1 Friday, 28 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Mucibabic.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The examination by Mr. Visnjic will continue in a
9 moment. Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration which you made at
10 the beginning of your evidence to tell the truth continues to apply to
11 your evidence today.
12 Mr. Visnjic.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 WITNESS: SPASOJE MUCIBABIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examination by Mr. Visnjic: [Continued]
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mucibabic.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. Yesterday in your evidence you told us that the evening briefings
20 were recorded in a notebook and that it was mostly you and Colonel Paskas
21 who actually took the minutes. I would now like to go through an Exhibit
22 with you, that's 3D1094.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is the so-called
24 briefing book, and I would like to go through the pages in that book for
25 the purposes of authentication.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this also not yet translated into English?
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this document has been
3 translated in such a way that individual days are translated as separate
4 documents. 90 per cent of this document, and in particular for the
5 relevant period until the 9th of July, that has been translated.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there any reason why for today's purposes we
7 need to see the English versions?
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, it's just -- it's just -- I want
9 the witness to identify some things in the document.
10 Q. General, on your arrival in The Hague you inspected this document
11 in detail?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now I would like to go through with you -- through some dates with
14 you and I would like you to assist me if you can to identify some persons
15 that wrote this document. This is the first page of this document. Could
16 you please tell me what is the date when this page was written and could
17 you please identify who wrote that.
18 A. This page was done on the 24th of March, 1999, in the time between
19 the -- between 7.15 and 7.45, that was the morning briefing. This is not
20 my handwriting, and I can't recognise the handwriting.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please move to page 5 of
22 this document, that's in e-court.
23 Q. General, what do we see in front of us?
24 A. This is the briefing at 1900 hours on the 24th of March, 1999, and
25 this is my handwriting.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now go to page 6 in
4 Q. What do we see in front of us, General?
5 A. This is the briefing at 2400 hours, that's the night of the 24th
6 until -- to the 25th of March, 1999, and I don't recognise the
7 handwriting, it's not mine.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please move to page 7 on
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the briefing at 2100 hours,
11 the 25th of March, 1999, and this is my handwriting.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you.
14 A. That's the second part, the second part, that's my handwriting.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And could we scroll down a little
16 bit, a little bit lower. Thank you.
17 Q. Could you now tell us what this is?
18 A. We see in front of us a very short briefing that was at 2200
19 hours, the 25th of March, it ended the 2340, again this is my handwriting.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now move to page 11,
22 please, in e-court.
23 Q. General, what do we see in front of us?
24 A. This is the briefing on the 26th of March, 1999, it began at 800
25 hours and ended at 900 hours, and this is my handwriting.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Page 12, please.
3 Could we move it a little bit up, please, in e-court. Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the briefing of the 26th of
5 March. It started at 2030. This is not my handwriting. I can't
6 recognise it.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we move to page 17 in e-court.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the briefing of the 28th of
11 March. This is my handwriting.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Page 23 in e-court, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the briefing of the 29th of
16 March that started at 2030. This is not my handwriting, I can't recognise
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now move to page 24, 25.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not my handwriting either.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now move to page 31 in
23 e-court. Could we scroll it down a little bit, please. Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The signature below this handwriting
25 that I was unable to recognise indicates that the minutes were taken by
1 Colonel Milivoj Gutovic.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Could you please tell me whether you can recognise the briefing of
4 the 30th of March, 1999.
5 A. Again, this is not my handwriting and I can't recognise it. I can
6 only identify the person by the signature.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please now move to page 43
8 in e-court and page 42 before this one, please, so that we can see whether
9 we have a signature for the previous date. Thank you.
10 Q. General, do you recognise this signature?
11 A. Yes, this is the signature of Colonel Golic who was the deputy of
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now could we move to page 43, that
14 is the briefing of the 31st of March, 1999.
15 Q. Colonel, do you recognise this handwriting?
16 A. No, it's not my handwriting and I can't recognise it.
17 Q. Thank you. Could you please look at page 47 in e-court, that's
18 the 1st of April, 1999. Do you recognise the handwriting here?
19 A. It's not mine and I can't recognise it unless I see the signature.
20 Q. Colonel, could we please look at page 46 to see who signed the
21 briefing of the 31st of March, 1999.
22 A. This is the signature of Colonel Bozo Maljkovic.
23 Q. Thank you. Who was Bozidar Maljkovic?
24 A. Colonel Maljkovic was the desk officer in the first department
25 with Colonel Paskas.
1 Q. Thank you. Could you now please look at page 52, please, in
2 e-court. The date is the 2nd of April.
3 A. I can see page 53 here in front of me.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please move to the previous
5 page in e-court. Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the briefing of the 2nd of
7 April. Again, this is not my handwriting and I can't recognise it. I can
8 only recognise it if I see the signature.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Fine. Let us look at page 56 then, or rather, if we can look at
11 page 55 first.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] If you can scroll down to the very
13 bottom, please.
14 Q. Whose handwriting is this on page 55?
15 A. Well, it's rather illegible, but this is Dragan Paskas's
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Let us move on to page 56 now, this
19 is the 3rd of April now.
20 Q. You told us already that you can't recognise the handwriting.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] But could we then look at page 65 in
22 e-court, and before that, page 64, so that we can see if we have the
23 signature for the date that is the 3rd of April, 1999. Thank you.
24 Q. General, whose signature is this?
25 A. This is the signature of Colonel Zlatomir Sibulovic.
1 Q. Who was Colonel Sibulovic at that time?
2 A. Colonel Sibulovic was the desk officer in the operations
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at page 60, or
6 rather, 70. This is the 5th of May [as interpreted] 1999.
7 Q. General, do you recognise the handwriting?
8 A. This is not my handwriting. I think that this is Dragan Paskas's
9 handwriting, but it would be a good idea to look at the signature.
10 Q. Fine. Let me just correct the transcript, it should read the 5th
11 of April.
12 A. Yes, the 5th of April.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at page 51, or
14 rather, I apologise, page 69 -- no, no, that was the previous handwriting.
15 I'm sorry. Page 74. [In English] That's my mistake. [Interpretation]
16 Thank you.
17 Q. That's the last page for the minutes of the 5th of April, 1999,
18 General, could you please look at the signature.
19 A. The minutes were signed by Colonel Dragan Paskas.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now move to the next page,
22 that's page 75.
23 Q. Do you recognise the handwriting here?
24 A. No, this is not my handwriting and I can't recognise it.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at page 77.
1 Q. Who signed this document?
2 A. There is no signature on this document.
3 Q. Thank you. Let's look at the 7th of April, 1999 -- actually, it's
4 page 78 in the e-court.
5 Whose handwriting is this?
6 A. This is my handwriting.
7 Q. Thank you. General, let's not go further. You had the
8 opportunity of looking at this document in detail before testifying here.
9 Can you please tell us what you established globally for the period after
10 the 7th of April, 1999. Which persons wrote the logs from that period
11 until the end of the war in the briefing book?
12 A. Sir, attorney Visnjic, after that date all the briefing books were
13 signed either by me or by Colonel Dragan Paskas.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we looked at this
16 document and I already spoke with the Prosecution about this. We
17 established that certain pages were missing in this document and those are
18 pages 5, 17, 18, 71, 77, 80, 118, 163, and 279. I spoke with the
19 Prosecutor. I think most of the pages other than one copy actually should
20 just be blank pages followed by the text, but the Prosecutor will discuss
21 this in more detail with the witness. This is the copy that we received
22 when we requested it and this is the copy that we are presenting now to
23 the Court as an exhibit.
24 I have no further questions for this witness.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
1 Any Defence counsel with cross-examination? No.
2 Mr. Mucibabic, you'll now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,
3 Mr. Hannis.
4 Mr. Hannis.
5 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
7 Q. Good afternoon, General. You mentioned yesterday at the very
8 beginning of your evidence that you graduated from the academy in 1970; is
9 that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And in part of your answer you mentioned that that was a
12 generation that had several witnesses here. I take it those would have
13 been colleagues of yours from that time and friends; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, my colleagues from the same class, same generation.
15 Q. Could you name some of those persons from your class who have been
16 witnesses here?
17 A. I can. Immediately before me, this was Colonel Stanisa Ivkovic;
18 and then before him I saw on the link that Colonel Novkovic also
20 Q. Anyone else you can remember right now?
21 A. Not at the moment. I can't remember anyone else. The only thing
22 is that among the accused, General Pavkovic is also from our class.
23 Q. Do you -- before you came to testify in this trial, did you have
24 occasion to discuss that fact that you were going to testify or to discuss
25 with Mr. Ivkovic or Colonel Novkovic about their having testified here?
1 A. I did not see them for a year for sure, and I saw attorney Visnjic
2 once a year ago and then here now on Tuesday. So I didn't think about
3 this before coming here to the Tribunal and I didn't have any contacts
4 with anyone about that.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you mentioned these daily briefings in the
6 evening during the war where you took notes for several of the sessions.
7 Between the 24th of March and the date in June when the war ended, were
8 there evening briefings every single day as far as you recall?
9 A. Yesterday, they -- there were evening briefings every evening, a
10 total of 90 briefings were held, these evening briefings.
11 Q. And if there is -- there's a gap in the notebook where there are
12 no notes for a particular day, what would that mean to you?
13 A. I think that the handwriting -- or actually the manuscript of the
14 briefing book was copied entirely. I saw the blanks from the lawyer where
15 it says that the conclusions that we glued in and that were typed were
16 removed for technical reasons.
17 Q. Okay. I'm sorry, I don't think I heard about that before. So are
18 you saying that at the end of each day certain conclusions from the
19 briefings were typed up and then physically pasted into the notebook for
20 each day? Is that what you just said?
21 A. After the briefing and in -- pursuant to orders of the chief of
22 the Supreme Command and the chief of the cabinet and the person who took
23 the minutes, we would usually meet; and from the notes we would together
24 formulate the conclusions which were then much clearer to see and were
25 better formulated. And then we would paste them in, in order to be more
1 precise and for those who would subsequently read them to have an easier
2 job of it was just a compilation of what two note-takers recorded.
3 Q. Okay. I'm a little unclear about that. So after the meeting you
4 said that we would meet and from the notes we would together formulate the
5 conclusions which were then much clearer to see and were better
6 formulated, and then we would paste them in. Who met after the meeting?
7 For example, let's say this is a meeting where you were taking the notes,
8 after the meeting who did you meet with to do that?
9 A. At the end of the meeting, the Chief of Staff of the Supreme
10 Command, General Ojdanic, would issue assignments which were quite clear,
11 but when writing we couldn't note everything down. The chef de cabinet
12 would sit next to me or next to Colonel Paskas, and he would also note
13 down these conclusions. Then after the meeting we would go through it,
14 look at it in detail, because this was a summary of the entire daily work
15 and the briefing which the chief would then read.
16 Q. Okay. And it appears from our copy then of this notebook that
17 those typewritten summaries have either been removed or else they were
18 covered over when this copy was made; would you agree with me about that?
19 A. Well, this is the assumption. I would rather not comment.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Were there typewritten conclusions after every one
21 of the meetings?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the second half, yes; in the
23 first half, I think not.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I ask because the page numbers given as missing
25 pages only amount to nine.
1 Mr. Hannis.
2 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, but you will see that for some of
3 the pages we have there's writing on the top third or the top fourth, and
4 then the bottom half is blank white.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I've already seen that, yeah.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
7 Q. General, I'm trying to find one where you were the note-taker on a
8 date after the 6th of -- or the 7th of April.
9 MR. HANNIS: Can we go to e-court page -- I think it would be page
11 Q. If I can see that I'll be able to tell you in a minute, General,
12 if this is the page I wanted to ask you about. Do you recognise the
13 handwriting on that page?
14 A. This is not my handwriting.
15 Q. Would this be Colonel Paskas's handwriting?
16 A. I think that it is, but in order to be sure in my answer I would
17 need to look at the signature, but I think it is, also the date.
18 MR. HANNIS: If we could go back one page to get the date.
19 Q. This appears to be the 18th of April, 1999.
20 MR. HANNIS: And then if we could go forward to page 121, I
21 believe, we'll get the last page of this date, General.
22 Q. You'll see what I was talking about with the -- you'll see that --
23 there's no signature on this page and I'm wondering if this is perhaps one
24 of the pages where typewritten summaries have been pasted in and then when
25 this copy was made, that it had either been removed or it was covered over
1 when this page was copied. But we have no signature on this date.
2 A. Yes, but these conclusions you can see. This is 11 -- you can see
3 when they were written.
4 Q. Okay. Are you saying that in this case it appears the conclusions
5 were written out rather than typed?
6 A. I don't know because I was not taking the notes that day, so I
7 don't know what the situation was.
8 Q. Okay. Now, you see the number in the upper left-hand corner here,
9 the handwritten 126?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. When you were reviewing this document before coming to court, did
12 you notice the handwriting numbers on I think all the pages in the
13 document? Did you have a chance to notice anything about them?
14 A. I noticed that there was some numbers, but I didn't go into that.
15 Q. Do you know when or how or who put those numbers on there?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. When you were taking notes during the war, you didn't number the
18 pages, did you?
19 A. The book was logged in and it was probably paginated, and I assume
20 that the pagination here was something that happened later during copying
21 or during some other procedure.
22 Q. Or perhaps during archiving?
23 A. Perhaps, I don't know. On the 22nd of June I handed over the
24 documents and later I didn't see them again anymore until now.
25 Q. Okay. And you haven't seen the original since 1999 when you
1 turned it in, correct?
2 A. No, I took up another duty after that and I devoted myself to an
3 entirely different job.
4 Q. Okay. Now, this is page number 126 which is our e-court page
5 number 121. This is from a meeting on the 18th of April.
6 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to the next number in e-court.
7 Q. The next page of this document we have, Colonel, is a page number
8 130. You'll see in the upper left-hand corner if we can go to the top
9 half of this page.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And this is for a briefing on the 21st of April, so we go from the
12 18th to the 21st and we go from page 1 -- we go from page 126 to 130. So
13 it appears we're missing three pages: 127, 128, and 129, and two meetings
14 for the 19th of April and the 20th of April, because you told us that you
15 met every evening during war. Do you know what happened there?
16 A. On my screen it's the 23rd of April, page 138.
17 Q. I'm sorry. Now do you see page 130?
18 A. Yes. This is 130, the 21st of April, and this is indeed my
20 Q. Okay. And I will tell you that in the copy of the document I have
21 we do go from page 126 to page 130 and there don't appear to be any
22 minutes or notes for meetings on the 19th of April or the 20th of April.
23 Do you know why that would be?
24 A. I wasn't there then. I came on shift on the 21st of April. We
25 spent a total of 90 days at the command post. For a full 50 days, I was
1 there and this was kept throughout those 50 days. I think the briefing
2 took place also on the remaining 40 days and this must be some sort of
3 error in your documents.
4 Q. Well, there's certainly enough errors in my documents, but this is
5 not my document. This is a document from the VJ. But you're certain that
6 there were meetings every evening and that I think you told us after April
7 7th notes were taken of every meeting, correct?
8 A. When I was the shift leader, I can say that they were, yes. The
9 order and the work-plan by the Supreme Command Staff was such that there
10 should be a briefing every day pursuant to the rules, and I should assume
11 that briefings took place on those days as well. But I can't say with any
12 degree of certainty simply because I wasn't there.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to e-court page 17.
15 Q. I think you told us, Colonel -- or, General, you don't recognise
16 this handwriting; is that right?
17 A. What I have on the screen right now?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Yes, that's my handwriting; I do recognise that --
20 Q. I'm sorry --
21 A. And I did say so before, didn't I?
22 Q. I must have got my note wrong. Now, General, this was on the - I
23 can't tell the date. Is this on the 28th of March?
24 JUDGE BONOMY: If it's page 17 in e-court it's the 28th of March.
25 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
1 Q. We are missing pages 17 and 18 -- or we're missing pages numbered
2 17 and 18 from the document which appears to have been for the date of the
3 27th of March. Do you recall whether or not there was a meeting on the
4 27th of March, 1999?
5 A. The 27th of March, yes. Yes, there was a meeting. I was at the
6 command post at the time, some work was done, and a briefing took place.
7 Q. Do you recall, did you take the notes on the 27th?
8 A. Yes, I think so, and I think I actually saw those notes in some
9 document or other.
10 Q. But they don't appear to be in here. Do you know what would have
11 happened to the notes for the 27th of March?
12 A. I don't know what could have happened, but I noticed with the
13 lawyer, too, that there were notes that weren't identical. Copying errors
14 must have been made.
15 Q. The notebook that you used to take notes in, I see on the copies
16 here it appears that there are holes in the middle of the page. Is that
17 how the original notebook looked? Did it have holes punched so it could
18 be put into a binder, for example? You see the small hole on the left
19 side of this page.
20 A. Yes, I do see the hole. I think this hole is used to tie these
21 sheets together and for stamping eventually, just to make sure no sheet
22 came loose.
23 Q. And when you were taking notes, how did -- how was the notebook
24 kept between meetings? If you took the notes on this day, on the 28th of
25 March, where did the notebook remain until the next evening meeting, did
1 you keep it with you or did you pass it on to somebody else who was going
2 to be keeping the notes or was it kept in a particular safe location
3 between meetings? How was that preserved?
4 A. The document was preserved in keeping with the rules governing
5 work at the command post in the operations department. It was sealed in a
7 Q. And where was that box, in whose office?
8 A. This box or safe deposit box was in the operations department
10 MR. HANNIS: Could we look at e-court page 75.
11 Q. General, if I'm correct, this should be for a meeting on the 6th
12 of April. This is numbered page 78 in the upper left. Do you recognise
13 that handwriting?
14 A. I said that this handwriting most probably belongs to
15 Colonel Paskas, but for the sake of history one has to look at the
16 signature, although I don't think he actually signed it. But this is
17 Colonel Paskas's handwriting.
18 Q. Okay. I would agree with you, it does look similar to other ones
19 sign by him.
20 MR. HANNIS: Can we go to the next page, this is e-court page 77
21 and it's numbered page 79 in the upper right-hand corner.
22 Q. Now, you'll see at the very bottom of the page --
23 MR. HANNIS: Could we go back one page -- or I guess could we put
24 these two pages side by side, page 76 and 77 in e-court.
25 Q. Bear with me, General, I'm trying to get page 76 on the left-hand
1 side of the screen and 77 on the right. These are -- in the document that
2 we have a copy of, these are consecutive and you'll see page number 79 on
3 the left and on the right it's page number 81. It appears we are missing
4 page number 80, but because I can't read Serbian would you read the last
5 three lines on what's numbered 79 and then look at the top of the next
6 page and tell me if it appears that something's missing.
7 A. What is obvious here is that a page is missing. On page 79 I see
8 something illegible and pale. I think this was
9 Lieutenant-General Grahovac contributing, and then you see tasks starting
10 with number 3. Obviously during the interval there had been some sort of
11 discussion and then the final contribution by General Ojdanic and then the
12 tasks, 1, 2, followed by 3.
13 Q. Okay. Now, I also note that we don't have any minutes or any
14 notes for meetings on the 9th of April or the 10th of April. Now, I will
15 tell you in fairness to you, we do have minutes of a VJ collegium meeting
16 on the 9th of April, which apparently took place at the VMA, the Military
17 Medical Academy. Do you recall whether or not there were any evening
18 briefings on April 9th or April 10th of 1999; and if so, whether any notes
19 were taken?
20 A. Right now I can't remember every single day of those 50 days. I
21 did say that in principle this was an order, and indeed there were
22 briefings every evening. Perhaps the Chief of Staff of the Supreme
23 Command, General Ojdanic, was not there for each of these briefings, but I
24 believe his attendance rate was over 98 per cent. Someone else might have
25 been there for him.
1 Q. But on those rare occasions when he wasn't in attendance, someone
2 else presided and notes were taken, correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And let me show you one more I think. It's -- this would be
5 e-court 110 -- I'm sorry, my numbering is wrong.
6 MR. HANNIS: Can we go back one more page to 109.
7 Q. This is the last page from the notes of the meeting of the 15th of
8 April. I have an English translation of this meeting but not the last
9 thing at the bottom where I read: "Belgrade, 15 April 1999." Can you
10 tell me what's written or printed above that? It's just looks like an
11 acronym or abbreviations. SVK, is that the Supreme Command Staff?
12 A. Yes, Supreme Command Staff, Belgrade, 15th of April, 1999. The
13 handwriting belongs to Colonel Paskas. It was this collegium meeting that
14 the deputy Chief of the General Staff chaired because it reflects clearly
15 that the final contribution was made by him.
16 Q. And I have a question about the use of terms regarding who
17 attended the evening meetings. Because we've heard reference to the VJ
18 collegium and we've heard reference to during the wartime the staff of the
19 Supreme Command. Now, what -- what group was it that met in the evenings
20 for the briefings? Was that the collegium? Was that just generals and
21 colonels who needed to know about what was going on? What was the name of
22 this group that met for the evening briefings or did you have a name?
23 A. I told attorney Visnjic yesterday that this was a briefing which
24 has its place, role, and importance in the work of commands in combat
25 operations. Based on orders, briefings were to be attended by those
1 directly subordinated, these being deputy Chief of the General Staff,
2 sector chiefs, and chiefs of independent administrations, the security
3 administration and the morale and information administration. In the
4 operations staff centre there was the operations administration and the
5 information administration. So these were the bodies that made up the
6 leading segments of the command post. They attended briefings every day.
7 They made proposals and they briefed the chief of the Supreme Command
8 Staff on certain decisions, and then he transformed these into tasks and
9 assignments. For the most part this was sectorial work. Each person
10 briefed the chief on their own work, on their own jobs, and they would
11 make proposals for decisions. Sometimes the chief would put together
12 teams to deal with operative and strategic problems. These briefings were
13 attended by what we in the army call a number of officers below the line
14 who had no right to take any decisions; rather, as I said yesterday, they
15 carried out preparations and created conditions for these briefings to
16 take place. They would take minutes, they would make sure all the
17 conditions were in place and all the appropriate documents were kept.
18 These were normally chiefs or shift leaders in the operations sector. I
19 led one of these shifts and the other was led by Colonel Paskas. As you
20 have seen, by the 5th of April there had been other people involved
21 keeping minutes, but after the 5th of April it boiled down to the two of
22 us alone. As for those below the line who attended these briefings, there
23 was the chef de cabinet precisely because of setting up these -- creating
24 these assignments, that the Chief of Staff the Supreme Command later
25 signed and that were later submitted to all these subordinate units. So
1 that was his job.
2 Q. Were you familiar with the make-up of the General Staff of the
3 army prior to the onset of the war? Do you know who the -- you don't have
4 to name them for me but I've seen minutes of those meetings and it looks
5 like there was in the neighbourhood of 15, less than 20 of generals who
6 attended the meetings of the collegium; is that right?
7 A. Well, we'd have to do some calculations, but if you want me to I
8 can rely on my memory to name all the generals for you and I think I might
9 get over 90 per cent of them right.
10 Q. Okay. If that won't take you more than a couple minutes, please
11 go ahead.
12 A. No, it won't. Meetings were regularly attended by deputy Chief of
13 the General Staff or Chief of the General Staff or the Supreme Command
14 Staff, Lieutenant-General -- Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic; also his
15 deputy, Colonel-General Svetozar Marjanovic. Sector chiefs, the
16 operations staff sector Lieutenant-General Obradovic later moved to a
17 different post and was replaced by Lieutenant-General Blagoje Kovacevic.
18 Sector chiefs for the various branches and arms of service, at first it
19 was General Panic and then General Simic for the land forces. For the air
20 force and air defence at the outset there was Grahovac and then was
21 followed by General Velickovic, who was tragically killed at a combat
22 position and then was followed by Karanovic. For the navy,
23 Admiral Novkovic [as interpreted]. For recruitment and mobilisation,
24 Lieutenant-General Ratomir who later moved to a different position and was
25 replaced by General Matovic. For signals, IT, and electronic activity,
1 Lieutenant-Colonel Andjelkovic. Sector chief for logistics,
2 Lieutenant-General Pantelic. Chief of the information administration,
3 General Branko Krga. Chief of the information administration, General --
4 intelligence administration Curcin Djordje, General Geza Farkas, and
5 sometimes also General Gajic who would stand in for him. And on behalf of
6 the morale administration --
7 Q. Let me stop you there because the two minutes are up but you've
8 done very well. This group during the wartime as I understand it then
9 became the Supreme Command Staff; is that correct? Or was that made up of
10 different personnel?
11 A. The Supreme Command Staff is an organ of the supreme commander,
12 which prepares, organizes, and secures implementation and control of
13 orders in a wartime situation. By definition, this is the General Staff,
14 but the scope of the General Staff is comprehensively reduced.
15 Q. Okay. And the Supreme Command Staff you say was I guess an organ
16 of the supreme commander which we know was Slobodan Milosevic. Was there
17 in addition to him a body that was called the Supreme Command? He's the
18 supreme commander, but was there a body composed of him and other
19 individuals that was sometimes referred to as the Supreme Command during
20 the war, if you know?
21 A. I do know. This is a little difficult to explain to
22 nonprofessionals, but I'll try to explain briefly as follows. The Supreme
23 Command comprises the supreme commander and the Supreme Command Staff.
24 The supreme commander under the constitution of the FRY published in
25 Official Gazette number 1 dated the 27th of April, 1992, Article 135
1 reads --
2 Q. You don't have to --
3 A. -- That the president of the republic --
4 Q. We've got that in evidence. We know about that. But my question
5 is: In addition to the supreme commander and the Supreme Command Staff
6 that you told us about, was there anyone else who was part of the Supreme
7 Command or is it your position that the Supreme Command was only
8 Mr. Milosevic and those members of the General Staff who became part of
9 the Supreme Command Staff during the war? Is that your position?
10 A. Excuse me, you interrupted me, and that's why I couldn't tell you.
11 Article -- paragraph 2 of Article 135 says that the president of the
12 republic commands the army, in keeping with any decisions made by the
13 Supreme Defence Council. The Supreme Defence Council in addition to the
14 president of the republic, president of the FRY, also includes the
15 presidents of all member republics. Therefore, the Supreme Defence
16 Council as a whole under the constitution and according to our theory was
17 incorporated and was part of the Supreme Command.
18 Q. Okay. Now, when we requested documents from Serbia about meetings
19 of the Supreme Defence Council during the war, the response -- the
20 official response we got was that there were no meetings of the Supreme
21 Defence Council during the war. Yet it seems hard to imagine how the
22 president and the supreme commander, Mr. Milosevic, during a state of war
23 if he's supposed to command the army in conjunction with decisions of the
24 Supreme Defence Council could have done that without them meeting. So do
25 you know how that happened, because obviously the army was being commanded
1 during the war?
2 A. It was ex officio that I only had contacts with the operations
3 department and the VJ. As for the president and the Supreme Defence
4 Council, I was not in touch with them and I can't tell you anything about
6 Q. Did you see Mr. Milosevic around the building during the war?
7 A. I did see him once at the beginning of the war when he came to the
8 operations centre or room, and twice when he came back in the evening to
9 rest with his wife.
10 Q. Okay. What about Mr. Milutinovic, did you ever see him during the
12 A. Yes, I also saw him several times also when he came.
13 We would meet in passing when he came in the evening there to rest with
14 his wife.
15 Q. Okay. And President Djukanovic?
16 A. I never saw President Djukanovic during the war.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. HANNIS: I don't have any further questions for the witness,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
21 Mr. Visnjic.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do have a couple of
23 questions. I'll be relatively brief.
24 Can we please have 3D1085. This is about a conclusion made by the
25 Government of Serbia and can we please have page 8 in the B/C/S and page 5
1 in the English.
2 Re-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] All right, General. We shall not be reading
4 this. The Judges can see it for themselves. My question: Mr. Hannis
5 asked you about certain blanks or voids in the body of the text, and you
6 provided some answers. My question: What you told Mr. Hannis is that
7 consistent with the explanation--
8 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have an objection concerning this
9 document. It was not listed as one of the documents to be used with this
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that's quite correct,
13 but I'm using this to further elucidate something that Mr. Hannis raised.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, if I may.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
17 MR. HANNIS: I don't have any objection to the contents of this
18 because they clear up some of the questions I have, but I have an
19 objection about the way this was done. Because if I had had this and
20 known it was going to be used with this witness, I wouldn't have been
21 asking questions about why that page is missing in the other notes because
22 I know from reading this. So it looks like I was ambushed and that's my
24 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you have to say about that, Mr. Visnjic?
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I mentioned this
1 document twice in the courtroom when I provided some explanations about
2 Exhibit 84, I think that was the abridged version of the briefing.
3 Mr. Hannis has been aware of this document. I didn't want to raise this
4 with this witness. I thought that the document that was disclosed to
5 Mr. Hannis spoke for itself. This is not ambush. We explained through
6 this document why the previous version is incorrect, why it -- why some
7 pages were missing. I know that he didn't know that I would be using this
8 document with this witness, but it was not my intention to do it. I
9 assumed that Mr. Hannis would be able to see from the document what this
10 is all about. After all, the document speaks for itself. That is true.
11 But I simply didn't want to leave some things unresolved before we
12 continue with the trial. I'm sorry, the document was 1087, that was the
13 document that we received from the Serbian government with just half of
14 the pages that we wanted to use. So it's 3D1088.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You started at 3D1085. What is the document we're
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we're using 3D1085,
18 that's the conclusion of the Serbian government that we received together
19 with the document 3D1088. The document 3D1088 should be the same as the
20 document that we were talking about today, that's 3D1094, but
21 unfortunately it contains just half of the pages. It's a little bit
22 complicated, but that's how it is.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The suggestion, Mr. Hannis, is that the document's
24 been disclosed. I know it's one of thousands disclosed, but that its
25 number is so close to this as to make it something that you should have
1 realised assisted in interpreting 3D1008 -- sorry, 1088.
2 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I wouldn't have spent five or ten
3 minutes of my limited cross-examination time asking about missing pages
4 when the answer is in this document. I would have appreciated the
5 courtesy of an interruption at that time saying Mr. Hannis doesn't need to
6 do that, that's in this document. That's the essence of my objection. I
7 appreciate the content, but still it doesn't explain the absence of any
8 notes for the meeting on the 19th of April if I read it correctly.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What we'll do is allow you to ask the question you
10 wish to ask, Mr. Visnjic, in spite of not including this document on your
11 list; and in the overall time-keeping exercise, we'll have with regard to
12 the fact that the cross-examination would not have exceeded your
13 examination-in-chief but for that.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, you've looked at the document. Could you comment on the
16 explanation provided here by the Serbian government?
17 A. [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can comment on it. I think
20 that this is -- because this is signed by the secretary of Ministry of
21 Defence that this was a serious work and there is no reason to suspect
22 anything here. I can't tell you anything more about it because I didn't
23 do anything about it, I didn't see it.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Does this description in the last few lines correspond to what you
1 knew and what you actually did during the war?
2 A. I think that if the -- everything that is in handwriting, all the
3 manuscript, if this is copied then nothing was lost because I said those
4 conclusions were just more orderly version of the conclusions made by the
5 chief of the Supreme Command Staff at the end. They were typed up.
6 Afterwards he went through them and he checked every word. So we really
7 had to have it for the sake of accuracy, but no substantial changes had
8 been made.
9 Q. Now I would like to ask you --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move on, I'm not following this. The
11 sections were removed for photocopying purposes and then restored. Why
12 weren't they also photocopied? Does it say that?
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] It says here that it's not
14 photocopied, but if I were to show a document -- one of these documents to
15 the witness, perhaps he will then have a better idea.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: All -- this is meaningless evidence so far,
17 Mr. Visnjic, it's not conveying anything to me about what the witness
18 knows about what happened. He doesn't plainly know what has happened
19 indeed the ministry in producing this copy for you. So what is it you
20 think he can help us with when the letter itself doesn't actually solve
21 the mystery entirely?
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I understood
23 it - and I don't know whether I should be going into this in front of the
24 witness - but it is obvious that in addition to this notebook or in this
25 notebook some documents were pasted in. They are not part of the
1 manuscript, what is handwritten in the notebook, and those documents were
2 then removed. This is what the witness told Mr. Hannis in response to one
3 of his questions.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: But that doesn't make it all right, Mr. Visnjic;
5 that just raises suspicion. And there isn't a solution to any suspicion
6 that there might be. It seems very strange when the bits removed could
7 easily be copied and returned to you to complete the picture.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. The parts that
9 were removed -- I can only assume why this was done. The parts that were
10 removed were other documents that were pasted into the notebook. So you
11 have the handwritten notebook and the documents that are inserted in this
12 notebook. So when I submitted my request to the government, I asked for
13 the notebook. The fact that they decided not to give me the whole
14 notebook, or rather, not to give me both the documents and the notebook,
15 that was up to the government, it was -- I had nothing to do with it.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm suggesting that you should go back to the
17 government and get the rest of it and give us the whole picture.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] That's what I -- I have already
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Good. Well, let's move on to something else.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 I just wanted to show you a sample document that ...
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D493, or rather, 3D487, please.
25 Q. General, are you familiar with this document or such documents?
1 A. Well, as you can see here in the heading, you see the cabinet of
2 the Chief of Staff. Let me just see, the date is the 8th of June -- yes,
3 yes, I'm familiar with this document because I was at the command post at
4 that time.
5 Q. And what is this document?
6 A. Well, this is what we were talking about a little while ago.
7 After the briefing was over, the chef de cabinet, together with us from
8 the operations administration --
9 MR. HANNIS: Sorry --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Just hold on a minute, Mr. Mucibabic.
11 Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: I think this is another document that was not listed
13 as going to be used with this witness and I'm not sure how it arises from
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Hannis asked the
17 witness why there were those blanks in the document. The witness replied
18 that he assumed that the blanks were the consequence of some documents
19 that had been pasted into the notebook being removed. Now, in order to
20 clear this up I'm showing the witness one of such documents that have
21 already been used as exhibits in this trial and the witness has just
22 identified it. Nothing more than that.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: It should be foreseeable, though, that you would be
24 using these documents, Mr. Visnjic, and they should have been on the list
25 intimating what you were likely to be referring to.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is the only
2 document that's on my list right from the start because that was the only
3 document that I had. In light of the problems with the briefing notebook
4 that I got from the government - and believe me, I've been trying to get
5 it for three years and I could not know what they would send me, whether
6 they would send me the whole thing or whether some parts would be taken
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think you're being fair, Mr. Visnjic. At
9 the end of last week you produced intimation of the material that you
10 would use with this witness, and this exhibit and the previous one were
11 not on it. And you must have foreseen the distinct possibility of using
12 these documents.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, quite frankly, I didn't
14 know what direction the cross-examination by the Prosecution would take --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: It's pretty obvious if you have a book with gaps in
16 it that the cross-examination is going to wonder -- look for an
17 explanation for the gaps.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Fine, yes. I do accept that this is
19 a mistake on my part, but the only reason why I'm doing this is to clear
20 this up, nothing else. We will do everything we can to obtain the
21 complete document and to supply it to the Trial Chamber if, in no other
22 way, then as a bar table exhibit.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there anything else you want to ask about this
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, nothing.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Mucibabic, was it the practice for you or your
2 colleagues to put into the book in which you were recording what happened
3 at the meeting other documents, apart from conclusions that you've already
4 told us about?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I think that attorney Visnjic,
6 by showing this document, in fact confirmed what I said. All those tasks
7 are listed in the handwritten minutes, but not -- they are not as
8 accurately as defined, you don't have the deadline, you don't have the
9 person responsible, and cooperation. In order to be able to follow things
10 and to have everything in one place, we pasted it in.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. My question is rather
12 different. I want to know if there were any other documents, perhaps
13 associated with the meeting or perhaps associated with matters which arose
14 at the meeting, which you would also paste into the notebook.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While I was in charge of the
16 minute-taking, no. That was the only thing.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 Anything further, Mr. Visnjic?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no, nothing related to
20 this witness, but I would just like to notify you that one of the missing
21 minutes on the 19th of April we disclosed it to the Prosecution as 3D590
22 in the printed version, not in the handwritten version, and 3D724, the
23 minutes of the 6th of April we -- it was also disclosed to the
24 Prosecution. So this is not for re-examination. This is just -- we're
25 just giving notice to the Prosecution so that they can find their way
1 around the exhibits.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I imagine that 3D590 has further raised the hackles
3 of Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS: It has, Your Honour. I have that, so it appears that
5 original notes of that must have existed some place else other than within
6 this document which purports to be the entire document.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed.
8 MR. HANNIS: So where did that come? Why is it not in the book?
9 Your Honour, my concern about these evening briefing notes goes back to
10 the Prosecution case. One of these pages was introduced during the
11 Prosecution case, and I raised a concern at the time because what we had
12 was a typewritten Cyrillic with no stamp, no date, et cetera, then we had
13 this explanation, but I had a concern about it. Now as I understand the
14 explanation now is at the end of the meeting this witness or the
15 note-taker would meet with someone to discuss the taskings and the
16 conclusions that were reached and then they were reformulated and typed
17 up. Well, that -- I consider that a part of that entire document. We
18 should have that, because it may turn out that this guy, this general, is
19 the good note-taker and his notes are almost identical to the final
20 formulation, but Colonel Paskas, he may be terrible, and if he's terrible
21 with regard to the conclusions and the taskings, then other things in the
22 notes he takes for the day there could be a question about too. So we
23 should have that entire thing to have a fair evaluation of what it is.
24 I'm in a bit of a dilemma because I like lots of things that are in these
25 notes, but I don't feel comfortable because we have an incomplete picture.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I think Mr. Visnjic recognises that and is
2 endeavouring to complete the picture and will note what you've said that
3 the provision of a typewritten copy of what has originally been
4 handwritten is rather different from the typewritten copies of the nature
5 the witness is telling us been added into the book. So the 19th of April
6 still presents a problem for us if you do not have the handwritten
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, we don't have it either. It's
9 obvious that those things are missing.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, good hunting.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Professor, that brings your evidence to an end.
13 Thank you for coming here to give us evidence. You're now free to leave
14 the courtroom with the usher.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Good-bye.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Good timing, Mr. Visnjic. We can break now and
18 resume at five past.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, you wish to raise something.
22 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, I wanted to raise an objection as
23 to the next witness. It's the Prosecution's position that his evidence is
24 not relevant to any pertinent issue in the case. If the Court disagrees
25 with me, however, I do have an objection about it his 92 ter statement.
1 In a more particularised fashion, I object in particular to paragraphs 11
2 through 14 and 16 to 19, talking in some details about depleted uranium
3 and the effects on human life, et cetera. I think the witness is
4 purporting to testify as an expert in that regard, Your Honour, and the
5 expert witness procedures haven't been complied with in connection with
6 him. Paragraph 15 I think is not relevant. It talks about bombing
7 certain facilities within Serbia proper, not in Kosovo, and if those -- if
8 those paragraphs were not taken into evidence, I would not object to the
9 rest of his 92 ter statement and might have just a handful of questions
10 about I think paragraphs 6 and 7.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm trying to
13 distribute what Mr. Hannis said -- I'm actually going to begin with the
14 main objection. Our intention is via this witnesses to indicate to the
15 Court the intensity and the seriousness of the NATO attacks and the fact
16 that nothing stopped them from carrying out their ultimate objective or
17 their ultimate plan in relation to the entry of their troops into the
18 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Other than that, this witness is going to
19 testify about the preparations of the Army of Yugoslavia, beginning from
20 the start of the year, for the defence of the country which I think could
21 be something that can relate to the part that concerns planning.
22 Then in relation to the locations where specific weapons, specific
23 types of weapons were used, we believe that the testimony of this witness
24 also indicates the seriousness of the possibility of a land operation or
25 indicates what General Ojdanic and his team believed when they were
1 preparing for the defence of the country from the NATO attack. And of
2 course ultimately the testimony of this witness concerns also the effect
3 of the intensity and the manner of the bombing and the use of the weapons
4 on the civilian population and possibly their movements in the course of
6 [In English] Your Honour, I think Mr. Sepenuk wishes to add
8 MR. SEPENUK: Your Honour, just in the transcript here Mr. Visnjic
9 said - and this is on line 14, 15, our intention is via this witness to
10 indicate to the Court the intensity and the seriousness of the NATO
11 attacks and the fact that nothing stopped them from carrying out their
12 ultimate objective, I think what Mr. Visnjic said, at least what I thought
13 he said was NATO would stop at nothing from carrying out their ultimate
14 objective, i.e., including the use of depleted uranium and cluster bombs,
15 not nothing stopped them from carrying out, but NATO would stop at nothing
16 for carrying out their ultimate objective. And I don't know how --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, what is the source of the information
20 at the beginning of paragraph 11 and at the beginning of paragraph 20?
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that this is
22 something that we need to ask the witness.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you should know that, Mr. Visnjic. Tell me
24 what the source is as far as you're aware.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I think that the Army of Yugoslavia
1 made certain assessments in terms of weapons and the quantity. I'm
2 looking at what was in question the enriched uranium projectiles and what
3 was used by NATO, or rather, that during the war they marked and indicated
4 the places where the weapons were used.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: It was depleted
6 uranium projectiles.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, looking at the paragraphs that the particular
8 challenge is made to, was this witness involved in actually analysing any
9 of the samples of contaminated material?
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this witness was the
11 chief of the service that was carrying out those assignments. I don't
12 know if he personally went, but in any case he was at the head of the
13 service that was doing this job and whose task it was. And you will see
14 from the witness that it was him who actually issued some orders in
15 relation to that.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: And paragraph 15, is any of the locations in
17 paragraph 15 in Kosovo?
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, Pristina.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yes, but the others are not?
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The others are not. Actually, this
21 is a specific consequence of the bombing here relating to industrial
22 facilities, and in this case industrial facilities in Pristina were most
23 probably targeted which caused a specific type of pollution.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, the highest we think it can be stated
1 is that much of this evidence is of doubtful relevancy rather than clearly
2 irrelevant, and being charged with the responsibility of viewing the whole
3 picture so far as it is at all relevant to the issues in the case, then we
4 think that we should hear the evidence of this witness. And because there
5 are specific areas where you would be taking objection if we did not do
6 this, we shall reserve the question of the relevancy of this evidence
7 until we have heard it and perhaps even longer than that. It may be we
8 can deal with it as soon as we've heard it or in the final deliberations.
9 But let's look at that once we've heard what the witness has to say.
10 Mr. Visnjic, his name?
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Our witness is General Slobodan
14 Petkovic. He's going to testify under 92 ter, viva voce, and the
15 statement is 3D1119, that is his -- the exhibit that is his statement.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Petkovic.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
20 speak the truth by reading aloud the document being shown to you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: You'll now be examined by Mr. Visnjic on behalf of
1 Mr. Ojdanic.
2 Mr. Visnjic.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 WITNESS: SLOBODAN PETKOVIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Examination by Mr. Visnjic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] General, good day.
8 A. Good day, Mr. Visnjic.
9 Q. General, can you please tell us what your duties were in 1999?
10 A. In 1999 I was the chief of the atomic, biological, and chemical
11 defence administration of the Army of Yugoslavia. When the -- when the
12 bombing began of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, I was at the staff of
13 the Supreme Command performing the function of the chief of the nuclear,
14 biological, chemical, and defence branch in the land army service.
15 Q. Thank you. General, the first time was when you met -- or when
16 you encountered the -- when did you first encounter the possibility of
17 depleted uranium ammunition being used?
18 A. The first time that type of ammunition was used or an indication
19 of that was in 1995.
20 Q. When you felt that this ammunition could be used in the Federal
21 Republic of Yugoslavia, that's what I'm asking you.
22 A. Our estimates actually led us to believe --
23 Q. General, when? Can you please tell me the time-frame?
24 A. This was in early 1999.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at Exhibit 3D --
2 [In English] Your Honour, I'm sorry. [Interpretation] It's Friday, so
3 we're rushing.
4 Q. General, I would like to ask you something before that.
5 A. Yes, go ahead.
6 Q. On the 23rd of August, 2007, you talked to investigators from the
7 Defence team of General Ojdanic; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When you arrived at The Hague did you sign a statement that was
10 prepared then as a draft?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Would you, if you were to testify, give the same answers now as
13 you gave then?
14 A. Yes, I would, I would answer in the same way.
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we please look at
17 Exhibit 3D1119.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at Defence Exhibit
20 3D1099 in the e-court and can we please look at page 2 in the B/C/S and
21 page 3 in the English.
22 Q. General, can you please look at the document in front of you.
23 It's dated the 12th of February, 1999. Can you please tell me what kind
24 of a document this is.
25 A. This is an instruction we sent to the 3rd Army command in view of
1 information that the NATO forces used weapons with higher radiation. We
2 informed them about the characteristics of these weapons and measures that
3 should be undertaken in the event that these projectiles were used in a
4 possible attack.
5 Q. Thank you. I don't want to look through the whole document.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 4, please, of
7 the document in B/C/S and page 5 of the English.
8 Q. Thank you, General. Can you please look at the conclusion part of
9 the document, item 1.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you please tell us what this means: "Given the conduct of the
12 NATO alliance in international relations, the opinions expressed by the
13 international community ..."
14 What does that mean?
15 A. When I said that in this document, what I meant was this: Having
16 the experience and knowing what the situation in international relations
17 was and the conduct of similar forces during the aggression on Iraq and
18 similar situations and that the international community did not condemn
19 such a thing, I expected since we have the information that they did have
20 this sort of weapons and ammunition at their disposal and it was to be
21 expected that these arms would be used if the Federal Republic of
22 Yugoslavia were to be bombed.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you please now look at paragraph 10 of the
24 conclusion, it's on the same page, and in the English text it's on page 6.
25 Thank you.
1 From what I can see, certain measures are planned here. Can you
2 please explain more in detail this third measure where it says: "In
3 sectors where high radiation is detected," and what does this ZS,
4 "Ziva Sila," mean?
5 A. It just means humans, cattle, and so on.
6 Q. Can you please tell us what you ordered the units to do in
7 relation to this item in this conclusion?
8 A. There is a protocol of how to act in situations when nuclear
9 chemical or weapons with a higher degree of radiation are used. Units
10 reconnoitre with the appropriate means, and if there are any doubts or if
11 there is evidence that there is a nuclear or chemical danger to the
12 population and the area, then the boundaries of the contaminated area are
13 established, signs are posted, warning signs, which is in accordance to
14 regulations, and all movement and staying in the area by the population or
15 soldiers is forbidden in that area until decontamination is completed or
16 if there is evidence that there is no more contamination in that area.
17 Q. Thank you. Now in that same paragraph we have something that
18 reads: "The missile is to be removed in the presence of the 'verifiers,'
19 and this if possible should be filmed."
20 What verifiers are we looking at here?
21 A. Bearing in mind what was going on in Kosovo and bearing in mind
22 what was going on with all the units and measures that were being taken,
23 everything that we were doing without this being verified by the verifiers
24 was not recognised -- being recognised by the international community. It
25 was very difficult to predict what would happen in the territory; and
1 having said that, I believed that it was necessary for the verification
2 teams who were in the area at the time when I wrote this should continue
3 in the eventuality of air-strikes to try to prove this so that we received
4 confirmation from them. They were representatives of the international
5 community, after all, and they had to see this as far as we were concerned
6 so that we had hard evidence of what was going on.
7 Q. The last paragraph envisages a special place for this toxic
8 material to be dumped, right?
9 A. This was dangerous, radioactive waste, potentially dangerous for
10 animal and human life as well as vegetal life. It was our responsibility
11 to pick it up and leave it in special containers in certain special places
12 that were free of human presence in order to prevent any form of
13 contamination. These dumping locations were permanent or provisional
14 radiotoxic waste--
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Move to something relevant. What happened after
16 these weapons were dropped is irrelevant to the issues in this case.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, let us move now to the same document, 3D1099, page 1 of
19 that document. General, what is about to turn up on the screen in front
20 of you is a document dated the 5th of March, 1999, this is about three
21 weeks before the outbreak of war. Can you please tell us what is being
22 requested in this document?
23 A. Given the fact that we believed and in fact had information
24 indicating that NATO had ammunition containing depleted uranium in their
25 possession, different calibres and varying amounts, we asked the
1 information administration of the General Staff of the VJ, which was the
2 service in charge of collecting intelligence, to put together for our
3 purposes information on the deployment of forces in the surrounding area
4 and on the type and nature of the ammunition that was available to them.
5 Q. And then the next sentence reads: "As we speak, NATO troops are
6 being deployed in Macedonia."
7 A. We had information indicating that NATO units were deploying in
8 the Republic of Macedonia. We assumed that some of those units might, in
9 fact, have this type of ammunition available to them and we requested
10 information and intelligence so that we might be able to put in a timely
12 Q. General, as far as I can see by looking at this table, we're not
13 talking about missiles and ammunition used by aeroplanes. There are other
14 types of ammunition involved. Can you tell us more about that --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Just stop there for the moment.
16 What we would like to know, Mr. Visnjic, is the information you
17 actually got, not what you were seeking. What's the relevance of writing
18 letters indicating a suspicion of the existence of such material. Let's
19 hear what actually was discovered.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we'll move on to our
21 next document. 3D1100.
22 Q. General, when you received intelligence about this exhibit, did
23 you do anything about it? Did you perform any activities about this?
24 What activities? And what is this document about?
25 A. Let me just add to what the Presiding Judge asked of you a while
1 ago. We received confirmation that this type of ammunition and these
2 amounts were available to them. They had 20-millimetre guns; two
3 30-millimetre guns; and howitzers, 155-millimetre. In answer to your
4 question before we -- we took measures --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a second. Is what you've just said referring
6 to events in Macedonia?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not in Macedonia. I was talking
8 about the NATO forces who at this point in time had this or that type of
9 ammunition available to them and they were stationed at Petrovac airport.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Petrovac is where exactly?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Near Skopje.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: So we're talking about Macedonia.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we are.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Which particular country's forces were located
15 there with this equipment?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember specifically which
17 country, but it was NATO units that had this type of ammunition, and these
18 NATO units were deployed at Petrovac near Skopje.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'm confused. I thought we
21 were talking about Exhibit 3D1100, which is what I see on the screen.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but --
23 MR. HANNIS: But the question to the witness is -- on the
24 transcript is: General, when you received intelligence about this
25 exhibit, did you do anything about it? Well, I see this exhibit as being
1 signed by this witness, so I don't understand the question if that's the
2 exhibit we're talking about.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, no doubt Mr. Visnjic will clarify that before
4 the question is answered.
5 But please understand our position, Mr. Petkovic, if this issue is
6 to be explored in any detail, we would like specific information and we
7 would like to know which forces had this equipment in Macedonia. Do you
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have that type of
10 information at my finger-tips, but I do know and I can say for sure that
11 NATO forces ...
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, what is this document about? Who is it addressed to and
16 A. Given the fact that our suspicions were confirmed, what I talked
17 about a while ago, I believed it necessary for the commands of the
18 strategic groups, the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd Army, the air force, the air
19 force, and the air defence, and the navy to inform these in much the same
20 way as the command of the 3rd Army of the problems that were expected
21 should there be air-strikes against the FRY. So this document is quite
22 similar to the previous one, 77-1, which is the document we looked at a
23 while ago, plus certain changes and corrections. But the essence remains
24 the same.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 2, please,
1 both documents, page 2.
2 Q. If you could tell me more about this table.
3 A. This is the amount of depleted uranium in the core of each
4 missile. There's the nature of weapons being discussed, the type, the
5 amount of depleted uranium actually contained, this was between 85 grams
6 to -- and over 300 grams, and this was used in the territory of the FRY
7 from planes from 10-A planes and some of the amounts are 4.9 kilogrammes
8 with armourous tanks. In addition to this we had catalogued information
9 about Tomahawk missiles and in their stabilisation systems, they had about
10 5 kilograms of depleted uranium, but in the course of the air-strikes
11 against the FRY, we never proved that the places that were actually hit by
12 cruise missiles were ever contaminated.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please have Exhibit
16 Q. General, when was the first time that NATO used depleted uranium
17 in their operations?
18 A. Based on reports that we received from units, on the 30th of March
19 sometime in the morning the general Prizren area was struck by A-10
20 planes and this was the first time that ammunition containing depleted
21 uranium was used in Yugoslavia. The gun that was used to fire had seven
22 barrels. This was 30-millimetre ammunition, and the core contains a
23 uranium bullet that weighs about 300 grams.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Can you tell us what this document is about,
25 the document in front of us 3D778?
1 A. This is a confirmation of what I say a while ago. The
2 intelligence administration gathered intelligence from their own sources,
3 intelligence confirming what we have been speaking about; namely, the
4 international forces did have this type of missile available to them and
5 it was expected that this sort of ammunition would be used in the
6 territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This sort of information
7 could much sooner be gleaned from the international press, given the dates
8 being discussed here, 15 or 20 days after the bombing. This suddenly
9 became a subject that was debated in the world. The international public
10 raised its voice against the use of these weapons. Intelligence was
11 eventually collected and submitted to us.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, have you got something more solid than
13 a newspaper report?
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is no newspaper
15 report. This is a document from the intelligence administration.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but he said, did he not, this sort of
17 information could much sooner be gleaned from the international press
18 given the dates being discussed here, 15 or 20 days after the bombing, and
19 what we have is a British activist in the anti-NATO movement reporting
20 something on CNN television. So this isn't a press source? You say
21 there's another source of this information?
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we're talking about
23 two different matters here. One is what the General said, the ammunition
24 had been used before in the country, and this is army -- military
25 intelligence. The other piece of information is from the outside world,
1 from the surrounding areas, whether NATO actually acknowledges this or
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have an objection to this exhibit. It
5 has no signature and it has no number. It has a date of the 14th of
6 April. The stamp on the front is translated in English as: "This is a
7 true copy of the original." Well, a true copy of what original, one
8 without any signature or stamp? I have serious concerns about the weight
9 you can give this document without some further showing of where it came
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, just reading its content it's very difficult
12 to give it any weight.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, about the authenticity
14 issue, it was obtained from the National Council for cooperation with the
15 Tribunal, that was two months ago, and I can furnish appropriate
16 documentation of this for Mr. Hannis's benefit should that be required.
17 As to the substance that might be further evaluated, but as for the
18 document itself it is authentic and faithful to the form from which it was
19 received from the VJ and then transformed into an e-court document.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: All of any relevance in this is the first sentence,
21 which is a matter of agreement anyway. There's no dispute that NATO used
22 this material.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps this wasn't an
24 issue that was raised now, but it was at the time, it was a debated issue.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm getting the impression that we're dealing again
1 with propaganda today, Mr. Visnjic, and not with evidence.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't think we're
3 talking about propaganda. We're talking about the mental state of my
4 client and those who worked with him.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, perhaps we should get to that and the reasons
6 for it.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, that's precisely
8 what I'm trying to do. I'm pointing out what information or what
9 intelligence was available to him at the time. This is not a document
10 that the Defence team produced. This is something that was submitted by
11 the intelligence administration to the General Staff for review at the
13 JUDGE BONOMY: So this is what you say is the foundation for
14 senior army officer in Yugoslavia having a certain state of mind? This is
15 it, is it?
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I think this is information that was
17 available to them at the time regarding how the countries around
18 Yugoslavia at the time were considering certain matters that were going on
19 in Yugoslavia and none of NATO countries were acknowledging this at the
20 time. That is a fact and that is all I'm suggesting.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I hope no one ever bases their assessment of
22 me on what has been said in the newspapers, Mr. Visnjic. Anyway, please
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as I'm
25 concerned, I gave that up a long time ago, I mean in relation to myself,
1 not to you, of course.
2 Can we please have 3D1103 now.
3 Q. General, the date is the 4th of May, 1999, another document that
4 your own administration produced. Can you tell us what it's about.
5 A. As time went by and information was becoming more and more
6 reliable, we were expecting a landing to take place. I thought it was my
7 responsibility to inform my subordinate units about information available
8 on the types of ammunition that might be used should there be a landing
9 operation. Such information is also contained in this document. This was
10 also submitted to the command of the 3rd Army and the command of the
11 strategic groups.
12 Q. Thank you. But let us not go into detail here. As far as I can
13 see from this document, the first paragraph you're referring to previous
15 A. Yes, the previous information.
16 Q. Information that you supplied to the units before?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. This ammunition that is listed here in this document,
19 the types of projectiles, types of rounds, are they specific in any way?
20 A. It is specific -- what is specific about them is that these are
21 larger-calibre bullets and they contain more depleted uranium. As I said
22 earlier, the quantity could go as high as 5 kilogrammes, and should they
23 be used there would be terrible contamination and measures should be taken
24 to prevent the contamination of the equipment and of the personnel or to
25 minimise it as much as possible.
1 Q. General, could you please look at 3D476, please.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, 3D476. That's not the
3 right document -- yes, now it's fine. Could we please zoom in on the
4 letter in English. Thank you.
5 Q. General, what is this document and how did you obtain it?
6 A. The document was obtained from the intelligence administration of
7 the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, and this is a letter that the
8 Secretary-General of NATO sent to the Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and
9 that was the first official confirmation and admission of the fact that
10 NATO forces in the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia used
11 ammunition containing depleted uranium. And it is mentioned here that
12 about 31.000 rounds were fired, and if we take into account that every
13 round weighs about 300 grams, then you can calculate the quantity of the
14 ammunition. This is the first official verification. After all those
15 events that we debated a little while ago, the UN Secretary-General
16 decided --
17 Q. Yes, yes, General, we can see from the letter what this document
18 is all about. Could you please look at 3D477. We have two maps here in
19 front of us. Could you please comment on the one in the middle that has
20 those little stars on it.
21 A. Yes, this is a map with an overview of locations where depleted
22 uranium ammunition was used. This was provided to UNEP by NATO in
23 September 2000. That's the second confirmation that this kind was used
24 and this map shows that the greatest intensity of the use of such
25 ammunition was from Prizren, Djakovica, Pec, Urosevac, and so on. The
1 grid references are a bit arbitrary, but they tally with the grid
2 references that were supplied later and that we as the Army of Yugoslavia
3 record at that time. And this confirms the fact that the depleted uranium
4 ammunition was used with the greatest frequency in this area of Kosovo and
5 Metohija towards the border with Albania.
6 Q. So this map published by NATO tallies with the data that you had?
7 A. The data we had there is a certain disagreement about certain
8 details, but generally speaking it corresponds to the general state.
9 Q. And what map does -- what does this map show?
10 A. Kosovo and Metohija, from Prizren towards Djakovica, Decani, and
12 Q. And did NATO supply the information for the rest of Yugoslavia
13 concerning the other locations where depleted uranium ammunition was used?
14 A. As far as I know, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia never
15 demanded these data, but from the data that was made public by the United
16 Nations, we could see what the situation was in the other parts of the
17 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And this is mostly the area below the
18 44th parallel, the area around Vranje, the Vranje municipality and to the
19 south of Vranje.
20 Q. Yes, General, we don't have to go into that much detail. The
21 bottom map, what does that represent, can you please tell the Judges and
22 then we're done with this document?
23 A. When the air-strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
24 ended and when KFOR started deploying its forces we made a map, we at the
25 NBC administration made this map with the deployment of the forces from
1 various countries and it is quite visible from this --
2 Q. No, you don't have to tell me what is visible from this. We don't
3 have the English translation here. What is this map?
4 A. This is the KFOR deployment in Kosovo and Metohija and you can see
5 from this --
6 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell me, I now want to move on to
7 another topic, or rather, while we're still talking about depleted uranium
8 ammunition, could you tell me whether in the territory of Kosovo and the
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a whole is there anything peculiar about
10 the way in which this ammunition was used, the targets?
11 A. If you look at the maps, the sites that we had at our disposal
12 during the war and of course after the air-strikes finished outside the
13 area of Kosovo and Metohija, it is quite visible that those are sites
14 close to inhabited areas, roads, and so on. And this is what made it
15 particularly grave that the use of such ammunition in those areas.
16 Q. Just one more question, General. In the 1990 [as interpreted] war
17 did the Army of Yugoslavia, was it trying to develop a nuclear bomb?
18 A. No, no.
19 Q. In some of the documents mention is made of something that I would
20 term a nuclear bomb or nuclear explosion. Can you tell us what is it?
21 A. When an assessment was made of the possible targets and possible
22 actions and when -- by processing information that we received from the
23 intelligence administration and other organs, among the potential targets
24 there was the nuclear science institute Vinca near Belgrade. As a
25 representative of the service in the army that deals with this issue and
1 knowing that there were two nuclear reactors in that institute and that
2 this was a storage site for nuclear waste for the whole of Yugoslavia, the
3 quantity and the type of nuclear waste contained there, I considered it
4 necessary to inform, to warn the organs in the military and the civilian
5 authorities of the danger that might occur if this institute were to be
6 targeted by the air-strikes.
7 In this regard, this is what I said at the time and this is what
8 I'm repeating now before this Court, had it been targeted it would have
9 been equal parameters to the use of a 20 kiloton nuclear bomb. I'm
10 talking about the effects of such targeting in terms of radioactive
11 effects, not the heat or the destruction.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
13 Q. Or rather, General, could you please tell me with regard to
14 cluster bombs, the use of cluster bombs, do you have any information or
15 could you just tell us roughly and briefly something about the way in
16 which cluster bombs were used and how -- the intensity of their use during
17 the air-strikes by NATO.
18 A. I would not like to speculate now because the official organs
19 received such information. This type of munitions was used extensively.
20 This was a great problem both for the army and for the civilian population
21 because there was indiscriminate firing on inhabited areas, on columns and
22 refugees, and so on, and at that time a particular problem was that there
23 are about 400 little projectiles contained in each such cluster bombs,
24 about 30 per cent remain unexploded, and they remain a danger until they
25 are deactivated and this is a problem to this day in the territory of
1 Serbia or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
2 Q. Thank you, General.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] This completes my examination of
4 this witness.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
6 Mr. Fila.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General.
9 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Fila.
10 Q. General, I would like to show you a document before you answer my
11 question, that's 2D390. This document has not been translated but it will
12 be translated but you will see it's a very brief document. This is just
13 to lead in to my question. It's been submitted for translation.
14 Do you see this document?
15 A. Could you please zoom in a little bit? Yes.
16 Q. In the first sentence it says that at the Vinca institute that you
17 were just talking to us about a meeting was held organized by the deputy
18 prime minister, federal Deputy Prime Minister Sainovic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Are you aware of that meeting? What is this all about? In what
21 capacity was Mr. Sainovic there?
22 A. I mentioned the Vinca institute --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was something that was raised
25 at the meeting with the--
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petkovic, you're being asked by the
2 interpreters to speak more slowly so they can catch everything you say.
3 So can you start again with that answer, please.
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Could you start at the beginning, please.
6 A. Yes, fine. The Vinca problem was something that I was dealing
7 with all the time. This was something that I monitored all the time. I
8 spoke about it in greater detail, but in early April I was tasked by the
9 Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command to contact the federal Deputy Prime
10 Minister, Mr. Sainovic, and to inform him about all those issues.
11 Q. Let me stop you there. The question that I want to ask you is the
12 following. Why were you to contact Mr. Sainovic?
13 A. At that time, as far as I can remember - and this is what I was
14 told so I know that - he was the president of the government commission
15 for nuclear energy, whatever it was called, but at any rate he dealt with
16 similar problems in the federal government that I was dealing in the army.
17 Q. What I want to know is the following: In April, because you can
18 see here that this document mentions the date of the 24th of April, so did
19 you -- 21st of April, did you meet with Mr. Sainovic in this period?
20 A. Yes. Sometime in mid-April after the 5th or the 6th of April I
21 was taken to Belgrade to one of the state institutions. It was a state
22 building where I met with Mr. Sainovic and where I gave him my
23 assessments, the possibility that the Vinca institute might be targeted,
24 and our assessment as to what might happen if the Vinca institute were to
25 be targeted.
1 Q. General, how many times did you meet with Mr. Sainovic in April,
2 could you tell us that?
3 A. Well, I think that we met about two or three times, the first time
4 was this time; the second time was at a meeting at the Vinca nuclear
5 institute, we went there to see what could be done in case of a disaster
6 if the Vinca institute were to be targeted; and we also met in Baric it's
7 a place near Belgrade. There was a chemical plant there and dangerous
8 poison fluor -- hydrofluoric acid was contained there and Baric had been
9 targeted there, fortunately not that particular tank that contained this
10 poison. We considered that there was such a risk that if such a tank
11 would be hit a poison cloud might reach as far as Belgrade. We considered
12 that this raw material should be relocated to another place. We met there
13 in order to organize the relocation of this poisonous raw material that
14 was there in the tank at Baric.
15 Q. General, a witness told us about it, that's Mr. Cosic. I don't
16 know whether you remember that man, he was a minister in the Serbian
17 government with regard to this event in Baric?
18 A. Well, I don't remember everybody who was there. It was
19 night-time, there was no light, the air-strikes --
20 Q. And one other question that remained unanswered and that doesn't
21 have much to do with this topic. We're talking about the movements of the
22 population. Could you please tell us what effect do cluster bombs have on
23 the people who see it fall and impact?
24 A. Well, this is something that I spoke about a little while earlier.
25 It has a terrifying effect. You have the planes flying in, a large number
1 of such bombs are dropped from those planes and they explode, there's
2 fire, and of course there are casualties in such situations. The most
3 important thing is that there is unexploded ammunition after the bombing,
4 and during the war and to this day, in peacetime, there are people who
5 either lost their lives or their limbs, either by accident or because they
6 were trying to deactivate those bombs.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] This is all I have. Thank you.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, do you have questions? No.
11 Mr. Bakrac.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Just a couple of questions, Your
13 Honour, very briefly.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
15 Q. [Interpretation] General Petkovic, I'm Mihajlo Bakrac, and I
16 represent Vladimir Lazarevic. Good afternoon. I'm going to try to be
17 very quick. I have just a couple of questions, and I'm going to try to
18 present specific situations.
19 Sir, were you aware that the Pristina Corps at the very beginning
20 of the war developed all the elements for reconnaissance and monitoring of
21 the use of radioactive and chemical weapons by NATO? I'm thinking of
22 observation posts, reconnaissance, scouts, and so on?
23 A. Yes, that was our ABHO security instruction which we forwarded to
24 the Pristina Corps and other sections of the army depending on the
25 situation that they should develop all the elements for reconnaissance to
1 decontamination and to deploy them in all the sections according to their
2 own use and their own plan.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we have Exhibit 5D182 on e-court
4 it's translated. So for identification purposes can we please identify
5 that. I apologise to the interpreters, I will slow down. I'm just trying
6 to finish before the break. We're going to wait just a little bit.
7 Q. This is an order of the Pristina Corps commander of the 10th of
8 April, 1999. Was this order in accordance with what you have just said
9 and in accordance with the General Staff February order which you
10 discussed in your examination-in-chief?
11 A. Let me just take a look. Yes, yes.
12 Q. General. Thank you. Are you also aware that units of the
13 Pristina Corps and organs of the ABHO after each bombing controlled and
14 inspected the area, regardless of whether it was a military facility or a
15 civilian section; and if they found that the area was contaminated they
16 would mark those places in order to prevent the civilian population from
17 having access and of course soldiers from having access to the parts of
18 the territory and the facilities?
19 A. Yes. I spoke about the protocol of marking and surveillance, and
20 so we would receive from them examples of the first use of depleted
21 uranium and we also received the first samples of ammunition used on the
23 Q. So you received that from the Pristina Corps units?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Are you aware that they marked or flagged those locations so that
1 the civilians would not approach?
2 A. Yes, I did say that this was marked by flags which our
3 establishment supplies and --
4 Q. Can you please slow down?
5 A. I apologise. And that flags meant: Do not approach, dangerous,
6 contaminated, and we also used boards on the languages that were
7 available, meaning Albanian and Serbian. We would place those notices
8 that it was not permitted to -- access was not permitted in Serbian and
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we look at Exhibit 5D1019.
11 Your Honours, this exhibit has still not been translated. I'm
12 going to read just one sentence and ask the witness to look and then we
13 can mark it for identification.
14 Q. This is a combat report of the tactical group command -- Tactical
15 Group 252 of the 9th of May. I'm going to read paragraph 1.1, the last
16 sentence and I would just like to know if you know anything about it and
17 if you carried out any investigations in that sense?
18 MR. HANNIS: [Previous translation continues]...
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: I have an objection to the document. I don't have an
21 English translation as indicated. I don't see a stamp or a signature
22 although this appears to be a telegraph. I still don't see the usual
23 stamps that we see with these documents.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I understand
1 Mr. Hannis. And you must just permit me one minute. We were passing the
2 documents we found on to the interpreting or translation service. We
3 cannot not use something that we feel is important just because it's not
4 translated. It is an unsigned document, but it's a telegram and I would
5 like to use it as the foundation to ask the witness whether what I'm going
6 to read is something that he's aware of. And depending on his answer it
7 will be more clear to us whether the document is authentic and everything
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we will allow you to proceed that way, but
10 this is just another example of an unnecessary difficulty because this
11 question could have been posed without use of the document, and that's the
12 main reason why we'll allow you to proceed by reference to the document.
13 That's not necessarily going to mean that this is an authentic piece of
14 material. We'll need to deal with that separately in view of the
15 objection taken.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
17 I'm going to read it.
18 "In the deployment section of the first OKB in the period from
19 1025 to 1035 from a large altitude an attack was repeated on the same and
20 previous positions. On this occasion some liquid that stinks to high
21 heaven was used. Investigation is under way and the NABHO of the 234th
22 Mountain Brigade is cooperating. We're still waiting for the casualties."
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had such reports at the Supreme
24 Command Staff; however, no evidence was found of poisonous or chemical
25 substances in the course of these attacks.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. All right. Thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, this is a good example of a rule that
4 we follow here where we really need that document to understand the
5 answer, but the document itself proves nothing against your case.
6 MR. HANNIS: No, I understand, Your Honour, but not having the
7 English going in, I don't know what it is, and I want to put my objection
8 on the record as soon as possible.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: So it will be admitted on that basis, but it would
10 not support or be regarded as evidence of the truth of its contents,
11 Mr. Bakrac.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, sir, are you aware what the permitted daily average dose
14 of radioactive radiation is permissible?
15 A. I don't recall these guide-lines right now. Depending on the
16 situation, there are peacetime and wartime levels, so I really would not
17 like to speculate on that.
18 Q. Well, my simple question would be is: Are you aware that these
19 levels were much exceeded in terms of standard ones?
20 A. I'm afraid that you are not mixing up doses that a person can
21 receive if they're close to a radioactive substance and the dosage
22 generated by depleted uranium facilities. According to our and
23 international standard, the average dose ranges from 10 to 50 becquerels
24 per kilogramme. We used 125. So according to American standards it's
25 1300 becquerels per kilogramme. But these norms at specific locations
1 such as the radio relay receiver of Radio Television Serbia above Vranje
2 where we found a quantity of uranium activity in the sample that we
3 analysed where the activity of the uranium was 237.000 becquerels per
4 kilogramme -- per sample. If we said that the natural level in the
5 majority of our locations was 10 to 50 then you can imagine the quantity
6 of uranium that dropped at that area near the radio relay of the Radio
7 Television Serbia was.
8 Q. General, you spoke about cluster bombs?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at Exhibit 5D460
11 on the e-court.
12 Q. Can you please look at this document. It's very short. There is
13 a translation. We're not going to be risking anything. There is a
14 signature. It's the Pristina Corps command document of the 16th of May.
15 In paragraph one it says --
16 A. Can I look at the Serbian version, please?
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we have the Serbian version on
18 the screen as well, please. We can just see the English on the e-court.
19 Can we look at the Serbian and can we zoom in a little bit on the
21 Q. Paragraph 1 says: "There are a large number of bomblets of a
22 cluster bomb that should be destroyed on the Pristina-Pec road in Bajub
23 Mahala village in the Srbica sector."
24 And then in paragraph 2 it says:
25 "In the Pasjane village sector, 500 metres to the south there are
1 a large number of bomblets of a cluster bomb."
2 And then under item 3 it says:
3 "There are a large number of bomblets of cluster bombs in the
4 sectors of the following villages: Staro Gradsko, Donja Gusterica,
5 Livadje, Dobrotin and the general area of Stimlje village."
6 I have a lot of exhibits but we don't have time. I have one more,
7 the untranslated in the e-court. Perhaps we can show that one too. Can
8 we please--
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What's your question on this one, Mr. Bakrac?
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 Q. Are you aware how many locations in villages and towns and
12 civilian facilities were hit by these cluster bombs?
13 A. I did not make those sorts of analysis in preparation for this
14 testimony. I said before that recently while I've been already in
15 The Hague this information was officially provided to the Republic of
17 Q. Would you agree that this is 280 locations?
18 A. Yes, yes, yes.
19 Q. I apologise. So you said in your examination-in-chief that you're
20 aware that official information from the west was received?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. If I were to say that 280 locations were involved would you agree?
23 A. Yes, I would, and I think that there were even more.
24 Q. And most of the locations were in Kosovo and Metohija; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you in the General Staff, did you have an estimate that the
3 cluster bombs, whose effect you described in response to my learned friend
4 Mr. Fila's questions, can break or go through metal; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, and they explode in the soil where they remained and include
6 chemical material as well.
7 Q. How many struck civilian -- the population?
8 A. I cannot say how many, but I can say that that was one of the
9 factors that influenced the mass movement of the population among other
11 Q. Thank you, General.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
14 JUDGE BONOMY: You have done research on this, have you, the
15 movement of the population as the result of the use of cluster bombs?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not deal with that particular
17 topic, but I believe that as a soldier my estimation can be relevant, and
18 I stand by what I said that that is one of the factors that could have led
19 to the population movements. People flee planes, bombs.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: There's no doubt it could have led to that. The
21 question for us is whether it did lead to that, which is a different
22 question I think from the one you were answering.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you have more than one answer,
24 then it could have and then putting that together could probably give you
25 the correct answer.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's as much as I can say.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Mr. Ivetic, do you have cross-examination?
5 MR. IVETIC: No questions, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
7 Well, we have to break at this stage for a number of reasons for
8 roughly half an hour, so while we have that break, Mr. Petkovic, could you
9 leave the courtroom with the usher and we will see you again at 6.00.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Recess taken at 5.33 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
13 [The witness takes the stand].
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petkovic, you will now be cross-examined by the
15 Prosecutor, Mr. Hannis.
16 Mr. Hannis.
17 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
19 Q. General, Mr. Fila asked you a question about some of your dealings
20 with the Vinca problem, and at page 57, line 11, you mentioned that you
21 had spoken with the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command tasked you to
22 contact Mr. Sainovic and to inform him about all those issues. When you
23 are referring to all those issues in connection with the Vinca problem,
24 are you just talking about the danger that it might be a target of an
25 air-strike or were there additional issues regarding Vinca.
1 A. As chief for the nuclear, biological, and chemical defence and
2 someone who had worked for a long time in the army in order to ensure the
3 protection of civilian population from such attacks, I was only interested
4 in two things, the first being the possibility that Vinca might be bombed
5 and what the impact of such a strike might be on the population and the
6 surroundings of Belgrade itself. My technical knowledge and my attempt at
7 simulating the movement of this radioactive cloud, especially in terms of
8 its nuclear toxicity and the amount of fuel that was being used by the two
9 reactors in Vinca itself, I concluded that this might lead to a
10 large-scale disaster equivalent to the use of a 20-kilo-ton nuclear bomb.
11 I'm talking about the radiation that might have been caused. I'm only
12 talking about those two problems. I did not look into anything else that
13 had to do with Vinca.
14 Q. Part of your concern was based because of the nature of the
15 nuclear materials contained or housed at Vinca, correct?
16 A. Yes. This was the fuel used by the nuclear reactors there. A
17 large variety of radioactive waste was there. Between the time the
18 institute was founded and this time, this waste had been collected from
19 all over the FRY and stored there because the VJ had no other place to
20 keep this toxic waste to store it. The amounted and the nature of this
21 radioactive waste and nuclear fuel present there was known to the IAE in
22 Vienna. Their inspections visited Yugoslavia then and before the
23 aggression many times and they knew the amounts that were being stored
24 there. We did not conceal anything that we were holding or storing at the
25 Vinca facility.
1 Q. And there was a concern in the international community --
2 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Fila on his feet.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] It's nothing to do with your question,
5 it's about the transcript. The witness said the SFRY, not the FRY.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I talk about the type and
7 amount of nuclear waste that was being stored in the former Yugoslavia,
8 what I mean to say is the amount was enormous. This was the only official
9 storage facility for nuclear waste in the former Yugoslavia.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You referred to waste having been collected from
11 all over, and it's not clear what area you were talking about. What area
12 were you referring to?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mean the Republic of Slovenia, the
14 Republic of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Macedonia. I'm
15 talking about the territory of the Socialist Federative Republic of
16 Yugoslavia from its very foundation to this very point in time.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 Mr. Hannis.
19 MR. HANNIS:
20 Q. At the time in 1999 wasn't there some concern expressed in parts
21 of the international community about the nuclear materials contained or
22 housed at Vinca, and that was a concern about, one, it could be the target
23 of an air-strike; or another concern was that thieves or governments from
24 other countries might try and steal those materials to use perhaps in
25 making a nuclear weapon. Wasn't that also a concern about Vinca?
1 A. You couldn't use that to make a nuclear bomb. This was
2 radioactive material. When a bomb is made from uranium, plutonium and
3 other types of matter, enormous amounts are required in order to make a
4 nuclear bomb and this is not something that was available to us there.
5 This was medical material used in medicine, other types of material used
6 for tests, and so on and so forth. So this wasn't material that could
7 possibly have been used to make any sort of nuclear weapon at all. I
8 think the world public was rightly concerned. Because of this situation,
9 because of the possibility that Vinca would be bombed. We dealt with this
10 problem in both peace and wartime because we were aware of the potential
11 danger and we did not have any other options given the financial situation
12 in the country at the time.
13 MR. HANNIS: Could we show the witness 3D724 and at page 3 of both
14 the B/C/S and the English.
15 Q. General, I'll tell you, this is -- these are notes from the
16 evening briefing session on the 6th of April, 1999. We can go to the
17 first page if you need to, but I want to ask you about item number 12
18 which refers to Major-General Petkovic speaking. That's you, correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you recall attending that meeting on the 6th of April and
21 saying what's attributed to you there which is: "It is possible that the
22 Vinca institute may be damaged. It is thought that a nuclear bomb cannot
23 be created."
24 Did you say that?
25 A. I think whoever kept the minutes misinterpreted what I was saying.
1 This first sentence: "It is possible that the Vinca institute might be
2 damaged," I did say that, indeed. However, it is thought that a nuclear
3 bomb cannot be created -- I think what I said at the time, and I shall
4 repeat this now, that if there were to be an air-strike on the Vinca
5 nuclear institute, because of the nature and amount of material being
6 stored there the radioactive upshot of that might be tantamount to that of
7 a nuclear bomb. I never knew or said anything about the fact that the
8 Vinca nuclear institute might be used to build a nuclear bomb. As far as
9 I know, it doesn't have the equipment or anything else required for making
10 a nuclear bomb. It is a scientific institute mainly used for research.
11 Q. Mr. Visnjic showed you some maps, I think 3D477, showing the
12 locations where depleted uranium ammunition had been used. Isn't it true
13 that during that conflict that depleted uranium weapons, particularly the
14 cannon used by the A-10 fighters, was for use primarily against armoured
15 vehicles because that was one of the primary advantages of that type of
16 ammunition was its ability to pierce armour; correct?
17 A. In answer to your question, as an expert I can say this: Whoever
18 produced that ammunition if they wanted to achieve that objective could
19 have used a harder matter than depleted uranium. Depleted uranium is
20 quite hard and quite dense, but it's also radioactive waste, including
21 this in the 30-millimetre and 120-millimetre cannon results in this. The
22 amount of radioactive waste - and I talked a while ago about my country,
23 but any country might be facing a huge problem trying to store it, this
24 amount of radioactive waste - in this way it is released and then we shall
25 store it. And we shall be storing it for four and a half billion years,
1 Mr. Prosecutor, because -- and please allow me to explain this--
2 Q. No, you're not answering my question. I'm going to stop you
3 because you're not answering the question I asked?
4 A. Yes, yes, I understand that.
5 Q. Is it true that that ammunition was used primarily against
6 armoured vehicles?
7 A. This is how I view this problem. I'm a general dealing with
8 problems related to pollution and radioactive contamination. I am putting
9 it to you. What you say is correct--
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petkovic, that is a separate matter which may
11 actually be irrelevant for the purposes of this trial or it may be of some
12 marginal relevance. Mr. Hannis is asking particular questions which you
13 are obliged to answer here and Mr. Visnjic will have an opportunity to
14 come back on anything he feels needs to be clarified.
15 Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS:
17 Q. General, can you answer the question: Is it true that that
18 ammunition was used primarily against armoured vehicles?
19 A. Its primary use according to our categorised information was what
20 you suggest, armoured vehicles and fortified buildings and facilities.
21 Q. Okay. And in looking at those maps showing where that ammunition
22 had been used, and I understand you also had from NATO information about
23 the dates that that ammunition had been used; is that correct? You did
24 have information about dates they had used ammunition?
25 A. During my time with the administration for nuclear, biological,
1 and chemical defence, we did not receive any such information. At a later
2 stage I did have an opportunity to look at certain documents when NATO
3 were publishing coordinates for certain targets and specifying the type of
4 ammunition that would be used as well as respective amounts.
5 Q. And that's true, because at paragraph 8 of your statement in this
6 case you say that NATO supplied summary containing information on the
7 times of air-strikes by the A-10 aircraft. So you have information about
8 when it was used and where it was used. Did you try to link up those
9 dates and locations with the known locations of deployment of VJ armoured
10 vehicles on those dates to see if there was a correlation?
11 A. According to my information, I didn't go any great detail on this,
12 but for the most part they were targeting armoured and mechanised units,
13 air defence units, or models, dummy positions that were used by those
14 units as some sort of a decoy where they were supposed to be but in fact
15 physically were not. Other buildings and facilities were targeted as
16 well. I mentioned about the TV repeater, the TV Serbia TV repeater at
17 Pljackovica near Vranje. It would have been destroyed by any type of
18 projectile or bomb. I'm not sure whether it was targeted with depleted
19 uranium and why such an amount was used that the sample of uranium was
20 237.000 becquerels per sample, and this exceeds any norm known to the
21 scientific community or the civilised world. It simply defies my
23 Q. Now, you say in your statement at paragraph 6 that depleted
24 uranium was used in the Prizren general area on 30 March 1999. What's
25 your source of information for that?
1 A. Yes, there was a report by the Pristina Corps that we received --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last part of
3 the witness's answer.
4 MR. HANNIS:
5 Q. I'm sorry, General, the interpreters say they didn't hear the last
6 part of your answer after you said that there was a report by the Pristina
8 A. At the Supreme Command Staff.
9 Q. Do you have a copy of that document?
10 A. Not on me, if that's what you mean, but I can state this under
11 oath, and I take every moral responsibility for this. The information was
12 obtained from them on that day and several days after this was being
14 Q. Okay. And --
15 A. Maybe you find this slightly confusing because the date that I
16 referred to is not the date reflected in the documents that we discussed a
17 while ago in terms of information that we received. There were certain
18 localities that don't tally in terms of dates, amount of ammunition used.
19 This intelligence doesn't tally with our information. Discrepancies are
20 possible, but this particular piece of information that I'm giving you now
21 is definitely accurate.
22 Q. Well, I ask you how you can say that because you say the first
23 samples of ammunition with depleted uranium were first found on the 18th
24 of April, 1999, near Bujanovac. So if you had a report of depleted
25 uranium being used in the Prizren area on the 30th of March and given that
1 intel administration document you showed us with the information from a
2 British informant about the story on CNN, why didn't you go out to the
3 Prizren area and try and find solid evidence of the use of depleted
4 uranium? You don't have that, do you?
5 A. If I may, I need to explain something. Depleted uranium is very
6 hard and very dense but also highly flammable. When uranium impacts
7 against a solid target, it catches fire and starts burning at 700 degrees.
8 It turns into uranium oxide and the ammunition is now gone. When
9 ammunition impacts against a solid target, it turns into dust and
10 contaminates the ground in a different way. Another portion of this same
11 ammunition that never hits a target hits the ground, and this was exactly
12 the type of ammunition that while searching certain areas we would find
13 very deep in the ground between 1 metre and 1 metre and 20 centimetres
14 deep. Therefore, this information provided by the Pristina Corps was
15 probably based on their observing fighter planes firing and on reports
16 received from their subordinate units. Under the conditions that
17 prevailed at the time, no reconnoitring was reliable enough to provide
18 accurate information, despite bullets being found. In Kosovo and Metohija
19 we tried to investigate this even during the air-strikes, but after the
20 air-strikes were over we searched all over Serbia, we investigated all
21 over Serbia, and I can confirm my theory. There were certain areas that
22 we investigated several times, and only after several investigations were
23 we able to locate any depleted uranium penetrators. The fact whether it
24 was found in Prizren or elsewhere at a given point in time or later on
25 says nothing about whether it was used or not. So I'm telling you, the
1 information that I'm sharing with you now is reliable and accurate.
2 Q. General, if it was found later on, that would be some evidence to
3 suggest that it had been used, wouldn't you agree?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. But your not finding it doesn't suggest that it had been used,
6 does it?
7 A. But, sir, Mr. Prosecutor, we found this and at the Vinca institute
8 you have over a thousand bullets that we found throughout Serbia's
9 territory while cleaning up. Doesn't that constitute proof enough for you
10 that such ammunition was, indeed, used against the FRY? Does it take more
11 than that? I'm sorry to be asking this, but I simply fail to understand
12 your question.
13 Q. No, I don't have a problem with that. I'm not contesting that it
14 was used. My question is about being used on what date. And you said it
15 was used on the 30th of March but you found no physical evidence to
16 confirm that --
17 A. On the 30th of March, yes.
18 Q. Okay. And the summary report that got from NATO that you referred
19 to in paragraph 8 of your statement says that the earliest they used
20 depleted uranium in Kosovo and Metohija was the 6th of April, 1999; that's
21 correct, isn't it?
22 A. For me as a general of the Serbian army, what used to be the VJ,
23 what matters is the fact that they used this ammunition. They left or
24 dropped over 30 tons of this ammunition over this territory --
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
1 A. -- And please understand that -- yes, please go ahead.
2 Q. But my question is: It was not used by the 6th of April, 1999,
3 correct, as far as you know?
4 A. I stand by this date. I trust the people who told me. I talked
5 to the people who informed me about this. I stand by this dated, the 30th
6 of April, or rather, the 30th of March, 1999, in the broader Prizren area,
7 the plane that dropped it was an A-10 plane, and that was the first time
8 that depleted uranium ammunition was used over Yugoslavia. It is true
9 that during reconnoitring -- during NATO's aggression we couldn't find
10 any, but after the completion of the air-strikes we simply didn't have
11 access to this specific territory. That too should be investigated I
12 believe and maybe if we were to carry out another investigation today we
13 would be able to locate some, track some down.
14 Another question that would help you resolve this dilemma, it is
15 true that only a very small percentage of the information that we have
16 about the places and types of ammunitions, places where ammunition was
17 found and types of ammunition that were found --
18 Q. You've answered my question. But you had no physical evidence.
19 You had a report from the Pristina Corps I assume by a nonprofessional
20 with no physical evidence. The best evidence you have is NATO's own
21 admission that -- the best evidence you have is NATO's own admission that
22 they used such ammunition on the 6th of April, 1999.
23 A. First of all, these reports were written by professional officers,
24 officers who were in units across Kosovo. They did the same job that I
25 did. They knew what this was about, and everything else -- well, I'm not
1 going back to that. I just stick to the first theory that I expanded on
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. HANNIS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
6 Mr. Visnjic -- sorry, Mr. Bakrac.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, just a single
8 brief question which I think follows from Mr. Hannis's cross-examination.
9 It is something to do with the control of what we have been saying about
10 the Pristina Corps. A brief question. No documents, no nothing.
11 Does the witness know that there was a unit of the nuclear,
12 biological, and chemical defence attached to the Pristina Corps that came
13 to grief while controlling depleted uranium weapons in Kosovo during
14 NATO's aggression.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't answer that question. Is there a date for
17 that? Because that's the issue on which the cross-examination was
18 proceeding. If you put a date then your question may be justified, but
19 without that that question is not justified.
20 Further cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Do you know whether that was prior to the 6th of April?
23 A. I can't remember the date. I know I spoke to the battalion
24 commander of the Pristina Corps, the nuclear, biological, and chemical
25 defence of the Pristina Corps I mean.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
2 No further questions.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] General, Mr. Hannis asked you about information
6 that NATO later submitted about the use of depleted uranium. You say
7 there were no more than subtle differences between your information and
8 their information.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the speakers please
10 not talk at the same time because interpretation becomes impossible.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Just stop, please. There's an overlap between you.
13 There needs to be some sort of gap between question and answer.
14 So could you start your answer again, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The differences in terms of this
16 information, NATO says about 112 impacts of missiles filled with depleted
17 uranium. The figure that we used was about 98.
18 Your Honours and everybody else in the courtroom, this is a little
19 irrelevant -- or at least that's how it strikes me. 112 or 98, it makes
20 no difference at all. What does matter is the fact that my country was
21 contaminated with over 38 tons of depleted uranium and it is buried in the
22 ground of my country, and this is not something that this Court or anybody
23 else can challenge. There is precious little difference whether this
24 occurred on the 30th of March or the 6th of April. We have to say loud
25 and clear once and for all wherever possible, which includes this
1 Tribunal; this, gentlemen, was a fact.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petkovic, you will not decide what the issues
3 are for this Tribunal. If we have to look at the question of the causes
4 of the movement of population, then it may be vital to know whether the
5 depleted uranium was used before the population started to move or after
6 the population started to move. Now do you understand why the date may be
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. I understand. Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: So --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I do apologise.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I'll do my job if you do your job, which is to
12 answer the questions that are put to you.
13 Mr. Visnjic.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, now tell me, if you can remember, is there a difference
16 in dates between the dates that NATO had and the dates that the VJ had and
17 where is the discrepancy?
18 A. There is a slight discrepancy in the dates when individual strikes
19 were carried out. Now I can't recall, but if I had those overviews, I
20 would be able to indicate those to you.
21 Q. Thank you. And do you perhaps know or do you perhaps remember
22 before NATO published their data about the dates and the intensity of the
23 air-strikes, how many times before did NATO deny that they had used
24 depleted uranium ammunition before that?
25 A. At its press briefings NATO always denied that it had used
1 depleted uranium ammunition. For the first time after nine months they
2 admitted in public, in writing, to the UN Secretary-General that depleted
3 uranium munitions were used in the FRY during the air-strikes, that it was
4 fired from cannon in A-10 -- mounted on A-10 planes --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petkovic, do you know whether in the period
6 between June 1999 and the acknowledgement that depleted uranium had been
7 used in the letter to the Secretary-General of United Nations there were
8 press briefings at which NATO denied the use of depleted uranium weapons?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know that.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You'll see, obviously, that there is a difference
11 between denying it while the conflict's on and denying it after the
12 conflict is over. So the date again may be of -- the date again may be of
13 some significance but you can't help on that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see your point, but let me
15 tell you, I still maintain that the date that I stated a little while ago
16 is accurate and let that be part of my evidence. You will analyse it and
17 you will come to a just conclusion.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we've moved on from that question.
19 Mr. Visnjic.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petkovic, that completes your evidence; thank
24 you for coming here to give it. You may now leave the courtroom with the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your patience.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Next witness, Mr. Petkovic, is next week I
4 assume -- Mr. Visnjic.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if the plane from
6 Belgrade was not late, then we might be able to bring somebody in now, but
7 I don't think that it would really be necessary.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one administrative matter before we adjourn.
9 Mr. Hannis, when we made the decision yesterday I think it was
10 about the compliance with Rule 94 bis, yeah, we were not aware that
11 parties were contemplating the evidence in chief of Radinovic at some
12 stage next week. Now, I got the impression you may have certain issues
13 with parts of that report, and I wonder how that would fit in with
14 actually hearing the evidence in the course of next week.
15 MR. HANNIS: We're aware of that problem, Your Honour, but we hope
16 to file something by Tuesday or Wednesday next week expressing some of
17 those objections about portions of the report we find irrelevant or
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Well, that -- you can understand that that
20 would be helpful. We can always be flexible, of course, but it would be
21 helpful to deal with that, I think, before starting the evidence.
22 MR. HANNIS: I know and I appreciate you gave us until the 15th of
23 October, but since it appears we may have time at the end of the week for
24 the witness and I think it would be helpful for all if we could get him
25 started, so we will try to file something before Friday or before that
1 witness would come on.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Well, we're adjourned until Tuesday at 9.00.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.37 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of
6 October, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.