1 Monday, 5 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.11 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. I'm sorry we were a little delayed
6 coming in.
7 Could the witness be brought in, please.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. If I could remind you of the
10 affirmation you took at the commencement of your evidence, it still
12 Yes, Mr. Rodic.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
14 WITNESS: MIODRAG JOKIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic: [Continued]
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Jokic.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher for his assistance
19 and show the witness Exhibit 500 from tab 2. Exhibit 500 from tab 2.
20 THE REGISTRAR: There is no Exhibit 500.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] P100.
22 Q. Mr. Jokic, you said that this schematic represents the structure
23 for the 2nd Operations Group, and the date of it is the 6th of December,
24 1991. And this is the organigramme of the 9th Military Naval Sector. Is
25 that right?
1 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, objection. It's of the 2OG
2 on the top of the organigramme.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Is that the organigramme of the 2nd Operational Group on the 6th
6 of December, 1991?
7 A. Yes, it is. Yes.
8 Q. In that organigramme, can we see the units which were subordinated
9 to the 9th Military Naval Sector?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. On that same day?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. You also said that the 472nd Motorised Brigade at that time was
14 within the composition of the 2nd Corps. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct. On the 6th of November it was to have been
16 pulled out. That was what the order was. But due to force of
17 circumstance --
18 Q. I'm just asking you about the 6th of December now.
19 A. Yes, on the 6th of December it was within the composition of the
20 2nd Corps.
21 Q. You said that the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade was
22 attached to the 9th Military Naval Sector to effect the blockade from the
23 south and south-east direction or axis from the Trebinje area. Is that
24 what you said?
25 A. No, that's not what I said. I didn't ask to have that battalion
1 attached to make up a full complement. I had one single unit of men, and
2 that was a mixed detachment. And that was on the 6th of November.
3 Q. Apart from the units that are set out in this organigramme, which
4 other units came within the composition of the 9th Military Naval Sector
5 on the 6th of December, 1991? Could you tell us that, please.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] And could I ask the usher's assistance
7 to hand this piece of paper to the witness so that he can show us the
8 formation of the 9th VPS or Military Naval Sector. Could the usher hand
9 this piece of paper to the witness, please.
10 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, may the Prosecution simply inquire what
11 is the purpose of the exercise when the units are also shown on the
12 organigramme of the 2nd Operational Group.
13 JUDGE PARKER: That will be a question Mr. Rodic will inform us
14 about shortly, I hope.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] The purpose of it is, Your Honour,
16 that this organigramme doesn't show the complete 9th VPS with all its
17 units. Here we have only five units that are shown within the composition
18 of the VPS, whereas there were more.
19 JUDGE PARKER: And it's important that we know each one of them,
20 is it?
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour. Yes.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can you place that piece of paper
24 on --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can you place the piece of paper you've just been writing on on
3 the ELMO, please. I should like to ask you to read them out one by one,
4 the units within that composition.
5 A. May I just be allowed to explain why these units were not listed
6 in my previous organigramme, the one that I compiled for the
7 investigators, and it is this: At the time I understood it that I was
8 asked for infantry units working on land, and that is why at the bottom of
9 the organigramme I listed these ground forces and their units. However, I
10 now see that you are asking for all the units within the composition of
11 the 9th VPS, Military Naval Sector. So can we take it in order?
12 Q. Yes, please go ahead.
13 A. This is the battery of coast-to-sea missiles, this first one here
14 on the left. Then we come to the next one which is the 9th Mixed
15 Detachment of landing vessels.
16 Q. Very well.
17 A. The next one is the 107th Coastal Group, artillery group, which
18 had stationary batteries that were entrenched in tunnels. That is the
19 coastal unit.
20 Q. May I just interrupt you for a moment. It says 107 OAG. Is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, why in the orders do we find 107 OAD? Is this a divizion or
24 artillery battalion?
25 A. No, this is OAG, whereas this 140, the next box, the next unit, is
1 the 140th Mobile Coastal Artillery Battalion, with two mobile batteries.
2 And last time we said and explained that a battery had 130-millimetre
3 weapons, guns, and that the second battery has 85-millimetre guns. So
4 this wasn't challenged at all on every map. We have the five positions
5 indicated of these particular batteries. Now, the next box is the 69th
6 Naval Technical Missile Base, rocket base. And then we come to the 367th
7 Naval Rear Base, logistics base. And next is the 16th Border Naval
8 Detachment, which had four patrol vessels. And the last one, the divizion
9 or artillery battalion, anti-aircraft unit with batteries of 20 and 40
10 millimetres for the defence -- for air defence. Of course there were
11 other units as well, but they are not significant in this matter, the one
12 we're discussing. If need be, I should be happy to add them.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please move the piece
14 of paper so we can see it, see the whole of it.
15 Q. And what did you say this last box was?
16 A. It was the divizion or artillery battalion anti-aircraft of 20 and
17 40 millimetres.
18 Q. Are we missing the TOS -- TOC, the technical experimental centre?
19 A. Yes. But it is not a division within the formation of the
20 9th VPS. I said earlier on that it was a unit which was subordinated to
21 the military technical institute, which was directly under the supervision
22 of the General Staff. And it was -- here we just had a training centre of
23 the technical experimental centre, the TOC centre, and it was located at
24 Prevlaka. And since at the beginning of combat on the 1st of October,
25 this training centre was subordinated to the commander of the 9th VPS, I
1 inherited that state of affairs when I arrived.
2 Q. Could you tell me, please, whether in the exhibits that were
3 tendered here, including your orders of the 10th of November, for example,
4 that mention is made of combat orders and the TOC is also mentioned as
5 well as the order for action for the pieces and weapons. And I'd like to
6 ask you to indicate that regardless of whether it was attached to you
7 temporarily, so that we have this complete organigramme and all the units
8 and compositions, regardless of whether they were temporary ones, or
9 permanently attached and subordinated to you.
10 A. Yes, within the frameworks of that technical experimental centre,
11 the TOC, and the training ground - I said this last time, I believe - they
12 had three weapons, three pieces of weaponry for experimental purposes and
13 testing. It was not a combat unit. I'd like to make that clear straight
14 away. And its intention was absolutely not to be deployed for defence
15 purposes. They were three different weapons of three different calibres.
16 And it was clear to one and all that they could not be used and deployed
17 for any serious artillery fire. However, of course for the targeting of
18 point or dot targets where you need precision targeting, they can of
19 course be used. Because they are high precision weapons.
20 Q. Mr. Jokic, I don't understand why you're expanding on your answer
21 now and explaining all this to us. Let me remind you of your order of the
22 11th of November, 1991, and it is Exhibit P118, P118 is the number of this
23 document. And under item 4, for example, point 4, it says: "TOC
24 Prevlaka," and says from 8.00 to 8.30 hours on the 12th of November with a
25 Howitzer of 122 millimetres.
1 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, may we have the document in front of us,
2 and may the witness have the document in front of him, if it's going to be
3 referred to in such detail.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] P118 is the number.
6 Q. Under point 4, a combat order is being issued to the TOC Prevlaka.
7 And it says that from 0800 to 0830 hours on the 12th of November, 1991,
8 with a 122-millimetre Howitzer and a 120-millimetre mortar platoon,
9 support for the 3rd -- gun support attack of the 3rd Light Infantry
10 Brigade Komolac from -- support for 3rd Light Infantry Brigades attack by
11 carrying out strikes on the K31 Komolac sector from 0800 hours to 0830
12 hours, as on the 12th of November, 1991, with 122-millimetre Howitzer and
13 120-millimetre mortar platoon. From 0800 hours to 0900 hours on the 12th
14 of November, 1991, with a 130 gun support attack of the 3rd Light Infantry
15 Brigade, inflicting strikes on the Cakovica village sector. From 0830 to
16 0900 hours on the 12th of November, 1991, strikes on such with
17 122-millimetre Howitzer, 120-millimetre mortar platoon. Did you issue
18 that order to the TOC?
19 A. Well, that's not being challenged at all. The only mistake is
20 that this V ^ isn't a mortar platoon. It is an artillery piece of 120
21 millimetre. It is not a mortar platoon as it says here, it is just a
22 weapon. Because we have 122, 120, and one 130-millimetre artillery piece.
23 Q. Mr. Jokic, we're not going into that kind of detail now. What I
24 want to know is this: Did you issue a combat order of this type to the
25 unit that was entitled TOC, and according to this order we saw when it was
1 expected to be deployed and how.
2 A. There's no denying that. Of course it's quite obvious.
3 Q. If there's no denying it, I'm asking you is the TOC within the
4 9th VPS? It's missing in the diagram, so could you please enter it into
5 the diagram. Or are you stating up to the very end that it's not within
6 your units?
7 A. I've already said how come this happened, and I said that it was
8 never my unit.
9 Q. Was it subordinated to you at that time, at that moment? You also
10 entered the 3rd LPBR, which was also never a unit of yours. Right?
11 A. That was a unit that was brought in and subordinated to me,
12 whereas the TOC is not a combat unit and it is subordinated to the
13 military technical institute. It was used -- it, rather, only used these
14 experimental weapons for point objectives in Vitaljina and Molunat.
15 Q. Please do not expand. I'm just asking you whether on the 6th of
16 December, the TOC was also within the 9th VPS with their artillery pieces,
17 no matter how many there were?
18 A. That is what I said and that is what is written on this diagram.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 Can you tell me whether the 130th Engineering Battalion is also
21 among your units?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you enter it as well? Did you write it down?
24 A. No. I said that I had other units that I can write in. If they
25 are significance, I'll do it right now.
1 Q. Can you just read these new units out to us, the ones that are
2 written next to TOC?
3 A. It says the 130th Engineering Battalion.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. The 9th Battalion of the military police.
6 Q. All right.
7 A. The 9th Battalion of signals. The 9th Company of OSOJ, the
8 coastal service for observation and reporting.
9 Q. I'd just like to ask you something. The first box, where it says
10 "BORB," that 204th ORD?
11 A. Yes. At that time, it was not the 204th ORD. It became a
12 divizion only when the battery of land-to-sea rockets were mobilised from
13 other sectors. And I had only one battery initially.
14 Q. Tell me, in your orders, was there any reference to the
15 400 -- 204th ORD or the way you wrote it down in this diagram now?
16 A. I don't see the relevance of that. I'm telling you about what the
17 organisation was and the situation that I found there.
18 Q. I'm not asking you, Mr. Jokic, how many soldiers there were and
19 whether they had breakfast. I am asking you whether in your orders there
20 is mention of the 204th ORD, or the designation that you put in this box
21 now. Yes or no?
22 A. I don't know. I don't remember such details.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 I would like to ask you to put the date of the 6th of December on
25 this piece of paper and to sign it on the front page, please.
1 A. [Witness complies]
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to ask for
4 this document to be identified as a Defence exhibit, please.
5 JUDGE PARKER: You tendered the document; it will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked D46.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to place
8 document P101 in front of the witness, please.
9 Q. Is this your order dated the 20th of November, 1991?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. In paragraph 1, does it say that according to the decision of the
12 commander of the 2nd Operational Group dated the 19th of November, 1991,
13 the 472nd Motorised Brigade without the 3rd Motorised Battalion will be
14 out of the 9th VPS and will function under the command of the
15 2nd Operational Group, specifically the 2nd Corps within which it will
17 Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct. But I have an explanation.
19 Q. Please, I don't need any explanations. I just want us to state
21 MS. SOMERS: [Previous translation continues]... is answering.
22 We'd ask that he be permitted to do so.
23 JUDGE PARKER: No, he's not wanting to answer, he wants to explain
24 an answer. So we'll leave that to re-examination, if necessary. Thank
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Until when was the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade
3 within your units?
4 A. As far as I know, until the 31st of December, which is what is
5 relevant here.
6 Q. Was that the deadline by which it remained within the 9th VPS?
7 A. I don't know what the deadline was. I asked for it to be taken
8 out immediately after the 6th of December.
9 Q. Do you remember approximately until when it remained within your
10 units? Was it during -- was it within your units during the course of
12 A. It was in the beginning, but I don't know when it was replaced,
13 when the negotiations started or whether it went on leave. I don't know.
14 I can't remember.
15 Q. Was it, say, there on the 5th of February, 1992, within your
16 units? Do you remember that?
17 A. It probably was, probably so, yes.
18 Q. What about the month of March 1992?
19 A. No, I don't know. I know that Kovacevic, Captain Kovacevic,
20 disappeared that time, in February. But I don't know whether the
21 battalion remained.
22 Q. Do you remember at all until when you commanded the 3rd Battalion?
23 A. Well, I said that it was there in 1992, but I don't know when it
24 was replaced. For a long time, it was out of action; it was on leave.
25 And it probably stayed on longer, but I don't know how long exactly in
2 Q. When my learned friend of the Prosecution asked you during the
3 examination-in-chief, you said that bearing in mind the strength of the
4 472nd Motorised Brigade and constant provocations that you proposed to
5 General Strugar that this brigade be taken out of the area surrounding
6 Dubrovnik and that he accepted that. Can that be seen from this order?
7 A. Yes, that's correct. On the 2nd of November or even before that
8 I --
9 Q. Just briefly, please. Is it correct or not?
10 A. I have to explain.
11 Q. You've already explained.
12 A. No, I did not. I asked for this brigade to be taken out as far
13 back as the 25th of October and when he subordinated to me. And he -- and
14 I explained why I asked for that. He said we are going to resolve that
15 within a couple of days. And then on the 2nd of November he really issued
16 orders for this brigade to be taken out of the 9th Sector, or rather, out
17 of the blockade of Dubrovnik.
18 Q. Why are you constantly running away from the 472nd Brigade? And
19 it is a unit that belonged originally to the 9th VPS. Are you ashamed of
20 the fact that that brigade was within the 9th VPS?
21 A. Mr. Rodic, this is the right question, truly. Before, I used to
22 be proud of that brigade. However, from the 1st of October until the 25th
23 of October, in this so-called Dubrovnik operation, this brigade in the
24 blockade of Dubrovnik took action that was self-defeating. It did not
25 achieve any success. It had an excessive use of artillery. By shelling
1 neighbourhoods in Rijeka Dubrovacka, and all settlements from Cavtat,
2 Mlini to Zupa Dubrovacka. There were many provocations and action was
3 taken even when cease-fire -- when a cease-fire was ordered. There were
4 too many casualties, dead and wounded, due to a lack of discipline, lack
5 of fire discipline, poor reconnaissance, poor command, and so on. As a
6 matter of fact, three soldiers from the 2nd Tactical Group were wounded by
7 their artillery in the Mlini/Zvekovica area. In appreciation of the
8 potential danger for Dubrovnik, if this unit in the area surrounding the
9 town was inactive, I was truly against having that unit join my units. At
10 all costs, I asked General Strugar not to accept it. As a matter of fact,
11 I did not even go to its command post ever - and that was Ljubovo and
12 Cerovac - which was my duty as commander. Those are the reasons, to put
13 it quite sincerely. That is why I did not want that unit to remain around
14 town and within my units.
15 Q. Mr. Jokic, we've just heard something that I don't want to repeat
16 later on. But if you have anything else to add linked to the
17 472nd Brigade, tell us now so that we don't have to go into additional
18 explanations later on.
19 A. Well, yes, I did. General Strugar accepted my proposal, and on
20 the 2nd of November he ordered that withdrawal with the date of the 6th of
21 November, effective of that date. On the 6th of November, only the
22 4th battalion was pulled out and sent to Slano. And instead of it, I left
23 the mixed detachment of the Territorial Defence. The 3rd Battalion was
24 already pulled out and was on leave in Trebinje from the 25th of October,
25 in fact, which means that it wasn't within the composition of the brigade.
1 And I didn't come across it or see it. And on the 6th of November,
2 General Strugar really did order the withdrawal of the brigade. However,
3 it did not withdraw. Two battalions across the Dubrovacka Rijeka, the 1st
4 and 2nd, stayed on. They remained in their positions. The units which
5 were supposed to replace the brigade arrived in their areas of combat
6 deployment ready to replace the previous ones, and they were the
7 3rd Light Brigade, the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade, the detachment of
8 the Territorial Defence of Trebinje, and the battalion of the Territorial
9 Defence of Trebinje. However, the takeover of duty did not take place,
10 and at that time I myself on the 6th of December [as interpreted] find
11 myself with double units, or rather, the ones I enumerated and the 472nd
12 Brigade minus two battalions.
13 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. Correction in the
14 transcript. It should say 6th of November not 6th of December on line 10,
15 page 14.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. The 6th of
19 On the 7th of November, the chief of the General Staff ordered
20 that a total blockade should be effected of the ports in the Dubrovnik
21 region because of the problems of the blocked garrisons in Croatia.
22 However, the order for that same day with respect to the 472nd Brigade
23 from the 2nd Operational Group read as follows: "Continue with the
24 replacement of the units of the brigade."
25 On the 8th of November, the attacks started in order to take
1 control of the Bosanka fortress and the Dubrovacka Rijeka. And for that
2 day, what it said was: "Continue with the replacement of the brigade," as
3 it did for the forthcoming days, not to have to repeat what I've already
5 On the 9th -- between the 9th and 10th, the 3rd Battalion was
6 introduced of that brigade, coming back from leave. Thank you for giving
7 me the time to go into that.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I hope you've had a chance to explain what you wanted to now.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. That you had sufficient time. Just tell me now, please, under
13 item 1 of this order, is there any mention made of the order for the
14 2nd Operational Group by which that brigade -- that group is drawn out of
15 the VPS and attached to the 2nd Corps, just briefly, please, yes or no?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. Thank you. And when you say that the 3rd Battalion on the 25th of
18 October was pulled out and no longer remained within the composition of
19 the brigade, do you mean to say by that that at that time it was not at
20 its positions but that the people were already on leave, but of course
21 formationally speaking, they were still within the composition of that
22 brigade, weren't they? They would be right, wouldn't it?
23 A. Yes. The unit wasn't at its positions, but of course it was
24 within the composition of the brigade. It was just not at its positions
25 [Realtime transcript read in error "It was just at its positions"].
1 Q. You mentioned that you never went to the command post of the
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there's a problem with
4 the interpretation. The witness said it was not at its positions, but of
5 course it was within the composition of the brigade. That is line 15.
6 Lines 22 and 23 do not reflect that.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You said, if I understood you correctly, that while the brigade
10 was under your command, that you did not ever tour the command post of
11 that brigade. Is that right? You didn't go there. Is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Did you, in that way, wish to show them, to demonstrate your anger
14 by ignoring them, or was it something else entirely?
15 A. Yes, there's a grain of truth in that. That was more or less what
16 it was.
17 Q. Isn't it a little strange and unusual for a commander, corps
18 commander, which would be what the 9th VPS was, is angry at a brigade
19 within its composition and does not contact or tour it at all, visit it?
20 A. Well, I've already explained that it was under me for just a few
21 days, just two of its battalions. And its withdrawal was expected
22 imminently. Whereas this situation, this withdrawal, went on from one day
23 to the next. It was prolonged. And bearing that in mind -- rather, the
24 fact that the unit both did come under me and didn't come under me and was
25 there and was not there, it was in the process of leaving, that was the
1 reason for this attitude that I took, except for what I've already
3 Q. Was there a deficiency in your commanding there then, the way you
4 exerted your command?
5 A. Well, you can put it that way if you like. It depends on your
6 assessment and appraisal.
7 Q. Well, when I asked you this, I had in mind first and foremost the
8 rules and regulations of the JNA, its doctrine, JNA doctrine, and
9 specifications, the doctrine of control and command. Unless I'm wrong, it
10 doesn't state anywhere that the superior commander can be angry with a
11 subordinate unit and not visit it. I think I'm right in saying that, in
12 disregarding it at all.
13 A. Well, rules and regulations in the army did not regulate life and
14 relationships. And the question of anger is quite unsuited, but I do
15 agree with respect to collecting the unit, yes. However, let me say again
16 that we are dealing with a space of five days or rather seven days. This
17 went on for seven days, this subordination and detachment.
18 Q. Was it regulated in the rules of control and command, this type of
19 situation, that a superior commander cannot be angry and avoid and neglect
20 his unit?
21 A. If we pursue this, then the command of the 2nd Defence Group came
22 to see me just once when he took over his duties in Kumbor, for example in
23 1991. And in Kupari, he came by once.
24 MS. SOMERS: Defence group, operational group, is unclear what the
25 original B/C/S --
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Operative, operational --
2 MS. SOMERS: [Previous translation continues]... in line 19, page
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Regardless of the fact that you mentioned General Strugar, as far
7 as I understood your examination-in-chief, you said you had a very proper
8 relationship with him.
9 A. Yes, absolutely correct.
10 Q. However, a moment ago you explained to us specifically your
11 animosity towards the 472nd Brigade while it was within your composition.
12 So all I was asking you was if you recognise that these were deficiencies
13 or weaknesses or faults. Do you agree that pursuant to the rules of
14 control and command, this kind of situation is not provided for and
15 conduct of that kind is not in the rules and regulations?
16 A. May I be allowed to explain at greater length, as you keep
17 insisting upon this point?
18 Q. I think the answer is simple. Just give us a yes or no.
19 A. No, you can't give a yes or no answer.
20 Q. Then explain.
21 A. I saw the brigade commander just one, and the man, he was
22 Colonel Obrad Vicic. He was not in command of the brigade, and everybody
23 knows that, including the command of the 2nd Operational Group. Although
24 in formal official terms, he was the group's commander.
25 Q. Did you tour units of that brigade, regardless of whether
1 Obrad Vicic was present or not? The brigade was composed of four
2 battalions, wasn't it?
3 A. When it was within my composition, under me, I did visit its
4 units. And of course the chief of staff of that brigade, who was in
5 command of it, pursuant to my order, came when the brigade was operational
6 and effective.
7 Q. Yes, thank you.
8 A. I haven't completed my answer, but if you don't want to hear it,
9 never mind.
10 Q. The Prosecution will ask you about that, that second portion,
11 because we've spent quite a lot of time on it already.
12 Now, you also said that upon arrival at the Dubrovnik theatre of
13 operations on the 17th of November, you saw a lot of men belonging to the
14 2nd Tactical Group in a small area. And as there was no military
15 necessity for so many men to be present, you proposed to General Strugar
16 that from the 2nd Tactical Group forces be withdrawn, that is to say the
17 1st Partizan Brigade of the Territorial Defence, and I'm asking you now
18 whether that proposal was taken up or not, was it adopted? Was that
19 brigade indeed withdrawn?
20 A. Yes. The proposal was adopted several days later.
21 Q. Does that mean that afterwards the 2nd Tactical Group was
22 disbanded soon afterwards?
23 A. Well, not immediately afterwards. It was disbanded on the 21st of
24 October. And they spent too much time, the two brigades and two
25 battalions, acted in this very narrow region and resorted to artillery
1 fire and other means. But General Strugar did withdraw the brigade, one
2 brigade, and then disbanded it following the request, and when he saw this
3 to be a military and tactical necessity.
4 Q. For the transcript, it says the 17th of November. So can we clear
5 that point up, this withdrawal of that brigade from the 2nd Tactical Group
6 and the disbanding of the tactical group itself. Did this take place in
7 October 1991?
8 A. Yes, that's right. Thank you.
9 Q. Now, you also said that General Strugar otherwise asked a proposal
10 from his subordinate commanders on the best deployment of the unit, on the
11 basis of which he took his decision on resubordination and attachment. Is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you happen to remember whether you perhaps made a proposal
15 along those lines with respect to the deployment of the TO units?
16 A. Well, when it comes to Territorial Defence units, there were quite
17 a lot of problems because they were fragmented, the territorial companies
18 from the different municipalities. I know that General Djurickovic was
19 appointed, the chief of staff of the Territorial Defence of Montenegro as
20 coordinator for the deployment and use of those units and the 9th Sector.
21 A little before my arrival or as I was arriving, thereabouts.
22 Q. Mr. Jokic, may I interrupt you. The substance of my question was
23 this: As you made these proposals, did you make similar proposals when it
24 came to the TO units? Let me remind you, you spoke about the formation of
25 a mixed detachment of the Territorial Defence, for instance. So that's
1 what I mean. Did you propose things of that type to the command of the
2 2nd OG?
3 A. Yes, I did. And I've said so already.
4 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you to take a look at the order
5 and to tell me under item 3 -- I apologise, item 4. The platoon, ZIS
6 platoon of the 472nd Motorised Brigade, was it pulled out of the
7 472nd Brigade and became a part of the 2nd Partizan Motorised Brigade
8 [as interpreted], which I think is discussed in item 3 and explained
9 further under item 4?
10 A. Yes, you're right. That's precisely what happened.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, page 21, line 5,
12 mentions the 2nd Partizan Motorised Brigade, whereas it should be the 5th
13 one, the 5th Partizan Motorised Brigade.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can you please tell me, this ZIS platoon, what weapons did it have
16 and what -- how many?
17 A. These were 76-millimetre anti-armour weapons used for anti-armour
18 combat, and I think that a platoon has two pieces. And here it says that
19 their task was to prevent naval traffic in the Kolocep canal.
20 Q. In coordination with whom?
21 A. With the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade.
22 Q. Please read under item 3, second sentence. It says here --
23 A. Yes, yes, you're right. The 3rd Light Brigade.
24 Q. Item 3, it says as follows in the second sentence --
25 A. You're right.
1 Q. "During the day, except a platoon of ZIS in the 472nd Motorised
2 Brigade into the company at Zaton and select a position for it so that it
3 efficiently cuts off maritime traffic in coordination with the
4 40-millimetre TV of the 204th ORD."
5 A. Yes, you're right.
6 Q. So you see that it mentions the 204th ORD, which is the rocket
7 artillery battalion, and not as you told us OAD, which is the coastal
8 rocket artillery battalion?
9 A. Yes. I did not have the divizion, the artillery battalion. The
10 fact that this is mentioned here just means that we did not have a full
11 strength as we should have had.
12 Q. Mr. Jokic, I think that you are avoiding answering my questions.
13 A. No, I'm not.
14 Q. Well, when I asked you what the unit is called, then you should
15 really give me the name of the unit as it was known within the formation
16 and not give me the number of soldiers that that unit had. I think that
17 the matter is quite clear.
18 A. That unit had one battery. This is why I wrote that down, as far
19 as I know. And I don't know if that means anything to you.
20 Q. Did you ever propose that a name of that unit be changed, because
21 it only had one battery, as you state?
22 A. Following the evacuation, this unit received -- was given, was
23 assigned, another two batteries after the evacuation of Sibenik and Pula
25 Q. But it remained known as the artillery battalion?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you please tell us what does the TV 40 millimetre stand for?
3 A. That is a tank platoon of 40 millimetres -- sorry, gun platoon of
4 40 millimetres. And it is used to provide support -- air support.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, page 22, line 24,
6 says "tank platoon" and it should be "gun platoon."
7 JUDGE PARKER: That has already been corrected. Thank you.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation].
10 Q. Could you please look at item 5 of the order. Could you please
11 explain what these abbreviations stand for.
12 A. Anti-armour coastal battery within the 107th OAD of the coastal
13 artillery battalion.
14 Q. Thank you. Does item 5 state that these two units should take
15 over weapons and ammunition from TOC, as is stated here?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
18 Exhibit P102.
19 I don't know whether there is a translation, English translation,
20 for this document.
21 JUDGE PARKER: We have one.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Jokic, this is a document issued by the command of the
24 2nd Operational Group dated the 2nd -- 5th of February, 1992. And it was
25 sent to the federal secretariat for national defence, the General Staff of
1 the armed forces of SFRY, the first administration, and it speaks about
2 the composition in this system of the units of JNA, Territorial Defence,
3 and volunteer units. So they are replying to the telegram sent to them by
4 the secretariat and the General Staff.
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. Under item 3 -- no, item 5. It says here: "VPS Boka." And then
7 under that we have the JNA units; they are listed. Please tell me whether
8 under the JNA units on the 5th of February within your composition there
9 was the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade.
10 A. Yes, that's right. And the 1st Battalion of the 5th Brigade,
11 which is a mistake, which is not true.
12 Q. Could you please take a look at item 3 on -- it starts on page 1
13 and then it lists the 13th Corps and goes on to list further details on
14 the following page. And then it says the command and it lists the units
15 within that command. Is the most frequently used term "not filled" or
16 "not ready for combat"?
17 A. Yes. I think that this corps was established in late 1991; that's
18 when they started establishing it.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 Can you please tell me, under item 2 we have subitems A and B on
21 page 1. And then below that it says that all units are under the command
22 of the 2nd Corps. The volunteer units have been established by the
23 command of the 2nd Corps and the command of the military district of
24 Titograd, pursuant to the order of the 3rd administration of the General
25 Staff. Is that right?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. Also under item 5, C, which is on the last page at the top, it
3 lists there the 3rd Light Infantry Brigade and it goes on to say that it
4 was established pursuant to the order of the command of the 2nd Corps and
5 approval or consent of the 3rd administration of the General Staff of the
6 armed forces and that there had been no pressure exerted by political
7 parties. Is that right?
8 A. Yes, that's right. And this unit was placed under my command.
9 Q. Does this reflect the problems in establishing full strength of
10 the JNA units -- in achieving full strength of the JNA units and
11 establishing them?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And that the 3rd administration of the General Staff had to
14 intervene in order to achieve this?
15 A. Yes. There was a significant problem with achieving full strength
16 of units. There were many large units in a small area. The
17 mobilisational standards had changed concerning the filling of the units,
18 these standards that applied in peacetime.
19 Q. Thank you. When you spoke about the lack of discipline, you said
20 that the command of the 2nd OG used to order daily that strict measures be
21 taken in order to prevent that, however that it was difficult to prevent
22 and put an end to this type of behaviour because the circumstances were
23 such that they were not favourable for command. Could you please explain
24 that a bit more. What was meant under this term "circumstances," the
25 circumstances as they existed?
1 A. Well, this phrase "circumstances" in my mind means as follows:
2 The state of war had not been declared, however the units were engaged in
3 combat and suffered losses. The general goals and objectives were not
4 clear, military goals and objectives in the conduct of operations. And
5 for days at a time, we didn't know whether we should advance or whether we
6 should remain in place. The soldiers were not motivated for action.
7 Particularly when the blockade of Dubrovnik started, in the circumstances
8 where there was no intention to take the city itself, and in a situation
9 where the residents of Dubrovnik did not accept the order to surrender
10 weapons and to demilitarise the town. Political parties had influence,
11 especially over the reserve forces and a very negative influence it was.
12 Q. You mean political parties?
13 A. Yes, that's right. I said political parties; they had very
14 negative influence over the reserve forces. And the media, which was
15 engaged in warmongering, had a most negative influence of all. They
16 incited people to go to war. And the policies taken by the state worked
17 towards achieving a peaceful solution, but only formally. Whereas, in
18 reality they did not accept a compromise and a peaceful resolution of the
20 Q. Thank you.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Rodic?
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it is, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: We will have the first morning break now.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Jokic, before the break you explained to us what the situation
4 was like, and you said that it was not in favour of the command as far as
5 military discipline was concerned. However, beforehand you said anything
6 thing, that command efforts in resolving problems of discipline yielded
7 partial results only, because the system-related causes had not been
8 eradicated. When you say system-related causes, I believe that you mean
9 the overall situation you referred to just now. I'm asking you now
10 whether these system-related causes also include --
11 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. I think it would be
12 appropriate to ask what he meant by that, not to speculate as to what he
13 meant by that and then take the question from there.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, it could be shorter and more simple and
15 more useful to us to get the witness's view of what he means, rather than
16 you explore all possible possibilities.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I tried to keep it as short as
18 possible, but I'm going to ask the witness then what he meant by these
19 system-related causes, that they had not been eradicated.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant in respect of resolving
21 problems of a lack of discipline amongst the personnel, amongst the
22 military, both soldiers and officers. The military courts did not exist
23 attached to armies, or rather, they had not been evacuated into this area
24 or established in this area. The military criminal court did not
25 function. So disciplinary infractions, violations, and crimes were
1 sanctioned only later, sometime toward the end of November or beginning of
2 December or the very beginning of December. Since a state of war had not
3 been declared, not a single commander felt accountable as a commander in a
4 particular zone, not only for combat operations, but everything else that
5 was taking place within that area, as is regulated by wartime military
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just an addition to
8 the transcript, if you allow. Page 27, line 18, it only says "military
9 courts," but it is the military discipline courts that the witness
10 referred to. And then later, he explains the military criminal courts.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Jokic, establishing units in haste, is that one of these
14 system-related causes?
15 A. Yes, certainly, as far as command and control is concerned, in
16 haste. And also, commands that are temporarily resubordinated. They were
17 not stabilised; they were not trained. Officers barely knew each other.
18 And all of this had a negative effect on command and control.
19 Q. All these circumstances that you referred to in response to my
20 first question and also these system-related causes that you mentioned
21 just now, did the 2nd Operational Group have any influence over all of
22 that, or were these causes and conditions there independently of the
23 2nd Operational Group?
24 A. The command of the 2nd Operational Group, of course, like all
25 other commands, could not change the objective circumstances involved,
1 especially not over such a short span of time, three months. A lot more
2 time was needed for the military's fear and for command and control, for
3 the situation to be improved from that point of view.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to show
6 the witness P107, which is in tab 8 of the Prosecution exhibits.
7 Q. Mr. Jokic, this is an order of the command of the 9th Military
8 Naval Sector addressed to all subordinate commands. It pertains to your
9 order for improving discipline. Isn't that right?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. In paragraph 1, does it say that "While touring the units, the
12 organs of the VPS discovered that orders were not getting through to those
13 ultimately carrying them out. There have been a host of unlawfully acts,
14 incorrect actions, and behaviour of individuals and units, willfulness,
15 lack of discipline, abuse, and failure to follow and carry out orders."
16 And then in order to improve general disorder and discipline, did
17 you issue this order?
18 A. Yes. That was the objective, yes.
19 Q. Is it correct that through this order you address your subordinate
20 units and give them tasks and instructions, on the basis of which all
21 weaknesses that were noted during this tour should be eliminated?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was this the only order, or did you have other orders during this
24 period, October to December 1991, in which you insisted on the respect of
25 order and discipline?
1 A. Of course. There were many orders, an inflation of orders. A
2 seminar was held on overall problems that infringe upon the morale and
3 combat-readiness of the troops.
4 Q. Did you have any return information that these orders of yours
5 went down to the lowest-ranking units that were subordinated to you?
6 A. These orders mainly went down to the basic units as well; however,
7 the greatest problems were not in the navy units. In the units that were
8 manned primarily by military conscripts who were serving their -- who were
9 doing their military service at the time. The greatest problem
10 were -- problems were in the units of the 472nd Brigade and the 3rd Light
11 Brigade. And in part, among the territorial units, I mean the territorial
13 Q. This more negative situation that you refer to, does it primarily
14 pertain to units that were manned by reservists, where there were not
15 regular soldiers?
16 A. Yes, precisely.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to give
19 the witness P109, which is in tab 9(A).
20 Q. This is on order of your command dated the 1st of November, 1991,
21 for governing the life and work of units in combat, and it was sent to all
22 subordinate units. Right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was this order written after the representatives of the command of
25 the 2nd Operational Group toured the units and presented their
1 observations -- sorry, I withdraw this question.
2 The order of the 1st of November, 1991, that is to say this order,
3 you in this order caution your units to fully observe the orders of the
4 command of the 2nd Operational Group, especially confidential order number
5 343-1 of the 18th of October, 1991, and confidential number 547-1 of the
6 30th of October, 1991. Is that right?
7 A. Yes, that's right, except that this focuses on combat safety,
8 although the other weaknesses were still there. Because the reason why
9 this was mentioned was a diversion in Slavonia, where there were many
10 casualties involved.
11 Q. Does command also bear in mind the orders of the 2nd Operational
12 Group, and through this particular order did you ask your subordinates to
13 eliminate these weaknesses more efficiently and faster?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. On page 2, towards the end, it says what all your units were,
16 rather, all of those that this order was sent to.
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to give
20 the witness P110, which is in tab 10 of the Prosecution exhibits.
21 Q. On the 4th of December, you as commander approved of a plan of
22 measures and activities aimed at developing and maintaining order and
23 discipline and morale of units in the next period. Is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Tell me, was this also in line with the orders issued by the
1 superior command in order to eliminate the problems that we have already
3 A. Yes, except that what is listed here is this entire spectrum of
4 measures and activities that effect morale and combat-readiness of units.
5 Q. Does that mean that problems were analysed and that attempts were
6 made to deal with them in detail and to improve the situation in terms of
7 the life and work of the troops involved?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Would the usher help us, please, and
11 provide the witness with P112, an exhibit in tab 12.
12 Q. Could you tell me, please, whether this order issued after the
13 instructions came from the federal secretariat of national defence and the
14 order of that same body, the secretariat, with respect to the problems
15 with respect to the seized property on the battlefront, whether this is
16 the order.
17 A. Yes. This order was issued based on an initial order and
18 instructions from the federal secretariat of national defence.
19 Q. Take a look at point 6 of that order. Item 6, does it indicate
20 that the superior -- that the officers and organs of the military units
21 issued permits for taking over confiscated and seized supplies and
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And what is being ordered under point 6 in actual fact, what
25 measures are to be taken?
1 A. According to this item, documents are called for, notarised copies
2 or photocopies with respect to the issuance of supplies, that is to say to
3 the organs of civilian administration.
4 Q. Is this being ordered so that records could be kept in one place
5 of what was issued, a united set of records?
6 A. Yes. For there to be complete records of supplies issued and also
7 to collect those supplies in a central place, a collection centre in other
9 Q. On several occasions you mentioned the unpleasantness that you had
10 in the press with respect to bringing your name in context with the seized
11 supplies. Your name was mentioned in that regard. Now, tell me, please,
12 did you play any part in that, in assisting Banja Vrujica and Mionica to
13 gain equipment and the agricultural concern in Lajkovac [phoen].
14 A. I have to give an explanation here about that. Everything that
15 appeared in the press, and several articles appeared in the papers, papers
16 which wanted to shift the guilt for all the looting that went on and to
17 take the blame away from certain individuals and put the blame on me. I
18 can explain that if you want to later on. And as for this particular
19 case, the facts are these: In order to pull out meat products from the
20 Pula sector, my command did not have refrigerators. And at my request,
21 this agricultural concern sent a new refrigerator with -- manned with five
23 Now, when these supplies were evacuated, the vessel which carried
24 this refrigerator around the waters of the island of Vis sunk, but luckily
25 everybody on board was saved. Several days later, the director turned up,
1 together with the president of the municipality or mayor, and asked how we
2 were going to make up for this refrigerator and send him one back. I told
3 him that I couldn't do that and that he should contact the military
4 authorities who drew up the contract in the first place, with the foreign
5 vessel which was intentionally sunk, that he should be remunerated and the
6 losses and damages paid for, that he should contact the insurance company.
7 And at the same time, the president of the municipality made a request
8 asking for assistance to refugees from Croatia who were presently located
9 in Banja Vrujica, a spa. And the administration for civilian affairs had
10 already been established by that time. Colonel Pipovic was in command and
11 it was directly subordinated to General Strugar, so that I had nothing to
12 do with that there, with the property that they disposed of.
13 I sent them -- I told them to contact Colonel Pipovic and ordered
14 Captain Zec to deal with the situation, because I didn't wish to get
15 involved because they were from my own municipality. So they went there,
16 took over the supplies and resources they were lacking in this refugee
17 centre. Mostly they were -- it was furniture which they were allotted
18 from the military warehouses at Prevlaka. Of course all those items were
19 paid for according to tariffs determined by the administration for
20 civilian affairs. And the security organs who investigated this
21 particular case, the state security and military organs, did so because I
22 was the target ever since I was in government. So they investigated
23 the -- this case very thoroughly. And then they went to Banja to see,
24 Banja Vrujica, whether the inventory had been registered and recorded,
25 whether all the goods had been paid for. They compared the lists they
1 found with the ones that they had at the Sutorina collection centre. And
2 since there were no discrepancies or any grounds for further
3 investigation, the matter died a natural death and wasn't interesting
5 Q. So all the documentation was regularly recorded?
6 A. However, what the press wrote about and what was on television, I
7 was attacked twice -- or rather, once but not a second -- I was attacked
8 twice, but others weren't. But we'll come to that perhaps later on.
9 Q. All right.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher to provide the
11 witness with Prosecution exhibit 113 from tab 13 now, please.
12 Q. This is an order which follows on from the problems dealt with by
13 the previous order, the one we've just been discussing. This is an
14 addition to this order. Would that be correct? An addendum, in fact?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I should now like to ask you to explain point 3 of this order of
17 yours at greater length, please.
18 A. Yes. Well, what this says is the following: After logging and
19 recording all these supplies in the assembly or collection centre, that
20 the -- this should be sold, supplies should be sold, and the funds gained
21 thereby provided -- and to be used as assistance to the family of fallen
22 soldiers and the erection of monuments to their memory. I think that this
23 has been copied from the order issued by the command of the
24 2nd Operational Group, because I didn't have the right to order anything
25 to this assembly or collection centre or Colonel Pipovic, who headed the
2 With his arrival in the operation zone, I and all the other
3 commanders were relieved of all responsibility for dealing with problems
4 of goods that had been seized and confiscated.
5 Q. Tell me, please, all the activities with respect to keeping
6 logbooks and records of the various goods and supplies and ultimately the
7 selling of supplies in these collection or assembly centres, were these
8 regulated by instructions and regulations issued in the federal
9 secretariat for national defence?
10 A. Yes, that's right. Formally speaking, that was how it was;
11 however, in practice things were quite different.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Would the usher assist us now again,
14 please, and show the witness exhibit 45, to be found in tab 14.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. This is an order by the federal secretariat of national defence,
18 the General Staff of the armed forces of the SFRY, the 1st administration
19 operative centre. It is dated the 20-something of September, 29th of
20 September, 1991, determining how regular combat reports are to be sent in.
21 Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you clarify point 1 of this order, please.
24 A. What it states is that the commands of the military districts are
25 to submit regular combat reports on the basis of the reports by their
1 subordinate brigades, et cetera, of the corps from third levels down up to
2 individual battalion, divisions, et cetera. And this should be sent in --
3 Q. Just a moment, please. I'm interested in point 1 and what it says
4 in the first sentence. It says: "From three levels down for all units
5 and detached formations."
6 Is that right?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Now, does this refer to the fact that the commands of the military
9 districts should submit regular combat reports on the basis of regular
10 combat reports sent by the brigades and corps, depending on the units
11 under their -- within their formation.
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Now, does this mean, by the same token, that when it says "three
14 levels down," that it explains which units are duty-bound to compile
15 regular combat reports? Is that what it means?
16 A. Yes, that's right. An independent battalion is the lowest unit,
17 or rather, it is a formational regiment. And a detached formation or
18 independent battalion is that third level down, which has this obligation.
19 Q. [Microphone not activated]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the question,
21 the microphone was off.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Is it true that this 2nd Operative Group received regular combat
24 reports from the 9th VPS, the 2nd Corps, and the 37th Corps, based on the
25 first table drawn by you when --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And to clarify this further, regular combat reports of the 9th VPS
3 were compiled by you based on regular combat reports of the subordinate
4 units down to the level of battalion. Is that right?
5 A. Yes. Independent battalion; brigade, independent battalion.
6 Q. Let's just clarify this then. If the independent battalion under
7 the command -- is under the command of the 9th VPS, then it doesn't have
8 this obligation to send regular combat reports to the command of the
9 2nd Operative Group. Is that right?
10 A. Yes. No, no regular combat reports, just interim ones.
11 Q. Thank you. Could you please take a look at the last paragraph of
12 this order, where it says that: "The operative duty team of the federal
13 secretariat for national defence is to keep the operative logbook and the
14 work map."
15 Please tell us whether this means that the operative duty team is
16 to keep this logbook and the work map for the General Staff and the
17 federal secretariat precisely pursuant to these combat reports that it
18 receives from the listed units.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Does this mean, then, that the military leadership is aware of the
21 situation on the ground where the subordinated units are?
22 A. Yes. In principle, yes. The 1st administration is in charge of
23 the entire situation in the JNA, and that means that the General Staff
24 should have all this information in their operative logbook and the work
1 Q. Please tell us whether by analysing this situation, the federal
2 secretariat of national defence and the General Staff go on to issue
3 further orders and goals to their subordinate commands.
4 A. Yes. This is the procedure, the prescribed procedure, for
5 decision making and deployment of forces.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
8 Exhibit P114, which is to be found in tab 15.
9 Q. At first glance, what is your first impression? Does this
10 document look like a typical document of the federal secretariat for
11 national defence?
12 A. Bearing in mind that this was drafted by the administration for
13 morale guidance, I would say yes, this looks like a document drafted by
15 Q. And how come that the document of the administration for morale
16 guidance of the federal secretariat for national defence is signed by the
17 chief of the General Staff, General Blagoje Adzic?
18 A. Yes. This is strange, too. Normally he wouldn't sign this. He
19 would sign this on behalf of the federal secretary, because this is not
20 within his scope of authorities.
21 Q. Could you please tell me who was the head of the administration
22 for morale guidance? What general held that office at the time?
23 A. At the time, it was Lieutenant General Marko Njegovanovic. He
24 held that office at the time.
25 Q. Was he authorised to sign a document of this nature?
1 A. Yes, he was. And he used to send to us information on
2 negotiations led concerning the Yugoslav crisis. We received two or three
3 such reports from him.
4 Q. Please tell us whether General Adzic, as the chief of the
5 General Staff, also had an assistant for the matters of this nature.
6 A. I don't know whether he had an assistant. Why would he have one?
7 Well, perhaps somebody was in charge of this, but this field this -- these
8 matters of -- for morale guidance were normally under the jurisdiction of
9 the federal secretariat for national defence and not the General Staff.
10 Q. Did you, within the 9th VPS, have an assistant for morale guidance
11 or MPV, as it was called?
12 A. Yes, I did, naturally. However, we're dealing here with the
13 supreme command which was established at the time. I don't know exactly
14 what the organisational system of the supreme command was.
15 Q. But it would have been logical to have an assistant chief of the
16 General Staff within the General Staff in charge of these matters?
17 A. I couldn't tell you precisely. It's possible in the peacetime,
18 yes. However, as I said, the supreme command was established at the time
19 and I don't know how it was organised.
20 Q. Very well. I would like to ask you to take a look at paragraph 5
21 on the first page, which begins with the sentence: "In keeping the
22 constitutional obligations."
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What does this paragraph explain?
25 A. It discusses constitutional obligations of the Yugoslav People's
1 Army with respect to the protection of the Serbian people in Croatia. And
2 then it also mentions the imprisoned members of the JNA, or captured
3 members of the JNA, and their families and the prevention of the ethnic
4 cleansing of the territory of Croatia.
5 Q. And the blockade of barracks?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. What about paragraph 7? "In order to have this task achieved"?
8 A. Yes. In order to successfully achieve that goal, the blockade
9 around the barracks in Croatia must be lifted as soon as possible, and
10 units must be pulled out of them and moved to new locations. This would,
11 besides saving human lives, also strengthen forces for the army's main
13 Q. Could you please clarify the second and the third paragraph on the
14 following page. It says: "That is why the presidency of the SFRY" --
15 A. Yes, "the presidency of the SFRY has taken a clear position that
16 the withdrawal of the JNA units from Croatian territories inhabited by
17 Serbs would be unacceptable. Because that would expose them to physical
18 elimination. In accordance with the above, the presidency has decided
19 that until a political resolution is achieved, a political resolution of
20 the Yugoslav crisis, the military forces are to stay where they are. Once
21 political solutions are adopted, the JNA will act in accordance with the
22 political decisions and agreements that are achieved."
23 Q. Now, let us look at another paragraph -- or rather, is it true
24 that it states here that Veljko -- General Veljko Kadijevic sent a similar
25 reply to the Dutch minister Van Den Broek who at the time was chairman of
1 the European Community -- president of the European Community?
2 A. Yes, that's precisely what it says here.
3 Q. All right. In paragraph 6 could you please tell us what it says
5 A. "All our men should be aware of the importance of this task so
6 that they can show understanding and have patience. It is obvious that no
7 surprises should be allowed in these circumstances. Every provocation
8 should be met with decisiveness and without any hesitation."
9 Q. This last sentence that you have just read, is it clear and
10 specific enough?
11 A. Yes, precisely so. "Every provocation [Realtime transcript read
12 in error "decision"] should be met with decisiveness and without any
14 Q. Tell us, were you aware of these positions that are stated in this
16 A. Yes, I was.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, page 42, line 15. It
18 says here: "Every decision," where in fact it should be "every
19 provocation." This is what the witness stated: "Every provocation should
20 be met with decisiveness and without any hesitation."
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I add something to this issue
22 involving provocations. It might be useful.
23 Your Honours, we had problems with provocations, coming both from
24 our side and from the Croatian side, due to lack of discipline among units
25 on both sides, among volunteers, and the extreme elements and so on. The
1 orders were to deter and prevent these provocations, mostly from our side.
2 Whereas, when it came to provocations from their side, the orders were
3 initially to respond to them. And after that, the orders were not to
4 respond to them unless these provocations were potentially dangerous and
5 could lead to losses.
6 Following that, there was an order not to respond. And if there
7 was a response, to ensure that it was a destructive type of response. We
8 had an order that specified that a vital element of a military facility on
9 the opposite side, the Croatian side, is to be destroyed. And then
10 towards the end, sometime in December just before the negotiations on
11 cease-fire and peace, we received an order from the chief of the General
12 Staff -- or rather, the order was relayed to me verbally not to respond to
13 firing, to keep our units under control, to sign a cease-fire -- a truce,
14 and to be flexible.
15 Q. Were you acquainted with all these orders? Were you familiar with
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. Since you also said that you were aware of this
19 document sent by the administration for morale guidance, please tell us
20 whether this administration explained the situation in which the country
21 was and the JNA was clearly enough. Did it also explain the tasks that
22 the JNA was to accomplish?
23 A. Yes. There's no denying that.
24 Q. Can we just finish this. In this document it says that --
25 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honours, the witness was in the
1 process of giving a response and he was cut off. There's been a number of
2 occasions where the Prosecution was asked not to cut off the witness, so
3 we minded it. And I would ask that the witness be allowed to finish his
5 JUDGE PARKER: I hadn't detected any unreasonable attempt to deal
6 with the evidence.
7 Was there something, Admiral, you were concerned to say?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. I don't know how
9 important it is now, but this is what I wish to say: This is a political
10 document. It explains the situation regarding the crisis and action taken
11 by units and so on and so forth. However, the problem of provocations and
12 responding to provocations is not resolved by organs for political
13 affairs. That is for the command structures to deal with. And it has to
14 do with clear orders that are to be given by superior commanders, superior
15 officers. That's the only thing I wish to add.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And tell us then General Blagoje Adzic, the person who signed this
18 document as it says at the end of this document, is he this command
20 A. He is the command structure, but on this sheet of paper it doesn't
21 say "combat order," it doesn't say "order," it doesn't say "directive."
22 It doesn't say anything. I would understand this as an instruction, as
23 guidelines, yes. The military acts in accordance with with orders.
24 Q. But this is certainly guidelines or instructions issued by a
25 superior command?
1 A. Yes, of course.
2 Q. Did you send this kind of document to your subordinate units or
3 clarification of these objectives and tasks, as it was said in this
5 A. No. We cannot take such instructions further down. Perhaps only
6 to brigades, but not down to other units. This is explained at military
7 meetings, briefings, meetings of the entire military personnel so that
8 they would all be made aware of the policy of the government, or rather
9 the state, or rather, the leadership of the JNA and the state organs.
10 Q. The question is simple. The soldiers under your command, were
11 they aware of this? Did they know about this?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to give
15 the witness document P116, which is in tab 16.
16 Q. Mr. Jokic, are you aware of the contents of this order?
17 A. Yes, I am.
18 Q. Did you personally receive such an order as commander of the
19 9th Military Naval Sector?
20 A. I think the answer is yes. There were several such orders or
21 similar orders. I think I would have had to have received it. If the
22 2nd Operational Group received it, then I must have received it, too.
23 Q. But you're not sure?
24 A. I cannot recognise a thousand or 2.000 documents, but the
25 substance, the content, tells me that I was aware of it.
1 Q. This piece of paper in front of you, does it look like an
2 authentic document of the chief of General Staff without a number and
3 without a signature and with a preamble that is simple recounting?
4 A. I agree. It could have been written as such any time, because it
5 was not registered anywhere. It is not the type of document that is
6 drafted in the General Staff.
7 Q. If you did receive this document, did you write an order of your
8 own on the basis of this document?
9 A. No. We did not write orders. Within combat orders and briefings,
10 we familiarise personnel with specific matters that had to deal with this
11 subject matter, but only in very concrete terms. That is what we told our
12 subordinate men: Do not target the Old Town, do not target places of
13 worship, et cetera.
14 Q. And which -- how did you transmit it to them?
15 A. Well, through orders, everyday combat orders were written; or
16 during briefings, officers, commanders, were told about this. But of
17 course not in such orders in writing. We did not do it that way. I did
18 not get this paper, this document, from the 2nd Operational Group. I did
19 not see it. So I could not have written any kind of order either. .
20 If that's the answer you were looking for.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to give
22 the witness a book.
23 MS. SOMERS: May we know what excerpts or what the name of the
24 book is? Prosecution is unaware of what is being presented to the
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] We are going to put the book on the
2 ELMO. We just need to compare this book to a document that was a
3 Prosecution exhibit, so we are not going to quote anything from this book.
4 We are not going to read anything from this book.
5 Q. Mr. Jokic, would you please compare --
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, what is the book, please.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wanted to explain
8 it now. This is a chronicle of documents from the field of defence of
9 Yugoslavia 1990, 1991, the authors are Slavoljub Susic, Zlatoje Terzic,
10 and Nikola Petrovic. I wanted to ask the witness to compare Prosecution
11 Exhibit P116, which he had in his hands a few minutes ago, with page 469
12 of this book, which is a book of collected documents. So could it please
13 be shown on the ELMO.
14 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, can a predicate be laid as to whether or
15 not the witness is aware of the book, so that there's some basis for
16 considering the evidence?
17 JUDGE PARKER: No. I think we'll proceed with the book as it is
18 for the moment. Thank you.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would just kindly ask that page 469
20 be placed on the ELMO and be zoomed in. That's fine.
21 Q. Mr. Jokic, the document that is a Prosecution exhibit, P116, that
22 you had in your hands a few minutes ago and that we discussed, does it
23 fully correspond to this page from the book, this page, 469, and 470? Are
24 they identical? Or rather, is the Prosecution exhibit a copy of the two
25 pages from this collection of documents?
1 A. From what I can see, yes, yes, from what I can see on the first
3 Q. Look at the second page, too. Could you please compare it and say
4 whether this Prosecution exhibit was copied from this book.
5 A. Yes. The document is identical.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could I please have the book returned
8 to me.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Where does that leave us, Mr. Rodic? Either the
10 book is a reliable publication setting out orders that were given, in
11 which case the fact that we have a copy of the order from the book isn't
12 of great significance; or the book is unreliable, and therefore this order
13 is unreliable. Which are we to take to be the position?
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] The position of the Defence is that
15 the Defence -- actually, the Defence already presented its position during
16 the examination-in-chief, when the Prosecutor introduced this document.
17 The Defence did not object because we believed that the documents
18 contained in this book were truthful. However, we wanted the
19 Trial Chamber to know in this concrete case where this document came from
20 and what its origin was. Because it is a very unusual document, as you
21 could have seen from other documents tendered by the Prosecution. So
22 according to its layout, it does not match authentic documents. But in
23 terms of its content, it does constitute an authentic document. So the
24 Defence does not object to the document, but we just wanted to identify
25 where it came from. The Defence is going to use documents from this book
1 for their case as well.
2 JUDGE PARKER: We are to treat it as a genuine order?
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The Defence,
4 therefore, accepted this.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Jokic, on page 2 of this order in paragraph 3 -- the second
8 paragraph under item 3, actually, could you read it out and explain it to
10 A. "Immediately submit a comprehensive report on any instance where
11 opening fire on protected buildings could not have been avoided. Wherever
12 possible, such cases should also be documented; photographs, video
13 recordings, witness statements, and the like."
14 Q. So if there is an attack against a cultural landmark, if such an
15 attack is carried out by the JNA, then this had to be reported? A report
16 had to be submitted about it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And preferably, this report was supposed to be supported by
19 photographs, video recordings, witness statements, et cetera. Did you
20 have any knowledge by way of photographs or video recordings or witness
21 statements, statements made by your officers, their soldiers, et cetera?
22 Did you have any knowledge that such landmarks were fired at by way of a
23 possible response?
24 MS. SOMERS: Could the question be asked within a time frame,
25 please, Your Honour, so that it has some relevance.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Of course I'm talking about the period
2 between October and December 1991.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As regards firing at places of
4 worship and similar localities, I did not have any reports or recordings.
5 But I do know of a few cases when I investigated how damage was incurred,
6 as well as destruction -- the destruction of these monuments. I can
7 mention only three cases.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Tell us, just briefly, please.
10 A. The big old church in Cilipi, the church in Vitaljina, the village
11 of Vitaljina, and the church at Gornji Brgat. The first one was damaged a
12 very little bit. Also, it was broken into and some things were stolen
13 from it. I personally toured it and ordered guards to be placed there.
14 The second church was in Vitaljina. It was the bell tower that was
15 damaged. However, that was before I came, and the explanation given to me
16 was that there had been a machine-gun on the bell tower and that it had to
17 be neutralised.
18 The third case was that of the well-known church at Gornji Brgat.
19 I think it is St. Anne's church. I'm not sure. Or the church of
20 St. Lucas. It is -- it does not have a bell tower, but it has a kind of
21 platform around it, and there was an artillery piece there. The 3rd
22 Battalion considerably damaged or destroyed this section where the
23 artillery piece was. I think that this church was shown in the Milosevic
24 case. That's the only thing I know about religious buildings and their
1 Q. So you were informed about the fact that these facilities were
2 used for military purposes?
3 A. Yes. Not in the first case, but in the second two cases.
4 Q. Tell us, please, were you also informed that the Old Town is a
5 protected site, was also abused in this manner; that is to say, used for
6 military action?
7 A. There had been such reports, mostly coming from the retired
8 officers who became refugees, also from refugees themselves, also from
9 lower ranking officers who fired upon certain areas and the Old Town
10 itself. And there were also many reports in the press. It was suspected
11 that within the vicinity of the walls of the old tower -- of the Old Town
12 and the towers and about within 100 metres of them, there were weapons
13 that were used for firing.
14 Q. Did you perhaps watch any video depicting how there was firing
15 coming from the Old Town and its walls?
16 A. No, I am not aware of any video. I know that there was some
17 artillery activity, but I didn't see any artillery activity from the
18 Old Town depicted in a video. At least I don't remember.
19 Q. Your subordinate officers from military vessels, did they ever
20 inform you whether they had been fired upon from the Old Town?
21 A. Yes. There were such reports coming from the vessels; they were
22 normally sent via the radio.
23 Q. What did your subordinates tell you? Could you please tell us in
24 some detail.
25 A. These reports quoted instances in which the vessels were fired
1 upon by large-calibre guns, mortars, and other guns of smaller calibre.
2 There were also instances in which anti-armour rounds were fired as well.
3 Q. To clarify this, I asked you whether your subordinates located on
4 ships reported to you that they had been fired upon, either from the
5 walls, from the ramparts, or from within the Old Town itself?
6 A. Yes. In the early activity which took place in October in the
7 vicinity of the town of Dubrovnik, also in early November, there were some
8 reports that in the vicinity of walls and towers, especially on the side
9 where the park of the Old City hospital was, as well as Bogosic park,
10 there were some weapons firing towards Zarkovica and Dubac.
11 Q. Were you told --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Were you told by subordinate officers on ships that there was any
15 firing directed against them coming from the Old Town?
16 A. No. Not from the Old Town. There was one report, as far as I can
17 remember, that a 20-millimetre gun or something similar did fire; however,
18 it was sporadic firing. As far as I can remember, there was just one such
20 Q. This weapon was firing from what location?
21 A. From the Old Town, from the direction of the Old Town.
22 Q. Where was it positioned?
23 A. We knew that there was a truck carrying 20-millimetre gun, either
24 a one-barrelled or a double-barrelled gun. We knew that it changed its
25 position moving about the Old Town.
1 Q. Did the ships respond to that fire? Did they report to you about
3 A. They reported to me that they did not respond to that fire because
4 the fire was not dangerous.
5 Q. If you can remember, please tell me whether between October and
6 November of 1991 -- October to December 1991 the subordinate officers on
7 the ships ever reported to you that they had fired upon military targets
8 in the Old Town, fired upon them or responded to their fire or anything
10 A. No. I never received such reports. There was no such activity
11 taking place. There was firing directed against the area in the vicinity
12 of the Old Town; against the hotels, again in the vicinity of the
13 Old Town; but never against the Old Town itself. I never received such
14 reports. And they wouldn't have dared report this to me, even if they had
16 Q. If they did not report this to you, did you yourself ever receive
17 information that your ships fired upon the Old Town?
18 A. I only could have had suspected something like this at the time;
19 however, after a rocket hit a ship and a commander and four sailors were
20 injured, I stopped investigating that case.
21 Q. Could you please clarify and give us more detail. Who fired at
22 your ship with such a rocket?
23 A. Two rockets were fired, one of them missed the target. It was a
24 Maljutka-type rocket. The second one hit the command bridge on the ship,
25 wounded four sailors and the ship's commander.
1 Q. Could you please tell us what ship it was. Do you remember?
2 A. It was Patrol Boat 137. However, the rocket was not fired from
3 the Old Town; but rather, from a small island called Olib or from its
5 Q. Where is this small island located?
6 A. To the north of Dubrovnik in the Kolocep canal quite a way from
7 the Old Town or from Dubrovnik itself. However, there was some activity
8 coming from the new town, which is a part of the Old Town.
9 Q. So you were able to establish that --
10 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. Can we clarify that last
11 sentence, please. It's unclear. The translation says: "There was
12 activity coming from the new town, which is a part of the Old Town."
13 I'm not sure -- I just have to ask if that was what was said.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I said: "Coming from the new
15 town, which is outside of the Old Town."
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So you meant parts of the town which are not considered parts of
18 the Old Town?
19 A. Yes, precisely.
20 Q. Please tell us whether you were able to establish that the
21 Croatian forces had indeed Maljutka-type weapons.
22 A. Yes, they had Maljutka-type rockets. We seized three launchers in
23 Dubac. They also had Ambrust launchers.
24 Q. Could you please explain what these launchers?
25 A. Yes. These are German anti-armour rockets.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is this a convenient time
2 for the break?
3 JUDGE PARKER: We will have the second break now.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.54 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 May I ask the usher to provide the witness with P17, a document
9 from tab 17 -- P117. Exhibit P117, please.
10 Q. Mr. Jokic, have you ever seen this before?
11 A. No, I haven't. I wasn't able to see this report -- I couldn't
12 have seen it, because it wasn't addressed to me or, rather, my command.
13 Q. Who was this report addressed to? Who is sending it and to whom
14 is it being sent?
15 A. It is being sent from the 1st Military District to the command of
16 the Guards Motorised brigade.
17 Q. The Guards Motorised Brigade, is it subordinated to the units of
18 the command of the 1st Military District?
19 A. Yes, it is. It is subordinated to the 1st Military District, the
20 Belgrade command in fact.
21 Q. Did you receive a report of this kind at all?
22 A. Well, I don't know. But similar reports with this kind of content
23 was expressed in combat orders, but I cannot be sure. However, that the
24 Old Town specifically should not be targeted - and that is the essential
25 point here - as well as places of worship, et cetera, those are basic
2 Q. In response to a question from the Prosecutor during the
3 examination-in-chief, you said that you were aware of and knew of a report
4 of this kind, this piece of information.
5 A. No. I said what I'm saying now. This was not addressed to me, to
6 the guards brigade, and everything I said to you I repeated. But I said
7 that similar contents were received probably by us, because I was aware of
8 what we were allowed to do and what we weren't allowed to do, what was
9 protected by various conventions and covenants and so on. That's what I
11 Q. But a specific order or report of this kind you never saw?
12 A. No, that's right. I didn't.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask the usher to
15 give P127, to be found in tab 25.
16 Q. Is this a report on the command of the 9th VPS sent to the command
17 of the 2nd Operational Group with respect to the casualties, dead and
18 wounded, from within your composition, your unit?
19 A. Yes, that's right. It does refer to the 10th of November, 1991.
20 Q. If you look at the names and dates when the soldiers were killed
21 and the units to which they belonged, would it be correct that the largest
22 number of casualties, dead, were from the 472nd Motorised Brigade on
23 different days during October 1991? Would that be correct?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. The signature to this report by authorisation of the commander is
1 Radovan Klikovac. Was he at the headquarters of the 9th VPS in the
3 A. Yes. He was an organisational and mobilisational officer, in
4 charge of organisation and mobilisation.
5 Q. Could you tell us what that means, what his tasks were and what
6 his job was.
7 A. He was in charge of organisation, the establishment of the unit,
8 changes in organisation and establishment, and he also saw to the
9 mobilisation of units within the 9th Sector.
10 Q. Could you explain that in a little more detail, please. When you
11 say "mobilisation of units," what was his role and tasks within that
13 A. On the basis of the plan for mobilisation and mobilisation classes
14 and standard and orders for mobilisation, to all intents and purposes his
15 job was to organise and compile all plans for orders for the unit's
16 mobilisations, for his commander. And similarly, he takes part in
17 mobilisation, together with the commanders of the corresponding units. He
18 cooperates with municipalities and so on and so forth, or rather, with the
19 organs from the municipalities which are in charge of mobilisation, which
20 means the secretariats of defence of the Municipal Assemblies.
21 Q. Does he in that way take part, or rather, organise the strength of
22 the units, to see that there is a full complement?
23 A. Yes. He is in charge of seeing to the strength of the units, to
24 having a full complement as far as manpower is concerned and resources and
25 materiel, especially looking at the lists for mobilisation.
1 Q. Can you explain to us in what way a full complement of soldiers is
2 secured for the units, or rather, what Lieutenant Colonel Klikovac was
3 actually in charge of, what he was in charge of, how he manned the units,
4 and so on.
5 A. Well, in addition to the manpower mobilised for the units is
6 also -- also requires materiel and technical resources on the basis of
7 lists compiled in the civilian sector of the sociopolitical communities
8 and organisations, and labour organisations, work organisations. This
9 would mean motor vehicles and other resources and materiel. There is a
10 formation, an establishment, which in wartime has to be met and during
11 peacetime training and exercises are conducted for mobilisation, where
12 everything has to tally. The resources stipulated on lists have to tally
13 with the resources on the ground.
14 Q. Can you tell us -- explain to us how you man your units, how you
15 achieve a full complement. So instead of this very dry term
16 "mobilisation," could you tell us what the role of Lieutenant Colonel
17 Klikovac was in supplying the necessary soldiers, manpower, et cetera.
18 A. Well, I wasn't part of the mobilisation institution as such, but
19 I'll do my best and tell you what I can, because I do know what is needed.
20 On the basis of a mobilisation plan and mobilisation standards and the
21 signals sent out for mobilisation, these signals are coded to individual
22 commanders with all the requisites necessary and the Municipal Assemblies
23 are apprised of that, which units are being mobilised, and each unit has a
24 code assigned to it, unless we're dealing with a general mobilisation,
25 which wasn't the case here. There was no proclamation of a general
1 mobilisation, an all-out mobilisation. The organs in the municipalities
2 themselves, based on the plans that they have, which are also coded, raise
3 the necessary manpower, which went to provide the full strength of a unit,
4 soldiers, reserve officers, et cetera, and resources and materiel on the
5 basis of the compiled and supplied lists. The commander of the unit with
6 his men, who have been charged with taking in the recruits mobilised in
7 that way with a nucleus, an active nucleus, is what is formed. So they
8 then take in the new men and materiel, and with that set up the unit.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, could you tell me this, please: In cases of
10 desertion, if anybody deserts from a unit, or if they fail to respond to
11 the call-up for mobilisation, what happens then? The units will then have
12 a problem of reaching a full complement of soldiers, won't they?
13 A. Yes, that's right. There were a lot of problems in that respect
14 because the response was meager, as far as I was able to gather from the
16 Q. Is it true that certain units needed specific men of specific
17 training, specially trained men?
18 A. Yes, that's right. There was a great deficiency and it was
19 difficult to find men trained specifically for those units. This was
20 difficult in peacetime, and it was even more difficult in wartime.
21 Q. So if the units did not have soldiers that were specially trained
22 in the course of 1991, did you mobilise other people to those units who
23 were not trained specifically for the specialty needed in that unit?
24 A. Yes. The commanders, through necessity, had to accept those men
25 that were sent to them, even if they hadn't been specifically and
1 specially trained and who needed additional training to perform their
2 duties. This was particularly important for certain units.
3 Q. Can you tell us which, give us an example of some of those units.
4 A. Well, the 472nd Brigade, first and foremost. And then it applied
5 to the 3rd Light Brigade, to a somewhat lesser extent, because the
6 3rd Brigade just had artillery weapons and a very weak supply of small
7 arms. It had small arms but not enough of the other weapons.
8 Q. Now, the artillery as a specialty, does it particularly require
9 well-trained soldiers?
10 A. Yes, that's right. With the artillery, this is most obvious, and
11 the artillery needs specially trained soldiers.
12 Q. Specifically dealing with the 472nd Brigade, in view of its
13 strength by regular soldiers, recruits, and reservists, did they encounter
14 that kind of problem?
15 A. Yes, that's right. It faced the most serious problems in that
17 Q. Now, was there an additional problem presented for units that were
18 sent, soldiers that were not specifically trained, and was this aggravated
19 by the general situation on the ground, which was tantamount to a
20 situation of war because there were combat operations underway?
21 A. Yes, of course. It made the situation all the more complex with
22 requirements and demands being greatest for combat operations. So this
23 was a highly complex situation, which called for specialised manpower.
24 Q. Faced with a situation where there was shooting and people being
25 killed, was there any opportunity for training these untrained men,
1 training them in a specialty of some kind? Could that have been done?
2 A. It's very difficult to ensure that under such conditions.
3 Q. Was this the kind of situation that reigned in the units of the
4 2nd Operational Group?
5 A. Yes, I think it was.
6 Q. Now, independently of the 2nd Operational Group at that time, that
7 is to say during 1991, was that a general problem for the JNA because of
8 the overall political situation in the country? Was that the problem the
9 JNA had to face, generally speaking?
10 A. Yes, that's right. Certainly. And if I may be allowed to expand
11 why these light infantry brigades were established in the first place.
12 They had not previously been within their formation and establishmentwise,
13 I wasn't aware of such units existing to begin with.
14 Q. Tell me, please, during that year of 1991, was there an open call
15 from prominent individuals in political life and social life for military
16 conscripts not to respond to the call-up from the JNA?
17 A. Yes. I remember two or three cases from that time. One case was
18 a brigade in Montenegro that was engaged in warfare in Banja. They were
19 all asked to return and to abandon their positions in Banja. I know from
20 amongst my own units from the territorial company of Mojkevac, when it
21 threatened to leave its positions in line with the call issued to them by
22 their president of their municipality. I also note that I think it was
23 the Liberal Party that asked people to desert and not to respond to
25 Q. Do you know of the case of the Valjevo unit, the Valjevo Brigade?
1 Did it leave its positions, the theatre of war?
2 A. Yes. The Valjevo Brigade was in the 37th Corps near Mostar. And
3 except for some very small parts of it, it left its combat deployment in
4 its entirety.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to show
7 the witness P123, which is in tab 31. P123, 123. It is in tab 31.
8 Q. Does this document constitute a proposal to normalise life in
9 Dubrovnik and ensure the safety of the town of Dubrovnik?
10 A. Yes. That is this well-known proposal consisting of 11 points.
11 Q. So this proposal was made by the JNA to Dubrovnik at that time.
12 Is that right?
13 A. This proposal was made by the command of the 2nd Operational Group
14 to the Crisis Staff of Dubrovnik on the 26th of October, 1991, with a
15 request for them to respond until the 27th of October, until 2000 hours.
16 Q. So it's not in dispute that General Strugar is the signatory of
17 these 11 points and this proposal in general. But can you explain then
18 why VPS Boka is mentioned in this document and General Strugar is twice
19 mentioned as the commander of VPS Boka.
20 A. I think that at that time all information went through the sector
21 command, that the 2nd Operational Group was not linked up in the
22 communications system with Dubrovnik. So we were there only for
23 transmission. We were a mere relay, so that's how this mistake took
25 Q. So if I can put it this way, when mail goes from the
1 2nd Operational Group to the Crisis Staff and the monitoring mission of
2 the European Community, it is sent through the command of the VPS Boka,
3 because at that time it was possible for you to communicate with Dubrovnik
4 better. Is that right?
5 A. Well, yes. That's the way it was. Although the 2nd Operational
6 Group could use territorial links - but I don't know why they didn't - via
7 the port of Bar and then the Dubrovnik harbour, but never mind now.
8 Q. Tell me, and the other way around, from the Crisis Staff of
9 Dubrovnik and the monitoring mission, their mail and their messages, did
10 they go to the VPS of Boka? And if they were addressed to
11 General Strugar, were you supposed to send them then from Boka to
12 Trebinje? Was that right?
13 A. It wasn't that kind of transmission. There were very frequent
14 cases, and later on I think it was the rule as well, that the command in
15 Trebinje directly received - I think by fax - the dispatches sent. I had
16 the opportunity of seeing that, but at first it was like this, yes. But
17 not all the time.
18 Q. Tell me, the command in Kumbor or the forward command post in
19 Kupari, the forward command post of the 9th VPS, in December 1991 did it
20 have telephone communication with Dubrovnik?
21 A. No, we did not. The only thing we could do was from -- go from
22 Kumbor to the port authority in Bar and then to the port of Dubrovnik.
23 That was one way. And the second way was via Cavtat. Cavtat was the only
24 one that still had a cable for communication with Dubrovnik. It just so
25 happened that the cable was not destroyed there.
1 Q. Tell me then, where could a fax message be received from Dubrovnik
2 vis-a-vis the VPS and the other way around, at which locality?
3 A. I don't know how the signals people did it. I did not see these
4 dispatches, as I said. Maybe it went through Kumbor. Perhaps there was a
5 detached group of signals people from the command of the 2nd Operational
7 Q. Did the 9th VPS have its own signals people?
8 A. Yes. But what I'm saying is that it didn't go through me. That's
9 what I wanted to say. These faxes did not go through me.
10 Q. Did it ever happen that the Crisis Staff of Dubrovnik or the
11 monitoring mission of the European Community would send a message that
12 would be received at the military naval sector, a message for
13 General Strugar, and that it was then supposed to be sent on to him?
14 A. Well, it probably was that way. There certainly must have been
15 such occasions, this being one of them.
16 Q. When you talked about the port of Bar, I would like to know how
17 this communication was established with Dubrovnik via Bar, by telephone?
18 Radio link? Teleprinter? Or some other way?
19 A. There was radio communication and teleprinter communication. And
21 Q. Tell me, and did Dubrovnik, inter alia, communicate via Dubrovnik
22 coastal radio?
23 A. Well, yes. It did, yes.
24 Q. When they went through Bar, was this also this coastal radio from
1 A. Well, it's those communications, the coastal radio centres like
2 Bar and Dubrovnik.
3 Q. When you mentioned while giving evidence the 6th of December
4 specifically and you said that you talked to Minister Davorin Rudolf, can
5 you tell me how this communication was established, in which way.
6 A. Civilian communications, wire communications, cable
7 communications, over the telephone.
8 Q. He telephoned you from Dubrovnik, and where were you?
9 A. In Cavtat. And possibly it was satellite telephone, as he claims.
10 So he could not reach me in Kumbor.
11 Q. Did you ever communicate with Dubrovnik from Kumbor over the
13 A. No. As far as I can remember, no. I don't know if I could have
14 at all in wartime, because the wire transmission lines were destroyed.
15 There was only a cable from Cavtat.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to show
18 the witness P134. It is in tab 33.
19 Q. According to this document -- or rather, does this come from the
20 information service of the federal secretariat for national defence
21 providing information on promotion of officers?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Inter alia in this communication, Lieutenant Colonel General
24 Pavle Strugar is mentioned who was given the rank of colonel general by a
25 decree of the presidency of Yugoslavia dated the 28th of November, 1991.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Since this was a promotion that was beyond the regular line of
3 promotions, whose duty was it to make such a proposal?
4 A. According to regulations on promotions, it was supposed to be his
5 superior officer. That is to say the chief of General Staff. He would
6 propose to the presidency an extraordinary promotion to a higher rank.
7 Q. And the presidency of the SFRY then, according to these
8 regulations, it was in charge of promoting officers as far as these high
9 ranks of general are concerned. Right?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. At that time in 1991, what was the 29th of November? Did that
12 date mean something special then?
13 A. The 29th of November was a national holiday. It was the day of
14 the republic, the day when the republic had been established, the Republic
15 of Yugoslavia, at that time the SFRY.
16 Q. In the former SFRY, was that the prevalent practice, that on
17 republic day decorations were awarded and on the occasion of that holiday
18 officers were promoted to higher ranks in the military and also
19 commendations, citations were handed out, too?
20 A. I can't remember now. I don't think so, because the 22nd of
21 December was very soon after that, and that was the JNA Day when the
22 military was promoted, awarded decorations, et cetera. The 29th of
23 November was the day of the republic, but it was for different kinds of
24 recognition. But we, the military, were not bound by that particular
25 holiday. That was not the prevalent practice.
1 Q. The 29th of November was a state holiday, while the 22nd of
2 December was just JNA Day. Isn't that right?
3 A. Well, yes, that is right, but extraordinary promotions are not
4 linked to particular date. Extraordinary promotions are given because of
5 the merits of the person who was promoted. It has to do with the
6 particular event or a particular success achieved in that period when the
7 promotion took place, but it's not linked to a particular date. It can be
8 any date as far as I can remember.
9 Q. Yes, I agree. But don't you think that a state holiday, a
10 national holiday -- the national holiday would be the right time for this
11 kind of --
12 MS. SOMERS: Asked and answered, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: You seem to be trying to argue with the witness,
14 Mr. Rodic, to get him to agree to something. He's already given you his
15 understanding of the position. I think you should move on.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well, Your Honour.
17 Q. Can you tell me, please, why he was -- the officers stated here
18 received extraordinary promotion.
19 A. Well, an explanation was given, always used to refer to senior
20 officers for the successful management in command and for exceptional
21 services and work in carrying out combat assignments of particular
22 importance for the armed forces and the defence of the country.
23 Specifically General Zivota Panic was promoted ahead of time because of
24 the successful outcome to the Vukovar operation.
25 Q. And do you know why General Strugar was nominated for promotion?
1 A. Well, I assumed because he was successful in commanding the units
2 of the Dubrovnik operation. For implementing the operational objectives
3 that had been set in the blockade of Dubrovnik, in providing security for
4 the Mostar airport, and achieving all the tasks and assignments that were
5 given and specified in the directive.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher's assistance
8 again, please. Could he hand out the next document.
9 Q. Could you tell us, please, what this document is.
10 A. This is a combat order by the command of the 2nd Operational Group
11 to me and with orders to achieve certain objectives.
12 Q. And can you tell us whether pursuant to these points the
13 assignments were specifically enumerated, which would relate to the
14 development of a naval blockade or assignments and tasks within a naval
16 A. Yes. These are specific assignments with regard to preventing
17 navigation in the Kolocep canal and the introduction of weapons into
18 Dubrovnik by speedboats and through maritime routes.
19 Q. And what about point 4, does it give cautions and warnings with
20 regard to the Old Town, that nobody should open fire on it?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. And it said that units exposed to enemy fire should withdraw. Is
23 that right?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. Now, since your units were in charge of this part of the blockade
1 from the sea, can you tell us what the main task and assignment of the
2 units of the 9th VPS was at sea.
3 A. The basic task of the units, naval units at sea, was to effect a
4 blockade of Dubrovnik and all the ports in the region of the Dubrovnik
5 municipality from the sea and to prevent any vessels from sailing in,
6 carrying weapons and other combat materiel, and to provide control for all
7 loading and unloading and ship cargos, the cargos of ships given
8 permission to sail into Dubrovnik harbour.
9 Q. Can we say that the basic aim of the blockade was to prevent
10 weapons from being brought in to Dubrovnik by sea?
11 A. Yes. That was a decision that had been taken by the leadership of
12 the JNA or the presidency, I'm not quite sure, on the basis of a
13 resolution reached. I think the UN -- there was an UN resolution to
14 prevent the import of weapons into Yugoslavia. And a blockade was ordered
15 for all ports along the Adriatic coast, not only Dubrovnik ports but all
16 the other ports along the coast.
17 Q. Well, did the units of the VPS perform their duties and tasks
18 along the Adriatic coast as a whole?
19 THE INTERPRETER: The military district, not VPS. Interpreter's
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they had to prevent the import
22 of weapons along the Adriatic coast.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 69, line 22,
24 it says "VPS" and it should read "VPO."
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The naval military -- military
2 naval district. VPO.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute or two more,
4 Your Honour. With the Court's indulgence, if I may be allowed to take
5 that time.
6 Q. I just wanted to ask one more question in this regard. So the
7 objective of the blockade was to control the area and prevent any weapons
8 from reaching Dubrovnik and the tasks that the units of the 9th VPS did.
9 And apart from that, were vessels, ships, able to enter Dubrovnik
10 with -- carrying people and food and other necessities after the vessels
11 had been checked?
12 A. Yes, although they weren't -- communication with Dubrovnik was not
13 fully prevented and General Strugar was rather angry about that.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Well, since my time is up for the
15 moment, Your Honour, could this document be assigned a number as a Defence
17 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, there was no question asked of the
18 witness as to whether or not he in fact recognised this -- what purports
19 to be an order or any predicate laid and I would just ask that perhaps we
20 know whether this is something the witness knew of at the time.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think the document is
22 very clear, and clearly marked.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Could you ask the witness, Mr. Rodic, or would you
24 like me to?
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Well, I can ask the witness, yes,
1 Your Honour.
2 Q. Are you familiar with this document from the 1991 period? Did
3 your command receive this document and were you aware of it and did you
4 have knowledge of its contents?
5 A. Yes. I have seen the document and I do remember its contents.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received, Mr. Rodic.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked D47.
10 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn for the day now.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
12 at 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
13 the 6th day of April, 2004,
14 at 9.00 a.m.