1 Thursday, 1 March 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
6 everyone in and around the courtroom.
7 This is case IT-08-91-T, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and
8 Stojan Zupljanin.
9 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Good morning to everyone. May we have the appearances, please.
11 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner,
12 Alex Demirdjian, and Sebastiaan van Hooydonk for the Prosecution.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
14 Slobodan Cvijetic, Eugene O'Sullivan, Simon Levett, and Denis Stoychev
15 appearing for Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you very much.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic,
17 Aleksandar Aleksic, Miroslav Cuskic, reinforced by Joyce Boekestijn and
18 Milena Dzudovic.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
20 And if there is nothing to delay us, may we -- may we have the --
21 today's witness escorted into court, please.
22 Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, just for the record, I
24 have one thing. We have uploaded 1D265 translation, revised translation.
25 Just for the record. Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. So the parties -- thank you. So the --
2 this revised translation will now be substituted for the translation
3 that's now a part of the record.
4 And the parties will have been notified by e-mail yesterday
5 afternoon that it is -- arrangements have made been to have one extended
6 sitting today from 3.00 to 4.30. And notwithstanding the earlier
7 expectation of the parties, we fully expect that we would be finished
8 with this witness well before the scheduled time for adjournment at 1.45
9 tomorrow afternoon. Thank you.
10 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE HALL: Before you take your seat, sir, would you be so kind
13 as to read the solemn declaration.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: SLAVKO LISICA
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examination by the Court:
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. You may be seated.
20 And could you, first of all, please confirm for me that you are
21 hearing me in a language that you understand.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
23 JUDGE HALL: Well, I would, first of all, point out that the
24 solemn declaration that you have just made imposes upon you an obligation
25 to speak the truth under the pain of the penalties for perjury which this
1 Tribunal is empowered by its Statute to impose should you give false or
2 misleading testimony.
3 That having been said, I, first of all, thank you for agreeing to
4 come and testifying before the Tribunal and to assist us in our work.
5 And I would ask you to, first of all, state your name, your place of
6 birth, and your ethnicity.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Slavko Lisica, born at
8 Bosanska Gradiska in the village of Laminci in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that
9 is, Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the
10 18th of February, 1944.
11 JUDGE HALL: And what is your ethnicity?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a Serb.
13 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated] Have you testified
14 previously either before this Tribunal or before any of the courts in the
15 countries that comprise the former Yugoslavia?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour.
17 JUDGE HALL: Sorry.
18 Have you testified previously before either this Tribunal or
19 before any of the courts in the countries that make up the former
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I haven't. I gave testimony to
22 your investigators in Banja Luka, or, rather, they interviewed me.
23 JUDGE HALL: Yes, we are aware of that and we have seen the
24 transcript of that interview.
25 Now, as would have been explained in the communications of the
1 Tribunal officers of the Tribunal would have had with you and would have
2 been confirmed in my former letter to you, you have been called as what
3 we refer to as a Chamber's witness. In other words, whereas these
4 proceedings are adversarial, that is, one side presents its evidence and
5 then the other, there is provision for the Tribunal itself to call
6 witnesses in order to clarify issues which may not have been clear from
7 the testimony proffered by either side. And it is in that context that
8 we invited you - and we are grateful, as I said, for your acceptance of
9 the invitation - to so attend to clarify these matters. And as would
10 have been indicated to you, the two items with which we -- on which we
11 require your assistance are the resubordination of police forces to the
12 army and the responsibility for an investigation and prosecution of
13 serious crimes allegedly committed by resubordinated forces during such
14 time of resubordination. And then secondly, your interaction with local
15 authorities in the relevant area, including Andrija Bjelosevic and
16 Milan Ninkovic.
17 Now, especially since you have not testified previously, I should
18 point out to you, and you may be generally aware of this as a matter of
19 your own basic education and experience, that trials are -- evidence is
20 led during a trial on a question-and-answer basis, and the necessity for
21 this is so as to efficiently manage the presentation of relevant evidence
22 with which the Tribunal is concerned.
23 We are keenly aware that everyone has a story to tell. And
24 especially persons who have not testified previously in the former
25 setting of a court may wish to expand the answers to questions beyond
1 what the questioner would -- is trying to find out, but I would remind
2 you that in each case you should listen carefully to the question and
3 only answer the question that is asked.
4 Now, because you have been called as a witness by the Chamber, we
5 will begin by asking you questions and, indeed, in your case, I will be
6 asking the questions of you on behalf of the Chamber, but my brother
7 Judges may themselves pitch in and themselves ask questions in terms of
8 matters which I may have missed. And after I would have completed, then
9 I would invite counsel for the Prosecution, who sits at your right, to
10 ask their questions, such questions as they have arising out of the
11 questions that the Chamber would have put. Following that, then the
12 counsel for each of the two accused, and they're persons who are jointly
13 charged in this matter, would each have their turns to ask questions of
14 you. And at the end of it all, the Bench may have further questions
15 arising out of what counsel would have put.
16 In terms of time: The schedule, and again this would have been
17 communicated to you earlier, is such that we fully expect that your
18 testimony would be completed by midday tomorrow so that you may return to
19 your home.
20 The sittings for today are expected to continue until 4.30 this
21 afternoon, which is exceptional in terms of the usual work of the
22 Chamber. But -- and it is -- but it is not a continuous sitting. It is
23 broken up into sessions of no longer than an hour and a half for two
24 reasons: One is the technical necessity to change the tapes by which
25 these proceedings are memorialised; and secondly, the breaks allow for
1 the convenience of everyone concerned, yourself included. But
2 notwithstanding those breaks, which are usually of 20 minutes' duration -
3 except for the break between the first session and the last session,
4 which would be from 1.45 until 3.00 this afternoon - the -- if at any
5 time you yourself need to take a break for whatever reason, if you would
6 indicate that to us, we would of course accommodate you.
7 Now, before I go further, are there any questions that you have
8 on which I might assist?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have any questions.
10 Everything you said is very clear.
11 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. Would you -- perhaps you could begin by
12 briefly telling us about your professional career. And it would be
13 useful, as we proceed, if you would indicate to us how you prefer to be
14 styled, whether as "Mr." or by the military rank that you last held.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I graduated from Military Academy
16 in Belgrade and I also finished Command Staff Academy in Belgrade. That
17 is, in -- I was trained in Yugoslavia, and I made a vow to defend the
18 country or the state of Yugoslavia.
19 It so happened that Yugoslavia was destroyed by NATO and it did
20 not exist as a legal entity. The former republics of Yugoslavia became
21 independent countries. During the war in the 1990s, I happened to be in
22 Knin in the Republic of Croatia as chief of armoured units of the
23 Knin Corps. That was my position.
24 The civil war in Croatia began then, or even wider than Croatia.
25 In Yugoslavia.
1 As an officer of the Yugoslav People's Army, I defended the state
2 the Yugoslavia rather than the Republic of Croatia. In Croatia there
3 were about a million Serbs, and in Knin there was a Serbian majority.
4 Now in Croatia there are no Serbs anymore. There are only Croats left,
5 because the Serbs were expelled and they went to Bosnia-Herzegovina. And
6 so on. The war continued. I defended Yugoslavia as an officer of the
7 Yugoslav People's Army, and I held the rank of general, and I lost the
9 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated] Thank you. The --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 JUDGE HALL: Thanks.
12 The -- returning to the specific concerns that we have in respect
13 of which, as I said, we expect you would be able to assist.
14 Could you begin by telling us what your experience is of the
15 practice in the context of the theory governing the resubordination of
16 police forces to the military in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly in
17 1982 [sic], but even in the former Yugoslavia in general.
18 Do you understand my question?
19 A. Yes, I understand.
20 We are trained officers. Once you become commander of a -- any
21 formation, and I was commander of Tactical Group 3. That's what it was
22 called. It was a temporary formation. It was also known by the name of
23 temporary group Doboj --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Tactical Group
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Each formation has its area of
2 responsibility. In that area of responsibility, the number one man is
3 the commander, and I was commander. All units, the entire population,
4 that is, the economic, political, and military potentials, are under the
5 authority of the military commander of that area. All police forces were
6 subordinated to the commander of the zone of responsibility that I had as
7 commander of Tactical Group 3 or commander of Operative Group Doboj. The
8 entire population, including kindergartens, schools, economic operators,
9 everything was under the responsibility of the command of that zone of
10 responsibility. And that included the police forces. They were also
11 under my command.
12 According to the Strategy of Armed Combat of Yugoslavia, where I
13 graduated from military academy and where I completed Command Staff
14 Academy, everything in the zone of responsibility from retired people
15 down to children in kindergartens, medical facilities, economic
16 operators, everything is under the command of that one man, namely the
17 commander of the zone of responsibility.
18 I don't know if I was clear enough. I can elaborate.
19 JUDGE HALL: Well, in terms of -- when this resubordination --
20 when this subordination occurred, would it be for a particular purpose,
21 or would it be, at least in the first instance, general subordination to
22 the commander of the zone?
23 I have a follow-up question on that after you would have answered
24 that part.
25 A. That's understood. How should I put it? According to the
1 Strategy of Armed Combat of SFRY, all forces are automatically
2 subordinated to the commander. Because we're talking about war time, not
3 about peace. In peace, everybody goes about their own business. But
4 since at war we all the same objectives, that is to defend the state,
5 the -- defend the people, but this war was a civil war, and we in the
6 Yugoslav People's Army were not trained for civil war. We were trained
7 according to the scenario when, say, NATO were to attack Yugoslavia and
8 how we could defend ourselves. Or if the Warsaw Pact were to attack
9 Yugoslavia at the time. These were the kinds of scenarios that we
11 In 1968 I remember the situation in Czechoslovakia. I was second
12 lieutenant and stationed near the Bulgarian border and we were ready to
13 defend Yugoslavia if the Soviet Union were to attack us. I was a member
14 of the Yugoslav People's Army then. But we never trained according to a
15 scenario of civil war, which involves ethnic conflict, because at the
16 time there was brotherhood and unity. That was the slogan at the time.
17 We were all friends - Croats, Serbs, Muslims, Slovenians,
18 Macedonians - all the peoples that lived in Yugoslavia. I was not
19 trained to wage civil war.
20 I applied my theoretical and practical knowledge from the
21 Military Academy and the Command Staff Academy to act the way I would
22 have acted towards an enemy. My former friends became my enemies, and I
23 mean the Croats and Muslims. And I saw them as enemies. It didn't
24 matter to me whether they were Germans, Croats, Muslims - to me, they
25 were simply enemies who were attacking my people. And they thought that
1 I was attacking them. And I was never able to understand that the
2 Yugoslav People's Army became an aggressor army in their own country.
3 Much like the US army to turn into an aggressor in California, or the
4 German army in Styria or whichever German province. Or if the Dutch army
5 were to attack their own country. That's what I don't understand. But
6 that was the propaganda that was originated from the West, and those who
7 were destroying Yugoslavia turned the Yugoslav People's Army into an
8 aggressor in its own country.
9 First I defended Yugoslavia. I was unable to do so. And then I
10 started defending my own people, and that's the Serbian people. This was
11 it in a nutshell. What I'm trying to say, that all of it was a tragedy
12 and a misunderstanding in the Balkans. I mean, it was a civil war where
13 you have no rule of law. Yugoslavia as a legal entity had been
14 destroyed. Then have you no laws. You don't have a professional army.
15 When we say "army," we didn't really have one. We had an armed people on
16 the one hand, and an armed people on the other hand. Everybody was
17 armed. They started fighting in kindergartens and they continued
18 fighting all the way up to universities. It was very difficult to
19 control that. I don't know if you understand what I'm saying.
20 But in principle --
21 JUDGE HALL: [Previous translation continues] ... if I might
22 interrupt you to return to this matter subordination. And you may have
23 already answered this, what I indicated was my follow-up question.
24 When this occurred, would it have been -- when persons were
25 subordinated to the commander of the zone, would it have been a
1 subordination to individual military units or individually actually? Or
2 was it once subordination occurred, then it was entirely up to the zone
3 commander as to how to deploy these individuals?
4 A. Well, this last thing you said, talking about myself, I can say
5 that the police forces that were subordinated to me reported to me, and I
6 used them in combat where I had to.
7 We are not numerous. We're not a great people. There were few
8 of us. And the front line was long. So that every man counts. And the
9 goals are the same - the goals of the police, the army, the educational
10 system, politics. The goal was always to defend the people and save it
11 from destruction by the other people. Unfortunately, that's how it went.
12 So that police forces were directly subordinated to me.
13 Those that were in my zone of responsibility, and I issued such
14 orders, don't understand that -- understand this mechanically. Let's
15 say -- let's take Bjelosevic. He's in my zone of responsibility and he
16 comes to me and we talk like men how we can take of a -- of a situation,
17 but my -- I have the last word in that discussion. Of course, there's no
18 conflict there. Clearly he didn't want his police to go to the front
19 line. But since I didn't have enough soldiers, I had to send some police
20 officers to the front too, to at least keep certain positions in order to
21 secure the area, to protect the population, save it from destruction, or
22 prevent great losses. Those were talks. And it wasn't like I was the
23 commander and I told everybody what to do. We had the same goal. We
24 always discussed how we could solve a certain situation. But, clearly, I
25 had the last word in my zone of responsibility. The commander is
1 responsible in his own area of responsibility. He bears the entire
2 responsibility for the use of the police and other institutions, such as
3 the judiciary and, of course, including the army.
4 But let me add so it becomes clearer to you: According to the
5 Strategy of Armed Combat from a -- from an autonomous battalion - I don't
6 know how much you know about military things - and up, there must be a
7 military court. A military court takes care of all problems in the army
8 and in the territory. Military courts. But since Yugoslavia was broken
9 up and so was the legal system, we didn't have military courts who
10 specialised in trying military and police forces in the zone of
11 responsibility of any given commander. Civilian courts were not trained
12 to try a soldier who goes AWOL, for example, or if an observer wasn't
13 where he was supposed to be to observe and then, consequently, there are
14 detrimental consequences; people get killed and injured.
15 These such cases were supposed to be tried by military courts,
16 but we didn't have any. So there was no rule of law. It was a conflict
17 between peoples, and these people who were involved in the conflict were
18 not trained. What you call the Army of Republika Srpska or the
19 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were, in fact, armed people. They were not
20 professional armies. So we're talking about a war between one people and
22 So if you have other questions, go ahead, but certainly
23 everything in my zone of responsibility was -- was -- were things over
24 which I had authority. Bjelosevic couldn't take decisions without
25 consulting me, or do anything without my approval.
1 JUDGE HALL: Thank you for that very illuminating answer, sir.
2 If we may take one step back. Up to this point we have been
3 speaking about subordination in the grammatically passive sense. Could
4 you --
5 A. We went back.
6 JUDGE HALL: The -- could I ask this question: Who initiated
7 subordination? In each case. Or did it change from case to case?
8 A. Well, I don't know how to put it. Waging a war or conducting an
9 operation is like a live organism. You are with the same people on a
10 daily basis, either in your office or under a tree or on the positions on
11 some hills. You discuss your common goals. So these are requirements,
12 the requirements of a specific moment. And at that specific moment I
13 appeared as a responsible commander, and that applied to other commanders
14 as well.
15 So I would come and tell Bjelosevic, who said that the Ustasha
16 and the Green Berets were going to attack along this and this axis. I
17 asked him how many policemen you have. But I have to control that
18 territory. I have this and this number of reserve police officers so let
19 us agree amicably, and you can give me 500 policemen, I will deploy them
20 on a certain positions, whereas, at the same time, I'm going to attack
21 along another axis whilst you guard the already reached territory.
22 So it's a live organism and live relationship. We were together
23 on a daily basis, not on different planets. We belonged to the same
24 people, we were faced with same -- the same problems. We had to reach
25 agreements which eventually ended in me issuing an order that had to be
1 complied with.
2 I hope I was clear.
3 JUDGE HALL: Yes, thank you.
4 Now, if during the time that a police unit was subordinated to
5 your command and a resubordinated policeman committed a crime during that
6 period of resubordination, what would be the process of, (a), reporting
7 that crime; and, (b), the -- the investigation; and, (c), how would it --
8 how would it finally be dealt with?
9 A. I understood your question, though I'm not sure whether you're
10 going to understand my answer.
11 Since we didn't have military courts but instead we have civilian
12 courts, in inverted commas, that was all contrary to the waging of war.
13 When there is war, from the independent brigade, over division, up to the
14 corps level, military courts have to be established. Had that been done,
15 then the military courts would prosecute every crime that happened in a
16 particular area of responsibility of each unit, i.e., a battalion,
17 brigade, division, and corps. Military courts should have existed at all
18 these levels. However, since the legal system of Yugoslavia was
19 destroyed and there was no rule of law, there were attempts to deal with
20 this on the part of the civilian courts, albeit they were not qualified
21 to deal with the problems within the military, on the front, et cetera,
22 especially in view of war crimes, because they didn't understand what a
23 war crime was.
24 So this was more in the hands of the commander to initiate, to
25 place in custody, anyone who attempted to commit a war crime, although
1 that was in contravention of the constitution of the former Yugoslavia. But
2 since we were in a lawless system, it is the commander who is responsible
3 for legal system, for prosecuting war crimes and punishing war crimes. The
4 commander who is in command in an area of responsibility. Unfortunately, that
5 was the situation. Had we had the proper rule of law, that would have been
6 within the jurisdiction of military courts. I had to be the military judge
7 and everything else. And I'm saying this not because I understood this
8 properly, but I have to point out that we didn't have any of these
9 institutions. Without a legal system you have nothing – the state
10 collapses. We didn't even have a system of moral values.
11 Some time ago, we had customary law and legal law - I don't know if
12 it is called that exactly - but we were in a kind of vacuum of lawlessness
13 and everything depended on individual consciousness of every commander.
14 I'm not defending anyone, I'm just describing the situation to you.
15 The commander is responsible for the prisoners, war crimes, and everything
16 else in his area of responsibility, because he assumed the responsibility
17 for that, as I did in my area of responsibility. I hope I was clear.
18 JUDGE HALL: Well, you did warn me that I may have difficulty
19 understanding your answer.
20 In terms of what you have just attempted to explain, though, in
21 practice, was the result that the military, or would it have been the
22 civilian prosecutor, who would have, despite the difficulties that
23 existed at the time and the inadequacies - that's my word not yours - of
24 the systems in place, would it be -- was the competence in dealing with
25 these matters that of the military or the civilian prosecutor?
1 A. It would be the military prosecutor to deal with such situations.
2 There's no place for a civilian prosecutor because he doesn't understand
3 the issues.
4 We had some kind of military prosecutors at the level of the
5 corps, but that was to such a limited extent compared to the atrocities
6 that were taking place. You need to understand that we didn't have a
7 clash between two professional armies, but, rather, a conflict between
8 two peoples. One mob against another. So it was very difficult for JNA
9 officers to try and stream-line that or -- or steer it in the right
10 direction in order to prevent losses as much as possible. Likewise, the
11 police forces tried to make people see reason in order to avoid casualties,
12 but it is impossible to control all the lunatics in your territory.
13 You know this case in Norway where Mr. Breivik killed some
14 80 young people or so. Was that possible for the minister to control
15 this lunatic who just went out there and killed all these kids on an
16 island in this particular part of Europe? Likewise, we were not able to
17 put all the lunatics under our control who put on uniforms. Some of them
18 came from Europe and other countries simply for the purpose of looting.
19 On the Muslim side, you had Mujahedins, Muslim Brothers, and God knows
20 what other groups. All this was a horrible situation in the eyes of the
21 law, and it was almost impossible for the police to prevent that. I am
22 not trying to avoid responsibility. I did what I could, and every
23 policeman did what they could.
24 Now, if we're talking about reserve police, this is not a
25 professional army either. These were armed civilians. Only 5 per cent
1 of them were professionals. 95 per cent of them were ordinary civilians,
2 labourers, farmers who put on uniforms. They didn't have any military
3 training. All they had was the desire for all the birds of the feather
4 to flock together and to defend themselves. Unfortunately, that is what
6 So can you please tell me if I was more clear this time? And I'm
7 ready to answer any further questions you might have.
8 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. As we move on, do you recall a man by
9 the name of Milan Ninkovic?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember all the men from my
11 zone. Of course, yes. I forgot some of them after 20 years, but I
12 clearly remember a Ninkovic.
13 As I understood from some papers, it seems that we were on bad
14 terms. He was a politician; I was a soldier. I assume that every
15 politician, not only in the Balkans but elsewhere in Europe, tries to
16 ingratiate himself with his own people in order to win as many votes as
17 possible, whereas I dealt with the situation in a military way. It was a
18 sort of conflict because basically we had different opinions. I thought
19 that since we had a socialist system which implied social ownership, I
20 believed that whilst the war is in progress there could be no
21 privatisation because that would equate robbery. We have to wait for the
22 war to end and then start building a state.
23 You are trying here a state, Republika Srpska, which is
24 non-existing, actually, because it hasn't been recognised. The
25 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereas I come from the country which
1 is not recognised. If we start looking at all the crimes at Sijekovac
2 and other places where the Croatian forces killed entire villagers,
3 starting from the elderly to infants, there were no other forces and due
4 to that we had to establish the Army of the Republika Srpska because that
5 was the people's army, not a professional army. The JNA ceased to exist.
6 There were some professional soldiers that happened to remain in the
7 territory, but they didn't exceed 5 per cent. The rest, the 95 per cent,
8 were simple people who just instinctively accepted the role of defenders
9 of their territory.
10 Had we had a strong and professional army, the war wouldn't have
11 lasted for four years. That was the war of exhaustion. And once the
12 western parties had enough of it, they started bombing the Serb army, and
13 this is what brought the war to the end, and it was eventually followed
14 by the Dayton Agreements. And this is what you did - in effect, you
15 destroyed Yugoslavia.
16 Don't think that I'm an embittered person, but I am trying to
17 tell you that there is no intellect, no power that can control hatred.
18 You can control people, but you cannot control hatred. Each commander
19 had his own zone of responsibility. For example, in Srebrenica, you had
20 international forces in control, and in spite of that, 3.000 Serbs were
21 killed in that area. And I don't believe that anyone from Belgium or any
22 other country who gave their contingent was tried. You simply couldn't
23 control hatred. And that is why the Serbs were so eager to attack
25 The same applied to my area of responsibility. You can control
1 people, but you cannot control their sentiment of hatred. And each war
2 that happened just fueled this hate. And we hate each other now more
3 than we did in 1990. And if another war happens, this hatred will become
4 even worse, and I think that is going to lead to self-destruction.
5 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, sir.
6 You have earlier alluded to your relationship with
7 Mr. Bjelosevic. Is there anything that you would wish to add in terms of
8 the issues with which we are concerned today that you haven't already
9 told us about your relationship with Mr. Bjelosevic in 1992?
10 A. We co-operated as ordinary people. One cannot speak about any
11 friendship in that sense. We had a professional relationship. He was in
12 charge of the internal affairs, and I was in charge of the army.
13 We had common goals and problems, and we jointly solved them
14 because I am that kind of person. I had the last say and each and every
15 of my decisions had to be carried out. Bjelosevic couldn't confront me,
16 since he had his own chain of command through the Ministry of Interior,
17 but what does this is kind of ministry mean in a non-existent state?
18 What does an assembly mean in a non-existent state? What does a judge
19 mean where there are no courts? All I'm trying to say, that all the
20 segments of society were demolished. Bjelosevic carried out my orders,
21 but I also listened to what his requests were, and along the way we tried
22 to find the best possible solution in order to save the people and to
23 save the remaining political and economic institutions.
24 So everything was based on agreement. There was no subordination
25 relationship between the two of us. We were two men who were solving
1 problems in a specific territory. But I did feel that I was in charge,
2 because according to the strategy of combat, I was the responsible person
3 because there was war. Had it been in peacetime, we would have been
4 friends who would meet in a pub for a drink.
5 Was I clear enough?
6 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. That's very helpful.
7 I don't know if the usher has yet handed to you a small folder
8 that we have prepared for your -- to facilitate the next set of questions
9 that I have.
10 A. You're welcome.
11 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
12 A. Everything in the interest of justice and the people.
13 JUDGE HALL: Could you look at tab 1 in that folder.
14 And I would ask the Registrar to bring up Exhibit P1789, please.
15 Have you -- have you seen the document at tab 1 in your folder?
16 A. Yes, yes, yes. I had an opportunity to see it.
17 Being a commander, I had an opportunity to see much more
18 documents of this kind. This was a standard way of correspondence
19 between the various commands and the police, and it implied joint
21 So please go ahead with your questions.
22 JUDGE HALL: Well, if you could just expand on what you have just
23 summarised -- on what you have just said in terms of aiding our
24 understanding of how we should interpret this order from General Talic.
25 A. You have to read it as it says here. And it reads that the
1 police can use only exceptionally when it is necessary to hold and
2 strengthen the front, and that is what we did. Regardless of the order
3 from Mr. Talic, I issued the identical orders in my zone of
4 responsibility. The objective was not to use the police as assault
5 units, but, rather, as units that would be holding certain lines and
6 creating conditions for the military to take over this obligation from
7 the police. And this is what I did, irrespective of the fact whether I
8 had orders of the same nature from Talic or anyone else. I took my own
9 decisions and I provided my own solutions in my area of responsibility.
10 And I think that was a fair way of operating in a single territory,
11 because, as I said, we had a common goal, which was to defend or people.
12 I hope I was clear.
13 JUDGE HALL: Yes. Well, in that vein, could you look at tab 5 in
14 your folder.
15 And I would ask the Registrar to bring up 1D543.
16 A. Very well.
17 JUDGE HALL: First of all, I would ask you to please confirm
18 whether you signed this order.
19 A. Yes, yes, I did. This is my signature.
20 JUDGE HALL: [Previous translation continues] ... and although you
21 would have already - if I understood your answer in respect of the
22 previous document - partially answered these questions, to whom was this
23 order addressed; and how would the police have been informed of this
25 A. Are you referring to the formation of each detachment for the
1 defence of Derventa town? Are you referring to that order?
2 JUDGE HALL: [Previous translation continues] ... yes.
3 A. Or are you referring to General Talic's order?
4 JUDGE HALL: No, your order. The one that you have --
5 A. The defence of Derventa town, supplementary order.
6 JUDGE HALL: [Previous translation continues] ... yes, the one
7 that's at tab 5 in your folder.
8 A. Yes. Yes, yes, I understand. And it's been signed by me. Well,
9 this is an order that I issued, and I think it's self-explanatory.
10 If necessary, I can read it out for you. But this order was sent to all
11 subordinate units and to the MUP as well, the MUP of Doboj. Or, rather, the
12 police station. But I don't remember whether it was Derventa or any other.
13 Anyway, all the police stations received this order, either
14 by courier or via fax. One way or another, they received it because they
15 would come to me to get information ... because that was a small territory.
16 It's not as big as Australia. They were 10 or 20 or 30 kilometres
17 apart, and we could quickly get together and exchange information. So
18 all those concerned received these orders of mine one way or another.
19 I used the word "gendarmerie" here because the reserve police
20 force was not diligent enough in carrying out their duties, and I
21 preferred to have had professional police or gendarmerie, as it is called
22 in our people. But that's only the name. They're also made up of people
23 and people are always the same.
24 You know, once you liberate the territory, as it was referred to
25 previously - but I prefer to call it when we occupied Derventa because it
1 had been occupied by the Ustasha first - so when my units occupied this
2 municipality, I established the post of the town commander. His duty was
3 to restore normal operation during the interim period before professional
4 organs took over, because there were no official authorities in this
5 town. There was only Ustasha authority. And once you enter a town, you
6 know that the first thing you do, you establish military authorities,
7 whilst conditions are not created for establishing proper civilian
8 authorities. I think you all know how it's being done, and it's the case
9 in each and every army around the world, and our army, which was in fact
10 an armed people, did the same.
11 JUDGE HALL: Could you go over to your tab 6.
12 And I ask the Registrar to bring up 1D764, which is a document
13 dated two days later, also over your signature.
14 And having regard to your comprehensive answer in relation to the
15 previous document, is there anything that you would wish to add in
16 respect of this document that's, as I said, is at your tab 6?
17 A. Not in essence. I functioned in the area which was my
18 responsibility as commander, and that was the area of Tactical Group 3.
19 To clarify this better: A tactical group was the equivalent to a
20 division to western standards.
21 Since this was in my area of responsibility, I made efforts to
22 have the population return as soon as possible. Because in Derventa
23 there was not a single Serb left. What -- whoever was unable to escape
24 from the Ustasha forces was either killed or put into camps. Nobody ever
25 made an investigation into the plight of the Serbian people in Posavina,
1 because that's what this area is called. The Ustasha forces set up
2 camps, and many people lost their lives there. Many families were
3 expelled or destroyed, and they still suffer serious consequences from
4 the traumas inflicted on them during the war. Nobody ever investigated
5 the sufferings of the Serbian people. Probably somebody made a decision
6 in advance that we, Serbs, are bad. And I did watch TV during the war.
7 It was depicted that we were raping people, strangling, and so on and so
8 forth. But when we came there, there was not a soul. I don't know who
9 we could have raped because there wasn't anybody.
10 First there was the Croatia army, that is, the Ustasha army.
11 Then the Muslim forces; they were called the Green Berets. And there was
12 the Serbian army. There were no civilians. Nothing. And what kind of
13 propaganda this was in Europe that the Serbs are devils who rape and kill
14 and do this and that; this was a very bad propaganda for my people and
15 for democracy and for the truth, if you are fighting for the truth.
16 Because if that's what you're doing, why did [as interpreted] you go
17 there and investigate into the massacres of the people in Zadar and
18 Zagreb and Pakracka, Dolina, and Bjelovar, where the entire staff of the
19 JNA was killed? Colonel Kovacic was killed at his workplace. Nobody
20 investigated into that. All the investigations went against the Serbs as
21 the main wrong-doers.
22 But, okay, let's leave it at that.
23 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated] The -- could you look
24 at --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 JUDGE HALL: Thanks.
2 I would next invite you to look at your tab 7.
3 And, Mr. -- if the Registrar could bring up 1D765.
4 Are you familiar with this document? Well, first of all, do you
5 recognise it as being what it purports to be; namely, an order from
6 General Talic?
7 A. Yes, yes. I'm familiar with it.
8 I don't remember this specific document because each command got
9 a written document daily. I believe that there was some two tonnes of
10 documents in all.
11 This was found in my bag. That's where it happened to be. And
12 the entire documentation is with the corps. From my command, since there
13 was daily reporting, so on 360 days, there were 360 reports. And
14 360 times four years, you can imagine how that adds up. There was a
15 report to the corps commander and a report to General Mladic. I knew him
16 personally from Knin. We know each other as people and as officers. He
17 demanded that I send an identical copy as the one that I was sending to
18 the corps to him also. I don't know where he was. In Han Pijesak, I
19 think, his command post was.
20 So there is about a thousand documents. And your investigators
21 weren't able to find it. Actually, they didn't feel like going through
22 the heaps of documents, and this one happened to stay behind in my bag,
23 and I gave it to them. But they should have dug deeper in the
24 documentation of the corps, and they would have found a couple of
25 thousand signed by Colonel Lisica. That's me. There must be
1 5.000 documents at the corps command. And then you would be clear about
2 who did what to whom during that unfortunate war.
3 However, arbitrary stories, second-hand, you know, but this
4 document doesn't mean anything to me. I drafted such documents as the
5 responsible person to my subordinate units and the police units in my
6 responsibility. And that includes Bjelosevic. And we had a good
7 relationship; only, I had the last word. That's how it was during the
8 war. And no one of my subordinates can be held responsible. Only me,
9 because I issued the orders.
10 If a corporal commits a criminal offence, he can't be held
11 responsibility without me being held responsible, because it's my
12 responsibility. And that's how people knew me in my area of
13 responsibility. I don't shirk my responsibility. I only acted in
14 accordance with human laws and God's laws, and, of course, military
15 regulations, and those were the regulations of the Yugoslav People's
16 Army, where I was trained too. I wasn't trained in the American army.
17 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. I would next invite you to look at
18 tabs 2, 3, and 4. And I'm not sure, having regard to the technical
19 limitations of us only being able electronically to bring up one document
20 at a time, but it would be 1D263, 1D264, and 1D265. And my question
21 would relate to all of those documents.
22 So perhaps the Registry should bring them up sequentially.
23 A. Yes, I see. It's okay.
24 Withdrawal of the police from combat operations. Bjelosevic
25 requested that.
1 JUDGE HALL: [Previous translation continues] ... if you would
2 just --
3 A. Many of my commanders --
4 JUDGE HALL: [Previous translation continues] ... if would you
5 just give me a moment, sir, while the electronic version is being loaded,
6 and then I will phrase my question.
7 A. Sure, go ahead. I understand.
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE HALL: If we could deal with them -- with your reading of
10 the documents one at a time. When you are through with tab -- your
11 tab 2, which is Exhibit 263 for our purposes, if would you please let me
13 And then I'd ask the Registrar to move on to the next document,
14 and so on.
15 A. I've read it. I'm familiar with the contents of this request.
16 It's about withdrawal of the police from combat.
17 You can ask your question.
18 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
19 Could we then move on to the next document, which is Exhibit 264.
20 Your tab 3.
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 JUDGE HALL: And when you --
23 A. Yes, I know this document.
24 JUDGE HALL: And then Exhibit 1D265, which is your -- sorry,
25 1D265, which is your tab 4.
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE HALL: So what we have here, and correct me if I'm wrong,
3 is an exchange between yourself and Mr. Bjelosevic. And the --
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 JUDGE HALL: My first question is whether you were still --
6 whether you were still commander of Tactical Group 3 at this time?
7 A. I was. I was commander of Tactical Group 3.
8 Well, let me tell you like a man. This is a small part of the
9 puzzle. When you put it on paper, then you get the impression that it
10 carries more weight because it stays behind in archives and then later
11 you can be held responsible.
12 We had such meetings daily. And this is just a very small part
13 of my dealings with Bjelosevic and the commanders of the civilian or
14 military police, the commanders of brigades and battalions in my zone of
15 responsibility. He requested officially, not merely orally, because
16 later on nobody will admit to it. Probably his subordinates exerted
17 pressure on him because they wanted to get out of combat.
18 Let's take military units from Bosanska Gradiska. The president
19 of the municipality and the presidents of the parties came to me daily
20 asking me to let their people go so they wouldn't have to fight anymore.
21 In a civil war, fear is incredibly great. Everybody is afraid of war and
22 afraid of death, and everybody wants to stay as far as away from the
23 front as possible. Some of them fled, and we didn't have military courts
24 to sanction them. Some of them fled to Belgrade, others to Vienna. Some
25 maybe came here and may still be here, actually. Only to flee from the
1 war. And now we are being held responsible for crimes that we committed.
2 But tell me where and who committed them. But we were unable to control
3 the armed people and we were unable to control their hatred. We could
4 not control the criminals. We tried to, but we couldn't. Just like you,
5 here, weren't able to control that guy who killed 80 people on that
6 beach. And, yeah -- and we had such people armed in great numbers.
7 But let me tell you something else. According to the Strategy of
8 Armed Combat of Yugoslavia, where I was trained, if I were to order
9 soldiers to enter this room and kill you all, just for -- to give an
10 example, they were not obliged to carry out my order, because if they
11 did, they would commit a crime. And they could be held responsible for
12 executing that order. So everybody has the right to refuse an order, the
13 consequence of which would be a crime. You cannot order anybody to
14 execute prisoners of war.
15 Of course, I can go crazy and issue such an order, but the one
16 who is supposed to execute them must know that he has the right to refuse
17 such an order. I'm talking about professional soldiers, of course. But
18 these reserve forces, the armed people, they know no laws and
19 regulations. This applies to Muslim forces, Serbian forces, or Croatian
21 I had some prisoners, members of Croatian forces, and they told
22 me the very same thing as the Serbs who were taken prisoner and then
23 exchanged. If you are taken prisoner by an active duty officer or an
24 NCO, Serb, Croat, or Muslim, doesn't matter, then you stand a chance of
25 surviving. But if you get caught by a reservist - we call them
1 reservists because whoever was, I don't know, a waiter in civilian life
2 and now has the rank of captain - if you are taken prisoner by such a
3 one, you don't stand a chance. You'll get killed. If you are taken
4 prisoner by an active-duty police officer, it's all right, but if it's a
5 reserve police officer, you don't stand a chance. That's how it was.
6 But if you think it was otherwise, then prove it to me. Go ahead.
7 I'm talking -- I'm saying to you what was happening on the ground.
8 And I'm sorry it was that way. And all my energy, not just mine,
9 but that of the active-duty police, professional police, and
10 all the professional soldiers, officers, and NCOs, they were more
11 worried about preventing crimes than executing some combat assignment.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: General, can I just follow up on what you have
13 just told us. In the letter which you have in front of you signed by
14 Mr. Bjelosevic, it appears that what he is saying is that it was because
15 his policemen had been assigned to your front line that there was now
16 extensive looting and disorder in Doboj.
17 Do you agree in his assessment here? In other words, if the
18 policemen had not been reassigned to the front line but would have stayed
19 home in Doboj, would the looting and disorder not have taken place?
20 A. Well, I can agree with his assessment, that probably there would
21 be less of that. Especially if we're talking about active-duty police
22 officers. But if only reserve police officers stayed back in Doboj, then
23 he was unable to do anything with him. And that was the same with
24 reserve police -- military police. I was able to impose law and order
25 only with active-duty military police.
1 But it's important for all of us to know that once a state falls
2 apart and there are no more laws, then everybody takes the law into their
3 own hands. And then we're talking about pillage, plunder, and no more
4 than that. There is no responsibility. I went into a village and asked
5 the people, But why are you plundering? And they would answer, But what
6 are you talking about? There's no state any more. But there's me, I
7 said. And who are you? I'm a JNA officer. And they would reply, But
8 there's no more JNA.
9 And I don't wish anyone to go through the same that my people
10 went through. Educated people in Europe cannot understand the calvary we
11 went through when we lost our state and the rule of law. I'm a man who
12 honours the law, and I would like to die in this country when there is
13 the rule of law. I live in Bosnia-Herzegovina now, but there is no
14 rule of law there. Some perpetrators of atrocious crimes during the war
15 are not standing trials in Bosnia-Herzegovina. There's your judge over
16 there, I mean, an international judge, who says that a column of the JNA,
17 that is, I'm -- we're talking about youths of 19 years of age, are a
18 legitimate target for thugs to be killed by them. And so this column --
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Previous translation continues] ... General --
20 A. -- was a legal target for the Green Berets. Not even now we have
21 a legal system. 20 years after the war.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: General, please keep your answers short.
23 The reason I'm asking this to you is that there seems to be a
24 slight contradiction in what you are saying. Namely, on the one hand
25 you're saying that there were a lot of thugs who were looting and acting
1 on their own and you couldn't control them. On the other hand, you're
2 saying that, well, these people could be - at least to some extent -
3 controlled if there had been sufficient police forces to secure law and
5 So my question is, to you, to give us a picture of what the
6 situation really was. Are you saying that looting and disorder took
7 place everywhere and that, really, nobody could prevent that, not even if
8 there was police available? Or are you saying that looting and disorder
9 could, in fact, be controlled and prevented, to some extent, if only
10 there had been enough qualified manpower in the police forces available
11 in the area?
12 Now, which is it?
13 A. If we had had enough professional police, and I'm talking about
14 the professionals from peacetime, then we would have been able to prevent
15 looting. Professional police means not reserve police. Not armed
16 people. Then it would have been possible to prevent looting to a great
17 extent. Where there were professional officers and NCOs, looting was
18 prevented. But there's no contradiction here. I'm saying that the
19 situation was favourable for disorder and injustice, because the
20 institutions had been destroyed. They couldn't function because the
21 state was no longer there.
22 During the war, we were trying to set up a state, and that's the
23 Republika Srpska, which it, as yet, unrecognised. It's an entity within
25 Based on the experience of the former Yugoslavia, we tried to set
1 up a system. But the setting up of a legal system is slow. And even
2 today Bosnia-Herzegovina is an internationally recognised country -
3 although it had never been a country before - it is not a state with a
4 rule of law. And if you have international judges, that's one thing.
5 But nobody does anything with regard to the law. Even nowadays there's
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, General.
8 JUDGE HALL: We've reached the point where we must take our first
10 We will rise, and return in 20 minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
13 JUDGE HALL: Before I invite counsel for the Prosecution to
14 cross-examine, I don't know if either of my brother Judges have any
15 further questions of the witness.
17 Yes, Ms. Korner.
18 Cross-examination by Ms. Korner:
19 Q. General, you were interviewed by the Office of the Prosecutor
20 almost exactly a year ago. That's right, isn't it?
21 A. More or less, yes.
22 Q. And when you arrived here, you were given a copy of that
23 interview which had been typed up in your own language. That's right,
24 isn't it?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And you were then spoken to by one of the legal officers in this
2 case, Mr. Cengic, who asked you if you'd had an opportunity to read that
3 interview; is that right?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. And you told him that you had read it.
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. And you were asked if there was anything that you wanted to add
8 or alter, and you said no. Is that right?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. So you stand by the answers you gave to the Office of the
11 Prosecutor in Banja Luka last year.
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Thank you. Can I just ask you this: You live in Banja Luka and
14 have done for many years; do you know a gentleman called Mirko Bojinovic,
15 who used be with the -- the SNB in 1992?
16 A. No. Maybe we know each other, but his name is not so much in my
17 memory as the names of Bjelosevic and others. I cannot remember if I
18 really do know him or not.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. Probably he knows me.
21 Q. I want to know whether between February of last year and coming
22 here earlier this week you've had any conversation with him.
23 Mr. Bojinovic, this is. I'll come on to Mr. Bjelosevic in a minute.
24 A. No. I didn't have any conversation. I don't know what we would
25 have talked about anyway. Nobody asked me to do that. I felt no need to
1 that because I'm not that kind of person. I always speak my mind, and
2 what I said in Banja Luka and what I'm going to tell you here today, I
3 believe that I spoke the truth. Maybe I omitted some of the things due to
4 the lack of time, what I wished to say, but I stand by what I did say.
5 Q. All right. Mr. Bjelosevic; have you seen or spoken to him
6 between February of last year and coming here this week?
7 A. I think we talked once. But he lives in Doboj, and whenever he
8 comes to Banja Luka, he rings me up and we have coffee together as
9 friends. We discuss family issues. Sometimes we tackle the issue of
10 The Hague because he had been to The Hague, but I wasn't very much
11 interested in hearing that. And I'm telling you the truth.
12 So since this interview with this investigator and now, we did
13 meet once. I think it was three or four months ago. But the truth is
14 that whenever he comes to Banja Luka, he contacts me and we discuss
15 ordinary things. I asked him about the situation in Doboj, economically,
16 and in other aspects.
17 Q. Did you -- you told us that sometimes you tackle the issue of
18 The Hague. Did he tell you about his experience of giving evidence at
19 this court?
20 A. No, he didn't speak about it. Although he did try to talk about
21 this to me, but I refused because, in my view, The Hague Tribunal is
22 biased. It is trying only the Serbs and not members of other peoples
23 from the Balkans. This is my opinion. Whether it is an objective one or
24 a subjective one, we can debate that. But I don't think that -- rather
25 than achieving reconciliation among the peoples of the Balkans, it has
1 worsened the situation. Because when you watch TV sometimes -- all
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm sorry, General, but we
4 need to stick to --
5 A. All right.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... we need to stick to the
7 topics. Right.
8 Now, the last question on this: Since you were informed by the
9 Trial Chamber that you were being asked to come to court to testify, have
10 you had any discussion with Mr. Bjelosevic about the nature of your
12 A. No. I think that last I saw him was three, four, or five months
13 ago, but, as I told you, this is a common practice whenever he comes to
14 Banja Luka.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... no, I didn't -- yeah. I --
16 no, stop. I didn't ask whether you'd seen him. I asked you whether you
17 had had any discussion with him, and that includes the telephone.
18 A. No, no. We did not discuss it.
19 Q. All right. Can we then very briefly just flesh out your career
20 for a moment, about which you were asked about earlier this morning.
21 Between 1988 and 1992 you were chief of the Armoured Mechanised
22 Unit in Knin; is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. You then transferred in 1992 to what was still, before the
25 declaration of the VRS, the 5th Krajina Corps, was it not? The
1 Banja Luka Corps.
2 A. Yes, yes. After the Kupres operation. I was conducting Kupres
3 operation, and after that I was transferred to the Banja Luka Corps.
4 Q. Right. And for a short period of time, is that right, you were
5 at the Manjaca training ground, as it then was, helping to train or set
6 up the 2nd Armoured Brigade?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And then, as you told the Court, you were appointed as the
9 commander of Tactical Group 3 in the Doboj area. And that was in June,
10 was it not, of 1992?
11 A. Yes. On the 24th of June.
12 Q. And you remained there until you replaced Colonel Simic, as he
13 then was, as commander of the operations group in Doboj; and that was in
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. Now, is this right: The size of Tactical Group 3 was
17 somewhere between 10- and 15.000 troops?
18 A. That's right. Depends on how many of them are present. You
19 always have a third of them absent for various reasons. Because, as I
20 said, those were ordinary people bearing arms, as they had to leave to
21 tend to their cattle, or toil the land, or whatever. Because they were
22 not professional army.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... all right. And just, again,
24 roughly, could you tell us, how large was Operation Group Doboj?
1 A. Roughly speaking, around 30.000.
2 Q. So all together in that area there were not less than 40.000
3 armed military persons in -- in that area, during 1992?
4 A. Well, it's very difficult to say precisely, but I think this is
5 an approximate number. And if you add active and reserve police
6 officers, the total number of uniformed personnel was around 40.000.
7 When I say "uniformed," I mean those who were not professionals but were
8 issued uniforms. As I said, an armed people.
9 Q. I just want to ask you to look, please, at one document in
10 relation to your transfer into the Banja Luka Corps.
11 MS. KORNER: Could we please have up on the screen 65 ter 20409.
12 And it's document number 4 in the Prosecution bundle.
13 Q. This document is from the 1st Krajina Corps, as it become, dated
14 the 11th of June, to the Main Staff, and it's giving a list of those who
15 have transferred from the JNA into the VRS in that corps.
16 Could we look, please, at, in English, page 7 -- sorry. Page 8,
17 I beg your pardon. And in the -- I think it's the same in B/C/S. No,
18 it's page -- it says page 15 at the top, and I think that's probably
19 right. Yes. Thank you very much.
20 And is that your name that we can see there, if you look at the
21 left-hand side, at number 8?
22 A. Number 8, Lisica. Yes, yes. Colonel, OMJ, SSNO.
23 Q. Now can we please go back, please, to the first page.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The officers that we see there, beginning with Talic, then a
1 Lieutenant Ratko Jovic, Bosko Kelecevic, Dragan Marcetic, Gajic, Babic,
2 and so on, did you know these officers?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Are these all experienced officers, some of whom had been
5 certainly with you in Knin or in Western Slavonia, during the Croatian
7 A. When the Croats attacked the Yugoslav People's Army? Is that
8 what you mean?
9 Q. Yes, I'll -- for the moment, I'll let you say that. Exactly.
10 When you say the Croats attacked the JNA.
11 Were these officers all officers who had experience of the -- of
12 the conflict in Croatia?
13 A. Well, I'm not as sure about all of them, all these names that I'm
14 looking at. I think that Talic was in Stara Gradiska. Jovicic [as
15 interpreted], I don't know. Kelecevic was serving in Zagreb, and he
16 barely managed to escape. Marcetic was at the training centre, and so on
17 and so forth.
18 But if you're referring to any war experience, I don't think that
19 none of us had any. And I'm referring to experience in a civil war,
20 because we were trained differently.
21 Q. I quite understand -- I -- I understand entirely that the
22 training of the JNA --
23 A. [No interpretation]
24 Q. Just pause, please, sir. I understand entirely that the training
25 of the JNA envisioned an outside enemy and not a, what you call, a civil
2 All I'm asking is: Were these officers whom you knew experienced
3 JNA officers?
4 A. Generally speaking, yes.
5 Q. Well, if we look, please, at the next page. Did you know
6 Colonel Vukelic?
7 A. Yes. The late Colonel.
8 Q. Yes. What about Lieutenant-Colonels Radman and Jakupovic?
9 A. No.
10 Q. What about Colonel Stevilovic, at number 42?
11 A. I never made his acquaintance, but I heard at the beginning of
12 the war that he was killed.
13 Q. Were these -- those who you did know, and it's a long list, were
14 you -- would you describe these as trained and experienced officers?
15 A. Yes, I would say that they were trained and experienced officers.
16 Q. All right. Yes. Thank you.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may this document please be admitted
18 and marked.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, one question only.
20 In principle, given the contents of this document, I have no
21 objection. I would just like to make one remark. We received this
22 document from the OTP recently. And according to Rule 68, it should have
23 been disclosed to us earlier in order to address it with
24 Colonel Kovacevic, because it expressly deals with the number of
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, this was -- it was on the list for one
2 of the earlier witnesses, and I can't remember which, so it has been
3 disclosed sometime before.
4 But as there's no objection, Your Honours, may this be admitted
5 and marked, please.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
8 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE HALL: Exhibit P2455, Your Honours.
10 MS. KORNER:
11 Q. Right. Now, before you went to Doboj as head of
12 Tactical Group 3, did you attend a meeting in early June to do with
13 Operation Corridor?
14 A. I think I did.
15 Q. And was this the first occasion that you met Mr. Bjelosevic?
16 A. I don't remember meeting him at that particular occasion. I
17 didn't know the man. We may have met following my arrival from Knin, or,
18 rather, from Banja Luka to Doboj, but this was a large meeting in which
19 as many as 100 people may have participated. But since we were neither
20 interested in each other, I don't think that we met until the time when I
21 became commander of TG 3, and that is when he came and we met.
22 Q. Right. Well, I remind you of what you said in interview about
23 this. This is page 81 in English and page 70 in the B/C/S version.
24 MS. KORNER: Sorry, I forgot to give the number. I was waiting
25 for it to come up.
1 Please, could we have up, please, 65 ter 30012.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could we have a tab number, please?
3 MS. KORNER: Tab 1.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 MS. KORNER: And I think that it's in the Defence's as well,
7 Q. All right. You'll see there the question, after Mr. Bjelosevic,
8 you were explaining, Mr. Bjelosevic had more dealings with the corps.
9 A. [No interpretation]
10 Q. Yep. When did you actually first meet him?
11 So you then say:
12 "So he came to meet me.
13 "Q. How long after you arrived in Foca would that -- would that
14 have been?"
15 And you said:
16 "Two to five days. I think he was also present or it might have
17 been the occasion that we first met where we sat down to decide how will
18 we go about to pierce of corridor. If you recall, when we had the
19 meeting at the agricultural co-operative, I'm assuming, because Martic
20 was also there from the Republika Srpska Krajina, so I'm assuming that
21 the Doboj head of CSB must have been there.
22 "Q. This also involved to a certain extent the Banja Luka CSB.
23 Would Stojan Zupljanin have been at this meeting?"
24 Your answer, over the page, please.
25 MR. KORNER: I think it's in -- in B/C/S ...
1 MR. ZECEVIC: It's the same page in B/C/S.
2 MS. KORNER: Oh, thank you.
3 Q. "It's possible, but I'm not certain ..."
4 "Q. But you think Bjelosevic was also there?"
5 And you say:
6 "I think he was. He was not taking notes ... there were a
7 multitude of people ..."
8 Now, is that right?
9 A. Yes, that's what it says. I really wasn't interested to know who
10 was present there. There were my school friends there, people with whom
11 I attended academy. We got together and chatted. But I didn't know any
12 of those people. He was probably there, given that he held the post that
13 he did.
14 Q. Yes, because this meeting was actually held, wasn't it, in Doboj?
15 As you put it, these were the hosts. Doboj was the host.
16 A. Yes. The president of Doboj municipality. That how it works [as
18 Q. And was somebody called Mr. Ljubicic there as well?
19 A. Well, Ljubicic was the municipality president, and he had the
20 rank of a reserve major.
21 Q. And what about Nikola Perisic, president of the Teslic
23 A. I met him later. He may have been there as well. And all these
24 people that were there were invited by the corps commander. I only
25 exchanged greetings with the people I knew from my past, from my school
1 days. But as for the others, I can't tell you either way whether they
2 were there or not. I don't see the point.
3 Q. Okay. Let's sum this up. This was a meeting of the military,
4 the political, and the police to plan Operation Corridor, wasn't it?
5 A. Well, that was more in a theoretical sense.
6 I didn't even know what my role was going to be. A decision was
7 made at that meeting to resolve the problem. Since the corridor was cut
8 off, the corridor leading to Belgrade and Bijeljina --
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... yes --
10 A. -- the instruction came from the Main Staff. But I explained all
11 this to you, and I think it's clear to everybody present here.
12 So a decision was taken on how to free these communications to
13 gain uninterrupted access to Bijeljina and further on towards Belgrade
14 and Serbia, because we belonged to the same people and we were fighting
15 for the state of Yugoslavia at the time. Both the politicians and
17 Q. General, can I just remind you, as the Judges reminded you:
18 Please keep your answers short and just answer the question.
19 The answer to my question is: This was a meeting to plan or to
20 make arrangements for Operation Corridor. Wasn't it?
21 A. You're right.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to deal with something that, as we will
23 see, caused you some aggravation.
24 During the whole of 1992 and indeed 1993 there was never a
25 declaration, was there, of a state of war in the Serbian republic [sic]?
1 A. The Republika Srpska was not a state.
2 Q. I said in the -- I don't know how it was translated, but I said
3 in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A state of war was
4 not declared, was it? Simply an imminent threat.
5 A. Well, what I'm saying is that since the Republika Srpska, even
6 today, is not recognised as a state, I don't know how it could have
7 declared the state of war. We probably should have declared the state of
8 war in what we were calling the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Why this wasn't done is a question to put to the supreme commander,
11 Q. No. But, sir, it was something that concerned you a great deal,
12 wasn't it? because it limited your powers, the powers that you have so
13 graphically described to the Judges this morning.
14 A. Well, clearly, once the state of war is declared, or the state of
15 imminent threat of war, and so on, then there's a legal basis for you to
16 use all the resources of a given territory for armed combat. In other
17 words, for war. The way it was, you had no legal basis to use what you
18 think you should use. So I insisted that the state of war be declared,
19 although we were not a state. In the municipalities where I was, I told
20 every president of those municipalities that I consider the actual
21 situation to be the state of war and that, to my mind, we were at war.
22 Of course, that was not official. But the municipalities where I really
23 was, they were -- in reality they were at war.
24 Q. Yeah. All right. But the fact remains, and this is -- you
25 mention this on a number of occasions in the interview, and I'll remind
1 you of one of them, that no state of war had been declared. So what you
2 described to the Judges as every -- everything from the kindergarten --
3 down to the kindergarten being under your command was not in fact the
4 case, if it ever was, but certainly not in the 1992, was it? Much --
5 well, perhaps can you answer that question.
6 A. It was as if there had been a state of war, in practice.
7 Theoretically, or legally speaking, it was not that way because it wasn't
8 declared. But in practice, to my mind there was a state of war because
9 everybody had to carry out my orders, without any contradiction.
10 Q. Yes, well that's what you would have liked, but it's not actually
11 what happened, was it?
12 A. It was like that. I'm sorry, were you there? You would have
13 done what I told you too.
14 Q. Yes, well, I'm going to come on to your personal characteristics
15 in a moment, General.
16 But, you see, what you said at one point, when you were asked
17 this - and this is at page 49 of the interview in English and page 41 in
18 B/C/S - you were asked -- you talk about the war.
19 "You were aware, were you, there was no state of war that had
20 been formally declared."
21 And your rely was:
22 "I am aware of that, which was very strange on the part of the
23 leadership, both military and civilian. I was one of those who insisted
24 that it be declared. I had no support, which is why I had to retire, not
25 only because of that."
1 Is that right?
2 A. Yes. So what? What about it? That's exactly how it was.
3 Q. Right. Now, let's have a look at another time you made -- this
4 is December of 1992. Could you have a look, please, at part of Mladic's
5 notebook, which is, please, P1764. At tab 35. And this is him recording
6 for the 5th of December.
7 So what page is that in ... it's page 228.
8 Now, this is a briefing -- oh, wait a minute, we'll just wait --
9 yeah, it's coming up. Sorry.
10 A. Can you -- yes, in Serbian, yes.
11 Q. It's coming up in Serbian. But slowly.
12 Well, there should be a --
13 A. Oh, I can't read this handwriting.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... all right. Well, there
15 should be a typed copy.
16 A. Well, if you can show me that one. Yeah, I can see it says
18 Q. Are you family with General Mladic's writing?
19 A. Yes. But I was never able to read it.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. I had a courier and always asked to him, Do read out to me what
22 Mladic says. Because I write in Latin script and he uses Cyrillic
24 Q. All right. Do you recognise his writing, though?
25 A. I think it is his hand.
1 Q. All right. Well, I'll read you what we've got and then we'll
2 try -- there is a typed copy in your language, but ...
3 It's you speaking on the 5th of December. And you say:
4 "The military and political authorities in Teslic have united.
5 "A state of war should be proclaimed and order should be
6 established behind the front."
7 Do you remember saying that? Do you remember this meeting where
8 you had a go at just about everybody?
9 A. I was saying that every day, day in, day out. That's nothing
10 new. That was my position.
11 Q. Yep. And you had a go, if you understand that, if it can be
12 translated, against somebody called Mr. Popovic, Mico Stanisic,
13 Goran Bubic, and General Talic, didn't you?
14 A. Where do you read that from?
15 Q. Do you see --
16 MR. ZECEVIC: Perhaps we can give, in all fairness to the
17 witness, the -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
18 MS. KORNER: Yeah. Yes, the typed copy. Well, actually not --
19 [Overlapping speakers] ...
20 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, not the typed copy, or maybe this copy --
21 [Overlapping speakers] ...
22 MS. KORNER: I've got a typed copy in.
23 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where am I having a go at these
2 MS. KORNER:
3 Q. Do you see, your name is underlined and this is you speaking,
4 isn't it? General Mladic is making a note of what you say.
5 A. I don't know this Mico Stanisic. I didn't know him then. I
6 couldn't speak about a man whom I didn't know. I don't know him even today.
7 Is he about? I knew Bjelosevic, Goran Bubic. I don't remember that one. He
8 may have been president of the SDS. But general -- I spoke generally that
9 I disagreed with the SDS policy, if I said that. But I probably did. But
10 these are not my words. Maybe that’s what he thought, maybe I spoke and
11 since he knew those names, he wrote down the names, whereas I was speaking
12 generally that the SDS at Teslic did this or didn't do that or whatever.
13 Whereas I never knew this Mr. Stanisic.
14 Q. Well, you say that. But one of your obsessions, wasn't it,
15 during this period --
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. Just a moment. Just a moment.
18 A. [No interpretation]
19 Q. All right. What do you want to say about Bubic? Very quickly.
20 A. I don't remember Bubic. I don't know him. Goran Bubic. I may
21 have met him casually, but ... I did know Talic. I knew Jovo Popovic.
22 He was a self-styled lieutenant-colonel.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... all right.
24 A. I don't know all of these people.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... but your obsession, or one
1 of your obsessions during this period, 1992, was what you considered to
2 be the -- the looting that was taking place for personal gain without
3 anybody doing anything about it. That was your -- your -- one of your
4 obsessions, wasn't it?
5 Or one of your -- leave out the word "obsessions." One of your
6 great criticisms.
7 A. Yes, it was.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... and what you're --
9 A. You know something? I can clarify, if you let me.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... no. Well, clarify what?
11 A. Explain why I had held this opinion.
12 During the war, a self-proclaimed government - and that's what it
13 was to me - you don't have a state and you have an assembly. And then
14 the assembly adopts a law that there should be privatisation during the
15 war. Those were state-owned enterprises that were supposed to turn
16 private. To my mind, that was theft. During the war, there can be no
17 transfer of property, and I considered that theft generally. Whoever was
18 in power, when I was angry, I called these people thieves. That they
19 were stealing. Whoever implements privatisation during the war is
20 stealing. And you're right if you call it an obsession. Because once
21 the war ends, then we can go about normal things. But during the war,
22 that's nonsense.
23 Am I right?
24 Q. All right. I want to return, however, to the question. As I
25 say, on a number of occasions during the interview you talked about this.
1 The difference between an imminent threat of war and a state of war.
2 You did not --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mrs. -- Mrs. Korner, before you move to that
4 point, I would like to ask the witness --
5 Does the witness have a -- a printed copy now in Serbian?
6 MS. KORNER: He has both, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Could the witness read the last part that
8 starts with: "Talic." The last entry on -- on this -- this page in
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I read it.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can you read it aloud so that it can be
12 translated, please.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay.
14 It is said about Lisica that he is the greatest profiteer. These
15 are Talic's words. That he looted Derventa Brod, that he stole the
16 cattle and drove it to Levita, that he stole the monuments and sold
17 either it or some other things to -- to farmers.
18 But this is a total lie. If you want me to explain?
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Previous translation continues] ... no, no,
20 thanks, General. It's -- it's just because -- because I wanted to check
22 Mrs. Korner, did I understand you well that it is your position
23 that all these entries are the General's ideas or words?
24 MS. KORNER: Yes. All of the -- it's rather oddly phrased in
25 English, but it is actually -- our understanding is it's Colonel Lisica
1 talking about all these people, and General Mladic making a note. And
2 this is also -- this is Colonel Lisica, as he was then, saying Talic is
3 saying about me, he's talking about himself in the third person.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Look at -- look at the reading by the witness
5 just a moment ago is exactly the opposite.
6 MS. KORNER: No.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes.
8 MS. KORNER: Yes, I don't think it is. I hope this is not coming
9 off my time --
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: And that's how I read the English as well.
11 MS. KORNER: No. I -- Your Honour, I hope this is not coming off
12 my time. But, anyhow ...
13 Q. Colonel, this is you, isn't it, complaining that Talic has said
14 these things about you?
15 A. I can only say that Talic was an SDS member, to my knowledge, and
16 that we had political differences, because I didn't belong to any one
17 party. I had been a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.
18 Q. Don't worry about that, Colonel. But it's because of the
19 phrasing in this notebook. It's -- General Talic wasn't speaking there,
20 was he? It was you complaining that Talic was defaming you.
21 A. Yes. My authority was great. Well, relatively, given the
22 circumstances. And then probably - but you should ask him to make sure -
23 he was afraid of my authority and my prestige and he blackmouthed me and
24 said that I was --
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Previous translation continues] ... please,
1 General, General --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- doing dishonourable things.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Previous translation continues] ... General,
4 please, it's just about -- well, it's so that we can get clear about what
5 is said here.
6 So you answered by the affirmative. You said, Yes, this is me
7 complaining about Talic telling lies about me. Is that right? That's
8 the only thing we need to know here.
9 Is this note about you?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is probably correct.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, correct, correct.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, [indiscernible] -- I will do it
14 because I asked the same question when I looked at the entry, so I got
15 somebody who is a B/C/S speaker to tell me.
16 Now, can we go back to the state of war and imminent threat of
18 Your only reason for complaining right up until December 1992 and
19 onwards that no state of war had been declared was because you didn't
20 leave -- you weren't legally able to exercise the powers that you
21 described to the Court because there was no state of war, that is,
22 control of everything and everybody. That's the reason for it, isn't it?
23 A. In practice, I had control over everything and everybody. But I
24 didn't have a legal basis.
25 Q. Right. Now, this is what I'm coming to. Because of your
1 personality, General, which, as you yourself said, you were a strict
2 officer and a good commander, you ran or tried to run your area as though
3 there had been a state of war declared. That's right, isn't it?
4 A. Yes, that is exactly right.
5 Q. Right. But unfortunately it didn't quite work like that, and I'm
6 going to come on in a moment to the question -- the whole question you
7 were asked this morning about resubordination. But I want to start with
8 some other matter.
9 You told the Court this morning that during 1992 the military
10 courts weren't operating. Now, were you aware that the military court in
11 Banja Luka was operating from the 19th of July of 1992?
12 A. I knew that there was a military court in Banja Luka with a very
13 small capacity. According to the rules of armed combat - I explained
14 that to you - from an independent battalion up, there should be a
15 military court. Since I'm a military person and use military language, I
16 don't know if these judges are able to understand the state of war, or,
17 rather, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. If these judges are civilian
18 judges, they probably understand it at a theoretical level but not the
19 practical duties of a soldier, an officer, and so on.
20 Q. Yes. Don't worry about that. All, at the moment, that I'm
21 asking you is whether you were aware that there was a military court
22 operating on the 19th of July, and you said yes.
23 Were you familiar at all with any of the criteria for military
24 prosecutors that had been issued? Had you ever -- did you ever see them?
25 A. No, I have never seen them.
1 Q. Right. And it -- would it would be right to say - and this is
2 not a criticism at all, General - that you don't actually have anything
3 to do with the operation of military courts?
4 A. Nothing whatsoever.
5 Q. All right. Now, you were asked this morning about the question
6 of town commands. You were shown two documents about it, in Derventa.
7 Can I just read you what you said in interview and see if that
8 is, as you told us, still your position about the question of town
10 MS. KORNER: This is at page 35 in English and 30 in B/C/S.
11 Sorry, 30012, please; 65 ter.
12 Q. Now, you were asked about -- in fact, the original question was
13 about joint operations where the police were not resubordinated to the
14 military. And you said:
15 [As read] "in principle, if we are talking about a populated
16 area, you would appoint a commander, like I appointed one in Derventa.
17 Which in no way affects the tasks the civilian police is supposed to
18 conduct to preserve peace and order, just as I appointed the town
19 commander for Brod. The police would conduct their own affairs of
20 prevention of robberies, murder, et cetera, but regardless of that, you
21 would appoint a town commander, and the town commander is supposed to
22 co-ordinate the tasks and supposed to work together. The police is
23 supposed to maintain public law and order while the town commander
24 specifically is supposed to co-ordinate and organise, first of all,
25 battle-field clean-up, general removal of effects of combat operations
1 upon the town itself. And then, if possible, he is supposed to also
2 organise the work of utilities, et cetera.
3 "Q. So, in fact, a town commander would take over the civilian
4 part of the municipality until this is installed again?
5 "A. 100 percent correct. Until everybody who is supposed to do
6 their own jobs returns and starts doing them."
7 And then further down the page, you were asked:
8 "A town command is completely separate from a garrison command.
9 "Correct. A town command is a temporary body that exists until
10 civilian life returns to normal."
11 Those are the answers you gave last year. Do you still stand by
13 A. Yes, I do stand by them fully.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... thank you.
15 A. I agree with myself.
16 Q. Right. Can we then look, please, at one short matter about, as
17 it were, police/military co-operation. The question of prisoners. And
18 this is the next page, please, in English, and in B/C/S also.
19 At the bottom of the page in English you were asked: If you took
20 prisoners, what would you do with them?
21 And then you said:
22 "According to all military regulations, we're talking about a
23 group of enemy combatants, soldiers that you captured, a report has to be
24 made to the commander."
25 MS. KORNER: We need to go to the next page in English, please.
1 But it's still the same page in B/C/S.
2 Q. "The commander orders prisoners to be removed to the rear post --
3 rear command post. From the rear command post, they would be taken
4 to ... free territory, the free territory that we consider to be Serb
5 free territory, and turned over to the civilian authorities. From that
6 [sic] moment on, they would be in charge of the civilian legal bodies."
7 And then further down the page, you were asked:
8 "You are talking about what sort of prisoners? Those who were in
9 uniform on those who were apparently not in uniform in civilian clothes?"
10 And your answer:
11 "The soldiers that would have been captured during combat
12 operations would still be turned over to the civilian prisons. That's
13 how it functioned in my area of operations. I can only be responsible,
14 and I can only talk about what passed, transpired in my zone of
16 And then you explain how you didn't have the resources to feed
17 the prisoners.
18 You were later asked --
19 MS. KORNER: Perhaps we ought to go to the next page in English
20 and also in B/C/S, please, to page 32.
21 Q. You said -- you were asked about the -- you were mentioning the
22 Geneva Convention. And you said that:
23 [As read] "prisoners should be turned over to certain authorities
24 that exist in the liberated or free territory. Because in the area of
25 responsibility ... you only have military authorities. Everything
1 outside an area of responsibility is controlled by the civilian
2 authorities, and my zone of responsibility -- my area of responsibility
3 was so small that I wouldn't have had the needs to detail with a small
4 number of captured military of the enemy ..."
5 And then you were asked --
6 MS. KORNER: Next page, please, in English.
7 Q. -- about this question:
8 "You mentioned the free territories, which territories do you
10 And you said:
11 "The free territory was all the territory that was under the
12 control of the Army of Republika Srpska."
13 And then you said:
14 "... specifically in my case, we are talking about Doboj. They
15 had a prison. There wasn't one in Derventa or Prnjavor. Doboj was the
16 only place with a prison facility."
17 Are you therefore describing Doboj town, as opposed to the whole
18 of the municipality, as part of the free territories?
19 A. Is that the question?
20 Q. Yes, that's the question, yes.
21 A. Well, as I told I, the military judiciary was inoperable. And
22 this was -- unavoidable solution. Because wherever there were military
23 courts, the prisoners were brought before a military judge, usually at
24 the rear command posts. They would be interrogated there, members of the
25 enemy forces, and then the judge would decide the next course of action.
1 Since we had only a security officer either at the rear command post or
2 at my command post, it was he who interrogated those who were of interest
3 and then proceeded them to civilian authorities. But civilian
4 authorities were not competent and they didn't have adequate skill to try
5 the prisoners. But I didn't know what to do with them.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... just answer the --
7 A. They were a burden. I had to send them away. And there was a
8 prison in Doboj as well.
9 Q. General, truthfully you must just answer the question I ask,
10 because I really don't have very much time today.
11 All I was asking you: Whether you considered Doboj town to be
12 part of what you call the free territory.
13 A. Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
14 Q. Right. And one last thing - and I think then it will be time for
15 the break - on this question of co-operation and prisoners.
16 You were asked whether --
17 MS. KORNER: And this is at the next page in English.
18 Q. And it's page 33 in your language.
19 "Would civilians also be interviewed when they -- when you know
20 they are civilians?"
21 And you said:
22 [As read] "Of course. But you have to understand: civilians are
23 not captured. Where would I find a civilian in the middle of combat?
24 There is not a possibility that I would capture a civilian. If you are
25 talking about combat operations, there is no civilians in combat
1 operations ..."
2 Do you remember saying that?
3 A. Yes, I do. And that is correct. However, this propaganda about
4 us committing rapes, there was no one to be raped. There were only
5 military and police on the ground. But the western propaganda persisted
6 and insisted on us raping and strangling people, et cetera.
7 Please go ahead. I'm happy with my answer.
8 Q. Yes, you mentioned this in your interview, the question of rape.
9 What you're describing, therefore, finally on this topic, as combat
10 operations is two opposing forces fighting each other; is that right?
11 A. That's right. Two armed crowds, I would call them.
12 Unprofessional nations or armed people. Two armed peoples. The Serbian
13 army was not a professional one except in name only, and that applied to
14 the Muslims and Croats equally. And this kind of unprofessional army was
15 not subject to any regulations. It was a matter of survival. However,
16 you prosecuted only the crimes committed by us, and you didn't try any
17 Croats or Muslims, and this only exacerbates the hatred between these
18 three peoples.
19 Q. Sir, you've made your feelings clear, and it's been pointed out
20 to you before that you're mistaken in this. But we'll take it as read:
21 You regard this Tribunal as biased.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, that's probably an appropriate moment.
23 JUDGE HALL: So we reconvene in 20 minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.25 p.m.
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. General, I've been asked to confirm, and I do so: When you
3 describe "free territory," you meant territory that was actually
4 controlled by the VRS; that's right, isn't it? Can you just answer "yes"
5 or "no"?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I want to move, please, to Mr. Ninkovic that the Trial Chamber
8 asked you about before.
9 You and he, to put it at its lowest, did not get on very well,
10 did you?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And let's just have a look, please, at the exchange, part of the
13 exchange of letters that you had.
14 MS. KORNER: Could we have a look, please, at document which is
15 30028. It's tab 7A.
16 Q. And it's actually extracted from one of the books you wrote,
18 While we're waiting for it to come up - I think it's all right -
19 you wrote two books about 1992 or your experiences during the war.
20 A. That's correct, yes.
21 Q. Now, this is -- comes from your book and is your, if you like,
22 summary of the letter which is to come.
23 You recognise that; correct?
24 A. Yes, I recognise it.
25 MS. KORNER: And let's go, please, to the next page in B/C/S and
2 Q. And you put in a photocopy of your letter.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And it's dated the 4th of July. And it's to the Doboj Crisis
5 Staff. And let's summarise it because it's quite a long letter.
6 You talked about accusations that he was making.
7 MS. KORNER: And if we go to the next page in both English and
8 B/C/S, yes.
9 Q. Paragraph 4:
10 [As read] "If the gentlemen think that I and my army will take
11 over territories for them, while you, People's Deputy, Doboj Crisis Staff
12 member, and those in Derventa, Brod, and Prnjavor, will become what you
13 think you are and that you are irreplaceable. Where are you taking the
14 Serbian people. The people will not allow it - my deputy."
15 And then you talk about a legal state, not a political one. And
16 People's Deputy should know that there's no such thing as honest
17 authorities, and so on and so forth.
18 In summary, you were complaining, weren't you, that Mr. Ninkovic
19 and the SDS were taking credit for, as it were, the creation of the
20 Serbian state, which you believed was due to the army?
21 A. Well, roughly speaking, that's correct. I may go into details
22 and try to explain to you, but I see that you understand. Because
23 basically you know there's always a distinction between politicians and
24 soldier, everywhere, in the west and elsewhere. They try to win people
25 with the demagogy, whereas one has to do practical things in real life.
1 So this was more a theoretical conflict rather than a quarrel. There
2 was nothing for us to quarrel about. He was subordinated to me at the
3 time in my territory. I had mobilised him for a certain period of
4 times, but then an intervention came from above that he, as a people's
5 deputy, shouldn't be mobilised and that he had more important business
6 to do, though I never understood what that business was.
7 Q. Can we then look, please, at his response to you, which is 20044,
8 and it's at tab 8.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So one --
11 A. I was against Crisis Staffs. What is a Crisis Staff? The whole
12 country was in crisis. If you have a command and you have a municipality,
13 why do you need a Crisis Staff? But these were theoretical disagreements.
14 Q. General, again, can we just stick to the question I'm going to
15 ask you about this.
16 He -- he writes back to you on the 8th of July. He talks in this
17 first paragraph of there being four letters from you. In fact, you've
18 only got one in your book, and I don't think we've got the others.
19 And then in the second paragraph - do you see? - he says:
20 "With it you probably wanted to again establish how the civilian
21 government in Doboj is corrupted, how it is absolutely not working, so it
22 would be best to replace it with a military administration." Was that
23 your view, General, that, really, everything should have been run by the
24 military? That the country would have been better off if that were right?
25 A. No, that was not my general position.
1 There're bad leaders and good leaders everywhere. Just like you
2 have good officers and bad officers, army officers. But during the war,
3 I thought that this gentleman didn't address substantial issues, which is
4 to have the town functioning at all levels properly.
5 There was some government, but it can always be better, and my
6 intention is to improve it. If you ask them how many civilians were in
7 captivity, taken by the Muslims or Croats to the camps, they couldn't
8 produce a list. They didn't have any such information.
9 I hope you are satisfied with my answer. I am.
10 Q. And then he complains that you had absolutely no right or reason
11 to bring his name in connection with looting or other illegal action.
12 MS. KORNER: And then if we go, please, to the next page in
13 English, and it's still the same page in -- if we move it up slightly so
14 that the General can see. Thank you.
15 Q. He says he wants to inform you of the following:
16 "The Crisis Staff of the Serb municipality of Doboj did not come
17 into existence during or after but before the start of the combat for the
18 liberation of the territories of the Serb municipality ..."
19 And then at number 3.
20 MS. KORNER: So we need the next page, please, in B/C/S.
21 Q. "The Crisis Staff of the Serb municipality of Doboj was not
22 brought to power but, rather, with the help of the army and the police of
23 the Serb people of the Doboj municipality, it helped to organise and
24 liberate all the Serb territories in the municipality."
25 Now, you were not in Doboj at the time of the liberation, if you
1 like, but were you aware that there had been a combined political,
2 military, and police action to take over the town?
3 A. I don't understand your question. Doboj was liberated back in
4 1945. That's when it was liberated.
5 Q. Yes. All right. Well, the next paragraph, it -- it deals with
7 "Even though ... one-third of the residents of Doboj municipality
8 were of Serb nationality ..."
9 Were you aware that in May, beginning of May of 1992, there was a
10 combined military, police, and political action to place the Serbs in
11 power in Doboj town?
12 A. I'm not aware of that. But no action or operation was needed
13 anyway. Because in a civil war, as I said, birds of a feather flock
14 together. You can't speak about ethnic cleansing because people
15 instinctively flee to the area where they are in majority. Nobody was
16 ordering anyone. If you shell Sarajevo and you kill one Serb, then you
17 can hang me here for that crime. But you cannot even do that, because
18 there are no Serbs in Sarajevo any longer. 99.something per cent are
19 Muslim and there are a few Croats. And the same situation prevails in
20 Central Bosnia. So this is all propaganda, this notion of ethnic
21 cleansing. What it means was people were fleeing from one group to
22 another without anyone ordering them to do so.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... yes --
24 A. Please. I gave you an answer.
25 Q. No, you didn't give me an answer. Because it was a simple
1 question: Did you know that -- that power had -- right.
2 A. I didn't know about this.
3 Q. And, in fact, to cut this short, because you probably -- you
4 remember Mr. Ninkovic's letter, he complained that your allegations were
5 not true, and he asked you at the end of letter, please --
6 MS. KORNER: If we go to the last page in English, and it's the
7 last page in B/C/S.
8 Q. He wants you to come and meet him so you can see the results of
9 the work and wants you to withdraw the claims.
10 First question: Did you go and see him after he sent you this
12 A. No, I didn't.
13 Q. Did you withdraw the claims you'd made in the letter of the
14 2nd of July? Which unfortunately we don't have.
15 A. No, I didn't. He came to see me and he apologised.
16 Q. All right. So he came to see you and he apologised to you.
17 A. Yes, yes. They all apologised. That's how things were. I
18 wasn't prepared to tolerate anything. Why would I apologise to anyone?
19 It wasn't me who started the war. I never wanted it. I just happened to
20 be at the head of an armed people, and I defended this people. So these
21 were political and demagogical disputes. But at the time I was not in
22 the mood to have this kind of debates with him.
23 Q. All right. Would it be fair to say that because of your
24 personality and because you were head of the army in that area,
25 Mr. Ninkovic and Mr. Bjelosevic were, to a certain extent, frightened of
2 A. Yes, they were.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may these letters please be exhibited
4 and marked.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, we do object. I don't see particular
6 relevance of these documents at all for the -- for the issues in this
7 case. And I believe the witness said: "So these were political and
8 demagogical disputes," and I didn't have time for that at that moment. I
9 don't know -- I don't understand why is Ms. Korner trying to offer this
11 Thank you.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, could I ask -- would Your Honours be
13 kind enough to ask the General to take his earphones off for a moment?
14 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
15 Could you please remove your headphones.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, what our case is with General Lisica
17 is very much to the extent that, as he's more or less said now, some of
18 the letters one sees and some of the actions are, in fact, the result of
19 the General's personality. And these letters reflect, we say, very much
20 his personality. And, in addition, they are, of course, relevant to
21 the -- the -- the general evidence in respect of the take-over of Doboj.
22 JUDGE HALL: Isn't his answer to your question as you summarise
23 this series dealing with the questions sufficient? Isn't that the point
24 of -- to which you were leading up to which he -- he readily embraced
25 your suggestion?
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, yes. But nonetheless, they're still
2 relevant. I mean that -- nobody's said they're not relevant. And they
3 also deal with the issue of what happened in Doboj. Now, Your Honours,
4 at the time that we were putting in evidence about Doboj, we didn't put
5 these in because we had other documents, but they've now become relevant
6 and, we say, admissible. And if you look at the contents, it's clearly
8 [Microphone not activated] And, Your Honours, can I point out
9 also that Your Honours put down this topic - thank you very much - as the
10 relationship with Ninkovic as part of the reason why this witness was
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes. But I do agree that Your Honours put that as
15 an issue. And, again, as Your Honours correctly put it, the -- what we
16 have on the transcript is -- the witness confirmed that. And I don't --
17 I still don't understand how this document is relevant at all.
18 This is a letter which Ninkovic is sending to General over some
19 quarrel that they have between them, and this cannot -- this cannot serve
20 as any -- any exhibit that would -- that would help or assist the
21 Trial Chamber in finding the issues that Ms. Korner was mentioning.
22 Moreover, it was up to the Prosecutor to introduce this document
23 in -- as a part of their case, or during the cross-examination of
24 witnesses. Because we went through Doboj, we had Andrija Bjelosevic
25 here, we had rebuttal witness, and now only after all that we are faced
1 now with the additional documents that -- that the Prosecution is now
2 seeking to tender.
3 We do object.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, with respect, I couldn't have put this
5 to any of the witnesses from Doboj because Mr. Ninkovic has never been a
6 witness. Mr. Bjelosevic wasn't -- no one's to believe Mr. Bjelosevic was
7 aware of this correspondence. You have here the witness.
8 Your Honours, we're entitled to explore, within Your Honours'
9 limited, as it were, overview of what the witness may deal with, issues
10 which go directly to this case. And one of the issues is, indeed, not
11 just Mr. -- General Lisica's relationship with Ninkovic, but also the --
12 what happened in Doboj. And this is a relevant and admissible document.
13 It doesn't have to go to General Lisica's, if you like, credit, or
14 outlook. It can also be evidence, and it's there, if you look at what's
15 said by Mr. Ninkovic, which advances the evidence in the case about
16 Doboj, which is one of the municipalities in the indictment. And the
17 fact that we didn't put it in as part of our case is because we had a
18 limitation. As I say, we had no witness we could put this to. And now
19 we do.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry to stand up again. But, clearly,
21 Your Honours, the -- this letter was written by a third person. General
22 here says: I didn't accept that and I didn't apologise to him. He came
23 to apologise to me.
24 Now, quite the opposite from -- from that what we have on the
25 record, Ms. Korner offers this -- this document for -- for the truth of
1 its contents.
2 I mean, the -- actually, the -- the testimony that we have on the
3 record opposes this document's credibility or the contents of it as
4 credible. I don't really see the basis for that.
5 Thank you.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm sorry, it does not. He says he
7 doesn't know about the take-over. This is a declaration against
8 Mr. Ninkovic's interest, if you like, where he says the Crisis Staff came
9 to an existence before the start of the combat. This is page -- the
10 second page of the letter in English, if we can go back to it.
11 And Your Honours specifically said to General Lisica he was being
12 called to deal with matters that might highlight the evidence that they
13 had heard in the case.
14 Now, here is Mr. Ninkovic saying to General Lisica, who received
15 this letter. He did say he didn't apologise. General says he doesn't
16 know about this aspect of it. The Crisis Staff was not brought to power
17 [indiscernible] but with the help of the army and the police, even though
18 only a third of the residents of Doboj municipality.
19 That's all relevant evidence in this case. And the fact that it
20 comes in at this stage, we say, is neither here nor there.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mrs. Korner, what -- which -- which documents are
23 we talking about precisely? It's -- it's 7A and 8?
24 MS. KORNER: Yes.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE HALL: Ms. Korner, if we were to admit the letter that's
2 presently up, I think your application also embraces an excerpt from the
3 book. Why should that be added?
4 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] You mean the letter from
5 the General to --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MS. KORNER: You mean the first one? They're
8 both -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... tab 8. We're talking
10 about tab 8, Ms. Korner.
11 MS. KORNER: No, it's tab 8 I specifically want in.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes?
13 MS. KORNER: Yes.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: So the question is, suppose that we admit it.
15 MS. KORNER: Oh, do I want 7A as well?
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yeah.
17 MS. KORNER: No. I can live without 7A. Thank you.
18 JUDGE HALL: So the letter is admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2456 [Realtime transcript read in
20 error "P2466], Your Honours.
21 MS. KORNER:
22 Q. General, next, briefly: Mr. Bjelosevic; you've already described
23 your relationship with him. What you said to us in interview about him
24 was that you -- the two of you had a good relationship.
25 That would be right, would it?
1 A. That's right. I was on good terms with everyone.
2 Q. You said at page 95 - and I'm not going to ask for it to be
3 brought up.
4 "We would always find a mutually agreeable solution of what is
5 best in the cause of the defence of territory and the people."
6 A. That is right. We shared the same goal and task but as part of
7 different hierarchies or structures. There was no reason not to agree on
8 something. We were on the same side and not on the opposing sides. We
9 had a common enemy. If there is a difference of opinion, then people
10 engage in discussions that need not necessarily amount to arguments.
11 Even this issue with Ninkovic is something I don't see as an argument or
12 a conflict, because otherwise someone may have ended up in prison. We
13 simply had different points of view.
14 Since I was in a more senior position, I simply had the last say.
15 I told him to keep quiet and that things would be the way I decided, be
16 it for Ninkovic or Bjelosevic.
17 Q. Yes, quite. I think you've explained that.
18 You said at page 85 that you had informal meetings with him and
19 that sometimes this would be when he was touring, as it were, inspecting
20 the police who were on the front lines; is that right?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. And as you said on -- said on a number of occasions, effectively,
23 all of you, the political, the police, and the army, shared the same
25 And the ultimate goal was this, wasn't it: To establish and
1 control the territories declared to be part of the Republika Srpska, as
2 it became?
3 A. Correct. Correct. Well, we did think it would still be
4 Yugoslavia, but in the end it was Republika Srpska and Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 which had never been a state, a country of its own. But NATO became
6 involved and they had the might and dictated the terms. There's no
7 mention of any democracy there. It's just power.
8 Q. All right. Now let's turn to the general question that you were
9 asked earlier today by the Judges about resubordination of the police.
10 And look at what I said in interview -- what you said in interview was --
11 what you said in interview was correct.
12 First, is at page 28. Well, in fact, it started --
13 MS. KORNER: Sorry, can we have the interview up again, please.
14 It's 30012, and it's page 27 -- well, no. Let's start at page 28. 28 in
15 English; and 24 in B/C/S.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Serbian.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... yep. "Srpsko" is coming up.
18 A. As the language called "B/C/S" is non-existent. I only heard of
19 it here. There is Serbian, though.
20 Q. Yes. Don't sidetrack.
21 A. Well, you can't keep taking away things from me all the time.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... all right. In fact, the
23 question started the previous page, and I'm not going to trouble you with
24 that, because you were asked to tell us about resubordination by the
25 police to the army.
1 And then you said, as you told us today:
2 "The general principle was all the resources available to a
3 military commander in his area of responsibility are subordinated to the
4 commander. That means the presidents of municipal assemblies, Derventa,"
5 blah, blah, blah, "including the police in such a territory, civilian
7 And you were asked then:
8 "Was it war-time or peacetime?"
9 And you said:
10 "Only in the cases of an existence of the state of war."
11 And then at the bottom of that page you explained about the one
12 single task is the defence of the territory and the defence of the
14 Now, you then went on to explain, at page 30 in English and 26 in
16 A. I agree with everything that's written there. I agree with
17 myself. Everything that's on the paper is true. I said the truth.
18 Q. Okay. Well, then you explain that if you have a large front line
19 and you're lacking manpower, it's in the interest of the police and the
20 interest of the people that the police are acting on behalf to defend the
22 And you said that the police commanders that you commanded over,
23 they tried to explain to you the police were not a combat force, that the
24 police were going to be used for the control of the territory, which in
25 fact they were supposed to do, but you explained to them about the enemy
1 took over the territory, there would be no territory to control.
2 Now, I want to come to how the actual resubordination came about.
3 Could we go, please, to what you said at page 32 in English and
4 27 in Serbian.
5 You were asked:
6 "Did you ever consider in your mind during this period that you
7 had to make a request which had to be passed up the chain of command in
8 order to use the police in combat operations?"
9 And you said:
10 [As read] "No. I just ordered in my area of operations. If we
11 are talking about civilian police ... I think that the police requested
12 approval up their [sic] chain of command. Let's take for an example, we
13 have a police chief in Derventa. I put in a request. He forwards his
14 request to his superior and then his superior forwards the request to, I
15 don't know where, but let me tell you, in the end, they have to execute
16 what I ordered.
17 "Q. So you were aware that even if you gave the order, the
18 police had to go up its own chain of command because you actually phrased
19 this order as a request?
20 "Yes, that's how I did it. It makes sense. It's a logical flow
21 of sequence of events, but you have to consider that the chain of the
22 command of the military and the chain up to Mladic and whoever and the
23 chain of command of the police, they run in parallel to each other.
24 Ultimately, they end up with the same goal, which is why we had to
25 clashes, and everybody was aware ... probably there was lateral
1 communication. They probably spoke to each other."
2 So, just summarising what you were saying there, General: There
3 are two chains of command - the police and the military. You had to
4 phrase what you in your own mind considered to be an order as a request,
5 didn't you, because that's what had to do be done in any time when no
6 state of war had been declared?
7 A. In my area, we behaved if -- as if there was a state of war. In
8 other words, I would call Milosevic [as interpreted] or another
9 station -- police station commander and ordered him something, to do
10 something. He could not oppose that. Such a procedure did not exist.
11 But he was duty-bound probably to report to Bjelosevic and to the person
12 who was in the seat of the minister of the interior in that non-existent
13 state. And they probably would say, Do as you were told by the colonel.
14 Otherwise, someone would have to go. Either myself or them. And that
15 was impossible.
16 I was indisputable in my own territory. It's not as if I'm
17 saying one thing and was doing another. I did what I said. When I
18 called a municipal president to report to my office, he was always there
19 in five minutes. I don't even know how. When I asked Ninkovic or
20 Bjelosevic to come to my office, they did. There was no choice. It
21 wasn't as if they could say, I've got other things to do. When I said
22 so, it was their only thing to do.
23 Q. General, I absolutely accept you terrified the life out of these
24 people, and we'll see why in a minute.
25 But the reality was - the way things properly should have been -
1 that's what I'm putting to you - is that this had to be phrased as a
2 request, and each request had to go up the chain of command, didn't it?
3 A. That's probably true. I don't recall writing requests. I had no
4 time. Maybe one of my desk officers did. When I said that I needed
5 100 policemen along a front line or a police patrol, then my assistant
6 for security probably drew up this request, as you termed it, to forward
7 it to Milosevic [as interpreted]. In any case, my order had to be seen
8 through. For the most part. Such things were dealt with by my security
9 assistant, because he also attended the meetings. It was all dealt with
10 at the various meetings. If I needed the police, I requested that the
11 commanders of brigades and independent battalions be in attendance as
12 well as Bjelosevic or any other policeman.
13 Q. Let's just move through as quickly as we can, because I want to
14 show you some documents in a moment, what you said in interview.
15 The top of the next page in English but the same page in B/C/S --
16 in Serbian language.
17 A. Serbian. Serbian.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I changed it.
19 A. Thank you.
20 Q. The question was:
21 [As read] "When you used the police, when you ordered, as you
22 say, the police to take part in combat operations, was there a
23 time-limitation put upon it?"
24 Your answer:
25 [As read] "I took it upon myself to see that the use of police
1 for combat means was as short as possible. It never depended upon me how
2 long it would be. It depended on the complete situation at the front
3 line. I was completely aware that the police had its own share of tasks
4 to conduct according to the law that regulated their work and that the
5 phenomenon where they'd found themselves under me was a temporary one."
6 MS. KORNER: And then if we go down the page in English. It's
7 the next page in B/C/S -- in Serbian.
8 Q. "Would the police be mixed amongst the army or would they be
9 together in a unit?
10 "As a unit.
11 "Who would be their commander?
12 "Their own police station commander. In total they would be
13 subordinated, let's say, they were deployed within the area of
14 responsibility of the brigade to the brigade commander."
15 And that's right, is it?
16 A. Precisely. I agree with myself and what I said.
17 Q. Right. And you -- you dealt with this a little later.
18 MS. KORNER: Please, at, again, 69, please, in English; 58 in
20 Q. You were dealing with the term "co-ordination" which appeared in
21 one of the documents, and you said:
22 [As read] "the civilian authorities had their own task.
23 Co-ordination, is -- if you are going to use police, just means that the
24 police are going to be attacking in a co-ordinated fashion with our
25 military formations. If they are being put to combat use, not in a
1 police task -- not in police use. This only refers to combat tasks.
2 Then it's normal they should know I'm going attack towards this tree
3 whilst you are going to attack towards that house."
4 So the police were resubordinated to the military in your area
5 for the purposes of combat, is that right, fighting? Fighting the other
7 A. Correct. Everyone had their own axis of attack or area of
8 defence or a line of defence so as not to be exposed to friendly fire.
9 One needed to know where the rest are and when the artillery or aviation
10 were to come into play, as well as all other branches. It wasn't only
11 the police or the army. There were tanks and assets, and it was my role
12 as the commander to co-ordinate it all together so as to enable it to
13 work smoothly as a Swiss watch.
14 Q. Now, you were also asked --
15 MS. KORNER: Can we go, please, to page 97 in English and 82 in
17 Q. -- what would happen if this mutual agreement, particularly
18 between you and Mr. Bjelosevic, didn't work?
19 A. It was impossible to happen. Well, what would have happened?
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
21 A. We can presume. What would happen if there were an earthquake
23 Q. All right. Accepting it didn't happen with Mr. Bjelosevic except
24 over that exchange of letters. But this is -- I want you to look at,
25 please, what you actually said about this.
1 At page 97, you were asked:
2 "For once your good relationship with Mr. Bjelosevic failed. And
3 he said, My superiors in the ministry of the interior are supporting my
4 position that the police should be withdrawn. What would have happened
6 And your answer, as you say again:
7 "It never came to that. They knew me quite well and I knew them.
8 And considering that we had mutual goals to achieve, I don't think it
9 would ever have come to that."
10 And so the question went on that:
11 [As read] "Supposing Mr. Bjelosevic had said my superiors, the
12 minister of the interior, has ordered my troops come back to ordinary
13 duties, what would have happened then?
14 "Then such an issue would need be resolved by the Main Staff and
15 the Supreme Command. The minister -- the Ministry of the Interior, the
16 Ministry of Defence, that is the chain of events that would be produced."
17 And is that right?
18 A. That is correct. But when you discuss the good relationship
19 between Bjelosevic and Lisica, I wasn't Lisica per se, and neither was he
20 Bjelosevic as an individual. We were institutions and the common point
21 was our good relationship. But we were the people representing different
22 institutions. We were heads of commands, heads of units. And that is
23 where things need to run smoothly.
24 As for personal co-operation or personal position, that is
25 unimportant in times of war. The situation demanded that the two
1 institutions functioned well.
2 You say, If that would have happened. First of all, it was
3 impossible for it to happen. Even if it did, someone would have been
4 made to go, either me or Bjelosevic. But that would be resolved by the
5 Supreme Command and the Main Staff. But there could simply be no
6 situation in which he would not execute my order.
7 Q. Right. Well, I'm going to show you, as I say, in a moment, some
8 documents which you may think support what you say about the chain of
10 And I want to ask you one last thing about the interview.
11 On disciplinary or criminal proceedings, you were asked the
12 questions the Judges asked you this morning in -- or in interview last
14 MS. KORNER: Can we look, please, at page 44 in English; 36 in
16 Q. You were asked:
17 "If the civilian police unit is subordinated to the military,
18 will this have an impact on the police disciplinary system?"
19 And then the answers got slightly off track.
20 MS. KORNER: So can we go, please, to page 45 in English and 37
21 in Serbian.
22 Q. I better read the whole part.
23 [As read] "If during the course," you were asked, "of a period
24 when you were using a police force for -- a police unit for combat
25 operations a member of that police unit committed a crime or disciplinary
1 offence, who would be responsible for dealing with it - the military or
2 the police chain of command?"
3 And your answer:
4 "The police itself. But this is the way you should take it.
5 Whilst being engaged in combat activity, a policeman does not have a lot
6 of opportunity to commit a criminal act."
7 You were given an example: A policeman took a civilian prisoner
8 during combat operations and beat him up or killed him. Would you
9 consider that a crime?
10 You then say you gave an order. "If I find anybody who's killed
11 a civilian, he better shoot himself or I will kill him."
12 And then you -- the question: But supposing somebody was stupid
13 enough to ignore your threat and do that?
14 And you said he would be arrested and sent to prison. There is
15 no mercy for such things.
16 By whom would he be dealt with - the military or the police?
17 And you said: The first one that manages to capture such a
19 And then, it was asked -- a less dramatic scenario was put to
21 "A policeman refuses to obey the order given to him by his unit
22 commander," who you said would be the police commander, "who would deal
23 with him - the military authority?
24 "The police."
25 Now, that's right, isn't it? That policemen, when resubordinated
1 to the army, still remained policemen?
2 A. He was a policeman. But under a different hat.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. Instead of patrolling the streets, he was in the trenches. But,
5 nonetheless, a policeman. As I told you, our legal system had caved in.
6 It was broken into pieces. In normal situations all this would have been
7 handled by the military judiciary, starting with the level of battalion
8 and up. Since that was non-existent, we had a military court in
9 Banja Luka in the corps. There were many breaches of discipline that
10 were under the jurisdiction of the military judiciary, but such things
11 did not function, and I usually ended up in the position of a military
12 judge. Well, not me personally, but my command.
13 Q. But the point is this, isn't it: There are certain crimes which
14 could only be dealt with by the military courts in normal circumstances;
15 that's right, isn't it?
16 A. In war-time conditions, it is the military courts --
17 Q. But if a policeman committed a crime that was not a crime that
18 came under the military court's jurisdiction whilst he was resubordinated
19 to the army, he would be dealt with by the police chain of command
20 themselves, would he not?
21 A. I don't understand the question. Why is it so important?
22 Q. Never mind why it's important, General.
23 You've got a unit of police, say, 200 of the Doboj special police
24 that you acquired at some stage. And during the course of the time when
25 they are resubordinated to your command or one of your officers, one of
1 them commits a disciplinary offence. Would you, the army, take
2 disciplinary action against him; or would it be left to the police?
3 A. The procedure: I would launch the procedure against a police
4 officer who committed an offence during combat activity. Whatever is
5 subordinated to me -- or, rather, not me, to the command of the brigade
6 or the army, is dealt with by the army until it is taken out of its
7 jurisdiction, until the man returns to his regular tasks. As a police
8 member on the front line, he is subordinated to the commander, and the
9 commander must deal with all his offences until the resubordination is in
10 place. While he is subordinated to me, I deal with it; when he is
11 subordinated to the police, the police does.
12 That's logical. How else?
13 Q. Yes, but hang on a minute. Sorry. Have a look at your
14 interview, what you said there.
15 You were asked: "Who would deal with the man who,
16 resubordinated, refuses to obey an order?"
17 And you said there: "The police."
18 Now --
19 A. Military police.
20 Q. You meant to say the military police; is that what you're saying?
21 A. Military police, yes. That's what I meant. During combat
22 activity, then the military police deals with it. When he is patrolling
23 a village, then the civilian police deals with it; whereas, during combat
24 activity, it's the military police. If you're talking about mistakes,
25 but there couldn't be any mistakes. What kind of mistakes would those
2 Q. What powers did you as a military commander have to discipline a
3 resubordinated police officer? Could you demote him?
4 A. He doesn't have a rank. How can I demote him? But these are
5 theoretical questions. And that applies to peacetime. In war, it's very
6 different. I don't care about his status, if he's a corporal,
7 lieutenant, or whatever. For me, he is a fighter on the front line.
8 While he's subordinated to him [as interpreted], he reports to me. When
9 he is no longer there, then have them do to him whatever they want. But
10 while he's under my authority, then I punish him for his offences, or I
11 make proposals. But when I make a proposal, it must be done, that the
12 police officer be demobilised or something like that. But then such
13 things didn't happen. Then Milosevic [as interpreted] or whoever was the
14 commander in charge, had to act upon that.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... all right --
16 A. There can be no opposing opinions here.
17 Q. Okay. So what you're saying, as I understand it, is the police
18 officer who, in your view, has committed an offence, you then tell
19 Bjelosevic that he has got to demobilise him or do something to this
20 officer; is that right?
21 A. Well, there is -- there are those who are in a position to draft
22 such an order to implement what I ordered. But it had to be implemented.
23 Whether it would be Bjelosevic or my assistant for security, that's a
24 technical matter which I cannot comment. But when you say
25 Commander Lisica, that actually means the command, and the command is an
1 institution. And there are all elements there - security, intelligence,
2 logistics, communications, and so on.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... yes. No, this is what --
4 A. Somebody from my command would deal with it. And who would be
5 the one to dictate the letter or type it out, I don't know. But the
6 order would certainly be executed.
7 Q. All right. So I think the point you're making, General, is this:
8 You said earlier he didn't have a rank so couldn't demote him. He still,
9 as you said, remained a police officer, but serving as part or serving as
10 a resubordinated person to the military.
11 That's right, isn't it?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And so if any action were to be taken against him, short of
14 you're throwing him into prison or having him stood up at the wall and
15 shot, it would have to be taken, it would have to be taken by the police,
16 wouldn't it?
17 A. A court must pass a judgement to shoot somebody. It wasn't a
18 private war. That would enable me to take a pistol and kill anybody.
19 But since we didn't have courts, then it was up to the civilian
20 courts to deal with that, because there is no execution without a court.
21 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] Well, can we just have a
22 look, please, at --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MS. KORNER: Could we just have a look at a couple of -- well,
25 more than a couple -- some of the documents on this issue of the police
1 and resubordination.
2 First of all, can we look at document which is 30016.
3 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated] Tab?
4 MS. KORNER: Oh, tab 16.
5 Q. This is an order from the Krajina Corps dated the
6 5th of September -- sorry, to the command of the Krajina Corps from
7 General Mladic, dated 5th of September. Saying:
8 "Pursuant to the order issued by the Presidency of the
9 Serbian Republic ..."
10 And then it orders a battalion to be formed from the MUP in
12 This is right, isn't it, General, whether you liked it or not,
13 and I think you didn't much, that the Presidency or the president of the
14 republic had the power to order both the Main Staff and the police,
15 didn't he?
16 A. Yes, he did. So what's unclear here? Of course they had that
17 power. We called that the Supreme Command. I'm merely saying that in a
18 non-existent state, from a legal point of view, there can be no
19 Supreme Command either. But we had a Supreme Command anyway, in a
20 non-existent state.
21 Q. Then can we look, please, at document number --
22 A. Other commanders also had areas of responsibility, but those
23 areas were not investigated before this court, which is a sad fact for
24 the people there.
25 Q. Right.
1 MS. KORNER: Can we look next, please, at -- actually, it's on
2 the same point, the Presidency. Document, please, 30014. Tab 12.
3 JUDGE HALL: While that document is coming up, Ms. Korner, I
4 alert you that when we rise at 1.45 your time would have been exhausted.
5 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honours, I was hoping for five minutes
6 more because of the time we went through on General Mladic's diary, which
7 I think took about five minutes.
8 JUDGE HALL: I'm assuming that that would have been taken account
10 MS. KORNER: All right. Well, see how we go.
11 Q. Could you look, please -- yes, we've got that document. Now,
12 look, this is Zvornik, 25th of August, 1992. And it deals with the -- a
13 company from the Zvornik public security station. And do you see that it
15 [As read] "Based on the need to counter the offensive of the
16 Green Berets, with the approval of the Ministry of the Interior of the
17 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina ..."
18 So, do you agree, it appeared that, as you agreed, although not
19 in your area, approval had to be given by the minister for the use of
20 police troops?
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Perhaps the witness can read the document, because
22 I don't think that the translation is -- is proper. There is no approval
23 here mentioned in the -- in the actual document.
24 MS. KORNER:
25 Q. Could you read the first -- under "order," could you read out,
1 please, sir -- General.
2 Could you read it out, please, aloud. Sorry, could you just read
3 it out.
4 A. You want me to read it?
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... yes, please, because we need
6 a translation.
7 A. "Based on the needs expressed for the prevention of the offences
8 of the Green Berets, and with the approval of the Ministry of the
9 Interior of the Serbian Republic of BH, along the axis of Donja Kamenica
10 village and Srpsko Snagovo I hereby order an intervention company of the
11 Zvornik public security station is to be used as part of the
12 Zvornik Brigade to close the axis Jasikovci village-Grujici village, with
13 the task," et cetera.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... that's all right. Stop,
15 stop, stop. Stop, stop, stop. That's enough. I didn't need you to read
16 any further. Thank you.
17 So, General, so do you see, as far as the Zvornik Brigade is
18 concerned, the approval of the Ministry of Interior was obtained?
19 A. Well, that -- but here, too, approval was always given in Doboj.
20 You make a phone call and they say, Okay, we approve. And then the
21 correspondence follows.
22 Q. Yes, sorry, General, I understand that. And it may seem that I'm
23 asking silly questions, but if you wouldn't mind just answering them.
24 Can you have a look, please, at a further document, which is,
25 please, at 30005. Tab 34.
1 This is a report to the Drina Corps from
2 Lieutenant-Colonel Andric. Did you know him?
3 A. I did not.
4 Q. Who is saying, page 2 in English, paragraph 5:
5 [As read] "Please resolve the issue of commanding (use) of the
6 SJB unit (police) since they cite the decision of the Ministry of the
7 Interior regarding their deployment (they are under their command and
8 only the ministry can deploy them)."
9 So it would appear that in areas outside ones that you
10 controlled, General, the -- the system of getting approval from the
11 minister, or the Ministry of the Interior, was followed; would you accept
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Just if Ms. Korner can specify the time.
14 MS. KORNER: Yes.
15 Q. December of 1992.
16 A. I think that it may seem that way on paper. Everything was done
17 in agreement. The war and all the ministers of the police and the
18 military commanders met daily. It was a living organism. They always
19 talked. Of course, everybody tried to avoid being sent to combat. These
20 people also complained when I wanted to do so. And they said, But our
21 minister didn't give approval. And I would reply, I'm your minister now.
22 The soldiers from other municipalities were requesting to be sent
23 home and so on. Nobody likes war. They all wanted to be as far away
24 from the front as possible. It was business as usual. I believe you
25 English people understand that very well. You have war-time experience.
1 Q. Now, I want to put as a series of sentences to you and see if you
2 agree with them.
3 Throughout the war the civilian police participated in battles
4 through the area of the Republika Srpska. Do you agree?
5 A. I do, in principle.
6 Q. With the exception of a brief period in 1992, when it was
7 resubordinated to army commands in its place of operation, it was mainly
8 autonomous in action and under its own command.
9 A. I don't know of any police actions. Autonomous police actions,
10 what kind of actions would that be? Maybe actions against some
11 infiltrated sabotage group or criminals.
12 Q. If operations in the field were planned by the VRS Main Staff, it
13 would send a request to the Supreme Commander for the engagement of
14 police; and if the planning was being done by a corps, then its commander
15 would address the MUP organ in the area in question for the engagement of
16 their units.
17 Do you agree with that statement.
18 A. Well, these are probably procedures that were followed. It
19 always originates from the commander of the combat action. And then he
20 involves people in the procedure, and these would be the commands of the
21 military and the police. This was done to have everything covered
22 legally, but that didn't halt the execution of the order.
23 Q. All right. Okay. You were involved in both the Bosanski Brod
24 operation and the corridor operation. That's right, isn't it?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. Do you agree with this statement: For both the Bosanski Brod
2 operation and the corridor, in the case of planning, the Main Staff
3 applied the Supreme Commander, Karadzic, who approved the use of MUP
4 members? Were you aware of that? Or do you agree with that, rather?
5 A. I am not familiar with that.
6 Q. And now one final document, please. Could you have a look,
7 please - the two final documents, I hope - at 30020. At tab 25.
8 This is a report from Mr. Bjelosevic. He talks about the death
9 of Mr. Bijelic. And then says the same day you turned up to the
10 Derventa SJB, and this is October 1992, threw out the employees out of
11 the SJB building, stopped the traffic, ordered the commander to report to
12 you, and explained that the reason for these actions was to show the
13 Derventa politician how they should work. And whilst hurling countless
14 insults at them, you criticised their work.
15 Is -- do you remember that incident? And is that a rough
16 description of what happened?
17 A. No. I don't know. Well, it may be -- it may be correct. But I
18 think I would remember if somebody had been killed. This says that
19 somebody was killed, doesn't it?
20 Q. Does it sound like something you might have done?
21 A. Bijelic. No. What did I stop? What does it say? "Three
22 escorts, throw employees out of the SJB building ..."
23 Q. Don't worry about that. Can you look, please, finally at a
24 document 00494. Tab 11.
25 This is a report in July of 1992 from Colonel Vukelic. As you
1 put it, the late Colonel Vukelic. And I want you to just look at
2 something he said under paragraph 5, which is the next page in both
3 English and B/C/S.
4 Do you see he's saying:
5 "Morale in the units is high, with the exception of
6 Tactical Group 3, where erosion of morale has occurred because of the
7 arrogant attitude of ..." you, Colonel Lisica, as you were then towards
8 your subordinates, "... as well as his unprincipled treatment of some of
9 the officers. He is arresting people one day and demanding their release
10 the next day."
11 I take it you wouldn't agree with that. But it's right, isn't
12 it, that you did actually arrest -- or agree with the description of you
13 as unprincipled, but you were ordering a number of people on a number of
14 occasions to be arrested, weren't you?
15 A. I agree with what Vukelic says. I was arrogant.
16 Q. And then the last question that I have is this:
17 You told the Court earlier on today that your powers and your
18 opinion were derived from the ... the Strategy of Armed Combat; is that
20 A. I didn't understand the question.
21 Q. Sorry. You told the Court earlier today, when you were
22 explaining to the Court, rather expansively, that in a time of war
23 everything in your zone of responsibility came under your command. You
24 said that came from the Strategy of Armed Combat.
25 Is that right? Your powers.
1 A. That is right.
2 Q. Are you able to recall whereabouts, in what is a lengthy
3 document, you say you derived those powers? Where it says that.
4 A. I derive it from a book that's called Strategy of Armed Combat.
5 It was issued by the Supreme Command Staff of the SFRY and published by
6 the SSNO.
7 It was an official document, a public document.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I absolutely -- no, I'm
9 merely asking --
10 A. But if you want an exact reference to article, paragraph, item,
11 I'm unable to do that. We were taught at the Command Staff Academy in
12 Belgrade and I had to read it, but where it is exactly to be found, on
13 what page of the book, I don't know.
14 Q. All right. Thank you. That's all I ask.
15 JUDGE HALL: So we take the luncheon break, and when we
16 reconvene -- sorry.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: I have one small issue with exhibit numbers.
18 Madam Registrar, at page 39, line 16, we are at P2455. And at
19 page 67, line 18, we jumped to 2466.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, I think that the number should be
21 P2456. Thank you.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE HALL: So we resume at 3.00, when cross-examination by the
24 Defence would begin.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.49 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 3.01 p.m.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, just before the witness comes in for
4 cross-examination by the Defence, I have an application; that is, to make
5 the interview that was conducted with him an exhibit in this case. And
6 the reason for that is this: At the beginning of his cross-examination
7 by me, he said that he'd read it all, he agreed with it, and it was true.
8 Although I managed to put certain parts to him in the limited
9 time that I was allowed, I may say, I was not anticipating that his
10 evidence to Your Honours would be quite so different. I have not managed
11 to cover all the parts of the interview where he dealt with these topics.
12 Just taking, as an example, at page 79 he was asked about the 200 men
13 from Doboj, and he gave an answer at page 80. And there are a number of
15 So, in those circumstances, Your Honours, I would ask so that
16 Your Honour can evaluate his evidence today to you with the answers he
17 gave on those topics within the course of that whole interview.
18 As I say, time limitations meant I couldn't possibly go through
19 all the times he dealt with these topics.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: We object, Your Honours.
21 First of all, in the course of the cross-examination it was put
22 to the witness everything what he said in -- in his interview which --
23 which Ms. Korner was reading to him. So we have that all on the
24 transcript. I don't see why is there a reason that we introduce
25 another -- another document that is already in the -- on the record.
1 Because she was reading from the interview and asking -- asking the
2 witness to confirm that or not to confirm. And all the relevant parts,
3 as far as I can see, are there. I don't think that -- that the -- that
4 the application is justified.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE HALL: Of course, what I understand her application to be
7 is that notwithstanding the fact that she placed parts on the record,
8 it's the parts that were not thus placed on the record that she wants in.
9 Mr. Krgovic, do you have a view on this application?
10 MR. KRGOVIC: Your Honour, it was joint position.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I confirm that that's the point:
12 That there are many parts which I simply didn't have time to put in.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE HALL: The Chamber is of the view that we would not be
15 assisted by having the entirety of this interview entered as an exhibit.
16 And therefore the application is refused.
17 MS. KORNER: Can I ask whether a -- as it were, a redacted one,
18 in the sense of just dealing with the topics that Your Honours wanted to
19 cover with this witness? Or is that just a blanket no? If you see what
20 I mean. In other words, if we take out the -- obviously the interview
21 contains a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, but if we -- if we just simply
22 limit it and we obviously send it to the Defence in advance.
23 JUDGE HALL: Well, by its very nature, the -- an interview of a
24 witness before he comes into court is -- serves the purpose of putting
25 the calling party in the position -- well, principally the calling party
1 in the position to know, having proofed the witness, to know where the
2 witness is going. But there remains a distinction between that statement
3 and the viva voce testimony which the practice and the Rules of the
4 Chamber favour, so that between what the Chamber, whose witness he was,
5 and the cross-examining parties, the relevant -- notwithstanding the
6 witness's adoption of the contents of the interview in its entirety, the
7 relevant parts have been put into the record. And we don't see why it's
8 necessary to go further.
9 MS. KORNER: Sorry, Your Honour, that's -- but that -- I don't
10 mean to argue this one, but I just want to make this clear: My
11 application was made because - simply because - there was such tight time
12 limits put on the cross-examination. And as I say, I would have asked
13 for more if I'd known what he was going to say to Your Honours. Not all
14 the relevant parts have been put. That's -- that was my -- that's the
15 reason for my application. Sorry, I don't want to argue Your Honours'
16 ruling, but I just want to make it -- to ask whether you would consider
17 just those parts not read into the record and which relate to the topics.
18 That's all.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner, I think the point of the Chamber is
20 that for the purposes of which this witness was called, it is the
21 Chamber's opinion that you did, in fact, cover all the essential parts of
22 his testimony dealing with resubordination. It is true, as you say, that
23 you didn't cover all of them and that there are a few extra places or
24 pieces of his testimony that actually also deal well it, but adding those
25 to what we already have would make no difference.
1 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I won't pursue the matter
3 Then the only matter is this. Your Honours will recall that he
4 referred and, indeed, my last question was in respect of the
5 Strategy of Armed Combat which he referred to as the basis of what he
6 asserted were his powers in a time of war. Your Honours, it is in fact
7 an exhibit. Mr. Krgovic put it in. It's 2D160. But upon checking, we
8 discovered although the whole manual is in, in B/C/S, only about three
9 pages were apparently translated by the Defence. We didn't appreciate
10 that until we checked. We've actually got a full translation. And what
11 we propose to do, subject to Your Honours' and the Defence' agreement, as
12 it is an exhibit, is to ask the Defence -- to supply the Defence with the
13 full translation of the manual and ask for the translation to be uploaded
14 into e-court together with the B/C/S.
15 JUDGE HALL: I do understand the technical position to be that in
16 fact the exhibit is -- it's already an exhibit, but through oversight, or
17 whatever, the English version is not physically with the Court and it's
18 merely a matter of correcting that deficiency?
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's absolutely right. It's happened
20 from time to time. But because it's a Defence exhibit, we can't upload
21 the translation, so we have to provide it to the Defence to upload. But
22 I just thought I'd -- I'd let Your Honours know.
23 JUDGE HALL: Yes. Well, by whatever it is necessary for us to
24 order to facilitate this, we so order.
25 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
1 JUDGE HALL: So while the witness is on his way in, I would give
2 the usual reminder to Defence counsel that the two hours that you have
3 between you, it is up to you as to how you divide that time.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE HALL: I don't know who is going to begin. Mr. Cvijetic?
6 Yes, please proceed.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Cvijetic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] I'll have to cross-examine this witness because
9 the last time the division of time was at my expense, so I'm going to do
10 it this time.
11 Good afternoon. And before I address you, I'm going to remind
12 you of the question posed by the Presiding Judge as to how would you like
13 to be addressed.
14 A. Slavko Lisica.
15 Q. How about General Lisica?
16 A. All right.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, General Lisica, before I put the questions that
18 I planned to ask you, I'm going to return a document shown to you by the
19 Prosecution because I would like you to look at it again.
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] For the record, this is
21 Exhibit P01764; page 228.
22 JUDGE HALL: While the usher is doing that, I would point out to
23 the witness that when the witness and counsel both speak the same
24 language, it is necessary for there to be a pause to allow the
25 interpreters to catch up so there's no overlap. So after counsel would
1 have completed his question, General, before you attempt to answer, just
2 allow a few seconds for the interpretation. Thank you.
3 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. General, you remember this?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I see that the Trial Chamber does
7 not have the document on their screens yet, so I'd like to call up
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab number, please?
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] It's tab 35 from the OTP's binder.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Now we have it.
13 Q. General, since you wrote books, I am seeking a linguistic
14 interpretation from you.
15 If you look at the bottom of the page, where it says "Talic," and
16 then after "Talic," we have a colon; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In our language, could this mean that these were Talic's words
19 and then his words are being quoted? Now I'm just talking about a
20 linguistic interpretation.
21 A. Yes. That is how it should be. It should be the words of Talic,
22 and not Mladic, as it's written here.
23 Q. Now, if you look at the original copy, can you see that there
24 were some markings added in colour red?
25 A. Yes, yes, there are some additions.
1 Q. So, General, bearing in mind what you said about
2 Mr. Mico Stanisic, you firmly can confirm that you never said that?
3 A. I couldn't have said that because I don't know the man.
4 Q. Do you allow for the possibility, then, that somebody has reduced
5 and abridged all the discussion so that, as the final product, it is
6 impossible to determine who said what?
7 A. Yes, I do allow for that possibility.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm going to move to the questions that I
9 intended to ask you. And I would kindly ask the usher to give you a
10 rather voluminous binder with documents which is intended for you.
11 Now, please, the most practical course would be for you to
12 extract document number 3, because I don't think you can handle the whole
13 binder. If you look on the right-hand side, you will find the page
14 number. And kindly take out document number 3.
15 Take it out completely.
16 A. I was never good at office work.
17 Q. Separate it from the binder because you'll have to read it.
18 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I have to say for the
19 record that this is exhibit from our library, 00051, from tab 3 of our
20 Defence team.
21 I think that we still have to wait for the document to appear on
22 the screens.
23 L00051. Or if it's easier: L51.
24 Q. Now we have the document. And if it's no problem, can you please
25 go straight to Article 173 of the Law on the Army, because this is that
1 particular law; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. This is the Law on the Army.
3 Q. So could you please go to Article 173.
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] And for the benefit of the
5 Trial Chamber, we need page 24 in the English and page 17 in the Serbian.
6 Q. Article 173.
7 It's entitled: Command.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Have you found it?
10 A. Yes, I have.
11 Q. Now, General, this is a short article, so please read it first
12 and then I'll ask you something.
13 You don't have to read it out loud. Read it to yourself and then
14 I'll put a question to you.
15 Have you read it?
16 A. Yes, I have.
17 Q. You will agree with me, won't you, that these are three basic
18 principles of command in the army, although there are others, I know that
19 there are others, but these three are fundamental ones; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, you're right.
21 Q. The principle of unity of command with respect of the use of
22 forces and resources means ... something that I hope that you are going
23 to explain to us as briefly as possible, and I appreciate your assistance
24 in doing so.
25 A. An officer, or a commander of a certain unit, as far as this
1 principle is concerned, means that his orders must be obeyed.
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, we need to see Article
3 173 in English, so we have to move the right-hand part of the screen to
4 the right, or scroll it up, because we need to see Article 173, and it's
5 not there.
6 Okay. But we have to move to another column because that's where
7 it continues.
8 Q. So, in the army or in the combat zone or in the area of
9 responsibility of a unit there is only one commander.
10 A. Yes. And he is the commander.
11 Q. There is no army in the world and there is no military commander
12 anywhere in the world will allow to -- anyone to exert parallel command
13 in his area.
14 A. If he were to allow that, he would be a bad commander.
15 Q. If in an area of responsibility of the unit commanded by this
16 commander, let's say yourself, there are appeared an individual or a
17 group that is participating in combat operations but refuses to listen to
18 your command and are carrying out these operations according to their own
19 principles of command, you are authorised either to put them under your
20 command, to disarm them, and eventually arrest them if they committed
21 some offences in the process.
22 A. You are absolutely right. I can only repeat what you said.
23 Q. There's no need for that.
24 Let me move to the next principle. If you are in command, you
25 can carry out your commands only if this third principle is in place.
1 That is to say, that you can force all your subordinates to carry out
2 your orders; is that correct?
3 A. Precisely so.
4 Q. If you don't have that, then there is no command, there is no
5 army, and the whole concept, the whole pyramid of military organisation
6 will collapse; is that correct?
7 A. Yes. Now let me explain to you --
8 Q. Go ahead.
9 A. When I became commander of TG 3, which is an equivalent of a
10 division, I was fortunate enough to have trained officers at my disposal
11 because combat operations were being carried out along the corridor axis,
12 and, therefore, I was able to appoint trained officers as brigade
13 commanders, so I didn't have any problems with reporting.
14 In other corps, however, they had many problems with the reserve
15 forces but at the level of brigade.
16 Q. I'm going to ask you about all this. Just a little patience,
18 Now we are coming to which mechanism you can employ in order to
19 force your subordinates to carry out your orders.
20 If your subordinates refuse to carry out your order, in doing so
21 they commit a criminal offence by refusing to obey the order of the
22 commander in charge, and you are authorised through your security organ,
23 or military police, or military prosecutor's office to hand over such
24 principles to the judiciary for further prosecution. Now I'm just
25 speaking about the principle. Don't tell me how it was in practice.
1 A. Yes. That is how it should be done.
2 Q. If your assessment is that a subordinate individual committed an
3 offence which does not constitute a criminal offence, which means that he
4 committed a minor offence or misdemeanour, you have the power, as well as
5 the military disciplinary organ of the unit, to impose a disciplinary
6 punishment upon him; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. These disciplinary measures vary. One of those is the military
9 remand prison or transfer. For those who hold ranks, suspension of
10 further promotions, et cetera, et cetera. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, it is. And they can also be dismissed from their post.
12 Q. The last measure that you mentioned, you can send someone from
13 the rear to the forward front line so that can he experience how it is to
14 be on the front line. Is that an option as well?
15 A. Yes, it is an option.
16 Q. Now, General, we come to the next document that I would like to
17 show you. Would you please take out document number 2 from the binder in
18 front of you. And please don't put back the previous one, because we're
19 going to deal with it a little bit after we have looked at number 2.
20 So just open it and don't take it out.
21 A. I see it.
22 Q. Now go back to the first document, under tab 3, which we saw
23 first, and I will provide the reference number for the other document
24 once we get to it. But for the time being we'll remain with tab 3.
25 Please go back to the first page of the Law on the Army, where
1 the title of the law is.
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] So we are still with L51. We need
3 the first page.
4 Q. General, please read for yourself Articles 2, 3, and 4.
5 A. Under number 2?
6 Q. Number 3, the Law on the Army.
7 A. Which articles?
8 Q. Two, 3, and 4.
9 Have you read it?
10 A. I have.
11 Q. You will agree with me that we have a description of the complex
12 military structure; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In Article 4, we also have the hierarchy. In other words, who is
15 responsible to whom. Basically, there's a general term for military
16 personnel that is used, and we have the subcategories of the people who
17 fall within that single category; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. That category includes reservists or military conscripts from the
20 reserve while on duty. Is that something you can see in Article 3?
21 A. Yes, I can see that.
22 Q. Go now to Article 9, please.
23 There, we see that military units in certain cases are to be
24 manned by people from the reserve force as well; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now turn the next page, please.
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Let me see if the Judges have that
3 on their screens as well. Yes, Article 9.
4 Q. Which foresees that in the state of war or an imminent threat of
5 war military units may be replenished with volunteers. Do you see that?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. I can say that I have read all your books, documents, and
8 interviews, and I recall your testimony. I know that you have a very
9 poor opinion of volunteers as a category of people, especially those who
10 took part in this war, but here we are merely discussing the legal
11 concept of "volunteer."
12 Such volunteers, by their being placed under military command,
13 become military conscripts; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, could we -- could I ask Mr. Cvijetic to
16 read out the definition from the law of what a volunteer is.
17 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] No problem. These are people who
18 do not have their military assignment and were included in army ranks
19 upon their own request.
20 Q. Is that what it says?
21 A. Yes.
22 MS. KORNER: [Previous translation continues] ... just read -- it
23 doesn't talk about military rank.
24 MR. CVIJETIC: [No interpretation]
25 MS. KORNER: "War-time assignment" is what the translation is.
1 "Volunteers are persons joining the army at their own request
2 without a war-time assignment."
3 Not a military assignment.
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Did I say anything to the
5 contrary? Subparagraph 3 of Article 9. I believe we are talking about
6 the same thing.
7 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honours, I'm sorry, but it may be
8 important, as Your Honours know from discussions we've had. The English
9 translation in the document is: "A volunteer has -- does not have a
10 war-time assignment."
11 The translation that came out over the earphones, when
12 Mr. Cvijetic summarised it, was "military assignment."
13 The two are not the same. The word is not the same.
14 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I don't know where the mistake
15 lies, but the law does mention war-time assignment and I believe I read
16 it out as such.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It can be verified against
18 audio recording.
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. General Lisica, it is stipulated here that such persons are
21 placed under military command, whereby they have the same rights and
22 duties as military conscripts; correct?
23 A. Yes. Yes, it includes both rights and duties.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Counsel, is there a difference between being a
25 military conscript, on the one hand, and having the same - what was the
1 word you used? - the same powers or the same functions as a military
2 conscript? Duties. Sorry.
3 What I'm hinting at is that being a military conscript is not
4 necessarily the same as having similar duties.
5 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I have to confess that I do not
6 understand your intervention. We can repeat the legal definition of
7 these categories. The definition states that active military personnel
8 and the reserve, while on military duty, enjoy the status of military
9 personnel. That category includes military conscripts from the reserve
10 force when executing their military duties.
11 Is that clear now?
12 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, what are you reading, please,
13 Mr. Cvijetic? It's not clear.
14 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Article 3, paragraph 2.
15 So, reservists are considered military personnel while
16 implementing their military duties. I believe that is sufficiently
18 We can use an example to try and clear it up for the general.
19 Q. General.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. People from the reserve force can do all sorts of things as
22 civilians. They can be judges, attorneys-at-law, assembly deputies,
23 ministers, et cetera?
24 A. Yes. But such people usually do not make the reserve. At least
25 not the categories you mention. But we had many waiters though. But in
1 any case, in principle, it is possible.
2 Q. Yes, I simply meant to say civilian professions.
3 However, once there is a general mobilisation as an imminent
4 threat of war had been declared first, all persons falling within the age
5 band of 18 to 65, that is to say, all people from the reserve, including
6 those who do not have a military assignment, are duty-bound to report to
7 their respective military units; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: But, counsel, the -- to be -- to be labelled as
10 belonging to the military reserve, would that not follow from the
11 military assignment?
12 So you, if we take you as an example: You're a counsel, you're a
13 lawyer, an advocate, and in your military assignment it would say that
14 you belong to the military reserve in case of a -- of a call-up; is that
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is precisely the
17 topic I wanted to discuss with the witness, but gradually. And we'll get
18 to this particular issue. I was working my way up to a general call-up.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Well, make sure that you elicit from the witness
20 the position of people in whose military assignments there is no mention
21 of belonging to the reserve.
22 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I will, Your Honour. That was the
23 thrust of my questions. I was aiming to get there.
24 Q. So, General --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- when all these people respond to a mobilisation, their
2 civilian capacity ceases. And for you, as the commander, they are no
3 longer attorneys-at-law, judges, or anything else. To you, they are
4 military conscripts. In other words, soldiers. Correct?
5 A. In times of peace, units are formed where a military conscript is
6 supposed to report to a particular command belonging to the unit where
7 his military assignment is. In other words, every military conscript in
8 peacetime knows what unit he belongs to, and is he to report to that unit
9 or to that command where he had been informed to report to. That's in
10 the briefest possible terms.
11 Q. So, all able-bodied men who reached the age of 18 were supposed
12 to serve their military service.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Just wait. I have another question for you.
15 Once they have served their military term, they are issued an
16 important document called a military booklet; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In the booklet, they have the beginning and end date of their
19 military service.
20 A. Yes. As well as their military specialty.
21 Q. Please do be patient.
22 They also have the military evidentiary speciality, or VES; in
23 other words, what they were trained during -- what they were trained in
24 during their military service, their specialty.
25 A. Precisely.
1 Q. Any ranks are also mentioned, provided the person in question
2 attended a school for reserve officers.
3 A. Yes. Or the rank of squad leader if they were exceptional
5 Q. In other words, the rank of a commissioned or non-commissioned
6 officer is mentioned if one such rank applies.
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Once the military service is over, such a person is under an
9 obligation to report to a competent municipal organ when they are entered
10 in the military register of the reserve force or reserve force military
11 conscripts; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. His military booklet also mentions the war-time assignment you
14 mentioned. In other words, the unit such a person is supposed to report
15 to is mentioned in case of an imminent threat of war or state of war,
16 including the assembly point where he is to report to; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now I'm interested in the following. When one of them decides to
19 attend training for a civilian policeman, they either attend an
20 abbreviated policing course or enrol in a police school, whereupon they
21 are -- become civilian policemen. Once they are civilian policemen,
22 their status of a reserve military conscript is put on hold, and for as
23 long as that person is performing police duties and tasks, such a person
24 is not considered a military reserve conscript?
25 A. That is correct. And they probably attend military exercises --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: police exercises.
2 [Defence counsel confer]
3 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. However, when the status of imminent threat of war is declared,
5 or the state of war, the situation changes, General Lisica. Then all
6 from that age bracket, including civilian police officers and the
7 minister of the interior, are duty-bound to respond to the call-up;
9 A. Correct. Yes, that's how it goes.
10 Q. So that in the Ministry of the Interior from the minister down to
11 the lowest-ranking employee everybody is a military conscript; correct?
12 A. Yes. Under the law, that's how it is.
13 Q. Throughout their tenure at the police, they still have a military
14 booklet, don't they?
15 A. Yes, they do. If they served in the army. Although some police
16 officers did not serve.
17 Q. General, if it is assessed that the situation is such as to
18 require their participation in combat operations, they will have to get
19 uniforms and weapons and will have to go to war; correct?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. If it is assessed that the situation does not require the
22 participation of all of them in the war, they can discharge their regular
23 duties, but the people's defence body in charge issues them a decision of
24 labour or work obligation; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. That work obligation is their war-time assignment. It is no
2 longer their former civilian occupation, but becomes their war-time
3 assignment given to them by the people's defence organ; correct?
4 A. The work obligation usually coincides with the peacetime
5 occupation so people can continue doing what they did before the war. My
6 wife is an economist, and her work obligation involved continuing to work
7 as an economist in the bank where she worked before.
8 Q. General, I'm reading to you the definition of work obligation.
9 But we do agree that this is then their war-time assignment?
10 A. Yes, it is their war-time assignment.
11 Q. There's a reference to this in our legal library --
12 A. And under that war-time assignment, they can be obliged to work
13 longer hours. Instead of eight hours, say, ten hours or 15, whatever.
14 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] For the benefit of the
15 Trial Chamber, this is L58 in our legal library, Article 2, and it's a
16 decree on the organisation and discharge of work obligation for defence
18 Q. General Lisica, work obligation was no guarantee for any MUP
19 staff that, as soon as the following day, they wouldn't be sent to combat
20 wearing a uniform and carrying weapons; is that right?
21 A. In principle, yes.
22 Q. However, the following situation is also possible: That, in a
23 limited area, in the area of responsibility of one unit, the need arises
24 to draft a certain number of police officers for a certain time. Can
25 that happen?
1 A. Yes. Anything can happen in a war.
2 Q. General Lisica, the law provides for the possibility in such
3 situations that the commanding officer in that area to carry out that
4 mobilisation following the principle of resubordination. In other words,
5 you can issue the order to resubordinate a number of police officers who
6 will then have to join your soldiers in combat activities; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Once they join their -- join your unit to take part in combat
9 operations, their civilian authority stops and they participate in combat
10 operations with all rights and duties as everybody else; correct?
11 A. Yes, that is precisely right.
12 Q. Before we move on, go to document number 2 in your binder,
13 please. L1 is the document. It's the Law on All People's Defence.
14 Have you found it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'm interested in Article 104. It's on page 67 in English; and
17 in Serbian, on page 18.
18 A. I found it, 104.
19 Q. Let's go to page 67 in English and on page 18 in Serbian.
20 I suppose you've read it.
21 A. Yes, I have.
22 Q. I won't repeat so as not to waste time.
23 In other words, during the time they're resubordinated to you,
24 they are military conscripts belonging to the category of reserve
25 military conscripts. They are duty-bound to follow your orders and
1 comply with the military laws and regulations.
2 A. Yes, that is correct. That's exactly what the law says.
3 Q. Do read Article 104. It is very important that we see that this
4 applies both to the state of war and to the imminent threat of war; is
5 that correct?
6 A. Should I read it out?
7 Q. No. Just confirm whether that's what the law says or not.
8 A. Yes. That's what the law says in Article 104.
9 Q. General Lisica, if they, as military conscripts, breach the
10 principle that we have just discussed and commit some offence or
11 disciplinary infraction while they have the status of military
12 conscripts, they come under the jurisdiction of military, judiciary, and
13 disciplinary bodies; right?
14 A. Yes. Exactly. Just like any other military conscript.
15 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I've just been told
16 that we should finish at 4.00. If that is correct, I can stop here; if
17 not, I can continue.
18 JUDGE HALL: 4.30.
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Excellent. Then I'll continue.
20 Q. Let us now return to document number 7 in your binder. It is
21 Exhibit P1284.07.
22 A. Item 7?
23 Q. No. Just you go to Article 9.
24 Let us just check if this is the right document.
25 You already know which -- which law it is. It's the Law on
1 Military Courts. Do go to the first page and I'll -- is that correct?
2 A. Law ... yes, yes, yes.
3 Q. Go to Article 9, please.
4 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] And for the benefit of the
5 Trial Chamber, we are on page 2 of both linguistic versions.
6 Q. Please read Article 9.
7 Have you read it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Article 9 outlines the jurisdiction of military courts who is
10 tried by military courts for criminal offences, and Article 9 enumerates
11 these persons.
12 A. Yes. They are enumerated here.
13 Q. But then you are mentioned here too. I hope you don't mind my
14 saying that. It says an officer, because that follows from your status.
15 These courts functioned both in peacetime and in war-time. Do you agree?
16 A. Yes, I agree. Nobody is above the law.
17 Q. A police officer, while he discharges the duties of a military
18 conscript and while he is under your command, is tried by a military
19 court for any criminal offence if committed during the discharge of his
20 duties; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that is exactly how it is.
22 Q. So, from -- from ordinary theft to the worst war crime; correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the benefit of
25 the transcript, I will now state the references that corroborate what has
1 just been said. Exhibits 1D -- I may choose to show some to the witness,
2 but I'll just give the references first.
3 MS. KORNER: No, no, no, no. It is the "may corroborate."
4 Mr. Cvijetic can show the documents to the witness and then we'll see
5 where we get to.
6 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] All right. I will pick one. Just
7 give me a minute.
8 [Microphone not activated]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Let's take tab 22; Exhibit 2D0017.
11 Q. General, you have found the document?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It has only two pages. Have you found it?
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I dealt with this when I was asking
15 the General questions. He said, in terms, he had no dealings with nor
16 saw documents relating to the operation of the military courts, and
17 therefore all he can do is comment on this. So I don't see where we're
18 going to be taken.
19 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] He can comment.
20 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry --
21 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] You wanted me to show it. I just
22 want to read out the references, but you wanted me to show a document.
23 Why are you now backing out?
24 MS. KORNER: No, no, Your Honours, I'm sorry. The General can
25 deal with documents of which he has personal knowledge or understanding.
1 He has, in terms, said he did not see any documents dealing with the
2 running of the military prosecutor's office nor was he aware of the
3 detail of the military courts.
4 So he really cannot -- unless he says he's seen this document or
5 knows about its contents, he cannot be asked about it.
6 JUDGE HALL: Put another way, Mr. Cvijetic: Why would you be
7 spending time dealing with a document such as this if you know from the
8 answer that he has already given earlier that it -- he really can't speak
9 to it?
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is not a
11 problem. I don't want to embark on a polemic with Ms. Korner. But she
12 insisted that I show a document from which it follows that military
13 prosecutor's offices prosecuted all persons mentioned in Article 9 for
14 any criminal offences from theft to war crime, and that is corroborated
15 not only by this document but by all documents I wanted to list. But I
16 will content myself with the witness's answer and continue.
17 Q. General Lisica, while they are subordinated to --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Resubordinated to
19 your command --
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. -- police officers, as military conscripts, as you said, are a
22 legitimate military target for the opponent; correct?
23 A. Yes. The same way that I am.
24 Q. All right. They also have certain rights and duties, just like
25 you and other military conscripts. I will just mention some, and you say
1 if you agree or disagree.
2 Military laws and regulations are applied to their participation
3 as well as international conventions dealing with military conscripts and
4 soldiers; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Should they be wounded, they accord the status of military
7 war-time invalid; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. If they get killed, their family gets the status of the family of
10 a killed military conscript, or soldier; correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. While they are resubordinated, they must follow military rules
13 and regulations, execute the orders of the military commander, and they
14 have all other rights and duties that stem from their status as military
15 conscripts; correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And you have already answered this question. If they fail to
18 abide by military laws and regulations, they can be held responsible;
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. I'm going to mention another right, and I would like you to
22 confirm it for me.
23 While they are conscripts under your command and they have a
24 reserve-force rank, if they show valour during combat, the responsible
25 command can promote them to a higher rank; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And, lastly, a practical issue. If you, as a commander, think
3 that they committed a disciplinary infraction, you can impose a
4 disciplinary measure of a military remand prison, transfer, dismissal,
5 and so on and so forth, to any police officer resubordinated to you; is
6 that possible?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. General, I'm now going to move to some practical matters relating
9 to resubordination. I'm not going to show you any regulations. I'm just
10 going to check first whether you are familiar with that in principle.
11 In order to use the police force for military purposes and during
12 combat, is something to be generally decided by the Commander-in-Chief of
13 the armed forces? Are you familiar with that provision?
14 A. Yes, I am.
15 Q. The Commander-in-Chief, who, as we all know, is normally a
16 civilian, not a military person, has the right to issue orders, including
17 an order to engage the police, and he can delegate this right to the
18 commander of the Main Staff or the commander of a corps, a brigade
19 commander, and I think that this right to use the police ends at the
20 brigade level; am I right?
21 A. Yes, you are.
22 Q. I'm going to show you a document. It's tab 6 in your binder --
23 sorry, 62. 62. It's 1D00406.
24 It seems you haven't found it yet.
25 A. Yes, I have.
1 Q. Just browse through it. I'm going to give you two or three
2 minutes for that. And then we are going to discuss it.
3 Will you quickly move to the next page, because we only have here
4 the disposition of areas of responsibility.
5 A. Yes, it's all right.
6 Q. So, General Talic is making use of the legally provided
7 authorisation on resubordination, and in this order where he designates
8 the areas of responsibility of various units, and then towards the end of
9 this order he states this in very specific terms, that in the course of
10 carrying out combat operations all police forces shall be placed under
11 the command of the zone commander and he is the one who decides on their
13 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
14 Q. So, General Lisica, for each and every --
15 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. It seems that we have
16 to move to the next page in English. Yes, that's it. Towards the bottom
17 of the page.
18 Q. So, General, for each and every instance of resubordination that
19 you carried out in the area of your unit, you had the basis in this
20 order. And to all intents and purposes, you could have implemented this
21 order simply by ordering the chief of the police station or the chief of
22 the CSB to give a required number of policemen to you; is that correct?
23 A. Yes. But we dealt with this in -- during the course of oral
25 Q. Just be patient. We're coming to that.
1 So, you personally could have issued such an order even in the
2 absence of the order issued by General Talic; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If your assessment was that the situation on the ground is such
5 that the territory within your area of responsibility could come under
6 the enemy control, then you are entitled to recruit and draft the entire
7 staff of a police station or even the entire personnel of a Security
8 Services Centre; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Andrija Bjelosevic, while you were in communication with him, was
11 in resubordination by virtue of this order; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In response to a Prosecutor question, you gave us an extensive
14 reply about the co-operation that you had with the police force. You
15 would not issue any further orders to a police chief if he had previously
16 already placed all his --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between
18 questions and answers. Thank you.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So you cannot issue an order to an SJB chief if he already has no
22 police at his -- force at his disposal.
23 A. Of course I cannot. But it never happened that they were left
24 completely without their staff.
25 Q. I'm talking about this issue in principle.
1 A. In principle, yes.
2 Q. So, if you assess that the situation requires that, you can even
3 engage only one police officer, if he hasn't got more.
4 A. In theory, but not in practice.
5 Q. Now my next question concerns your communication with
6 Andrija Bjelosevic and other SJB chiefs.
7 Whatever the communication is, you have the last say. You -- you
8 cut through the cord's knot and it's up to you to decide eventually.
9 A. Yes. That is the situation provided both in the law and in
11 Q. So being a military commander, all your decisions have to be
12 translated into orders; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And pursuant to such orders, all those to whom these orders
15 pertain must obey them regardless of any other agenda that they might
17 A. They must obey.
18 Q. There's an old military saying, which says: Carry out an order
19 and then complain.
20 A. I used to repeat that during the war. If anybody didn't like any
21 of my orders, I have to tell them, Carry it out first and then complain
22 about it.
23 Q. Sorry. This was exactly my question, because that applies to
24 life in general.
25 It is possible that a police chief has serious problems if he is
1 left with a large -- without a large number of his police force, but he
2 nevertheless has to carry out your order, and then, subsequently, he
3 might put forward some comments to the command in charge for it to take
4 into consideration the reality; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General Lisica, I'm going to finish with two documents shown to
9 you by Ms. Korner. They are from the Prosecutor's tab 12 and 35.
10 Let me just remind you that this has to do with those cases in
11 Zvornik. 3014 and 3005.
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I suppose that this is an exhibit
13 number. Because there's no indication that this is the case, maybe
14 Ms. Korner can be of assistance.
15 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] 65 ter.
16 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. That's 65 ter 3005 and
17 3014; tabs 12 and 34.
18 Q. Let me just briefly remind you, General: In the transcript,
19 first, we have the wrong number then we have the correct numbers of tabs,
20 which should be 12 and 34.
21 Now, these examples that relate to Zvornik where there were some
22 problems with resubordination was something that was caused, according to
23 your words, by people refusing to go to the front line, et cetera.
24 However, being lawyers, we have to deal with principles here.
25 Now, this dispute that was described here could have resolved only in one
1 way, and that is by the commander in charge issuing an appropriate order;
2 is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. General Lisica, I have concluded my cross-examination, and my
5 learned friend, Mr. Aleksic, is probably going to continue tomorrow.
6 Thank you for answering my questions.
7 A. You're welcome.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... it's almost
9 time for break, so should I start now or tomorrow?
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I just wanted -- Your Honours, I
11 forgot, and indeed at the time I didn't think it was relevant, but the
12 Defence having addressed it, I would like these two documents exhibited.
13 It goes clearly now to the issue, that is, the one that Mr. Cvijetic has
14 just referred to, which is given the number 30014, and the second
16 MR. ZECEVIC: If I correctly remember, over the last document we
17 were talking, and Ms. Korner was complaining that the witness had nothing
18 to do with that document, he was not aware of it, and there is no basis
19 to introduce that document through this witness. And how is this a
20 different situation at all? Because the witness doesn't know, doesn't
21 know the facts behind it. We were talking about the principle, and I
22 think the principle has been established.
23 Thank you very much.
24 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honours, first of all, the witness can
25 talk to this of his own knowledge because this is to do directly with the
1 issue that he's been dealing with, namely command and control issues and
2 the use of the police. It's completely different from military court
3 documents about which, on his own a mission, he knows absolutely nothing.
4 And the fact is, he does know something about this because he
5 started to explain it. Mr. Cvijetic has gone back to it. And so I do
6 think it's appropriate on an issue which has become such a hotly debated
7 one, if I can put it that way.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE HALL: Mercifully, we're at the point where we would take
10 the adjournment for today, so we have a chance to remind ourselves as to
11 what these documents are.
12 General Lisica, we are about to take the adjournment for today.
13 Your testimony would resume tomorrow morning when counsel for Zupljanin
14 will begin their cross-examination. Overnight, I remind you that, having
15 been sworn as a witness, that you cannot discuss your testimony with
16 counsel from either side, or, indeed, inasmuch as are you a Chamber
17 witness, with any of the legal officers of the Chamber. And in such
18 communications as you would have with anybody else, you cannot discuss
19 the testimony that are you giving before the Tribunal.
20 So, with that, we would rise, and we would resume in this
21 court -- courtroom tomorrow morning at 9.00.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.28 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Friday, the 2nd day
25 of March, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.