1 Thursday, 6 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 WITNESS: MILORAD OBRADOVIC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Obradovic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: The cross-examination by Mr. Stamp will continue.
11 Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration which you made to speak
12 the truth at the beginning of your evidence will continue to apply to that
13 evidence today.
14 Mr. Stamp.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning, General Obradovic.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. I'd like to return to where we left off today the issue in respect
19 to the plan Grom 98, and I'll ask you to answer direct as you can so we
20 could move on quickly. This is a matter that has been explored before in
21 detail by questions from Mr. Ackerman and the Presiding Judge in respect
22 to the witness General Vasiljevic, and I wish to give you a copy of the
23 order in your own language and ask you a couple questions about it. This
24 is 4D137. And I'll basically be going over just for the record questions
25 that were asked by counsel and by the Court at transcript page 8917 and
2 You look at that order, General. If you look to the top
3 right-hand corner, you see R. You see the Defence state secret followed
4 by an R, Grom 98. If you look within it generally and if you look at page
5 2 of your copy in particular, which is page 3 in English, you will see
6 various directives including this one: "Through quick action coordinating
7 the forces of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia, overwhelm and destroy the
8 sabotage and terrorist forces in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija as
9 per a special order from the General Staff of the VJ."
10 And later on on the same page you see the readiness in the
11 deployment areas is 17 days upon receipt of the mobilisation signal at the
12 latest. You recall this is dated the 28th of July.
13 In response to questioning about that document, having had an
14 opportunity to peruse it, General Vasiljevic said that it is a document
15 pertaining to the war plan. It is a document of war planning how
16 something is developed -- would -- would develop, I'm sorry. This is not
17 an executive order to be implemented right away. The subordinate commands
18 when they receive a directive such as this they draw up their own
19 documents based on this, but the decision for the army to act on this as
20 far as I can understand the situation and the rules such a decision cannot
21 be issued by the General Staff and Chief of the General Staff by passing
22 the institution superior to him, primarily the president of the state and
23 the Supreme Defence Council. So this is an element of war planning,
24 preparation for a certain situation.
25 Do you agree with his characterisation of that document, that it
1 is an element of war planning and it is not for execution?
2 A. The situation that we were facing in mid-1998 was quite complex
3 both domestically and abroad, including Kosovo. Based on predictions and
4 indicators, the inference could be drawn that an act of aggression or a
5 war was foisted on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The plan was drawn
6 up in order to deal with the sabotage and terrorist forces in Kosovo.
7 In the latter half of 1998, there were a great many indicators
8 pointing to the possibility of an aggression.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic. Mr. Obradovic, you've been asked a
10 technical question. You've not been asked yet about the circumstances
11 which gave rise to this in this section of questioning. You're being
12 asked whether this is a directive which is simply -- a part of the
13 planning exercise which requires to be implemented later by specific
14 orders. Now, can you answer at that question?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly. As the situation became
16 more complex, it would be necessary to have additional order for stage two
17 to deal with mobilisation. The manpower levels in peacetime were not
18 sufficient for the eventuality of an aggression. There would have had to
19 be a partial or full mobilisation, and for that to happen a particular
20 state had to be declared, and this decision could only be taken by the
21 Supreme Defence Council or alternatively the federal government.
22 MR. STAMP:
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. So back to that document and back to the
24 question I was asking. Now, do you agree that that was a document for war
25 planning purposes, and it is not an executive order to mobilise for combat
1 operations? Just focus on the document and the purpose of that document.
2 A. This document was not directly related to entering the war. It
3 was about dealing with terrorism in Kosovo. It was based on this plan and
4 this directive that the anti-terrorist operation in Kosovo was run.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, are you saying is you cannot answer
6 the question, that it's framed in a way that makes it impossible to answer
7 yes or no?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I answered to the extent that I
9 understood the question.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: So you don't understand the question. Is that the
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not that I don't understand. I
13 answered what I understood.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, are you now satisfied with the answer
15 you've had?
16 MR. STAMP: No, I'm not, but.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: You're being asked what appears to me as layman to
18 be a simple question, of whether this is actually an order to do anything
19 or whether it's simply a statement of the plan on the basis of which
20 specific orders were required to be given for action to be taken. Now,
21 are we misunderstanding that as a simple question for an army officer in
22 your position to answer?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is an order which once it had
24 been passed and adopted took effect. There was no need for a special plan
25 or order to start the anti-terrorist operation in Kosovo. When this plan
1 was approved, it took effect immediately, and its implementation started.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. When was it approved? In the sense of its implementation for
5 mobilisation of operations would take effect.
6 A. As you can see if you looked at the header of the directive, it
7 was produced and rubber stamped on the 28th of July by the chief of
8 General Staff, towards the end of July. And then there was the
9 explanation of this decision by the commander of the 3rd Army to bring
10 manpower levels up, and this happened on the 3rd of August, the beginning
11 of August 1998. And it was pursuant to a decision of the commander of the
12 3rd Army that the plan took effect to all practical intents and began to
13 be implemented.
14 Q. So you -- you are saying that you know of an order made by the
15 chief of General Staff pursuant to Grom 98 authorising deployment for
16 combat operations in July or August made pursuant, an order made pursuant
17 to Grom 98. You are aware of such an order?
18 A. Combat operations, no, because the war had not begun yet. There
19 was the anti-terrorist struggle in Kosovo, but that was in our country.
20 Terrorism was rife, and the plan had the objective of crushing the
21 terrorist forces as quickly as possible and as successfully as possible.
22 There were indicators of course at the time that a full-scale aggression
23 on our country from somewhere outside might soon occur.
24 Q. You said just now that it would take effect on the 3rd of August.
25 Can I ask you this then: Why?
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour. He didn't say anything
2 about it taking effect on the 3rd of August. That's a mischaracterisation
3 of the evidence. What he said is the 3rd Army commander issued some kind
4 of an order on the 3rd of August, but that had nothing to do when it took
5 effect. His evidence is it took effect immediately when signed by General
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you read lines 13, 14 and 15, please. Do you
8 still maintain your objection?
9 Just a moment, please.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: What he said was there was an explanation of this
11 decision by the commander of the 3rd Army to bring manpower levels up and
12 that happened on the 3rd of August. And then it was pursuant to a
13 decision of the command of the 3rd Army that the plan took effect. That
14 decision was the 29th of August. We talked about it yesterday.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that may be so, but you'll have an
16 opportunity to resolve of this if you feel it's not been adequately
17 explored in due course.
18 Mr. Visnjic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wish to draw your
20 attention to that portion of the transcript. I think the term "combat
21 operations" was mistranslated into B/C/S and that might cause some
22 confusion with the witness. It was translated as "war operations," but
23 when the transcript is checked and looked at we can take care of that too.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: No, but it is important because it -- it seems to
25 have presented the wrong question to the witness. It may have been
1 expressed as anti-terrorist activity rather than war or combat to make it
2 absolutely clear that we're talking about.
3 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. Can I put it this way: Do you know of an order from the chief of
6 the General Staff made pursuant to Grom 98 that you have there in your
7 hands for the VJ to deploy for anti-terrorist activity in July and August?
8 A. This is the order by the Chief of the General Staff. This was
9 issued in late July, and of course based on this order his subordinate
10 commands assessed their respective situations in their areas. They take
11 their decisions and the commander of the 3rd Army explained what he
12 envisaged to the Chief of the General Staff on the 3rd of August, 1998.
13 Once this was approved it immediately took effect and combat operations
14 could now get underway against the terrorist forces in Kosovo.
15 This is the gist of the plan that was drawn up in late July and
16 rubber stamped early in August 1998.
17 Q. And that is what I was asking. Maybe I just don't understand the
18 military terminology.
19 You say the command of the 3rd Army explained what he envisaged
20 the Chief of the General Staff on the 3rd of August 1998 once this was
21 approved it immediately took effect and combat operations could get --
22 could now get underway against the terrorist force in Kosovo.
23 How was this plan approved? This is what I want to know. Was
24 there an order approving the plan so it could take effect? And where is
25 that order?
1 A. In our system of command, the map would normally be drawn up and
2 attached to any plan on how the forces were to be used. There would be a
3 pictorial representation of how the tasks were to be carried out. So this
4 decision was followed by a pictorial representation on a map showing how
5 the forces would be deployed, in what areas, and what the axes of
6 operations would be and what the task was that was to be accomplished.
7 Q. In what form did this decision to deploy on the basis of Grom 98
9 A. This had the form of an order. It was an executive thing, and one
10 had to start carrying out these tasks immediately in order to combat
12 Q. Would it be a written order therefore? Would a written order be
13 needed, therefore, for this decision to take effect?
14 A. I think we're talking at cross-purposes here for some reason.
15 There was a directive that was submitted to the commander of the 3rd Army
16 by the General Staff and this is the directive I have now have before me.
17 The army command would then make certain assessments and see what the
18 tasks were contained in the order received from the General Staff. Based
19 on those tasks they would in their turn assess the situation at their own
20 level the 3rd Army, what its role was, what its tasks were, and what the
21 commander army had envisaged in terms of them carrying out this task. He
22 would explain his reason to the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief
23 of the General Staff would approve and actually sign the map off, the map
24 that was attached to the order. He would sign it off, thus rubbing
25 stamping his ideas on how the tasks were to be carried out. So this is
1 the gist.
2 In addition to the text orders are drawn up at this level, and as
3 you can see the General Staff delivers directives. This -- this was under
4 the rules on the exercising of command in the army. And normally within
5 each document of this type there would be a huge topographic map showing
6 all the units in all the areas with their tasks, the tasks that they were
7 to be carrying out in future operations in the anti-terrorist struggle.
8 And then the map would say at the top of the page, "I hereby approve this
9 plan," and this was Perisic at the time, and this automatically meant that
10 he issued in order.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: We did not understand the
12 last part of the witness's answer.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you repeat the last part of your answer,
14 please. You said the map would say at the top I hereby approve of this
15 plan, this was Perisic at the time. This automatically meant that he
16 issued an order.
17 Did you say something else after that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. In the
19 upper-left corner of the map it said I hereby approve, Chief of the
20 General Staff, Colonel-General Momcilo Perisic. As soon as he signed off
21 this document and this document was a component of the order, this meant
22 that the decision was approved and that one could not start with
23 implementing the tasks. And this was part of the command system at all
24 levels from the army's General Staff down through the corps and all the
25 way down the chain of command to brigade level. This was always a
1 component part of every written document and a map would normally be
2 attached to any decision like that.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean that there should be a map
4 accompanying this document?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This document of the 3rd Army
6 command should contain an attachment, a topographic map, a decision of the
7 commander to deploy forces in the area because the entire area of
8 responsibility of the corps was present, and it was envisaged that --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 Mr. Ackerman, this is your document. Is it incomplete?
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think the document is incomplete,
12 but I'm quite certain we do have the exact map that he's talking about.
13 We just sent it off for reduction recently. I don't think it will be
14 available to us today but I could probably have it tomorrow.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: But the map exists I'm certain.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
19 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
20 Q. Now -- now, that document provides, I think, that the chief of the
21 3rd Army should submit his plans pursuant to that document in order to --
22 to complete the planning purposes, and with the leave of the Court I'd
23 like to show you 4D140.
24 This is not on the list that we had proposed or we had notified
25 the Defence about, Your Honours. This was raised by learned counsel
1 Mr. Ackerman when he objected yesterday and put on the record yesterday in
2 the course of his objection. So I'd like to ask the witness a couple
3 questions about it.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: There seems to be no objection to that, Mr. Stamp.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. 4D140. This is a copy of the 3rd Army order prepared on the basis
8 of the Grom 98 directive, and it's dated the 29th of July, 1990.
9 Do you recall the Grom 98 the command of the 3rd Army was to
10 submit his plan by the 3rd of August, and the evidence is that he
11 submitted this on the 28th -- or sorry, the 29th of July.
12 Have a look at it generally. It's a long document. You will see
13 within it that it has no date to begin mobilisation, that although it is
14 drawn up on the 29th of July there is no date for it to go into force, for
15 the forces to mobilise.
16 And General Vasiljevic was also shown that document and asked
17 about it, and he said: "The stages are provided for here but there is no
18 date saying when mobilisation is to begin. So these are preparatory
19 elements so that when such a decision is issued the army has its plans
20 ready. So the activities here are planned by stage but no time frame is
22 He further say -- said: "You can't see when this enters into
23 force. You can only see when it was drawn up pursuant to what the General
24 Staff issued previously, that is, the directive of the General Staff."
25 And lastly, he said: "What I maintain is this -- or I maintain
1 what I said before. This is an element of preparation. This is the
2 planning stage for combat which is yet to be implemented. The decision to
3 implement the order when it becomes an executive order and the time frame
4 are missing."
5 Do you agree with his characterisation of that document, that it
6 is also a preparatory document for war planning and it is not an executive
8 A. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, it's evident that this document is linked to
9 the directive of the General Staff and it bears the same title, "Grom 98."
10 The directives were signed on the 28th and delivered to the command of
11 the army, and the command of the army immediately began considering and
12 assessing the situation and prepared a document. This document was
13 prepared to explain to the General Staff the plan which was to be
14 explained on the 3rd of August. One couldn't wait to write the order on
15 the 3rd of August. It was written a day later and prepared along with the
16 diagrams, and it was approved and verified on the 3rd of August, and as
17 soon as it was approved this order entered into force. Although the date
18 is 29th of July, it practically entered into force when on the 3rd of
19 August the Chief of the General Staff verified it. You cannot prepare an
20 order in two hours' time. It is a strategic document which takes time to
21 prepare. The anti-terrorist operation did not last just a day or two. It
22 went on for a long time.
23 MR. CEPIC: There is one error in the transcript. Line 23 I think
24 the witness mentioned 3rd Army commander of 3rd Army. It is not possible
25 in the two hours to prepare. We miss couple words.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: In explaining, Mr. Obradovic, that you cannot
2 prepare an order in two hours' time, did you mention who could not prepare
3 it in two hours' time?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not about who couldn't do it.
5 When the command of the army received the directive from the Chief of the
6 General Staff, the manner and the method of working was to study the
7 directive to see what the --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered my question. Thank you.
9 Mr. Stamp.
10 MR. STAMP:
11 Q. So it is your evidence, General -- is it your evidence that the
12 Pristina Corps of the 3rd Army became deployed for anti-terrorist
13 activities in Kosovo on the basis of that plan? And that is in June --
14 sorry, July, August 1998.
15 A. I'm speaking of the order of the command, but the Pristina Corps
16 was engaged on the basis of this order, the one it received from the
17 commander of the 3rd Army. As you can see, the commander of the 3rd Army
18 explained his ideas to his superior officer, and then the commander of the
19 Pristina Corps probably explained to General Samardzic, the commander of
20 the 3rd Army. So there's a cause and effect relationship down the chain
21 of command. And this was done on the -- pursuant to the order of the
22 command of the 3rd Army.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask the witness to speak
24 a little slower.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just very briefly. I
2 would like to ask the witness to slow down. We already have a lot of
3 problems in the transcript, and if we have to keep rising every two
4 minutes it will not help us to proceed.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by the leave page 13,
7 line 25. The witness said and it's missing here and then the commander of
8 the Pristina Corps acted on the orders he received from the commander of
9 the 3rd Army. That's not what it says here, but that's what the witness
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 Mr. Obradovic, the interpreters have indicated some difficulty in
13 keeping up with your pace, so it would be helpful if you could speak a
14 little more slowly.
15 Mr. Stamp.
16 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. And the question is and I think it --
18 A. Very well. Thank you.
19 Q. And, General, the question is this: You're saying therefore that
20 the Pristina Corps deployment and operations for anti-terrorist purposes
21 in Kosovo in August and thereafter, 1998, was on the basis of this Grom 98
22 plan. Can you answer that with yes or no?
23 A. Yes. Yes.
24 Q. Are you aware, General, of a meeting convened by
25 President Milosevic at Beli Dvor, at the palace, I think you know what I'm
1 speaking of, in June 1998, to discussion preparations for a plan of
2 action, anti-terrorist action in Kosovo, that was attended by General
3 Perisic among other members of the army? Are you aware of that meeting?
5 A. I was not aware of that meeting.
6 Q. Are you aware of one in July 1998?
7 A. No. As I said, I was the chief of staff of the 2nd Army. I was
8 not a member of the General Staff at the time.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I must object. What was that meeting
11 in June in Beli Dvor that is being referred to? Can you give us a
12 reference for June?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: It has now been clarified as July.
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Well, first he said June and then he
15 asked about July as if there were two meetings.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: My impression was he had made a mistake in the
17 first part of the question. What is the position, Mr. Stamp?
18 MR. STAMP: The second question. July is the correct month.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: He made a mistake in saying June, Mr. Fila.
20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] All right. But it must be reflected in
21 the record. Page 15, line 5.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. So you would not be aware of those meetings because you were at
25 that time posted in the 2nd Army.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you now saying there were two meetings?
2 MR. STAMP: There were two meetings but I'm really asking him
3 about one meeting in July.
4 Q. You would not be aware of that meeting in July because you were in
5 the 2nd Army at the time?
6 A. I don't know about any of those meetings. As I said at the
7 outset, in the second half of July I was appointed to the General Staff
8 before that, and I had been in the General Staff of the 2nd Army. I had
9 been the chief of staff there.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you have a date for that meeting, Mr. Stamp?
11 MR. STAMP: 20th of July is --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the date that your appointment to the
13 General Staff took effect, Mr. Obradovic?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I reported on the 10th of July to
15 the Chief of the General Staff.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: It would appear that the meeting took place after
17 that date, but you're not aware of it?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the day I reported for duty, as I
19 had been transferred from Podgorica I asked the Chief of the General Staff
20 to give me five or seven days to settle some private problems of
21 accommodation and so on. My family had stayed behind in Podgorica so that
22 officially I began working on the 17th of July, 1998.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the meeting was on the 20th, but you're not
24 aware of it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's correct. I'm
1 not aware of it.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. Can we return to -- to P2166. This is a meeting on the 29th of
5 October at Beli Dvor, convened by President Milosevic, attended by, as I
6 told you earlier, General Perisic, General Dimitrijevic, General
7 Samardzic, General Pavkovic, among others from the army. And General
8 Pavkovic said what I read to you before but to remind I'll just read it
9 again: "Speaking on behalf of the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija,
10 General Pavkovic reminded the members of the operation staff that the plan
11 for suppressing terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija had been carried out in
12 five stages."
13 Firstly, you recall that the Grom 98 plan called for two stages,
14 or two phases? You recall that? That answer calls for a yes or no. If
15 you do, you do, if you don't, you do not?
16 A. According to the directive at the level of the General Staff it
17 was defined that the task should be implemented in two stages.
18 Q. And according General Pavkovic the plan that it they had been
19 working on had an overall duration of 45 to 55 days and that
20 implementation of the plan commenced on the 25th of July, 1998, and
21 activities planned were completed on the 28th of October, 1998.
22 Now, were you aware of this plan carried out in five stages set
23 for 45 to 55 days commencing on the 25th of July and completed on the 29th
24 of October?
25 A. In connection with the document shown me, the minutes, I was not
1 familiar with this document before arriving here, so I only saw it here
2 for the first time. I was not familiar with it before. The minutes of
3 the operative staff meeting allegedly held on the 29th of July.
4 THE INTERPRETER: October, interpreter's correction.
5 MR. STAMP:
6 Q. So --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that doesn't deal with the question. Is your
8 answer to the question no?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was answering the
10 question as to whether I'm familiar with this document. I never had an
11 opportunity of seeing this document before, before my proofing here.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You may have misunderstood. You were asked if you
13 were aware of a plan being carried out in five stages over a period of 45
14 to 55 days between the 25th of July and the 29th of October.
15 Now, are you aware of such a plan or are you not?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not aware of any such plan.
17 The subordinate commands when they receive a task at the operative
18 strategic level can implement the order in more than one stage. If the
19 superior commander says the plan should be carried out in two stages, the
20 lower-level commands, in accordance with the actual situation, can break
21 it down into more stages. So what matters is that the assigned task
22 should be completed successfully.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. While you were at the Joint Command, by October your job would be
1 to know what the VJ -- would involve knowing what the VJ was doing
2 operationally and how it was preparing -- sorry? I'm sorry, I withdraw
3 that. Well, since I commenced Joint Command, can I just ask you, do you
4 know of an organ referred to as a Joint Command in the latter part of 1998
5 and that the record here indicates that Mr. -- That General Pavkovic was
6 speak on behalf of it? Do you know of the Joint Command?
7 A. Sir, as I dealt mostly with these problems in the organisational
8 scheme of commanding the army, there was no such institution. Nowhere did
9 such an institution appear either linked to the General Staff or going up
10 or down the chain of command of reporting, so that this institution you
11 refer to as the Joint Command did not exist. The General Staff did not
12 either receive or issue any documents in connection with that or orders,
13 so my answer is completely negative.
14 Q. Well, this is what the president's record says General Pavkovic
15 was speaking on behalf of. So your answer is you don't know what General
16 Pavkovic was speaking about when he spoke on behalf of the Joint Command?
17 And that can be a yes or no. You do know or you don't know what General
18 Pavkovic was speaking of when it is recorded here he spoke on behalf of
19 the Joint Command?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, whenever any of us put a
22 question in this way you always said that it was speculation. The man
23 never saw the document. He has no idea about this, and now he has to know
24 what General Pavkovic meant when he spoke, if he spoke, and what he
25 thought. You did not allow us to put such questions. Thank you.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: That is not a question which depends on
2 speculation. That is a question which depends on the witness's knowledge
3 of a body referred to in what appeared to be -- what appears to be an
4 official record of things said by an accused here, and it's easy for him
5 to tell us what his knowledge of that is, whether he knows what General
6 Pavkovic is speaking about or not.
7 So please answer the question, Mr. Obradovic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer, Your Honour, is that in
9 the organisational structure of command there was no Joint Command. What
10 I --
11 MR. STAMP:
12 Q. Very well. I take it --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Let the witness complete that answer.
14 Please continue with your answer.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that in the organisational
16 structure of command from the highest to the lowest level nowhere in any
17 documents did a Joint Command appear in General Staff documents, and in
18 the chain of reporting upwards nowhere was a Joint Command mentioned.
19 Such activities -- there were no activities of the General Staff relating
20 to such a body or vice versa. That's the essence.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, does it concern you that in this
22 record there is reference to a senior army officer talking about the Joint
23 Command and you have no knowledge of such a body?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I am telling you what I know.
25 I'm telling you about information I have.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that, but the army is all about
2 discipline, about people in authority knowing what has happened, unless
3 there is a very good reason why they shouldn't. So can I ask you the
4 question again. Does it not concern you that this record appears to
5 record a senior army officer talking about an organisational body that you
6 were unaware of?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did my best to know what I had to
8 know in the sector I was in charge of, and I think I was successful in
9 this. What other people knew beyond that in other areas I couldn't say.
10 The Chief of the General Staff should know most about this, and I suppose
11 this question should be put to him.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
13 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
14 Q. You were sector Chief of Operations, staff affairs. Isn't it
15 right within your bailiwick, within your capacity, to be aware of and
16 monitor the deployment and operations of the various units of the VJ?
17 A. In the sector inter alia we had the task of knowing the most
18 important elements of what was being done in the commands at all levels.
19 The subordination went downwards so that the General Staff knew what the
20 army commanders as their immediate subordinates were doing, and the
21 lower-level commanders reported to their superiors. The higher level did
22 not get involved in the tasks of the lower level. There were several
23 degrees of command.
24 Q. As sector chief for operations, staff affairs, your particular
25 area of work within the Joint Command involvement planning and monitoring
1 operations, the deployment of the VJ -- sorry, I withdraw that question
2 and ask --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we can read General Staff. Please continue.
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. Your job involved planning for the deployment and monitoring the
6 deployment of the units of the VJ. I think you said that. And I think
7 you'll agree with me that in 1998 the most important deployment of the VJ
8 was in Kosovo.
9 So that being the case, you're saying that by October 1999 you
10 were not aware of an anti-terrorist operation involving the Pristina Corps
11 of the 3rd Army that began on the 25th of July, was scheduled for 45 to 55
12 days, and was brought, according to General Pavkovic, to a successful
13 conclusion on the 29th of October. You're not aware of that plan?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before the witness
16 answers it was October '98, but it was interpreted as October 1999. So
17 that might cause confusion.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, the term "Joint
19 Command" is one I would ask you not to use in questions to me, because I
20 was in charge of planning.
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. I accept that, General, and please forgive me when I did and if I
23 do. I hope I won't do it again. I just want to confirm this clearly.
24 You are not aware of the plan I just asked you about?
25 A. When I studied the document shown to me, the report General
1 Pavkovic submitted, it covers mostly activities from the Grom 98 plan, the
2 conducted of an anti-terrorist operation in Kosovo. The main tasks that
3 at some meeting which I've already said I did not know about, but one can
4 conclude that the gist of his report referred to the fight against the
5 terrorist forces and that this was covered by the Grom 98 plan from the
6 General Staff down the chain of command.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You've been able by reading the document to help us
8 with that. Can you now help us with what might have been referred to as
9 the Joint Command? If this is the Grom plan, which is what you think, and
10 Mr. Pavkovic's report is on behalf of the Joint Command, can you help us
11 with who he might have been reporting on behalf of?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is as follows: This body
13 which existed in Kosovo, some kind of coordinating body or operative
14 staff, that was apart from the army. There were some institutions there
15 in Kosovo. There was the army, the police, the Ministry of Defence, the
16 civil authorities, the civilian sector, and so on. So basically in the
17 report, as I understood it and what General Pavkovic said as the corps
18 commander, this all referred to the anti-terrorist operation conducted in
19 the summer of 1998 on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, and his report
20 or whatever you want to call it fits into the activities ordered by the
21 General Staff in the Grom 98 plan and not a plan of some sort of Joint
22 Command, because as I said, in the organisational scheme there is no such
23 thing as a Joint Command in the army.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Were you aware then of a coordinating body or
25 operative staff that was apart from the army? And I'm using your words in
1 asking you that specific question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did hear that there was a body
3 down there in Kosovo dealing with those problems, everyday life, that kind
4 of thing. However, I wasn't much interested in that body. Therefore, I
5 can't give you any sort of complete answer.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. The plan that General Pavkovic is speaking about could not fit
9 within the Grom plan, the Grom 98 plan, could it, because according to you
10 that was approved on the 3rd of August when General Pavkovic was speaking
11 about a plan, the implementation of which started on the 25th. That is,
12 the plan would have been approved -- would have been drafted and approved
13 before the 25th of July. So it could not fit into the Grom 98 plan that
14 you speak about, could it?
15 A. The gist of the implementation of the tasks from Grom 98 is what
16 General Pavkovic is saying. Was there another plan unrelated to this one
17 from the General Staff? I certainly wasn't aware of it.
18 Q. Let's move on. Thank you, General, for your answers. Can we look
19 quickly at a document you were shown by learned counsel, 3D757.
20 I'll just get page 11 in the English. Thank you. And that is at
21 the top of page 14 in the B/C/S version of it.
22 This is a report that you were shown. It was issued by General
23 Perisic on the 1st of October, 1998, and the part I would refer you to is
24 that part numbered 2 in which he says near the end of this report:
25 "In future align the use of the VJ with the provisions of the
1 constitution and the law, and the main precondition for the use of the VJ
2 has to be declaration of one of the following states: State of emergency,
3 immediate threat of war, state of war."
4 That was what he inserted into his report on the 1st of October,
5 1998. Was this the consistent position of General Perisic?
6 A. This is something that the Chief of the General Staff presented,
7 because if what could be envisaged eventually followed, and you've seen
8 the analysis, you've seen the overall assessment, and from an
9 international point of view the situation was very serious, and very soon
10 there could be a serious deterioration. And I think the Chief of the
11 General Staff, and he was perfectly within his rights, that's what I
12 believe, is saying here that should an aggression occur, the peacetime
13 structure in the army could not be used to respond to all these
14 challenges. There had to be a mobilisation, and there had to be a wartime
15 plan for the use of the army. So he said should there be a radical change
16 or even an act of aggression, we should under the constitution and the law
17 declare one of these states, a state of emergency or a state of an
18 imminent threat of war for the army to make it possible for the army to
19 face that kind of situation. I think that is the fundamental idea behind
20 what the Chief of the General Staff is saying here.
21 Q. Wasn't this position that there should be a state of emergency
22 declared for the armed used of the VJ in Kosovo, this consistent position
23 during 1998? That is what I was asking.
24 A. I'm not sure I understand what you mean in terms of him being
25 consistent or inconsistent.
1 Q. That he maintain this position without change, that there ought to
2 be declared a state of emergency for the use of the VJ in Kosovo, a
3 deployment of the VJ in Kosovo.
4 A. Mr. Prosecutor, the activities that were implemented were
5 implemented within the framework of the Grom plan. However, the situation
6 was becoming more and more complex, and you see the General Staff using
7 the term in -- in the future. So should the situation become even more
8 complex, then there is the eventuality that a state of war was to be
9 declared so that a mobilisation could be conducted and the army could be
10 prepared for what could follow. I think that is the gist of this
11 argument, and I think I'm being perfectly clear.
12 Q. Very well. But what I'm asking you is not what he might have said
13 about the future. What I'm asking you, was it his position in 1998 that
14 there ought to have been a declaration of a state of emergency in Kosovo
15 for the deployment of the VJ there? Was that his position?
16 A. I don't know what you base your question on. This position of the
17 General Staff is certainly clear to me. I understand what they said in
18 this particular situation. The Grom 98 plan was something that was
19 implemented by peacetime units within a peacetime set-up. There were
20 predictions that there might be an aggression, and under the law on the
21 army, on the VJ, one was now to declare one of these so-called
22 extraordinary state of situations in order to give the army a chance to
23 prepare for what might follow.
24 Q. The last thing you said is not really an answer to my question,
25 but --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, he's I think now three times said no, and if
2 you want to persist in using your time on this, that's a matter for you.
3 MR. STAMP: Very well.
4 Q. You testified about General Ojdanic's vigilance, his attempts to
5 ensure that he was kept aware of the activities of the units in the field
6 in Kosovo, and I think you'll agree with me that where army units are
7 deployed in the vicinity of civilians it is very important to keep a close
8 monitoring of what they're doing.
9 I'd like you to have a look at 3D -- what we call 3D484, and I'd
10 like to ask you to comment on something in it. Page 14 in English. And
11 this is page 14, second full paragraph, in the B/C/S copy.
12 And it -- in the English copy this is a continuation of what page
13 13 indicates General Dimitrijevic was saying. No 3, and I quote:
14 "Number three, about the discrepancy between the Pristina Corps,
15 the army, all the way to us here, that's obvious. I think that so many
16 unusual incidents and a lot of what's going on in the Pristina Corps are
17 precisely the consequence of I'm at liberty to say the alienation of a
18 corps commander and with him the command of the VJ both from the 3rd Army
19 and the General Staff."
20 I take it that General Dimitrijevic here is speaking about unusual
21 incidents happening in Kosovo in the Pristina Corps resulting from the
22 alienation of the corps commander. His command from the General Staff.
23 Now, this is dated the 10th of December, 1998.
24 And if we look at page 15 in the English copy, middle of the page
25 in the English copy, which is also page 15, the second to last paragraph
1 in the B/C/S copy, we see that General Ojdanic said: "With regard to the
2 conduct of the Pristina Corps, the problem is broader, and allow me some
3 other people present here --" sorry, "and allow me and some other people
4 present here to analyse some things and try to resolve it like soldiers
5 and men. It concerns not only the Pristina Corps but also the 3rd Army
6 command. I can't say it before this audience but yesterday I analysed it
8 Firstly, do you know what General Dimitrijevic was speaking of
9 when he refers to unusual incidents occurring in the Pristina Corps and
10 resulting in the alienation of the corps command of the 3rd Army command
11 from the General Staff. Do you know what General Dimitrijevic was
12 speaking about?
13 A. What is presented here is a personal belief put forward by General
14 Dimitrijevic. He probably got some special reports through bodies that he
15 was working with. I don't have any reliable information on that, nor
16 indeed could I say that there was any sidestepping the chain of command at
17 any level. So I was at the collegium meeting. I'm familiar with the
18 position that he presented, but I don't think it's possible to confirm
19 what he says here.
20 Q. Very well. But General Ojdanic we see acknowledged the problem in
21 saying that it was broader, and said that he would try to resolve it like
22 soldiers and men.
23 Do you know what, if anything, General Ojdanic did to resolve this
24 problem that he acknowledged?
25 A. Let me tell you, an order is much easier to issue than to
1 implement. When you implement an order, especially when it comes to
2 terrorism, there are a lot of unknowns.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The question is whether you know what General
4 Ojdanic did to resolve the problem.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say. I don't know. But I
6 suppose he spoke about what the levels were and what the problems were
7 that needed resolving.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: If you don't know, then it's for Mr. Stamp to pose
9 another question.
10 Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Let's move on to P931. That's the collegium minutes of the 2nd of
13 February. And if we could go to page 15 to 16 of the English version. I
14 think you will have to read it, because it's the bottom of page 15 to the
15 top of page 16 in the English, and it's near the top of page 14 in the
16 B/C/S. The second paragraph from the top of page 14 in the B/C/S.
17 This is Major-General Andjelkovic speaking, and he says: "My next
18 question concerns the competence of the army. If it is true that the
19 subordinates are doing what they shouldn't be doing, and sending us
20 reports saying that they did not do it, and we have quite adequate and
21 accurate information that they did do it and nobody has been held
22 responsible, I cannot accept that."
23 Do you know what General Andjelkovic was speaking about here?
24 A. Yes. I think at the level of the General Staff we did everything
25 which, if there were actions that constituted significant aberrations from
1 the order then measures were taken. And as I said a while ago, it was the
2 position of the General Staff, of the chief, and I can show you that, it
3 was requested, it was demanded that no random actions would be allowed and
4 nothing that strayed from the regulations. And the Presiding Judge
5 mentioned a while ago that an army is always based on discipline, and it
6 was said as General Ojdanic was adamant later on tasks were to be carried
7 out in detail and orders that were issued had to be implemented in the
8 strictest possible way, and that is the essence of what Andjelkovic said.
9 So if there is something somewhere, then measures must be taken no
10 matter who this is about.
11 Q. Was there a situation arising where persons were behaving
12 improperly and sending incorrect reports about what they had done and
13 nobody was being held responsible? Is that a problem which arose?
14 A. In the reports that were arriving at the General Staff from
15 subordinate commands there was no information to indicate that. There was
16 sometimes information and, yes, it was said quite rightly who should be
17 doing what if there was anything like that. However, what eventually
18 reached the General Staff in terms of reporting, whoever had a
19 responsibility in the chain of command was duty-bound to take measures.
20 What eventually reached the General Staff in those reports, there were no
21 such cases mentioned.
22 Q. But that is precisely what General Andjelkovic was saying, that
23 the reports were not reporting misbehaviour, but they had information that
24 the reports were incorrect.
25 Do you know what was done by General Ojdanic about the situation?
1 A. I said a while ago that as for the level of the General Staff, and
2 this includes General Ojdanic, demands were made that we were to receive
3 completely accurate reports down to the lower -- lowest possible level.
4 Nothing was to be done without the General Staff being informed about the
5 situation throughout the units in its entirety, and that is why in August,
6 among other things, the purpose of our visits and touring the units was to
7 ascertain what the actual situation was and to establish the reliability
8 and authenticity of the reports that we were receiving and if there were
9 any discrepancies in terms of what the situation was.
10 As I said, in August the General Staff took a team to Kosovo and
11 Metohija. The tour took three days. Among other things, the purpose of
12 this was to during the unit and see what the situation was in terms of any
13 of the various elements of combat readiness and to make sure how the tasks
14 were being carried out.
15 Q. Can I ask you this: Is it then that General Andjelkovic was
16 saying that the reports, official reports coming from the units in Kosovo
17 were not to be trusted necessarily on the face of them about the conduct--
18 or let me rephrase that question.
19 Is it that General Andjelkovic was saying that reports emanating
20 from the units in Kosovo were not necessarily truthful about the conduct
21 of these units?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I don't think -- I don't think the
24 General said anything about Kosovo with regard to these reports. I don't
25 think Kosovo is in there anywhere. I think that's a misleading question.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
2 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, that is going to -- unless I read the two
3 or three pages before, that is going to be, I think, a question of looking
4 at what the General said in context and could be cleared up by
5 re-examination if I'm taking out of context. But I think if one reads all
6 of the report it is clear that they're referring to the units in Kosovo,
7 an operation in operative zone.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The question doesn't necessarily depend on the
9 reference being to Kosovo, does it.
10 MR. STAMP: In indeed it does not.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Therefore you can pursue the line without referring
12 to Kosovo and we with read the whole document and see the context in which
13 General Andjelkovic was speaking.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. Do you understand the question, General, or would you like me to
16 repeat it? The question was Andjelkovic was telling his colleagues at the
17 collegium minutes, including the chief of General Staff, that the reports
18 emanating from the units in the field were not necessarily accurate in
19 respect to the conduct of those units?
20 A. Andjelkovic spoke about all the reports reaching the General Staff
21 from all the formations, all the armies, not just from Kosovo. This
22 wasn't just reports about combat activities. These were all sorts of
23 reports. As far as I know, he was -- he was an assistant for electronic
24 technology and signals. It was probably something from that area, from
25 his area. They were being -- they were facing problems in that sector.
1 So possibly it was something about that too. It wasn't just problems in
2 Kosovo. What was being discussed in the collegium meeting is the overall
3 situation in the army and all the strategic groups not just the 3rd Army
4 or just the Pristina Corps.
5 Q. That was the 2nd of February, 1999. Can we look at --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you -- if you're moving off that, I want
7 to --
8 MR. STAMP: Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, one could be forgiven for thinking
10 that something prompted Major-General Andjelkovic to raise the issue of
11 crimes being committed by members of the army and reports being sent which
12 did not disclose that. Are you saying that did not happen in the meeting?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm not saying that wasn't
14 discussed. I think Andjelkovic is right. It wasn't just about crimes
15 that may have been committed in Kosovo. There were other activities
16 during which crimes were possible, cases of misuse, looting, overall
17 crimes, and that measures were to be taken and were taken. And I'm trying
18 to focus here on sector that he was most familiar with, so I assume that
19 he had information on something else. It's very hard for me to tell you
20 now what General Andjelkovic's focus was meant to be when he was saying
21 about -- when he was talking about these things.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You were present at the meeting, were you?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Overall I attended all meetings of
24 the General Staff collegium whenever I was in Belgrade.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: And you mentioned just now his area of
1 responsibility. What was that?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Andjelkovic was one of the
3 assistants of the Chief of the General Staff, and he covered electronics
4 and signals, a system that ensured the effective work of the command
5 system, and subordinate to him were the units in both peacetime and
6 wartime ensured that the electronic equipment and communications were in
7 good working order. And this applied to the units under his command.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Now please think carefully about what he is
9 reported as saying, that the next question concerns the competence of the
10 army. If it is true that subordinates are doing what they shouldn't be
11 doing and sending reports saying that they did not do it, "...and we have
12 quite accurate information that they did do it and nobody has been held
13 responsible, I cannot accept that," now, that looks as though there was
14 something specific that was troubling him. Can you recollect what it was?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say. It seems that he was
16 being quite decided on this. So it must have been something from his own
17 area for him to be this firm about it. It had to be something that he was
18 dealing with and was privy to. I believe it was something from his
19 sector, from his area and one of those units. That is my present
20 assumption for the simple reason that I can't remember.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: You can't remember about this. Okay. Thank you.
22 Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Can we proceed to P938. And this is minutes for the meeting of
25 the 18th of March. And I think we could first look at page 10 in the --
1 in the -- sorry, page 11 in the English copy, which corresponds to page
2 10, paragraphs 5 and 6 in the B/C/S copy. And then General Dimitrijevic
3 speaking. He says:
4 "With respect to that, too, the theory that the MUP and the army
5 are conducting mopping up operations of the territory are exceptionally
6 widespread. Every morning I read very carefully and in great detail the
7 Pristina Corps combat reports, and there was not a single case where we
8 were conducting something; instead, they are always attacking us and we
9 return fire.
10 "I propose that we should discuss that here at the General Staff
11 level at least; even if not everyone should know everything, I think that
12 you more than anyone should know the real truth, because you are the --
13 you are the personalisation of the whole institution. Something is not
14 right here."
15 There again, we see General Dimitrijevic suggesting that the
16 reports coming from the Pristina Corps were not necessarily accurate about
17 the activities of the corps. Is that a correct conclusion, that the
18 security chief of the VJ was saying that these Pristina Corps reports are
19 not necessarily accurate about the activities of the Pristina Corps?
20 A. The thesis advocated here by General Dimitrijevic, as you can see
21 he received this information from some sources in the West, so this thesis
22 is very present in the West that the MUP and the army are conducting
23 mopping up operations. That's the theory. And it's a fact that the Chief
24 of the General Staff and the collegium as a whole insisted on knowing the
25 full truth of the situation in the units. So what General Dimitrijevic is
1 saying is nothing new. It's not that we didn't want to know or didn't
2 know. There was no reason for us not to trust the subordinate commanders
3 and the subordinate commands. We had no reason to doubt each and every
4 piece of information we received. We had no reason to think it was
5 unreliable. It would have been -- and it doesn't matter whether we're
6 talking about the 3rd Army, the 2nd Army, the Pristina Corps, or any other
7 unit. These were responsible and able officers, and there was no reason
8 to doubt their reports or to think that what they were reporting was
9 untrue and not correct or that there was something else going on that they
10 did not report on. There had to be controls and visits to make sure that
11 the reports were correct, and this was done. So we were able to confirm
12 all the facts that arrived in the General Staff.
13 Q. Well, if we look at page 25 of the same document -- I don't think
14 I have the reference in B/C/S, so I might have to just read it.
15 General Ojdanic said, and I'll read it to you, sir, it's the last
16 paragraph of page 25 in English: "All the major decision regarding the
17 use the army in accordance with the authorisation from the competent body
18 that is the president of the FRY that commands the army in peace and war.
19 I am not talking about details, it is obvious that something here is not
20 right and I will call and talk to the 3rd Army commander about that, and I
21 also think that should be followed by him coming here so that we can sit
22 down and talk properly about this subject."
23 So that would not be an attack on someone but a proper
25 Do you know if any steps were taken in regard to any of the
1 problems that were arising in the 3rd Army and General Ojdanic referred to
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
4 MR. VISNJIC: Your Honour, page 23 on Serbian.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this paragraph that my esteemed
7 colleague is reading from should be read in its entirety by the witness
8 before he answers because I think the context is important to what General
9 Ojdanic was talking about there.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP: Well, the witness is reading it. That I would say is
12 not an appropriate comment, but ...
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it may be helpful in the long-run if you just
14 read the whole paragraph to yourself, Mr. Obradovic, and then Mr. Stamp
15 will ask you his question.
16 What's your question, Mr. Stamp?
17 THE PROSECUTOR:
18 Q. General Ojdanic is speaking about matters within the sphere of the
19 3rd Army command. And I'm not right and these were matters that were
20 covered at this collegium meeting. Do you know what if any steps General
21 Ojdanic took in respect to the command of the 3rd Army to resolve these
23 A. I haven't had a chance to read the entire document, but I can draw
24 a few conclusions. The task was by means of analyses, assessments, and so
25 on to discover what problems there were in commanding, because there are
1 certainly always errors whenever anything -- any kind of work is being
2 carried out. So the purpose was to provide assistance to those who may
3 have had difficulties finding their way in all this. So what is being
4 said here is that there was anything wrong this should be discovered and
5 assistance provided if necessary.
6 In early March General Ojdanic headed a team from the General
7 Staff as the Chief of the General Staff to visit the 3rd Army, see what
8 the problems were and solve those problems with the army commander. So he
9 went directly on the -- on to the scene of the events to see what was
10 going on, to provide assistance, and to see that problems were solved at
11 each level of command. That was the gist of it, and that was what this
12 control was all about.
13 Q. Well, he said any other rampage without the knowledge of the corps
14 commanders must be prevented at higher levels. Do you know what he was
15 talking about when he said any other rampage?
16 A. Rampage. Well, it's a little rough this term. It refers to
17 failure to carry out tasks according to plan. Any deviation from the task
18 or failure to complete a task, well, the term he used, "rampage," is not
19 really a good one but that's what it refers to, and it might refer to it
20 an individual or a group, but simply no one was allowed to act on their
21 own according to their own ideas and will. That was the standpoint of the
22 General Staff.
23 Q. Now, apart from visiting the 3rd Army and offering assistance, did
24 General Ojdanic do anything else to correct these perceived problems in
25 respect to the command of the 3rd Army?
1 A. Well, the purpose of the control was not only to talk to the
2 commander, it was also to visit the units, the units on the territory of
3 Kosovo and Metohija. It was a numerous team according to all its elements
4 so that apart from the Chief of the General Staff all the other organs did
5 whatever they could to see how tasks were being carried out, to see what
6 the problems were, to assist in solving these problems, and to make sure
7 that the appropriate action was taken.
8 Q. What we want to know, General, is we have two situations, February
9 and March, where General Ojdanic indicates that he would take steps, he
10 would do something to rectify the problems that were identified in respect
11 to the 3rd Corps. I just want to know if you know of any steps that were
12 taken to rectify these problems. That's it simply.
13 A. I personally cannot confirm this in any specific terms. The Chief
14 of the General Staff, the army commander, the corps commander, he spoke to
15 them personally. I as a member of the collegium was not aware of the
16 details, but as a function of command and within his sphere of competence
17 if any measures were needed I am sure he took such measures, because I can
18 tell you that General Ojdanic was very firm and that all orders had to be
19 carried out regardless of who was involved.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a brief remark. I
22 think that this was not a fair question. Mr. Stamp said that both in
23 February and in March General Ojdanic said he would do something, but I
24 don't see any reference here for February. Only General Andjelkovic was
25 quoted with reference to February. Thank you.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
2 MR. STAMP: Yes, it was actually December and March, but I think
3 the witness understood what I was saying, Your Honours.
4 Those are the last questions I have on this topic, and I would
5 want to move on to something else. I don't have much long left.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
7 Mr. Obradovic, did the visit to the 3rd Army take place before
8 this meeting that we're looking at?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The visit to the command of the 3rd
10 Army took place in early March 1999, and the team was headed by General
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, this -- this meeting was on the 18th of March,
13 so are we right to assume that the visit was before this meeting?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And in the paragraph we've been looking at, General
16 Ojdanic says: "It is obvious that something here is not right."
17 Can you tell us what he was referring to?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't say. I don't know what
19 specifically he was referring to.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Could it have been a rampage without the knowledge
21 of the army and the corps commanders?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I disagree with the term "rampage",
23 because were the army to go on a rampage it would be outside the command
24 system, and in our case the chain of command functioned at all levels. If
25 these were individuals --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: So does it follow that what was wrong -- or what he
2 described as "something is not right" must have been within the command
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't confirm whether it was in
5 the command structure or in the units. I wouldn't know.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what he was referring
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the -- the comment by Mr. Visnjic and
11 Mr. Stamp's response that it was not particularly material whether he said
12 February or March or December and March is really quite significant,
13 because --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I agree with you and it's a matter you will no
15 doubt wish to resolve. The -- if Mr. Stamp can't formulate the questions
16 properly, then it's very difficult for us to make anything of the answers.
17 But if you wish to clarify it in due course in your own re-examination
18 or cross-examination, that's for you.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. Thank you.
20 Mr. Obradovic, we have to have a break at this stage. That will
21 be for half an hour. Please leave the courtroom with the usher, and we
22 will resume at 25 minutes past 11.00.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 --- Recess taken at 10.53 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.25 a.m.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. General, are you familiar with the 37th Brigade?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. That was part or attached to which corps, do you know?
7 A. At the beginning a part of that unit was resubordinated to the
8 command of the 3rd Army and later to the command of the Pristina Corps.
9 Q. And do you know the 211th Tactical Group? Do you know that unit?
10 A. 211th Tactical Group they were from the 211th Armoured Brigade but
11 based in Nis. It was a unit belonging to the 3rd Army.
12 Q. Most of your evidence yesterday, General, was in relation to the
13 efforts made by the army, the General Staff of the army in particular, and
14 yourself for cooperation with the KVM. Can I just ask you a few
15 preliminary questions in respect to the KVM? You said over a period of
16 time it became apparent to the army that certain members of the KVM were
17 siding with what you call the other side, that is, the KLA, and you were
18 shown collegium minutes in which examples were given, including lending
19 active assistance to the KLA. Were the persons who were members of these
20 KVM, monitoring groups, or so engaged, identified at all?
21 A. Based on a number of indicators contained in the reports, we drew
22 the inference that certain members of the verification mission were acting
23 in a biased manner, but they took one approach to the MUP and the army and
24 a different approach altogether while dealing with the other side. There
25 were situations where they strayed from the terms of the agreement
1 governing the OSC and NATO mission's work in Kosovo and Metohija.
2 Individual cases were cited, especially in the analysis conducted by
3 General Dimitrijevic, that individual members of the verification mission
4 were doing things that were not within the framework of the agreement and
5 were practically siding with the other side. They were supplying them
6 with weapons and so on and so forth.
7 Q. These acts of assistance, particularly supplying them with
8 weapons, were there who were allegedly involved in supplying the KLA with
9 weapons identified?
10 A. What I'm saying is something else. There were supplies of weapons
11 coming in from Albania and other areas, and they did nothing to stop this.
12 They did nothing to cut the supply lines, the weapons being smuggled from
13 Albania and other areas into Kosovo. They took a rather benign approach
14 to this.
15 Q. Did you have information or did General Dimitrijevic say that KVM
16 members were involved in supplying arms to the other side?
17 A. His conclusion was that they were making it possible for them to
18 get supplies of weapons. I think he even said something about foodstuffs
19 and victuals. As to the exact manner in which this was taking place,
20 well, that's a different thing altogether.
21 Q. Yeah, well, let's focus on supplying them with weapons. You could
22 just answer that yes or no. Did General Dimitrijevic or anybody else
23 furnish information that the -- that individuals of the KVM were supplying
24 members of the other side, the KLA, with weapons?
25 A. No. No. That wasn't what was said, that members of the mission
1 were doing this directly. They were making it possible for the terrorists
2 to do that, and they were doing nothing about stopping them.
3 Q. Very well. I have -- I have it here that you said earlier at page
4 43, line 14, that these were acts of assistance, particularly supplying
5 them with weapons. Were there -- who were allegedly involved in supplying
6 the KLA with weapons, and you said -- sorry. I should go to the line
7 before that because what I'm read something a question of mine.
8 You said in line 13: "They were supplying them with weapons and
9 so on and so forth." So I take it that that is not correct, that --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness has made that clear. Please move on,
11 Mr. Stamp. He very quickly changed that to explain that it was their
12 failure to intervene and stop supplies that was what was in issue.
13 MR. STAMP:
14 Q. Was it your position that the KVM was entitled to inspect VJ
15 facilities and barracks?
16 A. The agreement said that the focus of the Kosovo Verification
17 Mission was to monitor cease-fires, monitoring movements by the army and
18 activities taken by the army, but this did not include checking the units
19 that were in barracks or counting the men or the weapons. Under the
20 Vienna treaty this was under the subregional arms control. Therefore,
21 each weapon such as heavy artillery or perhaps equipment belonging to the
22 armoured units, all the equipment or weapons belonging to the air force,
23 that included all of this.
24 Q. Can you have a look at P -- not P, 4 -- or 3D484. While it is
25 being brought up, can I just ask that question again.
1 Was it your view in 1998 that the KVM were entitled to inspect all
2 the weapons of the Pristina Corps and to verify the situation in all
3 facilities? Was that your view in 1998?
4 A. It wasn't just my view. That was what the agreement envisaged.
5 And you saw the order of the Chief of the General Staff yesterday control
6 of units in barracks or along the border cannot be exercised without
7 special approval from the chief of General Staff. I said that yesterday
8 and it's not my intention to repeat it today.
9 As for everything else, control was possible within the -- under
10 the terms of the agreement.
11 This question was based before the relevant authorities to see
12 what the political position was and whether any changes would be
13 introduced that might affect this.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: That answer does not appear to be consistent with
15 what was said before so it needs to be clarified. The question you were
16 asked was, was it your view in 1998 that the KVM were entitled to inspect
17 all the weapons of the Pristina Corps, and you said that was what the
18 agreement envisaged. Did you mean to say that?
19 A. Yes. Yes, they had the right to check the units but not to enter
20 the barracks.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought you'd earlier said that checking of the
22 arms, weapons, fell under the Vienna treaty.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Major equipment that fell under the
24 Vienna treaty. The rest was something that the verification mission had
25 access to. All the equipment, all the manpower including weapons but with
1 the exception of the barracks.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. Speaking of the barracks, can we look at page 12 of -- of the
5 document before you. This is the collegium minutes for the 10th of
6 December, 1998. The last paragraph of page 12 in English is also the last
7 paragraph of page 12 in B/C/S. You could probably take a look at it and
8 I'm just read it while you -- you said:
9 "General, as for the situation down there now, there are now about
10 seven, eight hundred of them divided into four zones; in accordance with
11 valid documents, they have the right to ask to inspect all weapons of the
12 Pristina Corps and its entire composition in all its units and to be
13 allowed to verify the situation in all facilities, including the use of
14 special equipment and for a more reliable data collection."
15 Was it your view in 1998 that they would have the right to verify
16 the situation in all facilities?
17 A. This is about the entire composition of the Pristina Corps or
18 access was granted for purposes of control except the barracks. Once
19 again, the verification mission was allowed to check the entire
20 composition of the corps, as well as its weapons and other equipment. The
21 only thing they weren't allowed to do was to get into the barracks. Some
22 of them were adamant that they should go into the barracks and see the
23 offices and everything else. You know what there is inside a barracks,
24 don't you. But this was not under the terms of the agreement. So for
25 this task to be verified this is something that required a special
1 political decision and an order from the General Staff. I suppose this
2 was -- if this had been verified or, rather, resolved, there would have
3 been no reason for such a task received by the army not to be implemented.
4 There was nothing special really being concealed in the barracks or
5 anything that would have been of any particular interest to anybody.
6 Q. Was it the -- was it also, and this is just to be clear, the
7 position of the General Staff, of General Ojdanic in particular, that the
8 VJ ought to deliver reports about the arrival and departure of units in
9 Kosovo to the KVM?
10 A. Yes, absolutely. That position was clear. That was the position
11 of the General Staff and General Ojdanic, and that's what we did. All
12 movements of units in Kosovo or to Kosovo, if that happened the verifiers
13 were notified.
14 I explained yesterday that one of the major tasks was the
15 replacement of soldiers that was regulated in Kosovo.
16 Q. Thanks. I think you have answered what I was asking.
17 And lastly, General, since the VJ liaison, or at least the
18 relevant organ of the VJ did receive reports from the KVM; is that right?
19 A. There was no special liaison organ through the chain of command.
20 We got operative reports from subordinate commands, and especially there
21 was a team in the Pristina Corps for relations with the verification
22 mission that submitted reports to its superior command, the command of the
23 3rd Army, and the liaison team that existed in the 3rd Army submitted
24 reports to the liaison team in the General Staff, and that's the one that
25 I headed.
1 Q. Yes, but do you know whether or not the OSCE mission sent reports
2 to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs?
3 A. I cannot confirm that because that was not within my line of work.
4 All information that was discussed at the federal commission, well, there
5 was information and probably -- or, rather, I assume that there were such
7 Q. Well, if we look at P941, that is the collegium meeting of 25th of
8 February, 1999, and it's English e-court page 23. The corresponding B/C/S
9 being also page 23, second paragraph.
10 General Dimitrijevic said: "I wanted to say something to
11 Obradovic. I cannot agree that they do not send reports. The OSCE
12 mission is sending daily reports to our Federal Ministry of Foreign
13 Affairs. The federal ministry of foreign affairs then analyse these
14 reports once a week, sometimes within a shorter time and make a summary.
15 In other words, they are supplying daily reports to our government."
16 So General Dimitrijevic told you there were reports being
17 provided. Did you make an effort and did you ever see these reports?
18 A. The information that General Dimitrijevic received in this
19 connection, well, I mean from his point of view he probably did receive
20 some information. I said a few moments ago that I did not have occasion
21 to see such a report, and I told you that at the federal commission when
22 the situation was analysed there were discussions concerning some
23 information that I assume was related to the reports that were submitted
24 to the Foreign Ministry from the OSCE mission in Kosovo. I did not have
25 occasion to have such reports. I did not receive copies, not from the
1 mission and not from the members of the Federal Commission that was headed
2 by Mr. Sainovic. But there were discussion on certain issues that
3 probably included military reports.
4 Q. When you learned that these reports were being forwarded by the
5 OSCE mission, did you seek to get copies of them in the capacity of your
6 role with the OSCE missions?
7 A. If these reports were there, had there been anything interesting
8 concerning the army or had there been any problems with the army or in
9 terms of the relationship between the army and the mission then I guess
10 would have received that. However, I assume that there was nothing
11 significant from the point of view the army. That is why this was not
12 submitted to me and nothing special was said to me. Then I could have
13 made the chief of General Staff aware of some problems if something like
14 that had been presented.
15 Q. Very well. You say -- you said on more than one occasion that in
16 1998 General Perisic said that the units that were withdrawn could be
17 returned if the other side were not complying with the provisions of the
18 agreements. Is that -- is that your evidence?
19 A. Yes. I said that, and I was a direct participant in the talks
20 between General Perisic and General Clark when this problem was discussed,
21 and he told him that he did retain that right, that if the other side did
22 not observe the agreement, he retained the right to have the units
23 returned in the area where they had originally been.
24 Q. Is it your position that on the basis of any of the October
25 agreements and the UN Resolution the VJ could return any of these units
1 unilaterally without consultations with the OSCE mission?
2 A. That was not one-sided. This position of the chief of General
3 Staff was accepted by General Clark, and he promised that he would
4 guarantee that that would not happen. He just said if that happened, or
5 if that were to happen, if the other side were to abuse this and not
6 honour the agreement, he retained the right to return part of the units to
7 the area. That was the agreement with General Clark, who accepted that he
8 would make sure that the other side abided by that.
9 Q. Yes, but what I want to know is is it your understanding that on
10 the basis of some agreements, any of the agreements, the VJ could return
11 units to Kosovo unilaterally based on their assessment, their own
12 assessment, without any consultation with the OSCE mission?
13 A. No. Yesterday I stated that the army as a whole observed the
14 agreement, the provisions of the agreement as a whole, and the Chief of
15 General Staff insisted that as far as the military was concerned the
16 provisions of the agreement should be completely abided by to the very
17 letter. No one-sidedness was to be permitted.
18 Q. The 37th Brigade that we spoke about earlier, was that based at
20 A. The 37th Motorised Brigade was basically stationed in the garrison
21 in Raska.
22 Q. Where is Raska?
23 A. The garrison of Raska is in the territory of the Republic of
24 Serbia. To explain it to you in greater detail, south of Kraljevo, about
25 60 kilometres south of Kraljevo. From the administrative border with
1 Kosovo, say 20 or 30 kilometres away west of Mount Kopaonik.
2 Q. I see. Can we have a look at P2039, please.
3 This is a report on the 20th of March, 1999, to the Pristina Corps
4 command, and copied to the 2nd Army, Uzice Corps command, for information,
5 as you can see. And it says that: "On the 7th of March, 1999, the 37th
6 Motorised Brigade departed to the general area of Kosovska Mitrovica with
7 the aim of carrying out exercises and raising combat readiness."
8 So this brigade was brought into Kosovo, not to the edge of Kosovo
9 as we heard about earlier, according to this document. Do you know
10 whether that was reported to the OSCE verifiers?
11 A. If you look at the date, it was the 23rd, 1999. In that period
12 the verification mission was withdrawing from Kosovo. It says up here
13 command of the 37th Brigade, strictly confidential, the 20th of March,
14 1999. This is four days prior to the NATO aggression, and it has to do
15 with the standby forces, with the peacetime forces. So the verification
16 mission during the 19th and the 20th left Kosovo, and I think that you
17 know that.
18 Q. Yes. What the document shows is that there were -- they departed
19 the general area -- departed to, sorry, departed to Kosovska Mitrovica
20 with the aim of carrying out exercises and raising combat readiness on the
21 7th of March, 1999, when according to what we're hearing it would have
22 been your obligation to advise the OSCE personnel who were there prior to
23 this or around the 7th of March. Were the OSCE personnel or monitors
24 advised about this augmentation of the forces inside Kosovo?
25 A. That was part of the forces, a smaller part of the forces- as you
1 can see, the size is there- that were on the rim of Kosovo. And in view
2 of the overall situation that prevailed, that there was an immediate
3 threat of war -- or, rather, of bombing, measures were taken for part of
4 the units to be brought to the rim of Kosovo in order to be able to oppose
5 the aggression that ensued.
6 I've already said that every activity of units in Kosovo was
7 something that the verification was -- verification mission was notified
8 of, so it wasn't that there was anything unknown.
9 Q. Kosovska Mitrovica is inside Kosovo, the territory of Kosovo,
10 isn't it?
11 A. Yes, Kosovska Mitrovica is in the territory of Kosovo and
13 Q. Not the rim.
14 A. Well, approximately close to the administrative border. It's not
15 a big distance, but it is in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
16 Q. Okay. Could we -- well, you have to answer the question, really,
17 before we move on. I think you're -- it's implied that your answer is no.
18 Do you know of the OSCE monitoring mission being advised of this
19 movement of troops into Kosovo to -- for combat readiness and to augment
20 the forces already in Kosovo? Do you know of them already being advised
21 of it?
22 A. I said that it was our obligation to send notification of any
23 movement within Kosovo towards Kosovo concerning Kosovo to notify members
24 of the mission, and they had been notified.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: The question here's a very simple question,
1 Mr. Obradovic. We've got your evidence about where this group of troops
2 was moved to. The question is: Was notification of this particular
3 movement sent to the Kosovo Verification Mission, yes or no?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Even though the troops, according to you, were not
6 moved into Kosovo?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say that they covered that
8 area. That area where the unit was sent was in the territory of Kosovo.
9 I mean, this unit was sent to train in the broader area of Kosovska
10 Mitrovica. That indeed is area that belongs to the territory of Kosovo
11 and Metohija.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, you said plainly to us just a short
13 time ago that they were on the rim of Kosovo, indicating that they had not
14 gone into Kosovo. Are you now saying that on the 7th of March they did go
15 into Kosovo?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The rim of Kosovo means something
17 that is close to the administrative border of Kosovo in the territory of
18 the Republic of Serbia. That's the rim of Kosovo. The area of Mitrovica
19 is in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. Very well, then. Well ...
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. Can we have a look at P1967. This is an order dated the 20th of
25 March, 1999, signed by General Lazarevic, and it's an amendment to the
1 decision on supporting the MUP forces and breaking up and destroying
2 terrorist forces in the area of Malo Kosovo. And this was at a very, very
3 crucial time, I think you'll agree with me, the 22nd of March, 1999. And
4 it is headed "Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija."
5 Now, as Chief of Operations, had you ever had seen an order or
6 orders for operations in Kosovo sent by the Joint Command. And it is
7 dated the 22nd of March, 1999. Had you ever seen any such orders?
8 A. Such orders and this command in the chain of command did not exist
9 from the point of view of the General Staff that I worked at at the time.
10 I was still in the General Staff then. This date is roughly two days
11 prior to the NATO aggression against the federal republic.
12 Q. Can we look at P2808. This is an order of the 16th of February,
13 1999. It's also signed by General Lazarevic. And if we look at page 9 of
14 this order. And this is page 4 of the B/C/S version of the same.
15 General Lazarevic orders that the -- and there is some handwriting
16 here, but that the group 211, and that is the group that we referred to
17 earlier, the 211th Tactical Group shall be subordinated to the Pristina
18 Corps by a special order.
19 Was the 211th Tactical Group -- well, I think you will agree that
20 the 211th Tactical Group was a group from outside of Kosovo.
21 A. This temporary composition at Tactical Group level was from the
22 armoured brigade that had been stationed in the Nis garrison, and the
23 order is what it says at the end, that that unit, according to a special,
24 order would be resubordinated to the Pristina Corps according to a special
25 order when an opportunity for that arises. Otherwise, it was stationed in
1 the Nis garrison.
2 MR. STAMP: That is all I have in cross-examination. Thank you
3 very much, Your Honours.
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 Judge BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Obradovic, on Tuesday you told us. That the war plan was
7 drafted and then sent to the Supreme Defence Council, and you described
8 that as the top echelons of the state, and you then said when approved it
9 was approved by the president of the republic. In dealing with this war
10 plan what was the composition of the supreme Defence council.
11 A. As for the Supreme Defence council at that time it consisted of
12 the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the president of the
13 Republic of Serbia, and the president of the Republic of Montenegro.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: When the war actually began did the composition of
15 the supreme Defence council change?
16 A. The composition of the Supreme Defence Council did not change
17 because the members were there ex officio. The presidents of the two
18 republics that comprise the federation and the president of the federal
19 republic. If a new person were to come to one of those positions, then by
20 virtue of the office he held he would become a member the Supreme Defence
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Did the way in which it functioned change when the
23 war started?
24 A. As far as I know the Supreme Defence Council did function on the
25 whole. There were some thoughts along the lines that the member from
1 Montenegro did not often attend Supreme Defence Council meetings. I
2 cannot confirm that for you, though, because I did not have an opportunity
3 of receiving such information nor did anybody tell me any such things.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you familiar with the expression "Supreme
6 A. That term was used when the state of war was proclaimed. There
7 was the president of the republic. He commanded the army in war and peace
8 and then it went without saying that the Supreme Defence Council as the
9 Supreme Command -- well, this member of the Supreme Defence Council who
10 was the head of state was the commander-in-chief but basically the
11 commander-in-chief was the Supreme Command -- the Supreme Defence Council.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Obviously you're familiar then with the expression.
13 If the Supreme Defence Council was effectively the same body in war and
14 peace, can you explain why it had a different name in wartime?
15 A. The Supreme Defence Council functioned in war and peace. In
16 peacetime it was called the Supreme Defence Council, and once a state of
17 war was declared it grew into the Supreme Command. That's what it was
18 called. Otherwise, it is the Supreme Defence Council that practically
19 commanded and decided on how the army was to be used, in accordance with
20 the constitution and law.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And just to be absolutely clear about this, what
22 was the composition of the Supreme Command?
23 A. The Supreme Command, as I've said, were those three members that
24 were on the Supreme Defence Council. When the state of war was declared,
25 the General Staff also joined the Supreme Command as the staff of the
1 Supreme Command. It grew into a body that was of an operational nature,
2 as a staff, if I can put it that way. The chief of General Staff ex
3 officio was chief of staff of the Supreme Command.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Ackerman, I was advised that you may seek leave to
6 cross-examine the witness at this stage. Is that the position?
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it is, just on matters raised by
8 Mr. Stamp that were not part of the original examination.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, does that trouble you?
10 MR. STAMP: I'm not sure what he's referring to, matters that were
11 not part of the original examination. Would he just say precisely what --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, can you elaborate a little?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Of course I can. Your Honour, during the direct
14 examination of this witness, Mr. Visnjic made no attempt to develop
15 evidence against my client, General Pavkovic. When Mr. Stamp started his
16 cross-examination he did by going into issues regarding the plan for
17 operations in Kosovo and Metohija, the remarks made by General Pavkovic at
18 the interdepartmental staff meeting, whether or not the Grom plan was ever
19 actually implemented. That gets into whether General Pavkovic was
20 operating with or without authority as has been contested in this case.
21 And just to -- just to clarify the matters as much as possible --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you've said enough for our purposes.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. Thank you.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, anything else you want to say?
25 MR. STAMP: No, I have nothing to add.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. This is one of these situations in
2 which it's possible that there would be a miscarriage of justice were we
3 not to modify the normal rule and allow cross-examination in view of the
4 way in which the Prosecution have cross-examined the witness. So we will
5 allow further -- well, I don't think you crossed at all, so we will allow
6 you to cross-examine the witness on the matters that you've referred to.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour. I want to say before I
8 begin for the record that I have pending a motion for partial severance
9 and if that motion were to have been granted I would have no questions,
10 and so I'm now going to go forward just in absence of that being granted
11 for the protection of my client in the event it is not.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You will appreciate that the timing of the motion
13 is such that it's not been possible for us to deal with it by this stage.
14 We have to allow appropriate time for response.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: I wasn't being in any way critical to the Chamber
16 for not deciding it. I know it will be done.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: It will be done promptly I can assure you.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I appreciate very much.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
20 Q. General, my name is John Ackerman. I represent General Pavkovic
21 in this case, as you probably concluded from what was just said.
22 I want you to look first at a document that you looked at when
23 Mr. Stamp was questioning you, and that is Exhibit 4D137. And that should
24 appear on your screen in a moment. We'll start with the very first page
25 of that document.
1 What you see there is that 28 July 1998 directive of
2 General Pavkovic that -- or General Perisic that has -- that we've been
3 talked about so much. The first thing I want to draw to your attention
4 is -- is the language right at the very top.
5 General Perisic characterises this directive as a "Directive to
6 deploy the Yugoslav army for securing the state border with Albania, units
7 and facilities in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija and crush the armed
8 rebel forces."
9 So that is what he says is the purpose of that directive; correct?
10 A. Yes. Yes. That's the gist of the directive issued at the level
11 of the General Staff.
12 Q. Now, if you look down at the bottom of that page there's a
13 paragraph, it might be on the second page of B/C/S. It begins with "The
14 foreign factor deems the present activities." Do you see that paragraph?
15 It's the last paragraph on the English -- English on page 1. We're too
16 far with the -- there. It's that paragraph in English. "The foreign
17 factor." And I don't know where it is in B/C/S. I think we've got it.
18 Yeah, it's the fourth paragraph down on the first page.
19 And what Mr. Stamp asked you about that, or asked about it, and
20 there are -- I think there are two ways to read that, correct me if I'm
21 wrong. One way to read that is General Perisic is saying if we deploy --
22 the present activities of the Yugoslav army is justified, but if we deploy
23 in a different way, then that would be an inappropriate use of force
24 against innocent civilians. That would be one way to look at it.
25 The other way to look at it is he's saying is the NATO and the --
1 the other parties are looking for some pretext to make a claim against us
2 before the United Nations and doing something like this might very well
3 give them that kind of a pretext, not that it would be a use of force
4 against innocent civilians, but they might very we will make that claim
5 while we're making this pretext.
6 Would that be a fair way to interpret that?
7 A. Are you asking me, sir?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. This is the analysis that was present when this directive was
10 issued, that the foreign factor can interpret this as is stated here, that
11 it's excessive use of force, that bringing fresh forces into Kosovo is
12 being done to use them against civilians, whereas what was really going on
13 was a fight against terrorism, which is why the title of the directive is
14 to crush the armed rebel forces. And the fact that this could be misused,
15 that's something quite different.
16 Q. Yes. I want you to look now at II, which is, I think, on the
17 second page of B/C/S and English. It's right at the very top there.
18 You'll see it.
19 Now, General Perisic there is talking about the use of the
20 Yugoslav army up to the point of this order. He says the army has, in
21 line with the situation, undertaken specific measures, intensified the
22 securing of the state border toward the Republic of Albania in the zone of
23 the Pristina Corps in-depth security has been provided, intensified the
24 security for military facilities and units in Kosovo and Metohija and
25 ensured a regular supply flow to the Yugoslav army units for the execution
1 of their task.
2 Throughout its presence and by carrying out the training in the
3 entire territory of Kosovo and Metohija, the army has had a repelling
4 effect with regard to the Siptar terrorist forces and it has offered
5 direct assistance to the forces of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia.
6 Now, it's the case then, isn't it, that General Perisic certainly
7 knew how the army had been used up to that point, that it had been used to
8 offer direct assistance to the forces of MUP, and it had been doing
9 training on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija outside the border belt,
10 which had a repelling effect with regard to the terrorist forces. So it
11 appears that he was fully aware of the operations of the army up to that
12 point; correct?
13 A. Yes. Based on this it can be concluded that the Chief of the
14 General Staff was aware of all the activities of the army and not to
15 repeat things, the gist of it is what is stated here. The Chief of the
16 General Staff knew what was being done inter alia in the area of
17 responsibility of the Pristina Corps on the territory of Kosovo and
19 Q. And then he says in the period up to now, the Yugoslav army has
20 successfully carry out the assigned tasks. Correct?
21 A. Yes. The conclusion is, and in this directive it says that in the
22 period up to now the Yugoslav army has successfully carried out the
23 assigned tasks.
24 Q. And at no point in that paragraph about the Yugoslav army's
25 deployment up to that point does he say that there was anything improper
1 or illegal about it, does he?
2 A. It's quite clear. If this is the conclusion of the Chief of the
3 General Staff, one should not doubt this conclusion, because based on this
4 the further directive for the deployment of the army was issued.
5 Q. Now, I think there is some confusion regarding this order, and you
6 were asked numerous questions about it today, and I think the confusion
7 lies in this: This order -- this directive contemplates two stages of
8 deployment, doesn't it?
9 A. I would say not two stages of deployment but two stages of
10 engagement of the forces.
11 Q. That's a fair statement. You're right. And the -- the reason
12 there are two stages is there were one stage -- there was one stage of
13 engagement for that period of time when there was no declaration of
14 imminent threat of war or emergency or actual state of war, and that was
15 first stage. That would be carried out during that time. If it got to --
16 the situation got to the point where there was to be such a declaration,
17 then stage two would come into play and there would be a mobilisation and
18 then it would be the active part of that directive. Is that fair
20 A. Yes. Yes. If the situation were to change radically, the armed
21 rebellion in Kosovo or the terrorist actions in Kosovo could grow into an
22 armed rebellion, and in that case mobilisation would be carried out to
23 raise the army to a higher level of combat readiness, but for this to be
24 done one of the states envisaged in the constitution, such as an imminent
25 threat of war, would have to be declared.
1 Q. So then if you look at under III there, you'll see first of all
2 some language about the first stage, and then you'll see language about
3 the second stage. And Mr. Stamp referred you to a paragraph at the end of
4 that which says: "The readiness in the deployment areas is 17 days upon
5 the receipt of the mobilisation signal at the latest."
6 That refers, does it not, to the second stage where there would be
7 a declaration and a mobilisation and not to the first stage of that
9 A. When mobilisation is declared the mobilised units, the reserve of
10 units, are not capable of being used in combat right away. There has to
11 be a certain period of time depending on the circumstances and the unit
12 itself for the unit to be trained and enabled for use in combat. So it's
13 a little over two weeks here for these mobilised units to be prepared for
14 use. The reserve forces, as soon as they're called up, they can't take up
15 weapons and go out to carry out a task on the very same day.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, on line 17 he said yes, and then said
17 when mobilisation is declare. The word "yes" didn't make it into that
18 answer. So the first word in line 17 should be "Yes."
19 Q. Now, if you look back up at the first stage, what General Perisic
20 says there is: "Through quick actions coordinated with the forces the MUP
21 of the Republic of Serbia, overwhelm and destroy the sabotage and
22 terrorist forces in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija as per a special
23 order from the General Staff of the Yugoslav army."
25 A. That's correct, yes.
1 Q. And that was a directive for rather immediate implementation of
2 this first stage, wasn't it?
3 A. Yes, yes. That's a directive that was intended for what was to
5 Q. Now --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: That isn't terribly clear to me, so perhaps you can
7 clarify that, Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm doing that.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Stamp asked you whether you've ever seen any kind of a
10 special order from the General Staff with regard to that, and I would
11 direct your attention to 3D702.
12 Now, this is a one-page document dated the same day, 28 July,
13 1998, and it's directed to the 3rd Army and refers to the Grom 98 plan,
14 and it orders General Samardzic in the 3rd Army to draw up plan for the
15 engagement of the forces in two phases, first and second, and orders him
16 to submit that plan by the 3rd of August, which is like five days after
17 the issuance of his rather comprehensive directive; right?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. And that indicates a -- rather than some kind of plan that's going
20 to be put on the shelf for much later use it indicates some urgency on the
21 part of General Perisic that this matter be rather quickly implemented,
22 doesn't it?
23 A. As soon as the Chief of the General Staff verified and signed or
24 approved the plan for the commander of the 3rd Army it entered into force
25 and implementation could begin.
1 Q. Now, let's look very briefly then at -- at 4D140.
2 On the very next day, 29 July, after the issuance of the
3 directive, 29 July, under the heading "Grom 98," General Samardzic issues
4 this document. And rather than being a directive, this document is an
5 order, isn't it? And it's an order to smash sabotage and terrorist forces
6 and armed rebellion forces in Kosovo and Metohija; correct?
7 A. Yes. This is a directive, and as you can see the document of the
8 command of the 3rd Army takes the form of an order. The command of the
9 3rd Army issues a decision and issues an order detailing how the task is
10 to be carried out. And as you can see in the upper right-hand corner it's
11 connected to Grom 98 which is a title emanating from the General Staff.
12 So the two documents are connected.
13 Q. And you said during your earlier testimony that there would be --
14 in the normal course of events there'd be a map associated with such an
15 order. And you can see right under that first designation of the purpose
16 of the order that there was in fact a map and it sets out sections of the
17 map and what it was about, doesn't it?
18 A. I told His Honour that this kind of document is accompanied by a
19 map, and here it says that the map is 1:200.000 and the sections are
20 enumerated so this covers the overall area of the army and it would show
21 how the forces are deployed. So the map of deployment would be a
22 significant attachment to this document.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, the document we're now looking at,
24 4D140, is it an original document in B/C/S, or is it a copy? It looks
1 MR. ACKERMAN: You'll see the stamp and everything on it, Your
3 JUDGE BONOMY: And it would be -- to this document there would be
4 a map attached rather than 3D703. Is that the position?
5 MR. ACKERMAN: I think the what the witness said was the map tends
6 to flow down through the chain of command. So this going from the 3rd
7 Army to the Pristina Corps would carry the map with it.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, you say that you were going to produce to us a
9 map. Does that relate to both of these exhibits?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I haven't got the map in my hands so I
11 don't want to be really specific with you about it but I believe I have
12 the map that's referred to in this document signed by General Samardzic.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you think it is the original one signed by him
14 or a reconstruction?
15 MR. ACKERMAN: It appears to me to be the original one signed by
16 him, but I can't be certain about that either. I think it is.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. Now, if you'll look at paragraph 2 of this document, which is on
20 page 3 in the English under the heading "Army Tasks." And it's page 3 in
21 the B/C/S, second paragraph.
22 General Samardzic basically repeats under the tasks he's assigning
23 to the Pristina Corps he basically repeats the language of General Perisic
24 in a coordinated action with Serbian MUP forces launch rapid attacks to
25 smash and destroy terrorist forces in Kosovo and Metohija in accordance
1 with the special order of the General Staff of the Yugoslav army.
2 Now, when he uses the language "the special order," he's not
3 referring to some future special order but one that's in existence, and
4 this actually puts everything into play, doesn't it?
5 A. Yes. If the situation develops in a negative way, the Chief of
6 the General Staff will issue a direct order that the implementation of
7 this task begin. It was not necessary to write a special order. The
8 Chief of the General Staff would simply say go ahead, and this is how
9 things would have to be done in breaking up the terrorist forces on the
10 territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
11 Q. But in the first phase that was -- that was immediately
12 implemented. It's the second phase where if there had to be mobilisation
13 there would be a delay and additional orders; correct?
14 A. Yes. The order applied to the second phase practically, the
15 second stage. If this situation were to change more radical measures
16 would have to be taken at the level of the General Staff and downwards.
17 Q. Okay. I think you -- I think you're looking at a different part
18 of the document than I am.
19 MR. STAMP: Yes, because I was just about to observe that the part
20 that was just read out to the witness was a part under the first phase.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
22 MR. STAMP: In which the witness said in respect to the special
23 order that the Chief of the General Staff would if the situation develop,
24 issue the order.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I think the witness is looking at the language
1 under the second phase and what I'm referring to is that language with
2 regard to the first phase.
3 Q. Are we correct, Mr. Witness?
4 A. Yes, you're right.
5 Q. All right. Now, I want to take you down further in the document
6 to paragraph 4, and that's on page 5 in the English and page 5 in the
8 General Samardzic uses the language here, "I have hereby decided."
9 Can you tell us what that means in an order like this when he says, "I
10 have hereby decided"?
11 A. When one receives an order and when an overall assessment of the
12 situation is made, the situation in which the unit currently finds itself,
13 when the opposite side is evaluated, their own forces, the commander in
14 charge issues a decision in the form of an order. He orders what is to be
15 done next. That means that he has decided how to further deploy the
16 forces to carry out the task.
17 Q. That's not something you'd find in an order that's designed to be
18 carried out at some later date, but it's in the form of a "do this now,"
19 isn't it?
20 A. Yes, yes. When it says that a decision was made, that means that
21 what is topical is to have a task embarked upon. That's what he means
22 when he says that.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, do you want to break now or do you
24 want to go on a little long? It's up to you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: If this is convenient for you we'll break now.
1 We'll break for lunchtime, Mr. Obradovic, so would you again go
2 with the usher, and we'll resume at 1.45.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.45 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 1.45 p.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. General, I want to continue with the document we were dealing
10 with, and I now want to take you down to the language right before
11 paragraph 5, which is on page 6 of the English version of the document.
12 And it's also page 6 in the B/C/S, at the top.
13 Now, you recall that above this point General Samardzic was
14 setting out the tasks, and then at the bottom you'll see this language.
15 First of all for intensified and in-depth security of the state border and
16 protection of military facilities immediately which means he wants that
17 carried out immediately, does it not?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. And then --
20 A. It's about securing the state border in its entirety.
21 Q. And then the other part of his -- the tasks that he set out for
22 sure road passability and smashing the terrorist forces he orders that
23 commence on the 6th of August at 0500 hours; correct?
24 A. Yes. That was one of the tasks, that is to secure that the roads
25 could be travelled because of the need to supply the units and other
2 Q. So the bottom line of this is this is an action order. It's not
3 just some plan, is it?
4 A. Essentially this is an order, yes, an order as an element of
5 command, and this can be seen as an element of command. And the plan of
6 deployment for the forces is normally attached to an order.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Now, Your Honour, over the lunch break I had all of
8 the maps we had brought from my office so I could try to find the map that
9 we were talking about. However, unfortunately it appears that that is a
10 map we don't have, but I have a map that I'd just like to show to the
11 witness so that he can identify it and so that Your Honours can see what
12 it is we're talking about and then we will conduct an immediate search for
13 the map that was attached to that order. If that would be helpful to you.
14 I don't need to go into it unless you think it would be helpful.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I doubt if it's helpful, Mr. Ackerman if it's
16 simply being displayed as an example.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, this actually is an action -- a map that was
18 attached to an order it's from the 10th of August, 1998, and it deals with
19 what -- what maps is from that large map that's approved as I understand
20 it and the witness can confirm it or not, what happens is then smaller
21 maps for made for each individual action that's going to take place and
22 those are also signed, and this one you'll see deals with an action taking
23 place at Ratis, and it carries the signature of Dusan Samardzic up in the
24 upper left-hand corner.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: If you pass that over here it might be the best
2 MR. ACKERMAN: All right and if you need the witness to verify
3 that's his signature and what I'm representing it to be I think we can do
4 it. I think it's pretty clear that's what it is.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the attachment that normally
6 follows an order by the army commander where he approvals this. There's
7 his signature. As you can see, this is a map of 1:200.000 is the ratio,
8 and you can see how the forces were deployed.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Who wrote the date on it, Mr. Ackerman?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I wrote the date at the top, Your Honour.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Ackerman, please.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: It's in remarkably pristine condition to have been
13 the original map attached to the order, and I have to make it clear to you
14 I've had previous experience of seeing maps reconstructed for presentation
15 in this courtroom, not in this case. And it may be quite important for us
16 to distinguish between those that are originals and those that may have
17 been reconstructed to present the picture as it was previously.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: When I find the one that we were talking about this
19 morning, Your Honour, I'll make sure we have adequate information
20 regarding its provenance.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Meanwhile we shall return this one to you. Thank
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I think they're likely distributed in more than one
24 copy, Your Honour, so there maybe one that's kind of been beat up and
25 there may be more pristine copies of the same document. But I'm not
1 positive about that, but we will clear it up if we can.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: You may have to do it through a witness.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: That's what we're working on.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 MR. ACKERMAN:
6 Q. All right. Now I'd like you to look at another document. This is
7 P2166. And this is also a document that was referred to by Mr. Stamp when
8 he talked about things that were said by General Pavkovic at a meeting of
9 the interdepartmental staff for the suppression of terrorism on 2 November
10 1998. The part that I want to draw -- well, let me ask you a couple of
11 questions first looking at the first page.
12 This is -- this meeting is clearly a secret meeting, isn't it?
13 A. I don't know. I have no information on this meeting. Therefore,
14 I can't say what this is about, except for what I just read.
15 Q. Please look at the top of the -- of the document. Doesn't it
16 say "State Secret," with a stamp there?
17 A. "Defence, state secret." This means that there is a certain
18 degree of secrecy that attaches to this document, and you can see this is
19 highest possible degree of secrecy.
20 Q. So a document like this wouldn't be going off to the Official
21 Gazette or the news papers or anything like that, would it?
22 A. No. Documents like these are kept in a special way and are not
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, it wouldn't follow that the meeting
25 was necessarily secret. The record may well be.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: The persons who were present at that meeting, there
2 weren't any persons outside the government there, were there? There
3 weren't any reporters or persons from other countries or anything like
4 that? These were all people from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that
5 held high positions; correct?
6 A. Based on the list of those who attended I have to conclude that
7 this is the highest ranking possible state and military leadership. On
8 behalf of the army I think there was the Chief of the General Staff, the
9 chief of the security administration, the army commander, and the corps
11 Q. The remarks of General Pavkovic begin on page 2 of the document,
12 and I want to take you through those down to something that he said on
13 page 3 of the document, which is right before he starts setting out the
14 tasks that were contained in a plan that he refers to. And I think on --
15 in the Serbian version it's that's also on page 3. It's right in the
16 middle of your screen. It should be. Kasto [phoen].
17 According to this General Pavkovic says: "As may be concluded,
18 our plan was not to kill all the Siptars or expel them from Kosovo and
19 Metohija but to destroy the main terrorist forces and separate the
20 terrorists from the people."
21 And then goes on to speak of the plan:
22 "Pursuant to the decision adopted it at the 5th session of the
23 Supreme Defence Council on 9 June 1998, the law on the Yugoslav army, the
24 defence law, and the rules of service of the Yugoslav army, a plan to
25 suppress terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija was drawn up which provided for
1 the engagement of units of the Serbian MUP and the Yugoslav army."
2 Now, this plan that he speaks of there was created on 9 June 1998,
3 and is a different plan from the Grom plan that we've been talking about
4 today, isn't it?
5 MR. STAMP: Well, if he could be directed to the [indiscernible]
6 created on the 9th of June, 1998.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: It was the decision of the supreme Defence counsel
8 on June 9, 1998. I might have misspoke. I don't know how long after that
9 decision the plan was created.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you answer that question, please?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Was that a question for me? I
12 didn't get it. One can infer based on this that in the beginning of June
13 the Supreme Defence Council considered --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment. Mr. Ackerman will ask his question
15 again, and please focus on the specific question that's asked.
16 Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. The plan that this talks about here is not the same plan as the
19 Grom plan that we were talking about earlier today; correct?
20 A. No.
21 Q. All right. Now I'd like to look at P938, page 25 in the English,
22 and 23 in the B/C/S. And you were also referred to this earlier today by
23 Mr. Stamp.
24 Mr. Stamp was referring you to that paragraph that begins with:
25 "All the major decisions regarding the use of the army ..." And goes on.
1 According to this, General Ojdanic said this: "I'm not talking
2 about the details, it is obvious that is something here is not right, and
3 I will call and talk to the 3rd Army commander about that, and I also
4 think that should be followed by him coming here so that we can sit down
5 and talk properly on the subject. So that would not be an attack on
6 someone but a proper conversation. However, you need to be careful, in my
7 knowledge what is done in practice is a response to what had been done."
8 And then he goes on to say this: "The army cannot very well stand
9 idly by if a military vehicle with two officers is hit, two colonels are
10 wounded and it should just pass on. The army, together with MUP, has to
11 undertake some measures if the purpose of blocking and searching the
12 terrain and likewise, if someone is discovered there, they should be
13 attacked. I think that we all agree about that, but any other rampage
14 without the knowledge of the army and the corps commanders must be
15 prevented at higher levels, and with respect to that, I think that the
16 best remedy and solution is to do it as soon as possible."
17 It appears, doesn't it, that what General Ojdanic is talking about
18 is a situation where terrorists attacked a military vehicle and hit two
19 colonels who were wounded and is concerned there was not a proper army
20 response to that situation.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could both the witness's microphones be switched
22 on, please? The interpreters can't hear him. Thank you.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Just stop, please. Your microphone is not on,
24 Mr. Obradovic. You can start that answer again once it is. Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is stated here that when things
1 like these are happening, when terrorists are attacking and there are
2 losses and casualties the army should not stand idly by and do nothing
3 about it in the sense of blocking, taking certain areas, tracking down the
4 terrorists forces and crushing them.
5 Q. All right. Now, it was at this point that Mr. Stamp asked you
6 about -- said to you that he now suggested a couple of times to you when
7 General Ojdanic said that he would take care of a problem, and he told you
8 that one of those was in February and one was in March, and then when
9 objection was made he said, well, actually, it was in December and March.
10 Now, there's a significant difference, is there not, between
11 December of 1998 and February of 1999 in that in December when there was a
12 problem that needed to be taken care of the 3rd Army commander was
13 Dusan Samardzic; right?
14 A. Yes. As early as December 1998, the army commander was
15 General Samardzic.
16 Q. And I don't know if there's any connection, but you know that very
17 shortly after he said that he would take care of that problem in December
18 General Samardzic left the 3rd Army.
19 A. As far as I know, it was late in 1998 and early 1999 that General
20 Pavkovic was appointed commander of the 3rd Army, thus replacing General
21 Samardzic, but I can't remember the exact date. And perhaps it doesn't
22 even matter.
23 Q. And then the second thing that he asked you about that General
24 Ojdanic was going to take up with the 3rd Army commander was the one we've
25 just looked at, and that's the one where the army was not taking what he
1 thought was an adequate response against terrorists but letting things go
2 by when these two colonels had been attacked and wounded, being correct?
3 A. Yes. This view of his was in reference to the commander of the
4 3rd Army at the time. That was General Samardzic.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me make it clear that I read that completely
6 differently from the proposition you've advanced, Mr. Ackerman, that
7 General Ojdanic was concerned about an incident, and what had happened was
8 that the army had allegedly overreacted to the attack on its officers.
9 Now, is that not -- not only a more -- an explanation more consistent with
10 the whole text, but if not, equally valid with the one that you're
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I think not at all, Your Honour. If you look at
13 the one sentence, "The army cannot very well stand idly by --"
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed and that's because -- he's explaining that
15 he's got to deal with this in a delicate way because he appreciates that
16 the army had to take very firm action against a terrorist attack, and if
17 they went too far then he understood to some extent why that would happen,
18 and therefore he would have to approach it diplomatically.
19 Surely the whole thing has to be read together.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: It is.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And not in separate sentences.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: It is look at the next sentence he's saying the
23 army and the MUP have to get together and do something about this. They
24 can't just let terrorists just attack the army and kill colonels without
25 taking appropriate response.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed. It's the same, he's just following it up.
2 He's saying he understands actions have to be taken. However that's an
3 matter for argument at a later stage. I thought it simply important that
4 you should know that I certainly don't at the moment read it the way
5 you're suggesting.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, in the world of reasonable doubt, it probably
7 is good enough.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, have you any further cross-examination
9 arising from that.
10 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
11 Q. If I take you back to the collegium minutes -- thank you very
12 much, Your Honour. I do thank you for proper for that.
13 Collegium minutes of the 10th of December 1998, 3D484 where I
14 asked about what did General Ojdanic do in respect to the complaints or
15 the concerns, you were just told actually by Mr. Ackerman that this was in
16 reference to the 3rd Army commander and that General Ojdanic was not the
17 3rd Army commander at the time. General Pavkovic was not the 3rd Army
18 commander at the time.
19 When I looked at it again, is that General Ojdanic said at page 15
20 with regard to the conduct of the Pristina Corps, the problem is broader
21 and allow me some people present here to resolve some things and resolve
22 it like soldiers and men. It involves not only the Pristina Corps but
23 also the 3rd Army command.
24 Can I ask you who was the commander of the Pristina Corps at that
25 time, do you know?
1 A. Until the end of 1998 it was General Pavkovic.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Before we lose track of it, page 78, line 14 there
4 is something missing there my recollection is at present. I don't read it
5 the way you're suggesting.
6 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. You were shown 3D140, and I don't think I need to show it to you
9 again, which was the draft order prepared by General Samardzic. Now, that
10 draft order was prepared in response to the directive by General --
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me there was no evidence that it was a draft
12 order. That an active order that was signed and everything. There is no
13 evidence that's a draft and that's a misstatement of any evidence in this
15 JUDGE BONOMY: First of all the document I think is 4D140 and not
16 3D, and secondly my note is the order had been drafted by Samardzic. Now,
17 is this not in fact, Mr. Ackerman, an order which Samardzic has to send up
18 the line to have approval given to it by the map being signed?
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think so. If might be in any event it's
20 not a draft it was an act.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Ultimately it is. The system as I understand it -
22 I better clarify this with Mr. Obradovic - but the system as I understand
23 it, Mr. Obradovic, is that the 3rd Army commander writes out the order he
24 expects to be given and what he intends to order those under his command
25 to do, and he passes it up to the General Staff and there it's approved
1 and returned to him and he acts on it. It's the same document but he acts
2 on it once it comes back to him with approval. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, essentially as soon as is a decision is approved on the map
4 it's signed off. This document is verified and it's used to work based on
5 that from there on.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
7 MR. STAMP: Thank you. I have nothing further.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic. I'm sorry, Mr. O'Sullivan.
9 MR. O'SULLIVAN: With your leave I'd like to ask some questions
10 that arise out of your questions to the witness, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: These ones just now or earlier?
12 MR. O'SULLIVAN: The ones earlier that you posed directly after
13 the first cross-examination by Mr. Stamp.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Please do that now before Mr. Visnjic
16 Cross-examination by Mr. O'Sullivan:
17 Q. Good afternoon, General.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. My name is Eugene O'Sullivan and I represent Mr. Milutinovic I'd
20 like to ask you some questions that arose out of the questions put to you
21 by the Presiding Judge earlier today. To give you some context, as I
22 understand your evidence, you became the assistant head of the sector for
23 the operations and staff activities of the General Staff in July 1998.
24 Have I got that right?
25 A. Yes, by decision of the president of the federal republic I was
1 appointed assistant Chief of the General Staff of the sector for
2 operations and staff activities.
3 Q. And the date you started that function was July 1998; is that
5 A. I said I reported to my new post on the 10th of July. I asked the
6 Chief of the General Staff at the time to grant me a couple of days off so
7 that I could deal with some private problems concerning accommodation for
8 my family because my family back at the time was still in Podgorica. So
9 officially I took up my duties on the 17th of July.
10 Q. Thank you. The Presiding Judge asked you about the war plan, and
11 I'm -- for the record I'm looking at pages 141 -- sorry, 14981 to 14920 of
12 the transcript. And you had told the Chamber a couple of days ago that
13 the war plan or, as you call it, the plan of use was a pre-existing plan,
14 a plan that had come into existence before you started your functions in
15 July of 1998. Is that -- am I correct on that?
16 A. Yes. The war plan was made earlier on. It was approved, verified
17 considerably before I came to work in the General Staff.
18 Q. Do you know what year that might have taken place, when that war
19 plan was elaborated, in what year? If you don't know that's fine, but if
20 you do, could you tell us?
21 A. I could not tell you exactly what the time was because I was in
22 the command of the 2nd Army as chief of staff then, so I cannot tell you
23 for sure.
24 Q. All right. Thank you. I'd like to ask you some questions about
25 the expression Supreme Command, and my question is this: Are you aware
1 and can you confirm to us that the expression Supreme Command is not
2 provided for in the constitution of the FRY or the law on the VJ or the
3 law on defence or the rules of service of the VJ? The expression "Supreme
4 Command" does not exist in any of those texts. Are you aware of it and
5 can you confirm it?
6 A. Yes. What you said just now is correct, that in the documents you
7 refer to there's no specific reference to the existence of a Supreme
9 Q. I'll move to one last area of questions. General, the evidence in
10 this case is that on the 23rd of March, 1999, the Supreme Defence Council
11 held a meeting. The position of Mr. Milutinovic is that after the 23rd of
12 March, 1999, and throughout the period of the state of war in 1999, the
13 Supreme Defence Council, that is the presidents Milosevic, Milutinovic,
14 and Djukanovic, did not meet. Are you aware of that?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan, before that question's answered
16 what is the basis in the evidence for that?
17 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I can refer the Chamber to Exhibit 1D35.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Which says.
19 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Which is a submission made by Serbia-Montenegro
20 in the --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's a submission which is not yet part of
22 the evidence in the case and may yet not become part of the evidence in
23 the case. And is that the sole foundation for that question?
24 MR. O'SULLIVAN: That is -- well, Your Honour, it --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Milutinovic has chosen not to give evidence, so
1 we need to a basis for the question you're putting to the witness.
2 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Well, I would -- I submit that's -- well --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not saying that the line you're pursuing is
4 inappropriate, but the way you're doing it I think is and that question
5 should be rephrased.
6 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Well, this -- this is an exhibit on our 65 ter
7 list, and we rely on it and this witness perhaps can confirm it.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Confirm what?
9 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Confirm that there were no meetings of the VSO.
10 He may be aware of it.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a question you can ask without putting that
12 document specifically to him I would have thought.
13 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I believe I had put the question without the
14 document first. You asked me if there was a basis.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Yes. Very well, continue.
16 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
17 Q. Sir, are you aware that the Supreme Defence Council, that is
18 Presidents Milosevic, Milutinovic, and Djukanovic, did not meet after the
19 23rd of March, 1999, nor at any time during the state of war in 1999? Are
20 you aware of that? And if you're not, that's fine.
21 A. To be quite precise, on the basis of what I know, I went late in
22 March, the end of March, to become commander of the 2nd Army. When in
23 mid-April I got orders on resubordination of the MUP forces to the army, I
24 got a reply from the minister of the interior of Montenegro that one of
25 the conditions, why conditions were not created for the MUP to be
1 resubordinated to the army is due to the fact that president Djukanovic
2 was not taking part in the activities of the Supreme Defence Council.
3 That is the only thing I can confirm. That is what I have in writing from
4 the minister of the interior of Montenegro. It had to do with President
5 Djukanovic and his statement to that effect. Now, whether it was actually
6 was that way -- well, I'm just saying what was contained in that
8 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I have no further questions.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, in the interests of justice I would
11 like you to look at page 13 of document 4D140, because I think the record
12 needs to be accurate with regard to what this document is.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have it on the screen, please.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Page 13, please. We don't need the B/C/S version,
15 I don't think. Unless we need to ask the witness a question about it.
16 It's page 13, please. Where the signatures are. There it is.
17 Your Honour will see at the end of this document there are two
18 things. It contains attachments, composition and strength of combat
19 groups, decision on the map for phase 1, decision on the map for phase 2.
20 It is typed in five copies and delivered, past tense, to the Pristina
21 Corps command, the Nis corps command, the 203rd MABR command, 202nd POB
22 command, Pristina VOK command. Nowhere does it say it was sent to the
23 General Staff for approval.
24 This was an order that was signed and stamped and sent out that
25 day and there's no question about that.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, ask the witness that question,
2 please, or if you prefer, I will ask him.
3 Further cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
4 Q. General, I think you heard my representation regarding what
5 happened with this document. I'd like you to look at that page that has
6 the signature of General Samardzic on it. It indicates there how it was
7 distributed, doesn't it?
8 A. A document that is made this way of this document of the commander
9 of the 3rd Army is made is submitted to subordinate commands. As stated
10 here these are the command of the Pristina Corps, of the Nis corps, the
11 command of the 203rd mixed artillery brigade, then the 202nd brigade that
12 was also submitted to that army, and number 5 the Pristina command. Those
13 are the units that received orders from the 3rd Army with the signature of
14 the commander of that army, General Samardzic.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, did this document or would this
18 document in accordance with normal practice go to the General Staff for
19 approval before the orders were issued to the various elements of the army
20 referred to at the bottom of that page?
21 A. I mean, we should clarify this. The commander of the army
22 explained his decision in a timely fashion in terms of the engagement of
23 these forces, and he got approval from the chief of General Staff. Once
24 he received this approval, then this task was being implemented. As we
25 can see from the order of the commander of the army, we see that the order
1 with the attachments were submitted to the subordinate commands and --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Please don't repeat yourself. Does that mean that
3 you're saying that the document we have on the screen did not go from
4 General Samardzic to the General Staff?
5 A. Judge, when the commander of the army came to explain the
6 decision, then usually his plan would be made in two copies. One copy
7 that would be approved would be given to the commander of the army, and
8 the other copy would remain in the General Staff. So what the commander
9 of the army sent down the chain to his subordinate commands was not sent
10 to the superior command on the basis of the decision of the superior
11 command he made his own order and sent it to his subordinate commands as
12 we can see here as attached.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: So are you saying that the plan, which was in two
14 copies, must be a different document from this?
15 A. The plan that was done in two copies was not in the army command.
16 There is the order and that is map attached. On the basis of that order
17 then excerpts are sent to the subordinate commands through this kind of
18 order as stated here. This approved order signed and sent to subordinate
20 JUDGE BONOMY: But who approved this order?
21 A. Well, it was signed by the commander of the army, as you can see.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm misunderstanding your reference to approval.
23 So to be absolutely clear, you're saying -- are you saying there is a
24 document, another document, that is the plan which was in two copies and
25 was approved but isn't part of the chain of command? Is that what you're
2 A. This fully exists in terms of command. The chief of General Staff
3 issued a directive, and then the commander issued --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Please, please, just tell me whether there are
5 somewhere in the world two copies of a plan on the basis of which approval
6 was given for this document then to be issued by General Samardzic.
7 A. There are no two plans. There is one order that was defined.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I -- Mr. Ackerman, can you help us further?
9 I just do not understand this. I don't know what the two copies were that
10 were discussed with the army one of which then had the map attached to it
11 if it's not this document drafted by General Samardzic for approval so
12 that he could then proceed with that approval to give commands as
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this document was -- was drafted and
15 sent out the day after Perisic issued his directive. It clearly was
16 distributed, as this witness has said, to the various commands shown at
17 the bottom. Now, what intervened between the time Perisic sent his order
18 which would have gone probably instantly from Belgrade to Nis and when
19 this was finally issued the next day I don't know but it may very well
20 have been an approval by Perisic orally or something like that.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you --
22 MR. ACKERMAN: In the normal course of things orders issued by
23 commanders of the 3rd Army and Pristina Corps and places like that don't
24 get approved before they're issued. They're issued and copies go up the
25 chain and if somebody finds a problem with it then they deal with it but
1 if you had to send every order you were going to issue up to the General
2 Staff to get approval before you issue it you couldn't fight a war.
3 Things have to happen quickly, not through all this bureaucracy.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, if what Mr. Ackerman has just said
5 is correct, this document that we're looking at would not be submitted to
6 the General Staff; is that correct?
7 A. The commander of the army explained his decision to the chief of
8 General Staff. When that was approved, then through the order he
9 regulated how the order would be carried out, how the task would be
10 fulfilled, and that is what you see in this order here sent to the
11 subordinate commands.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: And he wouldn't send a copy of this even for the
13 record to be kept with the General Staff?
14 A. At his own level he keeps a copy. One copy remains in the army
15 command. And excerpts are sent to subordinate commands as you can see
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And the plan that was approved was simply what he
18 told the Chief of the General Staff. There's nothing in writing that
19 shows what the plan was on the strength of which he was then able to issue
20 these orders?
21 A. I don't see why there is a confusion with plans. Attached to the
22 order is the map on which we see the plan of engagement of forces what is
23 referred to here is some special plan. So the order is the main document
24 that regulates the way in which the task will be implemented. And on the
25 map one only represents the engagement of forces in terms of time and
1 place. How -- which forces will be engaged in carrying out the task.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, your evidence to us is that there
3 was a directive on the 28th of July and that there was this document, this
4 order, on the 29th of July. Now, the directive did not authorise this
5 order. The directive required plan to be submitted to the General Staff.
6 Now, am I misunderstanding that?
7 A. No. In essence the director of the General Staff was drafted and
8 done or, rather, sent on the 28th. The command of the army when they
9 received this directive of the 28th worked on it, that is to say on
10 assessing the situation, on assessing the overall situation, and then they
11 wrote an order as we can see here. That was defined on the 29th, what you
12 are asking me about now. That was written on the 29th on the basis of the
13 directive of the chief of General Staff that had been made a day earlier.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Was there then a map attached to the directive?
15 A. From the General Staff usually -- well, since the General Staff
16 does not give direct orders to units at textual level there was only the
17 directive in written form as a written document. There was not graphic
18 representation on the map from the General Staff. The decision on the map
19 for the engagement of forces is done by the commander of the army,
20 commander of the corps, lower levels.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
22 MR. STAMP: May I, Your Honour, since this is re-examination? I
23 know we have spent a long time on this, but I'd just like to ask him two
24 questions just to clarify something which I thought was clear, but now I'm
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Arising from what?
2 MR. STAMP: Arising from some of the answers he just gave.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
4 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
5 Q. Could you look quickly at 3D702. That's a one-page document.
6 Order to the 3rd Army command and the heading is Grom 98 in the top
7 right-hand corner, and it says: "Draw up the plan of engagement of forces
8 on coordinate named Grom 98," and it goes on in paragraph 2. In paragraph
9 3 he says: "Submit the plan of engagement to General staff by 3rd of
11 Now, the plan that we're seeing here that you were just
12 discussing, was this plan signed by General Samardzic on the 29th? The
13 plan that he was ordered to submit to the General Staff by the 3rd of
15 A. As you can see here, the director of the chief of General Staff
16 made it obligatory for the army command to act immediately upon receiving
17 the directive to implementing the task, inter alia assessing the situation
18 and preparing documents for the implementation of the tasks involved, and
19 that is why it is written here that the commander of the army is asking
20 for approval of that decision of his on the 3rd of August as envisaged
21 here, or, rather, that he do what the chief of General Staff ordered on
22 the 3rd of August.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic, the question you were asked was a
24 very simple one. There's an instruction in this document to submit the
25 plan of engagement by the 3rd of August. Now, what was that plan of
1 engagement and was it submitted?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge, the approval of the plan,
3 that is to say the approval of the plan that the General Staff should know
4 what the idea of the army commander was, how he thought he should carry
5 out the task and to have this plan of his approved in terms of engagement
6 of forces in accordance with his plan and the graphic representation on
7 the map. So this has to do with what the army commander defined in his
8 order of the 29th of July. So --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you deal with the question? Was that plan
10 referred to in paragraph 3 submitted to the General Staff? Yes or no?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When this plan was approved one copy
12 should have remained in the General Staff.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me go back and ask the question, and please
14 don't avoid answering it this time. Was the plan referred to in paragraph
15 3, in documentary form, submitted to the General Staff? Yes or no?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander of the army explained
17 his decision on --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you understand -- do you understand the idea of
19 answering yes or no? Was the plan referred to in paragraph 3 of this
20 document submitted to the General Staff?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was. I think that one
22 copy of that plan should have remained in the General Staff.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not the question we're asking you. The
24 question is was it submitted?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand what you're
1 asking me, what the core of the matter is. Once the decision of the
2 commander of the army was approved, then it came into force, and the
3 commander of the army, once he obtained this approval, went back to
4 carrying out the task.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic --
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's be clear that there's not an interpretation
8 problem here. You have the document of the 28th of July in front of you.
9 Would you read aloud point number 3.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paragraph 3: "I shall carry out
11 approval of the plan of engagement of forces on the 3rd of August, 1998,
12 at 1100 hours in the GS of the army of Yugoslavia."
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that explains it all at least in part. It
14 clarifies it, because there's no order to submit a plan. I apologise to
15 you for getting so impatient, but I was proceeding on an English
16 translation which is inaccurate.
17 Mr. Stamp, do you have any further questions?
18 MR. STAMP: No, nothing further, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic?
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, no questions.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Obradovic -- oh, sorry. Mr. Petrovic.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just have something
23 to note in relation to an exhibit that was used yesterday during the
24 cross-examination carried out by the Sainovic Defence. It is the minutes
25 from the collegium of the General Staff dated the 30th of October, 1998.
1 In stating what the exhibits that we will be using -- we said that we
2 would just use it to present to the witness. We stand by that. So we do
3 not want those minutes of the 30th of October to go into evidence. We are
4 not going to tender them. We have done what we intended to do.
5 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I had indicated that I would like to
6 have a look at it because we did not have translations of the entire
7 document. I think to understand the context of the document and the
8 context in which the questions were put it would be prudent if the Court
9 would accept into evidence the collegium minutes.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be of
13 assistance. We are not opposed to having the document admitted into
14 evidence. We just wanted to be consistent in terms of what we had
15 originally announced. So if the Prosecutor believes that this is the way
16 to proceed and if the Trial Chamber is of that opinion, we are not opposed
17 to that. Thank you.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it will be admitted into evidence. Well, it
19 will be marked for identification at this stage until it's translated,
20 and -- I'm reminded that it's not as simple as that. We don't just hand
21 over documents here. It has to be uploaded into e-court and that's in
22 your hands Mr. Petrovic and what you will be required to do is upload it
23 immediately so it gets a number and then you will have to make a filing so
24 it will be translated so it can be properly admitted.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] That will be done, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
2 Mr. Obradovic, that completes your evidence. Thank you very much
3 for coming here to give it. You're now free to leave the courtroom.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
5 I wish to thank the Prosecutor, and I wish to thank all the lawyers on the
6 Defence teams.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Before we proceed to the next witness I want to
9 raise with counsel issues that arise from the delayed production of expert
11 As I understand the position, the witness Prsic will not be
12 called. The report of the witness Stankovic was filed on the 9th of
13 August. The record of the witness Jokic was filed on the 4th of
14 September. The English translation for the report of Simonovic has been
15 uploaded into the system. That for Stankovic has not, and -- although it
16 is available, as far as I'm aware, and there is no information available
17 to us about the translation of the report of Radinovic.
18 Now, can someone bring us up-to-date on these because it will
19 probably be necessary for us to make an order about the running of time in
20 relation to the reaction to these reports.
21 Mr. Ivetic.
22 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I can address the two that I am
23 responsive for the Stankovic and the Simonovic. It's interesting both
24 translations are in e-court but there is some issue that the Stankovic one
25 has not been released. My -- it has -- the latest I have is that
1 Stankovic has been released we have a filing prepared for the Stankovic
2 report to give notice that it's available, that should be filed this
3 afternoon. The -- we are preparing a similar filing for the Simonovic
4 report. However, my cursory review of the translation has found at least
5 two significant errors of translation. So don't know whether in -- I had
6 planned in the filing to at least bring to the attention of the parties
7 those two that I had found and then I don't know whether there are more.
8 Obviously I only had a few moments in court to leaf through it and I
9 found, for instance, instead of RJB the translation is RDB, which is a
10 completely different service, but I think that one should be easily
11 remedied just by giving notice to that in the -- in the submission. So
12 those two are both available in English for what they're worth, and they
13 will be filed, I guess, by the start of business tomorrow, formally being
14 tendered to the opposing side. So how -- how the Court wants to set the
15 timing for the other things that need to be done pursuant to the rules is
16 up to Your Honours, but that's the situation with respect to those two
17 reports for which my team was responsible.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, our understanding is that Stankovic has in
19 fact been distributed to the other Defence teams.
20 MR. IVETIC: That's correct, because it's a joint -- a joint -- a
21 joint expert. We are preparing --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: But -- but that's the one you say you're concerned
23 about the translation.
24 MR. IVETIC: No. Simonovic the other one.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
1 MR. IVETIC: And it's my understand that both are now -- both are
2 now in e-court and they are released which means they can be accessed by
3 the parties although we have not formally given notice of that we plan to
4 do so this afternoon with respect to Stankovic and this morning with
5 respect to Simonovic I can identify that 6D668 is the Simonovic
6 translation 6D670 is the Stankovic translation.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: 6D668 and 6D670 for the transcript.
8 MR. IVETIC: And that's correct.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And who is responsible for Radinovic.
10 MR. IVETIC: My colleague Mr. Visnjic.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, can you help me out on that?
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the translation of
13 Mr. Radinovic, Professor Radinovic's expert report according to my
14 information has the deadline of the 15th of September. I would like to
15 also use this opportunity to inform you that another translation request
16 was submitted by the Defence team an annex to this report. It contains
17 three elements, one being a number of technical errors that occurred
18 during the drafting of the first report, and this includes several
19 exhibits which were simply omitted, were not attached to the report, which
20 is something of course that we'd like to do and will do. The other thing
21 being supplementing the report by a couple of footnotes.
22 Professor Radinovic added a number of other exhibits that had been
23 presented throughout the trial so far. I do have a proposal for Chamber.
24 This is something I was going to propose earlier on. By your leave and in
25 cooperation with the translation service the CLSS, we might be able to
1 amend this document and do a better translation so that we have a -- a --
2 we have the report and the annex as a single document. Obviously we would
3 be filing a written request to have to done.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: There isn't time though to start this exercise all
5 over again, Mr. Visnjic. The 15th of September sounds to me like a date
6 when the whole lot can be translated and available. What you are
7 referring to as supplementary material does not sound very extensive.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, no.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: You can consider that and decide how to approach
10 it, but I think you would be well advised to discuss the situation with
11 CLSS and see if that can be a shortcut to compiling one report including
12 the additional material.
13 What we shall do is deal with the ones which are available in a
14 written order and deal with the final one when it is available. So it's
15 important, Mr. Ivetic, that these filings are made forthwith. Thank you.
16 Now, your next witness, Mr. Visnjic?
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our witness number 4,
18 General Branko Gajic.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 WITNESS: BRANKO GAJIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Gajic. Would you please make
23 the solemn declaration to speak the truth by reading allowed the document
24 you now have.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated. There's no need to
3 take anything out of your briefcase unless it's spectacles or something.
4 That's it. Thank you. We found a number of witnesses bringing documents
5 out of brief cases and putting them away religiously every time we break
6 and never being referred to them start to finish, so let's try to avoid
8 You're now going to be examined by Mr. Visnjic on behalf of
9 Mr. Ojdanic.
10 Mr. Visnjic.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am partly to blame
12 for some of these witnesses because I told them they should keep their 92
13 ter statements in front of them at all times just in case.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you issue the matching briefcases as well.
15 Examination by Mr. Visnjic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] General, good afternoon. Could you please state
17 your name for the record?
18 A. I'm Branko Gajic. I was born on the 17th of July, 1944. I'm a
19 Major General of the VJ in retirement.
20 Q. Thank you very much. General, before we start with your evidence,
21 I want to ask you if it's true that you made a statement to the Ojdanic
22 Defence team which you signed on the 17th of August, 2008 [as
24 A. Yes. And if I may just additionally explain something. There was
25 an investigator who spoke to me on the 8th of August. I wanted to raise
1 certain objections about some substantial matters in that statement, so he
2 corrected those, and after that I was ready to sign the statement which
3 finally happened on the 17th of August.
4 Q. Thank you. As far as I understand the date on page 1 of the
5 statement is the 8th of August, and the last page we see the date of the
6 17th of August 19 -- 2008; right? So this is what accounts for it.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it true that as you were preparing for your evidence here you
9 looked at the statement?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you confirm that everything in that statement is true? Were
12 you to testify about these same matters here in the courtroom you would
13 give all the same answers would you not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. General, let me just ask you one thing, please. Let us make a
16 short pause between questions and answers. It is necessary so that the
17 interpreters are able to distinguish who said what.
18 Your Honours --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, what is the exhibit number for the
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was just about to
22 say that. 3D08 -- 1084. 3D1084.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] That is Mr. Gajic's statement.
25 Q. General, what's your profession?
1 A. I'm retired right now, but I used to be an active-duty officer
2 until my retirement.
3 Q. And your rank at retirement was?
4 A. Major-General.
5 Q. What were your responsibilities throughout 1999 and -- 1998 and
7 A. Until the 27th of April, 1999, and previously throughout 1998, I
8 worked as assistant chief of the security administration and I was also
9 the deputy chief.
10 Q. And your rank at the time was?
11 A. I was a colonel and remained in that rank until the 16th of June,
12 1999, when I was promoted to the rank of Major-General.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I won't be going
15 through all the details of the witness's role or job. This is something
16 you can look up in the statement.
17 Q. General, in view of your post, the post that you held back in
18 1998, were you receiving information about the activity of the Kosovo
19 Liberation Army?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you tell me how you were receiving that type of information?
22 A. It was through reports submitted to the security administration by
23 various counter-intelligence bodies of the VJ. Counter-intelligence
24 bodies more specifically attached to unit commands throughout the VJ and
25 counter-intelligence bodies that were part of the counter-intelligence
1 groups and in actual fact formed a spatial component but in a formal sense
2 they were attached to the security administration.
3 The other way in which we obtained information on the Kosovo
4 Liberation Army was through exchanging information with the Military
5 Intelligence Service of the VJ and also through exchanging information
6 with the State Security Service and the MUP, M-U-P, although to a far
7 lesser extent. It was also through exchanging information with SID, the
8 service for investigations and documents which is attached to the foreign
9 office. We also obtained information from centres for electronic
10 surveillance, military ones. Such information as was relevant for the
11 work of the security administration and the counter intelligence sector.
12 Q. Thank you. General, were you also receiving information on
13 exchanging data with certain foreign set-ups or groups?
14 A. Yes, but rarely. And normally it would be through special
15 channels. For example, through the State Security Service or the
16 investigations and document service of the MUP, but this was on
17 exceptional and rare occasions.
18 Q. In paragraph 12 of your statement you tell us about certain
19 contacts that you had with foreign services.
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. Anything to add about your contacts with the American service?
22 A. That's right. Sometime in August 1997, the then head of the
23 security administration, General Aco Dimitrijevic, told me that people
24 from the CIA were asking to get in touch with us because previously they
25 had already got in touch with the state security sector. The team that
1 arrived in Belgrade, the CIA team, was headed by the then CIA director,
2 and they expressed a desire to make contact with us. This was approved by
3 the General Staff. So we created a platform for those contacts, and I was
4 directly involved in -- in this job.
5 The first contact occurred on the 22nd of October, 1997. It was
6 representatives of the DIA who appears for that first talk, not CIA. This
7 was just an introductory meeting. We were getting to know each other. We
8 were exchanging some basic information about our respective establishments
9 and personnel and so on and so forth. And then at one point they told us
10 that what they really wanted to talk -- those who really wanted to talk to
11 us were the CIA people. We had a total of four meetings, four contacts,
12 if you like, with the CIA, three in 1997 and one in 1998. Those in 1997
13 occurred on the 14th of November, the 25th of November, and the 10th of
14 December, and the one in 1998 occurred on the 2nd of March. That was the
15 end of it. Our contacts were disrupted unilaterally by the Americans. We
16 never learned why. The way events were to be fold confirmed that we were
17 indeed right and that there must have ban political decision behind this
19 JUDGE BONOMY: What is DIA?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is the Military Intelligence
21 Service or agency.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General -- page 103, line 4. The witness said American, American.
25 I do believe that's clear as it is, however?
1 JUDGE BONOMY: You mean American Military Intelligence Service?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, DIA stands for Defence Intelligence
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, aside from other types of information that you were
8 exchanging at the time, can you tell us what you spoke to the CIA people
9 about? I mean about the Kosovo Liberation Army and the situation in
11 A. If I can just say two or they things about what they wanted to
12 know. They wanted to know about the Islamic factor, especially in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He wanted to know about training centres run by
14 Mujahedin in Zenica, in Doboj, and so on and so forth. And then we also
15 talked about the Kosovo Liberation Army and about Kosovo in general.
16 When we spoke about that, a team that was led by Ms. Bukovski who
17 was head of the unit in the CIA for monitoring the Islamic factor as they
18 referred to it at the time in the former Yugoslavia or the Balkans.
19 We talked about Kosovo, and we talked about the KLA, and we told
20 them that in Kosovo there was being a paramilitary terrorist organisation
21 that was being set up. It wasn't entirely established by this time. It
22 still had the shape of several terrorist groups that normally numbered 5,
23 10, or up to 30 members, and most of those groups were set up in two
24 areas. One of these areas being Drenica, and this is right in the middle
25 of Kosovo, roughly speaking. It lies along the
1 Pristina-Orahovac-Djakovica road, and the other area was Metohija, the
2 reason being this is where the border belt was facing Albania, which was a
3 very important area, much used by this terrorist organisation. We
4 expressed our concern at the emergence of this terrorist organisation. We
5 said that they constituted a political expression or a political means of
6 a movement of which the final objective was to create an independent state
7 in Kosovo and Metohija. That was stage one. And stage two was probably
8 to create something that I could refer to as Greater Albania. We told
9 them --
10 Q. My apologies. Just slow down a little, please.
11 A. My apologies. My apologies. We also told them that the tear of
12 the organisation was enjoying absolute support in Albania. Albania was a
13 logistics base for them both politically and logistically speaking. It
14 opened its borders to the terrorists, especially after the Salih Berisha's
15 regime had been crushed, which was sometime late in 1997. It was brought
16 down. We were facing great difficulty trying to secure our border because
17 we were unable to control infiltrations and incursions by these terrorists
18 and weapons being brought in from Albania. We also told them that we had
19 information on the links between the KLA on the one hand and the Mujahedin
20 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other parts of the Arab world, Saudi Arabia,
21 Iraq, Iran, that sort of thing.
22 They confirmed that some of our information was accurate. They
23 also said, however, that it was difficult for them to convince those in
24 charge in the US that the KLA was a terrorist organisation. They also
25 underlined that the problem was at its worst among them in the State
1 Department and was being aggravated by an extremely influential Albanian
2 lobby led by Mr. Dole but also by Mr. Lantosh and Mr. Gardi [phoen] and so
3 on and so forth.
4 Q. Slow is down a little please.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I think we'll need to move on to something that's
6 relevant to the period we're dealing with, Mr. Visnjic. Is there a
7 particular reason why we're getting the history of discussions with the
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, one of the aspects of
10 this witness's evidence will be the activities of the KLA. What I wanted
11 the General to explain for our benefit was the pretext for these
12 activities, and this coincides with the end of 1997 and the beginning of
13 1998. I don't believe that the General will be dwelling in great detail
14 on these matters, at least based on my conversation with him. I don't
15 believe that will be the case. But as far as I understand, this is a
16 particular stage of the clashes in Kosovo. The previous stage ends,
17 roughly speaking, sometime in March 1998.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you -- what do you see as the particular
19 relevance of the activities of the KLA in general rather than their
20 activities in the localities which are the subject of the indictment?
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, above all, Your Honours, we
22 are trying to say that the activities of the VJ were directly related to
23 the activities of the KLA, meaning the activities of the VJ were for the
24 most part a response to actions taken by the KLA or an attempt to keep
25 them at bay. We are trying to show that in essence the KLA was a
1 terrorist organisation, and the VJ had every reason to use force against
2 them in the way that it was eventually used.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: That -- all of that is for us ultimately to decide
4 based on facts rather than people constantly saying the KLA are
5 terrorists. It's easy to say and may even be easy to accept, but just the
6 constant repetition of it doesn't take us anywhere, whereas if we get to
7 evidence of events that occur in the areas where -- that the indictment
8 concentrates on then we might get something that's relevant to the issues
9 for us.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by all means that is
11 what we will be doing. I never thought, and we never tried to focus on
12 this particular part of his testimony. This was just an introduction that
13 brings us to the next stage when we are going to be bringing in a large
14 number of documents that precisely respond to the question that you put to
15 me now.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: It's beginning to sound like propaganda this, so
17 please let's get to the evidence.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. Very well. General, tell me, you described the sources from which
20 you gained knowledge about the KLA. Can you tell us what your knowledge
21 was about the activities of the Kosovo Verification Mission -- sorry, the
22 activities of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
23 A. Well, our first information on the existence of the KLA was
24 received towards the end of 1995, say the beginning of 1996. This
25 information was that in the territory of Kosovo there was intensive work
1 going on in terms of establishing and storage and diversion groups
2 numbering 3 to 5 members up to 10 members, actually. Later on they became
3 stronger, up to 30 members even.
4 In rural areas where the majority population was Albanian, they
5 were being recruited either on a voluntary basis or they were coerced to
6 join the KLA. In these rural areas staffs were being established that
7 command this activity and bring it all together, the activities of all
8 these terrorists groups. In fact, this was throughout Kosovo. In some
9 places this development was slower, in other places faster. That depended
10 on many circumstances.
11 Q. General, what was the focus of their activity? Against who were
12 their activities geared?
13 A. Primarily towards the MUP; then the army; thirdly the non-Albanian
14 population, primarily the Serb population, but also the Albanian
15 population that they thought did not accept terrorism as a method for
16 achieving political goals.
17 Towards the end of 1997, we had had information that was quite
18 reliable that about 80 per cent of the Albanian population was against
19 armed violence in the attainment of ultimate objectives, namely the
20 independence of Kosovo. That was a problem that caused concern within the
21 KLA and their staffs, so in that period, that is basically all of 1998.
22 With greater or lesser intensity they focused their activities on winning
23 over the Albanian population in rural areas for their own objectives and
24 for the KLA.
25 Q. Tell me, how did this work? What was their strategy?
1 A. They used a wide array of measures. I would like to use the
2 following term "ideological indoctrination," all the way up to methods of
3 coercion that boil down to the following: The method of threats, issuing
4 threats, all the way up to kidnapping, and in some cases they even
5 resorted to liquidation, because in the meantime they established groups
6 that were involved in that only.
7 As early as the end of 1997, they recorded all military-age
8 Albanians, from 18 to 60 that is. In the mean time, they had village
9 staffs. They had a network of village staffs, and they even established
10 illegal prisons. In some places like Smonica in Metohija they even had
11 two illegal prisons in Junik two illegal prisons. They were mostly
12 located in private homes, the homes of people who enjoyed special trust,
13 people who were commanders of these illegal prisons.
14 Q. Thank you, General. Several Prosecution witnesses testified here
15 and stated that in the beginning of 1998 the situation in Kosovo can be
16 subdivided into two periods, up to March and after March 1998. Can you
17 explain to us why -- or, rather, do you agree with this, and can you give
18 us your comment?
19 A. Yes. This period up to March, up to the 5th of March, 1998, is
20 actually linked to the end of 1997 where there was intensive work going on
21 in terms of organisation, but also there was also terrorist activity and
22 armed attacks. I will just state that in 1997 only as far as the army of
23 Yugoslavia is concerned 106 terrorist attacks and armed provocations were
24 launched against them. Fifty-one in the area itself and 55 along the
1 Q. What is it that happened on the 5th of March?
2 A. On the 5th of March, 1998, in a clash with the security forces a
3 terrorist group was liquidated headed by Adem Jashari of Drenica, who in
4 1975 had eight criminal reports filed against him. He fled in order to
5 avoid serving a sentence. In the meantime he completed a sabotage course
6 in Albania and then he was an instructor, and sometime in 1996 he returned
7 to Kosovo and he became the head of a strong terrorist group in Drenica.
8 On the 5th of March he was liquidated.
9 Q. Tell me who took part in this action? Rather, let me rephrase.
10 Did the army take part in this action?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Thank you. Now we move on to the period after March 1998. Can
13 you tell me now what characterises that period, what kind of activity on
14 the part of the KLA?
15 A. The period after the 5th of March is characterised, to put it in a
16 single sentence, by significant intensification of all forms of activity
17 of the terrorist organisation of the KLA. That is to say from the point
18 of view of organisation, from the point of view of increasing their ranks,
19 forming new terrorist groups, staffs, they focused on the rural areas.
20 The villages, that is.
21 Furthermore, they intensified their efforts to obtain weapons,
22 primarily from Albania where their most significant is sources were, but
23 also from Montenegro and Macedonia or through Montenegro and Macedonia.
24 That is to say that they always had that problem. That was a constant
25 problem for them. So that was one of their main tasks.
1 Furthermore, in their activity they intensified activities against
2 the MUP, namely they attacked police stations. They attacked patrols.
3 They kidnapped individual policemen. They carried out liquidations, and
4 they attacked the army, especially at the border. There were numerous
5 border incidents and armed attacks because the army made it impossible to
6 bring weapons and terrorists in.
7 Q. General, I have to interrupt you. When you say vis-a-vis the
8 army, apart from the border incidents what other kind of incidents were
9 there launched by the KLA against the army of Yugoslavia?
10 A. That's just what I was trying to say. There were quite a few
11 armed attacks and provocations along roads in order to impede
12 communication within the military. Not a single motor vehicle, military
13 motor vehicle could go down roads without armed escorts because they were
14 subjected to real terrorist attack.
15 Q. If I understand you correctly -- or were you trying to say
16 something else?
17 A. Also there were attacks and provocations against units that were
18 combat groups in the area. I'm talking about this period until the
19 October agreement was signed in 1998. There were combat groups in the
20 area, and the KLA attacked them too. As a matter of fact, they did not
21 use only small arms but also recoilless guns, mortars, et cetera. That is
22 say larger calibre weapons. And all of that was really a big risk.
23 Q. General, if I understand you well. Let's try to make this bit
24 more concise. The KLA starting in the month of March abruptly intensified
25 its activity to such a degree that it affected the normal work and the
1 activity of the army of Yugoslavia -- or, rather, they even threatened the
2 very functioning of the army of Yugoslavia.
3 A. Yes, one could put it that way.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that this
6 would be a good point in time --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] -- For us to break off for the day.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Although we started your evidence quite late today,
10 Mr. Gajic, we nevertheless have to interrupt now because that's the end of
11 our sitting for today, and we will resume tomorrow at 9.00. You should be
12 back here ready to continue your evidence at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
13 Meanwhile, it's very important that you have no discussion with anyone
14 about your evidence or about the evidence in this case at all. Speak to
15 whoever you like about whatever you like except the evidence.
16 Now, could you please leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll
17 see you tomorrow at 9.00.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.29 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Friday, the 7th day of
21 September, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.