1 Thursday, 10 September 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.10 a.m.
4 (The accused enter court).
5 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning, interpreters and
6 also the court reporters. Good morning to you all. I
7 hope everyone can hear me. Let us now begin then and
8 turn to Mr. Nobilo.
9 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. The
10 next Defence witness is Vice-Admiral of the Croatian
11 Army Davor Domazet.
12 JUDGE JORDA: I think there is a transcript
13 problem, seems that the format has changed. I see the
14 characters are different now. I think this is a more
15 modern system. Is that right, Mr. Registrar?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, well for technical
17 means, there is no reason to have another system.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Has the system been changed?
19 THE REGISTRAR: No. For technical reasons,
20 we are required to be connected to a different system,
21 which gives us this transcript for the time being.
22 JUDGE JORDA: I see. Well, we'll do with
23 what we have for the time being.
24 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, the screens on
25 the video are virtually unreadable in my opinion. On
1 the video monitor of the transcript. It's so faint you
2 cannot read it. The laptop screen is quite readable.
3 We have a laptop we have unplugged. I don't know if
4 the laptop or more than one laptop can be brought to
5 the Court. But we would like the Court to be able to
6 see the transcript of this witness' testimony as it is
7 given. I think it's an important aid, particularly
8 given the translation. This witness will be testifying
9 in BSC.
10 JUDGE JORDA: But, Mr. Registrar, we don't
11 have laptops. They have laptops.
12 MR. NOBILO: We can bring some to you, Your
14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, perhaps it might be wise
15 to provide us with laptops. I turn to my colleague, do
16 you think we might go on as we are now into the break?
17 Now we have nothing at all on the screen. The judges
18 are ready to go on with the system until the break with
19 the current transcript, which is even worse now I see.
20 I am the least handicapped, but that's perhaps not the
21 issue. Let us now go on with what we have now, but I
22 am, nonetheless, going to ask that the witness express
23 himself slowly and then after the break, I hope we'll
24 have laptops by then. Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, perhaps in the next 30
1 minutes the technical problem may be resolved.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Nobilo, now we
3 have nothing on our screens at all. Mr. Nobilo, you
4 may present your next witness. I wish to remind you,
5 Mr. Nobilo and Mr. Hayman, that pursuant to the recent
6 decision on the presentation of a list of witnesses
7 seven days in advance, that you are to make a summary.
8 The Chamber is waiting for a written summary, not one
9 of one or two lines, because that would not be very
10 useful for us.
11 Do you understand what I mean Mr. Hayman?
12 Mr. Nobilo?
13 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Your Honour, I read the
14 English version of the decision yesterday for the first
15 time and we are studying it and we'll file a more
16 detailed, if you will, statement on that, but we'll
17 find our way and we'll look to the Court for guidance
18 in that regard.
19 THE COURT: Very well.
20 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, may I just make
21 one comment on that. We also are handicapped in the
22 course of preparing our examination of these witnesses
23 because we also have received a one sentence topical
24 summary of what these witnesses are going to say and we
25 have not received a factual summary.
1 We also have read the decision in English and
2 in French. It is clear to us that what is required is
3 a factual summary prepared and presented to the
4 Prosecutor and to the Trial Chamber several days in
5 advance. I have notified the Defence that that is your
6 expectation and interpretation and we are waiting
7 receipt of those factual summaries.
8 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, the matter is not
9 as simple as Mr. Harmon suggests. The Court can look
10 at the testimony of this witness and ask itself, what
11 should a summary of this witness' testimony be? We
12 have advised the Prosecutor that this witness is going
13 to testify concerning what the JNA's actions,
14 strategies, in the wars in Croatia and
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, principally in the years 1991 and
17 Now to go into the facts that he is going to
18 present, either we describe the subject matter, the
19 topic, or the Defence is going to be compelled to
20 create some memorialisation of the witness' specific
21 testimony, which, by the way, we do not always -- we
22 have not always heard that seven days in advance. I
23 heard this witness' presentation the day before
24 yesterday for the first time. He was asked to prepare
25 a presentation on a particular topic. I have never
1 heard that presentation seven days in advance of
2 today. So the Court is going to have to provide some
3 flexibility and understanding for the Defence. We
4 don't have a staff here. If the Court is telling Mr.
5 Nobilo and I to take time out of the difficult
6 preparations by the two of us, to prepare this case, to
7 prepare a deposition transcript or a statement of facts
8 of an individual witness, that is a serious matter,
9 given the limited resources that the Defence has. So I
10 suggest that the Court look at what we're filing,
11 compare it to the testimony of the witnesses, we will
12 work with Court. We will look to the Court for
13 guidance. We will find our way. We wish to comply
14 with the spirit of the Court's decision, but it is not
15 a simple matter.
16 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, it isn't a simple
17 matter because this summary that is now on the screen
18 is different than the summary with which we were
19 provided by the Defence on the 4th of September. I am
20 sure, Mr. President, that the Court, if comparing this
21 summary, if it is identical to the one we received,
22 will notice that this summary is different than that
23 which we received.
24 MR. HAYMAN: Indeed, I have never seen this
25 slide presentation when under the Court's decision we
1 were required to give a summary to the Prosecutor.
2 That illustrates the problem of setting a calendar
3 deadline by which we have to provide some kind of a
4 statement of what a witness is going to say, when we
5 may not have met with the witness, particularly
6 experts, and heard the presentations that they have
8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, the Prosecution and
9 Defence. Here, first of all, one must apply the
10 decision rendered by this Chamber on the 3rd of
11 September, 1998. I understand that it may be a little
12 delicate to try and interpret our decision, but,
13 nonetheless, we are going to try and do so.
14 First of all, I would say to the Defence
15 counsel that I understand that the decision made on the
16 3rd of September, that the Defence was not able for
17 this week to carry out exactly what the judges of this
18 Chamber requested. As a consequence, for this week,
19 that is to say for today and tomorrow, we will be
20 content, we, the judges, will be content, and I will
21 ask that the Prosecution also be satisfied, with what
22 you have been able to present, given the lateness with
23 which this decision was rendered on the 3rd September
24 and the difficulty in which that put the Defence.
25 Nonetheless, for the following week, that is
1 to say for Monday, the 21st of September, we expect in
2 its letter that the decision of the 3rd September will
3 be respected. What did this decision say? Well, and I
4 am turning to the Defence counsels now, we did not wish
5 by this decision to impose all of the provisions within
6 the 73 ter because these are obligations, which, as you
7 understand, if you indeed correspond to -- or, the
8 content, rather, of Rule 73 bis, which was not applied
9 by the Prosecution.
10 Nonetheless, since the rule is to be applied
11 in the case, we, the judges, have requested what we
12 felt appropriate to carry out these proceedings in good
13 time. We have requested the names and the identifying
14 information: name, place of birth, date of birth of
15 the witnesses. This was requested within the described
16 time limit. We have also requested a summary of the
17 facts about which those witnesses will be testifying
18 and that these be submitted.
19 This summary in the process have been done
20 verbally. Why? Because there have not been any text.
21 But as of now, we feel that it is possible for the
22 Defence to supply to the Prosecution and to the Chamber
23 a summary of the facts upon which the witness will
25 In addition, we, the judges, we cannot and I
1 think counsel for the Prosecution, but that is their
2 own problem, but the judges cannot be satisfied with a
3 single line summary. We're not going to ask you to
4 write 15 or 20 lines or 30 lines, we simply wish that
5 you respect the ledger and the spirit of this
7 We would like for a summary. Why? Because
8 from that summary the judges will be able to ask
9 questions and possibly interrupt you. All of this
10 within the spirit of accelerating the process and the
11 procedure. This is the spirit of the changes made to
12 the rules of procedure in evidence.
13 So we are not here to impose any obligations
14 or have your obligations that we have already imposed
15 upon the Prosecution. But we believe that having a
16 summary on the testimony to be given by the witness is
17 not too heavy a burden to impose upon you.
18 Now, as for those trials which have not yet
19 begun, this will be something that will be imposed on a
20 regular basis. Here is what the ledger and the spirit
21 of the decision was: Now, of course the decision was
22 rendered on the 3rd of September; therefore, we will be
23 satisfied with a verbal summary, which I believe Mr.
24 Nobilo will present us with now. But, nonetheless, I
25 think in the future, seven days in advance, we expect a
1 summary, a factual summary, of what the witness will be
2 testifying on and I hope that this will be relatively
3 substantial. I think you understand there is a
4 difference between one and two lines and a summary of
5 several pages. I will not speak any further on this
6 particular issue.
7 I will now give the floor to Mr. Nobilo, so
8 that he can present to us the testimony by this
10 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. As I
11 have already said, our witness is Vice-Admiral of the
12 Croatian Army, Davor Domazet, deputy Chief of staff of
13 the main headquarters of the armed forces of the
14 Republic of Croatia.
15 The title of his expert report is as we see
16 here, "The Role of the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army
17 and Serbian forces in the war in Croatian and in Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina." Within the framework of his expert
19 report and opinion, Admiral Domazet will discuss the
20 transformation of the JNA into a Serbian imperial
21 force. And on the preparations for the war on the soil
22 of the republics of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 for the purpose of reaching the invented western border
24 of Serbia.
25 Secondly, the use of the defence plan of the
1 JNA, co-named S-2, this is a defence plan designed
2 during the era of communist Yugoslavia in the event of
3 an attack by NATO. This plan from 1986 until 1990 was
4 developed and it was on the basis of that plan that the
5 JNA and Serbian forces were used in Bosnia-Herzegovina
6 and also in Croatia.
7 Furthermore, Admiral Domazet will present the
8 strategy of so-called key points in Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 which are a project of the aggression against
11 Fourth, he will describe the first stage of
12 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the strategic level
13 and also the control and command structure of the JNA
14 and the Army of Republic of Srpska in
16 Fifth, he will present the command structure
17 in the Army of Republic of Srpska after the alleged
18 withdrawal of the JNA from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 And sixth, describe the second stage of the
20 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina again from the strategic
21 standpoint. Therefore, the admiral will be talking
22 about the framework within which the conflict in
23 Central Bosnia broke out between the Croats and
24 Muslims. And this war of the JNA against
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina as the backdrop had a decisive
1 effect on the events we are discussing here. That is,
2 the conflict between the Muslims and Croats in Central
4 This expert report will clarify the
5 disintegration of Yugoslavia and the key role played by
6 the JNA in that process disintegration. And it will
7 directly link up with the testimony of Professor
9 This testimony will significantly contribute
10 to resolving certain dilemmas regarding the nature of
11 the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And it will
12 explain that Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of
13 Croatia were treated by the JNA as a single theatre of
14 war, which is correct from the strategic standpoint.
15 Therefore, Mr. President, that would be a
16 brief, oral summary of this testimony.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I see you've taken a very
18 good summary, Mr. Nobilo. This is the kind of summary
19 that the Chamber would like to see that you are to
20 disclose to the Prosecution. I see that your colleague
21 is also congratulating you, Mr. Nobilo. I would also
22 like for this type of summary to be given in French
23 before the hearing begins. So that will be done in
24 writing and in the future every judge will have a
25 version in French or in English before him and this is
1 something that will be presented before the entrance of
2 the witness.
3 Therefore, in the future, your
4 examination-in-chief will be based on those issues
5 covered in your summary. Therefore, now,
6 Mr. Registrar, you may have Mr. Admiral Domazet brought
7 into the courtroom.
8 (The witness entered court)
9 JUDGE JORDA: Will the usher please ask the
10 witness to remain standing. Thank you.
11 Mr. Registrar, will you please explain to the
12 usher, once and for all, what type of protocol must
13 exist in this courtroom. I do not wish to have to
14 continue to repeat myself on this issue. Please have
15 this explained to the witness beforehand.
16 Mr. Admiral, do you hear me? Very well.
17 Thank you for responding in French. Now, for the time
18 being, I simply wish that you state your name, your
19 first name and your rank and then please remain
20 standing for the reading of the solemn declaration.
21 WITNESS: DAVOR DOMAZET
22 THE WITNESS: Mr. President, Your Honours, I
23 am Vice-Admiral of the armed forces of the Republic of
24 Croatia. My name is Davor Domazet.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Now the usher will
1 show to you the solemn declaration, which you will read
2 and then you may be seated.
3 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
6 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Admiral, you may now
7 be seated.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Admiral, you hear me well?
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, the Tribunal thanks
12 you for coming. You are here at the request of the
13 Blaskic Defence, which is here before the International
14 Criminal Tribunal in the case of Prosecutor versus
15 Mr. Blaskic. You're now going to be answering
16 questions put to you by the Defence. Please speak as
17 freely as possible. Mr. Nobilo, you have the floor.
18 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
20 Q. Good morning, Admiral.
21 A. Good morning.
22 Q. As it is the rule here in Court, we need to
23 introduce our expert witness to the Court, so will you
24 please explain to the Court where you were born, which
25 military schools you attended and your career in the
2 A. I was born on the 1st of May, 1948, in Sinj
3 in the Republic of Croatia. I graduated from secondary
4 school of natural sciences in 1967. After that, I
5 enrolled at the military naval academy, which I
6 graduated from in 1971.
7 After that, I sailed on boats very often as
8 the commander of naval vessels. At the end of this
9 period of sailing within the scope of the former navy
10 of the armed forces of Yugoslavia, I was the commander
11 of the Destroyer Split. In 1986 I was dismissed.
12 And after that I became an analyst in the
13 command of the navy, studying the NATO doctrines. In
14 the meantime, I also completed a school of tactics and
15 operations. This is a school for command officers.
16 And in 1990, I attended the highest military
17 school, the war school, which I abandoned three days
18 before graduation, when the war broke out in Slovenia,
19 or rather, when the JNA attacked Slovenia.
20 Q. When you left this war school three days
21 before graduation, you joined the guards which became
22 the precursor of the Croatian Army. What posts have
23 you held in the Croatian Army to this day?
24 A. Yes, immediately after leaving the war
25 college, it is interesting to note that my trip from
1 Belgrade to Zagreb was not a direct route, but I had to
2 go through Sarajevo, Ploca Split and then Zagreb. The
3 national guards, and these were yet the beginnings of
4 the organisation of the armed forces of the Republic of
6 As a member of the command, I remained within
7 the command throughout, but I changed positions. The
8 first position I held was to organise the command of
9 the headquarters of the national guards. After that, I
10 was Chief of Staff in the department for strategic
11 studies for the use of the Croatian Army. And as of
12 1992, I performed the duties of Chief of Staff of the
13 intelligence department of the supreme command.
14 And finally, as of 1996, I have held the
15 position of Deputy Chief of Staff of the main command
16 of the armed forces.
17 Q. Admiral, you have published dozens of papers
18 analyses, reviews and articles in various specialised
19 journals, you became a Counter-Admiral and a
20 Vice-Admiral in 1998. We see the medals that you have
21 on your uniform; can you tell us how many decorations
22 you were awarded in the Republic of Croatia? And maybe
23 you could mention those you consider to be particularly
25 A. I have nine orders of merit. First, the
1 order of Nikola Subic Zrinski for courage shown in war.
2 Second, of Banja Josip Jelacic for successful command
3 and control in the armed forces. A Croatian leaf for
4 my overall contribution to the armed forces, another
5 Croatian medal for honourable duty in the armed forces.
6 I also am the bearer of a large number of
7 medals for significant operations, Bljesak, Jefto,
8 Oluja and an operation, if it can be called that, for
9 the peaceful reintegration of the Croatian Danubian
10 Region within the constitutional order of Croatia.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. NOBILO: I would now like to ask the
13 registrar to distribute the exhibits to facilitate
14 following the testimony. I should also like the
15 technician to switch on the monitors, the computer
16 monitors. And perhaps could the lights be dimmed, too,
17 so that visibility of the screen can be improved?
18 Can we have the same slide we have on the
19 screen on our monitors, please?
20 INTERPRETER: Counsel is addressing the
22 Q. Vice-Admiral, in your own words, without much
23 interference from me, could you describe to the Court
24 what was the role of the Yugoslav People's Army and
25 Serbian forces in the Croatian, and particularly in the
1 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, before I present
3 my expert testimony on the role of the Yugoslav
4 People's Army, or the JNA, and the Serbian forces in
5 the war in Croatia and in the war in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, it is my duty for the sake of simplicity
7 to say that the entire presentation will be a
8 multi-media presentation, as these are complex and
9 specific military matters viewed from the strategic
10 standpoint, and the aim is to make understanding
12 Secondly, there are three key terms that I
13 will be using in my presentation. The first is an
14 asymmetrical war, or a war waged when the technical
15 factor is substantially different or more explicitly
16 far beyond all military standards on the one hand, and
17 very minimal or non-existent on the other.
18 Second, strategy, because my presentation
19 will be exclusively focused on a strategic
20 understanding of the war. That is the approach which
21 men of wisdom have long since adopted when defining
22 war. Let me mention some. The well-known French
23 theoretician Gaulfleur and Jaminee (Phoen); van
24 Schlieffen; Willenhartdt; the American, and two
25 unavoidable theoreticians Sonsuvo (Phoen) in ancient
1 China, and also what is studied at all military
2 schools, Clausewitz. Therefore, war cannot be
3 observed, nor is it exclusively a military concept.
4 A third term that I will be using less is
5 tactics. That is the lowest level regarding the use of
6 military force, either units or equipment.
7 Having made those introductory remarks, I can
8 proceed with my presentation. The starting point is
9 1985. We have before us ex-Yugoslavia.
10 A. How were the armed forces of Yugoslavia
11 organised at that time? First of all, it consisted of
12 two components; that is, the Yugoslav People's Army and
13 the Territorial Defence. So, it is an armed forces
14 with two components.
15 The JNA consisted of the military naval
16 district, or the navy, marked in blue. The entire
17 inland area of Yugoslavia was divided into armies at
18 the highest level of command. It is important to note
19 in this connection that the armies were military and
20 territorial organisations, and not exclusively military
21 organisations, which means that both in peace time and
22 in war time they remain there. This is, in a way, an
23 anachronism of contemporary military skills. Certain
24 parts of those armies could be moved to the zones of
25 responsibility of other armies.
1 And the third component was the air force.
2 If we were to look at the military and territorial
3 division of the army, we will note immediately that the
4 armies were, to a greater or lesser extent, more or
5 less entirely covered the borders of the republics of
6 Yugoslavia. They coincided with the borders.
7 Therefore, the armed forces, as I said,
8 consisted of two components, the JNA and the
9 Territorial Defence. The Territorial Defence was
10 exclusively under the responsibility of republican
11 headquarters, which means that it was under the command
12 of high military officials in the republics, and it was
13 armed from the budget of those republics.
14 Therefore, the overall conclusion regarding
15 the state of the armed forces of Yugoslavia in 1985 was
16 that the armies had republican characteristics.
17 What about the national structure of army
18 officers? That is the highest level of command of such
19 armies. We have before us, Mr. President and Your
20 Honours, the percentage share of officers as
21 compared -- actually, that is the actual percentage of
22 posts held by the various ethnic groups; but for the
23 purposes of analysis, we have to see what it means in
24 relation to the overall population, or rather the
25 ethnic structure of individual republics.
1 For the purpose of analysis, we have the
2 index of disproportion. This index of disproportion
3 shows, varies considerably, and it is 51 per cent in
4 favour of the Serbs. With respect to the Montenegrins
5 that index is 148; Macedonians 8; and a separate group
6 that declared themselves to be Yugoslavs, for them the
7 index was 45.
8 Therefore, these figures coloured in blue
9 show the disproportionate representation of certain
10 groups in relation to others. Albanians 91 per cent,
11 Hungarians 70, Croats 53, et cetera.
12 What does this mean? It means that the
13 disproportional representation was planned so that some
14 ethnic groups were inadequately represented in the
15 command structure. Therefore, in 1985 this national
16 structure will change significantly when the memorandum
17 of the Serbian Academy of Sciences was adopted in 1986.
18 And when the new organisation of the armed
19 forces was approved, and we will be discussing that in
20 a few moments, then the total percentage of Serbs in
21 the total number of officers exceeds 70 per cent.
22 Q. Can we, therefore, from the structure of the
23 officers cadre prior to the war, conclude that at that
24 time already the JNA, according to its structure, had
25 become Serbian?
1 A. We can conclude that, and we have an overall
2 view of all the armies' officers. And if we add to
3 this the fact that the commanding posts were
4 predominantly held by Serbs, in my introductory address
5 I said that in 1986 I was the commander of the
6 Destroyer Split, and without any explanation I ceased
7 to perform that duty. Thank you. And everything
8 testified to the fact that I was a successful
10 Q. Please continue.
11 A. Therefore, on this basis, Your Honours, we
12 will be able to see how the JNA became a Serbian
13 imperial force. What did they do, in fact?
14 First, the conclusion was that structurally
15 speaking there should be more Serbs and less
16 representatives of other peoples. This, as the basic
17 principle, and the axiom, therefore, was that the JNA
18 was an armed force of all the nations and nationalities
19 in Yugoslavia, as they were called. And if that was
20 the case, if that was the principle and the axiom, and
21 a change of this kind set in, then it is very
22 important, in fact, that that upon which the entire
23 structure of Yugoslavia was based had now been
25 Second, the infrastructure had to be adapted
1 to the deployment of forces following the plan of
2 reaching the so-called western Serbian border.
3 Third, in the organisational sense, that is
4 to say not to have the organisation that prevailed
5 hitherto, but a new one, and to adapt to the forces for
6 the pacification of the territory before the Serbian
7 political goal is made known, so, before that, to
8 perform this organisational change in the JNA.
9 Next, when we speak of the operative use of
10 forces, this should be checked in extraordinary
11 circumstances, and all this should be masked behind an
12 alleged general aggression of NATO on Yugoslavia.
13 Your Honours, here the essential points
14 exist, and we should not use the armed forces of a
15 country in this given circumstance. First of all,
16 extraordinary circumstances; the armed forces will not
17 be used for the defence of the integrity of that state
18 by external jeopardy, but will be used for
19 extraordinary circumstances, therefore, within that
20 state, and we will agree that that is the task of
21 somebody else; first of all, the police forces.
22 And second, the NATO aggression in the 1980s,
23 as we know full well, was a time of essential, main
24 events that took place on the world scene. It was the
25 time when Gorbachev and Reagan were holding
1 negotiations in Reykjavik. That was the time when the
2 United States of America were performing their
3 operations of the El Dorado Canyon in order to punish
4 terrorist actions in Libya.
5 So, in this bipolar division of the world,
6 for NATO to attack Yugoslavia, any strategist would
7 tell you was unheard of.
8 Furthermore, in implementing a plan of this
9 kind in which the forces would be used for
10 extraordinary circumstances, we must stress the
11 Yugoslav option, therefore, that the JNA was fighting
12 for Yugoslavia, and that to wait within for an internal
13 enemy, this was a syntagma that that enemy should
14 attack first and then should be destroyed.
15 These are the words that General Kadijevic
16 used in his book, "My Vision of the Disintegration" in
18 Q. Admiral, let us make something a little more
19 better known to the Court. Who was General Kadijevic?
20 A. General Kadijevic, at that time, he was the
21 highest military officer in Yugoslavia, he was the
22 Federal Secretary for National Defence, or for easier
23 understanding, he was Minister of Defence, but he was a
24 general, so, he had the function of command, supreme
1 And the next thing that had to be done was to
2 reshape the JNA into several Serbian armies with an
3 accent on the defence of the endangered Serb
4 population, which means that to turn one army into
5 three armies, Serb armies.
6 Your Honour, these six points were the
7 guidelines which the JNA was to use and to become an
8 important weapon in the strategy of the idea of greater
9 Serbia, because the borders cannot be changed unless
10 you have an armed force; or borders are changed, which
11 history has taught us, exclusively through the use of
12 armed force.
13 Before us now we're going to have one of the
14 key elements which will help us understand the war on
15 the territory of Yugoslavia, or better said, in Croatia
16 and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, we are dealing with
17 the year 1985. The idea on a reorganisation of the
18 armed forces has been made public. How was this
19 reorganisation put into practice?
20 In front of us at this moment we have a new
21 military and political division. Therefore, the army
22 no longer exists, but what do we have in its stead? We
23 have the military naval unit, which remains the navy,
24 in the same, under the same competency as it had
1 But the essential changes took place on land,
2 and in this case, let me repeat once again so that you
3 can see on your monitors, on your screens, the first
4 military unit, district, the first army district.
5 And Mr. President, this can be seen on your
6 screen, so this new army and naval district in which
7 the command came from Belgrade incorporated a large
8 portion of Croatia, the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina;
9 therefore, in the strategic concept of this division it
10 can be called a great war field, battle field. And so,
11 it is on this great battle field that everything that
12 took place in the war later on happened.
13 Then we have two other army districts, the
14 third and the fifth, and you can see that they are much
15 smaller and disproportionate, so, they have a
16 peripheral role.
17 In a structure of this kind in 1985 the
18 changes lasted two years. So, one, the change was
19 undertaken already in 1986, the memorandum was
20 published by the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences,
21 and the reorganisation was completed in 1986. But the
22 Serbian Academy of Science denoted the western Serbian
23 border Virovitica, Karlovac, Karlobag, that western
24 line. Therefore, it almost fully coincided with the
25 great war theatre or the first field.
1 Q. Admiral, if we were to compare the western
2 border which was proclaimed by the Serbian
3 intellectuals in the Serbian Academy Virovitica,
4 Karlovac, Karlobag; is that the same border which in
5 the Second World War the Chetniks, Molvice denoted as
6 the western Serbian border?
7 A. Yes. Not only Molvice, the border of a
8 greater Serbia from World War II, but before that, the
9 border with very slight deviations went along that
11 The essence of that border is one, and that
12 is how to take away from Croatia its waters, or how to
13 take away from Croatia two-thirds of the Adriatic
14 coast. And in that way, to completely isolate not only
15 Croatia, but Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well.
16 Therefore, the essential conclusion to be
17 drawn here is that the new type of organisation for the
18 JNA and its territorial division was a complete
19 anachronism of military science and skills, and,
20 Mr. President, as can be seen quite clearly, it has
21 followed the borders on this large theatre of war upon
22 which the whole situation was to evolve of later on.
23 If we were to express this with a
24 pseudo-mathematical formula, this would be none other
25 than the fact that the first army district, plus the
1 third army district, plus one-third of the fifth army
2 district, plus two-thirds of the sea would be equal to
3 a greater Serbia. And that is the constant element
4 that will try to be implemented at beginning of 1990.
5 We also see the relationship between land and
6 sea, the ratio is five to one. Therefore, the war
7 events would include the sea for a very small portion,
8 whereas, the predominance of the war would take place
9 inland, and the war would be waged for territory.
10 What was needed for the JNA to become
11 transformed into a Serbian imperial force? This had to
12 be legalised in some way, and laws had to be enacted at
13 the top level, and two laws of that kind were enacted.
14 The first that you have already had occasion to view,
15 which was the reorganisation of the armed forces in
16 1985, 1987, where there were no more armies, divisions
17 and battalions; and instead of them, military regions
18 were set up corps and brigades.
19 I think it would be interesting to hear what
20 I'm going to say next. The first call in the Yugoslav
21 People's Army was set up in 1981.
22 Your Honours, let's look at, it was set up in
23 Kosovo. Why? Because that was the best organisation
24 to pacify the region. And that model of the corps, of
25 its set-up since 1981 exists up until 1985, that is to
1 say, up until this reorganisation, served the purpose
2 of an experiment of a laboratory sample.
3 In Belgrade they concluded that if this
4 sample was successful, if the experiment succeeded
5 where 80 per cent of the population was non-Serb and we
6 found that this was successful, there is no reason for
7 this experiment not to be successful in the other
8 regions of Yugoslavia where the (inaudible) for the
9 Serbs were much better.
10 When they were convinced this was so, they
11 started the new reorganisation. However, another
12 document was found to be necessary which would enable
13 the armed forces to be used, deployed within
14 Yugoslavia, or to find a legality for their use, for
15 the use of the JNA forces in Yugoslavia.
16 Your Honours, this second document, which on
17 the 20th of May 1987, was adopted by the presidency was
18 a strategy for total national defence and social
19 self-protection. Nowhere in the world does a country
20 have a strategic document of that kind.
21 It is interesting to see what these two
22 documents in fact mean, what they are based on. First,
23 every republic, up until then, as General Kadijevic
24 said, had its own army, and the commanders were, for
25 the most part, from those republics.
1 Second, the new division neglects the
2 administrative borders of the republics. Therefore,
3 Mr. President, here we have the essential word which is
4 administrative borders, which is once again stressed by
5 Kadijevic. That means that the top military officer in
6 Yugoslavia determines what is meant by a border and
7 what is not. So, as the top officer, he does not
8 defend the constitution of Yugoslavia but in fact
9 overthrows it.
10 Q. When you say, Admiral, administrative
11 borders, am I right in saying what Kadijevic had in
12 mind there, the borders of the republics, therefore,
13 Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, he does not consider them
14 to be republican borders but merely administrative
16 A. Yes, that's quite true. And as Yugoslavia
17 was a federal state, it implies, and there is no doubt
18 on that question, that we are dealing with republican
19 borders. And he does not recognise the federal set up
20 of Yugoslavia and the constitution of Yugoslavia and
21 the borders of the republics.
22 Third, the operational development of the
23 armed forces, therefore of the JNA, that they should be
24 used according to extraordinary circumstances, not
25 towards an external situation, but operatively to set
1 them up for use in extraordinary circumstances.
2 Furthermore, officers were brought who were
3 strongly in favour of the idea of a greater Serbia and
4 bringing them to the main command posts, regardless of
5 their rank or of their professional skills for holding
6 posts of that kind.
7 Furthermore, the training should be
8 structured in the, as they should be used following the
9 new doctrine which the general staff called spatial
10 conduct, and this was a separate use of the armed
11 forces and we will talk about that later on.
12 Once this had been completed and all the
13 prerequisites were furnished for the JNA into a Serbian
14 imperial force and what strategy is called a special
15 strategy, that this army should be used to realise the
16 ideas of a greater Serbia.
17 Therefore, we can see that both documents
18 contained these five provisions and a new force was
19 created and its legitimacy determined for it to be
20 used. In the implementation of such an enormous
21 strategy as Bofar, the great theoretician would say,
22 this is determined by military strategy and in this
23 case it becomes dominant; whereas the other separate
24 special strategies become less important. We can
25 therefore draw the conclusion that military strategy
1 and the use of force determined greater Serbia.
2 Q. Admiral, what we see on our screens, the
3 outline, that is the idea of a greater Serbia; is it
5 A. Yes, this is the concept of a greater Serbia
6 according to the new military territorial division.
7 And what they aspired to and the like motif was to
8 remain present at all times.
9 Military strategy, dominant military
10 strategy, in this case, military strategy is now in the
11 dominant, which means that territories can be one.
12 Territories can be one and the population can be
13 expelled from these regions. This military strategy
14 had three basic foundations. We can see them on the
15 left-hand side, left-bottom-hand corner of our
17 The first is the theoretical foundation; the
18 second, the organisational foundation and the
19 experimental foundation.
20 The first theoretical foundation had in the
21 spatial combat region -- or, a special warfare, had a
22 distance impact. This doctrinaire organisation would be
23 explained later on.
24 Second: Organisational foundation. We have
25 already seen this. This was the new reorganisation
1 which was implemented from 1985 to 1986. And this
2 brings us to the most important factor and that is the
3 experimental foundation. Before us, Your Honours, we
4 have the sign S-2. The sign S-2 was a war plan of the
5 general staff of Yugoslavia, which meant and had the
6 title of a radical aggression of NATO against
7 Yugoslavia. Up until 1985, there was a war plan, which
8 was denoted as War Plan S-1. And it meant a
9 non-radical, but a partial aggression of the Warsaw
10 Pact on Yugoslavia.
11 Up until 1985, each year alternately, one or
12 other training was in force for one or other plan.
13 But, in 1986, only one form of training existed, the
14 training for the S-2 plan and that was the radical
15 aggression to counter the radical aggression against
17 What can determine this war plan as being the
18 strongest document was that each year, and that is
19 understandable and it's done by every army in the
20 world, exercises are held and training sessions are
21 held. And it is indicative to note that on a top
22 strategic level, there were exercises held according to
23 the S-2 plan, both in 1986 and 1987 and 1988 and 1989
24 and 1990. And these exercises were termed Romanija.
25 Your Honours, let me remind you that the
1 Mountain of Romania was located next to Sarajevo. It
2 was the code name between Sarajevo and Pale. And this
3 was an indicative title given to the exercises, an
4 indicative code name.
5 Let us now, for purposes of understanding,
6 take a look at what is meant by the doors of the great
7 battlefield, the theatre of war. Let us look at the
8 first military district. And let us analyse this along
9 the coastal region for us to be able to determine the
10 key points. Why is this important? We shall see that
11 this is also linked up both in the war in Croatia and
12 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. What is important
13 here? First, the Republic of Croatia and the Republic
14 of Bosnia-Herzegovina lie, as you can see them, along
15 the coast. We have before us and I repeat once again,
16 we have towns. The most populated towns and areas.
17 And it is in these large urban centres and towns, which
18 was where there was predominantly a majority population
19 of Croatian population. In those years we find the
20 installations of the following JNA institutions: the
21 commands, the military schools, logistic bases,
22 military flats, offices, families of Serbian
23 nationality, a large number of summer houses. And they
24 were given loans, very favourable loans to build their
25 summer houses which other people couldn't do. And then
1 we had the political authorities, the party.
2 Outside those towns there were two basic
3 characteristics. And on this slide under A you had the
4 stretch with a large percentage, a significant
5 percentage, of Serb population. There was another belt
6 encompassing the outer islands, outlying islands, where
7 the JNA had elaborated navy strongholds with an
8 important, well-organised military infrastructure,
9 allegedly to defend itself from NATO. Both A and B, in
10 fact, meant isolation for the main towns and urban
11 centres along the coast.
12 And if we look at the sandwich system, then
13 we can see that it would be very easy to master this
14 area and gain control of this area in the following
15 way: To link A and B in points K.
16 Mr. President, and Your Honours, points K
17 were a constant, in which, from the aspects of
18 strategy, you were able to govern not only Croatian
19 regions, but in depth, the country in depth. These
20 points K were from the Greek times, Roman times. At
21 these points K it was the Roman legions which
22 penetrated the interior of Aleria. By points K, the
23 crusaders entered the territory towards Jerusalem. It
24 is through points K that according to the ideas of
25 planners in Belgrade, where we'll see later on, that
1 the NATO forces were to enter allegedly for a radical
2 aggression on Yugoslavia.
3 Q. Mr. President, I think that we have completed
4 what we wanted to say at this point. I think we are
5 going to take a break here.
6 JUDGE JORDA: I agree with you. Let's take a
7 20 minute recess now then. The Chamber stands
9 --- Recess taken at 11.20 a.m.
10 --- Upon resuming at 11.50 a.m.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, you have the floor
12 until 1.00 p.m., please go on.
13 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. We stopped when you were speaking of the
15 doors to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia as you called
16 them. Could you explain to the Court why you called
17 this the gate or the door? Could the lights be dimmed,
18 please? Could the lights be dimmed, please? Thank
20 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the strategy,
21 especially geo-strategy, and as I have already noted,
22 when we go back into history in this area, the main
23 point is not only the gateway from the Adriatic because
24 it is the deepest sea in Europe. And it was the silk
25 route that ended here too, the route that led all the
1 way to China.
2 In addition to a gateway, this could be
3 called a gateway, a part of a gateway to Eurasia.
4 And it is no coincidence that I have already mentioned
5 that ever since Greek and Roman times, the crusaders,
6 all great plans and even plans from the Second World
7 War envisaged disembarkation of the allied forces
8 because that would be the speediest way to penetrate
9 into Europe, but also to go on from there into Asia.
10 And that is why I call it that. In this particular
11 case, it is the route leading to Bosnia-Herzegovina or
12 out of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Q. Thank you, please continue.
14 A. I was speaking about the key points. These
15 are those two key points: That is, the places where,
16 if A and B are connected, one has control of the entire
17 area. You are master of the area. And those two key
18 points, constants, in simplified terms could be said to
19 be Maslenica, and Slano or Neum.
20 Q. Those are two localities in Croatia?
21 A. Yes. Let me repeat these two constants,
22 which will be very important for understanding the
23 relevance in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, a
24 pseudomathematical formula says in order to gain
25 control of these gateways or two-thirds of the
1 military, naval area, one just has to have to have A, B
2 and two Ks under one's control.
3 Your Honours, you will now see the
4 fundamental idea behind the war plan S-2 and the
5 commanding staff war exercises, Romanija, which were
6 held ever since 1986 and as far as 1990.
7 Q. Admiral, what we are seeing now, is that the
8 original war plan of the Yugoslav People's Army?
9 A. Yes, this is a copy. And in the left-hand
10 corner, you can see a possible idea for manoeuvres of
11 the Jadran Operative Group, which is the secret code
12 name for the NATO, alleged and envisaged NATO, attack
13 against Yugoslavia. So this is a copy of the
15 If now we were to analyse this plan by means
16 of a computer, we would get these two Ks and the belts
17 A and B. In the right-hand corner, we see the idea
18 behind the manoeuvres of operative group Jadran of the
19 NATO forces.
20 Q. So this original plan, which we see on the
21 screen in the right-hand corner is being copied
22 or superimposed over the computer drawing?
23 A. Yes, for the sake of understanding.
24 According to this imagined NATO an attack, it would
25 come from the Adriatic. And the bulk of the forces are
1 linked to the tactical group Ancona. And then we have
2 united NATO air forces, mostly of the United States
3 under the command of the 5th.
4 Then submarine forces and D minus 1, that is
5 the day before the envisaged attack, aggression, those
6 forces would come from the land to the Adriatic. And
7 we have before us, the four assault naval groups, among
8 which the UG-1 are Italian forces, UG-2 and 3, forces
9 of the United States. And Assault Group 4 or UG-4 of
10 Great Britain. And these forces are allegedly
11 attacking Yugoslavia. D plus 2 is the day when a part
12 of the forces are disembarking at point K.
13 Q. An explanation, D plus 2, what does that
15 A. It means the second day of the beginning of
16 the imagined aggression. This is a standard
17 terminology used by all armed forces throughout the
18 world. It is a standard for marking all war plans. So
19 the forces are entering K at Slano. And then Day D
20 plus 6, the bulk of the NATO forces are attacking
21 K No. 2. That is Maslenica, Zadar, Ravni Kotari. And
22 then on Day D plus 15, those same forces penetrate deep
23 within the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Therefore, the bulk of NATO forces would
25 enter at points K-1 and K-2, as you can see marked on
1 the screen now. So those are the key points.
2 You have before you, Your Honours, a global
3 plan, according to which the Yugoslav People's Army and
4 Serbian forces carried out the aggression against
5 Croatia in 1991.
6 The operational basis, that is the buck of
7 the forces for the aggression against Croatia came from
8 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is the
9 territory from which the JNA would start its aggression
10 against Croatia. The whole area of Croatia was divided
11 into four parts. Once again, we see how the plan was
12 executed regarding the advancement of forces of the
13 Yugoslav People's Army and Serbian forces. Apart from
14 the eastern part of Slavonia, where they came from the
15 territory of Vojvodina or rather Serbia, all the other
16 forces came from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 In the second stage, these forces, the forces
18 from Eastern Slavonia, were to have linked up with the
19 forces in Western Slavonia and thus reach the Western
20 Serbian border.
21 If we compare with this idea, the two already
22 noted constants, point K we will see, and this will be
23 demonstrated later, the identity between the plan for
24 the NATO attack and this plan. The idea was to
25 counter-attack points K, but, essentially, the idea was
1 to occupy more territory. Such a strategic plan was
2 applied in two stages. In the first stage, the role of
3 the JNA was to capture key points. And the key points
4 were Karlovac, Sisak, Pakrac, Osijek, Zadar, Dubrovnik
5 and Vukovar. Marked on the slide in yellow.
6 The JNA's task was to attack the main roads
7 with combined infantry and tank units with artillery
8 support and to hold those points and penetrate further
9 inland. The role of the air force was to attack
10 civilian objects and to destroy them in order to cause
11 panic. And the role of the navy was to carry out a
13 In the second stage of the implementation of
14 this strategy, the plan was to simultaneously occupy a
15 territory within those key points and to advance in a
16 divergent manner in order to gain control of a large a
17 territory as possible and to reach the Western Serbian
18 border as quickly as possible. And then also at a
19 lower level because this is a strategic level. At a
20 lower level, and there were key points at the tactical
21 level for capturing these areas.
22 The tactics of the attack, Your Honours,
23 though we are talking at the strategic level, is
24 important to see how the area was pacified. First of
25 all, bases had to be formed and those bases are no
1 other than barracks in the Territory of Croatia. And
2 the tactics, the same tactics was applied in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And as far as we know now, also in
4 Kosovo. Therefore, those bases are the barracks of the
5 JNA, then villages and localities in which the majority
6 population is Serbian or exclusively Serbian
7 settlement, which had been armed by the Serbs. Then
8 came the attack on Croatian villages, situated within
9 Serb inhabited villages. The superiority of forces was
11 Q. Admiral, I apologise for interrupting, but I
12 have a question to you to see whether we are of the
13 same opinion. You said in Croatia, and I would add in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina as well, one of the main
15 characteristics was that the villages were military
16 bases. And the villages constituted a kind of base for
17 military units. One village; one military unit. Is my
18 opinion correct?
19 A. Yes, quite correct. The bases in addition to
20 the barracks were the villages. Because they were
21 armed, they were the bases on which military power
22 could be based at a certain tactical level. Therefore,
23 this 2-1 superiority in manpower and equipment, it was
24 asymmetrical. So this is the term that I mentioned in
25 my introduction, the asymmetrical war, that is a war
1 between unequal opponents.
2 A classical rule of warfare accepted in all
3 the armies of the world is the balance of forces
4 between the attacking forces and the forces of Defence
5 should be 3-1. If one can talk at all about ethical
6 warfare, then there would be some chances for the
7 attacker and for the defence. However, in this case,
8 not only in Croatia, but in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this
9 superiority will be even more pronounced. It was not
10 3-1, but 100-1 or 1.000-1 because it was the armed
11 forces that attacked unarmed people.
12 The fourth point. In view of such tactics of
13 attack, the artillery support, which was exclusively
14 controlled by the JNA, was 10 kilometres in the rear,
15 which meant a new kind of warfare, which is the distant
16 attack, which has a twofold role. First, to provide
17 fire support in the attack of ground forces, while, at
18 the same time, cause panic and fire at villages. This
19 principle, from the military standpoint can be
20 described as a terrorist method, was also used in
21 Croatia and particularly in Bosnia-Herzegovina and as
22 we can see nowadays in Kosovo as well.
23 The logistics in such a concept of battle at
24 the tactical level were trucks and helicopters. A
25 general conclusion regarding such a deployment forces
1 at the tactical level on the part of the Serbian rebels
2 was to eradicate, chase out, destroy, the Croatian
3 population. And this method of one Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 meant the same to the Muslims and the Croats, resorting
5 exclusively to terrorism and terrorist use of powerful
6 military units.
7 To gain a better understanding of the way in
8 which tactics was applied from bases, we have a
9 schematic presentation of an area along the edges of
10 greater Serbia, where in the centre you have a city and
11 in order to apply this special doctrine, one had to
12 have control of the main communications. Then
13 surrounding that city was smaller villages, and on the
14 other hand, on the other side, were settlements and
15 villages predominantly inhabited by Serbs as a base.
16 And then also, it was necessary to link up with roads
17 those localities. In this way, the territory can be
18 covered without any major manoeuvring of forces.
19 For such a battle in space to be carried out
20 and to pacify such an area, close to the main city and
21 at the main junction there used to be a barracks, if it
22 was lacking it was built in the 80s, and then the
23 weapons from that barracks was directed towards the
25 Furthermore, for the entire territory to be
1 pacified from bases with Serb inhabitants fire power
2 was also positioned. Such a use of forces shows that
3 no manoeuvring is required, and it is a kind of
4 position deployment of forces and weapons, meant that
5 its exclusive aim was to destroy civilian objects and
6 facilities and this is particularly characteristic of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 After that a village is destroyed that is
9 outside that territory, so that space was captured in a
10 relatively easy manner. This method of warfare was
11 possible only because of the asymmetry that existed in
13 What was the efficiency of the key points
15 Your Honours, we have now before you a
16 paradigm of the war which will highlight the
17 significance of these gateways and perhaps provide an
18 answer for the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The date
19 indicated is the 28th of September 1991, and the place
20 is Ravno.
21 Ravno, as can be seen, is in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is a locality exclusively
23 inhabited by Croats. The JNA and the Serbs attacked it
24 on that day and destroyed it on the 28th of September
25 1991. In their campaign against Dubrovnik, by
1 destroying this locality, and because of a small depth
2 of territory, Dubrovnik was cut off.
3 Q. When you use this operative depth, what does
4 it mean in military terminology?
5 A. According to NATO standards, in its rules FM
6 105 of air and land battle, as part of the Doctrine of
7 the Land Forces of the United States, it applies to a
8 brigade as a tactical unit.
9 It means that the area of responsibility of
10 the brigade in defence is 35 kilometres, and the zone
11 of interest for it to be effective is 75 kilometres.
12 In this case that depth is only 800 metres. And where
13 it is widest, it is not more than 15 kilometres.
14 Q. When you say 800 metres, do you mean to say
15 that the width of Croatian territory from the Adriatic
16 coastline to the Bosnian border is 800 metres, between
17 800 metres and 15 kilometres?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. So that the operative depth of a brigade that
20 would want to defend Dubrovnik could not defend it
21 unless it enters the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina;
22 is that what you want to say?
23 A. I believe when talking about military
24 operations one has to react according to circumstances,
25 but any military expert will tell you that such a
1 territory cannot be defended with such a small depth
2 which ranges from 800 metres to a maximum of 15
3 kilometres, if you have forces that are using the whole
4 depth of territory.
5 Why? Because you can very quickly be cut off
6 and you will lose all your forces. The price in
7 manpower is vast. So, it is an immense challenge for
8 any commander, and I would not like any commander of
9 any national forces to find himself in such a position.
10 Such a combined attack by the JNA and Serbian
11 rebels along the main communication lines were
12 relatively successful only in this area around
13 Dubrovnik and not in other areas, because the Serbs, or
14 rather the JNA, did not realise its plan to reach the
15 western Serbian borders but managed to do so only in
16 this area.
17 The question is why. The answer has already
18 been given; because, not only because Croatia at that
19 time did not have the adequate weapons with which to
20 resist, and even if it had, in view of this, its
21 tactical position, it would be unable to do so from its
22 own territory. But there is another important point
24 If the JNA launched its attack on Dubrovnik
25 on the 28th of September 1991 and attacked and
1 destroyed a place, and when I say destroyed, I mean it
2 in the literal sense, this meant that it was actually
3 attacking Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 And I see that this is mentioned often, that
5 it was then that the president of the presidency of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina Alija Izetbegovic declared this was
7 not his war. I have given the reasons why this was not
9 Let us now look to see what this idea meant
10 globally, so we are coming to the end of the war in
11 Croatia. The JNA and Serbia did not achieve its
12 strategic goal, and its strategic goal, as Kadijevic
13 said, was to defeat the Croatian army and to reach the
14 Slovenian border, implying in fact, the western Serbian
15 border. That was the time at the end of 1991, when
16 Vukovar was destroyed and when actually the waters of
17 Croatia were seized from it.
18 Because from the strategic standpoint the war
19 against Croatia was waged for two goals only, and those
20 two goals were waters. The Danubian area, and as much
21 of the Adriatic as possible. That is the crux of the
22 matter and that is what Kadijevic actually said, that
23 Croatia had to be moved away from the Danubian
25 Croatia, or rather the main staff, had the
1 following ideas in mind at the time: To continue the
2 war in Croatia was unnecessary, it should be avoided.
3 It was important to gain time, it was important to get,
4 for the International Community to get involved.
5 So, for a moment we will leave Croatia for a
6 while and we will set up a new Serbian army which will
7 be called the Serbian Army of Krajina, and all forces
8 will be redirected towards Bosnia-Herzegovina. And if
9 we manage to pacify Bosnia-Herzegovina, or rather
10 occupy it as quickly as possible, and according to some
11 estimates, that was to have been done in seven days,
12 then it will be easy to settle accounts with Croatia.
13 And at that point in time Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 becomes part of the game. Kadijevic will then say that
15 without Yugoslavia there will be no state of
17 What this meant was that the war in Croatia,
18 the first part of the war in Croatia, and the war that
19 was to follow in Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of one
20 and the same plan.
21 If we show this with a circle, we will see,
22 as this cross shows in the middle, that the centre of
23 that hole is situated somewhere in the western part of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. From the standpoint of strategy,
25 this meant that if this point is captured, then it will
1 be easy for me to pacify Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 As on the 3rd of January a plan was signed on
3 the entry of international forces, the UNPROFOR --
4 Q. You mean 3rd of January, 1992?
5 A. Yes. International forces are deployed in
6 this area that has been shaded in which the JNA and the
7 Serbs had occupied. It is visible from this.
8 Q. Admiral, this territory is the territory
9 within Croatia known as Krajina, mostly?
10 A. Not just Krajina. Actually only this part is
11 known as Krajina. But under the name Krajina they called
12 this para-state, the Serbian Krajina, the Republic of
13 the Serbian Krajina, which, according to them, also
14 included the eastern part, which geographically does
15 not connect at all. As you see, it is quite separate,
16 they called it Krajina, as well.
17 But this occupied territory can be linked
18 only if Bosnia-Herzegovina is occupied, and that is
19 part of the plan. That is why in 1992, from January
20 until March, in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 with the coming of international forces, the JNA corps
22 are deployed.
23 Mr. President, Your Honours, the manoeuvring
24 of corps will best be seen on the monitor through
25 animation. The first corps, the 31st Corps coming from
1 Slovenia withdraws through Croatia and goes to Serbia,
2 and passing through occupied territory, they leave most
3 of the weapons to Serbs who are there.
4 Then, applying the same methodology, the 14th
5 Corps goes to Serbia leaving behind the weapons. Then
6 the 14th Corps is redeployed to Montenegro.
7 The manoeuvre of the 13th Corps is most
8 noteworthy, it was situated in the area of Istria and
9 Rijeka, that is the north-western part of Croatia, and
10 across the Adriatic it will go to Bare to Montenegro
11 and from there to eastern Herzegovina.
12 A very important manoeuvre was that of the
13 corps going from the occupied part of Croatia to
14 western Bosnia. And the 9th and last corps, of which
15 general Mladic was in command, will go to western
16 Bosnia, which means it will come close to that point,
17 if I may remind you of it, of the cross that you saw in
18 the middle of the circle on the previous slide.
19 At the time, within the territory of Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina, these three corps were also deployed;
21 therefore, one does not have to be a great military
22 expert to come to the conclusion on the basis of this
23 there were two groupings of forces; three corps in
24 north-western Bosnia and two corps in south-eastern
25 Bosnia, plus the corps which were deployed in Serbia
1 and Montenegro close to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 The commanders of those corps, and I don't
3 want to read them, are the following: Of these names
4 we will be able to note the commander of the 13th Corps
5 in the south-eastern, that is to say in eastern
6 Herzegovina, and at the time it was Major General
7 Momcilo Perisic, who is a general now and head of
8 general staff of Yugoslavia, Chief of Staff.
9 The next we come to the year 1986. We're
10 going back in time, now, to look at the plan and the
11 Chief of Staff, the commanding staff of the war
12 exercise entitled Romanija on the territory of
14 Mr. President, we are now coming to the
15 events in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Through animation we can
16 see that is the imagined aggression of NATO in
17 Yugoslavia which moves via Croatia, with the main force
18 in key points K, are being extended and are entering
19 into central Bosnia. How?
20 First, with the breakthrough from point K,
21 from Croatian territory, moving via the Neretva Valley
22 towards Sarajevo. And second, from K 2, via Knin,
23 Sinj, Livno, from the west towards Sarajevo.
24 And now, a complete anachronism of war
25 skills, but one of the key elements which would answer
1 the question of why Sarajevo was encircled, as it was,
2 and why Sarajevo experienced the atrocities of war in
3 the 20th Century that it did, or at the end of the 20th
5 That meant that the American 101st Airborne
6 Division in, according to this imaginative situation,
7 would descend, Your Honours, on Mount Romanija. The
8 101st Airborne Division of the United States of
9 America is a strategic unit within the composition of
10 the forces of the United States of America.
11 Therefore, in this absurdity that a complete
12 division in a bipolar division of Europe, that the
13 United States could not send this division anywhere
14 else but to the mountain of Romanija.
15 On this imagined operation by NATO, the JNA
16 would have had to respond, and how was it to respond?
17 Let's take a look.
18 Your Honours, the JNA responded in the
19 following manner: In addition to Sarajevo, the NATO
20 forces were allegedly descended here, then we would
21 have to have a semicircle in central and western
22 Bosnia, and forces from Serbia and eastern Bosnia
23 should move towards Sarajevo so as to break up the
24 decent and to prevent it previously on this area around
25 Sarajevo to organise a counter attack, assault. And in
1 this, with this concept, since 1986 to 1992, the fate
2 of Sarajevo was sealed.
3 The second element meant that the forces from
4 western Bosnia, which was the operative group around
5 Kupres, should hit the flank with their forces which go
6 from point K and come to the coast and organise a
7 defence there.
8 And third, operative group Mostar, for the
9 NATO forces along the Neretva River Valley should be
10 defeated and that the coast should be gained and
11 defence set up there.
12 Therefore, strategy at this point tells us
13 that for Bosnia and Herzegovina to be defended from
14 anybody in this case, from the JNA and from Serbia and
15 the Serbs in Bosnia, this meant to defend the region of
16 western Herzegovina, because land comes out onto the
18 Q. Admiral, can we clarify something here? I'm
19 not clear, and perhaps Their Honours are not quite
20 clear; you said the JNA thought up the possibility of a
21 NATO attack, although there were no objective reasons
22 for this?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. And in that direction, from 1986 up until
25 1990 they constantly held exercises, according to the
1 model that we now have on our screens; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. And as there was no realistic reason to
4 defend the territory from NATO, you wish to suggest
5 that since 1986 to 1990 the JNA, in fact, prepared an
6 assault on Bosnia and Herzegovina?
7 A. Yes, that's right. It preferred this attack,
8 just as it did for Croatia previously. It was not a
9 defence against NATO, because NATO in that situation
10 could never have attacked. It was a model, the NATO
11 model served for the operational development of the JNA
12 in order to implement the occupation of Croatia first
13 of all, and then of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the
14 training of troops. Yes, every year. And that is why
15 the Romanija code name for the exercises was given and
16 took place.
17 Q. Do I understand correctly, then, that on this
18 schematic representation we see first that the south
19 Croatian battle field and the Bosnian battle field was,
20 in fact, one battle field, and that therefore the key
21 points for winning over Bosnia-Herzegovina were, in
22 fact, near the borders of Croatia and
24 A. Yes, and that was not a strategic battle
25 ground, but of a tactical, the lowest possible level,
1 the south Croatian and the western Bosnian, yes, from
2 the standpoints of operative skills and war skills.
3 May I continue?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. The main point of the occupation of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina was the town of Sarajevo, and with
7 this access point, how to occupy this as quickly as
8 possible, it was necessary to occupy these, to capture
9 these two areas. Why? Because we have the occupied
10 areas of Croatia, which were under the control of the
11 Serbian army and Krajina.
12 So, the question that was raised and a
13 comparative analysis will be made with slides to see
14 the congruence between the manoeuvres of the war plan S1
15 and the operations which in the war were to evolve in
16 the war in Croatia and the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Let us take a look.
18 You can see, if we look at this picture
19 better, it sort of associates with the state of affairs
20 which was to occur in Bosnia. January-April, and the
21 year is 1992.
22 Therefore, we have before us, you have before
23 you, Your Honours, the occupied territory of the
24 Republic of Croatia. And what we see now is a
25 regrouping of the JNA in such a way that on occupied
1 territory of the Republic of Croatia, a new Serbian
2 army is deployed, the army of the Srpska Krajina
3 Republic, to retain what was won, and the JNA is
4 reorganised in the following manner.
5 You have in front of you four new military
6 districts. Those military districts had the following
7 strength: The first was in Belgrade, and its cause,
8 its organisation, in fact.
9 The second was positioned in Sarajevo; the
10 third was from Skopje transferred to Nis; and the
11 fourth was in Podgorica, Montenegro. That is the new
12 military and territorial division, the new set-up that
13 was made after the signing of an agreement on the 3rd
14 of January 1992, and with the arrival of the
15 international forces in Croatia for Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 and the remainder of the former Yugoslavia.
17 These forces at that time, the JNA forces,
18 were of the following strength: Before that we can see
19 the national composition, not only of the command
20 structure but of the entire armed forces. The command
21 structure, as I say.
22 Serbs almost 93 per cent; Montenegrins 7 per
23 cent; and the others not .4 per cent.
24 Q. You said 4 per cent, Admiral.
25 A. Not .4 per cent, yes. Therefore, we may
1 conclude that at that time the JNA and its complete
2 commanding cadre was Serbian. At that time it was
3 located in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was not an armed
4 force of the other two peoples.
5 The strength, if we were to analyse strength
6 in Bosnia-Herzegovina alone, it was as follows: 83.000
7 men, between 460 and 500 tanks, 400 to 420 armoured
8 vehicles, and about 1.000 guns, artillery pieces.
9 This new organisation and the system of
10 command in the first phase of the war in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina was as follows: The commanding
12 officer of the SNO and general staff, no longer General
13 Kadijevic, but it was now Lieutenant General Blagoje
14 Adzic, who at the same time performed the function of
15 federal secretary. So, at that time he was also the
16 Minister of Defence and the Chief of Staff of the armed
17 forces of Yugoslavia.
18 The commander of the second military
19 district, that is to say in the region of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, was Lieutenant General Milutin
21 Kukanjac. The heads of the 4th Corps of Sarajevo
22 commanders were General Bojislav Durdevac; of the 5th
23 Corps of Banja Luka, Major General Vladimir Vukovic;
24 the 9th Corps of Knin was Sava Kovacevic, and his
25 Deputy or Chief of Staff of the corps was Major General
1 Ratko Mladic. The commander of the 10th Corps in Bihac
2 was Major General Spiro Ninkovic.
3 From the 1st Army District, from the region
4 which is Serbian Belgrade and Bosnia-Herzegovina, was
5 the 17th Corps under the command of the General Sava
6 Jankovic. And the 4th Army District, therefore, this
7 was Montenegro, was the 13th Corps under the command of
8 General Momcilo Perisic.
9 This structure of command after the
10 resignation or dismissal of general of the army
11 (inaudible), that was never determined; his duties were
12 taken over by General Blagoje Adzic. Apart from that,
13 here we can see one more factor, and that is that for
14 the commander of the second army district, General
15 Kukanjac, that is to say the territory of the whole of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were forces deployed of the
17 9th, 10th and 13th Corps, which came from the region of
19 Let us now try, Mr. President and Your
20 Honours, to have a look. I'm going to try and show why
21 this kind of military territorial division was
22 affected. And I am showing you that now.
23 The second army district, which is located on
24 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, naturally
25 continues on from the occupied areas of the Republic of
1 Croatia. Therefore, and in that region already, the
2 army of the Republic of Srpska Krajina is already
3 deployed. On some letters, say Western Serbia border,
4 which after the war in Croatia was as it stood. And
5 not only that, in its southern portion, it extends
6 towards the responsibility zone via the territory of
7 Croatia to the Adriatic Sea.
8 The fourth army district and there links with
9 the first army district, naturally tends towards Split
10 and outwards towards the sea. Another important factor
11 is the following: The second army district, which is
12 located on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina must --
13 we must add that the first army district crosses the
14 River Drina and enters Bosnia. And this is a very
15 significant factor in order to compare forces in the
16 first phase of the war. And second, that the fourth
17 army district, which has a small operative debt is
18 increased by entry into Serbia army.
19 So this division of forces is achieved in two
20 ways. First of all, it covers the whole area of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And military power can be
22 projected towards Croatia, across Croatia. At that
23 time, if this area is gained one over, then you will
24 have the capture, then you will have the borders of
25 greater Serbia. And it is not Vidovica, Karlovac,
1 Karlobag, but it is not very far from that. It goes
2 along the line of Maslenica, Nis, Karlovac, up to
3 Sisak, by the Sava River, to Vukovar which is already
4 occupied and destroyed, up to Vinkovci and Osijek.
5 Therefore, at this point in time, if Bosnia was
6 pacified, one would get a greater Serbia.
7 What is the key to capturing as fast as
8 possible and to breaking down any resistance in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Let us recall what the two key
10 points are: The key points are, therefore, this part
11 of Herzegovina. That is the constant to two Ks and the
12 capital, Sarajevo. And the first phase of the war,
13 with this kind of distribution of forces is based, Your
14 Honours, begins, Your Honours, in April 1992. That is
15 the situation in April 1992.
16 Once again, we have some animation here.
17 According to the concept and the exercises that have
18 been ongoing for six years on the western part, the
19 operative group Kupres and the south eastern part with
20 an operative group entitled Mostar, in this area, was
21 to close up the territory. The whole of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, at that point, had the JNA
23 succeeded in closing the pincer, then the entire region
24 of Bosnia-Herzegovina would have been isolated. It was
25 separated. And after that, there was to be the
1 liquidation of the capital city, because, let me remind
2 you that at that time, already Sarajevo had already
3 been encircled. And according to the concept of five
4 years of exercise and training, and to defend the
5 descent by the 101st Division.
6 Q. May we dwell for a moment, please, Admiral,
7 on this point in time. When you say to close the
8 pincers, why should this for Bosnia and Herzegovina and
9 the non-Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is for
10 the Bosnian Muslims and Croats for the defence from the
11 JNA, why would it have been a very bad thing had they
12 lost their inland link with Croatia? What did Croatia
13 mean for them? Why would this have been fatal? What
14 did Croatian ports mean for the survival of the armed
15 forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO?
16 A. Your Honours, if we look at the situation,
17 then we see that the occupied regions of Croatia have
18 two basic characteristics: First of all, Croatia was
19 cut across along its coastal lines, which was very
20 important and traffic evolved only via one destroyed
21 bridge. This is the Island of Pag which links the
22 coast with the mainland. And the JNA in the war in
23 Croatia in 1991 seriously damaged the bridge, so that
24 traffic was very risky and overall traffic between the
25 northern part of Croatia, moving towards the southern
1 portions of Croatia, which is seen here, went via that
2 particular bridge.
3 Q. What about traffic towards Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina for the non-occupied parts, for the needs
5 of the Bosnian Croats, the HVO?
6 A. The overall transport links and supplies for
7 the population went via this free territory between
8 Slano and Sinj. And it went from that territory, which
9 means that it went from Split towards Sarajevo and
10 Tuzla. That was the only communication line. And the
11 only communication line which meant the difference
12 between life and death.
13 Q. Tell me, please, Admiral, whether the Army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina could have received a single bullet
15 without that bullet passing via the Republic of
16 Croatia, whether through the mainland or through the
17 sea links?
18 A. No, that was the only communication. And
19 that is why the Serbian plans that we saw earlier on
20 denoted this as being a key point. For that reason, in
21 the expert report that I am presenting before this
22 Court, I have emphasised the key points. And strategy
23 teaches us just one thing and that is they were ideas
24 of the great theoretician, who was Churchill, in fact,
25 said this in the eloquent way that he always did. He
1 said from defeat to victory. And when he said defeat,
2 he meant tactics. And victory, and when he said
3 victory, he undermined strategy.
4 So, in this particular case, from the
5 strategic standpoint, this communication line which
6 went down the coast and across the mainland towards Croatia,
7 meant survival for the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian
8 Croats living in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Another thing that I mentioned is the
10 following, the asymmetry of the war, of the Bosnian
11 Muslims or Bosnian Croats, they did not have weapons.
12 They were in a far worse position than was the case in
13 Croatia. Why? Because Croatia managed to get weapons
14 by attacking barracks when the aggression started.
15 This was not the case in Bosnia-Herzegovina because the
16 JNA had learned its lesson in Croatia and organised
17 operations in a different way. And the only
18 communication line was the line that I described. And
19 in the case of war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this was to
20 prove correct.
21 Q. Thank you, Admiral. Please continue.
22 A. Therefore, at this point in time, the first
23 phase of the war, Serbia and the JNA, did not succeed
24 in realising its strategic plan, which was to close the
25 doors, to close the gateway. Nor was the capital,
1 Sarajevo, at that time, captured. And it was at this
2 point --
3 Q. I am going to interrupt you once again to ask
4 you why it did not succeed in closing the pincers?
5 A. Because the defenders succeeded in refuting
6 the attacks; one from the area of Kupres, via Livno,
7 towards Split. And the second line was to move towards
8 the right banks of the River Neretva and join there and
9 a second direction via Eastern Herzegovina towards the
10 Neretva River. Which means that the main battle in
11 which the defenders succeeded in stopping the advance,
12 both in the Luvansko-Kupreski (Phoen) part and in the
13 Neretva region, Mostar, Stolavi (Phoen).
14 Q. When you say Luvansko-Kupreski and Mostar
15 Stolavi, those, in fact, are geographical concepts from
17 A. Yes, geographical concepts in the region of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, exclusively. At that particular
19 point, Your Honours, there were a lot of polemics as to
20 whether Croatia could have in 1991, defeated Serbia,
21 the Army of Yugoslavia. All reports showed that it
22 just could not have done that. It succeeded in winning
23 the first phase of the war, exclusively, strategy tell
24 us, because it stopped these Serbs from realising their
25 strategic plan. That is, to emerge along the western
1 borders. And strategy in this area at this particular
2 time in the first phase of the war in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina shows that at that time the Serbs
4 Clausewitz was the strategy key point, the culmination,
5 the peak, was when one side in the war reaches its
6 peak. At that time, it failed to close the pincers and
7 so Serbia and its imperial force, the JNA, had reached
8 their peak and, at that point, they were to change
9 their tactics. And so, the war in Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina was altered and took on different
11 connotations which I am going to tell you of later on
12 in my presentation.
13 Furthermore --
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I have a little problem,
15 I wonder if you can help me. The admiral points with
16 his pointer to a certain point on the map. And, quite
17 naturally, he continues to speak. And while he
18 continues to speak, the pointer is still pointing to
19 different places on the map. Now, my mind, which is
20 rather slow, continues to be attracted by the point on
21 the map, which no longer has any relevance to what he
22 is saying. Is there some way that you can resolve the
23 problem for me?
24 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Your Honour, you're quite
25 right. The admiral is a man of temperament and while
1 he talks, he moves his hands about. So we'll ask the
2 admiral, if he will, to pinpoint exactly the position
3 he wishes to illustrate.
4 THE WITNESS: I have a slight problem here
5 with my laser beam, my laser pointer. There is
6 interrupted action.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, of course we're
8 going to take a pause here. But I have a slight
9 problem myself, but of course you're the master of your
10 own schedule, your own time. I do not have the written
11 summary. Of course I will have it in the future, which
12 will make this more sufficient. But I want you to
13 truly focus in on your objective. We are here dealing
14 with a time in the war, which I am sure for you has
15 routes in the earlier phases of the conflict. But,
16 nonetheless, I would like for you to take advantage at
17 the time at lunch, to find how you can focus us
18 progressively into what should be the most important
19 point of the charges against your client. Thank you
20 very much, Mr. Nobilo.
21 MR. NOBILO: Yes, I am just getting to that
22 phase, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE JORDA: In that case, we will all have
24 lunch and come back for 2.30 p.m.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.55 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 2.38 p.m.
3 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed, please
4 have the accused brought in.
5 (The accused entered court)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Let us now resume. Admiral,
7 can you hear me?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Have you been able to rest?
10 THE WITNESS: Yes.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Sometimes it is difficult, I
12 imagine. Let us now continue.
13 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. Let
14 us resume, and I believe we will be done in about 20
15 minutes, that is with our direct examination.
16 Q. Admiral, we stopped with the first phase of
17 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina when a good basis was
18 established for the subsequent resistance against the
19 Serbian aggressor by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
20 the HVO. So please continue.
21 A. Mr. President, the first characteristic of
22 the first phase of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was
23 the halting, or rather the prevention of the closing of
24 the circle or of the pincers, which actually would mean
25 the total occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is
1 what I'm referring to. And this was the end of April,
3 At that point in time the headquarters, the
4 supreme command changed the decision and the JNA had to
5 withdraw from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Then it took a new decision to reorganise a new Serbian
7 army which was to continue the occupation of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina until 1995, or until the Dayton
10 We are now talking about the month of May,
11 1992. At the time there were, in fact, three Serbian
12 armies which acted in line with the screen play long
13 since established, that is, some six years previously;
14 that was the Army of Yugoslavia, the Army of Republika
15 Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Serbian Army of
16 Krajina in the occupied area of the Republic of
18 These three armies were under a unified
19 command of the general staff of the JNA in Belgrade,
20 and at the strategic level they had two tasks. The
21 first was to coordinate the production of defence
22 plans, and the second to protect the external borders
23 and their integration into the system of Yugoslavia.
24 Under that term they implied the occupied parts of the
25 Republic of Croatia and the largest possible part of
2 The command structure which they left behind
3 in Bosnia-Herzegovina meant that on the 10th of May
4 1992, Lieutenant General Blagoje Adzic issued an order
5 when General Milutin Kukanjac was being held in
6 captivity in the JNA centre in Sarajevo.
7 The command read as follows: We can see that
8 the structure at the highest level of command in the
9 Army of Republika Srpska was determined, the commander
10 of which was Lieutenant Colonel Ratko Mladic. That was
11 when the JNA was reshaped into the Serbian Army of
12 Republika Srpska.
13 The commander became Ratko Mladic, the Chief
14 of Staff General Manojlo Milovanovic. The previous 5th
15 Corps of the JNA was transformed into the first Krajina
16 Corps. The 9th and 10th were transformed into the
17 second Krajina Corps with their own commanders. The
18 17th Corps remains the eastern Bosnian Corps with its
19 commanders. And the 4th Corps is transformed into the
20 Sarajevo Romanija Corps with its own commanders. And a
21 new corps actually consisting of the forces that stayed
22 behind on the left bank of the Drina River that is
23 within the territory of the Bosnia-Herzegovina was the
24 Drina Corps. And finally the 13th Corps, which was
25 renamed the Herzegovina Corps.
1 Such a command structure meant that the
2 withdrawal of the JNA from Bosnia was actually just
3 declarative, whereas the command structure, the
4 appointment, promotion, payment and planning of forces
5 remained within the exclusive competence of the general
6 staff of the army of Yugoslavia.
7 Your Honours, on this slide, one that I
8 consider to be very important for this Court, we will
9 see the distribution of the new Serbian army within the
10 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is important
11 because we will see from it what its role was in
12 1993, '94 and '95.
13 This is the area held or controlled by the
14 Army of Republika Srpska at this point in time, and we
15 see this area which was actually under the control of
16 the emerging army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO.
17 At this point in time we can see that virtually 70 per
18 cent of Bosnia-Herzegovina was under the occupation of
19 the Serbs.
20 Q. Admiral, could we now go back to the pincers
21 you were talking about? Where was the attempt to close
22 them halted?
23 A. In the left end, in the area of Livno and
24 Kupres, that is one of the prongs of the area and the
25 other is the area of Mostar Stolovi.
1 So, this is the gateway that will, in the
2 next phase of the war, enable the survival of this
3 whole area right up to the north-eastern part of Bosnia.
4 The disposition of the Army of Republika
5 Srpska and its cause was as follows, in terms of
6 strength: The eastern Bosnian Corps covered this area,
7 in terms of territory. The Drina Corps covered this
8 area that I'm showing now, marked in pale blue. Then
9 the Herzegovina Corps occupied this area here. It
10 covered this area with its forces.
11 The next and most important for this Trial
12 Chamber is the Sarajevo Romanija Corps which had
13 responsibility over the whole City of Sarajevo, as well
14 as the central part of Bosnia. The area was covered by
15 these forces. Then, the second Krajina Corps, which
16 was deployed here from Bihac to Livno and Kupres, and
17 the last and largest in terms of strength and territory
18 was the first Krajina Corps which controlled the
19 northern and central part of Bosnia.
20 Such a disposition of forces meant that there
21 were three areas which territory-wise were not within
22 the responsibility of any of those corps, and those are
23 the three areas which were preserved either thanks to
24 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the west or east, or
25 jointly, at least in the first stage of the war, by the
1 HVO and the BH army here.
2 Even though the central part of Bosnia where
3 the 1930 events took place was also under the control
4 either of the BH army or the HVO, such a disposition of
5 the Sarajevo Romanija Corps meant only one thing, and
6 that was that in the next stage of the war they would
7 try to conquer this central part, as well. And if they
8 were to manage to capture this central part, it would
9 mean it was just a matter of days when the north-eastern
10 part would be captured. After that it would not be too
11 difficult to deal with the western part and eventually
12 and finally also deal with the problem of the gateway
13 to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Therefore, Your Honours, such a disposition
15 of operative forces in 1993 meant that the Serbs had at
16 their disposal 135.000 men, 550 tanks, 430 armoured
17 vehicles, and more than 1.300 artillery weapons. And
18 it also meant that in the second phase of the war,
19 which from the standpoint of strategy is considered to
20 be the period from 1993 until 1995, until the
21 operations when the BH army and the Croatian forces
22 managed to liberate the western part of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which also made possible the Dayton
25 In view of the fact, Your Honours, that the
1 Serbs had lost much of their attack strength, they
2 applied a new kind of strategy which was designed in
3 the general staff, and it was first applied in the
4 occupied areas of Croatia, and then in an even harsher
5 form in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was known as the
6 strategy of real threat.
7 That strategy meant to hold the positions
8 that you have; but close to those borders, close to
9 those borders deploy as many artillery pieces and
10 rocket launchers, and then through constant action
11 create a psychosis, which occurred as a result of large
12 scale resettlement from the north-west into central
13 Bosnia, from the east to central Bosnia, where there
14 was the highest concentration of either Muslims or
16 This strategy of real threat at this point in
17 time, that is in 1993, meant waiting for the process of
18 conflict to occur spontaneously between the Muslims and
19 the Croats.
20 May I, to illustrate this, use a very nice
21 African proverb which says "When elephants fight, then
22 it is the grass that suffers." In this case one can
23 make an inversion of this proverb. At this point in
24 time, the Serbs who have the strength and the
25 superiority lying in wait, the International Community
1 is not reacting adequately, and it was the grass in
2 central Bosnia that suffered. But this meant that
3 before the eyes of the world, a process was evolving in
4 which such atrocities as the attack on the Merkale
5 Market occurred.
6 Within the framework of this strategy of
7 waiting for the process to develop of its own accord,
8 it was applied until 1995. That is, as I already said,
9 until joint operations were launched and which managed
10 when more than 70 per cent of the territory of Bosnia
11 was in the hands of Serbs to reduce that percentage to
12 less than 47 per cent, and this also led up to the
13 Dayton Agreement.
14 Q. Admiral, let us stop there for a moment to
15 check that we understood you well. So, it is your
16 opinion that the Army of Republika Srpska and the
17 former JNA moved the non-Serb population from eastern
18 Bosnia and Bosnia Krajina to central Bosnia, and that
19 was one of the main detonators of the conflict between
20 the Muslims and the Croats, and that was part of the
21 strategic plan of the Army of Republika Srpska; have I
22 understood you correctly?
23 A. Yes. From eastern Bosnia, which had been
24 dealt with by the Serbian army gaining control over it,
25 a large percentage of the Bosnian Muslims were chased
1 out to central Bosnia. The same applied to a part of
2 northern and western Bosnia.
3 But from this area, from the northern part,
4 there was a large influx of Muslims or Bosnians, as
5 well as of Croats, to central Bosnia. So that on this
6 very limited space there was a large number of people,
7 and the only situation that can result from this was
8 chaos. Because, as you can see, it is literally closed
9 in from all sides, the northern, the eastern and the
10 southern, and all that remains is this narrow corridor
11 leading from south-east to the centre of Bosnia.
12 And if we add in to this new strategy of real
13 threat artillery to a greater or lesser extent, but
14 continuously, the negative psychosis would develop and
15 would eventually lead to what indeed happened.
16 Q. Do you have any further comments about this
18 A. I think that no further comments are required
19 regarding this map, but there is something that I need
20 to emphasise. There were three key elements of the
21 attack on Bosnia-Herzegovina. First, the joint action
22 of Muslims and Croats in the first phase of the war
23 when they prevented this circle to be fully closed in
24 the fall of Bosnia.
25 Secondly, from the standpoint of the Croats
1 and Muslims, that chaotic situation in the central area
3 And third, joint action in strategic
4 offensive operations to liberate occupied areas of
6 Q. Can we say by way of conclusion of the first
7 part of your testimony that the analysis of the
8 restructuring and reorganisation of the JNA shows that
9 the JNA was gradually transformed into a Serbian
10 imperial force designed to establish the western
11 borders of greater Serbia far before the democratic
12 changes in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia; would that be
13 a correct conclusion?
14 A. Your Honours, that is an absolutely correct
15 conclusion. Talking from the level of strategy on the
16 global level one can make three basic conclusions.
17 First, that the JNA was restructured into a Serbian
18 imperial force before the Serbian political goal was
19 made public, before Milosevic appeared on the political
20 scene, and far before any new authorities in any
21 republics were installed. That is my first conclusion.
22 Second important conclusion is that the
23 operational base in the southern part of Croatia and
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina was such that from the military
25 standpoint it constituted a unified operative hole. It
1 is not possible to defend any of these areas unless
2 they are defended integrally.
3 And a third fundamental conclusion that may
4 be drawn is that under such extremely complicated and
5 unfavourable operational positions that both the BH
6 army forces and the HVO forces found themselves in, the
7 only possible logistic support could be obtained
8 through this naval and land route leading from Croatia
9 to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 That is, those are the strategic conclusions
11 on the global level.
12 Q. Before I thank you, may I ask you another
13 very direct question, theoretical question? If
14 Croatia had decided to defeat the BH army, could it
15 have done so very simply by cutting off the route of
16 supply, and would that have been the end of the army of
18 A. Absolutely so.
19 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President, my
20 direct examination is over.
21 Mr. President, my colleague, Mr. Hayman, has
22 reminded me that we would like to tender this set of
23 maps shown on the monitor into evidence.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Any particular comment,
25 Mr. Cayley?
1 MR. CAYLEY: No comment.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Registrar, would you give
3 it a number?
4 THE REGISTRAR: This would be 182 for the
5 entire group.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Registrar,
7 Mr. Cayley.
8 Admiral, you will now receive questions from
9 the office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Cayley.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Cayley:
11 Q. Good afternoon, Admiral. My name is Cayley,
12 these are my colleagues, Mr. Harmon and Mr. Kehoe. I
13 have a few questions for you.
14 Now, I want to make sure that I actually
15 understand this plan that you were speaking of.
16 In essence, what I understood you to say was
17 that in the mid-1980s the JNA general staff transformed
18 a defensive plan against NATO into one of offence
19 within Yugoslavia in order to create a Serbian state
20 within that geographical area; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Now, you have come up with your conclusions
23 by drawing inferences from events which occurred on the
24 ground in the former Yugoslavia; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Have you published this theory in any formal
3 A. Yes, in several publications. I think two.
4 In a professional military journal, Hrvatski Vojnik is
5 the name of the journal, but not in the integral
6 manner, but it was published.
7 Q. What was the second journal in which you
8 published this theory?
9 A. It was another publication, but they were two
10 studies. One described the war in Croatia and
11 preparations in Croatia, and the second in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, it was the same publication
13 and two articles.
14 Q. At what period in time did you make your
15 final conclusions about this theory of Serbian
17 A. The conclusions, I came to these conclusions
18 in time. First of all, because I was in a possibility
19 to -- I had the opportunity of knowing, conditionally
20 speaking, the eastern school of thought in military
21 thinking, the JNA and everything which was a projection
22 taken over from the Red Army, because it was based on
23 the heritage of that army.
24 And secondly, because for five or six years I
25 studied NATO's doctrine. Also, because I was at the
1 war college in Belgrade and some of the elements were
2 used at the war college.
3 Third, because in the military naval region I
4 took part, I was in the command which prepared the
5 exercises for Romanija. So, that was my starting
7 Secondly, there was my own participation in
8 the war from 1991, and I followed that theory and saw
9 how and to what extent it would evolve. Therefore, the
10 conclusion is that it was a systematic follow-up on the
11 basis of knowledge and experience. I wrote my articles
12 in 1996 relating to this part.
13 Q. But the article that was published in
14 Hrvatski Vojnik was published in 1998; is that correct?
15 A. One for Bosnia and previously for Croatia.
16 Q. Now, I have copies of that article which you
17 wrote for Hrvatski Vojnik, and if we can take a moment
18 to look at it if you can identify it.
19 MR. CAYLEY: If the usher could assist me,
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document 466.
22 MR. CAYLEY: I must apologise to the Court, I
23 don't have an English or French translation, not an
24 official English translation. I only anticipate
25 referring to very limited segments of it, and I think
1 they are such short segments the Admiral can read them
2 to the court.
3 Q. Admiral, is this the article which you wrote
4 for Hrvatski Vojnik?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Could you turn to page 7 of that article and
7 the final paragraph on page 7, and could you read that
8 paragraph to the Court, please? It begins --
9 A. "Defence of the south-western part of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina meant at the same time salvation not
11 only for Bosnia and Herzegovina but for the whole of
12 southern Croatia as well".
13 Q. So, I'm correct in concluding from that
14 comment that the pincers that we referred to earlier
15 closed, the whole of southern Croatia would have been
16 lost; is that correct?
17 A. In the first case this means, and I think
18 that I have already explained this, that at that time
19 there would be no more Bosnia-Herzegovina. After that
20 it would mean the following: So, no more
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the southern part of Croatia was
22 isolated completely, and then this would be directed
23 towards Croatia in a subsequent phase of the war. Now,
24 how Croatia would defend itself, that's another
1 Q. But in terms of preventing these pincers from
2 closing, the Republic of Croatia had a strategic
3 interest of preventing that from happening, as well as
4 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; that's correct,
5 isn't it?
6 A. Well, it did have because then, not only the
7 southern part, but the entire Republic of Croatia would
8 have been incorporated and lost.
9 Q. Thank you. Now I would like you to turn to
10 the next page, which is page 8. And I think it
11 begins -- I apologise for my pronunciation. Can you
12 read the first four lines of that paragraph?
13 A. Yes. As the efforts of the JNA for Bosnia to
14 be defeated, the selective use of military force did
15 not give off the results expected. First of all, with
16 the Croatian people who had organised themselves
17 militarily and was directed towards the correct
18 realisation of the pacification of Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 according to the Croatian model. Which, because part
20 of the Bosnian Muslim leadership, by waiving had
21 strengthened the conviction with the JNA that the war
22 would end very quickly.
23 Q. I think you referred to that earlier when you
24 said that, in essence, that Alija Izetbegovic wavered
25 about taking any action against the JNA?
1 A. Well, we can say that. And that is a
2 conclusion with Ravno. That is, during the war in
3 Croatia on the 28th of September, 1991.
4 Q. Now, at the beginning of that paragraph, you
5 state that the JNA's efforts in Bosnia did not yield
6 results, especially with the Croat nation, which was
7 militarily organised. Are you referring to the Croats
8 in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
9 A. Absolutely.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. Mainly I am speaking about the Croats.
12 Q. Yes, I think we've finished with that. Thank
13 you very much, Admiral, and I apologise for my
15 Now, you spoke in your examination-in-chief
16 that one of the aims of the JNA was to win territory
17 and expel the population. Now, by that, are you
18 referring to what commonly became known as ethnic
20 A. Not in that sense. As an officer, I don't
21 work as such, but as military operations are under way,
22 then they're freed and the population leaves, departs.
23 Officers do not use the term ethnic cleansing, at least
24 I don't use that term.
25 Q. If this map could be placed onto the easel,
1 actually it's not a very big easel, it's a big map, but
2 we'll do our best.
3 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, may I get up
4 closer to the map? It's rather a long way off and I
5 can't quite see. May I approach the map?
6 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course, go ahead.
7 MR. CAYLEY:
8 Q. Now, Admiral, Mr. Nobilo was asking you
9 earlier and we sort of glided over this subject about
10 the necessity in narrow areas of land mass for depth of
11 forces. Do you recall that part of your testimony?
12 A. Yes. And I stated American Rules FMs 105
13 that this depth is 35 kilometres for effective and
14 efficient defence to be set up.
15 Q. We're talking about the very narrow coastal
16 strip where Croatia, I think, is no more in some
17 places, no more than 1.000 metres wide from the coast
18 to the Bosnian border?
19 A. Yes, between 800 to 15 kilometres.
20 Q. Now, during the defensive action against this
21 pincer movement, you would accept, Admiral, that
22 elements of HV forces were deployed in the border land
23 areas of the Republic of Croatia and
25 A. As this was at a tactical level, which is not
1 the subject, was not the subject of my research, but
2 the subject of my research is strategy, I cannot answer
3 that question.
4 Second, for me to answer it, I would have to
5 have an authorisation by the Minister of Defence of
6 Croatia. And the authorisation I have is the expert
7 report on the level of strategy, the one that I
8 presented to this Trial Chamber.
9 Q. But, Admiral, you, yourself, fought in Livno,
10 didn't you, with the HV?
11 A. No, I did not fight in Livno. Your Honours,
12 it would be important for us to show you where Livno
13 lies. Livno is located here. And my native town is
14 there, which means that, at that time, I was in the
15 command for strategic research.
16 Your Honours, I am now going to digress
17 somewhat in order to answer the question put to me by
18 the Prosecutor completely. At that particular time,
19 the Serbs held under occupation, the electric power
20 plant of Pedajar (Phoen). This is on Croatian
21 territory. It is located here. They were threatening
22 to destroy the dam and flood or everybody south of that
23 line, which would mean almost 100.000.
24 On the other hand, in this area of Livno
25 here, another lake is located and another electric
1 power plant, hydro-electric power plant, which is
2 called Busko Blato. The characteristics of that power
3 plant is very interesting. The lake is on the
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina side. That is to say, in another
5 state. And a tunnel, across the border, through the
6 Kamesnica Mountain. There is a great tunnel there.
7 It's 20 kilometres long. And the hydro-electric power
8 plant is on the Croatian side.
9 Therefore, if at that time, the power plant
10 were taken over by the Serb forces, this would mean
11 that practically the whole of Croatia would have no
12 electricity, the southern part, and that would be an
13 end to the situation. But there is another case. This
14 tunnel, which, as I say, is 20 kilometres long, was
15 constructed in such a way that the electric power plant
16 can be stopped and tanks can pass -- and this is
17 interesting -- through this tunnel and emerge into
19 And then, this dam would be used as an
20 additional element of terrorist use, use for terrorist
21 destruction, not only of Dalmatia, but of this region
22 of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well. In strategic
23 considerations, there is a very legitimate action and
24 that is preventative defence. It is referred to as
25 preventative defence, which implies a struggle against
1 all terrorism, launching cruise rockets, tomahawks, in
2 the Sudan, for example. And in Afghanistan, meant
3 preventative defence against terrorism. And, at that
4 particular time, to an allow the Serbs, I say the
5 Serbs, and to do that, that would have been a
6 catastrophe. So it was up to every honourable man to
7 combat terrorism. He must stand up to terrorism and
8 that was my role there.
9 Q. Admiral, it's not a criticism of your role in
10 the war. And the fact that Livno was defended. So,
11 I'd be right in understanding that the HV did deploy
12 into Livno to secure that area to prevent this military
14 A. No, you asked whether I was there. And I
15 said why I was there. The reason for being there, not
16 as distribution of forces, but the importance that that
17 area had. So you ask me personally and I said the
18 reasons for which I was there, for the following
19 reasons, the ones I stated.
20 Q. For what period of time was the HV deployed
21 inside the Bosnian border?
22 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I have an
23 objection. Admiral Domazet is a member of the Chief of
24 Staff of the Croatian Army. And in keeping with the
25 laws on military secrets, every officer, active duty
1 officer, must gain written authorisation from the
2 defence minister if he is to disclose these facts and
3 declassification of these facts and he be allowed to
4 present them to the public. Admiral Domazet has
5 received authorisation to present the strategic level,
6 which is completely different from the tactical level.
7 So the actual use of units in combat activities. And a
8 few minutes ago, he stated what his legal
9 authorisations were and what the obstacles were to
10 answering this question. So, as we are dealing with a
11 matter of state security that these questions be
12 banned. Thank you.
13 JUDGE JORDA: I have a question to ask. Mr.
14 Nobilo, this witness was presented by you, but he was
15 not accompanied by any particular request for
16 protective measures. For example, under Rule 70.
17 Under these conditions, are you saying that the Chamber
18 itself may not ask any questions itself on this
20 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, there are legal
21 provisions binding this witness and if he were to
22 violate them, this would be a criminal act. I am
23 convinced that this Trial Chamber will not compel the
24 witness to perform a criminal act.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, very well. But, you know,
1 in principle, Mr. Nobilo, that the witness must answer
2 all the questions put to him and especially by the
3 judges. We have had witnesses who have appeared under
4 particular protective measures. Please recall that
5 there are very sensitive issues under Rule 70 in the
6 rules. And the admiral is here before us now. He is
7 testifying publicly, freely. He is now being subjected
8 to a cross-examination, which, perhaps, may not please
9 you with regards to the lines that he is following now,
10 but it is quite important and so this is a very
11 delicate issue. But what kind of response will the
12 witness give us if the judges were to ask such
14 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, you can probably
15 ask, but it is my view that the national security is
16 legally binding and with the threat of a criminal act.
17 And this is a legitimate right to which the witness can
18 refer. As the witness has already spoken about the
19 strategic level, a tactical level is quite a different
20 area of expertise and outside the focus of the
22 JUDGE JORDA: I think there is a very subtle
23 difference between the strategic and tactical. In my
24 own language, I think that the two are quite similar.
25 I would like nonetheless to consult with my colleagues
1 because I think this is a very important issue. Please
2 note the fact that the witness is here before us now.
3 In your opening statement, Mr. Hayman, and
4 also in the indictments issued against Mr. Blaskic with
5 regard to the armed international conflict, it stated
6 quite explicitly, here I am referring to the
7 interference, opposing interference or alleged
8 interference of Croatia in the events. So this bothers
9 me to some degree. Because it does so, I am going to
10 consult with my colleagues.
11 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, there are rules
12 on this question. Just so that the Court, perhaps, has
13 in mind, rules such as Rule 66 (C) and Rule 70, which
14 the Court has stated applies to the Defence in this
15 case. There is precedent and guidance, we think.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that is true. I would
17 like to consult with my colleagues, but indeed Rule
18 66 (C) deals with disclosure of evidence by the
20 First of all, the Defence did not request any
21 protective measures under Rule 70. Secondly, Rule 70
22 and 66 (C) is not applicable in the present case.
23 Thirdly, it is true that Rule 70 (F) does indeed allow
24 a witness to refuse to testify on the grounds that he
25 might be incriminating himself. But the judges deem
1 this is incrimination before the Trial Chamber, which
2 has jurisdiction in that matter. Fourth, the Trial
3 Chamber authorises the Prosecutor to put one at a time,
4 the questions he wishes to put to the witness. Fifth,
5 the witness may respond as he wishes. He may not
6 respond if he chooses to do so, but the Prosecutor
7 shall evaluate the value of that response, the weight
8 of that response. The Tribunal shall weigh the value
9 of that response. The Trial Chamber, rather, shall
10 weigh the value of that response.
11 MR. CAYLEY:
12 Q. Admiral, what I would like you to do on the
13 map next to you is to draw a line indicating to the
14 judges in the time period of the beginning of 1992 to
15 the end of 1993, the outer limit of deployment of HV
16 forces into Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 A. As this is a tactical matter, it is not the
18 subject of my research. A tactical deployment of
19 forces is separate from strategy. As an officer, I
20 repeat, I do not have permission to speak about
21 something that is not within the field of my research.
22 Therefore, I have no permission by the Defence Minister
23 of the Republic of Croatia for this.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley.
25 MR. CAYLEY:
1 Q. Admiral, were the units of the HV deployed
2 into Bosnia-Herzegovina between 1992 and 1994?
3 A. As I was performing the duty of Chief of
4 Staff of the Intelligence Administration, Intelligence
5 Department of the main command, that was not within the
6 field of my activities. I repeat again that I do not
7 have the authorisation of the defence minister to make
8 any such statements. And that is the duty of any
9 officer to respect that position.
10 Q. So you're stating that whilst Chief of
11 Military Intelligence, you had no knowledge about the
12 deployment of Croatian armed forces in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina; that's what you're saying to the
15 A. I wish to say that the Chief of Intelligence,
16 his responsibility is to monitor the forces of the
17 enemy, of the opponent and not to monitor its own
18 forces. That does not apply to any armed forces in the
19 world and therefore not in the Croatian armed forces
21 Q. I am not going to get into an argument with
22 you, Admiral, (redacted)
3 MR. HAYMAN: Is Mr. Cayley going to subject
4 himself to cross-examination, Your Honour? He is
5 testifying. It wasn't a question. I ask that his
6 comments be stricken.
7 May I have a ruling, Mr. President? Could I
8 have a ruling on my request to strike his comments?
9 JUDGE JORDA: The objection is sustained,
10 you're not to make any comments, Mr. Cayley. Just
11 simply put questions.
12 MR. CAYLEY:
13 Q. It is your position of Chief of Military
14 Intelligence in the Croatian armed forces you had no
15 knowledge of the deployment of Croatian armed forces?
16 A. My task was to monitor, exclusively to
17 monitor the forces of the enemy, their deployment,
18 their intentions. That was my task. My task was not
19 to monitor the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia
20 and least of all the deployment of those forces.
21 Q. Admiral, simply answer my question "yes" or
22 "no". Is it your testimony that as Chief of Military
23 Intelligence for the Croatian armed forces, you had no
24 knowledge of the deployment of those forces between
25 1992 and 1994? Yes or no?
1 A. I had knowledge about the deployment of enemy
3 Q. Admiral, you're being evasive and I would
4 like an answer to the question.
5 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, please, I would ask
6 that Mr. Cayley be reprimanded for his comments. He
7 can put a question. He can ask the Court to direct the
8 witness to answer --
9 JUDGE JORDA: I have asked Mr. Cayley not to
10 make any comments. However, I cannot reprimand a
11 counsel for the Prosecution once the answer from the
12 witness is evasive. I have asked Mr. Cayley not to
13 make any comments. However, do not go so far as to
14 request a reprimand. We are before an impasse. I call
15 this an impasse.
16 Mr. Cayley, please avoid making any comment
17 and put questions. The responses then will be
19 MR. CAYLEY: Could I ask you, Mr. President,
20 to simply ask the witness to answer "yes" or "no" to my
21 next question, which I think is a fairly
22 straightforward matter.
23 MR. HAYMAN: That, Mr. President, not if it
24 contradicts the ruling of the Court. The Court told
25 the witness how he should respond to this line. And it
1 may not be possible within the framework that the Court
2 has established to answer yes or no. I would have that
4 JUDGE JORDA: The witness shall answer as he
5 wishes, as I say, and it's up to the judges to then
6 evaluate his response.
7 MR. CAYLEY:
8 Q. Admiral, I will ask you the question once
9 again. And I would like you to answer me "yes" or
10 "no". As Chief of Military Intelligence, within the
11 Croatian armed forces, are you stating to this Court
12 that you had no knowledge of the deployment of Croatian
13 armed forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the witness has
15 at least three times answered the same question. This,
16 to me, looks like cross-examination in poor crime
18 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, you asked for
19 comments not to be made, I don't want you to make
20 comments either. The witness has voluntarily come to
21 this format of questions and response. I have asked
22 Mr. Cayley to ask some questions one at a time. The
23 witness has the right to answer the questions as he
24 sees fit.
25 Please go on, Mr. Cayley.
1 MR. CAYLEY:
2 Q. I am not going to keep repeating myself,
3 Admiral. You heard the question, can you give an
4 answer to that?
5 A. I have answered that question. As Chief of
6 Intelligence, my task was to monitor, to evaluate the
7 enemy forces and not the armed forces of the Republic
8 of Croatia.
9 Q. Admiral, while you were in Livno, were you a
10 member of the HV or the HVO?
11 A. My stay in Livno was merely to indicate the
12 importance of defence and what could happen, nothing
13 more than that.
14 Q. Admiral, you didn't answer my question. I
15 asked you, when you were in Livno, were you a member of
16 the HV or the HVO?
17 A. I was there simply to draw attention to the
18 importance of defending the area.
19 Q. I ask, Mr. President, the Court draws the
20 necessary inference from the fact that the witness is
21 simply not answering any of my questions at all.
22 Am I right in saying, Admiral, at the end of
23 May, 1994, you were promoted by President Tudjman to
25 A. The rank of Admiral in May 1994.
1 Q. I think I am right in saying that at the same
2 time, Slobodan Praljak was promoted to Reserve Colonel
3 General in the HV and Ante Gotovina to a Major General
4 in the HV. Do you recall that?
5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, this question --
6 Mr. President, this question about Praljak and Gotovina
7 is absolutely outside the focus of
8 examination-in-chief, quite outside.
9 JUDGE JORDA: I'm sorry, Mr. Nobilo, but they
10 were questions which were indeed in the scope of the
11 examination-in-chief. I don't know exactly where we
12 are going, but when he answers questions within the
13 framework of the cross-examination, but when he tells
14 us, for example, that he cannot answer questions
15 because he does not have authorisation from the Defence
16 Minister, then that does indeed limit the scope of the
18 But, please, let us reflect again on the
19 text. Their right to refuse to respond. These are
20 rights which are included in the Rules of Procedure and
21 Evidence. So I don't know what you think of this, Mr.
22 Nobilo, but they are indeed included in these Rules.
23 But it is stated here that it is quite possible that we
24 may use Rule 98, in which case we may then proceed with
25 a further examination of this witness by an official
1 from Croatia in order to obtain any additional
2 information. There is this rule, do not forget.
3 Very well, under these conditions, Mr.
4 Cayley, please continue.
5 MR. CAYLEY:
6 Q. I am right in saying --
7 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I believe that
8 the transcript in English has given, if I may say so, a
9 different version of what you have just stated. In
10 particular, with regards to the possible hearing of
11 this Chamber by the Minister of Defence. I am not a
12 specialist, but I think, perhaps, you might restate
13 what you have just stated.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. What I have been
15 satisfied myself with saying is that it is very
16 difficult, Mr. Nobilo, to continue with the
17 cross-examination when the witness is invoking that he
18 does not have authorisation to respond to such and such
19 a question. I would like to remind you once again that
20 the witness is not under the protection of Rule 70 as
21 you have said for other witnesses. It is not something
22 that is in my hands. You have chosen your own
24 Secondly, Rule 90 (F) states the conditions
25 under which the witness under solemn declaration may
2 Thirdly, Rule 98 states that should the case
3 be -- Rule 98 -- let me look back again to the text to
4 be sure. Rule 98 does indeed state that, if necessary,
5 the Trial Chamber may, in order to get a feel for the
6 weight of the evidence presented by the witness, it may
7 call upon the person under whom he is sheltering his
8 responses as saying that he can only give strategic and
9 not tactical responses. So he may then call upon his
10 superior in order to obtain additional information. So
11 here I am calling upon Rule 98. This may be something
12 you may refer to. This is all that I was stating. I
13 hope the transcript now reflects what I am saying. Is
14 it not being reflected in the transcript Mr. Fourmy?
15 No? I see. Well, I am doing what I can. I hope the
16 interpreters will be very attentive to what I am
17 stating. I cannot repeat myself a third time. Mr.
18 Fourmy please ensure that this is indeed what the
19 transcripts shall reflect. I hope that all the persons
20 listening to me understood what I am saying.
21 MR. FOURMY: Mr. President, I have a brief
22 remark to say. I am sorry to intervene. But the first
23 thing is that it was stated in the transcript that Mr.
24 Nobilio, who was stating what I heard you say, perhaps
25 that should be corrected first of all.
1 The second thing, Mr. President, that you
2 have mentioned the differences between strategy and
3 tactics and not -- this does not appear in the
4 transcript, which, as I said, you can either give a
5 tactic or strategy.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that has nothing to do at
7 all with what I said. Please have this stricken. For
8 the rest, it is fine. Very well.
9 Mr. Nobilo, you may now, if you wish to
10 speak, please go ahead. After that, then we're going
11 to take a recess.
12 MR. NOBILO: I agree, Mr. President. I
13 understood what you said. But my objection was that
14 this question is outside the focus of the direct
15 examination. That was the substance of my objection.
16 I know that it is up to the Trial Chamber to rule, but
17 then let the Trial Chamber decide on the matter.
18 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, may I speak?
19 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley.
20 MR. CAYLEY: I would refer, both my learned
21 friend and the Court to Rule 90 (H), which is the
22 foundation for Mr. Nobilo's position.
23 Cross-examination shall be limited to the subject
24 matter of direct examination and matters affecting the
25 credibility of the witness. 89 (H) -- sorry, 90 (H) is
1 a permissive subsection in that the rule, so it states,
2 that the Trial Chamber may, in the exercise of its
3 discretion permit, inquire into additional matters as
4 if on direct examination.
5 My position is simply this: I believe that
6 these questions are within the scope of the
7 examination-in-chief. The good admiral spoke about his
8 career in the Croatian Army. These are related to
9 that. And even if the Court considers that they are
10 not, the Court has the discretion to allow me to ask
11 questions as if it were a direct examination. If the
12 witness particularly, bearing in mind that this witness
13 is being evasive for whatever reason.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman.
15 MR. HAYMAN: Just briefly, Mr. President. My
16 learned colleague reads the Rule well. But, of course,
17 this Rule did not exist and did not apply during the
18 Prosecution case. This is one of the amendments, Rule
19 90 (H). How many times in the Prosecution case was the
20 Defence quieted on the grounds that we were outside the
21 scope and told you can try and bring the witness back
22 and put on that evidence in your case. We submit the
23 matter of scope to the Court, but I think there is
24 another issue other than what is the wording of
25 Rule 90 (H).
1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I have heard what you have
2 said, Mr. Hayman. And generally speaking I would like
3 to remind you of two things. First of all, the
4 amendments made to the Rules of Procedure, are
5 applicable immediately except, of course, if they're
6 prejudicial for the accused, as you know. For example,
7 and Rule 73 ter was not applied immediately because we
8 did not apply it to the prosecution in the case of 73
9 bis. I also remind you that, according to the Rules,
10 that the cross-examination shall be limited to the
11 subject matter of the direct examination, but of
12 course, this is not a strict matter. Don't forget
13 there is also an overall governing rule. Is that the
14 judges, in order to render their final judgement, must
15 have a clear understanding of the subject matter and,
16 therefore, they can bring back the witness on several
18 If there is a witness who has a superior
19 above him, from whom he does not have the authorisation
20 to give such a testimony, then, in particular, that is
21 of importance. This, indeed, was the issue that was
22 raised by Mr. Nobilo in the very beginning. It does
23 allow for cross-examination on two principles, one
24 principle is that it is true that the judges do not
25 have all of the answers from the Admiral for the
1 reasons that he himself as given. In that case, he
2 would not necessarily be required to come back, but
3 that issue may be raised.
4 Yes, Mr. Hayman, you wish to take the floor.
5 But this is only from the goodwill of the Presiding
6 Judge who does not want to cut the Defence short.
7 MR. HAYMAN: I would just note, Mr.
8 President, perhaps to provide some context to this
9 drama, if one may call it that, that the Defence does
10 not contest that HV troops went into south-west -- south
11 western Bosnia in this time period to help keep the
12 route open and defeat the JNA. We agree with that. In
13 fact, the need for that, at the strategic level, was a
14 large part of this witness' testimony. I think what's
15 going on here is the Prosecutor is, in essence, asking
16 questions designed to provoke the witness to have to
17 invoke national security. These questions are like,
18 when is the last time you had a secret meeting and
19 something was discussed that you can't disclose? That
20 is what is going on here.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, very well. I think we
22 shall interrupt the proceedings on this note and to
23 take a recess and then return. I believe we require a
24 20 to 25 minutes break. The Chamber stands adjourned.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.58 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.23 p.m.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley, please continue.
3 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Admiral, you stated earlier that your
5 function as Chief of Military Intelligence was to
6 monitor those armed forces which were regarded as the
7 enemy of the Republic of Croatia; is that correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. In 1993, did that include monitoring the
10 armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. The armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
12 1993 didn't really exist. In 1993, in the territory of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina there were the forces that called
14 themselves the Army of Republika Srpska, the BH army
15 and the HV.
16 Q. Let's return now to what we were speaking
17 about before the break. You confirmed in May of 1994
18 that you were promoted to rear Admiral by President
19 Tudjman; that's correct, isn't it?
20 A. Yes, correct.
21 Q. At the same time it's correct, isn't it, that
22 Slobodan Praljak was promoted to a Reserve Colonel in
23 the HV?
24 A. Colonel General, Reserve Colonel General,
25 yes, General Praljak was promoted, yes.
1 Q. And that was in the HV?
2 A. The promotion was in Zagreb. In Zagreb he
3 was promoted, but the General was promoted as a Reserve
5 Q. I understand, Admiral, and I'm right in
6 saying that Slobodan Praljak had formerly served as a
7 general in the HVO, that's correct; isn't it?
8 A. Yes, he was in the Croatian Defence Council,
9 a general, yes.
10 Q. For what period was he a general in the
11 Croatian Defence Council?
12 A. Your Honours, I really cannot recall for how
13 long, but I know that he first left the Croatian army
14 and then he went to Bosnia-Herzegovina and was a
15 general of the Croatian Defence Council. I don't know
16 the exact date, but probably for about a year, that is
17 my assumption.
18 Q. And then after his service in the HVO he
19 returned to the HV?
20 A. Yes. And he was promoted to the rank of
21 retired general.
22 Q. During your service in Livno, Ante Gotovina
23 was your commanding officer; is that correct?
24 A. My service in Livno, or rather, I was in
25 Livno to investigate, because we knew from our
1 assessments that that is where the main strike would
2 come, and that is why I was in Livno, to investigate.
3 But classically General Gotovina was not my superior,
4 there was no superiority between us.
5 Q. Was Ante Gotovina in Livno in April of 1992?
6 A. Yes, he was.
7 Q. And at that time was he in the HVO or the HV?
8 A. General Gotovina, as he was an experienced
9 officer, at the time was an officer of the Croatian
10 army, because things needed to be organised, because
11 the forces of the Serbs, that is of the JNA, were about
12 to strike.
13 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, the transcript
14 refers to General Kadijevic, I think we're discussing a
15 different person now, just to aid the transcribers.
16 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, it's General Gotovina.
17 JUDGE JORDA: I'd like to ask everyone here
18 present to speak more slowly. I believe it is very
19 difficult for the interpreters to follow such a complex
20 trial; and so, let us all make an effort.
21 In addition, it is true that an error like
22 this one is an important one, even on a phonetic basis
23 it seems to be not at all the same thing; so, let us
24 also try to be more attentive. Please go on,
25 Mr. Cayley, continue. Thank you, Mr. Hayman.
1 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you Mr. President.
2 Q. Now, I'm right in saying, Admiral, in May
3 1998 you were promoted by President Tudjman from the
4 rank of Rear-Admiral to Vice-Admiral; is that correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And I think at the same time Major General
7 Petkovic was promoted to a Colonel in the HV; do you
8 recall that?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And I'm right in saying that Colonel General
11 Milvoj Petkovic was formerly the Chief of Staff of the
12 HVO; is that correct, when he was a brigadier?
13 A. Yes, correct.
14 Q. What year was that?
15 A. When he was Chief of Staff?
16 Q. Of the HVO.
17 A. In '93, for sure. I think in '94, as well.
18 And I think it was from 1992 he was there.
19 Q. Thank you, Admiral. And prior to his service
20 as the Chief of Staff of the HVO, he had been an
21 officer in the HV; hadn't he?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, am I right in saying that in April of
24 1992 General Bobetko of the Croatian army was the
25 commander of the southern front?
1 A. Yes, correct.
2 Q. And that command included tactical command of
3 HVO units in Bosnia-Herzegovina; didn't it, Admiral?
4 A. That command had the role of organising
5 defence in that area, to organise the defence so as to
6 be able to effectively defend that territory because of
7 the closing of the pincers, that was his
9 Q. I understand that, and we have almost
10 finished, but I would like a direct answer to my
11 question. General Bobetko, a Croatian general in the
12 HV, had tactical command of HVO units in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina during that time as part of his
14 command; didn't he?
15 MR. HAYMAN: Could we have the time frame in
16 the question?
17 Q. From at least April of 1992.
18 MR. HAYMAN: If counsel could close the time
19 frame. Does he mean until 1996, or from a particular
20 month to a particular month? Otherwise, it's vague as
21 to time, that's my objection.
22 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be allowed
23 to answer the question.
24 MR. HAYMAN: If it could be specified so it
25 is no longer vague, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Cayley, please
3 MR. CAYLEY:
4 Q. Admiral, in April of 1992 did General Bobetko
5 have command of HVO units in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is how it was
7 called, there was an advanced command post. And that
8 post is not a classical command post, and its role was,
9 as far as I can remember, the organisation of the
10 defence and the forces to close those pincers. So, it
11 was not a classical command function.
12 Q. Did General Bobetko have HVO forces under his
14 A. He coordinated and guided those forces in the
15 command to organise themselves. Through this command
16 post he channelled the forces for defence, for defence
17 from this advance command post. In that sense he had a
18 command function, not in the classical sense of command
19 over units below him, but just to distribute those
20 forces and improve their organisation. That was his
22 Q. Did he issue orders to these forces, Admiral,
23 written orders?
24 A. Some, probably he did. Some form of written
25 orders, I assume he had to issue. I think he did have
1 to issue such orders.
2 Q. Could you tell the Court, Admiral, where
3 those written orders are maintained or kept, the
5 A. Written orders, every commander keeps them in
6 the archive of the command.
7 Q. And where is that archive located, Admiral?
8 A. The archive, if you are referring to the
9 command of General Bobetko, the archive was in Ploca,
10 which is a place in Croatia.
11 Q. And those orders are still maintained there
13 A. Those orders are kept in the place where the
14 command for that area was based.
15 Q. So, those orders are still in Ploca?
16 A. That I don't know, I don't know where those
17 orders are. I really do not know, but they should be
18 in a command post there in the south. At present the
19 command of the southern Croatian forces is not in Ploca
20 but in Ston, or that is Dubrovnik.
21 MR. CAYLEY: I have no further questions,
22 Mr. President, if I could ask for admission into
23 evidence for exhibit, if the registrar will give me a
25 THE REGISTRAR: 466.
1 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you very much, Admiral.
2 MR. NOBILO: With the Court's permission.
3 Before I ask our witness some questions, my proposal
4 would be that all this time be deducted from the
5 Defence time, because it was totally outside the focus
6 of the direct examination which had to do exclusively
7 with strategy. Archives, promotions, these are all
8 additional information that were not covered by the
9 direct examination.
10 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Let me consult with my
13 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, can I speak?
14 This Tribunal, you judges have a truth finding mission,
15 and the Admiral has information and evidence which is
16 relevant to this case. There is discretion within the
17 rules that I have already mentioned which allows me to
18 ask questions. The reason that this cross-examination
19 has taken perhaps longer than it should have done is
20 because the witness has not answered my questions.
21 This time should be deducted from the Defence, they
22 called the witness.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Let me consult with my
25 The Chamber and the judges have taken the
1 following decision. It calls upon various principles
2 of different types. What has guided the Prosecution is
3 the first principle, is the consequences of the silence
4 of the witness; therefore, it was necessary for the
5 Prosecution to ask indirect questions to try to obtain
6 some of the reality that the Prosecution is pursuing in
7 its objective.
8 Secondly, it is no less true that in the
9 absolute value, the questions that have been put for
10 about half an hour by the Prosecution are outside of
11 the scope of the examination-in-chief.
12 Thirdly, the Trial Chamber has not
13 interrupted the Prosecution, nor will it do so, because
14 the Chamber finds that in its sovereign power, which is
15 its own, to determine what is the truth in the matter
16 referred to it, we will go to the very depth of the
17 question put to the witness by the Prosecution.
18 For that reason it would not be altogether
19 fair for the Defence to suffer the prejudices of the
20 questions put by the Prosecution; therefore, for that
21 reason, 30 minutes in addition will be allotted to the
23 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Admiral, let's try and demystify some things,
25 if by some strange fact we could call your Defence
1 Minister and ask him to send a fax complying, to tell
2 the Chamber what troops, where and when were deployed
3 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, for how long; could you now,
4 according to your recollections, tell that to the
6 A. Your Honours, if a decision of that kind were
7 to be made I would quite simply not be in a position to
8 say which troops or elements were deployed in the area
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina at this point in time.
10 This would require additional research,
11 because at the time, quite honestly, I was performing a
12 function which, whose competency was not the deployment
13 of Croatian troops. What was under my authorisation
14 was strategic research as to how that process would
15 develop and evolve, so I could not give an answer of
16 that kind.
17 Q. Tell us, Admiral, while you performed the
18 duty of head of the Intelligence Department of the
19 Croatian army, did you treat the army of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina as an enemy?
21 Did you act, you as an intelligence
22 commander, towards the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or
23 as an intelligence officer of the Croatian army, did
24 you look at the insurgent Krajina regions in the
25 Yugoslav People's Army as a realistic threat? What did
1 you do in your job in 1992 and 1993?
2 A. As in the strategy of the defence of the
3 Republic of Croatia, in which I participated myself,
4 there are three basic principles; and one is that
5 Croatia is not considered the enemy of anybody and is
6 not hostile to anyone. That means that my field of
7 activity as the head of the intelligence service was
8 exclusively geared towards the Serbs who were at that
9 time the threat.
10 Q. How?
11 A. The BH army, in no event, was an enemy of any
12 kind, it was not a threat to Croatia. Therefore, it
13 did not come under the duties of my duties and the army
14 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, it was only geared towards
15 the Serbs.
16 Q. Let us throw some more light on the southern
17 front of General Bobetko. I will try and go further
18 from the Prosecutor, and if I enter the realms of state
19 secrets, please do your duty. Therefore, let's
21 Could General Bobetko liberate and defend the
22 southern part of Croatia without entering the territory
23 of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the military sense?
24 A. Your Honours, because of the small operative
25 depth, General Bobetko could not defend the southern
1 regions of Croatia, that is without doubt.
2 Q. With his separate command in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, his advance command, yes, exactly.
4 And where was the Croatian army active? Which region?
5 Can you show us on the map, using the map, please? How
6 deep did it penetrate into Bosnia-Herzegovina, and what
7 was the military reason for this?
8 A. In view of this fact, I can assess the depth
9 to which certain elements of the Croatian army could
10 penetrate on the basis of the plan and disposition of
11 the Serb onslaught. And, Your Honours, I would show
12 this now.
13 Therefore, in my assessment as a military
14 analyst, elements of the Croatian army could have
15 entered to a maximum depth the borders of the Republic
16 of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina on the northern part
17 of the town of Livno. Ultimately up to Tomislavgrad,
18 that is the end point, this line here, because the area
19 of the main onslaught of Serb forces was the valley of
20 Livensko Polje (Phoen) in order to take over the hydro
21 power plant and to move towards Split and by the
22 Neretva River Valley.
23 And second, on the southern side, which
24 stretches from the borders of the Republic of Croatia
25 and borders Bosnia-Herzegovina up to a depth of
1 Stolovic, located here where the laser pen is pointing.
2 So, in my evaluation, it is this depth, and
3 this depth enabled this defence and to prevent the
4 closing of the pincers and defending the southern part
5 of Croatia.
6 Q. Tell us, tell the Court, please, Admiral,
7 whether you know, are there any legal bases, political
8 bases for the entry of the Croatian army into the
9 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. As far as I know, I think that in 1992 there
11 was an agreement reached between the president of the
12 presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Alija
13 Izetbegovic, and the president of the Republic of
14 Croatia, Mr. Franjo Tudjman.
15 On a joint defence from aggression, the Serb
16 aggression, I think that a document of that kind does
17 exist, and it was probably on the basis of that
18 document that the events took place and General Bobetko
19 was designated to come to command the southern front.
20 Q. General Bobetko was positioned with his
21 command in the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
22 spring of 1992 when the fateful battle to save
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina and southern Croatia took place.
24 Can you tell us at that time whether, apart
25 from the formal organisation, whether any organisation
1 and preparation at a high level the forces of local
2 Croats from Herzegovina and local Muslims were being
3 prepared for themselves to be able to close the
5 Did General Bobetko in this fighting command
6 both the Croats and the Muslims in defence of
8 A. As there are several questions there, let me
9 answer in the following manner.
10 It is quite certainly true that the
11 organisation of Croats in Bosnia was better than the
12 organisation of the Bosnian Muslims in that area of
14 However, as we are dealing with an
15 asymmetrical war where the technical factor is greater
16 on the Serbian side, these forces were absolutely no
17 guarantee, although the Croats were better organised.
18 But, it is also a fact that in addition to the Croats
19 in the units which were commanded by General Bobetko,
20 there were also units of Bosnian Muslims, and this was
21 simultaneous, they existed at the same time, and I am
22 certain that I stressed this in my presentation.
23 Q. Tell me, General Praljak, is he a native of
25 A. Yes, as far as I know, he is.
1 Q. Is it true that Petkovic was from
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well?
3 A. As far as I know, General Petkovic, his
4 origins are from Bosnia-Herzegovina, but he lived in
5 Sibenik, as far as I know.
6 Q. Is it true that at beginning of the war in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina a group of officers and soldiers
8 from Bosnia-Herzegovina, who originated from BH and who
9 took part in the Croatian army during the Serbo-Croat
10 War, asked to step down from the Croatian army so as to
11 be able to go home and defend their own home in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that true?
13 A. As far as I remember, there were instances of
14 this kind, some Croats who were in the Croatian army
15 after January, 1992, not quite then, but somewhere in
16 the second half of March and the beginning of April
17 asked to go to Herzegovina, to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President, we
19 have concluded.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo. Your
21 Honour, as I have explained to you, you will now have
22 questions put to you by the judges for the completion
23 of your testimony here before this Tribunal. I now
24 turn to Judge Riad.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, to the
2 President. Microphone to the Judge Riad, please.
3 Microphone to Judge Riad.
4 JUDGE RIAD: I'm sorry, I have listened very
5 attentively to your testimony and your presentation on
6 military strategy. It seems that you are a great
7 expert on this subject. However, I cannot say that I
8 was able to assimilate everything at once. I must look
9 at the transcript once again to learn more. But I
10 concluded from that that the fundamental responsibility
11 for all that occurred of all those events, that the
12 responsibility was attributed to the Serbs.
13 I would just like to ask you questions
14 dealing more, more relative, whether it deals more
15 directly with our trial, but I am going to tempt myself
16 with general questions, dealing again with your
18 If I understood correctly, do you consider
19 that the Serbs are responsible for the confrontation,
20 which took place between the Croats and the Muslims in
21 Bosnia? Do you believe that they are the cause or,
22 rather, who was the cause for this confrontation?
23 Because the two had a common enemy. If you will
24 respond to that question, you will help me or help us
25 to follow and to understand the situation.
1 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, if I have
2 understood your question correctly, it is whether the
3 Serbs were the cause of the confrontation between the
4 Bosnia Muslims and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Have
5 I understood your question correctly?
6 JUDGE RIAD: In other words, what was the
8 A. According to my research, which I have spoken
9 about from the elements of strategy, I came to the
10 conclusion, and this can be seen from the map, the
11 situation is as such: It is 1993, the year 1993. The
12 main objective cause in strategy, this is called the
13 external circle. The external circle is much more
14 decisive and influential for events within the circle
15 itself than what is actually taking place in the
17 This means in practical terms the following:
18 That on a strategic level, on the aggression in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, this phenomenon stepped into play.
20 That is to say, the Serbs pushed at the same time both
21 the Bosnian Muslims and Croats, into that circle. And
22 by applying the strategy of real threat, realistic
23 threat, they created a psychosis. This psychosis, the
24 longer it lasted, objectively gave birth to the
25 confrontation between the Bosnian Muslims and Croats.
1 Therefore, my conclusion, Your Honours, and I
2 think that this is what my research has shown, that it
3 was a basic cause for that confrontation.
4 This also bears out one other thing. Because
5 the Serbs had already used up a portion of their
6 forces, they could no longer effect a global
7 offensive. And by applying this strategy, they quite
8 simply waited, lay in waiting. We can compare this to
9 the strategy of a spider with his web waiting for his
10 prey to be caught. And this, at the same time, is
11 meant by the Bosnian Muslims and Croats. And that,
12 Your Honours, is the external circle in the area of
13 strategy of how you can liquidate your enemy. And I
14 think that that in this case is the principal cause.
15 JUDGE RIAD: You gave a very interesting
16 example when you compared that to the battle between
17 elephants. Is there any particular reason, the
18 specific reason that the Bosnia Croats fought against
19 the Muslims? You stated that the Croats were better
20 organised than the Muslims, the Bosnian Muslims. And
21 that the Bosnian Muslims never posed any real threat to
22 the Croats. So what is the reason then for the Croats
23 to want to get rid of the Muslims? And there was also
24 ascensions, that you said and I read this from the
25 transcripts, so I am going to read it for you in
1 English. By wavering has strengthened the conviction
2 by the JNA that the war would end quickly.
3 A. Your Honours, that sentence, I think was
4 contained in the article.
5 JUDGE RIAD: All right. Let me continue
6 now. I would like to repeat because I don't think it
7 was translated correctly from French.
8 Mr. President, perhaps you have understood
9 the translation. I must admit I don't follow the
10 French translation very well. I followed the
11 translation into French, so I will repeat the
12 question. It seems one part of the Bosnian Muslim
13 leaders, they're wavering and this to enforce the
14 convictions among the JNA that this battle could be won
15 quickly. Do you feel that this would also encourage
16 the Croatian Army, this give them -- do you think that
17 there was some sort of agreement that agreed between
18 the two sides, the Muslims and the Serbs, because
19 that's why the -- because you said at one point that
20 they had begun to abdicate their forces.
21 A. Your Honours, I will be happy to try and
22 explain the situation. I think there is a nuance of
23 interpretation here because strategy has its nuances as
24 well. Let's see what we're talking about. As the plan
25 that you have seen is a very complex plan, a very
1 sophisticated plan by which they wish to achieve a
2 greater Serbia, many people, even in the Republic of
3 Croatia, were certain that a war of this kind would
4 actually break out. At the same time, some people in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina were not certain that war was
6 imminent. It is possible, Your Honours, that a portion
7 of the Bosnian Muslim leadership thought only at the
8 beginning, at the very beginnings of the war, that is
9 to say the beginning of 1992, that they would avoid an
10 aggression on Bosnia-Herzegovina in that way. And in
11 view of the defensive strategic interests, this cannot
12 be considered to have been a bad thing. And this meant
13 that if as the Serbs had the enormous advantage, and
14 where we were talking about time here, it was a
15 question of time, Your Honours, one month, perhaps, 15
16 days, were in question because it was April 1992 and
17 any hesitation in decision, any lack of a fast
18 reaction, could have brought what you saw happen here.
19 So we cannot explicitly state that the
20 Bosnian Muslims and their leadership did not wish to do
21 so. At that moment they did not, perhaps, have a full
22 understanding of the situation. But subsequent events
23 were to show that after the pincers were stopped,
24 prevented in closing, they came to realise in the
25 political leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to
1 say the Bosnian Muslim leadership, that aggression was
2 there and they then began to organise themselves, the
3 armed forces and the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina began
4 to organise itself. And, in that sense, that is the
5 right observation.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, very well. That is not the
7 reason for the conflict, I understand. You also talked
8 about the agents of the Croatian forces in order to
9 secure the Croatian territories. You said that during
10 the examination by the Defence.
11 Now, these Croatian forces who entered, did
12 they come into contact or into the battles with the
13 Bosnian forces? Were there any battles between the
14 Bosnian forces and the Muslim forces?
15 A. Your Honours, we are talking about 1992. The
16 first phase of the war in closing the pincers and that
17 is the key point. At that time, there were no
18 conflicts between the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 existed and the Bosnian Muslims. On the contrary, at
20 that time, and I am talking about Bosnia Muslims as
21 opposed to the other regions of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
22 they became included and they joined forces to the best
23 of their ability, to prevent the pincers. So, at that
24 time, there were no conflicts between the Croats and
25 the Bosnian Muslims.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. One more question to
2 wind up and over which I have some difficulty
3 understanding. You said that there was a total lack of
4 equality of balance between the Serbian forces, the
5 Croatian forces and the Bosnian forces. You said
6 regarding the Croats it was 1-10. And in the case of
7 the Bosniaks, it was 1-1.000 because these were armed
8 forces against non-armed forces, non-armed people. The
9 United Nations, as far as I remembered, prohibited
10 delivery of weapons, so how come the Serbs were so
11 strong in spite of the ban on arm supply? Why was
12 there this ban when there was such a large
13 disproportion? You're a military expert, could you
14 comment on that?
15 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, as a man and a
16 general, the question that I have just heard is a
17 question above all questions when we're talking about
18 the events in the former Yugoslavia. It is a question
19 upon which many in the future will have to find an
20 answer to and will have to dwell on. But on the basis
21 of my research, I can say the following, and that is
22 why I said in my introductory testimony, I use the term
23 asymmetrical war. Here, that is to say, on the
24 territory of the former Yugoslavia, an asymmetric war
25 was waged. An asymmetrical war could have been waged
1 only on one condition and that is the embargo.
2 As in 1985 and 6 and 7, a Serbian imperial
3 force was organised which wanted to emerge on the
4 western borders and take away portions of Croatia and
5 the entire region of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This
6 asymmetric war led to the fact that in those regions,
7 as so many victims fell and a complete chaos reigned.
8 And I would like before Your Honours, to say that this
9 strategic game and to call it a determined chaos.
10 But, at the same time, before Your Honours,
11 as an officer and an admiral, I have great satisfaction
12 in seeing that we succeeded in maintaining Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina as an independent state. And in the first
14 phase of the war, in setting up a joint defence, as
15 well as in the second phase of the war, to have a joint
16 attack. And that the international forces ensured the
17 entirety of Bosnia. This also means that we have a
18 whole Croatia. Why and for what reason an asymmetric
19 war was allowed to take place and the City of Sarajevo
20 to be destroyed for three years before the eyes of the
21 world, Your Honours, that is something that will have
22 to be studied in the future.
23 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Admiral.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Riad. I turn
25 to Judge Shahabuddeen.
1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Admiral, I also have
2 listened to your testimony with much interest. Let me
3 start off with a little question about the Serbian
4 Academy of Sciences. You mentioned the Academy. I am
5 a little unclear in my mind about the precise status of
6 the Academy. Was the Academy regarded as a spokesman
7 of the Government of Serbia on the matters to which you
9 A. I have understood your question, Your
10 Honour. I did not deal with this in the sense of the
11 structure of the Serbian Academy of Science. But, I
12 shall tell you what I personally know from my general
14 As far as I know, the Serbian Academy of
15 Science, like any other academy of science, should
16 promote scientific work in certain fields. Among
17 others, social phenomenon, international relations and
18 so on and so forth, the natural sciences, technology
19 and so forth. However, the Serbian Academy of Science
20 was not an instrument of the Government of Serbia. It
21 was not an instrument of the Presidency of Serbia.
22 Like any other academy of science, it was an
23 independent institution.
24 However, in the Serbian Academy of Science,
25 according to the structure of the academicians members
1 of the academy within it, they were exclusively from
2 the social humanitarian sciences. And they had
3 authority and the power to determine in the sense of
4 scientific research, what is good and what is bad for
5 the Serbs as a whole, as an entity, both through their
6 scientific authority as scientists, men of science.
7 The results of their endeavours resulted in a
8 memorandum in 1986. That authority, scientific
9 authority for the Serbs was binding. And, for them, it
10 meant absolute truth. That absolute truth was put
11 forward by the names of academicians and the loftiest
12 academic institutions. So 1986 was the year when the
13 armed forces, that is to say, the JNA, had started its
14 reorganisation and had become a Serbian, imperial
15 force. That component, along with the component of the
16 memorandum as an ideological platform, offered the
17 political structure, as a legitimacy too as a guiding
18 light and to exert pressure on to federal aggression.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: That the conclusions
20 reached by the Serbian academy of sciences were
21 regarded as corresponding to the positions of the
22 Government of Serbia?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, let me ask you a
25 very little question about Lieutenant General Gavric.
1 I may not be pronouncing the name correctly and I hope
2 to be forgiven. I thought you said that he was in
3 captivity in Sarajevo. Is my recollection correct?
4 A. Your Honour, it was General Kukanjac, he was
5 in captivity. That is to say, at that particular time,
6 and we're talking about the 10th of May, 1992, when the
7 attack on Sarajevo started, when the whole city was
8 exposed to fire, the only thing that was important was
9 to reach the main commander, to prevent this
11 At that time, this meant salvation for
12 Sarajevo as a city. But an answer to this operation by
13 the Serbs was to appoint General Mladic as commander.
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: So why was the General
15 in captivity? To prevent what?
16 A. The destruction of Sarajevo. It was a Serb
17 general. He was the commander. And the Bosniaks, the
18 inhabitants of Sarajevo succeeded in circling him and
19 captured him.
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. Now I understand
21 a little more clearly.
22 Now, you would have heard learned counsel,
23 Mr. Hayman, say something like this and if I have got
24 him wrong, he would correct me immediately, I know.
25 That the Defence in this case is not contesting that HV
1 forces were in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Their Defence rests
2 on other positions. Do you confirm his statement, that
3 HV forces were in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. Your Honour, yes, according to my evaluation,
5 I don't know which units, because I did not go into
6 that, I truly don't know. But that some elements of
7 the armed forces, of the Croatian Army were, according
8 to my assessment as an analyst, I said the depth to
9 which this could have been the depth in my assessment
10 from the borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to the Town of
11 Tomislavgrad. That is a depth of about 15 to 20
12 kilometres and the same thing in the south, which means
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, let me, in this
15 connection, recall that part of your testimony in which
16 you referred to an agreement between President Tudjman
17 and President Izetbegovic for HV forces to serve in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Do you recall that part of your
20 A. Yes, as far as I know, an agreement did exist
21 between the president of the presidency,
22 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic and the President of Croatia,
23 Mr. Franjo Tudjman on a joint defence of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, it existed, as far as I know.
25 Its exact contact I don't know. But I do know that an
1 agreement of that existed.
2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I accept what you say
3 that you haven't got a ready recollection or grasp of
4 its exact contents. But would you know, generally,
5 whether that agreement between the two presidents
6 authorised HV officers to serve in the HVO?
7 A. There was no competence in that sense to
8 serve in the HVO, not in that sense. It wasn't binding
9 in that sense as far as I know. But, exclusively, that
10 is the fact that Croats left the Croatian Army in that
11 first phase of the war, this was on a voluntary basis,
12 so they left voluntarily.
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now let's talk about HV
14 officers who left on a voluntary basis to serve in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They were HV officers in Croatia,
16 would they have had to get official approval to leave
17 the HV in Croatia to go over into Bosnia-Herzegovina?
18 A. Yes, they would need official permission.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: What would be the status
20 of their service in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Would they be
21 regarded by the Croatian authorities as serving on
22 secondment in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
23 A. Yes, they were temporarily assigned there to
24 prevent a disaster. One could put it that way.
25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: While in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, what would happen with their pay
2 from Croatia?
3 A. I think that they must have received their
4 pay from Croatia because there was no one to pay them
5 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Then would I be right,
7 Admiral, in supposing that at the end of their service
8 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, they would have had an automatic
9 right of reversion to the Croatian armed forces?
10 A. Those of them who wanted to return, could.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, let's talk about
12 the directive of the defence minister, which authorised
13 you to testify only on certain matters. Would I be
14 right in thinking that what you were saying was that if
15 you testified on those matters, not only would you be
16 violating his directive, but that the violation would
17 constitute a criminal offence under the law of
19 A. It would constitute a criminal offence.
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, let us talk about
21 standard military practices. You remember that during
22 one phase of your evidence, you referred to a certain
23 practice -- I don't rightly recall exactly what it
24 was -- being a standard military practice in the armed
25 forces of all countries in the world. Do you remember
1 saying something like that? That you were talking
2 about a standard military practice?
3 A. Yes, yes, I remember.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you, Admiral, say
5 that it is a standard military practice world-wide for
6 the Chief of Military Intelligence over an army to know
7 of the global deployment of the main elements of that
9 A. The global deployment at the highest level,
10 one might know. Because the global level is the area
11 of strategy, but the Chief of Intelligence, I don't
12 know expressly because this, after all, is the top
13 secret of any armed force in the world for him to deal
14 with the tactical level.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now we are making
16 progress very rapidly, I see.
17 Let's talk about the position of Serbia in
18 all of these matters. I gather you concur with Judge
19 Riad's summary, which I share, that your evidence was
20 to the effect that the conflict between Croatia and the
21 Muslims was due to the Serbs?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, a military officer
24 would, I take it, and this is just while theorising on
25 my part, because I am not a military man, have been
1 trained in some kind of capacity to empathise, to see
2 the thing from a point of view of the other man, so as
3 to acquire objectivity. Suppose we had before us
4 today, a Serbian admiral, do you think he would accept
5 your proposition that the conflict between the
6 Croatians and the Muslims was entirely attributable to
7 the Serbs?
8 A. Probably, Your Honour, that would depend on
9 the admiral in question.
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Of course it would.
11 A. When I say that, I am referring to the depth
12 of his studies. Would he view this problem from the
13 strategic level or at a lower level? My assumption is,
14 that depends on the individual, his education, his
15 background, his understanding for strategy. But in the
16 scientific way --
17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Suppose he was a
18 cultivated and learned gentleman like yourself, would
19 you think that he would accept your version?
20 A. Your Honours, thank you for the compliment.
21 But if he were indeed such, and if he were to apply
22 scientific criteria of warfare, then I think he would
23 come to the same conclusion.
24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let us turn to this
25 distinction between the strategic and the tactical.
1 Would I be right, Admiral, in supposing that there is a
2 grey area within which the two concepts tended to
4 A. In military circles even, there is confusion
5 often between the tactical and the strategic. And I
6 will tell you what the NATO standard is. Tactics is
7 exclusively, and I stress exclusively, devoted to the
8 way in which a certain piece of equipment or a unit
9 should be used in a particular battle. So this is
10 purely military operations; whereas at the level of
11 strategy, that does not, especially not in war, refer
12 to the use of military effectiveness. Because in addition
13 to the military resources, there are others. In
14 theory, which is generally accepted by Beaufour, the
15 French military theoretician, who said that a war is
16 waged at the level of general strategy. And general
17 strategy comprises military strategy, political
18 strategy, diplomatic strategy, cultural strategy. And,
19 Your Honours, most recently because we are living in
20 the post-modern era, information strategy too. And by
21 combining those strategy a war is waged.
22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Admiral, I am grateful
23 and I see I have entered into an area in which I needed
24 to be educated. Thank you very much.
25 Now let us talk a little bit about it this
1 way. Supposing there was an agreement between
2 President Tudjman and President Milosevic for the
3 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, supposing, would you
4 regard that as pertaining to strategy or to tactics?
5 A. Exclusively strategy.
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, would I be right in
7 thinking that the strategy of a nation could itself
8 evolve over time, it could change its components?
9 A. As opposed to tactics, which can change very
10 easily. Strategy, at least it should not change so
11 often. But even if any changes do occur, those changes
12 have to be minor, of a corrective nature, in the sense
13 of a correction rather than a global change.
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: But you have already
15 said that if there was a presidential agreement to
16 divide Bosnia-Herzegovina that would pertain the
18 A. Yes, that is what I said.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: What do you think of
20 this proposition, suppose, according to you, it was
21 said that the strategy of the Serbs was to absorb the
22 whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and suppose you added to
23 that a subsequent agreement of the kind I mentioned;
24 would it follow that the original strategy had become
25 modified, that a strategy of total absorption had
1 become modified by a strategy of partition?
2 A. Your Honour, I don't think you could make
3 such a conclusion. It would be possible, but under one
4 hypothetical condition, and that is if there had not
5 been the war in Croatia. And since there had been a
6 bloody, destructive war, then this hypothesis does not
8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Admiral, did there ever
9 come a time when the Serbs were prepared to accept less
10 than the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina and give the
11 balance to Croatia?
12 A. To understand the question better, what
13 exactly do you mean by balancing the situation?
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: No, there must be a
15 translation problem. I didn't speak about balancing
16 the situation. What I asked was: Did there ever come
17 a time when the Serbs were prepared to accept less than
18 the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina and to give the
19 remainder to Croatia?
20 A. I think that such a situation did not occur,
21 and that it was not present on the Serb side. Why is
22 it that I can claim this, even though this would
23 require additional research? For the reason that the
24 occupied parts of the Republic of Croatia were retained
25 and the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the
1 Serbs covered 70 per cent. So, I assume that is the
2 situation you're referring to.
3 But even then, that is not the map that we
4 see here from 1993. The Serbs always thought that some
5 kind of favourable environment, political environment
6 would set in for them to take as much of Bosnia as they
7 could, preferably the whole.
8 A rapid analysis that comes to my mind is
9 that the strategy of constant threat meant that even
10 Dubrovnik was exposed to artillery fire up to '95.
11 This was an indicator that they had not given up their
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let me ask you a
14 slightly different question. Did there ever come a
15 time when the Serbs were cooperating with the Croatians
16 in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
17 A. With the Croats? You mean the citizens of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina? That is the Bosnian Croats or the
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The Croatian Croatians.
21 A. You mean civilians?
22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Military forces.
23 A. There was never any such cooperation in the
24 military sense.
25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let us go finally to
1 this article, I didn't retain the numbering of it. I
2 wonder if colleagues could help.
3 MR. HAYMAN: 466, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: 466; do you remember,
5 Admiral, this Exhibit 466?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And page 8 you were
8 reading something, and I didn't take a note at the
9 time, at the top left-hand column. Would you like to
10 read those words again? Could you read them and the
11 translator would translate them for me?
12 A. "Since the efforts of the JNA for Bosnia to
13 fall quickly, the threat and selective use of force did
14 not produce results, primarily among the Croatian
15 people who had organised themselves militarily. So, it
16 focused on the concrete implementation of the
17 pacification of Bosnia-Herzegovina, modelled on the
18 Croatian example. Because the Bosnian Muslim section
19 of the leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina, by its
20 hesitation, had increased the conviction of the JNA
21 that the war would end quickly".
22 Q. Could I invite you, Admiral, to focus on the
23 word pacification? Now, is the use of that word in
24 your discipline more proximate to the idea of more
25 conquering or protecting?
1 A. The way I use it, it is closer to occupation,
3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Admiral, you have been a
4 great help to me. Thank you.
5 A. It was an honour.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Admiral, I'm not going to take
7 too long and extend the debate any further, which is
8 already long, I shall just follow on to what Judge
9 Shahabuddeen just said, you answered very well many of
10 the questions that I myself was asking myself and which
11 were asked by Judge Shahabuddeen and Judge Riad. Let
12 us go on with a few clarifications. I see there's an
13 apparent change of attitude which I find most
14 acceptable because, thanks to you, I have better
15 understood the difference between the word strategy and
16 tactics. I was able to understand that when you
17 refused to answer this was more of a strategy, and when
18 you agreed to answer, this could be described as
19 tactics. So, thank you for the second concept winning
21 I just need one or two points to be
22 clarified, Admiral. And then we will adjourn.
23 In the agreement that Judge Shahabuddeen has
24 just referred to, this agreement on joint defence
25 between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, in your
1 opinion, in view of the position you held, in your
2 mind, Mr. Izetbegovic and the high political and
3 military leaders, were they in agreement to apply just
4 then, the period we're interested in, to implement that
6 Was this relayed by the media? Do you
7 understand my question? Or on the contrary, when the
8 Croatian forces pledged themselves at the disposal of
9 the HVO one just said, "We are entitled to do this
10 because there was an agreement"? There is a slight
11 shade of meaning, different meaning between the two.
12 What is your position?
13 A. I have to go back to strategy once again.
14 Since in the overall strategy of warfare, in view of
15 the level of development of civilisation in the third
16 revolution, that is the era of information, that
17 information is important and at times decisive. I must
18 note that in those days it was not sufficiently
19 developed on either the Croatian or the Bosnian side
20 for such a special strategy to be applied. As far as I
21 can recall, it was not fully utilised and it was not
22 sufficiently presented to the public, unfortunately.
23 JUDGE JORDA: You haven't quite understood my
24 questions. I don't know whether that is strategy or
25 tactics. But what I wanted to know, simply, was
1 whether in this kind of partial occupation of, on the
2 part of Croatia in Bosnia, central Bosnia, whether at
3 any given moment in the course of developments you had
4 the impression that Izetbegovic and the Muslim forces
5 said let us implement this agreement so that we should
6 become militarily stronger.
7 That is all I'm asking you. Because there
8 was an agreement, I'm asking whether in the course of
9 developments itself it was invoked not just by one side
10 of Croatia, but by both, because if there was an
11 agreement, you will agree it must be between two
12 sides. That was my question. Perhaps you can't answer
14 A. I'm trying to, I do apologise, Mr. President,
15 if I did not understand your question completely. But
16 I shall do my best to try and answer it.
17 Have I understood you well, since there was
18 this agreement, your question is, Mr. President,
19 whether it was implemented, and to what extent by the
20 Bosnian leadership? Did it take advantage of that
21 agreement, did it place emphasis on it? Have I
22 understood you properly?
23 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, because I understood that
24 the Croatian leaders did rely on it. That is my
1 A. In my opinion they didn't use it
2 sufficiently, in my opinion. I'm trying to recall,
3 maybe they could have done better, and it may have been
4 more useful.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Admiral. I have a
6 last question to put to you. The accused is here,
7 Colonel Blaskic, at the time, I didn't quite understand
8 the chain of superior command. In other words, who was
9 in command over Colonel Blaskic? And was this command
10 linked to the Croatian forces? Was it General Bobetko,
11 was it someone else?
12 A. As far as I know, General Blaskic was not
13 within the chain of command linked to General Bobetko.
14 General Blaskic was the commander of an operative zone,
15 the operative zone of central Bosnia. And according to
16 the vertical chain of command, he came under the
17 command of the main command of the HVO. That is the
18 line of command, the line of subordination in the army.
19 JUDGE JORDA: And according to you it was at
20 that level that he communicated with the Republic of
22 A. At what level do you mean? At the level of
23 the operative zone or at the level of the main
25 JUDGE JORDA: The operative zone depended on
1 a headquarters, you have just said that. And I'm
2 asking whether at the level of the headquarters there
3 was a military tactical strategic link with the
4 Croatian forces, or at least with the Republic of
6 A. Since this was an area that is the gateway
7 which was of key significance for defence, it is quite
8 possible that there may have been cooperation in the
9 sense of coordination rather than command. The
10 expression coordination means the coordination of the
11 activities of each in his own area, so as to ensure the
12 best possible defence, so the form of coordination.
13 JUDGE JORDA: But these relations did exist,
14 then, those relations existed, these relations of
16 A. Yes, in the shape of coordination, but not
18 JUDGE JORDA: But in times of war you will
19 agree with me, coordination is extremely important.
20 A. It is important. Coordination means that the
21 forces in this area should carry out their assignments,
22 and that the forces in this area should carry out their
23 assignments. Because there was a constant threat of
24 the renewed operations of the enemy and the closing of
25 these pincers, there is a fundamental difference
1 between coordination and command in the military sense.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Well, Admiral, all that remains
3 for me to do is to thank you, but I noted a question
4 from the Prosecutor when you were able to answer where
5 certain archives were, and I think the Prosecutor can
6 get that information from another source; but I would
7 like to thank you by calling on countries, yours and
8 all others through your example, for total loyal and
9 wholehearted cooperation with this Tribunal.
10 This Tribunal is not composed of judges who
11 pretend to be judges, they have been mandated by the
12 Security Council within the framework of a statute and
13 in mind with very lofty international standards. The
14 Tribunal has the tools to firmly require of all states
15 concerned better cooperation, and that is in the first
16 place in the interest of the person here, the accused,
17 and it is the duty of all of us.
18 Admiral, thank you for coming here, this was
19 lengthy, but I think it was useful. Now, the
20 registrar, unless Mr. Nobilo has a question, is to
21 tender exhibits, I assume. You have a question to put,
22 Mr. Nobilo?
23 MR. NOBILO: No, Mr. President. A very minor
24 detail. As the accused is a party to this trial, he
25 sent me a message that there was an error in the
1 transcript. When the Admiral was listing the armies
2 who constituted the armed forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
3 the Admiral mentioned the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
4 the Army of Republika Srpska and the HVO, and what
5 appears in the transcript is HV. So could this fact be
6 noted? Thank you.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, I think
8 Mr. Registrar, we have to pay the greatest attention to
9 this transcript, we have a lot of problems, far be it
10 for me to criticise our interpreters who have an
11 extremely difficult task; but the transcript is very
12 important because we have to use it and rely on it 100
13 per cent.
14 Let me remind everyone that we are meeting
15 tomorrow at 9.45 with two breaks. It is a quarter to
16 6.00, I thank the interpreters and we meet again
17 tomorrow at 9.45. This hearing is adjourned.
18 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
19 5.53 p.m., to be reconvened on the 11th
20 day of September, 1998, at 9.45 a.m.