1 Monday, 17 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. May I just remind you, General, of
7 the affirmation taken at the commencement of your evidence which still
9 Mr. Rodic.
10 WITNESS: MILOVAN ZORC [Resumed]
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic: [Continued]
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good
13 afternoon to all.
14 Can we have the usher's assistance, please. I would like to show
15 the witness Prosecution Exhibit P118 from the Jokic binder, tab 18.
16 My apologies, Your Honour. The mistake is all mine. I'm talking
17 about tab 19. That's the following exhibit in the Jokic binder, Exhibit
18 Number 119. My apologies again, Your Honours, for this mistake.
19 Q. General Zorc, if I'm not mistaken, you referred to this document
20 in your expert report, And there are several references to it in your
21 footnotes. This document, decision on further activities of the command
22 of the 2nd Operational Group dated the 24th of October, 1991. Isn't that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you please look at item 2, units of the 2nd Operational Group.
1 After carrying out the combat activities, the 9th VPS and 472nd Motorised
2 Brigade units reach the line, and then the line they reached is given, in
3 terms of the villages they reached, the third unit of the 2nd Operational
4 Group. Isn't that right? Yes or no, general?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would you please look at item 3, the last sentence in it of the
7 first passage of item 3. Is it true that the commander of the 2nd OG
8 hereby issues an order to prevent any attacks against the old part of
10 A. Yes, that is what is written in the third -- under item 3.
11 Q. Can you please now look at the next passage following that
12 sentence. If ones looks at the passage, does it not indicate that the
13 commander of the 2nd Operational Group requests the commander of the
14 9th VPS and 472nd Motorised Brigade report to him personally on the 25th
15 of October, 1991 with a draft decision on the forces gathering at the line
16 that had been reached? Is that not correct?
17 A. Yes, it is correct.
18 Q. If you remember, on Friday you were shown Defence Exhibit D43.
19 That is a decision by the commander of the 2nd Operational Group dated the
20 25th of October, 1991 for the 472nd Motorised Brigade to be to its
21 original unit within the 9th VPS. Do you remember looking at that
22 document, sir?
23 A. Yes. I believe that I was submitted this document.
24 Q. That sort of decision by the commander of the 2nd Operational
25 Group, would it not be a result of a proposal that came from his
1 subordinate commanders regarding the grouping of forces as indicated by
2 the decision that you currently have in front of you?
3 A. I apologise. I don't know whether I understood the question. The
4 decision of the commander of the 2nd OG was issued even before he invited
5 his subordinates to report. And on the 24th, he called them for the 25th,
6 to report. I wonder whether I understood your question correctly.
7 Q. You have a decision on further activities by the commander of the
8 2nd Operational Group dated the 24th of October. What it refers to is the
9 work and activities to be undertaken by the unit on the following day, the
10 25th of October. Isn't that correct?
11 A. No. For further actions, not -- refers to all further actions,
12 not only the next day. But they can be also corrected for each subsequent
13 day. That is also true.
14 Q. That decision, item 3 of that decision, this passage, it is
15 requested that the following day, the commanders of the 9th VPS and the
16 472 Motorised Brigade, that is on the 25th of October, should come to see
17 him about -- with a proposal on the grouping of the forces at the line
19 A. Precisely. After -- on the 24th, both commanders accepted this
20 assignment. They have to prepare the decisions. And with that decision,
21 come on the 25th of October to the command post of the 2nd OG and to
22 report to their superiors prior to continuation of other combat
24 Q. My next question: The decision by the commander of the
25 2nd Operational Group dated the 25th of October, 1991 the one that you saw
1 on Friday, which states that the 472nd Motorised Brigade should return to
2 its original unit within the 9th VPS, that decision -- could that decision
3 be a result of this task that was assigned to these commanders by the
4 commander of the 2nd Operational Group; namely, to come and see him,
5 bringing with him a proposal on how the forces should be grouped. Would
6 that not be a logical sequence of events?
7 A. Well, on the 24th of October, the 472nd VPS [as interpreted] was
8 not under the command of the 9th VPS, but it was directly under the
9 command of the 2nd OG. After reporting on their decisions on the 25th of
10 October, the commander of the 2nd OG could accept this change. And on the
11 25th of October, resubordinate this unit to the 9th VPS. This is not an
12 outcome of the decision of the 24th, but it is an outcome of the situation
13 on the battle front on the 25th of October.
14 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. There is a transcript
15 error. Page 4, line 9, it reads: "472nd VPS," and I believe it should
16 read "brigade." Sorry to interrupt.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General Zorc, sir, does it not say the outcome of the situation on
19 the front and a proposal on the grouping of the forces that this is what
20 the commanders of the 9th VPS and the 472nd Motorised Brigade should
21 report to the commander of 9th VPS about on the 25th in the morning when
22 they were supposed to report at his command post?
23 A. In the second paragraph of item 3, he indicated that both of the
24 commanders should come at 0900 hours, 25th of October, and report their
25 proposals of decisions -- of their own decisions [as interpreted]. And
1 this always occurs prior to battle operations. Only after that, the two
2 commanders can issue decisions to their subordinates. Therefore, from
3 this, it does not result -- from the document, it doesn't result that
4 anything has changed in the battle positions. But of course, they -- it
5 might have changed during the night.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance,
7 please. I would like to show the witness Defence Exhibit D43. You can
8 leave it there.
9 Q. General, do you understand my question now? The decision by the
10 commander of the 2nd Operational Group dated the 25th of October for the
11 472nd Motorised Brigade to return to the composition of its original
12 9th VPS; namely, that this was a result of the proposal he had received
13 from the commanders of the 9th VPS and the 472nd Motorised Brigade at the
14 briefing, as he had ordered them in his previous decision.
15 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, this has been asked and answered. I
16 think that this is rehashing a question that has been addressed by the
17 witness just moments ago.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It may be, but I'm not sufficiently informed at the
19 moment in the evidence whether that is the case or not. So I must allow
20 Mr. Rodic to proceed with this question, at least this one further time.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. There was
22 just one problem we had. The witness was answering my questions about the
23 operations carried out on the front, and my question was actually only
24 about the grouping of the forces, about whether the return of that
25 particular unit to its original 9th VPS composition would be part of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Regrettably, I -- grouping of forces
3 in Serbo-Croatian, I didn't maybe get it right.
4 The decision on the grouping of forces does not imply analysis and
5 resubordination and reattachment to forces where he orders them to prepare
6 a proposal of decision for force grouping. He did not decide -- issue a
7 decision on any changes of the chain of command. And he cannot request
8 that from his subordinates. So that's the first.
9 Secondly - and I emphasise - any reorganisation of command and
10 control is always the result of the battle situation. Of course, both
11 commanders at 9.00 p.m., when they were briefing the commander of the
12 2nd OG, maybe they were proposing something like that. I do not know.
13 But that is a possibility.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. Can we now show the witness an OTP exhibit. It's P101
16 from the Jokic binder, tab 3. That's the entire binder as it pertains to
17 Witness Jokic.
18 General Zorc, do you have in front of you a decision by the
19 commander, or rather a combat order of the commander of the 9th VPS dated
20 the 20th November 1991?
21 A. No.
22 Q. The 20th of November, 1991?
23 A. 20th? Yes. I heard the 20th. Yes, the 20th of November, 1991.
24 Battle order number 6.
25 Q. Can you please look at item 1, the first sentence. How do you
1 interpret that first sentence? What actually happened within the
2 composition of the 9th VPS, I mean.
3 A. From item 1 of this battle order of the commander of the 9th VPS,
4 it arises that on the basis of the decision of the commander of the 2nd OG
5 for the 19th of November, 1991, the 472nd Motorised Brigade be newly
6 resubordinated from the military naval district and be subordinated
7 directly to the command of the 2nd Operational Group.
8 Q. Rather, as it is stated in the brackets, the 2nd Corps. Does that
9 mean that perhaps it's being subordinated to the 2nd Corps?
10 A. It states that it will operate on the basis of command of the
11 2nd Operational Group, the 2nd Corps.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown --
14 rather, before we start --
15 Q. Did you have a look at this document when you made your report?
16 A. No. I don't believe that I've seen this report.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May the witness now please be shown
19 Exhibit P1, which is also a binder from the Jokic binder, tab 4.
20 Q. General Zorc, this is a document from the command of the
21 2nd Operational Group dated the 5th of February, 1992. The document was
22 sent to SSNO to the General Staff of the armed forces and to the First
24 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry to interrupt, but it looks like the
25 transcript is not moving. Is yours reflecting the same stagnant
2 JUDGE PARKER: There has been no movement. Whether we've failed
3 or whether there is a -- some other type of problem ... Could the court
4 officer make inquiries, please.
5 [Technical difficulty]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Something is happening now.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Shall I continue, Your Honour?
8 MS. SOMERS: May we ask that the exhibit number be put on the
9 record that's being referred to. I'm afraid that did not make it.
10 JUDGE PARKER: What is the exhibit number, Mr. Rodic, that you're
11 having the witness look at?
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I requested and what
13 the witness has been shown is OTP Exhibit P102.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General Zorc, do you have in front of you a document of the
17 command of the 2nd Operational Group dated the 5th of February, 1992,
18 which bespeaks the composition of the forces in terms of which unit they
19 belonged to within the system of command and control of the JNA of the
20 Territorial Defence and the volunteers unit. It's a document that was
21 sent to the Federal Secretariat for National Defence, or rather the
22 General Staff of the Armed Forces of the SFRY. Isn't that the case?
23 A. Yes, that is so.
24 Q. Can we now look at the second page of this document under item 5,
25 the Boka VPS. On the 5th of February, 1992, within the composition of the
1 9th VPS, was there not also the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] We shall no longer be requiring this
6 document. Thank you.
7 Q. General Zorc, tell us, please, was every high-ranking officer
8 responsible for the units under his command and all commanders under his
9 command would have been responsible for the respective units under their
10 command, would they not?
11 A. Yes, precisely so. That is what I have also explained in previous
13 Q. Thank you, sir. In terms of carrying out the respective command
14 responsibilities, is it true that command responsibility is implemented
15 through the giving of orders to one's subordinate commanders through
16 monitoring the implementation of those orders and through a system of
17 reporting in that regard to him as the superior commander?
18 A. Precisely so. And we should add also that assistance to the
19 subordinate units in the carrying out of their assignments.
20 Q. Tell me, sir, when you saw these documents, whose duty was it
21 between the 25th of October and the 21st of November, 1991 at the first
22 level of command responsibility to control the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
23 Who was in charge of that unit?
24 A. At present, I don't have in front of me the documents we reviewed
25 previously. But if it's for the period when this brigade was again
1 resubordinated to the 9th VPS, then at the time the commander of the
2 9th VPS was responsible for them. But as I said, I don't have the
3 documents with the precise date in front of me.
4 Q. I'll try to remind you of the following: You looked at
5 Document D43, a decision by the command of the 2nd Operational Group for
6 the 472nd Motorised Brigade to rejoin the composition of the 9th VPS on
7 the 25th of October. And you also saw the combat order of the 9th VPS
8 dated the 20th of November, which indicates that the 472nd Motorised
9 Brigade without the 3rd Battalion should be detached from the composition
10 of the 9th VPS. Isn't that correct?
11 A. Correct. That is correct.
12 Q. Can you then tell me, sir, whose duty was it in that period of
13 time at the first level of command responsibility to keep under control
14 the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
15 A. That is an open question. If the command of the 9th VPS is also
16 at the time when the remaining part of the 472nd Motorised Brigade was
17 reinstated, and if it retained the direct command over the 3rd Battalion,
18 then it commanded it directly. But if the 3rd Battalion, which was prior
19 in the 9th VPS composition, if it was resubordinated to the brigade, then
20 for that battalion, the brigade commander was responsible for them.
21 However, I have not seen a document which would be regulating this issue.
22 Q. Fair enough. Thank you.
23 Tell us, please, sir, between the 21st of November, 1991 and the
24 5th of February, 1992 - you looked at those documents, didn't you? - who
25 was responsible for the first level of command responsibility in terms of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 controlling the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
2 A. Judging by the documents we considered, the 3rd Battalion remained
3 under the command of the 9th VPS.
4 Q. Tell us, sir, please, the commander of the 9th VPS in actual fact,
5 did he exercise control over the 472nd Motorised Brigade as the documents
6 that you looked at seem to indicate and as the documents apparently led
7 you to believe while you were writing your report?
8 A. As far as any document concerning effectiveness of command of that
9 brigade while it was subordinate to the 9th VPS, I did not have at my
10 disposal. However, the command of the 9th VPS commanded and commanded
11 this unit as it did with other units.
12 Q. The commander of the 9th VPS, did he exercise control over the
13 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
14 A. Certainly. And it was under his subordination throughout this
16 Q. Tell me, please, sir, if the commander of the 9th VPS is unhappy
17 about the 472nd Motorised Brigade and the 3rd Battalion because their
18 performance is poor and they lack discipline and for this reason he
19 refuses to go and visit those units for the duration of their direct
20 subordination to him, thereby ignoring them and showing clearly what he
21 thinks about them, that sort of behaviour by the commander of the 9th VPS,
22 would that be in compliance with the doctrine of command such as you know
24 A. This in no case it can be in line with the doctrine of command and
25 control. Quite the opposite. If the commander is dissatisfied with the
1 behaviour, the conduct, and performance with one of its subordinate units,
2 he must dedicate all his attention to these units or this unit, and also
3 personally supervise it. I believe supervise it personally means by his
4 personal presence in the unit.
5 Q. Have you ever come across a situation like that when you looked at
6 Admiral Jokic's interview? I'm referring to the interview that you used
7 for your report. When I say "Admiral Jokic's interview" I mean the one
8 dated September 2003.
9 A. As I have stated, I have not studied this interview. I browsed
10 through it. And from this interview, if my memory -- if my recollection
11 is correct, the sector commander was not satisfied with the situation, and
12 the operations of the 472nd Motorised Brigade and its 3rd Battalion.
13 Primarily, he was not satisfied with the activities of certain officers
14 and the commander of the 3rd Battalion and the command of the brigade.
15 Q. General Zorc, you used those problems as conclusions in your
16 report, and you inferred that Admiral Jokic, at least based on the
17 interview that you saw, had encountered problems and that he had asked for
18 the resignation of some of the officers. Isn't that what you state in
19 your report?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now I will read out to you the portion of that interview on
22 page 95, the B/C/S version; in English, that would be page 103. The
23 investigator's question is as follows: "It strikes me as logical that you
24 are on the front, but what does not strike me as logical is that you took
25 the 3rd Light Brigade and not the elements of the 472nd Brigade which you
1 knew you had problems with." And the answer of Miodrag Jokic was: "This
2 may be a personal position. I never went to the command post of that
3 brigade. That's one thing I admit."
4 Furthermore, I'll show you another passage on page 96 of the
5 B/C/S, and we're still on page 103 of the English. The passage
6 reads: "Miodrag Jokic says: `I thought they were so bad, I thought the
7 situation was so bad that this was my way of showing how I felt about
8 them.'" In addition to which the brigade in practical terms was not
9 engaged in any operation at the time. It was the 3rd Battalion.
10 The investigator's question: "Why, then, did you not go to its
11 3rd Battalion?" Answer by Miodrag Jokic: "Well, the commander lieutenant
12 general does not go to a battalion. He could get killed the moment he
13 arrives. If you send someone to a battalion, then sometimes you send a
14 brigade commander at best."
15 What I've just quoted from Miodrag Jokic's interview, does that
16 tally in terms of the doctrine of command with the kind of behaviour that
17 a corps commander should display towards his subordinate units?
18 A. Well, I couldn't say. I couldn't state that. He was supposed to
19 be personally involved in places where certain questions and issues arose.
20 Q. Then I suppose you didn't use this particular section of the
21 interview when writing up your conclusions?
22 A. No. No. As far as the attitude of commanders towards certain
23 units or reserve or active forces, I didn't write about that at all.
24 Q. What I've just shown you, that sort of behaviour of the commander
25 of the 9th VPS, can that be viewed as responsible behaviour on the part of
1 any commander?
2 A. Sorry. But as I already stated, I don't think we can.
3 Q. Tell me, General Zorc, please, you were a corps commander. You as
4 a commander, would you not go more frequently to undisciplined units to
5 your subordinate commanders, or would you go more often to the good units
6 and the good and disciplined commanders?
7 A. Regrettably, the assignments of the commanding officer are such
8 that he must be involved there where he might least want to be. It would
9 be, of course, nice to be visiting always the good units. But you have to
10 focus on the problematic units.
11 Q. And could you please tell me, sir, this sort of attitude by the
12 commander of the 9th VPS, what about the commander of the 3rd Battalion of
13 the 472nd Brigade? Do you think he could understand that as some form of
14 encouragement or support to the sort of control and behaviour that he was
15 involved in at the moment?
16 MS. SOMERS: Objection, that's speculative, Your Honour. Inasmuch
17 as the predicate underlying it is that there wasn't even a visit.
18 JUDGE PARKER: The question itself is speculative, Mr. Rodic. But
19 you are asking whether a failure of a commander of an operational group to
20 visit a unit ever might be regarded as approval of the conduct of the
21 group, rather than asking specifically particulars. And I don't know
22 whether the general can help us with that general proposition.
23 Would a failure of the commander of an operational group ever to
24 visit a battalion be interpreted or could it reasonably be interpreted as
25 approval of that battalion's conduct?
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, my question was
2 about the commander of the 9th VPS. That's what the question referred to.
3 My apologies.
4 JUDGE PARKER: My apologies, Mr. Rodic. Yes. The commander of
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If it please the Court, such an
7 exceptional situation can, in fact, lead to such undesirable impressions
8 and conclusions on the part of a subordinated commander. Perhaps not
9 really in the context that his superior fully approves of the actions of
10 the subordinate commander, but it can be interpreted in the context that
11 the commander has nothing against it or that he doesn't care.
12 As I stated for a similar case in my report, I cannot claim that
13 the superior commander wanted his subordinate to get such an impression.
14 However, the subordinate commander who was left to himself could have
15 understood this course of action in such a way.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General Zorc, when you wrote your report, did you find any written
18 evidence that Admiral Jokic had requested the removal of the commander of
19 the Chief of Staff of the 472nd Motorised Brigade and the commander of the
20 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
21 A. Unfortunately, I don't remember seeing that anywhere in written
23 Q. Could you then tell me what is the reason that you believe the
24 words of Vice Admiral Miodrag Jokic, what he said in the interview, when
25 he claimed that he had asked for the removal of those officers if, based
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 on some of the previous questions, when I showed you an interview
2 concerning his behaviour towards that brigade and that specific battalion?
3 A. Well, look, the questions or the documents, in fact, which you
4 presented to me about the fact that the VPS commander had such an attitude
5 as he towards his subordinate unit, I never saw that information earlier.
6 The only information that I did have was from his interview stating that
7 he was unhappy with those units and that he proposed those officers to be
8 replaced. That is why I accepted that opinion as a basis for my report.
9 Q. General Zorc, in your report, there are at least four or five
10 references to conclusions that you reach based on Admiral Jokic's
11 interview to the investigators in September 2003. What I want to know is
12 was there may be someone from the OTP who, when they gave you the task to
13 write your report, only provided some sections of the interview and not
14 some others, or did they give you the entire interview for you to go
15 through and study?
16 A. No, nothing of the sort happened. It is true, as I mentioned,
17 that I received this interview, and I frisked through it in a rapid
18 manner. And as I browsed through the interview, I got information on the
19 attitude of the 9th VPS commander towards the 3rd Battalion. But my
20 insight into the document was neither directed nor limited in any way.
21 Q. Thank you, sir.
22 Tell me, please, and I must ask you this, do you know Vice Admiral
23 Miodrag Jokic personally? Are you perhaps friends?
24 A. Yes, I know Admiral Jokic personally. I know him from our time
25 together in the highest level of military schools. But that is the extent
1 of our knowledge of one another. I could not say that we are friends.
2 Q. Apology.
3 A. However, if you allow me, I don't want this to be misinterpreted,
4 we were colleagues, we attended school together. We shared a life during
5 the school. But after those school days, we did not have any contacts,
6 just to prevent any misunderstanding. It is also true that I had a very
7 good opinion of Admiral Jokic.
8 Q. Tell me, sir, when you read Admiral Jokic's interview dated
9 September 2003, did you perhaps come across a section of the interview
10 where he makes reference to you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On page 92 of the B/C/S version of the interview, which is on
13 page 99 of the English, the investigator asks the following
14 question: "But Colonel Marinovic, for example, resigned, and then Milovan
15 Zorc," that's a reference to you. And the answer by Jokic is: "No, no,
16 no. That's now how it was." Investigator: "I have not finished with
17 this yet. The Sarajevo Corps in May 1992, the man there, also resigned
18 unhappy about the political developments and he was afraid he would not be
19 able to effectively exercise control over his unit." And the answer by
20 Jokic was: "No, no, that was no resignation. As for Zorc, I know because
21 I was his schoolmate." Is that the answer you found also?
22 A. Yes, I did see this in this document.
23 Q. Tell me, please, General, on page 21 of your report, your expert
24 report, you say that the commander of the 2nd Operational Group often had
25 direct contact with the commander of the 3rd Battalion of the
1 472nd Motorised Brigade. Can you tell me where these frequent contacts
2 took place and where they were held -- where and when they were held?
3 A. I think that this piece of information also stems from the
4 interview, the interview with General Jokic -- Admiral Jokic. And that it
5 was contacts at the level of the 2nd OG.
6 Q. In the documents and in the material that were shown to you, apart
7 from this interview, when you were writing your report, did you find
8 anything that would lead to any such thing, like what Vice Admiral Jokic
10 A. No, I did not. I did not come across anything of the nature.
11 These were not formal contacts; these were informal contacts. And such
12 informal contacts are possible. It would also be possible to have formal
13 contacts between two commanders from two different levels of command.
14 That would be possible. This did not, however, have any influences on the
15 systemic questions on which I was asked to look into.
16 Q. In that particular conclusion, you also said that the officers
17 from the command of the 2nd Operational Group were stationed in that
18 battalion, the 3rd Battalion. Can you tell me which officers from the
19 command of the 2nd Operational Group were stationed there?
20 A. No, I can't give you names.
21 Q. How come you know, then, that officers from the 2nd Operational
22 Group were stationed there in the 3rd Battalion?
23 A. I came across this in a document where it was stated that along
24 with officers from the 9th VPS, individual units also received for a
25 certain time, for certain actions, officers from the command of the
1 2nd OG. And that would not be abnormal at all. However, I'm afraid I
2 can't remember where I saw that information.
3 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, if in fact what counsel has
4 asked the witness is supposedly a direct quotation, line 16 of page 18:
5 "In that particular conclusion, you also said that the officers in the
6 command of the 2nd Operational Group were stationed in that battalion,
7 that their battalion," what I'm looking -- what it says is: "Furthermore,
8 on the Dubrovnik front" -- this page 23 in the English version. "On the
9 Dubrovnik front some combat units and their commands were deployed within
10 relative proximity of a command post or of a forward command post of the
11 2nd operations [sic] group which enabled officers and commanding officers
12 of the 2nd operations group to be present in person in the subordinate
13 commands and in some battalions." That is not as the question was posed.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, nevertheless, I was
15 interested in where the witness got this kind of information and how come
16 it became part of his report. That is what I wish to find out.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Rodic.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. General Zorc, at least in the interview, if not in other
20 documents, did you come across the names of the officers from the 9th VPS
21 that were specifically in charge of supervising the 3rd Battalion of the
22 472nd Motorised Brigade?
23 A. Unfortunately, I do not recall which document contains this
24 information and which officers these were. As I remember, this was the
25 commander of the artillery, but I'm not certain.
1 Q. You were shown a document, a Defence document.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Or rather, I would like to ask the
3 usher to have D65 shown to the witness, please.
4 Q. General Zorc, do you remember having seen this document already on
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Tell me, please, in the introduction of the document reference is
8 made to officers. Does this speak in a positive sense of the courage and
9 dedication of the commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade,
10 specifically the name is Captain Kovacevic?
11 A. Yes. It is stated here that this is an extremely capable and
12 courageous officer.
13 Q. This document is sent, as we said, to the head of the operations
14 group of the General Staff of the SFRY, General Simonovic.
15 A. Yes, this is the case.
16 Q. Now I'm going to ask you the following: In the system of command
17 and control, does there have to be mutual trust among commanders and
19 A. Yes, definitely. That is very much desirable.
20 Q. Thank you. Tell me, when you wrote your report, after that
21 particular date, the 6th of December, 1991, did you see any documents or
22 did you see any piece of information stating that a replacement was sought
23 for the commander of the 3rd Battalion, that Vice Admiral Jokic asked for
24 him to be removed?
25 A. As I already mentioned, I do not recall which document I saw this
1 information in. I presume that this information stems from his interview.
2 I don't remember the document itself. I may have seen a document to this
3 effect, but I did not use it, nor did I quote it as a source for my
4 report. I suppose if I did have such a concrete document, I would
5 certainly have referred to it.
6 Q. Tell me, did you perhaps come across a piece of information in any
7 document that the commander of the 9th VPS issued an order to the
8 commander of the 3rd Battalion that he should be relieved of his post, any
9 such thing, very briefly?
10 A. No. I did not come across any such information.
11 Q. Tell me, a corps commander, specifically, the commander of the
12 9th VPS which holds such a rank, can in a particular case initiate
13 proceedings to remove the commander of the 3rd Battalion of the
14 472nd Motorised Brigade who is directly subordinated to him?
15 A. He can submit such a proposal to his superior.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 Can you tell me whether you found out through documents or in any
18 other way that the commander of the 2nd Operational Group went to report
19 to the federal secretary for national defence, General Kadijevic, on the
20 6th of December, 1991?
21 A. No. That he would have had to report to him, no. That would mean
22 that he was called on in disciplinary terms. I did not come across any
23 information of this nature. However, I did find in the documentation that
24 the commander of the 2nd OG and the commander of the 9th VPS were called
25 to see the federal secretary. I did not come across any reason why they
1 were called to see him.
2 Q. General Zorc, this is the 6th of December, 1991 that is in
3 question. I assume that you received the indictment and read it when you
4 wrote your report. As you read the interview of Admiral Jokic, did you
5 come across this particular piece of information, that the commander of
6 the 2nd Operational Group and Vice Admiral Jokic as commander of the
7 9th Military Naval Sector on that day, the 6th of December, 1991, and in
8 relation to what was going on around Dubrovnik and the operations of units
9 there were called in to come to see him in Belgrade?
10 A. Yes. Yes. I suppose I saw this in the interview with Admiral
11 Jokic. I did not come across the reasons why they were called on, but I
12 suppose that they were called on because of their combat activities around
14 Q. Tell me, within the 2nd Operational Group as an establishment
15 covering a particular territory with its own units deployed within its
16 area of responsibility, whose area of responsibility and operations was
17 the territory of the town of Dubrovnik and its surroundings? Whose units
18 were in that area?
19 A. During the blockade of Dubrovnik, units under the 9th VPS command
20 participated in the actions.
21 Q. What about the units of the 9th VPS? Did they take part in this,
22 both from land and sea in the blockade of Dubrovnik?
23 A. Yes. As far as I know, naval forces also participated in the
24 blockade from the maritime side. Those units, too, came from the 9th VPS.
25 Q. Tell me, please, when you wrote your report -- actually, I would
1 like to know what you know about the 6th of December and what actually
2 happened on the 6th of December, 1991.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, that's likely to lead to a fairly long
4 answer. I know it's a little early, but would it be convenient to break
5 now and deal with that afterward?
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: We'll have the first break now.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.32 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. General Zorc, before the break, I put a question in relation to
13 what you know about the information you have concerning the 6th of
14 December, 1991 and developments there and then, the 6th of December, 1991.
15 If you can tell me briefly of the information that you have.
16 A. As you could see from my report, concrete questions were put to
17 me, and these questions were related to the system of command and control
18 and responsibilities and competencies of the military officers for the
19 activities of their units. As far as the incident on the 6th of December,
20 1991 is concerned, my information is only about the fact that on that day
21 the old city of Dubrovnik was shelled, protected as a cultural monument.
22 As to the scope of action, the way in which it was conducted, the
23 scope of damages or anything else concerning these concrete events on that
24 day were not of relevance from the point of view of my report, and also I
25 was not acquainted with them.
1 Q. When reading the interview of Admiral Jokic from September 2003,
2 did you find an explanation there why on the 6th of December the commander
3 of the 2nd Operational Group and the commander of the 9th Military Naval
4 Sector went to see General Kadijevic?
5 A. That shelling took place on the 6th of December, that is the
6 information I got from the interview by Jokic. However, regrettably, I
7 have to say again that I did not conclude from this that the shelling
8 itself was the reason for them to go -- to be called in to see the
9 Secretary-General of People's Defence. I concluded that there were some
10 other reasons as well, and not only because of the incident.
11 Q. But you do accept certainly that the reason why they went there
12 was what happened on the 6th of December, what had to do with the shelling
13 of Dubrovnik?
14 A. Well, you see, if I knew when they heard about the requirement of
15 the Secretary-General, it would be easier for me to assess the reasons for
16 it. If they were called in after the shelling started or was initiated,
17 at least, then it is highly probable or then obviously, in fact, going to
18 see him and talking about this incident could not be avoided by them.
19 Q. Very well, General Zorc. I'm not going to assert anything. But I
20 would like to ask you in relation to the following questions that I have
21 to take into account an assumption. Could you please take into account
22 when giving these answers that will follow an assumption that the
23 commander of the 2nd Operational Group and the commander of the 9th VPS
24 were called in to Belgrade on the 6th of December, 1991 because they were
25 asked to do so by General Kadijevic, federal secretary of national
1 defence. After he received information that Dubrovnik was being shelled.
2 In that case, can General Kadijevic directly issue orders apart
3 from the commander of the 2nd Operational Group to the commander of the
4 9th VPS because what was taking place was happening in his area of
5 responsibility? Can he ask him to give him a report in writing about the
6 incident itself, about the damages sustained, and in general the effects
7 of what happened?
8 A. Yes. The federal secretary is in fact a superior in the chain of
9 command and can thus ask of anybody from the top down in the chain of
10 command for activities that he wants to see performed. And first of all,
11 he would ask for an immediate stopping of illegal actions and also for an
12 accurate report about what happened.
13 Q. Tell me, please, you have before you, or rather if you have in
14 front of you the report of the commander of the 9th VPS dated the 7th of
15 December, 1991 sent to the head of the First Administration. Do you have
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be given D45,
18 if I'm not mistaken. Defence Exhibit D45.
19 I'm sorry, D55 is the report. I beg your pardon. I have to
20 apologise once again. It is D65. I'm sorry.
21 Q. General Zorc, you have read this document, haven't you?
22 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honours --
23 A. No.
24 MS. SOMERS: -- can we ask for clarification. This an article or
25 is this a report? I'm not clear if we have the correct...
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] It is a report of the command of the
2 9th Military Naval Sector about the action taken by the 3rd Battalion.
3 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Mr. Rodic. Thank you.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. That document was sent on the 7th of December, 1991 to the First
6 Administration for General Simonovic. General Zorc, can you tell me
7 whether one can infer on the basis of this document whether the commander
8 of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade was indisciplined [as
9 interpreted] and that he should therefore be removed? Can you see that in
10 document? Do you have anything that points to that?
11 A. Earlier on, you have asked me whether I read this report.
12 Unfortunately not. I did see it earlier on, that is to say, when you put
13 another question to me. But otherwise not. And can, in fact, I draw such
14 a conclusion from this document? Well, I would have to read it first.
15 And if that's important, then I have to read it first.
16 Q. Our time is quite short, if you can -- or let's leave that for the
17 break. And could you now look at page 2 of the document directly.
18 Item 4, does it say that the commander of the 3rd Battalion of the
19 5th Motorised Brigade was removed from his position?
20 A. Yes, indeed. That can be seen from item -- point 4.
21 Q. In that item 4, there is no mention of any removal of the
22 commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Tell me, bearing in mind the measures taken, could the commander
25 of the 9th VPS have removed the commander of the 3rd Battalion, too, if he
1 deemed it necessary?
2 A. Well, I have to say that I do not know with what competence he
3 replaced the commander of the 3rd -- the 5th Brigade. I do not know
4 whether this was his authority or that perhaps a superior to his commander
5 would have done so.
6 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. I believe there may be a
7 transcript error at page 27, line 3. He replaced the commander of the
8 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Is that an error, Mr. Rodic, that you want to
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, commander of the
12 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade. The witness did give an answer. He
13 said that he was removed, as it says in the document. And my question was
14 whether the commander of the 9th VPS could have done the same thing in
15 relation to the commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised
17 So my learned friend's intervention was important.
18 Q. I just want to add, General Zorc, if you could not see from the
19 other documents that this 3rd Battalion of the 5th Motorised Brigade was
20 also subordinated to the commander of the 9th VPS, if that is of any
21 assistance in your conclusions.
22 A. Well, it would indeed because it would be evident that the
23 commander of the 5th Brigade was subordinated to the Military Naval
24 Sector, to the 9th VPS. But I did say that in my opinion, the commander
25 of the sector, in fact, did not have the authority to replace the
1 commander. He could only propose it. Had it been done -- if it was done
2 anyway, well, possibly, then this was a fact.
3 Q. Thank you. You can put that document aside and then perhaps we'll
4 go back to it a bit later and perhaps you can read it in detail during the
6 Tell me, please, the commander of the 9th VPS, could he have
7 received direct orders from the federal secretary for national defence,
8 that he should write him a report or that he should inform him in other
9 ways about the damages and consequences of what happened in Dubrovnik on
10 the 6th of December, 1991?
11 A. Yes. The federal secretary could have done so, could have ordered
13 Q. On Friday, you had that report dated the 9th of December, the
14 commander of the 9th Military Naval Sector that was sent directly to the
15 deputy federal secretary for national defence, Admiral Brovet. Does this
16 report reflect the answer of the commander of the 9th VPS to the task that
17 he had been given?
18 A. Yes. The federal secretary could, in fact, transfer or make known
19 this decision through his deputy, General Brovet. And then the answer by
20 the commander of the 9th VPS to Brovet would also be answering the
21 requirement of the federal secretary.
22 Q. I'll show you a portion of the interview in order to remind you -
23 you must have read that. That's on page 166 of the B/C/S and page 180 of
24 the English. The investigator's question: "Why did you report directly
25 in this specific case, or directly inform the SSNO, the Federal
1 Secretariat for National Defence?" And the answer by Jokic was: "Well,
2 because I was asked directly by Admiral Brovet to submit such a report
3 without any mediation by the 2nd Operational Group."
4 The investigator's question: "Does that not strike you as
5 unusual?" And the answer is: "This is not regular procedure, but this is
6 usually done to shorten the procedure. This can be done, but the
7 commander is then duty-bound to send a copy of this report to the highest
8 command, and another copy to his own command."
9 When reading the interview, did you come across General -- Admiral
10 Brovet asking this directly from the commander of the 9th VPS? Do you
11 remember this in the report about the 6th of December, 1991?
12 A. Yes. I think I remember seeing it in the interview, and the
13 report also was shown to me, the report of the 9th VPS.
14 Q. Tell me, sir, under the assumption that those two had gone to see
15 General Kadijevic in relation to the 6th of December, that they had been
16 summoned, the commander of the operational group and the 9th VPS, could
17 one then assume that from the moment the commander of the 9th VPS was
18 ordered to carry out an investigation into that event which happened on
19 the 6th of December and to send a report on those developments, that the
20 commander of the VPS did so, writing the reports dating the 7 and 9th of
21 December, 1991 respectively?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Tell us, sir, if he had sent those reports to Belgrade directly,
24 would the General Staff and the federal secretary for national defence
25 have been informed, both of them, in such a way and could they have taken
1 matters into their hands?
2 A. The General Staff and the federal secretariat indeed led,
3 controlled all operations of the armed forces. They could have also --
4 they could have assumed and taken into their hands, in fact, dealing with
5 the whole incidents, but they would have to, in fact, say it to the
6 commanders of the 2nd Operational Group and the 9th VPS, if I understood
7 your question correctly.
8 Q. Thank you, sir. At any rate, this is how information about the
9 events of the 6th was passed on to the highest command, wasn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I'll move on to something else now. And I'll ask you the
12 following: First of all, tell me, what is the role of the operational
13 centre at a corps command, the function and role of the operational centre
15 A. Well, to put it very briefly, the operational centre is that part
16 of the command that in interruptedly [as interpreted] 24 hours a day
17 follows up on the position within the scope of responsibility, follows up
18 also the activities if there are activities underway or if the
19 subordinates receive such orders. And also, data are being collected,
20 analysed, then he also suggests urgent measures as well as presentation of
21 reports to the superior command.
22 Q. Thank you, sir.
23 Can you tell me, please, whether there's a logbook kept at the
24 operational centre where every important information and all important
25 developments are entered? Tell me, as for this important information and
1 developments, it's not the first and primary duty of the operational
2 centre and the team working there to inform their commander?
3 A. Yes, especially.
4 Q. Tell us, please, the duty operations officer or the duty chief of
5 the operational team, whatever the official name is for that position, is
6 he permanently on duty at the operational centre? What would his role be?
7 I mean specifically the superior officer.
8 A. Well, this is the person that is in charge of the work of the
9 centre and sees to it that all links, all connections with operational
10 units, in fact, are ensured. And with the assistance of his assistants,
11 he also follows the intelligence situation, the status of the units,
12 organises also an analysis of data, and also informs the commander. He is
13 the one who is responsible for the work of the operational centre.
14 Q. Thank you. Can one go through the operational centre, or rather
15 the duty operations officer, to coordinate the work of the command and to
16 issue orders to subordinate units under that command?
17 A. No. The operational centre does not coordinate the work of the
18 command itself at horizontal level. This is done by the Chief of Staff.
19 Through this operational centre, however, all orders to subordinate units
20 can be communicated.
21 Q. At any rate, the operational centre can convey orders to
22 subordinate units from the corps commander and from the Chief of Staff?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Tell me, sir, if the commander of the 9th VPS, if on the 6th of
25 December, 1991, in the morning at 0445, so if he is informed that an
1 independent battalion under his command, by way of an example the
2 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade, has come under fire from
3 Srdj, that one man has been killed and two wounded, and in the eventuality
4 where on the previous day the same commander of the 9th VPS had brokered a
5 cease-fire with the opposite side, if that is the situation, what
6 specifically should he do?
7 A. In the operational sense, in connection with the action of the
8 3rd Battalion, I believe that there would be -- it wouldn't be needed that
9 he intervenes personally. I think that the battalion commander could
10 react personally concerning such an eventuality. But if he were the one
11 who brokered the cease-fire and if fire had been opened against his unit
12 and a cease-fire violation occurred, then he personally must first inform
13 the superiors that there was a violation of the cease-fire by the shelling
14 of his units, directed to his units. And I assume that if he was leading
15 negotiations with the other side, he would have to have also connections
16 with the other party and immediately lodge a protest to the other party if
17 something like that happened. Although the mode of reaction will depend
18 also very much on the person himself.
19 Q. If that is the situation and he receives information, that means a
20 cease-fire had been agreed previously and now he receives word that in one
21 of his units, the 3rd Battalion, a battalion that's subordinated to him,
22 one man has been killed and two wounded, can he at any rate go back to
24 A. Well, it's a rather sensitive question. Now, in peace, when you
25 hear that a soldier has been killed, it sounds terrible. But in battle,
1 that happens, and more than one are killed. And that doesn't mean that
2 the superior commander or the superior officers will be awake day in and
3 day out, night after night. There's also the operational centre for that.
4 And in peacetime, it's difficult to say. I don't believe that he
5 could sleep because of the very incident -- not the very incident, but not
6 the only the fact that a person was killed and some were injured, but also
7 that the incident occurred. I don't think that he could sleep easily.
8 Q. General Zorc, same as my colleague has done, I'll put the
9 situation to you in the following way: Imagine that the commander of the
10 VPS, the 9th VPS, spoke to the Croatian side on the 5th of December and
11 agreed on a strategically important cease-fire to be signed the next day,
12 the 6th of December. If at 4.45 a.m. he is informed that in the 3rd
13 Battalion of the 472nd Brigade there had been a violation of the
14 cease-fire, one man got killed and two men were wounded, he receives this
15 information. In that case, should the corps commander be concerned also
16 about the jeopardy to the cease-fire that had been brokered to the risk
17 posed to a battalion under his command, and also concerned about a
18 possible reaction by that battalion under his command against the other
20 A. You're right. It is a matter of concern concerning the completely
21 new situation which is indeed serious.
22 Q. Thank you. When the commander carries out an assessment, or
23 rather I'll show you Admiral Jokic's interview dated September 2003,
24 page 124, that's the bottom of the page, 133 in English. And further 134,
25 the investigator's question is: "When did you wake up?" And the answer
1 is: "Quarter to 5.00. I've gone through all my notes and Kozaric's
2 notes, and what I found there was 0445 in the morning. Kozaric woke me up
3 from Kupari, the forward command post, to tell me that he had received a
4 call from Captain Kovacevic, the commander of the 3rd Battalion, from
5 Brgat. He told him that he had come under heavy artillery fire from Srdj,
6 from Nuncijata, that one of his men had been killed and two wounded."
7 I'll skip the following portion. The Admiral was then asked by
8 the investigator: "4.45 local time?" And the answer was: "That's
9 Central European Time according to Greenwich." And the investigator's
10 question was: "So they woke you up before the attack actually started?"
11 Answer: "Yes, yes."
12 And the question by the investigator: "The attack began at 5.45,
13 didn't it?" The answer: "Yes." "At 5:00?" "No. Oh, yes. Well, all
14 I'm saying is based on the reports. The attack is another thing
15 altogether. What I'm telling you is what the reports said, the reports
16 that I received."
17 And on page 125, that's page 134 in English, at the bottom of the
18 page, I'll just read out the answer to you: "I told Kozaric `monitor the
19 situation, wake me up again if that's what it takes.' At 6.00, he was back
20 calling me over the phone through my assistant officer." And so on and so
22 Did you perhaps notice that --
23 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. Excuse me, but I think some
24 of the portions that are being skipped, if a whole picture is going to be
25 presented, then counsel selectively excising portions that may well go
1 into the factoring of any possible -- response to any possible question,
2 and it would seem that either the whole line of questioning be put or -- I
3 can certainly wait to do it on redirect, but I think that it doesn't give
4 the witness a view of what's actually been said.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have tried to
6 faithfully convey what the interview actually says. And I only skipped
7 some portions in order to save time. The essential thing was about
8 Admiral Jokic waking up and going back to sleep. And I believe that has
9 been faithfully conveyed. If my learned friend has any objections to my
10 interpretation regarding that, please let her say so. Or else, she can
11 deal with that during re-examination. But I'm quite sure that all my
12 interpretations are correct.
13 MS. SOMERS: The point I want to make, Your Honour, is that what
14 counsel wished to skip, for example, about assessing whatever the
15 situation is, is that: "And Kovacevic told Kozaric, the duty officer,
16 'now I am leaving the command post at Brgat and going for Zarkovica to
17 see the situation.'"
18 And I think these are facts that indicate that there is still a
19 period of assessment. So the facts are not being conveyed as they have
20 been relayed in the interview.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Well, that has now been dealt with. Part of the
22 problem, Mr. Rodic, may be that you see one line of things as relevant and
23 Ms. Somers another aspect of the same quotation. Between you, no doubt,
24 we will get everything that is thought relevant before the witness.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. General Zorc, could you perhaps provide an answer.
2 A. I believe that when -- going through the interview of Admiral
3 Jokic, that it seemed that it happened quite early. But as you've noticed
4 from my report, I haven't been asked anything about the concrete
5 situation, the concrete responses of any of the sides. And I didn't go
6 into this because it wasn't relevant for my answers to the questions that
7 were posed to me. But I have noticed it, yes.
8 Q. I will also show you his statement on page 153 of the B/C/S and
9 144 of the English. Investigator's question: "You spoke to Captain
10 Kovacevic before he started the attack. In that conversation, he warned
11 you that he would start the attack, didn't he?" Answer: "No, no. It
12 wasn't me that spoke to him, no. I didn't succeed in speaking to him
13 throughout, not even after my return from Belgrade."
14 Question: "Yes. But Kozaric did speak to him, didn't he?" The
15 Admiral's answer is: "Yes." Question: "And it was Kozaric that informed
16 you that one of your subordinates would start an attack that you had
17 prohibited?" Answer: "Yes, yes." Question: "And then you went back to
18 sleep, and then they woke you up again saying that the attack had begun?"
19 Answer: "Yes." And then adding: "No, no. The first time he called, he
20 told me that the attack would begin. Perhaps I was not clear enough."
21 At any rate, given what the situation was on the ground --
22 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me. I have to correct my learned friend's
23 reading of it. The English says: "That's right. No, I was not clear on
24 that point. She did not say the first time that the attack was to be put
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] That's what I read.
2 Q. At any rate, General Zorc, could you please tell us, given the
3 situation on the 6th of December, would it have been reasonable at all for
4 a corps commander who was responsible to go back to sleep, having received
5 such crucial information?
6 A. Well, it would be difficult to give an affirmative answer. This
7 is a possible reaction of a responsible officer. However, as a personal
8 situation, a psychophysical condition, all this influences, and therefore
9 I would not dare evaluate and judge whether his action was correct or not.
10 If it was wise or not. If he was psychologically and physically fit, he
11 should have reacted and prevented the attack.
12 Q. Thank you. I'll try to simplify this. In the situation that I
13 just described to you in relation to the 6th of December, the unit where
14 some soldiers got killed or wounded, these developments in terms of their
15 importance, would have not they constituted sufficient reason to alert all
16 elements of command?
17 A. Yes, certainly, particularly of his command. Because the command,
18 the operational centre, the Chiefs of Staff, all they are the factors
19 which allow the commander also to take a rest. But once the information
20 came in that shelling will take place, something which has been banned,
21 then that is cause for alerting the entire command and control system
22 which should prevent such a situation, or if it already began, to stop it.
23 Q. Thank you, sir.
24 The commander of the 9th VPS, or rather, his command, was it not
25 their duty to inform their superior command about this, in this case, the
1 2nd Operational Group?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I'll now show you what Admiral Jokic said in his interview, B/C/S
4 126, and the end of page 135 in the English.
5 The investigator's question: "Was the 2nd Operational Group
6 immediately informed about the intentions of Kovacevic's battalion?"
7 Answer: "No, no, no. Not then." Question: "And why not?"
8 Answer: "Well, I had more urgent business to deal with, to stop the
9 attack. For me, the priority was to stop the captain from doing anything
11 In this way, was the rule about informing one's superior command
12 about urgent situations and urgent developments complied with?
13 A. Well, how this occurred in that situation, I don't know. But such
14 a situation as you explained to me would be indeed a surprise for me;
15 namely, also personally, if I were faced with such a situation, I would
16 have as a priority to prevent or stop the shelling. However, the
17 reporting, informing of the superior is carried out through my command and
18 operations centre, and this can be done in parallel or even before that.
19 So it's not one or the other, but simultaneously both.
20 Q. Can we please specify, the corps commander, would it have been his
21 duty to inform the command of the 2nd Operational Group about that?
22 A. The commander is responsible for informing the superior command.
23 And he does this through the operational centre and his command without
24 the need of a special -- issuing a special order. This is combat activity
25 which has to be reported upon.
1 Q. Thank you. If there's a strategically important cease-fire with
2 the opposite side at stake, would it not be usual for the commander of the
3 military naval sector, would it not be usual for the commander of the
4 military naval sector, his Chief of Staff, his assistant for land forces
5 who was exercising control over the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised
6 Brigade to be 50 kilometres away from the forward command post? Would
7 that have been a responsible thing to do, to leave none of these important
8 officers at the forward command post?
9 A. If at the forward command post there is no one, then it doesn't
10 exist. If a forward command post is not a fundamental -- the fundamental
11 is the command post. The forward command post is temporary, and the
12 commander is there to supervise the main activities of his subordinate
13 unit. The fact whether he is reacting from the forward or the basic
14 command post, that is not relevant.
15 Q. Tell me, if the commander of the 9th Military Naval Sector on the
16 6th of December, in the morning, at 6.50, for example, was informed that
17 his 3rd Battalion is out to attack Srdj, although they do not have orders
18 for any such thing, what is the commander of the 9th VPS supposed to do
20 A. If the unit is activated, although there isn't no such assignment,
21 then he should stop such an activity.
22 Q. If after such information, namely, that his unit is out to attack,
23 if he then issued an order to the duty operations officer to convey his
24 order to forbid the attack, and if that order was not carried out, is it
25 possible that if shelling occurs, as shelling did occur of the town of
1 Dubrovnik, is it possible that it is first the federal secretary in
2 Belgrade who finds out about this and that the commander of the 9th VPS
3 finds out about this only when the federal secretary informs him about
4 this through the commander of the 2nd Operational Group?
5 A. Sorry, but this is possible. The means of communication were at
6 the time when this was happening, the civilian means of communication were
7 faster than the military ones. And it's a question of electronic
8 communication, and it's possible that the entire world hears about it
9 before he does.
10 Q. Your answer to my military question moved into the area of
11 communications. But let me help you. If all communications are working,
12 that is to say, telephones and radio communications, between the
13 commander, his forward command post, and the Dubrovnik side, what then?
14 What do you say then to the previous question?
15 A. The information concerning -- along the chain of command must be
16 the speediest and prompt.
17 Q. I'm sorry. But for the transcript, let us clarify one thing in
18 this chain of command. Should this information go from the top or from
19 the bottom?
20 A. Yes. From the subordinate units upwards, along the chain of
21 command, the line of command.
22 Q. Thank you. Tell me, after receiving a warning from the federal
23 secretary and the commander of the 2nd Operational Group about this
24 incident, and also after having received orders to stop the attack, is it
25 then in the spirit of the rules of command and control for the commander
1 of the 9th VPS, that is to say, would it be in the spirit of the rules,
2 that the commander of the 9th VPS would not inform the commander of the
3 2nd Operational Group about developments in the field?
4 A. No. Concerning all events in the unit, the sector command must
5 regularly inform the command of the operational group, irrespective of
6 different reasons from where the information is arriving or anything
7 similar. If the sector commander received a special order from the
8 federal secretary for a certain action, namely, that the shelling be
9 stopped, if he received this directly, he would first have to convey this
10 order to the subordinate units; and through the operational centre, inform
11 about it his direct superior command.
12 Q. If in the area of responsibility and operations of the commander
13 of the 9th Military Naval Sector the town of Dubrovnik is included and its
14 surrounding area and within Dubrovnik the Old Town as a protected
15 monument, is it possible that after the intervention of the federal
16 secretary for national defence who called him to come to Belgrade, is it
17 possible in that situation that the commander of the 9th VPS does not
18 investigate whether there was any shelling of the Old Town and if he were
19 cautioned about this by the representatives of the other side, the
20 Dubrovnik people?
21 A. Again, I must say that certain activities occur in parallel. The
22 commander generally doesn't carry out the activities alone, individually.
23 He can't do that.
24 Therefore, on the basis of the rules, the provisions, in view of
25 the fact that unlawful shelling occurred, which is also against the orders
1 he issued to his subordinates, he must ensure that the incident be
2 investigated, and he must inform the superior command. This investigation
3 is carried out by the bodies of his command, by the staff.
4 Now, the question whether he personally must get involved in the
5 investigation of the incident or answer to the superior, namely, the
6 national -- federal secretary, and that he come to Belgrade, that is a
7 particularly dilemma and a question of subordination. But of course, in
8 such a situation, he should have the understanding of the federal
9 secretary for postponing the meeting while the investigation is taking
10 place and highlighting the various aspects of the event.
11 Q. Tell me, please, if the commander of the 9th Military Naval Sector
12 sends four of his high-ranking officers, four colonels, including the
13 Chief of Staff of the 9th Military Naval Sector to stop this attack, and
14 if his order is not carried out, that is to say, if this attack continues
15 in spite of his orders, is the commander of the 9th Military Naval Sector
16 supposed to go out himself to try to stop this personally?
17 A. As I wrote in my report and as I have answered a number of times
18 concerning similar questions, personally he, the commander, gets
19 personally involved when, with all other means, orders via his
20 representatives, he does not succeed in achieving and implementing his
21 decision. In this case, this would be the stopping of the shelling. Of
22 course, the fact, the very fact that he cannot achieve this through his
23 representatives and his deputy is unusual and regrettable.
24 Q. If the commander of the 9th VPS does not have a direct link with
25 his four high-ranking officers, the ones he sent to stop the attack, and
1 if he does not have a direct link with the commander of the battalion, the
2 3rd Battalion, that is out attacking, what could he do in the least?
3 Wouldn't it be for him to go to the forward command post from where he
4 could have this direct link?
5 A. Here, again, we are again dealing with a means of communication.
6 Now, if the commander from anywhere in his zone doesn't have a line of
7 communication with his command, with the subordinates, and subordinate
8 officers, then he couldn't use these means even from a forward command
9 post. Regrettably, in such a situation when the communication lines are
10 severed or don't exist or are not of suitable quality, nothing else
11 remains to him but to go personally. Not only to the forward command
12 post, but also directly to the unit that is involved.
13 Q. Thank you for your answer. Perhaps I'm exhausting you with this,
14 but I would like to put to you some other elements related to this
15 situation. If the commander of the 9th VPS is 8 kilometres away from the
16 forward command post and 12 kilometres away from where the battalion
17 commander is, the one who's carrying out the attack, does this distance
18 constitute a problem, any kind of problem, for going to the forward
19 command post or the command post of the 3rd Battalion in that critical
21 A. Well, the distance itself in the case of a commander of a VPS
22 represents almost no distance at all, presuming, of course, he has the
23 necessary means of transportation. And of course, presuming that the
24 tactical situation allows him to move around the battle area.
25 Q. So if he can travel, if he does have a vehicle, then he should go
1 to the two mentioned places because such a distance is not a problem. Did
2 I understand you correctly? Is that right?
3 A. Yes, you understood me correctly. This should not have been a
4 problem. His problem was most probably in the simultaneous request for
5 him to appear in Belgrade at that same time, if that was known to him
6 then. I don't know.
7 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, if the commander of the 9th Military
8 Naval Sector was informed at 4.45 a.m. about the incident in the
9 3rd Battalion, that is to say, the killing of one soldier and the wounding
10 of three soldiers, and if at 6.50 a.m. on December 6th he was informed
11 about the attack, and if all the way up to 1400 hours, or rather 1415
12 hours, he does not have any information or confirmation that his order to
13 stop the attack had been carried out, what does he do then within that
14 time span, from 9.00 -- or rather, from 7.00 o'clock onwards? Did he --
15 was he supposed to go out and try to stop the attack himself?
16 I'm sorry. In the English interpretation of my question, it
17 says "within that time span." Of nine hours or seven hours, within these
18 nine or seven hours, was the commander supposed to go and try to stop the
19 attack himself personally? Is that time sufficient?
20 A. Yes, of course. Time to do so is more than ample, the fact that
21 he has already sent his officers from his command, including his deputy,
22 over there and that all this time he has not yet received a report of his
23 command being implemented, then it would be urgent for him to go there
24 because the presumption would be that all his officers are dead if they
25 hadn't reported back in so long a time.
1 Q. Tell me, please, in a situation when he was first informed about
2 the incident at 4.45 a.m. and then at 6.50 a.m. he is informed about the
3 attack of the 3rd Battalion, does he then at 4.15 [as interpreted], or
4 rather should he then at 1415 go to Belgrade to see the federal secretary?
5 1415 hours for the sake of the transcript.
6 Can he simply leave his area of responsibility and go to see the
7 federal secretary without having checked first whether the attack had
8 indeed been stopped?
9 A. That is highly unlikely that he wouldn't have checked. He should
10 have checked within minutes, or let's say within half an hour after
11 issuing an order to cease-fire. He should have already received a report
12 back whether that is the case or not. If he would not receive such a
13 report, then his personal visit to the battalion should have taken place
14 within the hour of issuing the order, not within six hours. But
15 certainly, in my opinion, he couldn't have travelled to his superior to
16 explain what happened without having checked the facts, without having
17 checked that the shelling had indeed stopped and without checking why it
18 even came to the shelling.
19 Q. Tell me, please, if the commander of the 9th Military Naval Sector
20 sent four high-ranking officers with the task of stopping the attack of
21 the 3rd Battalion, through -- if he has communication with them through
22 the forward command post and the communications centre about everything
23 that is going on, is it possible, then, that four colonels cannot stop one
24 captain who is out on an attack?
25 A. A highly unlikely situation. However, I have to note, I don't
1 have personal knowledge of this; namely, I don't know which subordinate
2 unit, who precisely, and how much ordinance, in fact, was used. Perhaps
3 this was wilfulness on the part of a level below the battalion commander,
4 and perhaps the battalion commander himself was unable to control his
6 Since I don't have this information, I cannot give you an answer.
7 But in any case, a battalion commander would have to be able to be stopped
8 by four higher superior officers, including a deputy superior commander.
9 I don't understand personally how this would be possible, that he could
10 not be stopped.
11 Q. General Zorc, let us eliminate this possibility, too, that the
12 subordinates of the battalion commander were the reason for the attack
13 that he took on his own initiative. If this wilful attack starts
14 precisely under the command and by the commander of the 3rd Battalion, and
15 four officers, including the Chief of Staff of the 9th Military Naval
16 Sector, are there where he is, as a high-ranking, experienced officer, do
17 you find this to be possible? Do you understand this situation, that four
18 colonels cannot stop the attack of a battalion that is led by a captain?
19 A. In such a case, the number of colonels with the battalion
20 commander does not matter. What matters is if the deputy VPS commander
21 was there, because the deputy VPS commander can issue an order on the part
22 of the VPS commander. And in this way, he himself can take over command
23 over the units subordinated to the battalion. That, of course, has to be
24 communicated officially. But it is within the remit of the deputy VPS
25 commander. That is most important. And my answer to you is no, I don't
1 understand how this was possible.
2 Q. If among these four colonels there is the Chief of Staff of the
3 command of the 9th Military Naval Sector and the assistant commander for
4 land forces who is otherwise in charge of that 3rd Battalion, in charge of
5 following that 3rd Battalion, is that, then, the situation you talked
6 about a few minutes ago, that they do have the authority to stop the
7 attack, to replace the commander?
8 A. The Chief of Staff that is at the same time a deputy commander,
9 that is certainly the case. He can take over command.
10 As for the deputy for the land forces, well, here I can't say at
11 this moment whether he can do so or not. But it depends on whether he had
12 the right to command over land forces. He could have had that or he could
13 not have had that.
14 And thirdly, the term -- I wouldn't use the term "to replace the
15 officer," but what the deputies can do is they can take over command.
16 That is the right term to be used here. And then the officer taking over
17 command is the one that issues the kinds of orders he wants to. The
18 first order of that kind would be, of course, to stop the shelling.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon.
21 Q. Tell me, please, everything I asked you about in relation to this
22 situation on the 6th of December involving various circumstances related
23 to a cease-fire agreed upon on the 5th of December verbally and the
24 signing of the cease agreement was supposed to take place on the 6th of
25 December. On the morning of the 6th of December, there is an unplanned
1 attack and conflict that was not ordered between the 3rd Battalion and the
2 472nd Brigade and the Croatian side. And in a time span from 4.45 a.m.
3 when the first information about the incident was received until 1415
4 hours on the same day, when the commander of the military naval sector
5 went to Belgrade to see the federal secretary, in such a situation, in
6 your opinion, according to the system of command and control, and
7 therefore having communications available, vehicles available, a
8 sufficient number of high-ranking officers, including the commander of the
9 9th VPS, was it realistic, or rather would it have been realistic for such
10 an impermissible attack to be stopped?
11 A. Within such a time frame, this would absolutely have to be
12 possible, and also implemented. Obviously certain other circumstances
13 arose which allowed for this not to happen, but I'm not familiar with
14 those other circumstances.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to
17 distribute a document, please.
18 Q. General Zorc, in your report and in the answers that you provided
19 so far, you spoke of the 2nd Operational Group as a formation of a
20 temporary nature with limited authority enjoyed by the commander, and also
21 you raised the fact that you did not see the order of the establishment of
22 the 2nd Operational Group and that, therefore, you could not speak of his
23 exact responsibilities and authority. And in this order, these
24 responsibilities and authorities should be specifically pointed out.
25 Also, you assumed on the basis of the documents you saw, that is
1 to say, of the 9th VPS and the 2nd Operational Group, that there was no
2 interference in the command of the units of the 2nd Operational Group;
3 that is to say, that the 2nd Operational Group had no outside interference
4 coming from other commands, if I understood you correctly. Was that your
6 A. Well, concerning the interference of other commands, I didn't
7 discuss that issue. But I would say there was no interference from other
9 Q. Very well. Can you now please look at this document, read it,
10 and -- to tell me what this document is about.
11 A. This is an order by the command of the 9th VPS dated 12 October
12 1991. This order concerns the ceasing of the blockade of the Port of
13 Dubrovnik. The order was addressed to the 16th Border Naval Detachment
14 and was also copied to the operational centre of the 2nd Operational
15 Group. The comma stated here between the operational centre and the
16 2nd OG is probably a mistake.
17 With this order, the signature of Admiral Jokic orders the 16th
18 Naval Border Detachment to, on 11 October 1991, as of 1800 hours, it
19 ceases the blockade of the Port of Dubrovnik.
20 The next two items state that the detachment need only --
21 Q. General, my apologies for interrupting you, we do not need to read
22 on now because the document has been distributed to everyone.
23 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, excuse me, I would just like to inquire
24 through the Chamber if this document has been exhibited previously and has
25 been put to Admiral Jokic and put into the case through Admiral Jokic. If
1 not, I would object to any use of such a document.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the document has not been
4 tendered so far as an exhibit. And it has not been shown to Admiral Jokic
5 during cross-examination.
6 However, what the Defence did do was to base some questions on
7 this document, both to Admiral Jokic and to other witnesses. Here is an
8 expert witness who is perfectly able to interpret the substance of this
9 document in relation to the position put forward by the Defence. Even
10 Admiral Jokic in his interview made direct reference to the substance of
11 this particular document. It was only later that the Defence team managed
12 to get our hands on this document. Otherwise, we certainly would have
13 shown it to Admiral Jokic had we had the document in our possession at the
15 JUDGE PARKER: Is it your proposition, Mr. Rodic, that you didn't
16 have this document when you were cross-examining Admiral Jokic?
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Precisely, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: And yet I understood you to say that you had put
19 some questions to him based on it.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, his interview contains
21 the same thing, and it is his interview that I am about to use where he
22 speaks about what precisely he ordered on the 11th for the blockade to be
23 lifted, of Dubrovnik. This is on page 86 of the B/C/S and on page 92 of
24 the English. I'll read it out to you now --
25 JUDGE PARKER: There's no need to do that.
1 How did you come to get the document when you did?
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, through our
3 investigators. The document was submitted to us later on. Had we had the
4 document at the time, certainly there would have been no reason for us not
5 to examine Admiral Jokic in relation to this document, since this is a
6 crucial matter. There would have been no reason for us not to put this
7 document before Admiral Jokic. We certainly would have done so had we had
8 the document at the time. There were questions that we asked to Admiral
9 Jokic as a witness in relation to this matter.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
11 MS. SOMERS: Respectfully, this document cannot go in. The issue
12 was not even put to Admiral Jokic during the course of his
13 cross-examination. And this aspect of putting the case has been, it
14 appears, deliberately left out with the element of trying to push in a
15 document after the witness is not here, which would be -- which the -- the
16 central issue of which could have been raised and explored very thoroughly
17 and it was not.
18 I think that this was a completely inappropriate attempt to
19 circumvent that rule which is fundamental for cross-examination and that
20 it is inappropriate to even consider the witness looking at this document,
21 let alone if there should be any further motions considering its tender.
22 JUDGE PARKER: At the moment --
23 MS. SOMERS: Please, Your Honour, it's under Rule 90(H), just for
24 the record. 90(H).
25 JUDGE PARKER: At the moment, I do not appreciate, Mr. Rodic, what
1 you claim to make of the document and what it is that you seek from the
2 witness about it, nor at the moment do I have a personal recollection of
3 whether this issue was put to Admiral Jokic without the document during
4 his evidence. I understand you to say it was, and Ms. Somers to say it
5 was not.
6 I would ask counsel to resolve that difference between them over
7 the break, which we will now take, because it is material to any ruling on
8 this matter. And it was either referred to or it wasn't. So instead of
9 just assertion one way and the opposite, could the matter be resolved, if
10 necessary by reference to the transcript. And when we return, or perhaps
11 now, Mr. Rodic, you might tell me what you see to be the materiality you
12 wish to get from this document.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the expert witness who
14 wrote his report focussing on the 2nd Operational Group, its temporary
15 nature, saying that it was a military formation of a temporary nature, the
16 Defence, may I remind you, asked questions of Admiral Jokic, even
17 tendering certain documents into evidence through the admiral, because in
18 the organisational chart he omitted some of the units that were in fact
19 under his command. So the Defence insisted that he name all units under
20 the 9th VPS.
21 Therefore, the military naval sector -- the military naval
22 district under whose original command the military naval sector was, did
23 it still have influence over the command exercised over the units of the
24 9th Military Naval Sector, although the 9th Military Naval Sector was
25 temporarily detached from its military naval district and attached and
1 resubordinated to the 2nd Operational Group at the time.
2 I will remind you, if I may, that Admiral Jokic himself spoke
3 about the enormous tasks he faced and the problems that he had in
4 organising the units of the Navy, moving them from Croatian territory and
5 receiving them in Montenegro, whereas the 2nd Operational Group had no
6 such task and no such objective. The military -- the 2nd Operational
7 Group was not involved in this task. And he didn't have that particular
9 Therefore, the question would be related to the relationship
10 between the military naval district and the military naval sector while
11 under the command of the 2nd Operational Group. And may I remind you, my
12 learned friend and colleague during examination-in-chief introduced a
13 document which was an order by the military naval district describing the
14 task of the 9th VPS in relation to the blockade of Dubrovnik and the main
15 road, the main coastal road. I'm talking about P199. The Exhibit Number
16 is P199. Therefore, the OTP also dealt with this particular matter.
17 JUDGE PARKER: It seems to me, with respect, to be a terribly long
18 way from your case about the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade on the 6th
19 of December to be concerned about effective control of a naval unit of
20 which we have heard nothing on the 12th of October, 1991.
21 With that thought, we will now adjourn. And I will look for the
22 answer to the difference between you when we resume.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Rodic.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 I still owe you an explanation from before the break. The
3 position of the Defence, as I have said before, is that the military naval
4 sector under the command of Vice Admiral Jokic contained a parallel
5 command, not only in relation to the 2nd Operational Group, but also to
6 the military naval district within whose original composition the
7 9th Military Naval Sector had been in much the same way as my learned
8 friend and colleague has shown documents that other witnesses may not have
9 seen. P199 is a similar document of that kind which was tendered through
10 this witness and shown here for the first time. In much the same way, the
11 Defence wishes to ask this witness about that and show him a document that
12 is material to the Defence case.
13 As for the testimony of Admiral Jokic, on cross-examination the
14 Defence asked questions about the relations between the 9th VPS and the
15 military naval district. Among other questions, there was one about the
16 sending of regular combat reports and other documents. Except for the 2nd
17 Operational Group, those reports were also being sent to the military
18 naval district.
19 Furthermore, there were questions about whether units of the 9th
20 VPS had carried out tasks assigned them by the military naval district
21 between the 1st of October and the 31st of December, 1991. So that's why
22 the Defence would like to examine the witness in relation to this document
23 as well as present our case.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, do you say that this document supports
25 the evidence of Admiral Jokic or contradicts him?
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the question is in
2 relation to which -- part of the testimony. Some parts confirm his
3 allegations, but some parts contradict his allegations.
4 For example, Admiral Jokic emphasised his obligations during the
5 evacuation of the remaining parts of the military naval district. He had
6 received instructions from the command of the military naval district, so
7 this document is in line with what he told us. This is an order by the
8 military naval district, and he referred to this very order.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 Ms. Somers.
11 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, first of all, there is a distinction
12 between P199. It was sought to be introduced simply because it was a
13 footnoted reference, and nothing more. So we ask the Chamber to take no
14 more note of it than for that purpose way.
15 Secondly, there is no way to authenticate this particular document
16 except through Admiral Jokic, who had spent some four or five days on
17 cross-examination. This issue -- and I apologise, we have in the time
18 allotted attempted to do as thorough as is permissible by time a search,
19 and our recollections are that this issue was not dealt with on
20 cross-examination. We will attempt, if it will assist, attempt to do more
21 searches but in a better time. But that the provisions of Rule 90(H)
22 require -- it is not permissive language, shall put to the witness the
23 case. And this was not put to the witness, with ample opportunity, in
24 the --
25 JUDGE PARKER: You're slipping there between a particular document
1 and the case. The two are not the same.
2 MS. SOMERS: The Chamber's inquiry as to whether or not the
3 evidence is contradictory to Admiral Jokic's testimony triggers the
4 requirement that the issue and the document be put to -- certainly the
5 issue be put to, and if there is a subsequent document, the only person
6 who can possibly address its authenticity, of course, is Admiral Jokic.
7 But the issue was passed by. And if it was of such significance,
8 it did not appear to have made its way into that limelight. It would be
9 highly prejudicial at this time to pursue this or allow it to be pursued.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Well, my difficulty with that proposition is my
11 difficulty seeing the force of this document to anything of real
12 significance in the case at the moment.
13 MS. SOMERS: I appreciate Your Honour's pronouncement, and I hear
14 Your Honour. At this point, it's the question really of he provisions of
15 90(H) and what is to be done so we at least preserve the argument. But we
16 believe the document should be given no effect, should not be pursued with
17 this witness, and it is inappropriate to go even further with it.
18 JUDGE PARKER: You would say that any document that comes to hand
19 after a particular moment in the trial cannot be used.
20 MS. SOMERS: Not necessarily. But it must be dealt with in the
21 correct manner, and if it requires a corrective means through an
22 appropriate witness, that's something else. But that is not what is being
23 done now. This is not the appropriate witness. And there's no foundation
24 for this document to even be put to him.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Your objection firstly is to authenticity. Beyond
1 authenticity, your concern is that the subject matter was not raised with
2 Admiral Jokic.
3 MS. SOMERS: The subject matter was not raised to the best of our
4 recollection, and that we do not really know when the document came into
5 the hands of the Defence.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Counsel has indicated that. You sound too much
7 like opposing counsel objecting to some of your actions earlier in the
8 trial, Ms. Somers.
9 MS. SOMERS: I understand, Your Honour. I must make the record
10 as -- Your Honour knows that. But I am very concerned that this should
11 be raised at this -- in this manner, and I think it truly is a 90(H)
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may address the
14 issue briefly in relation to this document.
15 My learned friend and colleague says that document P199 was used
16 in relation to a footnote from the original reports. And I'm able to
17 point out where this witness used it. The question was whether the 9th
18 VPS was directly subordinated to the 2nd Operational Group. That's
19 question C on page 17 of the B/C/S version of the report. And then
20 straight after, in answer to an OTP question, B, on -- D on page 18, this
21 document is again used in answer to the following question: "The VPS in
22 peacetime was subordinated to the command of the military naval district."
23 Was the VPS subordinated to the command of the military naval district
24 also between the 1st of October and the 31st of December, 1991,
25 particularly on the 6th of December 1991?
1 The circumstances were the same, the questions were the same by
2 the OTP. And that's why the Defence is now showing this document. Of
3 course, I will ask the witness to look at the elements contained therein
4 and to interpret them, whether it meets the requirements for being
5 admitted into evidence.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, are you able to put a date on the time
7 when this first came into the hands of Defence counsel?
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know the exact
9 date. It was certainly after Admiral Jokic's testimony. Following
10 Admiral Jokic's testimony, the Defence team has obtained other pieces of
11 evidence which certainly could be put to him, but will be put to other
12 witnesses that the Defence will call in our case.
13 The same applies to the time problem in relation to
14 cross-examination. We had a strict time limit. Therefore, we were not
15 able to put forward some of our evidence that we had planned. However,
16 that does not apply to this particular document.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic.
18 The difficulty with this document is twofold: The difficulty,
19 first, that its author is on the face of it Admiral Jokic, but it was not
20 put to him. And it is said to be a document which in part or which
21 contradicts in part his evidence on a particular issue. The explanation
22 for that omission is said to be the fact that for the first time the
23 document came into the hands of the Defence after the admiral had
24 completed his evidence. We are not told from where or why it was not in
25 their hands earlier.
1 The second level of difficulty is with the relevance of the
2 document. The proposition to which it is said to be relevant is the
3 degree of accountability in a formal military sense of the 9th Military
4 Naval District to the 9th Sector, at least in the period October to
5 December. Relevant to that is said to be this document dated the 12th of
6 October, which shows some relationship or accountability, it is submitted,
7 to that sector.
8 While that has some relevance, perhaps, to credit, and in the view
9 of the Defence, some relevance to their case, the force of this document
10 for that purpose is anything but clear. Without an explanation from the
11 author of the document on its face it is capable of more than one
12 understanding and interpretation.
13 Further, with respect to the view of the Defence, it is not
14 presently apparent that this issue can have any significant materiality to
15 the Defence case as it has been developed. As I understand the Defence
16 case, among other things, no naval units were involved on the 6th of
17 December, which is the material date; what may or may not have been
18 accountability of 9th VPS to the naval sector may be a very interesting
19 question, but it seems to have nothing to do with the shelling of
20 Dubrovnik on the 6th of December. And in those circumstances, I am not
21 persuaded that it would be appropriate to allow a relaxation of the normal
22 rules in respect of cross-examination.
23 So I'm afraid the answer, Mr. Rodic, is no.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may just have a
25 brief clarification, please. If you remember...
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE PARKER: ... pointed out to me that in something I said I
3 may have apparently given the impression that I put the sector as above
4 the district, rather than the other way around. That was unintended.
5 Now, Mr. Rodic, you were saying something.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is quite correct that
7 the document was signed by Admiral Jokic. If the established practice is
8 that Admiral Jokic should be the one to confirm the authenticity of this
9 document and that the document should be tendered into evidence through
10 him, I would like to remind you of the situation with a report dated the
11 9th of December, 1991 that was sent to Admiral Brovet. That was tendered
12 by the OTP as an exhibit, and it was assigned a number when the witness
13 Per Hvalkof was before the Chamber. There are many other such documents,
14 Your Honour. Does that mean that there is a difference of opinions on
15 that, too, and a difference of attitudes?
16 JUDGE PARKER: I sought in my comments to make clear that there
17 were two levels of difficulty. One of those was authenticity. That may
18 have been able to be cured by the witness here or some other witness
19 speaking on the apparent effect of the document. But I have not allowed
20 that issue to be pursued because of my concern about the relevance and
21 weight of the document to any issue that is really material in the case on
22 the other side. All right?
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence believes that
24 the question of relevance of this particular document is material to our
25 case and to our proposition, which is the proposition addressed by the
1 witness. In answer to questions by the OTP in his report, had he not
2 considered it material, probably he would not have dealt with it.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, deal with the issue if you haven't
4 already. I'm sure you'll be able to deal with it without this document.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Before we resume, may I please have instructions from the Chamber
7 to see what the Chamber feels about the duration of my cross-examination
8 of this particular witness. Does the Trial Chamber expect my
9 cross-examination to be completed today, if I may please have further
10 instructions on that.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Shall we say our prayers may have been in that
12 direction, Mr. Rodic. If you need to go over for a little time in the
13 morning, that will be possible.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE PARKER: A little time.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I'll comply with that. That's
18 Q. General Zorc, I will now read out to you from page 278 of the
19 B/C/S a portion of the interview by Admiral Jokic. That's page 305 in the
21 I will just read out a passage to you that is material to our line
22 of questioning. Admiral Jokic states: "So, I was near Dubrovnik
23 throughout, even with combat operations going on, my task, which was by no
24 means an easier one, but rather a more difficult task occasionally was to
25 evacuate the entire navy from as far as Slovenia to as far down as
1 Dubrovnik. No one gives me any credit for that, not the 2nd Operational
2 Group, not the General Staff, nor you right now as we speak," speaking to
3 the investigators. That's one thing.
4 And the other thing which I wish to show you is on page 86 of the
5 interview dated September 2003, page 92 in the English. Admiral Jokic
6 stating the following with determination: "On the 11th of October, I had
7 suspended the blockade of Dubrovnik."
8 General Zorc, in your report on page 17 of the B/C/S, the chapter
9 is in the special part of your report, "IV. Command and control,"
10 item (c), you provided the following answer to the following question:
11 Was the 9th VPS correctly subordinated to the 2nd Operational Group? And
12 on the following page, under (d), the question was: "In peacetime the
13 9th VPS was subordinated to the command of the VPO, military naval
14 district. Was the 9th VPS subordinated to the command of the VPO also
15 during the period of the 1st of October to the 31st of December, 1991, and
16 in particular on the 6th of December, 1991?"
17 What I have read out to you from the interview where Admiral Jokic
18 says that on the 11th of October he had ordered the lifting of the naval
19 blockade of Dubrovnik and that in the period under consideration, October,
20 November, and December 1991, he had carried out an enormous task
21 evacuating units of the VPO from as far up as Slovenia to as far down as
23 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. If counsel is going to read
24 from a document, read from a statement, then the complete context needs to
25 be provided to the Chamber.
1 What counsel has read was: "I had suspended the blockade of
2 Dubrovnik." And further down -- this is about Cavtat, et cetera,
3 et cetera. And you -- and were -- question, to Admiral Jokic: "And were
4 you criticised by the 2nd Operational Group for this sort of thing?"
5 Answer: "Yes. Well, they were not happy about it. They were critical of
6 my conduct."
7 This is -- it is a contextual answer, and it needs to be in
8 contextual framework.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can my learned friend and colleague
10 just point out the page to me, please.
11 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, it is -- I will address myself to the
12 Chamber, of course. It is the same page, page 92 of the English version,
13 92 at the bottom of the page. And it's the same thing and it carries over
14 to the next page.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I don't see that it has any relevance
16 to the nature of my question. "Were you criticised by people from the
17 2nd Operational Group over that?" Answer: "They weren't happy about it.
18 Yes, they were critical about my behaviour." If that's any help, then
19 yes, I agree to have that read out, too.
20 Q. But the substance of my question is, based on the reports, based
21 on these allegations, did the VPO exercise any influence or command over
22 the 9th VPS during that period of time also? Or was it the case that the
23 commander of the VPS carried out these tasks related to the evacuation and
24 to the blockade of Dubrovnik on his own and of his own accord?
25 A. The statements of Admiral Jokic about all the task assignments he
1 had carried out throughout this period, as well as the document which I
2 received to review concerning the lifting of the blockade of Dubrovnik
3 indicate that the command and control at the level of the 2nd VPO, the VPS
4 [as interpreted], was very complex. This situation was not in line with
5 the provisions and the doctrine.
6 As I have stated in my answers to a number of questions which were
7 posed theoretically, I emphasised, I stated that the system of command and
8 control in the Armed Forces of Yugoslavia is based on singleness of
9 command. Every unit and one commander -- and its commander will have only
10 one superior. The fact that the VPS had the role for receiving all of the
11 navy forces coming in, then it's not quoted anywhere, this task was only
12 carried out via -- on the basis of the directive of the VPO.
13 At the same time, this same sector had combat assignments of the
14 2nd Operational Group, as a part of the 2nd Operational Group. And I
15 think that this role, this assignment, was a priority role they had. When
16 combat assignments were carried out with all the incidents -- related
17 incidents, I don't think they should have been involved also in other
18 tasks. Therefore, certain activities connected with VPO as well as he was
19 also working and informing the highest echelons in the armed forces, and
20 he also had to command his unit. And I'd say that this was not in line
21 with the command and control that we had in the Armed Forces of
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may in relation
24 to the transcript, page 63, line 7, what the witness said was that there
25 existed a very complex relationship in terms of control -- command and
1 control between the VPO and the VPS, which the transcript does not reflect
2 in detail. That much is obvious.
3 Same page, 63, lines 22 and 23, also describing the complex nature
4 of the relationship between the VPO and the VPS, as far as I was able to
5 understand the witness in the Slovene language, he said that the VPS also
6 had a role as negotiator on behalf of the Supreme Command of the armed
7 forces. Could we please have the witness confirm these two propositions
8 in case I am right.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In fact, I've emphasised three
10 of the assignments which he had to carry out at the same time.
11 Q. General Zorc, I am going to read something out to you. Page 33,
12 actually, of the interview of Admiral Jokic from September 2003. That is
13 page 35 in the English version.
14 The question of the investigator is: "Yes, you said that Strugar
15 more or less said you should be the host and you should welcome these
16 people. Therefore, it was actually supposed to be Strugar who was to be
17 their host. That is the question of the investigator.
18 And then Admiral Jokic's answer: "No, no, no. I'm saying that in
19 my view, because he is the commander. However, a telegram came from the
20 General Staff, and I think it was sent to me. Now, whether Strugar
21 proposed this is something that I don't know."
22 Question: "I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand what you were
24 Answer: "Well, I'm saying that this telegram was that I should
25 meet the ambassadors and carry out this task. And this telegram came from
1 the General Staff."
2 Is that one of these levels that you referred to a short while
3 ago, the military naval district, the 2nd Operational Group, and the
4 General Staff, that they directly communicate with the 9th VPS?
5 A. Yes, precisely. This is one of the lines up to the VPS.
6 Q. Thank you. I would now like to ask for D52, Defence Exhibit D52.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could it please be shown to the
9 Q. General Zorc, have you had the opportunity of seeing this document
10 before when you wrote your report?
11 A. No. However, I was informed concerning the 11 requests that were
12 made to the defence and post to the defence of Dubrovnik. But I didn't
13 consider this relevant concerning the questions that were submitted to me.
14 Q. I agree. What I'm interested in is the introductory part of this
15 document. It is sent to the operations centre of the General Staff of the
16 Armed Forces of the SFRY on the 25th of October, 1991 by the command of
17 the 2nd Operational Group. Is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the text says: "In agreement with the head of the First
20 Administration, General Simonovic, the text of the proposal was drafted,
21 and it was given to the European Mission and the representatives of the
22 town of Dubrovnik providing them with a deadline until 2000 hours on the
23 27th of October." Is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, does this introduction state that the General Staff was
1 involved in questions related to the negotiations, or rather, the
2 conditions that are set forth here by the JNA as proposals to normalise
3 life in Dubrovnik?
4 A. Yes. Yes. And in two ways: First, this list of proposals has
5 been drafted in agreement with the chief of the First Administration.
6 Once it was drafted, it was sent to the chief of the operational centre so
7 that the General Staff received in writing the list of these 11 requests.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 Tell me, please, the MPV organ, that is to say, the organ for
10 moral and political guidance and legal affairs -- I'm sorry. My mind just
11 stopped. The assistant commander for moral guidance and legal affairs.
12 You were asked about this particular organ and the function of this organ
13 within the command. Is it used for propaganda purposes as well? Could
14 you please give us a brief explanation what the function and the tasks of
15 the organ for moral guidance and legal affairs is.
16 A. Yes. The organ for moral guidance and legal affairs is an organ
17 which is to be found within the command of a unit. The head of this organ
18 is directly subordinate to the commander of the unit. The main area of
19 activity for this organ concerns the following, the following activities:
20 First, moral guidance, named moral and political guidance of soldiers, of
21 young soldiers, coming as conscripts. Secondly, the second area is, or it
22 was, ideological and political education of officers and non-commissioned
23 officers; that is, the permanent officers. It means professionals of the
25 Next, the competence of this body was also the political and
1 social -- dissemination of political and social information in the unit
2 concerning topical events in the country and abroad.
3 Fourth, in the competence of this body was also -- were all
4 activities concerning cultural events and entertainment for the units.
5 Next, the competence of this body was also -- was -- were all the
6 activities concerning the information to media, concerning activities of
7 the armed forces or of that unit, name, in short, PR activities.
8 Next, in the competence of this body was also the analysis of
9 combat morale of the units, in the units under this command. And the
10 measures to be taken in order to ensure the highest possible level of
11 combat morale.
12 And finally, in war, the competence of this body involved
13 psychological and propaganda activity and directed to the units of the
14 other side. And I believe that with that, we've covered all the
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown P54,
19 Q. General Zorc, in this document dated the 6th of November, 1991,
20 the assistant commander for moral guidance and legal affairs says in the
21 heading of this document "information about activities and the state of
22 morale in units."
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Does this pertain to their own units?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In such information about the activities and state of morale in
2 the units, is there any propaganda effect that is attempted to be achieved
3 vis-a-vis one's own personnel? If you could look at the content, could
4 you see information that is relevant to the activities of one's own units
5 and the state of morale in these units?
6 A. Well, in fact, information concerning the situation in the units
7 should be precise and truthful. It should be information ascertained
8 through quality analysis, ascertained also through high quality and
9 precise reports from subordinate units on their state. The purpose of
10 such information is to inform all units about the broader atmosphere
11 within all the units of a military maritime or naval sector.
12 However, what we have here are very subtle elements, subtle
13 elements of information. The manner of expression, various
14 quali-effective [as interpreted] adjectives cannot only be used to inform
15 the corps of their state and status in their position, but you can also
16 use this to inform about their position on these issues. And that is why,
17 in a combat situation, any activity of this nature is called informing of
18 domestic and international public as well as of one's own units.
19 Q. General Zorc, in this specific document, for example, if it is
20 said when the enemy units operated, how many shells fell on JNA positions,
21 whether the JNA positions returned fire, whether there were any
22 casualties, whether there were any soldiers who were wounded or killed,
23 the assistant commander for moral guidance and legal affairs, does he get
24 such information from his command? That is to say, from the reports that
25 arrive from subordinate units which are processed there and collected
2 A. Yes. This is the result of the collection of information by the
3 operational centre of the command, which is then given to the commanders
4 and all the units. And every head of sector then carries out his own
5 competences [as interpreted] on that basis.
6 Q. Tell me, in any case, in the interest of the units -- under their
7 command, or rather, would it be in the interest of the units under their
8 command to give a negative propaganda twist to the facts that I referred
9 to just now, that is to say, the enemy operations, the casualties
10 sustained by one's own units, the soldiers wounded and killed, et cetera?
11 A. In principle, that would not be good. It would even be
12 counterproductive because every unit knows at least for itself what the
13 situation is.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could we briefly just deal with
16 another matter. Could the witness be shown P160, the map that is
17 Prosecution Exhibit P160.
18 Could the map please be placed on the ELMO so that we can all see
20 Q. General Zorc, attached to your report, inter alia, is your CV. Is
21 it correct that in 1974, 1975 you graduated from the Staff College of the
22 Yugoslav Army in anti-aircraft defence?
23 A. Yes, that is the case.
24 Q. During your many years of service, and as a high-ranking officer,
25 I'm sure that you're familiar with working maps that commands keep for
1 their own units.
2 A. Yes, of course. They applied the system of the JNA.
3 Q. Tell me, please, could you please take a look at this map and look
4 to the right of the Old Town. Please look at the map itself. I'm sure
5 you'll find it clearer.
6 A. To the right of the Old Town.
7 Q. First of all, can you see the Old Town there?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could the map please be lifted now so that we can all see that
10 section. That's right, please leave it there and don't move it from
12 A. Fine, thank you.
13 Q. Could you please take the pointer. You have one there, on the
14 table. To the right of the Old Town, can you see along the coastline a
15 marking for anti-aircraft weapons?
16 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, objection. The thrust of the report was
17 on command and control, and this is not part of the expertise that was
18 sought. The fact that a person has a background in something does not
19 mean that it is the subject of a particular expert report, and this is
20 simply not the area that we have asked General Zorc to inquire into. I
21 can see no basis for proceeding into an area that is beyond the remit of
22 the expertise.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers, cross-examination may properly explore
24 with the witness the case of the other party if the witness can advance
25 that. That's the third limb of the rule.
1 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Am I not right?
3 MS. SOMERS: It can be. I think this, perhaps, is a stretch.
4 JUDGE PARKER: We'll see.
5 Carry on, Mr. Rodic.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness was shown
7 maps, so -- I beg your pardon.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Don't put more submissions. I might change my
9 mind, Mr. Rodic. Carry on.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I'll hurry up.
11 Q. Mr. Zorc, could you please use the pointer to show the symbol for
12 anti-aircraft defence if you can see one on the coast to the right of the
13 Old Town of Dubrovnik.
14 A. I'm pointing to a weapon like that just now.
15 Q. The pointer is in the sea on my monitor. Can you be a bit more
16 precise in terms of the weapon itself.
17 Fine. Now, is that the symbol for an anti-aircraft weapon?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. To the left of that position, can you see another symbol for
20 anti-aircraft weapons?
21 A. On the border with Stari Grad. I can see it. Well, it is
22 similar, yes. Yes.
23 Q. Could you please tell me, while you were in the JNA, were you in a
24 position to have such working maps for your own units?
25 A. Not personally.
1 Q. Are you familiar with the instructions related to working maps in
2 the armed forces?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Tell me, according to instructions, according to these
5 instructions, as far as the inclusion of information into working map goes
6 [as interpreted], does it have to be completely corresponding to the form
7 of the symbol and also to the scale of the map and also the level of
9 A. Yes. In principle, yes.
10 Q. Tell me, as regards point 79 of the instructions for keeping a
11 working map, the centre of a tactical mark on a working map, is it
12 supposed to correspond to the actual place where an appropriate element is
13 in the field, in the area concerned?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Tell me, the centre of the tactical mark on a working map which
16 denotes a combat weapon or an element of the combat order and which has a
17 particular geometrical form, must it correspond to the actual place, the
18 exact place where the weapon concerned is, or rather the exact place of
19 deployment of the combat order in the area?
20 A. Yes. That is why a working map is actually kept.
21 Q. In these marks, in these symbols that depict anti-aircraft
22 weapons, does that mean that the centre of this tactical mark that is
23 shown on the map shows the place and position of the weapon concerned in
24 accordance with the instruction?
25 A. In principle, that has to correspond to the precise position. But
1 of course, it depends very much on what you asked me earlier; namely, in
2 what sort of situation the map is, what sort of a scale the map is drawn
3 in, and in what scale the symbols are drawn in. Here in this case, the
4 symbols for the cannons are way overdimensioned, very much
5 overdimensioned. Oversized.
6 Q. All right. What I'm interested in is the following: So according
7 to the instructions on drawing and keeping working maps, is it correct
8 that the centre of a tactical mark on a working map is supposed to
9 represent the combat weapon and its position?
10 A. Yes. It should precisely denote the position.
11 Q. Have you ever heard of any rule that only in the case of
12 anti-aircraft weapons the top of the arrow depicts the position of that
14 A. No. I never heard of this, that only the top of the arrow would
15 denote the position. The question is, of course, what sort of rules were
16 applied by those who were working on these maps.
17 Q. Thank you, General.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] The map is no longer required. It can
19 be put away. Thank you.
20 Your Honour, bearing in mind the time that you have allotted me,
21 if it would be right to adjourn now, then I would very briefly conclude my
22 cross-examination tomorrow in accordance with your instructions.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, Mr. Rodic. We will adjourn now and
24 resume at 2.15 tomorrow.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of May,
3 2004, at 2.15 p.m.