1 Friday, 16 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE PARKER: I remind the admiral of the affirmation.
9 WITNESS: MIODRAG JOKIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic: [Continued]
12 Q. Mr. Jokic, can you please tell me, what can be the basis for a
13 commander in the middle of operations to make the so-called corrective
15 A. If a commander establishes that the factual situation in terms of
16 carrying out orders in its combat activities is such that it requires a
17 change in the previous decisions, regardless of whether on account of
18 casualties or because the enemy unexpectedly and suddenly launched certain
19 operations or stepped up firing, there are a number of different
21 Q. Can this occur also pursuant to a proposal by one of the
23 A. Yes, that's a possibility. This is often the case.
24 Q. What about Bosanka and Strincjera, the forts that were attacked
25 between the 9th and 13th of November? Were those features within the zone
1 of responsibility of the 9th VPS?
2 A. Yes, they were.
3 Q. You were the commander who was best placed to assess the situation
4 in the zone of responsibility, weren't you, and to make requests or
5 express the need for the attack to go on for a longer time?
6 A. I'm not sure what you mean by go on for a longer time, or prolong
7 the attack.
8 Q. If the previous attack fails to attain the objectives or if one
9 objective was attained but another objective emerged and had to be
10 accomplished, speaking strictly in terms of the situation on the ground.
11 A. Yes, I understand your question. Every day, the command of the
12 2nd operational group pursuant to a proposal by a subordinate command, or
13 on its own, on its own accord, makes decisions as to how to use its
14 subordinate forces. Therefore, the commander, specifically myself, would
15 not make such a decision on my own to continue the attack because the
16 objective of the previous order was not reached. But again, pursuant to a
17 decision of the command of the 2nd Operational Group and my own proposal,
18 the attack could be continued, as was the case here.
19 Q. The command of the 2nd Operational Group, the proposal to continue
20 operations, for example, in the Mostar area, would this proposal be given
21 to it by the commander of the 37th Corps, in view of the fact that he
22 would be the person best placed to assess the situation in that particular
23 territory because it lies within his zone of responsibility, doesn't it?
24 A. Yes. And he was the one who made proposals on how to use his
25 forces. And the command of the 2nd Operational Group would then adopt or
1 fail to adopt or approve this proposal.
2 Q. Would the situation be the same with the 2nd Corps in relation to
3 the 2nd Operational Group then?
4 A. Yes. I believe there is no difference there. The only difference
5 being that the area of combat operations along the ridge between Dubrava
6 and Srdj was so close to Trebinje and the command of the 2nd Operational
7 Group that the influence could even have been more immediate.
8 Q. But what I'm aiming at is to establish a principle. Is this the
9 principle according to which the subordinate units and their superior
10 command operate?
11 A. Yes, you're quite right. This was the principle according to
12 which decisions were made.
13 Q. Among other things, the reason was the enormous territory to be
14 covered, the commander of the 2nd OG could not be present in each and
15 every sector of this territory during a single day, could he?
16 A. That's quite correct.
17 Q. Did you give the OTP an interview between the 1st and 5th of July
18 2002, the 6th and the 12th of September 2003, in February 2004, on the
19 12th and 13th of March 2004, and between the 15th and 18th of March 2004?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. On that occasion, did you tell the truth to the investigators who
22 were questioning or interviewing you?
23 A. Yes, absolutely.
24 Q. I will show you a portion of your statement on page 51, in the
25 English version, pages 55 and 56, the interview that took place between
1 the 6th and 12th of September.
2 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, if an interview is going to be cited to
3 the witness, we would ask that the pages in his language be presented to
4 him. The physical page.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, all these interviews are
6 quite comprehensive in terms of the number of pages they comprise. I
7 don't have the sufficient number of copies. I can quote from the
8 interviews, and my learned friend and colleague is surely in possession of
9 these interviews. Should I make a mistake, she is always free to step in
10 and correct me.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Do you have a copy that can be given to the
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately not, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Often very difficult for the witness to follow
15 simply hearing a reading of it. It may be necessary to show him a copy
16 from time to time.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] In relation to half of these issues,
18 Your Honour, as you must be aware, the transcript was never made. And we
19 have faced situations where we had to show other witnesses what they said
20 in their interviews; and yet, we've never faced a situation where we had
21 to place their statements in front of them during their testimony because
22 that was never requested.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on for the moment, Mr. Rodic. We will see
24 how it works out.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Jokic, the question asked by the investigator was the
2 following. He says "and we shall conclude now for today. Can you tell us
3 who made the decision to relaunch the offensive?" Your answer was: "Well,
4 General Strugar. I received an order to take Bosanka, or rather he asked
5 that a proposal be drawn up on how to use the forces, I believe."
6 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I'm not able to find in the
7 English version pages that Mr. Rodic mentioned -- the passage. Perhaps if
8 he has it, he can put it on the ELMO.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] The page in English would be 56.
10 MS. SOMERS: If perhaps the ERN were on it would be more helpful
11 than the page number because there are different page numbers here.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] What has been disclosed to us are the
13 pages that I'm giving you in the English copy. In addition to the ERN
14 number, there are also the regular page numbers starting with 1, and this
15 is page 56.
16 Q. What you said in the interview, is that true?
17 A. Yes. I remember that clearly. It's true.
18 Q. Did you point out that the situation in relation to the operations
19 being carried out by your units in November 1991 was important in relation
20 to Bosanka and that Srdj was not to be taken?
21 A. Yes, that's correct. What I pointed out, if you want, it's right
22 there in the continuation of this section or the following section, why
23 there was a proposal to take Bosanka. That's what the investigator wanted
24 to know specifically. Why after Zarkovica we set out for Bosanka.
25 Q. Please explain, if you can.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I told him that between Brgat, where the command was of the mixed
2 detachment of the TO, and later the command of the 3rd Battalion, and
3 Zarkovica, there is a road, the only road in the area which was used for
4 transporting supplies. And also, that we at Bosanka were often under
5 heavy fire, and we were suffering losses, especially after the Bosanka
6 fort was reinforced following the arrival of volunteers on the convoy that
7 sailed into Dubrovnik on the 13th of October.
8 Q. Are we talking about the convoy under the leadership of Stjepan
10 A. Yes, that's the one. That's what our proposal to the command was,
11 to take Bosanka, and this proposal was adopted.
12 Q. In the July 2002 interview, did you tell the investigators that
13 there was never an order to take Srdj?
14 MS. SOMERS: Would you cite, please, the page.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] The page is, the English page is 66
16 and 67.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, in essence, I answered hundreds
18 of questions in all these interviews, and there are no discrepancies. A
19 possible exception might be constituted by the fact that my first
20 interview in July was given before I had a chance to go through the entire
21 military files as they relate to the Dubrovnik operation. However, these
22 minor corrections to my answers cast no doubt in any essential way on any
23 of my answers that may or may not be slightly different, nor do they cast
24 a doubt on my sincerity and truthfulness. As far as Srdj is concerned,
25 I'll say it again. When I said that Srdj was never a target for us, I was
1 speaking about myself, I was speaking about my command. It was never my
2 aim to take Srdj. I had no such aim to carry out. But I don't think it
3 was either in relation to the command of the 2nd Operational Group or the
4 General Staff. I never said anything about them. The last time around
5 you simply didn't allow me to explain.
6 Q. If you could just provide a brief explanation because there's
7 still plenty for us to go through today.
8 A. Very well. I found a directive that you failed to present this
9 time. There's another directive nine pages long issued by the General
10 Staff. And what it says there is "take Srdj." During the war, however, I
11 never heard of it. I never saw this directive. It was only after we were
12 allowed to gain access to the files that I found this one. And that's
13 when it became clearer to me why the command of the 2nd Operational Group
14 had ordered those forts to be taken, including Srdj.
15 I've finished my explanation.
16 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, now, from October 2001 to August
17 2003, you prepared your Defence case. You studied the documents of the
18 Prosecution, and you gathered together material evidence and had
19 conversations with potential witnesses in your Defence. Is that right?
20 A. Well, yes, including my Defence team and the investigators. I
21 wasn't able to talk to potential witnesses myself, but with some of them,
23 Q. Bearing in mind the fact that at the beginning, before the
24 Tribunal and via the information media in Serbia, as we were able to see,
25 with the situation with the Nin magazine, you denied your guilt with
1 respect to the indictment concerning Dubrovnik in 1991, can you tell us
2 now please why you changed your position and pleaded guilty? What led you
3 to do that?
4 A. I did not confess to begin with because the indictment was such --
5 on such a broad scale and so incorrect that it did not actually refer to
6 me in a large number -- a large portion of its contents. For example,
7 criminal enterprise did not refer to me because had Admiral Djurovic not
8 been killed, I would never have found myself in Dubrovnik in the first
9 place or here in The Hague either. So that was just pure coincidence that
10 I came to take up his command.
11 Second, I do not feel responsible or guilty for all the
12 destruction of the settlements and neighbourhoods that are mentioned --
13 Q. Mr. Jokic, let's not go that far afield. We've already --
14 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. A question is on the floor.
15 The witness has attempted to answer it. It doesn't suit Defence counsel,
16 but it's his answer.
17 JUDGE PARKER: You may take it up further in re-examination, if
18 you wish, Ms. Somers. He has given the answer, and we'll take it from
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Jokic, when I asked you that question, I wasn't asking you
22 about parts of the indictment that were dropped, but the events linked to
23 the 6th of December that you confessed to, was that in the first
24 indictment? Were they contained in the first indictment, the original
1 A. Yes, that's right. That portion was in the original indictment,
2 and I accepted the command responsibility for the 6th of December. And
3 what -- the fact that I didn't manage to stop the attack, the willful
4 attack on the part of the command of the 3rd Battalion.
5 Q. Why didn't you do so? When it came to the 6th of December, why
6 didn't you do so immediately if you considered yourself to be responsible?
7 A. I didn't understand your question. When do you mean "straight
8 away," "immediately"?
9 Q. When you pleaded on the first occasion in November 2001. You
10 entered your plea.
11 A. The points weren't set out in that way. They weren't formulated
12 in that way, in aiding and abetting and so on and so forth. Count was not
13 formulated in that way in the indictment. I was asked about the entire
14 indictment to begin with, and then the individual counts of the
15 indictment. And I wasn't responsible pursuant to those counts or to blame
16 at all.
17 Q. In that original indictment, were there counts referring to the
18 6th of December?
19 A. Yes. But they were not formulated. That particular count was not
20 formulated and worded in such a way that I should be held responsible for
21 command responsibility, and that was in order as regards Article 7(3), and
22 for failure to react. Or rather, I wasn't able to stop that willful
23 attack. That was not how the count of the indictment was formulated, and
24 that's what I wanted to say. That's not how I understood it.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may we now go into
2 private session for the next portion of my cross-examination because we're
3 going to discuss the agreement that the witness made with the Prosecution.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Private session, yes.
5 [Private session]
12 Pages 4823 to 4851 – redacted – private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Jokic, can you tell me, please, on the 5th of December in
24 Cavtat, when roughly speaking did you conclude your talks with
25 Minister Rudolf?
1 A. We concluded our talks at around 12.00, a little after 12.00. And
2 then we had lunch after that, which would make it around 1.00. Half past
3 1.00 at the latest when I left Cavtat.
4 Q. Can you tell me, please, where you went after you left Cavtat on
5 that particular day.
6 A. I went to Trebinje, to the command post, 2nd Operational Group.
7 Q. How long did you remain in Trebinje at the command post of the 2nd
9 A. Perhaps half an hour. I can't be sure. Half an hour to one hour.
10 But anyway, I went back to Kupari, and I was there at around 5.00.
11 Q. And what were you doing in Kupari when you got there from
13 A. I was in my command with the staff of the command, and I informed
14 them of the concluded negotiations. I conveyed this to my immediate
15 associates and said that all the units must be informed that the agreement
16 had been reached and that there would be a cease-fire imminent, and that
17 that news should reach each and every unit. I also said that in addition
18 to the fact that the agreement would be signed the next day officially,
19 that the cease-fire and the agreement came into effect at 12.00 and that
20 the units should be told that from the morning it was forbidden to open
21 fire. And that this should be relayed to the units by telephone.
22 Q. Can you tell me, please, who you reported this to and further down
23 the line who passed this information on to the subordinate units?
24 A. Well, I said my immediate staff, that is to say, the chief of
25 staff, the chief of the operational department, Colonel Kovacevic, my
1 immediate associates and people who were directly responsible for the
2 operation in terms of reporting.
3 Q. Did they pass on that information to the subordinate units, the
4 order, in fact, the order on a cease-fire effective on the 6th of
5 December, and that on the 6th of December at 12.00 noon there should be an
6 absolute observance of the cease-fire?
7 A. Yes, that's right. That's just how it was.
8 Q. Can you tell me, please, who specifically performed that task.
9 A. Well, the commander has to say which telephone he is using and
10 issue assignments. It is my duty to order -- to let the chief of staff
11 know about this order, and then he goes down the line. Now, if you want
12 the exact procedure, I can, of course, tell you. But whether those were
13 the steps, I can't say. The chief of the operational department conveys
14 the information to the duty officer.
15 Q. Did you receive feedback information? That's what I'm interested
16 in. Who from your staff informed the subordinate units on the 5th of
17 December that a cease-fire had been agreed upon and was to come into
18 force? Because I assume this was important information.
19 You, as the commander, did you have any feedback information? And
20 if so, who carried the task out?
21 A. Well, I didn't ask for feedback information, nor did I need it. I
22 was just informed that the order had been carried out and that the message
23 had been conveyed to the units.
24 Q. Who informed you about that?
25 A. The duty -- or rather, the head of the operational department who
1 was at the command post.
2 Q. And who was on duty that day? Who was the duty officer at the
3 forward command post of Kupari?
4 A. It was Frigate Captain Slobodan Kozaric.
5 Q. So that means he reported back to you that your orders had been
6 carried out?
7 A. Yes, absolutely correct. I was perhaps at the command post while
8 this was actually being done because I stayed there perhaps longer than
9 half an hour. Maybe an hour. So I might have been there while that was
10 being carried out.
11 Q. Tell me, please, this order of yours, was it conveyed orally down
12 to the subordinate units, or was this conveyed in written form? How was
13 this generally done? How was this done on that occasion?
14 A. All orders, important ones, which are passed down the subordinate
15 units via their commands, if they are not written out in document form,
16 are recorded in the war logbook.
17 Q. Now, in the logbook, war logbook, of the 9th VPS, was this entry
18 recorded about having conveyed subordinate units individually about the
19 cease-fire that was to come into force on the 6th of December? Was that
20 done and recorded?
21 A. Well, it quite certainly wasn't written down as an individual
22 order or the individual units concerned. Most probably, it says, and that
23 is usually the case, that all subordinate units or commands were informed
24 thereof. Now, if we were to go on to enumerate all these, then you would
25 have 20 or 30 units and commands that would have to be listed for that one
2 Q. All right. Now, just tell me if you know, apart from that war
3 logbook whether there was any other written trace or document with an
4 entry of that kind? That is to say, information to units about the
5 cease-fire on the 6th of December, if you can tell me. If not, let's move
7 A. I don't know. Perhaps in addition to the war logbook, there is a
8 book where all sorts of things are written, a sort of scrapbook. That's
9 the unofficial word they use at the operations duty centre. Perhaps it is
10 within the operations scrapbook.
11 Q. And as you were preparing your Defence, did you have insight into
12 this war logbook? Did you see it written there?
13 A. Yes, I did have insight. Yes. If you're interested in whether
14 this was conveyed for the commander of the 3rd Battalion, I know it was,
15 and everybody knows it was. He knows that, too. That's not in dispute at
16 all. If that's the point of your question.
17 Q. No, the point of my question is exactly what I asked you. As for
18 the commander of the 3rd Battalion, I would have asked you directly.
19 Tell me, when did you leave Kupari and where did you go to?
20 A. I don't know exactly, of course, after all these years. But I
21 think I finished between 5.00 and 6.00, and I went straight to Kumbor
22 because I had things to do at the command. I had a lot of work as a
23 matter of fact, especially with regard to the evacuation of different
24 units. But it was the 5th sector of Pula that had its turn then.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 Tell me, the command of the 9th VPS, on the 5th of December, in
2 its regular combat report, did it inform its superior command that during
3 the course of the day an important meeting had been held in Cavtat and
4 what was agreed upon at that meeting?
5 A. That is normal procedure. But I personally went to the commander,
6 General Strugar, and I informed him in detail about all the points of the
7 agreement. I think that that's for sure. And as for that report, it is
8 probably contained there. I don't know about that.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher now to
10 distribute this document, please.
11 Q. Mr. Jokic, is this a regular combat report of your command dated
12 the 5th of December 1991 addressed to the 2nd Operational Group, signed by
13 the chief of staff?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In this document, is there any mention whatsoever in a single word
16 of your meeting with Minister Rudolf and the agreement that was reached in
17 Cavtat on that day?
18 A. No, there is no mention whatsoever.
19 Q. Was that a noteworthy event? In terms of its importance, wasn't
20 it supposed to be included in this report?
21 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. I have to object unless the
22 Defence is overlooking its paragraph 3 of the document it's putting in.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Jokic, under item 3, it says: "I decided to continue
25 following the agreed cease-fire." At that time, even before the 5th of
1 December, had there been a cease-fire that was in force?
2 A. Yes. I informed the commander of the 2nd Operational Group about
3 the details and all points of the agreement. So whether it was before
4 this or whether Zec, the chief of staff, had already sent the report I
5 don't know. But the commander of the 2nd Operational Group was made aware
6 of the details of that agreement, and that is not in dispute.
7 Q. Not in dispute for who, Mr. Jokic?
8 A. It is not in dispute in terms of what I have been saying, whether
9 the command of the 2nd Operational Group and the commander were made aware
10 of the details of the agreement of the 5th of December. Because that is
11 the point. That is the essence. Because there's no mention of it in the
12 report as to whether the commander, my superior officer, was informed
13 about this or not. As a matter of fact, we even discussed whether there
14 should -- whether ships should be checked at sea or in the Port of Gruz.
15 Q. Tell me, in the last sentence, the chief of staff, what does he
16 inform the superior command of, last sentence in paragraph 4?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. That "morale is affected very adversely by ships exiting and
19 entering the Port of Dubrovnik."
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that they do not have the text
21 yet again.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. So tell me what is this? What kind of adverse affect is this on
24 morale, and whose morale at that?
25 A. Every week, two or three foreign ships would sail in to the Port
1 of Dubrovnik, as well as Croatian ships, ships that were bringing in aid,
2 food aid, medicine, and other supplies. There was an incident then
3 between a ship called Cap d'Afrique, a French boat, which did not allow
4 this check to be carried out.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] All right. Your Honour, I would like
6 to ask for this document to be admitted into evidence as a Defence
7 exhibit, and could it please be assigned a number.
8 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This exhibit is D61.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Jokic, in your interview in July 2002, that is pages 175 and
12 176 of that interview, I am going to read out the question that was read
13 out to you. This is the English version that I'm talking about. This is
14 what you were asked. The investigator asked you: "At what time did the
15 meeting end, or rather these concrete negotiations on the 5th of
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they do not have the
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Answer. You say, "I know that it was lunchtime, meaning it could
21 have been around 3.00. Around that. 1500 hours in the afternoon." The
22 investigator asks you then yet again: "Will you tell us what you did on
23 the 5th of December in the afternoon and in the evening? Who did you
24 meet? How many meetings did you have and with who?" You answer the
25 following: "I think -- I mean I do not remember the details, but I know
1 that after the report I sent to the commander of the 2nd Operational
2 Group, I issued an order to Chief of Staff Zec in relation to the
3 cease-fire. From Cavtat, I went to Kumbor to my headquarters. Since this
4 was completed successfully, I thought that there was no need for me to
5 have any further meetings with my command. I spent the night at
6 headquarters, too, and I resolved the question related to the evacuation
7 of the units from the 5th Sector of Pula."
8 That is page 175 of the English translation. And page 176, in
9 response to a further question by the investigator: "Did you have a
10 meeting in the afternoon with the chief of staff, or did you only talk to
11 him? What did you tell us about that?" Your answer is as follows: "I
12 think that I let him know about all of that over the telephone from the
13 headquarters in Cavtat. Since the situation was stable, a cease-fire was
14 concluded, we did not have any obligations why I would be duty-bound to
15 give any kind of orders to the commanders." The investigator then asks:
16 "Where did you phone him? Where was he then?" Answer: "He was certainly
17 in Kupari at the forward command post."
18 From this part of the interview that you gave to the
19 investigators, it can be derived that it's not only that you did not go to
20 Trebinje to see the commander of the operational group, that you did not
21 go to Kupari, that you carried out all these conversations by and that you
22 briefed everybody over the phone, too. Is that right?
23 A. Yes, but I told you before that what the difference was between
24 that interview in July which was before I had read and studied all the
25 documents in the military archives. And this was before I talked to the
1 senior members of the staff of my command who were then in Kupari.
2 I think that as a matter of fact I said that there was a briefing
3 on the 5th of December. I'm not sure. But I think that that is what I
4 said somewhere and that that's what's written. However, that was not
5 correct. There was no briefing on the 5th of December because I attended
6 the negotiations. And the chief of staff postponed that briefing.
7 Q. Mr. Jokic, tell me, is there any written evidence in any single
8 document that on that date, the 5th of December, you were in Trebinje and
9 that you were in Kupari?
10 A. I think that in addition to the war logbook, there are witnesses
11 who are alive and who told me that I came to Kupari from the direction of
12 Trebinje. That is Admiral Zec, Frigate Captain Kozaric,
13 Colonel Kovacevic. All three of them were at the command post in Kupari.
14 All three confirmed what I said to you today.
15 Q. Tell me, when did Admiral Zec confirm to you what you told us here
16 today? I'm interested in the time frame.
17 A. We discussed that not only when the indictment was issued, but a
18 lot before that, when I as a retired person came to his command to look
19 for documents and to talk to him about these events that took place during
20 that war and that operation.
21 Q. Does that mean that you got this information from Zec and verified
22 it with him before 2001, since you've been retired since 1992?
23 A. Perhaps not only this particular piece of information, but
24 regarding all these events we discussed them then. I asked him also
25 before the indictment was issued. I also asked him where the war logbook
1 was. Then, the directive.
2 Q. Please, Mr. Jokic, answer my concrete question. The documents are
3 not the issue now. But this fact that has to do with your stay in Cavtat
4 and your travelling on that day. You say that among others, you confirmed
5 this through your conversation with Admiral Zec. I'm asking you before --
6 whether this took place before this indictment was issued, and it was
7 issued, if I'm not mistaken, in October 2001. Is that right?
8 A. That was before I went to The Hague. I cannot give you the exact
9 time. I don't know.
10 Q. All right. If that was before you went to The Hague that you
11 checked out this fact, why, then, as regards the interview in July 2002,
12 why did you not present that fact that way to the investigators, the way I
13 read this paragraph out to you just now?
14 A. Back then, I had not yet studied the files. I probably found
15 something in the files later. I had not yet talked to Kozaric, who was
16 the person most familiar with all of that. He had, after all, been the
17 duty officer. It's only after I had managed to do all of that in the
18 autumn of 2002, I believe, that I knew exactly what had happened on that
19 day. To the best of my recollection, I can tell you why I have submitted
20 that I had been in Trebinje on that day.
21 Q. We've heard that before, but I was asking but the discrepancy
22 between your statement and what you're telling us today.
23 Do you remember at all this journey after the talks in Cavtat?
24 A. No, I do not remember. Back then, I said that I didn't remember
25 that journey. However, members of my command reminded me of where I had
1 been, where I had come from, which was Trebinje, and what I had ordered
2 them personally. I myself, however, do not remember the journey. That
3 much is correct. If I had remembered, I would have said so back in 2002.
4 Q. Fair enough.
5 A. There would not have been any reason for me to change anything.
6 Q. The intelligence organ of the command of the 9th VPS, on the 5th
7 of December in the evening, despite the cease-fire that had been agreed,
8 did they not receive word that ammunition supplies were running from Storn
9 [phoen] towards Dubrovnik that evening? You as the commander, did you
10 have this information?
11 A. I remember there were things like that. I'm not sure if on that
12 particular day, but there were a number of times when this happened. From
13 the direction of Storn.
14 Q. Do you know exactly what the situation of the unit was in the
15 immediate blockade of the town on the 5th of December in the afternoon?
16 If you could please just tell us briefly where each of the units were.
17 A. Those units that were of importance in relation to the blockade of
18 the town, the 4th Battalion of the 472nd Brigade, for example, were
19 positioned at the Dubrava ridge. I could also enumerate the companies if
20 you would like me to.
21 Q. There's no need to. Just briefly in a very general way.
22 A. The positions had not changed since the 12th of November. The 3rd
23 Battalion of the 5th Brigade above Mokosica. Also Petrovo Selo, that
24 position had not changed since the units entered Mokosica on the 21st of
25 November. And the remaining units, too.
1 Q. Fair enough.
2 Do you know what the situation was in the 3rd Battalion of the
3 472nd Motorised Brigade and the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Partisan
4 Motorised Brigade on the evening of the 5th of December?
5 A. I'm not sure what you mean about "the situation." The units
6 report according to the schedule by phone. If there is nothing special to
7 report, then the commanders report by telephone. They usually say "the
8 situation is regular, this or that happened" and then the operations duty
9 officer gathers all this information and sends it on to the command of the
10 2nd Operational Group.
11 On that particular evening, I had not received word of anything
12 special happening in those units.
13 Q. If anything special or out of the ordinary had happened, would
14 that have been recorded anywhere? Would you have been informed as well as
15 your superior command?
16 A. Yes, that would have been the case.
17 Q. Did you take any special measures in relation to the order by the
18 commander of the 2nd Operational Group, his order in relation to the
19 cease-fire that was imminent and that was to take effect on the 6th of
21 A. I reckoned that at the moment that in addition to this order
22 regarding the cease-fire, there was no need to take any other measures
23 because the cease-fire had been in force for quite some time, and there
24 were no combat operations with the possible exception of minor acts of
25 provocation, sporadic ones. I reckoned that this was not a situation
1 where any other special measures were to be taken in order to ensure that
2 the cease-fire ordered by the commander of the 2nd Operational Group was
4 Q. In view of the intelligence that you had and the reports you
5 received from your units around Dubrovnik, the reference is above all to
6 the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade, and bearing in mind the importance
7 of the agreement that was to be signed on the 6th of December, didn't
8 this, despite everything, require particular attention to be paid to those
9 units and perhaps the sending of people from the command to be there with
10 the soldiers?
11 A. I don't know why I would have done anything like that. In between
12 the 13th of November and the 5th of December, as regards that particular
13 battalion, we had no situations where a group of soldiers launched an
14 attack, let alone any major units. The only thing that did occur were
15 minor acts of provocation on both sides. But there were no other
16 incidents, no other instances where this unit was disobedient, that their
17 morale was that low, or any indication of any serious intention to violate
18 the cease-fire.
19 Q. Fair enough. Tell me, the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade, did
20 they report about the situation along the line of separation on the 5th of
21 December in the evening? Did they report about the situation to their
22 superior command?
23 A. Yes, naturally. There were duty-bound to report on everything
24 that was out of the ordinary. If there was anything out of the ordinary
25 or any acts of provocation, they would have been duty-bound to report
1 that. I do not know that they actually did on the 5th, on the evening of
2 the 5th.
3 If there was anything like, probably those were minor things. But
4 I'm not aware of any.
5 Q. Do you know whether the commander of the 3rd Battalion of the
6 472nd Brigade on the evening of the 5th of December reported to the
7 command of the 9th VPS that fire had been opened on the positions of his
8 battalion that same evening?
9 A. I'm not aware of that.
10 Q. Do you know if any such information ever reached the operation
11 centre of the 9th VPS at all?
12 A. No, not for as long as I was at the command post. I was not
13 informed about anything like that at the operations centre in Kumbor
14 either. If there had been anything like that, it could only have been of
15 that nature. And therefore, I was not to be informed at all.
16 Q. What about if the commander of the 3rd Battalion on the 5th of
17 December at five minutes to midnight got in touch to say that his
18 battalion had come under fire, would you have been informed about that?
19 A. No. They wouldn't report to me. If that had been the case, if
20 there had been the odd volley or some rifle fire, that was a frequent
21 occurrence. But I do not know that anything like that happened.
22 Q. Do you perhaps know on the 5th of December or later if the
23 commander of the 3rd Battalion on that same evening of the 5th of
24 December, at 23.55 hours asked for a protest to be filed with the Croatian
25 side because his lines had come under fire?
1 A. No, I'm not aware of anything like that. I probably would have
2 learned the next morning or during the night. There would be someone to
3 wake me up and inform me. The operations duty officer would have informed
4 me because this would have constituted sufficient reason for me to be
5 informed. This didn't happen, and I do not know that there is any written
6 proof of that.
7 Q. You do not know if he requested instructions from the command of
8 the 9th VPS with regard to this situation along their line of separation?
9 A. When precisely?
10 Q. On the 5th of December at 23.55 hours.
11 A. No. The first information I received was at 04.55. That was the
12 morning of the 6th.
13 Q. Do you know if the command of the 9th VPS approved the request of
14 the commander of the 3rd Battalion to file a protest note with the
15 Croatian side that same evening?
16 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. The evidence is he didn't
17 even know about a protest note.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I think he has asked if he knows, and the
19 answer would obviously be no.
20 Is that so, Admiral?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is the very first
22 I hear of this, of any protest note ever being filed. And I don't know
23 who by or who would have been behind it.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Can you then tell me who was at the operations centre of the 9th
2 VPS on the 5th of December in the evening?
3 A. At Kupari or at Kumbor? Because there were two operations
5 Q. Forward command post of Kupari.
6 A. Captain Kozaric was there, as well as the operations duty officer,
7 Mitar Dzelebdzic. There was supposed to be another officer there to
8 relieve those two, but that was a low-ranking officer.
9 Q. In your talks with Kozaric before you arrived in The Hague and
10 after your arrival in The Hague and went back home in 2001 until 2003, did
11 he ever mention to you any information like this in relation to the
12 evening of the 5th of December, anything to do with reporting by the 3rd
14 A. No, he didn't mention that. The only thing he mentioned was the
15 succession of those events begins when he woke me up at 04.45, woke me up
16 to tell me about that. And after that. But up to that point, nobody had
17 informed me, nor do I know that he ever referred to any protest notes or
18 anything like that.
19 Q. What was the last time you spoke to your command on the 5th of
20 December, to the forward command post at Kupari?
21 A. I don't know what the last time was. When I left Kupari, I had to
22 be in Kumbor by 1900 hours. That's for sure. But I do not remember any
23 conversation. There was no need for that, nor did anyone inform me about
24 anything out of the ordinary happening in relation to the 3rd Battalion.
25 Q. Fair enough. When you say that there were three officers at the
1 operations centre, can you tell me about this duty. How long does one
2 stay on duty and how frequently do they take turns between midnight and
3 8.00 in the morning, for example? I do not expect a single officer to be
4 manning the desk for 24 hours in a row.
5 A. There are three shifts. Depending on what's going on and
6 depending on the need, those three shifts can become two shifts. There's
7 always one officer that's always awake. There's another officer who is
8 preparing to take over, and the third officer is resting. That's how it
9 works at the operations centre.
10 Q. This taking of turns, is it usually done in the evening?
11 A. The shifts are between 8.00 and 12.00, the first one. The next
12 one is between 12.00 and 4.00 in the morning. And the third shift is
13 between 4.00 in the morning and 8.00 in the morning. Three shifts.
14 Q. So which is the shift after midnight? I want to know about the --
15 about nighttime. Which one would that be?
16 A. The second shift is between 12 -- between midnight and 4.00 in the
18 Q. Do you know perhaps who specifically was on duty that particular
19 night between midnight and 4.00 in the morning?
20 A. I talked to the chief of the operations department, Kozaric, who
21 had at his disposal another two officers. I did not talk to those two
22 officers, so I can't tell you exactly if you want to go further into the
23 details. Mitar Dzelebdzic was on duty between midnight and 4.00 in the
24 morning. I know that Kozaric was also awake, and that he was familiar
25 with everything that went on during that night or that day, the 6th of
2 Q. Can you by any chance remember the name of the third officer who
3 was there?
4 A. No, I can't remember his name. I really can't. He was a lower
5 ranking officer, a captain, perhaps, a major. But I can't tell you who it
6 was specifically.
7 Q. And tell me this, please: Were you informed that during the
8 night, that is to say, from midnight until 5.00 a.m. On the 6th of
9 December 1991, that fire was opened from the positions of the Croatian
10 side targeting the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade, and that the
11 operations centre was informed about that?
12 A. Yes. I was woken up at 4.55, and I can give you the time not on
13 the basis of my memory but what the secretary and Kozaric said. They said
14 that I had been woken up at 4.55, and Frigate Captain Kozaric then
15 proceeded to inform me that he had heard explosions of shells and that
16 there was firing in the area of Zarkovica, Dubac, and Srdj. But that was
17 half an hour before that. He said he had heard this half an hour prior to
18 me being woken up. And then he called up the 3rd Battalion at Brgat, et
19 cetera, et cetera.
20 Q. All right. Fine. Now what I'm interested in is this: Your
21 awareness of having been woken up at 4.55 a.m. and being given this
22 information, do you remember that happening? Or did Kozaric tell you
23 about it?
24 A. Of course I don't remember the time, the exact hour. But in the
25 war logbook, I found this entry, and he had recorded it in the logbook.
1 But yes, he told me. He said that it was exactly at that time. And all
2 the remaining time entries are -- were entered by him and his command. I
3 don't remember the times exactly myself.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 All right, thank you. Now, do you know why during the night no
6 steps were taken, no measures were taken with respect to the fact that the
7 positions of the 3rd Battalion had been targeted?
8 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. That is not what the
9 evidence has ever been. If you go back in the record, it's -- there are
10 reports. But this is simply an incorrect assertion.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 54, line 6, the
12 witness spoke about that.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you asking me anything?
14 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous interpretation continues] ... Ms. Somers?
15 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, what the evidence has been is there were
16 reports of fire. From whom -- that was counsel testifying about the
17 Croatians. It wasn't the witness saying that it happened. And the basis
18 for this question is presupposing an origin of fire is a foregone
19 conclusion. That's just not the case.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I think your question has gone beyond the
21 supporting evidence. If you take those bits out, you can still ask a
22 useful question.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes. Perhaps
24 I did misspeak.
25 Q. But do you know whether in the course of the night anything was
1 undertaken with respect to opening -- with respect to the fact that fire
2 had been opened? And this fact was conveyed to you at 4.55 in the morning
3 by the duty officer Kozaric.
4 A. Nothing was undertaken, nor was I informed that there was firing
5 and that measures had been taken except for the firing that we're talking
6 about now at 4.45.
7 Q. Very well.
8 Do you know when Captain Kozaric took up his duties at the
9 operations centre on -- of the 9th VPS on the 6th of December? When did
10 he come to work or take up his duties that day? At what time?
11 A. He was in the operations centre. There's a -- there are beds
12 there. He doesn't go anywhere. He sleeps there. There are three of
13 them. Perhaps one of them can go somewhere else, but two of them have to
14 be on the spot. So he's not coming or going. He was there all the time.
15 So everything that happens, if anything happened, he would be the chief,
16 and he would have had to have been woken up, and if there was any firing
17 he would have had to have been informed about it, even if he wasn't on
18 duty himself, of course.
19 Q. Tell me, please, did Kozaric at 4.45 a.m. of the 6th of December
20 inform you that Kovacevic had one dead soldier and two wounded soldiers,
21 and that they were being heavily fired at from Srdj and Dubrovnik?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. When Kozaric told you that, did he wake you up at the command in
25 A. Yes, he did.
1 Q. Is it right that faced with a situation of this kind, that is to
2 say that when Kozaric informed you that Kovacevic was being fired at from
3 Srdj and Dubrovnik, that you as the commander of the 9th military naval
4 sector continued to sleep on?
5 A. No. There was no question of that, and that's what it says in the
6 transcript. There would be absolutely no question of that. Heaven
7 forbid, I was in the office, and my bed is in the office next to the
8 operations centre in Kumbor. So how could I go on sleeping in that kind
9 of situation? Heaven forbid. Absolutely not.
10 Q. Do you say that after being informed at 4.45 a.m., you did not
11 continue sleeping?
12 A. I did not continue sleeping, no.
13 Q. I am now going to remind you of what you told the investigators in
14 your interview between the 6th to the 12th of September [as interpreted]
15 2003 when asked that same question. And you'll find that on page 133 and
16 134 of the English translation of your interview.
17 The investigator asks you the following: "Where were you on the
18 morning of the 6th of December? When did you wake up?" And your answer:
19 "At a quarter to 5.00. I have looked through my notes once again, and
20 Kozaric's, too. And it says there at 4.45, Kozaric, from Kupari, on the
21 IKM, woke me up and told me that Captain Kovacevic had just called him
22 from Brgat and told him that he was coming under heavy mortar fire from
23 Srdj, Nuncijata, and that he also had one dead man and two wounded
24 soldiers. And he now says, Kovacevic says to Kozaric, I am now going from
25 the command post at Brgat to Zarkovica to assess the situation. And that
1 is 4.45 minutes. Is that -- that's what the investigator asks.
2 And you confirm that, yes, that's right. And the investigator
3 goes on to ask, "And you yourself were in Kumbor."
4 Your answer was "Yes."
5 The investigator: "Were you sleeping at the command in Kumbor or
6 in your apartment?"
7 And your answer was: "At the command, in my office there."
8 And then on page 134, the investigator goes on to ask you: "So
9 you were woken up before the attack began?"
10 Answer: "Yes, yes, yes."
11 Investigator: "The attack began at 4.45."
12 Answer: Yes. At 5.00, no, I was saying what reports? The attack
13 is something else. I was saying how I was informed about what was
14 happening. But we'll come to that."
15 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I would have to ask that the witness be
16 given a transcript because the translation that I have is not
17 translated --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that they do not have a copy
19 of the original text.
20 MS. SOMERS: I think it's only fair to present this to the witness
21 in his own language to look at.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am reading the official
23 translation, which the Defence was provided, and I'm reading it in the
24 B/C/S language, which Mr. Jokic understands, which Witness Jokic
25 understands. So may I please be allowed to continue. I have two more
1 paragraphs and passages to read out to the witness. I can give the
2 witness a copy via the usher if need be.
3 JUDGE PARKER: I think that would help.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. At the end of page 134 --
6 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I am, Your Honour. May I just
8 read out two more lines.
9 Q. At the end of page 134 of the English translation in English, and
10 125 is the page for the B/C/S, you state as follows: "I say to Kozaric,
11 I've monitored the situation, and if necessary, wake me up.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Or words to that effect.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Kozaric woke me out at 6.00 again -- by -- over the phone via my
15 aide de camp, and the aide de camp Ivan Hrvoje, I can't quite remember --
16 Ivan Hrvoje.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] And could I ask the usher to come and
18 collect that document.
19 A. You don't have to show it to me. I remember it well.
20 Q. Mr. Jokic, the quotation that I read out to you was from the
21 interview you gave in September last year after you had pleaded guilty on
22 the indictment. So up until then, you had conducted all these
23 conversations and interviews with people from your staff that you
24 mentioned here.
25 Is it, then, correct that you continued sleeping after being
1 informed first by Kozaric at 4.45 about the situation?
2 A. That is not true. Not correct.
3 Q. Can you tell me why you told the investigators that?
4 A. Well, I didn't say that I was sleeping. I just said that Kozaric
5 called -- I said "call me, inform me." I didn't say I was sleeping. God
7 Q. Was -- is the transcript erroneous?
8 A. Well, probably what my words were imprecisely recorded.
9 Q. Mr. Jokic, do you know that a videotape of your interview with the
10 investigator also exists?
11 A. I suppose so.
12 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I have to object. I think there's
13 confusion that's being -- it appears possibly being put forth on in an
14 intentional manner on timing. The evidence in chief addresses the issue,
15 and perhaps it would be more appropriate to refer back to the evidence in
17 JUDGE PARKER: You have lost me there, Ms. Somers. I'm not sure
18 what you're saying.
19 MS. SOMERS: The evidence in chief -- sorry, I'm trying to
20 remember myself. I don't have the transcript. But I recall that it was
21 mentioned, that he was awakened at a certain hour, at 4.45, and then
22 certain things happened. This is not what is being presented to this
24 JUDGE PARKER: The witness has said today that he was wakened at
25 4.45 and that he did not go back to sleep. A passage is being put to him
1 from his interview in December which on its face suggests that he was
2 woken again sometime around 6.00. I think that's the simple issue. And
3 he says of that, well, if that's what's recorded of what I said, it is
4 wrongly recorded or perhaps I spoke loosely. I didn't go back to sleep.
5 Have I understood your evidence correctly, Admiral?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely correct, Your Honour.
7 That's just how it was.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Are you saying that you didn't tell the investigators that you
10 slept after that first call?
11 A. Mr. Rodic, how could any commander continue to sleep after
12 everything that he had heard? What are you on about?
13 Q. All right. Let's move on.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher to hand the tab
15 back to me, please.
16 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, just to make the record
17 clear, that the evidence earlier is that after the second call, he did not
18 go to sleep -- I think, again, the level of back and forth, and I'll
19 certainly try to clean it up on redirect. But I must say this is taking
20 the evidence in chief and not presenting it to the witness as it was
22 JUDGE PARKER: I don't think that was necessary at this point.
23 The question was based firmly on the admiral's evidence of a few minutes
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have an objection now
1 because the way I read it out, the transcript of this interview, the
2 witness confirmed that it was correct. And indubitably, he did have the
3 transcript in front of him. And now my colleague is saying that I tried
4 to distort what it says in the transcript and present it in a different
5 light. That really is going too far.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I think we can put aside the to and fro between
7 counsel. I think the Chamber is well aware of the evidence of the admiral
8 on the point and of the apparent difference between what he now says and
9 what was said in the earlier interview. So we can move on from there.
10 I'm particularly concerned now to delay you because of the hour, Mr.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you,
13 Your Honour, I'll do my best.
14 Q. Mr. Jokic, why did you not immediately at 4.45 send your officers
15 out to see what the situation was if you knew already how close your units
16 were to the town of Dubrovnik and how strong their artillery was?
17 A. Why would I do that if the commander of the battalion did not
18 report to me, as commander, and why he was evading the telephone all
19 together so that he would not speak to me? At that time, I thought there
20 was no need to intervene and to send any officers.
21 Q. Mr. Jokic, tell me, in the period from 4.45, when Kozaric woke you
22 up, until his second call to you, at about 6.00 that morning of the 6th of
23 December, can you tell me what you specifically did within that time span?
24 A. I wouldn't know, Mr. Rodic, what I did. Probably, since I had
25 already been awakened, I had to get dressed or go and take a shave or
1 something like that, or perhaps I had other physiological needs. I cannot
2 say exactly what I did then 13 years ago after having been awakened. Of
3 what relevance is that for this, for the nature of the examination?
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do beg your pardon for
5 having to go back to this. But with the assistance of my colleague, I
6 received the information that we were dealing with. On the sixth
7 cassette, or rather the sixth CD from March 2004, Mr. Jokic in response to
8 the investigator's question says: At 6.15 when he was awakened again,
9 Kozaric told him that Kovacevic had called him and informed him that the
10 fire was so unbearable that there is one dead man and two wounded, and
11 that he was leaving Brgat to go to Zarkovica to see what this was all
13 Was Mr. Jokic giving the wrong answers to the investigator's
14 questions then?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you asking me?
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. Well, you see that this partly coincides with that and partly does
19 not because the questions are such that a person cannot repeat the
20 identical answer to thousands of questions. The report of
21 Captain Kovacevic stating that he had one dead man and two men wounded.
22 As you quoted the transcript a while ago, you said that it was at 4.45.
23 And now it's 6.15. Do you see the difference?
24 Q. I understand that. But the only place where there is no
25 discrepancy is: In both cases, you say that you were awakened yet again
1 at 6.00. There is no discrepancy is there. Isn't that right?
2 A. I am telling you that I did not sleep. Now, you can quote
3 whatever you want.
4 Q. All right.
5 One dead soldier and two wounded soldiers at 4.45 in the morning
6 on the 6th of December, is that a serious loss for the 3rd Battalion?
7 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. Mr. Rodic just indicated
8 that at the proofing session he is talking about notified at 6.00
9 something about the alleged facilities and lethal or whatever the term
11 JUDGE PARKER: The admiral's evidence here put it at 4.45. This
12 earlier statement in March of this year put it at 6.15. Mr. Rodic may or
13 may not want to clarify that difference.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Jokic, did you say that at 4.45, Kozaric informed you that
16 Captain Kovacevic has one man dead and two men wounded?
17 A. I wanted to draw your attention to that a short while ago when
18 comparing these two conversations at 4.45 and 6.00 and to say that it
19 differs, and it was not possible to establish it correctly. I think that
20 at 4.45 I was only informed that the battalion had been fired upon, but
21 not that they had sustained any losses, and only at 6.00 I had been
22 informed that there had been losses. Kozaric was not certain, and I was
23 not certain most of all. However, since you were not interested in that,
24 you were interested in whether I was asleep or not, I did not pursue that
25 any further in terms of how the conversation evolved. That is why you now
1 have in this transcript of March that I'm saying that at 10 past 6.00 or
2 around 6.00 that I had received information that he had one man dead and
3 two men wounded. I think that that is the most accurate of all.
4 Q. Do you know when exactly you received information that the 3rd
5 Battalion had one man dead and two men wounded?
6 A. I'm saying that I'm not sure. I think it was at 6.00, not at
7 4.45. But if you wish to know the actual truth, we're only discussing
8 transcripts, but the actual truth is that he did not have any losses
9 either at 4.45 or at 6.00. That's the real truth.
10 Q. Now I don't understand anything.
11 A. I understand.
12 Q. Please, you're answering my questions. Several times you stated
13 that you had been informed about the losses of the 3rd Battalion, under
14 oath. While giving evidence now, here, before the Honourable Trial
15 Chamber, and also during the previous interviews. Now, it no longer
16 matters whether it was at 4.45 or at 6.00. But as information that you
17 had received, this is something that you stated under oath during the
18 examination-in-chief and during the cross-examination. Now, you are
19 claiming that what you had said is not true. Can you explain that now?
20 MS. SOMERS: Sorry, that is simply not what has been said. I know
21 the Chamber will discern, but it is so misleading. It is relaying of
22 information which is not even verified that is the subject of whatever
23 discussion would have been with the operations officer. That is simply
24 not what the admiral has said. And I just would ask that counsel conduct
25 his questioning according to what the evidence has been.
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Rodic, the problem is that you are
2 taking as fact what may or may not have been reported. The report may
3 have been given; it need not be accurate. But I don't think it can be
4 said the admiral said that he knew as a fact that there was one dead and
5 two wounded. He had reports of that.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that with this
7 type of objections, my learned friend is testifying instead of
8 Witness Jokic, and then Witness Jokic repeats her statements made while
10 My question was simple and clear. Several times before this
11 Honourable Trial Chamber, the witness stated that he had been informed,
12 that he had received information in the morning, the exact time is not
13 important now, about one dead and two wounded from the 3rd Battalion.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] And I asked him what he did on the
16 basis of this information, not what he established in 2002 or in 2003 and
17 so on when he was carrying out his investigation. I'm asking him about
18 what happened in 1991.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Is the point that you put to the witness that
20 something he said was not true, was that directed to his statement that he
21 had been informed about the casualties, or was it directed to saying that
22 there were no casualties in truth, whatever had been reported to him?
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm asking him what
24 happened in 1991, what he knew then, what he did on the basis of that
25 information, or rather on that morning of the 6th of December. That is
1 what the witness talked about here previously.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I think we are at cross-purposes, and both
3 Ms. Somers and I understood your question one way, and you may have
4 intended it another.
5 Can we ask the admiral: Were you informed by your staff on the
6 morning of the 6th of December that the battalion had suffered one dead
7 and two wounded?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Are you able to be sure whether that was at 0445
10 hours or 0615 hours or thereabouts?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it was at the
12 later hour. During the first reporting, the only information given was
13 that the other side was firing with their artillery. However, there were
14 not only these two conversations, only two conversations were referred to
15 here. But of course, there were several conversations.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Are they conversations that you had or
17 conversations between the unit in the field and your staff?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, between myself and this
19 Frigate Captain Kozaric, the duty officer at the centre.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
21 Have we cleared up something for you there, Mr. Rodic? The
22 greater question is that we have --
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] In part, yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: -- come to time. Are you as good as finished, or
25 what is your situation?
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I'm not, Your Honour. I kindly ask
2 you to understand me, you see, because of this abundance of material, we
3 have other documents other important documents related to the 6th and 7th
4 of December that the Defence needs to put into evidence. I kindly ask you
5 that you understand our situation and please allow us to finish the
6 cross-examination on Monday.
7 JUDGE PARKER: There can be no prospect of that, Mr. Rodic. We
8 made it clear two days ago that the cross-examination had to come to an
9 end and that you should adjust your questions accordingly to what was most
10 material. But there may be some hope for you.
11 Ms. Somers, when we dealt with this matter, I was rash enough to
12 think that one session would be enough for your re-examination. Is that
13 the case?
14 MS. SOMERS: If Your Honour has in mind from this point or the
15 break on, it would not. And I don't think it was rash, Your Honour. I
16 think in all honesty I think you thought perhaps. But it has been a very
17 detailed cross-examination. We would ask for more than one session.
18 JUDGE PARKER: That gives you by the graciousness of Ms. Somers
19 the rest of today, Mr. Rodic. We will allow you to continue for the final
20 session today. And that will be it.
21 So we will have a break now, and then continue.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.36 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, I would like
1 to take this opportunity to address you briefly. Your Honour, by your
2 leave, I would like to address you briefly. Very briefly indeed. Your
3 Honours, the testimony of this witness, who is now before the Chamber, is
4 probably one of the most important testimonies that the OTP intends to
5 present before the Trial Chamber in relation to the guilt of the accused,
6 General Strugar. The result of this testimony and the way in which this
7 testimony takes place will be essential for your final decision in this
8 legal matter. The fact that the Defence is limited in the scope of its
9 cross-examination, I'm afraid may have fatal consequences as regards the
10 first duty of everyone here in this courtroom, to ensure for a fair
11 proceeding before this Trial Chamber in relation to the accused Pavle
13 I will try to give you the reasons now briefly. This witness
14 ought to be shown a significant number of key documents, written evidence,
15 that are crucial for this case, Your Honours. This witness should be
16 presented with an entire set of written documents and other kinds of
17 documents that also may have a significant bearing on your decision in
18 this matter. The obligation to have a fair trial is included in what this
19 witness should be shown and what should be presented before this Trial
20 Chamber. With all due respect, Your Honours, and bearing the time
21 constraints in mind, the constraints by both this Trial Chamber and the
22 International Tribunal at large, we would like to reiterate our request
23 for the Trial Chamber to reconsider its decision made two days ago and
24 confirmed by a while ago. Can the Trial Chamber please kindly reconsider
25 this decision and take into account all of our arguments in order to allow
1 the Defence team to continue the cross-examination of this witness on
2 Monday. We would really appreciate if this exception was made in this
4 As for our part, and I believe we have offered ample demonstration
5 of this, we shall do everything within our power so that all other
6 testimonies and all other procedures before the final judgement can be
7 expedited and reduced to the bare minimum, even to the detriment of our
8 case if necessary. However, we would like our request to be reconsidered,
9 and we would appreciate your decision being in favour of this request that
10 we are making. It is with a great deal of regret, Your Honours, that we
11 are requesting additional time on Monday. And if our request is not met,
12 we would like to draw your attention to the fact that in order to have a
13 fair trial, in order to assure that our client enjoys a fair trial, we
14 shall unfortunately be compelled to lodge an appeal against such a
15 decision on your part. It is with the deepest regret that I must say
16 this, in view of the fact that the Trial Chamber has always treated the
17 Defence team fairly and ensured that our client have a fair trial.
18 Therefore, the Defence would like to ask for additional time to
19 complete our cross-examination of Witness Jokic on Monday. Thank you very
20 much, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, you've said Monday. You've not said
22 what time you would want on Monday.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for that, Your Honour.
24 Your Honour, the Defence would like to ask for two further
25 sessions on Monday, the first two, if possible. That would leave ample
1 time to my learned friend and colleague to complete her re-examination.
2 That would complete the examination of this witness on Monday, I believe.
3 JUDGE PARKER: No, it wouldn't. That would leave Ms. Somers with
4 only one session on Monday, and she has indicated she believes now, and I
5 think on reasonable grounds, that she would need two sessions.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, in view
7 of the importance of this whole issue, bearing in mind the time
8 constraints, we are prepared to take up our further obligations as the
9 Defence team to further reduce the time granted to us in relation to other
10 witnesses. But we would very much appreciate being allowed to
11 cross-examine this witness in the proper way, as I have defined before.
12 You remember that at the last 65 ter Conference, we discussed the
13 time constraints of this case, and we talked about a mere five weeks for
14 the Defence case. I would like to use this opportunity to try to convince
15 you that there is every indication and a lot of goodwill on the part of
16 the Defence team for this not to even go on for a mere five weeks, but
17 rather for a shorter time. May Your Honour take that into account, too,
18 when making a final decision as to our request that was made before the
19 break, please.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber would point out that the Prosecution's
22 evidence in chief from the witness extended just beyond four days; that at
23 the end of the day today, the cross-examination will have lasted virtually
24 seven days. We had emphasised in the sittings here and in the 65 ter
25 Conference recently the need for great attention to time, and therefore to
1 concentrate questioning, and especially cross-examination, on matters that
2 really were relevant.
3 In the course of this cross-examination, it was two days ago that
4 we very specifically indicated the duration of time that should be
5 allowed. We had then thought that it would be possible to conclude the
6 evidence of the present witness today. It is clear that the range of
7 issues covered meant that we did not allow enough time for the Prosecution
8 because we envisaged they would have only one session of re-examination.
9 Because of that, it is necessary to run into Monday. For that factor, for
10 that reason, we are prepared to give some further ground to the Defence.
11 That ground will be this one last session this afternoon and the first
12 session on Monday morning. Cross-examination will cease at the end of the
13 first session on Monday morning, and the Prosecution will have the last
14 two sessions on Monday to conclude the re-examination.
15 I've reminded myself, and I'm assisted by my colleagues, it is
16 Monday afternoon that this will be continuing, not morning. I'm sorry if
17 I misled anybody. But that means, Mr. Rodic, that you have the rest of
18 today and the first session on Monday afternoon. And without us spending
19 more time extolling our appreciation of why that is more than adequate, I
20 think we would be better advised letting you get on with the time that is
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Q. Mr. Jokic, who is Colonel Tomislav Jovanovic?
25 A. Tomislav Jovanovic is one of my officers. He was the chief of
2 Q. Was he in charge of monitoring the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd
4 A. No.
5 Q. What about Colonel Kovacevic? Was he in charge of supervising the
6 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade?
7 A. Yes, he was.
8 Q. Why then at 4.45 did you not call the Chief of Staff Zec and
9 Colonel Kovacevic?
10 A. The reason was that at the time, my assessment was that it was not
11 necessary to call them. I didn't even know if they were there. I didn't
12 know why I should call them. I believe they were at the command, at the
13 forward command post as they were supposed to be.
14 Q. Why then at 4.45 was the Croatian side not warned that there was
15 firing from their side, firing on JNA positions?
16 A. Such warnings are issued by the operations centre. At the time, I
17 didn't even know who was opening fire and from where.
18 Q. Why, then, at 4.45 was the 2nd Operational Group not informed
19 about these developments?
20 A. I don't know whether they were informed or not.
21 Q. These developments that you were informed about at 4.45, in view
22 of the cease-fire that had been agreed upon and signed, would that not
23 have constituted reason enough to control all elements of command?
24 A. That's not how it seemed to me at that time.
25 Q. Why then at 6.00 following the second phone call, at about 6.00,
1 was the 2nd Operational Group not informed about what was going on?
2 A. At 6.00, I had an ongoing communication with the operations centre
3 at Kupari. And as far as I remember, I ordered that no one must interfere
4 with this radio relay communication, and I did not receive any calls from
5 anyone else, with the exception of the command of the 2nd Operational
6 Group if there were any such calls. I expected to be contacted by the
7 commander of the 3rd Battalion and his information on the fire that was
8 being opened by the enemy, but also concerning the one dead and two
9 wounded. I was expecting that he would report to me about that, and that
10 I would give him instructions. That was what I told Kozaric. And he
11 tried to keep Kovacevic on-line, but you must also understand the
12 fundamental thing that somehow seems to be escaping our attention here.
13 The commander of the 3rd Battalion for this whole time, during the whole
14 night, or rather morning, when all of this was happening, from his command
15 post at Brgat and later from Zarkovica, never once deemed it necessary to
16 get in touch with his own commander to seek instructions and to inform me
17 this one dead man and two wounded soldiers, which unit they belonged to
18 and whatever it was he should do after that, seek orders and seek
19 instructions on what to do next.
20 And this is why I was kept in suspense, because I did not know
21 exactly what was true and what wasn't.
22 Q. Why then even after the morning call by General Strugar on the 6th
23 of December, the call that he made to you, was the 2nd Operational Group
24 not informed about developments on the 6th of December?
25 A. I had already talked to General Strugar, I believe, at about 7.00.
1 I was no longer able to get in touch with Kovacevic to have a phone call
2 put through to him and to order him personally. This was the essence of
3 the problem, because that commander was not supposed to get in touch with
4 me because then he would have --
5 Q. Can you please just try to briefly answer my question. Why did
6 you not inform the 2nd Operational Group during the day on the 6th of
7 December about the developments and the situation on the ground?
8 A. I kept informing the commander of the 2nd Operational Group, and
9 he knew everything about where I was, what I was doing, and what I
10 believed I should be doing. And that was the essential thing. The
11 relationship between me as his subordinate officer and him as my superior
12 officer. My command worked pursuant to such orders as were given, at
13 least in relation to his command. He was familiarised with every single
15 Q. Well, this is the first time you state this. So can you tell me
16 exactly how and how many times you got in touch with your own commander,
17 Mr. Strugar, on the 6th of December before you left Belgrade?
18 A. I spoke to him at least three times, two or three times.
19 Q. Where did you call him from and when?
20 A. From Kumbor at about 7.00 or perhaps 7.30 in the morning, and I
21 don't know exactly at what time. But from Cavtat, when I told him that
22 having established what was true and what wasn't about the Old Town being
23 targeted, I would send an apology to the crisis staff in Dubrovnik. I
24 remember that with great clarity.
25 Q. Very well. Then tell me: Why in the previous five interviews
1 that you gave to the OTP, during the examination-in-chief, or even now you
2 failed you mention with the exception of this one call made by
3 General Strugar to you on the morning of the 6th of December that before
4 you left Belgrade you actually talked to him again? What was the reason
5 for that?
6 A. I did state in the interview and when asked what I was asked, I
7 gave an answer. I said that I talked to him in the morning, and I said
8 that I believed there was another conversation. And then, as I was trying
9 to recollect exactly what happened, I said that it was from Cavtat before
10 I spoke to the crisis staff, or rather to Minister Rudolf.
11 Q. I will tell you exactly what you said to the investigators in your
12 interview dated between the 6th and 12th of September 2003. Page 26 of
13 the Serbian version, and pages 135 to 136 of the English text. The
14 investigator asks you as follows: "Was the 2nd OG informed immediately
15 about the intentions of Kovacevic's battalion"?
16 Answer: "No, no, not at that time."
17 Then the investigator asks you: "Why not?"
18 And the answer: "I had more urgent, more pressing business to
19 take care of. I had to prevent the attack. For me the most important
20 thing for me was to prevent the captain from committing anything silly."
21 And then on 136, the question continues: "Why did you not send a
22 second urgent report to the 2nd OG? You would have needed about 30
23 seconds to give a directive to instruct the duty officer to get in touch
24 with Trebinje so that they too were informed about the situation?"
25 And your answer was: "Well, I'm telling you, what my commander
1 did is my fault. I was supposed to try that first and to get things
2 clear, and only inform others after that. That was my reasoning. Why
3 would I be informing Strugar about something silly that I did? I should
4 first resolve whatever I did, if I could."
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Does that mean that you didn't report to him at all?
7 A. What I'm telling you is that I was at Kumbor, and it was from
8 Kumbor that I tried to deal with the problem. I tried to stop the captain
9 from launching an attack. And he kept asking why I was not getting in
10 touch with General Strugar to report. As I said, there was an open line
11 of communication there, and I kept trying to get through to Kovacevic
12 because the essential thing was to stop him, because he was the one
13 causing all the damage. It didn't matter whether in an hour or two I
14 would report to my own superior.
15 Q. What about the situation with Kovacevic? Did you resolve the
16 situation prior to leaving for Belgrade? Did you manage to get through to
17 him eventually?
18 A. No, I didn't, but I did get through to General Strugar about an
19 hour after I had been told that Kovacevic was about to launch an attack.
20 You are very persistent in asking me about something that fails to explain
21 these developments.
22 Q. Mr. Jokic, so far your testimony has been that you received one
23 call from General Strugar in the morning informing you that he had been
24 warned by General Kadijevic about fire being opened on Dubrovnik itself,
25 and that you were due to go to Belgrade for a report, for a briefing.
1 Isn't that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. A while ago you said that with the exception of that single
4 conversation, you said that there were another conversation, possibly even
5 two. Isn't that correct? I'm quoting from your interview where your
6 explanation of your relationship to the 2nd OG and General Strugar is
7 quite a different one. Now, which one is true?
8 A. Both of them are true. I'm only telling you what I did between
9 6.00 and 7.00 in the morning. Then I thought it a priority to stop the
10 captain from doing what he was about to do. And the only line of
11 communication that was open to me at the moment was the one with him. I
12 tried calling Brgat, Zarkovica, and Kupari. No one was able to get
13 through to me. They say that Adzic was asking about me, Strugar was
14 looking for me, and so was Kadijevic, apparently. But no one was able to
15 get through because that channel of communication was busy all the time.
16 Q. Very well. Let's move on now.
17 Did you ever inform the 2nd Operational Group about the events
18 that took place on the 6th of December through your regular combat reports
19 or extraordinary combat reports, interim ones?
20 A. I personally [Realtime transcript read in error "permanently"]
21 informed General Strugar by phone three times; twice certainly, I'm not
22 quite sure about the third time, but by phone. And personally, when I saw
23 him, when we saw each other, we discussed it in detail.
24 Q. Let me repeat. I wasn't asking about the telephone --
25 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry there's a transcript error that should be
1 corrected right away. 70 -- line -- page 78, line 4 should say,
2 "personally" not "permanently." Sorry for the interruption.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. My question is this: Did you ever inform the 2nd Operational
6 Group about the events of the 6th of December through your regular or
7 interim combat reports? So I'm referring to written documents, in
9 A. Yes, a written report was sent out about the effects of the 3rd
10 Battalion that day, a detailed report was sent to the command of the 2nd
11 Operational Group.
12 Q. Are you talking about a regular combat report now?
13 A. No, an interim, extraordinary combat report. The command of the
14 3rd Battalion.
15 Q. And who compiled the report?
16 A. I don't know who exactly compiled it, wrote it. I wasn't able to
17 establish that.
18 Q. On what day was the report compiled?
19 A. On the 6th, when we returned from Belgrade to, I think, the
20 command post of the 2nd Operational Group. The report was already there,
21 had already reached them.
22 Q. In the war logbook of the 9th VPS, for the 5th and 6th of
23 December, is there an entry or any detail about having informed the 2nd
24 Operational Group about what was going on in the area of responsibility of
25 the 9th VPS? Principally, I have in mind the firing towards the 3rd
1 Battalion, targeting the 3rd Battalion and its response.
2 A. [No Interpretation]
3 Q. [No Interpretation]
4 MS. SOMERS: Sorry, there's no translation, Your Honours.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Please do not expand on the question.
7 JUDGE PARKER: I think we missed an answer and a question there.
8 Do you mind repeating that answer, if you're able to, Admiral?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE PARKER: I'm committing sins now as well.
11 Would you mind repeating the missed answer, if you're able to?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, are you asking me?
13 What I said was this: I informed in the telephone conversation
14 the command of the 2nd Operational Group about what was going on, where I
15 was, what I was undertaking, and what I proposed were the measures to be
16 taken. Furthermore, the command of the 3rd Battalion sent an interim
17 combat report on that same day, and that report was waiting for us in the
18 command of the 2nd Operational Group when we got back from Belgrade, when
19 General Strugar and I arrived at that command post at Trebinje.
20 The command of the 9th sector in Kupari functioned and was led by
21 the chief of staff from the time he reached the command post, and that was
22 sometime around 9.00 because I wasn't there myself, because I was dealing
23 with the other problem in Kumbor and Cavtat. And later on, together with
24 General Strugar, I left for Belgrade. And I do know that the command, my
25 command from Kupari, the operations centre there, was in constant
1 communication with the command of the 2nd Operational Group in Trebinje,
2 and they were absolutely kept abreast of the combat situation and what was
3 going on that day. And it was quite impossible that the staff and command
4 in Trebinje was not kept informed. It was quite impossible that they were
5 not informed of the situation in the 3rd Battalion, or rather the 9th
6 sector on that day, the 6th of December.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Rodic.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, unfortunately this speech
9 that we've just heard was not an answer to my last question, which my
10 learned colleague didn't hear through her headset. So I'm going to ask it
11 again and to ask for a much more succinct answer in response, please.
12 Q. In the war logbook of the 9th military naval sector for the 5th
13 and 6th of December, is there any entry from which we can see that the 2nd
14 Operational Group was informed about the operations and firing towards the
15 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade and the activities of the 3rd Battalion
16 subsequent to that? Yes or no, please.
17 A. I think yes.
18 Q. Thank you. The command of the 9th VPS, was it for the first time
19 on the 6th of December that it contacted the 2nd Operational Group at
20 12.00, 10 minutes past 12.00?
21 A. I don't know that. When you refer to the command of the sector,
22 what do you mean exactly?
23 Q. The forward command post at Kupari. That's what I mean.
24 A. Well, I think I am the personification of that command; I am its
1 Q. But you were not at your forward command post and that they could
2 not get in touch with you. You couldn't be reached. Isn't that right?
3 That's what you told us a moment ago. You explained that to us.
4 A. No, that's not how it was. What I said a moment ago was this:
5 Between 6.00 and 7-something, a little after 7.00, I can't be exact.
6 Whereas all the other time, I could be reached.
7 Q. Mr. Jokic, on the 6th of December, were you in Cavtat. After
8 Kumbor, were you in Cavtat on the 6th of December before you left for
10 A. Yes, between half past 9.00 and 12.00.
11 Q. I'm not asking you that. Were you at the forward command post at
12 Kupari at all?
13 A. No, I was not.
14 Q. Now the operations centre, the forward command post in Kupari, was
15 it in contact with the 2nd operations centre of the 2nd OG?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was it duty-bound to communicate with them and to convey to them
18 the most important events that were going on in the field?
19 A. That's absolutely correct.
20 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, a transcript error. Page 81, line 16, it
21 doesn't give the actual time. It says when half past the -- it has the
22 hour sign with no time.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It was 9.30, if I remember.
24 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
25 JUDGE PARKER: That was probably with my microphone off. It was
1 9.30, if I remember.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Is it correct that the command of the 9th VPS, and when I say,
4 that I mean the operations centre at the forward command post, for the
5 first time informed and contacted the command of the 2nd Operational Group
6 at 12.10 hours on the 6th of December? And that that was with respect to
7 the Cap d'Afrique vessel. And up until then there was not a single word
8 about the events in Dubrovnik, around Dubrovnik, and the Old Town? Not a
9 single word was sent to the 2nd Operational Group on that score. Is that
10 right? Do you know or do you not know?
11 MS. SOMERS: That's a very compound question, Your Honour. Could
12 it be broken up, please.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I think the admiral has well shown that he can deal
14 with compound questions.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I keep trying to
16 explain one thing, and that is that my deputy, the chief of staff, when he
17 arrived at the command post at Kupari at 9.00, was in charge and led that
18 command post with informing the superior commands. And as he had received
19 orders to stop the 3rd Battalion in its attack, he dealt with the problem.
20 He was my deputy, and he was responsible for the functioning of that
21 particular command post. That is my answer. Because I myself was not
22 able at the same time to solve the problem and engage in the problem of
23 negotiations with the crisis staff from Cavtat and to maintain
24 communication with the command of the 2nd Operational Group
25 simultaneously, and also simultaneously to control and see whether my
1 operations centre was sending out reports or not sending them to Trebinje.
2 But what I can say is this: If you need this piece of
3 information, at 8.00 in the morning at the Kupari command post, from
4 Trebinje, we see the arrival from the 2nd Operational Group Colonel
5 Grubac's arrival with another --
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is this a proper answer
7 to the question I asked? And the question that you asked the witness to
8 respond to.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Your question was very many questions, and that
10 sort of questioning invites this sort of answer. If you want short,
11 precise answers, ask short, precise questions would be my advice,
12 Mr. Rodic.
13 I would suggest that we've had enough of an answer. Now, you take
14 it over from here with your next question.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Jokic, did you have an insight into the war logbook of the 9th
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. And is it true and correct that in that logbook, there isn't just
20 one entry, one piece of information of the duty officer sent to the 2nd
21 Operational Group, and that at 12.10 hours on the 6th of December in
22 connection with the Cap d'Afrique vessel?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about that.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Do you know that according to the information of the centre for
2 informing that the first shell fell on the Old Town at 7.15 on the 6th of
4 A. No. They claimed that shells were falling from 6.00.
5 Q. Do you know that an all-out alarm and danger was proclaimed in
6 Dubrovnik at 7.15, that the alarm was sounded? General alert?
7 A. I didn't know that, no.
8 Q. Why when Captain Kovacevic called at 6.50 to inform that he had
9 opened fire at Srdj, he was not ordered not to open fire?
10 A. You say 6.50 hours? This is the first time I hear that time
12 Q. Why was Kovacevic not ordered to completely cease-fire?
13 A. What you said at 6.50, that's not true. At 6.00, he had already
14 opened fire.
15 Q. All right, if it's not true, let's move on.
16 A. He didn't respond to the telephone call and severed all lines with
17 the command, both in Kupari and in Kumbor. He did this of his own free
18 will, willfully?
19 Q. Do you know that Captain Kovacevic had maintained constant contact
20 with the operations centre of the 9th VPS throughout the day, during the
21 entire day, and that communication with Kovacevic was possible and was
22 made at 6.50, at 7.05 hours, at 7.30 hours, at 7.40 hours, at 9.00, at
23 11.00, 11.07?
24 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I don't know what evidence counsel is
25 referring to.
1 JUDGE PARKER: He is putting a question. The witness will either
2 know this is so, or he won't.
3 You had reached 11.07 hours.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Next at 11.50 hours, at 13.05 hours, at 13.30, at 14.00 hours, at
6 14.45 hours, and at 15.20 hours, all on the 6th of December 1991.
7 A. Is that your question? Is that what you're asking me? Well, this
8 is the first time I've heard of things like this, of all these times.
9 It's sort of science fiction, pure science fiction, sounds like to me. I
10 have absolutely no knowledge of any concept of ever anybody having done
11 something like this, telling me something like that, informing me of that,
12 or that I had heard from anybody about these facts and figures.
13 Q. And however you say you looked through the war logbook. Is that
15 A. Yes, that's right. If it's the same war logbook that we're
17 Q. Why at 13.05 did you order Captain Kovacevic not to open fire on
18 town, but only locally on Srdj?
19 A. This is the first time I've heard of this. I never ordered him
20 anything during that day because I never managed to reach him, through any
22 Q. Was your first order that was issued to Kovacevic the following:
23 That he should report at 9.30 to Cavtat?
24 A. That Kovacevic should report to Cavtat?
25 Q. That he should report to you at 9.30 in Cavtat?
1 A. This is the first time I hear of this. That he should leave his
2 battalion and report at Cavtat?
3 Q. Well, perhaps telephone or radio link could be used, too. Nobody
4 said --
5 A. All day, or rather, throughout the time I was there, I asked for
6 him to phone me both in Kumbor and in Cavtat. That is right. But I never
7 managed to reach him.
8 Q. Thank you. That's fine.
9 Is it correct that the command of the 9th VPS, that is to say, the
10 forward command post of Kupari, only at 7.47 in the morning on the 6th of
11 December conveyed to the unit that was commanded by
12 Captain Blazoje Jovanovic and another unit that was commanded by
13 Lieutenant Colonel Bojovic, that on that day at 12.00 there would be a
14 cease-fire? Yes or no.
15 A. No.
16 Q. Was it already at 8.35 on the 6th of December that you were
17 informed by the operations centre that the 3rd Battalion or the 5th
18 Partisan Brigade was firing at Lazaret and Nuncijata?
19 A. No, this is the first time I hear of this.
20 Q. And did the operations centre of the 9th VPS receive information
21 about that?
22 A. I couldn't know. I wouldn't know. I did not have any knowledge
23 of that. I don't think so, though. I cannot deny it.
24 Q. The 3rd Battalion or the 5th Partisan Brigade, during the course
25 of the day, did it ask for ammunition reinforcements at 13 -- 1700 hours
1 from the logistics of the 9th VPS?
2 A. I don't know. I have no idea about that. I was travelling at
3 that time. I don't know.
4 Q. Who was on the 6th of December at the observation post at
5 Zarkovica? Just names.
6 A. On the 6th of December, it was Colonel Kovacevic, Warship Captain
7 Zec, and Colonel Tomislav Jovanovic. Perhaps somebody else, too, but they
8 were there.
9 Q. How is it possible that they did not inform headquarters that the
10 Old Town was being targeted, hit?
11 A. Which command?
12 Q. Their command. The forward command post of Kupari, the forward
13 command of the 9th VPS, and through them, you?
14 A. From 6.00, from sometime after 6.00, I had been informed by
15 Kozaric, the duty operations officer, that the links with Zarkovica had
16 been severed, and all the way up to after 7.00 I was trying via Brgat, via
17 Kupari to reach Kovacevic over the telephone. The links had been severed.
18 And Kozaric told me that he had sent a group of signalsmen to Zarkovica to
19 establish the link.
20 Q. Let's not expand on this.
21 A. The communications were not operating all the time.
22 Q. Their communication with the operations centre, did that function
23 in Kupari?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Tell me, at 2.15, that is to say, 1415 hours, did you take a
1 helicopter from Cilipi airport and fly to Podgorica, in the direction of
3 A. Yes. Whether it was exactly at that time, I don't know, though.
4 Whether it was that precise time, but around that time, yes.
5 Q. How is it possible that artillery observers from the 9th VPS on
6 that day, on the 6th of December, did not correct the fire of the sector
7 artillery when that was their duty?
8 A. What do you mean correction of fire when fire was not opened?
9 What kind of fire correction? In order to have correction, fire has to be
10 opened in the first place.
11 Q. On the 6th of December, was readiness ordered for the
12 130-millimetre mobile artillery battery?
13 A. No readiness had been ordered. What was ordered was that they
14 should not open fire on anyone's orders, and that is what I personally
16 Q. Do you know that at 10.07 on the 6th of December, Zec reported the
17 following. I quote: "Our people are at Srdj, but they are being hit from
18 town. We are going to resolve it now and stop fire."
19 A. Who was this reported to?
20 Q. The operations centre.
21 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, do we know from where Mr. Rodic is
22 reading this, at least so that there's some ability to know where to go
23 with it.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is information that
25 was collected by the Defence through their investigation.
1 JUDGE PARKER: So it is not presently before the Chamber?
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at this point in time,
4 JUDGE PARKER: Okay. You're putting it then as an indication of
5 what your evidence will be?
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Certainly, yes.
7 Q. Can you tell me what chief of staff Zec would resolve then when he
8 was allegedly sent to stop the attack?
9 A. I don't understand the question. What does that mean, to resolve
10 allegedly and to stop the attack"? What does that mean?
11 Q. Why was the 3rd anti-armoured company of the 3rd Battalion ordered
12 only at 10.07 to stop its action?
13 A. Who ordered it to go into action and who ordered it to stop
14 action? I don't understand that.
15 Q. The operations centre of the 9th VPS, why did it only order at
16 11.07 to the anti-armour company to stop action?
17 A. Please, these questions are such that it is impossible to answer
18 them. Operations centre does not issue orders to the anti-armour company,
19 or does it have anything with it whatsoever.
20 Q. Is the function of the operations centre to convey your order or
21 the order of the chief of staff or somebody else from the staff, from
22 headquarters, to subordinate units?
23 A. Of course. But the operations centre does not issue orders to the
24 anti-armour company. It is within the 3rd Battalion, and that was at
25 Zarkovica. And Zec, Kovacevic, Kovacevic Colonel, that is, and the
1 commander of the battalion, they were all there, at Zarkovica.
2 Q. We heard that several times.
3 A. That's a senseless question, and it's impossible to answer.
4 Q. Do you know that Kovacevic at 11.50 informed the operations centre
5 of the 9th VPS that - Captain Kovacevic, that is, I'm sorry - that he
6 would now attack by tanks, hand-held rocket launchers, and grenades, and
7 that at that moment no one ordered him to stop the attack?
8 A. None of what you're saying is something I know. In addition to
9 Captain Kovacevic, the chief of staff was there to stop his attack. So I
10 don't know how to answer your questions. For me, all of these are things
11 I hear for the first time.
12 Q. Is it correct that Kovacevic from the -- that Captain Kovacevic
13 asked the operations centre of the 2nd OG at 1330 to have operatives with
14 explosives and engineers?
15 A. None of that is true. All of is a constructed story, and I don't
16 know how it was done. But I don't know any of this.
17 Q. Is it correct that Zec ordered that Captain Kovacevic should be
18 provided with engineers as soon as possible?
19 A. I don't know anything about this.
20 Q. Does that mean that the members of the command of the 9th VPS
21 actively at 1330 took part in Kovacevic's support -- in Kovacevic's attack
22 and supported it in that way?
23 A. As far as I'm concerned, certainly not. As far as the command is
24 concerned, again, no. Possibly individuals did. But I don't know who you
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Rodic, we're going to have to call an
2 end now.
3 Could I note that in the transcript at page 90, line 11, there has
4 been missed out a reference to "hand-held rocket launchers and hand
5 grenades." The "rocket launchers" was omitted.
6 We will continue on Monday.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, I'm terribly sorry. I
9 believe that we were asked to just take two minutes of the Chamber's time
10 about another matter that would not be troublesome.
11 JUDGE PARKER: It will have to be quick or we will run out of tape
12 and the patience of all of those supporting us.
13 Mr. Weiner?
14 MR. WEINER: I'm hungry, so I promise it will be quick.
15 When this Court established the ground rules for the upcoming
16 competency hearing, Your Honour noted that videolinking would be a
17 possibility if necessary.
18 JUDGE PARKER: You want an order, do you?
19 MR. WEINER: Yes, we are requesting an order for a videolink
20 between here and Tucson, Arizona in the United States. Dr. Bennett Blum
21 who is the geriatric psychiatrist is unable to travel here due to a family
22 illness. He has requested a videolink during the week of April 26, and we
23 are requesting an order for that.
24 JUDGE PARKER: There will be an order. It will be necessary to
25 send in a -- the form of audio you propose for it to be evaluated and an
1 order to be issued.
2 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn until Monday.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.55 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Monday, the 19th day of April,
6 2004, at 2.15 p.m.