1 Tuesday, 6 September 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
6 everyone in and around the courtroom.
7 This is case IT-08-91-T, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and
8 Stojan Zupljanin.
9 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Good morning to everyone. May we have the appearances, please.
11 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner assisted
12 by Crispian Smith for the Prosecution.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
14 Slobodan Cvijetic, and Ms. Deirdre Montgomery appearing for
15 Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic,
17 Aleksandar Aleksic, and Miroslav Cuskic appearing for Zupljanin Defence.
18 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
19 And if there is nothing to delay us, could the witness be
20 escorted in. But before -- usher, before he comes in -- Mr. Krgovic,
21 continuing with the observation, I don't know I would put it as high as
22 an objection that Ms. Korner raised yesterday, the Chamber would
23 respectfully remind you that inasmuch as this witness has been called as
24 an expert witness, and although in -- my recollection, and it may be a
25 matter of the translation or interpretation that he -- that his
1 explanation for some of the comments he made yesterday was based on his
2 experience, that you should frame your questions in such a way that the
3 witness is not blending, as it were, his observations out of which he is
4 able to express an expert opinion from a broader, quote/unquote,
5 experience, which may import any number of suppositions and things
6 outside his realm of expertise.
7 So if you would bear that in mind, Mr. Krgovic.
8 Yes, Usher.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE HALL: Good morning to you, General. Before I invite
11 Mr. Krgovic to begin, I remind you you're still on your oath.
12 WITNESS: VIDOSAV KOVACEVIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
15 Examination by Mr. Krgovic: [Continued]
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. General, yesterday we commented on some of the paragraphs in your
19 expert report. The last such paragraph was 51. You had explained
20 already why it was only on the 12th of May that the decision on the
21 setting up of the VRS was adopted.
22 Please take a look at paragraph 52 in your report, where you say:
23 [As read] "At the same session, a decision of the National
24 Assembly of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina established
25 the Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The decision
1 was adopted based on the constitution of Republika Srpska in response to
2 the situation at the time and in accordance with the constitutional
3 obligation of the National Assembly to 'regulate and ensure the defence
4 and security of the Republic.'"
5 You say "in response to the situation at the time." What did you
6 have in mind when you chose that language?
7 A. Mr. Krgovic, I partly explained in my footnote. And yesterday, I
8 pointed out the well-known fact that previously the
9 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croatian Defence Council had been
10 established as two armed forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's what I
11 meant when I wrote "the situation at the time."
12 So I'm referring to the overall situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 which was a situation of war or, actually, to be more precise, imminent
14 threat of war.
15 Q. [Microphone not activated]
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, I'm going to ask you to take a look at footnote 16. And
19 that's document 2D10 --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please repeat the number.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Tab -- I apologise, I'll have to
22 repeat the number. The document 2D100539.
23 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] ... I missed the
24 tab number.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] It's tab 16. Or, rather,
1 footnote 16. I apologise, it's actually tab 9.
2 Q. I'm going to give you hard copies of these documents.
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could I please ask the usher to
4 assist me.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. The tab in your copy is 16, General. Page 2.
8 General, this is the decision on the formation of the Army of the
9 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And in Article 2, it says:
10 "The existing Territorial Defence units and staffs shall be renamed as
11 commands and units of the army whose organisation and establishment shall
12 be determined by the president of the republic."
13 General, please explain briefly of which units the Army of the RS
14 consisted and what is the essence of the VRS?
15 A. I already said, and I can repeat now, that on the 4th of May, the
16 federal leadership - and I mean that of Yugoslavia - adopted the decision
17 on the withdrawal of the Yugoslav People's Army from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 After that, only TO units remained functional, and they had existed in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina before the war, too, as in all other republics. We
20 have seen that pursuant to a decision of the highest leadership of the
21 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Territorial Defence of BH had already
22 been set up, and the situation was the same in the Serbian Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina; that is, the Army of the Serbian Republic of BH was
24 made up exclusively of units and staffs of the Territorial Defence.
25 Q. Does that mean that a number of persons from the JNA joined the
1 Army of the Republika Srpska? And when I say that, I mean people who
2 hail from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 A. Yes. There was the opinion that officers and non-commissioned
4 officers, even soldiers who were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina and were
5 citizens of that republic, because all of us who lived in the Federation
6 had a dual citizenship: A federal citizenship and a republican
7 citizenship. And, thus, these persons had the opportunity to remain in
8 the newly established Army of the Serbian Republic of BH.
9 Of course, I can add those were times of great uncertainty. It
10 was mostly left to the people to the decide themselves. Nobody knew what
11 arrangements would be in place with regard to payment, accommodation,
12 housing, and so on, so that a large part of officers from
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina stayed in the Yugoslav People's Army which later
14 become the Army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. I am an example
15 of that.
16 Q. General, you mentioned that somewhat earlier the
17 Territorial Defence of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina had
18 been set up. Tell me, what kind of relationship was in place between the
19 TO of the Serbian Republic of BH and the old TO, to call it that? Were
20 there any changes, and how was that regulated?
21 A. As far as I know, the decision on the establishment of the
22 Territorial Defence of the Serbian Republic of BH, or, rather, the
23 reasoning of that decision, said that the units of Territorial Defence
24 set up in the framework of the JNA remained in existence and remained
25 functional. And these were newly established armed forces, to call them
2 Q. In paragraph 53, you say, General, that the Presidency of the
3 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the 15th of June, 1992,
4 adopted the decision on the formation, organisation, establishment, and
5 commanding of the Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
6 which provided the foundation for the organisation of the army.
7 In your binder, that's footnote 17.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, are we leaving this document?
9 Mr. Krgovic? May I just ask, sorry, Your Honours. Because,
10 Your Honours, the problem is it's apparently not part of the law library,
11 and clearly the -- it was handed in for translation with this
12 highlighting on it because the CLSS don't appear to be able to translate
13 part of what is in Article 2 and I don't know how important it is. But
14 they say, not surprisingly, illegible.
15 So if it is to be exhibited, Mr. Krgovic, then I think we need a
16 clean copy plus what it actually says.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I see what the
18 Prosecutor means, but, to me, it is legible enough. Perhaps we can ask
19 the General to read out the paragraph. And this will certainly be
20 tendered so we can have it retranslated, if necessary.
21 Q. General, can you please take a look at paragraph 2 on the screen.
22 Paragraph 2 of the decision of the setting up of the Army of the Serbian
23 Republic of BH?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 JUDGE HALL: Sorry, Mr. Krgovic, but apart from what the
1 witness's translation would be, the point that Ms. Korner is making is
2 that if this is going to be tendered and/or migrated to the law library,
3 these anomalies would have to be sorted out and how would you propose
4 that that best be done?
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will submit this
6 document for retranslation. However, it is legible it. I can read it
7 and I commented this very copy with the witness. But certainly we want
8 to avoid this situation, a situation as with that document that
9 Ms. Korner and I are arguing about. So it may be better for this one to
10 be resubmitted for translation to CLSS.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Krgovic, I can read it, but I
12 would like to remind the Bench that in paragraph 52 of my report, just
13 before footnote 16, there is an quotation from that Article 2. And that
14 quotation reads:
15 [As read] "The existing Territorial Defence units and staffs
16 shall be renamed as commands and units of the army, whose organisation
17 and establishment shall be determined by the president of the Republic."
18 I believe that you have a translation of that.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, sir.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And this is the content of
21 Article 2.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: In addition, Your Honours, I note at the very end
23 it says that this -- this decision was published in the Official Gazette
24 of Serbian Bosnia-Herzegovina, so ... therefore, it should be in the law
25 library already.
1 JUDGE HALL: That leapt out at me as well, Mr. Zecevic.
2 MS. KORNER: Well, absolutely, if it is in the law library
3 already. We checked for this particular document, this particular
4 document isn't, and then, therefore, it is in the law library,
5 Mr. Krgovic needn't trouble to exhibit this or get it retranslated.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] In view of that fact, then I will
7 not tender this document into evidence, provided it becomes part of the
8 law library. But at any rate, I'm going to double-check this. I am
9 particularly interested in these provisions whether it was incorporated
10 in a law or published in a public gazette, but I don't think that this
11 particular aspect is of much relevance.
12 Q. Now, General, could you please look at 65 ter document 003000D2,
13 that's on our list. It's tab 11 in your binder, the footnote 17 B. And
14 I think it is going to be much easier for you if you look for this
15 particular footnote.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise I will repeat.
17 00039D2, that's 65 ter number, or 2D100543.
18 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I'm sorry to keep
19 interrupting. But I don't see a footnote 17 B in the General's report
20 and the document referred to in footnote 17 is not this one.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there are actually
22 two documents mentioned in footnote 17. That's why I told the General
23 what I told him, but this should be your tab 11.
24 Q. General, have you managed to find the decision on the forming of
25 the commands?
1 A. It's, rather, an order.
2 Q. Yes, an order.
3 General, can you tell us what implication does this order have in
4 the process of the forming of an army?
5 A. It is slightly unusual that nearly a month elapsed after the
6 decision that we mentioned a minute ago to establish an army. And then
7 one month later, an order is issued to form unit commands of the Army of
8 the Serbian Republic of BH, which, in fact, makes it possible to provide
9 complete definition of the army, as well as its organisation, to have the
10 army organised at both operative and tactical levels, to determine the
11 number of corps and their strengths, to provide a legal frame for the
12 civilian control over the army, to regulate the manner of takeover of
13 weapons and equipment. In other words, everything that is necessary to
14 be in place for an army to become functional and operational.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think there's a mistranslation of the
16 date, if -- if what the General -- in English. It says the 18th of
17 August, 1992. And I think the original does say "6."
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I agree. I haven't noticed that.
19 That's a mistranslation. And we're going to send this to the CLSS to
20 correct it.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it was June. It wasn't August.
22 Or maybe it's August. I can't see clearly.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we have this enlarged in
24 e-court, please.
25 Q. This is definitely June.
1 A. Yes, the 16th of June.
2 Q. Can you please now move to the next page of your expert report;
3 specifically paragraph 55.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we also have paragraph 55 of
5 the expert report in e-court.
6 Q. Can you please read this portion where you say that:
7 [As read] "The Army of Republika Srpska is defined as the armed
8 force whose ... task is to defend the sovereignty, territory,
9 independence and constitutional order of Republika Srpska."
10 Can you please look at Exhibit 2D100565. That's footnote 20.
11 And it's the same in your binder.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Next page, please, in the Serbian.
13 Q. Here, the Law on the Army defines the role of the army. And it
14 is defined as an armed force.
15 What was the case with the police? In 1992, within the scope of
16 the military doctrine or any other legal frame, was it ever defined as an
17 armed force as well?
18 A. I particularly quoted this article of the law which reads that
19 the Army of Republika Srpska is the only armed force whose tasks are to
20 defend the sovereignty, territorial, independence and constitutional
21 order of Republika Srpska as stipulated by the constitution. In other
22 words, pursuant to this article, police or militia units or the Ministry
23 of the Interior are not an integral part of the Armed Forces of
24 Republika Srpska.
25 Q. I'm sorry, could you please repeat your answer because part of it
1 hasn't been recorded.
2 A. I quoted this Article of the Law on Defence, because it
3 particularly emphasises that only the Army of Republika Srpska is defined
4 as being an armed force whose task is to defend the sovereignty,
5 territory, independence and constitutional order of Republika Srpska.
6 Units and forces of the Ministry of Interior under this law do not
7 constitute part of the armed forces.
8 Q. General, in paragraph 56 --
9 JUDGE HALL: Sorry, before you go on, Mr. Krgovic.
10 General, could you assist me with, in terms of your last answer,
11 you say:
12 "It particularly emphasises that only the Army of Republika
13 Srpska is defined as being an armed force whose task," et cetera, the
14 units and forces of the ministry do not constitute part of the armed
16 Could you assist me, please, with how you -- why do you say that?
17 Because looking at Article 1, the way it reads is the Army of the Serbian
18 Republic is an armed force defending the sovereignty, et cetera.
19 I hear what you are saying, but could you explain to me why you
20 deduce that it is that the army has the exclusive responsible for
21 defending the territory, the sovereignty, et cetera. Looking at the
22 words of Article 1.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the reason is because that
24 was the practice in every country and that was the practice implemented
25 in the former Yugoslavia. The armed forces were the Yugoslav People's
1 Army and the Territorial Defence. Militia had never been part of the
2 armed forces. Those were units that are not trained to participate in
3 combat operations. Police is intended to maintain primarily public law
4 and order. For that reason, they are never incorporated into an armed
6 I don't know if this was of assistance to you. I mean, in terms
7 of armed forces being involved in combat and war operations. And it is
8 emphasised here that only the Army of Republika Srpska, they even left
9 out the TO, because this army grew out of the merging of the former TO
10 with the army. I -- I do agree that it is slightly complicated.
11 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, sir.
12 Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, as a follow-up of the question posed to you by
15 Mr. President, in paragraph 57 you say, and I'm going to paraphrase, that
16 subsequent laws from 1994, units of the MUP were envisaged to be a part
17 of the armed forces.
18 A. Yes, that's correct. But that took place only in 1994. I don't
19 know the genuine reasons for making such a decision, but I think that is
20 rather unusual for the police to become part of an armed force. However,
21 the then-leadership of Republika Srpska probably had their own reasons
22 that guided them to take such a decision. But a minute ago, I was
23 speaking about 1992, at the time when the army was formed, and that, at
24 that time, the army was the only armed force, and that draws a clear line
25 between them, on the one hand, and paramilitary units and the police on
1 the other.
2 Of course, I am not equating the police units and paramilitary
3 formations. I'm just trying to make the distinction between the notion
4 of armed forces on the one hand.
5 Q. General, can you please look at paragraph 56, where you speak
6 about and quote the Law on Defence.
7 Can you please look at a document, 2D100567. This is your
8 footnote 21. I believe it's tab 14 on the Defence list, the
9 Zupljanin Defence list.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Krgovic, I'm a little bit confused here.
11 Tab 14, what is -- what is that document number referring to? 2D100567?
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it's 2D100567. And the 65 ter
13 number is 00041D2; that's the Law on Defence.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. And the 2D number is -- what number,
15 is that, an ERN number?
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] That's the doc ID.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Please take a look at Article 10.
20 Here, in paragraph 56, you discuss the remit of the
21 Ministry of the Interior in the sphere of defence. You say that the Law
22 on Defence regulated the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior.
23 Under the law, who is it who decides about the use of police in
24 wartime operations?
25 A. The use of the police in combat operations can be ordered
1 exclusively by the president of the republic as the Supreme Commander.
2 Q. In paragraph 56, you also say that, in practice, police units of
3 the RS MUP participated in the execution of combat tasks, either jointly
4 with the VRS or resubordinated to it.
5 Can you explain what you mean by this?
6 A. I, first and foremost, wanted to point out the difference between
7 practice and theory. To the extent I was able to draw conclusions from
8 the documents I analysed, there were two ways of using the police in
9 combat operations.
10 One way, which, to my mind, was more correct, was the following.
11 The army informed the CSB and requested a certain number of units, or a
12 certain number of men, to be attached to army units, and then police
13 units would act -- would act in coordinated actions with units of the
14 VRS. But I was able to see in some documents that there were other ways,
15 too; namely, that local commanders, on their own, decided to
16 resubordinate police units of on the ground. To my mind, that manner of
17 using police units of is less correct. That is why I wanted to point out
18 this difference.
19 Q. Having mentioned these two alternatives, what is the relationship
20 between the police units and the VRS, in either case?
21 A. Well, that is actually the gist of it. Let's now leave aside how
22 police units were used. In both cases, they were subordinated to the
23 commander, the military commander, seeking to accomplish a military
25 Q. In footnote 22, you cite a document which I'm going to show you
1 now. The document number is 1D00406. And that's footnote 22 in your
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] The tab number is 15 for everybody
5 Q. General, sir, please take a look at this document.
6 At the beginning, you see a statement of reasons why the -- why
7 the order is issued.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's go to the following page.
9 Q. I'm interested in the third paragraph from the bottom; that is,
10 the third and the fourth. It says here that:
11 "The exclusive right to command and use a unit is with the zone
13 And it goes on to say:
14 [As read] "In the conduct of combat activities, all police forces
15 shall be placed under the command of the zone commander who shall decide
16 how they are used."
17 Now we can go back to the first document which is titled:
18 "Determining Zones of Responsibility."
19 Could you comment on this document with regard to the
20 delimitation of zones and the commanding of zones?
21 A. The corps commander, within his jurisdiction and remit, has the
22 right to issue orders and establish zones of responsibility in accordance
23 with his assessment of the situation on the ground and the carrying out
24 of combat operations.
25 In his order, the commander must precisely delimit the zones,
1 state who was in command there, and define their respective tasks. It
2 also follows from that document that the commander orders police units to
3 be placed under the command of the zone commander in order to carry out
4 combat tasks. That is possible in certain situations, but it should be
5 an exception rather than a rule.
6 Q. Must these newly established zones match the zone of
7 responsibility of brigades?
8 A. No, they don't. These provisional zones are a result of the
9 assessment of the situation on the ground, as well as the nature of the
10 combat task to be carried out.
11 Q. You spoke about the two manners of using police units. What
12 about this case? Which manner of use of the police would this be?
13 A. Well, I spoke conditionally --
14 MS. KORNER: Sorry, at the moment, what's happening is the
15 translation is running behind. The General starts answering before we
16 get the translation of your question. So I wonder if you could try and
17 leave a pause.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.
19 Q. General, we have a problem with interpretation. The two of us
20 speak the same language and I tend to speak fast, so please allow for a
21 short pause before you begin answering. Possibly my question was a bit
22 unclear too, so I'll repeat.
23 You spoke about the two manners and you explained why you used
24 those two terms. In one case, they are resubordinated directly without a
25 decision or approval; and in the alternative case, there was a procedure
1 in place. In this specific example, which of the two applies?
2 A. It is difficult to give a precise answer to your question only
3 based on this document. Possibly the corps commander was authorised by
4 the commander of the Main Staff, and he, in turn, by the president of the
5 republic, whom I mentioned a short while ago as the only one who had the
6 right to decide about the use of police forces in combat.
7 In this case, we do not know if the commander was so authorised
8 or made the decision independently, based on his assessment of the
9 situation and the threat in certain zones. That is, the threat posed to
10 the population and property, and, as commander, he has the right to
11 command all units in his zone of responsibility.
12 But I would like to point out that, in this case, it isn't so
13 important. What's key and what you asked me is the following: The
14 commander made a decision. The units became part of the military, and by
15 that very fact, they were subordinated to the commander of the military
16 unit. That is much more important than the way how they ever got to be
17 part of the military formation.
18 Q. Thank you, General.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Krgovic, just one moment.
20 Mr. Witness, you say "the units became part of the military ..."
21 May I ask you which units? I mean, are these all units within a
22 certain territory; or were these particular units that had been assigned,
23 as such?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this document that we're
25 discussing now, we read only during the execution of combat operations
1 all police forces are placed under the command of the zone commander who
2 decides about their use.
3 So it says very clearly: All police forces.
4 What exactly that is or how strong these forces are, I cannot
5 say, because I wasn't there.
6 It is it important to underline, Your Honours that there is no
7 parallel command in an army. You can't have two persons issuing orders
8 and commands. There can only be one person in charge. There is no
9 collective command responsibility or responsibility in general. And that
10 is why it is always said that whatever is incorporated into the army, it
11 has to be subordinated to the person who had been appointed to that very
12 position by a state organ and act as a brigade commander, a corps
13 commander, or a division commander. And the virtue of this appointment
14 gives him this authority. All the forces that are part of his units are
15 subordinated to him. However, in the course of carrying out peacetime or
16 wartime assignments, he is in -- allowed to delegate his responsibility
17 and authority to lower officers. However, his personal responsibility
18 cannot be delegated to anyone because it is inherent to his function and
19 his post.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: I understand what you are saying, Mr. Kovacevic,
21 but my concern is this: This all relates to a certain territory, I
23 Can you define the territory to which it pertains?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this document, the zone
25 boundaries are precisely defined of that territory.
1 For example, on page 1, paragraph 1, it says that:
2 [As read] "The commander of the 343rd Motorised Brigade shall be
3 responsible for organising and carrying out combat activities in the
5 And then we have a list of names, Dubica, Sanski Most, Sanica and
6 Ivanjska village.
7 And all the troops deployed in that area which might cover some
8 50 kilometres, let's say, are subordinated to this particular commander
9 in carrying out combat activities.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Now, then, during that time, if all police units
11 are subordinated to the -- to the military and are part of the army, who
12 is doing the police work then? In that zone.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I asked myself the same question
14 when I was reading these documents and drafting my report, because it's
15 simply inconceivable; but, on the other hand, it is hard to understand a
16 lot of things during a war.
17 If you don't have enough men to cover certain front line, I
18 suppose that the easiest way out of that situation is to engage police
19 units who bear arms and who have some level of military training. I
20 suppose that the commanders had no choice but to act in that way, which,
21 on the other hand, left the chiefs of the CSBs without their forces. And
22 you are right about that.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Krgovic.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Delvoie.
1 Q. General, as a follow-up of the question asked of you by the
2 Judge, here, we have a clear definition of areas of responsibility.
3 Now, what happened when you have resubordination of police units
4 without zones of responsibility being defined but they are, rather, sent
5 to a brigade? What are the responsibilities of the brigade commander in
6 that particular instance?
7 A. Well, it is difficult to give you a general answer to that. We
8 would have to analyse how it worked on the grouped. And I can only talk
9 about what I found in the documents. Similarly, if a brigade commander
10 is assigned a specific task and if some of his axes or his front lines
11 was in danger, he will definitely order the use of the most adjacent
12 police force. But I'm telling you that those should have been
13 exceptions, according to my experience and according to the military
14 practice. I don't think that this should have happened thus often.
15 I'm sorry. My brother is a police officer, for example. He was
16 a police officer during the war. He lives in Prnjavor. And as a
17 policeman, he was sent out to carry out combat assignments 300 kilometres
18 from his police station, which, to me, doesn't sound very logical. And
19 that happened quite a few times during the war, and I discussed these
20 matters with him.
21 Q. Let us go back now to your expert report.
22 In paragraph 58, you say that the organisation of the VRS was
23 outlined after its formation.
24 And you also say that the policies and the doctrine of the
25 defence of Republika Srpska, which were supposed to serve as the basis
1 for the organisation of the army were not defined.
2 Can you tell us whether, in general, the Law on Army envisaged a
3 sort of -- its general role, so to speak?
4 A. Well, its general role was, indeed, defined, and that is what I
5 spoke about a minute ago, and I'm going to repeat it now.
6 The task of the Army of the Serbian Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina was to defend the sovereignty, territory,
8 independence, and constitutional order of Republika Srpska.
9 However, basically, each army has only two tasks. In peacetime,
10 its task is to maintain a high level of combat readiness, or, as they
11 call it in the west, operative capacity; whereas in wartime, its basic
12 task is to defeat the enemy.
13 Q. General, in paragraph 59 - can you please take a look at it - you
14 say that the organisation resembled that of the former JNA with due
15 respect for certain specific features.
16 Then you went onto say that - and that's in paragraph 63 - that
17 was the so-called "line-staff type of organisation."
18 When you say "line-staff," you explain some of the principles
19 that pertain to it. However, can you explain to us in more detail this
20 principle of line-staff type? Can you simplify it a little bit for us
21 because this is rather complicated military terminology.
22 A. A while ago, I partly answered that question when I spoke about
23 the commander having the sole right to command. It might be better for
24 me to explain this, although the Honourable Chamber is aware of that, but
25 I will say that every system and every state, in order to improve its
1 functioning, relies on two social functions. The first one is government
2 which exists in every country and every system. There is somebody who
3 governs the country and takes decisions. And another social function is
4 management or execution which is responsible for putting those decisions
5 into practice.
6 And there's another -- a third social function which is called
7 command. However, it is characteristics of one system alone, and that
8 system is called an army. And that applies to every single army.
9 Why is that the case? It would take too much time for me to
10 explain, but I would just say that the essence of the army defines its
11 position. Army has to deal with a large number of human beings with
12 enormous amounts of lethal weapons, and I'm sure that this third aspect
13 was introduced only in the army and partially it exists within the
14 police. This command function relies on singleness of command and
15 subordination; that is to say, the right of commanders to command.
16 When we tried to explain this principle to our cadets, we always
17 say that all those functions that begin with a K in the Serbian language,
18 means commander, commands, brigade commander, et cetera; whereas, all the
19 other functions that end with a K in the Serbian language, such as chief,
20 assistant, those are the people who are managing or controlling or
21 assisting the process. So the exclusive right of command which is
22 something that coincides with this line of chain of command that goes
23 from the president downwards to the last private on the ground, via all
24 the commanders, such as brigade commanders, company commander, et cetera,
25 follows this line of command.
1 Q. When you spoke about this chain of command, you said that the
2 positions that end with a K are not entitled to command. What about the
3 president? It also ends with a K.
4 A. Yes, you're right. The word president, such as president of the
5 Parliament or the prime minister, have an executive function. But the
6 president of a state always has a phrase Commander-in-Chief after his
7 title, which gives him this right to command.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: I'm going to move to another topic so I think this
9 is maybe a convenient time for the break.
10 JUDGE HALL: So we return in 20 minutes.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Recess taken at 10.21 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, let us go back to your report.
17 In paragraph 59 which is before you, you discuss the VRS. Did
18 you also provide a schematic on the same page depicting the command
19 structure of the VRS? There, we can see that the Supreme Commander is
20 the president of the republic.
21 In keeping with his scope of authority, could the president
22 delegate the right of command to someone else, and who?
23 A. The president of the republic can delegate part of his
24 responsibility for commanding the army, and I believe it was, indeed,
25 done during the war. Part of his responsibilities was delegated to the
1 commander of the Main Staff of the VRS. There are several documents
2 confirming this. Occasionally, I would come across a document which the
3 end would say the Commander of the Main Staff is hereby authorised to
4 deal with the specifics of this document.
5 Q. General, you also provide a detailed structure of the subordinate
7 A. [Microphone not activated]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. There seems to be a part of the transcript missing. Could you
11 repeat the last sentence. You said you viewed a number of documents and
12 then ... please repeat that part.
13 A. When drafting this report, in order to corroborate a previous
14 assertion I made, I can say that I came across certain documents where
15 one finds that the president of the republic is authorising the commander
16 of the Main Staff to regulate certain specific issues related to the
18 Q. General, in paragraph 66, you discuss the structure of the VRS.
19 You also say that the competences of the different organs at different
20 levels of command is something that the VRS has not worked out, but it
21 did rely on the existing orders and regulations pertaining to the units
22 of the JNA.
23 In footnote 31, you refer to regulations on the responsibilities
24 of the Land Army Corps Command in peacetime.
25 Please, let's look at the document you refer to. It's
1 65 ter 0097D2, if I'm not mistaken. Sorry, 47. Tab 23 for the other
3 When you discuss the documents used by the VRS, I believe you had
4 this document in mind, as well as a number of others. In addition to the
5 book of rules on the responsibilities of the grounds forces corps command
6 in peacetime, do you know what other documents were used by the VRS and
7 at what level of command? And I have in mind the strategic, operational,
8 and tactical level. Were such documents used at all levels, since, here,
9 you only refer to a single book of rules. That, I guess, would be my
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm not objecting to the question
12 provided the General gives the basis for saying why he knows that the
13 book of rules on the responsibilities of ground forces corps command in
14 peacetime were those used by the VRS at a time of a state of war, or
15 imminent war.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I will try to assist concerning the
18 MS. KORNER: No. I don't think Mr. Krgovic should assist the
19 General. I think the General should answer --
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps you can ask him that in
21 cross-examination. You put forth your objection, and you're free to put
22 your own questions later on.
23 MS. KORNER: Well, then, Your Honour, unless the General does
24 explain the basis, because it is not set out in his report, I do object
25 to the question.
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, a question: When drafting your report, did you come
3 across any rules about the competencies of the command of the land army
4 in the VRS? And I have in mind 1992.
5 A. I didn't come across such a document. From personal experience,
6 I can say that it was a time of war. The army was established and
7 organised. The establishment system was set up. And, as I mention in
8 the report, the organisational principles used resembled, to a great
9 extent, the ones used in the JNA. Due to the conditions that prevailed
10 and shortness of time, this was done in such a way. There was no need to
11 do anything else because these books of rules, which were produced in
12 peacetime, pertaining to the JNA, envisaged even such situations, and I
13 used this example of the rules of the Land Army Corps Command in
14 peacetime. It was but one example of rules used in the JNA, much as it
15 was used in the VRS.
16 We have clear definitions of the competencies of all levels of
17 command within, in this case, the corps.
18 Q. General, based on your experience and work at the
19 Military Academy, can you tell us what was the situation like, in terms
20 of applying JNA rules to other armed forces in the region?
21 A. As far as I know, the other armed forces of the region also
22 partially relied on the rules and regulations of the former JNA. I said
23 already - yesterday, I believe - that everyone made use of what they
24 deemed fit. I need to remind everyone that the JNA was a respectable
25 armed force and that the rules and documents used by it were, for the
1 most part, compatible or similar to similar such rules in existence in
2 the other armed forces of Europe and elsewhere in the world.
3 Q. [Microphone not activated]
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. In terms of command and control of armed forces, you dedicate
7 part of your report to the Armed Forces of the FRY. I won't go in much
8 detail in that part.
9 I just wanted to ask you this: What is the relationship between
10 the system of command and control in the Armed Forces of the SFRY, and
11 here I mean the principles used, with the system of command and control
12 in the VRS?
13 A. A moment ago I was trying to explain the difference between
14 control, command, and monitoring. I precisely stated that command is
15 only present in the system or organisation that we refer to as the army.
16 It always has its foundation in the principle of singleness of command
17 and subordination, relying on the relationship between a superior and a
18 subordinate. In each situation, it is always known who the commander is,
19 who makes the decisions, and the subordinate must implement the
20 superior's decisions, unless they contravene international humanitarian
22 This is not the principle that was only followed by the JNA. At
23 the helm of each and every armed forces, we have the president of the
24 state, then the commander of the Main Staff, and, further down, commander
25 of the corps, brigade, et cetera, all the way down to the single private.
1 In terms of your question of command and control in the JNA, I
2 can only tell you that the same principles were used by the VRS, and I'm
3 certain such rules were also used by the other armed forces created in
4 territory of the former Yugoslavia.
5 Q. General, when providing such lengthy answers, please slow down,
6 as the interpreters have to catch up. Do not forget that everything we
7 say is being interpreted.
8 A. [Microphone not activated]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In paragraph 112. Paragraph 112 of your report.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have it on the
14 Q. There you say that when issuing an order, the superior in
15 question was obliged to ensure that it was realistic and could be
17 Is the superior also obliged to keep in mind other regulation and
18 rules in addition to this strictly narrow military interpretation of such
20 A. Well, yes. A moment ago I said that the superior makes decisions
21 and issues orders, and the subordinates are duty-bound to implement them.
22 I state here that the superior is obliged to ensure that such
23 decisions are realistic and could be executed. In other words, it means
24 that he needs to be well acquainted with his unit, the situation it is
25 in, as well as the situation in the field. Having all that in mind, he
1 sets tasks that can be executed.
2 It is possible -- or, actually, not only possible but I believe
3 here I should also have said that what the superior was obliged to ensure
4 was that it is realistic, could be executed, and that it is legal, since,
5 as we all know, there were violations of the international laws of war in
6 this war, much as in all other wars. This is the word I suppose is
8 The legality is always understood and taken as something that is
9 granted but, nevertheless, it should always be borne in mind when a
10 superior makes decisions or issues orders.
11 Q. General, in your report, when you discuss the principles of
12 command and control, in paragraphs 127 and further, you discuss
14 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's look at paragraph 127,
16 Q. In paragraphs 133, 134, and 135, you discuss one's responsibility
17 for the acts of one's subordinates. You say that a superior officer is
18 personally responsible for violations of the laws of war if he knew or
19 could have known that his subordinates or other units or individuals
20 prepared for such violations. He is also responsible for not taking
21 measures if informed in a timely manner for failing to prevent them from
22 committing such acts.
23 Does this specific type of responsibility refer to all
24 subordinate units under a single commander?
25 MS. KORNER: Just before the General answers, if Mr. Krgovic is
1 reading out paragraph 134, it's been translated as: A superior officer
2 is personally responsible for the violation of the laws of war if he knew
3 or could have known that his subordinates or other units or individuals
4 prepared for such violations.
5 Is that it?
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 MS. KORNER: It's not how it's been translated in the English.
8 But that's -- okay. Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This paragraph, 134, which you have
10 just read out, is, in its entirety, a quotation from the regulation about
11 the application of the provisions of international laws of war in the
12 Armed Forces of the then-SFRY.
13 As you know, Yugoslavia was a signatory to all international
14 conventions and undertook to honour all these rules. I can answer your
15 question unambiguously. The superior officer is responsible for any
16 violation of the international law of war by his subordinates under the
17 condition that he was aware of that fact.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. In paragraph 135, we read:
20 [As read] "A military officer is also personally responsible if
21 he knows that violations of the laws of war were committed but fails to
22 take disciplinary or criminal action against the perpetrator, or, does
23 not report the perpetrator to the competent military officer if he is not
24 competent for taking action."
25 General, this somewhat widens the obligation to instigate
1 proceedings and, in addition, we learned that a military officer is
2 personal [as interpreted] if he fails to report the perpetrators. What
3 is this about?
4 A. This, too, is a provision from the regulations that I have
5 quoted. In this specific case, if an individual learns of any violation
6 of the international laws of war and is not competent - that was your
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. - then it is possible that the individual who violated the
10 international laws of war does not belong to his units, or is not under
11 his command. Due to that fact, the officer is not competent to take
12 action, but he must report such an individual to such a person who is
13 competent to take action.
14 Q. This obligation of the military officer, with regard to
15 violations of the international laws of war, does it also apply to
16 resubordinated units?
17 A. Certainly. When I spoke about competencies, I said that the
18 officer was not -- or didn't have competence with regard to persons who
19 are not members of his units. But when we speak about resubordinated
20 units, then that is the case. The relationship, superior/subordinate, is
21 in place, and, in that case, the superior officer is competent to take
22 action against individuals who violated the international laws of war.
23 Q. Does that also apply to the competence to instigate disciplinary
25 A. Certainly. All types of responsibility, from moral, through
1 disciplinary, to criminal. In a word, the superior officer has the right
2 to take action against individuals who are members of his units or
3 attached units or resubordinated units.
4 Q. General, please take a look at the section of your report that
5 begins with paragraph 147.
6 In this section, you elaborate on the "command (line)" relations
7 in command and control.
8 In paragraph 150, you speak about the relationship between
9 superiors and subordinates, and with regard to rank or class and
10 position, juniors and seniors.
11 You provided a partial answer yesterday, but I would like you to
12 expand on these terms that you mention in paragraph 150.
13 A. The relationship between a superior and a subordinate is the
14 basic and dominant relationship in any army. It is regulated by the
15 organisation and the establishment or the order appointing a certain
16 officer to a position. And, if pursuant to an order issued by the
17 president of the republic or the commander of the Main Staff, somebody is
18 appointed brigade commander, for example, then, he is the superior
19 officer of all officers, soldiers, and civilian serving in that brigade.
20 This is the superior/subordinate relationship.
21 However, there's also military education, there's also promotion
22 in the army, and that is mostly done through the system of ranks. When I
23 spoke about officers, you get the first officer's rank when you graduate
24 from Military Academy and you get your first star. And when we talk
25 about ranks, there is the junior/senior relationship. After some time in
1 the army, you are promoted to a higher rank. From second lieutenant, you
2 become lieutenant, and then captain. And then you have to complete some
3 course in order to become major, and after additional courses or training
4 you become lieutenant-colonel, and so on. So it is clear who is junior
5 and who is senior. But the one who is at the head of a unit is always in
6 command, irrespective of his rank at any given moment.
7 In practice, there have been exceptions, however rare, that the
8 officer commanding a unit had a lower rank than -- of another officer in
9 that unit. That was very rare but it is possible.
10 That all goes hand in hand with some entitlements. An officer
11 with a higher rank has a higher salary, but then there are also some
12 entitlements that go with the position, and that -- these are also
13 reflected in the income and so on. We soldiers certainly have no
14 problems with understanding who is a superior and who is a subordinate.
15 But I can provide additional explanation, if necessary.
16 Q. General, further on in your report, you also dealt with the
17 notions of decision and order. So let us go to paragraph 163.
18 We see in paragraphs 162 and 163 your explanations of the
19 essence, or the essential elements of orders. And you state that the
20 essential part of an order, or the key element, is the commander's
22 And further down, in paragraphs 164 and 165, you outline the
23 contents of a decision.
24 I'm specifically interested in the part of paragraph 165, where
25 you state the contents of a decision. The conceptual part of the
1 decision, the type of operation, combat action. I needn't read on.
2 And then you say basics of coordinated action and co-operation
3 and combat readiness.
4 Could you please elaborate, General, on the contents of a
5 decision and what stems from it?
6 A. As is stated here, the decision is the most important part and
7 the key element of any commander's order. It is also the most difficult
8 part. For example, when a situation changes, all the organs of a
9 command, if there is time, gather; if not, then the commander, within the
10 inner circle of the command, or sometimes even alone, considers the
11 situation, makes an assessment of the enemy and your own forces, the
12 situation in the territory, and the elements of time and space. And
13 based on all that, including the suggestions of the individual organs, if
14 present, the commander makes a decision which includes the parts that you
15 have read out: Type of operation, combat action, objective of operation,
16 the concept of manoeuvre, the classification of tasks into immediate and
17 subsequent, manner of engagement, basis for coordinated action and
18 collaboration and combat readiness, tasks and reinforcements for
19 subordinate units, composition and tasks of support units, composition
20 tasks of the reserve, basic organisation of combat operations support,
21 and so on.
22 So these are the mandatory elements of a decision, the mandatory
23 theoretical elements. In practice, of course, not each and every element
24 must be present always. It depends on the task, the forces at your
25 disposal, the units at your disposal. If you lack anti-armour equipment,
1 then, of course, you won't include that. If you have no anti-aircraft
2 armaments then you won't take that into consideration. If there is no
3 coordinated action, then you won't mention it. But these are the
4 mandatory elements of a decision. And often commanders who want to show
5 that they were attentive in college, they mention such elements as make
6 sure [as interpreted] that there's coordinated action and co-operation,
7 although in that specific task, there is no coordinated action or
9 Q. When a coordinated action and co-operation is being planned, is
10 it necessary to adopt a plan to that effect or to further elaborate the
12 A. Before taking a decision on a coordinated action, there is a
13 so-called coordination or synchronisation, as it is dubbed in the west,
14 which entails the drawing up a plan of operation as a broader document
15 which contains the tasks of individual elements or units participating in
16 the implementation of a specific tasks. Provided there is time, and if
17 it is possible, the commander or his deputy, along with a number of
18 officers who play key roles in the execution of that task, carry out
19 commander's reconnaissance in order to make sure that this plan of
20 coordination fits the reality on the ground. Based on this coordination
21 plan as a broader document, a plan of coordinated action is drawn up
22 which includes provisions as to who, with whom, and with how many troops
23 is going to take part in a coordinated action. It gives spatial and
24 temporal designations, and it also specifies which units are going to be
25 involved. This is another document that must be made as part of combat
1 operations plan, again, is a broader document than the first two: The
2 plan of coordination and the plan of a coordinated action.
3 Q. General, further on, you dealt with the issue of combat documents
4 in paragraph 173. These documents serve for the implementation of the
5 commander's decisions.
6 Now my question is: In the course of carrying out a combat task,
7 and in view of the commander's decision to do so, is there any
8 co-operation that exists there? Or does the implementation of the
9 decision of the commander receive a different treatment?
10 A. The commander's decision is materialised by way of combat
11 documents that I talk about in paragraph 173. It is made in writing and
12 distributed to the relevant units by means of an order. In most cases,
13 these documents must be acted upon without fail.
14 Now, let me tell you that I didn't quite understand your
15 question. And why are you talking about co-operation? There is no
16 co-operation once a commander takes a decision. Coordination may exist
17 during the preparation of a decision between individual organs of the
18 command until the stage is reached when a decision is made.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Co-operation may
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once a decision is made, converted
22 into writing, and conveyed to the unit, it has to be carried out except
23 if it is in contravention of a law.
24 However, in the course of the implementation of this decision and
25 the combat task, it is possible within the framework and the contents of
1 the task to have a certain form the co-operation between the unit
2 implementing the commander's decision and other authorities on the
3 ground. And that is the only instance when we can speak about
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, you also dealt in your report with command and control
7 of the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska from paragraph 175 onwards. And,
8 here, you put forth certain conclusions that you, yourself, reached.
9 However, I'm not going to ask you about it because we commented this
10 portion of your report earlier.
11 Now, let us go to paragraph 188 of your report. Here, you speak
12 about those who were responsible for operational command and the
13 responsibilities of the commander of the Main Staff.
14 So could you please look at footnote 93, which is 65 ter 001 --
15 0081D2, and for other parties that's tab 59 in the Zupljanin Defence
17 If you look at Article 175 of the Law ...
18 A while ago, you spoke about the powers of the president and the
19 delegation of powers. Can you briefly comment on this Article 175 and
20 compare it to the corresponding paragraph in your report?
21 A. The president is, indeed, the Commander-in-Chief of the armed
22 forces, but the president cannot exercise command over the army on a
23 daily basis. This is not the idea. So the powers of the president are
24 also defined by the constitution and the Law on Defence. The president
25 decides on the state of war, declares an imminent threat of war,
1 et cetera, et cetera.
2 However, daily command of the army, the use of the army, and the
3 resolving all other solutions -- all other issues are delegated by the
4 president to the commander of the Main Staff. And that is in line with
5 the provisions contained in Article 175 of the Law on Defence, I think.
6 Due to that, I quoted this paragraph in my report.
7 Q. General, further on in your report, starting from 191, you speak
8 about command and control of the VRS.
9 Can you tell us, is there a parallel between the regulations and
10 the practice with the practice of the former JNA?
11 A. When we speak about theoretical frameworks and some basic
12 principles of command, I already said that there was no difference
13 whatsoever. Here, as well, it is also known who is on the top of the
14 pyramid and who is at the bottom. Here we have the president of the
15 republic at the helm, as Commander-in-Chief, as was the case previously
16 in the JNA. In other words, the principles and the responsibilities, the
17 command relations, the line relations, the reporting principles from
18 subordinates to superiors, the principle of sending information from
19 subordinate -- from superior to subordinate, all of this was implemented
20 in practice but it was adapted to the conditions of an imminent threat of
21 war, or maybe we should say a state of war.
22 I'm sorry. Of course, there are some competencies here that were
23 expanded, but that was also envisaged by the rules and regulations of the
24 Yugoslav People's Army. Because, here, you have a wide range of members
25 of the reserve forces who are now members of the army because they were
1 mobilised in a state of war or an imminent state of war.
2 There is also mention of the establishment of military courts and
3 Military Prosecutor's offices and all other issues that are always part
4 of an imminent threat of war. However, when it comes to command and
5 control, I don't think that there were any major differences in the
6 principles that were applied.
7 Q. General, now that you mentioned an imminent threat of war and the
8 declaration of a state of war, when we talk about the powers and
9 responsibilities of unit commanders - I'm talking about the brigade and
10 corps commanders - is there any difference between their competencies and
11 responsibilities during an imminent threat of war and a declared state of
12 war, whilst they're engaged in carrying out combat operations?
13 A. In my opinion, there is no major difference between a state of
14 imminent threat of war and a state of war when we talk about the
15 competencies and responsibilities of both superiors and subordinates.
16 The only difference is, if I may say so, psychological because we
17 soldiers know what an imminent threat of war is. The very notion is
18 self-explanatory, it says that it is something that precedes a war, and
19 it's a state that cannot last perpetuate, can only last for a month or
20 two or three, once you realise that there is danger of war. However,
21 once a war is declared and then it lasts for three, four, or five years,
22 then soldier [as interpreted] don't understand why it was not declared a
24 Although I'm not a expert in legal matters and I'm doing my best
25 to understand them as much as I can, I can deduce that in terms of
1 competencies and responsibilities, there were no substantial differences.
2 Q. General, in paragraph 193, you speak about the line or the chain
3 of command. And you say that:
4 "No persons other than commanders ... were ever part of the chain
5 of command at any level ..."
6 And in paragraph 194, you say that:
7 "The line of reporting goes in the opposite direction."
8 Please explain the line of reporting and the chain of command
9 from the aspect of the VRS. Yesterday when you mentioned some examples
10 from practice, you were referring to the JNA. So I'm interested in these
11 two relationships. Perhaps it's possible to interpret them in
13 A. I have already explained how a commander makes a decision and how
14 that decision is implemented. Here, the chain of command goes from the
15 superior to the subordinate. That's how the implementation of the
16 commander's decision proceeds. It is the same in the VRS as in the
17 former JNA. The same principle applies.
18 But the line of reporting goes in the opposite direction, from
19 the subordinates, from the lowest-ranking units, toward the superiors.
20 For example, every commander, and in the lowest level in the VRS was the
21 squad commander, then through the platoon commander, the company
22 commander, the battalion commander, and so on upwards, all these were
23 duty-bound, as provided for by the rules and regulations, to submit daily
24 reports about the events during the day or how they implemented their
1 Certainly these reports grew ever longer, as they went up the
2 chain. Sometimes reports were oral, either submitted personally or over
3 the phone, and then, from a certain level, they had to be in writing, and
4 it all depended on the situation in the battlefield. But, certainly, the
5 line of reporting goes bottoms up.
6 I mentioned another line, and that's the line of information. So
7 in order to avoid confusion, it's the subordinates who are duty-bound to
8 report. And when these reports are received at a higher level - at the
9 Main Staff or at the corps command - then, according to the theory and
10 the rules and regulations, they must be analysed for the previous day or
11 the previous week. Then a integrated report is compiled upon which the
12 superior informs his subordinates.
13 So the subordinates report to the superior, and the superior
14 informs the subordinates.
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Zecevic has just informed me that your words have not been
18 adequately interpreted.
19 Could you please explain this difference between reporting and
21 A. The line of reporting goes from the subordinates to the
22 superiors, from the lowest levels of military organisation towards the
23 highest forms of military organisation. These subordinates are
24 duty-bound to report daily to the superior command about the
25 implementation of the commander's decision.
1 When these reports are received at a certain level of command,
2 they are analysed during the day, a summary report about the most
3 important events is compiled, and then these higher levels inform the
4 subordinate levels about the contents, positive or negative, about the
5 need to take additional measures or whatever.
6 So let me repeat: The line of reporting goes from the lower
7 levels to the upper levels; whereas, the line of information goes from
8 the upper levels to the lower levels. However, the chain of command is
9 always the same. It goes from the upper levels to the lower levels.
10 Q. General, in paragraph 195, you say:
11 "All of the above that pertain to the commanding function and the
12 chain of command also pertains to temporary formations and resubordinated
14 Could you explain, in a nutshell, which commanding functions you
15 mean that also pertain to temporary formations and resubordinated units?
16 A. This must be read in connection with what is said in the
17 immediately preceding paragraphs: The function of reporting and the
18 function of information. All that is said about that also applies to
19 temporary formations and resubordinated units.
20 Q. Does the principle of command, singleness of command, also apply
21 to temporary functions and resubordinated units?
22 A. Yes. I have repeated that more than once. Any unit that is
23 incorporated into the -- into the units that you command becomes part of
24 your establishment.
25 JUDGE HALL: Is this a convenient point, Mr. Krgovic?
1 So we take the break to return in 20 minutes.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 --- Recess taken at 12.05 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 MR. KRGOVIC: May I, Your Honour?
8 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated]... yes.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: Thank you.
10 Q. [Interpretation] General, we finished this part that contains
11 paragraph 195. And in the following paragraphs, you discuss
12 responsibility. When answering some of my questions, you pointed out the
14 Let us move onto the section of your report that begins with
15 paragraph 207 and the chapter heading is: "Resubordination and
17 In paragraph 207, you list some terms: Recruitment,
18 resubordination, attachment, coordination, coordinated action and
19 co-operation. Before we start analysing your report in more detail,
20 could you please explain in simple terms what these terms I have read out
21 mean, or point out the distinction between their respective meanings and
22 that of resubordination?
23 A. In this section of my work, I insist on the terms you mentioned.
24 That is because, to my mind, with regard to the character of the
25 indictment and the assignment I was given, these terms, apart from the
1 term of command that has been discussed at great length, are very
2 important, and they must be explained to the Trial Chamber with
3 precision. This is what I'm about to do now.
4 These terms designate some actions that are taken in order for
5 the commander's decision - mentioned before - to be implemented as
6 efficient -- as efficiently and fully as possible.
7 Recruitment is the initial action. To do something, you must
8 recruit personnel. It is regulated through laws and regulations how
9 units are -- how units are manned by personnel to carry out its tasks.
10 Take a given unit. If you're its commander, for example, brigade
11 commander, then what is under your jurisdiction is something that can you
12 resubordinate during the execution of combat operations. In other words,
13 you can execute this action of resubordination.
14 What does that mean? A lower-ranking unit, and it's always a
15 lower-ranking unit, so I give the example of a brigade commander, he can
16 take a company from one battalion and resubordinate that company to
17 another commander because that company is one of his own units, and
18 that's how he goes about it. Takes a company from one commander and
19 gives it to another for this other to use in order to accomplish a
20 certain mission. That is the action described by that term.
21 JUDGE HALL: Sorry, if I might interrupt the witness as he goes
23 General, looking at the opening portion of paragraph 207, where
24 you say, "Taking into account the importance of this topic and certain
25 disagreements," and you go on, as you go forward with your answer's to
1 Mr. Krgovic's question, I'm not sure that I understand to what extent
2 you're using these terms as they were generally or broadly understood as
3 contrasted with how you choose for your own purposes to use the terms.
4 Do you get the distinction that I'm asking you to clarify for me?
5 Because you -- you -- you -- you say, that there are contradictions in
6 the theoretical concepts, and I'm wondering whether the way that --
7 sorry, Ms. Korner.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honours I'm not sure that's what he means. I
9 rather feel he is being given information. He doesn't explain it but I
10 think he has been given information about this case.
11 So I'm not sure that is he talking about theoretical concepts
12 by using those words:
13 "Taking into account the importance of this topic and certain
14 disagreements ..."
15 Your Honours may want to clarify that with him.
16 JUDGE HALL: Thank -- thank -- thank you, Ms. Korner. I ...
17 Let's proceed. Thanks.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. General, sir, with regard to this introduction of yours about
20 making a distinction due to certain disagreements and contradictions and
21 theoretical legal documents, can you point out these contradictions and
22 show how they are linked with the importance of this case?
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Actually, I, myself, haven't really understood.
1 When you mention contradictions, are you referring to a general
2 theory or this specific case? This is the gist of my question.
3 A. I was chief of the Military Academy, which is a known fact. I
4 first attended that school as a student, and I listened to what my
5 teachers had to say and also read the textbooks explaining these terms.
6 This is partly what I had in mind because, in some textbooks, it is very
7 difficult to see the distinction between attachment and resubordination.
8 And bearing in mind that, in this case, the use of units in combat
9 operations is an important topic, in theory, as I said, few explanations
10 can be found, so that, to my mind, these units are actually attached to
11 military units.
12 I've already said that resubordination exists when you
13 resubordinate something that you have anyway. But when somebody else
14 gives you something, and that somebody else can be a superior commander,
15 then that something you're given isn't really yours. It doesn't belong
16 to you. And we cannot speak of -- then we speak about attachment.
17 However, the relationship between superior and subordinate is
18 always in place. There is something of a confusion present in theory,
19 and I believe I can claim that with full authority, and I have also
20 mentioned this as a problem to some theoreticians that these terms must
21 be better defined in our theory, I mean, Serbian theory. So you can
22 resubordinate something that is yours, and if it is not yours, then it's
23 attachment. But certainly whenever you receive something as a commander,
24 then the relationship, superior/subordinate is in place.
25 When you carry out some action, be it attachment or
1 resubordination, the relationship between superior and subordinate is
2 always in place.
3 I don't know if I was clear enough. And this is why I mentioned
4 this in my introduction, especially due to the fact that there has been
5 dual practice here when it comes to the use of police in combat
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: General, can I put, then, a clarifying question
8 to you.
9 What if you're not resubordinating a unit that belongs to you,
10 but you're, rather, claiming a unit from another authority. That is to
11 say that you're claiming a unit that does not belong to you, and as a
12 consequence of your claim you receive that unit and put it into your own
13 jurisdiction. What is that, in your view? Is that resubordination, or
14 is it attachment, or is it something else?
15 Because in the examples that we have discussed at some length in
16 this trial, the understanding was that the army commander could claim to
17 have police units transferred to his command for particular purposes and
18 for a limited period of time, and at least I have been led to believe
19 that this is what, in military terms, would be called resubordination.
20 However, this does in the fit with the definition that you have
21 just offered. So now I don't know where to settle my understanding.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to be even clearer. I
23 understand your question.
24 This is precisely what I tried to stress. In both instances, the
25 relationship, superior/subordinate, is present. Even if you receive such
1 a unit, as you say, by virtue of that act, it is being resubordinated to
2 the commander in charge of the task. There is no double command or
3 parallel chain of command.
4 To repeat: In our theory, there are these two terms which I
5 tried to distinguish. If a commander has his own unit, he can also move
6 parts of that unit around, and that's where the difference is between
7 attachment and resubordination.
8 In any case, if you receive a unit or if you are giving a unit to
9 someone else, the relationship between the superior and the subordinate
10 persists. It is still in existence.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Kovacevic, if I understand you well, a police
12 unit is received by the military commander as attachment. That's an
14 But the command structure is that of resubordination. But -- do
15 you agree with that? That's the superior/subordinate chain of command
16 that exists from the moment on that the police unit is attached to the
18 Is that a correct summary?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely. Precisely.
20 There was something else I omitted. It is only used for the
21 duration of the task, following which it is no longer part of that
22 formation. It is precisely as you put it.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]... thank you.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: General, this begs the question of whether a unit
25 that is being transferred - and I'm using now the word "transferred" to
1 use a neutral word - a police unit that is being temporarily transferred
2 to the command of the army for a particular purpose, for a combat
3 operation, and for a limited period of time, is it possible that during
4 the time in which the police unit is taking part in the combat operation
5 the authority over that unit could be split so as to say that in certain
6 respects, for instance, in respect of the control of the activities of
7 the police units at the front line, that this authority would fall under
8 the commanding army officer's jurisdiction, while the units in other
9 respects could still be under the authority of the MUP, such as, for
10 instance, let's say as an example, criminal investigations and
11 prosecutions for any possible crimes that were committed by the police
12 unit during the time at the front line.
13 Do you see my point? My -- my question to you is really: How
14 strict do you describe the transfer of authority from the MUP to the army
15 and back again? Because that is unclear. Either the army commander has
16 full control, full and unlimited control in every respect over the police
17 unit, or, given the circumstances, you may have situations where,
18 actually, the army commander has control over the unit in certain
19 respects, while the MUP retains control over the unit in some other
20 respects. So, in other words, there is a partition, temporary partition
21 of control over that unit.
22 My question to you: Would that be possible?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understand the
25 That is not possible. As of the moment the police unit is made
1 part of the military formation, it temporarily loses its police
2 authority. Their personnel are no longer authorised officials. They, in
3 turn, become fighters, soldiers, under a single command. There's no
4 parallel control or parallel command. That is also regulated in the
5 army. There's no grey area there. As of the moment they are sent until
6 the moment they returned to the police, they are under the competence and
7 authority of the military organisation.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, I understand as much. And, of course, for
9 the purpose of the fighting, for the combat activity, that's the way it
10 has to be. The army commander must have the superior authority in
11 respect of the combat activities, the fighting at the front line.
12 But my question was really, rather, whether in some other
13 non-combat-related activities the MUP could still retain a limited
14 control over its policemen. And the example that I gave you was, for
15 instance, criminal prosecution. Because, if I understood this correctly,
16 and you may correct me if I'm wrong, but if I understood it correctly,
17 the practical problem would very often be that the police unit would be
18 attached or resubordinated to the army for such a short period that it
19 would be impractical for the military police and the military courts to
20 conduct the investigations, because, once these things were under way,
21 the police unit would long since have been transferred back to the MUP.
22 So it would make sense, perhaps, that, for activities of this
23 kind, the authority would remain with the MUP so that it would be the
24 civilian courts and the civilian investigators who would take over the
25 investigations and possibly the prosecution of these people.
1 So I -- I put my question to you again: Is it excluded in any
2 circumstance that, as for the investigation and prosecution of crimes in
3 certain conditions, the authority could be still falling under the MUP or
4 under the civilian authorities, and not the military police and the
5 military courts?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is my opinion that it is not
8 As of the moment they are made part of the army, they are under
9 the jurisdiction of Military Prosecutors and military courts. This is my
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Thank you.
12 Back to you, Mr. Krgovic.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, you also deal with the term of resubordination, as well
15 as a number of other terms.
16 Can you tell us briefly what seems to be the action and what
17 seems to be the relationship with all these terms when we discuss
18 recruitment, resubordination, attachment, coordination, coordinated
19 action and co-operation.
20 What is the relationship; and what is the action?
21 A. I'll try to be more precise this time around.
22 When we talk about recruitment, attachment, coordination,
23 coordinated action and co-operation, all these, for the most part, are
24 combat-related activities, save for co-operation. The relationship, I
25 reiterate, is always, always, that of the singleness of command and the
1 relationship superior/subordinate.
2 There is an exception, though, which is co-operation. More
3 frequently than not, it is in co-operation with civilian structures in
4 the field, which means that the level of participation of all those
5 involved is at the same level. It's a peer-to-peer relationship. In all
6 other categories, the relationship of superior and subordinate is
8 Q. Did I understand you well? Resubordination, or, rather,
9 recruitment, attachment, coordination, coordinated action and
10 co-operation -- sorry. Are what?
11 A. Co-operation.
12 Q. And resubordination?
13 A. It's the relationship in the armed forces.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, it may just be me, but I
15 simply didn't understand that answer to Mr. Krgovic's question:
16 Did I understand you well? Resubordination -- or, recruitment
17 attachment, coordination, coordinated action and co-operation are what?
18 And the answer came: Co-operation.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's try again.
20 Q. General, partially it was my mistake too.
21 Recruitment, attachment, coordination, coordinated action and
22 co-operation are what?
23 A. Those are the activities, the actions; whereas, resubordination
24 is the relationship. A regulated relationship of different parts within
25 any given units.
1 Q. Thank you, General, that's what I wanted to ask you.
2 In the rest of your report, particularly paragraph 216, you say
3 that in a state of war, an imminent threat of war, and in other
4 emergencies, the police may be used to carry out combat tasks of the
5 armed forces in accordance with the law.
6 The paragraph goes on to say:
7 "While carrying out combat activities of the armed forces, the
8 police shall be subordinated to the officer in charge of the combat
10 Let me ask you this: As part of the military doctrine, as well
11 as practice and in terms of the law, can you explain to us why this is
12 so? Why is the police subordinated to the officer in charge?
13 A. What you have just read, Mr. Krgovic, is something that I took
14 over from the Law on All People's Defence, specifically Article 104, as I
15 stated in my report.
16 What is highlighted here is that there is such a possibility and
17 such possibility is allowed involving the use of police in the course of
18 carrying out combat tasks, and, in my view, that should happen only
20 However, in the second paragraph of this Article, it is decidedly
21 and clearly and precisely stipulated that, if that happens, the police
22 force will be subordinated to the officer in charge who is directing the
23 combat operation.
24 It seems to me that yesterday I spoke about this to a certain
25 extent and that I said that this kind of legislature is fully justified
1 because control and direction of combat operations is exclusively being
2 studied at military schools and military academies and never at police
3 academies. The police is trained to carry out different tasks. For that
4 reason, the police is subordinated to the officer who is in charge of
5 combat operations and who is trained to do so.
6 Q. General, in paragraph 217, you speak about this relationship, and
7 you said that, as of the moment they report to the officer in charge and
8 the unit -- the whole unit will be resubordinated to the command of the
9 unit that it is attached to and they become an integral part of the
10 military structure.
11 You started answering this question, though, but can you tell us
12 again when exactly is this moment in time when they become military
13 conscripts and until which time they retain that status that involves all
14 the duties and responsibilities stemming from that status?
15 A. A while ago, I answered this question to the Honourable Chamber,
16 but I'm going to repeat it.
17 As of the moment when a unit leaves a public security station
18 premises, that is the moment when their status of conscripts commences,
19 provided this dispatch is regulated by a proper document. It will last
20 until such time as the police members return back to their public
21 security station.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: General, could I just ask you here: When the
23 police unit returns to its public security station, is that triggered by
24 a written order by the army commander who releases officially the police
25 unit? Or can the police unit return to their CSB or their SJB without
1 any firmer -- without any further formal orders being issued. That is to
2 say, once the combat activities are over, then they just go home.
3 I mean -- so my question is: Does the return of the police unit
4 back to its public security station require a written order by the army
5 commander to release them; do you know?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Your Honour, it is possible,
7 in practice, that the document on the sending out of the unit already
8 contains all the details concerning the duration of the tasks that
9 they're going to perform. That's one way to do it.
10 If the document only stipulates the detachment without
11 stipulating the time-frame because sometimes you don't know how this was
12 going to last, then a new document must be issued governing the return of
13 this unit to the police station. It is not possible for such a unit to
14 leave the front or the unit that it is attached to of their own volition.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Just as a follow-up to the question of Judge Harhoff.
17 Can you tell us who issues this document on the termination of
18 the need to have a specific police unit engaged in combat operations. In
19 this second instance when you said that the original act does not
20 stipulate the time-frame, who is the one who decides how long the need is
21 going to last?
22 A. Well, it can be done by the commander to whom the unit was
23 attached, and he reports on this to his superior commander, provided he
24 had completed the task given to him by his commander. But a more proper
25 way would be, and it would be in line with the rules, that the same
1 entity that issues the document on the sending of the unit, the same
2 entity would issue a document stipulating the return of the unit.
3 Q. Are we talking about a military commander?
4 A. Yes, yes, exclusively a military commander.
5 Q. I beg your pardon. General, in your report, you spoke about -- I
6 can see it in paragraph 218, that you speak about coordination. And you
7 extensively explained this term "coordination," but you are putting it
8 within the function of command and control. Can you tell us who is it
9 who decides on coordination and draws up coordination plans, and can you
10 give us more details about this?
11 A. Yes. Coordination is one of the functions of command. Once a
12 decision is made by the commander, as of that moment, the planning of
13 combat operations is being activated, and that's the first step and first
14 function of command. Once the plan is finalised, then the second
15 function of command is called organising. When an organisation on how
16 the decision is going to be implemented, then we have co-operation as the
17 third component of the command, and there is a fourth component as well,
18 which involves direct orders in order to implement the commander's
19 decision, and, finally, the fifth function involves control of what has
20 been implemented.
21 Now, why is coordination required? Combat operations are
22 extremely complex. They involve a large number of participants. It
23 becomes even more complicated the higher the level. Coordination is a
24 broader term which ensures that all these elements within the combat
25 deployment or between different forces participating in a task to
1 cooperate -- but, rather, not cooperate, to function as best as possible
2 during the execution of the task. Its ultimate purpose is -- and it is
3 being resolved specifically through the plan of coordinated action which
4 is a narrower term than coordination, is basically to avoid to have own
5 forces be exposed to friendly fire, to put it simply.
6 So one has to know when air force is going to be engaged, when
7 anti-armour units are going to be engaged, artillery and infantry, and
8 this is the purpose of coordinated action which is preceded by
9 coordination, which is a broader term, and then we go to the stage of the
10 coordinated action in order to conduct it properly. It happened during
11 the civil war that some position of our army were targeted by our air
12 force. And you see also that currently in Libya and during the NATO
13 aggression of -- against Yugoslavia. We have instances of the so-called
14 collateral damage. And that is the worse possible outcome of bad
15 coordination and coordinated action and co-operation, particularly if a
16 large-scale operation is involved that has huge numbers of participants
17 and enormous fire-power.
18 Q. General, I will only ask you, since this is close to the end of
19 the day and we're all tired, just to slow down a bit for the benefit of
20 the interpreters.
21 General, can you please look at paragraph 224 of your report. It
22 deals with coordinated action, and you tackled the notion of coordinated
23 action as a form of coordination and as a narrower term than coordination
24 in your previous answer.
25 Can you tell me this: If you have a situation where you have a
1 number of units in a coordinated action with the purpose of completing a
2 certain task, what relations exist between the units involved in a
3 coordinated action and who commands these units in such circumstances?
4 A. It is always the commander who commands all the units that are
5 within his formation. I just said that a coordinated action is organised
6 between various elements. It is the unit commander who approves the plan
7 for a coordinated action, which contains such details as to who, or when,
8 and with whom, in which area, and on which task is going to be engaged,
9 as well as within which period of time they're going to act in
10 coordination. And there can be no ambiguity there. In other words, it
11 is always the commander, whether we talk about brigade, battalion, a
12 corps, the one who directs combat operation, including a coordinated
13 action as part of the execution of combat tasks.
14 Q. General, when we see a commander's order to execute a military
15 operation, and he says, Carry out the task in coordinated action with MUP
16 units, what relationship is there between these units in coordinated
17 action and the command? Are these units subordinated to that command,
18 these MUP units?
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that is -- that is -- this is the
20 construction of the matter and that's a leading question. The proper
21 question should have stopped -- it's a bit late now, but the proper
22 question is: What is the relationship between those units?
23 MR. KRGOVIC: It's not a leading question because if you look at
24 the previous answer to my question, he said: I just want to clarify it.
25 I have basis for that.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, the question was: When we see a
2 commander's order to execute a military operation, and he says, Carry out
3 the task in coordinated action with the MUP, what is the relationship
4 between these units in coordinated action and the command. This is where
5 the question should have stopped.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Look at the answer what he says.
9 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honours, as I say, it is a bit late now,
10 but given my objections yesterday and given that Mr. Krgovic knows that
11 this is it the crux of the matter, that was most improper.
12 JUDGE HALL: Let's get on with it.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, you said as much. Could you please answer the question.
15 What is the relationship between units in coordinated action? You
16 provided an answer a short while ago. I just wanted additional
18 A. Units in coordinated action carrying out combat tasks act
19 together, and I repeat for the umpteenth time, that they are always under
20 the command and control of one commander. We can't have two people in
22 When I say, or when it is said "in coordinated action with," this
23 only shows that there's some relationship between them, but they're
24 always under the command of the one commander who leads the operation or
25 that unit.
1 Q. Which commander is that?
2 A. It is always the military commander. Depending on the particular
3 case or the example, it can be a battalion commander, a brigade
4 commander, corps commander, whatever.
5 Q. General, answering Judge Harhoff's question, you spoke about the
6 authority to instigate proceedings against police officers who did
7 something unlawful while they were acting in the -- as members of a unit
8 acting with the military.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Please let us look at 1D00411 now,
10 which is tab 99.
11 Q. This is a document of the 1st Krajina Corps Command, and we see
12 that it's the forward command post. The date is October 1992. We see
13 that the subject is the abandonment of positions by police members. We
14 see to who it was sent, the Banja Luka CSB, and the command of the
15 1st Krajina Corps, as well as the 43rd Motorised Brigade.
16 The commander, or somebody acting on his behalf, hereby informs
17 these organisations about the following: "We have received the following
18 telegram from the RS army Main Staff ..."
19 And then he quotes:
20 "We hereby inform you that Prijedor police units members have
21 abandoned their position and fled back to their towns.
22 "Immediately file criminal reports for each individual and
23 undertake other measures to inform the public, publishing their
24 names ..."
25 And it goes on to say what else should be done.
1 This -- the purpose of this document is information. Can you
2 comment on the contents of the document?
3 MR. KRGOVIC: No, it is not correctly translated. [Overlapping
4 speakers] ... not it's not [Overlapping speakers]. I just said --
5 MS. KORNER: [Overlapping speakers] ... I don't know what was
6 said before because what was said before had all the hallmarks of a
7 leading question but it wasn't interpreted.
8 Now what did Mr. Krgovic said before this?
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
11 MS. KORNER: No, I heard -- I heard -- what I heard was: This is
12 for information.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]... I
14 apologise. I said abandonment of positions by police members,
15 information. I just read what the document says.
16 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I'm not blaming the interpreters,
17 and it may that be Mr. Krgovic is going very quickly, but today we've had
18 real problems. The interpretation is well behind, and it makes it very
19 difficult to object on what is coming as a leading question. So I would
20 therefore ask that Mr. Krgovic slows down and there's always a pause
21 before the General starts answering the question.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, I read from the document, and you can see it yourself.
24 Could you please provide a short comment about this document with regard
25 to the authority to instigate certain actions?
1 A. Mr. Krgovic, this is an example that explains my position, as I
2 put it to Judge Harhoff when he outlined what could happen.
3 So what does this telegram say? Police members abandoned their
4 combat task at a time when they were soldiers. The event in question
5 happened in Prijedor, as far as I know, in the zone of responsibility of
6 the 1st Krajina Corps. As far as I know, there was a military court and
7 Military Prosecutor's office with that command. With this document, the
8 commander of the Main Staff orders -- and we can see that it contains a
9 quotation; there are quotation marks. He orders that the corps command,
10 whose responsibility it is, file criminal reports against some
11 individuals. This document also shows that the corps commander informs
12 the CSB in Banja Luka, from where these police officers were probably
13 sent to carry out this combat task, and I believe that it was right to do
15 All this corroborates my position; namely, that police officers,
16 when they carry out combat tasks, that they're under the command of a
17 military officer, and, by virtue of that fact, he has the authority to
18 launch proceedings against them when they commit disciplinary offences,
19 misdemeanours, or crimes.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: General, you seem to suggest that this is
21 General Talic's order to the Military Prosecutor and to the military
22 police to file criminal reports and so on.
23 However, the way it looks to me is that this is an instruction
24 addressed to the Banja Luka CSB.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's what it looked
1 like to me when I first saw it. But the punctuation clearly shows - and
2 I'm referring to the colon and the quotation that follows in quotation
3 marks - that this is a document that the commander of the Main Staff sent
4 to the corps commander. And he tells him, We hereby inform you, and so
5 on. And the commander of the Main Staff orders the corps commander to
6 initiate proceedings. The corps commander only informs the CSB of this.
7 The other interpretation would be possible if there were no
8 quotation marks; in other words, if there were no quotation.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I can point out that, in fact, if one
10 looks at the original also there is an set of quotation marks in the
11 second paragraph but not on the third, but those have been put in in the
12 English translation for some unknown reason. Not that I think it's going
13 to make much difference, but just so that that's clear.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, if I can be of assistance.
15 Your Honours, I note that the original has only two, one at the
16 beginning, and one at the end. And that is --
17 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated]
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes. So, therefore, the whole document as
19 precisely as the -- as the witness confirmed is --
20 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MS. KORNER: It's sufficient, thank you, Mr. Zecevic, to simply
23 point out that there is an error in the English translation.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I do agree with that. Thank you. I'm sorry,
25 I was misunderstanding then.
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. This is a little time left and then I'll return to what you
3 discuss in your report.
4 Paragraph 229. You speak about coordinated action of various
5 elements of the combat disposition of a brigade. Then in paragraph 232,
6 you speak about the coordinated action plan.
7 My question is: The coordinated action plan and all the elements
8 you listed here, are they included in the final document? The combat
10 A. The coordinated action plan is part of a more comprehensive
11 document, and that is the plan of combat activities. I have already
12 explained why coordinated action is organised between various elements of
13 the combat disposition of a unit.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have finished this
15 topic and about to continue with another, so I think that we can finish
16 for today.
17 And, for the record, I may need another 30 to 40 minutes
18 tomorrow, so I kindly ask the Trial Chamber to accord me some 20 minutes
19 more than expected so I can finish my examination.
20 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
21 So we take the adjournment. And tomorrow, unless there is a
22 change, we're in Courtroom III.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day of
1 September, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.