1 Friday, 14 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court].
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. If I could remind you, Mr. Zorc, of
7 the affirmation which you took at the beginning of your evidence, which
8 still applies.
9 Ms. Somers.
10 MS. SOMERS: Good morning, Your Honours.
11 WITNESS: MILOVAN ZORC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 MS. SOMERS: Good morning, General. Good morning, counsel. I
14 would first like to point out a transcript error which needs immediate
15 attention from page 53, line 20. I believe the word "not" was omitted.
16 It basically starts at 17 and it reads: "The subordinates must feel that
17 the requirements of the superiors and the regulations" - I'm sorry - "of
18 superiors and the requirements of military relationships and military
19 organisation and regulations are serious and that the violations of these
20 military relationships" -- the transcript reads "be tolerated." I'm
21 confident it should be "are not to be tolerated."
22 There were several other corrections, but I can submit them in
23 writing. They were mainly typographical, numbers of articles that were
24 subsequently shown to be correct but appeared incorrectly perhaps in one
1 Examined by Ms. Somers: [Continued]
2 Q. General, yesterday we were discussing how criminal proceedings
3 would be instituted or implemented, and when we left off, just to refresh
4 you, my last question to you was: Do I understand you correctly: He must
5 ensure that the information is communicated? Is that correct? And you
6 indicated yes. And that was about the obligation, the responsibility of
7 the commander of the operational group with respect to facts or
8 information concerning crimes allegedly committed by units under his
9 command and control.
10 I would ask that Exhibit P63, tab 9, I believe, from P60 --
11 [Prosecution counsel confer]
12 MS. SOMERS: Tab 39 from Exhibit P63 be shown. Is it possible to
13 put it on the ELMO?
14 Q. General, in front of you is an exhibit which is a preliminary
15 commission report concerning observations by individuals who are part of
16 the 2nd Operational Group who went to a -- in this instance, it's
17 Dubrovnik, but let's say the -- a scene where allegations of damage,
18 criminal allegations of damage to cultural property had been lodged. I
19 ask you to look at the paragraph before the ending. You have the
20 Serbo-Croatian version.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm afraid the witness
22 does not have the document in front of him at all.
23 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry. Did we give you the wrong ... If we
24 have -- my apologies. It is 6139. It is -- it is the December 9th
25 commission report, and we gave you the wrong binder. I'm terribly sorry.
1 If it would help, I'll just give my copy, if that makes it easier to work
3 JUDGE PARKER: We'll get the exhibit. It's Exhibit 61?
4 MS. SOMERS: Yes. 39.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Tab 9 or tab --
6 MS. SOMERS: 39.
7 JUDGE PARKER: 3-9.
8 MS. SOMERS: 3-9. Yes, 3-9.
9 Can I be of assistance? If you could put that -- the English
10 version on the ELMO, please. And in particular, just so we make sure that
11 you're looking at the same document in Serbo-Croatian, it's the document
12 dated 9 December 1991.
13 Q. And you had -- you have seen this document, have you not, in
14 proofing session, General?
15 A. Yes. I believe you've shown it to me two days ago when I came to
16 The Hague.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues]... the last part above the
18 signature area. And if the usher would be kind enough to put that
19 second -- the last page on the ELMO. It is the opinion of the commission
20 that no substantial damage to the cultural and historical monuments --
21 that there is no substantial damage to the cultural and historical
22 monuments. The origin of all the damage, the origin of all the damage
23 cannot be stated with certainty and the perpetrators named because it's
24 obvious that a lot of damage was not caused by attacks from outside of the
25 Old Town centre.
1 If you are informed as the commander of the 2nd Operational Group
2 that there are allegations made of criminal conduct by your units, and a
3 preliminary inquiry is -- claims -- or produces what may be inconclusive,
4 what would your -- what is the responsibility now where there -- it
5 remains an allegation and there is no further clarification at the
6 preliminary stage? What do you do?
7 A. Do I understand correctly that you're asking me what do I think
8 about this assessment of -- of Commander Jokic that there was no
9 substantial damage to the historical monuments?
10 Q. What I'm asking you is: Where there are allegations of criminal
11 conduct and the very initial inquiry, the very initial observations are
12 inconclusive, yet the allegations remain, what do you do, as the commander
13 of the 2nd Operational Group? Indication is the perpetrators have not
14 been identified and origin of damage has not been identified.
15 A. Well, once the superior officer received this report, he could
16 have, and he should have, acted against perpetrators irrespective whether
17 the damage has been determined or not, and irrespective whether the damage
18 is bigger or smaller. The protected monuments, it's prohibited to shell
19 protected monuments. There is indication that damage did occur, and the
20 allegation stands that the shelling occurred. And therefore, he should
21 have acted against the perpetrators.
22 Q. And based on your testimony yesterday, what steps would he
23 undertake? What procedures would he next undertake, given that the
24 allegations are allegations of criminal conduct?
25 A. In any case, even if he had not been convinced that such criminal
1 action is taking place, he should - namely, all superior officers, even
2 the highest, also the highest - should ensure primarily that such possible
3 shelling be stopped immediately because it is prohibited. Therefore, it
4 means that with the most speediest of means, he should issue an order to
5 stop the shelling and order the stopping of the shelling. At the same
6 time, he should ensure that in such a situation, that also the superior
7 command be informed. In further actions, which he should undertake, the
8 further actions will depend whether his order on the stopping of the
9 shelling had been respected and whether the shelling had been stopped or
11 In case the shelling stopped, he should act -- begin acting in
12 order to ensure the -- to determine the responsibility of those who were
13 responsible for this unlawful shelling. From his subordinates, he should
14 immediately request an immediate report on -- concerning the event itself,
15 and he should primarily determine who issued the order for the shelling
16 and on the basis of whose order it took place, if it wasn't on the basis
17 of his. And also why such shelling occurred. Therefore, he should
18 request a report concerning the reasons, the purposes of shelling, the
19 goals, the targets of shelling, and also the scope of shelling. He should
20 also evaluate and request data concerning that, what was the military need
21 to carry out the shelling of these protected monuments.
22 While requesting this report, if he believed -- deemed it
23 necessary, in view of the significance of the incident, he could send one
24 of his officers directly to the unit which is allegedly the perpetrator of
25 that act and who would assist in inquiring in these matters that I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 indicated. At the same time, as he is aware that such alleged shelling
2 was both against the provisions, the directions of -- the director of the
3 general -- the secretary, federal secretary, and his order, so it's
4 obviously a criminal act, and he should warn and send the organs of
5 military police to send them in to investigate the aspects of criminal
6 action. And with that, he would carry out the necessary activities for
7 protecting evidence to take in the perpetrators, and via the military
8 police also the military investigator would -- the military prosecutor
9 would be informed. And with that, he would take steps in order for the
10 punishment of perpetrators.
11 Now, if the order -- his order to stop the shelling were not
12 respected and the shelling had not stopped, he would not only repeat
13 another issue, another order; he would have to, in view of the
14 significance of such an incident for the armed forces and for the state,
15 he would probably have to go personally to -- in the field, and with his
16 own authority, stop the shelling.
17 Q. General, you are giving an answer that reflects both at the time
18 of the violation -- at the time of the shelling and then subsequent to it
19 an assessment of alleged damage. Now, one question: You -- the
20 translation comes out as "should" with these various obligations. Is
21 it "must"? Are these obligations that the commander ... It is part --
22 A. Well, the role of the system of command and control is to ensure
23 that orders are implemented and provisions respected. Any action needed
24 in this sense is fundamental for command and control functioning.
25 Therefore, it is expected that each and every commander makes -- invests
1 all his capabilities in this function of command. So from his commanding
2 officers, it is to be expected that they will do that, and if not, they
3 are considered that they are not performing their duty.
4 And in this case, not in concrete terms, he should do -- he must
5 stop the shelling and must hand over the perpetrators to the competent
6 organs. If he succeeded in stopping that, it would be successful command
7 and control, and if not, it would be unsuccessful.
8 Q. Thank you. In the interests of time, and we have very limited
9 time, I'm going to ask you some questions and ask for brief responses.
10 I'll keep the questions brief, and the response, if I could ask, would be
11 brief. And thank you very much for your comment.
12 Now, one further comment or question on this document. The
13 document is addressed to Admiral Brovet. Does that suggest to you in any
14 way that -- is that irregular in any way? Does that have any implications
15 on the chain of command or that -- does it diminish in any way the
16 position of the operational group commander?
17 A. No. This is nothing extraordinary. The upper levels are allowed
18 to have contacts with the levels two or three levels below them, and this
19 was really a response to the request, and I believe that the commander of
20 the 9th PVS [as interpreted] also sent a copy of this report to the
21 commander of the 2nd Operational Group.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there's something
23 missing in the transcript, I'm afraid. This is a response to a request
24 made by the federal secretary. We are on page 7, line 15. Thank you.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 MS. SOMERS:
2 Q. If a response -- as a follow-on to that, if the response came from
3 the federal secretariat and was sent down to Admiral Jokic or -- I'm
4 sorry, strike the name. To a subordinate commander, not the commander of
5 the operational group, does that have any -- is that irregular, is
6 that -- if it's one unit down from the commander of the operational
7 group, is there any -- anything particularly irregular about that?
8 A. I've mentioned already before that it's nothing extraordinary.
9 It's allowed. It's possible. But it's not a fully regular procedure.
10 The regular procedure is down along the steps of the chain of command.
11 Q. Does -- however, by virtue of duty to be informed, does the
12 commander of the operational group have to be informed of all the
13 information coming from his units himself, whether his name appears on
14 this document or not?
15 A. Yes. Yes, he must be.
16 Q. When an operational group is formed and various formations or
17 units are placed under -- are subordinated to it, in your experience, is
18 it a norm -- a norm or a regular practice for commanders who are
19 subordinated or -- I'm sorry - who are re-subordinated to the operational
20 group to still retain some form of contact to their parent -- to their
21 parent commanders? An example: If a commander of a naval military sector
22 is redeployed and fully subordinated to the -- a 2nd Operational Group or
23 an operational group commander, is it expected that that naval operational
24 group commander will keep his parent commander informed of important
25 events within the new formation?
1 A. Yes. That's the normal situation, because the re-subordinated
2 units and units included in operational groups or tactical groups, they
3 are withdrawn from their regular commands temporarily. Therefore, if a
4 unit is attached to the temporary group, also its parent command expects
5 that it will be returned after the operation is completed. Therefore,
6 with the parent -- this contact with the parent command is something
7 normal. But it doesn't represent the chain of command, the line of
9 Q. Excuse me. Within the functions of the assistant commander for
10 morale and legal affairs, is also -- is it also -- I'm sorry. Let me
11 strike. Let me rephrase it. The function of the assistant commander for
12 morale and legal affairs, is one of his functions also propaganda?
13 A. Yes. Yes. In peace, in peacetime, this is considered information
14 activity, while in war, this is called propaganda, and it is within the
15 competence of this assistant commander.
16 Q. Which commander or which body collects, in combat, information
17 about the enemy?
18 A. It is the intelligence body subordinated to the Chief of Staff of
19 any command.
20 Q. The -- to whom were the military police in an operation group, to
21 whom were the military police subordinated?
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my apologies. I
23 object to this kind of examination. The question should be: Does the
24 operational group have any military police? If the answer to that
25 question is yes, then we can have further clarification.
1 Thank you very much, Your Honours.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can immediately answer this
3 question. I just wanted to say that if, in the operational group, there
4 was a unit of military police, then functionally it was subordinated to
5 the intelligence body of the command of the operational group, and in the
6 chain of command, the commander of the military police was directly
7 subordinate to the commander of the operational group.
8 MS. SOMERS:
9 Q. Thank you. Criminal offences are prosecuted in both times of
10 peace and times of war, is that correct, within the military?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So any provisions of Article 241 of the Law on Service of the
13 Armed Forces are -- which you have cited in your report on page 27 in the
14 English, are those inapplicable to criminal activity, to crimes, such as
15 shelling cultural monuments, unlawful attack against civilian population
16 or civilian objects?
17 A. Yes, you're right. Article 241 of the law regulates disciplinary
18 measures within the military organisation and does not apply to criminal
20 Q. Is coordination a function of command and control?
21 A. Yes. Coordination of all units is an integral part of the
22 function of command and control.
23 Q. Does the commander of an operational group have the authority to
24 make his own decisions concerning the use of his units, subject to any
25 possible direction from his superiors?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes. All commanders, any commander, in the implementation of the
2 task assigned to him decides on the way his forces are engaged in the
3 performance of such a duty, such a task.
4 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me just a moment.
5 Q. The next question, if you do not know, please just indicate that
6 you do not know and we'll move on quickly. Are you aware of the
7 geographical boundaries in the zones of responsibility of the military
8 naval district and the 9th Naval Sector, let's say in 1991? If you're not
9 aware ...
10 A. I know that within the competence of the 9th Military Naval Sector
11 was the southern rim of the coast of the Adriatic Sea, however, without
12 knowing the exact borders.
13 Q. Would the boundaries affect the operations of the 2nd Operational
15 A. I believe that the borders between the sectors, military naval
16 sectors, do not influence the operations of the 2nd Operational Group
17 because the 2nd Operational Group was formed for the area of several
18 corps, corps districts.
19 Q. Thank you very much. In the course of proofing, it became -- it
20 arose that on page 25 of your English -- of the English report, there was
21 some -- that the way it was formulated did not accurately reflect your
22 intention, and you have submitted a paragraph clarifying. The report
23 which has -- it begins with heading (b): "On the basis of your
24 experience, were these measures sufficient in order to maintain
25 discipline? If not, what kind of measures should the commander have
1 adopted at corps level if the particular -- in particular, the commander
2 of the 2nd operations [sic] group?"
3 You have submitted a clarification, which says: "In my view, in
4 the prevailing circumstances of combat, the 2nd Operational Group
5 commanding officers had insufficient formal personal disciplinary powers
6 to immediately punish in order to ensure the necessary level of
7 discipline. Examples of the available powers [in relation to officers)
8 include warning, reprimand, severe reprimand, and taking action in the
9 military disciplinary courts. The powers are detailed more fully under
10 the heading (iii), military discipline in the JNA, sub (a), disciplinary
11 authority of the commanding officers in the JNA."
12 Can you indicate what your purpose for clarifying was? Were you
13 suggesting -- if you could just indicate, please.
14 A. In my conversation with you and when I received, and that was only
15 two days ago, when I had this insight for the first time into the English
16 version, I became aware that your understanding of it was different as to
17 what I wished to convey. Therefore, I provided this information in the
18 English language so as to be understood in accordance with my purpose.
19 As stated in my original report, namely, that the formal
20 authorities of commanders in the operational group were not enough, and
21 what I had in mind was the formal disciplinary competencies or authority
22 or powers, which are insufficient. But I was not referring to their
23 commanding authority, because obviously they had all these rights in
24 regard to their forces. Hence my explanation, my clarification. This is
25 what I have in mind, the disciplinary aspects.
1 Therefore, their disciplinary competencies for in fact -- in order
2 to be able to issue disciplinary measures, which in my mind are
4 Q. And were you -- and your emphasis on immediately, on immediate
5 punishment was a factor you wanted to convey?
6 A. Yes. Yes. What I had in mind was in fact the direct disciplinary
7 measures and issuance of such measures against the subordinates and these
8 measures can be issued immediately. And these are measures, disciplinary
9 measures, for milder forms of breach of military discipline.
10 Q. This does not have any impact on the powers, the authority, the
11 obligation of the commander of an operational group to take all the
12 measures at his disposal to make sure that criminal activity or
13 disciplinary violations which are serious enough be dealt with; is that
15 A. Yes, that is so.
16 Q. There is also -- just so the Chamber is aware, I believe on
17 page 41, line 14 from yesterday's transcript, General Zorc was asked about
18 disciplinary measures called for warning, and the translation of what he
19 described as "reprimand" came out as "censure." Is warning -- is
20 "reprimand" the term that is used in the -- in command and control
21 parlance, "reprimand"?
22 A. This is obviously the English, the English word used, but in my
23 language, we say "ukor."
24 Q. Okay. I just turn the Chamber's attention to page 14, I think
25 it's remained in the most recent one of the English version where the
1 language appears as "reprimand" and there's a difference simply in the
2 in-court translation. Thank you.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers, could I raise with you: You have put
4 to the witness that he made a correction to the paragraph which you
5 referred on page 25 in English. Now, the Chamber does not have it. I
6 don't say we must have it, but understand we don't. If you judge that it
7 should be before us --
8 MS. SOMERS: I do. And I had in mind, Your Honour -- thank you
9 for your intervention. I had in mind to make sure that you have it.
10 Because I would ask when I tender the report that you also have that in
11 front of you. I'll have to get a signed -- a copy of the signed -- it was
12 provided to the Defence and if I may at the break make sure that you have
13 it, but I can give the unsigned and make sure you have the signed.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
15 MS. SOMERS: You're welcome. Okay. Excuse me just a moment, I
16 want to just ...
17 Q. General, a question about the imposition of discipline or
18 investigation of discipline -- alleged disciplinary violations and the
19 impact of failure to undertake investigations of disciplinary violations.
20 You have made -- you have used the concept that repeated violations could
21 occur if, in the first instance, disciplinary measures were not
23 I want to pose to you a scenario where, in the month of October of
24 1991 allegations of criminal conduct by units under an operational group
25 were made. There was a general atmosphere of denial about the
1 allegations, and assume there was a general atmosphere of denial about the
2 allegations, and assume nothing is done. A month later, in November,
3 there are again allegations with various levels of corroboration about the
4 same conduct again by members of the same operational group. There is --
5 again, the assumption for you is that there is a general atmosphere of
6 denial and that there is no further inquiry.
7 If the operational group has a strategic order to implement
8 negotiations subsequent to these two incidents I'm describing, what, if
9 anything, would be the appropriate action of the commander of the
10 operational group with respect to the units which were deemed to have
11 committed the violations, the criminal violations that went
13 A. I do not really know whether I have understood the question
14 correctly and what implications does this have as regards the
15 implementation of negotiations? Implementation of negotiations could be
16 some sort of task, but has no relation to the implementation of command
17 and control, and the implementation of the responsibility for incorrect
18 behaviour of the subordinate officers. The implementation or the measures
19 against the subordinates, due to their errors, in implementation of their
20 tasks, should be carried out irrespective of any negotiations.
21 Q. Thank you. If problematic officers are left in place, what does
22 that -- without any further control over their conduct by way of
23 investigation of allegations, what does that signal about the conduct of
24 those officers who are alleged to have behaved problematically?
25 A. The very fact that commanders committing certain errors remain at
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 their posts and act onwards doesn't mean anything else than it's been
2 assessed that their activities are at least acceptable and that they can
3 go onwards doing that, what they're doing.
4 Q. What security measures might you take as the commander of an
5 operational group to ensure that a strategic goal of negotiations with a
6 number of very important points takes place without incident?
7 A. Well, this is a question that I probably or maybe do not
8 understand entirely. Well, security measures that are to provide for
9 normal implementation of negotiations require at least that the team
10 vested with the implementation of negotiations can safely and securely
11 come to the venue of negotiations, have certain mandate and authority for
12 doing that, and that regular communications are maintained with the team.
13 As --
14 Q. I think I will -- just what measures -- let's remove the
15 word "security." What measures would you undertake to make sure that
16 everything is smooth and goes off as it is supposed to? If you are
17 responsible to ensure that these negotiations happen and take place, what
18 are the considerations as commander of an operational group that you would
19 undertake? What measures?
20 A. Well, if such a task had been vested with me, in my opinion, as
21 the most important, I would select the most appropriate officers so as to
22 implement these negotiations.
23 Q. How would you -- how would you make sure that the cease-fire that
24 is part of it is respected? What would you do to make sure a cease-fire
25 is respected?
1 A. Well, if I could have established cease-fire, of course I would
2 have proposed that to the opposite side. However, if that was already
3 suggested while the agreement on cease-fire was concluded, I would have
4 made sure that my units wouldn't have conducted any activities. This --
5 the order should be given to the units and the deadline should be given to
6 the units. And this should last until the time agreed or until the units
7 get a new order from my part, of course.
8 MS. SOMERS: I would at this time request to tender into evidence
9 the report, and I will also address a couple of other exhibits from the
10 binder. But the report itself, if I may. And I will include, of course,
11 the signed copy of the clarification.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Is this at tab 1?
13 MS. SOMERS: The -- I believe --
14 JUDGE PARKER: We have two forms at tab 1, as well as -- in
15 English, that is.
16 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour. The filed one is there, sir, and
17 the revised one, which should be filed by CLSS, but I was asked to have
18 those submitted. They are in tab 1 of your binders. The original may be
19 superfluous. If it would be helpful just to have the revised -- the
20 translation, it might be burdensome, but I don't know if it has been filed
21 by CLSS. Perhaps Madam Registrar can say.
22 JUDGE PARKER: I think at the moment we will receive the revised
23 report, which is the one which the witness has been speaking to. It
24 appears to be the first document at tab 1, but we will of course receive
25 the original.
1 Mr. Petrovic.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence team would
3 like to request the following, in view of the numerous problems that we've
4 encountered, unfortunately, with Mr. Zorc's testimony being interpreted,
5 to have the original of this report also admitted into evidence. And as
6 far as I understand, the original was done in the Slovene language. We
7 don't even have a copy of that, and we would like to have one, and we
8 would like to have the original admitted into evidence. That is, after
9 all, the original document, the B/C/S translation being, in a manner of
10 speaking, a third-hand translation. I think the original text might come
11 in useful in a number of different situations.
12 Thank you very much, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Do we have it available, Ms. Somers?
14 MS. SOMERS: Yes, it was offered to the Defence, I'm informed, and
15 it was not at that time accepted. But yes, it is available and we're
16 happy to provide it to the Defence. Does the Chamber wish to have a copy?
17 JUDGE PARKER: No. But if that is to happen, I think we ought to
18 have the English language version of it, which is the second of the
19 documents at tab 1.
20 MS. SOMERS: That's fine. Okay. Then we could include it as part
21 of the submission.
22 JUDGE PARKER: We will receive first the revised report in English
23 at tab 1.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This will be P204.
25 JUDGE PARKER: We will receive, secondly, the original report in
1 the English translation.
2 THE REGISTRAR: This will be P205.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We will receive - we will receive it at this
4 moment, even though physically we are acting in anticipation - the
5 original report in the Slovene language.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This will be P206.
7 JUDGE PARKER: The three versions in immediate proximity may be
8 useful for later reference purposes.
9 MS. SOMERS: And upon -- the point -- the clarification I have
10 only at this moment in the unsigned form but I would also ask that that be
11 accepted as well.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: This will be P207.
14 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, there was one -- I believe one exhibit
15 that remained from the binder that General Zorc made reference to in
16 footnote 50, and it's the plan of damage from October, November 1991.
17 Simply for the fact that it was in his report, we would include it.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Which tab is this?
19 MS. SOMERS: It is tab 20.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I think tab 21 remains outstanding as well.
21 MS. SOMERS: Yes, you're right. I'm sorry. 21 as well. But 20
22 was again mentioned in the footnote. I do not know the degree of
23 reliance, but it is mentioned. And for that reason only, and nothing
24 further ...
25 JUDGE PARKER: Is that not an exhibit already?
1 MS. SOMERS: I don't recall that it has a number. Unless in the
2 course -- if that was one of the ones that Mr. -- that the Defence may
3 have availed itself of.
4 Our preliminary check did not show an exhibit number on it. I can
5 get back to that, Your Honour, so that I don't delay the Chamber.
6 I'll move on for a moment to tab 21, which is in footnote 52 of
7 General Zorc's report. It's an order of General Adzic to the JNA
8 regarding observation of international humanitarian law.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] By your leave, in relation to the
12 document at tab 21, at least in terms of its contents, I identified an
13 exhibit that has already been admitted in relation to witness Jokic, and
14 it was assigned a number at the time. At any rate, we object to this
15 document at tab 25 [as interpreted] being admitted, because this is not an
16 original document that was admitted into evidence before this Court during
17 the testimony of witness Jokic.
18 If I may remind you, this is an extract from a book that was shown
19 at the time. It was a collection of documents shown by the Defence team
20 to Admiral Jokic for him to identify in terms of the origin of those
21 documents. Now suddenly a document with the same contents but with a
22 different form of unknown origin shows up. There is no signature, there
23 is no name for this document either. So we have no other choice but to
24 object to this document at tab 21, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, the -- if the content is effectively the
2 same and it exists in a different document, the exhibit number of which we
3 are searching for, but -- and I think that there is no basis for the
5 Secondly, it was relied upon simply -- or it was mentioned in a
6 footnote, and that is the purpose for its tendering. The weight of it is
7 certainly always something the Chamber evaluates, but I think for
8 completeness of the footnotes, so that the Chamber has before it whatever
9 was cited in the report, it should be admitted and simply everything else
10 goes to weight.
11 JUDGE PARKER: So both the plan at tab 20 and the apparent order
12 at tab 21, just at this moment, subject to anything that may have occurred
13 earlier in the evidence - which isn't presently, to my mind, at least -
14 are unverified documents, so their admission could only be to enable
15 knowledge of what was relied on by this present witness in preparing his
16 report, and not in any way of truth of the content of either of those
17 documents. Is that the basis upon which you tender them?
18 MS. SOMERS: Yes, it is, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I think on that basis, Mr. Rodic, we would receive
20 both. But on their own at the moment on the evidence, they prove nothing
21 except that this witness looked at them.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
23 MS. SOMERS: Toward the conclusion of your examination, I wanted
24 to ask you about your formal education. If you could indicate, please --
25 I'm sorry. I realised when I went through the transcript yesterday, I did
1 not ask that.
2 Q. Could you indicate to the Chamber, General, what your formal
3 education at the university level is. What degrees you hold and where you
4 got them.
5 A. Well, of course I can do that.
6 Q. Excuse me. I'm sorry. Before you answer.
7 I'm sorry, Your Honour. I pre-empted the issuance of exhibit
8 numbers. I'm terribly sorry. Jumping ahead.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I noted that. But, as usual, was letting you have
10 your head.
11 MS. SOMERS: No, I wanted to make sure I was --
12 JUDGE PARKER: We will have the court officer receive those last
13 two documents.
14 MS. SOMERS: Thank you. I'm sorry, Madam Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That's okay. The map will be marked as P208, and
16 the order will be marked as P209.
17 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Now the university education of the general.
19 MS. SOMERS:
20 Q. Thank you, General Zorc. If you could help us with that, please.
21 A. Well, I can list you points concerning my education. I have
22 completed, as I already mentioned, the ground forces military academy of
23 JNA in 1958.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues]... degrees. Is this -- is this
25 education university level? Okay. Excuse me for interrupting you.
1 A. Yes. Military academy is on the level of university.
2 Following the completed military academy, I completed the
3 commanding staff military academy of military air force and air defence
4 that I have completed in 1975. Then, in 1979, I graduated at the school
5 of -- military school of People's Defence, and in the year 1967, at the
6 highest school of general People's Defence. All these schools I have
7 completed in Belgrade.
8 In the course of my service, my active service, that is, I
9 graduated in law at Ljubljana University.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, at this time the Prosecution has
12 completed its examination-in-chief. Thank you.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Somers.
14 Mr. Rodic, is it?
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. May I just
16 have a moment, please, to organise myself before I begin my
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Zorc. My name is Goran Rodic.
20 I represent General Strugar before this Tribunal. I will ask you
21 questions in relation to your report and your testimony in chief.
22 First of all, I'd like to ask you to tell me the following: When
23 you drafted your expert report, what combat and operational documents did
24 you study? Which type of document? Who gave them to you? Where did you
25 study them?
1 A. Except for military regulations concerning the majority of
2 questions put to me, I, on the occasion of a visit to this court in
3 January this year, could see and get an insight into a number of military
4 documents of the command of the 2nd Operational Group and the 9th Military
5 Naval Sector, and as for the documents that I deemed important in the
6 presentation of my view, well, as far as these documents are concerned, I
7 did point them out in my report.
8 Q. The documents that you pointed out in your report, predominantly,
9 except for the rules and legal provisions that you have pointed out, what
10 I want to know about is the combat and operational documents. Are these
11 documents that we can find in these binders? Have these documents been
12 admitted into evidence here before this Court?
13 A. Well, from what I saw and was shown to me, these were some binders
14 about their formal position and status at this Court. With this, I'm not
15 acquainted. And the tabs were the tabs that I also quoted in my report.
16 If that means that they were registered, this is what it means.
17 Q. I'd like to ask you to provide a specific answer, if you can,
18 please. I'm talking about the documents -- this is a binder that the OTP
19 has tendered into evidence, with exhibits in relation to your report, and
20 these documents were shown to you yesterday and today, documents from this
21 binder, from this tab, and these documents were also listed in the
22 footnotes to your report; isn't that correct?
23 A. Probably. I haven't got this binder.
24 Q. Now, if you can tell me, talking about these combat and
25 operational documents, with the exception of those that you've referred to
1 in the footnotes to your report, which other combat and operational
2 documents have you studied?
3 A. Well, in fact, some more documents were shown to me, and more
4 documents that I actually used were shown to me. However, I have not
5 studied them, except when I established that in a document there is
6 anything of relevance helping me to answer the questions put to me. If
7 that was the case, then I reviewed the document in question, then also
8 took down the number of the document and followed by digits. That's the
9 way they are in fact numbered. But without really knowing, I couldn't
10 tell you what that means.
11 Q. Tell me, please: When was this rather large number of documents
12 given to you which you used to identify the documents that you referred to
13 in your report?
14 THE INTERPRETER: May the witness please be asked to make a pause
15 between question and answer.
16 A. Immediately prior to my preparation of the report.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Can you tell me where it was that you had an opportunity to study
19 these documents?
20 A. I studied all these documents at the Prosecutor's office here in
21 The Hague in January.
22 Q. In addition to these documents that you have referenced in your
23 report, can you perhaps remember any other combat or operational documents
24 that you studied, something that remained with you?
25 A. I don't recall any other documents that would be relevant for my
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. Thank you. Sir, did you have any working maps, for example, those
3 belonging to the commander of the 2nd Operational Group? Did you look at
4 any of those while drafting your report? Did you perhaps study JNA
5 working maps?
6 A. Yes. And then I also came across such a map of the command of the
7 2nd Operational Group in January that was as well, in the same premises,
8 at the same time.
9 Q. What sort of maps were those?
10 A. These were maps of the command.
11 Q. Do you remember what was indicated on those maps?
12 A. Yes. What was indicated there was the deployment of the forces of
13 the 2nd Operational Group, of the corps, of the sector, then also some
14 positions of some brigades, then also everything up to the line of the
15 Neretva River and on the coast, to the positions to the south of
16 Dubrovnik. And what was indicated was the command post of the 2nd
17 Operational Group. Well, this is what I recall.
18 Q. Do you perhaps remember any of the data on those maps?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And were these maps important for you in the preparation of your
22 A. Not particularly.
23 Q. Tell me, sir: During the drafting of your report, did you also
24 use the interview that Admiral Jokic gave to the investigators of the OTP?
25 A. This interview from the hearing, or something like that, I had the
1 opportunity of seeing it then, here, and also I could review it very
2 briefly within the short time available.
3 Q. Did you also use in your report information or data that you found
4 in the interview by Admiral Jokic, the one that he gave the OTP
6 A. I don't remember explicitly citing -- indicating this. I would
7 have to look at it. Explicitly -- I do not recall explicitly mentioning
8 any of that.
9 Q. May I be allowed to remind you, for example: In your report,
10 there is a section referring to Admiral Jokic allegedly requesting the
11 removal of some of the commanders. Does that jog your memory?
12 A. Yes. I do remember that.
13 Q. In your report, did you include that information only after you
14 had studied the interview that Admiral Jokic had given to the OTP
16 A. If I remember correctly - I do not know my report by heart - I
17 only used the fact that his proposals for replacement of individual senior
18 officers were not adopted. However, I did not really mention any fact to
19 prove it, and therefore, I did not even cite it as a source of my report.
20 But by way of explanation, perhaps this fact was used.
21 Q. Tell me, sir: Did you perhaps see two different interviews that
22 Admiral Jokic gave to the OTP investigators?
23 A. I don't remember that there were two interviews. I only looked at
24 one such set. Whether it was composed of one part, two parts, I don't
25 remember that.
1 Q. What about the interview you said you saw? Do you know what the
2 date is of that interview? Was this interview conducted in July 2002 or
3 in September 2003?
4 A. I think that that was that second interview.
5 Q. September 2003, then; right?
6 A. I don't know the date.
7 Q. Why did you not indicate in one of the footnotes that you had used
8 that particular interview? Because you did indicate other information.
9 You indicated your sources, and this was one of the sources you used for
10 information, and you used this information in your report, didn't you?
11 A. I don't think having referred anywhere directly to this interview
12 and have not quoted anything from this interview [as interpreted].
13 Q. All right. We'll get back to that later on.
14 Sir, in your report, do you speak about the attack against
15 Dubrovnik by the JNA or do you address this matter in a different way?
16 A. Well, if anywhere I did assess the kind of such activity, I
17 used -- probably used the term "blockade" or perhaps "the attack,"
19 Q. There is a difference, isn't there, between blockade and attack,
20 in military, technical terms?
21 A. [Previous translation continues]... of attack or a form of attack.
22 Q. Tell me: The JNA maps that you looked at, were there any markings
23 or symbols to indicate that the situation facing Dubrovnik was that of an
25 A. As far as I remember, this on the map was not the decision to
1 attack, and signs reflecting an attack activity, this was not indicated,
2 but only the deployment of the forces in the blockade of this area, and
3 also outside the Dubrovnik area. Therefore, deployment of the forces --
4 of units, units.
5 Q. If what was being shown on those maps was an attack, would there
6 not be arrows on the map showing the axis of attack taken by JNA units?
7 A. If this map contained a decision for attack, that would be so.
8 Q. Sir, in your report, you distinguish between three different kinds
9 of operational groups. Those are your words. Sir, the 2nd Operational
10 Group, which category of operational groups would it belong to? After
11 all, your report is in relation to the 2nd Operational Group, and you have
12 studied the relevant documents, haven't you?
13 A. I haven't spoken of types of operational groups. Well, it is
14 possible to form operational -- other operational groups as such. At that
15 time, I dealt with -- the fact that at that time I didn't know and today I
16 also do not know exactly who exactly formed or set up the 2nd Operational
17 Group, that I established, after identifying its composition, that, in
18 view of this composition, such a group, and in view of its tasks, such a
19 group could belong to the group established by the General Staff, and I've
20 mentioned that version, or that option, as the last or the third in the
22 Q. Tell me, sir: The 2nd Operational Group, was it in any way
23 peculiar in terms of the composition of its branches?
24 A. I myself cannot see any specific features. If the group is set up
25 by the General Staff, and the fact that in its composition it involves the
1 naval sector together with corps of the ground forces doesn't seem
2 anything special to me.
3 Q. Are you familiar with the composition of the 2nd Operational Group
4 as on the 1st of October, 1991? What did it consist of?
5 A. I can remember, in particular, from the working map, that the
6 operational group, in its make-up, in its composition, involved 37th Corps
7 of the ground forces, 2nd Corps of the ground forces, and the 9th Military
8 Naval Sector. Whether and which or what other independent units fell
9 within the framework of its composition, I do not know. For my
10 assessment, the structure on the level of corps was sufficient.
11 Q. Sir, when was the 2nd Tactical Group established?
12 A. I do not know.
13 Q. Do you know what the task was, the objective of the 2nd Tactical
14 Group, as part of the 2nd Operational Group? I assume, then, you're not
15 familiar with the composition of the 2nd Tactical Group either, are you?
16 Do you know when the Prevlaka Combat Group was set up? Then you
17 probably know nothing about its composition or its tasks, do you?
18 Sir, do you know anything about the manoeuvres of the 472nd
19 Motorised Brigade between the 1st of October and the 31st of December,
20 1991? My apologies. Sir, I was talking about the period between the 1st
21 of October and the 31st of December, 1991. Were you familiar with the
22 whereabouts and the manoeuvres of that brigade as part of its -- of the
23 operational group?
24 A. All movements?
25 Q. No. No. Establishment-wise, how the brigade moved, as part of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the combat organisation.
2 A. I do not know what you have in mind with formation movement, but I
3 assume you have in mind to whom at that time it was subordinate.
4 Q. Exit and entry, the independent nature of that unit in the period
5 of time given, 1st of October to 31st of December?
6 A. Well, actually, in my report I didn't deal with this issue, but
7 from documentation, I can recall that all the time it was part of the
8 2nd Operational Group. Its parts were subordinate to different commands,
9 and from battalions, perhaps temporarily too, were subordinate to the 9th
10 VPS, Military Naval Sector.
11 Q. Thank you very much. My apologies. One of my previous questions
12 in relation to the setting up, composition and tasks of the Prevlaka
13 Combat Group that was part of the 2nd Operational Group at the time, the
14 transcript does not reflect the answer you gave.
15 You said you knew nothing about that, didn't you?
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Rodic?
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it is, indeed, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Then we will take the first morning break.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 I have been asked by the interpretation team to take into account
25 the technical possibilities that exist; namely, two booths cannot be
1 working on the same channel at the same time. So I have to ask you,
2 Mr. Zorc, to please pause for my question to end and for its
3 interpretation to end, because my question is being interpreted into
4 English and into Slovenian, and then your answer is interpreted. So we
5 have several of your short answers missing from the transcript. Thank
7 Q. Before the break, I asked you about the interview of Admiral
8 Jokic, that you say that you studied but you do not remember whether you
9 referred to it at all in your report. I would ask you kindly to look at
10 page 23. It's page 23 of the report in B/C/S. That's the version I have.
11 But it is the section that has to do with military discipline, section 5.
12 So it is the answer that you give to the question in subparagraph (a).
13 In the last paragraph of your question under (a), you say in the
14 documentary material, except for the document that has to do with the
15 interview with Vice Admiral Jokic, I did not find a single document which
16 would prove that other more effective measures were taken. For example,
17 disciplinary measures, filing of criminal complaints and personnel
18 charges. Even his proposals of staff changes that pertain to certain
19 commanding officers had not been accepted.
20 Does that mean that you believe what you read in that interview?
21 And let me help you. It is in page 26 of the Slovenian version of the
22 report, the third paragraph starting from the top of the page.
23 A. Yes, you're right. The only document from which I could see that
24 his proposals had not been accepted, I've seen that in his interview. But
25 I would like to correct you. I had not studied his interview. I only
1 went rapidly -- browsed through it, because I noticed no source of
2 information for the questions that I had been given.
3 Q. However, as for these changes that were not effected, you take
4 that from the interview and you take it as a fact, you take it at face
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Also, on page 21 of your report, that is, subparagraph (g), so the
8 answer to the question under subparagraph (g) -- sorry. It is (h). I'm
9 actually referring to (h). Again, I'm looking at the last paragraph of
10 your answer. You say: "From the interview with Vice Admiral Miodrag
11 Jokic, one can note that the commander of the 2nd operative group [as
12 interpreted] had frequent contact with the commander of the 3rd Battalion
13 of the 472nd Motorised Brigade and that officers from his command were
14 stationed in this battalion."
15 Do you also take this as a fact upon which you base your findings,
16 and it is actually contained in Admiral Jokic's interview to the OTP in
17 September 2003?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Why, then, did you not mention this interview with Admiral Jokic
20 in the footnotes of the material that you used, since you treat these
21 facts as significant ones and you base some of your findings in the report
22 on them? Was this omitted by accident, by mistake?
23 A. Maybe. It may -- you may consider it a mistake, but in my text, I
24 did mention from where I had this view. I felt no need to have also a
25 footnote on it. And I mentioned it, that it was the interview with
1 Admiral Jokic.
2 Q. However, these two questions I mentioned to you just now, since
3 they were taken from the interview with Admiral Jokic, you consider them
4 to be relevant for your report because you base your opinion on them; is
5 that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you tell me whether you know in whose organisational and
8 establishment units the 472nd Motorised Brigade from Trebinje was before
9 these combat activities started and these actions taken by the
10 2nd Operational Group?
11 A. As far -- the organisation of the JNA was known to me prior to
12 1991, this brigade was an integral part of the 9th VPS.
13 Q. I would like to ask that the witness be shown P133. That is from
14 Admiral Jokic's binder. It is tab 41.
15 I would like to ask you, Mr. Zorc, to look at 03390470, please.
16 It is the page that follows Captain Kovacevic's active service. Under
17 these first two items, do you see that Kovacevic was at the reserve
18 officer's school in Bileca, that he served there?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Under the next item, do you see that the order issued by the
21 personnel department of the Federal Secretariat for National Defence,
22 dated the 27th of July, 1989, he is transferred to the Trebinje garrison
23 of the Military Naval District? That is the third item from the top of
24 the page. That's the one that refers to -- or rather, the fifth one. I'm
25 sorry. Or sixth, rather. He is transferred from the garrison due to the
1 needs of the service, to the Trebinje garrison.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Please look at the third item further down. Acting commander of
4 the 3rd Motorised Company of the 3rd Motorised Battalion. And then it
5 says under the column "unit or institution," it says: "The 472nd
6 Motorised Brigade, 'R' 9th VPS, 'A' under quotation marks, VPO." That is
7 the military naval district, the Trebinje garrison.
8 A. I see it.
9 Q. Does that confirm -- is that confirmed, rather, by these official
10 documents, that is, that what you knew before 1991, that the 472nd
11 Motorised Brigade, from the point of view of organisation, its
12 establishment is within the 9th VPS or rather military naval district?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. I will no longer be needing this document.
15 I would like to ask that the witness be shown a Defence
16 exhibit, D43, please.
17 Mr. Zorc, tell me, please: Did you have the opportunity of seeing
18 this document earlier on when you were studying the materials for this?
19 A. No.
20 Q. This is an order of the command of the 2nd Operational Group dated
21 the 25th of October concerning the return of the 472nd Motorised Brigade
22 to their original establishment; is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Can you confirm for us one's own establishment, one's own unit,
25 does that mean that the brigade returns to its own command, or rather, the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 organisation and establishment that it belongs to, namely, the 9th VPS,
2 that it belonged to earlier on?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. Thank you. I won't be needing the document any more.
5 If, from the 9th Military Naval Sector, by order of the
6 appropriate command, a unit -- or rather, the 472nd Motorised Brigade is
7 temporarily relocated and re-subordinated to a different command, is that
8 brigade still, from the point of view of organisation and establishment,
9 within the 9th Military Naval Sector, but it is temporarily
10 re-subordinated or attached elsewhere?
11 A. Yes. This means that its parent command is the 9th VPS, but that
12 for the use of that unit, another command has the competence for that.
13 Q. As for the documents that you studied, could you follow the 472nd
14 Brigade in the period from the 1st of October until the 31st of December,
16 A. No, I did not deal especially with that issue.
17 Q. Did you see in which period the entire brigade, the entire 472nd
18 Brigade, was under the command of the 9th Military Naval Sector?
19 A. From the document which you have just showed me, if I remember
20 correctly, there was a date, the 25th of October, 1991. This is what I
21 have seen just now.
22 Q. While studying this documentation, did you see when only
23 individual battalions of this brigade were directly subordinated to the
24 command of the 9th Military Naval Sector?
25 A. The exact time of the re-subordination of the individual
1 battalions was not in my interest, and I don't know that. But I was
2 interested and determined was that [as interpreted] the 3rd Battalion was
3 at a certain period of time, in December, was subordinated to the command
4 of the 9th VPS, while the brigade was not under the subordination of the
5 9th. It was under the direct command of the 2nd Operational Group.
6 Q. When you mentioned the 3rd Battalion, you mentioned the
7 subordination of the 472nd Brigade to the 9th VPS in December 1991? Is
8 that what you meant?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You mentioned in your report, when speaking of the 6th of December
11 and the incident which was allegedly caused by the 3rd Battalion of the
12 472nd Brigade, could you establish on the basis of relevant documents
13 under whose command the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade was at the time
14 and who it was directly subordinated to?
15 A. Yes. As far as I remember, the 3rd Battalion at the time was
16 subordinated directly to the command of the 9th VPS.
17 Q. Do you perhaps know about the rest of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
18 There were three battalions left there. Among whose temporary units were
19 they at the time?
20 A. They were a part of the 2nd Operational Group.
21 Q. Do you know which corps?
22 A. I do not recall in the documentation and at the time at my
23 disposal that this brigade would have been subordinated to some other
24 corps. As I understood, it was under the direct command of the 2nd
25 Operational Group.
1 Q. Tell me: The operative objective of the 2nd Operational Group, in
2 connection with the town of Dubrovnik itself, was it the blockade of the
3 town of Dubrovnik? Was that the operative objective?
4 A. In view of your question, as an introduction, I must inform Your
5 Honours that in my expert report, I did not go into these professional
6 issues, as far as tasks and manner of combat operations of the
7 2nd Operational Group. But from a certain document, the command of the
8 naval military district, I saw that the task, the operational task, was
9 the blockade of Dubrovnik.
10 Q. If I'm not mistaken, it is the order of the command of the
11 military naval district, the order to use forces of the VPO dated the 20th
12 of September, 1991. Is that the document that you're talking about?
13 A. Probably.
14 Q. Would it be of assistance if you could be shown this document? It
15 is in tab 12, P199.
16 A. Yes, please.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] The binder of General Zorc, tab 12,
19 Q. Mr. Zorc, can I help you? If you meant this document under
20 number 2, task of the VPO, that's on page 1, and then the second
21 paragraph: "Units of the 9th VPS of the 472nd Motorised Brigade to break
22 out on the Adriatic highway in the wider area of Dubrovnik as soon as
23 possible, lift the blockade of the Kupari military resort, seize control
24 of the Srdj installation, impose a blockade on the city of Dubrovnik and
25 cut it off from the rest of the territory of the Republic of Croatia." Is
1 that the document?
2 A. Precisely.
3 Q. Please look further on, item 3, or rather, item 4 -- I'm sorry, in
4 page 2, in paragraph 2, it says: "Use part of the forces of the 472nd
5 Motorised Brigade to break out on to the Adriatic highway in the wider
6 sector of Dubrovnik, lift the blockade of military installations, impose a
7 blockade on the city of Dubrovnik and cut it off from the rest of the
8 territory of the Republic of Croatia." Can that be interpreted as the
9 operational objective of the military naval district?
10 A. No. This could not be an operational objective of the VPO. This
11 is the idea of the commander of VPO, on the basis of which he decided
12 that, with a part of the forces, he blocks Dubrovnik.
13 Q. Is it correct -- since you say that that is the underlying idea of
14 this document, this document is entitled "Order to use the forces of the
15 military naval district operative number 1."
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In item 2, we see that this is the task of the military naval
18 district and its units; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. As regards Dubrovnik and the blockade of Dubrovnik, according to
21 this order, is it true that this task pertains to the units of the
22 9th Military Naval Sector and the 472nd Brigade within that sector?
23 A. Well, no. There is a general decision of that commander and which
24 states that he decided that the task of blockading Dubrovnik, he will
25 perform with a part of his forces. It means the 472nd Motorised Brigade.
1 It does not speak in any way of the 9th VPS. This is not a task. It's
2 the decision concerning this brigade.
3 Q. Again, in paragraph 2, it says: "Units of the 9th VPS," and in
4 parentheses: "[The 472nd Motorised Brigade]."
5 A. Yes. But this is the task that was entrusted to the commander
6 from the General Staff.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I shall no longer be needing this
10 Q. Also, in response to the question put to you by my learned friend
11 of the Prosecution, you said that you had the opportunity of seeing a
12 draft directive, a draft decision for the attack operation that the
13 command of the 2nd Operational Group, on the 29th of September, 1991,
14 submitted to the chief of General Staff of the armed forces, to Lieutenant
15 Colonel General [as interpreted] Blagoje Adzic.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In that document, could you see the operational objectives of the
18 2nd Operational Group, or rather, its task in its entirety?
19 A. As far as I remember, the content of this document is the complete
20 decision of the 2nd Operational Group. Prior to issuing the order, it was
21 sent to the General Staff for approval. But I would have to look into it
22 now in order to see exactly what it contains.
23 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, excuse me. Is it possible for the
24 witness to have the document in front of him?
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] That is precisely what I wish to
1 suggest right now. It is D44.
2 Q. Before you receive this other document, and when we were
3 discussing the previous order of the military naval district dated the
4 20th of September, 1991, could it be seen from that order that the
5 9th Military Naval Sector at that point in time, together with the
6 472nd Motorised Brigade, was within the military naval district? That
7 pertains to the previous document that you looked at.
8 A. No. No. I think it's quite the opposite. I believe that the
9 9th VPS, in that order, did not receive a concrete task, concrete
11 Q. And was it within the military naval district at that time?
12 A. This would more probably mean that it was not in this district at
13 that time.
14 Q. And the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
15 A. That brigade probably was.
16 Q. Thank you. Could you please look at this draft decision for the
17 attack operation that the command of the 2nd Operational Group submitted
18 to the chief of General Staff for his approval. If you look at item 1 of
19 this draft decision for the attack operation, can you see the tasks listed
20 there for the 2nd Operational Group, as well as their objectives?
21 A. No. Here, you can see the ideological part of the decision of the
22 commander of the 2nd Operational Group. However, this part of the
23 decision always corresponds to the task that was given to the
24 2nd Operational Group.
25 Q. Who did the 2nd Operational Group get such an order from?
1 A. In view of the fact who was given this decision for approval, it
2 is evident that the subordinated commander was the chief staff of the
3 Armed Forces of Yugoslavia [as interpreted].
4 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. The transcript reflects --
5 excuse me. The transcript said it is evident that the subordinated
6 commander was the chief of staff [sic]. And I would ask if counsel could
7 inquire if it was meant superior commander.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. That is correct. You were a bit faster than I was, and I was
10 about to correct that, to set the record straight. There was an error,
11 and my question was: Who did the 2nd Operational Group get this order
12 from? You said, or at least that was the interpretation I got, from the
13 subordinated Chief of Staff. So can you please run the question by me
15 A. Of course. They got it from the superior, that is, the General
16 Staff. And if the mistake is mine, I apologise.
17 Q. Thank you, sir. While studying the documentation, were you in a
18 position to obtain information as to who had established the
19 2nd Operational Group?
20 A. Before I could see the document that you have just shown to me, I
21 could only conclude, and I concluded from the size and the structure of
22 the 2nd Operational Group, which is composed of the corps of different
23 military districts, and that showed to me that the 2nd Operational Group
24 could only be established by the General Staff. From the document I have
25 here now, this is unequivocally, in fact, demonstrated, confirmed.
1 Q. Thank you, sir. Can you please now have a look at item 1. In
2 this draft decision for the attack operation, is there any reference to
3 the need to carry out the blockade from both sea and land in Dubrovnik,
4 the Cilipi airport as well as the Prevlaka area?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is there anything else you can tell us about the objectives of the
7 2nd Operational Group, based on this draft decision? Do you see any other
8 objectives listed there?
9 A. Yes. The 2nd Operational Group evidently had a broader task to
10 perform than just the blockade of Dubrovnik. It had to intersect the
11 links of Dubrovnik, the connections of the Dubrovnik [as interpreted],
12 with the central part of the coast, or, in other words, the Republic of
13 Croatia. It had to isolate the Cilipi airport, Dubrovnik, and also, in
14 fact, make impossible a manoeuvre by the opposing forces against the
15 blocked parts, blockaded parts of the coast.
16 On the other hand, the 2nd Operational Group had to, in fact,
17 secure the part in the central parts and in fact the area around Mostar.
18 Later on, in further combat -- in further activities, it had to be
19 prepared already after the performance of such tasks be ready, therefore,
20 for combat activities on the right side of Neretva; therefore, western
21 Herzegovina. So that is one thing I can establish.
22 And the second is, and that is related to the question as to the
23 differentiation between a blockade or attack, well, on the basis of this
24 document, I can point out that this document is a directive for attack and
25 that the blockade of Dubrovnik is part of this attack, as I have explained
1 in my answer to your question.
2 Q. Thank you. Tell me, sir: The 37th Corps, or the 2nd Operational
3 Group, were they involved in the Mostar area, in the Mostar airport area,
4 more specifically?
5 A. Yes. The 37th Corps in given set-up formation was a part of the
6 2nd Operational Group and was active in the Neretva Valley and in the
7 Mostar area.
8 Q. Sir, you were commander of the 4th Sarajevo Corps back in 1991,
9 weren't you? What about the 10th Motorised Brigade from Mostar? Was it
10 within the composition of your corps?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know whether that brigade too, the Mostar Brigade, was part
13 of the 2nd Operational Group once this was set up?
14 A. From the documents here in my hands, I can see that for this
15 operation, the 10th Motorised Brigade of the 4th Corps was re-subordinated
16 to the 37th Corps of the land forces, which was within the composition of
17 the 2nd Operational Group.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll no longer be needing
20 this document.
21 Q. Do you know who the commanders were of the 2nd Operational Group
22 between the 1st of October and the 31st of December, 1991?
23 A. I don't know it from documents, but I know it from general
24 information I have. I think that before admiral -- before General
25 Strugar, the commander of this group was General Ruzinovski, but I don't
1 know for sure.
2 Q. What about before General Ruzinovski?
3 A. Unfortunately, I don't know.
4 Q. Do you know that since the 3rd Operational Group was set up, there
5 were three commanders there? 2nd Operational Group, I'm sorry. My
7 A. Yes. I think that is so.
8 Q. Do you know the respective time periods in relation to the 1st of
9 October and the 31st of December, 1991, in terms of when those respective
10 commanders were removed?
11 A. No.
12 Q. If there was a quick succession of three different commanders in a
13 unit that was as big -- and, quite importantly, this was a provisional,
14 temporary unit or formation -- would that have any sort of influence on
15 the issues that you reviewed in your report, from the standpoint of
16 command and control problems?
17 A. In formal terms, that should not have an influence on the
18 activities of the 2nd Operational Group. In fact, however, any change of
19 commanding officer does influence the activities, the functioning of the
20 operational group, and ultimately the removal or replacement of the
21 commanders of the 2nd Operational Group did not have an influence,
22 influence that you are asking me about, at the point of time for which you
23 asked me about the responsibilities and obligations of the commander of
24 the 2nd Operational Group. Because the period that was interesting for my
25 answers, in fact, at that time there was only one commander.
1 Q. Thank you. In your report, in B/C/S, the pages 7, chapter 1 --
2 rather, chapter 2, command and control, this is item C of your report.
3 The second-last paragraph of your answer, the third case would be if the
4 General Staff were to form an operational group from the different
5 military districts.
6 Have you found that? In that passage, you say: "If the General
7 Staff were to form this unit from different -- several different military
8 districts, this operational group would be commanded and controlled by the
9 relevant general and the staff from the units making up that group."
10 Can you perhaps shed some light on this. What exactly would that
12 A. Well, if in the case that the General Staff forms an operational
13 group, they -- he -- it has to appoint the commander of the operational
14 group and also entrust it with the command of the operational group, and
15 that is demanding, a demanding project in terms of staffing, because you
16 have to take these officers from somewhere. In regular practice and in
17 normal practice, it would be regular that -- it would usually be that in
18 fact an officer can be appointed also from its composition. However, the
19 other and the majority of officers almost necessarily have to be found in
20 the command composition of the units that are part of the operational
21 group. However, it should be done by making sure that the functioning of
22 the command of units, participating units, not be made impossible.
23 Q. While studying the documentation, did you perhaps come across the
24 following fact, namely, that the setting up of the command of the
25 2nd Operational Group, as well as later on the staff of that very command,
1 were made up predominantly by officers from the general inspection unit
2 from Belgrade?
3 A. I don't remember this.
4 Q. Did you perhaps come across any document indicating that officers
5 from the general inspection unit, the Belgrade-based one, were temporarily
6 sent to work with the 2nd Operational Group?
7 A. That's something else -- I don't remember that either. In view of
8 the fact that General Ruzinovski, in a point in time, was inspector
9 general and that he was the commander of the 2nd Operational Group in a
10 period, but that's a period before. That was not the object of my
11 interest. This is -- it is from this that I make my assumption.
12 Q. Can you please have a look now at the next passage of your answer.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. In the last passage, you say the following: You speak about an
16 order received from a superior command to set up an operational group, and
17 this order should contain command authorisation; isn't that the case?
18 Further on, it says if this authorisation is limited in any way, if the
19 powers are limited in any way, and in parenthesis, for example, only
20 limited to operational leadership decisions on engaging units, this should
21 be clearly stated in the order.
22 While drafting your report, did you have a chance to, in terms of
23 commanding powers, to base your position on a document that you had
25 A. From the entire answer in my report to this question, it is
1 apparent that I did not have before me, and I did not see, the order of
2 the General Staff whereby the 2nd Operational Group was established.
3 Hence, all these possibilities of the establishment of the unit stated
4 here in this paragraph, including the last paragraph, I wrote as something
5 probable and possible. Therefore, how -- what should be done and how it
6 should be done. But I could not really say how this was done, and I think
7 that the way this is formulated shows it. Therefore, it is in the
8 conditional, "would be."
9 Q. If I understand you correctly, sir, in view of the fact that you
10 never saw such a document, you can't say with any degree of certainty what
11 the commanding powers would be in a specific case, can you?
12 A. It is so.
13 Q. Sir, when we talk about a temporary military formation, such as
14 the 2nd Operational Group, in your report, you refer to the rules on the
15 authority of the corps command of the land forces in peacetime. This is
16 at tab 8. And the exhibit number is P196.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance,
18 please. I would like to show the witness this exhibit.
19 Q. Do you have the document in front of you, sir? Can you please
20 look at Article 6 of the rules. In paragraph 1, the following is
21 stated: "The right to command units and institutions of the organic
22 compound of KOV, land army corps, hereinafter corps, is under the
23 exclusive responsibility of the commander. Units and institutions outside
24 the corps, the corps's organic compound, those temporarily subordinated
25 are commanded and controlled by the commander only within the limits of
1 the stipulated authorities or powers."
2 What about this second sentence? Is that a reference to the
3 command authority in relation to temporarily re-subordinated units?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is that in compliance with my previous question in relation to the
6 command authority of the 2nd Operational Group, or rather, the commander
7 of the 2nd Operational Group?
8 A. Yes. And precisely because this second sentence of Article 6,
9 which is written here for the corps but is still, in fact, generally
10 applicable in the military organisation. Having known that and not having
11 had a document stipulating precisely these authorities, these powers, I,
12 in fact, drew attention to this in my report.
13 Q. Thank you. Tell me, sir: Do you know that the 9th Military Naval
14 Sector had naval forces and coastal defence forces, that in the period
15 between the 1st of October and the 31st of December, 1991, were in fact
16 subordinated to the command of the military naval district and not to the
17 2nd Operational Group?
18 May I just give you an example. I'm not sure if you're familiar
19 with the Lustica Peninsula and the coastal defence there. It's a division
20 with patrol boats. Military sabotage units.
21 MS. SOMERS: That is making reference to a fact that is not in
22 evidence. It has never been proven.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Is this a matter which will be the subject of
24 evidence, Mr. Rodic?
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: You clearly can postulate what you intend to
2 establish, if that's relevant to getting a comment or an answer from the
3 witness, but you don't -- not yet in a position to put it as an
4 established fact.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Fair enough. I'll try to reword my
6 question, in that case, Your Honour.
7 Q. So I'll put it to the witness in the form of a hypothesis.
8 Mr. Zorc, if within its composition the 9th VPS also had other
9 units, units that were not used as part of the operational group, such as,
10 for example, the coastal defence unit at the Lustica Peninsula, the patrol
11 boat division, the naval sabotage detachment, the naval infantry brigade
12 based in Bar, what about those elements of the 9th VPS? Through the VPS,
13 would they not be under the competence of the military naval district,
14 under their authority, in that period of time?
15 A. This would only be the case if, to the 9th Military Naval Sector,
16 these -- the units mentioned would be removed from under its authority and
17 kept under the command of the district of the military naval district. If
18 this was not done, these units remained under the authority of its regular
19 command, therefore, the command of the 9th VPS.
20 Q. I believe in answer to one of my previous questions you made
21 reference to territorial jurisdiction, or rather, area of responsibility
22 of the 9th VPS. Do you know if that area of responsibility of the 9th VPS
23 stretched between Ploce and Otranto in the south Adriatic?
24 A. In the north, I think you are right. It was from Ploce. In the
25 south, it's accurate to the border of Yugoslavia, as far as the border of
2 Q. Thank you. Sir, based on documents related to the 2nd Operational
3 Group, were you able to draw any conclusions or to see, actually, that the
4 command of the 2nd Operational Group was taking into account, or rather,
5 that the land between Montenegro's borders, the Croatian-Montenegrin
6 border and the Albanian border was actually part of their responsibility?
7 What about that bit of territory under the 9th VPS area of responsibility?
8 Was that under the 2nd Operational Group too?
9 A. From the documents that I could see, I in fact could not see that
10 in fact the scope of responsibility of the 2nd Operational Group would be
11 accurately defined. And in these documents, again of the 2nd Operational
12 Group, I could not find, for instance, any indication that the
13 2nd Operational Group was given any task for the area to the south of
14 Boka Kotorska to the Albanian border.
15 Q. We are now talking about the area of responsibility of the
16 9th VPS. What would normally be its area of responsibility?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Sir, given that you spent a portion of 1991 with the JNA, do you
19 know if after you left the JNA, and around that time, or rather, when
20 exactly in 1991 was it that units of the navy were moved from the Adriatic
21 section of the coast, and here I'm referring to Slovenia, down through
22 Croatia towards Montenegro?
23 A. As far as I have noted while still being in active military
24 service, no such movements took place. That was until June 1991. At
25 least I wasn't notified of any.
1 Q. Do you know where the navy units and equipment were moved to, when
2 they were moved from Croatian territory?
3 A. In time, while I still was in active military service, I have no
4 idea of such movements.
5 Q. What about late 1991?
6 A. Following the beginning of conflicts on the soil of Slovenia and
7 Croatia, of course, certain manoeuvres did take place, and the forces of
8 VPO D, VPO [as interpreted], did make a manoeuvring towards the south.
9 Q. What about those navy forces? Were they moved alongside with all
10 of their equipment to Montenegro, or rather, moved into the area of
11 responsibility of the 9th VPS?
12 A. I do not know of that accurately, but with part of the forces,
13 most probably, they were moved to individual islands.
14 Q. Thank you, sir. Sir, as a high-ranking officer, you must be
15 familiar with the content and the manner in which military documents are
16 drafted, such as regular combat reports and orders for attack. Can you
17 please briefly tell us about what the elements of those documents are.
18 A. Well, combat order for attack contains the following essential
19 integral parts. The first item, a brief information on how the command
20 issuing order assesses the operation or the activities of the opposite
21 side must be conveyed. In the second item, the task that the command was
22 vested from the superior command should be conveyed. And in the third
23 item, the data are conveyed according to which the tasks are performed
24 with the neighbouring units, concerning the activities we're talking
25 about. The fourth item contains the decision taken by the commander as to
1 the ways and means he had in mind to be able to carry out the task
2 stemming from item 2, received from superior command.
3 Furthermore, the conceptual part of this issue is conveyed in the
4 following item, and in the following items, the competent commander
5 issuing this particular order determines the tasks of all his subordinate
6 units taking part in the implementation of the task.
7 Q. Thank you very much. I apologise for interrupting you, but this
8 is quite enough for my purposes.
9 Could you just briefly tell me: Regular combat reports forwarded
10 by a commander of a unit to its own superior command, does that sort of
11 report also contain information on the enemy and their operations?
12 A. Yes. This also, since the intelligence functions, is also a
13 function of all the subordinate units. The data that they receive in the
14 direct contact or conflict with the enemy, they convey forwards, both in
15 the form of the report and beyond this form, while they're getting this
17 Q. Can you tell me: In the regular combat report, this information
18 about the enemy I assume contain a summary of the most relevant
19 information that the subordinate units can provide to their command about
20 the enemy, or information that is collected through intelligence sources?
21 A. Yes. This is a general synthesis of the data that the report
22 contains and that command then rounds up and conveys to the superior
24 Q. Tell me, please: If we have the example of an order for attack,
25 when in the first paragraph information about the enemy is provided, is
1 the purpose of this information to caution one's own units of enemy forces
2 and possible dangers coming from those forces, dangers that may happen or
3 that they may encounter in combat activity?
4 A. Of course, the purpose of this item is to inform the subordinate
5 units on wider activities of the enemy, whether a specific deployment, and
6 with the assessment that the command issuing orders has, on purposes and
7 capabilities of the enemy in the time expected. This is an essential
8 piece of information for subordinate commanders, enabling them
9 correctly -- to correctly understand the order given by the commander.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown D57,
11 Defence Exhibit D57. Could the English translation of this document
12 please be placed on the overhead projector.
13 Q. Mr. Zorc, this is a document that was admitted into evidence
14 during this trial. It is an order for attack of the command of the
15 9th Military Naval Sector dated the 9th of November, 1991. Do you see
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I'm interested in the following now: In view of your previous
19 answers, in paragraph 1, information is given about the enemy; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Please look at the third sentence in that document, where it
23 says: "From the fortresses of the Old Town centre, he is using mobile
24 mortars, 82-millimetres and 60-millimetres." The command of the 9th VPS,
25 including the commander, who signed this order for attack, does the
1 command in this way inform its subordinate units about the whereabouts of
2 the enemy and about the locations from which they would possibly be in
4 A. Yes, evidently.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher now to
6 give the witness the following exhibits: D58 and D62.
7 Thank you. We won't be needing this document any longer. I would
8 also like to ask for the English translation to be placed on the ELMO
10 Q. Mr. Zorc, do you have before you document D58, which is a regular
11 combat report of the command of the 9th Military Naval Sector dated the
12 10th of November, 1991?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Please take a look at paragraph 1 again. It is entitled "The
15 Enemy." In the second paragraph of paragraph 1, it says, towards the end,
16 that the enemy still uses the hotel resorts in the walls of the Old Town
17 for mortar positions. Is that what it says there?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is this information now of the 9th Military Naval Sector to their
20 superior command, the 2nd Operational Group, about enemy positions and
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask you to look at the
25 other document now, D62.
1 Q. Again, this is a regular combat report of the 9th Military Naval
2 Sector dated the 6th of December, 1991. It was sent to the command of the
3 2nd Operational Group. Can you see in paragraph 1 that pertains to the
4 enemy yet again, in the third paragraph, it says the enemy kept changing
5 the positions of the mortars so that fire was occasionally opened from the
6 Stradun area, as well as from the Old City port?
7 A. Yes, I can see.
8 Q. Does that also consist of information provided by the 9th Military
9 Naval Sector to their superior command on the enemy dated the 6th of
10 December, 1991?
11 A. Yes. This was written from 1700 hours.
12 Q. Thank you. We will no longer be needing these documents. You can
13 put them back.
14 Mr. Zorc, could you please tell us the following: You were
15 commander of a division, commander of a corps. As corps commander in
16 Sarajevo, did you have three or four brigades subordinated to you within
17 that corps?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I'm not sure whether it's three or four.
20 A. Are you interested in the number?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Three.
23 Q. Thank you. I'm going to put a hypothetical question to you. Let
24 us mark them as the first, second and third Brigade. The commander of a
25 battalion in the first brigade committed a disciplinary infraction,
1 because of which he is supposed to come and report to you. The reason why
2 is not important. But is there a reason why the commander of the first
3 battalion from the first brigade should come to report to you? Do you
4 call in his immediate superior officer then at the same time so that he
5 could hear about all of this and see what it was all about? Did this
6 happen in practice?
7 A. In case I wanted to get a battalion commander to report to me, in
8 every case, I would ask that he be brought to me by the commander of the
9 brigade, even though this could have been a completely exceptional
10 situation because the report is given by the first superior commander,
11 normally commander of the brigade.
12 Q. That's precisely what I'm asking about. I'm asking about an
13 exceptional situation. You say that in that case, by all means you would
14 call his immediate superior, the commander of the brigade, so that he
15 would be present too; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In case you call in for a report, the commander of the brigade,
18 would this reporting in any case be attended by any of the subordinates of
19 that brigade commander, for example, a battalion commander?
20 A. Not possible at all.
21 Q. Tell me: In this first solution that we discussed, that you call
22 the battalion commander to report to you, and then his immediate superior
23 officer comes in with him, the brigade commander, in that way, do you want
24 at the same time for the first -- the immediate superior officer of the
25 battalion commander, and that is, the brigade commander, to hear during
1 the reporting the reasons why the battalion commander has been asked to
2 come in, and also that he familiarise himself with possible tasks, orders,
3 or decisions that you would adopt after that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. In relation to that, can I just ask you one more
6 thing? Is that something that was in JNA doctrine and practice? Was that
7 the way it always was during practice in JNA service, not only in your
8 particular case but in the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army, in general?
9 A. No. Regular report is given by the immediate superior commander.
10 If the next superior commander wishes to have a talk with the second
11 superior commander, it's called conversation, not report. Because report
12 is already an expression for the implementation of disciplinary
13 responsibility, and it is the immediate superior commander that is giving
14 the report, although superior commanders are not excluded and have
15 possibility to take action.
16 Q. When I asked you about this, we established that already a while
17 ago when we are talking about exceptional situations, when you have a
18 problem of such a nature that you, as corps commander, found it necessary
19 to call in for a report a battalion commander.
20 A. Yes. If the situation were as exceptional as this, I would no
21 doubt demand that the brigade commander brings them in, unless there were
22 some other reasons indicating that this would not be fitting or
24 Q. In any case, when the situation is an exceptional one, the higher
25 level of command -- or let me withdraw this question and let me try to
1 make it as specific as possible.
2 So, is it certain that a brigade commander, in relation to a
3 problem for which he has been asked to come in for a report, would not
4 appear before a corps commander in the presence of one of his
5 subordinates, like a battalion commander, and the superior officer would
6 never be criticised before his subordinate?
7 A. Yes, absolutely.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, would this be an
10 appropriate time to take a break now? Because I would like to move on to
11 a different topic now.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, then, Mr. Rodic. We'll take our second
13 break now.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.23 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Can the
18 witness please be shown Defence Exhibit D50. May the English copy please
19 be displayed on the ELMO.
20 Q. General Zorc, is it true, based on this document, that the deputy
21 federal secretary, Admiral Stane Brovet, is requesting to have information
22 forwarded urgently regarding the allegations from the protest of the
23 international monitoring mission, dated the 3rd of November, 1991, and
24 that this request was first of all sent to the commander of the 9th VPS,
25 Miodrag Jokic, and secondly to the commander of the 2nd Operational Group,
1 Colonel General Pavle Strugar?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The deputy federal secretary, by virtue of his official position,
4 does he belong to a higher command than the command of the 2nd Operational
5 Group? What would be the rank in terms of command?
6 A. He is a higher rank than the 2nd Operational Group. Deputy
7 federal secretary, he is the level, the rank, of the federal secretary for
8 national defence.
9 Q. Is this specific case, he, as deputy federal secretary, is asking
10 at the same time both from the commander of the 2nd Operational Group and
11 from his subordinate commander to clarify this problem that he is writing
12 to them about?
13 A. Well, it wasn't a normal situation, but it's obvious that he
14 urgently needed this information.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving interpretation.
16 Q. Thank you very much. I'm again receiving interpretation now.
17 Are there exceptional situations, urgent situations, or
18 particularly important situations, where the highest, or rather, very high
19 level of command and control may address a person or a command such as the
20 9th VPS, which is, in terms of subordination, in terms of the chain of
21 command, below the 2nd Operational Group, with a direct request for
22 information from them?
23 A. Yes. That is indeed possible. And the question which was raised
24 was obviously in the authority of the deputy federal secretary, and it's
25 also obvious that it was urgent.
1 Q. Would this kind of situation in the specific case, can the federal
2 secretary address the commander of the 9th VPS only if he sees it fit and
3 believes that he is the best potential source of information on what he
4 wants to know?
5 A. Yes. It would be possible to get the best -- not only the best
6 information, but also the fastest. But he acted correctly by sending also
7 this request to the commander of the 2nd Operational Group.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now please be shown
10 Exhibit P104. OTP Exhibit P104.
11 Q. General Zorc, sir, can you tell me, please, once you've looked at
12 the document P104, the Prosecution exhibit, is that General Strugar's
13 response, in his capacity as commander of the 2nd Operational Group, to a
14 request made by the deputy federal secretary, Admiral Brovet, in relation
15 to the protest filed by the ECMM, and Admiral Brovet requested an urgent
17 A. On the basis of the document that I have in my hands now, it's
18 clear that it was sent to the deputy of the federal secretary, Admiral
19 Stane Brovet. It's a report which was sent in on the same day. They
20 received the request for a report on this issue, and in the contents of
21 this report, they inform the deputy national secretary about the matter he
22 had inquired about.
23 Q. Thank you very much. We'll no longer be needing that document.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now please be shown
25 Defence Exhibit D51.
1 Q. General Zorc, sir, is this the reply sent by the command of the
2 9th VPS and Admiral Jokic to the deputy federal secretary for national
3 defence, Admiral Brovet, containing a report on the problem under
4 consideration, the problem spoken about by Mr. Brovet in D50, the document
5 that you just looked at?
6 A. The document that I have in front of me was a handwritten
7 document, and whether this is the handwriting of the Admiral Jokic, the
8 commander of the 9th VPS, it is a report sent in on the 4th of November
9 and which was also directly sent to the deputy federal secretary and to
10 the 2nd Operational Group. It was also submitted for their knowledge.
11 And prior to that, we saw also the report sent in by the 2nd Operational
12 Group concerning the same issue.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just for the sake of
14 the transcript: The document was sent directly to the federal secretary,
15 or rather, his deputy, and to the attention of the 2nd Operational Group.
16 That is indeed reflected in the transcript, but not with sufficient
17 clarity. Therefore, I believe it's necessary to point it out.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I'll try to get the matter clarified through further questions.
20 When the commander of the 9th VPS sends his reply directly to the
21 deputy federal secretary, as another addressee, he also indicates the
22 command of the 2nd Operational Group, and he sends this report to the
23 attention of the command of the 2nd Operational Group. Would that mean
24 that Admiral Jokic, as General Strugar's subordinate, wishes hereby to
25 inform him about what he had previously reported to Admiral Brovet
1 following the assignment that he had previously received from Admiral
2 Brovet himself?
3 A. Yes. In fact, that was the purpose of sending it also "to the
4 attention of."
5 Q. Thank you. We are done with that document for the time being.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now please be shown
7 Defence Exhibit D65.
8 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, just a point of objection. Counsel, I
9 believe, in the last question to the witness gave it an interpretation
10 instead of making it a clear question, where he said "previously sending,"
11 and it's not clear whether it's previously sending to Admiral Brovet or
12 simultaneously. That is purely counsel's speculative interpretation.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if necessary, I can get
14 the matter clarified with the witness again, if there's something left
16 Q. General Zorc, in relation to -- General Zorc, sir, in relation to
17 this last document, you saw that it was marked by General Jokic [as
18 interpreted] as addressed to the deputy federal secretary, and just
19 underneath it said to the command of the 2nd Operational Group, rather, to
20 the attention of the command of the 2nd Operational Group. As the
21 document was sent to the deputy federal secretary, in terms of its
22 substance, was that a direct reply to the deputy federal secretary
23 following his own request contained in the first document, to be
24 especially informed, to receive special reports by the commander of the
25 VPS and the commander of the 2nd Operational Group, both?
1 A. Well, yes. The commander of the 9th VPS sent his reply directly
2 to Admiral Brovet because also Admiral Brovet directly sent that request
3 to him. But he was aware that he must also inform his superior, so that
4 he -- the superior commander is fully aware of the situation and what has
5 been sent as a reply to Admiral Brovet.
6 Q. I may be about to ask you a question that might strike you as not
7 completely logical, but I must run this past you again to get the matter
9 When Admiral Brovet looked at that document, had he just received
10 a report from Vice Admiral Jokic --
11 MS. SOMERS: Objection. Speculative, Your Honour.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe this is no
13 speculation. General Zorc is an OTP expert. He's a military expert with
14 a lot of experience in the area. He's here to provide his expert opinion.
15 He's here to provide his expert interpretation of the military documents
16 that are placed in front of him. These military documents bear a seal,
17 and they have been admitted into evidence during the course of this very
18 trial. And also, we know exactly when the document was sent. There's an
19 outgoing stamp.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I think it is the timing of the two documents that
21 is the point of concern of the objection. I am not altogether clear about
22 the point of the objection, but I am certainly clear that you, in your
23 questions, are assuming an order of reading of them by Admiral Brovet, and
24 I don't know that there is any basis for you to assume that.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Maybe there has been
1 a slight misunderstanding, or perhaps my question was slightly confusing.
2 That was not my intention, however. I'll try to get this clarified now.
3 So it's quite irrelevant, immaterial to me which was the first report read
4 by Admiral Brovet.
5 Q. What I want to know is the following, General Zorc, sir, if we can
6 just go back to my previous question. I'm talking about document D51,
7 which is the report by Admiral Jokic, commander of the 9th VPS, the report
8 that he sent to Admiral Brovet. That document, that report, there's a
9 second title, or the addressee, in a manner of speaking, to the attention
10 of the 2nd Operational Group.
11 Now, my question is: Does that mean that Admiral Jokic wanted to
12 also submit this report that he had sent to Admiral Brovet to his own
13 superior, the commander of the 2nd Operational Group, so that he would be
14 informed with the substance of this report, the same report that reached
15 Admiral Brovet?
16 A. Yes. Yes, precisely for that reason he sent this report to the
17 attention of.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honour, I believe the
19 matter is now sufficiently clarified.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I think that part was clear from the outset. The
21 concern, I think, was one that arose from the form of your questions. You
22 were not conscious of other implications in your questions, and Ms. Somers
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Let us move on, please.
25 Q. General Zorc, sir, you have in front of you D65. Can you please
1 tell us what document this is. Can you see that?
2 A. In my hands I have a report of the command of the 9th Military
3 Naval Sector dated 7th of December, 1991, on the action of the
4 3rd Battalion, 472nd Motorised Brigade, on Srdj, on the 6th of December,
5 1991. The report has been sent by the 9th Military Naval Sector command
6 to the First Administration of the General Staff, to General Simonovic.
7 And here we have a description concerning actions on Srdj on the 6th, and
8 in the introduction, additional data concerning two officers, the captain,
9 the commander of that brigade, and the head of the staff of the
10 5th Motorised Brigade.
11 Q. Fair enough. General Zorc, who signed this document? Who sent
12 this document out? Whose document is it?
13 A. Well, it was signed by Vice Admiral Miodrag Jokic. That's the
14 name that is here only typed out, but I do not see any signature.
15 Q. Tell me, sir: This addressee, the First Administration for
16 General Simonovic, is this an operative administration within the General
17 Staff of the Armed Forces of the SFRY?
18 A. Yes. This report was sent to the First Administration, the
19 operational administration, and it's -- first we have the basic
20 information on commanders of the units which participated in the action.
21 Q. All right. Tell me, sir: Based on this document, does it
22 indicate or could it lead you to assume that the document was also
23 submitted or forwarded to the commander of the 2nd Operational Group, as
24 we have seen with the previous document, in the case of Admiral Brovet,
25 where it said to the attention of the 2nd OG? Does this document seem to
1 indicate anything like that?
2 A. No. In this document, one cannot conclude that it had been also
3 sent to the commander of the 2nd Operational Group. It's not indicated
4 either here at the heading after the main addressee, nor is it indicated
5 later, below the signature, that it had been submitted also to the
6 commander of the 2nd organisational [as interpreted] group. So it is a
7 report which has been exclusively sent to the two levels -- two --
8 superior officer, two levels above.
9 Q. Thank you very much, sir. Just briefly, please: When you drafted
10 your report, your expert opinion, did you take that document into account?
11 Did you review the document back then?
12 A. No. I have it here in front of me for the first time now.
13 Q. Thank you, sir.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown OTP
15 document P61, tab 39. This is from the Hvalkof binder, if I'm not
17 My apologies. I believe I've given you the wrong reference. My
18 apologies, Your Honours. There seems to have been a little confusion.
19 Let me just check the document number again. If my learned friend and
20 colleague could just give me a hand with this, please. This is a report
21 by Admiral Jokic dated the 9th of December. This report was sent to the
22 deputy federal secretary, Admiral Brovet.
23 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I believe that counsel was correct in
24 his first tab. It was P61, tab 39. If this is the damage report. Is
25 that what -- if I may inquire.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I was looking for,
2 but a different document was provided for the witness. At least the
3 document that I saw lying in front of him was not the document that I had
5 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, if I can assist the registrar. I
6 believe this was also raised earlier that there was a page missing. If it
7 would help for the Prosecution to give the Prosecution's copy, we'd be
8 happy to.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Registry apologies.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General Zorc, sir, you've looked at this document before, haven't
12 you? This is a report by the 9th Military Naval Sector command concerning
13 damage in Dubrovnik's Old Town. This report was sent directly to the
14 deputy federal secretary for national defence, Admiral Stane Brovet,
15 wasn't it?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. Tell me, sir, first of all: Before you wrote your expert opinion,
18 did you have an opportunity to see this document?
19 A. I do not believe of having seen it earlier.
20 Q. Please, sir, my question is the same as in relation to the
21 document dated the 7th of December, 1991. If you look at this document,
22 is there any kind of reference or anything to suggest that it was sent to
23 the command of the 2nd Operational Group or to the attention of the
24 command of the 2nd Operational Group, so they may familiarise themselves
25 with the substance?
1 A. No. No. We cannot infer that on the basis of this document.
2 Q. My next question in relation to this document is perhaps of a more
3 technical nature. I don't believe it should present any serious
4 difficulty to you. From the point of view of the doctrine governing
5 command and control, can you tell me, who does this document belong to?
6 Whose document is it?
7 A. This is a document of the 9th Naval Sector command dated 9th of
8 December, 1991.
9 Q. Would that mean that that particular command and its commander
10 were the ones who issued this document?
11 A. Yes. Wrote it, signed it, and issued it.
12 Q. Tell me, sir: By putting his signature there and by denoting his
13 rank and his official position, does that mean that the commander is
14 endorsing this report?
15 A. Absolutely, yes.
16 Q. May we therefore say that the commander is in agreement with this
17 report, since we see that he has signed it and sent it on to a superior
19 A. No, you cannot conclude that from that report. In this report,
20 the commander of the 9th VPS transfers and sends the findings of the
21 commission he has set up and which has determined certain damage to
22 individual sites. Does he stand behind this report or not and its
23 content? Nothing is said about that in the document. He just states that
24 this is the report of that group.
25 Q. Tell me, sir: If you look at that document, are there any
1 signatures anywhere or anything that might resemble the original substance
2 of a report drafted by some three-man commission?
3 A. No. There's no signature of these members of the commission,
4 while the contents certainly arise from the report of that commission.
5 Everything is specified in detail. And the commander who signed this
6 report indicates that the situation, as it has been determined, was
7 determined by the commission which he formed, and he also specifies who
8 was in the commission and when. And he states that the situation was
9 determined by the commission, which made a report, submitted to him.
10 Q. Can we discern whose commission it was?
11 A. Yes. Yes. I already stated that. It's also said in the
12 document. It is a commission of the 9th VPS. It is a commission of
13 General Jokic.
14 And also, as far as the previous question is concerned, whether he
15 stands behind the content of this report, I can only add that he does
16 stand. It's not explicitly stated, but if he personally doubted the
17 precision of the report, he would certainly indicate that.
18 Q. That is the core of the matter. That is what I really wanted to
19 ask you about. As corps commander, that is to say, without a signature,
20 without the signatures of the members of a commission, would you sign a
21 report that they had submitted and send it further on to the higher
22 command if you did not agree with it?
23 A. Yes, if the request was made, I would send the report, and I would
24 draw the attention that I do not agree with it. That can happen. But,
25 you know, if I didn't agree with a report, I wouldn't even accept such a
1 report from a commission.
2 Q. Thank you. Let's just clarify one more thing there. You
3 identified who it was who established the commission. It was the command
4 of the 9th Military Naval Sector and its commander; is that right?
5 A. Yes. That's stated in the document -- in this document.
6 Q. Does that mean, then, that the command of the 9th VPS and its
7 commander gave a task to the commission and instructions in terms of what
8 the commission was supposed to do?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Tell me one more thing now. As regards such a document and the
11 report that you have in front of you - I'm asking you hypothetically now -
12 had you established a commission and given it precise instructions as to
13 what it was supposed to do, given it a precise task, can there ultimately
14 be a situation that the commission does compile a report in accordance
15 with the task that you gave them, and that they sign such a report, and
16 that you send on that kind of report only with an accompanying letter on
17 your part to the superior command?
18 A. Yes. This is also quite possible.
19 Q. Would there be a significant difference involved, then, between
20 two such documents?
21 A. No. As far as its significance goes, no. But it would be a more
22 rapid process. But with this accompanying letter, the commander of the
23 9th VPS would take upon himself also a part of the responsibility for it.
24 Q. So at any rate, if I understood you correctly, the command stands
25 by that document?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. We will no longer be needing this document.
3 General Zorc, I would like to ask you the following now: How does
4 the principle of singleness of command operate in practice, as well as
5 subordination, upon which the military organisation in the JNA is based?
6 Can you explain this to me at the level of a corps and brigade and in
7 relations between commands of brigades and commands of corps, and the
8 other way around?
9 A. The system of command and control, on all levels, also at the
10 level of commands of corps, with its subordinate unit, operate on the
11 basis of the principle of singleness of command. It means that the
12 commander of the corps is the sole [as interpreted] and the superior and
13 that the corps commander is the only competent one to issue direct tasks,
14 assignments, to him. Here I must warn -- draw your attention that also
15 the superior officers have the right to issue tasks to the second lower
16 level, or even more, but these are exceptions. This should be avoided.
17 Now, if we look at the position of the brigade commander and
18 singleness of command, it means that his superior commander, from which he
19 may receive orders, is the corps commander. And in the command of the
20 corps, and outside of it, there are no other officers who could have
21 commanding authority.
22 As far as the chain of command is concerned on these two levels,
23 the relationship between the corps commander and the brigade commander, it
24 is a direct relationship. Would that be enough?
25 Q. Yes, thank you. Can you tell me: To what command level does a
1 corps commander issue orders? Let me put a specific question. Is that
2 the brigade commander, the first one down the chain of command?
3 A. Corps commander issues reports -- orders to his directly
4 subordinate commanders, the first level. The commanders who are in direct
5 subordination to the corps commander, they are in different levels, and
6 this can be on the level of the brigade, commander of brigade, but the
7 first subordinate to the corps commander, the commander of the independent
8 battalion, regiment or company. So irrespective of the size of the
9 subordinate unit, if it is the first level subordinate to the corps
10 commander, he then issues the orders to them directly.
11 Q. Can we understand it, then, in the following way: That each
12 commander is responsible to his direct superior officer for those who are
13 his first, direct subordinates?
14 A. Could you pose this question once again.
15 Q. Is each commander responsible to his immediate superior officer
16 for the person who is his immediate subordinate?
17 A. Now I've understood the question.
18 Q. Can you try to answer, then?
19 A. Yes. Yes, I understood you now, your question.
20 Well, clearly, any unit commander is answerable to his first
21 superior commander, but not only for their first subordinates, but all of
22 his subordinates, the entire unit. And in his unit, he has different
23 levels, down to the platoon levels.
24 As an example, let me say that the brigade commander is answerable
25 to the corps commander, not only for the battalion commanders but for the
1 entire battalions. This is the essence. And, of course, for other
2 independent units of the brigade.
3 Q. Tell me, please -- perhaps I did not understand this well. But
4 would it mean, then, according to that logic, that the federal secretary
5 is responsible for his very last soldier?
6 A. If you're thinking of the command responsibility, then yes, the
7 federal secretary is responsible for all the units under his
8 subordination. And when you've asked about the federal secretary, I must
9 add that, on the basis of the command authority, he received this command
10 authority from the supreme commander, that is, the Presidency. So this is
11 a limitation here, but for lower-ranking units, the answer is simpler.
12 Q. Let me ask you a specific question. Do you know, from your own
13 practice -- for example, was an army commander or a military district
14 commander held accountable for any mistake or criminal offence that had
15 been committed by the commander of some battalion in that army or military
16 district, or a company commander, if we are going all the way down the
17 chain? If you know of such a case, could you please tell me of that
18 specific example.
19 A. The responsibility of the brigade commander to his superior, when
20 speaking of the brigade, the chief of General Staff was his superior. And
21 in connection with one of your previous questions, the subordinate, how
22 their superiors are responsible, I -- let me say neither -- didn't know
23 about these responsibilities. But I assume that they were called in for
24 and were responsible in that sense.
25 If it were of any help to you, I do know of a case when a brigade
1 commander was called in for -- to -- and was answerable because something
2 happened in a company, a grave accident, so they can be called in and are
4 Q. I asked you -- now, I don't know if it's a question of
5 interpretation, whether it was a misinterpretation. I was asking you
6 about the level of the commander of an army or a military district. Did
7 you ever, in your years of service, hear of an army commander being held
8 accountable for any kind of mistake made or criminal offence committed by
9 a company commander or a battalion commander, and if that battalion or
10 company was within his army?
11 A. No. I stated that I'm not acquainted with such a case.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Rodic?
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: We've moved fairly slowly today. I trust you'll
16 keep that in mind on Monday.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I will, Your Honour. I will.
18 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume, then, at 2.15 on Monday.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Monday, the 17th day of
22 May 2004, at 2.15 p.m.