1 Tuesday, 5 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone.
6 Mr. Bakrac, your next witness.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Radojko Stefanovic is
8 our next witness.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Stefanovic.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
14 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
19 You will now be examined by Mr. Bakrac on behalf of Mr. Lazarevic.
20 Mr. Bakrac.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 WITNESS: RADOJKO STEFANOVIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examination by Mr. Bakrac:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stefanovic, good morning.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. Could you please be so kind as to introduce yourself so that we
3 have this in the transcript, your name and surname.
4 A. Radojko Stefanovic, born on the 31st of July, 1954, Pozega,
6 Q. Mr. Stefanovic, I would just like to ask you to wait a second so
7 that my question is interpreted, so that we don't have any overlap between
8 the question and the answer and so that we avoid mistakes in the
9 transcript. Mr. Stefanovic, tell us, what is your education?
10 A. After I completed secondary school, general high school, I entered
11 the military academy of the land forces and graduated from that academy.
12 I graduated from all the existing schools in the Army of Yugoslavia up to
13 the top ones, including the staff college.
14 Q. What is your current occupation?
15 A. I'm a pensioner; to be very precise, I have been one since 2005.
16 Q. You retired with what rank?
17 A. Lieutenant-general.
18 Q. Can you tell us briefly what were all the military positions that
19 you held during your career?
20 A. During my military career, I started out as platoon leader up to
21 the Chief of Staff of the army, so from the very lowest to the very
22 highest. Over the 28 years of my career, I spent 25 years in commanding
24 Q. What were your duties in 1998??
25 A. In 1998 I was commander of the mixed artillery brigade in the
1 Gnjilane garrison.
2 Q. Until when?
3 A. I held that position until the 20th of January, 1999.
4 Q. Where were you transferred on the 20th of January, 1999?
5 A. On the 20th of January, 1999, I reported to the command of the
6 Pristina Corps in order to assume the duty the chief of the organ for
7 operations and training.
8 Q. Did you start carrying out those duties immediately on the 20th of
9 January, 1999?
10 A. No, no, because when an officer assumes a particular post, then a
11 certain time is required for him to take over that duty properly; then a
12 plan of duty handover is elaborated, according to which the duty is taken
14 Q. From who was it that you took over this duty and when did you, in
15 fact, take over?
16 A. As for this duty, chief of organ for operations and training, that
17 is a duty that I received from General Djakovic, it was about a month.
18 Q. What about Mr. Tesevic, what was his duty? What was his post?
19 A. Colonel Tesevic was chief of the sector for operations in the
20 organ for operations and training. At the same time he was the deputy
21 chief of organ. He was Djakovic's deputy. After Djakovic was transferred
22 to another duty to the army command, he stayed on as my deputy.
23 Q. General, could you please be so kind as to explain to us briefly
24 what your line of work was when you assumed this duty?
25 A. This organ in the corps command has the following duties: It is
1 of a planning and operations nature and it has to do with training, combat
2 training, in peacetime and in wartime.
3 Q. During the handover of duty and when you were taking over this
4 duty, can you tell us what the intelligence and security position of the
5 Pristina Corps was?
6 A. The Pristina Corps in this period of time had the following
7 intelligence and security operations position. The aggression was
8 becoming ever-more imminent. There was a build-up of troops in the
9 Republic of Macedonia and Albania, there were numerous problems every day
10 at the state border. There was an escalation of terrorist forces
11 throughout Kosovo and Metohija, and according to their own statements they
12 were preparing for a spring offensive. Furthermore, the corps had
13 insufficient forces for carrying out normal, regular, everyday duties.
14 Because in that period of time the corps was manned at an 80 per cent
15 level in terms of all structures.
16 Q. When you say "manned 80 per cent in terms of all structures," are
17 you referring to peacetime or wartime establishment?
18 A. I meant peacetime establishment. Furthermore, the operations and
19 mobilisation development hadn't even started and, ultimately, the
20 operative position of the Pristina Corps was highly unfavourable.
21 Q. General, could you please be so kind as to explain to us briefly
22 what the method of work of the command of the Pristina Corps was in
23 peacetime and in wartime in terms of making decisions for the engagement
24 of forces of the corps in carrying out combat activities?
25 A. The corps command, as the operative command, had an elaborated
1 methodology of its work on a daily, weekly, monthly [Realtime transcript
2 read in error missing word "monthly"], and periodical basis. The corps
3 commander organized meetings of his collegium every week, once every seven
4 days. At these collegium meetings, all questions were discussed that
5 pertained to the functioning of the military organization. After that,
6 specific tasks were assigned for the corps command and for subordinate
8 During the course of the war, the work of the corps command
9 evolved in a planned and organized manner on the basis of existing
10 instructions and rules. In order for the corps command to work properly,
11 it has to be given an assignment, a task; that is to say that an assigned
12 task is the very basis. The method of work can be a complete method, an
13 abbreviated method, a team-based method, and with consultations.
14 Q. General --
15 A. And the stages, the stages in the method of work consist of three
16 stages: Assessing the situation, or rather, analysing it; analysing the
17 decision that is to be made; and planning.
18 Q. General, may I stop you at this point. We are going to deal with
19 this specifically, how the Pristina Corps functioned at the relevant point
20 in time. I just have an intervention in line 5 on page 4, "monthly" is
21 missing, monthly report.
22 A. Monthly reporting.
23 Q. There is daily, weekly, and there is supposed to be monthly and
24 periodical. "Periodical" is already there.
25 So, General, tell us specifically as far as the Pristina Corps is
1 concerned, once a task is received what happens then?
2 A. When the corps command receives a task, an assignment, the
3 commander brings together the organs of the command, then the task is
4 studied in order to enhance its comprehension. The basic idea is
5 conceived by the commander. This basic idea is submitted to the superior
6 commander - in this case the army commander. When we're talking about the
7 corps commander, then his superior is the army commander.
8 After the basic idea is approved by the superior commander - in
9 this case the army commander, the commander of the 3rd Army - what happens
10 is the assessment of the situation, submitting proposals to the organ of
11 the command. After that, the commander makes a decision and tells the
12 corps command organs about it.
13 Q. Let me stop you at this point, General. You were saying the corps
14 commander receives a task, from who?
15 A. From the commander of the 3rd Army.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Just give us a moment, Mr. Bakrac.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, we are concerned about the extent to
19 which at this point we should be hearing evidence that's repeating what
20 we've heard on more than one occasion before. This is very theoretical
21 evidence at the moment. We really want to know what was actually
22 happening in particular circumstances. You've already had the evidence of
23 the commander himself and you've had evidence from a number of senior
24 generals throughout the case.
25 So please try to concentrate on the issues that are the important
1 issues in dispute between us, bearing in mind that we're already into
2 overtime so far as the presentation of your case is concerned.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I was about
4 to move on to specific documents or the drafting of documents. Just
5 another question.
6 Q. General --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you think -- you think we don't know enough
8 about the drafting of documents already? If that's your view, then you
9 have to lead this evidence; but I am somewhat surprised that we've got
10 nearly two years into the case and you don't think we know enough about
11 the drafting of documents.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wasn't saying you
13 don't know enough about it. I was to move on to specific documents. This
14 was just an introduction that I make to my next question.
15 Q. General, when you say a task from the 3rd Army command, can a
16 corps commander receive a task from anyone else?
17 A. A corps commander can only receive a task from his superior
18 commander; in this situation it would have been the 3rd Army commander.
19 Q. General, sir, we've seen that, we're not going into theory
20 anymore. When a task is received, when one starts drafting combat
21 documents, who is it that actually drafts them and what are these combat
23 A. Combat documents are orders, decisions, and plans, a decision by
24 the corps commander, an order by the corps commander, plans, orders by
25 assistant corps commanders, and all the various organs and branches in a
1 corps command. All these documents make up an action plan.
2 Q. Are all these documents produced at the same time?
3 A. If the circumstances are as good as can be, the tendency is to
4 draft all these documents at the same time. However, since the corps
5 command was facing highly complex circumstances, the first thing that was
6 done was the basic documents, in this case a combat order, orders that
7 were put in writing and delivered to subordinate commands. As to the
8 decision, it simply took more time to make, for a draftsman who was in
9 charge to do it properly according to the rules, to create all the
10 excerpts that were then delivered to subordinate commands, and finally to
11 deliver these to subordinate commands.
12 If you allow, before all of this, a decision must be ratified by
13 the commander, before these excerpts are produced, a corps command or, if
14 that is the appropriate level, an army commander.
15 Q. General, let's move on to more hands-on examples.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please have 5D1169.
17 Q. While we're waiting for the document to come up, sir, you talked
18 about the operative situation of the Pristina Corps at the time you took
19 up your duties there.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please have this exhibit.
21 Q. This is an order by the 3rd Army command dated the 27th of
22 January, 1999, on the use of the 3rd Army to prevent a NATO brigade being
23 brought in by force in order to crush and destroy the Siptar terrorist
24 forces in Kosovo and Metohija --
25 MR. STAMP: This is one we have no translation and it is not a
1 short one that we could probably try to plough through without one.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I just check. I
4 think there actually is a translation because we have used this document
5 already. Just a minute, please.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is both a 3D and
7 a 4D number for this document.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the 3D number, Mr. Visnjic?
9 Is it possible, Mr. Bakrac, to move on and come back to this
10 document once you've had some assistance in finding the English
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document is
13 related to the following documents that we're about to show this witness,
14 about the actions. So if I can please appeal to your patience because we
15 are trying to show that it is based on this action that some action
16 order --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: That's an appeal to the non-existent, Mr. Bakrac.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] -- some action orders headed "the
19 Joint Command" will result.
20 4D332. There is a translation, and I think there's one for 5D as
22 JUDGE BONOMY: So we should be looking at 4D332, is that it?
23 MR. BAKRAC: Yes.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation].
1 Q. General, are you familiar with this document?
2 A. Yes. It's a command [as interpreted] produced by the 3rd Army
3 command. As you said a while ago, this was an order on the use of the 3rd
5 Q. Can we please go to the last paragraph of page 1 and the first
6 paragraph of page 2.
7 And can you please explain what this document envisages, this
8 order in fact?
9 A. Can you just take me through it one by one, please.
10 Q. The last paragraph of page 1 which then spills over into paragraph
11 1 on page 2.
12 A. Fine.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please have the first
14 paragraph of page 2.
15 Q. So what we see here is a description of the concentration or
16 build-up of terrorist forces in Drenica, Lab, and Malisevo areas?
17 A. Yes, those were the three areas at the time where the terrorist
18 forces were at their most concentrated.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please go to item 4: "I
20 hereby decide ..."
21 There is a decision there. This is page 5 of the B/C/S -- page 4,
22 rather, of the Serbian.
23 Q. Let's look at the actual decision that the 3rd Army takes here,
24 it's the last sentence.
25 A. Indeed. Shall I read it?
1 Q. Yes, please.
2 A. "Further, carry out mobilisation of the army and in cooperation
3 with forces from the air force and anti-aircraft defence and the interior
4 ministry of the Republic of Serbia, prevent the engagement of sabotage and
5 terrorist forces" -- or rather, "working with the interior ministry forces
6 block sabotage and terrorist forces and prevent them from linking to or
7 cooperating with the NATO Brigade."
8 Q. General, can we please go to page 6 of the Serbian, and please
9 explain what that means. It reads: "Armed [Realtime transcript read in
10 error "unarmed"] non-Siptar population is to be engaged on securing
11 military facilities and roads and in order to defend unsettled areas with
12 non-Siptar population ..."
13 JUDGE BONOMY: It is, in fact, the armed non-Siptar population or
14 in this instance is it the unarmed, as quoted in the transcript?
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] "Armed."
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. What does this particular clause mean within the framework of this
20 A. Within the framework of this order, this means that these are
21 forces from the Federal Ministry of Defence engaged in tasks of civilian
22 defence and protection.
23 Q. Thank you very much, General.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one moment now.
25 General, who actually writes out the original draft of this
1 document? Is it someone in the 3rd Army or is it someone in the Pristina
2 Corps who drafts it for approval by the 3rd Army?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I understand your
4 question if we're talking about this specific document, this order on the
5 use of the 3rd Army was produced by the 3rd Army command.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Going back to your answer in relation to armed
7 non-Siptar population, which you say were forces from the Federal Ministry
8 of Defence, why did the forces of the Federal Ministry of Defence exclude
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was in no position
11 to know why the use of the Federal Ministry of Defence was defined in the
12 way set out here.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: You're being presented to us as the man who really
14 knows the organization -- the organizational structure of the forces. So
15 where will we get the answer to that question?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the only place you
17 could get a proper answer for this is the Federal Ministry of Defence,
18 from the actual people who decided on this definition, because this is
19 something that was simply used in its entirety from elsewhere. It wasn't
20 us who decided on this type of engagement.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: So someone must have told you to use that
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right, Your Honour. If
24 we look at this order we see the clause here, and in all the orders
25 drafted by the Pristina Corps command we applied the same clause
1 throughout. This is a task that cannot be changed, amended, or simply
2 left out; it is simply something that you take from the superior command
3 in its entirety.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Speaking as just an ordinary layperson, it does on
5 the face of it look ridiculous to describe Ministry of Defence forces as
6 the armed non-Siptar population; however, let's move on.
7 Mr. Bakrac.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General, sir, did you get those forces involved? You say that you
10 applied the clause from the order. Did they see any practical involvement
11 in any of the actions?
12 A. Defined like this, in no order of the Pristina Corps commander
13 were these forces considered and they were never involved, and the best
14 way to see this is if we go to item 4 of the corps commander's decision
15 and also if we go to item 5 which details tasks for units.
16 Q. For these forces to see any involvement at all on a specific
17 mission, was there something that needed doing first?
18 A. In order for these forces to see any practical involvement, first
19 they would have had to be resubordinated. This was a precondition for any
20 involvement on their part by the corps commander, which never
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now please go to 5D249 --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you do.
24 Does that mean that the instruction - and it's in English in the
25 middle of the page we're looking at - which says: "Engage the armed
1 non-Siptar population," is meaningless?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I don't think I fully
3 understand your question, Your Honour. What exactly do you have in mind?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you've just told us that for any specific
5 task to be given to the armed non-Siptar population, they would have to be
6 resubordinated. Now, in this document in English the short paragraph
7 after the very long one, it may not be -- or it may be the -- about the
8 seventh line or so in the B/C/S -- in fact, that's where it is. The first
9 full paragraph on that page it says in English, and hopefully the
10 meaning's identical in Serb: "Engage the armed non-Siptar population,"
11 now that seems to be an order, but does that mean that it's meaningless;
12 it has absolutely no meaning or effect in this order?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, here it is formally noted to
14 that effect, but the command -- the corps command was not duty-bound to
15 implement that because it was not able to implement that because these
16 were not its forces.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, why on earth would the 3rd Army then give you
18 that order, knowing that it can't be implemented? And it's not the first
19 example we've come across of this. The documents of the VJ are riddled
20 with these.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, probably the 3rd Army
22 command had its reasons for formulating it like that, and at this point
23 I'm really unable to comment on that. The only thing was that I said that
24 these were organized forces of the federal organs, the civilian protection
25 and the civilian defence.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Bakrac.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Can we look at 5D249, please.
5 Q. General, sir, this is also a document of the 3rd Army command of
6 the 1st of February. Can you please briefly with me look at the second
7 page of the B/C/S and the tasks under the heading "order," tasks under 4
8 and 5. These paragraphs 4 and 5, can we see that the Pristina Corps was
9 given an assignment to draft a plan by February 15th to block and destroy
10 Siptar terrorist forces in the Drenica, Lab, and Malisevo sectors?
11 A. Yes, that is in paragraph 5, which states that the corps command
12 should draft a plan for blocking and destroying the forces in these
13 mentioned sectors, Drenica, Lab, and Malisevo.
14 Q. Mr. -- Sir, can you tell us another name for the Lab sector? Is
15 there a different name for it?
16 A. In the geographical sense, that area has several names, Lab, Malo
17 Kosovo, Podujevo. The most acceptable name is Malo Kosovo.
18 Q. Thank you, General, sir. Let's move on.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at P2808.
20 Q. This is an order of the Pristina Corps command, it seems, of the
21 16th of February, 1999, and it refers to the following: "Order to break
22 up and destroy the STS in the Malo Kosovo, Drenica, and Malisevo sector."
23 Is this an order pursuant to a previous order of the 1st of
24 February to do this assignment?
25 A. Yes. This was the 3rd Corps [as interpreted] command order
1 pursuant to an order by the army commander.
2 Q. Sir --
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there's a mistake in
4 the transcript on line 25 it says order of the commander of the 3rd Corps
5 but actually it should state the order of the commander of the Pristina
7 Q. General, sir, in order to cover our ground more quickly, did you
8 have the opportunity to see this document?
9 A. Yes, not only did I see it, I actually drafted it with my team of
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we look at the last page, please.
12 Q. These initials, S.R., are these your initials?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. General, sir, since you drafted this document and you had the
15 opportunity to see it while it was being prepared, this document
16 specifically, the order of the Pristina Corps to break up the terrorist
17 forces, was there any specific assignment given to the formation of
18 non-armed Siptar population?
19 A. No, it was not given. Like I said previously, we can look at item
20 4 and item 5, and we can see in the tasks issued to the units there is no
21 such clause.
22 Q. If it does appear, you may be sure that my learned friend
23 Mr. Stamp will react to that, but we need to move on.
24 Can you please tell me this: Paragraph 2, corps tasks, the same
25 clause is there, formulated in exactly the same way as in the document
1 that we saw before, the order of the 3rd Army. This article -- paragraph
2 2, tasks to the Pristina Corps, is this something that can be changed?
3 A. No, this is an assignment issued by the superior commander to the
4 subordinate command, and it is being assumed in its entirety without
5 adding, including, or excluding anything.
6 Q. General, sir --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: We haven't seen the 3rd Army order here, have we?
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, we have the order
9 of the 3rd Army is actually the first document that we looked at in
10 relation to which Mr. Stamp reacted --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] -- stating that it didn't have any
13 translation, this is 5D1169.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. Thank you.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Sir, I am just interested in your comments on another paragraph
17 from this document and then we can move on, please. Page 5, page 5, first
18 paragraph, "Readiness." Can you briefly comment on the meaning of
19 "readiness" and when was the dead-line for this order to be executed?
20 A. In this command "readiness" was defined in the follow way: "For
21 increased and in-depth security of the state border, preventing the
22 infiltration of Siptar terrorist forces, for closing off axes from the
23 Republic of Albania and the Republic of Macedonia, and for securing
24 facilities and roads immediately."
25 And, second: "For breaking up and destroying the Siptar terrorist
1 forces in Kosovo and Metohija after the Munja signal on D plus three to
2 four days."
3 Q. Can you please explain what that means.
4 A. That means that the planning documents for all the branches are
5 planned including the signal which is here mentioned as Munja. So you
6 wait for the signal and then embark on the execution of the given actions.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at Exhibit
9 Q. General, sir, are you familiar with this document and can you
10 please briefly tell us what it means and to which sectors does it refer?
11 A. This is a document of the Pristina Corps command. The idea is to
12 carry out an action to break up the Siptar forces in the Severni Drenica
13 and -- in the northern Drenica and Podujevo sectors. And this is a corps
14 document given to the commander of the 3rd Army for approval and
16 Q. General, thank you.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at Exhibit 5D273.
18 Q. We saw that the previous document bore the date of the 18th of
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm advised, Mr. Bakrac, that 5D273 does not exist
22 in the system.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there's an error in the
24 system and my associate will try to see -- well, the document has two
25 paragraphs. If you permit me, we can place the document on the ELMO --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] -- and the General can look at it and
3 read it. It's a very short document, and then later we will see what the
4 error in the system is exactly.
5 MR. STAMP: Just for the record, Your Honour, we have never had a
6 copy of this document. It does present us with a lot of difficulties
7 proceeding in this way.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: What is odd is that it has such a low number but
9 does not appear to have been disclosed.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, an error simply is
11 possible, an error that it was given a number but it was not placed in the
12 system or disclosed. Otherwise there is no other reason. It's a very
13 short document and it's an approval to this -- of this idea, so it's just
14 this -- a kind of technical document.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I doubt if it's going to cause prejudice,
16 Mr. Stamp. If it does, then you'll have the benefit of any remedy that's
17 necessary to secure justice.
18 So let's proceed using the ELMO. You'll need to get the witness
19 to read the part that matters, Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. General, sir, you would agree, well, let's just move quickly, that
22 this is a document of the 3rd Corps command of the 19th of March, 1999,
23 sent to the command of the Pristina Corps, to the commander; is that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And now can you please read the reference and the first two
3 A. "Reference: Your act strictly confidential number 455-43 of the
4 18th of March, 1999."
5 First paragraph: "I approve the idea of executing an action for
6 breaking up Siptar terrorist forces in the region -- sectors of northern
7 Drenica and Podujevo on the 20th and 21st of March, 1999."
8 Second paragraph: "The planned manner of action and engagement of
9 planned forces of the corps with reinforcements in coordination with the
10 forces of MUP is how you will implement or execute the set objective of
11 the action."
12 Q. Thank you. So this idea for the 20th and the 21st of March, for
13 the action, was it actually implemented?
14 A. From what I can recall, this action was partially executed. Not
15 all the forces were ready for the execution of this action, except for the
16 37th Combat Group, or rather, BG-37, which was attacked and was,
17 therefore, forced to defend itself from an attack of the Siptar terrorist
19 Q. Thank you, General, sir. Was there another idea drafted
20 immediately after that for an action?
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we look at 5D276 now, please.
22 Q. General, sir, this is an idea from the 22nd of March for the Donja
23 Drenica and Gornji Lab sectors. The time of execution is planned, this is
24 the 23rd to the 25th of March, 1999. Are you familiar with this?
25 A. Yes, yes, this is also an idea for an action to be executed in the
1 fight against terrorist forces. Also, the corps commander sent it to the
2 army commander for the verification of this idea.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the English version
4 states "plan," but actually it's an idea. So in the original it's
5 stated "zamisao," idea, for carrying out or executing an action.
6 Q. General, sir, now we're going to look at the next document and
7 that is a document P1966 --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you move on if we could have that back
9 just briefly.
10 The translation issue that you're raising, the second paragraph in
11 English starts: "The concrete plan for carrying out the operation is as
12 follows ..."
13 Now, in English you would never talk about a concrete idea. To be
14 concrete it would have to be a plan.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the Serbian version
16 it says "konkreta zamisao," so for carrying out an action. It becomes a
17 plan once it is approved by the higher command, by the command of the 3rd
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if that's the technical distinction, that's a
20 different matter. Thank you. We can move to the next one now.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, could we please look at document P1966 now, and you are
23 going to tell me, this has to do with destroying the Siptar terrorist
24 forces in the area of Malo Kosovo. The previous idea and the previous
25 approvals, do they pertain to this particular action?
1 A. Yes, however, it said "Podujevo" over there in the idea, whereas
2 here it says "Malo Kosovo," lest there be any confusion. I talked about
3 that a while ago as well.
4 Q. General, first of all tell me, whose decision is this?
5 A. This is a decision of the command of the Pristina Corps.
6 Q. In the heading why does it say "Joint Command for Kosovo and
8 A. I would kindly ask you for a bit more time because I need a bit
9 more time to explain this. During the handover of my duty at the corps
10 command I was then told by General Djakovic, who was handing the duty over
11 to me, that the combat document entitled "zapovest," order, is formulated
12 for actions that are carried out by the army and the MUP, and the heading
13 says "Joint Command." And instead of the commander's signature, where the
14 signature should be it says "Joint Command" as well, and also there is
15 this clause that all forces would be commanded by the Joint Command.
16 There are two forms there, two forms of these documents, that is,
17 one where in the heading and in the signature it is the command of the
18 Pristina Corps, rather, the commander with this clause of commanding the
19 forces and then -- that was more seldom. And then this other one, the one
20 that we see now on our screens, that was more frequently present. In the
21 heading it would say "Joint Command," and at the place where the signature
22 of the commander is supposed to be it also says "Joint Command." And when
23 it says command, all forces will be commanded by the Joint Command. This
24 was taken over from 1998 and it was only for situations where forces of
25 the army and forces of the MUP were engaged in the struggle against
1 terrorist forces in Kosovo and Metohija.
2 Q. Was this form kept somewhere or did you re-type these documents
3 every time at the operations organ?
4 A. The form of this order was in the computer and it stayed on in
5 1999, the beginning of 1999.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you explain a little more about the
7 circumstances in which the other form was used, where in the heading and
8 the signature it is the commander of the Pristina Corps?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, to the
10 best of my recollection and during the handover of duty when reviewing the
11 documentation involved, this has to do with 1998 primarily, it is
12 characteristic of that period. As for 1999, from the time when I took
13 over this duty, this other form of dealing with documents was there.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. General, let us look at paragraph 11 of this same document, it is
17 page 4 in B/C/S. "Command and communications" is the heading, KM, that's
18 what it says in the first sentence, the command post of the Pristina
19 command -- of the Pristina Corps in peacetime.
20 Can you explain this decision?
21 A. Yes. This is a formality that was carried out on purpose, simply
22 to protect the secrecy of the deployment of command posts; or in soldierly
23 terms, this is operative camouflage.
24 Q. General, let us move on to the next page, the last page --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that -- sorry. This doesn't actually tell me
1 anything. I may be alone in that.
2 This command post could be identified, but are you saying that in
3 fact it wasn't the peacetime command post that was being used?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exactly. Exactly, Mr. President.
5 That's the way it was written. The command building is intact to this
7 JUDGE BONOMY: But it was not being used as the command post at
8 that time?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The bombing started on the 24th of
10 March, in the evening. Most of the command wasn't there, and from the
11 25th onwards there was no one left in that building except for the
12 necessary security of the building.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Mr. Bakrac.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, please look at the last page, paragraph 13. It seems
17 that yet again there is a reference to command. Could you please look at
18 both paragraphs and give us your comments. Why is paragraph 13 there?
19 A. Paragraph 13 defines "coordinated action with MUP forces
20 concerning preparations for combat operations before the start and during
21 the actual implementation of actions."
22 This last paragraph: "The Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija
23 shall command and direct all forces during combat operations from the
24 Pristina area."
25 "The Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija shall command and
1 direct all forces during combat operations from the Pristina area."
2 And finally it says: "Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija."
3 As I've already said, this is a document, a combat order, of the
4 commander of the Pristina Corps. This clause is here and it can be
5 explained as follows. Since we have different forces, different
6 structures, of the army and of the police and our rules envisage in case
7 such different structures are engaged, a combined command post from which
8 everyone autonomously commands his own forces.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stefanovic, from the point of view of theory,
10 is there any reason at all why this order would be any less effective if
11 instead of "the Joint Command" it simply said "Pristina Corps command" and
12 was signed by the Pristina Corps commander?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, there is
14 an immense difference. In command it is clearly defined there is only one
15 person that commands, that is, the commander, not some joint body that is
16 established or can be established. There is an immense difference
17 involved. In command it is clearly defined, there is only one person who
18 is in command, and that is the commander. That is the quality of command
19 as such.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean you never see in -- well, let me
21 start that question again.
22 Just look at the sentence, the last sentence of this order before
23 the signature by the Joint Command. Would you ever see in a document of
24 this nature: The Pristina Corps commander will command and direct all
25 forces during combat operations?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask you to repeat
2 your question because I did not understand the first part.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: In a document of this nature, an order, does it
4 ever -- or does such a document ever contain the statement: The commander
5 of the Pristina Corps shall command and direct all forces during combat
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, there is
8 the possibility of defining it that way, but this is what is required
9 beforehand, that all forces in the area where combat operations are being
10 carried out should be resubordinated to the commander of the Pristina
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'll go back now to my original question
13 which you pointed out I phrased badly. If this document made it clear
14 that the commander was the Pristina Corps commander rather than the Joint
15 Command, would it be any less effective as an order?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, we are
17 talking about a specific order here, and it is very difficult now at this
18 point in time to assess -- however, at any rate, I repeat, and all combat
19 rules and instructions define that, that only one person is in command and
20 that is the commander. By no means is it a body, regardless of what it's
21 called. There is no Joint Command.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You're not really answering my question directly.
23 I'm trying to understand whether this order, according to you, would mean
24 the same if the word "Joint Command" was replaced by "commander of the
25 Pristina Corps."
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, a few
2 minutes ago that is what I said to you. Only in a situation when all the
3 forces in the area of combat operations were to be subordinated to the
4 corps command, then the corps commander would indeed have that right of
5 command and to carry out these tasks that had been set.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: So we come full circle. What on earth is this
7 Joint Command that is, according to this document, to command and direct
8 all forces? Is this another meaningless expression? I mean, it doesn't
9 say: There will be a combined command post, as you try to tell us it
10 means. It would have been easy enough to say there will be a combined
11 command post. So what on earth is the Joint Command?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, this is
13 unfortunate wording. In reality a combined command post is from where the
14 army forces were commanded down one chain and the MUP forces down another
15 chain, an autonomous chain.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Bakrac.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. General, let us now have a look at the next document, that is,
20 P1967. It says that this is an addendum to a document, obviously to a
21 previous document. Did you have occasion to see this?
22 A. Yes, this is an amendment to the decision of the Pristina Corps on
23 supporting the MUP forces in breaking up and destroying the Siptar
24 terrorist forces in the area of Malo Kosovo.
25 Q. General, first of all could you tell me whose decision can be
2 A. In the process of decision-making, the right to amend a decision
3 is exercised only by the commander himself. This is a correction.
4 Because this is an open process, an open-ended process.
5 Q. General, let us now look at the last page of this document. We
6 have seen here in the heading it also says "Joint Command." So please let
7 us have a look at the last page, and it seems that here in the left-hand
8 corner this amendment was designed by corps commander General Lazarevic.
9 Can you explain this to us? Why do we now see this signature of the corps
10 commander here, although the heading says "Joint Command" and although
11 this is an amendment to a preceding decision where it says "Joint
13 A. Yes, it's clear that this is a telegram. In order for one like
14 this to be dispatched and sent down the chain of command to subordinate
15 commands to be carried out, it has to be signed. In this case, the corps
16 commander signed this amendment to one of his own decisions.
17 Q. General, sir, do you remember this action that occurred in Malo
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us whether there was a command post for this action;
21 and if so, where it was?
22 A. If you look at the document, you see that the command post was in
23 the Lausa sector. This was also the command post for the 354th Infantry
24 Brigade. The corps commander set up a team for purposes of command and
25 dispatched this team to the Lausa sector, which was the place from which
1 the team led the operation in Malo Kosovo.
2 Q. Were you a part of that team also; if not, do you know who was
3 there and why was this particular place so appropriate for setting up
4 command there?
5 A. I can't remember each single person right now. Normally there
6 would be three to five officers from the corps command. I know that
7 Colonel Kokolanski, the officer in charge of training was there; as well
8 as Colonel Nikolic, who was the chief of that particular branch. I can't
9 remember right now who the others were, who were members of that team.
10 Why right there? Because right above Lausa village there is Lausa hill,
11 which has a very commanding position and is thus an appropriate place from
12 which to run an action.
13 Q. Thank you very much, General.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we have another document now,
15 please, I think the format is the same as the previous one. This is an
16 OTP Exhibit P2003.
17 Q. Do you remember this document, sir, another one by the Joint
19 A. Yes, this is an order in relation to Jablanica.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please go to page 2 of this
22 Q. It talks about readiness for this action. The very last sentence
23 in the B/C/S, if we could please pull it up just ever so slightly.
24 General, you see readiness for this action, the 3rd of April,
25 1999, 7.00?
1 A. Indeed.
2 Q. Thank you. And now, please, let us move on to Defence Exhibit
3 5D84. This is a combat report by the Pristina Corps command dated the 3rd
4 of April. It was sent to the 3rd Army command, specifically their
5 operations centre.
6 General, can you just, please, read item 2.1, activities, effects,
7 consequences, and other. Slowly, please?
8 A. "Activities, results, consequences, and other:
9 "Pursuant to the decision of the Pristina Corps commander, the
10 planning to regroup forces was brought to completion and operations are
11 underway to seal off and crush Siptar terrorist forces in the general
12 Jablanica sector."
13 Q. Is this combat report in reference to the action mentioned in the
14 previous document, where in the header it reads the Joint Command?
15 A. Yes, indeed.
16 Q. All right. Can we now please move on to 5D85. This is another
17 combat report of the Pristina Corps command. It was sent to the 3rd Army
18 command. Item 2.1, please, if you could have a look. It also
19 reads: "Activities, results, consequences, and other ..."
20 Can you please read that one for us, too, slowly.
21 A. "The action aimed at crushing the Siptar terrorist forces in the
22 wider Jablanica sector is underway and pursuant to the decision by the
23 Pristina Corps commander it will be completed by nightfall on the 4th of
24 April, 1999."
25 Q. General, is this combat report too in reference to the order that
1 we looked at a while ago that reads in its header "the Joint Command"?
2 A. Yes, by all means.
3 Q. So why does this combat report reflect the same thing as the
4 previous one, during the action in the Jablanica sector and pursuant to
5 the decision by the Pristina Corps commander?
6 A. Because the Jablanica order was issued by the corps commander as
7 well, that's why, and we see him here reporting to submitting a report to
8 his superior commander.
9 Q. Thank you very much, General. Just before the break, if we could
10 please look at another document, another order, which has the Joint
11 Command in its header. This is OTP Exhibit P1969.
12 General, if you look at the header you will see "Joint Command for
13 Kosovo and Metohija" and the date is the 28th of March, 1998 [as
14 interpreted]. Order on supporting MUP forces in routing and destroying
15 the Siptar terrorist forces in the Malisevo sector.
16 Are you familiar with this one, sir?
17 A. Indeed I am.
18 Q. So whose decision is this?
19 A. The same as all the previous ones that we've been looking at. If
20 you look at the format, you will see that, these are decisions by the
21 Pristina Corps commander.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] 4D371, please, which is another
23 combat report dated the 1st of April. The order is dated the 28th of
24 March and the combat report is dated the 1st of April.
25 Q. Can you please look at that, sir, and please read the sentence
1 under 2.1 "activities, results, consequences, and other ..."
2 A. "Activities were continued on crushing and breaking up the Siptar
3 terrorist forces in the Malisevo area in accordance with the general idea
4 and decision by the commander of the Pristina Corps. The action will be
5 completed in the course of the day.
6 Q. Is this combat report also in reference to the previous order that
7 we saw with the header that reads: "The Joint Command"?
8 A. Indeed it is.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this might be a
10 convenient time for a break.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Bakrac. Thank you.
12 Mr. Stefanovic, we have to break at this stage for 20 minutes.
13 Could you please leave the courtroom with the usher.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And we shall resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. General, there are several orders like this. We'll be looking at
22 another one. It's so to be Exhibit P1878.
23 This order has the same format as the previous ones that I've been
24 showing you, an order to crush and destroy the Siptar terrorist forces in
25 the Rugovo sector. Do you remember this order, sir, and this particular
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Page 2, item 4: "Decision and readiness." So the action is
4 supposed to be launched at 6.00 on the 18th of April, right?
5 A. Yes, that's what the section entitled: "Readiness" says, 6.00,
6 18th of April.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now please look at Exhibit
9 Your Honours, there was amendment to the translation of this
10 document because this is something that was challenged earlier on in the
11 trial, and the original translation was at one point amended by CLSS.
12 Q. General, this is a letter from the Pristina Corps command to the
13 3rd Army command, as far as I can see. Could you read paragraph 2 for us
14 and comment briefly, please.
15 A. "At 0800 hours on the 18th of April, 1999, the Pristina Corps
16 command, in coordination with the forces of the Serbian MUP, shall launch
17 an operation to break up and destroy Siptar terrorist forces in the said
19 Q. So what is this about? There's an action being announced here.
20 And who will carry it out?
21 A. The corps commander hereby informs the army commander of the fact
22 that on this day and at this time the corps command will work in
23 coordination with the MUP forces in order to launch an action to crush and
24 destroy Siptar terrorist forces in the Rugovo area, the Rugovo cliffs
1 Q. General, can we go to the last paragraph of this document and
2 please explain this, there's a reference there to the Podgorica Corps.
3 Was this corps part of the VJ at the time?
4 A. Yes. The Podgorica Corps was part of the VJ, part of the 2nd
5 Army, as a matter of fact.
6 Q. Since it was part of the 2nd Army and not the 3rd, was it
7 necessary to organize coordination and communication with them as well?
8 A. In this specific action it was necessary to make sure there was
9 someone in charge from the Podgorica Corps who would be their neighbour
10 for this action, in order to have coordinated action and in order to have
11 the communications system fully operational.
12 Q. So what is the specific assignment? If you look at paragraph 3
13 you might be able to see that. What was the task for units of the
14 Pristina Corps?
15 A. "Pristina Corps forces shall block the Radovac hydro-electric
16 power-plant - Bresotvik village - Markova Pecina line or axis."
17 Q. Thank you very much, General. So the date on this is the 15th of
18 April. We saw that order which says readiness on the 18th of April, and
19 we see in this document that the action will be launched on the 18th of
20 April. Now, please, can we go to the combat report dated the 19th of
21 April, this is 5D --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you do, is this a normal document in the
23 ordinary exchange of orders and combat reports or is this an exceptional
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this sort of document
1 is always introduced in situations such as this one when there are several
2 commands from several different operative or strategic units. For
3 example, here we see the Podgorica Corps of the 2nd Army as our
4 neighbour. It is necessary to go through the Supreme Command Staff, or
5 rather, the General Staff in order to secure precisely what is being
6 requested here, to make sure that there is someone over there, an officer
7 in charge of setting up the communications system. This is a perfectly
8 normal thing in situations such as this one.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And is that the only reason why this document has
10 been written? If the Podgorica Corps was not involved, would this
11 document have been written?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if the Podgorica Corps
13 had had no assignment to carry out, if there had been no need for their
14 involvement, well, there would have been no need to get in touch with them
15 and to ask for their involvement; but they were our first neighbour. In
16 this case it was necessary to ensure that there would be coordinated
17 action and that a communications system would be in place.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not understanding this, Mr. Bakrac. I don't
19 particularly have in my memory another example of this type of letter, and
20 I'm trying to understand its relevance beyond making sure that there are
21 good communication arrangements in place with the Podgorica Corps. But
22 I'm -- the witness is leaving me in doubt about whether this would be
23 written whether the Podgorica Corps were involved or not. As I say, I
24 don't remember similar documents before the operation -- the actions were
25 carried out.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, do you want me to
2 explore this any further?
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I want to understand how frequently we --
4 these documents were produced, because it doesn't follow a formula that
5 I'm in -- certainly my memory is familiar with.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, is this an example of a situation where a corps from the
8 2nd Army was involved? Is there any participation in other situations or
10 A. This is a specific task that is discussed here, and I can't recall
11 any other situations where the involvement of another operative unit
12 outside the 3rd Army was requested.
13 Q. Is this not a reason then for the fact that we see to the 3rd Army
14 command, Chief of Staff personally, why was it requested that someone from
15 the Podgorica Corps should be put in charge of setting up the command
17 A. It's just like I said, in order to make sure there was coordinated
18 action, in order to make sure that a communications system was in place.
19 You can't have a corps command addressing directly the Podgorica Corps for
20 a request like that and to make sure that this was the case.
21 Q. So in paragraph 5 here we see that it was necessary to have the
22 involvement of the Podgorica Corps to prevent spillover of Siptar
23 terrorist forces into Montenegro. Were they involved in this action or in
24 the blockade?
25 A. Yes, that is how it is defined here, that is precisely what
1 coordinated action means, to block, to prevent spillover of Siptar
2 terrorist forces into Montenegro.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Were the Podgorica Corps mentioned in the previous
4 document, P1878, the actual order?
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it might be a
6 good idea for us to bring that document back.
7 Your Honours, I think it's in paragraph 3, item 1 of paragraph 3.
8 It says what the objective of the Siptar terrorist forces operations is,
9 to overrun -- to secure the corridor from the Rugovo gorge to Montenegro
10 and then we see exactly at item 3 "neighbours."
11 Q. Can you read 3.2 and tell us what PGP means, what it stands for.
12 A. 3.2, that stands for the Podgorica Corps, it is to set up a
13 blockade along the Cakor-Hajla axis, the objective being to prevent
14 spillover infiltration of Siptar terrorist forces from the Rugovo sector
15 into Montenegro.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the English there is
17 an error in the translation of this document. The abbreviation in the
18 Serbian is PGK, which means the Podgorica Corps, it is not PrK which is
19 the Pristina Corps. It is erroneously reflected in the English, where it
20 reads the Pristina Corps, whereas it should read the Podgorica Corps.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Has a change not been made to the exhibit since
22 this was discovered?
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I was talking about
24 the previous document that we were looking at 194, 5D194, that's where the
25 error was found and where it was rectified.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: In that case, you will need to file an alternative
2 translation to this one to clarify the point.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, we shall do
5 JUDGE BONOMY: No. Just one moment.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, it shouldn't be necessary to go through
8 the normal formality for this. If you can provide an English version on
9 which paragraph 3.2 is altered and substitute it, with the assistance of
10 the registrar, for the existing one, then we will authorise that
11 replacement here and now and avoid the need for formal filing.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just to be clear on
13 this, of course I do accept this obligation, but this is a Prosecution
14 document so is it all right for me to do this? I don't mind doing it, but
15 is it all right?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, you're quite right. It should be Mr. Stamp
17 that's doing it, and he'll do it, no doubt, on the same basis as we have
18 just explained, to avoid unnecessary filing.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Q. General, if I understood you correctly, this is the only example
21 of participation by the Pristina -- by the Podgorica Corps, and that is
22 why it was included in the document?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, can the commander of the Pristina Corps issue an order to the
25 commander of the Podgorica Corps?
1 A. He cannot. Obviously he cannot. It's the same level from
2 different armies.
3 Q. Is that the reason why the Podgorica Corps is referred to under
4 the heading "Neighbours"?
5 A. Precisely, that's what I've already said.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd like to move on to
7 the next document, if we have explored this sufficiently, as you asked
9 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I still don't know the answer to the question
10 whether 5D194 is a routine document or is one which is only required where
11 there's a neighbour to whom the Pristina Corps cannot issue instructions.
12 That's all I want to know. And the witness wasn't apparently able to
13 explain that, so I wondered if there is any further questioning you can
14 conduct that will help; if not, move on to something else and perhaps it
15 will become clearer later.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I am going to put a question now, as
17 you've suggested.
18 Q. Is this an exceptional document because the commander of the
19 Pristina Corps could not issue orders to the commander of the Podgorica
20 Corps, document 5D194, the one that we've been looking at?
21 A. Your Honour, Mr. President, I have understood what it was that you
22 were asking for. This is a unique occasion when the command of the
23 Podgorica Corps was being addressed. However, in the procedure and in
24 view of the circumstances involved, this is customary form in order to
25 ensure the involvement of a neighbour in carrying out a task.
1 Q. Thank you, General.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] 5D1411, could we please have that
3 called up now.
4 Q. General, this is a combat report of the command of the Pristina
5 Corps dated the 19th of April. We have seen that a particular action was
6 being planned for the 18th of April. Could you please look at paragraph
7 2.1: "Activities, impact, consequences, and other," and could you please
8 read paragraph number 2 to us, that is to say actions that started.
9 A. "Actions that started in searching the terrain in the areas of
10 Rugovo gorge, Zlas, and Drenica are also evolving according to plan.
11 Units of the Pristina Corps are involved in the blockade of the sector and
12 the MUP units, the units of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia are involved
13 in searching the terrain."
14 Q. This combat report on the engagement of the units of the Pristina
15 Corps, do they have to do with the previous order that says "Joint
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. General --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: What would be interesting, Mr. Bakrac, in light of
20 the answer to the previous question about 5D194 would be to see similar
21 examples where there was this additional exchange of communication to
22 clarify the position of the MUP in a Joint Command action.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we are precisely going
24 to get to that subject now. I have another document or two and we will be
25 discussing this relationship between the units of the Pristina Corps and
1 the MUP.
2 Q. General, let us now please look at 5D373, it's a very short
3 document and it's a document of the command of the Pristina Corps. I
4 would just be interested in hearing your brief comments on this document.
5 General, are you familiar with this document and what does it
6 relate to?
7 A. Yes. This document relates to the request, or rather, where the
8 corps command is asking for effects of breaking the Siptar terrorist
9 forces. So an analysis is being requested by 1400 hours on the 25th of
10 April, and it has to do with several actions.
11 Q. Are these predominantly actions that pertain to the orders that
12 have the heading "Joint Command"?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you, General. Tell us, please, do you remember how many
15 orders there were like this in total with the heading of "Joint Command,"
16 in 1999, that is, and until when was this format, or rather, this form
18 A. There were about 20 such orders -- or to be more specific, between
19 15 and 20, and this went on until the order was issued on the
20 resubordination of the MUP to the army. Order of the command of the 3rd
21 Army, and before that, of the Supreme Command Staff.
22 Q. Approximately what date was this?
23 A. It's about the 18th or 20th of April.
24 Q. General, in addition to these joint actions of the VJ and the MUP
25 and the actions in support of forces, did the units of the Pristina Corps
1 have independent combat as well; and if so, to what extent?
2 A. Every day there was combat, throughout the territory of Kosovo and
3 Metohija in all zones of the units that were subordinated to the brigade
4 command, not only taking into account external attacks from the border.
5 There were several hundred combats of this nature, over 500 throughout the
7 Q. Thank you, General. You told us earlier on that the focus of the
8 activity, or rather, the focus of the task of the Pristina Corps was to
9 defend part of the territory of the FRY, or rather, of Kosovo and
10 Metohija. What did the command of the Pristina Corps do with regard to
11 this question once the war started?
12 A. The corps command at the beginning of the war issued several
13 orders to take urgent measures, with a view to planning, organizing, and
14 preparing to carry out a persistent defence of the state border engaging
15 the main forces of the corps and with a lesser degree of the forces they
16 were to support and coordinate action with the MUP forces in crushing the
17 terrorist forces in Kosovo and Metohija.
18 Q. General, can we now have a look at 5D312. It seems that this is
19 an order of the commander -- of the command of the Pristina Corps from the
20 very beginning, from the first day of the war, the 25th of March, 1999.
21 Are you familiar with this order?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Let us please look at page 2, paragraph 6, and can you give us
24 your comments briefly, what this order implied.
25 A. Paragraph 6 orders as follows: "By the 27th of March, 1999,
1 ensure that precise and clear commands are issued at all command levels
2 for the execution of ultimate persistent defence of the very -- from the
3 very state border."
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please now have a look at
5 5D -- no.
6 Q. Rather, let us first hear from you on this. Did the brigade
7 commands indeed make plans for defence and did they issue orders for
8 defending the country?
9 A. Yes. All brigades in the corps started carrying out this task
10 issued by the corps command.
11 Q. Let us please look at 5D335 now. That is also an order of the
12 commander of the Pristina Corps, but this one is dated the 26th of March.
13 The previous one was the 25th of March.
14 Please look at paragraph 1 of this order and give us your brief
16 A. Article 1: "Continue with the decisive defence of the state
17 border, prevent any surprises in the form of infiltration of the Siptar
18 terrorist forces from the Republic of Albania and the Republic of
19 Macedonia" --
20 Q. Please don't read. If you can just look at the three last axes,
21 Globocanica, Doganovici, and so on, and then we will look at the next
22 document and you can say whether this order was implemented.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Now can we look at document 5D1284.
24 Q. General, sir, the document will appear soon. This is a defence
25 order of the 26th of March of the 243rd Motorised Brigade. Under the
1 heading: "Tasks or assignments" we see the three axes mentioned by the
2 corps commander as needing to be secured. Is that the order that was
4 A. Yes, that is an order of the command of the 243rd Mechanised
6 Q. General, sir, did the Pristina Corps command adopt a defence
7 order, defence order at the level of the corps command?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can we now look at 5D175.
10 Is that the order, do you recognise it, and did you take part in
11 the drafting of the same?
12 A. Yes, this is an order by the Pristina Corps command drafted on the
13 6th of April and, yes, I was one of the bearers of this act, this
14 command -- this order.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can you briefly comment about whether this order is precisely the
18 main activity that you talked about or focuses on the main activity?
19 A. Yes, this is an order for the main and basic assignment of the
20 Pristina Corps, and that is the defence of the state border and a part of
21 the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the territory of
22 Kosovo and Metohija.
23 Q. You said earlier, General, sir --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry.
25 MR. STAMP: It's a matter of clarification. Perhaps the date --
1 the date of the document could be clarified. I think there might be a
2 mistake in the translation.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, the original shows 1999, so we'll assume a
4 mistake in --
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, in English I see
6 that it says "1998." It's evidently a typo because we're talking about
7 the 6th of April, 1999.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. General, sir, earlier you said how long the orders were issued
11 with the heading "Joint Command." You said that this was until the order
12 on resubordination was issued, and did this resubordination actually take
13 place of the MUP units to the Army of Yugoslavia?
14 A. No. After the Pristina Corps issued its resubordination command
15 in relation to the MUP, this resubordination never took place throughout
16 the war until the end of the war.
17 Q. Do you know why this resubordination was not carried out and do
18 you know if there was an attempt to actually implement this
20 A. The corps command attempted several times to resolve this question
21 with the MUP members, the question of resubordination, and the corps
22 command, or rather, the corps commander formed a number of teams from the
23 command to make an effort to resolve this resubordination matter in the
24 field. All of those efforts did not yield any results. The most frequent
25 response from the MUP members was that they do not have an order from
1 their superiors to execute this assignment, the resubordination to the
3 Q. So at which level was this relationship of the Army of Yugoslavia
4 with MUP throughout the war?
5 A. The functional relationship between the army and the MUP was at
6 the level that it was before the resubordination order was issued, at the
7 level of coordinated action, joint action, support, and cooperation.
8 Q. General, thank you. Could you please explain to us how this
9 coordination and cooperation proceeded?
10 A. The coordination with the organs or the representatives of the MUP
11 most often was effected in the following way, by going or calling the MUP
12 representatives tasked with planning, and it boiled down to exchange of
13 data and information in order to coordinate joint actions. After that,
14 when an agreement was reached, each side would go to their respective
15 command and convey in the depth what was agreed on at this operations
16 level. At the tactical level detailed coordination and development would
17 continue of the way the action would be executed.
18 Q. General, sir, earlier His Honour, the Presiding Judge, asked about
19 the document that we saw that had to do with joint or coordinated action
20 with the Podgorica Corps. Was it necessary -- well, you just explained
21 how this coordination and joint action was effected. Was it necessary to
22 write these requests for a coordinated action each time?
23 A. No. The overall conditions at the time were very complex, very
24 difficult, so exchange of information had to be done in the shortest
25 possible time with the objective of planning and preparing the units to
1 carry out this -- these actions as soon as possible through personal
2 contact or via communications, in view of the fact that we knew each other
3 sufficiently, it was not necessary in that period to issue special
4 documents on joint action.
5 Q. You said "personal contact." Can you please tell us who you were
6 in contact with from the MUP.
7 A. Upon assuming my duties, I met and worked for a while with -- I
8 think he was a lieutenant-colonel or a colonel, Arsenijevic and he was the
9 person in charge of planning. Later I was in contact with General Obrad
10 Stevanovic, and towards the end of the war also with Colonel Brakovic.
11 Perhaps there were others but I cannot recall all of them at this point.
12 Besides my own contacts, my deputy also contacted different people for
13 exchange of information and data.
14 Q. Who was your deputy?
15 A. I mentioned him, that was Colonel Ratko Tesevic.
16 Q. How long did you use this method of work in the Army of Yugoslavia
17 in Kosovo?
18 A. This method was applied throughout the whole war, until the end,
19 regardless of the order on resubordination because the same was not
21 Q. General, sir --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you a couple of things, Mr. Stefanovic.
23 You were head of operations and training sector of the Pristina Corps
24 command; is that correct?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: So you're in a fairly senior position in the
2 overall army structure in Kosovo. Now, what was it that was wrong with
3 the liaison and cooperation arrangements between the VJ and the MUP that
4 led to the decision to order resubordination?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Law on Defence at
6 that time defined it as follows. All forces that happened to be in a
7 specific area need to link up and be resubordinated to the most senior
8 command in the preparation and implementation of combat assignments. In
9 view of the fact that the army and the MUP were different structures, it
10 was very difficult to find a mode of -- the best mode of doing this
11 without bringing into question the most important thing, and that is the
12 execution of the assignment. And why didn't this always proceed in the
13 best way? Simply, at the lower levels there was no understanding, so one
14 side would be -- would understand things in one way, the other would
15 understand it in a different way, and they couldn't agree how to approach
16 the realization, the execution. So then we agreed that it was necessary
17 to effect the resubordination to avoid misunderstandings and these
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And who prevented the implementation of that
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you mean the
22 resubordination order?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know. I really don't
25 know, but we attempted several times to do this; however, this did not
1 happen. I said a bit earlier that there was no adequate order from their
2 ministry, from their superiors, the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So who was behind preventing the implementation of
4 the order from the -- by the Ministry of the Interior?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really wouldn't know
6 how to answer that question. I don't know how to answer that question.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. I will continue on the same topic and ask you if you received
10 reports from subordinate brigades. You mentioned that there were
11 difficulties at lower-ranking levels and that the SUPs and the MUP or
12 police units did not want to be subordinated?
13 A. Yes. There were several reports to that effect, both oral and
14 written ones from our subordinate brigades or -- from our subordinate
15 commands or from commanders of brigades.
16 Q. And what did the corps command do in such cases?
17 A. In such cases the corps command or the commander of the corps
18 formed teams that he would send to those brigades that would report
19 problems regarding resubordination.
20 Q. General, sir, let's look at Exhibit 5D1084. I'm going to --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm lost on this. I don't remember the witness
22 actually mentioning this earlier, but no doubt that's a fault in my
24 But if there was no resubordination, how could there be any
25 expression of dissatisfaction by the MUP about resubordination?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the mistake is in the
2 translation. I put the question: If the brigades reported back that they
3 had a problem with resubordination of the MUP units at their level.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yeah. That, I understand. Thank you.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation].
6 Q. General, sir, we clarified this. You said that the brigade
7 commander sent teams. Were you ever part of the team touring the units,
8 the brigades, to resolve that question?
9 A. On several occasions I formed a team pursuant to the corps
10 commander's order for our subordinate brigades. This was in late April
11 for the Metohija area where we had a joint meeting of the MUP and the army
12 from that area, the Metohija area. We held the meeting and the main
13 objective was to find a mode to implement the issued order on
15 Q. General, we see in front of us a daily combat report or a regular
16 combat report of the 17th of May from the 37th Motorised Brigade command.
17 In paragraph 6 it is said that the Colonel Stefanovic and Paprica from the
18 PrK command were in the unit to deal with the territory -- with the
19 resubordination of territorial units from the area of the brigade.
20 What was the result of this engagement?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: We don't have the correct part on the screen, I
22 don't think. You gave the number paragraph 6.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is -- probably it's
24 my mistake. I said paragraph 6 from the beginning, and it refers to point
25 2.1. I wanted to hurry things along, but obviously I caused some
1 confusion. So it's paragraph 2.1, and then within that it's paragraph 6
2 in order.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Were you at the meeting with the MUP on this -- you
4 attended a meeting with the MUP on this occasion?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, are you asking me about
6 what I previously said or this here?
7 JUDGE BONOMY: On this occasion did you and Colonel Paprica meet
8 the MUP?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And who were you meeting?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the commander of the
12 37th Motorised Brigade joined us when we went to this MUP territorial
13 unit, because they had this problem of not being able to resolve the
14 problem of the execution of the assignment that had to do with
15 resubordination. I was there with Colonel Paprica, and we talked there
16 and were looking for a way to deal or resolve this problem. We did not
17 succeed in that. We always got the same answer. We do not have an order
18 of our superiors for such an assignment.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. General, sir, we saw this example in the document. Can you please
22 tell us whether you also went to some other brigades to deal with the same
23 matter; and if you did, can you please tell us which ones?
24 A. I mentioned earlier that I attended a meeting in Djakovica, in
25 Metohija, and that that did not yield any results. And I still remember
1 that I went to the 58th Light Infantry Brigade, where I had talks also in
2 an attempt to resolve this question of resubordination, but the result was
3 the same. Everybody stood at their own positions. There was no
5 Q. Did you go to the 549th?
6 A. I mentioned that when I was talking about Kosovo and Metohija I
7 was thinking of the brigade units in Kosovo and Metohija that were
8 deployed, I'm thinking of the 549th and 125th.
9 Q. Thank you, General. You explained to us the problem of
10 resubordination and you spoke before for how long the orders for joint
11 actions were written in the form that had the heading of the Joint
12 Command. Now I would like us to look at Exhibit 6D712. It's an order of
13 the Pristina Corps command to break and destroy the Siptar terrorist
14 forces in the area of Drenica 1.
15 While we're waiting for the document, General, when you look at
16 the unit's assignments, it seems that this order issues tasks to some MUP
17 units as well. Can you please comment on this?
18 A. Yes. We see here an order in relation to Mount Drenica 1, yes,
19 this is the 28th of May and the resubordination order had taken effect by
20 this time. It was on this basis that the corps command defined tasks for
21 the MUP to carry out within the framework of this action.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please go to the last page of
23 this document, item 14 specifically.
24 Q. It says that coordination between elements of the combat
25 disposition during the planning, organizing, preparation, execution of
1 combat activities in the Drenica area shall be carried out by a Pristina
2 Corps command team headed by the chief of the OOPO, operations affairs and
3 training organ, responsible for planning, organizing, and conducting
4 combat activities.
5 Can you tell us, first of all, what the abbreviation stands for,
6 OOPiO, and comment on the specific assignments.
7 A. The abbreviation stands for operations affairs and training
8 organ. I was the chief at the time. The corps commander had given me
9 this assignment to organize, plan, organize concerted action and lead the
10 execution of this action generally speaking.
11 Q. Was the action carried out and did you lead the MUP units?
12 A. The action was commenced and it went on for several days. This
13 was early June 1999; therefore we were unable to complete this action, the
14 simple reason being some of the MUP units never turned up for this
16 Q. General, we have a map under the same exhibit number that is
17 attached to this order. Can we please have a look, this is a decision map
18 to crush and destroy Siptar terrorist forces in Mount Drenica 1. I think
19 in the lower right corner it was actually signed by you and approved by
20 the commander of the Pristina Corps. I think it would be much better idea
21 to have this map placed on the ELMO, if I can have the usher's assistance,
23 General, while this map is being placed on the ELMO, this same
24 map, it's in black and white in our electronic system, I want to know
25 about the 252nd Brigade. We heard evidence from the brigade commander and
1 I think you drew a map that was subsequently approved by the corps
2 commander. Please tell me if this action, when it was eventually
3 launched, was organized based on this map or not?
4 A. As I said a while ago, the action was commenced but was never
5 completed. Based on the reports of the 252nd Armoured Brigade and 243rd
6 Mechanised Brigade, it was clear that the MUP units that were supposed to
7 work with them never turned up and they couldn't start this action. The
8 commander of the 252nd Brigade asked for amendments, and then he got in
9 touch with the MUP and the decision as it related to the 252nd Armoured
10 Brigade was adjusted.
11 Q. General, is this the decision map for operation Drenica 1, the
12 original one?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What about the blue arrows in the lower right [as interpreted]
15 corner just above OKBR, doesn't that stand for the MUP units?
16 A. Maybe we should move it up slightly -- all right, yes, indeed,
17 these are supposed to be the MUP forces. The arrows are green, though.
18 Q. Can you please show that.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] For the record, Your Honour, the
20 witness is pointing at the lower left corner just above where it says the
21 252nd on the brigade, he's pointing at three green lines just in front of
22 three red lines.
23 Q. General, you say that the action did not go ahead in this way,
24 don't you --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a second. The lines he's pointed to are blue,
1 and what he referred to were green arrows a moment ago, which one can
2 see --
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it looks blue on the
4 ELMO, but I think it's actually green. When you have the map in front of
5 you --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: There may a translation problem if you look at page
7 54, line 16,"What about the blue arrows in the lower left corner, doesn't
8 that stand for the MUP?" Now, I can't see any blue areas, I'm afraid, or
9 any arrows at all in the bottom left corner. Is that a mistranslation or
10 did you say "arrows"?
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can't say. I may
12 have misspoken myself. I may have said "blue arrows" and maybe it's a
13 misinterpretation. Maybe I said "green," but these are green lines or
14 arrows in the lower left corner.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, on the lower left corner you're saying that
16 there are lines showing MUP forces. They're not red, we can see that
17 much, and they look blue. If you look at the rest of the map where there
18 are clear green markings, these certainly don't look green.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think you should look
20 at the original document and see for yourself about the arrows.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, I can see the arrows clearly, it's not the
22 arrows that are worrying me, it's the lines that you're referring to
23 which -- and the original question was about the left-hand side of the
24 plan. Now --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I fully
1 understand. This is a symbolic representation, but these are the original
2 positions where the MUP units were starting out from. It's a symbolic
3 representation on this map. If you look at the original, you clearly see
4 that these are green.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I see it, please.
6 Bring it.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the Prosecution could deal with it once the
9 witness is finished with it. Let's return it to the ELMO because you'll
10 have time to look at it before you have to cross-examine.
11 You're telling us, I think, that only two colours represent forces
12 of the state, and these colours are red and green; is that correct?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we see these decisions for the
14 involvement of both the army units and MUP units, and they're shown in two
15 colours: Red for the army and green for the MUP.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. And are you -- are you also saying that none
17 of the MUP forces participated in this action?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no. I was talking
19 about the 252nd Armoured Brigade and the 243rd. As for the 124th
20 Intervention Brigade from day one and throughout the entire action, it was
21 involved along with the 15th Armoured Brigade, led by Colonel Brakovic. I
22 was there myself.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And were you in command of these MUP units?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no. This brigade had
25 its own commander, Colonel Brakovic. As for the 15th Armoured Brigade it
1 was Colonel Cirkovic.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: You've just explained to us that the order for this
3 action included tasks for the MUP.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's right.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And you said that that was because, according to
6 the English translation, the resubordination order had taken effect.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the resubordination order dates
8 back to the 20th of April, and this is early June, late May/early June, so
9 this was an attempt --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Didn't -- so far we have been told the
11 resubordination order never took effect.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, it never did.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: So why on earth at the end of May are you including
14 tasks for the VJ -- for the MUP in a document issued by the VJ unless you
15 expect them to obey?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there are two reasons
17 for the way this specific action was planned, the first is this.
18 Throughout we had been expecting that there would be resubordination, that
19 they would accept the order on resubordination and that their superior
20 officers would finally define this for them. The other reason being
21 this: The task was a very important one and a crucial one. The sector
22 and the action itself were highly complex, which the decision itself
23 clearly shows.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: So are you saying that on the 28th of May General
25 Lazarevic was still hopeful that the resubordination order would be
1 implemented by the MUP? Is that your evidence?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, not only was General Lazarevic
3 hopeful, we all were in the army but most of the MUP people were also
4 expecting this dilemma to be resolved.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Stefanovic, we'll continue talking about this action. Let me
8 just ask you this: Did the corps commander inform his superior command of
9 the fact that the resubordination of the MUP had failed?
10 A. Yes. The corps commander informed the army commander that no
11 resubordination of the MUP had taken effect.
12 Q. Can you remember when?
13 A. As far as I remember, the dead-line was within five days after the
14 order itself, I think probably the 25th or the 26th of April, that's when
15 the corps commander should have informed the army commander.
16 Q. What about later in May?
17 A. Yes, in late May there was a new report to the effect that the MUP
18 had not yet resubordinated itself for all the reasons that were apparent,
19 but we were expecting all the time that this would materialise because at
20 this time we had no idea that the war would soon be over.
21 Q. We saw that order that was issued by the supreme commander, the
22 3rd Army, and so forth, was that order on resubordination cancelled or
24 A. No. All these levels that issued this command, the Supreme
25 Command Staff, the command of the 3rd Army, the Pristina Corps command,
1 not a single one of those levels ever withdrew that decision or order
2 throughout the war.
3 Q. Thank you very much, General. Let's just try to hurry things
4 along a little. We saw the decision on that map. You explained why the
5 MUP positions were planned. Did the MUP accept to carry it out based on
6 this map or were there any changes to the plan; and if so, why?
7 A. I can't see this. As I said earlier, some of the MUP units,
8 especially the 124th Intervention Brigade took part in the execution of
9 this action, the remaining forces did not. I talked about the 252nd
10 Armoured Brigade. The brigade commander had informed the corps commander
11 and had got in touch with a representative of the MUP. He changed his own
12 action, the action as it related to the 252nd Armoured Brigade.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we please have
14 Exhibit 5D1412 placed on the ELMO now --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move on, there is no reason why the
16 decision map attached to 6D712 should be black and white, so this one
17 which was used on the ELMO must be substituted for the existing
18 black-and-white version and you should make a filing giving effect to
19 that. Now, you'll tell me it's not your responsibility because you're not
20 6D, so you can pass the buck on that one also to Mr. Lukic, but an
21 order -- that filing must be made to rectify this and it should be done in
22 the course of this week. In fact, it should be done today. There's no
23 reason why this can't be done today.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we'll try to do that
25 today together with this new map, 5D1412.
1 Again I'd like to ask the usher for his assistance. Could it
2 please be placed on the ELMO.
3 Q. General, is this a map pertaining to the same action, Drenica 1,
4 and does this map reflect the 252nd Armoured Brigade? It no longer has
5 green lines and green arrows in front of it. Could you explain to us why?
6 A. Yes, this is a decision of the 252nd Armoured Brigade. It was
7 replanned afterwards and it clearly shows here that the MUP has a separate
8 axis of use and that the army has its own separate axis of use.
9 Q. This action was planned but did you plan it, the axis of the MUP?
10 A. No. As I've already stated, it's the command of the 252nd Brigade
11 because it only pertains to its task. In contact with the representative
12 of the MUP, coordination was carried out, namely, that everyone has their
13 own axis in carrying out the task that was set.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there an order that accompanies this document;
16 and if so, can we have the number?
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I understood General
18 Stefanovic correctly, this map relies on the basic order of Drenica 1;
19 however, for the reasons explained why the General it was replanned on the
20 map only for the 252nd Armoured Brigade. Otherwise, it was introduced, or
21 rather, it was tendered last week when General Mandic testified, the
22 commander of the 252nd Armoured Brigade. During the break I can prepare
23 the number of that document.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Was the replanning the result of the refusal of the
25 MUP to be resubordinated or did it relate to some other reason?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, the
2 reason is because the MUP did not want this unit to be resubordinated to
3 the 252nd Armoured Brigade, so they requested, or rather, they gave a
4 separate axis along which it would carry out its tasks.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And this document was drawn by the 252nd, I take
6 it. Would there also be a written decision accompanying it or would it
7 simply exist on its own?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, that is
9 correct. This decision was elaborated by the commander of the 252nd
10 Brigade. It can be attached to the Drenica 1 decision that was issued by
11 the command of the Pristina Corps.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Bakrac.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. General, we can now have this removed from the ELMO, and we are
16 going to replace these documents in e-court with the black-and-white
17 ones. Could we now call up on e-court 5D476. It seems to be a letter, or
18 rather, a document of the command of the Pristina Corps dated the 9th of
20 Could you please have a look at this document and could you tell
21 me whether you know what document this is and could you please give me
22 your comments if so. So --
23 A. Could it please be zoomed in.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Paragraph 2 should be zoomed in,
25 please, if possible.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is a document of the
2 command of the Pristina Corps dated the 9th of April, where the commander
3 is reporting -- no, I beg your pardon. The commander is send -- sorry.
4 Can I just have a look at the bottom of the document -- oh, yes, it's
5 probably being sent to the brigade commands. Paragraph 2: "The staff of
6 the MUP of Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija, the staff of the MUP of Serbia
7 for Kosovo and Metohija has issued an order to all secretariats of the
8 interior to commence planning actions to crush the remaining terrorist
9 forces in their respective zones of responsibility."
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, on the basis of this paragraph that you see here, can we
12 conclude that what was ordered was to the secretariats of the interior to
13 commence planning actions to crush the terrorist groups?
14 A. Obviously, that is what the paragraph says, the text of the
15 paragraph says.
16 Q. The commander of the corps on the basis of this decision, did he
17 send brigade commanders to discuss with the heads of the SUP coordination
18 and cooperation?
19 A. Yes. Brigade commanders are here being asked to get in touch with
20 the heads of the respective SUPs in their respective territories and to
21 commence planning actions as stated here in crushing the remaining
22 terrorist groups in their respective zones of responsibility.
23 Q. General, if we look at SUP Pec -- under paragraph 2, then 2.2, the
24 Rugovo gorge action is being planned, does that pertain to the order that
25 says joint command, the one that we looked at a few moments ago?
1 A. Yes, yes, that's the only such action that has to do with the
2 Rugovo gorge and it pertains to that.
3 Q. General, could you please look at the other page of this document
4 as well now, the last two sentences, could you please read them and give
5 us your brief comments. So a task is issued here to brigade commanders to
6 establish contact with the respective SUPs and it is exactly stated which
7 SUPs, and then once this contact has been established --
8 A. Should I read this?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. "When you have established contact, plan the actions and how to
11 implement them (upon receiving approval from the Pristina Corps command).
12 "Inform the Pristina Corps command about the implementation in
13 your regular combat reports."
14 Q. General, since here in the introduction to this document we saw
15 that the secretariats were ordered to plan actions, secretariats of the
16 interior, that is, these last two sentences pertain to who?
17 A. To the units of the corps, to the brigades.
18 Q. Thank you, General.
19 General, you've explained to us that you went to the subordinate
20 brigades in order to overcome this problem regarding resubordination. Did
21 you visit subordinate brigades and units with another objective in mind as
23 A. The corps command in a planned and organized fashion toured its
24 subordinate units, not only with regard to the resubordination of the MUP,
25 but primarily to review the overall situation in terms of readiness to
1 carry out basic tasks as well as the problems that cropped up in certain
2 brigades, namely, to give them assistance in resolving the mentioned
4 Secondly, to point out the existing problems and to caution in
5 terms of resolving the problems that were created by members of these
6 units. A report was submitted on this and then there were many measures
7 and warnings that were carried out by the corps command.
8 Q. What were the measures carried out by the corps command in terms
9 of the omissions that were noted?
10 A. I'm just going to mention the most drastic examples, namely, the
11 commander of the 175th Motorised Brigade, or rather, Infantry Brigade --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
13 A. -- when the commander and the ten highest-ranking officers in that
14 unit were dismissed. Further on, the commander of the 58th Light Brigade,
15 also because of the weaknesses in that brigade, was dismissed from his
16 duty. If I remember, the Chief of Staff of the 7th Infantry Brigade was
17 also dismissed. Also, the 345th Infantry Brigade, also the battalion
18 commander there and a number of officers were replaced. These are the
19 most drastic examples that I can remember this moment. There were others,
20 though, other measures as well.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation].
22 Q. General, let's just have a look at yet another exhibit, 5D563.
23 This is a combat report from the command of the 175th Infantry Brigade.
24 And if we look at paragraph 4 it seems to say that the morale on the whole
25 is favourable, the discipline has been improved, order and discipline has
1 been improved, there are still isolated incidents of unauthorised leave
2 from units attempts at theft, sloppy uniforms, et cetera, which are
3 detrimental to the unit's image. Is this a report of the new commander
4 and did he go on taking measures with a view to improving the situation?
5 A. Could I please have a look at the command, could I see what
6 command this involves?
7 Q. It's at the top of the page.
8 A. Yes, yes, I see it's the command of the 175th Brigade and the date
9 is the 19th of May, yes. Yes. The new personnel, the new officers who
10 were brought in did their best to stabilize and improve the situation. Of
11 course one could not expect that they would resolve all of that within a
12 single day. This went on for several days but there were improvements.
13 This new command did establish better order and discipline and a better
14 implementation of tasks.
15 Q. Thank you, General.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps this would be a
17 convenient moment to take the break. I think that I won't have more than
18 20 minutes or up to half an hour after the break in terms of the direct
20 However, I'd like to inform you that 5D273 is in the system and
21 that it does have a translation. That's the document that we discussed
22 earlier on.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE CHOWHAN: If we look at page 65 and there's mention about
25 dismissal of various people, even further on, because of weaknesses. Now,
1 General, could you kindly tell me what were those weaknesses which brought
2 about a drastic disciplinary action in terms of dismissals? I couldn't
3 catch that. Thank you very much.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge, I can tell you
5 that it mostly had to do with the overall situation in these brigades,
6 order, the organization of life, lack of discipline, sloppy military
7 appearances, then also not having the proper military appearance, and also
8 there was a fear as to whether the basic tasks would be implemented. So
9 the situation was such that it did not enable normal functioning and the
10 implementation of the basic task.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stefanovic. We need another break
12 at this stage. Could you again leave the courtroom, please, with the
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And we will resume at five minutes to 1.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. General, sir, I'll be asking you now to look at an OTP Exhibit,
22 P1306, and to comment on it. This is an order by the Pristina Corps
23 command dated the 16th of April, 1999. The order is about making sure the
24 civilian population were safe. Are you familiar with this document, sir?
25 At item 1 we see this special forces are to be set up in all corps units,
1 elements of combat disposition, or evacuating the civilian population.
2 Can you tell us what this is about. Were there elements like that across
3 the units?
4 A. Yes, this is a document by the Pristina Corps command and it talks
5 about making sure the civilian population were safe. There is an order to
6 set up special forces who will be elements of combat disposition for
7 protecting the civilian population.
8 Q. Was this applied in practice?
9 A. As far as I know, this worked very well in most of the subordinate
10 commands, in varying degrees obviously, but it worked well on the whole.
11 Q. Did the use of these elements from these units reduce in any way
12 their effectiveness in combat or weaken their strength?
13 A. Yes. This was a weakening of these units to some degree.
14 Q. Did the corps command take any other steps or issue any other
15 orders in order to protect the civilian population; and if so, what kind
17 A. The corps command took numerous measures to protect the civilian
18 population in areas that were affected by combat operations. Whenever
19 there were civilians turning up, regardless of the military action that
20 had been planned, the action would be stopped immediately, the objective
21 being to prevent the civilian population -- civilian facilities were never
22 fired at, the only and fundamental objective being to avoid civilian
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] When General Lazarevic testified, we
25 showed numerous documents to this effect. Your Honours, there is no need
1 to go back to these now. We shall be talking about these in our final
2 brief. We used a lot of different documents and we shall be citing those
3 documents, those exhibits, and their numbers in our final brief.
4 Q. Sir, did the Pristina Corps command order to its subordinate units
5 to comply with the international -- with international humanitarian law
6 and the laws and customs of law?
7 A. Yes, the corps command issued clear orders to that effect.
8 Q. General, I'll be asking you now to look at one of our exhibits,
9 and if you could please briefly try to explain, this is 5D1275. This is a
10 document produced by the technical service of the Pristina Corps, and the
11 name is expenditure in UbS and PGMS units of the Pristina Corps between
12 the 24th of March and the 10th of May, 1999.
13 First of all, can you tell us what these abbreviations stand for,
14 UbS and PGMS?
15 A. UbS means lethal assets, such as missiles, shells, rockets. The
16 other abbreviation, PGMS, this is material and fuels.
17 Q. Are you familiar with this document?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. We do not need to be looking at this now in great detail. I would
20 just like a brief explanation on the following. Is there some sort of a
21 norm or an order perhaps on amounts of lethal equipment and weapons that
22 were allowed; and if there is a norm, what is the norm?
23 A. In each combat order at all levels it is clearly defined how much
24 ammunition can be used up for a particular task, hence the order -- the
25 command of the Pristina Corps, the corps itself, every time there was a
1 task to be carried out, they would be assigned a certain amount of lethal
2 ammunition and equipment and fuel.
3 Q. What was the exact amount in relation to this period here, covered
4 by this document?
5 A. If I could look at the order, perhaps that would help me, but I
6 can try to explain. By talking about combat capacity, the Pristina
7 Corps's task was over the first seven days to neutralize 25 per cent of
8 Siptar targets. They needed a certain amount of ammunition or UbS, as the
9 document states, 0.74 combat sets. Over a 15-or 20-day period the
10 expenditure would have been over four combat sets and this could have been
11 used to neutralize 45.000 terrorist targets or facilities. So 15 to 20
12 days, 45.000 and the first period I talked about 2.500. Over the whole
13 duration of the war according to military doctrine and the expenditure of
14 ammunition and fuel according to universal standards, the expenditure
15 should have been about 20 combat sets or combat kits.
16 Now, as for the actual consumption of UbS by the corps it was less
17 than half a combat kit or to be more precise 0.41 combat kits. This is
18 actually less than what was planned for the first week and the plan for
19 the first week was 0.74 combat kits.
20 Q. What is the reason for this discrepancy in relation to the
21 original plan and in relation to what was actually allowed in terms of
22 combat kits?
23 A. The fundamental discrepancy in relation to UbS and the amount that
24 was used was extreme reserve that was applied by the army in the use of
25 weapons and equipment. It was used selectively and only when absolutely
1 necessary and indispensable and only when targets were clear and clearly
3 Q. When you say when the targets were clear and clearly observed,
4 General, we heard evidence here from a witness who preceded you, and one
5 thing that I'd like you to explain is this: We talked about fire support
6 or firing support. Can you tell us exactly how this is done?
7 A. Firing support is organized in the following way by the unit that
8 is actually receiving support. A firing unit that belongs to the unit
9 receiving support or another attached unit that is receiving support, a
10 firing unit, is within the combat disposition of the unit receiving
11 support, and the firing is guided by the commander of the unit receiving
12 support and at the request of that commander a defined target is
13 neutralized, as I said. One cannot open fire, was not allowed to open
14 fire, unless a target was uncovered and clearly defined.
15 Q. Is this what was applied in practice?
16 A. As far as I know, and based on reports received from subordinate
17 commanders, it worked like this to a very, very large extent.
18 Q. Thank you very much, General. Would you be so kind as to tell me
19 this: Who was responsible for mobilising a VJ unit, say a brigade?
20 A. Mobilisation is the most complex action that is imaginable within
21 an army -- well, within a society, if you like. If we're talking about
22 mobilising a brigade, whoever is in charge of carrying out mobilisation is
23 the responsible person, in this case it's the brigade commander. He
24 plans, he organizes, he carries out preparations, he exercises control,
25 and he eventually mobilises his own war unit. Military territorial
1 commands, on the other hand, keep files on the mobilisation and they call
2 up recruits and order them to join war units.
3 Q. Thank you very much, General. I would like to ask you to look at
4 an exhibit now, it's 5D218. This is a combat report and I have two
5 questions in relation to it. Firstly, this was produced by the Pristina
6 Corps command and the date is the 28th of April, 1999. We see that it was
7 sent to the 3rd Army command and to the Supreme Command Staff. From which
8 point in time on were such combat reports sent to both the 3rd Army
9 command and the Supreme Command Staff?
10 A. As far as I know, combat reports were sent at the same time to
11 both the 3rd Army command and the Supreme Command Staff after the landing
12 was staged from the Republic of Albania and part of the border was taken.
13 It's known as Operation Kosare, and this happened sometime on or about the
14 10th of April, if I'm not mistaken.
15 Q. So what was the reason for these reports to now start being sent?
16 A. The principal reason was to have a quick information flow and
17 because the situation along the state border was becoming more and more
18 complex. The Supreme Command Staff as was the command of the 3rd Army
19 wanted to have as much information and as accurate as they could on the
20 situation that prevailed along the state border.
21 Q. General, can we now please go to page 2 of this document. This
22 date is material to us, the 28th of April, since certain witnesses said
23 certain things. Can we just go together to the last page of this document
24 now. Last page, page 3, please. In the Serbian as well, please.
25 Now we have both in the Serbian, if we could get the English on
1 the right-hand side. Thank you.
2 General, sir, we saw this combat report dated the 28th of April,
3 and it appears to have been signed personally by General Lazarevic. Do
4 you recognise his signature, sir?
5 A. Yes, this is the signature of General Lazarevic, the corps
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we pull it up slightly, please.
8 Q. We see that the signature is on the left. What does that mean?
9 A. That means that this is a telegram.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please see when it was sent
11 based on the stamp.
12 Q. Can you tell?
13 A. The 28th of April, 1640 -- 1645.
14 Q. Was this sent from the Pristina Corps command in the Pristina
16 A. Yes, combat reports were produced at the command post of the
17 Pristina Corps.
18 Q. So General Lazarevic had to personally sign this telegram off
19 before it was sent at 1645 hours at the command post of the Pristina
21 A. Yes, that was the only way to send it. It could not have been
22 dispatched unless it had been signed.
23 Q. Thank you very much, General.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please now have Exhibit 5D261.
25 Q. We've heard witnesses from the 252nd Armoured Brigade, its
1 commander specifically, and the commander of the 211th. Are you familiar
2 with this document and what is it about? Pursuant to whose order were
3 elements of the 252nd and 211th Armoured Brigades sent to Kosovo and
4 Metohija by way of reinforcement and was this a legitimate decision at the
5 time, given the situation that the corps now found itself in?
6 A. Yes, this is a document produced by the General Staff of the VJ.
7 The date is the 13th of March, 1999. It is addressed to the army
8 commander. Because the security situation has become more complex
9 pursuant to article so-and-so for training and checking combat-readiness
10 of the VJ, I hereby order -- if we could please pull the document down
11 slightly so we can see the lower half.
12 All right. Item 4: "The 252nd Armoured Brigade from the 1st Army
13 to be resubordinated to the command of the 3rd Army according to plan and
14 plan is to be elaborated by the command of the 3rd Army and is to be
15 delivered to the General Staff of the VJ. And as far as the plan was
16 concerned, regulate all issues that have to do with resubordination."
17 Item 5: "Bring in the mechanised battalion of the 211th Armoured
18 Brigade from the Kursumlijska Banja sector to the Malo Kosovo sector
19 according to a plan established by the 3rd Army commander."
20 Q. So these are more smaller units and because the situation was
21 becoming more complex pursuant to Article 19 of the law on the VJ?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you very much, General. I think I only have one question
24 left. Let me just make sure, and that will then complete my
1 Maybe it might be a good idea to go to 5D475 first of all. This
2 is a document from 2001. Have a look, sir, and tell me if you recall this
3 document and were you involved in the developments described in this
4 document and then finally what is your position on this?
5 A. Yes, this is a request by the 3rd Army commander General Lazarevic
6 to be relieved of his duties as 3rd Army commander.
7 Q. And what would be the reason?
8 A. Well, the principal reason, and I know that full well because I
9 myself did the same thing, but it was about the position of Pristina Corps
10 commander because a civilian body was set up for Serbia south and a
11 civilian person was put in charge, a so-called coordination centre for
12 Serbia south and a -- and combined security forces, something called that
13 was actually set up so that the commander and the 3rd Army and the
14 Pristina Corps command were pushed on the margin of the command system,
15 and this was the principal reason that the 3rd Army commander, General
16 Lazarevic, and I as corps commander at the time put this in writing and
17 requested to be relieved of our duties. We were summoned for an interview
18 by the president of the state. There was several interviews and the
19 president changed this, so this was again returned to the command system
20 of the Pristina Corps and the 3rd Army command.
21 Q. Thank you very much, General.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
23 questions for this witness. Thank you.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Visnjic.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I just have
2 a few questions.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, General, sir.
5 A. Good day.
6 Q. General, my colleague Mr. Bakrac put questions to you about combat
7 reports that the Pristina Corps sent to the Supreme Command Staff and the
8 3rd Army. Am I correct if I say that the combat reports were drafted in
9 the operations centre of the Pristina Corps command?
10 A. Yes, you are.
11 Q. Thank you. And where were the reports of subordinate units to the
12 Pristina Corps received?
13 A. At the operations centre of the Pristina Corps command.
14 Q. Thank you. Once the reports by the subordinate units were
15 received, how was then a collective report drafted which the Pristina
16 Corps then sent to superior commands?
17 A. At the Pristina Corps command post, or to be more precise, in the
18 operations centre, there was a team that was organized for that purpose
19 and every day it received combat reports from subordinate units and then
20 it made a summary of these reports which were sent to -- which was sent to
21 the 3rd Army command and then for a while to the General Staff.
22 Q. Sir, we had some questions about other commands and even the
23 Pristina Corps command, but still I want to ask you this. The teams were
24 made up of officers from different branches; am I correct?
25 A. Yes. They changed, the composition changed, but all the deputies
1 or assistants and all the chiefs of the services of the corps command were
3 Q. Thank you, General. And the Pristina Corps security organs, did
4 they also participate in the drafting of the reports that went to the
5 superior organs?
6 A. Yes. The security organ and the assistant commander also took
7 part in the drafting of the summary report.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please look at
11 Q. This is a document from the 3rd Army of the 25th of May, 1999,
12 sent to the Supreme Command Staff. Did you see this document before?
13 A. Could I please look at page 2 or the end of page 1. I don't know
14 what the whole document looks like. No, no, this is a document of the 3rd
15 Army command, and I did not have the opportunity to see it before.
16 Q. All right. Then I would like to ask you about something that is
17 mentioned in the document, perhaps you can help me with that.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 2, paragraph 4,
19 please. Can we also look at page 2 in the English, same paragraph.
20 Q. General, can you please look at paragraph 4, it's not necessary
21 for us to read it into the transcript. We can see what it's about. My
22 question is this: At this time in May 1999, were you aware of the
23 information contained in paragraph 4 of this document, P1459?
24 A. No. As a whole, I'm not familiar with the document.
25 Q. Very well. General, did you know that as a consequence of
1 non-compliance with the resubordination order some MUP members, and to a
2 considerable extent, entire smaller units which operate independently on
3 the ground were committing serious crimes against the Siptar population,
4 civilian population; did you know that?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you. And did you know that these acts, serious crimes, were
7 deliberately ascribed to individuals and units from the Army of
8 Yugoslavia, were you aware of that at the time?
9 A. No, no.
10 Q. Thank you, General. Can you please look at the form of the
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at the entire document,
13 please. Can we also look at the Serbian version, the bottom of the
14 document and a little bit to the left. Thank you.
15 Q. General, looking at the document, the way it's drafted, and these
16 initials on the left-hand side, can you please tell us the origin of the
17 document perhaps, where was it drafted?
18 A. This is the stamp of the 3rd Army command. I assume that it was
19 drafted at the command post or the forward command post of the 3rd Army.
20 Q. Thank you, General, sir. General, are you aware that at this time
21 when the document was drafted in late May there was a group of officers
22 headed by Generals Velickovic and Simic at the Pristina Corps command?
23 A. Yes, I'm aware that this team from the Supreme Command Staff was
25 Q. Did you meet them? We were told - I think we did have testimony
1 to that effect - that at the end of the inspection there was a meeting
2 held with senior officers of the Pristina Corps. Did you attend that
4 A. No, I did not. I was probably out on some other task.
5 Q. Thank you, General. You were questioned by my colleague
6 Mr. Bakrac about resubordination, and you talked about the period in late
7 May 1999.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would ask the witness now to be
9 shown document 3D700.
10 Q. General, this is a document sent to the Supreme Command Staff from
11 the 3rd Army command informing them that certain efforts were made to
12 eliminate certain weaknesses reported during the control of the group with
13 General Velickovic noted during the tour. The document dates from the 3rd
14 of June, 1999, and I would like to ask you to look at page 2 of this
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please rotate the document
17 for the witness.
18 Q. This is a plan to eliminate the weaknesses or shortcomings. If we
19 look at this chart we can see columns where in columns 3, 4, 5, and 6
20 there are certain elements given of the plan. General, could you please
21 tell us what this is supposed to mean in the heading of column 4, bearer?
22 A. Well, the name -- the person responsible for a particular task.
23 Q. So that would be somebody who would be carrying it out?
24 A. Well, no. It would be the person who would be responsible for the
25 implementation, but the actual executors would be persons along in the
1 depth. He's only responsible for the execution so --
2 Q. And then the column cooperating?
3 A. Yes, cooperating in the execution of set measures.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 3, please.
5 Q. The first column says: "Ensure a single command over all the
6 forces in the zone of responsibility. MUP forces are to be resubordinated
7 to the brigade commands."
8 Bearer: "Corps command."
9 Cooperating: "3rd Army command."
10 Dead-line: "Immediately."
11 My question, General, is this, it has to do with a part of your
12 testimony on resubordination. Pursuant to this order, then in early June,
13 did you take measures to resubordinate the MUP units to the Pristina
15 A. Yes. This continued throughout that period. Later I said that
16 among the last actions - and that was Drenica 1 - there was an attempt to
17 resubordinate the MUP to the army.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
20 questions for this witness.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
22 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we did not notify you
23 of our intention to question this witness, we did not mean to do that, but
24 I would like to ask the witness two or three questions about something
25 that is on the list of Mr. Visnjic and it is something that arises from
1 his cross-examination.
2 Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] General, good day.
5 A. Good day.
6 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at document P1458
7 in e-court.
8 Q. General, could you please look at this document. What I'm
9 interested in is this dash or paragraph that is fifth down. Could you
10 please read that particular paragraph and then I will ask you something
11 about that later. It begins with the words: "The work of mixed
12 check-points ..."
13 A. Yes, I've read it, yes.
14 Q. General, will you please answer if you personally and the Pristina
15 Corps command were informed of this, did the Pristina Corps command have
16 this information?
17 A. The Pristina Corps command drafted this document on the basis of a
18 section of a report from the subordinate commands. I personally did not
19 take part in the drafting of this document, but I know that that was used
20 as the basis for drafting this document.
21 Q. Thank you, General, sir.
22 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 2 of this
23 document, and we would like to look at the last or last-paragraph-but-one,
25 Q. The last paragraph is similar to what my colleague Mr. Visnjic
1 asked you about resubordination. Does this correspond to the information
2 that you or the Pristina Corps command had at the time?
3 A. I would like to ask you to tell me specifically what you are
4 thinking of.
5 Q. The last paragraph.
6 A. You can see here that the corps commander is informing the army
7 commander that the resubordination of the police to the military was not
8 as yet carried out.
9 Q. General, thank you. Just one more question. According to what
10 you know, was this paragraph written on the basis of information you
11 received from regular combat reports from subordinate commands, from
13 A. All reports like this or orders were based on reports from
14 subordinate unit commands.
15 Q. Thank you, General.
16 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
17 questions for this witness.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Aleksic.
19 Mr. Ivetic.
20 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
22 Q. Sir, my name is Dan Ivetic, and as counsel for Sreten Lukic I will
23 have some questions for you. If we could stay with this document that my
24 colleague has shown you, if we could return to the first page of the
25 same. At page 80, line 23 and 24 of the transcript you stated and
1 testified that the Pristina Corps command drafted this document on the
2 basis of a section of a report from the subordinate commands.
3 How do you know that? That is to say, can you identify any
4 reports that you personally are aware of from subordinate commands talking
5 of the MUP committing murders and rape at mixed check-points from
6 subordinate commands?
7 A. Yes. Such a report was sent to the corps command from the
8 commander of the 37th Brigade.
9 Q. From what date?
10 A. In May.
11 Q. And is it your testimony that that report explicitly stated that
12 at mixed check-points the MUP was committing murder, rape, looting,
13 robbery, and all the other items listed in this section of the -- of this
15 A. No, no, I cannot say that explicitly until I read the report that
16 is being looked at.
17 Q. Okay. If we could return to --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what are you saying it reported?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the commander of the
20 37th Motorised Brigade reported several times orally and in written that
21 he was having problems in his area or zone of responsibility with the
22 members of the MUP; this is something that I do know. As for details,
23 robberies, crimes, this is something that I really can't talk about until
24 I read the relevant report. He did not inform me personally about that,
25 there was no reason for him to do that.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
2 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. If we could return just briefly to P1459, that was the document
4 from the 3rd Army. And if we could again turn to the second page and
5 paragraph 4 of both the Serbian and the English. Mr. Visnjic asked you if
6 you knew of these allegations. I want to ask you a different question
7 once this document comes up.
8 General, do the allegations contained in paragraph 4 of this
9 document comport to the actual situation out in the field during the
10 course of the war as you evidence it going out, as you said, with teams to
11 deal with resubordination? Does this accurately reflect what you and
12 others eye-witnessed out in the field during the course of the war?
13 A. My -- I'm unable to confirm this in its entirety. Spending time
14 in the units and regular combat reports from certain commands provided an
15 opportunity to know this, but I cannot assert that it was exactly the way
16 it is stated here.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, I'm afraid we'll need to return to that
19 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stefanovic, we have to break at this stage
21 because another court occupies -- another case occupies this court this
22 afternoon and this is our dead-line. That means you have to return
23 tomorrow to continue your evidence, and that will be at 9.00 tomorrow
24 morning, same courtroom.
25 Meanwhile, between now and then it is vital you have no
1 communication of any kind with anybody about the evidence in this case.
2 Talk about other things; evidence is off limits completely and that's any
3 aspect of the evidence. Now could you please leave the courtroom with the
4 usher, and we'll see you tomorrow at 9.00.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 6th day of
8 February, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.