1 Tuesday, 22 June 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon to everybody in and around the
7 courtroom. And Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-81-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic. Thank you.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Could we have the appearances
12 for the day starting with the Prosecution, please.
13 MR. SAXON: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Barney Thomas, Bronagh
14 McKenna, Dan Saxon, and Carmela Javier for the Prosecution.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Saxon.
16 And for the Defence.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
18 afternoon to all. Mr. Perisic is represented today by Novak Lukic and
19 Gregor Guy-Smith as Defence counsel. Chad Mair, Boris Zorko, and our
20 intern, Esther Brilliant.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic. Good afternoon,
22 Mr. Skrbic.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers] ... just to remind you that
25 you are still bound by the declaration you made at the beginning of your
1 testimony to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the
3 Mr. Lukic.
4 WITNESS: PETAR SKRBIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Skrbic, once again and I hope for the last
8 time in this courtroom. I'll be covering the number of topics with you
9 that Mr. Saxon has been asking you questions about for the past two days.
10 I will try to obtain some answers by way of clarification. On day one
11 which was Friday, Mr. Saxon was asking a number of questions. And you
12 spent a lot of time dealing with a topic that we might define as the
13 informing process or information while you were still with the JNA staff,
14 the VJ at the time. At 11880 through 11884, you spoke of the information
16 MR. SAXON: Apologies.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
18 MR. SAXON: My transcript for Friday goes as far as 11650. I
19 don't know if there's a mistake in the translation or if Mr. Lukic
20 misspoke in terms of the transcript page.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, I have some pages that I
23 retrieved from LiveNote the 18th and the starting page is 11850. This
24 also ends with the following page. Just a minute, please, Your Honours.
25 11920. The date is the 18th of June, Friday.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, what about 11920? Oh, the following
2 page. Okay.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The last page for that day.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Saxon, are you --
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I don't mean to create a problem or take
6 anyone's time, it's simply that I have a hard copy of the transcript. My
7 hard copy from Friday ends at page 11651, but I will try to follow from
8 the LiveNote, Your Honour, and perhaps --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you able to get to 11920 on LiveNote. If you
10 can do that, maybe the person who printed it out for you didn't print all
11 the pages.
12 MR. SAXON: No, it ends with the end of Friday's session, Your
13 Honour, what I have here, so. Let me just check one moment, please. On
14 LiveNote from Friday the 18th, Friday's session ends at 11650.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: So both of you are off.
16 MR. SAXON: Well, I'm not off, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Didn't you say 11650?
18 MR. SAXON: Yes, that's where I end, Your Honour, as well with my
19 hard copy. So I'm not quite sure what Mr. Lukic is referring to here.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: You see, I'm not schooled in this technology, I
21 still get pages 1 to 72 for the 18th.
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Mr. Registrar, who knows these things far
24 better than I do, is going to try and see if he can come to your rescue.
25 It will take something like five minutes, and do you want Mr. Lukic to
1 wait until you are assisted, or do you feel comfortable to go on while we
2 are waiting?
3 MR. SAXON: Let's carry on, Your Honour, and if I run into
4 problems then I'll ask for more assistance. Okay. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have a suggestion by Mr. Mair, the
7 Prosecutor can follow by following only the last two digits of each of my
8 figures and then they should be able to take that approach, they should
9 be able to follow the whole thing or at least that's what I'm hoping. At
10 any rate, what I'm trying to raise with Mr. Skrbic now is at pages 11880
11 through 11884. That's the LiveNote reference.
12 Q. Mr. Srbic, you remember mentioning this bulletin that was
13 produced by the information department of the JNA General Staff, it was
14 actually the VJ at the time, which gathered information from various
15 sources across the media. Mr. Saxon asked you whether you followed
16 international media as well such as the BBC, International Sky News, the
17 Reuters and so on and so forth. You do remember mentioning that, do you?
18 A. Yes, indeed I do.
19 Q. Mr. Skrbic, throughout 1992 and 1993 while you were still there
20 in the General Staff of the VJ, do you know if there was a large scale
21 media propaganda at any point in time with a view to the interests of
22 various political structures both domestic and international?
23 A. Yes, indeed, Mr. Lukic. We called it a fierce media propaganda.
24 Q. And why did you call it that?
25 A. Because up until that point in time, no such propaganda had ever
1 been targeted at the JNA or the VJ. And then the media suddenly started
2 this campaign and all the headlines filled up. Most of this was meant to
3 target the JNA and its role, and then simply because there was a
4 difference in terms of intensity, we now call this fierce propaganda or a
5 large-scale propaganda campaign, and also because this was becoming a
6 frequent occurrence.
7 Q. You also told Mr. Saxon that the information that was processed
8 by the information department and in those bulletins was also in
9 reference to the region as a whole. So what about that kind of
10 information, referring to the region as a whole, did you see that also as
11 something that contained a lot of propaganda or propaganda-related
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
14 MR. SAXON: Well, I think that is a leading question, Your
15 Honour. The better -- the more appropriate formulation of that question
16 would be to ask the witness to describe the kind of information coming
17 from the region as a whole, not to put labels out there for the witness
18 to agree to.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, subject of discussion on many
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm doing my best, Your Honour, to
22 avoid leading questions. I was just picking up what I'd previously left
23 off. I don't think that was in any way leading.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where did you previously leave off?
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I had been speaking about this media
1 propaganda campaign in relation to the JNA, and now the witness also
2 mentioned information in relation to the region as a whole. I'm asking
3 him whether there was any media propaganda going on in relation to that.
4 I think I was just following up and no more than that.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, I suppose maybe the way to ask the question
6 without suggesting any answer is to ask him what effect this propaganda
7 had on the region, then let him tell the story.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Skrbic, you heard the phrasing, can you please answer.
10 A. Mr. Lukic, it was easier for me to answer the previous question,
11 whereas now, I have to be as brief as possible. I'll tell you that the
12 effects of this propaganda was as follows: The armed forces, the JNA,
13 and the VJ were being portrayed throughout all these events in the war
14 news specifically, and then there were often comments being made in a
15 negative light depending on the source. Nevertheless, throughout the
16 SFRY and then the FRY there were hardly any positive or encouraging
17 comments regarding those developments. Yes, there were at some point but
18 not to the same extent. And I have to remind you as well, that at the
19 time there was the multi-party system arising in the SFRY. And things
20 being what they were, each of these political parties had its own vision,
21 its own platform on how the defence effort should work, how the army
22 should be organised. And they addressed that publicly. I'm not going
23 into the question of whether we needed many parties or not, but the fact
24 remains that some of them were speaking about the army in very negative
25 terms. Another topic that they were looking at all the time was
2 Q. Yes. You've told us about that already. But my question is as
3 following: In your administration in the information department, you
4 often have this influx of information, if I may call it that. What about
5 1992 and 1993 while you were there. How much credence did you lend to
6 the CNN, the BBC, Sky News and so on and so forth in their reports, their
7 reports on the region as a whole?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Saxon.
9 MR. SAXON: What I heard through the interpretation, this is page
10 7, line 4 Mr. Lukic said, "in your administration in the information
11 department." It is my understanding that that is not an accurate
12 description of what the witness told us on cross-examination that the
13 information department came from a different administration, although I
14 stand to be corrected.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Information department came from a different
16 administration, which administration?
17 MR. SAXON: I'm not familiar with which administration.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: But not the one in which he was?
19 MR. SAXON: Not the Administration for Morale and Information as
20 incongruous as that may sound, Your Honour, but I stand to be correct.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I seem to remember something to that effect, yes,
22 Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'll try to avoid leading at all
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: This is something that has already been testified
1 to. Mr. Skrbic told us that at that time the information department was
2 not part of that administration of which he was a member. It was some
3 other little department on the side. Okay, I see you shake your head.
4 Fine, you clarify the issue then.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. As far as I remember, Mr. Skrbic, what was the organisational
7 unit of which you were part in 1992 and 1993 in the General Staff of the
9 A. The Administration for Morale and Information, which comprised
10 three different departments; the morale department, I was part of that.
11 The second one was the information department, and I was not involved in
12 that, but I was in the administration.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: And was your administration called Administration
14 for Morale and Information or was it Morale, Information and Personnel?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it was called the
16 Morale and Information Administration.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. If I may just return to the previous question, General, do you
20 remember that?
21 A. Could you please repeat.
22 Q. Within your administration, the morale information
23 administration, how much credence did you lend at the time to information
24 obtained from foreign media and TV stations in terms of their coverage of
25 the region?
1 A. Mr. Lukic, we took a critical approach to any source of
2 information, both domestic and international. Whenever we could, we
3 would verify any incoming information to see if it tallied with our own
4 reports. Every time a comment was published we would take analytical
5 approach and study it. Sometimes the reports and comments did not quite
6 tally with the actual reality of things.
7 Q. Likewise, what was your view of things when you moved on to the
8 2nd Krajina Corps and when you started dealing with the moral religious
9 and legal affairs in the corps? So what was your view of things at the
10 time regarding such information as was being bandied about by the media
11 concerning the developments in Bosnia? Did you take those at face value
12 as being truthful or not?
13 A. As I said, I was assistant commander for morale, religious and
14 legal issues in the 2nd Krajina Corps. My access to information was
15 quite reduced. We did have an Associated Press team who were with us
16 throughout on the ground. These people were kind enough to convey all
17 kinds of information to us that was available to them. So we simply
18 relied on them. Nevertheless, it was difficult for us to get the overall
19 picture, especially not to the extent that I had been able to while I was
20 still with the VJ.
4 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. At page 11902 in answer to one of Mr. Saxon's questions about
2 your status, you said your status with the VJ was not changed when he
3 moved on to the VRS, but as of 1994 you actually served with the VRS.
4 You remember saying that, don't you?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. What was the official decision that made you a member of the VRS,
7 you said that in chief, but we want to know about your status as an
8 active-duty serviceman?
9 A. The first official decision was the decision on appointment to
10 the 2nd Krajina Corps as assistant commander for --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all the other
12 microphones please be switched off while the witness is speaking, we
13 can't hear the witness. Thank you.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Skrbic. Could all microphones that are
15 not in use be switched off because the interpreters cannot hear
16 Mr. Skrbic. Could you please repeat your answer, please, Mr. Skrbic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I can, Your Honour. Do I
18 need to move my closer to the microphone?
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, you don't have to as long as all other
20 microphones that are not in use at the time you are answering are
21 switched off.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll repeat my answer. I took up
23 my duties as assistant commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs
24 with the 2nd Krajina Corps of the VRS, pursuant to a decision by the
25 defence minister of the Republika Srpska. And the other decision was a
1 decree by the president of the Republika Srpska on my appointment to the
2 Main Staff of the VRS.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce P191,
4 which is the Law on the Military of Republika Srpska. And could we zoom
5 in on Article 2 which is at the very beginning of the law.
6 Q. Mr. Skrbic, while you were a member of the Army of Republika
7 Srpska, were you familiar with the Law on the Army of Republika Srpska?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Lukic please turn his microphone off.
9 Thank you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Article 2 says in paragraph 1:
13 "Military service in the army shall include military and other
14 duties in the active and reserve forces in time of peace and war time."
15 And then paragraph 2 goes on to say who members of the members of
16 active strength and who are of the reserve strength. From the moment you
17 joined the Army of Republika Srpska which category of servicemen did you
18 fall into?
19 A. I fell into the category of the permanent staff.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we zoom in on the following
21 article, please: Article 3. Can we scroll up the page a little.
22 Q. This article defines the category of active duty servicemen and
23 Article 3 says:
24 "The persons serving in the army are soldiers, active members of
25 the military reserve personnel and non-commissioned officers."
1 From the moment you joined the Army of Republika Srpska,
2 Mr. Skrbic, what was your status and what did that status arise from,
3 from which legal act, from which law?
4 A. Mr. Lukic, I was an active serviceman pursuant to the law that we
5 have on the screen right now.
6 Q. And now can we move on to Article 4. I will invite some comments
7 from the witness. Article 4 speaks about the relations in the service,
8 let me not quote the article for you because I believe that you are very
9 familiar with it without -- even without me reading it. I'm going to
10 wait for the page to be moved a little and zoomed in on Article 4.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The B/C/S is no longer there.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is still there, I see Article 4.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] However, we don't see the bottom
14 part. We have to move the document to the left just a little.
15 Q. When you were a member of the 2nd Krajina Corps, General Skrbic,
16 who was your superior officer?
17 A. General Grujo Boric.
18 Q. And who was his superior?
19 A. His superior was the commander of the Main Staff of the Army of
20 Republika Srpska, General Ratko Mladic.
21 Q. And who was his superior pursuant to this law?
22 A. His superior was the supreme commander of the armed forces of
23 Republika Srpska, president of Republika Srpska, Mr. Radovan Karadzic.
24 Q. While you were a member of the Army of Republika Srpska, did
25 General Perisic or anybody else from the Army of Yugoslavia ever issue
1 orders to you, were any of them in a position to issue orders to you?
2 A. No, Mr. Lukic.
3 Q. While you were a member of the Army of Republika Srpska who did
4 you report to?
5 A. In the 2nd Krajina Corps I reported to the corps commander. In
6 the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska to the commander of the
7 Main Staff.
8 Q. When it comes to General Perisic or any other from the Army of
9 Yugoslavia, were they in a position to convey their authorities to
10 anybody in the Army of Republika Srpska?
11 A. As far as I know, Mr. Lukic, what you don't have you cannot
12 transfer or convey on to anybody.
13 Q. Did General Perisic or anybody else from the Army of Yugoslavia
14 have the authority to instigate any disciplinary proceedings against you
15 for any actions that you may have committed while you were a member of
16 the Army of Republika Srpska?
17 A. No, not even the commander of the Main Staff was allowed to do
18 that in the Army of Republika Srpska let alone General Perisic. It is up
19 to the judiciary bodies to do that.
20 Q. Whose judiciary bodies?
21 A. The judiciary bodies of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. Who was in a position to appoint you to any duty while you were a
23 member of the Army of Republika Srpska? You don't have to give me any
24 names, just tell me their army affiliation.
25 A. Mr. Lukic, I've already answered that question.
1 Q. I agree. Let's not repeat ourselves, you are absolutely right.
2 Let's talk about something else that was subject of the
3 cross-examination yesterday on page 11909.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we now move into
5 private session for a moment.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
7 [Private session]
11 Page 12013 redacted. Private session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Yesterday on page 17 of yesterday's LiveNote, I don't have the
5 exact page number from the transcript, however, Mr. Skrbic, you will
6 remember that Mr. Saxon asked you some questions and showed you some
7 documents referring to a period when Yugoslavia imposed sanctions on
8 Republika Srpska and he showed you that even when those sanctions were in
9 place, the Army of Yugoslavia still continued to assist the Army of
10 Republika Srpska. There was a document about some shells, a document
11 signed by General Ojdanic.
12 A. I remember all those.
13 Q. General, during that year and a half or rather, from the moment
14 you joined the General Staff in the month of August when sanctions were
15 imposed until 1995 or the end of the war, where was your command post?
16 Where were you stationed? Where was your rear command post?
17 A. The rear command post where my sector was also deployed was in
18 Han Pijesak.
19 Q. Which other sector shared the same premises with you, can you
20 remind us?
21 A. The logistics, and later on the sector for morale, religious, and
22 legal affairs.
23 Q. And during the year and a half while you were there up until the
24 end of the war, did you often see General Djukic and the chief of the
25 logistics sector?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And let me ask you this: From the moment the sanctions were
3 imposed, what information was conveyed to you by General Djukic and your
4 colleagues from the logistics department about the sanctions imposed by
5 the state of Yugoslavia, were the sanctions strict or were they violated?
6 A. Mr. Djukic and I never discussed the issue of sanctions with him.
7 Q. Did you attend the sessions of the Main Staff of the Army of
8 Republika Srpska and if you did, did General Djukic read reports to the
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you remember at the time when Yugoslavia imposed sanctions on
12 Republika Srpska, whether General Djukic mentioned any problems with
13 regard to the procurement of goods for the Army of Republika Srpska from
14 the Army of Yugoslavia? Did he say that there were problems or not?
15 MR. SAXON: Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
17 MR. SAXON: We now have a compound question that is effectively a
18 leading question. The simplest question would be what, if anything, the
19 witness recalls from the reports of General Djukic and then we can move
20 on from there, step by step.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It seems I can't have it both ways,
23 be quick and still comply with the procedure. If I'm to take it step by
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers] ... let me tell you
1 something. If you take it step by step, you might sound like you are
2 asking many questions but because you are asking very short questions,
3 very focused questions you will get very short and focused answer and you
4 will move faster through the thing. If you ask compound questions, you
5 are taking more time because you were inviting these kind of objections.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. What about General Djukic, at these briefings at the Main Staff,
8 did he inform the members of the Main Staff on the logistics situation
9 that prevailed in the VRS at a given point in time?
10 A. Yes, that's true. Nevertheless, Mr. Lukic, I would like to ask
11 you to not head into something that I'm perhaps not up to discussing. I
12 wasn't following at the time, nor was I in the habit of remembering
13 specific details. It just wasn't my field.
14 Q. Fair enough. Let's move on, please. Likewise, Mr. Saxon asked
15 you about this group of officers in July 1995 who came to the VRS, Bogdan
16 Sladojevic, Trkulja, Stankovic, those men, you do remember, don't you?
17 When they arrived in Han Pijesak, where were they first deployed?
18 A. Can you please repeat that. Which officers? Trkulja was with
19 the Main Staff, Sladojevic Bogdan was deployed to the Sarajevo-Romanija
21 Q. Yes, the question was about him and then Trkulja was later with
22 that group?
23 A. He was with the Main Staff of the VRS. He was head of
25 Q. Before Sladojevic arrived in Han Pijesak did he know already what
1 his first deployment would be, had anyone told him?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
3 MR. SAXON: This question is asking the witness to speculate as
4 to what was inside the head of Bogdan Sladojevic. I don't think that's a
5 proper question.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think that objection would be overruled,
7 Mr. Saxon. Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So my question, do you know whether Sladojevic had been told
10 before he arrived in Han Pijesak about what his deployment would be?
11 A. No.
12 Q. As in you don't know?
13 A. No, he did not know where his deployment would be. Like question
14 like answer, Mr. Lukic.
15 Q. Do you know who it was who told him that he would be deployed to
16 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps when he arrived in Han Pijesak?
17 A. I think Colonel Malcic. He just conveyed the information. But
18 the decision had been previously taken by the Main Staff. Bukamik Maltic
19 [phoen] was the mediator here.
20 Q. Who made the decision for him to be deployed to the
21 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
22 A. The VRS Main Staff commander.
23 Q. Who had the power to change that decision?
24 A. He alone. When I say "he" I mean the VRS Main Staff commander
1 Q. When you were asked by Mr. Saxon whether you knew about
2 Sladojevic, Trkulja, Stankovic, at one point in time in those days
3 appearing in the Drina Corps area, you said you had read about that in
4 Richard Butler's expert report, do you remember that?
5 A. Yes, I do remember that, Mr. Lukic. I did say that and that is
6 the case.
7 Q. What about you as head of the organisation mobilisation and
8 system related affairs sector at the time? Did you know at the time,
9 would you have known that instead of being sent to the Sarajevo-Romanija
10 Corps he was sent to the area covered by the Drina Corps?
11 A. No, those were daily orders and commands. I wasn't in charge of
12 that or indeed even knowing about that and I wasn't informed.
13 Q. Is this an effective appointment to a post, or is it just a daily
14 assignment, a task? Can you please elaborate because I fail to
15 understand the distinction.
16 A. Bogdan Sladojevic was appointed to the Main Staff of the VRS. He
17 was subordinated to General Radivoje Miletic or at least that's what I
18 think. He was given a task by his superior and the task was to go there,
19 and perhaps he was ordered directly and personally by the commander of
20 the VRS Main Staff, but that is not for me to speculate about.
21 Q. I'll move on to a different topic. Mr. Saxon was showing you
22 certain documents yesterday, in a bit to put it to you that the Army of
23 Yugoslavia could just call directly on certain officers from the VRS for
24 them to go back to the Army of Yugoslavia, do you remember that? Tihomir
25 Babic specifically was a case in point.
1 A. Yes, I do remember that.
2 Q. Let me ask you again, firstly, from the moment you arrived at the
3 Main Staff, could a single officer of the VRS leave the VRS without
4 object obtaining approval from General Mladic?
5 A. No.
6 Q. While you were with the 2nd Krajina Corps did the same rules
8 A. During my time there, the same rules applied.
9 Q. You answered Mr. Saxon that you had certain reservations
10 regarding certain actions taken by the personnel officer in the Drina
11 Corps, Jovicic, and your reservations had do with the form of the
12 documents that he produced. That was at page 36 of yesterday's
14 A. Yes, I remember. We are in open session nevertheless, so I would
15 kindly ask you to spare me any comments that I would have to make
16 regarding that man's personality.
17 Q. No, that wasn't my intention at all, I was just trying to follow
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] P2568, please. Can we have that
20 brought up next, thank you.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: While we are waiting for P2568, Mr. Lukic just
22 asked you if anybody from -- where is it? Yes, that the Army of
23 Yugoslavia could just call certain officers from the VRS to come back to
24 the Army of Yugoslavia. He said "could." My question is, did it ever do
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not certain about
2 the specific sections, but the general answer would be no they didn't.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's to your knowledge?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: And to your knowledge, do you know of any officer
6 or soldier who left the VRS of his own or her own accord and went back to
7 the VJ? Do you know of anybody who did do that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were several.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: But just left on their own without being called?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Your Honour, if I may, we are
13 in open session, and it's difficult for me to name any names, but you
14 should understand if I tell you that we referred to them as deserters.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. [Microphone not activated]
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Are we in open session? Yes.
17 Q. I'm not sure if you can actually see the document clearly,
18 General, the copy is somewhat poor.
19 A. Indeed it is, but I can still see it.
20 Q. You signed this document, didn't you, as far as I can see?
21 A. Yes, you are right.
22 Q. Can you please comment about the format of this document in the
23 light of my previous question?
24 A. Well, I'm not sure about the second sentence, I am not sure that
25 I can read what it says, but I do have an inference about what it
1 probably says. The gist of the document is me informing the 30th KC not
2 to approve the request submitted by Milorad Popovic. Is that right,
3 Mr. Lukic?
4 Q. Yes, I'm reading it too.
5 A. You asked whether that was my signature; right?
6 Q. All right. Now, what about this document, would that be part of
7 one's personal file with the 30th Personnel Centre or the VJ?
8 A. I'm not sure. I don't know.
9 Q. Thank you. You analysed the personnel file of Vujadin Popovic
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have that back, P1934,
12 that is service mobility, Vujadin Popovic personnel file, page 11.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] ... I'm not sure.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm not sure either. No, I'm being
15 told no. The English page is ERN 0422-8609. The B/C/S reference is page
17 Q. You remember seeing this document?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What I'd like to focus on, this is where it says that he was
20 chief of the security department in the organ for intelligence and
21 security affairs. The 30th Personnel Centre. Can you see that? And
22 then Judge Moloto asked you how we could ascertain whether he was really
23 at the time member of the VJ or the Army of -- or the VRS. You remember
24 that; right?
25 A. Yes, I remember that.
1 Q. May I just look at the date here. When did his appointment take
2 effect, the one mentioned in this document?
3 A. Chief of the security affairs department within the security
4 administration, the 15th of September, 1998.
5 Q. No, no, I'm sorry. I want to know about this entry.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
7 MR. SAXON: Before the witness responds, Your Honour, I have to
8 at least make an objection. Page 25, lines 21 to 22 in -- Mr. Lukic
10 "And then Judge Moloto asked you how we could ascertain whether
11 he was really at the time member of the VJ or the VRS."
12 Mr. Lukic hasn't cited any page number, but the page number that
13 I'm looking at from yesterday is page 11967 of the transcript, and Judge
14 Moloto begins to speak on line 12, and around line 17, Judge Moloto says:
15 "And then when you talk of a transfer to the -- to head security
16 administration, okay, this one says 30th Personnel Centre, if he goes
17 back, is he going back to the VJ, or is he still in the VRS?"
18 And well, this is what I find in the transcript which is
19 different from the comment or question formulated today by Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I phrased the question based on what
21 I had read in the transcript at page 45 of yesterday's LiveNote, line 19.
22 The words of Judge Moloto where he says:
23 [In English] "How do we determine, in fact, that this person is
24 going back to the VJ when in fact certain post in the VRS are described
25 as V post Belgrade 30th Personnel Centre when in fact we know that the
1 person is in the VRS. How do we determine without a narration that this
2 is the real transfer or maybe just of an intention of it?"
3 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I don't mean to interpret your words as
4 they are in the transcript, but I interpreted your words, and I'm looking
5 now where Mr. Lukic is reading from as referring to whether a person is
6 physically in the VRS and then physically going to a position in the VJ,
7 which is the concern of this part of Vujadin Popovic's personnel file.
8 Mr. Lukic's question referred to membership in the armies, and that is a
9 different intellectual concept, Your Honour. That's what I'm getting at.
10 Because obviously it is the Prosecution's position that membership was
11 retained in the VJ while these gentleman were serving in the VRS.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, do you now --
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] My understanding of your concern,
14 Your Honour, my understanding of your question was -- I apologise to the
15 interpreters. My understanding of your question was like this: How and
16 whether based on this entry we could determine whether he was a member of
17 the VRS or a member of the VJ. Perhaps I was the one who misinterpreted
18 your question. If so, please accept my apologies.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your apology is accepted, but I don't know whether
20 the parties want me to explain myself. Obviously if you -- my concern
21 was where the person physically is, first of all. Then, of course,
22 whether the document that has been put on the screen does not only tell
23 us exactly where he is physically, but it also gives us the status of
24 that person and the membership of that person to a particular army, but
25 the membership is really not important here because we have heard
1 evidence of confusion between -- on the membership of the different
2 armies, but just where that person is physically following an order
3 given. If you give an order, you say, I transfer you from the VRS to the
4 VJ 30th Personnel Centre.
5 Now, I know that when you were in the VRS, you were already at
6 30th Personnel Centre, but then when you say you are transferring me back
7 there, am I really getting back there, or am I still in the VRS and in
8 the Republika Srpska. It doesn't -- without a narration, it is very
9 difficult given what was going on at the time to determine whether this
10 is an actual movement of the person from the Republika Srpska back to
11 Belgrade to be in the personnel -- 30th Personnel Centre, or no, no, no,
12 we just putting you in the personnel centre but you are still in the
13 Republika Srpska because the important thing for purposes of the trial,
14 as I understand it, is to know where a person was physically, so that if
15 that person committed a crime, for which we have to deal with here,
16 obviously if he was fictitiously there, not in reality, then he didn't
17 commit that crime. But if he was there in reality, then he did commit
18 that crime. So it is exactly the physical presence of the person that we
19 want to know.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Things are much clearer to me now.
21 Q. I assume that what you wanted to ask General Skrbic is this:
22 General, on the 30th of September, 1998, which is the date of the
23 document, does the document show where Vujadin Popovic was as of that
24 moment physically, whether he was in the VJ or in the VRS?
25 A. Mr. Lukic, you are talking about an order issued by the personnel
1 department 170/59. I apologise, I just touched the screen.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. Well, this is an order, it doesn't say much. The date that
4 matters is the 15th of September, 1998, however, even based on that date,
5 you could not conclude anything as to his physical whereabouts, and this
6 is where the Trial Chamber and His Honour are right. This only regulates
7 his status as of the 15th of September, 1998. That's all.
8 Q. Very well. Was there security administration of the 30th
9 Personnel Centre in the VJ? Was there such an administration in the VJ?
10 A. No, no, please, Mr. Lukic, don't take me back to the things that
11 I've already explained very clearly.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now, could the Court please produce a
13 document belonging to the financial file of Mr. Vujadin Popovic. It is
14 on 65 ter list of the OTP under 7322. Could we see at the document, doc
15 ID 1D12/435. Let's just retain the date that you mentioned, sir.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a second, Mr. Lukic. You are giving us an
17 OTP 65 ter list number. Are you not able to give us the -- is this a new
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, a new document.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have it on your 65 ter list?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Why don't you give us your 65 ter list number.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have not given any documents any
24 particular numbers. Documents that already bear 65 ter number from the
25 OTP we just transfer them on to our list. We didn't want to confuse the
1 matter with new 65 ter numbers. That was our agreement with the OTP.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: If that was the agreement, at least you have
3 clarified that. Mr. Registrar, are you able to identify that document
4 and find it?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. This is Defence 65 ter
6 document under number 3365D. Thank you.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought they said they didn't have that document
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. This document is dated 20 October 1998. I believe that the
11 document is self-explanatory. However, maybe you can tell us about VP
12 7572 Bijeljina. Which army did this military post belong to?
13 A. This what was a military post belonging to the Army of Republika
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And could the Court also produce
16 another document from the same financial file of Mr. Vujadin Popovic.
17 Doc ID is 1D12/0433.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we go to that document, what do you want to
19 do with this one?
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I would like to tender it
21 into evidence.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
23 please be given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
25 Exhibit D354. Thank you.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can it be marked for
2 identification pending an official translation because what we have now
3 is just a draft translation made by the Defence.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the document be marked for identification,
6 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked for identification. Thank
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] From the same financial file, doc ID
10 1D12/0433. We are still on the financial file for Mr. Popovic. We
11 marked this document as 65 ter 3364D and as I said, it is part of that
12 same 65 ter document by the Prosecution.
13 Q. This is a certificate from the same military post that
14 Mr. Vujadin Popovic had addressed in the previous document. Can you
15 please look at the stamp and the signature and could you please tell us
16 which army did they belong to? Which military?
17 A. The stamp is of the Army of Republika Srpska, the military post
18 in Bijeljina, and it was signed by Major-General Dragisa Masal who was my
19 successor in the General Staff of the VRS.
20 Q. According to this document on the 22nd October 1998, which
21 military did Vujadin Popovic belong to?
22 A. It is obvious that he was a member of the VRS.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have an exhibit
24 number for this document, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
1 please be given an exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
3 Exhibit D355. Thank you.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: And is the translation correct and it doesn't need
5 to be marked for identification?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I agree. I've just been informed,
7 Your Honours --
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, I asked you a question. Is this
10 official translation?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. It's not. I
12 apologise, I apologise. It is not an official translation so the
13 document needs to the MFI'd. I'm sorry.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can it be marked for identification, please. And,
15 Mr. Lukic, would that be a convenient time?
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll take a break and come back at 4.00. Court
19 --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Yesterday on page 57 of the LiveNote, Mr. Saxon asked you about
24 the period while you were standing in between 1997 and 2000 in the
25 personnel administration of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown one
2 part of his financial file, which is also a document from the Defence 65
3 ter list which was previously a Prosecutor 65 ter document under 7389,
4 page 62, doc ID 1D12/0424.
6 A. This document is an order on standing in sent to the accountancy
7 service and under the stamp, I believe that I can read the General Staff
8 of the Army of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. How do you see that it was sent to the accountancy service?
10 Well, I apologise, I can see it now myself. I apologise. This is -- oh,
11 rather, yesterday, when we were looking at the excerpt of documentation
12 about your career, does this document have anything to do with that one
13 that we saw yesterday?
14 A. Yes, I have not seen this document before. The person, whoever
15 he is, does not receive this document. This document is sent only to the
16 accountancy service, nobody else.
17 Q. And now what I can read here is this: Petar Skrbic, and
18 underneath the Belgrade Garrison, Skrbic, Petar, currently the assistant
19 Chief of the General Staff of the 30th Personnel Centre for recruitment,
20 mobilisation, and legal affairs, FC, which is your establishment rank and
21 so on and so forth, how do you explain this? At the moment when those
22 documents was issued which was on the 13th January, 1997, were you still
23 in the position of the assistant Chief of the Main Staff of the VRS, if I
24 can put it that way, for recruitment, mobilisation, and legal affairs?
25 A. No. These are only elements that regulated my pay, and they had
1 to be taken into account by the accountancy service.
2 Q. Why was it then necessary to write this in order for the
3 accountancy service to pay you your salary, your remuneration?
4 A. Because, I would like to draw your attention to the wording. FC
5 stands for the establishment rank, major-general. Another FC,
6 major-general, and the position group 5. All these are elements that
7 constitute the remuneration.
8 Q. According to this document, your regular duty was to be the
9 assistant chief of the 30th Personnel Centre and in addition to that, you
10 were standing in at the vacant post of the assistant chief of the
11 personnel administration for the 30th Personnel Centre. That's how I am
12 reading this document; am I right?
13 A. Yes, you are. That's exactly how it was.
14 Q. And let's now look at another thing, the following sentence
16 "He will be standing in for the chief in addition to his regular
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And now let's go back to something that I asked you on the
20 examination-in-chief and something that you also discussed with
21 Mr. Saxon. First, on page 11808, you told me, and then you confirmed it
22 yesterday on page 57 when Mr. Saxon gave you his references, you said
23 that you were not duty-bound to come to work regularly while you were
24 standing in for somebody else. Do you remember that that is what you
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. And then on page 61, you confirmed to Mr. Saxon that during that
3 period of time, you were duty-bound to come to work. Can you please
4 clarify and can you please tell us whether from January 1997 up to 2000
5 when you were again re-assigned to duty in the VJ, were you duty-bound to
6 come to work every day?
7 A. Somebody did things erroneously. Either you or the transcript is
8 wrong, I don't know. I can only tell you what I said. I said that I
9 wasn't duty-bound to come to work every day but I did nevertheless.
10 Q. Did any of the VRS generals whose duty in the VRS was
11 discontinued and who was placed at the disposal of the Army of
12 Yugoslavia, did any of them like you did come to work every day, were
13 they duty-bound to come to work at the Army of Yugoslavia up to the
14 moment when they were pensioned off?
15 A. Nobody but me.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could this document please be given
17 an exhibit number, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And could it also please be MFI'd.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
21 please be given an exhibit number and be marked for identification.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
23 Exhibit D356 marked for identification. Thank you.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Saxon also showed you a certain number of documents with your
2 personal appraisal that are now in the personnel files. You remember
3 that there were two personnel appraisal forms that were shown to you. I
4 believe that Mr. Saxon will remember and understand my question even
5 without me referring to the exact page numbers. Do you remember all
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Pursuant to the rules, who was who provided a personnel appraisal
9 or evaluation about a certain person if that evaluation covers a period
10 of three years during which that person changed positions, posts, and
11 duties? Who is it who is duty-bound to provide that person's evaluation?
12 A. One's immediate superior.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have Exhibit P1953 on
14 our screens. 1953.
15 Q. Can you tell us what it is that we see here?
16 A. This is an official assessment. Shall I tell you who it refers
18 Q. Yes. And for which period?
19 A. This is an official assessment for [indiscernible] Captain
20 Ljubisa Beara for the period from 10 December 1990 to 10 December 1994.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at the next page, please.
22 Q. Can one see from this document when this assessment was conveyed
23 to Mr. Beara, and can you see from the signature who was it --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Saxon.
25 MR. SAXON: Can we move forward one page in the English version,
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Saxon.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.
4 MR. SAXON: Perhaps one more page, Your Honour.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So can you tell me who made this assessment, from which army, and
7 when was this assessment conveyed to Mr. Beara?
8 A. It was conveyed to this individual on the 20th October 1995, and
9 he confirmed that with his signature, and the assessment was made by his
10 immediate superior, that is to say, the chief for intelligence and
11 security, Major-General Zdravko Tolimir.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: 20th or 24th?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry if I said 20th. It is
14 the 24th of October, 1995, the date when this assessment was conveyed.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Can you tell us whose stamp this is, and can you tell us Zdravko
17 Tolimir, to which army did he belong?
18 A. This is a so-called establishment stamp of the Main Staff of the
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We can remove this document and then
22 can we please now have P1788. I don't think we have the correct page in
23 English. It's all right. This will suffice.
24 Q. Can you tell us, please, only when this assessment was conveyed
25 to Zdravko Tolimir, that's what we saw on page 1, and who made the
1 assessment, the member of which army?
2 A. The assessment was conveyed to this individual as far as I can
3 see on the 4th of July, 1994. It's not quite clear. And while it could
4 be 10th, but it's definitely July 1994, and it was signed by General
5 Tolimir as confirmation that he was given the assessment, and the
6 assessor was his immediate superior, the commander of the Main Staff of
7 the VRS. Shall I read the name?
8 Q. I think it's quite clear.
9 A. Yes, it's quite clear. It says General -- Lieutenant-General
10 Ratko Mladic.
11 Q. Did this assessment have any effect on one's salary?
12 A. No, it didn't.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at document P2021.
14 Q. It's not quite clear, but this document stems from the Main
15 Staff. You can see that in the left-hand top corner, which army is in
17 A. One can see but not quite clearly that this is the General Staff
18 of the Army Republika Srpska.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at the bottom of the
20 page where there's the signature and the stamp.
21 MR. SAXON: Excuse me, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
23 MR. SAXON: Can Mr. Lukic -- this does not appear to be some kind
24 of assessment, and so I'm struggling to understand how this particular
25 document arises out of my cross-examination.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I just want to put one question, and
3 that is, can one see from this document --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a second, just a second, Mr. Lukic. There is
5 an objection on the floor so you don't go ahead and say no, I'll just put
6 this -- put one question and the question is this. Answer the objection
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I will. That was exactly what I
9 was going to do.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: But you are putting the question that you say you
11 want to put, you said --
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I want to continue with this topic
13 relating to performance assessment and --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, let me quote what you said, "I just
15 want to put one question and that is, can one see from this document --"
16 you are already going on to ask the question. Now, I'm stopping you
17 because there is an objection. I'm saying deal with the objection before
18 you put your question. That's all I'm saying. Deal with the objection,
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So Mr. Saxon asked a few questions
21 relating to assessments and who assessed the performance of Mr. Skrbic in
22 particular. And with this document, I want to ask an additional question
23 relating to the process of performance assessment of military officers,
24 and I can get this answer on the basis of this document. So this is
25 within the scope of the topic that Mr. Saxon addressed with this issue --
1 this with witness.
2 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I haven't heard the question yet
3 obviously, but this document does not appear to be an assessment, so I'm
4 still at a loss to understand how the use of this document arises out of
5 my cross-examination. If there is a simple question that Mr. Lukic can
6 ask, fine, but what does this document have to do with my questions about
7 related -- pertaining to the assessments of the witness.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: This is the problem. The problem is that you are
9 objecting to the production of the document. Mr. Lukic is telling us
10 about the question he wants to put to the witness. Now, either you
11 suspend your objection and hear the question and see whether it's
12 objectionable or not, or you insist on the relevance of this document
13 before the question is put, which would be the proper procedural step to
15 MR. SAXON: I would insist on the relevance of this document
16 before the question is put, Your Honour. The relevance of this document
17 to my cross-examination.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] All I can say is to repeat that this
20 document is relevant because it is connected with the topic raised by
21 Mr. Saxon which is assessment. Regardless of the title of the document,
22 this does not mean that it goes beyond the scope of the questions that
23 Mr. Saxon asked, and his questions pertained to the process of
24 performance assessment.
25 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I'm not only focusing on the title of
1 the document. I'm focusing on what I can see as to be the contents of
2 the document, and I see nothing here that appears to me to be someone's
3 performance assessment. Mr. Lukic can correct me if I'm reading the
4 document incorrectly.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not even sure whether I'm seeing the entire
6 document in the English that is being shown in the B/C/S.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If you allow me to ask the question,
8 then I'm in your hands and you will decide whether to overrule it or
9 reject it or whatever.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, Mr. Saxon insists on you showing the
11 relevance of the document before you put the question, and if you are not
12 able to show the relevance of the document, then unfortunately, we can't
13 allow the question to be asked.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you would either have
15 to ask the witness to leave the courtroom or the entire document to be
16 shown to you because you can't see the relevance. If we can have the
17 witness out of the courtroom, then I can explain to you my position.
18 MR. SAXON: Wouldn't it be easier just then to -- if there is
19 more to the document than I can see in English here, please show me the
20 next page of the document. We might be able to clear this up very
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I would have thought so too.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The document has one page only, and I
24 agree -- just bear with me one moment, please.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm advised that it actually has three pages,
1 Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Then I'm sorry, yes, thank you.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see -- if you can scroll down a little bit,
4 please. The English. That's right. That very first entry.
5 MR. SAXON: I now withdraw my objection, Your Honour. Thank you
6 very much.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Saxon. See, Mr. Lukic.
8 You may proceed now, Mr. Lukic.
9 Q. Mr. Skrbic, from this document can we see when Ratko Mladic was
10 assessed last time and by whom?
11 A. Yes, we can see that. His last assessment was made on the 10th
12 of January 1995. It has been signed --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where do you see that in the English, Mr. Lukic?
14 MR. SAXON: Can we go forward one page, please. Maybe one more
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Now, on the 10th of January, 1995, who was General Mladic's
20 A. His superior was Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of
21 Republika Srpska, that is to say, the president of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. General Skrbic, in view of this period between 1997 and 2000 when
23 you were appointed as a stand-in for the 30th Personnel Centre
24 administration -- personnel administration of the General Staff, do you
25 know whether in that particular period any assessment of any general was
1 made whose service was terminated in the VRS and who were placed at the
2 disposal of the VJ? We saw your example and you testified about that in
3 response to Mr. Saxon's questions.
4 A. No, there were no such generals.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have finished with this document
6 and I have just a couple more questions before I finish with this
8 Q. Yesterday you provided facts relating to the activities of people
9 who were attending schooling during NATO bombing in the VJ. Can you tell
10 me, according to what you know, how many people were actively involved in
11 the war against NATO? And I'm talking about the persons who were
12 attending training and schooling at the time.
13 A. Yesterday, I told you the exact figure. There were 30 of them in
14 the staff school and ten of them in the national defence school. Only
15 Miro Skoric who had a prosthesis was not assigned to any task.
16 Q. Did you talk to these people before they departed? Did you have
17 any direct contact with them?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So they were willing to go to the war theatre in Kosovo?
20 MR. SAXON: Objection. Objection, that is an absolutely leading
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This was a slightly aggressive
24 reaction, if I might say, by Mr. Saxon which will lead me to rephrase my
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is an aggressively leading question, too. You
2 are going to the very heart of the issue with the witness.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You mentioned that you talked to General Talic. You said that at
5 page --
6 A. Yes, no need to quote the page, I did say that.
7 Q. Page 70. Which was the position of General Talic during the NATO
9 A. Chief of General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
10 Q. Why did you need to speak to him at the time? What was the
12 A. It was he who called me, Mr. Lukic.
13 Q. For what reason?
14 A. It was about what I said yesterday. The deployment of the
15 attendees of both schools, which I mentioned before, across the territory
16 of Serbia and Montenegro during the NATO air-strikes.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: While Mr. Lukic is paging through, you said you
18 talked to each one of these people who were attending the schools and the
19 military academy, what was their reaction to their deployment to the war
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, only Major Strugar
22 asked if we could stay for another two days. His daughter had high blood
23 sugar at the time, or rather, had diabetes, and then I told him, yes,
24 stick around for another two days and then report back to me. No one
25 else asked any questions whatsoever, they got on to that bus and were
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Rather, maybe after two days, what was
3 Mr. Strugar's reaction?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He reported back and was eventually
5 deployed. I can't remember where to though. It was in the VJ, that much
6 is certain.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. At page 70, you say you talked to General Talic and he said at
10 line 9, those who do not want to go to war should not even return here
11 once they are finished with their education. Did you convey to them
12 General Talic's position?
13 A. No, there was no need for me to do that.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
15 Mr. Skrbic, thank you very much. This completes my cross-examination.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic. Judge?
17 Questioned by the Court:
18 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Mr. Skrbic, I have a few questions
19 for you. Excuse me if I did not understand all the questions -- the
20 answers you provided to the numerous questions that were put to you.
21 First question, you are retired from what army?
22 A. I retired in the VJ, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] In other words, you never received
24 any retirement pension from the Republika Srpska?
25 A. That's right.
1 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Why not, by the way? How is it?
2 A. Your Honour, my status was always regulated within the VJ. At
3 the very end I worked with the federal defence ministry and that was
4 where my service was terminated. The FRY defence ministry, federal
5 defence ministry. That was where I retired from.
6 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] I can understand that, but
7 admittedly you could receive part of your pension from the VJ and the
8 rest from the VRS depending on the number of years you served in one or
9 the other army.
10 A. Yes, Your Honour, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Those
11 from the VRS gave us nothing.
12 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] It's true, it can be understood in
13 war time, but now that the war is over and Bosnia has its own resources,
14 it's rather difficult to understand that situation.
15 A. Your Honour, I too find it difficult to understand. I did
16 overhear something about them paying certain forms of compensation in
17 terms of pension in the VRS. Nevertheless, I never applied for these
18 supplements myself.
19 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Another question regarding your
20 work before you started serving in the VRS. So you collected a whole
21 series of newspaper articles, you were doing some kind of press review,
22 but destined to whom?
23 A. The Federal Secretary For All People's Defence. That was during
24 the SFRY. And the defence minister during the FRY, as well as all the
25 chiefs in the General Staffs.
1 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Earlier on you stated that one of
2 the problems you had with the local or international press was that the
3 information was not reliable and that there may have been a pinch of
4 propaganda in the information, that's how I understood what you said.
5 But you -- how did you know that the information you were
6 receiving was not good?
7 A. News would be compared to the actual events. We didn't ascertain
8 that in relation to every single piece of news. We did in relation to
9 some specific ones though.
10 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] In other words, you would receive
11 reports from other sources?
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] What kind of sources were they?
14 Were they journalists from Belgrade or was that military sources?
15 A. Military sources.
16 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] I see. When Serbia decided on an
17 embargo on the Republic of Bosnia in August 1994, that was then, wasn't
18 it, how long did it last roughly?
19 A. From the point of view of my men, the men that I was in charge
20 of, it went on for five months.
21 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] So for five months, the pay was
22 not paid?
23 A. That's right.
24 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] But did you keep receiving
25 ammunition, military equipment, petrol?
1 A. I don't know about that.
2 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Well, you are bound to know that.
3 Don't tell me you don't know that.
4 A. Your Honour, I was reckoning they blocked everything about the
5 personnel so there wouldn't be anything else happening, would there?
6 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Okay. Well, I find it hard to
7 believe that you only knew about what was happening within your own
8 department. But let's speak about it, your own department. So you were
9 the head of the department, the personnel department in the VRS, weren't
11 A. Yes, the personnel policy sector. That's what we called it.
12 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Sector, yes. During the events in
13 July 1995 in Srebrenica, you were based in Han Pijesak, weren't you?
14 A. That's right.
15 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] I guess you heard about what had
16 happened in Srebrenica rather quickly, didn't you?
17 A. Your Honour --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think I should -- I'm not saying
20 it's an objection. It's a comment. I think we should ask the witness to
21 leave. Your Honours, this is about what we said before the witness made
22 his appearance. If I --
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Skrbic, sorry about that. That's what often
25 happens in these situations. Do you think you can step out for two
1 minutes, please, and we'll call you just now.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I just say one
3 thing before I leave?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Skrbic.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for the answer to Madam Judge's
6 question, it is actually contained in my two statements. The statement
7 to Mr. McCloskey dated the 5th of May, 1995, the investigation stage.
8 And my statement to Mr. Nicholls in September 2007 during the actual
9 evidence that I gave. If that can be of any use whatsoever to you. As
10 long as that is understood, I would now like to leave the courtroom as
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine. Thank you very much. We don't have
13 those statements, so just give us a few moments, we'll call you back.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Before this evidence, Your Honours,
17 we discussed the position or status of Mr. Skrbic, in the OTP his status
18 as a suspect. I'm here to defend the interest of my own client
19 Mr. Perisic, and I'm in no way authorised in any way to interfere with
20 this. I don't know, Your Honours, why he is a suspect. The OTP refuse
21 to say. But before Judge Picard's question, I thought it might be a good
22 idea to ask you to caution Mr. Skrbic about his rights. I'm not his
23 counsel and I have no right to interfere but I thought it only fair of me
24 to raise that. Thank you.
25 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Let me reassure you, I was not
1 about to ask him a question that had to do with the specific events that
2 happy in Srebrenica. So I think he can be called back in. Safely but
3 called back in.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps my reaction was premature in
5 that case, but I believed at the time it was warranted given his
6 position. Thank you.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam usher, you can call the witness in.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Skrbic, I would like -- Mr. Registrar can
10 switch it on. We are going to talk about your position vis-a-vis the
11 Tribunal. Do you want us to go into private session or do you want us to
12 talk publicly?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In open session, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Skrbic, at the beginning of the trial before
15 you came into court, the Chamber was advised that you are a suspect
16 before the Tribunal. And that therefore before the question was put to
17 you, Mr. Lukic was concerned that you be warned about your rights against
18 self-incrimination. And that being the case, that there are certain
19 rights that you are entitled to, you can either insist on having a lawyer
20 advise you on whether to answer a question that's put to you if you feel
21 uncomfortable about it, or you may waive the right to have a lawyer and
22 decide for yourself whether it's a question you want to answer or not
23 want to answer. So I'm saying to you, the Judge is going to put the
24 question to you, you decide whether it's a question that you would like
25 to answer. I know you've told us that you have answered this question in
1 two statements that you have made to the OTP already, but the question
2 was not complete just yet, so listen to the question and take your time
3 to think about your rights. Thank you so much. Thank you, judge.
4 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Mr. Skrbic, I do not intend to ask
5 you anything about a possible participation in the events in Srebrenica.
6 I'm more interested in the information that was done later on after that
7 in Republika Srpska as to the events. I readily imagine that what had
8 happened was soon known within the army, wasn't it?
9 A. Daily information, Your Honour, was contained in daily combat
10 reports. Those daily combat reports were not available to me for
11 inspection because they never reached my sector.
12 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Nevertheless, the fact that the
13 events had occurred and the information that may have been conveyed
14 within the army about that, may it have been impact on the morale of the
15 troops on recruiting on possible requests to leave the VRS? Did soldiers
16 not try to leave then?
17 A. It's difficult for me to judge that, the specific topic that you
18 have addressed. Not all of the soldiers knew what had happened. Not in
19 those days.
20 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] So you did not see or perceive
21 that there was an increase in requests to leave the VRS then? Or just
22 after that?
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Now a total different question.
25 Are you a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
1 A. I used to be. It was called citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
2 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That was the exact title
3 of my nationality.
4 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] What I mean to say is that you
5 were born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, weren't you?
6 A. Yes, that's right, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] When the war started in Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, were you a volunteer? Did you volunteer to serve in the
9 army of the Bosnian Serbs?
10 A. When the war started, Your Honour, I received an order that I
11 told you about. The order was not carried out because my own chief
12 General Vuk Obradovic stepped in to see that didn't happen.
13 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] I understood that. I understood
14 that you were ordered to leave and that eventually only left one year
15 later. But my question was whether you immediately volunteered to go?
16 We were told indeed that many JNA military and VJ military volunteered to
17 go without having received the order to go first?
18 A. I merely expressed my desire to my chief, General Vuk Obradovic.
19 He then told me that at the time I should not be considering that. The
20 next time I went of my own accord, Your Honour. On the 17th of December,
22 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Very well. No further questions.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just one question, Mr. Skrbic. This is a question
25 that Mr. Lukic had promised to attend to on the 16th of June and he never
1 did. You gave testimony on that day, and unfortunately I'm not able to
2 give you a page reference, to the effect that the Main Staff of the VRS
3 changed to General Staff of the VRS at some stage. I would like to know
4 when that took place.
5 A. Your Honour, late in 1996.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see. Long after the war was over?
7 A. That's right.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. I have no further questions.
9 Mr. Lukic -- I beg your pardon. Yes, Mr. Lukic, any re-examination --
10 examination arising from the questions by the Bench?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, just to specify one thing, the
12 answer given by the witness at page 51 to Judge Picard when she asked him
13 about the period of Srebrenica.
14 Further cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Then after that when the soldiers were trying
16 to leave the arrest, line 19, the witness said he didn't know that that
17 was the case, at least as far as I can tell. He said in those days and
18 then my question, all of us here know that this was mid-July 1995. What
19 about the following period leading up to the end of war, were there any
20 en masse departures by officers, NCOs, or soldiers from the VRS?
21 A. There were departures but not on a massive scale.
22 Q. The English suggests that this wasn't on a massive scale. When
23 you say not a lot, I understand why the interpreters did what they did,
24 but can you [indiscernible] this for us in relative terms. We know the
25 figures above the rest of the war and what about from this point on, what
1 was the comparison between earlier and later?
2 A. Mr. Lukic, the VRS was about 200.000 strong at the time, but who
3 exactly do you mean? Active duty servicemen, contractual servicemen,
4 civilians working for the army, forgive me for I am unable to understand.
5 It was a little bit in each of these categories, nevertheless, in my
6 answer I was quite specific, not that many.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Skrbic, did you say 200.000 or 300.000.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said 200.000, Your Honour, about
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No further questions, thank you very
11 much, Mr. Skrbic.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Saxon.
13 MR. SAXON: No questions, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Mr. Skrbic, finally we've got
15 to the end of your testimony. Thank you so much for taking all the time
16 to come and testify in the Tribunal. You've been here for a very long
17 time and I'm sure you must be yearning to go back home taking time from
18 your very busy schedule, and for that the Tribunal appreciates your
19 contribution. You are now excused, you may stand down and please travel
20 well back home.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you Mr. Skrbic.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to call our next witness
1 who will be led by Mr. Guy-Smith. With your approval, I would like to
2 leave the courtroom to say -- to bid farewell to Mr. Skrbic. Before his
3 testimony he told us that he had just become a grandfather and that's why
4 he is eager to go back home as soon as possible. I would like to
5 congratulate him and bid him farewell. Thank you.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers] ... you can give him our
7 congratulations too.
8 Mr. Guy-Smith.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, Mr. Guy-Smith. Yes.
10 MR. GUY-SMITH: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Our next witness
11 will be Dragan Vuksic - last name V-u-k-s-i-c; first name Dragan,
12 D-r-a-g-a-n, who I believe the usher is going to collect at this moment.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please make the declaration.
15 Madam usher, could you ask the witness to please stand up and make the
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. The witness may be seated.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, sir.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon and thank you.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. I hand you over to
24 Mr. Guy-Smith, counsel for the Defence.
25 WITNESS: DRAGAN VUKSIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Examination by Mr. Guy-Smith:
3 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Vuksic.
4 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Guy-Smith.
5 Q. I'm going to be asking you a series of questions. If during the
6 time that I ask you any questions you have any difficulty with the
7 question because I've asked it poorly or for any other reason you have
8 some misunderstanding, please stop me because I want to make sure that
9 you are clear about what I'm asking and the Chamber is clear about what
10 your answers are, if you are agreeable to that.
11 A. Yes, I am agreeable to that, and thank you very much for giving
12 me the opportunity to ask for any clarifications.
13 Q. My pleasure, sir. Before we start, I understand that you also
14 were conversant in the English language?
15 A. Well, I don't like to brag, I'd rather say that in the past in
16 order to perform some tasks, I could use English. However, time went by,
17 I'm not getting any younger, and I would say that what I used to be able
18 to do and what I used to know in the past has in the meantime been
19 reduced somewhat.
20 Q. Very well. The reason I'm raising the issue with you, sir, is
21 since I'm speaking English and you also have the benefit of somebody who
22 is speaking B/C/S, I want to make sure that there's no confusion and
23 would ask that you wait until you get the translation of my questions and
24 the questions of anybody else so that you are clear about the matters
25 that are being put to you. And if we could agree to that, that would be
1 of some help as we proceed.
2 A. Yes, I am agreeable to the procedure. I'm sure that it is much
3 better and safer for me, although, I must admit that there is a danger
4 for me to slip into English inadvertently, and I apologise in advance if
5 that happens.
6 Q. I promise you that I won't be slipping into Serbian because I
7 don't know enough and wish that I did.
8 Can you please tell us when you were born, sir?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we perhaps just for the record that the
10 witness himself places his name on the record.
11 MR. GUY-SMITH:
12 Q. Absolutely, could you place your name on the record as Judge
13 Moloto has suggested?
14 A. Thank you. My name is Dragan Vuksic. I was born on the 31st of
15 October, 1945 in a village called Vuksici which used to be the
16 municipality of Radatovici and that was then and it is still now in the
17 Republic of Croatia.
18 Q. Now, when you were born in the village of Vuksici in the
19 municipality of Radatovici, what country was the Republic of Croatia in,
20 if you know?
21 A. At that time, Croatia was part of the so-called People's Republic
22 of Yugoslavia. I'm not sure that that was the state's exact title at the
23 time. I believe that it was the official name of Yugoslavia immediately
24 after the war and for some time after the war, for a number of years
25 after the war. Actually, I am not sure that it's a full title already
1 comprised of the word federative as it would be later known.
2 Q. And at present, and by that I mean today, is the village in which
3 you were born in that same country that it was at the time when you were
5 A. Yes, Vuksici and Radatovici and the entire area known as Zumberak
6 was an area that was at the time and still is part of Croatia which was
7 one of the six republics of former Yugoslavia.
8 Q. Perhaps you didn't hear my question or perhaps I phrased it
9 badly. Today --
10 A. Yes, yes. Yesterday, yesterday, it is in the Republic of
11 Croatia. Vuksici and Radatovici are both in the Republic of Croatia.
12 Q. I understand that, Mr. Vuksic. My question is, is it in the same
13 country, not republic but country.
14 A. Now I understand your question, you are interested in the state.
15 And if I may add to my answer and say that the place where I was born is
16 no longer part of the state where I was born, it is now part of the state
17 known as the Republic of Croatia.
18 Q. Thank you very much. And I apologise for not using the word
19 state and using the word country instead. Could you tell us, if you
20 know, when the place that you were born no longer became part of the
21 state, and by that I mean the date, if you know?
22 A. I really would not be able to give you a precise answer to your
23 question. I believe that nobody would be in a position to answer your
24 question precisely. What I'm saying is this: The process of the
25 dissolution of the state which was known as the Socialist Federative
1 Republic of Yugoslavia was long, it was a lengthy process, and it would
2 be very difficult to say when the crisis started, when the state started
3 to break up. And it is all equally difficult to say when the crisis
4 ended or rather, when the process to break up Yugoslavia was over and
5 that I have my own opinion on all that, and I'm sure that everybody else
6 whose state Yugoslavia was also have their own opinions. However, there
7 are some relevant dates which mean something to everybody. For example,
8 the Republic of Croatia was recognised as an independent state on the
9 23rd of December, 1991, by the Federal Republic of Germany.
10 Q. Let me stop you there for a minute. And actually, before we go
11 any further, let me warn you as well as myself, if you could keep your
12 answers a bit crisper, I think that we both will be in better shape. If
13 not, I think what will happen is that we may actually either lose our
14 listeners or annoy them, neither of which I would like to do. So if you
15 could focus with me on the questions that I ask and the answers given, I
16 would appreciate it. Just as a little thought. All right.
17 A. I'm sorry if I have not been succinct and precise. However, the
18 question that you put to me is very important, and I really can't tell
19 you when the area where I was born stopped being a part of the former
20 state. I can't give you a date. I can't even give you a month --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me. If you are not able to answer a
22 question, just say I don't know, or I'm not able to answer that question
23 and stop there. Okay. That's what the lawyer is asking you to do.
24 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm not sure how long we are --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, that's the time. Whether it's convenient
1 for you, it's another matter.
2 MR. GUY-SMITH: This is convenient.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll take a break and come back at quarter to
4 6.00. Court adjourned.
5 --- Recess taken at 5.14 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Guy-Smith.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. I'm going to move away from the question that I asked you
10 concerning the establishment of Croatia as a state for the moment. We
11 will return to that at a later point in time, but I'd like to get
12 somewhere down the road, if we could, and I'd like to discuss with you
13 your education, and specifically in that regard your military career.
14 So, could you tell us when you first became involved with the military?
15 A. I started serving in the military as an officer on the 27th of
16 September, 1967. After having completed military academy of the land
17 army. Before that, I was a cadet, which also implies that I was a
18 soldier in the general sense of that term from the 20th September, 1994,
19 until the 27th September, 1997, as I've already told you.
20 Q. I notice the day that you've put in here is 1994, is that
21 correct? As a cadet?
22 A. No, no. I'd like to correct myself, I misspoke. The year is
23 1964. And I graduated from the academy in 1967.
24 Q. Very well. And after you started your service as a military
25 officer on the 27th of September, 1967, what I'd like to do is I'd like
1 to go through briefly with you, if we could, the post that you held up
2 until your ultimate retirement, which I believe you are retired. I'm
3 assuming a fact that's presently not in evidence, so let me take care of
4 that first. Are you presently serving in the military, Mr. Vuksic?
5 A. No, I've been retired since 1999.
6 Q. Very well. So if we could starting in 1967, if we could briefly
7 obtain a survey of the duties that you held and the posts that you held
8 from 1967 up until your retirement in 1997?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it until 1997 or 1999?
10 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm sorry, you are correct, 1999.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My first posting was as a platoon
12 commander. I served in Delnice, a town in Croatia. I remained there
13 only a few months, and then I was transferred to Karlovac.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Guy-Smith please turn his microphone
15 off, thank you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And in Karlovac I was an acting
17 company commander for a year. Then I was transferred to Sarajevo. I was
18 a platoon commander in the reserve officer school for three years until
20 MR. GUY-SMITH:
21 Q. Let me stop you there just for a moment. The positions that you
22 held during this period of time were in what army, sir?
23 A. Of course, all that was in the Yugoslav People's Army.
24 Q. Thank you. You may continue.
25 A. And in 1971, I received an order to report to the 2nd
1 Administration of the General Staff of the Yugoslav People's Army. To
2 clarify, that was the intelligence administration. However, at the time
3 I didn't know that the 2nd Administration was the intelligence
4 administration, or rather that the intelligence administration was the
5 2nd ranking administration in the General Staff. And that was not a big
6 mistake on my part.
7 And then as an officer affiliated with the 2nd Administration, I
8 was part of the military mission in Austria from 1973 to 1976. After
9 that for a year I served as a commander of reconnaissance company unit in
10 Belgrade, and that was the 1st Guards Division, if that means anything to
11 anybody. And after that I served in the department for liaison with
12 foreign military representatives from 1977 up until 1984.
13 Q. Let me stop you there. Once again, if you could, sir, could you
14 tell us what army you were serving in during that period of time?
15 A. It was still the Yugoslav People's Army, understandably.
16 Q. Thank you. You may proceed.
17 A. In 1984, I wanted to complete my education and I asked to be
18 transferred to the armed forces centre for strategic studies and
19 research. At the time it was a scientific institution. I started
20 studying war doctrine. It was a post-graduate study of war doctrine. As
21 a member of that --
22 Q. Let me stop you there for a minute, if I could, please. When you
23 said that you wanted to complete your education, what education were you
24 in the process of attempting to complete at that time?
25 A. I wanted to complete my military education. However, I wanted
1 that to be done from the military and political perspective, and if that
2 is of any importance, at the time I already started being mystified about
3 some phenomena in the society developments concerning the position of the
4 military in the state, the relationship between the military and the
5 politics, and I thought that if I just continued with my routine, with my
6 job, I would not be able to grasp the situation and to understand it
7 better. And I think that I was absolutely right in thinking that because
8 already in 1986, from the then position at the centre, whose name I
9 mentioned earlier on, I became a member of the delegation of the
10 Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 Q. Let me stop you there, sir. You indicated that you were
12 transferred to the armed forces centre for strategic studies in research
13 in 1984, and at that time it was a scientific institution. When I think
14 of science, I think of chemistry and biology, I think of hard sciences,
15 and if you could clarify for us what you mean here by the term, "a
16 scientific institution," I would be most appreciative.
17 A. It was an institution for education and continuous education. It
18 was an institution that provided education to civilians who occupied
19 certain positions who were earmarked to perform important jobs in crisis
20 situations or in war time. They would come for six-month educational
21 stints in that centre. Within that centre, there was also a unit where I
22 worked, and that was the institute for strategic research where the
23 military and political reality in the world and around us was
24 contemplated with a view to finding our own position in that world. And
25 that's a place where certain tasks were carried out with this regard. In
1 other words, it was a military scientific institution.
2 Q. I understand now what you mean, or I better understand now what
3 you mean. You indicated that the strategic research that was done was
4 responding to the military and political reality in the world, and you
5 contemplated a view to finding our own position in that world. When you
6 are talking about our own position, whose position are you referring to,
7 sir? What army are you referring to?
8 A. Obviously I'm talking about military and political relations and
9 when it comes to the military, that part concerned our own jobs, our own
10 profession, and political, obviously implies that everything we do in the
11 world has political significance. I'm now sharing with you my own
12 thoughts because I found it very difficult as a human being and as a
13 soldier to think along the lines of my superior, whoever that may have
14 been. I always thought it from the position that I had joined the
15 Yugoslav People's Army voluntarily, that that was my own military, that I
16 was a citizen of a state that I loved, and that when it came to relations
17 in the world, primarily military and political relations in the world,
18 and the position of my own state and my own military, I always had to
19 uphold my own opinion, an opinion that I --
20 Q. I understand that you have a fair number of opinions and I
21 promise you during the course of our discussion we will be exploring
22 those opinions. What I'd like to do now just for the moment is
23 understand how long were you at this particular institute? And by that,
24 how many years or months were you there before you moved to your next
1 A. I started working at the centre for strategic research and
2 studies, i.e., in the institute for strategic research within the centre
3 sometime in September 1984. In the meantime, from November 1986 until
4 August, July or August, I'm not quite sure, 1988, I was a member of the
5 delegation, as I already started to explain, of the SFRY, that attended
6 the conference on the European co-operation and security, which was held
7 in Vienna. I would like to add --
8 Q. Excuse me --
9 A. -- that this conference on the European security and
10 co-operation, later was renamed organisation of the security and
11 co-operation in Europe. As a member of the delegation in Vienna, I
12 received a message from Belgrade to return to my country because pursuant
13 to an order of my superior officer, I was transferred to the officer of
14 Veljko Kadijevic, colonel-general, who was --
15 Q. I'm going to stop you there.
16 A. Who was the secretary for national defence at the time.
17 Q. When you went in 1988 as a member of the delegation involved in
18 the conference on the European co-operation and security in Vienna, what
19 was your purpose, and by that I mean why did you go to that particular
20 conference? What were your responsibilities and duties?
21 A. If you allow me, Mr. Guy-Smith, I'd like to say that I became a
22 member of the delegation in, I think, November of 1986. Not in 1988 as
23 you just said.
24 Q. Thank you for correcting me in that regard. With regard to your
25 duties and obligations, what were those, sir?
1 A. The centre of the armed forces for strategic research and studies
2 was considered to be a scientific institution and that it would be best
3 placed to follow and monitor new developments in Europe and in the world.
4 The meetings on the European security and operation had a different set
5 of the topics, one of them was building measures, confidence building
6 measures for co-operation. As a member of this institute, I was
7 appointed a member of this delegation, and I believe that my superior had
8 noticed that I had certain knowledge in that particular field, which I
9 had not acquired in a regular manner because nobody asked me about that,
10 but I rather believe that what was going on and what was happening at
11 this conference on co-operation and security in Europe was something that
12 the majority of people around me were not able to comprehend.
13 Q. Let me stop you there. I understand what your view is of what
14 was occurring. My question to you is, what were your duties with regard
15 to this specific conference?
16 A. I had the status of a member of the delegation and that of a
17 military advisor as well. That was the customary procedure applied by
18 all member states of the conference. Only some major countries had more
19 members that constituted a whole military team. For example, such big
20 countries like the USA, Russia, France, and Germany had their military
21 teams that were at the disposal of the head of their respective
22 delegations. So my role was to advise the head of the delegation and to
23 act as a military representative whenever it was necessary and customary.
24 When I say customary, I don't think that it was something strictly
25 prescribed, but it meant that there shouldn't be any significant
1 deviations from the practices pursued by other countries and states.
2 Q. With regard to this specific conference before you were ordered,
3 as you mentioned a bit earlier, to return to Belgrade, did you make
4 contacts with representatives from other foreign delegations such as the
5 ones you've mentioned just a moment ago, United States, Russia, France,
6 and Germany? And all I'm asking you is whether you made contact with
7 them, nothing more, nothing less.
8 A. Yes. We had regular contacts during the sessions and we had
9 similar contacts on various Working Groups. However, the most important
10 talks at the time, at least in my mind, were the talks held within the
11 group that were called at the time neutral and non-aligned countries. We
12 represented a group of countries. And another group were NATO members
13 and the third group were members of the Warsaw Pact.
14 Q. Let me interrupt. As you sit here today, can you tell us who
15 were the members of the -- who were the NATO members?
16 A. The NATO members were, of course, members of NATO. There were 16
17 of them at the time, and NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty
19 Q. Were you part of that group? Were you part of the NATO members?
20 A. No, we were not.
21 Q. Which part were you a member of?
22 A. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was in the group of
23 neutral and non-aligned countries. Our partners in that group, just for
24 the sake of illustration, were, for example, Sweden, Finland -- I think
25 my mike is off. I think --
1 Q. We can hear you.
2 A. Okay. So Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Malta, Cyprus,
3 the whole east sea, San Marino, Lichtenstein, and I apologise if I've
4 forgot some of them.
5 MR. GUY-SMITH: Is there a problem, Your Honour?
6 Q. You mentioned a third group, you also mentioned a third group,
7 those were the Warsaw Pact members. As you sit here today, can you
8 recall who was involved at that time representing the Warsaw Pact?
9 A. The Warsaw Pact was represented and led, first of all, by the
10 USSR, and it included Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Democratic Republic of
11 Germany, the so-called east Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, and I think
12 that's about that.
13 Q. You mentioned that, if I understood your evidence thus far
14 correctly, but at some point in time while you were at the conference or
15 close to that point in time you were ordered to return to Belgrade and to
16 become part of a group with Mr. Kadijevic, is that correct? And I do
17 apologise for the leading, question, Mr. Thomas, I understand that it is
19 A. Yes, your question is not a leading one. I already said that I
20 reported to this body, which was called the office of the federal
21 secretary for national defence. I think that was in May or June 1998,
22 and at that time Colonel-General Kadijevic was the secretary and his
23 predecessor was Branko Mamula.
24 Q. Let me make sure that we're correct on the dates. The
25 translation indicates it was May or June of 1998. Is that an accurate
1 date, 1998?
2 A. Yes, I don't know exactly when this replacement was carried out,
3 and I'm talking about the secretary for national defence.
4 Q. My concern is the date of 1998 and whether that's an accurate
5 reflection of the time that you were called back to work with
6 Lieutenant-Colonel Kadijevic or not?
7 A. I apologise, I'm probably thinking about all these years when
8 these things were happening with Yugoslavia. But this was in 1988, of
10 Q. Thank you. Now, you indicated that you were called back to the
11 office for the federal secretary for national defence. Now, was that a
12 civilian office, a military office, under whose jurisdiction was that
13 office, if you know.
14 A. It was a military institution directly subordinated to the
15 federal secretary for national defence. At the time serving in this
16 office were only professional servicemen, commissioned and
17 non-commissioned officers. Civilian posts were filled by a number of
18 individuals doing the so-called technical or administrative jobs.
19 Q. And when you were called back to work with Lieutenant-Colonel
20 Kadijevic what were your duties?
21 A. He was colonel-general, that's what Mr. Kadijevic was at the
22 time, colonel-general.
23 Q. Thank you. And what were your duties when you were called back
24 to work with Colonel-General Kadijevic?
25 A. I became an advisor for liaisons with the west. That meant with
1 the western countries, and for the sake of clarity, let me tell you that
2 those were the countries popularly called at the time capitalist
3 countries whereas today they would be dubbed as western democracies.
4 Q. Since you've used that particular term, they were called
5 capitalist countries, was the country that you harkened from a capitalist
6 county or was it some other form of politicals or economic reality?
7 A. The primary designation that is contained in the name of my
8 country, which was called Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, meant
9 that this country had a single party system and a socialist system
10 including in the sphere of economy, that is to say the system was
11 organised in a socialist way which governed all the relations including
12 economic ones.
13 Q. And when you say it governed all the relations including the
14 economic ones, did that include the military?
15 A. Yes, including the military. In the then Yugoslavia, these
16 relations and the structure in the military were organised in the way
17 that was employed in the so-called socialist country to the extent that
18 the then Yugoslavia did not differ from the so-called classic socialist
19 countries. In other words, that meant the countries that were members of
20 the Warsaw Pact. However, there were differences.
21 Q. Okay. We don't need to explore those differences at this time,
22 but were there differences to your knowledge, based upon the experience
23 that you had had by that time with western or capitalist countries as it
24 related to the military?
25 A. If I understood your question correctly, there were differences,
1 and I'm going to give you perhaps the most important one. The weapon
2 stockpiles held by the Yugoslav People's Army consisted of the equipment
3 and weapon procured from the Soviet Union, the very fact that we had
4 weapons and military equipment either received or bought from the western
5 countries speaks for itself. What I mean by this is that we had never
6 been a classic socialist country. If we had been one, then we would have
7 been a member of the Warsaw Pact. That opportunity came up in 1948, but
8 fortunately, that did not materialise.
9 Q. You've just mentioned something in your last answer which I'd
10 like to explore with you for a minute, which is, you said "the very fact
11 that we had weapons and military equipment, either received or bought
12 from the western countries speaks for itself." First of all, I'd like to
13 see if we have some understanding here with regard to what you mean by
14 military equipment that was purchased from western countries. Could you
15 identify for us at that point in time what western countries you were
16 involved in military purchases for weapons with? And by that point in
17 time, I'm referring to 1988?
18 A. First of all, there were weapons and equipment that originated
19 from the west. Maybe this is an imprecise term but it is well known and
20 we received these stockpiles after the Second World War. These
21 stockpiles included tanks, armoured vehicles, personnel carriers, and
22 other things. However, after 1948 when the relations with the Soviet
23 Union became sour and when Yugoslavia became isolated from those quarters
24 and was exposed to pressure, it was very seriously attempted to attract
25 Yugoslavia to the west and for it to become a member of the NATO. That
1 did not happen. However, we concluded a treaty with Greece and Turkey
2 who were NATO members which meant that in the event of an aggression from
3 the east, these countries would be co-operating with us. In that sense,
4 the US gave us, or rather, delivered at favourable prices modern
5 equipment and military materiel. That happened in the period between
6 1952 and 1956. If it is of any significance, I might say that they gave
7 us Sherman and patent tanks and even some supersonic aircraft. So by
8 using one of those aircraft, General Lekic was the first to break the
9 sound barrier over Yugoslavia. He flew from the airfield in Batajnica,
10 and we were very proud of that fact.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Guy-Smith, if I may just ask, I'm not quite
12 sure where we are going with all this. We've been at this topic for
13 quite a long time. I'm not sure where you are going with it.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: I understand.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's so far --
16 MR. GUY-SMITH: I understand, Your Honour. I mean, I didn't
17 expect to be back in 1956, I'm interested -- I find it to be interesting
18 to note when someone broke the sound barrier, however, I think--
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Certain things are very interesting historically,
20 but you've got a job to do.
21 MR. GUY-SMITH: I think you and I are in agreement.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
23 MR. GUY-SMITH:
24 Q. I'd like to move you forward to 1900 -- and we were in 1988 and
25 I'd like to go to your next responsibility.
1 A. From my position in the office of the federal secretary for
2 national defence, in March of 1992, I was transferred because of the need
3 of the service to the operations group for liaisons with international
4 forces and missions. I remained in this post and I was first a deputy
5 and later on I became assistant chief.
6 Q. Now, I had like to stop you there for a moment. You said that
7 you were transferred to that position in March of 1992. What were your
8 duties at that time in March of 1992 with regard to liaisons with
9 international forces and missions? First of all, if you could identify
10 what international forces, that would be of some help.
11 A. I carried out these duties in the office of the federal secretary
12 but the scope of this work suddenly increased as the crisis became more
13 acute, and the participation of the international community --
14 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Vuksic, once again my question is, could you
15 identify for us the specific international forces that you were dealing
16 with at that time? When you say international forces, who are you
17 referring to?
18 A. I'm referring to international representatives, international
19 missions, and international forces. International representatives were
20 representatives of all international organisations that were involved in
21 the Yugoslav crises. At the time, it was the European community, the
22 United Nations, and NATO indirectly. First there was a monitoring
23 mission of the European community which arrived after the conflict in
24 Slovenia in the then Yugoslavia. Also OSCE played a significant role as
1 Q. Let me stop you there. When you indicated there was a monitoring
2 mission of the European community which arrived after the conflict in
3 Slovenia, could you kindly give us an approximate date as to when that
4 particular monitoring mission arrived?
5 A. I can't remember a specific date because I don't know which would
6 be day one, however, already towards the end of July the conflict, which
7 was over in the meantime, produced certain consequences and eventually
8 the withdrawal of the JNA and all these processes were monitored by the
9 EC monitoring mission. So we can say that it happened in mid-July.
10 Q. Stop you there then. Let me stop you there then, please. You
11 indicated that the conflict which was over in the meantime produced
12 certain consequences and eventually the withdrawal of the JNA. My
13 question to you is, from what geographic regions did the JNA withdraw
14 from? And I'm asking you very specifically what regions did they
15 withdraw from?
16 A. At the time it withdrew from Slovenia.
17 Q. After the JNA withdrew from Slovenia, did it withdraw from any
18 other areas in the, what I will now call for the moment the -- what I'll
19 now call for the moment the former SFRY? Were there any specific regions
20 that it withdrew from or republics or states or geographic areas?
21 A. Following the clashes in the second half of 1991 and thanks to
22 the mediation of the CMM, the JNA withdrew from the remaining garrisons
23 across Croatia.
24 Q. Apart from withdrawing from the remaining garrisons across
25 Croatia, did the JNA withdraw from any other regions, areas, republics,
1 states, or geographic locations?
2 A. At the time back in 1991, the JNA still had a presence in the
3 other republics, meaning Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and
4 Macedonia. It is understood that it also had a presence in Serbia.
5 Q. Did there come a time when the JNA's presence in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina changed?
7 A. Following quite dramatic developments, the JNA was to withdraw
8 from Bosnia-Herzegovina by the 19th of May, 1992. Nevertheless, there
9 were several garrisons in Bosnia-Herzegovina that had been blocked by
10 armed units organised by Muslims and Croats to be as clear as possible.
11 Q. To your knowledge, were these several garrisons successful in
12 withdrawing from Bosnia-Herzegovina after they had been -- as I
13 understand it, after they had been blocked by the unit that is you've
14 mentioned organised by the Muslims and the Croats?
15 A. Not a single withdrawal went smoothly without causing trouble and
16 headaches. It was all on the verge of armed conflict all the time.
17 Suffice it for us now to mention two. The withdrawal from Tuzla and the
18 withdrawal of the command of the 2nd Army Military District from
19 Sarajevo. When tragic developments occurred because the JNA was attacked
20 in the process.
21 Q. With regard to the withdrawal of Tuzla, do you recall the date of
22 that withdrawal in terms of the way that you've put it, the tragic
23 developments that occurred?
24 A. I can't remember the date.
25 Q. Can you tell the Chamber if you know what occurred at the time
1 the JNA was withdrawing from Tuzla and it was attacked?
2 A. The JNA convoy was in the process of withdrawing and was on its
3 way through the city of Tuzla. This was a route that had been
4 pre-agreed. They were following all the steps that had been agreed, and
5 all of a sudden --
6 Q. Let me stop you there. You say this has been pre-agreed. By
7 whom was it pre-agreed?
8 A. It was agreed by, as far as I know, representatives of the local
9 authorities, meaning the mayor of Tuzla, in the simplest of terms, and at
10 least the garrison commander, a general at the time, but the agreement
11 could not have been concluded without the presence of the ECMM.
12 Q. And when you say "ECMM," could you please identify those letters
13 for us so we know what they mean, so we are using the actual name as
14 opposed to an acronym?
15 A. The monitoring mission, you mean. The European Community
16 Monitoring Mission. That was the official name.
17 Q. Thank you. You said that the JNA convoy was in the process of
18 withdrawing and was on its way through the city of Tuzla, this was the
19 route that had been pre-agreed. What occurred?
20 A. As I said, the convoy came under attack. One of those
21 responsible stood trial before a Belgrade court. I can't say how many
22 casualties there were, those wounded and killed, because as a rule I do
23 my best to forget information like that as quickly as I can regardless of
24 the origin of the victims. I don't consider that to be particularly
25 important, nor is it something that I wish to memorise.
1 Q. Very well. You indicated there was another incident that was a
2 withdrawal by the JNA from Sarajevo. Do you recall when that occurred?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When was that?
5 A. On the 6th of May, 1992.
6 Q. What happened?
7 A. It occurred on Dobrovoljacka Street. An agreement had been
8 reached with UNPROFOR who were already present in the area. The Sarajevo
9 UNPROFOR command.
10 Q. Sorry, I need to interrupt you there. This is the first time
11 that you've mentioned UNPROFOR. Could you please tell us who you are
12 referring to when you say "UNPROFOR?"
13 A. Yes. I failed to complete my previous answer. When I said that
14 I was working with certain delegates and representatives of certain
15 missions and forces, when I said mission, I said the ECMM, represented by
16 individuals who came on behalf of certain organisations. When I said
17 forces, I meant the United Nations Protection Force, UNPROFOR, the
18 protection force of the UN.
19 Q. Okay. So you indicated an agreement had been reached with
20 UNPROFOR who were already present in the area, the Sarajevo UNPROFOR
21 command. And who was that agreement, if you know, reached between; the
22 UNPROFOR and what other institution, organisation, state, or political or
23 military body?
24 A. Between the Muslim side on the one hand, the JNA on the other,
25 and on behalf of UNPROFOR, the whole process was monitored and the
1 withdrawal was brokered by the then Chief of Staff of UNPROFOR, General
2 MacKenzie, a Canadian.
3 Q. Okay. I know I interrupted you to get some more specific
4 information, but I had asked you earlier what happened on the 6th of May,
5 1992 on Dobrovoljacka Street, if you could tell the Chamber?
6 A. Yes. This event is also something that is being considered and
7 reviewed by the Belgrade court. Commissioned officers and NCOs numbering
8 among their ranks no more than a few privates from the military district
9 command in Sarajevo suddenly came under attack, from all sides. Those
10 men were quite literally massacred. Although as I said I'm not fond of
11 remembering figures of that kind, I believe a total of 46 men were
12 killed. One of those who were seriously wounded was a Muslim general.
13 Q. And who was that, if you remember?
14 A. I'm unable to recall the name. Nevertheless, I knew the man.
15 Q. When you say he was a Muslim general, he was a Muslim general in
16 what army?
17 A. He was still a member of the JNA. He was serving with the
18 command of the 2nd Military District in Sarajevo. He was a Muslim and
19 this fact at the very least shows that the JNA at the time were still a
20 multiethnic army. It also shows that there may have been the occasional
21 Serb on the other side, such as the former colonel Jovan Divjak.
22 Q. After this incident on the 6th of May, 1992, were the remaining
23 officers and soldiers who were still alive, able to withdraw from the
24 area as had been agreed?
25 A. Yes. The wounded and killed had to be taken care of in Sarajevo
1 itself. As for the remainder of the convoy, it had by this time already
2 crossed the bridge that at the time divided the two warring sides, the
3 Muslim and the Serb.
4 Q. Go ahead. Go ahead.
5 A. Alija Izetbegovic had already been released. He was the Muslim
6 leader at the time in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. This was a condition for the convoy of the 2nd Military District
9 Command to be allowed to peacefully pass through. Once the convoy had
10 crossed the bridge which at the time served as an informal confrontation
11 line, and once Alija Izetbegovic had been released, which means that
12 under the circumstances, the Serbian side was complying with everything
13 that had been agreed, and in the plain view of General MacKenzie, the
14 convoy came under attack. The remainder travelled on in a more or less
15 organised manner until they could cross to Serb-held territory, territory
16 that at the time was under the control of the Serb side.
17 Q. Let me ask you this: At that point in time what was your
18 function? Were you still involved in the job as a liaison with the
19 international organisations and institutions that you've previously
21 A. If you look at what I've said already, you can tell that I was
22 the deputy head of the operative group for liaising with international
23 missions and organisations. Not a liaison officer. And yes, I was
24 informed about that, about what had happened.
25 Q. With regard to the incident that you've just mentioned, did you
1 have any conversations and/or contact with members of UNPROFOR or any
2 other international organisations concerning those two incidents?
3 A. I must say this occurred quite unexpectedly and in such a
4 dreadful way. As a result, we were all appalled.
5 Q. I understand that. My question is once again -- excuse me, sir.
6 My question is really quite specific. Did you have any conversations
7 and/or contact with members of UNPROFOR or any other international
8 organisations concerning those two incidents?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What contact did you have?
11 A. Those were regular contacts, but those never occurred just for
12 their own sake. Those weren't meetings that were strictly about making
13 contact. There are reasons for that. My rank within the hierarchy was
14 too low at the time for me to be the person shedding light on incidents
15 such as this one. The discontent that I voiced during my conversations
16 with these representatives was a mere addition to things that were
17 happening at a higher level. Speaking of the Sarajevo incident, General
18 MacKenzie himself was unable to explain at the time how something like
19 that could possibly have come about. Later on, in his book of memoirs, I
20 don't remember reading anything he wrote about that. I do however, know
21 that he was extremely critical when he wrote about the side that carried
22 out the attack on the JNA convoy.
23 Q. I understand that. After these incidents occurred and you had,
24 as you told us, voiced your discontent in conversations that you had with
25 representatives, did you continue in your position within the JNA as a
1 liaison -- I'm sorry, in your position with the JNA involving -- being
2 involved in liaising with the international organisations that you
3 referred to?
4 A. Yes, I remained in that position. The operative group continued
5 to do its job under circumstances that were very difficult and now
6 changed. The UNPROFOR command because of all the attacks had to move
7 from Sarajevo to Belgrade.
8 Q. I have a question for you here, which is, when the JNA -- after
9 the JNA withdrew from Sarajevo, did you remain as an officer in the JNA,
10 did you become part of another army, was there a change or not?
11 A. No. There was no change. I remained in my position as chief of
12 the operative group, and I was still a member of the JNA. No longer in a
13 formal sense though, because on the 27th of April, it had changed its
14 name and was now called the Army of the FRY. From the 27th on, I was a
15 member of the VJ, which was now it's official name until the FRY ceased
16 to exist.
17 Q. I have a question for you and I'm hoping you can help us. You
18 indicated that you were part of, I believe, the army which was at that
19 point called the SSNO. There was one entire army. And I'm going back
20 now to 1988. Now, when --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Guy-Smith --
22 MR. GUY-SMITH: It's a badly framed question. I'll redo the
23 whole thing, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: And the whole question of SSNO, where does that
25 come from?
1 MR. GUY-SMITH: It comes from my head. It's in my head.
2 Q. When you became a member of the VJ, as opposed to when you were
3 part of the JNA, was the military structure of the VJ and the JNA in
4 terms of the entirety of defence, military defence, the same? If you
5 understand my question, which once again may be badly phrased.
6 A. If I may, Mr. Guy-Smith, small correction. The SSNO is not an
7 army. It's the Federal Secretariat for the National Defence. The army
8 at the time was the JNA.
9 Q. When you say that the SSNO is not an army, it's a Federal
10 Secretariat for the National Defence, what institutional organs comprised
11 the Federal Secretariat for the National Defence?
12 A. The Federal Secretariat for the National Defence at the time
13 comprised the General Staff of the JNA; the deputy federal secretary for
14 national defence; the assistance for the rear, which is not the same as
15 logistics; the assistance for political and legal affairs; the assistance
16 for the military colony, and a number of subordinate organisations. This
17 was an administrative and command component, military component, within
18 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The federal secretary for national
19 defence was at the same time the most senior soldier as well as the
20 superior of the Chief of the General Staff. He was also the
21 Commander-in-Chief of the army as a whole.
22 Q. When the --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Commander-in-Chief of the army? Was the
24 Commander-in-Chief not the president of the Presidency?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He was superior to all the
1 members of the JNA in a disciplinary sense, in a command sense, and in a
2 administrative sense.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Listen to my question, sir. I'm not talking about
4 members of the JNA. I'm talking about the president of the country. Was
5 this Commander-in-Chief of the army not the president of the country,
6 that's my question?
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: If I might, Your Honour, I'll add one thing to
8 that, which is the date that we are referring to, because there is a --
9 there are shifts that occur within the structure here.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: You say that there was -- are you saying that
11 there was a time when there was no president in the -- in the SFRY?
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: Well, I'm not saying that, but I think it's
13 important that we deal with dates here. That's the only issue.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: As you please.
15 MR. GUY-SMITH:
16 Q. If you could answer His Honour's question, we'd be appreciative.
17 A. Your Honour, Mr. President, while answering some of the previous
18 questions, perhaps I should have added that our army was organised in the
19 same way as other armies of the socialist or communist block where the
20 federal secretary was a military professional superior to any members of
21 the army in terms of command, in terms of discipline, in terms of
22 administration. I know what you have in mind, the Commander-in-Chief was
23 Tito while he was alive. Following Tito's death, it was the Presidency
24 of the FRY, or rather, the SFRY as a collective body that was the
25 Commander-in-Chief. This was a collective body which remained
1 Commander-in-Chief until the break-up of Yugoslavia.
2 When the FRY was established, the Supreme Defence Council was
3 established too, comprising the president of the FRY and the presidents
4 of the Republic of Serbia and Montenegro. The federal secretary of
5 national defence, who is now minister, was no longer a military
6 professional, but rather a civilian.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH:
9 Q. And with regard to the last part of your answer, which is the
10 federal secretary of national defence who is now a minister was no longer
11 a military professional, but rather a civilian, he was a minister or she,
12 but he was a minister of what, what was his title? Minister of?
13 A. The first minister of defence, I think, was the late Pavle
14 Bulatovic. He was a defence minister and a member of the cabinet in that
16 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you. I note the time.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Guy-Smith.
18 Sorry, Mr. Vuksic, we have not been able to finish with you
19 unfortunately, so you'll have to come back tomorrow again at 2.00 in the
20 afternoon in the same courtroom. In the meantime, now that you've taken
21 the witness-stand to testify, you may no longer discuss this case with
22 anybody until you are excused from testifying, especially not the lawyers
23 for Mr. Perisic. Okay.
24 Then we stand adjourned to --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I fully understand.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will be back here tomorrow.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much for understanding. The matter
4 stands adjourned to tomorrow quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon,
5 Courtroom II. Court adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.
7 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 23rd day of
8 June, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.