Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 18971

1 Monday, 26 November 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, there's a notable absentee this morning.

6 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour, my colleague Mr. Lukic had a

7 medical issue that required urgent intervention, for which he will not be

8 with us at least for today and probably not for the next couple days as

9 well, as the situation develops. I have been in contact with him and have

10 spent the weekend preparing and therefore could continue in his place with

11 the cross of this witness, if that pleases the Court and with the Court's

12 leave, I believe, since I don't know the procedural aspects at the

13 Tribunal.

14 [The witness entered court]

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, not only does it please the Court, we're

16 grateful to you for taking on that responsibility, Mr. Ivetic, and we

17 would ask you to extend our wishes to Mr. Lukic for a speedy recovery.

18 MR. IVETIC: I will do that, Your Honour. Thank you.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Jelic.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: There's a change in personnel in court today

22 because of the illness of Mr. Lukic, who was cross-examining you. That

23 further cross-examination will be conducted by Mr. Ivetic who was speaking

24 a moment ago.

25 Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration to speak the truth

Page 18972

1 which you gave at the beginning of your evidence continues to apply to

2 that evidence today.

3 Mr. Ivetic.

4 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.


6 [Witness answered through interpreter]

7 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic: [Continued]

8 Q. Good morning, General. As you know, my name is Dan Ivetic, one

9 difference is that I will have to do my cross-examination in English, so

10 please if one of my questions is unclear to you, please ask me and I will

11 try to either rephrase it or repeat it so that you get the proper

12 translation and so that we get to the truth of the matter and conclude

13 your testimony in the most efficient way possible.

14 Now, first of all, sir, I would like to touch on some areas from

15 your testimony the other days. First of all, with respect to the border

16 belt, would you agree with me that the police is only situated at the 50

17 metres surrounding the official border crossing and is not present in the

18 remainder of the border belt, which would be controlled and patrolled by

19 the border troops of the VJ?

20 A. Yes, the police was at the border crossing in its sector, which

21 would be about 50 to 100 metres, and outside of that area the whole of the

22 border was kept secure by the army. The border battalions and the

23 in-depth security units secured the whole border facing the Republic of

24 Macedonia.

25 Q. And I'd like to ask you some questions about the military

Page 18973

1 territorial detachments or the VTO. With respect to the VTO, how many VTO

2 were to be found within your zone of authority in 1999 and which specific

3 detachments were these?

4 A. Pursuant to decision of the Pristina Corps commander, I was

5 assigned two territorial detachments in the first stage and later on a

6 third one, that was the Vitina detachment, Urosevac detachment, and Strpce

7 detachment.

8 Q. And for the sake of detail, you mentioned the Vitina, Urosevac,

9 and Strpce Detachments. Are we talking about the 60th, the 64th, and the

10 66th VTO detachments?

11 A. Yes, that's right, these are the detachments.

12 Q. And when were these VTOs actually mobilised, if you recall?

13 A. These detachments were mobilised by the military district. We did

14 not mobilise them. It was their superior command who issued this order to

15 them and they carried out the mobilisation. Once the mobilisation was

16 done, they were resubordinated to the brigade command. They were

17 mobilised before and during the aggression.

18 Q. When you say "before and during the aggression," am I to

19 understand you that the mobilisation started occurring in March of 1999?

20 A. Yes, in late March, on the eve of the aggression, and right at the

21 very start of the aggression, or rather, the air-strike campaign.

22 Q. Now I'd like to go back to a topic that my friend and colleague

23 Mr. Lukic started with you on Friday at the end of the day. Specifically

24 you were called -- you were asked about Kotlina, and first of all during

25 the examination of my friend and colleague Mr. Cepic at page 18906, lines

Page 18974

1 2 through 5 of the transcript, you stated that the VJ forces were 1.5

2 kilometres from the villages of Kotlina and Ivaja then at 18907 lines 2

3 through 8 you said the army never entered these villages and you further

4 reiterated this position at transcript page 18908, lines 25 through 18909

5 line 10 emphatically stating that the army could not carry out manoeuvres

6 on the day in question, which I believe was the 23rd, 24th of March 1999.

7 Now the first question I want to ask you about is you as the commanding

8 officer for the VJs of the 243rd Motorised Brigade issued any order or

9 planned any action on the part of either VJ or MUP units to blockade, rout

10 and eliminate the Siptar terrorist forces in the region of Kotlina to be

11 executed on 23 March 1999.

12 A. Well, you made a couple of claims here that I'm supposed to

13 confirm. The first positions were located 1 kilometre -- 1 and a half

14 kilometres to 2 kilometres away from the village. Those positions were

15 under constant threat and the unit was in constant engagement because this

16 was actually in the border belt. If I understood you right, in the

17 time-period that you're referring to, I already stated that on the 23rd

18 and the 24th we came under very intense attack right there at the

19 Golimo Brdo and Belo Brdo hills. The terrorist forces launched a fierce

20 attack on the positions of Combat Group 3. The strength of Combat Group 3

21 in accordance with the agreement was about one company. Those were the

22 units that were carrying out the in-depth securing of the state border in

23 addition to the border battalion which carried out the line security of

24 the border. The unit never entered the village, and it fought to the

25 south and to the west against the terrorists from the village of Kotlina.

Page 18975

1 Q. Okay, General. And again, as a commanding officer of the VJ's

2 243rd Motorised Brigade, did you issue any order, or "zapovest," or

3 planned any action on the part of either the VJ or the MUP to blockade,

4 rout, and eliminate the Siptar terrorist forces in the region of Kotlina,

5 to be executed on 23 March 1999?

6 A. Yes, as in all the areas, we had plans in place for

7 counter-terrorist actions. And in this area an action had been planned to

8 block, rout, and destroy the terrorist forces, because according to the

9 data that we had they depended -- depending on the source, the size of the

10 terrorist organization was between 200 and 600 terrorists in the Kotlina

11 area. Our plan was to block, rout, and destroy this terrorist

12 organization, together with MUP.

13 Q. Thank you --

14 A. That was -- the plan was to carry this out on the 21st or the 22nd

15 of March.

16 Q. Well, you might recall that the last question or series of

17 questions asked by my colleague on Friday at transcript page 18689 lines

18 18 to 23 was about the existence of a "zapovest" dated the 21st of March,

19 1999, where -- and in your response you denied recollection of such a

20 document. I'd like to call up 6D145 on the screen.

21 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, objection.


23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you allow me, that

24 document is not on the list of the documents of the 6D Defence, it was not

25 on their list and it is not in e-court at all. It was not announced that

Page 18976

1 it would be used with this witness. So this is a document that in my

2 humble opinion is not relevant enough to be put to this witness, in light

3 of these procedural deficiencies.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Relevance is a separate matter from whether the

5 failure to comply with procedure is a basis for rejecting it.

6 MR. IVETIC: I don't know if counsel is finished --

7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Procedural, procedural, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the number was 1465, is that right,

9 Mr. Ivetic?

10 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour, 1465. It should be in e-court. It

11 was e-mailed to the parties on Friday as an attachment with the document

12 as soon as this witness is --

13 JUDGE BONOMY: I gather it is there, Mr. Cepic.

14 Now, what is your response, Mr. Ivetic, to the objection?

15 MR. IVETIC: The response is, Your Honours, that the 65 ter

16 summary announcing this summary for this witness filed on the 8th of

17 November, 2007, did not give any indication that this witness was going to

18 depart from or change his testimony from the Milosevic proceedings. There

19 was no notice that -- and we were quite shocked to find the army denying

20 entry into Kotlina at the testimony on Friday. We immediately turned to

21 the documents that we thought would be quite known to the army, since they

22 were disclosed to the 5D Defence, and in fact if we go into this document

23 we'll see why I think the witness ought to know about the document. So we

24 were quite shocked to find this testimony come out on Friday, quite

25 disturbed by it, and we have to defend against it.

Page 18977

1 JUDGE BONOMY: That's sufficient for the moment.

2 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.

3 [Trial Chamber confers]

4 JUDGE BONOMY: It's perfectly understandable to us why this

5 document was not notified. It's plainly relevant to the issues being

6 explored, and therefore we will allow you to continue with the examination

7 on this issue, Mr. Ivetic.

8 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.

9 Q. General, I apologise for the interruption. We have 6D1465 on the

10 screen. For -- before I burden you with questions about this document,

11 I'd like to go to the last page of the same so we can see why I think it's

12 relevant to you and why I think you have knowledge of the same --

13 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there a translation of this?

14 MR. IVETIC: No, this document was not intended to be introduced

15 into evidence by us.

16 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.

17 MR. IVETIC: Since we thought this was an issue that would not be

18 contested by the parties.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.

20 MR. IVETIC: We have, I think, submitted it, but obviously CLSS

21 takes three days. I didn't try to give them anything over night so

22 there's no chance it's been translated already.

23 Q. General Jelic, if you look at the lower right-hand corner of this

24 document that's on the screen, would you confirm for us whether, in fact,

25 the signature and stamp on this document belong to yourself and the

Page 18978

1 command of the 243rd Motorised Brigade of the VJ.

2 A. You can see here that this is my stamp and my full name and my

3 signature, but the stamp is really not all that legible. I assume that it

4 comes from my brigade.

5 Q. If we can now return to the first page, I want to see if you have

6 any recollection of the subject matter of this document. You'll see there

7 the title [Interpretation] "Order for the blockade, routing, and

8 destruction of STC in the broader region of Kotlina."

9 [In English] Do you recall issuing such an order on or about the

10 21st of March, 1999, bearing the strictly confidential number 400-290?

11 A. Yes, I can see that it comes from the brigade command and that it

12 has this -- bears this number, but I will have to read it to acquaint

13 myself with the contents.

14 Q. I apologise for the delay. I'm waiting for the translation and

15 transcript into English to catch up with us. Well, let me ask you this

16 first: Was the log-book number 400 in fact kept by your brigade during

17 March of 1999 and would that number apply to a "zapovest" for an anti-

18 terrorist action to be conducted by units under your command?

19 A. First of all, this number is the brigade number. It doesn't

20 necessarily mean that an anti-terrorist would be carried out; it is a

21 number that is assigned by the superior command and all other orders and

22 reports that go to the brigade carry the same number. So this is the

23 number that was used from the 23rd of March until the end of the war.

24 Q. And just to clarify, General, would "zapovesti" or orders for

25 anti-terrorist actions be recorded under that number in the log-book of

Page 18979

1 the command of the 243rd Motorised Brigade?

2 A. All the documents, including this order, were recorded in the

3 brigade registry book and the first number would always be 400, that was

4 the basic number, and then all the other numbers would follow in sequence.

5 Q. Thank you. Again, I apologise, I was waiting for the transcript

6 to catch up with us to make the job of the court staff easier.

7 Now, you indicated you would like to look at the subject matter of

8 the document. I direct your attention to section 4, which is

9 three-quarters of the way down on the first page, "odluka" is the Serbian

10 title or "decision" in English. And I would direct your attention to the

11 first line there and I would ask you to read that first line which starts

12 with "odlucio sam" and tell me whether that refreshes your recollection as

13 to whether you planned an action for execution in Kotlina for the night of

14 the 23rd/24th March 1999 in which both VJ and MUP forces were to be

15 employed.

16 A. "I have decided to carry out the bringing in and deployment of

17 the forces in the light between the 23rd and 24th of March, 1999, to block

18 the area Bojevo-Globocica road, Belo Brdo, trig point 1028; Golimo Brdo,

19 trig point 986; Ruksu-Foelne-Maja e Solanit-Djeneral Jankovic-Kacanik

20 road, and from the line Mali Tupan-Buzovik-Gurikec launch an attack

21 grouping the main force along the axis Mali Tupan-village of Kotlina- and

22 the auxiliary force along the axis Gurikec-Ivaja Pustenik.

23 "Objective: Block the broader area in order to prevent the

24 ex-filtration of the Siptar terrorist forces, rout and destroy the Siptar

25 terrorist forces using some elements of the force and establish the

Page 18980

1 control of the territory and roads as follows: Globocica, village of

2 Doganovic and Djeneral Jankovic, Kacanik."

3 Q. Thank you, General. I think the transcript's caught up with us

4 now. And again, I ask you, does this refresh your recollection that you

5 drafted and planned for an action to be undertaken on the 23rd/24th of

6 March, 1999, by VJ and MUP forces, a legitimate anti-terrorist action

7 against the strong Albanian terrorist forces located in Kotlina village?

8 A. Yes, this is my decision, planning the destruction of the Siptar

9 terrorist forces in the broader region of Kotlina and Ivaja within the

10 border belt, that would be 3 to 4 kilometres from the Macedonian border.

11 Q. Thank you, General. Now, if we can stay in that section you see

12 there the next section which I believe translates "borbeni raspored,"

13 which I believe translates to battle order. There are multiple types of

14 forces listed there, and since I don't have a translation I would ask you

15 to read out the various forces and I will ask you about the last item on

16 that page before we move on. Which forces were envisioned under this

17 battle order for your action in Kotlina village for the 23rd/24th March

18 1999?

19 A. "The combat disposition for the routing and destruction of the

20 Siptar terrorist forces, the forces for the blocking, support forces, road

21 repair group, reserve force, rear support forces, and command and

22 communication forces."

23 Q. Now, General, the last item is forces for communication and

24 command, and if we turn to the next page of this exhibit at the top of the

25 page it, in fact, mentions that the KM of the 243rd mbr in the region of

Page 18981

1 Djeneral Jankovic is referenced there. Does that apply to the forces for

2 command and communications of this operation and was that, in fact, the

3 command post for your unit at Djeneral Jankovic on about the 23rd/24th

4 March 1999?

5 A. This pertains to the command post that was planned for

6 counter-terrorist combat. The brigade command post was never in

7 Djeneral Jankovic because this is situated at the very border, less than a

8 kilometre from the border crossing, it's in a military facility that --

9 that was actually a depot that used to belong to RVO and later it was

10 assigned to my brigade.

11 Q. Thank you, General. Now, on this page we have section 5,

12 assignments to the units, and at section 5.1 there at the top of the page

13 we see assignments for various units and I'd like to ask you first, in

14 5.1, all of these units listed are VJ units; isn't that correct?

15 A. Yes, these are all the units of the Army of Yugoslavia. There are

16 no other units under my command.

17 Q. Thank you, General. Now, would you be so kind as to read for us

18 the section in 5.1 pertaining to the main forces, exactly as written,

19 because we've had much testimony about what the meanings of "sadejstva" or

20 joint combat are. Could you tell us what the main forces of this VJ

21 component were tasked with doing in this "zapovest," decision, as well as

22 the secondary or "pomocne snage."

23 A. "The task for the main force in concerted action with the PJP

24 platoon, to rout and destroy the forces on the axis village of Straza,

25 village of Ivaja, Mahala next to the "dzamija," that's next to the mosque

Page 18982

1 and the auxiliary forces in concerted action with the platoon of the PJP

2 rout and destroy the forces on the axis of Kotlinska Reka, village of

3 Kotlina, and ensure the control of the territory, command post in the

4 sector of the village of Straza 500 metres to the north."

5 Q. [Microphone not activated]

6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Microphone, Mr. Ivetic.

9 MR. IVETIC: I apologise.

10 Q. General, I see it's been recorded in the transcript the KM was

11 recorded as command post. Is that correct, that KM is an abbreviation for

12 command post and that this command post in the village was one familiar to

13 you because it was a command post of one of your subordinate units?

14 A. "KM" means command post. It was planned to be in Straza village.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, if we can look at section 5.3, that starts

16 off "VOD SAJ i IO." First of all, who are or what is the VOD SAJ or IO in

17 this context? These are army units, are they not?

18 A. No, no, you're wrong there. SAJ platoon is a police unit, and IO

19 means reconnaissance squad. They are to take up and hold position on the

20 line, if that's what you mean.

21 Q. Correct, General, but I believe you told me some time ago or a

22 couple of moments ago that only army units were under your command, but

23 here in 5.3 you've identified that the SAJ is a police unit that is the

24 subject of your orders. Isn't that correct?

25 A. My units receive orders from me, and since there was no

Page 18983

1 resubordination, despite the fact that I wrote the order, I had to cover

2 in my order all the units in order to avoid accidents and friendly fire,

3 but as you know these other units were never actually resubordinated.

4 Q. Well, I don't know whether I know that, but my knowledge is not at

5 issue here, General. You've mentioned the reconnaissance squad, the IO.

6 You failed to mention what formation that was a part of. Was that a

7 police formation or was it a VJ formation, General?

8 A. The reconnaissance squad is part of the army, that's combat

9 armoured vehicle manned by three persons.

10 Q. And isn't the task of a reconnaissance squad to move forward from

11 the main units?

12 A. Ahead of main units, he cannot go reconnoitring from the personnel

13 carrier. He can act from a cover, from shelter, and go forward in leaps

14 to detect the enemy. Because an armoured personnel carrier, without

15 support, is not a carrier, he's a target.

16 Q. Well, General, in your order here at 5.3 isn't it a fact that the

17 assignment given is to rout and eliminate terrorist forces in Kotlina with

18 the secondary forces securing the right flank of the main forces. Surely

19 your reconnaissance squad was not the one securing the flank, but rather

20 was leaping forward, as you indicated, under the support of this SAJ unit

21 you've indicated. Isn't that correct, General?

22 A. Yes, this reconnaissance squad provides support to the SAJ

23 platoon, that is allowed. If you take into account the balance of forces,

24 the platoon is supported by one armoured carrier, in this case it's

25 reconnoitring vehicle, that's according to the rules of use of combat

Page 18984

1 equipment.

2 Q. And they move forward together; isn't that correct, General?

3 A. Of course, when they move, they move forward but not necessarily

4 together. One supports the platoon. It -- it's about providing support

5 in the best-case scenario up to the line. Generally support is always

6 located behind, and you can see that from the rule, from the document.

7 Q. Well, I'm having a little bit of difficulty, perhaps you can help

8 me. My Serbian might not be as good. Where do you see the word "podrska"

9 in 5.3. I see "Razbiti i unistiti snage na pravcu," which to me means

10 something different.

11 A. Yes, that's the task, whereas the mode of movement is what I'm

12 trying to explain. The carrier can go alone manned by three men, 300 or

13 400 metres ahead of the combat formation because that would be certain

14 death. They are usually on the line and sometimes behind the line. They

15 move forward in leaps from cover to cover and from a safe place conduct

16 reconnaissance. I'm speaking of regular reconnaissance, not force

17 reconnaissance which is a completely different action.

18 Q. But he's surely not alone. He's with that -- that unit is with

19 the VOD of the SAJ, which you said was a police unit. Could you tell us a

20 little bit more about this police unit that is in your "zapovest." Who

21 exactly are they?

22 A. In terms of coordinated action, a plan has been made with the MUP

23 about the way to crush terrorist forces in this area. I don't know the

24 strength of that unit and it's not I who determine it; it's determined by

25 its own superior, in this case the chief of the SUP.

Page 18985

1 Q. Well, General, if the SAJ is the SAJ we've heard evidence about

2 here in this courtroom, surely this is a special anti-terrorist police

3 unit and not a police unit from the SUP or secretariat of internal

4 affairs, as you have just identified.

5 A. Yes, but that unit does not go through the Army of Yugoslavia,

6 it's not resubordinated to me via the corps command or via brigades; it is

7 resubordinated by the command of the SUP. I don't even know them until

8 they get in touch through the liaison officer from the SUP. I don't even

9 know who they consist of or their strength.

10 Q. If we look at 5.4, the next paragraph, we see there that a CPJP,

11 which I believe is a short form for a "ceta" or detachment of the PJP with

12 again the IO having a similar assignment on the other side of Kotlina, and

13 I would ask you: Do you allow for the possibility that the decision VOD

14 SAJ in 5.3 is a typographical error, and that in fact we're talking about

15 two detachments of the PJP, who in fact would be through the SUP

16 the "ceta," or units I guess is the English translation for "ceta."

17 A. I wouldn't say it's a typographical error. Those were the units

18 that we received. We got certain information about them, and on that

19 basis we issued tasks. I don't know why it would be a typographical

20 error. A unit is identified, it is enumerated along with the others, and

21 once we get information about what we dispose of, tasks are issued.

22 Q. We -- we see here you say that based upon this information tasks

23 are issued. What tasks did you issue to the "ceta" of the PJP and the IO

24 in 5.4 for this action for Kotlina?

25 A. It is written here. Do you want me to read it? Because it's

Page 18986

1 quite legible.

2 Q. If that helps you, sir, yes, that's fine. What's the assignment

3 given to these main forces, which I assume would be the PJP, what

4 assignments of tasks did you give to the PJP in section 5.4 of your order?

5 A. "Take control of the line Lepenac trig point 914 (to the north-west

6 by 1.000). Task: Use main forces to rout and destroy Siptar terrorist

7 forces along the axis: Trig point 560, Gajre village, trip point 887;

8 Ivaja village, and use auxiliary forces along the axis: Mil trig point

9 914; village Ivaja, crush sabotage terrorist forces, secure the right

10 flank of the main forces, and take control of the territory."

11 Q. [Microphone not activated]

12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

13 JUDGE BONOMY: Microphone again, Mr. Ivetic.

14 MR. IVETIC: I apologise.

15 Q. General, if we look down the page to paragraph 5.8, and I believe

16 this relates to the same PJP units, and could you read just that first

17 sentence and then I would like to ask you if, in fact, this confirms that

18 both the PJP and battle group 3 were involved in a concerted action, a

19 concerted attack pursuant to a legitimate anti-terrorist action planned by

20 this order.

21 A. This is a platoon of MB, that is, mortar 120-millimetres from the

22 composition of Combat Group 3. I did not understand your second question.

23 What is the second part of your question?

24 Q. Let me simplify this for you. According to my reading of 5.8,

25 battle group 3 is to support the attack of the joint forces upon a request

Page 18987

1 of either the commander of BG 3 or the commander of the PJP. And so the

2 question I have for you is: Can -- is it obvious or can we conclude from

3 this that both BG 3 and the PJP were engaged in a concerted attack against

4 legitimate targets, namely, the terrorists that were in Kotlina village?

5 Because surely the commander of the BG 3 would not be requesting --

6 requesting support for units not under his command. So I'm assuming that

7 the commander for BG 3 would be requesting support for his units from the

8 120-millimetre guns that are listed in this paragraph. Am I correct?

9 A. It is correct that it was planned, not that it participated. It's

10 correct that this task was planned with the support of this mortar platoon

11 at the request of the commander of Combat Group 3 and the CO of the PJP

12 company.

13 Q. You say it's correct that it was planned but not participated.

14 Are you denying the existence of a post-combat report for this very same

15 action signed by yourself for the 243rd Motorised Brigade dated the 24th

16 of March, 1999, strictly confidential number 400-302. General, wasn't it,

17 in fact, the legitimate anti-terrorist action in Kotlina carried out by

18 both VJ and MUP forces in accordance with your "zapovest" that we've gone

19 through here now?

20 A. Several questions are included in fact in your question, and they

21 are in fact assertions rather than questions. This is a planning document

22 made in various units, covering various units, for the purpose of

23 performing this task. All the units are identified, and based on their

24 abilities a plan is made. The execution of a plan is something entirely

25 different. We didn't read this through to the end because in order to

Page 18988

1 understand an order it must be read in its entirety. I would not wish now

2 to --

3 JUDGE BONOMY: The question isn't about the order. The question

4 you're being asked now is whether a legitimate anti-terrorist action was

5 carried -- was actually carried out by both VJ and MUP forces in

6 accordance with the decision. Now, what's the answer to that, yes or no?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this anti-terrorist

8 action, it was indeed legitimate, was performed by MUP units and VJ units

9 in a planned manner, but not according to this plan. If you want me, I

10 can explain, because the critical period from the 21st to the 24th was

11 critical for the whole of Army of Yugoslavia, but especially for my

12 brigade.

13 JUDGE BONOMY: I think Mr. Ivetic will want to clarify that.

14 Mr. Ivetic.

15 MR. IVETIC: Yes.

16 Q. The question I have for you, sir, is: According to my information

17 - and my information is based on the post-combat report signed by you,

18 strictly confidential number 400-302 - is that you reported that in

19 carrying out this action the VJ and MUP forces killed 26 terrorists. Now,

20 to me, that means that either your own VJ forces participated in the

21 attack, the legitimate attack, and entered Kotlina to fight with the

22 terrorists, or that the subordinated MUP units under your command

23 participating in the action reported to you the various details of their

24 struggle with the terrorist forces. Which of these or both are true?

25 A. None of the options you named. The army participated, that's a

Page 18989

1 fact, in the anti-terrorist action to destroy the Siptar terrorist forces

2 in Kotlina with the support -- in the support of MUP forces in order to

3 take certain features. The MUP forces entered the village, checked

4 identity papers of the population, and searched the village. The army did

5 not enter; that is strictly prohibited by several orders from several

6 levels, including the corps. It is strictly prohibited for the army to

7 enter populated areas and come into contact with the population.

8 Q. One moment, please.

9 JUDGE BONOMY: I have two questions. Your statement that it's

10 strictly prohibited for the VJ to enter any built-up or populated area,

11 does that also apply to areas -- specifically apply to areas within the

12 border belt?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, within the border belt as well

14 the army was prohibited from entering houses and populated areas.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: And the second question, your answer earlier to me

16 was that the action was carried out but not in accordance with this

17 particular order. What did you mean by that?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I meant to say the

19 following: This was a planned task that resulted from a period of the

20 army suffering losses over a time, so in concerted action with the MUP an

21 anti-terrorist action was planned in this volume. Since from the 21st to

22 the 24th the corps commander made his own mobilisation plan, ordering that

23 mobilisation should be conducted and units should leave barracks.

24 Therefore, on the 22nd and the 23rd a new situation arose. All units had

25 to be pulled out of barracks. You have to bear in mind that there were

Page 18990

1 only three combat groups outside of barracks, and they were one company

2 strong. The -- all of the other units were in barracks. In those 48

3 hours we had to pull out the entire brigade from barracks to make a map

4 according to the corps commander's decision, and to organize the firing

5 system so that the units planned for this action were considerably reduced

6 because Combat Group 3 had to be built-up to battalion level now that it

7 was in the first defence belt right next to the border. It was the

8 critical time for attack. We have to bear in mind they had to pull out in

9 just a few days thousands of tonnes of ammunition and equipment out of

10 barracks, because already on the 25th their barracks were razed.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't need a history of the war for this. Is

12 there another document that intervenes, another order or decision before

13 the action was carried out?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At this moment, I don't have that

15 paper with me. I remember I reduced --

16 JUDGE BONOMY: Was there one at the time that changed the identity

17 of the task or the units or groups that were to undertake the task?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There certainly is an order with a

19 brigade for the given period and the units that were to perform this task

20 were reduced. This reduction of forces was stipulated by my order.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.

22 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

23 Q. And thank you, General. You started answering one of

24 Judge Bonomy's questions by saying: "I remember I reduced," is it your

25 testimony that this action that was carried out was carried out in

Page 18991

1 accordance with a plan that you prepared, whether it was in a shortened

2 decision form or a "zapovest" form is irrelevant. But was the operation

3 carried out in accordance with instructions and tasks as you planned them

4 for units, including VJ and MUP?

5 A. That anti-terrorist action was performed with new equipment, new

6 forces in a different way. It was not possible to execute it with the

7 reduced forces we had over a same area with the same tasks, because if you

8 reduce forces down to the level of a reinforced company then that same

9 task is no longer possible. So the task was new and the forces were new;

10 however, the objective was attained.

11 Q. And the execution of this objective in a different way was

12 undertaken pursuant to a plan that you as the VJ commander on the ground

13 gave to the units in the field. Isn't that correct? You planned the

14 action that was undertaken and the tasks to be carried out therein?

15 A. I planned tasks for my units, I gave them excerpts from the order

16 and the map, based on which they did their own planning documents. The

17 plans for MUP were made by their superiors, I suppose the secretariat in

18 Urosevac or maybe Kacanik.

19 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I'd like to show the witness the

20 document that I'd tried to ask questions about because I don't have it in

21 the system, because again after -- after seeing a "zapovest" for the

22 action, I didn't think that the general would then require refreshment of

23 his recollection as to how the action was carried out. This is the combat

24 report of the command of the 243rd Motorised Brigade that I cited to

25 earlier. It's about a half-page document bearing a stamp and a signature,

Page 18992

1 and it again is not in e-court and I would only have two questions with

2 respect -- actually, even one question with respect to it.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] We object to this, Your Honour. We

5 had no occasion to see this document.

6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's apparently a document of the brigade

7 that the witness should be familiar with. Can that be a problem? Because

8 if we don't see it, we're not going to get the full picture, are we? He

9 seems to need assistance with his recollection.

10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence has not seen

11 this document.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Ivetic, could you please give Mr. Cepic a

13 copy so that he can consider it before we proceed further?

14 MR. IVETIC: I can.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know how this

17 Defence got hold of this document and I am not sure about its

18 authenticity. Therefore, I cannot -- rather, I do not agree that it be

19 put to the witness for the stated reasons.

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, we will allow you to put this document

23 to the witness, but you will have to bear in mind there's a challenge to

24 its authenticity at the moment. So you'll have to deal with that issue

25 first of all.

Page 18993

1 MR. IVETIC: Yes, that means I'll have more than one question for

2 the witness on the document. If I can have the assistance of the usher, I

3 have a copy that can be put on the ELMO so that both the witness and for

4 the sake of the record we can have it in front of us since it's not in

5 e-court.

6 Q. And, General, if you could first look at the bottom of the

7 document. Mr. Cepic has questioned the authenticity of the document. Is

8 the stamp and the signature on this document familiar to you?

9 A. Yes. I recognise it, it's most probably the Chief of Staff who

10 signed this.

11 Q. And that would be Dragan Kolundzija; is that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And his initials appear below the signature. If we look at the

14 top of the document, the source is listed as the command of the 243rd

15 Motorised Brigade [Interpretation] "Confidential number 400-302" --

16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, let's start that all over again in

17 English, please, otherwise the transcript will go awry.

18 MR. IVETIC: I apologise, Your Honour.

19 Q. General, am I correct that the top of the document indicates,

20 first in handwritten form: "Strictly confidential number 400-302,"

21 underneath it "command of the 243rd Motorised Brigade," then

22 typewritten: "Strictly confidential 400-302," with the date 24th March

23 1999. Is this the format and indeed official document of the command of

24 the 243rd Motorised Brigade of which you were the commanding officer in

25 March of 1999?

Page 18994

1 A. In formal and legal terms, it's illegal to have the same number

2 noted down twice in the heading, so the handwritten bit has been added on.

3 Q. Well, General, the "zapovest" that you said was yours also had the

4 handwritten number in the left corner with the typewritten number. Was

5 that one also done improperly or illegally?

6 A. In formal and legal terms, wherever it appears, that's incorrect.

7 It's correct only when it says "strictly confidential number 400,"

8 regardless of whether it's handwritten or typewritten, through

9 such-and-such a number. But this is written twice over. Probably this

10 was done before archiving in order to make it more legible.

11 Q. So you're not challenging the fact that this document actually

12 originated from your command, are you?

13 A. I don't challenge this, I see no reason. This is a copy. If it's

14 stamped, you can't really see the stamp very well in the lower right-hand

15 corner, it's probably authentic.

16 Q. With respect to combat reports of your unit that were sent out,

17 was it the regular custom and practice to have the Chief of Staff of your

18 command send documents out on your behalf; and if so, would you still have

19 knowledge of the matters contained in such reports and wouldn't that be

20 your duty as the commander?

21 A. The Chief of Staff in my brigade was also my deputy with all the

22 rights and powers that I had if I was absent. In view of the time here,

23 that this was the critical time when the mobilisation of the brigade was

24 carried out. It was the Chief of Staff who signed this document, and it's

25 quite normal for him to have sent it to the command of the Pristina Corps.

Page 18995

1 Q. And would it be quite normal and indeed required for you to also

2 be apprised of the contents of such a report sent by your Chief of Staff?

3 A. Certainly. Certainly I would have been apprised of the contents

4 of such a report.

5 Q. Thank you. And I'd like to direct your attention to section 2,

6 and I think just for the sake of giving you the full picture so that I

7 don't read anything out of context, if you could read the entirety of

8 section 2, both paragraphs, and then I'll ask you my question that I had

9 with respect to this document and whether it refreshes your recollection

10 of the events post the operation, the legitimate operation in Kotlina

11 against the terrorist forces located therein.

12 A. Yes. "Part of the forces of Combat Group 3 (6 OTM-60, 3 BVP M-80,

13 4 BRDH-2, and 2 spat 30/2-millimetre Praga) with part of the forces of the

14 57," --

15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat what battalion.

16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, the interpreter did not pick up which

17 battalion you were referring to.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The 57 Border Battalion, Combat

19 Group-21/NK, two companies of the PJP carried out a blockade of the

20 general area where the Siptar terrorist forces are concentrated. Through

21 characteristic activities the Siptar terrorist forces were routed and the

22 26 terrorists were liquidated, about 20 barrels of weapons were captured,

23 and in the course of the activities a group of mines was demined, four

24 anti-tank mines, and an auxiliary device with a lighter envisaged to

25 activate this by radio was demined -- the fuses were demined."

Page 18996


2 Q. Thank you, General. That's the first paragraph. I can ask you a

3 question with respect to that. First of all, do you see in section 1

4 there the village of Kotlina is identified as the locale, that's the

5 villages of Straza and Kotlina, Straza being the place that the "zapovest"

6 envisioned as being the command centre in Kotlina being the village that

7 we have been discussing as being the locale for this action. Do you see

8 that, sir?

9 A. No, I don't see that anywhere that Straza is the command post. I

10 don't know where this is supposed to be.

11 Q. Perhaps it was a translation error. Does item 1 of this

12 post-combat report of your unit indicate that the actions being reported

13 were being undertaken in the region of the village of Straza and the

14 village of Kotlina?

15 A. It says here that activities were manifested in the area of the

16 villages of Straza and Kotlina on the Bojevo-Globocica axis, that's from

17 Kotlina 2 kilometres to the west and then to the south towards Duganovic

18 and Globocica.

19 Q. And so, General, in section 2 when you recited those various VJ

20 forces and the two PJP units, they all were in the same region, performing

21 the same task; isn't that correct, General?

22 A. Yes, that's the general task assigned to the units, to block,

23 rout -- block and rout these terrorist forces on the areas -- in the areas

24 of Slatina, Kotlina, Bojevo, up to the border crossing at Globocica.

25 That's a wide area, a broad area, 3 to 4 kilometres in diameter.

Page 18997

1 Q. Thank you. And I see here that there's two "ceta" of the PJP.

2 Was one of the changes that you made to the actual action that was carried

3 out from the "zapovest" to not involve the SAJ because they were not

4 taking part in the actual action that took place? That is to say, does

5 this document refresh your recollection as to whether, in fact, the SAJ

6 did not take part in this action, that it was two "ceta" from the PJP of

7 Urosevac?

8 A. It says here there were two PJP companies, whether the SAJ was

9 there or not, I can't recall. The units enumerated here were mostly

10 involved in the blockade, even my 57th Border Battalion which did not

11 participate in the activities but because it was there, it was engaged in

12 blocking that unit probably, and what you have just said may be a

13 technical error and may have been omitted from the document.

14 Q. Thank you. Now, this very detailed knowledge of the number of

15 terrorists killed, the number of long-barrelled weapons recovered, the

16 discovery of mines and trenches in villages, if you had gone on to read

17 the second paragraph where you stopped, either you received very detailed

18 information from your units that were in the midst of this all or you

19 received information from the MUP units that were carrying out your tasks

20 or perhaps both. Would you concede that, General, that's the only way you

21 could have had such detailed information to present in your post-combat

22 report?

23 A. Your statement is not correct. The MUP forces were not carrying

24 out my tasks, as you said. I reject that. There was the chief of the

25 SUP, who issued them with tasks. All the weapons found in the villages,

Page 18998

1 when we learned about that from the units we were supporting and with

2 which we were engaged in coordinated action, just as the MUP sent

3 information to their staff, we probably sent -- we sent information to our

4 command. And all the equipment that was found was to be on a common list,

5 a joint list, and had to correspond. Whatever weapon we found on the

6 ground we always informed the MUP forces, whether in this action or any

7 other one. It doesn't make any difference. So all the weapons and

8 equipment were reported through the MUP.

9 JUDGE BONOMY: The question also relates to casualties. How would

10 you get the information about the number of casualties?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The number of casualties is

12 something we learned after the end of this anti-terrorist action because

13 the MUP forces entered, the investigating judge arrived, an attempt was

14 made to identify the corpses. As far as I can recall, they stayed until

15 late in the evening carrying out identifications, searches, confiscating

16 or collecting weapons, and doing everything else that was to have been

17 done in the village and in this action. The investigating judge arrived.

18 As far as I can remember, they took photographs, but I don't want to go

19 into any further detail because I don't know.

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.


22 Q. And in fact, after the investigative judge arrived and tried to do

23 the investigation, isn't it a fact that the terrorist forces attacked,

24 causing both the VJ and the MUP to retreat from Kotlina-Ivaja?

25 A. In the area where the army was to the east and west where the

Page 18999

1 blockade was being carried out, through manoeuvres and movements, not just

2 fire, there was no provocation from that area nor any attacks by terrorist

3 forces because that area was very well protected. The attacks took place

4 from the south and the east, from the mountainous part, and according to

5 what the chief of the SUP told me, they were unable to carry out the

6 on-sight investigation to the end because of the danger, because of the

7 threat. This was in populated area, built-up area, and they might have

8 been killed on the streets of that village. To what extent they managed

9 to complete the investigation, I'm not competent to say, and that

10 information is not available. But I do know that the chief of the SUP

11 told me that.

12 Q. Thank you, General. Now I'd like to take a few moments to go

13 through your testimony regarding Kacanik.

14 MR. IVETIC: We can take that exhibit down and --

15 JUDGE BONOMY: What are you going to do about entering this into

16 e-court?

17 MR. IVETIC: I'm going to get it entered and I will obviously have

18 a translation done and I will move the Court for admission, and in that

19 motion I will give the source of the documentation to address all the --

20 any remaining issues of authenticity that may arise in the due course of

21 when a translation is available so that the --

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, meanwhile it will be given an IC number.

23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC143, Your Honours.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: And when you make your filing that will be to

25 substitute the document in e-court with an appropriate number for that

Page 19000

1 IC143.

2 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

3 Q. Now, General, with respect to Kacanik town itself, you mentioned

4 Kacanik earlier. First of all, do you recall that on the 27th of March,

5 1999, there was a terrorist attack upon a column of the VJ in the village

6 of Bob, B-o-b, on which the VJ returned live fire?

7 A. I can't recall the precise date, but I do know there was more than

8 one attack in that area from the end of March until the very last day of

9 the air-strike campaign against the FRY.

10 Q. And am I correct that the attack occurred in the region of the

11 factory in the village of Bob, B-o-b, where the VJ was located, the VJ

12 column?

13 A. To the best of my recollection, not in a single house of the

14 village of Bob was there a factory, nor was the VJ located there. There

15 were almost daily attacks on the columns, not in that area but in the

16 entire area between the roads going from Duganovici to Globocica and from

17 Duganovici to Djeneral Jankovic. When I say the VJ, I'm not referring

18 just to my own brigade, other units of the corps also used those roads and

19 they suffered very fierce attacks.

20 Q. Well, General, if your colleague, chief Bogi Janicevic of the

21 Urosevac SUP would report about a KLA attack on an army unit in Bob on the

22 27th of March, 1999, do you have any reason why you would dispute or

23 debate such an attack happening? Why would he report information about

24 the VJ in such a manner?

25 A. Not for a single moment did I challenge his sending of information

Page 19001

1 or receiving information from me. I am not denying what he said, but I'm

2 just saying I don't know what the precise date was, whether it was the

3 27th or the 26th. All I can say is that there was an attack on a moving

4 column almost every other day, whether it was part of the brigade or the

5 corps, it didn't make any difference, because on a 150-kilometre stretch

6 there were major roads which were under constant attack.

7 Q. And you said there were attacks on moving columns. Were there

8 attacks on moving columns of the VJ going through the village of Bob and

9 through the town of Kacanik -- or I should say the outskirts of the town

10 of Kacanik, since it's my understanding that Bob is precisely on the

11 outskirts of the town of Kacanik, separated by either a stream or some

12 other natural feature.

13 A. The main road from Pristina-Kacanik-Djeneral Jankovic passes right

14 next to the populated area of Kacanik. A VJ unit was never attacked in

15 the town itself because it never entered the town. I exclude the

16 possibility that it was attacked.

17 Q. How about the road on the outskirts, maybe it's a translation

18 error. The Serbian word I'm looking for is "periferija" [B/C/S spoken].

19 A. On the outskirts of Kacanik, on that road, there were very

20 frequent attacks. Several officers and soldiers were killed there. I

21 stated that during my examination-in-chief.

22 Q. Okay, General. I'd like to have you take a look at Exhibit 6D736

23 briefly.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this exhibit was

Page 19002

1 announced at a later stage, six or seven hours after the making of the

2 solemn declaration.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.

4 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, according to my staff, this document

5 was disclosed before the witness testified on Friday, that is to say, it

6 was disclosed sometime on Thursday I believe -- it may very well have been

7 after his examination-in-chief, I don't know, since at that time I was

8 engaged in other tasks for the defence of my client. So I cannot be 100

9 per cent certain as to that. The document itself I believe arose out of

10 some testimony that I have here, citations to some questions posed by Your

11 Honour to the witness and the answers received therefrom. The document

12 itself, as can be seen, as it is in e-court, is a post-combat report of

13 the 243rd Motorised Brigade of the VJ, and if we need more information

14 about that I can provide it.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, you've obviously had time to consider

16 this document. Is there some other objection to it beyond the failure to

17 intimate it in time?

18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] My main objection is that it was not

19 notified on time; and secondly, I may be making an error, but in the

20 e-court system it says that the document was rejected. But I'm no expert

21 for this e-court system, so I may be wrong there.

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you accept that the subject matter arises out of

23 questions which were asked by the Bench?

24 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] May I just have a minute to view the

25 contents of the document?

Page 19003


2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: What we can do is we can take the break now,

4 Mr. Cepic, and allow you to do that and then come back and resume. We'll

5 resume at 11.00.

6 We have to have a break now again, Mr. Jelic, so will you please

7 leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll see you again at 11.00. When

8 we resume at 11.00, we will sit until 12.45, and then we'll break for an

9 hour, and then we'll sit from 1.45 until 3.30, as we indicated on Friday

10 was possible. We now know that that can be done.

11 [The witness stands down]

12 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.

13 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.

14 [The witness takes the stand]

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.

16 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

17 We had taken the break to see about 6D736, so I don't know if we

18 have any need for additional submissions.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

20 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I looked

21 through this document carefully and it does stem from my

22 examination-in-chief. My examination-in-chief was announced as early as

23 in June. So let me just be very specific to reply to what Mr. Ivetic

24 said. The questions do not relate to the questions asked by Your Honours,

25 but it -- the questions may only stem from my examination-in-chief. Thank

Page 19004

1 you.

2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.

3 MR. IVETIC: I take that as a concession of the relevance of this

4 document to show the true picture. I have here several transcript

5 references when the document was first raised. I had said that it was in

6 response to a question from the Trial Chamber. Apparently counsel stated

7 it's in response to his questions. I think the document is relevant. I

8 think it goes to the fact that the 65 ter summary for this witness that

9 I've referred to previously in discussions about Slatina and Dubrava does

10 not give details indicating or tending to indicate that the VJ units did

11 not participate in the action. In fact, it just says that he'll explain

12 the actions. Given the existence of these documents, I believe my

13 counsel -- my colleague Mr. Lukic surely anticipated that the VJ would

14 admit that the legitimate actions were carried out in the manner carried

15 out. And when Mr. Cepic led the witness to untold territory that all of a

16 sudden now it's the MUP acting alone. That's why we needed to bring in

17 these documents, and I think the fact that we introduced it as early as

18 possible I think even before the Friday testimony, I think goes towards--

19 towards showing we have tried to comply to give notice to the other side.

20 Indeed it is a document that is authentic and is relevant. So at the end

21 of the day, especially with the tempo that we're working here with in

22 these proceedings, I think that the interests of justice ought to prevail.

23 JUDGE BONOMY: How many more examples can we anticipate this

24 morning?

25 MR. IVETIC: Well, to be honest, having not been the one that

Page 19005

1 drafted the notification, I can't tell, Your Honour, but I don't think

2 that many since I don't have -- I have maybe -- well, let me check with my

3 staff.

4 [Defence counsel confer]

5 MR. IVETIC: There was an addendum sent out of documents on

6 Thursday evening, but I think of that addendum I'm not actually using more

7 than maybe this document and one more from what I can see perhaps. So

8 there will be one more, I think 6D1313 that will come up later in my

9 cross-examination that is also subject to the same addendum that was sent

10 out at -- on Thursday, after the witness had taken his -- had taken the

11 oath but before he testified on Friday.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

13 [Trial Chamber confers]

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Since it is accepted that this document is relevant

15 to issues which are -- have arisen, and since it appears to us to be

16 important to have a view of the complete picture, and since notice was

17 given last week of the intention to use it, then we shall allow this

18 document to be used in the cross-examination.

19 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.

20 Q. General, we have up on the screen 6D736, which purports to be a

21 post-combat report of the 243rd Brigade, your brigade. The date, as we

22 can see, is the 13th of April, 1999, and if we can scroll down to the

23 bottom I would ask you to identify the stamp and the signature. Is this

24 in fact another combat report signed by your Chief of Staff,

25 Dragan Kolundzija with your seal which I presume from--

Page 19006

1 A. Yes, yes, it's one of the documents signed by the Chief of Staff,

2 Dragan Kolundzija.

3 Q. And if we can look at section 1.2, there we go, we see that the

4 report covers -- well, just so there's no confusion based on my poor

5 Serbian, could we have 1.2 read by you, sir, so we can see what geographic

6 region and what specific events this combat report relates to.

7 A. "Pursuant to the decision of the 12th of April, 1999, a blockade

8 was carried out in coordinated action of the company of PJP Urosevac, the

9 routing and destruction of the Siptar terrorist forces in the sectors of

10 Firaja, Brod, and Slatina. The effects of the action: 15 [as

11 interpreted] terrorists were liquidated."

12 Q. I perhaps by speaking earlier had caused an error to come in the

13 transcript. I think the witness testified, in fact, the document lists 14

14 terrorists, so the transcript at page 36 line 9 ought to reflect 14

15 terrorists.

16 Now, General, this combat report of your brigade, first of all, do

17 you have recollection of reporting about the actions undertaken on the

18 12th and 13th of April by your forces and by the "ceta" of the PJP

19 Urosevac; that is to say, does this document refresh your recollection of

20 the same?

21 A. Yes, we reported to the Pristina Corps command about the fact that

22 we had carried out a blockade. The route from Duganovici to Strpce was

23 cut off and the road was blocked to the right and to the left of that very

24 road, and that road became again passable, the road to Strpce and further

25 on to Prizren because the terrorist forces had been routed.

Page 19007

1 Q. And it references here an order -- pardon me, an "odluka," which

2 would be on a decision of the 12th of April, 1999. Whose decision is

3 being referenced and what kind of decision are we talking about? Are we

4 talking about a written decision, an "odluka" map, a decision map, or

5 both?

6 A. Every decision must contain a map and a written part, but a

7 decision may be communicated orally, too. In this case I assume, based on

8 my recollection, that was a written decision to the effect that in this

9 sector, the area where the road was, that the terrorist forces should be

10 routed along this road in concerted action with the PJP forces to secure

11 it. And as far as I can remember, we provided support, mortar support, or

12 rather, that was a mortar battery or a mortar company, it depends on the

13 terminology. We used the terminology "company," but elsewhere it's called

14 battery, a mortar battery.

15 Q. Thank you. And this decision, who would have authorised or issued

16 the decision for this action to take place to involve the mortar battery

17 or company of the 243rd Mechanised Brigade and the "ceta" of the PJP?

18 A. If I understand you correctly, no motorised companies were used.

19 A mortar company was used. There is a very big difference. And now, as

20 for the decision to use my unit, any element thereof, this decision is

21 made by me, the brigade commander, or in my absence the Chief of Staff of

22 the brigade. And as for the MUP, that would be their staff chief

23 according to their chain of command. And since this was to be a joint

24 action, since the route had to be cleared, made passable, for the traffic

25 of civilians, MUP, and the army, it was a concerted action, it was a joint

Page 19008

1 action, launched to rout those terrorist forces.

2 Q. I take it then, now that your recollection has been refreshed, you

3 are withdrawing your testimony of the other day at transcript page 18917,

4 lines 1 through 7, that this was solely a MUP action in the region of

5 Slatina, April the 13th, 1999? Do you stand corrected now today?

6 A. I maintain what I said, a joint action in our language has several

7 meanings. If you say "joint" and if MUP is the mainstay of the combat

8 action, they move forward; and if I provide mortar support, then this is a

9 joint action. But the mainstay of this action is the force that is in

10 direct contact with the enemy. This is how it is envisaged in the Rules

11 of Combat.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, the "odluka," or decision, that you would have

13 prepared or your Chief of Staff, for your forces, as you indicated, would

14 have been reduced to a map - isn't that correct - with identifying both

15 the location and the assignments of the VJ component involved in this

16 joint action as well as the MUP of the Republic of Serbia component

17 involved in this joint action. Isn't that correct?

18 A. The decision contains the basic elements of both forces and of --

19 both sides and the third side, the enemy, but that's based on the

20 assessment. The enemy forces are listed on the basis of the intelligence

21 data at our disposal. The decision is the initial document for the

22 performance of a combat action, and in the course of the actual engagement

23 the decision is amended depending on the actual developments on the

24 ground.

25 Q. And, General, if such a decision or order is to be amended on the

Page 19009

1 terrain in the course of engagement, based on actual developments, am I

2 correct that only you as the commander who initially approved the

3 decision, only you could change it; that is to say, your subordinate units

4 or the MUP units in the field could not change your decision?

5 A. Now we go back to the previous question, or rather, the questions

6 in the last session. The decision is the initial document, and in the

7 course of an engagement the commander carrying out that part of the combat

8 action is entitled to amend the decision because the situation dictates

9 it. In this case you can see that this was signed by the brigade Chief of

10 Staff, but regardless of who signed it the situation may dictate that the

11 decision be amended. The decision about the police is not made by me, but

12 by their superior, that would be the MUP staff, or rather, the MUP in

13 Pristina.

14 Q. Now you've mentioned the MUP staff in Pristina for the first time.

15 You were talking about Urosevac and Kacanik. How many personnel from MUP

16 were you in contact with in planning the action and preparing the

17 documents with respect to this action?

18 A. When I say that, I mean the MUP in Pristina or the MUP in

19 Urosevac, along their chain of command. I contacted only the chief of the

20 SUP in Urosevac, Bogoljub Janicevic.

21 Q. Thank you for clearing that up. Now if we look at the section

22 that you just read --

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, if I can interrupt.

24 MR. IVETIC: Sure.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: You are going to have to start prioritizing what

Page 19010

1 you're doing here. There's a limit to the detail that you can explore

2 unless there are particular reasons for it of every event that the witness

3 has spoken to. So can we have some indication of what's involved in this

4 cross-examination?

5 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honours, this was a far-reaching

6 examination in covering Kacanik, Urosevac, and part of Gnjilane, those are

7 three municipalities, and the witness in direct testified to a whole sort

8 of villages, particularly Vata and Slatina where we are at now, I also

9 intend to cover Dubrava and Reka, Stagovo --

10 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought we were now in Dubrava.

11 MR. IVETIC: We are still in Vata and Slatina, Your Honour.

12 Dubrava is coming up shortly in a matter of a question or two. They are

13 close to one another so it does overlap sometimes in direct. The problem

14 we have is the very general nature of the testimony leaves many details --

15 the testimony in direct leaves many details that I have to flush out to

16 describe the situation in the field so that the wrong inferences are not

17 made and that we don't have a situation where --

18 JUDGE BONOMY: So how long do you envisage your cross-examination

19 lasting?

20 MR. IVETIC: I anticipate finishing within this session.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Please continue.

22 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.

23 Q. Now, General, you read in here that there were 14 terrorists that

24 were killed. Did any of the reporting from either your VJ units in the

25 field or the MUP units they were supporting mention anything about

Page 19011

1 civilians that were casualties?

2 A. As far as I can recall, and it says here, it was not mentioned, as

3 far as I can remember. Because we did not carry out the search of the

4 terrain, we did not carry out any on-site investigations, and we were not

5 in contact with those casualties.

6 Q. And had there been any -- strike that.

7 Had there been any civilian deaths, they would be reported and

8 recorded in your combat reports as part of the normal practice and

9 procedure for such reports. Isn't that correct?

10 A. As a rule, yes, but we did not have any contacts with those bodies

11 and I don't recall whether anyone jotted down this information. But at

12 any rate, I do know that these were the figures. It would have been only

13 natural to write that down, but it would have depended on the actual

14 location of those people who were killed, whether they were killed in --

15 within the battle order, the combat disposition, with the units that were

16 involved in the fighting or whether this was somebody who was just a

17 passer-by, so to speak.

18 Q. And again, do you know whether this information comes from your

19 units who were actually on the ground, first-hand, or if it was reported

20 to you in the regular course of the reporting of the MUP units engaged in

21 this joint, legitimate anti-terrorist action against the terrorist forces

22 in that particular region?

23 A. We amended the data, and I can't recall whether I gave the data to

24 MUP or the other way around. But at any rate we exchanged the

25 information, the information that we obtained in the field.

Page 19012

1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The beginning of the

2 reply should read: "We exchanged information."


4 Q. And now I would like to move on to Dubrava and Reka. Now, if we

5 can look at -- no, I think the -- you -- I'm going to try and

6 short-circuit this somewhat, sir. You testified about Dubrava and Reka at

7 several points on Friday. I think we can conclude that the gist of your

8 testimony was that, again in this instance, you claimed that the MUP was

9 doing the action and that the army was merely holding defensive positions.

10 I think that's at pages 18920 through 18921 of the transcript. I'd like

11 to take you through Exhibit 6D1314 in e-court, which I think will be a

12 combat report of the Pristina Corps, strictly confidential number

13 692-1/61, dated 26 May 1999.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] May we get a reference. When was this

16 document announced that it would be used in the examination?

17 MR. IVETIC: On the addendum from Thursday afternoon. If you see

18 it's the one, two, three, four, fifth from the bottom on that list of

19 documents from the addendum, 6D1314, before the testimony on Friday.

20 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Yet another document that was

21 announced until -- that was announced at a later stage, and a little while

22 ago my colleague indicated that he would only be using 6D1313.

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Has it yet to come before us, Mr. Ivetic?

24 [Defence counsel confer]

25 MR. IVETIC: I don't believe it has, Your Honour. Again, I'm sort

Page 19013

1 of working at a disadvantage, having not drafted the original list, to

2 know whether it was one used with the previous witness --

3 JUDGE BONOMY: No, but are you going to be referring to it or is

4 it 6D1314 that you meant to say?

5 MR. IVETIC: No, 14 and 13, Your Honours.


7 MR. IVETIC: I stand corrected in that regard. 13 was one I knew

8 for sure was coming up in relation to Belanica, I believe.

9 JUDGE BONOMY: This is yet another document that arises, it would

10 appear, from the way in which the examination-in-chief was conducted, and

11 in these circumstances since there's no suggestion it's not relevant and

12 since it will assist in completing the picture, we will allow it to be

13 used.

14 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.

15 Q. General, first of all, with respect to this document, the section

16 starting in 1.1, and trying to avoid having to have you read the whole

17 thing, I would just ask you if you can look in there and if you can

18 confirm for me that in fact the 243rd mbr of the VJ had combat activities

19 manifested by the STS in the villages of Kovacevac, Nika, Reka, Bicevac,

20 and Dubrava, and if this description encompasses what you understood as

21 the Dubrava and Reka villages.

22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm afraid that we will

23 get a completely different interpretation, wrong interpretation of this

24 document, because you don't have the English translation. Perhaps the

25 best way to proceed would be for the witness to read this whole passage

Page 19014

1 that my learned colleague Mr. Ivetic wants to ask about.


3 Q. General --

4 JUDGE BONOMY: It doesn't seem to me at first sight that there's

5 anything wrong with that question.

6 MR. IVETIC: There's --

7 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you answer the question, please, Mr. Jelic?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honour. The Siptar

9 terrorist forces manifested activities in the -- that means attacked the

10 brigade units in the sectors of defence, and then you have the villages

11 listed: Kovacevac, Nika, Reka, Bicevac, and Dubrava in the area around

12 Kacanik.

13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, if you're unhappy about that then you

14 can deal with the matter in re-examination.

15 Mr. Ivetic.

16 MR. IVETIC: Thank you. And I believe I had said manifested by

17 the STS, but in any event if we can-- I'm just trying to make sure that

18 we're dealing with the right region, that that is Dubrava and Reka, which

19 was my question.

20 Q. Does that zone of defence encompass the villages of Dubrava and

21 Reka in Kacanik municipality?

22 A. All those villages, all the way up to Urosevac, the whole

23 territory was in the zone of defence of the brigade, but not in the

24 sectors. There is a difference between the two.

25 Q. Well, maybe it will become clear if we look at page 2, 2.1 is the

Page 19015

1 section I want, and you'll see an entry there for the date of the 25th of

2 May, 1999, General, and could you read for us the report segment of this

3 post-combat report for the 25th of May, 1999, it's the one, two, three,

4 fourth bullet point under 2.1, talking about the activities and effects

5 and consequences of the reported activities.

6 A. "On the 25th of May, 1999, from 500 hours until 1900 hours, the

7 Dubrava action was executed and part of the forces of the 243rd Mechanised

8 Brigade with MUP forces." That's a document of the Pristina Corps.

9 Q. And I believe the transcript should reflect Pristina Corps

10 command, but I think it's not that relevant. I agree, General, and would

11 you agree with me that, in fact, you are aware of an action, an

12 anti-terrorist action, a legitimate anti-terrorist action under the name

13 Dubrava conducted by a portion of your forces and forces of the MUP in and

14 around Dubrava and Reka villages conducted --

15 A. I stated that it was not an action there, in view of the position

16 of the unit, the sector where the unit was. There was anti-armour

17 artillery. It cannot move unless it is pulled. It performed the action

18 together with MUP forces to crush the terrorists by taking up positions

19 and blocking from the northern side of the village from their combat

20 positions, and that implies a joint action.

21 Q. And when you said that's a document of the Pristina Corps, you're

22 referring of course to the "zapovest" or "odluka," the decision or the

23 order, Dubrava, are you not?

24 A. No, I don't mean the Dubrava decision. I mean that this is a

25 document of the corps command. I don't recognise it as my document. I

Page 19016

1 see that the heading there is "status and activities of the units of the

2 corps."

3 Q. Who planned and authorised Dubrava, since you seem to know the

4 details of what it entailed? Was it subject of an "odluka" map,

5 identifying both VJ and MUP forces and their assignments?

6 A. I don't recall that there was a particular plan, but if I remember

7 well the case was that the terrorists attacked outside Dubrava village and

8 the anti-terrorist action pushed them back. We relied on our

9 intercommunication, and that was visible on the ground. The unit

10 immediately took up their positions for defence and blocked the terrorist

11 forces, disabling them from getting into position, and that was

12 practically coordinated action with MUP forces in destroying the

13 terrorists.

14 Q. [Previous translation continues]... any losses you record 25

15 terrorists were liquidated in the carrying out of Dubrava action, and I

16 believe it says there by the 243rd Brigade, and that's in the next -- the

17 bottom -- we have to scroll down a little bit

18 further "Gubici neprijatelja" 2.7. The subheading is visible on the

19 bottom of the screen but the text of the actual report is not visible, so

20 we need to scroll down the exhibit in e-court.

21 A. I see it, you mean 2.7, yes, losses of the enemy. They are mixed

22 in among units. It reads:

23 "There is reliable information that 36 terrorists were liquidated:

24 Namely, nine in the sector of Novoselskih Stanovi and Lipske mountain; 25

25 in the course of executing 'Dubrava' action (243rd Motorised Brigade), one

Page 19017

1 in attempting to infiltrate himself into the sector of 'Deva', and one in

2 the area of Budakovo village (east of Suva Reka by 6 kilometres).

3 "In the course of performing 'Dubrava' action, the units of the

4 243rd Motorised Brigade seized six rifles, one machine-gun, one SnP with a

5 muffler, two pistols, five hand-held rocket-launchers, six rounds for a

6 recoilless gun, 300 rounds of various ammunition, and one Motorola device

7 210."

8 Q. Thank you, General. I apologise for pausing. I have to wait for

9 the transcript to catch up with us from time to time.

10 And now, having read this, would you -- are you better refreshed

11 and better able to answer the question that you answered yesterday -- on

12 Friday for Judge Bonomy when talking about the discovery of weapons and

13 saying that you didn't know of any casualties in this area. Is it any

14 clearer from here now that the Dubrava action, a legitimate anti-terrorist

15 action undertaken by your forces and the MUP, resulted in your forces

16 finding the weapons and disposing of 25 terrorists; that is to say that

17 they actively participated in this legitimate action against criminal

18 terrorist elements and had this effect on the criminal terrorist elements?

19 A. I have stated that we did not get the number of casualties. There

20 are -- there is rough terrain between us and the location, and we only

21 later collected the weapons and we identified the casualties together with

22 the MUP. Our data had to be merged, it had to be identified in one list,

23 the man and the weapon, regardless of whether the body was found by the

24 MUP or by us. This is the report that later went up towards the army,

25 along the army line, towards General Staff.

Page 19018

1 Q. Would you agree with me that the communication and reporting

2 regime, as part of the reporting structure between the MUP forces in the

3 field and your command units, worked well during the course of these

4 legitimate anti-terrorist actions conducted in this region in 1999?

5 A. Communications were sometimes difficult because of the well-known

6 NATO campaign, because the repeaters were destroyed. But in most cases,

7 most of the time, communications at short distance worked fine, especially

8 between me and the chief of SUP, we had a constant exchange through

9 Motorola devices. We exchanged frequencies and we communicated several

10 times a day whenever a problem arose on the ground. Sometimes it was me

11 asking his assistance, sometimes the other way round, but we communicated

12 directly and we verified that information that we exchanged on lower

13 levels.

14 Q. Thank you, General. Now I'd like to move to Stagovo. As you

15 heard, I'm trying to move through these areas of your testimony as

16 efficiently as possible. Now, just so we can be clear --

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move on.

18 MR. IVETIC: Yes.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: It's still your -- you're still maintaining the

20 position here that the 25 casualties were casualties of the VJ, are you?

21 MR. IVETIC: I'm inquiring, and I believe he said that -- I'm

22 taking his answer as he doesn't know which part were VJ and which part

23 were MUP. So I'm asking questions and I'm guided by his answers.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, as long as you weren't anticipating that I

25 had agreed with you. That's fine.

Page 19019


2 Q. Now, with respect to Stagovo, general, at transcript page 18931,

3 line 21 through 23, you stated that the VJ never set foot near the

4 vicinity of this village or encircled it. At transcript page 18932, lines

5 20 through 21 you state members of the brigade never entered Stagovo and

6 later say that the police controlled the terrain. I would like to call-up

7 Exhibit 4D270, one for which I hope there will not be an issue of

8 disclosure, as it was used in direct examination.

9 And as that comes up, General, I'll ask you to --

10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Just for clarity, 4D270 was not used

11 in direct examination. It was announced subsequently as well, and I want

12 to emphasise that this is the third document that Mr. Ivetic is going to

13 use, although he said he was using only one.

14 MR. IVETIC: [Previous translation continues]... If it was

15 disclosed this is the one that was going to be used in direct examination

16 because that's the notation I have. I apologise if it wasn't used, if

17 Your Honours might recall, I was outside of court attending to other

18 matters on Friday before assuming this cross-examination.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: The objection is taken on the same basis as the

20 last time, and we will allow the questioning to continue on this document

21 on the same basis as in relation to the previous document.

22 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.

23 Q. With respect to this exhibit, and this one I think we have an

24 English translation, General, so we won't have to read portions of it, but

25 if I can direct your attention to section 2.1, which is at the bottom of

Page 19020

1 the first page in both versions it would appear, and specifically in the

2 B/C/S the sixth line seems to state that a part of the 243rd Motorised

3 Brigade on 24 March 1999 executed a blockade of the villages of Runjevo

4 and Stagovo and crushed the STS forces in these villages. Now, General,

5 albeit I don't have military training as such, but common logic would seem

6 to dictate that you must at least approach a village and perhaps encircle

7 it in order to execute a blockade, and definitely some offensive measures

8 must be taken to crush the STS forces therein.

9 How can you reconcile this report of the 3rd Army dated the 22nd

10 of May?

11 A. As far as I recall, at that time terrorist forces attacked part of

12 the MUP forces in Kacanik. There was six or seven casualties, hit from a

13 hand-held launcher, and then the MUP forces pushed back these forces via

14 Runjevo and Stagovo in a legitimate action, searching for the terrorists.

15 Immediately after the beginning of this action, my unit was the closest to

16 the area, close to old Kacanik, that's one kilometre away from Stagovo

17 village. Don't forget that there is Nerodimka river in between and it's a

18 swampy area, you can see it on the map. From the western side, that is,

19 to the right of the Nerodimka river and north of Kamena Glava, we were

20 located and we suffered constant attacks from terrorists. The army didn't

21 use vehicles because we had self-propelled vehicles and they couldn't

22 enter even if they had wanted to. And if you look at the configuration of

23 the terrain, not a single combat vehicle, except a light one, can enter.

24 We suffered constant attacks from Stagovo village, especially at night.

25 When I say "from the sector," I don't mean from the village itself; I mean

Page 19021

1 the features to the north and to the west of Stagovo village, nameless

2 elevations from which fire was opened on us.

3 Q. So you differentiate from the actual village itself I see. Can we

4 turn to page 3 of the Serbian original copy -- Serbian version of this

5 document. It's at the top on the English -- my notes say it's on page 3

6 but I don't know the position of the document. But let me try it this way

7 and it will be hopefully clear so we will be on the same page.

8 General, as part of this combat report, I see the third bullet

9 point on page 3 in the Serbian says -- in B/C/S, I apologise to the

10 translators. [Interpretation] "In the course of the action in Runjevo and

11 Stagovo villages, units of the 243rd Motorised Brigade liquidated five

12 terrorists."

13 [In English] General, this seems to indicate that the VJ forces in

14 carrying out their legitimate anti-terrorist tasks actually engaged the

15 criminal terrorist forces in the villages of Runjevo and Stagovo,

16 according to my understanding of this passage. Does that refresh your

17 recollection perhaps?

18 A. I have already said that they never opened fire on Runjevo or

19 Stagovo village, only in combat with terrorists, that's one thing.

20 Second, this date reminds me that we also suffered losses, one of our

21 soldiers got killed while in his position by these terrorists.

22 Q. Well, then, to complete the picture I'll call up 6D1313, which is

23 the document that I had previously indicated would be coming up.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: But just before you go to that --

25 The five terrorists who were killed, are you saying that they were

Page 19022

1 killed in the villages of Runjevo and Stagovo, as the report seems to say?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you are right. It seems from

3 what is written they were in the villages, but they were actually in their

4 positions on the mountain. And one of my soldiers got killed in combat in

5 that sector, and in the same sector those five dead terrorists were found.

6 That's north from Stagovo, maybe 700, 800 metres, perhaps a whole

7 kilometre.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.


10 Q. Again, to complete the picture, 6D1313, which is the post-combat

11 report of the Pristina Corps for the 22nd of May, 1999, strictly

12 confidential 692/1-57. And indeed, according to my notes, on the second

13 page in the B/C/S -- although, now I see it on the screen, it looks like

14 it's just the B/C/S. The second page of the B/C/S, the last bullet point

15 from the top, General, does it -- it reiterates that the five terrorists

16 were killed by your forces in their legitimate action against the STS in

17 the villages themselves, and the third paragraph from the bottom gives the

18 precise time when your forces undertook the blockade of these villages and

19 crushed the STS in these villages. And if we were to go the full length,

20 the next page talks about one soldier who died as a result of this VJ

21 action.

22 So do you -- do you concede that, in fact, your earlier testimony

23 that the VJ never approached these villages and that the MUP controlled

24 the entire territory there was not entirely the full picture of this very

25 complicated, chaotic situation, where both forces were involved in the

Page 19023

1 legitimate struggle against the criminal elements of the STS?

2 A. I do not deny that we were engaged in combat with Siptar terrorist

3 forces. We did engage in combat and we had losses. But as for entry into

4 villages, shelling the villages, and search of civilians, that was not

5 done in one single village anywhere in the area of responsibility of the

6 brigade, not in a single village, because we were not authorised to do

7 that, we had no right. We had several orders from the corps command, and

8 my own orders prohibiting entry into villages, conducting searches,

9 checking identity papers, and all the other activities that were in the

10 purview of the MUP, that is the Ministry of the Interior.

11 Q. I apologise. I have to keep switching between the screens to try

12 and get the transcript and the exhibit up. It seems like you're still a

13 little bit unsure of whether your forces actually engaged the enemy in the

14 village. If I can look at the fourth paragraph from the bottom of this

15 document, sir, that's the part that I summarized for you. I'll read it to

16 you in the Serbian to make it clear.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, just let the General read it.

18 MR. IVETIC: That's fine.

19 Q. General, could you read the fourth paragraph from the bottom that

20 starts "u vremenu od 6" --

21 A. In the time-frame from 6.00 to 1800 hours on the 21st of May part

22 of the forces of the 243rd Motorised Brigade executed a blockade of

23 villages Runjevo and Stagovo and crushed the Siptar terrorist forces in

24 the said villages.

25 Q. I think we have an issue here the document and the general just

Page 19024

1 read -- said crushed the STS in the aforementioned villages. I think if

2 the translators can confirm that for me, I can make my question to the

3 General and at least conclude this point and move on.

4 THE INTERPRETER: In the said villages, yes.

5 MR. IVETIC: I have to go to the right channel to hear that.

6 Thank you.

7 Q. General, does this refresh your recollection of whether you

8 engaged the enemy criminal elements of the STS in the village of Stagovo

9 and Runjevo, as it states here even for a period from 6.00 in the morning

10 until 6.00 at night?

11 A. The time is probably correct. Let me just remind you that this is

12 not an original document from the brigade, it's from the corps command.

13 The unit was engaged in combat against terrorists in the area of Stagovo

14 village north of Runjevo. That means in the area of the village, not in

15 the village.

16 Q. Well, General, how do you crush terrorist forces in the village

17 without engaging them in the village?

18 A. I am replying to the question you asked. You are now asking a

19 different question that is not related to this. The army did not enter

20 villages to combat terrorists. The army blocked from the north across

21 Nerodimka river and from there targeted positions of the terrorist forces

22 that were north of Stagovo. It did not target inside Stagovo and it did

23 not enter into the village to conduct searches for these terrorist forces,

24 and MUP didn't either. After destroying the terrorists, the MUP searched

25 the terrain and pursued the fleeing terrorists.

Page 19025

1 Q. One moment, please.

2 [Defence counsel confer]


4 Q. I don't know -- I have the wrong document on the screen, that

5 would explain it. If we could go to page 5 of this exhibit -- actually,

6 the bottom of page 4, first, and section 8 or item 8. The first bullet

7 point under section 8, General, could you read that for us.

8 A. I can read it, but I don't recognise whose document this is so it

9 practically means nothing. It's an excerpt from a document.

10 Q. It's the same document we've looked at, 1313, the Pristina Corps

11 combat report. I can give you the information if it will assist --

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Please just read that sentence aloud.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Continue the actions that had been

14 started in searching the terrain and preparing forthcoming actions, in

15 keeping with the decision of the Pristina Corps commander.

16 "Continue engineering activities in building defence areas."


18 Q. [Previous translation continues]... including your region, the VJ

19 conducted searches of the terrain as well, again in conjunction with, in

20 cooperation, with the MUP in carrying out their legal and legitimate

21 assignments?

22 A. The VJ was authorised to search the terrain in the defence areas

23 of the units at the positions. Furthermore, the units which were in the

24 border belt could also do that. So it was only in those two cases that

25 they could search the terrain. That had to be done also according to the

Page 19026

1 Rules of Combat when the units were moving from one position to another

2 and taking up new positions. Before the unit arrived, they would send a

3 part of their forces to search the terrain and thus make it possible for

4 the unit to take up its positions. It was prohibited for a unit to take

5 up any combat position unless the terrain had been checked for security,

6 that means unless it had been searched and secured.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, if we could move on to Belanica, the last

8 inhabited village in this municipality that I want to discuss with you

9 before moving on to other issues. With respect to Belanica, I believe you

10 stated at page 18952 of the transcript, the last ten lines, that your

11 troops were not involved and did not enter the village, and you described

12 in some detail the triage and searches conducted in the village to

13 identify terrorists by the MUP. Now, at transcript page 18953, lines 16

14 through 17, you, in fact, deny that your units had any contact with the

15 civilians from Belanica. How is it then that you knew with such precision

16 what was going on in the town? Was it, again, a case of the MUP forces

17 operating as part of a joint, legitimate anti-terrorist action pursuant to

18 a "zapovest," order or decision, of the Pristina Corps authorised by

19 you -- pardon me, undertaken by your units and the MUP units in the field

20 that the MUP was reporting through the reporting system what was going on

21 in Belanica, or did you also have units in Belanica?

22 A. I do apologise. There were many questions there, more than ten.

23 Q. [Previous translation continues]... because I only have a handful

24 of questions left so I think I can do it and not waste too much time.

25 First of all, your unit's involvement in the Malisevo-Suva Reka region

Page 19027

1 around Belanica that you described in your direct examination were

2 performed on the basis of a "zapovest" that you received from the Pristina

3 Corps command. Isn't that correct?

4 A. Yes, precisely. The "zapovest," the order, of the corps commander

5 was complied with, and I issued my own order in compliance with that and

6 then the subordinate units issued their own orders in compliance with my

7 order.

8 Q. You have a clear and present recollection of the specific tasks

9 for your units from that "zapovest," or do you need to have your

10 recollection refreshed by looking at the document that I believe is

11 the "zapovest" you are talking about?

12 A. I remember the document, but I would like to have it shown here

13 because of the lapse of time. But the main intention was for the road

14 from Suva Reka via Blace, Malisevo, and so on, be deblocked because that

15 road had been cut off completely. And in the Malisevo area in that

16 period, according to our information, there were about three brigades of

17 terrorists. If I recall correctly, the aim was to support the MUP forces

18 in routing the terrorist forces which were blocking the road with various

19 barricades, fortifications, and land-mines, to make sure that the road was

20 constantly passable from Dulje to Suva Reka and Malisevo, and to keep the

21 road under the control of the legal and legitimate authorities. I think

22 that was the task, to the best of my recollection, in the routing of these

23 terrorist forces on that axis.

24 Q. Okay. We'll get to the document in a second, but the road that

25 was secured from Suva Reka to Malisevo, one had to pass through Belanica

Page 19028

1 on that road, doesn't it?

2 A. Yes, one does have to pass through Belanica. It remains to the

3 right and then one goes on to Malisevo. So you don't actually pass

4 through the village, you pass by the village, going towards Malisevo.

5 MR. IVETIC: And if we can pull up P1969, since the General

6 requested the document that I believe is the "zapovest" for this action?

7 Q. General, this that's going to come up is a "zapovest," order, of

8 the -- it says in the title "the Joint Command," which General Lazarevic

9 testified I think in fact originated from the Pristina Corps. Do you

10 recall receiving such a document and operating under such a "zapovest" for

11 purposes of carrying out the activities that you've described in and

12 around Malisevo and Belanica?

13 A. Can we zoom-in, please? Yes, this is one of the documents I

14 received from the commander of the Pristina Corps; it was accompanied by a

15 map, plans of communications, and all the various kinds of security, rear,

16 and so on, security and so on. This is one of the documents pertaining to

17 the manner of execution of this task.

18 Q. If we can turn to -- I believe it's the third page at section 5.3,

19 I think I can short-circuit looking at the rest of the document if we

20 focus on that. It should be the next page, 5.3, part 3.

21 If we can look at the -- under 5.3, the section of assignments

22 that is -- that would be the second -- I'm getting some feedback.

23 The paragraph in the middle of that assignment under 5.3, and that

24 starts off:

25 "Extend the attacks, destroy the remaining STS along the

Page 19029

1 directions of attack, and as the next assignment, take control of the

2 line: Village of Belanica- village of Banja- village of Kravosarija-

3 village of Pagarusa."

4 Isn't it correct that your units were undertaking these tasks as

5 part of the legitimate, joint, concerted action against the criminal STS,

6 including in Belanica?

7 A. It's correct that my units, in compliance with decision of the

8 corps commander, supporting the MUP forces in routing the Siptar terrorist

9 forces on this axis were supposed to come out on to the line: Belanica,

10 Banja, Kravosarija to the right, and Pagarusa.

11 Q. If we can have 6D231 up, this is a map of Suva Reka municipality,

12 and I would ask so we can see what these names mean in geographic terms.

13 I have General mark some of these locations on the map to demonstrate the

14 oral testimony that he's given and that the document sets forth.

15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this document has not

16 been announced in advance. Thank you.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, are you objecting to it, Mr. Cepic? I mean,

18 are you objecting to a map being shown for some reason?

19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] It is not a problem to show the map.

20 Thank you.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.


23 Q. General, with the help of the usher, I think we can use the

24 mechanical pen there, electronic pen to have you indicate for us the

25 progression of your forces, as foreseen by this decision or

Page 19030

1 order, "zapovest," I guess it's an order.

2 A. I think there's something wrong in the interpretation -- or the

3 translation. It can't be "napredak," progress, it's task.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you clarify your question for Mr. Jelic,

5 please, Mr. Ivetic.

6 MR. IVETIC: Yes.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: It was progress in English.

8 MR. IVETIC: It was "progress."

9 Q. Can you indicate for us the task of your forces as foreseen by

10 this decision and based upon your knowledge of how they effectuated this

11 decision on the ground.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: What's that line meant to signify, Mr. Jelic?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My unit was at Dulje. Its task was

14 to go from the village of Blace, which I'm indicating here, it was at

15 Dulje. Its task was to support the MUP forces from the village of Blace

16 on the road leading from Suva Reka, via the village of Dulje, and further

17 on towards Malisevo. So from here it had the obligation to provide

18 support along this axis, that is, along the road. And to the best of my

19 recollection, the task was to reach Malisevo, but because there was strong

20 terrorist forces there, three to four brigades, the units stopped. And

21 the last position they held while providing support was here, near the

22 village of Tumicina and in front of the village of Pagarusa, and I'll mark

23 it here like this. Those are the two axes along which they went to rout

24 the terrorist forces.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: And what does the line you first put on the map

Page 19031

1 represent?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The gentleman wanted to know what

3 the task was, how far our forces were supposed to go in routing the

4 terrorist organizations along that axis.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.


7 Q. General, isn't it a fact that the assignment for your troops was

8 to go further towards Malisevo, beyond this point that you have discussed

9 near -- I believe it's the Kosturic-Belanica line?

10 A. Look at the order I read where it says "come out on the

11 Belanica-Banja-Pagarusa line," that's what I read out, Belanica, Banja,

12 Pagarusa. I can't recall exactly what it says, but that's the line they

13 were supposed to reach; however, there were very strong terrorist forces

14 there. There was fierce fighting from Malisevo towards Belanica Guncat

15 and the north eastern part, the villages of Simic, Petrovic, and further

16 on.

17 Q. That's my point, sir, if you look on the map Banja, Guncat are

18 further north up towards Malisevo on the map. Could you draw the line and

19 mark it A of the planned extent of your force's penetration towards

20 Malisevo in carrying out the tasks and assignments specified in

21 the "zapovest" that we just looked at.

22 JUDGE BONOMY: That question's been answered.

23 MR. IVETIC: And the map is ...

24 JUDGE BONOMY: He's marked on the map where the unit was supposed

25 to get to and where they actually got to.

Page 19032

1 MR. IVETIC: And the "zapovest" says Banja which is not on the

2 area marked on the map, that's up further north.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed. That's something you can argue about

4 later. Let's get on with this, please.

5 MR. IVETIC: Fair enough.

6 Q. Do you recall if the line was supposed to extend to the

7 Banja-Belanica line, which would be north -- I guess it would be

8 north-west of the line that you've drawn slightly?

9 A. Yes, but one always marks below the name of the village, not above

10 it.

11 Q. So you actually passed Belanica in practice on the terrain in the

12 course of events; isn't that correct then?

13 A. No, I don't know on what basis you assume that. I told you where

14 the task was and up to where the task was carried out.

15 Q. Did you -- did you actually carry out to completion the tasks

16 contained in the "zapovest"?

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, why do you not accept that the witness

18 has answered the question where the troops reached?

19 MR. IVETIC: All right. Let's save this exhibit --

20 JUDGE BONOMY: If you don't like it, I'm afraid you'll just need

21 to deal with it later. The evidence is the evidence and you have to make

22 your submissions later.

23 MR. IVETIC: I'll let the documents make the submissions for me.

24 If we can save this for an IC number for whatever it's worth.


Page 19033

1 MR. IVETIC: I'd like to move on to 4D371.

2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC144, Your Honours.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.


5 Q. Once this exhibit comes up ...

6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, 4D371 is a document I

7 don't see on any list. It may be an oversight on my part.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.

9 MR. IVETIC: Hopefully we'll see the document so I can make

10 reference to it and see. I don't have a hard copy in front of me for some

11 reason.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: It's on the screen now apparently.

13 MR. IVETIC: Oh. It's not updating on my personal screen, I have

14 to look on the ...

15 Oh, now it's on the screen. Well, this is a -- I, again, don't

16 know if it's -- if it was part of the amended list or not. I did not -- I

17 thought the last one that I had on that amended list was 6D1313. It's an

18 exhibit that may even have been -- I don't know if it's been used before

19 or not, but in any event it's relevant. It goes towards the activities in

20 question in Belanica. It's from the command of the Pristina Corps. I

21 doubt there can be an issue of authenticity, since it was tendered by one

22 of the military defendants -- on their lists at least if it hasn't been

23 already tendered or evidenced. I'm going to have just one question

24 relative to this to ask him to explain whether, in fact, he completed his

25 assignments according to the "zapovest" because this is a report about the

Page 19034

1 progress of his units in relation to the "zapovest."

2 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not on a list; why is that?

3 MR. IVETIC: I don't have an answer for you, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Move to something else.

5 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.

6 JUDGE BONOMY: And for what it's worth, it's already exhibited in

7 the case and therefore any submissions you want to make about it you can

8 make in due course. It was exhibited on the 25th of September.

9 MR. IVETIC: Fair enough. Thank you, Your Honour.

10 Q. That brings me to my last topic for discussion. General, in the

11 course of your direct examination you stated there had never been any

12 resubordination of the MUP to the VJ. What tangible efforts were

13 undertaken by you to try and effectuate resubordination or any problems

14 arising therefrom?

15 A. The order from the corps commander to me was that the Urosevac MUP

16 should be resubordinated to my brigade, but this was never implemented. I

17 tried on several occasions with the chief of the Urosevac SUP, I contacted

18 him, we discussed the topic, and he said that he did not have any order

19 from his staff for resubordination. And there was nothing left for me to

20 do as commander but to report on this to my superior, the corps commander.

21 I continued to ask that he do this, but quite rightly, he did not dare do

22 such a thing without first receiving the task from his own staff. So he

23 was never resubordinated, even though several attempts were made.

24 Q. Now, you said the MUP in Urosevac. Am I correct that there were

25 no manoeuvre or territorial PJP detachments present in your zone of

Page 19035

1 responsibility, that the sole units there were the SUPs and OUPs and the

2 local PJP elements within those SUPs and OUPs?

3 A. The Urosevac SUP had several OUPs, but he'll probably be able to

4 explain that better than me. It was not a unit of mine for me to explain

5 here, but there was the Urosevac SUP which had several stations from

6 Kacanik to Strpce, and he managed them and he had his own units which he

7 established; but in what way and following what orders, that's something I

8 don't have access to. But the fact is he did have some units, whether

9 they were permanent or temporary, I don't know, but I think they were

10 temporary units he established for particular activities. These units

11 were never part of my combat units in my areas of responsibility and they

12 were never resubordinated to my units.

13 Q. Well, which units did you expect to resubordinate to you? Surely

14 you did not expect the SUP and the chief of the SUP to be resubordinated

15 to you in the strictest military sense, did you?

16 A. Well, certainly I didn't write that order. I certainly didn't ask

17 for that. There was an explanation. I don't need a passport department

18 or an ID card department. What I needed was a squad that could carry out

19 action on the ground. I didn't need office clerks. There was an order I

20 think in May that dealt with that, but it actually never came about.

21 Q. You said you needed a "borbena odeljenja" would that be a combat

22 office within the SUP? Is that how I'm to understand your testimony as to

23 who you thought needed to be resubordinated? Are you saying that the --

24 an entire division of the SUP of Urosevac was to be subordinated to you?

25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, I think we

Page 19036

1 received a very clear answer to this question. It's been asked and

2 answered.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm afraid I don't see what the answer is,

4 Mr. Cepic. The question is endeavouring to find out clearly who it was

5 that Mr. Jelic was seeking to have subordinated to him, and I don't see an

6 answer to that question.

7 Can you help us, Mr. Jelic?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try. At a meeting with the

9 chief of the SUP, the intention was to resubordinate combat units,

10 territorial units on the territory who were controlling the territory and

11 able to carry out combat activities. As for other parts of the MUP,

12 offices and staffs, we really didn't need that. We couldn't deal with

13 that, it's not our profession, and we are not trained to carry out those

14 activities.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

16 Mr. Ivetic.


18 Q. General, did the lack of resubordination get reported in your

19 combat reports that were sent to the command of the Pristina Corps, either

20 regular or otherwise?

21 A. The resubordination never reached him; my reports that went to the

22 corps commander confirmed that, and the SUP chief confirmed that in a

23 statement he made before this court.

24 Q. Were you ever unable to carry out any anti-terrorist action due to

25 a refusal on the part of the police to resubordinate; and if so, where is

Page 19037

1 that reflected in your combat reports?

2 A. I think there were two counter-terrorist actions in the sector if

3 I'm not mistaken, on the Crnoljevo, or rather, Dulje axis, now I'm not

4 sure whether it went to Blace. But I think that one unit, one MUP unit

5 did not come on to this axis. We supported the forces that were already

6 there, and they refused to carry out that task, but once they heard that

7 the other units had already arrived they rejoined the MUP battle

8 formation. I don't know which unit that was, but I do know that there was

9 a unit on this axis because there were a number of activities there on

10 this axis so I don't know the numerical designation of that unit.

11 Q. And for the duration of the war, the concerted action and

12 cooperation between yourself and the SUP of Urosevac and the policemen

13 therein was successful, is that correct -- was without major problems?

14 A. Let me make an addition to my previous answer. I reported to the

15 Pristina Corps command about that MUP unit. My cooperation with the

16 Urosevac MUP, or rather, the chief was extremely correct and professional.

17 When combat actions were carried out, there were some problems but that

18 only natural because such problems occurred even when our troops were the

19 only ones engaged, in most cases, however, those problems were dealt with,

20 they were resolved.

21 Q. Thank you, General.

22 MR. IVETIC: I have no further questions for this witness, Your

23 Honour.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.

25 Mr. Jelic, you'll now be cross-examined by the Prosecution by

Page 19038

1 Ms. Kravetz.

2 Ms. Kravetz.

3 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.

4 Cross-examination by Ms. Kravetz:

5 Q. Good afternoon, General Jelic.

6 A. Good afternoon.

7 MS. KRAVETZ: Is this working? I don't have any volume.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, it's working.

9 MS. KRAVETZ: Sorry. I had no sound in my headphones.

10 Q. General, I would like to begin by asking you some questions about

11 the contacts you had with your corps commander, General Lazarevic, during

12 the war. Did you have regular meetings with your corps commander in 1999

13 during the conflict?

14 A. It was impossible to have regular meetings with the corps

15 commander, as had been the usual practice, given the critical situation.

16 But such meetings were held intermittently, in most cases they were held

17 at the corps command post and the corps commander also visited the units

18 very often, at least I can say that for my own brigade.

19 Q. And at those meetings, would other brigade commanders also be

20 present to discuss the situation or would it just be a one-to-one meeting

21 with you?

22 A. Those meetings were never held one on one, as far as I know.

23 There would also be other people there, parts of the command, so elements

24 from the corps command and the corps commander would have meetings with

25 the subordinate commanders, the commanders of the brigades.

Page 19039

1 Q. And how often would the corps commander come visit you at your

2 command post?

3 A. If it's not a problem, but could you please give me the relevant

4 time-period that you're interested in.

5 Q. I'm interested in the period during the war, as of March 1999.

6 A. I remember that the corps commander visited the units, not at the

7 command post but units in the brigade three or four times, and twice we

8 were visited by the army commander. I don't know whether the General

9 Staff team also came, but for the most of the time the chief of the

10 armoured and mechanised units administration in the General Staff,

11 General Kovacevic, was present there at the brigade command.

12 Q. And at these meetings would you generally brief the corps

13 commander about the activities that your units were undertaking at the

14 time?

15 A. Well, mostly there was discussion and briefings about the

16 combat-readiness of units, problems, achievements, positive achievements,

17 and problems and how to solve them in the units. These were the key

18 issues.

19 Q. Would you also have regular contact with brigade commanders of

20 other brigades deployed in Kosovo at the time, during the war?

21 A. In accordance with the principle of military subordination, we

22 could not have contacts with the brigade commanders horizontally. Our

23 relations were vertical, through the Pristina Corps command. But if units

24 engaged in combat or if a decision is received, the adjacent units are

25 listed on the maps. And we knew them and we were then supposed to ensure

Page 19040

1 coordination among the units to -- to avoid any gaps in the lines, at the

2 flanks, and that was our obligation as brigades positioned next to one

3 another, to adjacent brigades.

4 Q. And how was that coordination ensured in practice? Would there be

5 a regular exchange of information of actions that you or other brigades

6 were going to undertake?

7 A. Let me clarify a bit. Coordination has to do with the adjacent

8 units of the brigades at the border between the area of responsibility of

9 one brigade and the area of responsibility of the other brigade, those

10 units had to be completely linked in military parlance. Everybody has to

11 know who does what and who is responsible for what at those adjacent

12 points where the brigades touched upon each other. And as for any other

13 actions, no reports were asked and no information was supposed to be

14 exchanged.

15 Q. You're saying no information was supposed to be exchanged between

16 brigades, but how would you know what sort of action brigades were --

17 neighbouring with you would be undertaken? Would this be information that

18 would come to you through the corps command?

19 A. As a rule, this kind of information pertaining particularly to

20 combat engagements came from the corps command. We exchanged information

21 only in those areas where two units were positioned next to each other,

22 because in that way we relieved the chain of command. We made sure that

23 the flow of information was faster, because otherwise there would be a

24 bottleneck that would affect the operation of the units because the

25 information had to go up to the corps command and if the corps command

Page 19041

1 thought that something had to be done then they would issue an order to

2 our adjacent unit, telling them what to do in this particular case.

3 Q. Where was your command post located during the war?

4 A. My command post at the beginning of the war was in Duganovici.

5 Since this post was discovered quite soon, the location was identified, we

6 moved into several other locations, from Djeneral Jankovic to Dulje. So

7 the command divided into several elements, in order to be able to provide

8 assistance in the decision-making, to direct the units, and in order to

9 lift the morale and to provide support to the commanders in those

10 difficult circumstances. So the command actually split into three

11 elements. This is something that is envisaged in the Rules of Service and

12 this was done in compliance with those rules.

13 Q. And you would be mostly based at the command post? Would that be

14 your location where you would be based generally?

15 A. Yes. As a rule, this is called the command post. This is where

16 the commander is, but it doesn't necessarily have to be so. But the major

17 part of the command is located there and all the information flows into

18 that location and all the orders for the subordinate units are issued from

19 that location.

20 Q. Would you also regularly tour your units in their zones of

21 deployment?

22 A. Yes, in addition to the teams that toured the units from the corps

23 command and upwards, we at the brigade command set up teams who would tour

24 all the units in 15-day periods. They would also provide assistance.

25 There were operations officers, logistics officers, the composition was

Page 19042

1 geared in order to provide as much assistance for the work and life in the

2 units as possible, given the circumstances. So in any given 15-day

3 period, those teams would tour all the units in their positions. You have

4 to bear in mind that this is 88 kilometres from the border of Macedonia

5 and -- 88 kilometres from the border with Macedonia and 150 kilometres

6 into the depth of the territory, a total of about 250 kilometres of front

7 line, and the front line extended from Djeneral Jankovic all the way down

8 to Belanica near Malisevo.

9 Q. And I understand from your evidence here today that your

10 subordinate units were duty-bound to report all their activities,

11 regularly report their activities to you at the brigade command level.

12 A. That is correct, this is envisaged in the rules, and all the

13 subordinates are obliged to report to their superiors about the situation

14 in their units. But because of fierce fighting with the terrorist forces,

15 the destruction of the repeater station, and constant air-strikes, several

16 times during the day in any number of sectors, many of the communications

17 equipment -- a lot of it was destroyed, so the communications were

18 disrupted, sometimes for days, and sometimes we would have no idea of what

19 was going on in a smaller unit somewhere far away for five or six days and

20 the biggest problem was how to provide assistance down there, especially

21 if they suffered any casualties. So the exercise of command was

22 uninterrupted, but in difficult circumstances. We were trying to deal

23 with that by dispatching liaison officers from the brigade to the

24 subordinate units or the other way around, from the subordinate units to

25 the brigade, and -- but sometimes the correspondence reached us too late.

Page 19043

1 MS. KRAVETZ: I think this is an appropriate moment for the break,

2 Your Honours.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

4 Just one thing you might clarify, Mr. Jelic, before we adjourn.

5 You gave two distances there, 88 kilometres and 150 kilometres. Can you

6 tell us again what these related to.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I made a mistake. 88 kilometres

8 with Macedonia and 150 --

9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's remark: Could the witness please

10 repeat the answer.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you repeat the answer, it's not clear -- the

12 interpreter has been unable to hear it.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The length of the front facing the

14 Republic of Macedonia was 88 kilometres, and in the depth of the

15 territory, about 70 kilometres, which gives a total of about 150

16 kilometres.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

18 We'll have a break again. Could you leave the courtroom with the

19 usher, and we'll resume at quarter to 2.00.

20 [The witness stands down]

21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.47 p.m.

22 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.

23 [The witness takes the stand]

24 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.

25 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 19044

1 Q. General, before the break we were talking about the issue of

2 reporting from your subordinate units up to the brigade command level.

3 Would you -- from the brigade command level would you send regular reports

4 up to the corps command level during the war?

5 A. Regular reports to the corps command were sent almost through

6 regular combat reports, but if necessary we would also send interim combat

7 reports sometimes because the communication lines were disrupted, the

8 exercise of command was made difficult both at the operational and the

9 technical level, and the lines were down. Sometimes the delay would be a

10 couple of days but all the reports would reach the Pristina Corps command.

11 Q. Would it be fair to say that you kept your corps commander and his

12 staff well informed about developments and actions taken in your area of

13 responsibility?

14 A. You could say that all the tasks, all the obligations in the area

15 of responsibility of the brigade were reported to the corps command. No

16 larger-scale task -- in no case were any large-scale tasks not reported to

17 the corps command.

18 Q. Thank you. And in addition to this obligation of reporting your

19 activities, were all units from the battalion level up under the duty to

20 keep a war diary once the state of war was declared?

21 A. Battalion-level units, artillery battalion-level units, or other

22 units of similar size were under an obligation to keep a war diary from

23 the moment a state of war was declared until it was revoked. So from

24 battalion level up, all the units have to have their war diary. It's an

25 auxiliary document that assists in the exercise of command.

Page 19045

1 Q. And would it be correct to say that the purpose of this war diary

2 was to record all actions taken by the units and all important events that

3 took place each day? Was that the purpose of the war diary?

4 A. According to the format of the war diary, all the key events in

5 the course of the day in that unit should be recorded in it, that's the

6 format.

7 Q. So if anyone wanted to know what happened in your area of

8 responsibility on a given day, they can turn to the war diary and they

9 would find the information recorded there; is that correct?

10 A. As a rule, that is how it should be. I'm sure there were some

11 minor omissions, but as a rule this is how it should be.

12 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, General, this war diary was a public

13 document, accessible to anybody? That's what you are saying? Anybody

14 could see it, do you mean that, even a man not of the armed forces?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The diary is one of the documents

16 kept in the units at the battalion level and up. It cannot be a public

17 document, accessible to everyone. It is made for the use of that command,

18 the battalion, artillery battalion, and this is where it is kept. The

19 battalion command does not have its operation organ, a large operations

20 organ. Maybe there are three or four people. It's just one person

21 keeping it there at the battalion command, and any -- it is not something

22 that anyone can have access to, anyone, just an unknown person.

23 JUDGE CHOWHAN: No, now that's clarified. One more clarification

24 I would request you to make is that you stated that you reported things

25 only pertaining to the activities of your units to the high command. I

Page 19046

1 mean, that is the routine. But now you were confronting an extraordinary

2 situation and there were so many other things going on besides the normal

3 regimental tasks. Would you be reporting those to your high command as

4 well or you kept to the old routine?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The usual routine was maintained

6 before the aggression, but during the aggression those meetings were far

7 more rare. But the reports came in more frequently. So during the day we

8 reported to the corps commander about all the events, and we would also

9 send in interim reports, if necessary.

10 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you. That has clarified the answer to her

11 question.

12 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.

13 Q. In -- we were just talking about the war diary. If I understand

14 correctly, once you get a report from a subordinate unit you would

15 enter -- at the brigade level I mean, you would enter a summary of the

16 report in the war diary and then the report would be collated, to later be

17 sent on to the command, corps command. Is that how it functioned?

18 A. Yes, ma'am, you're right. All the events that happened at the

19 brigade level from all the units would be summarized, and then an analysis

20 would be made and this was then sent to the Pristina Corps command from

21 the brigade.

22 Q. And that summary of the combat report sent by the unit would be

23 entered in the war diary of the brigade; is that correct?

24 A. Those focal units that were summarized -- those -- this was

25 supposed to be in the war diary, and once it was all processed it was

Page 19047

1 supposed to be sent to the Pristina Corps command.

2 Q. Do you recall who kept the war diary for your brigade?

3 A. The operations officer is supposed to keep it in the brigade. I

4 think it was kept by a major who was seconded from the command and staff

5 school to assist us, I can't recall his last name, but I will, I will,

6 that's for sure, because he was in the staff and he was one of the people

7 who actually kept the war diary. I'm not sure about his name.

8 Q. Okay. No problem. During your testimony last week, last Friday,

9 you told the Chamber that once the NATO bombing -- or right prior to the

10 NATO bombing your unit left the barracks. You said that quite literally

11 the barracks were deserted. Do you recall saying that?

12 A. Yes. Immediately before the aggression started, on D-Day, as we

13 say in military parlance, all the units left the barracks where they had

14 been, and they took up positions in their sectors. It didn't take an hour

15 or two, it took some time, but all the materiel reserves had to be

16 relocated and echeloned in the depth by the D-Day.

17 Q. And you have told the Chamber now on a number of occasions that

18 your units were never deployed in civilian facilities and that you never

19 used any type of private or civilian buildings; is that correct?

20 A. Civilian buildings or facilities were never used during the war.

21 All the units were at their positions, and some elements used only

22 state-owned or socially-owned facilities. So troops were not billeted and

23 did not work in civilian buildings because units were on the front lines,

24 in the woods, in the meadows, camouflaged. Only the infirmary was always

25 in Urosevac, it was there all the time; it treated the wounded, the sick.

Page 19048

1 And because it was next to the health care unit, it treated civilians,

2 too, as did the health care centre.

3 Q. And it is also your evidence that you never deployed any sort of

4 military equipment in civilian facilities; is that correct?

5 A. Military equipment was never deployed in private homes, any

6 private property. It was mostly in state-owned companies or

7 socially-owned companies because that's one of the forms of ownership that

8 we have.

9 Q. You have also told the Chamber now on a number of occasions during

10 your testimony that your units never entered built-up areas and never

11 entered villages in your zone of -- your area of responsibility. Is that

12 your evidence?

13 A. My evidence is as follows: They never entered them for combat

14 purposes, they never fought in built-up areas. They passed through a

15 number of towns and villages, because roads pass through them and we

16 didn't avoid those roads and after all, there was no need to do so. And

17 on most occasions we didn't suffer any casualties in the built-up areas,

18 so there was no need to avoid those roads, to construct new roads.

19 Q. And you're saying that your units were never located in any

20 villages or in any built-up areas?

21 A. They were not located in villages, they were in their positions.

22 They couldn't be in positions while in villages, otherwise they wouldn't

23 be able to perform their main task.

24 Q. Thank you.

25 MS. KRAVETZ: Could we have Exhibit P2021 up on the screen. I

Page 19049

1 would like to show the witness page 5 in the B/C/S and it's also page 5 in

2 the English.

3 Q. Now, General, as this exhibit is coming up, this is the war diary

4 for your brigade. And I would like to show you an entry dated 29 March

5 1999, if we could have that up on the screen. I think it's the top part

6 of the B/C/S page, and if I see the English it should be at the bottom of

7 the page.

8 Can you see that on your screen, General?

9 A. Could we enhance it a bit?

10 Q. As we seem to have lost the English, I'll read out the -- I think

11 it's -- yeah, scroll up. The entry dated 29 March, the first line, if you

12 can see that, it says: "Work on the dispersion of RMS continued," and

13 there is an illegible passage, "in the barracks in deployment in houses

14 and towns."

15 Can you see that, General, there?

16 A. I can see it, yes.

17 Q. Now if we go to the next page in the English and it's the same

18 page on the B/C/S but we need to scroll down. Yes, I think that's it. It

19 says: "The dispersion of RMS from the barracks," there is an illegible

20 passage, "houses in the town continued."

21 Have you had the chance to read it there on your screen?

22 A. Yes, I can see it.

23 Q. These two entries of the war diary of your brigade seem to

24 indicate that there was use of houses in the town and deployment in houses

25 in the town of your unit; would you agree with that?

Page 19050

1 A. Yes, judging by this here, looking at how it's written, you could

2 make that conclusion. However, in town we had a large number of

3 facilities, houses, like Bosko Cakic company, Sar company, where you

4 cannot place ammunition. It's large-calibre ammunition, the size is very

5 large. They don't fit -- such things don't fit into houses. 2.000 tonnes

6 of explosive or shells cannot be placed in a house, it's absurd.

7 Q. But these entries do indicate that there was deployment in houses

8 in the town -- it's referring to the town of Urosevac, if you read earlier

9 entries, there was deployment in private houses; is that correct, General?

10 A. I claim that munitions and explosive were not placed in any

11 privately owned house. That would have been hazardous, not only because

12 the army could lose them but also because there would be the danger of

13 chaos and huge losses to the civilian population. Dozens of houses would

14 be destroyed, could be destroyed, and a huge number of people could be

15 killed.

16 Q. So are you saying that explosives and ammunitions were not placed

17 in privately owned houses, but that troops were deployed in private

18 houses?

19 A. No. The reference here is to commodities, materiel stocks. The

20 soldiers were not in town, the troops were outside town in their

21 positions. If you could look at the report for that day or previous day

22 that we sent to the corps command, you would find exact explanations where

23 the munitions and explosives were stored. You would certainly not find a

24 reference to them being stored in town.

25 MS. KRAVETZ: Can we look at the same page 6 in the B/C/S and it's

Page 19051

1 page 6 also in the English, the same exhibit. It's in the top -- in the

2 B/C/S it's the top part of the page, first paragraph.

3 Q. Do you see a reference there, General, to the command post and it

4 says: "The command post was relocated from the," and there's an illegible

5 passage, "club to the Amazona cafe."

6 The Amazona cafe sounds like a private facility, private

7 establishment; isn't that true, General?

8 A. I can see it here, although it's very badly written, but the

9 command was in the building of the club of the Army of Yugoslavia the

10 beginning of the war, then it was divided and one part was located in the

11 basement of that building - what's its name? I can't remember - anyway,

12 they were in shelters.

13 Q. So how can you explain that there is an entry here in your war

14 diary describing the location of the command post as being the Amazona

15 cafe?

16 A. There's a decision from the corps commander, and according to that

17 decision the command post is identified in Duganovici village. The

18 command post never was in town and couldn't be in town because of the

19 roads, because of the impact on units, and, quite simply, it couldn't be

20 changed without special decision from the corps command.

21 Q. So you're basically telling me you can't really explain why this

22 entry is -- exists in your -- in the war diary of your brigade?

23 A. I cannot explain this because this was written by somebody else.

24 It's one of the auxiliary documents. The main document for all activities

25 was the order from the corps commander.

Page 19052

1 Q. Now, General, you told us - and I just reminded you earlier - that

2 the barracks were completely abandoned on 24th March, when the bombing

3 began.

4 MS. KRAVETZ: If we can scroll up on that page, page 6 of the

5 English, and it should be page 5 of the B/C/S.

6 Q. Do you see there, there's a reference to an attack on the barracks

7 and there's an indication to casualties suffered.

8 MS. KRAVETZ: You should scroll down on the other page. It's at

9 the bottom of the page.

10 Q. General, if the barracks were completely abandoned on 24th March,

11 why is there an entry here in your war diary regarding casualties suffered

12 during an attack on the barracks?

13 A. Well, they are the persons -- you see here, they are -- one is

14 from the logistics, a cook, a food handler. They were wounded in the

15 barracks. The barracks was abandoned but it was still a military

16 installation. It was always secured by ambushes and patrols. They were

17 secured from illegal entry so that what little remained would not be

18 destroyed. That first attack on the barracks was on the 25th, the

19 first -- the first bombs fell on the barracks.

20 Q. So you're saying the barracks weren't completely abandoned on 24th

21 March due to the NATO bombings.

22 A. The barracks was abandoned, but there was security on the outside

23 so that there would be no unauthorised entry. There were guard posts and

24 patrols. The guards were not inside, they were outside, because already

25 on the 24th the barracks were targeted by air-strikes. There were just

Page 19053

1 guards outside.

2 MS. KRAVETZ: Could we move on in the same exhibit to page 71 of

3 the English and it's page 59 of the B/C/S.

4 This, Your Honours, is part of the same exhibit but it's the war

5 diary of the 2nd Mechanised Battalion of the same brigade. It's been

6 uploaded in e-court as one exhibit because it's been provided to us as one

7 single document.

8 Q. General, do you see this is an entry dated 6 April 1999, and I'm

9 going to read to you the paragraph under number 2 where it says "own

10 forces."

11 Do you see that on your screen?

12 A. Yes, I see it.

13 Q. The second line of that paragraph says: "The 2nd Mechanised

14 Company has been relocated from the Korbulic sector to Smira villages.

15 There were no losses on our side during the movement and conduct of

16 operations."

17 This is an example of deployment of troops in a village in your

18 area of responsibility; isn't that correct?

19 A. I did not quite understand the question, but if you read this

20 passage it says that during the clearing of Smira village we encountered

21 minor resistance which was crushed in movement and destroyed. This

22 activity was performed in coordinated action with the units of PJP

23 Gnjilane. The unit was located in Korbulic sector and in Smira village.

24 That's all right. That's correct.

25 Q. You have told this Chamber on numerous occasions that your units

Page 19054

1 never entered villages, and here with have an entry indicating that they

2 were relocated from Korbulic to Smira village; is that correct?

3 A. It was relocated from Korbulic sector to the area of Smira, not

4 the village but the area.

5 Q. If --

6 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have that part read I think --

7 MS. KRAVETZ: Mm-hmm.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: -- so that we get the clear language.

9 You see the sentence, Mr. Jelic, that begins: "The 2nd Mechanised

10 Company ..." Could you read that, please, read it aloud.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The 2nd Mechanised Company was

12 relocated from the area Korbulic into Smira village. During movement and

13 performance of activities, there were no" --

14 JUDGE BONOMY: That's enough. Thank you.

15 [Trial Chamber confers]

16 JUDGE BONOMY: The language appears to refer to Smira village,

17 which suggests that's a built-up area.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but it means that

19 the movement was from Korbulic area to village Smira. However, units take

20 up positions in the area, not inside a village. It would simply be

21 impossible inside a village, because to get into position means to place

22 your artillery pieces somewhere. You cannot be on a street or inside a

23 house. It would be absurd.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.

25 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 19055

1 Q. Can I show you another example from the war diary of the 2nd

2 Mechanised Battalion.

3 MS. KRAVETZ: This is page 79 of the English and 67 of the B/C/S.

4 Q. This is an entry dated 14th April 1999, and here again under

5 number 2 "own forces" we have a section called "activities." Could you

6 read that passage out to us right where it starts: "During the

7 morning ..."

8 A. "In the course of the day -- in the morning, the 2nd Mechanised

9 Company was relocated from the area of Smira village to Korbulic village.

10 In the course of movement there were no problems. The mortar company was

11 relocated to Samakovo area from Binac village, and then work was done on

12 making obstacles and fortification of the sectors of the" -- you see, the

13 writer mixes these two words "sector" and "village." He uses one and then

14 the other interchangeably.

15 Q. So you're saying that this is a mistake in the entry and that this

16 does not show that your units were actually deployed in built-up areas, in

17 the village? Is that your position?

18 A. It's not only my position. You can look on the map to see where

19 those units were located, because it's impossible to place mortars and

20 armoured personnel carriers on to a street or in a house, expecting an

21 aggressor to advance from the front line and wait for them to show up in

22 the village. You have to take up a position.

23 Q. And your units never conducted any sort of training in any

24 villages; is that your position, General?

25 A. If I understood you correctly, we never conducted training in

Page 19056

1 villages; training was conducted on training-grounds, rifle ranges,

2 particularly-designated locations for training, if I understood your

3 meaning.

4 Q. Were schools at any moment used to deploy military equipment or

5 weapons by the VJ?

6 A. I'm trying to go through all the units. I know there was an order

7 from the corps commander and my own order to abandon all installations

8 before the war in end 1998. If I remember correctly, there was nothing in

9 schools almost anywhere. I may be wrong, but I'm almost certain that

10 schools were not used.

11 MS. KRAVETZ: Could we have P1462 up on the screen.

12 Q. This is an order from the 3rd Army and it's dated 13th May 1999.

13 General, could you read out the part right under the word "order," number

14 1.

15 A. "Immediately relocate all Yugoslav Army commands, units, and

16 institutions that are accommodated in schools.

17 "Submit a report on the implementation of this order by 15 May

18 1999 within a regular combat report -- within a regular report." In the

19 original it doesn't say "combat."

20 Q. General if as you just stated there was no deployment of units in

21 schools, why would the 3rd Army commander send this order out to its

22 units?

23 A. I'm sorry, I don't see to whom this was submitted, I suppose to

24 all corps units. Perhaps -- in fact, there must have been a unit located

25 in a schoolhouse.

Page 19057

1 Q. General, I don't think you answered my question really. I was

2 asking why if, as you state, there were no -- no use of schools by the VJ,

3 why would the 3rd Army send out such an order?

4 A. Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I tried to mentally list all my

5 units and to remember where they were and to speak about my units. I

6 wasn't even trying to remember where the units of the Pristina Corps or

7 the Nis Corps were, all of them, and they were subordinated to the army

8 command.

9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, I didn't see you there. Was there an

10 issue?

11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The witness's

12 answer clarifies what I wanted to object to. Thank you.

13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.


15 Q. General, during your testimony you were shown a document regarding

16 bombing by NATO of civilian facilities. We heard the testimony here in

17 this court of General Naumann from -- in December of last year, who

18 explained that because of the use by Serb forces of civilian facilities

19 and the deployment of military equipment in civilian facilities, the task

20 of NATO was made very difficult. These were tactics that were used by the

21 Serb army, isn't that correct, General, deployment in civilian facilities

22 of both troops and military equipment?

23 A. I'm speaking about my unit. We tried to avoid using such

24 buildings, but the law allows us to use the premises of socially owned or

25 privately owned businesses and companies, even privately owned companies

Page 19058

1 whose premises are adequate, physically adequate, for placing army

2 materiel, but that is no justification for targeting a civilian building.

3 Q. I didn't quite understand your answer, General. So you are

4 conceding that you did use privately owned premises for military purposes;

5 is that correct?

6 A. No, I'm not admitting to having used them. I'm saying the law

7 allows using all socially owned companies for the defence of the country;

8 that is, warehouses of such companies may be used for purposes of

9 defending the country.

10 Q. You're a professional soldier with many years of -- a very long

11 career in the army, aren't you, General?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And isn't it true that according to the regulations of Laws of

14 War, humanitarian law, once a facility, a private facility, a civilian

15 facility is used by the army it becomes a legitimate military target?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. So if your troops - and I'm talking of the Pristina Corps - were

18 deployed in military -- in civilian facilities and privately owned

19 businesses, wouldn't that make such facilities legitimate military targets

20 during a state of war?

21 A. That's correct. If we had used such facilities, they would have

22 been legitimate targets.

23 Q. Let's move on to a different topic now. You spoke about the use

24 of tanks by your brigade, and you said in response to questions by my

25 learned colleague from the Defence that there was no reason to drive tanks

Page 19059

1 around during the state of war. And you said -- your words were that

2 would be crazy because they would have been destroyed by NATO, that's at

3 page 18945 of the transcript. Do you recall saying that?

4 A. Yes, I remember saying that. I said that -- I didn't say that

5 tanks were moving around in open space. I said that tanks arrived and

6 immediately took up their defence positions. They were not used for

7 parading, they were used for defence, and they had to get into defence

8 positions as soon as possible.

9 Q. When you say they had to get into defence positions, you mean that

10 once they got to a certain position they would remain static at that

11 location; they would not be moved around, deployed, to other locations.

12 Is that what you're saying?

13 A. I meant something quite different. A unit would take up a

14 position and engineer that position, build fortifications, et cetera. If

15 something happens that makes this position dangerous, the unit can

16 relocate within its own area of responsibility. The unit does not pull

17 out the ignition key and stay there for three months. The position is not

18 unique for every combat vehicle. There are two or three back-up positions

19 so that if something happens, the vehicle and the unit can move to a safe

20 place. That's the -- that's called the manoeuvre movement.

21 Q. So were tank platoons used in operations by your units during the

22 state of war?

23 A. They were used in combat and battles, not in operations. An

24 operation is something far larger, and it was only when the units were

25 directly threatened, when they were attacked. So they were used only for

Page 19060

1 direct defence, otherwise it would have been very dangerous to move them

2 around for combat because it would have been disastrous for the unit. The

3 unit would have been discovered and destroyed.

4 Q. Did you use tanks to shell or provide fire support during combat

5 actions?

6 A. Tanks were used to provide support only exceptionally, I think

7 only once or twice in the course of the war, to provide fire support.

8 Mostly lighter weapons were used, Pragas, other kinds of weapons which can

9 move around quickly, intervene quickly, open fire, provide assistance

10 wherever necessary, and then take shelter again.

11 Q. And if I recall your evidence correctly on Friday, you said that

12 tanks were not used or used exceptionally, as you say now, to avoid being

13 detected by NATO aeroplanes?

14 A. Yes, yes. That's just -- that's what I've just said. They were

15 used only exceptionally, only when there was a direct threat, otherwise it

16 was very dangerous for them to move around.

17 MS. KRAVETZ: Could we now look again at P2021.

18 Q. This is the war diary of your brigade.

19 MS. KRAVETZ: Page 11 of the English and it's the same page on the

20 B/C/S. Could we scroll down on the English at the bottom of the page,

21 it's the entry dated 5th April 1999.

22 Q. Do you see that on your screen, General?

23 A. I can't see the date.

24 Q. That's true.

25 MS. KRAVETZ: I think the date in the B/C/S is on the previous

Page 19061

1 page.

2 Q. Could you read the paragraph, it's the first paragraph on the

3 B/C/S which starts with: "From 0700 ..."

4 A. Yes.

5 "From 0700 to 1500 hours, the" you can't see something, then "the

6 sectors of Dura, Elez, and Gabrica villages were sealed off." I can't

7 read what comes next. "Dispersing the Siptar terrorist forces in this

8 sector." I can't see the letters quite clearly. "Mechanised platoons,"

9 sorry.

10 Q. Should I read the translation for you, General? I think it's a

11 bit clearer in the English. The second sentence there says: "The," and

12 there's an illegible passage, "tank platoon," also illegible, "were

13 engaged in dispersing the STS in this sector."

14 Do you see that? And then it says --

15 A. I see it says here a PJP company Urosevac, not a tank platoon.

16 The small c and a capital PJP. Now you can see that they're capital

17 letters.

18 Q. Where do you see that, General?

19 A. In front of Urosevac. Now you read Urosevac. You said Urosevac

20 tank platoon.

21 Q. Yes. And do you see the fourth line of that same paragraph where

22 it says the "TP," the tank platoon, "and the police platoon were active in

23 the mopping-up of Smira village"?

24 A. In the fourth line it says - I'm reading out - "IV and PJPC

25 Urosevac in the area the STS were," that's line four.

Page 19062

1 Q. Let's move to another entry as there seems to be a problem --

2 JUDGE BONOMY: What does IV stand for?

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Reconnaissance platoon.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

5 Ms. Kravetz.

6 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could move to page 71 in English of the same

7 exhibit and it's page 59 in the B/C/S. Do we have the B/C/S up on the

8 screen?

9 Q. If we look at the last line of number 2 under the heading "own

10 forces," you have a reference to: "One tank taking up position at 06 --

11 at 6.30 hours on 6 April 1999, a soldier was injured who did not," and the

12 rest is illegible. Do you see that, General?

13 A. It says the following. "On the occasion of taking up on the 6th

14 of April, 1999, at 0630 hours, one tank, a soldier was injured," and then

15 there's nothing more, that's it.

16 Q. Yes --

17 A. Who did not --

18 Q. I put to you, General, that tanks were regularly used by your

19 units during the course of combat operations in your area of

20 responsibility.

21 A. I'm sure they were not used on a regular basis, otherwise there

22 would have been nothing to pull out from the area of Kosovo and Metohija.

23 Not a single tank or personal carrier was destroyed, and you know how

24 intensive the NATO air-strikes were.

25 Q. And are you saying that other brigades deployed in Kosovo were in

Page 19063

1 your same situation and could not use the tanks in their units, due to the

2 NATO bombing of course?

3 A. The majority adhere to this order and they had to reduce their

4 combat equipment to the minimum, because wherever there was movement

5 combat equipment was lost and so were men. I'm speaking about my brigade.

6 We have experience where a commander made a mistake and set out with a

7 self-propelled weapon. They marched and they were targeted by the

8 air-strikes, and we had both damage to the self-propelled weapon and also

9 casualties among the men.

10 MS. KRAVETZ: Could we have Exhibit P202 up on the screen. It's

11 page 2 in the English and 1 in the B/C/S.

12 Q. This is an analysis report of operations of a different brigade,

13 it's not your brigade, it's the 549th Motorised Brigade.

14 MS. KRAVETZ: Could we have that up on the screen, please.

15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is Exhibit P2020, has it

16 been announced --

17 THE INTERPRETER: P202 -- interpreter's correction.

18 MR. CEPIC: I said P202.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: This is a video-clip, is it?

20 MS. KRAVETZ: No, it's P2002.


22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] By your leave, Your Honour, that was

23 also announced several hours after the witness made his solemn

24 declaration. Thank you.

25 MS. KRAVETZ: We notified the Defence on Friday our intention to

Page 19064

1 use this exhibit.

2 JUDGE BONOMY: Was there a reason why you were late with your

3 intimation?

4 MS. KRAVETZ: Simply because this was an issue that came up during

5 testimony, the use of tanks, and it wasn't originally -- it wasn't a topic

6 initially included in the 65 ter summary of this witness and we had not

7 included this exhibit. But we sent out an e-mail to the Defence on

8 Friday.

9 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought he was described as a tank man.

10 [Prosecution counsel confer]

11 MS. KRAVETZ: Yeah -- no, that is true, but we didn't expect him

12 to say that tanks were not used during operations.


14 MS. KRAVETZ: That was the issue that was not addressed in the 65

15 ter summary.

16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as I know what document

17 this is, General Bozidar Delic, whose document it is, will be testifying

18 here in two days. This is not a document of the 243rd Brigade, it's a

19 document of the 549th Brigade, of which General Bozidar Delic was the

20 commander.

21 MS. KRAVETZ: That is true. I indicated that when I--

22 JUDGE BONOMY: That suggests that the question can be asked

23 without the document, or am I wrong about that?

24 MS. KRAVETZ: I can. I can ask the question without the document.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: Please try that. Before you do, can you just

Page 19065

1 possibly explain to me or maybe the witness needs to explain it. What is

2 a self-propelled weapon? Do you know the answer?

3 MS. KRAVETZ: I think the witness is more --

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, can you tell us what is a self-propelled

5 weapon?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's produced in America M-36, a

7 self-propelled artillery piece with a 90-millimetre gun, those are the

8 main points. It's an artillery piece.

9 JUDGE BONOMY: What does the description "self-propelled" relate

10 to?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's its name. It's marked

12 SO-90, self-propelled weapon 90, it's M-36, that's the American marking.

13 It's a gun which moves.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Every tank-like weapon is a self-propelled weapon

15 in that case; is that right?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, every artillery piece that

17 looks like a tank is, in principle, self-propelled; however, this weapon

18 has certain limitations. It's not exactly a tank, although it resembles

19 one in its characteristics. There must be a gun, a machine-gun, and so

20 on.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Well, we'll now go back to the question

22 that Ms. Kravetz wishes to pose, and it may not be necessary to turn to

23 the document.


25 Q. Do you recall, General, whether a combat group from your brigade

Page 19066

1 conducted operations in the Malisevo-Pagarusa area with units of the 549th

2 Brigade on 30th March 1999?

3 A. Yes, along the road from Dulje to Belanica.

4 Q. And did that operation include approximately 180 men and ten

5 tanks?

6 A. 180 men -- well, it certainly wasn't that number of men because

7 there was less technical equipment, and it wasn't ten tanks either if I

8 understood you correctly, although I can't remember the exact numbers now.

9 If I were to see the order, well it's a relative matter, there was

10 constant fighting and the numbers were constantly changing. So I can't

11 tell you exactly the number of support pieces.

12 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, could I show the document to the

13 witness to allow him to refresh his memory on this matter?

14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] We object for the reasons already

15 stated, Your Honours. It's not his document, it's a document of another

16 brigade, signed by another brigade commander.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

18 It sounds very much like the picture will be incomplete unless

19 this document is aired with this witness, and to avoid that risk then we

20 shall allow you to use it.

21 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.

22 So I would like to show the witness page 1 in the B/C/S and 2 in

23 the English.

24 Q. And as I stated, this is an analysis of operations of the 549th

25 Motorised Brigade to destroy terrorist groups in the area of Malisevo and

Page 19067

1 Pagarusa.

2 MS. KRAVETZ: So can we see number 2 in the -- yes. That should

3 be the bottom of the page in the B/C/S.

4 Q. Do you see that reference there, General, to Combat Group 1, 160

5 men, that paragraph -- line that starts there, it's right at the bottom of

6 the page.

7 A. Yes, I see it.

8 Q. And do you see where it says: "Combat group 1 of the 243rd

9 Mechanised Brigade worked together with our forces with a strength of 180

10 men and ten tanks"?

11 A. Yes, I can see it.

12 Q. The information contained in this report regarding your troops and

13 the troop strength involved in this operation would have come from your

14 brigade; isn't that correct?

15 A. No. This is his information, the original document. I don't know

16 what documents he used, because when conducting the action the combat

17 forces were approximately of this size and they were at the Dulje pass.

18 Probably my colleague took the numbers of combat vehicles that were up

19 there, considering that they are all practically, in a manner of speaking,

20 assisting in the carrying out of the task because they were at the

21 starting positions from which the execution of the task was launched. But

22 I'm only assuming all that.

23 Q. But if you're conducting a combat activity, like it's shown here,

24 with another brigade, wouldn't you inform the brigade of the number of men

25 and of the equipment that you will be providing in this operation?

Page 19068

1 A. No, that's not reported on in principle, only coordination of the

2 manner of acting. The number of men, the number of pieces of equipment

3 and so on, that can be reported on an exceptional basis, I don't exclude

4 the possibility, but not according to the rules.

5 Q. So before deploying to an area to assist another brigade in a

6 combat activity, you will not let them know how many men you're sending or

7 which sort of equipment you will be sending for a certain operation. Is

8 that what you're saying?

9 A. The command carrying out the task determines the strength and

10 composition of the units, and they don't do it any way they like. They

11 have to coordinate with others and the task has to be solved together. In

12 this case the command should determine the forces and means to be engaged

13 in the carrying out of the task. Unless this is done, the commander of

14 the unit determines the forces and the means needed to carry out the task.

15 Q. And in this specific case, tanks from your brigade were used to

16 carry out this operation or this combat activity in the Malisevo-Pagarusa

17 area; is that correct?

18 A. Yes. Evidently they were used to conduct a battle with the

19 terrorists, but an operation is something completely different.

20 Q. So you would agree with me that tanks were used during the war,

21 more than exceptionally, as you indicated, during the conduct of combat

22 operations or combat activities, as you stated?

23 A. On the contrary, I would not agree with you. If we bear in mind

24 that there are huge forces here, three or four brigades, and if you see

25 two combat groups are up against them. So that's less than two battalions

Page 19069

1 going against four brigades. Imagine that kind of proportion. You're up

2 against a far stronger enemy. You have to use strong equipment to destroy

3 the enemy, otherwise the enemy will destroy you. I'm not excluding the

4 use of combat technical equipment, but only exceptionally. And when you

5 have four brigades facing you on some 10 kilometres, that really is an

6 exceptional situation.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: Just going back to the detail of this, are you

8 saying that ten tanks came from your brigade?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I don't have this analysis, this

10 report, it's a report by my colleague, I have no reason not to believe

11 him. But I don't think there were ten tanks, I think there were about

12 six, because four remained to protect the positions below Dulje. However,

13 I don't exclude the possibility.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: And how many of your men?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say that. It could be this

16 number, but I really don't know. I'd have to do a calculation based on

17 the technical equipment to see how many men are needed.

18 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.

19 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.

20 Q. I would like to now move on to a different topic, General, and

21 would like Exhibit 5D1284 up on the screen. Now, General, this is an

22 order for defence which is signed by you. You were shown this during the

23 course of your testimony, and it's dated 26 May 1999.

24 MS. KRAVETZ: I would like to see page 2 in the English and it's

25 page 1 in the B/C/S.

Page 19070

1 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there's a mistake in the

2 date. My learned friend probably overlooked that it's March, it's not

3 May, it's March.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

5 MS. KRAVETZ: I simply misspoke, Your Honour.

6 Q. Now, if we look at what is the top paragraph in the English and in

7 the B/C/S is --

8 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could move this number 2, first paragraph.

9 Q. And in this order, General, you say under the heading "task," I'm

10 reading the last part of the first paragraph it says: "Organize defence

11 in the zone of responsibility with the following task:

12 "In coordinated action with the 175th Infantry Brigade, the 549th

13 Motorised Brigade, and the armed non-Siptar population, through decisive

14 defence of the state border prevent the breakthrough of NATO forces along

15 the following axis." Do you see that in the order?

16 A. Yes, I do.

17 Q. Can you explain to us what is meant in this order by the armed

18 non-Siptar population?

19 A. First of all, this task was received from the corps commander and

20 it cannot be altered in any way, not a single comma can be changed. When

21 we talk about the armed non-Siptar population, I assume that this is a

22 reference to the civil defence and civil protection units, those that are

23 supposed to secure certain companies,, facilities, buildings in the zones.

24 This is not specified here, it's not defined, and I assume these would be

25 the people who were armed and who were engaged in some companies, some

Page 19071

1 work organizations.

2 Q. So this is an just assumption from your part. You're saying you

3 don't really know what this expression "armed non-Siptar population" that

4 you included in your order means?

5 A. I don't know because it is not present anywhere, not even in the

6 tasks of the units. Such a unit does not exist and I could not have

7 issued an order or a task to that unit. So it was not under me. I don't

8 have it.

9 Q. So if your corps commander sends you an order saying that in

10 addition to these different units that are indicated there, you should

11 also engage the armed non-Siptar population, wouldn't you ask him or

12 communicate with him in some way to find out what he means in the order,

13 who exactly he's referring to by armed non-Siptar population?

14 A. I can't claim that I asked him, but I assume that this is what I

15 just told you. These were people who were most likely used to secure all

16 the buildings and facilities in the area of responsibility because such

17 units do not exist per se as such.

18 Q. During your testimony last Friday you were asked whether your

19 brigade conducted any sort of combat activity with the civil defence or

20 the local defence, and you were quite precise in saying that no combat

21 activities were ever conducted with these units. Do you recall saying

22 that?

23 A. Yes. Civil defence and civilian protection are under the Ministry

24 of the Interior, or rather, Ministry of Defence. They have this chain of

25 command, vertical chain of command, with them in the same manner in which

Page 19072

1 our units are -- have the chain of command vertically with the corps.

2 It's two parallel chains of command. We never carried out any combat

3 actions with those units and we did not use them to carry out any combat

4 tasks. They received their tasks from the Ministry of Defence.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, there are a fair number of VJ documents

6 before us in which that expression is used, armed non-Siptar population,

7 and it's used by the army. That's the army's choice of language. Do you

8 know something about the regulations or laws or rules that forbade the

9 Siptars or Albanians from being part of the civil defence or civil

10 protection.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is no law, no regulation, as

12 far as I know and as I've explained at the beginning of my testimony. I

13 was there since 1994. So no document, no order prohibits the engagement

14 of Albanian national minority in civil defence and civilian protection --

15 I at least have not read anything to that effect and I don't remember

16 anything to that effect. I don't know if I answered your question.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: So what is the ethnic explanation, provision,

18 reason that leads to the use of this expression, non-Siptar, in relation

19 to civil defence and civil protection?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No regulation stipulates that, and

21 no regulation stipulates that there is any ethnic basis. But we had

22 people of all ethnic backgrounds in my unit - I'm speaking about my unit

23 and it was surely like that in all the other units. There was no

24 discrimination against any ethnic group in any of those units, but I

25 assume that this is because they boycotted all the laws, and they did not

Page 19073

1 want to participate in the work of those TO staffs and this is why they

2 were not given weapons. They simply refused to respond to the call-up

3 papers. They didn't want to participate in military exercises.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, even if that's right, it doesn't strike me -

5 and I'm speaking personally only at the moment - it doesn't strike me as

6 leading to an obvious conclusion that you would call this group a

7 non-Siptar group. Can you help us at all to explain why that particular

8 expression was used there? Because everybody seemed to use it in the

9 army.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can't say anything about the

11 source of this term, but it really went down the vertical chain of command

12 to the brigade level. I think that this is an unfortunate choice of term.

13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think that's why the Prosecution suggest

14 that this isn't the explanation, that it actually means something else.

15 You don't accept that?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I understand the non-Siptar

17 population to mean that all the other nations and ethnic minorities could

18 have weapons because they responded to the call-up, they took part in

19 military exercises, and they did national service. And once terrorism

20 cropped up in Kosovo and they did not want to respond to the mobilisation

21 call, to take part in the exercises, they were not issued any weapons.

22 That would be an explanation, the way I see it.

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

24 Ms. Kravetz.


Page 19074

1 Q. I'm a bit puzzled by your answer, General. So you're saying that

2 the reference here to non-Siptar population means a part of the population

3 which could take part in military exercises, they were trained in the

4 army, but they did not respond to the mobilisation, they were not

5 integrated as regular soldiers in the army. Is that what you're saying?

6 A. Those who were from some places, some municipalities, they were

7 supposed to join in those structures according to their place of

8 residence. But those citizens did not want to abide by the laws of the

9 Republic of Serbia, they boycotted things, they refused to respond to the

10 call-up, they did not want to participate in the military exercises, they

11 did not want to do military service. They did not have a wartime

12 assignment. That is why they were not mobilised into those units --

13 Q. General, may I stop you there because I think maybe my question

14 was not clear. You seem to be referring to the Albanian population that

15 did not respond to that calling and did not respond to the mobilisation;

16 that's correct? You're not --

17 A. Yes, that's right.

18 Q. But here we're concerned with the non-Albanian population. I

19 mean, the expression is armed non-Siptar - which is a derogatory term for

20 Albanian population. So we're not really talking about those persons who

21 did not respond to the mobilisation.

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] If you allow me, I think we've already

24 received an answer to this question, Your Honours, and I think the witness

25 has given an explanation. Thank you. Number three, the Prosecutor's

Page 19075

1 claim that "Siptar" is a derogatory term, I don't know what's the basis

2 for that claim. My colleagues have adduced some evidence about that.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we've certainly had one witness before us who

4 was horrified at the use of the expression and said that he would never

5 have used that expression. So there is a basis in the evidence for the

6 proposition. I acknowledge that many other witnesses say the opposite,

7 but it's not an issue on which there is unanimity, and we've already made

8 it clear, and I can't remember when, that the fact that some documents

9 contain this reference to -- I can't remember the exact expression - but

10 that's critical, the documents, whoever translated the documents, is

11 critical of the use of "Siptar." We've already made it clear that we will

12 ignore any such comment and it will have no influence on our assessment of

13 the situation.

14 Now, Ms. Kravetz, do you think your question hasn't been properly

15 answered?

16 MS. KRAVETZ: I don't think so, Your Honour, but if it pleases the

17 Court I can move on from this point because I think we've got it --

18 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.

19 MS. KRAVETZ: -- as clear as we can get on this issue.

20 Q. General, you spoke last Friday about the incorporation or use of

21 volunteers in your unit, and you said that from end March to early April

22 volunteers arrived in your area of responsibility and they were integrated

23 into your units. Is that correct?

24 A. We did not use volunteers in my units. There were persons who had

25 volunteered to defend their country. The only difference was in the

Page 19076

1 manner of reporting. That was the only difference between a volunteer and

2 a reserve soldier. These people were effectively reserve soldiers. Once

3 they joined their unit they became soldiers like everybody else with the

4 same duties and rights. There was no difference between this person and

5 any other soldier. Once they came into the unit, they would be assigned,

6 depending on their military evidentiary speciality that they had during

7 their national service, so they would find their place in the defence of

8 the country.

9 Q. And do you recall approximately how many volunteers were

10 integrated in your unit during that period from end March to early April?

11 A. I have to correct you here. They were not integrated. They were

12 part of the unit, because the way -- if you use the term "include," which

13 was the term used in Serbian, it would appear that they had been waiting

14 somewhere on the side. These were people in my unit. There were about a

15 hundred of them, a hundred of them that had reported during the first

16 month.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: I can't remember if this has been asked already,

18 but bearing in mind that the obligation to serve, to do military service

19 was universal, how did you actually become a volunteer? How do you slip

20 through the net to fall into the role of having to offer yourself for

21 service rather than be mobilised?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is that a question for me? May I

23 explain?

24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. I understand what you're saying about them

25 becoming members of your unit and you don't distinguish between them, but

Page 19077

1 they come in through a different route. They're not mobilised

2 automatically, they have to offer themselves. Now, how do you manage to

3 get yourself into the position where you have to volunteer to be a member

4 of the VJ?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me, I have to explain

6 that in a couple of sentences, but the principle is as follows: Brigades

7 usually have their peacetime strength, and then there has to be additional

8 mobilisation for the brigades to reach their wartime strength. The

9 reserve force is mobilised, but since this is not done territorially, they

10 don't all come from the same place, it is sometimes -- it is usually

11 impossible to man the units up to their full strength for various reasons.

12 People travel abroad, work abroad, they're sick, they have been declared

13 unfit to serve.

14 But at any rate, people who are not assigned to a unit, that is

15 how it is under the law. They can volunteer to units of the Army of

16 Yugoslavia to defend the country. Those people come to the military

17 districts or offices, and they organize their training. And after this

18 abridged training - these people had, after all, done their national

19 service - they are sent to the units of the Army of Yugoslavia, depending

20 on their actual strength at the time when those conscripts, or rather,

21 volunteers came in. And once the reports from the units come in,

22 indicating any vacancies in certain specialties, and so on. So if my

23 brigade lacked certain specialties, if we didn't have 50 specialists, then

24 they would send 50 specialties to me.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

Page 19078

1 Ms. Kravetz.


3 Q. General, do you know what training these volunteers received

4 before being assigned to units in your brigade? I won't use the

5 word "integrated" anymore, assigned to units, so we don't have a

6 translation problem.

7 A. As far as I know - and I think that I am quite familiar with this

8 plan - they would come, they would volunteer, to the military offices, and

9 the military offices would then make their reports to the military

10 districts. That's how it worked territorially. And then through the army

11 command it was arranged for them to undergo abridged training. These were

12 people who had already done their national service, they had already gone

13 through the training, but they would undergo refresher courses, seven to

14 ten days, some live ammunition target practice, some courses on how to

15 conduct themselves in combat. And in addition to those -- to this

16 training, people were checked and vetted and they were examined, and then

17 they were sent to the units depending on our requests that we sent in,

18 indicating certain shortages in certain types of personnel.

19 Q. And do you consider seven to ten days of training sufficient

20 training for someone who's going to be assigned to a unit that will be

21 engaged in combat, that will be taking part in war, war activities?

22 A. I think this is a very, very good question. This is the first

23 time that I hear a question of this kind that would give me a chance to

24 answer for specific units but for the whole brigade. Every military

25 conscript, once he gets to the unit, every military conscript, regardless

Page 19079

1 of whether he responded to the call-up or was brought in because he

2 refused to respond to the call-up or a volunteer has to undergo basic

3 training and that's refresher training. Soldiers who had been mobilised

4 came to their units, went -- some of them were the A formation, that's 70

5 per cent strength, they would be sent immediately to the front line, and

6 the rest would first undergo training at the training areas closest to the

7 units, this position. I think you can see that in the war

8 diary, "continue with combat training." Even those who volunteered would

9 undergo such combat training, but the priority was for these people to be

10 given some target practice with live ammunition two times and so on, but

11 that did not -- that applied to everybody, even those who volunteered or

12 responded to the call-up.

13 Q. So you're saying that all these volunteers were persons who had

14 already undergone military training?

15 A. Yes, these are people who had done their national service

16 previously and they had to undergo training in those centres. For

17 instance, there was the Medja centre in Nis, a shooting range for

18 automatic weapons, and from there they were brought in an organized manner

19 to our units.

20 Q. We have heard evidence here in this court, General, that these

21 volunteers that were brought in during the initial weeks of the war lacked

22 sufficient training and were not properly screened. In fact, we have

23 heard evidence that there were problems with these volunteers committing

24 crimes and being involved in criminal activity. Did you hear anything of

25 that sort during this time, during the first weeks when these volunteers

Page 19080

1 were being assigned and arriving to your units?

2 A. I don't know about other units and corps command, but I do know

3 that they came to my unit in an organized manner, on buses, and they

4 joined in this organized process. There were volunteers who were

5 unprepared and unable to sustain the difficulties, some because of health

6 problems, they could not walk, they didn't see well, and then we would

7 send these men to be examined further and then they were returned to the

8 military office that had sent them to us, and that would be in this case

9 the Nis military office.

10 Q. We heard the evidence here of Colonel Kostic, who was the chief of

11 the section for training for the command of the 3rd Army, and he explained

12 that General Pavkovic, the 3rd Army commander, had sent a report

13 addressing -- to the VJ General Staff addressing all these issues of lack

14 of training, unproper screening, criminal behaviour of the volunteers that

15 arrived during these first weeks to Kosovo. Are you aware of that?

16 A. I did not have that information, about what the army commander

17 wrote to the Chief of the General Staff, but it is possible that some

18 people with a criminal record and prone to criminal behaviour and people

19 who were not sufficiently trained, that they had joined the units.

20 Q. So you never heard of this in your meetings with your corps

21 commander or in your interactions with other brigade commanders?

22 A. No. I heard about that, but I can't now give you the information

23 that you could use because I only have the information that's based on

24 what we discussed as to what to do with those people, what to do with

25 those who are sick, what to do with those who have a criminal record, and

Page 19081

1 what to do with the people who had fled although they were in the reserve

2 force. And we have several orders from the corps commander, and I have my

3 order that I issued to the battalion commanders about what to do with

4 people who are prone to this kind of behaviour. Criminals are to be

5 treated like any other common criminal, their rights and duties are the

6 same as those of the other soldiers, that the sick should be examined by

7 the commission - I don't want to now go into all those details - but these

8 would be the most salient aspects.

9 Q. And were any volunteers that arrived to your units sent back for

10 these reasons, criminal behaviour or insufficient training?

11 A. There was a small number who were returned, but primarily for

12 health reasons. There were three or four of them, a small number, that

13 were prosecuted for theft, and then through the security organs and the

14 military police they were handed over to the judiciary. So that would be

15 a total of maybe 10 to 15 people who were processed and they were

16 dismissed from the army.

17 Q. Thank you, General. I want to move briefly - we have very few

18 minutes left - to a different topic. You've been asked during the course

19 of your testimony about your -- the coordination of combat activities with

20 the MUP, and you stated that this was carried out through the SUP chief in

21 Urosevac, that he was your contact person or the person with whom you

22 interacted in the MUP. Is that correct?

23 A. That is correct insofar as it pertains to our cooperation. Every

24 task that I received from the corps command - and he from his staff - we

25 would always meet and we would exchange opinions, we would look at the

Page 19082

1 plans, and we would agree in principle how this task should be carried

2 out.

3 Q. Were these meetings regular meetings or they were just ad hoc

4 meetings that you would have when certain stuff needed to be carried out?

5 A. Those tasks were mostly ad hoc, when needed. We would meet mostly

6 in his office, but quite often we would meet in my office. We exchanged

7 opinions as to how we should carry this out. This was not a formal

8 meeting with the participation of 50 to a hundred people. I would go

9 there with maybe two or three officers from my command to his office or he

10 would come to my command with two or three of his operatives, and then we

11 would try to find out how we could best carry out the tasks that we had

12 received.

13 Q. This SUP of Urosevac would also cover the municipality of

14 Kacanik - I'm sorry I'm losing my voice but I have a bit of a cold - the

15 SUP of Urosevac would also have covered the police units in the

16 municipality of Kacanik, correct?

17 A. Yes, it covered the municipality of Kacanik, Strpce, Stimlje, and

18 Djeneral Jankovic, that's what it covered.

19 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, Your Honour, I don't know if we can end

20 here for today. I'm losing -- I have a bit of a cold, and I'm losing --

21 I'm afraid I'm losing my voice.

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

23 Mr. Jelic, that brings our sitting to an end for today, which

24 means you will have to return to continue your evidence tomorrow, that

25 will be at 9.00 tomorrow morning. And we shall sit tomorrow also until

Page 19083

1 3.30, but on the usual arrangement, the first session will be till 10.45.

2 Meanwhile, please bear in mind what I said to you on Friday, that

3 it's vital that you have no discussion with anybody at all about any

4 aspect of the evidence in the case, talk about other things, until you

5 come back here tomorrow. Could you now please leave the courtroom with

6 the usher.

7 [Trial Chamber confers]

8 [The witness stands down]

9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.31 p.m.,

10 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 27th day of

11 November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.