1 Tuesday, 29 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Good morning, Mr. Novakovic. May I
7 remind you of the affirmation you took yesterday, which still applies.
8 Mr. Rodic.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before we begin, my
10 learned colleague of the Prosecution came to see me, and she said she had
11 one more question.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 Ms. Mahindaratne.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Your Honour. That's not necessary any
15 more. Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic.
17 Re-examined by Mr. Novakovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Novakovic.
19 A. Good morning.
20 WITNESS: SLOBODAN NOVAKOVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, we are not receiving any
24 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English now? Can you hear the
25 English channel?
1 JUDGE PARKER: Now yes. Not at the beginning. Thank you.
2 Carry on, Mr. Rodic.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Novakovic, during yesterday's examination, you mentioned the
5 military naval sector of Kumbor. Do you know the exact name and title of
6 that military naval sector?
7 A. Yesterday I realised that there was a 9, the figure 9, so it was
8 the 9th Military Naval Sector. I didn't know that until yesterday. We
9 called it the Military Naval Sector of Boka, quite simply.
10 Q. Tell me, please: Now, linked to the military naval sector, can
11 you tell us what there is at Kumbor, linked to the military naval sector?
12 A. It's the navy, naval unit.
13 Q. And do you know where the command of the military naval sector is
15 A. The command is located at Kumbor, and there was another command in
16 Zelenika, just in front of the tunnel. Now who was where, I'm not quite
17 sure, but in Kumbor and in Zelenika. That was where the two command
18 headquarters of the navy were located.
19 Q. Tell me now, please: Do you know of any other command post of the
20 military naval sector?
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, I object to this line of
22 questioning. These matters didn't arise in cross-examination.
23 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry to not be able to agree to you,
24 Ms. Mahindaratne. You were asking questions about the radio communication
25 network of this body, and I think it fairly arises.
1 Carry on, Mr. Rodic.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Novakovic, on the territory of the broader region around
4 Dubrovnik, did you hear of the existence of any other command post for the
6 A. Later on, as the front drew closer to Dubrovnik, there was one in
7 Kupari, a command post at Kupari, at one point.
8 Q. Tell me, please: You mentioned yesterday during your testimony
9 that on the 6th of December you started out from Herceg-Novi and that you
10 took the road from Brgat to Zarkovica to Bosanka in order to arrive at
11 Bosanka. Now, was that the usual, customary route that you would take to
12 reach Bosanka?
13 A. Yes, that is the usual, shortest route.
14 Q. The soldier Marko Komarica, can you tell me which unit he belonged
15 to? Who was his commander?
16 A. He was a soldier of the 3rd Battalion, and his commander was
17 Vladimir Kovacevic, nicknamed Rambo.
18 Q. Thank you. That will do. Tell me, please: In that unit, the one
19 that Marko Komarica was a regular soldier in, you, when you came to
20 Bosanka, saw other soldiers as well, did you not, from that unit, the one
21 belonging to -- the one that Marko Komarica belonged to? And you said, I
22 believe, that there were a lot of soldiers from Herzegovina in that unit.
23 Do you know which places they actually came from?
24 A. There was people -- there were people from Trebinje, Bileca, and
1 Q. Are they inhabitants of that town, of those towns who were
2 mobilised and belonged to this 3rd Battalion that Marko Komarica served
4 A. Most probably, but I never investigated matters of that kind. I
5 didn't give it much thought, actually.
6 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, tell me: The people from the
7 territory of Trebinje, Gacko, Bileca and so on, those soldiers who were
8 from those parts, can you give one name to them? Do they come under one
10 A. I called them the men from Herzegovina, Herzegovci by virtue of
11 the territory they were from.
12 Q. So in the 3rd Battalion, there were quite a lot of soldiers from
13 Herzegovina. Would that be right?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. You said yesterday that they were Strugar's men, if I heard you
16 correctly. That was the term you used when asked by my learned colleague.
17 Can you tell me how you deduced that? How do you link those soldiers,
18 those men were Herzegovina who were in the 3rd Battalion to General
19 Strugar? How did you come to make that connection?
20 A. Well, that unit, the 3rd Battalion, came under the composition of
21 the units commanded by General Strugar, but those units were, I would say,
22 on our terrain. And as I saw that frigate captain Jovo Drljan was
23 communicating with those units I heard a conversation with Admiral Zec and
24 Captain Vladimir Kovacevic, nicknamed Rambo, I wasn't quite sure whether
25 they were up there or down here. So I came to realise later, or rather, I
1 came to realise that they were members of the 3rd Battalion, in fact
2 belonging to the 2nd Army under the command of General Strugar, in actual
4 Q. Now, do you know the exact name of that establishment, of the
5 military Superior Command, both the Superior Command to your unit and the
6 9th VPS and that 3rd Battalion, whose commander was Vladimir Kovacevic?
7 Do you know the exact name of the topmost, highest command?
8 A. The highest command was the 2nd Army.
9 Q. Was that its name exactly?
10 A. Well, as I've said, I'm an ordinary soldier. I can be wrong on
11 some of the names and titles. I wasn't interested in details like that.
12 And like yesterday, November 8th, 9th, 10th, I can tell you all the
13 details and specifics about those days because I lived through them, I
14 experienced them. But I can't speak as precisely about these other
15 matters because I wasn't interested.
16 Q. Very well. Now, you mentioned that on the 5th, that is to say,
17 talking to Komarica, I think you mentioned, connected to the 5th of
18 December, frigate captain Zec, whom you said was up at the positions of
19 the 3rd Battalion on the 6th of December, you saw frigate Captain Jovo
20 Drljan, I believe, at the positions of the 3rd Battalion, and on the 7th
21 of December, you said that you heard the voice of warship Captain Zec at
22 the command post of the 3rd Battalion at Brgat.
23 A. Yes. All of that is correct.
24 Q. Warship Captain Zec and frigate Captain Jovo Drljan, those two
25 men, what command did they belong to?
1 A. They belonged to the military naval sector, the 9th one as it is
2 professionally called, and it belonged to Kumbor and Boka.
3 Q. How come you know that your unit of the Territorial Defence within
4 the composition of the 9th -- was within the composition of the 9th
5 Military Naval Sector? How do you know that?
6 A. Well, I know that because my TO commander Ilija Martinovic would
7 always go to meetings with the warship Captain Djurovic and later on
8 Admiral Jokic.
9 Q. Do you know of any other unit within the composition of the 9th
11 A. Well, just like the TO of Herceg-Novi, the one I mentioned a
12 moment ago, there was the TO of Kotor, the TO of Budva, the TO of Bar. So
13 that I considered that all these from Montenegro were connected and linked
14 to that 9th Military Naval Sector, Kumbor, whereas the others were linked
15 to Trebinje, Rambo's 3rd Battalion, as it was called.
16 Q. So you thought that the 3rd Battalion, commanded by Vladimir
17 Kovacevic, was linked to Trebinje. Now, did you think that because within
18 the composition of that battalion, did you think along those lines because
19 you saw that the men in those battalions were mostly from Herzegovina,
20 there were a lot of soldiers from Trebinje, Gacko, and Bileca; is that
22 A. Yes. That was the only reason.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Mahindaratne.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I was about to object because the learned
1 counsel was leading the witness.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. You've done it now, Mr. Rodic. Move on
3 and don't keep doing it, I think is the message.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, indeed.
5 Q. Yesterday, Mr. Novakovic, Colonel Jovanovic was mentioned, with
6 the nickname Kurd, and you said that you had personal contacts, that is to
7 say, that you saw the man, not to say close up, but anyway you saw him?
8 A. Yes. I knew him personally.
9 Q. Tell me, please: Where was the colonel from?
10 A. He was not from Kumbor. He came from some other unit, but I don't
11 know which.
12 Q. Do you know whether it was from Montenegro or from Serbia where he
13 came from?
14 A. Well, somebody said I think that he had come from Serbia, but
15 somebody else said, no, he's from Podgorica. So most probably he was in
16 fact from Podgorica.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, I did not cross-examine the
18 witness on Colonel Jovanovic at all yesterday.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I don't remember any such cross-examination. Do
20 you, Mr. Rodic?
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my learned colleague
22 asked a number of questions mentioning Colonel Jovanovic, nicknamed Kurd,
23 with that nickname, so perhaps that might remind us that we did in fact
24 mention him yesterday.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, I didn't, Your Honour, and I say that with
1 a sense of responsibility.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I remember the name from yesterday, Mr. Rodic, but
3 not in the course of cross-examination. I can't pretend to have a full
4 recollection of that matter, though.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do believe that during
6 my examination-in-chief, and then later, when my colleague asked a
7 question from the Prosecution with respect to the pulling out of the
8 killed and wounded at Bosanka and how they came to be killed and wounded,
9 that that colonel, Colonel Jovanovic, nicknamed Kurd, took them on that
10 assignment. If that can be of assistance.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Well, at the moment, Mr. Rodic, I don't see that
12 the line of re-examination that you're following is justified by the
13 cross-examination. Thank you.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, then I'm finished with
15 my ...
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Mr. Novakovic, thank you very much for your coming to assist us
19 here and for the evidence you've given. The course of your evidence is
20 now completed, so that you are free to return to your home. Thank you
21 very much. You may leave the Court.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Your next witness, Mr. Petrovic?
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence would like
25 to call witness Milan Pavicic to testify.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Would the court officer please -- thank
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, Mr. Pavicic. Would you please take
5 the card and read the affirmation.
6 WITNESS: MILAN PAVICIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
11 Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Examined by Mr. Petrovic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Pavicic?
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. First could you please tell us your full name?
17 A. I am Milan Pavicic.
18 Q. Mr. Pavicic, could you please tell us where you live.
19 A. I live in Bileca, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
20 Q. What is your ethnicity?
21 A. I am a Croat.
22 Q. Could you please tell us which schools you completed.
23 A. I completed the elementary school in Dubrovnik in 1975. After
24 that, I completed the military high school in Belgrade in 1979. And in
25 1983, I completed the military academy in Belgrade, the land forces
1 infantry department.
2 Q. Could you please tell us where you work now?
3 A. At the moment, I'm working in Bileca, in the Army of
4 Republika Srpska, and I am the deputy commander of the school for
5 non-commissioned officers.
6 Q. Where did you work when you completed the military academy up to
8 A. I worked in Bileca.
9 Q. Also in the school of reserve officers.
10 Q. At some point were you transferred?
11 A. I was transferred from Bileca to the Trebinje garrison, to the
12 472nd Motorised Brigade, on the 15th of September, 1991.
13 Q. Could you please tell us why you were transferred, if you know.
14 A. Yes, I do. Already in 1991, the reserve officers school was
15 reorganised. Its numbers were reduced because of the events that were
16 happening in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. So there was a need
17 for a number of the officers by the new establishment who were a surplus
18 to be transferred. We were given the opportunity to choose between
19 Sarajevo, Mostar, or Trebinje. I decided for the -- to go to the Trebinje
20 garrison because it was close to the place where I was already working.
21 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us: In your personal file, as
22 far as the order of appointment, what does it state for that period?
23 A. The order of the 15th of September states: Order of the commander
24 of the navy. I am being assigned as a commander of a mortar company in
25 the 472nd Motorised Battalion in the military naval department or sector.
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not get the number of the
2 military post.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Could you please repeat once again, since it is not in the
5 transcript, everything that you said.
6 A. Yes. This is an order of the commander of the navy. He wrote the
7 order. In it, it states that I was assigned as commander of a mortar unit
8 in the 1st Motorised Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade of the
9 9th Military Naval Sector or the Military Naval District.
10 Q. Let us clarify, because unfortunately the transcript again is not
11 correct. But please, could you please more slowly and then you can tell
12 me whether I understood you properly. So the 1st Motorised Battalion of
13 the 472nd Brigade, which is part of the 9th Military Naval District, part
14 of the military naval sector, the VPO.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could you please tell us whether -- until what period it says in
17 your personal files you served in the 472nd Motorised Brigade.
18 A. The order of the 15th of September, 1991 was enforced up until the
19 time I left this area, to the command of the 2nd Army on the 8th of June,
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for asking
22 this question several times, but unfortunately in the transcript we don't
23 see the gist of our question. I don't know the reason. The answer is not
24 being recorded.
25 Q. So what I'm asking and what the witness has said several times in
1 B/C/S is that he was deployed to the 1st Battalion of the 472nd Brigade,
2 which was part of the 9th VPS, which is part of the naval military
4 So is it correct what I have just told you, Mr. Pavicic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Your battalion, your brigade, in the same composition, was that
7 situation unchanged until 1992?
8 A. Yes. Excuse me. As far as the battalion and the brigade, it's
9 true. However, in the meantime, the brigade was practically taken out of
10 the composition of the 9th Military Naval Sector and came under the
11 command of the 2nd Corps. To be more precise.
12 Q. Yes. We will talk about that. What I am interested in is the
13 following: You personally, as an officer, from September 15th until 1992,
14 until June 1992, were you personally part of the 9th Military Naval Sector
15 or the naval military district?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you please tell us to which duties were you transferred to
18 in the 1st Battalion of the 472nd Brigade?
19 A. I was transferred as commander of a mortar company, 120-millimetre
20 mortar company.
21 Q. Could you please tell us what kind of a unit was the 1st Battalion
22 of the 472nd Brigade?
23 A. I apologise. Could you please tell me what you mean, what kind of
24 a unit, when you say that question.
25 Q. Is it a unit that was permanently staffed or was it a so-called R
2 A. I understand. First of all, each unit and even brigade had a live
3 unit which had a permanent composition. The 1st Battalion, however,
4 had -- it was an R unit, a reserve composition, and it only had the organs
5 of command, or part of the officers for command for development, who were
6 there to man the unit based on mobilisation plans and so on. Specifically,
7 the 1st Battalion was completely mobilised. It was formed anew.
8 Q. Could you please tell us: In the usual course of things, how was
9 this unit that we're talking about manned?
10 A. This unit, and all other R composition units, based on
11 mobilisation plans which were prepared in advance, would be manned by
12 conscripts from the reserves, depending on where the unit was located,
13 specifically, the 1st Battalion of the 472nd Brigade should have been
14 staffed from the Dubrovnik-Trebinje locations and perhaps some other
15 places in the close vicinity. In view of certain circumstances, this
16 could not happen as it was supposed to.
17 Q. Once you arrived at the brigade, or the 1st Battalion, were there
18 any problems to staff your specific unit in accordance with the
19 mobilisation plans?
20 A. Yes. There were many problems, in view of the fact that there was
21 only some officers for the development of the unit, and this number was
22 not what it should have been in order to mobilise a battalion. So besides
23 those officers, there weren't enough conscripts either within certain
24 units, within the battalion, the units were not manned adequately up to
25 the percentage that was required in order to implement any tasks. So
1 these are the problems in brief.
2 If we keep in mind that besides this specific problem, we also had
3 problems with the logistic support and all the other problems that came
4 with that, then you will see for yourself that there were very many
5 problems while implementing the mobilisation of the unit.
6 Q. What happened? Why was your battalion not mobilised from the
7 composition of those people who had their combat assignments as part of
8 the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
9 A. What I found out as soon as I arrived there, since we were in the
10 process of forming the unit, some conscripts were either from Dubrovnik or
11 Trebinje or were of other ethnic groups, which was a sensitive issue when
12 we were talking about the manning of this and other units. A lot of
13 people did not respond to the mobilisation call. This applied to this
14 unit as well. So what I knew was that the percentage in those initial
15 days, the way we calculate that, how much time is required to mobilise a
16 certain unit, this figure came to 60 per cent.
17 Q. Since the unit could not be fully manned by reserves who had their
18 wartime assignments in that unit, how did you staff those units? Which
19 personnel did you use?
20 A. At the time, this battalion was filled with active soldiers, young
21 soldiers, who were serving their regular military duty, and they came from
22 other places. So because there were so many of them, I could not tell you
23 which were the places that they came from, but they were in the process --
24 or they were undergoing training at the time.
25 Q. Could you please tell us: How did the fact that a large number of
1 officers were -- new officers were arriving who were never in that unit,
2 how did that fact reflect on the work and the readiness of that unit?
3 A. Since the majority of the units that were being mobilised had
4 people who knew each other, and we're talking about soldiers, this
5 happened to be a unit where the majority of officers and soldiers, both
6 active and reserve ones, simply didn't know one another, the people didn't
7 know each other, the officers didn't know each other. So all the problems
8 stemmed from that fact and led to a number of problems in terms of
9 organising the life, the work, preparation for the implementation of
10 certain tasks. So there were a lot of problems, and it took some time for
11 the unit to begin to function.
12 Q. Could you please tell us: How much time passed from the time that
13 you came to the unit before this unit actually was deployed to its
15 A. The unit was set up on the 15th, as soon as I arrived in Trebinje,
16 and already by the 19th we had taken up our firing positions. We had
17 taken up the positions that we were ordered to do that.
18 Q. When you say the 15th and the 19th, which month are you thinking
20 A. I'm thinking of September. September 15th and September 19th.
21 Q. Could you please speak more slowly and could we pause between my
22 question and your answer so that everything that we are saying can be
23 recorded in the transcript. Thank you.
24 Tell me: Were there any problems in respect of having the units
25 act in concert, units that were in different positions?
1 A. Yes, there were. Specifically, first of all, at first, we did not
2 know which units were on the left and which units were on the right. So
3 the organisation of action in concert was not done according to the rules.
4 And also, within the unit, due to the above-mentioned problems, there were
5 additional difficulties in terms of coordination, action in concert,
6 et cetera, and this particularly came to the fore later.
7 Q. Do you know who was commander of the 472nd Motorised Brigade until
9 A. Yes, I do know. Until the 19th of September, it was Lieutenant
10 Colonel Nojko Marinovic.
11 Q. What happened with Mr. Marinovic?
12 A. On the 19th of September, Nojko Marinovic went to Dubrovnik.
13 Q. When you say "went to Dubrovnik," what does that mean?
14 A. Quite simply, he expressed the wish not to belong to the JNA any
15 longer. Part of his officers and soldiers packed his belongings and
16 without any problems whatsoever, he went to Dubrovnik. They said goodbye.
17 That was it.
18 Q. This fact that the commander left the unit, how did it affect the
19 personnel of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
20 A. It affected them very badly. The very knowledge that the
21 commander left the unit, regardless of the fact that he left under normal
22 conditions, if we can put it that way, nevertheless had a negative affect
23 on the general feeling amongst the officers and soldiers. It was believed
24 that since he had left, he would tell the other side everything about the
25 brigade, the firing positions of the artillery pieces, the deployment,
1 everything that had to do with the brigade. So at any rate, it had a very
2 negative effect.
3 Q. Can you tell us, please, if you know, within which bigger
4 formation in the period from September until December 1991 the 472nd
5 Brigade was, and were there any changes? If you remember.
6 A. As far as I know, the brigade was, in terms of establishment,
7 until I came there, was within the 9th Military Naval Sector. So that is
8 that part. Later on, it became part of the 2nd Operational Group.
9 Q. Later on, were there any other changes?
10 A. Yes, there were, later. Since it was within the composition of
11 the 9th Military Naval District before, it was returned to its composition
12 yet again. I can't remember exactly when, but it was the end of October,
13 or rather, already by the end of November, it became part of the
14 2nd Corps. Now, was this the end of November? I think so. I think it
15 was the end of November.
16 Q. Do you know what unit the 472nd Motorised Brigade originally
17 belonged to?
18 A. When you say "originally," what period are you referring to?
19 Q. I'm referring to its original establishment throughout the period
20 that we are discussing here, excluding the period before the
21 re-subordination of the unit.
22 A. It was originally within the 9th Military Naval Sector.
23 Q. You told us a few minutes ago --
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Your Honour, please.
25 Q. Can we clarify one particular matter. Original unit, the original
1 unit that this unit belonged to is the 9th Military Naval Sector, and from
2 the 9th Military Naval Sector, the unit was temporarily re-subordinated
3 and attached elsewhere. Is that what you're saying?
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: This is leading.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. That clearly was the case, Mr. Petrovic.
6 Would you move on. Thank you.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the transcript - I
8 don't know why - but the transcript is not reflecting what the witness is
9 saying. We are going to ask for the tape.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Would you ask the witness to repeat his evidence
11 rather than you giving it. Thank you.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Pavicic, the original unit, what is the original unit that the
14 472nd Motorised Brigade belonged to?
15 A. The 472nd Motorised Brigade belonged to the 9th Military Naval
16 Sector. But let me clarify straight away what I know. It was always
17 within that composition, until it became part of the 2nd Operational
18 Group. So this was September or October. I think it was by the end of
19 October. After that, it was returned yet again to its original
20 establishment, that is to say, the 9th Military Naval Sector. So this is
21 approximately the end of November, and then it became part of the
22 2nd Corps. So several times it went outside its original establishment.
23 First it was within the 9th VPS, then the operational group, then the
24 9th VPS again, and then the 2nd Corps.
25 Q. Tell me: What positions did your unit take on this 19th of
1 September of 1991?
2 A. Specifically, the unit that I commanded, that is to say, the 1st
3 Mortar Company, was within the area of Zaplanik. That's where its
4 positions were. And the other units of the 1st Battalion took up the
5 facilities along the border with Croatia. The objective was to stop
6 possible attacks from the Croatian side within the area of responsibility
7 of the battalion.
8 Q. Can you tell us the toponyms where your battalion was deployed?
9 What are the names of those places?
10 A. Golubov Kamen, Ostra Glava, Velika Gomila, Velika Zedj and in
11 depth Hum.
12 Q. For how long was your unit at those positions?
13 A. My unit, and therefore the entire battalion, were at these
14 positions until the end of November, that is to say, the 28th of November,
15 1991, to be precise.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 document P124. This is a map which was exhibited during the evidence of
18 Admiral Jokic.
19 Q. Mr. Pavicic, please look at this map. But I would like to ask you
20 to try to look at the ELMO and to point out the area where the deployment
21 of your battalion can be seen. So the map should only be moved a bit up.
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. Could you please move the map a bit further up so that we could
24 see this area. Yes, that's right. And could we zoom this in a bit. A
25 bit more. Fine. Thank you.
1 Mr. Pavicic, can you show us on this map, on the ELMO, can you use
2 the pointer and show us -- could you please use the pointer on the ELMO
3 itself and tell us where your battalion was.
4 A. [Indicates]
5 Q. Could you just tell us the names of the places.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the speaker.
7 A. It's from here. It is this area, this area is marked properly.
8 This is where the command was. This is where my firing position was. And
9 this is the area. This is the area of the battalion. I don't know if you
10 need it in greater detail.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. That will suffice. Could you please be so kind as to tell us --
13 MR. PETROVIC: You can leave the map on the ELMO, please. You can
14 leave it there, because we need it later.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Let us clarify this once again. From when was
16 your unit at these positions that are marked on this map, and until when?
17 A. From the 19th of September until the 28th of November, 1991.
18 Q. Tell us: In this first period, do you know for what reason your
19 unit was deployed in the area that we saw on this map?
20 A. What I know and what I was tasked by my superior officer to do
21 was, specifically, to take positions, or rather, vital facilities along
22 the border with Croatia, and not to allow a possible breakthrough by
23 Croatian forces deep into the territory, or rather, within the area of
24 responsibility of the battalion.
25 Q. In this first period, the period of September 1991, were there any
1 actions, or rather, provocations, from the Croatian side?
2 A. Yes. There was sporadic action by infantry weapons, especially on
3 our left flank. Further on, this was mostly from the area of Komolac,
4 Bosanka, Brgat, that area. So there were provocations from infantry
5 weapons at first, especially against our left flank.
6 Q. Do you remember perhaps whether there were any casualties on your
8 A. Not in the unit that I was in. However, later I heard that the
9 first casualty was on the 25th of September.
10 Q. Do you perhaps know what this was about?
11 A. There was sporadic gunfire at this left flank, so this was
12 infantry gunfire, and this is the first casualty in the Trebinje area, as
13 far as I know, and this was specifically on the 25th of September.
14 Q. When you say "casualty," what are you referring to?
15 A. I'm referring to the killing of one of our soldiers.
16 Q. Do you know at that time who was on the other side? Who was it
17 who was carrying out these provocations? Who opened gunfire?
18 A. These are Croatian forces. Which specific units these were, I
19 don't know, and I don't know what the strength of these units was, but it
20 was the Croatian forces.
21 Q. In this period that we are talking about, do you know where the
22 positions were of the Croatian side?
23 A. In this period, what I could note from the observation post, that
24 is to say, the sporadic gunfire, these provocations came from -- now,
25 well, this is 326, Strincijera, and now I can't remember the name any
1 longer, but this is -- this area, Bosanka, Dubrava, Gradci, that broader
2 area. It is barely discernible in this map. If it were a larger-scale
3 map I could point it out more specifically.
4 Q. Can you just show us on the map itself where these positions are?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Can you explain this to us?
7 A. 326 is approximately -- I'm sorry. It's this area here.
8 Strincijera is here, approximately, then Dubrava, here, in this area, and
9 Gradic [phoen]. This is practically the area. That's it.
10 Q. So in this initial period, when were the forces from the other
11 side there? In which period?
12 A. In fact, as soon as we got there on the 19th or 20th, when we took
13 up this position, sporadic gunfire already started, and as time went by,
14 their action became more intensive. So this was infantry weapons for the
15 most part in this first period, these first 10 or 15 days, until the end
16 of September, practically.
17 Q. When did your unit first open gunfire at the other side?
18 A. Specifically, my unit, or rather, the unit I commanded, opened
19 fire on the 1st of October, 1991.
20 Q. Can you tell us what were your targets?
21 A. Golubov Kamen, Ostra Glava, and Velika Gomila specifically.
22 Q. Please be so kind as to tell us the following: The Croatian side,
23 what kind of weapons did it have in that first period, September, October,
24 if you know?
25 A. I've already said towards the end of September. By the end of
1 September, it was mostly infantry weapons and that is the kind of gunfire
2 that we managed to note. However, from the 1st onwards, they started
3 using mortars, 82-millimetre mortars, specifically. Among other things,
4 one of these projectiles was fired at my unit.
5 Q. Later on, did the Croatian side obtain other weapons too?
6 A. Yes. Again, I'm saying specifically what I managed to see. At
7 first, there were 82-millimetre mortars, and later on, already in
8 November, the beginning of November, they included 120-millimetre-calibre
9 weapons, specifically in this area where our battalion was. This is
10 classical weapons. However, there were other things there too, as far as
11 we managed to see.
12 Q. Just a moment, please. Let me ask you something. In that period,
13 did you see any weapons of the Croatian side that were mounted on motor
15 A. Yes. That's what I saw for the first time then. We called this
16 Charlie. I don't know why it was called Charlie, but that's what we
17 called it. Why we called this weapon Charlie, I don't know. Actually,
18 this is a mortar mounted on a motor vehicle, on a Zastava, a well-known
19 motor vehicle. And in fact, this was a 60-millimetre mortar with a longer
20 barrel. So its range was like that of an 82-millimetre weapon. And it
21 was at Sustjepan. I know this area very well. So this was a motor
22 vehicle that was moving about, and it would fire one, two, or three
23 rounds, at most, and, quite simply, it would go to another place.
24 Q. Can you show us on this map where this vehicle moved about?
25 A. I can, absolutely. Cajekom is here, roughly, Sustjepan is in this
1 area. I can't give you it exactly but it is in this general region. And
2 it was firing at our units over here.
3 Q. For the record, I'd like to emphasise: Are you indicating the
4 southern side of the Dubrovacka Rijeka?
5 A. Yes, that's right. Cajekom and Sustjepan. It's this area here
6 Q. Did you yourself personally see that weapon?
7 A. Yes. Both the weapon and where it was firing from. I know the
8 sound of the projectile. I recognise the sound. And it's a short
9 distance, so you could see it very well from Golubov Kamen.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, if I may just make a correction.
11 It's not the southern side that the witness indicated, but the northern
12 side of Rijeka Dubrovacka.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I'm not immediately able to agree. The witness
14 indicated both sides, but firing from the southern to the northern, as I
15 saw it indicated.
16 Perhaps, Mr. Petrovic, you might clarify that with the witness.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I also understood it
18 the way you did, but yes, we shall clarify.
19 Q. So, Witness, you said between which places did this mortar move
20 around on the vehicle you mentioned, and what side is it of the Rijeka
21 Dubrovacka? What area?
22 A. Since I have been doing this kind of business for a long time, if
23 this was a different scaled map I could give you the exact point, but
24 Cajekom is right about here, Sustjepan is here, and with regard to north,
25 south, east, west, it is the south.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I hope we're clarified that point
3 Q. Mr. Pavicic, did you see any other hidden weapons belonging to the
4 Croatian side?
5 A. Yes. Once again, in the region I mentioned, along this road,
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, I object to the term hidden. At
8 no stage did the witness speak about a hidden weapon, but that word has
9 been introduced by my learned friend.
10 JUDGE PARKER: I agree, Ms. Mahindaratne.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I wasn't
12 careful enough.
13 Q. Did you see any other weapons belonging to the Croatian side from
14 your observation post, or rather, from your unit's positions?
15 A. Yes. Along here, on this part of the road, from Cajekom to
16 Sustjepan, that communication line. And it's a hilly area. There's a
17 place called Kamena Greda, rocky area, there are some tunnels and water.
18 And you have a hill there. And there was a mortar on rails that they were
19 firing from. And you can see this very well on other maps which are of a
20 larger scale. But it's along that general communication line, anyway.
21 Q. Tell us, please: The weapon you said was mounted on a vehicle,
22 how did that open fire, tactically speaking, what did that weapon do?
23 A. When the first projectiles came, the vehicle was not mobile. It
24 wasn't moving when the first projectile was fired. Now, afterwards, we
25 had infantry coming in, and the second would fire -- there would be a
1 second and third round. It would never fire more than two or three
3 Q. And what happened to that vehicle once it had fired those two or
4 three projectiles?
5 A. When these two or three projectiles were fired, the vehicle would
6 move from Sustjepan to Gruz, and we weren't able to observe it in that
7 area, let alone do anything about it and target it.
8 Q. So what direction would this vehicle take?
9 A. Towards Gruz. It's this area here, from Sustjepan towards Gruz
10 and town. Gruz is a part of Dubrovnik.
11 Q. When you say towards town, what town do you mean?
12 A. The broader area. I lived in Dubrovnik, so that's why I can say.
13 Towards Gruz, and Gruz is part of the town. Here it is here. This is it.
14 So this is where Gruz starts. And it would be lost from sight there. We
15 weren't able to see it after that point.
16 Q. Tell us, please: From the position of your mortar company, what
17 targets were you able to target? What was the ultimate range of the
18 weapons that your company had?
19 A. As to the technical data, the 120-millimetre mortar could reach a
20 range of 6.200 metres, which on the map is roughly like this. It's not a
21 very precise map, but this is Srdj here, Bosanka Srdj, and that was the
22 longest range, the furthest distance, and it was rarely resorted to.
23 Q. The Old Town of Dubrovnik, was that within that range, within the
24 range of your mortar company's weapons?
25 A. No. Far from it. Not at all.
1 Q. Tell us, please: In view of the tactical and technical
2 characteristics of the mortar itself, can the mortar be positioned
3 successfully and used from a motor vehicle?
4 A. It can be used; however, how precise it would be is difficult to
5 say, in view of the fact that these are new circumstances and conditions.
6 But it can be successful, but its precision we're talking about and the
7 technical feasibility. Mortars from vehicles can only be used if they are
8 60 to 82 millimetres. But mortars of a higher calibre cannot be installed
9 without special devices. So a maximum of 82-millimetres is one that can
10 be installed on this kind of vehicle.
11 Q. And how can you install an 82-millimetre mortar or 60-millimetre
12 mortar on a vehicle?
13 A. You can do this in several ways.
14 Q. Would you kindly slow down, Witness.
15 A. I'll do my best. One of the ways -- yes, it can be done. One of
16 the ways that we use when a mortar is placed in a position where you don't
17 have the right surface to position it on, what we do is to amortise [as
18 interpreted] the device. We put sandbags down. That is one of the
19 simplest and most practical ways, to use sandbags.
20 The other method is to see that the base is welded to a surface,
21 another surface, and then you can also use the mortar from a motor vehicle
22 if you resort to that second option.
23 Q. As a rule, in the rules for mortars, do they look into the
24 alternative methods of using it, of installing it and positioning it? Do
25 the handbooks on weapons of this kind provide for that?
1 A. Yes. In the rules of regulations for an 82-millimetre mortar,
2 this other variation is stipulated, how to place it in swampy ground,
3 where it can be immersed, where an immersion surface is great, and on the
4 roofs of buildings. You can also place a mortar on the roofs of buildings
5 in the way I have just stipulated. So those are one of the variants that
6 were provided for at that time in the manuals.
7 Q. Can you tell us, please: In view of the rules and regulations of
8 the JNA, within the composition of which units during this time in 1991
9 was -- were the mortars? What units did they come under, these mortars,
10 according to the establishment and its rules?
11 A. Well, I've been in the army a long time, and in 1988, those
12 weapons were not within the infantry composition. It was both the
13 infantry and artillery, depending on the unit in question. However, when
14 the new establishment came out - and it was the last official
15 establishment and formation in 1988 of the JNA in peacetime - within the
16 composition of the battalion, you had 120 and 82-millimetre mortars.
17 Otherwise, this was professionally called the mixed mortar battery. From
18 1988, it existed in official terms in the establishment of a battalion.
19 Q. When you say "in the establishment of a battalion," what branch of
20 the army do you mean? The land forces, or rather, the motorised battalion
21 and infantry?
22 A. [No interpretation]
23 Q. During this period --
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, there was no interpretation on
25 the --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English?
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: The witness's response has not gone down in the
3 transcript, Your Honour, the previous response.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
5 JUDGE PARKER: Follow that up, Mr. Petrovic, please.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
7 Q. When you say "battalion," tell us, please, which branch of the
8 army you mean.
9 A. I mean the infantry, or land forces, as a branch and service of
10 the army.
11 Q. Thank you. I'd like to move on to another area now. During this
12 period of time, that is to say, from the 19th of September, were there any
13 more significant -- was there any significant movement of the front line,
14 where your battalion was, the lines where your battalion was?
15 A. No. It was the position we took up on the 19th, and that's where
16 we stayed.
17 Q. At the positions of your unit, did Admiral Jokic come by?
18 A. Yes. At the beginning of November we reported to the commander,
19 the commandeer of the unit did, and Admiral Jokic came to see us at that
20 time, and he was present when the commander reported to him about the
21 situation in the unit and the problems he had encountered. And after
22 that, we received orders. We received a specific order.
23 Q. Could you please wait a moment. Where did Admiral Jokic come?
24 A. Admiral Jokic came, escorted by Brigade Commander Vicic.
25 Q. Would you please concentrate on my question. I asked you where.
1 A. He came to the command post of the battalion's command, and it is
2 on the map. It is the command post of the battalion.
3 Q. And who came with Admiral Jokic?
4 A. Colonel Vicic, commander of the brigade, whom I knew, came, and
5 another group of officers. I don't know who they were. And there were
6 some ten policemen wearing flak jackets who were escorts.
7 Q. What did the meeting -- what was the meeting like, the meeting
8 between your -- no. I withdraw that question.
9 Who attended the meeting on your side?
10 A. On our side, the commandeers of the battalion commanders.
11 Q. When you say commandeers of units, who do you mean?
12 A. The commanders of the companies.
13 Q. Which units?
14 A. The mortar company and the infantry company.
15 Q. And how did the meeting evolve? What happened?
16 A. As was customary, there was a brief report by the battalion
17 commander, informing the admiral, Admiral Jokic, of the situation in the
18 unit, and the problems that the unit had encountered.
19 Q. Did Admiral Jokic speak at the meeting?
20 A. When the meeting -- or rather, when the battalion commander
21 completed his reporting --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat who issued.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Who issued assignments?
25 A. Assignments were issued personally by Admiral Jokic.
1 Q. What assignment was issued by Admiral Jokic, and to whom?
2 A. Admiral Jokic issued an assignment to the battalion commander of
3 the following content, that they should launch an attack and that part of
4 the unit or battalion should go and take control of the Mokosica Komolac
5 communication and road to cut off that communication line and thereby to
6 prevent any supplies coming in to the units of the Croatian side by road,
7 by land, which were in Dubrovnik. Cut off their supplies. And the
8 features and facilities were stipulated. The communication line had to be
9 cut at the hamlet of Rozat.
10 Q. Can you show us on the map? Can you show us what the assignment
11 was and what area it comprised, this assignment given by Admiral Jokic?
12 A. The unit was supposed to go down from Golubov Kamen to the region
13 of Rozata, down this serpentine road, this is a large area and slope but
14 we had to reach Rozat. It's not very visible on the map. But we had to
15 cut across the communication line here.
16 Q. Show us once again what the position was?
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, it's not clear as to what time
18 frame this testimony refers to. Perhaps a clarification would assist the
20 JUDGE PARKER: We'll leave that to Mr. Petrovic.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Can you tell us what time period you are referring to? What was
23 the time period when Admiral Jokic visited and the order issued by him?
24 A. That was at the beginning of November, or, more specifically, I
25 think it was probably on the 8th or 9th of November, thereabouts. I'm not
1 quite sure of the date, but the 8th or the 9th of November, 1991. That's
2 when the meeting was held and the following day we set out.
3 Q. Could you please show us where your battalion's positions were at
4 that point in time and what axes of attack had Admiral Jokic ordered?
5 A. The position of the battalion, which is recorded on the map, was
6 as it is here, Golubov Kamen was the axis, and the shortest route down to
7 Rozat. And as I say, the shortest route on the map wouldn't be possible,
8 but there's a place called Obuljeno, between Mokosica and Rozat, so we had
9 to go from Golubov Kamen, Obuljeno, Rozata. That was the axis of attack
10 and that was the line we were supposed to take.
11 Q. Very well. Also, could you show us on the map what the target of
12 the attack was, the attack ordered by Admiral Jokic.
13 A. The objective was that the forces in Dubrovnik, Croatian forces in
14 Komolac and Dubrovnik on this side of Rijeka Dubrovacka, so to cut off the
15 communication and thereby prevent the supply along the land routes to the
16 units in Dubrovnik. That was the main task.
17 Q. What was specifically the assignment of your mortar company in
18 this attack?
19 A. As part of this attack, my unit was supposed to offer fire support
20 for the implementation of this assignment.
21 Q. Were the firing targets determined, or the targets that your unit
22 was supposed to fire on?
23 A. Yes. This is always done. The preparation for firing elements is
24 always carried out, so we did have several targets. We specifically knew
25 what the attack -- the target of attack was supposed to be, so we were --
1 we did prepare for firing at those targets. We prepared for fire.
2 Q. Could you please tell us how long Admiral Jokic stayed in your
3 command that day.
4 A. He spent about an hour or an hour and a half at the command. He
5 came at about 9.30 and left the command post at about 11.00.
6 Q. When did the attack start, the one that he had ordered?
7 A. The next day, at 4.00 a.m.
8 Q. Was this the first action that was supposed to result in moving
9 your line of deployment?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How did the action proceed?
12 A. The battalion commander in the early morning hours of the next day
13 changed the axis of attack a little bit, so he tried to do it in the
14 shortest possible way, Golubov Kamen, Rozat, to come to the communication,
15 under cover of the night, without action by the mortars, which we
16 succeeded in, for the most part.
17 During the morning, since this is very difficult terrain, our
18 units clashed for the first time with the Croat forces at Rozat where they
19 were surrounded. Then, at the request of the unit commander to open fire
20 and to help the units to pull out, we opened fire in the Rozat sector,
21 specifically at Rozat, the Rozat cemetery, and we managed to pull out the
22 unit. Or to put it in a different way, the attack did not succeed.
23 Q. Did your unit sustain any casualties?
24 A. Yes. This was the first operation, and we did have the first
25 casualties in our battalion. One soldier was killed and four or five
1 soldiers were wounded.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be
3 shown -- could the witness please be shown Exhibit D57.
4 Q. Could you please look at this document and tell us, first of all,
5 what is this document?
6 A. This is an order for attack. It's one of the documents issued by
7 the commander for the implementation of any task.
8 Q. Which command issued this order?
9 A. This is a document of the command of the 9th Military Naval
11 Q. Could you please look at page 4 -- actually, paragraph 4, on
12 page 2 of the B/C/S version of the document. Could you please read that
13 and tell us what kind of action is discussed there.
14 A. This is a decision. It's the fourth order -- the fourth paragraph
15 of the command, by introducing the 3/5.
16 Q. Could you please read it to yourself and then tell us.
17 A. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
18 It is specified here what needs to be done. So from here I can
19 only see which our part of that is. And it says specifically here to
20 break out at the Komolac-Rijeka-Dubravacka line and establish full
21 blockade of Dubrovnik, and a blockade could not be established for as long
22 as the communication is not severed.
23 Q. Could you please look at paragraph 5, 5.1 and 5.2, but
24 primarily 5.1. What are the tasks that are being discussed there?
25 A. Yes. This is the axis that I mentioned a little while ago: Carry
1 out the attack along Pobrezje, Mokosica, Obuljeno, Rozat, and unite with
2 the forces of the 3rd Battalion. That is what is of interest for us.
3 That was the target that we were supposed to cover.
4 Q. Does this document constitute a written order?
5 A. If it's signed, it was certified, so this is an absolutely valid
7 Q. Is the order being issued -- in this order, the action that we
8 discussed being ordered?
9 A. I'm just talking about the parts of it that refer to me.
10 Mokosica, Obuljeno, Rozat that was the ultimate objective and target. We
11 were not alone in participating in this action, but there was a broader
12 operation. But basically this is it.
13 Q. Could you please tell us the date of the document.
14 A. The 9th of November, at 2300 hours, at 11:00 p.m. And it's the
15 9th of November, 1991.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I propose that we
17 take our first morning break at this point.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. There will be a 20-minute
20 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Pavicic, would you please kindly tell us about this document,
25 D57, that you have before you. What is usually according to the rules
1 contained in an order to attack, in paragraph 1?
2 A. These would be -- this would be data about the enemy.
3 Q. A commander issuing an attack to order, how would he obtain the
4 information? Based on what does he compile paragraph 1 of an order for
6 A. The commanders, if we go down from the bottom to the top, from the
7 lower levels of command, would forward these -- this information to their
8 superiors, at the higher levels, at the brigade levels, and several units,
9 they have their units within the brigades which are entrusted with
10 gathering data on the enemy. There are organs that deal with these
11 assignments, and the battalion would then receive the information from his
12 superior commander. The commander of a company would receive the
13 information from the commander of a battalion.
14 Q. What is the purpose of the information under paragraph 1 in an
15 order for attack? Why is this written?
16 A. This is written in order to say which enemy forces are facing the
17 unit that is about to embark on an attack, to see what they will be
18 facing, what are their weapon strengths, and so on and so forth.
19 Q. Specifically, let's look at this order for attack of the 9th of
20 November, 1991, issued by Vice Admiral Miodrag Jokic. In item 1, amongst
21 other things, it says: From the fortresses of the old city fortresses to
22 attack with mortars of 60 and 82 millimetres. Why was this written?
23 A. This is there to state that these are points where danger is
24 coming from and which can be fired upon. It's a legitimate military
25 target. These are firing points in order to implement the firing task.
1 That's how I see it.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please look at
4 Exhibit D58.
5 Q. Could you please look at this document and then I will put some
6 questions to you.
7 Mr. Pavicic, could you please look at item 2 first of this
8 document, whether, in a regular combat report of the 10th of November,
9 1991, is there a report on the activities which we saw from document D57 a
10 little while ago and which were ordered at 2300 hours the day before, on
11 the 9th of November, 1991?
12 A. From what I can see here and what refers to the unit that we were
13 in, it states one enforced platoon of the 1st Company of the 472nd
14 Motorised Brigade has infiltrated itself from its hitherto position in the
15 region of Komolac.
16 This is enough, when one is writing a report. There is no need
17 for additional detail. So it's right here, under the first item under
18 paragraph 2.
19 Q. This regular combat report from the 10th of November, 1991, does
20 it contain the report of the command of the 9th Military Naval Sector
21 about the action ordered by Admiral Jokic at the command post and which is
22 something that we discussed earlier during this examination-in-chief?
23 A. That's this part. This part refers to it. As I said, I see that
24 this part refers to that action.
25 Q. That is the first item in paragraph 2.
1 Could you please look at paragraph 4. Does that contain a report
2 of the casualties during that day?
3 A. I looked at this item, and as far as I recall now, this soldier
4 here is not here. I think this soldier did not die right away. He was
5 heavily, serious wounded, and then he died the next day. So he could not
6 be included in this report.
7 Q. And could you please tell us, as part of the military doctrine and
8 the manner of communication amongst the commands in a regular combat
9 report, what is the purpose of this part contained under 1?
10 A. When any report is sent, including information about the enemy,
11 the point is to acquaint the command with the information acquired by a
12 lower unit, and then the Superior Command, based on all of their
13 information, all the information coming from lower units, because each
14 unit has a command where all the information is gathered, then all of this
15 information is synthesised and then distributed to the commander of the
16 units to whom this would be interesting. This is information about the
17 enemy gathered possibly by a lower unit, and the point of it is to
18 acquaint other units with that. As I said, there are different ways of
19 gathering information, and the essence --
20 Q. Could you please look at the seventh line of paragraph 1?
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, the witness has not finished his
22 response. He's been cut off midway.
23 JUDGE PARKER: I think that was a reasonable interruption.
24 Carry on, Mr. Petrovic.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Please look at paragraph 1, that has to do with the enemy, and
2 it's line 7 where it says: The hotel, the ramparts. And it says:
3 With MB. Does that mean that the command of the 9th VPS informs its
4 superior commands about enemy activity, as it says there?
5 A. Yes, absolutely.
6 Q. Tell us, Mr. Pavicic: Until when was your unit at this position
7 that we saw on the map on document P124?
8 A. My unit was there until the end of November, or rather, the 28th
9 of November, 1991.
10 Q. Tell us: Where was your unit located after that, and how did the
11 relocation of your unit take place?
12 A. During the night of the 28th of November, we received orders to
13 march and to deploy the unit in the area of the village of Podimoc. It's
14 about 50 kilometres from this position.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
16 document P132, which is a map.
17 Q. Could this map please be zoomed in. Mr. Pavicic, could you please
18 adjust the map so that we can see where the new position of your unit was
19 after the 28th. Can you show us where this is, and can you tell us what
20 area this is, close to which bigger village or town.
21 A. This is the 1st Motorised Battalion. It's right over here. This
22 is where my mortar unit is. I can see now -- yes. As I said, the village
23 of Podimoc. That's where the command was, and it's marked there.
24 Q. What's a bigger place in the vicinity, so that we can orient
1 A. Well, all of these are very small villages. So it's Visocani
2 maybe. That's perhaps the biggest place in the entire area. That's a bit
3 further ahead.
4 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please: Where was your unit taken at the end
5 of November? Within what group was it?
6 A. The entire brigade was then transferred into the 2nd Corps, and
7 that included my battalion too.
8 Q. Just a few more questions from me. Mr. Pavicic, tell us, please:
9 Do you know whether the other side used places of worship for opening fire
10 against your units in this period that we are discussing, October,
11 November 1991?
12 A. As for what I saw myself, during the action that I described
13 previously, that is to say, at Rozat, there is a cemetery in the village
14 of Rozat and a church, or rather, a monastery, from which fire was opened
15 at our units. Specifically, they were opening mortar fire from graves,
16 and they were also firing with recoilless guns of 82 millimetres from the
17 church. I saw that myself, and this caused major problems for us.
18 Q. I assume that this is -- or rather, this is a monastery, isn't it?
19 So is a monastery a cultural and historical monument?
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I object to that, Your Honour. That's not a
21 question this witness could respond to.
22 JUDGE PARKER: I agree.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I withdraw that, Your Honour.
24 Q. Were there any abuses of places like churches and monasteries by
25 the Croatian side and that you know about it in this period that we are
1 talking about?
2 A. Well, yes, and that is what I learned in school, like anywhere
3 else in the world, that is what we are taught. And they fired from
4 monasteries. And, say, firing from a grave, I think that's absurd. And
5 then also opening gunfire from a church or monastery. Because if fire is
6 opened, then the place where fire is opened from is a legitimate military
8 Q. What about the unit that you were in? Was it made aware of the
9 rules of the international law of war?
10 A. Yes. You see, whenever an officer begins his studies at the
11 military academy, one of the first things that is taught is law,
12 international law of war and the rules that have to be observed. So every
13 officer, every trained officer, has to know very well what he's allowed to
14 do and what he's not allowed to do. I, as an officer, knew about these
15 things. And after all, you don't even need to resort to the law; just do
16 not do unto others what you don't want done to you.
17 Q. What about the members of your unit? Did you make them aware of
18 this, that is, the rules of international law of war?
19 A. Yes. And all levels of command, at the level of battalion,
20 brigade, et cetera, either through orders, directives, instructions. We
21 received specific instructions. And even within each and every order, the
22 rights and responsibilities of units are spelled out specifically, like
23 the treatment of prisoners and various other elements that are not
24 directly related to combat. So this is spelled out precisely in the order
25 concerned, and then we would make the unit members aware of that.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pavicic. Now you are going to be answering the
2 questions of my learned friends. And this concludes the
3 examination-in-chief that I had, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
5 Ms. Mahindaratne.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Cross-examined by Ms. Mahindaratne:
8 Q. Good morning, Mr. Pavicic.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. You testified that you're currently the deputy commander of the
11 school for non-commissioned officers. Do you hold a rank?
12 A. I do have a rank, and it is not a school for non-commissioned
13 officers. There's a big difference involved. It's a school of reserve
14 officers. And yes, I do hold a rank. The rank is lieutenant colonel.
15 Q. I'm sorry for that misunderstanding, but that's how it was
16 recorded in the transcript.
17 And since you're a lieutenant colonel, I'll refer to you as
18 colonel. Colonel, when did you join the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
19 A. On the 15th of September, 1991.
20 Q. And was that transfer that was made, where you came from your
21 school to the 472nd Motorised Brigade, did the intent of -- were you
22 informed that you were being deployed to participate in the Dubrovnik
23 operation? Were you aware of that at that stage?
24 A. No. I did not know that. I received through regular channels an
25 order to report to that unit.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. To a
2 particular -- to a particular form of wording that is used yesterday --
3 that was used yesterday and that is used today. The witness before you
4 never said the Dubrovnik operation, never used that word. So I think that
5 it is improper to make that kind of assertion. Not at a given -- not a at
6 any given time, either yesterday or today, the previous witness or
7 Mr. Pavicic, they never used those words, "the Dubrovnik operation."
8 Thank you, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE PARKER: There are shades of description. Dubrovnik was the
10 focus of attention of the first witness's evidence. But your point is
11 made, Mr. Petrovic.
12 Carry on, Ms. Mahindaratne.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour. I will avoid using the
14 word "operation," perhaps.
15 Q. Going back, Colonel: Where did you report to when you were
16 transferred to the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
17 A. According to the rules, to the commander of the brigade.
18 Q. No. My question is where, to what location? Was it to the
19 command post; and if so, where was the command post of the 472nd Motorised
20 Brigade located at that time?
21 A. At that time, the command post was in Trebinje, in the town of
22 Trebinje, in the barracks there.
23 Q. And you testified in examination-in-chief that the original unit
24 to which the brigade belonged was the 9th Naval Sector. And when you used
25 the term "original unit," did you mean that during peacetime, the 472nd
1 Motorised Brigade was within the composition of the 9th Naval Sector? Is
2 that what you intended to say or is it correct to say it in that manner?
3 A. Yes, it was within that composition.
4 Q. And in late September, the 472nd Motorised Brigade was taken out
5 of the 9th Naval Sector and subordinated to the 2nd Operational Group
6 command; isn't it?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. And thereafter, the 9th Naval Sector was separately --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel kindly speak into the microphone.
10 Thank you.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I beg your pardon. It's a little difficult the
12 way I am ...
13 Q. And thereafter, the 9th Naval Sector was directly subordinated to
14 the 2nd Operational Group, separately from the 472nd Motorised Brigade;
16 A. Well, you see, it's a difficult question. At the time when I was
17 commander, I didn't really see the entire picture. You have to know what
18 re-subordination is, and also what unit reinforcement means. These are
19 two interesting military terms, and people who are unfamiliar with them
20 can have a problem. It is true that it --
21 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you. May I make this much clearer. If the
22 witness may be shown Defence Exhibit document D44. Colonel, I'm going to
23 show you a document which has been tendered into evidence by the Defence
24 on behalf of General Strugar. And while that is -- the document is being
25 retrieved, would you please examine the document and tell me whether the
1 document reflects that at that stage, the 9th VPS, separately from the
2 472nd Motorised Brigade, and the 472nd Motorised Brigade quite outside the
3 9th VPS are directly subordinated to the 2nd Operational Group, and the
4 2nd Operational Group is issuing orders or specifying assignments which
5 should be tasks to these two units, among other units, in the course of an
6 operation. Does this document reflect that to you?
7 A. You see, this is actually a proposed decision. A decision is not
8 the same type of document as an order is. You should bear that in mind.
9 A proposal is a proposal. The superior can take it into account or can
10 dismiss it. I cannot tell you exactly, but on the basis of what is
11 written here, it can be seen that the 472nd Motorised Brigade was under
12 the command of the 2nd Operational Group, but I would not like to go into
13 details, because at that time it was a very sensitive issue, as far as I'm
14 concerned. Now I am familiar with the subject matter involved, but ...
15 Q. Does this proposal also indicate that the 9th VPS is also at that
16 time directly subordinated to the 2nd Operational Group? Can you see that
17 from this document? It is indicated so, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And this is a proposal being issued by the command of the
20 2nd Operational Group to the General Staff of the JNA?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And in the course of the operation in and around Dubrovnik, the
23 472nd Motorised Brigade was re-subordinated to the 9th VPS, specifically,
24 on the 25th of October; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. However, even at that stage, the 9th VPS was still directly
2 subordinated to the 2nd Operational Group?
3 A. Well, that was a bit hard to say, but that's the way it turns out.
4 Or rather, not the way it turns out; that's the way it was.
5 Q. Let me show you another document, Colonel.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May the witness be shown D43.
7 Q. This is also a document which has been tendered into evidence by
8 the Defence. Could you please examine this document, and doesn't this
9 document reflect the fact that on 25th October 1991, the 2nd Operational
10 Group takes the decision to subordinate the 472nd Motorised Brigade to the
11 9th VPS? The document is signed by the commander of the 2nd Operational
12 Group, General Strugar.
13 A. Well, if I understood you properly, you said subordinated, or
14 re-subordinated, if I understood you correctly. Is that what you said?
15 It says here that it is being returned to its original unit, so
16 we're not talking about re-subordination. It was sent elsewhere, and now
17 it is returning to its original unit. That's it.
18 Q. My point is not the word, the term I used. My point is that at
19 that stage, still, the 9th VPS is subordinated to the 2nd Operational
20 Group. That's my point. You agree with me? If you are uncomfortable
21 with using the word "subordination," let us say the 9th VPS was within the
22 composition of the 2nd Operational Group at that stage, when 472nd
23 Motorised Brigade is being returned to the 9th VPS. Do you agree with me?
24 A. Well, I agree only partly, because I did not focus on this word by
25 accident, because it has to do with command. That is very important. If
1 you go back to your original unit, your original house, so to speak, you
2 know who the head of the household is, who the commander is. What you
3 asked me is very important. Re-subordination and subordination is one
4 thing, whereas returning is a different matter. So there is no further
5 comment that I need to make. This is a very specific document that refers
6 to it unequivocally.
7 Q. Let me ask you another question. Are you aware that in the course
8 of the operations conducted in and around Dubrovnik, the 9th VPS was
9 within the command of the 2nd Operational Group, in that the 2nd
10 Operational Group command controlled and commanded the 9th VPS activities?
11 And to make it easier for you to respond to this, let me show you another
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May the witness be shown D47. This is also a
14 document tendered into evidence by the Defence.
15 Q. Sir, do you see that --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry.
18 Q. Do you see, sir, that this document, which is dated 18 November
19 1991, has been issued -- this is an order issued by the command of the
20 2nd Operational Group to the command of the 9th VPS, and it's signed by
21 General Strugar. And by this order, General Strugar is issuing orders to
22 the 9th VPS command, giving it specific tasks as to how to carry out naval
23 activity around Dubrovnik? Do you agree with me? Isn't it the case?
24 Isn't it clear from this document that General Strugar is issuing orders
25 to the 9th VPS command with regard to naval tasks, and this is a document
1 tendered into evidence by the Defence.
2 A. Yes. But look, I don't agree that this is a type of order, an
3 order for attack or whatever you called it. We know how orders are
4 written. This is not the way orders are written. This is issuing
5 assignments and guidelines. On the basis of this, the commander of the
6 9th VPS will --
7 Q. May I interrupt. This is a document tendered into evidence by the
8 Defence, not by the Prosecution. So unless you are suggesting that the
9 Defence would be tendering documents which are not correct. I mean, this
10 is a document that has been tendered into evidence by the Defence. And
11 I'm putting to you that this document reflects clearly --
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I intervene at
13 this point. The witness didn't challenge anything with respect to the
14 document. He's explaining the document, and he was interrupted in his
15 explanations of the document. He wasn't allowed to finish his explanation
16 and to tell us the difference between this document and an order. That's
17 what he wanted to explain, but he wasn't allowed to do so. Otherwise, he
18 doesn't express any doubts as to the authenticity of this document.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I entirely agree, Mr. Petrovic. I would have
21 thought that you had well and truly got the answers you want,
22 Ms. Mahindaratne, and that you could very quickly move on to something --
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: -- else.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Your Honour.
1 Q. Since you were in --
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May the document be returned.
3 Q. Since you were in Dubrovnik and deployed in and around Dubrovnik,
4 are you familiar -- were you involved in any way with the operations
5 conducted by the JNA forces, the 2nd Operational Group forces, in October
6 1991? And I'm referring specifically to the operations carried out on the
7 23rd, 24th, and 25th October 1991.
8 A. I've already said that my unit did not move, so not the battalion
9 and especially not firing by mortars from these positions. The first
10 firing took place at the beginning of November. So we didn't move at all.
11 So I consider that we were in our place, at our positions, deployed on
12 this part of the terrain. We didn't move.
13 Q. Sir, my question to you was: Do you know that operations were
14 conducted by the 2nd Operational Group forces on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th
15 October? That was my question, not as to whether your unit participated.
16 A. Well, it's like this: I wasn't in a position to see what the
17 other units were doing and conducting, so I can't say. I can't answer
18 that question.
19 Q. No. My question is: Do you know, not whether you saw, do you
20 know whether the 2nd Operational Group forces conducted an operation
21 during this period? That's all I want to know. Do you know? Not whether
22 you saw anything or any other aspect of it, but just do you know that?
23 A. I do apologise, but I don't really understand your question.
24 Because where I was, myself, first of all, I couldn't see anything; and as
25 a soldier and officer looking at the broader area, I do know what the
1 tasks of the superior units to me and Superior Command to me was. But all
2 this was within the frameworks of the deblockade of the town of Dubrovnik.
3 So I am aware of that, but I don't know anything further than that. I
4 don't know any of the details.
5 Q. Your unit was returned or directly subordinated to the
6 2nd Operational Group around 21st November 1991. Isn't that the case?
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is not the case.
8 It is not what the witness said. It is quite simply not the testimony of
9 this witness. He said, and we could check this out, I don't want to
10 suggest what, but quite simply the witness did not say that.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, I'm putting a question to the
12 witness. It was a suggestion. The witness could respond to it either
14 JUDGE PARKER: I had hoped that we had finished all together with
15 subordination and returning of units and so on. Surely that area has been
16 well covered and that you're going to move on to something else.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Your Honour. I was on the point of
18 in November. This was much later. I was earlier on dealing with October
19 subordination. But if Your Honour so wishes, I will move on.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
21 And before you do, could I ask the witness: Is it your evidence
22 that you heard no concerted firing and no artillery or mortar fire in the
23 period 23rd, 24th, 25th of October, from where you were located?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard the firing. There was
25 firing. I don't challenge that. But I don't know the details of the
1 firing. I know that it was within the broader operation of the deblockade
2 of Dubrovnik, and my level of command couldn't have known about that or
3 couldn't have been aware of that. I know about it now, as lieutenant
4 colonel, but I was a captain at that time and didn't have any insight into
5 the operational group and brigade's activities. So there was fighting,
6 but what the object and target of the fighting was, I can't say, the
7 facilities, the targets, and so on. But that you could hear firing, yes,
8 you could. But what was actually happening, I can't say.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 Now, I'm sorry, Ms. Mahindaratne. You were asking about
11 operations at the end of November.
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes. I'll get to that later on, Your Honour.
13 I will move on with a different line of questioning.
14 Q. Colonel, wasn't the 472nd Motorised Brigade a very strong brigade
15 in terms of personnel and weaponry?
16 A. Well, that was certainly an elite unit of the former JNA, both in
17 terms of manpower and in terms of equipment and materiel.
18 Q. And it had approximately 6.000 personnel attached to it?
19 A. Yes. When everything was mobilised and when you have a 100
20 per cent mobilisation. In this specific case, I would say the figure was
21 somewhat lower.
22 Q. And the brigade had four battalions, including your battalion?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. During peacetime, the brigade had only one battalion and three
25 companies, and isn't it the case that during wartime, these three
1 companies are built up into battalion levels, by mobilisation?
2 A. That's what I said at the beginning. And this is how it was,
3 roughly. It's true that that battalion in peacetime had three companies,
4 filled with regular soldiers. But our battalion and the others, up to
5 company level, four motorised ones, so there were other units too, they
6 were replenished with the reserve force on the basis of mobilisation. So
7 the live battalion - and I use this term in inverted commas, live - that
8 wasn't replenished. It was just brought up to a full complement if the
9 need arose. It was always ready for deployment.
10 Q. And each of the battalions had four companies which had
11 82-millimetre mortars, Maljutkas, rocket artillery, tanks, so on and so
13 A. I do apologise, but a battalion does not have any tanks, and
14 you're talking about rocket artillery. I don't know about that. The
15 strongest weapon that a battalion possesses is a 120-millimetre mortar, by
16 virtue of firepower and calibre.
17 Q. I was going to get to that. Each of those battalions had
18 120-millimetre mortar support battery?
19 A. Yes. That's right. Now, whether they were all mobilised, I don't
20 know about that for the other battalions.
21 Q. Now, going back to November, I asked you a question which was that
22 the 472nd Motorised Brigade was re-subordinated to the 2nd Operational
23 Group on 21st November, at which point my learned friend interrupted. Is
24 that correct or is that wrong?
25 A. I do apologise, but would you repeat that. What did you say? The
1 21st of November?
2 Q. On 21st of November, the 472nd Motorised Brigade, including your
3 unit, was re-subordinated or brought within the command of the
4 2nd Operational Group?
5 A. I don't know. That wasn't in November. It moved to the
6 2nd Corps. That was later on, in actual fact, the 2nd Corps, not the
7 operational group any more. It was the 2nd Corps later.
8 Q. And the 2nd Corps was within the command of the 2nd Operational
9 Group, wasn't it? You do know that?
10 A. Well, I'm not quite sure about such matters.
11 Q. Where was your unit deployed in early November?
12 A. In early November, where we were on the 19th --
13 Q. [Previous translation continues]... as a date, I will give you
14 5th November, 1991.
15 A. The 5th of November, the same place it was on the 19th of
16 September, that is, around the region of the village of Zaplanik. That
17 was the basic firepower position.
18 Q. And do you know that at that stage, on 5th November, there was a
19 move, or there was an order, which was of course not carried out, for your
20 unit and the other units of the 472nd Motorised Brigade to withdraw from
21 those positions. And to assist you with your response, may the witness be
22 shown Exhibit P125, tab 23. Tab 23 of Jokic Prosecution binder. I
23 appreciate that you may not have seen this document before, but would you
24 please examine this order. And does it indicate to you that at this
25 stage, certain units have arrived at your positions on the basis that the
1 472nd Motorised Brigade units were to withdraw from certain -- or to be
2 relieved from duty and withdraw from those positions?
3 A. From this order, I can see that we were supposed to withdraw on
4 the 6th and to be replaced by the Territorial Defence detachment of
5 Trebinje. Now, why that wasn't done, I really don't know. But judging by
6 this document, I can see that that was supposed to have happened with
7 respect to the 1st Battalion. I don't know. I'm looking at this now.
8 Now, why it wasn't implemented, I really don't know. If that answers your
10 Q. Of course it does. And when did you -- did your unit and the
11 other units of the 472nd Motorised Brigade actually withdraw from those
12 positions? Would you repeat the date if you have already said it.
13 A. On the 28th of November, the end of November.
14 Q. And up until the time you withdrew, your unit withdrew from -- on
15 28th November, did you -- did the unit retain the weapons which the unit
16 had earlier on? Were the weapons in place at those particular positions
17 right through that time?
18 A. Yes. But you probably mean the artillery pieces. Weapons are one
19 thing; artillery pieces are another, and mortars in particular. If that's
20 what you mean, then yes.
21 Q. I'm referring to mortars, artillery, Maljutkas.
22 A. I do apologise, but I use military terminology. For me, artillery
23 is a level higher up. There are Howitzers, rocket units and so on. But
24 mortars are within the battalion composition, and that was retained, from
25 day one to the last day. We left it as we arrived. So nothing was added
1 or taken away. As to the other artillery pieces, I don't know. That
2 would be a higher level.
3 Q. Thank you for that. You testified in examination-in-chief that --
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: The document can be returned. I'm sorry for
6 Q. -- that the transfer of your unit -- I'm sorry. Your transfer to
7 the 472nd Motorised Brigade on 15th September 1991 was pursuant to an
8 order issued by the command of the 9th Naval Sector, or command of the
9 naval sector. That's what you said in evidence in chief; is that correct?
10 A. Pursuant to the order of the navy commander, and it was under his
11 competence to send officers from one unit to another. Specifically, where
12 we were, that was pursuant to an order from him. And then all the orders
13 down the chain of command.
14 Q. And do you have that order with you, or in a position to produce
16 A. Unfortunately, had I known, I would have taken it with me, but I
17 can send it to you. I haven't got it here, no. I didn't take it to
18 The Hague. But of course I would be willing to send you the document at
19 any time.
20 Q. Your commander of the 472nd Motorised Brigade is Obrad -- or was
21 Obrad Vicic; is that correct? Obrad Vicic. I'm sorry for the
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, you spoke of certain combat activity conducted by the Croat
25 forces from positions such as Strincijera, Bosanka, so on and so forth.
1 All those positions, that is, Strincijera, Bosanka, and the locations in
2 that area were captured by the 2nd Operational Group forces in the course
3 of the November operations; isn't that right?
4 A. No, not quite so. Because these points are closer to Srdj, so not
5 everything was taken. There was some kind of line in between in the
6 beginning. So not all of the points or the elevations were taken.
7 Q. What were the elevations taken in November? Strincijera was taken
8 in November, isn't it? I'm asking you.
9 A. I apologise. Well, I don't know exactly. From my position, the
10 deployment of the units, other different units attacked along those axes.
11 So I don't know exactly to show you on the map where that line went, by
12 100 or 200 metres, but I think that all the features that you mentioned
13 were not captured. I know that terrain, so it's very difficult to see
14 that on the ground from the position where I was.
15 Q. Let me show you a map bearing P132. It was shown to you earlier
16 on. Could you please -- Colonel, could you please place your pointer on
17 that area where you have indication of the positions of the 3rd Battalion.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to
19 ask that the witness first be shown the entire map so that he can see the
20 time period that this refers to. The map is now folded so he cannot see
21 exactly which time period is covers.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
23 Q. Can you please place your pointer on those positions held by the
24 3rd Battalion, the companies, yes, the three companies.
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. Now, Zarkovica was captured in October; isn't it?
2 A. Zarkovica is on the other side. I wasn't able to see that, so I
3 don't know exactly when this was captured. This is something that you
4 could not see from our positions, in view of the configuration of the
5 terrain, you could not see that from Srdj, from Bosanka, from the hill.
6 It's not possible to see that part. All I could see was Rijeka Dubrovacka
7 and the northern slopes and this is as we had it.
8 Q. Just yes or no answer would do. Do you know that Zarkovica was
9 captured in October --
10 A. No.
11 Q. You don't know?
12 A. No, I don't know.
13 Q. Do you know that those three positions indicated there, where the
14 3rd Battalion companies are, that is, Bosanka and the other two positions,
15 that they were captured in the course of the November operation? Do you
16 know or don't you know?
17 A. No. No. I don't know.
18 Q. And do you know that the 3rd Battalion participated in the
19 November operations, the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
20 A. Yes. I know that it took part in the operations, but I'm not
21 aware of the details.
22 Q. And the Old Town was shelled in the course of the November
23 operation. Surely you would know that.
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. Even up to today, you don't know that the Old Town was shelled in
1 the course of the November operation. Is that what you're saying?
2 A. Up until today, I don't know that officially. All I heard about
3 is that there was shelling on the 6th of December, but beyond that, I'm
4 not aware of it.
5 Q. You said up until today you don't know that officially. Did you
6 find out unofficially? Did you hear about it, either through media or
8 A. I heard that there was shelling, but on the 6th of December, and I
9 don't know about it in November.
10 Q. What orders had you received from your higher command with regard
11 to the Old Town, as to what you could or could not do in engaging -- in
12 the course of combat with regard to the Old Town? Did you receive any
13 specific orders saying: Do not fire on the Old Town?
14 A. Yes. From the superior officer, from the very beginning of the
15 operations, practically from October 1st onwards, it was explicitly
16 ordered that no one should dare to fire on the Old Town. But this was
17 mostly part of the measures. I said that this was what was written in the
18 order. But in view of the characteristics of our weapons and the distance
19 we were at, it was not possible to do it either.
20 Q. Now you were shown two documents in the course of
21 examination-in-chief, D57 and D58.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May the witness be shown those two documents
24 Q. Now, D57 is dated 9th November and has been issued at 23 hours,
25 which means that those tasks that have been issued were with regard to
1 assignments to be carried out the next day; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And D58, as questioned by the learned Defence counsel, is the
4 combat report based on those activities carried out the next day?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And D58 is a report sent to the command of the 2nd Operational
7 Group by the 9th VPS. It's a combat report?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And this is the type of combat reports a unit would send up to its
10 higher command in reporting on what combat activity they had taken and
11 reporting the ground situation; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, you said that in D58 there's a reference to a soldier who had
14 not been killed, but it includes -- his name is included in the list of
15 those killed. But you are personally aware that he was not killed at this
16 stage, that he was only wounded?
17 A. Look, on the 10th, in the morning -- well, this is not so
18 important, in view of the documentation. There is a list of people who
19 were killed in that operation. One, that soldier was wounded. A bullet
20 went through his head, his skull. He was in a coma. I don't know whether
21 there was surgery or something, but he didn't die that day.
22 Q. My point is: You said that this document -- that the soldier's
23 name, which has been put down as one of those killed, is incorrect. I
24 mean, is it a yes or no? You said that this soldier was not killed at
25 this stage, and that's what you're saying right now too.
1 A. The soldier was not killed, but he is not on this list. He could
2 not have been. This is a report for that day. That soldier died the
3 following day, so he could not be on this list for this day. I explained
4 that. His name is not on this list. He was seriously wounded and he died
5 the following day. So he could not be on this list. This is a list of
6 the 10th, from the 10th.
7 Q. So what you're saying, then, is that this report contains
8 factually incorrect information?
9 JUDGE PARKER: I think you misunderstood the original evidence --
10 A. No. Please.
11 JUDGE PARKER: -- Ms. Mahindaratne. The witness did not suggest
12 the name was on the list. Not in the report.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I probably
14 misunderstood what he said. I was under the impression that he said there
15 is a name here -- okay. I withdraw that.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Well, could I just follow it up for a moment and
17 then we might be able to move on.
18 You named a soldier who was wounded on the 9th and you think died
19 perhaps on the 10th whose name is not on that list.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The soldier was not wounded on
21 the 9th but on the 10th, in the morning. We went out for our operation on
22 the 10th. So he died on the 11th. And that is why he could not be on
23 this list. I don't know if I was clear enough.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Well, instead of clearing things up, I've made them
25 less clear, because I understood from your evidence that Admiral Jokic
1 visited on the 8th and you commenced operations on the 9th, and that this
2 report of the 10th was a report on the first day's operations. Is that
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I didn't know the exact
5 day when the admiral came to see us. I don't know if it was the 8th or
6 the 9th. I cannot recall that.
7 But in any case, the following day, after his visit, we set out on
8 our attack. We had that one seriously wounded person, who actually died
9 24 hours after being wounded. According to this report, I see where
10 people are from. That soldier was an active-duty soldier, so he was not
11 on this list. He could not have been included on this list. I'm sorry
12 that I don't know the first and last name of that soldier, because then it
13 would be easier to compare.
14 JUDGE PARKER: All right. I was going to ask you whether that
15 report mentioned both killed and wounded. It does, doesn't it?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It does here, yes, both of the
17 killed and the wounded.
18 JUDGE PARKER: And the soldier you knew to be wounded is not shown
19 on the report?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is only one soldier here
21 mentioned as being wounded, soldier Jovo Kodalovic [phoen], as being
22 seriously wounded, municipality of Kotor. This is confusing me a little
23 bit. I cannot remember. He was an active-duty soldier. I'm not sure
24 whether the place of origin was written down in the case of active-duty
25 soldiers. It's possible. I'm not ruling it out. It's possible. But I am
1 sorry that I don't have the name so that we could resolve this issue.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I don't think I've helped anybody,
3 Ms. Mahindaratne, so please carry on as you were going to.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I will move on, Your Honour.
5 Q. You said that you didn't know about the activities of the other
6 units attached to the 472nd Motorised Brigade, but do you know of any
7 colleagues attached to the other units and not your units who were killed
8 or injured, wounded in combat operations? And I'm referring to the area
9 of Dubrovnik.
10 A. It's a broad question. I'm not quite clear on this question.
11 What are we talking about? What time period?
12 Q. For example, in the November operations, do you know of any
13 soldiers belonging to the other units of the 472nd Motorised Brigade who
14 were killed or injured in the course of the November operations?
15 A. Yes. There were such cases in other units. There was talk about
16 people who were killed and wounded. I don't know the names, but I did
17 hear that this was talked about.
18 Q. Do you know of such soldiers belonging to the other units killed
19 or wounded in the course of the operations conducted on 23rd, 24th, and
20 25th of October?
21 A. I don't know the exact dates of who was killed, when. But if
22 we're talking about the fighters, whether they were killed or wounded,
23 this was something that was talked about, but I don't know who was killed,
24 when, where. This is a very large subject. I didn't know from which
25 units they were. I don't know where they were killed and who they were,
1 but there were people who were killed and wounded.
2 Q. My question was not as to the details of those who were wounded
3 and killed, but whether you were aware of those who were killed and
4 wounded in the October operations. And do I take your response as a yes?
5 A. Excuse me. I had the impression that you asked about November a
6 little while ago, and now you're talking about October. So excuse me, but
7 I didn't hear that. I thought you were speaking about November. But now
8 you're speaking about October. I apologise if I misheard.
9 Q. I'm referring to October. I'm asking you -- it's a simple
10 question. Do you know of any other soldiers belonging to other units of
11 the 472nd Motorised Brigade killed or wounded in the course of the combat
12 operations conducted on 23rd, 24th, and 25th October? Yes or no. Do you
13 know of soldiers who belonged -- it's a simple question, Mr. -- Colonel.
14 A. Yes. There were wounded and killed in other units in that period.
15 I don't know the details. But there were such cases, both killed and
16 wounded, in that time period that you are talking about, in October.
17 Q. So which would then definitely indicate to you that there were
18 combat operations going on during this period. Isn't that the case?
19 Isn't it a clear inference, if you knew that soldiers belonging to other
20 units were killed in combat during this period, that there had to be
21 combat operations then?
22 A. You must know that there were a lot of casualties during the
23 various truces or during the time the units were on positions, as a result
24 of fire from the Croatian side. So I'm not sure. I don't know that there
25 were combat operations, but we still had casualties. I know about units
1 which were also in positions similar to my units who had suffered
2 casualties but were not in the process of combat operations.
3 Q. Moving on. You testified about Admiral Jokic visiting prior to
4 the November operations and giving certain instructions, and you just
5 stated that you were not certain as to the exact date. Do you remember
6 where Admiral Jokic came to? What was the location?
7 A. He came in the beginning of November. I do not know the exact
8 date, whether it was the 8th or the 9th. I'm not sure about the actual
9 date. To the command post of the 1st Motorised Battalion and you have
10 this marked on the map. This command post is between Zaplanik and Hum
11 halfway. It's called the speleological house and that's where the command
12 post was.
13 Q. And you stated further that the battalion commander reported to
14 Admiral Jokic about certain issues. Who was the battalion commander? Is
15 the battalion commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion?
16 A. Yes. The commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion.
17 Q. And what is his name?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the name. The
19 interpreters could not understand it.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
21 Q. Colonel, you are being asked to repeat the name. The interpreters
22 did not catch it.
23 A. Major Milivoje Kadovic. At that time he was a major.
24 Q. Now, moving on to another area. You spoke of seeing a
25 60-millimetre mortar. You said a 60-millimetre long-barrelled artillery
1 piece which was similar to an 82-millimetre mortar mounted on a vehicle
2 firing from a certain areas, and those areas that you described are the
3 wider area of Dubrovnik, isn't it?
4 A. Specifically, between Cajkovici and Sustjepan. That's where I
5 noticed firing.
6 Q. And where were you when you saw this vehicle? From where did you
7 observe this?
8 A. From Golubov Kamen, the observation post.
9 Q. What is the distance between this observation post to those areas,
10 that is -- I'm sorry, I'm going to mispronounce. Sustjepan and -- and the
11 other place that you indicated. What is the distance between these two
13 A. Between Sustjepan and Cajkovici? Is that what you mean?
14 Q. No --
15 A. Or from where I was observing?
16 Q. From where you were observing.
17 A. Oh, between Sustjepan and the observation post, there are a few
18 kilometres as the crow flies.
19 Q. How many kilometres? Could you just indicate?
20 A. Less than two kilometres.
21 Q. That would be -- if I may, Your Honour.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May the witness be shown map P124.
23 Q. Can you please place your pointer on the location that you were,
24 the observation post.
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. And is that the place you indicated, Golubov Kamen, your
2 observation post?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And would you please indicate where the vehicle was when you
5 observed it.
6 A. The vehicle was almost halfway between Sustjepan and Cajkovici.
7 It's approximately this area.
8 Q. And how did you observe --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
11 Q. How did you observe it? Did you observe it with your naked eye?
12 Were you watching this? Were you involved in combat activity at the time
13 you saw this?
14 A. No. I was at the observation post, and I was observing. First I
15 saw the projectile, with the naked eye. I saw activity and then I
16 identified it through binoculars.
17 Q. You went on to say that a mortar could be used from a vehicle
18 subject to the vehicle being prepared in a special way. Now, isn't it the
19 case that when a mortar is fired, there is a recoil, which has to be
20 absorbed by a soft substance or soft surface? Could you please --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And so even if you do position sandbags on a vehicle, still,
23 wouldn't the recoil damage the surface of the truck or the surface on
24 which the weapon is placed?
25 A. For 60-millimetre and 82-millimetre mortars, that cannot happen.
1 If the surface is prepared properly.
2 Q. Don't you have to add additional suspension to the vehicle and
3 reinforce the strength of the vehicle in order to carry out firing of
4 mortars from a vehicle? Otherwise the vehicle would be completely
5 destroyed after a few firings from the mortar, isn't it?
6 A. Well, you see, the part where the surface is going to be has to be
7 reinforced. Metal can be placed down there, whatever, and then the
8 suspension or the sandbags have to be put there by way of reinforcement.
9 I could not see from such a distance. And for these small-calibre mortars
10 of 60 millimetres or 82 millimetres, that is what is done. It does not
11 fire a maximum number of charges, so there is no problem.
12 Q. So how many times can you fire from a vehicle in a given
13 situation? Can it fire more than a couple of times, at the most?
14 A. Yes, if the surface was prepared properly.
15 Q. What type of a truck or vehicle can you use for this type of
16 activity? Doesn't it -- shouldn't it be a huge vehicle?
17 A. No. No. Even the smallest possible freight vehicle, from one and
18 a half tonnes onwards. It doesn't really matter. From one and a half
19 tonnes onwards. What really matters is the chassis.
20 Q. And when you said that there was firing from this truck and you
21 observed this, was it clear to you that it was being used as a means of
22 provocation? And I'm referring to the time you observed the firing from
23 the vehicle.
24 A. Well, in my opinion, that was already activity against our units,
25 because the projectiles were falling right behind me, 100 or 200 metres
1 behind me. So the objective was to fire at the front line of the
2 battalion units.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, would this be a good time to take
4 a break? And thereafter I will not take more than 15 minutes, 10 minutes,
5 at the most.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Is it practical for you to conclude in the next 10
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If I may, if it's after the break, yes,
9 Mr. President.
10 JUDGE PARKER: You need to collect your thoughts?
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: We will have a break now, then.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.44 p.m.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Mahindaratne.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I have only one question, Your Honour.
17 Q. Colonel, in the course of examination-in-chief, you referred to
18 certain problems caused to the 472nd Motorised Brigade due to the former
19 commander, Colonel Marinovic, leaving, and also due to the senior officers
20 not knowing each other, et cetera. Now, did these problems also have an
21 impact on the level of discipline of the brigade?
22 A. Well, you see, when the commander left the unit, this did have a
23 negative effect on the unit as a whole. However, part of the officers
24 remained, part of the permanent officers. And this pertains primarily to
25 the new units that were mobilised, where the soldiers and officers came
1 from elsewhere. They had more problems.
2 As for discipline, the problem that you asked about, I can just
3 say, for my own unit and, to a large extent, the battalion, we did not
4 have any problems in that respect, not major problems. We had some minor
5 problems perhaps. But 70 per cent of the officers came from Bileca, from
6 the reserve officers school. These were primarily officers who were very
7 good, who were excellent. So we established a system. We knew what the
8 rules and regulations were, so we did not have any problems in that
9 respect. Specifically, I did not have any problems.
10 Q. I'm not talking about your unit in particular, but did you observe
11 certain problems relating to discipline perhaps amongst those units that
12 were newly mobilised?
13 A. Well, you see, these were sporadic problems that I could see at a
14 given point in time. I heard that there were some very small problems,
15 but I cannot talk about any major problems. I was not there. I was
16 dealing with the mobilisation of my own unit.
17 Q. I have just one more question, Your Honour. I'm sorry, it wasn't
18 the last question, after all.
19 How long have you served in the VRS, Colonel? If you can indicate
20 from when to when.
21 A. From 1993 until the present day. I'm still in service.
22 Q. And can you just identify what VRS stands for. I mean, it's army
23 of what? For the record.
24 A. The Army of Republika Srpska. That's the abbreviation, the
1 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I have concluded cross-examination, Your
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
5 Mr. Petrovic.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Petrovic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pavicic, my colleague asked you a few minutes
9 ago about discipline. Tell us, please: What was the fire discipline like
10 in your unit?
11 A. In my case, we only opened fire on the orders issued by the
12 battalion commander, only on his orders.
13 Q. Were there any cases of arbitrary firing?
14 A. No. That could not have happened.
15 Q. A few minutes ago, in response to the question put by my learned
16 friend, you described the 472nd Brigade as an elite unit in the former JNA
17 in peacetime. Given all the problems that the unit had in this period -
18 September, October, November - can that unit still be called an elite
20 A. I think that in that period, it was, to a considerable degree.
21 Q. Tell us, please: In this period - September, October, November -
22 were there any problems in terms of manning the unit, getting certain
23 specialties, a certain profile of soldiers, non-commissioned officers,
24 et cetera?
25 A. Yes, there were problems. For example, for some critical
1 specialties, or very important VESs, there were problems, yes.
2 Q. In response to my learned friend's questions, you talked about the
3 establishment structure of the battalion. My colleague asked you about
4 what was there in terms of artillery, tanks, and so on, within your
5 motorised battalion. Tell us, please, the formation structure of the
6 motorised battalion, does it not imply that there has to be a mortar of a
7 certain calibre in each and every unit? Could you please explain the
8 establishment to us. What is envisaged?
9 A. The commander of the battalion has its own command, two or three
10 companies. A mortar company, an anti-aircraft company, and a logistics
11 platoon. Those are the basic elements of the establishment. On the basis
12 of these elements, certain elements of combat deployment and combat order
13 are set up, specifically, 120-millimetre mortars set up a battalion group,
14 which has the task of providing fire support in terms of carrying out
16 Q. Tell me: Can a motorised battalion or an infantry battalion which
17 was sent to carry out a particular task, can it leave behind, for example,
18 a mortar company, a 120-millimetre mortar company, is something like that
19 possible, according to doctrine?
20 A. No. That is not possible. Absolutely. It would be as if -- if
21 you simply left behind the quartermasters and you did not provide any food
22 to the troops. That's what that would be like.
23 Q. So if a battalion is deployed to a particular position, all
24 elements of the battalion are deployed within that position?
25 A. Yes. And after all, that is the basic principle of how one
1 deploys a battalion in defence with all the elements of a combat order.
2 Q. My colleague asked you about losses, that either your unit had or
3 other units of the brigade that we are discussing. Do you know of any
4 losses at Ivanjica, when the operations only started? Do you know
5 anything about that?
6 A. Yes. Since in fact this was in front, if we are looking at the
7 geography involved, I think that it was on the 3rd of October that four,
8 five, or six men got killed, and the same number got wounded. I know some
9 colleagues who were wounded there or killed there. So I am aware of that.
10 I think there were five or six dead and the same number of wounded
11 persons. That's all I know.
12 Q. Do you know anything of the circumstances of these casualties?
13 A. As far as I know, most of the dead persons were killed by mortar
14 fire, three or four soldiers were, and later on in this sporadic gunfire,
15 the provocations. That's all I know.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be given
17 document D43. Perhaps it's even there right now, because my colleague
18 asked the witness about this.
19 Q. Would you please take a look at this document now and tell us: On
20 the basis of this document, what can you conclude? What was the original
21 unit of the 472nd Brigade?
22 A. We can see that the original unit was the 9th VPS.
23 Q. What does it mean when we say "original unit"?
24 A. It means that it is part of the 9th Military Naval Sector. In the
25 chain of command, the 9th Military Naval Sector is responsible and under
1 the chain of command for that brigade.
2 Q. Now, when the brigade is given over to the 2nd Corps, is this only
3 temporary, provisional, before the unit withdraws from its original unit?
4 A. It depends on the type of assignment. It can be for a longer
5 period of time or a smaller period. Re-subordination is one thing,
6 temporary composition is another, and restructuring is another thing yet
7 again. In this case, it returned to its original unit, Maticnje [phoen].
8 And when we come to the 2nd Operational Group, before that, it was within
9 the composition of the 2nd group for a particular assignment.
10 Q. Do you know whether the 4th Battalion of the 472nd Brigade, at the
11 beginning, remained within the composition of the 9th VPS, Naval Military
13 A. Yes, I do know that.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I object to that, Your Honour. I did not raise
15 any issues about the 4th Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade in
17 JUDGE PARKER: That's true, Ms. Mahindaratne.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no further
19 questions in redirect. Thank you.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Petrovic. May we thank
21 you, Mr. Pavicic, for your evidence and assistance here, and you'll be
22 pleased to know you're now free to return to your home and work. Thank
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE PARKER: The next witness, Mr. Rodic, will be?
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The Defence calls
3 the next witness, who is Gojko Djurasic.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Mr. Djurasic. Would you be kind
7 enough to take the card from the court officer and read the affirmation.
8 WITNESS: GOJKO DJURASIC
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Examined by Mr. Rodic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, would you introduce yourself, please, to
18 the Trial Chamber by giving them your full name.
19 A. My name is Gojko Djurasic.
20 Q. Would you give us your date of birth.
21 A. The 17th of August, 1947.
22 Q. Tell us, please, where you reside.
23 A. I reside in Bar, Montenegro.
24 Q. Would you please tell us what your profession is.
25 A. I'm a pensioner at present.
1 Q. Tell me, please, what education you have.
2 A. Primary school, secondary school; after that, I went to the
3 military academy anti-aircraft attack section in Zadar, and the General
4 Staff Academy in Belgrade.
5 Q. That means you were an active-duty officer?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And your military career in the Yugoslav People's Army lasted from
8 what date to what date?
9 A. From 1971, when I became an active duty-officer, until 1999, when
10 I retired.
11 Q. And what rank did you have when you retired?
12 A. I was a lieutenant colonel.
13 Q. So that means during 1991 you were in fact an active-duty officer,
14 and that being the case, could you tell us where you were at the time.
15 A. In 1991, I was a lieutenant colonel by rank, and I was the
16 commander of the light artillery division of the anti-aircraft attack in
17 the Radovici barracks, near Tivat. The light artillery battery.
18 Q. When you were the commander of that unit in Radovici, can you tell
19 me what establishment and unit that unit belonged to?
20 A. It was the 86th Light Artillery --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
22 A. Battalion which belonged to the 9th Military Naval Sector.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. And the command of the 9th Military Naval Sector, where was that?
25 A. It was in Kumbor.
1 Q. Can you tell us how long you served in the 9th Military Naval
3 A. I served in the 9th Military Naval Sector from 1975 right up until
4 the time I retired.
5 Q. In 1991, can you tell us who the commander was of the 9th Military
6 Naval Sector?
7 A. In 1991, the commander was warship Captain Djurovic, and after he
8 was killed it was Admiral Jokic.
9 Q. Do you know how Commander Krsto Djurovic was killed?
10 A. Yes, I do. In a helicopter crash. He died with three other
11 officers. The helicopter crashed and he was killed.
12 Q. Do you know who else was with him in the helicopter?
13 A. In the helicopter with him was General Cokic, I think. I think
14 that was his name. And another colonel. I don't know what his name was
15 Q. Do you know during that period of time when the accident happened,
16 what General Cokic's duties were? What position did he occupy?
17 A. I think he was the Chief of Staff of the 2nd operative group --
18 Operational Group. Something like that.
19 Q. Tell me, please: In view of your many years of service in the
20 Military Naval Sector, did Admiral Jokic -- was Admiral Jokic your
21 commander in any other period of time?
22 A. Yes. Before he -- before warship Captain Zec came to command
23 me -- and before him there was another commander; that's true. That
24 would make it in the period from the 1980s, from 1980 to, let's say, 1985,
25 1986, Jokic was my commander. I can't remember the exact dates.
1 Q. But as an officer, a member of the 9th Military Naval Sector, I'm
2 sure you know Admiral Jokic very well, who, on two occasions, was the
3 commander of the 9th Military Naval Sector; right?
4 A. Yes, you could say that.
5 Q. Tell me, please: At the end of the summer of 1991, I assume you
6 were still at your post at the barracks in Radovici; right?
7 A. Yes, I was.
8 Q. Do you know, for that period of time, when the fighting started on
9 the territory of Dubrovnik and Herzegovina?
10 A. Well, the fighting started at around the 1st of October.
11 Q. During that period of time, were you informed and aware of the
12 situation that the barracks were in, the soldiers of the Yugoslav People's
13 Army on the territory of Croatia?
14 A. Well, I did know about that from the reporting that took place and
15 information received via the media. I know that the situation was
16 difficult, that they were surrounded, that the barracks were surrounded,
17 along with the soldiers, and that military personnel weren't allowed to
18 move around. They couldn't go and see their families. And they were
19 blocked, generally.
20 Q. As an officer yourself and as a naval man, do you know whether, in
21 the autumn of 1991 to the end of 1991, the re-dislocation -- resettlement
22 of equipment and materiel, manpower, garrisons took place from the
23 military naval district, from the territory of the Republic of Croatia?
24 A. Yes, I do know about that. I am aware of that.
25 Q. And where were they resettled, redeployed, those units?
1 A. Mostly they came by naval vessels to the Zelenika port and to the
2 part of Bar.
3 Q. So they are ports in Montenegro, are they not?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. And what about the area in which these soldiers, equipment, and
6 materiel were set up? Did it belong to the 9th Military Naval Sector,
7 where they went to?
8 A. Yes, mostly.
9 Q. Tell me, please: At the beginning of October 1991, where were you
10 yourself? Did you stay on in Radovici or were you somewhere else?
11 A. At the beginning of October, and when the combat operations
12 started, I was in Radovici with my unit, until we received our
14 Q. And what assignment was that, specifically?
15 A. I personally received an assignment from the head of staff of the
16 9th VPS. I think it was a warship Captain Zec at the time who was the
17 commander. I received my assignment on the telephone to the effect that I
18 should take up the equipment I needed, and the men I needed, and to set
19 off for Grude, where I was to set up a command post, the command of Grude,
20 which I took note of. However, I wasn't quite clear on the assignment, so
21 I contacted Admiral Jokic and asked him to clarify my assignment.
22 Q. Well, then give me a little more detail. What did the commander
23 Admiral Jokic tell you? What were his explanations? How did he closer
24 determine your assignment in setting up the command post at Grude? What
25 were you supposed to do?
1 A. The first and primary task was to try, under the prevailing
2 circumstances, to bring life back to normal, so that the population who
3 stayed on in the area could go back to work normally and that I was
4 supposed to give them all the logistic support needed and do what I could
5 with all the resources, the military resources I had and with all the
6 civilian resources that were not taken up by the war. So that was my
7 primary task.
8 Q. Would it be correct to say that with the formation of the command
9 of Grude, setting that up by the Yugoslav People's Army, specifically, in
10 the area of the 9th Military Naval Sector, that the task and assignment
11 was, in fact, to organise civilian life in that place, in that locality,
12 as far as was possible, given the wartime conditions and the combat
13 operations going on round about? Would that be it, in a nutshell?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Tell me, please: When you arrived at Grude, what did you come
16 across there? Did you find any of the local inhabitants there?
17 A. Most of the local inhabitants of Grude, when I arrived, weren't
18 there. They were in Dubrovnik and Cavtat and other places. They had left
19 Grude. But a small portion of the inhabitants did stay on in their homes,
20 in their houses. They were mostly elderly people. And we gave them what
21 assistance we could. We did our best for them to ensure that they
22 survived, that they should be safe, that nobody should harm them. There
23 was no electricity, no water, so we supplied them with our own power
24 generation system. They ate the food that the soldiers ate. Things like
1 Q. Tell me, please: When you were there, during that period of time,
2 the local inhabitants who had left Grude and gone to Cavtat and Dubrovnik,
3 did they perhaps return to their homes at any time? Did they return to
4 Grude at any time?
5 A. When the fighting stopped and when the command was set up in
6 Cavtat as well, then, through the Red Cross organisation and international
7 organisations which would come to see me, and we discussed the situation,
8 we found a way out, a way in which the population who wished to return to
9 take a look at their houses and properties and land and to do a little
10 work on their land, if need be, we organised transport in trucks from
11 Cavtat to Grude. For example, at around 8.00 in the morning - I can't
12 tell you the exact time, and it varied from one day to the next - up until
13 1400 hours or 1500 hours in the afternoon we organised this transport and
14 they would go back at that time, in the afternoon, back to the hotels they
15 had been put up in, in Cavtat or Dubrovnik.
16 Q. The local population in Grude, was it given assistance in the form
17 of food supplies and other necessary requirements?
18 A. Yes, for the most part. The basic necessities and what we were
19 able to give them from our wartime reserves. But mostly we were able to
20 supply them with cooked meals.
21 Q. Tell me, please: The local population, did they have medical aid
22 and assistance?
23 A. Yes, they did. Otherwise, in Grude there was a medical centre, a
24 rather large one, and two nurses stayed on who had worked in the medical
25 centre and lived there. They stayed and continued working with our own
1 physician, so that all the necessary medical care and attention was
2 provided to anybody who needed it.
3 Q. Tell me if you remember, you needn't give us the exact number, but
4 do you happen to recall how many soldiers you had under your command in
5 order to meet these needs in Grude?
6 A. At the beginning I arrived with five or six of my men, two
7 officers, and we set all this up. Then I asked General Jokic to allow
8 some of my men who had stayed on in Radovici to come in and assist me and
9 help me organise security and safety for the region, to the sanitation of
10 the terrain and so on, control points and so on. So at Grude, I ended up
11 by having about 20 soldiers and two or three commanding officers during
12 that initial stage.
13 Q. And what was the relationship between those soldiers and the local
15 A. It was very proper.
16 Q. Can you tell us, please, how long you stayed in Grude. How long
17 were you there for?
18 A. I stayed in Grude -- or rather, from Grude, I set up the command
19 post at Cavtat, so that afterwards I relinquished my duties to Major
20 Kurdulija, whereas I continued to work in Grude until I received orders
21 from General Jokic, and that was in the second half of November, by which
22 I was supposed to set up a command post in Mokosica.
23 Q. Tell me, please: --
24 MR. WEINER: Excuse me, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
1 MR. WEINER: Page 81, it says he received orders from General
2 Jokic. Is he referring to Admiral Jokic or General Strugar or some other
3 general? Could the -- could the transcript be clarified.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I shall ask the witness.
5 Q. The order that you received to set up the command at Grude and
6 later on Cavtat and Mokosica, who gave you that order?
7 A. Admiral Jokic, personally.
8 Q. Could you please tell me whether the staff command in Cavtat was
9 founded in October 1991.
10 A. Yes. I don't know the exact date, but it was around the 20th.
11 Q. On your arrival, when you came to Cavtat, what was the situation
12 there regarding the local population?
13 A. Cavtat was mostly untouched, as far as military actions were
14 concerned. The operational army was on the outskirts of Cavtat. The
15 citizens, for the most part, were in their homes, in comparison to Grude
16 and Mokosica, life there was mostly normal, if one can say that. These
17 supplies were much better and so on.
18 Q. Is the reason for that the fact that there were no combat
19 operations in and around Cavtat?
20 A. Because there were no such operations in Cavtat.
21 Q. And the work in order to organise living in Cavtat, to organise
22 the supplies to all the population, in view of the fact that most of the
23 population remained there, was it more difficult to do that?
24 A. No. It was much easier to organise that in Cavtat than to do it
25 in Grude.
1 Q. You mentioned that when the command in Cavtat was formed, after a
2 certain period of time you returned to Grude again. Can you please tell
3 us how long you stayed at the command post in Grude.
4 A. I stayed there until late November, until about the 20th of
5 November, when I was summoned by Admiral Jokic to the forward command
6 post, and he issued me an order to form the staff command in Mokosica.
7 Q. When you say that Admiral Jokic summoned you to the forward
8 command post, can you tell us exactly where this place was located and
9 whose command post it was.
10 A. It was in Kupari, the command post of the 9th VPS, Military Naval
12 Q. Can you tell us when you came to Mokosica, what was the situation
13 that you found there?
14 A. When I came to Mokosica, the local population already had formed a
15 crisis staff, their own crisis staff, which was located in a shelter of a
16 building. And together with my communications officer and officer for
17 security, I went there and I told them what my task was, and that from
18 that point on, I was in command of that post, that the staff command
19 should be formed there, which they accepted. And from that point on, we
20 started to work together to set up all of the conditions that I have
21 already mentioned. We started to work to normalise life there. We formed
22 a new crisis staff with some of the people who had already been its
23 members and with the people -- or some of the people that I had brought
24 with me.
25 Q. Could you please tell me what the situation was with the local
1 population in Mokosica when you arrived there.
2 A. Some of the population had fled to Dubrovnik. A larger part
3 remained, according to what Admiral Jokic told me when he gave me this
4 assignment, he told me that there were about 1.600 citizens there, of
5 which about 1.200 were Croats and about 400 were Serbs. He said that a
6 police station was set up with four to six police officers, Croat
7 officers. I was ordered to leave that to function as it had functioned up
8 to that time and that nothing should be changed there.
9 Q. When you're speaking about the Croat police officers in
10 Mokosica --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- are these members of the MUP of the Republic of Croatia?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were these police officers armed?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were these police officers carrying their weapons as they were
17 carrying out their duties, while at the same time you, as a representative
18 of the JNA, with your men, were working and living in Mokosica?
19 A. They did not carry long-barrelled weapons but sidearms.
20 Q. Was there a police station or a police outpost before in Mokosica?
21 A. Yes, there was. This is something that was already there when I
23 Q. Do you know perhaps how Mokosica was taken over by the JNA?
24 A. No, I don't know.
25 Q. Was the reason for that the fact that you were in Grude before
2 A. Yes. I was in Grude prior to that, so that I was not familiar
3 with all the details.
4 Q. These Croat police officers who stayed in Mokosica, what did they
5 specifically do? What were their duties?
6 A. Their duties were, in cooperation with our military police, to be
7 responsible for the security of the local population, in every way.
8 Various things could have happened. Afterwards, when we organised a
9 regular ferry line between Dubrovnik and Cavtat, we escorted that vessel.
10 Q. Could you please tell us when you assumed the command post in
11 Mokosica with the task of organising the civilian life in wartime, who
12 provided you with the necessary personnel in order to carry out this
14 A. I took some personnel from the Grude command post and transferred
15 them. Then I requested from Admiral Jokic that he should supply a certain
16 number of soldiers, military police officers, to man checkpoints, to deal
17 with security, also preparation of food, supplying of the civilian
18 population, and so on. However, it all boiled down to those people that I
19 had brought with me. Perhaps there was some addition to that. I don't
20 remember exactly how many soldiers arrived. And the military police who
21 had their own duties were not re-subordinated to my command but were under
22 somebody else's command.
23 Q. Do you know which MP unit is that?
24 A. That was the military police from the 9th VPS.
25 Q. Would it be correct if I say that because of the different
1 circumstances and objective circumstances in that area, you had certain
2 problems related to a shortage of personnel in order to be able to carry
3 out the tasks you were required to?
4 A. Yes, you could say that.
5 Q. Could you please tell us: While you were in Mokosica, were there
6 any provocations there from the other side, from the Croat side? I am
7 thinking about fire provocations, firing provocations.
8 A. Geographically speaking, my command post was on the opposite bank
9 of the Rijeka Dubrovacka, at a distance of 250 to 300 metres, so that you
10 could open fire from infantry weapons. So there were some provocations,
11 mostly on the road from Mokosica to the -- I cannot remember the name at
12 the moment. I cannot remember the name. But mostly also at the motor
13 vehicles which were used for food supplies, also to bring in water, or
14 Red Cross vehicles which were marked appropriately. Fire was opened at
15 those vehicles.
16 Q. The Croat side, did they open fire at these vehicles?
17 A. Yes, they did.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could I please ask the usher to show
19 the witness map Exhibit P132.
20 Q. Mr. Djurasic --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- could you please open the map to the place where you can see
23 Mokosica and this area that you were talking about, and could you fold it
24 and then place it on the ELMO, please. Could we please zoom in so that we
25 can see better. Could we go a little more to the left, please, so that we
1 could see what the witness is pointing to.
2 This part of the sea that is going in to land, cutting into the
3 land, what is the name of that?
4 A. That is Rijeka Dubrovacka.
5 Q. Could you please indicate where Mokosica is.
6 A. This is Mokosica.
7 Q. Is the Mokosica staff command indicated here on this map?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. Could you please point to it with the pointer -- where it states
10 staff command?
11 A. That's correct
12 [Technical difficulty]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Could I interrupt. We have the French
14 interpretation from English.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Is the English interpretation okay now?
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. I hear an English-speaking voice. Thank you.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since we already -- also
18 had certain problems with the transcript, I would like to repeat my
20 Q. Mr. Djurasic, you pointed out the Mokosica staff command. My
21 question was: What is the settlement which was opposite from you?
22 A. That is Sustjepan. It is a slope, a geographic term.
23 Q. Could you tell us: How wide is this water dividing Mokosica and
25 A. I said it was about 300 metres. It's not the same everywhere, but
1 it's between 250 to 300 metres.
2 Q. Were the Croat military positions located in Sustjepan?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was there any fire or provocation coming from there towards
6 A. Yes. Mostly it came from there. Most of the provocations came
7 from there, although fire was not opened from the command post. Actually,
8 they did not open fire at the command post; only at the vehicles moving
9 along that road.
10 Q. Could you please show us the road Mokosica-Lozica-Slano, that road
11 that you mentioned?
12 A. Zatun [phoen], Veliki, Mali. That is that main highway, main
14 Q. Was the supply of Mokosica conducted along that road? Did the
15 supply vehicles use that communication in order to bring supplies to
17 A. That was the only road that they used. There was no other road.
18 Q. Did you ever personally go along that road from Mokosica towards
20 A. Yes, frequently. I mostly used two motor vehicles, one larger
21 motor vehicle that would go along the coast, and I would go -- travel
22 alongside it so that I would not be exposed to fire from the Croat side.
23 Q. So that motor vehicle, if we are looking in the direction of
24 Mokosica, Slano, that would be facing Sustjepan and the sea?
25 A. And my vehicle would be on the other side.
1 Q. And that was because of the firing from this side where the
2 Croatian forces were?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 MR. WEINER: I object. It's leading. I've let most of the
5 leading go, but it's just continuing.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. I think you could be a little more careful
7 there, Mr. Rodic.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I'll do my best, Your Honour.
9 Q. Tell me, Mr. Djurasic: Apart from these provocations, this
10 opening of fire on the road that you spoke of, were there any other
11 problems related to security and safety on that road?
12 A. Well, I would mostly focus on that. That road was not under my
13 jurisdiction in its entirety, so I am only speaking of the section of the
14 road where I was and where there were various points.
15 Q. Tell me, please: At the Mokosica command, what kind of
16 communication did you have with the outside world, that is to say, the
17 world out of Mokosica?
18 A. I had telephone communications with the forward command post of
19 the 9th VPS, and I had communication with Dubrovnik, telephone
21 Q. May I just interrupt you at this point. When you say that you had
22 communication with the forward command post of the 9th VPS, was this some
23 kind of a military communication, civilian? Could you describe it.
24 A. It was a military wire connection.
25 Q. Is that some kind of a telephone or what is it?
1 A. It's a telephone. It's an inductor telephone, a military
2 telephone. It is not an automatic PTT telephone. It is a military
4 Q. Tell me: This telephone that you say that you had direct
5 telephone line with Dubrovnik, what kind of a line was that?
6 A. This was established in a different period. I didn't have it at
7 the outset. It was during the second half of my stay there. When we
8 started communications or contacts with certain people, like
9 Mr. Simunovic, from Dubrovnik, then we established this telephone
10 connection so that we could communicate and regulate precisely traffic on
11 these roads around Rijeka Dubrovacka, for the sake of their transportation
12 and ours.
13 Q. Tell me, specifically: This communication with Dubrovnik, is this
14 a telephone also or is it a radio device?
15 A. A telephone, a PTT telephone.
16 Q. When you say "PTT," that is civilian?
17 A. Yes, civilian. The existing telephone lines with the number that
18 was already there.
19 Q. Did you use that telephone often, this telephone connection with
20 Dubrovnik, in order to possibly carry out cooperation with the other side?
21 A. Well, you cannot say that it was frequent, but we would talk a few
22 times a week, and if there were a problem that cropped up, then we would
23 speak again. There was no set routine.
24 Q. Tell me: In that period, was there any kind of navigation towards
1 A. In the first period of time, no. It started functioning only in
2 1992, in January, February, when conditions were created from a security
3 point of view for the unhindered travel of these people to and from
4 Dubrovnik. Then it started every day.
5 Q. A few minutes, if I'm not mistaken, you mentioned the name of Ivo
6 Simunovic from Dubrovnik; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you tell us a bit more about who this is?
9 A. Ivo Simunovic introduced himself over the telephone to me as the
10 representative of the defence of the town of Dubrovnik, who wished to meet
11 me personally at a given point in time so that we could discuss the
12 security conditions, the opening of fire, and so on. And I suggested to
13 him that he come to my command post, which he accepted. He came - I
14 cannot say exactly - two or three times to my command post. We had
15 meetings. We discussed all these problems.
16 For example, one characteristic case was when international
17 observers came from an international organisation, and he led them. They
18 were on the right side of the Rijeka Dubrovacka and he called me and asked
19 that there not be any provocations from our side, so that he could have
20 free passage there.
21 Q. When he came to see you, what did he wear?
22 A. He wore a uniform. A military uniform of the Croatian army.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is the time right for us
25 to adjourn now and continue tomorrow?
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think that is so, Mr. Rodic.
2 We commence tomorrow at 11.00, I believe. There was a medical
3 appointment that had to be accommodated earlier in the day. So we adjourn
4 now until 11.00.
5 Mr. Djurasic, we must ask you to adjourn tomorrow and your
6 evidence will continue at 11.00 in the morning.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 30th day of
9 June, 2004, at 11.00 a.m.