1 Tuesday, 20 July 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.40 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Colonel, if I could remind you of
7 the affirmation which you took when your evidence commenced, that still
9 Ms. Somers.
10 MS. SOMERS: Good morning, Your Honours.
11 WITNESS: JOVICA NESIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Colonel.
15 Colonel -- I'm getting a lot of feedback in here.
16 Colonel Nesic, can you hear me okay?
17 Colonel, I'm sorry for the disruption. Are you able to hear me?
18 MS. SOMERS: Sorry, Your Honours.
19 Q. Colonel, your unit on the 6th of December on Zarkovica was the
20 only unit that had Maljutkas and recoilless guns. Is that correct? Of
21 the units under the command of the 2nd Operational Group, it was the only
22 unit that had Maljutkas and recoilless guns?
23 A. Of all the units deployed at Zarkovica on that day, only my unit
24 had those pieces that you mentioned. If there were any other units under
25 the command of the 2nd Operational Group that had those weapons, that is a
1 question that I can't answer. As we said before, the operational group
2 covered a large area, and many units were deployed there. Therefore, I
3 can't talk about all those units.
4 Q. Colonel, we're narrowing it -- sorry, the sound system is not good
5 today. We are narrowing it just to Zarkovica on the 6th of December. You
6 were the only unit that had those weapons, and that was your answer.
8 A. No. My unit was not the only unit that had those weapons. In the
9 infantry companies, they also had recoilless guns.
10 Q. The Maljutkas were exclusively with your unit, though. Is that
12 A. Specifically anti-armour wire-guided missiles, 9K-11, yes my unit
13 had those.
14 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I'm sorry about having to speak rather low,
15 but I'm getting a terrible feedback and you may be getting the same.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: There is simply too much
17 feedback to work on like this.
18 JUDGE PARKER: I am advised that one possible source of the
19 problem is an interplay between your earphones and your microphone.
20 MS. SOMERS: I was also so advised. I'll try to step back.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps you shall --
22 MS. SOMERS: Stand straight like my mother said.
23 Q. Colonel, can you hear me okay without blowing your eardrums out?
24 A. I can't hear you at all. All I can hear is the interpreters.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MS. SOMERS: Interpreters, is it clear now?
2 THE INTERPRETER: We suppose so, yes.
3 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much.
4 Q. Your testimony yesterday indicated that you had a constant
5 observation of activities in the areas that you could see from Zarkovica,
6 and you indicated that you could see a great deal, including virtually all
7 of the Old Town. Now, on the 2nd of December and on the 4th of December
8 and on the 5th of December, I'm going to show you from P66 a video that is
9 in evidence before this Chamber. We would like to take the 2nd of
10 December -- what was happening on the 2nd of December. On the 2nd of
11 December, you also had constant observation. That would not be different
12 from any other day, would it? Colonel?
13 A. If you have me in mind specifically, that wasn't the case because
14 at one point in time, as far as combat operations were concerned, well, I,
15 too, was observing. But if you mean uninterrupted observation of that
16 area, yes, it was uninterrupted. There was uninterrupted observation.
17 There was an observer who was at the position all the time, and he kept
18 observing and noting down all the important details that were observed in
19 Dubrovnik and the general area. And he would report on those.
20 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, we'll be looking at 28.58 through 29.22
21 for the 2nd of December, if we may see it, please.
22 Q. Is your screen showing you a gathering of people?
23 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, are we having difficulty with Sanction?
24 Q. Had you seen -- did your screen show you -- I'm having difficulty
25 over here. Had your screen shown you a gathering of persons now? No.
1 Okay, it is not --
2 A. No, you can't see anything. The screen is blank. There's no
3 image whatsoever.
4 MS. SOMERS: Sorry. We seem to be having technical difficulties
5 today. We will try again. We're showing no signal so
6 apparently -- Your Honours, are you having any luck either?
7 JUDGE PARKER: We have the same amount of nothing as you. Now
8 here we are.
9 MS. SOMERS: There's a something.
10 Q. This is the 2nd of December 1991. I would like to ask to take it
11 to the frame where the festival or gathering in the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
12 You see older people and children, women.
13 [Videoclip played]
14 MS. SOMERS:
15 Q. Now, this view was also the view from Zarkovica. Did your
16 observers, your 24-hour observers, report to you that there were civilians
17 in the square at Zarkovica -- I'm sorry, at the Old Town? Was that
18 confirmed to you, sent up the chain?
19 A. Well, Madam, this sort of information, civilians moving about, was
20 not important for us. We did not monitor civilians moving about. Our job
21 was to notice military targets moving about. After all, civilians were
22 moving about Dubrovnik and the Old Town on a daily basis. Therefore, we
23 did observe them moving about, but they were not of relevance to us.
24 MS. SOMERS: May I ask, please, the next frame, which is, Madam
25 Case Manager, December 4th between 29.48 and 30.13.
1 [Videoclip played]
2 MS. SOMERS:
3 Q. This is in the Old Town. This is Mr. Bernard Kouchner who was
4 visiting the Old Town, and there are human beings on the street, old
5 ladies, young ladies, people in civilian clothing.
6 Was it reported to you by your observers that this activity was
7 taking place in the Old Town, that there were civilians on the 4th of
9 A. No, Madam. Nothing special was said about that. But as I've
10 already said, we noticed people there on a daily basis, even more massive
11 gatherings in the Old Town, and not small groups like this one. But then
12 again, I must say, this was of no relevance to us.
13 MS. SOMERS: If we can move on, please, to the 5th of December.
14 The frame would be 30.14 through 30.40.
15 [Videoclip played]
16 MS. SOMERS:
17 Q. This is a concert in Dubrovnik.
18 A. I can't see anything really.
19 Q. Let's see as it moves on. Perhaps it gets a little better. You
20 certainly could hear, could you not, music emanating from the area that
21 was less than 2 kilometres or approximately 2 kilometres from your
22 positions? You could hear music, couldn't you? There's evidence before
23 this Court that music emanating from your positions was audible.
24 A. First of all, I couldn't hear any music now. I had no sound in my
25 earphones. Secondly, that music could not be heard at Zarkovica. As far
1 as I have been able to observe since the image was very dark and blurred,
2 this is inside a building. And I think it would have been quite
3 impossible for any of those sounds in Dubrovnik to be heard at Zarkovica.
4 For that, you would have needed a really good PA system to play the music
5 so it could be heard that far away.
6 Q. Did you have reports of people coming and going to a festivity on
7 the 5th of December? Was that reported by your observers? By people, I
8 mean civilians coming and going to enjoy a music festival on the 5th of
10 A. Madam, first of all, I would have been supposed to know that there
11 was a festivity going on in a certain hall. I should have tasked the
12 observer to monitor that particular building, and then he could have
13 reported back to me whether 15, 20 or whatever people had assembled there,
14 what they were wearing, tuxedos or jeans; that sort of thing. But as I
15 said before, civilians were moving about the Old Town and the Stradun on a
16 daily basis, and this was observed every day. But that was of no military
17 relevance to us, people walking about the Old Town. We didn't record data
18 on that because that was not important. None of those people put us at
19 risk. Why, then, would I be paying special attention to a handful of
20 civilians moving about a street and people going about their own business?
21 Q. And you would agree that civilians were moving about and minding
22 their own business on the 6th of December as well in the Old Town of
23 Dubrovnik by the logic of what you have just said. Isn't that correct?
24 That there were civilians in the Old Town, living, working, trying to make
25 their lives as tolerable as possible under the circumstances?
1 A. Madam, I find it difficult to agree with you in relation to the
2 6th of December because in the morning of the 6th of December, an air-raid
3 alarm was sounded in the morning, and there were no civilians on that
4 morning moving about the town of Dubrovnik.
5 Q. So that would mean that the civilians were all holed up in their
6 homes or in their businesses or in some place where they might seek
7 shelter that your units and your battalion had led to. Is that what
8 you're telling us?
9 A. No, that's not what I'm telling you. Once an air-raid alarm is
10 sounded, the normal thing for anyone to do is to go to a shelter to take
11 cover. Now, whether anyone would be firing or not eventually, you don't
12 know. However, as soon as you hear the alarm, what you do is you head for
13 a shelter. You take cover. The air-raid alarm was sounded in the early
14 morning hours. Therefore, people were not at work yet because it did not
15 begin that early. They couldn't be there. The only thing they could have
16 done is go to shelters. That sort of thing.
17 Q. Did that come back from your intelligence that people had gone to
18 shelters? Exactly where were the civilians over whom your position looked
19 on that day? What did you do about the civilians in the Old Town? Tell
20 us, please.
21 A. I apologise. We did not get any information from the intelligence
22 officers. If there was information coming in from anyone, if there was an
23 intelligence service manned by intelligence officers as you said, then
24 probably they stayed elsewhere. But no such information ever reached me.
25 I obtained my information by observing from the position of my unit,
1 observing what I could see.
2 Q. Did you get any intelligence that there was a mass evacuation of
3 human beings on the 6th of December from the Old Town of Dubrovnik? Did
4 that come back to you? Did you watch people depart from the city with
5 your 24-hour observation?
6 A. As I said, we did notice civilians moving about, but we didn't
7 know what specifically they were doing. They were not jeopardising me,
8 and therefore they were free to move about and go wherever they liked.
9 They were not fired upon because they did not put us at risk. No one
10 tried to prevent them from moving about any part of Dubrovnik, I'm not
11 only talking about the Old Town.
12 Q. You would agree that on the 6th of December, you had -- your unit
13 had a bird's eye, unobstructed view of the Old Town of Dubrovnik, would
14 you not?
15 A. Yes, I would agree. On the 6th of December, we could observe the
16 Old Town.
17 Q. You would agree, would you not, Colonel, that attacks on civilian
18 objects are prohibited? Would you simply agree?
19 A. If there was a purely civilian target, I would agree with you. A
20 clearly civilian target. However, if there was firing from that civilian
21 feature --
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection.
24 THE WITNESS: You didn't allow me to finish.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Could I interrupt here and say the witness was in
1 the middle of an answer, Ms. Somers.
2 MS. SOMERS: My apologies, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: He should be allowed to finish.
4 MS. SOMERS: My apologies. I'm sorry, Colonel.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If there is fire being opened from a
6 civilian feature, a firing weapon being used to fire on military units, it
7 ceases to be a civilian feature and becomes a military feature.
8 MS. SOMERS:
9 Q. Now, would you agree, would you not, Colonel, that attacks on
10 churches, mosques, synagogues, schools, hospitals, historic monuments,
11 homes and palaces are prohibited, civilian all, of course? Would you not
12 agree? They're prohibited by the law, the domestic law of Yugoslavia;
13 they're prohibited by military regulation; they're prohibited by
14 international humanitarian law, laws of war? You would agree with that,
15 wouldn't you? You are a trained officer, high ranking.
16 A. I would like to say again, Madam, if we are talking about all
17 these buildings that you have enumerated, I fully agree. However, if from
18 any of those buildings we noticed fire coming, it becomes a legitimate
19 military target that can be eliminated or fired at.
20 Q. Following up on something you said a few minutes ago where if
21 civilians after the sound of an alarm or a general alert would take
22 shelter, civilians in the Old Town would have the expectation even if a
23 general alarm sounds of not expecting an attack on the Old Town. Would
24 you not agree, it was after all, was it not, a UNESCO-protected territory
25 with all its contents part of the protected area? You know that, as a
1 trained officer of the JNA? Why should they take cover at the sound of a
2 general alert if they're in the Old Town?
3 A. Well, they sought shelter because they also knew that there were
4 weapons in the Old Town.
5 Q. How would you be able to know what the average person knew about
6 the status of the Old Town? I put to you that they took shelter because
7 they knew they had been shelled before, and they feared again being
8 shelled by those same units. That is the case, is it not, Colonel?
9 A. I don't know which units had shelled. Maybe you do know, and
10 probably that's why they were prompted to think along those lines. In any
11 event, any normal person under war circumstances to seek shelter instead
12 of walking around and testing his destiny and be hit.
13 Q. I asked you earlier, and I don't think you were -- that you'd
14 given an answer. Everybody in Yugoslavia from the highest officer down to
15 the lowest officer, soldier, knows that the Old Town of Dubrovnik,
16 certainly as of 6 December 1991 and earlier, as through the 1970s, was a
17 UNESCO-designated World Heritage location. Isn't that a fact? And you
18 knew it, too, didn't you?
19 A. Yes, Madam, I knew that the Old Town was under UNESCO protection.
20 I spent a lot of time in that town.
21 Q. You indicated yesterday that perhaps one or maybe none of the
22 operators of the Maljutkas had ever fired live ammunition or live
23 projectiles prior to coming into combat. Now, on the 6th of December,
24 persons who may never have had training on live ammunition under your
25 command fired Maljutkas at targets, did they not?
1 A. That is absolutely not true. None of the men who was not trained
2 could have been given an order to do that.
3 Q. A person who anyway never have fired live projectiles before was
4 nonetheless given an opportunity or had to - because of what you deemed
5 combat - fire. That is the case, isn't it, that not every person who
6 fired Maljutkas had previously fired live projectiles?
7 A. Madam, you asked me more than one question. First of all, it is
8 impossible for such an order to be given to anyone that they had to fire
9 from a weapon that they were not trained to do. So that's impossible.
10 Secondly, what you say, that someone who had never fired or guided
11 an anti-tank missile, it was possible for a person who underwent training
12 because there's a normal training procedures applied in peacetime, and
13 there is a shortened training period applied in wartime. So it is
14 impossible to secure that every operator before they're sent to the front
15 to guide a live missile, regardless of the fact that he had done that
16 before, he did have a lot of -- he did a lot of firing during training,
17 and he's therefore deemed to be fully trained and skillful. I still can't
18 see anything on my screen.
19 Q. You have no transcript?
20 A. [No audible response]
21 Q. One second, please.
22 A. It's all right now.
23 Q. Good.
24 So then if we understand each other, persons who had gone through
25 training, although not with live projectiles, may have been firing on the
1 6th of December? Trained, but not having used live projectiles. Would
2 that be correct?
3 A. Yes, we can agree on that, that they had underwent training and
4 that they guided missile in actual situations.
5 Q. With your recoilless guns, how many shells or how much -- yes, how
6 many shells did your unit fire on the 6th of December?
7 A. My unit did not fire a single missile from recoilless guns because
8 this weapon does not use missiles, but rather cumulative bullets.
9 Q. And how much --
10 JUDGE PARKER: I think there may have been some translation
11 confusion there from the English to the B/C/S. The question wasn't
12 dealing with missiles.
13 MS. SOMERS: It wasn't. I think I said shells.
14 Q. Pieces of ammunition, whatever correct terminology. How many, if
15 you want to use the term bullets, did your unit fire on the 6th of
16 December from your recoilless guns?
17 A. I cannot tell you the exact number because I can't remember, 10,
18 20, perhaps. And they were not used to fire, but rather to target, and
19 that's the basic distinction in terminology. There's one thing when you
20 fire for fun. And when you target, it's targeting an objective.
21 Q. How many Maljutkas targeted objects in the Old Town on the 6th of
23 MS. SOMERS: I am told there is no audio for the colonel. You
24 have it now.
25 Q. I'll repeat my question. Can you hear me, Colonel?
1 A. Yes, I can.
2 Q. How many Maljutkas targeted an objective in the Old Town on the
3 6th of December, Maljutkas in your unit?
4 A. Again, I must clarify something. Are you referring specifically
5 to the missiles themselves, how many of them were fired and --
6 Q. Yes, how many projectiles.
7 A. Yes, it's clear. We understand each other. We engaged one target
8 on the right-hand tower. That was an anti-aircraft gun to the right of
9 the entrance to the old port.
10 Q. With how many projectiles?
11 A. As far as I can remember, one projectile.
12 Q. And what effect did that have? What did you know at the time?
13 What effect did it have?
14 A. The effect was that it hit the edge of the opening from which this
15 gun was firing, and after that this gun became silent.
16 Q. Can you give us the time of day when this occurred, please.
17 A. I can't tell you exactly which time of the day it was. But it was
18 in the morning.
19 Q. Did you not make a record or a note or communicate the fact that
20 you had neutralised or you thought you had neutralised a target or an
21 objective in the Old Town? Was that not worthy of recordation [sic]? Was
22 that not an important event about which you deemed to be an enemy
24 A. That was not any kind of major event in the situation where you
25 have operations all the time, when you're constantly being fired at. It
1 is totally irrelevant whether this particular effect was achieved. It was
2 indeed achieved because, as I said before, this gun stopped firing from
3 that particular position.
4 Q. Before you unleashed your Maljutkas on that gun, as you say you
5 did, did you communicate either directly or through your chain to the
6 other side, to the Croatians, to remove or cease from any activity with
7 that weapon -- remove that weapon or cease any activity? Did you do that?
8 A. No, Madam. I did not request them to stop firing from these
9 firing pieces, and I believe that that would be completely out of place.
10 When you are being targeted, what are you expected to do? To wait that
11 you get killed first and then respond? Or just stand by and silently
12 watch what the other side is doing?
13 Q. Do I understand you correctly that it was not a particularly
14 important event worthy of recordation [sic] Or notice, and yet you say
15 that you had to be concerned about waiting to get killed first and then
16 responding? Do you not see a bit of a contradiction in the importance
17 that this weapon, the alleged weapon you say you saw, may have had if it
18 was something you thought might have been killed?
19 A. Of course, any weapon or firing piece can get you killed. But
20 please understand that there was war, and that there was firing all around
21 you, that all kinds of ammunition was flying around. And your primary
22 interest and concern is to find shelter and to carry out your task to
23 prevent firing or to eliminate the specific firing piece that was
24 endangering you, and it is only normal that the opposite side was doing
25 the same. Their intention was to eliminate our firing pieces in order to
1 protect themselves from our fire.
2 Q. In your training in the JNA, you, of course, were trained in the
3 laws of war which would include the Geneva Conventions and the additional
4 protocols, things that are called humanitarian law, international law.
5 Isn't that right? You were trained as an officer and responsible for
6 enforcing those provisions, weren't you?
7 A. Yes. We studied the international laws of war at the academy, and
8 we adhered to these conventions and laws.
9 Q. Did you attempt to neutralise - by you, I mean you or units under
10 your command - attempt to neutralise the mortar which you claim to have
11 seen firing at the south tower?
12 A. I never claimed that it was seemingly fired. This mortar was
13 pointed at Srdj, and it was opening fire. From the position where I was,
14 I could clearly see that because the mortar was laterally turned toward
15 me, and I could clearly see it was aiming at Srdj. And we neutralised
16 this mortar as well.
17 Q. How did you neutralise that mortar? With what weaponry?
18 A. It was neutralised by a shell fired from a recoilless gun.
19 Q. A recoilless gun that was part of your unit on Zarkovica?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 Did you make a note of the event and what time it occurred? Why
23 don't you tell us what time that actually did occurred, the neutralisation
24 of the mortar on the south tower?
25 A. The mortar on the south tower was neutralised in the early morning
1 hours, and I repeat, there was no point or need for me to note down every
2 single hit, every single target, every single shell. Quite simply, it was
3 impossible under such conditions. If you believe that I was sitting there
4 as I'm sitting now and that I was directing my units here and there, you
5 should realise that a unit covers a wide area, and the minimum distance
6 between two guns is 60 to 100 metres. The smallest distance between two
7 launchers is also 60 to 100 metres. So you can see for yourself or
8 realise how big an area a unit covers, and it is impossible for you to be
9 at every place at every moment telling everyone what to do. If an
10 officer, a company commander would do that, then that wouldn't be a proper
11 army procedure. That is why we have training. That is why people are
12 trained also to carry out tasks independently.
13 Q. Did someone independently give an order to neutralise those
14 so-called targets in the Old Town? Did you give that order?
15 A. I cannot recall exactly whether I issued this order to neutralise
16 this target or if it was a platoon commander. I personally observed the
17 target, and I noticed when the target was neutralised. I said that there
18 was evidence, video footage made by B92 Television shot from the position
19 where somebody was talking to a soldier who was a gunner and who, in fact,
20 fired at this mortar.
21 Q. I want to make sure I understand you correctly. You're telling
22 this Chamber that possibly a platoon commander undertook a decision to
23 fire a projectile into the Old Town of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO-protected site,
24 without getting an order from a superior commander? Is that your
1 A. I put it to you, Madam, that you are twisting the facts. We are
2 talking about targeting a mortar, not --
3 Q. I ask you to answer the question. And if I have to, I will ask
4 His Honourable Judge Parker to assist in asking you to answer the question
5 and not question me.
6 A. Madam, no one could issue an order, either I or the platoon
7 commander or anyone, to target the Old Town. That is the answer to the
8 question that you put to me.
9 Q. Then who issued the order to target the Old Town from Zarkovica?
10 A. No one issued an order to target the Old Town from Zarkovica or
11 was the Old Town targeted from Zarkovica.
12 Q. How many projectiles did you use to neutralise the mortar?
13 A. To neutralise the mortar, one projectile was used.
14 Q. And what was that?
15 A. That was a reactive-shaped charge.
16 Q. From which weapon?
17 A. I've already said. From a recoilless gun.
18 Q. Did you neutralise or fire at the persons you saw carrying crates
19 in the Old Town or to the gates of the Old Town?
20 A. Yes, Madam. These persons were fired at, these persons who were
21 carrying ammunition from the fish shop to the Old Town.
22 Q. What did you fire at these persons?
23 A. Again, these were projectiles from a recoilless gun.
24 Q. Under your -- the gun came from your unit?
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer.
1 MS. SOMERS:
2 Q. I'm sorry, would you repeat your answer. My question was: "The
3 gun came from your unit?" The interpreter did not hear your response.
4 A. I can repeat the answer. The gun was from my unit.
5 Q. How many projectiles were used to neutralise the persons carrying
6 the crate?
7 A. I cannot say with certainty, but I think it was two or three
9 Q. You cannot say with certainty, but you do have to account for your
10 ammunition, do you not?
11 A. Madam, it's not accounting for; it is reporting. But if you think
12 that in combat I have time to count the ammunition that was fired, I don't
13 have that kind of time. Neither I nor any other commander. Once combat
14 is over, then the soldiers concerned report how much ammunition was used
15 to their platoon commander. Platoon commanders report to me.
16 During combat, if it is realised that two-thirds of the available
17 ammunition are used, then I send a report to the superior command asking
18 for reinforcement in ammunition. If there is not this kind of
19 consumption, then it is only natural that after combat these calculations
20 are made.
21 Q. Did you kill the persons who were carrying the crates -- crate?
22 A. I did not see that, and I cannot testify about anything to that
23 effect, either yes or no.
24 Q. Did you notice if persons were -- had fallen as a result of what
25 you call neutralising?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. No. I did not notice that these persons fell. But they no longer
2 returned to that feature.
3 Q. And you indicated yesterday that you did not see the contents of
4 the crate. That was your testimony yesterday.
5 A. Yes, correct, I did not see the contents of the crate.
6 Q. Thank you. What time of day did this occur, the neutralisation of
7 the crate carriers?
8 A. I cannot tell you the exact time yet again. But it's also in the
9 morning hours. It could have been 9.00 or 10.00.
10 Q. What time did the -- what time do you recollect the attack on Srdj
12 A. The attack on Srdj started at daybreak, if you mean to the time of
13 day. If you meant the date, that is the 6th of December.
14 Q. I'd like a time, please. What time were you ordered to report so
15 as to participate in the attack on Srdj? What time were you ordered to be
16 up and running?
17 A. I cannot remember the exact time. But it was probably around 5.00
18 in the morning. As I said, this is just an assumption because daybreak is
19 at about 6.15, something like that. It is usual that a report is sent on
20 combat readiness one hour before combat actually starts.
21 Q. Do you demand, or you do demand, I'm sure, of the persons under
22 your command discipline and timeliness in their responses to orders, do
23 you not?
24 A. Of course. That's the way it is. This is quite normal.
25 Q. If you told someone under your command to report to you at 5.00
1 and that person didn't report at 5.00 but came in at 5.15, what would be
2 your reaction?
3 A. I'd ask for the reasons why he did not report at 5.00 but at 5.15.
4 Perhaps the person's reasons were justified; perhaps he had some business
5 that could not be put off, and therefore he reported only then.
6 Q. And you would know that the person didn't report at 5.00 but at
7 5.15 because you could look at a watch or clock or timepiece and know what
8 time it was, wouldn't you? That is what normal people do, isn't it?
9 A. Yes, that's the way it is, Madam. But it's different when we're
10 sitting in an office, and now whether your bus was five minutes late and
11 whether you were late on account of that, and it's a different thing when
12 you're moving about in the dark among the rocks. You could have fallen
13 somewhere and broken your leg in the bushes, and nobody can know what
14 happened to you and where you are. That's a completely different
16 Q. So you never looked at your watch once on the 6th of December
17 1991. Is that your evidence?
18 A. I'm not saying that I never looked at my watch. But had I been
19 looking at my watch nonstop, I would not have been able to observe the
20 battlefield and all the other activities that I was supposed to take care
21 of on that day. If I was supposed to look at my watch all the time and to
22 keep track of the time and minutes and whatever. Even if I had done that,
23 believe me, my memory is not good enough to enable me to recall all of
24 that 13 years later.
25 Q. Now, you just indicated that you can't keep count of projectiles,
1 that that is not something you would do. Perhaps you could help us
2 understand, then, where the count in the document, the Exhibit D113, your
3 report of 8 December, where that information comes from if you don't keep
4 track of projectiles?
5 A. Madam, first of all, I did not say that I did not care about how
6 many projectiles were involved. I just said that during combat, I could
7 not count all the projectiles. I don't think there's a single officer who
8 could do that. Finally, once combat is over, there is a chain of command,
9 a chain of information where reports are sent about the ammunition that
10 was used. I've already explained that during the operations itself, I
11 would have informed about ammunition if the ammunition level had exceeded
12 two-thirds. But I had no need to do that. Therefore, it is only natural
13 that after combat, I spoke to all the commanders of the subordinate units
14 and asked them how much ammunition had been used.
15 Q. There are very specific numbers in D113. Now, keeping
16 count -- perhaps it might help you if you took a look at D113.
17 You have in front of you your report. And you were able in this
18 report to be quite specific about the number of pieces that were expended
19 both by Maljutka and by the recoilless. Now, were these kept record of
20 during the course of combat to know that these were expended?
21 A. Madam, of course these records were kept. We have been talking
22 about that all the time. Look at the date when I wrote this report. This
23 is upon completion of combat operations; that is to say, that I brought
24 all the information together then. Now you asked me whether I was
25 actually counting the projectiles during combat.
1 Q. Does this report represent everything that you expended, all the
2 expenditures on the 6th of December? It does, doesn't it? This is your
3 final report, isn't it?
4 A. Yes, this is information about these expenditures.
5 Q. Maybe -- can you tell us, please, where is the reference to the
6 expenditure for the neutralisation of the persons carrying the crates, and
7 where is the expenditure for the neutralisation of the mortar at the south
9 It's not there, is it, Colonel?
10 A. Where the N72 reactive-shaped charge is recorded, it says "fish
11 shop near the entrance into the Old Town, four were noticed."
12 Q. What were you aiming at? You didn't indicate what you were
13 neutralising. Sorry, I beg your pardon. The crates are there. Tell us,
14 please, the mortar, where is it?
15 A. It seems that I did not record it here.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 Just taking a look at that report while you have it in front of
18 you, you said earlier that you neutralised the anti-aircraft gun with one
19 projectile. Now, I'm looking at your own report, and it looks like -- it
20 says "entrance of the right fortress two pieces under the recoilless, and
21 window on the right tower, one piece." So we're not looking at one
22 projectile, are we? We're looking at three.
23 A. Yes, that's fine.
24 Q. So this is not correct. If it was just one, you have put
25 down -- this is not accurate? Which is it? Is it one or is it three?
1 A. Madam, if you look at this, you can see that these are two
2 different types of ammunition. We have the 9K-11 projectile which hit the
3 window on the right-hand tower, and then, in brackets, PAT anti-aircraft
4 gun, one piece. And then here it says about the reactive-shaped charge
5 that hit the gate to the tower. In a military sense, this is perfectly
6 normal. We noticed that the projectile did not directly enter the window,
7 but rather hit the window ledge. It was perfectly normal for personnel to
8 start retreating from that position, and we tried to prevent that. And
9 that's why the gate to that room was targeted.
10 Q. And when did you notice this?
11 A. What do you mean, when did I notice that?
12 Q. When did you notice whether or not you had hit what you thought
13 was your target?
14 A. The impact was to the edge of the window which was targeted by the
15 gun. And you see the moment the projectile hits the target down there.
16 Q. You remember we discussed the statement that you made, the
17 interview that you gave to the officers of the OTP in Belgrade. And you
18 were asked about various matters in the Old Town. And I will indicate,
19 you were asked: Stepping back a bit and thinking again about the battle
20 itself, and related to what you've put in your report, what did you fire,
21 what did your company fire the recoilless shells at?
22 I think you said ten recoilless shells, is what you told the OTP.
23 It says fire the ten recoilless shells at, what did they fire.
24 And your answer was: "First, we tried to hit this mortar right
25 here, mortar in Stari Grad, and secondly we tried to hit this window from
1 which this recoilless gun was active, was firing. In an indirect way, we
2 learned about the effects. We learned about the effects of our firing at
3 the specific mortar only 10 or 15 days ago while watching the commentary
4 on B92 TV station. They showed this documentary on Dubrovnik, and they
5 spoke about these issues during the show."
6 Now, you're telling us today that you learned about the effects
7 now, and you told the OTP then that you learned about them only some 13
8 years later. Now, which is it?
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence objects to
11 this sort of putting the evidence to the witness, what the witness
12 allegedly said. My learned friend and colleague keeps using such terms as
13 "I believe you said this" or "I believe you said that." Are these
14 actually quotes? Is she quoting one of the statements, quoting one of the
15 transcripts and putting these quotes to the witness? That's one thing.
16 And secondly, if she wishes to cross-examine him on these points, I think
17 he should be shown the transcripts and statements in question. Thank you.
18 MS. SOMERS: I'm happy to do so, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 MS. SOMERS: I don't know what time the break is. I have to find
21 the B/C/S. But I can read --
22 JUDGE PARKER: I suggest you at least quote his words from the
23 statement that you have. The break will be about a quarter of an hour
24 from now. You have time to do that.
25 MS. SOMERS: Sure. Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Nesic, I will take you back, for purposes of the English so
2 that counsel may follow, it is 2547-1A-English, and not page 9 out of 15.
3 So as to put it in context, the investigator starts out and asks: "And
4 were other company commanders asked to write reports?"
5 And your recorded answer: "Yes, company commanders from the
6 mortar battery was asked to do this, and I suppose the battalion commander
7 was asked to do the same, although personally I did not see him write this
8 report or statement."
9 Investigator: "Stepping back a bit and thinking again about the
10 battle itself, and related to what you have put in your report, what did
11 you fire? What did your company fire the ten recoilless gun shells at?
12 What did they fire the ten" - and there is something inaudible - "at?" He
13 repeats himself.
14 Your recorded answer: "First we tried to hit this mortar right
15 here, mortar in Stari Grad. And secondly we tried to hit this window from
16 which this recoilless gun was active, was firing. In an indirect way, we
17 learned about the effects. We learned about the effects of our firing at
18 the specific mortar only 10 or 15 days ago while watching the commentary
19 B92 TV station. They showed this documentary on Dubrovnik."
20 And it goes on.
21 Now, this was 2nd of September 2003. Did you learn about the
22 effects, as you told the Chamber today, at the time or did you learn about
23 the effects some 13 years or 12 years later?
24 A. Madam, first of all the quote you put to me is not correct. I
25 never spoke to you on the 2nd of September.
1 Q. If my date is wrong, I will correct the date. But it was in the
2 autumn of 2003. Would you agree with that?
3 A. I apologise. I didn't catch -- I didn't get what you said before
4 2003, what the date was that you mentioned.
5 Q. I thought it was -- I'll check, but in September of 2003. Now, it
6 was autumn of 2003, wasn't it, that we met in Belgrade? We only met one
7 time, didn't we?
8 A. Yes, we met in the autumn of 2003. More specifically, the 25th of
10 Q. My apologies if I have the date taken incorrectly from documents.
11 Now, I've read back to you your recorded answer. Can you tell us,
12 please, when did you learn the effects of the neutralisation of these
13 objectives? At the time of firing or in 2003 through a video made by B92?
14 A. My apologies. I have a copy of the transcript in the Serbian
15 language, and I was not able to find the right page immediately.
16 Madam, my transcript reads differently from what you just put to
17 me, first of all. On that very day, after we fired, of course I observed
18 the impact. And what it says here is in an indirect way, the firing of
19 the mortar, about 10 or 15 days ago, was shown as part of a coverage on
20 Dubrovnik, and the conversation was taking place in this show. And I
21 really didn't keep that in mind while we talked there to bring these
22 documents along and what the names were of these people. This just
23 confirms my words, what was said in this TV programme, my words to you
24 that there was TV footage and a documentary that was made by a TV station.
25 That's what I said. I never said that I found out about that as I watched
1 that particular show or programme.
2 Q. You make mention of a mortar in Stari Grad. That's also in the
3 Serbian language, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What you have testified to in this court is that there was a
6 mortar in the south tower. You have here a mortar in Stari Grad. Which
7 is it?
8 A. Madam, I did tell you this back in Belgrade. Can you please show
9 the map that I drew for you in Belgrade, the diagram, and where I marked
10 the position of the mortar at the time.
11 Q. I would like you, please, to answer my question. You said a
12 mortar in Stari Grad. And you've talked today about a mortar in the south
13 tower. Which is it?
14 A. The exact position of the mortar was on the south tower facing the
15 sea, which is part of the Old Town.
16 Q. Is there a particular -- was there a particular problem in your
17 head at the time we were meeting where you chose not to say the south
18 tower. You are suddenly able to pinpoint exactly now but not then?
19 A. Madam, I have no time to go through the entire transcript now, but
20 I'm sure I did say back then that it was the south tower. I drew a
21 diagram for you, some sort of a map. You should still have it from that
22 conversation we had. And I marked accurately the position of the mortar,
23 where it was. I marked the anti-aircraft gun, the machine-gun, as well as
24 four other mortars that were just outside the town wall. And I signed the
25 diagram for you.
1 Q. And you accept that what you said at the time was mortar in
2 Stari Grad. Correct? In this paragraph I just read to you? In Serbian,
3 it's the same thing, isn't it?
4 A. Yes, that's precisely what it says. But that was how our
5 conversation unfolded. That's what we talked about. And we did not get
6 tied down to that particular position. I'm sure I can find it in the
7 transcript later on where exactly it was and where I was marking the
8 places that Mr. Raji Murugan asked me about, asked me about personally.
9 We confirmed those parts, and I signed the sketch that we're talking about
10 which is in your possession.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] The witness has referred to this
14 sketch, and it's also referred to in the transcript of the interview that
15 he marked out for the Prosecution accurately on the sketch the weapons
16 that he has talked about. Can this sketch please be shown to the
17 witness --
18 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I am sorry. I have to object --
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] If I may please finish what I'm
21 JUDGE PARKER: We are here -- I was going to say playing with each
22 other, but that would be putting it too low. Unless, Ms. Somers, you put
23 to the witness the diagram, please understand that the Chamber can make
24 nothing of the cross-examination you've made on this point. One could
25 debate all day whether the south tower is part of the Old Town or is the
1 wall of the Old Town and whether there's a difference.
2 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. If I could --
3 JUDGE PARKER: The witness keeps making the point that he marked
4 the position of mortar on a sketch for you. Unless and until the Chamber
5 sees that, we have really not advanced on this point.
6 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: If you don't want to put the map or the plan to
8 him, well, understand the Chamber can make nothing on this point.
9 MS. SOMERS: If I may after the break resume on this point.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. If it's possible for me to
12 pick up on this after the break, I would appreciate it. Thank you.
13 Q. Colonel Nesic, we have a few minutes before we pause. You
14 indicated that Captain Kovacevic was not moving about on Zarkovica, but he
15 was in some sort of what you called office of yours. You were, however,
16 were moving about, weren't you, on the 6th of December?
17 A. That's correct. I was moving about.
18 Q. And where were you moving about? What were your movements, if you
19 can tell us, between what and what?
20 A. Well, Madam, it's really difficult for me to specify the area
21 because we should all be familiar with the ground there so that I could
22 tell you between which piece of shrubbery and which tree I was moving. I
23 was moving around Zarkovica which doesn't mean just the tower. There's a
24 whole feature there. It's a hill and there are paths and roads passing
25 by. I told you my position was at about seven or eight hundred metres. I
1 had to see one unit and the other unit. I had to be able to observe the
2 area. I had to be able to carry out all the activities which could only
3 mean that I had to move about the area, which is precisely what I was
4 doing. I don't know what your idea is. You can't just put a commander
5 somewhere and then he stays put. You can't control and carry out combat
6 operations like that with the commander put in the same spot all the time,
7 not being able to observe what's going on around him.
8 Q. The -- excuse me.
9 While you were moving around, did you make note of what munitions
10 or projectiles were being expended as you were moving around from place to
11 place on Zarkovica?
12 A. Madam, I'm afraid I don't understand the question, what exactly do
13 you mean? Which projectiles were being expended?
14 Q. Were you taking -- were you paying attention to every aspect of
15 firing that came from men under your control, your command and control, on
16 Zarkovica that morning as the events unfolded? Plainly, did you know
17 exactly who was firing what at what?
18 A. Not at every single point in time during the operations. I didn't
19 know which specific person was firing or at what target. Whoever was near
20 me at the time would have known, and those who were at a distance of 700
21 metres away from me, they would report as to what the target was of their
22 firing, or I would just go over to them to see exactly what it had been.
23 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, it is about 11.00. Would it be
24 convenient to take a break?
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will resume at 20 past.
1 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.26 a.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Somers.
4 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Colonel Nesic, what was the calibre of the mortar that you
6 indicated was neutralised on the 6th of December by your units?
7 A. It was an 82-millimetre mortar.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MS. SOMERS: I have got for the ELMO, please, the copy of the
10 diagram, the sketch which -- I'm not necessarily planning to exhibit it,
11 but I will pass it around. I have a copy for the ELMO, as well.
12 Q. Colonel, while this is being passed around, the portion of your
13 recorded statement that I am referring to, at least in the English,
14 relates to what is labelled 2546 for counsel, side B, page 7 of 12. 2546,
15 side B, 7 of 12. I'm not clear that your Serbian language one will be
17 In the course of the interview, a discussion came up where the
18 investigator said: "I think the best thing is if you could just make a
19 sketch of the Old Town. Just for the record, Colonel Nesic is drawing the
20 sketch of the Old Town and will be putting in the positions of Croatian
22 Your recorded answer: "I will draw our tactical sign or symbol
23 for these special pieces of equipment." Then you say: "This is the
24 Gradska Kafana, City Cafe. This is the entrance to Gradska Kafana from
25 the Old Town. On the side towards the harbour there are arches. Regular
1 machine-gun was shot from there, from this location. Towards the centre
2 of the Old Town in direction of the seaside, there was 82-millimetre
3 mortar. Here close to the harbour, there are a few windows, and from one
4 of them the anti-aircraft gun was firing. As I told you, there was a show
5 or news broadcast on TV Sarajevo which shows a specific anti-aircraft
6 gun" - and then something is unintelligible - "and its positions."
7 Question to you: "When were these weapons alleged to be in these
9 Your recorded answer: "The machine-gun was there when we
10 came to Zarkovica the first time, and this mortar and this anti-aircraft
11 gun were used either on the 5th or 6th of December. And the 82-millimetre
12 mortars were here on 5, 6, and 7 November, as I previously mentioned. I
13 can't remember the date."
14 Do you recognise the drawing, the sketch, Colonel? Is that the
15 sketch that you made? Is it in front of you, sir? Colonel Nesic, can you
16 hear me? I'm sorry, can you hear me, Colonel?
17 A. Yes, I have it in front of me. That's the sketch that we made
18 when we had our conversation. And that's the one that I had just now
19 referred to.
20 Q. Now, would you be able to -- now, this seems to be a mixture of
21 various dates. Is that correct? You've made reference to in your
22 recorded answer, you talked about an 82-millimetre mortar that was on the
23 5th, 6th, and 7th November, but you have nonetheless shown a mortar here,
24 albeit there may be things you say were present on the 6th of December.
25 Is this a map that reflects a mixture of dates?
1 A. From the transcript, it is clearly seen that it refers to a
2 multitude of dates; that is, the targets in November and in December. So
3 from the transcript, you cannot see clearly as we could at the time when
4 we were sitting at the same table and I was pointing out to you that this
5 and this target was in November and this and this was in December just as
6 I did now. We discussed that, and that is what the transcript reflects as
8 Q. So that it is perhaps more clear, when you placed a mortar on this
9 sketch, would you indicate, please -- are you able to point? Do you have
10 a pointer, a little indicator there?
11 A. [Indicates]
12 Q. And that was the mortar you were referring to. Now --
13 A. Yes, that's correct. That was the mortar that I referred to on
14 the south tower facing the sea, it's semi-circular. However, at the time
15 when we made this sketch, it was an approximate sketch of the Old Town.
16 It did not represent all the towers, but this was this particular one,
17 southern-most tower.
18 Q. Perhaps you could help clarify, when I have just read from your
19 recorded answer, you said, "towards the centre of the Old Town in
20 direction of the seaside, there was an 82-millimetre mortar." Are you
21 referring to the same weapon?
22 A. Yes, that same weapon that was on this tower. And for the sake of
23 orientation, we said that this tower was somewhere close to the centre of
24 the town or in respect of the rest of the town.
25 Q. Thank you very much for clarifying that. We can move away from
2 Colonel, if we can move on, I want to ask you, please, the
3 anti-aircraft weapon, the gun, the anti-aircraft gun you have referred to,
4 how many barrels did it have?
5 A. I cannot say exactly how many barrels it had. I can only deduce
6 that according to the flash that could have been seen from the muzzle.
7 Q. Well, now, if it was a 20-millimetre gun, it would have had, would
8 you agree, either one barrel or three barrels?
9 A. I absolutely agree with that.
10 Q. Now, in neutralising it or attempting to neutralise it, you used
11 direct-fire weapons?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. So you had to be looking at the actual weapon in order to target
14 it, would you not?
15 A. No, that's not correct. This weapon fired from the tower through
16 a window. That means that I was targeting the window where from it had
17 been firing.
18 Q. Did you know if anything else was in the tower by the window at
19 the time? What or who or what was around it?
20 A. Well, Madam, who would be behind a gun other than a soldier, a gun
21 firing at you?
22 Q. Did you know what was in the immediate area of the tower before
23 you neutralised or attempted to neutralise the weapon?
24 A. If you mean what was close to the tower, in front of the tower
25 towards Zarkovica and the port itself, I did know what there was. There
1 was sea. There were little boats. And no other individuals, if you're
2 referring to those. There were no individuals moving around that
3 particular area.
4 Q. I'm going to ask you, you're not able to tell us exactly what type
5 of weapon it was by a description of the weapon, whether it was a
6 single-barrel or a triple-barrel? Did I understand you correctly?
7 A. Yes, you understood me correctly. I cannot give you a description
8 because the fire coming from this kind of weapons can be recognised by the
9 fire itself, by the rapidity of fire and similar things. Therefore, it
10 allows you to deduce what kind of weapon is in question. But in this
11 particular instance, the flash seen from the window was about 2 metres
13 Q. Now, you would agree with me that you do not fire systems, rocket
14 systems or weapons systems, from indoors; you have to have them protruding
15 or have some means of protrusion from a building, firing outside the
16 building. Would you agree with that?
17 A. I must explain once again for those who haven't seen a missile
18 before. A rocket is placed on an open area. A guiding cable is attached
19 to it. And the operator guiding the missile is in cover. He only views
20 as much as it is necessary to aim the periscope from it while the missile
21 is being guided. The rocket itself is outdoor -- out of any covers, any
22 buildings, and it is not fired from indoors.
23 Q. I'm referring to the anti-aircraft weapon, the barrel of the
24 weapon, you would agree, has to be at least exposed to the outside in
25 order to successfully fire or pose any type of -- in order to successfully
1 fire. Would you agree with that?
2 A. I wouldn't agree. It does not have to be exposed at all. For
3 instance, if you have a window there, you will place a gun where your
4 microphone is. You will fire through the window without protruding the
5 barrel through the window.
6 Q. If you didn't see the barrel, how did you know it was an
7 anti-aircraft weapon? How could you identify the weapon?
8 A. We identified it by the flash coming out the window according to
9 the force of the impact and the velocity of fire.
10 Q. I'm going to ask you to take a look at two photos of anti-aircraft
11 guns, and maybe you can help us -- just explain a little bit about their
12 descriptions. Just take a minute, please.
13 Do you have in front of you, Colonel, two photos -- two depictions
14 of weaponry, and then behind each there is a description about the gun.
15 Right now on the screen, on the ELMO, is a weapon referred to as
16 a -- would you agree it's an M-55 three-barrelled, triple-barrelled
17 anti-aircraft gun?
18 A. Yes, I would agree that this is a 20/3-millimetre anti-aircraft
20 Q. And then the second photograph you have is of an M-50 -- hang on a
21 second. Is it M-57, I think? Does that sound right, a single barrel?
22 A. Yes, that's a 20/1 anti-aircraft gun.
23 Q. Okay. Now, you're indicating that it was an anti-aircraft gun
24 that was in a tower that was neutralised by your units. Now, let's just
25 take a look for a moment if we can, let's start with the single barrel
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 one, the M-57. There is a description behind it. And this comes
2 effectively from sources provided by the Defence. Where the weight of the
3 weapon is shown as 300 kilograms. And it says: "Total length of firing
4 position, 3800 millimetres." What is that in feet? I think that's around
5 12 feet. I'm trying to get the conversion roughly. So that would be
6 barrel length. Would you agree that those -- you're familiar with these
7 statistics on this type of weapon, are you not? The length of the barrel
8 and the weight of the piece?
9 A. I wouldn't agree. That's not the exact length of the barrel.
10 That's the total length of a gun in a combat position.
11 Q. Sorry. I have to make sure -- I think I've just lost the
12 translation. Just one second.
13 What would you give as a length of the barrel?
14 A. The barrel is about 2 metres long. I can't say more precisely,
15 and that's an approximate length. 1.70 or 2 metres, because that's not a
16 weapon that I had personal experience with.
17 Q. Does this compare at all, say to an Oerlikon? Are you familiar
18 with an Oerlikon, 20 millimetre?
19 A. First, I would have to take a look at what weapon you are
20 referring to, and then I could probably make a comparison or maybe not. I
21 don't know what an Oerlikon is.
22 Q. I can ask the usher, perhaps, just to put a picture of one on the
23 ELMO for all. I will have to share the statistics on that one.
24 I'm told by Ms. McCreath that she has made copies of it. If I
25 could have one, I would be grateful. Does that weapon look similar to,
1 let's say, the single barrel that you have been looking at, at least for
2 purposes of describing a single barrel anti-aircraft weapon?
3 A. At first glance, what I can see from this photocopy, there are
4 similarities, and we could dispute that these are approximately identical
5 weapons. However, there are some major differences, at least as far as
6 the length of the barrel is concerned, especially when we talk about
7 20-millimetre calibre. Since the calibre is identical, it depends what
8 kind of charge, what kind of shells are used, what the range and the power
9 is, and all these elements have impact on the construction of the weapon
10 in terms that a barrel may be shorter or longer.
11 For instance, 12.7 Browning could be classified as an identical
12 weapon to this one, however it has a different length of the barrel.
13 Q. Can I just ask you, then, you mentioned the single barrel we
14 talked about was about 1.7 or 2 metres. And the reason I'm showing you
15 the Oerlikon is simply that it shows barrel length of 2.24 metres. So in
16 terms of length, it's not that substantially different, would you agree?
17 I'm only showing it because it actually shows the barrel length in its
18 description. Would you agree that that is not that substantially
19 different from the other single barrel? It is just help us to know if
20 it's not too radically different.
21 A. Madam, I've said already on the basis of what can be seen here, I
22 cannot assist you. Basically, it does seem to be similar, but I've never
23 actually seen one of these in real life. And I do not have exact
24 technical and tactical information here, so I cannot really say anything.
25 We can say that approximately it is similar, similar calibres. Now,
1 whether the range is shorter, longer, and what kind of ammunition it uses,
2 that is something I cannot discuss at this point in time because I have to
3 have all this information in order to be in a position to do so.
4 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
5 Now, let's look at the three-barrel weapon, the picture that you
6 have, the M-55. And it has a picture of a man, so maybe it helps to put
7 the scale a little bit better, little bit more helpful.
8 Now, that barrel length -- well, that description is total weight,
9 1350 kilograms. Again, it uses a term, total length of firing position.
10 But in the absence of an absolute total length of barrel, would you
11 estimate it to be -- could you give an estimation of the length of those
12 barrels, please?
13 A. The total length of barrels is the same as in the case of a
14 20/1-millimetre cannon because practically this artillery piece, three
15 20/1-millimetre weapons were put together. Here they are all together.
16 The gun cannon that we are looking at now is quite different from a
17 20/1-millimetre weapon that we looked at a few minutes ago. It is
18 operated manually. It has three barrels, and it has an engine. It uses
19 gasoline as a fuel. So it moves the barrels up and down and in circles,
20 whereas in the 20/1-millimetre gun, this is all done manually. We can see
21 here also the wheels of this particular artillery piece. Also, for the
22 20/1-millimetre weapon, we see that it goes down, the bipod, and then it
23 is easier for it to move about, whereas in the case of a 20/1-millimetre
24 gun, these wheels part, and then it is put on a tripod as we saw a few
25 minutes ago.
1 Q. Now, if as we understand it you say that a weapon, and you've not
2 been able to tell us whether it was a single-barrel or a triple-barrel or
3 what number of barrels, but if in fact there was an anti-aircraft weapon,
4 gun, in a tower, the barrel would logically would be protruding, would it
5 not? Some portion of that barrel would be protruding, wouldn't it?
6 A. Madam, it is not logical for it to be protruding. That would be
7 the case if this were a very small room, 3 by 3 metres, for example.
8 However, if you have a tower that is much bigger, there is no need for the
9 barrel to be protruding.
10 Q. The weight of these weapons to be taken up to those towers would
11 pose or would require considerable effort. You would agree with that,
12 wouldn't you? These are old towers, are they not? This is not
13 contemporary architecture; this is historic old tower we're talking about.
14 A. Madam, no effort is required to have this done. To bring the
15 weapon in requires only two men, although that is the weight that was
16 mentioned. The weapon was constructed in such a way that once it is
17 lifted, it is placed on wheels at its bipod, and then one man can
18 manipulate it on his own, pull it back or forth, wherever, position it
19 wherever without feeling any kind of great weight in his arms. You have
20 realised that this involves the physics, that it was the centre of gravity
21 that was used for manipulating this weapon.
22 Q. You would agree that it would take some effort to get a weapon
23 that weighed 1350 kilograms up to a tower or a weapon that weighed 300
24 kilograms up to a tower. It is not simply a 1, 2, 3 affair?
25 A. Madam, I cannot agree with you. I told you already that I was in
1 Dubrovnik many times and that I know the tower very well and all other
2 features in this town. There is an entrance, a big door on the side. So
3 there is no need for you to have this lifted manually or in some other
4 way. There is a system, of course, for bringing the weapon to that
6 Secondly, even if they were operating from there at the time, that
7 means that preparations were carried out beforehand, or rather that a
8 platform was made from which the gun could be operated. I did a similar
9 thing in Zarkovica where I prepared a platform and lifted the weapon about
10 2 metres so that I could fire above the wall. A recoilless gun is also
11 very heavy if you want to lift it only physically. However, if you handle
12 it properly, there is practically no physical strain involved on the part
13 of the manpower handling the weapon.
14 Q. You have indicated that you have had continuous observation of
15 this area, of all that was in view of Zarkovica, which would include this
16 area, since your units were on Zarkovica. And are you suggesting that it
17 would be a matter of no effort at all for someone within the Old Town to
18 elude, to escape your view and carry or ferry up to a tower, an old tower,
19 a weapon weighing some 300 or perhaps 1350 kilograms and simply not be
20 seen? Is that your evidence?
21 A. Madam, if you wish, I can put it to you that way, and I can
22 explain it to you in the following way: Not a single soldier, not a
23 single person in a theatre of war --
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may the witness please
25 finish answering. He was cut in mid-sentence.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not a single soldier in a theatre of
2 war would not be crazy enough to be doing something in broad daylight when
3 they can be seen by anybody. So of course they do it during night, moving
4 a weapon from one place to another and so on and so forth. And especially
5 since this is a tower, who can see through the walls what is going on
7 MS. SOMERS:
8 Q. Not even you could see through the walls what was going on inside.
9 Your units had no idea what was going on inside, did they? You did not
10 even know if there, in fact, was a fire, or any kind of firing coming from
11 that weapon, did you? In fact, there was no weapon, was there?
12 A. Madam, there was a weapon, and the weapon was firing. And that
13 can be seen clearly, that the weapon was firing. That cannot be
14 concealed, the firing of such a weapon. There is not a silencer or any
15 such thing for this kind of weapon. Every shot is readily discernible
16 through the flames, the flares. Also, if you look at this part here and
17 if you can see the flames and flares coming through all these holes, not
18 only through the muzzle. And this creates this big spectrum around the
19 gun. If you would see this gun firing at nighttime, you would see it as
20 if it were in broad daylight because it lights up an area of 50 to 100
21 metres all around it because the flare coming from the weapon itself is so
23 Q. Colonel, it is a fact, is it not, that a barrel length that is at
24 least, let's say, 1.7 to 2 metres and possibly in excess, if it is visible
25 to your units, it is going to be visible to everyone else monitoring
1 activity in the Dubrovnik area including the European Community monitors,
2 including other internationals; it is not something that would simply
3 escape observation. You surely could not be the only persons taking note
4 of such a weapon, could you?
5 A. No, I'm not the only person from my unit. There must have been at
6 least 10 or 15 other persons who noticed this gun firing.
7 Q. Because the barrel would have had to protrude, Colonel, and you
8 are the only persons who noticed it among hundreds of other persons, or
9 dozens of other persons rather, who may have been tasked with observing
10 the status of the Old Town. Isn't that right, only you noticed it?
11 A. I'm sorry, Madam. But I don't understand your question at all. I
12 did not hear the beginning of the interpretation. Could you please repeat
13 your question.
14 Q. Certainly. Colonel, it is a fact, is it not, that a barrel that
15 is at least, let's say, 1.7 to 2 metres and possibly in excess, if it is
16 visible to your units, it is going to be visible to everyone else
17 monitoring activity in the Dubrovnik area, including the European
18 Community monitors, the ECMMs, the men in white, including other
19 internationals? It is not something that would escape observation or
20 notice. You surely could not be the only persons taking note of such a
21 weapon, could you? That was my question.
22 A. Madam, you are talking about the barrel, and I told you that we
23 did not see the barrel. We saw the flare coming from the window. It is
24 correct that someone else could have seen it, too, if they were in that
25 kind of position, if they could see the place where this came from. You
1 cannot expect someone from Lapad to see a gun firing from the Old Town
2 when there is no view of that kind.
3 Q. In your version of it, there is no record at all of the existence
4 of this weapon, is there? There is no official record even on the part of
5 the JNA, is there, Colonel? Is there?
6 A. As for whether there are any official notes on the existence of
7 such a weapon or not is something that I cannot discuss now because I
8 don't know who has information and of what nature. I am talking about
9 what I saw from my position and about what specifically happened on that
10 day. Now, whether somebody recorded that, in which way, which side is
11 something I cannot discuss, Madam. I cannot talk about that, whether
12 somebody does or does not have information.
13 MS. SOMERS: I'd like to ask the usher, please, to show D62 and
15 Q. Colonel, when did you first note this anti-aircraft gun?
16 A. The moment when it started firing, that moment. Before that, we
17 did not know that it was there.
18 Q. What date was that? Sorry, before I distract you with any
19 documents, what date was that? When did you first notice the existence of
20 this weapon?
21 A. Specifically on the 6th of December 1991.
22 Q. And so intelligence would have indicated or passed up the
23 existence of this weapon on that date, would it not, Colonel? Colonel,
24 before you continue reading, can you hear me? There would have been
25 reports --
1 A. I've heard your question. Whether it would be sent further up or
2 not, that is something that I'm not going into. I wouldn't go into that.
3 Q. If you were concerned about its possible effect on your units,
4 then it would also possibly affect other units. Would you agree? It
5 isn't something that could be held close to your chest. You had to make
6 sure that its existence was well-enough known for the safety of your own
7 units. Wouldn't you agree?
8 A. No, that's not right, Madam. The position that this weapon was at
9 made it possible only to -- for it to fire at my unit, not any other unit
10 from that battalion. It could only fire at me or at sea. It could not
11 fire at any other unit.
12 Q. By your own indication, it was no big deal to get it up or down.
13 It could have been moved and posed a threat. Couldn't it?
14 A. If you would carry it out of that tower, if you could take it to
15 some other position, then it could pose a threat to someone else. But I'm
16 saying that from that position that it was firing from at that time, it
17 could only fire at me or at the sea. That was the area that it could
19 Q. Please take a look at D62. It's a report of 6 December at 1700
20 hours. Can you tell us, please, where there is a reference to this
21 anti-aircraft weapon in this document? This is the report of the combat
22 activities, the 6th of December 1991. Please find reference to the
23 anti-aircraft weapon.
24 A. No, I haven't found any reference here to that.
25 Q. That's because it's not there, is it?
1 A. Yes, it's not mentioned in this document.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 Now, if you would take a look, please, at D62 -- 65. I'm so
4 sorry, Colonel.
5 That is a report to the first administration. Do you know who
6 General Simonovic is, Colonel?
7 A. General Simonovic? No, I don't know.
8 Q. Now, this is a report that was sent by the commander of the
9 9th Naval Sector. And I'd like to ask you, please, if you could find in
10 this report, which details the action on Srdj, if you can please find the
11 reference to weapons being found in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, where it
12 specifically mentions "the Old Town of Dubrovnik." Or of an anti-aircraft
13 weapon in the Old Town.
14 A. No. I've found no reference to such a weapon in the Old Town.
15 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
16 Yesterday, and we will move on in the interests of time. We have
17 to pick up our pace a bit. Yesterday, you spoke of an area called
18 Lovrinac. I hope I'm pronouncing it correctly. Lovrinac. Is that right?
19 A. Yes, correct.
20 Q. Thank you. And you mentioned a tunnel and a park in connection
21 with Lovrinac. Now, that park is - I hope I'm pronouncing it
22 right - Gradac park. That's the park, isn't it? You know Dubrovnik.
23 A. Yes, but whether the name of that park is Gradac, I can't quite
24 remember what the name of the park was. I know there is a park there.
25 Q. The artillery that you claim to have seen there, you're referring
1 to was an anti-aircraft? Are you able to tell us exactly what you saw?
2 That was an anti-aircraft gun, wasn't it?
3 A. Madam, that was no anti-aircraft gun; it works quite differently.
4 This was an artillery piece with a strong shot, and it fires shells. And
5 this has nothing to do with anti-aircraft guns where you have the
6 20-millimetre calibre, and on the other hand you have artillery pieces
7 with a much higher calibre. I can't quite say which calibre. But from 56
8 millimetre onwards.
9 Q. Now, the mortars near the Libertas, you did not actually see them,
10 did you, that you referred to?
11 A. Yes, I did see them, and they were observed accurately. And those
12 were the mortars that I mentioned to you back in Belgrade. And it was on
13 account of those mortars where the 130-millimetre support battery did not
14 provide the support it was supposed to from Cilipi. That was the reason
15 we had to withdraw from our positions at Srdj and return to our initial
17 Q. This Trial Chamber has heard evidence of a rocket launcher in that
18 location, not mortars. Are you standing by your view that there were
20 A. It is still my position that they were mortars. Perhaps there was
21 a rocket launcher positioned there, too. It's just that I didn't notice
22 it. But mortar activity was observed.
23 Q. But you were observing the whole area, and you didn't notice
24 something. That's what you're telling us?
25 A. Madam, if that piece was not firing at me, how could I have been
1 able to notice it? I was only in a position to notice those that were
2 firing, those that were making their presence known. If something is
3 concealed and is not firing at me, of course I won't notice it. I
4 couldn't be expected to watch every single part of town at every single
5 point in time. I would have been some sort of a supernatural officer if
6 I'd been able to do that. If you are observing, you observe sector by
7 sector, area by area.
8 Q. Colonel, you made a reference to Charlie yesterday, and you said
9 it was going to and from the main road. Now, that was in full view of
10 Zarkovica and Strincijera. Correct? We agree on that?
11 A. You could not see the Flying Charlie at all from Strincijera. You
12 couldn't observe it from there. Strincijera is in quite a different place
13 in relation to Zarkovica. As for the lower road, I didn't say the main
14 road, the lower road when they were there, we used to call it the lower
15 road, and the upper road was the main road itself, and the lower road was
16 the one running parallel and leading into town, the centre down there to
17 the Old Town and the exit from the Old Town. And it is my position that
18 it was on the lower road that I noticed the mortar moving back and forth.
19 It was moving from the junction or the underpass near the intersection of
20 the roads because that's the point that I could see from up there. And
21 all the way as far as the Old Town, and then the road is lost amid houses,
22 and then near the harbour closer to us again you can see the road, and you
23 can see where it goes. And you can observe that section of the road
25 Q. I believe what you've just described contradicts what you have
1 described and what you described and drawn yesterday. I just need a
2 moment to take a look at it, but it is not familiar, what you just said.
3 You had drawn yesterday -- let me ask you, please, if you can take
4 D -- what is the number of this map? D111. Is it placeable [sic] on the
5 ELMO, please.
6 I'm looking at D111, and your arrow shows the vehicle going west
7 to east, does it not?
8 A. Madam, we can say that my arrow is showing that it was also
9 driving from east to west because you have the arrow going in both
10 directions. So this was the line of movement on that vehicle driving
11 along the road that I noticed it.
12 Q. That's fine --
13 A. It's marked in the middle, and then from here on --
14 Q. Now -- thank you for clarifying that. If there had been, as you
15 claim, fire, the vehicle would have stopped. Correct? Do you agree the
16 vehicle would have stopped to fire and then moved on?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I'm sorry. Now, in those moments, if I've understood you
19 correctly, when it stopped, your units could have attempted to neutralise
20 that weapon. Did you do so?
21 A. No, Madam. We didn't do that. And I never said anything about
22 firing at it. In this area that we are talking about now, there was
23 nothing said about that. Of course, he wouldn't have been crazy either to
24 stop dead in mid-road and open fire from right there. But rather, he
25 would try to take shelter by the side of the road if there was any shelter
1 to be had and try firing from there.
2 Q. Your unit was not the only unit firing at the Old Town. There
3 were other units of your battalion also involved. Those would be, and
4 please tell me if you agree, the 120-millimetre mortar battalion, and
5 other -- and the 82-millimetre mortars. It was not just your units that
6 were involved in this action. Is that correct?
7 A. Well, first of all, I must point this out: I did not open fire on
8 the Old Town, nor did my unit. Now, as to whether anyone did and which
9 unit it was, I can't testify about that because I simply don't know which
10 units those were.
11 Q. You indicated that you were asked or ordered to give a statement
12 about the activities and the I believe it was targets in the Old
13 Town -- I'm sorry, targets generally that were affected on the 6th of
14 December. How did you feel about having to do that? Had that ever been
15 ordered of you before, to come in and describe or justify your actions?
16 A. Not in that sort of way, and I felt very uncomfortable because I
17 had to do it on that day.
18 Q. Now, did you -- I'm sorry.
19 After you submitted this report, were you investigated further by
20 any organs of the JNA? Were you investigated or questioned further by the
21 members of the 2nd Operational -- by the command of the 2nd Operational
23 A. Madam, I am not aware that there was any investigation related to
24 me, or at least no one ever told me that there was.
25 Q. Do you know Zoran Lemal? I believe you've spoken of him before.
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Would you describe yourself as a friend or a colleague of
3 Zoran Lemal?
4 A. Well, I can't say, but what I can say is both.
5 Q. That you are a friend and a colleague?
6 A. Formally, in a formal sense, we were colleagues, and we were
7 friends in our spare time. Outside working hours, we were not exactly on
8 visiting terms, but yes, we were friends.
9 Q. Did you consider him or do you consider him to be a good officer?
10 A. Well, I have no reason to believe that he was a good officer or a
11 bad officer. This is something that only his superior officer can speak
12 about. We work in two different garrisons. The distance between these
13 two is about 300 kilometres. Therefore, I really can't pass opinion on
14 whether he was a good officer or not.
15 Q. In your dealings with him, have you known him vis-a-vis yourself
16 to be truthful, honest, decent towards you?
17 A. At the time, we had a normal relationship, exactly the kind of
18 relationship that we should have had.
19 Q. Now, he also was involved in the action on the 6th of December,
20 was he not? He and his units.
21 A. Yes, yes, he was involved from Strincijera towards Srdj.
22 Q. Now, at a meeting of the command or at the -- either the
23 headquarters of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade in Brgat held after
24 the 6th December to analyse the attack of that day, how did you react to
25 the criticism of Zoran Lemal -- I'm sorry, the criticism, I beg your
1 pardon, directed at you by Captain Kovacevic, Vladimir Kovacevic,
2 concerning the fact that you overused your artillery causing too much
3 damage to the Old Town? What was your reaction to that?
4 A. Madam, first of all, I don't remember that I was ever criticised
5 like that. Secondly, I had no artillery pieces, nor would I have been in
6 a position to use any.
7 Q. Criticised that weaponry was overused, causing too much damage to
8 the Old Town. How did you feel about that, or you don't remember that?
9 A. Firstly, I told you I don't remember. Secondly, I would like to
10 see what precisely this damage was that could be contributed to my unit's
11 damage to stone. The anti-armour pieces could hurt steel. That was the
12 best effect. This anti-armour rocket could pierce through 700 millimetres
13 of pure steel, but it is also true that if you look at stone, you'll
14 recognise the point of impact because there will be slight damage to this
15 stone. Now, this is very hard to say having in mind the weapons I had,
16 how they could have caused much damage to Dubrovnik. Same thing with the
17 projectile that is fired from a recoilless gun. They have their maximum
18 effect on steel. But if you're expecting to find a hole there in this
19 plate of steel that has been pierced through, you won't, because the hole
20 you will find will only have a diameter that is approximately as wide
21 across in terms of centimetres as a cigarette.
22 Q. How did you feel about being criticised by your battalion
23 commander for excessive activity toward the Old Town at the meeting at the
24 battalion headquarters?
25 A. Madam, this is the first I hear of any such criticism.
1 Q. Zoran Lemal testified before this very same Trial Chamber and
2 under affirmation, transcript page 7419, 7th of July, said the following:
3 Question, this is about Captain Kovacevic: "Well, he told me on that same
4 day, the 6th of December in the afternoon when he came to see me, and when
5 I asked him `what's all this, why weren't we given fire support,' and he
6 said he didn't know and that was the reason for everything that followed."
7 That was his answer.
8 Question: "Did you also in speaking with Captain Kovacevic that
9 evening or perhaps the next day thereafter, did you tell him -- did you
10 hear him telling Captain Nesic that, that is, the commander of the
11 anti-armour company, that he all used his artillery over" - I'm sorry, I'm
12 reading the transcript - "which resulted in too much of the damage to the
13 town that Captain Kovacevic was concerned they might be held accountable.
14 Did you hear Captain Kovacevic say anything to that affect?"
15 Answer: "No, I did not. I did not hear anything like that."
16 Excuse me a second.
17 Going on to page 7419: "At this meeting, did you hear
18 Captain Kovacevic blame Captain Nesic for all using his artillery," again
19 it says all, I believe it's just an error in the transcript, "which caused
20 too much damage to the town for which he expressed his concern that they
21 would be held accountable?"
22 Answer of Lemal: "They were some words, but I really can't
23 remember now because I was focussed on my unit. However, there were some
24 words of criticism addressed at Nesic but what he was criticised for
25 specifically I don't know. But he was the person most criticised."
1 Question: "And criticised by Captain Kovacevic?"
2 Answer: "Yes."
3 Question -- yeah, I'm sorry. That's all that's relevant. How did
4 you feel about that?
5 A. As I've already told you, Madam, this is the first I hear of it.
6 I can't remember that I was ever criticised. Kovacevic certainly didn't
7 criticise me. Now, as for Lemal's testimony, what he claims is: "Yes, I
8 think there was some."
9 Q. Were you ever charged criminally for your intentional shelling of
10 the Old Town of Dubrovnik on 6th of December 1991 by any Tribunal in the
11 former Yugoslavia or in the current Yugoslavia?
12 A. No charges have been filed against me because there was no reason
13 for that because I never fired at the Old Town or inflicted any damage on
14 that. I already explained that the weapons that I had at my disposal were
15 not able to cause any major damage.
16 Q. I'll just wind up.
17 MS. SOMERS: If the Chamber would allow me just a couple minutes
18 to run some video footage by this witness that relates to the damage
19 inflicted on the Old Town of the 6th, I'd be grateful. I realise it has
20 been long, and I'm sorry, but we needed to get these points across.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 MS. SOMERS: Thank you. May I please ask...
23 It will be from P66, 31.42 to 31.48.
24 [Videoclip played]
25 MS. SOMERS:
1 Q. The depiction of these -- the capturing of these vessels in the
2 harbour by Maljutkas does not appear in the report that you gave.
4 A. Based on what do you claim that these vessels were hit by
5 Maljutka? It's not visible from that footage. One can see on the video
6 that these two boats were on fire. Had they been hit by Maljutka,
7 probably at least one of them would have been punctured and sunk. That's
8 what I suppose.
9 MS. SOMERS: Let me replay it.
10 [Videoclip played]
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Even here, you can see that
12 something explosive is coming from this ship and that it has burst into
13 the air from the ship, so I think that there was some explosives on that
15 MS. SOMERS:
16 Q. Did you forget to include these two boats in your report,
17 Colonel Nesic?
18 A. I don't know why you think I forgot or why should I have included
19 them in my report, what the reason would be for that.
20 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honours, for the extra
21 time. No further cross.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Somers.
23 Mr. Rodic.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Re-examined by Mr. Rodic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Nesic, while you have this D11 map in front
2 of you, I would kindly ask you to use the pointer and show us the
3 position, again your position at Zarkovica.
4 A. [Indicates]
5 Q. Could you please show us now the Strincijera position where
6 Lemal's company was deployed.
7 A. [Indicates]
8 Q. With respect to these two positions, you have marked the position
9 where you noticed the movement of a Flying Charlie. Is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. From the Zarkovica position, did you have an unobstructed view
12 over the zones that you have just marked where you saw this movement?
13 A. Yes, I was able to see the sector except where this curve on the
14 road was and the view was obstructed by some houses. However, as it
15 proceeds, I could see the next section of the road.
16 Q. Tell us, please, from Strincijera, was it possible to see the
17 route of the movement of the Flying Charlie?
18 A. It was impossible to see any of that sort from Strincijera.
19 Q. Can you explain why?
20 A. I can, because Strincijera, look how far back it is, how high it
21 is above the sea level. It's 482 metres. So the only view that you have
22 would be somewhere here at sea, and it was impossible to see the town
23 itself at all.
24 Q. Was that due to the configuration of the terrain?
25 A. Yes, because of the configuration of the terrain, this vision was
1 blocked, because you see this is a descending ground, steep to the coast
2 because you see that these contours are close to one another which
3 indicates that the closer to one another they are, that indicates a very
4 sharp descent towards the sea. Therefore, no optical visibility was
5 possible from this place on this place.
6 Q. Mr. Nesic, if you can please just slow down to allow the
7 interpreters to translate whatever you say and that we have it on the
9 Could you just please move the map a little so that we can see
10 Lapad and Babin Kuk. All right. We have it zoomed on the screen.
11 A. I don't see it.
12 Q. Were you at Strincijera?
13 A. Yes, I did go there.
14 Q. Can you show us with the pointer what one could see from
16 A. Approximately this area towards the sea can be seen from
17 Strincijera, including this section as well towards the sea. This area
18 towards Mokosica.
19 Q. So you were showing Babin Kuk and Lapad.
20 A. Yes. Lazaret, as it is written on the map, so this area here.
21 Q. Is it possible to view from Strincijera the roads on Lapad and
22 Babin Kuk?
23 A. Partially, yes.
24 Q. When we -- when you responded to the questions asked by my learned
25 colleague concerning anti-aircraft guns, you were shown three photographs,
1 one Oerlikon, then a single-barrel 20-millimetre gun, and an
2 anti-aircraft -- an M-57 anti-aircraft gun, and also a three-barrel M-55
3 anti-aircraft gun, all of these guns are of 20-millimetre calibre. Is
4 that correct?
5 A. [No audible response]
6 Q. Are these guns of different weight?
7 A. Of course they are. These guns have different weights.
8 Q. Do you have these pictures in front of you?
9 A. No, I don't.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown the
12 Q. Mr. Nesic, do these three anti-aircraft guns have identical
13 construction or structure?
14 A. No, they don't.
15 Q. Can these pieces be disassembled or are they always in the shape
16 as we have seen them on the photographs?
17 A. No. As they're shown in the photographs, both these firing
18 pieces, as I said, this one I'm not familiar with, but it's similar to the
19 other two, are in a combat position, placed in a combat position. And
20 this 20/1 and the Oerlikon and the 20/3 millimetres are all placed in a
21 combat position. In these two photographs of Oerlikon and of 20/1 gun,
22 for the 20 /1 one, there's a missing piece which is lowered. As for
23 Oerlikon, I'm not sure whether it has it, but according to the structure,
24 based on the structure and the similarities with our gun, I suppose that
25 it has a certain understructure in order to transport it from one place to
2 Q. Mr. Nesic, I would again kindly ask you to speak more slowly in
3 order for us to have everything you say on the transcript.
4 When you explained what was missing on these anti-aircraft guns,
5 single-barrel guns, you said several times, the term "Podvozak" [phoen]
6 in B/C/S. Could you please explain in layman terms what you were
7 referring to.
8 A. I will show it on the ELMO, on the gun 20/3. These are, in fact,
9 wheels, only they are attached here with the bipod, and you can see they
10 can be elevated off the ground so that the gun does not lean on them.
11 By contrast, the 20/1 gun has removable wheels, and it can lean on
12 these so-called paws.
13 Q. If we compare the structures of the wheels and this transferrable
14 part with wheels, in terms of weight and structure, is it identical in a
15 one-barrel gun or a three-barrel gun?
16 A. No, it's not identical because the difference is, first of all,
17 this one is composed of three pieces, so the structure is completely
18 different. And it dictates that this be positioned and shaped in a
19 different way. There's also a possibility that this -- that the wheels
20 can be removed from this 20/3 gun and that it leans on its paws. So far,
21 the other possibility is just to lift the wheels off the ground which
22 favourably affects the rapidity, and it depends on the rapidity of air
23 force. There are norms of changing firing position. Taking fire
24 positions are changeable because they simply have to be able to do that in
25 view of the velocity of operations.
1 Q. Can you tell me, please, can these firing pieces be disassembled?
2 A. Yes, they can.
3 Q. Can they be transported in such a disassembled form?
4 A. Yes, they can. They can be transported on a vehicle or carried
5 manually on backpack, animals or whatever.
6 Q. Can you tell me approximately how long it takes for this
7 single-barrel gun to be disassembled and then reassembled again? Don't go
8 into any details; I'm just referring to disassembling it into its major
10 A. I cannot really tell you exactly because these were anti-aircraft
11 guns. I didn't have much experience with them. I know basically how they
12 operate and things like that. But I cannot tell you details like that
13 because I was more involved with infantry weapons than with these kind of
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown the
16 Defence Exhibit D35.
17 Q. Mr. Nesic, this is the photograph which was taken from --
18 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I have to object. This was not part
19 of -- this particular photograph was not part of my cross-examination.
20 JUDGE PARKER: What is the relevance for re-examination,
21 Mr. Rodic?
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is in relation with
23 the questions asked by my learned colleague about the size of an
24 anti-aircraft gun, about the possibility for transporting these kind of
25 guns. The witness mentioned that it was possible to be disassembled and
1 transported and reassembled again. That was my point.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Rodic.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Nesic, this photograph was taken from the P66 video presented
5 by the Prosecution, and parts of it you could see relating to Dubrovnik.
6 Can you tell me, please, is it possible to recognise, or rather, compare
7 this gun that you see in this photograph with the one on D35, whether this
8 on D35 photograph is identical to a three-barrel gun showed to you by my
9 learned colleague? Are we talking here about identical models of
10 weaponry? Can you make that statement?
11 A. The photograph is not very clear. But I can see that it is the
12 same weapon, only it was shot from a different angle.
13 Q. Can you see the position where this anti-aircraft gun is?
14 A. I cannot determine the exact location.
15 Q. No, no, I did not ask you about the location, not position in that
16 sense. But can you see where it is, on what?
17 A. It is on the trailer of some vehicle, a tractor or a truck. I
18 cannot say. But at any rate, it is obvious that it's on the trailer of a
19 motor vehicle.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I don't need this document any longer.
22 Q. Mr. Nesic, tell me, please, your unit is an anti-armour company.
23 You explained that you have platoons within the company. Recoilless guns,
24 rockets, PLK911. And you explained to us what the crews of these squads
25 and platoons are like. Can you tell us briefly in terms of establishment
1 how many squads and platoons this would involve within your company.
2 A. Within my company, there were two platoons. One platoon was that
3 of the recoilless guns, and the other one was of anti-aircraft, guided
4 missiles, and 9K-11. It had three squads, while the anti-armour company
5 had six squads. And to be more precise, every squad of the recoilless
6 guns had two recoilless guns respectively. And every squad -- every
7 missile squad had one control panel. So that is the level of squad, that
8 unit level.
9 Q. Tell me, please, if these platoons and squads are deployed at
10 positions, how many personnel are involved in observation as far as these
11 particular weapons are concerned?
12 A. Observation is practically carried out by each and every soldier
13 in combat. That is to say that every person that is on a position
14 observes. In addition to observing, observation is divided within the
15 zone of operation of that particular artillery piece. So the manpower
16 manning one particular piece observes that area, and in addition to all of
17 that there is a soldier who is given the role of observer, to specifically
18 observe a particular zone. So this observer exists in a platoon, in a
19 company, and further on depending on the unit that is engaged.
20 Q. If you say that every soldier observes and has that task in
21 practical terms, does a soldier report to someone about a noticed
23 A. Yes. A soldier does first report to his squad leader because that
24 is his immediate superior who must be near him, 30 or 50 metres away.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown D62.
2 Q. Mr. Nesic, you've already seen this document. My learned friend
3 showed it to you. This is a regular combat report of the command of the
4 9th Military Naval Sector dated the 6th of December 1991. Could you
5 please look at paragraph 1, "The enemy." Is there any reference to the
6 Old Town there?
7 A. At the end of paragraph 1 in the last passage, it says that "fire
8 was occasionally opened from the Stradun region as well as from the old
9 city port."
10 Q. Stradun and the old city port, where are they?
11 A. Stradun is in the centre of the Old Town, and the Old Town port is
12 outside the old walls.
13 Q. Thank you. Thank you.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown the
15 sketch. Could it please be placed on the ELMO, the sketch that he made
16 for the Prosecution.
17 Q. Mr. Nesic, let us clarify this a bit, what this is all about. Can
18 you tell us, on this sketch, there is a date, the 25th of November 2003.
19 Is that right? Can you see it in the upper right-hand corner?
20 A. Yes, the 25th of November 2003.
21 Q. Is that the time when you spoke to the representatives of the OTP
22 in Belgrade?
23 A. Yes, I spoke to them at that time.
24 Q. Tell me, please, in the left upper corner, it says "Jovica Nesic."
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Whose handwriting is that?
2 A. I don't know exactly. I think it could be the handwriting of
3 Mr. Raji Murugan.
4 Q. Tell me, in this area where the symbols are described in a text,
5 whose handwriting is that?
6 A. This is again the handwriting of Mr. Raji Murugan because I gave
7 these explanations to him and he's the one who compiled the legend.
8 Q. Please look at the words "Pile," "Zarkovica," and the word "sea"
9 which is above the sign for mortar.
10 A. Yes, yes, I can see that.
11 Q. Can you tell us who wrote that?
12 A. Well, I don't know exactly. I cannot say with any certainty
13 whether it was also Mr. Murugan or perhaps it was Mr. Philipps.
14 Q. Tell me, who drew this sketch of the Old Town, the way it is drawn
16 A. It was drawn by Mr. Raji Murugan.
17 Q. Did you draw anything on this sketch?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Please use the pointer and indicate everything that you inscribed
20 and tell us what it represents.
21 A. I put this sign for a machine-gun here. Then also I put this sign
22 for a mortar here, at this tower. Then I marked this window here and I
23 drew these three windows on this tower that exist there, and I marked the
24 window from where the anti-aircraft gun was firing. And I marked these
25 four mortars along the walls of the Old Town facing the Pile gate. And I
1 initialled the sketch.
2 Q. When you drew this sign of the submachine-gun, what did you tell
3 the members of the OTP? Where was it?
4 A. Underneath the arch that the City Cafe is here, and then facing
5 the sea there are arches and that it was underneath the arch and that is
6 why this line was drawn this way so that this could be shown, this arch.
7 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. I want to ask the Chamber to
8 have counsel clarify and repeat that this diagram did not reflect simply
9 the 6th of December, that it is a mixture. And if --
10 JUDGE PARKER: It doesn't need to be repeated. That's clear in
11 the evidence.
12 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I meant to specify the
14 time again, but that's not a problem. I'll be brief.
15 Q. Mr. Nesic, this submachine-gun, you explained its location now,
16 and that's what you told the members of the Office of the Prosecution.
17 What did you tell them? When did you see this weapon?
18 A. This weapon was seen in November when we came to the Zarkovica
20 Q. All right. Did you show them something else on this sketch that
21 had to do with the month of November 1991?
22 A. Yes. These four mortars by the old city walls on the Pile side.
23 Those that are depicted here. Later on, we agreed, Mr. Murugan said, "Can
24 we show them with an X?" It's easier to depict them that way in the
25 legend, it's easier than if we use the real tactical sign for a mortar.
1 Q. Tell me, please, do you remember what the representatives of the
2 OTP asked you in relation to these four mortars?
3 A. Precisely, they asked me whether I saw them personally, and I said
4 that I personally did not see them, that they are at a position from where
5 I could not observe them or see them myself. However, that we did receive
6 specific information two or three days later because TV Sarajevo on its
7 evening news programme broadcast a report from there showing these four
8 mortars and also the crews could be shown placing the shells inside and
9 then seeking shelter running towards the Old Town.
10 Q. So as far as December 1991 is concerned, did you put the marks for
11 the weapons that you noticed?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. What is left over is the mortar on this tower. Can you tell us
14 whether you described the location where this mortar was to the OTP?
15 A. I did. And that is recorded in the transcript, that this is the
16 southern-most tower facing the sea, semi-circular, and that's where the
17 mortar was.
18 Q. As for this anti-aircraft gun, did you describe where it was?
19 A. Yes, I did. And when we drew this sketch, I added these three
20 windows, and I marked the middle window from where the anti-aircraft gun
21 was firing at us.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
23 Exhibit P17 just for a moment, please.
24 Q. Mr. Nesic, you do recognise the photograph?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Could the harbour of the Old Town be zoomed in, please. Could it
2 be enlarged, if possible. Thank you.
3 Mr. Nesic, since you showed windows, you depicted windows in the
4 sketch where you saw the anti-aircraft gun, can you show us on this
5 picture which windows these are and where the gun was.
6 A. I can show that. It is in this part here. And three windows can
7 be seen quite clearly on this tower.
8 Q. Can you take a pencil, and can you just touch the window without
9 making a mark.
10 A. [Indicates]
11 Q. Is that the window?
12 A. Yes. That is the third window -- or rather the middle window from
13 where the weapon fired.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may the record reflect
15 that on photograph P17, the witness indicated the middle window on the
16 tower of the fort in the old city harbour. That is the location, the old
17 city harbour. And he indicated that that is where the anti-aircraft gun
18 was. Thank you. I won't be needing that exhibit any longer.
19 Your Honour, I would now ask for this sketch that the witness
20 explained in detail be assigned a number as a Defence exhibit, please.
21 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit will be D114.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Nesic, on several different occasions, your answers provided
25 to the OTP were, "I did not shell the Old Town." Is that true?
1 A. That is absolutely true.
2 Q. Can you then please tell us, you or rather your unit, what did you
3 do on the 6th of December?
4 A. I'm not sure what you mean by what we were doing.
5 Q. I'm asking you in relation to the firing carried out by a unit.
6 A. We fired on such targets as had been observed, the targets that
7 were emerging in the Old Town area as well as the broader surrounding the
8 Old Town. And those parks, I'm not sure if I can refer to that as a
9 broader area, so the broader area surrounding the Old Town walls.
10 Q. Tell me, did anyone from your unit at any point in time fire
11 randomly at the Old Town?
12 A. No. There was no random firing. That was not possible. It's not
13 like they were firing a rifle so you had taken shelter and now you were
14 shooting this way and that, however you please. That's not how it was.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nesic.
16 Finally, do you know whether any investigation was carried out
17 against anyone who had forbidden the use of 130-millimetre guns as support
18 for your unit --
19 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. -- while you were attacking the Srdj feature?
22 MS. SOMERS: There's no indication, first of all, to which
23 persons, and it is certainly a question that was not raised in
24 cross-examination. But that this witness would be able to speculate about
25 whom the question is asked is simply not realistic.
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think there's some difficulty about seeing this
2 as arising in re-examination, Mr. Rodic, forbidding the use of
3 130-millimetre guns.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I do accept this, Your Honour. And I
5 withdraw the question. I hereby conclude my additional examination,
6 redirect, of Mr. Nesic.
7 Thank you, Mr. Nesic.
8 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, before proceeding, I wanted to ask of
9 the Court, and I apologise, I had intended to tender into evidence the
10 photographs of the anti-aircraft weapons. And I'm sorry it wasn't done
11 earlier because it might have made it easier for Mr. Nesic to refer to
13 JUDGE PARKER: The photograph and the specifications of the M-75,
14 20/1 gun will be received as one exhibit, Prosecution exhibit.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P220.
16 JUDGE PARKER: And the photograph and the specifications of the
17 M-55, 20/3 gun will be received as a Prosecution exhibit.
18 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P221.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I have not gone to the Oerlikon as that was not a
20 weapon with which the witness was familiar, and it seems to have no place
21 in the proceedings.
22 Mr. Nesic, thank you very much. That concludes your evidence, and
23 you will be pleased to know you're now free to go back to your home and
24 your work. So thank you for your assistance.
25 We will now adjourn and resume at 10 minutes past 2.00.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.09 p.m.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- On resuming at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir.
6 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Could I ask you to take the card that is given to
8 you now and to read the affirmation.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
10 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 WITNESS: JANKO VILICIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Mr. Petrovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. For the record, can you
19 please state your full name.
20 A. My name is Janko Vilicic.
21 Q. Mr. Vilicic, can you tell us with your educational background.
22 A. First, elementary school, then secondary school. I obtained a
23 degree at the engineering school in Belgrade. I obtained my Ph.D. at the
24 Ecole National Superieur in Paris, and I pursued my further studies at the
25 military academy in Zagreb. I have a Ph.D. in military science.
1 Q. Mr. Vilicic, I must ask you to speak a little slower so that
2 everything you say may be reflected in the transcript. Since a lot of
3 what you just stated about your educational background has not been
4 reflected in the transcript, however, I will go through your biography in
5 writing and the Chamber will see what it is. You have told us you
6 obtained a Ph.D. Can you say when and on what subject?
7 A. That was in 1986 at the military engineering academy. The subject
8 was to do with ballistics, and I am a doctor of military engineering.
9 Q. Thank you. Where did you work? Where did you spend your career?
10 Which organisation did you work for?
11 A. After graduating from the military engineering faculty, I was an
12 officer, and I became an active officer. I was on duty at the military
13 technical institute of the land forces in the ballistics section. I was
14 chief of the ballistics section. I became one in 1977, and I stayed in
15 that position until 1985. From 1985 on, I was the chief of the
16 information and computing centre. It was an IT centre that processed all
17 the research, including firing tables. Since 1990, I was the assistant of
18 the director for development of land forces.
19 Q. Mr. Vilicic, did you take part in teaching at any high schools or
20 institutes as a civilian and as a military person?
21 A. Yes, at the military engineering in Belgrade, also at the military
22 engineering faculty in Sarajevo, I taught.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't get the location.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Paris at the Ecole National des
25 Ingenieurs et Techniciens in Algeria. Also I taught in the Zagreb
1 graduate studies for those taking an MA degree. I mentored a number of
2 different theses, and I was also a member of the doctoral commission at
3 the engineering faculty in Belgrade and in Zagreb. I was also a member of
4 the scientific committee of the military technical institute and of the
5 scientific commission of the institute for strategic investigations and
6 research of the Yugoslav People's Army.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Can you tell us when you pursued any specialised courses abroad.
9 A. Yes, as I said, in 1964 and 55, I studied at the high military
10 school in France at the Ecole National Normal Superieur in Paris, which I
11 completed in 1965 and which was recognised as a specialised course.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly pause between question
13 and answer. Thank you.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Did you publish any scientific works, journals or textbooks in the
16 fields in which you were active?
17 A. Yes, that was a condition for me to pursue my Ph.D. I published a
18 number of different scientific papers. I also wrote a book which was
19 written while I taught at the military land forces academy in Belgrade. I
20 wrote a book called "Ballistics", and this is also a subject that I taught
21 to the cadets of the Belgrade military academy in 1975 -- between 1975 and
22 1979 rather.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in addition to the
24 expert opinion that has been filed, the biography has not been -- the CV
25 has not been enclosed. Therefore, can we have it distributed to the
1 Honourable Trial Chamber and my learned friends and colleagues so that you
2 may have a written form of everything the witness has now spoken about.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. That could well have helped
4 the interpreters had they had it before you went through that.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, indeed. Thank
7 Q. Mr. Vilicic, can you please confirm this: The document that you
8 have now been shown by the usher, is this your CV, the CV that we have
9 tried to go through for the benefit of the Honourable Trial Chamber?
10 A. Yes, but there's more information here than I just stated orally.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 Mr. Vilicic, pursuant to a request made to you by the Defence of
13 General Pavle Strugar, did you draft an expert opinion? If so, please
14 tell us what sort of expert opinion you wrote.
15 A. It's called expert analysis of the shelling of Dubrovnik Old Town.
16 This is an expert analysis that we wrote in both Serbian and English with
17 annexes containing calculations, graphs, everything that went into the
18 making of this expert's analysis.
19 Q. Do you have that expert analysis in front of you?
20 A. Yes, in both Croatian and English. May I just be allowed to add
21 something in relation to this expert opinion: We wrote this expert
22 analysis on the basis of the documents that we have given.
23 Q. Mr. Vilicic, can you please follow my questions and answer my
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: Can counsel please speak
1 into the microphone, and can we please pause between question and answer.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters please ask both speakers
3 to speak slower for the accuracy of the transcript. Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: You heard those things, Mr. Petrovic.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I have, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Vilicic, can you say which documents and which sources you
7 used when you wrote your expert opinion?
8 A. The basic documents we used were documents that we obtained from
9 the Defence team, or rather that the Tribunal forwarded to the Defence
10 team. The fundamental document is General Nojko Marinovic's testimony in
11 writing as given to the investigators of the ICTY in the year 2000 and the
12 transcript from General Marinovic's testimony in the Milosevic case, the
13 testimony was to the same issues. And both testimonies were identical in
14 substance. We used these testimonies as corroboration that the
15 information on the special deployment of the Croatian forces was
16 authentic. We also used Zeljko Soldo's statement which he also gave to
17 the ICTY. We also heard some witnesses and the last one was OTP witness
18 Ivan Negodic. That's where we decided to stop and that's where our
19 analysis stops, with the testimony of Ivan Negodic.
20 The next thing we used was the statement made by Admiral Jokic
21 while he testified before the Tribunal, as well as some other witnesses
22 whose testimonies we listened to. For example, the particular part of
23 Djelo Jusic's testimony where he spoke about the meteorological conditions
24 in Dubrovnik on the 6th of December. Or Ivan Grbic who spoke about the
25 destruction of some features in Dubrovnik and some of the features that
1 were hit. We regularly followed the progress of this case over the
3 Q. Mr. Vilicic, according to the information that you had when you
4 completed your expert analysis, can you tell us what the deployment was of
5 the firing positions and units of the JNA in the Dubrovnik theatre of war.
6 A. As for the deployment of units around Dubrovnik --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
8 MR. WEINER: Our sound system is --
9 JUDGE PARKER: There appears to be a problem with the sound
10 system, if you could pause for a moment, Mr. Petrovic.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
12 MR. WEINER: Could the witness say something to see if we can hear
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I hope you can hear me now,
15 Mr. Weiner.
16 MR. WEINER: It's running again. Sorry.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission,
18 I would like to proceed with my examination-in-chief.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would also like to
21 use this break to make a remark to deal with the technical aspect of the
22 presentation of this expert analysis, the expert analysis written by
23 Mr. Vilicic on behalf of the Defence; namely, Mr. Vilicic will use the
24 computer that he has in front of him to present certain parts of his
25 expert's analysis to the Trial Chamber and everyone else in the courtroom
1 in order to make it more graphic and easier to understand. The channel
2 that will be used is marked as "computer monitor" or computer evidence" on
3 the buttons that we have. I do wish to point out that it could happen
4 that the image is not sharp enough on the monitors that we have in front
5 of us. The technical staff have informed us that the only way to deal
6 with this problem is for each individual monitor to have its image
7 sharpened so that what Mr. Vilicic is about to present can be clearly
8 seen. Therefore, if any problems should arise, they can be dealt with in
9 that way. Thank you very much, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, could I just mention something that
11 does concern me. Counsel may have considered this, and they may see that
12 there is no problem. But as I understand from what the professor has
13 said, he uses as his fundamental source a statement given by
14 General Marinovic to investigators of the Tribunal and evidence given by
15 the general in the Milosevic trial. It may be, although it was not
16 entirely clear, whether he has also relied on statements of other people
17 such as Soldo given to the Tribunal.
18 THE WITNESS: Yes.
19 JUDGE PARKER: These matters are not in evidence before this
20 Trial Chamber. In other respects, the professor appears to have relied on
21 material that was given in evidence before the Trial Chamber, and there is
22 no problem about that. But to the extent that he has relied on material
23 that isn't in evidence before us, it may prove to be a significant
24 difficulty in the acceptance of his opinions. So I mention that at the
25 outset so that both yourself and counsel for the Prosecutor can be
1 considering this.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. After
3 consultation with my colleague, I will present the position of the
4 Defence, and I will take this opportunity to take advantage of your
5 proposal and I will consult this with my colleague from the OTP during the
6 break. Of course, we gave this some thought, and I can later present my
7 arguments of how and why this witness had relied on these sources that we
8 have just cited in the introduction to his expert analysis.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Vilicic, according to the information that you had at the time
12 while you were working on this expert report, what was the position of
13 firing position of the JNA in the Dubrovnik battlefield?
14 A. As you said, I would like to present to the Honourable Chamber by
15 using slides, and we have prepared them for that purpose.
16 Q. We have the slide on our monitor, so could you kindly --
17 A. Please follow this arrow that I'm going to point the firing
18 position of the JNA with. Given the fact that the number of projectiles
19 that landed inside the Old Town of Dubrovnik and judging by all relevant
20 statements made by witnesses, those primarily involved were shells, mortar
21 shells. Therefore, in our analysis, we focussed on the firing positions
22 of mortar weapons of the Yugoslav People's Army.
23 The first firing position was of the firing group of the
24 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade of Trebinje, and that was a
25 120-millimetre mortar position deployed in the sector Ledenice, in the
1 proximity of the road leading to Ivanica.
2 The next firing position of the organic composition of weaponry of
3 the 3rd Battalion of mortars that were in the Dubac and Rajcevici sector,
4 we called it the Rajcevic location. The next firing position involved
5 mortars at Strincijera, six 82-millimetre mortars, 69A.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Excuse me, Witness.
7 MR. WEINER: Sorry, Your Honour. Is this map in evidence? And I
8 don't see it in his materials, unless I'm misreading them, or it's an
9 enlargement of one of the maps in his materials.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this map is part of
11 the expert report at the very beginning. So most certainly, it is part of
12 evidence. And that is my response.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It's not presently an exhibit, not a previous map
14 we have.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Of course, no, Your Honour. This
16 map is an integral part of the expert report and an addendum thereto that
17 had been submitted in accordance with the Rule 94 bis.
18 JUDGE PARKER: The Prosecution seem to be having trouble finding
19 it, and no member of the Chamber has yet found it.
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Vilicic, would you please assist us and show us where exactly
22 this map that we see on our screens is in the report.
23 A. That's part of the map, 1 to 25.000 scale, Dubrovnik, as part of
24 the addendum 1. And you also have an addendum 2 to the expert report
25 where another part of this map is contained at a scale of 1 to 50.000 as
1 opposed to a scale of 1 to 25.000.
2 In the expert report, this map is on page of the English
3 version -- if I may say, it's just one segment of the topographic map. We
4 did not treat it as a separate map, but rather we used this in order to
5 determine the coordinates of firing positions of the weaponry of the
6 Yugoslav People's Army and the Dubrovnik Defence Forces.
7 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Vilicic. Where is the map in the English
8 version of the report?
9 A. Figure 1B, I think, on page -- it is, in fact, part of the figure
10 1.1. The figure shows number 1.1, 82-millimetre firing positions, whereas
11 here on the picture we only have firing positions indicated.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hope we have
13 clarified this issue.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. Two out of three have
15 found it. That's a good start.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
17 apologise for this. It is quite clear that this is a huge document and
18 that due to that, unfortunately, we may face certain problems and
19 confusion. But quite simply, it's something that happens with such big
20 volume of the material that you have in front of you, Your Honours.
21 Q. Mr. Vilicic, before my learned colleague made an objection, you
22 had shown us the firing positions in question. Can you just tell us
23 briefly how did you mark each of these firing positions? Which symbols
24 did you use?
25 A. We marked firing positions by using the mark VP-1. That's the
1 position of the 120-millimetre Ledenice mortar; VP-3 refers to the sector
2 of Rajcevici; VP-4 is the position 82 millimetres in Strincijera; and on
3 the monitor, you can see VP-2 firing position, which refers to
4 anti-aircraft guns, so-called ZIS 70 that were attached to the
5 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Infantry Brigade.
6 Q. Which Croatian unit positions did you take into consideration?
7 How did you mark those?
8 A. I must say that we did not take into consideration the positions
9 of Croatian forces, but rather we indicated their firing positions with
10 letter C, in fact, of their firing pieces. This primarily refers to C-1,
11 which indicates the position of the Croatian forces at Imperial fortress
12 on Srdj; C-4 refers to 82-millimetre mortar positions deployed at 200
13 metres from the Old Town and from Ploce; C-5 refers to the weapons that
14 were deployed to the north of the town based on the information that we
15 heard from witness's testimonies; C-3 indicates the firing position of
16 mortars that were in Bogosica Park; C-6 was a firing position at 500
17 metres from the Old Town. And in my further testimony, I will point out
18 the relevance of selecting this particular firing position.
19 Q. Are there any other targets that you have marked?
20 A. C-7 was marked here because there was some talk about firing
21 pieces at Gradac, and later on you will hear that it was along the line
22 between C-3 and C-7 that could possibly be targeted from VP-1, and that is
23 the target C-3 and 6 and 7.
24 Q. In view of the firing positions of the JNA units that you have
25 marked, can you tell us, please, how was it possible to direct fire from
1 these JNA positions that, as I said, you indicated on the map?
2 A. The deployment of firing positions of the JNA firing pieces that
3 needed correction in observance and ranging could be done only from the
4 main observation post at Zarkovica, only for correcting hits from VP-1
5 position of 120-millimetre mortars and 82-millimetre mortars from VP-3.
6 The observation post at Zarkovica was not able to monitor and direct the
7 fire of mortars positioned at Strincijera given the configuration of the
8 terrain around it, and the impossibility of establishing a so-called
9 parallel axis between this position and the range of targets, and that is
10 the direction of observation and firing from Strincijera. For that
11 reasons, the weapons from Strincijera could only fire on the basis of
12 direct observations by the company commander deployed at Strincijera.
13 If I made add one more thing, given the configuration of the
14 terrain, it was very difficult to observe and to correct fire from
15 Zarkovica for VP-1 and VP-2 firing position for the reasons that are
16 evident from the map, and that is that there was a very huge so-called
17 rear slope which indicates that at the impact of the projectile, the
18 realistic dispersion is considerably higher than those in the table. And
19 therefore, the estimate of those men directing fire from the observation
20 post at Zarkovica was very difficult, or rather it was very inaccurate in
21 this particular case.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us briefly, please, which kind of firing
23 pieces did you take into consideration in your expert report?
24 A. As I already said, given the nature of the projectiles that landed
25 inside the walls of the Old Town, we were focussed mostly on mortars.
1 Since according to the establishment, the 3rd Battalion had 82 and
2 120-millimetre mortars, we were primarily focussed on them. And as for
3 firing support pieces, we analysed the positions and the possibility for
4 firing from 130-millimetre guns given their extreme precision and
5 well-known destructive power of those missiles fired from them.
6 In addition, we showed in this sketch the firing position of
7 76-millimetre anti-armour guns that only could be used to target and
8 neutralise C-1 firing position which was at Srdj, the imperial fortress
9 where the Croatian forces were deployed.
10 Q. Let me now dwell on what is a theoretical part of your report
11 where you have analysed and explained some basic terms that one needs to
12 know in order to be able to comprehend the essence of your report. So I
13 would like to ask you whether all fired projectiles hit the given target,
14 or are there any deviations from the given objective or target?
15 A. In principle, there is no single weapon that can always hit the
16 one and the same point. In other words, it is only natural that during
17 firing of any kind of projectile, there occurs a so-called dispersion, and
18 that is the deviation of the projectile in respect to the targeted point.
19 Q. Tell us, please, what are the two main reasons for this kind of
20 deviation when the projectile hits?
21 A. In addition to a series of reasons that may cause this and that we
22 have explained in detail in this report, there are two main reasons, two
23 main factors that considerably affect and produce deviation of the
24 projectile from the desired target. First of all, that is the impact of
25 the initial velocity of the projectile; and secondly, the influence or
1 meteorological conditions, most of all the intensity and direction of
2 winds. This particularly refers to mortar shells who are extremely
3 sensitive to wind power because they're not stabilised by using a
4 gyroscope and that is by revolving around their own axis; rather, they use
5 flaps, small flaps which are also very sensitive to wind blows.
6 Q. Can you mention some other causes that lead to dispersion.
7 A. I have just given the technical aspect of the matter right now.
8 However, if we look at the total dispersion of projectiles in real terms,
9 we can subdivide this practically into three groups. One group are
10 characteristics and the state of the weapon system. Secondly, it is the
11 meteorological situation as I've already mentioned in which the firing
12 takes place. And thirdly, it is the level of training and knowledge of
13 the crews that are carrying out the preparation for the firing and who
14 guide fire aimed at the target.
15 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, is there a difference in dispersion
16 if firing takes place from one weapon only or from several weapons?
17 A. Yes, yes. That is the main shortcoming when analysing a system
18 and its precision. If one does not take into account the existence of
19 this particular difference involving one weapon or several weapons,
20 especially if targeting a concentrated objective. That is to say, all
21 weapons concentrate on one target. Since there cannot be technical
22 equality in the performance of all weapons, each and every individual
23 weapon has certain deviations, especially in terms of initial velocity as
24 I've already said, and also there can be errors made by the crews manning
25 each and every weapon.
1 So this dispersion, when a group of weapons is firing, is
2 manifested in terms of distance and in terms of the range. So if we look
3 at the tables, there is an increase by 1 and a half up to 3 times all
4 together. So when a group of artillery pieces is firing, if we only look
5 at the dispersion presented at the -- in the tables, an error is made that
6 is 1 and a half times up to 3 times greater than what the tables say. So
7 actually, there is less dispersion than actually in reality.
8 Q. Can you present this to us in graphic terms.
9 A. Well, if we look at the next slide, we see what it's like when
10 four mortars are firing. In our case, we have 120-millimetre mortars in
11 the area of Ledenice. There were four that were in proper condition out
12 of six. And also, there were four, and only on Strincijera there were six
13 82-millimetre mortars. We see here a schematic. We see how this is
14 manifested in the field. That is to say, when the area is leveled, when
15 the ground is level. We see how this dispersion is manifested.
16 In the next table, you see how big the dispersion is in terms of
17 range and direction. So if we carry out this adjustment according to the
18 target, it can even go up to 2.2. And in terms of direction, it can even
19 go up to 9 possible deviations because sighting equipment especially in
20 mortars is very significant, but still they do not make it possible to
21 precisely target a given objective with that weapon.
22 So usually, a particular mortar uses a pole when targeting, and
23 then that pole can indicate how big the error is. So the -- it increases
24 with range. And of course, when the range is bigger, then the error is
25 bigger, too.
1 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, what is the influence of the slope of
2 the terrain, flanking, rear slope, and so on?
3 A. It is significant, especially of the so-called rear slope. This
4 was already mentioned before this Honourable Trial Chamber. We have
5 prepared a specific situation that had prevailed at Srdj where the facing
6 slope was 15 to 20 degrees. As it was already said, dispersion of
7 projectiles is reduced at the facing slope. And then the rear slope went
8 even up to 48 degrees, meaning that dispersion was considerably increased;
9 that is to say, that every projectile that would fall behind Srdj towards
10 the Old Town down there, it would have greater dispersion in terms of
11 range than the projectiles that fell in front of the Srdj fortress.
12 And specifically, there was a flanking slope between 8 and 12
13 degrees. On the next slide --
14 Q. Could you please speak a bit slower, please.
15 A. We can see the arithmetic involved on the next slide.
16 Specifically for the 48-degree slope the probable dispersion in the tables
17 is 31 metres, and in reality it is 106 metres on the ground. As for the
18 flanking slope, it has relatively less of an effect. The left and the
19 right one provide the same values in terms of the increase, and you can
20 see down here that dispersion in terms of direction, the tables give 21,
21 and it is only 26 metres in real terms. That is to say that the rear
22 slope considerably increases the range dispersion, but not the direction
24 Q. What do you mean when you say that, increased in terms of range?
25 A. Well, if we are targeting an objective that is on the horizon,
1 then of course, when one weapon is used for firing, then the dispersion
2 picture is probably going to be 8 dispersions, 8 probable dispersions.
3 I'm intentionally not saying which ones. However, if a target is on the
4 rear slope, then in this specific case instead of 240 metres, the
5 picture -- the pattern would be 800 metres. If the objectives would be on
6 that slope, that rear slope, I mean.
7 Q. All right. All right. That's as far as slopes are concerned,
8 facing slope, rear slope, flanking slope. But Mr. Vilicic, what is the
9 effect of altitude of the firing position, higher altitude in relation to
10 the objective or target that is engaged?
11 A. That is where most errors are made. If the position is at a
12 higher altitude than the target is, as was the case in Dubrovnik
13 specifically, when mortars at firing positions VP-1, VP-3, and VP-4 were
14 at a higher altitude, about 300 metres on average above the targets that
15 were around the Old Town, because the altitude of the Old Town
16 ranges -- is around 50 metres, but Bogosica Park is about 170 metres or
17 180 metres, and the Ledenice position is about 390 metres. So this
18 difference was almost 300 metres.
19 Now, how did it yield an effect in that respect? We are targeting
20 an objective that is at a lower altitude, lower than the firing position.
21 Then there certainly has to be an overreach, an overshoot. And then the
22 so-called correction from the mountain tables have to be used. They show
23 the extent to which the elevation of the mortar has to be
24 increased - because the mortar has a particular type of trajectory - in
25 order to reduce the range and to obtain the desired hit and the desired
1 target. On the other hand, if we were to take into account elevation that
2 is horizontal, then there would be a larger range, or rather we would have
3 an overshoot yet again.
4 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, but the interpreters simply cannot keep
5 up with your rate of speaking. I know that you're wanting to tell us a
6 lot, but you'll just have to try and slow your rate of speaking. This is
7 interpreted into more than one language, and time must be allowed. Thank
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Vilicic, would you please clarify one point: You were talking
12 about altitudes in the town of Dubrovnik. Can you please tell us
13 carefully and slowly what the altitudes are of the Old Town, of
14 Bogosica Park, what altitudes are there and what did you take into
16 A. In annex 9(a) in the annex to the expert analysis, we said exactly
17 what the altitudes are of the firing positions of all the weapons that
18 were in the area of Dubrovnik. Specifically, the firing position of the
19 120-millimetre mortar was in the area of Ledenice, and it was at 335
20 metres. That was the altitude.
21 The mortars at the firing position of VP-3 in the area of
22 Rajcevici were at an altitude of 285 metres. Mortars at firing position
23 VP-4 were at an altitude of 390 metres. The altitudes of the targets or
24 objectives are the following: The fort, the basic objective where the
25 mortars were faced was the fort at Srdj, that is, 403 metres is the
1 altitude of that feature. Then the weapons that we looked at had the
2 following positions: C-3, mortars in Bogosica Park are at an elevation of
3 50 metres; mortars towards Ploce are at 200 metres away from the Old Town,
4 and they're at an altitude of 40 metres; then to the north of the Old
5 Town, there is C-5, some weapons there, and it is at an altitude of 90
7 Q. Thank you.
8 A. That's why I said during my remarks that the altitude difference
9 was 300 metres between the firing positions of the mortars as compared to
10 the firing positions of the Croatian Defence Forces.
11 Q. Thank you. Now we are moving on to the next subject. Those are
12 mistakes, errors, in preparing firing. What are the main reasons for
13 these errors in the preparation of firing and in actual firing?
14 A. I have slowed down for the sake of the interpreters.
15 The main causes for errors in the execution of fire, rather, the
16 preparation of fire, are multifold. We explained this in detail in our
17 expert analysis. Starting from errors in terms of establishing where the
18 firing position of the weapon is and where the firing position of the
19 objective is, and then on the basis of topographical maps depending on the
20 size of the map or rather the scale of the map where this is being carried
21 out, these errors vary. Specifically for 1 to 25.000-scale map, the
22 mistake can be up to 25 metres which corresponds to 1 millimetre. So we
23 are talking about a lack of familiarity with all the information involved
24 in terms of initial velocity of weapons systems or projectiles, then
25 differences in weight, all the way to the ballistic characteristics, the
1 temperature of the gunpowder and weather conditions, the atmospheric
2 pressure, the velocity and direction of wind and so on.
3 So there either has to be a knowledge or a lack of knowledge of
4 this information. And then accuracy depends on that. If one has all
5 relevant information about the artillery pieces involved, about the
6 ammunition, meteorology, so-called weather conditions, the information
7 received from balloons, pilots, and signals are obtained which show the
8 exact pressure, air pressure and velocity and direction of wind. I don't
9 want to go into all the details, but a so-called ballistic wind is
10 established, and then corrections are made on the basis of that. If we
11 have all of that, then when preparing the initial data, so-called full
12 preparation takes place.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. We've come to the question of preparation. Tell us, please, how
16 does the preparation take place of initial data for firing?
17 A. By way of appropriate calculations, by using various auxiliary
18 methods. That is to say, the numbers in the firing tables, they are
19 depicted graphically, and then on the basis of that certain parameters can
20 be established in order to determine basic information for particular
21 artillery pieces. That is to say, the elevation from which the firing
22 should take place. Then appropriate calculations of all improvements and
23 corrections, so that with the first projectiles or the first group of
24 projectiles there would be as little dispersion or deviation as possible.
25 If one does not have all this information or if one has them only
1 partially and depending on the situation involved, that is to say, the
2 situation in the battlefield, then the following two degrees of
3 preparation, or levels of preparation; the so-called abbreviated
4 preparation, and then there has to be an estimate. Or, for example, the
5 measurement of the so-called ground wind. Then temperature, air
6 temperature is estimated, and also air pressure is taken roughly. Then
7 initial data are obtained according to the methodology of the so-called
8 abbreviated preparation.
9 However, if there isn't enough time for a transfer of fire from
10 one firing position, from one target to another, for example, if the enemy
11 begins to fire from a position where they were not firing from before, and
12 for example, in our case, the mortars faced one target, were trained on
13 one target, and there needed to be a quick transfer of fire to another
14 target so they could be neutralised. In that case, in this short period
15 of time, there would be no time to carry out preparation. And then you
16 need to take into account rough estimates of range and parameters are
17 taken accordingly. And this is the reason for high dispersion, high
18 dispersion in terms of the projectiles falling far from their targets,
19 their designated targets.
20 Q. This precisely would be my next question. What are the effects of
21 these different forms or levels of preparation, if you can please explain
22 and also show us on a diagram.
23 A. In our expert analysis, we gave the exact data. We provided
24 tables which we have already discussed, a tabular overview of deviations
25 or probable deviations for each of these three different methods in
1 relation to the probable deviations as stated in the firing tables. And
2 then the numerical data are provided in a table -- I must have it here
3 somewhere. Here we go.
4 We can see on the monitor the probable errors in terms of range
5 and deflection depending on the method which was used to calculate the
6 initial firing data. The best results, that is, the lowest deviations,
7 are obtained whenever the so-called full preparation can be applied and
8 used for setting the initial firing data. Then the deviations are between
9 0.8 and 1.2 per cent in terms of the range. And in terms of deflection,
10 between 3 and 5. In order to make this clear, if you have a range of
11 1.000 metres, 3 would mean 3 metres. In a range of 3.000 metres, we would
12 have 9 metres instead. Therefore, the deflection would be measured in
13 terms of metres. Here 1.2 for total deviation.
14 As for the other two values given in this table, this is the mean
15 value for the abbreviated preparation and for the simple preparation. As
16 you can see, the error in terms of range would be between 8 and 10 per
17 cent. In that case, for simple preparation. In terms of deflection,
18 between 20 and 30. On a range of 3.000 metres, this would amount to a
19 90-metre error.
20 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Vilicic.
21 Can you please now tell us about the meteorological parameters
22 that might cause dispersion. Which are the relevant factors and how do
23 they bear on dispersion or deviations in general.
24 A. The three fundamental factors, meteorological factors, that are
25 taken into account when you calculate the initial firing data and when you
1 set the general data for firing are the atmospheric air pressure, the air
2 temperature, and the wind. If you look at these three factors, that
3 having the greatest effect on dispersion is the wind. The wind has two
4 components: One is facing wind, wind against the direction of firing; and
5 the other component is a crosswind which causes the projectile to be
6 deflected, and that is the so-called lateral or crosswind.
7 Q. In your calculations which we are about to go through, did you
8 take into account the weather conditions in the Dubrovnik area at the time
9 under consideration?
10 A. We didn't have the precise data for the 6th of December, which is
11 the day that we focussed on. However, in order to really be able to
12 discuss and have a more general analysis, we consulted data that we
13 obtained from the hydro-meteorological institute of the navy which used to
14 be based in Split. They took an average of mean values over a period of
15 10 years in relation to the intensity and direction of the wind. They
16 provided the wind roses for the entire Adriatic. And we studied the wind
17 rose in relation to Dubrovnik, since it was the 6th of December, we
18 studied the wind rose that related to December 1991.
19 Q. Can you point us to a graph or a diagram that shows that, please.
20 A. Just a moment, please. If you look at this slide, you can see the
21 wind rose for December in Dubrovnik. This is the one I'm talking about.
22 This is where Dubrovnik is, and this is the so-called wind rose. This is
23 north, and the vertical line marks northeast. This is the main direction
24 in which a wind usually called Bura was blowing. It's a gale-force wind.
25 Based on this wind rose and based on the methodology used to mark it on
1 the map, you can see this line right here. And in order to determine its
2 magnitude, here we have a scale, by measuring you can calculate the
3 frequency of the wind of Bura in terms of percentage for the month of
4 December. You use the length of this line. Specifically in relation to
5 Dubrovnik, you can see it was 36 per cent. That was the frequency of wind
6 in the month of December over a period of more than ten days on average.
7 That is how often Bura occurs in Dubrovnik in the month of December on
9 As for the wind's intensity, it is marked with these small lines,
10 notches, notches. Specifically in relation to Dubrovnik, we can see four
11 of those, and each of the notches is used to denote one degree, one on the
12 Bofor scale. Therefore, the average velocity of the Bura wind in the
13 Dubrovnik area in the month of December would be 4 on the Bofor scale.
14 Later I will show you the proportion between the wind velocity as
15 expressed on the Bofor scale in metres per second. I think that's about 8
16 metres per second. We shall see that later on.
17 May I just be allowed to say something else in relation to this:
18 In order to be able to understand what this is really about, in order to
19 be able to understand what this means in practical terms, this velocity of
20 the wind, you have the international standards and parameters in the next
21 table. And correlations were given between the strength of wind in terms
22 of the Bofor scale and metres per second. Specifically, in relation to
23 Dubrovnik, the average, the mean value, was 4 on the Bofor scale. That
24 means between 5.5 and 7.9 metres per second. However, you may notice how
25 this is manifested on the surrounding environment where you have this
1 strong gale-force wind. If you can see large tree branches moving, that
2 usually is consistent with a Bura wind that is about 6 strong on the Bofor
3 wind which means between 10.8 and 13.8 metres per second. We used video
4 footage that was provided to us by the OTP, and we noticed that on account
5 of this strong Bura wind that was blowing on the day, and also based on
6 Djelo Jusic's testimony before this Tribunal, on that day, the famous
7 Dubrovnik Bura wind was blowing, and the conclusion was that it had to be
8 at least 6 on the Bofor scale.
9 In order to further assess the strength of the wind, we used 10
10 metres per second. And throughout our expert analysis, the assumption was
11 that the velocity of the wind on that day was 10 metres per second.
12 Q. Very well. Mr. Vilicic, further in relation to the weather
13 conditions, as far as you know, based on such facts as you have been able
14 to review in the process of drafting this expert analysis, what about JNA
15 units's positions in this area? Were radio probes used to carry out
16 measurements in this area?
17 A. No. All the equipment that we had in that room, the central room,
18 because the infantry battalion was in direct contact with the Croatian
19 forces near Dubrovnik, those units did not have such equipment in order to
20 carry out measurements by radio probes. Usually, you had this sort of
21 equipment at the corps level or at the level of a division in an area
22 where combat operations are afoot. However, only on the condition that
23 significant artillery pieces are present in the area that are about to
24 launch important operations.
25 As for our mortars that are under consideration here, these
1 conditions were not in place. Our estimate is that there was no way for
2 the initial preparation of -- for the full preparation of initial firing
3 data to be carried out primarily because the lay of the land, the
4 configuration of the terrain, and the relationship between the altitude of
5 the weapons and the altitude of the targets was significant, significantly
6 different. It was -- the difference was huge. And this made it
7 impossible to have accurate calculations.
8 First of all, there was no way to calculate the range because the
9 lay of the land made it impossible to calculate exactly the mortar
10 positions in relation to the designated targets. There was also the laser
11 method of determining the range in relation to a target, and this was also
12 impossible under these conditions. It couldn't be done.
13 Q. Just two further questions in relation to this general background:
14 What are the tabular values that we are talking about, and how exactly are
15 they determined?
16 A. As I've said before this Trial Chamber before, I was the chief of
17 ballistics, and I was in charge of research. I was in charge of drawing
18 up these firing tables for practically all the different weapons systems
19 that the JNA had. The firing table is made using a certain methodology.
20 You have target practices on a firing range. And you have all the
21 information that you need in relation to weapons, projectiles, weather
22 conditions, under certain kind of weather conditions, not just any kind of
23 weather conditions. There are certain limits as to the temperature, the
24 strength of the wind, and the crews are professionally trained crews,
25 trained on a daily basis. And these tests are done at our testing range
1 in Nikinci, so the obtained tabular values show a mean value that is
2 typical of a certain system.
3 However, these values are not maximum values, but rather mean
4 values or average values as I've said. In relation to mortar ammunition,
5 there is something called a standard of All People's Defence, 2369, which
6 was published in 1984 according to which mortar ammunition is received or
7 accepted. When you have these tests at a firing range, when you know
8 everything about the weather conditions, when you have all the information
9 on the weapons systems being used, when you have all possible information
10 on the types of projectiles being used, the temperature, their
11 eccentricity, their centre of gravity and so on and so forth, under such
12 conditions, the dispersion for certain groups is allowed to be up to 1.5
13 times their tabular value.
14 If during tests, between 15 and 20 consecutive series are fired,
15 and then it is established that the mean value is higher than that
16 originally defined in a table, this new mean value is multiplied by 1.5,
17 and then series of mortar projectiles can be accepted. Also if, for
18 example, during production it was increased from 1 to 1.2 in relation to
19 the tabular value, this is then multiplied by 7 or 7.5 and the allowed
20 dispersion value is between 1 and 1.8 times that given in the table.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may just ask
22 another question from this area before the break, I would just like to ask
23 Mr. Vilicic something else briefly with your permission.
24 Q. Mr. Vilicic, please, just briefly: Are there any differences
25 between realtime situations and tabular values, values given in a table?
1 A. Yes, there are essential differences. And it is impossible to
2 look at the tabular values of possible dispersion and provide some sort of
3 final evaluation of what dispersion values might be of a certain weapons
4 system or artillery weapon.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I propose that now we
6 take a break as planned.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
8 We will resume at just after quarter to 4.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 3.28 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 3.51 p.m.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Vilicic, I would now kindly ask you to discuss with us the
14 chapter 4 of your expert report. And after that, I will ask you
15 individual questions regarding what I believe is to be of relevance to be
16 heard before this Honourable Trial Chamber.
17 First of all, can you tell us, please, if we have this specific
18 situation in mind, and that is the situation prevailing on the 6th of
19 December 1991, how was it possible to carry out preparation of firing
20 elements, and what methods were possible to be applied under such
21 circumstances according to the information that you had at your disposal
22 while you were writing this report?
23 A. First we have to distinguish two different scenarios. The first
24 scenario involves the primary target of mortars VP-4, VP-3, and VP-1,
25 directed at the fortress at Srdj as a primary target of the attack by
1 infantry units of the 3rd Battalion for rendering firing support to this
2 attack. Under such circumstances, the preparatory works could have been
3 done according to the so-called abbreviated method. In other words, they
4 were able to assess the temperature, and by the way, it was an extremely
5 cold day. They could have measured the ground wind. And since Srdj
6 was -- as a target was clearly visible from all firing positions, they
7 were able to establish accurately the direction and the distance to the
8 target. In other words, without complete meteorological data, they were
9 able to apply the so-called abbreviated method of preparing initial firing
10 elements for offering firing support.
11 The second aspect of this entire situation refers to the moment
12 when mortars changed their primary azimuth directions because according to
13 their performance, according to the structure, if they are aiming at Srdj
14 without changing firing positions, they would not have been able to aim at
15 other targets. And by that, I specifically refer to C-4, C-3, and C-5
17 Q. Could you please just explain to us what kind of changes does this
19 A. That is exactly what I was about to say. That means changes at
20 the firing position. Mortars have certain structural angles they can move
21 to the right or to the left from their primary direction. And to aim at
22 this target, they had to move their bipod, and by changing their position
23 upon which the barrels actually lean and which serve as a basis for
24 determining the angle and the accuracy of the direction, they had to be,
25 so to say, they had to disturb so to say all their basic parameters and to
1 take a totally different direction and thereby automatically come to a
2 position to renew the establishment of all parameters.
3 I presume that under the conditions when an extremely heavy mortar
4 fire came from the Croatian forces, and when the units of the
5 3rd Battalion found themselves in a position to be annihilated while
6 attacking Srdj, they had urgently to effect counterbattery fire from
7 mortars. But it wasn't done as in military terms would have been normal
8 with artillery pieces; instead, they had to swiftly change the direction
9 of fire to Srdj for a firing position of the Croatian forces in order to
10 destroy them. Under such conditions, they could fire only from the
11 so-called -- by using the so-called simple elements of firing or by using
12 the so-called simple method of preparations which required very quick
13 assessment of the range, of the direction, and by firing not only from one
14 but from the battery of weapons in order to engage the target and to
15 eliminate it.
16 Q. So what kind of effect does this situation produce?
17 A. This situation probably led to the fact that a number of
18 projectiles did fall inside the walls of the Old Town.
19 Q. What you explained during the last few minutes is that the first
20 segment of firing, according to the knowledge that you have, they applied
21 the so-called abbreviated preparations, and the second segment involves
22 the so-called simple preparation.
23 A. Objectively, there was no conditions granting for preparation. I
24 apologise. I didn't give you an answer how we approach this in our
25 analysis. We took into consideration both the simple and the abbreviated
1 method of preparation in order to make certain comparisons and to see what
2 effect this may have produced, I mean negative effects in this specific
4 Q. Very well. Let us now move on to the ballistic analysis of firing
5 from individual firing positions of JNA at specific targets. First of
6 all, by following the sequence that you used in your analysis, I would
7 like to ask you to analyse fire opened from the firing position VP-1
8 targeting the objectives marked C-3 and C-4. Can you please explain what
9 kind of conclusions you reach in this particular segment.
10 A. Let us first look into the fire from 120-millimetre mortars
11 positioned in the Ledenice sector at the VP-1 firing position. The fire
12 opened from these mortars at C-3 target. The first group of mortars -- of
13 Croatian forces in Bogosica Park, then the target of another group of
14 mortars which were positioned about 200 metres east was Ploce, and the
15 firing pieces positioned at 100 metres to the north from the Old Town
17 On this slide, you can see the primary direction. This is the
18 firing position. So this blue line indicates the primary direction of
19 mortar fire in concentrated fire targeting C-3. The red lines on the
20 right and on the left indicate possible deviation of the direction allowed
21 by the structural features of each mortar. It is -- our presumption was
22 that they were all concentrated on C-3, and they can only deviate as much
23 to the left or to the right.
24 As you can see, when directing fire in counterbattery fire against
25 the Croatian mortars positioned in the Bogosica Park, the sector of the
1 possible fire of mortars does not encompass the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
2 On the next slide, we can see this big rectangular with lateral
3 and vertical lines.
4 Q. Excuse me for interrupting you, but for the sake of clarity, could
5 you please take the English version of your expert paper, and let us find
6 this drawing in the English version. As I understand, this is the sketch
7 on page 50, item 4.3. Is that correct?
8 A. No. In the English version, it's on page 52, item 4.4.
9 Q. Okay. Tell us about this sketch.
10 A. This is the figure 4.4 on page 52.
11 Q. Very well.
12 A. In this rectangular, I don't know if you can see it clearly, is an
13 area where the first projectiles would have fallen had they been fired in
14 the direction of Bogosica Park under the so-called simple preparation. In
15 other words, it could be expected that a projectile may land even here,
16 which is considerably in front of the target, or at the target itself, or
17 far from the target on the other side. What does this practically mean?
18 This means that there was an enormous dispersion and inaccuracy of hits
19 with the elements contained in the simple preparation for this firing at
20 C-3 target in Bogosica Park.
21 On the same slide, we can see this smaller rectangular painted
22 yellow, and the target centre is marked with a red point. And this is the
23 dispersion pattern that would have occurred after the so-called correction
24 of fire and after the firing of hits. Now, concerning the correction, I
25 have to say the following --
1 Q. Let us please focus on this figure.
2 A. In circumstances when there are no appropriate conditions for
3 valid observation and when we made swift estimates of initial firing
4 elements or data, I said that the correction is in principle, and if you
5 have ample time, is done by one weapon, and that is the so-called primary
6 weapon. However, if a unit finds itself in a critical situation under
7 heavy fire, then correction can be done through battery firing. Two or
8 four mortars fire simultaneously. By observing the purpose of the hit,
9 and that is whether one or several hits fell short or behind the target,
10 and then so-called command for correction is made by either reducing or
11 increasing the range.
12 While this kind of correction is in progress, and if you have four
13 mortars firing, and if four shells are fired, and then the next four
14 follow, it is only logical that within this rectangular, these 4, 8, or
15 probably 12 shells will land within this rectangular for as long as they
16 manage to achieve the so-called rule of fork, and at least three groups of
17 weapons which means at least 12 shells have to be fired before we
18 approximate the target or the mean hit. If that is achieved, then with
19 such element, if we proceed to fire, the shells would continue to fall
20 within this yellow rectangular -- rectangle. And as we can see in this
21 specific case, none of the shells would land inside the Old Town of
23 In the first scenario before we did the correction, as you can see
24 from this diagram which was made at 1 to 25.000 scale, we have plotted
25 here the Old Town, it is evident that the pattern of simple preparation
1 covers the Old Town with a 20 per cent of probability. In other words,
2 there is a high level of probability that out of the 12 shells, a number
3 of them could even fall in the Old Town, even though the Old Town was not
4 the target of operation in this particular instance.
5 This only under the condition that the mean hit strikes the target
6 that we have this level of dispersion, and that around the target we have
7 the pattern of dispersion. Of course, again, under the condition that the
8 wind velocity is practically zero. If in this concrete situation, when on
9 the 6th of December there was an extremely strong Bura wind in Dubrovnik,
10 and if we take it as an assumption that it was blowing latitudinally, we
11 can find where the certain hits would land despite the correction.
12 Q. Can you tell us, in the English version of your report, where is
13 the situation that you're describing right now?
14 A. This situation is not described in the English version. There is
15 figure 4.41 in the English version which was drafted for the condition
16 that shells had been exposed to the lateral wind blowing 10 metres per
18 Q. Can you please explain the lateral wind.
19 A. So if the projectile was exposed to a lateral wind, then in that
20 case some of them will start to fall within the red area on the diagram.
21 However, if they're exposed to lateral wind, then they will start to fall
22 also within the green area. In other words, the yellow rectangle will
23 basically remain where it is, or it will be shifted slightly. However,
24 other projectiles will also start to fall either in the red or in the
25 green area depending on the direction of wind.
1 It is well known that the Bura wind is a shifting wind, that it
2 blows in gusts which means that for the flight of a projectile, it blows
3 differently which means that at one point it can achieve its maximum
4 value, whereas at another point in time it can slow down. The correction
5 that I explained which takes into account wind velocity and effects, once
6 the velocity drops, the projectile fired at that very moment will fall at
7 a -- at a completely different distance than originally calculated with
8 the wind factor. That was the main reason why under such unfavourable
9 weather conditions as was the case on the 6th of December in Dubrovnik we
10 have an extremely increased dispersion pattern or a very, very low rate of
11 accuracy of hitting the target, which means that this enormous dispersion,
12 both along the range and direction --
13 Q. Can you please focus directly on specific firing position and
14 specific targets.
15 A. That's what I'm talking about, Mr. Petrovic. Based on that, and
16 on this conclusion that I just explained, this pattern is fully realistic
17 because the entire rectangle composed of the yellow, the red, and the
18 green areas becomes the image of the dispersion pattern under given
19 conditions. Of course, under the presumption that there was no error in
20 the estimate.
21 The following slide shows the same objective or target, but under
22 the condition that an error in the estimate of the direction occurred,
23 1-degree error equals 16.71 thousandths part which in this 5.700 range,
24 100 metres will be the deviation from the mean direction as opposed to the
25 originally desired one if an error is only 1 degree, and it is very much
1 relevant because the 120-millimetre mortar firing group was physically
2 unable to see the target and to orient themselves according to it, but
3 they rather had to use some provisional segments in order to direct the
5 We can see in this slide that even if you apply an abbreviated
6 method of preparations, the projectiles during the correction in the
7 course of firing with the shorter or a longer range, the projectiles may
8 fall -- may have fallen inside the Old Town. And what is characteristic
9 about this situation is that this involved the northern and the western
10 part of the town.
11 Now, for example, can I just proceed now. Can I just finish with
12 this. Now, there is the following case: If we look at the original
13 picture, if everything that I spoke of so far was done with an error of 1
14 degree in terms of direction, so 1 degree was the mistake in direction,
15 and they went left in relation to the objective, you can see that although
16 the correction was made, due to the effect of the wind, a number of
17 projectiles can fall into the Old Town. Can you see this? Can you see
18 where the arrow is, the part of the Old Town that is already affected?
19 And finally, we wanted to show, since this was objectively
20 speaking simple preparation, and we could see from the table that the
21 margin of error can be 8 to 10 per cent, this entire dispersion with an
22 error of 8 to 10 per cent due to the effect of the wind, it completely
23 covers this northwestern part of town. In this situation, it is only
24 logical, regrettably, that some projectiles fell into the Old Town.
25 Q. Have we dealt with it now?
1 A. On this slide, you can see how the Old Town was affected. You see
2 that it is enlarged now. So the Pile gate is affected, and also it goes
3 through that entrance into the Old Town. This entire area, that is. This
4 is the Franciscan monastery there? I think the monastery is where the
5 tower is, the one that can be seen on some pictures, the one that was hit.
6 And then there is Bokara, the tower of Bokar, all of that is in the shadow
7 if I can put it that way of these possible impacts in the Old Town.
8 Q. Before we move on, could you please mark in the English version of
9 your expert opinion the diagrams that this pertains to so that it would be
10 easier to follow what you have been telling us.
11 A. Well, let me tell you, we thought the expert opinion was enormous
12 anyway, and we thought it would be way too big if we were to include all
13 these pictures. We just gave these two pictures, that is to say, figure
14 4.4 constitutes the dispersion of hits with simple preparation without the
15 effect of the wind on page 52. And 4.41 is dispersion not only after
16 simple preparation, but also under the influence of the wind at 10 metres
17 per second when as I said there is this gust of wind, as I said. So you
18 can see that this point of the rectangle touches this left part of the
19 Old Town. This can clearly be seen on the previous slide. It fully
20 corresponds to this slide. I'm going to show it to you right now.
21 You see, it fully corresponds to the slide except that the upper
22 part is not there, only the yellow part. That is the effect of the
23 lateral wind. Then there's this yellow rectangle. Now imagine that it
24 went down and that it was here, that this point of it is down here. So we
25 have presented this graphically so that it would be easier for you to
1 visualise what the effect of the lateral wind is in this specific case.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
3 MR. WEINER: Yes, sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. We don't have
4 a 4.4 on page 52. We have a 4.13 on that page. And we don't have a 4.41
5 in the document that we were provided with. Is it in the addendum?
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, below the figure, it
7 says figure 4.4 on page 52. So we are talking about figures. We are
8 talking about diagrams, pictures.
9 MR. WEINER: I see. I'm looking at the 4.13 on the top. I'm
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Vilicic --
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, actually, may I
16 Q. Mr. Vilicic, we spoke about VP-1 firing at C-3.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could we please focus at VP-1 firing at C-4 now.
19 A. Here we are. On this slide, we can see on this slide -- this is
20 4.45. That's what we're talking about. And it involves abbreviated
21 preparations, and we see what the dispersion was in the preparation. So
22 we're talking about abbreviated preparation. And after the correction,
23 the dispersion of the projectile on the assumption that the median hit was
24 close to the target, but either left, right, up, or down. The table that
25 is provided here, the one that you see here, up here, shows how many
1 projectiles out of 100 projectiles fired fall within each and every one of
2 these fields of the yellow rectangle. So for example, if we look at this
3 red point, these two fields, left and right, these two fields, when 100
4 projectiles are fired, the average that is taken, of course, is that 6
5 projectiles fall within these four fields. So if these four fields were
6 to cover the target or the Old Town, there would be a total of 23
7 projectiles that would fall.
8 According to this methodology, because the central part does not
9 cover the Old Town, but this is a field of probability, 2, 7, and partly
10 16 per cent, so these are the ones we're talking about. Our rough
11 estimate was that these 4 plus 4 equals 8, plus 2, 10, plus 2, 12, that 12
12 projectiles after firing correction; that is to say, after fire is opened
13 at C-4, they fall into the Old Town according to all the laws of the
14 theory of probability and dispersion rules. So the conclusion we draw is
15 that this firing position, or rather target, in fact, by its very position
16 imperilled the Old Town of Dubrovnik because neutralising that target
17 meant that necessarily a certain number of projectiles would have to fall
18 within the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
19 Q. Just tell us in the English version, where can we find this
21 A. This is 4.5 on page 54 of the English version. Figure 4.5. [In
22 English] Page 54.
23 Q. Very well. Please go ahead.
24 A. [Interpretation] May I proceed.
25 Q. Yes, yes, please go on.
1 A. The same analysis like in the previous case: There was no impact
2 of the wind. However, since the Bura blows in gusts of varying intensity
3 along the trajectory of the projectile, the projectile would fall into the
4 red zone as well. If the projectiles would be subjected to a lateral
5 wind, then they would start falling within the green area, too.
6 Fortunately, this green area as you can see here is outside the Old Town,
7 so the projectiles would fall into the sea. While the previous picture,
8 or rather the red area shows that the number of projectiles that would
9 fall into the Old Town would be increased.
10 In other words, I can say that the objective, or rather the firing
11 position C-4 of the second group of the mortars of the Croatian forces
12 posed a threat to the Old Town in view of their vicinity. So when the JNA
13 weapons counterfire, projectiles may fall into the Old Town.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. Let me just show you what this looks like when it's enlarged. You
16 can see the area of the Old Town that is affected by normal dispersion
17 after corrections; that is to say, part of the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
18 Q. VP-1 and C-4, is there anything else you would like to say in
19 relation to that or should we move on to the next firing position?
20 A. We can move on to the next firing position. I think this is
21 evident. I think that the graph shows that the Old Town of Dubrovnik was
22 seriously jeopardised when there was a firing position only 200 metres
23 away from Ploce.
24 Now, on this slide, you see the position that was discussed before
25 this Honourable Trial Chamber. I was present during the testimony of one
1 witness here. The position of the anti-aircraft gun that was 100 metres
2 to the north of the Old Town.
3 Q. So that is the position -- that is --
4 A. This is position C-5, C-5.
5 Q. What kind of results did you obtain in relation to that position?
6 A. Well, take a look at it. I think it is self-explanatory.
7 According to abbreviated preparations and upon corrections, that is to say
8 with a higher degree of probability of hitting the objective, the Old Town
9 of Dubrovnik is practically completely covered, or rather jeopardised. So
10 projectiles can fall into it. A number of projectiles had to fall within
11 the Old Town when mortars fire. And now, when correction is carried out,
12 it can be seen clearly that the northwest part of the Old Town is fully
13 covered with the dispersion pattern of 120-millimetre mortar, and all
14 those indicators show that that is where most of the shells fell. And
15 that's where most of the damage was occurred, according to all reports
17 Q. Could you please look at the English version of your report, and
18 could you tell us what page this is and what figure number you have
19 referred to just now.
20 A. Well, you see, this is in a special chapter.
21 Q. The page is 77, isn't it?
22 A. Yes, yes, that's right. This is a special chapter, page 77,
23 figure 21.1. It says "Slika" in the Serbian language, but figure 21.1
24 would be the English equivalent. Page 77.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since at this point in
1 time we would have to move on to another firing position, I would suggest
2 that we adjourn for the day and continue working tomorrow.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. I think that's a logical
4 place to break.
5 Now, to avoid any confusion, we will be resuming tomorrow at 9.30.
6 There will be a one-hour break for lunch, and we expect to conclude at
7 about 4.30. The latest court timetable could be suggesting something
8 different. But it will be tomorrow as it was today.
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 JUDGE PARKER: You'd better check, Mr. Weiner. I understand it is
11 in this courtroom. But...
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hope that we are
13 going to be in this courtroom because of the technical facilities that are
14 required for our further presentation. So I do believe that we will stay
15 here, at least that is the information I have received. Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: This courtroom, 9.30 in the morning, one-hour for
17 lunch, 4.30 finish, and we'll see how we go.
18 We must ask you to return tomorrow if you would. Thank you.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.31 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day of
22 July, 2004, at 9.30 a.m.