Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 31611

1 Wednesday, 28 January 2004

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We're grateful to the witness for being here,

6 and if the general would take the declaration part, which he has to cover

7 for him, now.

8 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the

9 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Nice.


12 [Witness testified via videolink]

13 [Witness answered through interpreter]

14 Examined by Mr. Nice:

15 Q. It's General Vegh. Your curriculum vitae is before the Court in a

16 document that I will produce in a second, with their leave. It reveals

17 that you've been a soldier effectively all of your working life with

18 relevant training, inter alia, in Moscow at the Military Academy of Tank

19 Units and also in the Army War College in the United States of America, a

20 person who has, I think, obtained a Ph.D. on a military subject which you

21 list; and, General, you achieved the rank of Deputy Chief of the General

22 Staff of the Hungarian defence forces in 1995 and rose to the rank of

23 commander of the Hungarian defence forces and Chief of the General Staff

24 in 1996, a position you held until 1999, thereafter being appointed

25 ambassador of Hungary to Turkey between the years 2000 and 2002, and the

Page 31612

1 conclusion of that part of your career is that you then suffered a very

2 serious car accident from which you are suffering -- from which you are

3 now undergoing and enjoying rehabilitation, and that explains why you were

4 seated when you took the solemn declaration; correct?

5 JUDGE MAY: Could we just ask -- could we just ask for one minute

6 to be allowed. Just a moment, please. Thank you. If you'd just wait one

7 moment while we consider this.

8 JUDGE KWON: It's Hungarian interpreter.

9 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]

10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much. Thank you. I understand the

11 position fully. Yes, let's go on. If the general could continue, please.

12 MR. NICE: I think the accused had a concern. It may be he's

13 overlooked that he has to plug his earpiece into a different socket.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm receiving the Serbian

15 interpretation.

16 JUDGE MAY: I think that is the way it is to be done.

17 MR. NICE: And, Your Honour, I'm afraid I had understood in

18 advance that there was going to be simultaneous translation or

19 interpretation. I'm not sure why that isn't the case, and it's no doubt

20 my oversight, for which I apologise not checking the administration in

21 advance, but we will do the best we can. I will tailor my questions and

22 the amount of evidence I ask of the witness to the restricted facilities

23 that come without simultaneous interpretation.

24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that the Hungarian conference

25 interpreters are in the booth to translate the general from Hungarian to

Page 31613

1 English but not in Budapest on the spot.

2 MR. NICE: That's what I understood.

3 Q. Very well, General --

4 JUDGE MAY: Let us continue, but we need to go back to the

5 General's curriculum vitae.


7 Q. General --

8 A. That is correct, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry to trouble you, but we are now again not

10 getting the right picture.

11 Yes. We now have it. Thank you very much.

12 MR. NICE:

13 Q. General, the -- first of all, can I check with the staff in -- can

14 I just check one administrative matter. General, are you, in fact,

15 hearing me in English?

16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the position is that in fact I had a

17 conversation with the general shortly before we started this morning. His

18 English is impeccable, it's the mechanism for his hearing which is

19 impaired. It may be, if I could ask Ms. Anoya -- it may be that we could

20 speed the process up if the general is able to understand my questions in

21 English, to reply in Hungarian and to have the benefit of the interpreter

22 in the booth here. Can I ask Ms. Anoya to investigate that. I think she

23 can hear what I'm saying.

24 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. General, can you hear the English when Mr.

25 Nice is speaking to you? Can you hear it?

Page 31614

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can -- I can hear it, but in

2 a very limited way, and this is why I absolutely require interpreting.

3 MR. NICE: In which case I'll --

4 Q. General, your report dated the 26th of January of this year is in

5 two parts.

6 MR. NICE: Can the interpreter translate that, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. Nice, can you please repeat your question.

8 MR. NICE: Of course.

9 Q. Your report of the 26th of January is in two parts.

10 A. Yes, it does comprise two parts.

11 Q. I'm going to deal effectively only with the conclusions of each

12 part in order to maximise the time available for the accused to ask you

13 questions. The rest the report, which has, I think, been publicly filed,

14 speaking for itself.

15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I could listen --

16 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment. One at a time. We'll

17 deal with it in a moment. If there is some difficulty, would you go and

18 speak to the officer.

19 Would you go and ask him? Would you just wait for a moment and

20 speak to him. Let's do one thing at a time.

21 Yes. Let's continue for the moment.

22 MR. NICE: And I trust that the Chamber now has the paragraph

23 numbered versions of the report which were filed for ease of reference.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Would you give us those, please, what they are.

25 MR. NICE: The paragraph number of the report to which I'm

Page 31615

1 turning, which is the conclusions, is at paragraph 125 and onwards, page

2 24 in the English version of the report.

3 Q. And, General Vegh, again, you were asked to prepare a report from

4 the position of a senior officer with experience of Warsaw Pact forces;

5 correct?

6 A. That is correct.

7 Q. You reviewed a quantity of documentation, and I think you also

8 reviewed the experts' reports produced by the Office of the Prosecutor

9 under the names of Reynaud Theunens and also including the name of Allen

10 Borrelli; correct?

11 A. Yes, Your Honour. All those documents and my own experience were

12 the basis for my answers.

13 Q. In paragraph 126 --

14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nice, you have to wait. The Serbian interpreters

15 begin their interpretation after having the English translation.

16 MR. NICE: I apologise.

17 Q. At paragraph 126, you express your opinion that at the collapse of

18 the supreme state leadership, the armed forces became a tool for achieving

19 political objectives. In a couple of sentences only, please expand on

20 paragraph 126.

21 A. Your Honour, the defence forces, they carried out their tasks.

22 The armed leader -- the supreme state leadership carried out their tasks.

23 At the same force, the Territorial Defence forces, which were also part of

24 the defence forces, were not subordinated during peacetimes to the SFRY.

25 They were subordinated to the republic.

Page 31616












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Page 31617

1 When the crisis broke out, the defence for the Territorial Defence

2 forces dissolved and were reorganised, and that was a problem for the

3 leadership.

4 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 127, you express the view that commanders

5 of local units would not have been able to distribute weapons to local

6 inhabitants without superior orders. Does that remain your clear view

7 from the material you've reviewed?

8 A. Your Honours, yes, I'm still of the same opinion. The commanders

9 of the local military units cannot have the right to give arms to any

10 group which are not part of the military units.

11 Q. Paragraph 129. At what stage should volunteers and paramilitary

12 forces have been regulated so as to fall under the control of the JNA?

13 A. Your Honours, of course, it -- during -- in the armed forces --

14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the general please repeat this. Could you

15 ask the general to repeat this, please.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Generally speaking, the armed forces

17 and the military forces who defend the territory belong to the armed

18 forces, and the -- and because the reorganisation of the armed forces at

19 that time, the local defence force -- local defence forces were formed.

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, one moment.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And also other groups. Other groups

22 were forming combat units. These groups can only get tasks when they are

23 subordinated to the armed forces.

24 JUDGE MAY: One moment. Yes?

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am only getting excerpts in the

Page 31618

1 Serbian language, just a word here and there, and they have been

2 interrupted with the words spoken by General Vegh. I really can't

3 understand anything he's saying.

4 JUDGE MAY: Do the best you can. You must do the best you can and

5 answer any questions as we can and do the best that we can in the present

6 circumstances.

7 Yes, let's go on. We have it in English, and you also have the

8 report, of course.


10 Q. Finally, so far as your conclusions in relation to Croatia are

11 concerned, paragraph 130, you express views on the inadequacy of the

12 maintenance of discipline, finding from the materials that maintenance of

13 discipline was not fully implemented. The question to which I would like

14 an answer is whether in your judgement the army had the mechanism of a

15 modern army sufficient to maintain discipline had it chosen to do so.

16 A. Your Honours, I would like to say first of all that I don't have

17 any direct experiences. The documents which I had, the laws, the

18 regulations, the publications which I had at my disposal were the basis

19 for my conclusions regarding as to how the army could have worked, and I

20 concluded that the army of the Yugoslav Republic at that time was

21 organised and was led according to the doctrines and the regulations in

22 force at that time, and there was a possibility to keep to the rules.

23 Q. I turn to --

24 A. At this same time, one can also see that the -- the circumstances

25 were such that the -- that there were very negative trends, and those were

Page 31619

1 mostly -- had mostly undesirable effects as far as the implication of the

2 doctrines was concerned, the practical implication.

3 For example, there could have been two standards for the -- for

4 judging certain circumstances or certain cases, or as far as judging the

5 tolerance and the sanctions is concerned. There were several cases where

6 theory and practice were not congruent or at least doubtful.

7 JUDGE MAY: We will allow the objection -- let him finish. What

8 is it you want to say?

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] From what I'm listening to and

10 hearing, I can conclude, and I'm sure that Mr. Tapuskovic will bear me

11 out, that the witness is speaking, after that we hear the English

12 interpretation, and then after the English interpretation we have the

13 Serbian interpretation. However, it overlaps. The Serbian interpretation

14 is still ongoing when the general starts speaking again. So we should

15 make a pause, wait for the Serbian interpretation to finish, otherwise

16 there is overlapping between the Serbian and what the general is saying,

17 and I can't hear anything.

18 JUDGE MAY: If that is the case, it should be put right. We will

19 do that, if it's necessary.

20 MR. NICE: I will ask Ms. Dicklich to tell me when the Serbian

21 version is concluded and I'll start my next question. Thank you.

22 There have been a few very detailed corrections, mostly to

23 footnotes, that the general has told me about. Rather than take time now,

24 I can deal with those at the conclusion of his evidence.

25 I turn to the conclusions in the Bosnia report. The majority of

Page 31620

1 the report speaking for itself, I take the Court and the general to

2 paragraph 257, English page 48.

3 JUDGE MAY: Has everybody -- has everybody got a picture, has got

4 the time? They were late.

5 MR. NICE: I think everybody has got them now.

6 Q. At paragraph 257, and between there and paragraph 271, you deal

7 with Operation Drina 93. In a couple of sentences, please, the

8 significance of this document for the interrelationship of the three

9 armies to which you refer; the SVK, the VJ, and the VRS.

10 A. Operation Drina 93 was a strategic plan. A strategic plan is

11 usually worked out by the leadership. The leadership carry out their

12 tasks according to their political aims and goals. The Drina plan had two

13 components; first of all, it assumes that the war, the crisis, could

14 expand to the whole region. The strategic plan determines the -- the aims

15 -- aims as far as counteracting the aggression is concerned.

16 The Krajina army and the Bosnian army --

17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the general please repeat. Could the

18 general please repeat.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Krajina Serbian army and the

20 Bosnian Serbian army had detailed tasks for -- for spring of 1994. This

21 plan belongs to the logistic and air defence plans of Yugoslavia. The

22 second phase of this plan concerns the cooperation of the Serbian states

23 in case of aggression. In this phase, the plan is counting on the active

24 cooperation of the Yugoslav army and also on the logistic support. This

25 plan was worked out by the leadership of the Bosnian Serb army and the

Page 31621

1 Chief of Staff has signed it.


3 Q. Thank you.

4 A. I think that since three different armies are involved here, or at

5 least their cooperation is involved here, the Chiefs of Staff certainly

6 were involved.

7 Q. I think the --

8 A. This --

9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the general please repeat this.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This -- this plan was probably drawn

11 up on the basis of a step-by-step plan.

12 MR. NICE:

13 Q. I think, General, that's enough. And the translation has

14 finished.

15 The time taken, General, requires us to be careful in our use of

16 it, and if we move beyond your analysis of the combat readiness for the

17 VRS in 1992 covered at 272 to 279, which is self-explanatory, we come to

18 paragraph 280.

19 Does -- at paragraph 280, you deal with the Gvozd Operation in

20 February 1995. For economic use of time, should the reader of the report

21 be focusing on this operation, as you describe it, for the similar

22 purpose, namely the degree of interrelationship between the armies that

23 the plan reveals?

24 A. Yes.

25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. What is it?

Page 31622












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Page 31623

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Quite simply, I don't think there

2 should be any overlapping in the interpretation. While the Serbian

3 interpreter is translating, the Hungarian interpreter is doing the same

4 and then we get Serbian and Hungarian at the same time so I can't

5 understand what is being said in Serbian. They have to wait for each

6 other to finish. If we have three languages, Serbian, English and

7 Hungarian, each interpreter has to wait or the other to finish, otherwise,

8 there is general overlapping.

9 JUDGE MAY: Indeed. We will ensure that matters are dealt with as

10 far as possible today.

11 MR. NICE:

12 Q. And my last question, in light of the time difficulties and

13 constraints: You were asked to express other conclusions, which you have

14 done, but at the very end of your report, 299, you were asked to focus on

15 the possible issue which may arise from language used by people at certain

16 points in chains of command, namely the phrase "one army" to describe the

17 connection between the VRS and the VJ.

18 Again, just in a couple of sentences, General, if you can, your

19 view from all the material on the appropriateness or not of the phrase

20 "one army."

21 A. Honourable Tribunal, in several records and several reports, we

22 see the expression "one army, own forces." This expression is used quite

23 often in every case where there is military cooperation. Generally

24 speaking, this is used in order to distinguish "own forces." And also, it

25 is a matter of recognising each other, mutual recognition. There are

Page 31624

1 various signs and symbols that serve the purpose of distinguishing in this

2 respect, and when you talk about one army or two separate armies, and this

3 I'm referring to as a theory, we can imagine different approaches to this

4 question. The most basic approach would be a distinction made on an

5 emotional basis, and this would mean that forces fighting on the same side

6 carry out their tasks in very close cooperation. They have common aims,

7 common goals, and at the same time, it is also possible that the

8 commanders and the soldiers of the military actually know each other. And

9 there can also be a similarity as regards organisation.

10 If we try to explain this using political arguments, and I'm still

11 talking about one army or two armies, then on the basis of the documents

12 that had been made available to me, it is very clear that the political

13 and legal grounds did in fact exist for the separation of the two armies.

14 Both the military and the political leadership control and command had

15 separate systems, and the structure that came into being as a result of

16 that did function and guaranteed independent functioning.

17 If we look at it from the military point of view, then we can

18 state that as a result of joint activities, there could be a very close

19 cooperation between the two armies, the two armed forces. And at the same

20 time, there could be a very strong logistical support. Therefore, two

21 armed forces working in close cooperation.

22 Q. Thank you.

23 A. And if we look at the question from the point of view of the

24 military logistical support, then we can conclude that previously the JNA

25 had a joint central logistical support system. But after -- after the

Page 31625

1 withdrawal, there was -- there were two separate systems. But at the same

2 time, the system of subordination prevailed. And therefore, from the

3 logistical point of view, we can talk about one army providing support to

4 another army. Therefore, there were two armed forces working jointly,

5 cooperating very closely --

6 Q. Thank you.

7 A. -- with each other.

8 Q. That's enough.

9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before I sit down, I thought I heard on

10 line 23 of the previous page "juristical point of view," but it reads

11 "logistical point of view." I don't know if the interpreters can assist

12 me with that.

13 JUDGE MAY: It may be simpler to deal with the matter later rather

14 than spend time.

15 MR. NICE: There's only one correction that the witness told me

16 about that's in the body of the report. That's the only one I'll deal

17 with now. He doesn't need to comment on it. It's at page 13, paragraph

18 73. Last sentence reads, "He coordinates the combined operations of

19 service branches." The witness wishes the word "combined" to be replaced

20 by "joined." It's the same topic that we're dealing with in another part

21 of the report. I can deal with footnote corrections, if material, later.

22 Thank you, General Vegh, you will be asked further questions.

23 JUDGE MAY: What is your number for this, please?


25 MR. NICE: 644. And may the curriculum vitae be separately

Page 31626

1 exhibited, or tab 2.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, we have that number.

3 MR. NICE: I would -- thank you, General, you will be asked

4 further questions.

5 THE INTERPRETER: May the interpreters interpose for a second? We

6 have a suggestion. If the Hungarian consecutive interpreter on the spot

7 could be asked to cut her microphone when she is speaking to the general,

8 then we would not hear her.

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let us see if that improves, see how we get on.

10 Yes, you've got two hours to ask some questions, if you wish,

11 Mr. Milosevic. Yes.

12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, if we can just have one minute to

13 deal with the microphone, please.

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we can do that.

15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we may proceed.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We can go on, Mr. Milosevic.


18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I keep hearing some noise. I can't

19 -- do you hear that too?

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Don't be concerned about that. Just try and

21 concentrate on what you can and hear.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well, Mr. May.

23 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

24 Q. [Interpretation] General Vegh, in the beginning of your report,

25 you stated, and I'm quoting: "I was requested to describe the functions

Page 31627

1 of the military command and control system and its theoretical and

2 practical aspects and to draw conclusions that have a significant bearing

3 on the case."

4 My question is --

5 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish the question and then we'll

6 continue.

7 Yes. Has the matter not been repeated? Is that the difficulty,

8 the report?

9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, Your Honour, we're just

10 hearing silence while the Hungarian interpreter is interpreting to the

11 general.

12 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is what I was asked to

14 do, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE KWON: But actually, we didn't hear the accused's question

16 as he could note from the transcript. What was your question,

17 Mr. Milosevic? Was your question whether it was right or not?

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, I didn't even ask the question,

19 I just quoted from the general's report that he was requested to derive

20 conclusions which bear on the case. That's the quotation, and my question

21 is: When you say "in the army," I suppose you mean in armies in general,

22 not a specific individual army. Is that correct?

23 A. Yes. This is the case. Generally speaking, I was writing about

24 the way armed forces function, but there are certain specific cases in

25 which in the question you asked me concrete points, and in that case I

Page 31628












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Page 31629

1 refer to those concrete points in my answers.

2 Q. I understand. I understand, General Vegh. Now my question is:

3 In your opinion, the systems of command and control in various armies in

4 the world, in civilised countries, I mean, are they very different across

5 the board or do they tend to be similar?

6 A. Honourable Jury, command and control tends to be similar in

7 different armed forces because every time we talk about organisations of

8 hierarchical set-up, there is one person in charge of subordination, a

9 command control and norms of discipline and activities following the

10 doctrines.

11 Q. You say in this written report that part of your task was to

12 derive, and I quote: "Conclusions which have a significant bearing on the

13 case." Which case do you mean?

14 A. Basically, I was asked questions based on the Croatian crisis

15 pertaining to the different characteristics of the Yugoslav People's Army

16 at that time, how I consider the leadership, command and control of this

17 army, how the doctrines could function in reality, in practice, what was

18 the system of discipline and the morale of the troops.

19 Q. In paragraph 2, you say: "The conclusions I drew about the

20 operations in Croatia with particular attention to the activities of the

21 armed forces in Yugoslavia are based on the materials, orders, and

22 regulations placed at my disposal as well as on my own research."

23 My question is, General, when you say "operations," do you imply

24 all the combat activities in 1991?

25 A. No, Your Honours. And I only have direct [as interpreted]

Page 31630

1 experiences. Those documents which were put at my disposal and my own

2 experience were the basis for my findings, and I only answered on the

3 basis of the questions asked how the armed forces could have functioned or

4 should have functioned.

5 Q. Very well, General. Thank you. Now, in paragraph 3, you state

6 that by that so-called Prosecution you were asked to refer exclusively to

7 those documents which their team placed at your disposal; is that right?

8 A. Yes, Your Honours. I only worked on the basis of the documents I

9 received.

10 Q. Yes, I understand that, General. However, would you please

11 explain one thing to me. In point 3, you say that they - that is to say

12 the people from the so-called Prosecution - asked you, "For the purposes

13 of my report --" and I am quoting you, and to -- on the assumption -- "any

14 analysis or conclusions I made were done so on the presumption that any

15 accusations, facts and documents given to me are factually correct." And

16 you use the word "accusations." "... presumption that any accusations,

17 facts and documents given to me are factually correct." I should like to

18 underline that in your own paragraph 3. And so you say: "Finally, I have

19 been invited to assume the facts of the case are correct for the purposes

20 of my report, and to refer only to documents provided to me by the

21 Prosecution team. Any analysis or conclusions I made were done so on the

22 presumption that any accusations ..." and you use that word.

23 So, General, is that how it was? Is that correct?

24 A. Yes, Your Honour. I was asked to assume that the documents are

25 given -- which were given to me are factually correct.

Page 31631

1 Q. I should like to emphasise what you say when you say, "Any

2 analysis or conclusions I made were done so on the presumption of the

3 correctness of all the accusations ..." And that is what you say in

4 paragraph 3. Is that right? Is that correct, General?

5 A. I assume that the state of the procedure is such that the

6 documents put at my disposal are factually correct.

7 Q. Very well. I understand, yes. I have understood your answer,

8 General.

9 Now, do you happen to know, since you're saying that you drew your

10 conclusions on the assumption that all the accusations were correct, that

11 in modern day law there is a rule or law that is called a presumed

12 innocent, and that is a term that is a basic human right and accepted

13 generally throughout the world?

14 A. I understand that, Your Honours. That is my assumption too.

15 Q. Well, in view of the fact that all your analyses and conclusions

16 were made presuming that all the accusations were correct, that means that

17 you have -- what is done here is starting out from the opposite premise,

18 that is to say the premise of guilt and not the presumption of innocence.

19 Now, this premise of guilt in this part of the world - and when I say

20 "this part of the world" I mean Europe - was last applied during the

21 Inquisition and after that never again. Are you aware of that, General?

22 JUDGE MAY: These are very broad comments by you, and probably no

23 truth to this at all on any basis. Now, come to a more detailed matter

24 that he can deal with.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 31632

1 Q. Well, very specifically now, General, is it clear to you, then,

2 that your conclusions, given on the presumption of the correctness of the

3 accusations, that those conclusions then finally should serve as

4 confirmation of those same accusations? Is that clear, that we're in a

5 vicious circle here, a new legal perpetuum mobile, if I can put it that

6 way.

7 A. As I said before, Your Honour, I do not have any direct

8 experiences. I answered specifically to the questions asked on the basis

9 of the documents I received and my own experience. I did not detail the

10 details of the case, I only examined the possibilities of the functioning

11 of the armies.

12 JUDGE MAY: The witness has made that plain. He's made his

13 position quite clear. Now, let's move on to something else. He's

14 explained his position. If you want some other story, in due course you

15 can give evidence about it. That's his account.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. May, if this isn't clear

17 to you, then fine, let's move on.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. General Vegh, in point 17, you say: "During studies of military

20 history, I got an insight into the events of World War II in Yugoslavia."

21 Is that right?

22 A. Yes, Your Honour. In the course of my general studies of history,

23 I dealt with World War II. Those were part of my studies.

24 Q. Yes, I understand that, but you refer to events in Yugoslavia

25 during World War II. Had you said that you dealt with World War II as a

Page 31633

1 whole, I wouldn't have asked you, but you mentioned World War II in

2 Yugoslavia, and I assumed that knowledge served you in writing this report

3 for the opposite side that is bringing you in to testify. Isn't that

4 right, General?

5 A. No, Your Honours. I'm -- I'm talking about general military

6 history.

7 Q. Since you know about the events in Yugoslavia during World War II,

8 do you have any knowledge about the genocide against the Serbs that was

9 committed during World War II?

10 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance of all of this, the matter which

11 the witness is giving evidence about?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, the witness testified about

13 this and it is contained in paragraph 17. He said, "During my studies of

14 military history, I gained an insight into the events of the Second World

15 War in Yugoslavia." That is what it says in his report. So now I'm

16 asking him that since he is acquainted with Yugoslavia during World War

17 II, whether he knows about the genocide committed during World War II

18 against the Serbs.

19 JUDGE MAY: It's taking up even longer time at the moment. You

20 shall, of course, answer the witness if he wishes, but there are many more

21 matters he deals with.

22 Yes. Let the general answer.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do have knowledge, but I did not

24 get any questions on that in this respect, so I did not deal with it in my

25 report.

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Page 31635

1 JUDGE MAY: Move on to something else. You've heard what he said.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. Fine.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Now, tell me, please, in paragraph 27 - I'm moving on to another

5 area now - you say that in various -- "In the Yugoslav armed forces eight

6 basic elements are considered important in command and control, and they

7 are: Objectives, authority, responsibility, trust, discipline, morale,

8 regulations and time." Now, where did you get these elements from? What

9 was your source? Because you don't tell us your source in your report.

10 Where do you get the eight elements from?

11 A. The most important elements were mentioned here, and in generally

12 speaking, the regulations of the Yugoslav army were the basis for my

13 choice, but I would like to stress that all these elements are part of any

14 army.

15 Q. Very well, General. Now, speaking about the objectives as the

16 first of those eight elements as you enumerate them, you state the

17 following: "Objectives can be defined as specific values that have to be

18 achieved or preserved. Objectives are determined by social entities or

19 organs. Goals stem from objectives, tasks stem from goals."

20 So what is important for the armed forces, essentially important

21 for the armed forces of Yugoslavia are values which must be preserved, and

22 that represents an objective. For objectives to be put into practice, the

23 armed forces are faced with certain goals; is that right?

24 A. Your Honour, this is correct. Those are goals. On the basis of

25 goals, the tasks of the armies and the strategic goals and the commands

Page 31636

1 are the basis for the armed forces.

2 Q. Very well. The tasks of the armed forces of Yugoslavia were

3 provided for in the Yugoslav constitution as the highest legal act in the

4 land; is that right?

5 A. Yes, that is correct.

6 Q. I assume, since without doubt you wanted to do the work assigned

7 you well, that you know Article 41, paragraph 1 of the constitution, which

8 speaks about national defence, and I should like to quote that article

9 now. It is the following: "The armed forces of the Socialist Federal

10 Republic of Yugoslavia protect the independence, sovereignty, territorial

11 integrity and by this constitution the social system --"

12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter does not have the document

13 before her. Would the witness proceed slower.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Speak more slowly, Mr. Milosevic.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know whether this has been

16 translated for the witness, but I was quoting one of the paragraphs from

17 an article in the constitution which states that the armed forces protect

18 the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity. So I have

19 enumerated those values which the armed forces are there to protect and

20 defend. The goals and the tasks of the armed forces is to protect those

21 values.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Isn't that right, General?

24 JUDGE MAY: If -- if -- just one moment. If the -- if the witness

25 can answer the question, he can do so, but if it's some account written by

Page 31637

1 the accused, he doesn't have to do that. It's a matter for him.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in usual cases, that is

3 how it functions.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Of course. Therefore, General, we agree that the defence of

6 territorial integrity of a state is something that is a basic

7 constitutionally-provided for task of the armed forces; is that right?

8 A. As far as the strategic goals are not changed, that is natural.

9 Q. Well, territorial integrity is a value which is to be protected by

10 the army. I don't assume you challenge that.

11 A. I share this viewpoint.

12 Q. Do you -- are you aware of Article 237 of the Yugoslav

13 constitution, which states the following: "It is the inviolable and

14 inalienable right and duty of the people and nations of Yugoslavia, the

15 working people and citizens, to protect and defend the independent

16 sovereignty and territorial integrity ..." et cetera, et cetera. So once

17 again, defence of the same values that the armed forces are there to

18 defend, that is, the inviolable and inalienable right of citizens in

19 general. Isn't that right, General?

20 A. Your Honour, generally speaking, that is the task of the armed

21 forces.

22 Q. General, when you compiled your report, did you bear in mind the

23 fact that the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia, beginning

24 with mid-1990, so in the middle of 1990, and even earlier, started their

25 preparations and activities that were geared towards their secession?

Page 31638

1 A. Your Honour, it was not my task in this study to consider this.

2 Q. Very well. So you didn't look at that aspect. Now, when you drew

3 up your report, did you have in mind the fact that the Republic of Croatia

4 and its authorities, official ones, began intensively and illegally to arm

5 themselves by importing arms illegally through your own country, in fact,

6 that is to say through Hungary? Did you take that into account when you

7 compiled your report?

8 A. Your Honour, since I did not get any questions in this respect, I

9 could not really elaborate in my report.

10 Q. Well, did you bear in mind, because I assume, General, you must --

11 JUDGE MAY: He's given his answer to this. There's no point going

12 on to hear some story that you're trying to prove. It's not fair. Now,

13 find one that the witness can answer, of course.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, he answered my

15 previous question, so how do you know what my next question is going to

16 be?

17 JUDGE MAY: Just move on. Let's not waste time.

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. General, I assume that you collected sufficient information to

21 compile your report, and in doing so did you bear in mind the fact that

22 the authorities of Croatia, the police of Croatia through its special

23 units in places where there was a majority Serb population, launched an

24 action to disarm the police stations forcibly?

25 A. Your Honour, no, I did not consider this since I did not get any

Page 31639

1 questions in this regard. Only about -- I only answered questions

2 regarding the functioning of the Serbian army.

3 Q. General, you are well aware of the fact that there was a conflict

4 going on over there. Isn't that right, General?

5 A. Yes, of course, since the report deals with the conflict.

6 Q. Then I assume that the conflict has two, and in Bosnia we see

7 three, parties to it. So is it possible to compile a report of this kind

8 by looking at only one side and that in part? As a soldier yourself, do

9 you consider that to be possible?

10 A. Of course, Your Honour. My report is relative and is limited to

11 the facts I got. Only the facts and the documents which I got were the

12 basis for my report.

13 As far as the report is perhaps not complete --

14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the general please repeat this last part

15 of his --

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If my report does not appear to be

17 complete, it is because the answers -- the questions were limited.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. General, you said that you were given questions as to the conduct

20 -- about the conduct of the Serb army. Do you know that at that same time

21 it was the Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA, and not the Serb army, in

22 actual fact, and that the structure of the command cadres was Yugoslav and

23 not Serb? Of the three military districts that Yugoslavia had, two were

24 led by Croats, had Croats to head them. And in the structure of the

25 General Staff itself, the multi-ethnic principle was applied with a far

Page 31640

1 lesser percentage of the Serbs in the army, and the same was true in the

2 air force and in the navy. So we cannot speak of a Serb army; it was the

3 Yugoslav People's Army. Are you aware of that, General?

4 A. Yes, of course. At the beginning of the conflict, I judged the

5 functioning of the Yugoslav army, and that led to my conclusions about how

6 the Yugoslav army did function and could have functioned at that time.

7 Q. Very well. Now, in writing your report, did you bear in mind the

8 fact that the Presidency of Yugoslavia on the 9th of January, that is to

9 say at the beginning of 1991 itself, issued an order to disband all

10 irregular armed formations and to have the weapons that were illegally

11 introduced into the country handed over to the authorities or JNA units?

12 A. Your Honour, I got documents in this respect and also included

13 them in my report.

14 Q. When you wrote your report did you bear in mind that on the 20th

15 of January, the Presidency, also in 1991, that is, at the request of the

16 government of the Republic of Croatia extended the deadline for

17 disarmament and the disbanding of irregular formations? And did you bear

18 in mind that that deadline was not respected either?

19 A. Yes. The so-called rogue units are even mentioned in my report.

20 And it -- I also talk about a third appeal. And my conclusion was that

21 the leadership of the Yugoslav army tried to do everything possible in

22 order to have regular activities. Since -- you can see that in point 120.

23 Since the deadline -- since the deadline was not achieved, there were new

24 regulations.

25 Q. I'm asking you, General, to give me your professional opinion as a

Page 31641

1 competent professional, because the General Staff of the army of

2 Yugoslavia, bearing in mind the tense situation in the country and the

3 presence of large quantities of illegally procured weapons, especially in

4 Croatia, so the General Staff appealed to the Presidency as the Supreme

5 Commander with the proposal to raise the level of combat readiness because

6 of the deteriorated political and security situation in the country.

7 So as a soldier yourself, and you were the Chief of the General

8 Staff, do you consider that the General Staff acted properly when, faced

9 with a situation of this kind, it appealed to the Yugoslav state

10 Presidency, that is to say to its Supreme Commander, to issue an order to

11 raise the level of combat readiness because of the situation that

12 prevailed?

13 A. Of course, Your Honour. The Supreme Command tried to do

14 everything possible and necessary. At the same time, my conclusion was on

15 the basis of what happened later that the -- in spite of the commands

16 given, it was not possible to have -- to enforce these regulations and

17 commands in each case.

18 JUDGE MAY: Your last time before we adjourn.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. General, you probably have the wrong information, because I asked

21 you whether the General Staff acted properly what it appealed to the

22 Presidency to raise the level of combat readiness, and the Presidency, as

23 the Supreme Commander, did not authorise that because the representatives

24 of the republics who wished to secede blocked this -- the issuance of this

25 decision by the Presidency, that is to say the army. And I'm asking you

Page 31642

1 as a professional. The army could not act without a Presidency decision,

2 and the Presidency never made that decision or issued that order.

3 A. Your Honour, any army takes the steps to maintain combat

4 readiness. This is an army task, a soldier task, and where necessary the

5 leadership has to do everything necessary to maintain the combat readiness

6 of the armed forces.

7 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn now for 20 minutes. We're

8 grateful for the general to do it, to give his evidence. Would you please

9 be back in 20 minutes, and not to speak, of course, about his evidence.

10 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

11 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

13 MR. NICE: The interpreter in Budapest is in fact a simultaneous

14 interpreter but had been instructed, for administrative reasons, to

15 operate in the way she has been operating. The staff in Budapest tell me

16 they think that the system can now be changed so that she translates

17 simultaneously, offering the possible better use of time. No doubt we

18 must see how it goes. A happy rhythm had developed in the last part, or

19 in the second part of the first session but it may be it can now be done

20 simultaneously.

21 JUDGE MAY: Let's see how we get on. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, you know, because it's in

23 front of you, the report of General Vegh contains 229 [as interpreted]

24 paragraphs, and you know that our time is getting extended even more

25 because we have to wait for interpretation, and you know that I can't

Page 31643

1 finish my cross-examination in two hours.

2 JUDGE MAY: We of course have that in mind. We'll see if we can

3 deal as awkwardly [sic] as possible. Yes.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. General, do you know that at the session on the 12th to the 14th

7 of March, 1991, due to political rifts, the Presidency of the SFRY decided

8 to refuse the proposal of the staff of the Supreme Command to raise combat

9 readiness in view of the high amount of illegally imported weapons and

10 international tensions. Do you think that with this refusal of the

11 General Staff proposal the Presidency of the SFRY turned a deaf ear to one

12 of its obligations as prescribed by the constitution and by the law?

13 A. I believe, Your Honour, that the leadership of the armed forces at

14 the time took the necessary steps that were required in order to maintain

15 all of these activities, and the activities were coherent with the

16 instructions of the political leadership and the expectations of the

17 political leadership as well.

18 Q. Are you aware of this fact, that the political leadership, that is

19 the SFRY Presidency, because of political divisions did not take the

20 decision requested by the General Staff?

21 A. I'm fully aware of the fact that the highest political leadership

22 had some reshuffling at that level, and as a result of that, I'm going to

23 go into details in my conclusion regarding that new situation.

24 Q. Very well. When drawing up the report, did you bear in mind that

25 on the 9th and 10th of May, 1991, the Presidency of the SFRY adopted a

Page 31644

1 specific programme of activities and measures of nine points for a

2 permanent solution to ethnic and nationalist tensions, and one of these

3 proposals was to allow movement only to JNA units and federal police in

4 one of the areas of Croatia populated mostly by Serbs, that is, to

5 restrict movement to all other formations, paramilitary or military?

6 A. [No interpretation]

7 JUDGE MAY: It will have to be considered again.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that -- you mentioned a

9 document in nine points, and I did not have this report in nine points,

10 but I did have a number of documents which defined the internal activities

11 of the armed forces as far as the paramilitary and the protection of the

12 borders are concerned and their cooperation. These documents were

13 available to me.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Well, all right. When preparing your report, did you bear in mind

16 public appeals of both Croatian, Slovene, and Muslim Bosnian authorities

17 and political parties and other similar parties addressed to their

18 compatriots to not join the JNA and not to respond to its call-ups and

19 appeals and even to walk out of the JNA units? Are you aware of that?

20 A. I did not receive any documents regarding this. And as far as the

21 disciplinary aspects are concerned, I presented in great detail matters of

22 communication in the time of warfare.

23 Q. Very well, General. Do you know that as early as in May 1991, and

24 we have the example of Split in Croatia, attacks began against the JNA?

25 A. Well, basically, as far as the different missions are concerned, I

Page 31645

1 did not detail them in my report. I'm talking about military manoeuvres.

2 Q. Well, General, do you know and did you bear in mind when making

3 your report that after these initial attacks on the JNA, attacks were made

4 not only on officers and not only in barracks but even on their families

5 and property, in their apartments and in the streets, that it became a

6 regular, commonplace occurrence? Did you have information on that?

7 A. Yes. I did have a certain amount of information, and basically as

8 far as the manoeuvres are concerned, I considered a certain part of these

9 manoeuvres as defensive in nature when they concerned the immediate

10 surroundings of the barracks and also living quarters which were in fact

11 under attack.

12 Q. All right. But would you agree as a soldier that even without any

13 order or approval from superior places along the chain of command every

14 unit of the JNA in this case is entitled to self-defence if attacked? Is

15 that right or not?

16 A. In my opinion, every military organisation requires united control

17 and command, and there has to be a uniform underlying thinking and

18 strategy. So there must be coordination, and I'm aware of this. And I'm

19 perfectly aware of the fact that if the life of a soldier is in danger,

20 then of course he can rightfully use a weapon to defend himself.

21 Q. Certainly, because self-defence is acknowledged in international

22 law at all levels.

23 Tell me, General, when making your report, did you also bear in

24 mind that in addition to defending one's own members and property, JNA in

25 Croatia reacted only in a number of other limited cases by acting as a

Page 31646

1 buffer between conflicting parties, that is, between local Croatian forces

2 and Serb formations in order to prevent conflicts on a larger scale? Do

3 you know that?

4 A. Yes, I'm aware of this, and my opinion is the following: Every

5 military activity takes place between a higher and lower echelon, and of

6 course the commander is fully responsible whether there is a question of

7 self-defence or any other military activity. So it is the commander's

8 responsibility to follow all the different rules that pertain to the law

9 of war and contacts at wartime.

10 Q. General, do you know that at the time of the adoption of these

11 decisions on the secession of Slovenia and Croatia and the open display of

12 the desire to secede by the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the

13 president of the federal government, that is the Prime Minister, who is a

14 Croat, Ante Markovic, whose government was composed in such a way that all

15 republics and provinces were represented?

16 A. As far as these questions of the leadership are concerned, I've

17 not dealt with these questions, and I have not been asked questions

18 regarding these matters. The only information I have is concerning the

19 withdrawal of the Yugoslav People's Army from Croatia into

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

21 Q. All right, General. Do you know that this government, the one

22 that I described, on the 26th of June, 1991, evaluated that the decisions

23 of Slovenia and Croatia on secession were illegal, and they were supported

24 in that by the Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia, which is the only body

25 entitled to judge the legality and constitutionality of any enactment?

Page 31647

1 A. As far as legal questions are concerned, I did not deal with any

2 of these in my report.

3 Q. Fine. Do you know that on the 7th of July, with the participation

4 of --

5 JUDGE MAY: I wonder if we're not going to be wasting a lot of

6 time on this. The general has not been able to give any answers, he's not

7 dealing with it, so what's the point of wasting everybody's time doing it?

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the point, Mr. May, is that

9 this precedes all the matters that the general deals with, and that is the

10 secession of Croatia and Slovenia. I suppose there is a logical chain of

11 events that enables us to see the whole picture.

12 May I continue with my questions, Mr. May?

13 JUDGE MAY: We will allow, first of all, the witness to see

14 whether there's anything he can add to anything he can add so far on that.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as the events are concerned,

16 I -- I was not asked to study the events prior to the questions that I was

17 asked, so I can only give you concrete answers regarding the facts I've

18 been asked to study.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. As to whether there is any point asking any

20 further questions, it's a matter for the accused, but it doesn't seem to

21 add very much.

22 Yes, go on.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. All right. But very briefly, General: You know about the

25 so-called Brioni declaration made with the participation of the

Page 31648

1 representatives European Union, the Presidency of Yugoslavia and

2 representatives of Slovenia and Croatia, which established the presence of

3 the International Monitoring Mission and when it was agreed that the

4 decisions of Slovenia and Croatia on secession be placed under a

5 moratorium. On the 27th of July, a decision was made to introduce an

6 embargo on the use of force, and Slovenia and Croatia made it conditional

7 upon the withdrawal of the army. I suppose you are aware of that.

8 A. I have certain pieces of information. And I would like to assist

9 on the fact that I'm only an expert on military issues, and I have only

10 prepared to answer questions regarding this particular conflict.

11 Q. Well, the conflict involves two parties, General. You were given

12 certain questions, and you were asked to explain something based on the

13 facts provided you by the opposite side, the conduct of one of these

14 parties, but I suppose there is a causal link --

15 JUDGE MAY: Which page?

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I didn't say page; I said there were

17 two parties to the conflict.

18 JUDGE MAY: It is a waste of time. We have a detailed description

19 by the witness. What is the point of going through other matters? We've

20 got 200-plus and more. What is the purpose of all this if you don't ask

21 some proper questions?

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I believe I am --

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe --

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. He was going to respond, the witness. If he

25 wishes, that is, to answer something.

Page 31649

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, as I said in my report, and I

2 insisted several times, I only studied the conditions of the functioning

3 of the army, the leadership, the control and command, cooperation,

4 discipline, and so on in the first part of my report. And in the second

5 part of my report, I gave answers to concrete questions.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you should concentrate on the

7 issues of command and control dealt with in the report.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. But there are also certain

9 things that the witness refers to himself that needs to be elucidated,

10 such as the withdrawal of the army from Croatia and Slovenia.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Do you know, General, that on the 29th of July, 1991, units of the

13 JNA started withdrawing from Slovenia and Croatia?

14 A. Yes, of course I know. And a large party of these forces was in

15 fact withdrawn into Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I do discuss this in my

16 report.

17 Q. Do you know that the JNA withdrawal from Croatia was considerably

18 disabled or made impossible precisely by the blockades of the barracks?

19 A. Yes, of course. I did in fact deal with this question, and I

20 described the fact that the Yugoslav People's Army carried out a very

21 complex, very difficult system of missions. There was a complex task. At

22 the same time, they were withdrawing and they maintained military

23 manoeuvres, and they provided support to the defence forces.

24 Q. All right. But in order to understand what was going on at the

25 same time on a parallel track, I will quote just a brief passage from the

Page 31650

1 book of Lord Owen who speaks, for instance, about the Knin Corps, which

2 was an important corps at the time. And you know where the town of Knin

3 is. He writes on page 182 of his book, The Balkan Odyssey, and I'm

4 quoting: "Like other corps, this one was falling apart, too, because

5 officers and troops began declaring themselves as Croats and Slovenes and

6 abandoning the JNA in order to join their own national armies. They left

7 military service, and in some cases, the country. Those, mainly Serbs,

8 who stayed with the JNA did not have any freedom, and many were kept under

9 blockade in barracks by the Croatian army. That is one of the reasons why

10 the JNA reacted so forcefully in places like Vukovar. At that stage a

11 classical, a traditional civil war erupted with breaches of friendships of

12 soldiers within the same corps when they started waging war against one

13 another."

14 I want to ask you, General, did you have in mind the kind of

15 situation described by Lord Owen or did you deal with a different

16 situation as described to you by this side opposite?

17 A. Yes. According to my knowledge, the identity of the armed forces

18 simply stopped at the beginning of the conflict. There was no longer an

19 identity. And also, I know that there was disarmament of certain ethnical

20 groups, and at the same time other groups were armed. And as a result of

21 this, there was an imbalance, there was an uncertainty, and the situation

22 of forces and means changed as well.

23 Q. All right, General. A moment ago, Judge Robinson mentioned

24 command and control. Let us go back, therefore, to objectives as an

25 element essential to command and control in the armed forces of the SFRY.

Page 31651

1 From what I quoted, is it clear that the JNA, which has as a

2 constitutionally defined objective to defend and protect the territorial

3 integrity of the SFRY was facing Croatian forces whose objective was

4 precisely unilateral, forcible secession, i.e., breach of territorial

5 integrity? So you have on the other hand a legal constitutional

6 objective, and on the one hand an objective that is contrary to the

7 constitution. Is that clear, General?

8 A. Your Honour, I think that as far as the Yugoslav army was unified

9 and had unified goals and was intact, this was correct. But after they

10 lost their identity, the strategic goals were different which guided the

11 activities.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the interpreters

13 not to give me the Serb translation while the general is speaking because

14 I'm listening both to the general speaking Hungarian and at the same time

15 the Serbian translation, and I can't understand a thing because I don't

16 speak Hungarian.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. General, is it fair to say that after this refusal from the

19 Presidency to raise combat readiness and to create possibilities for

20 disarming irregular formations the JNA reduced its activities to mere

21 self-defence and, to a lesser extent, calming down inter-ethnic tensions

22 in situations of erupting conflict?

23 A. According to my opinion, the self-defence can only be discussed as

24 regards certain questions. Of course, every military action has goals

25 beyond self-defence; for example, the annihilation of the enemy, the

Page 31652

1 conquering of the territory, and the maintenance of the territory.

2 Q. To tell you the truth, I did not understand this answer

3 completely, but it would take too much time to go through the whole thing

4 again.

5 Do you think, General, since you talk about a shift in objectives,

6 that an armed formation that had been set in a legal way and which instead

7 of its legal objectives and tasks starts carrying out illegal and

8 unconstitutional tasks and objectives becomes in that way illegal and

9 paramilitary? Is that so or not?

10 A. Your Honour, according to my opinion, every manoeuvre, every

11 combat at the beginning needs to have a unified command for all military

12 units, and the principle of subordination must prevail.

13 Q. All right, General. That's not what I asked. I asked you if --

14 JUDGE MAY: What's your question? Put it again if you say it's

15 wrong. Let the answer be made if you say it's not true.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. So if an armed formation which instead of its legal objectives and

18 tasks starts carrying out tasks and objectives which are illegal and

19 unconstitutional, does that formation ipso facto become irregular,

20 paramilitary? Is that right or not?

21 A. Yes, I understand the question. Such formations, such armed units

22 cannot be allowed. If, however, this should happen, the command has the

23 responsibility to disband these forces or to subordinate them, those

24 semi-military units.

25 Q. Your opinion on this matter is of particular interest to me

Page 31653

1 because of the shift in objectives and tasks in the Ministry of Defence of

2 Croatia and Slovenia, because the question arises whether the existence of

3 these formations which used to be legal and constitutional becomes illegal

4 when they started fighting the legal army, the JNA, to achieve forcible

5 secession of Slovenia and Croatia. Is that so or not, General?

6 A. The illegal actions must be prevented at all cost, and only the

7 legal activities -- only legal activities can be allowed for the armed

8 units.

9 Q. Very well. Now, General, do you know that the ZNG, the Croatian

10 National Guard Corps, was formed in May 1991?

11 A. I do know about this, but I did not get any answers to this -- any

12 questions to this respect.

13 Q. Very well. Since you say that you do know about it, do you also

14 know that the Constitutional Court, when the Croatian National Guards

15 Corps was formed, which was contained in the law enacted by Croatia, and I

16 quote from the decision by the Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia. In the

17 law on Croatia, it said: "In the Republic of Croatia, a Croatian National

18 Guards Corps was being established as a professional uniformed armed

19 formation of military set-up for the defence of the country and for

20 keeping law and order as provided for by the Ministry of the Defence of

21 the Republic of Croatia."

22 Now, do you know that, defined in this way, the military structure

23 in Croatia at the time, that is to say in May 1991, was proclaimed by the

24 Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia to be unconstitutional and unlawful?

25 So therefore, this was a paramilitary formation; isn't that right,

Page 31654

1 General?

2 A. Your Honour, it was not my task to deal with the Croatian armed

3 forces and their tasks.

4 Q. Those forces were established before the conflict broke out, and

5 those were the forces that attacked the JNA, that defended itself from

6 them. It was these forces that were paramilitary forces, and pursuant to

7 the decision made by the constitution of Yugoslavia and the position taken

8 by the federal government and these were the forces that stood up to the

9 JNA and opposed it. So all that went before the JNA reactions and the

10 events that I described. And I assume you're bearing that in mind.

11 JUDGE MAY: If the witness doesn't want to comment on that he

12 doesn't need to.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not wish to comment on this,

14 Your Honour.

15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, it might be helpful simply to remind the

16 accused through the Court, and anybody else viewing it, that the general's

17 report was narrowly defined in order, of course, that shouldn't trespass

18 at all on fact-finding functions of the Trial Chamber and shouldn't go

19 beyond the proper remit of an expert. Thus, where he makes any comments

20 on the basis of facts, it's always on the precise basis, assuming facts

21 are as described but making no further comment.

22 JUDGE MAY: If the accused spends his time for another 25 minutes

23 or so, it may not be much use, but that's his position.

24 MR. NICE: Precisely so, Your Honour, and of course the report

25 will stand in its conclusions unchallenged by the accused, but that's his

Page 31655

1 choice.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand what you're

3 saying, Mr. May.

4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We've got another quarter of an hour, 20 or

5 minutes or so. We'll give you your time. It's a matter for you how you

6 choose to waste you time.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, May. Do you really

8 consider that I can cross-examine this witness based on a report which

9 contains 299 points in the space of two hours with all the technical

10 handicaps that we're witnessing, that we are communicating at a very slow

11 pace today?

12 JUDGE KWON: Please concentrate on the issues which are dealt with

13 in the report. Otherwise, we will consider the time you will have for the

14 cross-examination. We will not extend the time for the cross-examination.

15 Please move on.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. General, in your report, I think that shifting the army and

18 materiel you treat as a planned activity with a strategic goal in mind,

19 and you say that an important part of the JNA was withdrawn from Slovenia

20 and Croatia to strategically important territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

21 My question to you is as follows: Isn't it quite obvious that the

22 JNA withdrew from Slovenia and Croatia precisely because those two

23 republics had proclaimed secession and in order to avoid a conflict with

24 the paramilitary formations that were there? And in Croatia, we saw the

25 Vance-Owen Plan come into force, which means that the UN Protection Forces

Page 31656

1 arrived, and they were deployed in the area of Krajina. I assume you're

2 aware of that.

3 So there were agreements reached with the Slovenian and Croatian

4 authorities on that score on the one side and the Presidency of Yugoslavia

5 to have the army leave, both in conformity with the Vance Plan and the

6 agreements reached. Are you aware of that?

7 A. Your Honour, yes, I am aware of that. The 5th Military District

8 units left Croatia and Slovenia, and therefore a strong -- strong

9 concentrations were formed in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the military actions

10 were continued there.

11 Q. Very well. In withdrawing from Croatia and Slovenia, parts of the

12 JNA really did reach the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, I

13 assume you'll agree with me there was nothing strange in this because it

14 was Yugoslav territory. It was the state in which the JNA was the

15 official army. Isn't that right?

16 A. Yes. At that time, it was the case, naturally.

17 Q. And apart from that, Bosnia-Herzegovina was closer, territorially

18 speaking, to Croatia and to Slovenia. Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia

19 were further away. So it was logical to have a sufficient concentration

20 of forces find itself on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And a

21 considerable portion of the troops going to Serbia went via

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or to Montenegro or Macedonia. They had to have found

23 themselves at one point on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and

24 crossing through that territory on their way elsewhere. I assume you know

25 geography. Is that right?

Page 31657

1 A. Yes, of course. And actually, the withdrawal of the armed forces

2 from the former Yugoslavia --

3 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me. Could the general please repeat his

4 answer. Could the general please repeat the answer from "withdrawal."

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So after the withdrawal, not only

6 were there strong concentrations of troops, but it is generally known that

7 the strategic reserves of the Yugoslav army, the bases, the air forces and

8 the air defence were partly also in this area.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Of course, because Bosnia-Herzegovina was the centrally located

11 republic of the former Yugoslavia, and Yugoslavia itself always had a plan

12 -- the plan of defending its borders from whatever side they might be

13 attacked, so of course it was normal that it concentrated its largest

14 reserves in that central republic which was furthest from all the borders

15 of the republic itself. I assume you're aware of that, General.

16 A. I also saw the strategic concept like that.

17 Q. Very well. Now, when we're talking about the positions of the JNA

18 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, are you aware that in the second half of 1991

19 already the leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina, without the Serbs albeit,

20 led by Izetbegovic, appealed to the citizens not to respond to calls from

21 the JNA, and even went so far as to ask that all military records be done

22 away with?

23 A. Could you please repeat this more slowly.

24 Q. What I asked was this: In connection with the position of the JNA

25 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, do you happen to know that the leadership, led by

Page 31658

1 Alija Izetbegovic, already in 1991 called upon the citizens not to respond

2 to the calls from the JNA and asked that all military records be done away

3 with, removed.

4 A. I did not receive any documents to this respect. They were not at

5 my disposal. I know the Yugoslav army's doctrine in this respect and the

6 questions pertaining to doctrine.

7 Q. I'm asking you, General, as I assume that you're putting the

8 pieces of a puzzle together, are you aware of the existence in

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina paramilitary organisations that were called the

10 Patriotic League, which was established by Izetbegovic and even to the

11 present day that 31st of March, 1991, that particular date - and let me

12 emphasise the year, 1991 - that is to say one year before the war broke

13 out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that it is officially celebrated as the day on

14 which the Patriotic League was formed and it's celebrated as Patriotic

15 League Day. So do you know that this took place one year before the

16 conflict actually broke out? The Muslim side established this

17 paramilitary formation that was called the Patriotic League, and prior to

18 the conflict it numbered more than 100.000 armed men.

19 A. Your Honour, I -- my task was only to deal with the doctrine and

20 the tasks of the Yugoslav People's Army. I did not consider the things

21 which the witness [as interpreted] talks about.

22 Q. So all these organisations, those which attacked the Yugoslav

23 People's Army and were placed in the role of forcible secession, were not

24 your assignment. You weren't asked to look at them, were you, General?

25 A. That is correct.

Page 31659

1 Q. Very well. Do you at least know this: That before the war

2 officially began in Bosnia-Herzegovina, tens of Serbs had been killed

3 without any cause?

4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I simply don't understand how this is

5 helping the Chamber. It's wasting time.

6 JUDGE MAY: No, I agree. We haven't stopped him in order to try

7 and not waste further time. He must be allowed a reasonable time but it

8 doesn't seem to add very much. The witness can answer.

9 MR. NICE: It seems so regrettable and the very considerable

10 resources of the Tribunal in making this excellent videolink available

11 from Budapest are frankly wasted in this way and the general's time is

12 wasted as well.

13 JUDGE MAY: He's had the opportunity to give the evidence. We are

14 very grateful to him. Whether the accused asks anything is a totally

15 different matter.

16 Yes. Let's move on to something else. Are you going to ask him

17 any questions, for instance, instead of talking?

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am constantly asking him

19 questions, and the general's answers were that that wasn't the assignment

20 he was given by the opposite side, so I can't --

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It's a complete waste of time, waste for

22 everybody.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. General, is it true that the army in Bosnia-Herzegovina was

25 established on the 15th of April, 1992? Officially.

Page 31660

1 A. Yes, I am aware of that fact.

2 Q. Very well. And the army of Republika Srpska was established one

3 month later, that is to say on the 15th of May, 1992; is that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And in your report, you refer to some sort of transition by the

6 JNA into the army of Republika Srpska, and this is a title on page 10 of

7 the second part of your report. And from the text, it appears that there

8 was a special plan to create the army of Republika Srpska from a part of

9 the JNA, if I've understood your report correctly.

10 A. I think that in 1992, in the spring of 1992, in May, there was a

11 very complicated reorganisation. There was a time when the army withdrew,

12 and when the army had withdrawn, a new military -- the -- the army

13 continued their activities in a new district and that is how, in my

14 opinion, the possibility of the formation of a new military force arose.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the general please repeat the last part of

16 his answer.

17 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. If you would repeat that again,

18 please.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the withdrawal of the armed

20 forces, a new army unit was created. And the withdrawal of certain units

21 of the Yugoslav army was made possible, and the circumstances for the

22 achievement of the strategic goals were made possible.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. General, that seems to me to be rather generalised. Now, do you

25 know that when the secession of Bosnia-Herzegovina took place in Skopje

Page 31661

1 26th of April, 1992, a meeting was held by the vice-president of the

2 Yugoslav state Presidency, Branko Kostic, General Colonel Blagoje Adzic,

3 who was chief of the General Staff, and the president of the Presidency of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, and at that meeting it was agreed

5 that in -- that the competent authorities of the JNA and the Republic of

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina would as soon as possible reach an agreement with

7 respect to the status of the JNA in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there was talk

8 of a time limit, a deadline by which the JNA should withdraw from

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and for its transformation as well. In conformity with

10 that, the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Are you aware of that?

11 A. Yes. On 19th May of 1992 the Yugoslavian army withdrew the forces

12 which were not necessary there. At the same time, before that, the

13 Yugoslav army -- from part of the Yugoslav army, the Bosnian Herzegovina

14 army was formed. The army of the Yugoslav Republic had officers and

15 troops in many -- which were resident in many different places, and those

16 which were locals remained. And it is probable that technical material

17 also remained in place, considerable technical material, equipment and

18 also it is probable that those newly formed units were supported with

19 logistics.

20 Q. Just a moment, General, please. Doesn't it seem to you to be

21 logical that if Bosnia-Herzegovina are -- is becoming gradually

22 independent and establishing itself as a new state, that the citizens from

23 the territory of that new state are preparing to live and work in that

24 state and be citizens of that state? And if they are by profession

25 soldiers, for example, then they will continue to perform that profession

Page 31662

1 in the state whose citizens they are? Do you know that the composition of

2 the army of Republika Srpska was made up from people of

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina? They were all citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in

4 fact. They weren't members of the JNA who had come in from Serbia, for

5 example, or Macedonia, Montenegro; they were already citizens of

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

7 A. Yes. And since the new forces had a great many troops, naturally

8 part of the army was composed of those people. And at the same time, the

9 documents made available to me prove that the JNA had a number of officers

10 and sub-officers who remained in place and who participated in bringing

11 about the new forces and continued serving in the new army.

12 Q. Mr. Vegh, the JNA didn't leave them. The people who were from

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina remained in their own republic. And the army of

14 Yugoslavia, because the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia made up of Serbia

15 and Montenegro was formed, withdrew its citizens. So how can the army of

16 Yugoslavia withdrew -- withdraw citizens from another state from that

17 territory? For what reason? Why would it do that?

18 A. In my opinion, this was a process of reorganisation which was

19 extremely complex, and in fact for the 2nd Military District, became the

20 base for the new Bosnian armed forces. And as far as planning and

21 organisation was concerned, that required knowledge and expertise and

22 know-how, and the Yugoslav People's Army ex-officers became members of the

23 new force precisely in order to help its successful functioning.

24 Q. They remained in their republic. General, please, on the 4th of

25 May, 1992, that is to say before the official withdrawal, so I'm talking

Page 31663

1 about the 4th of May, the Yugoslav state Presidency officially called upon

2 the leadership of the three ethnicities in Bosnia-Herzegovina to decide

3 about taking over the JNA whose military composition was made up of the

4 citizens of that republic. And the official announcement made was that

5 the Yugoslav state Presidency at its session made a decision for the

6 accelerated withdrawal from Bosnia-Herzegovina of all citizens of the

7 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia who find themselves in service in the JNA

8 in that republic. In view of the fact that the process will be completed

9 within 15 days at the latest, according to the constitution of the Federal

10 Republic of Yugoslavia, there are no more grounds for the Presidency of

11 Yugoslavia or any other body of Yugoslavia decide on military matters on

12 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Presidency of Yugoslavia appeals

13 to the leadership --

14 JUDGE MAY: No. The witness must have a chance to deal with this.

15 Would you deal with these fairly slowly. Yes.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Well, I want to read this out: "The Presidency of Yugoslavia

18 appeals to the leadership of the three ethnic groups in

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say the Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, to

20 agree amongst themselves and to decide upon taking over the JNA whose

21 military composition was made up of the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina in

22 order to avoid any unfortunate situations and consequences."

23 So what else could the Yugoslav state Presidency have done? Faced

24 with the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it withdrew its citizens to

25 the -- its territory and left the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina on their

Page 31664

1 own territory.

2 A. I have no doubt as to such measures which took place, but on the

3 basis of the documents that I received, the Yugoslav People's Army left a

4 number of officers, NCOs, and troops that remained in place and continued

5 serving in the Bosnian army.

6 Q. Well, similarly, the officers and soldiers of the Yugoslav

7 People's Army made up the fulcrum of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina or the

8 army of Croatia, the backbone, because there were no others because this

9 division came about. Isn't at that clear, General?

10 A. I have no doubts about that.

11 Q. General, since you say that you were supplied with documents

12 relating to the events linked to this withdrawal, I should like to remind

13 you, and I assume you have had occasion to see this for yourself, the

14 report by the UN Secretary-General dated the 30th of May, 1992, on the

15 application of the UN Security Council Resolution 752. And I shall, just

16 in brief terms, or very briefly, quote from that because it deviates from

17 what the other side showed you as documents, this report by the UN

18 Secretary-General. I'm just going to quote several passages from the

19 original Resolution.

20 Point 5: "[In English] The bulk of the JNA personnel who were

21 deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina were citizens of that republic and were

22 not, therefore, covered by the Belgrade authorities' decision of 4th of

23 May to withdraw JNA from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of them appear to

24 have joined the army of so-called Serbian Republic of Bosnia and

25 Herzegovina. Others have joined the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and

Page 31665

1 Herzegovina, which is under the political control of the Presidency of

2 that republic. Others may have joined various irregular forces operating

3 there. Those who are not citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are said by

4 the Belgrade authorities to number barely 20 per cent of the total. Most

5 of these are believed to have withdrawn already into Serbia and

6 Montenegro, some of them having been subjected to attack during their

7 withdrawal. Others, however, remain at various garrisons in Bosnia and

8 Herzegovina, especially in Serb-controlled areas, including two

9 installations on the outskirts of Sarajevo."

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You must let the witness answer, if he wants to.

11 Is there anything you would like to add to it?

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Some of --

14 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just wait.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let me finish the quotation.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but very quickly.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. "[In English] A further category consists of personnel --"

19 [Interpretation] That is the preceding category, the second one, about

20 which it is said that they remained on the edges of Sarajevo. "A further

21 category remains in Sarajevo who had been blockaded in their barracks by

22 the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina or hostile irregular

23 forces."

24 So I'm quoting Boutros Boutros-Ghali here, report of the UN

25 Secretary-General of 1992, the 30th of May, 1992. Do you understand,

Page 31666

1 General, that this runs counter to the conclusions that you drew?

2 A. Your Honour, in -- in my opinion, the Serbian army in Bosnia was

3 supposed to protect the territory with the reservists in place. They had

4 to pull them into the army and also include members of the population.

5 Paramilitary units could also join them in time.

6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, go on, please.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] How much time do I have left,

8 Mr. Kwon?

9 JUDGE MAY: The answer is that at the moment you have another 20

10 -- 20 minutes or so. We will continue. Whether you get any extra

11 minutes, it won't be very many.

12 JUDGE KWON: After the adjournment.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Let me just ask you then, General, about what the UN

16 Secretary-General said, namely that the JNA withdrew from Bosnia and

17 Herzegovina. Look at what it says in the same report about the presence

18 of the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia on the territory of Bosnia

19 and Herzegovina. Ghali says: "[In English] Regarding the withdrawal of

20 elements of the Croatian army in Bosnia, information currently available

21 in New York suggests that no such withdrawal has occurred. UNPROFOR has

22 received reliable reports of Croatian army personnel in uniform operating

23 within as part of military formation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The

24 Croatian authorities have consistently taken position, consistently taken

25 position that the Croatian soldiers in Bosnia and Herzegovina have left

Page 31667

1 the Croatian army and are not subject to this authority. International

2 observers do not, however -- do not, however, doubt that portions of

3 Bosnia and Herzegovina are under control of Croatian military units,

4 whether belonging to the local Territorial Defence, to paramilitary

5 groups, or to the Croatian army. It is unclear in the circumstances how

6 their withdrawal or disbandment, as required by the Council, can be

7 achieved."

8 [Interpretation] So you don't deal with this in your report. As

9 you see, the report of the UN Secretary-General points to the decision of

10 Yugoslavia to withdraw its own citizens, not other countries' citizens, as

11 well as the fact that the Croatian army is not withdrawing from Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina. Do you have any comment upon this, General?

13 A. I have no reason to doubt the reality of this particular report.

14 Q. Thank you, General. So as a result of the agreement of the

15 Presidency of the SFRY, which took on the 4th of May the decision to

16 withdraw the JNA, which Boutros-Ghali refers to in his report, that is,

17 with a proviso that members of the JNA who are not locals of Bosnia and

18 Herzegovina had to withdraw, and people who were born in

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina were allowed to stay, but not as members of the JNA

20 because the JNA no longer existed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is that

21 correct, General?

22 A. Your Honour, after the withdrawal of the Yugoslav People's Army,

23 the JNA was transformed and it became the military forces of Yugoslavia.

24 But at the same time, the people who were living in this area joined the

25 Bosnian People's Army. But according to reports, we know that these

Page 31668

1 people nevertheless continued to receive their supplies and their pay from

2 the Yugoslav People's Army, and also in legal matters was also part and

3 parcel of the Yugoslav army.

4 Q. Well, in Republika Srpska, on the 15th of May, the army of

5 Republika Srpska was established and some, of course not all, former JNA

6 members from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina joined that army. Among

7 others, its commander, General Ratko Mladic, who was also a local of

8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, unlike, for instance, the Chief of Staff of the VRS at

9 the time, Sefer Halilovic, who was from Serbia but who had come to

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina to fight in the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

11 If we were to look strictly at who came from where, then Serbia

12 could be accused of sending Sefer Halilovic to Bosnia-Herzegovina to

13 organise the defence of Bosnia. I suppose you know all this, General.

14 A. Your Honour, in my opinion, these officers and NCOs from the

15 material point of view, from the point of view of personnel issues and

16 material question, were still part of their original organisation, and

17 this was proven by the fact that promotions, pensions, and other financial

18 issues, they were still addressing the leadership of the Yugoslav army.

19 Q. Well, that's quite another matter, and we shouldn't waste time on

20 it. It's the question of assistance.

21 Is it in issue, General, that the VRS fought for the protection

22 and equality of its own people in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Everybody had

23 the right to self-defence. I suppose that includes Serbs in Bosnia and

24 Herzegovina.

25 A. Yes. Naturally, this is what the doctrine expresses and contains.

Page 31669

1 Q. You know full well that Serbs accepted the so-called Cutileiro

2 plan which divided Bosnia and Herzegovina into cantons and that its

3 implementation could have prevented the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina but

4 it was refused by the Muslims.

5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, it really is absurd for the accused to try

6 and put in his case through a witness who has come here to do one thing

7 and has researched one thing and by asking questions that he may know a

8 little about, he may know something about, but his answers to which are

9 unlikely to be regarded as determinative by the Court when these are

10 matters that the Court has to decide.

11 JUDGE MAY: One moment.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I'm a fervent believer in the

13 right to cross-examine, and I have supported consistently your right to

14 cross-examine, but on this occasion you are abusing it, and I regret to

15 say I will not be in a position to support an extension.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Do you know, General, that after the agreement on withdrawal from

19 Bosnia and Herzegovina was reached Muslim forces interfered with that

20 withdrawal and hampered it by armed attacks? The most notorious is the

21 attack on the withdrawing column of the army in the Dobrovoljacka Street

22 in Sarajevo. I suppose you know that.

23 A. Yes, there might have been such atrocities.

24 Q. Do you know that on the 15th of May in Tuzla, also during the

25 evacuation of the JNA from the Husinska Buna barracks, a JNA column was

Page 31670

1 ambushed? People were burning like torches, and the JNA was very

2 peacefully withdrawing from their barracks in Tuzla. Do you know that?

3 A. Yes. It might have taken place, but I have no knowledge of

4 concrete events that have taken place.

5 Q. In Ghali's report that I quoted, it says, among other things:

6 "The Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina had initially been reluctant to

7 engage in talks [In English] on these and other issues with the leadership

8 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. A senior JNA

9 representative from Belgrade, General Nedeljko Boskovic, has conducted

10 discussions with the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, but it has become

11 clear that his word is not binding on the commander of the army of the

12 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."

13 [Interpretation] Do we see from here --

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, your time is coming up. You can ask, given the

15 time that has been wasted, you can ask one final question now and then it

16 will be brought to an end.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thought you would give me at least

18 those 20 minutes that Mr. Kwon mentioned.

19 JUDGE MAY: No. We're not going to on this occasion because of

20 the time you've wasted.

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. General, let us elucidate one more thing: Paragraph 296, towards

24 the end of your report --

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I continue, Mr. May?

Page 31671


2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. I'm quoting you: "In my opinion, as far as command and control

4 are concerned, two completely independent armed forces came into being

5 which contained new order of battle elements at different organisations

6 and different sets of missions."

7 Is that correct, General?

8 A. Yes, absolutely, naturally.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And just one more thing I would like

10 to clarify, Mr. May.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, one more.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. You proceed, General, from the premise that the army of Yugoslavia

14 waged war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you draw your conclusions from some

15 Drina Operation or a Gvozd Operation, whereas neither operation, Drina or

16 Gvozd - and I must say I received the Drina plan from a previous witness -

17 contain no elements of any planning on the part of the army of Yugoslavia.

18 They are documents of the VRS. And even as such, as documents of the VRS,

19 they were never implemented because they deal with the situation in which

20 they would be attacked. But the army of the VRS -- sorry, the army of

21 Yugoslavia did not respond, even when it was attacked in the Flash

22 Operation or the Storm Operation. Nor was the Gvozd Operation plan

23 implemented. And you know that staffs prepare different plans for

24 different eventualities. Do you know that this plan that was never

25 realised is exclusively a plan of the VRS?

Page 31672

1 JUDGE MAY: We must bring this to a question. What is it?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my duty was to give my

3 opinion concerning the plan, and this is exactly what I did. Now, as far

4 as the implementation of the plan and the way it actually was carried out,

5 these are things that I had not been asked to comment on.

6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn.

7 Now, how long do you think you might be?

8 MR. KAY: Very, very brief on the one army issue.

9 JUDGE MAY: Then we will allow the Prosecution --

10 [Trial Chamber confers]

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

12 MR. NICE: And I should be very brief in re-examination and I'm

13 hopeful that we conclude Mr. Theunens today, given that there's five days

14 between -- four days between now and when we next sit.

15 JUDGE MAY: We'll consider the position today. It's a question of

16 time.

17 General, thank you for your assistance, but there will be another

18 20 minutes or so. We will adjourn.

19 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.

20 --- On resuming at 12.44 p.m.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

22 Questioned by Mr. Kay:

23 Q. General Vegh, you recognise that the VRS and VJ became two

24 separate armed forces. That's right, isn't it?

25 A. Yes. After the withdrawal, that was correct.

Page 31673

1 Q. One of the features that, therefore, is recognised by you is that

2 there then came about a separate command and control system of each armed

3 forces.

4 A. Yes. Separate -- there were separate systems of commands,

5 although there was close cooperation between the forces in carrying out

6 their tasks.

7 Q. After this separation, the VRS then became an armed force that was

8 able to act independently and separately from the VJ.

9 A. Yes. It was an independent military force, in my opinion, which

10 had also independent tasks to comply with.

11 Q. It was able to undertake its own operations of a military nature

12 that were independent of the VJ.

13 A. In my opinion, that -- they only had limited possibility of

14 military actions. They needed logistic and combat support.

15 Q. One factor within your report that I would like to ask you about,

16 which is one that has not been considered, and it arises from the original

17 existence of there being one force, the JNA, and then the division into

18 the VJ and VRS, and that concerns the already existing links between the

19 military leaders. Do you understand?

20 A. Yes, I understand. Before the withdrawal, the Yugoslav People's

21 Army was independent. After the forming of the Bosnian army, it was

22 divided into two armed forces, and they were able to carry out their tasks

23 independently from each other.

24 Q. General Mladic, who became the commander of the VRS armed forces,

25 had good links of a personal nature with officers within the VJ. Is that

Page 31674

1 something that was within the information that was given to you or

2 something that you were aware of when drafting your report?

3 A. Yes, it was contained in the informations, in the personal

4 reports. I got documents about his new post and about his activities.

5 Q. General Mladic had been a very popular figure within the army of

6 the JNA and was able to take those links and that popularity with him into

7 the VRS. Is that something that you were able to recognise?

8 A. I think that the general had official and unofficial links with

9 the Yugoslav army which he continued to have.

10 Q. Yes. The last matter you raised there is that which I was going

11 to deal with next, that he was able to rely upon those pre-existing ties

12 and links to draw on resources for the VRS for his own command and

13 control.

14 A. I think that the appointment of the general was on the

15 recommendation of the Yugoslav army in consideration of his experiences.

16 He knew about the doctrine, and he relied on the traditions.

17 MR. KAY: Thank you. I have no further questions.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

19 MR. NICE: A few matters in re-examination.

20 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:

21 Q. Your overall opinion on the degree of separateness or the

22 character of separateness of the two armies is set out in full in the last

23 paragraphs of your report; is that correct?

24 A. Could you please repeat this? The answer is yes, that is correct.

25 Q. Immediately before that, in dealing with one particular document

Page 31675

1 at the request of the OTP, you reviewed the 50th Sessions of the national

2 Assembly of the Republika Srpska and the document recording what was said

3 at that session about the level of support for the VRS from the VJ.

4 A. Yes. I reviewed this document, especially as far as the

5 ammunition supply was concerned.

6 Q. Does that level of support, as you understand it to have been,

7 find reflection in your answer about the limited ability of the VRS to

8 carry out independent military operations?

9 A. Yes. I think that the VRS had only very limited material

10 possibilities and was forced to have continuous support by the Yugoslav

11 army.

12 Q. On an associated point, not exactly parallel but associated, at

13 paragraph 194 of your report you express the view that in cases of

14 assignment of personnel from one force to another to perform military

15 duty, responsibility for disciplinary matters of the assigned personnel

16 stays with the assigning force. Correct?

17 A. Yes. When a soldier or troops are subordinated to another unit,

18 only the -- only the command is transferred. The personnel and the

19 disciplinary questions remain with the original commander if the

20 regulation does not foresee otherwise.

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that a general finding or is it specifically

22 related to the situation in Yugoslavia?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

24 MR. NICE:

25 Q. I think that His Honour Judge Robinson would like to know whether

Page 31676

1 this is a general finding. You said yes, but I'm not quite sure whether

2 you're saying yes to that.

3 MR. NICE: I think he was.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a general observation, but the

5 constitution makes the fine points on it, so to say.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: What was the situation in Yugoslavia? I mean,

7 are you in a position -- are you in a position to say that that general

8 finding applied in the specific situation of Yugoslavia, that

9 responsibility remained with the assigning force?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That is generally so, and I

11 assume that it also is so in the case given.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: You assume.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The -- this is what the

14 military rules prescribe. It is general practice when troops or soldiers

15 are assigned to another unit or force.


17 MR. NICE:

18 Q. However, General, on both the question of the consequences in law

19 for support by one army for another, that's the ammunition and so on, or

20 assignment of troops, these questions are questions outside your area of

21 expertise and matters ultimately for the Judges or not?

22 A. I think that, generally speaking, it does belong to my province,

23 and this is not an extraordinary case. And the regulation also applies to

24 all NATO countries.

25 Q. Just a couple more questions. Drina and Gvozd as proposed

Page 31677

1 operations, to set out these plans, what level of authority would have

2 been required; top level, mid-level, or where?

3 A. Generally speaking, such plans are always drawn up by the

4 strategic leaders. That means the Defence Ministry and the political

5 leadership approves those plans and the -- and the strategic --

6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the general please repeat what he said

7 after "the Defence Ministry."

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The strategic plans are drawn up on

9 the leadership level, and the political leadership approves.

10 The war plans are also drawn up on the highest military level

11 involving the commanders who would participate.

12 The combat plans are drawn up by the mid-level leadership, so on

13 the mid-level.

14 MR. NICE:

15 Q. The Drina plan, it is said, never came into effect. That's not

16 the point of the questions you've been asked about it. As planned, did it

17 involve a substantial contribution from the VJ?

18 A. I did not quite understand this question.

19 Q. The Drina plan -- you remember dealing with the Drina plan in your

20 report. The suggestion by the accused has been that it didn't actually

21 take place. The point is, as planned, did the Drina plan foresee

22 substantial activity by the VJ in cooperation with the VRS?

23 A. I think that each approved plan must be started according to the

24 approved points. Of course, the plans may change as required, but also

25 for those changes, approval of the leadership is required.

Page 31678

1 Q. You were asked a question about the forces in Croatia at the

2 beginning of the conflict and at the time of the separation, and I think

3 the word "paramilitary" was used in the description of those forces. It

4 matters not to us at all what term is applied, but if the term

5 "paramilitary" was appropriate to the forces in Croatia at the beginning

6 of the conflict, is the same term appropriate to the VRS and the SVK?

7 A. Of course those paramilitary units might have been operating.

8 MR. NICE: I've made the point, Your Honour, and I'm going to move

9 on to save time.

10 Q. You were asked about events in Croatia on a particular basis by

11 the accused. Were you -- are you aware of events in August 1990 where

12 Martic took possession of the Knin police station?

13 A. Could -- could you please -- could you please repeat what you said

14 after "August 1990."

15 Q. Martic took possession of the Knin place station.

16 A. Could you please repeat the whole question.

17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, for want of time I'm going to move on. In

18 any event, this was questioning of the witness outside the area of his

19 expertise, and I don't think it's necessary to go further.

20 Q. And then finally as to your report, you were asked a large number

21 of questions about the basis of your report and the suggestion being that

22 you had in some way not taken account of the other side to a conflict or

23 the other sides to a conflict. Was it any part of your report to examine

24 the conflict overall or were you concerned, as instructed, simply to look

25 at the development of the JNA, the VJ, the VRS, and the SVK, and to look

Page 31679

1 at their interrelations one to another?

2 A. I examined the situation in a general way based on the documents,

3 and that was the basis for my conclusions.

4 MR. NICE: Yes, Your Honour, that's all I need ask, I think. With

5 many thanks to the general for his assistance but also, if I may, through

6 the Chamber, to the authorities, I think the military authorities in

7 Budapest, which have made available the videolink facility which, as we've

8 seen, is of a particularly high quality.

9 JUDGE MAY: That's certainly right, and we're very grateful to the

10 general to be here to assist us today, and we thank him for his

11 assistance, and we now bring that to an end. Thank you for your

12 assistance.

13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, if the transmission can end, then the next

14 -- we return to the evidence of Reynaud Theunens. He is, I hope,

15 outside the door, so that we can maximise the use of time today.

16 [The witness's testimony via videolink concluded]

17 JUDGE MAY: We may not be able to finish it in the circumstances.

18 MR. NICE: We'll hope for the best.

19 JUDGE MAY: We can do that, yes.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before the witness enters the

23 courtroom, I have something to say with respect to the list of witnesses,

24 and as there is a protected witness, I assume we ought to go into private

25 session just for a second, please.

Page 31680

1 JUDGE MAY: Briefly.

2 [Private session]

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 31681












12 Page 31681 redacted, private session














Page 31682

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 [Open session]

12 [The witness entered court]


14 JUDGE MAY: Fifteen minutes you have now, Mr. Milosevic, so you

15 need to organise your own time, but you have no more.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, you said yesterday that I

17 would have 50 minutes, now you say I have 15 minutes.

18 JUDGE MAY: Fifteen.

19 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]

20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, the JNA was present in Croatia up

21 until the Vance-Owen Plan came into force; isn't that right?

22 A. Your Honour, it's not the Vance-Owen Plan, it's the Vance Plan.

23 The Vance Plan was a transitional solution consisting of various aspects,

24 one of the aspects being the withdrawal of the armed forces, the JNA and

25 the Croatian counterpart, as well as the demilitarisation of the existing

Page 31683

1 forces in the area, being the local Serb TO.

2 Now, I didn't focus my analysis on that aspect, but you will find

3 in the second part of the document, and if there is further detail noted,

4 I can provide you with the exact page numbers. There are JNA documents

5 dealing, for example, with the transfer of JNA units into local Serb TO

6 units. There are also documents included in the section on logistical

7 support dealing with the creation of a logistical infrastructure for the

8 RSK TO, and subsequently the SVK, in a way to have a solution for when the

9 JNA isn't there any more.

10 This is also linked to the issue we discussed earlier, namely the

11 provision of personnel from the JNA to the local Serb defence structures.

12 Q. Mr. Theunens, I didn't say the Vance-Owen Plan, I said the Vance

13 Plan.

14 A. Your Honour, the transcript reads on my monitor Vance-Owen Plan.

15 Q. Well, the transcript can make a mistake. I cannot.

16 Is it common knowledge, Mr. Theunens, that -- when we're talking

17 about the plan, of course, because I always strode to have it adopted and

18 I do know that it was, that it was Vance's plan, I hope you don't

19 challenge that from the moment the forces of the United Nations placed

20 under their protection these zones, these territories, Croatian territory

21 was not attacked from those zones until the end of the war.

22 A. Your Honours, my report doesn't deal with the activities of the

23 Croatian armed forces related to the UNPAs or not. Now, if required, I

24 can provide an answer based on my experience when serving in UNPROFOR. It

25 may well be correct that there were no offensive operations or major

Page 31684

1 offensive operations launched by the local Serb forces from the UNPAs, but

2 I do recall that there were regular exchanges of small-arms fire, mortar,

3 or even artillery between both warring factions, so as well the Croatian

4 armed forces as the local Serb armed forces, HV and SVK, along the

5 separation line.

6 Q. Very well. Now, do you know on the basis of documents and the

7 actual state of affairs as it was that the armed forces of Krajina

8 surrendered all heavy weapons according to the double-key formula, one to

9 them and one to the UN, handed over to UNPROFOR? Is that right, Mr.

10 Theunens?

11 A. Once again, this is not part of my analysis. If required, I can

12 provide an answer based on my experience both in UNPROFOR and earlier when

13 working with the Belgium Ministry of Defence. This experience is then

14 focused on the situation in Sector East where Belgium had one battalion

15 deployed in Baranja. It may well be correct that initially the weapons

16 were surrendered and put under a double key system, so a key for the local

17 Serb armed forces and UNPROFOR in a number of weapons storage areas,

18 however, quite shortly afterwards, for a number of reasons, weapons were

19 taken back, and I don't recall an exact date when weapons were taken back.

20 They were actually taken back several times and returned and taken back

21 again, but between let's say the latter part of 1992 and 1995.

22 And for example, when I was working in the UNPROFOR headquarters

23 between November -- excuse me, December 1994 and October 1995, we carried

24 out a number of visits to not only to Sector East, so the eastern part of

25 Croatia, but also other areas including Sector North and Sector West, and

Page 31685

1 during these visits, even if our freedom of movement was significantly

2 limited by not only local Serb armed forces, I have to include also the

3 Croatian armed forces, but notwithstanding these limitations, we could

4 notice ourselves that weapons, tanks, guns, were deployed along the

5 separation zone. So this initial situation of withdrawal of weapons and

6 putting them under a double-key system was only an initial situation which

7 didn't last.

8 Q. Don't you think that it is very vital that it went on up until the

9 time that the Croatian forces attacked the protected areas? And then they

10 had to take up weapons again to defend themselves. Are you aware of that?

11 Do you know about it? They surrendered their weapons, it was under the

12 double-key system, they were then attacked and had to take up arms again

13 to defend themselves. Was that how it was or not, Mr. Thuenens?

14 A. Your Honour, based --

15 Q. Just give me a yes or no answer, please. You needn't go into

16 lengthy explanations.

17 A. Your Honour, the answer is no.

18 Q. Very well. If your answer is no, then I'm going to read -- the

19 30th of June, 1992 is the date, it is a UN Security Council document, so

20 I'm not reading the papers to you, it is the UN Security Council in New

21 York, adopted Resolution 762, which calls on the Croatian government to

22 hand back the pink zones to UN control, and Croatia was condemned for the

23 offensive on the 21st of June and the bombing of Knin and they were

24 threatened with sanctions should they not comply with the demands set out

25 in this Resolution. Is that right, Mr. Theunens? You looked at the

Page 31686

1 documents, you're a military analyst yourself. Is that correct or perhaps

2 this is some sort of fiction too, this UN Security Council Resolution.

3 A. Your Honours, my answer will consist of two parts. First of all,

4 my report did not include an analysis of the I think over hundred -- 100

5 Security Council Resolutions that were adopted between end of 1991 and mid

6 of 1995 related to the conflict in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

7 Secondly, the question or actually the comment put by

8 Mr. Milosevic is, according to my experience, an incorrect reflection of

9 the facts. Resolution 762 dated indeed from 30th of June, 1992, but what

10 I tried to explain in my -- in the answer to your previous question was

11 that actually a lot of events occurred or happened between the 30th of

12 June, 1992, and the 1st Croatian -- the first significant Croatian

13 military operation against RSK-held territory, namely Operation Flash

14 which was launched early May 1995.

15 Q. So before May 1995, there were no operations against the protected

16 areas. Is that what you're saying, Mr. Theunens, on the basis of the

17 facts you have at your disposal?

18 A. No, Your Honour, that's not what I'm saying because I spoke about

19 the first significant Croatian military operation. I am aware of the

20 operation against the Medak pocket which took place -- which was launched,

21 if I'm correct, around early September 1993. And at that time too the

22 United Nations adopted a Resolution urging Croatia to withdraw troops. I

23 also recall that around that time - and I recall that not from my work in

24 the OTP but from my activities prior to my taking up a position here at

25 the OTP - that in September 1993 as a -- as a reprisal, the local Serb

Page 31687

1 armed forces tried to or attempted to shell, for example, Croatian cities

2 with long range artillery and there was, for example, ECMM reporting, so

3 the European Commission Monitoring Mission, that a kind of rocket or even

4 a rocket had impacted close to its hotel on the southern borders of

5 Zagreb.

6 Q. Very well, Mr. Theunens. As my time is limited, these are the

7 facts, the material facts that cannot be disputed.

8 A. It depends which facts you want to raise, Mr. Milosevic -- or,

9 Your Honours, especially when it concerns facts related to the report.

10 Q. Mr. Theunens, in your report you say that there was a letter by

11 Helsinki Watch, and it spoke about various things. It mentioned the

12 media, and it mentioned crimes in that range. And on page 134 of the

13 report, of your report, you talk about the response to that letter. It

14 was addressed to me, I think, as well. I just pulled out this piece of

15 paper from the whole document, but it says here that the letter was

16 addressed to me, and then you say, "The chef de cabinet of Slobodan

17 Milosevic, Goran Milicevic, sent the Helsinki Watch organisation the

18 following response," and then you have the response sent by my chef de

19 cabinet, which reads as follows: "In connection with the letter sent on

20 the 21st of January to the president of the Republic of Serbia,

21 Mr. Slobodan Milosevic by the US Helsinki Watch committee, we should like

22 to inform you of the following: First, the places in which the mentioned

23 crimes were made -- were perpetrated are not located within the territory

24 of the Republic of Serbia."

25 So in -- that letter obviously makes mention of certain locations

Page 31688

1 where crimes had been committed. And it goes on to say, "Therefore, this

2 republic is not competent or in any way involved in acts of that kind, and

3 in this connection, the Republic of Serbia cannot be held responsible for

4 those acts.

5 "Point 2: The president of the Republic of Serbia has asked the

6 competent authorities in the Republic of Serbia to investigate the

7 violations that you stipulate in your letter, and if any citizen of the

8 Republic of Serbia took part in the perpetration of those crimes, he will

9 be prosecuted and brought to justice."

10 Now, tell me, please, what is there in that letter which is not

11 logical or incorrect? And one more question, let me add to that, do you

12 know that the first trials for war crimes, when it came to citizens of

13 Serbia that were committed somewhere outside Serbia, were court cases that

14 were tried in Serbia itself. Is that something that you know about?

15 A. Your Honours, I believe Mr. Milosevic is referring to the letter

16 which has been exhibited already. It's Exhibit 359, tab 6. Now, when you

17 look at my report on the page when --

18 Q. Well, it's your document.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

20 THE WITNESS: When you look at the page in my report, it's page

21 130 of the second part where this letter is discussed. I only quote the

22 letter. There is no analysis or conclusion or anything else related to

23 that letter.

24 Now, to answer the second question of Mr. Milosevic, I also quote

25 another Human Rights Watch publication, and this starts on page 134 of the

Page 31689

1 second part of the report. It's a Human Rights Watch Helsinki report

2 published in July 1995, entitled War Crimes Trials in the Former

3 Yugoslavia. And without going into detail, I think the article indeed

4 refers to a trial that was ongoing, and from other -- from open sources,

5 local open sources, I believe this may be a trial that is related to the

6 activities of so-called Yellow Wasps, another paramilitary group.

7 JUDGE MAY: Your last question.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Has 15 minutes gone by already?

9 Very well.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Let's just clear one more matter up, then. You said that in

12 Yugoslavia, officers who had committed certain crimes were even promoted,

13 and you gave as an example, the name of Colonel Sljivancanin in that

14 respect. Tell me now, please, Mr. Theunens, do you know that with respect

15 to this alleged guilt and the indictments and accusations made against

16 Colonel Sljivancanin, that there were proceedings before the military

17 court in Belgrade, that Colonel Sljivancanin was heard and examined by the

18 court, as were other individuals, and that the military court in Belgrade

19 or, rather, the competent authorities of military legislation reached the

20 conclusion that Colonel Sljivancanin was not guilty of having committed

21 any crimes? And this will be proved. Sljivancanin, unfortunately, is

22 here, but he is an honourable officer who did not commit any crimes, and

23 this was noted.

24 So what do you expect, except for the fact that the allegations

25 made in an accusation be scrutinised to see whether they are true and then

Page 31690

1 they were rejected, and the man is innocent.

2 A. Your Honours, I would like to correct what Mr. Milosevic said, or

3 at least the transcript, then. My report does not say that Colonel

4 Sljivancanin committed certain crimes. My report on page 139, paragraph D

5 - so it's the second part of the report again - mentions officer who had

6 been indicted by the ICTY. Now, I think that's clear enough. It doesn't

7 mean that -- it doesn't mean that I wrote it that he has committed certain

8 crimes.

9 Now, I can only say, and that's reflected in this particular

10 paragraph, that Major -- excuse me, Colonel Sljivancanin had been indicted

11 for war crimes I think end of November 1995, and that did not prevent him

12 from pursuing or continuing his military career, achieving senior ranks,

13 and even being admitted to the most senior military courses, staff courses

14 in FRY.

15 I am familiar with the Belgrade military court case of 1998. And

16 actually, yeah, Mr. Milosevic himself mentioned that Sljivancanin is here

17 now, and that's all I have to say about this aspect.

18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes.

19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I was

20 really hesitant as to which topic to choose for my examination of

21 Mr. Theunens. I finally decided on paragraph 5 of his expert report, the

22 armed forces of SFRY and the conflict in Croatia.

23 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:

24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, in paragraph 5, in the first

25 sentence you said that republican presidents were not part of the Supreme

Page 31691

1 Command and had no legal competencies over the Yugoslav People's Army. I

2 am particularly interested in the year 1991 and in the entire period until

3 the Presidency existed, even if it was only the rump one. Is that

4 correct?

5 A. Your Honour, could Mr. Tapuskovic repeat which paragraph he's

6 referring to, because my paragraph 5 --

7 JUDGE KWON: Of the executive summary.

8 THE WITNESS: Of the executive summary. Okay.

9 Well, indeed, according to the legal framework or the laws I

10 looked at, namely the 1974 constitution and the 1982 Law on All People's

11 Defence, there is no role for the republican presidents, or no part for

12 the republican presidents in the command or the Supreme Command. The

13 Supreme Command consists of the Presidency, so the representatives of the

14 republics and autonomous provinces, according to the law, and is assisted

15 by a Supreme Command staff consisting of the Federal Secretary for

16 People's Defence, his secretariat, and the Chief of General Staff and the

17 General Staff.

18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Now, please look at paragraph 7 of the executive summary. You

20 explained this already yesterday, but I would like to come back to this

21 issue, because it remained unclear, and I would like to clarify it for the

22 Judges.

23 Is it clear that you haven't come across a single order that

24 pertains to any orders given by the JNA to the paramilitaries?

25 A. Your Honours, I have attempted to explain over the past days that

Page 31692

1 paramilitaries was used in two conditions. It was used to identify the

2 enemy forces, and in the second instance -- or it was also used to

3 identify -- it was used by security organs or other security or

4 intelligence organisations investigating volunteer groups.

5 As paramilitary groups were not foreseen in the legal framework, I

6 think it is quite logical that JNA orders of that time would not include

7 the name "paramilitaries," because if they did, then the order would be

8 illegal. So therefore - and I think that was clear from the documents we

9 looked at - the name, or the description of "volunteers" was used. Like,

10 for example, we saw the war diaries of the Guards Brigade where there is

11 mentioning of Seselj's volunteers, or the name Territorial Defence

12 Detachment was used, for example, the Vukovar TO. When you look at the

13 second part of the report and where the operations in Eastern Slavonia --

14 Q. Thank you. You say here in the first sentence of paragraph 7, you

15 say: "In order to regularise the de facto situation that existed on the

16 ground in particular with regard to the presence of volunteer groups and

17 paramilitary formations, legislation was amended." And here you speak of

18 the period of August and September 1991.

19 A. That's correct, Your Honour.

20 Q. So when you dealt with these matters regarding the paramilitaries,

21 you mentioned Kadijevic's book. Kadijevic's book was not exhibited in

22 these proceedings, but it was mentioned several times. You yourself

23 referred to it. But it is -- but there is another document which has been

24 exhibited and concerns the paramilitaries, and I would like it shown to

25 you now so that you explain to the Judges whether you were aware of it.

Page 31693

1 While you were doing your work, have you been shown this exhibit

2 which is 328, tab 18?

3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I referred to it several times,

4 Your Honours, but the expert who is now before us is somebody who could

5 give us a qualified opinion on it. I have it here in English, and I

6 marked the pages I would like to show to him. It's only several

7 passages.

8 A. Your --

9 JUDGE KWON: What's the tab number again?

10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Tab 16. It concerns the meeting

11 of the Presidency with the top leadership of the military at the most

12 critical moment, and it concerns the paramilitaries. I would like the

13 expert to look at the English version, page 34, paragraphs 2 to 6, where

14 Kadijevic speaks for the record about certain things.

15 Q. Have you seen this document before? These are minutes, in fact.

16 A. Yeah. I -- I'm -- I cannot recall whether I recognise the

17 document now. I would like to make a correction. I used Kadijevic's book

18 only or mainly -- I read the whole book, obviously, but I was mainly to

19 explain the evolution in the objectives of the SFRY armed forces. It was

20 not myself who brought --

21 Q. No. I don't need Kadijevic's book. I'm showing you a document

22 and what Kadijevic said, according to stenographic notes, to the political

23 leadership of the state. Look at page 34, paragraphs 2 to 6. He was

24 speaking about the compositions of armed forces which numbered up to

25 200.000 people, whereas the army of Yugoslavia had less than 100.000.

Page 31694

1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The first number

2 refers to irregular forces, irregular armed forces.

3 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I would still like to finish my

4 previous answer. It is that I didn't bring up Kadijevic's book to discuss

5 the issue of paramilitaries. I used Kadijevic's book mainly to obtain an

6 understanding of the evolution in the operations of the JNA and, more

7 specifically, the mission of the SFRY armed forces during the conflict in

8 Croatia as Kadijevic in his position of Federal Secretariat for People's

9 Defence was one of the best placed people to discuss that issue. As far

10 as these --

11 JUDGE MAY: No, stop interrupting.

12 THE WITNESS: As far as these figures are concerned, it's a bit

13 difficult to comment on them in a sense that I haven't analysed this

14 document before, I can't compare it with other sources. I know from

15 experience that when armed forces discuss the opposing forces, sometimes

16 at least in -- not only in the former Yugoslavia but also in other

17 situations they can be quite generous when they have to make assessments

18 on the strength and the capabilities of the enemy, for various reasons, so

19 I would prefer not to comment on this particular document, or at least not

20 on this particular passage.

21 JUDGE MAY: The final question, please, today, before we go on to

22 another day.

23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I really don't understand. I'm

24 trying to complete this with only two more questions.

25 Q. Please look at page 140 in the English version, paragraph 2, where

Page 31695

1 Kadijevic said at that gathering: "We believe that the paragraph 1 and

2 especially the demobilisation of irregular organisations are a key point

3 for peace in Yugoslavia. We are not insisting on other things. But we

4 have to insist on this, I believe, because it is the basic condition for

5 peace in Yugoslavia. Demobilisation of all paramilitary units. And Mesic

6 responded when the decision was almost made: 'You make the decision, but

7 I won't sign it.'"

8 All this is in this document. Do you know about this or not? And

9 how is it possible that you did not receive this document from the OTP

10 when you made your analysis?

11 JUDGE MAY: The last question, please.

12 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I -- my -- I didn't say that I didn't

13 receive the document, I only said that I don't recall seeing it now.

14 There are 400 footnotes or 400 -- at least 400 documents have been

15 included in the report itself. It's obvious that myself and my colleague

16 Borrelli, who assisted me with the Bosnia-Herzegovina report, also looked

17 at many documents and we had to make choices. So I don't claim that I

18 didn't receive the document.

19 As far as these statements are concerned, again, I do recall that

20 the situation of SFRY Presidency around July 1991 time -- time period was

21 quite complicated. I can comment on Kadijevic's passage and say, yes,

22 indeed, it would probably have helped if all paramilitaries or even -- if

23 all paramilitaries had been demobilised or disarmed and the military

24 adopted a more peaceful stance, but in general, the military does what the

25 political leadership tells it. So I assume there's also responsibility

Page 31696

1 for the political leadership on that level. And I'm not a political

2 analyst, I'm employed here as a military analyst, so I would refer to a

3 political or a constitutional expert to give a more worthwhile answer to

4 your questions.

5 JUDGE MAY: Very well. That is all today. We have no further

6 time. We will refer in due course to find an occasion for this. We must

7 adjourn now. Tuesday morning.

8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, with that conclusion of cross-examination,

9 I can waive re-examination so we can complete with this witness.

10 JUDGE MAY: We have to end it now. If this witness is prepared to

11 give it up, so well, but we have no further time today.

12 MR. NICE: I understand that but I think the position is

13 Mr. Tapuskovic has finished, I have no re-examination, so he's free to go.

14 JUDGE MAY: If he's finished, thank you very much.

15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No, I have not finished. I was

16 reckoning with 20 minutes, as you led me believe, but --

17 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Very well. In due course.

18 We will adjourn.

19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.40 p.m.,

20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of

21 February, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.