1 Monday, 12 July 2004
2 [The accused entered court]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Captain Drljan. Can I remind
6 you of the affirmation you took at the beginning of your evidence, which
7 still applies.
8 Mr. Rodic.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: JOVAN DRLJAN [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Mr. Rodic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Drljan, good afternoon.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. We'll resume our examination-in-chief where we left off last
17 My last question to you was: Where were you on the 6th of
19 A. On the 6th of December, I was at the forward command post.
20 That's in the early morning of the 6th. Later, I left for Zarkovica,
21 where there was the command post.
22 Q. Can you please tell me what you did on that morning, the morning
23 of the 6th of December, 1991.
24 A. As soon as I woke up, before I started working, I came to the
25 operational centre of the forward command post.
1 Q. Was there anything going on at the forward command post, more
2 specifically, in the operational centre?
3 A. No. I didn't notice anything particular, anything out of the
4 ordinary, except that frigate Captain Kozaric was making some entries in
5 the military -- in the war logbook. At that time, the phone rang. I
6 answered the phone. It was usual for anyone who was closest to the phone
7 to pick up the receiver and to take any notes that needed to be taken,
8 anything to be written down. I answered the phone, and warship Captain
9 Zec ordered me to go to Zarkovica to see Captain First Class Vladimir
10 Kovacevic and to convey orders from the commander, Admiral Jokic, he must
11 not fire on the Old Town.
12 Q. At what time did the call come in? I know it's been a long time,
13 but please tell us, if you can.
14 A. That was between 10 past 7.00 and a quarter past 7.00.
15 Q. Can you please make a short pause between question and answer for
16 the benefit of the interpreters. Thank you.
17 What did you do after you received that call?
18 A. Having received that call, I went back to my room to put on some
19 warm clothes. There was a strong wind on that day and it was quite cold.
20 As soon as I got dressed, I went downstairs. I had breakfast in a hurry
21 and I went outside to find a driver and a car that could take me to
22 Zarkovica, where I had been ordered to go.
23 Q. So did you in fact leave for Zarkovica that morning?
24 A. Yes, I did. I apologise for starting my answer immediately, to
25 the interpreters. I left for Zarkovica immediately and I reached
1 Zarkovica at about 8.00 sharp.
2 Q. Once at Zarkovica, what did you do?
3 A. As soon as I got there, I got out of the car. I had left the car
4 right there at the beginning, because I saw that there was firing. And I
5 went into the bunker, which is where Captain First Class Kovacevic was,
6 and he exercised command from there. He was wearing a headset that was
7 connected to the phone lines, and he was giving orders to his units.
8 I entered and I conveyed to him the orders that had been issued
9 by Jokic, and I wanted to make sure whether he had understood the orders.
10 He nodded, which for me was a sign that he had understood the orders. So
11 I left the bunker, in order to not be in the way of him exercising
13 Q. Can you please explain exactly how he nodded. The way he nodded,
14 was it clear to you that he had understood what you had conveyed to him,
15 the message?
16 A. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. Because what I had told him was,
17 "Captain, Commander Jokic has ordered you not to fire on the Old Town."
18 He was looking straight at me as I was saying these words. He knew that I
19 was an officer from the command. And each and every subordinate officer
20 pays close attention whenever an officer from the command walks into their
21 room. So he was looking at me all the time and he was nodding to let me
22 know that he had understood.
23 Q. You told us that you didn't want to be in the way while he was
24 giving orders to his troops. So what did you do next?
25 A. I left and I headed for a low-squat wall that was at the end of a
1 clearing, that is, just above the Old Town. Because it was from that
2 point that you had the best visibility in terms of being able to observe
3 what was going on.
4 Q. So having arrived at Zarkovica and, as you said, you realised
5 that Captain Kovacevic was giving orders, was in the process of giving
6 orders, from that place, could you actually see what was going on around
8 A. The wind, the bora wind was very strong on that day and the
9 weather was clear. Visibility was excellent and I could actually see as
10 far as the Old Town. Everything was perfectly clear, and I could also see
11 Srdj, which was being attacked.
12 Q. How long did you stay at Zarkovica?
13 A. I stayed for about one hour, so I left Zarkovica at about 9.00.
14 And I left for the forward command post.
15 Q. So you went back to Kupari; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. During the time you spent at Zarkovica during that one hour, did
18 you observe Srdj and the Old Town?
19 A. Yes, I observed both Srdj and the Old Town. I was interested. I
20 wanted to see what was going on, like everyone else was. Captain
21 Kovacevic's units had begun to move towards Srdj, because their objective
22 was to take Srdj. They reached a small elevation just before Srdj and
23 they stopped right there. That's what I saw happening on Srdj at that
24 point in time. I also saw shells falling around Srdj, so shells fired
25 from artillery pieces exploding just at the foot of Srdj and behind Srdj,
1 those that had flown over Srdj. I can't exactly tell you how many shells.
2 I didn't count them in or out, but I saw shells exploding.
3 As for the old part of town --
4 Q. Excuse me my interruption, please, but could you tell me the
5 following: Those shells that were falling on Srdj as you were watching,
6 could you tell where those shells were coming from?
7 A. Those shells, it's very difficult to follow the trajectory of a
8 shell. You don't actually see it. Those were shells from artillery
9 pieces with a programmed trajectory. So they were falling down
10 vertically. At that point in time, I was in no position to tell where the
11 shells were coming from.
12 Q. Tell me, sir: Did you watch Dubrovnik?
13 A. I watched Dubrovnik's Old Town, which is what you can see very
14 clearly from Zarkovica. I saw several fires inside the Old Town. One of
15 these fires was on the Stradun. Stradun roughly splits the Old Town down
16 the middle, the northern section and the southern section. Closer to us
17 there was black smoke, pitch-black smoke coming out of a building in the
18 section of town closer to us. I took my binoculars to see whether the
19 roof of that house had been damaged, and I saw that the roof had not been
20 damaged. So I couldn't make heads nor tails of it, why the smoke was
21 coming out. You couldn't see the windows, but smoke was coming out
22 towards the Stradun, black smoke coming out. And then I saw another fire
23 further down. There was a building that was on fire.
24 Q. Very well. Was there anything else you observed in the Old Town
25 in addition to these fires and the smoke that you have described?
1 A. About 15 or 20 minutes later, midway down the Stradun, a huge
2 gate had been opened and a man walked out with another man who was helping
3 him. A big man, about your height, but bulkier, burlier. They pushed a
4 mortar out onto the Stradun and they opened fire, firing only a single
5 shell, or at least I saw them fire only a single shell, after which --
6 Q. What did they do after they had fired that shell?
7 A. After firing that shell, they lingered on for about a minute,
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour --
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Mahindaratne.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May I place an objection, Your Honour?
12 The 65 ter summary that we have received does not indicate that
13 this witness has seen a mortar fire from the Old Town. What is indicated
14 here is that the witness saw a mortar in the Old Town. That's all. And
15 this testimony is going beyond the 65 ter summary that has been supplied
16 to the Prosecution.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we've submitted our
19 proofing notes to our learned friends and colleagues on two occasions,
20 because the proofing itself was done a bit later, so there were certain
21 inaccuracies in the first part; and in the second part of our proofing
22 notes, we specified the positions inside the Old Town, the ones that this
23 witness observed, and we sent this on Friday afternoon.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Are you saying that you notified that there was
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't think it would be
2 all right for me to testify on behalf of this witness in relation to the
3 Old Town. Because what we have said so far is not all the information
4 concerning what he observed in the Old Town. There is talk of firing
5 inside the Old Town too. However, as I said --
6 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues]... Prosecution?
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] The note that was sent to the OTP, as
8 for this specific position, this specific mortar that the witness has just
9 referred to, the OTP has been notified. I can't remember whether it was
10 proofing notes, the part about opening fire, but I do know that we
11 informed them about that mortar.
12 JUDGE PARKER: The point of the objection is that there was no
13 notification of firing, and from what you're saying, that appears to be
14 the position.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] In all likelihood, Your Honour, but I
16 believe my colleague has the proofing notes, and that's exactly what we
17 informed them about. I know about the mortar for sure. I'm not sure if
18 we put anything about the actual firing from that mortar there. I don't
19 have the notes with me now, but if my learned friend and colleague could
20 just go through them, I'm sure she'll see that this is exactly what we are
21 talking about and what we informed the OTP about.
22 JUDGE PARKER: That is precisely the point that she is making,
23 that she has them and there is no mention of firing.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] That must be so, Your Honour, because
25 we did write that down.
1 JUDGE PARKER: You realise you run the danger of having evidence
2 excluded, evidence that you may think is particularly material?
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I do realise that, Your Honour. Maybe
4 then I should accept that I have made a mistake, because it was down to me
5 to inform my colleagues from the OTP about that particular proofing
6 session. There may have been an error, after all, because I did go
7 through the corrected proofing notes, revised proofing notes, and I
8 included a very important bit of information in relation to something that
9 the OTP wants to know about, something that was not included in the first
10 proofing notes, something in relation to this witness's testimony, and
11 that was operations against the Old Town, specifically.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber proposes to admit the evidence on this
14 occasion, Mr. Rodic, despite the objection, noting that there was at least
15 expressed notification about the weapon itself, though not the firing.
16 But this has become increasingly a problem, and we must put you on notice
17 that we are going to take a more positive and direct view about it for the
18 future. So I would suggest that you take particular care from now on.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour. Can
20 I please have the usher's assistance now. I would like to show the
21 witness the map that was marked P10.
22 Q. Can we please put the map there where we can see the position of
23 the Old Town, as centrally as possible.
24 Mr. Drljan, can you please help by positioning this map in the
25 centre so that we can see this part to the right of the town. Can you
1 point on this map the position that you were at. Take the pointer,
2 please, and show the position on the map. Not on the monitor; on the map,
3 Mr. Drljan.
4 A. Bosanka Zarkovica. This is where I was.
5 Q. Can you please show us where Zarkovica is on this map. Where is
6 it written "Zarkovica"? Can you please take a look.
7 A. To the north-east of Dubrovnik, but I don't see the name
8 Zarkovica. At least, I can't find it. Here is Strincjera, Srdj, Bosanka,
9 so Zarkovica should be somewhere here.
10 Q. Can we please take the next map, P11.
11 A. This is where Zarkovica is.
12 Q. And that was the vantage point that you observed the Old Town
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can we please have map P11 placed before the witness.
16 I apologise. It's my mistake. We need actually the map P13.
17 P13. I apologise once again to the usher and to the Honourable Chamber.
18 Could you please push it upwards a little bit. That's right.
19 Mr. Drljan, do you recognise what this map shows?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Can you tell us the position that you had just described, first
22 the houses that you saw. Could you indicate them on the map.
23 A. Approximately this house. I cannot say 100 per cent that I'm sure
24 whether this one or this one.
25 Q. What are you pointing particularly?
1 A. The house where this black smoke was spewing out.
2 Q. Where did you see the mortar that you had just described?
3 A. Approximately here.
4 Q. Mr. Drljan --
5 A. Approximately somewhere in the middle of the Stradun street.
6 Q. Could you please turn the map in relation to the position of
7 Zarkovica from where you were observing the town. So put the map in that
8 position, please.
9 A. This is -- I was looking in this direction, and the mortar was
10 brought out from this building, approximately.
11 Q. Which part of the Old Town do you see viewing from Zarkovica?
12 A. I can see the whole town from Zarkovica.
13 Q. Where is the harbour?
14 A. It's to the left, viewing from Zarkovica.
15 Q. Can you now indicate on the map the buildings that you saw.
16 A. This building here, where this black mark is, I saw this black
17 smoke coming out of this building, and it went first toward the Stradun
18 and then lifted up above the roofs.
19 Q. Can you hold on, please, a second. The building that you are
20 showing now is the map that has this black suitcase form on it. Where was
21 the other building that you saw on fire?
22 A. It was somewhere here.
23 Q. Can you tell us the number, please, if you can be more specific,
24 or the name of the street, if you can read it.
25 A. I don't know the streets of Dubrovnik.
1 Q. Can we indicate precisely on the map this location so that we can
2 have better orientation.
3 A. It is from Od Puca, in this circle, one of the buildings was on
5 Q. So that was the second building that you saw on fire?
6 A. Yes. But the smoke was lighter, kind of bluish, and I saw flames
7 as well.
8 Q. Can you tell us if you saw anything else in the Old Town?
9 A. Later, after this mortar fired one shell, and after it had been
10 pulled into the gate --
11 Q. Can you show us the position of this mortar now?
12 A. The second one that I saw?
13 Q. You spoke about one mortar.
14 A. It was approximately here, halfway down the Stradun street.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I object, Your Honour. This material is not in
16 the 65 ter information given at all. There is no reference to another
17 mortar. There is only reference to one mortar being seen by this witness.
18 And this is completely additional information which goes beyond 65 ter
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness corrected
21 himself. I just wanted him to show the position of this -- the one mortar
22 that he had mentioned. He made a mistake. There was no second mortar,
23 nor was there any mention of its position. So I wanted him to indicate
24 the mortar that he had seen on the Stradun and that he had testified to.
25 Q. So can you please show us the position where you saw the mortar
1 that you had mentioned earlier.
2 A. To the right of this black rectangle there's a row of buildings
3 there, and the mortar was pulled out from a large gate to the Stradun
4 street. It fired one shell and it was pulled back into the building.
5 Q. So that is slightly to the right from this black rectangle, and
6 across is the street Izmedju Polaca; is that right? It runs parallel with
7 the Stradun street.
8 A. Yes. Behind that building is the Iza Polaca [as interpreted]
9 street. That is what I see now on the map.
10 Q. Mr. Drljan, tell us, did you see anything else in the Old Town?
11 A. Later I saw flares behind the Orlando column.
12 Q. Can you show that on the map, please.
13 A. This -- behind this column, I saw flares, which means that fire
14 had been opened from some kind of firing piece.
15 Q. Did you see the weapon itself?
16 A. No, I didn't, because it was hidden behind the Orlando column.
17 But I did see the flares as a result of a shell firing.
18 Q. So you have indicated the position behind the Orlando column?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Apart from that, did you see anything else in the Old Town?
21 A. I saw a couple of our shells landing very close to the place where
22 this mortar had been pulled out earlier.
23 Q. You saw the mortars landing, if I understood you correctly?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Where did it land?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. On the Stradun street.
2 Q. Can you please show us the approximate position of the landing.
3 A. On the street itself. It's very close to the building from which
4 the mortar had been pulled out and then pulled in.
5 Q. So it is also the position to the right from the black rectangle
6 and opposite it is the Od Puca street which runs parallel with the
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Is that all that you saw in the Old Town on that day?
10 A. That is all. I also saw another flame -- smoke, but I don't know
11 what was the source of the smoke. It was coming approximately from the
12 area where the harbour was, but please understand, I cannot focus exactly
13 on the position when there was a very strong wind and I couldn't see the
14 source of fire. The wind was dispersing the smoke and I couldn't locate
15 the position exactly.
16 Q. When you described flares that you had seen near the Orlando
17 column, you said that that was the fire flares from a weapon being fired
18 from. How do you know that?
19 A. I'm a military person. I know how, for instance, a mortar fires,
20 and that was a flare from a mortar, which appears before the barrel of the
21 weapon, and this flare is up to one metre long. But also I could deduce
22 that it was a mortar also according to other elements. It couldn't have
23 been a gun, which has a straight trajectory, whereas mortar has a curved
24 trajectory. So if they wanted to target our forces, they could only do
25 that with a mortar or with a Howitzer.
1 Q. So that is all that you saw on that day from Zarkovica?
2 A. Yes. Because soon thereafter I left that position.
3 Q. Could you please just take your time in answering my questions.
4 You said that you spent about an hour on that point.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What did you do next?
7 A. I returned to Kupari. Since I didn't have a proper breakfast, I
8 had something to eat. And then I went to the operations centre, where I
9 stayed until the time when I left again for Zarkovica.
10 Q. While you were at Zarkovica that one hour that you spent there,
11 you mentioned Captain Kovacevic. Did you see any of the senior officers
12 at Zarkovica? Were there any of them there at Zarkovica?
13 A. In the bunker, from where Kovacevic was commanding, I only saw his
14 communications personnel and a couple of other men whom I didn't recognise
15 because I didn't know them. The only one that I recognised among them was
16 Kovacevic, and no one else. Outside the bunker were a few people whom I
17 also hadn't known before. There were lots of reservists and things like
19 Q. When you returned to Kupari, you said you went to the operations
20 centre, until you left again for Zarkovica. When was that, approximately,
21 when you left again for Zarkovica?
22 A. I went to Zarkovica again slightly before 1400 hours. I think I
23 arrived there at 1400 hours.
24 Q. While you were in Kupari, did you spend the whole time at the
25 operations centre?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Could you please show the witness the Exhibit D96.
3 Mr. Drljan, on page 67 of this log, or diary, we have entries
4 relating to the 6th December 1991; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Can you recognise who made these entries here on this page?
7 A. I can.
8 Q. Could you please tell me who it was that made these entries.
9 A. The first one at 0500 hours was made by Sikimic, Vlado Sikimic,
10 and at 5.30 again it is him.
11 Q. How come you know he did it?
12 A. I can recognise his handwriting, and also here are his initials,
14 Q. Do you know perhaps who made the following entries?
15 A. 6.50, 7.05, 7.15, 7.30. All those entries were made by frigate
16 Captain Kozaric. Like 7.45 too, except that he didn't sign his name.
17 7.40, 7.45, and 7.47, that is, on this page.
18 Q. How do you know that it's Kozaric?
19 A. Five entries were signed. Two he did not sign, but it's the same
20 handwriting and I can recognise his handwriting.
21 Q. Tell me, please: Did you make any entries in this diary; and if
22 so, could you please tell me which ones are yours. On page 68, did you
23 write anything there? Are there any entries of yours there?
24 A. Just a moment, please. On page 68, there are no entries that I
1 Q. What about page 69?
2 A. On page 69, there is the entry of 12.25.
3 Q. So did you make that entry at that time?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When returning from Zarkovica?
6 A. Yes. I was there, and I made this entry. It can be seen that
7 Kozaric made most of the entries; however, at that moment he was busy with
8 something, so I made this entry.
9 Q. Tell me: So you received this message from the European Mission,
10 addressed to the command of the Military Naval Sector Boka at 12.25; is
11 that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you please look at this. This message has about three
14 paragraphs. Please look at the last sentence in the first paragraph. It
15 says: "At the same time, we denounce any provocative actions from Srdj
16 and Lapad which would be a pretext for violating the cease-fire," if I
17 read this out properly. The next sentence: "We state with full
18 responsibility that allegations of our force's actions have been construed
19 so as to provide an excuse for the attempt to conquer Srdj." Is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What about from the forward command post? Was any message sent
23 from VPS Boka to Dubrovnik with such contents, stating that the Croatian
24 forces were shooting from Srdj and Lapad?
25 A. While I was there, no such message was sent. I came even earlier.
1 And also, it is not written in the diary.
2 Q. If such a message did exist, could it have been sent from some
3 other place?
4 A. It could have been sent from the basic command post through
5 Radio Bar or through the command of Mokosica, where we had direct
6 communications with the Dubrovnik Crisis Staff.
7 Q. Tell me: On page 69, is that the only entry that you made?
8 A. Yes. On page 69, that's the only entry that I made.
9 Q. Are there any entries made by you on page 70?
10 A. There are some entries that I made on that page, that is, at 1305.
11 Q. Since there are two entries made at 1305, can you read us the one
12 that you made.
13 A. "The order of the commander of the 9th VPS to Captain Kovacevic
14 was transmitted not to fire on the town but to act only in the immediate
15 vicinity of Srdj." Captain warship Zec [as interpreted].
16 Q. Can you explain what this is?
17 A. Warship Captain Zec ordered that Kovacevic should be warned again
18 not to fire, only to fire at Srdj, and that's why it says in the
19 remark: "Warship Captain Zec." That is to say, that he was the source of
20 this order.
21 Q. Tell me: You said that about 2.00 in the afternoon, about 1400
22 hours, you went to Zarkovica again.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What did you do there? Did you get to Zarkovica?
25 A. I did get to Zarkovica, to see how the situation was developing
1 further. I glanced at the old part of Dubrovnik and I saw smoke coming
2 from several different places. However, I was more interested in Srdj,
3 because I saw that Kovacevic was getting ready to withdraw forces from
4 Srdj, which I heard in passing, because I passed by and stopped at his
5 bunker. He was issuing orders for tanks to be prepared in order to get to
6 Srdj, right below Srdj, and to protect this large number of tanks and,
7 under their protection, to withdraw a large number of troops so that they
8 would not be hurt or injured during the withdrawal.
9 Q. At that time, was there any firing at Srdj?
10 A. There was, still, but the shells were few and far between. The
11 intensity was not like it was before. Every now and then a shell would
13 Q. Tell me: In addition to Kovacevic, were there any other officers
14 at Zarkovica?
15 A. I didn't see any other officers from the command, because they are
16 the only ones that I know. It was the same people who I saw there in the
18 Q. Did you stay any longer at Zarkovica?
19 A. I was there until before dusk; that is to say, the sun was still
20 up. I saw the withdrawal of Kovacevic's forces from Srdj, the
21 protection -- under the protection of the tanks, and when he withdrew his
22 very last soldier, I decided, because I knew that there had been
23 casualties, I had heard about that, I decided to go to Bosanka where one
24 of his companies was to talk to these people a bit.
25 Q. Did you actually go to Bosanka?
1 A. I did go to Bosanka. I entered the building where most of his
2 soldiers were - from his company, that is - and I spoke to them.
3 Q. Did you talk to the soldiers who had been at Srdj?
4 A. I talked to the soldiers. All of them had been on Srdj at that
5 day, that is to say, with a view to taking Srdj. I talked to them, and I
6 talked to one officer. I don't know his name.
7 Q. Did the soldiers tell you something, or did you tell them
9 A. I came there. I greeted them. But they first said that I was the
10 only officer from the command who came there to see them. And they
11 started complaining to me, and they were telling me, angrily, that they
12 needed 130-millimetre artillery, 130-millimetre guns, that they were
13 supposed to get such support and they did not get it. In their words,
14 Jokic did not give this support, although it had been agreed upon,
15 allegedly on the previous day.
16 So they were very angry on account of that, because they thought
17 that if they had had this support, they would not have lost their comrades
18 who were killed that day.
19 Q. How long did you stay at Bosanka? Until when?
20 A. I stayed at Bosanka until dusk. So sometime after 1600 hours.
21 After 1600 hours, I set out from Bosanka back to Kupari.
22 Q. Did you return to the operations centre?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Tell us, please: On that day - that is to say, the last page we
25 looked at was page 72 of the log - did you make any other entries into the
1 war logbook on that day?
2 A. It is precisely on page 72. When I returned from Srdj, I did not
3 put the time. This happened sometime between 1630 and 1810. This is a
4 radiogram, or rather, a telegram.
5 Q. Please tell me: What is the message that you entered?
6 A. Do you want me to read it out?
7 Q. Tell me: When does it come? After which message?
8 A. After 1627.
9 Q. Is it what it says here, "Crisis Staff Dubrovnik for KVPS Boka"?
10 A. Yes. Yes, that's my handwriting.
11 Q. Tell me: Are there any other entries by the end of that day,
12 until the end of that day? Could you please look at the logbook further
13 on. That is to say, until the end of the 6th of December.
14 A. I'm looking now. No. No. There were no other entries of mine
15 after this one about the Crisis Staff sending a telegram to the VPS.
16 Q. Tell me: While you were at the operations centre on that day -
17 the time that you spent there, that is - did you perhaps have any contacts
18 with the 2nd Operational Group?
19 A. No, I did not.
20 Q. Tell me -- I'm sorry. I'm going to withdraw this question.
21 In the morning, around 10 past or 15 past 7.00, you said that Zec
22 called you and he issued you an order to go to Zarkovica to convey a
23 message to Kovacevic; is that right?
24 A. An order.
25 Q. An order to Kovacevic. And at 1305, you also made an entry to the
1 effect that an order should be conveyed to Captain Kovacevic not to fire
2 at the town itself but only at Srdj, and this was ordered to you by --
3 A. Captain Zec.
4 Q. -- warship Captain Zec?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could you please just wait for me to finish my question and then
7 start answering.
8 A. This order that I entered there was actually made by warship
9 Captain Zec.
10 Q. So in both cases, did you contact Captain Zec by telephone?
11 A. Yes, only by telephone.
12 Q. On the 6th of December, did you see warship Captain Zec at all?
13 A. I don't remember having seen him.
14 Q. Tell me, please: At any point in time, did anybody from the
15 command of the military naval sector ask you anything about what happened
16 on the 6th of December orally or did you write about this?
17 A. You mean after this ended?
18 Q. Yes. On that day, the 6th of December, and after the 6th of
20 A. Nobody asked me about what had happened, and I did not give any
21 statements in writing or orally about that particular event.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have concluded the
24 examination-in-chief. Thank you.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic.
1 Ms. Mahindaratne.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examined by Ms. Mahindaratne:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Drljan.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. Now, you testified today that on 6th morning you were ordered by
7 Captain Zec to go to Zarkovica. What time was this?
8 A. Between 10 past and 15 past 7.00 in the morning.
9 Q. And did you take steps to record that order that you were to
10 convey to Captain Kovacevic in the war diary?
11 A. I did not enter that particular piece of information into the war
12 diary because I hurried up to Zarkovica, to find the driver, so that he
13 would take me up there, and also to put on some warmer clothes because it
14 was cold. But I do remember that order very well, because I had no reason
15 to go to Zarkovica unless I had received orders to do that.
16 Q. But as you stated on Friday, all orders, all activities, matters
17 relating to your forces, activities of the enemy forces, are all recorded
18 in the war diary. That's correct, isn't it?
19 A. It is correct that I said that all important events, woundings,
20 killings, movements of troops, should be recorded in the logbook. But I
21 did not say that the movements of a particular frigate captain who had
22 received certain orders should be recorded in the logbook, although such
23 an entry can be made as well. But it is not a mistake if this kind of
24 entry is not made.
25 Q. The entry that you made at 1305, where you say: "The order of the
1 command of the 9th VPS to Captain Kovacevic to cease firing on the town
2 but to act only on the immediate vicinity of Srdj, has been transmitted,"
3 which is at page 70 of the war diary. At what time did you get that order
4 from Captain Zec?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. My question to you is: At what time did you get this second
7 order, or is it a reference to your previous order that you have recorded
8 here at 1305?
9 A. These are not the same being repeated. The first order I received
10 in the morning was to go straight there and to convey the order to
11 Kovacevic, and here I'm being told to do it by telephone, via
12 communications. So that's what I did. I wrote down when I conveyed it.
13 Q. So this second time you telephoned Captain Kovacevic on Zarkovica
14 and conveyed the order to him?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So according to your testimony, you have now conveyed to Captain
17 Kovacevic two orders prohibiting him from firing on the Old Town?
18 A. The first order explicitly prohibited him from firing on the Old
19 Town, and the second order only says the town, which means the entire town
20 of Dubrovnik, including Gruz also, and other areas, but that he could only
21 fire on Srdj. In my opinion, this was an order that was to ensure a
22 cease-fire, only on Srdj, for as long as it took the forces to pull out.
23 I conveyed what I had understood. But my understanding was that action
24 would be stopped.
25 Q. So according to the second order, it's not only against the Old
1 Town, but he has been ordered to cease fire against the entire Dubrovnik,
2 except for Srdj? That is what the second order refers to?
3 A. Yes. You have it in writing. I believe that was the meaning.
4 Q. And both these orders were given to you to be conveyed to Captain
5 Kovacevic by Captain Zec?
6 A. The first order in the morning was sent directly to me and I was
7 in charge of going to Zarkovica. The second order was addressed to any
8 officer at the forward command post who happened to be near the phone at
9 the time. It could as well have been Kozaric or Sikimic or anyone else.
10 Whoever answers the phone is told what the order is about.
11 Q. My question was the source of this order at that time, and even in
12 the morning, was Captain Zec?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, in the morning when you were specifically asked to go to
15 Zarkovica and convey the message to Captain Kovacevic, you were in fact
16 asked this because you were a senior officer of the 9th VPS, in fact, at
17 the level of lieutenant colonel?
18 A. Yes. First a major and then the colonel and lieutenant colonel.
19 There were two senior officers there, and one lower-ranking officer,
20 Sikimic, who at the time was captain first class.
21 Q. Mr. Drljan, I'm asking you for your rank. I shall be grateful if
22 you could confine your response to the question.
23 My question was: You were being sent to Zarkovica to order
24 Captain Kovacevic not to fire on the Old Town because of your senior rank.
25 You were at the level of lieutenant colonel.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And Captain Kovacevic necessarily was a subordinate officer to
4 A. No.
5 Q. I'm not talking about direct subordination, but certainly in terms
6 of rank-wise, you were senior to, in terms of rank, to Captain Kovacevic?
7 A. My rank was more senior, and that would have constituted a reason
8 for a senior officer to go and to order what Admiral Jokic had ordered.
9 But there was another reason why I was the one to go and not someone else.
10 Namely, at the peacetime command of the Boka naval sector, I was working
11 there, while Sikimic, for example, came.
12 Q. Please, could you please confine your response to my question,
13 because we are under time constraints. My question is about ranks. In
14 terms of ranks, you were a senior officer, or your rank was senior to that
15 of Captain Kovacevic; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And so when you went to Zarkovica, in addition to your senior
18 rank, you were also carrying an order from the command of the 9th VPS,
19 instructing Captain Kovacevic not to fire on the Old Town?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you conveyed that order to Captain Kovacevic on Zarkovica?
22 A. Yes, I did convey it to him.
23 Q. And he clearly indicated to you that he understood your
25 A. Unequivocally and clearly.
1 Q. Within the next hour, while you observed, you said you saw two
2 shells falling on the Old Town, a clear breach of the very orders you
3 conveyed to Captain Kovacevic just within the hour?
4 A. I saw just one shell, as I said, some time ago, just one shell.
5 There was one out-coming shell and then one incoming shell. In both
6 cases, we are looking at a single shell.
7 Q. Mr. Drljan, your -- what you have said previously has been
8 recorded in the transcript, and what you said was that you observed two
9 shells falling on the Old Town while you sat at that low wall and watched.
10 So whether it's one or two, my point is: You conveyed to Captain
11 Kovacevic an order from the command not to fire on the Old Town, and while
12 you were yourself on Zarkovica, in your very presence, that order is
13 breached. That is correct, isn't it?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And you nevertheless stand there and watch for -- watched the
16 activity for a while and then go back to Kupari and have your breakfast,
17 in the face of that clear insubordination?
18 A. I said that one shell had fallen. After their shell had been
19 fired. Now, if you could please find me a man anywhere on this planet who
20 will turn a blind eye to such an attack where his own men might be killed.
21 There's a position that's being fired from and now this man will resist
22 returning fire. If you can find a man like that, and that was the reason
23 that I did not pay attention, especially because we are looking at only
24 one shell that was fired, a single shell.
25 Q. Let us not argue about the number of shells, Mr. Drljan, due to
1 lack of time. But are you aware that attacking the Old Town was
2 considered a criminal act?
3 A. I'm aware of that, but it's also a criminal act for any forces to
4 be positioned inside it.
5 Q. Please confine your response to my question. My question was as
6 to whether you were aware as to --
7 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
8 Q. And in your presence, when an order prohibiting attack on the Old
9 Town, which is considered a criminal act, is breached, why did you not
10 take any steps to report that act of insubordination to a senior officer
11 or the senior command?
12 A. I did say that when I came back to Kupari; however, neither the
13 commander nor Zec were there, and I didn't know where they were. I asked
14 at the forward command post about Zec's whereabouts, but I couldn't find
15 him, because he was away somewhere, on the ground.
16 Q. To whom did you report it to?
17 A. I didn't report it to anyone. It wasn't my duty to report that to
18 anyone, with the exception of Zec or Admiral Jokic. However, neither were
19 present. I asked where they were, and when I was told that no one knew
20 their whereabouts, I simply gave it up. I didn't tell anyone that --
21 Q. So when you observe a criminal act being committed in breach of
22 orders which you personally conveyed to the subordinate officer, you don't
23 take any steps at least to make an entry somewhere. Is that what you're
25 A. I tried to inform Zec or Jokic, but I didn't find them. There was
1 no one who had authority to give any order, nor did I have sufficient
2 authority to order Kovacevic to cease fire. Because there was no firing
3 after that. One shell had been fired. The shell fell, and there was no
4 firing after that, at least not while I was present. A shell is fired at
5 a single point in time, and then if there are no more shells following,
6 there is nothing for me to do. But Jokic and Zec later did find out what
7 had been done. It wasn't up to me. I didn't have sufficient authority to
8 stop that.
9 Q. Do you know that more than one shell has been fired on the
10 Old Town on 6 December from the positions of the 3rd Battalion? Did you
11 find it out at least later on, if not within that one hour you were on
13 A. I did find out later on.
14 Q. And in that context, did you take steps to file a report or
15 even -- verbal report to any superior officer that you yourself was privy
16 to the 3rd Battalion shelling the Old Town, albeit it being one shell that
17 you observed?
18 A. I told Kozaric, who wrote a report for Jokic, reporting on the
19 activities that were undertaken on that day.
20 Q. So you are aware that a report has been submitted to Admiral Jokic
21 on the activities of the 3rd Battalion which were undertaken on the 6th of
22 December, based on information that had been provided to the operations
24 A. Every day, the operations centre submits a report to its superior
25 commander. On that day, Kozaric was the one to write the report.
1 Q. Now, considering your senior rank, when you returned to the
2 operations centre from Zarkovica, did you take steps to inform the
3 Croatian forces or any international observers of what you observed in the
4 Old Town, that is to say, the mortar that you said you saw in the
5 Old Town?
6 A. No. I took no steps, because I did not have authority to take any
7 steps on my own before conferring - that's anyone from the operations
8 centre conferring - with the commander or the Chief of Staff.
9 Q. Do you always follow or take permission from the commander or
10 Chief of Staff before doing anything that you might think prudent?
11 A. That depends on how difficult a task one is facing. In peacetime
12 conditions, there are quite many things that I can do on my own. However,
13 in wartime conditions, when human lives are at stake, on both sides, then
14 it is not up to me to make these calls.
15 Q. Did you consult the commander or the Chief of Staff when you
16 decided to go to Bosanka in the afternoon?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you consult the commander or the Chief of Staff when you
19 decided to go again to Zarkovica in the afternoon?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Why did you remain on Zarkovica for one hour, having conveyed
22 Captain Zec's order to Captain Kovacevic? Were you curious to observe and
23 to see what was happening with regard to the Old Town? Is that why you
24 perched yourself on that specific location overlooking the Old Town?
25 A. Of course, when I came there, I was not ordered to go back, nor
1 was I given a deadline by which I should have been back from Zarkovica.
2 So since no deadline had been set, I stayed and watched some things
4 Q. And you saw Maljutkas being fired on the Old Town from Zarkovica,
5 didn't you?
6 A. I saw no Maljutkas there. I can't say there were none there. I'm
7 just saying that I didn't see any.
8 Q. You were aware that there was Maljutka launchers on Zarkovica?
9 A. I was aware that Maljutkas were a part of the weapons in
10 possession of our forces, but not at Zarkovica. I really don't know
11 whether they had Maljutkas at Zarkovica or not.
12 Q. So you don't know whether they had Maljutkas on Zarkovica. You
13 didn't see, for instance, when you went to Zarkovica, Maljutka launchers?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And apart from this one shell that you claim now - earlier on you
16 said two - you didn't see any other mortar shells falling on the Old Town
17 from JNA positions?
18 A. No, with the exception of that one shell. And I saw one of their
19 shells. And I told you also that I had seen flashes of light behind the
20 Orlando column. I never said two shells. I'm not sure why that was
21 recorded, because that's just not right. They fired one shell. They
22 pulled a mortar out, and soon after, our own shell fell on the Stradun.
23 And then after that, I saw flashes of light behind the Orlando column.
24 I'm talking about flashes of light because I'm not sure if it was the
25 shells or where they fell. So that was my statement. That was my
1 testimony, and that's precisely what I said. I'm not sure what and why
2 it's reflected in the transcript.
3 Q. Now, where exactly was this mortar on Stradun? You say you
4 pointed a place. But could you identify that place by name from where you
5 were or did you just see it somewhere on Stradun?
6 A. I'm not familiar with street names in Dubrovnik. I know it more
7 as a town. Even my own town, I don't know every single street. I know
8 that the main street in Dubrovnik is called Stradun and that it was midway
9 down the Stradun that a mortar came out and fired a single shell. After
10 that, nearby, in approximately the same spot, our shell fell. Now, I
11 can't give you the exact measures, nor am I familiar with the streets.
12 The only street I am familiar with is the Stradun because that's the main
13 street, and I know the Orlando column because that's a famous monument
15 Q. And you saw this from Zarkovica, which means at approximately
16 2.500 to 3.000 metres away from the Old Town?
17 A. I said, I pointed out, if you remember, that there was a strong
18 wind on that day and the weather was clear, visibility excellent. Even at
19 4.000 metres, you could tell that a mortar was firing, let alone 2.000
20 metres. It's only very easy.
21 Q. And did you manage to determine what the calibre of that mortar
22 was which was firing from within the Old Town?
23 A. No.
24 Q. How did you manage to pinpoint the exact location on the map, P13,
25 which was shown to you by learned counsel? And you in fact placed the
1 pointer and showed the exact position where the said mortar was, when in
2 fact your only point of reference is that it's somewhere midway on
3 Stradun? In such context, how did you manage to pinpoint the exactly
4 location on the map?
5 A. I'm not sure if this was interpreted at the time when I was
6 answering a question by Defence counsel. It was midway down the street.
7 I'm not sure if that was translated. I hope it was. I did say the first
8 time around, halfway down the street, and then there was a circle that was
9 drawn and then they wanted the exactly location. And I said: Well,
10 hereabouts. They wanted the exactly location, but I can't give the
11 exactly location. It's an approximation. I don't have the tools to
12 determine the exact length of the street. I can only give you an
13 approximate idea of the whereabouts of the impact.
14 Q. So it was roughly, you guessed the area, that's how you placed the
15 pointer and indicated. You couldn't say the exactly location with
17 A. No one could do that. But there was a mortar on the Stradun.
18 That's for sure. Whether it was ten metres to the left or ten metres to
19 the right, I don't think that's really material.
20 Q. Is that the same manner in which you identified the locations you
21 said you saw smoke emanating from? You pointed certain -- placed your
22 pointer on the map and indicated certain positions, and by what you're
23 saying, it presupposes that in relation to those two locations also you
24 probably guessed.
25 A. I gave you a rough idea of the whereabouts, because it has been 13
1 years since I looked on. However, I clearly remember that there was smoke
2 there and that there was another building, also about midway down the
3 Stradun, and that there was smoke coming out of that building's window and
4 rising above the roof. This is something I can never forget. I may go
5 wrong by the -- a dozen metres to the left or to the right, but there was
6 smoke coming out; I'm sure about that. As well as about that other house
7 burning where the colour of the smoke rising out was different, and this
8 building was in a different part of town.
9 Q. Now --
10 JUDGE PARKER: Is this a new subject matter?
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Your Honour. It is still -- but if it's a
12 convenient time for a break --
13 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will take a break and resume at five
14 minutes past 4.00.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Your Honour.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Mahindaratne.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Mr. Drljan, when you were sent to Zarkovica with the specific
21 order instructing Captain Kovacevic to -- prohibiting him to fire on the
22 Old Town, you had been sent at that hour because by this time, the
23 3rd Battalion had already been shelling the Old Town; isn't it? That is
24 why you were specifically sent with an order instructing Captain Kovacevic
25 not to fire on the Old Town; that's correct, isn't it?
1 A. I suppose so. Because I had received the order in Kupari. I
2 didn't see whether there was shelling or -- shelling or not, but I presume
3 that's why they sent me up there. As long as I got this order, it means
4 that shells were falling.
5 Q. So when you started watching, or by the time you started watching
6 the Old Town from the elevation, the Old Town had already been shelled,
7 and in the midst of that activity, what you're saying is the people in the
8 Old Town bring a mortar into Stradun, in clear vicinity of Zarkovica, and
9 fired a mortar? That's what you're saying?
10 A. Yes. I said that a mortar had been pulled out and it fired one
11 shell. That's correct.
12 Q. Pulled out of where?
13 A. From a big entrance or a gate to a building. It's in fact a big
14 wooden door covering or being positioned in the passage between two
15 buildings. That's what we call house door.
16 Q. And you could see this gate or door?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, this gate was on the northern side of the Stradun or southern
19 side of the Stradun?
20 A. It was on the southern side of Stradun, opposite the position
21 where I was, because that's the part that I could see. The gates on the
22 opposite side of the street I couldn't see because of the roofs.
23 Q. And how long did it take to bring the mortar out, load it, and
24 fire? What was the time period that this whole process took?
25 A. About one minute.
1 Q. Are you saying that a mortar was pulled out of a gate, placed on
2 Stradun, a shell was loaded on, and the mortar was fired within a period
3 of one minute?
4 A. Yes. Only they were not loading the shell. You just drop it from
5 above, and as soon as it reaches the bottom, it exploded immediately. It
6 doesn't take more than five seconds.
7 Q. Do you know, Mr. Drljan - perhaps an officer of your seniority
8 should know - that a mortar cannot be fired from a hard surface, because
9 the recoil -- there has to be a soft surface to absorb the recoil? Isn't
10 that the case? Do you know that?
11 A. It is possible to shoot from a hard surface in exceptional cases.
12 A soft surface is desirable, but if possible, to shoot from a hard
13 surface. I'm not an artillery expert, but I know that.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues]... permit me to tell you that
15 there has been expert testimony led before this Trial Chamber where the
16 experts have testified that a mortar cannot be fired from a hard surface,
17 that if a mortar is to be fired from a hard surface, you have to prepare
18 the surface with a soft substance to absorb the recoil. So an officer of
19 your seniority obviously do not seem to know this fact [sic].
20 A. Was it possible to place a rubber pad underneath so that the
21 mortar was on the rubber pad instead of the cobblestone of the street?
22 Q. Mr. Drljan, I'm not here to respond to your questions. But your
23 testimony was that the mortar was pulled out of a gate placed on the
24 Stradun and fired within one minute, which obviously presupposes there is
25 no time to prepare the surface.
1 A. May I respond?
2 Q. Yes. I'm asking for your response.
3 A. In such cases, mortars were placed, and that is what we heard
4 through observation and saw for ourselves, that they had marked mortar
5 positions where they had calculated firing elements at certain specific
6 firing positions or targets on the opposite side. So they placed mortars
7 immediately on such positions, fire the shell, and pull the mortar away.
8 And as I said, it may fire one shell, but it cannot fire for a longer
9 period of time. I presume, but I couldn't see from that distance, that
10 they had placed some soft pad underneath --
11 Q. Mr. Drljan --
12 A. Underneath the pedestal of the mortar.
13 Q. You did not see such a thing; you could not see such a thing from
14 your distance?
15 A. I couldn't see. But I could see that mortar had fired, and that's
16 what I ascertain here with full responsibility.
17 Q. And where did it fire to?
18 A. In the direction of north, somewhere in the direction of Srdj.
19 Q. Do you know that the buildings on the northern side of Stradun are
20 very high?
21 A. They are not that high so as to preclude a shell from passing over
22 them and attacking other positions, that's for sure.
23 Q. So your testimony is that the particular shell was fired at Srdj
24 and not Zarkovica?
25 A. Yes, on Srdj. Not a single shell fell on Zarkovica for as long as
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 I stayed there.
2 Q. And this whole process could be also observed along with you by
3 the units positioned on Zarkovica?
4 A. Yes, they could. If anyone was paying attention, if they were not
5 busy with their own activities, if they just watched in that direction.
6 But if they turned away, they maybe could not have seen it.
7 Q. And you know -- do you know how a Maljutka is operated, that a
8 Maljutka is a projectile which is guided by the operator to the target,
9 and as such, a precision weapon?
10 A. Yes, I know.
11 Q. And therefore, if a mortar was visible on Stradun for that period,
12 it could have been easily neutralised with one Maljutka projectile, isn't
13 that the case, from Zarkovica?
14 A. It could have been neutralised, but the mortar was pulled back
15 inside immediately.
16 Q. Mr. Drljan, don't you think it would be quite risky for a mortar
17 to be placed on Stradun in full vicinity of Zarkovica, especially
18 considering that Zarkovica has Maljutka launchers? Won't it be considered
19 as suicidal?
20 A. Their principle was: Fire and find shelter immediately. And that
21 is a possible concept.
22 Q. Now, you said you observed the shell from the OG positions,
23 2nd Operational [sic] position or the 3rd Battalion positions being fired
24 on the Old Town. Didn't you consider your presence there, your continuous
25 presence there and even your subsequent visit there, could be considered
1 as encouragement by those units towards the activities, especially
2 considering that you did not take any measures to have the order not to
3 fire on the Old Town implemented and enforced?
4 A. I was very accurate when I said that I had been sent by the
5 warship Captain Zec upon Admiral Jokic's order to convey the order, not to
6 undertake any measures. While I was there leaning on the wall, another
7 order could have arrived that I had not been aware of, and it was not my
8 place to interfere with the progress of the struggle in order to avoid
9 bearing influence that I possibly could take blame later for. So I didn't
10 want to interfere. I just did what I had been ordered to do.
11 Q. When you came back to the operations centre, did you report about
12 what you observed in the Old Town, that is, this particular mortar that
13 fired and the flashes you saw? Did you report it to the operations centre
14 or your command?
15 A. I was not duty operations officer, nor was it my duty to report.
16 Reports are written towards the end of the day, and --
17 Q. Mr. Drljan, please. I'm not talking about written reports. Did
18 you report, either verbally or by just -- in a casual way, did you report
19 to anybody that you saw a mortar in the Old Town and you saw these flashes
20 that you spoke of today?
21 A. I told that to Sikimic and Kozaric, as soon as I entered, and I
22 told them that for their information. Kozaric was already on the phone.
23 He was receiving orders. He was very busy. I don't know if he had heard
24 me or not. I believe he did. I said that I saw a mortar and that our
25 forces hit the Stradun with one shell.
1 Q. What did the shell do? Did that shell damage the Stradun or the
2 structures around Stradun? What did that JNA shell that you observed
3 falling on Stradun do in terms of damage?
4 A. After that, I took my binoculars and I didn't see any damage,
5 because this was a very hard surface made of stone, and the shell
6 dispersed. Whether there were any broken windows in the vicinity, I
7 couldn't see that, because one couldn't see that.
8 Q. So a shell falls or impacts on a particular point and you don't
9 observe any damage at all? That's what you're saying here?
10 A. Yes. That's what I said. I didn't notice any damage, because it
11 fell on a hard, stone surface, and it burst into fragments. It fell right
12 on the Stradun, did not hit any of the buildings. And I said to myself,
13 "That was a good hit." Because that is the position where formerly the
14 Croatian mortar had been. And after that, this mortar never appeared
16 Q. So you are in fact -- you were condoning this particular attack on
17 the Old Town, when you said, "That was a good hit."
18 A. I said that from the point of view of the precision of the hit.
19 Maybe the Croats would characterise that as a good hit. That did not mean
20 that I condoned it.
21 Q. Did you ensure when you got back to the operations centre that the
22 information you conveyed to Kozaric and the other person was recorded in
23 the war diary, the logbook?
24 A. It was recorded in the war log, certain operations carried out by
25 units. And I didn't think it appropriate or necessary to record one
1 mortar hit.
2 Q. My question is with regard to the mortar that you observed in the
3 Old Town. Did you ensure that this information was recorded?
4 A. I said that to Kozaric, and this information should have been
5 included in the evening report. I presume that's what happened. I never
6 checked anyone who was in charge or whose rank was superior to mine.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May the witness be shown D96, please.
8 Q. So while that document is being shown - and that is the war diary
9 you've already taken a look at - would you please examine the entries for
10 6 December and tell us as to whether you can find a single entry as to the
11 presence of a mortar in the Old Town on 6 December. Now, you testified
12 that all enemy activity, enemy positions and such information is recorded
13 in the war diary. So that presupposes that this item of information
14 should be in fact recorded in the war diary, if in fact it was true.
15 A. That was true. Now, why it was not recorded in the war log, I
16 don't know, because I did not have the war log on me to register this as
17 soon as I saw it.
18 Q. Mr. Drljan, as an operations officer yourself, as a person who
19 himself has made entries in this war diary, and as a person who claims to
20 have seen this mortar in the Old Town himself, would it not have logically
21 followed that you'd have this piece of information entered in this war
22 diary if it was true?
23 A. I saw this before midday, when I returned, the logbook had already
24 been filled for that period of time. I said this to Kozaric. He could
25 have made that entry, but he didn't. I did not deem it appropriate to
1 record something in the war logbook that had happened several hours before
2 that, because you can see that all the different times are there in proper
3 sequence. And it reflects everything that happened on that day. Not
4 every little detail, but, anyway, there is an entry where it says how many
5 shells were fired from a particular position of ours.
6 Q. Now, you say that all entries are entered in chronological
7 sequence and that's why you could not have this particular information
8 entered into the war diary. Would you please examine the entries relevant
9 to 6 December. And I'm drawing your attention to the entry on page 67 at
10 7.15. Do you see that at 7.15, one hour, 15 minutes afterwards, there is
11 an entry to this effect. I'm referring to page 67.
12 On page 67, there is an entry at 7.15: "Positions on Strincjera
13 were hit from Srdj around 6 hours with Zoljas and MB-82." So here is an
14 entry made at 7.15 which relates to an event that took place, or occurred
15 at 6.00 in the morning. And it has been entered after three entries or --
16 I'm sorry, two entries which have been made --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. -- with regard to events that happened much after. So your
19 explanation about logical sequence or chronological sequence does not seem
20 to hold in view of this document itself, isn't it, Mr. Drljan? In fact,
21 there was no prohibition or no bar whatsoever for you to enter that item
22 of information, at whatever time, in this war diary, if in fact it was
24 A. Nothing prevented me from entering that information, even later
25 on, subsequently. But I did not deem it appropriate to make that kind of
1 entry, referring to one shell only. You see that I did not refer to their
2 firing of a shell or our firing of a shell, neither. Because on that day,
3 there were so many shells that were exchanged between our side and the
4 Croatian side that this one shell was not all that important. That's why
5 I did not deem it necessary to make that kind of entry subsequently. I
6 just said what I saw.
7 Q. Mr. Drljan, can you please turn to page 61. That is in the entry
8 in relation to 4th December 1991. At 1833, you made an entry that on Srdj
9 a transporter was noticed. "No contact." That's your entry. That's your
10 entry, isn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you --
13 A. Zdravkovic told me about that. I wrote down what he reported.
14 Q. And so such information that a transporter is noticed on Srdj is
15 deemed important enough to get into this document, but a mortar observed
16 in the Old Town in the course of combat is not deemed important to get
17 into this document? That's what your testimony is?
18 A. I received this piece of information with the obligation to write
19 it down, because that could have been a preparation for something, I don't
20 know what for. But anyway, we were duty-bound to record every piece of
21 information we received by telephone.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May the witness be shown D65. Let that
23 document be there. D65, please.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Drljan, you said that it's possible that this information
25 could have got into the report, a report perhaps submitted for the day.
1 Could you please examine this document that has just been given to you. I
2 appreciate that you may not have seen this before. It is a document sent?
3 A. No, I haven't this document until now. And I've already said that
4 it is possible, which is not to say that it was recorded too.
5 Q. Would you please note that this document, which is a report sent
6 by the forward command post Kupari to the First Administration for General
7 Simonovic, titled "action report of the 3rd Battalion on Srdj, 6 December
8 1991." There is no reference -- and this document, Mr. Drljan, is a
9 document which has been tendered by the Defence in evidence. It does not
10 contain a single reference to any weapons in the Old Town on 6 December
11 1991. Do you notice that?
12 A. I have to read it first.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] By your leave. We have already had
16 a discussion with regard to this document once, in terms of the heading
17 that goes above the words "Simonovic," et cetera, and we all noted that
18 there was a mistake in the translation. And I thought that we had all
19 ascertained that. But it seems to me that my learned friend did not note
20 that. So I would like to draw her attention once again to the type of
21 report that this is.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
24 Q. Mr. Drljan, would you please read out the title of the report,
25 please, for the record.
1 A. "Report on the action of the 3rd Battalion, 472nd Naval Landing
2 Brigade." This is a mistake. This is not motorised brigade. It is naval
3 brigade. "Against Srdj on the 6th of December, 1991." That's the name --
4 that's the heading of the document, rather. Is that what you wanted?
5 Q. It should be report on the action of the --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
8 Q. [Previous translation continues]... report on the action of the
9 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade. Should it be -- should it
10 be corrected in that manner? Not naval brigade?
11 A. This is a naval landing brigade, not a motorised brigade. I know
12 that brigade.
13 Q. Let's not argue on that, Mr. Drljan. Let's move on.
14 Now, your allegation that you saw a mortar in the Old Town on
15 6 December is not recorded either in the war diary, D96, nor in this
16 report, D --
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my learned friend is
20 saying something to the witness that is inaccurate.
21 I would like to draw your attention to page 2 of this report,
22 line 7 in B/C/S. There is a sentence that reads: "Until the beginning of
23 the attack at 6.00 -- before the attack at 6.00, our forces were fired at
24 by 82-millimetre mortars, and this mortar fire went on until 1430 hours."
25 Fire from Dubrovnik.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
3 Q. My point is, Your Honour, that there is no reference to the
4 Old Town.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on as you will, Ms. Mahindaratne.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Going back, Mr. Drljan. I put it to you that your claim of seeing
8 a mortar in the Old Town, Stari Grad, on 6 December 1991 is not recorded
9 in the war diary, D96, for the record, or this order for the 6th December,
10 which is -- I beg your pardon. The report on the activities of the
11 3rd Battalion on the 6th December, and that is because there was no such
12 mortar on the 6th December that you saw. It is an incorrect assertion,
13 isn't it?
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I just intervene
16 JUDGE PARKER: Is this an objection to the question?
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Well, look, I've mentioned before: If you're
19 making objections about the evidence, one counsel does that, not changing.
20 You have often been allowed, and reasonably, to intervene where there's a
21 witness of Mr. Rodic's when it's a matter of translation in the record.
22 But if there is an objection, it should be made by Mr. Rodic, as this is
23 his witness.
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
1 Q. Can you please respond to my question. Did you understand my
3 JUDGE PARKER: There's an objection pending.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I beg your pardon.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the essence of this
7 objection is that my learned friend says that there is no evidence that
8 would corroborate that there was firing from the Old Town of Dubrovnik in
9 the reports that were made. Could my learned friend please look at D62.
10 That is only one of the exhibits that has to do with this particular
11 matter regarding the 6th of December.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Mahindaratne.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I object, Your Honour. It is not proper for
14 counsel to refer to other items of evidence before a witness.
15 JUDGE PARKER: The point being made is that you are misquoting or
16 misidentifying the evidence, the state of the evidence, to the witness in
17 your question.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Your Honour. My question was merely that
19 the fact that this item of information is not recorded in the war diary,
20 nor this particular report, that is D96 and D65, is because there were --
21 the witness's assertion that there was a mortar in the Old Town on
22 6 December is incorrect.
23 JUDGE PARKER: And what's being put against you is that there are
24 other documents which do record firing.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Your Honour. I don't intend to
1 waste time on this. I will withdraw the question and move on.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
4 Q. Now, Mr. Drljan, you testified of seeing a flash behind the tower.
5 Could you please name the tower again, the tower or the pillar behind
6 from -- behind which you saw a flash.
7 A. Orlando column, the Orlando column.
8 Q. And what's the height of this column?
9 A. Perhaps about ten metres, six, perhaps even less. I don't know
10 exactly. I don't know exactly, but it is high enough. A few people can
11 stand behind it without being seen.
12 Q. And what's the width of this column?
13 A. I could not say exactly.
14 Q. Now, how many people could stand behind the column? When you say
15 a few people, about five people, six people, could stand behind them
16 shoulder to shoulder without being seen?
17 A. Two people can stand there without being seen.
18 Q. So you saw a flash from behind this pillar?
19 A. Yes, a few flashes. In certain intervals.
20 Q. And were these flashes -- how wide were the flashes in terms of
22 A. They were big enough to be seen from behind the pillar. I could
23 see them behind the pillar. Say half a metre or 70 centimetres. The
24 flash could be seen perfectly.
25 Q. You mean you could see the flash about half a metre extending
1 outside the pillar?
2 A. No. No. Lengthwise half a metre. There is length and there is
3 width. So the length was about 50 centimetres behind the pillar, and
4 that's where it could be seen. You see the flash and then it's no longer
5 there, quite naturally.
6 Q. But you did not see a weapon?
7 A. No. But it had to be some sort of weapon.
8 Q. What time of the day was this? What time was it when you saw this
10 A. I think about half past 8.00, 8.30 or thereabouts. Don't take my
11 word for it, though. I wasn't exactly looking at my watch. I was
12 thinking about other things at the time.
13 Q. 8.30 in the morning, daylight?
14 A. Yes. Yes, daylight.
15 Q. And you in fact said it was a very clear day?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Now, do you know that -- how do you know that -- I beg your
18 pardon. I'll withdraw that.
19 How do you know that this flash was in fact muzzle flash and not
20 really a flash emanating from explosion? Have you seen that when a shell
21 impacts on a particular surface, there's an explosion and there's a huge
22 flash? You would have seen it, considering the number of years you served
23 in the military, haven't you?
24 A. I would have seen it, yes. When a shell falls, in addition to the
25 flash of light that lasts for a moment, it also raises a lot of dust
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 around where it impacts. It causes damage to the walls, to the pavement,
2 and there's a lot of dust all around. But there was no dust around that
3 particular flash of light. Therefore, it was only weapon firing, but not
4 a shell falling. These two are very easy to distinguish, and there is no
5 doubt about this. When our shell fell on the Stradun, I recognised it
6 immediately for what it was, our shell, because there was dust in the air
7 around where it fell.
8 Q. Mr. Drljan, don't you know, being an officer with your experience,
9 that muzzle flash cannot be seen during the daytime? Muzzle flash from
10 mortars and artillery cannot be seen during the daytime. Don't you know
12 A. Can you see a match being lit at a distance of 20 metres in
13 daylight? Just a small match I'm talking about. Of course you can see
14 it, and the flash too can be seen. I assert this with full
15 responsibility. I did see that flash, and yes, it can be seen in
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May the witness be shown two exhibits.
18 Q. Mr. Drljan, I'm about to show you two photographs of mortars being
19 fired and photographed at the point the shell leaves the barrel. And
20 these photographs show what we call the muzzle flash, which should be
21 visible during the day.
22 Mr. Drljan, you just said, and I think the words you used were you
23 were saying it with a sense of responsibility that you saw a flash, that
24 you could see a flash or you could see the muzzle flash.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: What is the objection, Mr. Rodic?
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in order to make this
3 sort of assertion, such as the one put forward by my learned friend and
4 colleague, I don't think these photographs --
5 JUDGE PARKER: I'm going to stop you at that point. The
6 cross-examination is proper, and I don't want your objection to be
7 providing answers to the witness.
8 Carry on, Ms. Mahindaratne.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE PARKER: That's not to say that you may not want to put
11 something about it in re-examination. But at this point, the
12 cross-examination is proper.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
14 Q. Mr. Drljan, don't these two photographs show that one cannot
15 observe a muzzle flash at the point of firing, in mortar and artillery
16 fire, but contrary to what you stated?
17 A. I see a flame here behind the shell itself. Can you see it behind
18 the shell? I didn't see the barrel, but I saw a flame. You can see here
19 clearly that there is a trace of fire that will disappear quickly. You
20 can see it just behind the shell. It's a flame.
21 Q. So what you are telling this Trial Chamber is that you can see a
22 flame on these photographs which is perhaps a type of flash that you saw
23 on 6 December 1991?
24 A. Of course. Even here you can see, just behind the shell, there is
25 a flame which is about to disappear, because it goes away very quickly.
1 Q. So I do not see it, Mr. Drljan, but perhaps what you can see in
2 these photographs is what you saw on 6 December.
3 A. Not only is that a possibility, it's actually true.
4 Q. And this in fact, whatever you saw, was at a distance of about
5 approximately 3.000 metres from an elevation and behind the pillar?
6 A. This event took place behind the pillar, and you can see the flame
7 clearly. I've been doing that for 17 years. I'd sailed for 17 years, and
8 my eyesight is very sharp, because I had trained my eyesight by sailing.
9 When I look at something that's that sort of distance, I just can't go
11 Q. Considering your experience, do you recognise the artillery in the
12 picture which has a blue tinge? Do you recognise that weapon?
13 A. A mortar.
14 Q. And that is a picture of a mortar firing?
15 A. [No interpretation]
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the answer.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
18 Q. Can you speak up a little, your response. Can you speak up,
19 because the interpreter did not get your response.
20 A. This is a mortar while firing a shell.
21 Q. And the other picture, the green -- the picture with the green
22 tinge, what is that weapon?
23 A. This is also a mortar.
24 Q. And that is a mortar firing a shell?
25 A. Also at the time, also. It's not clearly visible, but I think
1 it's a mortar firing a shell. The image is a bit blurred, but yes, it is
2 a mortar.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May these two photographs be tendered in
4 evidence, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received as one exhibit.
6 THE REGISTRAR: These exhibits are P219.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
8 Q. Mr. Drljan, now you testified about the war diary, and that all
9 important activities, matters relating to your forces, matters relating to
10 enemy activity, important events, are all recorded in the war diary. You
11 said that on Friday.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you testified that in fact these entries are made for purposes
14 of compiling combat reports?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. So at the end of the day, or at some stage, the officer who
17 compiles the daily combat reports summarises the entries and submits a
18 report based on the entries in the war diary. Is that the procedure?
19 A. Yes. But that's not only the war log or from the war log. You
20 can enter other information that is obtained or reported by commanders who
21 come in to report. Even unbeknownst to us, if something is happening,
22 then such events too can be recorded. So commanders come in to report.
23 They tell us about what they had been doing during the day, and that too
24 can be entered in a report. However, a report never contains everything,
25 but only the most essential things.
1 Q. My point was that whilst the war diary could include all
2 information, what the commanders inform and all of the important events,
3 the entries in the war diary are used for compiling the combat reports.
4 Isn't that the way? Yes.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So as such, the information in combat reports should correspond to
7 the entries in the war diary, necessarily; that's correct, isn't it?
8 A. Such information as is recorded from the war log and transferred
9 into a report must be identical in terms of their content. But that
10 doesn't necessarily mean that everything is copied from the war log and
11 goes into the report.
12 Q. What other sources are there to support a combat report, if it's
13 not the war diary? There has to be some other document being maintained
14 at an operations centre which has a record of the activities, isn't it?
15 A. As I said a while ago, in the evening hours, commanders of
16 subordinate units arrive and report each on their own respective units,
17 and what happened during the day. Their statements are not recorded in
18 the war log but can be included in the daily combat report, as well as
19 possible orders that came in, if any orders came in. Information is
20 obtained from those two to be included in combat reports.
21 Q. And where do commanders come and compile these reports at? At the
22 operations centre, isn't it?
23 A. The operations centre. There is a special room there. They sit
24 down and report, each man for himself. They report on what was done
25 during a certain day and what the activities were for each of them.
1 Q. Now, if you or an operations officer is on duty and you receive
2 some important information, you would necessarily include that in the war
3 diary? And I'm not referring to your visit on Zarkovica. I'm referring
4 if you were in fact on duty at the operations centre.
5 A. If I am on duty at the operations centre and I receive important,
6 I emphasis, important information, I will be certain to record it in the
7 war log.
8 Q. So if, for instance, when you were on duty, you got a telephone
9 call or received a telephone call from the General Staff, which is
10 undoubtedly important, you would record it in the war diary?
11 A. By all means.
12 Q. So if, for instance, General Kadijevic from Belgrade telephoned
13 you and asked you to immediately contact or establish contact with the
14 commander of the 9th VPS, you would necessarily record that?
15 A. Certainly that would be recorded, and I would establish contact.
16 Q. And this would be the case with regard to all operations centres,
17 I presume, the procedure you've just mentioned with regard to the
18 operations centre in Kupari?
19 A. Certainly. That's at least the way it should be.
20 Q. If any combat orders were received by you to pass on to any units
21 when you were in fact the duty-officer, you would have that recorded in
22 the war diary?
23 A. I would have recorded that briefly, a combat order, such-and-such
24 number, forwarded to such-and-such a person. I would not write out the
25 whole thing, because the combat order is there and it can be attached.
1 Q. Would you please peruse the war diary, Mr. Drljan. I beg your
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
5 Q. Would you please peruse page 59, and those are the entries for
6 the 4th. And there, at 7.50, and on page 60, the entry for 1600 hours,
7 there are entries relating to weather forecasts. Now, was it a weather
8 monitoring unit that provided this information to the operations centre?
9 A. No. The weather forecast could be received from the radio station
10 that was on the coast. In our case, that was Bar, B-a-r. Or else, for it
11 to be recorded, it could have been received from the TV weather forecast
12 or the one broadcast all over the radio.
13 Q. And were steps taken to have the units informed of these weather
14 forecasts, units involved in combat operations? Not by you. I'm saying
15 in the normal procedure.
16 A. This forecast from the VPS Boka was forwarded only to the ships
17 that were about to set sail or already at sea or had received orders to
18 set sail. So this forecast was mainly required for the ships and their
19 sailing. It wasn't relevant and important for and units deployed on the
21 Q. Could you please turn to page 61, the entry at 1815. Now, that is
22 an entry that has been made by you, and it has been -- that information is
23 provided to you by frigate Captain Jeremic. And there's a reference there
24 to the --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. There's a reference there to the effect that he did not want to
2 attack today. Whom are you referring to, or do you know what that
3 information is all about? Which attack does that refer to, and whom are
4 you referring to there?
5 A. Allow me first to read this before I answer your question.
6 This was a message from the Croatian army, their internal message,
7 intercepted by frigate Captain Jeremic, with one of our radio stations.
8 This refers to the front. That was somewhere near Ston, which is very far
9 from Dubrovnik, and this front was over 50 kilometres away, and that is
10 where our forces and the Croatian forces were in contact in that
11 particular area. Because Dubrovnik was surrounded, and we proceeded
12 further on down the highway, and probably their intention was to attack
13 our forces and to get as close to Dubrovnik as possible, that is, the
14 forces that were there. But this was very far away from us -- I mean from
15 Dubrovnik. And this man was dismissed because he didn't want to proceed
16 with the attack, and another man was brought to replace him. Both men
17 were from the Croatian army.
18 Q. Did you know that there was a comprehensive cease-fire agreement
19 that was to be concluded on 6 December?
20 A. I didn't know until the evening, when I heard -- on the 6th of
21 December, when I heard that an agreement on truce was about to be
22 concluded. But I knew nothing about that.
23 Q. So you -- on 5th December, you did not know that there was a
24 cease-fire agreement to be concluded on 6 December? That's your evidence?
25 A. No. That's my statement. Frigate Captain Jeremic was a liaison
1 officer. He was in charge of that. And we were not informed every time a
2 negotiation was going on, unless we were required to provide certain
3 things for the negotiations. Otherwise, since on that occasion we were
4 not required to provide anything --
5 Q. Mr. Drljan, would you please turn to page 66. That is the entries
6 relating to 5th December. And I'm referring to the entries at 1940 and
7 1942. Those are entries made by you, isn't it? The entry at 1940 -- who
8 has entered the entry at 1940, which is just below the entry that you have
9 made? Your name is in the remark column against the entry just before
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. So who made the entry at 1940?
13 A. At 1940, I suppose that it was done by Captain Dzelebdzic because
14 this is neither Sikimic's nor Kozaric's because this is neither Sikimic's
15 nor Kozaric's handwriting, nor mine. So he could not have made those --
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, page 57, line 2, the
18 witness said Captain Dzelebdzic, not Kovacevic, as it says in the record.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
21 Q. Do you see, Mr. Drljan, that just below the entry made by you, the
22 two entries at 1940 and 1942, clearly indicate that there is a cease-fire
23 agreement to be concluded the next day? Yet being an officer of your
24 seniority, on 5th December, you were not aware of an important event as a
25 comprehensive cease-fire agreement which was to be concluded the next day,
1 when it was in fact recorded in the very war diary that you yourself made
2 entries in?
3 A. This was entered by Captain Dzelebdzic and received from the
4 frigate Captain Handzijev. So it came from the main command post for our
5 information only. Generally, no officer from the forward command post
6 took part in those negotiations. Therefore, I have nothing to do with
7 this entry, and I was not interested in it, pending the reaching of the
8 agreement. So it was -- a peace agreement was in the offing.
9 Q. So you were not interested in learning about a comprehensive
10 cease-fire? You say that you were not interested in it. Is that what
11 you're saying? An officer of your seniority would not be interested in a
12 comprehensive cease-fire that's to be brought about the very next day.
13 A. This is a laughable question, with all due respect, but I find it
14 ridiculous. We were all interested in cease of fire. If I were to
15 decide, I would not have attacked Dubrovnik at all. But I would not dwell
16 on this further. I was not interested in this entry because it preceded
17 the negotiations. I was more interested in the outcome of negotiations
18 and for ensuring the Argos to sail out of the harbour and that's what we
19 secured. It set sail and our ships did not attack it. That was the
20 critical point for us.
21 What Jeremic and the others were going to negotiate about, we
22 would only learn later on. But of course I was interested in peace and
23 things. And I find this to be a provocative question.
24 Q. Could you please turn to page 62. And I'm referring you to the
25 entry -- entries for 5th December 1991. That's entry for 9.50. There's a
1 reference to the 9th VPS command forwarding an act of the General Staff
2 and indicating that the vessel Cap Africa should be permitted to enter the
3 port of Dubrovnik and remain there from 5th December to 8th December;
4 isn't it?
5 A. The ship.
6 Q. Correct, isn't it?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. And that is a foreign vessel, isn't it, a civilian foreign vessel?
9 A. It was a French cargo ship, a ferry, in fact.
10 Q. Additionally, at page 65, the entry at 1745, refers to a dialogue
11 between the 9th VPS and the ICRC team to meet on 6 December to carry out
12 some installation work.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, it was possible to let a foreign civilian vessel enter into
15 the port of Dubrovnik and arrange meeting with ICRC teams on the 6th
16 December, because at this stage there was a cease-fire in place and no
17 combat activity was anticipated on 6 December, isn't it?
18 A. I knew nothing about the activities that were to happen on the 6th
19 of December. And this particular vessel, called Cap Africa, had not yet
20 entered the Dubrovnik port.
21 Q. Would you please turn to page 64. The entry at 1441, there is a
22 reference to re-subordination of 1LM and 1TC. So you please indicate as
23 to what 1LM and 1TC is.
24 A. I don't know what an LM is, and TC is I think a territorial
1 Q. So some units are being re-subordinated, some technical units
2 being re-subordinated from the VP -- I beg your pardon. From the fleet to
3 the 9th VPS here, isn't it, particular tasks?
4 A. If this refers to naval units, this is a land sweeper, probably,
5 LM, and a TC is a torpedo boat. So after I've read the whole passage, it
6 seems that they're referring to naval vessels.
7 Q. So clearly, the fact that these particular facilities are being
8 subordinated from the fleet to the 9th VPS indicates that the fleet is not
9 within the subordination of the 9th VPS, isn't it?
10 A. That's correct. The fleet was re-subordinated to the command of
11 the 9th Naval District.
12 Q. No. My point is: This entry indicates clearly that the fleet is
13 not subordinated to the 9th Naval Sector. The issue of re-subordination
14 of units from the fleet to the 9th Naval Sector does not arise if in fact
15 the fleet was within the 9th Naval Sector.
16 A. That wouldn't be the case.
17 Q. Very well. Would you please read in that entry, right at the
18 bottom, there is a statement by the fleet commander: "I am unaware of the
19 consent of the KVPO that you were given in relation to the use of the
20 fleets' ships. 1424 hours." This is a message from fleet commander to
21 Captain Zec, isn't it?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Isn't this a message to Captain Zec?
24 A. I must read it. Yes, yes, it is addressed to Captain Zec, and he
25 was the Chief of Staff of the naval sector. The fleet commander, I cannot
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 tell you now who the commander was at the time.
2 Q. And the fleet commander is telling Captain Zec that he's not aware
3 of some information or consent given by the naval military district for
4 certain activities? Isn't that what the fleet commander is indicating
6 A. Let me just first read before I answer. This document had been
7 sent to Captain Zec because previously, probably, somebody requested the
8 replacement for the ships that had been at sea for a long time. It says
9 here 80 days and to replace those ships and give some time to the crews
10 for rest. They were asking for one minesweeper and one torpedo boat to
11 replace those vessels that had been assigned up until then. Their duty
12 was to escort convoys and carry out other tasks as necessary.
13 Q. And the reference to KVPO there is the naval district; correct?
14 A. Yes. And it approves re-subordination of these two vessels.
15 Q. Now, would you please indicate: In the war diary, which is before
16 you, apart from the entries which is made by time, there is an overview of
17 events for the day. Who makes these overview of events in the war diary?
18 A. The review of daily events in a war log -- are you referring to
19 this? So the daily review is essentially a daily report.
20 Q. And so whoever who makes these overview of events for the day goes
21 through the entries and summarises the events, or the entries, into an
22 overview. That's necessarily what an overview of the events is?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you please turn to the overview for 6 December, that is, the
25 page before page 67. Now, there is -- page before page 67.
1 A. Summary of events of the 6th of December, 1991.
2 Q. In that summary, it starts off from 0010 to 0600 hours. The enemy
3 has opened machine-gun and sniper fire on our positions at Strincjera.
4 From 0600 to 0745, 82-millimetre fire was opened from Srdj, Lazaret, and
5 H. Neptun on Strincjera. Until then, shells from handle. Non-stop mortar
6 fire is coming from Hotel Libertas, Babin Kuk, and from Velika Petka.
7 1120 hours, 120-millimetre fire is still continuing on Srdj.
8 Could you please turn the page and examine the entries for
9 6 December 1991. And isn't it the case that there isn't a single entry
10 there on -- for the 6th December which supports that particular passage?
11 A. May I answer?
12 Q. Yes, please.
13 A. This summary of events was made by Kozaric, but only after
14 receiving reports by commanders at the forward command post. In this long
15 series of events that took place on that date, the commanders and company
16 commanders were not able to report all the events to be entered into the
17 war logs. They just recorded them in their notebooks, and when they came
18 in the evening, they reported how many shells were fired, who fired from
19 where, et cetera. So in the evening, they provided more accurate
20 information, and that is why Kozaric compiled this overview; otherwise,
21 this kind of overview is not made on a normal day.
22 Q. How do you know that, sir? How do you know that --
23 A. I know because not -- for no other day did we make a review. That
24 was the most important single event in the period, and that is why this
25 overview was made. Because not all the events and incidents could have
1 been recorded in the war log. The commanders were busy on their
2 positions, respective positions. They just noted them down in their
3 notebooks. They didn't want to waste time by telephoning us at the time.
4 Because their main preoccupation was to render command duties to all those
5 who were involved in that struggle. And in the evening, they were able to
6 provide more precise information.
7 Q. So when these commanders came and reported to Kozaric, were you
8 present? Is that how you know all this?
9 A. I am aware of that information as an officer, as a professional
11 Q. Mr. Drljan --
12 A. As for --
13 Q. Please, my question to you is: Were you present when these
14 commanders came and reported to Kozaric?
15 A. [Previous translation continues]... give you an answer.
16 Q. First say yes or no, and then please explain.
17 A. I was not present, because when a man is appointed to be in charge
18 of the briefing, he is the only person present, and the commanders are
19 present. The others are not needed and are not present. Therefore,
20 unless specific orders are issued to the contrary.
21 Q. So do you know, then, from some other source that on 6 December
22 evening, commanders - and when you say commanders, commander of the
23 3rd Battalion, is that whom you're referring to - was present reporting to
24 Kozaric as to what happened during the course of the day?
25 A. Certainly. But I was not present, and I cannot make any claims as
1 to what he had reported.
2 Q. Do you know as to whether the company commanders also came with
3 the 3rd Battalion commander and reported to Kozaric on the evening of
4 6 December? Is that how this information came by?
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] During his testimony, the witness did
8 not state anywhere that on the 6th of December --
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, thank you. I get the drift of your
10 objection. The question that's put is clear and can be answered,
11 independently of what earlier evidence might have been given.
12 Carry on, Ms. Mahindaratne.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Would you please respond, Mr. Drljan. Do you know, in addition to
15 the commander of the 3rd Battalion, the company commanders of the
16 3rd Battalion, were they present at whatever place reporting to Kozaric
17 about the day's events? Do you know that?
18 A. I don't know that. I don't remember. Usually company commanders
19 report to the commander of the battalion and then he, in turn, reports to
21 Q. So who are the commanders? You said in the plural. Who are the
22 commanders who reported to Kozaric that you mentioned earlier, in addition
23 to the 3rd Battalion commander?
24 A. What commanders are you referring to? It's not commanders in the
25 sense of commandeers, leaders of particular units that reported to
1 Kozaric. It was commanders, "komandante," that reported to him. There is
2 a major difference involved.
3 Q. Whom are you referring to when you said that someone reported to
4 Kozaric, which led to this -- summary in the war diary? You said the
5 3rd Battalion commander. In addition to that, who else reported to
6 Kozaric? Do you know that? Because you said it with such certainty.
7 That is why I'm asking you.
8 A. I said with great certainty who was supposed to be there to
9 report. I did not see that, because I was not there. I went to my room,
10 because I was not invited to this briefing. And it's battalion commanders
11 or detachment commanders who are supposed to report.
12 Q. So apart from the 3rd Battalion commander, who else was supposed
13 to be there?
14 A. No one. No one. No one from his unit.
15 Q. How do you know this? Who told you that somebody reported to
16 Kozaric that evening, which led to this overview being compiled?
17 A. Well, I've told you that Captain Kovacevic was supposed to collect
18 all information from his company commanders, to write them down in his
19 notebook, to come to the forward command post himself and report to
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May the witness be shown D64 and D61.
22 Q. Mr. Drljan, in the interests of time, I will ask you questions
23 about both these documents at once. Would you please quickly peruse these
24 two documents, which are combat reports submitted by Captain Zec. And do
25 you note that the assertions in D64 about firing from the region of -- or
1 from the area of the Old Town is not in the war diary. There are no
2 entries which support --
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry, Your Honour. The Defence has not
4 provided us with an English translation of this document still. This is a
5 document put to Admiral Jokic. We are just struggling with this document.
6 I'm referring to D64. If I may have a moment, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Have you further questions after this?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I beg your pardon. Just about three or four
10 questions. But if it's an appropriate time to take a break, afterwards I
11 would take at the most about five minutes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I think it might be better that way. It would
13 allow the witness to finish reading the two documents.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: And then you can collect your thoughts for a speedy
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: I'm getting very concerned at the time being taken
19 with each witness by both Defence and Prosecution counsel. We are falling
20 behind with every witness at the moment.
21 We will resume at 6.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Mahindaratne.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, I made a
1 mistake when I referred to the Exhibit number D64. It was actually D62,
2 but during the break, with the assistance of the registrar, we did get the
3 correct exhibit to the witness.
4 JUDGE PARKER: D62 and D61 you referred to.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I didn't have my microphone on, I'm sorry. It's
7 D62 and D61 that you're referring to?
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That's correct, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Drljan, have you had an opportunity to go through these
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In document dated 5th December 1991, D61, the first paragraph
13 refers to firing from enemy positions. Now, do you find in the war diary,
14 D96, in the entries relating to 5th December 1991, any entry which
15 corresponds to that particular report? That is a report on firing by
16 enemy forces on 5th December 1991.
17 A. Can I just have a moment, please.
18 Q. There is no entry that corresponds to that report, isn't it?
19 A. 2355. Can I just have a moment to go through this, please.
20 2355 on the 5th, where Kovacevic says that he had come under fire,
21 and the answer was that he should refrain from firing back. That's 2355.
22 During the day, no fire was being opened, according to the log, at least,
23 but fire was opened later on in the evening. Page 66, 2355.
24 Q. But Mr. Drljan, the report D61 is filed at 1700 hours on
25 5th December 1991, isn't it?
1 A. Yes. Can you please not give me the document number, because the
2 number is not stated on my copy of the document. Just give me the date
3 and the time.
4 Q. The report dated 5th December 1991 by Captain Zec, which refers to
5 firing by enemy forces is compiled at 1700 hours, isn't it? And there is
6 no --
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. -- [Previous translation continues]... entry in the war diary
9 which supports that report. That's my point. Could you please answer
10 with a yes or no.
11 A. Not in terms of the time recorded, but probably Kozaric, who wrote
12 the report, and the report was signed by Zec, because --
13 Q. Mr. Drljan, my question was that there are no corresponding
14 entries to the war diary. Please confine your response to my question.
15 A. There's no corresponding entry, but --
16 Q. Thank you. Now --
17 A. [Previous translation continues]... the evening report -- please
18 allow me to finish answering. That day, commanders came in to report on
19 the previous day, and probably they did before this report was written.
20 They didn't do it by phone during the day while there was firing, but
21 rather, they said it in the evening, when they came over. Therefore, it
22 was an oral report.
23 Q. Would you please take a look at the document dated 6 December
24 1991, which is submitted by Captain Milan Zec. In that report, in the
25 first paragraph, there is a reference to fire from Stradun region, as well
1 as the old city port.
2 A. Well, that's what you said before. That's what you claimed I
3 didn't say, but I did say it, and it was recorded, and I told Kozaric
4 orally as soon as I came.
5 Q. Would you please let me finish my question. I'm on time
6 constraint. And this document, D62, which contains the assertion to
7 firing from the Old Town, or the region of the Old Town and the old city
8 port, is not supported by any entry in the war diary for 6 December 1991.
9 Yes or no?
10 A. No entry. But, as I said, I orally told Kozaric, as soon as I
11 came, that I had seen a mortar positioned on the Stradun and that I had
12 seen firing, or rather, a flame behind the Orlando column, which is near
13 the Old Town harbour, and this is how he recorded it. He didn't record it
14 in the logbook, but he did include it in the report.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May the witness be shown D105, please.
16 Q. Mr. Drljan, do you note that this order to control weapons is
17 issued pursuant to -- or in keeping with the resolution passed by the
18 Security Council of the United Nations, the UN Security Council? That's
19 indicated in paragraph 2 of the document. Do you note that?
20 A. I do notice that, yes.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That concludes cross-examination, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Mahindaratne.
24 Mr. Rodic.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Re-examined by Mr. Rodic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Drljan, while we still have D62 in front of
3 us, it's the regular combat report of the command of the 9th VPS dated the
4 6th of December, 1991.
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I object, Your Honour. There is no reference
6 to this document being a regular combat report.
7 JUDGE PARKER: I would respectfully suggest it's in the heading.
8 Carry on, Mr. Rodic.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Drljan, do you have the report in front of you, and can you
11 please open the logbook, the war logbook also, and can you please, first
12 of all, look between page 66 of the war log and page 67. It's the page
13 containing a handwritten summary of events.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Please have a look at the section that was marked in pen -- in
16 pencil, in fact.
17 A. Circled?
18 Q. Yes. Where they're talking about the firing positions of the
19 mortars at Lazareti, the firing positions of mortars at the Neptun Hotel,
20 firing positions of mortars at Nuncijata, firing positions at Nuncijata
21 Sustjepan and the number of shells that were fired by JNA units. And can
22 you please look at point 2, item 2 of the regular combat report, Exhibit
23 D62, to see if these data from the logbook were reflected here.
24 A. Yes, they were.
25 Q. On the positions and the number of shells that were actually
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Just another thing that needs clarifying. The columns in the war
4 log in D96, the boxes, the section that was divided up and where the
5 tables had been entered for -- to contain entries, is that on the
6 right-hand side of the log?
7 Q. Can you please repeat the question.
8 Q. Can you look at this, please, these entries.
9 A. Which page?
10 Q. It doesn't matter. All the pages. You have tables that are
11 drawn, lines are drawn to contain tables for entries and remarks to be
12 entered. Is that on the right-hand page of the notebook that actually
13 contains the war log?
14 A. Yes. That is indeed the right-hand page.
15 Q. What about the page in between, the one that is a copy and
16 contains a summary of events? Is that a blank page beside the right-hand
17 page that is used possibly for these entries?
18 A. Yes. Because the summary pertains to the entire day.
19 Q. That's very well. Can you tell me about item 1, point 1, the
20 enemy, regular combat report in the log, the war log, D96, at 0715, is
21 there any reference to Zoljas and 82-millimetre mortars at about 6.00
22 firing at positions on Strincjera from Srdj? Is there any reference to
24 A. So is there anything in the logbook, a reference to firing --
25 Q. On Strincjera or against Strincjera, the position there.
1 A. Strincjera.
2 Q. At 0715 hours.
3 A. Zoljas and 82-millimetre mortars around 0600 hours, positions on
4 Strincjera were hit from Srdj.
5 Q. Yes. Let's move on, please. Between page 69 of the logbook and
6 page 70, therefore, a copy of a blank page that was written on --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. It says the 6th of December, 1992, dead. Can you see that?
9 A. Yes. Yes, I see that.
10 Q. Were the names of those who had been killed and wounded entered in
11 the regular combat report?
12 A. No, they weren't.
13 Q. Can you please now look at the regular combat report, D61, dated
14 the 5th of December. Do you have the document in front of you, D61? The
15 date is the 5th of December. And can you please keep it in front of you.
16 Do you have the regular combat report, D61, dated the 5th of December?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you please look at the war log between page 63 and page 64
19 again. We find the copy of that blank page, the left-hand page, from the
20 war log. Again, there is a box made in pencil here and the reference is
21 to 1500 hours to 1530 hours, Pobrezje, Solitudo, fire; is that not
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. 1530 to 1600, Zarkovica, Bosanka, Strincjera?
25 A. Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Q. 1100 to 1200 hours, Bosanka, Dubrovnik?
2 A. Yes, that is the case.
3 Q. Can certain entries also be made on the left-hand side of the log?
4 A. Yes. That is possible.
5 Q. If you look at item 1, point 1 of the regular combat report, D61,
6 is there any reference there to a French ship called Cap Africa?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you please now look at the war log, the entries related to the
9 5th of December. Can any of the entries be in reference to the Cap Africa
10 ship 0813, 0840, 0955?
11 A. Yes. 0830, that is a reference to the ship because the location
12 is given. 0840 --
13 Q. 0840, that's it being identified, isn't it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I'm not enumerating everything, but, for example, 1025 --
16 A. 1025, Stojadinovic, Cap Africa.
17 Q. You don't need to go through it. You don't need to read out.
18 Just tell me if it's a reference to the ship.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The next page, at 1145?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you please also look at -- for instance, on page 65, the entry
23 made at 1600 hours.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Thank you. We don't need the Exhibit D61 any more. I
1 would kindly ask the witness to be given the Prosecution Exhibit P219.
2 The witness, please keep the log with you.
3 If you make a comparison between these two images, at first
4 glance, do you think that the weather and geographical conditions in one
5 image is identical to those in the other image? Just at first glance.
6 A. I believe they are, only one of the images is more blurred.
7 Q. Which one?
8 A. On the left-hand side.
9 Q. Where the green is a dominant colour?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So would you say that it is more blurred? In which specific part
12 of the photograph with respect to the barrel of the mortar is this blurred
14 A. It is above this man who is bending over and around the shell
16 Q. Does it go -- this blurred section, does it go from the muzzle of
17 the mortar?
18 A. No, I don't think so. Because in this picture, we cannot see it.
19 Q. Tell me: Are the soldiers next to the mortar, are all away from
20 the muzzle of the barrel?
21 A. Yes, they are, relatively speaking.
22 Q. If you look at both photographs, is the distance between the shell
23 and the muzzle of the barrel, is there a distance there?
24 A. I see the distance on the right-hand side photograph; however, I
25 don't see it on the left-hand side photograph, because I can't see the
2 Q. Let me help you with this. The soldier, not the one whose back is
3 turned towards you but the one facing you, between the two helmets, can
4 you see?
5 A. On the left-hand side photograph?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Yes, I see some barrels there.
8 Q. Do you recognise the barrels?
9 A. No, I don't. Above this soldier facing me, a barrel should be
10 somewhere behind his back. If you extend the trajectory of the shell, but
11 I don't see it here.
12 Q. Do you know how long the flash lasts when a mortar is fired?
13 A. I can only make an estimate. It's just a part of a second.
14 Q. Thank you. I don't need this photograph any longer.
15 Tell me: Do you know approximately what is the distance between
16 Zarkovica and the Old Town as the crow flies? If you can make an
17 estimate; if not, then we can proceed.
18 A. About 2.000 metres, roughly speaking. It's not difficult to
20 Q. Mr. Drljan, what is a regular combat report as a document? What
21 does it represent?
22 A. As a document, it represents a basic document for a particular and
23 specific day, in which all important information, activities of all units
24 are entered, I mean units on the ground, including all other significant
25 reports that are received or orders that are received, orders issued and
1 conveyed, and all movements in this particular case of ships. In a word,
2 all the pertinent events that need to be recorded, for example, the number
3 of the wounded, the injured, and the dead.
4 Q. Based on what information is the regular combat report compiled?
5 A. It is compiled based on daily reports sent by units and on the
6 basis of reports submitted by unit commanders in the evening when they
7 come for a debriefing session. These are main sources for this kind of
8 report. So a log is used. Everything that has been received as
9 information is being recorded, and that includes oral reports given by
10 commanders during debriefing. It has its certain established form.
11 Q. That means, Mr. Drljan, that, so to say, the two main sources of
12 information for compiling a regular combat report are reports submitted by
13 unit commanders, plus the information received from the operations centre?
14 A. Yes. The information received at the operations centre from units
15 or commanders.
16 Q. Besides that, a regular combat report can include intelligence
17 information as well?
18 A. Yes, they can.
19 Q. Will you please give the witness Exhibit D96 again.
20 Mr. Drljan, will you please look at page 66 of the war log.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. My learned friend asked you about these entries at 1940 and 1942.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Tell me -- please first read these entries. Just read it to
25 yourself. You don't need to read them out loud.
1 Have you read it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Tell me: At -- in the 1940 entry and 1942 entry, is there a
4 word "cease-fire" there?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Are there words "signed agreement," or "agreement on truce."
7 A. No.
8 Q. Will you please look, the 2012 entry in the log, which is
9 immediately after these previous two.
10 A. Yes, I've read it.
11 Q. Does this imply that the requests by the Crisis Staff of Dubrovnik
12 were not complied with, who asked a ship route, Dubrovnik ship --
13 Dubrovnik to be established and for the works on the water pump to be
14 commenced on the 12th of December?
15 A. No.
16 Q. The command of the 9th VPS expressed here that they could not
17 comply with those requests --
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, counsel is leading the witness.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Fair comment, Mr. Rodic.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I'm just trying to
21 make it quicker.
22 Q. Will you please read out loud the last sentence.
23 A. At 2012?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. "We are ready to solve this issue shortly, which will primarily
1 depend on the results of the negotiations to be held in Cavtat on the 6th
2 of December, 1992."
3 Q. Does this indicate that a truce agreement has been signed?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Does this indicate that the negotiations are still ongoing?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. On the 5th of December, did anyone from the command of the 9th VPS
8 mention an absolute cease-fire?
9 A. No.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Just for a minute,
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Drljan.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed my
15 redirect examination.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Rodic.
17 Mr. Drljan, may we thank you for your attendance and the
18 assistance that you have given to the Tribunal. You'll be pleased to know
19 that you're now free to return to your home. Thank you very much. The
20 usher will show you out.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we now call the next
25 witness, if you believe that it is appropriate that we begin today and use
1 these 20 minutes that we have left. Due to all the concerns about the
2 time at our disposal, the Defence proposes that we use these last
3 20 minutes. And with your permission, we would like to call Slavoljub
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 MR. WEINER: Your Honour --
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
8 MR. WEINER: While we have a moment, could we address the
9 scheduling over the next few days? I've been talking to Defence counsel,
10 and we're a little bit -- our defence is a little bit behind on discovery.
11 We should be receiving discovery for the next witness sometime this
12 evening, and there should only be one other witness tomorrow, if that's
13 correct. And I just want to go through the schedule so we're all on the
14 same plate, or same page.
15 JUDGE PARKER: You mean you would like to know who is to come
16 during the week?
17 MR. WEINER: I'd just like to confirm it. We're still awaiting
18 the proofing notes, which we'll get sometime this evening, probably
19 between 9.30 and 11.00 tonight, which would be the final proofing notes.
20 Which is fine. We'll deal with that tomorrow. We'll deal with that
21 witness, as long as there's nothing significantly new. But I just want to
22 confirm there's only one other witness after this witness tomorrow. Those
23 are the only --
24 JUDGE PARKER: That will depend perhaps how quick you are in
25 cross-examination, Mr. Weiner.
1 MR. WEINER: Even if we're quick, apparently they have no other
2 witnesses they're bringing in tomorrow, other than one after this one.
3 And then there appears --
4 JUDGE PARKER: Well, that will depend on when this next witness
5 finishes. When the witness finishes, there will be yet another.
6 MR. WEINER: Okay. We're under the impression, we've been told by
7 the Defence this witness will finish, assuming cross-examination tomorrow,
8 and there will be one other witness and that is it for tomorrow.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I'm not sure what the issue is.
10 MR. WEINER: I want just some confirmation. And if there's going
11 to be another witness tomorrow, to get some disclosure tonight.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Oh, I see your concern. You want to know whether
13 there will be disclosure in time for preparation.
14 MR. WEINER: Correct. So I'm under the impression it's this
15 witness for cross-examination, assuming tomorrow, and then one other
16 witness, and that should be it for tomorrow. And then two witnesses on
17 Wednesday, or three witnesses on Wednesday.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Well, it really just depends on how long each
19 witness takes, and I hope you will have caught up with the growing concern
20 of the Chamber that witnesses are taking too long in their evidence in
21 chief and in their cross-examination. So that we certainly would not
22 discourage witnesses being dealt with more quickly. If that means that a
23 third witness might be reached tomorrow, so be it.
24 MR. WEINER: Okay. We're under the impression, because we haven't
25 received disclosure and I've been told by the Defence there is no third
1 witness for tomorrow. I just want to get everything ...
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic. Before you carry on, perhaps you'd
3 like to sit down for just a moment. Thank you for waiting.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I try to explain.
7 After Mr. Stojanovic, the Defence has Mr. Kurdulija prepared as the next
8 witness. As for the content of his evidence, we have told our learned
9 friends about this orally. Once today's sitting is over, perhaps half an
10 hour later, we will have prepared this in writing too, namely, what
11 Mr. Kurdulija is going to testify about, in addition to what was disclosed
12 under 65 ter.
13 Your Honour, the Defence would kindly ask you for the following.
14 Could we hear Mr. Stojanovic tomorrow? He will obviously testify in chief
15 for a considerable amount of time tomorrow and then he will be
16 cross-examined. And then tomorrow we hope to be able to finish both the
17 examination-in-chief and the cross-examination of Mr. Kurdulija.
18 Regrettably, as for the third witness, although he is here in The Hague,
19 he is not yet ready to appear before the Honourable Trial Chamber. We
20 will deal with that tonight, or whenever. I really don't know. That's
21 the situation.
22 I must say, though, that this situation will become even more
23 unfavourable in view of the fact that as of tomorrow we will be working
24 from 8.30 until 4.30. That practically leaves only the late-evening hours
25 for proofing the witnesses. They usually finish -- start dinner at 7.00
1 and we get out of the courtroom at 5.00. So it is very hard for us to
2 find time to work with them.
3 I wish to assure you, Your Honours, that we avail ourselves of
4 each and every moment to prepare our case, but, quite simply, there are
5 some constraints that are objectively there and that nothing can be done
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, we'll be commencing at 9.30 tomorrow,
9 not 8.30. Be assured of that.
10 Could the Chamber simply observe that proofing can occur during
11 the day. There are two Defence counsel. It's not necessary for both to
12 be in Court at the same time. So that the process of proofing can be
13 advanced considerably using some of the sitting time as well.
14 I think we've said enough on the subject now. If I could turn to
15 Mr. Stojanovic. Would you mind standing, please. If you'd take the card
16 that is being given to you and read the affirmation aloud.
17 WITNESS: SLAVOLJUB STOJANOVIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Sit down, please.
22 Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Examined by Mr. Petrovic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening. Could you please tell us your full
1 name and surname.
2 A. My name is Slavoljub Stojanovic.
3 Q. Mr. Stojanovic, what is your current profession?
4 A. I am currently a professional officer, and the rank I hold is that
5 of lieutenant colonel.
6 Q. Which military schools were you completed?
7 A. The military academy of the ground forces.
8 Q. What year? When did you graduate?
9 A. In 1983.
10 Q. Where did you serve upon completing the military academy?
11 A. The first place where I served was the reserve officers school of
12 infantry in Bileca.
13 Q. Can you tell us what kind of school this is in Bileca.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to speak
15 slower. Thank you.
16 A. This is a school that trains officers for the armed forces of the
17 then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. So that was in that period
18 of time. This is a school where there was a high level of order and
19 discipline and --
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Just a moment, please, Mr. Stojanovic. The interpreters are
22 asking you to slow down a bit so that everything could be recorded in the
23 transcript. That is the first thing I wish to say to you. And secondly,
24 I would like you to pause between my question and your answer so that we
25 could indeed have everything in the transcript.
1 A. Very well.
2 Q. Tell us, please: What was the reputation of the school where you
3 served, the reserve officers school in Bileca?
4 A. The reputation of the reserve officers school of the infantry in
5 Bileca was a very high one. There was order and discipline and hard work.
6 Not everybody could be a commander, and at that time, we were really
7 appreciated both in the east and west in terms of training such officers
8 like the infantry officers trained in Bileca.
9 Q. Where did you serve in 1991?
10 A. In 1991, until the 21st of September, I served in Bileca. In that
11 period, that is to say, before the 21st of September, I handed over my
12 duty, because I was waiting for orders from the General Staff to see where
13 I would be sent then.
14 Q. In order to move on faster, could you please just give accurate
15 answers to my questions.
16 At some point in time, in 1991, did you receive orders for a
17 temporary assignment to work in a unit?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What was the level of command that made this order regarding your
21 A. The General Staff.
22 Q. Where was it that you were assigned to temporarily?
23 A. I was temporarily assigned to the 472nd Motorised Brigade in
24 Trebinje, which was within the 9th Military Naval Sector and the sector
25 was within the military naval district.
1 Q. Who did you report to when you arrived in Trebinje?
2 A. I reported to Colonel Obrad Vicic, commander of the brigade.
3 Q. Did Colonel Vicic send you to any one of the units that was within
4 the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Which unit did he send you to?
7 A. The 3rd Motorised Company of the 3rd Motorised Battalion.
8 Q. Did you receive official orders at any point in time in terms of
9 your appointment to this duty?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. When was it that you received this official order?
12 A. It was the end of February or beginning of March 1992.
13 Q. Which duty were you assigned to in the 3rd Motorised Company of
14 the 3rd Motorised Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
15 A. Precisely what you said. The commander of the 3rd Motorised
16 Company of the 3rd Motorised Brigade of the 472nd Motorised Brigade in the
17 9th Military Naval Sector within the military naval district.
18 Q. Tell us: Where was the company deployed at the moment when you
19 received the order, the oral order of the commander that you were being
20 appointed leader of that company, commander of that company?
21 A. It was in the broader area of Ivanjica. This is a village and the
22 administrative border between the then Republic of Croatia and then
23 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So this was an administrative border at
24 that time.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to
1 point out a mistake in the transcript. Page 84, line 23, it says the
2 3rd Motorised Brigade of the 472nd Motorised Brigade. Obviously it is the
3 3rd Motorised Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade. Thank you, Your
5 Q. Tell us, please: Do you know why you were sent to the 3rd Company
6 of the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade?
7 A. I do know.
8 Q. Tell us why.
9 A. I was sent in order to bring this unit up to the required level,
10 that is to say, to bring work, order, and discipline to an appropriate
11 level because it was not appropriate before that.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question
13 because it overlapped the answer.
14 A. One of the key problems for the brigade and for the unit that I
15 commanded was the fact that the unit was not appropriately manned with the
16 necessary VES, military specialties. Because it was mostly reserve
17 personnel from the area of Dubrovnik that manned this unit. Because the
18 men of Dubrovnik did not respond to call-up, then the other regions could
19 not provide the needed VES specialties. So when I arrived in that unit, I
20 had to retrain the personnel so that they could respond to the
22 MR. PETROVIC [Interpretation]:
23 Q. Did you manage to improve the situation in your company?
24 A. I believe I did.
25 Q. What was the attitude of the reservists towards the officers who
1 came to the brigade from the Bileca reserve officers school?
2 A. Well, you see, already in peacetime, we officers who worked at the
3 infantry reserve officers training school had a certain image, so believe
4 me, they stood in awe of us in terms of the requests and requirements that
5 we had for work, order, and discipline. So it was a high level of
7 Q. In the period between your takeover of the company and until the
8 end of December, what would be your assessment of the discipline in your
10 A. In my company, I believe the discipline was at the required level,
11 that is to say, in accordance with the tasks that we received from our
13 Q. What about fire discipline within your company?
14 A. Well, let me tell you. We are professionals and we respect the
15 orders of our superior officer. So there could not be any opening of fire
16 without dire necessity.
17 Q. In the period from October to December 1991, the members of the
18 reserve personnel from your company, were they sent on leave from your
20 A. Yes, they were.
21 Q. Tell us: How were reservists sent on leave?
22 A. This was planned for the reservists who were within my company. I
23 personally made these lists and I decided who would go on leave from all
24 of my subordinate units. This was usually up to 48 hours, mostly
25 exception -- and only exceptionally until 72 -- for 72 hours. Every
1 reservist had to leave weapons, ammunition that had been issued to them at
2 the company station for supplies, and then this would be done in an
3 organised fashion by a TAM motor vehicle that was within the company.
4 Then they would go under the command of one officer to Trebinje. And then
5 these soldiers, these reservists, would go home to take a bath, to take
6 care of their personal engagements, et cetera.
7 Q. Tell us: Could a soldier from your company take anything from the
8 positions where the unit was at the time when they would go on leave?
9 A. Only quartermaster's equipment, that is to say, a blouse, sweater,
10 what they would take home to be washed or a washed one that would be
11 replaced. All the other equipment had to remain within the unit.
12 Q. When reservists went on this leave that you referred to just now
13 from your unit, was fire opened as they were leaving the positions of the
14 unit and as they were going on leave?
15 A. He they could not open fire, because weapons remained in the unit,
16 that is to say, that they went without any weapons.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I suggest that we
18 pause at this point and continue tomorrow morning at 9.30.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
20 Mr. Stojanovic, I must ask you to return tomorrow morning. We
21 will be continuing at 9.30. Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, too.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 13th day of
25 July, 2004, at 9.30 a.m.