Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10430

 1                           Thursday, 4 March 2010

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The witness takes the stand]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Good morning to everybody in and around the

 7     courtroom.

 8             Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good morning to

10     everyone in and around the courtroom.  This is case number IT-04-81-T,

11     the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic thank you.

12             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you so much.  Could we have the appearances

13     for the day, starting with the Prosecution.

14             MR. THOMAS:  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good morning everyone.

15     Barney Thomas, Carmela Javier, and Dan Saxon for the Prosecution.

16             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you very much, Mr. Thomas.  And for the

17     Defence.

18             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.  Good

19     morning everyone.  Mr. Perisic is represented today by Novak Lukic,

20     Gregor Guy-Smith, Tina Drolec, and Boris Zorko.

21                           WITNESS:  STAMENKO NIKOLIC [Resumed]

22                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Good morning to you, Mr. Nikolic.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.

25             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Let me remind you that you are bound by the

Page 10431

 1     declaration you made at the beginning of your testimony yesterday to tell

 2     the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the truth.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm fully aware of that.

 4             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Just before I call you, Mr. Lukic, just to find

 5     out from Madam stenographer, I see there isn't any of your colleagues

 6     outside.  Can we go on?  Thank you.

 7             THE COURT REPORTER:  Yes.

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Lukic.

 9                           Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]

10        Q.   [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.  We're going to

11     continue where we left off two days ago, and now I'd like to give you a

12     binder with the documents that we are going to work on.  I have already

13     shown that to my learned friends from the Prosecution, so we can

14     immediately pass it on to the witness.

15             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we have on our

16     screens again Defence document 01113D page 12 in B/C/S and page 16 in

17     English.

18        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, that's the rule of responsibilities that we already

19     saw.  Can you please move to Article 26, which is on page 19 in your hard

20     copy.

21             We'll go back to the subject that we left off when we suspended

22     your examination.  Can you just give me -- we discussed the subject of

23     material and market inspection.  You have given us some general answers

24     concerning this organisational unit of the Ministry of Defence.  You

25     remember that this is where we left off.  You gave us a general comment

Page 10432

 1     on Article 26.  Now, as a follow-up and in order to finish this subject

 2     and this document, I would kindly ask you to comment on item 1 which

 3     reads that:

 4             "This financial and market inspection controls the drafting and

 5     the implementation of the budget of the Yugoslav Army, the harmonisation

 6     of the budget with the plans for development, building, and equipping the

 7     Yugoslav Army and the efficient use of the budget funds in the units and

 8     installations of the Yugoslav Army."

 9             Can you tell us how that inspection operated specifically with

10     regard to these tasks?

11        A.   The financial market inspection is an organ of the Federal

12     Ministry of Defence.  As you said it yourself, its responsibility is to

13     carry out tasks entrusted to it as their responsibility.  Based on these

14     rules and other laws that pertain to the responsibility of the MOD, what

15     it stems from here, it means that it oversees the entire financial and

16     material operations of all organisational units of the MOD and the

17     Yugoslav Army.  The focus here is on financial inspection and control of

18     the budget.  The budget is being prepared in order to be adopted by the

19     highest authority in the country, which is the Federal Assembly.

20        Q.   Item 2 says that this controls the expenditure of budget funds

21     for each purpose.  My question is:  Who is it that defines the purposes

22     of the budget, and can you enumerate them?

23        A.   When proposing a budget, the General Staff of the VJ, at the

24     request of the Ministry of Defence, more precisely the administration for

25     finances and budget of the federal MOD, requests the General Staff of the

Page 10433

 1     Yugoslav Army to put down their requirements with regard to assets that

 2     have to be included in the budget according to specify purposes.  These

 3     proposals put together with the proposals coming from organisational

 4     units of the Ministry of Defence are then submitted to the minister of

 5     defence for approval.  If the minister of defence endorses these

 6     proposals, then a follow-up procedure is implemented.  These kind of

 7     proposal is then submitted to the federal government.

 8        Q.   Thank you.

 9        A.   If you allow me an additional explanation.  You asked me who

10     decides the purposes and who approves the plan.  That is actually the

11     next stage after the budget has been adopted by the Federal Assembly.

12     Then the responsible department of the federal government, in this

13     particular case the Ministry of Defence, adopts a plan specifying the

14     purposes of the use of budget.  In this particular interest, the

15     General Staff of the VJ has no influence any longer on the amount of

16     budget and the purposes provided this has been verified by the Assembly

17     and the minister of defence.

18        Q.   Later on we shall come back to the budget again.  Can you please

19     comment on Article 8.  It says that this administration --

20        A.   Article 8?

21        Q.   Item 8, and it says that this administration oversees the

22     expenditure, budget expenditures.  Can you tell me who submits reports on

23     the expenditure?

24        A.   The expenditure reports relating to the budget on behalf of

25     organisational units, the General Staff of the VJ is submitted by the 5th

Page 10434

 1     Administration of the General Staff of the VJ pertaining to the General

 2     Staff, and as for other organisational units of the units, the officials

 3     or the heads of these organisational units of the Ministry of Defence do

 4     that.

 5        Q.   Thank you.

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I've finished with this document, and

 7     I would like to tender it into evidence.

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  The document is admitted into evidence.  May it

 9     please be given a exhibit number.

10             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours this shall be assigned Exhibit D240.

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you.  Yes, Mr. Lukic.

12             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   Let us look at another document which is the Law on Defence of

14     the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  Can we please have P1183, page 4 in

15     the B/C/S and page 6 in English, and the specific articles that I would

16     like you to look at, sir, are first Article 42.  Can you just give me a

17     brief comment.

18        A.   Can you please enlarge it.

19        Q.   All right.  We are going to enlarge Article 42, which relates to

20     the federal government.  Can you see it now?

21        A.   The federal government.  Article 42?  Yes, I can see it.

22        Q.   Can you tell us just in few words what is the essence of the Law

23     on Defence, what it governs, and what kind of provisions it contains.

24        A.   The Law on Defence of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is one

25     of the series of laws adopted on the basis of the constitution of the FRY

Page 10435

 1     of the 27th April 1992.  It is a precursor of the Law on the Army of

 2     Yugoslavia.

 3             In this particular article, 42, all the obligations have been set

 4     out very precisely, including the tasks of the federal government.  What

 5     is important for the Army of Yugoslavia and the ministry is contained

 6     under Item 1 of this article which says that the federal government shall

 7     implement federal laws and other regulations adopted by the Federal

 8     Assembly that relate to the country's defence.

 9             There's a particular item that refers to the Army of Yugoslavia,

10     which is item 2.

11        Q.   Just a moment, please.  This law is self-explanatory, as well as

12     the provisions.  Can you please comment item 6 because it is related to

13     the topic that we have been discussing.  Can you tell us what are the

14     responsibilities of the federal government when it comes to material and

15     finance funds mentioned under item 6.

16        A.   In fact, responsibilities of the General Staff and the federal

17     government of the FRY are separated here, and it is precisely set out in

18     item 6 which says that it is in charge of securing required material and

19     financial resources for implementing the country's defence plan and

20     securing the federal commodity reserves for the country's needs in case

21     of a war, an imminent threat of war or state of emergency, as well as for

22     financing other aspects which are of particular importance for the

23     country's defence.

24        Q.   Thank you.  Let us now take a look at Article 43.  I'm not going

25     to ask you to make particular analysis of this article which speaks about

Page 10436

 1     the responsibilities of the MOD, except that I would like to as you to

 2     give us an example relating to this introductory paragraph and explain to

 3     us what does it mean when it says here:

 4             "The Federal Minister of Defence performs the following

 5     administrative and specialist tasks relating to the implementation of the

 6     country's defence policy."

 7             What does that mean specifically?

 8        A.   Article 43 defines the tasks and obligations of the Ministry of

 9     Defence that relate to the implementation of the defence policy.  When we

10     speak about administrative and specialist tasks, administrative means

11     that the minister of defence, as the person in charge of the ministry, is

12     entitled to adopt all kinds of enactments, orders and decisions relating

13     to the implementation of the defence policy; whereas professional

14     specialty tasks means that organisational units of the same ministry

15     within their purview of the ministry make proposals for certain

16     enactments, documents, and rules and regulation to be adopted and which

17     are required to fulfil all the obligations that are within the

18     jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence.

19        Q.   Thank you.  Can you just comment Article 44.

20             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for your benefit, it's

21     at the end of the page that we see now, and it goes on to page 7, but I

22     think what we see on this particular page will be sufficient, and I would

23     like the witness to comment on this.

24        Q.   General, Article 44 speaks about inspection that we already

25     discussed when we spoke about organisational units.  I am particular

Page 10437

 1     interested in hearing your comment on item 2 which reads:

 2              "The implementation of decisions and enactments rendered by the

 3     President of the Republic, the Supreme Defence Council and the federal

 4     government."

 5        A.   Article 44 of this Law on Defence explicitly provides for the

 6     Federal Ministry of Defence, in addition to its other duties and

 7     responsibilities, that it is obliged to implement the decisions and

 8     enactments rendered by the president of the republic, the Supreme Defence

 9     Council, and the federal government.  That means that the highest

10     authority or the organ of command and control, which is the Supreme

11     Defence Council and whose obligations are set out by the constitution,

12     this implies that its duty is to implement them to the letter.  This also

13     relates to the decisions taken by the federal government, which means if

14     the president of the republic based -- adopted a decision based on the

15     decision adopted by the Supreme Defence Council.

16        Q.   Let me -- let us just be more accurate.  Pursuant to this

17     article, if the Supreme Defence Council and the Commander-in-Chief adopts

18     a certain decision, who is in charge of overseeing the implementation of

19     that decision and to whom they send notice if any notice is required to

20     be sent with regard to the implementation?

21        A.   A while ago we spoke about the inspection, but we only focused on

22     one aspect, which was financial and market inspections.  Here we are

23     talking about the jurisdiction of the administration for civilian

24     defence, which says that everything that this administration for civilian

25     defence does and the documents that it prepares for the federal

Page 10438

 1     government, it is the Ministry of Defence that carries out inspection to

 2     check whether the enactments and laws relating to the defence of the

 3     country are being implemented in line with the law and the decisions of

 4     the Supreme Defence Council.

 5        Q.   And if they find out that the Supreme Defence Council's decision

 6     or the decisions of the Commander-in-Chief are not being implemented as

 7     provided, what shall it do?

 8        A.    The inspection in charge of the Federal Ministry of Defence, if

 9     in the course of inspection and control finds out that there has been a

10     breach of law or that the decision of the Supreme Defence Council has

11     been violated, they submit their report to the minister of defence as the

12     person in charge to instigate certain measures as provided by the law.

13     Which particular measures are going to be taken depends on the decision

14     of the minister of defence.

15             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Let me just ask, who are the "they" that are

16     referred to in the question and answer at this point?  The question

17     reads:  "And if they find out that."  Who are "they"?

18             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I was referring to the witness's

19     previous answer where he mentioned the inspection service of the Ministry

20     of Defence which he called the civilian -- but let us have the witness

21     tell us this.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the inspection

23     service of defence is directly subordinated to the minister of defence.

24     It is made up of three, actually, inspection units:  The civilian defence

25     inspection unit, the civil engineering and construction inspection unit,

Page 10439

 1     and the financial and market inspection unit.

 2             Here we are talking particular about -- particularly about the

 3     civilian defence inspection unit, because this is within their remit.

 4     And as I said, this is part of the inspection department as one of the

 5     ministry's departments.

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Now, you said this is --

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please, Your Honour.

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I'm sorry.  You said this department makes its

 9     inspections, and at page 9, lines 8 to 9, you say they submit their

10     report to the minister of defence as the person in charge to instigate

11     certain measures as provided by the law.  And what then does the minister

12     do once that investigation has been done with the results of the

13     investigation?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when a report is

15     submitted to the defence minister, and when one reviews all of the

16     problems of what nature, what the degree of responsibility entailed might

17     be, what the subject matter is, he will then decide whether this is

18     something that belongs to his area of work and whether he has the powers

19     to conclude whether it is possible that certain areas, in certain

20     sectoral units can be remedied swiftly and with no consequences.  He then

21     adopts a decision and sets deadlines for these areas to be remedied.

22             If there is any sort of responsibility involved, in the sense of

23     violations of certain laws and regulations, the minister then takes other

24     measures that are available under the prevailing laws.  This can be

25     criminal responsibility.  This can be material responsibility, or other

Page 10440

 1     types of liability regulated by all these specific laws and regulations.

 2             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Let me make sure I understand you, and I'm going

 3     to put a scenario to you, and I would like you to tell me whether it is

 4     correct or incorrect.

 5             Earlier I thought you said that the Ministry of Defence

 6     implements orders from the SDC, from the president, and from the federal

 7     government; am I right thus far?  Right.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 9             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Now, if in I am pleating those orders this is

10     these violations of laws, is it your testimony that neither the president

11     nor the Supreme Defence Council, nor the federal government have

12     supervisory powers over the Ministry of Defence, that the Ministry of

13     Defence will then have to supervise itself through this department that

14     conducts the investigation, make a report to the minister, and the

15     minister will decide whether the results are within his jurisdiction or

16     whether he must pass them on to somebody else.  There is nobody who

17     supervises the minister?  Is that your testimony?  Do I understand your

18     testimony correctly?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, your question merits

20     an additional explanation.  If I may, I will try to explain.

21             What we're looking at here is this:  It's not about the fact that

22     there is no other form of supervision above the minister.  The minister

23     answers to the prime minister, that is, the federal government.  The

24     federal government, depending on the sector in question, are we talking

25     about finances, are we talking about other types of decisions, are we

Page 10441

 1     talking about material violations, has its own financial supervision or

 2     control.  Likewise, these decisions or responsibilities of the defence

 3     minister go through the federal government and all the way to the Federal

 4     Assembly.  The Federal Assembly is the supreme legislative body.  There

 5     are certain committees that are part of the Federal Assembly such as the

 6     budget control committee, as well as safety and protection committee.

 7             Depending on the sector, the appropriate federal bodies do this

 8     on behalf of the prime minister, and the government in its turn is

 9     supervised or, if you like, under the control of the Federal Assembly.

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Lukic.

11             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   General, do you know if the federal defence minister was involved

13     in the work of the Supreme Defence Council?  Did you have any direct

14     first-hand knowledge of that?

15        A.   Under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the

16     defence minister is not a member of the Supreme Defence Council.

17     Nevertheless, when matters of exceptional importance are reviewed from

18     the domain of the federal government's work and the appropriate ministry,

19     the defence minister takes part in the work of the Supreme Defence

20     Council.

21        Q.   Thank you.  There is another document that I would like us to

22     look at just to round this off.  This is a Defence exhibit, D114, the Law

23     on Property on the -- of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

24             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in keeping with your

25     earlier guidelines, we tendered only a part of this law, not the law in

Page 10442

 1     its entirety, and I'm now willing to go through no more than a couple of

 2     articles and paragraphs with this witness.  For that purpose, we have a

 3     draft translation into English of some of these articles and provisions.

 4     I would like to ask you, therefore, to follow the draft translation for

 5     the articles in question, then once we receive an official translation,

 6     it will tender as a whole.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Just explain something, Mr. Lukic.  How come it

 8     already has an exhibit number if it's got only a draft translation?

 9             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm happy to explain, Your Honour.

10     We have D114, which is an exhibit.  It contains no more than several

11     paragraphs of this law.  When we were working with Mr. Starcevic, you

12     instructed us to comment on no more than a couple of paragraphs from one

13     portion of the law.  And now we want to go through another couple of

14     articles with this witness, and that's why we have no more than draft

15     translation.  We did not have a complete translation.  You remember that

16     we criticised this practice earlier on.  We do believe that laws should

17     be tendered in their entirety, but the translation service and your

18     guidelines kept us from having the entire law translated, and this also

19     happens to be the case with the Law on Property, the one that I'm dealing

20     with right now.  Only a handful of the actual articles have been

21     tendered, and what we are facing now is another set of articles of the

22     same law.

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  And it means the articles you are about to deal

24     with do not form part of D114.  Then you must give them a 65 ter number,

25     and they will be admitted as a separate exhibit, or you can request that

Page 10443

 1     they be added to D114.  But you can't -- you can't call them part of 114

 2     if they have been tendered yet.  D114 is only those that have been

 3     tendered so far.

 4             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The B/C/S is complete, and you are

 5     quite right, D114 contains only those articles that have so far been

 6     translated into English.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Are you saying to me that D114 in the B/C/S is the

 8     complete act, and the English is only translation of certain articles?

 9     Can't be that.  Shouldn't be that.  The English version should be exactly

10     the same as the B/C/S.  You can't, you can't tender the whole in the

11     B/C/S and -- and just give a part in the English.

12             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Your Honour.  I fully

13     understand what you're saying.  Please allow me to just check what

14     exactly the situation is and then we can deal with the Registry.

15             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, you may do so.

16             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think you are right.  What we have

17     in the B/C/S of D114 is merely a portion of that law and not the law in

18     its entirety.

19             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Do you want to check that with the Registry?

20             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

21             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Do so.

22             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, maybe it would be a

23     good idea to take the opportunity during the break to talk to the

24     Registry, and maybe they have a proposal for us on how to tender this

25     document into evidence; but we might either give it a 65 ter number or

Page 10444

 1     perhaps just link this up with the existing Exhibit D114, of course as

 2     long as Your Honour agrees.

 3             JUDGE MOLOTO:  [Microphone not activated] ... during the break,

 4     Mr. Lukic, but in the future just make sure that what is tendered, the

 5     B/C/S is identical to the English, a whole --

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers]

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  -- a part this side.

 8             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'll try not to further complicate

 9     matters.  You realise that we have a lot of documents in our 65 ter list

10     that are -- are already parts of some P documents tendered by the OTP.

11     Perhaps the Chamber should think about what they might find useful in

12     their work.  Would it be better to have it marked as item 1 of the Law on

13     Property, a part of which is in D114 and now a new number?  Personally, I

14     think that it would be much easier for us, for each of us to analyse this

15     later on if we just get an added number for this.  This is just my

16     proposal, but maybe I should check later on with the Registry whether

17     that is indeed the most helpful course of action we can take.

18             JUDGE MOLOTO:  What you are now proposing to deal with with this

19     witness, it's not the balance of the entire act.  It's a few other

20     articles of the act.  So if you knew you were going to use these articles

21     also, they should have formed part of D114 even though you may not have

22     dealt with them -- with these particular articles at that time, because

23     you might have known that you are going to deal with these with this

24     witness, and they would have then formed one exhibit.

25             Now that that has not happened, I think, and I'm also saying this

Page 10445

 1     subject to correction, that it might perhaps be better when finally this

 2     is admitted to be made part of D114 so that they are keep at one place,

 3     articles of the same act are kept at one place.  But I would ask the team

 4     to try to ensure that at the first admission of a part, the entire part

 5     that is going to be needed is admitted.  Then when you refer to that

 6     exhibit later, it's already in.

 7             Thank you.

 8             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I fully understand.  Thank you.

 9        Q.   Sir -- Mr. Nikolic, we have this in front of us and the

10     Trial Chamber only has the corresponding articles.  Can you tell us the

11     name of this law in front of you and when it was adopted, when it was

12     published?  The Chamber also has that in English, I believe.

13        A.   It's called "Decree on adoption of law on the property of the

14     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  It was adopted in 1993 and published in

15     the Official Gazette of the SRJ, number 19, dated the 23rd of July, 1993.

16     The law normally comes into force eight days after its publication.  So

17     that's how you should see this in context.

18        Q.   Can you please comment on Article 2.  What is it in relation to,

19     and what sort of property are we talking about, property of the Federal

20     Republic of Yugoslavia?  Just a minute, please.

21             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe you are now

22     looking at the draft translation and should be able to follow.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Article 2, the Law on Property of

24     the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia --

25             MR. THOMAS:  Your Honours, General, I'm sorry to interrupt.  The

Page 10446

 1     transcript refers to Article 2, but I have Article 38 on the screen.

 2             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You are supposed to have been given a hard copy.

 3             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's the hard copy.

 4             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Lukic should pass --

 5             MR. THOMAS:  That's what I need, Your Honours.  Thank you.  My

 6     apologies, Counsel.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you, Mr. Thomas.

 8             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 9        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, please proceed.

10        A.   Thank you.  Article 2 of the law precisely envisages in paragraph

11     1 what constitutes the property of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

12     This comprises the possession of things, real estate and movable

13     property, monetary assets, commercial notes and other ownership rights

14     both domestically and foreign whose holder is the Federal Republic of

15     Yugoslavia.

16             Paragraph 2 specifies which bodies are to be considered the

17     federal bodies and services in the sense of this law.  The Federal

18     Assembly, the president of the republic, the federal government, the

19     federal ministries, the Federal Court, the federal state prosecutor, the

20     national bank of Yugoslavia, the federal constitutional courts and the

21     other federal bodies as envisaged in this law.

22        Q.   Paragraph 2 of Article 1 tells us about these monetary funds.

23     Can you please now comment on Article 40.  I believe you should have that

24     in front of you, sir.  Article 40, please.

25        A.   Monetary assets.  Article 40 defines these monetary assets.  It

Page 10447

 1     says that these are assets secured by the federal budget for the purpose

 2     of financing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its operations.  All

 3     of this has to be in keeping with the federal law.

 4        Q.   What about the salaries?  Are the salaries, too, part of the

 5     budget, and are they part of these monetary assets?

 6        A.   By all means.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Could we move on to Article 45.  It's on the same

 8     page, I believe, in the draft translation.

 9        A.   May I?

10        Q.   Yes.  Yes.  I'm expecting your answer.

11        A.   Article 45 of this law talks about the supervision of the

12     implementation of the enactments of this law and other federal laws

13     relative to the acquisition, use, management, and dispensation of FRY

14     property.  This links up with Article 7 or refers to Article 7.  As far

15     as I know, Article 7 refers to the Federal Justice Ministry.  But if I

16     may just provide an additional explanation, please.

17             The law provides for the fact that the Federal Justice Ministry

18     does not have this sort of power over the federal defence ministry.

19     Rather, it's the minister with his inspections which is something that we

20     covered a minute ago.

21             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we've been looking at

22     this document now and I would like to mark it with the 65 ter number

23     03321D.  I move that the document be MFI'd for the time being, and once

24     we have received a complete translation, we shall see what course of

25     action is best taken with documents such as this one that were

Page 10448

 1     provisionally MFI'd.

 2             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Then 0 --

 3             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the President, please.

 4             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I'm awfully sorry.

 5             Document 03321D is admitted into evidence, marked for

 6     identification.  May it please be given an exhibit number.

 7                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Lukic, it looks like this is causing serious

 9     problems within the -- within Registry, and is it possible for you to

10     tender this once we have got the official translation?  Then it can

11     become straight part of D114 at that stage rather than give it a separate

12     65 ter number and a separate exhibit number.

13             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Fine.  Fantastic.  Thank you,

14     Your Honour.  I think that proposal is great, and that's precisely the

15     course of action that I will take.

16        Q.   Let's move on to more specific matters, General, which is

17     something that we mentioned two days ago, but let's try to talk about the

18     salaries and get to the gist of it, fringe benefits for the Federal Army

19     of Yugoslavia under the existing laws.

20             Can we please move on to the law on the army, which is an

21     exhibit, P197.  Article 71.  In the B/C/S it's page 7, and in the English

22     it's pages 17 and 18.  Article 71.  May we please have a look.

23             Sir, what salaries are there?  What forms do these salaries take,

24     or what is the basis for these salaries for members of the Army of

25     Yugoslavia?

Page 10449

 1             Hold on a second, sir.

 2             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is at the bottom

 3     of the page.  It's exactly the right portion in English, the one that we

 4     have on our screens now.  Article 71, paragraph 1.  This will be perfect

 5     for you to follow.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What makes up the salary of a

 7     professional member of the VJ?  That is specifically envisaged in

 8     Article 71 of the law on the VJ.  What we find here is the elements of

 9     the salary.  By the same token, the salaries of the professional members

10     of the VJ comprise a part of the salary as defined by the rank, a part of

11     the salary as defined by the relative position of this member within the

12     VJ, a military supplement, which is also part of the salary, and there is

13     another part of the salary that may or may not be due on account of a

14     particular position that a member holds within the VJ.

15        Q.   In view of these elements, were the salaries calculated for each

16     and every member of the VJ based on these criteria?

17        A.   As I said yesterday, regarding the way the salaries were

18     calculated and paid, more specific standards are to be found in the

19     decree on the salaries of the professional members of the VJ.  And this

20     was a document adopted by the federal government.  What follows, based on

21     all of that, is that the salaries of the professional members of the VJ

22     were different in terms of the actual amounts in terms of how high the

23     salaries were.  Those were the higher rank that were a more important

24     duty.  Those closer to their retirement age or those occupying a

25     particularly important position would, as a rule, have higher salaries.

Page 10450

 1     For that to be codified and made into a law, one needed to have certain

 2     legal documents first.  So this decree now regulates that.  It's the

 3     order on the establishment of a certain individual, the assignment of a

 4     certain individuals to a certain establishment post within the system,

 5     and this position is defined exactly under the establishment.

 6        Q.   Let us try to illustrate this in the most graphic manner

 7     possible.  Given the rank system, I thin that should be pretty clear,

 8     nevertheless; for example, we have a colonel who works at the military

 9     institute for geography.  Does this person have the same salary as the --

10             THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Sorry, Mr. Lukic.  You said, "Does this person

12     have the same salary as the," and the sentence is not finished but the

13     witness has answered, he said, No.

14             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   So does he have the same salary as a colonel who works as the

16     chief of the first administration of the sector for operations and staff

17     affairs of the General Staff of the VJ.  By way of example, yesterday,

18     rather a few days ago, oh, yes, we had General Simic, who was

19     lieutenant-colonel at the time, meaning we want to know about his salary,

20     and for example, another colonel who is, as I said by way of an example,

21     worked in an institute or something like that.

22        A.   Your Honours, this requires some more detailed explanation.  In

23     order to understand better the reasons for this, we should refer to this

24     fourth element of the salary when I was explaining the components of

25     salary.

Page 10451

 1             The director of the military geographical institute, for example,

 2     holds a different position, has different tasks, physical and mental, and

 3     also different responsibilities as compared to the head of the

 4     administration or deputy head of administration in an operational

 5     administration.  This allowance expressed in percentage varies.  For

 6     example, in one case it would be 15 per cent of the basic salary, and

 7     that would apply to the director of the military geographical institute;

 8     whereas the person employed in the first administration, this percentage

 9     would be, for example, 20 per cent.

10             Similarly, as per establishment, we have post-related groups

11     although we have personnel with same ranks.  It nevertheless means that

12     according to establishment in the military geographical institute, a

13     colonel working there would be in post-related group number 9.  Those

14     working in the first administration would be in post-related group number

15     7, and pursuant to that, he would receive a higher allowance.  I hope

16     this was clear.

17        Q.   I think so.  Now, do we also have the length of service as one of

18     the elements that affect the pay as mentioned in the law?

19             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Isn't that self explanatory?

20             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No problem, Your Honours.

21        Q.   We said that the military allowances provided in Article 74 and

22     the law is very precise in that respect.  Can you tell us what the annual

23     vacation allowance is?  Is that another fringe benefit that -- or

24     entitlement?  Where it is mentioned in the law?

25        A.   During the period when this law on the VJ army was in force,

Page 10452

 1     there was certain remuneration or the so-called annual leave allowance

 2     was provided, and that was one of the fringe benefits payable to the

 3     personnel.  This was governed by the federal government decree on

 4     salaries and other fringe benefits.

 5        Q.   Very well.  Can we please look at Article 211, page 53 in

 6     English, page 18 in B/C/S.  What kind of benefits derive from the status

 7     of members of the personnel with respect to social security and other

 8     forms of insurance and security provisions?

 9        A.   Yes, I have found this.

10        Q.   So can you tell us what kind of social security are provided for

11     military personnel under the law?

12        A.   According to the law on the Yugoslav Army, there is an area which

13     we call area number 3 of the law on the army and that relates to social

14     security issues.  It is made up of three elements:  Health insurance,

15     pension, and disability insurance.

16             Since you mentioned Article 201, it regulates health insurance of

17     military personnel, military academy cadets, students of secondary

18     military school, trainees of reserve officer schools and individuals in

19     the reserve forces.

20             Now, from Article 217 onwards, we have health protection issues

21     and provisions of professional soldiers, commissioned and

22     non-commissioned officers, contract soldiers and military personnel in

23     retirement.

24        Q.   What are the rights that the families of military personnel enjoy

25     with regard to this protection?

Page 10453

 1             Can we look at Article 216.  Do family members enjoy certain

 2     benefits from the status of the member of the military?

 3        A.   Article 216 of this law provides full protection, health

 4     insurance of family members of professional or personnel.

 5        Q.   I asked you about the family.

 6        A.   Yes.  I said all members of the family of the military personnel

 7     who has this kind of insurance.  I tried to explain this in a more

 8     graphic way.

 9        Q.   Can you tell us in a couple of words about another entitlement

10     that stems from the status, and that's the housing support and insurance.

11     What kind of rights derive from this particular provision?

12        A.   Provision of housing facilities includes providing housing for

13     persons by allocating flats to them from the housing stock of the then

14     JNA and now the VJ or by granting housing credit lines through banks or

15     by allocating a service flat to be used for a period of time while the

16     member of the personnel is serving and carrying out his duty, which means

17     that for the duration of his service he needs to have a housing facility

18     provided for both him and members of his family.

19        Q.   General, can we please explain a notion that probably is a bit

20     foreign to the Trial Chamber because it's a relic from the

21     self-management era.  When we talk about tenancy right, can you tell us

22     what that was, and what happened when these tenancy rights were converted

23     into ownership rights and how this affected certain groups of citizens?

24        A.   According to the law on housing construction and provision of

25     housing facilities that were in force until the Law on Property was

Page 10454

 1     adopted, one of the provisions related to tenancy rights.

 2             Now, what tenancy rights mean.  Tenancy rights involving

 3     allocating a flat to a certain person from the JNA housing stock or later

 4     of the VJ housing stock without the right to acquire an ownership right

 5     on this particular flat.  However, according to the regulations then in

 6     force, there was a possibility which was conditioned for the person

 7     involved to have spent 15 or more years in the service to lease this

 8     apartment for an indefinite period of time and with eventually a

 9     possibility for him to buy it and to convert it into his private

10     property.

11        Q.   Do you know in the former SFRY and the FRY when these regulations

12     relating to the buying off of flats, was that going on?  What was the

13     actual market value of the flats, and what was the amounts that were

14     indeed paid by those who were using them, because I think there was a

15     discrepancy between these two values.

16        A.   The situation relating to the housing issues during the period of

17     the SFRY was such that the JNA had exceptional possibilities to quickly

18     resolve all the housing problems of the personnel.  Since I was head of

19     the sector for housing in the JNA, that is to say in the third department

20     of the then personnel administration, which was later renamed to

21     administration for status-related issues, based on some statistical data

22     the average time for a member of the army who was waiting to be allocated

23     a flat was two years.  At the time, people started buying off the flats

24     on which they had tenancy rights, and they became owners eventually.  And

25     we are talking about a large number of people.  These people finally

Page 10455

 1     decided that after the termination of service, for a variety of reasons,

 2     education of their children, et cetera, wanted to remain in these flats.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Maybe I wasn't accurate enough.  Let me put it this

 4     way:  At the time when these flats were bought during this enormous

 5     inflation, how did people actually pay for them, and why this buying of

 6     flats was relatively easy in that period?

 7        A.   The flats from the housing stock of the JNA, as I said before,

 8     were bought off just like any other flat in society.  The principles and

 9     the instalments relating to payment did not differ from other

10     arrangements in other segments of society.

11             As for the value of the flat, for some it was very small, but for

12     others it was very high.  It all depended on the length of service.

13             If you allow me, I have to clarify further.  There was a special

14     law called the law on earmarking funds for housing construction.  If I'm

15     not wrong, it was adopted in 1974.  Under this law, all members of the

16     JNA were obliged to earmark 4.5 per cent of their gross salary for

17     housing construction irrespective of whether they already had a flat or

18     didn't have a flat at all.  This was based on the principle of

19     solidarity.  Thanks to that, enormous funds were accumulated and that

20     provided swift solutions for housing problems of the military personnel.

21        Q.   Thank you.  The day before yesterday, you mentioned another

22     article, i.e., Article 87.  Page 21 in English, Your Honours, and page 8

23     in B/C/S.

24             General, can you just briefly comment this article, because you

25     referred to it the day before yesterday when you talked about who decided

Page 10456

 1     the salaries.

 2        A.   Since this article is the last one that relates to the military

 3     salaries, Article 87 gives federal government the responsibility to --

 4     what they're going to be deciding on and what is going to be deciding by

 5     the minister of defence.  What this shows is that the federal government

 6     shall prescribe the salary according to the rank --

 7        Q.   You don't have to read it.

 8        A.   Military allowance, et cetera.  Let me just explain.  When I

 9     spoke about different segments of salary, I didn't mention this segment

10     relating to the length of service, and it is decided according to the

11     republican provisions.  It is calculated .5 per cent per each year of

12     service, but it cannot exceed the total percentage of 20.  I thought this

13     would be a helpful explanation for the Trial Chamber.

14             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think this is a good time for us to

15     take a break.

16             JUDGE MOLOTO:  We will take a break and come back at quarter to

17     11.00.  Court adjourned.

18                           --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.

19                           --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Lukic.

21             MR. LUKIC:  Thank you, Your Honour.  [Interpretation] I keep

22     saying that we are finished with the legal part, but we are not.  There

23     is one more article I would like the witness to comment on, and then we

24     will be moving on to a different topic.

25        Q.   General, that's Article 337 of the Law on Army of the VJ.

Page 10457

 1             MR. LUKIC:  [Interpretation] Could we have page 88 of

 2     Exhibit 197.  Article 337 is the one I should like Mr. Nikolic to look

 3     at.  Page 30 of the B/C/S version.

 4        Q.   General, I believe that we have already discussed this, but tell

 5     me, does this article define the matters we discussed today and two days

 6     ago as part of the provisions covered by the Law on the Army of

 7     Yugoslavia?

 8             THE INTERPRETER:  Can the witness's microphones please be

 9     switched on.

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Would you repeat your answer, please, Mr. Nikolic,

11     now that the microphone is on.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  This is connected to Article

13     337 of the Law on Property that we discussed a moment ago.  Here the

14     manner in which funds and material assets are to be managed and dispensed

15     is defined.

16             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   Two days ago you mentioned the Law on Finances of the Federal

18     Republic of Yugoslavia.  We don't have that piece of legislation,

19     unfortunately.  However, who is it who is in charge of managing assets

20     who is mentioned in the Law on the VJ and in connection with the law on

21     financing of the FRY?

22        A.   It's called the Law on Finances of the FRY, which places emphasis

23     on assets available, managed and dispensed with.  The chief of the staff

24     is not the one who would be entitled to manage these assets.  He is

25     entitled to dispense the assets that are conferred upon him pursuant to a

Page 10458

 1     decision of the minister of defence.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  And now, General, we will be moving to a different

 3     topic.  You said on the 27th of April, 1992, the FRY constitution was

 4     passed and a new state was formed, as it were.  This historic moment,

 5     what bearing did it have on the Yugoslav People's Army, in terms of its

 6     status and the status of its members?

 7        A.   Can you please clarify your question?

 8        Q.   What became of the Yugoslav People's Army once a new state was

 9     set up and a new constitution passed on the 27th of April, 1992?

10        A.   Pursuant to an order of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal

11     Republic of Yugoslavia of the 4th of May, 1992, a decision was made

12     whereby all the units of the Yugoslav People's Army were within 15 days

13     to withdraw from the territory of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and

14     cross over to the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  That

15     meant that within 15 days they had to withdraw all the units, including

16     military hardware, troops and families of servicemen.  It raised a number

17     of difficult issues as to how to deal with the transportation of men and

18     assets.  However, the greatest difficulty faced the families and

19     professional servicemen of the former JNA who remained in the territory

20     of the Serbian Republic of the Krajina and the Republika Srpska and

21     became members, joined the ranks of armies.

22        Q.   We will get back to that later.  Go ahead.

23        A.   In other words, there were great difficulties which needed

24     solutions.  Primarily the status of the members of the Army of Yugoslavia

25     needed to be resolved as well as any other material and social issues,

Page 10459

 1     accommodation, food, disposition, billeting and the related locations.

 2        Q.   Let us call up a 65 ter document, 476D, an order issued by the

 3     Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of the 27th of

 4     April, 1992.

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Lukic, when you say this document is 476D --

 6     okay.  Thank you so much.

 7             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Apologies.  I skipped the first two

 8     zeros.

 9        Q.   General, according to the date of the decision -- or, rather the

10     date of the decision coincides with the date of the adoption of the FRY

11     constitution.

12        A.   Yes.

13        Q.   Article 2 of the order signed by Branko Kostic -- well, first of

14     all can you tell us what was the role of Branko Kostic at the time?

15        A.   He was the vice-president of the Presidency of the SFRY as the

16     body vested with commanding powers.

17        Q.   Thank you.  It reads:

18             "The plan should contain the transformation of the JNA into the

19     Army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its reducing to the

20     territory of the FRY and citizens of the FRY, which implies also a

21     transfer of non-nationals [sic] of FRY who are members of the JNA from

22     the territories of other republics to the territory of the Federal

23     Republic of Yugoslavia and vice versa."

24             MR. THOMAS:  I'm sorry, Your Honours.  There's a discrepancy

25     between the translation and the transcript and the English version of the

Page 10460

 1     exhibit.

 2             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's correct.  I seem to have

 3     misread this.  Page 30, line 12:  "Transfer to nationals of FRY," not

 4     "non-nationals."  So the English translation is correct.

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  When you say "transfer to nationals," that doesn't

 6     sound grammatically correct.  What do you transfer to the nationals?

 7             MR. LUKIC:  Transfer of citizens.

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Transfer of.

 9             MR. LUKIC:  Of citizens.  yes, yes.

10             MR. THOMAS:  I'm sorry, Your Honours.  There's a further

11     inconsistency.  If I could just pause the transcript for a moment.  At

12     line 30 -- sorry, page 30, line 12, at line -- sorry, page 30, line 11,

13     we have -- and I'm not sure if my learned friend was reading here or

14     whether he was putting a proposition, but what the transcript records is:

15             "The plan should contain the transformation of the JNA into the

16     Army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its reducing to the

17     territory of the FRY and citizens of the FRY which implies also a

18     transfer of non-nationals."

19             Now, I don't know if at that point he is reading from the

20     provision, because if he was, that's not what the English version of the

21     provision says, which there's no talk of implication at all.  It

22     expressly states that it includes the transfer of citizens.  And I'm just

23     not clear whether what my learned friend was doing was reading the

24     provision or whether he was commenting on the provision.

25             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Can you see that, Mr. Lukic?

Page 10461

 1             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I was reading the text.  I wasn't

 2     commenting on it, and I don't see what the problem is.

 3             JUDGE MOLOTO:  The problem is that what appears on the transcript

 4     does not accord with what appears on the -- on Article 2 of the order,

 5     and that kind of problem can be solved by counsel not reading a document

 6     which is on the screen but ask questions about it, because when you read

 7     it, we have it on the screen and then you bring it on the transcript and

 8     this kind of problem will arise.

 9             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see that, Your Honour.

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you.

11             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   General, rather than me reading the document, can you give us

13     your comments on the text of item 2, and can you tell us what it is that

14     you know about this matter.

15        A.   Yes, I can.  This is an order issued by the Presidency of the

16     Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia following the adoption of the

17     FRY constitution or on the date of its passing, whereby the staff of the

18     Supreme Command of the armed forces of the JNA is ordered to fulfil

19     certain obligations within the time limit stated.  And item 2 precisely

20     defines that the staff of the Supreme Command should draw up a plan which

21     would provide for the transformation of the JNA into the Army of

22     Yugoslavia since all of the JNA and its component parts should be reduced

23     to the territory of the FRY and the citizens of the FRY.

24             The term that seemed to be the problem here had to do with the

25     transfer onto the citizens of the FRY, because you know that the units

Page 10462

 1     were spread out across the SFRY.  So those who were in other countries,

 2     in other republics then the FRY should return to the territory of the

 3     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

 4        Q.   And what about the "vice versa" at the end?  What does it mean?

 5        A.   I have to explain this.  This means that those who are not

 6     nationals of the FRY can inversely return to the territories or cross

 7     over to the territories of their respective republics.

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Lukic, or maybe Mr. Nikolic, at page 32,

 9     line -- starting from line 14, you say:

10             "The term that seemed to be the problem here had to do with the

11     transfer onto the citizens of the FRY ..."

12             I'm not quite sure I understand what is meant by the term

13     "transfer onto the citizens of the FRY," and I don't seem to see a

14     similar term in Article 2 of the order.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I can only clarify

16     this one sentence which I believes constitution the problem.  It also

17     implies or includes the transfer onto.  You can't read it clearly.  The

18     citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia who are members of the JNA

19     from the territories of other republics, because the JNA, up until that

20     point, had been deployed throughout the territories, and they should be

21     returning to the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia where

22     the Army of Yugoslavia would be constituted.

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  That I understand.  What I don't understand is

24     "transfer onto the citizens," or onto -- yes.  Transfer of those citizens

25     from other republics back to the Federative Republic of Serbia, "transfer

Page 10463

 1     of," not onto.  It would make sense, but when you say "onto," it doesn't

 2     make sense.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree with you fully,

 4     Your Honour.

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Okay.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The formulation itself --

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  If you agree with me, thank you so much, because I

 8     think that is what the article is saying, at English version, at least,

 9     thereof.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not defined properly.

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  It's fine, but we have agreed.  Thank you so much.

12             Mr. Lukic.

13             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

14        Q.   General, can you clarify something.  Before this order was

15     issued, at the time when the SFRY existed, were certain members of the

16     then JNA also transferred from certain territories to others and why?

17     Can you explain the Court -- to the Court when this happened and what it

18     was?

19        A.   After the Yugoslav People's Army withdrew from the territory

20     of -- territories of the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina, certain armies were formed.  Former members of the

22     JNA joined the ranks of these armies as professional servicemen.

23             Following the transformation of the Yugoslav People's Army into

24     the Army of Yugoslavia, professional soldiers who hailed from these

25     territories, who were born in Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina and happened

Page 10464

 1     to be in the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia joined these

 2     armies of their own free will and thereby left the system of -- the

 3     command system of the Army of Yugoslavia and joined the command structure

 4     of the other armies.

 5        Q.   I have to put the question to you again.  I may not have made

 6     myself quite clear.  I was interested in the pre-April 1992 period before

 7     the FRY was constituted, and in respect of the JNA within the SFRY was

 8     there a time in that period, 1991, when members of the JNA of the old

 9     SFRY would be transferred from one territory to the other and why, and

10     what was their status?

11        A.   Yes.  I wanted to clarify that particular issue and then deal

12     with this one.  Their status was not defined at that point in time, and

13     their status was that of members of the Yugoslav People's Army.  However,

14     as various armies came into being, the status of these various servicemen

15     who left certain ranks and joined others had to be defined.  So in answer

16     to your question, yes, absolutely, there were.

17             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Before you go further, would I like to get what

18     you mean in your question, Mr. Lukic, by the term "territory."  You're

19     talking about the territory -- when you say from one territory to

20     another, are you talking about the territory that formed the SFRY or the

21     territory outside the SFRY, because at that time the whole of the SFRY

22     was SFRY territory.  Now, when you say "transferred from one territory to

23     another," I'm not sure what you mean, unless you mean a territory outside

24     the SFRY.  Greece, Spain --

25             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No.  You -- you're getting close

Page 10465

 1     though.  The problem lies in me trying to avoid putting leading questions

 2     and trying to deal with what was, in fact, a mess, because you had a

 3     state called the SFRY without Slovenia being part of it any longer.

 4             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Precisely.  Precisely.  Now --

 5             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So I'm using the term "Socialist

 6     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" but with one part of its former territory

 7     outside of it now.  So I wanted to skirt the issue.

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I fully --

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the President, please.

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  My apologies.

11             I fully appreciate that by 1992 Slovenia was out of the

12     federation, and hence my question.  Does the word "territory" here refer

13     to what at the beginning of 1992 was the SFRY, in other words, SFRY minus

14     Slovenia; or does it mean territories within the SFRY?  Does it mean

15     republics of the SFRY, and all I want to know is what you mean by the

16     word "territories."

17             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed.  I was using what was

18     then the official name, SFRY.  Obviously the territory of that country

19     had changed.

20        Q.   General, what I want to know and I'll try to be more specific

21     with my question is this:  Were there any problems with the members of

22     the JNA regarding their status and their position after Slovenia declared

23     its independence in the summer of 1991?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   What exactly was that situation about, something that you would

Page 10466

 1     have known of given your line of work at the time?

 2        A.   Many members of the JNA, following Slovenia's declaration of

 3     independence, as you suggested yourself, and this was later followed by

 4     the Republic of Croatia.  We are, after all, talking about 1992, the 27th

 5     of April, 1992.  A time when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had

 6     already been constituted.  As you can tell if you look at this document

 7     this refers to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  Many of the members

 8     had no choice but to leave their flats, take their families with them and

 9     physically move them to the territory of the FRY.  This caused a lot of

10     social problems.  At the time, many of these citizens had not yet

11     resolved issues regarding their nationality or citizenship.

12             I am willing to share with you, if I may, one particular piece of

13     information regarding what the constitution says about this.  Following

14     the withdraw of the JNA pursuant to decisions taken at the time by the

15     Presidency of the SFRY, and this is with regard to the territory of the

16     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as paragraph 2 specifies, 13.000 members

17     arrived from various republics.  If my understanding of your question is

18     correct.

19        Q.   Thirteen thousand members of the JNA?

20        A.   I'm sorry if I misspoke.  Members of the JNA with their units and

21     their families on the territory of the FRY with about 40.000 relatives.

22     If I may press on.

23        Q.   Just a minute, please, for the interpretation.

24                           [Defence counsel confer]

25             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Lukic, I have a problem with the answer.  Your

Page 10467

 1     question at page 36, starting at line 9, specifically refers to the

 2     problems with the members of the JNA regarding their status and their

 3     position after Slovenia declared independence.  The answer is now dealing

 4     with the period after the Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian

 5     Krajina have [indiscernible].  So can you please make sure that you get

 6     the witness back.

 7             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   General, you understand the problem that the Presiding Judge

 9     seems to be having with this answer.  My question was quite specific.  We

10     shall be discussing a wide range of subjects here.  I would like you to

11     address my question and no more than my question when you go about

12     answering my questions.

13             What do you know about what the JNA faced after --

14             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Maybe say to the witness:  After Slovenia broke

15     off but before the break by the other -- by Bosnia and Croatia.

16             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes.  Yes.

17        Q.   I'm trying to draw a distinction here, and we talked about this

18     during your proofing, sir.  This is a long period of time.  At one point

19     Slovenia broke off in the summer of 1991.  What ramifications did that

20     have vis-a-vis members of the JNA?  It's probably best if you answer that

21     question first.  With this happening with the cessation or separation or

22     break up of Slovenia from Yugoslavia, in the summer of 1991 that year

23     perhaps and then we can tackle the rest.

24        A.   To couch this in the briefest possible terms, the most prominent

25     problems arose about the status and position of those members of the JNA,

Page 10468

 1     and by the same token there were problems with the records of the

 2     military staff withdrawing from the Republic of Slovenia to a different

 3     territory.

 4        Q.   You mentioned a while ago some figures.  I'll be asking you about

 5     Slovenia in due course, but generally speaking, how did you come to learn

 6     about those figures?  Did your administration deal with statistics or

 7     anything to do with these figures and the records of these persons

 8     withdrawing from certain territories in a very general sense?

 9        A.   Based on the analysis that I remember, but don't hold me to it --

10        Q.   Before you even start answering, General, my question was:  How

11     did you come about that information?  Did your administration do that

12     type of work?  First let's take this one step at a time.

13        A.   At the outset today, I stated that within my administration was

14     also the housing department.  One of our basic tasks was to monitor and

15     report on the housing problems and the living standard of these members

16     and all the rest.

17        Q.   All right.  And I'm asking you in terms of specific information,

18     how many professional JNA servicemen left Slovenia's territory, and what

19     were the consequences in terms of the work of your administration?

20        A.   I don't have specific information regarding Slovenia, but I know

21     how many flats were left in Slovenia.  I do have the total figure for

22     Croatia and also for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that gives me something

23     to work on.

24        Q.   All right.  One step at a time.  Can you tell us about the number

25     of flats that remained in the Republic of Slovenia that used to be JNA

Page 10469

 1     property?

 2        A.   The analysis was drawn up in 1992.  It has been a long time.

 3     Therefore, Your Honours, please don't hold me to each and every figure.

 4     Nevertheless, I can say that there remained about 6.500 flats in the

 5     Republic of Slovenia's territory, and these flats were -- were, before

 6     that time, available to the JNA.

 7        Q.   Thank you very much.  What about the Republic of Macedonia?  When

 8     did Macedonia break off, and what were the consequences regarding members

 9     of the JNA, provided your administration was aware of any.

10        A.   Fortunately, an agreement was reached with the Republic of

11     Macedonia, the parties to the agreement being representatives of the

12     federal authorities of the FRY and the representatives of the Republic of

13     Macedonia.  A peaceful solution was reached, and there was nothing in the

14     way of peacefully resolving this situation in relation to those members

15     who left the Republic of Macedonia and were now back in the FRY and vice

16     versa.

17        Q.   What specifically happened with those flats?

18        A.   Quite specifically, certain people bought those flats that had

19     previously been owned and used by the JNA.  They were now free to

20     exchange those flats with no hindrance whatsoever with those who wished

21     the leave the JNA and join the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.  It was

22     up to the persons involved to deal with that and perform these exchanges.

23     Another way was to simply sell the flats off and use any proceeds from

24     those sales in order to buy themselves flats in the FRY, which was

25     definitely an avenue that was open to them.

Page 10470

 1        Q.   In situation number 3, I'm looking at the document in front us,

 2     Article 3 specifically, and I'll try to paraphrase this.  Acting Federal

 3     Secretary Blagoje Adzic would be continuing in keeping with the new

 4     constitutional situations and the representatives of all three

 5     constituent peoples in that republic.

 6             Sir, do you know if any talks were held about the rights of

 7     members of the JNA and their status after April 1992, and did that have

 8     anything to do with these talks between the three constituent peoples and

 9     their political representatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  We know what

10     those were.

11        A.   The leaders of the two countries -- rather, the political

12     authorities, as far as I was aware, were in fact having talks,

13     negotiations, in a bid to deal with certain issues regarding the free

14     withdrawal or departure of JNA members, all of them shifting between

15     different armies.  They wanted to remove all obstacles to a peaceful

16     progress of this.  Opportunities were being seized to make it possible

17     for those people to go wherever they liked with no hindrance at all.

18             I seem to remember that the Chief of Staff of the Yugoslav Army

19     established a team whose task was to monitor the implementation of this

20     plan that was reached.  Nevertheless, as far as I know, talks were

21     scheduled to be held by the Acting Federal Secretary for All People's

22     Defence, General Blagoje Adzic, at the time, and I don't think he was

23     successful in agreeing all of the terms for a dignified and peaceful

24     resolution of this problem.  Nevertheless, as far as the Army of

25     Yugoslavia was concerned, there was nothing controversial.  There were no

Page 10471

 1     problems, no members of any other ethnicities were pressured to leave or

 2     to stay either way.

 3        Q.   If I may just latched on to the last thing you were talking

 4     about.  Do you perhaps know if members of the former JNA who left the JNA

 5     and joined, for example, the BH Army or Croatia's army and had flats, for

 6     example, in Belgrade, did anyone deny their property rights or take away

 7     those flats from them that they happened to own in the territory of the

 8     FRY?

 9        A.   I never came across anything like that.  I don't think that sort

10     of pressure was ever exerted on any of those individuals as long as they

11     were the rightful owners of those flats, of course.

12        Q.   All right.  I see.  And what about the flats that happened to be

13     in the Republic of Croatia, for example, in Zagreb or in Bosnia and

14     Herzegovina, in Sarajevo, flats belonging to members of the JNA who had

15     previously withdrawn from those territories?  Were they free to do as

16     they saw fit with those flats?  What does your information suggest, sir?

17        A.   Regrettably, members of the JNA who were using flats and had

18     tenancy rights, as you pointed out a while ago, but those who bought

19     flats from the JNA, the flats available to the JNA for their use, after

20     the withdrawal of the JNA they were driven out of those flats and were

21     never allowed to use those flats again or indeed to sell those flats in

22     order to try to deal with their own housing issues elsewhere in the FRY.

23        Q.   All right.  Let us now try to return to what you were talking

24     about earlier on.  According to your information, how many members of the

25     JNA came to the FRY from Croatia and how many from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Page 10472

 1     and how many relatives?  Were any specific records kept?

 2        A.   In my previous answer, I talked about the individual figures, the

 3     Republic of Slovenia, the Republic of Croatia.  I had a collective figure

 4     when we drafted this analysis.  In our administration our information

 5     suggesting at the time that over 13.000 members of the JNA had arrived

 6     from these territories followed by another 40.000 relatives.  They

 7     arrived in the FRY with no accommodation to speak of and nowhere to stay.

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I'm sorry, I would like to intervene.

 9             Mr. Nikolic --

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't hear you, Mr. President.

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I was just calling your name.  I was saying

12     Mr. Nikolic.  Mr. Lukic asked you at page 42, line 2:

13             "Were they free to do as they saw fit with those flats?  What

14     does your information suggest, sir?"

15             Your answer was:

16             "Regrettably, members of the JNA who were using flats and had

17     tenancy rights, as you pointed out a while ago, but those who bought

18     flats from the JNA, the flats avail --"

19             And you tell us the problems experienced by those in those flats,

20     that they were not allowed to use those flats.  You haven't told us what

21     about those who had tenancy rights.  Can you tell us what was -- if there

22     was any problem with those who had tenancy rights and if so, what was the

23     problem?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.  If I may

25     furnish an additional explanation.  As far as I know, after this

Page 10473

 1     situation took place, the Croatian parliament adopted a decision for the

 2     persons who abandoned their flats and previously had tenancy rights on

 3     those flats were to lose those rights and effectively were not able to

 4     exercise them any longer.

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Proceed, Mr. Lukic.

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   General, on page 42, line 17, you said 13 [as interpreted]

 8     members of the JNA.  Are you referring to the professional servicemen?

 9        A.   Yes.  And I can give you some more information if you allow me.

10        Q.   Yes.

11        A.   I intentionally didn't speak about retired servicemen.  To my

12     knowledge and from what I can recall, around 4.000 retired servicemen

13     were expelled from their flats in the above-mentioned republics.  That

14     was another problem that the FRY had to resolve, so on top of the 13.000

15     that I mentioned earlier.

16             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this document

17     into evidence, Your Honours.

18             JUDGE MOLOTO:  The document is admitted into evidence.  May it

19     please be given an exhibit number.

20             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honours.  This document shall be

21     assigned Exhibit D241.  Thank you.

22             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you so much.

23             Mr. Lukic.

24             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at another

25     document, Your Honours.  The original document is marked P729, but since

Page 10474

 1     it's a very bad copy, there's a retyped one produced in the Tribunal.

 2     And I think we can talk about Mr. Thomas later about just attaching the

 3     B/C/S version to it, and that's a document of the 6th of May, 1992,

 4     signed by Blagoje Adzic, and a better copy is 65 ter is 0138D.  And the

 5     original document is P729, and the original has the seal and the stamp.

 6     We are going to look at P729, and you will see how bad the copy is.

 7        Q.   So this is a Prosecution exhibit, and I will suggest to you,

 8     Mr. Nikolic to look at document 1318D in front of you.  Can you find it?

 9     Because that's one and the same document?

10        A.   Yes, but just if I may take some time to look at it.

11        Q.   Indeed.

12             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Is this document 138D or 1318D?

13             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No.  What you're looking at is 1318D,

14     the 65 ter documents of the Defence.  It doesn't have the signature or

15     the stamp, whereas the original version of this document is marked P729.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it.  What was your

17     question?  I haven't heard it.

18                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

19             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Thomas, what's the Prosecution's position with

20     respect to the now legible copy that is being produced by the Defence?

21             MR. THOMAS:  Your Honours, I'm all in favour of using a copy that

22     is legible.  I have no difficulty with the legible copy being attached in

23     some way to the existing exhibit.  We have the original already attached

24     which bears the signature and other authenticating features.  For the

25     purposes of using the document with General Nikolic, I have no difficulty

Page 10475

 1     with the document as suggested by my learned friend being used.  I have

 2     one qualification.  I'm just having somebody check for my own purposes

 3     that the -- that the two documents match, but assuming that they do, I

 4     ultimately would have no difficulty with this version also being attached

 5     to the already tendered exhibit.

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you very much, Mr. Thomas.

 7             Yes, Mr. Lukic.

 8             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 9        Q.   Mr. Simic -- oh, I'm sorry.  I spent a lot of time with another

10     witness.

11             Mr. Nikolic, would you please tell me, are you familiar with this

12     document and what does it speak about?

13        A.   I became familiar with this document during proofing.  Since this

14     was written in 1992, I wasn't in the ministry, but I can provide you with

15     very specific and valid answers.

16             The deputy of the federal secretary at the time for national

17     defence colonel-general --

18        Q.   Before you start, we have to correct a mistake.  You said -- I

19     apologise to the interpreters.  Page 45, 24 line, the witness said that

20     he was at the ministry at that time.

21        A.   In 1992.  May I continue?

22        Q.   Yes, please.

23        A.   Thank you.  What we have here in this letter which was submitted

24     to the commands of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Armies, et cetera, deals

25     with the procedure of regulating the status of active military personnel

Page 10476

 1     and civilians employed in the army.  This is how they were called under

 2     the Law on the Army.  It has been ordered that pursuant to a decision of

 3     the SFRY Presidency of the 5th of May, 1992, to ensure that all members

 4     of the JNA who remain in the territory of the Republic of

 5     Bosnia-Herzegovina or are sent to that territory subsequently, meaning

 6     from the territory of the FRY, if I may add, shall retain all the rights,

 7     and I underline, as all other members of the JNA.

 8             That's paragraph 1.  May I continue?

 9        Q.   Yes.

10        A.   Given that these servicemen had already their status regulated

11     under the law on the service in the armed forces, it is specified here

12     that for the purpose of fairness and the retention of certain rights

13     these personnel shall retain their current duties and positions in the

14     units of the JNA in the BH who had the citizenship of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

15     In order to avoid depriving other personnel of their rights, members of

16     the JNA who did not acquire the citizenship of BH may keep their posts in

17     the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or, alternatively, they can

18     voluntarily declare their wish to be transferred to the territory of the

19     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  And there was a deadline set until which

20     they may express such wish and to whom.  Those who wanted to be

21     transferred to the FRY, according to this letter, shall be submitted to

22     the personnel administration of the Federal Secretariat for National

23     Defence, because at the time the personnel administration was an

24     independent administration, that is to say by 10th of May, 1992, midnight

25     or 1200 hours at the latest.

Page 10477

 1        Q.   Very well.

 2             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we just attach this copy to P

 3     exhibit, or shall we wait until after the break to give a chance to

 4     Mr. Thomas to compare the two versions of the document and then to attach

 5     it to P729?  Maybe it's better that we don't do it now and leave it until

 6     after the break.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.  We will do it

 8     after the break.

 9             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next document that I'd like to

10     show to Mr. Nikolic is dated 6th of May, 1992, marked 65 ter Defence

11     0039D.  It's a letter written by Colonel-General Blagoje Adzic.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have found it.

13             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

14        Q.   General, we have seen this document during briefing -- proofing

15     as well.  My question pertains to paragraph 2 of this document.  You

16     said --

17             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Thomas.

18             MR. THOMAS:  Sorry, Your Honour.  I'm not sure that we've got the

19     right 65 ter number.  It looks to me like this is document 390D.  Sorry,

20     that's not reflected in the transcript, sir.

21             JUDGE MOLOTO:  On the transcript it says 0039D.

22             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it's wrong.  [In English] I

23     always remove first two numbers.  65 ter 00390D.

24             JUDGE MOLOTO:  [Microphone not activated]

25             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

Page 10478

 1             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You can't remove the last zero, or you may not.

 2     Okay.  So 00390D.

 3             Mr. Thomas, 00390D.

 4             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, my colleagues and associates recommend that for the

 6     benefit of translation you try to speak a little bit more slowly.

 7        A.   I'll do my best.

 8        Q.   Paragraph 2 of this document, could you please comment on it and

 9     tell me -- it is clear what it says here, but after May 1992, did the

10     people who remained back there really manage to exercise their rights and

11     to regulate their -- all the issues on which their livelihood and

12     everything else depended on?

13        A.   Paragraph 2 of this letter written by the Deputy Federal

14     Secretary for National Defence General Adzic, addressed to the Presidency

15     of the SFRY, deals with the problems at that we discussed a while ago.

16     He indicates that the implementation of the decision of the SFRY

17     Presidency on the transformation of the Yugoslav Army and the pull-out --

18     I am sorry, the transformation of the JNA into VJ and the solution of

19     other pending issues will greatly depend on how certain issues were going

20     to be resolved that would affect the existence and the life of members of

21     the JNA who would remain in the territory of B and H; or if I may add, of

22     those who are going to be sent to that territory and particularly how to

23     provide the protection for their families.

24             This is about solving the fundamental and basic status-related

25     issues of the JNA and VJ servicemen, or, rather, the personnel who were

Page 10479

 1     going to that specific territory and joining the armies there.  This

 2     mainly had to do with their social and financial status.

 3        Q.   General Adzic goes on to put forth certain proposals to the

 4     Presidency.  I'm not going to read them.  I'm just going to ask you

 5     whether the -- these proposals were accepted and acted upon accordingly

 6     as proposed to the Presidency of the SFRY.

 7        A.   All these proposals for conclusions put forth by General Adzic

 8     were fully accepted by the Presidency, as far as I know.

 9        Q.   You worked in the administration of the ministry for a certain

10     period of time.  Members of the Army of Republika Srpska who exercised

11     certain rights based on these kind of documents, were they receiving

12     salaries from May 1992 onwards from the government of the FRY?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   We'll go back to this issue later.  I just wanted to wrap it up

15     in this way.

16             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May we please have this document

17     admitted into evidence.

18             JUDGE MOLOTO:  It's admitted.  May it please be given an exhibit

19     number.

20             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, this document shall be assigned

21     Exhibit D242.  Thank you.

22             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you so much.  Yes, Mr. Lukic.

23             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   Let us move on to the next document, please, while remaining on

25     the same subject.  This is Defence 65 ter 01120D.

Page 10480

 1             Mr. Nikolic, this is a document by the federal defence ministry

 2     signed by General Zunic.  The date is the 24th of August, 1993.

 3             Do you know who General Zunic is and what exactly was his job?

 4        A.   Sure I do, he was my direct superior.  I'm familiar with this

 5     document and my administration took part in the drafting of this

 6     document.

 7        Q.   The heading is, if we look at the following page in both the

 8     B/C/S and English, this is from August 1993.  It reads:

 9             "Proposal of issues and problems from within the ambit of the

10     sector that should be included in a plan on eliminating these issues and

11     problems pursuant to a criteria and said by the president of the FRY."

12             Can I have your comments, please?  If we move on to the next page

13     in the B/C/S and in the English that should be page -- I think it's

14     probably the next page.  Let me check.

15             It says, however -- yes, yes, there you go, the last paragraph,

16     Your Honours, in the English.  However -- Mr. Nikolic, the illegibility's

17     quite poor.  I'm not sure if you can read.  It's right about where it

18     says, "Issues and problems were [indiscernible] may and ought to be dealt

19     with by the VJ."  It says, "However in spite of all the measures

20     taken --"

21        A.   I do apologise.  I have numbers 1 and 2 here, please.

22             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Slow down.  Slow down.  Slow down.  The

23     interpreter is struggling to keep peace.

24             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   Can you go to page 3, General.  It says, "1.  Issues and problems

Page 10481

 1     within," and so on and so forth.  I want to know about the paragraph

 2     right above which reads, "However in spite of all the measures taken"; do

 3     you see that?

 4        A.   Yes, yes, I do.

 5        Q.   Can you please read for yourself the paragraph and then I would

 6     like to have your comments, sir.  What exactly does this item refer to?

 7        A.   If you look at this, you have here the sector for system and

 8     status-related issues.  He's sending a letter to the defence minister as

 9     their superior.  It says that in addition to all the measures taken to

10     deal with the issues that we mentioned a while ago, it was still

11     necessary to deal basically with three fundamental issues.

12             It goes on to say we have so far been paying the salaries to

13     around 50.000 members of the VJ and now the number has increased up to

14     63.000.  This is information suggesting that a total of 13.000 JNA

15     members arrived in the territory of -- of the FRY, professional soldiers,

16     and that is exactly the figure that I mentioned awhile ago, meaning now

17     we should also increase some budgetary items in order to be able to pay

18     those people's salaries.  The most serious problem being the fact that

19     the status of JNA members in the Krajina, so as the document reads, and

20     especially in the Republika Srpska had not been resolved yet.

21             Next it goes on to state that there was a certain amount of

22     trouble and difficulty having to do with personnel records.  We didn't

23     know who went where, why, and whatever, and this didn't quite correspond

24     with the files as they were in the database number one kept by the

25     personnel departments.

Page 10482

 1             Next, the most serious problem was their social condition.  Also

 2     regarding that, a list was to be drawn up, a neat one regarding these

 3     problems that came about after the Army of Yugoslavia was created or,

 4     rather, renamed.  That is the fundamental problem.

 5        Q.   Can we please move on to the next page.  I think it's also the

 6     next page in the English.  The last portion, please, if it can be -- if

 7     it can be -- the last portion pulled up in English.  Paragraph 2,

 8     General:

 9             "Issues and problems that ought to be dealt with by the VJ with

10     the assistance of the FRY state bodies in charge."

11             And then fourth down it reads:

12             "2.  Have the government of the FRY RS and RSK resolve issue of

13     paying personnel who are now being paid by the VJ?"

14             Do you know why this was written back in August 1993, and why was

15     this addressed to the government?

16        A.   Well, this was the fundamental problem, especially starting from

17     the -- the line of work of my own administration.  How were we now to

18     deal with the issue of these JNA members who now joined this army?  All

19     those who were dispatched to other armies, specifically the Army of

20     Republika Srpska, VRS, and the Krajina army.  They were now out of the

21     chain of command of the VJ and became part of the chain of command of

22     those two armies.  Who should be paying their salaries and how?  How

23     shall we deal with their status, their right to receive appropriate

24     housing and social security?  We looked for an appropriate basis in the

25     existing regulations to resolve that problem in a legal way, by legal

Page 10483

 1     means, to whatever extent possible and for this to become part of the

 2     legal system of the country as a whole.

 3        Q.   Is there a proposal being made for this to be dealt with on a

 4     political level?

 5        A.   Given the fact that the regulations did not state anything

 6     specific about this, a request was made for the supreme political body

 7     and the supreme organ of command in the JNA to take a decision regarding

 8     this.

 9                           [Defence counsel confer]

10             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   Can we -- can we comment on where it talks about the housing

12     problems being faced by members of the VJ.

13             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think it's probably the next page

14     in the English, Your Honours.

15        Q.    General, can you see that paragraph down there in the

16     organisation of the VJ for the most part in military facilities, and so

17     on and so forth.  Can you see that?

18        A.   Yes.  Yes.

19        Q.   I'm not going to read it back to you, but does this tally with

20     what you said?  Where were these members of the former JNA accommodating

21     those who were arriving in the territory of the FRY?  How did they deal

22     with their own housing and accommodation issues when they first came?

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Sorry, can you just direct us in the English.

24             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.  I'm sorry.  Your Honour,

25     that is paragraph 4:  "The VJ organised accommodation," et cetera.

Page 10484

 1        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, can you answer that one, please?

 2        A.   It was a sad situation, if I may put it that way.  I was watching

 3     the situation unfold, and it was a sad sight.  The problem became more

 4     complex, as I said before, when the 13.000 new people cropped up.  If you

 5     take their families into account, this totaled about 40.000 new persons.

 6             The issue arising now was how to come up with appropriate

 7     accommodation for all those people.  The defence minister was requested

 8     and so was the Chief of the General Staff of the VJ, and I can tell you

 9     with no reservations that the VJ in practical terms took up the

10     responsibility of dealing with this problem rather than the federal

11     government, which is the body that should by rights have dealt with an

12     issue like this.  Nevertheless, you can say that there were no flats to

13     go around.

14             If you look at paragraph 1, you can see that the number had risen

15     to 25.000 requests, and there were about 17.500 of them with no

16     accommodation at all.  We had to do something to put these people up in

17     the barracks.  We even vacated some of our barracks in order to put these

18     people up there.  We used military facilities for accommodation.  We used

19     trailers that were previously used for recreation in certain military

20     facilities, and we would now allow their relatives, the relatives of

21     these new people use these trailers as accommodation.  I have to say I --

22     I remain sad to this very day.  The problem has not been adequately --

23     adequately dealt with, but we were nevertheless successful in putting up

24     about 3.000 persons in these military facilities, buildings trailers and

25     so forth the living conditions were horrifying they were not dignified at

Page 10485

 1     all and not fit for -- for a military officer or indeed any of their

 2     relatives, but we had to deal with this somehow and this was the way that

 3     we found in terms of dealing with this.

 4        Q.   Your Honours, may we -- may we have a number for this document,

 5     please?

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  The document is admitted into evidence.  May it

 7     please be given an exhibit number.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, this document shall be assigned

 9     Exhibit D243.  Thank you.

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you so much.

11             Yes, Mr. Lukic.  Would that be a convenient moment?

12             We'll take a break and come back at half past 12.00.  Court

13     adjourned.

14                           --- Recess taken at 12.03 p.m.

15                           --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.

16             MR. THOMAS:  Your Honours, just before we begin, I can confirm

17     that the document that we were going to discuss over the break, and it's

18     65 ter 01318D, the retyped version of the B/C/S original entered by -- or

19     intended to be tendered by Mr. Lukic.  I have no problem at all with that

20     version of the document.  It can be attached to P729.

21             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you very much.  May it please be attached to

22     P729, Mr. Court Registrar.

23             THE REGISTRAR:  The document has been attached.  Thank you.

24             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you so much.

25             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

Page 10486

 1        Q.   General, we will be dwelling on this subject a little more.

 2             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have document -- it is

 3     65 ter Defence document, 01123D.

 4        Q.   The document signed by the then Chief of Staff of the General

 5     Staff of the VJ, General Zivota Panic, about visiting some units on the

 6     27th of October, 1992.

 7             General, my first question, there is a reference here to the

 8     Sombor Garrison.  Just for the benefit of the Chamber, could you define

 9     this geographically?  Under whose army was that garrison?

10        A.   The Sombor Garrison is in the Vojvodina, autonomous province of

11     the Republic of Serbia, in its north, quite close to the Hungarian

12     border.

13        Q.   At the time, that was the FRY.

14        A.   Yes, and now the Republic of Serbia.

15        Q.   What is this document, General, briefly, please?  What is the

16     substance of this document?

17        A.   The then Chief of the General Staff of the VJ, Colonel-General

18     Zivota Panic, within the framework of his assignments, also visited the

19     Sombor Garrison.  For the -- for the benefit of the Chamber, this is

20     garrison holding a large number of VJ members and units.  When he was

21     touring the troops at the Sombor Garrison, he listened to the problems

22     being faced by his subordinates.  Having obtained that kind of

23     information and having conducted conversations with the high-ranking

24     officers there, he came to certain conclusions after which he also handed

25     out specific tasks.

Page 10487

 1        Q.   There are some facts stated in paragraph 3 and paragraph 4.

 2     Why -- why was the logistics sector ordered to deal with this problem?

 3     This is something that we addressed, didn't we?

 4        A.   This was a prominent problem.  It was something that I addressed

 5     a while ago in answer to one of your questions.  Nevertheless, if I may

 6     just supplement the information.  One of the questions was how many flats

 7     remained in Slovenia, but you didn't ask anything about Croatia or about

 8     Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this document addresses that.  So if I may

 9     just give you the information based on the analysis that during my work

10     with my administration I came across, based on my knowledge and my

11     memory, there were about 30.000 flats, JNA flats, remaining in Croatia.

12     In Bosnia-Herzegovina the figure was about 8.500.  So that should be

13     added to Slovenia's tally, which I gave you a while ago.  They were

14     persons who were driven out, displaced or simply left their homes.  These

15     people now had nowhere left to go.  They had no furniture, no belongings.

16     They were down and out to all practical intents.  The Chief of the

17     General Staff of the VJ, in paragraph 3 specifically, says that the

18     possibility should be studied for those with no accommodation for the

19     people who were down and out now or were renting flats to be accommodated

20     in prefab housing.  He suggested that this be adopted and also proposed a

21     solution for this.

22             Why did he give this order to the assistant chief of General

23     Staff for logistics?  Because this was something he was in charge of, but

24     again he had to work closely with the defence ministry.  It wasn't just

25     for him to do, but his task was to co-ordinate with the ministry and the

Page 10488

 1     federal government in order to deal with these remaining issues.

 2             As for the logistics sector, the chief of that sector had certain

 3     avenues open to him in order to see where he could get the trailers, the

 4     prefab building, the military facilities not being used or about to be

 5     vacated, and then his task was to put people up in those facilities.

 6             Paragraph 4, because of exceptionally low earnings, it was

 7     inevitable that people should start asking themselves how do we keep our

 8     families?  You had water bills, electricity bills, and so on and so

 9     forth.  And the Chief of Staff immediately order ban any payments on

10     accommodation and charge wholesale prices for supplies and foodstuffs.

11     No VAT or anything like that.  He wanted to make the situation a little

12     easier on the people who remained and were now facing those problems.

13             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Nikolic, given the fact that Vojvodina was in

14     the FRY, what was the cost of this housing crisis in Vojvodina?  This is

15     not an area where people had to either withdraw from other republics to

16     come back to Serbia, isn't it, or am I getting my geography wrong?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you for asking

18     me this question.  In the then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,

19     there were six republics.  One of them was the Republic of Serbia with

20     its two autonomous provinces, the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and

21     that of Kosovo and Metohija.

22             After the FRY had been constituted, these two provinces remained

23     part of the Republic of Serbia.

24             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Hence my question.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for your question whether people

Page 10489

 1     settled there, that was the garrison where units were stationed of the

 2     air force and the army, and these formations were joined by former JNA

 3     units that were coming from the Republic of Croatia and

 4     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you.

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   General, you mentioned this social situation.  I didn't ask you

 8     about this in proofing, but do you remember whether in 1992 and 1993,

 9     what was the situation with respect to inflation rate in Yugoslavia?

10     More specifically, do you remember the amount of your salary that you

11     were receiving towards the end of 1993?

12        A.   Somebody will be shocked if I tell you that due to the sanctions

13     and the fact that the country found itself in extremely difficult

14     conditions, my salary at that time, that is to say 1992, was, if

15     converted into German marks, between 10 and 15 German marks.

16        Q.   That is for which period?  No, no, no.  Was that a monthly salary

17     or a weekly wages, what?

18        A.   That was my monthly salary.  And if I may just add something.

19     Due to this hyperinflation which we used to call giga-inflation, we

20     requested the salaries to be paid out every ten days in order to preserve

21     at least some of their values.

22        Q.   We already heard evidence about the situation.

23             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to tender

24     this into evidence.

25             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Before you do that, just to be able to get meaning

Page 10490

 1     to this 15 German marks, that was a drop from what figure before

 2     inflation?  In other words, before inflation, what was yours salary, sir,

 3     per month, to be able to compare to the 15 German marks.

 4             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let me make it a little bit clearer.

 5        Q.   How many marks were you able to purchase before inflation and

 6     then during inflation?

 7        A.   Your Honours, before the sanctions and inflation, I could live

 8     very comfortably on my salary and support my family as well.

 9             When you ask me how much exactly that was, in the then dinars

10     that was, according to the issue, 30 or 40 dinars to one German mark.  My

11     salary was 15 times 40.  So that would be my salary during inflation.

12     However, before the sanctions were imposed, my salary as a

13     lieutenant-colonel was 1.600 German marks.

14             Have I managed to answer your question?

15             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You have, sir.  Thank you so much, Mr. Nikolic.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we admit this document into

18     evidence, Your Honours?

19             JUDGE MOLOTO:  The document is admitted into evidence.  May it

20     please be given an exhibit number.

21             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, document shall be assigned Exhibit

22     P244.  Thank you -- oh, pardon me, D244.

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Indeed.  Thank you so much.

24             Yes, Mr. Lukic.

25             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at document

Page 10491

 1     65 ter Defence 01054D.

 2        Q.   General, this is a letter signed by General Matovic, dated the

 3     24th of August, 1993.  It's a letter issued by the personnel

 4     administration of the General Staff of the VJ.  It is addressed to the

 5     sector for operational issues of the General Staff, and the title is

 6     "Problems that pertain to VJ."

 7             I'm going to ask you first why was this letter written, because

 8     we know that at the time General Matovic was chief.  Of was this a letter

 9     issued within the General Staff, and what was the reason underlying the

10     drafting of this letter?

11        A.   This is the letter written by the chief of the personnel

12     administration, which was within the sector for mobilisation, staffing,

13     and systemic issues.

14             General Matovic highlights here a number of problems that need to

15     be addressed as they went along.  In paragraph 2, he speaks about -- that

16     the army needs to be reinforced and prepared for performing its basic

17     functions but only within the scope of responsibility of the personnel

18     administration of the VJ General Staff.

19             Shall I talk about the content?

20        Q.   Just a moment.  Some legislature is mentioned in the first three

21     paragraphs of this letter.  However, I'm interested in your comment on

22     paragraph 5, and for that purpose we need to go to the next page in both

23     versions.

24             In paragraph 5 it is said, and I'm going to read it because I

25     think the English translation corresponds to the original.  I hope the

Page 10492

 1     interpreters in the booth can see it:

 2              "Pass a decision on status of members of the armies of Republika

 3     Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina who remain in the territory of

 4     the break-away republics as well as those who are in the Yugoslav Army

 5     and are citizens of these republics.  Level-federal government, Federal

 6     Ministry of Defence, and VJ General Staff in co-operation with the

 7     personnel administration."

 8             General, can you comment on this, please?  This was written by

 9     General Matovic in August 1993.  Just a moment, please.

10             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need to correct the transcript:

11             "Level-federal government, Federal Ministry of Defence, and the

12     VJ General Staff in co-operation with the personnel administration."

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a continuation of my

14     previous answers.  Here we see that the accent here is on the problems

15     faced by the General Staff and its organisational units in dealing and

16     addressing specific issues, particularly of personnel who were members of

17     the armies of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina and

18     which relate to the problems of their status in the service.

19             Since these problems went beyond the scope of responsibilities of

20     the General Staff and particularly of the chief of the administration and

21     the sector, the chief of the administration suggested the levels were

22     decisions need to be made in order to resolve the issue -- the

23     status-related issues of members of these two armies.

24             If you allow me, in my view, he omitted the most responsible

25     organs.  This is the Federal Assembly and the Supreme Defence Council.

Page 10493

 1     This was the estimation by General Matovic about who should be involved.

 2     However, we need to have here also the Supreme Defence Council and the

 3     federal republic of --

 4             THE INTERPRETER:  Sorry, interpreter's correction:  The Federal

 5     Assembly of the FRY.

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   This is your opinion.

 8        A.   Yes, it is.

 9        Q.   Speaking about that, do you know whether the Supreme Defence

10     Council ever addressed these issues in this period after May 1992?  Did

11     they try to seek any solutions to the problems mentioned by Mr. Matovic?

12        A.   Yes.  Since the Ministry of Defence -- or, rather, the sector for

13     systemic and legal issues and administrative issues was responsible for

14     codifying certain issues.  We acted in co-ordination with the responsible

15     organisational units within the General Staff depending on the scope of

16     responsibility and of specific unit that we need to co-operate with.

17     That means that we revisited this issue both on the General Staff and in

18     the ministry and also, as far as I know, at the Supreme Defence Council.

19        Q.   General, I think that it's an indisputable fact in that case that

20     on the 1st of June, 1991, it was publish in the Official Gazette that the

21     Army of Republika Srpska was formed.  What happened to the JNA officers

22     who remained in Bosnia-Herzegovina after the pull-out of the JNA from

23     Bosnia-Herzegovina and after the Army of Republika Srpska had been

24     established?

25        A.   As far as I can remember -- or, rather, I know that in the

Page 10494

 1     provisional -- in the transitional provisions of that law, it is

 2     explicitly stipulated that all members who joined this army shall become

 3     professional officers of that army.

 4        Q.   Very well.

 5             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a second, please.

 6                           [Defence counsel confer]

 7             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   Can you please comment on paragraph 9.  Were you aware at the

 9     time that there were any problems with records, and in what sense was

10     this -- these records important for your administration and for the

11     functioning of the army as a whole?

12        A.   Yes.  Can I clarify further?  Professional members of the

13     Yugoslav Army could have been assigned to the ministry and other

14     government organs, but there was a certain school of thinking or, let's

15     say, considerations in the General Staff not to delegate certain

16     responsibilities to other persons.  That was the Chief of General Staff.

17             In Article 158 of the law on the Yugoslav Army, the scope of

18     responsibilities and powers of the federal minister of defence are

19     clearly stated, and they fully are complementary with the authorities and

20     powers of the Chief of General Staff with regard to the status related

21     issues in the -- and service-related issues in the army.

22        Q.   Before the personnel centres were formed - and we have seen a

23     document from August 1993 - so before the personnel centres were form,

24     was there a clear cut and orderly record kept of the members of the two

25     armies, RS and --

Page 10495

 1             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the counsel please repeat the question

 2     slowly, if possible.  Thank you very much.

 3             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Please repeat the question slowly, if you can,

 4     Mr. Lukic.

 5             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to the interpreters.

 6        Q.   Before the personnel centres were established, was there record

 7     kept in the VJ or in any other organ about all members of the Yugoslav

 8     Army, the Army of Republika Srpska, and the Serbian Army of Krajina that

 9     exercised certain rights in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?

10        A.   Before I answer this question, I would like to remind you of

11     something, which is the document that we had a while ago, General Matovic

12     as head of personnel.  The basic problem that he was basing was that of

13     keeping records.  This was the most difficult -- difficult issue to

14     tackle in the army.  I'm not going to expand at great length, that would

15     take too much time, but one had to produce proper records on the

16     professional soldiers who were members of the JNA, the professional

17     soldiers remaining in the territories of the break-away republics and so

18     on and so forth.  For those reasons it was necessary to set up proper

19     records.  Records covering all members of the JNA were kept by the

20     personnel administration or what used to be the SSNO and then later on

21     the VJ.  This was called DPP1, which meant personnel information files.

22        Q.   What about the fact that no records were kept?  Did that give

23     rise to problems, difficulties?  Can you give us an obvious example?

24     What sort of thing may occur if no records are kept?

25        A.   Personnel records in relation to members of the VJ were

Page 10496

 1     exceptionally important.  It's important for regulating the position and

 2     status of a member within an army.  Any erroneous information in relation

 3     to any individual may lead to that person not being able to exercise his

 4     rights or perhaps to that person exercising his rights beyond his actual

 5     entitlements.

 6        Q.   Records not being kept, did that cause any problems in terms of

 7     the soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska and the Serbian Krajina,

 8     anything to do with their rights?

 9        A.   Yes.  May I explain?  There was one problem in particular posed

10     by the rights already earned based on one's years of service in the army,

11     in the JNA earlier on.  No one had the right under the constitution or

12     indeed under any international provisions to declare such rights null and

13     void.  Also, those persons were facing such a situation that unless their

14     status was resolved and the rights they enjoyed under their status, this

15     would have utterly destroy their families and make their physical

16     survival as human beings entirely impossible.

17             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Did you, at any stage, work in the Army of

18     Republika Srpska, the VRS, and/or the SVK?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I please have the

20     abbreviations explained to me.

21             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Did you ever work in the Army of the Republika

22     Srpska and the army of -- the Serbian Army of Krajina?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes -- or, rather, yes.

24             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You did.  When was this?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I became chief of the

Page 10497

 1     personnel administration, head of personnel administration on the 31st of

 2     December, 1998.  An additional explanation if I may, Your Honour.

 3             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You don't have to give me an additional

 4     explanation.

 5             We're talking here, I think, around the period 1992/1993,

 6     Mr. Lukic, don't we -- aren't we?  Not 1998, Mr. Nikolic.  And the reason

 7     I'm asking you this question is because you are being asked the question:

 8     "Records not being kept, did that cause any problems in terms of the

 9     soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska and Serbian Krajina, anything to

10     do with their rights?"

11             Now, the question is not clear whether these records are not

12     being kept in the Army of Republika Srpska and the Serbian Krajina or in

13     the VJ.  However, you have testified earlier, a couple of minutes ago,

14     that the SSNO did keep records, which was within the JNA.  Now, I'm not

15     quite sure what the phrase "records not being kept" refers to.

16             I might add, Mr. Lukic, that a little earlier again, when the

17     witness did tell us that records were kept by the SSNO, you followed up

18     again by a question -- with a question that suggested that records were

19     not being kept.  I didn't intervene, but, in fact, I expected your

20     colleagues on the other side to jump up, but they didn't.  And I didn't

21     understand where this non-keeping of records comes from when the witness

22     has not testified to that.

23             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will try to use my questions to

24     shed light on the situation that has arisen.

25             I'm somewhat taken aback, I think.  I don't think the witness

Page 10498

 1     understood your first question.

 2        Q.   His Honour Judge Moloto wanted to know if you ever worked with

 3     the VRS and the SVK, and you said, Yes.  I was somewhat taken aback by

 4     that.  Let us try and clarify that first because that was my

 5     understanding of the Judge's question.  Did you, sir, Mr. Nikolic, ever

 6     work with the VRS or the SVK?

 7        A.   Most certainly not.

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You haven't worked with them.  My question was

 9     going to be how you knew that they did or did not keep records, but that

10     depends on the meaning of the question that I started with that came from

11     Mr. Lukic where he states at page 66, starting at line 5:

12             "Records not being kept, did that cause any problems in terms of

13     the soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska and the Serbian Krajina,

14     anything to do with their rights?"

15             So where, if I may ask you, when you ask the question, sir, when

16     you talk about records not being kept, in which army are records not

17     being kept?

18             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   What about the Federal Secretariat for All People's Defence?  Did

20     they keep records of all members of the JNA?  That's my first question.

21     I'm referring to active-duty soldiers.

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   Later on the VJ was established, the defence ministry of the FRY.

24     Were records still kept regarding persons who as members of the VRS or

25     the SVK had certain entitlements in the FRY?

Page 10499

 1        A.   No, up to a certain point in time.

 2        Q.   I'm not sure if I'm making myself any clearer now.

 3             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You're confusing me further.  I don't understand

 4     why after the break-up of the armies into three armies, why the VJ must

 5     keep records of the VRS and the SVK, the VRS being --

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps the witness should be allowed

 7     to answer the question without asking him to leaving the courtroom.

 8        Q.   The Judge's question is:  This why was it necessary for the VJ to

 9     keep records of persons who were in a different army?

10        A.   I understand.  Your Honours, as far as I understand, we are

11     looking here at the problem of the file keeping and record-keeping.  That

12     was my understanding of the question as it was posed regarding

13     professional members of the VRS and the SVK remaining in the territories

14     of those republics as well as those who had been sent or who are now

15     being sent to those armies to join them as members, but it didn't apply

16     to everyone.

17             The only objective of all of this being for them to be able to

18     exercise their statutory rights based on their service in whichever army

19     they legally belonged to.

20        Q.   We'll be using a number of other documents dealing with this.

21             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May this document please be received,

22     Your Honour.

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  [Microphone not activated]

24             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honours.  This document shall be

25     assigned Exhibit D245.  Thank you.

Page 10500

 1             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you.

 2             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] The members of the army who were

 3     serving in the Yugoslav Army who then remained in the Serb Krajina army

 4     or in the Republika Srpska.

 5             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter apologises.  She didn't hear

 6     the beginning of the question.

 7             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] I would like to know what happened

 8     to the former JNA members who decided to join the Croatian Army or the

 9     ABiH army.  What difference in your eyes is there between all these

10     former soldiers of the JNA?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understand the

12     question.  I would like to point out one thing, though.  I'm not sure if

13     it's a misinterpretation.  You said "former soldiers of the JNA."  They

14     were members of the JNA working with the Yugoslavia All People's Army.

15     Is that who you have in mind?

16             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Well actually, you made a number

17     of comments on legal texts that had to do with the soldiers of the

18     National Yugoslav Army which had chosen either to remain in the Serbian

19     Krajina army or the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- I'm sorry, Republika

20     Srpska, not Bosnia-Herzegovina.

21             So I would like to know the following:  Regarding their status in

22     relation to the JNA -- or to the VJ or to the former JNA, I would like to

23     know what was the status of the soldiers of the troops who had decided to

24     join either the ABiH or the Croatian Army?  Did you also keep records on

25     them for their pension rights, for their benefits that they had accrued?

Page 10501

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, personnel

 2     administration as I said for as long as there was the SFRY kept records

 3     in relation to all members of the JNA.  From the moment that the armies

 4     of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia were created as

 5     well as the BH Army, I will not keep enumerating those anymore such as

 6     the VRS and the SVK.  Each of the armies kept their own personal records

 7     and dealt with their own personal issues.  What you're asking me about is

 8     do I know what the status was of soldiers in the Army of the Republic of

 9     Croatia, the Army of the Republic of Slovenia, the BH Army.  I don't know

10     and it exceeds --

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Slow down.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

13             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Carry on.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me repeat.  Your Honour, should

15     I --

16             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, repeat.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for as long as there

18     was the SFRY and its armed forces, records were kept by the personnel

19     administration of the SSNO for all members of the JNA.  From the moment

20     that certain armies broke off in certain countries, the records from that

21     were there remain with the personnel administration.  But if you ask me,

22     the records were not accurate because nobody knew who was going where and

23     so on and so forth.  The status of these persons was regulated by the

24     countries of whose armies they now became new members.  Personally, I do

25     not know how they dealt with issues regarding their status.

Page 10502

 1             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] That's precisely the question I

 2     would like you to help me solve.  As far as the members of the army or

 3     the soldiers who served in the Serbian Krajina are concerned and that

 4     served in the Army of the Republika Srpska, they were part of a foreign

 5     army as compared with the Yugoslav Army.  No?  Wasn't that the case?  So

 6     why did you keep all the archives and the service of all these men and

 7     not the other men, or was it one and the same army?  But I don't think

 8     you're going to answer that, are you?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the VJ - as Madam

10     Judge, I'm not sure what her name is said - looked after the situation in

11     the service.  The situation in the VRS and the SVK was dealt with

12     internally by those armies because those were the chains of command.  The

13     only reason records were being kept, and the sole reason, was that there

14     were relatives of these members now arriving in the territory of the FRY.

15             There were certain social benefits such as health insurance and

16     other such things that the issue hinged on.  This was an issue of status.

17     It was a mere question of status.  In relation to these members that we

18     have been discussing, it wasn't about regulating their situation within

19     the service as such.

20             This decision, Your Honour, could not have been passed by the

21     defence minister or by the Chief of the General Staff.  The only

22     possibility was for this decision to be taken by the supreme political

23     body in Yugoslavia and the Supreme Command and control level.

24             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answer.

25             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Lukic.

Page 10503

 1             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   General, we are soon now going to see a document relating to the

 3     establishment of personnel centre which is the 10th of November, 1993.

 4     Do you know before that period and before General Perisic became Chief of

 5     the General Staff, were any solutions sought to these issues that had to

 6     do with the status?

 7        A.   Yes.  Based on the documents and the previous conclusions, one

 8     can see that the highest command and controlled organs were looking for

 9     specific solutions in order to resolve the status-related problems of

10     members of the army.  I was personally involved as the head of my

11     administration and at the request of the VJ General Staff in the process

12     of searching for solutions for these problems, and we came up with

13     certain proposals to be submitted to the Supreme Defence Council to

14     enable it to make appropriate decisions within their purview.

15        Q.   Can we please now look at Prosecution Exhibit P730.  This is a

16     decision relating to the competence and manner resolving status-related

17     issues for active military personnel in the Yugoslav Army, et cetera.

18     This document is undated, and on the last page we can see the name of

19     Zoran Lilic, president of the FRY.  The document is not signed.  What do

20     you know about this document?  And it refers to the Serbian Army of

21     Krajina.

22        A.   As I said before, I know from this document how status-related

23     issues should be resolved with regard to professional members of the Army

24     of Republika Srpska and the Army of Serbian Krajina who became their

25     members or had been sent from the territory of the FRY who were removed

Page 10504

 1     from the chain command -- of command of the VJ and were put in the chain

 2     of command of these two armies.  We were looking for the best possible

 3     solutions to propose to the president and the Supreme Defence Council who

 4     will then take a final decision so as to create a possibility for

 5     resolving these issues in the proposed manner.  One can see from this

 6     document that we invoke the decisions taken on the 4th of May, 1992,

 7     because there were regulations and a whole set of laws such as the Law on

 8     Defence, the Law on the Army, and the financing of property were in

 9     place, but we didn't have any concrete decisions in place.  If I may add,

10     under item number 1, you can see, and it reads as follows:

11              "The General Staff of the VJ will continue to finance gross

12     salaries ..."

13             As far as I know, President Lilic took the position of the

14     chairman of the Supreme Defence Council in June 1993, not 1992, 1993, and

15     since these legislative documents were still in the procedure of

16     adoption, this was an attempt to find some mode of solving the

17     status-related issues of servicemen.

18        Q.   This document refers to the Serbian Army of Krajina.  Can we now

19     look at document 65 ter Defence --

20             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the counsel please repeat the number of

21     the document.

22             MR. LUKIC:  00037D.

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Before we do that, I'd like to get some clarity

24     from the witness on this document.

25             From your answer to the questions about this P730, Mr. Nikolic,

Page 10505

 1     you left me with the impression that your administration acted on this --

 2     the contents of this document; am I right?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, representatives of my

 4     administration participated in drafting certain proposals that are

 5     contained in this document.

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes.  Okay.  Fine.  Now, with those proposals now

 7     contained in this document, did you -- did any organ of the Army of

 8     Yugoslavia act on the contents of this document?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as I can

10     remember and as far as I know, organisational units from the ministry and

11     the VJ took part in this, primarily the personnel administration, the

12     General Staff, and the administration for the legal and personnel affairs

13     of the Ministry of Defence.  I don't know about anyone else being

14     involved.

15             JUDGE MOLOTO:  When you say "took part in this," what do you

16     mean?  Took part in what?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They took part in drafting this

18     decision.

19             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I've passed the drafting part, Mr. Nikolic.

20     Please listen to my question.  My question is no longer about the

21     drafting of the document.  In fact, it never was.  My question is:  Did

22     any organ of the -- or in particular your organ, your administration, did

23     you take any steps to implement the proposals contained in this document?

24     Your answer should either be, Yes, or No, or I don't know.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat the

Page 10506

 1     question, Your Honours.

 2             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Did your administration, sir, implement the

 3     proposals contained in this document?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A number of proposals were accepted

 5     and are part of the draft decision.

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Let me tell you why I'm asking you this question,

 7     sir.  At page 73, starting from line 1, you are being asked a question:

 8     "Do you know before that period, before --" beg your pardon.  Let me go

 9     up.  Starting at page 72, line 24:

10             "General, we are soon now going to see a document relating to the

11     establishment of personnel centre which is the 10th of November, 1993.

12     Do you know before that period and before General Perisic became Chief of

13     the General Staff were any solutions sought to these issues that had to

14     do with the status?"

15             Your answer was:

16             "Yes.  Based on the documents and the previous conclusions, one

17     can see that the highest command and controlled organs were looking for

18     specific solutions in order to resolve the status-related problems of

19     members of the army.  I was personally involved as the head of my

20     administration, and at the request of the VJ General Staff in the process

21     of searching for solutions for these problems and we came up with certain

22     proposals to be submitted to the Supreme Defence Council to enable it to

23     make appropriate decisions within their purview."

24             Now, then as I understand your answer, it's -- you made these

25     proposals to enable the Supreme Defence Council to make appropriate

Page 10507

 1     decisions.  Hence my question:  Did any organ -- did the Supreme Defence

 2     Council, for argument's sake, make any decisions based on the proposals

 3     contained in this document?  You should be able to say, Yes, No, or I

 4     don't know.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have an additional

 6     question in order for me to able to say yes or no.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  What's your question?  What's your question?

 8             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter didn't hear the last sentence

 9     that the witness said.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You asked me whether certain

11     proposals that we made were accepted for the purpose of drafting a

12     decision to be signed by the chairman of the Supreme Defence Council.  I

13     can answer yes to that question.  Some of these proposals were accepted

14     and incorporated into the draft decision that was later signed by

15     President Lilic.

16             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Nikolic, that's not the question I asked you.

17     My question simply is:  Did anybody act on the basis of this document?

18     Did this document authorise anybody to do anything, and did anybody do

19     anything about the content -- the contents of this document?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I understand your question,

21     Your Honours.  By looking at the content of this documents, things were

22     being done, but I see that there is no signature here.  As a jurist, I

23     cannot say, maybe there is a signature, but I don't see one.  That is why

24     I mention November 1993 when President Lilic signed a similar document.

25             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You see, I'm not taking about the similar

Page 10508

 1     document.  I'm talking about this document.  I'm asking you whether

 2     anything was done by anybody based on this document, and that is why I'm

 3     saying your answer should be either, Yes or a No or I don't know.

 4             You see, you're not testifying on the similar document because we

 5     don't have it before us.  We're talking about this document.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you so much, Mr. Nikolic.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if any action was

 9     taken.

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Just before I hand you over to Judge David, you

11     referred to the -- you referred to the fact that that document does not

12     have a signature.  What's the significance of the lack of signature on

13     the document?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Counsel Lukic himself said that

15     this is an unsigned document.

16             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I know that.  I know that.  My question to you is:

17     What is the significance of the fact that it is not signed?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know any facts that would

19     explain why this was not signed.

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  That's not my question.  I'm not asking you why it

21     was not signed.  I'm saying what is the significance?  What significance

22     does this document have if it is unsigned?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document is important because

24     it was not explicitly prescribed in what way status-related issues of the

25     category of the persons mentioned were going to be resolved, and we, who

Page 10509

 1     made this proposals, we adapted the solutions, or, rather, based them on

 2     the existing provisions in the law.  Because there was no explicit

 3     provision for that.  We came up with these proposals.

 4             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I give up.  Thank you.

 5             JUDGE DAVID:  General, you said recently as a jurist when

 6     answering a question to Judge Moloto.  Now, as a jurist, I would like

 7     you, if you can, to answer the following question:  In the first

 8     paragraph of the document that we are examining says:

 9              "The General Staff of the Yugoslav Army shall continue to

10     provide funds for gross salaries for all active military personnel," and

11     continues.

12             Is this sentence related to a problem of record-keeping or

13     adjusting social security matters, record-keeping or social security

14     matters, or the providing of funds has other meanings, which is direct

15     support for all activities of the two armies, Republika Srpska Army and

16     Serbian Krajina army?  I'm asking you as a jurist this question.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What follows, based on this is that

18     up until this time the drafting of this decision, the members of the

19     discussion had been financed, but the idea here was for the supreme

20     political body in the FRY to take a decision regarding that.  Supreme

21     political body or the highest level of command and control.  That was the

22     chief objective in achieving these results.  And if I may, there is a

23     reference here to Article 271 of the Law on Service in the armed forces,

24     and that is what we are invoking here, because there was at the time no

25     law on the Army of the Republic of Yugoslavia and no article for us to

Page 10510

 1     invoke.

 2             As a jurist, the only possible solution was this.

 3             JUDGE DAVID:  General, in your answer, you are saying that the

 4     members of the discussion have been financed, but the idea here was for

 5     the supreme political body in the FRY to take a decision regarding that.

 6             Could you elaborate on that?  Are you saying that financing was

 7     already going on without any authorisation or decree at the high

 8     political level and this legitimised what was going on already?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Payments of compensation for this

10     category of persons were being done pursuant to the decisions of the then

11     Supreme Command and control body, the Presidency of the SFRY.  The

12     association of the republics of Yugoslavia was created, and then a new

13     body came into existence, the Supreme Defence Council, which bore a

14     different name, and now we had to go to that body for a decision.

15             JUDGE DAVID:  Additional question, General.  Thank you for your

16     answer.

17             Was this transformation of one unity, the Yugoslav People's Army,

18     into two more branches of the same, a process related to a status

19     situation of soldiers and officers or record-keeping or have other

20     context of political and military meaning?

21             I don't know if my question is clear to you.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's clear.  It's clear.

23             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge David, you quoted

24     the witness as saying something, but I never heard the witness say that

25     there was a transformation of the VJ into -- [In English] Two branches of

Page 10511

 1     the same army.

 2             JUDGE DAVID:  The witness, if I may recall, has repeated and

 3     there is a document here talking of transformation you have just

 4     presented during this session.

 5             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

 6             JUDGE DAVID:  I am asking about that transformation.

 7             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] All right.  That's your question.

 8     You weren't actually quoting the witness were you.

 9             MR. GUY-SMITH:  Your Honour, just for purposes of clarification,

10     so I'm clear about your question because I'm a bit confused.  You used

11     the language "into two branches of the same," and that's what I'm unclear

12     about.  I'm not clear where that -- that is arising from.

13             JUDGE DAVID:  I just said originally that I wanted to know how

14     this transformation evolved.

15             MR. GUY-SMITH:  Okay.

16             JUDGE DAVID:  If it was just a matter of record keeping or a

17     status-related questions or there were other contextual elements of

18     political and military nature.

19             MR. GUY-SMITH:  That I understand.  That's a slightly different

20     question that I understand.

21             JUDGE DAVID:  General.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the question is

23     entirely clear to me.  You emphasise what you call branches of the VJ.

24     They were absolutely not branches.  These were entirely different armies,

25     each with their own system of command, not the VJ as some sort of

Page 10512

 1     superstructure.  This is about the transformation of Yugoslav All

 2     People's Army, the old JNA.  Those units came from the territories of the

 3     breakaway republics and were now in the territory of the FRY.  That is

 4     what's being transformed.  The former JNA is being transformed into the

 5     VJ, and it wasn't the transformation of the VJ into some branches.  What

 6     you call branches were separate armies each with their own system of

 7     command, each with its own set of laws and constitution.  There was

 8     certainly no hierarchy here or subordination.  They weren't under the VJ

 9     or indeed its branches.

10             JUDGE DAVID:  A final question:  If they were two separate armies

11     as you said, each with their own system of command, each with their own

12     set of laws and constitution, this provision of funds for gross salaries

13     for all military personnel is logically derived from the situation of

14     these different armies?  I repeat the question.

15             You asserted that there were separate armies, each with their own

16     system of command, each with their own sets of laws and constitution, and

17     then I asked you:  This provision of funds for gross salaries for all

18     military personnel in Article 1 of the document, which I repeated before,

19     is logically related to the conclusions that you have just stated that

20     they were separate, independent armies, logically derived from the fact

21     that there were three different armies, or is contradictory to the

22     statement itself, or you don't find any problem?  You can say, Yes, No.

23     You said is logically consistent to provide salaries to soldiers and

24     military personnel of two different -- entirely different armies, or you

25     could say, It's not consistent to do so or, I don't know.  As

Page 10513

 1     Judge Moloto always emphasise, Yes, or No, or I don't know.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as I pointed out in my

 3     statement and in my evidence, these were compensations up to the level of

 4     salary.  For this there has to be a decision by the Supreme Defence

 5     Council as the highest-ranking political body.  All of this has the

 6     objective of resolving these status-related issues.

 7             May I continue?  I apologise.  All this has the objective of

 8     resolving status-related rights under the terms of service, but not in

 9     order to regulate any situation within the service.  And then the

10     compensation is granted that is as high as the salary, but only to those

11     persons who happen to be and who joined the VRS and the SVK after the

12     withdrawal of the JNA from those territories as well as those who were

13     dispatched by that army and now entered a new and separate chain of

14     command.

15             JUDGE DAVID:  I finished my question.  Judge Moloto asks another

16     question.

17             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I'm sorry, and I realise we've gone past our time,

18     but maybe -- I would like to clarify -- to clear this with some question

19     with the witness here.

20             Mr. Nikolic, Slovenia broke away from the SFRY and formed its own

21     army; is that correct?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Croatia did the same.  And it formed its own army.

24     And then the Serbian -- the RSK, the Republic of the Serbian Krajina also

25     broke away and formed its army called the Serbian Army of Krajina.  And

Page 10514

 1     the Republika Srpska also broke away and formed its army called the Army

 2     of the Republika Srpska; is that correct?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 4             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Slovenia and Croatia broke -- Croatia broke away,

 5     there was no need for the VJ to continue to keep records and pay salaries

 6     of the soldiers of the Slovenia and Croatia; is that correct?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The records remained.  We no longer

 8     kept the records but they were still there from the former JNA, the files

 9     and records.

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You didn't continue to pay their entitlements,

11     their rights.  Isn't that so?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

13             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You continued to pay such entitlements for

14     soldiers in the Army of the Republika Srpska and in the Army of the

15     Serbian Krajina.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

17             JUDGE MOLOTO:  And these four armies, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbian

18     Krajina, and VRS, were separate armies from the VJ.  The question is:

19     Why do you continue to pay certain entitlements to the soldiers of the

20     Serbian Krajina and the Republika Srpska Army and not to the Slovenian

21     ones and the Croatian ones?  That's the question.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, just a

23     single correction, or perhaps I was not receiving good interpretation.

24     We did not just simply pay the money to the members of the VRS or the SVK

25     as a category, only those persons as specified earlier on, because the

Page 10515

 1     interpretation that I received, the General Staff or the VJ was paying

 2     their salaries to all of the members of the VRS and the SVK.  No.  Only

 3     those who met the criteria that I specified.  And to the best of my

 4     knowledge, the number of those that actually received the benefits

 5     actually constitutes a very small portion of their total.  I have

 6     previously enumerated the specific categories.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  The question still stands:  What about those

 8     categories within the Slovenian Army and within the Croatian Army?  Why

 9     were they not paid?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Slovenia and Croatia

11     passed their own laws by which they would no longer be applying any of

12     the federal laws including those in relation to the federal army.  They

13     adopted their own sets of laws and regulated their own issues as they saw

14     fit.  I have no idea how they regulated the status-related issues of

15     their own members.  Why were we paying no benefits and salaries to these

16     men, is that the question?

17             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Did the Serbian Army of Krajina and the Army of

18     Republika Srpska not pass their own laws to regulate their own armies?

19     They didn't, didn't they?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were laws in place, both in

21     the VRS and in the SVK.

22             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You continued to pay them.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, can you please repeat

24     that?

25             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You continued to pay them.  You said the Slovenian

Page 10516

 1     Army and the Croatian Army set up their own laws to regulate themselves,

 2     and I'm saying so did the Republika Srpska Army and the Serbian Army of

 3     Krajina.  They also came up with their own laws, but you still continued

 4     to pay them some monies which you didn't pay to the Slovenian and

 5     Croatian armies and, I might add, the BiH Army.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these payments were

 7     aid payments.  And this was envisaged by a decision of the highest

 8     command body of the Presidency of the SFRY.  And again I'm saying only

 9     those who actually became members of this --

10             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  Can the witness please

11     repeat the answer.  The interpreters failed to understand the answer.

12             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Please repeat your answer, and be brief.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The decision of the Presidency of

14     the SFRY was for those people who remained within the VRS and the SVK, as

15     well as those to be dispatched or have already been dispatched to those

16     armies to continue to receive compensation and benefits.  The main

17     reason, Your Honour, being that their families were now in the territory

18     of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and we needed to provide them with

19     some sort of livelihood, subsistence.

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Did you have anything to --

21             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I do have something, but I think it's

22     best left for tomorrow.

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  We'll take a break.  I'm sorry about this.

24             Mr. Nikolic, we're back again in Courtroom I tomorrow at 9.00 in

25     the morning, and again you are warned you may not discuss the case with

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 1     anybody for as long as you are in the witness stand.

 2             Court adjourned.  Tomorrow morning at 9.00, Courtroom I.

 3                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.,

 4                           to be reconvened on Friday, the 5th day

 5                           of March, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.