1 Friday, 23 July 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 11.37 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. We reassemble as contingently
6 foreshadowed yesterday for the purpose of rebuttal evidence.
7 Ms. Somers.
8 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honours. Good morning.
9 The preliminary inquiry, confirmation that I wanted to ask of the Chamber
10 is that -- our understanding that the rebuttal is permitted in two areas;
11 namely, the alleged briefing on the 5th of December in Kupari and the
12 alleged telephone conversation with General Kadijevic on 6th of December.
13 We realise we have a very limited time, and we have prepared accordingly.
14 We wish to clarify that the cross-examination will be strictly limited to
15 those two areas.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 MS. SOMERS: Yes, thank you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any submission, Mr. Rodic or Mr. Petrovic?
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Your Honour, as for the cross-examination of Admiral Jokic, it goes
21 without saying that it will be in relation to these two subject matters.
22 However, I would like to ask for the Chamber's understanding. It must be
23 understood that these limitations cannot be so strict as to avoid
24 mentioning anything that might be indirectly related to the rebuttal in
25 this case. The focus will be on the subject matters directly related to
1 the rebuttal. However, there is other related information, what went
2 before the event itself and what came after. Both these are subject
3 matters of the rebuttal and are directly related to the event under
4 consideration. We will move within that framework, but we would like to
5 point out that there is a history to these events, what immediately
6 preceded the event and also there were consequences over the following
7 days after that event. That is the first thing we wish to point out,
8 Your Honour.
9 And the second thing we wanted to bring up is the following:
10 During the Defence case, whenever a document surfaced with the 9th VPS in
11 the header, our learned friend and colleagues raised objections. That was
12 sometimes admitted by the Trial Chamber and were sometimes overruled. I'm
13 saying in relation to documents related to the 9th VPS. There are three
14 specific documents that the Defence obtained following Admiral Jokic's
15 testimony that in terms of their substance could not be placed before the
16 Trial Chamber through any other witness, precisely because of their
17 substance. And these were drafted and signed or written and signed by
18 Admiral Jokic personally. In view of the standing objection to the effect
19 that that has to do with Admiral Jokic must be shown or put to
20 Admiral Jokic, and in order to have a fair trial, in short, for
21 General Strugar as we believe these elements to be relevant for this case
22 and for the Chamber's decision, may we please be granted leave to put
23 these two or three documents to Admiral Jokic so that he could respond.
24 In addition to that, there's another document that was forwarded
25 to OTP by the Defence team seven days ago, another document which is
1 relevant to Admiral Jokic's testimony and which was submitted to the
2 Defence team without any translation as late as seven days ago. We would
3 like to ask permission to put to Admiral Jokic a small portion of that
4 document as well. Thank you very much, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers, this document provided some seven days
6 ago, do you have a position in respect of that?
7 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I am not sure which document is referred
8 to. If anything were provided, it would have been pursuant to an ongoing
9 Rule 68 obligation. And I do not know which document would be provided.
10 We would ask, of course, to have a look at it, and if need be to have a
11 moment with the admiral on any documents that might be asked of him. I do
12 not know -- again, I'm in the dark.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, can you identify the document for
14 Ms. Somers.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Of course I can, Your Honour. I am
16 talking about the document that the OTP submitted on the 15th of July in
17 connection with Zeljko Soldo. I'm not sure how those documents were
18 obtained or what they have to do with Zeljko Soldo because that was not
19 disclosed. Nevertheless, I'm speaking about those documents. And one of
20 the documents is the diary which speaks about the alleged visit to
21 Zarkovica by Lieutenant General Zivota Panic, General Strugar, and
22 Admiral Jokic. The Chamber will surely remember that Admiral Jokic spoke
23 about that, claiming that this visit happened on the 14th of December
24 1991. However, if we look at the document that was provided by the OTP,
25 it is clear that the visit under discussion is the one that happened three
1 months later, on the -- more than three months later, on the 25th of March
2 1992. So that would be the substance of the document I am speaking about.
3 It was disclosed to us on the 15th of July this year. It wasn't made
4 clear whether that was a Rule 68 disclosure or perhaps pursuant to another
5 rule. But that is what we got from our learned friends and colleagues
6 from the OTP.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
8 MS. SOMERS: If I may clarify, Your Honour, if a document comes
9 into the possession of the OTP and it is not clear whether it is 68 or
10 not, but there is a possibility, we err on the side the caution, and I
11 believe the explanation was it had just been received and it was
12 transmitted almost immediately.
13 In terms of having a look at the document, we'll have to recall it
14 and find the document ourselves. And if we need -- well, it would be very
15 difficult, I believe, once the witness is actually sworn, to have any
16 discussions. So in principle, issues concerning questioning, we would
17 have preferred that it be raised earlier. I think it would be very
18 difficult to meet now on that. I would ask the Chamber --
19 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers, if this is a document which has just
20 been discovered for the first time in the last week to the Defence on an
21 issue which was the subject of testimony --
22 MS. SOMERS: Correct.
23 JUDGE PARKER: -- not only from the admiral but others, there
24 would seem to be some justification for it being able to be raised at this
25 time. Are you saying that you need five minutes to discuss it with the
1 admiral before his evidence commences? Is that what you're saying?
2 MS. SOMERS: If it's possible, that document and any other
3 documents that the Defence --
4 JUDGE PARKER: I'm talking only about the one document, which is
5 the diary.
6 MS. SOMERS: Yes, we would certainly ask to have an opportunity.
7 And Your Honour, if I may ask, inquire, on any other documents
8 that -- where a 90(H) aspect is raised, if there is inquiry, then those
9 will not have been put to the admiral, there will have been no discussion
10 with the admiral about those.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE PARKER: In the view of the Chamber, the -- there are three
13 matters in issue. Cross-examination of the witness recalled in rebuttal
14 pursuant to the leave we've given will be limited to matters that have a
15 clear relevance to the two items that are the subject of the leave to call
16 the evidence. That is the alleged briefing on the 5th of December and the
17 alleged telephone conversation on the 6th of December with
18 General Kadijevic. Now, that -- it may be that some matter a little
19 before or a little after either of those events can be shown to have a
20 very clear and direct relevance to one of those topics. If that is the
21 case, the Chamber would be prepared to allow the cross-examination to
22 extend to that. But a very careful and limited view will be taken of
23 that. So it has got to be clearly and obviously directly relevant.
24 This evidence is being led by way of rebuttal by leave of the
25 Chamber only because of failures, which we spoke about when granting the
1 leave, on the part of the Defence. In view of that, it is the Chamber's
2 view that this recall of the witness should not be allowed to extend to
3 the Defence putting to him the three further documents which have been
4 mentioned by Mr. Petrovic. Were it not for the Defence's failure, which
5 we've discussed earlier, there would simply not be this opportunity to
6 call the admiral and put matters to him, and we think we should hold them
7 to the narrow confines of that.
8 With respect to the fourth document, the diary, as this was
9 discovered by the Prosecution only a few days ago for the first time and
10 is directly relevant for matters that were canvassed in the evidence, we
11 would allow the diary to be put to the admiral if recalled. To that end
12 and for that purpose, the Chamber will now adjourn for five minutes.
13 --- Break taken at 11.50 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.01 p.m.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Are we ready for the witness now, Ms. Somers?
16 MS. SOMERS: We are, sir. And thank you. The Prosecution
17 appreciates your permission the time.
18 JUDGE PARKER: My watch must be faulty today. I thought it was
19 much longer than five minutes.
20 MS. SOMERS: We apologise. Thank you very much. For the record,
21 the Prosecution calls in rebuttal Admiral Miodrag Jokic.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Admiral. Could you take the
24 affirmation card and make a fresh affirmation.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down. You have been recalled to deal
3 briefly with a few matters, Admiral. I think that's probably been
4 explained to you.
5 Ms. Somers.
6 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
7 WITNESS: MIODRAG JOKIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examined by Ms. Somers:
10 Q. Good morning, Admiral Jokic.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. Admiral, I'm going to ask you about a couple of areas, and I would
13 like because of the time, we are on very limited time, to ask you for your
14 answers to be focussed and concise.
15 Admiral, you have testified briefly that on the 5th of December
16 1991, after the negotiations in Cavtat, you reported to General Strugar in
17 Trebinje between 1500 and 1600 hours and returned to your command post in
18 Kupari. What did you do in Kupari?
19 A. In Kupari, I informed my command about the fact that a cease-fire
20 had been agreed, that a cease-fire would take place the next day at 1200
21 hours, that everything has practically been accepted and agreed to, but
22 that the cease-fire would be signed on the 6th. I told the chief of staff
23 to inform the units that the cease-fire should be observed, that no units
24 should move, that no operations should take place, and that they should
25 remain in their respective areas of deployment.
1 Also, I ordered that a regular report be sent to the command of
2 the 2nd Operational Group. Pursuant to the order of the 2nd Operational
3 Group, we had to draft a combat order in relation to the following day,
4 the 6th of December, and send it on to our subordinate commands. After
5 that, I left for Kumbor. There was no briefing there. In Cavtat, when I
6 signed the agreement, I called Zec and told him that there would be no
7 briefing. Therefore, Zec knew about this.
8 Q. When you say there was no briefing, Admiral, where are you
9 referring to "there was no briefing"? In what location was there no
11 A. The briefing at the forward command post in Kupari where briefings
12 were normally held and where any action and operations were prepared.
13 Q. What was the manner in which you relayed or conveyed to your
14 command about the fact that a cease-fire had been agreed? If it wasn't a
15 briefing, what was the manner in which this was done?
16 A. This was relayed through a combat order and by telephone, by
17 dispatch and by telephone. Each unit commander received this order. The
18 chief of staff had been informed as early as at 1500 hours that a
19 cease-fire had been agreed. He called me on the phone at Cavtat, and he
20 knew about this even before I arrived.
21 Q. But at Kupari itself, in what manner did you actually make the
22 notification of the fact of the proposed cease-fire or the cease-fire and
23 the negotiations? How did you do that, please?
24 A. Orally. To my command, orally. As for the commanders of
25 subordinate units, I did it in writing and by telephone.
1 Q. In terms of the concept of a briefing, of a briefing, what was
2 your practice with respect to briefings? When would you hold a briefing?
3 A. Briefings would take place on an almost daily basis, but I did not
4 attend those briefings. I was present whenever preparations were underway
5 for an operation or if it was necessary to discuss a particular problem
6 with the commanders. Therefore, whenever it was important, I chaired the
7 briefing. This briefing at the same time would constitute some sort of
8 preparation for an upcoming operation then. This was usually the case
9 twice a week.
10 If I wasn't the one who chaired the meeting, then it was the chief
11 of staff. So in my absence, it was the chief of staff who chaired the
13 Q. Now, when you had -- when you were present at a briefing, who
14 would normally be present if you were present?
15 A. The chief of staff was always there, chief of operations, as well
16 as the assistant commander for ground forces. Specifically, Zec, Kozaric,
17 and Colonel Gavrilo Kovacevic. As for the heads of the combat arms and
18 branches, those whose presence was required, the chief of communications,
19 artillery, anti-aircraft defence, whoever's presence was required. And it
20 depended very much on the tasks that were being handed out, and the
21 assistant commander for security would also be there.
22 Q. Is it likely that a company commander would attend a briefing at
24 A. No. Certainly not. A company commander would certainly not
25 attend a briefing or a meeting where operations were being prepared.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. Now, would a battalion commander go?
2 A. A battalion commander, yes, if it was an independent battalion.
3 For example, the commander of the 3rd Battalion of the Trebinje Brigade
4 and the commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade had to be there,
5 had to be present. Because those were independent commanders and they
6 were detached from their brigades.
7 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me just a moment, please.
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 MS. SOMERS:
10 Q. If, for example, a battalion commander could not be present at a
11 briefing or otherwise have representation, can a company commander as a
12 designated substitute for a battalion commander attend such a briefing?
13 A. No. Only if the battalion commander loses his assistants. He had
14 an assistant for political activities and an assistant for intelligence
15 affairs. And some battalions also had an assistant for security.
16 Therefore, if none of these assistants were around, which was hardly
17 likely, then perhaps the commander himself could have appointed someone
18 else. But this was never the case.
19 Q. Are you able to give an approximate time, approximate time, as to
20 when you arrived in Kupari? Approximate time, what time of day?
21 A. Well, I can't give you the exact time, but I think between 4.00
22 and 5.00. If you look at the agenda of the meeting, if you look at the
23 when the cease-fire was signed and when we had lunch and when I eventually
24 told General Strugar, I arrived in Kupari. I must say I was in a hurry,
25 very much so, in fact, because we had a problem to deal with. A ship had
1 been sunk, and the Pula sector had to be evacuated.
2 Q. Now, looking to the 5th of December, the time you're just
3 discussing, when you were at Kupari, who else was there? Who else was
4 present, as you saw it?
5 A. I'm sure that the chief of staff was there, Zec, Colonel Kovacevic
6 was there, and Frigate Captain Kozaric. As for the others, I don't
7 remember who they were. But there probably were other officers present,
8 too, who worked at the operations centre or were involved with the
9 communications equipment.
10 Q. Was Captain Vladimir Kovacevic, the commander of the 3rd Battalion
11 of the 472nd Motorised Brigade there at that time?
12 A. No, no, certainly not.
13 Q. Was an individual named Miroslav Jovanovic, the acting commander
14 of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Motorised Brigade there at the time?
15 A. No. He was not the commander of the 3rd Battalion. He only came
16 as an indispensable stand-in, and he spent only two days in the unit, and
17 I didn't have any chance of seeing him.
18 Q. Did you know him? Did you know Miroslav Jovanovic?
19 A. No. No.
20 Q. Did you conduct what would have been perhaps the type of subject
21 matter you said took place at a briefing when you were at Kupari on the
22 5th of December? You described earlier that actions would be the subject.
23 Did you conduct a briefing, was there an action that would have required a
24 briefing in that sense?
25 A. No. There was no need for that. There was no need for that
1 whatsoever. I only informed them that I would be in Kumbor, and everybody
2 was aware what the subject matter would be. And the people in Kumbor
3 would handle the problem of acquainting the units with the agreement and
4 the writing of the reports, and that was the only thing I informed the
5 command of. Where I will be and what I would be doing, I also told them.
6 Q. Admiral, you also said that no, there was no need for a briefing.
7 Why was there no need for a briefing?
8 A. Because after the 13th of December -- sorry, 13th November, apart
9 from minor provocations, we did not have any operations or actions in the
10 area around Dubrovnik. And in the broader area of Croatia, the
11 stabilisation of cease-fire and peace was already on the horizon, the
12 arrival of new negotiators had been announced. It was expected that the
13 level of negotiators would be raised to ministerial, and we were not
14 expecting any new assignment involving a new operation or action.
15 Q. Generally speaking, Admiral, were records- records- kept of
16 meetings -- any meetings or briefings, were records normally kept?
17 A. Yes. There is a log -- there was a log recording the briefings,
18 including the date of the briefing, when the briefing was done, who made
19 the reports, who chaired the briefing, and the subject --
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] The information we received
23 yesterday at 11.30 about what this witness would be testifying about is
24 completely opposite to what the current testimony of this witness. So I
25 would kindly ask that this part of his testimony be deleted from the
1 record. And I can read out what our learned friends sent us last night on
2 this subject, that the witness had just spoken to if there is any dispute.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Somers.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may clarify.
6 JUDGE PARKER: If you'd just wait a moment, please, Admiral.
7 MS. SOMERS: The -- excuse me. It's possible that the way I
8 framed the question to him is not as clearly framed as it was yesterday,
9 but the assertion is correct that Mr. Petrovic has made about records.
10 But if the Admiral is in a position perhaps to flush it out, there is a
11 second part to it that I have not gotten to yet.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I don't know what all that is saying.
13 MS. SOMERS: Specifically, the portion in the proofing summary,
14 if -- may I inform the Chamber of it, records were not kept of such
15 meetings, but orders and reports may have been issued as a result of the
16 meeting -- of the briefings. And that was part 2.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Are you going to move on to that?
18 MS. SOMERS: Yes.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 MS. SOMERS:
21 Q. Admiral, would orders or reports or matters concerning orders or
22 reports have been in some way resulting from briefings and might those
23 orders or reports have found their way in some way recorded?
24 A. Yes, certainly. This is why -- that is what I wanted to clarify.
25 I hadn't understood you. You were talking about briefings and meetings,
1 and that is why I said that no records in writing were made. However, you
2 have to make one distinction: In our military practice of the JNA, when
3 you say "briefing," a record is kept without fail. However, you didn't
4 ask me last night about briefings, the making of reports. You asked me
5 about briefings as meetings. And in that sense, I meant that records were
6 not kept. However, if it was a briefing where reports are made, of
7 course, records were kept according to regulation that is prescribed.
8 That is why I'm clarifying our discussion tonight. In the making of
9 reports at a briefing, a log is kept of who was reporting on what subject
10 and when. That is the kind of briefing that is recorded.
11 However, when there is a meeting discussing preparation of an
12 action or operation, there is no record of that because subsequently
13 orders are issued, and then there is no need to write a record of the
14 meeting itself.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the document we
17 received last night, it reads: [In English] "... By his senior command
18 staff and battalion commanders once or twice a week as required during
19 periods of action. Records were not kept of such meetings, but orders and
20 reports may have been issued as a result of the briefings."
21 [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. I think Ms. Somers and
23 you are in agreement over what was exchanged, and the admiral has just
24 explained how Ms. Somers asked a question which he understood one way and
25 answered it. That's how it has arisen. But I take it you're not about to
1 suggest there is a log that you are going to tender, Ms. Somers.
2 MS. SOMERS: No, sir, I'm not.
3 JUDGE PARKER: If you would carry on.
4 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
5 Q. Excuse me, Admiral. Admiral, approximately how long were you at
6 the forward command post at Kupari on the 5th of December discussing the
7 cease-fire with your subordinate commanders?
8 A. [No Interpretation]
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection.
10 JUDGE PARKER: We didn't get an interpretation of that answer.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's mistake. The channel was wrong.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I think we'll have to have it again, Ms. Somers.
13 MS. SOMERS:
14 Q. Admiral, approximately how long were you at the forward command
15 post at Kupari on the 5th of December discussing the cease-fire with your
16 subordinate commanders approximately?
17 A. As I said, around 30 minutes, maybe more or less. It could have
18 been longer. It could have been shorter. But I would certainly be there
19 for 30 minutes. I cannot tell you more precisely.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] First of all, regarding the
24 interpretation, the answer that is missing in the record and it can be
25 checked in the audiotape. The answer given originally was 30 to 60
1 minutes. That's what the witness said first, and we can check that on the
2 recording of today's hearing. That was the reason to my objection
3 relating what the witness said. Second, Your Honours, in this document we
4 received last night, it says that he was there between 20 minutes and half
5 an hour. Thank you.
6 JUDGE PARKER: The present evidence is approximately 30 minutes.
7 It may be more, it may be less, I can't be sure. I think that's -- which
8 is closer to that which you had notice of.
9 MS. SOMERS:
10 Q. Now, Admiral, I'm going to ask you, did you on the 5th of December
11 1991, did you conduct either a briefing or a meeting, call it what you
12 will, at the forward command post at Kupari where a plan to attack Srdj
13 was discussed?
14 A. No, absolutely not.
15 Q. Did you participate in any meeting or discussion on the 5th of
16 December 1991 where Captain Vladimir Kovacevic of the 3rd Battalion of the
17 472nd complained of the Croat provocations and proposed to carry out an
18 attack on Srdj to counter the same?
19 A. No, definitely not. I did not see Captain Kovacevic on that day,
20 and I don't believe I saw him on the previous day either, on the 4th.
21 Q. On the 5th of December, or the 6th of December 1991, did you at
22 any time authorise the provision of fire support from the 130-millimetre
23 cannons in Cilipi in support of an attack on Srdj to be carried out on 6
24 December 1991?
25 A. I certainly did not. On the contrary, I ordered Captain Kozaric
1 to convey to the chief of staff that no cannons may be used for support, I
2 mean the cannons of the 9th sector. So quite the contrary. I warned them
3 that that was out of the question.
4 Q. On the 5th of December, I'm talking about on the 5th of
5 December --
6 A. No, no, I was talking about the 6th. On the 5th, definitely not.
7 Q. Thank you. Are you aware of any officer, commander, commanding
8 officer or officer in the 9th VPS command promising
9 Captain Vladimir Kovacevic of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade to
10 provide the 130-millimetre cannon fire in support of the attack carried
11 out on 6th December 1991?
12 A. I'm not aware of that. And generally speaking, I want to add one
13 thing, it was simply impossible because Captain Kovacevic knew perfectly
14 well that he could not receive support without the approval of the
15 commander. As a commander himself, he was very well aware of that. So
16 that was out of the question. It would have been impossible for an
17 officer from my command to promise the support from those guns to the
18 commander of the 3rd Battalion. And I dare even say that it is
19 impossible. The chief of staff would have been the person who could have
20 allowed it or promised it, but on the condition that he informs me, and he
22 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MS. SOMERS:
25 Q. If such an order were to have been made in advance, let us say on
1 the 5th, would it have to be in writing? In what form would that order
2 take? I'm sorry, what form would that order take? Excuse my framing.
3 A. Absolutely, it would have been in writing because those are guns
4 of a large calibre, because there was no operation or action, because such
5 guns are used only in emergencies and very rarely because their effective
6 range is up to 24 kilometres. So without a written order, it would have
7 been impossible.
8 Q. Are you aware, Admiral, of any written order authorising the
9 130-millimetre cannon fire supporting the attack carried out on the 6th of
11 A. No, no, I'm not aware of that. I never had any knowledge of that.
12 Q. Admiral Jokic, did you ever participate in the planning of an
13 attack on Srdj to be carried out on 6 December 1991?
14 A. No, certainly not.
15 Q. Did Captain Vladimir Kovacevic of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd
16 regularly attend meetings at the forward command post in Kupari, if you
18 A. He attended those meetings rather seldom. If I remember
19 correctly, he attended only a few times. He always excused himself on
20 account of the problems he allegedly had in his companies, and he went
21 more frequently to Trebinje, to the command of the 2nd Operations Group
22 than to see me.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection. Both the
24 question and the answer go beyond the scope of what was indicated as the
25 subject matter of today's examination. So I move that all of this answer
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 be deleted from the record. Not a word of it was indicated in the
2 document distributed to us yesterday.
3 JUDGE PARKER: I'm searching through what is there, Ms. Somers, to
4 see if any part of it can be said to directly be within the scope of our
5 leave. And I have difficulty seeing that it does. Do you have any
7 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, the Prosecution submits that the subject
8 matter is briefings, and very central to the issue was the presence of
9 Captain Kovacevic. And if there's a particular briefing --
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. And it's a particular briefing, and the
11 question was and the evidence of the admiral whether the captain was there
12 or not. You are going on to a general discussion of the subject matter,
13 too wide.
14 MS. SOMERS: If we have crept, we apologise. We'll withdraw the
16 JUDGE PARKER: Upheld, Mr. Petrovic.
17 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me just a moment, Your Honour, pursuant to
18 that ruling.
19 [Prosecution counsel confer]
20 MS. SOMERS:
21 Q. You testified that a Miroslav Jovanovic temporarily replaced the
22 permanent commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade, a
23 Major Srboljub Zdravkovic who was on leave. If you recall, when did Major
24 Zdravkovic go on leave and when did Jovanovic replace him?
25 A. I think it could have been on the 4th of December. I'm not sure,
1 however, exactly when it was. But Lieutenant Colonel Jovanovic spent two
2 days in the unit according to the inquiries I made in the course of the
3 preparation of my case.
4 Q. Now, during this -- generally -- specifically to this time period,
5 why did you allow Zdravkovic to take leave on the 5th of December? After
6 all, he was a battalion commander.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I would appreciate it if my learned
10 friend would look at what the witness said on page 19, line 25, and take
11 care when she is asking questions.
12 MS. SOMERS:
13 Q. Why at this time period did you allow a battalion commander to go
14 on leave, to take leave?
15 A. Because the tactical situation was stable, no combat activities or
16 operations were planned. There was no reason to expect any surprises, and
17 there was no reason to refuse him leave because he had a family problem.
18 Somebody in his family was ill, and I believe his leave was five days, if
19 I remember correctly.
20 Q. Did Miroslav Jovanovic, to the best of your knowledge, ever attend
21 a meeting or briefing conducted by you at the forward command post in
23 A. No. I'm saying once again, he spent only two days in the unit,
24 and he was not able to attend any meetings. He simply couldn't have
25 attended any meetings which I participated in.
1 Q. After the 6th of December 1991 attack, why did you replace
2 Miroslav Jovanovic?
3 A. I replaced him because he had given artillery support to the
4 attack on Mount Srdj led by Captain Kovacevic, as requested by
5 Captain Kovacevic, without anyone's approval. Without my approval
7 I also found out how many shells had been fired, namely, how many
8 shells had been fired from his weapons on targets in Dubrovnik town, which
9 made me very angry, and that's why I replaced him without even giving him
10 an opportunity to be heard.
11 Q. As Jovanovic was merely acting for the permanent battalion
12 commander, in replacing him, what did you have in mind? Was it in terms
13 of a formal disciplinary measure, or did you have him removed from his
14 temporary position, that temporary position being the acting battalion
16 A. Yes. That's precisely how it was. I removed him practically from
17 the position of battalion commander; that is, acting battalion commander.
18 I returned him to his original unit because he was unable to perform the
19 duty he had come to perform. He was irresponsible, and he acted
21 Q. After the attack on the 6th of December, did you personally meet
22 Miroslav Jovanovic?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Do you know if Miroslav Jovanovic sought out a meeting with you on
25 the 6th of December or after the 6th of December to inquire from you as to
1 why he had been replaced?
2 A. I never heard anything of the kind. I don't believe it's true. I
3 don't believe that he would have dared to appear before me, seeing that I
4 had replaced him by telephone. I don't believe he was brave enough to
5 come and see me and look for an explanation. I don't think that is
6 likely, to put it mildly.
7 Q. Miroslav Jovanovic testified before this Chamber that he was
8 present at a briefing at the forward command post in Kupari on the 5th of
9 December 1991 where he claimed you chaired a meeting at which the attack
10 on Srdj the following day, that is, the 6th of December, was discussed.
11 Did this happen?
12 A. Definitely not. I concluded a total cease-fire. Why would I be
13 going to prepare an attack on Srdj the next thing? That's absolutely
14 absurd. If I had done that, Strugar would have been informed within an
15 hour, and so would have General Kadijevic, I think. Every regular soldier
16 understands that. If I were preparing within my command an attack against
17 the feature after having concluded a cease-fire with Mr. Rudolf two hours
19 MS. SOMERS: May I ask, please, that Admiral Jokic be shown
20 Exhibit D96.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] In response to an explicit question
24 put by the Defence yesterday as to whether any exhibits would be used and
25 whether any documents would be shown, the answer was no. Also, also, in
1 the document that was submitted to us about this, there is no mention of
2 that whatsoever, that any document would be discussed or that any document
3 would be shown to this witness. So could this line of questioning, the
4 one espoused by my colleague just now, could it please be abandoned all
6 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
7 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, this relates directly to the allegations
8 about the use of 130 millimetres. The reference that is sought is on page
9 68 at 8.36, and it is --
10 JUDGE PARKER: You're not dealing with the objection.
11 MS. SOMERS: About the use of the document. It is correct,
12 Your Honours, that it is not specifically stated, but we had not at the
13 time of the -- excuse me one second.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MS. SOMERS: I'm reminded that the delegation of responsibilities
16 yesterday when I spoke with the Trial Chamber or with counsel was not
17 necessarily conveyed to my colleagues who were at the Detention Centre,
18 and they did not know to put the document to the admiral. And at that --
19 JUDGE PARKER: Is the topic of this document the use of
20 130-millimetre cannon?
21 MS. SOMERS: It is a specific entry.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Well, the document is in evidence. You can refer
23 to it in your submissions. How does this directly arise from the leave
24 that has been granted?
25 MS. SOMERS: This relates to the alleged promise of the use of the
1 weaponry. I can certainly move on.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I think you'd better. I've got to say, in my
3 understanding, I am surprised how much you are making of these two issues.
4 MS. SOMERS: We will move on. Thank you for that. Very quickly.
5 Q. I would like to ask you now about the 6th of December, Admiral.
6 On the 6th of December 1991, except for your meeting with
7 General Kadijevic in Belgrade, did you have a telephone conversation with
8 General Kadijevic?
9 A. No. I was informed that General Kadijevic and General Adzic had
10 telephoned me, and that this message had come to the desk in the
11 operations room. However, I did not conduct a conversation.
12 Q. Do you know if General Kadijevic attempted to telephone you on the
13 6th of December?
14 A. I heard that he had tried, yes. Both General Kadijevic and
15 General Adzic and Admiral Kandic.
16 Q. Was Kumbor the main switchboard from which the telephone links
17 from Belgrade could be established to Kupari or Trebinje?
18 A. No. The communications centre in Kumbor could establish
19 communications for the commander wherever he was. However, the centre for
20 communications in Kupari, although it was mobile, could establish for the
21 commander any communication that was necessary. Also, the communications
22 centre in Trebinje, General Strugar's centre, it was absolutely capable in
23 the same way of establishing communications for the commander in order to
24 be able to carry out his command. Technically, that's the way it is.
25 Q. If General Kadijevic wanted you to contact him, would he
1 call -- is it your understanding that your forward command post in Kupari
2 would be called or the peacetime command in Kumbor?
3 A. I don't know exactly now who they would call first. However, had
4 General Kadijevic wanted to, he would have first called his next person
5 down the chain of command, and that was General Strugar. And only then he
6 would call me. Then he, and his people who did that for him, first
7 established where which person was. They knew that I was in Kupari from
8 where the command was taking place.
9 Q. Was there a direct telephone link from Belgrade to Kupari?
10 A. Yes, absolutely.
11 Q. Was it a regular line or was it a secure line?
12 A. It was a safe, radio relay line protected from possible
13 eavesdropping, yes. Yes. It was channelled.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MS. SOMERS:
16 Q. Do you know an individual named Petre Handzijev?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was he responsible for staffing the switchboard at the Kumbor
19 operations centre during the time period --
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. It's a
21 leading question.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Ms. Somers.
23 MS. SOMERS:
24 Q. Was he responsible for staffing the switchboard at the Kumbor
25 operations centre?
1 A. No. He was one of the officers who were operations duty officers
2 at the operations centre in Kumbor. Communications were not his sector.
3 He's a naval officer. He's not a communications officer, a signals
5 Q. Now, was a record kept of communications including telephone calls
6 from officials at the level of the federal secretary of defence,
7 General Kadijevic, to the various command posts?
8 A. According to regulations, every communications centre has its own
9 logbook, the so-called station logbook. And in the operations centre, all
10 communications that were established have to be recorded. That is to say,
11 those aimed -- those that were coming in and those that were going out of
12 the centre. As far as the federal secretary is concerned, it is certainly
13 that that link could not have been missed. If anything could not have
14 been missed, it's that kind of link, I mean to have a record that such a
15 telephone communication was established, such a communication.
16 Q. Excuse me. Very briefly, where were such records kept, if you
18 A. At the operations centre, at the operations centre room.
19 Q. Admiral, what was the role of the communications officer? Again,
20 briefly, please.
21 A. He was not a communications officer in the sense of a
22 communications officer, a signals officer, as the general term goes. I'm
23 talking about a signalsman who is on duty at the operations centre. He is
24 on duty at the operations centre. He establishes communication for those
25 for whom communication is required. So this is a duty officer at the
1 communications centre, at the operations centre. He knows what the
2 technical problems are relating to all the equipment, and he's responsible
3 for radio relay communications, radio communications, teleprinter,
4 encrypted teleprinter communications, all types of equipment both
5 technically and from the point of view of operations. And also he is the
6 duty officer for his particular shift.
7 Q. Did you, Admiral, returning to Petre Handzijev, did you have
8 personal dealings with Petre Handzijev?
9 A. Yes, when necessary. Yes.
10 Q. And what was your experience as to his abilities as an officer?
11 A. I've known him for many years, more than ten years, 10 or 12
12 years. He was an officer who was below average. His grades were usually
13 around 3. He was a very poor speaker. He could not express himself. His
14 professional abilities were the poorest of all. And that is why his
15 advancement was so slow, his assessments were very low.
16 Q. When you say his -- I think you used the term "his grades were
17 usually around 3." What is the scale? 3 out of...?
18 A. The scales were from poor, that is to say, a negative grade, and
19 then there was the grade "good," the grade "exceeds performance criteria,"
20 and the ultimate one as a rule exceeds performance criteria. His was the
21 grade that is called good, so that it would not be a negative, nonpassing
23 Also, he had many failings. He did not complete the higher
24 military academy. He did not carry out specialist training. He did not
25 complete specialist training, everything that an officer is supposed to go
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 through in order to be promoted either on a fast track or on a regular
3 Q. Admiral Jokic, were you involved in the evaluation of the
4 performance of Petre Handzijev?
5 A. Well, in this stage, I was not, I mean while I was commander
6 there. It was not for me to do that. But ten years before that, I was
7 chief of operations, and then I followed that. And also later on, I was
8 chief of staff, and then I followed this in detail. And now, in this
9 stage that we are discussing now, I could not follow that because his
10 superior was Kozaric, Frigate Captain Kozaric, and his second commander in
11 line was Zec. But I think the situation did not change too much.
12 Q. Now, did you have to sign off or put an endorsement in the -- as
13 you were in the chain of command on his evaluations?
14 A. Yes, I signed official evaluations for him in the last instance,
15 yes. So I was aware of it. I was aware of the actual assessment made.
16 Q. Do you know how often Captain Kozaric graded or evaluated
17 Mr. Handzijev, and if you know of an individual named Drljan as well, how
18 often were they evaluated, if you know?
19 A. Well, there are regulations on official evaluation. As far as I
20 can remember, official evaluation is carried out every fourth year, if
21 that is what was in force all the time. In my day, it was. If somebody
22 received a poor assessment, then he had to be reassessed every year.
23 Q. Would your evaluations or your endorsement --
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the information that
1 we received is not four years or one year. It says here two years. Thank
2 you, Your Honour.
3 MS. SOMERS:
4 Q. Admiral, is there a fixed period, if you recall, for how often an
5 evaluation must take place?
6 A. Well, I'm saying as far as I can remember, and that is what I
7 stated previously, I was not sure whether it's two or four years. But
8 having given it some thought, I think it was four years. Of course, I
9 can't be sure of that. But if the assessment was not good, if it was
10 negative, then the person had to be reassessed every year to check whether
11 it was possible to give the person a positive evaluation after all.
12 Q. When you say "having given it some thought," are you suggesting
13 that between yesterday and now you have given it additional thought?
14 A. Precisely.
15 Q. Would your evaluations have affected his career? When I say
16 "your evaluations," ones that were signed off ultimately by you or at some
17 point by you?
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am sorry for taking
19 this precious time, but there is no mention of this in the document that I
20 have here before me, not a single word.
21 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I think it is a natural by-product of
22 the question.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It is going almost beyond the limits of what might
24 be contemplated by the leave, if I might say, Ms. Somers.
25 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: This is just going on far unnecessarily long.
2 MS. SOMERS: I have two more questions, Your Honour. Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Handzijev, Petre Handzijev testified that he forwarded a
4 telephone call from General Kadijevic to you on the 6th of December 1991.
5 He testified that he heard part of the alleged conversations and said that
6 General Kadijevic asked you what was going on, and that you responded in a
7 confused manner, that you were carrying out some tactical movements. Did
8 that happen?
9 A. This is complete nonsense, that I was carrying out some tactical
10 movements? No way, absolutely not. There is nothing I have to say to
11 that. I could not have said any such thing. That is one matter.
12 Secondly, I cannot even find the right word. But I am deeply suspicious
13 of the possibility of him eavesdropping on that kind of conversation, that
14 he would have dared listen to a conversation between his commander and the
15 federal secretary of defence. In that operations room, there were at
16 least five or six persons who are present and who would have to hear all
17 of that. And thirdly, I'm not sure that technically Handzijev was capable
18 of doing that, to eavesdrop on that conversation, and without that being
19 noticed because he is not a signalsman. He is a naval officer who came
20 from a ship.
21 Q. Final question: Was Handzijev aware of your views as to
22 capabilities as an officer?
23 A. Yes, of course. Well, every officer has to know, especially if he
24 is close to the commander, what the commander thinks of him and of his
25 promotion. Yes.
1 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honours. No further
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the questions will be
5 put my colleague, Mr. Rodic. Thank you.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry. Yes, Mr. Rodic.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jokic, could you please tell me when you
10 concluded the negotiations in Cavtat on the 5th of December 1991.
11 A. After 14 years, I cannot know exactly what time it was. But I
12 think it could have been around 2.00. Around 1400 hours. Between 13 and
13 1400 hours.
14 Q. Can you be a bit more precise?
15 A. I cannot. I think it was around that time. It could not have
16 been before 1300 hours, and I don't think it was after 1400 hours. So
17 it's within that interval. And you will appreciate that 14 years later
18 without a single document to that effect, I simply cannot know.
19 Q. So that is the time between 13 and 1400 hours. That is when the
20 negotiations in Cavtat ended, if I understood you correctly?
21 A. Yes. I cannot be very accurate, but I'm telling you what I
22 remember to the best of my recollection.
23 Q. All right. Tell me, what did you do after you finished the
24 negotiations in Cavtat?
25 A. What did I do? We had a luncheon, this delegation with the
1 negotiators, that is to say, the negotiators and the representatives of
2 the European Community. We had a joint luncheon that went on for about an
4 Q. The negotiators, the representatives of the European Community, do
5 you remember members of the monitoring mission?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the ministers from Croatia?
8 A. Precisely.
9 Q. If that luncheon went on for about an hour, do you remember then
10 when you left Cavtat?
11 A. Perhaps around 3.00, around 1500 hours.
12 Q. Where did you go?
13 A. To Trebinje to report to the commander of the 2nd Operational
15 Q. Do you remember how you travelled to Trebinje?
16 A. In a vehicle.
17 Q. How much time do you need approximately to Trebinje?
18 A. About 20 minutes, 25 minutes.
19 Q. Do you remember how long you stayed in Trebinje?
20 A. Not long, I think. As far as I can remember, I reported on how
21 the negotiations went, that basically all their requirements were met, or
22 rather, all the items of the agreement, and the final question --
23 Q. I'm sorry for interrupting. But we've already heard that. We've
24 already heard that answer from you. I'm just interested in the time so
25 that we could move on quickly.
1 A. Oh, the time. Up to half an hour. Not more than that, I think.
2 Q. Tell me, after this half hour in Trebinje, where did you go then?
3 A. To the command post in Kupari.
4 Q. How much time do you need from Trebinje to Kupari?
5 A. 20 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes.
6 Q. The time you mentioned in your answer in response to my learned
7 friend's question, the time that you spent in Kupari, about half an hour,
8 do you stand by that?
9 A. I cannot say exactly. That is my present-day recollection, but
10 how can I know for sure after 14 years?
11 Q. Well, when you're answering my questions, you don't remember. But
12 when you're answering the Prosecutor's questions, you do remember.
13 A. I said the same thing. I said between half an hour and an hour.
14 I said I was not sure. But since I was in a hurry and there was no
15 briefing or debriefing, there was no preparation for action, there was no
16 need to spend more than half an hour there. That is the only logical
17 answer the way I see it.
18 Q. Tell me, why were you in a hurry to leave Kupari?
19 A. Because we had a problem of evacuating the Pula sector. There was
20 a standstill in the evacuation by boats, and there was an incident in the
21 town of Pula. Fire was opened. There were some threats and so on. At
22 the same time, there was the problem of the sinking of one of our ships
23 which was sunk in the waters around Vis. And I knew some of the people
24 who were there.
25 Q. All right. Tell me briefly, in relation to what you said to us
1 just now, did you take any action or measures in Kupari?
2 A. Of course I did. I was with the logistics assistant, and
3 certainly with other officers.
4 Q. Just briefly, yes or no.
5 A. Yes, of course.
6 Q. Do you remember how long you were engaged during the course of
7 that day in these activities related to the sinking of the ship and the
8 incidents in Pula?
9 A. No, I don't know how long. But I certainly didn't go to bed
10 between -- before 10.00 or 11.00 that evening.
11 Q. As commander of the 9th Military Naval Sector, did you ever spent
12 the night at the forward command post in Kupari?
13 A. Yes, very often.
14 Q. Can you tell us what "very often" would mean in terms of one week
16 A. Well, during the course of a week, perhaps I would be at home in
17 the apartment once; two or three times in Kumbor; and the same amount of
18 time in Kupari. Perhaps I spent more time in Kumbor than in Kupari.
19 That's possible. I allow for that possibility, that I spent more nights
20 in Kumbor than in Kupari when there was a lull --
21 Q. All right, all right. Tell me, please, on the 5th of December
22 when you finished the negotiations, did Zec call you before lunch with the
23 negotiators or after the lunch with the negotiators?
24 A. I think it was before lunch. But I cannot be sure of that. I'm
25 not sure of that. Now, whether Sofronije Jeremic called Kupari and then
1 spoke to him, I know that Jeremic gave me the telephone, but I don't know
2 when that happened.
3 Q. Can you tell me briefly what it was that you told
4 Battleship Captain Zec exactly?
5 A. Roughly speaking, I told him the talks had been concluded, that
6 there was an agreement that had been reached which was consistent with
7 their own ideas, that there was to be a cease-fire and that there were no
8 orders for our units to move. I said that after lunch I'd be going to
9 Trebinje first, and then I'd be in Kupari and there would be no briefing.
10 That's what I said.
11 Q. Did you talk to Zec about the total cease-fire?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What did you tell him in relation to that?
14 A. I told him formally speaking, this has not yet been signed on
15 account of the checks to be carried out in relation to the ships. But
16 fire mustn't be opened as of 12.00. That's what I told him.
17 Q. Let us specify, please: Did you tell Zec on the 5th of December
18 once the negotiations had been concluded that there was to be a total
20 A. No, I couldn't have told him that a total cease-fire would take
21 place. I said that fire mustn't be opened. A formal total cease-fire had
22 not been ordered, and it wasn't for me to say.
23 Q. Did you tell him anything about a total cease-fire, a total peace,
24 when this was supposed to take place or when this was expected to take
25 place or anything like that?
1 A. I told him that formally speaking, the next day at 1100 hours we
2 would be signing the agreement. And that's why 1200 hours was the time
3 that was recorded, but that none of the commanders were to open fire and
4 all of the commanders were to be informed about this. That's how it was.
5 Q. If I understand you correctly, you did tell him not to hold a
6 briefing on that day?
7 A. No, I told him that I wouldn't be holding a briefing.
8 Q. Yes. Wasn't he the one who was to be holding a briefing that day?
9 A. I don't know. I can't say whether any of the commanders were
10 there with him. There is no way for me to know that. If he had planned
11 to hold a briefing, probably he would have told me, or he would have told
12 me about a briefing he held or of some preparations perhaps. But I knew
13 of no such thing.
14 Q. Do you know whether Zec did, in fact, hold a briefing on that day
15 or not? Do you know that? Just say yes or no.
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. Thank you. That's quite sufficient. You said that on that day
18 you did not hold any briefing with your subordinate commanders. Didn't
20 A. Yes, that is what I said.
21 Q. Did you issue Zec any instructions during that telephone call as
22 to what he should do with regard to the -- to information that you had
23 given him about the negotiations in Cavtat?
24 A. Well, as I said, no fire was to be opened. The units were not to
25 move anywhere from their areas of deployment. The commanders were not to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 wait for me because there would be no briefing, and I was on my way to
3 Q. Did you say anything about Zec being supposed to inform the
4 subordinate units in the 9th VPS?
5 A. Yes. As I said before.
6 Q. How exactly was he supposed to do that?
7 A. He was to inform all the commanders that they mustn't open fire,
8 that an agreement, a peace agreement, had been signed and there would be a
9 combat order in due course.
10 Q. Please, don't take up any more of my time. Just answer my
11 questions briefly, please. How exactly was Milan Zec supposed to inform
12 the subordinate commanders, by telephone, in writing?
13 A. Both. By telephone and in writing.
14 Q. Is that what he did?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters didn't get the answer.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. How do you know?
18 A. I know because he told me, and all the commanders knew. They knew
19 full well, all of them.
20 Q. My apologies. I'll have to reask a question because your answer
21 was not recorded in the transcript. So question, did Zec inform the
22 subordinate commanders by telephone or by a written order that a peace
23 agreement and cease-fire had been agreed upon and that no operations were
24 to be carried out?
25 A. Yes. He informed me, and I'm sure the commanders knew.
1 Q. Very well. Do you remember the time, what time it was by the time
2 you arrived in Kupari?
3 A. I can't remember exactly. I know it was dark, and according to
4 the time indication that you have used, it may have been between 1600
5 hours and 1700 hours. Possibly 1630 hours.
6 Q. Thank you. Do you remember, and if you could give me the names of
7 the people who were at that lunch in Cavtat with you on the 5th of
9 A. On our side, in addition to myself, frigate Captain Jeremic was
10 present and an interpreter.
11 Q. Do you know his name?
12 A. No. I don't. I think the first name was Zeljko, but I don't know
13 his last name. He was from Herceg Novi, a civilian.
14 Q. May I please remind you, was it Zeljko Uljarevic or something like
16 A. That's possible.
17 Q. From Herceg Novi?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you please tell me, what about the -- what about your opposite
21 A. Three ministers were there and a representative of the European
23 Q. What about after lunch? As a good host, did you see them off?
24 A. Yes, as far as I remember. Yes, I did. I really can't remember
25 specifically where we had lunch, but the negotiations had taken place at a
1 small hotel on the seaside promenade.
2 Q. How did they reach Cavtat, by which means of transport?
3 A. By ship. They came by ship. It was a small sailing boat that was
4 used for touristic purposes. The name was "ARGOS," the name of the boat,
5 that is.
6 Q. Thank you. When they arrived in Cavtat, did you welcome them
7 there as they arrived by ship, by boat?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. You saw them off the same way, didn't you?
10 A. Yes. I'm quite certain. I think I held the rope for the sailor
11 because the sailor ran out of time.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
13 Prosecution Exhibit P162.
14 Q. Mr. Jokic, on the 5th of December -- can you please leave that
15 diary for the time being.
16 A. Yes, yes, I'm listening to you.
17 Q. On the 5th of December, when was the meeting supposed to take
18 place? When was it supposed to begin, the meeting with the negotiators?
19 A. I think at 1100 hours, but I can't be sure. I can't remember
20 specifically. There was supposed to be a meeting at 1100 hours the next
21 day and the signing of the agreement. And on that day, it had been
22 delayed, but I can't think for when exactly.
23 Q. But it was certainly in the morning, wasn't it?
24 A. Yes, at around noon, at around 1200 hours, yes.
25 Q. The document you have before you is a radio log of the Dubrovnik
1 naval authorities, maritime authorities. Can you please look at that
2 document. A recording at 8.15 hours, "'ARGOS' leaving port with
3 representatives of the European Community and setting sail for Cavtat."
4 Did you find that entry at 15 past 8.00?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is that the boat with the representatives of the
7 European Community who left for Cavtat to attend negotiations with you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you please look at page 7. Look at the entry at 12.16 hours,
10 "'ARGOS' leaving Cavtat. Should be in the Old Town port in half an
11 hour." And the next entry at 12.48 hours: "'ARGOS' reaching the Old Town
13 As you were the person who saw them off, does that mean,
14 Mr. Jokic, that they had reached the Old Town port as soon as 12.48 hours,
15 the negotiators?
16 A. I don't know. The time that I remember is quite different, in
18 Q. Thank you. We'll no longer be requiring that document. You can
19 put it away for the time being.
20 You can leave it right there. Can we show the Witness P61 now,
21 tab 29. Do you perhaps remember Mr. Per Hvalkof who was a member of the
22 monitoring mission of the European Community?
23 A. Yes, there was a man named that.
24 Q. This is the diary that Mr. Hvalkof kept on behalf of the
25 monitoring mission. The mark is: "Meeting between Minister Rudolf and
1 Admiral Jokic in Cavtat, 1000 hours to 1300 hours 5th of December 1991."
2 Did the European monitors wait until Mr. Rudolf and you, Admiral,
3 concluded your meeting? Did they attend the talks you had with the
4 minister or not?
5 A. No, they didn't attend. It was my proposal that they should not
6 be present in order to make -- in order to expedite the meeting, and
7 that's why we did it.
8 Q. Can you please look at item 3, paragraph 3, "Minister Rudolf said
9 that the following subjects had been discussed: (A), unconditional
10 cease-fire between Dubrovnik and Ploce to take effect 24 hours after the
11 signing of the agreement." Is that what you talked about?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you. I don't need this document any longer.
14 A. That's not what the agreement said.
15 Q. What about the 6th of December? Do you remember when the talks
16 were to be continued?
17 A. At 1100 hours, I believe. Possibly at 1000 hours. It must have
18 been either 10.00 or 11.00.
19 Q. Mr. Jokic, in the interview that you gave the investigators of the
20 Tribunal in July 2002, why did you state that you had concluded business
21 in Cavtat by lunchtime and that you had sent a report to the commander of
22 the 2nd OG and issued orders to chief of staff Zec in relation to the
23 cease-fire and then that you had left Cavtat for Kumbor? Once that was
24 successfully concluded, you believed that there was no need for you to
25 meet with your command, which we see on page 175 of the English version.
1 The ERN number is 03084753.
2 A. Yes, I do remember that very well --
3 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, objection. This is between
4 General Strugar and Admiral Zec. That is not a focal part of the rebuttal
6 JUDGE PARKER: It was very much part of the evidence that you took
7 us through.
8 Carry on, Mr. Petrovic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can provide an explanation
10 if you want me to.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. On page 176 -- my apologies, I didn't hear your answer.
13 A. I can explain why I said at the time that I was headed for Kumbor
14 from Cavtat and not to Trebinje or to Kupari. I have already explained in
15 a different interview. It should be in the files. But if you want, I can
16 repeat. In July 2002, I couldn't remember whether I had informed the
17 command of the 2nd Operational Group by telephone or in person. There
18 were thousands of questions being asked, and I hadn't talked to anyone,
19 not to Zec, not to Kozaric, not to my officers, not to Sofronije Jeremic
20 and so on and so forth. However, after that interview in July, I talked
21 to a lot of different officers, and I established that the route I took
22 was exactly as I told you today. The times may differ, though.
23 Q. My apologies. In your answer, what has not been recorded is about
24 you not being able to remember back at the time whether you had informed
25 your command and the command of the 2nd Operational Group. Is that what
1 you said?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, do I take it that you'll be a little
4 while yet? We had better break for the tapes and the interpreters. We'll
5 resume at just after 5 to.
6 --- Recess taken at 1.36 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 2.01 p.m.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Can I indicate to both counsel, the admiral has a
9 Pre-Trial Conference this afternoon. The Judge conducting that has agreed
10 to delay the start of it. That puts us under time constraints. And
11 therefore, we must ask you to finish at the very latest by 10 minutes to,
12 Mr. Rodic. And that will give Prosecution five minutes' re-examination.
13 Thank you. And that will then give the admiral time to collect his
14 thoughts before he needs to go to the pre-trial, which will start at 3.30,
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I begin, Your Honour. Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Jokic, in your interview of July 2000 given to the
18 investigators, on page 176 of the English version, in response to the
19 question of the investigator whether after lunch you had a meeting with
20 the chief of staff or only talk to him, what -- in fact, how did you say
21 it to him?
22 Your answer was: "I believe I phoned him from the command in
23 Cavtat because the situation was stable, the cease-fire had been
24 concluded, we had no particular commitments which would force me to issue
25 any orders to the commanders."
1 Question: "Where did you call him on the phone? Where was he?"
2 Answer: "He was for sure in Kupari at the forward command post."
3 Is that what you stated, Mr. Jokic, in July 2000 -- 2002?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And now you are saying something different.
6 A. I don't think I'm saying anything different. What I said then was
7 I thought that's what I did. The question was, "did I," and I said, "I
8 thought." However, after talking to the officers in Kupari and after
9 talking to the command, I established that after all, I did go to inform
10 them, and I informed General Strugar at the command as well.
11 Q. All right. Let's move on. On page 176 of the interview given in
12 July 2002, the question of the investigator reads: "And then you went to
13 Kumbor following Zec?" Correction, "with Zec."
14 "A. No, I went alone.
15 Q. After calling very much from Kupari, you called
16 Cavtat. Where did you go then?
17 A. To Kumbor."
18 Is that what you stated?
19 A. Yes, I did. But after that July interview, there were another two
20 interviews dealing with the same subject.
21 Q. On page 177, I quote the question of the investigator:
22 "Q. So that was the situation of the 5th of December.
23 You had signed the order. You went to Kumbor. And you didn't meet any
24 more with any officers of the JNA, with no one from the JNA."
25 A. Yes."
1 Is that what you stated, Mr. Jokic?
2 A. Yes, if that is what is written.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me for a minute.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. On page 204 of the interview of July 2002, the question of the
7 investigate reads: "In your opinion on that morning, was Zec executing
8 the orders given by you?"
9 The subject was the 6th of December 1991. Your answer was: "I
10 think basically yes, but I was surprised at how slow it was moving on, the
11 withdrawal of the units. That was making me very angry and I was very
12 concerned. And when Kozaric told me once that there were a lot of
13 casualties because of that artillery of theirs, I said he has his own
14 artillery and let him neutralise those sources of fire."
15 Is that what you said?
16 A. As to the first part, yes. But as far as the artillery is
17 concerned, I don't believe I said it in that context.
18 Q. Can you then tell me in what context it was, what you said.
19 A. Can I have a look at it? Because the two are not related, the
20 fact that he had his own artillery and that he could neutralise them.
21 Q. We mean Kovacevic, the commander of the 3rd Battalion.
22 A. I mean him as well.
23 Q. Did he have any instructions to use his own artillery in the
24 absence of additional support? He didn't have large-calibre cannons, but
25 he had mortars.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. Certainly, he knew that as the commander. Why would I need to say
2 it? It is not correlated; it is not in the same context, the question and
3 the answer.
4 Q. But did you say it, speaking of mortars?
5 A. The first part of the answer is correct and I still think that is
6 true. But the second time, the second part speaking of the use of pieces,
7 I don't remember that. Why would I have said that? According to
8 regulation, he would have neutralised the sources of fire from which he
9 was being targeted.
10 Q. This is the first sentence on that page of the interview, 205: "I
11 said to him he has his own artillery and let him neutralise those firing
13 A. All right. But I don't remember it. I remember the part about
14 the artillery. That is true.
15 Q. I'm now reading the end of page 206 and the beginning of page 207
16 of the English version: Question of the investigator:
17 "Q. So the Old Town was being shelled. And if I
18 understood correctly what you said, there was quite a lot of confusion on
19 the front line, and it was difficult to stop the attack.
20 A. Yes. I noted that later. But at that moment, I
21 couldn't understand why the attack was not being stopped. For a while, I
22 thought they were hesitating and dragging their feet with the withdrawal.
23 Q. Who do you mean by `they'?
24 A. Well, Zec and Kovacevic. At 12.00, I was informed
25 that preparations were underway, that the withdrawal was beginning, but
1 only by parts of some company, whereas some parts, according to them, were
2 unable to withdraw, to pull out. And then, leaving for Belgrade, I sent
3 Zec the message that he should complete the withdrawal and prevent further
4 losses to battalion. As required, he may neutralise sources of fire, but
5 not with our artillery. As far as I remember, that was the last thing.
6 Q. With what artillery then?
7 A. Their battalion artillery."
8 Is that what you stated?
9 A. Yes, I must have if that's what's written.
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Jokic, if I understood you well, you said that on
11 the 5th of December you did not have any briefing involving the making of
12 reports, and you didn't attend one. Is that so?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Between July 2002 and September 2003, did you make any
15 preparations in terms of investigation and studying of the case?
16 A. Yes, as far as I was able to.
17 Q. I'll read to you now a part of your interview given to
18 investigators in September 2003, page number 113 of the English version,
19 of course. You were being questioned by the investigator about what you
20 were doing after the negotiations on the 5th of December.
21 And the question is: "Did you convey that order down the chain to
22 your subordinate units?"
23 "A. I returned to my forward command post in Kupari and
24 advised my command.
25 Q. And then, what happened then?
1 A. Then I went to Kumbor. I finished that business,
2 and I returned to Kumbor because I had some problems to solve involving
3 the evacuation of the Pula sector.
4 Q. Yes, we discussed that the last time, too. Did you
5 issue the order that -- Strugar's order on cease-fire should be passed on
6 down the chain to subordinate units?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Was that done? Was it passed on, your order?
9 A. Yes, it was. I personally ordered my commanders at
10 the briefing, and I ordered my chief of staff as well.
11 Q. Did your subordinate commanders report to your chief
12 of staff on that day?
13 A. Yes, with the exception of the commander of the 3rd
15 Q. Where was he?
16 A. He wasn't there. He attended briefings only
18 Is that what you stated, Mr. Jokic, in September 2003?
19 A. If that is what is written.
20 Q. Is that true, what you stated?
21 A. I'm telling you again, I don't remember any briefing, any making
22 of reports. I only remember the preparation in my command and the passing
23 on of the information. But it's true if it's written, and no other
24 commander was supposed to be there.
25 Q. So there was a briefing on the 5th of December 1991?
1 A. No. I'm saying there wasn't.
2 Q. Your interview says that there definitely was one, and at that
3 briefing you informed the commanders and issued an order.
4 A. No.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. There were no commanders. Not a single commander was there. If
7 the commander of the 3rd Battalion was there, nobody else was.
8 Q. Tell me, please, how come that on the 6th of December regarding
9 the ban on the use of artillery, the 130-millimetre cannons, how did you
10 enforce that ban?
11 A. Through an order. I ordered Kozaric, the chief of operations, and
12 the chief of staff, Zec.
13 Q. When did you see Zec on the 6th of December?
14 A. On the 6th of December when I returned from Belgrade, I also spoke
15 to him on the telephone twice, when he came to Kupari in the morning and
16 before I left for Belgrade.
17 Q. Did you see him before leaving for Belgrade?
18 A. I think I even saw him then. I'm not sure. But I believe I even
19 saw him. I'm not sure, however. I know that I sent a dispatch that was
20 addressed to Minister Rudolf, and I'm not sure if it had been forwarded
21 because it hadn't been typed. But the contents was dictated.
22 Q. In earlier examination and cross-examination, why didn't you
23 mention it once before?
24 A. I wasn't asked. I'm now telling you that I gave the contents of
25 the dispatch to Captain Nemenija Kurdulija to be given to Zec. I don't
1 remember for that time or any other time whether I gave it personally to
2 Zec or I gave it to Kurdulija to pass it on to Zec. I can't remember.
3 Q. Which dispatch are we talking about?
4 A. The last dispatch around 1400 hours or maybe 1300 hours,
6 Q. If I may remind you, it's not about the time, it's about the
7 dispatch. Is that the one sent to Minister Rudolf mentioning that you
8 have to go to Belgrade and that General Kadijevic had ordered an
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. So as far as that dispatch is concerned, you're not sure whether
12 you had given it to Zec or Kurdulija. And who is Kurdulija?
13 A. That is an officer from the sector command. He was at the command
14 in Cavtat.
15 Q. Mr. Jokic, I'll now read out to you from the interview of
16 September 2003, page in the English version 160.
17 "Q. So you recommended to General Strugar to remove
18 Jovanovic, and he did that. He replaced him.
19 A. I don't know whether he had done it at all, or maybe
20 somebody else from his command did. He had only come for five days, and
21 he was supposed to go back to Podgorica anyway."
22 Further below at the end of that page 160 and beginning of page
23 161 of the English version, the investigator asks:
24 "Q. All right. Maybe we digressed a bit. But tell me,
25 what were the circumstances of Jovanovic's replacement, I mean replacement
1 by you?
2 A. I replaced him because that Lieutenant
3 Colonel Djurasic brought me a paper stating exactly which mortars were
4 used, which targets were shot at in Dubrovnik, and at what time. He could
5 not conceal it and say, `I don't know who fired.' It was a fact."
6 Mr. Jokic, is that what you stated in September 2003?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Is your statement true?
9 A. As far as the firing itself is concerned, of course it's true.
10 The same is written in the war diary, in my own notebooks, all the
11 officers of the command know this.
12 Q. Is there anything that's untrue in what you stated here?
13 A. The issue of the replacement, I can't be sure. I wasn't sure then
14 and I'm not sure now how it was actually carried out, whether he was
15 replaced directly through my order, whether it was something that I
16 suggested and he was actually replaced by another operations group. I'm
17 not sure how it replacement was executed, how it was carried out.
18 Q. All right. But is this second part concerning Lieutenant
19 Colonel Djurasic true?
20 A. Yes. It's correct. And the entry in the war diary is also
21 correct. We found it in the archives.
22 Q. All right. Tell me about Lieutenant Colonel Djurasic. That paper
23 with all those specifications of targets, ammunition expenditure, et
24 cetera, when did he give it to you?
25 A. When I returned from Belgrade sometime in the evening or maybe it
1 was already there waiting for me. I think it was at that time. In fact,
2 it's not that I think, it must have been then.
3 Q. Did you check the data from that paper in the logbook of the
4 operations centre, the forward command post at Kupari?
5 A. No, I didn't see it in the logbook then. I saw it now when I was
6 preparing my case in the military archives. There were exact indications,
7 exact data, and I know it by heart. 120 millimetres, 42 shells.
8 Q. All right. We all know it. But is it in the war diary, in the
10 A. In the one that I consulted in the military archives, yes, it's
12 Q. Tell me, please, do you remember when you sent this telegram to
13 Minister Rudolf, the one that you said that you don't know whether you
14 handed it to Zec or to Kurdulija?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. Can you remember the time?
17 A. I do not remember the time. Of course I cannot remember the time.
18 I just know it was before I went to Belgrade. That I know for sure. That
19 means it could have been between 12.00 and 2.00, because I don't know
20 exactly when I went. That's it.
21 Q. If I may remind you, in P162 on page 18, on page 18, do you have
22 that diary in front of you of the port authority?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Page 18, the entry at 11.45.
25 A. Yes, yes, I have it.
1 Q. So the port authority at 11.45 received for the of Dubrovnik for
2 Minister Davorin Rudolf from the VPO Boka. Could you please look at it
3 briefly and just tell me whether that's your telegram.
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, can I ask, I don't see how this
7 necessarily fits into the framework of the rebuttal direct.
8 JUDGE PARKER: It doesn't have to, as long as it's relevant to the
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Tell me, Mr. Jokic, when answering the questions put to you by my
12 learned friend you said as far as Miroslav Jovanovic was concerned that he
13 was a temporary stand-in for Commander Zdravkovic for the 3rd Battalion of
14 the 5th Brigade and that he was there for two days only, that you
15 personally did not see him and that you do not know him. Is that right?
16 A. That's right, yes.
17 Q. Miroslav Jovanovic, as chief of staff of the 5th Brigade during
18 the months of October and November 1991, did he tour the 3rd Battalion of
19 his brigade, and did he sometimes attend, together with
20 Commander Zdravkovic, the briefings at the forward command post in Kupari?
21 A. I don't know. No, I never met him. I said that. I never met
23 Q. All right. In December, did Major Zdravkovic ask you for
24 permission to go on leave because of excessive fatigue? He was on the
25 front line, and his birthday was on the 2nd of December and he wanted to
1 spend it with his family.
2 A. No, no. There was no birthday involved. There was an illness
3 involved. If it was a birthday, he would not have been allowed to go.
4 Q. Does Zdravkovic propose Jovanovic as a replacement or stand-in for
6 A. No, I don't think so. I don't remember that, but I don't think
7 that it was his idea. That is done by the commander of the brigade, and I
8 probably had to ask who his replacement would be. But the commander of
9 the brigade sent a stand-in and said who this would be because I would not
10 let him go. I didn't want to let him go, and I called and I talked to
11 Lieutenant Colonel Kricek.
12 Q. All right. And what about the commander of the 9th VPS? Did it
13 send any requests in writing to that effect, to the command of the
14 5th Brigade in Podgorica?
15 A. I don't remember. In relation to that particular matter, you
17 Q. Yes, yes.
18 A. I don't know. I don't know. I don't remember. I don't
19 understand, really.
20 Q. Tell me, please, when Zdravkovic and Jovanovic came to the
21 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade, did they receive duty and hand over
23 A. No, I don't think there was any hand over. That kind of thing is
24 not done.
25 Q. Just a moment, please. The commander of the 3rd Battalion of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 5th Brigade, can he lose -- can he leave his position and not familiarise
2 the person who would be his stand-in with the situation and what the
3 positions were of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade?
4 A. That's a different story. That is not a handover. That is
5 familiarisation with the tactical situation and the command. As for
6 handover of duty, that cannot take place, and that is never done for five
7 days only because the entire battalion has to be lined up and all the
8 leaders of the smaller units. That's a completely different story. So no
9 handover of that kind was ever carried out.
10 Q. Mr. Jokic, if I understand you correctly, if I understand what
11 you're saying, when we are talking about transfers and things like that,
12 then it's the way you said it was. However, if a man is coming to take
13 over command of a battalion for two days, three days, five days, never
14 mind, does he have to familiarise himself with the situation on the
15 ground, with the units, with the equipment?
16 A. Yes. Well that, yes.
17 Q. That's what I'm interested in.
18 A. That's what I said, too. However, there is no handover of duty in
19 that sense, no.
20 Q. This new commander who comes for a certain period of time, does he
21 have to familiarise himself with the superior command as well?
22 A. In a normal situation, yes. If he's nearby. But if he's on the
23 other side of Rijeka Dubrovacka and if he's staying for a few days only,
24 then he can also telephone. Why would he come and why would he leave the
25 battalion? Also, it is possible for him to call himself, yes. That's
1 possible. Maybe he did make a telephone call. However, I personally did
2 not see him.
3 Q. As far as support from 130-millimetre cannons is concerned, you
4 said that it was impossible for an officer from the command of the 9th VPS
5 to promise any support, that it could only be you as the commander or your
6 chief of staff. Is that right?
7 A. Yes. I'm sorry, even the chief of staff cannot -- or rather, he
8 can do it, but he has to inform me about that.
9 Q. All right. You said that on the 5th of December you did not
10 promise support of 130-millimetre cannons to anyone. Is that right?
11 A. Of course it's right.
12 Q. Do you know whether your chief of staff promised someone
13 130-millimetre cannons support?
14 A. I'm absolutely unaware of any such thing. And I would be greatly
15 surprised if that were the case. But I'm saying --
16 Q. Mr. Jokic, I'm just saying, do you know this or do you not know
17 about any such thing?
18 A. I do not know about any such thing.
19 Q. Your chief of staff, did he order a ZIS platoon to be left to the
20 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade until the problem of Srdj is
22 A. I don't understand. What problem of Srdj? What are you saying?
23 There never was a problem of Srdj.
24 Q. Your chief of staff, did he inform you about anything in that
1 A. No.
2 Q. The 3rd Battalion, did it have a platoon of ZIS cannons on the 6th
3 of December?
4 A. Yes, it did.
5 Q. Where were they?
6 A. I don't know exactly. I think in the area of Vrastica or
7 thereabouts, to the northeast. The ZIS battery while it was there --
8 Q. Mr. Jokic, I'm going to give you a document.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
10 Document D106, Defence Exhibit D106.
11 Q. Mr. Jokic, this is a document of the command of the
12 472nd Motorised Brigade. This is a request for delay of deadline and
13 resubordination of units. Please take a look at the upper right-hand
14 corner, please, the first entry.
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Is that what you wrote?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is that your signature underneath?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you read what it says here?
21 A. "Chief of staff, view and resolve if possible as requested."
22 Q. And what does it say down here?
23 A. "Approve not sending ZIS to Zaton, but do not approve taking a ZIS
24 platoon from the 3rd Battalion for as long as the Srdj problem is there.
25 Approve taking of pieces from the warehouse."
1 Q. What's the signature?
2 A. Zec.
3 Q. Did Zec inform you about why he was leaving the ZIS cannons there?
4 A. No, no, I did not see this. I mean, I saw the document, of
5 course. But until the problem of Srdj is resolved, there never was such a
6 problem. There was the problem of the positions from where provocations
7 were coming, and that was a problem --
8 Q. And this problem of provocations and where they were coming from,
9 is that the Srdj feature?
10 A. Yes, but we were not resolving it in that way, by taking it.
11 There never was a plan to take it either.
12 Q. All right. All right. You mentioned in relation to
13 Miroslav Jovanovic that you found a report where he was operating and for
14 how long. That's what you referred to a few minutes ago. Is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And when answering the questions put to you by the Prosecutor, you
17 said that you removed him, you had him removed because he was
18 irresponsibly and he was not capable of carrying out his duties?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You also said you had Jovanovic replaced by telephone?
21 A. I'm just saying that as far as the actual replacement is concerned
22 and the course it took, I'm not sure. But my officers, some of my
23 officers say that I personally issued this order over the telephone. But
24 I think that I should have informed the command -- the commander of the
25 2nd Operative Group, but I'm not sure. I cannot say anything specific.
1 Q. Did you send Colonel Kovacevic to convey that order to him?
2 A. That is very possible because he was assistant commander for the
3 land forces. Yes, that's possible.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
5 D108. Can we please also prepare Defence Exhibit D113.
6 Q. Mr. Jokic, we do not have much time. This is a report on the
7 combat operations of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade which was
8 submitted to the command of the 9th VPS by Lieutenant Colonel
9 Miroslav Jovanovic on the 6th of December 1991. What I want to know is
10 whether you saw this report?
11 A. No. Never. If a commander sees a document, at least he must
12 initial it.
13 Q. Did anyone from your command have this document concealed from you
14 in December 1991?
15 A. I don't know that this document existed anywhere in my command.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
18 Defence Exhibit 113.
19 Q. Mr. Jokic, this is Captain Jovica Nesic's report regarding the use
20 of projectiles on the 6th of December 1991 submitted to Battleship Captain
21 Milan Zec. It was written in Kupari on the 8th of December 1991. Have
22 you ever seen this document?
23 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, to object. I need to know if
24 I can the numbers of the documents the Chamber indicated were not to be
25 used and whether these may be those documents, that were not to be put.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is a document that
3 was used in our case and has been tendered into evidence.
4 JUDGE PARKER: The numbers of the three documents that are not to
5 be used, please.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm afraid I don't
8 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous interpretation continues] ... At the
9 commencement of today, and a direction was given that those three were not
10 to be put. And we are now putting documents that appear to be of that
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be allowed to
13 explain, if there's anything that is not clear, the three documents I
14 referred to, Your Honour, are three new documents that have not yet been
15 shown to the Trial Chamber. In the meantime, since the witness's original
16 testimony, these documents have been obtained. But certainly what I said
17 was not in reference to any of the documents that have admitted into
18 evidence. I'm sorry if I was not very clear about it at the time,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. These are each presently exhibits, and
21 that's consistent with what Mr. Petrovic said this morning, Ms. Somers.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Jokic, briefly, please, tell me if you've ever seen this
25 A. No. If I'd seen it, it would have been stated right here or
1 written. I've never seen it before. This is the Ploce commander
2 Jovica Nesic's report.
3 Q. Did anyone inform you about this, your chief of staff
5 A. No. This report was submitted later on, on the 8th. On the 8th
6 of December, it says here, when there was a request for all the documents
7 of all the subordinate units regarding the attack on Srdj and on the
8 Old Town to be submitted. And when the report was made for
9 General Strugar and for the supreme command. However, I wasn't part of
10 it. I didn't work on these, nor have I ever seen this report. It was
11 never given to me. It was not written on the 6th because the date that is
12 reflected on the document is the 8th.
13 Q. Very well. Let us move on, please. Mr. Jokic, are you fully
14 familiar with the way the telephone communications at the forward command
15 post in Kupari worked, or specifically let me ask you: The Kupari forward
16 command post without any help or intervention from the operations centre
17 in Kumbor, were they able to call Belgrade directly by a military line?
18 A. Yes, they had their own switchboard.
19 Q. I'm talking about military lines now. Could Belgrade, without the
20 assistance of the switchboard at Kumbor, call directly the forward command
21 post at Kupari?
22 A. Yes, they could.
23 Q. The military line that ran to Belgrade, was it possible for
24 Belgrade to call you at the forward command post at Kupari or whenever you
25 were around it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could they get through to you in Cavtat?
3 A. No, not in Cavtat.
4 Q. Why?
5 A. Because there was no military line available in Cavtat. There was
6 only the civilian telephone line, and they couldn't be put through.
7 Q. When you say a civilian telephone line, do you mean the PTT, the
8 post and telecommunications line?
9 A. Yes, that's precisely what I have in mind. There was a line to
10 Dubrovnik in the Atlas tourist agency, in their office. There was a cable
11 connection with the town, and that's how I was able to talk to
12 Minister Rudolf on the phone.
13 Q. Mr. Jokic, was there any other communications equipment in Cavtat
14 at Captain Kurdulija's command post?
15 A. Yes, certainly. There was a radio station.
16 Q. Did you use this radio communication from Cavtat, and if so, who
17 did you talk to?
18 A. I can't remember. I may have been given that piece of equipment
19 to try to get through to Kupari, but I simply can't remember.
20 Q. Mr. Jokic, did Petre Handzijev have "very good" as his official
21 assessment grade?
22 A. I know for as long as I was his boss, his assessment was "good,"
23 not "very good".
24 Q. In 1993, did Petre Handzijev become the commander of the mixed
25 naval unit of amphibious landing boats which was a special unit requiring
1 a specially trained and competent commander because all the ships from all
2 these command sectors had arrived there?
3 A. Those were not special boats. Those were the slowest boats and
4 the smallest possible combat unit.
5 Q. Was Petre Handzijev the chief of the operations centre in Kumbor?
6 A. Yes, he was. But that operations centre was never really
7 operational because Kumbor is not where command was exercised, but rather
8 it was from Kupari. Kumbor was only used for evacuation for the navy, the
9 logistics for the evacuation.
10 Q. Let's not go any further into that. Can you please tell us if
11 Petre Handzijev was promoted to the rank of warship, battleship captain
12 which would roughly be consistent with the rank of colonel in the ground
14 A. I'm not sure when and if that happened, certainly not while I was
15 there. It would not have been possible.
16 Q. What about Frigate Captain Jovo Drljan, was he assigned tasks as a
17 capable and experienced officer at sea, something to do with ships?
18 A. He left ship on account of his illness, and he never came back.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have a document
21 Q. Do you know that Frigate Captain Jovan Drljan also had a child who
22 was ill?
23 A. Yes, yes, I know that. Seriously ill, in fact. And he was
24 transferred to Boka on account of that, I believe, from Sibenik.
25 Q. In September 1991, did Milan Zec become chief of staff and
1 Slobodan Kozaric chief of the operations and training organ at the command
2 of the 9th VPS?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Will you please have a look at this document. Is that document an
5 order to Frigate Captain Jovo Drljan to relocate three patrol boats from
6 the Pula sector? Is this a combat order of the commander of the 9th VPS,
7 Krsto Djurovic?
8 A. Yes.
9 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. This document precedes the
10 time of Admiral Jokic's assumption of his duties.
11 JUDGE PARKER: How is this relevant?
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the only relevance is the
13 assessment of the officers' ability and the statement that this witness
14 had left ship and no longer carried out any tasks at sea.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be allowed to
16 explain, I will only be too glad to do so.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Just for the sake of time --
18 JUDGE PARKER: You have one minute, Mr. Rodic.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Please, Mr. Jokic.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can this document please
22 be marked as a Defence exhibit.
23 JUDGE PARKER: We'll leave that for the moment. Carry on.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Jokic, you mentioned that in December, General Strugar,
1 General Zivota Panic and yourself were at the positions of the
2 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade. So in December 1991. Is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can we please have the following document distributed. This is a
6 document of which I have no translation. It is a document that we
7 obtained from the OTP seven days ago.
8 Mr. Jokic, what was General Zivota Panic's position in December
9 1991? Do you know which position he held?
10 A. He was the deputy chief of the General Staff.
11 Q. Do you know what he was back in March 1992?
12 A. He was deputy chief.
13 Q. Can you please look at this document where it says, "The second
14 box, Gornji Brgat, 25th of March 1992, Wednesday." Can you please read
15 what the first passage says.
16 A. This is no kind of document at all.
17 Q. This is the war diary of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised
18 Brigade, if I may remind you. This is an excerpt, page 47, this document
19 was given to us by the OTP. If you can please just read the first
21 A. "The unit was visited by Admiral Jokic, Lieutenant General Panic
22 and Strugar between 9.45 and 10.50. They were at Zarkovica where they
23 inspected the front positions of our units." But this is not true at all.
24 It has nothing whatsoever to do with what really happened.
25 Q. It is my submission to you, Mr. Jokic, that you made the very same
1 entry in your combat report that you made on the 25th of March 1992. You
2 are the author of that combat report to the command of the 2nd Operational
3 Group where this is mentioned.
4 A. General Panic was sent by General Kadijevic after the 6th of
5 December to see what had happened. Later on, there was no unit in that
6 position. Therefore, this has nothing to do with what really was the
7 case. This is completely untruthful.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may this Defence exhibit
9 please be marked. May this document please be marked as Defence exhibit.
10 Your Honour, if I may, just two further questions, brief ones,
12 JUDGE PARKER: No, you've run out of time. We are over time by
13 five minutes already.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. May we just
15 have these documents admitted as Defence exhibits, please.
16 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous interpretation continues] ... Holding
17 over for the moment, two documents.
18 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honours. No redirect.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Now you've got a couple minutes. One question,
20 Mr. Rodic. One more question, Mr. Rodic. Make your choice.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation].
22 Q. The 5th of December following negotiations in Cavtat, you went to
23 Kumbor along with your chief of staff and the assistant for ground forces,
24 and you left the forward command post without its commander and without
25 the chief of staff?
1 A. That's not correct.
2 Q. That was your excuse, the pretext so that you can say that the
3 attack on Srdj on the 6th of December was an independent decision made by
4 Vladimir Kovacevic because you had ordered an attack that not even your
5 superior command or the military leadership in Belgrade knew about.
6 A. No, there's not even a grain of truth to that.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That
8 concludes my questions.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers, any submissions with respect to this
10 document that's being put as an extract of the war diary?
11 MS. SOMERS: This document, the so-called war diary has been
12 rejected by the witness. And he has denied it. We would object, of
14 JUDGE PARKER: To the document which you provided to the Defence?
15 MS. SOMERS: This war diary has been rejected by the -- we vouch
16 for nothing in it, Your Honours. If it's given to us, we pass on
17 whatever's there. We would strongly object to its admission.
18 JUDGE PARKER: The record reveals its content, Mr. Rodic, and the
19 admiral's position with respect to it. You had him read the material
20 passage, so I think it is unnecessary for our evaluation of it and its
21 effect on our evidence, it's unnecessary for the document itself to be
22 admitted. What you would want to get from it is already in the record.
23 We see no sufficient relevance of the other document to the
24 matters that were the subject of this further evidence from the admiral,
25 so it won't be admitted. So neither document will be admitted.
1 Thank you very much, Admiral, for the time that you have been with
2 us again this further time. There is time now for you to collect your
3 thoughts and speak to your counsel before going to your Pre-Trial
5 We once again -- yes, Mr. Petrovic.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for
7 interrupting you. However, I wish to inform the Chamber that following
8 today's testimony by this witness, pursuant to Rule 85(A)(iv), the Defence
9 will be proposing certain exhibits to the Trial Chamber. There's a
10 deadline that needs to be set, and may it at least be two weeks. We shall
11 inform the Chamber in writing as well as our learned friends and
12 colleagues what the evidence would be on the part of the Defence team
13 pursuant to Rule 85(A)(iv).
14 JUDGE PARKER: Any proposal will be put forward in writing and
15 that must be done within fourteen days of today, that is, it must be
16 within a fortnight of today, Mr. Petrovic.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: The Prosecution will have a further week to
19 respond. And we will then determine whether or not any or all of those
20 documents should be received.
21 That concludes the evidence, subject to the outstanding matters
22 that were identified yesterday and this further matter just raised by
23 Mr. Petrovic today. That concludes the evidence. We will now adjourn.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.00 p.m.