Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 15736

1 Monday, 17 September 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.

5 [The witness entered court]

6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Smiljanic.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: The examination by Mr. Visnjic will continue in a

9 moment. Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration you made at the

10 beginning of your evidence to speak the truth continues to apply to that

11 evidence today.

12 Mr. Visnjic.

13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.


15 [Witness answered through interpreter]

16 Examination by Mr. Visnjic: [Continued]

17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.

18 A. Good morning.

19 Q. General, let me remind you of our discussion on Friday when I

20 showed you the collegium held on the 6th of November, 1998, that's Exhibit

21 3D664, and a part of the -- our discussion where you explained to us

22 General Dimitrijevic's assessment related to the current situation in

23 Kosovo and Metohija, or rather, that the security forces had withdrawn and

24 that the KLA had already taken some territory and facilities and his

25 assessment about future developments.

Page 15737

1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like this same document

2 to be brought up on e-court, page 7, paragraphs 5 and 6 in B/C/S and page

3 6, or rather, 7, paragraph 1 in English.

4 Q. General, after General Dimitrijevic spoke, General Marjanovic took

5 the floor. What was his post at the time, General Marjanovic's?

6 A. If I remember correctly, I think that he was the chief of the

7 artillery administration.

8 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you if you see the document in

9 front of you in e-court.

10 A. Yes, I have it.

11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, I seem to have a problem

12 because I don't have it in front of me, so let us try -- I have it, it's

13 fine.

14 Q. Could you please comment on what General Marjanovic said,

15 particularly the second paragraph beginning with the words: "In my view,

16 this indicates that the assessment that they would wait for spring was

17 correct ..."

18 A. Well, General Marjanovic confirms and is in agreement with the

19 assessment presented by General Dimitrijevic about the return of the

20 terrorist forces into the area abandoned by the security forces of

21 Yugoslavia and they're reconstituting, re-arming, and preparations for

22 possibly some larger-scale actions. And he notes, just as General

23 Dimitrijevic did, that his assessments and the assessments made by General

24 Dimitrijevic, that they would wait for the spring and that there would be

25 a large-scale offensive in spring on part of the terrorist forces in

Page 15738

1 Kosovo and Metohija were correct.

2 Q. General, but both Generals Marjanovic and Dimitrijevic, they make

3 certain proposals as to how the army should respond, given the situation.

4 A. General Dimitrijevic and General Marjanovic in the situation that

5 they faced made a proposal that the General Staff should address the

6 relevant authorities in the state and ask that the verifiers of the OSCE

7 mission should abide by the agreement, that they should not be biased, and

8 that they should bind the other side to abide by what they had accepted in

9 the agreement with the OSCE mission.

10 Q. Thank you, General.

11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now could we have page 8 in the

12 B/C/S version and page 7 in English, last paragraph for the Judges to see,

13 and then page 8 in English. Could we now have page 8 in English, please.

14 Q. General, General Perisic did not attend this collegium meeting.

15 When General Perisic was not present, who chaired the collegium?

16 A. The Chief of the General Staff was not present at the meeting. In

17 this case and Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic, the deputy Chief of Staff

18 chaired the meeting.

19 Q. General, could we please comment on what General Ojdanic said

20 here, that is the second paragraph of his intervention, beginning with the

21 words: "Secondly, I absolutely agree with and support the proposal that

22 we should, from our point of view, to the best of our abilities, demand a

23 more vigorous reaction on the part of the international community

24 regarding the fulfilment of the assumed obligations and agreements by the

25 other side."

Page 15739

1 So if you have anything to add or perhaps a comment on this

2 paragraph or does it speak for itself?

3 A. Well, it speaks for itself, certainly, but I can comment by saying

4 that General Ojdanic agreed with the situation in Kosovo and Metohija,

5 which means that the entire General Staff was in agreement. He supported

6 General Dimitrijevic's and General Marjanovic's assessments and made a

7 proposal to the competent authorities in the General Staff that they

8 should intervene with the state authorities to intervene with the

9 international community in order to force the other side to abide by or

10 comply with the obligations they agreed to in the agreement with the OSCE

11 mission.

12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I don't want to quote anymore from

13 this document, Your Honours, but I would likely to point to paragraphs 2

14 and 3 in the English text on page 8 that contain parts of General

15 Ojdanic's intervention at that meeting?

16 Q. General, now let us move on to another topic that we could perhaps

17 tie-in with this collegium --

18 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you going to be leading evidence of what was

19 actually done as a result of this?

20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can partially lead

21 evidence about what was actually done up until -- as far as the army is

22 concerned, and later for that part --

23 JUDGE BONOMY: The real evidence in this situation is surely what

24 communication there was as a result with the KVM. You can talk till the

25 cows come home among yourselves, but what was actually done about it is

Page 15740

1 the most significant thing. Was anything done? Perhaps the witness

2 knows.

3 Mr. Smiljanic, was anything done as a result of this agreement

4 that you all came to?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot claim that it was a direct

6 consequence of this conversation, but definitely there were many such

7 conversations in November and the consequence was the fact that

8 General Milorad Obradovic, who was the chief of our team for cooperation

9 with the OSCE mission, I know that he testified here already, sometime in

10 the beginning, in the first half of December, he notified the collegium

11 that the head of the state commission for cooperation with NATO,

12 Mr. Sainovic, had convened an extraordinary meeting with the western

13 European ambassadors accredited in Belgrade, and the topic was to be a

14 debate about the conduct of the verifiers and the conduct of the other

15 side, and by that they meant the terrorist forces in Kosovo, or rather,

16 the agreement that had been signed on the 17th of October, 1998.

17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may add, it is our

18 position that even a discussion about that indicates intent and could be

19 taken as evidence regardless of what actually happened later. We believe

20 that even a discussion on this topic is quite significant and serves as an

21 indicator of the existence of the intent on the part of the participants

22 in this conversation on how things should proceed, how they should be

23 dealt with.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: You may be right, Mr. Visnjic, but if there was a

25 document submitted to the KVM following a meeting like this we wouldn't

Page 15741

1 need to go through the meeting, we would just need the document, because

2 it would prove everything; but as it is, there isn't such a simple

3 document.

4 Anyway, please carry on.

5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think this is a very

6 difficult question for me at this stage, but we will try to do something

7 about it.

8 Q. General, let us just move on to another topic briefly, but perhaps

9 this collegium might be a good reason to do so. An incident is mentioned

10 as the collegium meeting proceeds involving a NATO aeroplane and since

11 this is an area of your expertise could you please tell us briefly what

12 this was all about and let me ask you at the same time the Yugoslav Army

13 had signed a certain agreement with NATO about the verification that, in

14 fact, regulated the use of air-space; am I correct?

15 A. Yes, you're right. On the 15th of October the army, or rather,

16 the state of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia signed an agreement with

17 NATO on the use of air-space above Kosovo and Metohija, and 25 kilometres

18 into the depth of Serbian territory from the administrative border with

19 Kosovo and Metohija on the part of surveillance aircraft of the NATO

20 alliance.

21 Q. General, this agreement was signed by General Perisic, but if I

22 understand you correctly it was signed on behalf of the federal state of

23 Yugoslavia?

24 A. Yes. General Perisic signed this agreement as the --

25 General Clark and general did it on behalf of the Federal Republic of

Page 15742

1 Yugoslavia.

2 Q. Well, you answered in part what it was all about, but what was the

3 obligation undertaken by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in this

4 agreement.

5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] This document was tendered by the

6 Prosecution as P450. We do not have it on our exhibit list, but we will

7 be tendering it as a bar table exhibit. Let me just give you this

8 information if it is necessary for any further proceedings involving this

9 document.

10 Q. General, what were the obligations undertaken by NATO and by the

11 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under this agreement?

12 A. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under this agreement ceded the

13 air-space over Kosovo and Metohija and 25 kilometres into the depth of the

14 Serbian territory from the administrative border with Kosovo and Metohija

15 for, conditionally speaking, unimpeded flight of NATO surveillance

16 aircraft, U-2 aircraft flying at high altitudes, drones flying at lower

17 altitudes, and surveillance aircraft flying at low and medium altitudes.

18 The obligation undertaken by Yugoslavia was that when NATO aircraft flew

19 over Kosovo and Metohija, including the safety zone, that the aircraft of

20 the socialist -- of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was not to fly,

21 that all acquisition and guidance -- rocket-guidance radar systems should

22 be switched off in the overall territory the Republic of Yugoslavia and

23 that NATO could have priority in choosing their flight paths, their flight

24 times, and they should have priority in air-space, as it is called.

25 Q. So these were the obligations undertaken by the Federal Republic

Page 15743

1 of Yugoslavia. What were NATO's obligations?

2 A. In addition, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had to, as far as

3 all the rocket air-defence systems, air-defence systems, and all systems,

4 fire-control systems using radar data, to remove from Kosovo and

5 Yugoslavia -- Kosovo and Metohija all such systems or to concentrate them

6 and store them in a single facility and to report this storage site where

7 all the rocket systems using -- used in air defence including light

8 artillery, anti-aircraft -- anti-aircraft, light artillery, using radar

9 data for fire control.

10 Q. That was about the commitments of the Federal Republic of

11 Yugoslavia, and what about NATO's commitments, if any?

12 A. NATO had the commitment to announce their flights. There would be

13 a weekly schedule, flight schedule drawn up. NATO picked their times for

14 their flights. They had to leave six to eight hours open for the Yugoslav

15 federal planes to use the air-space over Kosovo; however, in case of any

16 emergencies their own change of plan, perhaps bad weather or something

17 like that, within -- at a half-hour notice they had the right to change

18 their flight schedule, making it impossible for Yugoslav planes to use the

19 air-space.

20 Q. General, how did the implementation of this agreement go?

21 A. In order to implement the agreement and monitor the implementation

22 of the agreement, two teams were set up. One was a NATO team

23 headquartered at the headquarters of the air force and anti-aircraft

24 defence and the other was the anti-aircraft defence team which was

25 headquartered at the NATO headquarters, operative headquarters, in

Page 15744

1 Vicenza. There was coordination between the two teams, there was exchange

2 of information, and changes were sometimes announced, which made it

3 possible for this agreement to be implemented with no major hindrances in

4 purely relative terms.

5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 3D709.

6 Q. General, part of the agreement was that General Wesley Clark

7 should visit the command of the air force on the 21st of December, 1998.

8 What we see before us is a report that was produced in relation to this

9 visit by Major-General Slavko Biga. Let's not dwell too long on this

10 document. Can you just tell us what General Clark said on the

11 implementation of this agreement?

12 A. I'm familiar with the agreement because right after this visit I

13 took up duties of commander of the air force and air defence. It was

14 conveyed to me at the time and I can now see for myself, that

15 General Clark spoke in highly laudatory terms about our cooperation. He

16 even invited the air force command to visit the operations centre in

17 Vicenza. He did have a number of what you might call minor objections or

18 remarks. He said that this sort of cooperation meant that there could be

19 cooperation, but this form of cooperation left the entire air-space over

20 Kosovo and Metohija entirely hamstrung for Yugoslav planes and it was no

21 longer possible to train those planes at the Pristina airport. Given the

22 weather conditions and the terms of the agreement, the fighters regiment

23 at the Pristina airport remained grounded for nearly, nearly, five months.

24 I also have to say that some air force equipment was used pursuant to that

25 agreement -- yes, thank you. I also have to say that some anti-air force

Page 15745

1 equipment or weapons that were kept in a particular location and were then

2 moved were now placed under the strictest control of the OSCE verifiers.

3 And our own people had access to the equipment for the purposes of

4 training for technical inspection, but there had to be a 24-hour notice.

5 And there was a ban on using radar systems, radiation radar systems, and

6 also times when technical repairs were being carried out. Therefore, the

7 agreement was high rest restrictive for the Yugoslav side, and to all

8 practical intents immobilised the whole training system of the air force

9 and air-defence forces in Kosovo for the period of time that the agreement

10 prevailed.

11 Q. General, the agreement continued to apply until the very beginning

12 of NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia, did it not?

13 A. Yes, until the 20th of March when the NATO team left the air force

14 headquarters, left the country altogether. It was only natural that the

15 agreement should no longer apply. It was a day or two after their

16 departure that a group of air force and air defence officers who had

17 visited Vicenza, the operations headquarter, the NATO operations

18 headquarters, came back.

19 Q. General --

20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see 3D690, please.

21 Your Honour, this is the Grom 3 directive, Thunderbolt 3. Can we

22 please show page 3 of the B/C/S, paragraphs 4 and 5; English reference is

23 page 3, paragraphs 4 and 5.

24 Q. General, you as the air force and air defence commander, what did

25 you think about NATO's involvement, the involvement of NATO's air force in

Page 15746

1 terms of the prognosis in Thunderbolt 3, which is the first half of

2 January 1999?

3 A. Me and the entire air force command had a different approach, to

4 some extent, to the aggression model than the one provided in this

5 directive. However, there was a directive from the Supreme Command Staff

6 which we ended up accepting. Our difference was in the fact that we were

7 deeply convinced that should there be an aggression by NATO from the

8 air-space, the entire territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

9 would be attacked at once. We also believed that all the military

10 potential and units throughout the area would come under attack.

11 Furthermore, it was our assessment that somewhat larger forces would be

12 used at first, especially cruise missiles, not just at first but also

13 later, that these would be used to attack targets, which is the word very

14 often used, throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. When the

15 aggression finally came, this proved to be true. From the very first

16 minute, the very first bomb, the very first strike, there was a circular

17 attack on the whole area of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with a

18 slightly larger number of planes and cruise missiles than the assessment

19 had predicted. Until -- and the consequences far outweighed the

20 predictions.

21 Q. General, let me try to remind you, you said this was a directive

22 from the Supreme Command Staff; however, this is January 1999?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Is this a directive from the Supreme Command Staff or the General

25 Staff?

Page 15747

1 A. Yes, the General Staff, my apologies. That was a slip of tongue

2 on my part.

3 Q. All right.

4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] If we go to paragraphs 4 and 5.

5 Q. Probable targets are mentioned here for the aggressor's air force.

6 Without going into any great detail, tell me which territory this is

7 about. Where are these facilities?

8 A. This is only about Kosovo and Metohija. The only exception is the

9 Kopaonik, the radar station at Kopaonik, which straddles the border of

10 Kosovo and Metohija and facing Serbia, but you could say that it, too, is

11 part of that same area, although it lies just outside it.

12 Q. So, General, what you predicted actually happened when NATO

13 attacked Yugoslavia on the 24th of March, 1999, did it not? My first

14 question in relation to that is: Which forces did NATO use when they

15 first attacked the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and I'm referring to

16 the air-strikes?

17 A. According to our information, they had about 460 planes and 450

18 cruise missiles, and those were at the ready to begin the air-strikes.

19 The very first night of the strikes, the first wave of strikes, about 150

20 planes were used and about 80 cruise missiles.

21 Q. Thank you. Was there a difference in terms of how many weapons

22 and forces were used at the beginning and at the end of these operations?

23 A. Yes, there is a huge discrepancy. There were, to begin, with 460

24 different types of planes used for different purposes. At the end, there

25 were a total of 1.040 aircraft of all various types involved to carry out

Page 15748

1 all sorts of different assignments. The original prediction was 450, and

2 the 160 cruise missiles, that was the original prediction, but they still

3 ended up firing over 1.000 cruise missiles at various targets.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, what is the issue that this evidence

5 goes to?

6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this part of the

7 witness's testimony is about a fact in a statement that the Defence stated

8 in different forms, that one of the reasons for the movement of population

9 was the NATO air-strikes. It is through this witness that I'm trying to

10 familiarise the Trial Chamber with the extent of these air-strikes, the

11 forces used, the structure of targets, and the type of weapons that

12 Yugoslavia and Kosovo in particular were attacked with at the time.

13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. General, how many flights were there and tell us about their

16 structure, if you can, the NATO flights?

17 A. According to our information, there were about 26.000 flights

18 altogether during the aggression on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

19 According to some NATO sources, the figure of 38.000 is one that is much

20 bandied about; however, our information seems to suggest that the figure

21 could be reduced to 26.000, of which 18.000 were carried out by fighter

22 planes. A note-worthy feature was that in order to attack ground targets,

23 14.000 sorties were made.

24 Q. Fair enough, General. A total of how many attacks against the

25 ground forces, Yugoslavia's ground forces and the targets on the ground?

Page 15749

1 A. If you look at the total of 14.000 sorties and air-strikes against

2 the land forces, about 2.500 attacks were carried out. And just to

3 explain this for the benefit of the Chamber, when I say an attack, this

4 means an attack by a single plane or 100 planes, it makes to difference

5 whatsoever. We're dealing with an attack in both cases. Therefore, a

6 total of about 2.500 air-strikes and about 9.200 firings, cases of firing,

7 against the ground forces and targets on the ground in Yugoslavia.

8 Q. General, what sort of weapons were used during these attacks,

9 General?

10 A. I'll put in what looser terms, but that's actually how it

11 happened. With the exception of the nuclear bomb, all the other highly

12 sophisticated state-of-the-art lethal weapons were used during the NATO

13 air-strikes on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Let me mention a

14 couple of these bombs of precise effective global positioning,

15 long-distance or, better said, distance outside the range of our systems,

16 the systems that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had at the time, and

17 I'm referring to air defence systems; cluster bombs; shells used primarily

18 to target forces in Kosovo and Metohija containing depleted uranium;

19 graphite bombs, used to target sources of electricity and transmission

20 systems; and other weapons, too, with a huge destructive potential

21 approaching the destructive potential of low-power nuclear bombs.

22 Q. How many military targets would there normally be and how many

23 civilian ones when an attack was carried out?

24 A. From the very first night, NATO started attacking civilian

25 targets. The whole of the Rakovica industrial complex, including

Page 15750

1 Belgrade's bread factory came under attack on the 24th of March in the

2 first wave. Therefore, civilian targets were being attacked from day one.

3 As of the beginning of April, civilian facilities came under attack every

4 day and the intensity of these attacks was quite high. According to our

5 information, there were about 3.380 and something cases of firing on

6 civilian targets, which is about 36 per cent of all the firing that

7 occurred during NATO's intervention in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;

8 therefore, that was the breakdown. About 60 per cent military targets and

9 about 40 per cent, globally speaking, I'm not being highly precise right

10 now, 36, 37 per cent civilian targets.

11 Q. General, in what sectors and on what axes were most of these

12 strikes carried out?

13 A. Most of the strikes were carried out in the wider Belgrade region.

14 When I say that, I mean that that was the greater intensity, the highest

15 fire-power was used, the highest fire-power was there. The other sector

16 that came under attack to a certain -- to a similar scale as in Belgrade

17 was Kosovo and Metohija.

18 Q. Could you please tell us what zones and what axes in Kosovo and

19 Metohija came under strike of NATO aircraft?

20 A. NATO aeroplanes mostly attacked the border area with Albania and

21 Macedonia and the Djeneral Jankovic-Kacani-Urosevac-Pristina axis. In

22 this area which is 20 to 30 kilometres into the depth of the Kosovo and

23 Metohija territory from the border, about 80 per cent of all fire opened

24 in Kosovo and Metohija was there, and there were three other

25 municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija. So in this territory of all the

Page 15751

1 facilities that were destroyed, 75 per cent of those facilities were in

2 this area, the border area with Albania and Macedonia and the Djeneral

3 Jankovic-Pristina axis.

4 Q. Are there any specific munitions that were used in this area?

5 A. When I was talking about the use of various military assets or

6 munitions, but it is -- it must be noted that over 80 per cent of the

7 depleted uranium rounds were used in this area. A large number of cluster

8 bombs were used in this area, but the old method, the so-called old method

9 of carpet bombing was applied here. Bomber aircraft released their bombs

10 from 10.000 metres, B-52 aircraft, and bombs are dropped randomly over a

11 large area, there is no targeting, and they hit -- they can hit anything

12 on the ground. So in this area, this is where most of the action

13 concentrated in Kosovo and Metohija and perhaps this then means that this

14 was the highest ratio of actions in the entire territory of Yugoslavia,

15 and most of the destruction happened there indeed.

16 Q. General, what was your assessment and can you tell us why this

17 area was targeted to such a large extent?

18 A. In our assessments and to my understanding there can be two

19 reasons for that, perhaps more than two, but let me just present two. The

20 first is that throughout the aggression there was a plan to launch a

21 ground attack, to use ground forces, for an invasion. The area that came

22 under such an attack was needed for a ground invasion by NATO troops in

23 order to clear the troops from that area, thus facilitating their taking

24 of this territory and using it as a base for further advances into Kosovo

25 and Metohija and reaching the other border probably, that Prepolac and

Page 15752

1 Kosovsko Pomoravlje, that's one of the reasons. The other reason was such

2 attacks were designed to force the civilians to move. It is quite logical

3 if there is such an attack, every normal human being seeks shelter from

4 such attacks, and then the population was to move. And many in the

5 western world condemned this aggression, many of the peace-loving people

6 in western Europe and in the western sphere condemned this aggression, and

7 in order to justify the aggression and to create an illusion among those

8 people that there was a humanitarian disaster caused by the forces of the

9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, or rather, the Army of the Federal

10 Republic of Yugoslavia.

11 Q. Thank you. General, could you please tell us in relation to the

12 forces available to NATO and the Yugoslav air defence and air force, what

13 was the ratio?

14 A. In terms of equipment, the technological degree of development, it

15 is impossible to compare, there can be no comparison. NATO forces really

16 had an advantage that went beyond any comparison. In terms of figures,

17 let me just give you an example which is really quite striking. The

18 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had ten fighter planes that could be used

19 to fight a NATO aircraft according to their specifications. Their

20 specifications were close to NATO aircraft specifications. And facing

21 those ten aircraft in possession of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,

22 NATO had 100. If we look at the number of sorties, that would be -- the

23 Yugoslav air force and air defence aeroplanes had ten sorties and NATO

24 aircraft 4.000 sorties, so that would be the ratio of 400:1. Numerical

25 indicators are really frightening, if I may be so bold as to say that.

Page 15753

1 Q. Let us paint this picture for the Trial Chamber. The attack

2 aircraft of NATO --

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you do that, can you clarify the figure

4 you've given us about 4.000 sorties. We've -- the transcript earlier

5 showed a figure of 14.000. What is the figure?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. 14.000 sorties, that's

7 for ground attacks. That's assault aircraft that has the appropriate

8 equipment and weapons to target ground targets. And there were 4.000

9 fighter aircraft sorties, fighters fight other fighters, so that was for

10 the air fights against the fighters of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

11 So that's an indicator, and these figures are correct.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

13 Mr. Visnjic.

14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. General, could you please tell us how many NATO aircraft would

16 there be in the air-space daily? I don't know if you have any figures to

17 that effect.

18 A. In the air-space of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, daily

19 2.030 aircraft would get into that air-space, aircraft of various

20 purposes, mostly aircraft designed to attack ground forces. Fighter

21 planes didn't actually get into the air-space, they did it very rarely.

22 They operated from the borders of the neighbouring countries. And it's

23 interesting to note that in the course of intense negotiations about the

24 cease-fire and the cessation of the aggression on the 26th of May, 535

25 NATO fighters entered the air-space above our country. It's a frightened

Page 15754

1 figure because it's a small space, but it is interesting, too. Because at

2 that time there were intense negotiations and an agreement was almost

3 reached, yet this is the time when so many aircraft take off to target

4 ground targets.

5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Just to correct the transcript, page

6 18, line 25, the figure there should be 232, not 2.300 [sic].

7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. General, in light of everything that you told us, was NATO

10 hampered in terms of choosing weapons, quantity of munitions, times of

11 attack on the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Could you

12 comment on that?

13 A. No. In the aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,

14 NATO did not face any restrictions in light of the -- its strength, the

15 inferiority of the arms or equipment in possession of the air force and

16 air defence. NATO could choose time, conditions, axes, and that's what it

17 did. The aggression was carried out from a circular base from the

18 territories of all the countries around us, and I have to stress that only

19 in the second period did they launch attacks from the territories of

20 Romania and Bulgaria.

21 Q. General, thank you. You were the commander of a strategic group.

22 What was -- how -- to what extent were you independent or what was your

23 discretionary right after you got the order from the Supreme Command

24 Staff? To what extent were you guided in the use of the forces that you

25 had or were you independent and to what extent in your decision to use the

Page 15755

1 forces that you had been given?

2 A. We had full independence, in short. A commander who is given an

3 approval for his decision from the superior command or commander is

4 entirely free to apply any models, methodology, time, definitely, if the

5 decision does not limit the time, but he is completely free to choose how

6 to carry out the task he was given. And in principle General Ojdanic -

7 and that's a fundamental principle in our rules, the principle of the

8 singleness of command, which determines that there should be one

9 commander, one decision, one responsibility. Definitely after a decision

10 has been approved no commander can start on a combat mission if the

11 decision he had made was not approved by his superior commander.

12 Q. General, thank you. Now that you mentioned General Ojdanic, what

13 option did General Ojdanic have when NATO made the decision to attack the

14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?

15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And could we please have Exhibit

16 P1085, page in B/C/S 262 and English version that's page 216.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the only option that General

18 Ojdanic had at the time was to defend his country against the outside

19 aggression and against the armed rebellion from inside the country.

20 JUDGE BONOMY: I didn't understand -- I didn't understand the

21 question, and General Ojdanic was not the supreme commander. So what is

22 it you're really asking here?

23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --

24 JUDGE BONOMY: Presumably his only option is to obey the man that

25 commands him, do as he's told.

Page 15756

1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, I think that is not in

2 dispute, that that was the option, but I would like to bring to the fore

3 one part that pertains to my next question for this witness.

4 Q. General, you and General Ojdanic, like all the other personnel of

5 the army, you took an oath. Do you remember when did you take the oath?

6 A. Well, it was long time ago. I took the oath in the first year of

7 air force academy after completing my basic training, that was in 1964,

8 late 1964.

9 Q. General, now when you look at this text, the text of this oath

10 that you have in front of you, that is from the rules of service issued in

11 1996, is this text different in any essential way from the text that you

12 took -- of the oath that you took in your time?

13 A. Well, there may be some slight changes, but the essence of the

14 oath remained the same and it really does read: "I swear by my honour and

15 my life that I shall defend the sovereignty, territory, independence, and

16 the constitutional order," in this case it's the Federal Republic of

17 Yugoslavia. That's approximately the same oath that we took, but this is

18 the one that is in force now. That's the valid one.

19 Q. General, thank you. That would more or less complete your

20 evidence, but I do have one brief question. Could you please tell me,

21 what were the capabilities of the aviation of the Federal Republic of

22 Yugoslavia to operate during the NATO attacks to carry out any attack

23 flights, attack missions?

24 A. Well, generally speaking, meager capabilities from the technical

25 point of view, but also from the point of view of training. The Federal

Page 15757

1 Republic of Yugoslavia, as it is quite well-known, from 1992 until the

2 aggression was under a blockade and very severe sanctions that affected

3 all spheres of life of a state and of a people. In 1995, this regime

4 became a bit more lax, but training in particular of the air force which

5 uses up a lot of assets, that was down to a minimum. Pilots would have 25

6 to 30 hours, as opposed to 300 hours that would be NATO standard. So you

7 cannot really compare it and that might be quite striking for anyone who

8 was not familiar with those figures. As far as ordnance was concerned,

9 the quantities were low and the air force aircraft could only carry out

10 attack flights, attack missions, during the day because we didn't have

11 weapons that could be used at night or in adverse weather conditions. So

12 in terms of attack missions, our assets were very limited.

13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to show a

14 short video, it's under a minute long I think, and it's about the bombing

15 of the village of Nogavac, which I'm sure you remember was mentioned by a

16 number of OTP witnesses. I showed the General this footage, it's part of

17 a large-scale compilation. We are using the portion that we believe is

18 important for our analysis. I have shown the General this footage. He

19 has gone through it, and I believe he'll be able to comment.

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's see it then.

21 Sorry.

22 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have an issue regarding foundation and

23 authenticity. I don't know if the General took this video or if he's seen

24 it, but so far from what I've been provided I can't tell where it comes

25 from.

Page 15758

1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we've just been told he has seen it.

2 The source of this, Mr. Visnjic?

3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I got this as part of

4 a more extensive compilation. I got it from a Defence team in a different

5 trial, and this wide-ranging compilation was about many events at the

6 time, one of these being the village of Nogavac. As far as I know, it was

7 a Zastava film that took this footage it's military service producing

8 documents and films; however, if Mr. Hannis has any objections to raise

9 about this I will try gradually to gather information to support the

10 authenticity of this footage.

11 MR. HANNIS: Regarding the wider compilation, I looked at the

12 first 10 or 12 minutes seemed to be an interview with General Maisonneuve

13 who testified here and then there were two or three minutes of some guys

14 digging trenches and I don't know who they were or what they were doing.

15 This is followed by somebody in a hospital. This is a mixed bag of things

16 and I don't know where it comes from, that's why I raise the issue.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the question you intend to request,

18 Mr. Visnjic?

19 MR. VISNJIC: Sorry, I'm waiting for -- [Interpretation] Your

20 Honours, I just want to ask the witness whether he can comment, since in

21 the footage we see part of a certain bomb or rocket or something,

22 whatever, that's one thing; and the other thing is, given the form of the

23 damage that occurred can he ascertain what weapon was used. There's

24 nothing about the place or anything about that. I want his professional

25 comment on that.

Page 15759

1 [Trial Chamber confers]

2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, we'll allow this to be shown and the

3 questions to be asked, but we will mark the exhibit for identification and

4 we will reserve the question of the relevancy of the answers that are

5 given until we're able to deal with the authenticity of the extract.

6 So please proceed on that basis, Mr. Visnjic.

7 [Videotape played]

8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think the film has

9 started.

10 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the exhibit number, Mr. Visnjic?

11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is 3D710.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. General, briefly, no details, please, you've seen this footage a

15 number of times, haven't you? We zoomed in on certain portions of this

16 tape. Can you please tell us what you've just seen.

17 A. Large-scale destruction, to begin with. Part of a projectile that

18 was supposed to be used; however, the amount of destruction caused does

19 not correspond to that. In addition to that, there had to be something

20 else being used, some other kind of weapon. I think even high-pressure

21 weapons such as oxygen bombs, something like that, which creates a high

22 atmospheric pressure and a large-scale explosion of pressure or a

23 fragmentation missile such as a cluster bomb. If we could please rewind

24 to that bit where we see the remains of a missile that was probably used.

25 [Videotape played]

Page 15760

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we could please focus on that.

2 Yes, yes, that's what I mean. It is my inner-most conviction that this is

3 a part of -- can we please not zoom out, leave it like that, especially

4 where we see the writing. This is the rocket engine of a HARM 88 missile.

5 You can see the writing in English. Were we to analyse this, we would

6 soon learn what this means. This is the charge number, the fuse, the

7 shelf-life, as it were, of the missile, it's all in English. And it is in

8 my opinion that this was the missile used. Personally, I do believe that

9 other kinds of weapons were used as well.

10 I have to point out yet again, to the extent that I'm familiar

11 with this and I am because I have been proofed for this testimony, I think

12 that this operation took place, this attack took place, at 2.00 in the

13 morning, two minutes past 2.00, on the 2nd of April. Our own air force

14 did not have any crews trained for this sort of an attack. They didn't

15 have weapons like this and they didn't have planes like this and they

16 could certainly not carry out an attack at that time of night. They could

17 have just dropped bombs randomly, of course, but I have to rule out the

18 possibility because we simply weren't able to attack by night with the

19 planes that we had. The only night-time planes that we had were fighter

20 planes, but that was quite a meager crop altogether as the first night of

21 the NATO aggression proved.

22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. General, just another question, were you aware of any plan to

24 relocate or expel the Albanian population from Kosovo?

25 A. No, never.

Page 15761

1 Q. Thank you very much, General.

2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this completes my

3 examination-in-chief.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

5 Any other counsel wish -- Mr. Cepic.

6 MR. CEPIC: If you -- with your leave, Your Honour.


8 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

9 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:

10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.

11 A. Good morning and the rest of the day, too.

12 Q. Thank you. I'm Djuro Cepic. I will ask you two questions, a

13 grand total of two questions on behalf of General Lazarevic. I'll talk

14 about the air force and air defence in Kosovo and Metohija. So the

15 question is: Were there any such units in Kosovo and Metohija?

16 A. Yes, there were air force and air defence units in Kosovo and

17 Metohija.

18 Q. Can you name some, please, not all?

19 A. The entire Velika Slatina airport, today it's called Pristina

20 airport, was a facility that was in the hands of the air force and air

21 defence units. A fighter plane regiment was stationed at that airport and

22 they had MiG-21 planes. The logistics were provided by a brigade-level

23 unit for the air base, and there was also the 311th Rocket Regiment in

24 Kosovo armed with a KUP system, and there was also a platoon stationed at

25 Goles, just above Velika Slatina airport. Three higher-level tactical

Page 15762

1 groups and one basic tactical group in Kosovo and Metohija from the air

2 force and air defence altogether.

3 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, we have error in transcript, 27th page,

4 line -- line 5, I think that the witness said that those units were in

5 Kosovo and Metohija, just to distinguish units in the area of airport

6 Slatina.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: Line 5 ... You mean line 6?

8 MR. CEPIC: 311 Rocket Regiment -- yes --

9 JUDGE BONOMY: And what are you saying is the problem? We can

10 clarify it with the witness.

11 Where is it you're saying the 311th Rocket Regiment was located?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 311th Rocket Regiment was

13 stationed in the general Velika Slatina airport area. It wasn't at the

14 airport itself. It was located in the general area in Kosovo and

15 Metohija.

16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. My last question: Who was in command of this unit, these units?

18 A. Globally speaking, the command of the air force and air defence.

19 Q. Thank you.

20 A. But some of the forces were in the anti-aircraft corps of the air

21 corps.

22 MR. CEPIC: No further questions.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the other one was part of the

24 air force and air defence corps.

25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

Page 15763

1 Your Honours, I have no further questions.

2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.

3 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:

4 Q. Good morning, General. I wanted to follow-up on one of the

5 last --

6 A. Good morning to you, too.

7 Q. One of the last things you talked about. You mentioned NATO

8 didn't have any hindrances on its abilities to carry out its attacks

9 during the aggression, but there were several occasions where they were

10 hindered by bad weather; is that correct?

11 A. I don't know and I can't say.

12 Q. You're not aware that there was some days when the number of

13 sorties or missions were greatly reduced or didn't take place at all in

14 some areas?

15 A. If you're talking about weather, it was far less favourable for

16 us, given the level of equipment that we had at our disposal. It is true

17 that there were days that there were 535 sorties, such as on the 26th of

18 May, and there were days when there were between 100 and 200 sorties. But

19 I really can't say in relation to each of those 78 days, but there is

20 information indicating that.

21 Q. And General Naumann from NATO was here in December and testified

22 for us, and one of the things he told us in his testimony that the NATO

23 air-strikes were also complicated by the Serb use of homes and buildings

24 to hide weapons and vehicles as well as the intermixing of military

25 vehicles with civilian convoys. Those are tactics that were sometimes

Page 15764

1 used by the Serb army; is that true?

2 A. I can't say that it's true simply because I wish to say that the

3 air force and air defence in its manoeuvres never used civilian convoys.

4 It would be ridiculous to see a rocket-guiding radar among tractors or

5 buses. Therefore, I can't confirm that, but I certainly doubt it very

6 much. This would be an inhumane thing, and I can be quite certain, in

7 fact, that VJ commanders never used anything like this, this sort of

8 employ, if you like.

9 Q. And how can you be certain of that, sir?

10 A. Based on what I know, I am nearly certain. Let's say I'm not 100

11 per cent positive; let's leave it at nearly certain.

12 Q. All right. Now, you were shown a video of some damage and what

13 appeared to be a portion of some sort of missile or bomb. Can you tell us

14 the first time you saw that video?

15 A. I first watched it closely during my proofing, but I had seen it

16 before in Serbia.

17 Q. When was the first time you saw it in Serbia, if you recall, what

18 year?

19 A. I can't remember.

20 Q. But you certainly weren't out there on the scene where this video

21 was taken, were you?

22 A. No, I wasn't.

23 Q. And you don't have any personal knowledge of exactly where that

24 was taken?

25 A. No.

Page 15765

1 Q. Or when it was taken?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Okay. Or by whom it was taken?

4 A. Attorney Visnjic told me that, but it's not something that I can

5 speak to from personal knowledge.

6 Q. Okay. Fair enough. I'm just asking you about your personal

7 knowledge. And you have no way of knowing whether or not that bomb

8 fragment or that portion of the missile was in place or if it was brought

9 and put there by someone else?

10 A. I think this may be analysed further, but if you have a close look

11 there's a crater just next to this missile, the HARM 88 missile, and

12 there's a crater which is very much like those left by these missiles in

13 other places. For example, at the Batajnica airport, that's what I looked

14 at one. The crater is nearly the same in terms of shape. Therefore, if

15 you use the comparative method you can - or perhaps not depending on your

16 skill - conclude that there's a likeness between the two. But I'm certain

17 that a missile like this could not have caused this amount of destruction.

18 Q. Okay. I want to ask you about Exhibit 3D669.

19 MR. HANNIS: If we could bring that up, please.

20 Q. And this is -- General, while it's coming up I'll tell you that

21 this is an order from the General Staff, the first administration, to the

22 commands of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Army, to the air force, the navy, and the

23 special units. And it apparently arises out of an extraordinary meeting

24 of the collegium that had taken place on the 21st of February. Do you

25 recall if you attended the collegium session on the 21st of February,

Page 15766

1 1999?

2 A. If I could first see what this is about, and then perhaps I can

3 tell you.

4 Q. Okay.

5 A. As you see if you look at the header or the preamble, the air

6 force and air defence commander reported on the combat-readiness and the

7 situation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was reviewed, the

8 situation concerning the combat-readiness of the VJ --

9 JUDGE BONOMY: The question is: Were you present at this meeting?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's just what I'm telling

11 you --

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you --

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- That is indicated.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the answer is yes.

15 Mr. Hannis.

16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. If we could --

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

18 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to page 4 of the English and page 3 of

19 the B/C/S.

20 Q. I want to look at item number 15 in this order, General, and I

21 have a question for you once we have that up on the screen. I've got my

22 English but I don't think you have the B/C/S yet. Okay. Item number 15

23 is translated into English as: "Some of the requests filed by army and

24 RM," which I understand stands for the navy, "by army and RM commanders,

25 which are of a political nature and not under the jurisdiction of the

Page 15767

1 General Staff of the VJ, will be sent to the relevant organs for

2 processing."

3 Do you recall what those requests by the army and navy commanders

4 were that were of a political nature in this February extraordinary

5 meeting?

6 A. Firstly, you're not really consistent in reading this paragraph,

7 but it doesn't affect the substance. I think and I'm confident that there

8 were no political demands being made, and I really can't say what this is

9 about. The head of the information and morale guidance administration

10 here is responsible for cooperating with state institutions dealing with

11 morale and passing on information. He was given an assignment - and I

12 really can't say what that assignment was - but one thing that I can say

13 is that I myself raised no political requests whatsoever. It doesn't say

14 belong to the domain of political demands, it says belong to the domain of

15 a political nature. Everything is politics. War is politics too.

16 Politics, I don't see any political demands being made here and it doesn't

17 actually state that there were political demands being made.

18 Q. That may have been a matter of translation, because the English

19 says and what I read was: "Some of the requests filed by army and RM

20 commanders, which are of a political nature and not under the jurisdiction

21 of the General Staff ..."

22 So my question is: You don't recall at the meeting two days prior

23 any discussion about those kinds of things; is that fair?

24 A. I don't remember, but I can say that it is impossible to wage a

25 war, to prepare for a war, without having political views. There would be

Page 15768

1 a disharmony in the system and it would lead nowhere. I don't know and I

2 don't remember.

3 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, is this a good time for the break?

4 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll break here.

5 Mr. Smiljanic, we have to break now for 20 minutes. Could you

6 please leave the courtroom now with the usher and we'll see you again at

7 ten to 11.00.


9 [The witness stands down]

10 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.

11 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.

12 [The witness takes the stand]

13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.

14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.

15 Q. General, I wanted to ask you a question about General Grahovac. I

16 understand -- was he the assistant to the Chief of General Staff for air

17 and air defence forces in early 1999?

18 A. Yes, he was.

19 Q. All right. I have a note indicating that he was replaced about

20 the 19th of April, 1999. Does that sound right?

21 A. Well, frankly, I couldn't comment on it. This was up to the

22 General Staff or the Supreme Command Staff, as it was at the time, about

23 personnel appointments. I had nothing to do with that and I couldn't

24 really comment on it. It's probably correct. I think that he actually

25 got promoted to a higher post.

Page 15769

1 Q. But that happened -- that change occurred while the NATO bombing

2 was still going on, correct, and you don't know why. Is that your

3 testimony?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Were any of your planes still flying in April and May of 1999 or

6 had they all been put out of operation?

7 A. The last flight, the aviation stopped flying on the 4th of April,

8 but the last flight was on the 4th of May when a MiG-29 was scrambled to

9 face a group of aeroplanes heading towards Serbia, but from that time on

10 there were no more flights.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: Can someone assist, is there an error in line 17?

12 You've been recorded as saying, Mr. Smiljanic, that the aviation

13 stopped on the 4th of April, but the last flight was on the 4th of May.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: These seem to contradict each other.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The aviation stopped flying on

17 the 4th of April, but there was one single flight on the 4th of May. So

18 you could say that the aviation stopped flying on the 4th of April, 1999.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

20 Mr. Hannis.


22 Q. Just to be clear then. After the 4th of April, there was one

23 single occasion when one of your planes flew, and that was on the 4th of

24 May?

25 A. That's correct, yes, yes.

Page 15770

1 Q. Thank you. Earlier this morning when Mr. Visnjic was asking you a

2 question about the collegium meeting on the 6th of November, 1998, you

3 talked about the positions set forward by General Dimitrijevic and

4 General Marjanovic and noted that General Ojdanic agreed with them, with

5 their assessments, about making a proposal to the competent authorities

6 that they should intervene with the state authorities to intervene with

7 the international community in order to force the other side to abide by

8 or comply with the obligations that they had agreed to in the agreement

9 with the OSCE mission. My question is: In that context who are you

10 referring to when you say "the other side"?

11 A. I was referring to the Siptar terrorists in the territory of

12 Kosovo and Metohija.

13 Q. But I have a question for you. The Siptar terrorists or sometimes

14 they're referred to as the KLA or the so-called KLA, they had not signed

15 any agreement with Mr. Milosevic or Mr. Holbrooke, had they?

16 A. Well, I couldn't comment on that, but you should look at the

17 agreement between Zivadin Jovanovic and the OSCE president, I think it was

18 Geremek.

19 Q. But nobody from the KLA or the so-called KLA or the Siptar

20 terrorists had signed that agreement either, had they?

21 A. That agreement was signed by the international community on their

22 behalf.

23 Q. On behalf of the KLA?

24 A. Yes, on behalf of the KLA.

25 Q. And who in the KLA gave them authority to do that?

Page 15771

1 A. Well, you have to ask somebody from the KLA.

2 Q. And didn't -- didn't OSCE indicate that one of their problems was

3 that they didn't have any control over the KLA because the KLA had not

4 signed the agreement under which the KVM was operating?

5 A. Well, again, this was the problem for the OSCE, not for me and not

6 for the other side.

7 Q. You mentioned that regarding the NATO air-strikes in answering a

8 question from Mr. Visnjic, I think you said that the air-strikes came

9 generally in the areas that you had anticipated. Would that be fair? I'm

10 not sure if you said that or not, but is it fair to say that based on your

11 pre-war assessment the air-strikes came at the locations that you largely

12 anticipated they would?

13 A. No, that's not what I said, and it would be absurd and pointless

14 to assess that the NATO would hit precisely the targets that we

15 anticipated, but as for some key facilities in the overall territory and

16 territory in general areas, that was the case.

17 Q. Well, maybe I should phrase it in terms of general targets. They

18 generally struck at the kinds of targets you would expect them to in such

19 an operation. Air defence, anti-aircraft defence, communications,

20 command, weapons producing installations, et cetera, correct?

21 A. Yes, that's what we anticipated, but we didn't anticipate that

22 they would destroy the bridges on the Danube, the bread production

23 facilities, that they would bomb water-supply plants, thermal electric

24 plants, the oil industry facilities, historical monuments, cultural

25 monuments, and so on and so forth. There were many other things that we

Page 15772

1 didn't anticipate, but I don't want to bother you with all that. We

2 anticipated that that would be war in which soldiers would fight soldiers.

3 Q. In the first couple of weeks of the war, weren't the strikes

4 primarily at those kinds of targets, air defence, military installations

5 and facilities, communications and control sites, and the attacks on

6 infrastructure came later, right?

7 A. No. From day one there were attacks on infrastructure that had

8 nothing to do with military facilities or facilities used to wage the war,

9 such as, for instance, the Rakovica bread production plant near Belgrade.

10 Q. And you have precise information about -- you've given us precise

11 information about the number of sorties and the number of flights, the

12 number of missiles, and you must have precise information about these --

13 the individual targets damaged, correct?

14 A. Well, precisely not, but in general terms, yes. The damage was

15 assessed by the competent state commission with the participation of the

16 army and all the institutions of the state, they came up with an

17 assessment of the damage. I don't think that I'm competent to discuss

18 this damage assessment. There are people who participated in that

19 exercise who would be much more competent to speak about it and to give

20 you much more precise information.

21 Q. Okay. And when you were drawing the distinction between military

22 targets and civilian targets, when you say civilian in this context you're

23 really talking about non-military, you're not talking about residential

24 housing areas, are you, or farming villages?

25 A. Everything that does not serve the function of waging a war and

Page 15773

1 everything that is not used to wage a war is -- for military purposes

2 that's civilian facilities, and that's what I'm talking about, targets

3 that are not used for the purpose of waging a war, they were targeted.

4 Let me give you an example, my apologies to the --

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Smiljanic, could you just please answer the

6 question that you were asked, and that was whether residential areas and

7 farming villages were bombed deliberately.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that residential buildings

9 were bombed, and if they were bombed that means that there was an

10 intention to do so. It's -- you can't do things randomly. There must

11 have been an intention and a purpose behind the bombing of those areas.

12 We have Surdulica, Aleksinac, Belgrade, we have a number such examples,

13 but I wanted to explain merely about the target selection. One day

14 because of NATO air-strikes that hit water-supply system and the

15 water-supply plant in Belgrade, Belgrade was left with 8 per cent of its

16 water reserves, and we're talking about 2 million inhabitants. If the

17 water-supply systems, the water reserves, and the water-supply plant, if

18 that's a military facility then indeed they were justified in targeting

19 it.


21 Q. Could you explain to me the difference between a sortie and an

22 attack. You mentioned there were 14.000 sorties flown. What does that

23 mean?

24 A. A flight "polet" is a -- when an aircraft takes off and does not

25 attack. Out of 14.000 flights, 9.200 opened fire, so 60 per cent of the

Page 15774

1 aircraft entering the Yugoslav aircraft [as interpreted] actually carried

2 out attacks and opened fire, so that's a difference between a combat

3 flight and an opening of fire in a combat situation, firing.

4 Q. Okay. I still need your help on the terms. You mentioned 14.000

5 sorties, 2.500 attacks, and 9.200 firings. Is -- a firing, is that an

6 individual missile or a bomb? Does each one count as an individual

7 firing?

8 A. Yes, yes, yes. Individual round missile, so that's an individual

9 instance when an aircraft opens fire, just as we said that there were

10 14.000 individual sorties, there were 9.200 individual instances when

11 weapons were fired, bombs were dropped, missiles were launched or any

12 other ordnance.

13 Q. And then I take it an attack is where there's been an sortie with

14 an attack and one or more firings of a bomb or a missile or some sort of

15 weapon, correct?

16 A. Yes, but you can have an attack even when fire is not opened. You

17 can attack and then somebody prevents you from actually opening fire.

18 Q. Well, how do you determine that's an attack if no fire is opened?

19 A. In most cases, yes, fire is opened. An attack in which fire is

20 opened. Well, apart from the indicators on the ground, you have to bear

21 in mind that radio surveillance, radar surveillance, monitoring the

22 entrance of aircraft and their movement also provided additional

23 information about the number of attacks, the number of times when fire was

24 opened, because first you have to determine that an aircraft entered the

25 air-space, how many aircraft, and how many times fire was opened. So as

Page 15775

1 we said, that's the figures we have and I already indicated that according

2 to some US sources there were 36.000 to 38.000 of those combat flights.

3 Q. Well, now that's a new term and a new number for me. What's the

4 relationship between 36 to 38.000 combat flights and 14.000 sorties and

5 2500 attacks?

6 A. I made a mistake.

7 Q. Okay.

8 A. I -- 36.000, it's a mistake. It's 38.000, that's the correct

9 figure, and that's from NATO sources and NATO analysis. That's the figure

10 that they have. Now, if I have to explain to you what you just asked me,

11 could you please repeat your question.

12 Q. Well, I guess what's the difference between a combat flight and a

13 sortie in this context?

14 A. No difference. Sortie is part of a flight. If you take off, then

15 you complete your flight. Combat flight, "borbeni let" is the correct

16 term because it includes taking off, landing, and everything in between.

17 Q. Well, I guess you'll have to help me with this then. You told us

18 there were 14.000 sorties; NATO says there were 38.000 combat flights.

19 Where's the -- where are the other 24.000? Are those NATO planes that

20 took off that didn't make it to Yugoslavia?

21 A. Well, I already explained this. I said our data indicate, we have

22 data that NATO in the course of the aggression against Yugoslavia carried

23 out 26.000 combat flights, and I added that according to some US sources

24 there were 38.000 such flights. We don't have to accept that as relevant

25 piece of information. Out of those 26.000 take-offs, 18.000 were combat

Page 15776

1 flights and 7 or 8 or whatever it is to do the balance are assistant

2 aircraft flights, AWACS, tank planes, and so on. Out of the 18.000 combat

3 flights, 14.000 flights were used for ground attacks and 4.000 were

4 carried out by NATO fighter planes. These are also combat flights. So

5 it's 18.000 total.

6 Out of 14.000 flights that attacked ground targets, 9.200 actually

7 opened fire and 5.000, or rather, 4.800 did not. Those 9.200 instances

8 when fire was opened occurred in a total of about 2.500 attacks.

9 Q. Well, there's a new number but I'm going to move on. You said at

10 page 15, line 18 today that: "Most of the strikes were carried out in the

11 wider Belgrade region, and when I say that I mean that that was the

12 greater intensity the highest fire-power was used, the highest fire-power

13 was there."

14 So when you say most of the strikes were carried out in the wider

15 Belgrade area, if we were talking about 9200 firings, how many of those

16 were in the wider Belgrade area? Half? More than half? Do you know?

17 A. I can't give you that information now.

18 Q. And how much -- you mentioned that another sector that came under

19 attack to a similar scale was Kosovo. Do you know what the proportion was

20 between Belgrade and Kosovo? Did they both have about the same amount?

21 Was it about half and half? Do you know?

22 A. More attacks were carried out in the territory of Kosovo and

23 Metohija, that's what I stressed, than in the Belgrade area. But in the

24 Belgrade area in terms of the strength of weapons and destruction, that

25 was worse. There were large -- large industries there and strong

Page 15777

1 fire-power was used there, highly destructive weapons were used. But

2 there were more attacks in Kosovo but using less destructive weapons,

3 such, as for instance, depleted uranium shells that have a high

4 destructive power -- but have lesser destructive power, but the

5 consequences are more far-reaching, more serious.

6 Q. You mentioned in regard to the follow-up question from Mr. Visnjic

7 that with regard to Kosovo NATO aeroplanes mostly attacked the border area

8 with Albania and Macedonia and the Djeneral

9 Jankovic-Kacani-Urosevac-Pristina axis. In this area which is 20 to 30

10 kilometres into the depth of Kosovo about 80 per cent of all fire opened

11 in Kosovo was there. And because you ran three places together, I'm not

12 sure -- was 80 per cent of all fire opened in Kosovo in the Djeneral

13 Jankovic-Kacani-Urosevac-Pristina axis or do you mean in the three areas

14 including the Albania and Macedonia borders?

15 A. I include the border area facing Albania and Macedonia.

16 Q. Your theory for the reason why so much bombing took place in that

17 area, you said there were two possible reasons and one of them you said

18 was that the attacks were designed to force the civilians to move. So

19 when did you come to the conclusion that the bombing at the border was to

20 drive away the civilians? Was that right away in the first couple of days

21 of the war or only after the end of the war or when did you decide that

22 that was the reason?

23 A. Well, it's hard to pin-point the time, but once it was observed

24 that there were those intense attacks in this area using a lot of assets

25 and knowing that there were talks, plans, for a ground invasion, one of

Page 15778

1 the reasons was to destroy the military assets there, creating a

2 favourable basis -- base for entering into the Kosovo and Metohija

3 territory; and the second reason was surely, that was an assessment, that

4 the western world had to get this picture of a humanitarian disaster

5 caused by the Serbian forces making the Albanian population move and leave

6 the territory of Kosovo and Metohija and the easiest thing to do was to

7 make the people living in the border area move. Very few people moved

8 from the Kosovsko Pomoravlje area because it was further away from the

9 border, it would have been much more difficult. But in this area the

10 situation was such that the people had to be made to move in order to

11 create this picture.

12 Q. Well, we've had evidence in this case from a lot of people all

13 over Kosovo that the reason they moved and left was because they were

14 driven out by the army and the police. Now, if you were aware or believed

15 that the NATO bombing at the border was to drive the civilians out, why

16 would you move civilians from the interior to the border in the line of

17 fire of all this NATO bombing?

18 A. This is a complex and difficult question, but wherever you have

19 bombs falling, nobody will just stand idly by and watch as the bombs keep

20 falling. We had professionals flee these areas, too, let alone people who

21 weren't trained, who really thought this was some sort of punishment

22 falling from the sky or whatever.

23 Q. Well, General, are you familiar with the geography and some of the

24 major towns in Kosovo?

25 A. To quite a large extent, yes.

Page 15779

1 Q. Given your theory, do you know why hundreds or thousands of

2 people, Kosovo Albanians from Kosovska Mitrovica would go halfway across

3 Kosovo to the Albanian border if that's where the bombings were taking

4 place?

5 A. I don't know when they did that and I really don't know why, but I

6 don't know when it was that they moved from Kosovska Mitrovica towards the

7 Albanian border.

8 Q. Okay. Fair enough. You mentioned that the Federal Republic of

9 Yugoslavia had ten fighter planes that could be used to fight a NATO

10 aircraft according to their specifications. Which ones were those? Were

11 those the MiG-21s?

12 A. No, those were MiG-29s.

13 Q. And do you know when and where you had obtained those MiG-29s?

14 A. Yes. Those planes were obtained from the Soviet Union back in

15 1987 and 1988.

16 Q. Okay. And what about the MiG-21s, do you know when and where they

17 were obtained?

18 A. This was a plane that was obtained from the Soviet Union, too, in

19 the 1970s. This is a second-generation MiG. It was outdated, obsolete

20 you might say, and it no longer had the appropriate features for a fighter

21 intercepter plane, especially as compared to the opponent's fighter

22 planes, which had missiles whose range was as far as 120 kilometres.

23 Q. And you're not aware of any MiGs obtained from the Russians at a

24 later date after the embargo and the sanctions were in place; is that

25 correct?

Page 15780

1 A. No.

2 Q. You --

3 A. I'm not familiar with that at all. If there were any that were

4 bought, I would have known.

5 Q. You're not aware of a trip that I think General Grahovac took with

6 Mr. Lilic and someone else to see about buying some MiG planes?

7 A. There was a trip that occurred perhaps, I don't know, but it

8 wasn't my responsibility to monitor Lilic's movements at the time,

9 whatever his capacity was. He wasn't state president, but certainly there

10 were no MiGs.

11 Q. And what about General Grahovac, do you know about him going on

12 that trip with Mr. Lilic?

13 A. No, no. It wasn't my job to look into this trip that they may

14 have made or to wonder why.

15 Q. You mentioned the importance that General Ojdanic put on the

16 general principle of singleness of command. Did you ever hear of a body

17 in 1998 or 1999 called the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija?

18 A. No, never.

19 Q. And have you heard of it since 1999?

20 A. Yes. During the Slobodan Milosevic trial, I heard of the

21 existence of such a body, that a body like that existed or was rumoured to

22 exist, which I doubt.

23 Q. Okay.

24 MR. HANNIS: Can we show the witness P1487, please.

25 Q. That will come up on the screen in a minute, General. I'll tell

Page 15781

1 you this is a document from the Supreme Command Staff, staff operations

2 department. It's signed by General Ojdanic and it's dated the 17th of

3 April, 1999, and it's to the commander of the 3rd Army who we know at the

4 time was General Pavkovic. And it's entitled: "Suggestions." And it's

5 linked to a document that we've seen in evidence in this court already

6 called the Kosovo and Metohija Joint Command order, strictly confidential

7 number 455-148 of 15 April 1999.

8 Now, do you have any reason to doubt the authenticity of this

9 document from the Supreme Command and bearing what appears to be General

10 Ojdanic's signature?

11 A. If I could see General Ojdanic's signature, then I would have no

12 reason to doubt the authenticity of this document.

13 MR. HANNIS: If we could scroll up on the B/C/S document.

14 Q. Maybe you can ...

15 A. Yes, this is General Ojdanic's signature.

16 Q. Okay. And before now you had not seen this document, I take it,

17 and you weren't aware that General Ojdanic had sent suggestions to

18 General Pavkovic about dealing with an order from the Joint Command; is

19 that right?

20 A. Your assumption is correct. I've never seen this document before.

21 I've never set eyes on it.

22 Q. I'm -- I'm curious as to how this -- how does this fit in with the

23 principle of singleness of command? General Ojdanic, as I understand, was

24 the highest-ranking uniformed member of the VJ, and yet here he seems to

25 be making suggestions to his subordinate about how to deal with an order

Page 15782

1 from some other entity called the Joint Command. Do you have any

2 explanation for that? Wouldn't you normally make suggestions to a

3 subordinate?

4 A. There is nothing unusual about making suggestions to a

5 subordinate, that's perfectly all right, not mere suggestions, more than

6 that even. However, I can't comment on this document. The only thing I

7 wish to do is say how much I -- I don't believe the name used here was

8 likely at all, Joint Command. As I know based on my military career,

9 based on my experience, there was no such body.

10 Q. Were you familiar with or did you ever hear of a group called

11 the -- at least in some places it's called the Inter-Departmental Staff

12 For Combatting Terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija?

13 A. Yes. While I was being proofed for my testimony I heard about

14 this. I was told about the Inter-Departmental Staff For Combatting

15 Terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija, but I don't know much about what their

16 job or remit really was because I was the commander of the air force and

17 air defence and it wasn't my job to know anything about that.

18 Q. So that was the first time you heard about it; you weren't aware

19 of it in 1998 or 1999, fair?

20 A. No, in 1998 or in 1999. I was commander. This didn't concern me.

21 I didn't know about it and I never heard of it.

22 Q. Okay. Can you help us with the term "Supreme Command." It's my

23 understanding that the General Staff of the VJ, once the state of war was

24 declared, then became during the wartime the Supreme Command Staff; is

25 that correct?

Page 15783

1 A. Yes, correct. In wartime circumstances, the General Staff becomes

2 the Supreme Command Staff and the Chief of Staff of the VJ becomes the

3 head of the supreme defence staff.

4 Q. Or the -- that was --

5 A. Supreme Command Staff.

6 Q. Thank you. And I understand that President Milosevic, who during

7 peacetime is head of the Supreme Defence Council, during the state of war

8 became the supreme commander; is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Now, was there a body that existed during the wartime that was

11 called the Supreme Command, do you know?

12 A. Yes, there was. During the war it was called the Supreme Command.

13 As in any command where there is a command, regiment, brigade, corps,

14 army, general staff, at all these levels, the command comprises a

15 commander with his personnel and other bodies. A Supreme Command

16 comprises a commander, his personnel, and other bodies attached to the

17 staff. Therefore, Milosevic, as the president of the Federal Republic of

18 Yugoslavia, as soon as a state of war was declared became the supreme

19 commander, supreme-wide, because he's at the top. You could call him army

20 commander, but he's joined at the top with his staff, too, as a technical

21 body; and together they make up the Supreme Command. This is the only way

22 to comply with the principle of singleness of command. There is but one

23 commander, and everyone else works for the commander and has the function

24 of helping implement the commander's orders.

25 Q. And can you tell us who were the persons by name who were part of

Page 15784

1 President Milosevic's staff in the Supreme Command?

2 A. I may not be able to name them all, but the Chief of Staff was

3 General Ojdanic with his assistants. The assistant for ground forces was

4 Miodrag Simic. Assistant for operations and staff affairs, Obradovic, and

5 so on and so forth.

6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Because if -- I know about

7 General Ojdanic as the chief of the Supreme Command Staff, and I

8 understand that the General Staff from peacetime became the Supreme

9 Command Staff during wartime, perhaps with some additions. I have a

10 question, though. You said Mr. Milosevic's staff. Were there any

11 non-military persons on his staff that were part of the Supreme Command,

12 any civilians that you know of?

13 A. No, no.

14 Q. Thank you.

15 MR. HANNIS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.

17 Questioned by the Court:

18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Smiljanic, perhaps you could help me with two

19 matters. We don't need to go into the details of all the figures again,

20 but in answering the question about sorties and attacks and so on, you did

21 say that there were 14.000 flights used for ground attacks and 4.000 were

22 carried out by NATO fighter planes. Does that mean that the 4.000 carried

23 out by the fighter planes did not involve attacks or did these also

24 involve some form of attack?

25 A. I'll try once again. There were 14.000 flights --

Page 15785

1 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you not able to answer the question with a yes

2 or a no?

3 A. Yes, I am.


5 A. It wasn't 4.000 attacks, it was 4.000 flights. They carried a

6 total of six or seven strikes against the fighter planes, but they took

7 off 4.000 times, bringing down a total of five or six planes. In one of

8 these cases a plane eventually landed but had sustained major damage.

9 JUDGE BONOMY: That's much clearer now. Thank you.

10 And the other matter I wanted to ask you was this: What happened

11 to the population of Belgrade?

12 A. I would appreciate it if you could phrase it either more

13 completely or more specifically. In what sense?

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Under attack. What happened to the population as a

15 result of the attacks in the Belgrade region?

16 A. In the first strikes of the first days of war, people were afraid.

17 They were intimidated and they for the most part hid in shelters, cellars,

18 underpasses, tunnels, or even outside the city itself. They took to the

19 meadows surrounding Belgrade, but later on people from Belgrade formed

20 convoys. They went to the bridges once the bridges had been targeted, and

21 they all put paper targets on their chests saying, We, too, are a target,

22 fire away. You could say that the people of Belgrade were left to their

23 own devices and they had nowhere to go. The only option was to try and

24 take shelter on the ground, which some people did. Some people stayed in

25 underground shelters throughout the war, especially mothers with small

Page 15786

1 children as well as the elderly. The youth, however, rose up against this

2 and they led rallies and protests. They went to bridges and declared

3 themselves to be targeted as well. There might be a more psychological

4 reasoning behind all of this that was happening. This may be an issue for

5 mass psychology, but this is not something that I can comment on.

6 JUDGE BONOMY: Just please clarify one thing from that answer for

7 me. Are you saying that the convoys of people left to act as shields to

8 protect some installations?

9 A. I'm not sure if I said convoys, columns rather. They headed for

10 bridges, certain facilities, city squares [Realtime transcript read in

11 error "squad cars"], places, generally speaking, where they could assemble

12 and which they believed might be targeted by NATO.

13 JUDGE BONOMY: You'll appreciate I'm trying to establish if there

14 were large numbers of people from Belgrade headed for the border to escape

15 the bombing.

16 A. No, no.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

18 Is there anything arising from that, Mr. Hannis, that you want to

19 ask about?

20 Mr. Visnjic.

21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

22 Re-examination by Mr. Visnjic:

23 Q. [Interpretation] General, a single question. Mr. Hannis asked you

24 about all sorts of information to do with flights and attacks. You've

25 mentioned the figure of 9.200 cases of firing and this is something to do

Page 15787

1 Your Honour Judge Bonomy's question. How many missiles were fired during

2 those operations, do you have that figure for us, sir?

3 A. Yes, I quite omitted that. A total of 22.000 tons of very

4 powerful explosives were dropped over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,

5 37.000 missiles were fired, 30 per cent of these guided missiles. I

6 talked about the guidance systems, about GPS, about inertia-based

7 navigation and other types of systems.

8 Q. Thank you very much, General.

9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this completes my

10 questioning.

11 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, just one translation correction I just

12 see on the screen. Page 52 line 3, it says city squad cars, I think it

13 was city squares. I just wanted to make sure the police wasn't involved

14 in that.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.

16 Mr. Hannis.

17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think I have a question in light of

18 that last question from Mr. Visnjic and the answer because it seems

19 inconsistent with a question I asked and got an answer if I could find it.

20 I understood the General to say before that each firing was a single

21 weapon -- or single missile. Page 39, line 21.

22 JUDGE BONOMY: I've noted 9.200 individual weapons fired or bombs

23 dropped.

24 MR. HANNIS: That's what I have and that seems inconsistent with

25 this last answer.

Page 15788

1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, do you have a problem with Mr. Hannis

2 asking for clarification of this, in view of the answer that there were

3 37.000 missiles fired and 22.000 tons of very powerful explosives dropped?


5 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.

6 Mr. Hannis, you may ask for clarification.

7 Further cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:

8 Q. General, just to be clear, when I asked you earlier about the 9200

9 firings, I understood your answer to say that was each firing involved an

10 individual missile or an individual bomb. But now in light of your answer

11 to Mr. Visnjic that seems like that's not correct. Can you explain?

12 Is -- each of the 9200 firings involves one or more missiles? Please

13 explain.

14 A. Yes, I may have misspoken. There will never be a single plane on

15 a mission carrying a single missile or a single shell, this would be too

16 much of a luxury that nobody can afford. There were always several bombs,

17 the plane was carrying several bombs and dropping several bombs as a rule.

18 On an average a single plane would carry 2.8 tons of explosives, B-52, for

19 example, 47 tons of explosives, that's its capacity. It would approach

20 Metohija with between 10 and 15 tons of deadly load, and they would drop

21 MK-84, 240 kilogrammes, they would drop them from 10.000 metres altitude.

22 So it's not as if a single attack consisted only of a single missile.

23 Each of the planes were normally carrying on average about 2.8 tons of

24 explosives and ordnance.

25 [Trial Chamber confers]

Page 15789

1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Smiljanic, that completes your evidence; thank

2 you for coming here to give it. You're now free to leave us.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

4 [The witness withdrew]

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.

6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our next witness is

7 General Slobodan Kosovac.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] He's 007. I hope that's fine, but

10 it's about mobilisation, it's not about the information administration.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, when you need private session, you'll no

12 doubt tell us.

13 [Trial Chamber confers]

14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours ...

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Like all good 007s, he appears to have disappeared.

16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Efforts are being made to locate him, Mr. Visnjic,

18 so we'll be patient for a minute or two and see if these are successful.

19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, while these efforts

20 are going on I would like to let you know that we've reduced the time for

21 his examination; it will be significantly shorter than was announced in

22 our 65 submission. And this is a witness who is anticipated to give

23 testimony viva voce.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

25 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

Page 15790

1 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm advised that it's going to take 15 minutes or

2 so to get the witness here. So we shall break now and we will resume at

3 25 minutes past 12.00, that works okay. We can sit then through to the

4 end of the morning, and hopefully by that time the witness will be here.

5 --- Recess taken at 11.52 a.m.

6 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.

7 [The witness entered court]

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Kosovac.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

10 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to

11 speak the truth by reading aloud that document.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.

15 You will now be examined by Mr. Visnjic on behalf of Mr. Ojdanic.

16 Mr. Visnjic.

17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.


19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 Examination by Mr. Visnjic:

21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.

22 A. Good afternoon.

23 Q. General, could you please state your full name for the record.

24 A. Good afternoon, Your Honours, good afternoon to everyone. My name

25 is Slobodan Kosovac.

Page 15791

1 Q. General. Could you please describe your military career in brief

2 terms, the schools that you attended in this regard.

3 A. I am a graduate of the air defence military academy, so I am an

4 air defence officer; after that, I completed all the highest military

5 schools and last one was the national defence school. My last rank I

6 retired from the rank of the lieutenant-general --

7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his last post.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kosovac, could you please repeat the last post

9 you held before retiral.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Executive director of the minister

11 of defence.

12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation].

13 Q. General, you retired?

14 A. Yes, I am retired, but I also work.

15 Q. What do you do?

16 A. I'm a manager in Unibroz Aviation Belgrade, it's a company.

17 Q. And what posts did you hold during the war, or rather, in 1999?

18 A. At the beginning of the war I was the chief of the organisation

19 department and also the deputy chief of the recruitment, conscription

20 department, and then I became the chief -- on the 1st of April I became

21 the chief of that administration.

22 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell me something about it the

23 structure of your administration.

24 A. My administration was in charge of organising -- of organisation,

25 conscription, and mobilisation in the Army of Yugoslavia. It consists of

Page 15792

1 the chief of the administration and two departments. The first department

2 was department for organisation and the second one was the department for

3 mobilisation and conscription.

4 Q. Thank you, General. In the Army of Yugoslavia were there any

5 conscripts who were ethnic Albanians, I don't mean only in 1999 but before

6 that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Were they adequately represented in the Army of Yugoslavia?

9 A. No. I have to say that after the break-up of the SFRY and the

10 formation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the transformation of

11 the JNA into the Yugoslav Army, no people, no ethnic group was adequately

12 represented. And efforts were made to set up such an organisation and

13 such a structure of personnel to ensure this adequate representation.

14 Q. General, what did the Army of Yugoslavia do to get the Albanians

15 into its ranks?

16 A. The Army of Yugoslavia had two approaches. One approach was that

17 it should engender trust in everybody in Yugoslavia so that everybody

18 should know that this was the army of the people of Yugoslavia; and the

19 second specific effort was to meet all the requirements of the Albanian

20 conscripts, to favour them.

21 Q. Thank you, General. Could you please tell me, were any records

22 kept of ethnic Albanian conscripts?

23 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, this line of questioning, apart from the

24 introductory part, was not indicated at all in the notification unless by

25 saying that -- by speaking of recruitment in general it includes issues in

Page 15793

1 relation to the recruitment of ethnic Albanians. We are going down

2 another route now which is not part of the notification.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: What did you anticipate it would be about?

4 MR. STAMP: Recruitment?


6 MR. STAMP: Generally speaking?


8 MR. STAMP: The recruitment of the personnel for the VJ. The

9 notification speaks about the rules governing the recruitment, the

10 organisation of the recruitment, the structures in place for the

11 recruitment. We are going into an area now as a -- which is ethnic

12 composition of the army.

13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.

14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do believe that it

15 was indicated that the witness would be testifying. I agree with

16 Mr. Stamp that he would be testifying about constitutional and legal

17 provisions, but also about the role and tasks of the territorial commands

18 and units, their composition, and organisation. So precisely that's what

19 we're talking about, about the composition and organisation, about those

20 things that the witness is trying to tell us. If Mr. Stamp finds that he

21 has been prejudiced because Albanians were not listed here, I can tell you

22 that this is just a very small part of General Kosovac's evidence, that's

23 on one hand, and on the other we're still talking about mobilisation. I

24 don't see how I strayed outside of -- strayed off the topic. Because

25 that's a legal obligation of all the citizens of Serbia. The fact that

Page 15794

1 now he is specifically talking about Albanians is precisely what you

2 actually want to hear. Now we can talk about each specific ethnic group,

3 but I believe that you're interested in issues related to the mobilisation

4 of Albanians.

5 [Trial Chamber confers]

6 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall allow you to continue as you indicate you

7 plan to do.

8 Mr. Stamp, if this causes specific prejudice to you, we'll address

9 that issue as and when it arises.

10 Mr. Visnjic.

11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

12 Q. General, military obligation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

13 was a general obligation?

14 A. Yes. And, Your Honours, I heard the term "recruitment" being

15 mentioned. Recruitment is a much narrower term than conscription or

16 military obligation and I did not say "regrutacija," recruitment, at all.

17 Q. And could you please tell me whether records were kept of ethnic

18 Albanian conscripts?

19 A. Yes. All conscripts in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

20 received a general summons to report and to be entered into the records.

21 So this is the first part of the military obligation and then follows the

22 recruitment.

23 Q. So if I understand you correctly --

24 MR. VISNJIC: I'm waiting for translation.

25 Q. [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly then, military

Page 15795

1 records pertain to everyone, including the Albanians by their very nature?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. How were records kept of the military conscripts, in

4 what way?

5 A. Well, on the basis of this general summons the conscripts went to

6 their military territorial commands and were entered into their records.

7 The lists that we had in our records were compared with the lists of

8 citizens in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and then we saw that there

9 was this huge discrepancy between the Albanian conscripts who were on the

10 lists and those who actually reported to be entered into the record. We

11 repeated the summons several times and we did not apply any repressive

12 measures in those cases.

13 Q. When you say that you did not apply any repressive measures,

14 repressive measures were, in fact, envisaged by the law or some other

15 legal instrument. Could you please tell us something else -- something

16 more about it?

17 A. Well, they were envisaged in the law. Those who failed to report,

18 summons were sent again; and if they again failed to report, then the

19 minister of interior received a warrant for their -- to bring them in and

20 then they were brought into the appropriate authorities.

21 Q. Why did you not apply those measures to Albanian conscripts who

22 failed to respond to the general mobilisation call?

23 A. From our discussions with the military territorial commands who

24 had that under their purview -- in their purview and in discussions with

25 Albanians who responded to the conscription call and the national service

Page 15796

1 call, we had reliable information that Albanians from Kosovo who did

2 respond to that call who went to do their national service, were

3 threatened, their families were threatened.

4 Q. But in the Army of Yugoslavia there were Albanians, am I right?

5 A. Yes, there were Albanians, soldiers, non-commissioned officers,

6 officers in general. All the Albanians who lived outside of the territory

7 of Kosovo and Metohija responded and did their military obligation.

8 Q. Could you please tell us whether in those cases you took certain

9 measures to prevent any undesirable consequences if they did respond and

10 what were those measures?

11 A. Well, we had agreed about the measures with all the organs, and

12 Albanians who responded to the call for recruitment and national service,

13 we mostly complied with their requests about the selection of the unit and

14 the location where they would serve, where they would do their national

15 service. And we insisted that no measures should be applied against them

16 for their failure to respond earlier. And all those measures proved to be

17 quite efficient.

18 Q. General, let us move on to another topic and that's mobilisation.

19 Could you please tell me, when can the army be mobilised?

20 A. In order to start mobilising the troops in the Federal Republic of

21 Yugoslavia, some preconditions had to be met, and they were as follows.

22 One of the states of emergency, a decision by a representative of the

23 government -- of the prime minister, decision by the president of the

24 state, and other measures that had to be taken. That was the point where

25 the Chief of the General Staff had all the conditions in place to mobilise

Page 15797

1 the troops, to issue an order for the mobilisation of troops.

2 Q. On the basis of what documents or plans or any other kinds of

3 documents is the Army of Yugoslavia mobilised?

4 A. In essence, that would be the defence plan, and part of the

5 defence plan is the general mobilisation plan. There is the plan for the

6 mobilisation deployment, which was done in my administration for the whole

7 army, and the plan for the mobilisation of each specific unit.

8 Q. General, it's possible that the translation is correct, but I

9 didn't understand it right. You said that at the basis of the defence

10 plan there is the mobilisation plan?

11 A. Yes. There is the mobilisation plan which is at the base of the

12 defence plan, it's part of it. There is the mobilisation deployment plan

13 and the specific mobilisation plan for each specific unit.

14 Q. Thank you. When and where -- how was the mobilisation carried out

15 in the Army of Yugoslavia in wartime?

16 A. Just before the aggression against the Federal Republic of

17 Yugoslavia, appropriate preparations were carried out because according to

18 all indicators an aggression was imminent, we were expecting the

19 aggression. Preparations were very complex and that's a whole different

20 issue. After the aggression and the declaration of a state of war, the

21 decision of the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Chief

22 of General Staff decided to mobilise commands, units, and institutions of

23 the Army of Yugoslavia. Because of the manner of aggression he decided to

24 carry out a selective, partial, and secret mobilisation, and he never

25 veered from that path.

Page 15798

1 Q. General, if you could please explain to us in greater detail, what

2 does it mean, selective, partial, and secret mobilisation, each of these

3 terms?

4 A. The aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia covered

5 the entire territory of Yugoslavia. Every part of the territory was

6 bombed, was subject to destruction, and on the basis of that the most

7 common course would have been a general mobilisation. General

8 mobilisation means that large capacities of the country become viable

9 targets for the aggressor, and that is why it was decided to carry out a

10 selective mobilisation part by part as necessary for the defence of the

11 country because all the assets were not needed throughout the aggression.

12 Partially, that means that only those parts that were really necessary

13 within all that were to be mobilised. And secret mobilisation means that

14 this was done in secret, lest the enemy should target assembly points,

15 causing great casualties, inflicting great casualties on the Army of

16 Yugoslavia in the most crucial point in the deployment of an army.

17 Q. And when you say selective or partial, what does it mean? What

18 was the order to the selection of the units were mobilisation, which units

19 had a priority and which ones were mobilised later?

20 A. In principle, the order is known on the basis of the nature of the

21 units. First the command elements are mobilised, then the air defence

22 units, then A [Realtime transcript read in error "any"] units that have to

23 create conditions for the mobilisation of the other units and that all

24 depended on the development, sometimes it would be engineer units, medical

25 units, other units, depending on the requirements of the actual situation.

Page 15799

1 The selective nature of the mobilisation allowed the army commanders to

2 propose to the Chief of General Staff everything that was to be done --

3 what elements needed to be mobilised as the next step.

4 Q. General, you mentioned the A composition. I don't see that in the

5 transcript. What is the so-called A composition, which units make up this

6 A composition?

7 A. Each army in the world has a sort of classification of its own

8 units. A is a unit that is deployed to the greatest extent possible and

9 can start carrying out an assignment right away and is a unit that must be

10 mobilised before it embarks on its task.

11 Q. You said NA?

12 A. Yes, NA, that's an abbreviation.

13 Q. All right. NA is a unit that must be mobilised?

14 A. In order to be able to carry out its fundamental task.

15 Q. Thank you. Go ahead, please.

16 A. This doesn't preclude both units from being mobilised because A

17 units are able to carry out their tasks but they're not able to carry on

18 like that for long, carry on fighting like that for long.

19 Q. General, what about the VJ before the beginning of the aggression,

20 were there any conscripts in the army? Were there any reservists?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Based on what were those persons there?

23 A. There was several reasons for this. The general reserve is one of

24 those reasons. This is a legal basis that provides for involvement of

25 reservists because in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia the time when

Page 15800

1 one's military term was to start was changed from 18 years of age to 21

2 years of age. Another reason was to train people for particular

3 specialties that were in demand. There were reservists and the need for

4 those reservists was high. They were called in order to be trained for

5 particular skills and particular actions. The third reason was to keep

6 soldiers back in the reserve once their military term is over. This was

7 done pursuant to a decision of the president and the Chief of the General

8 Staff. And the fourth reason was to check mobilisation readiness. This

9 is the moment when a unit is mobilised so that its mobilisation readiness

10 may be checked. If it's caught up in the middle of a mobilisation, then

11 it simply continues to work.

12 Q. Thank you. How many conscripts were called up and how many of

13 those responded? What was the response to the call-up?

14 A. During the war, about 300.000 conscripts were called up. When I

15 say "about" it's a very precise figure. It might be 300.700 or 800. The

16 response was 90 per cent. What is typical is that at the beginning of the

17 aggression the response was about 70 per cent, but as the aggression

18 continued the response grew and at the very end we had units where the

19 response rate was as high as 90 to 95 per cent and 95 to 100 per cent

20 even.

21 Q. In military terms this is a very high rate, right?

22 A. Yes, this is an exceptionally high rate for any military

23 standards.

24 Q. Thank you. Who was in charge of providing material support for

25 mobilisation?

Page 15801

1 A. The defence ministry.

2 Q. How did they deal with the issue of supplies, providing supplies

3 for the units?

4 A. Each unit had its own needs clearly defined. These needs were

5 defined through war establishment. It was also clearly defined what the

6 unit got immediately from the army in terms of material goods that were

7 supplied to a particular unit by the army. Whatever was left and still

8 needed to be replenished was provided by the material support of the

9 mobilisation itself.

10 Q. And this was done through local defence ministry offices, right,

11 local branch offices?

12 A. Yes. Yes, those in charge of this were in the territorial command

13 of the unit and those providing material support were local bodies of the

14 defence ministry.

15 Q. Thank you. General, could the commander of a unit on his own get

16 certain material goods based on the list? When I refer to the list,

17 perhaps you should explain what the list is and tell us what an officer on

18 his own could do about that?

19 A. List of goods we call them. So these are goods that are specified

20 which a certain unit needs, and one needs to be very specific and who

21 provides these goods, whether it's someone from the economy or an

22 individual or the army. And then these goods were forwarded to the army.

23 The law envisaged for the possibility -- because of the manner in which

24 the aggression unfolded, this possibility was eventually used if the

25 defence ministry and the body using these goods cannot bring

Page 15802

1 replenishments to the unit based on the list, then the commander of a

2 battalion can take those goods and whoever is providing the goods will be

3 issued with a certificate to the effect that the goods were taken and used

4 by the army.

5 Q. General, let us move on to a different topic. We know that

6 volunteers were reporting to the army. Tell us when the first of these

7 volunteers came to report.

8 A. The first time was the night between the 23rd and the 24th of

9 March.

10 Q. Did the General Staff deal with this in any special way, I mean

11 receiving volunteers and how?

12 A. During the night between the 23rd and 24th of May at my

13 administration, we were aware of the fact that these volunteers reporting

14 might be a problematic thing after all. We drew up a document of the

15 Chief of General Staff in which we tried to deal with this issue. This

16 document first and foremost was meant to protect units carrying out the

17 mobilisation from any pressure exerted by these same volunteers. On the

18 other hand, it was supposed to protect units that had not been mobilised

19 so that their conscripts wouldn't go elsewhere. Thirdly, the aim was to

20 prevent individuals from reporting to the army who weren't properly

21 trained, thus putting their own lives at risk as well as those of their

22 fellow soldiers. The fourth objective was to prevent any problematic

23 people from reporting as volunteers, and that is why a decision was

24 adopted on the 24th of March, 1999, to deal with all these aspects.

25 Q. General, which bodies from the General Staff were involved in

Page 15803

1 taking in volunteers?

2 A. My own administration was the chief body in charge, organisation,

3 mobilisation, and military obligation, also known as the third

4 administration. As for training, that was down to the training

5 administration. Medical matters were something for the logistics sector.

6 As for vetting, any volunteers that reported in terms of criminal record,

7 this was something that the security administration was in charge of. As

8 for deploying these units through various operative and strategic groups,

9 that was down to my own administration. Army command were put in charge

10 in those groups, and commanders were specifically in charge of carrying

11 out individual assignments.

12 Q. General, were there any problems about taking in volunteers?

13 A. Yes. Very soon problems were noted about this.

14 Q. How did you deal with those?

15 A. There were two reactions. One was to issue command documents in

16 order to consolidate this base of volunteers in a matter of about 20 days

17 between the 24th of March and the 14th of April three orders were issued

18 and one supplement. What was peculiar is that all these orders were used

19 to add to the system, but not to start from scratch and build it back up

20 again.

21 Q. When you say it was added to and not -- starting from scratch and

22 then built back up again, what exactly do you mean?

23 A. I think that the first order to regulate the intake of volunteers

24 was essential. It provided for a normal functioning of the entire system,

25 but this system needed adding to in order to keep the problems down to a

Page 15804

1 minimum or eliminate problems altogether.

2 Q. Thank you.

3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show the witness

4 P1943 --

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Before moving on, Mr. Visnjic, if you could look at

6 line 6 of page 69. You'll see that as for -- the words there are: "As for

7 deploying these units through various operative and strategic groups, that

8 was done by my own administration."

9 Now, Mr. Kosovac, what did you mean by the reference to "deploying

10 these units"?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't believe I actually used the

12 word. The third administration never dealt with sending units to

13 particular places. It was in charge of organisation and mobilisation, and

14 organisation and mobilisation defines this, in peacetime where units are

15 located and in wartime places where mobilisation takes place. As to where

16 these units are actually sent, now this is operative action and this was

17 done by staff bodies and staffs with their commanders.

18 JUDGE BONOMY: What you actually said completely was that the

19 security administration was in charge of arrangements for deploying these

20 units through various operative -- it's unfortunate, I can't see the last

21 words on the side of this now and it's gone from the screen. Just give me

22 a moment. Yeah, I can see it now.

23 What you're recorded as saying: "As for deploying these units

24 through various operative and strategic groups, that was down to my

25 administration."

Page 15805

1 Now, what did you mean by that?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I should go back to the beginning

3 because this context is impossible.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: The question was: "Which bodies from the General

5 Staff were involved in taking in volunteers?"

6 And you said your own administration was the chief body in charge,

7 also known as the third administration; as for training, that was down to

8 the training administration; medical matters were something for the

9 logistics sector; as for vetting, any volunteers that reported in terms of

10 criminal record, this was something that the security administration was

11 in charge of.

12 "As for assigning these units to various operative and

13 strategic groups, that was down to my own administration."

14 Now, what does that mean?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say "units," I

16 said "individuals," "volunteers," sending them to the various armies and

17 operative and strategic groups, now that was something that my

18 administration did. Within the army they had their own organs which they

19 deployed or assigned to various units, not units, volunteers, individuals.

20 This is about volunteers.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

22 Mr. Visnjic.

23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, well now I have to see where I

25 stopped. P1943.

Page 15806

1 Q. General, can you look at this document, please. It is stated that

2 this document was produced by your administration for mobilisation,

3 recruitment, mobilisation, and system issues. This is 1943. Do you see

4 that?

5 A. Yes, I do.

6 Q. You looked at this document as you were being proofed, right? Can

7 you just tell us one thing, sir. How do you interpret this document,

8 bearing in mind that it was issued, the body it was issued by, what was

9 the intention of whoever produced this?

10 A. This is just to inform, to warn. As I've mentioned in my evidence

11 so far, the first time we regulated the problem of volunteers was that

12 order on the 24th, and until the 14th of April two other orders had been

13 issued. That is how the command reacted to each and every mistake that

14 was made and the command had to react in the real time. My administration

15 was technically in charge of this. We were receiving information

16 indicating that there were omissions and mistakes about how these

17 volunteers were being sent out. Whenever we received a report like that -

18 and I don't mean just us, I think every management throughout the world

19 checks information of this kind - you check who this is in relation to, is

20 this about all the military territorial commands or just some of those;

21 and then based on this you draw up a document, information about specific

22 problems and how these problems are to be overcome. Given the fact that

23 this is the 24th, the date in question when the document was issued, and

24 over 150.000 people had been mobilised by this time, I think this warning

25 was a timely one, which it later proved to be.

Page 15807

1 Q. Thank you.

2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] It's something in the transcript,

3 page 72, line 21, it should be the 24th -- the 20th of April.

4 Q. And when you say that over 150.000 people had been mobilised, you

5 mean everyone?

6 A. No, just the reservists. I mean 150.000 reservists who had been

7 mobilised by this time.

8 Q. Could you please look at page 2 of this document in both

9 versions --

10 JUDGE BONOMY: Before moving to page 2, I'm having difficulty

11 following this. This is dated the 20th of April. So you started your

12 answer there by referring to the period between the 24th of March and the

13 20th of April. Did you misunderstand the date of this document? Because

14 again you referred to the 24th at the end of your answer.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I understand

16 correctly what this document is, and in fact I do, I drew a very clear

17 distinction between a document issuing a command and a document informing

18 or warning somebody about something. The command responds in real time to

19 any problems that are noted. You saw that we dealt with those problems in

20 four documents that dealt with the problem of volunteers. When we were

21 informed about some conduct that appeared to be of a systematic nature, we

22 checked this information with the military territorial commands, we

23 analysed who this -- these problems referred to, and when we decided that

24 this was a common problem, we drafted a document informing and warning

25 everyone in order to avoid any such problems in future.

Page 15808

1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, perhaps you can help me with some specific

2 questions. You said that 150.000 reservists had been mobilised by this

3 time. What was the date by which you had mobilised 150.000 reservists?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Around the 15th of April.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: And this letter here is dated the 20th, so we are

6 four weeks into the war by this time. And you were receiving reports of

7 paramilitary groups and unsatisfactory volunteers and so on; is that

8 correct?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My organs responded only to

10 individuals because we admitted only individuals, no groups, in

11 particular, not paramilitary groups. Every individual was processed as

12 such, as an individual.

13 JUDGE BONOMY: This document in its second paragraph says: "There

14 was no organised processing of the volunteers in the Bubanj Potok PC,"

15 which presumably is reception centre, "in the beginning, instead" --

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: " -- Instead they were brought together and

18 transferred to the 3rd Army reception centre, often with no agreement or

19 coordination. Most often these were paramilitary groups that had been

20 formed before, and among their forces they had a number of volunteer unfit

21 for military service," and then there's a number of reasons given. So

22 were these the reports you were getting?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were the reports that we were

24 getting immediately before this document was drafted, but I'm telling you

25 every individual was processed individually so that any assumptions about

Page 15809

1 groups are just that, assumptions.

2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

3 Mr. Visnjic.

4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. General, let us go back to the last page of this document in

6 B/C/S, that's page 2 in English. Could you please look at the last

7 paragraph of this document. It reads: "On the basis of all of the above,

8 take measures to eliminate the problems and oversights that were noted and

9 to entirely secure the execution of the order issued by the chief of the

10 Supreme Command Staff," we have the number, dated the 14th of April, 1999.

11 Could you please comment on the last paragraph with the fact who

12 these documents, or rather, who this notification or warning was addressed

13 to.

14 A. You can see right away that this warning, this information, was

15 addressed to three types of units down there and agencies. First of all,

16 to the army commands that were in command of the military territorial

17 commands, and then pursuant to this order they were able to define their

18 command actions. Second --

19 Q. General --

20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 3 in the

21 English because this part the addressees are listed on page 3.

22 Q. Please proceed, General.

23 A. Second, to the training administration because it was in charge of

24 training; and thirdly, to all military territorial commands as a technical

25 aspect of this problem, not down the chain of command but as a technical

Page 15810

1 warning or instruction as to how they should do their job. This type of

2 distribution is considered to be highly efficient when there isn't enough

3 time.

4 Q. Thank you. And what would be the regular distribution or manner

5 in which this would be conveyed?

6 A. Only to the army commands.

7 Q. Thank you. General, do you remember or do you have information

8 about the number of volunteers, total number in the Army of Yugoslavia?

9 A. I remember quite clearly the basic framework, around 6.000

10 volunteers reported, 20 per cent were immediately sent off from the

11 reception centres, they were not admitted, 20 per cent were soon sent off

12 from their units, and the rest remained to the end, doing their job until

13 the end. I remember quite clearly that about 150 foreigners came to the

14 country to join as volunteers. We used 140 of them. We didn't admit a

15 small number. I remember quite clearly that we had demands from abroad

16 for about 10.000 volunteers to come in and to put -- place themselves at

17 the disposal of the Army of Yugoslavia.

18 Q. Thank you, General. Did you do the recruitment and reception of

19 soldiers during the war, admission of soldiers? We're talking about

20 another topic, we're talking about the recruitment now.

21 A. Well, probably you meant doing national service or admission of

22 persons doing their national service?

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. Well, recruits, people who were already recruited came to do the

25 national service. We did not call-up people to do their national service

Page 15811

1 during the war because we estimated that our personnel strength is

2 sufficient to repel the aggression. We made such a proposal to the Chief

3 of General Staff, and he agreed. We drafted plans and we assessed that if

4 the aggression should go on that sometime in September or October we would

5 start calling up recruits to do their national service.

6 Q. Thank you. General, could you please tell me, high school

7 students in military schools and students were also sent home. What was

8 the basis for that decision?

9 A. Pursuant to the regulations in force and the rules for the

10 mobilisation of the army, it is quite clearly defined which students of

11 the military high schools and students from military academies should be

12 assigned as soon as the army is mobilised and as soon as the state is at

13 war. The Chief of the General Staff assessed that the time was not right

14 for the high school, military high school students and military academy

15 students to be engaged on the basis of our proposal and the proposal of

16 the training administration which was in charge of running the system.

17 Q. Now that we're talking about the training administration, what

18 kinds of training are there, General, in the army? Who is being trained?

19 A. Well, for all intents and purposes there are two types of training

20 in the army. One is the training an individual and training of a unit.

21 Q. And what was your assessment of the training level of the

22 individuals; and if you can, perhaps also tell us about the units in that

23 time-period right at the beginning of the war. Let us start with the

24 individuals first.

25 A. Well, I am competent to answer that question through the prism of

Page 15812

1 mobilisation and let me give you the following answer. No military

2 conscript in the army was ever used in the army if they had not been

3 trained. So all the conscripts had undergone training. Second, through

4 the verification of combat-readiness no unit was failed in terms of its

5 level of training; in other words, every unit was assessed to be

6 satisfactory in terms of its training level. And third, the Army of

7 Yugoslavia was never happy at that time with the level of training of its

8 units because we knew that we could always do better, that we could do

9 more, and that's what we concentrated our efforts on.

10 Q. Are there any objective reasons why the level of training may have

11 been lower in some units and what might those reasons be?

12 A. Well, there are many reasons. Let me give you just a few of the

13 most salient ones. External reasons were the following. The state had

14 been under a blockade for a long period of time, and that is why it was

15 difficult to obtain and to have proper teaching aids. This caused an

16 economic crisis and it was difficult to allocate funding for training.

17 Next, the situation in the environment of the Federal Republic of

18 Yugoslavia was among the most difficult in the world. There was civil war

19 in its neighbouring countries to the south, the obstruction by the

20 separatists and constant threat of war. And third, we knew that we had to

21 find the best possible solution and in that period immediately before the

22 aggression and in the course of the aggression the 2.000 model was at

23 work, that was a plan, for the transformation and reform of the Army of

24 Yugoslavia. Let me just note here that those transformations and reforms

25 that had taken place before were aimed at reducing the number of units and

Page 15813

1 the personnel strength in the Army of Yugoslavia, both in its peacetime

2 and wartime establishment.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: You referred in that answer to civil war in your

4 neighbouring countries to the south. To which countries were you

5 referring?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant the civil war in the

7 neighbouring countries, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I was

8 talking about the south of Serbia as a separate issue, Kosovo and

9 Metohija, southern Serbia, Kosovo and Metohija, that's all part of

10 Yugoslavia.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: So this answer relates to the period up to 1995,

12 does it?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the period up to 1999. That's

14 the whole period of preparations that takes six years from the moment of

15 transformation.

16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

17 Mr. Visnjic.

18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we listen to the

19 audio-recording, because I'm sure about what the witness said about what

20 you remarked on, I think that it will be quite clear. I think that he was

21 quite clear in his audio-recording, and there probably was some

22 summarizing in the interpretation.

23 Q. General, do you recall how many units were mobilised at the

24 beginning of the war?

25 A. Well, I have the information as to how many units were mobilised

Page 15814

1 throughout the war. About 150 units were fully mobilised in the army,

2 partially mobilised were 140 units, and about 200 commands and

3 institutions were not mobilised at all but they worked in their peacetime

4 organisation during the war.

5 Q. Do you have any information about the 3rd Army, what the situation

6 was there?

7 A. Well, the situation was approximately the same, about 40 units

8 were fully mobilised and about 36 units were partially mobilised,

9 plus/minus one, two units, but that's reliable information.

10 Q. During the war were new commands and units and institutions

11 established?

12 A. Yes, of course. During the war, the war always produces the

13 formation of others. We issued about 25 orders from the Chief of General

14 Staff to set up new commands, units, and institutions of the army, and

15 they regulated the formation of about 40 new units, commands, and

16 institutions, most of these were units.

17 Q. Thank you. General, do you know or you probably know something

18 about the establishment of the military territorial detachment at the

19 military department in -- military district in Pristina -- military

20 territorial detachment that was supposed to be composed of Albanians?

21 A. Of Albanian -- ethnic Albanian conscripts?

22 Q. Yes, that's right.

23 A. I know that during the war the only newly formed detachment was

24 this one, I think it was the 9th Military Territorial Detachment. The

25 assistant Chief of General Staff, General Matovic, at a meeting of the

Page 15815

1 collegium of our sector notified us about the demand and the proposal of

2 the 3rd Army command. He notified us why -- what was the purpose of that

3 unit.

4 Q. And what was the purpose?

5 A. The purpose was to establish a single unit where the officers,

6 non-commissioned and commissioned officers and soldiers would be

7 Albanians, and the purpose was to increase the trust of the Albanian

8 population in Kosovo for the Army of Yugoslavia. On the basis of the

9 situation assessment, we proposed to general, who was the assistant Chief

10 of General Staff, that this be a military territorial unit, that it be a

11 detachment, and if a greater number of such conscripts should report, that

12 we could spread those units in the most -- in the best possible way

13 because that was the most favourable way in which they could be used.

14 Q. Yes, thank you. And what was done next by the General Staff in

15 this regard, did appropriate -- were the appropriate documents issued were

16 appropriate organisational preconditions put in place and so on?

17 A. Yes. The Chief of General Staff fully accepted the proposal, and

18 all the documents were drafted necessary for the setting up of the 9th

19 Military Territorial Detachment.

20 Q. Do you know if the detachment was eventually set up; if so, did it

21 start functioning at any point?

22 A. I do know that. When the time came to report that its

23 establishment was done, the feedback we received was that they had failed,

24 so we scrapped all the documents. The commander of the Pristina military

25 district at a briefing told me in detail why this detachment had never

Page 15816

1 been set up.

2 Q. Thank you, General. Let's move on to a different topic now, it's

3 about the relations between the army and the MUP during subordination and

4 resubordination. My question: During the war was any unit of the MUP

5 resubordinated to the VJ?

6 A. Not a single unit of the MUP was ever part of the establishment of

7 the VJ or, for that matter, defined as such even in theory.

8 Q. What was the fundamental reason for what you just told us?

9 A. We would underline this quite often. The fundamental reasons

10 were, these are two entirely different systems, the army and the MUP.

11 They have different command systems. They have different recruitment

12 systems. They have different purposes and goals. They have different

13 logistics. They have different deployment conditions, and they can never

14 be unified under a single banner, so to speak.

15 Q. Nevertheless, demands were made to resubordinate, weren't they?

16 What was the gist of those demands?

17 A. In essence it was about interpreting the word "resubordination"

18 and what exactly this implied. There were a great many problems in

19 dealing with specific problems. The Law on Defence defines this really

20 well. When a unit of the VJ and a unit of the MUP worked together, who

21 exactly is in charge of this operation and what does one do. In essence,

22 action is coordinated between the VJ and the MUP, and in combat, in armed

23 combat, it is the army that is in charge of coordination.

24 Q. General, defined like this, resubordination or coordination,

25 whatever we choose to call it, at which level is this sort of cooperation

Page 15817

1 implemented?

2 A. A coordination. The body in charge of coordination defines the

3 basic elements, the initial elements, for guidance in terms of this

4 coordination. The army commands issue assignments to their own units.

5 Coordination itself and the hot [Realtime transcript read in error "hard"]

6 line that exists between the MUP and a particular VJ unit is maintained at

7 the level of battalions and brigades at the level where combat activities

8 are carried out. It's normally done like this: There is a MUP

9 representative at the command post of the unit in question and then issues

10 are dealt with as they come.

11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Zecevic is telling me about page

12 83, line 6, it says "hard line," whereas the General said "hot line" and I

13 think there is a definitely distinction and this affects the

14 interpretation.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: It was also translated as "hot line" orally.

16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. General, we'll be going through some documents at the end of your

18 evidence so we'll not be wasting any time now. Even at this level that

19 you've just described, were there any practical problems, the level that

20 we can henceforth refer to as the hot line, level?

21 A. Most frequently problems did occur at that level. Coordination

22 problems and such-like never occur at the highest level, at the level of

23 state, at the level of the actual coordinating body. It's always at a

24 stage or at a level where this is actually implemented that problems

25 occur.

Page 15818

1 Q. General, I'll be asking you to look at a series of documents now.

2 3D751 is the first of these. The document is dated the 19th of March; it

3 was issued by the VJ General Staff. General, can you please say this. In

4 real language what does paragraph 1 of the document state, start

5 immediately with: "Preparations for the mobilisation of the 252nd corps

6 unit ..."

7 A. This is a textbook preparation order that any military officer

8 expecting that a certain issue would occur in real terms should issue. It

9 means what it says: "Carry out preparations ..." What does that mean? A

10 unit is envisaged to be mobilised. In this case the 252nd Armoured

11 Brigade, this is an A unit, it's classified as an A unit. It's meant to

12 launch fast into action wherever an attack by the enemy is expected. It

13 must bring its lists up-to-date, it must prepare all its units, it must be

14 prepared for all its commitments, and it must be prepared to launch into

15 action in no time at all because this is the unit carrying out that

16 assignment. As for territorial commands, those that the army is in charge

17 of, this means that they should check their lists, conscripts, check their

18 messages or couriers and be ready as soon as an order comes to start

19 mobilising. This is one of the regular preparation orders.

20 Q. Thank you, General.

21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have 3D749.

22 Q. Another order by the Chief of the General Staff, the date is the

23 23rd of March, 1999. Look at paragraph 1, please. This is the

24 continuation, right? Can you comment, General, what is that -- what is it

25 that's being ordered here by the General Staff?

Page 15819

1 A. If you look at the date you see that it was actually produced on

2 the 22nd, on the eve of the aggression, and the 23rd is the date that it

3 was actually dispatched. In practical terms you see that four days had

4 elapsed since the previous order and all the preparations had probably

5 been completed. So this is yet another caution that preparations should

6 continue, that no one should start relaxing who was within the system,

7 because unfortunately on that day it was confirmed that there would be an

8 aggression against the SFRY and that orders were to start being carried

9 out for mobilisation.

10 Q. Thank you, General. Let us now move on to P1741.

11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We believe that counsel

12 actually used that number but it's impossible to tell because of the

13 background noise in the courtroom. Thank you.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Was that 1741?

15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 1741. The previous one was 3D749.

16 Q. This is the order on mobilisation of the 2nd of April, 1999, in

17 this case the 2nd Army. Can you please comment. I see that this order

18 precedes the order of the Supreme Command Staff also on the 2nd of April,

19 1999.

20 A. To the extent I can tell it's the 3rd Army we're looking at here.

21 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak up, the interpreters

22 can't hear him.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is precisely what I was talking

24 about at the beginning. The Chief of the General Staff opted for

25 selective, partial and secret mobilisation and this is an specific order

Page 15820

1 that he has now issued to mobilise units. One can see that the army

2 command -- perhaps we should turn to the next page.

3 Yes. The army command here deals with everything that it is in

4 charge of and it encompasses everything in this order and regulates it for

5 everyone who will be involved in this mobilisation. So this is an order

6 from the Chief of the General Staff.

7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Thank you.

9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now go to 3D750.

10 Q. General, this is an order. You spoke about soldiers who had

11 completed their military term but were held back. Can you please comment

12 on this order and especially the reason why these soldiers were held back.

13 The date is the 15th of March, it's another order by the VJ General Staff.

14 A. To all practical intents, this is an order that was based on a

15 decision of the president of the FRY, and this was drafted by the Chief of

16 the General Staff and was forwarded to all the units that all the soldiers

17 should be held back as military conscripts, also those whose term had

18 expired. What is behind this order? We all know that once someone's

19 military term expires, this is normally the best soldier around because

20 he's well-trained, perfectly fit, and there are good teams who have now

21 worked together for quite some time. On the other hand, the problem

22 relating to manpower levels in the army was a burning issue at the time

23 already. On the other hand, we know that the aggression spread in a

24 lightning-quick manner and it was expected that it would be launched at

25 any time. For whatever the president took this decision and the Chief of

Page 15821

1 the General Staff implemented it fully.

2 Q. This was a public decision, was it not, or a secret one, General,

3 do you know that?

4 A. This is not the sort of decision that you publish. You can see

5 that it says: "Strictly confidential." This sent to the commands of all

6 units and institutions so that all those who should know know about this,

7 but this is not some sort of a public proclamation.

8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not sure -- I have

9 about -- well, if I tell you now, I would be lying to you, but I think 15

10 minutes, and I mean to continue tomorrow.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm afraid there will be another case here this

12 afternoon, so we have to move out.

13 Mr. Kosovac, we have to bring our sitting to an end at this stage

14 because another case sits in this court in the afternoon. That means you

15 have to come here to continue with your evidence, that will be at 9.00

16 tomorrow morning. Overnight it's very important that you have no

17 discussion with anyone about any of the evidence in the case. You can

18 discuss whatever you like with whomever you like, as long as there is

19 absolutely no discussion about the evidence.

20 Now, would you please leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll

21 see you at 9.00 tomorrow.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

23 [The witness stands down]

24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,

25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of

Page 15822

1 September, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.