1 Monday, 17 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Smiljanic.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The examination by Mr. Visnjic will continue in a
9 moment. Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration you made at the
10 beginning of your evidence to speak the truth continues to apply to that
11 evidence today.
12 Mr. Visnjic.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 WITNESS: SPASOJE SMILJANIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examination by Mr. Visnjic: [Continued]
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. General, let me remind you of our discussion on Friday when I
20 showed you the collegium held on the 6th of November, 1998, that's Exhibit
21 3D664, and a part of the -- our discussion where you explained to us
22 General Dimitrijevic's assessment related to the current situation in
23 Kosovo and Metohija, or rather, that the security forces had withdrawn and
24 that the KLA had already taken some territory and facilities and his
25 assessment about future developments.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like this same document
2 to be brought up on e-court, page 7, paragraphs 5 and 6 in B/C/S and page
3 6, or rather, 7, paragraph 1 in English.
4 Q. General, after General Dimitrijevic spoke, General Marjanovic took
5 the floor. What was his post at the time, General Marjanovic's?
6 A. If I remember correctly, I think that he was the chief of the
7 artillery administration.
8 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you if you see the document in
9 front of you in e-court.
10 A. Yes, I have it.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, I seem to have a problem
12 because I don't have it in front of me, so let us try -- I have it, it's
14 Q. Could you please comment on what General Marjanovic said,
15 particularly the second paragraph beginning with the words: "In my view,
16 this indicates that the assessment that they would wait for spring was
17 correct ..."
18 A. Well, General Marjanovic confirms and is in agreement with the
19 assessment presented by General Dimitrijevic about the return of the
20 terrorist forces into the area abandoned by the security forces of
21 Yugoslavia and they're reconstituting, re-arming, and preparations for
22 possibly some larger-scale actions. And he notes, just as General
23 Dimitrijevic did, that his assessments and the assessments made by General
24 Dimitrijevic, that they would wait for the spring and that there would be
25 a large-scale offensive in spring on part of the terrorist forces in
1 Kosovo and Metohija were correct.
2 Q. General, but both Generals Marjanovic and Dimitrijevic, they make
3 certain proposals as to how the army should respond, given the situation.
4 A. General Dimitrijevic and General Marjanovic in the situation that
5 they faced made a proposal that the General Staff should address the
6 relevant authorities in the state and ask that the verifiers of the OSCE
7 mission should abide by the agreement, that they should not be biased, and
8 that they should bind the other side to abide by what they had accepted in
9 the agreement with the OSCE mission.
10 Q. Thank you, General.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now could we have page 8 in the
12 B/C/S version and page 7 in English, last paragraph for the Judges to see,
13 and then page 8 in English. Could we now have page 8 in English, please.
14 Q. General, General Perisic did not attend this collegium meeting.
15 When General Perisic was not present, who chaired the collegium?
16 A. The Chief of the General Staff was not present at the meeting. In
17 this case and Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic, the deputy Chief of Staff
18 chaired the meeting.
19 Q. General, could we please comment on what General Ojdanic said
20 here, that is the second paragraph of his intervention, beginning with the
21 words: "Secondly, I absolutely agree with and support the proposal that
22 we should, from our point of view, to the best of our abilities, demand a
23 more vigorous reaction on the part of the international community
24 regarding the fulfilment of the assumed obligations and agreements by the
25 other side."
1 So if you have anything to add or perhaps a comment on this
2 paragraph or does it speak for itself?
3 A. Well, it speaks for itself, certainly, but I can comment by saying
4 that General Ojdanic agreed with the situation in Kosovo and Metohija,
5 which means that the entire General Staff was in agreement. He supported
6 General Dimitrijevic's and General Marjanovic's assessments and made a
7 proposal to the competent authorities in the General Staff that they
8 should intervene with the state authorities to intervene with the
9 international community in order to force the other side to abide by or
10 comply with the obligations they agreed to in the agreement with the OSCE
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I don't want to quote anymore from
13 this document, Your Honours, but I would likely to point to paragraphs 2
14 and 3 in the English text on page 8 that contain parts of General
15 Ojdanic's intervention at that meeting?
16 Q. General, now let us move on to another topic that we could perhaps
17 tie-in with this collegium --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you going to be leading evidence of what was
19 actually done as a result of this?
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can partially lead
21 evidence about what was actually done up until -- as far as the army is
22 concerned, and later for that part --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The real evidence in this situation is surely what
24 communication there was as a result with the KVM. You can talk till the
25 cows come home among yourselves, but what was actually done about it is
1 the most significant thing. Was anything done? Perhaps the witness
3 Mr. Smiljanic, was anything done as a result of this agreement
4 that you all came to?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot claim that it was a direct
6 consequence of this conversation, but definitely there were many such
7 conversations in November and the consequence was the fact that
8 General Milorad Obradovic, who was the chief of our team for cooperation
9 with the OSCE mission, I know that he testified here already, sometime in
10 the beginning, in the first half of December, he notified the collegium
11 that the head of the state commission for cooperation with NATO,
12 Mr. Sainovic, had convened an extraordinary meeting with the western
13 European ambassadors accredited in Belgrade, and the topic was to be a
14 debate about the conduct of the verifiers and the conduct of the other
15 side, and by that they meant the terrorist forces in Kosovo, or rather,
16 the agreement that had been signed on the 17th of October, 1998.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may add, it is our
18 position that even a discussion about that indicates intent and could be
19 taken as evidence regardless of what actually happened later. We believe
20 that even a discussion on this topic is quite significant and serves as an
21 indicator of the existence of the intent on the part of the participants
22 in this conversation on how things should proceed, how they should be
23 dealt with.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: You may be right, Mr. Visnjic, but if there was a
25 document submitted to the KVM following a meeting like this we wouldn't
1 need to go through the meeting, we would just need the document, because
2 it would prove everything; but as it is, there isn't such a simple
4 Anyway, please carry on.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think this is a very
6 difficult question for me at this stage, but we will try to do something
7 about it.
8 Q. General, let us just move on to another topic briefly, but perhaps
9 this collegium might be a good reason to do so. An incident is mentioned
10 as the collegium meeting proceeds involving a NATO aeroplane and since
11 this is an area of your expertise could you please tell us briefly what
12 this was all about and let me ask you at the same time the Yugoslav Army
13 had signed a certain agreement with NATO about the verification that, in
14 fact, regulated the use of air-space; am I correct?
15 A. Yes, you're right. On the 15th of October the army, or rather,
16 the state of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia signed an agreement with
17 NATO on the use of air-space above Kosovo and Metohija, and 25 kilometres
18 into the depth of Serbian territory from the administrative border with
19 Kosovo and Metohija on the part of surveillance aircraft of the NATO
21 Q. General, this agreement was signed by General Perisic, but if I
22 understand you correctly it was signed on behalf of the federal state of
24 A. Yes. General Perisic signed this agreement as the --
25 General Clark and general did it on behalf of the Federal Republic of
2 Q. Well, you answered in part what it was all about, but what was the
3 obligation undertaken by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in this
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] This document was tendered by the
6 Prosecution as P450. We do not have it on our exhibit list, but we will
7 be tendering it as a bar table exhibit. Let me just give you this
8 information if it is necessary for any further proceedings involving this
10 Q. General, what were the obligations undertaken by NATO and by the
11 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under this agreement?
12 A. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under this agreement ceded the
13 air-space over Kosovo and Metohija and 25 kilometres into the depth of the
14 Serbian territory from the administrative border with Kosovo and Metohija
15 for, conditionally speaking, unimpeded flight of NATO surveillance
16 aircraft, U-2 aircraft flying at high altitudes, drones flying at lower
17 altitudes, and surveillance aircraft flying at low and medium altitudes.
18 The obligation undertaken by Yugoslavia was that when NATO aircraft flew
19 over Kosovo and Metohija, including the safety zone, that the aircraft of
20 the socialist -- of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was not to fly,
21 that all acquisition and guidance -- rocket-guidance radar systems should
22 be switched off in the overall territory the Republic of Yugoslavia and
23 that NATO could have priority in choosing their flight paths, their flight
24 times, and they should have priority in air-space, as it is called.
25 Q. So these were the obligations undertaken by the Federal Republic
1 of Yugoslavia. What were NATO's obligations?
2 A. In addition, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had to, as far as
3 all the rocket air-defence systems, air-defence systems, and all systems,
4 fire-control systems using radar data, to remove from Kosovo and
5 Yugoslavia -- Kosovo and Metohija all such systems or to concentrate them
6 and store them in a single facility and to report this storage site where
7 all the rocket systems using -- used in air defence including light
8 artillery, anti-aircraft -- anti-aircraft, light artillery, using radar
9 data for fire control.
10 Q. That was about the commitments of the Federal Republic of
11 Yugoslavia, and what about NATO's commitments, if any?
12 A. NATO had the commitment to announce their flights. There would be
13 a weekly schedule, flight schedule drawn up. NATO picked their times for
14 their flights. They had to leave six to eight hours open for the Yugoslav
15 federal planes to use the air-space over Kosovo; however, in case of any
16 emergencies their own change of plan, perhaps bad weather or something
17 like that, within -- at a half-hour notice they had the right to change
18 their flight schedule, making it impossible for Yugoslav planes to use the
20 Q. General, how did the implementation of this agreement go?
21 A. In order to implement the agreement and monitor the implementation
22 of the agreement, two teams were set up. One was a NATO team
23 headquartered at the headquarters of the air force and anti-aircraft
24 defence and the other was the anti-aircraft defence team which was
25 headquartered at the NATO headquarters, operative headquarters, in
1 Vicenza. There was coordination between the two teams, there was exchange
2 of information, and changes were sometimes announced, which made it
3 possible for this agreement to be implemented with no major hindrances in
4 purely relative terms.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 3D709.
6 Q. General, part of the agreement was that General Wesley Clark
7 should visit the command of the air force on the 21st of December, 1998.
8 What we see before us is a report that was produced in relation to this
9 visit by Major-General Slavko Biga. Let's not dwell too long on this
10 document. Can you just tell us what General Clark said on the
11 implementation of this agreement?
12 A. I'm familiar with the agreement because right after this visit I
13 took up duties of commander of the air force and air defence. It was
14 conveyed to me at the time and I can now see for myself, that
15 General Clark spoke in highly laudatory terms about our cooperation. He
16 even invited the air force command to visit the operations centre in
17 Vicenza. He did have a number of what you might call minor objections or
18 remarks. He said that this sort of cooperation meant that there could be
19 cooperation, but this form of cooperation left the entire air-space over
20 Kosovo and Metohija entirely hamstrung for Yugoslav planes and it was no
21 longer possible to train those planes at the Pristina airport. Given the
22 weather conditions and the terms of the agreement, the fighters regiment
23 at the Pristina airport remained grounded for nearly, nearly, five months.
24 I also have to say that some air force equipment was used pursuant to that
25 agreement -- yes, thank you. I also have to say that some anti-air force
1 equipment or weapons that were kept in a particular location and were then
2 moved were now placed under the strictest control of the OSCE verifiers.
3 And our own people had access to the equipment for the purposes of
4 training for technical inspection, but there had to be a 24-hour notice.
5 And there was a ban on using radar systems, radiation radar systems, and
6 also times when technical repairs were being carried out. Therefore, the
7 agreement was high rest restrictive for the Yugoslav side, and to all
8 practical intents immobilised the whole training system of the air force
9 and air-defence forces in Kosovo for the period of time that the agreement
11 Q. General, the agreement continued to apply until the very beginning
12 of NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia, did it not?
13 A. Yes, until the 20th of March when the NATO team left the air force
14 headquarters, left the country altogether. It was only natural that the
15 agreement should no longer apply. It was a day or two after their
16 departure that a group of air force and air defence officers who had
17 visited Vicenza, the operations headquarter, the NATO operations
18 headquarters, came back.
19 Q. General --
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see 3D690, please.
21 Your Honour, this is the Grom 3 directive, Thunderbolt 3. Can we
22 please show page 3 of the B/C/S, paragraphs 4 and 5; English reference is
23 page 3, paragraphs 4 and 5.
24 Q. General, you as the air force and air defence commander, what did
25 you think about NATO's involvement, the involvement of NATO's air force in
1 terms of the prognosis in Thunderbolt 3, which is the first half of
2 January 1999?
3 A. Me and the entire air force command had a different approach, to
4 some extent, to the aggression model than the one provided in this
5 directive. However, there was a directive from the Supreme Command Staff
6 which we ended up accepting. Our difference was in the fact that we were
7 deeply convinced that should there be an aggression by NATO from the
8 air-space, the entire territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
9 would be attacked at once. We also believed that all the military
10 potential and units throughout the area would come under attack.
11 Furthermore, it was our assessment that somewhat larger forces would be
12 used at first, especially cruise missiles, not just at first but also
13 later, that these would be used to attack targets, which is the word very
14 often used, throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. When the
15 aggression finally came, this proved to be true. From the very first
16 minute, the very first bomb, the very first strike, there was a circular
17 attack on the whole area of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with a
18 slightly larger number of planes and cruise missiles than the assessment
19 had predicted. Until -- and the consequences far outweighed the
21 Q. General, let me try to remind you, you said this was a directive
22 from the Supreme Command Staff; however, this is January 1999?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is this a directive from the Supreme Command Staff or the General
1 A. Yes, the General Staff, my apologies. That was a slip of tongue
2 on my part.
3 Q. All right.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] If we go to paragraphs 4 and 5.
5 Q. Probable targets are mentioned here for the aggressor's air force.
6 Without going into any great detail, tell me which territory this is
7 about. Where are these facilities?
8 A. This is only about Kosovo and Metohija. The only exception is the
9 Kopaonik, the radar station at Kopaonik, which straddles the border of
10 Kosovo and Metohija and facing Serbia, but you could say that it, too, is
11 part of that same area, although it lies just outside it.
12 Q. So, General, what you predicted actually happened when NATO
13 attacked Yugoslavia on the 24th of March, 1999, did it not? My first
14 question in relation to that is: Which forces did NATO use when they
15 first attacked the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and I'm referring to
16 the air-strikes?
17 A. According to our information, they had about 460 planes and 450
18 cruise missiles, and those were at the ready to begin the air-strikes.
19 The very first night of the strikes, the first wave of strikes, about 150
20 planes were used and about 80 cruise missiles.
21 Q. Thank you. Was there a difference in terms of how many weapons
22 and forces were used at the beginning and at the end of these operations?
23 A. Yes, there is a huge discrepancy. There were, to begin, with 460
24 different types of planes used for different purposes. At the end, there
25 were a total of 1.040 aircraft of all various types involved to carry out
1 all sorts of different assignments. The original prediction was 450, and
2 the 160 cruise missiles, that was the original prediction, but they still
3 ended up firing over 1.000 cruise missiles at various targets.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, what is the issue that this evidence
5 goes to?
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this part of the
7 witness's testimony is about a fact in a statement that the Defence stated
8 in different forms, that one of the reasons for the movement of population
9 was the NATO air-strikes. It is through this witness that I'm trying to
10 familiarise the Trial Chamber with the extent of these air-strikes, the
11 forces used, the structure of targets, and the type of weapons that
12 Yugoslavia and Kosovo in particular were attacked with at the time.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, how many flights were there and tell us about their
16 structure, if you can, the NATO flights?
17 A. According to our information, there were about 26.000 flights
18 altogether during the aggression on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
19 According to some NATO sources, the figure of 38.000 is one that is much
20 bandied about; however, our information seems to suggest that the figure
21 could be reduced to 26.000, of which 18.000 were carried out by fighter
22 planes. A note-worthy feature was that in order to attack ground targets,
23 14.000 sorties were made.
24 Q. Fair enough, General. A total of how many attacks against the
25 ground forces, Yugoslavia's ground forces and the targets on the ground?
1 A. If you look at the total of 14.000 sorties and air-strikes against
2 the land forces, about 2.500 attacks were carried out. And just to
3 explain this for the benefit of the Chamber, when I say an attack, this
4 means an attack by a single plane or 100 planes, it makes to difference
5 whatsoever. We're dealing with an attack in both cases. Therefore, a
6 total of about 2.500 air-strikes and about 9.200 firings, cases of firing,
7 against the ground forces and targets on the ground in Yugoslavia.
8 Q. General, what sort of weapons were used during these attacks,
10 A. I'll put in what looser terms, but that's actually how it
11 happened. With the exception of the nuclear bomb, all the other highly
12 sophisticated state-of-the-art lethal weapons were used during the NATO
13 air-strikes on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Let me mention a
14 couple of these bombs of precise effective global positioning,
15 long-distance or, better said, distance outside the range of our systems,
16 the systems that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had at the time, and
17 I'm referring to air defence systems; cluster bombs; shells used primarily
18 to target forces in Kosovo and Metohija containing depleted uranium;
19 graphite bombs, used to target sources of electricity and transmission
20 systems; and other weapons, too, with a huge destructive potential
21 approaching the destructive potential of low-power nuclear bombs.
22 Q. How many military targets would there normally be and how many
23 civilian ones when an attack was carried out?
24 A. From the very first night, NATO started attacking civilian
25 targets. The whole of the Rakovica industrial complex, including
1 Belgrade's bread factory came under attack on the 24th of March in the
2 first wave. Therefore, civilian targets were being attacked from day one.
3 As of the beginning of April, civilian facilities came under attack every
4 day and the intensity of these attacks was quite high. According to our
5 information, there were about 3.380 and something cases of firing on
6 civilian targets, which is about 36 per cent of all the firing that
7 occurred during NATO's intervention in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;
8 therefore, that was the breakdown. About 60 per cent military targets and
9 about 40 per cent, globally speaking, I'm not being highly precise right
10 now, 36, 37 per cent civilian targets.
11 Q. General, in what sectors and on what axes were most of these
12 strikes carried out?
13 A. Most of the strikes were carried out in the wider Belgrade region.
14 When I say that, I mean that that was the greater intensity, the highest
15 fire-power was used, the highest fire-power was there. The other sector
16 that came under attack to a certain -- to a similar scale as in Belgrade
17 was Kosovo and Metohija.
18 Q. Could you please tell us what zones and what axes in Kosovo and
19 Metohija came under strike of NATO aircraft?
20 A. NATO aeroplanes mostly attacked the border area with Albania and
21 Macedonia and the Djeneral Jankovic-Kacani-Urosevac-Pristina axis. In
22 this area which is 20 to 30 kilometres into the depth of the Kosovo and
23 Metohija territory from the border, about 80 per cent of all fire opened
24 in Kosovo and Metohija was there, and there were three other
25 municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija. So in this territory of all the
1 facilities that were destroyed, 75 per cent of those facilities were in
2 this area, the border area with Albania and Macedonia and the Djeneral
3 Jankovic-Pristina axis.
4 Q. Are there any specific munitions that were used in this area?
5 A. When I was talking about the use of various military assets or
6 munitions, but it is -- it must be noted that over 80 per cent of the
7 depleted uranium rounds were used in this area. A large number of cluster
8 bombs were used in this area, but the old method, the so-called old method
9 of carpet bombing was applied here. Bomber aircraft released their bombs
10 from 10.000 metres, B-52 aircraft, and bombs are dropped randomly over a
11 large area, there is no targeting, and they hit -- they can hit anything
12 on the ground. So in this area, this is where most of the action
13 concentrated in Kosovo and Metohija and perhaps this then means that this
14 was the highest ratio of actions in the entire territory of Yugoslavia,
15 and most of the destruction happened there indeed.
16 Q. General, what was your assessment and can you tell us why this
17 area was targeted to such a large extent?
18 A. In our assessments and to my understanding there can be two
19 reasons for that, perhaps more than two, but let me just present two. The
20 first is that throughout the aggression there was a plan to launch a
21 ground attack, to use ground forces, for an invasion. The area that came
22 under such an attack was needed for a ground invasion by NATO troops in
23 order to clear the troops from that area, thus facilitating their taking
24 of this territory and using it as a base for further advances into Kosovo
25 and Metohija and reaching the other border probably, that Prepolac and
1 Kosovsko Pomoravlje, that's one of the reasons. The other reason was such
2 attacks were designed to force the civilians to move. It is quite logical
3 if there is such an attack, every normal human being seeks shelter from
4 such attacks, and then the population was to move. And many in the
5 western world condemned this aggression, many of the peace-loving people
6 in western Europe and in the western sphere condemned this aggression, and
7 in order to justify the aggression and to create an illusion among those
8 people that there was a humanitarian disaster caused by the forces of the
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, or rather, the Army of the Federal
10 Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 Q. Thank you. General, could you please tell us in relation to the
12 forces available to NATO and the Yugoslav air defence and air force, what
13 was the ratio?
14 A. In terms of equipment, the technological degree of development, it
15 is impossible to compare, there can be no comparison. NATO forces really
16 had an advantage that went beyond any comparison. In terms of figures,
17 let me just give you an example which is really quite striking. The
18 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had ten fighter planes that could be used
19 to fight a NATO aircraft according to their specifications. Their
20 specifications were close to NATO aircraft specifications. And facing
21 those ten aircraft in possession of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
22 NATO had 100. If we look at the number of sorties, that would be -- the
23 Yugoslav air force and air defence aeroplanes had ten sorties and NATO
24 aircraft 4.000 sorties, so that would be the ratio of 400:1. Numerical
25 indicators are really frightening, if I may be so bold as to say that.
1 Q. Let us paint this picture for the Trial Chamber. The attack
2 aircraft of NATO --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you do that, can you clarify the figure
4 you've given us about 4.000 sorties. We've -- the transcript earlier
5 showed a figure of 14.000. What is the figure?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. 14.000 sorties, that's
7 for ground attacks. That's assault aircraft that has the appropriate
8 equipment and weapons to target ground targets. And there were 4.000
9 fighter aircraft sorties, fighters fight other fighters, so that was for
10 the air fights against the fighters of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 So that's an indicator, and these figures are correct.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Visnjic.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, could you please tell us how many NATO aircraft would
16 there be in the air-space daily? I don't know if you have any figures to
17 that effect.
18 A. In the air-space of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, daily
19 2.030 aircraft would get into that air-space, aircraft of various
20 purposes, mostly aircraft designed to attack ground forces. Fighter
21 planes didn't actually get into the air-space, they did it very rarely.
22 They operated from the borders of the neighbouring countries. And it's
23 interesting to note that in the course of intense negotiations about the
24 cease-fire and the cessation of the aggression on the 26th of May, 535
25 NATO fighters entered the air-space above our country. It's a frightened
1 figure because it's a small space, but it is interesting, too. Because at
2 that time there were intense negotiations and an agreement was almost
3 reached, yet this is the time when so many aircraft take off to target
4 ground targets.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Just to correct the transcript, page
6 18, line 25, the figure there should be 232, not 2.300 [sic].
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General, in light of everything that you told us, was NATO
10 hampered in terms of choosing weapons, quantity of munitions, times of
11 attack on the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Could you
12 comment on that?
13 A. No. In the aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
14 NATO did not face any restrictions in light of the -- its strength, the
15 inferiority of the arms or equipment in possession of the air force and
16 air defence. NATO could choose time, conditions, axes, and that's what it
17 did. The aggression was carried out from a circular base from the
18 territories of all the countries around us, and I have to stress that only
19 in the second period did they launch attacks from the territories of
20 Romania and Bulgaria.
21 Q. General, thank you. You were the commander of a strategic group.
22 What was -- how -- to what extent were you independent or what was your
23 discretionary right after you got the order from the Supreme Command
24 Staff? To what extent were you guided in the use of the forces that you
25 had or were you independent and to what extent in your decision to use the
1 forces that you had been given?
2 A. We had full independence, in short. A commander who is given an
3 approval for his decision from the superior command or commander is
4 entirely free to apply any models, methodology, time, definitely, if the
5 decision does not limit the time, but he is completely free to choose how
6 to carry out the task he was given. And in principle General Ojdanic -
7 and that's a fundamental principle in our rules, the principle of the
8 singleness of command, which determines that there should be one
9 commander, one decision, one responsibility. Definitely after a decision
10 has been approved no commander can start on a combat mission if the
11 decision he had made was not approved by his superior commander.
12 Q. General, thank you. Now that you mentioned General Ojdanic, what
13 option did General Ojdanic have when NATO made the decision to attack the
14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And could we please have Exhibit
16 P1085, page in B/C/S 262 and English version that's page 216.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the only option that General
18 Ojdanic had at the time was to defend his country against the outside
19 aggression and against the armed rebellion from inside the country.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I didn't understand -- I didn't understand the
21 question, and General Ojdanic was not the supreme commander. So what is
22 it you're really asking here?
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Presumably his only option is to obey the man that
25 commands him, do as he's told.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, I think that is not in
2 dispute, that that was the option, but I would like to bring to the fore
3 one part that pertains to my next question for this witness.
4 Q. General, you and General Ojdanic, like all the other personnel of
5 the army, you took an oath. Do you remember when did you take the oath?
6 A. Well, it was long time ago. I took the oath in the first year of
7 air force academy after completing my basic training, that was in 1964,
8 late 1964.
9 Q. General, now when you look at this text, the text of this oath
10 that you have in front of you, that is from the rules of service issued in
11 1996, is this text different in any essential way from the text that you
12 took -- of the oath that you took in your time?
13 A. Well, there may be some slight changes, but the essence of the
14 oath remained the same and it really does read: "I swear by my honour and
15 my life that I shall defend the sovereignty, territory, independence, and
16 the constitutional order," in this case it's the Federal Republic of
17 Yugoslavia. That's approximately the same oath that we took, but this is
18 the one that is in force now. That's the valid one.
19 Q. General, thank you. That would more or less complete your
20 evidence, but I do have one brief question. Could you please tell me,
21 what were the capabilities of the aviation of the Federal Republic of
22 Yugoslavia to operate during the NATO attacks to carry out any attack
23 flights, attack missions?
24 A. Well, generally speaking, meager capabilities from the technical
25 point of view, but also from the point of view of training. The Federal
1 Republic of Yugoslavia, as it is quite well-known, from 1992 until the
2 aggression was under a blockade and very severe sanctions that affected
3 all spheres of life of a state and of a people. In 1995, this regime
4 became a bit more lax, but training in particular of the air force which
5 uses up a lot of assets, that was down to a minimum. Pilots would have 25
6 to 30 hours, as opposed to 300 hours that would be NATO standard. So you
7 cannot really compare it and that might be quite striking for anyone who
8 was not familiar with those figures. As far as ordnance was concerned,
9 the quantities were low and the air force aircraft could only carry out
10 attack flights, attack missions, during the day because we didn't have
11 weapons that could be used at night or in adverse weather conditions. So
12 in terms of attack missions, our assets were very limited.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to show a
14 short video, it's under a minute long I think, and it's about the bombing
15 of the village of Nogavac, which I'm sure you remember was mentioned by a
16 number of OTP witnesses. I showed the General this footage, it's part of
17 a large-scale compilation. We are using the portion that we believe is
18 important for our analysis. I have shown the General this footage. He
19 has gone through it, and I believe he'll be able to comment.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's see it then.
22 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have an issue regarding foundation and
23 authenticity. I don't know if the General took this video or if he's seen
24 it, but so far from what I've been provided I can't tell where it comes
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we've just been told he has seen it.
2 The source of this, Mr. Visnjic?
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I got this as part of
4 a more extensive compilation. I got it from a Defence team in a different
5 trial, and this wide-ranging compilation was about many events at the
6 time, one of these being the village of Nogavac. As far as I know, it was
7 a Zastava film that took this footage it's military service producing
8 documents and films; however, if Mr. Hannis has any objections to raise
9 about this I will try gradually to gather information to support the
10 authenticity of this footage.
11 MR. HANNIS: Regarding the wider compilation, I looked at the
12 first 10 or 12 minutes seemed to be an interview with General Maisonneuve
13 who testified here and then there were two or three minutes of some guys
14 digging trenches and I don't know who they were or what they were doing.
15 This is followed by somebody in a hospital. This is a mixed bag of things
16 and I don't know where it comes from, that's why I raise the issue.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the question you intend to request,
18 Mr. Visnjic?
19 MR. VISNJIC: Sorry, I'm waiting for -- [Interpretation] Your
20 Honours, I just want to ask the witness whether he can comment, since in
21 the footage we see part of a certain bomb or rocket or something,
22 whatever, that's one thing; and the other thing is, given the form of the
23 damage that occurred can he ascertain what weapon was used. There's
24 nothing about the place or anything about that. I want his professional
25 comment on that.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, we'll allow this to be shown and the
3 questions to be asked, but we will mark the exhibit for identification and
4 we will reserve the question of the relevancy of the answers that are
5 given until we're able to deal with the authenticity of the extract.
6 So please proceed on that basis, Mr. Visnjic.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think the film has
10 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the exhibit number, Mr. Visnjic?
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is 3D710.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, briefly, no details, please, you've seen this footage a
15 number of times, haven't you? We zoomed in on certain portions of this
16 tape. Can you please tell us what you've just seen.
17 A. Large-scale destruction, to begin with. Part of a projectile that
18 was supposed to be used; however, the amount of destruction caused does
19 not correspond to that. In addition to that, there had to be something
20 else being used, some other kind of weapon. I think even high-pressure
21 weapons such as oxygen bombs, something like that, which creates a high
22 atmospheric pressure and a large-scale explosion of pressure or a
23 fragmentation missile such as a cluster bomb. If we could please rewind
24 to that bit where we see the remains of a missile that was probably used.
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we could please focus on that.
2 Yes, yes, that's what I mean. It is my inner-most conviction that this is
3 a part of -- can we please not zoom out, leave it like that, especially
4 where we see the writing. This is the rocket engine of a HARM 88 missile.
5 You can see the writing in English. Were we to analyse this, we would
6 soon learn what this means. This is the charge number, the fuse, the
7 shelf-life, as it were, of the missile, it's all in English. And it is in
8 my opinion that this was the missile used. Personally, I do believe that
9 other kinds of weapons were used as well.
10 I have to point out yet again, to the extent that I'm familiar
11 with this and I am because I have been proofed for this testimony, I think
12 that this operation took place, this attack took place, at 2.00 in the
13 morning, two minutes past 2.00, on the 2nd of April. Our own air force
14 did not have any crews trained for this sort of an attack. They didn't
15 have weapons like this and they didn't have planes like this and they
16 could certainly not carry out an attack at that time of night. They could
17 have just dropped bombs randomly, of course, but I have to rule out the
18 possibility because we simply weren't able to attack by night with the
19 planes that we had. The only night-time planes that we had were fighter
20 planes, but that was quite a meager crop altogether as the first night of
21 the NATO aggression proved.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, just another question, were you aware of any plan to
24 relocate or expel the Albanian population from Kosovo?
25 A. No, never.
1 Q. Thank you very much, General.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this completes my
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Any other counsel wish -- Mr. Cepic.
6 MR. CEPIC: If you -- with your leave, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
8 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
11 A. Good morning and the rest of the day, too.
12 Q. Thank you. I'm Djuro Cepic. I will ask you two questions, a
13 grand total of two questions on behalf of General Lazarevic. I'll talk
14 about the air force and air defence in Kosovo and Metohija. So the
15 question is: Were there any such units in Kosovo and Metohija?
16 A. Yes, there were air force and air defence units in Kosovo and
18 Q. Can you name some, please, not all?
19 A. The entire Velika Slatina airport, today it's called Pristina
20 airport, was a facility that was in the hands of the air force and air
21 defence units. A fighter plane regiment was stationed at that airport and
22 they had MiG-21 planes. The logistics were provided by a brigade-level
23 unit for the air base, and there was also the 311th Rocket Regiment in
24 Kosovo armed with a KUP system, and there was also a platoon stationed at
25 Goles, just above Velika Slatina airport. Three higher-level tactical
1 groups and one basic tactical group in Kosovo and Metohija from the air
2 force and air defence altogether.
3 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, we have error in transcript, 27th page,
4 line -- line 5, I think that the witness said that those units were in
5 Kosovo and Metohija, just to distinguish units in the area of airport
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Line 5 ... You mean line 6?
8 MR. CEPIC: 311 Rocket Regiment -- yes --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And what are you saying is the problem? We can
10 clarify it with the witness.
11 Where is it you're saying the 311th Rocket Regiment was located?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 311th Rocket Regiment was
13 stationed in the general Velika Slatina airport area. It wasn't at the
14 airport itself. It was located in the general area in Kosovo and
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. My last question: Who was in command of this unit, these units?
18 A. Globally speaking, the command of the air force and air defence.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. But some of the forces were in the anti-aircraft corps of the air
22 MR. CEPIC: No further questions.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the other one was part of the
24 air force and air defence corps.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
1 Your Honours, I have no further questions.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
4 Q. Good morning, General. I wanted to follow-up on one of the
5 last --
6 A. Good morning to you, too.
7 Q. One of the last things you talked about. You mentioned NATO
8 didn't have any hindrances on its abilities to carry out its attacks
9 during the aggression, but there were several occasions where they were
10 hindered by bad weather; is that correct?
11 A. I don't know and I can't say.
12 Q. You're not aware that there was some days when the number of
13 sorties or missions were greatly reduced or didn't take place at all in
14 some areas?
15 A. If you're talking about weather, it was far less favourable for
16 us, given the level of equipment that we had at our disposal. It is true
17 that there were days that there were 535 sorties, such as on the 26th of
18 May, and there were days when there were between 100 and 200 sorties. But
19 I really can't say in relation to each of those 78 days, but there is
20 information indicating that.
21 Q. And General Naumann from NATO was here in December and testified
22 for us, and one of the things he told us in his testimony that the NATO
23 air-strikes were also complicated by the Serb use of homes and buildings
24 to hide weapons and vehicles as well as the intermixing of military
25 vehicles with civilian convoys. Those are tactics that were sometimes
1 used by the Serb army; is that true?
2 A. I can't say that it's true simply because I wish to say that the
3 air force and air defence in its manoeuvres never used civilian convoys.
4 It would be ridiculous to see a rocket-guiding radar among tractors or
5 buses. Therefore, I can't confirm that, but I certainly doubt it very
6 much. This would be an inhumane thing, and I can be quite certain, in
7 fact, that VJ commanders never used anything like this, this sort of
8 employ, if you like.
9 Q. And how can you be certain of that, sir?
10 A. Based on what I know, I am nearly certain. Let's say I'm not 100
11 per cent positive; let's leave it at nearly certain.
12 Q. All right. Now, you were shown a video of some damage and what
13 appeared to be a portion of some sort of missile or bomb. Can you tell us
14 the first time you saw that video?
15 A. I first watched it closely during my proofing, but I had seen it
16 before in Serbia.
17 Q. When was the first time you saw it in Serbia, if you recall, what
19 A. I can't remember.
20 Q. But you certainly weren't out there on the scene where this video
21 was taken, were you?
22 A. No, I wasn't.
23 Q. And you don't have any personal knowledge of exactly where that
24 was taken?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Or when it was taken?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Okay. Or by whom it was taken?
4 A. Attorney Visnjic told me that, but it's not something that I can
5 speak to from personal knowledge.
6 Q. Okay. Fair enough. I'm just asking you about your personal
7 knowledge. And you have no way of knowing whether or not that bomb
8 fragment or that portion of the missile was in place or if it was brought
9 and put there by someone else?
10 A. I think this may be analysed further, but if you have a close look
11 there's a crater just next to this missile, the HARM 88 missile, and
12 there's a crater which is very much like those left by these missiles in
13 other places. For example, at the Batajnica airport, that's what I looked
14 at one. The crater is nearly the same in terms of shape. Therefore, if
15 you use the comparative method you can - or perhaps not depending on your
16 skill - conclude that there's a likeness between the two. But I'm certain
17 that a missile like this could not have caused this amount of destruction.
18 Q. Okay. I want to ask you about Exhibit 3D669.
19 MR. HANNIS: If we could bring that up, please.
20 Q. And this is -- General, while it's coming up I'll tell you that
21 this is an order from the General Staff, the first administration, to the
22 commands of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Army, to the air force, the navy, and the
23 special units. And it apparently arises out of an extraordinary meeting
24 of the collegium that had taken place on the 21st of February. Do you
25 recall if you attended the collegium session on the 21st of February,
2 A. If I could first see what this is about, and then perhaps I can
3 tell you.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. As you see if you look at the header or the preamble, the air
6 force and air defence commander reported on the combat-readiness and the
7 situation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was reviewed, the
8 situation concerning the combat-readiness of the VJ --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: The question is: Were you present at this meeting?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's just what I'm telling
11 you --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- That is indicated.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the answer is yes.
15 Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. If we could --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to page 4 of the English and page 3 of
19 the B/C/S.
20 Q. I want to look at item number 15 in this order, General, and I
21 have a question for you once we have that up on the screen. I've got my
22 English but I don't think you have the B/C/S yet. Okay. Item number 15
23 is translated into English as: "Some of the requests filed by army and
24 RM," which I understand stands for the navy, "by army and RM commanders,
25 which are of a political nature and not under the jurisdiction of the
1 General Staff of the VJ, will be sent to the relevant organs for
3 Do you recall what those requests by the army and navy commanders
4 were that were of a political nature in this February extraordinary
6 A. Firstly, you're not really consistent in reading this paragraph,
7 but it doesn't affect the substance. I think and I'm confident that there
8 were no political demands being made, and I really can't say what this is
9 about. The head of the information and morale guidance administration
10 here is responsible for cooperating with state institutions dealing with
11 morale and passing on information. He was given an assignment - and I
12 really can't say what that assignment was - but one thing that I can say
13 is that I myself raised no political requests whatsoever. It doesn't say
14 belong to the domain of political demands, it says belong to the domain of
15 a political nature. Everything is politics. War is politics too.
16 Politics, I don't see any political demands being made here and it doesn't
17 actually state that there were political demands being made.
18 Q. That may have been a matter of translation, because the English
19 says and what I read was: "Some of the requests filed by army and RM
20 commanders, which are of a political nature and not under the jurisdiction
21 of the General Staff ..."
22 So my question is: You don't recall at the meeting two days prior
23 any discussion about those kinds of things; is that fair?
24 A. I don't remember, but I can say that it is impossible to wage a
25 war, to prepare for a war, without having political views. There would be
1 a disharmony in the system and it would lead nowhere. I don't know and I
2 don't remember.
3 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, is this a good time for the break?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll break here.
5 Mr. Smiljanic, we have to break now for 20 minutes. Could you
6 please leave the courtroom now with the usher and we'll see you again at
7 ten to 11.00.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. General, I wanted to ask you a question about General Grahovac. I
16 understand -- was he the assistant to the Chief of General Staff for air
17 and air defence forces in early 1999?
18 A. Yes, he was.
19 Q. All right. I have a note indicating that he was replaced about
20 the 19th of April, 1999. Does that sound right?
21 A. Well, frankly, I couldn't comment on it. This was up to the
22 General Staff or the Supreme Command Staff, as it was at the time, about
23 personnel appointments. I had nothing to do with that and I couldn't
24 really comment on it. It's probably correct. I think that he actually
25 got promoted to a higher post.
1 Q. But that happened -- that change occurred while the NATO bombing
2 was still going on, correct, and you don't know why. Is that your
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were any of your planes still flying in April and May of 1999 or
6 had they all been put out of operation?
7 A. The last flight, the aviation stopped flying on the 4th of April,
8 but the last flight was on the 4th of May when a MiG-29 was scrambled to
9 face a group of aeroplanes heading towards Serbia, but from that time on
10 there were no more flights.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Can someone assist, is there an error in line 17?
12 You've been recorded as saying, Mr. Smiljanic, that the aviation
13 stopped on the 4th of April, but the last flight was on the 4th of May.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: These seem to contradict each other.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The aviation stopped flying on
17 the 4th of April, but there was one single flight on the 4th of May. So
18 you could say that the aviation stopped flying on the 4th of April, 1999.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. HANNIS:
22 Q. Just to be clear then. After the 4th of April, there was one
23 single occasion when one of your planes flew, and that was on the 4th of
25 A. That's correct, yes, yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Earlier this morning when Mr. Visnjic was asking you a
2 question about the collegium meeting on the 6th of November, 1998, you
3 talked about the positions set forward by General Dimitrijevic and
4 General Marjanovic and noted that General Ojdanic agreed with them, with
5 their assessments, about making a proposal to the competent authorities
6 that they should intervene with the state authorities to intervene with
7 the international community in order to force the other side to abide by
8 or comply with the obligations that they had agreed to in the agreement
9 with the OSCE mission. My question is: In that context who are you
10 referring to when you say "the other side"?
11 A. I was referring to the Siptar terrorists in the territory of
12 Kosovo and Metohija.
13 Q. But I have a question for you. The Siptar terrorists or sometimes
14 they're referred to as the KLA or the so-called KLA, they had not signed
15 any agreement with Mr. Milosevic or Mr. Holbrooke, had they?
16 A. Well, I couldn't comment on that, but you should look at the
17 agreement between Zivadin Jovanovic and the OSCE president, I think it was
19 Q. But nobody from the KLA or the so-called KLA or the Siptar
20 terrorists had signed that agreement either, had they?
21 A. That agreement was signed by the international community on their
23 Q. On behalf of the KLA?
24 A. Yes, on behalf of the KLA.
25 Q. And who in the KLA gave them authority to do that?
1 A. Well, you have to ask somebody from the KLA.
2 Q. And didn't -- didn't OSCE indicate that one of their problems was
3 that they didn't have any control over the KLA because the KLA had not
4 signed the agreement under which the KVM was operating?
5 A. Well, again, this was the problem for the OSCE, not for me and not
6 for the other side.
7 Q. You mentioned that regarding the NATO air-strikes in answering a
8 question from Mr. Visnjic, I think you said that the air-strikes came
9 generally in the areas that you had anticipated. Would that be fair? I'm
10 not sure if you said that or not, but is it fair to say that based on your
11 pre-war assessment the air-strikes came at the locations that you largely
12 anticipated they would?
13 A. No, that's not what I said, and it would be absurd and pointless
14 to assess that the NATO would hit precisely the targets that we
15 anticipated, but as for some key facilities in the overall territory and
16 territory in general areas, that was the case.
17 Q. Well, maybe I should phrase it in terms of general targets. They
18 generally struck at the kinds of targets you would expect them to in such
19 an operation. Air defence, anti-aircraft defence, communications,
20 command, weapons producing installations, et cetera, correct?
21 A. Yes, that's what we anticipated, but we didn't anticipate that
22 they would destroy the bridges on the Danube, the bread production
23 facilities, that they would bomb water-supply plants, thermal electric
24 plants, the oil industry facilities, historical monuments, cultural
25 monuments, and so on and so forth. There were many other things that we
1 didn't anticipate, but I don't want to bother you with all that. We
2 anticipated that that would be war in which soldiers would fight soldiers.
3 Q. In the first couple of weeks of the war, weren't the strikes
4 primarily at those kinds of targets, air defence, military installations
5 and facilities, communications and control sites, and the attacks on
6 infrastructure came later, right?
7 A. No. From day one there were attacks on infrastructure that had
8 nothing to do with military facilities or facilities used to wage the war,
9 such as, for instance, the Rakovica bread production plant near Belgrade.
10 Q. And you have precise information about -- you've given us precise
11 information about the number of sorties and the number of flights, the
12 number of missiles, and you must have precise information about these --
13 the individual targets damaged, correct?
14 A. Well, precisely not, but in general terms, yes. The damage was
15 assessed by the competent state commission with the participation of the
16 army and all the institutions of the state, they came up with an
17 assessment of the damage. I don't think that I'm competent to discuss
18 this damage assessment. There are people who participated in that
19 exercise who would be much more competent to speak about it and to give
20 you much more precise information.
21 Q. Okay. And when you were drawing the distinction between military
22 targets and civilian targets, when you say civilian in this context you're
23 really talking about non-military, you're not talking about residential
24 housing areas, are you, or farming villages?
25 A. Everything that does not serve the function of waging a war and
1 everything that is not used to wage a war is -- for military purposes
2 that's civilian facilities, and that's what I'm talking about, targets
3 that are not used for the purpose of waging a war, they were targeted.
4 Let me give you an example, my apologies to the --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Smiljanic, could you just please answer the
6 question that you were asked, and that was whether residential areas and
7 farming villages were bombed deliberately.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that residential buildings
9 were bombed, and if they were bombed that means that there was an
10 intention to do so. It's -- you can't do things randomly. There must
11 have been an intention and a purpose behind the bombing of those areas.
12 We have Surdulica, Aleksinac, Belgrade, we have a number such examples,
13 but I wanted to explain merely about the target selection. One day
14 because of NATO air-strikes that hit water-supply system and the
15 water-supply plant in Belgrade, Belgrade was left with 8 per cent of its
16 water reserves, and we're talking about 2 million inhabitants. If the
17 water-supply systems, the water reserves, and the water-supply plant, if
18 that's a military facility then indeed they were justified in targeting
20 MR. HANNIS:
21 Q. Could you explain to me the difference between a sortie and an
22 attack. You mentioned there were 14.000 sorties flown. What does that
24 A. A flight "polet" is a -- when an aircraft takes off and does not
25 attack. Out of 14.000 flights, 9.200 opened fire, so 60 per cent of the
1 aircraft entering the Yugoslav aircraft [as interpreted] actually carried
2 out attacks and opened fire, so that's a difference between a combat
3 flight and an opening of fire in a combat situation, firing.
4 Q. Okay. I still need your help on the terms. You mentioned 14.000
5 sorties, 2.500 attacks, and 9.200 firings. Is -- a firing, is that an
6 individual missile or a bomb? Does each one count as an individual
8 A. Yes, yes, yes. Individual round missile, so that's an individual
9 instance when an aircraft opens fire, just as we said that there were
10 14.000 individual sorties, there were 9.200 individual instances when
11 weapons were fired, bombs were dropped, missiles were launched or any
12 other ordnance.
13 Q. And then I take it an attack is where there's been an sortie with
14 an attack and one or more firings of a bomb or a missile or some sort of
15 weapon, correct?
16 A. Yes, but you can have an attack even when fire is not opened. You
17 can attack and then somebody prevents you from actually opening fire.
18 Q. Well, how do you determine that's an attack if no fire is opened?
19 A. In most cases, yes, fire is opened. An attack in which fire is
20 opened. Well, apart from the indicators on the ground, you have to bear
21 in mind that radio surveillance, radar surveillance, monitoring the
22 entrance of aircraft and their movement also provided additional
23 information about the number of attacks, the number of times when fire was
24 opened, because first you have to determine that an aircraft entered the
25 air-space, how many aircraft, and how many times fire was opened. So as
1 we said, that's the figures we have and I already indicated that according
2 to some US sources there were 36.000 to 38.000 of those combat flights.
3 Q. Well, now that's a new term and a new number for me. What's the
4 relationship between 36 to 38.000 combat flights and 14.000 sorties and
5 2500 attacks?
6 A. I made a mistake.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. I -- 36.000, it's a mistake. It's 38.000, that's the correct
9 figure, and that's from NATO sources and NATO analysis. That's the figure
10 that they have. Now, if I have to explain to you what you just asked me,
11 could you please repeat your question.
12 Q. Well, I guess what's the difference between a combat flight and a
13 sortie in this context?
14 A. No difference. Sortie is part of a flight. If you take off, then
15 you complete your flight. Combat flight, "borbeni let" is the correct
16 term because it includes taking off, landing, and everything in between.
17 Q. Well, I guess you'll have to help me with this then. You told us
18 there were 14.000 sorties; NATO says there were 38.000 combat flights.
19 Where's the -- where are the other 24.000? Are those NATO planes that
20 took off that didn't make it to Yugoslavia?
21 A. Well, I already explained this. I said our data indicate, we have
22 data that NATO in the course of the aggression against Yugoslavia carried
23 out 26.000 combat flights, and I added that according to some US sources
24 there were 38.000 such flights. We don't have to accept that as relevant
25 piece of information. Out of those 26.000 take-offs, 18.000 were combat
1 flights and 7 or 8 or whatever it is to do the balance are assistant
2 aircraft flights, AWACS, tank planes, and so on. Out of the 18.000 combat
3 flights, 14.000 flights were used for ground attacks and 4.000 were
4 carried out by NATO fighter planes. These are also combat flights. So
5 it's 18.000 total.
6 Out of 14.000 flights that attacked ground targets, 9.200 actually
7 opened fire and 5.000, or rather, 4.800 did not. Those 9.200 instances
8 when fire was opened occurred in a total of about 2.500 attacks.
9 Q. Well, there's a new number but I'm going to move on. You said at
10 page 15, line 18 today that: "Most of the strikes were carried out in the
11 wider Belgrade region, and when I say that I mean that that was the
12 greater intensity the highest fire-power was used, the highest fire-power
13 was there."
14 So when you say most of the strikes were carried out in the wider
15 Belgrade area, if we were talking about 9200 firings, how many of those
16 were in the wider Belgrade area? Half? More than half? Do you know?
17 A. I can't give you that information now.
18 Q. And how much -- you mentioned that another sector that came under
19 attack to a similar scale was Kosovo. Do you know what the proportion was
20 between Belgrade and Kosovo? Did they both have about the same amount?
21 Was it about half and half? Do you know?
22 A. More attacks were carried out in the territory of Kosovo and
23 Metohija, that's what I stressed, than in the Belgrade area. But in the
24 Belgrade area in terms of the strength of weapons and destruction, that
25 was worse. There were large -- large industries there and strong
1 fire-power was used there, highly destructive weapons were used. But
2 there were more attacks in Kosovo but using less destructive weapons,
3 such, as for instance, depleted uranium shells that have a high
4 destructive power -- but have lesser destructive power, but the
5 consequences are more far-reaching, more serious.
6 Q. You mentioned in regard to the follow-up question from Mr. Visnjic
7 that with regard to Kosovo NATO aeroplanes mostly attacked the border area
8 with Albania and Macedonia and the Djeneral
9 Jankovic-Kacani-Urosevac-Pristina axis. In this area which is 20 to 30
10 kilometres into the depth of Kosovo about 80 per cent of all fire opened
11 in Kosovo was there. And because you ran three places together, I'm not
12 sure -- was 80 per cent of all fire opened in Kosovo in the Djeneral
13 Jankovic-Kacani-Urosevac-Pristina axis or do you mean in the three areas
14 including the Albania and Macedonia borders?
15 A. I include the border area facing Albania and Macedonia.
16 Q. Your theory for the reason why so much bombing took place in that
17 area, you said there were two possible reasons and one of them you said
18 was that the attacks were designed to force the civilians to move. So
19 when did you come to the conclusion that the bombing at the border was to
20 drive away the civilians? Was that right away in the first couple of days
21 of the war or only after the end of the war or when did you decide that
22 that was the reason?
23 A. Well, it's hard to pin-point the time, but once it was observed
24 that there were those intense attacks in this area using a lot of assets
25 and knowing that there were talks, plans, for a ground invasion, one of
1 the reasons was to destroy the military assets there, creating a
2 favourable basis -- base for entering into the Kosovo and Metohija
3 territory; and the second reason was surely, that was an assessment, that
4 the western world had to get this picture of a humanitarian disaster
5 caused by the Serbian forces making the Albanian population move and leave
6 the territory of Kosovo and Metohija and the easiest thing to do was to
7 make the people living in the border area move. Very few people moved
8 from the Kosovsko Pomoravlje area because it was further away from the
9 border, it would have been much more difficult. But in this area the
10 situation was such that the people had to be made to move in order to
11 create this picture.
12 Q. Well, we've had evidence in this case from a lot of people all
13 over Kosovo that the reason they moved and left was because they were
14 driven out by the army and the police. Now, if you were aware or believed
15 that the NATO bombing at the border was to drive the civilians out, why
16 would you move civilians from the interior to the border in the line of
17 fire of all this NATO bombing?
18 A. This is a complex and difficult question, but wherever you have
19 bombs falling, nobody will just stand idly by and watch as the bombs keep
20 falling. We had professionals flee these areas, too, let alone people who
21 weren't trained, who really thought this was some sort of punishment
22 falling from the sky or whatever.
23 Q. Well, General, are you familiar with the geography and some of the
24 major towns in Kosovo?
25 A. To quite a large extent, yes.
1 Q. Given your theory, do you know why hundreds or thousands of
2 people, Kosovo Albanians from Kosovska Mitrovica would go halfway across
3 Kosovo to the Albanian border if that's where the bombings were taking
5 A. I don't know when they did that and I really don't know why, but I
6 don't know when it was that they moved from Kosovska Mitrovica towards the
7 Albanian border.
8 Q. Okay. Fair enough. You mentioned that the Federal Republic of
9 Yugoslavia had ten fighter planes that could be used to fight a NATO
10 aircraft according to their specifications. Which ones were those? Were
11 those the MiG-21s?
12 A. No, those were MiG-29s.
13 Q. And do you know when and where you had obtained those MiG-29s?
14 A. Yes. Those planes were obtained from the Soviet Union back in
15 1987 and 1988.
16 Q. Okay. And what about the MiG-21s, do you know when and where they
17 were obtained?
18 A. This was a plane that was obtained from the Soviet Union, too, in
19 the 1970s. This is a second-generation MiG. It was outdated, obsolete
20 you might say, and it no longer had the appropriate features for a fighter
21 intercepter plane, especially as compared to the opponent's fighter
22 planes, which had missiles whose range was as far as 120 kilometres.
23 Q. And you're not aware of any MiGs obtained from the Russians at a
24 later date after the embargo and the sanctions were in place; is that
1 A. No.
2 Q. You --
3 A. I'm not familiar with that at all. If there were any that were
4 bought, I would have known.
5 Q. You're not aware of a trip that I think General Grahovac took with
6 Mr. Lilic and someone else to see about buying some MiG planes?
7 A. There was a trip that occurred perhaps, I don't know, but it
8 wasn't my responsibility to monitor Lilic's movements at the time,
9 whatever his capacity was. He wasn't state president, but certainly there
10 were no MiGs.
11 Q. And what about General Grahovac, do you know about him going on
12 that trip with Mr. Lilic?
13 A. No, no. It wasn't my job to look into this trip that they may
14 have made or to wonder why.
15 Q. You mentioned the importance that General Ojdanic put on the
16 general principle of singleness of command. Did you ever hear of a body
17 in 1998 or 1999 called the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija?
18 A. No, never.
19 Q. And have you heard of it since 1999?
20 A. Yes. During the Slobodan Milosevic trial, I heard of the
21 existence of such a body, that a body like that existed or was rumoured to
22 exist, which I doubt.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. HANNIS: Can we show the witness P1487, please.
25 Q. That will come up on the screen in a minute, General. I'll tell
1 you this is a document from the Supreme Command Staff, staff operations
2 department. It's signed by General Ojdanic and it's dated the 17th of
3 April, 1999, and it's to the commander of the 3rd Army who we know at the
4 time was General Pavkovic. And it's entitled: "Suggestions." And it's
5 linked to a document that we've seen in evidence in this court already
6 called the Kosovo and Metohija Joint Command order, strictly confidential
7 number 455-148 of 15 April 1999.
8 Now, do you have any reason to doubt the authenticity of this
9 document from the Supreme Command and bearing what appears to be General
10 Ojdanic's signature?
11 A. If I could see General Ojdanic's signature, then I would have no
12 reason to doubt the authenticity of this document.
13 MR. HANNIS: If we could scroll up on the B/C/S document.
14 Q. Maybe you can ...
15 A. Yes, this is General Ojdanic's signature.
16 Q. Okay. And before now you had not seen this document, I take it,
17 and you weren't aware that General Ojdanic had sent suggestions to
18 General Pavkovic about dealing with an order from the Joint Command; is
19 that right?
20 A. Your assumption is correct. I've never seen this document before.
21 I've never set eyes on it.
22 Q. I'm -- I'm curious as to how this -- how does this fit in with the
23 principle of singleness of command? General Ojdanic, as I understand, was
24 the highest-ranking uniformed member of the VJ, and yet here he seems to
25 be making suggestions to his subordinate about how to deal with an order
1 from some other entity called the Joint Command. Do you have any
2 explanation for that? Wouldn't you normally make suggestions to a
4 A. There is nothing unusual about making suggestions to a
5 subordinate, that's perfectly all right, not mere suggestions, more than
6 that even. However, I can't comment on this document. The only thing I
7 wish to do is say how much I -- I don't believe the name used here was
8 likely at all, Joint Command. As I know based on my military career,
9 based on my experience, there was no such body.
10 Q. Were you familiar with or did you ever hear of a group called
11 the -- at least in some places it's called the Inter-Departmental Staff
12 For Combatting Terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija?
13 A. Yes. While I was being proofed for my testimony I heard about
14 this. I was told about the Inter-Departmental Staff For Combatting
15 Terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija, but I don't know much about what their
16 job or remit really was because I was the commander of the air force and
17 air defence and it wasn't my job to know anything about that.
18 Q. So that was the first time you heard about it; you weren't aware
19 of it in 1998 or 1999, fair?
20 A. No, in 1998 or in 1999. I was commander. This didn't concern me.
21 I didn't know about it and I never heard of it.
22 Q. Okay. Can you help us with the term "Supreme Command." It's my
23 understanding that the General Staff of the VJ, once the state of war was
24 declared, then became during the wartime the Supreme Command Staff; is
25 that correct?
1 A. Yes, correct. In wartime circumstances, the General Staff becomes
2 the Supreme Command Staff and the Chief of Staff of the VJ becomes the
3 head of the supreme defence staff.
4 Q. Or the -- that was --
5 A. Supreme Command Staff.
6 Q. Thank you. And I understand that President Milosevic, who during
7 peacetime is head of the Supreme Defence Council, during the state of war
8 became the supreme commander; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, was there a body that existed during the wartime that was
11 called the Supreme Command, do you know?
12 A. Yes, there was. During the war it was called the Supreme Command.
13 As in any command where there is a command, regiment, brigade, corps,
14 army, general staff, at all these levels, the command comprises a
15 commander with his personnel and other bodies. A Supreme Command
16 comprises a commander, his personnel, and other bodies attached to the
17 staff. Therefore, Milosevic, as the president of the Federal Republic of
18 Yugoslavia, as soon as a state of war was declared became the supreme
19 commander, supreme-wide, because he's at the top. You could call him army
20 commander, but he's joined at the top with his staff, too, as a technical
21 body; and together they make up the Supreme Command. This is the only way
22 to comply with the principle of singleness of command. There is but one
23 commander, and everyone else works for the commander and has the function
24 of helping implement the commander's orders.
25 Q. And can you tell us who were the persons by name who were part of
1 President Milosevic's staff in the Supreme Command?
2 A. I may not be able to name them all, but the Chief of Staff was
3 General Ojdanic with his assistants. The assistant for ground forces was
4 Miodrag Simic. Assistant for operations and staff affairs, Obradovic, and
5 so on and so forth.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Because if -- I know about
7 General Ojdanic as the chief of the Supreme Command Staff, and I
8 understand that the General Staff from peacetime became the Supreme
9 Command Staff during wartime, perhaps with some additions. I have a
10 question, though. You said Mr. Milosevic's staff. Were there any
11 non-military persons on his staff that were part of the Supreme Command,
12 any civilians that you know of?
13 A. No, no.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. HANNIS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
17 Questioned by the Court:
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Smiljanic, perhaps you could help me with two
19 matters. We don't need to go into the details of all the figures again,
20 but in answering the question about sorties and attacks and so on, you did
21 say that there were 14.000 flights used for ground attacks and 4.000 were
22 carried out by NATO fighter planes. Does that mean that the 4.000 carried
23 out by the fighter planes did not involve attacks or did these also
24 involve some form of attack?
25 A. I'll try once again. There were 14.000 flights --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you not able to answer the question with a yes
2 or a no?
3 A. Yes, I am.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
5 A. It wasn't 4.000 attacks, it was 4.000 flights. They carried a
6 total of six or seven strikes against the fighter planes, but they took
7 off 4.000 times, bringing down a total of five or six planes. In one of
8 these cases a plane eventually landed but had sustained major damage.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: That's much clearer now. Thank you.
10 And the other matter I wanted to ask you was this: What happened
11 to the population of Belgrade?
12 A. I would appreciate it if you could phrase it either more
13 completely or more specifically. In what sense?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Under attack. What happened to the population as a
15 result of the attacks in the Belgrade region?
16 A. In the first strikes of the first days of war, people were afraid.
17 They were intimidated and they for the most part hid in shelters, cellars,
18 underpasses, tunnels, or even outside the city itself. They took to the
19 meadows surrounding Belgrade, but later on people from Belgrade formed
20 convoys. They went to the bridges once the bridges had been targeted, and
21 they all put paper targets on their chests saying, We, too, are a target,
22 fire away. You could say that the people of Belgrade were left to their
23 own devices and they had nowhere to go. The only option was to try and
24 take shelter on the ground, which some people did. Some people stayed in
25 underground shelters throughout the war, especially mothers with small
1 children as well as the elderly. The youth, however, rose up against this
2 and they led rallies and protests. They went to bridges and declared
3 themselves to be targeted as well. There might be a more psychological
4 reasoning behind all of this that was happening. This may be an issue for
5 mass psychology, but this is not something that I can comment on.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Just please clarify one thing from that answer for
7 me. Are you saying that the convoys of people left to act as shields to
8 protect some installations?
9 A. I'm not sure if I said convoys, columns rather. They headed for
10 bridges, certain facilities, city squares [Realtime transcript read in
11 error "squad cars"], places, generally speaking, where they could assemble
12 and which they believed might be targeted by NATO.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: You'll appreciate I'm trying to establish if there
14 were large numbers of people from Belgrade headed for the border to escape
15 the bombing.
16 A. No, no.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 Is there anything arising from that, Mr. Hannis, that you want to
19 ask about?
20 Mr. Visnjic.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Re-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] General, a single question. Mr. Hannis asked you
24 about all sorts of information to do with flights and attacks. You've
25 mentioned the figure of 9.200 cases of firing and this is something to do
1 Your Honour Judge Bonomy's question. How many missiles were fired during
2 those operations, do you have that figure for us, sir?
3 A. Yes, I quite omitted that. A total of 22.000 tons of very
4 powerful explosives were dropped over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
5 37.000 missiles were fired, 30 per cent of these guided missiles. I
6 talked about the guidance systems, about GPS, about inertia-based
7 navigation and other types of systems.
8 Q. Thank you very much, General.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this completes my
11 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, just one translation correction I just
12 see on the screen. Page 52 line 3, it says city squad cars, I think it
13 was city squares. I just wanted to make sure the police wasn't involved
14 in that.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
16 Mr. Hannis.
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think I have a question in light of
18 that last question from Mr. Visnjic and the answer because it seems
19 inconsistent with a question I asked and got an answer if I could find it.
20 I understood the General to say before that each firing was a single
21 weapon -- or single missile. Page 39, line 21.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I've noted 9.200 individual weapons fired or bombs
24 MR. HANNIS: That's what I have and that seems inconsistent with
25 this last answer.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, do you have a problem with Mr. Hannis
2 asking for clarification of this, in view of the answer that there were
3 37.000 missiles fired and 22.000 tons of very powerful explosives dropped?
4 MR. VISNJIC: No.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
6 Mr. Hannis, you may ask for clarification.
7 Further cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
8 Q. General, just to be clear, when I asked you earlier about the 9200
9 firings, I understood your answer to say that was each firing involved an
10 individual missile or an individual bomb. But now in light of your answer
11 to Mr. Visnjic that seems like that's not correct. Can you explain?
12 Is -- each of the 9200 firings involves one or more missiles? Please
14 A. Yes, I may have misspoken. There will never be a single plane on
15 a mission carrying a single missile or a single shell, this would be too
16 much of a luxury that nobody can afford. There were always several bombs,
17 the plane was carrying several bombs and dropping several bombs as a rule.
18 On an average a single plane would carry 2.8 tons of explosives, B-52, for
19 example, 47 tons of explosives, that's its capacity. It would approach
20 Metohija with between 10 and 15 tons of deadly load, and they would drop
21 MK-84, 240 kilogrammes, they would drop them from 10.000 metres altitude.
22 So it's not as if a single attack consisted only of a single missile.
23 Each of the planes were normally carrying on average about 2.8 tons of
24 explosives and ordnance.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Smiljanic, that completes your evidence; thank
2 you for coming here to give it. You're now free to leave us.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our next witness is
7 General Slobodan Kosovac.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] He's 007. I hope that's fine, but
10 it's about mobilisation, it's not about the information administration.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, when you need private session, you'll no
12 doubt tell us.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours ...
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Like all good 007s, he appears to have disappeared.
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Efforts are being made to locate him, Mr. Visnjic,
18 so we'll be patient for a minute or two and see if these are successful.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, while these efforts
20 are going on I would like to let you know that we've reduced the time for
21 his examination; it will be significantly shorter than was announced in
22 our 65 submission. And this is a witness who is anticipated to give
23 testimony viva voce.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm advised that it's going to take 15 minutes or
2 so to get the witness here. So we shall break now and we will resume at
3 25 minutes past 12.00, that works okay. We can sit then through to the
4 end of the morning, and hopefully by that time the witness will be here.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.52 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Kosovac.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
11 speak the truth by reading aloud that document.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
15 You will now be examined by Mr. Visnjic on behalf of Mr. Ojdanic.
16 Mr. Visnjic.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 WITNESS: SLOBODAN KOSOVAC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examination by Mr. Visnjic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. General, could you please state your full name for the record.
24 A. Good afternoon, Your Honours, good afternoon to everyone. My name
25 is Slobodan Kosovac.
1 Q. General. Could you please describe your military career in brief
2 terms, the schools that you attended in this regard.
3 A. I am a graduate of the air defence military academy, so I am an
4 air defence officer; after that, I completed all the highest military
5 schools and last one was the national defence school. My last rank I
6 retired from the rank of the lieutenant-general --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his last post.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kosovac, could you please repeat the last post
9 you held before retiral.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Executive director of the minister
11 of defence.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation].
13 Q. General, you retired?
14 A. Yes, I am retired, but I also work.
15 Q. What do you do?
16 A. I'm a manager in Unibroz Aviation Belgrade, it's a company.
17 Q. And what posts did you hold during the war, or rather, in 1999?
18 A. At the beginning of the war I was the chief of the organisation
19 department and also the deputy chief of the recruitment, conscription
20 department, and then I became the chief -- on the 1st of April I became
21 the chief of that administration.
22 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell me something about it the
23 structure of your administration.
24 A. My administration was in charge of organising -- of organisation,
25 conscription, and mobilisation in the Army of Yugoslavia. It consists of
1 the chief of the administration and two departments. The first department
2 was department for organisation and the second one was the department for
3 mobilisation and conscription.
4 Q. Thank you, General. In the Army of Yugoslavia were there any
5 conscripts who were ethnic Albanians, I don't mean only in 1999 but before
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Were they adequately represented in the Army of Yugoslavia?
9 A. No. I have to say that after the break-up of the SFRY and the
10 formation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the transformation of
11 the JNA into the Yugoslav Army, no people, no ethnic group was adequately
12 represented. And efforts were made to set up such an organisation and
13 such a structure of personnel to ensure this adequate representation.
14 Q. General, what did the Army of Yugoslavia do to get the Albanians
15 into its ranks?
16 A. The Army of Yugoslavia had two approaches. One approach was that
17 it should engender trust in everybody in Yugoslavia so that everybody
18 should know that this was the army of the people of Yugoslavia; and the
19 second specific effort was to meet all the requirements of the Albanian
20 conscripts, to favour them.
21 Q. Thank you, General. Could you please tell me, were any records
22 kept of ethnic Albanian conscripts?
23 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, this line of questioning, apart from the
24 introductory part, was not indicated at all in the notification unless by
25 saying that -- by speaking of recruitment in general it includes issues in
1 relation to the recruitment of ethnic Albanians. We are going down
2 another route now which is not part of the notification.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: What did you anticipate it would be about?
4 MR. STAMP: Recruitment?
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
6 MR. STAMP: Generally speaking?
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
8 MR. STAMP: The recruitment of the personnel for the VJ. The
9 notification speaks about the rules governing the recruitment, the
10 organisation of the recruitment, the structures in place for the
11 recruitment. We are going into an area now as a -- which is ethnic
12 composition of the army.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do believe that it
15 was indicated that the witness would be testifying. I agree with
16 Mr. Stamp that he would be testifying about constitutional and legal
17 provisions, but also about the role and tasks of the territorial commands
18 and units, their composition, and organisation. So precisely that's what
19 we're talking about, about the composition and organisation, about those
20 things that the witness is trying to tell us. If Mr. Stamp finds that he
21 has been prejudiced because Albanians were not listed here, I can tell you
22 that this is just a very small part of General Kosovac's evidence, that's
23 on one hand, and on the other we're still talking about mobilisation. I
24 don't see how I strayed outside of -- strayed off the topic. Because
25 that's a legal obligation of all the citizens of Serbia. The fact that
1 now he is specifically talking about Albanians is precisely what you
2 actually want to hear. Now we can talk about each specific ethnic group,
3 but I believe that you're interested in issues related to the mobilisation
4 of Albanians.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall allow you to continue as you indicate you
7 plan to do.
8 Mr. Stamp, if this causes specific prejudice to you, we'll address
9 that issue as and when it arises.
10 Mr. Visnjic.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. General, military obligation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
13 was a general obligation?
14 A. Yes. And, Your Honours, I heard the term "recruitment" being
15 mentioned. Recruitment is a much narrower term than conscription or
16 military obligation and I did not say "regrutacija," recruitment, at all.
17 Q. And could you please tell me whether records were kept of ethnic
18 Albanian conscripts?
19 A. Yes. All conscripts in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
20 received a general summons to report and to be entered into the records.
21 So this is the first part of the military obligation and then follows the
23 Q. So if I understand you correctly --
24 MR. VISNJIC: I'm waiting for translation.
25 Q. [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly then, military
1 records pertain to everyone, including the Albanians by their very nature?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. How were records kept of the military conscripts, in
4 what way?
5 A. Well, on the basis of this general summons the conscripts went to
6 their military territorial commands and were entered into their records.
7 The lists that we had in our records were compared with the lists of
8 citizens in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and then we saw that there
9 was this huge discrepancy between the Albanian conscripts who were on the
10 lists and those who actually reported to be entered into the record. We
11 repeated the summons several times and we did not apply any repressive
12 measures in those cases.
13 Q. When you say that you did not apply any repressive measures,
14 repressive measures were, in fact, envisaged by the law or some other
15 legal instrument. Could you please tell us something else -- something
16 more about it?
17 A. Well, they were envisaged in the law. Those who failed to report,
18 summons were sent again; and if they again failed to report, then the
19 minister of interior received a warrant for their -- to bring them in and
20 then they were brought into the appropriate authorities.
21 Q. Why did you not apply those measures to Albanian conscripts who
22 failed to respond to the general mobilisation call?
23 A. From our discussions with the military territorial commands who
24 had that under their purview -- in their purview and in discussions with
25 Albanians who responded to the conscription call and the national service
1 call, we had reliable information that Albanians from Kosovo who did
2 respond to that call who went to do their national service, were
3 threatened, their families were threatened.
4 Q. But in the Army of Yugoslavia there were Albanians, am I right?
5 A. Yes, there were Albanians, soldiers, non-commissioned officers,
6 officers in general. All the Albanians who lived outside of the territory
7 of Kosovo and Metohija responded and did their military obligation.
8 Q. Could you please tell us whether in those cases you took certain
9 measures to prevent any undesirable consequences if they did respond and
10 what were those measures?
11 A. Well, we had agreed about the measures with all the organs, and
12 Albanians who responded to the call for recruitment and national service,
13 we mostly complied with their requests about the selection of the unit and
14 the location where they would serve, where they would do their national
15 service. And we insisted that no measures should be applied against them
16 for their failure to respond earlier. And all those measures proved to be
17 quite efficient.
18 Q. General, let us move on to another topic and that's mobilisation.
19 Could you please tell me, when can the army be mobilised?
20 A. In order to start mobilising the troops in the Federal Republic of
21 Yugoslavia, some preconditions had to be met, and they were as follows.
22 One of the states of emergency, a decision by a representative of the
23 government -- of the prime minister, decision by the president of the
24 state, and other measures that had to be taken. That was the point where
25 the Chief of the General Staff had all the conditions in place to mobilise
1 the troops, to issue an order for the mobilisation of troops.
2 Q. On the basis of what documents or plans or any other kinds of
3 documents is the Army of Yugoslavia mobilised?
4 A. In essence, that would be the defence plan, and part of the
5 defence plan is the general mobilisation plan. There is the plan for the
6 mobilisation deployment, which was done in my administration for the whole
7 army, and the plan for the mobilisation of each specific unit.
8 Q. General, it's possible that the translation is correct, but I
9 didn't understand it right. You said that at the basis of the defence
10 plan there is the mobilisation plan?
11 A. Yes. There is the mobilisation plan which is at the base of the
12 defence plan, it's part of it. There is the mobilisation deployment plan
13 and the specific mobilisation plan for each specific unit.
14 Q. Thank you. When and where -- how was the mobilisation carried out
15 in the Army of Yugoslavia in wartime?
16 A. Just before the aggression against the Federal Republic of
17 Yugoslavia, appropriate preparations were carried out because according to
18 all indicators an aggression was imminent, we were expecting the
19 aggression. Preparations were very complex and that's a whole different
20 issue. After the aggression and the declaration of a state of war, the
21 decision of the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Chief
22 of General Staff decided to mobilise commands, units, and institutions of
23 the Army of Yugoslavia. Because of the manner of aggression he decided to
24 carry out a selective, partial, and secret mobilisation, and he never
25 veered from that path.
1 Q. General, if you could please explain to us in greater detail, what
2 does it mean, selective, partial, and secret mobilisation, each of these
4 A. The aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia covered
5 the entire territory of Yugoslavia. Every part of the territory was
6 bombed, was subject to destruction, and on the basis of that the most
7 common course would have been a general mobilisation. General
8 mobilisation means that large capacities of the country become viable
9 targets for the aggressor, and that is why it was decided to carry out a
10 selective mobilisation part by part as necessary for the defence of the
11 country because all the assets were not needed throughout the aggression.
12 Partially, that means that only those parts that were really necessary
13 within all that were to be mobilised. And secret mobilisation means that
14 this was done in secret, lest the enemy should target assembly points,
15 causing great casualties, inflicting great casualties on the Army of
16 Yugoslavia in the most crucial point in the deployment of an army.
17 Q. And when you say selective or partial, what does it mean? What
18 was the order to the selection of the units were mobilisation, which units
19 had a priority and which ones were mobilised later?
20 A. In principle, the order is known on the basis of the nature of the
21 units. First the command elements are mobilised, then the air defence
22 units, then A [Realtime transcript read in error "any"] units that have to
23 create conditions for the mobilisation of the other units and that all
24 depended on the development, sometimes it would be engineer units, medical
25 units, other units, depending on the requirements of the actual situation.
1 The selective nature of the mobilisation allowed the army commanders to
2 propose to the Chief of General Staff everything that was to be done --
3 what elements needed to be mobilised as the next step.
4 Q. General, you mentioned the A composition. I don't see that in the
5 transcript. What is the so-called A composition, which units make up this
6 A composition?
7 A. Each army in the world has a sort of classification of its own
8 units. A is a unit that is deployed to the greatest extent possible and
9 can start carrying out an assignment right away and is a unit that must be
10 mobilised before it embarks on its task.
11 Q. You said NA?
12 A. Yes, NA, that's an abbreviation.
13 Q. All right. NA is a unit that must be mobilised?
14 A. In order to be able to carry out its fundamental task.
15 Q. Thank you. Go ahead, please.
16 A. This doesn't preclude both units from being mobilised because A
17 units are able to carry out their tasks but they're not able to carry on
18 like that for long, carry on fighting like that for long.
19 Q. General, what about the VJ before the beginning of the aggression,
20 were there any conscripts in the army? Were there any reservists?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Based on what were those persons there?
23 A. There was several reasons for this. The general reserve is one of
24 those reasons. This is a legal basis that provides for involvement of
25 reservists because in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia the time when
1 one's military term was to start was changed from 18 years of age to 21
2 years of age. Another reason was to train people for particular
3 specialties that were in demand. There were reservists and the need for
4 those reservists was high. They were called in order to be trained for
5 particular skills and particular actions. The third reason was to keep
6 soldiers back in the reserve once their military term is over. This was
7 done pursuant to a decision of the president and the Chief of the General
8 Staff. And the fourth reason was to check mobilisation readiness. This
9 is the moment when a unit is mobilised so that its mobilisation readiness
10 may be checked. If it's caught up in the middle of a mobilisation, then
11 it simply continues to work.
12 Q. Thank you. How many conscripts were called up and how many of
13 those responded? What was the response to the call-up?
14 A. During the war, about 300.000 conscripts were called up. When I
15 say "about" it's a very precise figure. It might be 300.700 or 800. The
16 response was 90 per cent. What is typical is that at the beginning of the
17 aggression the response was about 70 per cent, but as the aggression
18 continued the response grew and at the very end we had units where the
19 response rate was as high as 90 to 95 per cent and 95 to 100 per cent
21 Q. In military terms this is a very high rate, right?
22 A. Yes, this is an exceptionally high rate for any military
24 Q. Thank you. Who was in charge of providing material support for
1 A. The defence ministry.
2 Q. How did they deal with the issue of supplies, providing supplies
3 for the units?
4 A. Each unit had its own needs clearly defined. These needs were
5 defined through war establishment. It was also clearly defined what the
6 unit got immediately from the army in terms of material goods that were
7 supplied to a particular unit by the army. Whatever was left and still
8 needed to be replenished was provided by the material support of the
9 mobilisation itself.
10 Q. And this was done through local defence ministry offices, right,
11 local branch offices?
12 A. Yes. Yes, those in charge of this were in the territorial command
13 of the unit and those providing material support were local bodies of the
14 defence ministry.
15 Q. Thank you. General, could the commander of a unit on his own get
16 certain material goods based on the list? When I refer to the list,
17 perhaps you should explain what the list is and tell us what an officer on
18 his own could do about that?
19 A. List of goods we call them. So these are goods that are specified
20 which a certain unit needs, and one needs to be very specific and who
21 provides these goods, whether it's someone from the economy or an
22 individual or the army. And then these goods were forwarded to the army.
23 The law envisaged for the possibility -- because of the manner in which
24 the aggression unfolded, this possibility was eventually used if the
25 defence ministry and the body using these goods cannot bring
1 replenishments to the unit based on the list, then the commander of a
2 battalion can take those goods and whoever is providing the goods will be
3 issued with a certificate to the effect that the goods were taken and used
4 by the army.
5 Q. General, let us move on to a different topic. We know that
6 volunteers were reporting to the army. Tell us when the first of these
7 volunteers came to report.
8 A. The first time was the night between the 23rd and the 24th of
10 Q. Did the General Staff deal with this in any special way, I mean
11 receiving volunteers and how?
12 A. During the night between the 23rd and 24th of May at my
13 administration, we were aware of the fact that these volunteers reporting
14 might be a problematic thing after all. We drew up a document of the
15 Chief of General Staff in which we tried to deal with this issue. This
16 document first and foremost was meant to protect units carrying out the
17 mobilisation from any pressure exerted by these same volunteers. On the
18 other hand, it was supposed to protect units that had not been mobilised
19 so that their conscripts wouldn't go elsewhere. Thirdly, the aim was to
20 prevent individuals from reporting to the army who weren't properly
21 trained, thus putting their own lives at risk as well as those of their
22 fellow soldiers. The fourth objective was to prevent any problematic
23 people from reporting as volunteers, and that is why a decision was
24 adopted on the 24th of March, 1999, to deal with all these aspects.
25 Q. General, which bodies from the General Staff were involved in
1 taking in volunteers?
2 A. My own administration was the chief body in charge, organisation,
3 mobilisation, and military obligation, also known as the third
4 administration. As for training, that was down to the training
5 administration. Medical matters were something for the logistics sector.
6 As for vetting, any volunteers that reported in terms of criminal record,
7 this was something that the security administration was in charge of. As
8 for deploying these units through various operative and strategic groups,
9 that was down to my own administration. Army command were put in charge
10 in those groups, and commanders were specifically in charge of carrying
11 out individual assignments.
12 Q. General, were there any problems about taking in volunteers?
13 A. Yes. Very soon problems were noted about this.
14 Q. How did you deal with those?
15 A. There were two reactions. One was to issue command documents in
16 order to consolidate this base of volunteers in a matter of about 20 days
17 between the 24th of March and the 14th of April three orders were issued
18 and one supplement. What was peculiar is that all these orders were used
19 to add to the system, but not to start from scratch and build it back up
21 Q. When you say it was added to and not -- starting from scratch and
22 then built back up again, what exactly do you mean?
23 A. I think that the first order to regulate the intake of volunteers
24 was essential. It provided for a normal functioning of the entire system,
25 but this system needed adding to in order to keep the problems down to a
1 minimum or eliminate problems altogether.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show the witness
4 P1943 --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Before moving on, Mr. Visnjic, if you could look at
6 line 6 of page 69. You'll see that as for -- the words there are: "As for
7 deploying these units through various operative and strategic groups, that
8 was done by my own administration."
9 Now, Mr. Kosovac, what did you mean by the reference to "deploying
10 these units"?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't believe I actually used the
12 word. The third administration never dealt with sending units to
13 particular places. It was in charge of organisation and mobilisation, and
14 organisation and mobilisation defines this, in peacetime where units are
15 located and in wartime places where mobilisation takes place. As to where
16 these units are actually sent, now this is operative action and this was
17 done by staff bodies and staffs with their commanders.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: What you actually said completely was that the
19 security administration was in charge of arrangements for deploying these
20 units through various operative -- it's unfortunate, I can't see the last
21 words on the side of this now and it's gone from the screen. Just give me
22 a moment. Yeah, I can see it now.
23 What you're recorded as saying: "As for deploying these units
24 through various operative and strategic groups, that was down to my
1 Now, what did you mean by that?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I should go back to the beginning
3 because this context is impossible.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: The question was: "Which bodies from the General
5 Staff were involved in taking in volunteers?"
6 And you said your own administration was the chief body in charge,
7 also known as the third administration; as for training, that was down to
8 the training administration; medical matters were something for the
9 logistics sector; as for vetting, any volunteers that reported in terms of
10 criminal record, this was something that the security administration was
11 in charge of.
12 "As for assigning these units to various operative and
13 strategic groups, that was down to my own administration."
14 Now, what does that mean?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say "units," I
16 said "individuals," "volunteers," sending them to the various armies and
17 operative and strategic groups, now that was something that my
18 administration did. Within the army they had their own organs which they
19 deployed or assigned to various units, not units, volunteers, individuals.
20 This is about volunteers.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Visnjic.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, well now I have to see where I
25 stopped. P1943.
1 Q. General, can you look at this document, please. It is stated that
2 this document was produced by your administration for mobilisation,
3 recruitment, mobilisation, and system issues. This is 1943. Do you see
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. You looked at this document as you were being proofed, right? Can
7 you just tell us one thing, sir. How do you interpret this document,
8 bearing in mind that it was issued, the body it was issued by, what was
9 the intention of whoever produced this?
10 A. This is just to inform, to warn. As I've mentioned in my evidence
11 so far, the first time we regulated the problem of volunteers was that
12 order on the 24th, and until the 14th of April two other orders had been
13 issued. That is how the command reacted to each and every mistake that
14 was made and the command had to react in the real time. My administration
15 was technically in charge of this. We were receiving information
16 indicating that there were omissions and mistakes about how these
17 volunteers were being sent out. Whenever we received a report like that -
18 and I don't mean just us, I think every management throughout the world
19 checks information of this kind - you check who this is in relation to, is
20 this about all the military territorial commands or just some of those;
21 and then based on this you draw up a document, information about specific
22 problems and how these problems are to be overcome. Given the fact that
23 this is the 24th, the date in question when the document was issued, and
24 over 150.000 people had been mobilised by this time, I think this warning
25 was a timely one, which it later proved to be.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] It's something in the transcript,
3 page 72, line 21, it should be the 24th -- the 20th of April.
4 Q. And when you say that over 150.000 people had been mobilised, you
5 mean everyone?
6 A. No, just the reservists. I mean 150.000 reservists who had been
7 mobilised by this time.
8 Q. Could you please look at page 2 of this document in both
9 versions --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Before moving to page 2, I'm having difficulty
11 following this. This is dated the 20th of April. So you started your
12 answer there by referring to the period between the 24th of March and the
13 20th of April. Did you misunderstand the date of this document? Because
14 again you referred to the 24th at the end of your answer.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I understand
16 correctly what this document is, and in fact I do, I drew a very clear
17 distinction between a document issuing a command and a document informing
18 or warning somebody about something. The command responds in real time to
19 any problems that are noted. You saw that we dealt with those problems in
20 four documents that dealt with the problem of volunteers. When we were
21 informed about some conduct that appeared to be of a systematic nature, we
22 checked this information with the military territorial commands, we
23 analysed who this -- these problems referred to, and when we decided that
24 this was a common problem, we drafted a document informing and warning
25 everyone in order to avoid any such problems in future.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, perhaps you can help me with some specific
2 questions. You said that 150.000 reservists had been mobilised by this
3 time. What was the date by which you had mobilised 150.000 reservists?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Around the 15th of April.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And this letter here is dated the 20th, so we are
6 four weeks into the war by this time. And you were receiving reports of
7 paramilitary groups and unsatisfactory volunteers and so on; is that
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My organs responded only to
10 individuals because we admitted only individuals, no groups, in
11 particular, not paramilitary groups. Every individual was processed as
12 such, as an individual.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: This document in its second paragraph says: "There
14 was no organised processing of the volunteers in the Bubanj Potok PC,"
15 which presumably is reception centre, "in the beginning, instead" --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: " -- Instead they were brought together and
18 transferred to the 3rd Army reception centre, often with no agreement or
19 coordination. Most often these were paramilitary groups that had been
20 formed before, and among their forces they had a number of volunteer unfit
21 for military service," and then there's a number of reasons given. So
22 were these the reports you were getting?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were the reports that we were
24 getting immediately before this document was drafted, but I'm telling you
25 every individual was processed individually so that any assumptions about
1 groups are just that, assumptions.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Visnjic.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General, let us go back to the last page of this document in
6 B/C/S, that's page 2 in English. Could you please look at the last
7 paragraph of this document. It reads: "On the basis of all of the above,
8 take measures to eliminate the problems and oversights that were noted and
9 to entirely secure the execution of the order issued by the chief of the
10 Supreme Command Staff," we have the number, dated the 14th of April, 1999.
11 Could you please comment on the last paragraph with the fact who
12 these documents, or rather, who this notification or warning was addressed
14 A. You can see right away that this warning, this information, was
15 addressed to three types of units down there and agencies. First of all,
16 to the army commands that were in command of the military territorial
17 commands, and then pursuant to this order they were able to define their
18 command actions. Second --
19 Q. General --
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 3 in the
21 English because this part the addressees are listed on page 3.
22 Q. Please proceed, General.
23 A. Second, to the training administration because it was in charge of
24 training; and thirdly, to all military territorial commands as a technical
25 aspect of this problem, not down the chain of command but as a technical
1 warning or instruction as to how they should do their job. This type of
2 distribution is considered to be highly efficient when there isn't enough
4 Q. Thank you. And what would be the regular distribution or manner
5 in which this would be conveyed?
6 A. Only to the army commands.
7 Q. Thank you. General, do you remember or do you have information
8 about the number of volunteers, total number in the Army of Yugoslavia?
9 A. I remember quite clearly the basic framework, around 6.000
10 volunteers reported, 20 per cent were immediately sent off from the
11 reception centres, they were not admitted, 20 per cent were soon sent off
12 from their units, and the rest remained to the end, doing their job until
13 the end. I remember quite clearly that about 150 foreigners came to the
14 country to join as volunteers. We used 140 of them. We didn't admit a
15 small number. I remember quite clearly that we had demands from abroad
16 for about 10.000 volunteers to come in and to put -- place themselves at
17 the disposal of the Army of Yugoslavia.
18 Q. Thank you, General. Did you do the recruitment and reception of
19 soldiers during the war, admission of soldiers? We're talking about
20 another topic, we're talking about the recruitment now.
21 A. Well, probably you meant doing national service or admission of
22 persons doing their national service?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Well, recruits, people who were already recruited came to do the
25 national service. We did not call-up people to do their national service
1 during the war because we estimated that our personnel strength is
2 sufficient to repel the aggression. We made such a proposal to the Chief
3 of General Staff, and he agreed. We drafted plans and we assessed that if
4 the aggression should go on that sometime in September or October we would
5 start calling up recruits to do their national service.
6 Q. Thank you. General, could you please tell me, high school
7 students in military schools and students were also sent home. What was
8 the basis for that decision?
9 A. Pursuant to the regulations in force and the rules for the
10 mobilisation of the army, it is quite clearly defined which students of
11 the military high schools and students from military academies should be
12 assigned as soon as the army is mobilised and as soon as the state is at
13 war. The Chief of the General Staff assessed that the time was not right
14 for the high school, military high school students and military academy
15 students to be engaged on the basis of our proposal and the proposal of
16 the training administration which was in charge of running the system.
17 Q. Now that we're talking about the training administration, what
18 kinds of training are there, General, in the army? Who is being trained?
19 A. Well, for all intents and purposes there are two types of training
20 in the army. One is the training an individual and training of a unit.
21 Q. And what was your assessment of the training level of the
22 individuals; and if you can, perhaps also tell us about the units in that
23 time-period right at the beginning of the war. Let us start with the
24 individuals first.
25 A. Well, I am competent to answer that question through the prism of
1 mobilisation and let me give you the following answer. No military
2 conscript in the army was ever used in the army if they had not been
3 trained. So all the conscripts had undergone training. Second, through
4 the verification of combat-readiness no unit was failed in terms of its
5 level of training; in other words, every unit was assessed to be
6 satisfactory in terms of its training level. And third, the Army of
7 Yugoslavia was never happy at that time with the level of training of its
8 units because we knew that we could always do better, that we could do
9 more, and that's what we concentrated our efforts on.
10 Q. Are there any objective reasons why the level of training may have
11 been lower in some units and what might those reasons be?
12 A. Well, there are many reasons. Let me give you just a few of the
13 most salient ones. External reasons were the following. The state had
14 been under a blockade for a long period of time, and that is why it was
15 difficult to obtain and to have proper teaching aids. This caused an
16 economic crisis and it was difficult to allocate funding for training.
17 Next, the situation in the environment of the Federal Republic of
18 Yugoslavia was among the most difficult in the world. There was civil war
19 in its neighbouring countries to the south, the obstruction by the
20 separatists and constant threat of war. And third, we knew that we had to
21 find the best possible solution and in that period immediately before the
22 aggression and in the course of the aggression the 2.000 model was at
23 work, that was a plan, for the transformation and reform of the Army of
24 Yugoslavia. Let me just note here that those transformations and reforms
25 that had taken place before were aimed at reducing the number of units and
1 the personnel strength in the Army of Yugoslavia, both in its peacetime
2 and wartime establishment.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You referred in that answer to civil war in your
4 neighbouring countries to the south. To which countries were you
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant the civil war in the
7 neighbouring countries, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I was
8 talking about the south of Serbia as a separate issue, Kosovo and
9 Metohija, southern Serbia, Kosovo and Metohija, that's all part of
11 JUDGE BONOMY: So this answer relates to the period up to 1995,
12 does it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the period up to 1999. That's
14 the whole period of preparations that takes six years from the moment of
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Visnjic.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we listen to the
19 audio-recording, because I'm sure about what the witness said about what
20 you remarked on, I think that it will be quite clear. I think that he was
21 quite clear in his audio-recording, and there probably was some
22 summarizing in the interpretation.
23 Q. General, do you recall how many units were mobilised at the
24 beginning of the war?
25 A. Well, I have the information as to how many units were mobilised
1 throughout the war. About 150 units were fully mobilised in the army,
2 partially mobilised were 140 units, and about 200 commands and
3 institutions were not mobilised at all but they worked in their peacetime
4 organisation during the war.
5 Q. Do you have any information about the 3rd Army, what the situation
6 was there?
7 A. Well, the situation was approximately the same, about 40 units
8 were fully mobilised and about 36 units were partially mobilised,
9 plus/minus one, two units, but that's reliable information.
10 Q. During the war were new commands and units and institutions
12 A. Yes, of course. During the war, the war always produces the
13 formation of others. We issued about 25 orders from the Chief of General
14 Staff to set up new commands, units, and institutions of the army, and
15 they regulated the formation of about 40 new units, commands, and
16 institutions, most of these were units.
17 Q. Thank you. General, do you know or you probably know something
18 about the establishment of the military territorial detachment at the
19 military department in -- military district in Pristina -- military
20 territorial detachment that was supposed to be composed of Albanians?
21 A. Of Albanian -- ethnic Albanian conscripts?
22 Q. Yes, that's right.
23 A. I know that during the war the only newly formed detachment was
24 this one, I think it was the 9th Military Territorial Detachment. The
25 assistant Chief of General Staff, General Matovic, at a meeting of the
1 collegium of our sector notified us about the demand and the proposal of
2 the 3rd Army command. He notified us why -- what was the purpose of that
4 Q. And what was the purpose?
5 A. The purpose was to establish a single unit where the officers,
6 non-commissioned and commissioned officers and soldiers would be
7 Albanians, and the purpose was to increase the trust of the Albanian
8 population in Kosovo for the Army of Yugoslavia. On the basis of the
9 situation assessment, we proposed to general, who was the assistant Chief
10 of General Staff, that this be a military territorial unit, that it be a
11 detachment, and if a greater number of such conscripts should report, that
12 we could spread those units in the most -- in the best possible way
13 because that was the most favourable way in which they could be used.
14 Q. Yes, thank you. And what was done next by the General Staff in
15 this regard, did appropriate -- were the appropriate documents issued were
16 appropriate organisational preconditions put in place and so on?
17 A. Yes. The Chief of General Staff fully accepted the proposal, and
18 all the documents were drafted necessary for the setting up of the 9th
19 Military Territorial Detachment.
20 Q. Do you know if the detachment was eventually set up; if so, did it
21 start functioning at any point?
22 A. I do know that. When the time came to report that its
23 establishment was done, the feedback we received was that they had failed,
24 so we scrapped all the documents. The commander of the Pristina military
25 district at a briefing told me in detail why this detachment had never
1 been set up.
2 Q. Thank you, General. Let's move on to a different topic now, it's
3 about the relations between the army and the MUP during subordination and
4 resubordination. My question: During the war was any unit of the MUP
5 resubordinated to the VJ?
6 A. Not a single unit of the MUP was ever part of the establishment of
7 the VJ or, for that matter, defined as such even in theory.
8 Q. What was the fundamental reason for what you just told us?
9 A. We would underline this quite often. The fundamental reasons
10 were, these are two entirely different systems, the army and the MUP.
11 They have different command systems. They have different recruitment
12 systems. They have different purposes and goals. They have different
13 logistics. They have different deployment conditions, and they can never
14 be unified under a single banner, so to speak.
15 Q. Nevertheless, demands were made to resubordinate, weren't they?
16 What was the gist of those demands?
17 A. In essence it was about interpreting the word "resubordination"
18 and what exactly this implied. There were a great many problems in
19 dealing with specific problems. The Law on Defence defines this really
20 well. When a unit of the VJ and a unit of the MUP worked together, who
21 exactly is in charge of this operation and what does one do. In essence,
22 action is coordinated between the VJ and the MUP, and in combat, in armed
23 combat, it is the army that is in charge of coordination.
24 Q. General, defined like this, resubordination or coordination,
25 whatever we choose to call it, at which level is this sort of cooperation
2 A. A coordination. The body in charge of coordination defines the
3 basic elements, the initial elements, for guidance in terms of this
4 coordination. The army commands issue assignments to their own units.
5 Coordination itself and the hot [Realtime transcript read in error "hard"]
6 line that exists between the MUP and a particular VJ unit is maintained at
7 the level of battalions and brigades at the level where combat activities
8 are carried out. It's normally done like this: There is a MUP
9 representative at the command post of the unit in question and then issues
10 are dealt with as they come.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Zecevic is telling me about page
12 83, line 6, it says "hard line," whereas the General said "hot line" and I
13 think there is a definitely distinction and this affects the
15 JUDGE BONOMY: It was also translated as "hot line" orally.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, we'll be going through some documents at the end of your
18 evidence so we'll not be wasting any time now. Even at this level that
19 you've just described, were there any practical problems, the level that
20 we can henceforth refer to as the hot line, level?
21 A. Most frequently problems did occur at that level. Coordination
22 problems and such-like never occur at the highest level, at the level of
23 state, at the level of the actual coordinating body. It's always at a
24 stage or at a level where this is actually implemented that problems
1 Q. General, I'll be asking you to look at a series of documents now.
2 3D751 is the first of these. The document is dated the 19th of March; it
3 was issued by the VJ General Staff. General, can you please say this. In
4 real language what does paragraph 1 of the document state, start
5 immediately with: "Preparations for the mobilisation of the 252nd corps
6 unit ..."
7 A. This is a textbook preparation order that any military officer
8 expecting that a certain issue would occur in real terms should issue. It
9 means what it says: "Carry out preparations ..." What does that mean? A
10 unit is envisaged to be mobilised. In this case the 252nd Armoured
11 Brigade, this is an A unit, it's classified as an A unit. It's meant to
12 launch fast into action wherever an attack by the enemy is expected. It
13 must bring its lists up-to-date, it must prepare all its units, it must be
14 prepared for all its commitments, and it must be prepared to launch into
15 action in no time at all because this is the unit carrying out that
16 assignment. As for territorial commands, those that the army is in charge
17 of, this means that they should check their lists, conscripts, check their
18 messages or couriers and be ready as soon as an order comes to start
19 mobilising. This is one of the regular preparation orders.
20 Q. Thank you, General.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have 3D749.
22 Q. Another order by the Chief of the General Staff, the date is the
23 23rd of March, 1999. Look at paragraph 1, please. This is the
24 continuation, right? Can you comment, General, what is that -- what is it
25 that's being ordered here by the General Staff?
1 A. If you look at the date you see that it was actually produced on
2 the 22nd, on the eve of the aggression, and the 23rd is the date that it
3 was actually dispatched. In practical terms you see that four days had
4 elapsed since the previous order and all the preparations had probably
5 been completed. So this is yet another caution that preparations should
6 continue, that no one should start relaxing who was within the system,
7 because unfortunately on that day it was confirmed that there would be an
8 aggression against the SFRY and that orders were to start being carried
9 out for mobilisation.
10 Q. Thank you, General. Let us now move on to P1741.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We believe that counsel
12 actually used that number but it's impossible to tell because of the
13 background noise in the courtroom. Thank you.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Was that 1741?
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 1741. The previous one was 3D749.
16 Q. This is the order on mobilisation of the 2nd of April, 1999, in
17 this case the 2nd Army. Can you please comment. I see that this order
18 precedes the order of the Supreme Command Staff also on the 2nd of April,
20 A. To the extent I can tell it's the 3rd Army we're looking at here.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak up, the interpreters
22 can't hear him.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is precisely what I was talking
24 about at the beginning. The Chief of the General Staff opted for
25 selective, partial and secret mobilisation and this is an specific order
1 that he has now issued to mobilise units. One can see that the army
2 command -- perhaps we should turn to the next page.
3 Yes. The army command here deals with everything that it is in
4 charge of and it encompasses everything in this order and regulates it for
5 everyone who will be involved in this mobilisation. So this is an order
6 from the Chief of the General Staff.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now go to 3D750.
10 Q. General, this is an order. You spoke about soldiers who had
11 completed their military term but were held back. Can you please comment
12 on this order and especially the reason why these soldiers were held back.
13 The date is the 15th of March, it's another order by the VJ General Staff.
14 A. To all practical intents, this is an order that was based on a
15 decision of the president of the FRY, and this was drafted by the Chief of
16 the General Staff and was forwarded to all the units that all the soldiers
17 should be held back as military conscripts, also those whose term had
18 expired. What is behind this order? We all know that once someone's
19 military term expires, this is normally the best soldier around because
20 he's well-trained, perfectly fit, and there are good teams who have now
21 worked together for quite some time. On the other hand, the problem
22 relating to manpower levels in the army was a burning issue at the time
23 already. On the other hand, we know that the aggression spread in a
24 lightning-quick manner and it was expected that it would be launched at
25 any time. For whatever the president took this decision and the Chief of
1 the General Staff implemented it fully.
2 Q. This was a public decision, was it not, or a secret one, General,
3 do you know that?
4 A. This is not the sort of decision that you publish. You can see
5 that it says: "Strictly confidential." This sent to the commands of all
6 units and institutions so that all those who should know know about this,
7 but this is not some sort of a public proclamation.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not sure -- I have
9 about -- well, if I tell you now, I would be lying to you, but I think 15
10 minutes, and I mean to continue tomorrow.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm afraid there will be another case here this
12 afternoon, so we have to move out.
13 Mr. Kosovac, we have to bring our sitting to an end at this stage
14 because another case sits in this court in the afternoon. That means you
15 have to come here to continue with your evidence, that will be at 9.00
16 tomorrow morning. Overnight it's very important that you have no
17 discussion with anyone about any of the evidence in the case. You can
18 discuss whatever you like with whomever you like, as long as there is
19 absolutely no discussion about the evidence.
20 Now, would you please leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll
21 see you at 9.00 tomorrow.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of
1 September, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.