1 Monday, 22 January 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone. Judge Kamenova will be
6 absent briefly in morning for urgent personal reasons. She should join us
7 later in the course of the session. We've decided that it's in the
8 interests of justice to continue in her absence, and in fact I think it
9 may be the first time we've sat in her absence.
10 Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we're ready to proceed with General
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Vasiljevic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Morning.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: We're going to continue with your evidence. We're
18 still with Mr. Hannis asking questions.
19 Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR VASILJEVIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examination by Mr. Hannis: [Continued]
24 Q. Good morning, General. When we left off on Friday, we were
25 talking about Exhibit P2592; it was an excerpt from your diary regarding
1 the May meeting. I think you have a hard copy on your desk. Friday I
2 asked you about Mr. Milosevic's reference to the cases of big Serbs and
3 asking that those be resolved. One question I have for you: Was the
4 murder of Fehmi Agani mentioned during this meeting?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Now, I think the last question I asked you on Friday was who Saja
7 was and you told us that referred to Mr. Sainovic. Under the reference to
8 Saja, there's a mention of: "And there's the task of working on cleaning
9 up the terrain."
10 Can you tell us what that referred to, as discussed in this
12 A. Cleaning of the terrain is actually an expression for mopping up
13 the remaining Siptar terrorist groups on the ground, on the terrain. That
14 is a professional military term used in military terminology anyway.
15 Q. Is there a similar term that refers to removing bodies from the
17 A. That is mop-up of the battle-field.
18 Q. Was there any discussion of that during this 17 May meeting?
19 A. It was just mentioned briefly that asanacija or mop-up or
20 sanitization of the terrain should be completed.
21 Q. Now, the last two questions I think I have for you concerning this
22 diary entry are near the bottom. There's a reference to Rade, and it
23 apparently says: "There are no groups of five to 100 with the tendency to
24 form bigger groups."
25 I'm not sure if that translation is correct, but can you tell us
1 what that refers to.
2 A. There was a problem as to whether larger groups had been dealt
3 with, whether those were their numbers, actually, that is the figure that
4 General Pavkovic gave. And Milosevic reacted to that when he made a
5 remark regarding to what the military spokesperson said to the media;
6 namely, that not all remaining groups in the territory had been cleaned up
8 And in relation to that, Milosevic said that such unbalanced
9 statements should be -- should not be made because it would give NATO a
10 pretext to enter Kosovo and things should be dealt with differently. Rade
11 Markovic minimised the remaining number of groups and he also said that
12 they were smallish groups, that there were perhaps five to 100 people on
13 such groups. So he said that these were small remaining groups and the
14 military spokesperson had said that there were pockets in the terrain
15 consisting of larger groups of people.
16 Q. So that's a reference to KLA groups or terrorist groups?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you read your original entry because it says,"Rade said there
19 are no groups of five to 100," and that doesn't seem to make sense to me.
20 A. Probably there was a discussion before that, and I did not write
21 that down. But these were groups consisting of five to 100 persons and
22 then he is saying that there are no such groups at all. So the thesis
23 expounded by Rade Markovic was that all groups had been cleared up; that
24 was Milosevic's point of view, too; and then there was the problem of the
25 military spokesman who said to the media something completely different.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now I understand. Finally, there's a reference
2 to Jugoslav Petrusic. I think you mentioned his name earlier, but can you
3 tell us who he was and why he was detained.
4 A. Jugoslav Petrusic is a French citizen of Yugoslav origin who
5 sometime in the 1970s had emigrated to France, and later on he became a
6 member of the French DST intelligence service. He was used primarily,
7 according to what the existing knowledge shows, for assassinations. He
8 came to Yugoslavia immediately after the conflict with NATO started in
9 1999. He established a group of 25 persons, and through certain
10 connections he managed to go very quickly through the procedure through
11 the centre in Grocka for taking in volunteers.
12 He was sent to the 125th Brigade. He was at the Albanian border;
13 and since the State Security Service of Serbia had information to the
14 effect that this was a French agent or French agents, Milosevic ordered
15 that this entire group be withdrawn from Kosovo and that Petrusic and
16 Orasanin be withdrawn -- be arrested. They were, actually, withdrawn and
17 a trial took place. They were in custody for 30 days. They were under
18 military jurisdiction, but both the office of the military prosecutor and
19 of the civilian prosecutor were consulted, and it was assessed that there
20 weren't sufficient grounds for bringing charges, criminal charges.
21 A decision was made to expel him seven days later, then the State
22 Security Service arrested him. And they wanted to draw -- to turn this
23 into a scandal saying that he was planning an assassination against
24 Milosevic and so on and so forth, but actually it was aimed against the
25 military service but this was in actual fact handled by the civilian state
1 security. When prosecution witnesses were supposed to appear, they
2 refused. And the case ended with very small punishment for illegal entry
3 into the country or something like that, but certainly it had nothing to
4 do with the original charges and what was said in the media campaign in
6 Q. Thank you. You told us on Friday how at this meeting Rade
7 Markovic had made the remark that volunteers were a necessary evil.
8 Did -- when he made that remark in the meeting, did anyone disagree with
9 him or take issue with that statement?
10 A. Well, no. This position was one that Rade Markovic took after I
11 presented information about Arkan's group, the 30 men of Arkan's who were
12 in Kosovo Polje and then this group of Slobodan Medic, Boca, the Skorpions
13 that is; that is the context in which he said they were a necessary evil
14 and that they are accompanying this war but that 100 volunteers does not
15 resolve the question of war. That's it. No one had a position that was
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, the -- the group of 25 volunteers
18 that Petrusic enrolled or got together, were they Serbs?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly. I could not
20 say with any degree of certainty. Most of them were and some were
21 returnees. I know that some of them were in the 10th Sabotage Detachment
22 and had waged war in Republika Srpska.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: So what was the ground for thinking that their
24 interests would be anti-Milosevic?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The State Security Service -- well,
1 we had detained Petrusic and Orasanin as the key people in that group who
2 had actually avoided the procedure of going through the Grocka centre;
3 however, when the decision was made for the two of them to be expelled
4 from Yugoslavia, after that they were arrested by the State Security
5 Service, they were held in detention for a longer period of time, and they
6 had allegedly confessed during that detention that they were preparing an
7 assassination against Milosevic.
8 There was a lot of pressure brought to bear and a lot of forged
9 statements. One of the persons from that group, for instance, claimed in
10 connection with me that during the war in 1999 that I had been in Moscow
11 with him in 1999 in order to purchase weapons. So there were quite a few
12 lies bandied about and these people were forced to make various
13 statements. These statements were actually given under duress. I cannot
14 say what is true, what is not true. I just know that as far as court
15 proceedings are concerned nothing was actually proven.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, what's the relevance of this?
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I just wanted to identify who that
18 individual was.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
20 MR. HANNIS: I wasn't interested in the particulars of that.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 MR. HANNIS:
23 Q. Now, General, where did you go after this meeting?
24 A. After that meeting I returned to the security administration, if
25 you're talking about that day.
1 Q. Can you recall what time of day that meeting was and when the
2 meeting concluded, approximately?
3 A. I think that it started - if I'm not mistaken - sometime around
4 10.30. I'm not sure about the actual time. I don't know whether I have
5 it written down somewhere. Perhaps I can look through this material, but
6 I'm not certain of the time. At any rate, it is late in the morning, and
7 perhaps it went on until 1.00. It did not go beyond that.
8 Q. You say, in paragraph 71 of your statement, that as you left
9 Mr. Milosevic asked Mr. Sainovic and Rade Markovic to stay behind. You
10 say that you felt that was inappropriate. Can you tell us why you thought
11 it was inappropriate for him to ask them to stay behind.
12 A. Well, it has to do with two things. First of all, at the meeting,
13 General Pavkovic and General Ojdanic somewhere towards the end accentuated
14 the need to establish a mixed joint state commission which should
15 establish what it was that was going on in Kosovo. Milosevic avoided
16 commenting on that at all. He turned the tables on everyone, saying that
17 there was not proper communication between the civilian and the military
18 services. So this proposal remained sort of hanging in the air; it was
20 I personally think that when this kind of a joint meeting is
21 brought to an end, it is not right to keep someone there longer after the
22 meeting is over. You said Sainovic and Rade Markovic and that is what
23 Milosevic said. No he just said to Rade Markovic: "Rade, you stay," and
24 Mr. Sainovic stayed, too. To say the least, my impression was that he was
25 kept there in order to have a subsequent discussion but without us; that
1 was my impression and that is the comment I made to Mr. Ojdanic.
2 Q. Thank you. I want to move on now to paragraph 75 in your
3 statement, where you talk about your June trip to Kosovo that you and
4 Colonel Gajic and Colonel Antic went to Kosovo the 1st through the 7th of
5 June with a task to carry out a fact-finding commission about some of the
6 alleged crimes that you had been informed about in May.
7 In paragraph 76, you say that while travelling around you saw
8 widespread destruction in the rural areas. Can you tell the Court what
9 was the nature of that damage. Were you able to draw some conclusion
10 about how it had occurred based on what you saw.
11 A. Well, it's quite difficult to present a general picture. We were
12 moving along roads. There were damaged buildings along the way, and also
13 the bridge, for instance, near Gornja Klina across the Beli Drim River.
14 It seemed empty, an empty space in these rural areas; that's the
15 impression I had, with a lot of dead animals, livestock, that had not been
16 dealt with. They were lying by the roads, and these houses by the road
17 were destroyed.
18 Now, I cannot say whether it was due to air attack or artillery
19 attacks. For the most part, they were destroyed and there were only walls
20 and chimneys left, practically no roofs. However, I cannot say anything
21 with certainty as to what had caused the damage.
22 Q. Then you tell us while you were in Pristina in paragraph 77 and
23 78, that General Pavkovic invited you to a meeting of a group that you
24 later were told by Pavkovic was the Joint Command. And you detail who the
25 persons attending were; and in paragraphs 80 through 82, you talk further
1 about what was discussed. I had a question for you about Mr. Andjelkovic.
2 Did he say or do anything during this meeting you attended?
3 A. No. He attended the meeting and he was there, like the rest of
4 the persons there. He did not take part in the discussion because I
5 certainly would have made a short note of that in the notebook that I had
6 with me, and I did write down what the participants in the discussion
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We have trouble hearing the
9 witness. Could all other microphones be switched off. Thank you.
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. Did you notice, was anyone taking notes of the meeting during the
12 meeting other than yourself that you mentioned?
13 A. Well, yes. Every one of the participants had a notebook or a pad
14 of his own. But if you're asking about an official record-keeper, I did
15 not see any; that is to say, there weren't any. Now, as for the
16 individuals that were writing notes of their own and whether they had any
17 notes that they made before that in order to speak on the basis of those
18 notes during the meeting, that I don't know, but they all had their own
20 Q. In paragraph 83, you mention that Stojanovic told you that Jovica
21 Stanisic had been involved in the work of the joint commission in 1998 for
22 several months. Did he say when he stopped participating in the Joint
24 A. Well, no. He just said that in passing, that during a longish
25 period of time of their work, Jovica Stanisic took part as well, but there
1 were no details mentioned for how long, why, and in what period, that is.
2 Since he was retired in October 1998, it probably had to do with the
3 summer months.
4 Q. In paragraph 86, you say that you prepared a report that you
5 submitted to your boss, General Farkas, about what you and Gajic had
6 learned on your fact-finding mission. Have you ever seen that report
7 since you submitted it to General Farkas?
8 A. Well, no. There was no need for me to see it after that. This
9 report was compiled on the 7th of June, immediately upon our return. It
10 had been typed out; it consisted of certain tables, too. And I already
11 mentioned that on the following day, the 8th, General Geza handed the
12 report over to General Ojdanic and that General Ojdanic ordered that the
13 same report be sent on to President Milosevic. It remained in the safe of
14 the chief of the administration.
15 Now, what happened after that when we were retired, or rather,
16 when we were removed from these positions, first of all, that is the end
17 of March/beginning of April 2000. I don't know about that. I know that
18 later I had expressed an interest to get it, too. And I remember that at
19 the time General Ojdanic was looking for the report, too, or rather, he
20 was looking for it later when he was preparing his defence. He was still
21 free, but the report could not be found. It's -- it really doesn't
22 contain anything that anybody would have an interest in concealing or
23 destroying and it did refer to court cases as well.
24 Q. And in paragraph 87, you say that you and Gajic documented 42
25 cases of crimes, some by the VJ and some by the MUP. Can you tell us, was
1 that one individual per case, or did sometimes a case involve more than
2 one individual? Do you understand my question?
3 A. I understand. In some cases two or three members of the army
4 participated. For instance, a crime, a murder, that was committed in the
5 village of Bresje where three reserve members of the military killed an
6 Albanian and mistreated another Albanian. So it is one single case, but
7 three perpetrators. And there are other such cases, too. Also, there are
8 many cases that refer to individual cases. For instance, a case of a
9 particular Captain Stekovic who killed four Albanians, raped a girl; so
10 it's one perpetrator and several victims.
11 Q. Do you remember the largest number of perpetrators associated with
12 one case? Was there any case where there was a group bigger than two to
13 three perpetrators?
14 A. Well, I think there were. It pertains to the tactical group of
15 the 52nd Armoured Brigade. So there were cases of three or four
16 individuals, but not of an entire unit, a squad, a platoon, et cetera,
17 having committed something like that. Usually, it was three or four
18 persons; two or three, four reservists who would go out together and
19 usually they would be under the influence. Sometimes they would drink
20 alcohol and then do something. They would commit rape, looting, or even
22 Q. Of the 42 cases, do you recall how it broke down between the MUP
23 and the VJ? Was it about equal? Were there twice as many on one side as
24 the other? Do you recall what the numerical breakdown was?
25 A. I cannot give any accurate figures. I'm sure of one thing, that
1 most of the cases that we dealt with were cases that pertained to the
2 military. As for the MUP cases, it was more or less a general report and
3 we did not go into any of the details concerned because it did not fall
4 within our jurisdiction.
5 I would like to say that these 42 cases are not all killings or
6 murders. There are killings and murders, there are rapes, and also many
7 cases of lootings, robbery, taking property from abandoned houses. So it
8 did not pertain strictly to killings and murders, crimes of that kind. We
9 also had information about misdemeanours, but also about big crimes. But
10 we put it all together and presented it in a table.
11 Q. Did this group of 42 cases include the murder of Fehmi Agani?
12 A. It was just mentioned there because there was a report security
13 organ providing us with this information, and this information was
14 included in our table.
15 Q. In paragraph --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move on, Mr. Hannis.
17 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: What is it you envisage the Trial Chamber doing
19 with this information?
20 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, part of the reason I'm trying to elicit
21 this information is to see if we can -- if we can locate this document or
22 document that we believe to be this document, I'll have a sufficient
23 description of it from this witness to confirm that what I have is
24 probably what he's been talking about; also to see if the information that
25 he's referring to as having reported up the line on that date is referred
1 to in other collections or not.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: But if these -- if these events aren't referred to
3 in the indictment, what's the relevance of them for our purposes?
4 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, it would be part of our argument
5 that there was a reporting system in place and that sometimes, relatively
6 speaking, very minor events worked their way up to the top to -- of the VJ
7 and they were discussed in the VJ collegium, et cetera; yet, on the other
8 hand, some significant events with dozens if not hundreds killed did not
9 seem to get reported. And there's an argument we may make from that at
10 the end of the case.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: The four specific locations referred to there are
12 said to have been mentioned above somewhere in the statement. Not this
13 minute, but can somebody perhaps identify for me at least the particular
14 paragraphs that these four locations are mentioned.
15 MR. HANNIS: I would ask the General's assistance with that, Your
16 Honour, because I'm not clear.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps someone on your behalf can go through this
18 and remind us where these are referred to so we can tie this in later.
19 MR. HANNIS: And if I can come back to you on that?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
22 Q. General, now, I want to ask you regarding those 42 cases, do you
23 personally know the results or the outcome of any of those in terms of
25 A. The reports that we received from the security organs as far as
1 these were concerned, all the cases, the prosecutions were brought against
2 those people, I don't know if any of them received the first-instance
3 judgements. I don't know about the final outcome as far as the judicial
4 organs are concerned. The only case that was not prosecuted was the case
5 in Gornja Klina. This is something I've already spoken about in the
6 jurisdiction of the 37th Brigade, and this case referred to a killing, I
7 think, of seven Albanians who were then thrown into a well and then the --
8 some soil was thrown over it.
9 When we were there at what time, there was no prosecution in this
10 case. An on-site investigation was attempted, but at that time Gornja
11 Klina was already under Albanian control so it was not possible to access
12 this area. I know that this case ended up at the military court in Nis
13 because the commander of that unit was involved - that was a logistics
14 battalion - and this officer was prosecuted. I don't know what the final
15 outcome was.
16 I know that there was some other cases of active-duty servicemen
17 who were tried after the state of war ended and they were tried in Nis.
18 But I wanted to make a note here lest one should draw a conclusion that we
19 went down there as some sort of a supervisory commission, me and Gajic.
20 We went there to visit the security organs, to carry out the usual control
21 into their work, and we also, on the orders of General Ojdanic, wanted to
22 check out what the situation was, what we could learn on the ground. And
23 I think that the military prosecutors and the military courts have the
24 full information about all this. We did not confer with them. We did not
25 compare our data with them.
1 Q. Thank you. General, during proofing and preparation of your
2 written statement, you make reference in paragraph 89 about being asked
3 about the murders listed in Schedules A through K of the indictment in
4 this case. And you indicated that the only one that you had information
5 about related to Izbica.
6 And I understand from earlier in your statement, you did not
7 believe those 120- or 30-some bodies that were dug up there related to the
8 total number of 800. Is it correct that you had no information about the
9 other killings referred to in the indictment in this case? Bela Crkva,
10 Orahovac, Krusevac, or Meja?
11 A. No, no. I maintain what I said. It was not 120, 130, but it was
12 143 bodies that were buried individually in the cemetery, and we were told
13 that orders had been given for those bodies to be exhumed and that the
14 area should be sanitized. I don't know what hospital was in charge there,
15 whether it was Kosovska Mitrovica, but the pathologists were supposed to
16 examine the bodies and the investigating judge should have gone out and
17 conducted an on-site inquiry. I don't know under what circumstances these
18 people died, whether it was in the fighting or whether these were actual
19 killings. This is as regards the 143 bodies.
20 As for the other locations, no reports were received, but you have
21 to bear in mind that we didn't spend a lot of time in Kosovo. I'm just
22 giving you the information we received from security organs in certain
23 areas. Now, whether these locations were in their locations, I don't know
24 about that. They did not mention anything about that. Had they known
25 about it, they would have given us information because they had given us
1 information about many other serious cases. So I don't know why they
2 would miss those.
3 Q. Did you visit the security organs in Djakovica?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How about Orahovac?
6 A. No, no. We did not have a security organ in place in Orahovac.
7 As for Djakovica, I've already mentioned this, I gave you the name of the
8 lieutenant from the 252nd Rocket Brigade. This rocket brigade was
9 deployed in artillery battalions over a pretty wide stretch. It was a
10 brigade that was supposed to do the air defence. So in Orahovac there was
11 no security organ in place. I don't know whether there was one in this
12 zone of responsibility or not.
13 Q. How about Suva Reka?
14 A. No. I am familiar with this area of Suva Reka because I had been
15 there in the past. As far as I remember, there is a place called
16 Musitiste there. And I remember that the security from the 70th military
17 territorial detachment reported no problems in the detachment, and that in
18 Musitiste there was an elderly Albanian man who was given meals by the
19 military and the military was generally taking care of this man. So this
20 was the only information I had from Suva Reka, but that was in Musitiste.
21 The 70th detachment was in Musitiste as they were feeding this elderly
22 [Realtime transcript read in error "earlier"] Albanian. As for Suva Reka,
23 I don't know whether we had any of our units there.
24 Q. Let me ask you about two more, Kacanik?
25 A. No.
1 Q. How about Vucitrn or Vushtrri?
2 A. No, no. We didn't have any security organs in place there. There
3 may have been some, but I didn't go there and the security chief in the
4 3rd Army was with me. And he, in fact, defined our route, the route that
5 we would take, because we could not have visited all the security organs
6 because there were quite a few of them. We were supposed to get a general
7 picture on the basis of the key points, the Pristina Corps, the brigades
8 that were part of that corps. We went all the way down to military
9 territorial detachments and battalions.
10 Q. Thank you?
11 JUDGE BONOMY: In line 18, the word "earlier" should be "elderly,"
12 in case it's not picked up.
13 MR. HANNIS: That's what I heard, too, Your Honour.
14 Q. In paragraph 90, you say that on 9th of July there was finally a
15 follow-up meeting with the MUP as envisioned at the 17th May meeting, and
16 you say that Minister Stojiljkovic indicated that only 16 MUP members were
17 being processed for crimes. Did he tell you what kinds of crimes those 16
18 were being processed for?
19 A. No. I wanted to tell you that General Geza and General Ojdanic,
20 after the meeting in May, tried to get in touch with Rade Markovic in
21 order to hold this meeting about the alleged problems in the cooperation,
22 but it was impossible to get in touch with him. This meeting was finally
23 held on the 8th of July or maybe 9th of July. I'm not quite sure about
24 the date, but it was one of the two. The entire interior ministry top was
25 there, the Serbian interior ministry. The meeting was held in the
1 headquarters, and General Ojdanic presided and Vlajko Stojiljkovic was
3 And I found it peculiar that only 16 cases were prosecuted, but
4 this was the kind of meeting where the cases themselves were not discussed
5 at all. The crimes were not on the agenda. The discussion centred on the
6 casualties, the MUP and military personnel that were killed or wounded.
7 They said the situation was quite good because they only had the 16 cases.
8 I personally believe that those were the severe cases because there must
9 have been more cases that were prosecuted for lesser crimes, because I
10 find it hard to believe that only 16 cases -- that that would be the total
12 Q. And there was no connection between those 16 cases and the 326
13 bodies that had been determined to have been found in the area under the
14 responsibility of the MUP?
15 A. No. This figure was not mentioned at all. The agenda was
16 completely different for this meeting.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all microphones
18 kindly be switched off while the witness is speaking.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: That's the second time a request has been made
20 about switching off microphones, but I can't see any switched on.
21 MR. HANNIS: I've been guilty a time or two.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you're entitled to keep yours on,
23 Mr. Hannis, as long as you're not shuffling papers beside it and I don't
24 see any more on. So I'm sorry, I don't think we can help the interpreters
25 any more on this one.
1 MR. HANNIS:
2 Q. General, two last things, two last areas I want to cover with you.
3 The VJ collegium, do you know what that was? Can you explain to the
4 Judges what the VJ collegium was?
5 A. The collegium consists of the closest associates and immediate
6 subordinates of the Chief of General Staff or some other commander. You
7 can have a collegium of an army commander or a corps commander. So those
8 would be the closest associates dealing with the key sectors important for
9 the functioning of a command.
10 Q. And in 1998 and 1999, were you aware of whether the VJ collegium
11 existed at that time?
12 A. Well, this was not the collegium of the Yugoslav army. This is
13 not a proper term. You can have a collegium of the Chief of General Staff
14 as the operational commander of the Yugoslav army. So there is no such
15 thing as the collegium of the Yugoslav army. There is the collegium of
16 the Chief of General Staff. It had been in existence in 1990s and later
17 on. So when I retired it existed, when I was reinstated it existed, and
18 it exists now. This is a permanent body.
19 Q. And in the early 1990s, before your first retirement, did you
20 participate in the collegium of the General Staff?
21 A. Yes. The chief of military security is always a member of the
22 collegium. At that time it was, in fact, the federal secretary of
23 national defence, General Kadijevic, but the Chief of General Staff,
24 General Adzic, had his own collegium. So it is a collective body composed
25 of the heads of various sectors in the military organisation, and they
1 discuss certain issues and the commander makes the final decision on any
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, you say the chief of military
4 security is always a member. I thought you were second to the chief of
5 military security.
6 MR. HANNIS: In 1998 and 1999, Your Honour. In the early 1990s,
7 he was the --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yes. I'm sorry. Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
9 MR. HANNIS:
10 Q. In 1998 and 1999, did your boss, Geza Farkas, attend the General
11 Staff collegium meetings?
12 A. In 1999, when he was actually appointed the head of the security
13 administration until he was removed from this office, he was a member of
14 the collegium and he did attend the meetings of the collegium. There may
15 have been some exceptions when he was absent officially and then somebody
16 else would attend the meeting in his stead.
17 Q. Do you know how often it met in 1999?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Approximately? Was it once a year? Once a month?
20 A. Well, definitely not once a year. I think it was, in fact, more
21 often than once a month. It would depend on the actual need, but on the
22 average perhaps every ten days or so there would be a meeting, depending
23 on the importance of the issue to be discussed.
24 Q. And in your preparation for testimony this week and last week, did
25 you have occasion to review some minutes of VJ collegium meetings from
1 late 1998 and early 1999?
2 A. Yes, yes. I was shown those minutes.
3 Q. Did you see the list of attendees at those meetings?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And did you recognise those individuals named as being members of
6 the General Staff or holding the positions that were indicated in the list
7 of attendees?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know where this
10 examination will take us, but I'm afraid that we're now re-visiting the
11 situation we had on the first day when the Prosecutor tried to tender
12 through this witness documents from a meeting that this witness did not
13 attend, a meeting that this witness has no direct knowledge of from the
14 time when he was actually not on active duty.
15 I don't know how far the Prosecutor intends to go, but I would
16 like to lodge an objection because I think that we are now in the same
17 situation that we had before and I believe that the Trial Chamber has
18 already ruled on the issue.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: If the witness was being asked to deal with the
20 events which were said in the minutes to have taken place at the meeting,
21 that would be one thing, Mr. Visnjic, and your objection may have some
22 foundation on that. But here all he's being asked is to say what
23 positions the people who, according to the minutes, attended the meeting
24 held. And that's something within his competence, bearing in mind the
25 position he held and his experience of this body and, therefore, we'll
1 allow that question to be asked.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. General, my question was: Did you recognise those individuals
4 named as being members of the General Staff or holding the positions that
5 were indicated on that list of attendees?
6 A. Yes. I did recognise the -- practically all of the names on this
7 list, and there are actually more of them listed there than I remember
8 from the collegium that I attended in the early 1990s and 1980s. There
9 were maybe eight or nine generals there, and now there were more than ten
10 people. But it is up to the Chief of General Staff to decide who would
11 attend the collegium. It is not something that is strictly stipulated in
12 the rules that -- which heads of which services are to be represented,
13 although there are some that have to be represented and that are always
15 Q. Thank you. And I think I have one more question I want to ask you
16 relating to -- regarding the Joint Command.
17 MR. HANNIS: May I have a moment, Your Honour. I'm locating my
19 Q. I want to ask you a couple of names. Do you know who David Gajic
21 A. Yes, I do know the name. He was the chief of the state security
22 department in Kosovo in 1997/1998.
23 Q. And what about a Milan Djakovic?
24 A. I know him, too. He was a general in the Yugoslav army.
25 Q. In 1998, do you know where he was stationed or what his command
2 A. Well, he was in the Pristina Corps command. First he was the --
3 while General Pavkovic was the commander and then later on, he was the
4 chief of the operations division in the 3rd Army command.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't have any more questions. No,
7 I'm sorry. I don't have any more questions, Your Honour. Thank you.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
9 Mr. O'Sullivan.
10 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, the order will be: Mr. Sainovic,
11 General Ojdanic, General Pavkovic, General Lazarevic, General Lukic, and
12 Mr. Milutinovic.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, is it Mr. Fila or Mr. Petrovic who's going to
15 lead out?
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will be cross-examining
17 the witness, but it is the view of myself and all the other Defence teams
18 that we need to know which documents will be admitted into evidence,
19 because you know that we objected -- made certain objections regarding the
20 use of some documents by the Prosecution, the minutes and so on, and we
21 need your decision.
22 Because when I examine Mr. Vasiljevic, I have to know this.
23 Because if the documents are admitted, then I will examine him in one way;
24 and if not, then I will do it in another way. Or if you do not wish to
25 rule on that, then you should give me the right to re-examine him. I
1 think that may be a problem because the Chamber is not sitting in its full
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, what is your position in relation to
4 the various documents to which objection was taken?
5 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I've -- we still think that
6 they're appropriate to be considered. I can make some oral arguments this
7 time. I can make a written submission later concerning the relevance, but
8 as I indicated most of them were documents received pursuant to RFAs or
9 have indicators of reliability. And I think I can tell you which ones in
10 my list of the notification I'm not seeking to admit at the conclusion of
11 his evidence.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
13 MR. HANNIS: P1011, P2591, and, Your Honour, all the others I'm
14 seeking to introduce. Some for the reason that they were associated with
15 his testimony in Milosevic, and I can give you those cross-reference
16 numbers if you would like. It's extensive. Perhaps I can submit that to
17 you in writing at the break.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Are there exhibits from Milosevic which are not
19 included in the numbers to which exception was taken at the beginning of
20 this witness's evidence? Because if there are, you haven't given us
21 numbers relative to this case.
22 MR. HANNIS: I think they took exception to just about everything.
23 The one might be P2593, which is an organisational chart that was shown in
24 private session in Milosevic, relating to the security service. I
25 think -- I think all the others there were objections to.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's take, as an example, the very first document
2 that was listed by Mr. Petrovic, P928. Can we have that, please, on the
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, that is one of the VJ General Staff
5 collegium minutes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: The next page, please.
7 The record should also reflect now that Judge Kamenova has come
8 on to the bench.
9 The next page, please. The next. And the final page, please.
10 The Defence assumption, Mr. Hannis, is that you seek to exhibit
11 this document to rely on its contents. Is that right?
12 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour. May I make some
13 additional submission regarding why I think it should come in?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, as I indicated before, these were
16 received from Serbia and Montenegro in response to a request for
17 assistance for these specific items. Based on -- in part of the evidence
18 of this witness, we have established the existence of such a body with
19 these members at this point in time. The listed participants, and the
20 contents themselves, we would argue further suggest they're authentic.
21 Likewise, with the contents, there is what I would call "good
22 stuff" for both the Defence and the Prosecution, which I submit also
23 further suggests authenticity. It's not completely one-sided one way or
24 the other.
25 And, finally, Mr. Visnjic in the list of documents that he's
1 submitted to us as Defence exhibits he intends to discuss with this
2 witness, include another five or six VJ collegium minute sessions that
3 were not on my list. So it appears he has some belief that they were
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Fila, I'm assuming from all that's been
6 said that from 928 to 941 are documents of a similar nature, and 928 is
7 simply an example of a series of documents which are said to be minutes of
8 the collegium. Mr. Hannis has not asked the witness to put any gloss on
9 the documents; he simply asked the witness questions which seek to
10 establish the authenticity of the documents. He's saying that the
11 contents are for later argument or, indeed, for exploration in
12 cross-examination. He's can't deny you that possibility.
13 Now, are you challenging the authenticity of these documents?
14 Mr. Petrovic's original challenge was based on the fact that there was no
15 link between the witness and the documents, and that I can understand in
16 relation to any questions that might have been asked of this witness to
17 explain them, but that hasn't happened. So the question we're looking at
18 at the moment is: Do you dispute their authenticity?
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that my colleague
20 Mr. Visnjic is using them, I do not challenge their authenticity, and I do
21 not intend to question the witness in relation to these documents. The
22 objection raised by Mr. Petrovic is of a principled nature and concerns
23 all documents. Why was this document not introduced through any other
24 witness who knows as much about them? So let us agree on the documents to
25 be tendered between the two sides. I'm interested in some other
1 documents, but I'll raise that issue later on.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Does --
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I accept any decision Your Honours
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Does any other Defence counsel challenge the
6 authenticity of these particular ones? I'm going to move to the others
7 that were listed in a moment. All right.
8 Now, the next category that Mr. Petrovic challenged were described
9 as a variety of documents about the military and the police. The
10 circumstances in relation to three of these are now rather different from
11 the time he made his submission. The Prosecutor does not seek to exhibit
12 P2591, and as we indicated earlier I think P1427 and P1960 are already
13 exhibits in the case.
14 Now, again Mr. Hannis has not tried to seek any explanation of
15 these documents from the witness. That statement may be too general. I'm
16 not sure if perhaps one or two were referred to along the way, but no
17 issue was taken with the reference if they were. So he's not sought to go
18 into these in detail with the witness for his explanation of them. So,
19 again, the issue seems to us at the moment is one of authenticity, and
20 perhaps you can tell us, Mr. Fila, if you challenge the authenticity of
21 these. Now, the documents in question were those in the list from 1418 to
23 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I simply don't know whether they're
24 authentic or not. I have not seen anything to prove that they are. It
25 wouldn't be fair on my part to say that they're not because I have no
1 information to that effect. So the problem in principle is tendering
2 documents through a witness who knows nothing about them, because the
3 witness, too, is unable to say whether they're authentic or not. That's
4 where the problem lies.
5 I don't think the Prosecutor is a person who would purposely
6 tender false documents; I don't think that for a moment. I have no such
7 suspicions, but there are no grounds for me to believe either one or the
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, some -- sorry.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] The problem is that there are no
11 grounds to introduce the document through this witness because the
12 witness cannot provide the grounds; that's the issue. Thank you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, some of these relate to the police.
14 Those that do, are they -- is the authenticity of them challenged?
15 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour. I think we've already -- we
16 already handled, I believe, P1992 yesterday -- Friday, and that was
17 already denied admission. We also --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, I don't have 1992 on this list.
19 MR. IVETIC: That's correct. It wasn't on this list of this group
20 of documents that we're talking about.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's confine ourselves to this section --
22 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: -- of the documents that goes from 1418 to 2166 of
24 the list that Mr. Petrovic identified.
25 MR. IVETIC: From 1418 through --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: 2166. That was 1460, 1427, 1487, 1960, I've dealt
2 with that, 1967, 1503, 2031, 2113, 2591, and 2166.
3 MR. IVETIC: I believe none of those are actually MUP documents,
4 Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
6 MR. IVETIC: That's why I was moving on to the other section.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: The only document I think referred to specifically
8 in the evidence to any extent of that group was 1967, and --
9 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, there was some reference, I think, to
11 JUDGE BONOMY: What is it, Mr. Hannis?
12 MR. HANNIS: 1460.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: What is it?
14 MR. HANNIS: It's the order of -- from the Supreme Command
15 regarding subordination of the MUP, when the witness was talking about
16 General Pavkovic had complained about that and General Ojdanic who had
17 requested an order.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, apart from these various documents,
19 reference was also made to 1468, which was a handwritten document,
20 apparently notes from the meeting of the Joint Command.
21 MR. HANNIS: Actually, Your Honour, it's the minutes of several
22 meetings between July and October of 1998.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Handwritten?
24 MR. HANNIS: It's handwritten.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: And that wasn't explored in evidence either, was
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, no. I only asked him about a couple of
3 names to make an argument from.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And 1898 which is Stevanovic's diary.
5 MR. HANNIS: He was not asked about it. It's referred to in his
6 written statement, but I didn't ask him any questions about it today.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is it referred to in the written statement?
8 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'll have to get the paragraph
9 reference. Paragraph 72, that's correct.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] May I say something very briefly
13 with respect to the document mentioned by Mr. Hannis 4B, 1468, especially
14 in relation to this document, there is no way that document can be
15 admitted through this witness. The fact --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic, I'm sorry,, just let me complete what
17 I'm doing.
18 MR. PETROVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Then Mr. Ivetic raised two documents 1249 and 1996.
20 Now, 1249 you thought had been exhibited but wasn't, in fact. And 1996
21 was one which was intimated at a late stage. Now, again, Mr. Hannis, do
22 you seek to have these admitted?
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, 1996 I do not intend to seek admitted at
24 this time. I didn't ask this witness any questions about those. I'll
25 have a written submission to make in connection with it later. And as to
1 1249, likewise, this was not shown to the witness. I may try to tender it
2 later through another witness or with a written submission, but I'm not
3 offering it at this time.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: The Trial Chamber will admit the following
6 documents: 928, 929, 931, 932, 935, 938, and 941. There is now no
7 objection to their admission, and we are satisfied that evidence
8 demonstrates a basis for saying that they're authentic.
9 Other documents which are not included in the list of documents to
10 which Mr. Petrovic took exception at the outset of the evidence are
11 admitted in the usual way, according to the use made of them in the course
12 of the evidence. So far as the others, however, to which objection was
13 taken are concerned, the Trial Chamber does not know enough about them at
14 the moment to say that they should be admitted; however, there are signs
15 in the submissions made by Mr. Hannis that a number of these documents, if
16 not all of them, may well be admitted once the Trial Chamber is satisfied
17 about the position, which it can't be at the moment.
18 I say that because if counsel feel that if any of these documents
19 are admitted they would have wanted to ask questions of this witness about
20 them, then you should proceed to question the witness about them in case
21 they are admitted, to the extent, that is, that you wish. However, where
22 the issue for Defence counsel is explaining the content of the document
23 and it's not felt necessary to do that through evidence, then that will be
24 open to you to do in the form of response to any written submission the
25 Prosecution will be required to make to support the admission to these
2 So, in other words you, will be able to advance any argument you
3 wish in relation to the documents in due course before we make a decision
4 on admitting them. But just in case that decision is to admit them and
5 you think it necessary or helpful to ask this witness questions about them
6 you should do so and make it clear to us at what stage in your
7 cross-examination you're doing that so it's clear these questions are
8 asked on the basis of the reservation of the admissibility of these
9 various documents.
10 Now, for the avoidance of any doubt, and please correct me if I
11 make any mistakes on, this the documents to be admitted are: 1418, 1487,
12 1503, 2031, 2113, 2166, 1468 [sic], 1249. Now, remind me, Mr. Hannis,
13 1460 and 1967, did you say something about 1460?
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, 1460 was discussed with the witness when
15 we were talking about the issue of subordination of the MUP to the VJ. He
16 was shown that document in connection with I believe it was 1459 as well.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I think in relation to 1460 and 1967, although they
18 were referred to in the course of the evidence, the objection is to them
19 being used on a stand-alone basis for reference in the course of the
20 trial, not just in relation to matters explored with the witness. And
21 since you want to use them for that purpose, then they will fall within
22 the category of those to which you must make submissions before we decide
23 the extent to which they are admitted.
24 MR. HANNIS: All right, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: These two documents are also included in that
1 statement. 1898 I think falls into a different category, and the witness
2 has referred to it specifically in his evidence. It, on the face of it,
3 seems genuine to us. And to the extent that it has been explored in
4 evidence, that one is admitted to -- if you wish to invite the Chamber
5 again to explore the content of that without reference to any evidence
6 about it, then again you would have to make a written submission to
7 support that to which the Defence will have an opportunity to respond.
8 But it's clearly admitted to the extent to which the witness referred to
9 it in his evidence.
10 Your submission, Mr. Hannis, should also deal with any exhibits
11 from the Milosevic trial to make sure that they're cross-referenced
12 adequately and it's clear to the Trial Chamber the extent to which you
13 seek to have them admitted. Plainly, they're admitted to the extent to
14 which they were used in the Milosevic trial. We may or may not give any
15 weight to them. If you want to look at their contents is in some detail
16 beyond the extent which they were referred to in the evidence, then,
17 again, you would have to make a written submission explaining the basis on
18 which you seek to do that, that is to establish their authenticity,
19 essentially, and their relevance and probative value for the case.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, is there any issue arising from that on which
22 any counsel seeks clarification? Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe there is an
24 omission in the transcript. Page 30, line 20, you gave a list of the
25 collegium admitted into evidence, but P939 is missing. I may be wrong,
1 but I see no reason for its admission. I think it should be on this list.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: You're quite right and my attention's been drawn to
3 that. For some reason, I don't have it listed as one that's been referred
4 to, but you're telling me that Mr. Petrovic referred to that, do you? You
5 see, one of the difficulties about this is it hasn't arisen by the
6 Prosecution seeking to admit the documents; it's arisen by an objection
7 being taken. So, Mr. Hannis, if there are others that weren't objected to
8 and weren't referred to in the evidence, then there's no basis on which
9 they'll be admitted because they're in the ether somewhere. But 939,
10 since it falls within the sequence of the others, will also be admitted.
11 Any other issue arising? Mr. Petrovic.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise. I
13 seek clarification. I may have misunderstood, but I prefer to have this
14 clarified. On page 31, lines 23 to 24, you list the documents that are to
15 be admitted. From your previous decision, I understood -- I see document
16 1468 here. I understood that these documents would not be admitted. I
17 wish it to be made clear.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, I hope it's a mistake in the transcript and
19 I didn't say that, but I certainly didn't mean to say it. These are
20 documents on which submissions will be necessary before we determine
21 whether they're admitted or not. You're quite right.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That's how
23 I understood it also, but unfortunately it was not reflected that way in
24 the transcript.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Any other points? Very well.
1 Mr. Fila, for you to cross-examine.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Vasiljevic. My name is Toma
4 Fila, and together with my colleague Mr. Petrovic, I appear for Nikola
5 Sainovic. I will put, I hope, few questions, and later on you will see
6 why I have to put questions at all. Please take your statement and look
7 at paragraph 20. That's when you were waiting to be received by Mr.
8 Milosevic; and because of something that was later shown on Belgrade
9 television, I have to ask you: What did General Ojdanic say to you in
10 connection with Pavkovic? What did he say he held against him when he saw
11 Pavkovic coming out? You know what I'm referring to?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. And please then say -- tell me the same thing in relation to
15 A. Well, in relation to Pavkovic, he said he was surprised to see him
16 there when he did not come to see him and was not informed about this by
17 Milosevic. Also, he said that he knew that before that day when we were
18 there together, he had arrived to visit Milosevic in Belgrade on more than
19 one occasion. And he said that he knew that Pavkovic was providing better
20 information to Mr. Sainovic than he was to him.
21 Q. Later on you mentioned the names of two persons we will not
22 mention for the sake of their families, who said that Pavkovic was seeing
23 Sainovic. As far as I can understand, they did not attend these meetings?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Do they know what Pavkovic discussed with Sainovic?
1 A. No. The content of the conversation was not mentioned, merely the
2 fact that he was coming there.
3 Q. And that's all you know about this? Now I'll tell you why I'm
4 putting these stupid questions to you. When you were answering Mr.
5 Hannis's questions about this, journalists from the audience informed
6 someone that you were saying that orders were being given by Sainovic to
8 A. No, I didn't say that.
9 Q. Very well. I apologise for having asked you this. That's RTS, as
10 you know, so I had to put that question to you. In relation to paragraphs
11 46 and 47 of your statement, you speak here about what you know about the
12 Joint Command in 1998. Would you agree with me that your information
13 about the Joint Command in 1998, when you were not holding that post, is a
14 second-hand information which you received from Colonel Stojanovic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. We will have to slow down because we're speaking the
17 same language, so we have to take the interpretation into account.
18 In paragraph 46 of your statement, you speak about the
19 coordination for joint operations, and there's one thing that remains
20 unclear. Does this refer to 1999 or to 1998?
21 A. What paragraph?
22 Q. 46.
23 A. Could you put your question now.
24 Q. What period does this refer to when you were in service or out of
1 A. Not the request?
2 Q. No, but your statement.
3 A. It refers to what I know about 1999, that's one thing; and
4 secondly, based on documents I saw dating from 1998, that's the meeting of
5 the staff.
6 Q. Very well. Thank you. The inter-ministerial staff. The
7 transcript mentions the staff, inter-ministerial is missing from the
9 A. Yes, that was it.
10 Q. The next question I wish to put to you in that context is: As an
11 experienced general, do you think it is necessary to have coordination
12 between the Army of Yugoslavia and the MUP when operations are being
13 carried out?
14 A. Well, it's normal, yes. But I draw a distinction between
15 coordination and subordination and command. If they are jointly carrying
16 out the same task, then there has to be coordination.
17 Q. But the chain of command remains?
18 A. Yes, that's why I drew a distinction. When command is in
19 question, that's a different question. That's not the same as
21 Q. When you speak about coordination - and excuse me, but I was never
22 a soldier, a good soldier anyway, so the questions may seem odd to you -
23 but if I understood you correctly when you speak about coordination, it
24 means that the chain of command remains intact?
25 A. Yes. Yes, that's how it is in the case of coordination.
1 Q. Very well then. I understand you correctly. I now wish to have
2 the document shown to you P1459 that we have been discussing so much, even
3 though Mr. Hannis says it's 1460; in fact, it's 1459, that's Pavkovic's
4 letter. Do you want me to give it to you this way or is it better for you
5 to see it on the screen?
6 A. It's better for me to see it this way.
7 Q. You better take Mr. Hannis's copy because mine is all scribbled
9 A. Oh, all right. If it's enlarged, I'll manage to see.
10 Q. I'm interested in page 2.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Here, I've got it. Yes.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, I've noted 1460 as an order about
14 subordination dated the 19th of April, 1999.
15 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour, and 1459 makes reference
16 to it in the first paragraph.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. But 1459 was not one of the documents to
18 which exception was taken; and, therefore, on the face of it, it's been
19 admitted for the purpose for which it was used in the course of the
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] That's what I wanted to tell you, Your
22 Honour, when you didn't want to hear me out.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: So what, are you objecting to its authenticity?
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No, no, no. No, I wanted to talk about
25 the numbers. No, I'm not objecting at all.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Could you please pay attention to only this list part where it
4 says "proposed measures." Now, there is this small debate among us about
5 whether the translation is right or not, so I would like to ask you to
6 read this whole sentence; what Pavkovic says exactly, the last bit,
7 measures proposed.
8 A. Well, I don't want to hear the objection again that I'm just a
9 doll that's reading things out, a mannequin or whatever.
10 Q. No, no. No, just read it out.
11 A. Which sentence do you mean? "In accordance with the proclaimed
12 state of war annul the order on their resubordination leave the command
13 and commanding of the forces of the MUP" -- I'm sorry.
14 Q. Slowly and from the beginning.
15 A. "In the spirit of the constitution and existing laws and in
16 accordance with the proclaimed state of war, either annul the order on
17 their resubordination and leave the command and commanding of the forces
18 of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia in the hands of the Ministry of the
19 Interior as until now - staff of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia for
20 Kosovo and Metohija through the Joint Command."
21 Q. All right. Now we've heard it right. I just have one more
22 question. Does that mean that this shows that the MUP is commanding the
23 MUP forces in Kosovo?
24 A. As stated here, that's the way it's stated here.
25 Q. Thank you. I'm interested in one more thing --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, I take it that the witness did not read
2 the whole of that section, that he read from a certain point?
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] He read the part that I was interested
4 in. You know, we don't want him to be a doll reading things out, just
5 reading them out, just half the sentence.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: How did he know where to begin? I assume --
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Well, I told him. He has it in front
8 of him.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: You asked him to read from proposed measures, did
10 you not?
11 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Right, proposed measures.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, he didn't start reading -- he didn't start
13 reading from there; he read from much later.
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Well, I didn't want to offend him, so I
15 shortened it so that he wouldn't have to read out the whole thing. I'm
16 interested only in the part about the command and commanding the MUP
17 forces of the Republic of Serbia as until now is conducted by the MUP on
18 the basis that we conclude that the MUP commanded its troops. That is
19 what I wanted to hear and that is what the witness confirmed.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm just trying to work out why the witness read
21 not from where you asked him but from a later stage.
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Well, later on I told him to start from
23 this other place.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You saw these measures that were proposed. I'm just interested in
2 the following now. Was anything done in accordance with this request made
3 by General Pavkovic?
4 A. I already said, as can be seen from this document, that this is
5 from the 25th of May. I know that General Ojdanic reacted towards
6 President Milosevic, and I testified about that earlier. Now, when it was
7 that he reacted, I cannot say now. I cannot say whether it was before or
8 after this. As far as I know, it was before this, because what is
9 mentioned here is the problem of Montenegro.
10 Q. Yes, I understand. So did something change in the situation on
11 the ground; that's what I'd like to know?
12 A. Well, I cannot say now. I don't think that anything changed in
13 terms of the situation on the ground; however, the fact remains that --
14 well, this is practically a week after this particular date. On the 1st
15 of June, I attended the meeting of the Joint Command.
16 Q. All right.
17 A. On the 1st of June, I attended the meeting of the Joint Command in
18 Pristina, where General Pavkovic was present and General Lazarevic, and I
19 already described that meeting.
20 Q. All right. All right. But that's a different matter. In
21 relation to paragraph 47, I've already asked you -- yes, and you confirmed
22 that this is the information given to you by Stojanovic. He did not
23 present any particular details to you, Colonel Stojanovic, in this brief
25 A. No. No, this is the gist of the conversation.
1 Q. Thank you. And then he said to you that three civilians attended
2 these meetings during the course of 1998?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Those were Minic, Sainovic, and Matkovic, as you said?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You know that Minic was the president of the federal chamber and
7 Sainovic -- rather, the assistant minister and Matkovic was the director
8 of whatever and --
9 A. In the document that I was shown, Matkovic is referred to as the
10 vice-president of the SPS and the director --
11 Q. Well --
12 A. No, I don't know about that.
13 Q. I'm just asking you about your personal knowledge. What do you
14 think, who is higher ranking, the vice-president of the Assembly or one of
15 the five deputy prime ministers?
16 A. Well, the Assembly is the highest organ.
17 Q. Thank you. That's what I wanted to hear. Now I'd like to read
18 something else out to you. In the OTP, they showed you different
19 statements from the Milosevic case. I don't want to show you all of this.
20 I don't want to burden you with all of that, but I just want to tell you
21 that in the Milosevic case Colonel Kotur testified. Do you know him?
22 A. I do.
23 Q. You do. In order to check what I'm saying, the page is 4754,
24 lines from 3 to 15 of the Milosevic transcript. He said that General
25 Djakovic, who you mentioned a few moments ago that you know, said to him
1 that Pavkovic said to him that meetings that were held with the members of
2 the MUP that were attended by these civilians that you have just referred
3 to, he should mark as meetings of the Joint Command because they didn't
4 know what to call it. And certain numbers were given, and he says that
5 that is what is stated in the letter of the Pristina Corps. Do you allow
6 for that possibility, for that to be the case?
7 A. I allow for that possibility.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Perhaps this would be a good time to
10 take a break, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila.
12 We'll have to break now, Mr. Vasiljevic. The break on this
13 occasion will be for half an hour, so if you could leave again with the
14 usher we'll see you again at 11.15.
15 And we shall resume then.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Recess taken at 10.45 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.17 a.m.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. FILA: Mr. Fila, thank you.
22 Q. [Interpretation] We were talking about this Joint Command. I
23 would like to keep things as short as possible because you said that your
24 knowledge was indirect. You saw documents. We've shown you many
25 documents, or rather, you have been shown many documents of the Joint
1 Command, this time and last time when you were in court.
2 What we have to observe is that nowhere is there any mention of
3 any commander of this Joint Command. There's no signature, no seal, no
4 nothing. Did you see anything like that?
5 A. I did on one document. There is a signature of General Lazarevic.
6 Q. But directly, since I am Defence counsel for Sainovic, I'm
7 interested in civilians.
8 A. I did not see any signatures of civilians.
9 Q. Thank you. We established together last time that there was this
10 ledger of the Pristina Corps, so this command did not even have a ledger
11 because Kotur spoke about those things, too. Do you agree with me?
12 A. I didn't see any such thing. I don't know whether it exists, but
13 I never saw any such thing.
14 Q. All right. You said what it was that Colonel Stojanovic said to
15 you, that there were three civilians in 1998. As far as I managed to
16 understand what you were saying, Stojanovic did not speak about the actual
17 persons who were on the Joint Command in 1999?
18 A. Not 1998, he spoke about -- not 1999, he spoke about 1998.
19 Q. Thank you. That's what I wanted to hear. Now, again, I did not
20 quite understand what you were saying yet again. In paragraph 49 of your
21 statement, you say that the commander of the 3rd Army was in a sandwich
22 between the Joint Command and his command, because in addition to his
23 regular reports he had to submit reports to the Joint Command. You will
24 agree with me that we never saw any written reports sent to the Joint
1 A. I don't know whether there were any written reports, but what I
2 conveyed was my testimony from the meeting where I was, where General
3 Pavkovic reported orally about the situation on that day.
4 Q. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm really moving too fast.
5 So what is written in paragraph 49 is your conclusion on the basis
6 of that meeting, if I understand things correctly?
7 A. On the basis of the meeting and on the basis of what General
8 Ojdanic said to me, that Pavkovic was reporting more --
9 Q. All right. But these are not written reports. You're talking
10 about things that were said at meetings, so oral reports.
11 A. Well, I wasn't aware of how much I was hurrying, but I did not see
12 any written reports.
13 Q. Now, if we're talking about normal coordination, which is what you
14 were talking about where you have representatives of the army and the MUP
15 and they're agreeing on joint action, is it not a normal thing for both
16 sides to present their positions, their views, if I can put it that way,
17 to exchange views and exchange opinions. In your opinion what should this
18 coordination be like?
19 A. I already said that coordination should be distinguished from the
20 system of command.
21 Q. That's right.
22 A. Objectively speaking, here there is an official name for this form
23 of communication, that it is the Joint Command. They themselves accept
24 that this was a Joint Command.
25 Q. Just the army, let it be clear.
1 A. Well, I did not communicate with others outside the army. Now, in
2 the war, since the forces of the MUP and all other forces are subordinated
3 to the military, there -- no coordination was needed any longer. I've
4 already said this. Since it was a state of war, it would have been far
5 more efficient if a person either from the MUP or from anywhere, from the
6 top echelons of the political sphere, would attend meetings of the staff
7 of the Supreme Command like the Minister of Defence and General Velickovic
8 to coordinate in the service.
9 Q. You're talking about Pavle Bulatovic?
10 A. I'm talking about 1999. It was General ...
11 Q. If we do not challenge the fact that the police and the military
12 had meetings on the ground down there, how could they be in this
13 coordination except if they were saying things to each other?
14 A. This is one thing. If they're coordinating things, if these
15 forces are not subordinated. But if these forces are subordinated then
16 there is no further coordination; then the expression to be used is that
17 tasks are assigned to the MUP or it is said in concerted action with. And
18 also there is this other expression, resubordination of such and such a
19 MUP unit to such and such a brigade and so on and so forth.
20 Q. All right. But you know from that letter - we're not going to
21 talk about the authenticity of that letter, the one that you and I looked
22 at a few moments ago - that resubordination was not actually carried out.
23 If there is no resubordination, then it is only logical that there should
24 be coordination; that's what you said a few moments ago, if I understood
25 you well.
1 A. Yes. But one week after this on the 1st of June, I attended
2 something I was told was the Joint Command, so I attended this command.
3 Q. Well, fine, let's not go into that.
4 A. So this is not an inter-ministerial staff. If this is an
5 inter-ministerial staff, then this is the body that is in charge of the
6 coordination. But the problem is if we have the command because then
7 there is no coordination anymore but the chain of command, a system of
8 issuing orders. I agree that this is quite illogical.
9 Q. Fine. Also from the headings that I saw, I never saw any seals or
10 stamps or I don't know where the seat was, the headquarters were. As far
11 as I understood, it was a basement of some sort and some mail was received
12 there for the Pristina Corps. Is that the fact?
13 A. No, that's not how I described it. I'm sorry.
14 Q. No. No, please do go ahead?
15 A. No, that's not how I described it. I didn't say that this was a
16 basement. It was an underground room. I said that this was a hall of
17 some sort, maybe a cinema. I don't know what it was, in fact. But there
18 were no seals, because everything was entered into the ledger of the
19 Pristina Corps under the same reference number that was -- reference
20 system that was common for all the documents.
21 Q. Fine. In that case, if I understand you correctly, you're saying
22 that the chain of command of the Yugoslav army was intact from the top to
23 the bottom?
24 A. Well, I -- yes, it was intact. But in some of its segments, it
25 was dysfunctional, so to speak. So the proposal to deploy forces, this is
1 something that should be approved down the chain of command from the top
2 down. Now, whether this was done in parallel to what was agreed at the
3 meeting of the Joint Command and then daily reports were issued to the
4 Supreme Command Staff, I don't know whether there was -- there were any
5 breakdowns there.
6 Q. Let us now move on to something else. In paragraph 62 - and now
7 let me move on to your notebook - these are excerpts from your diary
8 P2592, and you mention Sainovic and his customs. Is this something that
9 Sainovic came -- concluded after listening to Rade Markovic regarding the
10 SAJ, because Rade Markovic was in charge of SAJ -- no, in fact, he was in
11 charge of JSO.
12 A. I was the first to intervene before Mr. Sainovic, then it was
13 General Pavkovic, then Rade Markovic made a few brief remarks. And we
14 were talking about the paramilitary units, primarily the Skorpions and
15 Jugoslav Petrusic, and then his comment followed.
16 Q. Thank you. That's what I wanted to hear. Now let me move on to
17 the meeting with Milosevic on the 17th of May. I've read all the
18 statements that you made, the interviews, everything. When you talk about
19 this meeting, as far as I was able to understand, this meeting at
20 Milosevic's was preceded by a number of meetings that you talk about.
21 General Ojdanic said he was very concerned about the situation and so on.
22 I don't want to go into that. And then some preparations were made that
23 would result in your departure for Kosovo.
24 You speak about your impressions, the conversations that are
25 apparently quite numerous. What I am bothered -- what bothers me, you
1 talk about the good intentions by General Ojdanic, that they really wanted
2 to investigate matters, but you see that these people are in the dock now.
3 And the Prosecution contends that these people knew about all this and
4 that these were some kind of comical, funny meetings where people didn't
5 mean what they were saying. The indictment lists all these people --
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] -- and some other person we should
8 not -- I have not yet asked my question.
9 MR. HANNIS: I object to the characterisation of that question
10 where he says that the Prosecution contends that these were some kind of
11 comical, funny meetings.
12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No, that's what I'm saying. This was
13 not interpreted correctly.
14 Q. So could we then conclude -- were you able to conclude that these
15 people really wanted to solve those things, to punish those people for
16 those crimes? You were all serious people, generals. We can see what you
17 were saying. This is what I want to hear. Was this a serious meeting
18 where serious conclusions were being made and serious analysis were being
19 made. This is what I want to know. What is your opinion?
20 A. What meeting do you mean?
21 Q. 17th of May?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, Mr. Vasiljevic.
23 Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: That was my point what meeting were you talking
25 about, because the question said prior to this 17th of May meeting there
1 were a number of meetings and then the question was: Were these people
2 serious? Which people and which meeting? I understand the reference to
3 General Ojdanic, but now he's extending it to everybody who was in every
4 meeting. We need some precision.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, can we be clear about which meeting and
6 which personnel you're talking.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I'm talking about this whole series of
8 events where General Dimitrijevic was participating with General Pavkovic
9 and all the others that preceded the 17th of May meeting and the and the
10 meeting of the 17th of May 1999, which is the end of this series of
11 events. I do have to apologise, General Vasiljevic, I said Dimitrijevic
12 and I meant Vasiljevic.
13 Q. What I meant the participants, some or all of them, you, for
14 instance, did you take your job serious? Were all these meetings serious
15 and in particular the one on the 17th of May?
16 A. Well, I cannot give you a collective assessment of all the
17 meetings. I can talk about the meeting that took place on the 13th of May
18 when I was a participant. It was a meeting at General Ojdanic's. I can
19 tell you about the preparations for the 16th of May meeting where a report
20 was made by General Pavkovic. I can talk about the General Staff
21 personnel at the meeting of the 17th of May, and I can say that these were
22 very serious meetings, that a lot of effort was put to prepare the
23 material for these meetings.
24 And I have already mentioned in my evidence the main topic
25 discussed were the war crimes; and then I said that Milosevic skipped the
1 most important almost, and that was the proposal by Pavkovic and by
2 General Ojdanic to establish an independent state commission that would go
3 to Kosovo and check the situation. He switched the premises and he did
4 not want to discuss that. He discussed other issues.
5 Q. So your conclusion is that the General Staff took its job
6 seriously and conscientiously?
7 A. Absolutely.
8 Q. At that meeting, according to your notes, Sainovic makes the
9 following proposal, that's the 17th of May: That an independent
10 supervisor be sent; and from your notebook, I can only conclude that
11 Sainovic was not the supervisor. But I failed to comprehend what -- what
12 was the point in that? What was your interpretation?
13 A. I'm not interpreting things; I merely made notes that I was able
14 to make. Since a proposal was made by General Pavkovic, who intervened in
15 the discussion before Sainovic, about the necessity to establish an
16 independent state commission for Kosovo, Mr. Sainovic agreed with that but
17 he did not term it state commission. He used the term supervisor, a
18 supervisory body, not himself, but somebody else who would go to Kosovo
19 and who would have the political weight, the authority, to ensure that an
20 independent inquiry is made into these events.
21 Q. In paragraph 68, you quote Milosevic, what he said, about the
22 problems between MUP and the Yugoslav army. He made certain suggestions
23 as to how this should be resolved. You know what I'm talking about. Am I
24 right when I conclude that the problems emerging between the MUP and the
25 Yugoslav army, that they were actually resolved in Belgrade?
1 A. Well, in -- this is not something that can be concluded in the
2 context of your question. His stressing of the alleged number of problems
3 which led him to ask for an urgent meeting between the Yugoslav army and
4 the MUP, the essence was not in the seriousness of the problems or in the
5 necessity for him to deal with them. What he actually did is he switched
6 the premises. He skipped the war crimes, reducing this to an issue that
7 involves Boca Medic and the greater Serb advocates.
8 But the problem that the Yugoslav army presented - and this is
9 something that Mr. Sainovic agreed to at this meeting - he simply skipped
10 this whole item and this was never done. Myself and Gajic did not go down
11 there as a commission or as supervisor. We were tasked by General Ojdanic
12 to deal with strictly military issues, to talk to security organs, and
13 also to gain some more information about the war crimes.
14 Q. But this was done bona fide, you did not simply pose there. You
15 wanted to really do the job?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Now I would like you to look at paragraph 72, the Prosecutor did
18 not ask you any questions about that, and this is something that was
19 entered into evidence. We're talking about General Obrad Stevanovic. We
20 can conclude that you never saw and you never attended this meeting until
21 the Prosecutor showed you those papers.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And what you're saying is based on the assumption that what you
24 were given was authentic, that these -- that this really was a notebook
25 owned by General Obrad Stevanovic.
1 A. I was given this as a document that was already used in trial, and
2 I did follow the Slobodan Milosevic trial while it was broadcast. I
3 followed the testimony by Mr. Stevanovic for the good part. The part that
4 was not in the transcript during his testimony, is something that I would
5 like to comment now. The claims that I made, there are no corpse, no
6 crime, we should do this quickly, before that, during the trial,
7 Stevanovic was asked: What does it mean that the military service was
8 supposed to do something underhand? I'm paraphrasing things now.
9 And his reply was -- in fact, changed the essence. He said that
10 the Siptar terrorist forces learned or decided that bodies should be
11 removed because no body, no crime; and then when the UN mission arrives,
12 the bodies should be brought back and -- to be used for these purposes.
13 And this was something that was provided, this data were provided by the
14 military service. The military service never did that. I think that this
15 was a fabrication, and this is the context in which I was shown the
16 notebooks, the notebook. Now it is for others to decide whether it is
17 authentic or not.
18 Q. What I am interested in is when you look at the notebook, there's
19 only one date there, and that's the 7th of May. And the next date is the
20 20 something or other -- the 20th of May, and that's after the text that
21 we're talking about. And now on this page that you looked at, where the
22 elements that you just commented are, there are interruptions or blank
23 areas, and then after one of those blank areas you can see Saja. What I
24 want to know is whether you can claim that Saja was there at the meeting
25 and whether he really said that.
1 A. No. No, I cannot claim that. I did not see the whole notebook in
2 order to be able to give you an answer. I was just shown this excerpt.
3 Q. Well, this concludes my cross-examination on the notebook. Thank
4 you very much.
5 Now I have to ask you something that might look strange to you. I
6 have to apologise for asking you stupid questions once again. Did anyone
7 change the report that you submitted to Ojdanic, the report from Kosovo?
8 For instance, Sainovic; Sainovic says: No. No, this cannot be like
9 that. Let's put it like this.
10 A. Nobody altered my reports, not in the chain of command and least
11 of all could it have been done by Sainovic, who I did not have any
12 contacts with him.
13 Q. Well, Tanic talked about that.
14 In paragraph 78 of your statement, you talk about meeting that
15 Pavkovic later on termed the Joint Command meeting. I didn't quite
16 understand you. What did you mean when you say "later?"
17 A. Well, when I arrived at the premises -- this was some kind of a
18 military headquarters, so it was a command or a forward command post, and
19 then he said to me there would be a meeting of the joint staff there and
20 the people present there would attend.
21 I think that he invited me in order to meet some of these people.
22 I had known General Lukic from MUP, and that is when the term was used.
23 But I have to apologise. And Colonel Stojanovic told me when we headed
24 there, that that would be the meeting of the staff.
25 Q. Now you say that the representatives of the state security
1 division was not present there. Do you think that this representative
2 should have been there? Was it that -- was that because the SAJ was there
3 in the field? Why was -- should he have been present, and why was he not
5 A. Well, I did not make any remarks to that effect. I didn't even
6 know whether this person was a part of that body. I mentioned one person
7 who was supposed to be there, who wasn't there. And the reason was
8 provided why he wasn't there, but there was no discussion at all about
9 Mr. Gajic. Now, as to why he was supposed to be there, I really don't
11 JUDGE BONOMY: One thing I should have clarified before -- one
12 thing I should have clarified before we moved on to this. The meeting
13 that you attended on the 17th of May, did General Stevanovic attend that
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you're talking about the 17th of
16 May meeting at President Milosevic's, nobody from MUP, from the public
17 security division was not present there. The minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic
18 was not there, Djordjevic was not there, Stevanovic, General Lukic, they
19 were not present there. Now, as for the state security division, only
20 Rade Markovic was represented -- was there. If you mean the meeting of
21 the Joint Command on the 1st of June, where I was present --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: No, this one of the 17th of May, and just to
23 clarify one other thing. Stevanovic was at that stage an assistant
24 minister. Is that right?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: And was he then in charge of the state security
2 and, therefore, superior to Markovic?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: No.
5 So which assistant minister was responsible for state security at
6 that stage?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The minister is in charge of the
8 state security division, and then there is a chief of the state security
9 division and General Djordjevic. These are two separate divisions.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] So Markovic was the chief of the state
11 security division.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I understand that. What I'm trying to
13 establish is who was his political superior, and are you saying that that
14 was Djordjevic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Formally, Rade Markovic's
16 superior was Stojiljkovic, the Minister of the Interior; but in fact, it
17 was President Milosevic.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Were -- Stojiljkovic was the Minister of the
19 Interior. Is that correct?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: There were assistant ministers of the interior?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Did one of them have responsibility for state
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Which one?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was Rade Markovic. His title,
3 whether it was assistant minister, I don't know, but in essence that's
4 what he was.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: So he did not hold his post as a person employed in
6 the service; he was a politician holding the post of assistant minister.
7 Is that what you're saying?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: No.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I want to say is that even
11 before the chief of the state security division, ever since the 1990s, the
12 person to hold that position was selected very carefully, because this was
13 the most sensitive division, the Ministry of the Interior, and it was
14 Milosevic himself who made that decision. In 1998, or rather, in 1997,
15 the Minister of the Interior of Serbia was replaced. He asked for a
16 briefing from the chief of the state security division on issues he was
17 dealing with.
18 I testified about that previously, and they expressed their
19 satisfaction and they addressed Milosevic directly. They said they did
20 not want to be subordinated to the ministry of Serbia, and for this reason
21 a document was issued transferring the competency so that the president of
22 Yugoslavia could have direct contacts with the State Security Service. So
23 that within the framework of the Ministry of the Interior, the state
24 security division was far more independent than other sectors and they
25 were directly linked to Milosevic.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: In the diary entry made by Stevanovic for the 17th
2 of May, does he refer to Markovic?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether Markovic is
4 referred to, but if he is then it can only be that Markovic.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed, but what I'm trying to do is establish
6 whether there's any connection between the diary entry and the fact that
7 Sainovic and Markovic remained behind in his office after the meeting that
8 you attended concluded on the 17th of May.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And you're saying that Stevanovic had no link to
11 the work of the security service.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't Stevanovic. I don't know
13 whether it's written wrongly somewhere. After the meeting of the 17th of
14 May, when the military persons left, Rade Markovic was called back by
15 Milosevic and he remained with Mr. Sainovic and Markovic. I didn't
16 mention Stevanovic at all.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I know that. What I'm trying to establish is
18 whether there might be a link between that situation and the notes made by
19 Stevanovic; in other words, whether he may have arrived into that
20 situation or not. That's all. But you're telling me that there would be
21 no reason for that because he's got no connection with the security
23 Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, you're using the generic term security
25 service, instead of public security versus state security.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: No, state security. I am sorry. State security
2 service. And you tell me that Stevanovic had no responsibilities for
3 state security?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Fila.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
8 Q. At one point you mention that Pavkovic said to you that the
9 meeting would also be attended by Sainovic, but as far as I was able to
10 understand he did not mention Andjelkovic.
11 A. I don't recall saying that Pavkovic said Sainovic would be at the
13 Q. But you're certain he didn't say that about Andjelkovic?
14 A. To the best of my recollection, he said nothing about either of
16 Q. Well, you say when they arrived at the meeting, you were already
17 there, all the rest of you, and the officers stood up. They all stood up
18 when the deputy prime minister of the federal government walked in. Is it
19 normal, is it good manners in the country we come from for people to rise
20 to their feet when the deputy prime minister enters; or is that something
21 unusual? Do we have any kind of good manners? Would you explain that a
22 little bit.
23 A. Well, first, I didn't say it was only the officers who rose to
24 their feet; we all did. If you're talking about MUP officers, you're
25 right, but it was actually all of us. Well, it's well-known what
1 Mr. Sainovic's post was, and on any other occasion - I'm not referring
2 just to the Joint Command - but when the chairperson or the most senior
3 person enters a meeting, it's normal for everybody to rise to their feet.
4 I didn't see it that way, that we were rising to our feet only for
5 the deputy prime minister. We would have risen to our feet for any
7 Q. And you said he was treated with respect by all those present. Is
8 it unusual for a deputy prime minister to be treated with respect?
9 A. Well, you keep mentioning the deputy prime minister of the
10 federal government. I never gave him that title. I spoke about
11 Mr. Sainovic, and you are mentioning his post. At that time, I wasn't
12 actually thinking about: Oh, yes, here comes the deputy prime minister.
13 He was a person who had dignity, who had authority. He was a
14 high-ranking politician in Belgrade, and because we had respect for him we
15 rose to our feet. I wouldn't link this up with any other contact.
16 Q. So was it something quite normal?
17 A. Yes. It was normal for us to rise to our feet when anybody
18 presiding over a meeting entered the room.
19 Q. In paragraph 80, you are saying who Sainovic represented. Would
20 you allow the possibility that he was representing the federal government
22 A. I cannot exclude the possibility. I observed that when
23 Mr. Sainovic is mentioned, in brackets it's usually mentioned whether he's
24 representing the MUP or the Army of Yugoslavia or someone else. So it's
25 enough to say "Sainovic," and everybody knew what post he held, both in
1 the federal government and here in this staff or this command.
2 And you will come to your own conclusions about that, but it was
3 enough in that body to say "Sainovic." Everybody knew who he was. I
4 crossed it out in the statement but it's still there.
5 Q. You are saying that it was about the daily situation in Kosovo,
6 that various people spoke. This lasted some 20 minutes, and then
7 everybody had a drink. Now, sir, it's well-known that it's normal in our
8 part of the world to offer people food and drink, but in serious meetings
9 this is not done.
10 Was this a visit by Sainovic to the people at that meeting? And
11 that's why there were drinks and dinner, because all that was lacking was
12 music for this to be transformed into a different kind of gathering. The
13 people in white you mention were waiters after all, because this was in a
14 hotel, Hotel Grand?
15 A. No, that's not what the situation was quite objectively.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: One moment --
17 MR. HANNIS: Sorry, I missed the reference to people in white, was
18 that in an earlier question?
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] White shirts. It's in the statement.
20 It says that soldiers wearing white shirts served drinks; it's in
21 Mr. Vasiljevic's statement. That's what I was referring to.
22 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not white shirts, white coats.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Well, it says "shirts" here.
1 A. May I go on? I attended many serious meetings; and when the
2 meeting was over, there would be lunch or dinner. So this was just a
3 normal soldiers' dinner, such as was usual. It was the same kind of food
4 that was usually served; it wasn't anything special. And these were not
5 waiters from The Grand Hotel. I'm not even sure it was in the Grand
6 Hotel. In the commands, there were soldiers designated to serve at table;
7 and for reasons of hygiene, they would wear white coats.
8 I attended a working meeting. I concluded that this was the
9 briefing for that day by people from the MUP and from the army, and there
10 was a brief discussion of what was to happen the next day, the action
11 towards Drenica, Trpezarci with 300 policemen.
12 Q. I apologise. In the statement it says "in white coats" -- rather,
13 it says "in white shirts." Had it said "in white coats," I would have
14 been able to understand because I served in the army and I know what this
15 looked like. You said that at this working meeting nobody was in command,
16 no orders were issued, nobody stood up and said: I order this, I order
17 that. There was a working atmosphere.
18 My question is now the following. You say that your impression
19 was that these meetings were held on a daily basis. Can you conclude that
20 Sainovic was able to be present every day, because you saw him in Belgrade
21 so he couldn't have been.
22 A. I'm not saying that he was there every day. I'm just saying that
23 my impression on the basis of the briefings which related to activities of
24 the previous day was that these meetings were held on a daily basis. I'm
25 not saying that Mr. Sainovic chaired those meetings on a daily basis.
1 Q. Those were all my questions. Thank you, General.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila.
4 Mr. Visnjic.
5 MR. VISNJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. General, in paragraph 5 of your statement, you say that after the
10 NATO attack in March 1999 you felt it was your patriotic duty offer your
11 services. Can you tell us what the general mood was in the country as
12 regards the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia.
13 A. Well, I can tell you that there was a widespread feeling of
14 patriotism. Regardless of the fact that it was the strongest force in the
15 world attacking a small country, morale was exceptionally high and people
16 were determined to defend the country. In this difficult situation,
17 rallies of support to the army and the MUP were organised in Belgrade. So
18 I can only describe the situation in the most positive terms.
19 Q. Would I be right, General, in saying that the vast majority, if
20 not all, retired officers offered their services to the Army of
22 A. Well, I think that's correct. Objectively, every man who was
23 re-activated and assigned war duty felt this to be an honour. In relation
24 to the security organs, I can say that almost all the retired officers of
25 the service addressed me, came to me, asking what they could do to help.
1 Q. General, let's go back. But, first of all, was it the
2 constitutional duty of every citizen, especially a trained soldier, to
3 participate in the defence of the country?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. We'll now move on to paragraph 11 of your statement, in which you
6 speak about the daily meetings held at the Supreme Command Staff. In your
7 statement, you say that representatives of the security administration
8 always attended those meetings. Bearing in mind your general information
9 and your replies to Mr. Hannis, I'm asking you now in general: Had there
10 been a plan to expel the Albanian population and had the General Staff of
11 the army or the Supreme Command Staff planned and executed or in any way
12 supported this, would these daily meetings in the Supreme Command Staff
13 have been a place where such plans should have been discussed, developed,
14 or elaborated in any way?
15 A. I can state categorically that there was no such plan. There was
16 absolutely no such plan. What the situation on the ground was, that's a
17 separate story, but there was no plan. Had there been a plan, then the
18 effects, the results, would have been monitored and would have been
19 included in the briefings. Certainly there would have been
20 responsibilities in relation to that plan, but nothing like that was
21 discussed or could have been discussed.
22 Q. Thank you, General. Were minutes of these meetings taken or - to
23 put it differently - to the best of your knowledge should minutes have
24 been taken at such Supreme Command Staff meetings?
25 A. As I did not attend these meetings, I cannot say whether or not
1 minutes were taken, but I'm convinced they were because that would have
2 been normal. It would have been obligatory, and the daily operative
3 report of the staff of the Supreme Command would have been based on these.
4 Q. Now that we are referring to reports, is it correct that in the
5 operative duty team of the Supreme Command Staff, the president [as
6 interpreted] of the security administration was always present?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And the responsibility of this person, was it to study the point
9 in the report referring to security and, based on that, that point in the
10 other reports would be done?
11 A. Yes. Yes, that was the duty from the staff sector I mentioned.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, 64, 21, it says
13 "president," instead of "representative of the security administration."
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise to the interpreters.
16 I will try to move slower.
17 Q. In this report that was compiled by the Supreme Command Staff, the
18 combat report of the Supreme Command Staff, there was a particular item
19 related to security. Am I right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. When we talk about combat reports, am I right,
22 General, if I say that a combat report is a basic combat document from
23 which information should be gathered on the situation in subordinate
25 A. Not only to gather information in that way, that is just one
1 method. On the basis of combat reports, to have insight as to the
2 situation in the units.
3 Q. So am I right?
4 A. From that point of view, you are right; however, in addition to
5 that, in addition to that combat report, daily combat report that comes
6 in, the commander also has other methods made available to him, to call
7 people in for briefings, as he called us, from security, then also to send
8 teams out into the field as was done.
9 Q. General, we are going to get to that. I am following your
10 statement. You elaborated that in your statement, so we will get to that.
11 But now that we are discussing the combat report, am I right that the --
12 or at combat report is a basis for the command to pass possible new
13 discussions or take measures on the basis of the reports received?
14 A. Yes, because actually that describes the daily situation on the
16 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you to look at 3D480.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, 3D480 is the document
18 I'm talking about, and you will see that it is the same document as P1475.
19 The Prosecutor proffered only one part of this document, and we want to
20 tender it in its entirety. I don't want to have any confusion, and that's
21 why I'm referring to the Prosecution number as well; however, in the
22 Defence we are referring to the document in its entirety.
23 Q. We are looking now at the document from the 2nd of April, 1999,
24 that speaks of an order and it refers to instructions to the armed forces
25 of Yugoslavia on the implementation of international humanitarian law. I
1 want to say that the second page of this document, rather, paragraph 8,
2 that is the one that I would like to see on e-court.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] So could we please see paragraph 8.
4 The English version as well, please. Thank you.
5 Q. General, so that you would not read it, I am going to read out
6 paragraph 8 which says: "Against any member of the Yugoslav army who
7 fails to adhere to this order, undertake measures of criminal
8 responsibility about which the Supreme Command shall be informed through
9 combat reports."
10 My question, General: Paragraph 8 of this order, does it not
11 reflect what a combat report should include inter alia? So extraordinary
12 circumstances which would include certain measures of criminal
13 responsibility, rather, criminal prosecution against perpetrators?
14 A. If I'm right, the way I read this paragraph, paragraph 8, you said
15 that the Supreme Command should be informed; whereas, I am referring to it
16 in a continuous tense here, not only once but several times.
17 Q. General, I don't know if you can see it right, whether you have a
18 very legible copy --
19 A. Because there is this highlight here, so I cannot see it very
21 Q. I'll get you a copy.
22 A. But the essence is the same. There is nothing to be contested
23 here. This is the obligation that existed. And when I was re-activated
24 and when I assumed my duty on the 27th of April, 1999, immediately in
25 addition to the equipment that was issued to me, I was given a brochure
1 containing a compilation of regulations in reference to the Geneva
2 Conventions. So this is fully in line with this order of the Supreme
3 Command Staff.
4 Q. Thank you, General. I'm going to show you another document
5 P1744 --
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, can we have this document
7 here for a moment.
8 Q. The document is signed by the Chief of Staff, General Dragoljub
9 Ojdanic; however, General, could you explain to us the stamp on the right,
10 the right half of this document if I can put it that way. And, possibly,
11 if you could explain what the handwritten notes in the lower right-hand
12 corner denote.
13 A. On the right half of this page, there is a stamp from the
14 teleprinter station, and it shows the number and how this order was
15 dispatched as a dispatch that went to the command. Underneath, in hand,
16 the commands are written out, the commands of the different units to which
17 this was sent, that is to say the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Army, and not to read
18 the whole thing, the air force and the air defence, the navy, and so on.
19 So that shows who this was submitted to. This last bit PKM, that is rear
20 command post.
21 Q. And the numbers are probably the time references to the time when
22 this was sent to them?
23 A. Yes, when it was originally dispatched.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] P1744, could I see that now, please.
1 Q. Again, it's a document of the Supreme Command Staff which pertains
2 to reporting. The 15th of April, 1999, is the date. If you look at this
3 document in its entirety, I'm not going to read any particular parts of
4 it --
5 A. Could it please be enlarged a bit.
6 Q. We're going to provide you with a hard copy.
7 MR. VISNJIC: 1744.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read it.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Thank you. General, if you look at this document in its entirety,
11 am I right if I say that this is one of the documents through which the
12 defence of the -- the staff of the Supreme Command is trying to improve
13 reporting by subordinate units, wanting it to be timely, in view of the
14 fact that in the chain of reporting there was -- there were, rather,
15 certain interruptions due to the fact that many things were taking place
16 in the field?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 18, General, you talked about control as
19 one of the possibilities to find out what was going on in the field.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] So could we please see document
21 3D489 on e-court.
22 Q. It's a document dated the 20th of April, 1999, again a document of
23 the Supreme Command Staff. General, in the heading it says: "Tour of
24 inspection of units and providing them with professional assistance."
25 Is this the same type of control or supervision that you and Gajic
1 were conducting when sent by General Ojdanic after the meeting of the 17th
2 of May, 1999?
3 A. Yes, yes. This is in terms of the arms and services. A team was
4 sent. Our team was sent along the lines of the security administration.
5 We also had a short written order concerning an official mission, official
6 travel. Such an order is always written in cases of official travel, what
7 you're travelling for and what is to be done.
8 Q. When returning from the field, these teams submitted reports, as
9 stated in the last paragraph of this document. On the 20th of April,
10 1999, for this particular case that this document refers to. Am I right?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to see 3D481 on
13 e-court, please.
14 Q. It is yet another control. It's a document of the Supreme Command
15 Staff of the 8th of May, 1999, with practically identical content, general
16 content. Again, this is touring the units and giving them professional
17 assistance. This document, General, does it reflect a similar situation,
18 like the previous document?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Oh, it's a mistake. I'm sorry. It
20 should be 3D491.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me try to find it as well, if I
22 can. That's it.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] We have a problem on e-court now. I
24 think it's all right now, that we have the right document on e-court, too.
25 Q. General, just a brief question. Does this document reflect the
1 same situation like the previous one?
2 A. Yes, like 3D489.
3 Q. And what you talked about in paragraph 18 of your statement.
4 Thank you.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please move
6 into closed session for a moment, because I'm going to ask the witness a
7 few details about paragraph 20. [In English] Private session, yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Did we hear evidence in private session in relation
9 to this earlier?
10 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, very well. We'll go into private session.
12 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
2 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry.
7 Q. General, when you were invited to the meeting -- to meet with
8 Mr. Milosevic because of the contact you had with the person whose name
9 again we mentioned in private session, is it true that General Ojdanic
10 supported you in a situation where there was a risk that you may come
11 under flak because of unauthorised contacts with that person? I don't
12 know if I'm describing this situation correctly.
13 A. Yes, I understand your question. Objectively speaking, I have to
14 say that I really respect the fact that when Mr. Milosevic made this
15 remark about me, that even before I was able to respond General Ojdanic
16 said that I had done what I had done on his orders. And my life
17 experience has taught me that this is not always the case, that the
18 superiors do not always explain the acts of their subordinates. And he
19 really acted as an officer and a as human being should.
20 Q. Knowing General Ojdanic as much as you do on the basis of your
21 work with him and on the basis of what you've just told us, would he be
22 the man who would push his subordinates forward in order to hide behind
23 them and to protect himself by shifting the blame on to them?
24 A. On the basis of my knowledge of General Ojdanic, he's not that
25 kind of a person.
1 Q. Now let me move on to paragraph 22 of your statement. In this
2 part of your statement, you speak about territorial units and military
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And now I would like document P1471
5 to be shown to the witness.
6 Q. General, do you know that immediately after the war broke out on
7 the 31st of March, 1999, the Supreme Command Staff issued an order
8 establishing the territorial military detachment that would be staffed by
9 conscripts of Albanian and other ethnic origins living in Kosovo?
10 A. After I was re-activated, I did not come across this document so
11 I'm not familiar with it. Its date is almost one month earlier than the
12 date of my re-activation. But this document speaks about the need to
13 include in territorial detachments the Siptar or the Albanian population
14 and all the other ethnicities living in Kosovo.
15 I remember that I was quite taken aback by a situation that I
16 encountered when I visited the security organs in Kosovo. I think this
17 was the security organ in the Prizren military sector, and his name I
18 think was Milivoje Milisavljevic, and he briefed us on the composition.
19 He had three military territorial detachments; and when he briefed us on
20 the procedure, about the composition of the detachment, out of almost
21 2.300 people in those units, 650 of them were Muslims, or rather,
22 Albanians or Goranis; about a hundred were Muslims; there were 15 Turks;
23 and one Albanian; and one Macedonian.
24 I found it quite interesting at the time, and this is why I recall
25 this, the figures. I don't know whether this was done in accordance with
1 this order, but the fact remains that in this very small unit we did not
2 have a mono-ethnic composition. I don't know about this order, but I do
3 know about the actual situation in the three territorial detachments,
4 which means that they probably obeyed this order.
5 Q. Thank you. Now if you look at paragraph 6 in this order, "Appoint
6 professional servicemen of Siptar ethnicity to command positions, as per
7 wartime establishment."
8 General, in the security administration, did you have any
9 professional officers of Albanian ethnicity?
10 A. In 1999 when I got there, there were no such people in the
11 security administration. But I do believe that perhaps in the Pristina
12 Corps, I knew an Albanian that continued to serve even after 1992/1993.
13 Now, as to whether he was in service later on, I don't know. I didn't
14 meet him or anything, but there were Albanians serving in the Yugoslav
15 army. I know that that was the case in Novi Pazar. In the brigade there,
16 there was a man of Albanian ethnicity, but I have to admit that this was a
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, the previous answer with numbers in
19 it, does that relate to 1999? It must do I think.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The way I
21 understood the witness, yes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Hannis, this is exactly the situation that
23 Mr. Petrovic was critical of. I see you're taking no exception to this.
24 MR. HANNIS: Not at the moment, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
1 Mr. Visnjic.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this document also
3 pertains to the evidence by Colonel Pesic on pages 7169 through 7170 and
4 7250 in the transcript in this case.
5 And now I would like the witness to be shown document P1479.
6 Q. General Vasiljevic, in paragraph 26 of your statement, you talk
7 about certain orders that related to volunteers. And I would like to go
8 through some of those and then I will be asking you some additional
9 questions in this respect.
10 So this is P1479. It's an order by the Supreme Command Staff
11 dated the 7th of April, 1999. If you look at paragraph 1 in this order,
12 it talks about the reception centres that should be established as
13 temporary facilities or temporary compositions. Could you tell us, what
14 does it mean, General Vasiljevic, temporary composition or unit?
15 A. A temporary unit is the unit that is established ad hoc, on an ad
16 hoc basis, to tackle a specific situation that arises. The reasons why
17 such units are established can vary. In this specific case if we're
18 talking about the reception of the volunteers, in my opinion, it gives a
19 certain political weight. Essentially, it's a political issue rather than
20 a military question, a military fact. The military was strong enough.
21 Objectively speaking, the situation would not have a different
22 outcome without the volunteers, but the volunteers showed that the whole
23 people was ready to join in the war, the fight. On the basis of this
24 document, this is a document from the beginning of April, specifies quite
25 stringent criteria for the admission of volunteers.
1 And, if I may, I would like to give you an answer as to the
2 question whether the same criteria applied to the admission into the MUP
3 ranks. I think that the criteria were absolutely the same. The health,
4 good health, not as -- the person should not have been assigned to any
5 other formation.
6 Q. Yes. I would like to go through this order in quite some detail.
7 So paragraph 1, the reception centre, the command of the 3rd Army had its
8 reception centre in Nis, while the 1st Army had its reception centre in
9 Belgrade. Does this correspond to what you knew?
10 A. Yes, but the reception centre was not in Bubanj Potok. At the
11 time when this order was written, it was probably there. But when I was
12 re-activated, it was located in Grocka and Bubanj Potok had already been
13 targeted and was already destroyed.
14 Q. Yes. We'll go to another document showing precisely that. In
15 paragraph 3 of this document, we see a list of the elements that should be
16 established before a volunteer is admitted to the Yugoslav army. We're
17 still on page 1 of the English text, and here we have a whole series, or
18 rather, six items that should be checked in the triage of the volunteers.
19 General, is this what should be done by any command acting
20 conscientiously in order to avoid any problems and to induct or conscript
21 people who are -- who might cause any problems?
22 A. Yes. I actually did provide this information. I don't know
23 whether it was in my evidence in this trial or in the previous trial. We
24 received 5.000 applications by volunteers, and 2.500 of them passed, so 50
25 percent failed and were not admitted as volunteers in the Yugoslav army.
1 Q. Thank you. I would now like to move on to page 3 of the English
2 version, that's paragraph 8. General, it says here: "When assigning
3 volunteers to VJ commands, units, and installations, it is prohibited to
4 group them within one unit," and then the reasons are provided for this
5 kind of stipulation.
6 This prohibition of putting them all into groups, into one group,
7 was this some kind of a preventative measure to prevent any problems that
8 might arise if a group of people of the same criminal mindset attempt to
9 infiltrate the system, such as the Yugoslav army?
10 A. Yes. But I have to perhaps give you an additional explanation
11 here. When it says here: "Given earlier negative experiences," I think
12 that the experience referred to is not the experience between the 23rd of
13 March and the 7th of April. This refers to the negative experience in the
14 earlier period, so 1991/1992, but at that time the volunteer issue was
15 resolved in a completely different way. Certain parties, political
16 parties, in fact, gathered those volunteers and they did not apply any
17 criteria that would judge their worth, but on the basis of their political
19 When I was in the army, at that time we had great problems with
20 the volunteers, and I mentioned the accommodation centre, the reception
21 centre, in Sremska Palanka, where those volunteers created an incident
22 because they refused to remove their parting insignia. So this is a
23 reference to the negative experience from the previous period, not the
24 very beginning of the war here.
25 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 10 prohibits the admission as volunteers to
1 the VJ commands, units, and installations of members of paramilitary
2 groups and individuals already present in the zones of responsibility
3 without the prior completion of the procedures described in this order.
4 A. I think that this paragraph, again, has a preventative character.
5 It does not reflect the situation in the field. As far as I know, the
6 paramilitary formations in the classic sense of the word did not exist.
7 What we had were groups that got together, and they acted together as part
8 of those units that had already gone through the reception centres.
9 But the problem was that the order of the Supreme Command Staff
10 was not complied with in some of the units. This was not the general
11 situation, prevalent situation. But, for instance, in the 37th Brigade in
12 Glogovac, there was such a group and it did have negative consequences.
13 The order, however, was clear enough that the group should not be admitted
14 as such but people in accordance with their wartime assignments.
15 Q. Now let us look at the last sentence here where it says this order
16 precedes other orders and two orders are listed here. You can see before
17 the 7th of April the General Staff of the VJ issued orders relating to the
18 admission of the volunteers. Am I right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. This order was signed by the Chief of Staff of the
21 Supreme Command, General Dragoljub Ojdanic. And now, General, on the next
22 page, again, we have the stamp and some handwritten notes. Do these
23 handwritten notes describe the same situation that you explained to us in
24 the first document that I showed you, and that was 3D480. So we have the
25 reception and the dispatching stamp and the units listed here.
1 A. Yes. And it is quite interesting here that we have here a KVOBGD,
2 that is the Belgrade Military District Command -- Belgrade Military Sector
3 Command, and this was a very small sector, in fact. But because this
4 reception centre was subordinate to the 1st Military District that was
5 located in Belgrade, then in order to make things easier, to speed things
6 up, I can see that this was sent directly to the Belgrade Military Sector
8 Q. Let me -- we didn't go through this. But in paragraph 5, it is
9 stated that a group of officers is actually placing its -- they are
10 placing themselves to the military sector in Belgrade for the execution of
11 this task, and that might be the reason why this was sent directly also to
12 the Belgrade military district.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have been told by my
14 colleagues that this might be an appropriate time for the break.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
16 Mr. Vasiljevic, we'll be breaking again, this time for lunch,
17 we'll be breaking for an hour, so can you please return at quarter to
18 2.00. You can now leave with the usher.
19 [The witness stands down].
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And we shall sit again at quarter to 2.00.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.45 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
25 MR. VISNJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown in e-court
2 document 3D481.
3 Q. General, this is another document of the Supreme Command Staff
4 dated the 14th of April, 1992. It's an order on the treatment of
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The year is 1999.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And it repeats to a large extent the order of the 7th of April,
9 1999; however, some additional measures are introduced. So please look at
10 item 1, the paragraph before the last, which says that psychological
11 examination of the volunteers should be carried out, they should be
12 provided with weapons, and equipment registered in the records.
13 And if we look at the paragraph above, it says, "Make sure to
14 engage a sufficient number of security organs, a military police
15 detachment, and psychologists at the reception centres." Unlike the
16 previous order, we have an additional preventive measure, that is
17 psychological processing, as it says here. Do you have any comment on
19 A. When I was re-activated, which was on the 27th of April, we
20 already had a security organ in the Grocka reception centre and expert
21 assistance was being provided. It was General Gajic who inspected their
22 work. On that occasion, we discovered an omission in that centre where
23 the procedure was bypassed when a self-styled captain of the military
24 police was received.
25 After a detailed check, it was established that he was neither a
1 reserve officer nor a member of the military police at any time, so he was
2 removed from the centre. And I do know that the security organ monitored
3 the work of the reception centre. As for psychological processing, in the
4 previous order, you can see that a psychological and psychiatric
5 evaluation is required.
6 Q. Thank you. In the same item, it says that volunteers should be
7 once more told that when they put on a uniform they become members of the
8 army and that after that any -- anyone leaving the unit would be a
9 deserter. General, does this mean that an attempt was being made to
10 eliminate any group of so-called weekend warriors or adventurers or
11 persons who considered the war to be some sort of personal adventure of
12 their own?
13 A. I think that this element here was introduced based on the
14 negative experiences of 1991. There was so-called weekend warriors, who
15 turned up in the army when they felt like it and left whenever they wanted
16 to. To the best of my knowledge, this was not the practice when we were
17 at Kosovo, Gajic and I. But I don't exclude the possibility that some
18 individual cases may have occurred and that that's why this was written.
19 Q. Thank you, General. The next paragraph, which is page 2 in the
20 English text and also page 2 in Serbian, bans or prohibits the reception
21 of volunteers and it repeats members of paramilitary units and so on. You
22 already commented on this.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. However, I wish to draw your attention to item 2.2, which says
25 that: "Conscripts who have not completed their military service should
1 not be admitted as volunteers." You will see this here "do not admit as
2 volunteers any recruits," and so on.
3 A. To the best of my knowledge, this also referred to people who
4 arrived as volunteers or were received in the reserve MUP forces; and in
5 general, those who for whatever reason whatsoever, either because they
6 were not old enough or because they had health problems and were declared
7 unfit for military service, should now be received as volunteers. Only
8 those young men or people who did not have a wartime assignment could be
9 received as volunteers.
10 And this could also apply to those who had done their military
11 service but for health reasons were declared unfit for military service.
12 So these are the persons being referred to and also persons younger than
13 18 or 19. I have seen orders more than once. I think this is the third
14 document I've seen which shows that special care was taken concerning the
15 volunteers being admitted.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, this is a question to try to clarify
17 what might otherwise become confusion in my mind. I understood that once
18 a man had done his military service, he was still registered at the
19 military district as a reservist.
20 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: If that's right, who could have possibly ever
22 become a volunteer if you had to have completed military service to
23 qualify as a volunteer?
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Let's ask the witness, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you answer that, Mr. Vasiljevic?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. You are quite right.
2 On completing one's military service, one was entered into the military
3 register at the military district. Some persons, because there was no
4 need, were not assigned from that list to wartime units as reservists.
5 Volunteers could be those who had completed their military
6 training and done their military service, but for whatever reason were not
7 given a wartime assignment to a wartime unit. That's one category of
8 persons. Please let me finish.
9 The second category, although they did have a wartime assignment
10 in a wartime unit, but according to the wartime plan the unit had not been
11 activated, that person also could apply as a volunteer. These are the two
12 categories of persons who could be admitted as volunteers.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: So by the -- is this the 14th of April? You're
14 saying that not every able-bodied citizen had been mobilised?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There were such cases because
16 if his wartime unit had not been activated according to the war plan, he
17 was practically at liberty, but he could volunteer. And there was some
18 wartime units that were not activated according to the plan because they
19 were not located in the area where the military operations were going on.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Mr. Visnjic.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, I'll ask you about another category of persons. In item
24 3 of this order, volunteers are mentioned who are foreign citizens,
25 foreign nationals, and a training battalion was provided for their
1 training. Am I right in saying that any foreign national had to undergo
2 military training?
3 A. I and my security organs had no contact with such persons because
4 in view of the date of this order, mid-April, they had already been
5 admitted. I know that there were certain foreign nationals who
6 volunteered, and I was briefed about them and I knew that they behaved
7 properly. I cannot tell you what the exact procedure was for their
8 admission -- admittance.
9 Q. Thank you. Let me just draw your attention to the last paragraph
10 of this item and the last sentence which says: "During the training of
11 volunteers, specifically warn them that unlawful and other negative
12 behaviour will not be tolerated," and then it brackets "theft, looting,
13 torching, smuggling, et cetera," and that "legal measures applicable in
14 wartime will be taken against the perpetrators of such acts."
15 A. Do you expect me to comment on this?
16 Q. Yes, if you can. This was also included in the previous order.
17 A. Well, I have already commented on this. This was a general
18 warning, the kind of warning I myself was given when I was re-activated.
19 So this is something that the volunteers in the army were also given.
20 Q. Thank you. In item 4, volunteers are again prohibited from being
21 grouped in special units; and if we look at page 4 in the English, a
22 single collection centre is designated for all volunteers who were foreign
23 nationals. This was the one in Grocka. Am I right?
24 A. I've already said, when I was re-activated I didn't have any
25 contacts with them, but the order did regulate this and they were admitted
1 in Grocka. When General Gajic visited the centre, I did not hear from him
2 that there were any strange -- foreigners there. They'd already been
3 through the procedure.
4 Q. Thank you. And the same order - and we're still on item 6, page 4
5 in the Serbian text and it's the page we see on the monitor in English -
6 the last sentence says for the needs of the work -- the requisite number
7 of psychologists and psychiatrists will be designated, and this was so
8 that one of the elements of this order could be implemented.
9 A. Yes. This is a complex order, so this refers to the item
10 concerning psychological training and a special organ is being designated
11 here to implement that.
12 Q. Thank you. General, would I be right in saying that by these few
13 orders that we have been through, the General Staff of the Army of
14 Yugoslavia constantly kept improving the procedure for admitting
15 volunteers in an effort to avoid negative consequences?
16 A. Yes. This is a conclusion one can draw from these orders.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown P11943
18 [as interpreted].
19 Q. This is a letter from the Supreme Command Staff dated the 20th of
20 April, 1999, concerning the problems of assigning volunteers to the 3rd
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] It's P --
23 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Could we have that number
24 again. On my screen that's 11943, and that's -- we haven't gotten that
25 far yet.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I hope we won't get there. It's
3 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. This is a letter sent by the Supreme Command Staff, and it's dated
6 the 20th of April, 1999. And it mentions certain omissions which caused
7 part of the problems, and the General Staff has taken steps to rectify the
8 situation. General, when we look at this document, we see that the
9 reception centre sent back a certain number of persons who did not get
10 through the screening, and that they were received in the reception centre
11 of the 1st Army.
12 You've already testified about this. It's also evident from this
13 document that some volunteers were sent back from the Pristina Corps and
14 that some of them were being prosecuted. My question is: Does this
15 document show that the general -- that the Supreme Command Staff reacted
16 on time, in a timely manner, to these negative events and that the 3rd
17 Army responded in time, reacted in time --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on, please.
19 Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: My objection, Your Honour, this is for summation. I
21 don't think it's appropriate for this witness to give his opinion. The
22 document speaks for itself to a certain extent. This is the sort of in
23 the nature of the complaint I had from Mr. Petrovic.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: It's exactly the complaint you had from Mr.
1 Mr. Visnjic, what do you want to say about that?
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me ask the General
3 whether he had seen this document.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see it now. I haven't seen it
5 before, but it is in accordance with everything I said beforehand and
6 everything that was displayed through the previous documents.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you, General, I'm going to ask you about this particular
9 document now. On page 1 in the Serbian text which is page 2 in the
10 English language.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see page 2 of the
12 English on the screen.
13 Q. It is stated in the third paragraph in English and the last
14 paragraph in Serbian it says: "A number of volunteers of around 50
15 percent subsequently gave up their deployment and engagement in the war
16 units of the Army of Yugoslavia stating that they were not you willing to
17 obey the rules unreservedly."
18 General, this number, 50 percent, does it correspond to what you
19 told us that roughly out of 5.000 volunteers only two and a half thousand
20 managed to get through the screening?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
22 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The objection still stands to this. You're asking
24 the witness to speculate on something that he's not familiar with, and the
25 fact that he recognises or sees the letter as authentic doesn't mean that
1 he's in a position to explain it.
2 On the other hand, it stands on its own for what it's worth, and
3 Mr. Hannis takes the same objection as we sustained in relation to Mr.
4 Petrovic's objection. Now, can you point to a difference between what
5 you're trying to do here and what the objection was before?
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it just seemed to me
7 that part of this document confirms what the general had stated before.
8 Well, anyway, I can move on to the next document.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the only way I think you can get from him
10 anything that will help you on the question of 50 percent is to ask him if
11 he knows the reason why the 2.500 were rejected. We have here an
12 explanation for the 50 percent being rejected, but what I don't know at
13 the moment is whether he can help us on the reason for the two and a half
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, if you were to give a summary of the reasons for
17 rejecting a number of volunteers, what would you say? What were these
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, just before you do that, it's pointed out to
20 me, as I should have noticed, that this wasn't a question of rejection;
21 this was a question of 50 percent giving up, saying they were not ready to
22 obey orders. Now, that's different, in fact, from the question of being
23 rejected by the reception centre. So there isn't a link between these on
24 the face of it, Mr. Visnjic.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps I'm the one
1 who's wrong; then I will move on to the next document.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm not preventing you asking the witness if
3 he can amplify on the reasons for the 2.500; that's a separate matter, but
4 it doesn't seem to have a direct bearing on this letter.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, now when I look at the
6 document I have to accept that. Viewing the document per se, it already
7 reflects what the witness had testified about. So I need -- I see no need
8 to dwell on it any longer.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. The next document that I wish to show you, General, is 3D490, the
12 telegram of the 4th of May, 1999. General, I don't know whether you have
13 the document in front of you.
14 A. If it's the one dated the 26th of April --
15 Q. No, it's 3D490. It should be the 4th of May, 1999.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: It's now on the screen. It will need to be
17 magnified in the Serb for the witness to be able to read it.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 4th of May, right?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. The 4th of May, 1999. In this document, the Supreme Command Staff
21 cautions against some abuse of weapons on the part of reservists and
22 troops. Are you aware of what happened in terms of the first paragraph of
23 this document?
24 A. After returning from Kosovo, that is the 7th of June, 1999, we had
25 examples of that nature, of such cases, that is. Military conscripts who,
1 objectively speaking, were not capable of carrying out their duties or
2 behaved improperly. So there are several such individual cases, but I
3 know of them after having returned from Kosovo; that is to say, when we
4 received reports, these were the individual cases that I spoke of,
5 starting with individuals who had done something up to two or three
6 reservists or volunteers. That is to say, that such things did occur.
7 Now what is pointed out once again is a reaction to such matters.
8 Q. Precisely. That was my question. Does this document constitute
9 the right kind of response on the part of the Supreme Command Staff by way
10 of prevention and by way of reaction?
11 A. Yes. But this gives rise to the question as to how, in spite of
12 all the warnings of the Supreme Command Staff that were sent - and so far
13 I've been shown three or four such documents - nevertheless, such persons
14 managed to get through to be among the volunteers down there. So all of
15 it was said, but again you can see that there were individual cases like
16 this one; either procedure in terms of taking in volunteers was not
17 observed or they were not capable of establishing what the situation of a
18 certain individual was.
19 Q. If we look at the last part of this document, we see who it was
20 sent to and we also have a seal, a stamp, that shows the date when this
21 document was sent. Am I right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. The next document that I wish to show you is P1490, an
24 order of the Supreme Command Staff of the 26th of April, 1999. If we have
25 a look at paragraph 1 of this document, or rather, the preamble, it says
1 that the Supreme Command Staff had sent several warnings with regard to
2 prohibiting the existence and activities of possible paramilitary
3 formations and so on and so forth. They are enumerated here.
4 My question is as follows: The Supreme Command Staff is aware of
5 the importance of this question; am I right?
6 A. Yes. But I could add that I'm not aware of the presence of
7 classical paramilitary formations; that is to say, formations that put on
8 uniforms on their own, formed groups without being subordinated to anyone
9 in Kosovo. There were no such units. Volunteers should not be confused
10 with paramilitaries.
11 Q. I fully agree with you. Now, when we look at this order from 1 to
12 4, in addition to the part that pertains to the possible presence of
13 undesired paramilitary formations, a reference is also made to observing
14 certain rules of the law of war and the Geneva Conventions. And in
15 paragraph 3, documents are referred to that should be the basic documents
16 for that.
17 As for paragraph 3, are those are the documents that you
18 received when you were issued with your equipment? When you were
19 re-activated, you said that you got a set of documents. Is it actually
20 this basis of the laws of war, officer's handbook, and the rules of
21 conduct for competence, and other documents, and so on and so forth. Am I
23 A. Yes, you're quite right.
24 Q. We will move on to the next document. The document is 1944,
25 P1944. We have before us a letter of the Supreme Command Staff to the
1 republic minister of the interior - I'm waiting to see the English
2 translation of the document, too. Thank you - dated the 23rd of April,
3 1999, in which it is stated that pursuant to the order of the chief of the
4 Supreme Command Staff, Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic, two documents
5 are being forwarded: International law of war and rules of conduct for
6 competence or soldiers to the republican minister of the interior.
7 General, if the MUP of Serbia had been resubordinated to the Army
8 of Yugoslavia, would this document have had this kind of heading: To the
9 republican minister of the interior "for his information." What does that
10 mean "for his information?"
11 A. Well, this is probably an initiative to act similarly in the MUP
12 forces as well. However, had the MUP been subordinated to the General
13 Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, then there would have been no need to
14 send this to the republican minister of interior for his information. As
15 for what the military commands got in the field, that would have pertained
16 to the MUP forces that were subordinated to them. So this shows that this
17 resubordination did not take place, as ordered.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at page 2 of
20 this document.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I would like to clarify that answer.
22 What do you say would have happened if there had been
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had there been resubordination,
25 then - I don't know whether you can hear what I'm saying - there's no need
1 to send this, especially to the MUP and especially to the army; then you
2 send it to the senior command, and that's the military command; and then
3 it applies to all the units that are subordinated to that command.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I'll ask my question again. What would have
5 happened so far as the MUP were concerned if they had been resubordinated?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They are subordinated to some
7 military command, say of the Pristina Corps, for example, and that under
8 it they have subordinated MUP units. Because there is just one superior
9 command, and that's the command of the Pristina Corps, there cannot be a
10 parallel MUP command.
11 So then the document would be sent only to the command of the
12 Pristina Corps, and then through their own orders they send these
13 documents to all their subordinate units, their own brigades that is to
14 say, and the intervention detachment of the MUP that is within its
15 composition then.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: And do you say that, even as a matter of courtesy,
17 it would not have been appropriate to send to the ministry of internal
18 affairs copies of these documents?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not prescribed, this matter of
20 courtesy as you call it. Perhaps it could be done just for the sake of
21 them knowing what is going on, but it is not defined. I cannot interpret
22 it any differently, what it says here, for your information. So they
23 would not want --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Simply from the point of view of common sense,
25 Mr. Vasiljevic, if something's sent to a ministry for information, how can
1 you then draw a conclusion that it follows that it's being sent to the --
2 outwith a normal chain of command? How can you conclude that quite
3 separately from this, there wasn't a batch of these documents being
4 distributed to the MUP through the Pristina Corps? How would you reach
5 that conclusion?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to be clearer. Had the
7 republican MUP been subordinated to the staff of the Supreme Command, then
8 this would not be sent for the purposes of information. It could only be
9 sent as an order. Here it is sent for their information, although they
10 are not resubordinated; nevertheless, they are being informed about the
12 Let me be unequivocal. In my interpretation if the republican MUP
13 had been resubordinated to the Supreme Command Staff, they would have
14 received an order like all other units of the Army of Yugoslavia. The
15 order did not receive documents by way of information. They received
17 JUDGE BONOMY: We may find the answer if you could see the order
18 because if you look at the beginning of this letter it says: "Pursuant to
19 order we forward the following." So there is an order somewhere saying
20 send this to the republican minister of internal affairs for information
21 and that might help us to have a basis for a conclusion here.
22 Do you have that order, Mr. Visnjic?
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have it, but I don't
24 have it here among my exhibits, but I am going to present it in the
25 Defence case. And I can tell you straight away if I need to say something
1 by way of an introduction, if I remember correctly it is precisely a
2 letter -- rather, an order stating that a letter should be sent to the
4 So when an order is referred to here, it is an order to have a
5 letter sent to the minister provided by General Ojdanic within the daily
6 tasks issued. So you will see the context of how this was done.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: What else did the order relate to?
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I think only this communication.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] If you give me a bit of time,
11 perhaps I will manage to get something done along these lines. But right
12 at this moment --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Please, I simply invite you to bear in mind the
14 limit to which you can ask this witness to speculate about things of this
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 I would like the witness to be shown document P1470 dated the 25th
18 of March, 1999.
19 Q. General, this pertains to paragraph 50 of your statement, where
20 you talk about the relative competencies for jurisdictions. You know,
21 General, that military courts were mobilised immediately, right at the
22 beginning of the war on the 25th of March, 1999, pursuant to this order.
23 Are you aware of that?
24 A. I don't know the exact date, but I do know that they were
1 Q. And when you were in the field in Kosovo, they were already
2 operational. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, you are correct.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Defence
5 Exhibit 3D480.
6 Q. This is a document that's already been shown to you, General,
7 right at the beginning. This is one of the first orders about the need to
8 comply with the international law of war dated the 2nd of April, 1999.
9 General, could you please comment on paragraphs 1 through 6 of
10 this document in both English and Serbian versions; this is page 1. Would
11 this be the standard operating procedure how to treat the members of the
12 enemy units?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I was going to object. I think the
15 document speaks for itself.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think eventually we got a specific
17 question, but the initial question was just to comment. But I think Mr.
18 Visnjic then confined it to whether this was standard operating procedure,
19 so that question's perfectly acceptable.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown a
22 Defence exhibit, 3D482. This is the same document as P1486. The only
23 difference being that the Defence is moving for this to be admitted in its
24 entirety; whereas, the Prosecution only tendered the first page of its
25 document designated P1468.
1 Q. So now we have in front of us a document dated the 16th of April,
2 1999. It is a warning. General, in your evidence in the Milosevic case,
3 you explained what a warning was. Could you please explain this to the
4 Trial Chamber now.
5 A. I have the document 3D482 in front of me.
6 Q. Yes, that's right.
7 A. I don't see -- in fact, I see here a warning to the commander --
8 Q. Yes. But see, you can see here at the bottom of the page
9 "warning." What type of a military document are we dealing with here, a
11 A. Well, to tell you the truth, this kind of document "I hereby warn"
12 does not exist. There is -- there are orders within the chain of command,
13 but here, obviously, we're dealing with a specific situation where a
14 warning is issued pertaining to some issues and not an order. I don't
15 know what the reasons were that prompted this modification.
16 Q. Could we please look at paragraph 1 of this document, that's right
17 underneath this heading "warning." Does it stem from this document that
18 the basic documents that are the basis -- that should be the basis for the
19 operation; in other words, the order that was to be the basis for the
20 activity, and that would be the document number 100-2 of the 3rd of
21 February, 1999, that it has already been issued.
22 A. Yes. But it says here according to some information, certain
23 information. This is apparently the information that was not received
24 only through the chain of command, but maybe it hasn't been verified yet.
25 And this goes on to talk about isolated cases; and then after this heading
1 "warning," the drafter refers to the previous orders, warning that these
2 should be complied with fully. This is the only way in which I can
3 interpret this document, not having seen it before.
4 Q. That's right. Now can we look at paragraphs 2, 3, and 4.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now we should move to the next page.
6 Q. So you see paragraphs 2 and 3 on the next page. Again, we see
7 documents referenced here that had already been issued by the Supreme
8 Command Staff.
9 A. Yes. The reference is made to all those documents mentioned here.
10 Now I am in a position of an expert witness, so to speak, because I have
11 to explain things that are unclear here. You can see that there -- that
12 orders had been issued, that despite those orders there had been problems
13 in the field, and a warning is issued that these orders are important,
14 that they should be complied with. That's the only interpretation that I
15 can give you.
16 Q. Yes, thank you. General, could you please comment on paragraphs 5
17 and 6; persons responsible for executing those orders, that's quite
18 clear. But paragraph number 6 confirms what we've already said; in other
19 words, that the combat reports should be the source of information
20 regarding such incidents.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Wait a moment, please.
22 Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, my objection is the document speaks for
24 itself. This is part of his re-activation in the service. He's already
25 expressed some discomfort as trying to testify as an expert about this.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, what do you have to say on that?
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I agree, but I -- let
3 me quote my colleague Mr. Hannis who said that the General's brain had not
4 been switched off while he was not in active duty, only to be switched on
5 again when he got re-activated.
6 I'm merely trying to see whether this is indeed the case. But
7 since the document speaks for itself, I can move on to the next document,
8 unless the General would like to challenge my statement.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I think you -- I think you should move on
10 because the General has already indicated the limitations of his capacity
11 to deal with this particular document. I think he's been as helpful as he
12 can be.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, I have to ask you about the document 3D483.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now we're moving into the
16 time-period while the General was already active; that's the 10th of May,
17 1999. Your Honours, this is the same document as P1491, but again the
18 Prosecution tendered only the first page of this document and we would
19 like to have this document admitted in its entirety.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it is quite clear, and this is
21 in line with the previous orders. An emphasis is made on what I myself
22 have emphasised, that every commanding officer who knows that those
23 principles had been violated is personally responsible for instituting
24 proceedings against the perpetrator; if he fails to do so, he will be held
25 responsible and he will face disciplinary charges. I don't have anything
1 more to add to that.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, this more or less corresponds to paragraphs 1 through 5
4 of this order, that corresponds to what you said about the responsibility
5 that you actually -- what you actually said in paragraph 50 of your
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. I would like you to focus on paragraph 6 of this statement, or
9 rather, of this document, which obliges the recipient of informing all the
10 members of the command staffs, units, institutions of the Army of
11 Yugoslavia. So this would again be an example of preventive measures?
12 A. Yes, that had to be done throughout, in the whole army.
13 Q. Thank you. Again, this is signed by the chief of Supreme Command
14 Staff, and here we have a different stamp at the end of this document.
15 Could you please comment on it.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we move the Serb text a little
17 bit upwards so that we can see the stamp that's right at the bottom of the
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, you mean at the very end of the
20 document. On the basis of this, I can conclude that this was a document
21 that was received by the 3rd Army according -- that's on the basis of this
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you. I would now like the witness to be shown Defence
25 Exhibit 3D492 dated the 26th of May, 1999.
1 A. Should I comment on it?
2 Q. That's the 22nd of May, 1999. General, could you please comment
3 on this document that was issued after the meeting you had with President
4 Milosevic, the meeting of the 17th of May, 1999.
5 A. Yes. Well, this was sent from the system issues administration,
6 from General Matovic to the command of the 3rd Army. And as you can see
7 from the stamp and from the contents, this follows the meeting of the 17th
8 of May. And you can see from the stamp that this was received by the 3rd
9 Army and was registered under this number.
10 And I do know that even after this date, after this was sent to
11 the lower courts or judicial organs in the field, that General Ojdanic had
12 another meeting on the 28th of May with the courts. And General Geza
13 Farkas was there and he informed us that the -- these bodies were required
14 to act more vigorously.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I have a small remark to make. The
16 word "podsetnik" was translated here as "guide-lines," and a little bit
17 further up it was translated as a "check-list." I don't know if the
18 interpreters could aid me here. We have two different words, two
19 different translations for the same word. In this document, this word was
20 translated as "guide-lines;" and in the previous document sent to the
21 Ministry of the Interior for information it was translated as
22 "check-list." Perhaps the interpreters could help us.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The way to deal with this, Mr. Visnjic, is to ask
24 the witness to read the beginning of the second paragraph, the first part
25 to the comma.
1 Mr. Vasiljevic, would you read the second paragraph of this
2 document, just the first line of the second paragraph, stopping where
3 there is a comma. Read it aloud, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The contents of the aide-memoire
5 will make the possible for the commanders of basic units. Other organs of
6 the command and units" and so on.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: That's good enough. So it's a reminder. Are
8 the --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the word that is used in
10 Serbian is "podsetnik," and I don't know how it was translated.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Is the aide-memoire attached to this document?
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, no. We only have this document.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: And do we have the aide-memoire somewhere else?
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] It appears that we do, but not right
15 now. We will have to leave that for some other occasion.
16 Q. General --
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In fact, could document P1918 dated
18 the 14th of May, 1999, be shown to the witness. This is a report on the
19 work of the military judicial organs.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. If we look at page 1 of this document, this is another document
23 originating from the Supreme Command Staff. Is this yet another document
24 showing the attention that was paid by the Supreme Command Staff to the
25 work of the military judicial organs and the efforts it made in order to
1 improve their operation?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now I would like to ask you to look at page 3; that's page 5 in
4 the English version. I'm interested in paragraphs 2 and 3; in fact,
5 paragraph 2.3.
6 General, this concerns the situation in the 3rd Army. You were in
7 the field in early June; and if you look -- if you look at the fourth
8 paragraph in this section which addresses the difficulties in the work of
9 the judicial organs, does this correspond to the situation that you,
10 yourself, encountered in the field when you spoke to your security organs?
11 A. This is page 2.
12 Q. Yes. But in the e-court it's page 3, but anyway the right page is
13 here on the screen. I will read it out.
14 A. Yes, I see it.
15 Q. Well, for the record, it says: "Difficulties in the work of this
16 court emerge in relation to the delivery of call-up papers due to
17 insufficient security and safety of movement in the zone of combat
18 operations and the intensive activities of the aggressor, aviation, and
19 ambush activities of broken terrorist groups."
20 Did your security organs on the ground have similar problems as
21 the judicial organs concerning enemy activities, both by the NATO air
22 force and the KLA which was active on the ground?
23 A. Well, this situation was characteristic not only in the case of
24 judicial organs and the difficulties in the delivery of call-up papers.
25 It was ubiquitous on the ground wherever there was war and it was
1 certainly difficult. Whether this is just an excuse, well, to some extent
2 perhaps. But the fact is that the situation on the ground was very
3 complex, especially in mid-May before I arrived down there. It was also
4 critical in early June when we went there because some groups were still
5 active in certain areas and passage was difficult.
6 Q. Well, look at the paragraph above this, it speaks of military
7 judicial organs at the command of the Pristina Corps in their work come
8 across very complex criminal cases concerning serious crimes. Does this
9 correspond to that part of your statement where you say that the vast
10 majority of the crimes mentioned by you in your report had already been
12 A. Yes. I said that in the briefings I had most of those cases had
13 already been dealt with by the organs concerned. Let me give you details.
14 The security organs in the 37th Motorised Brigade in Glogovac reported
15 that 52 criminal reports had been filed and the security organs in the
16 549th Brigade submitted 204 criminal reports. I remember they said that
17 they had conducted over 70 on-site inspections carried out by the military
18 police of that brigade.
19 I have the impression that the judicial organs were trying to find
20 excuses for their inability to deliver these papers because there were
21 actually investigations being carried out, but the judicial organs were
22 probably overwhelmed by the number of reports coming in. That's what I
23 can say about the situation when I was in Kosovo to the best of my
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, before we move on, I don't understand
1 the reference to the delivery of call-up papers. Can this be clarified.
2 How do they affect the work of the court?
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think these are court
4 summons to witnesses and parties to proceedings. The summons that should
5 have been delivered to witnesses to be heard by the courts, but there was
6 a war going on.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. One more thing, General. The transcript is lost now, but it
10 concerned your movements in early June. You said that in that period of
11 time certain groups were active so you could not pass through the
12 territory. When you say "groups," are you referring to KLA groups?
13 A. Yes, KLA groups. It's not that we couldn't pass through, but it
14 was risky. For example, in the Decani area, I remember we had to move
15 very fast because in that area operations had already been registered and
16 there were other such areas as well.
17 Q. Thank you. General, if we look at the last paragraph here
18 referring to the judicial organs at the military district in Pristina and
19 there are criminal offences regarding failure to respond to call-up, a
20 division of military service, were there such reports?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: See, that's really the use of the same expression
24 in two contexts, isn't it, the word -- well, the English word used is
25 "call-up." Is it the same word in B/C/S in both paragraphs?
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's the same word, but
2 used in a different sense; that's my reading.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Microphone not activated]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Would you please look at the last page of this
8 document where measures are enumerated, measures to be taken. I know that
9 your area of interest in that time-period was not concerned with this; but
10 in view of your experience and knowledge and your familiarity with events
11 on the ground, this list of measures to be taken, is it something that a
12 conscientious command should do when it receives the kind of report we
13 have just been speaking about? This has to do with item 4. I'm asking
14 you to comment on item 4 in connection with my question.
15 A. This whole document entitled "information" has been drawn up with
16 great precision. It's very thorough. It's not just a routine way of
17 working where the same expressions are used time and again. This is
18 really very precise. I've had occasion to read it. It's very clearly
19 divided by measure and by those who are to implement the measures. I
20 think this has been done very well. It was done by the sector for
21 operative staff affairs.
22 Q. Thank you, General. General, on the 7th of June, 1999, you
23 returned from Kosovo; and on the 8th of June, General Farkas informed you
24 that Ojdanic had ordered that your report be sent to Milosevic. Please
25 look at Exhibit 3D479 dated the 8th of June, 1999.
1 A. 3D479?
2 Q. Yes, 3D479. General, today we have already referred to your
3 testimony in paragraph 11 concerning Supreme Command Staff meetings which
4 were held on a daily basis. What we have before us now are the minutes of
5 the meeting held on the 8th of June, 1999, which began at 1800 hours and
6 ended at 1950 hours. Where it says "D + 76," have you any idea what this
7 represents in the upper right-hand corner of this document?
8 A. Yes, that's the 76th day from the beginning of the aggression.
9 Q. Thank you. If we now look at the list of attendees, it says nine
10 assistants, administration chiefs, chief of office, chief of the
11 department, and so on. Total number 16. Does this list of persons
12 present correspond --
13 MR. VISNJIC: Sorry --
14 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry to interrupt my colleague.
15 Your Honour, before we go any further I have a concern about
16 authenticity. I don't see a sign -- a signature or a stamp. I don't know
17 the provenance of this document.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, can we ask the witness to help us on
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't believe the
21 witness can assist because he did not attend the meetings. I can respond
22 to Mr. Hannis by your leave, and I can inform Your Honours that in e-court
23 we also have 3D493, which is a handwritten document. It is from the diary
24 of briefings, but we have before us the typed version, which we received
25 in response to our request by the governmental Commission For Cooperation
1 with The Hague Tribunal.
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I would like to reserve further comments
3 on that. I have to do some research, but it seems to me we had made
4 requests for assistance for the same documents and had not received
5 anything, so I would like to do some checking on that.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: You're saying, Mr. Visnjic, that 479 is simply a
7 typewritten version of 493?
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And 4 --
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] We did not type it ourselves. It's
11 the official typed version we received from the Army of Yugoslavia.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: And 493 has a stamp on it.
13 Now that you have this document in front of you, Mr. Vasiljevic,
14 in its handwritten form, do you recognise the stamp at the bottom?
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The General doesn't have the
16 handwritten document. He only has the typewritten version -- oh, but he
17 can see it on the screen.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: He must have it on the screen. Looking at the
19 screen --
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Can he see the last page
21 of this document because there the stamp is more -- can be seen more
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see. It says here "military
24 post" in the stamp, but I cannot see the number of the military post.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could the witness be
1 shown the last page of this document --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's go to the last page. Is that it? It doesn't
3 look any clearer. Let's go to --
4 MR. VISNJIC: It should be one more page -- one page more. Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: There we can. Now can we magnify the bottom of
6 that page, please.
7 Does that help, Mr. Vasiljevic?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's military post number
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, could we have some more evidence
12 about what military post 1122 is and also could we shrink the document
13 down, because right above that stamp it looked to me like there was
14 something blocked out in the middle of the page when it was copied.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: On this final page?
16 MR. HANNIS: On this final page, yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Let's go back and see the whole page, please.
18 MR. HANNIS: It looks like a Post-it or something was put over a
19 section before it was copied. That's just my amateur's view, Your Honour,
20 but it's part of my concern.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, what can you tell us about military
22 posts and this particular military post. Can you identify it?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the military post of the
24 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: And what is the military post? It's an expression
1 that I think is new to Mr. Hannis and I think it's new to me.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unlike some other armies, the real
3 name, or rather, the establishment name of every unit bears a code-name
4 and that's its military post. So that documents which represent a
5 military secret bear the stamp of the military post. If they are
6 documents that can be open to the public, then the exact establishment
7 name of the unit is used. So this is the normal stamp affixed to
8 confidential documents coming from the General Staff.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: From what you read on the first page, can you tell
10 what this document actually is? And we can return to the first page for
11 you now.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Based on these typewritten pages,
13 which I assume are identical to the handwritten document shown as the
14 original, I can see that notes were taken at a meeting chaired by the
15 Chief of the General Staff, General Ojdanic, and the persons who were
16 present are listed, assistants, administration heads, and so on. As
17 regards the part referring to General Geza Farkas, who was the chief of
18 security, he is summarising the results of my --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll come to that point in a moment.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: There is enough evidence to allow us to admit this
23 document. The evidence indicates that it's -- follows a style with which
24 the witness is familiar. We do observe the apparent concealment of part
25 of the document. We think in the overall context of its use here that
1 that's a matter that goes to weight rather than the very admissibility of
2 the document itself. We have one question to put -- pose directly to the
3 witness and that is: Do you recognise the handwriting?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Visnjic.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just want to add that
8 in our Defence case, we are going to call witnesses regarding the
9 authenticity of this document and a series of other documents of this
10 nature that we intend to proffer.
11 Q. General, let us go back to the document itself, 3D479. I would
12 like to ask you to have a look at what Geza Farkas said, chief of the
13 security administration. I'm referring to the English text, page 1, the
14 last sentence; and the Serbian text is page 2, which starts with the
15 following words: "There are problems, humanitarian crime."
16 General, this should reflect what you and General Gajic concluded
17 and what you informed General Farkas about. Am I right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Let me now ask you about the next sentence. It says: "What was
20 carried out was a complete analysis under the leadership of ZNUB."
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see the next page on
22 the English side of the screen.
23 Q. What is this, General, ZNUB?
24 A. That's me in terms of the position I held, the deputy chief of the
25 security administration.
1 Q. Thank you. Also, number 4 says: "Most of these things are
2 documented and are before judicial organs."
3 General, this corresponds to your testimony and what your
4 subordinate organs had informed you about. Am I right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. "There are grave crimes from looting to rapes," that's the next
7 sentence. Am I right when I say that it corresponds to the crimes that
8 you had found out about and that you summarised in your report?
9 A. The killings and murders are not mentioned here, and they were
10 referred to in the report that we compiled, General Gajic and I. These
11 cases are also referred to.
12 Q. The next sentence: "There are all sorts of things. How far they
13 got in their investigation and around 95 percent have been arrested and
14 are under investigation," 95 percent?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. That also corresponds to your report. Am I right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. There's -- "some of them are from our active-duty force." What
19 does that mean, General?
20 A. That there were active members of the army there, officers, too,
21 so that is the active-duty force.
22 Q. "Before us is an extraordinary task, and I have also issued orders
23 to leave the area with our heads held high." What could that pertain to,
24 what General Farkas said?
25 A. To complete the work regarding reporting crimes and in keeping
1 with the order issued to us by General Ojdanic on the 13th of May when we
2 first reported to him about crimes, that nothing should be concealed, that
3 the perpetrators have to be found, and measures have to be taken against
4 them. That is what this pertains to.
5 However, in terms of the way it was noted down here, what General
6 Geza was saying, I think that he did not have the written report in front
7 of him and he wasn't reading from the report. This is obviously viva
8 voce. He is speaking off the cuff and showing what the situation was.
9 Q. "Withdrawal is a complex problem. We have a lot of information
10 about the problem of looting." What does this pertain to, General?
11 A. Well, as for that, it was quite certain that the army would
12 withdraw from Kosovo in keeping with the Kumanova Agreement. While I was
13 down there in Kosovo, the team had already left for Kumanova, for the
14 negotiations there; and then there was this prevalent psychological
15 feeling that the army would be withdrawing from Kosovo. And this
16 instigated individuals to loot, to steal material goods; and, therefore,
17 he is cautioning against that kind of thing.
18 Q. So let us end by quoting General Farkas. "The plan is to prevent
19 this, all that was inhuman." What does this refer to?
20 A. Well, as I said, he was speaking viva voce, so that's what he
21 said. This is what we had been preventing, and this practice was to be
22 continued. I can illustrate that with an example of Captain Stevan Jekic
23 who was suspected of having committed a crime. He fled from his wartime
24 unit, and we found him, if I'm not mistaken, sometime in the second half
25 of July; that is to say, considerably after the state of war was over and
1 we handed over him over to the military judiciary. This is how I see him
2 in that context.
3 Secondary, preparations were under way for getting the army out of
4 Kosovo in an organised fashion. We established exit points; and at them
5 inter alia, we were checking what it was that was being taken out, or
6 rather, what had been looted and what individuals were trying to get out
7 of Kosove and into Serbia. So at all these check-points, there were MUP
8 organs and military police organs. I was in Nis, again, on the 11th of
9 May, with General Gajic and that is where I was in charge of the work of
10 the military police at these check-points.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Remind us, Mr. Vasiljevic, of the number of
12 killings or murders that you had identified when you were there.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give an exact number, but
14 the number I do remember are 42 cases; not only killings or murders, but
15 all kinds of criminal conduct, looting, rape, and so on.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm concerned only with killings and murders. Tell
17 us how many of these you identified.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can give you a number just off the
19 cuff now, but I think it's about ten; not about ten victims but about ten
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And these were referred to in your report; you're
22 clear about that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. As I've already said, the
24 report included a table, a summary presented by way of a table; and then
25 all the crimes committed were stated as well as the perpetrators and the
1 victims. So there was this table consisting of all of this, and it was
2 attached to the written reports -- report that was presented precisely on
3 the 8th.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: One other matter, the paragraph you've been looking
5 at, which is paragraph number 3, has these various bullet points. Could
6 you read word for word the last bullet point.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean this withdrawal? Is that
8 what you're asking me? Do you start with that word?
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: The last --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 "Unfortunately, there are paramilitary organisations and behind
13 them are people with two ideas; the first being to show that they can
14 organise but also loot, and that we are to be involved in the organisation
15 of the withdrawal."
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Still doesn't make very great sense, but never
17 mind. Carry on, Mr. Visnjic.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. General, when you look at this document, am I right if I say that
20 these are actually notes rather than stenographic notes of what was being
22 A. Well, that's what I've already said. This is not very well
23 organised, and the style is also lacking. And it was just key words that
24 were jotted down. I'm sure that these are not stenographic notes, but I
25 agree with you that it is confusing, this last bit here, what was meant by
1 that. If I am supposed to interpret what was meant by this, I believe
2 that the following was said.
3 "The task that was ahead, and that was withdrawal from Kosovo, and
4 that some people within that withdrawal are trying to take advantage of
5 that situation for looting and that paramilitaries would be engaged in
7 Now, what he meant by paramilitary organisations is a separate
8 topic altogether.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. General, I would like to ask you to move on to page 4 of the
12 Serbian text and page 4 of the English text.
13 A. I don't have any page numbers here, so can you tell me what
15 Q. Well, number 13, after paragraph 13, you have what General Ojdanic
17 A. Oh, yes.
18 Q. And, in a way, these should be the conclusions of this meeting.
19 But let us look at the part that pertains to the security administration.
20 In your copy, it is the one that is the one-but-last and last paragraph
21 and in the English version it is also the one-but-last and last paragraph.
22 I would like you for the first time to read these paragraphs, please.
23 A. All right. As far as I can see, this is praise by the Chief of
24 the General Staff for the team that was down there in Kosovo; that's quite
25 clear. General Geza Farkas conveyed that to us that the chief of the
1 supreme -- of the General Staff praised us for having done our job
2 properly. If necessary, I can read it out but do you really want me to
3 read it out?
4 Q. I'll read it out and then I'll ask you to comment on part of it.
5 "I commend the security administration team for researching and
6 documenting everything that is prohibited in international law of war in
7 response -- in respect of which we set specific tasks and sent orders for
8 crime prevention. We can take this course. Were there any rapes? What
9 is known must be a priority in the work of judicial organs, then
10 deserters, and finally crimes. What is being conducted with the law and
11 international conventions."
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when -- I have to say
13 that when I looked at the written text, I saw that what was actually
14 stated was violated, in violation of; and then there is reference to
15 crimes, rapes, and then deserters.
16 Q. General, briefly, am I right if I say that General Ojdanic was
17 aware of your report? Do we see that from this document?
18 A. Well, it is obvious, first of all, from what General Geza said to
19 us, that this --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I see Mr. Hannis takes no objection, but that's not
21 a matter for this witness to conclude. That's a matter for the Court. If
22 General Ojdanic wants to give evidence in due course to tell us what he
23 was aware of, that's another matter, but conclusions of what he was aware
24 of are not for the witness.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me ask the witness
2 Q. Does this show that General Ojdanic had issued some instructions
3 or orders in this regard, with regard to these events?
4 A. Well, what is stated here is --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: All it proves, Mr. Visnjic, is that he said he sent
6 orders, that's all. And the witness can't help us any further than that,
7 beyond what's already clear to us from the document itself. If he wants
8 to prove he actually sent them, then it may be necessary for him to give
9 evidence about that.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, then I would like to
11 show 3D487 to the witness.
12 Q. This is a document of the Supreme Command Staff, the office of the
13 Chief of Staff, the date is the 8th of June, 1999. General, do you know
14 that every day at the end of the briefing that you talked about in
15 paragraph 11 of your statement, the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command
16 issued certain tasks that were later on converted into orders,
17 instructions, and other documents issued by the Supreme Command Staff?
18 A. I've already said that I did not attend meetings of the Supreme
19 Command Staff, but I do know that every time our officers from the
20 security administration who attended these meetings would tell us on the
21 following day about the tasks given by the Supreme Command Staff and the
22 Chief of Staff.
23 I'm not saying that this happened every day, but this is
24 customary practice among staffs and commands at all levels. When a
25 meeting is about to end, then the chairperson of the meeting issues
1 certain tasks. And as far as I can see, on the basis of the notes that
2 were taken, that this pertains to that day, the 8th. So I assume that
3 this had been done every day.
4 Q. When we look at item 1 of these tasks, it's a bullet point here,
5 but it says:
6 "The military judicial organs shall prioritise the resolution of
7 criminal reports as follows: 1. Violations of the provisions of
8 international law of war, 2. Crime in the VJ, 3. Desertion, and 4. Other
10 Who was to carry out all this work? What does this mean from your
11 point of view? Who is the implementing party, as stated here?
12 A. Those who are in charge of the further realisation of that task,
13 of implementing that task. Written orders and other types of
14 communication can ensue on the basis of this, vis-a-vis the organs that
15 are in charge.
16 Q. And what is stated here to be implemented by the administration
17 for PMSP?
18 A. For questions of mobilisation and system-related matters and
19 within it is the legal affairs administration, and the legal affairs
20 administration has this in depth link to the judicial organs; namely, the
21 office of the prosecutor and military course. And that is why the basic
22 implementing party, the mainstay of this activity, is the administration
23 for system-related matters, because they are supposed to be in charge of
24 the follow-up; that is to say, what will reach judicial organs although
25 they are independent in their activity.
1 Q. Thank you, General.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there's just one
3 minute left. I'm aware of that but I'm about to deal with a new topic
4 altogether, so I don't know if the time would be right for that. I just
5 have a little bit left with General Vasiljevic.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We can deal with that tomorrow, Mr.
7 Visnjic, and I hope it's something of which he has some specific knowledge
8 rather than simply the ability to try and commentate.
9 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS: Before we wait, for purposes of Victims and Witnesses
12 Unit planning and the witness himself, I wonder if we could get any
13 estimate from the remaining Defence counsel about whether they'll take all
14 day or go even into Wednesday.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a matter you can deal with when we rise. As
16 I indicated before, you should be able to discuss these things without the
17 intervention of the Trial Chamber.
18 MR. HANNIS: Sometimes your presence helps, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you've alerted us to that, but I'm sure that
20 you'll get a reasonable indication if you ask after we've risen.
21 Mr. Vasiljevic, that concludes today's hearing. It doesn't
22 conclude your evidence. You will have to come back tomorrow. We have a
23 similar sitting arrangement tomorrow, the same hours as today. So could
24 you please now leave with the usher, and return here to recommence your
25 evidence at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall resume at 9.00.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.29 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd day of
5 January, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.