Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 11850

 1                           Friday, 18 June 2010

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The witness takes the stand]

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

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

 7     courtroom.

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

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

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

11     the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic.  Thank you.

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

13     for the day starting with the Prosecution, please, Mr. Saxon.

14             MR. SAXON:  Good morning, Your Honours.  Bronagh McKenna, Dan

15     Saxon, and Carmela Javier for the Prosecution.

16             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you so much.  And for the Defence.

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

18     morning to everyone participating in the proceedings.  Novak Lukic and

19     Boris Zorko are representing Mr. Perisic today in this trial.

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.

21             Again for the record, the Chamber is still sitting pursuant to

22     Rule 15 bis in Judge David's absence.

23             And if we may just go through the ritual, Mr. Skrbic.  Good

24     morning to you.  And can you just remember that are still bound by the

25     declaration you made at the beginning of your testimony to tell the

Page 11851

 1     truth, the whole truth and nothing else but the truth.  Thank you so

 2     much.

 3             Mr. Lukic.

 4                           WITNESS:  PETAR SKRBIC [Resumed]

 5                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

 6                           Examination by Mr. Lukic:  [Continued]

 7        Q.   [Interpretation] I will try my best to stick to the time that I

 8     promised yesterday so, Mr. Skrbic, it will take a very short time before

 9     I hand you over to the Prosecution.  During the proofing I went through

10     you -- I went with you through Annex E of the indictment, and it relates

11     to senior officers of the VRS.  I asked you about particular individuals,

12     and I'm going to divide this into two or three questions pertaining to

13     specify areas.

14             Now, first of all, I'm going to ask about yourself.  In the

15     indictment, the Prosecution in Annex E to the indictment, under the

16     subtitle of "Department for Mobilisation and Personnel," the Prosecutor

17     claims that starting from June 1994, Major-General Petar Skrbic took over

18     the duty from Grubor, and then it says as follows:

19             "In December of 1995, Skrbic was nominally promoted to the rank

20     of major in the Army of Yugoslavia."

21             Now, Mr. Skrbic, do you agree with what the Prosecutor claims

22     here, that is to say that in 1995, in December of that year, you were

23     formally or nominally promoted to a rank in the VJ?

24             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Now, is it formally or nominally?  The English

25     translation said formally or nominally.  Those -- I mean, those are two

Page 11852

 1     different things.

 2             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  We do not have the

 3     original text.

 4             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm reading the original in B/C/S and

 5     the word is "nominal."

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  [Overlapping speakers]

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to make certain corrections

 8     in the title that I had.  I was not chief of the department.  I was,

 9     rather, head of the sector, and I think that also in English there is a

10     distinction between the two.  So I was the head of the sector for

11     organisation and mobilisation affairs.

12             Your Honours, I wanted to ask you whether we are talking about

13     nominal appointment or formal appointment.  I was formally appointed or

14     promoted in 1995 to the rank of major-general.

15             JUDGE MOLOTO:  If you're asking the Bench, paragraph (F) under

16     this heading, Department for Mobilisation and Personnel Affairs, they

17     said beginning in June 1994, Major-General Petar Skrbic assumed Grubor's

18     duties.  In December 1995 Skrbic was nominally promoted to the rank of

19     major-general in the VJ.  That's what I read in the English Annex E to

20     the indictment.  Now, nominally means something different from formally.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can anyone explain to me what

22     "nominally" means?  Is that actually?

23             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am reluctant to try

24     and explain what the Prosecutor meant by the word "nominally."  I should

25     leave it up to the Prosecution in cross-examination.  However, as for all

Page 11853

 1     other individuals mentioned in Annex E, the Prosecutor always says that

 2     they were nominally promoted or the only one who was nominally appointed

 3     to the VJ was Mr. Skrbic, and they are using the same term, "nominally."

 4     Probably the Prosecutor is going to explain this in their final brief.

 5             As I understand the word "nominally," something very close to

 6     "formally," although you think there is a distinction.  So let me

 7     rephrase the question that I want to ask Mr. Skrbic.

 8        Q.   Now, essentially and actually, where were you promoted to the

 9     rank of major-general, in the VRS or in the VJ?

10        A.   In the Army of Republika Srpska.

11        Q.   Thank you.

12             JUDGE MOLOTO:  And was that promotion any different from the

13     promotion of any other of your colleagues in the -- in the Army of

14     Republika Srpska?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there was no

16     difference.  All of us were actually and essentially promoted in the Army

17     of Republika Srpska.

18             JUDGE MOLOTO:  And -- okay.  Thank you so much.

19             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation].

20        Q.   I'm going to move now to another set of facts alleged by the

21     Prosecutor to be pertaining to a number of individuals.  For example, in

22     Schedule E, the Prosecutor claims about Momir Talic, Lieutenant-General

23     Bosko Kelecevic, Boric Grujo, Novica Simic, and Zivomere Ninkovic, the

24     same thing by using the same phrase, i.e., that is to say that in October

25     1993, the VJ postponed the final decision on the promotion pending a

Page 11854

 1     report from General Mladic.

 2             You remember we went through this yesterday.  All these

 3     individuals that I named are linked to October and November of 1993,

 4     which is the time when you were not yet in the Main Staff of the VRS or

 5     for that matter not in the VRS at all.  My question is:  From the moment

 6     when you were appointed to the duty of the assistant commander of the

 7     sector that has a long name, are you aware whether for any verification

 8     of the ranks of general Mr. Mladic's opinion had been sought?

 9             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Where are you reading from?

10             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I collected this from several

11     passages, but I will give you a reference for you, Your Honours, to be

12     able to follow.  I was quoting the facts where it says, the 1st Krajina

13     Corps, and then under (a) and (b), then the 2nd Krajina Corps under (a),

14     the Eastern Bosnia Corps under (a), and air force and antiaircraft

15     defence under 8.  The Prosecutor alleges the same thing for all these

16     individuals mentioned therein.  In October of 1993, the VJ decided to

17     postpone the decision on their promotion pending a report from

18     General Mladic, so each of these individuals has this sentence attached

19     to their name.  I just put them together in one and the same group

20     because of the same context.

21             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you.  You can get your answer from the

22     witness.  The witness has not answered you.

23             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.

24        Q.   So, Mr. Skrbic, you understood my question.  From the moment when

25     you took over your duty and you explained to us how involved you were in

Page 11855

 1     the verification of the ranks of general in your sector, are you aware

 2     that for any of those verification an opinion of Mr. Mladic or

 3     General Mladic was sought?

 4        A.   The list of the generals who were promoted in the Army of

 5     Republika Srpska was submitted to the 30th Personnel Centre.  It went

 6     without saying that this list should have looked at by General Mladic and

 7     that he gave his opinion.  As we saw in one of the exhibits, he put the

 8     word "no" next to one of the name.  So this kind of list was then also

 9     submitted to the 30th Personnel Centre for the sake of preparation of

10     certain documents for verification.

11        Q.   Let us try to be more precise.  After submitting this list, do

12     you know whether anyone from the VJ asked the opinion of Mr. Mladic

13     regarding the verification?  Are you aware of that?

14        A.   No, I'm not.

15        Q.   Do you know whether from the General Staff of the VJ through the

16     30th Personnel Centre asked your sector to provide additional information

17     about any of the general for whom the verification of the rank was

18     sought?

19        A.   Nobody asked them for their opinion nor were they authorised to

20     offer any opinions about this group of generals.

21        Q.   Three individuals mentioned in the indictment --

22             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And if Your Honours would just bear

23     with me for a moment because I would like to go through this quickly.

24        Q.   It says in the indictment that the person under (B) Budimir

25     Gavric, under the heading "Eastern Bosnia Corps," and the person under

Page 11856

 1     (b) from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, Dragomir Milosevic, that their

 2     promotion was rejected because of their links with the SDS?

 3             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Lukic, it's just not sufficient to say the

 4     person under (b).  You've got to tell us what part of the indictment are

 5     you reading.  Are you still on Annex E?

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I said, but it wasn't probably

 7     recorded.  I'm still on Schedule E, the section relating to Eastern

 8     Bosnian Corps under (b) General Budimir Gavric, and also from the

 9     Sarajevo-Romanija Corps from the next page under (b) General Dragomir

10     Milosevic.

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  What about them?

12             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] There's the same sentence attached to

13     the both names, namely that their promotion to the VJ had been rejected

14     because they had links with the SDS.  You can see that, that the

15     identical sentence was used for both individuals.

16             Can we please move to private session.

17             JUDGE MOLOTO:  May the Chamber please move into private session.

18                           [Private session]

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 11857











11 Pages 11857-11863 redacted. Private session.















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25                           [Open session]

Page 11865

 1             THE REGISTRAR:  We're in open session, Your Honours.

 2             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you so much.  Yes, Mr. Lukic.

 3             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   I will have two more questions concerning Schedule E.  Under the

 5     Drina Corps and (a) in relation to Major-General Milankovic, the

 6     Prosecution invokes a document and states that when he was relieved of

 7     his duty, General Zivanovic, interpreter's correction, it is stated that

 8     he was posted to a new position within the VJ/VRS.

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  Can counsel please slow down with quoting

10     because the interpreters didn't find the actual reference.

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  The interpreter requested that you slow down when

12     you're quoting because they don't have the reference.  They don't have

13     the document before them to read, so they can't interpret what you're

14     saying.  So can you try to be very slow.

15             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

16        Q.   I will read as it is stated here.  In the Drina Corps heading,

17     under the Drina Corps heading under (a), General Zivanovic, the

18     Prosecution makes reference to a document where it is state that:

19             "When Zivanovic was relieved of his duty as commander, that

20     Major-General Radoslav Krstic, father's name Milorad, assumed the post of

21     corps commander, and Major-General Milenko Zivanovic the previous

22     co-commander was appointed to new duties in the VJ-VRS."

23             Now, my question is:  When General Zivanovic was relieved of his

24     duty as commander, do you know what became of him afterwards?

25        A.   General Milenko Zivanovic was retired.  He wasn't assigned

Page 11866

 1     anywhere.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  I have a question relating to another individual, but

 3     let us be careful because of interpretation.

 4             I'm interested in the heading under "Air force and anti-aircraft

 5     defence," under (b), Bozo Novak.  The indictment alleges as follows:

 6             "In September 1996, it was decided by the VJ that Novak be

 7     recalled and placed at the disposal of the VJ.  He was later retired at

 8     the end of 1996."

 9             Do you know that General Bozo Novak was recalled from his duty in

10     the VRS by the Army of Yugoslavia?

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Saxon.

12             MR. SAXON:  I withdraw my objection.

13             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you, Mr. Saxon.

14             Yes, Mr. Lukic.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It -- I almost myself objected to

16     what Mr. Lukic asked me because I don't understand his question.  I know

17     everything there is to know about General Novak, but what it is that

18     Mr. Lukic wants me to say.  I can, even if not asked a question, tell you

19     the story concerning him, but --

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Skrbic, whenever you are asked a question you

21     do not understand, it is your right to say, "I don't understand your

22     question."  So don't hesitate to object on that basis if you call that an

23     objection.  Just tell him, "I don't understand your question.  Could you

24     rephrase."  Because you must answer a question that you understand so

25     that you tell us what you know.

Page 11867

 1             Rephrase your question, Mr. Lukic.

 2             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   It's difficult for me to do that because I merely read out what

 4     the indictment said, and I'll repeat my question.  If you can't answer,

 5     tell me so.

 6             Do you know, General Skrbic, that the Army of Yugoslavia recalled

 7     General Bozo Novak from his duty in the Army of Republika Srpska?  I

 8     think that now it should be quite understandable.

 9        A.   I know about that.  It wasn't the Army of Yugoslavia that

10     recalled him.

11        Q.   Thank you.  I've completed this part, and I just have two

12     questions left, General, and then I'll be done.  And I do apologise if it

13     was your understanding that I took up too much of your time.

14        A.   No.  I was just joking.

15        Q.   We heard during your testimony that you used to see

16     Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Mladic, and Mr. Perisic, that you were in their

17     company.  Can you tell us on the basis of these encounters what was their

18     relationship between President Milosevic and General Perisic --

19     General Mladic?

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Is it between Milosevic and Perisic or Milosevic

21     and Mladic?

22             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

23        Q.   I have two questions.  My first question is --

24             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You must ask one question at a time.

25             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That is the way I had put it to the

Page 11868

 1     witness.  Yes, I do apologise to the interpreters.  Again I'm sorry, I

 2     apologise to the interpreters if I misspoke.  I don't know mind whether

 3     we do this in public session or private session.  It is really up to you,

 4     witness.  President Milosevic and General Mladic, I would like to ask you

 5     about their relationship.

 6        A.   Your Honours, up to the moment when that name was mentioned, and

 7     you know which one it was, I can give answers in open session.  The

 8     relationship between President Milosevic, the president of the Federal

 9     Republic of Yugoslavia, and for a while the President of Serbia as well,

10     who was in both capacities a member of the Supreme Defence Council of the

11     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the one hand and General Mladic on the

12     other hand, may I explain this very briefly.  It was a relationship of

13     courtesy.  They respected their respective roles.  Mladic thought that

14     the president was saying political things and that did he not have a good

15     attitude towards the Army of Yugoslavia, and he said that to him quite

16     openly at one point in time.  Sometimes he behaved to him in a feisty

17     way, but it was my opinion that President Milosevic did respect him.

18     That was my impression.

19        Q.   Can you explain the relationship between General Mladic and

20     General Perisic on the basis of the facts that you know?

21        A.   That relationship between General Mladic and General Perisic was

22     a very complex one, in my opinion.  I shall explain it now just in terms

23     of certain categories that there's no need for me to explain really.

24     Namely, that means that it was a comradely relationship, that there was a

25     certain degree of respect involved.  Also, that there was ignorance

Page 11869

 1     involved sometimes -- or, rather, ignoring and sometimes even

 2     underestimation, especially from General Mladic towards General Perisic.

 3     But General Perisic would sometimes respond in kind.  It was my

 4     impression that sometimes the communication was even banal.  Sometimes

 5     they even addressed each other as if they were on close terms, but I

 6     don't think that that was their true relationship.  All in all, their

 7     relationship was truly highly complex.

 8             I do apologise to Mr. Perisic if I'm saying something here that

 9     are perhaps not exactly pleasant for him.

10        Q.   Did you personally hear, or did you hear from others that Perisic

11     ever issued any kind of order to Mladic?

12        A.   I never heard any such thing.

13             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

14             Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Your Honours, I have completed my

15     examination-in-chief.

16             JUDGE MOLOTO:  [Overlapping speakers] [Previous translation

17     continues] ... very long 15 minutes.

18             Mr. Saxon.  Mr. Saxon, yesterday I think you -- I don't know

19     whether you were here or it was just Mr. Harmon, the witness wanted to

20     know how much longer he's going to be kept.  Are you able to guesstimate

21     your cross-examination?

22             MR. SAXON:  Your Honour, I do not think that I will finish today.

23     I think it's most likely now it will be Monday morning.

24             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Okay.  Did you hear that, Mr. Skrbic?  This is to

25     your question yesterday about how long you're likely to be here.

Page 11870

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It all fits in, Your Honour.

 2     There's no problem.

 3             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you.  Thank you.

 4                           Cross-examination by Mr. Saxon:

 5        Q.   Good morning, General Skrbic.  My name is Dan Saxon, and I'm

 6     representing the Prosecution today.  I've got some questions for you.

 7             Before I start, as Judge Moloto instructed you previously, please

 8     if you do not understand my questions, simply stop me and ask me to

 9     rephrase that, and I'll be happy to do so.  It won't be the first time.

10     I'm sure it will not be the last time.

11             Secondly, I'd ask -- I will try to ask my questions as clearly as

12     I can, and I'd ask that you try to listen to my question as best as you

13     can and provide me with hopefully relatively brief answers when you can.

14             Do we understand each other?

15        A.   Good morning to you, too, Mr. Saxon.  I have fully understood

16     what you said.

17        Q.   All right.  General, I'm aware, obviously, of your successful

18     military career.  You started out you were trained in anti-aircraft

19     rocketry.  By the time you retired, you were a lieutenant-general.  And

20     I'm also aware of your impressive academic background.  I understand you

21     have a degree in military psychology and sociology.  You've got a Masters

22     Degree in political science, and I note that you have published articles

23     on topics ranging from the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia and as

24     well on questions of morale in military units.  And, in fact, even today

25     earlier in the transcript, I think it was at page 11, lines 7 to 11, when

Page 11871

 1     you were describing your time as a member of the Main Staff of the VRS,

 2     you explained how it was important for high-ranking military officers to

 3     contemplate political issues both domestic and international.  And I'd

 4     like to focus, if we can, please, first on how you used your academic

 5     expertise and your knowledge to assist you in your work first as a JNA

 6     officer and later as a VJ officer working in the Administration for

 7     Morale and Information Affairs and then later on in the 2nd Krajina Corps

 8     of the VRS.  And maybe we should just start with some of the basics,

 9     General.

10             Just fundamentally, in a military sense, it's important for

11     armies to monitor the morale of their officers and soldiers because

12     during wartime if morale is poor, chances are the soldiers won't fight

13     very well.  Do you agree with that?  Am I right on that?

14        A.   Yes.  Yes.  I agree.  They will not be fighting properly.

15        Q.   All right.  Now, on Monday, the first day of your testimony, and

16     this is at page 11558 of the transcript, you testified briefly how in

17     July 1991 you joined a group within the Ministry of Defence of the

18     Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a group which analysed the way

19     in which the JNA was viewed and analysed by the mass media across

20     Yugoslavia.  Do you remember that testimony?

21        A.   Yes, I remember that.  However, I don't know what it's called in

22     English, but in Serbian, I did not actually become a member of, et

23     cetera.  I was actually ordered to join this group that was involved in

24     that particular work.  Sorry, I was no member of anything whatsoever.  I

25     was an officer.

Page 11872

 1        Q.   Thank you for correcting me.  I stand corrected, General.

 2             And you also testified that in its report this group concluded

 3     that a survey of the media concluded that the JNA was under increasing

 4     attacks by the media and it produced a study which was prepared for the

 5     Federal Executive Council.  Do you recall?

 6        A.   I do recall that.  That's what I said, and you have just said

 7     that properly.

 8        Q.   Now, on page 11558, lines 11 through 18, you mentioned how in

 9     general terms this group reviewed mass media, and you mentioned mass

10     media from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro,

11     and Macedonia.  So can you describe this process?  Help us understand it

12     a little bit more, please.  When you say your group reviewed the mass

13     media, are you -- would you be including, for example, the daily

14     newspapers?

15        A.   Mr. Saxon, we analysed everything, daily newspapers, press

16     clippings that were submitted to us by a certain institution.  Some

17     officers monitored the radio and others monitored television but only

18     with regard to the topics that are involved here.

19        Q.   Very well.  And how about weekly magazines, magazines like

20     "Vreme," for example, weekly news magazines?

21        A.   Mr. Saxon, I don't seem to recall that at the time "Vreme" was

22     being published at all.  However, in Serbia we did follow "Nin" in

23     particular.  As for the magazine "Vreme" I cannot remember exactly, so I

24     do apologise, but I cannot give you a specific answer.  If it was being

25     published at the time, then we were certainly following that as well.

Page 11873

 1        Q.   Okay.  And I can -- I imagine, sir, that you contributed your

 2     expertise in performing comprehensive research and analysis to guide

 3     other personnel in that group who were reviewing this material; is that

 4     right?

 5        A.   Mr. Saxon, that group was headed by Colonel Mile Susnjar, and I

 6     was his deputy.  The two of us provided instructions as to how the media

 7     was to be followed.

 8        Q.   Okay.  Can you describe those instructions for us?

 9        A.   I'll give you a brief description.  We would give certain persons

10     an assignment to follow, say, "Politika," "Vecernje Novosti," "Mladina"

11     from Slovenia and other newspapers, and we tell them not to read

12     everything, not to waste time but just to read up on the articles where

13     the JNA is mentioned and how the JNA is mentioned in these articles, and

14     then they prepare that for the daily report that we compiled, and then we

15     carried out a monthly analysis.  "Mladina" from Slovenia was practically

16     in its entirety devoted to attacks against the JNA.  They had to read

17     that in detail.

18        Q.   And I imagine other persons were given the assignment to do

19     something similar with television broadcasts and radio broadcasts; right?

20        A.   Yes.  But it was much easier to follow TV, because that

21     information about the JNA, regardless of whether it was positive or

22     negative, was brief.

23        Q.   Okay.  Now, General, after the JNA became the VJ in 1992 and the

24     Administration for Morale and Information became part of the General

25     Staff of the VJ, I know that you became eventually deputy chief of the --

Page 11874

 1     of the Administration for Morale and Information.  And no doubt during

 2     1992 and 1993, critical years, at least until December 1993, you ensured

 3     that the Administration for Morale and Information continued to monitor

 4     the mass media in the former Yugoslavia for information that could affect

 5     the morale of VJ personnel.  Is that right?

 6        A.   It is right basically, but I was no longer in that group for

 7     following how the media treated the army.  I was transferred to the

 8     administration that you gave the name of, properly so, and then I started

 9     dealing with the question of morale in the Army of Yugoslavia.

10             I'm not sure, but I think that this group actually ceased to

11     exist, something like that.

12             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Lukic.

13             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Lest there be any misunderstanding, I

14     think that Mr. Saxon should be very specific in his question, especially

15     when in line 21 he says that the mass media in the former Yugoslavia

16     should be followed, 1992 and 1993.  Which mass media did he expect this

17     administration to follow?  Did Mr. Saxon mean media outside the FRY at

18     the time and, if so, could his question be very specific in that sense.

19             MR. SAXON:  I'm going to get to that, Your Honour, if I may.

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Okay.

21             MR. SAXON:

22        Q.   Can you describe, General, at the time you became the deputy

23     chief of the Administration for Morale and Information, what instructions

24     did you give to your subordinates vis-a-vis monitoring the media?

25        A.   Mr. Saxon, I received my orders from the chief of administration

Page 11875

 1     who was my superior.  He was the one who issued instructions as to what

 2     kind of work the department should do with regard to the effects on the

 3     morale.  I did that only in technical terms, without changing anything in

 4     the essence of these instructions.

 5        Q.   Well, can you describe the instructions that were issued by the

 6     chief of the administration regarding following the media for issues that

 7     might affect the morale of VJ soldiers?

 8        A.   There was a particular instruction on building, monitoring, and

 9     improving the morale of the army.  Pursuant to that instruction, we

10     received information from subordinate units, but only relating to the

11     factors that have either positive or negative effects on the morale.

12     Also, other details were elaborately presented in that instruction.  I am

13     doing my best to give you the shortest possible answer, but this is a

14     complex matter, if you agree with me.

15        Q.   Well, let me see if I can ask my question a different way.  While

16     you were the assistant -- the assistant chief or the deputy chief at the

17     Administration for Morale and Information in the Army of Yugoslavia, were

18     there personnel who as part of their duties in that administration

19     monitored the media?

20        A.   No, not within that department.  There was a smaller department

21     compared to the group that he had spoken of before, but as they're

22     co-workers, we used some of their information.  I couldn't order them to

23     provide any such information, but could I tell the chief of

24     administration that we needed this particular information, and we would

25     eventually get it.

Page 11876

 1        Q.   I see.  And are you able to tell us in public session the name of

 2     this department that was doing this media monitoring?

 3        A.   Yes.  I can say that.  It was called the Department for

 4     Information.

 5        Q.   Okay.

 6        A.   I don't remember now.

 7        Q.   All right.  And can you tell us, this Department for Information,

 8     then, no doubt monitored information that came out in the media, did it

 9     not?

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   And this Department for Information, no doubt, periodically would

12     have synthesised or collected important information that came out in the

13     media and produced periodic reports for other members of the General

14     Staff; is that right?

15        A.   That's right, Mr. Saxon.  Not only periodically but after the war

16     started in the neighbourhood, they provided daily information about what

17     the media wrote about.  I think it was called a bulletin, and it was

18     published on a daily basis.  If you have any information where this

19     particular publication is called differently, I'm sorry, but I think it

20     was called a bulletin.

21        Q.   Thank you so much, sir.  And no doubt you would have received

22     these daily bulletins; right?

23        A.   Yes.

24        Q.   And no doubt sometimes these daily bulletins contained

25     information that had been circulated in the media that might affect the

Page 11877

 1     morale of VJ personnel; right?

 2        A.   Sometimes, and particular pieces of information, but not all of

 3     it.

 4        Q.   Sure.  Very well.  And these bulletins would also go to the other

 5     members of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, including the

 6     Chief of the General Staff, or at least the office of the Chief of the

 7     General Staff; correct?

 8        A.   Not only to the Chief of the General Staff, who at the time was

 9     General Zivota Panic, but also to all members of the General Staff who

10     had the rank of general.

11        Q.   Very well.  And the same system, though, was in place -- maybe I

12     should step back for a moment, General.

13             I know that you left for Republika Srpska in December of 1993,

14     but before that, in the months previous to that, say from August 1993

15     until December 1993, this same system of the circulation of an

16     information -- circulation of a bulletin from the information department,

17     that same system existed; right?

18        A.   While I was working in the administration this system was

19     operating continually, but after that I took up the position of the

20     director of military publishing house, and I didn't carry out these

21     duties any longer.  I don't know what happened with the systems in the

22     aftermath.  After my departure, this administration was totally revamped,

23     and I personally disagreed with that, but that's how it was done.  And I

24     don't know how the system continued to operate.

25        Q.   And tell us, please, when you took up the position of the

Page 11878

 1     director of the military publishing house, if you recall.

 2        A.   I cannot remember the exact date.  I hope the Chamber won't mind

 3     that.  I took over the duty, but I never carried it out for a minute

 4     because I left and joined the VRS.  I think that it coincided with the

 5     period sometime in mid-1993, but I don't recall the date.

 6        Q.   Okay.  These daily bulletins, if you will, they contained

 7     information taken from media reports from throughout the former

 8     Yugoslavia?

 9        A.   Up until 1992, it was from the whole of the former Yugoslavia.

10     After at that it was reduced to Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro,

11     Macedonia, and Serbia.  There were no comments in those bulletins of any

12     kind.  No one was allowed to provide their judgmental opinions.  They

13     were just required to report what the media in Bosnia-Herzegovina and

14     elsewhere were writing about.

15        Q.   Sure.  And those bulletins would also have included particular

16     information that was reported prominently in the international media;

17     correct?

18        A.   Correct.

19        Q.   Information that was reported are -- actually, I'll stop here for

20     a moment.  Okay.

21             Okay.

22             MR. SAXON:  Your Honour, I note the time.  I need to show the

23     witness an exhibit and work through it with him and that will take some

24     time.  Could we perhaps take the first break now and come back at a

25     quarter to 11.00?

Page 11879

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

 2     11.00.  Court adjourned.

 3                           --- Recess taken at 10.14 a.m.

 4                           --- On resuming at 10.45 a.m.

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Saxon.

 6             MR. SAXON:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 7        Q.   General Skrbic, before the break we were talking about the

 8     production and circulation of the bulletin, the daily bulletin from the

 9     information department, and on page 28 of today's LiveNote transcript,

10     starting at line 10, you noted that while you were working in the

11     administration of the General Staff of the VJ for morale and information,

12     the daily bulletin system was operating continually, but after you took

13     up your position as the director of the military publishing house, you

14     don't know what happened with the system -- with this system in the

15     aftermath, and my question for you is:  Do you have any reason to believe

16     that after you took up your duties as the director of the military

17     publishing house approximately in mid 1993, that the chief of the General

18     Staff or the chiefs of the administrations and the General Staff stopped

19     receiving this media information?

20             MR. LUKIC:  Can I object, Your Honour?

21             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Lukic.

22             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that any answer provided by

23     the witness would be pure speculation.  He said in his previous answer

24     that he didn't know what happened afterwards, so I think that whatever is

25     going to be elicited from this witness is going to be pure speculation.

Page 11880

 1             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Saxon.

 2             MR. SAXON:  Your Honour, I'm not asking the witness to speculate.

 3     I'm asking him a factual question.  I'm asking him whether he personally

 4     has any reason to believe that this daily bulletin system stopped in mid

 5     1993.

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  The question will be allowed.

 7             MR. SAXON:  Thank you.

 8        Q.   Do you want me to repeat my question, General Skrbic?

 9        A.   There's no need for that, Mr. Saxon, but again I can only surmise

10     what happened.  In view of the fact that this administration had been

11     reorganised, I suppose that it continued to operate for a certain period

12     of time and that after that it stopped operating.

13             JUDGE MOLOTO:  But you are surmising.  You have no factual

14     knowledge of that.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't, Your Honours.

16             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Saxon.

17             MR. SAXON:

18        Q.   Also before the break, General Skrbic, you mentioned that -- this

19     is at page 29.  You acknowledged that these daily bulletins would also

20     have included particular information that was reported prominently in the

21     international media.  So if you can recall, for example -- if we just

22     focus right now, for example, on international television, would this

23     bulletin have included reports from television stations such as BBC, Sky

24     News, CNN?

25        A.   Precisely so.  We monitored the broadcast of these media outlets.

Page 11881

 1        Q.   And with respect to international radio, would the bulletin also

 2     have included information coming from, for example, the Voice of America?

 3        A.   Yes.  That was the only radio station that we followed.  We

 4     didn't listen to any other radio station.

 5        Q.   With respect to the print media or news agencies, would the

 6     bulletin have included information from news agencies such as Reuters or

 7     the Associated Press?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   General Skrbic, one reason why it was important for the

10     Department of Information to monitor information coming out of the mass

11     media at that time was because some of that information concerned issues

12     of security pertaining to the VJ and the former Yugoslavia; is that

13     right?

14        A.   If I may only add the JNA, the Army of Yugoslavia, and the former

15     Yugoslavia.

16        Q.   Okay.  And activities of international organisations such as NATO

17     and United Nations in parts of the former Yugoslavia were also important

18     to security, wasn't that correct?

19        A.   Yes, they were.

20             MR. SAXON:  Can we please show General Skrbic what is

21     Exhibit P2870, please.  And could we please zoom in a bit on the B/C/S

22     version when this comes up and a bit in the English version as well.

23     Yes.  If we can zoom in.  You will see on the right-hand side, if we can

24     zoom in on that article where you see some yellow highlight.  Thank you

25     so much.  Maybe even zoom in just a little bit more if it's possible.

Page 11882

 1        Q.   General Skrbic, I'll give you a moment to take a look at the

 2     first few paragraphs of this article.  It's an article that was

 3     originally published in the Belgrade daily "Politika," on the 14th of

 4     August, 1993.  It appears to be sort of political commentary by a man

 5     named Miroslav Lazanski, and it's entitled "Recall Vietnam."  And you'll

 6     see in the first paragraph the author is talking about possibilities that

 7     NATO might bomb certain targets in Bosnia.  Do you see that?

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Lukic.

 9             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't know if it would be fair to

10     the witness to see what the date of this article is.  All I can see is

11     that in the English version it says the 14th of August, 1993.  I think

12     that would be useful for the witness to be able to find his bearing in

13     the article.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  Mr. Saxon mentioned the 14th

15     of August, 1993, and I, myself, can see that that is correct.

16             Mr. Saxon, I have read this first paragraph.

17             MR. SAXON:

18        Q.   General Skrbic, although the print is not very large, would it

19     assist you to read off of a hard copy?  Would it just make your life a

20     bit easier right now?  It's up to you.

21        A.   No, I'm fine with the screen, and I said that I have read only

22     the first paragraph.  Do I need to read the whole article?

23        Q.   No, sir.  I want to ask you right now something about what's said

24     just in that first paragraph.  And actually, it may be at the start of

25     the second paragraph, Your Honour, General Skrbic.  It says that:

Page 11883

 1             "We are witnesses of television screens in which Manfred Werner,

 2     General-Secretary of NATO, is absolutely grinning with joy that bomber

 3     squadrons at the Aviano base are ready for action."

 4             Do you see that sentence there?  I believe in your version it's

 5     the beginning of the first paragraph -- it's the second paragraph, I'm

 6     sorry.

 7        A.   Yes, I can see it, and I've read it.

 8        Q.   My question goes back now to these daily bulletins and the

 9     information service.  Would it have been the responsibility of those

10     officers who received -- who found such an article like this from

11     "Politika" to have gone back, then, to the -- perhaps the original media

12     reports that are referred to here such as these television scenes of the

13     General-Secretary of NATO?  Would that have been part of the

14     responsibility?

15        A.   I'm not sure that I understood your question, but I can tell you

16     this:  The analyst's duty was to include this military political

17     commentary into the body of information, and after that they would make

18     comparisons.  So they would focus on the particular subject, whether it

19     be NATO or whatever.  If we had time, we would analyse it and compare the

20     sources, but as I said, at the time I was not part of that group.

21        Q.   So when you say, "If we had time we would analyse and compare the

22     sources," you mean the sources that are referred to, for example, in an

23     article like this one, television, "Washington Post," "New York Times?"

24        A.   That's right.

25        Q.   Before I showed you this particular document, General Skrbic, you

Page 11884

 1     acknowledged that information about the activities of NATO, United -- or

 2     the United Nations in the former Yugoslavia were important because they

 3     might -- they might affect the security of the FRY, of the VJ.  Can you

 4     recall what kind of events or activities of NATO or of UNPROFOR were

 5     reflected in these bulletins?  Can you recall?

 6        A.   I can only recall the situation where NATO imposed a no-fly zone

 7     above Bosnia-Herzegovina and that they monitored the situation by radar

 8     on AWACS.  And as for the rest, I can't remember what we analysed there.

 9        Q.   Okay.  Can you recall whether these bulletins would have

10     contained information about the deployment and operations of units of

11     UNPROFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

12        A.   Yes.  We would come across such information too.

13        Q.   Okay.  And obviously, then, these bulletins also would have

14     included information about the activities of the Army of Republika

15     Srpska, the Army of Republika Srpska Krajina, the Army of Bosnia and

16     Herzegovina; correct?

17        A.   No, that's not correct.  The department that was charged with

18     monitoring the information, and I wasn't in that department, would follow

19     the press coverage.  They wouldn't go beyond that.  For instance, if

20     Mr. Lazanski wrote an article on these events, then of course the

21     department would analyse those topics too.

22        Q.   I'm sorry, General, it was my mistake, I think.  My question was

23     not clear.

24             That's what I meant.  In other words, these daily bulletins would

25     have included information from the media about the activities, military

Page 11885

 1     activities, political activities, going on in Republika Srpska, Republic

 2     of Serbian Krajina; is that right?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   Okay.  General Skrbic, I'd like to move to a different topic now.

 5     Actually, not so different perhaps.  Let's -- let's fast forward a bit to

 6     when you became a member of the Army of Republika Srpska.  I know that

 7     you were first in charge of morale and information and legal affairs in

 8     the 2nd Krajina Corps, and then in mid-1994 you moved to the VRS Main

 9     Staff.

10             Can you tell us what kind of system or procedure was in place in

11     the VRS to provide high-ranking officers like yourself with important

12     information coming from the media?

13        A.   There wasn't a worked-out system, Mr. Saxon.  We had to deal with

14     that ourselves.  We did not have such groups within the VRS that would

15     analyse the media.  We were left to our own devices in that regard.

16             You're asking me about the time when I assumed my duties in -- in

17     that army.  Of course, in the Main Staff there was something of that

18     sort, but we were simply short of staff.

19        Q.   Can you describe what -- what did exist in the Main Staff in this

20     regard?

21        A.   Within the VRS Main Staff there existed a centre which was

22     detached from the department for morale, religious and legal affairs.  It

23     was an independent analytical group charged with monitoring the issues

24     we're discussing.

25        Q.   I see.  And this independent analytical group, how often would it

Page 11886

 1     produce -- I don't know what you might -- what you call them at the VRS

 2     Main Staff:  Bulletins, reports?  How often did that occur?

 3        A.   They didn't produce anything, Mr. Saxon.  Rather, they would

 4     orally convey information to the commander of the Main Staff, as well as

 5     to the general who was tasked with the field of morale, religious and

 6     legal affairs.  It may have so happened that they would write a report

 7     here and there, but they were not duty-bound to do so.

 8        Q.   All right.  And depending on the information and the importance

 9     of the information and, to use a term that you have used, "the need to

10     know," would some of this information then have been passed on orally to

11     other members of the Main Staff as well?

12        A.   The information would have been passed only in cases, which were

13     very rare, where the specific topic would concern one of the high-ranking

14     officers or commanders.  There was a strict selection in place.  In times

15     of war you can't simply swamp people with great amounts of information.

16     You can do that in peacetime.  In wartime you don't have time enough to

17     engage in thorough analyses.

18        Q.   Understood, General, understood, but that is sort of the point

19     that I'm interested in.  Because of the demands of wartime, important

20     information that was reported in the media would have been brought to the

21     attention, at least to the chief of the VRS Main Staff; is that right?

22        A.   That's right.

23        Q.   Okay.  You said earlier that -- I'll try to find what you said

24     just a few moments ago.

25             "We had to deal with that ourselves.  In other words, we had to

Page 11887

 1     deal with access to media information ourselves."

 2             This is at page 36.  You said:

 3             "We did not have such groups within the VRS that would analyse

 4     the media.  We were left to our own devices in that regard."

 5             Did you individually find ways to get access to media

 6     information, to keep up on the, you know, national, international,

 7     political and military issues that might affect the VRS?

 8        A.   Mr. Saxon, let me underline one important difference or to draw a

 9     distinction, and that's the fact that in the 2nd Krajina Corps I had to

10     take it upon myself to get hold of information, and that's what I did.  I

11     read papers wherever I could.  I watched TV whenever I was able to.  And

12     that's the major difference compared to the Main Staff.  When I was

13     transferred to the Main Staff, I didn't ask for such information, I

14     didn't look for such information, and I didn't need it.

15             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] At page 38, 2, the witness said that

16     they listened to the radio -- he listened to the radio when he could and

17     that he didn't have a TV, and this isn't reflected in the transcript.

18             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Sorry.  Mr. Lukic, the transcript says:

19             "I watched TV whenever I was able to."

20             Now, you say you said he never had -- he didn't have a TV and he

21     listened to radio.

22             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes.  That's what he said, but you

23     can ask the witness directly.  I don't want to interpret him.  He can

24     repeat what he said.

25             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Indeed.

Page 11888

 1             Mr. Saxon, can you ask the witness the question again.

 2             MR. SAXON:  I will, Your Honour.

 3        Q.   General, my -- my original question was:

 4             "Did you individually find ways to get access to media

 5     information, to keep up on the national, international, political, and

 6     military issues that might affect the VRS?"

 7             And then you began to respond, talking about an important

 8     difference, and perhaps if you could repeat your response for -- for the

 9     Chamber and the interpreters, please.

10        A.   Yes, I can repeat what I said.  While I was occupying the duty in

11     the 2nd Krajina Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska, I was forced to

12     draw on -- on my own resources and to follow the media that I was

13     technically able to.  When I was transferred to the Main Staff of the

14     VRS, this wasn't an area of interest to me.  I could hear information as

15     a private citizen, but I did not follow it officially.

16             Was I clear enough now?

17        Q.   Yes, you were, but I'd like to ask a follow-up question, sir.

18     With respect to your comment about when you were part of the

19     2nd Krajina Corps and you were following the media that you were

20     technically able to do, can you be a bit more specific?  During that

21     period of time, what kind of media were you technically able to follow?

22        A.   We could continually follow the radio.  We had TV sets, but the

23     image could not be transmitted because of interference which existed

24     throughout that time in the area of Drvar.  We also did not receive

25     newspapers on a regular basis.  I think it was only the "Srpski Glas"

Page 11889

 1     paper that we received regularly.  For the rest it depended on the war

 2     conditions.  In the 2nd Krajina Corps we received the bulletin "Vojska

 3     Army" of the Army of Republika Srpska.

 4        Q.   All right.  And did you also continue to receive the bulletin

 5     "Vojska" of the Army of Yugoslavia?

 6        A.   No.

 7        Q.   You said during this period when you were in the

 8     2nd Krajina Corps you had TV sets but the image could not be transmitted.

 9     Was the sound available?

10        A.   No.  The interference was complete, and I didn't know where it

11     came from.

12        Q.   All right.

13        A.   Sorry, Mr. Saxon.  At times you would get the image and then it

14     would be lost again.  So it was very difficult to cover.  Then we had

15     power outages as well, so you couldn't follow the radio either.  That was

16     the actual state of affairs, but I'm trying to shorten my answers and I'm

17     not explaining all these things.

18             I apologise to everyone if at times my sentence turns out to be

19     appear contradictory.

20        Q.   No.  Your sentences are fine.  It's very clear.  Thank you,

21     General.

22             I want to move to another topic now.  I want to bring -- bring

23     you back, General, to some testimony that you gave earlier this week.  I

24     can't recall right now whether it was Monday or Tuesday, but it's at

25     pages 11600 to 11601 of the transcript, and Mr. Lukic was asking you some

Page 11890

 1     questions about persons who left the FRY to join the Army of Republika

 2     Srpska, and in response to one of Mr. Lukic's questions, you said that

 3     you were not aware that VJ officers were coerced by threats of early

 4     retirement unless they agreed to join the ranks of the VRS.

 5             Do you recall that testimony?

 6        A.   Can you remind me again what my answer was?  Did I deny this

 7     fact?

 8        Q.   I wouldn't quite say that.  You said that you were -- I'll start

 9     again.

10             Mr. Lukic asked you whether you were aware whether VJ officers

11     were coerced by, for example, threats of punishment such as early

12     retirement, unless they agreed to join the ranks of the VRS.  And your

13     response was, no, you were not aware of this.

14             Is that clear now?

15        A.   That's clear, Mr. Saxon.  I'm quite clear on that now.  Yes,

16     that's right.

17        Q.   All right.  I'd like to show you a document, if I can.

18             MR. SAXON:  Can we show the witness Exhibit P2827, please.

19        Q.   General Skrbic, I'd like to give you a moment to familiarise

20     yourself with this document.  You'll see it's from the 3rd Army command

21     of the VJ.  It's dated the 26th of September, 1994, and it's addressed to

22     the commands of the Nis and Pristina Corps and the 201st Anti-armour

23     Battalion Command, and the first paragraph says:

24             "Following the orders given by the chief of the VJ Main Staff at

25     the meeting held on 5 September 1994, and the records kept within the

Page 11891

 1     personnel administration of the VJ Main Staff, regarding those officers

 2     who failed to follow the order on deployment as well as the officers who

 3     left the units of the 40th Personnel Centre of their own will --"

 4        A.   Your Honour, with all due respect, I'm not receiving

 5     interpretation at all times because I seem to be -- the voice seems to be

 6     fading at times.  I don't know if it's a technical problem.  Should the

 7     interpreter come closer to the microphone or something just to increase

 8     the volume.

 9             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes.  We don't know what it is caused by.  Can ...

10                           [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Maybe with the volume increased let's see whether

12     you can hear now.  Could we do a test, please.  Could the interpreter say

13     something to the witness, "Testing, testing, testing," something like

14     that.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear it now a bit better,

16     yes.

17             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you so much.

18             Sorry for that interruption, Mr. Saxon.  Could you rephrase your

19     question or restate it.

20             MR. SAXON:  Of course, Your Honour.

21        Q.   General Skrbic, let's start again.  Have you had a chance to

22     review the first paragraph of the document?

23        A.   I have, but you haven't read it fully.

24        Q.   You're absolutely right.  Not yet.  And it says at the end:

25             "... it is necessary to do the following:

Page 11892

 1             "1.  Establish the whereabouts of officers deployed to the 40th

 2     Personnel Centre units from your basic units.

 3             "2.  Urgently inform the personnel of the 3rd Army command by

 4     telegram in case any of these persons return to the 40th Personnel Centre

 5     main composition.

 6             "3.  Pass on the order by the chief of the VJ Main Staff to all

 7     persons who left the 40th Personnel Centre units of their own will, or

 8     failed to carry out the deployment order into the 40th Personnel Centre,

 9     that they are required to report to the meeting with the chief of the VJ

10     Main Staff," and then it gives --

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Do you have a problem, Mr. Skrbic?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not me personally, but

13     the question relates to the 40th Personnel Centre.  In order to save

14     everyone's time, can I please ask you not to put questions to me

15     concerning the 40th Personnel Centre since I'm not competent in that

16     regard.

17             JUDGE MOLOTO:  If you're not competent when the question is put,

18     just say, "I don't know anything about that."  If you don't know

19     anything, you don't know anything about it.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My apologies.

21             JUDGE MOLOTO:  That's fine, Mr. Skrbic.

22             Mr. Saxon.

23             MR. SAXON:  Thank you, Your Honour.  I'll take that as a

24     compliment.

25             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Take it as a slip of the tongue.

Page 11893

 1             MR. SAXON:

 2        Q.   And then there's an instruction to report to the meeting at the

 3     address and the date and time.  And then you'll see, and if we can scroll

 4     down in both versions, please, you will see there's a list of names

 5     there, General.  Can we go to the next page in the English version,

 6     please.

 7             And if you could, I just want to draw your attention, General,

 8     for now to two names on this list, number 3, Mraovic Zeljko, warrant

 9     officer 1st Class serving in the Nis Corps; and number 9, Djuro Sakic,

10     warrant officer 1st Class, serving in the 201st Anti-Armour Battalion.

11             And could we please go to the next page in B/C/S, please.

12             General, you'll see at the top of page 2 in the version in

13     Serbo-Croat that Lieutenant-General Samardzic is saying:

14             "A written report is to be delivered before either 30 or 29

15     September 1994, at 10.00, for the purpose of preparing a report for the

16     chief of the VJ Main Staff regarding the officers who are required to

17     attend the meeting with the chief of the VJ Main Staff."

18             Are you able to read that there?

19        A.   Yes.

20             MR. SAXON:  Can we leave this document, please, and can we show

21     the witness Exhibit P1865.

22        Q.   General Skrbic, this document is dated the 7th of October, 1994.

23     It's from the 3rd Army command, and in the preamble underneath the word

24     "Urgent," it says:

25             "Pursuant to the order of the VJ General Staff chief," and

Page 11894

 1     there's a number, "and after interviews of the professional officers and

 2     non-commissioned officers with the VJ General Staff chief regarding

 3     transfer and appointment to the 40th Personnel Centre, I order."

 4             And then you'll see under heading 1 there's a group of officers

 5     who are to be put into operation order on transfer and appointment to the

 6     40th Personnel Centre.  Do you see that?

 7        A.   Yes, I see that.

 8        Q.   Can we --

 9        A.   I really don't know why I'm looking at it.

10        Q.   Just be patient with me, General, please.

11             MR. SAXON:  Can we scroll down in both languages.

12        Q.   And in the -- at the start of the bottom half of the page we

13     see -- we see the phrase "Rim 2."  Do you know what that abbreviation

14     stands for, General Skrbic?

15        A.   Roman 2.

16        Q.   Very well.  Thank you.

17        A.   Do you know what the Roman numeral 2 is like?  I don't need to

18     remind you.  It's a double I in the Latin alphabet.

19        Q.   Thank you, General.  It says "Roman numeral 2, to initiate

20     procedure for termination of professional military service for the

21     following."  And then we see the names of the two officers that I had

22     asked you to pay attention to in the last document, Mraovic, Zeljko, the

23     warrant officer, and Sakic, Djuro, another warrant officer, and it says:

24             "On the meeting held with the chief of the VJ General Staff, the

25     above-mentioned persons have stated that they would like to terminate

Page 11895

 1     their professional military service with their right for retirement."

 2             Are you able to follow me?

 3        A.   I'm following you.

 4        Q.   Can we please go to -- the last paragraph talks about scheduling

 5     an official interview regarding their request for termination of

 6     professional military service.

 7             MR. SAXON:  Can we please go to the next page in both languages,

 8     please.

 9        Q.   And, General, you'll see at the top of page 2 the first paragraph

10     says:

11             "In case that the above-named do not want to terminate their

12     professional military service upon their request, they are to be referred

13     to report to units of the 40th Personnel Centre in the period regulated

14     by point 1 of this order."

15             My question for you, General, is that doesn't this indicate that

16     effectively Warrant Officer Mraovic and Warrant Officer Sakic were given

17     two choices:  Report to the 40th Personnel Centre, or end their

18     professional military service.  Isn't that what these two documents

19     indicate?

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  That's an embellishment of the statement,

21     Mr. Saxon.  This document doesn't say report or terminate.  It says

22     report to 40th and they choose to terminate.  It's at their request.

23     Let's not mislead the witness.

24             MR. SAXON:  My apologies, Your Honour.

25             JUDGE MOLOTO:  They choose to -- they choose to terminate when

Page 11896

 1     they are being called upon to go to the 40th Personnel Centre it looks

 2     like.

 3             MR. SAXON:  I see Judge Picard is shaking her head, Your Honour,

 4     so I'm not quite sure which Your Honour I need to be responding to, and

 5     perhaps --

 6             JUDGE MOLOTO:  If you understand what Judge Picard said by the

 7     shaking of her head, would you please respond to her.

 8             MR. SAXON:  If you'll give me a moment, please.

 9             Your Honour, we -- I can perhaps rephrase my question a bit.

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I think you should.

11             MR. SAXON:  All right.  Let me -- let me try to rephrase my

12     question, and I'm going to try to -- well, never mind.

13        Q.   One reasonable interpretation of this document, General Skrbic,

14     is that if these two officers were not going to terminate their military

15     service, they would have to report to the 40th Personnel Centre; is that

16     right?

17             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Lukic.

18             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. Skrbic is here to

19     testify about facts that he knows about, not to assess documents.  Now

20     he's being asked to provide his opinion about a certain document that

21     Mr. Saxon is putting to him, and in this way he is supposed to go into

22     the sphere of speculation.

23             My question was very fair.  I mean, the proposition I made, the

24     answer that he gave during the examination-in-chief was fair, and if

25     Mr. Saxon wants to challenge that, he has to put it that way to the

Page 11897

 1     witness.  I think that this question simply calls for speculation.

 2             MR. SAXON:  Your Honour, may I -- may I respond?

 3             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Any time, Mr. Saxon.  You are entitled to respond.

 4             MR. SAXON:  Thank you.  Your Honour, I'm a bit surprised by

 5     Mr. Lukic's objection in that he asked this witness on direct examination

 6     about his opinions on numerous, numerous documents about what was

 7     happening, what relationships were being affected by different documents,

 8     and clearly this witness was a lieutenant-general, extremely -- he's

 9     extremely qualified to give his opinion on what can be interpreted in a

10     military document.

11             JUDGE MOLOTO:  First of all, is your back okay?

12             MR. SAXON:  That's all right, Your Honour.

13             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I see you're holding it, and I --

14             MR. SAXON:  It's all right, Your Honour.

15             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Okay.  I find myself in a difficult situation,

16     because, yes, Mr. Lukic may have asked those questions of the witness,

17     but those were questions in relation to areas that the witness had worked

18     in.  The witness, with respect to this document, has actually requested

19     not to be asked questions about the 40th Personnel Centre, and the

20     Chamber said to him if he doesn't know the answer to the question he must

21     just say he doesn't know, because it's not for the Chamber to restrict

22     counsel on what questions to ask.

23             Now, if he is being asked to express an opinion about things that

24     happened in the 40th Personnel Centre about which he says he has no

25     knowledge, I think that puts that question in a slightly different

Page 11898

 1     category from the category of questions that were asked where he was

 2     being asked about his field of work.

 3             MR. SAXON:  Then I will move on, Your Honour.  Thank you.

 4        Q.   General Skrbic, I want to talk to you about the period when you

 5     went from the VJ to serve in the Army of Republika Srpska in December

 6     1993.  Just so that I understand, I want to clarify something, part of

 7     your testimony under direct examination.

 8             MR. SAXON:  And my question relates to testimony of

 9     General Skrbic and page 11604 of the transcript, lines 21 through 25.

10             If I may have a moment.

11        Q.   General Skrbic, at this part of your direct examination in

12     response to a question from Mr. Lukic, you told the Trial Chamber:

13             "I must tell Their Honours that for three months I was the

14     general manager of the military publishing centre with the Army of

15     Yugoslavia.  However, after the three months, I became a full member of

16     the Army of the Republika Srpska as part of the 2nd Krajina Corps of the

17     Army of Republika Srpska when I signed a document on the hand-over of

18     duties."

19             Do you recall that testimony, sir?

20        A.   Yes, Mr. Saxon.  However, I don't know why it is reflected that

21     way in the transcript, because there is a bit of imprecision there, a

22     little bit.

23        Q.   Is there something you'd like to correct, sir, or make more

24     precise?

25        A.   Well, may I just tell you that as for being director of a

Page 11899

 1     military publishing centre, I never received that duty.  For three months

 2     I was director or general manager in formal terms, but I was transferred

 3     to the Army of Republika Srpska.  After those three months, I became a

 4     member of the Army of Republika Srpska, and I signed a document on the

 5     hand-over of duty in the 2nd Krajina Corps.

 6        Q.   Okay.  So if I can just make the chronology clear.  Since you

 7     were transferred to the Army of Republika Srpska in December 1993, then

 8     you would have been the director or general manager of the military

 9     publishing centre from September 1993 until December 1993.  Is that

10     right?

11        A.   No.  From the 17th from December, and then three months on.

12     That's when I was director, in formal terms.  As for that duty, that is

13     the director of the publishing centre, I never carried out those duties.

14        Q.   All right.  Just so the record is clear, I just want to ask a

15     follow-up question or two.  You're transferred to the Army of Republika

16     Srpska on the 17th of December, 1993, and for your first three months of

17     service in the 2nd Krajina Corps of the VRS, at least in a formal sense

18     you also held the position of the director of the military publishing

19     centre of the Army of Yugoslavia.  Is that correct?

20        A.   That's right, Mr. Saxon.

21        Q.   All right.

22             MR. SAXON:  I apologise for the delay.

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Take your time.

24             MR. SAXON:

25        Q.   General Skrbic, I want to talk about your transfer to the VRS in

Page 11900

 1     December of 1993.  In the Army of Yugoslavia, there was a procedure

 2     created by the Law on the Army for termination of professional military

 3     service.  Isn't that right?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   All right.  And although I know you were transferred in December

 6     of 1993, if you'll permit me to refer to articles -- I believe it's

 7     Articles 111 through 114 of the Law on the Army of Yugoslavia, that

 8     law -- those are the articles at that deal with termination of

 9     professional military service from the version of the law that was

10     created in 1994; is that correct?

11        A.   I think that these articles are not correct, because I recall

12     that it was Article 107 and another one, but I do remember for sure that

13     Article 107 says something about the termination of professional military

14     service.  However, please don't take my word for it.  I don't have the

15     law in front of me.  Perhaps Mr. Saxon is actually putting it accurately,

16     because I don't know which version of the law he has.

17        Q.   Actually, I'm grateful to you, General Skrbic.  I was putting it

18     partially accurately, and I'm glad you made me more accurate.  You're

19     absolutely correct.  I mistakenly did not include Article 107, and I

20     should have, which is entitled "Reasons for Termination of Professional

21     Military Service."  You're absolutely correct.

22             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Now, can we talk about some other little point.

23     You say those articles were created in 1994.

24             MR. SAXON:  I'm referring to these articles as they are stated in

25     the Law of the VJ of 1994, and I --

Page 11901

 1             JUDGE MOLOTO:  After he went to the VRS.

 2             MR. SAXON:  Correct.  And I have a follow-up question to try to

 3     clarify this.

 4        Q.   When you went to the VRS in December 1993, were there in the

 5     older Law on the Army, I guess it was the law --

 6             MR. SAXON:  Mr. Lukic is kindly trying to correct something that

 7     I said.  I -- all right.  I'll keep going.

 8        Q.   I assume that in the Law of the Armed Forces of the Socialist

 9     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that was still in place when you were

10     transferred to the VRS, there were similar articles, similar procedures

11     for termination of military service; is that correct?

12        A.   Mr. Saxon, that is correct what you said.  They were similar but

13     not identical.

14        Q.   Okay.  When you were transferred to serve in the VRS, your

15     service in the VJ was not terminated, was it?

16        A.   De facto, yes.  Formally, it went on for another three months.

17        Q.   Formally, you say, it went on for another three months.  So does

18     that mean three months later you received an official VJ document

19     terminating your service?

20        A.   No.  I did not receive such a document.  The document on the

21     basis of which my service in the VJ was terminated is called the report

22     on the hand-over of duty.  And I do apologise for drawing your attention

23     to that report yet again.  That was the document that meant that I had

24     taken over this duty in the Army of Republika Srpska and that I had

25     become a member of the Army of Republika Srpska.

Page 11902

 1        Q.   But it certainly was not a document terminating your status as a

 2     member of the Army of Yugoslavia, was it?

 3        A.   Yes, that's correct.  My status in the VJ was not terminated, but

 4     I was serving in the Army of Republika Srpska.

 5        Q.   All right.  Now, when your professional military service in the

 6     Army of Yugoslavia ended pursuant to a decree of the president of the FRY

 7     on 31 December 2000, you received a document at that time terminating

 8     your military service in the Army of Yugoslavia, didn't you?

 9        A.   Yes, that's correct.

10        Q.   All right.

11        A.   I'm not sure that this date is correct though.  I think that I

12     retired on the 1st of April, 2001, on the basis of a degree issued by the

13     president of Yugoslavia, Mr. Vojislav Kostunica.

14        Q.   Absolutely.

15             MR. SAXON:  One moment, please.

16        Q.   But the decree of the president was dated the 31st of December,

17     2000, wasn't it?

18        A.   That's right, Mr. Saxon, but that is the decree on the

19     termination of service.  However, yet another document is passed and that

20     is the decision on the termination of service, because during those three

21     months, from the 1st of January until the 1st of April, I was still

22     available, and my service as such was terminated by this document called

23     the order on hand-over, and I can explain why that is what it is called.

24     You return all your equipment, your uniforms, et cetera, then once that

25     has been done then you say good-bye and they say good-bye to you and

Page 11903

 1     that's it.

 2        Q.   Thank you for that clarification.

 3             MR. SAXON:  Your Honour, may we take the second break at this

 4     time, please.

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, we may, if you have no use for the remaining

 6     minutes.  We will come back at half past 12.00.  Court adjourned.

 7                           --- Recess taken at 11.57 a.m.

 8                           --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.

 9             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Saxon.

10             MR. SAXON:  Thank you, Your Honours.

11             General Skrbic's microphones need to be turned on, I believe.

12             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thanks, Mr. Registrar.

13             MR. SAXON:  Thank you.

14        Q.   I just have a few questions for you, General Skrbic, regarding

15     your transfer to the VRS in December of 1993.  You were transferred, in

16     fact, pursuant to an order of the chief of the personnel administration

17     of the VJ General Staff, dated the 21st of December, 1993.  Isn't that

18     right?

19        A.   Yes, it is.

20        Q.   Okay.  At that time -- maybe I should say that month, December

21     1993, can you recall how many other VJ officers received such orders?

22        A.   I don't remember.

23        Q.   Okay.  Can you recall perhaps specific individuals, specific

24     individual VJ officers, colleagues of yours, perhaps, who were

25     transferred to the VRS at that time?

Page 11904

 1        A.   Yes, I do, but it will take some effort on my part to tell you

 2     the name.  One of them was Colonel Despotovic, and the other man's name

 3     was Nebojsa, who was an officer and a film director by occupation.  These

 4     are the only two names that I can remember at the moment.

 5        Q.   Can you recall what position in the VRS Colonel Despotovic

 6     filled?

 7        A.   Yes, do I.  I remember, Mr. Saxon, because General Milovanovic

 8     had asked him, "What is your profession, Colonel?"  And he says that he

 9     was a physiotherapist, and then he said, "You will remain in the VRS in

10     order to provide treatment for me."

11             Maybe that person can help you too.  I'm sorry for this joke.

12        Q.   No.  I was going to say what a shame Colonel Despotovic isn't

13     here right now.

14             And the officer who was a film director by occupation, can you

15     recall what position in the VRS that person filled?

16        A.   I remember him being appointed to the sector for morale,

17     religious affairs with General Gvero, but I don't remember exactly which

18     position he filled.

19        Q.   This order, for example, transferring you to the 30th Personnel

20     Centre, was that a written order or a verbal order?

21        A.   I suppose it was a written order, but I wasn't much interested in

22     that because I had decided to join the VRS and that is what happened.

23        Q.   You never received a copy of this -- of a written order

24     transferring you to the VRS, did you?

25        A.   Yes, did I receive it, but I don't remember its content.

Page 11905

 1        Q.   Where would we find such an order?  Where we would find a copy of

 2     this order?

 3        A.   I can't answer that question, Mr. Saxon.  I can only make a

 4     supposition, but I don't think that would be appropriate.

 5        Q.   All right.  General Skrbic, can you recall what undertakings were

 6     given in those orders?  What was the content of the order?

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I thought he just said he doesn't remember the

 8     content.

 9             MR. SAXON:  Did he say that, Your Honour, or did he say --

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Line 11, page 55.

11             MR. SAXON:  I stand corrected, Your Honour.

12        Q.   Tell me, General Skrbic, the VJ officers who received these

13     orders transferring them to the 30th Personnel Centre, such as the one

14     you received in December 1993, did the VJ officers have to obey the

15     orders?

16        A.   According to this order, they had an attitude of taking it

17     voluntarily.  They were supposed to obey it, but it was up to them.

18        Q.   I'm trying to understand that response, General.  Now, it's my

19     understanding that in any modern army an order is an order.  Orders are

20     given so that they are obeyed.  Now, is my general understanding correct?

21        A.   I will give you an explanation taking my personal example.  I

22     know what an order is.

23        Q.   I need to stop you there for a moment, please, sir.  I want you

24     to answer my question.  Is my general understanding correct as I just

25     expressed it to you?

Page 11906

 1        A.   Your understanding is correct.

 2        Q.   Okay.  Now I'd like to hear your additional explanation, please.

 3        A.   I'm going to explain my personal example.  I knew what an order

 4     meant, but I was entitled to say no, I'm not joining the VRS, and after

 5     that, and I knew that for sure, I would not have faced any consequences

 6     or any sanctions.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Skrbic, you've just accepted that generally

 8     speaking, orders were orders.  They had to be obeyed.  If orders had to

 9     be obeyed, why would you not face any consequences if you had disobeyed

10     this specific order?  Is there any reason?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because there was no legal basis

12     for taking any sanctions against such individuals.

13             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you.

14             MR. SAXON:

15        Q.   General Skrbic, if I can ask a follow-up question to that last

16     response to His Honour Judge Moloto.  You say there was no legal basis

17     for taking any sanctions against such individuals.  Is that because there

18     was no basis in the law of the -- law on the armed forces of the SFRY or

19     the law on the Army of Yugoslavia -- let me -- let me stop there and try

20     to ask a clearer question.

21             You say that there was no legal basis for taking any sanctions

22     against such individuals.  Is that because under the law of Yugoslavia,

23     as it existed at that time, there was no legal basis for the VJ to be

24     sending its officers to fight outside the territory of the Federal

25     Republic of Yugoslavia?

Page 11907

 1        A.   Mr. Saxon, you had a more competent witness here than I am, who

 2     could have provided a better explanation than I can.  What I can say is

 3     that I personally volunteered to join the VRS, but I didn't want to go

 4     without any document.

 5             If you want an official vehicle to be driven, you have to have a

 6     paper that goes with it.  So I didn't want to go over there without any

 7     documents.

 8             It is possible that experts found some legal basis for issuing

 9     such kind of documents, but I cannot explain that to you.  All I know and

10     all I was interested in was that I joined the VRS.

11        Q.   All right.  Let me -- I'm sorry, Your Honour?

12             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Was there a legal basis for the Army of Yugoslavia

13     to transfer its officers to a foreign army?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There must have been some kind of

15     provision in that respect, but I cannot remember.  It's not formulated

16     for an army, but probably it says a different department or -- or the

17     positions filled by military attaches or labour organisations that were

18     involved in special-purpose production.  All that was provided for in the

19     law.

20             JUDGE MOLOTO:  That I understand.  That's just being transferred

21     within the same army of -- of Yugoslavia.  But to the best of your

22     memory, was there a legal -- legal provision within the law on the Army

23     of Yugoslavia that allowed the Army of Yugoslavia, for instance, to say

24     to you, "Now go and join the Russian army.  Get out of here.  Get out of

25     the VJ and go join the Russian army?"  Was there such a legal basis, to

Page 11908

 1     the best of your memory?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as I know

 3     there wasn't such provision.

 4             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thanks.

 5             MR. SAXON:

 6        Q.   General Skrbic, I want to follow up on a comment that you made

 7     shortly before Judge Moloto's last question.  You say, "What I can --"

 8     this is what you said, page 57, starting at line 12:

 9             "What I can say is that I personally volunteered to join the VRS,

10     but I didn't want to go without any document."

11             And then you say:

12             "If you want an official vehicle to be driven, you have to have a

13     paper that goes with it.  So I didn't want to go over there without any

14     documents."

15             And the reason you didn't want to go to the Army of Republika

16     Srpska without any documents is because you needed to have official

17     permission or clearance from the Army of Yugoslavia because otherwise you

18     would have been going AWOL.  Isn't that right?

19        A.   Yes, that's right, Mr. Saxon.

20        Q.   And you as a career military officer, a very competent,

21     obviously, military officer, didn't want to do anything that would

22     jeopardise your career, your reputation, with the Army of Yugoslavia;

23     isn't that right?

24        A.   Mr. Saxon, all I was concerned about is not to jeopardise my

25     family, because I was going to war, Mr. Saxon.  I could have been killed.

Page 11909

 1     Therefore, I wanted to have at least a document on the basis of which my

 2     family could have claimed certain rights, because then and now my family

 3     is living in Belgrade.  I wasn't much interested in my career.  You

 4     remember me saying that I was prepared to go and fight in trenches like

 5     an ordinary soldier.  I was not interested in my career, and I'm not

 6     offended by your questions.  I just want you to know what I thought.

 7        Q.   That's fine, and I appreciate that response, General.

 8             The bottom line is, though, you needed to maintain your

 9     membership in the Army of Yugoslavia so that your family would maintain

10     their rights and be taken care of while you were serving in the Army of

11     Republika Srpska; right?

12        A.   Precisely so, Mr. Saxon, and thank you for providing such a

13     precise definition.

14        Q.   Thank you so much.  I may come back to this topic, but I'm going

15     to move on for the time being.

16             General Skrbic -- General Skrbic, during your direct examination

17     with Mr. Lukic, at pages 11736 to 11737 of the transcript, Mr. Lukic

18     asked you the following, he said:

19             "Do you know if during the war, at the time when you took up your

20     position in the Main Staff, some of the members of the VRS went to attend

21     command staff schools, specialised schools, or the School of National

22     Defence of the Army of Yugoslavia?"

23             And your response was the following:

24             "The position of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska

25     was that those who had graduated from the military academy need not

Page 11910

 1     attend post-graduate schools because the war itself was the best of

 2     schooling.  So during the war we did not send a single individual to

 3     attend any of these schools."

 4             Do you recall that testimony?

 5        A.   Yes, I do.  And as far as I could discern, you have quoted my

 6     reply accurately.

 7             MR. SAXON:  Can we please show the witness Exhibit P867, please.

 8        Q.   General Skrbic, you'll see that this is an order from the Drina

 9     Corps command, signed by Major-General Zivanovic, on the 18th of July,

10     1994.  It's entitled "Training for 30 combatants in Pancevo Special

11     Battalion."  And it says that the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade will

12     refer 30 combatants from the Manoeuvre Battalion, to the Special

13     Battalion Pancevo Garrison in the period between 25 July and 10 August

14     1994."

15             And in number 2 it says that:

16             "The Yugoslav Army Special Unit Corps will regulate the intake,

17     accommodation, nourishment, and training of combatants."

18             Have you been able to following along with me, sir?

19        A.   Yes, I can follow it.

20        Q.   But in the middle of the page above the phrase that says "I

21     hereby order," it also says -- it says it's pursuant to an order of the

22     General Staff of the VRS, dated 15 July, 1994, and "... our demand for

23     performing special training for some of our units."

24             This document demonstrates that certain members of the Army of

25     the Republika Srpska received training by the Army of Yugoslavia during

Page 11911

 1     the armed conflict.  Do you agree with that?

 2        A.   Yes, Mr. Saxon, but this has nothing to do with what I was

 3     talking about, higher military education.  This is training, whereas

 4     schooling and training in the VRS were very much different.  In addition

 5     to that, I would like to draw your attention that here we're talking

 6     about combatants who had attended no school whatsoever before that, let

 7     alone be sent to attend some higher schools.  And my remarks are well

 8     meant and well intended in this respect.

 9        Q.   I understand that, General.  Now, one way to maintain and improve

10     the morale of soldiers is to provide them with good training.  Isn't that

11     correct?

12             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Lukic.

13             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't know how much this is

14     deriving from my examination-in-chief.  Mr. Saxon read my question and

15     the answer relating to higher education in military service, whereas he

16     has moved to training.  I asked no questions about training, and the

17     witness decidedly said that his sector had nothing to do with training,

18     and that is what he said in his examination-in-chief.

19             MR. SAXON:  Absolutely correct, Your Honour.  However, Rule

20     90(h)(ii) does not restrict me to topics covered by counsel during direct

21     examination, and this is a topic that is relevant to the case of the

22     Prosecution, and I want to explore it.

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  My only concern with the way you put your question

24     is that you link it to -- you link it with higher education, military

25     education when you say, "But the bottom line is."  You're suggesting that

Page 11912

 1     notwithstanding you, Mr. Witness, saying that you talked about higher

 2     education and not training, I'm still saying to you that the bottom line

 3     is that these people received training from the VJ.  He's never testified

 4     about whether people did or did not receive training from the VJ.  He

 5     testified about whether people went for higher education in the military

 6     academy, and I think if you just want to ask about whether people did go

 7     for military training with the VJ you can ask that, but when you link the

 8     two, I think again we're sort of tampering with the evidence in chief.

 9             MR. SAXON:  Point is taken, Your Honour, and my apologies to the

10     Chamber and to General Skrbic if I -- if the structure end of my cross

11     was misleading in that sense.

12             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You can say, let's deal with a different topic.

13             MR. SAXON:

14        Q.   Let us deal, General Skrbic, with the topic of training if we can

15     do that, all right?  And my question for you is:  One way of training and

16     improving the morale of soldiers is to provide them with good training.

17     Isn't that right?

18        A.   Quite right.

19        Q.   Okay.

20             MR. SAXON:  Can we please leave this exhibit and show the witness

21     what is Exhibit P931, please.

22        Q.   General Skrbic, you will see this document is a report from the

23     tactical live fire exercise with the rocket Strela 2-M in the Federal

24     Republic of Yugoslavia.  And if we can just stop there for a moment.  I

25     know that you have a background in anti-aircraft rockets.  Is the

Page 11913

 1     Strela 2-M a sophisticated weapon for anti-aircraft defence?

 2        A.   Mr. Saxon, very sophisticated but very simple in terms of

 3     anti-aircraft defence.

 4        Q.   Okay.  This report, you will see, talks about 46 soldiers from

 5     the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps who first received some initial training in

 6     Banja Luka and then proceeded for live fire training with senior officers

 7     in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia where they were accommodated at the

 8     Batajnica barracks in Belgrade.

 9             That's in the middle of the page.  Do you see that?  Can we

10     scroll down in the English -- in the B/C/S.  Thank you so much.

11        A.   What am I supposed to read, Mr. Saxon?

12        Q.   No.  I just asked if you have read that portion, that's all.  I

13     just want to make sure you're seeing what the document says, that's all.

14        A.   I've hardly read anything, so could you please indicate to me

15     which paragraph I'm supposed to look at.

16        Q.   Okay.  There is a paragraph beginning -- I believe it's the third

17     full paragraph from the bottom in your version, beginning with "Upon the

18     completion."  Do you see that paragraph?  You will see that paragraph

19     describes 42 VRS soldiers who were accommodated in the VJ barracks at

20     Batajnica where in December 1994 they trained with the Strela rocket

21     launcher and training simulators.

22             The next paragraph -- are you following with me, General Skrbic?

23        A.   I'm following you.

24        Q.   Okay.  The next paragraph talks about the fact that there was

25     classroom training.  There was a theoretical part of this training.  A

Page 11914

 1     daily plane flyover was organised so that the officers involved could

 2     train with real targets that were arriving and departing, which led to

 3     live fire training on the 9th of December, 1994.

 4             And then in the very -- one the very last sentences, the author

 5     of this document, Lieutenant-Colonel Trncic, says, "This was a real

 6     example of how training for Strela operators should be conducted."

 7             This kind of training was provided to members of the VRS, so in

 8     this case these members of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, so that they

 9     could carry out their operations more proficiently; isn't that right?

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Yes, Mr. Lukic.

11             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I waited for Mr. Saxon to finish in

12     order to provide a general objection to this line of questioning.  I

13     noticed that Mr. Saxon, a few moments ago, referred to 90(h) and the

14     right to ask every witness that appears in this courtroom -- ask about

15     facts that have to do with his testimony.  However, there is no doubt

16     that this was not brought up at all during the direct examination.

17             What we see here is something that appeared in the Prosecution

18     case, what we see on the screen now, and the Prosecution concluded that

19     this document was sufficient per se for their case.

20             Now, in my view, Mr. Saxon is re-opening his case through the

21     back door, if I can put it that way.  This document had nothing to do

22     whatsoever with the testimony of this witness or the direct examination.

23     In this way he is trying to get to new facts that are important for his

24     case.

25             I think that this line of questioning, now that the Prosecution

Page 11915

 1     case is over, is actually a re-opening of the Prosecution case and that

 2     is why I oppose this line of questioning in general.

 3             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Saxon.

 4             MR. SAXON:  First of all, Your Honour, I'm not aware of any

 5     authority, certainly from this Tribunal, that supports the position of

 6     Mr. Lukic.

 7             Second of all, I am not re-opening my case.  I am asking this

 8     witness to comment on evidence that -- yes, that has been admitted in

 9     this trial.  There is nothing from the Prlic jurisprudence, for example,

10     or I believe nothing from the Delic jurisprudence that classifies

11     evidence that has been already admitted -- or questions stemming from

12     evidence that has already been admitted as fresh evidence.

13             This witness is here.  This witness has a particular expertise

14     and understanding and knowledge, and I'm trying to explore a facet of his

15     knowledge.

16             Now, that -- that -- if I'm not allowed to do that, then quite

17     frankly I think a large part of Rule 90(h)(ii) is then gutted, Your

18     Honour.

19             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Very brief.  The Prosecutor had the

20     document during his case.  He had expert witnesses who testified.  I'm

21     not going to refer to their names, because they were protected witnesses.

22     He did not put any questions in this regard.  I think that that is why

23     the Prosecution is dealing with this document now, a document of his own

24     that he didn't want to use at all during his own case.  Now he is trying

25     to re-open his case through this document during the Defence case.

Page 11916

 1             MR. SAXON:  That's not correct.

 2             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You're done?

 3             MR. SAXON:  One moment.

 4             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Are you done?  "That's not correct," that's what

 5     you want -- that's your response?  I want to come in now --

 6             MR. SAXON:  I'm done, Your Honour.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  -- again, yes, the Prosecution is not restricted

 8     in cross-examining the witness.  Cross-examination can go in various

 9     directions.  What, however, causes me concern, and I hope the Bench, is

10     the fact that Mr. Skrbic has not denied that training was provided by the

11     VJ to the VRS, quite apart from having not testified about that.

12             He's now being asked to comment on this document when he doesn't

13     have prior knowledge of it.  Yes, he has knowledge of anti-aircraft

14     rockets.  He was trained in rockets, but I'm not quite sure where the

15     Prosecution is going with this kind of cross-examination of this

16     witness --

17             MR. SAXON:  Your Honour --

18             JUDGE MOLOTO:  -- because I think the Prosecution has made its

19     case that there was that kind of training which this witness is not

20     denying.  Beyond not denying it, I'm not sure what it is you want from

21     this witness.

22             MR. SAXON:  Your Honour, there's a few points that you made

23     there, and I'm going to try to respond to them, if I may.

24             First of all, if the witness is not able to answer the question

25     of the Prosecution related to this document, that's fine, and of course

Page 11917

 1     that may be -- that may be a very normal turn of events.  But the

 2     position of the Prosecution is the Prosecution should not be precluded

 3     from asking its questions, okay?  First of all -- I mean, if Mr. Lukic is

 4     correct --

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You're commenting on my points?  I never said you

 6     absolutely should be precluded from asking questions.  I actually said

 7     the opposite.  I said you can go at large.  But I'm saying what I do

 8     not -- I'm trying to follow the cross-examination, and I'm trying to say,

 9     and I know the bulk of my understanding will come during final arguments,

10     but as the case goes on, I'm trying to follow what counsel is trying to

11     establish with the witness.

12             Now, to the extent that this witness has not denied any training

13     of combatants of the VRS by the VJ, I'm not quite certain where counsel

14     is going with the further questions beyond that point.  That's all I've

15     said.  I haven't said you're precluded from doing anything.

16             MR. SAXON:  For example, Your Honour, I asked a question a short

17     time ago that, for example --

18             JUDGE MOLOTO:  The question that made Mr. Lukic rise on his feet,

19     yeah.  That's have a look at it.

20             MR. SAXON:  This -- page 64, this -- line 18.

21             "This kind of training was provided to members of the VRS, so in

22     this case these members of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, so that they

23     could carry out their operations more proficiently; is that right?"

24             That was my question, Your Honour.  And depending on the answer

25     that I was going to get, I was going to ask a follow-up question as well

Page 11918

 1     based on -- I have of in front of me, I have a career military officer

 2     who also served in both the VJ and the VRS, who has obviously experience

 3     and knowledge of the events that were occurring during the time of the

 4     indictment period, some of which involved training.

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Then the objection is overruled.

 6             MR. SAXON:  Okay.

 7        Q.   General Skrbic, would you like me to repeat my question?

 8        A.   I would kindly ask you to repeat your question.

 9        Q.   This kind of training, the Strela rocket training, was provided

10     to members of the VRS - in this case they were members of the

11     Sarajevo-Romanija Corps - so that they could carry out their operations

12     more proficiently; correct?

13        A.   I cannot give you an answer to this question.  If you want to

14     hear me as an expert, and I am not one, at this point in time I do not

15     have that status, you can remove these documents and ask me about

16     anti-aircraft defence, especially about training for Strela 1 and

17     Strela 2.  Then I'm going to give you answers.  I don't need any

18     documents for that.  I did not dealing with training in the Army of

19     Republika Srpska.

20        Q.   General Skrbic, I'm sorry, I can't accept that response.  You

21     were a career military officer.  You personally had training, for

22     example, in anti-aircraft rockets.  Let me start from a more general

23     question.  The purpose of training soldiers and officers is to help them

24     become more proficient in their duties.  Isn't that right?  In general

25     terms.

Page 11919

 1        A.   That is correct.  No one can deny that for you.

 2        Q.   So in the particular case of this document, we've got soldiers

 3     who are being trained to make them more proficient in the use of these

 4     rockets; right?

 5        A.   Trained in Republika Srpska, and they had more possibilities for

 6     gaining greater knowledge there because they actually did have sorties

 7     with weapons, Mr. Saxon.  I have to see which period this refers to.

 8     Well, I cannot see it, actually.

 9        Q.   General Skrbic, this document refers to the training of a group

10     of soldiers from Sarajevo-Romanija Corps who travelled to Batajnica near

11     Belgrade to receive this training.  Do you -- do you understood that?

12     That's what the document says.

13        A.   Yes, I agree with that.

14        Q.   All right.  Now, will you agree that this training would have

15     made these particular military personnel more proficient in the use of

16     this anti-aircraft system?

17        A.   Not a single military officer from any army in the world could

18     dispute that for you.

19        Q.   And there's no dispute, is there, that becoming more proficient

20     is going to assist one's morale in any military.  Isn't that right?

21        A.   This kind of simplified conclusion cannot be drawn,

22     unfortunately.  It has to be proven.  In order to become more morally

23     capable, you have to know something that will affect you, Mr. Saxon.  The

24     question is how much the actual soldiers knew about this.  I see this

25     document for the very first time in my life.  So now if you're going to

Page 11920

 1     ask me how training affects morale, it's actually the other way around:

 2     How does morale affect training?  Where is education inserted into the

 3     process?  We can discuss that, and I'm prepared to do that.  However, if

 4     you are going to use general questions to lead me through a specific

 5     document, I'm afraid you're going to get logical answers rather than

 6     specific ones.

 7        Q.   If you'll give me one moment, please.

 8             Line 63 I asked you --

 9             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You said line or page?

10             MR. SAXON:  Excuse me.  Page 63, line 1.

11        Q.   I asked you:

12             "One way of improving the morale of soldiers is to provide them

13     with good training.  Isn't that right?"

14             Your response was:

15             "Quite right."

16             So are you stepping back from your earlier testimony?

17        A.   I'm not stepping back, Mr. Saxon.

18        Q.   Okay.

19             MR. SAXON:  Your Honour, I note that there is still some time

20     left in this session.  However, I probably have at least another session

21     worth of questions, so I'm not going to finish today.  As, you know, my

22     back is not a hundred per cent.  Would it be possible to adjourn at this

23     moment until Monday?

24             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I thought before the break you said your back was

25     fine when I asked you --

Page 11921

 1             MR. SAXON:  Well, I mean -- I did say that, Your Honour, and I'm

 2     prepared to carry on if you want me to carry on.  I didn't want to stand

 3     there and complain about my back.

 4             JUDGE MOLOTO:  I don't want to make you carry on if you're not

 5     feeling well.  You say you're not well right now.

 6             MR. SAXON:  Yes.  If you want me to carry on I will, Your Honour.

 7     That's fine.

 8             JUDGE MOLOTO:  No.  It's not in the nature of this Chamber to

 9     force people to do work when they are not in a position to do it,

10     particularly when the reason is related to health.

11             Okay.  We will take a break.

12             Unfortunately, then, Mr. Skrbic -- there we have it now -- who is

13     that therapist -- physiotherapist now?  He's not here, it would be --

14             MR. SAXON:  Despotovic.

15             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Despotovic, okay.

16             Once again, Mr. Skrbic, you are not supposed to talk to anybody

17     about the case until you are excused from testifying, I'll just remind

18     you of that.

19             We will come back to court on Monday, the 21st of June at 9.00 in

20     the morning in the same courtroom.  We will take an adjournment until

21     9.00 Monday morning.  Court adjourned.

22                      --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.24 p.m.,

23                      to be reconvened on Monday, the 21st day of June, 2010,

24                      at 9.00 a.m.