1 Wednesday, 5 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.58 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: We regret that Judge Nosworthy is not with us this
6 morning for urgent personal reasons. We do expect that she will join us
7 later in the day, and we have in these circumstances decided that it is in
8 the interests of justice to continue in her absence meanwhile.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Obradovic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Judge.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: The examination will continue in a moment, but
13 please bear in mind that the solemn declaration to speak the truth which
14 you made at the beginning of your evidence yesterday will continue to
15 apply to that evidence today.
16 Mr. Visnjic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 WITNESS: MILORAD OBRADOVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Visnjic: [Continued]
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
23 A. Good morning, Mr. Visnjic.
24 Q. General, let me remind you where we broke off yesterday. We were
25 talking about meetings of the collegium of the Chief of General Staff,
1 first the one held on the 23rd of October when General Perisic explained
2 that the group that was in Podujevo would withdraw since there were no
3 activities there, but at the same time he retained the right to return
4 that group. Then you described to us how the negotiations went and what
5 General Perisic said at the negotiations to Generals Clark and Naumann and
6 what their response was. After that we talked about the collegium of the
7 26th of October, a day after the negotiations, when General Dimitrijevic
8 practically confirmed what General Perisic had said; that is to say that
9 he retained the right to return the troops if the KLA continued its
10 attacks. And we moved on to December, also in relation to what had
11 happened in Podujevo.
12 Yesterday we also went through a very frank discussion between
13 Generals Perisic and Ojdanic when General Ojdanic opposed the keeping of
14 any kind of combat troops in the area. You also told us yesterday about
15 the documents that you had, that the General Staff had, on the basis of
16 the reports received from the liaison team with the OSCE mission and we
17 started discussing the collegium of the 25th of December -- sorry the
18 collegium of the 30th of December, 1999, where there was a discussion
19 about these events.
20 From the discussion one can see that General Dimitrijevic had the
21 opposite view, and he said that the unit was withdrawn so that the KLA
22 would be provoked. Could you please give me your comments as to what
23 General Ojdanic's response was, or rather, what his opinion was and what
24 his information was.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
1 Defence Exhibit P928, the English version page 17, paragraph 1. The B/C/S
2 text page 18, the last three paragraphs. Could you scroll it down a bit,
3 please. [In English] No, no, sorry, previous page in the B/C/S, I
4 believe, page 18.
5 Q. [Interpretation] General, towards the bottom of the page you have
6 what General Ojdanic said. Could you give us your comments on these
7 remarks as you understood them.
8 A. Yesterday I already spoke about this problem related to Podujevo
9 and the assertion or opinion presented by General Dimitrijevic on the
10 basis of the overall situation that it can be assumed that that unit left
11 allegedly in order to provoke in the area where it went. I don't think
12 that's right because General Ojdanic in his remarks at the collegium, he
13 presented his view that perhaps the marching route that was selected was
14 not a good one, the one that that unit had taken. However, if we look at
15 the essence of the task that that unit had, we may conclude that this has
16 to do with realisation of regular training of soldiers who had joined that
17 unit at those training grounds. Any other conclusion in relation to the
18 stay of that unit in that area at that point in time would be
19 unacceptable, in my view.
20 Q. General, you had confirmation from several sources for this
21 assertion. One was the report that you received through the liaison team,
22 and I see here that General Ojdanic is speaking about a conversation with
23 the army commander. Who was commander of the 3rd Army at the time?
24 A. It should be pointed out here that the Chief of General Staff, or
25 rather, General Ojdanic then had contacts with the army commander, who
1 roughly said that to him. And then the commander of the 3rd Army was
2 General Samardzic.
3 Q. Thank you, General. General Ojdanic quotes General Perisic [sic]
4 here. Does that correspond to what General Perisic indeed told the NATO
5 representatives at --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, is that the correct English page we
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Oh, I'm sorry, Your Honour.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: No, it is not the correct
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] On English it should be page 17,
12 paragraph 1 --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: It is page 17 --
14 MR. VISNJIC: It is --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: It must begin over the previous page. The matter
16 is on the screen, is it?
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Only General Ojdanic's name is on
18 the previous page, but his remarks start on this page.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. General, in this text General Perisic quotes General Ojdanic. Is
22 that what you heard General Ojdanic saying to the representatives of NATO
23 during the negotiations on the 25th?
24 A. I think that this is reliable information. At the talks that I
25 attended with General Clark that General Perisic had, indeed, said that if
1 the agreement is abided by, fine; if the agreement is not abided by, if
2 the other side abuses it, then he retains the right for himself to return
3 troops to the area. This was confirmed in these talks, and he accepted
4 this; namely, that if they --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, as I understand it you're being
6 asked your recollection of what General Ojdanic said, not your
7 recollection of what General Perisic said. Am I misunderstanding?
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General, I think that we have a problem with the interpretation.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: That was exactly what
11 Mr. Visnjic said.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In this text General Ojdanic quotes
13 General Perisic and you can see that in the English text --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you look at page 4, line 22, you say: "In this
15 text General Perisic quotes General Ojdanic" --
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, that's mistake in
17 my mistake.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: So it's General Ojdanic quoting General Perisic?
19 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you move on can you clarify one thing
21 for me, is the point -- one of the points being made here that
22 General Ojdanic supported the withdrawal of all the units not just the one
23 in the Podujevo area but the other three as well or is all of this
24 evidence about the unit operating exclusively in Podujevo?
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, during the talks, at
1 the time of the negotiations, that is, in October, General Ojdanic
2 supported the position that all troops should be withdrawn to barracks.
3 Now in December we are only talking about the problem pertaining to this
4 unit that has to do with Podujevo.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: That's reassuring because that's how I had
6 understood it. Thank you.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. General, let me be precise once again. General Perisic in this
9 text quotes General Ojdanic --
10 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry.
11 Q. [Interpretation] I'll have to repeat this yet again. General, in
12 this text General Ojdanic quotes General Perisic. Does this correspond to
13 what you heard General Perisic saying to representatives of NATO during
14 the negotiations in Belgrade on the 25th of October in 1998. You can give
15 us a brief answer. We've received enough information about this.
16 A. It's all right, Mr. Visnjic, because I am so familiar with this
17 subject matter as I was a participant in these talks. General Perisic
18 told General Clark what I had already presented; namely, that if the other
19 side does not honour the agreement he would retain the right for him to
20 return part of the units to the area and that pertained to the unit that
21 had to do with Podujevo, too.
22 Q. General, once again may I remind you in the report of the liaison
23 team from the 24th of December that was shown to you yesterday, that is to
24 say the liaison team of the 3rd Army, what is stated is that the
25 representatives of the mission had been informed - I think that that is
1 the date, the 24th of December - that this unit would remain in the area
2 longer nevertheless. In these remarks made by General Ojdanic what is
3 stated are the reasons for that. General, was this roughly correspond to
4 what was discussed at the collegium and to your own recollection of that?
5 A. We received reports from the liaison team of the 3rd Army, in
6 which information was provided to the effect that the mission had been
7 notified of the fact that this unit went out to the training grounds. The
8 mission was following that. In the talks that General Ojdanic had with
9 General Dimitrijevic, he was not opposed to training at all; however, he
10 did express some dissatisfaction of his as to whether the moment was
11 right, whether that was the right point in time. So from our side all the
12 commitments stipulated in the agreement had been met.
13 Q. Thank you, General. We are going to move on to our next topic.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is Racak.
15 Could we please prepare P939. In English it is page 31, the last
16 paragraph, and page 32, first paragraph.
17 Q. General, this is the collegium held on the 21st of January, 1999,
18 held a few days after what had happened in the village of Racak. At this
19 collegium you discussed these events, am I not right?
20 A. Yes, at that meeting of the collegium there was a discussion on
21 the report that we received from the subordinate command in relation to
22 the situation that had occurred on the 15th of January concerning the
23 village of Racak. The Chief of General Staff asked, since from various
24 sides there was information coming in as to what was going on in the
25 village of Racak, and the position of the army in that. There was a
1 discussion in order to reach the full truth. The Chief of General Staff
2 ordered his deputy, General Marjanovic, that he should lead the group that
3 would, on the basis of information received from subordinate commands,
4 from diplomatic representatives and others come to the truth, the complete
5 truth because General Ojdanic insisted that the full truth be established
6 as to what happened in Racak and what they position of the army was.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I don't know whether this is P939.
8 It should be the collegium of the 21st of January.
9 I've just been informed that the date is wrong on this date, the
10 24th of December, but it is the document that I'm looking for. So could
11 we please have a look at the first page.
12 Your Honour, I think that it is clear now. Nevertheless, this is
13 the document dated the 21st of January, 1999. It is obvious, however,
14 that at the bottom of the page it is the 24th of December that is typed
15 out. But I think I can proceed now that we've dealt with that. I do
17 Could the witness please be shown page 31, the last paragraph, and
18 the first and second paragraphs on page 32 and the corresponding pages in
19 English, or rather, B/C/S.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there a problem, Mr. Visnjic?
21 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, Your Honour, I think I have a problem. Maybe
22 I'll go on on another -- [Interpretation] Perhaps I'll move on to the next
23 exhibit and come back to this one later because I seem to have a problem
24 with this one.
25 Q. General, we'll come back to this one later because we're having
1 technical problems at the moment, so we'll come back to this exhibit later
2 on. But now let's go back to the cooperation of the Army of Yugoslavia
3 with the verification mission.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Exhibit 3D409, please.
5 Q. General, the Chief of the General Staff designated you. What was
6 your function in relation to cooperation with the mission?
7 A. At the collegium of the General Staff, there was a discussion when
8 the agreement was signed and when we received from the federal government
9 the obligations taken on by the state in relation to the missions. It was
10 said that at the level of the General Staff a group, a team, should be
11 formed of senior officers to implement this task. The Chief of the
12 General Staff ordered that I be the leader of that team, and the team also
13 included representatives of almost all the sectors and administrations of
14 the General Staff. Two assistants were designated, General Panic was my
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see page 2 in English,
18 paragraph 3, please, that's point 5 of this document.
19 Q. In this order signed by General Perisic it was established how you
20 were to report to the Chief of the General Staff. Could you please tell
21 us what this actually looked like. How did you most often inform the
22 Chief of the General Staff about your work and contacts with the
23 verification mission.
24 A. I was authorised on behalf of the Chief of the General Staff to
25 attend sessions of the Federal Commission which were held as a rule once a
1 week. Secondly, I received daily reports from the liaison team from the
2 3rd Army, and the chief -- and I usually reported to the Chief of the
3 General Staff at the collegium concerning the conclusions and problems
4 discussed at the Federal Commission. If there were any urgent issues
5 arriving on a daily basis, I would go and see the Chief of the General
6 Staff personally to inform him. However, mostly information was given at
7 the collegium so that all the members would be informed about all the
8 problems concerning our tasks and the mission in Kosovo and Metohija.
9 Q. General, if we look at all the collegium sessions in that period
10 of time, we can get a more or less complete picture about the relations of
11 the Army of Yugoslavia with the mission and about what you reported to the
12 General Staff and the Chief of the General Staff. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct. This was a new task, so to say, set before
14 the General Staff and it was taken very seriously. That's why such a
15 strong team was formed including the commanders of the armies, where teams
16 were also set up, headed by generals leading those teams mostly in the 2nd
17 and 3rd Army.
18 Q. Thank you, General.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D405, please.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move off this. In that paragraph 5 it
21 says there will be daily reports with regard to the OSCE and NATO
22 missions. What was the NATO mission?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was a mission -- well,
24 agreements were signed with the OSCE and NATO regarding the anti-aircraft
25 defence in Kosovo and Metohija.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: There wasn't a separate mission of people from NATO
2 present on Yugoslav territory, though, was there?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were our representatives.
4 Three officers who were designated in Vincenza, and when it was concluded
5 that a security air zone should be established, all the anti-aircraft
6 defences were withdrawn from Kosovo and they monitored this. This had to
7 do with the NATO mission in Kosovo and Metohija. NATO representatives
8 were located, as far as I know, within the command of the air force in
9 Zemun at the time.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 Mr. Visnjic.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we will have a witness
13 here who will say more about this NATO mission.
14 Q. General, 3D405, that's the Defence exhibit we're looking at. This
15 is a document entitled: "Overview of the obligations and tasks and the
16 methodology of work stemming from the agreement with the OSCE mission on
17 the verification mission in Kosovo." This is a very broad title. Can you
18 tell us what the tasks of the Army of Yugoslavia were or, to be brief, are
19 the tasks of the Army of Yugoslavia contained in the document we see
20 before us now?
21 A. This is a document drawn up by the federal government, the state
22 was behind it, and almost all state institutions were given obligations
23 concerning the verification mission in Kosovo, and this includes the army.
24 If you look at this overview, the army was given significant tasks
25 connected to the missions starting from receiving accommodating, providing
1 health care, coordination, assistance, and all the other tasks linked to
2 setting up the OSCE and NATO mission in Kosovo. Based on these tasks set
3 by the top leadership of the state, in the General Staff it was said that
4 the army should, in a planned and organised manner, carry out all these
5 tasks in compliance with orders from the General Staff.
6 Q. Thank you, General. The document speaks for itself. We will go
7 into it in detail later on, but let's move now to 3D411, instructions
8 concerning the relations of the Army of Yugoslavia and the mission.
9 General, when was this document drawn up?
10 A. Pursuant to the obligations taken by the army and the General
11 Staff, the General Staff ordered the team to draw up certain documents
12 which were necessary for this mechanism to function, the mechanism of
13 relations between the army and the OSCE and NATO mission. And this
14 document was one of these. It was compiled right after the agreement was
15 signed in October 1998, in late October.
16 Q. The army, in fact, prepared a booklet containing a set of
17 documents concerning the implementation of the agreement; am I right?
18 A. We compiled a study in the General Staff, and that was the liaison
19 team for liaison with the missions, and it was delivered to all the
20 subordinate commands, the 2nd and the 3rd Army. And in conversations with
21 General Clark, General Perisic showed him that document and he presented
22 to him a copy of the first edition on that evening when we had the talks.
23 Q. Thank you, General. General, I would like now to comment on page
24 4, paragraph 2 of these instructions. Yes, yes, here we see paragraph 2.
25 I'm especially interested in this last sentence, what does it refer to?
1 A. As I said before, in the General Staff it was estimated that this
2 was a new task for the army as a whole because I have to say that apart
3 from the team that was designated, all the organs of the General Staff
4 were duty-bound in their areas of responsibility to contribute to
5 implementing our relations with the mission as successfully as possible.
6 The Chief of the General Staff concluded that this was one of the more
7 difficult tasks before the General Staff in the forthcoming period.
8 Q. And that's what it says in paragraph 4 of this same document; am I
10 A. Yes, that's right. This was the conclusion reached at the
11 collegium. The General Staff set up not only a team, but also all other
12 organs were included and each one had to carry out tasks relating to the
13 functioning of our relations with the missions in Kosovo within their area
14 of competence.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, I didn't understand the answer about
16 the last sentence in paragraph 2. The answer didn't seem to relate to
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. General, let's take another look at the last sentence in paragraph
20 2. What does this refer to? How was this situation envisaged, the
21 situation in which the army was?
22 A. Well, as it's defined here, all the commands, units, and
23 institutions of the army shall base their relations with the OSCE and NATO
24 verification mission until Kosovo and Metohija on respect to the
25 sovereignty and territorial integrity of the FRY, however --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not what you're being asked, you're asking
2 about the last sentence which is in English in a different form of script,
3 the part about armed attacks on members.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was about to answer that. If it
5 should happen that in our communications there is activity by the
6 terrorist forces - I'm referring to armed attacks on individuals or units
7 or facilities of the army - the army would respond according to the rules
8 of combat of use of units. This refers to the terrorist forces.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand, but why do you have that in this
10 document? What's the purpose of putting that sentence in this document?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The purpose was to link this up with
12 the previous one because relations are based on respect for the
13 sovereignty and territorial integrity of the FRY, and this was threatened
14 in a manner of speaking by terrorism.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: But did you have reason to think that your units
16 would act outwith the rules of combat?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Our units, as a rule, always
18 acted according to the rules of combat then in force in the Army of
19 Yugoslavia. It says here, "armed attacks shall be repelled according to
20 the rules of combat."
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it just -- I have to say it seems to me an
22 odd sentence in the context of the document itself.
23 But please continue, Mr. Visnjic.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, if I may put an additional question in relation to this
1 sentence. Does this perhaps refer to a situation where no special
2 approval is needed to repulse an attack?
3 A. Even in peacetime commanders were duty-bound to take certain
4 measures to oppose various forms of terrorism so that no special order was
6 Q. Thank you. And finally, let's see how reporting is regulated in
7 this document. The B/C/S, or rather, the English text at page 5, last
8 paragraph, and in B/C/S it's page 6, first paragraph, or rather, second
10 General, how at the time when General Perisic was Chief of the
11 General Staff, how was reporting regulated?
12 A. You mean reporting on the work of the missions?
13 Q. Contacts with the missions and reporting, or rather, informing the
14 missions on the activities of the Army of Yugoslavia.
15 A. We were duty-bound through our representatives in all the units to
16 establish almost daily contacts with the members of the mission in Kosovo,
17 and this was done. In this particular case - this has to do with the 3rd
18 Army and the Pristina Corps - we had teams in those commands and we had
19 liaison officers in the subordinated commands. And in the course of the
20 day, feedback was given as to what kind of contacts had been established
21 and the General Staff received this feedback, both in the operative daily
22 reports and in the reports sent by the teams from the 3rd Army. And there
23 was discussion on particular issues at the weekly sessions of the Federal
25 Q. General, you have now before you page 6 in B/C/S.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And could we also have page 6 in
3 Q. General, it says here that the teams and liaison officers are to
4 submit weekly reports; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's how it was envisaged in the agreement. Reports were
6 to be submitted as to the movements of units or company level or above in
7 Kosovo, and those who arrived in Kosovo from the interior and in Kosovo
8 itself as well as incidents in which units of the army participated and
9 the measures taken by the members of the army who participated in the
11 Q. Thank you. I'll ask you something now about the movements of the
12 units in Kosovo.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown P925,
14 please. That's a record from the collegium meeting of the 27th of
15 November, 1998.
16 Q. General, that's the day you had a meeting with General Andreja --
17 Drewienkiewicz. At that meeting you reported, or rather, you briefed
18 General Ojdanic at the collegium and this was his first working day, in
19 fact, about the current relations with the verification mission.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown in
21 the English text page 14, paragraphs 2 and forward -- 2 to 10, that is.
22 Q. General, this is your contribution to the discussion. You are
23 briefing those present on several points, but what I wish to draw your
24 attention to is the paragraph in English at the bottom which begins with:
25 Lastly, General: "We draft these monthly reports and they insist on
1 being informed in advance of our movements ..."
2 What does this refer to?
3 A. We had the responsibility to submit reports on what would come
4 next, for the next session, what happened at this one. However, within
5 the framework of these conclusions there were a number of different
6 problems because this was the modus operandi. The report could have been
7 abused with the focus on the opposite side. Because if the activities for
8 the army for the next day were presented, this sort of information could
9 be misused, leaving the army in a position of inferiority, which might
10 then be taken advantage of by the terrorist forces, and they would
11 probably be the ones to abuse this sort of information and take some sort
12 of action based on that.
13 Q. What was your greatest concern, what sort of situation?
14 A. Because it was sort of present. According to some assessments,
15 requests were made that were not provided for in the agreement, that
16 access should be granted to certain facilities, especially problematic was
17 the request about the members of the mission exercising control inside
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you, General. We'll get to that.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we show B/C/S 14, page 14;
22 English page 16, paragraph 6 in English.
23 Q. Here is your contribution and here are the reservations you
24 express, and General Ojdanic had something to say, didn't he? Can you
25 tell us what.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Paragraph 6 in both B/C/S and
2 English. [No interpretation]
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Ojdanic insisted that there
4 was information that the army was bringing in fresh forces, and General
5 Ojdanic insisted that we should not be concealing anything but that we
6 should have the right information and that we should give the members of
7 the mission complete information, which is what they were to be
8 familiarised with. And this is exactly what was done. He ordered me, or
9 rather, the sector for this to function, among other things, because the
10 mission kept on growing that we, too, should adjust to this newly arisen
11 situation, that we should spot certain drawbacks, and I'm sure there were
12 drawbacks in our work, too, so that we might be able to carry out our task
13 as successfully as possible.
14 Q. Thank you, General. At the end of this collegium --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, please. It may be the translation,
16 but you said General Ojdanic insisted that there was information that the
17 army was bringing in fresh forces and insisted we should not be concealing
18 anything. Now, what is the reference to bringing in fresh forces?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was information that was
20 present. However, as far as we were concerned, this was nothing that we
21 didn't -- was presented to the members of the mission. At the time, no
22 fresh forces were being brought in.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: But your sentence -- your paragraph -- or your
24 answer, rather, began that: "He insisted that there was information that
25 the army was bringing in fresh forces ..."
1 Now, was -- were fresh forces being brought in?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, there was no information. There
3 was information -- no fresh forces were being brought in.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, are you saying that between October and March
5 there was no change in the representation of the VJ in Kosovo?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was change in December when
7 the new generation of soldiers came in. That was when one generation left
8 the regular military service and a new generation came in, and then there
9 was a change among the soldiers throughout the army, including the units
10 of the Pristina Corps. Now, this was a special activity, this was
11 planned, and this sort of information was made available in full to the
12 members of the mission, the mission in its entirety. That's what one
13 means by fresh forces. These were no fresh forces. This was just a new
14 generation of soldiers being drafted and an old generation leaving the
15 ranks of the army. Young soldiers were coming in, were being trained, and
16 this was used to bring up the manpower levels of the Pristina Corps.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And do you say that these rotations or movements
18 were reported to the KVM in advance of them happening?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this information was announced
20 when there would be the rotation of the soldiers and the numerical
21 strength that will be conducted.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Over the period from October until March, was there
23 any increase in the representation of VJ forces in Kosovo?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In addition to what I have stated,
25 that there was a planned rotation of some soldiers already in March, when
1 the situation assessment was such that there might soon be a NATO
2 intervention, some of the units were brought to the edge of Kosovo.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: When was that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was done sometime in March.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Was there no occasion when a rotation of forces was
6 taking place that the forces who should have left Kosovo nevertheless
7 remained there so that the bringing in of their replacements actually
8 increased the number of forces there?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those soldiers who were being
10 replaced, they went -- they went home. And in March, by a decision of the
11 relevant state authorities, the regular military stint was extended for
12 some soldiers in March 1999, for a group of soldiers, because of the
13 situation which was such that an assessment was made, that there would
14 soon be an intervention by NATO from the air.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So those soldiers were held back and
17 they remained in their units, not just in the 3rd Army, the Pristina
18 Corps, but rather throughout the VJ.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. General, can you please go to page 17 of the B/C/S, paragraphs 5,
22 6, and 7. In English the reference is page 19, paragraph 6 and 7, and
23 page --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not understand counsel.
25 Can he please repeat the reference for the page and paragraph.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, this is about a conclusion by General Ojdanic --
3 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, I'm sorry. English text, page 19, paragraphs 6
4 and 7, and page 20, paragraph 1, 2 and 3. Page 19 Dragoljub Ojdanic --
5 no, I think it's previous page. Yes.
6 Q. [Interpretation] General, you have before you the contribution of
7 General Ojdanic.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please just show the
9 Serbian text, next page, top of the of the next page, English. [In
10 English] Next page in -- yes, that's okay. I'm sorry, English page was
11 okay. English page, let's go back to page 19. And B/C/S page 17.
12 Q. There, General, you have General Ojdanic's contribution before you
13 now. As for the second paragraph, it reads: "I personally believe that
14 exceptional efforts and hard work are in store for us not least when the
15 entire verification mission arrives."
16 Please, in the light of what was discussed at the meeting,
17 comment. I'm talking about the prep meeting for meeting with General
19 A. This is when the extent of the mission grew to considerable
20 extent. The overall situation was analysed as well as the army's
21 responsibilities. There was pressure for us to respond in an adequate
22 manner to the situation we were now facing. General Ojdanic said that
23 there would be a lot of hard work in store for us and a lot of effort,
24 especially after the mission got there. This was a large-scale mission,
25 and it needed insight into everything that was going on in Kosovo on an
1 everyday basis, and we had to respond to this challenge from the level of
2 the General Staff down to the lowest-ranking bodies. In March we started
3 an analysis, throughout which we reorganized our functioning in relation
4 to the mission, among other things.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now be shown 3D438.
7 Q. General, these are minutes from the meeting with General
8 Drewienkiewicz. You were at that meeting, weren't you?
9 A. Yes, I was there when General Ojdanic talked to General
11 Q. As you were being proofed for your testimony, you went through
12 these notes. Is it consistent with how you remember the meeting?
13 A. Yes, I looked at it and this is the gist of what their
14 conversation focused on.
15 Q. General, let me draw your attention to one thing, page 2 in the
16 Serbian, there's a problem about protocol which was to be drawn up between
17 the mission and the VJ. In English this is page 3, paragraph 4.
18 General, can you tell me who General Pellnas was?
19 A. I think he was a representative of the OSCE. He was the
20 representative of the OSCE in Belgrade.
21 Q. And what about General Drewienkiewicz, he was also an OSCE man,
22 but he was their representative in the verification mission, right?
23 A. As far as I know- and I think I'm sure- he was Walker's deputy in
24 Kosovo and Walker was the heads of mission in Kosovo.
25 Q. All right. Let's have a look at this. General Pellnas is here
1 suggesting that a protocol should be drawn up and signed to avoid any
2 possible limitations and problems in the VJ's cooperation with the
3 mission. On the other hand, in this same document on page 3 of the
4 Serbian, which is also page 4 in, I think, the English. General
5 Drewienkiewicz, on the other hand, or rather, I'm sorry it was on the same
6 page. He says that six weeks had gone by already, time was running out,
7 and he had no intention of wasting any time drawing up the protocol. In
8 actual fact, OSCE people also had different positions as far as this was
9 concerned, right?
10 A. Yes. This was, in a way, a new kind of relationship and various
11 methods were tried in terms of carrying out the task. So the Chief of the
12 General Staff ordered that a protocol, set of instructions, be drawn up as
13 to how the methodology would be applied in relation to the verification.
14 We drew up these instructions and we offered this set of instructions to
15 the mission in Kosovo and Metohija; however, General Drewienkiewicz did
16 not accept our protocol instructions in their entirety. He believed he
17 needed no such instructions. He had the agreement, he had the provisions
18 of the agreement, and he thought that in a way he could do as he saw fit
19 because he had the powers to carry out any task that was entrusted to him.
20 So the protocol was not accepted in its entirety by the mission.
21 Q. Thank you very much, General. Could you please look at 3D557.
22 This is the collegium held on the 3rd of December, 1998. That is to say
23 that after the meeting with General Drewienkiewicz you submitted to the
24 OSCE mission the documentation that was required about arms, am I right?
25 A. Inter alia full information was required that did exist in the
1 General Staff. It had been done a lot earlier in accordance with Article
2 4 of the Vienna Agreement, subregional arms control, it was done by the
3 department subregional arms control. It had to do with all the weapons
4 from 82-millimetre calibre up, also combat vehicles, APCs, including air
5 force attack, helicopters, and aircraft. This task was carried out and
6 there were inspections coming from other states and our inspection teams
7 went to other states in order to act in accordance with the provisions of
8 the Vienna Agreement.
9 Q. Thank you, General. We'll deal with that later. Can you look at
10 page 6, paragraph 2 of the English text, and could you explain to us, this
11 is yet again some remarks by General Ojdanic. What kind of a letter is
12 this? You and General Panic are being ordered here to study a letter that
13 has to do with the verification mission, the OSCE verification mission.
14 What kind of a letter is this? What was the position of General Ojdanic?
15 A. At the collegium we were made aware by the Chief of General Staff
16 that a letter had been sent by General Walker --
17 Q. Sorry, General --
18 MR. VISNJIC: Page 6, paragraph 2 -- I'm sorry, B/C/S page 5,
19 paragraph 7.
20 Q. [Interpretation] I am sorry, General. You see here General
21 Ojdanic's remarks, and there's a reference to you and General Panic as
22 persons who are supposed to study a letter to the president. What was
23 this letter and what is it that you and General Panic were supposed to do?
24 A. I said a few moments ago that at the collegium General Ojdanic
25 said that some letter had arrived to the president of the republic from
1 the head of the mission, Mr. Walker and a task was given. When the
2 content of this letter is received as well as the political positions of
3 the top echelons of the state that we should study this carefully and see
4 what it is that is required in that letter by the head of the mission,
5 what the obligations were of the army based on that letter, and that he
6 would do his best to try to get this letter from various institutions, if
7 necessary, even from the president himself, that is what he said at the
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D786.
11 Q. Did General Ojdanic set up a Working Group from the General Staff
12 that was supposed to tour the 3rd Army and the Pristina Corps and see what
13 the situation was in respect of cooperation with the OSCE mission?
14 A. We analysed the overall situation, we followed the situation and
15 with a view to rendering assistance to the subordinate -- well, I
16 say "subordinate" conditionally. It all did not go that way. If I'm
17 speaking of the chain of command there was this expert team from the
18 General Staff and these officers were basically on the team, these
19 officers who were the most familiar with the subject matter related to
20 missions and they were sent to the area of the 3rd Army, basically to
21 Kosovo in order to carry out a control, render assistance to this team and
22 to the liaison officers so that they would function as well as possible,
23 that is to say this mechanism, so that problems would be noticed, so they
24 would be mutually resolved and in the forthcoming period this task would
25 be carried out as successfully as possible.
1 Q. General, just one thing can we explain something to the Trial
2 Chamber. If you say "conditionally subordinate," tell me, the mission,
3 the liaison team of the 3rd Army, it was not subordinate to the liaison
4 team of the General Staff; am I right?
5 A. Well, it was not a chain of command. This was an organisation.
6 Everything went through the Chief of General Staff. The Chief of General
7 Staff was the only one who could issue orders. So this was -- this was an
8 organisation within the function of command that carried out this task.
9 And naturally, I contacted the Chief of General Staff and he regulated
10 this through his orders and this was also done by the subordinate commands
11 through their orders in terms of engagement of parts related to the
12 mission in the army and the corps because I was directly subordinated to
13 the Chief of General Staff with regard to this particular issue, I was
14 related to him in this respect.
15 Q. And the leader of the liaison team of the 3rd Army, he was
16 directly subordinated to the commander of the 3rd Army?
17 A. Yes, yes, and in the Pristina Corps to the Pristina Corps.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down, note the
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, you referred to a letter from Walker
21 to the president. Did you actually see the letter?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally did not see this
23 letter. I just received instructions from the Chief of General Staff that
24 pertained to the army that were contained in this letter, this letter that
25 had sent by Mr. Walker to the president of the republic.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: But the plan had been that you and Panic should see
2 the letter; is that right?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were supposed to study the
4 provisions of that, that which related to the army.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You mean study the provisions of the letter?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the positions that were
7 presented there that the Chief of General Staff conveyed to us. He told
8 us to study this well and, in a way, analyse what pertained to the army
9 and the functioning of the army vis-a-vis the missions in that letter.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: So the position was relayed to you without you ever
11 seeing the letter? That's all I want to be clear about.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Mr. Visnjic.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Tell me -- let's move on to 3D787.
16 Q. This Working Group toured the units, the units of the 3rd Army and
17 the Pristina Corps, and when it returned it submitted a report. General,
18 you are aware of the content of that report; am I right?
19 A. Yes. As we can see in this document, the Working Group submitted
20 a report to the leader of the team in the General Staff; that is to say,
21 the team for liaising with the OSCE and NATO.
22 Q. Thank you, General. This report deals with problems in great
23 detail. I would like us to have a look at this in greater detail, too. I
24 would like to ask you for your comments regarding paragraph 2 on this same
25 page, it starts with the following words: "The mission of the OSCE on
1 several occasions..." Et cetera.
2 A. What is presented here is that the members of the mission have
3 been trying to verify that which pertains to the Vienna Agreement, or
4 rather, we thought that was not necessary. Then some information is
5 presented here that were allegedly present regarding the lack of
6 cooperativeness on the part of the army, and also that some positions were
7 not defined in relation to the provisions of the agreement.
8 Q. Let me ask you a more precise question, General. There was an
9 order of the Chief of General Staff, General Perisic, dated the 16th of
10 November, 1998, whereby the representatives of the mission were forbidden
11 from entering barracks; am I right?
12 A. Yes. The point was that they insisted that they enter the
13 barracks, too, that they tour the premises, that they talk to individual
14 soldiers to count the personnel, I'm saying this conditionally, and the
15 weapons and so on. We thought that was not regulated by the agreement and
16 that that was impermissible before a political decision was made that this
17 could not be done without an order of the Chief of General Staff.
18 Q. In paragraph 3, problems are referred to with regard to
19 verification of certain incidents in the field.
20 A. The agreement defined that members of the mission have the
21 obligation to control cease-fires and to verify incidents that took place
22 in the area of Kosovo and Metohija. However, the task was that once this
23 verification was over to create joint minutes that would be signed by both
24 sides. I don't know why, but some missions sometimes did not want to sign
25 these minutes.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 2 of this
4 Your Honours, if you look at paragraph 5 in the English, it's
5 still in front of you, it says: "The following positions of the
6 commission of the government of the FRY are explained ..." And then we
7 move on to the next page. Can we move to the next page in English,
9 Q. And, General, would you look at paragraph 5 of this document. Not
10 to be into great detail. Paragraph 5 itself is self-explanatory. Just
11 tell me, were these the positions that the army was duty-bound to carry
12 out in view of it function in the implementation of the agreement?
13 A. These are positions that were presented by this expert group and
14 this is contained in the report and these are the positions that the army
15 was carrying out. As you can see what is allowed is verification of
16 activities, entry into barracks is not allowed, and one of the conclusions
17 was to control and monitor cease-fires. As far as I know, there weren't
18 any combat activities in barracks, and therefore it was not necessary to
19 monitor cease-fires in places where they were not taking place, like the
21 Q. Thank you, General. We are going to move on to our next document.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask what may seem a naive question, but
23 perhaps you can assist me. Pretty fundamental to the agreements that were
24 reached in October was the level of forces, the numbers of forces, within
25 Kosovo. How did you envisage that being verified?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A plan was made in the General Staff
2 about transporting that group of soldiers that was supposed to go to
3 Kosovo to replace the units. This transportation took place by rail
4 mostly. A plan was made as to when this group, so to speak, would arrive
5 at the railway station in Kosovo, and the exact number of soldiers was
6 notified; that is to say, these new soldiers that were supposed to come
7 in, the new generation, that was fully submitted to the verifiers.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: So you expected them simply to take your word for
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It's not for taking our word
11 for it. Full information was provided by this, exact personnel levels of
12 the soldiers arriving in the territory of Kosovo for replacing the
13 generation that was supposed to withdraw from Kosovo.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you any idea what would have -- what was the
15 difficulty about allowing inspection of barracks?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the agreement did not envisage
17 that because the Vienna agreement implied control, arms control, of
18 12.7-millimetre calibres, larger calibres, so what was left was counting
19 personnel levels and light weaponry, and there was relatively little of
20 that, given the peacetime formations, and there was no political decision
21 made to carry out verification of what was in the barracks without a
22 special order of the Chief of General Staff in relation to such activity.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: So there was no problem? There was nothing you
24 could see, apart from the terms of the agreement, lay that aside for a
25 moment. There was no problem for you about barracks being inspected?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had that been agreed, there would
2 have been no problem whatsoever to have that carried out, too.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like to dwell on
5 this document for a few more minutes because at the end of this
6 document -- I'll just go through the English text. Towards the bottom of
7 page 2 there is a heading that says "proposals." Then can we move on to
8 page 3 in the English, and at the same time I would like to ask that the
9 Serbian text be moved to page 3 as well.
10 Q. General, can you see these proposals well, the proposals made by
11 the commission?
12 A. Yes, I see them.
13 Q. Now, in view of the question that was put to you by the Judge and
14 in view of what we had discussed, can we go through the proposals one by
15 one and can we hear from you what was done with regard to every one of
16 them. Was a protocol and verification made by the Army of Yugoslavia?
17 A. In accordance with the order of the Chief of General Staff, a
18 protocol was made and it's part of the document that can be seen that was
19 submitted to all units and I said a few moments ago well, this was also
20 given to General Clark so what was done was--
21 Q. Just slow down. This needs to be interpreted.
22 A. In order for the methodology of relations between members of the
23 army and the verification mission, in order for it to be defined in detail
24 as to what should be done together --
25 Q. General, do you know whether a new protocol was done in December,
1 do you remember?
2 A. In accordance with the situation -- the newly created situation
3 that necessitated the updating of these documents, we did update them
4 every now and then.
5 Q. Let's move to point 2 of these proposals. The positions of the
6 federal government, are they built into the order issued by the General
7 Staff in relation to the missions?
8 A. What was presented by the federal government was discussed, and
9 everything that pertained to the army was built into the documents drawn
10 up in the General Staff, and in the tasks of the army in relation to the
11 missions from the highest to the lowest levels.
12 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 3, minefields --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Paragraph 2, though, is the one that's relevant to
14 the issue of barracks inspection; is that right?
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Obradovic, is this something that you
17 undertook following this document? You were the president of the liaison
18 committee, were you -- commission?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was the team leader in the General
20 Staff for relations with the missions, and I acted for the Chief of the
21 General Staff in the Federal Commission. He was a member of that
22 commission, but I went to the meetings on his behalf.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And you'll see in this paragraph 2 that there was a
24 request to be made to the commission to forward positions on the
25 verification of VJ forces, equipment, and unit activities in written form.
1 Was that done?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I said that at the Federal
3 Commission. I presented the request of the General Staff that positions
4 linked to monitoring of the barracks should be put in writing. This
5 referred to monitoring the units in the barracks.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We expected these positions to be
8 delivered to us.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And were they put in writing? Were you given
10 authority to do this?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We received the political position
12 that until it is politically defined, monitoring of units in the barracks
13 is not to be allowed until further notice.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Whose decision was that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was a decision of the federal
16 organs, the decision of the state.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you help me more specifically? Who would be in
18 a position to make that order?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what the president of the
20 Federal Commission told me, Mr. Sainovic, he told me this.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to draw your
24 attention to the last sentence which says: "The positions are to be
25 incorporated in the VJ and GS order," and this order will be our next
1 document so Your Honour will be able to draw conclusions from that.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I would now like to move to point 3, marking of minefields. I
5 don't know how relevant it is to this case. Point 4: "Consider the
6 possibility of correction on the extended border area on the 3rd Army team
7 of experts' proposal."
8 General, briefly, if you are familiar with this team of experts,
9 was this done? What was done in relation to the border area?
10 A. I know that at that time they were working on it and that the
11 border area was extended because circumstances required it. I was aware
12 of that. As you can see, the team of experts in a way concluded that this
13 would be done.
14 Q. Thank you. Point 5, just a brief comment, why was a special
15 administration requested?
16 A. This was a time when we already had quite a bit of experience. We
17 noticed certain weaknesses and omissions on our part. This was something
18 new for all of us who were working on it, and as this was a voluminous
19 task, a very large task, at the collegium of the General Staff they wanted
20 to avoid any significant failures or omissions in future work, in future
21 dealings with the mission. The mission had increased in size on all the
22 areas on Kosovo and Metohija; that's why we thought that a separate
23 administration should be set up in the General Staff dealing only with
24 this job and that it should be a sort of organisational entity in the
25 General Staff dealing with relations with the missions and which could go
1 into these matters in depth, down to the last liaison officer.
2 Q. And point 6: "Consider the proposed organisational structure of
3 the VJ liaison teams and officers" refers to the same problem. Is that
5 A. Yes, that was one of our conclusions, that the structure that had
6 existed up to that point - and we already had a new organisational
7 structure of the teams in depth - that this should be analysed once again
8 and that in accordance with the newly arisen situation the number of
9 officers should be increased, especially officers, liaison officers, for
10 the missions.
11 Q. Thank you. And I assume that point 7 refers to the same
12 activities in proving the organisation of the work?
13 A. Yes. The Chief of the General Staff said quite a few times that
14 apart from this, many other officers from the General Staff, starting from
15 the generals, should have a place in these activities and these teams so
16 that the tasks can be carried out as best possible.
17 Q. Thank you. General, point 8, that's an important paragraph
18 because I see that the proposal here is to carry out daily exchange of
19 information with the mission, the OSCE mission, that is, as opposed to the
20 weekly exchange of information which had occurred previously. Let me
21 remind you that in the document we saw yesterday, which is a report of the
22 liaison team of the 3rd Army of the 25th of December, that the liaison
23 team of the 3rd Army was presenting a certain position, that is, that
24 daily reporting to the OSCE mission would be burdensome for them. But the
25 General Staff Working Group in spite of this proposed that there be a
1 daily exchange of information.
2 A. I think that the opinion of the Working Group was justified
3 because there were quite a few activities going on, and for the system to
4 function in the best possible way information should be exchanged on a
5 daily basis, although that had already been done but that this should be
6 made official and that exchange of information between representatives of
7 the mission and the liaison officers in Kosovo and Metohija should take
8 place daily.
9 Q. And points 9 and 10, these have to do with technical improvements,
10 including motor vehicles, mobile telephones, recruiting interpreters, and
11 so on and so forth. General, these proposals of the Working Group headed
12 by Colonel Kosta Novakovic, were they accepted by you and by the Chief of
13 the General Staff?
14 A. This was a complex discussion where the Chief of the General Staff
15 ordered all sectors, for example, equipping with motor vehicles, that
16 would belong to the rear; and then recruiting additional liaison officers,
17 that would be a task for the personnel and mobilisation sector; and then
18 officers had to be found in other units and other parts of the army who
19 could speak English and that their language competence should be checked
20 so that we could fulfil our tasks in the best possible way.
21 Q. Thank you, General.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have 3D408 page 1. We
23 will be looking at pages 1 and 2. This is an order of the Chief of the
24 General Staff of the 23rd of December, 1998, 23rd of December.
25 Q. General, this is one of the documents in which the proposals of
1 the Working Group were implemented; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. As you can see, in the heading it says: "In accordance with
3 the demonstrated need, experience is gained so far in working with the
4 missions. This now should be all brought together, and therefore the
5 Chief of the General Staff ordered that a single protocol for verification
6 of activities of the VJ be drawn up and that the representatives of the
7 army who were in the team," and then it mentions General Mladenovic and so
8 on and so forth.
9 Q. General, the conclusions of the federal government commission are
10 mentioned here. Is that the document that General Ojdanic requested from
12 A. Yes. The newly arisen situation required a response to this
13 question, and therefore this followed in accordance with the agreement.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document was
16 commented on by General Loncar, so I do not wish to go through the same
17 material again, but it provides the information the General has testified
18 about today. This is a summary document containing everything that has
19 been said so far.
20 Could we now see P939. This is the collegium of the 21st of
21 January, 1999. In English it's page 33, paragraph 5.
22 Your Honours, I definitely seem to be having a problem with this
23 document so I'll move on and I'll sort it out during the break.
24 934, the 11th of February, 1999, the collegium of the General
25 Staff, P934, please, page 20 in English and 19 in B/C/S.
1 Q. General, I'll ask you the following. You attended these meetings
2 of the Federal Commission. At any of these meetings was a conclusion made
3 that the army had been uncooperative?
4 A. In the methodology of work at the Federal Commission, analyses
5 were made by sector of the total situation, and it was concluded that
6 there were no elements indicating that the army had been uncooperative up
7 to that point on any significant issue. As a whole, it was concluded that
8 the army had carried out its tasks.
9 Q. And also in this discussion which is several pages long, pages 20
10 to 22 in English, let's not go into details now, the reasons for the
11 reorganization of the team are enumerated here. I'm asking you this
12 because there's more than one theory as to why the liaison team was
13 reorganized. Could you tell us briefly, what were the reasons for
14 reorganizing the liaison teams in the beginning of 1999?
15 A. As I've just said, the overall situation was being monitored, as
16 was the implementation of the given task. As the mission increased and
17 grew in numbers, more of our officers were required to be in present in
18 places where verification was carried out. So we concluded that we had to
19 increase the number of liaison officers and that we also had to include --
20 increase --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- The number of officers who spoke
23 English, that interpreters should be increased in number and that these
24 officers should be released from their other duties which they had been
25 carrying out according to the establishment because this was a very
1 delicate matter, working with the unit and also appearing in contacts with
2 members of the mission who had daily requests for contacts. So these were
3 the substantive reasons why based on information coming from below and the
4 assessment of the General Staff that the situation had to be revised in
5 order for things to function as best -- in the best possible way.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see P941 of the 25th of
9 February, 1999, page 23 in English, paragraphs 4, 5, and 6.
10 Q. General, you were aware that cooperation was not ideal, that there
11 were certain problems in cooperation with the OSCE. Did you discuss this
12 at meetings of the collegium? Was there any discussion of errors
13 committed by our side in the course of ...
14 A. Well, needless to say, whenever a task is received it must be
15 analysed both in terms of its positives and its negatives, and I must try
16 to be objective here, specially at the outset despite the enormous efforts
17 that we were making in the General Staff and especially officers down the
18 chain of command because in addition to liaison officers some other
19 officers from both the brigades and the battalions had to be involved in
20 contacting the mission. Entire mechanism had to be kept busy with this
21 task in order for it to be carried out in its entirety.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we pull up the page up to the
23 very top, the English page, and can we please go to the next page where
24 there's something about General Obradovic. Can we go to the next page,
25 please, 22, in English, the last paragraph --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Your last question hasn't been answered, but
2 perhaps you can seeking the answer somewhere else on the document. Your
3 last question was: "Was there any discussion of errors committed by our
4 side?" And it doesn't seem that there were any errors. Maybe that's the
5 answer you expected.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, were there talks at the collegium about any mistakes made
8 by our side and were there attempts, rather, was an analysis made of our
9 own mistakes?
10 A. I tried to say that we analysed the overall situation, and we
11 noticed certain mistakes which were understandable, especially at a
12 tactical level over there, in a bid to respond to all the requests made by
13 the verification mission. There were mistakes. Obviously, these were
14 then analysed by the General Staff, and the Chief of the General Staff was
15 adamant that we should get at the truth of what exactly was going on, how
16 this was working, and that measures would be taken in a timely manner to
17 help those people so that they would be able to carry out their own tasks.
18 This was frequently discussed at the collegium of the General Staff to
19 keep the number of mistakes down, to give direct assistance to the
20 officers who were in contact with the mission, and to avoid any
21 misunderstanding wherever possible to keep them down to a minimum.
22 Q. Thank you very much, General.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not sure if this
24 is a good time for our morning break.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if you have only a question or two on this
1 document you should complete it, bearing in mind the technological
2 problems we can have.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I was just going to show the witness
4 something, but it's not appearing on my screen.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what is it you want to see on the screen?
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] What I want to see is his
7 contribution. Maybe we can get that and he can comment. I can see the
8 Serbian now down towards the bottom of the screen. [In English] Yes,
9 that's okay. And English version should be paragraph -- yes. Also --
10 [Interpretation] pull the English page all the way down, please.
11 Q. General, can you look at the paragraph that begins with the
12 following words, or rather, with the word: "Next."
13 A. Yes, I see that. There was discussion about this at the collegium
14 and I said that we should not be in a situation where we concluded that we
15 were not able to analyse our own mistakes at each level in relation to the
16 mission. I pulled no punches here. I said that one needed to review the
17 situation so that we might be able to give timely assistance and to make
18 good any mistakes that were made and keep mistakes down to a minimum.
19 This was one of the conclusions that were reached and there was permanent
20 pressure by the Chief of the General Staff and all the other members of
21 the collegium to the effect that we should pay close attention to all the
22 reports to see what our responsibilities were at the level of the General
23 Staff and to provide assistance down the chain of command to keep the
24 whole thing working as smoothly as possible.
25 Q. If I look at this last sentence of this paragraph, General, you
1 requested daily reports on omissions and mistakes of both parties, our
2 party and the verification mission, too?
3 A. Yes, I was adamant that this should be done. I was one of the
4 most responsible people as far as this particular job was concerned. I
5 asked the Chief of the General Staff in no uncertain terms that he should
6 send out an order down the chain of command for written reports on
7 violations to be submitted on exceeding one's authority, and also
8 everything that had to do with any actions taken by us.
9 Q. Thank you very much.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think this would be
11 a good time for our break.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
13 Mr. Obradovic, we have to break at this stage for half an hour,
14 and would you please leave the courtroom with the usher, and we shall see
15 you again at 11.15.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Recess taken at 10.47 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.15 a.m.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Can we -- can we show the witness Defence Exhibit P935. This is
23 the 11th of March collegium, the 11th of March, 1999, page 11, paragraph
24 4, paragraph 5, and paragraph 6. [In English] English version. Page 10,
25 paragraphs 1, 2, and 3.
1 Your Honours, what you see before you is the English version. The
2 previous page contains the name of General Obradovic and nothing more. I
3 would like to focus precisely on the three paragraphs that begin with the
4 word "third." First, second, and third paragraph on this page.
5 Q. General, you spoke about reporting. You spoke about what you
6 demanded from the teams to report on our mistakes and on the mission's
7 mistakes, too. Can you comment on this contribution, this is the 11th of
8 March, 1999, the collegium. This is about ten days before the war began.
9 A. In the briefest possible terms, let me say this, the overall
10 situation was analysed that prevailed in Kosovo and Metohija. We
11 considered whether there was anything that could be done additionally to
12 improve the implementation of our tasks. That's why this was discussed
13 and a decision was later taken to send in some officers from some new
14 units to improve our operations and to avoid any mistakes in communicating
15 and working together with the mission that was in Kosovo at the time.
16 This is what the situation required because the overall situation was
17 growing in complexity, both domestically and abroad.
18 Q. When you say the overall situation was gaining complexity, both
19 domestically and abroad, midway through the third paragraph there is a
20 reference to the new focus on the border with Macedonia or on the border
21 with Albania. Who pursued these activities?
22 A. As I said, the situation was getting more and more complex at
23 every level and nothing was left to chance within the framework of this
24 overall situation. Predictions were made as to what might happen over the
25 short term in terms of combat-readiness, the general situation in the
1 army, and in terms of the implementation of all our tasks and missions.
2 Q. So what did you believe, General, at the time right follow over
3 the short term in relation to the Macedonian and Albanian borders?
4 A. Based on assessments made by the General Staff which were in turn
5 based on reliable information, the conclusion could be reached that there
6 might soon be an act of aggression and that the border was under threat,
7 very much so, in fact, especially from Albania.
8 Q. Thank you very much, General. Could you now please, or rather,
9 let us dwell on this for a minute longer. Despite this, improvements are
10 being planned for your cooperation with the mission, right?
11 A. Yes. We believed at the time that efforts to avoid aggression
12 would prevail and that we might be able to complete our tasks with the
13 missions. That's why we reinforced our teams and sent some of the
14 officers from some other units in order to be able to implement this task
15 in full.
16 Q. I'll now be showing you two exhibits about efforts to cooperate
17 with the Kosovo Verification Mission, the first one being 3D407. General,
18 briefly what is this?
19 A. You can see this document was produced early in March 1999. In
20 addition to everything that had been done up to that point, the General
21 Staff ordered that documents be studied such as the agreements mentioned
22 here on the NATO and OSCE verification mission in Kosovo, that the
23 resolution -- Security Council Resolution 1199 should be studied and all
24 the resolutions that had been adopted earlier, and that based on this all
25 measures should be taken so that any of our commitments and
1 responsibilities might be implemented in full.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] This document runs into about four
3 pages in Serbian, but despite that could we please show the last page of
4 that document.
5 Q. Can you just tell us about the diagram you can see in the Serbian,
6 what is that?
7 A. As you can see, this is one of the attachments to the study and
8 this shows the organisational chart of organs that were appointed in the
9 army to work with the OSCE and NATO missions. As you can see, there was a
10 liaison team in the General Staff and they were in touch with teams in the
11 2nd and 3rd Armies and the air force, and then down the chain of command,
12 as you can see. Down in Pristina there was a liaison team from the 3rd
13 Army, a liaison team of the Pristina Corps, all the way down to liaison
14 officers in garrisons wherever the units were, the VJ units.
15 Q. Thank you very much, General.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now show the witness 3D784.
17 Q. Please comment briefly.
18 A. This document contains conclusions that were reached earlier on at
19 the collegium as to what was to be done in order for the system that had
20 been set up in the army to function smoothly. Among other things, there
21 was this order by the Chief of the General Staff to send some officers
22 from some of the other units to detach certain officers that had other
23 responsibilities and commitments under the establishment, and these
24 officers were now sent to Kosovo. There was a three- or four-day seminar
25 in Pristina that was organised where a team of experts from the General
1 Staff organised to teach this seminar. Some members of the mission were
2 there, and one of the talks was given by Mr. Drewienkiewicz who was the
3 deputy head of mission. We tried to keep the contacts close between the
4 mission and us on the one hand, the general objective being the completion
5 of the mission's tasks.
6 Q. This document marks the end of our dwelling on the efforts made by
7 the VJ in a bid to improve and enhance cooperation with the mission.
8 General, you informed the collegium on several occasions about activities
9 undertaken by the mission, the Kosovo Verification Mission, and the NATO
10 mission in Kosovo. First of all, could you tell us what your sources were
11 as far as the activities of these missions were concerned; and secondly,
12 what were the salient features of the work of the Kosovo Verification
14 A. The information we got was just regular information, but we
15 received through daily operative reports submitted to the command. I said
16 that those who were working with the missions, each of their commands had
17 a particular assignment. More accurate information was provided by the
18 liaison team in the 3rd Army, in the Pristina Corps. Information was
19 obtained based on analyses conducted by the Federal Commission. They had
20 weekly discussions, among other things, about the work of the mission and
21 there were other sources of information on the overall effect of the
22 mission's work in Kosovo and Metohija.
23 Q. And what were the salient features of their work, the work of the
24 Kosovo Verification Mission?
25 A. According to the agreement, the focus of their work was to be an
1 maintaining cease-fires, on monitoring movements by units, and on
2 verifying any violations or clashes that were breaking out. However, in
3 addition to this and despite all of their best efforts, there were
4 elements that exceeded their purview and there were attempts being made by
5 them to do things that were outside the agreement, at least the way we
6 understood it.
7 Additional information was sought, special problem was posed by
8 their unannounced arrivals, their liaison officers, and them visiting the
9 units unannounced, and this caused a great deal of hardship to the members
10 of the mission but also to us because all these visits were unannounced
11 and we had to comply.
12 Q. The 10th of December, 1998, collegium, and this is Defence Exhibit
13 3D484. English text pages 12 through 14.
14 You and General Dimitrijevic spoke about the problem of
15 notifications regarding replacements of groups of soldiers who were
16 supposed to come to Kosovo, and I think that both you and General
17 Dimitrijevic expressed certain reservations, reservations conveyed to you
18 by the commander of the 3rd Army at that regarding notification concerning
19 the time of arrival of the train with the recruits. Can you tell us
20 something about that?
21 A. This was a planned activity that went from the level of the
22 General Staff to the immediate personnel on the ground. It was a sizeable
23 group, three and a half thousand soldiers I believe. I think this is
24 reliable information. These were unarmed soldiers and they went only with
25 some of the indispensable equipment carried by soldiers when they are
1 being reassigned to another duty, and we were expressing our fear that
2 perhaps they would be a target for the terrorists to ambush them. In that
3 case, we would sustain losses without any possibility of reacting. That
4 was quite justified, and I think in a way members of the mission were
5 asked, although they received information as to when this train was
6 supposed to arrive with that group of soldiers, and to protect them, to
7 provide security, so that from that area they could go to different
8 garrisons. They arrive in a single place and then they're supposed to be
9 sent out to other garrisons and other units located in Kosovo and
10 Metohija. So there was a fear of abuse by the terrorists and that there
11 was the possibility of having these soldiers attacked, and these were just
12 young soldiers who had just completed their initial training. And this
13 fear was expressed by the commander of the 3rd Army, too. It was
14 indispensable for the mission to protect them so that this task could
15 fully be carried out in a safe way.
16 Q. Now that you're talking about safety and security of this group of
17 soldiers that arrived in December, what about the collegium of the General
18 Staff, were they concerned about the safety of the verification mission,
19 too, because according to the agreement one of the tasks of the army was
20 to ensure the safety of the verification mission?
21 A. We concluded, or rather, in accordance with the agreement and the
22 positions presented by the federal government inter alia we established
23 what the obligations of other institutions were, that is to say the MUP,
24 for providing security for the verification mission. And if there is any
25 kind of a special situation, the army should assist the MUP, I mean in
1 these activities vis-a-vis the verification mission. If necessary, the
2 army could be involved, too, this was one of our tasks because it was the
3 state that guaranteed the safety and the security of the verification
4 mission as a whole.
5 Q. Could you please look at the English text page 15, last paragraph,
6 of this same document, 3D484. These are the remarks of General Ojdanic.
7 General Ojdanic -- well, let's wait for the B/C/S version but I'm going to
8 read something out to you now.
9 MR. VISNJIC: It's B/C/S page 16 paragraph 3.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Until the text appears I'm going to read it out.
11 General Ojdanic says: "I put the question as to who was responsible in
12 this country and who should ensure that what the FRY has signed too is
13 carried out, that is to say guaranteeing the full security of the
14 verifiers, and I was told that it was the MUP." And then he says: "In
15 the event that the MUP forces could not carry this out, then the army
16 should be involved too."
17 General, that was the understanding of the army in terms of the
18 security of the verification mission?
19 A. Yes, this was a conclusion that was there, and I think it was
20 quite clear to us who were engaged in that work, if I can put it that way.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] While we're still on the same
23 document can we look at page 16, paragraph 5 of the English, and B/C/S
24 page 17, paragraph 2. It's the paragraph that starts with: "We have
25 major problems ... In relation to a single interpretation of existing
1 documents. This is the first attempt being made at federal level to
2 resolve that. I said as far as the army is concerned it's an operative
3 organisation and whatever is jointly concluded and delegated to us we can
4 implement as quickly as possible, but it is not up to us to interpret the
5 agreement reached."
6 Q. General, that was the position of General Ojdanic, and I assume
7 that that fits into what it was that you stated before other state organs?
8 A. On the whole that was the position of the General Staff because
9 the Chief of the General Staff insisted on everybody knowing what they
10 were supposed to be doing, what the obligations of the other institutions
11 were, so that we in the General Staff and the army know roughly what our
12 obligations were and what our powers were. According to what you said
13 just now, I never had any dilemmas.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at Defence
16 Exhibit 3D558, collegium of the 6th of January, 1999.
17 Q. General, within this month, we looked at the previous collegium
18 meeting from the beginning of December and now we've moved on to the
19 beginning of January. Something changed in respect to the verification
20 mission, didn't it? In your view, what would be the characteristics of
21 the activities of the verification mission in that period?
22 A. We analysed all these activities that were taking place primarily
23 in the area of Kosovo and Metohija. In one analysis presented by General
24 Dimitrijevic it was stated that the verification mission is acting in a
25 one-sided manner. They focus on the army and on the MUP and there is no
1 information regarding their attitude towards the other side. Secondly, it
2 was our assessment that there were quite a few cases in which the
3 verification mission overstepped its authority stipulated in the
4 agreement. Thirdly, that this overall attitude implied that something was
5 being done that was not indispensable if we look at the agreement, or
6 rather, the documents that regulated the relationship of the army, or
7 rather, the conduct of the army and of the mission in Kosovo.
8 Information was provided there that the verification mission and
9 the staff that is involved were predominantly ethnic Albanians; then they
10 had frequent contacts with the members, or rather, those teams, staffs, of
11 the terrorist forces. In some report it was stated that as a matter of
12 fact members of the verification mission are submitting information to the
13 other side about the activities of the army and movements of the army. So
14 there was a danger of them deviating from their basic purpose and them
15 dealing with some questions and tasks that were not defined in the
16 agreement. This analysis, or rather, on the basis of this analysis it was
17 possible to conclude that nevertheless in terms of certain elements
18 members of the mission were deviating from the basic obligations they had
19 according to the agreement.
20 Q. At the same time was there reinforcement of KLA activity, were
21 they stepped-up and what was the effect of the mission?
22 A. This is the beginning of January. In addition to all of this they
23 were supposed to influence the other side so that terrorist activities not
24 be carried out. As far as I can remember, in that period members of the
25 army, soldiers, were abducted in the area of Bajgora. That means that
1 this was a confirmed fact that the activities of the terrorists were
2 particularly geared towards the army in that period.
3 Q. I will take the liberty of reading this text, page 10 in the
4 English around the third paragraph, I'll read one of your conclusions that
6 "There are some conclusions that terrorism that is being carried
7 out now is basically aimed against the civilian population of both ethnic
8 backgrounds and vis-a-vis the MUP. In the forthcoming period it is
9 expected that it may be displayed against the members of the Army of
11 You said that, General, on the 6th of January, 1999, at the
12 collegium meeting. When were the soldiers abducted?
13 A. Well, this confirms our assessment --
14 Q. When, when, do you remember when the soldiers were abducted?
15 A. The soldiers were abducted on the 8th of January, 1999.
16 Q. Thank you, General. So that confirms that your assessment was --
17 A. This conclusion that was presented at the collegium of the 6th of
18 January, well on the basis of this reliable information was carried out
19 and this fear was proven straight away to be a well-founded one.
20 Q. Thank you. P936, could that be prepared, please, the collegium of
21 the 14th of January, 1999, the remarks of General Dimitrijevic, the
22 English text page 10 paragraph 4. And the footnote, footnote 1, so that
23 means that it's down there in the footnote. And these are the remarks of
24 General Dimitrijevic. In the Serbian it is page 9. I think that you'll
25 find your way. This is what General Dimitrijevic said and the footnote is
1 probably from the document submitted by General Dimitrijevic.
2 This footnote 1 says: "Part of the Albanian population believes
3 that the verifiers are following every step made by the Army of Yugoslavia
4 and the MUP, preventing them to fire at the KLA, and they are submitting
5 information about the MUP and the Army of Yugoslavia."
6 And then certain examples are referred to.
7 General, does this correspond to the information that General
8 Dimitrijevic had otherwise also been sending to the General Staff
9 concerning the KLA?
10 A. May I say straight away that General Dimitrijevic was head of the
11 security administration, I mean a man who very, very carefully monitored
12 the situation and assessed it accordingly. The information he presented
13 at the collegium and this specifically was information that really caused
14 concern and this was presented at the collegium of the Chief of General
15 Staff because that was what the actual state of affairs was, the
16 conclusion that the civilian population believed some elements of the
17 mission that they were following the activities of the army, that it was
18 being made possible for them to supply them with weapons, basic
19 necessities, food, and so on; this is a conclusion that led to a belief
20 not that they had gone beyond the obligations stipulated in the agreement,
21 but that conditionally speaking they had sided up with the other side.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, I can't find this on page 10. Can you
23 help me.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just opened my copy.
2 It is page 9. So could we look at the preceding page in English. English
3 text. [In English] Down, footnotes, yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, what was done about these concerns?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The conclusion in accordance with
6 what the head of the security administration was saying was to take
7 measures through federal authorities, to try to have the verification
8 mission ensure what was stated in the agreement, to prevent these
9 terrorist activities as much as possible of the terrorist organisations in
10 Kosovo and to make it possible to carry through those obligations stemming
11 from the agreement related to cease-fires, especially to prevent an
12 increase in terrorism in the entire area because you have seen for
13 yourselves that in that period of time what happened was what I had stated
14 earlier on, abduction of soldiers and stepping up terrorist activities in
15 the broader area of Kosovo and Metohija.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, that's the conclusion. What I want to know
17 is: What was actually done about these concerns?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When this conclusion was put forward
19 before the members of the collegium of the General Staff, certain measures
20 were taken to ensure combat readiness to prevent the terrorist actions
21 against the army, other institutions, and the population in Kosovo and
22 Metohija. And the highest state organs were certainly informed of the
23 situation in Kosovo in that period.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that all that was done?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In March the situation was quite
1 complex, as I've already said --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: This is the 14th of January, isn't it? Why did
3 nobody take this up with the -- why did no one take this up with the KVM?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In contacts with the members of the
5 mission, this was certainly discussed. General Loncar and the team
6 leaders there discussed all of this in Kosovo and Metohija almost on a
7 daily basis --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, what you're claiming here is that
9 there was discussion about KVM members operating in a one-sided manner,
10 overstepping their authority, giving highly sensitive information to the
11 KLA terrorists, and there was no formal protest, no letter written in this
12 bureaucratic system that you have to Mr. Walker to raise the matter with
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the level of the General Staff
15 this was requested. Requests were made for the state to take measures to
16 prevent such activities, and this was put forward at the Federal
17 Commission. The problems were raised there. Something should have been
18 done on the political level to prevent such things, but I cannot confirm
19 whether anything was actually done at the highest level or not.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Mr. Visnjic.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could the witness be
23 shown Exhibit P941, the collegium of the 25th of February, 1999, and I
24 think you will find some of the answers to your questions there. In the
25 English text it's on page 7, paragraph 3, what General Dimitrijevic said.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I would love to see evidence of what was actually
2 done. I mean, you can talk forever about these things, Mr. Visnjic, but
3 if something was done about them it would help us to know what was done.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we go through this
5 part I think we'll come to the answer.
6 Q. General, you should now have before you General Dimitrijevic's
7 remarks, the page in Serbian is 6, it's the last paragraph, and page 7,
8 first paragraph.
9 MR. VISNJIC: Page 6, this is page 7. [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Q. The last paragraph on page 6 says: "It's to be expected that
11 until the talks are continued the activity of all international
12 institutions in Kosovo and Metohija will continue ..."
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And could we now turn to page 7.
14 Q. " ... We put this on the verification mission of the OSCE with
15 regard to its behaviour up to this point, and we expect that they will
16 monitor all the activities of the security forces; and they will try to
17 collect evidence on their alleged use for purposes other than those that
18 are supposed to be used, the excessive use of force and so on, which
19 should be used for additional pressure on the FRY. It should not be
20 excluded that part of the intelligence gathered will be given -- will be
21 passed on to the terrorist forces."
22 General, does this reflect what General Dimitrijevic told you at
23 the collegium meetings?
24 A. I think this gives a full response to the question of what was
25 presented at the collegium and what the situation was. This makes clear
1 what the situation was and what was expected in the forthcoming period.
2 MR. VISNJIC: May I proceed, Your Honour?
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The same document, P941, English
5 text page 9, last paragraph, and page 10, paragraphs 1 and 2. Page 9 in
6 B/C/S, paragraphs 5, 6, and 7.
7 At this part I wish to draw the Court's attention to the third
8 paragraph from the bottom in the English text where General Dimitrijevic
9 says that he proposes that through the federal liaison commission with the
10 OSCE verification mission be cautioned through the federal liaison
11 commission that they should adhere exclusively to their mandate in the
12 agreement signed and that we advise them on our part that we shall no
13 longer tolerate their conduct which goes beyond the mandate given them.
14 And the next paragraph again, the very end of the paragraph where
15 General Dimitrijevic says: "I think that the state commission is
16 best-placed to give them an official warning that this kind of conduct
17 will no longer be tolerated."
18 Q. General, did you convey these positions of the General Staff to
19 the Federal Commission?
20 A. Yes, I did. My positions which were prepared for presentation to
21 the Federal Commission were identical to conclusions from the collegium
22 and the chief of the security administration discussed this and this was
23 one of the main tasks and conclusions which had to be presented to the
24 highest state organs, and this was done. And request was made that in
25 this period this should be done as operationally as possible.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there's just one more
2 example I would like to give. The collegium of the 11th of March, 1999,
3 Exhibit P935. English page 9 paragraphs 2, 3, 4, and 5, and this again
4 refers to General Dimitrijevic's remarks, the Prosecution often referred
5 to him in the course of their case.
6 Q. Could you please --
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The text in Serbian is on page 8,
8 paragraphs 2, 3, 4, and 5.
9 Q. Dimitrijevic comments on General Krga's remarks about the external
10 factor. And he says the following: "At the same time while external
11 pressure is being exerted they're trying to prevent the activities in the
12 territory of KM aimed at suppressing terrorism primarily through the role
13 performed by the verifying mission which in addition to the intelligence
14 related and subversive activity observed so far is trying to present the
15 terrorist forces, the illegal armed forces of the Kosovo Albanians, and to
16 impose itself as an influence over the international mediator between the
17 parties to the conflict."
18 General, I assume that this is a repetition of what we heard at
19 the previous collegium?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It goes on to say: "There are increasingly vocal -- they have
22 investigated whether in Djeneral Jankovic there is one or several
23 barracks, whether the army controls the border crossing in that place,
24 what kinds of weapons the army units securing the Yugoslav-Macedonian have
25 what identifying information there is about the commanders of particular
1 combat groups, whether the army units include Muslim soldiers, what are
2 defence activities are throughout the territory, whether certain units are
3 being demobilised, how the population were to react in the event of an
4 aggression by NATO, whether volunteers are being recruited," and so on.
5 General, in this list is there anything at all falling outside the
6 scope of the Kosovo Verification Mission's task?
7 A. This conclusion put forward by the chief of the security
8 administration speaks of what was already happening and what was being
9 prepared at that time. One can conclude quite a lot from this as to what
10 was to follow. It's interesting to note that they investigated especially
11 the Djeneral Jankovic area which is close to the Macedonian border so that
12 either the verifiers or somebody else, some other forces, were foreseeing
13 certain activities there. They wanted to have full information about
14 certain areas for the activities which might follow in the coming period.
15 The total assessments carried out in the General Staff - and I'm sure the
16 same assessments were made at a level of the command of the 3rd Corps of
17 the Pristina Corps - that the mission was overstepping the boundaries of
18 the tasks it was set by the agreement and that they were engaging in
19 intelligence work and other work that was not part of the agreement.
20 Q. Thank you, General. This concludes the verification mission
21 material. Now I would like to go back a little bit to the planning
22 function of the organ you were in, the operations staff sector. Yesterday
23 you explained the plans being made at a level of the General Staff while
24 you were the chief of this sector, and you said that the plan drawn up in
25 1999 was the Grom 3 or the Thunderbolt 3 plan. This plan was developed in
1 the second half of January; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. However, something happened before this plan was created. On the
4 15th of January there was an incident in the village of Racak and there
5 was quite a lot of publicity about this. Before we move on to the
6 planning function, let's look at the collegia where the events in Racak
7 were discussed, P939, the collegium, I hope, of the 21st of January, 1999,
8 pages -- in English page 30, the last paragraph and the B/C/S text page
9 27, last paragraph. General, you will remember that Racak was discussed
10 at the collegium?
11 A. Yes, it was.
12 Q. I'll now show you the remarks of General Ojdanic in connection
13 with this event. Please, explain to us certain points relating directly
14 to some of the participants in the meeting and the organisation of work of
15 the General Staff. General Ojdanic in this last passage on page 30 of the
16 English text says that a Working Group is being set up with General
17 Marjanovic in charge. What was the task of this Working Group?
18 A. The Chief of the General Staff ordered General Marjanovic, who was
19 his deputy at the time, to set up a Working Group to take the required
20 number of men to assist him to get an overview of the entire situation
21 concerning Racak, study in detail the reports from the subordinate
22 commands and the teams for relations with the missions, to gather
23 information available to various diplomatic institutions and other
24 information, and to prepare an analysis of the actual situation, what
25 really happened around the village of Racak on the 15th of January.
1 Q. When General Ojdanic says in this sentence: "I'm really
2 embarrassed that I, the Chief of General Staff, have to look someone in
3 the eye and say it is not true." He, in fact, wants to find out what
4 really happened so that he can give arguments when speaking to diplomatic
5 representatives and so that he can explain to them whether the army
6 participated in these events or not.
7 A. The significance attached to the information we had available is
8 shown by the fact that he designated his deputy to be in charge of this
9 group. Secondly, he attempted, not just he but the overall policy of the
10 General Staff was that we should have relevant information, that we should
11 have the truth regardless of what the truth was like. And so he insisted
12 on this and he said that he was embarrassed, it was embarrassing for him
13 as an individual and for the institution as a whole not to know what was
14 going on, especially when dealing with other organs and other countries,
15 representatives of other countries. It was embarrassing for them to have
16 information that he knew nothing about so that he wanted the truth to be
17 discovered at any cost.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Please turn the page. Let's turn
19 the page on both versions, the Serbian and the English. Paragraph 1,
21 Q. General Ojdanic says: "So whether we participated or not, it
22 doesn't make any sense. I really don't want to be put into that position.
23 In addition to this task, it is the task of this group to see, to explain,
24 the reporting system because this is now our main task, both of the
25 General Staff and of the army, primarily of course the Pristina Corps."
1 What is this in reference to?
2 A. The Chief of the General Staff, among other things, ordered at the
3 time in relation to the previous period to receive daily reports from the
4 command of the Pristina Corps as well in addition to the reports that we
5 were receiving from the 3rd Army. He ordered that the General Staff
6 should now be submitted a daily report by the command of the Pristina
7 Corps in order to make sure there were no discrepancies between the two
8 reports, because normally the corps command would submit reports to the
9 command of the army and the army command to the operations centre of the
10 General Staff. That's why he made this effort to get information from
11 where this was all happening, from the command level, and this was
12 relevant information that we could then use to get at the truth about what
13 was happening. He also ordered, and this was complied with, that
14 additional information be sought, additional reports, on everything that
15 the command of the Pristina Corps knew about the army's activities
16 throughout that period.
17 Q. So what happened next, General? Was anything done, were any steps
18 taken, or were these just empty words?
19 A. We received from the command of the 3rd Army this additional
20 report, the additional report could be used to infer in every way that the
21 army had not been involved in the activities around the village of Racak.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we please now show
23 the witness Defence Exhibit 3D559. This is the 28th of January, 1999,
24 collegium. The English reference is page 21, paragraph 1; the B/C/S page
25 18, last paragraph.
1 Q. General, this is the collegium of the 28th of January, the
2 preceding collegium was held on the 21st?
3 A. Yes, they were held on a weekly basis, collegium meetings.
4 Q. Here you have a brief verbal report from General Ojdanic. First
5 let me ask you something else. At the end of this sentence, or rather,
6 this paragraph, there is a reference to the village of Dac. Is there a
7 village called Dac in Kosovo?
8 A. As far as I know, it doesn't exist.
9 Q. What does this paragraph pertain to then?
10 A. It pertains to the village of Racak.
11 Q. Thank you, General. In this information you say to General
12 Ojdanic: "General, last time, I was given a task to inform you about the
13 report that we received from the 3rd Army related to the engagement of the
14 army in ..." And then probably inaudible. And then finally: "The
15 official position of the army command, that is, the Army of Yugoslavia,
16 that is the units of the Pristina Corps, did not take part in the action
17 near the village of," now we know it's Racak.
18 General, is this the conclusion that you reached on the basis of
19 that order that General Ojdanic had issued to you with the previous
20 collegium, that is to say to set up a work group to review the
21 documentation and reports, and finally to reach an official conclusion?
22 A. Yes. That is the final position that I presented at the
23 collegium, and I informed to -- I informed the Chief of General Staff in
24 accordance with his order. Since the operations centre was linked to the
25 first administration and the first administration was in the sector that I
1 was in charge of. Although reports that were arriving those days were set
2 in a detail from both commands, and we came to this conclusion and
3 officially the command of the 3rd Army informed the General Staff that the
4 army, or rather, the units of the Pristina Corps did not take part in the
5 action regarding the village of Racak.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean that the Working Group's inquiry was
7 confined to looking at the official reports which had been prepared?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said that General
9 Marjanovic, as leader of the group, had the task not only to receive the
10 official reports that we were receiving but also other information that he
11 could have received because he often had contacts through the
12 administration for cooperation with international representatives, or
13 rather, the members of the diplomatic corps then in Belgrade, then various
14 press releases that came out then. And he had other information
15 available. On the basis of all those conclusions, this conclusion was
16 reached, that the units did not take part in the actions around the
17 village of Racak.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you tell me this: Did he inquire of members of
19 the KVM what they had discovered?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We received a report from the team
21 in the third command army. And what I said a few moments ago was stated
22 in that, namely, that units of the corps did not take part in the actions
23 regarding the village of Racak. I've already said that --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now answer my question, please. Did the Working
25 Group get or make any inquiry directly of the KVM?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since General Marjanovic headed that
2 group, as deputy I cannot confirm whether he had any direct contacts with
3 the verification mission, he personally or any of the members of his
4 Working Group. Often he had contacts with diplomatic representatives who
5 were accredited in our country then.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Did the Working Group make inquiries of the MUP?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly, he had contacts with
8 the representatives of the MUP.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: How was that done?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not on his Working Group. The
11 deputy Chief of General Staff headed that, so I cannot confirm for you
12 what organs took part in compiling all this relevant information.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: So you can't really tell us the width of this
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I believe that what was
16 necessary was done, what was indispensable in order to reach important
17 information was done. That is why our General Staff entrusted the deputy
18 chief with leading that team.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: You must have a basis for that. Was inquiry made
20 of the residents of Racak who survived?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot confirm that information
22 for you, whether someone went to the site.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I have a very long list of people with whom
24 inquiries could have been made, but you really do not know the extent of
25 the inquiry of the Working Group; is that correct?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The deputy Chief of General Staff
2 headed that team.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Mr. Visnjic.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Microphone not activated]
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, let us look at Thunder 3, 3D690. Can you tell us under
9 what conditions, or rather, what was the idea, why was this directive
10 made, what was its purpose, and who took part in its drafting?
11 A. On the basis of the assessments made in the General Staff in the
12 month of March, or rather, in the beginning of 1999, the overall situation
13 was becoming increasingly complex, especially in the immediate vicinity of
14 our country. The essence of Thunder 3, or rather, the directive for the
15 use of the army was to oppose the violent deployment of a multi-force
16 group that would be stationed in Macedonia and that could be used in the
17 territory of Kosovo and Metohija. The essence of this plan is, in
18 addition to these compulsory tasks in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija
19 itself, to take timely measures and elaborate plans and carry out
20 indispensable preparations in order to render impossible the bringing in
21 of this brigade to Kosovo and Metohija.
22 Q. General, in the directive there is a scenario, I believe, as to
23 what could happen in order for this directive to be used, in fact. Can
24 you tell us something about that without looking at the document; the
25 document will be analysed later on.
1 A. The scenario was that in the area of Kosovo and Metohija the
2 terrorist activities would be intensified and that the forces of the army
3 would be scattered in several directions. In order to use this unit that
4 would take part of and -- of Kosovo and Metohija and important facilities
5 therein, and in a way in conjunction with terrorist activities they would
6 make the army unable to resist that.
7 Q. When you keep saying "this unit," you're referring to the NATO
9 A. Yes, yes, this multi-national brigade that was basically stationed
10 in the territory of the Republic of Macedonia.
11 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to 3D685. Before it appears, tell me
12 who took part in the elaboration of the directive?
13 A. The methodology of work in the General Staff was that the General
14 Staff works as a team. The proponent was the sector for operations and
15 staff activities and in it all sectors participated. They gave their
16 contributions from their own lines of work.
17 Q. Thank you. General, you mentioned that the Army of Yugoslavia was
18 making certain assessments in terms of intelligence and security and then
19 certain conclusions were based on that and certain scenarios were
20 elaborated for certain plans. I would like to ask you to tell us
21 something about this assessment of the intelligence and security
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And could we please look at page 2
24 of the English version and of the Serbian version.
25 Q. General, you signed this letter that was sent to the Chief of
1 General Staff?
2 A. Yes, I signed it as one of his assistant chiefs.
3 Q. And you explained there who worked on this assessment and you
4 actually handed in the draft assessment to the Chief of General Staff for
5 him to sign. Do you know whether the Chief of General Staff approved
7 A. You can see that it was a team that worked on this assessment
8 because this was a comprehensive analysis in that period of time, where
9 indeed it was necessary to proceed from the factual situation as it was so
10 that at General Staff level one would see all the important
11 characteristics of the situation that we were in and to have measures
12 taken on the basis of that and, accordingly, to inform the top government
13 echelons as to what the situation was and what should be done.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, later on we will
16 explain this document in greater detail through other witnesses. I just
17 wanted the general to tell me now whether he knows about this document in
18 terms of whether it was presented later to some state authorities, to who,
19 and possibly when.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In accordance with this document and
21 the overall analysis carried out, the Chief of General Staff prepared and
22 reported to the then-Supreme Defence Council about this, rather, the
23 important conclusions from this assessment made by the General Staff, or
24 rather, the most important conclusions from this assessment that was made
25 by the team that I headed.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the witness to
4 comment on document 3D704.
5 Q. General, can you tell me what this document represents, the one
6 that is in front of you now?
7 A. This is a document that was prepared by the Chief of General Staff
8 for reporting to the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In
9 it one can see roughly what the plans elaborated were in relation to the
10 situation in Kosovo and Metohija, what was done at General Staff level,
11 what measures should be taken at the level of the state, and he acquainted
12 him with the plans elaborated to date. Here you see plans Thunder 1,
13 Thunder 2, Thunder 3. I talked about that yesterday, there were two
14 stages, the first one being Thunder 1 and the other one is Thunder 2. So
15 that is one plan and two stages. And then there is Thunder 3 that we
16 talked about a few minutes ago.
17 Q. [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation].
20 Q. Did you take part in elaborating this aide-memoire?
21 A. Well, the proponent of planning in the General Staff was the
22 sector for operations and staff activities; I said that yesterday. And I
23 and the head of the first administration took part in this in addition to
24 the other members of the General Staff who worked on the elaboration of
25 this document.
1 Q. General, do you know whether after this and up until the beginning
2 of the war there was some other plan at the level of the General Staff
3 that would be related to the situation in Kosovo and Metohija?
4 A. As far as I know, at that time, no.
5 Q. Thank you. General, did any of these plans envisage the
6 relocation or expulsion of the Albanian population from Kosovo or was any
7 military option considered of supporting and assisting such a plan?
8 A. I do not know, I have never heard of any such plans that you refer
9 to just now, nor did any such plans exist in the General Staff.
10 Q. Tell me, at the end of March, or rather, immediately after the
11 outbreak of the war you were assigned another duty, you were appointed
12 commander of the 2nd Army. That is where you replaced General Martinovic;
13 am I right?
14 A. Yes. At the end of March I was appointed commander of the 2nd
15 Army in Podgorica instead of General Martinovic who was commander of the
16 2nd Army until then, and he was assigned to the Ministry of Defence of the
17 Army of Yugoslavia then.
18 Q. General, did the dismissal of General Martinovic have anything to
19 do with the dismissal of General Perisic several months before that?
20 A. I don't see on the basis of what indicators one could link the
21 two. My conclusion is that this has nothing to do with the previous
22 replacement of General Perisic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] All right. Can the witness please
24 now look at P1905.
25 Q. This is a rather lengthy report of the army; you signed it. This
1 is about the resubordination of organs of the MUP of the Republic of
2 Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro. First of all, can you tell the
3 Trial Chamber whether the area of responsibility of the 2nd Army includes
4 some of Montenegro's territory as well as some of Serbia's territory?
5 A. The 2nd Army, unlike the areas of responsibility of the 1st and
6 3rd respectively, had a peculiar area of responsibility which included
7 parts of the Republic of Montenegro, most of it, in fact, with the
8 exception of five municipalities that belonged to the navy area, the
9 coastal municipalities. It was also covered by the Podgorica Corps as an
10 operative set-up, and it also included parts of Serbia's west, a total of
11 21 municipalities, and this was covered by the Uzice Corps. These were
12 two operative set-ups that were part of the 2nd Army of the VJ.
13 Q. So, General, by virtue of your position you were in contact with
14 two ministries at the republic level, the MUP of Serbian on the one hand
15 and that of Montenegro. Am I right, sir?
16 A. Yes. My area of responsibility comprised parts of both of these
17 republics, and I wasn't in touch just with these ministries but rather
18 with all the institutions that worked in the area, the local authorities,
19 and everything else that had to do with the life and work of our units as
21 Q. You were the person who produced this report, therefore can you
22 briefly explain what sort of problems you encountered while implementing
23 the orders of the Chief of the General Staff on resubordination,
24 specifically the resubordination of Serbia's MUP since this is not about
1 A. Pursuant to an order of the Supreme Command Staff, the command
2 drafted an order that had to do with the implementation of this task,
3 defining what needed to be done at the level of the army, what needed to
4 be linked to the corps levels in both republics and then further down the
5 chain of command, the border battalions, and that sort of thing and so on
6 and so forth. Based on this order that was addressed to the Ministries of
7 the Interior of both these republics, I received a reply from the Ministry
8 of the Interior of the Republic of Montenegro about this order, whereas
9 the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia did not submit a reply about this
11 Q. General, would I be right if I said that throughout the war
12 Serbia's MUP was never resubordinated to the command of the 2nd Army or to
13 any of its units?
14 A. Serbia's MUP wasn't nor was Montenegro's MUP. These were never
15 resubordinated to the units of the 2nd Army that covered the area.
16 Q. Do you know why? Do you have an explanation for that?
17 A. The minister of the interior of Montenegro did send an explanation
18 as to what the conditions were that were not met for this task to be
19 implemented. I received no explanation nor reply from the minister of the
20 interior of the Republic of Serbia. In my view, the reason might have
21 been the fact that the official request or order had not gone through the
22 official channels of ministries from the upper-most state level and then
23 down the chain to the Ministry of the Interior for that task to be carried
24 out. I think that may have been the fundamental reason for this failure.
25 Q. If I understand you correctly, this means that the resubordination
1 order was not submitted down the chain of command all the way down to the
2 Ministry of the Interior, am I right?
3 A. Yes, that is the gist of it.
4 Q. General, in the area covered by the 2nd Army, your army, there
5 lived some Albanians, at the same time in the area covered by your army
6 throughout the war there were a large number of Albanians who had fled
7 Kosovo. What about the VJ, the units of your 2nd Army, did you take any
8 measures vis-a-vis these people in terms of driving them across the state
9 border and into Albania? For example, did the VJ take any measures at all
10 vis-a-vis the Albanians who lived in your area, any measures at all that
11 might be defined as expulsion or deportation across the state border?
12 A. I had been commander of the 2nd Army for eight years by this time,
13 I had been corps commander, and I had been chief of the army staff. I was
14 familiar with Montenegro. There were then, as now, about 7 per cent of
15 Albanians in Montenegro, in Montenegro's ethnic make-up. Never up to that
16 point or at the time, for that matter, were there any problems in the
17 relationship between the army and the local Albanians or anyone else for
18 that matter. There was sporadic border incidents, mostly caused from the
19 Albanian side during my time as corps commander and examination-in-chief
20 of the army staff, but those were dealt with. However, what you asked me
21 about, this never happened in any shape or form during my time there or as
22 far as I know before or after.
23 Q. You were the army commander. What were the powers of an army
24 commander in terms of using the forces, vis-a-vis the General Staff I
25 mean? What was the commander's discretionary power? What was his
1 authority? What in actual fact could he have done?
2 A. This was all based on the principle of subordination in the army.
3 So we carried out all of our assignments pursuant to orders received from
4 a superior command. In this case, the army command was subordinated
5 directly to the Chief of the General Staff. These tasks were quite
6 general, the tasks set at that level, which the army command assessed and
7 analysed at its own level and then the army would make decisions to
8 implement those. This is a strategic command with comprehensive tasks.
9 Of course an army command can within his decisions deal with certain
10 problems that he believes must be dealt with within his area. This is
11 precisely what happened. There were tasks of both operative and tactical
12 character, and these were carried out and these had to do with orders that
13 were received from our superior command.
14 Q. Thank you very much, General. My last question: Do you know or
15 did you perhaps hear that General Ojdanic was personally involved in some
16 sort of an enterprise or a plan or even abetted it to forcibly expel the
17 Albanian population from Kosovo?
18 A. Your Honours, I have known General Ojdanic for a long time. We
19 were colleagues in the 2nd Army for a while. I was the commander of the
20 Podgorica Corps and he was the commander of the Uzice Corps. As
21 commanders, as officers, we knew each other quite well. What Mr. Visnjic
22 has just suggested, I have no idea how that could possibly be attributed
23 to him or how the term could be used in relation to General Ojdanic as a
24 human being or an officer, especially someone who was part of our General
25 Staff. Therefore, my categoric reply to that is a resounding no.
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that concludes my
3 examination. I apologise for any mistakes with numbers, exhibits, and so
4 on and so forth. I believe that we'll have a chance to make things right.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
6 Mr. Obradovic, the timing is good. It's lunchtime now. We need
7 to break for one hour, so you should be back at quarter to 2.00. Please
8 now leave the courtroom with the usher again, and we shall resume at 1.45.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, you wish to raise something?
13 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, very briefly, just a procedural matter.
14 My understanding of the orders of the Court for these proceedings is that
15 when the witness comes into court to be cross-examined then the parties
16 who may cross-examine him may -- should notify the other parties as to the
17 documents to be used. This consistently is not being done by the Defence,
18 it's after being notified -- notices are coming at various times, which
19 now causing some amount of inconvenience having regard to the amount of
20 documents. So I take the opportunity through the Court to ask that the
21 order be complied with.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you mean that when the witness comes into
23 court to be examined.
24 MR. STAMP: To be examined. Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I can't remember offhand whether the order
1 specifically related to sharing notifications among cross-examining
2 parties, but it clearly it should have done and the spirit of it clearly
3 intends that to be the case. So could Defence counsel please in future
4 intimate to everyone involved in the case a list of the documents likely
5 to be relied upon as soon as the witness for the Defence has started to
6 give evidence.
7 Now, Mr. Fila, you have some cross-examination.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour, and also I would
9 like to respond to the Prosecutor. He would do well to -- he would have
10 done well to stick by his own advice when I -- when he had his own case,
11 they had additional documents in addition to each and every witness, and
12 that was the witness took an oath already and I never complained. I think
13 what one's first concern should be to clean up and home then think about
14 elsewhere or make suggestions.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sure that's entirely right, Mr. Fila, but I
17 hope it doesn't indicate a little retaliation going on.
18 You will now be cross-examined, Mr. Obradovic, starting with
19 Mr. Fila for Mr. Sainovic.
20 Mr. Fila.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Obradovic, I only have a few questions for
23 you. You responded to my colleague, Mr. Visnjic, by saying that you were
24 a member of the state commission for cooperation with the OSCE. This
25 commission was headed by Nikola Sainovic and it was set up by the
1 Government of Yugoslavia. You said that you held meetings once a week. I
2 want to know if these meetings took place in Belgrade or somewhere else,
3 sir, briefly?
4 A. Mr. Fila, I was not a member of the state commission. I was there
5 on behalf of the Chief of the General Staff, who was a member of the state
6 commission. I attended meetings of the Federal Commission, and these were
7 normally held on Tuesdays at the SIV building in Belgrade.
8 Q. When you attended these meetings, how did they strike you? Did
9 these meetings appear to have a command function or were they of a
10 different nature altogether?
11 A. There were many ministers normally attending these meetings from
12 the federal government and the republican government. This was a matter
13 of analysis, discussion, these were working meetings or at least that was
14 my understanding. People offered their opinions, they talked about
15 certain problems from their own areas.
16 Q. Fine. The honourable Judge asked you at one point in time when he
17 talked about the withdrawal of the army based on the Jovanovic agreement,
18 did the verifiers have any means of checking whether we were doing that or
19 did they have to do that by breaking into barracks and counting soldiers
20 and their weapons? General Naumann testified before this Trial Chamber,
21 and the page is 8356, the reference of the transcript. General Naumann
22 confirmed that the Yugoslav side was in full compliance with the terms of
23 the agreement and had indeed withdrawn from Kosovo. Can you tell me how
24 this was established, the fact that we were in compliance with the terms?
25 A. Under the agreement, we forwarded all relevant information to
1 whichever institutions requested such information, and one of these was
2 the mission in its entirety. There were no problems about that, and this
3 was done in relation to each unit individually, its numerical strength,
4 for example. Therefore, one had all the information available to them,
5 the numerical strength of each and every unit, their weapons, equipment,
6 and so on and so forth. Therefore, there was no need for anyone to go to
7 any of the barracks in order to obtain additional [as interpreted]; they
8 had everything.
9 Q. Were they physically near these barracks, could they possibly have
10 seen you send in a company or a division or a battalion or whatever in
11 very rough terms?
12 A. The mission in Kosovo - and there weren't that many of them - they
13 grew over time and they had a small office, were directly in touch with
14 the units and with the offices, including the liaison offices. They could
15 always go there and see for themselves. There were some situations where
16 they counted us.
17 Q. You once sent in a fresh contingent of 3.500 soldiers. Did they
18 actually see that happen? Were they there to check?
19 A. As far as the bodies were concerned that took those people to
20 Kosovo, they said that there were many people from the mission there when
21 the soldiers got there, those who first arrived and those who were about
22 to leave, both. This was something like a rotation.
23 Q. Therefore, there was no need for them to take anything at face
24 value, they sometimes counted and they had all relevant information
25 available to them?
1 A. Yes, they knew exactly what the situation was on the ground.
2 Q. Let me remind you of a collegium, this is not in e-court, but the
3 Prosecutor has it. I announced that I would be asking questions about
4 this and this was would probably what caused Mr. Stamp's reaction. The
5 date is the 30th of October, 1998. At this collegium, I wouldn't be show
6 [as interpreted] you this, I'm not going to tender this, I just want to
7 remind you. This is when Perisic comments about Kadijevic and you came
8 from the Federal Commission for cooperation with the OSCE and then he
9 objects about the Jovanovic-Geremek Agreement being not sufficiently
10 specific. And then Perisic says in rough terms that: Who did this? I
11 don't know, but for example, where they go controlling the units in
12 barracks and they want to go everywhere and enter all barracks. There is
13 no control of weapons except for the OSCE. They have the right, but when
14 they said the subregional one and these guys want to do it now, too, and
15 so on and so forth.
16 Do you think this constituted a position by General Perisic to
17 these guys entering barracks, generally speaking, briefly, please?
18 A. I can tell you that the teams of the subregional group exercising
19 control did this with a great deal of precision and reliability. They did
20 this based on valid documents and everything was done in a very objective
21 manner, and the same thing could be said of the verification mission and
22 in keeping with the agreement that we had with NATO --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, you've been asked a question about
24 the position of General Perisic; you do not appear to be addressing that
25 question. Could you do that, please?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. General Perisic
2 opposed this because of the terms of the agreement. He said the mission
3 had no authority to enter barracks or try to seek any additional
4 information about the army.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
6 Q. At this same collegium meeting I came across something very
7 interesting about you. I'll remind you, and if you could please explain,
8 I don't quite understand. This is about the Podujevo group. They should
9 move and then Perisic tells you how this is going to happen, this was a
10 token of good-will, if you remember. And then he goes on to mention
11 something really note-worthy, I'll remind you and you explain if you can,
13 "I told those guys: You go ahead, establish some relationship
14 with the Albanian factor, and they should provide you with guarantees and
15 you should provide us with guarantees." And I don't know whether you have
16 it but Tresan signed it and that when they talked.
17 So the US diplomatic mission with them had to for -- and then he
18 goes on to say "in the area, "and then Obradovic, you have this act
19 written by General Tresan, personal envoy of ARK and then we withdrew
20 that. Can you explain who this Tresan is? We don't know what this is
21 about or who he was.
22 A. To be frank, I really don't remember right now. General Perisic's
23 position is familiar to me but I don't know who this other person is.
24 Q. And the position was?
25 A. General Perisic's position was that they were influencing -- they
1 should influence the other side in order to make sure what had been agreed
2 would be put into practice.
3 Q. Oh, well, this same, or rather, collegium exhibit.
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Could we please have on our screens the
5 collegium of the General Staff dated the 27th of November, 1998, this is
6 page Exhibit P925, this is page 15 in e-court, in Serbian, and page 17 of
7 the English text.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, are you content that that last document
9 isn't tendered, that's the collegium of the 30th of October?
10 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, I had planned to address that issue at
11 the close of the evidence.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
13 MR. STAMP: I think generally the collegium minutes should be
14 received, most of them are in.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: But I take it you've seen this one?
16 MR. STAMP: Yes, I have.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And what's your position about it being used
18 without it being tendered into the process?
19 MR. STAMP: I think it should be tendered. I have no objections
20 to it not --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: You have no objection to it not. Well, let's -- if
22 you prefer to address it at the end, we shall. It looks as though it may
23 be an isolated document, but we certainly don't want to adopt a practice
24 of lengthy reference to documents that are not actually exhibits in the
25 case. We're now moving to P925.
1 Yes, Mr. Fila.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You see, Mr. Obradovic, you talk about Loncar, something or other,
4 but that doesn't matter. Something else matters. And then he requested
5 that Deputy Prime Minister Sainovic as the subhead of the commission have
6 some sort of advisor for military matters and then you explain this, this
7 last sentence: "I said that he [indiscernible] over the army but that if
8 he should need something, it should go through the Federal Commission, the
9 General Staff and then the Chief of the General Staff would decide."
10 Can we conclude based on this that the chain of command throughout
11 your time in that post was reserved and then nobody was meddling.
12 A. Yes, I clearly said so at a meeting of the Federal Commission and
13 then upon my return to the General Staff, I briefed the Chief of the
14 General Staff on this, saying that any request to the army should follow
15 the chain of command and that the Chief of the General Staff and the chain
16 of command were the only bodies who could decide on matters such as these.
17 Q. Can I infer based on that that this was indeed done, that this was
18 the procedure followed?
19 A. Yes, that's right. Loncar's position had nothing to do with the
20 army, he was busy elsewhere, in a different area.
21 Q. So he had no authority to command the army or anything like that?
22 A. No, his authority had nothing to do with the army. He had no
23 powers in military matters.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Can we please have P928 brought up
25 again, page 10 in e-court, in Serbian and pages 9 and 10 in English.
1 Q. You spoke about this, Mr. Visnjic asked you a question about this.
2 This is quite a lengthy document, but there is the question of the
3 Judges and this was discussed at the Ministry of Justice, right, I'm
4 talking about the judges who fled Kosovo and so on and so forth.
5 A. Yes, this is simply information being presented about a judicial
6 problem in a part of Kosovo.
7 Q. Last paragraph you say that Deputy Prime Minister Sainovic
8 yesterday requested that a meeting be scheduled in order that
9 extraordinary meeting with ambassadors of European country so that he
10 might be able to draw their attention to the situation, right?
11 A. Yes, that was one of the conclusions of the commission's
12 president, that this should be done at the federal level, that certain
13 institutions should be alerted about this problem that is discussed here.
14 Q. That means Mr. Sainovic discussed the problem with European
15 ambassadors and he informed them about this, didn't he?
16 A. I don't know whether he did or not, but the conclusion was that
17 the measures would be taken.
18 Q. Thank you. At this same meeting there was talk of a helicopter.
19 What is this helicopter and why was that discussed?
20 A. The mission's representatives were adamant that a helicopter
21 should be provided for their needs in Kosovo; however, the General Staff
22 and the army did not have sufficient helicopters at its disposal and this
23 also applied to our medical crew, who also needed helicopters should need
24 arise. Therefore, our position was that nothing like that should be
25 provided, but we had assumed the responsibility of assisting them and
1 helping them along.
2 Q. And you see General Aco Dimitrijevic's contribution. We've been
3 dealing with him from day one of this trial, it just seems that nobody
4 seems to be calling him; I wonder why. He says, above all, or rather, he
5 expresses his concern, his furry, if I may put it that way, that the
6 judges were not there, the prosecutors, the entire state structure fled
7 the area. He's complaining that there's no state reaction and then he
8 says: "Deputy Prime Minister Sainovic yesterday apparently ordered that
9 the judges be brought back."
10 Did you see anything to indicate that that type of information?
11 What does that mean, to order the judges back?
12 A. Well, I cannot confirm this. I don't know how General
13 Dimitrijevic got it. He probably got it from some other source. I know
14 that the view was that the issue at debate was the problem of the judges
15 and what General Dimitrijevic said I don't know about that.
16 Q. Is this perhaps just military parlance because you keep talking
17 about orders all the time?
18 A. Well, yes. In the army we use the command mode, orders, commands,
19 but this is not a proper way to talk about things in the political
21 Q. We have yet another question that's rather confusing me. It's the
22 last passage in his intervention. He says: "I propose and I don't really
23 have to propose. I think that the MUP had to ensure a certain situation
24 in the field and to resolve this situation with anti-terrorist operations.
25 If the MUP is not able to do so, then we all know how the problem needs
1 to be solved then we need to declare a state in which the army should deal
2 with the problems and that's the end of the story."
3 What's he talking about here?
4 A. Well, I don't have what you just read to me, what
5 General Dimitrijevic said, but I think that at that period MUP was the
6 main force that dealt with those problems. That was within his purview.
7 Q. But what is it that the army should, if the MUP is not able to
8 then we all know how problems are dealt with then you should declare a
9 state in which the army should deal with those problems. That's the same
10 collegium that we're talking about?
11 A. Well, it was contradictory to the line of thought that there was
12 no need to take radical measures, state of emergency, or to engage the
13 army, to deploy the army, the opinion was that this should be dealt with
14 with a normal involvement of MUP and the army. And General Perisic also
15 was thinking along the lines and he made some proposals that measures
16 should be taken to declare a state, a state of emergency of imminent
17 threat of war, but this was not accepted in this period.
18 Q. At this same collegium of the 24th of December, 1998, General
19 Dimitrijevic speaks again and he says: "So" -- well, there's no need.
20 Perhaps we could hear your comment. With all that General Marjanovic said
21 that needed to be elaborated, I think that the main thing is to ensure
22 that nobody, even if Sainovic or any other Sainovic, to solve the problems
23 by --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down when reading.
25 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
1 Q. This is yet another statement made by General Dimitrijevic that
2 nobody could deal with this, did somebody do that with your knowledge?
3 A. Well, I can confirm since I did deal with the use of the army at
4 the General Staff and I also dealt with those issues at the Federal
5 Commission. There were no such requests made by Sainovic or by any other
6 state institutions because it was quite clearly delineated by the law who
7 had what powers and who needed to do what. So I don't think that this
8 intervention is actually appropriate to the time and the situation.
9 Q. You are a colonel-general --
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't catch what the speaker
11 is saying.
12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
13 Q. What would you say --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, your questions are not being picked up
15 completely by the interpreter. Could you slow down and ask that question
16 again, please.
17 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Obradovic, you are a Lieutenant-General, that is your rank.
19 General Ojdanic's rank is higher than yours. If anyone were to say that a
20 civilian, no matter what his position were in the Government of Serbia,
21 issued orders to General Ojdanic, who stood at attention and saluted and
22 died of fear because this man is issuing him orders, could you imagine
23 such a situation for a general, in particular General Ojdanic -- well, and
24 you for that matter? What would you say to that?
25 A. Well, I think General Ojdanic is a man of vast experience as a
1 soldier. I don't think that there is a single institution that he would
2 act in this matter, Sainovic, or X, Y, any other person, that is really
3 out of the question. I said that I knew Ojdanic as a human being and as a
4 professional. We were associates. He was my superior at a number of
5 times. He is a capable, responsible officer. So I think that any such
6 allegation would be completely superfluous and would not deserve any
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] This is all I have.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Would your position be the same in relation to a
10 direct order given by President Milosevic?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same thing. There were no
12 problems, and I don't think that there should have been any problems of
13 that nature.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: My question I think is rather different from the
15 one you've answered. We have Milosevic as the supreme commander. Would
16 you expect Ojdanic not to react to an order from Milosevic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't quite understand.
18 What kind of order that would not be carried out, an order issued by
19 Milosevic, what kind of an order?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Any order at all. You've not questioned the
21 question that was just put to you. That -- and let me get it correctly.
22 Could you imagine such a situation for a general, in particular
23 General Ojdanic, to take orders from a civilian? And you said you can't
24 imagine that. Now, the orders weren't specified, and I'm asking you the
25 question in relation to President Milosevic, who held the rank or the
1 position of supreme commander of the army. Are you saying that you can't
2 imagine General Ojdanic ever obeying an instruction given to him by
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there is a substantial
5 difference in the position of Mr. Sainovic, that we just described, and
6 President Milosevic. President Milosevic was the president of the federal
7 state and his powers as the head of state were quite different from those
8 of the deputy prime minister. So he had the right to command the army in
9 peace and in wartime, so he had this right to command the army, that was
10 one of his rights.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And I dare say he could ask someone else to relay
12 his command to General Ojdanic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, President Milosevic, if he
14 issued any orders, he issued them directly to the Chief of General Staff
15 and the Chief of General Staff then issued orders within his purview. He
16 could not be some kind of a mediator in the communication with any other
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, we know that that's in theory how it
19 should happen. I'm asking you if there's any physical reason why
20 Milosevic could not relay orders through another person to officers in the
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know any other channel
23 that could be used because legally it had to go through the chain of
24 command, and the chain of command went from the president of the state to
25 the Chief of General Staff and then further down the chain of command.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Cepic.
3 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] General, sir. General Obradovic, my name is
6 Djuro Cepic and I am one of the Defence counsel for General Vladimir
7 Lazarevic. First of all, I would like to greet you here.
8 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Cepic.
9 Q. I will be asking you some questions about 1998, the period while
10 you were in the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army. General, do you know
11 that the Pristina Corps in 1998 had its forward command post at Djakovica
12 in order to coordinate the activities securing the state border?
13 A. Yes, I do know that.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. We got that as part of our operative reports from our subordinate
16 commands, indicating that the forward command post of the corps had been
17 set up in Djakovica.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Do you know who was in charge of the forward
19 command post of the Pristina Corps in Djakovica in 1998?
20 A. I know that, and when the team from the General Staff visited this
21 area I was able to see that for myself. There was the Chief of Staff of
22 the corps, I think it was Colonel Lazarevic at the time, I think he was a
24 Q. Well, you mentioned it now, and yesterday you stated that in your
25 evidence, that in mid-August with the team of the General Staff headed by
1 General Perisic you visited the Pristina Corps units in the garrison in
2 Djakovica. My question to you is: Do you perhaps remember who was there
3 to meet this team at the Djakovica forward command post on behalf of the
5 A. Well, I was in the team headed by General Perisic, Chief of
6 General Staff, as we went there to check the 3rd Army units with our focus
7 on the Pristina Corps units and when we went from the Pristina garrison to
8 the Djakovica garrison we were met by Colonel Lazarevic, Chief of Staff of
9 the corps, at the forward command post in Djakovica.
10 Q. General, did the chain of command in the Pristina Corps, was it in
11 line with all the rules and regulations since you checked all that at that
13 A. Well, since my sector dealt with those issues, the sector that I
14 headed, as we did this check we also checked the command system in the
15 subordinate commands. And at the end of the analysis we concluded that
16 the command system was not functioning fully.
17 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour, we have a problem with
18 transcript. It is completely opposite, if you see page 91 and line 11 --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a second.
20 Could you answer the question again, please, Mr. Obradovic, which
21 was: Did the chain of command in the Pristina Corps, was it in line with
22 all the rules and regulations when you made the check in mid-August?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, my response was yes.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Cepic.
1 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. [Interpretation] You mentioned the analysis that you undertook.
3 General, this team from the General Staff after doing this check, did it
4 actually analyse this check and did it present the results at the meeting
5 or at a briefing in Pristina?
6 A. That was the methodology of the team from the General Staff after
7 the activity was completed, after the garrisons and commands were toured,
8 that an analysis be made and that the chief conclusions be presented that
9 the situation be described. And that kind of an analysis was done at the
10 time when the team completed its work checking the situation.
11 Q. General, am I right to -- when I say that at this briefing in
12 Pristina Colonel Lazarevic was not there because he remained at the
13 forward command post in Djakovica?
14 A. The whole of the team from the General Staff was there at the
15 analysis and the commander of the army and the commander of the corps.
16 The commander of the army was Samardzic at the time and the corps
17 commander was General Pavkovic. And Colonel Lazarevic was at the forward
18 command post at a different garrison.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system Exhibit Number 5D194,
22 Q. [Interpretation] General, now we will very briefly deal with 1999.
23 Today you said in your evidence that as of March you were at the head of
24 the 2nd Army, headquartered in Podgorica. Let us just wait for the
25 document to appear.
1 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, we also have a version in English
2 language and I hope that we will see in next couple of seconds or minutes.
3 Q. [Interpretation] General, could you please look at the last three
4 paragraphs in this document. Do you recognise that this is a document
5 from the Pristina Corps command?
6 A. Yes, you can see that at the heading and you can see the signature
7 by Commander Lazarevic.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you please now look at the last three
9 paragraphs. Could you please read the paragraph that begins with the
10 words: "In order to prevent ..."
11 A. "In order to prevent the pulling out and spilling out of the Siptar
12 terrorist forces from the Rugovska Klistura sector to Montenegro, it is
13 necessary to ensure that the Podgorica Corps units block the following
14 line Cakor pass --
15 Q. Thank you, thank you, we don't want to waste any time. Do you
16 perhaps remember any incidents from that period related to organisation or
17 coordination of the activities of the Podgorica Corps which was part of
18 the activities of the Pristina Corps [as interpreted] which was part of
19 the 3rd Army in order to neutralise strong terrorist forces in the broader
20 Rugovska Klistura area in April and later May 1999?
21 A. Yes, I do remember. It was one of the tasks that the Podgorica
22 Corps received, to establish coordination and cooperation with the
23 adjacent units of the Pristina Corps in order to carry out the task listed
25 Q. Thank you very much, General. This was my last question. Thank
1 you very much.
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Mr. Ivetic.
5 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
7 Q. Good day, General Obradovic, I am Dan Ivetic, and I have just a
8 few questions for you so hopefully I'll be brief. Now, first of all I'd
9 like to ask you if it's correct pursuant to your understanding of the Law
10 on Defence as to resubordination of the MUP during times of war that units
11 of the MUP were to be engaged in combat operations in accordance with
12 their purposes in the areas pursuant to a decision of the VJ komandant.
13 A. That order was issued by the supreme staff command because at that
14 time, that was some ten days after the aggression against the federal
15 republic started, the situation was such that the assessments were that
16 quite soon the ground forces could be deployed from the broader base of
17 the former Yugoslavia.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
19 A. And the assessment was that in order to resist the aggression the
20 MUP units should be also used in combat, and that is why an order was
21 issued to resubordinate MUP elements to the army commands in that area,
22 and that would be the 2nd and the 3rd command.
23 Q. All right. Let's move to your document, it was used in direct
24 examination, P1905, just see if I can perhaps clarify the question to get
25 the information we're looking for. This is the letter which is identified
1 in the witness notification as the letter written by yourself regarding
2 subordination of the Montenegrin MUP units, but as we've heard today
3 the -- no one seems to care about the Montenegrin MUP and we're talking
4 about the Serbian MUP. So I'd like to ask you specifically with respect
5 to this document. The bottom of page 1 in B/C/S or Serbian and the second
6 paragraph on page 2 in English. Am I correct that in that section your
7 own words state that: "MUP units will be engaged in combat operations in
8 accordance with their purposes in the areas pursuant to the decisions of
9 the VJ commander."
10 And I want to ask you again: Is that your understanding of how
11 the Law of Defence regarding resubordination of MUP units operated -- was
12 to operate?
13 A. The Law of Defence envisaged or stipulated that during combat MUP
14 units could be deployed to resist the enemy in accordance with their
15 specific type of use. This was how the order was issued, that there
16 should be coordination, organisation, and that MUP units should take part
17 in combat.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues]... I'm trying to ask a very
19 specific question where you say that during combat MUP units could be
20 deployed. Am I correct they could be deployed upon an order or a decision
21 or a directive by the VJ komandant in that region, as is stated in your
23 A. I didn't fully understand your question because I don't have it
24 here in front of me what you just asked me.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: It's page 1 of the Serbian, I think.
1 MR. IVETIC: Page 1, bottom of page 1, it should be the last
2 paragraph in the -- beginning -- in the middle of that paragraph in the
3 Serbian, I could -- well, let me do it this way. This might make it
4 easier for everyone.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Do you see in this letter on the first page in
6 Serbian about the involvement of the MUP units it says that: "The MUP
7 units in combat will be used in accordance with their purpose in the zones
8 in accordance with the decisions of the VJ commander."
9 I just wanted you to confirm that the deployment of the MUP units
10 is based on some kind of an order or decision of the VJ commander in that
11 area. Is that right?
12 A. If this decision had been carried out the way that it was drafted,
13 that the MUP should be resubordinated, then it would have been the case.
14 But since the decision was not definitive enough, it was not defined
15 enough, then the MUP units were not used within the chain of command of
16 the army but there was just coordination between the MUP units and the
18 Q. [In English] I apologise. I have to pause to allow the
19 translation and the transcript to catch up with us.
20 During the time-period following the commencement of the NATO
21 bombings, specifically from the time-period when you were appointed as the
22 commander of the 2nd Army through the period of the NATO aggression
23 against Yugoslavia, the time of war, am I correct that in your region as,
24 far as the language we have just quoted is concern, you would be the
25 komandant of the VJ that would issue orders for ground combat operations?
1 A. Yes, that was the authority based on the chain of command. The
2 commanders in the zones based on the chain of command, if the decisions
3 were made at the army command or corps command, the chain of command
4 functioned here so that everybody knew based on the task that was issued
5 what they have to do and when and how.
6 Q. Again, I apologise, I'm having to wait for the translation and the
7 transcript to make sure that I don't cause complications in the
8 understanding of what's being said here.
9 Now, during this same time-period, that is to say from when you
10 were appointed as commander of the 2nd Army, which was a few days after
11 the NATO bombing began, through the end of the NATO -- the war with NATO,
12 let's put it that way, would you kindly identify any order, instruction,
13 or decision issued by you to engage in ground combat operations or
14 "borbena dejstva" so that there's no misunderstanding on the territory of
15 Serbia that you issued or directed to the MUP of Serbia that was refused
16 or rejected to be carried out by the organs of the MUP of Serbia?
17 A. No, this suggestion in your question -- well, there's no need to
18 explain it because I didn't have any powers in the area of responsibility
19 to issue any commands to the MUP and for those units to carry out those
20 orders. As for any tasks according to the chain of command, that belonged
21 to the army troops. Since you asked me about the Ministry of the Interior
22 of the Republic of Serbia, that was definitely not the case and that is
23 not how things were done.
24 Q. Well, let me ask you for the same time-period, did you issue any
25 decisions, directives, or orders for the commencement of any "borbena
1 dejstva," ground combat operations on the territory of the Republic of
3 A. No, although the greater part of the area of responsibility was in
4 the territory of the Republic of Serbia, I did not issue any orders with
5 regard to that.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... I apologise for any
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, if your letter to the MUP of Serbia
9 had been answered and if MUP units were resubordinated to the VJ, would
10 they then have had to act in accordance with orders given by commanders of
11 VJ units in the area?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, let me state that that
13 was not materialised, or rather, the MUP was not resubordinated to the
14 army, including the 2nd Army, that had parts of both territories within
15 its area of responsibility. We discussed that already, why this was the
16 case. This decision, had it been carried out, it would have been
17 whatever, then we would have had a new situation. However, since this new
18 situation did not come into being, the only thing I can do is comment on
19 what happened in reality. Had this task been carried through, I probably
20 would have had a different comment and I could have conveyed to you a
21 different kind of experience in terms of what had been done.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's what I want an answer to. What would
23 have happened had resubordination taken place? Would you then have been
24 issuing orders which the MUP had to comply with?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, had that order been carried
1 out, then it would have been in the function of an order being issued by a
2 superior command, it would have been gone down the chain of command.
3 However, since this task was not materialised, I'm saying that there was
4 no need to think about that or to discuss that in any --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You don't need to say that yet again. Just deal
6 with the question I'm asking you, and you've dealt with it. But I know
7 that it didn't happen. I don't need to be told four or five times. Thank
9 Mr. Stamp.
10 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
12 Q. Good afternoon, General.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. I'd like to first ask about your evidence in respect to Podujevo,
15 and I think you said that the unit that was involved in an exchange with
16 the KLA had been sent down there for training and were involved in
17 training, and that was your understanding.
18 A. Yes, that is correct. That unit was sent to the training grounds
19 in order to have training carried out, because in the meantime young
20 soldiers had come in. We were talking about the replacements that had to
21 be additionally trained because they were insufficiently trained. Their
22 aptitude and level of training could have been tested successful only at
23 the training grounds.
24 Q. Where these training grounds were, you said that it was in the
25 vicinity of a key road, a key line of communication?
1 A. Those training grounds are in the area between Pristina and
2 Podujevo, the so-called Malo Kosovo. That is the road between Pristina
3 and Podujevo and further on to Merdare and Kursumlja. Batlova is the name
4 of the training grounds, and there is an airfield there too where part of
5 the Pristina Corps units from the Pristina garrison were trained.
6 Q. And that was a key communication line, key line of communication?
7 A. Well, this was an important communication line linking the central
8 part of Serbia with Kosovo, that is to say going from Merdare, Prokuplje,
9 Kursumlja, Podujevo, Pristina, and further on.
10 Q. Had there been KLA activity in that area before, do you know?
11 A. Well, it is known that there had been activity like that before
12 that in that area too, before that time, that is, because this
13 communication was important and the terrorists tried to keep this line of
14 communication under their control.
15 Q. In those circumstances, wouldn't it -- or question withdrawn.
16 The -- having regard to the tension in the area and the fact that
17 there were terrorists, as you call them, activity in the area before,
18 wasn't the placing of this unit in that vicinity clearly provocative in
19 your view?
20 A. In no case could this constitute a form of provocation because
21 according to the plan with all the measures that were taken, the OSCE was
22 notified that the unit was going out there and what its task was and where
23 it would be staying. There was no reason for irritation or taunting the
24 terrorists in any way for them to engage. So it could not be a problem on
25 account of its activities.
1 Q. What was the OSCE notified as to the purpose that this unit was
2 going there for?
3 A. We've already discussed this today. They were informed
4 substantially about the unit itself, then the place where it would be
5 carrying out various activities, and that was a unit that was well-known
6 from the 15th Armoured Brigade and the content of their activities, too,
7 and it focused on training young soldiers. Just one more comment. What
8 you asked me about, Mr. Prosecutor, if it were that kind of purpose, no
9 one ever would have sent a unit consisting of young soldiers there,
10 untrained, unequipped; they would be easy prey to the terrorists, the
11 terrorists could easily attack that unit.
12 Q. I think you said in evidence that General Dimitrijevic was the
13 chief of army security and kept close watch on what was happening in
14 Kosovo on the ground?
15 A. Yes, General Dimitrijevic was chief of the administration for
16 security in the General Staff. Through his organs from his own line of
17 work he followed and analysed the situation in Kosovo as a whole.
18 MR. STAMP: Can we bring up P928, please, this is a record of the
19 collegium meeting of the 30th of December, 1998, and if we go to page 14
20 in the English version which corresponds to page 15 in the B/C/S version,
21 and in the B/C/S version as the fourth paragraph from the top where
22 General Dimitrijevic is speaking. It's not on that page, if I may advise
23 the Court, it is -- he begins speaking on the previous page, page 13 of
24 the English version, but he continues here:
25 "In addition the current situation in the vicinity of Podujevo, I
1 think that we must be completely consistent here and completely open
2 towards each other, so to speak. This situation in Podujevo and the
3 surroundings, it was complex before, but when did it suddenly become even
4 more complicated. After the so-called pretend or real planned combat
5 exercises in which this company took part in the field. General, these
6 sort of moves will lead us to disaster, the explanation that this was not
7 a planned exercise, this is not true, it was planned so that the MUP would
8 provoke the terrorists so that the MUP would have to do whatever it would
9 have to do."
10 Q. Do you recall General Dimitrijevic expressing this view as to what
11 was happening in Podujevo?
12 A. Yes, I recall that. This was a statement made by General
13 Dimitrijevic; however, on the basis of all the others -- well, it's some
14 kind of conclusion on his part. How he came to that conclusion I cannot
15 confirm with any degree of certainty now, but as for all the information
16 we had available and on the basis of everything that we were convinced of,
17 I can say that that unit went out to training according to plan. Maybe
18 General Dimitrijevic was not aware of that. These were young soldiers.
19 No commander, no one would send a unit consisting of such soldiers for the
20 sake of provocation. If somebody wanted to do something like that, then
21 that would be done with a trained, well-equipped unit, but young soldiers,
22 nobody would send them from training to provoke terrorists within the
24 Q. But I think you will agree with me that the -- these events in
25 Podujevo were causing what might be called a serious international or a
1 serious incident and serious conflict with the KVM. Did you question
2 General Dimitrijevic as to how he came to the conclusion that all of this
3 was a pretense, the claim of a training exercise as a pretense?
4 A. I don't know that we had any kind of major clash with the mission
5 because this activity had been something that the mission was notified of,
6 including all the necessary information, and if we look at the talks with
7 General Drewienkiewicz, the talks carried out between him and General
8 Ojdanic, Chief of General Staff, he was not opposed to that at all, the
9 unit going out there for training. He said that perhaps not the most
10 convenient of moments had been selected, so that was the only disagreement
11 and the only misunderstanding. General Ojdanic in his comments said that
12 perhaps the marching route had not been successful one, it had not been
13 the best choice.
14 Q. Well, let me ask you to have a look further down on that page or
15 at page 16 of the B/C/S version of the document.
16 MR. STAMP: Could we move to that and it's the second full
17 paragraph, and this is page 14, the last two lines of page 14 and the
18 first four lines of page 15 in the English which I'll read since it's
19 difficult to put it on the -- on the screen at once.
20 Q. You said in response to General Dimitrijevic: "We have registered
21 it and we have managed to avoid registering it as a combat group because
22 it has been defined as though it was going into battle. Instead, we have
23 registered it as some sort of mixed mechanised company that is on extended
24 combat training in this training ground and how this will be will be
25 decided down there.
1 "That is all."
2 Well, I take it you said that. Were you a participant in
3 registering a combat group as a mixed or mechanised company on extended
5 A. No, it's clearly defined here and on the basis of the report that
6 this is a company that went out to train. According to the reports that
7 we received, there were questions raised by the verifiers, was this a
8 combat group or was this a unit according to establishment, because combat
9 groups were temporary units, whereas the company that went out was an
10 establishment unit defined as such and it went out with its full personnel
11 according to establishment to train, not as a combat group to carry out
12 some kind of combat activity. This unit was not capable of carrying out
13 combat activity.
14 Q. When you said you registered it, does that mean you registered it
15 with the KVM?
16 A. That was defined and notification was sent to the OSCE mission
17 saying that this was a company not a combat group and they had no
18 objections because they checked the composition of that unit that was
19 going out to fulfil that task.
20 Q. Did this group include elements of the 211th Armoured Brigade, do
21 you recall that?
22 A. No. As far as I can remember, this was a company, not a group, a
23 company, from the 15th Armoured Brigade in Pristina.
24 Q. Let's move on to discuss the Grom plans. I think a point was made
25 here earlier in the case that General Perisic in authorising the Grom plan
1 therefore agreed that it was proper and not unconstitutional to engage the
2 VJ in these activities, combat activities, in Kosovo without the calling
3 of a state of emergency. So I think you said --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that in part of
6 this question an institution is mentioned, or rather, the constitutional
7 use of the army. So can Mr. Stamp say where he found his foundation for
8 putting this kind of question.
9 MR. STAMP: I believe when I think it is General DZ was
10 cross-examined some time ago by counsel on behalf of Mr. Pavkovic that
11 submission was made to him or that suggestion was made to him. I could
12 find the precise reference later on, but I could take that out of the
13 question and just proceed.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Please rephrase the question.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. The Grom 1 plan remained a plan, it was not implemented in 1998,
17 was it?
18 A. The Grom or Thunder plan from 1998 had two stages. The first
19 stage was called Thunder 1 and the other stage Thunder 2. That is how we
20 defined it and that is how the directive defined it. It included security
21 for the state border facing the Republic of Macedonia in the areas of
22 responsibility of the 2nd and 3rd Army, then provided security for
23 buildings and units in the area and that part of the plan was carried
24 through. These were practically daily tasks.
25 As for the second stage, Grom 2, it envisaged that if there were
1 to be a radical deterioration of the situation and if there were to be
2 radical activity on the part of terrorist forces on Kosovo to carry out a
3 partial mobilisation in order to engage forces to deal with terrorism in
5 Q. Very well. When I said "Grom 1," I meant Grom 98. The first
6 phase of Grom 98, did that -- was that implemented in the Pristina Corps
7 area of operations?
8 A. Well, a few moments ago I said that these were the primary tasks
9 in the area of securing the state border and that these tasks were carried
10 through, that is to say that this activity was carried out. The Chief of
11 General Staff defined in the directive that part of the tasks would be
12 materialised in accordance with a special order of his.
13 MR. STAMP: Can we look at 4D137, please. If we could look at the
14 first page of that document, both in B/C/S and in English.
15 Q. And in the fourth paragraph it refers to: "The foreign factor
16 deems the present activities by the Yugoslav Army in the territory of
17 Kosovo to be justified and in the functions of the protection and
18 sovereignty and integrity of the territory of the Federal Republic of
19 Yugoslavia. The introduction of new Yugoslav Army units and their
20 deployment in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija would be interpreted by
21 NATO as an 'inappropriate use of force against innocent civilians.'" ?
22 Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Can you explain the meaning of that statement that: "The
25 introduction of new Yugoslav Army units and their deployment and their
1 deployment in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija would be interpreted by
2 NATO as an'inappropriate use of force against innocent civilians'?
3 A. The answer to this question is quite clearly given here. In the
4 implementation of the task in Kosovo at that time, bringing up new units
5 from the depth, from the 3rd Army or other units or other formations,
6 would be interpreted by foreigners as inappropriate or excessive use of
7 force against the terrorists. It is stated here in quotation
8 marks "against innocent civilians" because the civilian population was
9 used improperly as shields during various activities. This was analysed
10 on a number of occasions because inhabited areas in all kinds of
11 facilities where there were civilians were used. So that in fighting the
12 terrorists there could be casualties among the civilian population that
13 they put to this kind of use. So this could have been used as a pretext
14 at the level of the international community to take some measures at the
15 level of the Security Council or whatever.
16 Q. General, aren't you aware that starting on July 25 there was a
17 major operation ongoing in Kosovo involving the use of the army in combat
19 A. Yes, there were activities in fighting the Siptar [as interpreted]
20 forces in Kosovo because terrorism was rampant at that time, and that is
21 why plans were made - and you saw that for yourself, the directive Grom
22 98 - for the use of the army in accordance with this directive to suppress
23 and eliminate terrorism as much as possible.
24 Q. The second phase of Grom 98 was not implemented in 1998; that is
1 A. I don't know. You mean 1998? Because Grom 1998 was in 1998 and
2 the second stage of Grom 98 -- well, mobilisation of units was not carried
3 out, tasks were carried out by the peacetime units.
4 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at P2166 a document which is
5 minutes of a meeting of what is called the operations interdepartmental
6 staff for the suppression of terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija on the 29th
7 of October, 1999 [sic].
8 Q. You'll see present there among other persons is the Chief of
9 Staff, General Perisic, the commander of the Pristina Corps at the time
10 also General Pavkovic.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: This is presumably 1998?
12 MR. STAMP: 1998.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, thank you.
14 MR. STAMP: I -- yes, the same page as in English and in B/C/S.
15 Q. Now, General Pavkovic spoke, and this is at page 2 of the B/C/S
16 and at the end of page 1 going into page 2 of the English version.
17 MR. STAMP: So perhaps if we just look at page 2 of the English
18 version, the top of page 2 of the English version.
19 Q. "Speaking on behalf of the Joint Command for KiM, General Pavkovic
20 reminded the members of the Operation Staff that the plan for suppressing
21 terrorism in KiM had been carried out in five stages, an overall duration
22 of 45 to 55 days. Implementation of the plan commenced on the 25th of
23 July and the activities planned were completed on the 29th of October,
25 Well, firstly, General, the operative plan in place in Kosovo that
1 was being implemented in the fight against the KLA in July to October 1998
2 was not the Grom plan, but it is this plan that General Pavkovic speaks
3 about. Do you agree with me?
4 A. I studied this document and I would like to ask you this -- what
5 it says here that the supreme -- the Supreme Command or the supreme
6 defence command should meet in June and that the decision was made at the
7 briefing that measures should be taken to carry out counter-terrorist
8 measures to suppress terrorism as soon as possible. And pursuant to this
9 decision then in early June 1998, as you can see, every officer had the
10 obligation in peacetime, too, pursuant to the Law on Army and Law on
11 Defence and also the officers were bound by the rules of service of the
12 Yugoslav Army, that measures should be taken in peacetime too to fight any
13 sabotage terrorist or any other units. So commanding officers at all
14 levels were bound by this.
15 Q. But you said earlier, yesterday I think it was, that the command
16 of the 3rd Army, who at that time I think was General Pavkovic, was tasked
17 to submit a plan in conformity with the Grom 98 plan on the 3rd of August,
18 1998. Do you recall that?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. Very well. All I'm asking you is that having regard to what
21 General Pavkovic says here, the plan that was being implemented on the
22 ground --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think we have several
25 inaccuracies here. First of all, the commander of the 3rd Army was not
1 General Pavkovic at that time. I don't want the witness to be misled. He
2 tried to actually say that, but Mr. Stamp interrupted him.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that General Samardzic was
4 the commander at that time.
5 MR. STAMP:
6 Q. Very well. The point I'm trying to make, though, General, which I
7 just want to see if you accept and move on, that the plan that General
8 Pavkovic is speaking of at this meeting which I just quoted was an
9 operative plan for fighting the KLA in Kosovo in the summer and autumn of
11 A. The operative plan at the level of the General Staff for fighting
12 terrorism in Kosovo was Grom 98 plan, and it was done in the second half
13 of July. Activities were carried out in July, August, September, and
14 later on. And if I may just make a comment, those initial activities
15 carried out this thing that you're asking me about, this bound commanding
16 officers at different levels to take measures to fight terrorism. With
17 the orders, decisions on the basis of the assessment of the situation and
18 then on the basis of that state that prevailed where terrorism was
19 rampant, the General Staff issued a directive to carry out tasks in
20 accordance with the Grom 98 directive. And the commander of the 3rd Army,
21 General Samardzic, came to the General Staff, presented his decision about
22 the use of forces, as I explained yesterday, focusing mostly on the
23 Pristina Corps area of responsibility to destroy terrorist forces in
25 Q. But General Pavkovic is speaking here of an operation that begun
1 on the 25th of July, 1998, yet according to the Grom plan the command of
2 the 3rd Army was supposed to submit his proposals by the 3rd of August.
3 You will agree with me that the --
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour. I think this is getting to
5 the point of it being argumentative. The witness has now answered him
6 three times that the plan being implemented was the Grom plan. He keeps
7 going back to it thinking he can argue with the witness until he can get a
8 different answer, but I think he's got his answer and needs to go on.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
10 MR. STAMP: I don't think the witness has answered the question.
11 Q. How is it, Witness --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Just --
13 MR. STAMP: Very well. Sorry.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, the particular question that's being
16 asked at the moment contains more information that, on one view, is
17 inconsistent with the previous answers. And therefore, we consider it
18 appropriate to allow this question to be asked.
19 So please continue, Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. General, the question is that General Pavkovic in the -- in his
22 speech in October 1998 referred to a plan which began on the 25th of July
23 1998 and continued for a period of 45-plus days as being the plan for the
24 fight against the KLA or terrorism in Kosovo. How could it be that the
25 Grom plan or the Grom 98 plan was a plan that was being implemented in the
1 summer when the date when the commander of the 3rd Corps [as interpreted]
2 was to submit his proposals in respect to the plan was as late as the 3rd
3 of August, 1998?
4 A. There's no dilemma here. I was quite clear at the beginning of my
5 reply. The Supreme Defence Council presented the situation as it was in
6 Kosovo regarding the terrorism issue. The Chief of General Staff was
7 notified about the situation and so was the commander of the 3rd Army.
8 And since the focus of activities was in the area of responsibility of the
9 Pristina Corps, the general made the decision to deal with this issue
10 within his purview. Since this task was not fully carried out there was
11 another assessment and -- from the General Staff and also other
12 assessments, and on the basis of those assessments a decision was made to
13 deal with this by issuing another order, and that was the directive 98 --
14 Grom 98, and the activities in Kosovo were carried out in accordance with
15 this directive in stages. This is the gist of it.
16 MR. VISNJIC: Your Honour, just one correction in transcript.
17 Page 111, line 21, should be 3rd Army --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I think we all realise that, Mr. Visnjic.
19 I have to confess, I'm now completely confused by the last answer.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. General, do you know --
22 MR. STAMP: Well, before I move on I note what Your Honour has
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me ask the witness this.
25 You say since that task was not fully carried out there was
1 another assessment and from the General Staff and all other assessments,
2 and on the basis of these assessments a decision was made to deal with
3 this by issuing another order, and that was the directive 98.
4 Now, are you dealing there with the question that was put to you
5 by Mr. Stamp which was: The requirement for the commander of the 3rd Army
6 was to submit his proposals by the 3rd of August? And here we have a
7 situation where apparently the operation had begun on the 25th of July.
8 How can that be so if we are -- if both relate to the same plan?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The activities carried out until
10 that time, this was the obligation of the commander to deal with all those
11 problems related to counter-terrorism in his area of responsibility and
12 his purview in accordance with the rules of service and that's what he
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That task --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Just look back at the document where it said:
17 "General Pavkovic reminded the members of the Operations Staff
18 that the plan for suppressing terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija had been
19 carried out in five stages with an overall duration of 45 to 55 days.
20 Implementation of the plan commenced on 25 July and the activities planned
21 were completed on the 29th of October."
22 Now, how is that consistent with the idea that authority to go
23 ahead with this had to be sought by the 3rd of August?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think it's quite clear here
25 what the essence is. Activities were carried out in the sphere of
1 counter-terrorism not only in June but even earlier than that, and those
2 activities were carried out over a wide area. The focus force was the
3 Pristina Corps in accordance with the relevant decisions of the commander.
4 When this task was carried out, then on the basis of the assessment by
5 the General Staff that further measures should be taken and to regulate
6 all that from the level of the General Staff on the basis of the overall
7 situation that there should be a counter-terrorism operation in Kosovo in
8 accordance with the directive that followed that was directive Grom 98.
9 And I think that what other participants in the debate said, it is all in
10 accordance with the Grom 98 directive at the time when the
11 counter-terrorism operations were carried out in Kosovo and Metohija. So
12 it was carried out according to the plan and directive issued by the
13 General Staff from the beginning of August onwards.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean that on the 25th of July the Grom
15 plan did not exist?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Grom plan was approved on the
17 28th of July and the directive was signed on the 28th of July, 1998.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, matters are getting, I think, wildly
21 out of hand and I don't know quite how to deal with it. But it all, I
22 believe, stems from the way Mr. Stamp approached this questioning.
23 Clearly - and this was brought out in testimony in this case on the 23rd
24 of January of 2007 - clearly Samardzic on the 29th of July ordered
25 implementation of the Grom 1 plan --
1 MR. STAMP: Should this be said in the presence of the witness?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think -- first of all, it shouldn't be done
3 in the presence of the witness --
4 MR. ACKERMAN: He shouldn't be asking questions of the witness
5 trying to trick him into an answer when he knows this document exists and
6 is in the record and that's what's being -- that's what's unfair here and
7 that's why it's getting out of hand. I'm willing to have the witness
8 leave so I can complete my remarks if you want that to happen.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, which question do you think is misleading?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Mr. Stamp has taken the position that --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: No, tell me the question that you think is
13 MR. ACKERMAN: All the questions that have to do with whether or
14 not Grom was implemented in 1998. There's a document that makes it very
15 clear that it was issued by Samardzic and it's in evidence in the case and
16 Mr. Stamp should know about it.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
18 MR. ACKERMAN: To premise this entire questioning on the
19 proposition that it wasn't implemented because the activity talked about
20 on July 25th could not have been Grom and that's true, it could not have
21 been because the order wasn't issued until the 29th. But every activity
22 after that was Grom. I think that's fairly clear and I just think it's
23 unfair the way Mr. Stamp is proceeding by ignoring the record, basically.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Stamp, you've completed your examination
1 on this point, have you, or are you going to ask further questions?
2 MR. STAMP: I would like to ask a few more questions on it.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. And what do you have to say to
4 Mr. Ackerman's objection?
5 MR. STAMP: I'm not sure if I understand the objection. I can
6 just say I wasn't attempting in any question to trick the witness; I was
7 attempting to just get --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't understand it either, but my colleagues
9 would like to hear more about the point that's being made. I can't see a
10 question, personally, that's inappropriate. I cannot see why when the
11 date 25th July is related to the implementation of the plan, which could
12 be for the suppressing of terrorism, why questions can't be asked about
13 the relationship of the various dates, even allowing for the statement
14 that is made in the Samardzic order.
15 But is there anything else you want to say on it?
16 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honour, not --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
18 Anyone else want to comment on this?
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't know if I've made myself clear. There was
20 a plan to combat terrorism that preceded the Perisic directive that was
21 the Grom plan. That directive went straight from Perisic to the 3rd
22 Army --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, that's the very point that the
24 questions were directed to, to establish that there was a plan other than
25 the Grom plan. That's how this whole area of examination started.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: No, not true. It started with trying to establish
2 that the Grom plan was never implemented; that's his point: Grom was
3 never implemented. That's the thing he's trying to prove. It's not true.
4 There's a document that proves that's not true. It was implemented and
5 the witness told him that it was implemented in 1998.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's have the document.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: 4D140, paragraph 5.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you, Mr. Stamp, whether that's your
10 MR. STAMP: Phase 2 of the Grom plan was never implemented in
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, the witness agreed with him that phase 2 was
13 not implemented in 1998 his point was that phase 1 was not implemented in
14 1998, and you can go back and look at his question. That's what he asked.
15 MR. STAMP: It's a question which the witness is capable of
16 answering and he did.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, he did --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, I won't have this batting back and
19 forward across the courtroom. Please sit down until we read this
21 Now, you can now assist us by the particular reference, please, to
22 show that the plan was implemented.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the first thing you need to look at is
24 first page which shows you that what Samardzic is talking about is the
25 Grom plan.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Then if you will go to paragraph 5, Samardzic then
3 sets out tasks for the Pristina Corps --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I haven't got it yet.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Paragraph 5 yet on the screen. Which page is
8 MR. ACKERMAN: It's page 6 of the document.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: This is ordering things to be done?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: That's right. He's setting out the tasks that the
11 units need to carry out and implementation of the plan.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is the bit that tells that this was actually
14 MR. ACKERMAN: This is an implementation -- an order like this is
15 an implementation of the plan.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but --
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Those were the questions: Was it implemented? Not
18 what -- not: Did the units carry out the orders that were contained in
19 it, although I'm convinced that they did.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: We consider that the potential for confusion caused
23 by the various dates before us justified Mr. Stamp in examining this issue
24 closely. We do not think that there has been any attempt on his part to
25 mislead the witness, and therefore we shall repel the objection. We will
1 note the comments made, but we will have much more regard to the evidence
2 that is ultimately placed before us.
3 Mr. Stamp, do you want to complete this just now or do you want to
4 deal with it tomorrow?
5 MR. STAMP: I think it's a convenient time, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry?
7 MR. STAMP: I think it's a convenient time to pause.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
9 Mr. Obradovic, we need to conclude our sitting for today at this
10 time. That means that you'll have to come back tomorrow to complete your
11 evidence; that will be at 9.00 tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, overnight it
12 is important that you should not have any discussion about the evidence
13 with anyone at all. You can discuss anything else with whoever you like,
14 but you must not with anyone discuss the evidence in this case.
15 Now, would you please leave the courtroom with the usher.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. Thank you.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.33 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 6th day of
20 September, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.