1 Monday, 8 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
8 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
10 everyone in and around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-04-81-T, the Prosecutor versus
12 Momcilo Perisic. Thank you.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
14 Could we have the appearances for the day starting with the
16 MR. THOMAS: Good morning, Your Honours, General Nikolic,
17 everybody in and around the courtroom. Carmela Javier, Barney Thomas,
18 and Dan Saxon for the Prosecution.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
20 And for the Defence.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
22 morning to all the parties to the proceedings in the courtroom and around
23 it. I would also like to congratulate all the women in the courtroom and
24 around the courtroom because of the International Women's Day.
25 Mr. Perisic will be represented by Novak Lukic, Gregor Guy-Smith,
1 Boris Zorko, and Tina Drolec.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic and particularly
3 for noting the day.
4 And good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just to remind you that you are still bound by the
7 declaration you made at the beginning of your testimony to tell the
8 truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the truth.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 WITNESS: STAMENKO NIKOLIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. On Friday we left off when we looked at a number of documents.
17 You remember that you analysed some of them. We will deal with some more
18 documents in the course of this morning and then I will complete my
19 examination-in-chief. But let me go back to something that you said,
20 something that you testified. If you recall, we looked at P1872. You
21 don't have to consult your folder. It's the table that was submitted to
22 the Supreme Defence Council on the strength with two categories of people
23 who were in the Republika Srpska army who were already there and those
24 who was seconded there. Do you recall that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Well, the second category, those who were sent to the SVK and
2 VRS, where were they sent from?
3 A. I apologise, but my screen is not working. But I can give you my
5 As you have said yourself, the second category of persons
6 comprised persons who were sent from the territory of the
7 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and were no longer part of the
8 Yugoslav Army chain of command but became part of the chain of command of
9 the Republika Srpska army and the Serbian Krajina army, the SVK.
10 Q. In this chain of command of the VRS and the SVK, who assigned
11 them to their posts in the establishment?
12 A. The assignment and the appointment and all the other issues
13 pertaining to their status in the service was regulated by their
14 superiors, superior officers, in line with their jurisdiction and powers
15 and in line with the laws of the VRS and the SVK.
16 Q. General, do you know whether the Yugoslav Army, the officers from
17 the Yugoslav Army, have -- did they have any influence on their
18 appointments in the two armies, the VRS, the SVK?
19 A. Absolutely not.
20 Q. And was it important for the Yugoslav Army or for the authorities
21 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that paid the salaries of those
22 persons to know what posts these people had, what rank, and any other
23 categories that are relevant?
24 A. Could you please repeat your question. I didn't hear you.
25 Q. Was it important for the Yugoslav Army and for other authorities
1 of the FRY to know what posts, what ranks, what functions these people
3 A. Yes. And I can give you additional explanations in this regard.
4 This was very important for the following reason. As I have already
5 noted, the salaries of these people were determined on the basis of their
6 rank, post, the military bonus, their length of service, and so on. Any
7 changes in their appointment, for instance, if they were no longer
8 company commanders but became battalion commanders or if they were
9 promoted to a higher rank, it affected their salary, their overall
10 remuneration. And for this reason it was necessary to have this so that
11 they could, in line with the regulations in force at the time, exercise
12 all their rights pertaining to their status.
13 Q. In line with whose regulations, what country?
14 A. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
15 Q. Thank you. Now I would like us to look at
16 Prosecution Exhibit P1523, page 2. [In English] 1523.
17 [Interpretation] Perhaps we could look at page 1 first.
18 I think you have this document in front of you.
19 A. Could you please just give me the number.
20 Q. P1523. I think it's an extract from another lengthy Prosecution
21 exhibit. It's an order from the chief of the personnel administration of
22 the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army dated the 15th of February, 1994
23 affecting a large number of people.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at page 2 in the
25 B/C/S, and I believe it's also page 2 in the English version,
1 Bogdan Sladojevic, yes, that's correct, and Milan Celeketic. Yes, we
2 have it in the English version. It says that it's actually the 33rd page
3 of this large comprehensive document.
4 Q. Have you found it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So please look at page 2 where Sladojevic and Celeketic are
7 mentioned. I think it's a good idea to look at this page because we have
8 some typical information listed here?
9 A. Yes, I can see it.
10 Q. General, so pursuant to an order of the chief of the personnel
11 administration, as we have seen on the previous page, let me read this
12 out and you can tell me whether this is correct.
13 It is stated that Bogdan Sladojevic is in fact appointed to the
14 General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, the 40th Personnel Centre,
15 11th Corps; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The first question is: Do you know whether the 11th Corps
18 actually existed in the Yugoslav Army at that time?
19 A. From 1970 until the end of my military career in the
20 Yugoslav Army, the 11th Corps was never part of the Yugoslav Army.
21 Q. To the right we have the date, the 10th of November, 1993. Do
22 you see that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What does this date signify; do you know that?
25 A. This is a date code. This was the date when the president of the
1 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Lilic, issued his order regulating
2 certain issues that pertained to those categories of persons. And it's
3 the order of the 10th of November, 1993.
4 Q. We can see the same date for the other person here on this page,
5 that's Milan Celeketic, here where it says "date," the 10th of November?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Very well. The Belgrade
8 could scroll down a little bit so that we can compare. We can see here
9 for Milan Celeketic, it's similar to what it says above for Sladojevic.
10 He is assigned to the Yugoslav Army General Staff to the
11 18th Corps of the 40th Personnel Centre. I have the same question for
12 you: Did the 18th Corps exist in the Yugoslav Army; do you know that?
13 A. Never.
14 Q. Let me ask you one more question. The Belgrade garrison is
15 mentioned as regards to both of these people, and we have two different
16 codes, 683 and 669; do you see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know by any chance what is the meaning of those codes;
19 what do those figures or numbers represent?
20 A. That's not the Belgrade
21 corps command is located. 683, that's for the 11th Corps; and for the
22 18th Corps, we can see again that it says Belgrade garrison, but the code
23 now is 669. These are in fact locations where the corps command -- corps
24 commands were located.
25 Q. In what army?
1 A. In the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, because this is
2 the 40th Personnel Centre. I can add --
3 Q. Let me just ask you one more question. For Sladojevic it says
4 under the peacetime establishment he taught tactics in the school -- in
5 the Petar Drapsin School
6 probably better placed to understand them. And from the
7 21st of February, 1993, the Banja Luka garrison. That's what it says.
8 Now, my question is whether you know at the time where this
9 decision was taken, the 10th of November, 1993, do you know if Sladojevic
10 at that time was already in the Serbian Army of Krajina at the post of
11 the commander of the 11th Corps; do you know that by any chance?
12 A. To my knowledge, he was transferred to the Serbian Krajina army
13 even before this date. And in my opinion this date - the
14 10th of November, 1993, and you can see that in the code that you
15 mentioned a little while ago, 101193 - and what this means is that the
16 chief of the personnel administration has to and is duty-bound to bring
17 previous orders in line with the order of the president of the FRY of the
18 10th of November, 1993.
19 And in my opinion, those persons had been seconded or transferred
20 there before, but under the law on the service in the armed forces
21 invoking Article 271 or in some orders 284, indicates that people were
22 transferred even before this date.
23 Q. Just a moment, please.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a correction for the transcript.
25 At page 6, lines 23/24, the witness said in the Serbian Krajina army,
1 because it says the 40th Personnel Centre. Probably he meant because
2 that's what is written there.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, I don't understand you, Mr. Lukic. That's
4 what he said, read it at lines 23. In the Army of Republic of
5 Serbian Krajina, because this is the 40th Personnel Centre.
6 MR. LUKIC: No, because this is the 40th Personnel Centre -- in
7 first draft, and now it's better because it says -- only a small
8 correction because he read it in the document.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. Did you want to add something regarding this document, because I
12 have dealt with it. I don't have to explore it any longer. Can we
13 please now look at 65 ter document, it's a Defence document, 00417D.
14 I don't know if you can see the document.
15 A. 00417D. Okay. Yes, I can see it.
16 Q. Can you tell us, what is this document, who issued it, and
17 pursuant to what regulations?
18 A. This is a decree by the president of the Republic of
19 Serbian Krajina, Milan Martic, on the fast-track promotion of
20 Milan Celeketic, colonel of the SVK. He was fast-tracked to the rank of
21 major, and Article 78, paragraph 1, item 5 is invoked here specifically
22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbian
23 microphone appears to be off.
24 Q. No, no, no. It's fine.
25 A. Article 46, paragraph 1, Article 153, paragraph 1, item 2 on the
1 Law on Defence, these are laws and regulations of the Serbian Krajina.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have an exhibit
3 number for this document, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: This document is admitted into evidence. May it
5 please be given an exhibit number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, this document shall be
7 assigned Exhibit D257. Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 00277D, 65 ter D.
9 Q. Mr. Nikolic, 277D for you.
10 A. I've got that.
11 Q. The header reads Military Post 7572-6, Sarajevo. The preamble
12 reads Military Post 3001 Belgrade
13 Ratko Mladic. The military post in the header, what army's associated
14 with that?
15 A. 3001, that is the 30th Personnel Centre.
16 Q. What about the stamp right above, do you know anything about
18 A. That is the command of the Main
19 what I think, signed by the commander of the Main Staff of the VRS. That
20 leads me to that conclusion.
21 Q. Where it says "decision," and then on the right-hand side,
22 "verified by controller 4," there is some sort of a date there as well.
23 Who is this controller or supervisor, the stamp that you can see on the
24 right-hand side?
25 A. Earlier on in my testimony, I spoke about the way salaries and
1 compensations and benefits were paid, and this was done by the
2 accountancy centre of the federal defence ministry. It appears here that
3 there was a controller who found this document to be accurate and gave
4 the go-ahead for the salaries to be paid, which means in practical terms
5 that this person can now receive his salary under the regulations then in
6 force and applied throughout the VJ.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we pull this up a little just to
8 see who it was addressed to.
9 Q. At the bottom of this page there is an order to deliver. I see
10 that it's there in the English but not in the Serbian.
11 A. This was delivered to the accountancy centre of the defence
12 ministry, and a copy was sent to the archives where all of the records
13 were kept. That's DPD 1 and DPD 2, the files we discussed.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May this be received, please.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's admitted, may it please be given an exhibit
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, this document shall be
18 assigned Exhibit D258. Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next document is also a
20 Defence 65 ter document, 00141D.
22 A. I've got it.
23 Q. Can you tell us what it is and who produced this document?
24 A. In actual fact, this document confirms what I said a while ago,
25 the service situation for the VRS members and the SVK members. In this
1 specific case, it is a decree by the president of the Republika Srpska on
2 the cessation of professional military service and dismissal from duty of
3 General Novica Simic. If you look closely at this document, you can see
4 that the vice-president, Dragan Cavic, invokes Article 106 of the
5 Constitution of Republika Srpska and Article 115, paragraph 1, item 3 of
6 the Law on the Army of Republika Srpska.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Actually, I won't be asking this
8 question. May this please be received. Thank you.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
10 please be given an exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
12 Exhibit D259. Thank you.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Another document very much like this
16 one from the Defence 65 ter list. 00368D --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: One speaker at a time,
18 please. We couldn't get the number. Thank you.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, Mr. Lukic, the interpreter couldn't get the
20 number because it was not one speaker at a time --
21 MR. LUKIC: 368D --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- sorry, Mr. Lukic, Mr. Lukic, the interpreter
23 warns precisely against more than one person talking at the same time.
24 Thank you so much.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've got it.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, what is this document and who produced it?
4 A. This document was produced by Military Post 7572 Banja Luka,
5 specifically Chief of the General Staff of the VRS, Novica Simic, a
6 lieutenant-general by rank. This is a decision in relation to the
7 dismissal from duty Of Lieutenant-General Bogdan Sladojevic. He's now no
8 longer a professional military serviceman.
9 Q. There are several institutions stated as addressees, but what
10 about RS SMO, is that the account centre of the federal defence ministry?
11 A. You could see that it was delivered to DPD 1, that is the central
12 archives. There was a receipt. The SOVO fund, military social
13 insurance, and can I explain why?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. To make sure that he got all of his pension and disability
16 benefits. The accounting centre for his salaries to be calculated, the
17 unit in which he happened to be, and DPP 2, which is the basic unit,
18 keeping all of the records to do with this person who is the subject of
19 this document.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May this be received, please.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's admitted into evidence. May it please be
22 given an exhibit number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
24 Exhibit D260. Thank you.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is another
1 Defence 65 ter list document, 00407D.
3 is from Knin, and this was sent to 4001 in Belgrade, another military
4 post number.
5 A. Yes, I can see that.
6 Q. First of all, sir, what does this document say? What is this
7 military post code? Which army is that? Who are they sending this to?
8 And finally, why?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ...
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's right. I apologise. It's a
11 complex question.
12 Q. What is this military post up in the header 9000 from Knin, which
13 army does that code belong to?
14 A. 4001, Belgrade
16 Q. Just a minute. I wasn't asking about that one. It was actually
17 addressed to 4001, the 40th Personnel Centre, but who is the body
18 dispatching this document or sending it? Who is the sender?
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we pull this down, please.
20 Q. You see the header up left, military post code. It's got a -
21 wait a minute, please, sir - 9000, and then document number, date, and it
22 says Knin. What army are we looking at here?
23 A. 9000, military post of the SVK.
24 Q. And they are writing to?
25 A. The 40th Personnel Centre in Belgrade.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we pull this down just a little,
2 please -- or rather, pull it up, up. I said it wrong, down.
3 Q. There is a round stamp down there towards the bottom of the
4 document. Which army is that, and who signed the document, sir?
5 A. The stamp is from 9000 Knin. And if I may just add something
6 about this document --
7 Q. My idea was -- this is my third question - to ask you what the
8 reason is for this military post to be addressing the
9 40th Personnel Centre, why was this sent?
10 A. At the beginning of the document, it says that in the attachment
11 they would be forwarding some decisions in relation to professional
12 servicemen. Article 24, paragraph 3, official military gazette, 3893.
13 The decisions were adopted by the authorised officer, and they relate to
14 service in conditions of hardship. If you look at the last part of this
15 document, Colonel Krnjaic is here submitting a request for these
16 decisions to be verified and forwarded to the accounting centre, whereas
17 single copies is to be returned to the Main Staff of the SVK so that it
18 could be filed and archived.
19 Q. Why are these decisions here forwarded to the accounting centre
20 and just whose accounting centre?
21 A. These decisions are forwarded to the accounting centre so that
22 certain salaries and benefits may be calculated and paid.
23 Q. I asked whose, the defence ministry?
24 A. The accounting centre. It doesn't say exactly. It was stated
25 clearly earlier on. The accounting centre of the Ministry of Defence.
1 This accounting centre, as I said earlier on, was subordinated to the
2 administration for the funding and budget of the defence ministry.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May this be received, please.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's admitted into evidence. May it please be
5 given an exhibit number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
7 Exhibit D261. Thank you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Registrar.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm done with my examination, but I
10 do have a correction to make in the transcript, page 13, lines 9 and 10,
11 when he was reading and then it says -- the witness said that's the
12 40th Personnel Centre -- I don't wish to be appearing to lead the
13 witness. The 40th Personnel Centre, that is the SVK.
14 Q. When you were reading the document, what exactly did you mean by
15 the "40th Personnel Centre"?
16 A. The 40th Personnel Centre is attached to the personnel
17 administration of the General Staff of the VJ.
18 Q. So members of what army are we talking about here in this case?
19 A. Members of the SVK.
20 Q. Thank you very much, General Nikolic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this concludes my
22 examination of the present witness. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
24 Mr. Thomas.
25 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honours. If I could just have a
1 brief moment to organise myself.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Thomas:
4 Q. General, good morning. My name is Barney Thomas. I'm a lawyer
5 for the Prosecution. I have the opportunity at this stage in the
6 proceedings to ask you a few questions about the testimony that you have
7 given over the last few days. I ask you, please, to listen carefully to
8 my questions; your answers are important. If you do understand any of my
9 questions, please let me know and I'll ask them for you in a different
11 Do we understand each other, sir?
12 A. Yes, and good morning to you too.
13 Q. Thank you. I'd like to start just very briefly with a matter of
14 clarification on a document that we have just been looking at, please,
15 and that is D259.
16 MR. THOMAS: If we could have that on the screen.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, I can't see it on the
18 screen. Can I have a hard copy of this document because I can't really
19 see it.
20 Q. General, throughout your cross-examination we will be referring
21 to documents on the screen. They will take a moment or two to appear on
22 the screen, as I call for them. They can always be enlarged, portions of
23 them can be enlarged. So if you counter, as we discuss any documents,
24 any portions which you have difficulty reading, please let me know and I
25 will arrange for a particular portion to be enlarged. All right?
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This document -- well, the General
2 has it in his binder.
3 141D, sir.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it on the screen.
5 MR. THOMAS:
6 Q. Now, General, we looked at -- or you looked at a couple of such
7 documents this morning, decrees on the cessation of professional military
8 service, and this one relates to General Simic. What is the effective
9 date of termination of his service?
10 A. Sir, according to the text of the decree, we can conclude
11 unequivocally that this person's service is terminated on the
12 29th of October, 2002.
13 Q. And we see, General, that the decree itself was issued on
14 1 November 1992
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Thomas, you said November 1992?
16 MR. THOMAS: I'm sorry, 2002. My apologies, Your Honour.
17 Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the bottom left-hand corner it
19 says number 02-111-775/02. 02, that's the designation of the year, and
20 the location is Banja Luka. The date is the 1st of November, 2002. That
21 means that at that time that this document was logged at the time in that
23 MR. THOMAS:
24 Q. All right, General, I will need your assistance here, then,
25 please. Is there anything on the document apart from that logging of the
1 document which assists in determining what day the decree was issued?
2 A. Below this number that I read out, in my opinion, because this is
3 the -- a document from Republika Srpska, from the president of the
4 republic, so in my opinion it was logged in the military office. And the
5 internal number is 01-229302, the 1st of November -- well, we can't see
6 the year here, but I think it's 2002 in my opinion. There's no year. It
7 says just the 1st of November.
8 Q. All right, General. Let me ask it this way. Is it fair for us
9 to assume that this decree was issued on or about the
10 1st of November, 2002?
11 A. I'm sorry, sir, but it would not be proper for me to interpret
12 whether this is a document of Republika Srpska, the president of the
13 republic, the military office, the way in which it is logged, and all the
14 rest. Any interpretation on my part would perhaps be less than valid.
15 But I told you what was written here, where it was logged, and who logged
16 it, and when this person's service was terminated. And you can also see
17 where this person was relieved of his duty.
18 And, sir, if you look at this decree, this person was relieved of
19 his duty as of the 11th of November, 2002; and immediately after that,
20 the dismissal followed. The date is the 11th of November, 2002, which
21 means 11 days after the end of the service, the termination of the
22 service. And there was a special procedure for the dismissal. This is
23 what I can read from this decree.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, but, Mr. Nikolic, thanks for that long
25 explanation, but it doesn't answer the question put to you. The question
1 is: Is it fair to assume that this document was issued on the
2 1st of November, 2002? You can either say: Yes, no, or I don't know.
3 Very short answer.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
7 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Thank you, General. And that means that the decree was issued
9 after the agreement on special parallel relations was concluded between
10 the FRY and the Republika Srpska; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you, General. I just want to -- I've finished with that
13 document now.
14 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. And, General, I just want to go back to some background matters
16 that you spoke about last week. And particularly, sir, I want to discuss
17 the relationship or the workings of the Ministry of Defence of the FRY
18 and the General Staff of the VJ following the restructuring which
19 occurred prior to General Perisic becoming Chief of the General Staff.
20 All right.
21 Do you follow me, sir?
22 A. Absolutely.
23 Q. Do you agree, sir, that under the new system the only source of
24 financing for the Army of Yugoslavia was 100 per cent from the federal
1 A. I'm sorry. Do you mean the funds from the federal budget
2 allocated for the army?
3 Q. Yes, I do, sir. Did that constitute the universe of funding for
4 the Army of Yugoslavia
5 A. In my answers I stressed in particular that all the funds that
6 the Army of Yugoslavia had at its disposal were obtained through the
7 federal budget and only from the federal budget. That was a joint
8 budget, but it was called the military budget --
9 Q. Just pause, please, General. As I indicated to you at the
10 beginning of my questions to you, please listen very carefully to my
11 question, answer only my question. All right? I only asked you if the
12 funding came exclusively from the federal budget. We will move on to
13 those other matters. Please just answer the question I've asked you.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. Now, this financing or this funding was based on an
17 annual budget; is that right?
18 A. I'm not receiving interpretation.
20 Q. That process would begin with the General Staff of the VJ
21 preparing a combined plan of all the needs of the VJ for the upcoming
22 period; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. These would include such things as war reserves and salaries as
25 well as all other matters required for the operation of an army; correct?
1 A. By way of additional explanation, you talk about war reserves. I
2 don't know what you mean by that.
3 Q. Well, an army has war reserves, correct, stockpiles and stocks of
4 ammunition and weapons and so on?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And the Yugoslav Army had such stocks?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. For the purposes of preparing the annual budget, they would
9 submit a proposal or they would assess their own needs to either maintain
10 or increase existing war reservist; is that correct?
11 A. Absolutely, yes.
12 Q. And any expenditures considered necessary for that purpose would
13 be included in this plan prepared by the VJ General Staff?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. As would salaries for all VJ officers?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And is it correct that by far the largest expenditure was on
18 salaries for VJ officers?
19 A. Yes. Can I say approximately how much?
20 Q. By all means, sir.
21 A. The salaries and pensions took up 60 to 67 per cent of the
22 overall military budget.
23 Q. At the stage of drafting a plan for its needs, at the stage of
24 the VJ General Staff drafting this plan for its budgetary needs, the MOD
25 would have no role to play of influence in terms of what it put into its
1 plans, did it?
2 A. No, but if I may I would like to supplement my answer.
3 Q. Certainly, General.
4 A. I said in my answers that there was an absolute co-ordination in
5 the effort to draft the plan for -- and the draft budget of the army in
6 the Ministry of Defence, but the defence ministry, or rather, the defence
7 minister is the one that makes the decision, the final decision, at that
8 level. The needs of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army were always
9 presented in larger figures than the --
10 Q. Just pause there, General --
11 A. -- actual capabilities allowed.
12 Q. General, once again my question was directed only towards the
13 preparation of the plan. All right? Your comments are related to the
14 process that followed. Could you please, once again, keep your answers
15 limited to the question that I ask you. All right? We don't want to
16 keep you here longer, sir, than we need to.
17 Once the General Staff of the VJ had prepared its plan, its
18 budgetary plan, it then required the SDC to endorse this plan or approve
19 this plan; correct?
20 A. No, but I have to give you an additional explanation here. Sir,
21 may I?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. You used the term -- you asked whether the
24 Supreme Defence Council approved that plan. No. The budget was approved
25 exclusively by the Federal Assembly at the proposal of the federal
2 Q. General, before the VJ presented its plan to the MOD for the
3 MOD's input, it first went to the SDC
4 A. No. Once again, I think there has been a misunderstanding here.
5 May I try and explain?
6 Q. Yes, by all means.
7 A. You keep talking about the Supreme Defence Council. Here we're
8 talking about financial means, the budget, as you stressed yourself. The
9 defence ministry as the line ministry in the federal government is
10 duty-bound to draft the military budgetary plan in co-ordination with the
11 General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, as I have already said. And this
12 plan or draft plan is submitted to the federal government. And later on,
13 the federal government in turn submits the plan or the draft plan for the
14 budget for the current year to the Federal Assembly, which then decides
15 on the budget. It's not the Supreme Defence Council that does that.
16 Q. General, once again, listen to my question and perhaps I'm not
17 being clear. I'm not suggesting that the SDC approved the budget. What
18 I am suggesting, however, is that the SDC approved the plan created by
19 the General Staff prior to the plan being submitted to the MOD; is that
21 A. Well, the question doesn't seem clear to me. The
22 Supreme Defence Council, in line with its powers, approves the
23 development plan for the army; and if there are any additional funds
24 there, the General Staff will bear that in mind when the budget is being
25 proposed to the federal government.
1 Q. All right. And once the plan has been prepared by the
2 General Staff of the VJ, it is provided then at that point to the
3 Ministry of Defence; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, on the basis of the plan submitted by the
6 Chief of General Staff of the VJ, the Ministry of Defence would then
7 prepare a draft budget on behalf of the entire MOD for inclusion in the
8 annual budget of the FRY; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And this budget or the MOD component of the budget would
11 effectively be comprised of the needs of the VJ contained in the plan
12 submitted by the General Staff and the needs for the internal workings of
13 the MOD, such as the equipment and salaries necessary for the MOD staff;
14 is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it a fair assessment that this combined budget, this was
17 effectively made up of 95 per cent funding for the VJ and about
18 5 per cent funding for the MOD?
19 A. This is a unified draft plan. So -- of the ministry and the
20 army. And this draft plan cannot be submitted to the federal government
21 before it is approved by the defence minister. As regards the second
22 half of your question, what percentage went to the army and what
23 percentage went to the defence ministry, I cannot tell you at this point.
24 But to the best of my knowledge, I think that almost 85 to 90 per cent
25 went to the army, to meet its needs; and the rest went to the defence
2 Q. Now, these two budgets put together or these two plans put
3 together, the VJ plan and the MOD plan, were these known as the national
4 defence plan?
5 A. Let me repeat once again. These are not different plans. It's a
6 unified draft plan, which is called the military budget. It's not called
7 the budget of the defence ministry. Please.
8 Q. All right, General. I think we're losing something in
9 interpretation. Nevertheless, let me approach it from this direction.
10 The combined MOD/VJ plan would then be reviewed by the MOD to determine
11 whether the amounts sought by the VJ, for example, were realistically
12 possible; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Once the MOD had settled on what it considered to be a realistic
15 budget, that proposed budget would be sent to the minister of defence for
16 his approval; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was it often that the VJ asked for more money than it was
19 possible to give in the opinion of the MOD?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And on these occasions would there be discussions between the
22 General Staff of the VJ and the MOD staff responsible for preparing the
23 joint budget as to what amendments to the budget -- or the VJ plan,
24 rather, could be made; is that right?
25 A. Yes. But, sir, allow me to provide additional explanation.
1 May I? Thank you.
2 At the beginning of your cross-examination I said that the
3 relevant organisational units of the General Staff co-ordinated their
4 efforts; in this specific case the 5th Administration of the
5 General Staff co-ordinated its efforts with the administration for the
6 funding and budget of the federal defence ministry. And until they are
7 able to agree on the terms, they do not submit the document to the
8 defence minister for his signature. So first they co-ordinate their
9 views, those two institutions.
10 But let me draw your attention to the following: The draft plan
11 of the budget is done on the basis of the guide-lines and the parameters
12 issued by the federal government, and which issues it before the budget
13 plan is actually done.
14 Q. General, once the MOD approves this combined budget, it is then
15 submitted by the minister to the federal government for inclusion along
16 with all the other ministerial budgets and to the FRY annual budget; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And ultimately the annual budget is -- or an annual budget is
20 approved by the federal government; correct?
21 A. No. But allow me to explain, please.
22 Q. Please do, sir.
23 A. At the outset I said the government does not approve the federal
24 budget. The Federal Assembly does. And the Federal Executive Council
25 must square everything with them. The federal government establishes a
1 final budget proposal, which is then submitted to the Federal Assembly
2 for approval.
3 Q. All right. Thank you, General.
4 Now, once the annual budget is approved, effectively funds are
5 transferred to all the ministries who form part of the annual budget for
6 them to disburse against their own individual plans; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And so, any funds spent by or on behalf of the VJ are credited
9 against that portion of the MOD budget that was agreed with the VJ in
10 accordance with the plan submitted by the Chief of the General Staff, was
11 it not?
12 A. No. May I additionally explain? The question actually contains
13 several sub-questions. May I explain?
14 Q. General, let me ask the question a different way. This might be
15 simpler. The annual budget approved by the Federal Assembly details the
16 expenditures to be made on behalf of each federal ministry; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In terms of the expenditures to be credited against the
19 Ministry of Defence, the annual budget details what is to be spent on the
20 VJ and what is to be spent on the Ministry of Defence; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. On the basis of that, expenditures are then made; correct?
23 A. On the basis of that, the defence minister adopts a decision on
24 the expenditures for the VJ and a special decision concerning the
25 organisational units of the defence ministry, meaning he adopts a
1 decision on expenditures.
2 Q. In accordance with the annual budget approved by the
3 Federal Assembly; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, the VJ for its own ability to function needed funds which it
6 could spend in accordance with that annual budget; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And these funds were transferred to the VJ almost daily to enable
9 it to function; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Specifically they were sent to the accounting centre at the
12 General Staff of the VJ; correct?
13 A. The accounting centre calculated and paid out salaries which was
14 a segment of the overall budget. The accounting centre was also in
15 charge of making actual payments to what we called suppliers for the food
16 that was sent to the army, for the beds, for example, and all the other
18 Q. General, pause, please.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... when a time is
21 MR. THOMAS: Now would be an appropriate time, sir. Thank you.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. We'll take a break and come
23 back at quarter to 11.00. Court adjourned.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Thomas.
2 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Q. General, would there be occasions when large disbursements on
4 behalf of the VJ, for example, for large construction projects or the
5 purchase of large amounts of ammunition would be made on behalf of the
6 VJ by the MOD?
7 A. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, with all due respect, given the fact that
8 these are questions that exceed my competence, I can hardly be expected
9 to answer questions about logistics, because these are questions to do
10 with the more logistical aspects. Any answer that I might provide
11 concerning issues such as these might be no more than very general
12 answers and not sufficiently valid, I suspect, for the Trial Chamber to
13 take into consideration.
14 Q. All right. No, I understand. Nevertheless, you would be able to
15 answer this question for me I think, that it was the army who controlled
16 its own war reserves?
17 A. The answer is both yes and no.
18 Q. Can you explain, sir?
19 A. The VJ had control over the equipment and weapons that it was in
20 the actual possession of and whatever it was using. As for whatever the
21 federal defence ministry was using, they were in charge of that, and they
22 were controlling those reserves.
23 Q. So the VJ's own war reserves were under the control of the
24 VJ General Staff; correct?
25 A. For the most part, yes.
1 Q. All right.
2 MR. THOMAS: I wonder, Your Honours, if we could please go into
3 private session just for a moment.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
5 [Private session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
8 Yes, Mr. Thomas.
9 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Could we please have Exhibit P1009 on the screen.
11 Q. General, as this document appears, if you would just give it a
12 moment, but when it appears you will see that it is an order issued by
13 President Lilic in 1994 on supplying the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres
14 with weapons and military equipment; you see that?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that in the B/C/S document
17 which -- we should have the following page, which what I think is a cover
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise. I see a cover
20 letter there on my screen.
21 MR. THOMAS:
22 Q. Just pause for a moment, General.
23 MR. THOMAS: Registrar, do we have the next page in B/C/S?
24 Sorry, page 3. Thank you, and I'm indebted to counsel, Your Honours.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MR. THOMAS:
3 Q. So, General, again to repeat my question. You see this as an
4 order of President Lilic on supplying the 30th and 40th Personnel Centre
5 with weapons and military equipment. Do you see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you'll see that he orders that it is the Chief of the
8 General Staff who was responsible for reconciling requests with the means
9 of the army to fill them; do you see that?
10 A. Yes. Based on what it says here, yes.
11 Q. Would it follow then, General, that this is an order to the
12 supply the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres from the war reserves
13 controlled by the army?
14 A. Sir, the order to supply the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres from
15 the war reserves in terms of equipment and weapons is something that
16 never could have happened, for the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres to be
17 in this situation. These units numbered between 10 and 12 men each,
18 maybe enough to fill one or two offices. Imagine there was a rocket
19 system arriving in one of these offices, not feasible. Most probably
20 what they say about these supplies to the 30th Personnel Centre, this is
21 probably a security thing. It says the 30th -- the association here is
22 probably with the Main Staff of the VRS and the Main Staff of the SVK.
23 Again, I was head of the personnel administration, and this unit
24 was part of my administration, the 30th Personnel Centre. It was never
25 the case, never ever, that they received anything, not anything that was
1 made of glass, not any type of equipment, and least of all weapons.
2 Q. General, I just want to go on with that topic for a moment --
3 MR. THOMAS: But we can do that in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
5 Do you still want this document to stay on the screen?
6 MR. THOMAS: Sorry, Your Honours, that should come off the
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the document please be removed from the screen
9 before we go into open session. Thank you.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
13 MR. THOMAS: If we look at document P628, please.
14 Q. Now, General, you will see that this is issued by the
15 Chief of the General Staff, General Perisic. And it reminds officers of
16 the army that there are protocols in place for supplying logistics to the
17 30th and 40th Personnel Centres and that these must be followed. You see
19 A. I can't see anything in the Serbian. I'm unable to read anything
20 at all. Could I please be served a hard copy -- all right, I can see it
22 May I just read through it, please?
23 Q. Of course, sir.
24 A. I've read it. I'm now familiar with the substance of this
1 Q. Plainly, sir, in this context, as you have already observed, the
2 30th Personnel Centre means the Main Staff of the VRS and the
3 40th Personnel Centre means the Main Staff of the SVK; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right.
6 A. That's at least what I think.
7 Q. All right.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
22 [Private session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
25 Yes, Mr. Thomas.
1 MR. THOMAS: And, Your Honours, I seek an order for redaction for
2 the question and answers dealing with the description of that document.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: What lines are you talking about?
4 MR. THOMAS: They are lines -- sorry, page 32, line 19, sir to --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The end of the page?
6 MR. THOMAS: Yes.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: May we have that part redacted, please.
8 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're welcome.
10 MR. THOMAS:
11 Q. General, you'll see that, in pages 2 and 3 of the document, that
12 the request is for large amounts of infantry ammunition, for example,
13 5 million rounds of 7.62-millimetre rounds, we have artillery ammunition,
14 we have anti-aircraft ammunition, and we have oil and fuel. Do you see
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right. You might not be in a position to answer this
18 question, but certainly on the basis of the document this is a request
19 for VJ war reserves; correct? And tell us if you can't answer the
21 A. Your Honours, again I must point out the following: This is
22 about logistical support, which exceeds my area of competence. Any
23 answer I might provide would be useless. I can look at a document, see
24 what it talks about; nevertheless, I am certain that there are people who
25 are better placed than I am to answer these questions because they were
1 in this actual line of work. Any answer that I might provide would not
2 be sufficiently valid for evaluation purposes.
3 Q. All right, General. Nevertheless, are you able to confirm for us
4 that what we have here are requests direct from the VRS to the
5 VJ General Staff without any involvement, for example, of the MOD? Is
6 that what the document shows?
7 A. Sir, as we saw at the outset, this is a 1994 document, unless I'm
8 mistaken. May I please be reminded. This is 1994, right?
9 MR. THOMAS: Could we please have the top of the document,
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 30th of January, 1994
12 Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, as you already heard, I was part of the
13 defence ministry chain of command at the time. I was head of the system
14 and status-related issues administration. Our line of work was quite
15 different from what we've been discussing. Again, anything I say -- what
16 I can do for you is read what the document says. Nevertheless, as to the
17 substance, as to the whys and wherefores, again I have to point this
18 out - I have no choice but to say it - this is something that exceeded my
20 MR. THOMAS:
21 Q. General, I understand. Let's move to an area you're more
22 familiar with.
23 MR. THOMAS: P1873, please. We can move, Your Honours, into open
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
4 Yes, Mr. Thomas.
5 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Now, the page I'm looking for, Your Honours, in English is
7 ERN 0630-6534. It's a document that was used with General Nikolic on
9 Q. General, you will recognise this document. This was the series
10 of documents that contained the MOD opinion on the need to form the -- or
11 a regime to deal with those who were in the VRS and the SVK from the
12 former JNA and VJ. You recall this series of documents?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. THOMAS: I'd like to go, as I said, Your Honours, please, to
15 doc ID number in the English 653 -- ending 6534 and the corresponding
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. -- I don't understand what you are
18 saying, Mr. Thomas.
19 MR. THOMAS: Sir, this was a document used on Friday to identify
20 the particular English page. My learned friend referred to a doc ID
21 number of 6534. This is a document where there are a number of different
22 English translations attached to the single B/C/S document.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, is it part of this document?
24 MR. THOMAS: It is. This is the document that we now have on the
25 screen, sir, it's part of Exhibit P1873.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. All right.
2 MR. THOMAS:
3 Q. General, we won't stay long on this document, but this is the
4 Ministry of Defence opinion regarding the difficulties in how to deal
5 those who were from the VJ or JNA and serving in the VRS and the SVK.
6 The first thing I want to draw your attention to -- in fact, what I want
7 to draw your attention to is the last line in the second paragraph. All
8 right. In fact, if you look at the first paragraph there is a -- if you
9 look at the second paragraph, there is a remark that:
10 "... we believe there are no explicit legal grounds for such an
11 order to deal with the issues raised ..."
12 Do you see that reference at the beginning of paragraph 2?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And particularly we are talking about people who are referred to
15 in paragraph 1, namely -- or the issue as that raised in paragraph 1,
16 which is, regulating the status and dispatch of professional officers,
17 non-commissioned officers, and civilians to the Army of Republika Srpska
18 and the Republic of Serbian
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So what is proposed here is a means of dealing with that in the
21 absence of a legal basis; is that right?
22 A. Sir, it doesn't say that there is no foundation in the law, but
23 that there is no explicit legal foundation for the regulation of those
24 issues that were raised. What that means is that there is no valid legal
1 Q. All right. A comment I want to refer you to is in the last line
2 of the paragraph where the suggestion that -- the next sentence:
3 "However, there is an apparent need for such a political decision
4 to be made at the highest level of command and control, but it goes
5 without saying that the possible implications that would result from
6 this, especially from an international standpoint, will be assessed."
7 Okay? Now, you alluded to this yesterday and the answer may be
8 obvious, but can you tell us, please, what the possible implications are
9 that are being referred to in that document, especially from an
10 international standpoint. What was it that was concerning the MOD about
11 the implications of this?
12 A. When our suggestions were given, since this is a document
13 originating from the system and status issues administration, before a
14 decision is taken, an assessment has to be made of any implications. The
15 implications might in our opinion pertain to the international community,
16 because, at that time, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was under the
17 sanctions regime; and in the highest political body and at the highest
18 level of command and control when decisions of this kind were taken,
19 those assessments had to be made.
20 Q. Well, the MOD would have anticipated that there would have been
21 international repercussions had the international community been aware
22 that soldiers were being dispatched to the SVK and the VRS, wouldn't
24 A. No.
25 Q. The MOD didn't anticipate any problem with that?
1 A. I apologise. The question is different now. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. You mentioned at some point in your testimony yesterday
3 that reference to the 30th Personnel Centre and 40th Personnel Centre in
4 documents is effectively to keep information secret, is that correct, in
5 some documents?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And depending on the context, these can be euphemisms for the VRS
8 and the SVK; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I want to move, please, in the same exhibit to document ID number
11 0630-6538, please.
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me, and I do apologise. I was hoping that
13 we could get a translation for the word "euphemism." I understand what
14 you mean by the word, Mr. Thomas, but I'm not sure necessarily some other
15 people here do. So if we could get a translation just for that one
16 particular word "euphemism," we would appreciate it. How is it
17 translated into Serbian?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I miss why it was used.
19 MR. THOMAS: The reference, Your Honour, is line 19 at page 38.
20 And obviously, Your Honour, I can't assist my learned friend with his
21 inquiry, but perhaps if Madam Interpreter can do so.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, I guess --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The Serbian word is "eufemizam."
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Can we please have -- oh, we have it on the screen.
2 Q. Now, General, you will recall that these statement of reasons
3 issued by the personnel administration of the VJ General Staff for the
4 proposed draft order on how the structure for dealing with this issue
5 should be implemented. You recall that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you'll see there that the General Staff in the first
8 paragraph echo in line 6 of the English - I'm not sure of the
9 corresponding line in your language - but there is a reference to the:
10 "... lack of a legal basis or decision by the responsible SFRY
11 state and military order -- organ, sorry, to temporarily dispatch."
12 You see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And at the end of that paragraph we have another reference to the
15 absence of legality.
16 "Up until now, all of this was done in accordance with temporary
17 standpoints of the Chief of General Staff of the VJ, and these
18 standpoints were changed from time to time but without any legal basis
19 and in a semi-legal manner."
20 Do you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is one of the problems that there is no provision in the law by
23 that time and then in the Law of the VJ permitting the transfer of
24 soldiers - let's start with the obvious - allowing the transfer of
25 soldiers to fight in another nation's army?
1 A. Sir, the first part that you read out where the personnel
2 administration is stating its view, that's the personnel administration
3 of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army -- well, you've said so
4 yourself. I can merely give you my interpretation or I can read out what
5 the chief of the personnel administration said by way of explanation to
6 the Chief of the General Staff --
7 Q. Just pause there. Just pause there for a moment, General.
8 The statement of reasons effectively adopts the position of the
9 MOD on this matter, doesn't it?
10 A. No.
11 Q. All right. Just pause there. The MOD considered that there was
12 no legal basis for the dispatch of soldiers to these two armies or for
13 that regulation of their status in the VJ?
14 A. Yes, but if you allow me, sir, I would like to explain why I said
15 no. I thought that you had asked me whether this is a document from the
16 personnel administration of the General Staff. I meant this document.
17 And what we did was precisely what you yourself said, our opinion on the
18 draft decision. We were not given the opinion of the personnel
19 administration. It was a draft order that was drafted in the
20 General Staff of the Yugoslav Army. And we, the system and status issues
21 administration -- or rather, the sector for status and system issues gave
22 its views and proposals regarding the draft decision. And this is a
23 statement of reasons provided by the personnel administration of the
24 General Staff, at least that's what I can say based on what I see,
25 because I don't see the -- anything else but what is here on the screen.
1 Q. All right.
2 MR. THOMAS: Well, let's go to P1872.
3 Q. Now, you'll see here that here is a letter from the
4 Yugoslav Army General Staff forwarding some documents to the
5 Federal Ministry of Defence, dated 8 October 1993. And in the body of
6 the letter we see that the Chief of the General Staff agreed with a
7 proposed amendment to the draft order, and that has been re-drafted for
8 the president of the republic. And as for other objections, the
9 Chief of the General Staff -- I'm sorry, the administration for system
10 and status issues -- I'm sorry, the personnel administration of the
11 General Staff of the VJ presented their position and the -- to the SDC,
12 and included also with this letter is the position taken by the
13 Chief of the General Staff at the SDC
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we see where the SDC is referred to on the
16 MR. THOMAS: It's not, Your Honours, but if we go to page 3 of
17 the document, and that's page 2 in the B/C/S.
18 Your Honours, the ERN number is 063 -- sorry, 0630-6544 to 46.
19 Q. You'll see there, General, that this enclosure with the letter
20 records the remarks of the Chief of the General Staff of the VJ made to
21 the SDC
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right. Do we see in that document that the
24 Chief of the General Staff has adopted also the MOD position; in other
25 words, if you look at paragraph 3, do we see his view that the legal
1 position and personal status of all these persons who stayed behind and
2 those who were dispatched there has not been equally regulated regarding
3 salary and so on. Do you see that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And again, here, it goes:
6 The position that so far the Yugoslav Army did not have a legal
7 basis in the regulations and there has been no decision issued which
8 would permit the Yugoslav Army General Staff to dispatch these persons
9 out of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
10 You see that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. I want to look at the next page in the English, please,
13 and it's in page 3 of the B/C/S, where the Chief of the General Staff
14 refers again to this difficulty --
15 MR. THOMAS: I'm sorry, Madam Registrar, that should be -- that
16 should be the next page.
17 Sorry, could we scroll up, please -- sorry, the original page
18 that you had, the last one. Thank you. Just there. And the
19 corresponding page. The paragraph I want to look at begins, please,
20 "on the other hand," that is in page 3 of the B/C/S.
21 Q. General, do you see a paragraph which begins:
22 "On the other hand, the crucial fact is that there is no solid
23 legal framework which could not come under attack in possible litigation
24 for dispatching these active servicemen outside of the FRY without their
1 Do you see that there?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What I want to refer to is the next comment:
4 "Therefore, we must also ensure a high degree of protection of
5 the information regarding these activities, which is very difficult ..."
6 then there's a parenthetical remark, "particularly in relation to the
7 local and foreign public."
8 Do you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Does this echo the same concerns that the MOD had about this
12 A. Yes, in part. But, sir, might I provide an additional
14 Q. By all means.
15 A. The law on the Yugoslav Army I think in Article 162 speaks about
16 the data protection in no uncertain terms, especially when it comes to
17 issues such as this one. Any violation would be tantamount to an
18 infraction of military discipline or a violation of military secret or
19 state secret, and such persons would be subject to criminal prosecution.
20 And I still maintain what I said about the implications. So this is
21 because of the data security. Every army has its documents and files
22 that are marked as confidential to a different degree, military secret,
23 confidential, strictly confidential, and state secret.
24 Q. But, General, there is an added dimension beyond ordinary
25 military classified documents here. This is a situation where the FRY
1 was anticipating sending people to these two armies without their consent
2 and in violation of Security Council Resolutions to provide assistance --
3 or to not provide assistance to the Republika Srpska. Is that correct?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, I think it's a compound
6 question, sending without their approval and in violation of the
7 Security Council Resolutions, and so on. I think that it should be cut
8 up into several questions.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Thomas.
10 MR. THOMAS: I can deal with that, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
12 MR. THOMAS:
13 Q. There was an intention to send soldiers or officers to the armies
14 of the VRS and the SVK even without their consent, wasn't there?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Pause. I wanted to go down two paragraphs from what we were
17 reading. And this, again, is the comments of the general --
18 Chief of the General Staff, General Perisic, to the SDC.
19 "In the proposed Order of the President -- prepared for signing
20 by the president.
21 "In the proposed order of the President of the Federal Republic
22 of Yugoslavia
23 would become operational and put into effect through the order of the
24 Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, this task would be
25 resolved in such a way that all professional officers and civilians
1 serving in the Yugoslav Army who were born in Croatia or
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina and sent to do their training or service in the JNA
3 from these territories, would be obliged to respond to call-up from the
4 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska or the
5 Republic of Serbian Krajina, or else their service in the Yugoslav Army
6 would be terminated.
7 "The relevant officer in the Yugoslav Army would make all these
8 persons available and send them to a special organ of the Yugoslav Army
9 General Staff (personnel administration), based in Belgrade."
10 Now, General, does that not suggest to you that there was an
11 intention to send people, no matter what their position on being
12 dispatched was?
13 A. Sir, I'm thankful to you for reminding me of those elements that
14 we in our administration for system and status issues highlighted; and
15 when we commented on the order of President Lilic, all of these issues
16 were deleted. They are not there. And the Chief of the General Staff
17 here presents his opinion in these preparatory actions. And in light of
18 the circumstances and the context, the persons that remained there until
19 the 19th of May, 1992, on a voluntary basis, should also include the
20 persons who were in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia but were born in
21 the territory of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina and
22 were sent for training from those two republics or to serve in
24 defending their own people. And since nobody was forced to go, but for
25 the most part as far as I know nobody was forced, nobody was ordered to
1 go without their agreement.
2 If I may draw your attention to this: When I was employed in the
3 personnel administration of the Army of Yugoslavia, we did an analysis
4 and we never came across any information that would indicate that
5 somebody was forced to serve there. And if anyone was made to go there,
6 those people did not suffer any consequences in terms of their service.
7 And if their rights were violated, they could file a legal suit.
8 Q. All right. Well, we'll look in a moment at the question of
9 whether anybody was forced to go or not, but before we do so can we look
10 at P731, please.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that part of a sentence is
13 missing at page 46, line 16. If somebody refused to go, that's what it's
14 missing. And then it goes on to say they did not suffer any
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, what I do see, Mr. Lukic, "and if anyone was
17 made to go there, those people did not suffer any consequences in terms
18 of their service."
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness said "if they refused to
20 go," then they wouldn't suffer any consequences.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
22 Yes, Mr. Thomas.
23 MR. THOMAS: Your Honours, I just want to deal with that issue
24 now for a moment.
25 Can we please go back to the previous document, P1872, and again
1 the Chief of the General Staff's position which is ERN 0630-6544.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: To 46?
3 MR. THOMAS: And page 2 in the English and page 4 in the B/C/S --
4 or the next page in the B/C/S.
5 Q. Now, General, General Perisic has a position on what should
6 happen to those who refuse to go. And I want to scroll down to the last
7 paragraph in the English, please.
8 "For the persons who refuse to be made available and dispatched
9 to the Army of Republika Srpska or the Republic of Serbian
10 relevant officer in the Yugoslav Army would immediately issue a document
11 terminating their service in the Yugoslav Army."
12 Do you see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. THOMAS: I wonder if we could please have Exhibit 2827 on the
16 screen. And perhaps, Your Honours, just before that comes, up let me
17 just check that that is not a protected document. It is not. We can
18 deal with it in open session, Your Honours.
19 Q. Now, General, this is a document --
20 A. Can you blow this up, please, a little. Thank you.
21 Q. Just take your time to read it, General, and then we will put the
22 English version up for Their Honours.
23 And it's probably sufficient for our purposes, General, if you
24 just read that one page so I don't need to go into the second page of the
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 MR. THOMAS: And, Madam Registrar, if we could please have the
3 English version on the screen for Their Honours. Thank you.
4 Q. General, you'll see that this is a document from the
5 3rd Army command, 3rd Army of the VJ, that is, to the Nis and
6 Pristina Corps commands and to the 1st Anti-Armour Battalion commands,
7 all units in the 3rd Army, following the orders given by the chief of the
8 VJ - and I'll need your assistance here - our translation is
9 "Main Staff," but that should be "General Staff." Correct?
10 A. Yes. Go ahead, please.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, there is a request following the orders of the
12 Chief of the General Staff that officers -- that certain steps need to be
13 taken in relation to officers who failed to follow an order on deployment
14 to the 40th Personnel Centre or who otherwise left units of the 30th --
15 sorry, 40th Personnel Centre of their own will. Now, just -- I
16 understand what you mean about the 40th Personnel Centre being ten people
17 in a small office. What we're talking about here are soldiers who
18 disobeyed an order to deploy to the SVK and those who deserted from SVK
19 units; is that correct?
20 A. Before I answer yes or no, these are not soldiers. These are
21 officers. As for the latter part of your question, yes, these are
22 officers who abandoned their units of their own free will without proper
23 authorisation or simply failed to report. The third part of the question
24 that you asked me was the 30th/40th Personnel Centre, these were
25 subordinated to the personnel administration of the General Staff of the
1 VJ. Records were kept there of all soldiers. And obviously all
2 status-related issues as well as any other issues could only be dealt
3 with through these two.
4 Q. All right. Now, if we look at the steps that are required to be
5 taken in respect of these people, General, the first is to establish the
6 whereabouts of those deployed; the second is to urgently inform the
7 personnel of the 3rd Army command, whether any of them have since
8 returned to the 40th Personnel Centre main composition - and here we mean
9 the SVK; and to pass on an order, finally, to those who deserted or who
10 refused to obey the deployment order, to pass on the order by the Chief
11 of the VJ General Staff that they are required to report to a meeting
12 with him at a certain time and place.
13 You see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And the officers concerned are listed in the balance of that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. THOMAS: And I'd like to go now to P1865, please.
20 Q. P1865 is a letter from the 3rd Army command dated October --
21 7th of October, 1994, reporting on what happened to these individuals as
22 a result of these steps being taken out, specifically after interviews of
23 those concerned were conducted with officers with the -- sorry, after
24 interviews of those officers were conducted by the
25 Chief of the General Staff of the VJ, General Perisic. Is that right?
1 A. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, this was back in 1994 when the
2 Chief of the General Staff, at least based on this document, had this
3 conversation. Again, I have to say, I was in the defence ministry. As
4 for the text itself, it's clear, isn't it? What I mean to say is I
5 didn't hear your question.
6 Q. All right. No, that's fair, General. I was giving you the
7 details of the document. I want your -- I want your view now on whether
8 this document shows that there were ramifications for those who refused
9 to obey a transfer order, and I will take you to certain parts of this
10 document and show some passages to you. Under the order the 3rd Army --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I may be jumping to my feet
13 prematurely. Perhaps Mr. Thomas was about to show this document. I
14 think it might be a good idea for the witness to go through the entire
15 page before he answers.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Thomas.
17 MR. THOMAS: I have no problem with that at all, Your Honours.
18 Q. General, please take your time. Read through the entire
19 document. And I'll have some questions about it for you when you're
21 A. Could we please have this pulled up slightly. Thank you.
22 Is there any more text here to be shown?
23 It's all clear to me. Can I have the question now, sir, please.
24 Q. Yes, General. Thank you. The first part of the order lists
25 seven individuals who, after interview with General Perisic, will now
1 report to the 40th Personnel Centre; is that right?
2 A. The bottom of the page where these persons are enumerated, their
3 tasks are specified. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, in order to make this a valid
4 answer, I would need to explain something for the discussion to proceed
5 in the right direction. These persons listed here were not sent anywhere
6 without a proper legal foundation. It was under Article 271 of the law.
7 Everything was done under that article. It was their duty to carry out
8 this order, and they left their post. The Chief of the General Staff,
9 probably pursuant to a request of the commander of the Main Staff of
10 Serbian Krajina, is now asking these persons be tracked down to see what
11 became of them. And that is why the conversation took place.
12 Nevertheless, I am looking at the document in its entirety, and
13 what it says is the conversation was about certain people no longer
14 remaining there, but, rather, their retirement is here being requested
15 and another solution sought in terms of regulating their status within
16 the service. So that is what was being done here. No one's hand is
17 being forced, no one is being punished; on the other hand, each person
18 who left their unit must be made responsible under the rules of the army
19 they belonged to and their own chain of command. Since this is the
20 commander of the Main Staff speaking here, he's seeking assistance in the
21 belief that these persons were here in this area that he specifies. I
22 don't see anything controversial about this, sir.
23 Q. All right. Well, let's look at this document a little more.
24 After the number 8 on the front page, we have a paragraph which reads:
25 "All above mentioned professional soldiers have to report to the
1 centre of -- have to report to the centre of the military schools of the
2 Yugoslav Army in Belgrade
3 A. I can't see that.
4 Q. All right. Do you see on the front page where eight soldiers
5 are -- the names of eight soldiers -- sorry, eight officers are listed?
6 The first seven are very clear, then there is a line, a blank line, and
7 then we have officer number 8 right in the centre of the page as you are
8 looking at it now, General.
9 A. 8 Macak.
10 Q. Now, the sentence that I'm looking at immediately follows
11 number 8, all right?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. "All the above mentioned professional soldiers have to report to
14 the centre of the military schools of the Yugoslav Army in the Belgrade
15 garrison with adequate field equipment in order to be sent to units of
16 the 40th Personnel Centre. They have to report on the 15th of October at
17 0800 hours."
18 All right. You see that?
19 A. Yes, I see that.
20 Q. All right. Now, some of these men had previously deserted their
21 units. For example, if you look at number 1, Vaso Bosanac deliberately
22 left units of the 40th Personnel Centre. Mr. Keca deliberately left
23 units of the 40th Personnel Centre. Some, however, refused to follow
24 transfer orders such as Sergeant Drinic, first class, on duty in the
25 Pristina Corps did not follow transfer order. Sergeant Pupovac, sergeant
1 first class on duty in the Nis Corps did not follow a transfer order.
2 Sergeant Bogdanovic, sergeant first class on duty in the Nis Corps did
3 not follow a transfer order.
4 And the rest of that list is all in relation to officers who did
5 not follow the transfer order to the 40th Personnel Centre; isn't that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If we go down to where there is reference to warrant officer
9 Mraovic, please. Just take a moment to read that paragraph, and then I'm
10 going to have the English version placed on the screen for Their Honours.
11 A. Mraovic Ljubana Zeljko, warrant officer first class, on duty in
12 the Nis
13 Q. Just read it to yourself for the moment, General. When you're
14 done --
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 MR. THOMAS: Could we have the English on the screen for Their
18 And, Your Honours, I'm looking at about two-thirds of the way
19 down the page where there is reference to Mraovic and Sakic.
20 Now, in relation to Mraovic and Sakic following their meeting
21 with the Chief of the General Staff, as either individuals who had
22 deserted 40th personnel units or had refused to transfer to the
23 40th Personnel Centre, the order here is to initiate procedure for the
24 termination of their professional military service, isn't it?
25 A. That's what the document says, yes.
1 MR. THOMAS: And if we look, Your Honours, at the next page in
2 English, I think it's the same page in the B/C/S, they are handed one
3 more opportunity.
4 Q. "In case that above named do not want to terminate their
5 professional military service upon their request, they are to be referred
6 to report to units of the 40th Personnel Centre in the period regulated
7 by point 1 of this order."
8 So in other words, the only way they could avoid termination was
9 to request transfer to the 40th Personnel Centre; isn't that what the
10 document says?
11 A. Yes, the text certainly suggests that.
12 Q. All right --
13 A. Your Honours, may I have a minute, please, three minutes, a break
14 for ...
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
16 MR. THOMAS: Your Honours, now would be --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: We will take the break. We'll come back at half
18 past 12.00. Court adjourned.
19 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Thomas.
22 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Could we please have Exhibit P731 on the screen.
24 Q. And, General, just while that's coming, I hope you're feeling a
25 little better. Please don't hesitate, if you need a break, to do what
1 you did and request one.
2 A. Thank you.
3 Q. Now, General, this was ultimately the order that was signed by
4 President Lilic on the formation of the personnel centres; is that right?
5 A. I can't see the entire order, but that should be it.
6 MR. THOMAS: Perhaps if we just go to the last page,
7 Madam Registrar -- sorry, Mr. Registrar.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Indeed.
9 MR. THOMAS: All right. I want to go back, please, to
10 paragraph 1, Mr. Registrar.
11 Q. All right, General, and the first part of paragraph 1,
12 President Lilic identifies the category of person to whom -- or in
13 respect of whom the order is to reply; namely, active duty servicemen,
14 contract servicemen, and civilian employees of the former JNA who
15 remained in the territory of Republika Srpska and
16 Republic of Serbian Krajina and the professional servicemen and civilians
17 employed in the Yugoslav Army who were born in the former republics of
19 or joined the JNA for those countries.
20 Am I reading that document that identifies the category of
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The second part of that paragraph deals with their dispatch.
24 The individuals mentioned in the previous paragraph shall be:
25 "... dispatched, assigned, transferred, and appointed, depending
1 on the needs of the service and the individuals' abilities, as per the
2 establishment of personnel centres that will be set up by the
3 Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army."
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I see that the LiveNote is blocked.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll wait.
9 [Technical difficulty]
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: It looks like it's taking a bit of time to get
11 started. We'll take a break, and we'll be called.
12 --- Break taken at 12.41
13 --- On resuming at 12.55
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Thomas -- does it mean the couple of
15 words or the few words that were mentioned between you and the witness
16 are not going to be recovered?
17 MR. THOMAS: It looks like it, Your Honour, but I think I can get
18 through that quickly again.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you would. Thank you.
20 MR. THOMAS: Yes.
21 Q. General, we're looking at document P731 on the screen and just
22 before we adjourned you were able to confirm that this was ultimately the
23 order signed by President Lilic authorising the formation of the
24 30th and 40th Personnel Centres?
25 A. Sir, in President Lilic's order it is merely stipulated that
1 personnel centres would be established, not specifying which ones, so not
2 the 30th and the 40th Personnel Centres, but just personnel centres.
3 Q. Now, General, you're quite right, and I should have been more
4 particular with my question. But this is the Lilic order that
5 effectively began that process?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And paragraph 1, the first part of paragraph 1, identifies a
8 particular category of person, namely, active-duty servicemen, contract
9 servicemen, and civilian employees of the former JNA who remained in the
10 territory of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina
11 professional servicemen and civilians employed in the Yugoslav Army who
12 were born on the former republics of Croatia and Bosnia
13 to military schools or joined the JNA from these republics.
14 A. Sir, I did not hear the question.
15 Q. It's coming, General, sorry. I was giving you a moment for your
17 Now, the second part of paragraph 1 states that those people
18 shall be dispatched, doesn't it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The only conditions are that this be subject to the needs of the
21 service and the individuals' abilities; is that right?
22 A. Yes, but we have to add the rest; not only sending, but transfer
23 and appointment to appropriate posts, assignment, transferral,
24 dispatching. You have to list all of those.
25 Q. You're entirely correct, General. So these people shall be
1 dispatched, assigned, transferred, and appointed to appropriate posts.
2 What is missing from that paragraph, is it not, is that this dispatch,
3 assignment, transferral, or appointment is at the request of a particular
4 individual? That's not there, is it?
5 A. It doesn't say here that this was done exclusively at the
7 Q. Well, General, it doesn't say it's at their request at all.
8 A. I said - perhaps you didn't hear me right - but I said that it
9 doesn't say, the words are not there, "at their request." And if you
10 allow me, in paragraph 2 there's a reference to paragraph 1, where it is
11 stipulated that the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army shall organise and
12 keep separate records. And then it goes on to list all those things.
13 And in paragraph 2 these people are referred to specifically, or, rather,
14 in paragraph 1, the second passage.
15 Q. Right, because I want to talk about paragraph numbered 2 now.
16 The second part of paragraph 1 referred to the category of people
17 referred to in the first part of paragraph 1, didn't it?
18 A. No.
19 Q. All right. Perhaps -- let me do this a little simply. I asked
20 you a clumsy question, General, and we've already covered this ground. I
21 apologise. The first part of paragraph 1 identifies a certain group of
22 people, doesn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The second part of paragraph 1 says what is to happen to that
25 category of person, doesn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Paragraph 2 relates to all other people not in that category,
3 doesn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And in respect of other professional servicemen of the
6 Yugoslav Army, the General Staff is under an obligation to enable them to
7 be dispatched, assigned, or transferred, but at their request as well as
8 with the approval of the head of the personnel centre?
9 A. Sir, the question that you've just asked me calls for an
10 explanation on my part. These are persons, as you have said yourself,
11 are not listed, there's not an exhaustive list of those people in the
12 first passage of paragraph 1. These are people who want to voluntarily
13 join the VRS or the SVK who are not from the territory of
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina or Croatia. And it says here "at their request."
15 This is considered to be their personal request but with the approval of
16 the superior officer from the personnel centre. The reference here is to
17 the personnel centre through which the service status of that person is
19 And furthermore, as you can see, it is reiterated that they shall
20 be dispatched, assigned, transferred, or appointed to the appropriate
21 personnel centre, echoing what is written in the second passage of
22 paragraph 1. So, again, the same things are valid for those people that
23 we saw in paragraph 1.
24 Q. The difference being the inclusion of those three words "at their
1 A. Well, this speaks to the fact that the other people who wanted to
2 join those armies did that on a voluntary basis. If you say "at their
3 request," it means that they did it voluntarily; that's what they wanted.
4 But if you allow me, sir, not a single person, according to what I heard
5 from my predecessor, that was until 1998, did not go to the
6 Republika Srpska army and the SVK without first furnishing a written
7 statement indicating that they accepted the transfer. There were many
8 volunteers from both categories in paragraph 1 and in paragraph 2 who
9 personally requested to go and to join the chain of command of those two
10 armies, the Republika Srpska army and the Serbian Krajina army.
11 Q. If somebody in paragraph 2 did not wish to go to either of these
12 two armies, was their service terminated, or did that just apply to those
13 people in paragraph 1 who refused to obey a transfer order?
14 A. Let me say this again. In paragraph 2 we're talking about
15 persons that are not defined in paragraph 1. Nobody's forced to report.
16 If they report that they want to go there voluntarily, their status is
17 regulated as is stipulated in this order. If they don't want to do that,
18 nobody's going to chase them and make them go.
19 Q. These are the people in paragraph 2 you're talking about?
20 A. Two, yes, paragraph 2.
21 Q. Okay. I want to look very briefly, General, at paragraph 3. And
22 you will see that the order requires those who were dispatched, assigned,
23 transferred, and appointed from either paragraph, 1 or 2, to carry out
24 their professional duties in accordance with the special work-plan of the
25 personnel centre.
1 Now, I take it that this is not a reference to the work-plan of
2 the personnel centre comprised of 10 or 12 individuals?
3 A. The 30th or the 40th Personnel Centres had their programme, their
4 tasks, and their purpose. The main purpose was to record and to regulate
5 the service status -- well, it -- it's a reference to those personnel
6 centres. Let me remind you, if you allow me, sir, may I?
7 Q. Just pause for a moment, General, because I think we're at
8 cross-purposes. The term I want you to focus on is "work-plan" not
9 "personnel centre," all right?
10 Whose work-plan is being referred to in paragraph 3?
11 A. Let me be quite specific. The work-plan of the personnel centres
12 that the Chief of the General Staff would establish later, because in
13 passage 2 of paragraph 1 there's a reference to the personnel centres
14 that will be established, and that's why I asked you to let me explain
15 what this is all about.
16 Q. All right, General, let me ask you this question: Whose
17 work-plan is being contemplated in paragraph 3?
18 A. Let me repeat once again. Later on, the 30th and the
19 40th Personnel Centres, as they were established later on by the order of
20 the Chief of the General Staff.
21 Q. And can you help us with what those work-plans -- what sort of
22 things did those work-plans provide for?
23 A. I asked you -- and thank you very much to mention Article 53 on
24 the Law on the Yugoslav Army. The whole of paragraph 3 is not shown
25 here. Could you please show me the next part of this order, because you
1 cannot -- you have to see it in its entirety. You can see that it says
3 "Throughout this period, these individuals shall retain all the
4 rights pertaining to their rank and qualification and retain the salary
5 they had in the post they occupied before the current assignment or they
6 shall receive the salary envisaged for the new post, whichever is more
7 favourable ..."
8 You can see in this last sentence "or ... for the new post,
9 whichever is more favourable." So if a person in the VRS or the SVK,
10 pursuant to a special order, was appointed to a higher post, then this
11 post will be taken into account in terms of his status. And that is why
12 the work-plan is defined here. The work-plan is to keep records of all
13 those persons, any changes in their status, any appointments or
14 assignments that occur in the two armies.
15 Q. All right. Let me look at this from another direction, General.
16 MR. THOMAS: Can we please have P2113 on the screen. And if we
17 look at page 2 in both versions, please, Mr. Registrar.
18 Q. General, you'll probably be familiar with these sorts of
19 documents. They are -- or this is one of the orders transferring
20 officers to the --
21 A. Could you please zoom in a little bit.
22 Q. This is one of many orders transferring officers to the
23 30th Personnel Centre. Do you recognise that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Let's take an example. And there's a well-known one on page 3 of
1 the English and page 3 also of the B/C/S, Dragomir Milosevic.
2 And when you've had a look at the full screen, sir, I'll ask your
3 indulgence for a moment while we put the English version on the screen
4 for Their Honours.
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. THOMAS: And if we just scroll down a little bit in the
7 English, Mr. Registrar. Thank you.
8 Q. But, General, while Their Honours are looking at this part of the
9 order, can you confirm for me that, by this order, Dragomir Milosevic is
10 transferred and appointed as per service requirements effective
11 10 November 1993
12 the infantry corps.
13 A. Sir, with all due respect, this order is one in a series of
14 orders that regulate the status and are issued in order to harmonise the
15 earlier set of orders issued before President Lilic issued his order.
16 Look at the right-hand side where it says "date," the
17 10th of November, 1993. What does it mean? It means that before this
18 date that person had already been dispatched under the Article 217 of the
19 Law on the Armed Forces, and now this is being harmonised in order to
20 ensure that this person may enjoy certain entitlements under the order
21 and a new law.
22 Q. General, I'm sorry; you misunderstand me. But it is exactly this
23 order of transfer that is contemplated by President Lilic when he orders
24 that certain individuals be transferred, assigned, appointed to certain
25 posts, the paragraph we were looking at in the previous exhibit,
1 contemplates this kind of order, does it not?
2 A. You mean the new order of the president?
3 Q. Yes. The order we were just looking at --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. -- authorised the formation of personnel centres and said that
6 certain people would be assigned through these personnel centres, didn't
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And so the result of that is first of all we have personnel
10 centres being established and secondly we have orders such as the one
11 that we are looking at right now?
12 A. Yes, let me say this once again, sir. Look at the last sentence
13 in this order for this person.
14 "Shall be transferred as of the 10th of November in accordance
15 with the needs of the service when the establishment was defined."
16 So some changes were made, but it was done only to harmonise this
17 with the new order issued by the president of the FRY. And let me just
18 give you an additional explanation. If this order is not harmonised in
19 this manner, this person would not be able to enjoy all the entitles that
20 are guaranteed by President Lilic's order.
21 Q. We understand, General. What I'd like to do, please, is go back
22 to P731, paragraph 3.
23 A. Yes, paragraph 3 is quite clear to me.
24 Q. All right. Well, we now know that Dragomir Milosevic is
25 transferred by order 5 -- by 75, from memory, to the
1 30th Personnel Centre. Now, that is contemplated by paragraph 3, isn't
3 A. Sir, this applies to both me and you. We both know that the
4 regulations changed. That's why we had those two orders when there were
5 special changes being made to the regulations and a solution was being
6 sought. The day this order was --
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
8 A. If I may, please --
9 Q. No, General, we've spoken about this before. Please listen to my
10 question, answer only my question. There's an order contemplated by
11 paragraph 3, yes or no?
12 A. Once again, I can't answer yes or no. I could say both yes and
13 no. Yes in terms of being co-ordinated with this order so that now the
14 new regulations he could exercise his status-related rights.
15 Nevertheless, he was transferred or dispatched, received a transfer under
16 the previous set of regulations, whereas now the new regulations are to
17 be applied. I think I'm being extremely specific in my answer. Can you
18 please go down to paragraph 2 of this? Why exactly is this done?
19 Q. General, pause. Let's start this again. I'm looking at the
20 first part of paragraph 3, the first part of which reads:
21 "While performing their duties following the order on dispatch,
22 assignment, transfer, and appointment to a post at a personnel
23 centre ..."
24 My question is this: Is the order we have just looked at an
25 order an dispatch, assignment, transfer, and appointment to a post at a
1 personnel centre?
2 A. Yes --
3 Q. Pause. Pause. So Dragomir Milosevic has now been transferred
4 and appointed to a post at a personnel centre; and now that he has been
5 so transferred, he needs to perform his duty in accordance with the
6 special work-plan of the personnel centre, doesn't he?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So what exactly -- again, I come back to my question.
9 General Milosevic would not have been sitting in the personnel centre
10 carrying out status-related financial or accounting duties, would he?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So whose work-plan?
13 A. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor. This is not about carrying out tasks in a
14 unit or an institution in which a person's service situation is
15 regulated. This is about the work programme of personnel centres,
16 meaning record keeping and regulating one's service status. That is the
17 work programme of a personnel centre. It is not something for the
18 Main Staff of the VRS. These are entirely different rules on the use of
19 units, a plan being drawn up for that, and everything else. This is a
20 special programme of a personnel centre, the 30th or the 40th.
21 And paragraph 2 refers to item 3, paragraph 1. Throughout -- or
22 rather, the service situation was regulated there; throughout his time
23 there, he exercises certain rights; and then there's a list of what
24 rights and entitlements. Please bear one thing in mind, this paragraph
25 must be seen within a proper context and not separately.
1 Q. All right. General, Dragomir Milosevic would have carried out
2 his duties in accordance with the orders and under the command of the
3 commander of the VRS once he had been appointed to the
4 30th Personnel Centre?
5 A. He was not appointed to the personnel centre. He was sent or
6 seconded to the VRS through the 30th Personnel Centre, and that is
7 something that the personnel centre does, and that is part of its
9 Q. General, the 30th Personnel Centre was established because there
10 was no authority to send somebody out of the FRY in these circumstances,
11 so the order was to the 30th Personnel Centre because the rationale was
12 that this was garrisoned at Belgrade
13 have seen this in the documents that you and I have reviewed already. He
14 was appointed to the 30th Personnel Centre. From there on, he was
15 assigned posts by the commander of the VRS or the Main Staff of the VRS
16 as required; is that correct?
17 A. Once again, he was not assigned to the personnel centre. There
18 are no two personnel centres, there is only one -- or rather, two, the
19 30th and the 40th. But assignments, transfers, secondments, all of this
20 is done through that centre and only ever done by a group of between
21 10 and 12 men. Any assignments, any regulating service situations or
22 service statuses, is something that superior officers do or whoever
23 outranks him under the laws of Republika Srpska and the
24 Republic of Serbian
25 Q. All right, General.
1 MR. THOMAS: Can we see document P2817, please.
2 Q. We'll move on to a different topic of discussion.
3 A. I'm sorry. Could we zoom in, please.
4 Q. Now, General, you spoke last week of a very difficult period and
5 your time at the MOD when the salaries to VJ officers serving in the VRS
6 were stopped, and that was during sanctions imposed on the RS in
7 August 1994 to put pressure on the RS to accept the Contact Group plan.
8 Do you recall that testimony yesterday?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, the stopping of salaries caused an enormous problem, did it
11 not, not just for the families who dealt with you but for the servicemen
12 and officers in the VRS?
13 A. The very livelihood of the families of persons serving in the VRS
14 and the SVK was at risk. These men themselves were not really facing the
15 same risk in terms of survival or subsistence. Their families were
16 affected more than anyone else, and I was telling you about all the
17 trouble that I was facing because I was the person in charge of sorting
18 all this out, although Article 58 of the --
19 Q. All right. Thank you. I think we have an answer to my question
20 in there. The --
21 A. Thank you.
22 Q. It was important to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that the
23 international community understood that the FRY was serious about its
24 sanctions imposed on the Republika Srpska, wasn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But the stopping of salaries created a very serious problem,
2 didn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And this problem was ameliorated by contacts between the
5 commander of the VRS, General Mladic, and the Chief of the General Staff,
6 General Perisic. Were you aware of that?
7 A. No. I was in the system as status-related issues administration.
8 I wasn't at General Staff myself.
9 Q. So at the MOD you were unaware that steps were being taken for
10 money to go from the General Staff of the VJ to the VRS to cover salaries
11 for officers who were members of the VJ? Were you unaware of that at the
13 A. No, I was not aware about the contacts, but I did ask the defence
14 minister, I was one of his subordinates, to use his power and exercise --
15 exert pressure on the Supreme Defence Council and the prime minister in
16 order to overcome this situation and in order to secure the livelihood of
17 those men's families because they had nowhere to go. If this opportunity
18 was crushed, their very lives would have been at stake.
19 Q. No, I think we all understand that, General. Without a salary, a
20 family cannot survive; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Looking at document that is on the screen at the moment --
23 A. I'm sorry, could we zoom in a little, please. I can't see.
24 That's fine now. Thank you.
25 Q. We have a -- let us know once you've had the opportunity to read
1 it, sir, and I'll have the English version on the screen put up for
2 Their Honours.
3 A. Could we please have the header pulled down because I can't read
4 it. And slowly, please. Thank you. It's all right. We can pull it up.
5 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Mr. Registrar. Can we have the English
6 version on the screen, please.
7 Q. All right. We can see from the first -- from the heading of the
8 letter or the first paragraph of the letter that it is regarding the
9 abolishment of salaries and the difficulties that this is causing and the
10 fact that these difficulties are causing a situation where attention is
11 unnecessarily drawn from combat tasks, presumably combat tasks of the
12 VRS. Correct?
13 A. Yes, that's what the text says.
14 Q. Now, General Mladic in sending this report to the VRS Main Staff
15 advises that in the last few days - and I'm looking at paragraph
16 number -- numbered paragraph 3 -- sorry, 2 and 3. All right. You can
17 see there that there are meetings with the VJ in order to solve this
18 problem with salaries. You see that?
19 A. Paragraph 3, yes. It's misspelled, "janja dana." It's not quite
20 clear what it's supposed to mean. But can you please show me who signed
21 this document?
22 Q. Certainly.
23 MR. THOMAS: If we could go to the last page, please.
24 Q. Do you recognise General Mladic?
25 A. I'm sorry, but I can't see -- Ratko Mladic, yes, no signature
2 Q. Well, we have it as logged, don't we?
3 A. Fine. Can be considered as that. Still, what I'm saying is
4 there's no signature.
5 Q. Yes, you're correct, sir.
6 If we go back to numbered paragraph 2 on the previous page,
7 you'll see there that General Mladic refers to meetings with the VJ in
8 order to solve this problem and also a request put in to the
9 Chief of the General Staff of the VJ to solve the salary issue as soon as
10 possible as it was the case with the other VJ members. Do you see that?
11 A. If I may just correct you, it's not about VJ members, it's about
12 VRS members. Do you think I'm right about that?
13 Q. Well, I might have a different translation, sir. If you look at
14 the last -- can you read for us in your language what numbered
15 paragraph 3 says?
16 A. These "janja." I think what that's supposed to mean is these
17 days. "S-h-o," probably -- probably -- well we did - that's my
18 assumption, I'm sorry - address the General Staff of the VJ with a
19 request to deal with the salary problem in a successful manner. The same
20 as the remaining members of the VJ, so the VJ, my apologies.
21 Q. All right.
22 You haven't seen this document before I take it?
23 A. No one ever showed me nor was this my document. I was in the
24 defence ministry; I was part of the chain of command of the defence
25 ministry. It's 1994 we're talking about, or rather -- sorry, I think
1 this is the 14th of November, 1994, isn't it, this document? I've never
2 seen this document. But you required that I provide an explanation of
3 the document, didn't you?
4 Q. No. I simply asked you, sir, if you'd seen this document before.
5 And you said you hadn't, and that's fine. I'll move to my next question
6 which is: Do you know why --
7 A. No.
8 Q. Do you know why General Mladic addressed this concern direct to
9 the Chief of the General Staff of the VJ?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. Because of
12 what the witness read -- I'm looking at the English, I'm looking at the
13 document, and I see General Mladic is here addressing the General Staff
14 of the VJ. There is no mention here of the Chief of the General Staff of
15 the VJ.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Thomas.
17 MR. THOMAS: Sorry, I'm looking at -- my friend is quite right.
18 My friend is quite right.
19 Q. Do you know why General Mladic addressed these concerns to the
20 General Staff of the VJ?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In light of the previous answer, I
23 really believe, unfortunately, I have to say Mr. Thomas is asking the
24 witness to speculate.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Thomas.
1 MR. THOMAS: Well, if the General doesn't know, sir, he can tell
2 us. He's testified a lot, sir, on the payment of salaries. I'm simply
3 asking why on this issue of salaries the approach is being made direct to
4 the General Staff.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Proceed.
6 MR. THOMAS:
7 Q. General, can you tell us why General Mladic would be addressing
8 his salary concerns direct to the General Staff of the VJ?
9 A. I don't know. I wasn't there. I don't know.
10 Q. Well, we know that as a result of this approach the sum of
11 500.000 dinar was paid, and I want you to look, please, at document
12 P2770 --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I object. The 500.000 dinar document
15 bears an entirely different date and no relation to this one. I think
16 the Prosecutor is now trying to build up a theory about this that simply
17 doesn't hold water. If we display both documents side by side, you will
18 see that the dates don't coincide and in fact don't corroborate what
19 appears to be the Prosecutor's theory.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would it about your position, Mr. Lukic, that for
21 the documents to be related they must bear the same date? That they
22 couldn't about related even if they were written on different dates?
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps we should have the witness
24 leave the courtroom for this discussion so that I could present my
25 argument about this.
1 Nevertheless, it appears to be the OTP's theory that the 500.000
2 dinar document is a consequence of this document and the talks between
3 General Mladic and the VJ General Staff. I certainly do not wish to
4 testify here, and I'll about offering no further comments, but I believe
5 Mr. Thomas can correspond. It is because of the witness's presence that
6 I do not wish to offer any further comments.
7 MR. THOMAS: My learned friend has offered very few comments on
8 the subject, Your Honour. I was going to do no more than put the
9 document to the witness and get him to comment on specific parts. I note
10 the time, Your Honours, that would be a process which, regardless of how
11 we were to proceed, would take some time.
12 I wonder if now would be an appropriate time to stop. We will
13 begin again tomorrow, and I'll begin at the last document that we were at
14 so that if there's any objection, that can be dealt with easily tomorrow.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think we must remember tomorrow to begin not at
16 the last document you had but at the fact that there is an objection on
17 the table. We've got to deal with that objection.
18 MR. THOMAS: Well, in that case, can I suggest we deal with it
19 now, sir. It will only take a moment to deal with the objection.
20 Unless -- I'll discuss it with my learned friend, sir. We can -- we
21 can -- we might resolve it.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 We'll take a -- Mr. Nikolic, you are supposed to come back here
24 tomorrow morning at 9.00 in the morning, same courtroom. I still remind
25 you that you may not discuss the case with anybody until you are excused
1 from further testifying. Okay?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
4 The matter stands adjourned to tomorrow, 9.00 in the morning,
5 Courtroom I. Court adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.
7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 9th day
8 of March, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.