, from the area? What alternative
1 could you have suggested?
2 A. I thought that it was sufficient, in close touch with the
3 Dubrovnik Defence forces, to have a unit - the Mixed Detachment of the
4 Territorial Defence was an appropriate unit - which could have carried out
5 that task. That is what I thought. And ultimately, if that was not
6 possible, it could be a battalion but with an artillery that was far away,
7 at a distance from which it could not target the Old Town.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you explain why General Strugar, who was aware of
9 the clear risks that the scenario of the battalion entailed, kept the
10 untrained reservists equipped with artillery and mortars, deployed within
11 firing range of the Old Town, given that you had advised against it?
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in no way does this
14 come from the cross-examination. This is a continuation of the
15 examination-in-chief. I do not recall any such thing from the
16 cross-examination. All of these subjects were dealt with in detail in the
17 examination-in-chief. If there is any section of the cross-examination
18 where this was referred to, may she please tell us --
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We've got your message. Can you assist
20 us, Ms. Somers, as to how this arises in re-examination?
21 MS. SOMERS: This has been repeated during the course of
22 cross-examination, but in the interests of time, I'm happy to move on.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. And as you do, we will receive now the
24 Official Gazette of the 18th of October, 1991.
25 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 THE REGISTRAR: This document is P151.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
3 MS. SOMERS: If we could ask, please, P120 -- Exhibit P120, tab
4 20; P124, tab 22A; and P132, tab 30. They are three maps we've just asked
5 to have presented to the witness.
6 Q. While the maps are being presented or getting ready, I'd like to
7 ask you, the various maps that were tendered into evidence through your
8 testimony, you indicated that there are some inaccuracies. Are -- I'm
9 going to ask you if you can very quickly go through some of them and just
10 indicate whether or not they played any particular relevance.
11 A. I think that the maps are faithful to the original, and if there
12 are some imprecisions, they do not affect the content and the substance of
13 what these maps depict.
14 Q. Thank you. In order to confirm what you've just said, Admiral, do
15 you need to see the maps? Because if you don't, if you're able to stand
16 by what you've just said without showing us anything in particular, we'll
17 move on.
18 A. Yes, I have no objections. I think that it's those maps. At
19 least, this one is.
20 Q. When you identified JNA positions on the maps --
21 MS. SOMERS: I think, Mr. Usher --
22 JUDGE PARKER: No, Mr. Usher, they don't need to be shown to the
23 witness now. He's answered a general question. Thank you and the court
24 officer for your work in getting them out so quickly.
25 MS. SOMERS: I appreciate it.
1 Q. When you identified the JNA positions on the maps, Admiral, did
2 you use the positions indicated on those maps as your point of reference
3 or do you have personal knowledge of the positions within the relevant
4 time frames, and is that how you're able to identify the positions?
5 A. Yes, of course. I know the positions, and I know the terrain of
6 the areas that the units were deployed in, and everything that is shown on
7 these maps.
8 Q. And these were two 2nd Operational Group positions that we were
9 referring to, Admiral. Yes?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. Thank you. Admiral, with respect to your visit to the 2nd
12 Operational Group command post on the 5th of December after the
13 negotiations in Cavtat and thereafter the visit to your forward command
14 post in Kupari, it was your position that when you were interviewed by the
15 Office of the Prosecutor in July 2002, you had no recollection of it. In
16 cross-examination, you testified in reference to your discussion with
17 General Strugar concerning the negotiations, that General Strugar
18 indicated to you that the issue of the checking of ships at the port of
19 Gruz should not be his concern but a naval concern and that the agreement
20 should proceed. Now, the question is: Was the issue of checking ships at
21 the Gruz port discussed between you and General Strugar when you met him
22 at his command post on the 5th of December after the negotiations?
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection. We all
24 remember that the witness said that he did not remember his day in
25 Trebinje. He said that he reconstructed it on the basis of what others --
1 actually, that's what he said during the cross-examination when the
2 difference was shown to him, the discrepancy between the interview and the
3 examination-in-chief. He said, "I don't remember" or Kozaric or whoever
4 told him. But this is not his own recollection. He said, "I do not know
5 whether I was there. That's what others told me." And this is not
6 contained in the cross-examination.
7 JUDGE PARKER: The question I see to be proper that was put,
8 whether the issue of checking ships was discussed with General Strugar on
9 the 5th of December.
10 Are you able to answer that, Admiral?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. That precisely is
12 the case. I failed to remember during the first interview whether I'd
13 been there or not, and so on. However, when asked later on, and also
14 during the cross-examination, I said that I remembered precisely that and
15 that only, that General Strugar, when we talked about checking ships,
16 whether it would take place in the port of Gruz, inside the port or out at
17 sea, that refreshed my memory and reminded me that I had discussed the
18 individual items of the peace agreement with him. That means that I was
19 with him there at the forward command post.
20 MS. SOMERS:
21 Q. With regard, Admiral, to the second call which you made to General
22 Strugar from Cavtat -- excuse me. On the 6th of December, with regard to
23 the second call that you made to General Strugar from Cavtat, you stated
24 that you recall it with great clarity. What was discussed in the course
25 of this second phone conversation, please? Briefly, please, if you can.
1 A. Well, yes, among other things, what I told to the people of
2 Dubrovnik and what I was about to say, whether I had been able to
3 ascertain whether the Old Town was being targeted or not. That's what was
4 discussed. I said that I would express my regret that this ever happened,
5 and that my impression was that indeed there were shells falling on the
6 Old Town. He said roughly as follows: That we should not express our
7 apologies to anyone. It was probably their mistake, it was probably their
8 fault, and they were to blame for these operations.
9 Q. Thank you. With regard, Admiral, to the role played by the
10 General Staff in the Dubrovnik operation, was it the case that the General
11 Staff provided the general objectives at the strategic level?
12 A. Yes, by all means.
13 Q. At which command level were combat orders as well as operational
14 and tactical objectives issued? For example, decisions as to where to
15 deploy units or unit subordination, et cetera.
16 A. Well, at the level of the operational and strategic command such
17 as the 2nd Operational Group. That was the level at which units were
18 deployed, at which decisions were made in which area units would be active
19 and what their tasks would be.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MS. SOMERS: May I please ask the ushers to show Defence D46. Is
22 it inconvenient to ask you also to show -- to juxtapose P102. It might
23 make it easier for the question.
24 Q. We have two exhibits which will be presented, and I can begin to
25 ask you the question. At the request of Defence counsel -- at the request
1 of Defence counsel, you prepared Exhibit D46, Admiral. Do you see it,
2 D46, indicating all the units subordinated under the 9th VPS as of the 6th
3 of December. Can you explain, please, the difference between Exhibit P102
4 and D46. Do you see them? Do you have them both in front of you,
5 Admiral? I think you -- I think you have one exhibit that is incorrectly
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Tab 4, P102. Tab 4, P102. It's the first chart, the first -- the
9 -- yes, that's it. If I've given you the wrong exhibit, I beg your
10 pardon. Tab 4, P120. If I given you the -- 102, tab 4. It's our
11 mistake. I'm sorry, it was copied incorrectly. It's P100. A million
12 apologies. P100, tab 2. I'm so sorry to all of you.
13 Looking at these two charts, Admiral, do you recognise -- look at
14 them. Yes? Can you explain the difference between D46 that was prepared
15 at the request of the Defence and P102 -- P100. I'm sorry, I'm doing it
17 A. In this document - I'm not sure what the number is --
18 Q. Can you put it on the ELMO, please. Why are more units indicated
19 in one, in D46, than in the other document?
20 A. In this document that's displayed on the ELMO, we have indications
21 pursuant to a request of the Defence. I gave all the formation units of
22 the 9th VPS Military Naval Sector in peacetime, all the units that are
23 part of the Military Naval Sector establishment-wise regardless of their
24 active involvement or non-involvement in the Dubrovnik operation. And up
25 here, in this other document, you have units under the 9th VPS that were
1 temporarily resubordinated to me for purposes of the Dubrovnik operation.
2 So establishment-wise, these are not my units, these were merely
3 temporarily resubordinated to me.
4 Q. Admiral, did the units which the Defence asked you to add to your
5 chart D46, did they play any combat role of significance during the time
6 period relevant to the indictment?
7 A. Well, they had three units; 16th Border Naval Detachment -- 16th
8 Border Naval Detachment, next the 107th or, rather, 140th Mobile Coastal
9 Division - this unit was re-established - and then from the TOC, these
10 three artillery pieces that were temporarily resubordinated to the sector.
11 Only those three units.
12 Q. Thank you. Okay, moving on. You testified as to the temporary
13 subordination of units being a factor which contributed to instability
14 among the troops. Among the troops. Now, these temporary subordinations,
15 who ordered the changes that resulted in these temporary subordinations of
16 units, and in whose competence was it to decide the temporary or permanent
17 status of such subordinations?
18 A. Well, in the competence of my superior command, the command of the
19 2nd Operational Group, they're the ones who ordered this, these
21 Q. Admiral, returning for just one second, I think -- I looked back
22 on the record and my question to you about those additional units on the
23 chart that the Defence asked you to fill out, to add to, the units that
24 the Defence asked about, did they play any significant combat role during
25 the Dubrovnik operation? Just a yes or no would be helpful. You can
1 focus it even to the 6th of December, if that would be helpful.
2 A. No. No, no significant role.
3 Q. P45, tab 14, please. I'm going to ask you a question, and I hope
4 we can move through it quickly. The -- this is the three up, three down
5 order. Do you recognise it, of General Adzic? The order is addressed to
6 commands at the military district levels and the operational group levels;
7 is that correct?
8 A. Yes, I remember that.
9 Q. In describing the flow of information in accordance with this
10 order, what you stated on cross-examination was that an independent
11 battalion, if it was directly subordinated to the 9th VPS, would submit
12 reports to the 9th VPS, and based on those reports, the 9th VPS would
13 submit reports to the 2nd Operational Group command, which in turn would
14 submit a report to the Federal Secretariat for National Defence based on
15 the information received. Was that the chain of information? Yes or no,
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, being the addressees of this order, what was the
19 responsibility of the command of the 2nd Operational Group to ensure that
20 it received regular reports from the three levels down; in other words, to
21 ensure effective implementation of this order of General Adzic's? What
22 was the responsibility? Did there exist an affirmative responsibility to
23 ensure the effective implementation of this order on the part of the 2nd
24 Operational Group?
25 A. I don't understand.
1 Q. Okay. If the question is not clear, I don't know if it's -- I
2 think if I can just boil it down to its basic part. Was there an
3 affirmative responsibility to ensure that the information flowed up to the
4 commands as set forth in that order?
5 A. Of course.
6 Q. Despite or notwithstanding the objective set of circumstances
7 which you have indicated in your testimony made command and control
8 difficult, you pled guilty to counts with which you were charged in an
9 indictment, an amended indictment. Is that correct, Admiral?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Is this because you felt or it was your belief that the 6th of
12 December shelling was a failure of command and control at your level?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. Do you also in this context feel that there was a failure of
15 command and control with regard to the 6th of December shelling at the
16 level of the 2nd Operational Group?
17 A. Well, in that way I would judge my superior command, and the
18 answer is yes, I believe yes, but it is not for me to judge.
19 MS. SOMERS: Just one second. I'll see if there's any last
20 minute --
21 JUDGE PARKER: You may have some more time if you're anxious. We
22 were very considerate of the Defence. We would allow consideration to you
23 if necessary.
24 MS. SOMERS: I appreciate it, Your Honour.
25 Q. I want to ask you a question. A name had come up in a document of
1 someone named Cokic. Are you familiar with Jevrem Cokic or the name?
2 A. Yes. He was the first commander of the 2nd Operational Group. He
3 established it, and he started the so-called Dubrovnik operation,
4 Lieutenant General Jevrem Cokic.
5 Q. Do you what happened to him that he was succeeded by another
7 A. On the 4th of October, a helicopter was shot down carrying Admiral
8 Cokic and Captain Djurovic. Djurovic was killed and Cokic was seriously
9 wounded, therefore he had to hand over his post as the commander of the
10 2nd Operational Group.
11 Q. Thank you. So a question asking if you were ashamed of the 472nd
12 Motorised Brigade, you gave a rather lengthy explanation as to the
13 problematic nature of the brigade, underscoring the fact that it had
14 excessive artillery and was in the habit of shelling civilians and its
15 propensity to breach cease-fire orders. And despite these problems, these
16 known problems, was it your testimony that the brigade remained deployed
17 in the area of Dubrovnik until the 20th of November? That was your
18 testimony, was it not?
19 A. Yes. On the 21st of November it was withdrawn from the Dubrovnik
20 area --
21 Q. And even --
22 A. -- the surrounding area.
23 Q. And even after the 20th of November, your testimony was that the
24 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade was kept on in theatre of the Dubrovnik
25 operation; correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Do you -- is it your view that if that brigade had been withdrawn,
3 as suggested by you on the 6th of November, in particular with the 3rd
4 Battalion being withdrawn, would the -- would it be your view that the
5 shelling of the Old Town in November and December could have been
6 prevented [Realtime transcript read in error "predeveloped"]?
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection. My learned
8 friend is asking the witness to speculate, what if. I don't think that
9 question should be allowed.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Ms. Somers.
11 MS. SOMERS: I think it's a command call, and I think this is
12 exactly the kind of decision a commander has to make when he or she has
13 all the factors in front of him or her and I think my question would be a
14 very reasonable one for a reasonable commander to assess as he or she
15 would be held responsible for failing to take the correct action.
16 JUDGE PARKER: And what is your judgement of the position,
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my judgement is as
19 follows: To keep strong forces without sort of artillery in close contact
20 with the town itself and with sensitive targets was not tactically
21 legitimate from a military standpoint nor was there any military necessity
22 for that. Any which way we choose to look at it I don't think it was a
23 reasonable move unless the aim had been to take the town, which never was
24 our aim.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Could I just mention that at 98, line
1 17, I think the word "predeveloped" should be "prevented."
2 MS. SOMERS: Just your indulgence for a second, Your Honour.
3 Q. Looking back at the 6th of December, on the issue of receiving a
4 telephone call from your Operations Officer Kozaric at around 6.00, that
5 Captain Kovacevic had reported casualties, one dead, two wounded,
6 casualties in his battalion, you came out with a response that this report
7 was in fact false. Can you please clarify, is it your position that this
8 early morning report by Captain Kovacevic was false?
9 A. Yes. I've had my doubts about that bit of information, whether it
10 was at 4.45 or at 6.00. That's immaterial now. However, when this bit of
11 information came in, it struck me as suspicious why, because the battalion
12 commander never said which unit the soldier who had been killed and those
13 two who had been wounded belonged to. He did not get in touch with me as
14 his commander to ask me what to do. He decided to launch an attack, which
15 was unimaginable. This was a blatant refusal to obey my orders. That's
16 why I had my suspicion about him having suffered any losses at all.
17 Later when I questioned him, I realised that he could not have
18 possibly suffered any losses before he launched the attack. It was only
19 during the attack. Once the attack -- the attack had been launched, that
20 he suffered losses, and that is the truth of it.
21 Q. Thank you, Admiral.
22 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour. That concludes our
23 re-examination. Thank you for the extra time.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] My apologies. Just briefly. When I
3 addressed you when my cross examination was interrupted, I was not allowed
4 to address the Trial Chamber. At the end of our cross-examination, since
5 that was officially proclaimed as the end of our cross-examination, the
6 Defence was about to tender some exhibits into evidence, above all, the
7 interviews that were used in our cross-examination; specifically, the
8 interview dated the July 2002, September 2003, and additional documents
9 that we received following the proofing. We are tendering these on
10 account of the many discrepancies in the testimony of this witness.
11 JUDGE PARKER: We are not tendering anything at the moment,
12 Mr. Rodic. You're putting a submission by grace and indulgence. You have
13 no standing to tender anything. Are you seeking leave to tender
14 something? And what you want to tender is the full --
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: -- of all the interviews of the witness.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. That is the
18 proposal of the Defence team.
19 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber will not receive those exhibits,
20 Mr. Rodic. Had you tendered them within time, you would have got a
21 similar response. You had an opportunity to put those parts of them which
22 you felt were material to the credit of the witness, and you did that,
23 from what I saw of your lengthy cross-examination, quite substantially and
24 to some effect, but it's not going to be the case that you can simply put
25 the whole of those before us in this way. Thank you.
1 Now, may we thank you for your very lengthy evidence. It's gone
2 on for a long time, I know, but you will be pleased to know that's the
3 end. You will not need to attend tomorrow. So thank you very much
5 The Chamber will now adjourn until tomorrow afternoon.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.07 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of April,
8 2004, at 2.15 p.m.