1 Wednesday, 14 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. If the witness could be brought in.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, once again. And I remind you again
8 of the affirmation.
9 Yes, Mr. Rodic.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: MIODRAG JOKIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Jokic. Yesterday, among other things, we talked
15 about 11 points, or rather, the proposal to normalise life in Dubrovnik
16 and provide security for the town of Dubrovnik. Did you take part in any
17 of these negotiations with the Dubrovnik side and the Monitoring Mission
18 of the EC?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Was that on several occasions?
21 A. Yes. I took part on the 10th of October, together with General
22 Ruzinovski, in Meljine. Then on the same day, on a warship called Kotor;
23 and on the 28th of October with General Strugar in Meljine. Then on the
24 5th of December, when the cease-fire agreement was brokered in Cavtat.
25 Q. During the month of November 1991, were you perhaps present at
1 the negotiations?
2 A. No, I was not.
3 Q. Let me remind you, in November I think Mr. Kouchner also came.
4 Were there any talks held then?
5 A. In November, we organised entering Mokosica, a neighbourhood in
6 Rijeka Dubrovacka and the hand-over of weapons. Negotiations were then
7 held by General Damjanovic on behalf of the command of the 2nd Operational
8 Group. On that occasion, before entering Mokosica, I met Mr. Kouchner,
9 and we entered Mokosica together. However, I was not involved in any
10 negotiations. Even before that, General Strugar strictly decided who
11 would be involved in the negotiations. I think there were some problems
12 there with Colonel Svicevic, as far as I can remember.
13 Q. All right. Tell me, did you agree with this proposal of 11
14 points, as it was compiled, in favour of the peaceful settlement of the
15 situation around Dubrovnik?
16 A. Yes, I did, of course, with its very essence. I agreed with the
17 very essence of these proposals.
18 Q. Since the Supreme Command had set the objectives and issued tasks
19 to the 2nd Operational Group for the operations that it was supposed to
20 carry out, did the Supreme Command also participate in the proposals of
21 -- for the normalisation of life in Dubrovnik?
22 A. Yes, of course. Probably it was the Supreme Command that provided
23 the basis for that proposal. I don't know exactly, but that is normal
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to
1 distribute a document, if possible.
2 Q. Are you familiar with this document?
3 A. It is the same document that we had occasion to see already.
4 However, I have not seen this authentic document. I saw the one that
5 everybody received.
6 Q. You're talking about --
7 A. The proposal for normalisation.
8 Q. The proposal for normalisation that was admitted into evidence as
9 a Prosecution exhibit that you looked at during the examination-in-chief.
10 Is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell us where the two documents differ. Are these 11
13 points identical in both documents?
14 A. Yes, the points are identical to that proposal.
15 Q. However, in the introduction to the document, a difference can be
16 seen. Can you explain this to us? This document was addressed to the
17 operational centre of the General Staff of the armed forces of the SFRY.
18 These are proposals that were sent along with a short letter. Is that
20 A. Yes. In the introduction, it says that in agreement with the head
21 of the first administration, Lieutenant Colonel General Simonovic, the
22 text of the proposal was drafted, and was submitted to the members of the
23 mission of the European Community and the representatives of the town of
24 Dubrovnik. The deadline for responding to these proposals is the 27th of
25 October 1991 until 2000 hours. That's the only difference.
1 Q. Does that mean that, as we said, the Supreme Command actively
2 participated in everything concerning the situation in Dubrovnik,
3 including these proposals to normalise life there; that is to say, this
4 offer for a peaceful solution and for disarming the paramilitaries? Is
5 that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Does this document also show that the Supreme Command was informed
8 about everything in relation to these proposals and that it took part in
9 their creation?
10 A. Yes, that can be seen.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to ask that
13 this document be assigned a number and be admitted into evidence as a
14 Defence exhibit.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: This document is D52.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher for his
18 assistance regarding the next document.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Is this a document that the command of the 9th VPS is sending to
22 its subordinate units, which was received on the 4th of November by the
23 command of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. Inter alia, we see that this document is entitled "Information
1 About Activities and the State of Morale in the Units," and it is
2 addressed to Trebinje, Prevlaka and Radovici, the commanders of those
3 barracks. Can you tell us these localities where the barracks are? Where
4 do they belong, bearing in mind republican boundaries?
5 A. The Radovici barracks is on the peninsula of Ljustica and
6 Montenegro. The barracks of Prevlaka is in the Republic of Croatia; and
7 Trebinje is in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. At the beginning of this document, it says that on the 3rd of
9 November, members of the paramilitary formation of Croatia opened fire at
10 1750 hours from the area of Petka against the JNA units. Is that part of
11 the information that we discussed yesterday, of that report that was sent
12 to Admiral Brovet?
13 A. Yes, that is contained in that information.
14 Q. It says further on: "According to the information we have within
15 the ramparts of the Old Town, there are about 800 mercenaries stationed."
16 Did you receive information through intelligence reports or in other ways
17 about the deployment of the enemy?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that they do not have the
19 document. Could it please be placed on the ELMO.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what information this
21 is, that 800 black shirts were stationed within the ramparts.
22 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, there has been no predicate
23 laid as to whether or not the witness even has familiarity with this
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did ask the witness
1 about the document in the first place, and he identified it.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I must --
3 JUDGE PARKER: He identified it as a document, but not one of
4 which he had any knowledge. If you're wanting to search about his
5 knowledge, he hasn't, at the moment, indicated he has any.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, would it be sufficient on
7 page 4 in line 22, in response to my question related to this document,
8 there is an answer provided by the witness. Would that do?
9 JUDGE PARKER: What does it say?
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be of
11 assistance, in response to the question of the Defence counsel: [In
12 English] "Is this a document that the command of the 9th VPS is sending to
13 its subordinate units, which was received on the 4th November by the
14 command of the Motorised Brigade?" [Interpretation] In response to that
15 question, the witness answers: "Yes, that's right."
16 We believe that this is sufficient foundation in terms of the
17 witness's position vis a vis this document.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, that answer is merely identifying the
19 document on its face. That's what the document appears to be, and that
20 information is apparently what it is saying on the face of the document.
21 Now, if you're wanting to know from this witness whether what is in here
22 is true or this was actually a report received and so on, at the moment he
23 has not indicated that he himself has any knowledge of the document or its
25 Am I ahead of you, Ms. Somers, or at least up with you?
1 MS. SOMERS: Right there with me. Thank you.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Jokic, have you ever seen this document before?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Is this a document of your command?
6 A. Yes. I can explain, though.
7 Q. Please go ahead.
8 A. This is information, a paper, that my assistant for political work
9 is sending to the command. He has the right to do so. And every day, or
10 when necessary, he sends information on his own to subordinate units. I
11 do not review that, and there's no need for me to do it. That is why I
12 had not seen this document. Otherwise, I primarily agree with everything
13 that is written in this document, except for this particular statement,
14 and I don't know where it comes from; namely, that 800 Croatian members of
15 the forces could have been within the ramparts of the Old Town. That is
16 my only objection.
17 Q. Can you tell me who made up the command of the 9th VPS, meaning
18 the officers, and can you give us their names and their individual
20 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, excuse me. That was asked and answered,
21 Your Honour, in examination-in-chief.
22 JUDGE PARKER: My recollection is not that good. But is yours any
23 better, Mr. Rodic?
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would kindly ask my
25 learned friend not to interrupt me all the time. Had she listened to my
1 question, it would have been quite clear that it does not pertain only to
2 the signatory of this document. I asked for all the names and positions
3 of the members of his command, all of them.
4 MS. SOMERS: With respect, Your Honour, that is exactly what I was
5 referring to. But if the Chamber wishes to hear repetition, then...
6 JUDGE PARKER: Well, it's so long ago, Ms. Somers, that it has
7 passed from my instant clear recall. It won't hurt to have a revision.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Are you asking as of the date of this letter, 3rd
10 of November?
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. But that situation
12 goes beyond the 3rd of November. It pertains to the period from October
13 through December 1991.
14 Q. Please go ahead, Mr. Jokic.
15 A. All right. I shall say the following: At the beginning of the
16 operation and towards the end, as I was about to leave, the situation had
17 not changed in respect of the actual composition of my command. The chief
18 of staff was Captain Milan Zec, Battleship Captain Milan Zec. The chief
19 of operations was Slobodan Kozaric, Frigate Captain. The
20 assistant for moral and political affairs was Frigate Captain Zarkovic,
21 Mihajlo Zarkovic. The assistant commander for logistics was Colonel Petar
22 Dragicevic. The assistant chief of staff for intelligence affairs was
23 Frigate Captain Sofronije Jeremic. Of course, this includes the chiefs of
24 arms and services who represent the staff of the sector but who are not
25 directly subordinated to me. They are directly subordinated to the chief
1 of staff.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 All these assistants that you listed, did they work autonomously,
4 independently, or within the frameworks of the staff and command of the
5 9th VPS?
6 A. Yes, they worked within the frameworks of the staff and command.
7 And my assistants had some independent authorisations as well, as we were
8 able to see from this document.
9 Q. When it comes to this piece of information about the 800
10 mercenaries and black shirts stationed within the walls of the Old Town,
11 would your assistant, for example, think up such a thing, construe it and
12 invent it?
13 A. The contents of this information should have been drawn by him
14 from the work of the staff, the intelligence and information from the
15 operations centre and intelligence data generally.
16 Q. Did the possibility exist that from intelligence gained, he had
17 information that at a certain point in time this number of enemy forces
18 were actually stationed in the Old Town? Could he have had that kind of
20 A. I cannot believe that that was possible because it wasn't the
21 information I had at that time, that there were such -- there was such a
22 large number of these men stationed in the walls, in the ramparts of the
23 Old Town.
24 Q. What do you think? What led him to present this piece of
1 A. I think that he exaggerated too much or gave his own free
2 interpretation of some unreliable intelligence gathered. And at the time,
3 there was quite a lot of this going on, unreliable intelligence. And I
4 can give you examples, if you wish.
5 Q. Tell me, please, this document plus the information, would it go
6 down to the lower units, the subordinated units within the command?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Among other things, was it designed to warn and caution when enemy
9 information is supplied?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. In the one-but-last sentence of that first paragraph, it says from
12 the naval vessels, there was strong retaliation, a strong response. Now,
13 if you look at the first sentence describing the action against the JNA,
14 would that follow on?
15 A. Yes, probably.
16 Q. Your engineers units, did they have a lot of work in that
17 Dubrovnik area?
18 A. Yes, they did. There were a lot of mines that had been planted
19 and areas that had to be de-mined to establish communication along the
20 coastal roads and so on, and in the settlements and approach roads.
21 Q. Did the members of the JNA suffer any losses in terms of men and
22 technical equipment due to the mines laid on the roads and other areas,
23 other booby traps and so on?
24 A. Yes. We did suffer losses and casualties.
25 Q. In this document, it is stated that already on the 3rd of November
1 the commands in Cavtat, Grud, Srebrno, and Zupa fulfilled the assignments
2 given them which led to -- which were in line with the normalisation of
3 life in those places. Was that something that was done on a daily basis
4 and a daily effort?
5 A. Yes, that's right. We wanted to have the population return from
6 Dubrovnik and Cavtat where they had fled due to the combat operations
7 going on. We wanted the population to come back so that they could
8 continue to till the land and go about their farming on their land and in
9 their households.
10 Q. And finally, at the end of this document, does the assistant
11 commander issue tasks to all subordinate units?
12 A. Yes, that's right, he does.
13 Q. And does this end by saying that the -- everybody must be informed
14 with information contained in this document?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I should like to tender
18 this document into evidence. May it be assigned a number?
19 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This document is D53.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I have the usher's assistance,
22 please, for the next document to be distributed.
23 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, just to point out that there's no
24 command level or anything listed on this document from the sender.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with the Court's
1 permission, we shall explain the document.
2 Q. Mr. Jokic, have you had enough time to look through the document?
3 A. Yes, I have.
4 Q. Do you know -- are the contents of this document familiar to you?
5 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 MS. SOMERS: -- the question is is the document familiar, not just
8 the contents.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I think a lot of these matters, Ms. Somers, will
10 sort themselves out if left for a moment or two.
11 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I am familiar with a portion
15 of these contents, especially this piece of information which relates to
16 the sabotage units that stormed the combat positions of the 1st Company of
17 the 1st Battalion of the 472nd Brigade because that is what was contained
18 in the report and piece of information that we wrote and addressed to
19 Admiral Brovet.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Tell me, please, have you ever seen this document before?
22 A. No, I haven't seen this document before. None of the documents of
23 the 472nd Brigade are ones that I have seen in the military archives.
24 Those documents suddenly disappeared in an unexplained way, and I wasn't
25 able to access them.
1 Q. Tell me something else now, please: This document in its
2 left-hand corner at the top, it says "highly confidential, number
3 11-187/28," and the date is 06/11/1991. And the signature is, the issuer
4 of this document, and it says "Assistant commander for moral guidance and
5 legal affairs, Captain of the frigate." Now, on this copy, what we're
6 lacking - that is true - is the name and surname. We cannot see, just
7 like on the previous document, the one that was tendered and admitted a
8 moment ago dated the 3rd of November, we see the command of the 9th VPS
9 there. Regardless of these shortcomings in this document, would you say
10 that the overall document, by virtue of its contents and appearance and
11 stamp having been received by the 472nd Motorised Brigade, represents a
12 document of the 9th VPS? Would you say that was one of its documents?
13 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. There has been evidence by
14 this witness that he has never seen documents of the 472nd Brigade and he
15 cannot answer this question. And further, he has indicated recognising
16 only part of the document -- contents, excuse me.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I should once again like
18 to ask that you prevail so that my learned colleague of the Prosecution
19 can hear me out, hear my questions out and the witness's answers. He
20 never claimed that this was a document of the 472nd Motorised Brigade, but
21 that it was from the archives of the 472nd Brigade. So the witness did
22 not actually say that this document was issued by the 472nd Brigade
24 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, Mr. Rodic, I cannot agree with you. The
25 witness has indicated he doesn't know what is the source of this document.
1 He has no knowledge, was his evidence, of the records of the 472nd
2 Brigade, and he has not indicated any personal knowledge of any part of
3 the document. He did recognise that the content of it dealt with the
4 subject matter with which he was familiar in one respect only but not to
5 say that he knew this document in that respect.
6 So at the moment, this document is something which is in no way
7 identified by this witness. So I think you're at a dead end on it.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Jokic, can you tell us whether this is the document of your
10 assistant for moral guidance and legal affairs? That is to say, Frigate
11 Captain Mihajlo Zarkovic?
12 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. The same objection stands.
13 The witness does not know where the document emanated from. He has been
14 handed a document he does not recognise, and I think counsel is not
15 accepting the Chamber's ruling.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Nor are you allowing the witness to answer a quite
17 different question.
18 Admiral, of your personal knowledge, do you know the author of
19 this document, or do you just not recognise the document?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my opinion is that this
21 is a document by Frigate Captain Mihajlo Zarkovic, judging by the way in
22 which it was compiled. It is similar to the way he would have written it.
23 So I would say that that was it. But as I say, I have never seen the
24 document before.
25 JUDGE PARKER: I think that's about the high-water mark you're
1 going to reach, Mr. Rodic.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I take a moment, or rather could
3 the witness be handed Prosecution Exhibit P116, from tab 16, with the
4 usher's assistance, please.
5 Q. Mr. Jokic, would you compare these two documents, please. You're
6 an experienced professional with respect to military correspondence. And
7 tell me, please, where the difference lies between these two documents.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Did you say tab 16, Exhibit P116?
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE PARKER: I see remarkably different documents. Have you got
11 the right one?
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The document I
13 asked the witness to be given is an order by the chief of the General
14 Staff. "Order from the chief of the General Staff" is the title of the
15 document. And I would like to compare the form of the two documents and
16 have the witness give us his opinion about that.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it is difficult to
18 compare these two documents because one was written by the assistant for
19 political affairs, and the second document is by the chief of the General
20 Staff. However, there are certain similarities when it comes to the last
21 paragraph in both these documents, and that is the form and shape of
22 documents generally sent out as pieces of information, documents designed
23 to inform the -- all the men and forces down the chain of command and so
24 on and so forth.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Now, let me ask you another question. This is an order from the
2 chief of the General Staff, this particular document. Have you ever seen
3 it written in this form? So I'm not talking about the contents now, just
4 visually, the form of the document, have you ever seen it compiled in this
5 way; the title, the heading, and so on? What a document of this kind
6 should have in its upper left-hand corner, the numbers, the date of the
7 document, order, et cetera, signature, and so on and so forth, things like
8 that, the general aspect of the document in an order from the chief of the
9 General Staff of the armed forces of the Socialist Federal Republic of
10 Yugoslavia. Was this the kind of military document issued by the army and
11 written by the army when it wrote a document like this? I'm not talking
12 about contents, just the form and general aspect.
13 A. Yes, well, we didn't quite understand each other. As far as form
14 is concerned, this document of the chief of the General Staff does not
15 have the form of a military document. It was extracted from some
16 publication or book, because it says "Attachment 102."
17 Q. When answering the questions put by my learned friend of the
18 Prosecution during the examination-in-chief about this document, you said
19 that you had not seen it before but that you were familiar with its
20 contents. Is that right?
21 A. Yes, yes, along those lines, yes. Well, I still think so. That
22 is what I still think.
23 Q. Tell me, this document, this other document that you have in front
24 of you, the information about the activities and the state of morale in
25 units, does it correspond to the appropriate form of writing documents in
1 military units?
2 A. Yes, it does. However, in the upper left-hand corner, there is no
3 mention of the command that is sending the document; and down at the
4 bottom, there is no name and surname of the person who compiled the
5 document. The rest is fine.
6 Q. On the basis of your experience, when you look at the way in which
7 this was typed out, or rather if you look at the actual lettering on this
8 document, is this a teleprinter, a typewriter, or something else? Can you
9 assist us with that?
10 A. I think it is a typewriter. But I know the style or -- well,
11 perhaps that's a better word, of the assistant for political activity.
12 Q. In this document, do you recognise his style?
13 A. Well, that's what I just said.
14 Q. I just wanted to ask you, if it's not too much of a problem, to do
15 it again, once again.
16 A. Well, I've already said that this is how he writes. When his
17 papers are compared, then his last and one-but-last paragraphs tend to be
18 like this.
19 Q. Thank you very much. You said that you were familiar with this
20 incident that had been reported earlier, that a sabotage group of the
21 enemy was prevented from entering the troops of the 9th VPS. And do you
22 know that fire was opened, artillery fire was opened, at your units on
23 that day?
24 A. Well, that's what it says here. Of course I cannot remember now.
25 He probably took this information from the operative centre, but of course
1 I don't remember, except for this sabotage group, but I don't remember the
3 Q. Had your units been targeted by artillery fire, as it says here,
4 Dubac, Brgat, Zarkovica? Would the superior command have to be notified
5 then as to where the fire was coming from, how many shells fell on them,
6 the kind of fire that is opened at them? Is the superior command informed
7 about such things?
8 A. Yes, it is their duty to inform the superior command.
9 Q. The information about these reports of subordinate units, are they
10 logged in some records at the operations centre, this content of what the
11 subordinate units have to report?
12 A. Yes. All orders, all reports are entered into the war logbook
13 hour by hour, and that is recorded by the operations centre.
14 Q. The assistant commander for moral guidance and political affairs,
15 Mihajlo Zarkovic, does he have access to this information, such
17 A. Yes, of course.
18 Q. Therefore, in this case, does he provide information that 51
19 shells fell on one place, 63 on another place on that particular day, the
20 6th of November?
21 A. Yes, that's what's written here. He probably copied that from the
22 information received in the operations centre. That would be the normal
24 Q. Do you happen to know, do you happen to remember this situation of
25 the 7th of November, that a meeting was supposed to be held between the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 representatives of the Red Cross of Herceg-Novi, Trebinje, Dubrovnik, at
2 the request of the people of Dubrovnik, in Dubrovnik?
3 A. I don't remember that, but I do know that they had meetings. I
4 know that they had meetings, the representatives of the Red Cross.
5 Several times, at that. And this piece of information is certainly right.
6 Q. Frigate Captain Zarkovic, does he say that JNA units responded by
7 fire after the enemy took action only after they had previously informed
8 the members of the EC Mission about this?
9 A. Yes, that's what's written here, yes.
10 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I have to object to the question and ask
11 the answer be stricken. There's no indication that Zarkovic, in fact,
12 said anything. He said the writing is similar to Zarkovic. The
13 Prosecution would object to any conclusion drawn by counsel that it was
14 actually Zarkovic.
15 JUDGE PARKER: You're once again, Mr. Rodic, trying to strain this
16 for everything you can and going too far. This document hasn't been
17 identified as the document of any witness. I see it at the moment as no
18 higher than "apparently" issued by the assistant commander for moral and
19 political affairs and as to which the present witness is not able to
20 verify the accuracy or reliability of any of the contents. Now, what you
21 have been asking is a series of questions, the effect of which is "Is this
22 what the document says"? If you're doing that with the object of proving
23 the truth of that, you haven't got there. I think you'll have to find
24 some other way, and not this document, to get there with this witness.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. I'm not going
1 to pursue the matter further, this particular document. But the
2 designation that is missing in the document of my learned friend, namely
3 the number of the document, et cetera, that is missing, I'm going to try
4 to provide that. But could this document now please be assigned a number
5 and admitted?
6 MS. SOMERS: We object to any assignment, even for identification,
7 and for admission. The document has no reliability, and has not been
8 authenticated in any way by the witness.
9 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber will receive the document. We fully
10 appreciate the reason for Ms. Somers' objection and the substance that
11 lies underneath that reason and we see the document as no higher than I
12 have indicated to Mr. Rodic. It is "apparently" a document of that
13 description. Its contents will not stand as proof of them but it will be
14 received as an exhibit.
15 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked D55. Excuse me, D54.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask that the witness be
18 shown a Prosecution exhibit, P136 from tab 34.
19 Q. [No interpretation].
20 A. Yes, I gave the elements for the content of this document.
21 Q. Only elements for the content. Is that right?
22 A. Yes. I was not present when it was sent. If that is what you
23 meant. I was not present when it was sent, but --
24 Q. All right. You were not present when the document was sent. But
25 what I'm interested in specifically is each and every sentence of this
1 document. Did you write each and every sentence of this document?
2 Could you please just wait for a moment.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We have a problem at the moment in the transcript,
4 Mr. Rodic. Your question at line 17 was not received and interpreted.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I asked the witness
6 whether he wrote this document.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic. That will clarify the
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Jokic, I would like to ask you the following now: Would you
11 tell me whether you wrote each and every sentence of this document
12 yourself? Of the content, I mean; that's what I'm referring to.
13 A. I've told you that I gave the elements for sending such a telegram
14 with this content. And now whether I wrote every word or every sentence,
15 I probably did not because I'm not a writing clerk, I'm not a scribe. I
16 dictated what the telegram was supposed to say.
17 Q. If we look at this document, everything that we can read in it,
18 was it dictated by you yourself?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At the bottom of this message sent to the minister, Mr. Rudolf, it
21 says that it was received on the 6th of December at approximately 1400
22 hours. Were you in Kumbor or Kupari at that time when this message was
23 received in Dubrovnik?
24 A. No, I was not there then. I was en route to Belgrade.
25 Q. Do you happen to remember when you dictated the contents of this
2 A. It's too difficult for me to answer that after 13 years. Do you
3 want the minute or what?
4 Q. Mr. Jokic, you were asked a number of times during many interviews
5 about that, and I'm not asking you for the minute, of course. I'm asking
6 you for a rough estimate of the time when you dictated the contents of
7 this message.
8 A. Before my departure to Podgorica by helicopter. That means
9 sometime between 12.00, half past 12.00, quarter to 1.00 perhaps at the
10 latest. That's when this could have been done.
11 Q. Do you remember where you were when you dictated the contents of
12 this message?
13 A. In Cavtat.
14 Q. Do you know who you dictated the contents of the message to?
15 A. The message was for the chief of staff, and I dictated it at the
16 Cavtat headquarters, to Colonel Dulija -- or rather, he was Captain
17 Nemanja Kurdulija at the time, I think. Anyway, this was a paper that was
18 to be handed to the chief of staff.
19 Q. If I understood you correctly, Captain Kurdulija in Cavtat took
20 down the contents of the message which you dictated to him, and the
21 message was to have been sent to your chief of staff, Milan Zec. Is that
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Do you happen to know whether Kurdulija conveyed the message on,
25 your message, to the chief of staff Mr. Zec; how, in what way, if so, if
1 he did send it on to Mr. Zec?
2 A. I don't know the details. I think Zec arrived and took the
3 message himself and sent it on via fax to Dubrovnik. I think that's how
4 it was.
5 Q. Did you see Zec on that occasion?
6 A. I don't think so. I'm not quite sure, though. We did talk over
7 the phone. But I don't think we actually saw each other.
8 Q. From this, it would emerge that Zec went to Cavtat and that from
9 Cavtat he faxed the message on to Dubrovnik. Would that be what happened?
10 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can't say that.
12 MS. SOMERS: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
13 JUDGE PARKER: The answer, Mr. Rodic, has confirmed the accuracy
14 of Ms. Somers' objection.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Do you know where the message was sent on from to Minister Rudolf
17 by the JNA? Was it Cavtat, Kupari, or Kumbor?
18 A. I can't know that. I was en route to Belgrade so of course, I
19 don't know.
20 Q. But you know it was faxed?
21 A. I think so. I think that can be seen from this.
22 Q. Judging by the contents of this message, the third sentence reads:
23 "General Kadijevic sent you a message, and the ECMM - the European
24 Monitoring Mission - in Dubrovnik, on undertaking an energetic
25 investigation on our responsibility and the guilty ones for this
1 event...," as the message reads.
2 Can you tell me when you learned that General Kadijevic had sent a
3 message to Minister Rudolf and the ECMM Monitoring Mission?
4 A. In the morning of that day, around 7.00 a.m., when the command of
5 the 2nd Operational Group called me.
6 Q. Well, what did the command of the 2nd Operational Group tell you?
7 A. He told me that General Kadijevic called him and said that he was
8 informed about the attack on the town, on Dubrovnik, and that the attack
9 should be stopped, who the perpetrators of the attack were should be
10 ascertained, and an investigation conducted, and to inform Dubrovnik
11 -- or rather, to link up with Dubrovnik - I don't know what he actually
12 said; I'm giving a free interpretation - liaise with the people of
13 Dubrovnik and stop the attack. And then he said that he would undertake
14 an investigation to seek out the culprits and request that they, for their
15 part, establish who the culprits were.
16 Q. When you say "they," do you mean General Kadijevic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know when General Kadijevic sent a message to Minister
19 Rudolf and the European Community Monitoring Mission? Give us a time
20 frame, if you can.
21 A. Well, I don't know. Everything I knew at the time was what I've
22 already told you. Of course, it went on for longer -- for longer. But I
23 don't know when he talked to them, when General Kadijevic talked to
24 Minister Rudolf. And I don't know whether he sent a message of some kind
25 after that conversation.
1 Q. How were you able to write the contents of this message in this
2 way, then?
3 A. Well, I wrote what I wrote. What General Strugar told me, that's
4 what I put inside.
5 Q. By noon, by 12.00 noon, let's say, roughly speaking, is it true
6 that you had no contact with General Kadijevic at all by that time? And
7 I'm thinking of the 6th of December 1991.
8 A. Yes, that's right. I know that they were -- he was looking for me
9 and the chief of the General Staff as well but we never actually spoke.
10 Q. And where did General Kadijevic and the chief of the General
11 Staff, Blagoje Adzic, look for you? Where did they try to reach you?
12 A. Well, I don't know where they tried to reach me. But from my talk
13 with General Strugar, I understood that they were trying to reach me over
14 the phone. I don't know where they tried to reach me. But when I
15 returned from Belgrade, I heard from Admiral Kandic that they had tried to
16 reach me.
17 Q. Where was General Kandic himself at the time?
18 A. He was on the island of Vis, at his command post.
19 Q. At the command post of the Military Naval District; is that it?
20 Did they then try via Admiral Kandic to find you?
21 A. Yes, that's right. The chief of the General Staff, yes, that's
23 Q. In the following sentence, you go on to say the following: "At
24 the same time, we expect to find out the responsibilities on your side for
25 the sake of a further clarification of all circumstances in regard with
1 the events of last night and this morning."
2 So are you, in fact, asking that responsibility be established on
3 the other side as well for these events that took place on the 6th of
4 December 1991?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. Was there any reason for establishing the other side's
7 responsibility for this?
8 A. Yes, there was reason. I was informed by the duty operations
9 officer and the chief of the operational department that they had opened
10 fire from the Dubrovnik side, targeting the units of the 3rd Battalion.
11 Q. And did you ever receive an answer from the opposite side with
12 respect to your request that they look into who was responsible within
13 their own units?
14 A. No, not a written response. I never received a written answer.
15 All I received was an oral answer on that day, at around 10.00, a little
16 before 10.00. Rather, between 9.00 and 10.00, when I talked to the
17 minister, Minister Rudolf, and the next day, on the 7th during the
18 negotiations of agreeing upon a truce, a cease-fire. And both times, he
19 claimed that from the Dubrovnik side, as far as he knew, there was no
20 opening of fire as a reason or motive, as he said, for launching an
22 Q. And do you know whether the other side, the opposite side, that is
23 to say, the Croatian side, investigated their own possible responsibility
24 for that, the responsibility of their units for launching into
25 provocations on their side?
1 A. Well, I can't know that, of course. But from the answer I was
2 given, it became clear that they did not do that. And the commander, the
3 defence commander, never mentioned that at all.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Rodic?
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Jokic, before the break, you said to me that you did not know
11 whether the Croat side had investigated who was responsible for the
12 provocations coming from their side. Is that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. And the two conversations you mentioned that you had with Minister
15 Rudolf, did you conclude on the basis of these conversations that they
16 never conducted an investigation at all?
17 A. Yes, it could be put that way.
18 Q. And tell me, on the 6th of December, as this event was taking
19 place, or on the 7th of December when you were at the negotiations in
20 Cavtat, or perhaps on the 8th of December when the officers of the 9th VPS
21 were recording the damage incurred in Dubrovnik, did you ever ask the
22 other side to have a joint investigation carried out, ever?
23 A. No, I did not.
24 Q. I would like to ask you to look at item 4 in this letter. In this
25 letter, where you address Minister Rudolf, you apologise to him for the
1 impossibility to attend the negotiations on the 6th of December. But you
2 suggest the following as regards the continuation of negotiations. There
3 are eight points mentioned here in terms of an agreement between the JNA
4 and the Croatian side. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In paragraph 4, do you propose that ships be controlled in the
7 harbour of Gruz?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. Is this supposed to be ships that are supposed to navigate into
10 Dubrovnik or from Dubrovnik?
11 A. Yes, those are the ships that are meant.
12 Q. When one says "control of ships," does that mean that these checks
13 should be conducted by members of the JNA?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And in paragraph 7, within the proposal to have a total deblockade
16 of Dubrovnik, is it proposed that the armaments that are a threat to town
17 be withdrawn and that armed men that came to town should be evacuated on
18 the first vessels that leave?
19 A. Yes. The essence of this proposal is to deblock the town from
20 land and sea, but the ships sailing into town should be checked. This
21 problem of armed personnel which could not have been resolved in a
22 satisfactory manner, because they did not accept disarmament and a
23 surrender of weapons, so this could have been a solution. The proposal
24 was aimed at having these armed volunteers leave town with their arms on
25 the first vessels that will sail out of town, that that should be stated,
1 established, and that both sides should thus be satisfied. That's the
2 core of the issue.
3 Q. Tell me, is it correct that in the agreement between the Croatian
4 side and the JNA that was signed on the 7th of December, which you signed
5 on behalf of the Supreme Command of the JNA, it was also agreed that ships
6 be checked in the harbour of Gruz?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So what you suggested on the 6th of December under paragraph 4 was
9 adopted on the 7th of December; and in the agreement of the 7th of
10 December, it was accepted that ships would be checked in the port of Gruz.
11 Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Tell me, please, how far away is Cavtat from Kupari?
14 A. From Kupari? About 3 to 4 -- or rather 3 to 5 miles. By sea.
15 Q. What about by land?
16 A. By land? Well, about 20 kilometres, between 15 and 20 kilometres.
17 Q. If I'm not mistaken, on that morning of the 6th of December, at a
18 given point in time, you arrived in Cavtat from Kumbor, and you stayed in
19 Cavtat until you left for Belgrade on the 6th of December. Is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. How far away is Cilipi airport from Cavtat?
22 A. Well, between 8 to 10 kilometres.
23 Q. Tell me, while you were in Cavtat on the 6th of December, were you
24 at the command all the time? At the JNA command for the town of Cavtat?
25 Were you with Captain Kurdulija at Captain Kurdulija's office?
1 A. Yes, absolutely.
2 Q. Tell me, does that mean that you spent all this time in his
4 A. Yes, it does.
5 Q. Tell me, as for means of communication, what was there in that
7 A. Well, I don't know what all the things in that office were. This
8 was the office of Atlas, a travel agency, a Dubrovnik travel agency,
9 Atlas. And there were civilian links to Dubrovnik from there. What else
10 was there by means of communications equipment, I really don't know.
11 Q. Let's try to deal with it this way: Did the telephone in that
12 office work? So were you able to communicate with Dubrovnik, with the
13 forward command post in Kupari, with Kumbor?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did Captain Kurdulija have radio communication equipment in that
16 office and, therefore, communication with the forward command post in
17 Kupari or with Kumbor or other JNA units?
18 A. I think that he had radio relay links. I'm not sure that he had a
19 radio link. Perhaps he had a Motorola, but I doubt it. He didn't need
20 one anyway. He had radio relay links, and also there was the civilian
22 Q. Can you explain to us the difference between radio relay links and
23 Motorolas or radio communications, as you refer to them, in respect of
24 communication as such.
25 A. Well, a Motorola is a radio transmitter at a very high frequency,
1 the so-called VVF. And it can be used for communication with another
2 party that has this same kind of frequency and the same kind of equipment.
3 As far as radio relay communications are concerned, it is a type
4 of communication involving a conversation by telephone but not by wire.
5 The two parties speaking do so through a radio relay. At that time, the
6 lines between Kumbor, Cavtat, and Kupari were wire lines, and they had
7 been destroyed. So the basic means of communication was radio relay.
8 Q. Tell me, this radio relay, was it a military radio relay
9 communication, a military communication as such?
10 A. Yes, these were military communications.
11 Q. Tell me, which units in the field could use this radio relay
13 A. The commands could use it, certain commands of units where these
14 communication links had been set up; that is to say, stationary commands.
15 Or radio vehicles could be used involving types of equipment that could be
16 used by a certain level of command. For example, a brigade had that type
17 of communications but battalions did not.
18 Q. In order to have a radio relay communication, is it necessary to
19 have some kind of equipment? If so, what type of equipment?
20 A. Well, yes, it does require equipment. I already said it means
21 that there has to be a radio vehicle where the appropriate equipment is
22 mounted. There is different kinds of equipment involved. I'm not a
23 signalsman, a communications officer myself. I hope you're not asking me
24 for the actual type of equipment.
25 Q. Don't worry. I know that you're not a signalsman, but I'm a
1 layperson myself to a considerable extent so I'm asking you about it
2 because I believe that you do have more knowledge about it after all. And
3 this radio vehicle that you mentioned, so in addition to an automobile
4 where this radio link can be, can this kind of radio link be in a
5 particular facility, like at a command post of a military unit? So can it
6 be in a stationary facility, this kind of radio link?
7 A. Yes, yes, yes. Well, these communications are set up as a type of
8 communication in stationary headquarters, and also in radio vehicles for
9 units that are on the move.
10 Q. So apart from these two types of communication, namely, radio
11 relay and radio communications via a Motorola, which we mentioned until
12 now, did the military in that area have its own wire communication lines,
13 if that includes a field telephone or things like that?
14 A. Yes, there were wire communication lines for all units at lower
15 levels, like battalions, commands of particular villages or towns, many
16 checkpoints of the military police, guard posts. Or rather, more
17 important guard posts had wire communication links. And it was the line
18 units that placed the lines there when necessary.
19 Q. When you say "line units," I assume that these are units of the
20 JNA belonging to the signals service which make it possible for contact to
21 be established by wire between and among units. Is that right?
22 A. Precisely.
23 Q. Tell me, on the 6th of December when you moved from Kumbor to
24 Cavtat and in the area, did you have a vehicle made available to you? If
25 so, what kind of vehicle and who drove you?
1 A. Yes, I had a military vehicle, a Puch military vehicle, which I
2 invariably took. I did not have another vehicle. I did not use another
3 vehicle. I had a driver, and I had two escorts.
4 Q. Was your driver a soldier who was doing his military service, or
5 was it a professional driver? When I say "professional," was this a
6 civilian who was employed by the JNA? Or was it a regular soldier doing
7 his military service?
8 A. It was a regular soldier doing his military service. At first,
9 for a while, I had a driver who was a professional, a civilian who had
10 been mobilised. But that was only at the very beginning, I think for the
11 first 20-odd days.
12 Q. Did that soldier drive you on the 6th of December?
13 A. I think so, yes.
14 Q. Do you remember what his name was?
15 A. I can't remember. If I were to hear it, I would probably
16 recognise it, but he was a Montenegrin, somewhere from around Podgorica.
17 And the man who accompanied me was called Sainovic, and he was from Bar,
18 my escort.
19 Q. This escort, Sainovic, was he a regular soldier, or was he an
20 officer, a professional?
21 A. They were all regular soldiers.
22 Q. Do you know where the other escort was from and what his name was?
23 A. I don't remember him. One was from Herceg-Novi; I remember that.
24 But they would replace each other because the security service would
25 assign them as security details and replace them.
1 Q. Tell me please, from Cilipi -- or rather, on the 6th of December,
2 did you fly to Podgorica from Cilipi airport?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you fly by helicopter?
5 A. Yes, that's right, a helicopter.
6 Q. Do you perhaps know whether the helicopter was from a unit from
7 Mostar, from the Mostar airport? Is that where it belonged? Or was it
8 part of a unit located at the airport Golubovci in Podgorica?
9 A. I don't know that. I didn't know the people. I didn't know those
10 men because I didn't usually fly by helicopter. I don't know whether that
11 was the only time during that period of time that I flew by helicopter.
12 Q. Tell me, how much time is needed to fly from Cilipi airport to the
13 airport in Podgorica?
14 A. Well, with takeoff and landing, it lasts about 20 minutes to half
15 an hour, all things considered.
16 Q. When you arrived in Podgorica on the 6th of December, did you take
17 off for Belgrade straight away, or did you have a brief delay or a short
18 stay there?
19 A. As far as I remember, we took off straight away because we were
20 running a little late anyway, I think. And General Strugar was already
21 waiting. As far as my memory serves me.
22 Q. Can you remember where General Strugar was waiting for you,
24 A. I really can't remember. I think it was at the airport, at the
25 airport command, Golubovci. I think, but I'm not sure. I really don't
2 Q. All right, fine.
3 Now, do you perhaps remember which plane you flew to Belgrade in?
4 A. I don't know. I really don't remember. It might have been a
5 JAK-40, but I'm not sure. It wasn't the French aircraft. I do know that,
6 the one that we otherwise had. I don't remember any salon on board or
7 anything of that kind.
8 Q. Now, tell me, this JAK-40 aircraft, how long does it take to fly
9 the distance from Podgorica to Belgrade? How long was the flight?
10 A. Well, I think about 45 minutes, an hour with the arrival from the
11 airport, from the military airport. To the airport itself, perhaps 45
12 minutes, thereabouts. Maybe more; 50 minutes.
13 Q. Tell me, did you land at the Batajnica military airport at
15 A. Yes, Batajnica I think it was.
16 Q. Did you then from Batajnica airport -- were you driven from the
17 airport in a vehicle when you went to see General Kadijevic?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. And roughly how much time did that take? How much does it take to
20 drive from Batajnica airport to the Federal Secretariat for National
21 Defence in Belgrade, which was where General Kadijevic was?
22 A. Well, half an hour perhaps, 20 minutes to half an hour.
23 Q. Do you happen to remember whether the federal secretary received
24 you immediately upon your arrival, or did you have to wait?
25 A. I don't remember. I don't remember having had to wait at all. I
1 just remember that when we went in, they were there. That is to say, the
2 generals who were supposed to be there. That's what I remember.
3 Q. Very well. Thank you.
4 Now, can you tell me, please, time-wise how long you stayed at the
5 meeting with General Kadijevic, talking to him.
6 A. Well, the conversation lasted about an hour, roughly speaking. It
7 was just the two of us that talked. So it was a dialogue between the two
8 of us. Nobody else spoke or interrupted. I do remember that.
9 Q. And after the conversation with the federal secretary, did you
10 perhaps go to see someone else? Did you see to some other business at the
11 General Staff building perhaps?
12 A. I don't know. I don't remember having done so. As far as I
13 recall, we returned after that conversation. We went back to the plane.
14 Q. Did you take the same route back; that is to say, were you driven
15 to Batajnica airport and then flew from Batajnica airport to Podgorica?
16 A. Yes, that's right. I think so, at least, as far as I remember,
18 Q. Tell me, please, when you arrived at Podgorica, did you and
19 General Strugar go further on together? What happened next upon your
20 arrival in Podgorica?
21 A. Yes, we went together. We were driven in the same vehicle to
23 Q. Which vehicle was that?
24 A. I don't remember. How can I remember something like that?
25 Q. And how much time does it take, driven in a vehicle, to get from
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the airport at Podgorica to, I suppose, the command post at Trebinje where
2 you were heading for?
3 A. I think about an hour, it would take you about an hour. But I'm
4 not sure. If you go by Niksic, perhaps an hour, hour and a half.
5 Q. Did you stop off at Trebinje at the command post of the 2nd
6 Operational Group perhaps?
7 A. Yes, we did.
8 Q. How long did you stay there, roughly?
9 A. I don't know how long we stayed. But I think we talked and
10 discussed our next steps, steps over the next few days, the assignments
11 and tasks we had. So that must have been at least half an hour then. We
12 looked at a report there, I assume, from the 3rd Battalion. I think the
13 3rd Battalion was already there. So we discussed the negotiations to be
14 held the following day, the press conference, and dispatching officers to
15 investigate the damages in Dubrovnik, to record the damages in Dubrovnik,
16 as well as something about Captain Kovacevic.
17 Q. Tell me, please, from Trebinje, where did you go from there? And
18 we're still speaking about the 6th of December; is that right?
19 A. Yes. From Trebinje, I went to Kupari.
20 Q. Did you go to Kupari by car?
21 A. Well, I think so, yes. What else? How else?
22 Q. And how far is the drive from Trebinje to Kupari, roughly
23 speaking? How long does it take?
24 A. Half an hour. A little less, perhaps.
25 Q. You reached Kupari at the forward command post of the 9th VPS, I
1 assume. That's where you went?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Do you know perhaps in kilometres what the distance is from
4 Podgorica to Trebinje?
5 A. Well, I really can't say. Perhaps about, if you go via Niksic,
6 100 to 120 kilometres.
7 Q. All right.
8 Now, do you happen to remember when from Cilipi airport you left
9 for Podgorica -- or rather Belgrade, on the 6th of December? The time,
10 when was that?
11 A. I think it was about 12.30. Perhaps a little later. I could be
12 wrong, give or take half an hour to an hour.
13 Q. Well, you remember when I asked about the contents of the message
14 sent to the minister, Minister Rudolf, you said that you dictated the
15 contents of that message between 12.00 and 12.45. Does that mean that you
16 left after that, that you left for Cilipi in the helicopter after that?
17 A. Well, it means between 12.00 and 12.45. That's what it means. I
18 can't be certain 14 years on when I left, the exact time I left to board
19 that flight. So there's always plus/minus possibilities of up to half an
20 hour. But my reference points are this: At 11.30, I established that the
21 firing had stopped. There was a lull. And prior to that, with Minister
22 Rudolf, I had agreed upon a cease-fire. And I received a report from
23 Kozaric, and via him from Zec, and so on. So all this went on until a
24 little after 12.00. So that's the reference point. I can't remember
25 exactly after that because I was constantly having telephone conversations
1 and I was being hurried by General Strugar to come as soon as possible,
2 because I had a conversation with him, too.
3 Q. Tell me, please, do you remember -- so on the 6th of December,
4 after Belgrade and Trebinje, what time it was when you arrived at the
5 forward command post in Kupari?
6 A. I don't remember exactly. It might have been 8.00 or 9.00. I
7 really can't say.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I don't need the document any more.
10 Would the usher take it back, please, and provide the witness with the
11 following document, which is P104, Prosecution exhibit. No, I apologise.
12 It's not P104. It is P115, tab 38.
13 Q. You've already seen this document. You saw it during the
14 examination-in-chief. It's the same one, and it was admitted into
15 evidence, tendered by the Prosecution.
16 Could we just go through this document very briefly. Tell me,
17 please, is this a letter written on behalf of the Council for National
18 Defence of Trebinje, and was it signed by its president, Bozidar
20 A. Yes, that's the letter.
21 Q. Is this letter addressed to the Presidency of the SFRY, to the
22 chief of the General Staff in Belgrade, and to the command of the Military
23 Naval Sector in Kumbor and to the 2nd Operative Group command in Trebinje?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The letter is dated the 7th of November. And in the first
1 sentence, it says that the 6th of November was horrid and bloody. So that
2 means that the 6th of November, the previous day, was horrid and bloody.
3 Do you know what it was that happened on the 6th of November? Were there
4 any JNA casualties; dead, wounded?
5 A. I don't know. I don't think we did have any then. We didn't have
6 any persons who were killed.
7 Q. In the third sentence, it says, in this letter -- or rather,
8 before that, it says that talks are underway between the JNA and the
9 international commission. And then it says: "Around 1330 hours
10 approximately, 200 shells fell on JNA positions. To be more precise, 51
11 shells on Dubac, 63 on Brgat, and over 100 on Zarkovica." Is that right?
12 A. Yes, I see where that information of Captain Zarkovic's comes
13 from. The ones that we saw on that document, that's where it comes from,
14 precisely from this document. That is the number of shells that he copied
15 out from here. He did not get it from my operational centre.
16 Q. Can you say who copied it out from who?
17 A. Well, I do not believe that Vucurevic was at the operations
18 centre. He could never come to my centre in Kupari or Kumbor.
19 Q. So where did Vucurevic get this information from about the exact
20 number of shells? His letter is dated the 7th of November. Is that
22 A. Yes. I don't know. I don't know. That's why I'm telling you
23 that. That's why I'm so surprised at it.
24 Q. And D54 that we looked at, which gives identical figures
25 concerning the number of shells at Dubac, Brgat, and Zarkovica, that was
1 written on the 6th of November, a day earlier. Is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And since this document by the assistant commander was written on
4 the 6th of November and sent to Trebinje, Radovici, and Prevlaka, those
5 barracks, could Bozidar Vucurevic get that information about the number of
6 shells fired in the barracks of Trebinje? Could he have received that
7 information there?
8 A. Yes, he could have. He kept coming to those barracks all the
9 time, and the brigade. He came many more times than I did. That's true.
10 Q. Further on it says, in the letter, that on the other side of the
11 front, near the village of Cepikuce, two JNA members, one commander and
12 one soldier, were slaughtered on the other side of the battlefield. Have
13 you heard about that, this incident at Cepikuce?
14 A. Yes, I know about that. I heard about it.
15 Q. Also it says that while the army is at peace and the participants
16 in the talks offer the frontier to Dubrovnik going from the Old Town,
17 Nuncijata, Lazaret, and Srdj, the Ustashas are firing shells and killing.
18 Are those the enemy positions from which fire was opened at the JNA units?
19 Is that what is referred to in that document written by the assistant
20 commander on the 6th of December?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Further on --
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am sorry. It says
24 here in the question "the 6th of December," and what is actually meant is
25 the 6th of November. So it's page 41 -- rather, page 42. And it's line
1 1. The question should read "the 6th of November," not "the 6th of
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, excuse me, there is a point of
5 objection. The witness has not confirmed that the positions -- that there
6 was fire coming from those particular positions, and I think that that is
7 a misrepresentation of what the evidence is. In other words, particularly
8 going from Old Town.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't understand this
10 objection, if the witness said that the information provided by the
11 previous document are identical to the data provided in this letter, in
12 terms of the places from where JNA units were targeted.
13 MS. SOMERS: These are two separate questions, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE PARKER: The objection by Ms. Somers is, at the moment,
15 well-founded, Mr. Rodic, especially when you're trying to identify the
16 situation with respect to the Old Town. I'm not going to suggest a way of
17 you trying to improve it. I think you'll have to try and do that
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Mr. Jokic, in this letter, is it claimed by Mr. Vucurevic that
21 while the army is at peace and negotiators are offering Dubrovnik a
22 frontier going from the Old Town, Nuncijata, Lazaret and Srdj, Ustashas
23 are firing shells and killing people? Is that what Mr. Vucurevic wrote in
24 this letter?
25 A. Yes, that is what he wrote in this letter.
1 Q. In these positions, the Old Town, Nuncijata, Lazaret and Srdj, and
2 he says that that is the positions from which fire is being opened, are
3 these the positions that are also mentioned in the information written by
4 the assistant commander on the 6th of November?
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, that's the very point. We have not
6 established that that was written by the assistant commander on the 6th of
7 November. It's what is in the document which is received as Exhibit D54
8 as apparently a report of the assistant commander.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I accept that, Your Honour, yes. Let
10 me reformulate my question.
11 Q. So this information about the locations from which fire was
12 coming, targeting JNA units, does it correspond to the locations that are
13 listed in Document D54 of the 6th of November 1991?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 Furthermore, the letter goes on to state the following, that to
17 the Council for the National Defence of Trebinje, petitions are coming in
18 from JNA units addressed to the council. Now, what I want to ask you is
19 this: Is it right that a large number of reservists engaged in the units
20 of the 2nd Operational Group were from Trebinje in actual fact?
21 A. Yes, that's right. Especially in the 472nd Brigade.
22 Q. You have already spoken about that, but let me ask you again: Is
23 it true that, inter alia, among the other problems that you highlighted
24 when you spoke about the problems you encountered when commanding during
25 this period of time, that is to say, October to December 1991, that one of
1 the problems was a lack of understanding on the part of the army with
2 respect to the objectives of the operation and why they should take the
3 provocation, why they should remain in one place, why a state of war had
4 not been proclaimed and things along those lines?
5 A. Yes, I did say something about that.
6 Q. On the basis of your experience and the time spent on that theatre
7 of war, did you pinpoint the overall situation in the country as being a
8 problem, the situation in the SFRY and problems in the Supreme Command of
9 the Yugoslav State Presidency? Did you bring up that as a problem?
10 A. Yes, yes, I did.
11 Q. In the letter, does it say that in these petitions by soldiers,
12 they call for the officers of the reserve force of the JNA to take over
13 the command, who were otherwise on duty in the 2nd Operational Group,
14 because in their opinion lives were being lost in a very banal way?
15 That's what it says?
16 A. Yes, that's what it says. However, that does not reflect the
17 actual situation, the actual state of affairs. This is fanning the flames
18 of an even worse war and attack on Dubrovnik by Mr. Vucurevic.
19 Q. Is that your opinion?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. Now, in this letter does it also say that on other fronts in the
22 SFRY, the situation is no better, if not even worse?
23 A. Probably, although I can't actually see it here. But I suppose
24 that's what it says.
25 Q. The sentence is the following, after mentioning the Old Town,
1 Nuncijata, Lazaret and Srdj, it's in the sentence immediately afterwards.
2 "The information is that the situation is not much better at the other
3 battlefield either or it is even worse."
4 A. Yes, that's right. That's correct.
5 Q. To the best of your knowledge, were there many reservists from
6 Trebinje in the 2nd Operational Group? That is to say, in the units of
7 the 2nd Operational Group, and did they lose their lives or were wounded?
8 Is that true?
9 A. Yes, that's true.
10 Q. Do you know roughly how many soldiers from Trebinje were killed or
11 wounded? What the casualty figures were?
12 A. Well, I can't know that. There is data in the different units. I
13 knew how many there were in the 9th Sector, but I don't have facts and
14 figures about Trebinje, or rather the brigade. I do believe that there
15 may have been most casualties there, the highest number.
16 Q. Were you informed about the soldiers killed and wounded, the men
17 belonging to units within the composition of the 9th VPS? Would you have
18 been informed about that?
19 A. I was informed -- of course I was, of any of the men killed and
20 wounded within the 9th Sector, although I had information pertaining to
21 the other units of the 2nd Operational Group as well because we received
22 those kinds of reports, all the subordinate commands.
23 Q. When the army informs about who was killed and wounded and sent in
24 a report to the command, do they do their best to supply as much
25 information about those persons as possible, the information that they had
1 available? Would that be true?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Tell me, please, at the end of that letter, are the -- is the top
4 leadership being asked to take measures?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. Tell me, judging by its contents, does this letter reflect the
7 anxiety and worry of the JNA and the country with respect to the lives of
8 JNA members?
9 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. There's nothing in the
10 letter that represents the JNA at all.
11 JUDGE PARKER: You're pushing this letter too far again,
12 Mr. Rodic.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on several occasions the
14 JNA is mentioned in this letter. I do believe that my learned colleague
15 has the document in front of her. You can look at the second sentence,
16 for example --
17 JUDGE PARKER: You're missing my point. You are trying to say
18 this letter is reflecting a view of the JNA. That is the way your
19 question is posed. This is a letter written by one person who had no
20 official role in the JNA. Whether it reflected that person's own personal
21 views is something we can only guess. To say it reflected the views of
22 the whole of the JNA or a large segment of the JNA is something that is
23 beyond the knowledge of the writer of the letter, and no doubt beyond the
24 knowledge of the admiral.
25 So grounding your question in this letter is not going to get you
1 anywhere. If you want to ask the admiral whether there was a general view
2 in the JNA of which he was aware about these things, you might be able to
3 get somewhere that way. But not out of this letter.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, obviously there's a
5 mistake in the interpretation or translation. I didn't ask it the way it
6 was interpreted. I didn't ask about concern of the JNA, but I asked the
7 witness whether the contents, the contents of this letter reflect the
8 anxieties on the part of the signatory of this letter because this letter
9 was signed by a man outside the JNA. So does it express the concerns of
10 the signatory of this letter for the lives of the members of the JNA, for
11 the country, and so on?
12 JUDGE PARKER: The translation is quite the opposite of that. But
13 your own question as you now frame it is simply irrelevant. How is it
14 going to help this Chamber to know what this gentleman was concerned
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. I'll move on.
17 Q. Mr. Jokic, this letter, does it in any way refer to you personally
18 in view of the addressees?
19 A. This letter refers to all the commands of the JNA which were
20 effective in this operation around Dubrovnik. And so this is a direct
21 call to the reservists to replace the incapable and weak traitors and to
22 assume command.
23 Q. Which command?
24 A. Command over JNA units. That is a direct appeal for them to take
25 over the command by the reserve officers. That's how I understood it.
1 And that is what was attempted in practice.
2 Q. Let's just clarify matters. When you talk about the appeal to
3 take over the command, whose command? What do you think it refers to?
4 A. In concrete terms, my command.
5 Q. So you think that this means the takeover of your command by the
6 reservists. But from the heading and title of this letter, one could
7 conclude that it is the reservists who are supposed to take over the role
8 of the Presidency of the SFRY because there is no mention of you
9 personally here in this letter. Isn't that right?
10 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I'm sorry, but this is Mr. Rodic's
11 interpretation of something. It is not a real question; it is testimony.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I think it's costing us a lot of time, Mr. Rodic,
13 the way you attempt to get established as fact what is expressed in a
14 letter such as this written by one person or in all sorts of reports or
15 orders. We've tried to let you go about your cross-examination because it
16 is your responsibility to conduct the Defence case. But it is a very slow
17 process, and we are achieving comparatively little because you persist in
18 trying to use a letter like this to try to establish facts.
19 Now, the admiral may know certain things. He may know there was
20 a movement to take over his command. He may know that there was an urging
21 on the -- his higher command to replace him by a reservist. He may know
22 things like that. You can ask him about that. But for you to try and say
23 now doesn't this letter mean this and doesn't it mean that, it's only a
24 letter written by one person. It's not going to prove the general facts
25 of this case.
1 I'm trying to show you why there is such difficulty with the way
2 you're approaching this particular line of questioning. What you're
3 ultimately trying to get at may be useful and relevant, but you're
4 battling a very long, hard road because you're trying to get there through
5 a letter like this, or in other cases through various reports or orders.
6 If you think the witness knows relevant information, ask the witness.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this letter is a
8 Prosecution exhibit - it was introduced and tendered during the
9 examination-in-chief - and the witness has stated his views about the
10 letter. And what he stated was that this letter was an appeal for his
11 replacement, or call for his replacement as commander of the 9th VPS, and
12 that after this letter demonstrations were held by reservists in front of
13 the command and headquarters in Kumbor of the 9th VPS. So if he
14 interpreted the letter in that way in response to a question put to him by
15 the Prosecutor, I really do feel that in the cross-examination itself,
16 bearing in mind the contents of the letter itself, the Defence would have
17 the right to ask how he came by that conclusion, how he deduced that. That
18 is to say, the witness relying on the contents of the letter alone,
19 because the witness, during the examination-in-chief, did not provide us
20 with any further information except for the kind you have mentioned now,
21 whether he had any other knowledge or information, et cetera.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, if you have the view that the matters
23 that you've just put to us were the effect of the witness in evidence in
24 chief, what more are you seeking to gain? Isn't that what you want?
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I just wanted to
1 check it out.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Well, it got there in evidence in chief. And now
3 we've spent about a quarter of an hour, and you're trying to get back to
4 where the Prosecution got to. If it's there and it's good, there's no
5 need to go back over it. If you think it's wrong, by all means.
6 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, just to make the record
7 straight: The Prosecution tendered this document for a very different
8 reason. And I know that the Chamber realises that.
9 JUDGE PARKER: We are aware that your use of the document was
10 different. But I think there's also much in what Mr. Rodic has said about
11 the evidence given by the witness about it. And that's one of the reasons
12 why I can't understand, frankly, why so much time is being spent.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. Obviously
14 there is a misunderstanding in this regard. Then I'm going to move on to
15 other matters.
16 In relation to this witness, I would just like to ask one more
18 Q. Bearing in mind this letter and the time when you were commander
19 of the 9th VPS in 1991, and if you look at the events in the territory
20 where you were and your knowledge regarding the situation in the entire
21 country, were there any similar or even more serious speeches and actions
22 in public by soldiers, politicians, public figures, and so on?
23 MS. SOMERS: I have to object, Your Honour. This calls for a
24 value judgement that simply is not an appropriate question based on the
25 line -- based on the issues that are raised with this witness.
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think there are sufficient reason and foundation
2 for the question being put. It's being put as a matter of general
4 Carry on, Mr. Rodic.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Jokic, could you please give me an answer. If you remember
7 the question, that is.
8 A. I do remember the question, of course.
9 I would like to say that this certainly was not the only example
10 of public speech or action along these lines; that is to say, along the
11 lines of Mr. Vucurevic's thinking. There were such actions or speeches
12 from the lowest level up to the highest level. Attacks on the JNA calls
13 for intransigence, calls for an energetic dealing with the opposite side.
14 And in all these documents and similar statements, there is no reference
15 to resolving the crisis by peaceful means. I could mention a great many
16 examples, similar, nationalist, extremist ones, coming from both sides,
17 our side and the opposite side.
18 Q. All right. We know that there was a great deal of that. But tell
19 me, from the superior commands of the 2nd Operational Group of the General
20 Staff and the Federal Secretary for National Defence, were you replaced?
21 Were you removed by them after this letter?
22 A. This is the first time I hear of any such thing.
23 Q. Even after this letter, did you and other JNA commanders try to
24 resolve the issue of disarming paramilitaries in Dubrovnik by peaceful
1 A. Yes, we did.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to have
4 this document distributed, please.
5 JUDGE PARKER: I would like to interrupt you there. As we rather
6 had taken you out of your line of thinking, I think it's probably a
7 convenient time to raise with you the question of how you see the course
8 of your cross-examination and how much longer you would expect to be.
9 By the end of today, you will have cross-examined for some five
10 days. And that's a very long time.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I address the issue after the
12 break, Your Honour, after I check this out, exactly how long I spent
14 JUDGE PARKER: Don't worry about how long you have spent. We're
15 concerned about how long you would like to spend in the future, Mr. Rodic.
16 The information I have is that you had all but some 40 minutes on
17 the 1st of April, you had all of the 2nd of April, the 5th of April, the
18 13th of April, and now today, the 14th.
19 Now that's the past. Don't worry about that. Your
20 cross-examination has exceeded the length of the examination already. Our
21 concern is to learn about the future. And certainly, we will break a
22 little early now and give you time to think about that, because as we have
23 indicated in the past, although we are trying to give you a free hand, we
24 can't let time just continue to run on. And I think the point has been
25 reached in this cross-examination where that has got to be some very
1 careful control of time.
2 So we'll allow you to think about that over a break and hear from
3 you when we return.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before the break, I
9 promised to give you an answer after the break in relation to the length
10 of cross-examination. The Defence wishes to emphasise first and foremost,
11 and I think that the Trial Chamber is fully aware of that, too, that this
12 is a very important witness, both for the Prosecution and for the Defence.
13 Perhaps even more so for the Defence because this is the only witness from
14 the JNA who held a high position and who was also together with the
15 accused person.
16 This witness was interviewed in July 2002, September 2003, and
17 September 2004, and in April, not to mention the situation from March and
18 April this year. You know how all that material was provided to the
19 Defence; without a transcript. Also, I wish to note that when announcing
20 this witness, the Prosecution said that the examination-in-chief would
21 last for three days. However, they went beyond their original estimate,
22 too. Their examination-in-chief went on for five days, minus 40 minutes.
23 And that is when I started my cross-examination.
24 MS. SOMERS: [Previous interpretation continues]...
25 JUDGE PARKER: I think it's four days and 36 minutes.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, it was the
2 24th, 25th, 26th, and 29th of March, and then on the 1st of April two
3 sessions. But at any rate, it went beyond the original estimate.
4 I understand that, because there is an enormous number of
5 documents involved, and also the period about which the witness is
6 testifying is a lengthy one and involving many different events. Then
7 also the cross-examination has taken quite a while because the witness
8 pauses considerably. Before starting his answer, he is waiting for the
9 transcript to end, the typing to end, and then he starts giving an answer.
10 Also while he was testifying, he waits for every word he says to be
11 recorded in the transcript, and then he proceeds. There are 42 exhibits
12 that were proffered by the Prosecution. That is a large number of
13 documents. And the Defence has already tendered about ten documents. We
14 have at least about 20 other important documents that we wish to tender
15 through the cross-examination. Then also for this witness and for the
16 Defence, there are relevant exhibits that were introduced by the
17 Prosecution in the proceedings to date. I am particularly referring to
18 the exhibits introduced through the European Mission, including Witness
19 Hvalkof. The Defence has to deal with that, those exhibits and that
21 At any rate, bearing all of this in mind, I'm aware that the
22 examination could take much longer than the Defence had originally
23 planned. Of course, bearing in mind how precious time is, but in view of
24 everything I said, the assessment of the Defence is that we could finish
25 the cross-examination on Monday. Of course, bearing in mind that this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 should deal with the most substantive matters that are relevant to this
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, we are very well aware of the matters
5 that you have mentioned. Partly for that reason, we have been silent
6 these five days on the topic. But the idea that you would want after
7 today yet a further three days, producing a total of some eight days,
8 seems to us to be unnecessarily long. The significant issue that you
9 omitted from your description of things was the degree of time that you
10 have spent over certain matters which are not perhaps of first-rank
11 importance in the case. So that if you were now to look at all the
12 material you have and to ask yourself the question which of those matters
13 are really of significance to the Defence, I would think it would be
14 possible for you to reduce your estimate.
15 The view of the Chamber is that we ought to be able to conclude
16 the evidence of this witness this week. That will give you from now two
17 more full days, and then we'll allow a little time for re-examination. So
18 if you could from this point on bear that in mind, we would be grateful.
19 And there will be this session now, but you'll have an opportunity
20 overnight to look more closely at the material you have of potential
21 questioning, and I think be able to refine that down. In light of the
22 experience so far, there will be some matters I suspect you'll be able to
23 put aside.
24 So our requirement, then, Mr. Rodic, is that the evidence of the
25 present witness should be concluded this week, including re-examination.
1 Thank you very much. Perhaps you'd better get moving.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I shall do my
4 Q. Mr. Jokic, as far as promotion is concerned, promotions in the
5 Yugoslav People's Army, there is a regular procedure and there is an
6 exceptional procedure. Isn't that right?
7 A. Exactly, yes.
8 Q. Can you tell me approximately how long the procedure lasts when
9 exceptional promotion is involved?
10 A. Well, I don't know. There are regulations, peacetime regulations,
11 and this is not really regulated, but in peacetime, again, a procedure has
12 to be carried out, just like with regular promotions. That is to say that
13 when a unit is putting forth such a proposal, it sends it to the higher
14 instance. All proposals are compiled in the command of the army, which is
15 the highest instance, and then they send this on to the personnel
16 administration of the JNA. And it is the personnel administration that
17 actually carries out the promotions.
18 However, it can be a shorter procedure as well. It depends. If
19 there are exceptional circumstances involved. As a matter of fact, this
20 is rather flexible, so a commander of a certain rank can shorten the
21 procedure involved. It all depends on a particular individual, a
22 particular event, why a person is being promoted exceptionally, why there
23 is early promotion, what are the merits involved, et cetera.
24 Q. As for the exceptional promotion of Vladimir Kovacevic, you said
25 that it was his own unit that he hailed from that was in charge of that
1 promotion. And it was above the 3rd Battalion, the superior unit, and
2 that was the 472nd Motorised Brigade and that it was the only one that
3 could have put forth the proposal for early promotion. Is that right?
4 A. Yes. That's what I think, yes.
5 Q. Do you agree that the proposal for the exceptional promotion of
6 Vladimir Kovacevic, bearing in mind the date of the 11th of November 1991,
7 has to do with his merits pertaining to combat activities that took place
8 in that period and that that could have to do with the taking of Bosanka?
9 A. No, it does not have to do with Bosanka. On the 11th of November,
10 Bosanka was not taken. Bosanka was taken on the 9th, between the 8th and
11 9th of November, that is, and he did not take part in that attack.
12 Q. Did he have any activities on the 11th of November on account of
13 which he could have been nominated for exceptional promotion, because that
14 is the date that figures in the exceptional promotion.
15 A. On the 11th of November and on the 12th of November, that unit,
16 his unit, Captain Kovacevic's unit, participated in the taking of the
17 forts of Gradci and Strincijera. Probably - of course I didn't know it
18 then - but probably that was the occasion on account of which he was
19 nominated for promotion.
20 Q. And the 9th VPS, as the superior command of the 472nd Motorised
21 Brigade in that period, did it send further on this proposal for
22 exceptional promotion to the 2nd Operational Group and they then further
23 on to the General Staff and the personnel administration of the Federal
24 Secretariat for National Defence?
25 A. I think the answer is no. I investigated who it was who sent this
1 proposal, and I asked the organs of the 9th Sector and the organs of the
2 personnel administration of the JNA, General Branko Fezer, and I could not
3 establish any facts.
4 Q. Can you tell me what it was that you could not establish.
5 A. I could not establish who sent in the proposal, where the original
6 idea came from, and who gave a positive assessment, and the road the
7 proposal took until it reached the personnel department. I wasn't able to
8 establish that. I was told that the proposals are not stored but are
9 destroyed with that year of promotion, when it expires. That's the
10 standard procedure.
11 Q. Very well. Otherwise the regular procedure, is it that the
12 superior commands send on one to the other, or rather the subordinate to
13 the superior, up the chain of command until it reaches the top-most level
14 in the chain?
15 A. Yes, that's the regular procedure. However, in this particular
16 case, I cannot know when the proposal was sent out.
17 Q. Very well. Thank you.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher's assistance
19 again, please, and have the witness shown a document. It is Exhibit P61,
20 Prosecution Exhibit 61, tab 26.
21 Q. This is a letter, Mr. Jokic, sent by Minister Kouchner to the head
22 of the Monitoring Mission, the Dutch ambassador, and the date is the 23rd
23 of November --
24 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I believe that is not what
25 was referred to as P61, tab 26. Perhaps we could get that clarified.
1 JUDGE PARKER: The document I have at tab 26 is quite different
2 from that, Mr. Rodic.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in tab 26, which I
4 received from the Prosecution, is a letter from Minister Kouchner dated
5 the 23rd of November sent to the head of mission. And the previous
6 document from tab 26 is a letter by the head of mission addressed to
7 Minister Kouchner. Perhaps there's a mix-up.
8 JUDGE PARKER: You must have a different binder, not the binder
9 that was used in respect of the present witness, if you're going back to
10 Exhibit P61.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, P61 on the list is the
12 binder for Witness Hvalkof, and there are 42 tabs there.
13 JUDGE PARKER: We have the document identified now. It doesn't
14 help us greatly as we don't have it with us. But carry on, Mr. Rodic.
15 MS. SOMERS: May I respectfully ask that it go on the ELMO, if you
16 have it. Thank you.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Jokic, on the 23rd of November, or before that, did you meet
19 Minister Kouchner at all? Because here in his letter, he says that
20 "Negotiations are now on the federal side at the level of General
21 Damjanovic and Admiral Jokic."
22 A. No, not at all. What I said was that I met him in Mokosica, and
23 that's all, that the negotiations were conducted by Colonel Damjanovic on
24 that occasion, and he was promoted that very day to the rank of general.
25 And that was the 21st of November. And after that, I did not conduct any
1 negotiations whatsoever, nor did I take part in any. And I didn't then
2 either except that we agreed that we would enter into Mokosica peacefully.
3 Q. Well, is this quotation from Mr. Kouchner's letter addressed to
4 the head of mission incorrect in which you are mentioned as one of the
5 negotiators on behalf of the Federation?
6 A. Perhaps he considered that I took part in the negotiations on the
7 21st. I don't know where he came from at all. He came from Dubrovnik,
8 and he was brought in by Damjanovic. So it's clear who led the
9 negotiations then. And he's mentioned here first. He's the first name
10 mentioned here.
11 Q. And why does Minister Kouchner mention you, too?
12 A. Well, he probably thought that since we were in Mokosica together
13 and led negotiations about the surrender of weapons in Mokosica, that I
14 was included in the negotiations. But, if you want me to, I can tell you
15 who he negotiated with later on, where that took place, and so on.
16 Q. There's no need. Just tell me, when were you together with him?
17 Was it the 21st of November?
18 A. Yes, just that one time in Mokosica.
19 Q. All right. Thank you.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I have the usher's assistance
21 again, please. And from P61, the same exhibit, show the document from tab
23 Q. On Monday, the 25th of November, did you, as it says here, the
24 military and navy commanders of the JNA in the Dubrovnik area, General
25 Damjanovic and Admiral Jokic, on the JNA side take part in this agreement
1 with the mayor of Dubrovnik, Mr. Pero Poljanic, and the commander of the
2 Croatian army in the Dubrovnik area, Nikola Obuljen, on the Croatian side
3 in the presence of Mr. B. Kouchner, agreed on these three points as they
4 are set out to follow.
5 A. Absolutely not. This is the first time I see this document. And
6 as for Dubrovnik, I wasn't in Dubrovnik during the operation at all, nor
7 do I have any idea of what this is all about.
8 Q. Well, why, then, in the memorandum of the agreement would your
9 name be specified? Do you have any information about that?
10 A. No, I have no information about that. But I think that this
11 document is nonsensical as far as my name is concerned and my stay in
12 Dubrovnik. That is the face of it.
13 Q. So with respect to you personally, everything mentioned in this
14 document is not true?
15 A. Absolutely not.
16 Q. Very well. Thank you.
17 Tell me, please --
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Or rather, I'd like to ask the usher's
19 assistance again. Would he show the witness another document. It's P61,
20 from tab 29.
21 Q. Mr. Jokic, this is a report sent by the deputy head of the
22 regional centre of Dubrovnik; that is to say, from the Monitoring Mission
23 for his operational group in the regional centre of Split. And the
24 subject is the meeting between Minister Rudolf and yourself in Cavtat from
25 1000 to 1300 hours in December 1991. 1st of December 1991. You were at
1 that meeting, were you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it true that this meeting was held, as it says, in a friendly
4 and positive atmosphere, as Mr. Rudolf says?
5 A. Absolutely correct. I remember this very well, and I even
6 proposed that the talk should be held without them, but not with a view to
7 excluding them. I didn't say without them. What I meant was there should
8 be no translation, no interpretation, so that we could work as efficiently
9 as possible and reach an agreement as soon as possible. So that was the
10 gist of my proposal and why I proposed it.
11 Q. Would you please now take a look at paragraph 3 where it says that
12 Mr. Rudolf said that the following topics were discussed: A, B, C, D, and
13 E. Was that how it was? Was that what happened?
14 A. Well, it wasn't quite like that.
15 Q. With respect to 3A.
16 A. An unconditional cease-fire was accepted independently of the fact
17 that the agreement had not been signed. So all these points were
18 accepted, were agreed upon, except the control of ships, and it remained
19 to be seen whether this check should be done at sea or in the ports. That
20 was the only point challenged.
21 Q. Do you mean 3D?
22 A. Yes. And we were supposed to rule on that the next day.
23 Q. As it is written down here, was the proposal, or your proposal on
24 the 5th of December that the officers of the JNA in civilian clothes
25 should control the cargo in the port along with supervision by the
1 European Community?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Which harbour did this refer to?
4 A. The Dubrovnik harbour, the port of Gruz.
5 Q. And what on the 5th of December did the Croatian side think with
6 respect to that matter? Or rather, what were their proposals or demands
7 on the subject?
8 A. They demanded that the ships be controlled and checked in the port
9 of Gruz. And I wasn't able to accept that at that time in view of the
10 security problems for that team of officers. So that was the only reason
11 why the agreement wasn't signed.
12 Q. In the letter that we looked at a moment ago, dated the 6th of
13 December that you sent to Minister Rudolf, under item 4, point 4, you
14 proposed that the vessels be controlled in the port of Gruz. Is that
16 A. Well, yes. When I concluded the negotiations in Cavtat on the 5th
17 of December, I went to the command post of the 2nd Operational Group and
18 informed General Strugar about the talks that were held. And I happened
19 to mention this matter of the control and check of ships. And he
20 -- actually, he didn't mind whether it was done at sea or on land. What
21 he said, the important thing was that the ships should be checked and
22 controlled. Whether it was done at sea or in the port was immaterial.
23 And I took that to mean that that item should not be cause for not signing
24 the agreement, should not be a reason why the agreement was not signed, so
25 I accepted the port of Gruz as being the location.
1 Q. Why didn't you accept it straight away on the 5th of December?
2 A. Well, I've already told you why; because there were several
3 officers who would have to do the actual work. And in a hostile
4 environment, in an environment which could have erupted in incidents at
5 any moment because the captain of the frigate, Jeremic, had already
6 informed me, and he had been to Dubrovnik several times, that he was
7 almost attacked by the citizens and by persons in uniform as well.
8 Q. So in the proposal from the Dubrovnik side on the 5th of December
9 to carry out this control in the port of Gruz, along with the presence of
10 the EC Monitoring Mission, did the Croatian side on that occasion, the 5th
11 of December, guarantee the security and safety of the JNA officers who
12 would conduct that check and control of the vessels?
13 A. Well, yes, of course, they did. They guaranteed the same thing to
14 Jeremic and all the others who entered town. It is only natural for them
15 to give such guarantees.
16 Q. If they gave such guarantees on the 5th of December, too, then
17 there was no reason for that kind of concern. Could this agreement not
18 have been accepted on the 5th?
19 A. Yes, now. If that is the way you put it now, it seems only
20 natural. However, one had to be there then at the time, and then one
21 would realise how well-founded my concern for my officers was at the time.
22 Because there had been casualties in that port of Gruz. There were
23 casualties among the civilians as well. It was hard to prevent the
24 incidents that could have occurred and in which these officers would have
25 been the target.
1 Q. All right.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher for his
3 assistance to place tab 30 from P61 before the witness.
4 Q. Mr. Jokic, this is a log sheet of one of the members of the ECMM
5 mission in Dubrovnik, Mr. Per Hvalkof, who was there at the time. Do you
6 know him from the negotiations of the 5th and 7th of December, the
7 negotiations you had with the Dubrovnik side? Because on the 7th of
8 December, he verified the agreement that you had reached.
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. Could you please look at page 1. The time is 0600 hours. It's
11 the log sheet for the 6th of December. It says: "Shelling from land and
12 sea towards the fortress close to the TV tower, Sroj - it's actually
13 supposed to be Srdj - and the harbour commenced." And then on the
14 right-hand side there are remarks saying that Split and Zagreb had already
15 been informed about it. Was there any shelling from land and sea against
16 Srdj on the morning of the 6th at 6.00?
17 A. I have no information regarding the shelling coming from the sea.
18 But from land, yes.
19 Q. And did you investigate whether there had been any operations from
20 the sea on the 6th of December?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Did you establish that there weren't any operations from sea?
23 A. Yes, that is what I established.
24 Q. Is this incorrect information, then, from this log sheet where it
25 says that at 6.00 in the morning on the 6th of December there was shelling
1 from sea as well?
2 A. Absolutely incorrect. We looked at all the ship logbooks from two
3 ships that were at sea at that time. The commander of the defence of the
4 town of Dubrovnik also says that, according to his information, on the 6th
5 the ships did not take any action.
6 Q. Which commander said that?
7 A. Colonel Nojko Marinovic, commander of the defence of the town of
9 Q. Where did you read this?
10 A. In his testimony, in his statement.
11 Q. Was this testimony given before this Tribunal? Was this statement
12 made to the Prosecution?
13 A. Yes. That's right. But what I'm saying is that we checked the
14 ship logbooks for the 6th of December.
15 Q. All right. Tell me, look at the time of 0920 hours where it says
16 that Minister Rudolf talked to the secretary of Admiral Jokic that a
17 cease-fire had been promised and meeting agreed upon for 11.00 at Cavtat.
18 Can you tell us something about this particular remark.
19 A. I can say that my secretary's name is Ivan Hrvoje.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters' note that the question used the
21 feminine form in B/C/S, and the name is a masculine one.
22 A. I don't know whether he actually spoke to them. Maybe he said
23 that he knew where I was or he didn't know where I was, but since he is a
24 noncommissioned officer, I don't know what he could have said and how he
25 could have made any promises regarding a cease-fire. That is not
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. But is it possible that on the 6th of December, when you left
4 Kumbor, this alleged lady secretary of yours, and you say that it's an
5 NCO, was not in Cavtat at all, that he was not in Cavtat at all?
6 A. No, he was not. He was in Kumbor in the office, or rather in the
7 operations centre.
8 Q. Did you know anything about this particular remark, that at 0920,
9 someone was talked to, some person who was your secretary, male or female,
10 and regarding this meeting in Cavtat, et cetera?
11 A. No. I talked to Minister Rudolf sometime between 9.00 and 10.00,
12 or rather, I spoke to him twice. During the first conversation, he
13 claimed to me that the Old Town was being attacked and I said to him that
14 that was not correct, that our unit was targeting Srdj.
15 Q. All right. Tell me, can you remember at what time this first
16 conversation took place?
17 A. I think it was around 10.00, between 9.30 and 10.00, because I was
18 in Cavtat, I think. I was supposed to be there, judging by everything,
19 because I carried out the second conversation from Cavtat because that's
20 when he told me, "Can't you hear the shells falling on the Old Town?"
21 Q. All right. Could you please look at the time of 10 past 11.00 in
22 this document.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask for the paper on
24 the ELMO to be moved so that the Trial Chamber can see.
25 Q. It says here that there was a message from the naval base in Boka
1 Kotorska that the JNA would cease-fire at 11.15. Who was it that conveyed
2 this message as is stated here and that a meeting was planned for Cavtat
3 for 1330 hours? Is the content of this remark correct?
4 A. Yes. I'm not sure because it was not possible for this meeting,
5 but the cease-fire I'm sure about that, yes. As for 11.15, I think that
6 we agreed on 11.00 or 11.30. But if he wrote 11.15, then it's possible.
7 And that is what I reported. That is what I informed Minister Rudolf of
8 and Kozaric also, informing him to tell Zec. And that's the way it was,
10 Q. Tell me, around 7.00 in the morning on the 6th of December, did
11 you receive any kind of fax, a fax message from the Dubrovnik side or from
12 the crisis staff or from the Monitoring Mission?
13 A. No, no, no. I have no recollection of that. I think the answer
14 is no. No.
15 Q. Please take a look at 1430 hours. The message received by
16 Minister Rudolf is referred to here. Please read it and see whether it
17 corresponds to your message of the 6th of December. And you said that you
18 dictated that message to Captain Kurdulija.
19 A. These are just some elements -- well, possibly. But I'm surprised
20 that there are only two or three things from that message that are
21 referred to. Yes, well, since this was a translation, then yes, it's
22 possible. The time is approximately the right one, 1430.
23 Q. Please look at 1531. It says that a copy of the message received
24 from Captain Jokic was translated.
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. At that time, you certainly were not in Cavtat.
2 A. No, no, I wasn't. That is right. It could be right in terms of
3 the time involved.
4 Q. And please look at 1610. It says: "Minister Rudolf informs me -
5 Mr. Hvalkof - that General Strugar has now ordered immediate cease-fire."
6 At that time, could Minister Rudolf have spoken to General Strugar at all?
7 A. No, no. Perhaps with his headquarters, but not him because
8 General Strugar was with me in Belgrade at the time. Probably his chief
9 of staff.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could I please ask the usher to place
12 before the witness tab 31. From Exhibit P61, that is.
13 Q. In the introduction, you have it in Serbian, and I should like the
14 usher to place a copy -- but we only have one copy. Could that one copy
15 be placed on the ELMO, then, please.
16 Mr. Jokic, this was signed by Per Hvalkof, the man you met at
17 these negotiations. And he says that he sent a fax to your name from the
18 ECMM on the 6th of December, and that the fax, at 7.12 hours in the
19 morning, was sent to the VPS at Boka. Did you receive a fax like that,
20 this message? Were you informed of that?
21 A. Probably the fax did arrive. I think that between 7.00 and 8.00,
22 or 8.30, I had at least 30 telephone conversations back and forth between
23 me and Kupari and Trebinje, Podgorica, and so on. So probably it arrived
24 during that period of time. If that's what it says, then probably.
25 Q. What do you mean, "If that's what it says"?
1 A. Well, I can't remember because all these other events were taking
2 place at the same time, everything that this fax refers to. I was solving
3 those questions and I was engaged in doing that. So as I say, I can't
4 remember now.
5 Q. But why a moment ago when I showed you the log sheet by
6 Mr. Hvalkof with the times listed and when I asked whether at around 7.00
7 a.m. you received a fax from the Monitoring Mission, your answer was that
8 you did not, you had not? Was it because it wasn't recorded in the log
9 sheet that a fax had been sent to you?
10 A. No, I'm saying now that I can't remember that at all. I am not
11 denying that it arrived. What I'm saying is that I can't even remember to
12 this day that it arrived. Probably it did. But as I say, at that time I
13 was busy doing -- engaged in other matters. And I invested my efforts to
14 stop the attack. Between 6.00 and 8.00, that was the only thing that I
15 was doing. I was interested in nothing else but achieving that.
16 Q. Would you now take a look at the second half written in English.
17 On the left-hand side, you have the signature of Mr. Hvalkof; on the
18 right-hand side, it has -- it says "Sent 060714, Nov. - abbreviation -
19 1991." Do you have any comments to make with respect to that entry?
20 A. No, I don't know. I don't know what it means.
21 Q. Could that be November 1991?
22 A. That's what it says. But I don't know what this 060714 means. I
23 don't know what that means.
24 Q. Can you tell me, since at the time in the morning you were still
25 in Kumbor, is it possible that nobody of your subordinate officers would
1 not have handed you this fax or informed you about it? Would that be
3 A. No, it would not be possible. Had it arrived at headquarters and
4 not been handed over to me, that is quite impossible, of course.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown a
7 document from tab 32, also within Exhibit P61.
8 Q. Take a look at the upper left-hand corner. The abbreviation "ORS
9 Dubrovnik," is that the coastal radar station of Dubrovnik?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. Did you -- this radiogram sent to the VPS of Boka, did you receive
12 it that morning? That is to say, the 6th of December 1991, because it
13 says "urgent," "urgently forward," et cetera.
14 A. Probably, although I don't remember. What I do know is --
15 Q. Please, Mr. Jokic, let's do our best to be as precise as possible
16 and try to avoid answers like "probably," "I think," "I assume," and so
17 on. Did you receive this message?
18 A. I said, sir, that I do not remember. I knew that there were
19 operations against Srdj at this time.
20 Q. What time was that?
21 A. 10 to 6.00, 0550 hours.
22 Q. So 0550 hours, you had information that the JNA had opened fire on
24 A. Yes, but I said I don't remember.
25 Q. But there's mention here of opening fire from -- ship artillery
1 fire on Dubrovnik, which means that the crisis staff of Dubrovnik for that
2 time period is warning the command of the VPS of Boka that there was
3 firing from ship artillery on Dubrovnik.
4 A. There was no ship artillery fire at all.
5 Q. So is this an incorrect piece of information once again?
6 A. Of course.
7 Q. Can you tell me, please, how, then, this document was not shown
8 you either, like the previous fax.
9 A. I didn't say that it was not shown to me. I didn't tell you that.
10 I didn't say that the document wasn't shown.
11 Q. But do you remember that on the 6th in the morning -- do you
12 remember having read it?
13 A. I said I do not remember the document. I did not say that it was
14 not. I said that I did not remember it because if somebody brought this
15 document in to me at that time, I was busy trying to stop a willful attack
16 on the part of Captain Kovacevic, and all the lines were down at the time
17 so nobody could reach me. The chief of the General Staff couldn't, or
18 General Kadijevic or Admiral Kandic or General Strugar, who were probably
19 all ringing me up and trying to reach me. And that's a fact. That's how
20 things stood, and this situation went on for at least an hour while I was
21 on relay communication.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, would that be a
24 convenient time?
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic, it would be.
1 We will resume tomorrow morning.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day of
4 April, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.