Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 8047

1 Friday, 16 July 2004

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.

5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. I understand, Ms. Somers --

6 [Technical difficulty]

7 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you very much.

8 [Technical difficulty]

9 MS. SOMERS: -- summary to us over the phone. In the course of

10 that, it became eminently clear that materials were being addressed that

11 had not been raised either in the initial proofing, or in the initial

12 summaries, and also there are, in our view, clear 90(H) violations as to

13 Admiral Jokic's testimony.

14 I've asked Mr. Re to please prepare an ore tenus application on

15 what we are asking the Chamber to do about this situation. Thank you.


17 MR. RE: Yes. Good morning, Your Honours.

18 The Prosecution has an application that we move an oral motion to

19 exclude evidence, the anticipated evidence of this particular witness, Mr.

20 Jovanovic, evidence which goes outside the summaries provided earlier to

21 the Office of the Prosecutor. I can briefly outline to Your Honours the

22 history of this and why we're making this application, and why we're doing

23 it - it's 10 past 9.00 - this morning in the absence of the witness.

24 When the Defence filed their summaries pursuant to Rule 65 ter on

25 the 25th of June, 2004 the -- it's paragraph 15. The Prosecution was

Page 8048

1 informed that this particular witness, who was the commander of the

2 3rd Battalion of the 5th Partisan Motorised Brigade was going to testify

3 as to the following points: One, how he took over the command of his

4 unit, the positions of -- two, the position of units under his command;

5 three, the command on communication issues within the 9th VPS in the

6 period in which he acted as the commander of the 3rd Battalion; the next

7 one is during the 6th of December, he was the direct participant of the

8 events that took place on the said date. He will testify on fire his

9 units opened on Croatian forces on that day. He will testify on

10 activities of Croatian forces from Dubrovnik on that day. He will testify

11 how he was removed from duty on that day and how he reported to the

12 command of the VPS on the events of the 6th of December.

13 As Your Honour, Presiding Judge, Judge Parker, rightly said in

14 your observations on the Status Conference before the Defence case

15 started, the summaries were fairly vague. Now, this is a fairly vague

16 summary. But within that it is a workable summary as to what the

17 Prosecution is to expect. It's not a summary of the facts as the Rules

18 mandate but it's a working summary of the areas in which you might expect

19 that the witness may testify. And this was the basis upon which the

20 Prosecution was preparing to cross-examine this particular witness.

21 The Defence counsel promised us additional -- after Your Honour

22 ordered Defence counsel before the start of the Defence case to provide

23 better summaries before the witness testified. We were promised a "better

24 summary" and last night the Prosecution -- I withdraw that.

25 Earlier this week, the Prosecution received a document from the

Page 8049

1 Defence. It was on the 11th of January -- 11th of July, dated -- we

2 received it on the 11th of July, and it is a report which the witness

3 wrote apparently on the 6th of the December, outlining the activities of

4 the -- outlining what he said occurred on that particular day.

5 The Defence will, I anticipate, tender this document and the

6 Prosecution of course has no objection to it. The relevant portion of

7 this is that the witness in that report, which was dated on the 6th of

8 December, 1991 and is a contemporaneous document, a handwritten document,

9 apparently prepared on that day, said, at paragraph 2 -- paragraph 1: "On

10 the 6th of December, 1991, at around 6.00, the command location at a

11 Osojnik I received a request by means of communication from the commander

12 of the 3rd of the 472nd Kovacevic to support him with mortar activity in

13 Lazaret. Paragraph 2: As Captain Kovacevic had presented the plan of the

14 carrying out of the combat activities precisely during the previous day, I

15 had understood that the same was approved by the commander of the 9th VPS,

16 and thus I immediately went and manned the observation post in the region

17 of Laski Brijeg.

18 So those are the two pieces of evidence that we were advised of.

19 That Kovacevic had ordered the attack, this witness had apparently been

20 presented with this plan the day before, and because -- and he had

21 understood that it must have been approved by the commander of the VPS,

22 namely, I imagine, Admiral Jokic.

23 While awaiting for further summary, we received a telephone call

24 last night. We were still waiting here for this information after 10.00

25 last night. And Mr. Rodic's legal assistant dictated to us for the next

Page 8050

1 half an hour these vital missing additional pieces of evidence with which

2 he intends to call from this witness this morning. And this piece of

3 evidence appears in a summary which we received upon arriving at work

4 after leaving at 11.30 last night and coming in this morning, we found a

5 written version of this, a written version of what was told to us on the

6 phone. And that is that on the 5th of December, the witness went to a

7 briefing at the command post in Kupari and Admiral Jokic was indeed

8 present there. And at that briefing, Captain Kovacevic presented a plan

9 to overcome the "Srdj problem" and the problem of constant provocations

10 and recommended a plan of how to solve the Srdj problem, saying that he

11 could solve the problem easily and expeditiously. The plan of the attack

12 on Srdj envisaged the cooperation and support of the 3rd and the 5th as

13 well as the cannon battery of the 130-millimetre from Cilipi.

14 The witness asked the commander of the 9th VPS, Admiral Jokic,

15 when the realisation of the cooperation task should begin. The admiral

16 responded that he, the witness, would be informed. After the event the

17 witness left the briefing. "In the next day," the commander - that's

18 Kovacevic - "requested his assistance, and the witness opened fire on two

19 occasions."

20 Now, the difficulty with this is this is the first time this piece

21 of information as to Admiral Jokic's alleged involvement in ordering the

22 attack on Srdj has surfaced in the entire trial. That is the first piece

23 of direct evidence in relation to Admiral Jokic approving, condoning, or

24 ordering the attack on Srdj the next morning, after we've heard a great

25 deal of evidence about his participation in trying to arrange a cease-fire

Page 8051

1 that very same day.

2 This information was not in the Defence pre-trial brief filed in

3 December last year. This vital piece of information was not in the

4 Defence opening statement made a mere two weeks ago. It was not in the

5 Defence summary provided to us in the last week of June. And it's a

6 flagrant violation of Rule 90(H) because it was never put to Admiral Jokic

7 at any point in his lengthy cross-examination. And this piece of

8 information in the Prosecution's submission cannot have been a secret. It

9 cannot only have emerged at 10.00 last night, presumably when Mr. Petrovic

10 had been speaking to the witness somewhere else in proofing him.

11 The Prosecution is unable to meet this piece of information at

12 this late stage. Receiving this information just before 11.00 last night,

13 we are simply unable to prepare for a proper cross-examination, find the

14 relevant transcript references, find the relevant documents, and

15 adequately represent the Prosecution's interests in putting the case to

16 this witness.

17 And of course, there's another difficulty in relation to this,

18 which comes directly from the failure of the Defence to put this

19 apparently now vital part of their changing defence to Admiral Jokic in

20 his cross-examination, and that is, we have not had a chance and will not

21 have a chance to speak to Admiral Jokic to find out the veracity of this

22 information. We cannot check with Jokic, so we do not have a good faith

23 basis on which we can cross-examine this witness as to whether or not this

24 in fact occurred.

25 The only hint, so to speak, that something like this may be coming

Page 8052

1 was in briefing notes we received on Sunday night - when of course we

2 weren't here - at 7.30 on Sunday night, receiving them on Monday morning,

3 in relation to the evidence of the witness Stojanovic. Now,

4 Mr. Stojanovic's evidence was of his hearing from Kovacevic that he had

5 attended a briefing at which Admiral Jokic had been present. But the way

6 it was presented was hearsay evidence, and of course the Prosecution had

7 no good-faith basis upon which we could challenge the witness as to

8 whether or not Kovacevic had said it, as opposed to whether or not the

9 meeting or the briefing at Kupari had in fact occurred. Because the

10 Prosecution clearly hasn't spoken to Kovacevic, and we are not in a

11 position to challenge the witness as to whether or not Kovacevic said it,

12 as opposed to whether or not the meeting actually occurred.

13 There is a further piece of evidence in -- a further piece in this

14 summary which is also provided in writing this morning and notified to us

15 between 10.30 and 11.00 last night, and that goes to the method and means

16 of this witness's removal from his post on the 6th of December. And this

17 is: During the afternoon hours, the witness, again in response to Croat

18 targets that were fired again in response to the Croat targets that were

19 firing at his unit. "At 1800 hours, Colonel Kovacevic, Gavro, came to the

20 unit, his unit, and transmitted the order of Admiral Jokic that pursuant

21 to the order of General Kadijevic, he must immediately leave his duty, of

22 which his brigade was informed."

23 Again, this missing piece of information that it was in fact

24 General Kadijevic who ordered Jokic to relieve this person -- relieve

25 Mr. Jovanovic of his command was not put to Admiral Jokic, was not in the

Page 8053

1 summaries, and, as far as the Prosecution can tell, in the time in which

2 we have been given to research this issue, has newly arisen in the trial.

3 The Prosecution, of course, appreciate -- we of course appreciate

4 our greater resources, but the principle of equality of arms applies

5 equally to both sides in the conduct of proceedings before this Tribunal.

6 The purpose of summaries is to ensure that both sides are on notice of the

7 facts - the facts, not the evidence, the facts - which are to be led to

8 give them time to prepare the case, so that the case can be properly

9 presented, and the Trial Chamber has the basis upon which it can properly

10 determine the matter.

11 Now, the Prosecution's application is that the evidence in

12 relation to Admiral Jokic's alleged attendance in this meeting and his

13 alleged condoning be excluded today, because the Prosecution is simply not

14 in a position to make the appropriate inquiries of Admiral Jokic to be in

15 a position to cross-examine the witness. And we also make the application

16 in relation to the extra piece of evidence about General Kadijevic.

17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Re.

18 Mr. Rodic.

19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] There has been discussion already

20 earlier on -- I'm sorry. I apologise. The interpretation was not proper.

21 Can you hear me now?

22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. It has now come through in English. Thank

23 you. Have you got yours, Mr. Rodic? Yes, it appears to be in order.

24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Now I can hear.

25 It is true, Your Honour, that in the past couple of days, there

Page 8054

1 has been discussion about the summaries, and my learned colleagues had

2 protested either to them lacking information or not having been given on

3 time. However, I have to point out, without going again into the

4 situation the Defence finds itself in, that we have managed to come into

5 contact with some of our witnesses only in the break between the end of

6 the Prosecution case and the start of the Defence case.

7 Concerning this particular witness, the case is again the same.

8 What is typical of this particular witness, as you see, is also that his

9 inability to come and appear before the Honourable Trial Chamber because

10 of a number of problems of a private nature that he experiences and

11 because there is also involved a certain fear concerning some of the

12 allegations contained in the charges.

13 In the summary which was delivered to our learned colleagues under

14 the 65 ter Rule, my learned colleague was -- did quote correctly what was

15 contained therein. However, I have to say that at a later date, the

16 Defence received a document which was a report on the combat activities of

17 the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Partisan Motorised Brigade, drafted on the

18 6th of December, 1991, which was authored by this particular witness.

19 When we confronted the witness with this particular document, we

20 obtained some new data, as presented to you now by my learned colleague.

21 In a part of what he said, something has been left out, which was -- it

22 was only item 2 of this particular report that my learned colleague read

23 to you, and it says: "As the concept of the combat activities had been

24 specifically presented by Captain Kovacevic the day before," this is what

25 the sentence read, basically. I believe it was here read differently.

Page 8055

1 And in the proofing, which again had some technical difficulties, we

2 contacted our learned colleagues from the OTP around 9.00 last night, but

3 then we had some technical difficulties, and in order to do it -- to

4 deliver the information as soon as possible, we decided to do it over the

5 phone. It was only late last night when our equipment started working

6 again. We also sent the written summary of what had been dictated over

7 the phone earlier on. And this is the result of the proofing that my

8 colleague, Vladimir Petrovic, carried out while talking to this witness in

9 Belgrade.

10 As for this crucial sentence that was pointed out to by my learned

11 colleague, and that is that Captain Kovacevic had specifically presented

12 the concept of the combat activities, and as I understood, it had been

13 approved by the command of the 9th VPS, and I immediately headed out to

14 the observation point in Laski Brijeg in order to directly coordinate the

15 action.

16 In the proofing summary that the OTP had been informed of, there

17 are also words of the witness to the effect that he had asked Admiral

18 Jokic as to when the task would be realised and that the admiral had

19 replied to him, "You will be informed of it."

20 Therefore, these are the two issues which my learned colleague Re

21 has left out now in presenting this matter to you.

22 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, Mr. Rodic. We'd heard both of those

23 matters during Mr. Re's submission. I recall both of them. So he didn't

24 leave them out. But anyhow, move on to your submission.

25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I certainly didn't hear

Page 8056












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Page 8057

1 the second reference in my headphones. I didn't hear it in

2 interpretation.

3 However, even earlier, my colleagues from the Prosecution objected

4 that certain things had not been put to Admiral Jokic. Simply speaking,

5 we were unable to put everything to Admiral Jokic, what was available to

6 the Defence at that moment, be it in the form of document or a brief or

7 proofing notes or investigator's notes, was put to the witness and attempt

8 has been made to go through it in the course of cross-examination.

9 So far in presenting our defence case, witnesses have appeared,

10 such as company commanders, and a commander of the 130-millimetre battery,

11 whose testimony clearly pointed to the attack on Srdj on the 6th of

12 December, 1991, specifying that this attack originated from the command of

13 the 9th VPS. Compared to all those witnesses, this one is the only one

14 whose position enabled him at the time to attend personally the briefings

15 held at the command of the 9th VPS at the forward command post in Kupari.

16 This report -- Your Honours, we have another technical problem

17 with interpretation. French seems to be heard on the B/C/S channel.

18 Let me continue. This report referenced by my learned friend Re

19 of the 6th of December was submitted to the Prosecution last Friday, as I

20 say, last Friday. And this report contains a number of other elements

21 that I cannot read now, but which precisely point to the subject matter of

22 the testimony of previous witnesses called by the Defence. In those

23 terms, the report submitted seven days ago is not different from the

24 summary, and I believe it was sufficient in order to be put to Admiral

25 Jokic, to be clarified with him in cross-examination if my learned friends

Page 8058

1 deemed that necessary when he testified about his agreement. The

2 discrepancy between the arguments between this report and his testimony

3 are eminently clear. I'm just explaining how this came about. Last night

4 at 10.00 p.m., we succeeded in dictating over the telephone the proofing

5 summary we received from Belgrade. However, this report was submitted

6 last Friday, and it is very clear in speaking to this whole operation on

7 Srdj and the attack of the 6th of December, 1991.

8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, first, what is apparent from all you

9 say, that you're putting all of this on the basis that for the first time,

10 this witness has been briefed, proofed, to give evidence. Clearly, this

11 problem arises because there has not been an adequate proofing of the

12 witness in the preparation of the Defence case at the proper time. You're

13 saying now that most material information only came to your notice during

14 yesterday's proofing. If the witness had been adequately proofed for the

15 purposes of the 65 ter and for the purpose of the preparation of your

16 case, the materiality of these two disputed issues would have been starkly

17 obvious.

18 The second comment that I have is that we have -- well, I'll leave

19 it for the moment and ask you about the first.

20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have already tried to

21 explain that concerning the issue of detecting witnesses and concerning

22 the issue of their goodwill and willingness to talk on this subject, the

23 Defence faced genuinely enormous problems. Things started to unfold, if I

24 may say so, only later, and specifically in relation to this witness, I

25 tried to explain, that was because he had a number of problems of a

Page 8059

1 private nature, related to his participation in this operation on Srdj. I

2 don't know if he's listening to this, and I can understand his misgivings,

3 but he was less than eager to talk.

4 In the process of collecting other information, as that other

5 information came in, we approached the witness again in order to try to

6 elucidate and clarify the events. The third stage in that process is the

7 subsequent emergence of this report, which had been requested a long time

8 ago, even before the trial began. However, the Defence had no access to

9 it. The Defence didn't even know whether it was still in existence or had

10 been destroyed. We only now managed to lay our hands on it. And from

11 the --

12 JUDGE PARKER: When did you first see this report, and from what

13 source did you obtain it?

14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this report comes from

15 the military archives. It had been requested from three different places:

16 From the navy, from the operations group, and from the archives in

17 Belgrade. We located the report just before leaving for The Hague. On

18 the eve of our Defence case, and it was in the course of presenting our

19 case we received the report according to all the rules and regulations,

20 and we succeeded precisely because of the importance of this document in

21 getting it physically, although that too had been a huge problem.

22 I believe, Your Honour, and I'm sorry if I'm interrupting you, but

23 I have to say, if I'm talking about this: You have heard references in

24 the course of examining Vlado Sikimic, operations officer at the forward

25 command post, to the war journal of the 9th VPS in Kupari that was

Page 8060

1 introduced through that witness. And the question of the war journal

2 arose, the war journal from the basic command post at Kupari, which Petre

3 Handzijev, another witness, also talked about. We did not locate this

4 document. That document -- in fact, this report, just as the war journal

5 from the forward command post in Kupari, fall within the same category of

6 documents, which must be archived permanently. However, we still have not

7 located it.

8 In keeping with our Defence case and all that we presented before

9 this Trial Chamber, we shall continue in our efforts to find it, until the

10 end of our case, because it is very important for us to find out whether

11 the document has been destroyed or, alternatively, to get it, because it

12 can be very important in corroborating and further clarifying everything

13 that was said by Defence witnesses.

14 Furthermore, Admiral Jokic mentioned a report made by Captain

15 Kovacevic.

16 JUDGE PARKER: You have me a little confused, Mr. Rodic. I

17 understood that you now have the report of the witness which he prepared

18 on the 6th of December. Is that the report you're just saying that you're

19 still trying to locate? Or is it a different report?

20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour. This report of

21 the 6th of December, written by witness Jovanovic, we succeeded in

22 securing and providing during the Defence case, according to all the

23 Rules. I'm now talking about the report that Admiral Jokic said was

24 written by Captain Kovacevic, commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd

25 Brigade at that time, and I'm saying that this is very important because

Page 8061

1 it was also written on the 6th of December. We did an enormous work

2 trying to locate it, but we have not succeeded yet, and that one is

3 certainly also very important to us.

4 JUDGE PARKER: You haven't yet said where it was that you found

5 the report of this witness written on the 6th of December. Where was

6 that?

7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, to be specific, we found

8 it in Kumbor. It was located in Kumbor, at the command of the navy. And

9 we were first informed of this report by the current Chief of Staff of the

10 navy.

11 JUDGE PARKER: And when was that?

12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] It was late in June, seven or eight

13 days before the beginning of the Defence case. I cannot remember the

14 exact date, but I know it was very shortly before the beginning of the

15 Defence case, before our journey. That document, therefore, was located,

16 but without an official approval of the official authorities, without

17 their confirmation that it had been duly registered and without their

18 certification that it is an original document. We were unable to get it.

19 We did get that certification later, in Belgrade, and instigated -- or

20 rather, instituted proceedings to be issued with that document. And as I

21 said, we received it already in the course of presenting our Defence case.

22 JUDGE PARKER: Now, were you wanting to put further matters?

23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I believe I

24 responded to your question. If my answer has been sufficient. You asked

25 me to reply to your first question.

Page 8062

1 JUDGE PARKER: You've managed to cover the second in the course of

2 dealing with the first, so that's all right.

3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn for a few moments to consider this

6 matter.

7 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, before the Chamber adjourns, may I just

8 bring up one point that I think I would like to refresh the Chamber's

9 recollection, although I'm sure you recall. The basis for videolink was

10 that the defendant -- I'm sorry, the accused -- the witness is prevented

11 from physically appearing before the Trial Chamber due to several factors

12 that pose as a serious impediment, namely, the person is a former military

13 officer and presently a pensioner, is of a considerable age and fragile

14 health, and as such travel is a risk and onerous undertaking which he

15 would rather avoid. Then: The wife of the individual is seriously ill

16 and under constant medical supervision. As a result, the individual

17 refuses to leave the country as long as his spouse is ill and --

18 THE INTERPRETER: Would you please slow down a little.

19 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry. I will repeat it. As a result, the

20 witness refuses to leave the country as long as his spouse is ill and

21 frail. The Defence is of the opinion that the witness's position on the

22 matter is quite understandable, since it is rather difficult to ask of a

23 person to embark on such a peculiar journey while his loved one is

24 seriously ill.

25 I simply bring to the Chamber's attention that at no time was

Page 8063

1 there any mention of fear of role or legal implications or potential

2 criminal culpability, and for such matters, if in fact that is a concern,

3 and it appears that somewhere it may be at a higher point on the list than

4 the other factors, of course, safe conduct is an option. But the

5 Prosecution expressed its opinion on it, as was requested by the Chamber,

6 based on what we had represented to us in the submission.

7 Thank you very much.

8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will now adjourn for a short time.

9 --- Break taken at 9.48 a.m.

10 --- On resuming at 10.16 a.m.

11 JUDGE PARKER: There are objections to two pieces of evidence that

12 it appears intended to lead from the witness to be called this morning.

13 The first concerns a briefing at the command post at Kupari on the evening

14 of the 5th of December, in which the witness will say he was a

15 participant, at which meeting he will indicate there was present also the

16 earlier Prosecution witness, Admiral Jokic, who was present throughout the

17 briefing and who directly responded to the witness by telling him he would

18 be informed when the briefing was to be implemented.

19 There can be no question of the materiality, somewhat critical

20 materiality, of that piece of evidence in the context of the facts of this

21 case. It was not the subject of a pre-trial disclosure. It was not put

22 to Admiral Jokic. It clearly was a matter which, if then known to the

23 Defence, should have been put to Admiral Jokic, pursuant to Rule 90(H) of

24 the Rules. That was not done.

25 The second objection is to evidence concerning the circumstances

Page 8064

1 in which the witness came to be relieved of his command of the

2 3rd Battalion of the 5th Motorised Brigade on the evening of the 6th of

3 December. The critical point of the concern is evidence that it was said

4 by the colonel who was relieving the witness of his command that he was

5 acting on the order of General Kadijevic in doing so.

6 This is a matter which comes within the scope of the general

7 notice of evidence given in respect of this matter, that is, the

8 circumstances in which he came to be relieved of his command, but it is

9 clearly a matter which was contrary to the evidence of Admiral Jokic given

10 in the course of the Prosecution case. So, then known to the Defence, it

11 ought to have been put to the admiral in cross-examination.

12 It is said in respect of both pieces of information that they have

13 come to the knowledge of the Defence, in effect, yesterday, and notice of

14 each matter, it is accepted, was given late last evening. The witness is

15 not a surprise witness. It is a witness that has been planned to be

16 called by the Defence. What is offered by way of explanation is that the

17 Defence were not aware that the witness would say each of these things. A

18 report came to their possession from official records at Kumbor a little

19 under a week before the Defence team returned to The Hague to commence the

20 Defence case. That report does not specifically disclose the first

21 matter, from what we have been told, but it does the second.

22 Of course, Admiral Jokic gave his evidence some months ago, and if

23 this matter was not to the knowledge of the Defence at that time, there is

24 an explanation for the failure to put each of these matters to the

25 admiral. The explanation offered suggests that the report, insofar as it

Page 8065

1 might have disclosed the second matter, was not in the possession of the

2 Defence when they complied with 65 ter. And the report itself does not

3 disclose the first.

4 It is apparent that what happened yesterday is that Mr. Petrovic

5 proofed the witness in some detail, and each of these matters and their

6 relevance to the Defence case became obvious, and therefore, late in the

7 evening, notice was given to the Prosecution.

8 If it be accepted that the Defence first knew of the report and

9 its indication of the second matter only something a little short of a

10 week before coming again to The Hague to commence the Defence case, one

11 can understand that there may have not been earlier notice of that matter.

12 What is apparent, however, is that in both matters there has been a

13 failure by the Defence to properly proof this witness at and before the

14 commencement of the trial. There is no suggestion that the witness was

15 unknown to the Defence; in fact, his relevance and role is obvious. While

16 it is said that he may have had some reluctance to speak to the Defence,

17 what is put before us on official applications does not suggest that he

18 was not prepared to speak, and it is clear that when it was approached on

19 the eve of actually giving evidence, these matters were disclosed by the

20 witness.

21 In short, there has been a failure to do what should have been

22 done on the part of the Defence in the proofing of this witness, and it

23 has had an adverse effect on the proper conduct of the trial.

24 The question is: What, in the circumstances, should the Trial

25 Chamber do about this, having to be guided in the end by the interests of

Page 8066












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Page 8067

1 justice? There has been at least a failure to comply with the requirements

2 of Rule 90(H), due to a failure to adequately proof the witness. But, of

3 course, it does not automatically or necessarily follow from that that the

4 evidence should be excluded.

5 Both pieces of evidence are, as I have indicated, clearly

6 material, if that proves to be the evidence given by the witness. The

7 Chamber, in the end, is of the view that, despite the way in which this

8 has occurred, due to neglect, the interests of justice require, on

9 balance, that this evidence be allowed to be led. Clearly, when we come

10 to weigh the evidence, the failure to deal with it in the proper way in

11 the course of trial may well come to have a significance to the Chamber as

12 it comes to assess its weight. It is too early yet to have any concluded

13 view about that. We have yet to see and hear the witness. But the way in

14 which the matter has been improperly managed will well possibly have a

15 bearing upon the weight that we can attach to one or other or both of

16 these matters of evidence.

17 Clearly, both of these matters ought to have been put to Admiral

18 Jokic, at least. The Chamber's view that both pieces of evidence should

19 be allowed to be led, if it is indeed is the evidence of the witness,

20 inevitably leads the Chamber to the view that if the Prosecution so

21 wishes, they should be allowed to recall the admiral on these two issues,

22 if they so wish. They may well want to lead other evidence relative to

23 these facts. If so, an application would need to be made.

24 We appreciate the Prosecution concern that they are in some

25 embarrassment because of the incredibly short notice that they have had of

Page 8068

1 these two material pieces of evidence. They will, as they have on other

2 occasions, no doubt do what they can with this. If there seems to be some

3 impossibility, that will need to be specifically raised with the Chamber.

4 So the ruling of the Chamber is that the Prosecution motion for

5 the non-reception of each of these pieces of evidence will not be granted.

6 The evidence may be led, if that is how it comes, and there is leave to

7 the Prosecution to recall in rebuttal Admiral Jokic, should the

8 Prosecution be so minded. And if there are other issues that arise, the

9 Chamber will obviously be prepared to hear those matters on their merit.

10 Now, we have spent the first hour and a half of today on this

11 issue. There is a videolink, and we really need to get on with it. Is

12 there any difficulty seen in proceeding with that immediately?

13 MR. RE: I just have one very minor matter arising from Your

14 Honour's ruling, that is, in your ruling, Your Honours referred to the

15 second matter, that is, the manner of the witness's removal by -- on the

16 order apparently of General Kadijevic.

17 JUDGE PARKER: The mention of General Kadijevic as the source of

18 the order.

19 MR. RE: Yes.

20 JUDGE PARKER: I think that's the point of the second objection,

21 is it not?

22 MR. RE: Yes. Your Honour in your ruling said that it appeared in

23 the report of the 6th of December whereas the first one didn't. That is

24 in fact not so. And if somehow in the exchange it may have got lost,

25 neither appeared in the report of the 6th of December.

Page 8069

1 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry. The Chamber doesn't have the report, of

2 course. We had -- or at least I had, I believe the other Judges too, had

3 had the impression that that was flagged in the report. It makes, I'm

4 afraid, no difference to the decision of the Chamber.

5 MR. RE: The only thing I say in relation to the ruling from the

6 Prosecution's viewpoint is that the Prosecution does not believe it could

7 be in a position to cross-examine the witness on the point without first

8 speaking to Admiral Jokic, because I just don't see I have a basis upon

9 which I can challenge it. Because it will be sworn evidence before the --

10 before the Trial Chamber, and I may have to request an adjournment of the

11 cross-examination on the particular point.

12 JUDGE PARKER: I wish it was as easy as that. You may have to,

13 and we may well have to accede to it. But the problem is re-establishing

14 a videolink at some later time at short notice.

15 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. On that point, if I may. If

16 it turns out that the basis for the videolink in fact may not have been

17 exactly as suggested, perhaps the witness could be considered to come in

18 live, given what has come up.

19 JUDGE PARKER: Do you know how long it takes to get the necessary

20 visas, et cetera, Ms. Somers?

21 MS. SOMERS: I am aware, Your Honour. But perhaps the Defence is

22 on notice that if they might want to consider, if the Chamber is so

23 minded, to beginning that process, should the need arise. And they have

24 their representative presently there.

25 JUDGE PARKER: We will cross that bridge if and when it should be

Page 8070

1 reached.

2 We will proceed now to connect to the videolink and commence the

3 evidence of the witness.

4 THE REGISTRAR: [In Belgrade] Good morning, Your Honour. I will

5 get the witness now.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Good morning to you.

7 [The witness entered court]

8 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Do you have there the affirmation

9 card?

10 THE REGISTRAR: [In Belgrade] It's on the screen, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Would you please read aloud the

12 affirmation.


14 [Witness testifies via videolink]

15 [Witness answered through interpreter]

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.

19 Mr. Rodic.

20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

21 Examined by Mr. Rodic:

22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Can you please state your

23 full name.

24 A. Good morning. My name is Miroslav Jovanovic.

25 Q. Sir, may I please ask you, right at the outset, for proceedings to

Page 8071

1 go smoothly and in order that we may record everything that you say, can

2 you please make a brief pause between question and answer, a brief pause,

3 please. And also, please provide brief answers to the questions I ask

4 you. Thank you.

5 Mr. Jovanovic, when and where were you born?

6 A. I was born on the 13th of October, 1946, in Prokuplje.

7 Q. What is your profession?

8 A. I was retired, with the rank of colonel, on the 3rd of July, 1998,

9 retired from the JNA.

10 Q. Tell us, please, about your educational background.

11 A. Those were military schools, the military academy for land forces

12 in 1968 and the command staff academy in 1982.

13 Q. Sir, when did you start serving in the army?

14 A. I started serving with the JNA on the 1st of September, 1968.

15 Q. Sir, throughout your military career, where did you serve?

16 A. I spent most of my time in Titograd, nowadays called Podgorica, in

17 the garrisons of Kolasin, Bar and Podgorica, and I spent some time in

18 Pristina.

19 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, can you please tell us which unit you were part of

20 in 1991.

21 A. The 5th Motorised Brigade.

22 Q. What was your position there?

23 A. I was the brigade's Chief of Staff.

24 Q. Did you spend a long time in that post?

25 A. Quite a long time.

Page 8072

1 Q. While you held that post, did the brigade commanders change?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. How many commanders came and went?

4 A. At the brigade command, a total of three brigade commanders

5 changed.

6 Q. Can you please tell us what your rank was at the time when you

7 were Chief of Staff.

8 A. Lieutenant colonel.

9 Q. Establishment-wise, the 5th Brigade, it was part of which larger

10 unit?

11 A. It was within the 2nd Corps.

12 Q. Sir, throughout 1991, were any units detached from your brigade?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Which specific unit?

15 A. Within the 9th Naval Sector, it was the 3rd Battalion that was

16 attached.

17 Q. If I understand you correctly, the 3rd Battalion of your brigade

18 was detached from its original composition and attached to the 9th VPS; is

19 that what you said, sir?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Do you remember when the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade was

22 re-subordinated to the command of the 9th VPS?

23 A. In early October 1991.

24 Q. After the 3rd Battalion was attached to the 9th VPS, where did the

25 battalion stay, around October?

Page 8073

1 A. The 3rd Battalion was carrying out tasks within the VPS, along the

2 Herceg-Novi, Debeli Brijeg, Kupari axis.

3 Q. Did this battalion take part in the land blockade of Dubrovnik?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And what was the axis of the blockade along which the positions of

6 the 3rd Battalion were?

7 A. The 3rd Battalion, during the blockade of Dubrovnik, stayed in the

8 area of Zaton, the area of Petrovo Selo and Osojnak.

9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Osojnik.

10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown

11 Prosecution Exhibit P124. It's a map.

12 THE REGISTRAR: [In Belgrade] Can you please put the map on the

13 ELMO. I was not given a map.

14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, can you see the map?

16 A. Yes. I can't read the caption, but I see which area is depicted

17 on the map.

18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the registrar please tell us

19 whether they have the map, if you don't have P124.

20 THE REGISTRAR: [In Belgrade] I was not given P124.

21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Do you have the map marked as P132?

23 THE REGISTRAR: [In Belgrade] I have no map. However, I --

24 JUDGE PARKER: It should now be visible on the screen. Do you see

25 it?

Page 8074

1 THE REGISTRAR: [In Belgrade] Yes.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Sir, if you look at this map, can you see the positions of the

5 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade on it? Can you see the positions on the

6 map?

7 A. I recognise the area where the battalion was deployed, but I can't

8 see the names of the units.

9 Q. Very well. It must be a technical problem we're facing. Let's

10 move on, please. We'll no longer be needing this map.

11 Mr. Jovanovic, throughout October, November, and December 1991,

12 did the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade stay throughout this time in the

13 Dubrovnik and Herzegovina theatre of war?

14 A. Yes. The battalion was -- throughout this time within the

15 composition of the 9th VPS, except for late October and early November,

16 when it had been pulled out from the area of war operations and sent to

17 the Podgorica area, so that they could rest and receive reinforcements.

18 Q. Sir, the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade, when did it return to

19 the Dubrovnik, Herzegovina theatre of war?

20 A. In early November.

21 Q. Which specific tasks did it take part in, in that period of time?

22 A. The blockade of Dubrovnik.

23 Q. Where were you at the time?

24 A. At the command of the 5th Brigade. I worked as the brigade's

25 Chief of Staff.

Page 8075

1 Q. In early December 1991, where was the 3rd Battalion of the 5th

2 Brigade positioned?

3 A. The 3rd Battalion was carrying out tasks related to the blockade

4 of Dubrovnik. It was at the positions of Zaton, Petrovo Selo, and

5 Osojnik.

6 Q. Throughout this period of time, October through December 1991, did

7 you at any point in time take over command over the 3rd Battalion of the

8 5th Brigade?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can you tell us how that came about?

11 A. Men needed to rest, and the battalion commander Zdravkovic had to

12 deal with some family problems that he had at the time. Therefore, the

13 command of the 9th VPS sent a request to the brigade command to send over

14 an officer from their own ranks who could successfully exercise command

15 over the battalion while the battalion commander Zdravkovic was absent.

16 Q. Can you please tell us how you took over command of the

17 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade.

18 A. Pursuant to orders from the brigade commander, I had received a

19 transfer to the battalion, and command was handed over to me by Major

20 Zdravkovic. I familiarised myself with the situation, area of deployment,

21 and the tasks faced by the battalion. And we informed the command of the

22 9th VPS about this.

23 Q. Thank you. Are you familiar with the existence of the

24 2nd Operations Group?

25 A. Yes.

Page 8076












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 8077

1 Q. While carrying out your duties and tasks, did you have any contact

2 with the 2nd Operations Group?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, can you please explain how the communications lines

5 in your battalion worked. What sort of equipment did you have? What

6 communications equipment?

7 A. Our communication lines worked fine, because practically the only

8 thing we used were the wire links between the command of the VPS and the

9 battalion, and also between the battalion command and its subordinate

10 units.

11 Q. If I understand you correctly, you said that you had a

12 communication line open to the command of the VPS and also to the

13 commanders of the subordinated units that were under your battalion.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, what was the discipline like in the unit that you

16 took over in early December 1991?

17 A. Those were men with some war experience. They had been tried and

18 true, and they had been perfectly trained. They were extremely

19 disciplined. The tasks were clear and were carried out impeccably, those

20 tasks that they had been assigned.

21 Q. What was control and command like in the 3rd Battalion of the

22 5th Brigade?

23 A. The battalion commander commanded the battalion. As for

24 day-to-day activities, we had daily briefings or reports to the command of

25 the 9th VPS.

Page 8078

1 Q. Did you ever attend briefings or reports at the command of the

2 9th VPS?

3 A. Yes, I did.

4 Q. Where did those briefings at the command of the 9th VPS take

5 place?

6 A. The briefings took place at the command post of the 9th VPS in

7 Kupari.

8 Q. Can you tell us who chaired these briefings?

9 A. The commander of the 9th VPS did.

10 Q. And who was the commander of the 9th VPS at the time?

11 A. Vice Admiral Jokic.

12 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, can you tell us who else was present at these

13 briefings?

14 A. The briefings were attended by commanders of subordinate units,

15 the VPS Chief of Staff, warship Captain Milan Zec; and bodies that were

16 within the command of the military naval sector.

17 Q. At what time roughly were these briefings held?

18 A. The briefings, for the most part, were held in the evening,

19 usually gone 1800 hours.

20 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, did you attend the briefing at the forward command

21 post in Kupari on the 5th of December, 1991?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Can you tell us who chaired that particular briefing?

24 A. Commander Jokic.

25 Q. And who were those present?

Page 8079

1 A. Commanders of subordinate units, Chief of Staff, warship Captain

2 Milan Zec, and bodies of the command of the military naval sector.

3 Q. Do you know a man named Vladimir Kovacevic?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Which position did he hold at the time?

6 A. He was commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade. He

7 was directly subordinated to Commander Jokic.

8 Q. This briefing on the 5th of December, 1991, was it attended by

9 Captain Kovacevic?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Did Captain Kovacevic address those at the briefing?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Could you briefly tell us what he talked about.

14 A. He talked about the problems that he was experiencing in the Srdj

15 area, where he was constantly exposed to provocations from the Croatian

16 side.

17 Q. I apologise. Go on.

18 A. He was exposed to a daily gunfire, and his forces were constantly

19 under fire. He suggested that he should solve this problem by seizing

20 Srdj.

21 Q. Did Captain Kovacevic say how he was going to achieve this?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Can you explain to us in some detail what it was that he said to

24 that effect.

25 A. He asked that he be permitted to use his assault units and the

Page 8080

1 units present on the front line with artillery support, in order to carry

2 out an attack and seize Srdj. He was adamant that he was going to be able

3 to achieve this action in a very fast manner and a very efficient manner.

4 Q. His proposal for the attack on Srdj, what did it include in terms

5 of coordination and support?

6 A. The proposal envisaged the support of 130-millimetre Howitzers and

7 of the fire group of -- the firing group of the 3rd Battalion of the

8 5th Brigade.

9 Q. This unit that had the artillery pieces of 130-millimetre calibre,

10 do you know where it was positioned?

11 A. I knew that it was somewhere in the Cilipi area.

12 Q. Did the Chief of Staff of the 9th VPS, warship Captain Milan Zec,

13 take part in this briefing?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did he say anything with regard to this proposal put forward by

16 Captain Kovacevic?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Can you tell us briefly what it was that the Chief of Staff said.

19 A. He pointed out that if the action were to be allowed, the action

20 on Srdj, that it had to be finished by 1200 hours on the 6th of December.

21 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, did you raise any questions at this briefing?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Can you tell us what it was?

24 A. Upon the end of the briefing, before leaving the command post of

25 the 9th VPS, I asked Commander Jokic as to whether the action was going to

Page 8081

1 be allowed, approved. And since I did not get any answer, I asked to be

2 timely informed of the time of the commencement of the action, in order

3 for me to be able to undertake all the planned actions geared toward the

4 implementation of the action.

5 Q. Did the commander answer this question of yours?

6 A. No, he didn't.

7 Q. Was there any indication given to you as to how you were about to

8 be notified? Did anyone tell you anything to that effect?

9 A. Well, usually. And it would have been normal for them to inform

10 me about it over the usual communications things.

11 Q. Were you there until the very end of the briefing on that day?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did you know when the action was supposed to start?

14 A. No.

15 Q. How was this going to be dealt with? How would you find out?

16 A. I was supposed to be informed by the command of the 9th VPS or by

17 Commander Kovacevic.

18 Q. While you were there at the forward command post at Kupari, from

19 those who were present there, did you hear anything about the action not

20 being approved, not being planned to be carried out, while you were there?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Did Captain Kovacevic leave the room where the briefing took place

23 together with you?

24 A. No.

25 Q. What did he do?

Page 8082

1 A. He remained seated in his place.

2 Q. Did anybody else stay on with him after you left the place?

3 A. The entire VPS command remained there, together with Admiral Jokic

4 and some of the commanders who had taken part in the briefing.

5 Q. Tell me, Mr. Jovanovic: Where were you headed? Where did you go

6 when you left the briefing?

7 A. I headed for my command post in the Osojnik area.

8 Q. What was going on on the 6th of December, 1991?

9 A. In the morning hours, somewhere between 6.00 and 7.00 in the

10 morning, Captain Kovacevic informed me that he was under heavy fire from

11 the Croatian forces and that he was asking for the support of

12 130-millimetre Howitzers and of the fire support group of the

13 3rd Battalion.

14 Q. Did he request fire support from your battalion?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. What was your reaction? What did you do upon receiving the

17 request?

18 A. Upon receiving the request, I headed to my observation point,

19 observation post, where I ordered that positions be taken and organised

20 the support, opening fire on the targets that were distinguished as the

21 points from where the fire was coming, in the Lazaret area and Nuncijata.

22 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, when you were on the observation post, what did you

23 observe? Can you tell us?

24 A. From the observation post, both I and my associates there clearly

25 saw the fire coming from mortars of the Croatian forces from the area of

Page 8083

1 Lazaret and Nuncijata.

2 Q. Tell us, Mr. Jovanovic: Where were the weapons that you intended

3 to use?

4 A. The fire support weapons of the 3rd Battalion were deployed on the

5 firing positions south of Osojnik, so that you can see Vis to the south of

6 Osojnik, the elevation point was 443 or 442.

7 Q. Which fire support weapons did you have at your disposal?

8 A. In the battalion, we had 120-millimetre mortars.

9 Q. Tell me -- I apologise. I've interrupted you.

10 A. Recoilless guns, hand-held rocket launchers.

11 Q. What was the ultimate range of -- maximum range of 120-millimetre

12 mortars?

13 A. 120-millimetre mortars can effectively fire to a distance of up to

14 six kilometres.

15 Q. Do you recall which points in the direction of the town of

16 Dubrovnik constitute the maximum range to be reached by your weapons?

17 A. I'm trying to visualise now the situation as we saw it on the map,

18 which is the northern slope of Babin Kuk, which is Velika Petka. That is

19 closer to us, meaning us from -- watching from Osojnik. And to the east,

20 the slopes of Srdj, that is, Nuncijata, Sustjepan, the left bank of

21 Dubravacka Rijeka.

22 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, did you notice the firing positions of the enemy?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Was fire being opened from these enemy firing positions?

25 A. Yes.

Page 8084

1 Q. Did you fire upon these -- the seen distinguished firing

2 positions?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Tell me: After having opened fire, did you notify anyone thereof?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Can you tell me who it was that you notified.

7 A. I informed the operations centre of the 9th VPS about the cause of

8 the action and about the fire support being provided, the weapons

9 involved, and the targets involved.

10 Q. When you say the operations centre of the 9th VPS, can you tell

11 us, for the sake of precision, where this operations centre was located.

12 A. The operations centre of the 9th VPS was at the forward command

13 post in Kupari.

14 Q. The action that you've described to us now, was that the only

15 request issued by Captain Kovacevic on that day?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Was there another request?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Can you tell us what Captain Kovacevic requested that second time?

20 A. Captain Kovacevic asked for urgent support to be directed at

21 Lazaret, Nuncijata, and Hotel Libertas, and he particularly mentioned the

22 importance of using 130-millimetre Howitzers as fire support.

23 Q. Did you inform the operations centre of the 9th VPS about this

24 particular request by Captain Kovacevic?

25 A. Yes, I did.

Page 8085

1 Q. And did you follow up with an action based on that request?

2 A. Yes. In my area of responsibility, that is, firing at the targets

3 within range of my weapons, that is, Lazareti, Nuncijata, without knowing

4 whether actually the 9th VPS got the request for the fire support for

5 Hotel Libertas. This was something I was not directly involved in.

6 Q. Did Captain Kovacevic perhaps mention why it was that he requested

7 the 130-millimetre artillery support?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. What did he tell you?

10 A. He said that he was under heavy fire coming from the area of

11 Hotel Libertas and that he had sustained great casualties in the Srdj

12 area, that he was not able to fire upon these positions, and that to his

13 estimate, only 130-millimetre Howitzers were able to carry out the action.

14 Q. Tell me, Mr. Jovanovic: Do you remember the time of this second

15 action of yours?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. When was it, approximately?

18 A. I would refer you to my report, because it was on the basis of the

19 notes I made that I drafted the report. It was after 9.00. It was

20 approximately 9.15.

21 Q. Thank you. When you received this second request by Captain

22 Kovacevic, asking your support and the support of 130-millimetre

23 artillery, did you inform the operations centre of the 9th VPS thereof?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Do you remember up until what time you were opening fire from your

Page 8086












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13 English transcripts.













Page 8087

1 weapons?

2 A. Yes. Until 11.45.

3 Q. And what did you do then, Mr. Jovanovic, at that time?

4 A. I informed the operations centre of the 9th VPS about the fact

5 that we were providing support and asked of them whether we should

6 continue providing our support to the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade.

7 Q. What were you guided by when you asked the question?

8 A. By the order of the warship Captain Milan Zec of the day before,

9 of the evening before, which stated that the activities around the Srdj

10 area had to be terminated by 1200 hours, when a complete, total peace

11 should set in, should be secured. And I'm here quoting exactly what

12 warship Captain Milan Zec said.

13 Q. And those at the operations centre of the 9th VPS, what did they

14 tell you when you asked them at 11.55 what it was that you should do next?

15 A. The duty-officer at the operations centre conveyed to me the order

16 of the commander of the 9th VPS that the order concerning the total peace

17 should be fully honoured and that any ongoing activities should be

18 terminated, as well as that I should report to the operations centre and

19 brief them about what was going on.

20 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, the order that you received from the operations

21 centre at 11.55, of the operations centre of the 9th VPS, concerning the

22 termination of all activities, prior to that, were you banned by anyone or

23 prevented from using your weapons, by anyone?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Did you then indeed report to the forward command post at Kupari?

Page 8088

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Tell me: Who did you find at the forward command post at Kupari?

3 A. I found a duty-officer there, Lieutenant Colonel Kozaric.

4 Q. What did Lieutenant Colonel Kozaric tell you?

5 A. Lieutenant Colonel Kozaric transmitted to me the order of the

6 sector commander to write a report, and he also said that the sector

7 commander had been invited to see the federal secretary, the report,

8 urgently, and that it was probable that the entire command of the 9th VPS

9 would be replaced as a result of the firing action upon the Old Town.

10 Q. Who was the federal secretary at the time?

11 A. It was General Kadijevic.

12 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, did you indeed write that report?

13 A. Since I was keeping my war journal, my own notebook, at the

14 observation post, I took that material, and referring to the notebook the

15 times and various entries, I wrote the report and left it with the duty

16 operations officer at the command of the VPS.

17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] With the usher's assistance, I would

18 like to have one document distributed.

19 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, I have just handed out a document, and so that you

20 are informed, it is a report on the combat activities of the 3rd Battalion

21 of the 5th Motorised Brigade, submitted to the command of the 9th VPS on

22 the 6th of December, 1991. Do you have that document before you?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, do you recognise this document? Can you tell us,

25 is that your report?

Page 8089

1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We need it on the ELMO if

2 it is going to be discussed.

3 A. The document before me is my own report. However, I see a

4 different report on the ELMO.

5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Do you have in front of you the version of that document in the

7 Serbo-Croat language?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Can you read to us the heading on that document.

10 A. "Command of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Infantry Motorised

11 Brigade, 6th of December, 1991, 1400 hours. Osojnik (Kupari)." If I may

12 clarify. This document was written in Kupari and distributed in Osojnik,

13 in my working notebook.

14 Q. Sorry.

15 A. Below that, we read: "Report on the combat activities of the

16 5th Battalion of the -- of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Motorised Brigade,

17 submitted to the command of the 9th Military Naval Sector."

18 Q. On the reverse of that report, it says "Miroslav Jovanovic" --

19 rather, on the second page, it says "Miroslav Jovanovic," and there is a

20 signature. Is that your signature?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Does this report contain a description of the actions you

23 undertook on the 6th of December and the operations executed by your

24 battalion?

25 A. Yes.

Page 8090

1 Q. Under paragraph 2 of your report, it is mentioned that the idea

2 presented by Captain Kovacevic on the way the combat operations were to be

3 carried out was precise. What did this imply in terms of neighbours and

4 support? In other words, neighbouring units and support.

5 A. That implied support targeting firing positions on the other side

6 that could be jeopardising his units that were located in the zone of

7 operations of the battalion under my command.

8 Q. The area of your observation post, as indicated in this report, is

9 it accurate?

10 A. This must be a local name for it. On the map, it is clear it is

11 the central part of the range overlooking the Dubrovnik river, from which

12 you can see the entire area clearly, whereas the place name I quoted here

13 I heard from the local population and used it in the report. Rijeka

14 Dubravacka.

15 Q. Under paragraph 3 of your report, it says here that you were

16 notified that an air raid alarm was sounded in Dubrovnik around 7.00 a.m.

17 A. My observation organs were in the immediate vicinity of Dubravacka

18 Rijeka, so that they could see and hear directly what was going on and

19 reported it to me. And I was able to see part of it from my observation

20 post. After the general alarm was sounded, and assuming that the

21 population had found cover in the shelters in the zone of operations of my

22 unit, only that personnel remained that was engaged in immediate

23 preparations for the upcoming operations.

24 Q. Let us move on to paragraph 3. There is a reference to a time

25 period between 7.45 to 8.30 a.m., indicating that action according to a

Page 8091

1 certain schedule had been taken; is that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. This indication of where the targets were and the number of

4 projectiles fired, is that part also accurate?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. You noted at the end of paragraph 3 that this precise indication

7 of time and location -- or rather, times and locations, were notified to

8 the operations centre. Is that so?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Paragraph 4 of your report relates to this second request of fire

11 support.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. In paragraph 5, you write in your report about precisely detected

14 locations from which the enemy was firing.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Did you sustain any losses yourself that day?

17 A. At the front end, that is, on the line of blockade closer to

18 Dubravacka Rijeka, Sergeant Trivundza was wounded in the head by a sniper.

19 Q. Did -- or rather, were the men from your unit able to determine

20 where the sniper was located?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Do you remember the location?

23 A. The snipers fired continuously from the area Nuncijata, Sustjepan,

24 which is the left bank of the Dubravacka Rijeka, or rather, the southern

25 side, south of the Dubravacka Rijeka.

Page 8092

1 Q. Please look at paragraph 6 of your report where it says: "After

2 the termination of firing at 11.55, the request of Captain Kovacevic was

3 still pending for support against the area of the Libertas Hotel."

4 Can you tell me: What was it that you heard concerning this

5 request for support by Captain Kovacevic, that is, from Captain Kovacevic,

6 after 1200 hours?

7 A. Captain Kovacevic continued to insist on this support in the area

8 of the Libertas Hotel, asking the use of weapons which have sufficient

9 firing range, because he was still exposed to fierce fire.

10 Q. And what was the direction of that fire from the Libertas Hotel?

11 A. I understood from his request that this fire was targeting the

12 area of Srdj, that is, his forces deployed partly in the area of Srdj, in

13 a clearing, without any cover, and directly exposed to this fire.

14 Q. Was he suffering losses that he mentioned in this request?

15 A. He mentioned a number of 17 men. He said 17 of his men had been

16 killed. I later received precise information on his losses, after the

17 battlefield was cleared.

18 Q. Tell me one more thing about this report. The latter part of

19 paragraph 6, according to which the order of warship Captain Milan Zec

20 from the previous day stated that an absolute cease-fire was to take place

21 as of 1200 hours. And it says: "I had consulted with the duty-officer of

22 the operations centre of the 9th VPS, Lieutenant Colonel Kozaric, in

23 relation to the pending actions. The named person transmitted the order

24 to me that the cease-fire should be totally observed and that I was to

25 report to the forward command post of the 9th VPS and write a report."

Page 8093

1 Is that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I kindly ask that

4 this document be marked as a Defence exhibit.

5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be D108.

7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, could I ask whether you're near the end

8 of your evidence from this witness.

9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I think I could

10 finish within ten minutes.

11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Shall I continue? Thank you.

13 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, after writing this report at the forward command

14 post of Kupari at 1400 hours, what did you do? Where did you go?

15 A. From the forward command post of the VPS, I went to rejoin my unit

16 at my command post in the area of Osojnik.

17 Q. Before I continue, I forgot to ask you something else. If you can

18 remember: Did anyone at all, around 10.00 a.m. on the 6th of December,

19 1991, prohibit you from opening fire? Were there any prohibitions

20 discussed on that day around 10.00 a.m.?

21 A. No.

22 Q. After you returned to your battalion, did you receive any visits

23 on the 6th of December, 1991? Did anyone call on you?

24 A. Yes, but later.

25 Q. Who was it?

Page 8094

1 A. After 1800 hours - and I cannot remember the exact time - Colonel

2 Gavro Kovacevic, assistant commander of the VPS for ground forces.

3 Q. Did Colonel Gavro Kovacevic tell you anything during this

4 inspection, during this tour?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. What?

7 A. All the commanders of subordinated units were present at my

8 command post, and Gavro Kovacevic informed the entire staff present as

9 follows, "Comrade Lieutenant Colonel, I am conveying to you the order of

10 Admiral Jokic to the effect that you are hereby replaced, relieved of your

11 duties, and you are required to leave the theatre of war as soon as

12 possible."

13 Q. In relation to this order, was anyone else mentioned, apart from

14 Admiral Jokic?

15 A. When I asked why Colonel Kovacevic only answered, "These are the

16 orders. Once Vice Admiral Jokic returned from seeing the federal

17 secretary Kadijevic."

18 Q. When you heard that, did you contact anyone else?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Who?

21 A. I spoke to the commander of the 5th Brigade.

22 Q. What did he tell you?

23 A. He told me he knew about the order. He didn't know the reasons

24 behind it.


Page 8095

1 MR. RE: I of course note Your Honour's ruling before, but this

2 does go outside, in my submission, the effect of the ruling in relation to

3 the summaries provided. This wasn't in the summaries. My learned friend

4 didn't make an application this morning to be allowed to present this

5 particular piece of evidence.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, this does seem to be another new area.

7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can confirm that with

8 absolute certainty even without looking at my notes, namely, that I

9 informed my colleagues that this order to replace the witness was

10 something his own brigade was aware of. I am certain that I notified this

11 orally for sure, and I'm now looking at the proofing notes, but I think I

12 might have notified it in writing as well. So the order for him to be

13 relieved of his duties was something that his brigade had already been

14 aware of, meaning the 5th Brigade, that the witness was part of.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Well, you have in evidence now, Mr. Rodic, that the

16 commander of the 5th Brigade knew about the order, he didn't know the

17 reasons behind it. I think you should take that matter no further.

18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I am not going any further. I have

19 just informed my learned friends thereof. Just a couple of more minutes,

20 all in all.

21 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, you said that your brigade had been informed of

22 your replacement without knowing the reasons. What happened then?

23 A. The commander of the 5th Brigade decided to send his assistant

24 commander for morale to take over command over the battalion, while I

25 should go back to the command of the 5th Brigade.

Page 8096












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13 English transcripts.













Page 8097

1 Q. Is that what really happened?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Who replaced you?

4 A. Assistant commander of the 5th Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Andrija

5 Sljivic.

6 Q. When?

7 A. He came to the command post on the 7th, in the morning.

8 Q. You mean the 7th of December, 1991?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Did you go through the procedure of transition of duty?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. What did you do afterwards? Where did you go?

13 A. After handing over the command over the battalion, we went to the

14 forward command post of the 9th VPS. We informed the command of the VPS

15 of the completed transition of duty procedure, and I tried to contact

16 Vice Admiral Jokic in order to find out why I had been replaced.

17 Q. Did anyone explain why you were replaced?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did you find Admiral Jokic in Kupari?

20 A. No.

21 Q. What did you do then?

22 A. Somebody from the command told me that he must be in Kumbor, and

23 as the road towards Podgorica passes by Kumbor, I was going to stop by at

24 Kumbor and find him there. However, in Kumbor, they didn't know where he

25 was either, so I went on to Podgorica, reported to the brigade commander,

Page 8098

1 and the brigade commander had no additional explanation to offer me except

2 that the order was for me to be replaced and leave the theatre of war,

3 return to Podgorica, and continue performing my establishment duties of

4 Chief of Staff of the brigade.

5 Q. Tell me, Mr. Jovanovic: What effect did this have on your

6 military career?

7 A. Officially, nobody cited any negative reason for my replacement,

8 nor was it ever invoked in my later military career. However, this fact

9 in itself finally sidelined me. I was moved from command responsibilities

10 to operations responsibilities.

11 Q. Did your promotion in rank suffer for this reason?

12 A. Until that happened, I was in the group of commanding officers

13 with fast track promotions, and after that I moved to the regular track,

14 so to speak, and my promotions came at three and a half to four-year

15 intervals.

16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your

17 Honour.

18 JUDGE PARKER: I think, clearly, this is time for a break.

19 Colonel Jovanovic, we are going to have a break now. I would

20 suggest that you take the opportunity to freshen up, and we'll resume in

21 20 minutes' time. All right? Thank you. We'll adjourn now.

22 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.

23 --- On resuming at 12.26 p.m.

24 JUDGE PARKER: Is it to be Mr. Re?

25 MR. RE: It is. I was just consulting Mr. Weiner about one very

Page 8099

1 small point, Your Honour. If you could just bear with me for one second.

2 JUDGE PARKER: Colonel Jovanovic, in a moment there will be some

3 questions put to you on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor by Mr. Re.

4 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:

5 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, can you see and hear me quite clearly in Belgrade?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. You said, when Mr. Rodic cross-examined you -- or sorry, examined

8 you, that you had kept a personal record or diary. What was this?

9 A. The officer commanding the unit always keeps a notebook or a

10 working document that he keeps right there. He receives tasks and he

11 issues tasks.

12 Q. Was this your personal record of your daily tasks and orders and

13 so on?

14 A. It's a notebook which is officially signed for at the command's

15 archive in the records, the official records. There is a degree of

16 confidentiality that attaches to that notebook, and once the notebook is

17 full, it is handed over to the officer in charge of the files, who then

18 treats the notebook in keeping with the procedures that are in place.

19 Q. What happened to your notebook in which you recorded your notes

20 about what happened on the 5th and 6th of December, 1991?

21 A. Roughly speaking, at the beginning of 1992, the notebook was full.

22 It was handed over to the officer in charge and a new notebook was taken

23 out.

24 Q. Did you keep yourself copies of what was in that notebook, either

25 a photocopy or a written record of what you had in that notebook?

Page 8100

1 A. No. The most important things from the notebook are included in

2 official reports anyway.

3 Q. What -- you've already told the Trial Chamber that what happened

4 to you on the 6th of December was basically career-threatening. Did you

5 not think to keep separate notes of the times and events, things that had

6 happened, to assist you if needed?

7 A. Perhaps you didn't understand my previous answer.

8 Q. Well, what I'm asking you --

9 A. No one ever accused me of anything, condemned me, and no one ever

10 provided a single reason for my discharge, dismissal. The only

11 explanation that was given was the one given by the commander of the

12 2nd Corps. Upon my return to Podgorica, he said, "We know that you are

13 blameless, and you will not be held accountable for anything."

14 Q. Okay. Well, what I'm actually asking you is whether you, for your

15 own employment self-protection, made a note of what was in your official

16 notebook or kept any separate personal notes in case you needed to refer

17 to them in an employment-related capacity at any time.

18 A. No.

19 Q. When was the last time -- I withdraw that.

20 I just want to confirm something from your evidence in chief, and

21 that is that when you prepared your handwritten report - that's

22 Exhibit D108 - you did so with the aid of this personal official notebook

23 you just told us about, and it was from that notebook that you were able

24 to record with accuracy these times and events?

25 A. Yes.

Page 8101

1 Q. So are you saying there will be nothing in the notebook which

2 isn't in the report, D108? In other words, everything in the notebook

3 that's relevant is in D108, your report?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. When did you last see your notebook?

6 A. In early 1992, when I handed it over to the officer in charge, who

7 was in charge of receiving those documents.

8 Q. So the situation is, as far as you are aware, as a former military

9 officer, if we wanted to, we could approach the military -- the relevant

10 military authorities in Belgrade and gain access to this notebook?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Are you suggesting they wouldn't have it?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Can you give a reason for that?

15 A. Yes, I do. The grade of confidentiality for that particular

16 notebook is confidential. According to regulations, that sort of document

17 is only kept for a year. I may be wrong, but the time that it is kept for

18 is certainly very limited. After that, it is destroyed. It is burned.

19 Q. When were you first contacted by Defence investigators or Defence

20 lawyers to assist them in this case?

21 A. About a month and a half ago, roughly speaking.

22 Q. Does that mean late May?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Who approached you, or who contacted you?

25 A. I first received a phone call, and the next day I accepted, and a

Page 8102

1 lawyer came to see me. His name was Vladimir Petrovic.

2 Q. And did you tell Mr. Petrovic about the report, D108, which is

3 your report of the 6th of December, 1991?

4 A. I did refer to that report, and I pointed out that it was

5 precisely a document of that sort of nature that I could use to jog my

6 memory as to the times and places involved.

7 Q. Did Mr. Petrovic take a statement from you? That is, did he write

8 something down and you signed it for him?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Did he take notes while you spoke to him?

11 A. No.

12 Q. How long did you meet with Mr. Petrovic for?

13 A. It was in a house in the countryside. The atmosphere was relaxed,

14 so I think it lasted for about one and a half, two, or even three hours.

15 We just sat there and talked.

16 Q. And did you have at that meeting a copy of your report of the 6th

17 of December that's Exhibit D108?

18 A. No.

19 Q. When did you next see it?

20 A. Yesterday afternoon.

21 Q. When you spoke to Mr. Petrovic in May, late May, did you tell him

22 about the briefing on the 5th of December at Kupari, chaired by Admiral

23 Jokic?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And did you tell him about the circumstances of your dismissal or

Page 8103

1 removal from your post on the evening of the 6th of December, 1991?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And did you tell Mr. Petrovic what Admiral Jokic had said at that

4 meeting on the 5th of December and what you had said to Admiral Jokic,

5 that is, your conversation or exchange with Admiral Jokic?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. How well do you know Admiral Jokic?

8 A. I met him for the first time when the 3rd Battalion was

9 re-subordinated to the command of the military naval sector.

10 Q. That doesn't quite answer the question.

11 A. Not too well.

12 Q. It was as a result of Admiral Jokic's actions on the 6th of

13 December that your career path changed and that you went from being in the

14 fast track to command to the regular track to command. That's the way you

15 see it, isn't it?

16 A. Roughly speaking, yes.

17 Q. In that sense, Admiral Jokic is to blame for your career setback,

18 isn't he?

19 A. Admiral Jokic retired as early as May 1992. Therefore, he had no

20 direct bearing later on, on that.

21 Q. You've never had a chance to speak to Admiral Jokic and ask him

22 why he did this, have you?

23 A. No.

24 Q. But even now you'd certainly like to, wouldn't you?

25 A. Yes, I would like to, very much.

Page 8104

1 Q. Because it's something that even all these years later, it's

2 something that still concerns you or rankles you in a way, isn't it?

3 A. I can't seem to find anyone who will give me a reason for those

4 harsh words, "relieved of all duties."

5 Q. You thought that what happened to you on the 6th of December was

6 unfair, didn't you?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And if anyone was to be relieved of their command, it shouldn't

9 have been you; it should have been someone else, shouldn't it?

10 A. I don't know about the action itself, what it was about or the

11 consequences. My official superior, my official superiors, on several

12 different occasions, emphasised that they knew I was blameless, and they

13 told me I had nothing to worry about. In some way, this was some sort of

14 compensation that I felt I received, compensation for having to leave the

15 front.

16 Q. Do you think it was -- you know it was unfair because you weren't

17 in charge -- you weren't responsible for the shelling of the Old Town.

18 That's correct, isn't it?

19 A. Again, I must say I know nothing about the shelling of the

20 Old Town or for the real reasons behind what happened, or the real reasons

21 for my removal. Therefore, my removal has nothing to do with what was

22 going on around the Old Town, in point of fact.

23 Q. What happened was that the Old Town was shelled on the 6th of

24 December and someone was removed -- someone in a position of commanding

25 mortars was removed, and that was you. Those are the facts, aren't they?

Page 8105

1 A. Let us not twist these facts. The Old Town was not shelled by

2 mortars.

3 Q. Well, you know the Old Town was shelled on the 6th of December,

4 and you know that at the highest levels of the federal army there was

5 great dissatisfaction about what had happened --

6 A. [Previous translation continues]... I don't know that, except that

7 I was told.

8 Q. You were told that the Old Town was shelled; is that what you're

9 saying?

10 A. I didn't know that the Old Town was shelled.

11 Q. You didn't --

12 A. The men under my command certainly didn't fire on the Old Town.

13 The information about the shelling is something that was received from the

14 operations centre. Now, as for who shelled the town and when they shelled

15 the town, and how, I know nothing about that.

16 Q. You're saying in all these years you haven't heard that Captain

17 Kovacevic's unit was responsible for the shelling of the Old Town?

18 A. This is a story I heard in the public media, but, to be quite

19 honest, I never found it necessary to look into what the real truth was.

20 I only knew that it wasn't me.

21 Q. From your knowledge of where artillery was stationed on the 6th of

22 December, it could only have been artillery under Captain Kovacevic's

23 command, couldn't it?

24 A. I don't know that. I don't know, because I did not know the exact

25 location of the firing positions or the target area that was being fired

Page 8106












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13 English transcripts.













Page 8107

1 upon.

2 Q. Well, did you feel that because you were the only person who was

3 relieved of their command that day that you had been unfairly scapegoated

4 for whatever had happened in Dubrovnik? Because you weren't the

5 responsible person, it should have been someone else who was removed from

6 their command?

7 A. I wouldn't like to jump to any conclusions as to why my removal

8 occurred. I never came to my conclusions, nor do I have any particular

9 conclusions now. As for my removal -- and again, I must go back to the

10 statement that I gave attorney-at-law Rodic. I tried to get in touch with

11 Admiral Jokic to find out what the reasons were for my removal. Not

12 having tracked him down, the next day I got in touch with my superior

13 command, the command of the 2nd Corps. The corps commander told me,

14 literally, "We know that you are entirely blameless in connection with the

15 Old Town or the shelling. You just carry on with your duties, because in

16 the first place you were not the commander there. Therefore, you cannot

17 be removed." Militarily speaking, this would be entirely justified and

18 there would be an inherent logic to it. This was some sort of

19 compensation for me as a soldier. It was enough for me to carry on with

20 my duties, according to my establishment post.

21 Q. You're aware --

22 A. Chief of Staff.

23 Q. You are aware, aren't you, that Captain Kovacevic was actually

24 promoted shortly after the events of the 6th of December.

25 A. I know nothing about that, because the command of the VPS and the

Page 8108

1 5th Brigade, or rather, the 2nd Corps, were separate units, and the

2 5th Brigade is within the 2nd Corps, and I am Chief of Staff of the

3 5th Brigade. Therefore, I was not receiving any official information from

4 the VPS, only information in connection with my unit, with the

5 3rd Battalion, that sort of thing. I had no information on any other

6 units in the VPS.

7 Q. Do you have a copy of your report of the 6th of December with you

8 in Belgrade or do we need to put it on the screen here for you?

9 A. Yes, I do have the report in front of me.

10 Q. I just want you to clarify something for me, if you could, and

11 that is, if you look at the top, the first page, and the bottom of the

12 second page, there is a stamp that says "military secret, confidential,"

13 photocopied, the date of 26th of December, 2003. Could you please give us

14 some assistance in telling us why that stamp is there and what it means.

15 A. In the heading of the report that I wrote in my own hand -- the

16 rules of correspondence request that on the left-hand side you find what

17 you find here. In the upper right-hand corner, you have the degree of

18 confidentiality indicated, and as you see what I wrote here is "military

19 secret, confidential." The document was based on a notebook that carries

20 the same degree of confidentiality.

21 Q. That's the notebook which you say would have been destroyed?

22 A. Yes. As the document which was addressed in this way was sent to

23 the command -- the battalion does not have its own stamp, this was sent to

24 the command of the VPS, and the relevant body concluded that they should

25 put a stamp on it. It is indeed their stamp; at least, in as far as I can

Page 8109

1 see. This is a photocopy of an exemplar that was made on the 26th of

2 December, 2003. And I assume that this is a document that was obtained

3 from the archive of the VPS in December 2003. Photocopies were made and a

4 stamp was put on it. The original copy still belongs to the VPS.

5 Q. Do you know whether that was done at the request of the Defence of

6 General Strugar?

7 A. I have no idea where this photocopy was obtained from. I just

8 know that yesterday afternoon I was allowed to inspect this report. A

9 month and a half ago, I emphasised the importance of this report,

10 reckoning that it could be found, and I said I would like to have it, to

11 look at it, so that I could refresh my memory.

12 Q. When you -- you wrote this report before you were aware that

13 Admiral Jokic had ordered you removed from your -- relieved from your

14 position, didn't you?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. You were aware when you wrote this report that possible civilian

17 targets -- possible civilian objects had been targeted or hit by JNA

18 shelling during the course of the morning? You were aware of that,

19 weren't you?

20 A. No.

21 Q. From your observation post, you couldn't see the Old Town, could

22 you?

23 A. No.

24 Q. But you could see civilian areas of the broader area of Dubrovnik,

25 couldn't you? The urban area of Dubrovnik surrounding the Old Town,

Page 8110

1 around Babin Kuk and Lapad.

2 A. The northern reaches of Dubrovnik, which is what my observation

3 post faced. I could see that part clearly, and I was in a position to

4 clearly observe the firing points. And fire only on targets that were

5 active, that were operating, that were firing.

6 Q. That northern area of Dubrovnik of course includes -- is of course

7 an urban area, isn't it, full of flats and houses?

8 A. I'm talking about the entire area, which can be seen clearly from

9 the observation post. Therefore, the firing positions where weapons were

10 positioned were also clearly visible, the way they were deployed and

11 whether or not they were firing.

12 Q. Your report doesn't say that you saw any soldiers in the streets

13 of Dubrovnik, does it?

14 A. I wish to stress the following: My observation troops had

15 informed, at 0700 hours, that a general alarm signal was sounded, that the

16 population was taking shelter, and under the assumption that the people

17 were going to their shelters, whereas those who were still on the move,

18 who were going here and there in their vehicles, it was assumed that these

19 people who were getting prepared for action. Now, whether they were

20 located at Nuncijata or at Lazaret, it made no difference. These were

21 people who were jeopardising our units. They are taking positions,

22 preparing themselves, and opening fire. Therefore, at no time could we

23 see civilians on the move, because between 7.00 and 7.35, when -- before

24 we started actually opening fire from our positions, this was time enough

25 for the population to take shelter.

Page 8111

1 Q. When you wrote your report -- I withdraw that. You wrote your

2 report after fire had been ordered to be ceased, didn't you, after you had

3 received orders from above not to fire?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And at that time, you were aware of reports of civilians being

6 killed in the Dubrovnik area by fire from the JNA, weren't you?

7 A. No.

8 Q. You were aware that parts of Dubrovnik had been damaged by JNA

9 shelling, that's the greater area of Dubrovnik. You were aware of that at

10 the time you wrote your report, weren't you?

11 A. No. I had no information about the situation in the town. I was

12 writing a report about my activities, about the fire that was opened, and

13 the areas that were engaged.

14 Q. Over the course of the morning, you, according to this report, had

15 fired some 410 mortars. You were firing them, amongst other places,

16 towards urban areas, weren't you?

17 A. No. We were firing in the areas where there were active targets,

18 targets firing.

19 Q. You would expect, in firing 410 mortars in the course of a morning

20 in areas that included urban areas, there would be civilian casualties,

21 wouldn't you? When I said "mortars," I meant mortar shells.

22 A. You must have misunderstood me. The general alert was sounded at

23 0700 hours, and the assumption was that the civilian population was in

24 their shelters. Therefore, whoever was on the move, it was understood

25 that this is -- these are people who are jeopardising our positions, who

Page 8112

1 are firing at us, and as such constitute a threat to be fired upon.

2 Q. Sir, that's not what your report says. Your report says you had

3 concluded that the people who were moving around the town were the ones

4 who were preparing for combat activities and were acting against the 3rd,

5 472nd. It doesn't say that you actually observed soldiers firing against

6 your positions from Dubrovnik or that your soldiers or your men on the

7 ground informed you that people were -- or soldiers were firing against

8 your positions. It doesn't say that, does it?

9 A. I wish to point out that we fired only upon the firing positions

10 that were active and opening fire, from my observation post and from the

11 observation post of the lower levels of the battalion I commanded, one

12 could clearly see the spot where there was a weapon opening fire from the

13 areas of Sustjepan and Nuncijata. Those were the areas where the firing

14 positions of the Croatian forces were, that were opening fire from their

15 weapons.

16 Q. Well, if that's so, sir, there's absolutely no reason for you to

17 put in the report anything about a conclusion about anyone who was on the

18 streets after 7.00 a.m. must have been a soldier, was there? Because that

19 would have been irrelevant for the purposes of your report if you were

20 only firing upon fixed Croatian firing positions.

21 A. Are you referring to paragraph 2?

22 Q. Paragraph 3, sir. If you were only firing upon fixed Croatian

23 military targets who were firing at you, there would be no reason for you

24 to put in that report that anyone on the street after 7.00 a.m. must have

25 been a soldier preparing for combat.

Page 8113

1 A. Let us clarify one thing. Artillery does not open fire the way

2 infantry weapon does, that you're visualising it, you're looking at a

3 person and firing upon it. The fire support group, artillery fire support

4 group, covers a certain area of deployment. Therefore, a fire support

5 group opens fire at a certain area, not at a person. And the conclusion I

6 draw here is exactly that, that I consider that the people have found

7 shelter and that those who are on the move outside, if we still see them

8 on the move, and that these are there to support the weapons. Because for

9 the activity of artillery weapons, it is very important to detect the

10 places where the projectiles are being fired from. And it is then on that

11 particular area that one opens fire, and not on the people who are on the

12 move.

13 Q. Because, of course, people on the move could include those rushing

14 to hospital or emergency services, police, fire, ambulance, medical

15 workers, doesn't it?

16 A. I haven't said this, nor have I actually seen people on the move,

17 ambulances or anything of the sort you're suggesting. I was referring

18 merely to the people on the move in the immediate area of the deployment

19 of these weapons, the weapons that then immediately afterwards opened fire

20 upon our forces.

21 Q. Sir, your report says: "I had thus concluded that the citizens

22 had hidden themselves in shelters and that the people who were moving

23 around the town were the ones preparing for the combat activities."

24 Your report does not confine the moving people to those in the

25 immediate vicinity of a Croatian military target, such as a mortar, does

Page 8114

1 it? It refers to all people walking around the town of Dubrovnik, doesn't

2 it?

3 A. No. Because it is not around Dubrovnik that I see these people on

4 the move, but in the area where we spotted the activity of the Croatian

5 forces.

6 Q. Sir, that's not what I'm asking you. Your report says "moving

7 around the town." It says nothing about in the vicinity of military

8 objectives or mortars, does it? Just please confine yourself to that.

9 A. People on the move. If you have a map in front of you, then you,

10 for instance, see people on the move in the direction of Sustjepan. This

11 is an area that is a clearing. You can clearly see people moving. You

12 see people moving towards Nuncijata along certain points. And I suppose

13 then that their intention is to prepare the combat weapons. And exactly

14 that's why I put in my report that all the non-combatants were in shelter,

15 and the detected fire targets clearly indicates that the people on the

16 move are, in a way, in service of these weapons.

17 Now, in this particular report, I did not put the exact location,

18 nor the number of people on the move, and of course these are not many.

19 These are only few people on the move. But I wish to stress again that

20 weapons do not fire upon persons but upon the area in the immediate

21 vicinity of the deployed weapon, in order to neutralise it.

22 Q. Sir, your report, as written and as read to you just then,

23 suggests that anyone in the open walking -- moving around the town after

24 the air raid siren had sounded was a military objective. That's what it

25 suggests, doesn't it?

Page 8115

1 A. No.

2 Q. It must suggest that --

3 A. The military target -- a military target, in my conclusion,

4 constituted only the facility, the weapon, that was jeopardising my unit

5 or the unit immediately adjacent to mine. Therefore, to make it clear: A

6 military target, in my opinion, and this is not just my position; this is

7 something that is as such, and I have to say that my troops were very well

8 trained, capable, disciplined. They were not chaotic in their action.

9 Rather, they were there to neutralise the detected military target that

10 was active, and this was my opinion at the time and is still my opinion.

11 Q. But even though you couldn't see or identify these people, that if

12 anyone -- anyone on the street after 7.00 a.m., when the siren had

13 sounded, was basically a target?

14 A. Will you please -- can you please repeat your question.

15 Q. What you're saying is that even if you couldn't see or identify

16 these people who were on the streets after 7.00, your view was that if

17 anyone was on the street after 7.00 moving around, they could be shot at?

18 A. No.

19 Q. But the reason you have this in your report, I suggest, sir, is

20 that you were aware when you wrote the report that there had been

21 significant civilian casualties in Dubrovnik, and you had to find a way of

22 explaining it. That is why you put in that anyone moving around the town

23 after 7.00 was presumed to be connected with combat activities, isn't it?

24 A. No. You are presuming that you can say what it is that I think,

25 and I could not know at the time that there were any civilians who were

Page 8116












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Page 8117

1 victims. And now, so many years later, you are putting to me that I knew

2 this at the time and that this was the reason why I put it in my report.

3 Now, please.

4 Q. All right. I'm going to give you -- I'll give you a chance to

5 tell us why you've put it in the report, because I don't think it's quite

6 clear yet. Can you give us a logical explanation of why you would include

7 something about people moving around the town of Dubrovnik if you didn't

8 know there had been civilian casualties and you didn't know whether they

9 were soldiers?

10 A. I detected persons moving in the area where the firing positions

11 were, active firing positions, sources of fire. It is really far-fetched

12 now to say that I knew of those civilian victims and this was the reason

13 why I included it into my report. This might sound a bit illogical to

14 you, but to this very day, I don't know how many or who the victims in

15 Dubrovnik were. I knew of the activities, but I don't know these details.

16 And this wasn't the reason why I wrote the report as it is.

17 Q. Hotel Libertas is, of course, in the middle of an urban area,

18 isn't it, close to houses and flats?

19 A. Hotel Libertas was not fired upon from mortars of the

20 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade, exactly because Captain Kovacevic

21 conveyed his -- forwarded his request, and this is what I put in my

22 report, because he had been under fire of the artillery pieces at

23 Hotel Libertas, that he was then asking for weapons that would give him

24 support.

25 Q. Nuncijata and Luncijata, they're different places, aren't they?

Page 8118

1 A. I'm referring to Luncijata, on the left bank of Dubravacka Rijeka,

2 which is the northern slope of Srdj, closer to Dubravacka Rijeka, and to

3 the east is Sustjepan. And this is the area I'm referring to.

4 Q. You're saying that you didn't fire on Nuncijata, as opposed to

5 Luncijata?

6 A. Luncijata.

7 Q. Did you fire on Nuncijata on the 6th of December, 1991, that is,

8 your mortars?

9 A. It was the fire from the area of Luncijata and Sustjepan that was

10 directly jeopardising the forces of the 3rd Battalion that I was in

11 command of, and that is why our weapons opened fire on the area.

12 Q. Can you just -- to clarify that, can you just please tell the

13 Trial Chamber where Nuncijata as opposed to Luncijata is.

14 A. I don't have a map in front of me. If it's possible to have it on

15 the screen. It should be further to the south or on the western slopes of

16 Srdj. I can't really visualise it now in my mind.

17 MR. RE: Could the witness -- could P10 perhaps be put on the

18 ELMO.

19 Q. Can you see the map?

20 A. No. I would kindly ask the technician, if possible, to designate

21 the area of Luncijata. I know where it is. Whereas for Nuncijata, I

22 wouldn't be able to point that out, because it's impossible to see

23 anything from where I'm sitting.

24 Q. Can you just indicate the general area so we can move the map

25 around to show you where Nuncijata is.

Page 8119

1 A. If you could put in the foreground Dubravacka Rijeka, and then I

2 will find Luncijata, and perhaps then Nuncijata could be found by the very

3 name that is written on the map.

4 The map should be lowered further to see Dubravacka Rijeka,

5 Sustjepan, and Luncijata. Yes, there it is. Let us see. You can see

6 it's on the north-western slopes of Srdj, at Dubravacka Rijeka, Luncijata

7 should be at the level of the number 38. Which one is it? Luncijata.

8 And then to the east lies Sustjepan. And Nuncijata, I would ask you to

9 point that out, because I can't really see it from here. Perhaps you can

10 find it on the map.

11 Q. Sir, are you saying you can't locate it on that map there, that

12 is, the general area where Nuncijata should be?

13 A. No. I cannot locate Nuncijata, at all.

14 Q. Okay. Well, I'll move on from that particular point.

15 Just on the issue of the Hotel Libertas, did Captain Kovacevic

16 request that you fire upon the Hotel Libertas at about 10.15 to 10.20,

17 because there were -- because his forces were being fired on from that

18 location?

19 A. Captain Kovacevic asked that fire be opened upon Lazaret,

20 Libertas, after 9.00, because he detected fire being opened from there,

21 and it was a threat to him. And then I forwarded his request to the

22 operations centre, that he was requesting fire upon Libertas, and I opened

23 fire at Lazaret because it was within my area of responsibility of my unit

24 that Lazaret was situated, the northern part of Babin Kuk, whereas

25 Libertas was outside the range of my weapons, and that's why I forwarded

Page 8120

1 his request to the operations centre, with the probability that the

2 130-millimetre Howitzers would be able to fire at the area.

3 Q. Did you in fact fire some 27 shells at Libertas?

4 A. No, not at Libertas. At 9.15, after having received his request,

5 up until 11.55, the firing of these projectiles at the detected fire

6 targets came -- was something that -- we were firing at those areas that

7 were within our range, and Libertas was not within the range of the

8 weapons of the artillery of the 3rd Battalion.

9 Q. Look, I just want to show you an extract from the operations

10 centre's war diary. That's D96.

11 MR. RE: Could that please be placed on the ELMO. That's the page

12 between 66 and 67.

13 Q. I think you may have a copy of it there with you in Belgrade. I

14 think the registrar was taking one with her.

15 THE REGISTRAR: [In Belgrade] Yes.

16 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown the page between 66

17 and 67.

18 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, do you have it in front of you? That's the page

19 between 66 and 67.

20 A. I do.

21 Q. Can you just read the entry. It says: "Overview of events,

22 6/12/91." I think it would be the fourth paragraph. It says: "At the

23 request of Kovacevic." Just read on from what it says. Read aloud,

24 please.

25 A. "At the request of Kovacevic, the 3rd Battalion of the

Page 8121

1 5th Brigade, between 10.15 and 10.20, fired three platoons of 120

2 millimetres (27 shells) on Libertas."

3 Q. Go on.

4 A. And then it goes on to say: "Two times six of 120 millimetres

5 (12 shells)." Full stop. They were hit by the firing position of the

6 enemy of 82-millimetre mortars.

7 I can explain this in the following way: In the reports that I

8 regularly sent through means of communication - I or my observer - covers

9 the contents of Mr. Kovacevic's request, requiring fire to be opened on

10 Libertas. He required fire on Libertas, whereas the fire actually opened

11 was within the firing range of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade, not

12 including Libertas. You will find somewhere in that war diary that

13 Kovacevic wrote this request, requiring fire to be opened on Libertas. It

14 is possible that the person who made this entry noted this fact in this

15 form.

16 Q. Sir, what it suggests, just the way it's written, is that your

17 brigade fired first of all 27 shells and then 12 shells at -- successfully

18 at Libertas at Captain Kovacevic's request. That's what it says, doesn't

19 it? When I said "brigade," I meant battalion.

20 A. Battalion, yes. Yes. But this reference to Libertas is not due

21 to the fact that Libertas was a target. What it says here, that targets

22 were detected sources of fire. That is the essence, not that Libertas was

23 a target.

24 Q. It actually seems to say that you hit Libertas. It says that,

25 doesn't it?

Page 8122

1 A. It says here: "Successfully fire was opened against firing

2 positions." It is nowhere written that Libertas had been hit, especially

3 because 120-millimetre weapons did not have the required range and did not

4 even attempt to target Libertas. I don't see where you find this

5 conclusion that Libertas was successfully hit. I made my comment on what

6 is written here, because it was I personally who forwarded Kovacevic's

7 request requiring fire support, among other things, against Libertas.

8 Q. But, sir, that's consistent with what is written in the war diary,

9 I suggest is consistent with what is written in paragraph 4 of your report

10 of the 6th of December. If you could just turn to that. Which says:

11 "Around 9.00 I had once again received a request from Captain Kovacevic

12 to continue with the support and acted on the regions on the of

13 Velika Petka, Babin Kuk, Hotel Libertas, as well as on the regions where

14 fire targets and fire positions had been located, along with the MB

15 targets of the enemy. I had informed the operative centre of the 9th VPS

16 of the contents of the request, as well as with the action taken with

17 recourse of the 3rd, 5th Partisan Motorised Brigade."

18 Do you follow? What I'm suggesting, when you read the two

19 together, sir, we've got you saying in your report, "I was requested to

20 fire on the Libertas and I reported back on the action taken with that

21 recourse." And then the war diary, or the operations centre war diary

22 suggests that that is in fact what you did, doesn't it?

23 A. These are the quintessential things that I'm emphasising. In the

24 request of Kovacevic, the area of Libertas is included. The area of

25 Libertas, as the command of the VPS knows and as Kovacevic probably also

Page 8123

1 knows as well, is beyond my firing range.

2 Q. You told him that, didn't you? I withdraw that.

3 I assume you told him that, that it was beyond your firing range.

4 You would have told him as early as 9.00 when he asked for that support,

5 wouldn't you?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And he understood that, I assume, after you told him?

8 A. We are turning things upside down a bit here. Kovacevic is

9 requesting support. I forward his request to the superior command, to the

10 operations sector, and I do open fire within the area covered by my

11 battalion. But I also forward that part of his request where he's

12 requesting fire on Libertas. He is requesting specifically 130-millimetre

13 Howitzers. I do what I can with my abilities, and I inform the operations

14 centre between 9.10 and 11.50 that I am acting with my weapons and I am

15 implementing Kovacevic's request. I also notify the operations centre

16 thereof. This entry, formulated in this way, can be originating from the

17 contents of the request written by Kovacevic rather than a list of actions

18 undertaken by the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade.

19 Q. I'm just trying to clarify this. Are you saying you personally

20 informed the operations centre that your mortars were -- that Libertas was

21 outside the range of your mortars and they would have to get support from

22 somewhere else? Is that what you informed them?

23 A. I cannot give them orders. I just forwarded Kovacevic's request,

24 emphasising that I am providing request, firing on the targets within my

25 zone of responsibility: Babin Kuk, Sustjepan, and Lazaret. Therefore,

Page 8124

1 I'm reporting on the scope of my activities. I am not giving them tasks

2 to provide support from somewhere else. They command the units.

3 Q. That's not what I'm saying. I'm asking you -- I withdraw that.

4 You're saying Kovacevic told you he wanted support from Libertas

5 which was firing on him. He told the operations centre -- did you tell

6 the operations centre that you, your unit, could not provide that support

7 because it was outside of range? Because I suggest it would have been a

8 very important thing to tell them at the time.

9 A. Yes. Plus I emphasised --

10 Q. That should be recorded --

11 A. I'm saying this for the fifth time. I emphasised that I

12 personally notified the operations centre that this can be done by

13 130-millimetre weapon.

14 Q. So that your notification to the operations centre passing on that

15 important pieces of information, that is, that the Libertas which was

16 firing upon Kovacevic's forces was outside of range, outside of your

17 range, that could be hit by -- was within the range of 130-millimetre

18 weapons, should be recorded in the operations centre diary.

19 A. That was my assessment.

20 Q. And as you assessed it, it should have been recorded in the

21 operations diary, there would be no reason for Kovacevic to continue --

22 please let me finish. There would be no reason for Kovacevic to continue

23 asking you for support to hit the Libertas if you had in fact passed on

24 that extremely important communication, would there?

25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, objection.

Page 8125

1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are again suggesting an answer

3 that does not exist. It is not within my competence to issue orders. I

4 cannot suggest that Howitzers be used. They're under the command of the

5 VPS. It is purely my assessment on the battlefield. I am saying that

6 only these weapons can do the job. As far as Kovacevic's tasks are

7 concerned, he is requesting support against the sources of fire which

8 endanger him, and I suppose he also addressed the command of the VPS. And

9 if communications allowed it, he spoke with the crews of the Howitzers

10 themselves.

11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I now --

12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.

13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I should like

14 to draw your attention that I believe my learned friend, Mr. Re, is not

15 phrasing his questions in such a way as to present to the witness

16 accurately the contents of the war diary before him. In fact, he is

17 making assertions contrary to those in this war diary, and he's misleading

18 the witness by misrepresenting the contents. I would like my learned

19 friend to pay attention to the entry made at 9.50 of the 6th December,

20 because this is all this witness is speaking to.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Re, you've heard that. I leave you to deal

22 with it.

23 MR. RE: Yes. May it please Your Honours.

24 Q. Look, sir, what -- after you told the operations centre that

25 130-millimetre action or support was required, there would be no reason

Page 8126












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13 English transcripts.













Page 8127

1 for Kovacevic, some two hours later, still to be requesting support from

2 you against Libertas, would there?

3 A. No. Please, I would appreciate it very much to ask the Trial

4 Chamber to ask the Prosecutor to study a little the regulation of the army

5 and the rules of command and control.

6 I was in the role of battalion commander, and my sole competence

7 was to command and to control the fire opened by my immediate

8 subordinates. As far as reports and requests are concerned, subordinated

9 commanders direct them directly to the command of the VPS. It is not my

10 job to direct, plan, and target the action of all subordinated units of

11 the VPS. I don't know what the Prosecutor is making, whether he is trying

12 to insinuate something.

13 Q. I'm referring to your report, at paragraph 6, it says: "After the

14 actions have ceased, at 11.55, there still existed a request on the part

15 of Captain Kovacevic to provide support against the region of the Hotel

16 Libertas."

17 What I'm suggesting to you, as a military officer in command of

18 that particular battalion on that day, your having informed the operations

19 centre that you could not provide that support, only 130-millimetre

20 weapons could, there would be no reason for Kovacevic to persist with his

21 request for support from you, would there? That is some two hours after

22 you've informed the operations centre of this major problem.

23 A. Please, when you insist on such questions, I in turn insist on my

24 answer. It is all about the VPS. It's in their competence to decide the

25 request of Kovacevic, which I only forwarded. Second, why don't you ask

Page 8128

1 yourself the question: What a battalion commander is supposed to do if I

2 am informed by a cooperating commander that he is suffering great losses,

3 he has a lot of people wounded, he cannot pull out, and he's still under

4 fire from Libertas Hotel?

5 What happened, we find out around 1700 hours that a lot of people

6 were wounded and killed at Srdj. 17 men were killed at Srdj, more

7 precisely. What do I do next? I request -- in fact, he requests support

8 against Libertas because that's the area that's endangering him. You

9 should ask the question of the command of the VPS, how they responded to

10 this request and what they actually did.

11 I am telling you of what I did that was within my authority in

12 response to his request. I organised fire against the named targets in

13 the zone of responsibility of my units. At 11.50, I reported on my

14 progress, and you see in item 6 of that report what was done after that.

15 MR. RE: Your Honour, what time are we going to?

16 JUDGE PARKER: Hopefully to finish the witness, which I assume you

17 will be doing reasonable shortly.

18 MR. RE: Reasonably shortly. There are some matters I need to put

19 to him. I'm just wondering about tapes and times.

20 JUDGE PARKER: We've still got some time.

21 MR. RE: May it please Your Honour.

22 Q. Sir, the way paragraph 6 reads, and I suggest the only possible

23 way you can read it, is that you're saying as of 11.55, that's five

24 minutes before the cease-fire was supposed to come into operation, there

25 was an outstanding request to you of -- from Kovacevic for support against

Page 8129

1 the Hotel Libertas area. But because the cease-fire was going -- was

2 about to take place, you were concerned to act upon it. Therefore, you

3 consulted with Colonel Kozaric in relation to it, and that is why you

4 didn't give support in relation to the Hotel Libertas. I suggest, sir, if

5 you read it, that is the only way you can read what you have written

6 there, that is, Kovacevic wanted you to fire on the Libertas, but because

7 it was five minutes to 12.00, you checked, and didn't.

8 A. You asked the question whether a Howitzer 130-millimetre fire was

9 opened. From this entry, you can conclude that it wasn't. I am

10 asserting: If I had been able to fire against detected targets with my

11 own weapons, their weapons would certainly have been neutralised,

12 considering that their combat units were still firing. I asked whether to

13 continue with my activities, because in the zone of responsibility of my

14 unit, enemy action was still going on. Libertas was pointed as a key

15 facility because fire from that facility was putting us in danger.

16 Q. Look, can you suggest why Kovacevic would be requesting fire from

17 you, still at 11.55, if he should have been aware at that point that you

18 couldn't provide that support? Is there any reason you can give for that?

19 A. I do have a reason. You can ask a psychologist how a man feels

20 when he sees 15 to 20 men lying dead within 50 metres of him, and everyone

21 in that position starts clutching at straws.

22 Q. I'm going to ask you about this briefing you say you went to on

23 the 5th of December, 1991. Where exactly was this briefing, exactly, the

24 exact location? You said it was in Kupari.

25 A. Briefings took place in Kupari, and there was a room used by the

Page 8130

1 operations centre, the forward command post of the VPS, the naval sector.

2 Q. What was in the room?

3 A. I don't understand the question.

4 Q. Furniture? Maps? Radios? What was in the room?

5 A. A soldier needs only say that it was an organised operations

6 centre of the naval sector from which the subordinated units of the naval

7 sector were being commanded.

8 Q. Well, you're before an International Criminal Tribunal at the

9 moment, and I want to know what was in the room.

10 A. Certain means of communication, maps, desks and chairs, a

11 conference table perhaps.

12 Q. What do you mean, "perhaps"?

13 A. Facilities for holding meetings of the operations centre of the

14 naval sector. Tables and chairs we used to sit when we attended these

15 briefings and the means of communications that were installed so that we

16 could maintain communication with subordinated units and so that

17 commanders of certain units within the sector could continue performing

18 their tasks.

19 Q. All right. Are you saying that it was conducted around a table,

20 in a room containing communications equipment?

21 A. You are twisting things again. Means of communication are located

22 in one part of the room. They serve to maintain communications for

23 control and command, whereas another part of the room is adapted for

24 holding conferences, for holding meetings of the operations centre. This

25 larger area is equipped for holding the meetings and performing the task

Page 8131

1 of commanding and controlling units from there.

2 Q. All right. Where did the briefing on the 5th of December take

3 place? Which part of this -- which part of this briefing area?

4 A. In the operations centre of the 9th Naval Sector, at the command

5 post, or rather, the forward command post of the 9th Naval Sector.

6 Q. Sir, you seem to be having some difficulty in describing the room

7 in which the briefing took place. I want you to tell us about the room.

8 What was in the room where you were and where all the other people were

9 during the briefing.

10 A. First of all, I attended my first briefing on the 5th. That was

11 the first time I was there. Second, I came in the role of the commander

12 of the 3rd Battalion to attend the briefing. I was interested in the

13 commander of the VPS, so that I can inform him of the activities of my

14 unit and receive tasks for the next day. The point of that briefing is

15 that we meet there. The commander sits in his place. The other

16 commanders sit behind the table around him, according to position, and the

17 briefing goes on. I don't know what kind of detail you want me to

18 describe. This is the essential description of that room, equipped for

19 work. The commander has the central place --

20 Q. Was it a round table, a square table, rectangular table, a series

21 of tables, benches, chairs? What was it?

22 A. I really don't know, to tell you the truth. Listen, I spent ten

23 years serving as Chief of Staff. When you ask me now what my desk looked

24 like, my own desk and the conference table I used myself, I would find it

25 difficult to answer. And I spent ten years in that office. That facility

Page 8132

1 was normally used as some sort of hotel, and it was only adapted for the

2 purposes of the operations centre. I did see it. I was there. But I

3 really cannot remember it in detail now when you ask the question this

4 way.

5 Q. Where was Admiral Jokic seated in relation to the other people at

6 this briefing?

7 A. He was seated at the head of that room where the officers were

8 seated because he was the one who chaired the meeting. Next to him there

9 was Chief of Staff Milan Zec.

10 Q. Who else was there? I want you to name the other participants in

11 this briefing by name, please.

12 A. Well, one thing you should bear in mind is that, in my official

13 capacity as commander of my unit, I was within the 2nd Corps and not

14 within the VPS. Therefore, as concerns the names, the only names I was

15 familiar with were that of Vice Admiral Jokic, that of warship Captain

16 Milan Zec, Lieutenant Colonel Kozaric. He was the operations officer that

17 I was in touch with. We exchanged information. The assistant for moral

18 guidance, Lieutenant Colonel Zarkovic, if I remember correctly. That

19 particular evening, I can't specifically remember if the assistant for

20 land forces, Colonel Gavro Kovacevic was there or not. These were the

21 people I knew personally, as well as their names.

22 As for the remaining officers, navy officers who were there, I

23 really didn't deem it necessary for me to know their names and know them

24 personally. I heard what they had to say, their contributions to the

25 briefing, which concerned me very little, truth to tell, and that's all I

Page 8133

1 needed to know.

2 Q. Was that the only briefing you ever attended there?

3 A. Yes. That morning I had taken up my duty as battalion commander.

4 Q. The very same day, the 5th of December. Well, what time did this

5 briefing commence?

6 A. The usual practice was past 1800 hours, but the exact time

7 depended on when all those officers who were supposed to attend came in,

8 So that depended. As for that particular evening, I'm not sure what time

9 it was, but it was half 1800 hours.

10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't get the last portion of

11 the witness's answer.

12 MR. RE:

13 Q. Just repeat the last part of your answer, please.

14 A. So it was after 1800 hours, because that evening I had left my

15 command post at about 1800 hours.

16 Q. How long did the meeting go for?

17 A. The meeting went on for about one or one and a half hours, because

18 I was back at my command post at about 2200 hours.

19 Q. Do you know whether notes were kept or minute -- notes or record

20 was made of this meeting? Just yes or no.

21 A. The operations duty-officer would have been duty-bound to keep

22 minutes, but that's the VPS command, and I had no power over that.

23 Q. And at that meeting, it would have been apparent that your unit or

24 battalion was the only one which could provide the necessary fire support

25 to the JNA against Croat positions in Babin Kuk and Lapad, et cetera, if

Page 8134

1 they were to assault Srdj the next morning; correct, isn't it?

2 A. Part of Babin Kuk, the north-facing slope, yes. As for the

3 section facing south, I was in no position to fire at that portion. That

4 would have been the last ultimate line where the 3rd Battalion of the

5 5th Brigade could provide any support at all.

6 Q. And finally, sir, I just -- sorry.

7 MR. RE: Your Honour, I note the signals and the time. There are

8 some more areas I wish to cover. I realise I can't complete it in the

9 time available today.

10 JUDGE PARKER: Do you have any re-examination at this point,

11 Mr. Rodic?

12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in view of all the

13 circumstances, as well as those of a more technical nature, I will only

14 have three or four questions left for my re-examination. I will do my

15 best to keep it as brief as possible. There are two or three things that

16 need clarifying, something specific and something from the diary that I

17 wish to show the witness.

18 JUDGE PARKER: The length of the tape and the capacity of the

19 supporting staff to keep going is the problem at the moment. We have the

20 videolink at the moment. The present tapes have nearly run out.

21 What the Chamber will do, Mr. Re, is adjourn now for 20 minutes,

22 resume. You can have ten more minutes, and Mr. Rodic will have five

23 minutes. And I hope that the support staff will understand that and we

24 can then break for the day with the videolink completed.

25 So we will resume at 25 past.

Page 8135

1 --- Recess taken at 2.07 p.m.

2 --- On resuming at 2.28 p.m.

3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Re, I see the witness is back in his place.

4 Thank you for that, Mr. Jovanovic.

5 Now, Mr. Re, if you'd like to continue.

6 MR. RE:

7 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, I just want to take you back to your report, which

8 is D108. Now, in this report, you didn't mention Admiral Jokic by name.

9 This is the report you made on the 6th of December, 1991. That's correct,

10 isn't it?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. You never said in that report that Admiral Jokic was at that

13 meeting, that briefing, on the 5th of December. You didn't say that, did

14 you?

15 A. I didn't say in the report what the briefing on the 5th was about.

16 The report contains reference to activities that took place on the 6th.

17 Q. You never said you went to a meeting the day before, chaired by

18 Admiral Jokic, did you, in that report?

19 A. The report is not supposed to contain any such information.

20 Q. You never said you spoke to Jokic at that meeting. That's not in

21 your report either, is it?

22 A. Again, I would like to say the following: The substance of this

23 report is about the scope of activities that took place on the 6th of

24 December. This is a combat report from a front. This is not a report of

25 a briefing.

Page 8136












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Page 8137

1 Q. There would be no reason to refer to a briefing or a presentation

2 by Captain Kovacevic the previous day if that's correct, would there?

3 A. No, not in the report.

4 Q. Because if what you're saying in Court today is true, you could

5 only be referring to the briefing by Kovacevic in paragraph 2, couldn't

6 you? You just told us there would be no reason to refer to it because

7 it's not that sort of report.

8 A. Only what was related to the activities. Please keep that in

9 mind. Paragraph 2 is worded in such a way precisely for that reason.

10 Q. Admiral Jokic's presence at the meeting, his speaking to you, your

11 questions to him, et cetera, is unrelated to these activities, nothing to

12 do with it?

13 A. Activities that took place on the 6th are contained in the report.

14 There is only a remark in paragraph 2, an analogy to the plan put forward

15 by Kovacevic to the effect that the activities around Srdj had been

16 postponed. In my reasoning, it wasn't necessary to go into any further

17 details from the previous briefing.

18 Q. It's not a remark, sir; it's a justification for what occurred,

19 isn't it?

20 A. If an activity is planned and carried out, then there must be a

21 reason, which is the continuity of life and work on the front. And now

22 what you're asking me to do is, within that ongoing continuity, to

23 pre-date the activities that took place on the 6th as having occurred on

24 the 5th. I am only referring to those that occurred on the 5th. For

25 example, I don't state anywhere in my report that a handover had taken

Page 8138

1 place with the battalion commander. Whatever happened on that day is

2 included in the report. This is, after all, a combat report.

3 Q. Paragraph 2 is simply a justification for your own activities,

4 your own actions, on the 6th of December, isn't it? Your reference to

5 what Kovacevic did the day before is merely a justification for what you

6 did on the 6th, isn't it?

7 A. No, it's not a justification. It's an explanation of how things

8 happened, of how the activities were carried out that had been planned.

9 Q. No. Mr. Jovanovic, did you tell Mr. Petrovic that you had certain

10 fears concerning the allegations -- one of the allegations in the

11 indictment, that is, you were concerned that you yourself might be in

12 danger of prosecution or indictment yourself if you were to come to

13 The Hague?

14 A. No.

15 Q. You're telling us you've got no fear of coming to The Hague to

16 give evidence, because you think you did nothing wrong on the day, and the

17 civilian casualties had nothing to do with you, so you have nothing to

18 fear?

19 A. Yes. I have nothing to fear. There is no reason for me to have

20 anything to fear.

21 Q. Sir, the -- I'd like you to turn again to the war diary, which

22 is D96. You've got a copy there with you. And if you could please turn

23 to page 70, that's 7-0. I want to take you to a particular entry at

24 1500 hours. And it says -- it's a remark by Captain Barakovic: "The

25 3/5 Partisan Motorised Brigade is sustaining strong sniper fire from

Page 8139

1 Sustjepan. One senior officer wounded and two vehicles were damaged. They

2 were ordered to take the men to cover. Lieutenant Colonel Jovanovic has

3 ordered the same. He is ordering that 120-millimetre mortar brigade fire

4 is to fire on the military targets with the purpose of protecting the

5 people."

6 That suggests that you were still firing at 3.00 p.m. that

7 afternoon, doesn't it?

8 A. 1500 hours. I was on my way from Kupari to Osojnik.

9 Q. I just want to ask you about two entries in this and then we'll

10 finish. That's the first entry. What I'm saying to you is it suggests

11 that you were firing or ordering the firing on military targets, it says,

12 in the Sustjepan area as late as 3.00 p.m.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And is that what happened, you were still firing at 3.00 p.m.?

15 A. At 1500 hours, Barakovic, an active duty-officer from that unit,

16 reported that from Sustjepan there was sniper fire putting at risk the men

17 of the 3rd Battalion.

18 Q. Sir, just rereading it --

19 A. This is a --

20 Q. I'm asking you: Is it correct that you were firing as late as

21 3.00 p.m.?

22 A. Please, this is a war logbook of the navy.

23 Q. Were you firing as late as 3.00 p.m. or not?

24 A. After arriving at the observation post -- no.

25 Q. The next entry --

Page 8140

1 A. At 1500 hours, the answer is no.

2 Q. The next entry is at page 72, the time 1627. I'll just read it to

3 you while you're finding it: "The 3/5 Partisan Motorised Brigade from

4 1545 to 1615 has acted with MB 120-millimetre fire on Sustjepan from which

5 it has suffered strong and focused sniper fire. 1615 hours, stopped the

6 action, 3 to 3/5 and 4 to 3" --

7 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down, please.

8 MR. RE: Apologise. "Against Kolocep during the day."

9 This says that your battalion was still firing at Sustjepan

10 between 1545 and 1615, doesn't it?

11 A. 1615 hours, yes.

12 Q. And was that in fact what you were doing, still firing as late as

13 1615 that afternoon?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And that is of course some two hours -- more than two hours after

16 you wrote this handwritten report which is D108? And --

17 A. I don't think I understand. Which exhibit are you referring to?

18 Please repeat.

19 Q. Your report of the 6th of December. Two hours after you wrote

20 that, you're still firing.

21 A. Brief explanation, please. At 1500 hours, I am at the forward

22 command post of the VPS. Captain Barakovic is reporting about intense

23 sniper fire. I give orders to carry out preparations and not to fire

24 before my arrival until I came to assess the situation. Having arrived at

25 the observation post, I noticed that there was sniper fire from the

Page 8141

1 Sustjepan area, and I ordered the mortars to start firing at the area

2 where sniper positions had been observed.

3 MR. RE: I have nothing else, Your Honours.

4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Re.

5 Mr. Rodic.

6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

7 Re-examined by Mr. Rodic:

8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jovanovic, we don't have much time, so I will

9 only ask you very few questions, and please, can you focus your attention

10 on document D96, which is the war log, that I assume you have in front of

11 you. Can you please look at page 68 of the war log, the entry at 0855.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Is there anything specified there as to the targets and the

14 missiles that your units used up while firing?

15 A. Yes. And the remark there, in my report, it says "Luncijata," and

16 in the war log it says "Nuncijata," the Nuncijata area. But it was wasn't

17 the area that I was firing at. It was the Luncijata area.

18 Q. And do you know if both these locations actually exist, Luncijata

19 and Nuncijata?

20 A. Yes. I'm aware of their existence, because I've heard the name

21 Nuncijata used during briefings. But the Luncijata area was within the

22 area of responsibility of my unit.

23 Q. Can you please first of all describe when you say Luncijata, with

24 an L, as in London, where is this precisely?

25 A. I did ask for a map on the ELMO. That was on the slopes of Srdj,

Page 8142

1 facing north-west. I can't tell you the exact location now, because I

2 don't have a map, but that's the Srdj slope facing north-west. And from

3 there, from Luncijata, once you leave the port of Gruz and head east along

4 Rijeka Dubrovacka, first you cross Luncijata and then you come to a sign

5 saying "Sustjepan."

6 THE INTERPRETER: Can the speakers please try not to overlap.

7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can we please display the map that has

8 been marked as P11 now.

9 Q. Please take a look at the map marked P11 and at the location

10 called Gruz. In relation to this location, can you describe where the

11 area was where you said you were opening fire from.

12 A. We don't have the map and we don't see it either on the screen.

13 Q. Until you get the map on the screen, I would kindly ask you to

14 compare this specific information as to the number of projectiles fired

15 with point 3 of your report, whether they tally in quantities and in the

16 spots they were fired from, in the positions they were fired from.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. The specification, does it tally with the specification contained

19 in the summary of events contained between pages 66 and 67 of the war log

20 of the operations centre of the forward command post at Kupari? Does this

21 particular specification also tally with your report?

22 A. In my report - that is, the items listed in my report - do tally

23 with the war log in terms of the quantity of projectiles, except for the

24 location of the firing position.

25 Q. You mean in terms of it being named as Luncijata or Nuncijata?

Page 8143

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Could you please -- now you see the map P11. Do you see where the

3 port Gruz is located?

4 A. Yes, I can. But I cannot orient myself in relation to Srdj and

5 Dubravacka Rijeka, because that helps me locate Luncijata. Because

6 Luncijata is on the forward slope, and that is why I couldn't see it now

7 from this.

8 Q. Thank you. I won't be needing the map any more.

9 Could you please take a look at the war log, page 68. Look at the

10 entry at 9.50. It reads here: "Jovanovic: Jovanovic is requesting from

11 the area of Libertas. They are firing upon the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd

12 Brigade with the mortars. Jovanovic is asking for 130-millimetres to

13 fire."

14 Is this what you were conveying to the operations centre at the

15 IKM, Kovacevic's request?

16 A. Yes. This was the dilemma we were talking about. This was his

17 request. I was conveying it to the operations centre without actually

18 knowing whether they received the request or not.

19 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, would you please now take a look at your report,

20 under item 2, or rather, I should first ask you the following: This

21 report of the 6th of December, what does it focus on? What does it, for

22 the most part, refer to? Briefly, please.

23 A. It relates to the preparation of the weapons for the coordination

24 of fire for providing support for the northern part of the Dubrovnik

25 region and the detection of potential targets.

Page 8144

1 Q. Do you, Mr. Jovanovic, in this particular report, under

2 paragraph 2, say that the concept of Captain Kovacevic for the combat

3 activities had been precisely relayed the day before, and do you also

4 mention in that context the commander of the 9th VPS?

5 A. I do not mention specifically the commander of the 9th VPS, but I

6 rather present the idea that Captain Kovacevic had, envisaging also the

7 concerted action of the artillery units of the 3rd Battalion of the

8 5th Brigade.

9 Q. Please, would you look at point 2 and tell me whether there is a

10 word there, KD anti A [phonetic], which would stand for commander here in

11 your report under point 2?

12 A. The commander was mentioned for the following reason. I'm

13 referring you to that earlier discussion we had. On the 5th, as I was

14 leaving the command post, I asked them to inform me once the action was

15 improved [as interpreted] of the time of commencement of the action so

16 that I could prepare myself for the realisation of what had been planned.

17 Q. Could you please tell me: Under point 6, do you mention the order

18 issued by the warship Captain Milan Zec a day earlier?

19 A. Yes. That was the evening before.

20 Q. Right. You don't have to go into detail. We've heard that?

21 MR. RE: Your Honours, I think there might be a slight error in

22 the transcript which may need correcting. It says "improved" at line --

23 88:25. I think it might mean "approved."

24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]

Page 8145

1 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, in this report of 6th December, Exhibit 108, do you

2 mention at all that you had the transfer of duties with the earlier

3 Commander Zdravkovic a couple of days before?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Was this one of the topics of this report at all?

6 A. No.

7 Q. I would like you to look at the following in the same exhibit,

8 108. There is one rectangular stamp which says "photocopied." But please

9 take a look at it at the other side. Turn the page. Because there it

10 is -- one can see it better. It says there: "Photocopied in copies 1,

11 cabinet NGS." Can you tell us what this stands for?

12 A. This is short for the chief of the General Staff.

13 Q. Thank you. Do you see the signature down there?

14 A. This is an abbreviation, saying warship captain, and there is an

15 initial there that I cannot read. It is not a signature. These are

16 initials.

17 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, finally - because we don't have any more time - I

18 will ask you the following: Prior to your testimony, have you at any time

19 talked to me?

20 A. Only with regard to my possible appearance in The Hague as a

21 witness over the phone.

22 Q. On that occasion, did you not tell me that for your own private

23 reasons, and we will not enumerate them here --

24 A. I stressed that it was solely for the reasons -- for family

25 reasons that I wasn't prepared to come to The Hague. If you need any

Page 8146












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Page 8147

1 details, I'm ready to provide them.

2 JUDGE PARKER: You avoided the worst of the problem, Mr. Re. And

3 that's enough, is it, Mr. Rodic?

4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. In keeping

5 with the time that you assigned to me, I will finish here with the

6 re-examination.

7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Except that you had two and a half

8 times the time I indicated.

9 Mr. Jovanovic, may we thank you very much for your assistance and

10 for the evidence you have given. You are now free to go about your

11 ordinary activities. And may we thank those in Belgrade who have helped

12 with the videolink. Videolink can be closed now. Thank you.

13 [The witness withdrew]

14 JUDGE PARKER: May the Chamber express its appreciation to

15 counsel, especially to the Prosecution, for their preparedness to deal

16 with the cross-examination of this witness today despite the clear

17 difficulties. It has enabled us to conclude that evidence, and it is

18 deeply appreciated. The Chamber would also record its appreciation for

19 the interpreters and other court staff who have been prepared to sit

20 longer than expected to enable this to be concluded.

21 We will resume on Monday afternoon at 2.15.

22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.56 p.m.,

23 to be reconvened on Monday, the 19th day of

24 July, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.