1 Monday, 1 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Are you to take the next witness,
6 Mr. Popovic?
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We'll have him then.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Would you please read aloud the
11 affirmation that is shown to you on the card.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
13 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: BRANKO KRGA
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Examination by Mr. Popovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. Mr. Krga, before I begin with your examination, you and I speak
24 the same language so I'd like to ask you to make pauses between question
25 and answer and after that to begin your answer. This way we will enable
1 the interpreters to do their job. Could you tell us your full name,
3 A. Branko Krga.
4 Q. When were you born and where?
5 A. I was born on the 18th February, 1945, Daruvar.
6 Q. On 13 August 2007
7 of General Ojdanic and sign it in your own hand?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Did you testify before this Court in the
10 Milutinovic et al. case on the 3rd and 4th October, 2007?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In the course of proofing for your testimony today, did you have
13 occasion to read the transcript of your testimony in the Milutinovic
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. To all the questions asked of you in the Milutinovic case, would
17 you answer in the same way if they were asked of you again today?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. May I ask
20 that the statement of Mr. Krga, 006-0037, the testimony of Mr. Krga on
21 the 3rd of August 2007 be admitted.
22 JUDGE PARKER: You are tendering the statement of the
23 13th of August 2007?
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. It's not the 3rd August.
25 It's the 13th August 2007.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be document
3 Exhibit D00519. Thank you, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE PARKER: And then the transcript --
5 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I will ask the Trial Chamber to
6 admit the transcript of the testimony of Mr. Krga in Milutinovic of the
7 3rd and 4th October 2007
8 version the other one is under seal. The public redacted version is
9 D001-0178 -- 71. While the other one is D008-1970. The number of the
10 redacted version is D011-1871.
11 JUDGE PARKER: First the redacted version will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00520.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Then the unredacted version.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00521.
15 Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: The unredacted version will be under seal.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, correction, Exhibit D00521 is
18 admitted under seal. Thank you, Your Honours.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will read a brief
20 summary of Mr. Krga's evidence for today. In the course of his military
21 service, the witness has occupied various command and staff positions in
22 the Yugoslav People's Army and the Army of Yugoslavia. In the period
23 from 2002 to 2005, he was Chief of the General Staff of the
24 Army of Yugoslavia
25 In the course of 1998, the witness was an advisor in the Ministry
1 of Defence for Defence policies and international military co-operation.
2 In mid-January 1999, he was appointed chief of the intelligence section
3 of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
4 Under full responsibility, the witness stated that he was not
5 aware of the existence of any plan or any specific document or directive
6 mentioning or referring in any way to expulsion or transfer of
7 Kosovar Albanians from the Republic of Serbia
8 Kosova-Metohija. During his tenure on the General Staff, he never
9 attended any meeting that would have dealt with any such topic. The
10 witness will further explain that in the year 1999 during the war when
11 the problem with refugees came to a head, the General Staff of its own
12 initiative issued a proclamation asking Kosovar Albanians not to leave
13 their homes. He will cite operative data that the administration he was
14 heading in 1999 gathered indicating the abuse of the refugee issue and
15 the efforts made by the KLA to use the movement of refugees to cause a
16 reaction of the international public and an aggression against the FRY.
17 The witness states in his statements that the combat activities
18 were exclusively targeting terrorists and the members of the KLA. When
19 the aggression of the FRY started, the purpose of combat operations, in
20 addition to fighting terrorists, was to defend the country from NATO
21 air-strikes and to prepare for a defence against ground invasion.
22 The witness will testify that the collegium of the staff of the
23 Supreme Command regularly met once a week. From time to time,
24 inter-meetings [as interpreted] of the staff were also organised. The
25 witness submitted reports of these meetings almost every time, and the
1 contents of his reports exclusively dealt with intelligence. In other
2 words, the activities of foreign diplomatic and military representative,
3 the writings and reporting of foreign media, and the way these activities
4 reflected on the security and defence of the FRY. The witness will show
5 on the basis of which intelligence the General Staff of the
6 Army Yugoslavia
7 witness will testify on facts that were known to the Army of Yugoslavia
8 concerning the way NATO forces assembled and prepared for a ground
9 invasion on the border of the FRY with Macedonia and Albania
10 also speak about the role of Albania
11 and supplying arms to the KLA terrorists.
12 The witness will testify about the information he had at his
13 disposal about the co-operation and support provided by NATO countries,
14 especially the US
15 and activities with member countries of the NATO initiated by the
16 Army of Yugoslavia
17 between February and March 1999.
18 The witness will also testify about the constant insistence of
19 the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia that a peaceful solution be
20 found to the aggression of NATO. The witness will testify that he was a
21 member of the negotiating team on behalf of the Army of Yugoslavia in
23 This is a brief summary of this witness's evidence.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Krga, were you a member of the Army of Yugoslavia; and if so,
2 until when?
3 A. Yes, I was a member of the Army of Yugoslavia and the Army of
5 Q. Were you retired on that date?
6 A. Yes, pursuant to the law I had met all the requirements for a
7 retirement pension and I retired.
8 Q. What rank did you hold at the moment of retirement?
9 A. Colonel-general. In western terms it would be a four-star
11 Q. Thank you, General. What is your occupation today?
12 A. I'm a lecturer at a university school for diplomacy and security.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you briefly enumerate the positions you held in
14 JNA and the Army of Yugoslavia
15 A. During my service I occupied a variety of command and staff
16 positions. I had two terms of office in diplomacy in Prague and in
18 positions in the General Staff in the defence ministry. I was chief of
19 the intelligence administration and advisor to the minister concerning
20 defence policy and international military co-operation. I was also
21 Deputy Chief of the General Staff and Chief of the General Staff.
22 Q. Thank you. Just for the record, I'll repeat the question. Your
23 answer is recorded properly. The question was could you briefly explain
24 to which positions you were appointed within the JNA and the
25 Army of Yugoslavia
1 I would like to now deal with 1998 and 1999. Which exact
2 positions did you have in the defence ministry in 1998?
3 A. During 1998, I was advisor to the minister for defence policy and
4 international military co-operation. And that duty meant that I dealt
5 with matters of defence policy and co-operation on a military level with
6 foreign countries. In addition to that, I had direct contacts with the
7 minister and proposed various solutions to him linked to a change in the
8 organisational structure of the ministry, the General Staff, and the army
9 in general, and matters concerning our relations with other countries
10 including the NATO alliance and many other organisations. The minister
11 at that time was Pavle Bulatovic, and he accepted most of my proposals.
12 Q. In 1998, did you attend meetings of the General Staff of the
13 Army of Yugoslavia
14 A. No. At that time, that is to say from 1993 up until 2003, the
15 General Staff was not within the composition of the ministry. That is to
16 say, the minister of defence was not superior to the Chief of the
17 General Staff. The Chief of General Staff was directly linked to the
18 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. So that I did not
19 attend the collegiums of the Chief of the General Staff during that
20 period of time.
21 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you now about the processes in the
22 Ministry of Defence and the army. During 1998, was there a process to
23 unify the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff?
24 A. Yes, especially after an agreement reached between Milosevic and
25 Holbrooke. We understood that the time of peace had come and that we
1 could undertake certain organisational changes of a substantive nature,
2 and along those lines I proposed a project to unify the
3 Ministry of Defence and the General Staff, to unite them. And this is
4 something that required several months for everything to assume its
5 proper place.
6 However, for reasons that are generally known, the situation
7 deteriorated and so we were not able to undertake that job at the time
8 but we left it to several years later.
9 Q. Tell me, this action to unify or unite the Ministry of Defence
10 with the General Staff, was that normal? Was it normal to do something
11 like that in an army that was preparing for offensive activities or a
12 possible war?
13 A. No, certainly not, because it would be impossible for the army to
14 be engaged in some war conflicts in a stage whereby organisational
15 processes were taking place and changes were taking place. You do things
16 like that in stable periods when you expect a time of peace and when
17 there was no need for any direct involvement on the part of the armed
19 Q. Thank you. Tell me now, during 1998, the processes linked to the
20 Special Forces corps, what happened there, do you have any information
21 and knowledge about that?
22 A. Yes, the corps of the Special Forces was one of the strongest
23 forces at that level in the Army of Yugoslavia; and within its
24 composition you had the special units, the Guards Brigade, the armoured
25 brigade, and some other units. So it was a very powerful unit, a mighty
1 unit. However, at the end of that same year, 1998, decision was made to
2 disband it. And in the first few months of 1999, the unit was in fact
4 Q. I'm going to ask you the question I asked you earlier on, a
5 moment ago. The disbanding of the corps of the Special Forces, was that
6 a customary move for an army that was preparing for any kind of offensive
7 action or a war in the near future?
8 A. Certainly not. It was a measure that could be expected in
9 peacetime under peaceful conditions in an environment that would enable
10 this vast job to be dealt with smoothly.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, let's look at the Ministry of Defence. And in
12 1998 how did they view the Holbrooke-Milosevic Agreement in the ministry?
13 A. Well, the Ministry of Defence, the General Staff, the whole army,
14 the whole country in actual fact, this was seen as lifting the burden.
15 They were all very pleased and we, especially the professional soldiers,
16 hoped that an armed conflict had been averted and that the problem would
17 be resolved peacefully or, rather, through political means.
18 Q. Tell me now, please you were in the Ministry of Defence, so you
19 weren't in the General Staff, and you explained that position to us.
20 Now, did you have any information whatsoever about the situation in
21 Kosovo during 1998 in view of the fact that you were in the
22 Ministry of Defence? And if you did, what information did you have and
23 who did you obtain it from?
24 A. Although the General Staff, as I said earlier on, was not
25 subordinated to the Ministry of Defence, the minister of defence himself,
1 as a member of the government, would of course receive information from
2 the General Staff and the intelligence services and also from diplomatic
3 representatives. So part of that information, I myself read. And I was
4 therefore informed, if not fully, then to a great extent about the events
5 that were going on at that time both in Kosovo and Metohija and generally
6 speaking in that environment.
7 Q. Thank you. Tell me now, as an advisor to the
8 Ministry of Defence, did you attend any meetings which the minister had
9 with foreign diplomats and foreign military representatives; and if so,
10 at meetings of that kind, was anything discussed linked to Kosovo, if you
12 A. Well, yes, there were a number of such meetings. And when the
13 ambassador of a foreign country would come, he would be escorted by the
14 military attaché and I would attend such meetings with the minister and
15 they would discuss the security situation but also various forms of
17 And I remember one particular meeting after an incident and
18 conflict that had broken out linked to the Jasharis. When the ambassador
19 military attaché of Great Britain came to see the minister, this topic
20 was discussed extensively. Everything -- everybody felt very
21 uncomfortable that a situation like that had arisen in the first place,
22 but it was noted that it was an anti-terrorist operation and they spoke
23 about some of their experiences from similar operations in Northern
25 MR. STAMP: Excuse me, forgive me for interrupting, Your Honours
1 and my friend.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP: Counsel is venturing into areas relating to the
4 witness's exercise of his functions when he was in the
5 Ministry of Defence and what he observed and what he did during that
6 period of 1998. I don't recall seeing that in the summary and maybe I
7 missed it, but actually I didn't bring my notes for that period because I
8 didn't anticipate we were going to be dealing with his work in the
9 Ministry of Defence.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the summary which I
12 read out at the beginning before this witness's testimony began, it was
13 clearly mentioned that he was during 1998 in the defence ministry and
14 that he would be talking about his knowledge and experience working
15 there. So I see no reason why we should not briefly deal with that
16 particular period since the witness explained to us what the role of the
17 Ministry of Defence was compared to the General Staff and the army in
19 JUDGE PARKER: Can you point to any particular passage in the
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. It's paragraph 2.
22 In the course of 1998:
23 "The witness was an advisor in the Ministry of Defence for
24 defence policy and international co-operation."
25 JUDGE PARKER: That tells us his position. The issue is whether
1 it indicated you were to discuss his activities in that role.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] We only stated the function he
3 performed. His post. And so I'm asking him now whether he attended any
4 meetings and whether he has any knowledge about things like that, and the
5 witness is recalling one such meeting but I'm not going to dwell on it
6 and I'm going to move on to 1999. But I was just interested to hear
7 whether he was informed about the situation in Kosovo at that period.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. General --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Just a minute, please.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Do we understand you are now moving on to 1999,
14 Mr. Popovic? That avoids the difficulty then, please carry on.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely so, Your Honour. We are
16 moving on to 1999.
17 Q. General, can you explain to us in greater detail the situation in
18 the Army of Yugoslavia, what that was like, and the situation in
19 Kosova-Metohija at a point in time when you were appointed chief of the
20 intelligence administration in the General Staff which is January 1999?
21 A. As I've already said, at the end of 1998 and the beginning of
22 1999, in the ministry, the General Staff, and the army, there was a
23 certain mood of optimism with respect to the resolution of the crisis in
24 Kosova-Metohija, and this was based on the Holbrooke-Milosevic Agreement.
25 And we sincerely hoped that the situation would be resolved, as had been
1 agreed through peaceful means, that is. However, already in mid-January
2 of that year, 1999 and later on, various incidents began to take place
3 and this gave us cause for concern with respect to further developments.
4 We knew, of course, that in October 1998 an armed conflict was
5 narrowly avoided, and we were afraid that a situation would crop up
6 whereby that would be the outcome again.
7 Q. Thank you. I'd like to ask you now to explain to us the role of
8 the intelligence administration within the frameworks of the
9 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
10 A. The intelligence administration or the intelligence component
11 within the structure of the General Staff, as in any other country, has
12 the prime task of monitoring the security situation in an area. And to
13 weigh it up, to assess the dangers and the threat to the country's
14 security. And that's the kind of work we did too.
15 In addition to that, as the chief of the intelligence
16 administration, I myself, was, if I can put it this way, the host to
17 foreign military attachés and I had almost daily contact with them. They
18 came to see me, we discussed the situation, we discussed the problems,
19 and I can say that most of them shared our conviction that the situation
20 was becoming more complicated. And we sought ways and means of avoiding
21 any possible conflicts.
22 Now, the knowledge that I gained and information I gained, I
23 would inform the collegium of the Chief of the General Staff, and if
24 there were any more important questions, I would inform the members of
25 the Supreme Defence Council, the defence minister, and some other state
2 Q. Thank you. Now, the way in which the administration functioned,
3 the intelligence administration, we will deal with that in greater detail
4 when we come to analyse the documents that I'm going to put to you. But
5 I'd like now briefly to ask you to tell us how you went about gathering
6 information, the information that you sent on further to the
7 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
8 A. Information came from various sources. Public announcements by
9 various international forum, the governments of foreign countries,
10 various statements made by high-ranking state officials, media and so on
11 and so forth; but we mostly relied on our own intelligence sources via
12 intelligence offices abroad and in the country, and we also used
13 electronic reconnaissance and monitoring for the gathering of information
14 as well as reconnaissance of the troops on the ground. Also we had a
15 number of contacts and co-operation with foreign intelligence services.
16 We exchanged visits and information so that that was another way in which
17 we gained important information and intelligence.
18 All this intelligence was -- well, we used the customary
19 technology, we would analyse and process the information coming in, we
20 would weigh it up to assess how far the information was realistic and
21 truthful or not, and if we thought they were realistic, then we would set
22 the information out in our reports and analyses and so on and so forth
23 and send them on to the people I've already mentioned.
24 Q. This intelligence that you gathered, did it serve you and the
25 General Staff in the making of plans or strategies, whatever, and if so,
1 could you give us a few details?
2 A. Yes, certainly. Any serious plan concerning the security made in
3 the General Staff would first analyse the situation and the threats that
4 it posed. It would be followed by a presentation of the possible
5 engagement of the army to neutralise such threats.
6 Mine was a very responsible role, namely to present to the
7 General Staff the situation in the territory concerned, and to suggest
8 measures that could be taken to avoid surprise attack and preserve our
10 Q. Thank you. Are there any specific plans that you mean when you
11 say that, or are you describing the way you considered such intelligence
12 generally and used it in making plans?
13 A. Our General Staff, like many other staffs, had a number of plans.
14 And all these plans concerning the security of the country featured in
15 the first position an analysis and suggestions. Of course, there were
16 plans concerning staffing and replenishment that did not need
17 intelligence to be included in the first paragraph. But whenever an
18 engagement of units was involved, then intelligence was a necessary
20 Q. When you say in your answer "like many other General Staffs
21 perhaps our General Staff had a great number of plans," could you explain
22 further what you mean by that? And also tell us if there were a number
23 of such plans, on what would the use of any such plan depend?
24 A. It all depended on the various threats to the country. There
25 were plans to defend from aerial attack, plans of defence in case of a
1 ground invasion, plans of defence against attacks from various directions
2 and sources. Most of these plans, since I worked in the General Staff
3 for a long time, never were implemented because the threat envisaged
4 never materialised. But it's simply a rule and a custom that armies make
5 contingency plans for all sorts of situations.
6 Q. Thank you. We will now move to a number of documents.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May I just ask the Usher for his
8 assistance. The Defence, Your Honours, has again prepared a binder with
9 the documents we will be using. And with your leave, we would like to
10 hand the binder to the witness.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, any time I call a document, I will give you the tab
14 number for you so you will be able to find it.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now call up in e-court
17 Q. For you, General, it's tab 2. We can see on the screen the
18 collegium, session of the collegium of the Chief of General Staff of the
19 Yugoslav Army held on 14 January 1999
20 the collegium of the Chief of General Staff and how often did this
21 collegium meet in January 1999?
22 A. Collegium of the Chief of the General Staff is one of the methods
23 of work wherein usually once a week all chiefs of various administrations
24 and sectors would be -- were meeting to analyse the situation in the
25 country and in the army, and this meeting would make certain conclusions,
1 after which the Chief of the General Staff would issue instructions as to
2 how to realise these conclusions.
3 As I said, this collegium met normally once a week and sometimes
4 more often.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Page 6, please, in the B/C/S, and
7 page 6 in English. This is page 5 in B/C/S, we need 6. We have the
8 right page in English now, thank you.
9 Q. Here you speak, General, and you say:
10 "In the reactions of western countries regarding the activities
11 of Siptar extremists and the kidnapping of Yugoslav Army soldiers, the
12 western countries mostly demanded the cessation of all military
13 activities and the start of a dialogue but did not explicitly condemn the
14 so-called KLA, which was particularly obvious when the US blocked the
15 statement from the UN Security Council chair on the activities of this
17 Could you tell us briefly what this was about and on what
18 information you based this?
19 A. As I said, we followed very carefully statements issued by
20 various institutions in international relations, primarily the UN, the
21 OSCE, the European Union, NATO, and we conveyed these positions to our
22 authorities. I would inform the General Staff. Although, of course,
23 members of the General Staff could find out about it from the media. But
24 it was my responsibility in case any of them missed it, to brief members
25 of the collegium of the positions of foreign authorities.
1 In this case it concerned the reactions to kidnappings of our
2 soldiers. Namely, on the 8th of January, Albanian terrorists kidnapped a
3 number of our soldiers and we considered that as a violation of our
4 agreement and something that could only deteriorate instead of defuse
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at the last paragraph
7 on page 6, which is page 7, paragraph 4, in English.
8 Q. General, here you say:
9 "The engagement of Albania
10 Kosovo and Metohija issue (mediation between the representatives of the
11 political parties from Kosovo and Metohija in order to come to a unified
12 political platform) confirms the continued instrumentalisation of this
13 country by the US
14 negotiating position. In addition to providing increasingly open support
15 to the secessionists, the Albanian leadership is trying to use these
16 activities to stabilise the political situation in the country ..."
17 Can you explain this further, you said that you always began your
18 briefs by an analysis? Can we just wait a little.
19 A. I was saying, we followed very carefully Albanian reactions to
20 the developments in Kosovo and Metohija, I believe it was quite natural
21 bearing in mind the links between Albania
22 this province. Every action had a special dimension because it could
23 contribute to either escalating or improving the situation. We followed
24 the reactions in Albania
25 conditioned by internal affairs of that country which were very complex
1 at the time and burdened with many problems.
2 It was our estimate that by emphasising the problem of Kosovo and
3 Metohija, various factors in Albania
4 patriotism and other feelings for their compatriots in Kosovo and
5 Metohija, were trying to position themselves as an adequate
6 representative of the Albanian people within their own country.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] We'll continue with page 7,
9 paragraph 2. In English it's the last paragraph.
10 Q. It says:
11 "The bringing in and deployment of the announced contingent of
12 the verifiers extraction forces as part of the Joint Guarantor Operation
13 has been finalised. According to our information, about 1.850 people
14 over 40 armoured personnel carriers and 23 helicopters have arrived in
16 What is this about?
17 A. We know that the Holbrooke-Milosevic Agreement envisaged the
18 Verification Mission
19 Kosovo and Metohija. The mandate of that mission included the so-called
20 Joint Guarantor Operation, that is, bringing in forces that would have a
21 protective role and provide assistance during evacuations and such. We,
22 of course, monitored these activities to check whether they were
23 implemented as agreed or perhaps there were some other forces being
24 brought to Macedonia
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to move now to page 8 in
2 B/C/S and page 8 in English.
3 Q. Here we see a conclusion, items 1, 2, and 3. Item 1 says that
4 finding a political solution to the crisis is still complicated because
5 major powers do not display any readiness at this moment to exert any
6 strong pressures on the Siptars, especially the KLA, to stop with the
7 terrorist actions. And before you give us your comment, please look also
8 at item 3 which says that the political support offered under the
9 influence of the US
10 the increase. In this connection, training and equipping of Siptar
11 extremists in the north of the country is continuing and the aim is to
12 transfer them to Kosovo.
13 A. First of all, I want to say that we were united in our conclusion
14 that only the political solution is the right solution. And it was in
15 this light that we viewed all the on-going activities. We feared an
16 escalation of these conflicts, which, in the end, unfortunately happened
17 with all the consequences. We were certain at that moment - and I think
18 I would make the same conclusion now - that the international community
19 could have exerted more pressure on the Albanian extremists, and if it
20 had done so, the situation would have been diffused. We were very
21 sensitive to any support given to their activities, especially training
22 them and providing equipment to these groups for insertion to Kosovo and
23 Metohija, because we knew that this could lead to new incidents that we
24 certainly hoped would happen -- wouldn't happen because they, as we knew,
25 would further complicate the situation.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we now have Exhibit P902 pulled
2 up, please.
3 Q. General, it's document number 3 in your set. General, there we
4 have the collegium, the 9th Session of the Chief of the General Staff of
5 the Army of Yugoslavia, held on the 21st of January, 1999.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we have the second page in the
7 B/C/S -- no, page 6 in the B/C/S. I apologise. Page 6, please, which is
8 page 7, the penultimate paragraph, in the English.
9 Q. General, if we look at paragraph 2, Lieutenant-General
10 Aleksandar Dimitrijevic is saying something. Who was
11 Colonel-General Dimitrijevic, can you tell us?
12 A. At the time, he was the chief of the security administration.
13 Q. Thank you. Now in paragraph 2 he says, the action in the village
14 of Racak on the 15th of January in the presidential announcement to the
15 Security Council states that the operation was carried out by the SFRY
16 security forces, in other words the Yugoslav army and the organs of MUP
17 of the Republic of Serbia
19 Milorad Obradovic says -- goes on to say, General, officially at the
20 federal commission, there was discussion about that, and as far as I
21 know, nobody mentioned the army nor was the army involved in anything, at
22 least to the best of my knowledge.
23 Now, General, sir, were they in fact discussing what had happened
24 in Racak on the 15th of January as Aleksandar Dimitrijevic say?
25 A. The substance of the discussion here is twofold. The first thing
1 discussed was what had actually happened in Racak because, as we all
2 know, this caused great unrest in the world. And secondly, they analysed
3 to see whether the army played any role. The goal, of course, was to
4 establish the actual facts so that steps could be taken.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Now, could we look at page 8 in the
7 Serbian version, which is page 10 in the English, please.
8 Q. And we are going to see what Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic
9 says. General, Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic, what was his position
10 at that time?
11 A. Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic at that point in time was the
12 Chief of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia.
13 Q. Thank you. He says:
14 "After this action or operation or whatever you want to call it
15 linked to the village of Racak
16 the corps commander personally to send me a report on where the army was
17 and what the army was doing at that moment. It had to be studied in
18 detail, and I studied this report, and then I went back to the special
19 report which was received from information on the 15th and
20 16th of January, and from the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd, the most
21 important one, it says that the army did not take part."
22 Now, the Chief of the General Staff here, is he talking about the
23 information he received about the events in Racak?
24 A. Yes, as is common knowledge in the army, there is a system of
25 reporting and sending information from bottom to the top. So any
1 possible engagement of the army in any event, the subordinate must inform
2 his superior thereof. And the Chief of the General Staff,
3 General Ojdanic, as we can see from this, received those reports from the
4 subordinate commands. And from that it would follow that the army did
5 not take part in that action around Racak.
6 Of course, General Ojdanic certainly insisted upon
7 establishing -- well, he was fully conscious of all the adverse
8 repercussions that could follow, so he insisted on this topic.
9 Q. Let's digress for a moment, but we'll come back to the events in
11 Now, in the following paragraph, General Ojdanic says as follows:
12 "The essence is that there is no reason for the army commander or
13 this General Staff to hide anything, things that are done must be known.
14 If we participated, we'll say that we did, and if we need suffer the
15 consequences for that, we will suffer them, but we must know why this is
16 being done ..."
17 Now, General, was this the position taken by the General Staff of
18 the Army of Yugoslavia linked to everything that happens in the army and
19 everything that the General Staff is in charge of and deals with?
20 A. Yes, of course, the General Staff was fully conscious of the fact
21 that nothing can be hidden and that anything that happens will out sooner
22 or later. And so we see that the Chief of the General Staff here found
23 it necessary to highlight that legal and professional and moral
24 relationship of the superior and subordinate commands.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Now, let's move on to page 9 of the
2 B/C/S, which is page 11 of the English.
3 Q. General, it's the part where you had something to say. And in
4 the first paragraph you say:
5 "A military envoy here claims that he personally saw the
6 artillery shooting in the sector around Racak village."
7 That's number one. And then in paragraph 3, you say:
8 "I also agree that we must absolute know exactly what went on,
9 these are very serious issues, so we must know absolutely correctly what
10 the information is on what happened."
11 A. Yes, immediately after the event in Racak, there were different
12 interpretations as to what happened there, how many victims there were,
13 who the victims were, who took part in the actions, so on and so forth.
14 And from my contacts with foreign military representatives, and this was
15 one of them, this military envoy, I came to the conclusion that the
16 situation was indeed serious and that we had to clear it up so that we
17 could tell the military envoys and the public at large and all the state
18 institutions and anybody else what the truth about those events was.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we now move on to page 11 of
21 the B/C/S, which is page 13 of the English.
22 Q. General, you, once again, take the floor at this meeting and say
23 the following:
24 "General, the main characteristic in the reactions of the
25 international factors to the latest escalation in Kosovo and Metohija and
1 concerning Racak village is that all the relevant fora, including the
2 Security Council, have come out with a statement, which is somewhat
3 unusual for a conflict at this level."
4 And then in the following paragraph you say:
5 "This is the result of the influence of American diplomacy and
6 the media."
7 And then in paragraph 3:
8 "The speed and manner of reaction to the events in the village of
9 Racak reveal extensive co-ordination in the matter, which must be borne
10 in mind in the further development of the situation and possible similar
11 new cases."
12 General, may we have your comments to these statements made by
14 A. Well, we were really very concerned by the reactions to the --
15 well, we were concerned about the event itself, and then reactions to the
16 event. And we analysed who reacted, what their reactions were, how
17 speedy the reactions were, what the contents of the messages were; and
18 from that we deduced that there were elements of co-ordination which
19 worried us quite a lot because we knew from earlier incidents and from
20 previous statements made by Albanian extremists that they would like to
21 see various conflicts and clashes to happen which would be a pretext for
22 NATO's involvement, of course on their side, against the
23 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
24 Q. Thank you. Now staying with those same pages, in paragraph 4, on
25 the last sentence there, you say:
1 "The United States of America are endeavouring to assert NATO's
2 credibility on its 50th anniversary which will be celebrated in April of
3 this year. Now translated into practical terms, this means that NATO
4 will endeavour to achieve something in Kosovo and Metohija which would
5 serve to confirm its existence."
6 Could you clarify that, please?
7 A. From the reactions of high ranking American representatives and
8 from the reactions in the media and on the basis of contacts with a large
9 number of diplomatic representatives, frequent mention was made of NATO's
10 credibility, that NATO's credibility was important and that NATO's
11 credibility should be saved. Now, I understood the NATO member states'
12 endeavours along those lines, but in response to this position of theirs,
13 I would reply and say that the best way of preserving NATO's credibility
14 would be to see that the problems in Kosovo and Metohija even under NATO
15 pressure were resolved peacefully through political means. I considered
16 that to be best for both NATO and Yugoslavia and for the Albanians living
17 in Kosovo and Metohija as well.
18 Q. In the last paragraph, you say:
19 "In the command of the 5th ATAF command in Vicenza and the
20 command of the South European front in Naples, alert -- the level of
21 alert has been raised and reconnaissance activities of the NATO air
22 forces increased as part of Operation Eagle Eye."
23 Could you tell us what operation this was, Operation Eagle Eye?
24 A. On the basis of the agreement we mentioned, of October 1998, it
25 envisaged the possibility of having the NATO air forces over-fly the
1 air-space on the territory of Yugoslavia
2 Eagle Eye. And let me just mention that on the basis of that agreement,
3 it was envisaged that NATO representatives should be present in the
4 command of the air force and anti-air defence of the Federal Republic
6 the events as they were happening.
7 Now, we saw what NATO's reactions were and followed them closely
8 because through their activities we tried to see what the next steps
9 would be and how that could reflect on our own country's security.
10 Q. NATO force movements that are mentioned here, and we are dealing
11 with the 21st of January, 1999, here, those movements, did they -- were
12 they cause for concern, and did they indicate and did they give you a
13 premonition of what was to come?
14 A. As I've said, we followed all movements closely, all NATO
15 movements closely, and on the basis of those movements, the movement of
16 air forces, naval forces, and ground forces, we tried to assess what
17 actions could follow. We knew that NATO was a very mighty, powerful
18 organisation and that even in peacetime deployment -- with it's peacetime
19 deployment it could go into action. It had the power to act. So any
20 movements were cause for additional concern. So we analysed their
21 movements to see what would happen.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel, please.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we have the next page in the
24 B/C/S and the English, please.
25 Q. General, you go on to say:
1 "On the territory of Albania
2 noted, forces -- reserve forces have been brought in, there is additional
3 mobilisation, and rapid training of reserve forces is being carried out
4 in the territory of north-east Albania."
5 May we have your comments there?
6 A. Yes, as I've already stated, we followed what was going on in
8 weak, albeit, as we can see, nevertheless, were engaged in some sort of
9 activity. And very often we would conclude that they were intentionally
10 going about these actions to exert additional pressure on our country.
11 Because, you know, if activities were being carried out, if combat
12 readiness was being raised, if mobilisation was underway and training
13 underway, rapid additional training for the reserve forces, then anybody
14 monitoring those activities would be concerned as to the object of those
15 measures, what they wanted to achieve by carrying all that out.
16 So when we mention rapid training in north-east Albania which is
17 Peshkopia, that general area, those settlements, we monitored the
18 situation and we drew certain conclusions, how this could be reflected in
19 Kosovo, because Kosovo is in close proximity to the location where this
20 rapid training was being conducted.
21 Q. Thank you. In the next paragraph you say:
22 "A new element in Albania
23 21st of January. "The new element in Albania is the engagement of
24 Italian armed forces in the formation of refugee centres and camps."
25 What did such conduct of the Italian armed forces indicate to
2 A. I had a rather good and intensive co-operation with Italians.
3 Around that time, I went for a visit to Italy, I spoke to my
4 counter-parts in the military and intelligence services, and I thought
5 they were rather concerned about the developments in Kosovo and Metohija.
6 They had already realised that one of the consequences of an extended
7 conflict could be a flow of refugees.
8 At that time, the number of refugees was not so great, but they
9 estimated that if the conflict escalated, the number of refugees could
10 increase. Another key reason why Italy in particular was sensitive to
11 this problem is that a large number of Albanian refugees, even in the
12 past, moved through Italy
13 in Italy
14 case the conflict escalated, the problem could really increase. So they
15 wanted to avoid that.
16 Q. The next paragraph are conclusions. In the second conclusion, we
17 read this:
18 "Some new cases might be rigged, for instance, a humanitarian or
19 some other such disaster which could again cause the escalation of the
21 What did you mean by this?
22 A. The developments in the former Yugoslavia during the war were
23 full of various orchestrated incidents involving large numbers of deaths,
24 and we were afraid that in addition to what happened in Racak, something
25 else could happen to cause uproar in the international community and
1 provoke NATO to react, and we constantly warned our units on the ground
2 to be alert and to avoid being dragged into a conflict that could get out
3 of hand.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I now call D006-0051.
5 Q. Your number 4, General.
6 This is a session of the collegium of the Chief of the
7 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia held on the 28 January 1999.
8 Could you please turn to page 4, General.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] For the Trial Chamber, that would
10 be page 5, paragraph 5 in B/C/S and the one but last paragraph in
12 Q. You said this:
13 "However, it has been noticed over the past few days that some
14 foreign factors are beginning to accuse also the KLA for orchestrating or
15 rigging the incident in Racak."
16 Tell us, General, what information did you subsequently get about
17 Racak? Where does this come from?
18 A. I can say that many players in the international community were
19 making efforts to gain an objective view of the situation, and some of
20 them reacted in this way. Some prominent individuals and leaders and
21 politicians in foreign countries had great misgivings about the
22 possibility of a worsening conflict, and they voiced opinions that the
23 KLA was deliberately escalating its activities and incidents, and
24 provoking the Yugoslav Army.
25 For each of these references, I had a source. I cannot tell you
1 now which international representative said what exactly, but there were
2 a number of them. Many of them accused us, but we tried to take into
3 account also those who had a more objective view and made certain
4 accusations against the KLA as well.
5 Q. On the same page, it's paragraph 6 in B/C/S, you say that a total
6 number of planes was increased from 264 to 392. Were you concerned by
7 this increase in the number of aircraft? What did that tell you?
8 A. As I said, we were very serious and attentive in monitoring the
9 activities of the NATO forces around our country, and they did have quite
10 a respectable forces, even without reinforcement, on airfields around
12 we thought that was an indicator of additional pressure, on the one hand,
13 but also possible preparation for an armed operation. And of course it
14 was a great concern.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will not be
17 finished with this document before the break, therefore, we might as well
18 take it now.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We'll take the break now. It's the
20 normal time. We resume at 11.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Popovic.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. General, we are continuing with the collegium meeting of the
2 28th of January, 1999. Let us look at page 5 in the B/C/S, page 6 in
3 English. Paragraph 2 in B/C/S and paragraph 3 in English. This is what
4 you say:
5 "In the period to follow, we are to expect -- we are to
6 expect --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel give us a reference in B/C/S.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] It is page 5, paragraph 2 and
9 paragraph 3 on page 6 in English.
10 Q. I'll read this out again.
11 "In the period to follow, we are to expect the harmonisation of
12 pressures and the acceptance of solutions with the threat of using
13 military force combined with permanent escalation of political and
14 economic sanctions. In this way, the operationalisation of the strategy
15 of military threat continues."
16 A. This is a conclusion as to what can be expected in the period to
17 follow. We expected these pressures to continue, and the
18 operationalisation of the military threat implied a number of measures
19 destined to demonstrate this military threat. That's what we discussed
20 before, bringing in more forces, various media announcements and
21 statements, which was enough to make the threat real, rather than just
23 Q. Thank you. Please look at paragraph 4 on the same page in B/C/S.
24 It's also paragraph 4 in English. In the last sentence you say:
25 "However, if some massacre or some undesirable incident were to
1 occur again, were to be rigged again, it would make it worse."
2 Can you give us your comment?
3 A. Yes, we were deeply aware that any action, any event similar to
4 that in Racak or some other incidents we had seen in battle-fields
5 earlier would be a new pretext for a media campaign against Yugoslavia
6 but could also cause some concrete steps to be taken against our country.
7 Of course, that would happen if Yugoslavia were to be accused of
8 causing such an incident. So we sent many warnings and instructions to
9 units to beware of such provocations because that could only hurt our
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May I now ask for page 11 in B/C/S
12 and page 13 in English.
13 Q. Again, it's a passage where you speak, General. And in
14 paragraph 1 you say:
15 "First, in view of the course, the crises being resolved, there
16 are dozens of variants and possibilities in play and there are all sorts
17 of things. There is something that is called reality, there is trickery,
18 and I would like to draw your attention to these, we simply should not
19 believe everything that the media comes up with."
20 Could you explain this, please.
21 A. This shows, again, how responsible we were in our attitude to
22 everything that was happening around us, everything reported in the media
23 and elsewhere. We registered, as I say here, that there are many options
24 in how the situation might develop, and I wanted to warn my colleagues
25 from the collegium that they should not believe everything they hear and
1 read in the media, but that they should try instead to gain an objective
2 view of developments, because the media were reporting in a wide variety
3 of ways and it was certainly undesirable to rely on the media reports
4 alone, especially for us in the collegium.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
7 tender this document, please.
8 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document shall be given
10 Exhibit D00522. Thank you, Your Honours.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. May we have the next
12 document, which is P1333, please.
13 Q. General, it's document number 5 in your set, and it is the
14 interim session of the collegium of the Chief of the General Staff of the
15 Yugoslav Army held on the 2nd of February, 1999.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] And may we turn to page 4 in the
17 B/C/S, please, which is page 6 in the English.
18 Q. And I'd like us to look at paragraph 5 or the penultimate
19 paragraph in the English where you say the following:
20 "In the interests of the defence of the country, we therefore
21 believe that the third option is the most realistic, to propose to the
22 state leadership that we should participate in the negotiations but that
23 we should clearly define our conditions, especially with regard to
24 protecting our sovereignty, putting an end to the NATO threats, and
25 avoiding the arrival of these forces in the territory of Kosovo
1 Now, General, could you clarify the position presented in this
2 paragraph, which options were available, and was that the position
3 generally taken by the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia?
4 A. It was a period prior to the Rambouillet negotiations, and from
5 our point of view, we analysed how the situation might develop. It was a
6 political question first an foremost, and it was up to the state organs
7 to deal with it, but we thought that it would be useful to analyse what
8 kind of turn the situation could take. And as I say there, there were
9 different options open and we discussed and evaluated these options and
10 decided that the best option was to go to the negotiations and to try and
11 find a solution to the situation that way.
12 Now, as far as the reference to NATO forces coming into Kosovo,
13 at the time, there was the fear that if these forces were brought in,
14 they would give the Albanians the possibility of achieving their
15 pretensions, the pretensions they had in the area, and what we see
16 happening now, the cessation of that part of the territory from the FRY.
17 Let me remind you that during the time of the negotiations, the
18 president of the day of Serbia
19 NATO forces might be brought in to Yugoslav territory once Yugoslav
20 becomes a member of NATO, but as we know, the agreement was never
21 reached. And so our fears were linked to that, and we relied on a
22 statement made by the state -- secretary of state of the
23 USA Madeleine Albright to the effect that the Albanians themselves were
24 boasting and bragging and they said that the main goal of bringing in
25 NATO forces to Kosovo and Metohija, that that was the main aim and that
1 their requirements would then be met, the requirements made in
3 Q. When you told us about the things the Albanians boasted about, on
4 the basis of intelligence gathered, did you have information to the
5 effect that the Albanians were discussing these positions with other
7 A. Yes, we did have information to that effect, and it was on the
8 basis of that intelligence that I said what I did here.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Now let's look at document D006, a
11 Defence document, 0118. D006-0118.
12 Q. General, we have before us a document titled "Assessment of the
13 Intelligence and Security Situation and the Danger to the Security of the
14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia." First tell me if you are familiar with
15 this document and whether your intelligence administration took part in
16 compiling it?
17 A. This is a document that was drafted from time to time when the
18 situation was deemed to be complex and that it needed more detailed
19 analysis than was possible at the collegium meetings. And then pursuant
20 to an order from the Chief of the General Staff, various institutions
21 would be given a task of each preparing its contribution for this
22 document, this assessment. And all the information was harmonised and
23 dovetailed and we see that this was done at the level of the sector for
24 operations of staff affairs, the first administration, and this is one of
25 those assessments. And the intelligence administration, which I headed,
1 took part in that at the time.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at page D006-0122 in
4 B/C/S, please, and D006-0161 in the English version, please.
5 Q. General, in your set of documents this -- it is the assessment of
6 the intelligence assessment situation under point 1, the influence of the
7 foreign factor or of the -- the influence of the foreign factor and the
8 subparagraph is titled "Influence of the International Community At Large
9 and Its Organisations." Now, my question to you is, was this subject
10 part of what your intelligence administration dealt with in assessing and
11 appraising the intelligence and security situation?
12 A. Yes, that did come under the remit of the intelligence
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we now have D006-0140 in the
16 B/C/S version displayed, please, and D006-0181 for the English.
17 Q. General, it's towards the end of the document where we have the
18 section titled conclusions. That's right. And could you focus on
19 paragraphs 3, 4, and 5.
20 "Foreign armed forces in the region, and particularly those that
21 are occasionally deployed in the area, may exert great pressure and have
22 considerable influence on the political processes, and, under certain
23 circumstances, might be used in various forms of military intervention
24 against our country.
25 "The disposition and activities of the foreign armed forces in
1 the region indicate that the southern part of the FRY faces the greatest
3 And then:
4 "From the point of view of national Defence, our primary
5 objective should be to avoid the deployment of foreign armed forces in
6 our territory and in particular an armed conflict with NATO, and at the
7 same time to preserve our vital government and national interests."
8 May we have your comments to what I've just read out, especially
9 with respect to an avoidance of a conflict with NATO?
10 A. The conclusions set out here is the logical result of what I was
11 saying earlier on; the situation was already very complex at that time,
12 and it was our view that the armed forces could have this kind of effect
13 on our country. Now, we soldiers were attached to the idea of having the
14 problem solved through a peaceful solution, through political means, and
15 we availed ourselves of every opportunity to avoid an armed conflict with
16 NATO. We, of course, knew full well the strength that NATO had, NATO's
17 might. And when we compared that to the forces we had, we came to the
18 conclusion that a conflict with NATO would be highly detrimental to our
19 country, and we knew that the former battlefronts of the former
21 favour of a peaceful solution to solving the crisis in
22 Kosovo and Metohija.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this document
25 now, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE PARKER: This is not an exhibit already?
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't believe so, no.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. It will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00523. Thank
5 you, Your Honours.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we next have Exhibit P1341,
8 Q. General, it's document number 7 in your set. This is a collegium
9 meeting of the Chiefs of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia held
10 on the 25th of February, 1999
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we have page 3 in the B/C/S
12 displayed please, which is page 4 in the English.
13 Q. General, I'm going to ask you to take a look at paragraph 4
14 there, on page 3 that is, which is the penultimate paragraph in the
15 English. It says:
16 "Various pieces of information indicate that, these foreign
17 troops would not completely disarm the so-called KLA. The Albanians are
18 even bragging that Ms. Albright had promised them that NATO troops will
19 make sure that they hold a referendum, even if there were no such
20 provision in the agreement."
21 General, a moment ago you were telling us about this position and
22 the information you received. Just briefly, does this reflect the actual
23 situation linked to bringing in NATO troops to the territory?
24 A. Yes, we could say that it does reflect the conclusions that we
25 discussed earlier.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we now have page 4 in the
3 B/C/S, which is page 5 in the English. And I'd like us to look at
4 paragraph 3.
5 Q. General, in the last paragraph you say the following:
6 "Finally, General, I would suggest that the collegium consider
7 the possibility of proposing to our state leadership that representatives
8 of the General Staff be included in the preparation of our delegation for
9 the next stage of the negotiations during which highly important military
10 issues will most probably be addressed, primarily the issue of the status
11 of the Army of Yugoslavia and the role of the military in general in the
12 implementation of a future agreement. In that respect, there is no one
13 else more qualified or more responsible than us."
14 May we have your comments to that, please.
15 A. Following on from the USA
16 example, we saw that the diplomats were accompanied by military experts.
17 So I had a number of meetings -- or we had a number of meetings with
18 General Clark, General Anderson, and others who would come to our country
19 together with Mr. Holbrooke, for example. And we concluded that it would
20 be a good idea if our delegation included military men for the reasons
21 stipulated here. However, that did not happen, and I think that was a
22 mistake. It wasn't a good thing that the soldiers weren't represented
23 there because they would have contributed their military knowledge and
24 professional knowledge and realistic attitude and would help resolve the
25 situation in a better way than it was, in fact, dealt with.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we have
3 Defence Exhibit D008-3977.
4 Q. It is document number 8 in your set, General.
5 Now, General, we see that this is a report on the intentions of
6 the so-called KLA which was sent to the General Staff on the
7 9th of March, 1999. Before we undertake a more detailed analysis of this
8 report, could you first please explain to us report or piece of
9 information, what does that mean and what did this particular one
11 A. The report or information was one of the publications published
12 by the intelligence administration. There were various bulletins, rules
13 of service, and so on. But when we have something which was called
14 "informatia" or information report, there were two types. The first type
15 was a daily report, and the second type of information sent out was one
16 that dealt with just one subject. And the one we are looking at is the
17 latter, so it dealt with just one subject and that was here the
18 intentions of the KLA. And you see who it was addressed to and sent to,
19 the addressees were those persons whom we considered to be interested in
20 this kind of information. So it wasn't sent out to everybody, as we
21 would do in case of the daily regular reports.
22 So this was a piece of information obtained through intelligence
23 sources saying that the Albanians or the KLA --
24 Q. Yes, we'll come to that. We'll look at it in greater detail.
25 In paragraph 1 it says:
1 "The incidents along the border and the conflicts between the
2 Army of Yugoslavia MUP of Serbia carried out by the so-called KLA and
3 ambushes and so on, is carried out by the KLA for -- to recruit new
4 members, attain media support, and to intensify the collection of
5 financial assistance from the Siptars in the diaspora."
6 Could you just tell us more about the general security situations
7 and the facts stated in the first part of this report?
8 A. Unfortunately, everything that was indicated here actually
9 happened. Kidnappings, killings, media propaganda, recruitment of new
10 members, et cetera. It was clear over a longer stretch that the
11 Albanians were hoping for and expecting a NATO intervention because only
12 with that could they attain their goals, that is, the creation of a
13 separate territory and cessation from Yugoslavia, as well as
15 They must have reckoned that if peace were to be negotiated and
16 if we had returned to the negotiating table, these objectives of theirs
17 would not be so easy to attain, and we see statements from that time made
18 by the representatives of Albanians that confirmed this.
19 So that there is a continuity in their thinking, namely that
20 their objectives were attainable only with foreign assistance and NATO
22 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 2 of this report we read the following:
23 "With foreign assistance, the so-called KLA has drafted plans for
24 staging a massacre of innocent Siptars and members of the OSCE, which
25 would, they believe, provide a legitimate basis for activating the forces
1 to extract the verifiers, and thus the entry of a NATO ground force into
2 Kosovo and Metohija. In addition, the leadership of the so-called KLA,
3 in line with NATO preferences, are also taking steps to paint a picture
4 of humanitarian catastrophe in this connection, many villages have been
5 abandoned under pressure, beside the villages Gorance, Rezance, Pustenik,
6 Krivenik, Ivaja, Ljac, Kotlina, and Straza. The plans also envisaged the
7 inhabitants to move out of the villages of the Lepenac river valley,
8 Kovacevac, Dicevac, Dubrava, and Vata, and Slatina?
9 A. This information we also obtained from sources on the ground, and
10 it clearly shows that by staging this humanitarian catastrophe which they
11 believed could give a pretext for a NATO intervention, they also exerted
12 pressure on their own fellow citizens and made them move out of many
14 Q. Thank you. I'd also like to look at the last paragraphs of this
15 report. It says:
16 "There is indicia that the so-called KLA, estimating that these
17 villages are already empty and it makes sense to exert pressure to
18 evacuate them, is planning attacks on major settlements which would
19 create the effect of an exodus and would provoke reactions by the
20 Army of Yugoslavia
21 to intervene. The preparation of camps for refugees in the north of
23 preparation of a new humanitarian catastrophe is correct."
24 A. Yes, that's the scenario we've been discussing for a while. They
25 were looking for a good reason for the NATO to intervene, and one good
1 reason would be humanitarian catastrophe, the death or evacuation of a
2 large number of ethnic Albanians, and that's why they were doing what
3 they were doing.
5 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I tender this
6 document now.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00524. Thank
9 you, Your Honours.
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now call up
12 Q. It's your tab 9. This is a document from the
13 Kosovo Verification Mission, the date is 26 February through
14 4 March 1999
15 "It seems that over 100 members of the KLA crossed the border in
16 combined with the said militia while encouraging the locals to leave.
17 The incentive to move into this region is unclear, although a number of
18 possibilities exist. By encouraging the movement of internally displaced
19 persons, the international media was able to claim a Serb offensive was
21 On the next page in B/C/S it says:
22 "Indeed, Euro News reported that a Serb offensive had started and
23 accompanied this with images of Serbian vehicles on the move and locals
24 on the road with sad faces. It was a good move for the welfare of ethnic
25 Albanians. The Albanian daily "Koha Ditore" described Kacanik village as
1 a ghost town, which the verifiers recorded as an untruth. And the first
2 reports from the region implied in a certain way that there had been a
4 Now, General, can you tell us something about this and about the
5 media manipulation involved here?
6 A. This shows very eloquently that the KVM was perfectly aware of
7 these manipulation attempts by Albanians, and I would particularly like
8 to emphasise this last sentence, namely "the first reports implied in
9 some way that there had been a massacre."
10 This seems to indicate that their attempt at manipulation was at
11 first successful. However, it was later established that this was not
12 true, and the media reported on that as well. We also had our own
13 information from the ground, and we were able to confirm or to deny all
14 this media speculation. A very renowned medium such as the Euro News
15 accepted, in this case, the Albanian interpretation. Regrettably, they
16 were not alone, there were many such cases where the media, without going
17 into the essence of things and without checking their information,
18 reported immediately, accepting somebody's version, and confused the
19 public about what was really going on in Kosovo and Metohija.
20 Q. Such information, did it also affect your views in the
21 intelligence administration about the general picture in -- created by
22 the foreign media?
23 A. I've already told you that we monitored official statements, but
24 we also followed media reporting, foreign media and our media. But in
25 many such cases when the stories were obviously untrue, we realised that
1 we should not use the media as our main source of information. We should
2 just monitor them as an expression of their views and their attitude.
3 This was evident in the case of Racak and many other cases later. We
4 were perfectly aware that the situations on the ground was nothing like
5 the reports. And unfortunately the media compromised themselves,
6 broadcasting inaccurate information. And that affected our view of the
7 media. We became so suspicious that even when the media reported
8 something perfectly accurately, we did not take their word for it because
9 there had been so many cases of manipulation before.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see P965.
12 Q. General, it's your tab 10. This is a session of the collegium of
13 the Chief of General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia held on
14 11 March 1999
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we turn to page 5 in B/C/S
16 and page 7 in English. In English it's paragraph 2, and paragraph 4 in
18 Q. Here you say the following:
19 "Among the forces around us, new developments have taken place.
20 A Joint Command was formed in Skopje
21 placed under the command of General Jackson. In keeping with their
22 plans, he should also be the commander if new Kosovo forces are formed.
23 New units are brought in in these rapid reaction forces and there are
24 already 9.500 personnel in Macedonia
25 A. Yes, in addition to the forces we identified as support forces
1 for the Verification Mission, other forces began to arrive in Macedonia
2 namely the command that was established, headed by General Jackson, and
3 the number of personnel in Macedonia
4 the really intentions of these forces, why they were accumulating in that
5 area, why there was no official notification to us. And, of course, we
6 continued to watch them intensively, and unfortunately all we were able
7 to see was that the forces were being built up.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we have page 6 in B/C/S. And
9 page 7 in English stays. We'll be discussing the last but one paragraph
10 in English.
11 Q. You say this:
12 "I suggest, General, to consider the possibility of holding a
13 briefing for foreign representatives, perhaps next week when the
14 situation is clearer, primarily regarding our positions on the main
15 issues, namely the bringing in of forces into Kosovo and Metohija. And
16 we again propose to consider the possibility that a representative of the
17 Army of Yugoslavia
18 negotiations because we believe military issues are now coming up on the
19 agenda, and it would be a good idea for us to be represented."
20 General, what kind of briefings are you referring to here, and if
21 they were indeed held, what were the effects?
22 A. It is a regular custom in diplomacy that the host country holds
23 briefings for ambassadors, military attachés and other diplomatic
24 personnel. These briefings are held to familiarise them with some new
25 development such as an event or a new law passed, perhaps, or something
1 else. And we also held these briefings from time to time when we thought
2 necessary or perhaps at their request.
3 I was usually the one who hold these briefings. We would invite
4 all military attachés. I would brief them on the situation and give them
5 a chance to ask questions that I would take or one of my colleague, and
6 in that respect we had a rather good co-operation with military attachés.
7 They would inform in turn their defence ministries and their
8 General Staffs. And what they learned at these briefings was an element
9 that they could use in making their own estimates of the situation and
10 the crisis. There was one interesting situation when, after a briefing,
11 the American and British military attachés came to see me a few days
12 later and said that all that I had told them was indeed correct because
13 in the meantime they had visited Kosovo and Metohija and verified my
14 information. Of course, we always made every effort to provide accurate
15 information, as a matter of principle, but also because we knew that they
16 could easily check all that we said and there was no point in telling
17 them anything that wasn't true.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's now go to the next document,
20 P1339. May we have it pulled up on our screens, please.
21 Q. General, it's number 11 in your set. It's a collegium, session
22 of the collegium of the Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army
23 held on the 18th of March, 1999.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] And may we have page 3 of the
25 B/C/S, which is page 4, paragraph 6, of the English.
1 Q. General, you say the following:
2 "Most of the foreign diplomatic representatives and analysts
3 believe that the initial situation regarding the continuation of
4 negotiations on Kosmet implies an extremely uncertain outcome. The
5 foreign factor will attempt to direct the developments in the field in
6 tune with the course of the talks, especially if there should be a
7 serious impasse due to the process."
8 And this would serve the purpose of justifying their threat of
9 using armed force against our country so that it could be forced to
10 accept an imposed solution."
11 I'm going to read out one more paragraph which I believe is
12 closely linked to what you said, to cut this short:
13 "As far as the forces in the area are concerned, the introduction
14 of new rapid-reaction units from the NATO corps into Macedonia has
15 continued and so far around 1200 men have arrived."
16 Now, it says what they wish to achieve with this number, or,
17 rather, what did they wish to achieve by having this number of men placed
18 at the borders of Serbia
19 A. This was the 18th of March, we can see, which was a week before
20 the NATO forces attacked the FRY. And the NATO forces that were brought
21 into Macedonia
22 after the agreement. Now, General Jackson over there told us in Kumanovo
23 that they had been in Macedonia
24 were waiting to enter our territory. Of course, at the time, we were not
25 able to be 100 per cent certain that those were the forces in question,
1 that is to say on the basis of the agreement that was supposed to enter
2 Kosovo and Metohija, because through the media and other intelligence
3 channels, the idea would be launched from time to time about the
4 possibility of a ground force operation against our country, so we were
5 very concerned and monitored the deployment of these 12.000 men into
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Now let's move on to page 4,
9 paragraph 2, of the B/C/S, which is page 5, paragraph 4, of the English.
10 Paragraph 4 from the bottom.
11 Q. General, here it says that as far as military pressures goes, it
12 will continue and at some point in the negotiations they might even go a
13 step further than Rambouillet and threaten to use force in such a way as
14 to have all the factors of aggression against the FRY put into action.
15 And this would lead to the withdrawal of the verifiers to Macedonia, the
16 transfer of authority for air-strikes from Solana to Clark, and a 48-hour
17 combat readiness would be introduced and even reduced, et cetera.
18 May we have your comments to that paragraph about information
19 linked to these options and finally whether that proved to be true?
20 A. Unfortunately, everything that I stated here on the 18th of March
21 from the 24th of March onwards proved to be correct later.
22 Q. One more paragraph, staying on that page, the last paragraph on
23 page 5 of the English. It says:
24 "This could come about if a Serbian delegation were to be accused
25 of being the sole culprit for the failure of the negotiations, and if new
1 clashes were to be provoked in Kosovo with a larger number of victims,
2 destruction, and refugees, and possible attacks on the verifiers and
3 border skirmishes and incidents."
4 Did this prove to be true? Did this come about?
5 A. Yes, unfortunately this was later confirmed to be correct.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Now may we have page 6 of the B/C/S
8 version, please, which is page 8 of the English, paragraph 1.
9 Q. General, here we can see Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic
10 speaking, and he is referring to certain events. And in paragraph 3 he
11 says as follows:
12 "After that, Clark
13 serious problem which is that the Yugoslav Army will be destroyed if it
14 enters into a conflict with NATO. If that were to be requested from
15 NATO, all the depots, barracks, and forces of the Yugoslav Army will be
17 Now, my first question to you is this: Do you know that
18 General Ojdanic had communication with General Clark, and if so, how was
19 this communication effected?
20 A. Yes, I do know about that, and they had communication in two
21 ways. The first was by way of an exchange of letters, they exchanged
22 letters, correspondence, and then there were telephone conversations
23 between the two. I was present during two such telephone conversations
24 between General Ojdanic and General Clark.
25 Q. Now, in keeping with that, I'm going to ask you to comment a few
1 more documents which are closely related to what Mr. Ojdanic referred to
3 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] And for that, may we have
4 Defence Exhibit D006-0215, please.
5 Q. And in your set, it is document number 12, General.
6 Looking at this document, we can see that it is dated the
7 22nd of March, 1999, and it says:
8 "Enclosed with this document we are sending you an Official Note
9 about the telephone conversation held between the Chief of the
10 General Staff Yugoslav Army, Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic, and the
11 commander of the NATO forces for Europe
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Now let's look at D006-0233 in the
13 B/C/S version which is D006-0238 in the English version.
14 Q. General, it says the Chief of the General Staff General Ojdanic
15 in his conversation said as follows.
16 "However, since in our area NATO forces are being accumulated and
17 we are openly being threatened with the use of force, it is our duty to
18 do everything in our power to defends ourselves."
19 We are talking about the 22nd of March, two days prior to the
20 start of the NATO campaign. Can you just comment on this position taken
21 by General Ojdanic briefly?
22 A. Well, yes, it was a very difficult time. However, I have to say
23 at this point that at that time in Belgrade
24 together with General Anderson and some other representatives, and
25 negotiations were taking place there with the political leadership of
2 glimmer of hope despite everything that was going on in the area linked
3 to the armed forces and so on that at the 11th hour a political solution
4 would indeed be found. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
5 General Clark, during those negotiations, openly threatened
6 General Ojdanic as is stated here, he said that in a few days time, he
7 would completely route the Army of Yugoslavia if NATO forces became
9 Q. General, as we don't have the page up on our screens that we are
10 dealing with --
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] It is page 3 or D006-0217 in the
12 B/C/S version, which is page D006-0220 in the English version.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel kindly slow down when quoting
14 numbers. Thank you.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] That's it.
16 Q. Yes, please continue.
17 A. Yes. It was a fairly tense atmosphere. I remember that
18 General Ojdanic called General Clark to come to Belgrade to discuss the
19 accusations held by General Clark, accusations of the army. He did not
20 speak of any humanitarian catastrophe at the time. He mostly referred to
21 alleged lack of respect for the agreement reached in October 1998 in the
22 sense of units leaving the barracks or a larger number of units in the
23 field, et cetera.
24 So at the proposal of General Ojdanic, we considered that this
25 should not be a valid reason for the start of a war, and that is why he
1 invited General Clark to come to Belgrade
2 spot what the situation was like and that they could discuss all this,
3 however, General Clark's reply was that he couldn't go to Belgrade
4 because that could be interpreted as pressure of a kind. I think this
5 response from him was not a logical one, had no meaning or sense because
6 at that time in Belgrade
7 Mr. Holbrooke and many others with him, so the arrival of Clark
9 to find a solution to a major problem that was looming.
10 I can also add that in a previous conversation, General Clark
11 invited General Ojdanic to travel to Brussels to discuss these various
12 issues. Now, we suggested to General Ojdanic that he should take
13 General Clark up on his invitation to go to Brussels, and I think to this
14 day that that would have been a wise move. However, it never came about.
15 I can't say for what reasons exactly, because I'm not fully informed of
16 the matter.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd like to tender
19 this document into evidence now, please.
20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00525. Thank
22 you, Your Honours.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we have Exhibit D006-0239 up on
24 our screens now, please.
25 Q. General, it is number 13 in your set of documents.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I think we've got the wrong number
2 recorded which means that the wrong document has appeared on the screens.
3 The document I need is D006-0221. I might have misspoken and given you
4 the wrong number, so I apologise if that is the case. Yes, that's right
5 now. Thank you.
6 Q. General, we have before us a document also dated the
7 22nd of March 1999, and it reads:
8 "Please forward in the usual manner the enclosed letter of the
9 Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army,
10 Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic, to the NATO supreme allied commander
11 for Europe
12 Now, looking at this document --
13 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's turn to the last page, which
14 is D006-0223 in the B/C/S, and in the English the page number is
15 D006-0238. That's it, yes. Thank you.
16 Q. I'm going to read -- but let me ask you first, are you familiar
17 with the fact that General Ojdanic sent a letter of this kind to the
18 commander of the NATO forces, General Wesley Clark?
19 A. Yes, it was a letter sent after the negotiations held on the
20 previous day that we discussed a moment ago. And we put it to
21 General Ojdanic that he should make another last-minute attempt to
22 transcend the situation and to send a letter to Wesley Clark. And that
23 is what this letter is here.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, General Ojdanic writes the following in one of
25 the paragraphs:
1 "The possible bombing of -- the Siptar terrorists would see the
2 possible bombing as a signal to attack the remaining Serbian population
3 of Kosovo and Metohija, the Yugoslav Army and MUP who would then respond
4 fiercely, which would lead to new unnecessary casualties, conflicts, and
5 other problems with unforeseen consequences."
6 Was that the position taken by the General Staff of the
7 Yugoslav Army, and is General Ojdanic warning of the consequences that
8 might ensue if there were to be an attack and bombing by NATO?
9 A. Well, anybody who gave it some thought, and particularly it was
10 clear to the soldiers, that if NATO were to attack, that this would
11 create an atmosphere -- a very difficult atmosphere and climate and that
12 it would allow those who wanted to to expand the conflict with new
13 provocations and to make the army and police need to respond, which would
14 very serious consequences. And this is actually what happened during
15 that unfortunate war.
16 There's no doubt here that General Ojdanic wanted to ask
17 General Clark to wield his influence once more and to prevail upon him to
18 find a political solution rather than move on to a conflict, because
19 without a doubt, a conflict is always the worst option. An armed
20 conflict is always the worst option, and Clausewitz's definition, the
21 well known definition that war is the continuation of politics with other
22 means, in this case we could say that war had compromised politics
23 because we know what it all led to ultimately.
24 Q. Precisely bearing in mind with what you've just told us, the next
25 sentence in the following paragraph reads as follows:
1 "The problem is a complex one, but it's solution is possible only
2 through political means."
3 Does that underline once again the way in which the problem
4 should be solved?
5 A. Yes, absolutely. That was a permanent view in the General Staff,
6 that political solutions should be sought because that would be the only
7 real solution to the problem. Any other scenario would be highly
8 problematic and would -- and the situation that ensued confirmed that.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. May I ask
10 this document to be admitted into evidence.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00526. Thank
13 you, Your Honours.
14 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now see
16 Q. General, it's your tab 14. We can see that the document is
17 called "Brief 2/99," and before we move to a more detailed analysis of
18 this document, could you please explain what kind of document is this to
19 be called briefing number 2/99?
20 A. Of course. This is not really a document. This is a draft, an
21 aide-memoire that I used for my briefing as the chief of the
22 Supreme Command because it was called Supreme Command from the moment
23 when the war began. And it was created based on the information we
24 received during the day. The intelligence administration that I headed,
25 continuously worked to fill in the facts which enabled me to always
1 provide the most up-to-date information.
2 This document was not submitted to anyone. It was not filed
3 anywhere or recorded anywhere, and it shouldn't even be called a
4 document. I must say, I'm a bit surprised that this paper found its way
5 here, not being a document. Some things here I crossed out, some I
6 added. The situation was so tense that I needed something like an
7 aide-memoire to give my presentation to the collegium.
8 In peacetime, I would jot down my notes in my own notebook; but
9 during the war, my colleagues prepared this draft for me.
10 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, could I ask that one thing be
11 clarified. I'm not sure if I heard correctly what is here represented at
12 page 57, line 3. Or line 2. It said "I used for my briefing as the
13 chief of the Supreme Command" as if he is describing himself as the chief
14 of some body called the Supreme Command. It might be important, so I
15 wonder if it could be clarified because I'm not sure that is what he
17 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely. We'll clear that up.
18 Q. You were talking about the purpose of these briefings. What
19 purpose did they serve to you and what was your position at that time?
20 A. With the beginning of the war, as I said already, in fact, I said
21 before that in peacetime we had collegium meetings once a week and during
22 the war we had at least one a day, always in the evening. It was not a
23 classical collegium meeting, although it was mostly the same people from
24 the General Staff that analysed the situation. As usual, at collegium
25 meetings, I would be the first to give a briefing to acquaint the members
1 of the collegium with the situation in the region, with the developments,
2 the forces of the NATO, plans for the future, et cetera, and then we
3 would analyse the situation in the army, which steps needed to be taken
4 and such.
5 Q. Thank you. Could you just answer what was your exact position at
6 the time?
7 A. In peacetime, I was chief of the intelligence administration
8 directly responsible to the Chief of the General Staff. In war-time
9 establishment, I was chief of the intelligence section of that war-time
10 General Staff, and I was under the chief of sector for operations and
11 staff affairs. So I was not directly linked to the Chief of the
12 General Staff as in peacetime. It was an idiosyncrasy at the time.
13 Later it was changed, the war-time establishment was changed. But at the
14 time, that's how it was.
15 Q. Thank you. I think this clarifies the transcript.
16 Could you please look at paragraph 6 of this paper which says:
17 "If this does not happen, according to some reports, very
18 rigorous sanctions would be introduced against the FRY, while others say
19 the third phase of the operation would be activated - NATO ground forces
20 entering Kosovo and Metohija by force."
21 This -- the date of this document is March 1999. We can see that
22 on one of the later pages. Were there any indications, however, that
23 there would be a further NATO ground attack against Yugoslavia?
24 A. Yes, we had our own channels of information, but also the media
25 reported that the ground invasion was possible. I already said that we
1 closely monitored the bringing in of NATO forces into Macedonia
2 we compared all the various information, it all seemed to indicate that a
3 ground invasion was possible.
4 Later on, as the war progressed, they gave up on that idea, but
5 there were times when there was a heightened expectation of a ground
6 invasion which made us wary, but also made us take additional measures,
7 such as increased mobilisation and build-up of the army, not only in the
8 area of Kosovo and Metohija but in the territory of the entire
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
12 tender this document.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00527. Thank
15 you, Your Honours.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now call D006-0272.
17 Q. Your tab 15, General.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can see that it's a
19 couple of minutes to the usual break time, perhaps we should not start
20 with the analysis of this document before the break. I have quite a few
21 questions on it.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will look at our break now, but,
23 Mr. Popovic, how are you going for time?
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm going very well, Your Honour.
25 I will do my best to speed up.
1 JUDGE PARKER: If you were going very well, you would be finished
2 by now. Two hours was indicated for the witness.
3 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] You are quite right. However, and
4 I suppose this e-mail reached the Trial Chamber as well, the Defence has
5 already given up on some witnesses that were to testify on some of the
6 same subjects as this one, and we are going to try to use as few
7 witnesses to gain as much information as we can, and that is why the
8 examination of some of these witnesses might take a bit longer. And we
9 believe this witness is a case in point for which I apologise in advance.
10 But we will certainly not exceed the time allocated to our Defence case.
11 In fact, I'm pretty sure that it will be shortened in total. And that is
12 why we are trying to get as much information out of a fewer number of
13 witnesses avoiding us calling more of them. I hope it will overall speed
14 up the proceedings.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that, Mr. Popovic. It would be
16 helpful to the Chamber if in the next few days there could be some more
17 accurate indication of what witnesses were not to be pursued and your
18 time estimates because we are having to make future plannings depending
19 on timing, and if there is to be some significant change in the witnesses
20 you are to call, we need to take that into account.
21 We will adjourn now and resume at 1.00.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Popovic.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. General, we'll go back to the document called briefing
4 number 6/99 of 28 March 1999
5 "All types of aircraft were used in the attacks, including B-52s,
6 that is, including seven B-52s; 12 F-117s; and, for the first time, four
7 EC-130s; and an undetermined number of A-10 Thunderbolts."
8 Can you tell us about this last plane?
9 A. That is a special type of aircraft intended to broadcast
10 propaganda messages.
11 Q. What are Thunderbolts, A-10 Thunderbolts, does it have any
12 special purpose?
13 A. These aircraft, thunderbolts, are in support of ground troops, in
14 combat, mainly against armoured personnel carriers and tanks. They also
15 used ammunition including depleted uranium.
16 Q. Do you have information that such ammunition was used in the
17 territory of Kosovo, and if so, what kind of information?
18 A. This type of ammunition was also used in Kosovo and Metohija, but
19 it was used outside of Kosovo in the rest of Yugoslavia. In Kosovo,
20 there are many locations where such ammunition was used but primarily the
21 area between Pec, Djakovica, and Prizren. Outside of Kosovo and
22 Metohija, there were five locations in the area of the town of Vranje
23 We inspected these locations, and, as Chief of General Staff, I
24 personally went there to evaluate the ground on those five locations.
25 Q. When you speak of your role as Chief of General Staff, what
1 time-period would that be?
2 A. That would be from mid-2002 until the beginning of 2005.
3 Q. Thank you. Let's look at paragraph 4, it says:
4 "For that purpose, Clinton held a meeting today with the members
5 of the National Security Council, and a meeting of NATO experts is
6 scheduled to take place tomorrow in London, where it is emphasised,
7 recommendations will be made for entering Kosovo and Metohija by force,
8 If they assess that our forces in Kosovo and Metohija have increased to
9 50.000, and the number of refugees to 500.000, over which there is much
11 First of all, can you tell us something about these
13 A. What you call speculation was pervasive before and during the
14 war. First of all, there were attempts to prove that indeed in that area
15 a humanitarian catastrophe was taking place and that it was the forces of
16 the FRY, the police and the army that are responsible. This number of
17 500.000 was something like a target. If the number of half a million
18 refugees was reached, that would have been enough for ground forces to
19 invade Kosovo and Metohija. Later on, things happened to be differently.
20 It didn't happen that way. But in the first days of the war, this is the
21 speculation that circulated widely in the public.
22 Q. Since we are on the subject of speculation, can you tell me
23 whether you know that there existed an Operation Horseshoe, called
24 Operation Horseshoe? Do you know anything about that?
25 A. Yes. That was within the context of those speculations that were
1 being made to put it to the public that the forces of Yugoslavia had an
2 operation prepared in advance called Operation Horseshoe. The term used
3 was actually a Croatian term rather than a Serbian term, and what they
4 wanted to show was that an operation involving armed forces was being
5 organised geared towards the ethnic cleansing of Albanians. Of course,
6 no such operation was ever planned or executed. And later on, through
7 the media and in other ways, they gave up on mentioning that particular
9 We concluded that on the basis of Clark's caution and warning
10 that he would route the Yugoslav Army in the space of three days, when
11 that didn't happen as he had announced, then they suddenly started to
12 favour the term humanitarian catastrophe. They kept bandying about the
13 term humanitarian catastrophe and the enormous number of refugees as so
14 on. They put that out and wanted to justify the further involvement of
15 NATO forces in that way and to create the opinion among the international
16 public, principally the countries that took part in the attack, to
17 justify a continuation of those operations by claiming that there was a
18 humanitarian catastrophe afoot.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this into
21 evidence, please.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00528, Your Honours.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we now have
25 Defence Exhibit 006-0383 put up, please. I think there was an error in
1 the transcript. The number is D006-0383. That's right, that's the
3 Q. General, just briefly on this document, it is dated the
4 30th of March, 1999, and it is a warning with respect to the taking of
5 steps, and it says:
6 "NATO planners," in paragraph 2, "are counting on good results
7 because the Siptars have about 200 laser target markers. They will
8 maintain communication with NATO officers through satellite telephones
9 that were left behind by the verifiers when they retreated from Kosovo
10 and Metohija."
11 May we have your comments linked to the links between NATO
12 officers, verifiers, and the rest?
13 A. As we can see, this is a piece of information from the commander
14 of the corps from Pristina, and they arrived at this intelligence, and we
15 received information to that same effect from other sources, that is to
16 say that those links had been established and that they were functioning
17 during the war.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'd like to tender this
19 document, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00529.
22 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we have D006-0276 next, please.
23 Q. It's document number 17 in your set, General. This is briefing
24 number 10/99 of the 30th of March, 1999, and what I'm interested in is
25 the penultimate paragraph which says that NATO, on the 29th of March, in
1 formal terms, changed its intentions for the forces in Macedonia, some
2 15.000 soldiers, so that officially they are no longer intended there for
3 peacekeeping purposes, but for combat tasks.
4 May we have your comments?
5 A. Well, yes, that falls within what I was saying earlier on, that
6 is to say that Clark's intention to resolve the situation in two or three
7 days' time, to have the forces enter Kosovo probably as peace forces
8 first on the basis of an agreement, and since that did not succeed, then
9 they took on the character of combat units in actual fact, and their
10 equipment, armaments, composition, everything, indicated that that's what
11 they were, according to our intelligence.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we look at the last paragraph
14 on that same page in the B/C/S, I think it's on the following page in the
15 English version.
16 Q. It says:
17 "In parallel with continuing the air operations and
18 preparations for carrying out a land operation, there is increasingly
19 visible readiness among the leading western countries to stop the
20 aggression, for which the most favourable option is being sought.
21 Furthermore, a growing number of countries has offered to mediate in
22 finding a solution for starting the negotiations."
23 Now, linked to that paragraph, the one I've just read out, and
24 bearing in mind what you have told us thus far in your testimony, as
25 far as the contacts that you had with different diplomats and
1 military attachés, can these initiatives at mediation be understood in
2 that way and be brought in connection with the paragraph I've just
3 read out?
4 A. Yes, certainly they can. Just before the beginning of the war, I
5 had contacts with American, German, and Italian and other
6 representatives, diplomats, and others, with the idea of wielding as much
7 influence as they could to prevent a war from breaking out. They had --
8 they showed understanding for this kind of initiative, but the reactions
9 mostly were that it was a little late in the day and that matters had
10 already come to a head and were out of control and that the peace option
11 wasn't a viable one at that point. So this was yet another attempt of
12 that kind whereby the military attaché of Italy came to see me and
13 conveyed a message from the Italian side, and probably from NATO as well
14 as an institution, that the general mood was that a peaceful solution
15 should nonetheless be sought.
16 Of course, what he told me I conveyed to the relevant
17 authority, but unfortunately, the situation developed unfavourably and
18 a solution was not found. We also had contacts through some British
19 and other mediators who also wished to intervene to find a peaceful
20 solution. The United States of America, too, sent various envoys to
21 try and help find a solution. There were German, Italian, and other
22 ones, but unfortunately, it did not bear fruit.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender that document
24 into evidence too, Your Honours, please.
25 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00530, Your Honours.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May we have
3 Defence Exhibit 007-4143 next, please. 007-4143 is the number, once
4 again. Yes, I found it.
5 Q. That's the right document, General. It's number 18 in your set.
6 It is information number 22 dated the 31st of March, 1999. And just
7 briefly, my question to you relates to item 3:
8 "The B-1B bombers, whose arrival in the region was announced,
9 will use cluster bombs with IC fuses against the armoured mechanised
10 units," infrared fuses.
11 Did that come to pass? Was it proved correct?
12 A. Yes, not only attacking armoured mechanised units, but many other
13 targets, cluster bombs were used against them, and unfortunately not all
14 the remnants or cluster bombs have been cleared up from the area to this
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd like to tender
18 that document too.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00531, Your Honours.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at this point in
22 time, I'd like to use a document during the examination-in-chief of this
23 witness which was not on the 65 ter list provided by the Defence. We did
24 provide the Prosecutor with the document yesterday, and it is in e-court,
25 but we conducted a search and came up with this document and we believe
1 it to be useful in the examination of this witness. It is 65 ter 1974.
2 And it is a report from the BBC
3 If you consider that we can utilise this document in this way and if
4 there's no objection from the Prosecution, then I'd like to continue
5 along those lines and examine the witness about this document, just
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
8 MR. STAMP: I have no objection to that, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Please carry on, Mr. Popovic.
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. General, it is document number 21 in your set. It's a newspaper
12 article published on the BBC
13 attended and held by the minister of defence of Great Britain. The
14 foreign minister, Mr. Robin Cook and General John Drewienkiewicz, as it
15 says in this article, the former chief of the OSCE mission in Kosovo.
16 Now, tell me, please, Mr. Drewienkiewicz, since the document is in
17 English and we don't have a translation in Serbian, speaks about
18 expulsions and looting of Albanians taking place in Kosovo during that
19 time, and the period is the end of March. Tell me, please --
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Before I go ahead with my question,
21 Your Honour, the Defence document number is D011-2268. It's got a new
22 number. 2168. D -- That's right. That's the right document.
23 Q. As a source of information for you intelligence service, press
24 conferences of this type or newspaper articles and the like that were
25 published on the Internet or in the papers, what value did you attach to
2 A. It would be normal that press conferences given by the foreign
3 minister or defence minister or general of a major country should be
4 noted with due attention and that the press conference should quote
5 correct and precise data. However, we saw that there was gross
6 exaggeration at those press conferences, and we remember one such
7 occasion when there were rumours straightaway about 100 thousand people
8 dead and I don't know how many hundred thousand refugees and persons
9 raped and so on which was not at all the case in reality. So that these
10 press conferences instead of being taken seriously were usually taken
11 with -- as being just one more piece of information which we had to
12 verify and check out ourselves. And very often we found that incorrect
13 data and untruths were being presented. So, unfortunately, that's what
14 the situation was like. It was not a good situation, and one would have
15 expected, if somebody makes a statement from a high level, that they
16 would be presenting true and correct data, not information that
17 exaggerated certain events with -- as a form of executing their own
18 hidden agenda, so to speak.
19 Q. Now, in your testimony so far and in the documents that we've
20 looked at and tendered into evidence, we see a number of ways in which
21 the media could be manipulated. Could you tell us briefly what the
22 reasons were for which you took information of this kind with a pinch of
23 salt, that you considered them to be unreliable and that you needed to
24 check them out?
25 A. Well, I've already mentioned during my testimony here today the
1 problem over Racak and the attempts made to paint an impression about a
2 humanitarian catastrophe at a time when that was not the case. There
3 were not that many refugees at that period, so it was obvious that the
4 object of these statements was to justify what was being done on the
5 ground in the eyes of the international public. I can't claim now that
6 it was done intentionally with the aim of intentionally deluding public
7 opinion and the international public, but without a doubt that is in fact
8 what happened. Public opinion was abused in that way about the actual
9 facts on the ground. And this was enormously detrimental to having the
10 crisis resolved, because it flared -- the conflict flared up that way, it
11 fanned the flames of the conflict, and even if there was some truth or
12 when there was some truth in the announcements made, they weren't taken
13 seriously on our part, and I think there could have been other ways in
14 which the representatives of foreign countries could resolve the
15 situation or help us resolve the situation in context with us and impart
16 information to us through their official services, information which
17 should lead and could lead to a change of conduct on our part; that was
18 omitted and the whole thing was reduced to a sort of media information
19 and it triggered reaction on our part the way it did.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May I tender this document,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00532.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now call up D006-0279.
25 Q. It's your number 22, General. Briefing number 14/99 dated
1 1st April, 1999. In paragraph 1 it says:
2 "The attack on the bridge in Novi Sad expanded the list of
3 targets to include business facilities and elements of infrastructure by
4 extending the strikes to include civilian infrastructure, the aggressor
5 has gun with retribution and it will be increasingly difficult for them
6 to justify their further actions before the international public."
7 Could you comment briefly?
8 A. Well, that fits in with what I said before. Within two or three
9 days they did not manage to crush our forces completely as had been their
10 plan and therefore they extended the list of targets. And they began to
11 conduct air-strikes against civilian targets far from Kosovo and
12 Metohija, in Belgrade, in Novi Sad, and in other towns. Since there was
13 no military logic to it, we understood it as a sort of retaliation,
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
17 tender this document into evidence.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00533.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now, I would like
22 Q. General, this is your number 23. This is report
23 number 37 dated 3 April 1999. It says:
24 "There are indicia that the NATO is planning to terrorise the
25 civilian population by air-strikes and thus cause a major exodus over the
1 next seven to ten days to the centre of Serbia, Albania, and Macedonia.
2 It is assessed that after that the army of Yugoslavia units and a small
3 part of the population would be more or less all that remained in
4 Kosovo and Metohija, which would enable them to mount decisive
5 air-strikes with the use of chemical agents, in order to completely
6 destroy the VJ units located in the area."
7 Can you comment on this report?
8 A. This is one of the reports we got from the ground that they
9 obtained information that seemed to support this scenario. As we know
10 now, it did not actually happen, but this was certainly one of the
11 options that was considered, to separate the civilians from our units,
12 thus making our units an easier target. They would then be more open to
13 attacks from all sorts of weapons.
14 Q. In the last paragraph we read that:
15 "Using confidential sources, western intelligence services are
16 planting information among the Siptars, the ethnic Albanians, in the
17 diaspora to the effect that the NATO would begin within 24 to 48 hours
18 with indiscriminate bombing to raze Kosovo to the ground."
19 A. Yes, this was one of the propaganda messages probably aimed at
20 intimidating our units or causing whatever reaction they had in mind.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
22 document now, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00534.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] D006-0281 would be our next
2 Q. General, it's your number 24, briefing number 19/99, dated
3 3rd April, 1999. We'll turn to page 2 immediately, both in B/C/S and in
4 English, conclusions and proposals. It says:
5 "In view of the possible damage the aggressor could inflict on us
6 and the fact that they are conducting all sorts of experiments and
7 venting their frustration, I consider it is in our primary interest for a
8 diplomatic initiative to be launched as and as soon as possible.
9 "1. In order to avoid being demonised in the media, I propose
10 that our border authorities organise points for the reception of Siptar
11 refugees who are returning to Kosovo and Metohija."
12 Could you tell us more about this?
13 A. I've already told you that it was -- it had always been our
14 position that a diplomatic initiative is the only way to go. And as for
15 this proposal to set up admission points for refugees, we had previously
16 recorded their departure from the FRY and their return. They were moving
17 around in circles. So we came to the conclusion that it would be a good
18 idea for the army and the MUP and our authorities to organise admission
19 points and to organise their return, wherever they wanted to go, and to
20 provide appropriate media coverage so that the world can see that not
21 only are we not expelling, but we are taking back these people who are
22 trying to return home.
23 This was not a setup or a media trick. It was a sincere attempt
24 to deal with the problem that had become evident by that time, an attempt
25 to receive back those people.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I should like to tender this
3 document now.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00535.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Now may I ask for D008 --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please repeat the number.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] D008-3650.
9 Q. General, this is briefing number 21/99. Let's look at
10 paragraph 2:
11 "There are manipulations concerning the deployment of a large
12 NATO force to Albania in Albania up to 6.000, which would be engaged in a
13 peacekeeping mission to create the conditions for the return of Siptar
14 refugees within the framework of a so-called humanitarian operation.
15 This should be seen as linked to the existence of plans for the conduct
16 of a step-by-step operation. Siptar terrorists entering from Albania and
17 Macedonia are to take control of the part of Kosovo and Metohija and
18 create the conditions for the introduction of ground forces. Some
19 sources indicate that the Siptars have been set in motion as part of this
20 plan in order to separate them from the VJ units which have become open
21 targets for the aggressor."
22 Now, there is mention here of the 4th of April. What information
23 did you have of the 4th of April to confirm this information?
24 A. We often mention that there was no ground invasion during that
25 time, but in a sense, a land operation did take place, and it was carried
1 out by Albanian extremists from Albania on the axis of Kosara and it
2 lasted for over a month. But since it was unsuccessful, another attempt
3 was made on the axis of Morina. It was a major operation with
4 involvement of Albanian extremists from Albania.
5 We understood it was their objective to send this man into a
6 ground attack, push back our forces from that region, and then NATO
7 forces would be invited to take their place in the region as some sort of
8 peacekeepers or peacemakers.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we turn to the next page in
10 B/C/S and in English. In English it's para 5, proposals, and then
11 item 1.
12 Q. "Refute that there is a humanitarian disaster, an allegation used
13 in the west to justify the aggression and prepare a ground operation."
14 Did you indeed have information to confirm these allegations, and
15 what was the purpose of citing a humanitarian catastrophe?
16 A. There were many reports pushing the idea of a humanitarian
17 catastrophe and calling for air-strikes. The ground invasion was still
18 an option at the time. It was our estimate that this whole insistence on
19 a humanitarian catastrophe was driven by this objective, and that's why I
20 proposed that it is our job to present a real picture to the public at
21 home and abroad. But it was not a humanitarian catastrophe caused by
22 anything we did, but it was as a result of the war that engulfed the
23 entire country, including the capital Belgrade and the fact that our
24 families too were occasionally refugees in the sense that they had to
25 leave their homes from time to time as many other citizens. We were all
1 targets and all of us could be said to be affected by humanitarian
2 problems and tragedy.
3 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at the next page in
4 B/C/S and in English. A draft communique.
5 Q. Please, focus on the first paragraph where it says:
6 "The Army of Yugoslavia is not carrying out any sort of ethnic
7 cleansing but is only responding to terrorist provocations. As the
8 terrorists have broken up -- have been broken up, the Yugoslav Army has
9 halted these activities and is now focusing on preparations for defence
10 against the aggression and against the deployment of ground forces with
11 which we are being threatened daily. When these threats cease, the VJ
12 units will return to their peacetime garrisons and downsize to the usual
14 Was this indeed the position of the Army of Yugoslavia and their
15 explanation for the current situation?
16 A. This reflected our general sentiment that armed activities should
17 cease as soon as possible, that the troops should return to garrison, and
18 the level of troops should be reduced to peacetime levels. We were not
19 very happy that additional mobilisation had been carried out and all the
20 other things that increased threats imply.
21 In this way, we wanted to send a message and explain how we wish
22 the situation to develop.
23 Q. Another sentence in paragraph 2 is important, the last sentence
24 which says:
25 "We too have a position on refugees, and it's simply this, return
1 to your homes."
2 Was this a clear statement of your position, a position held
3 widely by the Army of Yugoslavia?
4 A. Yes, certainly we really wanted these refugees to go home because
5 we knew that staying long in the open air or in refugee columns is being
6 blamed on us and the best solution for us was for them to return home and
7 that this should cease to be a pretext for continued air-strikes.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] May I tender this document,
9 Your Honours.
10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00536, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic, we've gone five minutes over. It
13 seems now that we must adjourn for the day. We will resume tomorrow at
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of
17 February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.