1 Wednesday, 4 September 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, so you know the position, you have,
7 we've decided, 40 minutes more, up to 40 minutes more. You don't have to
8 take all that time.
9 WITNESS: CASLAV GOLUBOVIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Golubovic, I've taken a look at your
13 statements, both of them, and we're dealing with comments to the text in
14 the Timok newspaper and the conversation between you and Mr. Djordjevic
15 that you mentioned yesterday. You did talk about that text and how he
16 commented it, I believe. However, in your statement given to The Hague
17 investigators, on page 5, paragraph 2, you state that -- the following:
18 "I don't remember whether I talked to Djordjevic about these comments and
19 article." Is that what you said?
20 A. No, I didn't say that I -- I said that I didn't remember the date
21 and time, but I did say that we had a conversation - started by him or
22 myself, I can't remember - and that we did comment, and I said that it
23 wasn't in order that something like that had appeared in the press,
24 something along those lines.
25 Q. Well, as you say, "I don't remember whether I talked about this
1 publication," I took that to mean that you don't know whether you
2 discussed the publication at all.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, again, I must interrupt. You must be
4 fair to the witness if you're putting things from his statement. It says:
5 "I can't remember if I spoke with the general about this publication.
6 It's possible that I did." That's how the English reads.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. That's the point I wish
8 to clear up, Mr. May.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Now, when did you talk to him? Can you remember what year that
12 A. I think it was in the year 2000, mid-2000 or the beginning of the
13 year, thereabouts. I'm not quite sure when the article appeared, but I
14 assume that that was round about that time. I don't read the Krimi
15 Review, the newspaper in question, so that somebody happened to mention it
16 to me, and that's why I said I couldn't remember exactly when all this
18 Q. All right. Now, in the statement given to the working group, if
19 it has been correctly interpreted, in paragraph 3 you state that you
20 wouldn't have known that the event took place on the 6th of April had the
21 newspapers not written about it and informed the public. Is that what you
23 A. Yes, that's right. I can't remember the exact date, had it not
24 appeared in the papers and had they not said that this took place on the
25 6th of April. I knew that it did take place at the beginning of April,
1 but I can't give you the exact date.
2 Q. Very well. Now, were you at that spot near Tekija where the
3 refrigerator truck was found on the 5th, 6th or 7th of April, 1999?
4 A. Well, through my recollections later, and when I checked this out,
5 it was the 6th of April exactly.
6 Q. You were at this spot near Tekija?
7 A. I wasn't at the scene of the actual occurrence, but I was in
8 Tekija and then Kladovo.
9 Q. But I'm interested in whether you were at the actual scene, on the
11 A. No. I didn't go out on location.
12 Q. So you didn't see the actual contents of the refrigerator truck.
13 A. No, neither the refrigerator truck or the contents or what went on
15 Q. Can I then take it that all the information you received about the
16 refrigerator truck you received either via telephone or in direct contact
17 with the individuals who went out on location to the spot itself?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So this is not what you yourself saw, but you base what you know
20 on the information given to you by your employees at the secretariat; is
21 that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So neither you didn't count the bodies yourself later on. Did you
24 ever see any body at all?
25 A. No.
1 Q. I see. You didn't see a body. Now, did you -- were you present
2 when they transferred any of the bodies into the two trucks that were
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you see, afterwards, any of these trucks going into the
6 Batajnica centre?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Were you in Batajnica at all at that particular time, at the
9 material time, for you to be able to see any events linked to that
11 A. No, I was never there, then or afterwards.
12 Q. Now, do you know if someone was there, do you have any information
13 and knowledge as to who buried the bodies and where those bodies are
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you learn at all whether any of the bodies who were -- which
17 were counted there allegedly and transported, whether they turned up and
18 were found anywhere at all?
19 A. No. All I know was what the papers published later on and what I
20 read in the papers, but I personally know nothing about that, no.
21 Q. Who told you and how were you able to conclude that some of the
22 bodies were wearing pantaloons, or the shalwara type of pants?
23 A. Well, I just conveyed what I was told by the people who saw this
24 themselves directly when the refrigerator truck was opened.
25 Q. Very well. Now, in the statement you gave to the working group,
1 on page 1, paragraph 2, you enumerate the names that were -- of people who
2 were present at the meeting, and as you say, the meeting was held at the
3 interior affairs department in Kladovo on April 6th. Is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On that occasion, you didn't mention that the meeting was attended
6 by the municipal investigating judge and the public prosecutor from
7 Kladovo. Why did you fail to mention that? Because they were there,
8 weren't they?
9 A. Yes, they were there, and I mentioned this in the statement, and
10 in other statements, that I came from Bor and found them there in the
11 office. It wasn't an official meeting of any kind that had been convened.
12 I assumed that they had come back from the location, from the scene
13 itself, and were sitting there when I came in.
14 Q. Oh, I understand. So you told this to the working group, but the
15 working group failed to enter it into the note. Is that what I'm able to
16 conclude from what you're saying now?
17 A. Mr. Milosevic, I saw this Official Note for the first time quite
18 recently, when I had my first talks. Up until then, I never saw it.
19 Q. When did you happen to see the Official Note?
20 A. I saw the Official Note, I think, during the first conversations
21 that I had in the offices of The Hague Tribunal. That's when they showed
22 it to me.
23 Q. When was that, actually?
24 A. I think that was after the testimony of Mr. Karleusa and the
25 technician from Kladovo, after that.
1 Q. So you saw an Official Note that was drawn up with you only after
2 Karleusa's testimony; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And do you remember the names of the municipal investigating judge
5 and public prosecutor from Kladovo who attended the meeting?
6 A. I couldn't remember the names then, and I don't remember the names
7 now. I wasn't very interested in what their names were because I had very
8 little contact with them. Perhaps I had seen them once or twice a few
9 years back, but I can't say for sure.
10 Q. Very well. In the statement that you gave to the investigators,
11 on page 2, paragraph 4, you state that the two of them attended the start
12 of the investigation that took place on the spot, but that they didn't
13 want to launch an official investigation because it was an act, as I
14 understand it, for which the district level of jurisdiction was in charge,
15 and that they informed the district investigating judge and public
16 prosecutor. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that's what they said.
18 Q. Well, I assume that you can tell me the name of the district
19 investigating judge and prosecutor.
20 A. The prosecutor, district prosecutor's name was Krsta Majstorovic,
21 and the district investigating judge is, at the present, that is today, I
22 think he is the public prosecutor. I don't know his name exactly, but he
23 did appear later on.
24 Q. The public prosecutor, is he now the deputy district prosecutor at
25 the time? Which of the two was it?
1 A. The investigating judge at the time is now the public prosecutor,
2 on maybe I've got it mixed up. I didn't actually inquire, but I know that
3 the prosecutor was Krsta Majstorovic, and I'm not sure who the
4 investigating judge was, what his name was.
5 Q. Do you know whether on that occasion the district public
6 prosecutor launched a request for an investigation to be conducted into
7 the case?
8 A. I don't know about that. I didn't contact them, I didn't speak to
9 them, I didn't hear them with reference to the case, and I didn't have any
10 need to do this for any subsequent cases, because there were other
11 services in charge of this.
12 Q. So you actually don't know whether he launched a request for an
13 investigation to be conducted or not.
14 A. No.
15 Q. Tell me now, please: From this Kladovo police station, the local
16 police station on the territory of which this event took place, whether
17 any minutes were taken on the investigation and on-site investigation that
18 took place, by a crime technician or anybody else, any official
19 information, I mean, about what took place near Tekija, what was found.
20 Did anybody draw up minutes of what actually took place on the spot?
21 A. I don't know. I wasn't informed. But I don't think so. I don't
22 think any written report was compiled of any kind on that day.
23 Q. I'm now going to ask you a question which has to do with some
24 occurrences, some things that happened in that area along the Danube. I
25 ask this question -- I asked the other two witnesses this question, and
1 they gave me their answers with respect to what I asked. Two witnesses to
2 my question said they knew about the fact that people were smuggled across
3 the Danube. Do you know this smuggling of humans, of people, across the
4 Danube while you were the head of the secretariat for internal affairs in
5 Bor? Were you apprised of that?
6 A. Yes, because in that region there was a channel via which people
7 were smuggled over. I think they were Kurds and others, and they were
8 taken off towards Romania. And in Djerdap, this belt there, there was a
9 channel for this kind of contraband.
10 Q. Do you know anything about the people who were citizens of our
11 country and who were involved in this human smuggling, smuggling of
13 A. I think that there was an individual from Tekija who did this kind
14 of work. I know that this was mentioned in conversations, not only then
15 but before that as well, a name was bandied about.
16 Q. I'm not talking about this particular event, I was talking about
17 the whole phenomenon.
18 A. Yes. A man was mentioned in this connection, and I think he
19 smuggled the people across in a boat. I don't know anything more, but it
20 was linked to these illegal transports.
21 Q. Very well. Let's move on.
22 You say that you watched the testimony of Bosko Radojkovic, the
23 crime technician, on television, and that he made an incorrect statement
24 when he said that you ordered him not to take any pictures, not to take
25 any photographs.
1 A. Well, that's quite right. When I was in Kladovo, I didn't see
2 Bosko, nor did I give him orders of any kind.
3 Q. That means that he was lying when he said here that you forbid him
4 to take any photographs?
5 JUDGE MAY: That's a matter of comment. We'll have to deal with
6 that. It's not for the witness or for you. You can comment on it, of
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Yes. Well, you've just repeated what you said in your statement,
10 that you had never even seen Radojkovic; is that right?
11 A. Yes, not that evening. I didn't see him that evening.
12 Q. And you never issued an order of that kind to anybody, even to his
13 superiors; is that right?
14 A. That's quite right, yes.
15 Q. Can I therefore take it and conclude that Radojkovic, at his own
16 initiative, for reasons known only to himself, failed to carry out the
17 basic duties of a crime technician?
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you cannot put what Mr. Radojkovic may
19 or may not have thought for his own reasons, but you can ask the witness
20 what the duties of a crime technician were.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the witness is the head of the
22 police in that region, and linked to that function of his, he is well
23 aware of the tasks to be completed, and duties. Now, if Radojkovic did
24 not perform these duties, did he infringe upon his work obligations and
25 duties, judging by the standards upheld by the witness? Is this a serious
1 omission? As far as I understand it, this is a serious omission.
2 JUDGE MAY: Did a crime technician -- Mr. Golubovic, you can help
3 us to this extent: Should a crime technician have taken photographs at
4 the scene?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the investigation had been
6 started on the spot, he would have had to have taken photographs and
7 photographed the pulling out of the truck from the Danube and all the rest
8 of it, everything that followed, and to follow the orders of the
9 investigating judge. So the on-spot investigation is conducted following
10 orders issued by the investigating judge.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Well, tell me: Did you ever ask him whether he has any
13 photographs of the bodies from the refrigerator truck and whether you ever
14 asked any of his superiors whether there is a photographic file and photo
15 spread of these alleged bodies?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Why not?
18 A. Well, quite simply, and I've already said this, that because of --
19 I was called away for -- on other duties, and also I wasn't directly
20 involved in this case. It was all conducted by other services and other
21 persons in the service and in the secretariat who were in charge of that.
22 I just spent that night there in order to become better informed and to
23 convey the orders and to complete the assignment I was given.
24 Q. All right. And according to your knowledge, up until this day,
25 from what spot and in what way did the refrigerator truck come to be in
1 the Danube? Did you ever learn about that?
2 A. No.
3 Q. The crime department or the investigating judge, did they ever
4 happen to find and photograph any material evidence which would indicate
5 the area from which and how the refrigerator truck came to be in the
6 Danube in the first place?
7 A. No. At least as far as I know, no.
8 Q. Do you know that from these statements of the witnesses given to
9 the working group, to this particular working group, the one that talked
10 to you, which through Karleusa's testimony has been introduced into
11 evidence as exhibits, we are not able to conclude in what way and from
12 what place the refrigerator truck came to be into the Danube?
13 A. Well, I wasn't able to read through any of the testimonies and
14 statements of other witnesses, and that is why I said that the Official
15 Note in connection with talks with me I saw for the first time on that
16 occasion. So I really don't know. All I can do is assume that Kladovo
17 took steps to ascertain and see the place from which the refrigerator
18 truck slid into the Danube. But there was never any concrete proof and
19 evidence of this, anything of that kind at all.
20 Q. Very well. Now, you say that on the 6th of April, from the local
21 police station in Kladovo, you had a telephone conversation with the head
22 of this particular department, Vlastimir Djordjevic; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And on page 3 of the statement you gave to the investigators, you
25 say that you informed him on that occasion about everything you learnt and
1 that you personally didn't visit the location and spot, that you didn't
2 see the refrigerator truck or the bodies. Is that right? And in the
3 statement that you gave to the members of the working group, you note that
4 Djordjevic, when he rang you up after a certain amount of time, told you
5 that an autopsy should be conducted of the corpses found.
6 A. No. I said yesterday to the Prosecutor as well that that was the
7 first time that this was mentioned during the conversation from Tekija,
8 but not in that first conversation, no.
9 Q. Did he ask you that an autopsy be conducted?
10 A. After the conversation that we had at about midnight, half past
11 11.00 or 12.00, midnight, I asked that this should be done, and he told me
12 that the vehicles should be dispatched towards Belgrade and that that
13 would be conducted there, because you didn't have the resources.
14 Q. So you insisted that you didn't have the resources to carry out
15 the post-mortem, but that was your reaction to his demand that an autopsy
16 be carried out on the spot?
17 A. Well, I can't remember, but I think that it was I myself who
18 brought up the question of an autopsy first, and in this second
19 conversation from Tekija, he accepted. But in the conversation from
20 Kladovo, this was not mentioned. This was not brought up, either by me,
21 when I informed him to begin with, or from him. Neither of us mentioned
22 it on that first occasion.
23 Q. Is it true that in a later telephone conversation you asked that a
24 truck be sent from the ministry for purposes of transport?
25 A. Yes, in that last conversation.
1 Q. And that was linked up to the further treatment and processing?
2 A. Yes, of the bodies. But it was only then that the people who were
3 working, who were doing the job found that there were more bodies than was
4 first stated and first assumed.
5 Q. So from there, we would be able to conclude that the bodies were
6 taken in towards Belgrade because there were not the necessary facilities
7 and resources to conduct technical analyses, identification, and autopsies
8 on the spot at your location; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you able to inform Djordjevic on that particular evening
11 about the information you had gathered as to the possible time of death of
12 these individuals, the bodies? Did you discuss that?
13 A. No, because none of that was conducted. An investigation and
14 examination of that kind was not conducted, so all that could have been
15 done was the free assessment of the people that saw them.
16 Q. Did I understand you correctly to say that you were not able to
17 give him any more precise information as to the number of bodies either?
18 A. No, I was not. That's right. Not on that particular night, no.
19 Q. So all in all, at that time, you did not have the possibility of
20 providing any more detailed information about the bodies and about what
21 was found in the refrigerator truck.
22 A. No, that's right.
23 Q. You didn't have the right information.
24 A. No, we didn't have the exact number of bodies or anything else.
25 Q. All right. Why, then, did you tell him, as you said, that they
1 were Albanians when you were not able to actually know this?
2 A. Well, I said that that was the information I was given from the
3 people who saw the bodies, who saw the corpses, and that's what I conveyed
4 to him.
5 Q. So --
6 A. But this was not a definite conclusion, in view of the fact that
7 not all the official tasks had been undertaken or completed. This was not
8 -- this work was not done professionally.
9 Q. But judging by what it said on the truck and the clothes that were
10 found on the bodies, you said that you assumed they were ethnic Albanians.
11 Is that what your subordinates informed you about?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know that Toma Miladinovic told the working group of the
14 Serbian MUP - and this is page K226056 in the Prosecution material -
15 that he saw that the bodies were naked?
16 A. I don't know that. I said that I never received a report of any
17 kind or read a report of any kind.
18 Q. Do you know that Vukasin Sperlic told the working group the
19 following: "I was personally on the spot. I don't remember anything
20 special that was written up on the truck."
21 He repeated that. I don't want to read the numbers of the pages
22 he said that on to you, but that is all contained in the Prosecution
23 material that we have for this case.
24 All right. So you don't know that either. And do you know that
25 Milan Stevanovic gave a statement to the working group, saying: "I
1 noticed bodies that had clothes on, and that did not have clothes on.
2 Then Bosko Radojkovic said to me that this is a refrigerator truck from
3 Prizren. I know that the technician painted the inscription on the truck
5 Do you know anything about these statements?
6 A. No, I don't know anything about these statements.
7 Q. All right. But on the basis of these - how should I put it? -
8 these scarce bits of information that evening, you said that the
9 assumption was that these were Albanians. Is that right?
10 A. Yes, and that is the information I sent further on to the
12 Q. Only on the basis of the fact that somebody told you that it says
13 "Prizren" on the truck and they saw women's pantaloons?
14 A. Yes, and that's what I told the general.
15 Q. Branislav Mitrovic said to the working group: "I cannot remember
16 the inscription on the truck. I heard that the corpses were naked."
17 JUDGE MAY: You've put that, Mr. Milosevic.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. All right. And do you know that Zivadin Djordjevic, the diver,
20 gave a statement to the working group saying at that time there were no
21 indications that these were corpses of persons from Kosovo and Metohija?
22 A. I don't know. I'm not aware of any statements. I mean, they were
23 never shown to me. Not a single statement was shown to me.
24 Q. All right. Who said to you -- because you say that you told
25 Djordjevic that there were signs of slaughter on the corpses. That's what
1 you say in your statement to the working group; is that correct?
2 A. I don't think I said anything like that, because that evening I
3 did not have this information except for the fact that it was said at that
4 meeting that there had been an inscription on the truck of some company
5 from Prizren, that women's corpses had pantaloons on.
6 Q. So what it says here is something that you did not say?
7 A. I did not convey that to the general, that's for sure.
8 Q. All right. Because other witnesses said also that the injuries
9 were due to a blunt object. Only one said that there was only one visible
10 wound from a firearm. Do you know about that?
11 A. No, I don't know about that. I didn't see this on television when
12 I watched the testimonies from here.
13 Q. So the information about slaughtering does not come from you?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Nor from your statement given to the working group?
16 A. At that moment when I was there, that could not have been
17 ascertained, and this was not said to me either.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. Perhaps later, the next day, when they continued working, perhaps
20 then. But on --
21 Q. Sperlic was in charge the getting the truck away?
22 A. Yes. Usually it's head of the department who is supposed to
23 organise this kind of thing and to get it done.
24 Q. As for the instruction given by Djordjevic to destroy the
25 refrigerator truck about which you speak on one of these pages, not to
1 read all of this to you now, did you take this as a regular sanitary
2 preventive measure in order to prevent disease from spreading? Did you
3 interpret it that way?
4 A. At that moment, Mr. Milosevic, to tell you the truth, I did have
5 no interpretation, and this was an event that took me by surprise, like
6 everyone else. And we all did that in relation to the orders that were
7 issued. Probably things had to be done in a hurry because of the stench
8 coming from the corpses. That is what I was told, that that night there
9 was a stench already. So of course it was for preventing disease as well,
10 I assume, that this was done, due to the sanitary conditions and
12 Q. All right. That's what it says here, on page 03048361, in the
13 second paragraph, that you interpreted that as a regular sanitary
14 preventive measure. Why did you not tell the working group? Perhaps you
15 did tell them and they did not register it.
16 A. I can't --
17 Q. You can't remember?
18 A. Well, not all of it.
19 Q. Please explain this to me, because I have only five or six minutes
20 left, and I have a few more questions left. And when you gave your
21 statement to the investigators of this institution here, did you give your
22 statement in the following way: By telling them your story continuously,
23 or were questions put to you and did you then give your answers?
24 A. The statement was made on the basis of some questions.
25 Q. Oh, so they did put questions to you and you gave answers to them?
1 A. Yes. Yes. Questions related to the event itself, and that is why
2 I said that that was the first time that I saw this Official Note. And
3 these questions more or less followed the course of the Official Note. I
4 don't know if you understand what I'm saying.
5 Q. I do understand. Let me put a very concrete question to you now
6 in relation to this event, that is to say, the destruction of the
7 refrigerator truck. Now when they asked you here, in order to put
8 together this statement of yours, can you remember in which way the
9 question was put to you? Was the question put to you as follows: Did
10 General Djordjevic order you to destroy the refrigerator truck or why did
11 you order the refrigerator truck to be destroyed and who ordered you to do
12 that? How was the question put?
13 A. The question was put as follows: When did General Djordjevic, and
14 in which sense, order me to destroy the truck, and during which
15 conversation? I said that I do not remember exactly.
16 Q. Oh, so they already assume that he was the one who gave you the
17 order and then they just asked you when he gave the order?
18 A. Now I can't really interpret that, the course of this interview.
19 Q. All right. All right. You understand what leading questions are
20 and what leading questions are not, because you're a policeman. Do you
21 know Dragan Vitomirovic, the publisher and private owner of the Timok
22 Crime Review?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How long has he been doing this?
25 A. I think for about ten years.
1 Q. What did he do before he started publishing the paper?
2 A. He was employed by the Ministry of the Interior, and I think that,
3 due to certain criminal acts and also disciplinary infractions, he was
4 dismissed from service.
5 Q. Oh, so he was dismissed from the service because of crimes that he
7 A. Yes. Well, I don't know. He worked in a different department, so
8 I'm not sure exactly what happened.
9 Q. All right. Did you or anybody else find out exactly where the
10 corpses from the refrigerator truck were?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Is it possible - I'm asking you now about your position - that the
13 entire event has to do with the smuggling of people across the Danube, and
14 was used by the puppet regime in Belgrade, in cooperation with this
15 institution, for supporting this --
16 JUDGE MAY: No. That's not a question for the witness. You made
17 that sort of speech before. It will be a matter for us to consider. Have
18 you any more questions for him?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I have only one
20 question, which has to do with clarifying two identical statements.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. One is contained in this note of the working group, and the second
23 one is in your very own statement. But the things said are identical.
24 I'm going to quote this to you. I'm going to quote the entire sentence:
25 "General Djordjevic did not tell me who he had consulted, but I have the
1 impression that he talked to the minister."
2 That is the note of the working group. And in this statement that
3 you gave to this institution here, on the last page - again I'm quoting
4 this to you: "I do not know whether General Djordjevic consulted the
5 Minister of the Interior, who was Vlajko Stojilkovic at the time, or
6 whether he consulted or informed anybody else about this event concerning
7 the truck before he issued instructions to me."
8 So in both places you say you do not know whether he consulted the
9 minister, and yesterday you said that he said to you that he had consulted
10 the minister. Why did you change your statement, both the one you gave to
11 the working group and this institution here, in relation to this?
12 A. I have to explain this. At that moment when I talked to the
13 working group, although, objectively speaking, there were not that many
14 reasons for that, but when I had this talk at this office in Belgrade, I
15 was not free of these official secrets, of keeping these official secrets.
16 No official decision had been passed with regard to that. So I did not
17 explain the structure of the organisation of the police to the
18 investigators then, its functioning, especially in these conditions, and
19 then I avoided telling the name. But I gave a solemn declaration too,
20 that it is certain that General Djordjevic, during the first conversation
21 -- or rather, the second conversation in Kladovo, that he did invoke the
22 minister, stating that that is what should be done. So I did not mention
23 the chain of command, any other persons.
24 Q. According to the chain of command, Djordjevic is your immediate
1 A. Yes, but I did not name any persons who are his. Now, that was
2 the only reason.
3 Q. Did you ever talk to Minister Stojilkovic?
4 A. Not about that.
5 Q. Did you know him personally?
6 A. I did know him from the meetings he held with us, yes.
7 Q. And as for these meetings that he held, could you come to the
8 conclusion that he issued assignments according to the areas in which
9 people were involved, that he never interfered in particular cases or
10 immediate investigations?
11 A. Yes. Yes. In regular times, that's the way it was. He did not
12 interfere. He most probably never issued an order to me. I always got my
13 assignments through the head of the section.
14 Q. All right. All right, Mr. Golubovic. Thank you. I have no
15 further questions.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there are no
17 questions for Witness Golubovic.
18 MR. SHIN: Your Honours, just two matters.
19 Re-examined by Mr. Shin:
20 Q. Mr. Golubovic, you had stated in your testimony yesterday that
21 General Djordjevic had given you an instruction by telephone that the
22 information about the refrigerator truck matter was not to be released and
23 that none of you in that meeting at the Kladovo police station were to
24 give any statements to the press or to the TV. Was this something that
25 you personally informed Bosko Radojkovic about, or would someone else have
1 informed him of that?
2 A. I did not understand the question. In what sense did I inform
4 Q. Actually, I'm sorry, that is my question. The instruction from
5 General Djordjevic that the information regarding the refrigerator truck
6 was not to be released, was that something that you had told Mr.
7 Radojkovic personally?
8 A. No. I did not see Mr. Radojkovic. I did not contact him. I did
9 not give him any instructions or orders.
10 Q. Thank you. Did Mr. Radojkovic work for the Kladovo police
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So would he have received instructions from Mr. Sperlic, who was
14 the chief of the Kladovo police station, during the course of that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could he also have received instructions from Mr. Miladinovic, who
18 is the head of the crime police in the SUP at Bor?
19 A. Yes, professional instructions, things like that.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you. And one other matter. The accused has asked
21 you some questions regarding your -- the working group notes in which --
22 in particular, regarding whether General Djordjevic had consulted the
23 Minister of Internal Affairs or not in regards to the instructions that he
24 gave about the refrigerator truck. You had explained why you would not
25 have mentioned that to the working group, and basically that has to do
1 with your obligation for withholding certain secrets. Is that the same
2 reason or is there another reason why you did not mention that General
3 Djordjevic had received his instructions from Minister Stojilkovic when
4 you spoke to the investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor here -- I'm
5 sorry, Office of the Prosecutor from The Hague Tribunal?
6 A. Yes, in Belgrade, when I spoke there.
7 Q. Okay. But just to clarify, that was the same reason why you did
8 not tell them that the instructions came from the Minister of Internal
10 A. I did not say that General Djordjevic mentioned the minister when
11 he gave these instructions to me.
12 Q. Yes, that's exactly what I'm getting at. And the reason for that
13 is the same as the reason that you didn't provide that information to the
14 working group headed by Mr. Karleusa; is that correct?
15 A. Approximately that is the reason. That is why I stated to that
16 group that I assumed that he had consulted someone, the minister or
17 someone else. They asked me what I thought about that, and then I said it
18 is my assumption that he had had consultations.
19 Q. And approximately when did you receive notification that you would
20 be released from these certain secrets -- I'm sorry, this obligation to
21 maintain certain secrets?
22 A. I think when I was in Belgrade, at the office of The Hague
23 Tribunal, that day. No. No. That day, from the Ministry of Justice, I
24 received information that I was duty-bound, et cetera, et cetera, to
25 respond to the summons to testify. As for the decision of the government,
1 I personally did not receive it, except that through the media it was made
2 public. I think that this was just before I came here, about a week
3 before I came, that's when it was made public.
4 Q. So would that have been after you spoke to investigators from the
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. SHIN: No further questions, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Golubovic, that concludes your testimony. Thank
9 you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are now free to go.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. NICE: Before I call the next witness, it's probably helpful
13 if I tidy up a few administrative matters, for fear of overlooking them.
14 One, I suppose, technically ought to be dealt with in closed session,
15 since the topic was touched on earlier in a closed session. It will only
16 take a minute, but I probably ought to deal with it in closed session,
17 with your leave.
18 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, two exhibit matters. On the 26th of
25 August, Exhibit 286 was marked for identification, being a list of the
1 names of people killed in Izbica and produced in the evidence of Sadik
2 Xhemajli. At that time, we only had a B/C/S version of the document,
3 which is why it was marked for identification. We now have an English
4 translation and would ask that either it forms part of 286 or becomes
5 286A, if the usher would be so good, and the documents become formally
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be formally marked
8 Prosecutor's Exhibit 286A.
9 MR. NICE: Thank you. Also in the evidence of Sadik Xhemajli, as
10 the Chamber may recall, the witness showed his pocketbook with handwritten
11 notes, including notes, or rather lists, of those he alleged had been
12 killed in the course of the incidents he described. The Chamber directed
13 that the relevant parts of that book should be copied. That was done, and
14 copies were distributed to the accused and to the amici and to the Court
15 earlier this week. Translations of those photocopied and distributed
16 pages are now available. May those be circulated, please. The original
17 -- I beg your pardon -- the number allocated was 288, I think.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
19 Exhibit 288A.
20 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. The third matter at this stage,
21 although others may arise later, probably tomorrow, is the witness
22 statement of the witness Antonic-Simic. The statement was obtained, it
23 has been, I think, now circulated to the accused and to the amici. It
24 hasn't yet been made available to the Chamber, although it should be, as
25 supporting material for the application made and already granted. It's
1 obviously important that the accused has it before -- and has had an
2 opportunity to consider it before he comes to cross-examine the witness
3 Stijovic. The final decision on calling Antonic-Simic has yet to be made.
4 It may, for example, be a witness who we would, in the technical
5 language of our own -- or the jurisdiction with which Your Honour and I
6 are certainly more familiar, it may be a witness we would tender, but
7 certainly the statement should be available to him.
8 That brings me to the order of witnesses. In an ideal world, we
9 would have called Mr. Coo before calling General de la Billiere, but
10 travel arrangements and other administrative difficulties mean we're going
11 to have to call the general first and Mr. Coo later, and I shall take the
12 general indeed quite shortly, very shortly. My forecast of evidence is as
13 follows: That it will be General de la Billiere, Stijovic, and then
14 Mr. Coo, with K41, taking the position he has to take by reason of the
15 technical arrangements that have been made for his evidence, tomorrow.
16 JUDGE MAY: Let's just pause there and deal with that. He will be
17 heard by videolink tomorrow?
18 MR. NICE: Yes.
19 JUDGE MAY: Have we a time for that yet?
20 MR. NICE: 9.00. Now, his evidence may take a little time, and
21 one knows that the videolinks are not perfect bits of equipment. They are
22 prone to intermittent failure. It therefore would probably be undesirable
23 to put back the start of his evidence too much beyond 9.00 in the morning,
24 although if there was just a little bit of evidence outstanding, it might
25 be preferable to take that and then to take him, but we'll start with him
1 pretty early tomorrow morning. And I would ask that, in the awful
2 vernacular we've developed in this trial, that whatever evidence is going
3 on this afternoon is wrapped around K41's evidence, unless there's only a
4 little bit of it outstanding.
5 JUDGE MAY: You're going to call the general now.
6 MR. NICE: Yes.
7 JUDGE MAY: There may be cross-examination, of course. In fact,
8 there will be. Were you intending to call anybody else after the general?
9 MR. NICE: Certainly. If the general is finished today, I would
10 call or certainly start Stijovic. He's here, his statement has been
11 served, and he's ready to go. But we can wrap the evidence of whoever is
12 outstanding at the end of the day around K41.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you go on then. So that's K41, you've got
14 Mr. Stijovic. Who else have you got?
15 MR. NICE: Afterwards, you mean?
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
17 MR. NICE: Oh, afterwards it's only probably Coo, Zdrilic, and
18 then there's the little outstanding issue that you have yet to decide
19 about, the case officer, as it were. And there may be the one other, I
20 think, for whom there is an outstanding application, but probably not. So
21 my calculation remains, as it has been for several days, that we're on
22 target if we sit continuously, to finish by about Tuesday.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let me deal with one matter about the witnesses.
24 We have yet to deal with the witness about whom you made an application
25 the other day, renewed application, and we'll give you our answer about
1 that when we've considered it.
2 We will give you leave to call Helge Brunborg, although that will
3 be, as I understand it, after the adjournment.
4 MR. NICE: Yes. We're grateful to you for that, that's very
5 helpful. I'm sorry that in the event there was a misunderstanding --
6 there it is. Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 MR. NICE: General de la Billiere. If the witness could be
9 brought in. I trust that the Chamber has not only had an opportunity to
10 read his report but to at least see, without necessarily looking at, a
11 slim file of exhibits which has been distributed to --
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, yes?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Did I understand this correctly:
14 There will be no changes in this witness list except for the fact that Coo
15 may come before K41? Did I understand that correctly?
16 JUDGE MAY: No. K41 is tomorrow, tomorrow morning. That's the
17 only change there will be, if necessary. Coo comes after.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. So there are no other
19 changes on the witness list except for Kevin Curtis, whom you've rejected
21 JUDGE MAY: We're considering him. Now, let's get on with the
22 evidence now.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just another question:
25 Antonic-Simic Olivera. We've just received this now. She is also on the
1 list. Will we hear her after the break or before the break? And what
3 this --
4 JUDGE MAY: The Prosecution, you've just heard, are considering
5 her position. The statement has been served on you so that you can use
6 it, if you wish, in cross-examination, of Mr. Stijovic.
7 Now we will hear from the witness. If the witness would take the
9 WITNESS: PETER DE LA BILLIERE
10 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
11 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If you'd like to take a seat.
13 Examined by Mr. Nice:
14 Q. It is, I think, Sir Peter de la Billiere, and, Sir Peter, you are
15 a retired general of the British army, retiring at the top-rank level in
16 that army?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. I'm going to turn to items of your curriculum vitae in a minute,
19 but in order to make them --
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. In order to make the items of your curriculum vitae of particular
23 relevance, it may help if we look first at the task to which you have
24 responded by the report you have prepared. General, were you asked to
25 look at and consider various documents concerning the Yugoslav army?
1 A. I was. A wide range of documents concerning the background,
2 doctrine, and structure of the Yugoslav army were made available to me.
3 Q. You looked at them in no way as an expert on that particular army;
4 would that be correct?
5 A. That is correct. I had not had personal experience with the
6 Yugoslav army, nor have I ever visited the country.
7 Q. And so your expertise, as a soldier, is about armies in general,
8 and then looking at what the documents show, and only what the documents
9 show, of this army in particular; correct?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. So in that way, you bring -- it's for the Judges to decide in due
12 course to what extent, but you bring detached rather than involved
13 knowledge to bear?
14 A. That is correct. I bring knowledge of having served for 41 years,
15 much of it overseas, frequently with foreign armies, right through the
17 Q. And before we turn to your curriculum vitae, one last question:
18 Although, of course, all armies are unique unto themselves, do they in
19 fact, in your experience, have common characteristics, common behaviour
20 patterns, and so on, that enable an experienced soldier such as yourself
21 to look at the construction of another army and to form opinions about how
22 things will have happened?
23 A. There is bound to be great similarity of doctrine and command in
24 any well-structured, well-managed, well-trained army, whether it be my own
25 army or foreign armies.
1 Q. And then finally, to establish the ground rules under which you
2 operated for this project: So far as facts are concerned, did you work on
3 the basis that the facts -- that's the underlying facts, not the facts
4 relating particularly to the accused, but the underlying facts that were,
5 as alleged in the indictment, recognising, of course, that it's a matter
6 for later whether those facts are established and made out?
7 A. That is absolutely correct.
8 Q. So if we turn to the end of your report - and I trust that you
9 have a copy of your report with you - and the biographical information
10 begins at -- or is annex A and comes after page 29, you've set out your
11 whole career there, but perhaps the most material parts for this -- for
12 the purposes of this report includes, as you've already said, that you
13 served overseas for a large part of your career; correct?
14 A. That is correct; east --
15 Q. In Korea, in Egypt and elsewhere.
16 A. Correct, and widely in the Middle East and the Far East.
17 Q. You spent some, is it, 20 in the special air services at, I think,
18 all or most commissioned-rank positions?
19 A. I served in the special air service on and off, because one is
20 never a permanent member of that organisation, one is always attached from
21 elsewhere. On and off I served for a total of 20 years, from the rank of
22 lieutenant to the most senior rank within the organisation, which was
24 Q. Did that work, did those postings, bring you into contact with
25 insurgent battles of one kind or another?
1 A. Ostensibly, throughout the Middle East and the Far East, and of
2 course, on counter-insurgency matters within the United Kingdom.
3 Q. To that extent, it may be of particular relevance when looking at
4 the response of the Yugoslav army to what may be described, depending on
5 terminological choice, as terrorism, insurgency, freedom fighting,
6 whatever it may be?
7 A. That would be so.
8 Q. And in the course of those postings, did you have contact with and
9 get to have experience with a range of foreign armies?
10 A. I did. I did two full secondments to foreign armies, serving
11 under the command of those foreign armies as opposed to under the direct
12 command of the British army.
13 Q. And then over the page: Did you at a later date, perhaps within
14 the overall period of your working with the SAS, become involved and
15 responsible for establishing the British military counter-terrorist force,
16 working in conjunction with British police against mainland terrorist
17 threats in the United Kingdom?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Was this an example of several or many where you had to cooperate
20 with and deal with police forces?
21 A. I have worked extensively on police military operations, both in
22 my own army and in my own country, and particularly overseas, on
23 operations in the Far East and to some extent also in the Middle East.
24 Q. Before moving on from that general type of operation, it's
25 important to bear in mind, it may be, that some countries have third
1 forces, I think you might describe it, that's a militarised police force,
2 and some, like the United Kingdom, do not. Have you ever yourself had to
3 work with a police force that contains this third force?
4 A. I have, in Malaysia, and of course I have some experience of it
5 where I've worked in cooperation with overseas armies and where we have
6 had to work with the police, but that has been somewhat limited experience
7 in that particular instance. In Malaysia, though, I had a wide experience
8 of working with the police on combat operation.
9 Q. Shortly after the conclusion of the Falklands war, you served in
10 the Falklands as the military commissioner and military commander, I
12 A. I had overall command exercised from the United Kingdom of the SAS
13 operations in the Falklands, and then subsequently I was appointed, after
14 I had attended the Royal College of Defence studies, the most senior
15 Defence college in the United Kingdom, I was appointed the military
16 commissioner and commander of British forces in the Falkland Islands,
17 where I served for 14 months.
18 Q. Now, there, but I think also elsewhere, did you have close
19 experience of working not just with soldiers but also with local
21 A. I was a member of the legislative council, which was the governing
22 body of the Falkland Islands, and as such, had responsibilities to the
23 civil commissioner, who was more or less of equal rank to myself, and for
24 the management of the country, or the islands, and the restructuring of
25 the islands. I was also commander of the British forces there, and that
1 included all three services: Navy, army, and air force.
2 Q. The interaction of military and political commands is something
3 you deal with in your report, but is it something that occurs at various
4 levels of seniority in armies and something with which you have direct
5 experience yourself?
6 A. I'm sorry. Could you repeat that?
7 Q. Yes. Interaction of military and political authorities is
8 something that I think you will say happens at various levels of command
9 in the army, various senior levels of command; and is that something with
10 which you, one way and another, have direct experience?
11 A. I have had extensive experience in that field, most of it at more
12 senior rank level, and indeed, diplomacy in a senior commander in an army
13 is a major aspect of his work.
14 Q. Penultimately, dealing with things broadly chronologically, did
15 you -- were you appointed to command the British forces in the Gulf War?
16 A. I was.
17 Q. Thus being in command of how many men and women?
18 A. Up to a total of about 44, 45.000, from all three services in the
19 merchant fleet, and indeed any British resources that were in theatre. Of
20 course, I had a senior commander within the United Kingdom to whom I
21 reported and I also dealt directly with British ministers.
22 Q. And in that operation, did you have contact not only with the
23 American but with other armies as well?
24 A. Widely, particularly the Americans, obviously, who provided the
25 commander-in-chief in the field, but also with a wide range of Arab armies
1 and other European armies, notably the French.
2 Q. So if we deal with matters broadly chronologically, there's one I
3 think that may be out of broad chronological sequence, and that is the
4 well-known Iranian siege in London. Your role in that?
5 A. I was the brigadier commanding the special air service at the
6 time, and my role there was to have a permanent seat in the government
7 briefing room, cabinet office briefing room, where I was able to advise on
8 the role and possible opportunities for military forces, SAS forces in
9 this case, should they have been required by the police. It was a police
10 operation with the police in overall command.
11 Q. So this was an operation with police, military, and of course,
12 political involvement?
13 A. Very much so.
14 Q. Well, now, with all that experience and your knowledge of -- and
15 experience of foreign armies, you looked at the documentation relating to
16 this army, and if we can indeed detach ourselves from the particular
17 terminology of the report, which is summarised both in an overview and in
18 concluding paragraphs, before we just look at a couple of exhibits and a
19 couple of passages in the report itself, which otherwise becomes admitted
20 as evidence: How are you able to -- what conclusions did you make about
21 this army's performance in the Kosovo period on the basis of the various
22 assumptions we set out at the beginning of your evidence?
23 A. Well, you must understand this is all done from briefing and from
24 notes, not from personal experience on the ground. Therefore, I have
25 looked at the structure of the Yugoslav army, as I understand it was at
1 the time, and the doctrine, that is to say, the way in which the army
2 practiced and effectively ran its military operations. And I was greatly
3 impressed with the detail into which they went. I was greatly impressed
4 with the attention to the care and understanding of humanitarian issues
5 that was included in them. I looked at the laws for the Yugoslav army and
6 found them to be highly commendable, and indeed, to be honest, when I
7 finished reading all of this, I thought that it would be very appropriate
8 if it was provided in the British army, as indeed it is very similarly.
9 So it's a thoroughly well-structured format for an army of high quality
11 I then looked at the charges raised in the indictment, which is
12 all I have to go on in terms of what actually happened on the ground and
13 how these rules were applied, and I have to say that I found them totally
14 out of line and not in any way reflecting the very commendable structure
15 and doctrine of the Yugoslav army. They were widespread on the ground,
16 frequently with several incidents, major incidents, taking place at one
17 time, and in my opinion, anybody who was involved in those operations was
18 not following the law of the Yugoslav army, nor the doctrine of the
19 Yugoslav army as it has been presented to me. And I believe that the
20 activities were so widespread, involving such large numbers of the
21 civilian community, that the force levels necessary in the field to
22 implement what went on were such that they must have been controlled and
23 commanded under the military system.
24 Also, if I bear in mind the media presentation, together with the
25 formal normal and expected reporting system that operated within the
1 Yugoslav army, in no way could these have been conducted without the
2 knowledge, and presumably support and maybe even direction, of the most
3 senior ranks in that army and thereby, by implication, the political
4 overall command of that army.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, what I was proposing to do was to touch on
7 a just few points of the report and to look in detail at one or two of the
8 exhibits, and that will be all.
9 Q. The little bundle that you have with tab numbers, somewhat
10 inconveniently doesn't have tab numbers matching footnote exhibit
11 references. I'm sorry about that, but in the best-organised offices,
12 sometimes things don't go quite perfectly.
13 General, if you would be good enough, please, to take your report,
14 and you've already touched on this once, but given that the learned Judges
15 may have no or no immediate military experience of their own to go on, and
16 there are others who have none of any kind, can you just help us with what
17 is clearly a term of art, a doctrine, an army's doctrine. It features
18 first on page 1, three lines up from the bottom. Is a doctrine something
19 that, when spoken of by people such as yourself exist in a single document
20 or is it something that is to be identified as coming from the overall
21 documentation regulating an army?
22 A. Any properly managed army develops a doctrine which is, in effect,
23 in civilian parlance, I suppose, is the theory, the overall concept in
24 which that army will conduct its operations and the framework within which
25 the army can be expected to develop its operational planning and orders,
1 and it is therefore an important set of guidelines which one would expect
2 to be from time to time updated as the operational threat changed or
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. What I've tried to do is to, in my first seven pages, is to
6 illustrate examples of the doctrine as portrayed by the Yugoslav army from
7 the documents that were put in front of me.
8 Q. Thank you. And in that regard, because the pages substantially
9 speak for themselves, I'm going to ask you, please, to look only at one
10 exhibit in detail, I think, and that is the footnote 4 on page 3, which is
11 tab 2 in the little bundle, and is the battle order, or the attack order -
12 I beg your pardon - that you refer to and suggest is a good example of the
13 applied VJ doctrine.
14 MR. NICE: The Chamber has that document, which is, I have to say,
15 one of the very limited number of orders available to the OTP. Perhaps I
16 can just pause there.
17 Q. Do you have any observation to make, General, about the quantity
18 of documentary material available for inspection?
19 A. Well, to be honest, I was extremely surprised at the lack of it,
20 particularly bearing in mind that we're talking of a properly structured,
21 properly trained and educated army.
22 Q. What would you expect by way of retained, and thus available,
23 orders in such an army?
24 A. Sorry. Say that again, please.
25 Q. What would you expect, in terms of quantity, by way of retained
1 orders that should be available to a body like this Prosecution?
2 A. A wide range of conventional papers, such as the daily sitrep
3 reports, the operational orders issued, right from the top, right the way
4 down through the chain of command, to certainly brigade and possibly
5 battalion level. The war diary is -- a war diary is a diary that is kept
6 by the operational staff at various levels of command, itemising what has
7 taken place during any one day, and indeed in specific times, and there is
8 normally a specific staff officer who would be allocated to keeping that
9 sort of document. And really, a complete lack of documentation at all,
10 implying that the operations must, to a very large extent,
11 have -- assuming these documents don't exist at all, they must have been
12 conducted, to a very large extent, on verbal orders, with no proper
13 records being kept.
14 Q. Alternatively, that such records haven't been found?
15 A. Absolutely.
16 Q. Now, if we look at this document dated the 13th of February, 1999,
17 I think one of the first things that is obvious to you, with your
18 experience, is that there are some things missing from it.
19 A. Well, the first thing is, of course, it -- on page 1, Your Honour,
20 top left-hand corner, it says "strictly confidential number." There's no
21 number there, and I would have -- certainly a classified military document
22 would normally have a number that would enable it to be kept very closely
23 under control so it didn't get lost and perhaps abused, and if it did, one
24 would identify which document had been lost.
25 The other notable omission is right at the end, Your Honour,
1 where, of course, it would appear that it's unsigned, and the conclusion I
2 draw from that is that maybe it was a draft or maybe it has been
3 introduced for some other reason. It's not for me to speculate.
4 Q. But taking it, then, at its face value, having made those -- it
5 also doesn't have a distribution list, does it, I think?
6 A. No distribution. Correct.
7 Q. Taking it at its face value, with its headings "Enemy," then -
8 this is on page 1 of the document - "Neighbours," "I have decided,"
9 "Tasks," and so on, with one or two exceptions, how does this compare to
10 the sort of order you would find in either the British army or any other
11 similarly well-organised, well-structured, well-communicating army?
12 A. It follows a recognisable pattern. The actual headings used vary
13 from what I'm used to in my own army, obviously, and that's not
14 surprising, but actually, their meaning is identical. And if I can give
15 you an example. Well, if we just take the first page, the enemy is the
16 enemy. That stays the same with us too. "Neighbours," we would call them
17 friendly forces. And then "I have decided," which the Yugoslav army
18 seemed to put a great deal of effort and concentration into getting the
19 decision process working, and rightly so too, we would call it the aim,
20 or the mission. I won't go on with the rest of the document, but you can
21 see the pattern is that it's a formal layout that is instantly
22 recognisable by anybody who has had military experience.
23 Q. This particular order -- General, I may be making a mistake that I
24 really shouldn't be making, namely, coming in too soon after your answer
25 with my question. Even though we're in the same language, we should leave
1 a gap because of the translation.
2 On page 2, paragraph 5, line 4, I see a reference to the Kosovska
3 Mitrovica PJP company, which is a special group. And then over on page
4 3, right at the top, we can see: "In implementing the tasks, ensure full
5 cooperation with MUP organs in the general zone of combat operations."
6 We see a reference at the foot of 6.2 to combat operations
7 conducting reconnaissance by engaging reconnaissance forces.
8 At the last paragraph before 6.3, we see a further reference to
9 the MUP, in this quotation:
10 "During the attack, focus security on protecting tanks and other
11 combat ordnance from close-range DTS actions, particularly in wooded or
12 intersected terrain, and also engage MUP forces in this."
13 So what does this order tell you about the involvement of other
14 forces, which we can also see reflected on page 5, at 7.5, with the
15 fourth- line reference to prisoners of war to be handed over after
16 interrogation to the MUP? What does this tell you about the integration
17 of forces?
18 A. It is quite clearly that in these operations the police and the
19 military were occupying very much the same geographical territory, and,
20 very sensibly, they have coordinated their operations to work in harmony
21 and to use each other's resources to best effect for the operations that
22 they had in hand. And this operation order clearly tells the military
23 members of the forces in the region how they should collaborate with the
24 police. And if I may say so, they are sensible instructions, instructions
25 that you would expect to see when you had a police field force and a
1 military field force operating together in a combat area.
2 Q. May I ask one more question on this document before, if the
3 Chamber so decides, the time has come for a break? On page 4, in the
4 second and third unnumbered subparagraphs, summarised: 1) Withdraw
5 civilians, for reasons of their safety and to avoid their being used as
6 shields; and the second subparagraph -- and I should really have made
7 arrangements to lay this on the overhead projector. I'm sorry about that.
8 I didn't do that. Too late, I think. Second subparagraph - thank
9 you - to forbid looting of property. Those would be things you would
10 approve, I suspect, as appropriate to find in the orders of a properly
11 performing army.
12 A. If the army was operating in a counter-terrorist situation, from
13 their perspective, I would expect them to have clear directions as to how
14 they were to handle the civilian population, and one of the problems they
15 would have would indeed be the need to separate the terrorists, who may be
16 shielding behind the civilian community, from that civilian community,
17 and the army would have a responsibility for that. I cannot say that they
18 would always get it right if the terrorists are clever enough to conduct
19 themselves in such a way that they incorporate the civilian population.
20 But generally speaking, what they have outlined there is a sensible,
21 humanitarian, military understanding of the difference between the
22 civilian community and the terrorist community who may come from that very
23 civilian community, and that is perhaps an example of the military
24 doctrine which we were talking about earlier on.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE MAY: That's clearly a convenient time for a break.
2 Sir Peter, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes. I must give
3 you the warning which I give to all witnesses: Please not to speak to
4 anybody about your evidence until it's over, and that does include the
5 Prosecution team.
6 We'll adjourn now for 20 minutes.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
10 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the document we were considering and that
11 I omitted to put on the overhead projector has already been produced by
12 General Drewienkiewicz as tab 47 in Exhibit 94. I don't know that it
13 needs to be reproduced by this witness.
14 Before I move on to ask other questions, the Chamber will have
15 observed that several of his footnotes relate to the VJ manual of 1997 on
16 command and control, and in the tabs we have - and I'm not going to take
17 us to all of them, they're there for convenience - these are -- this
18 manual is reproduced in part, very limited part, in tabs 1, 3, 4, 5, 6,
19 and 7. Sorry: 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7. And it's suggested that it might be
20 prudent now to give that manual, which I know is already before the
21 Chamber, an exhibit number. The document itself is, of course, a full
22 binder, which I hold up. And if that's a convenient way of dealing with
23 it, because the general has already relied on it in his conclusions and in
24 his report, may it be exhibited?
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It can have a new number.
1 MR. NICE: I think it's been made available to everyone already,
2 and therefore we don't need to distribute multiple copies.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
4 Exhibit 309.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. General, in looking at that particular exhibit, and the other
7 materials you set out in page 1 to 7, your conclusion, as already advanced
8 on more than one occasion, is that in writing, or on paper, a
9 well-organised army of the type you would easily enough recognise?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. The question of how its appearance on paper contrasts with or fits
12 with the facts that you have taken from the indictment is a matter you've
13 really already commented on, isn't it?
14 A. Yes, I have, and it doesn't dovetail.
15 Q. Just to look at the structure of your report, we go, then, from
16 page 7, headed "Command in Practice," and we can deal with the next few
17 pages again, I think quite briefly. But on page 7 itself, you make
18 reference, at the foot of the page, in the paragraph beginning with there,
19 that in an internal security situation such as existed in the FRY - and
20 you accept that whether they're insurgents, terrorists or whatever else,
21 they present an internal security situation for these purposes - your
22 experience is that the police would expect to be represented at a high
23 level of operational command and to play an influential role?
24 A. Your Honour, you could not have two separate forces operating in
25 the field without them being properly coordinated and working to a joint
1 plan, certainly not in a well-structured and well-managed army such as the
2 Yugoslav army purported to be, and because, apart from everything else, it
3 would lead to fratricide it would lead to disharmony and lack of
4 coordination of operations, and indeed, you wouldn't be making sensible
5 use of the forces that were available to you unless you combined their
6 operations under an overall mission.
7 Q. On the same topic, one other point, and it's on the following
8 page, page 8, and it's the last three lines, or three and a bit lines, of
9 that paragraph.
10 MR. NICE: Before I ask you to deal with it, Your Honour, I think
11 that expert reports are produced, are they not, as exhibits in the case?
12 And it may be, again, as a courtesy to those following, to lay the
13 relevant extracts on the overhead projector, if that accords with the
14 Chamber's accepted practice. Before it's done, is -- yes.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 MR. NICE: Yes. Thank you. Produce the report and give it an
17 exhibit number, that would be a sensible thing to do. If the usher would
18 be good enough to, with the overhead projector in operation --
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this will be marked Prosecutor's
20 Exhibit 310.
21 MR. NICE: If the usher could stand by the overhead projector,
22 with a copy of the report, which is coming your way, and just ensure that
23 the relevant pages are capable of being viewed. We're now on, if you look
24 at the bottom, page 8 of 29, the top paragraph of that. Sorry not to have
25 organised this before. Entirely my oversight. Page 8 of 29. Thank you
1 very much. Just lay that, the top part of that on the overhead projector.
2 Thank you.
3 Q. You make this point in your report, General: That it's worth
4 mentioning that if the police were placed under military command, you put
5 it in this way: They would expect to have a right of appeal direct to the
6 civil authorities and to the police leadership if they considered they
7 were misemployed or given illegal orders. And the question I would ask
8 you: How can you be so sure of that? How can you express that view with
10 A. When a force is put under some form of control of another force,
11 whether it be an army under the command or control of a foreign army or
12 whether it be a force like the police force or under command of -- working
13 with the army, you -- its own chain of command would still remain extant.
14 And if we take this particular instance, if you were a policeman working
15 in cooperation with the army, then you would not abdicate and close down
16 your right to use your own police chain of command and have access to it
17 should you feel the need, for whatever reason. And it may also, of
18 course, be for logistic reasons as well as for concerns about the way the
19 operations were being conducted.
20 Q. If we turn over to page 9, at the foot of that page, you've moved
21 on to deal with joint and combined arms operations. Just in a sentence,
22 please, first of all, distinguish between joint and command -- joint and
23 combined, please.
24 A. Well, this is my definition, and obviously based on my personal
25 experience. A joint operation would be similar, for example, to that
1 which took place in the Gulf, where you had a variety of armies and
2 organisations working together under a joint command. A combined
3 operation would be more an organisation combining the resources of its own
4 structure. For example, in the case of the military, perhaps the
5 artillery, the engineers, the infantry, and you would combine -- that
6 would be a combined operation. But these are terminology and I'm sure
7 they may vary from different interpretations in foreign armies.
8 Q. Very well. Well, then, let's turn over to the next page and look
9 at one more exhibit in a little detail. Page 10 has, towards the foot, a
10 quotation set out, and it's footnote 8, but it's -- in the Chamber's and
11 accused's and amici's bundle, it is tab 6 in full, and it's a public
12 announcement of the Yugoslav army's chief of staff, then General Pavkovic.
13 And the extract - thank you very much - the extract you quote, which we
14 can see on the overhead projector, reads as follows, and it's at the foot
15 of the page in tab 6. It reads:
16 "It is true that the national Defence Law regulated that the
17 police units in the responsibility zones were bound to subordinate to the
18 commands of the Yugoslav army. However, this never came into existence,
19 and one should not wave with police force records on their submission
20 which had not been duly applied. The police had their own headquarters,
21 headed by their own officers, and the cooperation with the army was
22 coordinated through political actors in joint command, formed for the
23 purpose. Therefore, the information to what the police force units were
24 doing can best be provided by police commanders and the members of the
25 joint command in charge of them."
1 Now, your comment on that, please. I mean, you've set it out in
2 your report, but again if you can put this in your own words.
3 A. Your Honour, if I may, I'd like to just expand a bit on this
4 relationship between the police and the military, because I think in this
5 particular situation and similar ones, it is the greatest importance.
6 First of all, you cannot have, as I've already stated, the police,
7 or any other organisation, running one operation and the military running
8 another. There has got to be coordination if there's not going to be
9 chaos and fratricide.
10 The next question is where does that coordination come in? It
11 must come in at all levels. For example, if you have a company operation
12 - and I hope I may assume that people understand the level of command I'm
13 talking about - then if that is going to have police support, as indeed
14 that operation that we looked at earlier implied, there must be an
15 understanding and communication between the police and the army at that
16 level. Now, that communication may be filled by the provision of a
17 liaison officer in the army headquarters, or vice versa, it may be filled
18 or assisted by the provision of radio communications between the two,
19 because it is unlikely that the police radio and the military radio are
20 compatible, but it would have to be there, otherwise there would be no
21 cooperation in the operations. And therefore, the follow-up from that is
22 that both the police and the army must know what each other are doing,
23 because they're in mutual support. Now, you can extend that right the way
24 up the chain of command, because for the police to be placed under any
25 form of control by the army, or ordered to take -- to conduct an operation
1 in concert with the army, the orders for that to the police must come down
2 the police network, and that implies that at the top of that network, such
3 cooperation and coordination has been agreed. So although we may be, in
4 one instance, talking about a company operation, a relatively small
5 operation, the policy behind that cooperation would have come down from
6 the most senior levels in the chain of command.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: General, when you say that the police must know
8 what the army is doing, that would be in an ideal situation, wouldn't it?
9 THE WITNESS: It would be necessary, Your Honour, if you were to
10 avoid a conflict of activity which could lead to fratricide between the
11 two -- that means to say the army shooting the police accidently because
12 they didn't know what the police were doing, or vice versa. So I would
13 say it is an essential situation if the two were going to cooperate
14 together on operations.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, the quotation from General Pavkovic,
16 can you just remind: What context was that given?
17 MR. NICE: This is a public announcement that he made. I'm afraid
18 I was looking myself just now for the date, but I think it's sometime
19 after June 13th, 2001, because it's responsive by him to a press
20 conference statement by the Serbian police minister at the time, Dusan
21 Mihajlovic. And it deals with a number of matters, but it deals here in
22 the paragraph with his position as having been in charge of the 3rd army.
23 He's saying he's not ashamed of a single decision, records of witnesses,
24 everyone knows what he was doing during the aggression, and those who were
25 calling him to account were the ones whose whereabouts were unknown at the
1 time when it was most difficult and dangerous. And then he goes on,
2 repeating that the national defence law regulated the police units in
3 responsibility zones, but going on to make the point that he does in the
4 extract we've -- or rather, the witness has quoted. So that it's a
5 response by the then general to Dusan Mihajlovic's press conference
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. And you make the point, I think, General, that it's difficult to
10 understand, and in your judgement is implausible, that there should be any
11 implication that the one did not know what the other was doing through the
12 joint command.
13 A. If they were running operations, military operations and one in
14 support of the other, whether it was military support in the form of
15 artillery in support of the police, or whether it was police support as
16 implied in that earlier exhibit I produced, an operation order helping the
17 army guarding its tanks or looking after prisoners, there must be
18 cooperation and there must be coordination at all levels, yes. And
19 indeed, I think it is implied in the area because, if I remember
20 correctly, Kosovo was commanded by a committee that incorporated the
21 police as well as the military and civilians.
22 MR. NICE: Your Honour, may the -- thank you. May the public
23 announcement of Lieutenant General Pavkovic be produced as an exhibit? I
24 think it's in a binder. I'm not sure that it is in the binder. May it
25 just be produced?
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, how do you propose to produce these
2 exhibits? Do you want this one done separately?
3 MR. NICE: I think this one done separately. That's the only one
4 I'm going to produce, apart from the manual we've already produced,
5 through this witness. Everything else comes in through Mr. Coo or is
6 already in under others such as General Drewienkiewicz.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
8 Exhibit 311.
9 MR. NICE: I'm quite happy, if it's convenient to the Chamber, of
10 course, to produce the tabbed file as a separate exhibit. That will, of
11 course, be duplicative of other materials. I'm in the Chamber's hands.
12 JUDGE MAY: I think that will simply lead to confusion.
13 MR. NICE: Very well.
14 Q. General, if we then look -- and I needn't ask for this to go on
15 the ELMO, because we can go over it very quickly. Starting at page 11,
16 you deal with various aspects of coordination, some of which you've
17 touched on and others of which I'm happy to leave with the Chamber in
18 written form. "Diplomatic" you've touched on, "Flanking Units" you've
19 touched on, "Air" may be read by those wishing to, and "Special
20 Operations" you deal with on page 13, "Fire Support" follows and then
21 "Police" on page 14. And if we go over to page 15 of the report, please,
22 Usher, and lay that on the overhead projector. A couple of amplifications
23 on that.
24 At the top of the page -- well, the first new paragraph, beginning
25 "In all these various operational relationships..." you express a view in
1 relation to a well-organised army, such as this appears to be, that: "it
2 is important to remember that if military and police units are working in
3 harmony, whatever the command relationship, there will normally be an
4 exchange of --" you then say -- "twice daily situation reports," sitreps.
5 Just pausing there, you volunteered "twice." Can you explain that or
6 comment on it.
7 A. Yes. Nobody can command a complex operation from a more senior
8 perspective, shall we say, of brigadier level unless he knows what is
9 going on, and so he's got to have a regular flow of information in the
10 form of reports and the formal side, the routine side, we call sitreps,
11 situation reports. But they will come through more frequently, depending
12 upon the intensity of the operations. And if he doesn't get those, then
13 he's not in command. And furthermore, if he's going to be in command, he
14 must know and understand what the ground is like that his forces are
15 operating under, so he would be expected to supplement these with visits
16 into the field. Depending upon his style, I would suggest any sensible
17 commander up to brigadier level would be visiting units in the field, and
18 possibly at a higher-rank level, visiting units in the field at least once
19 a day. The situation reports really are the life blood of command, and
20 without them, the system would perish.
21 Q. That obviously, from what you say, it applies to the British army.
22 Is there any reason to believe it's any different in any other
23 well-organised army?
24 A. You cannot run military operations, or indeed business operations,
25 for that matter, without having the information on which senior commanders
1 will have to make decisions and decide such things as to whether
2 reinforcements are to be brought in, redeployments are to be made, and the
3 multitude of day-to-day issues that have to be decided on up the chain of
4 command in any military operation. It is -- I can only repeat that it is
5 essential that information is passed to them to enable these decisions to
6 be taken on the facts and not on what I call armchair generalship.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: And if the information, General, was not passed
8 in that way, what conclusion are you drawing from that?
9 THE WITNESS: If no information was passed up the chain of command
10 and the people in the command chain were not commanding the troops under
11 their -- or the police under their control, they had abrogated their
12 responsibility, or those units that were carrying out operations on their
13 own and independently were operating illegally, really, outside the
14 instructions they had been given.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. Thank you.
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. You then express the view that we can see on the screen: You
18 don't believe such vast movements of people and killings as alleged in the
19 indictment could take place without the local VJ army commander being
20 fully aware, and in reaching that conclusion, you've taken into account
21 your understanding on occasions that the VJ provided direct fire and other
22 support for police actions?
23 A. Absolutely.
24 Q. Thank you. There's one thing I want to ask you about, Rules of
25 Engagement, which is the following section, but it's really on the
1 following page. By and large, I don't wish to amplify what's in your
2 report, but you describe how, at subparagraph B on page 16, as an example
3 of Rules of Engagement at the lowest -- not the lowest level, but the most
4 junior level, individual soldiers may be told they can only open fire in
5 self-defence, and then after they've been challenged, threatening force
6 three times. This is just an example. But you then say, "Each soldier
7 might be given detailed instructions to this effect in written form."
8 Is that practice, written instructions to the individual soldiers,
9 widespread in well-organised armies or not, or can't you say?
10 A. I don't think I can say that. I put that in as an example of the
11 sort of attention to detail that would be necessary if soldiers on the
12 ground are going to be fully comprehensive of the level of force that the
13 civilian authorities and the military authorities are delegating to them.
14 There are other ways of doing it, I'm sure. That is the most effective
15 way, in my experience, because the man's got it written in front of him
16 and he can look at it from time to time. But if you didn't do that, if
17 you issue it as orders, then those orders must be issued, otherwise a
18 soldier doesn't know when he can open fire.
19 Perhaps I could add that in a full-scale war, such as we'll say
20 the Gulf war or even Falkland Islands operations, in my experience, you
21 reach a point where the politicians delegate effectively a free-fire
22 authority to the military commander and that enables him to use all the
23 forces at his disposal to the fullest effect. But in insurgency
24 operations, such as I suspect is implied in this case, it is very much
25 more complex and the politicians will want to keep a very tight control
1 over how the army, and indeed the police, behave so that they do not
2 disrupt whatever the political policy may be for that region. And that is
3 when you have got to have the clearest of clear instructions, all the way
4 down the chain of command, as to what level of force you can use and when
5 and how you can use it.
6 Q. The section on Discipline starts at page 17. Some of these you
7 have covered already and the rest I'm going to leave for the report
8 itself. But you may be able to help us with a couple of points. On page
9 22 - we can put that on the overhead projector, please - you already
10 having dealt with the need for discipline and in particular the need for
11 swift and peremptory disciplinary decisions in battle or war, but on page
12 22, in the first complete paragraph - absolutely right - beginning, "In
13 any war ..." Thank you, Usher. You speak of the likelihood of individual
14 incidents involving excessive or criminal violence and the mishandling of
15 the situation at the junior levels and possibly even up to that of company
16 command. You say such incidents would normally be identified,
17 disciplinary action taken, although in the heat of battle this can take
18 time and evidence prove not to be readily forthcoming.
19 You then make this observation: "The excesses as described in the
20 indictment would, however, require a massive logistic and manpower
21 organisation in the first place, to initiate them by driving people
22 unwillingly from their homes, and secondly, to carry them out with the
23 efficiency and expedition that was their clear hallmark."
24 Anything you want to add to that, and just to make sure we
25 understand what the hallmark is you're referring to?
1 A. The hallmark I'm referring to comes back really to this control of
2 the forces and passage of information and the force levels you're allowed
3 to use. All these things come together. Now, when I look at the
4 indictment and see the numbers of civilians that were moved -- and I have
5 to assume, Your Honour, that this is what happened. Whether it did or
6 whether it's been proven or not, I have no idea, but this is what I'm
7 basing my comments on. When I see the extent of what I can only describe
8 as a concerted assault on a civilian community and the numbers involved,
9 and the numbers of people that it is suggested have been killed en bloc as
10 opposed to in military operations where, by definition, people not be
11 killed in great numbers in one place because they're looking after
12 themselves and military men are protecting their lives, then one can only
13 say that it must have been an operation that was authorised and directed.
14 This was no rogue operation by a break-away company or even a break-away
15 brigade. This was a concerted policy, political policy, being interpreted
16 and acted upon by the military and the police, I assume, in this area.
17 Q. Perhaps at page 24, one point for emphasis, in relation to
18 discipline amongst other topics, and it's at the first fresh paragraph on
19 page 24. You postulate here for such armies as we are concerned with
20 that: "In general terms, in a military hierarchy, units and formations
21 will be aware in some detail of the actions required of their troops at
22 least two steps down the hierarchy." And you then give us an example that
23 a commander of a brigade would expect to have an understanding of the
24 activities of the company.
25 Is that a matter that has been reflected in your experience of
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 9582 to 9594.
1 armies around the world?
2 A. Yes. Obviously it's pursued with mixed diligence by different
3 commanders, but it's a very indicative rule of thumb that, to give you a
4 feel for how far down a chain of command a senior commander should be
5 thinking and taking detailed responsibility for without actually
6 interfering in the minutiae of operations which, if the orders are clear
7 and the directions are clear, will be being conducted by the more junior
8 people in the chain of command, according to their task in support of the
9 overall strategy.
10 Q. Thank you. Page 25 brings us to your consideration of the
11 possibility of rogue units, and within that you break down misjudgement
12 into three possibly useful categories for consideration. I beg your
13 pardon. You break down rogue units by reference to three categories, the
14 first of which is misjudgement, the second of which is overreaction, and
15 the third of which is deliberate divergence.
16 And then on page 26, the foot of page 26, having dealt above, and
17 we needn't look at it, with the need for superiors to institute
18 disciplinary proceedings, your conclusion in relation to the possibility
19 of mere overreaction is to be found at the foot of the page:
20 "I cannot support any claim which states that the events in
21 Kosovo, as described in the indictment and other documents I have
22 reviewed, were the products of misjudgements by junior commanders. The
23 wide scale and the media coverage of the excesses undermine any such claim
24 as does the failure to take adequate disciplinary measures."
25 And then you raise as a possibility there must have been
1 collusion, at best, "at senior command level and, at worst, the senior
2 military command knew that subordinate commanders were operating under
3 directions to follow such a policy and turned a blind eye."
4 Is that your opinion?
5 A. Without any ambiguity at all.
6 Q. Anything you need to add to that or does it stand --
7 A. I think it -- really, the points I've already made on
8 responsibility for operation, command and control and the passage of
9 information and the coordination of the forces involved illustrates how
10 impossible it would be for units -- for such a large area and such an
11 enormous operation as moving these numbers of people and killing these
12 numbers of people as is purported to have taken place in the indictment
13 could happen unless it was properly directed and coordinated. I mean, to
14 move people, even if you don't look after them and don't do anything for
15 them, requires transport and logistics and passage through country without
16 them being interfered with and issues like that, which in themselves
17 require coordination by the military or by whoever is carrying out those
18 operations. So these operations were, without doubt, directed and
19 coordinated and not the odd commander going berserk.
20 Q. Your third category under this heading, is deliberate divergence,
21 which we see on page 27, and you see with the possibility of deliberate
22 divergence and indeed probably some historically well-known examples one
23 could refer to if necessary. You make the point, on page 27, that this
24 could only happen for a short period of time in a well-regulated army.
25 And then in the middle of the page, you make this point about the law on
1 the army of Yugoslavia - it's conveniently on the screen - saying it is "a
2 commendable and tightly-worded document to which any nation could be
3 proud." You stick to that view, do you?
4 A. Without any ambiguity, it is a fine document.
5 Q. The conclusion of that, beside the facts as you take them to be
6 from the indictment, is, of course, the conclusion that follows four lines
7 afterwards, namely, that the thrust of the operations in Kosovo must have
8 conformed to the wishes of the military chain of command.
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And we can, I think, move straight away to your conclusions on
11 page 29, where, at the top of the page, you're dealing with the police,
12 and you've already, I think, covered this last paragraph in part, where
13 you were dealing with the free fire possibility for non-insurgency
14 conflicts. And here a different topic and differently expressed, you say
15 that from what you've read, it's not possible to identify -- sorry -- that
16 you don't think that the possibility existed, based on the description
17 you've read, whereby it was not possible to identify or report excesses
18 because of the high intensity of operations. They weren't engaged, Serb
19 forces weren't engaged in a constant, high-intensity battle against a
20 large, conventional army and would have had time properly to assess
21 information being reported by units in the field and other sources such as
22 the media. In your opinion, no recourse to the "fog of war" argument.
23 A. Absolutely, and so the information was there at the time. I
24 should emphasise that even in a major military or full-scale operation, I
25 would be a very unhappy commander if I didn't know what was going on. But
1 what I'm saying is that the detail of what was going on might not be given
2 the attention that it would be in a counter-insurgency operation. In a
3 counter-insurgency operation, the detail of what is going on is of the
4 utmost importance right the way up the chain of command if the government
5 policy is to be implemented at the front-line level, and I would suggest
6 that the detail of the operations in this case, whatever they were, were
7 available up the chain of command, must have been.
8 Q. And thus, your conclusion, which you've already forecast and dealt
9 with, in the word Summary and in what follows?
10 A. I have no cause to adjust that or change it.
11 Q. Just leave that on the overhead projector for those who wish to
12 read it.
13 MR. NICE: And Your Honour, I'm reminded helpfully by Ms. Graham,
14 that there is perhaps one other of the items referred to in the folder
15 exhibited, or extract of exhibits, that should be produced. It is tab 9,
16 I think, which is footnote 11, which Your Honours can find -- I've passed
17 over and I don't intend to return to it. It can be found on page 17 and
18 is in the Rules of Engagement section. The document concerned is a
19 booklet. The description is on -- it's Application of the Rules of
20 International Law of Armed Conflict. It's a book that covers how the
21 Yugoslav army respected the laws of armed conflict, with examples being
22 given. It's a straightforward printed book of this kind, and may we
23 produce photocopies of the book and the book itself as a specific exhibit?
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the usher return.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
1 Exhibit 312.
2 MR. NICE: Those are the only questions I ask the general. Thank
3 you very much. If you'd wait there, please.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic, it's for you to cross-examine.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. May I know in advance
6 whether you're going to restrict my time at all?
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. An hour and a half we'll give you. Up to an
8 hour and a half, of course.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think, Mr. May, that that is too
10 little time, in view of the extensive material contained in the general's
12 JUDGE MAY: Let us see how you get on and what progress you make.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course, I have to say that things
14 are made easier by the fact that the general has provided logical answers,
15 and without doubt, when it comes to the documents in question, he
16 interpreted them as they in fact read. But of course there are other
17 problems which are put in two different ways, and they are two-fold, with
18 respect to the differences that there are in views, the views presented by
19 the other side, the opposite side, and what it is suggesting. But let me
20 go on to the questions.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] General, according to what the Prosecution has
23 asserted - I don't think that it can be contested - that you are a
24 military expert, are you not?
25 A. I don't like the word of "expert." I have had a wider experience
1 than many people in certain military areas, and I've had some just short
2 of 41 years in military service, so I certainly know a certain amount
3 about military affairs.
4 Q. Yes, without a doubt, and I'm not questioning that at all from the
5 aspects of your very rich career but from the aspects of the way in which
6 this fact is being used and utilised by the opposite side. Because I have
7 -- I'm in a relationship with the opposite side here and not with you,
8 General, so they have denoted you as a military expert, and that is not
9 contested in the paper drawn up by Mr. Dirk Ryneveld. That's what it
11 And did you entitle your report "Report of the Prosecution
12 Military Expert," or was that the title provided by the Prosecution? Did
13 you yourself write down that title of your report, or was it the
14 Prosecution? At the top, the header, what we have received, it says,
15 "Report of the Prosecution Military Expert, General Sir Peter de la
16 Billiere." Are those your words, your heading, or was that one provided
17 by the Prosecution?
18 A. It was a phrase that was well used during our dialogue when I put
19 this report together. I did not write those words personally. I did,
20 however, support them and acknowledge them when I signed my name to the
22 Q. Very well. However, in the last paragraph of your c.v., your
23 biography, you say you don't see yourself as an expert in affairs of the
24 Yugoslav army or the conflict in Kosovo. Is that right?
25 A. That is absolutely correct, and my information on those affairs
1 has been presented to the Court, the basis of my information on those
2 affairs, and thus my comment is not based on personal experience of the
3 Yugoslav army; it is based on the documentary evidence that has been put
4 in front of me and before the Court as to how the Yugoslav army operated
5 or was purported to have operated.
6 Q. Yes. Thank you. So I can take that to mean a certain
7 relativisation on your part of the degree of competence when it comes to
8 the Yugoslav army and the Kosovo -- conflict in Kosovo, and not in any
9 regard to your general knowledge of military skills, military profession,
10 or military experience?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. General, do you consider that you are quite clear on the conflicts
13 and the causes of the conflicts - and I should like to underline the word
14 "causes"- the causes of the conflicts in Kosovo during 1998, as well as
15 the nature of the conflict itself during that same period of time?
16 A. My knowledge is from two sources. I had a general knowledge of
17 what went on and a general interest in what went on, obviously, from a
18 professional point of view and from a national point of view. But I would
19 not wish to say that that knowledge is sufficient for me to make a
20 judgement, personal judgement, on how the Yugoslav army behaved.
21 I then have another level of knowledge, which is that provided by
22 the documents put in front of me, and those tell me, assuming that they
23 were extant at the time, in great detail how the Yugoslav army and forces
24 should have behaved and the structure of control and command that is
25 purported to have existed out there.
1 Now, I'm not in a position to say whether it did exist, but all I
2 would say is that's what I was told I could assume and on that assumption
3 that the documents put in front of me were reliable and extant, that is
4 from what I drew my conclusions.
5 Q. And in your considerations, did you dwell on the fact that
6 Yugoslavia, starting out from the 24th of March, 1999, waged a defensive
7 war against the greatest power that has existed in the world, which is to
8 say NATO, the NATO pact, along with a simultaneous struggle against a very
9 strong terrorist and strong terrorism working on part of its territory?
10 Were you aware of that?
11 A. I was fully aware of the general tenor of operations from the
12 perspective of an educated, military educated person reading his
14 Q. General, in your military career, did you have any kind of
15 experience whatsoever with the waging of a defensive war, that is to say,
16 the kind of war in which you have to defend yourself when your country,
17 mother country, is being attacked and which you are forced to wage on the
18 ground and in the air in your own country's territory?
19 A. Of course, going back to my young days, I was fully aware of what
20 took place in the World War II, but I don't imagine that that is what
21 you're really suggesting. I had probably more experience of defence,
22 military defensive operations, than almost anybody left in the army by the
23 time I retired, from the extremely intensive defence operations that I was
24 involved in in Korea.
25 Q. Very well. On page 1 of your report, you say that the conclusions
1 and opinions are based on your experience and your knowledge of your own,
2 that is to say British, and other armed forces. "Opinions and conclusions
3 in the report are based on my experience, including my knowledge of my own
4 and other armed forces." That is what you state on page 1. Now, that is
5 not in question, but my question is the following: When you compiled this
6 report of yours, did you consult the facts? Did you look at the facts,
7 specific facts linked to the problems that you are presenting your views
8 on in the capacity of expert? And if so, could you please enumerate which
9 sources you used and which facts you relied upon.
10 Let me help you there. I have understood that the report was
11 based and compiled on two parts of a military analyst of the Prosecution,
12 Mr. Coo, and on the basis of various scanty documents, a few number of
13 documents that you state, such as the manual of the army of Yugoslavia,
14 leadership and command in 1997, command and control; Kosovo and Metohija,
15 the application of international law in 1998 and 1999; the constitution of
16 Yugoslavia; the law on national defence; and I see one order here by the
17 commander, corps commander, Pristina Corps commander; and a statement put
18 out from a press conference of some kind.
19 Now, do you consider that these few elements that you have
20 collected together would be sufficient for you to present a comprehensive
21 view and have an overview of the comprehensive situation?
22 A. I've made it quite clear where I have sourced my information
23 concerning the structure and methods of operation of the Yugoslav army,
24 and indeed you have helped me by reading many of them out. And I have --
25 Q. That's what I said, that I wish to help you.
1 A. Well, I have read the indictment, and that is the sole document on
2 which I have made a judgement as to what happened on the ground, and it is
3 not for me to comment on the accuracy or otherwise of the indictment. But
4 from your perspective, and in order to assess how I came to the
5 conclusions I came to, that is the information that I have used. I have
6 not, for example, relied on my knowledge of press reports.
7 Q. You just mentioned, General, if I can put it that way, a key
8 element, one which brings into question the manner in which your knowledge
9 was used, not when it comes to yourself personally, but how this was
10 utilised by those people sitting opposite me over there. And I'm going to
11 remind you, if I may -- I'm going to skip over one portion and go back to
12 something else. Let me remind you of just a few quotations from this
13 document of yours.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I'm going to interrupt you again for
15 length. You've been told often enough: You must ask questions which can
16 be followed. Now, you can put to the witness a quotation and then ask him
17 a question about it, but it's really very difficult to follow when you
18 read out whole passages, as you tend to, and then expect witnesses to
19 respond. Also, it's not for the witness, as you know, to listen to
20 comments which you make about the Prosecution. You can make them to us,
21 provided they're proper ones. Now, let's move on.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I do have in mind the
23 intellectual and educational level of the individual whom I'm questioning,
24 so therefore I do not think that the general will not be able to
25 understand what I'm asking him because the sentence is a longer one.
1 JUDGE MAY: But you're not to take up a long time by making
2 speeches. Now, come on. What's the question?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not making speeches, Mr. May.
4 What I want to ask is something concerning what the general mentioned a
5 moment ago. And I'm just going to quote two passages and then I'll go
6 ahead with the question. They are quotations from his own reports, so
7 he'll be able to recognise them. On page 15, at least it is 15 in my
8 version. Of course, the English version is somewhat different, the pages
9 in the English and B/C/S version.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. But this is what you say, General:
12 "Therefore, a military commander should be completely conscious of
13 the workings of the police forces in his zone and also to be able to
14 intervene and influence them," words to that effect. That is the
15 introduction and the beginning of that sentence, but the essence is in the
16 following: "I do not believe --"
17 JUDGE MAY: Let me find this, before we go on. It's apparently
18 page 15 in the English. Do you have the passage, Sir Peter?
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, no, I haven't found it at the moment.
20 JUDGE MAY: Just let us find the passage. Now, Judge Kwon has it.
21 Perhaps you'll refer the witness to it, please.
22 JUDGE KWON: It's the first fresh paragraph of page 15. It's in
23 the middle part. "Thus the military commander would be fully aware of
24 what the police forces would be doing." Yes.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. The point is in this following sentence:
2 "I do not believe that such vast movements of people and killings
3 as alleged in the indictment could take place without the local VJ
4 commander being fully aware." As alleged in the indictment, therefore,
5 could not take place without the full awareness of the local VJ commander.
6 And then, several pages later, you go on to state the
7 following --
8 JUDGE MAY: No. What is the question? You're referring to that
9 passage, Mr. Milosevic. While we're dealing with it, what question do you
10 have about it or what point do you want to make?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just one more passage and then I
12 have the same question that applies to both these passages and the entire
13 approach, the whole approach of that so-called indictment. It is on page
14 21, and you're once again talking about the fact that in any war there is
15 always the probability of there being individual incidents of overly great
16 violence, et cetera. And then at the end of the paragraph, the sentence
17 that I would like to read out is the following:
18 "However, excessive behaviour described in the indictment require
19 a massive logistic organisation, an organisation of manpower, in order to
20 expel the people from their homes, firstly; and secondly, to carry them
21 out with the efficiency and expedition that was their clear hallmark."
22 So as you mentioned --
23 JUDGE MAY: General, have you that second passage?
24 THE WITNESS: I have, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
1 Now, what is the question?
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, the substance of my question, and the entire approach
4 here, is that the indictment for which they are using your knowledge in
5 order to prove it, they are using your knowledge to prove the indictment,
6 you are taking this to be proof of what is being claimed. Am I being
7 clear enough? Is it, therefore, possible, because we have an indictment
8 here before us, and I claim that the indictment is a false indictment, so
9 we have an indictment which endeavours to prove itself and to take as
10 evidence something that is being maintained. Now, if the indictment were
11 clear and correct, the conclusion would be logical from the aspects of an
13 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you. This witness is not giving
14 evidence about the indictment. He's made it quite plain. What he says
15 is: Based on what is alleged in the indictment, these, as a military man,
16 are my conclusions.
17 Now, it's no good your arguing with him about the indictment.
18 He's merely based his conclusions upon it and he's made it quite plain to
19 us. So it is pointless talking about him coming to prove the indictment.
20 He's doing no such thing. He's merely coming here to draw his conclusions
21 from it.
22 Now, have you any questions about those conclusions? See what he
23 says. Now, if you've got any questions about that, ask them, but it's no
24 good asking him about the indictment.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I am not accusing the
1 General, General de la Billiere, of having come here with any evil
2 intentions. All I'm saying is that it is, on the part of this false
3 indictment that we are abusing the fact that we have a military expert
4 before us and that the indictment is taken to be proof in itself.
5 JUDGE MAY: No, it's not. I'm going to stop you. We've said this
6 often enough before: The indictment is not proof in itself; it's merely
7 what the Prosecution are setting out to prove. It's for us, as a Trial
8 Chamber, to say whether it's true or not, and that we will do in due
9 course, when we've heard the evidence. But there's no point trying to
10 argue about it with this witness. Now, let's not waste any further time
11 on that. If you've got questions about his conclusion or his report, of
12 course you can ask it, but don't go on about the indictment any more.
13 JUDGE KWON: If I can clarify something.
14 General, a minute ago I noticed you mentioned that the indictment
15 was the sole document on which you have made a judgement as to what
16 happened on the ground. Is it true?
17 THE WITNESS: Yes.
18 JUDGE KWON: So what if later what is stated in the statement
19 turns out to be not true in part or whole, then your observation is not
20 true therefore, what is your observation?
21 THE WITNESS: If the indictment is not -- well, I'm straying off
22 my military territory here into legal territory, I fear, Your Honour, but
23 if the indictment is not correct and not true, then clearly my conclusions
24 would have to be either adjusted or, if it was not true at all, quite
25 incorrect, they would be wrong. I have been asked to draw the conclusions
1 that I drew based on the indictment. Now, it may well be that the details
2 in the indictment will not be proven, and I think then people who have
3 listened -- been kind enough to listen to my evidence will have to make a
4 judgement as to whether those bits that are proven justify the conclusions
5 I drew.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Thank you very much.
7 Mr. Milosevic.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I shall proceed.
9 However, this is the key issue, the key question.
10 JUDGE MAY: Of course it's the key question. It's the key
11 question in the whole trial. Now, let's move on.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, fine, now that we understand
13 each other, that the indictment itself cannot be taken as proof of its
14 very own truthfulness.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Now, tell me, General: Do you think that the experience that you
17 gained as a soldier in the campaigns of Great Britain in the Falklands or
18 in the Gulf war can be applied in the case in Kosovo and Metohija in their
19 entirety or partially or not at all?
20 A. You draw out just two campaigns in my very diversified career, and
21 certainly within those two campaigns there would be examples and lessons
22 to be drawn and applied here. But I draw on a far wider experience, based
23 in my involvement in full-scale military operations in Korea, through
24 peace and military operations in Malaysia, through peace and military
25 operations in Indonesia or on the borders of Indonesia, throughout
1 military operations throughout the Middle East on many occasions, not just
2 the Gulf War, and of course in my experience as - how can I put it without
3 being immodest - my experience, considerable experience of dealing with
4 counter-insurgents and counter-terrorist operations really over a period
5 of decades.
6 Q. You gained experience in wars in the so-called dependent
7 territories, for example, in the Falklands, 13 and a half thousand
8 kilometres away from the sovereign territory of Great Britain. And here
9 you have a war that Yugoslavia waged on its very own sovereign territory,
10 with its focus on very intensive terrorist activity taking place only 300
11 kilometres away from the capital of the country. So from the point of
12 view of your own profession and your own personal convictions, do you give
13 a sovereign state, as Yugoslavia is, the right to protect its sovereignty
14 and territorial integrity on its very own territory? That is to say, do
15 you think that this right is at least somewhat greater than the right of
16 your own country to protect that right 13 and a half thousand kilometres
17 away from its own sovereign territory?
18 A. You draw on just one example --
19 JUDGE MAY: I don't think this is a matter for the witness,
20 really. It's probably a matter for us, if anybody.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. I assume that
22 these are important questions, because let us go back to one that is
23 linked to it. We spoke about the indictment a few minutes ago as the only
24 document that the General took as a basis for drawing his own conclusions,
25 and of course when the premises are wrong, even if the conclusions are
1 right, they go in the wrong direction.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. But you also mentioned the media, General. Do you recall, for
4 example, the press release of the state department at the beginning of
5 April 1999 that half a million people were killed in Kosovo? Or the
6 statement made by David Schaeffer [phoen], the American ambassador at
7 large for war crimes, the one that he made on the 18th of April 1999, that
8 hundreds of thousands of Albanians were killed in Kosovo, or spokesman
9 Rubin, who said on the 19th of April, 1999, that hundreds of Albanians
10 were killed? And also in May 1999, that 100.000 men were missing in
12 So all these statements that were obviously launched as a pretext
13 for the aggression against Yugoslavia, do they all become null and void
14 before basic mathematics, that it goes down to a basic calculation? These
15 hundreds of thousands are reduced to mere hundreds? Do you know how many
16 persons were killed in this war in general and how many of them were found
17 in Kosovo, how many dead persons were found in Kosovo? I'm just trying to
18 explain this, because there is this political fog when speaking of
20 JUDGE MAY: We are going to stop you. Now, whether this has any
21 relevance at all or not isn't clear, but we will ask the witness to answer
22 the question. Sir Peter, do you know how many people were killed in
23 Kosovo or not?
24 THE WITNESS: No, I do not, Your Honour.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would you please be so kind, Mr.
1 May, as to tell the witness? Because it is very important for the way in
2 which he can draw his conclusions. How many persons were found in Kosovo
3 until now? How many dead bodies were found? So that I could put further
4 questions to him.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]... to him, but
6 you can't convert the Presiding Judge into a witness.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Well, reference is made to the pre-war period, before the bombing,
9 several hundreds, not several hundreds of thousands. And towards the end
10 of the war, after the bombing, after the fighting between the KLA and the
11 army and the police, all kinds of operations, the figure referred to is
12 several thousand. So, General, is it clear that in political rhetoric
13 about crimes, sometimes it is not clear in terms of defining this, but if
14 we are talking about hundreds or hundreds of thousands, there is a
15 distinction, a brilliant distinction, between the two. So justification
16 for aggression against a country cannot be based on such mathematics.
17 JUDGE MAY: This is way outside the evidence. Have you got a
18 relevant question, Mr. Milosevic?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have many relevant questions.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. de la Billiere, do you think that motivation - and by saying
22 that, I'm referring to the historical, ethnical, national, economical,
23 military, et cetera factors - affect the course of an armed conflict,
24 especially excessive incidents involved therein?
25 A. I'm not clear as to what you mean by "motivation" in this context.
1 You covered such a wide -- encompassed such a wide area for motivation,
2 stretching from the economic to the business community, perhaps to
3 military. Could we -- could I possibly ask you to be more precise, in a
4 military sense, because that's what I'm here as, I'm here as a military
5 witness, not an economic or political witness.
6 Q. Yes. Let us say historic, emotional, ethnic, national, et cetera.
7 So all of this that can comprise the motivation factor in a situation
8 where one is defending one's homeland, in a situation when the enemy is
9 all too cruel, when the enemy is committing all kinds of atrocities,
10 torturing people, killing people, massacring them en masse. Do you think
11 that that affects the intensity of the conflict, especially excessive
12 incidents that may occur?
13 A. I'm sure the motivational causes that you have outlined have an
14 impact on the military forces - which is all the time competent in this
15 court to talk about - on the military forces in the region of operations.
16 And I would expect that the impact of these motivational issues to be
17 taken into account when the overall employment of the military was decided
18 upon at the highest command levels.
19 Q. Did you notice in these scant documents -- and you yourself said
20 that they were scant, although I do not see any reason why they should be
21 scant, because the other party is duty-bound to make available to you all
22 documents, not only some of them. Did you notice the concern of the
23 entire chain of command to prevent any kind of excessive behaviour, to
24 keep control, even to control fire, so that there would not be
25 uncontrolled fire, to take care of prisoners of war, to take care of the
1 civilian population, et cetera? Did you notice that in these documents?
2 A. There was considerable -- a continuous thread in the limited
3 documents that I saw concerning the operation - we've already discussed
4 the lack of documents - of attention, notably in the book that my
5 honourable compatriot produced here, to take care to look after -- to
6 attend to the humanitarian conduct of operations. And furthermore, as I
7 have said, in the commendable documents that outline the doctrine of the
8 Yugoslav army and the discipline of the Yugoslav army, there is also
9 regular reference to the need to conduct military operations with due care
10 to humanitarian and Geneva Conventional issues. And if those directions
11 were followed, then it would be my submission that what I'm purported --
12 what is purported to have happened there, as described in the indictment,
13 which is the only information I'm dealing with today in terms of what
14 actually happened there, wouldn't have happened. So I must conclude that
15 the doctrine, disciplinary measures, and so on of the Yugoslav army were
16 not adhered to.
17 Q. If what is written in the indictment is correct, right?
18 A. I have made my position with regard to the facts on the ground
19 quite clear. I have the indictment to work on, and that's it.
20 Q. All right, General. You took an example here. I really don't
21 know how I'm going to fit into this brief period of time that was given to
22 me, because this is very voluminous material. You said a small quantity
23 of documents, and of course documents do exist, because they have to
24 exist. There are documents of the Supreme Command and of the commands of
25 the armies and the commands of the corps and the commands of the brigades.
1 Here in this list, you gave an order issued by a battalion commander. You
2 probably assume, as a soldier, if there is that kind of order at battalion
3 level -- because I see that the signature there is the signature of a
4 major. A major can be a commander of a battalion. Then colonels command
5 brigades in our army. So this was a major. So you may assume that if a
6 battalion commander issues this kind of order, there are orders at brigade
7 level, at corps level, at army level, and that these orders from army
8 level do adhere to orders issued by the Supreme Command. I assume that
9 this is a logical conclusion, because we are not now reconstructing a
10 dinosaur on the basis of a bone from its tail. We are doing this on the
11 basis of an entire body of documents which is tactically only on -- a
12 battalion is only one level above that of company. Is that right?
13 A. Assuming that your army is constructed on the same line as ours,
14 yes, that is correct and logical, and it would certainly apply generally
15 throughout the world.
16 All I can say in response to what -- the statement you made is
17 this: First of all, I think it is perfectly reasonable to assume that
18 documents would have emanated from the highest level of command in order
19 to generate the dinosaur's tail that you refer to, but all that has been
20 put in front of me has been a dinosaur's tail, that document that I have
21 produced as evidence. And I should add that that was not signed, and
22 without a signature, and without a documentary number, it must put to some
23 question on its validity and authenticity and whether or not it was issued
24 at all. Those are the questions that go through my mind.
25 JUDGE MAY: The time has now come to adjourn. Mr. Milosevic,
1 we're going to adjourn, the usual time.
2 Sir Peter, would you be back, please, in 20 minutes.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: I'll just ask the amici this: Are there any questions
6 from the amicus?
7 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, Your Honour, and I think it will take about
8 ten minutes.
9 JUDGE MAY: Ten minutes.
10 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you've got, then, about 55 minutes to
12 an hour left.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. I shall try to
14 use that. But I do think that that is too short a period of time for such
15 a serious witness. I am saying this because I want it to be on the
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, did you have the opportunity of seeing the directive of
19 the Supreme Command for the engagement of the army of Yugoslavia? I see
20 that it is marked here, it does have a Prosecution number, and it has been
21 made available. So did you see this directive for the engagement of the
22 army of Yugoslavia in the war in 1999, this directive being issued by the
23 Supreme Command?
24 A. Can anybody refer me to it in my documents?
25 JUDGE MAY: Which document are you referring to, Mr. Milosevic?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the directive of
2 the Supreme Command for the engagement of the army of Yugoslavia in
3 defence from the NATO aggression in this war. I see that it has a
4 Prosecution number, I see that it has been made available, so I'm asking
5 the witness whether it was made available to him or not. Twelve pages.
6 JUDGE MAY: The simplest course: Mr. Nice, do you know what this
7 document is?
8 MR. NICE: I don't have it at my fingertips and don't know
9 immediately what it is. If the accused is able to produce exhibits in
10 advance and give us notice, we can dig them up and find them, but
11 otherwise, I think he'll just have to make it available to the witness and
12 it will have to go on the overhead projector.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, let's see the document, Mr. Milosevic, and
14 then the witness can answer.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, I don't have time. I don't have
16 time to look at it now. I'm going to deal with it when its turn comes.
17 KO228612. I asked the general whether he had the opportunity of seeing
18 this directive, directive issued by the Supreme Command.
19 A. I don't recollect it.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Since you also mention in your professional explanations that the
22 Supreme Command issues directives, orders, do you agree with me that this
23 is a document through which a Supreme Command sets tasks for a longer
24 period of time and then commanders of strategic groups are thus in a
25 position to make decisions in the battlefield, according to the principle
1 of unity of command and singleness of command? Is that in keeping with
2 regular procedure in any developed modern army?
3 A. I would say yes.
4 Q. Is my assertion correct? I'm not a military expert, but as far as
5 I know, not a single directive of Supreme Command in wars waged until now
6 does not not rely upon provisions of humanitarian law, international
7 humanitarian law.
8 A. Sorry. Could you repeat the question, please?
9 Q. Is my assertion correct that not a single directive of a Supreme
10 Command, at least that I know of, in wars waged until now, generally
11 speaking - I'm not referring specifically to the war in Yugoslavia now -
12 does not contain elements that are based on the observance of
13 international humanitarian law?
14 A. I don't have wide enough experience of such directives to comment
15 on the extent that such inferences would be contained in them, but I would
16 say that it is implied, in most civilised and well-structured armies, that
17 application of humanitarian rules of the law should be applied, whether it
18 is put in the documents or whether it isn't.
19 Q. I'm saying that because our directive actually contains that as
20 well. I'm going to quote only one passage to you from page 8. It is
21 marked in the Prosecution case KO228619. And it says:
22 "Towards the enemy, prisoners of war, one should behave in
23 accordance with the Geneva Conventions, international humanitarian law,
24 which is deeply rooted in our national ethos of heroism and fairness as
1 So in this directive, in addition to giving instructions and
2 orders to behave in this way, even our national ethos, our national
3 tradition, is referred to. Did you have the opportunity of familiarising
4 yourself with the traditions of warfare of the Serb and Montenegrin
5 peoples, historically speaking, General?
6 A. I did not examine the history of your country. I based my
7 evidence on the documents that were put in front of me, which was, largely
8 speaking, contemporary. However, I would say again that the structure of
9 the army, the doctrine of the army, the legal requirement of the army, all
10 highly commendable and of the highest standard, and the question must
11 surely be: Were they adhered to or were they not?
12 MR. NICE: Your Honour, by way of clarification, the first of the
13 documents referred to by the accused, and probably the second, I've now
14 tracked down as documents that came into our possession very recently.
15 They were made available post haste to the accused, even, I think, before
16 we had English translations of them, and I think for that reason, or
17 possibly because of the timing of the report, they will not have been
18 shown to the witness.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. And do you know, General, that from the point of view of the
21 tradition of the Serb and Montenegrin people, the greatest shame is to
22 shoot at an unarmed man, a civilian, or a prisoner of war?
23 A. That should be the same for my own army, and what one would expect
24 from your army as well.
25 Q. And do you know, General, that out of all the former Yugoslavia
1 republics, it is only in the army of Yugoslavia that there is not a single
2 officer and a single general who came to such a position without having
3 all the necessary military skills and without having gone through all the
4 levels that he had to go through in a regular army? And as opposed to
5 other former Yugoslav republics, no political or party leaders, not in a
6 single case, got any command posts or ranks; they did not become generals
7 or anything. The officers of the army are only professionals. So no
8 politicians are there. Did you know about that? Did you see that?
9 A. I have not studied the career structure and history of your senior
10 officers, so I'm not able to comment on that.
11 Q. I'm talking about all officers, not only senior officers, not only
12 generals, admirals, et cetera. All officers. And could you imagine --
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I hesitate to interrupt, but that last
14 question is, in reality, a speech dressed up as a question.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It's not a question.
16 Now, this is the way in which time goes and why the accused gets
17 his time limited on each occasion. That, too, should be noted for the
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Very well. General, can you imagine, as an experienced soldier,
22 that there could be a single professional officer who is duty-bound by his
23 own oath, by the laws that he had to study in all schools and at all
24 levels, and the orders that he was issued; that is to say, duty-bound by
25 everything that he is bound with, including morality and tradition? Can
1 you imagine such an officer ordering the execution of civilians and the
2 execution of prisoners of war and that there could be a unit willing to
3 carry that out in spite of all orders and all documents that are
4 available? Can you imagine that?
5 A. It would be out of place for me to start imagining things, because
6 my evidence is based on the facts and information put in front of me which
7 I've already described. And how individuals behave, particularly when
8 they're under pressure, is a psychological issue which makes an
9 interesting debate. It probably isn't for today.
10 Q. All right, General. Let's save time. You looked at the
11 principles of command. I'm not going to dwell on that. Duties given to
12 certain individuals, known as the principle of singleness of command, et
13 cetera, and you referred to command in practice. That is page 7. You
15 "The supreme military commander and his staff will be in
16 minute-to-minute contact with the field commander and there will be a
17 regular flow of reports, communications, briefings and discussions taking
18 place throughout the battlefield 24 hours a day."
19 Is it clear that this pertains to a field commander; it cannot
20 pertain to the Supreme Command.
21 A. The Supreme Command will obviously be working on the basis of one
22 or, at most, two down, as I described in my evidence, and they will need
23 to know, and indeed I would hope professionally will insist on knowing,
24 how the operations are being conducted and what successes and what
25 failures there have been. And as I mentioned earlier, information is the
1 lifeblood of a military machine, and its ability to work effectively in
2 operations that are frequently fast-changing and confused. And if the
3 senior command do not have adequate information made available to them,
4 then they will quickly lose control of their forces. And certainly, on
5 the documents that I've read concerning the structure and command
6 arrangements within the Yugoslav army, and knowing, I'm sure, the
7 competence of senior officers and the training that's gone into them,
8 although I've had no evidence of that, but it would appear that that must
9 have taken place, I would expect them to insist on being kept fully
10 informed of what was going on in the field. It doesn't mean to say that
11 they will know what every section was up to, but they will certainly know
12 the development of events and the pattern of events, which they may or may
13 not wish to influence.
14 Q. General, is it logical that our rules provide -- what our rules
15 provided for, the time span for regular information, and when speaking
16 about the time span for regular information, the higher the level, quite
17 understandably, the greater the time interval for information and
18 communication? And on that basis, does it seem to you to be reasonable
19 that the Supreme Command should receive a combat report from the commands
20 of an army once a day, up until a certain hour, every day, except when it
21 requires an extraordinary emergency report, but at least once a day when
22 speaking about the Supreme Command? Is that a reasonable thing? And then
23 going down the chain and to lower levels, it becomes more frequent. And
24 when you get to the tactical level, of course, then there is a permanent
25 insight into the situation and every detail has to be known. Now, is that
1 a reasonable way of information and communication, this kind of flow?
2 A. Without getting involved in a detailed debate on the theory of
3 command, I would go along with that completely. I'm sure there will be
4 variations from time to time, and as you yourself have pointed out. There
5 will be moments when operations are of such an intensity that the senior
6 command will wish to know on a much more immediate basis what is going on.
7 But the operations room of the senior command will in fact be in pretty
8 close and regular touch, bearing in mind the modern communications that
9 are available to a commander these days, with the battlefield. And they
10 will instantly draw the commander's attention to any significant variance
11 or changes or activities that might require his attention at any time of
12 the day or, indeed, the night, for that matter.
13 Q. This directive of the Supreme Command was sent to the strategic
14 groups. The strategic groups in the Yugoslav army, in the VJ, were the
15 1st army, the 2nd army, the 3rd army, and then we had the air force and
16 anti-air attack units, and the fifth was the navy. Now, is it logical, in
17 view of your profession, that the Supreme Command should know at least
18 what was happening at two levels: The army command level and the corps
19 command level, and that it was permanently informed and kept abreast of
20 that in this daily combat report that was sent in every day and was
21 concluded by a certain hour and minute. Would that be the logical
22 functioning of affairs?
23 A. That would be a perfectly respectable practice, yes.
24 Q. Is it clear, when you're talking about coordination, for instance,
25 coordination between the army and the police force, and you mention in
1 that regard the law, and of course there is an order by the Supreme
2 Command on subordination levels, that is to say the police units to the
3 military commander in his area of responsibility. Now, is it clear,
4 General, that we're not dealing here with any kind of subordination of the
5 entire police force to the entire General Staff and all its functions, but
6 it refers to one area of responsibility, whether it is a company, a
7 brigade, a battalion, or whatever, where the fighting is actually going
8 on, that there must be coordination and that it is logical that in
9 situations of that kind, the police group, which is in the area, in the
10 field, should be attached and resubordinated to the military commander so
11 as to avoid mutual killing, confusion, misunderstandings, or anything of
12 that nature?
13 A. You have summarised an ideal situation which I would entirely go
14 along with.
15 Q. So when you speak about the operations in Kosovo and Metohija, is
16 it clear that the army and the police force communicate with the civilian
17 authorities in the field in that particular locality, but also that, in
18 every respect this is no replacement for the competences of the internal
19 chains of command within the army itself and the police force?
20 A. The army and the police force would maintain the integrity of
21 their own commands, regardless of the arrangements and facilities that
22 were made available for them to cooperate together and perhaps have a
23 joint headquarters or to have liaison officers or radio operators close to
24 their respective headquarters. And I think I made that clear in my
25 evidence, that that would be jealously -- I would expect that to be
1 jealously guarded by, in this case, since this is the issue you've raised,
2 by the police force, and high command in the navy, air force, police
3 units. And in each of those cases, they have always retained a right to
4 refer issues up their own chain of command. And so it behooves a
5 commander to understand the other forces that he is working with - and
6 they all work differently, for a very good reason, which I don't think we
7 want to spend time on today - and to bring them along. And so at a higher
8 level of command, you come into a degree of diplomacy in managing of
9 services. It's not just a situation of, "Do what I say," it's a question
10 of getting them to go along with the overall policy and strategy.
11 Q. Is it, then, also clear, General, that when we have a joint
12 command of some sort, it's not really a command; it's a horizontal
13 coordination, and that to all practical intents and purposes, all the
14 participants retain their own responsibility and their own chain of
15 command and that an agreement is made only within the frameworks of the
16 competences and authorisations that he has down the chain of his own
18 A. Clearly, it depends upon the wording of the command responsibility
19 that is delegated to the commander on the spot, and it may well be that
20 there will be reservations put on it. But let's be quite clear: There's
21 only one man responsible for what goes on on the ground, and that's the
22 boss, and the fact that he's got other people working alongside him or
23 with him does not excuse him from responsibility for what may be going on
24 in the field, whether it's success or whether it is a failure or an abuse
25 of military usage. And if he's got these other people working with him,
1 shall we say for the sake of this discussion from the navy and the army,
2 then they are obliged to carry out the senior commander's requirements.
3 And whilst they do not have the excuse or the privilege or the laxity to
4 work something out on their own because they don't like what the commander
5 says, that is not what I mean when I say they would be able to refer to
6 their own command. If they felt that they were being given orders that
7 were unsuited, resources that they control - so, shall we say, navy and
8 ships, for an example - then it would be perfectly reasonable for them to
9 go back up their own chain of command and to say so, in which case it
10 would go to the central staff and the senior military commander in this
11 example we're discussing would then be questioned and asked to justify
12 what he was trying to do with the navy. But if the military commander is
13 competent, he shouldn't allow the situation to get to that stage of
14 affairs. He should be taking advice and listening. At the end of the
15 day, you listen for so long in military operations and then you make
16 decisions, and they're your decisions and your responsibility and there's
17 no wriggling out of it.
18 Q. I completely agree with you. And it is precisely along those
19 lines that I'm commenting what Mr. Nice placed here, put on the ELMO, on
20 the overhead projector here, the page where he quotes you as saying that
21 we should mention that the police force subordinated to the army can be
22 expected to have the right to complain directly to the civilian
23 authorities and police leadership if it considers that it has been abused
24 or that it has been issued orders which are contrary to the law. That is
25 quite logical. But did you have any kind of knowledge that somebody had
1 issued an order which was contrary and in opposition to the law? And when
2 the police or army or whoever was complaining about an order that had been
3 issued, in your work, in the work that you did, did you have any knowledge
4 about anybody issuing any orders which would be contrary and in
5 contravention to the law?
6 A. If you're asking me to pick out instances in my own career of this
7 nature, then clearly this would be possible. But I have to say that
8 again, if I may without being too immodest, that one of the reasons why I
9 personally was probably given command in the Gulf was that my experience
10 and my ability to understand the usage of my fellow services was -- had
11 been proven and that this was considered by my responsible superiors, and
12 indeed the government of the day - because I was appointed by the Prime
13 Minister - to be an important aspect, shall we say, of my experience and
14 my character. So I'd like to think I didn't get it too badly wrong.
15 There are cases where people have fallen out, and I'm sure you've
16 read your history and you're probably more competent at it than me, but I
17 don't think that's really relevant to -- I would suggest it's not
18 relevant, Your Honour, to today's discussion, or we're going to devolve
19 into a debate on the ethics of command.
20 Q. Yes. But in consideration of your work, you have no knowledge
21 about the fact that in any concrete framework, this framework of war, the
22 war in Yugoslavia in 1999, for instance, that somebody issued any unlawful
23 orders. And of course I completely agree with you that it is the duty of
24 an individual to react to that. That is not being contested, in
25 principle. In principle, that can never be challenged. My question was:
1 Did you actually have any knowledge of anybody issuing an unlawful order
2 and that people failed to react to that perhaps?
3 A. I have been given documents which do not suggest this at all, and
4 one must -- I must therefore make my judgements based on what the
5 indictment says happened on the ground and the way that the military and
6 other forces responded to events.
7 Q. All right. And is it clear that the representatives of the
8 civilian authorities - for example, in Kosovo, there was the provisional
9 executive government of the province and then there were representatives
10 of the government of Serbia and government of Yugoslavia - is it clear
11 that the representatives of the civilian authorities that communicate both
12 with the military and police authorities do not represent an element in
13 the chain of command, either with the police force or with the army?
14 A. The civilian element was certainly present, on the information
15 that I've been given, and that would seem a commendable arrangement in the
16 senior headquarters down in Kosovo itself. And I don't think I have seen
17 documents that precisely explain what the responsibilities of the
18 individuals on that council were at the time. In fact, I haven't. But I
19 would say that the construction of the local headquarters was right in
20 line with the doctrine of your army and would be something that we could
21 live with ourselves in my army.
22 Q. And do you happen to know, General, did the information reach you
23 that, for example, that provisional government of Kosovo and Metohija
24 during the war was composed of Serbs, Albanians, Muslims, Turks, Romany,
25 Egyptians, et cetera, and that the Serbs were the minority, even the
1 minority in that provisional government? Do you happen to know about
3 A. No, I don't.
4 Q. In one place you speak about discipline and discipline is at the
5 basis of morals and ethical standards. That is quite true. Now, do you
6 consider that an army which is not disciplined, not a disciplined army,
7 would succeed in surviving the kind of day-and-night aggression that
8 lasted for 78 days, parallelly with the fighting that went on against the
9 large number -- fighting with the large number of terrorist groups? I'm
10 not going to present maps or facts and figures at this point, ones that
11 were compiled by your own experts as to the distribution of brigades, the
12 operative zones, the terrorist organisations of the KLA, et cetera. But
13 do you consider that an army which was able to survive that kind of
14 aggression and was also simultaneously fighting on the ground could have
15 done so if it had not been a well-disciplined army and that it would have
16 succeeded in protecting the territory, its territory, had it not been
17 disciplined with the minimum losses that it incurred?
18 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to ask the witness if he thinks he can
19 answer that or not.
20 THE WITNESS: I'll have a go, Your Honour.
21 I think that the indications are, to me, on the evidence that I'm
22 working off, that the Yugoslav army was disciplined, that it carried out
23 the orders that it was given, and that it behaved in a perfectly
24 respectable way in that respect. The question is: What orders was it
25 given, and what did it do in its interpretation of those orders? This is
1 not to put in question the actual discipline of the army. The discipline
2 of the army, from what I have read, appears to be perfectly satisfactory.
3 So it's a question of what orders it was given on which it acted in a
4 disciplined way.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. And were you able to obtain from the opposite party over there any
7 kind of order which would indicate that the army was not instructed, or
8 that an order was issued of any kind which would not be in conformity with
9 the behavior of a modern army engaged in the defence of its country and
10 which was valiantly, at that, defending its own country and adhering to
11 the rules of international warfare and its own rules and regulations? Did
12 you have any knowledge or were you given any material which would point in
13 that direction at all?
14 A. I have limited material, very limited material, on the orders that
15 were issued and the army's and the services' and forces' response to them,
16 and I therefore must judge, using the indictment, which is the only
17 indication I have as to what happened on -- official indication I have as
18 to what happened on the ground, as my marker as to what the army and the
19 services did and how they conducted it. Now, what orders were actually
20 issued - and to be quite clear, it may be verbal, it may be written orders
21 - in order to initiate those events, I have not had access to.
22 May I add something, Your Honour? I think it is important in this
23 issue of discipline to understand that I felt that the Yugoslav army was
24 disciplined, and one must therefore discount the fact that what they did
25 there was that of an ill-disciplined, self -- independently-motivated
1 rebel. It wasn't; it was a coordinated operation.
2 Q. Thank you, General. Without a doubt, a disciplined army,
3 therefore, which was able to survive all that, it would be difficult to be
4 able to accuse that kind of army of having perpetrated the kinds of things
5 that it has been -- that have been held up here and accused of doing here.
6 But to avoid any lack of clarity, when you look at the exaggerated
7 behaviour, and because of the possible abuse of interpretation, I should
8 like to clarify one particular point and issue. What is referred to is
9 that it is possible that the lower-down commanders, less-senior
10 commanders, made errors for which the higher-up commanders were not aware
11 of, that they might have made erroneous assessments, et cetera. I hope
12 that you're not saying that anybody in the structure of the Yugoslav army
13 presented this kind of assertion as being a justification.
14 A. I would concur with your suggestion that in any warfare - and I'm
15 sure this was no exception - there will be commanders who fail to meet up
16 to expectations for whatever reasons, and I've covered that in my report.
17 The question is, though: If that is the case, and they broke the
18 regulations of the Yugoslav army, why was no significant disciplinary and
19 investigatory inquiry set up to look into these cases which you're
20 suggesting might have happened?
21 And I have to come back, Your Honour, to the matter that the
22 events that we are discussing and which the whole of my evidence is based
23 were so widespread, so coordinated, involving so much territory and so
24 many people, in order to administer them just logistically, quite apart
25 from any military thing, that we are well beyond the odd commander
1 diverging from the strict instructions that he was given.
2 Q. Yes, that's precisely what I wish to stress. I hope that - and
3 I'm claiming that no higher-up commander, no senior commander, not a
4 single one, from brigade commander level right up to me as the Supreme
5 Commander, did not in that respect use any justification and say that it
6 was -- that what was done was done by the lower-down commanders that were
7 going against the grain of the law or acting contrary to the orders he
8 received, that they were disobedient, and this would have been a shameful
9 -- that is to say, if the superior commanders were to justify themselves
10 by any errors committed on the part of the lower-down officers, and I want
11 to refute that kind of --
12 JUDGE MAY: You're not giving evidence now, as you know. Now,
13 what is your question for the witness?
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Well, I think that I have clarified the question. So you,
16 General, consider that what was the subject of your attention could have
17 occurred only if everything was well organised down the vertical chain of
18 command, that the only fact -- and the only fact that I'm drawing your
19 attention to is the following: That what the indictment is claiming is not
20 true, is false, and not that it is an error on the part of somebody at a
21 lower level but that the indictment is a false one. That is what I am
22 claiming, and you quite obviously do not have --
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we've had this argument. Now, have you
24 any more questions?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course I do, yes. Just let me
1 look at my notes.
2 Mr. May, as you asked me about my question, and questions, I'm
3 talking about this excessive behaviour, and where the general speaks about
4 it, and I can't support any assertion where it says that the events
5 described in the indictment, et cetera, are the result of erroneous
6 assessments brought in by the lower-level commands. So we're talking
7 about that same issue, the same point, that in proving the correctness of
8 the indictment, you are using the indictment itself. The indictment is
9 being used as a purpose unto itself.
10 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... questions which
11 are not repetitious and are relevant, I'm going to ask Mr. Wladimiroff to
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. On page 26, perhaps that's the right page - I do have a little
15 time, Mr. May - you state that the law on the Yugoslav army is a
16 well-formulated, commendable one which every nation could be proud of if
17 it were to be translated into the legal behaviour of its armed forces.
18 Now, can you, General, assume, at least in an analysis of this
19 kind, that that is so and that the armed forces did in fact behave in
20 conformity with the law and not in conformity with the indictment?
21 A. I can make no such assumption.
22 Q. I have several more questions. In preparing yourself, did you
23 come across any documentation on the words of illegal financing and arming
24 terrorist groups of the KLA from Germany, Switzerland, the United States,
25 and from your own country? Did you come across any information and
1 documentation pertaining to that?
2 A. None at all.
3 Q. And do you consider that in this expert report, one can exclude a
4 series of facts, like the very NATO aggression itself, without speaking of
5 the sanctions that came before it and the hostile attitude to Serbia? In
6 an expert report of this kind, can you exclude such factors?
7 A. I can only make my judgement on the evidence that has been
8 presented to me and which you have full access to, and then linking that
9 to my own experience, and that is what I've done. And where there may be
10 any deficiencies in what I have to say, it is because I didn't have the
11 facts put in front of me, if they existed.
12 Q. All right. Quite specifically: For example, the existence of a
13 large number of orders on compulsory observance of the provisions of
14 international law. Why do you interpret that as a reflection of a lack of
15 observance of these principles and you preclude the more logical
16 assumption that the situation became increasingly difficult for officers
17 and soldiers under round-the-clock bombing? And then on the other hand,
18 there was close cooperation with the KLA, who were aided by the other
19 sided? That is one element.
20 And another element is that a comprehensive order from
21 headquarters, the Supreme Command, was codification of many orders, which
22 is, after all, customary in the army, in the military. When there are
23 several orders that are issued, they may all fall within a single one in
24 order to lend themselves to practical use. So why do you interpret
25 this --
1 JUDGE MAY: I've completely lost the thread of this. What are you
2 putting to the witness?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the general spoke about this.
4 I'm sure he understands me. And if he doesn't, I'll repeat the question
5 for him.
6 JUDGE MAY: No. You must make the questions plain, instead of a
7 rambling speech. Now, come on. Make it plain.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you understand me, General?
10 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Milosevic, you are to ask the question again.
11 Now, put it again. You're being instructed to do so.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You made an observation about the existence of a large number of
14 orders on the compulsory observance of provisions of international law and
15 the law of war; is that right?
16 A. I'd be grateful if you'd refer me to the part in my text that
17 you're referring to.
18 Q. My papers are quite chaotic now, there are so many of them.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, perhaps you could help with the reference.
20 Certainly --
21 JUDGE KWON: Is it related to footnote 11?
22 MR. NICE: I think it's on page 20 probably. And you'll find it,
23 at least in the English version --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice, please.
25 MR. NICE: Sorry. I think you'll find it on page 20. It's maybe
1 what the accused is referring to. It's, in
2 any event, a sentence beginning: "I have read the translation of the
3 book ..."
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I've lost the translation here. I
5 think there's an electronic fault.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. de la Billiere, the last paragraph on page 20:
8 "[In English] In this I note that between mid-1998 and June 1999,
9 there was an extensive range of orders issued from the Supreme Command
10 staff down to at least corps level, emphasising the VJ's concern to abide
11 by international humanitarian regulation concerning the conduct of war. I
12 was somewhat surprised at the volume of orders and the need for them to be
13 reiterated at regular intervals."
14 [Interpretation] My question was why the existence of a large
15 number of documents that you refer to, you understand to be perhaps an
16 expression of a lack of respect for these orders, why do you preclude a
17 more logical possibility, that there is a growing challenge, things became
18 increasingly difficult for soldiers and officers with round-the-clock
19 bombing and constant clashes with the KLA? That is one element. And
20 another element is that after several orders, like in any other army,
21 they're all subsumed in one. Aren't these explanations more logical to
22 you than the ones that I quoted to you just now?
23 A. I understand what you're getting at. First of all, a lot of these
24 were not orders; they were in the document which was produced after the
25 war, I believe, the book which has been made -- introduced as evidence
1 during today's hearing. And there was in that a continual repetition of
2 the -- emphasising that the military command felt it necessary to keep
3 continually repeating the need to adhere to the humanitarian and Geneva
4 Convention aspects of war. And as I mentioned earlier, in a previous
5 question you raised, I felt that these issues, first of all, in a
6 well-disciplined, well-trained army, would be normal and common practice
7 and not need continually emphasising. Secondly, the book, of course, is
8 not an issuing of orders, it was a regurgitation of events, and we must
9 remember that. It's not an executive document in itself.
10 And I still adhere to that. It's very commendable that the
11 Yugoslav army should wish to and should expect to adhere to these
12 humanitarian requirements and the Geneva Convention. But I have to ask
13 myself why it's necessary to go on repeating it when it is part of their
14 ethos and their doctrine, as stated in other standard procedures produced
15 to me; for instance, the law of the army itself, which extensively
16 emphasises the need for this. So why should the need be felt to
17 continually repeat this particular aspect of the orders issued within the
18 chain of command?
19 Q. Well, that's precisely what I asked you. Why do you preclude the
20 more logical possibility of greater stress and pressure which is becoming
21 overwhelming for officers and soldiers, given day-to-day fighting and
22 round-the-clock bombing? And isn't it logical to emphasise that time and
23 again that this has to be abided by? You also say that you did not see
24 orders, but there are orders of the commander of the Pristina corps that
25 date back to 1998, pertaining to Kosovo specifically, and that has to do
1 with honouring these rules, although there was no external aggression
2 then, although terrorists do not fall under the Geneva Convention, but we
3 did treat them as if they did because we wanted it to be quite clear. And
4 this was as far back as 1998. Did you have that order in your hands
6 A. I'm not sure which order you're referring to, but I would confirm
7 that there was a continual repetition of the need to maintain humanitarian
8 practices and to adhere to the Geneva Convention, and in the documents
9 that I've seen, this has been continually emphasised. And so one would
10 ask oneself: Why is it continually emphasised? Because normally in the
11 military chain of command you don't need to go on emphasising. It's part
12 of the practice and doctrine of a well-structured army, and indeed it is
13 part of the practice and doctrine of your army, and therefore presumably
14 your officers and soldiers have been trained and made aware of these
15 practices from very early in their careers and it is part of their life.
16 If they are conforming to them, then that is fine. But if they're not
17 conforming to them - and the evidence that I'm basing my statement on
18 implies that they were not - why was it felt necessary for the chain of
19 command to continually repeat the need to conform to them and
20 subsequently, of course, to produce this book which particularly
21 emphasised these issues?
22 Q. The book was issued later. But tell me: When you say "evidence,"
23 are you referring to the allegations contained in the indictment?
24 A. My entire statement is based on the indictment as it stands today.
25 It does not assume that it is proven, it assumes that that is the basis on
1 which I have been asked to make my comments to the Court. And as I said
2 earlier on, if the indictment is incorrect or if it is not fully proven,
3 then my comments will have to be taken into account with that additional
4 evidence. And I don't think that I have anything more to say beyond the
5 fact that that's where my comments have stemmed from. And it's not for me
6 to comment on the correctness or otherwise of the indictment itself.
7 Q. You have said enough, General. After all, if somebody breaks a
8 compass and then you take all necessary action to go north and you are
9 moving south, nevertheless you will sweat.
10 I have another question. The relationship between the military
11 and economic powers that attacked Yugoslavia, has this -- have you been
12 compelled to look only at the relationship between the army and the KLA
13 due to that?
14 A. I have not been tasked with discussing the relationships between
15 the military and the economic powers that you say attacked Yugoslavia.
16 That is not part of my limit, and I have nothing to say on that.
17 Q. Can one have a comprehensive assessment, even of this purely
18 military aspect, if one does not look at the NATO aggression and other
19 pressures, and if it is all reduced to the relationship between the army
20 and the police, on the one hand, and the KLA, on the other hand? Is it
21 then possible to carry out a comprehensive and objective analysis?
22 A. I think others must be the judge of whether the analysis that I
23 have made, based on the evidence that I have given to the Court and the
24 assumptions that I've made before the Court, is comprehensive enough or
25 not. That's where it comes from, and I'm afraid we can't change that
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, your time is almost up. That is a
3 point which you have made before. Now you can ask two more questions, if
4 you need to.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Does this also put forth a reservation in relation to what you
7 used from the indictment? You talk about large-scale killings, et cetera,
8 large-scale killings like Racak. Now there's another one, Izbica, et
9 cetera. Do you know that none of these so-called large-scale killings has
10 been proven? And do you have any idea --
11 JUDGE MAY: No, Mr. Milosevic. We're just wasting time going over
12 the same point quite endlessly. It's not for the witness to comment on
13 these matters. It's a matter which we will have to decide.
14 Mr. Wladimiroff.
15 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Questioned by Mr. Wladimiroff:
17 Q. General, at your time, you were a man of the troops, rather than a
18 desk officer, were you not?
19 A. I had spent a limited amount of my time in my service sitting
20 behind a desk. Most of my time was in command, yes.
21 Q. From your resume, it seems you mainly served within the British
22 army rather than in an international function, as for example, NATO
23 function, commanding troops of various nations; is that right?
24 A. No, I don't think it is, with respect. I -- obviously, I was part
25 of the British army for my entire career, wherever I was serving, but I
1 spent more time than most people on what we call loan service, that's
2 attachment from the British army to other armies. And the two notable
3 things in the -- what is now the southern Yemen in Aden, where I spent two
4 years attached to the Jashale jihad [phoen], which is Arabic for the
5 federal army of Aden, which is an Arab army, and then I spent two years,
6 approximately, attached to the Sudanese army. And in that respect I
7 therefore spent four years totally separated from the British army's
8 activities and understanding and working with, under command of, a foreign
10 There are, of course, many other situations where I have worked
11 alongside foreign armies, and I don't think we need to go into all of
12 that; it's there.
13 Q. Certainly not. These secondments were in 1995 and 1983; is that
15 A. By these "secondments," you mean these attachments.
16 Q. Sudan and --
17 A. Sudan --
18 Q. -- and the Arab army.
19 A. Yes. They were two years. Aden was in 1983. I was --
20 Q. The other one was in 1955.
21 A. Sorry. I've lost communications again.
22 Q. Did you ever command a foreign army --
23 A. No. I'm sorry. That is not correct. I was in Sudan in the late
24 1970s, approximately 1978 to 1980, not 1955.
25 Q. Thank you very much. Did you ever command a foreign army or
1 foreign troops, except for these two secondments, that is, Sudan and,
2 let's say, Yemen?
3 A. Without going again through a rather long career, let me take the
4 latest events, shall we say, the Gulf War, and in the Gulf War, I
5 certainly had under my authority troops from foreign armies. I can't, off
6 the top of my head, tell you exactly who they were, but I could give you
7 two or three, if you really wanted them.
8 Q. No. Thank you. Now, if one makes a distinction between general
9 observations and specific observations, am I right in thinking when I
10 assume that your expertise relates to the principles and the mechanism of
11 armies, their structure and functions? Is that right?
12 A. Yes, it is. I mean, inevitably, if I worked and served in foreign
13 armies, I would have to understand their principles and their structure
14 and their functions in order to do my job.
15 Q. Thank you. On the basis of that expertise related to the
16 principles and mechanism of armies, their structure and functions, you
17 make your general observations; is that right, in your report?
18 A. I make my observations within my report on the basis of my entire
19 career, of which these are specific occasions or periods.
20 Q. And in these general observations, you set out the norms as you
21 experienced them through your career; is that right?
22 A. I'm not quite sure what you mean by "norms." Could you be kind
23 enough to just clarify that?
24 Q. If we make a distinction between general observations, what a
25 regular proper army could do, and specific observations that are related
1 to the VJ, I refer you to your general observations, and I take it - at
2 least, I think that's right - that your general observations reflect what
3 you think is right on the basis of your experience throughout your career.
4 A. Clearly, that is correct so far as it goes. But we must be quite
5 clear that in making any comments about the VJ, I have applied my -- the
6 experience of my career to the documents that have been presented to me on
7 the structure and the doctrine of the VJ army, and I have already said
8 that I thought they were commendable documents and ones that --
9 Q. We will come to that. We will come to that. Am I also right in
10 thinking that your specific observations are based on the documents you
11 have reviewed? And with "specific observations," I mean your observations
12 on the VJ and the police.
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. Right. Would you also agree that what has been presented to you
15 and the documents you reviewed were a selection of what you could have
16 seen if you had full access to the original documents?
17 A. I don't know what original documents were available, and I did not
18 see, so I don't think I can answer that accurately. What I would say is
19 this, though: That I thought there was a dearth of documents and
20 documentary evidence covering the period of conflict that we are looking
21 at, and I do have to ask myself why this is so, where it has gone, and why
22 an organised and disciplined army, such as the VJ army, if they didn't
23 actually have those documents at all, why were they diverging so widely
24 from their own doctrine and their own regulations? If, on the other hand,
25 they did exist, then I would like to have seen them, but they weren't
1 presented to me.
2 Q. I would appreciate a little bit shorter answers, General, if you
4 Do you have the impression that you've not seen all available
5 documents, and therefore you appreciate you have seen a selection only?
6 A. I think I've said previously that I am surprised there are not
7 more documents available.
8 Q. Right.
9 A. I have no reason -- I have no knowledge as to why there are not.
10 Q. Am I right in thinking that the meaning of your report is merely
11 setting the standards and basis of your experience, rather than making
12 judgements on the basis of full access to all the information available to
13 the actions of the VJ in Kosovo?
14 A. I said at the beginning of my evidence that I am not an expert on
15 what happened in Kosovo, and so clearly my experience is what is being
16 brought to bear here and I would support what you say in principle.
17 Q. Right. Would you agree that writing an opinion on an issue one
18 researches, by all reasonable standards would require an acknowledgment of
19 all the sources of the author? Please answer with yes or no.
20 A. I would -- I'm not sure where this applies to my -- specifically
21 to my evidence. I would have expected to have had put in front of me such
22 documentary evidence as was available. If stuff was available and it was
23 not put in front of me, then clearly I do not have the benefit of that
24 when making my judgements.
25 Q. Would you consider to acknowledge all the sources as an attachment
1 to your report by way of a list of sources you have reviewed?
2 A. You're really questioning me now on the conduct of the Court,
3 which I don't think I'm competent to comment on. I've listed what I had
4 access to, and you know that, and that's been presented to the Court.
5 Q. Well, I can only understand what you have reviewed by reading your
6 report. In there, there are some references and there are footnotes, and
7 that's all we have. So am I right in thinking, then, that all the sources
8 are limited to your references in your report and the footnotes, or is
9 there anything more you have seen we don't know?
10 A. There is nothing that I have seen in the context of this case that
11 I have not referred to, so far as I am aware. And perhaps I could ask my
12 learned friend on my right to comment on that.
13 Q. So I take it that if you express an opinion, a specific opinion,
14 on the VJ, on the MUP, in Kosovo, the source must be found in your report,
15 either in the report itself or in the footnote, because that's what you're
16 saying, isn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Right. So if I give you some examples, on page 2 --
19 A. Page 2 of my evidence?
20 Q. Page 2 of your report. Under the heading of Command and Control,
21 where you say, in the third line: "According to the documentation I've
22 read ..." It must be your documentation as you just gave evidence about
23 which is referred to in your report or a footnote.
24 And the same goes for page 9, first fresh paragraph, line 4: "From
25 the information I've read ..."
1 And so on on page 14, first fresh paragraph: "According to the
2 documents I have reviewed ..."
3 Page 19, the last paragraph: "From the information I have
4 reviewed ..."
5 Page 20 --
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Wladimiroff, I see there's a reference there to
7 the OTP military analyst's report, that one. Now, we are trespassing on
8 the time of the next hearing. If possible, we should finish the witness
9 so that he can get away. Now, what is the position? You said ten
11 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, but the answers were a little bit longer
12 than I expected, to be true. I'm afraid I'm not able to do this in a very
13 short period of time.
14 JUDGE MAY: What is the position, Mr. Nice?
15 MR. NICE: Two positions, really: First of all, as to the
16 witness, I suspect the witness will make himself available, but it's
18 Secondly, I'm not really quite sure where this line of
19 cross-examination is taking us, in any event, given the attitude of the
20 accused in relation to the evidence of the witness, much of which he's
21 actually accepted, the margin being elsewhere.
22 And as to any criticism there may be of the report, if that's what
23 Mr. Wladimiroff is getting at, Your Honour has already identified that a
24 great deal of material was available to the witness through the report of
25 Mr. Coo, a great deal of evidence in that way. And so unless he's --
1 JUDGE MAY: Well, the amicus is entitled to cross-examine. I'm
2 not anxious to stop him. But, Sir Peter, we are in this difficulty; that
3 we have to leave this courtroom because another case needs it, and Mr.
4 Wladimiroff has some more questions. Can you make yourself available
5 tomorrow, or is it going to be very inconvenient?
6 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, yes, it's inconvenient, but I think
7 it's more important that the requirements of the Court are met. We
8 haven't all put the time and effort into this to just meet lesser
9 important engagements, and I can be available.
10 JUDGE MAY: Well, the Court is grateful.
11 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I apologise for this inconvenience.
12 JUDGE MAY: No, Mr. Wladimiroff, there's no need to apologise.
13 We'll adjourn now. 9.00 tomorrow morning. We will conclude this
14 evidence before going on to anything else. Apologies to the next case.
15 Perhaps the registry would pass that on.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.54
17 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday, the 5th day of
18 September 2002, at 9.00 a.m.