1 Friday, 5 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE DAVID: Good morning, all of you. Please be seated.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-81-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic. Thank you.
11 JUDGE DAVID: Thank you very much. May we have the appearances
12 for today starting with the Prosecution.
13 MR. THOMAS: Good morning Your Honours. Barney Thomas,
14 Carmela Javier, and Dan Saxon for the Prosecution.
15 JUDGE DAVID: And for the Defence?
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
17 morning to all. On behalf of Mr. Perisic, Novak Lukic, Gregor Guy-Smith,
18 Tina Drolec, and Boris Zorko.
19 JUDGE DAVID: Good morning, Mr. Nikolic. I hope you had a very
20 rested night.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes,
23 JUDGE DAVID: I remind you that you are still bound by the oath
24 you have taken to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood, Your Honour.
2 WITNESS: STAMENKO NIKOLIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic, please, you are yesterday just starting
5 the summary of your case or you said something in relation to round up
6 the case.
7 I remind all of you that in the absence of Judge Moloto, we are
8 sitting according to 15 bis today.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour
10 Judge David.
11 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
12 Q. In the last part of yesterday's session for the most part,
13 Mr. Nikolic, you were answering questions by the Judges. All of that
14 followed from that draft decision, which is an exhibit. I think this
15 is --
16 A. I have it in front of me.
17 Q. I will not be needing that exhibit for the time being. P730,
18 just for the sake of the transcript, P730.
19 You were asked several questions by the Judges. During today's
20 hearing, I'll probably be going back to those topics through a number of
21 other documents. There are a couple of things I'd like to clarify with
22 you, specific answers, please. All of this follows from our last subject
24 General, do you know from what point in time VRS officers and SVK
25 officers, former JNA officers were receiving salaries from the Federal
1 Army of Yugoslavia.
2 A. Salaries of the professional members of the VRS, former JNA men
3 and the soldiers of the SVK continually received salaries from --
4 Q. Just a minute. From what point in time on. The armies were
5 established in 1992. From what point in time on were these men receiving
6 salaries from that source?
7 A. Well, they were receiving salaries even earlier on in 1991, and
8 in 1992. The cycle was never broken.
9 Q. The personnel centres were set up in November 1993. Did these
10 men receive salaries even before the decision was taken to set those up?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Based on what decision? Based on whose decision were they
13 receiving these salaries?
14 A. Those men were receiving those salaries pursuant to a decision by
15 the supreme political body and supreme military command in the country.
16 Q. What political body?
17 A. Up until 1992, while the SFRY was still around, this would have
18 been the Presidency of the SFRY. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia then
19 came into being, and --
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last part of
21 the witness's answer because he trailed off.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the federal government. I do
23 apologise. Because the federal government is in charge of defence
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you. We talked yesterday. We looked at that law, and we
2 looked at all the elements that go to make up a salary. We had the rank,
3 the position, years of service. We also looked at what all the other
4 entitlements were that flow from one's status, professional status within
5 the army.
6 In order to be able to receive salaries as members of the VJ, do
7 these men need to have their status formalised in any shape or form?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And had those men been members of the VJ would have taken a
10 special decision to regulate their status within the service?
11 A. This applied to each member of the VJ. In order for these men to
12 receive salaries, there has to be a document that is adopted regulating
13 their status within the service.
14 Q. Where is that envisaged? What regulation?
15 A. The law on the VJ, earlier on it was called the Law on the Armed
17 Q. At those offices of the VRS and the SVK who were receiving
18 salaries even as early on as back in 1991 -- all right. I'm going to --
19 at this point in time when the JNA -- maybe it's my mistake, well, I
20 don't know, it's when the JNA suddenly left the territory of the Croatian
22 Had they been members of the VJ, would it have taken a special
23 decision to set up these personnel centres?
24 A. Yes. If I understand your question. I do apologise.
25 Q. If the law regulates their status within the service, these are
1 your words, sir, would a special decision have been required for someone
2 who --
3 A. No. I'd --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: One speaker at a time,
5 please. Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Why was this necessary to formalise this? Why did this require a
8 decision by the supreme political body in the country for them to be able
9 to exercise their entitlements, a special decision?
10 A. The basic reason and the most important reason for such a
11 decision to be taken by the supreme political body and the Supreme
12 Command was to make sure there were records regarding each and every
13 member of the army, their whereabouts so that their status could be
14 ascertained. No record, no man, no soldier.
15 Q. Just a minute, please. You mentioned these records. I was
16 reading yesterday's transcript and then the questions by Judge Moloto and
17 Judge Picard. I'll try to sum it up: Why was it necessary to keep the
18 files of VRS and SVK army officers, yet there was no need to continued to
19 keep the records of those who had by now joined the Croatian Army or the
20 BH Army?
21 A. The basic reason for records like that to be kept, which is also
22 a basis for regulating one's status within the service for the VRS and
23 the SVK, this stems from the highest-ranking political bodies for the
24 entitlements to continue within these two services in terms of their
25 status and in terms of everything else that flows from the service. That
1 was the basic reason.
2 Q. And you believe that there was a --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Would the speakers please
4 be asked to observe a pause and may they please speak one at a time in
5 order to ensure an accurate interpretation. Thank you very much.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Nikolic, we've been kindly asked by the interpreter to
8 both ...
9 A. I understand. I'll do my best.
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Were you into politics at that time? Were you actively involved
13 in politics? Can you tell us here, without speculating, what the motives
14 might have been driving the politicians to adopt a decision like that?
15 Did you perhaps receive any information to that effect from your own
16 superiors, sir?
17 MR. THOMAS: I'm sorry, Your Honours, I may have missed an
18 answer, but if I missed an answer, then so did Madam Stenographer. I
19 don't know if we ever got any answer to the questions about
20 General Nikolic's involvement in politics at the time.
21 JUDGE DAVID: Thank you.
22 Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'll withdraw the question until
24 later on.
25 Q. Just a minute, please. We'll be moving on to a different topic
1 now and then later we'll be using some documents to return to what we
2 have been speaking about now.
3 Mr. Nikolic, let me start like this: Do you know that Mr. Lilic
4 and the political leadership eventually adopted a decision with regard to
5 the problem that we've been discussing? If so, when?
6 A. I'm sorry, I didn't hear you right. When President Lilic came --
7 Q. Was any formal decision taken by the top-most political leaders
8 in the country to regulate the status of those men?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you and your administration involved in any way in preparing
11 this opinion or proposal regarding that decision?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I would like to see another exhibit now, P1873, please, an OTP
14 exhibit. This is a document comprising several documents. I want to see
15 the letter written by Colonel Milos Kosic.
16 A. I apologise. Could someone please give me a hand.
17 Q. General, it's marked as P1873.
18 A. I've found it.
19 Q. Page 1, please. And you can -- you can manually go through the
20 other portions of the document. That's what we'll be talking about.
21 What is this document?
22 Just for the record, this is document by the Federal Defence
23 Ministry, dated the 6th of October, 1993, to the office of the VJ Chief
24 of the General Staff.
25 A. This is a document sent to the office of the VJ Chief of the
1 General Staff dispatched by the Federal Defence Ministry, signed
2 personally by General Kovac, the said chief. This is an opinion of the
3 administration for system status-related issues of the federal defence
4 ministry in relation to a draft order adopted by the General Staff of the
5 VJ, including a request to present our opinion on the amendments to this
6 order, asking also whether they had our approval for certain amendments
7 to the draft order that was presented.
8 Q. Thank you very much. Next page, please.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have the next page in English,
10 too, please. This is 16534 [In English] 6534 are the last numbers
11 because this is with ERN numbers in e-court.
12 Q. [Interpretation] General, are you familiar with this document?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What is it that we see in front of us, and in what sense is this
15 document part of what you spoke about earlier?
16 A. In this document the chief of the administration for system and
17 status issue in 1992 from whom I took over expresses his views and
18 suggestions concerning the order that was sent to us eliciting our
19 opinion on that.
20 Q. I'm going to read to you paragraph 2. I think that the English
21 interpreters will be able to follow:
22 "In this context and bearing in mind the responsibility of this
23 sector and existing regulations from that area, we believe that there are
24 no explicit legal grounds for such an order to deal with the issues
25 raised. However, there is an apparent need for such a political decision
1 to be made at the highest level of command and control, but it goes
2 without saying that the possible implications that would result from
3 this, especially from an international standpoint, will be assessed."
4 At the time, you were in this administration but in a different
5 sector; is that right?
6 General, my question is: Can you comment and tell us what
7 Colonel Kosic meant by this, and did you take part in drafting this
9 A. Colonel Kosic was the head the administration, and this was and
10 personal view of the administration that I myself drafted.
11 Q. Now, when you say here there is no explicit legal grounds for
12 such an order, what did you mean by that?
13 A. What we meant by that was that in the then regulations in force,
14 such as the Law on the Army and other bylaws, there was no valid or
15 explicitly defined legal ground for this proposed -- for the proposed
16 solutions contained herein. If I may explain.
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. We sought to adapt the solutions with the existing provisions
19 from the law on the service in armed forces, and we primarily wanted to
20 use Article 4(2) --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slowly repeat the
22 numbers of the article.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Just a moment, please. Can you please repeat the article numbers
25 slowly and the legislature that you're referring to.
1 A. I said that we tried to adapt these solutions to the existing
2 provisions from the Law on the Service in Armed Forces, which was in
3 force at the time. Those were, particularly, Articles 271, 284, 493, and
4 494 of the said law.
5 Q. What do these articles refer to? What do they regulate?
6 A. Article 271 speaks about a possibility of sending or deploying
7 personnel outside of the ranks of the JNA army.
8 Article 284 similarly speaks about the sending and deployment of
9 personnel outside of the JNA and the method for regulating their status
10 in these organs that do not belong to the JNA.
11 And Article 493 and also 494 stipulate the scope of
12 responsibility of people in charge to establish the situation and the
13 status in the service.
14 Article 493, it says that the status-related issues for the
15 people holding the ranks of General shall be regulated by the Presidency
16 of the SFRY, whereas Article 494 says that other instances are in charge
17 of regulating status-related issues for other personnel.
18 Q. When you invoked these provisions in the Law on the Armed Forces,
19 also incorporated into the Law on the Army that was later adopted?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. We are going to go through some of the articles of that law, but
22 for now, I wanted to know what you meant by this second sentence where
23 you said:
24 "However, there is an apparent need for such a political decision
25 to be made at the highest level of command and control."
1 This has to do with my previous question and the objection that
2 came from Mr. Thomas. So my question is: Why did you include this
3 particular paragraph in your letter?
4 A. Since the problems were piling up in the aftermath of the
5 adoption of the decision to transform the JNA into the VJ and the
6 decision to pull out the units from Bosnia-Herzegovina within a
7 fortnight, we were faced with the most critical problem and that was how
8 to put in order and update the records, primarily those referring to
9 professional servicemen, what to do, if you allow me to say so, with the
10 basic database for those members of the army who either left the army or
11 joined other armies; and that is the so-called DPP2 file which served as
12 a database, like I said yesterday, for a centralised records of all army
14 Also, one of the most sensitive questions that needed to be
15 resolved was the status of those members of the JNA who stayed behind in
16 those territories without having their status-related issues solved; and
17 we expressed confidence that there was need for this to be regulated but
18 that this, however, goes beyond the scope of responsibilities and
19 authority of the Chief of General Staff.
20 Therefore, we proposed that the Supreme Defence Council should
21 use its prerogatives enshrined in the constitution and pass a decision on
22 how to resolve the status-related issues of these particular type of
24 Q. When you say that a decision should be taken at the highest level
25 of command and control, which particular body did you have in mind?
1 A. In the draft of the Law on the Army and in the constitution of
2 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as well, which was promulgated on the
3 27th of April, 1992, this issue is regulated in that the army in
4 peacetime shall be commanded by the president of the Federal Republic of
5 Yugoslavia pursuant to decisions taken by the Supreme Defence Council.
6 In the next article, it says that as for the engagement of army
7 and use of army shall be subject to a decision by the chairman of the
8 Supreme Defence Council but in accordance with the Law on the Army.
9 Q. Mr. Nikolic, this is not a criticism. What you told me, you
10 could have just put it in one sentence, and I'm telling this for the sake
11 of time.
12 A. The highest organ in this instance was the Supreme Defence
13 Council and Commander-in-Chief.
14 Q. When I'm asking you a specific answer -- question, I'm expecting
15 a specific answer.
16 Now, can you please comment on the last portion of this
17 paragraph. Why did you write the following:
18 "... possible implications that would result from this,
19 especially from an international aspect will be assessed."
20 What did you mean by this?
21 A. Well, bearing in mind that the then Yugoslavia was both under the
22 sanctions and under various pressures, there was a tendency -- or,
23 rather, we assumed that this approach might produce some political
24 implications at that particular period of time.
25 Q. Thank you. That's all I wanted to hear. We shall now move on to
1 the next document. The subject is the same. Can we have, please, P1872
2 on our screen. It is actually a document that contains multiple
3 documents, and I'd like that General and I go through all of those. Let
4 us just wait for it to appear on our screens.
5 A. Please, can you tell me again what the number of the exhibit?
6 Q. It's P1872.
7 A. Yes, I have found it.
8 Q. First we have the covering letter, and it says five attachments.
9 Can you tell me more about the whole set of documents that we are
10 going to discuss now?
11 A. On page 1 of this document, as it was customary, there was a
12 communication between various chiefs, and here we have the Federal
13 Ministry of Defence is being informed that the General -- the Chief of
14 General Staff had approved a certain draft order provided by the
15 administration for system and status-related issues of the Federal
16 Ministry for Defence, and it goes on to say that some of the remarks had
17 been accepted and then some were not.
18 Q. Can we now who have to page 2 in both versions, please. This
19 document has three pages in total. General, can you tell us what this
20 document represents?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The English translation should be
22 ERN -- yes, we have it. Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As you yourself pointed out that
24 this document contains three pages and an attachment, I see this as a
25 preparation or a speaking note for the Chief of General Staff for the
1 Supreme Defence Council that is expected to adopt a certain decision.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Paragraph 1. I'm not willing to read it all together, but I
4 would like you to comment upon it for the benefit of the Trial Chamber.
5 A. In paragraph 1 of this document, the Chief of General Staff would
6 like to inform the Supreme Defence Council about the fact that following
7 the decision to rename the JNA to the Yugoslav Army and the returning of
8 its members in the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the
9 open -- or the matter unresolved was the legal position and personal
10 status of all active JNA servicemen, civilians, who have remained in the
11 Army of Republika Srpska and the Army of Serbian Krajina, and he provided
12 figures for both of these armies.
13 Q. Can we please look at page 2 in English, and I think it's also
14 page 2 in B/C/S -- or, rather, the next page.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can you please look
16 paragraph 5. I'm going to read it out to the witness and then ask him to
17 comment upon it.
18 Q. General, I'm reading at the bottom of page 2, and it reads as
20 "The relevant office of the Yugoslav Army would make all these
21 persons available and send them to a special organ of the Yugoslav Army
22 General Staff (Personnel Administration) based in Belgrade. Further
23 procedure to organise and implement the departure of these persons and
24 resolve their status in service while they're outside of the
25 Yugoslav Army will be taken over by the authorised organs of the
1 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska or the Republic of Serbian
2 Krajina. All the rights of these active servicemen and civilians would
3 be enjoyed in the same manner and scope as for other professionals in the
4 Yugoslav Army."
5 So could you please comment on what the document says. Is that a
6 fair translation and does it tally with what we were talking about a
7 minute ago in terms of looking for a solution to this problem?
8 A. Yes. May I comment, please?
9 Q. By all means. Go ahead.
10 A. They are referring here to these persons at the Belgrade
11 Garrison, and they're saying that an administrative body shall be set up,
12 an organisational unit, to put these men together and send them to the
13 VRS and the SVK. This is associated with the Personnel Administration,
14 meaning that any further steps taken after these men were dispatched
15 would be entirely for the VRS and the SVK. Chief of the General Staff
16 emphasises, though, in terms of protecting the entitlements and rights of
17 these men, the same status will be given to them as those in the VJ.
18 Q. Does this also refer to persons who, at the time this document
19 was produced, had long been serving in the VRS?
20 A. Yes. Paragraph 1 tells you exactly about what categories of
21 persons we are looking at here.
22 Q. Can we now please go to a chart that we can find on the following
24 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Thomas.
25 MR. THOMAS: Sorry, Your Honours. A clarification, please for
1 that answer. Is the witness referring to paragraph 1 of the page as it
2 presently appears on the screen, or is he referring to paragraph 1 of the
3 actual document?
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General, when I asked you about the categories of persons that
6 this draft decision is in relation to, and I asked you about persons who
7 were at that time already members of the VRS, can you give us a reference
8 for that? What exactly in this document tells us that the category
9 includes these men?
10 A. It's about regulating the personal status of all active-duty
11 military personnel from the JNA who now remained in the VRS and in the
12 SVK. It is also in relation to those persons being sent to those areas
13 at some later stage.
14 Q. Where does it say that?
15 A. When the Chief of the General Staff first takes the floor, he
16 goes on to speak about that. Paragraph 1.
17 Q. Thank you very much. Can we now please go to the chart or the
18 table with is on page 5 in the B/C/S document and page 6 in the English.
19 A. I've got it.
20 Q. General, all right. Thank you. What is this information that
21 we're looking at?
22 A. This is an attachment to what the Chief of the General Staff of
23 the Supreme Defence Council said. It gives you an overview of the
24 numbers of active-duty servicemen in the VRS and the SVK. Should I
25 continue to comment? Thank you.
1 Look at this overview or list, we see exactly under Article 271,
2 that was discussed a minute ago, how many men were sent and how many men
3 were found in terms of those who remained in the area following the
4 withdrawal of the JNA. Those were former JNA members who had joined the
5 VRS. Similar information also applies to the SVK.
6 The last thing we see is the total. If you want me to comment on
7 the figures, please say so.
8 Q. This is a document dated the 8th of October, 1993. Based on this
9 chart or table, can you tell us how many members were in the VRS, those
10 whose status needed regulating on the day the chart was drafted, and how
11 many of these men were in the SVK?
12 A. In the VRS, 2.630 men. As for the SVK, a total of 982 men. In
13 total, 3.612 men for both these armies.
14 Q. Thank you. I'm done with this document and would now like to
15 move on, finally, to Prosecution Exhibit P731. This is President Lilic's
16 order dated the 10th of November, 1993.
17 General, are you familiar with this document, and how does that
18 compare to everything that we've been talking about?
19 A. Yes. This is an order by the supreme commander, the president of
20 the Supreme Defence Council. In its preamble, you can see that it
21 invokes a basis for an order like this to be adopted.
22 Should I add anything?
23 Q. The basis is stated here, and it's all in evidence already.
24 Therefore, there's no need to dwell on this.
25 Could you please read paragraph 1 of this order. It's an order;
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What does this order mean to the Chief of the General Staff?
4 A. To the Chief of the General Staff, this order is a basis and also
5 an obligation to act accordingly, to act on this order. His tasks are
6 set out here telling him what he should do in terms of regulating the
7 status and entitlements of active-duty servicemen.
8 Q. Paragraph 1 states:
9 "The General Staff of the VJ shall organ keep a special record on
10 active-duty servicemen, contract servicemen, and civilian employees of
11 the former JNA who remained in the territory of Republika Srpska and the
12 Republic of Serbian Krajina, and profession servicemen and civilians
13 employed in the Yugoslav Army who were born in the former SFRY republics
14 of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and were admitted to military
15 schools or joined the JNA from these republics."
16 We talked about this yesterday, and even today you talked with
17 these records. Does this have anything to do with the problem regarding
18 these records? Is there a task being issued here in relation to these
20 A. As I've said a number of times in answer to your questions, the
21 records were the fundamental problem being faced at the time. Finally,
22 the president of the Supreme Defence Council, the Commander-in-Chief,
23 which I think is something of an unusual gesture for him to take on the
24 responsibility to say exactly what this order regulates. So he states
25 right at the outset that one must organise and keep special records.
1 This is one of the fundamental criteria set out in this record. Special
2 records, and I'm not going to read again what you just read. He also
3 defines the categories of persons that this applies to.
4 Q. Paragraph 3, the second part of paragraph 3:
5 "Throughout this period, these individuals --" and probably means
6 the people's whose records are kept -- or rather, I won't paraphrase
7 this, no. Let me take a minute to read it.
8 Where -- what -- which body is being established here pursuant to
9 this order?
10 A. A body to regulate these issues that you quoted in paragraph 3,
11 and the bodies named in paragraph 4 of this document. The president of
12 the republic, the Commander-in-Chief, talks about the implementation of
13 these plans to do with special, and then he goes on to emphasise
14 personnel centres, not command centres, personnel centres. As for your
15 question, sir.
16 Q. It says -- I'm reading Article 3, the latter portion.
17 "... these individuals shall retain all the rights pertaining to
18 their rank and qualification, retain the salary that they had in the post
19 they occupied before the current assignment, or they shall receive the
20 salary envisaged for the new post, whichever is more favourable for the
22 What is this in relation to in terms of the reasons for the
23 establishment of these personnel centres?
24 A. When the president of the republic specifies that throughout
25 the -- this time these persons would be keeping their entitlements
1 according to their rank, and we talked about that yesterday. What does
2 that mean? It's a salary that is rank based. There are a number of
3 points that is awarded, and the salary is then calculated, and then the
4 position within a group that the person was assigned to before they were
5 ever dispatched or after they were dispatched, just incase this person
6 suffers no detriment whatsoever and this person is now appointed to a
7 different duty in terms of the salary that is due him under the law.
8 What this does, in practical terms, is to protect all these
9 persons to make sure they can exercise their rights and entitlements as
10 defined here.
11 Q. Are formal conditions created here for their rights and
12 entitlements to be exercised that they had from earlier on?
13 A. Yes, and that's exactly what this order means.
14 Q. Paragraph 4, sir. Tasks are specified here for the Chief of the
15 General Staff in relation to these personnel centres. What I want to
16 know is your comment on the last task set out here, the method of dealing
17 with the status in the service and protecting the rights from their
18 remaining service of these members and their families.
19 Is that not one of the tasks for the personnel centre?
20 A. Paragraph 4 of the order talks about that. It particularly
21 points out for the implementation on certain plans for the work of these
22 personnel centres, and there's a list of what they should do, and then
23 hereby authorise the Chief of the General Staff to deal with such and
24 such issues. And then finally where it goes on to say, this is the last
25 sentence, the procedure to regulate their status within the service and
1 to protect the rights and entitlements of these persons and their
2 families. That is the fundamental tasks that the personnel centres are
3 now facing.
4 Q. General, in your own words what did you understand these
5 personnel centres to be and what did you understand their work to be?
6 A. By virtue of this order, the tasks and activities are defined
7 that the personnel centres would be in charge of. That is why I said
8 this order was peculiar - I do apologise for the expression - in the
9 sense of being different from the other documents. This order gives the
10 Chief of the General Staff a very say -- sound basis for regulating a
11 whole number of other issues.
12 The fundamental task and function of this order on personnel
13 centres would be twofold if you asked me. The fundamental function, the
14 decisive function, is to keep special files covering certain categories
15 of persons as defined here. The other function would be to regulate
16 their situation within the service in terms of their status, rights, and
17 entitlements under the rules of service.
18 Q. President Lilic invokes the Supreme Defence Council and one of
19 its meetings in the preamble to this order.
20 A. Yes, that is true.
21 Q. President of the republic or his -- does the president of the
22 republic have a military cabinet?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Does this military cabinet have some sort of legal service that
25 is its component?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What exactly does this legal service or legal team do?
3 A. I never studied their rules, the rules of their work.
4 Nevertheless, their job would have been to prepare documents for the
5 supreme commander, the president of the Supreme Defence Council, in
6 keeping with the laws and the constitution, and, of course, in keeping
7 with its own powers. Any document sent by the General Staff, the
8 government, a ministry, or any other federal organ must, of course, be
9 reviewed, co-ordinated, and agreed upon.
10 Q. General, do you know, after the issuing of this orders -- order,
11 if the personnel centres were set up and who issued this specific order?
12 A. Pursuant to the order of the Commander-in-Chief and, by his
13 authority, the Chief of General Staff within the scope of responsibility
14 conferred on him by the president of Yugoslavia, set up these personnel
15 centres. The -- President Lilic's order did not specify the personnel
16 centres. However, what he established were the 30th and the 40th
17 personnel centres. These centres, pursuant to the order of the Chief of
18 General Staff, became part of the personnel administration of the sector
19 for system and status-related issue of the General Staff of the VJ.
20 Q. Later, in 1995, you went to the General Staff. We'll talk about
21 it later, but let's just mention this thing at this point. When you went
22 to visit those centres, can you tell me how many people you saw working
23 there? Can you just illustrate the situation for us?
24 A. When I assumed the duty of the chief of the personnel
25 administration, as I said yesterday, and that took place on the 31st of
1 December, 1998, I only had one personnel centre, the 30th Personnel
2 Centre, as part might have administration, because the 40th Personnel
3 Centre had already been disbanded at the time. The composition of that
4 personnel centre, because I was in charge of administrative issues that
5 were coming from the General Staff, actually amounted to 10 to 12
6 persons. As far as I remember, there were four to six officers, three to
7 four non-commissioned officers, and the rest were civilians.
8 I'm not talking here about the personnel who were given the
9 function of commanding, but, rather, leading and directing people in
10 terms of performing the tasks given to them, and that is what we
11 mentioned a while ago, was to keep records and resolve status-related
13 If you would allow me, I would like to say that these were people
14 within the general VES, which is the military speciality, i.e., people
15 who were versed in finances or other areas or people who simply dealt
16 with personnel issues.
17 Non-commissioned officers were mainly involved in information
18 technology work.
19 Q. Do you know the name of the person who was at the head of the
20 30th Personnel Centre? Who was his direct superior?
21 A. Colonel Biga, Milan, was at the head of this department, if I
22 remember correctly. This personnel centre actually had only one
23 department and one general sector, and I said that it numbered -- the
24 staff numbered 10 to 12 people.
25 Q. His post was called chief?
1 A. Yes. He was chief of the personnel centre. And another person
2 who was a lieutenant-colonel was the chief of the centre, and, as I said,
3 the total number of posts in the centre was between 10 and 12.
4 Q. And to whom was the chief of the personnel centre answerable to
6 A. He was directly responsible to the chief of the personnel
8 Q. Let us now look at -- no. Before that, while we still have this
9 document on the screen, item 5 of President Lilic's order reads as
11 "For the implementation of all the assignments from this Order
12 that fall within the competence of the Federal Ministry of Defence,
13 ensure full co-ordination and co-operation between the General Staff of
14 the Yugoslav Army and this Ministry."
15 A. When we spoke about the responsibilities and competence of the
16 Federal Ministry of Defence, inter alia, we said that one of its duties
17 was to provide financial means and to codify certain issues. In that
18 sense, president, as the Commander-in-Chief, requires co-ordination to be
19 established and that it be implemented in practice by all these involved
20 within their respective domains.
21 Q. Thank you, General. Let us now move to another document, which I
22 also think is important for this topic. That's P734. It's an
23 instruction on how the personnel centres are going to function and
25 While we're waiting for the document, which is dated the 8th of
1 December, 1993, I will first go through a number of items that I think
2 were important, but before that, can you tell me who passed this document
3 and what is its significance?
4 A. Pursuant to an order issued by the Chief of General Staff, which
5 was harmonised with an order of the chairman of the Supreme Defence
6 Council and the Commander-in-Chief, the Chief of General Staff issued a
7 task to the personnel administration to adopt, as soon as possible,
8 instructions on the functioning and programme of activities of special
9 personnel centres. And in the preamble, you can see on the basis of
10 which laws and which orders these instructions were issued.
11 Q. This is a relatively long document. It's made up of several
12 parts. The first part is called "General work principles." Then we have
13 the next chapter, "Record-keeping." Third chapter is "Secondment and
14 transfer." Chapter 4, "Special procedures for relating status-related
15 issues and other rights." And the fifth and last chapter is
16 "Repatriation and -- of professional soldiers and their transfer from the
17 personnel centres."
18 Now, my question, General, is, because I think that the first
19 item explains the underlying reason for adopting this particular
20 document. I'm not going to read it, but can you tell me this: Was it
21 necessary to draft such a long instructions if -- to secure a proper
22 functioning the army?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I probably put a too complicated question to you. So for the
25 purpose of regulating status and keeping records on members of the VJ,
1 was this kind of instruction necessary?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Can you please comment, but I'm not going to ask you to comment
4 number 1, which I think is quite clear, but, rather, your comment on item
5 4, and I'm going to read it.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] You can see, Your Honours, item 4 in
7 English, and it reads:
8 "For people in the KC service of professional soldiers and
9 civilians from entering into professional military service, resolving
10 service status, promotion, exercising other service rights, and until
11 cessation of professional military service shall be regulated in line
12 with procedure and pursuant to the regulations relating to the
13 Yugoslav Army."
14 Q. Can you tell me why was it important to say a thing like this
15 explicitly in item number 4 of these instructions?
16 A. It's been emphasised here a necessity, or, rather, an obligation
17 of high-ranking officers; and it refers to the Army of Republika Srpska
18 and the Army of Serbian Krajina whose duty was to regulate the service
19 status of professional servicemen in these armies respectively and to
20 follow up the procedures that pertain to the Yugoslav Army, the main
21 reason being for them to be able to exercise their rights that they are
22 entitled to as members of these army.
23 Q. But where are these members of the VRS and the SVK exercising
24 these rights?
25 A. Through the 30th and the 40th Personnel Centres in Belgrade. I
1 don't know if I was clear, if you need any additional information.
2 Q. What institution specifically enabled them to exercise those
3 rights? You said the personnel centre, but they were part of what?
4 A. Every order relating to status-related issues, a copy of that
5 order is provided to the financial and computing centre on the basis of
6 which the person exercised these rights. If it's something to do with
7 the salary, if you do with some financial matters, it goes there.
8 However, if it has to do with some medical issues, it is sent to a
9 department where this fund is going to provide solutions for these
10 problems, and this department was part of the Federal Ministry of
12 MR. THOMAS: I'm sorry, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Thomas.
14 MR. THOMAS: I'm not certain. It might be an answer to the
15 question, but the question that was posed was:
16 "What institution specifically enabled them to exercise those
17 rights? You said the personnel centre, but they were part of what?"
18 So at present, the record shows that the witness's answer was an
19 answer to the question. If that's what my learned friend was attempting
20 to do then he needn't do anything more, but I just make that observation,
21 Your Honours.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May I have a minute to look at it,
23 Your Honours?
24 JUDGE DAVID: Yes.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] First of all, I think that something
1 was omitted from the answer, so I think the best approach would be for me
2 to repeat the question.
3 Q. General -- well, maybe it's not even necessary. Just a moment.
4 Just a moment. I'll try to be as simple as possible.
5 Which institutions -- in which state, in which country, did these
6 people exercise those rights?
7 A. That was the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Army of
9 Q. You mentioned the computing centre?
10 A. Yes. That was an executive body attached to Federal Ministry of
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, maybe this is a good
13 time for us to take a break.
14 JUDGE DAVID: [Microphone not activated] court is adjourned we
15 will return at 10.45. Court is adjourned.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
18 JUDGE DAVID: Please be seated.
19 Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Sir, Exhibit 191, the Law on the Army of Republika Srpska.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have that on our
23 screens, and we shall no longer be requiring the present document.
24 Q. I'm not sure if you have that in front of you, P191. I'll be
25 asking you a number general questions and not covering the document as a
1 whole. What we see on our screens is the Law on the VRS, published in
2 the Official Gazette of the Serbian People of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the
3 1st of June, 1992. You commented on this article, actually, on day one
4 of your evidence. This is Article 337, towards the very end of this
5 document. I'm not sure about the ERN page number.
6 JUDGE DAVID: Just a second. We don't have the transcript
7 functioning in my ...
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can you hold it a minute there
9 because we're waiting for the LiveNote to start operating.
10 JUDGE DAVID: Registry informed me that we will take a minute or
11 two to restart the transcript.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I ask a question?
13 JUDGE DAVID: We are ready now to start. Mr. Lukic, continue,
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Nikolic, no need for you to be looking at the document, just
17 listen to my question, please.
18 JUDGE DAVID: [Microphone not activated] informed that you should
19 repeat the beginning of your questioning because nothing has been
20 incorporated into the transcript.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour. Thank
23 Q. Mr. Nikolic, I asked for Exhibit P191, it's on our screens. This
24 is the Law on VRS, published in the Official Gazette of the Serbian
25 People of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 1st of June, 1992. I'm not sure
1 if you have a hardcopy in front of you, sir.
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. All right. Let us move on to Article 377, the B/C/S reference is
4 37 and the English reference is page 55.
5 A. Article 377, all right.
6 Q. I'll read this back to you. You just try and listen so there is
7 no need for you to even look for it. After all, it's right in front of
8 you on the screen.
9 A. Oh, yes.
10 Q. We are looking at the transitional and final provisions of this
11 Law on the VRS. It says:
12 "On the day this law enters into force active commissioned
13 officers, junior officers, and army personnel of the Yugoslav People's
14 Army, citizens of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina will become
15 active-duty officers and NCOs of the VRS. Those who are its citizens, as
16 all the citizens of the other countries that were components of the
17 former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, those who wish to
18 serve in the VRS and whose service is required."
19 Let me ask you, first of all, if you are familiar with the Law on
20 the VRS.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What exactly does this article of the law regulate?
23 A. Article 377, transitional and final provisions, specifically
24 regulates that on the day the law enters into force the specified groups
25 of persons, and I'm not going to be repeating that because you've read it
1 back to us already, under these conditions can now become active-duty
2 officers, professional members of the VRS under certain conditions.
3 Q. Fine. All right. My next question: Does this mean that from
4 this moment on the Law on the VRS shall be applied in their cases as
6 A. Yes, that's what it means.
7 Q. What about the Law on the VRS specifically? Did it have among
8 it's provisions something regulating their status as servicemen and the
9 relationships within the VRS?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The officers specified in Article 377, and I'm here focusing on
12 the former JNA members remaining, who assigns them to particular posts,
13 gives them certain duties or promotes them, for example, under the Law on
14 the VRS?
15 A. That depends on each person's rank, establishment position, the
16 group they belonged to and how their position within the service is
17 regulating. For example, if you have someone holding the rank of
18 general, under the law of Republika Srpska, it would have been the
19 Commander-in-Chief or the president of the republic who was in charge of
20 that. And our solution was quite similar too. As for all other
21 officers, the defence minister would have been in charge of those. In
22 keeping with the law, he would have had the power to transfer his power
23 to other persons, the Chief of the Main Staff of the VRS and the corps
25 Q. And who was the President of Republika Srpska, or, for that
1 matter, the commander of the Main Staff of the VRS?
2 A. I do.
3 Q. And that would be?
4 A. Following the establishment of Republika Srpska, the supreme
5 commander at the time, as far as I remember, was Radovan Karadzic.
6 Following a meeting of the Assembly, I think he was followed by
7 Ms. Plavsic and after that Sarvic, as far as I remember.
8 Q. And the commander of the Main Staff?
9 A. There was an Assembly meeting that was held deciding that the
10 post should be filled by colonel-general at the time, Ratko Mladic.
11 Q. Did the Republic of Serbian Krajina have it's own supreme
12 commander and commander of the Main Staff as well?
13 A. Yes, it did.
14 Q. Do you know who these people were?
15 A. Yes. I'm aware of who they were at one point in time. I can't
16 remember the exact date though. For a while this was Martic, and then
17 there was Babic for a period of time as well. As for the first commander
18 of the SVK, it was General Milan Novakovic.
19 Q. Let us please now go back to the instructions that we --
20 guidelines that we discussed a while ago concerning the work of the
21 special personnel centres.
22 A. I'm sorry, I'll probably have to take a minute to find it.
23 Q. Is there any reference in this document to the service of these
24 persons in the VRS or the SVK, how they were appointed, how they were
25 promoted, what their careers were like in these two armies.
1 A. I'm sorry, I didn't hear your question.
2 Q. The guidelines on -- on the functioning and work of the special
3 personnel centres. If you go back to that, you look at it, does it say
4 anything about the way these persons are now appointed to their posts or
5 promoted or how their careers should evolve now that they are members of
6 the VRS or the SVK?
7 A. Yes, but there's an additional explanation, if I may. The
8 guidelines regulate, generally speaking, the status of all men in the VRS
9 and the SVK. All men. No exception.
10 Q. But that wasn't my question. That wasn't my question. My
11 question is, and please listen carefully, do these guidelines mention
12 anything or refer to how they should be moving about within the -- their
13 service in the VRS or the SVK?
14 A. All right. Sorry. I didn't understand that the first time
16 Q. It may have been my fault. I'm sorry. Who regulates their
17 movement within the service and their status within the service
18 specifically in the VRS and the SVK?
19 A. Anything that happens in terms of their careers within these two
20 armies, the VRS and the SVK, is within the sole remit of the relevant
21 officers who are in charge, and they have to do this in keeping with the
22 regulations that applied to both the VRS and the SVK, and it all has to
23 be in keeping with their laws and constitutions.
24 Q. The relevant officers of which army?
25 A. Like, for example, we said a while ago --
1 Q. Which armies?
2 A. In the VRS, it would have been the supreme commander, the
3 president of the republic for anyone holding the rank of general. For
4 everyone else, the person responsible would have been the defence
5 minister who, however, transferred his powers or his powers to other
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] One correction in the transcript.
8 Page 33, line 6. When I asked the witness a question, he said no, which
9 was not recorded in the transcript. And then later on he gave an answer.
10 That was page 33, line 1, as a matter of fact. Part of the witness's
11 answer. I asked him a question. The witness said, "No." If need be, I
12 can repeat my question, but I think everyone heard it loud and clear.
13 Q. When we spoke about the drafting of solutions for regulating
14 status-related issues of these personnel and about record-keeping, you
15 mentioned that adaptations were made in order to put in line these issue
16 with certain regulations and later with the Law on Yugoslavia. What did
17 you mean by that? In what way were the status-related issues of these
18 personnel adapted to the solutions provided in the law?
19 A. I had in mind the provisions of the Law on the Yugoslav Army that
20 govern what is considered to be a military service, what is considered to
21 be service outside of the JNA or the VJ, what is considered the system of
22 salary payments. I was referring to responsibilities. I was referring
23 to the conditions that someone has to fulfil to become a professional
24 active serviceman. I was referring to the time required to spend in a
25 certain post with a certain rank to become eligible for promotion. I was
1 referring to specify characteristics of one military service in a
2 specific army, and I was referring to the VRS that can affect on the
3 overall military service. I was referring to the method of applying
4 certain regulation that define the right to salary under the Law on the
5 VJ, and I analysed the provisions of this law that you just mentioned. I
6 found that the solutions were almost identical.
7 Q. Just one more question to make it all clear. We have seen the
8 table pertaining to October 1993, which shows the number of the so-called
9 former JNA who became members of the VRS and SVK either from the
10 beginning or was sent later. Did these men, did all members of the VRS,
11 or did all officers of the VRS, or only specific categories, received
12 their salaries through the personnel centre? If you can say which
13 particular categories, if that would be your answer.
14 A. I'm going to try and give you two answers, because there are two
15 questions in your question.
16 According to what I know, the numerical strengths of the VRS was
17 between 200 and 250.000 troops, including military personnel, i.e.,
18 around 15.000 commissioned officers and 15.000 non-commissioned officers.
19 I'm sorry, I'm not sure about the exact figure. However, from this table
20 we saw that the minimum number was given who were entitled to receive
21 salaries. The total number concerning the whole period varies between
22 4.000 and 4.700, including the civilians in the -- that were payable by
23 the VJ, and the Army of Serbian Krajina never exceeded the figure of
24 4.000. So if you compare the overall number of personnel in the army,
25 this is really a minimum number of servicemen entitled to receive this.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Page 35, line 8, you said 4.000 and 4.700, including the
4 civilians, and you mentioned the VRS.
5 A. Yes. I was speaking only about the VRS. And the total number of
6 the Army of the SVK never exceeded 4.000.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the numbers of
8 the VRS army.
9 MR. LUKIC: [No interpretation] [In English] 65 ter 00470D.
10 Q. [Interpretation] I don't know, General, if you will be able to
11 find it in your binder.
12 A. Yes, I've found it.
13 Q. General, I don't know how the Chamber will be able to deal with
14 this translation of the document, because we don't have figures in the
15 translation, but first of all, tell us something about this document.
16 Are you familiar with it?
17 A. This document was produced by the administration for system and
18 status-related issues of the federal MOD, which was under my
19 jurisdiction. I remember these figures, and I remember exactly when this
20 table was typed, and I can tell you that this table was produced at the
21 request of the chairman of the Supreme Defence Council for the purpose of
22 regulating the rights that I spoke about earlier. And it says precisely
23 here in the title "Numerical strength of professional soldiers ..."
24 Q. For the benefit of the Trial Chamber, we have to say that we here
25 have certain categories, and underline 16, and I'm going to read for the
1 record the figure under column 7.
2 However, my question is: When was this numerical strength
4 A. In May 1995.
5 Q. I'm going to read the figures which says that in May 1992 [as
6 interpreted], in the 30th Personnel Centre, there were recorded
7 2generals, 1.252 officers, which means a total of 1.264. Then we have --
8 no. My mistake, 12 generals. My mistake. Commissioned --
9 non-commissioned officers, 1.012, and that translates into the necessary
11 I apologise to the interpreter. We have to correct. I said May
12 1995. Page 36, line 16.
13 So is this the number of active-duty officers who received
14 salaries through the 30th Personnel Centre in May 1995?
15 A. You mentioned the figure of 2.276 members, but you have to add
16 the soldiers on contract to this figure.
17 Q. I'm trying to make a comparison between this category and --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The speakers are
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at the next page
21 of this document which pertains to the 40th Personnel Centre. Next page,
22 please. That's number 3 in B/C/S. And we have actually the first page
23 uploaded twice.
24 Q. And the format is similar, so I'm going to read some figures from
25 the table, and you will tell me if I am correct or not. And says that in
1 May 1995, in the 40th Personnel Centre and for monthly net funds, there
2 were, on record, 4 generals, 487 officers, which makes a total of 491
3 officers, and 434 non-commissioned officers, which makes a total of 925.
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have this document admitted
6 into evidence, Your Honours, please.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
8 JUDGE DAVID: [Microphone not activated] Registry, let's give a
9 number to -- [microphone not activated]
10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. This document shall be
11 assigned Exhibit D246. Thank you.
12 JUDGE DAVID: Thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, given that you were working at this particular
15 administration at the time, do you know whether during certain periods
16 after salaries had started being paid to these members of the VRS and SVK
17 through the ministry, were there any suspensions in these payments?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see document P1870.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, 27 --
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. No. It's 1870. Do you have it on your screen? Can you see it,
23 General? If not, we shall wait for you to find the hard copy.
24 A. I found it. 1870?
25 Q. That's right. What do you know about this document? Let me just
1 say that this came from the Chief of General Staff, Zivota Panic, dated
2 22nd of June, 1993.
3 A. I can tell you that I know a lot, because I had some personal
4 problems owing to this document. The decision of the Supreme Defence
5 Council whose session was attended by Zivota Panic, the then General
6 Chief of Staff on the 22nd of June, 1993, was to suspend all payments to
7 this category of people.
8 Q. What kind of category?
9 A. Well, you can read it under item number 1, and it says, "People
10 in the service of the Army of Republika Srpska."
11 If I can give my opinion why this happened.
12 Q. Don't give us your opinion. Tell us what you know.
13 A. That was the result of the refusal to accept the
14 Vance-Stoltenberg Plan by the political leadership of Republika Srpska.
15 Q. Under item 1, it is said that they shall be rendered invalid, and
16 then they mention documents of the SSNO of the 6th of May and the 17th of
17 May. Were these documents the basis for the payment effected to these
18 particular servicemen?
19 A. Since I was, in 1992, in the administration for system and
20 status-related issues, I didn't look at these particular documents, but I
21 suppose that these documents served as a kind of transitional solution
22 for effecting payments in order not to -- in order to maintain
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have document 65 ter
1 Q. General?
2 A. Yes, I have found it.
3 Q. Can you please wait for it to appear on the screen. The document
4 we've just seen was dated the 22nd June. This one was produced a little
5 more than a month later. What can you tell us about this document? Are
6 you familiar with it?
7 A. Yes, I am. After the Supreme Defence Council decided to suspend
8 all payments to the listed categories of people, the Deputy Chief of the
9 General Staff, Colonel-General Dragoljub Simonovic, personally addressed
10 the Supreme Defence Council and asked that for the sake of the existence
11 and -- of these people for this ban to be lifted.
12 Q. I would like to go to paragraph 2 of this document, which reads:
13 "Due to the grave consequences vis-a-vis the financial situation
14 of the families of these men and as approved by the FRY Supreme Defence
15 Council at a session held on the 19th of June, 1993, the federal defence
16 minister, pursuant to his authority, decided to make advance payments of
17 salaries to these men as compensation in the amount of 70 per cent."
18 What's your comment on that, sir?
19 A. When I said that I was facing a great deal of difficulty as head
20 of the administration for the status-related issues - and I'm sorry I'm
21 expanding on this - I said that I was facing a great deal of trouble
22 because families kept coming looking for solutions. There was a certain
23 amount of pressure. The administration of the system and status-related
24 issues in the General Staff of Yugoslavia initiated a meeting of the
25 Supreme Defence Council several days later, and the federal defence
1 minister was ordered to make a decision, and the compensation amounted to
2 70 per cent as stated here. Furthermore, in the following paragraph, if
3 I may, the deputy commander of the Chief of Staff of the VJ, in view of
4 the galloping inflation that we discussed yesterday, asked for salaries
5 to be brought up to a certain level and that was the spirit in which he
6 addressed the Presidency of the FRY.
7 Q. Thank you very much.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May we please have an exhibit number
9 for this document.
10 JUDGE DAVID: [Microphone not activated]
11 THE REGISTRAR: This document shall be assigned Exhibit 247,
12 Your Honours. Thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Sir, do you know if at any point over the following period
15 salaries were no longer paid to these persons and for what reason?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. When did that occur, and what can you tell us about that?
18 A. There was a similar situation that occurred, and I hope you don't
19 mind me not being able to remember the exact date, I think it was
20 sometime in August 1994. Again, because of the non-acceptance of the
21 peace plan by the Contact Group, the Supreme Defence Council decided that
22 the salaries and all payments being made to these categories of persons
23 should be stopped. This agony went on for a full five months, and I had
24 never in my life faced a crisis as severe as that.
25 Q. Because of all the contact with the families?
1 A. The families kept coming to the ministry and wanting to speak to
2 whoever was in charge of the salaries. They thought I was in charge of
3 all of that. I apologise for saying it like this, but it was really a
4 very hard time for me.
5 Q. 65 ter Defence list 00829D.
6 A. I've got that.
7 Q. This is a decision of the federal Defence minister,
8 Pavle Bulatovic, dated the 6th of February, 1995. What can you tell us
9 about this, sir?
10 A. This decision of the federal defence minister, as you pointed out
11 yourself, was adopted on the 6th of February, 1995.
12 In the preamble he refers to his own powers, talks about
13 Article 87 on the Law on the Yugoslav Army and Article 29 on the Law on
14 the Financing on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This is the
15 relevant ministry that has the power to pass such decisions and to
16 regulate all the salaries and the salary system for professional members
17 of the army. This decision is on the entitlement and amount of financial
18 assistance for the family, and I have to stress that, of a professional
19 member of the Yugoslav -- or professional members of the Yugoslav Army
20 assigned to the 30th Personnel Centre, meaning of the VRS.
21 May I comment on this decision? It prescribes the exact amount
22 of financial aid to these families. Their survival was at stake. Their
23 livelihood was at stake. Professional members of the army, professional
24 soldiers or civilian employees of the army working at the 30th Personnel
1 If you go to paragraph 2, it talks about personal earnings and
2 salaries that a professional member of the Yugoslav Army and based on
3 which the aid may be granted to their families under the Law on the Army,
4 salary according to rank, according to position under the establishment,
5 military supplement, and all the other elements that made up a soldier's
7 Q. Thank you very much. We might as well use this as a good example
8 to clarify something that you said earlier on and that I don't think
9 tallies in its entirety with what it says. You said the reference here
10 is to the members of the VRS; although in Article 1, we see mention there
11 of the VJ. My question is: Why is the term "VJ" being used here in
12 reference to who you think are members of the VRS, as a matter of fact.
13 Can you please elaborate on that, sir? Slowly, please.
14 A. The persons in question are people whose files are in the
15 30th Personnel Centre. The men who following the withdrawal of the JNA
16 remained in Republika Srpska. These men were assigned and were awarded
17 posts in the VRS, whereas their families remained in the territory of the
19 Q. Why does this document make no reference in its title to the VRS?
20 A. The reason we don't see any reference there is also the fact that
21 such information needed to be secret.
22 Q. Thank you very much.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May this document be received,
25 JUDGE DAVID: Let's accept this document as evidence. Please,
1 Registry, give them a number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours this document shall be assigned
3 Exhibit D248. Thank you.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. What about active-duty officers of the JNA? What was their
6 situation vis-a-vis their entitlements to housing and accommodation, and
7 then later professionals working for the VJ, and who made these
9 A. I'm sorry, I just didn't understand your question.
10 Q. Who -- who was in charge of taking decisions regarding the
11 tenancy or housing rights of the officers of the JNA and then later the
13 A. This question warrants a somewhat brief answer, which is exactly
14 what I'll try to do. The regulations governing such issues as housing
15 would have been under the defence ministry, specifically the
16 administration for status-related issues and system issues. As for any
17 loans that are granted, flats that are awarded and the appropriate
18 records reflecting that, that would have been under the garrison command.
19 This sort of thing would have been down to the garrisons of the VJ.
20 Q. What does that mean?
21 A. That means that flats were distributed and all of this was
22 planned within these garrisons. And it went on like that up until 1995.
23 That was one way. When the Chief of the General Staff realised how
24 complex the situation was, and this is something that we explained
25 yesterday, we talked about the mishaps, the hardship and the
1 circumstances surrounding all of this, and in order to leave everybody on
2 a legal footing in a legal sense, give everyone the same right, he
3 decided to change tack and deal with these issues in the VJ in a
4 completely new way. He, therefore, issued an order in 1995, establishing
5 the administration for housing issues which was attached to the General
6 Staff of the VJ. There was this new system of dealing with housing
7 issues, and I sort of sensed that that is what you want to hear from me.
8 This new system was entirely different from the old one. Perhaps you'd
9 like me to go on explaining this.
10 The administration for housing issues of the General Staff of the
11 VJ is an independent administration within the General Staff. It is
12 directly subordinated to the Chief of the General Staff of the VJ. The
13 Chief of General Staff's idea was to see fewer complaints in the future
14 being voiced by the "down and outs," as I called them yesterday. And
15 also to make sure that there was more fairness and justice in the way
16 housing issues were resolved.
17 One thing I can tell you, during the three years that we grappled
18 with these issues and tried to resolve them in this way, we managed to
19 dampen the blow, soften the blow, lessen the impact of these problems and
20 also to put the entire thing on a more equal footing legally, giving
21 people fair treatment.
22 What were the main principles behind this, and what were the
23 criteria confirming what I've been telling you?
24 Q. I don't think we need to go into that right now, sir. I just
25 wanted you to tell me about the general framework, how it worked before.
1 You said the Chief of the General Staff. Who was the chief of the
2 General Staff at the time when the administration was established? Part
3 of the General Staff of the VJ?
4 A. General Momcilo Perisic.
5 Q. What about members of the VRS who went through the 30th Personnel
6 Centre pursuant to General President Lilic and exercised their rights,
7 did they have any access to this new housing system?
8 A. Yes, indeed. That was a right associated with their status in
9 the army.
10 Q. Thank you very much. When did the personnel centres cease to
12 A. My previous answer I talked about the 40th Personnel Centre,
13 saying that it ceased to operate when I became chief of the Personnel
14 Administration. According to my knowledge and my records, the 40th
15 Personnel Centre was abolished at a meeting of the Supreme Defence
16 Council. It has been 20 years, after all. My memory is not at fresh as
17 it used to be, but I believe this was sometime in late 1995. The final
18 decision came in 1997 concerning the personnel centre.
19 The abolition of the 30th Personnel Centre was passed by the
20 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Dr. Kostunica, on the
21 28th of March, 2001.
22 Q. You went to the General Staff in late December 1995.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we please go back
24 to D200 MFI
25 on the competence of the organisational units of the General Staff, and
1 then we went through this with General Simic concerning his own sector.
2 And I think now we have a good witness here to briefly go through this
3 sector. Page 19 in the B/C/S. The English translation that we've got --
4 it's in e-court by the way. 1D11/0310.
5 Q. Do you have that document, sir?
6 A. Which number did you say?
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters couldn't hear counsel.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I have the Usher's
9 assistance, please.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. It's towards the very end. It's a somewhat lengthy document.
12 Have you got that sir, General?
13 A. Now I heard rules and actually it says "Order."
14 Q. Yes, that's my mistake. I'm sorry. Let's go straight to item 21
15 sector for recruitment for mobilisation and system-related issues. Have
16 you got that, General?
17 A. No, not yet. There's quite a bit to wade through. What page
18 number did you say, sir.
19 Q. 32. The legibility's poor, unfortunately.
20 A. I know the sector. I'm sure I'll track it down eventually.
21 Q. You'll find the sector under Article 21.
22 A. All right. I've got that, but I can't see a thing, to be honest.
23 I'm, indeed, sorry, Your Honours. Please go ahead.
24 Q. This is from 1992. My question is: Was this, in fact, the case
25 in 1995? What about the sector for recruitment, mobilisation, and
1 system-related issues because that's what it was called at that time.
2 Was the name kept later on in 1995?
3 A. My apologise, and I don't mean to be offensive, but this is an
4 order on the competencies, dated 1994. What I've got --
5 Q. Yes, yes, you're quite right, sir. So what was the sector called
6 at the time you arrived?
7 A. The same thing you see here in this document. The name never
9 Q. Did it have a personnel administration at the time? The third
10 administration, a legal administration, and a department for IT support.
11 A. Yes, it did.
12 Q. Let me just ask you this.
13 MR. THOMAS: Sorry, Your Honours. Sorry to interrupt, Counsel.
14 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Thomas.
15 MR. THOMAS: Just a matter of clarification. The question was:
16 "Did it have a personnel administration at the time?"
17 That's at line 19, Your Honours, and I'm just not certain what
18 time my learned friend is referring to. We've got -- if you go up two or
19 three questions, we're talking about 1992, 1995, and the order dated
21 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I'm grateful to my
23 learned friend, Mr. Thomas. I'll be more accurate.
24 Q. General, when you came to the General Staff, you were at first in
25 the housing administration, and then towards the end of 1995 and then
1 onwards, whilst you were in the General Staff, did this sector has --
2 have these parts that I already mentioned, i.e., the personnel
3 administration, the third administration, the legal administration, and
4 the IT support sector?
5 A. Concerning 1995, 1996, and 1997, my answer is yes. When I came
6 at the head of the personnel administration in 1998, it was still called
7 the sector for recruitment, mobilisation, and system issues. However, in
8 early 1999, the housing department was attached to this -- the housing
9 administration was attached to this sector. I just wanted to clarify
10 this. But the name was still the same.
11 Q. Can you just tell us briefly what were the functions of the
12 personnel administration, in particular with respect to what they say,
13 elaboration of basic principles of personnel policy. What was this
14 administration doing, actually, and, in fact, with regard to this?
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think it's on the next page in
16 English, and this is for the benefit of the Bench.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to give you the shortest
18 possible answer because there are lots of tasks and functions involved.
19 So in a nutshell, the personnel administration had the following
20 functions: It's basic and main function was to provide personnel support
21 of the VJ, and it is part of the General Staff of the VJ. That meant
22 that the personnel administration was a tactical wielder of the highest
23 order in terms of providing and recruiting personnel. When I say
24 recruiting personnel, that means recruiting professionals to join the
25 army, organising education system and deciding where students are going
1 to go, to which academies and schools, then announcing vacancies for
2 teachers, then for students. And this is very important. They were
3 expected to prepare plans for annual or six-month plans for personnel
4 training and education. After people finish academy, it is their duty to
5 assign them and deploy them to the units and institutions of the VJ.
6 It was in charge of providing and running an information system
7 for recruitment, which was called PERCEVIC [phoen]. That's an acronym
8 which stands for personnel records. And that would be all.
9 Q. What was the legal administration involved in?
10 A. The legal administration of the General Staff of the VJ is a
11 professional organ that carries out duties within the scope of
12 responsibilities of the Chief of General Staff that refer exclusively or,
13 in general, to the following issues: Their duty was to harmonise certain
14 enactments, training rules and all other enactments that, under the
15 Article 5 on the Law on the VJ, fall under the jurisdiction of the Chief
16 of General Staff. They were also responsible for preparing solutions,
17 second-degree solutions, in -- according to the Law on General
18 Administrative Order Proceedings, and these were signed by the General --
19 by the Chief of the General Staff.
20 They also supplied opinions and suggestions regarding proposals
21 and drafts for certain enactments that were within the jurisdiction of
22 the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff that were drafted in this
23 administration in order to elicit certain opinions from other
24 administration regarding certain issues.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know how
1 technically it would be best to enter this into evidence. I think it
2 would be better if we link it with the existing document, and we should,
3 on the other hand, maintain the MFI
4 received all the translations yet.
5 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Thomas.
6 MR. THOMAS: That sounds like a sensible proposal, Your Honours.
7 And in any event, I would defer to the opinion of our Legal Officer, the
8 Court Legal Officer, on that point.
9 JUDGE DAVID: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would then propose for the English
11 translation of this part of the document that exists in B/C/S to be
12 attached to the existing translation and that it maintains number D200
14 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... [overlapping
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, we are now going to -- back to the period when you were
18 serving in the General Staff of the VJ and when you were at the head of
19 the personnel administration and when the 30th Personnel Centre was
20 disbanded. Do you know what were the consequences for the people who had
21 exercised certain rights through the 30th Centre after the centre was
22 disbanded and how they managed to exercise they -- their rights in the
23 aftermath of that?
24 A. One should bear in mind one fact here, and that is that you have
25 an organisational unit which used to live and then it ceased to live. To
1 form a personnel centre, a decision from the highest level of command and
2 control of Yugoslavia was required. This decision was taken by the
3 President, Lilic, as the Commander-in-Chief. His successor was
4 Dr. Kostunica. As president and Commander-in-Chief, he passed a decision
5 to disband the 30th Personnel Centre. As I said before, I think that
6 took place on the 28th of March, 2001. So this is when the life of the
7 personnel centre ended.
8 You asked me what happened next. Since we are talking about the
9 Army of Republika Srpska, solutions were sought at the highest political
10 levels of different countries, that is to say the FRY, Republika Srpska,
11 and their respective ministries and General Staffs of -- the Main Staff
12 of the VJ and the VRS and the defence ministry of Yugoslavia.
13 Q. Were you involved by virtue of your position in that process and
14 do you know what happened next?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I am going to put a document on the screen, and then I'll ask you
17 what happened next.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So can we please have Defence
19 document 0064D.
20 Q. It's an agreement of 12th July 2001, relating to the settlement
21 of status-related issues of members of the military forces.
22 A. I have found it.
23 Q. I'll ask you to comment on this as soon as we have the document
24 on our screens.
25 MR. LUKIC: For the record, the documents which I'm calling now
1 is 65 ter for Defence 00643D.
2 Q. [Interpretation] General, what can you tell us about this
3 document? What do you know about it and what effects it produced?
4 A. This is an agreement on the manner of resolving status-related
5 issues of members of the 30th Personnel Centre and on the financial aid
6 of the Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
7 to the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska. Since you mentioned the
8 effects, the effect was that an order was issued by the president of the
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to abolish the personnel centres.
10 In the preamble of this agreement, it is specified on the basis
11 of which documents this agreement was concluded. I'm going to say that
12 that was based on the agreement on establishing special parallel
13 relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika
14 Srpska, concluded on the 5th of March, 2002. And as I already said, it
15 was done in keeping with the order of the president of the Federal
16 Republic of Yugoslavia on the abolishment of the 30th Personnel Centre.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have an exhibit number
18 for this document.
19 JUDGE DAVID: The document is accepted into evidence. Please,
20 Registry, give it an exhibit number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
22 Exhibit D249. Thank you.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, who gives approval on behalf of the Federal Republic of
25 Yugoslavia for this kind of agreements? And do you know who gave
1 approval for this particular agreement?
2 A. The approval was given by the federal minister for defence,
3 Slobodan Krapovic. And on behalf of Republika Srpska, it was their
4 minister of defence, Slobodan Bilic.
5 Q. They signed the agreement, but I asked you about the approval.
6 Do you know anything about that? What institution?
7 A. The federal government and the Government of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. That's what I wanted to hear.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have now on the screen 65 ter
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 10 --
12 MR. LUKIC: 1126.
13 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic, I believe it's time to adjourn. We
14 shall return at 12.30. We shall be returning at 12.30. The court
15 adjourns now. Thank you.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.03 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
18 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic. Are we ready to continue the
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation].
21 Q. General, before the break, I asked you about this agreement, who
22 approved it.
23 Can we please have 65 ter Defense Document 01126D. It's marked
24 1126D. It's a short document. It's a meeting of the federal government
25 held on the 5th of July, 2001.
1 A. Thank you.
2 Q. Can we please look at page 2 in e-court, which is actually page
3 20 in the official document of the federal government of the FRY. I am
4 particularly interested in item 34. I'm not going to read it out, but
5 I'm going to ask you if what is mentioned in item 34, does that refer to
6 this previous agreement?
7 A. Yes, it does.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have an exhibit number
10 for this document.
11 JUDGE DAVID: Let's accept this document into evidence. Please,
12 Registry, give the exhibit a number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This document shall be
14 assigned Exhibit D250. Thank you.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, I asked you a while ago if you were, in any sort of way,
17 involved in these talks and this procedure when these issues were
18 resolved after the closure of the personnel centres. Do you know if any
19 representatives from abroad or international organisations were privy to
20 these talks, and were there any meetings held with such representatives,
21 and I'm particularly referring to the US.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What do you know about that?
24 A. After the conclusion of this agreement and after approval had
25 been given by both governments, that is to say the FRY government and the
1 Government of Republika Srpska, and once the agreement came into force,
2 the former US ambassador, I don't know his name, I think it's Montgomery,
3 asked for a meeting with the minister of defence. And this meeting was
4 held, as far as I can recall, at the federation palace as it was called
5 at the time. It's now called the Palace of Serbia in New Belgrade. On
6 the premises of the Ministry of Defence.
7 During that meeting -- actually, the main reason for that meeting
8 was discuss this agreement to a certain extent and to discuss how certain
9 needs would be funded or how certain financial aid would be provided for
10 Republika Srpska. I know about that meeting, and we were informed about
11 this by the minister in the form of a written information.
12 Q. Just a minute, please. Defence document 00646D.
13 A. I've got that.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In e-court, we would like to have
15 page 1 displayed to begin with.
16 Q. Is this the note from the talk that I asked you about a minute
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could we please go to B/C/S page 2. The English reference is
20 page 3.
21 There's a single sentence that I'd like to look at, and I'd like
22 to have you comment on it, sir.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's paragraph 2 that
24 I'm about to read. It's the page you have on your screens.
25 Q. "The ambassador stressed that the situation in Southern Serbia
1 and in Macedonia showed the need for strong armed forces. Macedonia does
2 not have them and will have difficulty overcoming the problems it now
4 And now please pay close attention to the following portion:
5 "As for Croatia, they gave much higher pay to their officers in
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina (which they have now terminated - the amount
7 ranged up to 300 million dollars). However, those payments were made
8 with the full knowledge of representatives of the international
9 community, so that it is -- so that it is allocated and how much it will
10 be next year."
11 I have a problem here. Obviously that's a portion of the text
12 missing in the B/C/S. Nevertheless, I'd like to know about what I've
13 just read out to you, sir. Were you informed regarding that meeting
14 about what the US ambassador said about the financing and what the
15 international community knew about those salaries?
16 A. Yes, I knew about that.
17 Q. Please just allow me to complete my question. The salaries of
18 the Croatian officers in Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you know about that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you know whether at the time when this agreement was reached
21 the international community had any objections to the way the agreement
22 was being implemented at the time?
23 A. You mean between the FRY and --
24 Q. Yes, yes.
25 A. Yes, but there were no objections, none at all. There were no
1 objections, and no one stepped in to say anything.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May this document be received,
5 JUDGE DAVID: Document accepted into evidence. Please, Registry,
6 give an exhibit number to it.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
8 Exhibit D251. Thank you.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Another document for us to look at. As a matter of fact, this
11 one was part of a large document from the OTP's 65 ter list. We marked
12 it as 1D10-0610. I'll repeat. I'll repeat. 1D10-0610. For the benefit
13 of my friends from the OTP this is page 4 of the 65 ter document from the
14 Prosecution 1285.
15 A. I can't seem to be able to find this one. Could the Usher please
16 give me a hand. I can't see it on my screen.
17 Q. We'll just wait half a second. No problem at all.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] There's a chance the witness doesn't
19 have it. Perhaps 1285. That number needs checking.
20 Q. It's an order by President Mirko Sarovic, President of Republika
22 A. It's all right. I've got it now. Thank you, Usher. Thank you.
23 Q. It's an order by the president of Republika Srpska,
24 Mirko Sarovic, dated the 16th of October, 2001. I'll just read paragraph
25 1 of this order:
1 "Transfer members of the VRS who are entered in the records and
2 have resolved matters of status in the 30th Personnel Centre of the VJ to
3 the records of the VRS and appoint them to the corresponding positions
4 and establishment posts in accordance with the requirements of the
5 service from the date 1st of January 2002."
6 Sir, is this document familiar and what exactly does it tell us?
7 A. Yes, this document is familiar, and what it tell us is this:
8 This document is a consequence of an order by the president of the FRY on
9 the abolishment of the 30th Personnel Centre. One of the paragraphs
10 states that all members of the VRS, whose records are still being kept by
11 the 30th Personnel Centre, should now have their files removed, at the
12 latest 30 days after the day the agreement was signed. In keeping with
13 the agreement, as it was, the President of Republika Srpska adopted this
14 order on how to proceed in terms of regulating the status of those
15 persons whose records were kept by the 30th Personnel Centre.
16 Q. If you look at this order, how were these persons handled? How
17 were they defined? They were members of which army precisely, sir? What
18 does the document seem to suggest?
19 A. If you look at paragraph 1 of this order, it follows quite
20 unambiguously. If you look at the very first sentence that these men are
21 members of the VRS.
22 Q. Thank you very much.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May this document be received as
24 well. Thank you.
25 JUDGE DAVID: Let's accept this document into evidence. Please,
1 Registry, give it an exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
3 Exhibit D252. Thank you.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I'd like to move on to an altogether different topic. Actually,
6 the legal provisions of both laws, the law on the VJ and the Law on the
7 VRS. I've those two ready. I chose not to include the Law on the SVK
8 because that has been exhibited already. Can we please have the
9 following on our screens, Exhibit P197, the Law on the VJ.
10 General, I believe you've got that, and I believe you're familiar
11 with many provisions ever this law, off by heart as it were.
12 A. I've got that.
13 Q. What kind of statuses are there under the law within the service
14 in the VJ. Without going to the law itself, could you please explain,
15 sir, in very general terms.
16 A. The following statuses are envisaged by the Law on the VJ:
17 Persons appointed to a duty, persons doing an Stadj [as interpreted] with
18 the army, persons who are available, persons who are being trained, and
19 persons on sick leave and receiving treatment, medical treatment. Also,
20 persons who were dismissed from their duty post.
21 Q. Are these same solutions envisioned by the Law on the VRS?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. There's
24 something we need to check.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's fine. I do apologise to the
2 interpreters. We shall be studying some legal provisions now, and I wish
3 to be very specific about this. I will be invoking legal provisions.
4 Page 60, line 1, the witness said "status within the service." And I
5 think that's what the law states as well.
6 MR. THOMAS: I'm sorry, Your Honours, I don't understand where
7 that takes us in relation to the -- if I could just pause the transcript
8 for a moment.
9 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. THOMAS: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I said I still don't
11 understand what is currently recorded as the answer on line -- on page
12 60, line 1.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We're dealing with some terms here
14 that need to be very specific. I asked the witness about the statuses
15 within the service. I didn't ask the witness to actually explain what it
16 means, status within the service. I'm not sure if the interpreters are
17 managing. It's quite complicated the terminology is exceedingly
19 MR. THOMAS: That clarifies that matter, Your Honours, but I
20 wonder if I could have the assistance of my learned friend on what should
21 be on page 60, line 2.
22 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Sir, Witness, what statuses in service or within the service does
25 the Law on the VJ envisage? Could you please explain.
1 A. The Law on the VJ regulates the statuses as follows: Appointment
2 to duty, military trainees, sick leave and medical treatment, training
3 and education, and dismissed from duty. I may have missed that one the
4 first time around.
5 Q. Thank you. Can we please have Article 52 of the law displayed on
6 our screens now. In the B/C/S this is page 5.
7 Just a minute, please, sir.
8 A. Which article did you have in mind, sir?
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's page 13 in the English,
10 Your Honours.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which article for me?
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Fifty-two. I will not be reading this article out loud, but I do
14 wish a concept or two clarified.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wanted to have this
16 displayed also for the benefit of the interpreters to see what the
17 translation appears to be here.
18 Paragraph 6 talks about the statuses in the service of
19 professional officers and non-commissioned officers, or service status.
20 The English that we have in this document is "service status." Another
21 important thing that needs clarifying.
22 Q. Witness, sir, General Nikolic, what exactly is "service status"?
23 What is "service status" as opposed to "service situation" or
25 We seem to be facing a certain amount of confusion with the
1 English again. I'm not blaming the interpreters at all.
2 General, could you please explain in your own words and then
3 we'll move on to the actual legal provisions.
4 A. The situation in service, briefly, means that each person, member
5 of the army, the VJ in this case, must be in one of these situations or
6 conditions in the service in order to be able to exercise their
7 entitlements under the rules of service that apply to that army.
8 By way of an example, what exactly does this mean, this service
9 situation? Appointment to duty, for example, or assignment to duty.
10 Every professional officer or NCO is assigned to a unit or an
11 institution, appointed to a particular duty or an establishment post
12 which is envisaged for that establishment post under the establishment
13 and envisaged for that rank.
14 What elements does their salary depend on? We heard that that
15 depends on these persons being assigned to a particular position.
16 Q. Under the law, what are the relations, the service relations,
17 that exist?
18 A. With regard to the relations in the service, according to the
19 law, is the relation between a subordinate and a superior. A superior is
20 an individual who is in command of a unit or an institution in which his
21 subordinate is deployed or assigned. So he's in command of a unit or an
22 institution where certain individual is assigned to and is subordinated
23 to him. That would be the briefest possible explanation without
24 resorting to the law.
25 Q. Is it possible for any individual in the service to be in two
1 chains of command at the same time?
2 A. Mr. Lukic, there is not a single country in the world, as far as
3 I know, and I read a lot, I mean not a single army in the world can have
4 an individual who will have two superiors. Each individual is
5 exclusively in a single chain of command, and he can only have one single
6 superior. This provides to secure the principles of the unity of command
7 and subordination, subordination.
8 Q. Let us look together at Article 8, paragraph 2 of the Law on the
9 Yugoslav Army. That's page 2 in B/C/S and page 3 in English.
10 A. Yes, I can see it.
11 Q. Let's just wait for it to appear on our screens. Article 8
13 "Service in the army shall mean the carrying out of military and
14 other duties in the --"
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The translation in English
16 does not correspond with what Mr. Lukic is reading.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. When we discussed this article, we discussed an example, and we
19 would like to use your example to explain to the Trial Chamber the
20 meaning of this. You were a colonel in the Army of Yugoslavia while you
21 worked in the Ministry of Defence.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. While you were in the ministry, were you in the Army of
24 Yugoslavia or were you outside of the Army of Yugoslavia, pursuant to
25 this particular article of the law?
1 A. Paragraph 2 of Article 8 is extremely precise in its definitions.
2 You asked me about my case. In 1984, I left the chain of command of the
3 VJ, and I entered the ministry, which was called at the time SSNO. From
4 that moment on until my return, my direct superior was Milos Kosic,
5 Zunic, and the minister of defence. All the orders I carried out in this
6 ministry, including all --
7 Q. Just slowly. We will take it step-by-step. Did you exercise
8 your rights as if you were a member of the VJ?
9 A. Yes, entirely.
10 Q. In the period while you worked in the Ministry of Defence, and
11 you mentioned who your superiors were, who was the only one to appoint
12 you, to dismiss you, or to transfer you?
13 A. Exclusively my superior in line with the rules about the
14 competencies of the Ministry of Defence.
15 Q. When you say "my superior," you mean the minister of defence.
16 A. Yes, within the chain of command of the minister of defence.
17 Q. According to the Law on the Army, was it possible for you to
18 rejoin the VJ without the consent of the minister of defence or your
19 direct superior within the chain of the Ministry of Defence?
20 A. When I was supposed to be assigned to the General Staff of the
21 VJ, the Chief of the General Staff of the VJ had to ask approval from the
22 minister of defence for me to be transferred to the General Staff. Once
23 this approval was given, only then could I be assigned to the VJ and
24 reinstated into the chain of command of the VJ.
25 By the way, if you may add, all my grades while I worked for the
1 ministry, which is one of the elements for resolving service-related
2 issues in terms of promotion, advancement, additional training,
3 et cetera, depended exclusively on my superiors from the ministry of
4 defence while I worked there. And it was minister of defence himself who
5 wrote grades for me and my performance.
6 Q. Has there been any suspicion of you having committed some
7 disciplinary infringement while you were in the Ministry of Defence?
8 Whose duty was it to institute disciplinary proceedings against you?
9 A. According to the Law on the Yugoslav Army, only minister of
10 defence could have done that.
11 Q. Can you tell us specifically which article of the law on the VJ
12 provides for the jurisdiction for disciplinary procedures against people
13 who are outside the VJ?
14 A. I can't give you a precise answer, but we can look from
15 Article 160 onwards.
16 Q. I know that you're already tired, and if I help you, I hope that
17 the Prosecutor won't mind.
18 Can you please look at Article 158, and could you comment on it.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And for the benefit of the
20 Trial Chamber, it's page 14 in B/C/S and page 39 in English.
21 Article 158.
22 Q. It's linked to Article 152, but there is no need for us to look
23 at it. It contains some general provisions. However, I'm interested in
24 this particular article. Can you tell us what it says?
25 A. Article 158 of the Law on the Yugoslav Army says that the
1 authorisation from Article 152 that has the chief of -- the Chief of
2 General Staff of the VJ and which pertain to resolving service relations
3 of professional soldiers and civilians assigned to the federal ministry
4 of defence and units and institutions subordinated to it shall be carried
5 out by the federal minister of defence only or a commander authorised by
7 If I may clarify this further. In Article 152, paragraph 1 --
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go back one page so
9 that the Trial Chamber can follow. We'll have to wait for a moment.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. Article 152 stipulates the authorities and powers of the Chief of
12 General Staff. So I'm reading -- or, rather, interpreting item 2, 4, 6,
13 and 7. Number 2 reads:
14 "Promote professional and reserve non-commissioned officers and
15 officers up to and including the rank of colonel."
16 What does that mean? That means that all members of the VJ who
17 are serving with the Ministry of Defence up to and including to the rank
18 of colonel are subject to promotion by the federal minister of defence.
19 Item 4, Chief of General Staff:
20 "Appoints and transfer professional non-commissioned and
21 commissioned officers up to and including the rank of colonel and issue
22 decision on their service."
23 Which means that it has been explicitly provided that all the
24 situations in the service shall be decided by the minister of defence up
25 and including the rank of colonel.
1 Next item 6, which refers to -- which is being referred to in
2 Article 180 -- 58:
3 "Decide on the termination of service in the army of professional
4 non-commissioned and commissioned officers up to and including the rank
5 of colonel."
6 And Article 153 pertains to civilian employees of the army.
7 Q. So to recap, all these situations have been very precisely listed
8 in Article 152 and to which Article 158 refers, all these authorities are
9 given to the minister of defence or, rather, delegated to the minister of
10 defence instead of to the Chief of General Staff.
11 I asked you about disciplinary procedures, and, in that respect,
12 can we look at Article 181. Yes. 181.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm grateful to the Registry for
14 being quicker to find their bearings than I can. So let us wait for the
15 English version to appear.
16 Q. So towards the bottom of the page you can see it. General, who
17 is authorised to institute disciplinary proceedings against employees of
18 the Ministry of Defence?
19 A. Here we have the mention of the --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer
21 slowly, if possible. Thank you very much.
22 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
23 JUDGE DAVID: No interpretation of the -- please. I don't see
24 interpretation for the last sentence of the witness.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, the interpreters are a little bit tired, and you are
2 getting faster and faster. Can you please repeat your whole answer to my
3 question: Who was authorised to institute disciplinary proceedings for
4 the employees of the Ministry of Defence as provided by in article.
5 A. That was within authorisation of the Ministry of Defence.
6 Q. While you were in the Ministry of Defence, if God forbid you
7 committed a disciplinary breach, was anyone else allowed to institute
8 these proceedings?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Can you tell me where these organs were conducted, these
11 proceedings were? Were they part of the Ministry of Defence?
12 A. In order to -- to bring the perpetrator of a disciplinary breach
13 before the military disciplinary court, it is up to the minister of
14 defence and commanding officers of the organisational units that we
15 mentioned yesterday.
16 Q. General, what we have read, these provisions in the law, were
17 these solutions also a form of adapting the provisions that pertain to
18 VRS and SVK officers when we talked about the personnel centres?
19 A. No. Maybe I didn't understand your question correctly. Whether
20 they were adjusted or adapted, yes, because there were military
21 disciplinary courts.
22 Q. General, we are not going to go into the issue of military
23 disciplinary courts. Let me repeat my question.
24 We have went through a number of articles that pertain to the
25 mode of regulating certain issues for the persons outside of the VJ.
1 Whether the solutions based on which an order was issued to establish the
2 personnel centres, have these provisions in mind or were they based on
3 these provisions? Why were these people part of the VJ or were they not
4 part of the VJ?
5 Let us just for the record say that witness replied by saying,
6 "Yes." Page 69, line 9, the witness said, "Yes."
7 A. I'll repeat if that's what it takes.
8 Q. No. No need.
9 A. If my understanding of the question is correct, you said, Why.
10 Over the course of my evidence, I explained why. It was for the person
11 in question to remove any obstacles to resolving his own status and
12 status-related issues within the VJ. What does that mean? If the
13 competent authorities took certain decisions, the procedure was in place
14 and this person was now facing a disciplinary court, thus presenting an
15 obstacle to that person's promotion or appointment to a post higher up.
16 Q. I'm sorry, but that was not at all my question.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Can the witness please be
18 asked to, before we proceed, to face the make phones so that we can
19 actually hear him. Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Carefully, General, please, brief answers. I know you're
23 probably very tired. About what the officers of the VRS and the SVK?
24 Were they part of the VJ's chain of command from the moment they joined
25 those other armies on?
1 A. No.
2 Q. In order to have some of their rights and entitlements
3 recognised, rights -- the same rights as if they were members of the VJ,
4 was their status likened or compared to those who were outside the VJ yet
5 still enjoyed certain entitlements under the law? That was my question.
6 A. Yes, yes. Right. I do apologise.
7 MR. THOMAS: Your Honours, I'd simply request my learned friend
8 not lead on this topic, please.
9 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. Let me have
11 a look. I'm receiving suggestions that there is a problem with the
12 interpretation and also there is an objection by Mr. Thomas. I think the
13 best idea might be for me to rephrase my question.
14 Q. A minute ago I asked you a question about whether those men were
15 in the chain of command of the VJ. You said no; right?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Can you please listen to my question: Under the law on the VJ,
18 there were certain persons who were not within the framework of the VJ.
19 Were the relations -- their service relations regulated as if they were
20 members of the VJ?
21 MR. THOMAS: Objection, Your Honour, leading.
22 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Were there certain persons -- listen to the question, General.
25 There were certain persons who were outside the VJ, not members. Were
1 their service relations regulated in the same way as if they were members
2 of the VJ or not?
3 MR. THOMAS: Objection, Your Honour, leading. Same objection,
5 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't think this is leading. I
7 gave the a witness choice between two possible answers. I said, Yes or
8 no. I'm not leading at all, Your Honours.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Thomas.
11 MR. THOMAS: I maintain that the question is leading,
12 Your Honours, because he is providing all the signals to the witness as
13 to how he should approach the answer to the question, how he should liken
14 these individuals to others, for example.
15 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think we'll just
17 keep confusing the witness. It's best for me to rephrase the question.
18 I really think my question is not leading, but I'm afraid this might lead
19 to further confusion on the part of the witness, which is certainly
20 something that I'm trying to avoid. Just a minute, please.
21 Q. Under the Law on the VJ, were there certain categories of persons
22 who were outside the army, not members of the army, and yet they had --
23 and yet they had the same entitlements as though they were actual members
24 of the army? Yes or no?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Just a minute, please.
2 MR. THOMAS: Just for the record, Your Honours, that's another
3 leading question.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think not, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have read that
7 article of the law. We went through it with the witness. We all know
8 what this is about. I don't think this is in any way leading.
9 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Thomas has expressed that you are giving
10 certain tips to answer the question in the way you expect. Is there a
11 way to formulate the question in the most simple and direct manner
12 without anticipating or indicating any answer to the witness?
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I understand the witness's
14 allegations in the light of the witness not being offered a choice in
15 terms of answering. I think my questioning was proper. I actually
16 offered two choices and the witness gave an answer.
17 Q. Witness, sir, during the previous session we talked about the
18 personnel centres and all that. You mentioned the word "assimilation" or
19 "harmonisation." What exactly did that word refer to, harmonisation of
21 I hope that this is a proper way to put the question.
22 A. Assimilation and harmonisation means that entitlements owing to
23 someone's status can be exercised. This Article 53, paragraph 2, of the
24 Law on the VJ. This is entirely unambiguous as it states the following:
25 "Professional officer or NCO assigned outside the army has all
1 the entitlements and obligations incumbent upon a professional officer or
2 NCO assigned to a post within the army, unless otherwise stipulated by
3 this law."
4 I'm not sure if that answers your question in a satisfactory way.
5 Q. Indeed, General.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have the B/C/S page 5
7 and the English page 13 pulled up on our screens so we can look at what
8 you've just told us in your explanation. Article 53, paragraph 2 of the
9 Law on the VJ.
10 Q. We talked about harmonisation or assimilation. Can you tell the
11 Court what you mean exactly?
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] My apology to the interpreters. I
13 have been receiving suggestions, and I would propose a different word for
14 "podobrivenje [phoen]" in relation to what was actually written in
15 paragraph 5, line 16. I think the term "recognising" was used
17 Mr. Guy-Smith is telling me that the interpretation is okay and
18 that it works in English.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This means that this person has all
20 of the entitlements. This person, whose rights are recognised, any
21 entitlements of a professional officer or NCO. The right to a salary,
22 the right to accommodation, the right to various supplements and benefits
23 and any other right and entitlements that this person enjoys under the
24 law on the VJ.
25 As for the obligations, this person must display the conduct of a
1 professional officer. As an officer, this doesn't mean that he can do
2 anything else. He must, at all times, act in the spirit of a
3 [indiscernible] as a professional military officer, in the briefest of
5 Q. A while ago we talked about service situations. Let me ask you
6 about something else. We were looking at the provisions of the law on
7 the VJ. Do you perhaps know whether these issues and terms were
8 regulated in a different way in the Law on the VRS and the Law on the
10 A. They are entirely identical.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have Defence document 65 ter
13 Q. General, can you find a hardcopy of this document? It's marked
14 389D. It's an order on the appointment of Manojlo Milovanovic.
15 A. I can't find it. I've found it with the assistance of the Usher.
16 Q. This is a decree of Radovan Karadzic, president of Republika
17 Srpska, of 16th December 1992.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. On appointment as per peacetime and wartime establishment of
20 Manojlo Milovanovic, can you tell me what is this decision based on?
21 A. One can see from the preamble what the basis was to issue such a
22 decision by Radovan Karadzic, president of Republika Srpska, which reads
23 decree number this and that, the date, and then it reads:
24 "Pursuant to Articles 11 and 369 of the Law on the Army of
25 Republika Srpska (Official Gazette of Republika Srpska, number 7/92)."
1 Q. According to this document, Manojlo Milovanovic was member of
2 which army?
3 A. Since he has been promoted by the person envisaged in the Law of
4 Republika Srpska, I would say that he was a member of the Army of
5 Republika Srpska.
6 Q. Is it possible for one and the same individual to be in two
7 armies concurrently?
8 A. May I make a joke about this?
9 Q. Please don't.
10 A. It is not possible for any single individual to be in two armies
11 at the same time.
12 Q. There is mention here of some numbers on the right side. I know
13 this was produced by the army, but, generally speaking, can you tell us
14 once an individual receives this kind of decision on appointment, what do
15 these figures signify? Could he occupy a number of establishment posts
16 or could we have multiple persons occupying the same post?
17 A. Each order on appointment contains it's basic elements which are
18 listed as kind of code numbers on the right-hand side, and that is
19 whether he or she's being appointed or is he going to act as a stand-in;
20 to which unit is he being appointed to; his rank per establishment; next
21 his position group in order to give him an entitlement to certain salary,
22 a military speciality, which is a prerequisite for appointing someone to
23 a certain post; current duty, rank establishment and position group; and
24 finally the duty station.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have an exhibit number
1 for this document.
2 MR. THOMAS: I'm sorry.
3 JUDGE DAVID: Please accept -- sorry.
4 MR. THOMAS: Your Honours, the general has just referred to the
5 current post and current garrison from which General Milovanovic is being
6 transferred in this particular order, but we can't see that on our
7 screen, and I'm just wondering if Mr. Registrar or Mr. Usher could please
8 scroll down so that we can see the garrison and the location, please.
9 JUDGE DAVID: Registrar.
10 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that we can see now the
13 general has read. I would suggest that this document be admitted into
15 JUDGE DAVID: Let's accept the document into evidence. Please,
16 Registry, let's give it an exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document had been assigned
18 Exhibit D253. Thank you.
19 JUDGE DAVID: Thanks.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I had some objections to the record,
21 but let's leave it until later.
22 Can we now look at Defence document 65 ter 00275D.
23 Q. General, it's 275. It's an order issued by the commander of the
24 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska on the 27th of August, 1995.
25 A. Yes, I've found it.
1 Q. Where -- whereby Novica Simic is being assigned as stand-in.
2 General, based on this document, can you tell us the member of
3 which army was General Novica Simic at the time when this document was
4 produced, that is to say in August 1995?
5 A. One can deduce that from the language and the reference to a
6 specific article which is 156 of the Law on the Army of Republika Srpska,
7 Official Gazette of Republika Srpska number 7/92, which means that he was
8 a member of the Army of Republika Srpska.
9 Q. I have a question with relation to paragraph 4, with which reads:
10 "At present, according to the MF," which stands for peacetime
11 establishment, "commander of the corps of the land army of the
12 30th Personnel Centre of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, FCHE [as
13 interpreted] which is an establishment rank, Major General PG 07, as of
14 16th of August, 1991, Belgrade Garrison."
15 General, do you know whether in 1991 the 30th Personnel Centre of
16 the General Staff of the GA [as interpreted] existed? Just say, Yes or
18 A. I'm not receiving any translation.
19 Q. It says here that General Simic at the time was commander of the
20 corps of the land army of the 30th Personnel Centre of the General Staff
21 of the Yugoslav Army, as of the 16th of August 1991. I'm asking you was
22 the 30th Personnel Centre in existence on the 16th of August, 1991.
23 A. No.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Guy-Smith is suggesting that we
25 be very precise. We are talking about General Novica Simic. When I said
1 General Simic, I wasn't referring to the witness, General Simic, who was
2 here last week.
3 Could I please have an exhibit number for this document.
4 JUDGE DAVID: Let's accept the document into evidence. Please,
5 Registry, assign an exhibit number to it.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. This document shall be
7 assigned Exhibit D254. Thank you.
8 JUDGE DAVID: Thanks.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Let us now take a look at document 65 ter Defence 00192D. So
11 this document is marked 192D.
12 A. 00192? I have found it.
13 Q. It's a decision of the commander of the Serbian Army of Krajina
14 of the 27th of September, 1993, whereby Milan Celeketic is appointed as a
15 stand-in in the Western Slavonija Corps.
16 My first question is based on this document: At the time when
17 this document was passed, the member of which army was Milan Celeketic?
18 A. There is no doubt that on the basis of this document, he was an
19 officer of the Army of the Serbian Krajina. And this is additionally
20 confirmed by the foundation for issuing this kind of decision, which is
21 Article 54 of the Law on the Army of Serbian Krajina.
22 Q. You see -- you said that there's reference to certain articles of
23 the Law on the Army of the Serbian Krajina, but a little bit below it
24 says that temporarily assigned by the order of the chief of personnel
25 administration under Article 271 on the Law on Service in the Armed
1 Forces. We see that this document is dated 27th September 1993. Was
2 that a standard format for the officers who are being dispatched
3 before -- dispatched to the VRS and the SVK before the personnel centres
4 had been established?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can this document please be given an exhibit number.
7 JUDGE DAVID: Let's accept this document into evidence. Please,
8 Registry, assign an exhibit number to it.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the document -- this document shall
10 be assigned Exhibit D255. Thank you.
11 JUDGE DAVID: Thanks.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] There's another document that I
13 would like to look together with the witness. It's 65 ter 00178D. It's
14 a decree issued by the President of Republika Srpska.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have this document. It's
16 still says Celeketic.
17 Q. No, there should be exceptional promotion for Novica Simic.
18 A. Excuse me, which number?
19 Q. 178.
20 A. I'm sorry. Now I have it.
21 Q. So we have a decree issued by the President of Republika Srpska
22 of the 26th of July, 1993, on exceptional promotion of Major General
23 Novica Simic. What is the foundation for this decision, General?
24 A. The foundation for adopting this decision were Articles 36, 40,
25 and 369 of the Law on the Army of Republika Srpska.
1 Q. General Novica Simic, at the time when this decision was taken,
2 was a member of which army?
3 A. One can deduce from the document that he was an officer in the
4 Army of Republika Srpska.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have an exhibit number
6 for this document?
7 JUDGE DAVID: Let's accept the document as in evidence, and
8 please, Registry, assign a number to it.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
10 Exhibit D256. Thank you.
11 JUDGE DAVID: Thanks.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't have too many
13 documents left, but I would suggest that we adjourn for the day. I will
14 take some time for chief -- examination-in-chief on Monday, and then I
15 will hand over the witness to the Prosecution.
16 JUDGE DAVID: Thank you very much.
17 General. General, you are still expected to continue to testify
18 on Monday. Until then, we shall adjourn, and please let me remind you
19 that you are still bound by the oath and do not interact, especially with
20 the lawyers of Mr. Perisic. No communication is --
21 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
22 JUDGE DAVID: We are now ready to adjourn and to continue our
23 sittings on Monday, the 8th March, in the same courtroom, at 9.00 a.m.
24 Have, all of you, a nice weekend.
25 Court adjourned.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day
3 of March, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.