1 Wednesday, 14 September 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
6 everyone in and around the courtroom.
7 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
8 Good afternoon to everyone. May we have the appearances, please.
9 MS. KORNER: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Joanna Korner and
10 Crispian Smith for the Prosecution.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
12 Slobodan Cvijetic, and Ms. Deirdre Montgomery appearing for
13 Stanisic Defence this afternoon. Thank you.
14 It appears we have a problem with the LiveNote very early on.
15 [Technical difficulty]
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Zecevic. We are now back on track. May we
19 continue the appearances, please.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
21 Slobodan Cvijetic, and Ms. Deirdre Montgomery appearing for
22 Stanisic Defence this afternoon. Thank you very much.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic and
24 Miroslav Cuskic appearing for Zupljanin Defence.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, just before the witness ...
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes.
4 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Ms. Korner.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I was just going to say that, just
6 before the witness comes in, over the adjournment, someone on the --
7 working for the OTP had the bright idea of going to the military lexicon,
8 which I wasn't actually aware that we possessed, but we do, but for
9 definitions of "combat" and also "armed conflict."
10 We've uploaded the relevant parts in B/C/S and, just now, the
11 translation into English, and if there was no objection, I may -- I was
12 proposing to ask the witness about that.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: No objection, Your Honours.
14 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE HALL: Good afternoon, General. We trust that you remain
17 able to continue with us. Again, as I said yesterday, if there are any
18 problems, you would -- please don't hesitate to alert us. And before
19 Ms. Korner continues, I remind you of your solemn declaration.
20 WITNESS: VIDOSAV KOVACEVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
23 Q. General, yesterday afternoon, no, yesterday morning, when we
24 concluded, I was asking you about the definition of "combat" and whether
25 it was defined anywhere in military terms. And over the adjournment
1 we've had a look at the military lexicon.
2 Are you familiar with the military lexicon?
3 A. Yes, I am, Ms. Korner.
4 Q. Right.
5 A. It is one of my attachments in the report that I prepared for
6 this Honourable Chamber.
7 Q. Right. It may well be.
8 MS. KORNER: So can we have up, please -- let's have up the
9 definition of "combat," 20259, and it's tab 110.
10 And I don't think that's it. That looks suspiciously like a
11 log-book to me. It is a log-book.
12 Can we try again? 65 ter 20259.
13 No, I don't think it's a photograph of Sanski Most Police Station
14 either. I think this court is jinxed this afternoon. And hot.
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MS. KORNER: Can we concentrate on -- in B/C/S on "borba." Thank
17 you. And let's highlight the first paragraph, because I'm not too
18 worried about the sea, as Bosnia was a land-locked country, more or less.
19 Q. All right. "Combat, the basic and most widespread form of combat
20 activity," which, I suppose, doesn't really help much, but still,
21 "carried out directly by individuals, groups and tactical units ...
22 individually or within a battle ... It may be attacking or defending."
23 Modern combat, as opposed to Morden combat, "is characterised
24 by ... large complexity, dynamism and sudden changes of situations ...
25 waged on land ... sea and ... air, along the front," or "...temporarily
1 occupied territory ... in the [sic] rear ... involves all form of arm
2 conflict," - and we'll look at what's -- armed conflict is defined in a
3 minute, and "it is the dominant form of combat activities in the
4 guerrilla's [sic] type of armed conflict and in ... occupied --"
5 temporarily occupied territories. "The elements of combat are
6 movement ... fire ... strike ... For each combat are determined target of
7 activity, forces ... equipment, and the zone of activity ..." And "It can
8 be carried out in any conditions ..."
9 From your experience, General, would that appear to be a
10 definition that you would agree with?
11 A. Yes, Ms. Korner, that's true.
12 MS. KORNER: Then can we -- Your Honours, I suppose we probably
13 ought to ask for it to be exhibited.
14 JUDGE HALL: Why can't this be migrated into the law library?
15 MS. KORNER: Yes, we can do that. Certainly, Your Honour. Oh,
16 well, in fact, it may well be part? It's probably -- I imagine the
17 military lexicon is part of the law -- oh, no, I see head-shaking going
18 on. It's not.
19 Your Honour, I have no strong feelings about this, but I have
20 omitted certain parts. And if anybody wants to ask about, then it
21 probably ought to be exhibited.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honours, we considered that when we
23 were -- when we were complying the -- getting together the law library,
24 but the military lexicon is a very lengthy document, and therefore what I
25 suggest is we don't -- we don't object that certain portions, as
1 Ms. Korner sees fit, certain pages of that lexicon be -- be exhibited,
2 as -- as part of the -- a part of the law library. And we can discuss
3 that over -- that matter over the break, and inform the Trial Chamber
5 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, as I say, I have no strong
6 feelings? It is, as the General's pointed out, cited on about -- on
7 seven occasions in his report.
8 All right. Can we look, please, next at armed -- the definition
9 of "armed conflict," which is 20260, at tab 111.
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 MS. KORNER: "Oruzana borba," I think, is "armed conflict."
12 Q. And armed conflict is defined as the "main substance and form of
13 manifesting war. In a wider sense, using weapons in a conflict between
14 men, groups, organisations, movements, states" -- oh, sorry. I'll read
15 that more slowly.
16 "In a wider sense, using weapons in a conflict between men,
17 groups, organisations, movements, states and other, when one side tries
18 to submit the other to their will by means of physical destruction or
19 coercion - implementation of armed violence. One of the basic functions
20 of armed conflict is destroying the opponent's manpower and equipment."
21 And I, for the moment, I don't think I need to read anything
23 Again, General, can I ask if you agree with that.
24 A. I do, Ms. Korner. I would also point out that the same thing
25 applies as to the previous document. Namely, the federal state, at the
1 time, decided that the only danger it was facing was from outside.
2 Q. All right. In actual fact, all the laws and regulations,
3 General, that related to the military, the use of the JNA, really
4 presupposed that the JNA would be fighting an outside enemy; is that
6 A. Ms. Korner, those were laws adopted by the highest ranking state
7 bodies in keeping with their powers and authority.
8 I do agree with you that, above all, the document envisaged that
9 any threat to the state would come from outside.
10 Q. Yes. And one of the problems with what happened from 1991
11 onwards was that nobody -- well, I say nobody. It had not been thought,
12 and these laws and military regulations were being drafted, that there
13 would be an internal armed conflict. And by "internal," I mean within
14 the borders of what was the former Yugoslavia.
15 A. I agree with you, Ms. Korner. However, all those laws or single
16 principles applied particularly to situations involving command and
17 principles of command, singleness of command, subordination,
18 resubordination, concerted action, co-operation, all of this applies
19 under any conditions regardless of the type of aggression that occurs,
20 aggression from outside or, indeed, aggression from within.
21 Q. Yes. All right. I'll come back to that because I want to talk
22 about resubordination later.
23 I just want to ask you this before we move on, please: It's
24 clear, isn't it, that combat, combat activity, whether armed combat or --
25 or ordinary combat, because, as I understand, there's a difference in
1 your language, did not cover an activity such as guarding prisoners?
2 A. Ms. Korner, we mentioned combat as a concept previously. I know
3 what problem people who never dealt with military subjects can face in
4 relation to that concept. Combat is the first form of combat operations.
5 Above that is battle. Above battle is operation, as the highest and most
6 complex form of combat activity. What is applied as part of combat are
7 combat procedures and actions.
8 Guarding POWs, is it a procedure or a combat activity? This is
9 an issue regulated by a certain combat document, and this is a subject
10 that I address in my report. I am talking about orders, combat orders,
11 commands and such.
12 Q. Yes. I'm sorry, combat, it's clear, isn't it, is an actual
13 fight? Once the fight is over, and, as we saw, I think it was
14 1.000-odd prisoners were taken, combat is completed, is it not?
15 A. Ms. Korner, when combat is completed, or, to be more precise,
16 during combat, commanders from company level up have the authority to set
17 up reception centres, and that is where prisoners of war are taken, as
18 well as any war booty. All this is part and parcel of combat, as such.
19 All of this is part and parcel of the war happening in the area.
20 Q. Yes, I'm sorry. Once the prisoners who allegedly had been taken
21 prisoner because they have been in the opposing side are taken to a camp
22 and incarcerated, the combat, which led to their incarceration, is
23 complete, is it not?
24 A. Ms. Korner, all of this is something that is prescribed and
25 determined by a certain enactment, or document, which defines when
1 combat, a battle or particular operation, commences. It also determines
2 what the precise tasks are within that framework, and it also determines
3 when there is an end to it.
4 Q. Yes. In theory, I'm sure that's wonderful. But as we've seen in
5 some of the documents you've looked at, what happens is that, for
6 example, General Talic or one of his brigade commanders gives an order to
7 take a village. The village is taken. The report is made to the
8 Main Staff, as we saw with the attack on Kozarac. Once that report has
9 gone to the Main Staff, would you accept that the combat has ended?
10 MR. ZECEVIC: Can we -- I'm sorry, can we have the reference and
11 basis for this question?
12 MS. KORNER: Yes, it's -- well, I'm sorry, we've dealt with
13 this - I'm not going over it - yesterday. You look at yesterday's
14 transcript. I showed the General the document where we saw that the
15 attack on Kozarac had taken place and the prisoners had been taken.
16 Q. Now, do you accept that?
17 A. Ms. Korner, certain activities are completed. The reporting
18 process continues during combat and after combat is completed. Now that
19 is where I agree with you.
20 Q. Right. But as far as the 1.610 persons taken prisoner are
21 concerned, the combat, for them and the persons who were taking them
22 prisoner, has ended, has it not?
23 A. Yes, that is right, Ms. Korner.
24 Q. All right. And, therefore, when we they are in a prison camp,
25 like, for example, Manjaca, the guarding of those men is not a combat
1 activity, is it?
2 A. Ms. Korner, per establishment, the organising and the functioning
3 of a POW camp is under the authority of military commanders.
4 Q. Yes. I accept that. My simple question is: There is not --
5 that camp, being guarded with its prisoners, is not a combat activity, is
6 it, within the definition we've looked at of combat or armed conflict?
7 A. I agree with you, Ms. Korner.
8 Q. All right. I want to go back, I'm afraid, to ask you about one
9 document, the one that you didn't want to read last night, that relates
10 to your question of -- sorry, your assertion about the lack of
11 communication going on within the VRS during the relevant period.
12 So we need, I'm afraid, just to have a brief look, please, at
13 document ...
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MS. KORNER: It's the duty -- the notebook from the duty team,
16 which is 20225, at tab 12.
17 Q. Now, although it doesn't say it, but it's the 1st K -- it's the
18 1 K -- or the 5th Krajina Corps, which then became the 1st Krajina Corps,
19 notebook. It is in fact. It is accepted that is what it is.
20 And it's headed: "Duty Team, daily notes on the situation of the
21 battlefield and in the zone of responsibility."
22 Would this have been -- you described that you'd carried out some
23 staff duties. Would this have been the sort of notebook that would have
24 been compiled by staff officers who were on duty and receiving
25 information? Are you familiar with a document like this?
1 A. Ms. Korner, as far as I remember, I said that I was first
2 involved and, at the end of my career, also the leader of duty teams.
3 The primary task of those was to monitor activities across the units and
4 to make sure there was a continuity of command and control whenever the
5 relevant commander was absent.
6 Q. Right. So you are -- is this the sort of notebook that would be
7 kept; and are you familiar with this type of notebook?
8 A. Ms. Korner, I am looking at the name of the document, and it's
9 difficult for me to judge whether this is a wartime log-book belonging to
10 a command, which currently I cannot identify by looking at this. The
11 other thing it might be was a simple daily report that would help them to
12 compile the overall daily or evening report. So this might be a simple
13 aid that they used to compile the overall daily combat report at the end
14 of the day. This report would then be submitted to their superior
15 command, covering activities and everything that went on in any of the
16 units under that particular command.
17 Q. All right. Well, let's have a look at a few examples, and that
18 may assist you.
19 MS. KORNER: Could we have, please -- it's page 20 in English,
20 and I think it's page -- well, it's -- the number at the top is
21 0094-1353. Page 23. Thank you.
22 Q. 30th of April listed violation of cease-fire agreement,
23 Croatian Defence forces. Team from the 5th Corps, Krajina Corps --
24 5th Corps Command went to the village. Tactical Group 3, UN vehicle,
25 artillery, so on and so forth.
1 And can with go to the next page, please, in English and the --
2 two pages on in B/C/S.
3 It records what is described as unusual incidents. Somebody
4 killing somebody. Somebody committed suicide. Somebody injured somebody
5 through careless handling of weapon. All of this in different
6 brigades -- sorry, different units.
7 And then it describes what happened in Banja Luka. There was an
8 explosive device. And, finally, in Prijedor, the SDS Serbian -- the SDS
9 took control -- the SDS forces took control, no armed conflicts so far.
10 Would you agree that's a fairly comprehensive reporting of what
11 went on that day?
12 A. Ms. Korner, speaking from my practical experience, this is not a
13 combat report. In practice, the heads of duty teams, and I see at the
14 beginning the word "briefing" was mentioned, they are duty-bound to brief
15 the commander each morning, no matter what they had written, about any
16 important events. Or, better put it this way: It looks to me like this
17 officer put done some speaking notes in case the commander should ask him
18 questions based on the report he had received so that he may be in a
19 position to explain.
20 These look like notes for his personal preparation. This is my
21 interpretation of what I see.
22 Q. Thank you very much, General. I'm sorry, I didn't intend to
23 suggest it was a combat report. I'm dealing purely with your assertion
24 made in the introduction that there was poor internal communication. And
25 I just want you to look at some examples of this internal communication.
1 Could you have a look now, please, at --
2 MS. KORNER: Or could we have a look, please, at page 26 in
3 English, and it is, I believe -- well, it's 41361; 31 in B/C/S.
4 Q. This is part of what was headed on the previous page as:
5 "Briefing at change-over." In fact, I believe it's --
6 The 343rd Motorised Brigade command dispatched 105-millimetre
7 Howitzers and a field gun anti-armour battery to the Prijedor garrison.
8 "The troops arrived safely and took up ... planned position [sic]."
9 And then we've got some further reporting about that.
10 As I said, if we go back -- or it may be at the top of the page,
11 I'm not sure.
12 Does it say, "briefing at change-over"? No, I think you have to
13 go back one page -- two pages. One page in English, please, and one page
14 in B/C/S.
15 I hope we've got the right thing. Does that say, "briefing at
16 change-over" in B/C/S?
17 Does that say, "briefing at change-over"? Sorry, General, I
18 would just like you to confirm that.
19 A. Ms. Korner, it says "briefing at change-over." But in practice,
20 I suppose, this was an auxiliary tool of the previous duty officer who
21 hands over duty to the next duty officer, and he wants to inform him of
22 any events on the previous day for the new man to be acquainted with the
23 situation in the units and on the ground.
24 Q. Right.
25 A. But, if I may add, this is communication between two persons.
1 This is this not communication in the VRS, about which I wrote, about
2 information to be passed on from the commander of the Main Staff to the
3 last private in the woods.
4 Q. Yes. But, I'm sorry, we've already looked at -- at part of this
5 with the reports up to the Main Staff, reports to the corps. And now
6 we're looking at communication at corps level from its subordinate units,
7 aren't we? Because the entries there reflect the information that the
8 duty team has acquired from subordinate units.
9 That's right, isn't it, General?
10 A. That's right. That's right. I agree with you, Ms. Korner.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 Now, the point is, General, this is the corps concerned with the
13 area that you were supposed to be concentrating on for your report, the
14 western area with those municipalities that you listed at the end of your
15 introduction and methodology.
16 And my suggestion to you is that if you had gone through all of
17 these documents you would not have put in that particular paragraph.
18 Because -- well, because I suggest to you that there was good
19 communication from the lower units of this corps to the corps and from
20 the corps through to the Main Staff. And you've not looked, have you, at
21 any of those documents?
22 Now, I agree that's a long and wrapped-up question.
23 So, first of all: You had not seen this document before, had you?
24 A. I don't remember, Ms. Korner.
25 Q. Well, surely you would remember a duty officer's notebook of this
1 length, running to, in translation anyhow, some 86 pages.
2 A. Ms. Korner, I have repeatedly said that the documents used for my
3 report can be found in the bibliography.
4 Q. Right. Well, then you haven't seen this one before.
5 If you had seen this document and the whole 1st Krajina Corps
6 collection, which, I can assure you, runs to thousands of documents, do
7 you think that you might have changed your mind about the poor internal
9 A. Ms. Korner, I would not have changed my mind, nor would I have
10 changed my position. I tell you that I know what war is and what
11 communication in wartime is like. I'll give you an example --
12 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... no. No, I'm afraid not.
13 A. I pointed out --
14 Q. No.
15 MS. KORNER: This is not your witness, Mr. Zecevic.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: No, but this is just a principle. I think the
17 witness should be permitted to give an example what he means. Otherwise
18 it can be taken quite differently, his answer.
19 MS. KORNER: All right.
20 Q. Is your example related to the facts of this case or what you
21 tell us is your general knowledge of what wartime is like?
22 A. Ms. Korner, it is an example of bad or no communication.
23 Q. No, no. Is it -- I'm sorry. My question is different. Before I
24 let you go on and to give the example, is it related to the facts of this
25 case, not some completely unrelated activity?
1 A. Ms. Korner, I wrote, in general terms, about the whole VRS, and I
2 insist that communication was difficult.
3 You are showing an example to counter my assertion only based on
4 the report of the duty team of one corps only. I told you that there
5 were six more operative contingents of that type in the VRS, which you
6 know very well.
7 Q. And I'm going to come on to them when we come to your diagram.
8 But are you telling us that you have looked in detail at the
9 records of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, for example?
10 A. Ms. Korner, I took part in a war, and I attended many national
11 and international conferences, and I stand by my position, that, in
12 wartime, both in Afghanistan and in Iraq and in Rome and in Madrid and in
13 Croatia, where commanders from Military Academies from all over the world
14 gathered, I tell you that the problem of communication is a very serious
15 one in any war.
16 Q. Yes, I absolutely appreciate that, and I'm not -- General, I'm
17 sorry, you misunderstand. I'm not suggesting that communication was
18 easy. What I am suggesting to you, on the evidence of the documents, is
19 that your assertion that the -- there were poor internal communications
20 is not based on any evidence that you yourself have seen. And that, in
21 fact, is correct, isn't it?
22 A. Ms. Korner, I told you, I would not change the assertions I made
23 in my report.
24 Q. Well, I appreciate that, General. And -- and -- I accept it
25 would be difficult for you to sit here and say, "I made a terrible
2 All right. I'm not going to pursue this document.
3 MS. KORNER: But, Your Honour, I am going to ask that it be
4 admitted as an exhibit. It goes directly to the General's assertion, and
5 it's part of the collection of document, we say, shows that his assertion
6 is misconceived.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: No objection, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE HALL: Did you say "no objection" or "objection"?
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... no objection,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm afraid that I must object, Your Honours.
13 Because I think the purpose for which Ms. Korner is using this document
14 is reflected in the transcript. I don't see -- she actually -- he
15 confirmed to her the -- the parts of the document which she read on the
16 transcript, and he gave his answers to why he doesn't change his opinion.
17 Therefore, I don't see any particular reason why we should admit
18 another document of, as Ms. Korner says, 89 pages at this point in time.
19 JUDGE HALL: And, of course, the substance of the document is not
20 what she is relying on. It's merely the fact of what the document
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Quite true, Your Honours. Yes.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm relying on the sub -- I'm entirely
24 relying on the substance to show - and I've only dealt with three pages
25 because it's a long document - to show that there is a wide range of
1 reports coming in not only from the units about military matters, but
2 also about political matters as well. And so to talk about poor internal
3 communication, this is a document which really shows that it's a
4 misconceived application -- assertion by this officer.
5 And he says, But this is different from reporting; I've shown
6 reports from other units. But this document is vital. And -- and
7 Mr. Zecevic may object. This is the witness, not called by him, but
8 called by Mr. Krgovic. And Mr. Krgovic does not object. I mean, I would
9 submit, I know that the Court is loathe to admit documents, but this is a
10 really important document.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I note that Ms. Korner says this
12 document is vital and I'm entirely relying on the substance to show that
13 I have dealt, and so on and so forth.
14 If the document is vital, it should have been on the 65 ter list
15 of the -- of the Office of the Prosecutor, and it should have been
16 presented during the -- the -- the Office of the Prosecutor case.
17 Now Ms. Korner is -- is using this opportunity to expand her own
18 case, which, according to the guidance which Your Honours gave during the
19 break, she would need to meet a certain threshold in order to be able to
20 introduce this document as a fresh document, as a fresh evidence.
21 However, I'm sure that this document exists in the files of the Office of
22 the Prosecutor or in the archives quite some time, and this is not
23 something that they just became aware of as a -- as a new document.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, it was footnote 190 to Mr. Brown's --
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it was footnote 190 to Mr. Brown's
3 report. It was never suggested to Mr. Brown at any stage, who is the
4 expert, if nothing else - and I say he's an expert in a great deal - but
5 in the -- what went on in the 1st Krajina Corps. It was never suggested
6 to him that the communications were bad. It's only ever been suggested
7 to the police that the communications broke down. Until this witness
8 arrives. When he asserts, We say, contrary to evidence of which this
9 document is part, that the communications were bad. Or, I'm sorry, poor
10 internal communications.
11 Your Honour, this document fulfils the criteria of any rule of
12 cross-examination and Your Honours' own rules about this.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Again, Your Honours. If the document is a
14 footnote 190 of the Mr. Brown report, which I'm getting the information
15 for the first time at this point because I don't have time to check the
16 Mr. Brown's report, that only amplifies my position. Because the Office
17 of the Prosecutor was given the possibility to introduce all the
18 documents from Mr. Brown's report that they intend to rely on. Now, at
19 this stage, Ms. Korner says, This is a vital document. If -- if
20 Ms. Korner would say that, well, this was an omission of the Office of
21 the Prosecutor, then we might need to discuss that further. But at this
22 point, I don't think -- I don't think it meets the threshold in
23 accordance with the guidances by the Trial Chamber.
24 Thank you.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, it wasn't thought to be important.
1 Your Honours said we didn't have it on our 65 ter list therefore we
2 couldn't produce it, and that's the point. Nobody at that stage had --
3 the Defence have an obligation to put their case. If their case was, as
4 expressed through this witness, that there was poor internal
5 communications, that document, and many others, would have gone on to our
6 list and been produced. But it wasn't. And it's -- it's a vital
7 document to show that what the General is saying is, as I say, wrong.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE HALL: The document is admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2388, Your Honours.
11 MS. KORNER: Right. Can we now go back to your report --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. And can we go back to paragraph 22 on page 7.
16 MS. KORNER: And the report is 31D2.
17 Could I have 31D2, please; page 7.
18 No, wrong page in B/C/S. I want paragraph 22, please, so I
19 imagine that's -- page 6 in B/C/S.
20 Q. Right. Now, that's where you deal with the
21 1982 Law on All People's Defence. Have you, General, in your researches
22 or in any conferences or chats you've had with other generals, seen one
23 document emanating from the VRS where reference is made to this
24 1982 Law on All People's Defence, in particular, Article 104?
25 A. Ms. Korner, I cite this article specifically to show that the law
1 provides for the use of police units to carry out combat assignments, and
2 that is why I mention it as a valid law, because it's the highest law of
3 a country.
4 Q. Yes. No. Well, it was the highest law of the federal
5 state of -- the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. But what I'm
6 now asking you is not that. It's whether you have seen in any document
7 that you've looked at coming from the VRS in 1992 which references
8 Article 104 of the Law on All People's Defence.
9 A. Ms. Korner, as far as I remember, in the bibliography of my
10 report there is also the RS Law on Defence from June 1992, under which
11 the police is not considered a component of the armed forces.
12 We have already seen numerous examples in the transitional
13 provisions of some other laws, and possibly this one as well, that the
14 laws and regulations of former Yugoslavia shall be applied in the RS too,
15 unless they are in -- unless they run contrary to RS laws and
17 Q. General, I will ask the question one last time.
18 Have you seen in any document, order, report, directive that
19 comes from the VRS during 1992 which says, "in accordance with," or
20 refers to Article 104 of the Law on All People's Defence?
21 And it's a simple -- no. It's a simple yes or no.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: Allow him to answer the question.
23 MS. KORNER: But I -- all right.
24 Q. You carry on, General. What -- just answer that question.
25 That's the question I've asked. Not what you want to tell me. Answer
1 the question, please.
2 A. Ms. Korner, I have not found explicit mention of the application
3 of Article 104. But as far as I remember, I saw in General Milovanovic's
4 transcript that he, as the number two man of the army, said that all
5 armies in the area applied their laws and regulations of former
6 Yugoslavia at the beginning of the war.
7 Q. Well, I -- for the moment -- I'm going to come back to
8 General Milovanovic's testimony. But -- I'm asking you about a document,
9 and I think you've given me the answer to that.
10 Right. Now, from what you yourself saw in the documents and any
11 other literature that you have read, is it your assertion to this
12 Trial Chamber that in every single operation that took place in the
13 Krajina the police were resubordinated to the army?
14 A. Ms. Korner, this has to be viewed on a case-to-case basis. From
15 the point of view of military rules and regulations, I offered a model, a
16 template, of what was possible and what was happening in practice;
17 namely, for the police to be part of the contingent of the armed forces.
18 And these cases can be explained based on military rules and regulations
19 rather than based on the Law on Internal Affairs and the rule-book on the
20 powers of MUP officials.
21 Q. Right. So is the answer to my question "no," that's not what
22 you're asserting?
23 A. Ms. Korner, as I said, I used this law to try and find a foothold
24 in terms of explaining why police units were used in combat activities
25 and why the commanders had the right to use them in that way.
1 Q. Yes. We know, General, so -- and I don't think you do, that a
2 number of operations, combat operations, were carried out which involved
3 both the use of military and the police. Is it your assertion that in
4 every case where there was a combat operation, even if the police had not
5 been formally resubordinated, they were, in fact, resubordinated?
6 A. Ms. Korner, I wish we could discuss a specific document or a
7 specific incident. We could then use the framework which I provided in
8 my report. We could use the military rules and regulations. Based on
9 that, I could tell you with certainty, because that specific document and
10 that specific incident would clearly show whether a police unit was
11 subordinated to a military commander or not.
12 Q. Yes. Well --
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner.
14 MS. KORNER: Yes.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: I admit that there is a certain ambiguity in your
16 question. Because I'm unsure of whether you're asking about the
17 existence of or the participation of the police in each and every combat
18 operation that there was; or whether you're asking if, in those cases
19 where the police actually did participate, a formal resubordination had
20 taken place in each and every single case.
21 So there is an ambiguity, because there's a small area which
22 seems not to be covered in one of your questions; namely, were there
23 combat operations in which the police did not take part at all.
24 MS. KORNER: No. I'm not asking him that because he doesn't
25 know. I can't, therefore, ask him about specific operations at all
1 because he hasn't got the faintest idea because he's never looked at any.
2 What I'm saying to him is whether his contention is that where there is
3 an operation, for example, let's take the Kozarac one, although maybe not
4 in front of the General, where there was military participation and
5 police, it follows automatically - and let's use the word
6 "participation" - that there must have been a resubordination. And I --
7 I think he -- he's saying -- it's quite difficult to work out, but I
8 think he's saying it depends on what the documents are, to see whether
9 there is resubordination or not.
10 Q. Is that right, General?
11 A. That's right, Ms. Korner.
12 Q. All right. Now, I am going to show you specific documents at a
13 later stage. But do I understand you to say that there have to be
14 documents brought into existence - namely, an order from a commander -
15 asking for, requesting, the use of police and an agreement by the police,
16 at whatever level, that they will be resubordinated?
17 A. Ms. Korner, again, we have two questions there.
18 At any rate, there has to be an order issued by the commander
19 whenever a police unit is used for performing combat tasks. That is
20 indisputable. And that is what I've been saying all along. In cases
21 like that, a police unit is subordinated to a military commander, due to
22 the principles of singleness of command and subordination.
23 Q. Well, I think, and I'm going to put it to you but I want to deal
24 with the whole --
25 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Ms. Korner, the transcript
1 does not reflect the witness's answer, and that is because you are
2 rushing in -- in with your questions before the translation is -- is --
3 has stopped what he is answering.
4 So I ask that his -- that he repeats his answer and that it's
5 recorded properly, because it's important.
6 MS. KORNER:
7 Q. The translation had stopped, Mr. Zecevic, and I am dependant on
8 the translator.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, then the problem was that -- that if the
10 translation was okay then the -- then the court -- the court recorder
11 didn't finish getting the translation part onto the transcript, and
12 therefore we have a problem with the transcript.
13 MS. KORNER: No. The translation had stopped after "due to the
14 principles of singleness of command and subordination."
15 MR. ZECEVIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... let me read what is
16 recorded in -- as answer: That is indisputable and that is what I've been
17 saying all along. In cases like that," and then nothing "a military
18 commander, due to the principles of singleness of command and
20 Is that what you heard as a translation?
21 MS. KORNER: Yes.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, then, obviously the translation is wrong. So
23 therefore I kindly request --
24 JUDGE HALL: Could you ask the question again, Ms. Korner. And
25 let's hear the witness's answer, please.
1 MS. KORNER: Sorry, Your Honours, I don't know what the question
2 was I asked.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps I can give you a hand with
4 that, Ms. Korner.
5 MS. KORNER: You probably can, General.
6 All right? Do I -- my question was:
7 "Do I understand you to say that there have to be documents
8 brought into existence - namely, an order from a commander - asking for,
9 requesting, the use of police and an agreement by the police, at what
10 whatever level, that they will be resubordinated?"
11 And you then replied that it was two questions, which I agree.
12 So what was your reply, please.
13 A. I said, Ms. Korner, under the rules there has to exist a document
14 pursuant to which police units are resubordinated. All police units are
15 attached to a military unit in performing combat tasks.
16 Something else I have said a number of times: The manner in
17 which this unit joins a military unit is not that important, but when a
18 police unit joins a military unit it is resubordinated to a military
19 commander, due to the principles of singleness of command and
21 Q. Well, I am going to deal with the whole of resubordination as a
22 totally separate issue. But before we move on to the formation of the
23 VRS, did it occur to you --
24 JUDGE HALL: Well, perhaps this is a convenient point.
25 MS. KORNER: Well, it's the final -- before I move on to the next
1 one, Your Honours.
2 Q. Did it ever occur to you that, owing to the exigencies of what
3 was happening during the conflict, people didn't follow the exact rules
4 that you have described?
5 A. Ms. Korner, what I'm telling and what I'm interpreting is how it
6 should be and what the military regulations say. It's very precise on
7 that. There can be no dual command. There can only be one man who is in
8 command in the military.
9 Q. No. I'm not talking -- I'm sorry. I'm not talking about dual
10 command. I'm talking about complete adherence to what you have described
11 as the military rules and regulations. Is it conceivable that during a
12 conflict those rules and regulations were not adhered to?
13 A. Ms. Korner, that is quite possible in this war as in any other.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I've completed that topic.
16 JUDGE HALL: So we resume in 20 minutes.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.
20 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Krgovic, while the witness is on his way in, the
21 Chamber has a concern.
22 As you would be aware, we are -- this alternating time between
23 trials brings with it its own challenges, and we wonder about the witness
24 that you have scheduled for, not Monday but the one following Monday's
25 witness. We're concerned that that is -- that such witnesses you have
1 scheduled as a witness can be completed by the end of next week. So I
2 don't know how -- how advanced you are on your preparations in that
3 regard, but if you could report on that as soon as you're able to, we
4 would be grateful.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I've been monitoring
6 these developments myself, bearing in mind the duration of
7 General Kovacevic's evidence, and I'm trying to deal with this in the
8 following way.
9 Next week, I'll try and have one of those 92 bis witnesses over
10 here in order to fill any gaps created in this way. We're working on
11 this, and some of our witnesses still don't have valid passports. So
12 that is one of the problems that we have been coming across.
13 At any rate, I will do my best, and I will be sure to inform the
14 Chamber in a timely manner.
15 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, what we were wondering, and obviously
17 Mr. Krgovic and I have been discussing this, is whether there was any
18 prospect that one of the days scheduled for the Haradinaj case would be
19 allocated to this case, the Monday.
20 JUDGE HALL: Well, unless you're aware of something that I am
21 not, the scheduling of that case, so far as I'm aware, wouldn't permit
22 that flexibility.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm not aware of that. Only on the
24 basis that two out of the three Judges in the Haradinaj case are here, I
25 would have, rather, thought it was your decision, obviously in
1 consultation Judge Moloto, but I'm merely raising that.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we perhaps go into a little bit of detail
3 about the next witness and the one after that. The next witness is the
4 protected witness 003, if I'm not wrong.
5 MS. KORNER: That's right, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: And he would take how -- how long?
7 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honours, I don't know. The estimate
8 that's been given is six hours for examination-in-chief. I doubled that
9 but, as I pointed out, only because we don't know what he's going,
10 because we have no statement, no proofing note, and, as yet, no list of
11 documents. So we really have no idea what he's going to be saying.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: And, Ms. Korner, it's a little bit odd at first
13 sight that you double. Normally it's the same time as the calling party
14 for a viva voce witness. That's the standard we applied in the
15 Defence -- in your case, in the OTP case.
16 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honours, I don't think, with the greatest
17 respect, that that's quite right. Certainly, for example, as I said,
18 Dr. Nielsen, who was three hours --
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: We make -- we make, as for this witness also, we
20 do make an exception for expert witnesses, because that's another matter.
21 But for normal viva voce witnesses, we always apply the standard
22 of the same time for the Defence as the examination-in-chief, same time
23 for cross as for in-chief.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I fully understand that and I accept
25 that. As I say, the reason I'm doubling it is the -- the -- because we
1 really don't know what the witness is going to say. We've identified a
2 large number of documents without knowing what he's going to be saying,
3 and it may well be that the documents we've identified are also being
4 identified by the --
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: But even if we take -- even if we take
6 six hours' chief and six hours' cross, so not doubling it but just taking
7 the same time, that makes 12; Mr. Zecevic, or Stanisic Defence, let's add
8 an hour or so; plus procedural matters, then we'll -- very quickly that
9 adds up to four hearings, four days.
10 So if that starts on Monday, we -- we -- there's only Friday
11 left. So the witness after 003, would that be a witness that could
12 reasonably be dealt with in one day, or even in -- or even in two, if we
13 would take the Monday, as you ask?
14 So what -- do we already know who the next witness will be, the
15 witness after 003?
16 MS. KORNER: With the original list, yes, we do.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] We do know that. But that witness
18 is, I'm afraid, likely to take a great deal likely longer than that.
19 So what I'm thinking about is this: If we have a single day
20 left, we complete the previous witness by the previous day, then perhaps
21 I could bring one of the 92 bis witnesses for a brief
22 examination-in-chief, or for a cross instead. And that is what I've been
23 looking into as we speak, to see if I can deal with it in that way.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Previous translation continued] ... so that would
25 be -- that would be a witness for, let's say, one day; chief, cross, and
1 re-direct included?
2 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Because the alternative is to have the witness go
4 back home for two weeks and come back. And that's a bad solution; right?
5 MR. KRGOVIC: Yeah.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's simply -- I would say that's
7 highly improbable because the reason that we asked for the
8 92 bis witnesses to be called, and Your Honours granted, were because
9 there were reasons why their testimony will be tested, what they have to
10 say, with documents. And so I would respectfully suggest that it may be
11 a bit ambitious to say that a 92 bis witness will be finished in one day.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: We'll consider this over the next break. Thank
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Ms. Korner.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. I think, as we've already established, General, chapter 2 of your
19 report, pages 7 through to 15, are a general dissertation on the JNA,
20 headed, "The Organisation and Tasks of the Armed Forces of the SFRY."
21 Do you agree with that?
22 A. Yes, Ms. Korner.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MS. KORNER: So can we move, please, to chapter 3, page 16 in the
25 report, 0031D2.
1 Q. In paragraph 46, I've already dealt with what you said in
2 paragraph 45, but in paragraph 46, you say: "The role of the
3 Yugoslav People's Army was to prevent interethnic conflict, armed
5 On what do you base that?
6 A. Ms. Korner, I know that from personal experience. During 1991
7 and 1992, we were receiving documents from the then-federal military
8 leadership, stating just that. This was the information that I had, and
9 I informed the units about it.
10 Q. All right. Could you reference, please, a document? Could you
11 tell us a document? A date, or from whom.
12 A. I'm telling you that's what happened at the time. There were
13 numerous examples. In the various barracks and compounds occupied at the
14 time by the JNA, the JNA protecting the civilian population and everyone.
15 Persons from all of the ethnic groups there were taking shelter in the
16 JNA compounds for fear of being attacked by the many paramilitary units
17 being established at the time. The then-JNA, specifically the air force,
18 used its planes to evacuate and protect a great many civilians from a
19 number of different areas, and assistance was provided to all those for
20 which to leave war-stricken areas and territories, regardless of their
22 Q. All right. So the -- is what you're saying the role, as in the
23 practical reality of what it did, as opposed to what its role was as
24 defined in the law?
25 A. The role of the JNA at the time under the existing laws was to
1 protect the federal state and its state structure.
2 Q. Yes. Exactly. If we look very briefly -- sorry. If we look
3 very briefly at the Law on National Defence, which is -- I think you've
4 actually got a copy of it, but it's - where is my list? - it's the first
5 document in our binder, which is also L1 in the law library.
6 MS. KORNER: And can we go, please, to Article -- the second
7 section, Article 99. Page 64 in English and page 4461905 in B/C/S.
8 Article 99, please.
9 Page 17 in B/C/S; 64 in English.
10 Q. All right. 99:
11 "The Yugoslav People's Army is a joint armed force of all
12 Yugoslav nations ... nationalities" et cetera.
13 Article 100:
14 "In time of peace, the Yugoslav People's Army, as a segment of
15 the joint armed forces, shall be organised and make preparations as a
16 shock defence force capable of preventing any surprise aggression ... or
17 threat to the country ..." et cetera, et cetera.
18 MS. KORNER: And then if we go to the next page in English,
19 please. Next page in English. No. B/C/S, stay where you are. English,
20 please. This is still Article 1 00.
21 Can we go to page 65 in English, please.
22 Q. It talks about waging a successful campaign against the enemy,
23 together with the Territorial Defence it shall prepare and have
24 capability to conduct all types of armed struggle, and under all, even
25 the most difficult wartime conditions, the Yugoslav People's Army shall
1 develop and renew its capabilities as a joint armed force for all
3 And then:
4 "In the event of an immediate threat of war and in other
5 emergencies, units and institutions of the Yugoslav People's Armies [sic]
6 may, as an exception, be used to carry out tasks in the sphere of social
8 And in Article 101 it states that -- what it consists of: the
9 armed -- the land forces, the air force, air defence, and the navy.
10 Now, as we discussed earlier, General, or as you said earlier,
11 effectively the regulations governing the JNA envisaged an outside enemy,
12 didn't they?
13 A. That's right, Ms. Korner.
14 Q. And can I say straight away that I accept that in documents that
15 the Court has seen the JNA do suggest that their job is to protect -- or
16 prevent interethnic armed conflict. But I'm going to suggest to you, by
17 looking at some of the documents, that the JNA was, in fact, on the side
18 of the Serbs.
19 Do you agree that the JNA Command, in particular, was on the side
20 of or predisposed to assist the Serbs in Bosnia?
21 A. Ms. Korner, I am not aware of any document demonstrating that.
22 You have my assertion, and I stand by my assertion, as formulated in my
24 Q. All right. Well, as I say, I'm going to show you some documents
25 in a moment.
1 Now, going on to paragraph 50 --
2 MS. KORNER: Sorry, can we go back to the report. That's 31D2.
3 And paragraph 50, which is page 17 in English, and I think 16 in
5 Yes, we need to go back - sorry, one page in B/C/S. 50.
6 Q. You state that there that:
7 "When the SFRY Presidency adopted a decision on the withdrawal of
8 the JNA," and I dealt with that, "... the Serbian political leadership in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina set out to form its army in the area where the
10 Serbs were in a majority ..."
11 Are you saying that the army only operated in areas where Serbs
12 were a majority?
13 A. Ms. Korner, I'm talking about the setting up of a new army in the
14 territory of the then-Republika Srpska.
15 Q. I understand that, but what you said there is:
16 "The Serbian political leadership set out to form its army in the
17 area where the Serbs were in the majority ..."
18 Is it your contention that the formation of the VRS, the Serbian
19 army, only happened in areas where Muslims were a majority -- sorry,
20 where Serbs were a majority?
21 A. Ms. Korner, these days, we saw the decision on the setting up of
22 the army and, later on, its establishment structure, which clearly shows
23 the disposition of corps and brigades, and we can clearly tell which area
24 is concerned.
25 Q. Look, it is a simple question: Are you saying in this
1 paragraph that only in the areas, the municipalities, in which Serbs were
2 a majority did the VRS seek to set up its forces?
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, where in this
4 paragraph can the word "only" be found? If Ms. Korner is quoting, I
5 kindly ask that she quote accurately.
6 JUDGE HALL: She's asking for clarification. The way the
7 sentence appears, she's asking the witness to -- as to what -- whether
8 the import is as she interprets it.
9 It's a fair question.
10 MS. KORNER:
11 Q. So, General, could I have an answer, please, now. You've had a
12 long time to think about it.
13 A. Ms. Korner, I stand by this position. It was possibly unprecise.
14 Because at the time, the borders of Republika Srpska may not have been
15 very clearly defined.
16 Q. Well, did you know -- for example, let's take Bosanski Samac.
17 Did you know that the Serb army was mobilised there, or Serbs were
19 A. Ms. Korner, I'm not referring to specific events, but, rather, to
20 the fact that after the withdrawal of the JNA a new army was set up in
21 the territory of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. Yes. But were you aware, General, that the Republika Srpska was
23 claiming a number of territories in which they were not in a majority?
24 A. Ms. Korner, those must have been political decisions. I'm
25 talking about a fact which can easily be verified; namely, that a new
1 army was set up then in the territory of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. But that is not what you said, General. Forgive me. What you
3 said, and I'll read it very carefully for the third time, is:
4 "...the Serbian political leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 set out to form its army in the area where the Serbs were in a [sic]
6 majority ..."
7 Now, if all you meant was that the Serbian leadership set up an
8 army, why did you add those words?
9 A. I do not remember what made me do that, Ms. Korner. But I know
10 that the tasks of that army and its role were to protect the Serbian
11 people, and these may have been the reasons. Because the other peoples
12 already had their armies set up.
13 Q. Yes, I know. That's what you go on to say. And we're going to
14 look at that part, at least as far as the ABiH is concerned.
15 So you can't give any explanation to us why you said "in the
16 areas where the Serbs were a [sic] majority"?
17 A. Well, I've told you that the task of that army was to protect the
18 Serbian people. And it is logical that it was set up where the Serbs
19 were the majority. Because you couldn't set up a Serbian army without
20 making sure that you can man it from that area.
21 Q. That's complete and utter nonsense, isn't it, General? That
22 it -- that it was set up in -- where the Serbs were in a majority.
23 Do you know what the majority in Prijedor was, for instance?
24 A. As far as I remember, I think that the Muslims were the majority
1 Q. Quite. And we can show you some [indiscernible].
2 What about in Bosanski Samac? Who was in the majority there?
3 MR. KRGOVIC: I don't think this is fair question. The proper
4 question could be where exactly the place where the Republika Srpska army
5 was formed. Which place?
6 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry -- I'm not prepared to answer
7 Mr. Krgovic's questions, but my suggestion would be that the Serbian army
8 was formed in a number of different places with a number of different
10 Q. Now, do you know who was in the majority in Bosanski Samac?
11 A. I do not remember, Ms. Korner. I don't know any information
12 about the ethnic make-up of Bosanski Samac, and I don't wish to
14 Q. All right. Do you know anything about Brcko?
15 A. As far as I remember, in Brcko the Muslims were in the majority,
16 I think.
17 Q. Quite. Donji Vakuf?
18 A. I do not have the relevant information for Donji Vakuf,
19 Ms. Korner.
20 Q. Visegrad?
21 A. As far as I remember, Ms. Korner, methinks that the Muslims were
22 in the majority in Visegrad.
23 Q. An overwhelming majority, would you agree, General?
24 A. Ms. Korner, I wish to say here that the other two peoples already
25 had their respective armies established and that the Serbian leadership
1 passed the decision to establish their army, the third one.
2 Q. Do you know when the formal establishment of the Army of ABiH
3 took place?
4 A. Ms. Korner, I told you that the date is 15 April. And they
5 celebrate that date, because after the war they often invited me to those
6 celebrations in the Republic of Serbia, which celebration was organised
7 by their embassy and the military attachés.
8 Q. Well, we'll have a look at what actually happened on the
9 15th of April in a minute. I want to come to the rest of your report, or
10 these paragraphs. And then we'll look at the documents.
11 In paragraph 52, you state that the decision, that is, to set up
12 the Army of the Serbian republic, was adopted based on the constitution
13 of Republika Srpska in response to the situation at the time.
14 And you footnote that as number 14.
15 And your footnote in number 14, effectively, does it not, simply
16 repeats what you said in paragraph 49? Sorry ... actually that's not
17 quite right. I beg your pardon.
18 A. Ms. Korner, in that footnote, I merely clarify the notion of the
19 current situation, and it may well be that it actually states the same as
20 the previous paragraph.
21 Q. All right. And then, can you look, please, at paragraph 56,
22 which is the next page.
23 There, you set out the Law on Defence, which regulates the
24 jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior. And as you point out, in this
25 law there is no mention of the armed forces or participation of the
1 police units and the RS MUP in the execution of combat tasks in the
2 conditions of imminent threat of war or war.
3 In practice, however, police units of the RS MUP participated in
4 the execution of combat tasks either jointly with the VRS or
5 resubordinated to it.
6 So you do agree, from what you say there, that there are two
7 types of, if you like, action between -- that there are two types of -
8 I'm trying to think of a neutral word for this - co-action, if you like,
9 between the MUP and the VRS; one is either a joint operation, and one is
10 an operation where the police are actually resubordinated?
11 A. Ms. Korner, when I wrote this, I wanted to point out that during
12 a certain period there was one way of using the police, when the
13 commanders themselves took police forces and resubordinated them, and
14 that is characteristic of the first period in 1992 especially, or,
15 rather, the first half of that year.
16 The other way, which, to my mind, is more correct, was when
17 military commanders sent requests to the chiefs of the security services
18 and asked them for certain forces. But it doesn't really matter, because
19 in both cases the units in question were resubordinated to the military
21 Q. Quite. The answer you've just given me, I agree. Both ways,
22 whether with or without permission, is resubordination. But that is not
23 what you say there, General. You are clearly making a distinction there
24 between joint activities and resubordinated activities; do you agree?
25 A. Ms. Korner, I said that, with this, I wanted to point out the
1 varying practice or the different practices during the two periods I have
3 Q. I'm sorry. What you've done in your answer there is say, There
4 was a period when military commanders took the police they needed and a
5 period when they asked for permission, as they should have, of the police
6 chief. But that is not what you are saying here, is it, General? You
7 read, please, your own sentence in your own language so that we can make
8 sure that it's correctly translated.
9 Please read out the sentence that begins: "In practice ..."
10 A. [No interpretation]
11 MS. KORNER: Stop.
12 Q. General, I'm sorry, I'm not getting any translation at all. I
13 don't know whether anybody else is.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please start over.
15 MS. KORNER:
16 Q. I'm very sorry, General. I'm sorry. I'm very sorry, General,
17 please, could you read out the sentence again slowly. Just the sentence,
18 and don't add anything. Please just read the sentence.
19 A. Ms. Korner, I'm reading:
20 "However, in practice, police units of the RS MUP participated in
21 the execution of combat tasks, either in co-ordinated action with the VRS
22 units or resubordinated to them."
23 Q. Right. So you're drawing a distinction, aren't you, there
24 between co-ordinated action and resubordination, ergo, General, when you
25 wrote this, you were saying that co-ordinated action is a separate thing
1 from resubordination?
2 A. Ms. Korner, I stated here how things went in practice.
3 Co-ordinated action and resubordination are two different activities.
4 But, at any rate, resubordinated units and units in co-ordinated action
5 are subordinated to one commander, which speaks about the command
6 relationship. We already discussed the difference between an action and
7 a relationship.
8 Q. Yes, we did. And I suggest -- General, is it after conversations
9 with Mr. Cvijetic and Mr. Krgovic that you have tried to bring together
10 these two things, co-ordinated action and resubordination, as one thing?
11 MR. KRGOVIC: I mean, I think it is really improper line of
12 question. Because this suggests something like misconduct or ...
13 JUDGE HALL: I have the same reservation, Mr. Krgovic.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, the difficulty is that the General has
15 said he had conversations with Mr. Krgovic and Mr. Cvijetic about these
16 reports. My suggestion, regrettable though it is, is that this came
17 about as a result of discussions with the Defence, or I'm asking if
18 that's what happened.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I really think that this is
20 inappropriate. What if I were to say, "Why is Mr. Brown sitting in
21 Ms. Korner's office at -- to assist her to formulate the questions for
22 this witness?"
23 JUDGE HALL: Well, perhaps we misunderstand Ms. Korner's
24 question. And if it is -- if what she's suggesting - and we come back to
25 the first day of this witness's cross-examination - that this would have
1 occurred around the time of the preparation of the report, then it is a
2 permissible line. If, however, as I interpreted it, and clearly as
3 counsel for the Defence interpreted it, that it was some improper
4 communication after witnesses were sworn, then it would --
5 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] [Overlapping speakers] ...
6 sorry, no. No, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
8 MS. KORNER: I wouldn't -- no, no, no, I'm not suggesting that.
9 I am relying on what was said about before the witness was sworn. After
10 the report had been compiled, when he was here, for, I believe, some
11 three or four days.
12 JUDGE HALL: Yes. Well, now that we know the time-period we're
13 talking about, then you may certainly pursue that line.
14 MS. KORNER: I see Mr. Zecevic --
15 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, we are entitled, as the
16 Office of the Prosecutor is, to proof the witness. We did that with
17 the -- with the -- with the witnesses of the Office of the Prosecutor as
18 well. And there shouldn't be any suggestions, if they are not based
19 on -- on some reliable grounds, that the -- that the -- that the counsel
20 for Defence did anything improper in order -- suggesting during the
21 proofing to the witness how he should answer the questions or change his
22 position in the -- establishing the expert report.
23 I don't think that is proper, Your Honours -- that it's proper.
24 Thank you.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm making, or I'm asking, because
1 that's all can I do. Because if this is right, there's a total change
2 from what's in the report in this line and what he's now saying. And I'm
3 entitled to ask him whether this change came about as a result of his
4 conferences with Defence counsel before he began testifying.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't see the difference,
6 Ms. Korner, and you're testifying again. Where is that change? Why
7 don't you simply ask the witness?
8 JUDGE HALL: Anyway, please continue, Ms. Korner. There is --
9 and this is something that Ms. -- I recall the first day when this
10 controversy - I would use that term - arose, Ms. Korner, in an aside,
11 said -- talked about the inherent danger of counsel speaking with -- with
12 witnesses beforehand. And there is always a -- and this isn't
13 peculiar to this trial, it isn't peculiar to counsel. It's inherent in
14 the nature of the exercise, that in proofing a witness, the questions
15 that ask for clarification, whatnot, may raise the specter of coaching.
16 But it's something that Ms. Korner, I think, is entitled to explore so
17 that the Chamber knows, at the end of the day, what the quality of the
18 evidence is and to what extent it may have inadvertently or otherwise
19 been influenced by the -- such conversations as they would have had.
20 Please continue, Ms. Korner.
21 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
22 Q. Do you accept that in this sentence you are making a
23 distinction - and this is about the fifth time I've asked this
24 question - between co-ordinated action with the VRS, on the one hand, or
25 resubordinated to it, on the other?
1 A. That is correct, Ms. Korner. And I'm saying that it was
2 different in practice.
3 Q. Right. Because resubordinated means that it is, as the Law on
4 All People's Defence said, under the command of an army. Co-ordinated
5 action, as you distinguish here, does not mean that the police are acting
6 under the command of the army. They are acting jointly or together.
7 A. No, Ms. Korner. As I said, in the case of co-ordinated action
8 and in the case of resubordination, there's always one person who is in
9 command and one person who is responsible for the implementation of a
10 specific task.
11 Q. Then why do you make the distinction in your report if it doesn't
12 make a ha'p'worth's of difference?
13 A. Well, Ms. Korner, I'm telling you, in practice there were
14 different ways of reassigning, attaching, and all these other actions.
15 Nevertheless, in my opinion, as I said, this is not important. What I am
16 saying is this: There are rules and there are regulations. No matter
17 what your manner of joining a military unit is, the responsible person is
18 always the commander of that military unit.
19 Q. Yes, but there are combat actions and there are combat actions.
20 In some, I accept, General, the police will be acting as a unit of the
21 military; but in others, they are acting in co-ordination or co-operation
22 by doing the mopping up, providing security. Do you agree there are
23 those distinctions between the types of operations?
24 A. That's right, Ms. Korner. There are distinctions like that.
25 These distinctions are defined in a co-ordinated action plan, whenever we
1 deal with co-ordinated action. Again, any operation is headed by the
2 military commander.
3 Q. Yes. Maybe you -- you're absolute -- you may be absolutely right
4 on that, but it does not necessarily follow - and unfortunately we're
5 getting on to the subject again, and I'd like to deal with it as one
6 thing - it does not necessarily follow that if there's a military
7 operation which is headed by a military commander, the role of the police
8 within that operation automatically means it is subject to the commands
9 of the military, let's put it, the brigade commander?
10 A. Ms. Korner, this is regulated by certain documents, acts, and
11 orders - who, when, where, according to what plan, on what mission,
12 carries out what particular obligation or completes what particular
14 Q. Absolutely. I agree, for the large part, and we're going look at
15 the directives that were issued by the Main Staff for some of the main
17 But all, for the moment, I've been concentrating on is that one
18 sentence, and I think, at the end of it, you agree there is a distinction
19 that you are making in this sentence; is that right?
20 MR. ZECEVIC: It was -- this question was posed for the nth time,
21 and each and every time the witness answers the same. I think there is
22 at least four answers on precisely the same question.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Then --
24 MR. ZECEVIC: It is obvious that Ms. Korner doesn't understand
25 what witness -- but I don't want to -- to clarify that because it might
1 be understood as coaching the witness. But if the witness is excused, I
2 can explain very easily.
3 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] ... no, no, I think --
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Hold on a minute, Ms. Korner. Because I, too,
5 have not fully understood the witness's answer.
6 And let me put it to you more directly, General. If there had
7 been a military operation that was, according to the rules, led and
8 commanded by a military officer, if after the completion of the
9 operation, the successful completion of the operation, the military would
10 then cease the hostilities and the police that had joined in a
11 co-ordinated action would then do the subsequent mopping-up, would that
12 still be something that would be done under the command and direction of
13 the military commander, or would it be for the police itself to figure
14 out how to mop up?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, all of this is done
16 based on a given document; specifically, an order. Such an order
17 determines exactly who does what and according to what plan. For as long
18 as the police unit is within that military unit, the police unit remains
19 under the command of the military commander and performs any tasks
20 ordered by that same military commander.
21 As I have already emphasised, Your Honour, when a police officer
22 goes on a mission like that, he temporarily loses his powers as an
23 authorised official and becomes a fighter, a soldier, until such time as
24 he has returned to his own police station.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand that this goes for resubordination.
1 That is clear.
2 But would it also apply for the police taking part only as a
3 co-ordinated partner and doing subsequent mopping-up of an area that had
4 now been ceased by the military?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that applies for as
6 long as the mission set has not been completed. There is also a combat
7 operation plan as well as co-ordinated action plan. These plans describe
8 in great detail who does what. These activities unfold as preordained by
9 those plans. And throughout this time the police units remain under the
10 command of the military commander.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: But, you see, General, the question that I sit
12 back and struggle with is: What happens after the mission has been
13 completed, in the sense that the military operation was designed to seize
14 control over a particular area? Once that had been completed in the
15 sense that there was no more hostile resistance in the area, then the
16 police would, I suppose, be required to -- to ensure that security would
17 be restored in the area and, as we say, to mop up, to -- to do the last
18 cleaning up that would not necessarily -- or that would not involve
19 military forces.
20 And for those activities done by the police, the question that I
21 sit back with is: Under whose control would that be done?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if there is no
23 document saying that the police unit would be dismissed and no longer be
24 part of that military unit, and given that there is a document showing
25 that this police unit joined the military unit in the first place, the
1 police unit always remains subordinated to the commander of that military
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Also in cases where the police unit was not
4 resubordinated but only acted as a co-ordinated partner, in what you call
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Specifically, this is co-ordinated
7 action. Co-ordination, as such, is a broader concept, where I come from,
8 Your Honour.
9 In such a case, the police unit would be subordinated to the
10 military commander.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
12 Let's move on.
13 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] Well, Your Honour, I'm
14 afraid we can't. But, I mean, I'll come back -- come back to this.
15 Can I just stick to the one sentence, because our suggestion
16 is -- well, anyhow.
17 Q. For the last time, are you making a distinction in that sentence
18 between the two action -- the two methods: co-ordination and
20 A. I've said this a number of times. Ms. Korner, these are two
21 different ways, and, yes, I do distinguish the two. Two different ways
22 for a police unit to join a military unit, to enter the composition of a
23 military unit. I repeat, however, in both cases, the principles of
24 singleness of command and subordination continue to apply.
25 Q. Right. So if it is co-ordination or resubordination, the police
1 unit who is engaged with the military is subject to the command of the
3 A. Yes, that's right, Ms. Korner. For as long as the specific task
4 has not been completed, or a specific operation.
5 Q. Right. Then, first: What is the point of the distinction?
6 A. Ms. Korner, I know very well why you're asking me this. There is
7 a distinction between resubordination and attaching a unit to another
8 unit. That is what I have been trying to explain over the past few days.
9 The commander of a unit has certain powers and certain rights,
10 when something that belongs to him is moved from one component to
11 another --
12 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... no, no --
13 A. Nevertheless --
14 Q. You have told us all that at least twice. I understand when the
15 unit in question is an army unit. I'm specifically concentrating on the
17 What is the difference, as far as the police are concerned,
18 between -- on what you say there is no difference? So why are there the
19 two terms in your report?
20 A. Ms. Korner, what I'm saying is, the difference consists in the
21 way a unit joins another unit, but there is no difference in terms of the
22 relationship that prevails once a police unit has joined a military unit.
23 Q. Right.
24 A. May I? May I?
25 Q. Yes, you may.
1 A. We have looked at that case where a commander set up the defence
2 of a town. He subordinates all of the forces within that town to his own
3 command. So this is resubordination.
4 We've also looked at a case where a commander seeks from the
5 chief of the public security station that he assigned one of his units to
6 him. It is then that this unit finds itself in co-ordinated action with
7 the military units. In both cases, however, this unit and these men are
8 subordinated to that military commander.
9 Q. No, no. As we've been through already, General, if there's a
10 request by a military commander to -- for the police to provide men for
11 the purposes of combat, then that is resubordination. We agreed for
13 But what you're talking about, and I'm simply concentrating on
14 this one sentence, namely, that either way, whether it's attached, or
15 whatever, what is your basis in law for saying that where a police
16 officer, or police officers, act in co-ordination they are resubordinated
17 and come under the control of the military?
18 Please identify the law that says that.
19 A. May I just track down the specific paragraph, Ms. Korner, please?
20 Q. You may.
21 A. Ms. Korner, I'm looking at chapter 214 of my report.
22 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... do you mean paragraph 214?
23 A. Paragraph, yes.
24 That is where I find the foothold that I need for my theory. I
25 quote the paragraph, which reads:
1 "The brigade commander has the sole right of exercising command
2 over all units from the composition of the brigade and," I emphasise "any
3 attached units."
4 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... yes, I fully understand
5 that. Except in order for the unit to be attached in the way that you
6 describe the police unit, it has to be resubordinated, because that's
7 what the law says, doesn't it, 104, if it's applied, of the Law on All
8 People's Defence?
9 A. If you look at all of the rules and regulations, it reads that
10 there can only be a single commander who is in command. And that implies
11 a relationship of subordination. I do believe that it might be somewhat
12 difficult to understand, but that's how it works.
13 Q. No, no, General, it's not difficult to understand. I suggest
14 that in your capacity and your feeling as a member of the Defence team
15 you have, as you put it, constructed a theory which is not based on
16 either the law or reality that says whenever the police and military act
17 together, the military control what the police does.
18 I suggest there is not one iota of evidence to support what you
20 A. Ms. Korner, I was very precise. I never used words such as
21 "whenever." I provided two specific examples from actual practice. If a
22 military commander, on his own, decides to use police units, which
23 actually happened, then he is responsible, and he commands that police
24 units [as interpreted]. The other case: His own direct superior allows
25 him to attach to his own military unit a police unit to be used for a
1 specific assignment. There is only one thing that applies in both cases,
2 and that is what I'm claiming. There is only one commander. In this
3 case, the military commander.
4 Q. Absolutely. When there are combat operations, as defined what
5 combat means, fighting, when a military commander asks for or is given,
6 although, as you pointed out, the minister of the interior can't just
7 give people to fight, but if police are handed over, under the
8 resubordination principles for combat, then he commands. That is totally
9 different, as, I suggest, you made clear in that report, from
10 co-ordinated action.
11 A. No, Ms. Korner. In both cases, a police unit is resubordinated
12 to the military commander. Except for cases of co-operation - I
13 emphasise, co-operation. And this is a concept that we've been through,
14 where there is equality between the partners involved.
15 Co-ordinated action is complex and difficult. The most complex
16 form of co-operation in combat that there is. I have provided a number
17 of examples of possible errors --
18 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... let's not get sidetracked.
19 A. -- and the fact that there is only a single person in command is
20 meant to prevent precisely those errors from occurring.
21 Q. Other than your --
22 JUDGE HALL: Could we -- it's -- we're past the usual time for
23 the break.
24 Could we return to this in 20 minutes.
25 MS. KORNER: Yes, we could.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- Recess taken at 5.24 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 5.49 p.m.
4 JUDGE HALL: Ms. Korner, I would ask you to keep an eye on the
5 clock because we have to rise at 6.55 today.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. General, I'm going to come back, as I say, later to
10 resubordination, but I want to move through a couple more paragraphs of
11 your report.
12 Could you have a look, please, now at the diagram that you did.
13 Page 20. It comes directly after paragraph 61 in English. It's -- it's,
14 in fact, 62.
15 MS. KORNER: 61, please. 61.
16 And could we have the same diagram, please, in B/C/S possibly.
17 Thank you.
18 Q. Now, this is a, sort of, generic diagram of the make-up of the
19 VRS; is that right, General? Organisation.
20 A. Yes, that's right, Ms. Korner.
21 Q. Am I right also in thinking that although your report says it was
22 concentrating on the western area of indictment, which was the area
23 covered by the 1st KK, you made no attempt to -- to break down the
24 components of the 1st KK itself?
25 A. Ms. Korner, this paragraph of my report deals with the
1 organisation of the VRS as a whole. That is why I used this diagram.
2 Q. I understand that. But did you at any stage consider that it
3 might be helpful to have a more in-depth look at the 1st KK and a
4 diagramatic representation of how it was?
5 A. Ms. Korner, that could have been included, too. But here I
6 decided to talk about the overall organisation of the army.
7 Q. All right. In fact, you took that diagram from your report from
8 the Popovic case, didn't you?
9 A. That's right, Ms. Korner. I think that is the same diagram.
10 Q. Well, I just want to ask you about a couple of things that are
11 omitted from this that were included in your original Popovic report.
12 MS. KORNER: So could we have up -- sorry, the Popovic report at
13 page 11 in English. And the Popovic report is 20232, please. Tab 100.
14 Could we have the B/C/S of the Popovic report, please, too. I
15 think the pages are much the same. Yep. Thank you.
16 No, that's -- is that the same? No, that's a different one,
17 please. Can we see what the page number is?
18 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
19 MS. KORNER:
20 Q. Just -- General, hold on. Oh, I see you -- yes. Okay. Thank
21 you, General. What's the page number?
22 A. I think it's page 10.
23 Q. Yes, we've got it. Thank you very much.
24 All right. First of all, you give a key, which you omitted from
25 the present report, to the names of the corps. I don't think that's
1 important. But I want to know why you omitted the figures in your
2 present report. Under 1 KK, we see Division 1; 79 brigades;
3 19 regiments.
4 Why was it that you omitted those figures from your present
6 A. Ms. Korner, I dealt here with the organisational levels, and I
7 wanted to show the strategic level of organising and also the operative
8 and tactical level. I cannot remember why I left the figures out.
9 Q. Well, was it because if you'd put the figures in it showed that
10 the VRS, in terms of its structure and make-up, was considerably greater
11 in size than the ABiH or the HVO?
12 A. No, Ms. Korner. As for the subject that I studied in my reports,
13 I claim that the relative size of the army is not what really counts.
14 Q. Well, can I also put to you that the VRS had far greater
15 fire-power, in terms of weaponry and aircraft, than either the ABiH or
16 the HVO in 1992?
17 MR. KRGOVIC: You have a reference for that?
18 MS. KORNER:
19 Q. Can I put it to you, General? Would you accept that that is so?
20 A. Ms. Korner, we would have to make a specific comparison that
21 would require serious analysis. You may be right, but I didn't go into
23 Q. Well, I wasn't going to, but I suppose I ought to take you to the
24 part of a report you have read, which is the combat readiness report in
1 MS. KORNER: Could we have up, please - yes, thank you - it is
2 document ... 8-- P1781.
3 And can we go, in 1781, to -- I think it's page 69 in English.
4 Yes. We can start at page 69. Page 62 in the B/C/S. 69 in English;
5 62 ...
6 Q. And in the paragraph that's near the end of the page:
7 "Thanks to the vigorous opposition of the commander and the
8 entire Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, to the decision of the
9 competent authorities of the FRY army to withdraw combat hardware, the
10 pullout of most of the combat hardware together with the personnel - the
11 FRY nationals - was prevented."
12 Do you agree that in effect the JNA handed over its combat
13 hardware and personnel to the VRS?
14 A. Ms. Korner, based on the paragraph you've read out, that would be
15 the conclusion to draw. But I insist that the quantity of weapons is not
16 what matters, but, rather, whether by using those weapons you violated
17 the provisions of the international laws of war.
18 Ms. Korner, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was attacked by
19 some 25 countries, as is generally known, during the --
20 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... no, no, no. I am going to
21 stop you there because we're getting really sidetracked. And, General,
22 I'm not suggesting at this stage - that's a matter for the Court -
23 whether the weapons were used in violation of international laws of war.
24 Can I make that clear.
25 All, at the moment, I'm trying to get you to -- to deal with,
1 with you, is that the VRS was considerably superior to the other armies
2 in the conflict, in terms of weaponries, supply, and manpower.
3 Now, do you agree with that?
4 A. Ms. Korner, I agree with you, although it is extremely important
5 to make a comprehensive analysis that takes into consideration all
6 relevant information in order to claim that with certainty.
7 Q. All right. Well, I would also suggest to you, and I don't want
8 to take you through it, that the same statements, effectively, appear in
9 the corps -- in the one -- the 1st Krajina Corps report of the combat
10 readiness, which was prepared. I'm not going to take you through that,
11 as I say.
12 Now, all right. So, dealing with the diagram, you say you didn't
13 leave it out deliberately. You just level it out because? That's a
14 question. Why did you leave it out?
15 A. I do not remember, Ms. Korner.
16 Q. All right. Now, I want to turn, now, to looking at the documents
17 about the formation, or how it came about, of the VRS, which you have
18 said came about entirely -- well, are you saying that?
19 Can I just confirm that: Are you saying that the VRS was formed
20 only because the Muslims had formed the ABiH and the Croatians had formed
21 the HVO?
22 A. The VRS was established pursuant to the decisions of the
23 then-state authorities, Ms. Korner. I state as much in my report.
24 Q. Yes. But you -- you say, in fact, you say it twice in your
25 report, and we've looked at the paragraphs, that the VRS was formed
1 because - and that was paragraph 50, which we dealt with before the
2 break - because the Muslim and Croatian armies had already been forged.
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the Prosecutor please read
4 the whole paragraph, including the sentence the Prosecutor has left out.
5 Maybe it can be shown to the witness.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes.
7 Q. We have actually been through this paragraph.
8 "When the SFRY Presidency adopted a decision on the withdrawal of
9 the JNA, the Serbian political leadership in BiH set out to form its army
10 in the area where the Serbs were in a majority ..."
11 I spent some time on that.
12 "... because Muslim and Croatian armies had already been formed."
13 And I believe you say it elsewhere. Yes, you do. You say it in
14 your footnote. You repeat paragraph 50 in your footnote 14.
15 Now, is it your contention that the VRS was formed by the -- the
16 Serbian leadership only because the Muslim and Croatian armies had been
17 formed, according to you?
18 A. Ms. Korner, I used this information to highlight that the VRS was
19 established only after the other two armies had already been set up.
20 Q. Yes. All right. But -- that's still not quite the answer to my
21 question. I'm sorry.
22 Are you saying it was merely something you noted in passing, or
23 that the reason for the setting up of the VRS is those two armies?
24 A. Ms. Korner, the key reason for the establishment of the VRS was
25 the fact that the only regular army at the time, the JNA, was withdrawing
1 from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Serbian people who
2 wanted to remain in the framework of a Federation did not have an armed
3 force. Therefore, to protect that people, the state authorities took
4 that decision.
5 Q. So it was an entirely defensive, as opposed to offensive,
6 decision; is that what you're saying?
7 A. Ms. Korner, I said that the decision was taken as was fit, given
8 the current situation.
9 Q. Well, I'm sure that's a very interesting answer, but it's not an
10 answer, again, to my question.
11 Is it your contention, having studied this part of the conflict,
12 that the VRS was set up as a defensive or an offensive? Or don't you
14 A. Ms. Korner, terms such as "defensive" or "offensive" are used to
15 point out an aspect of combat activity, whether it's an attack or
16 defence. Here, I'm saying that the VRS was established to protect and
17 defend the Serbian people at a time when it felt threatened, and it had
18 been left -- or it was left without a regular army that was withdrawing
19 from the area.
20 Q. Would you entertain a suggestion that it was the Muslims and
21 Croats who were terrified of what was going to happen in early 1992
22 because of what had already happened?
23 A. Ms. Korner, I stated a fact. The fact that the other two peoples
24 had established their own armies. You should ask them why their
25 authorities at the time decided that they didn't want to stay in the
2 Q. No. I don't think that's the point at all. What I'm talking
3 about is violence; but, anyhow, let's look at the documents.
4 MS. KORNER: Can we have up, please, document 20226, which is
5 document 3 in our list.
6 Q. This is the copy - or a copy - of the directive of the
7 Federal Secretary for National Defence on the use of armed forces, dated
8 the 10th of December, 1991. Have you ever seen that before?
9 A. Ms. Korner, this document is something I don't think I have seen.
10 But I'll try to correct you; this document speaks about the use of the
11 armed forces.
12 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... I'm so sorry --
13 A. The way you said it.
14 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... I don't follow what
15 correction you're making.
16 A. Ms. Korner, I'm trying to say that, as far as I can tell, this
17 document was only sent to one command rather than to the entire armed
18 forces. It was sent to only one corps. And, at the time, the JNA could
19 have up to 30 corps.
20 Q. Yes, all right. Thank you. However, this is, as you say, the
21 9th Corps of the JNA. And this is a directive from the federal
22 secretary. This is the -- the -- the JNA, you say, was there to prevent
23 interethnic conflict and protect all peoples. And we went through that
24 when we looked at the JNA.
25 Could you look, please, at the second page of this directive.
1 MS. KORNER: It would be the third page, I'm so sorry.
2 Q. "Our armed forces are entering a new period of exceptional
3 significance for accomplishing the ultimate aims of the war: Protection
4 of the Serbian population, a peaceful resolution of the Yugoslav
5 crisis ..." and so on and so forth.
6 The federal secretary there is saying to this corps of the JNA,
7 which is supposed to be all people's corps, it is there to protect the
8 Serbian population; correct?
9 A. Ms. Korner, I feel I must explain this fact.
10 This document, as far as I remember, was sent to the Knin Corps.
11 And the territory that made up its zone of responsibility was mostly
12 populated by Serbs. I remember the political message that was sent to
13 two sides. The one side was the then-Croatian military leadership. And
14 the message for them was, If you attack these people, the
15 Yugoslav People's Army will protect them.
16 On the other hand, this was also a message for the Serbian
17 people, that they should not set up their open paramilitary units because
18 the JNA will protect the Serbs against any possible threat.
19 What is also very important, Ms. Korner - and during that period,
20 I was in the Republic of Croatia - the Serbian people in the
21 Republic of Croatia, under the federal constitution that was in force
22 then and the constitution of Croatia, was a constituent people, which
23 means that without the political will of that people, the political
24 system in that country could not be changed, if I understand the notion
25 of constituent people correctly.
1 This is how I interpret this document, which was used for
2 propaganda purposes to show that the JNA was only protecting the Serbian
4 Q. So are you saying you have seen this document before?
5 A. No, Ms. Korner. But it seems to me that it was published at the
6 time, because the then-federal leadership still included members of
7 various peoples, as far as I remember. And as soon as a document is
8 adopted, it immediately leaks and is used for various purposes in
9 accordance with one's preferences.
10 Q. Do you not think - and that's all I want to ask you about - that
11 it would have been more appropriate if the order had said, "The
12 protection of all peoples under threat"?
13 A. I'm speaking my mind, and I'm saying why I think that this was
14 phrased this way.
15 It is a known fact that 200.000 Serbs were expelled from that
16 area. Obviously the Yugoslav People's Army did not protect that
18 Q. All right. All right. Can we move, now, to -- forward in time
19 to the 20th of March, please.
20 MS. KORNER: Could we have a look at document 01976. Tab 5.
21 Q. This is a document from General Kukanjac, who was the general in
22 charge, was he not, of the 2nd Military District, until he was removed?
23 A. That is correct, Ms. Korner. In the signature block of this
24 document, we read, "General Kukanjac."
25 Q. And this is -- it doesn't actually say what it is. It's an
1 evaluation, in the second -- in the first paragraph:
2 "We are kindly asking you to return these documents after use.
3 For justified reasons, we are suggesting to present this document to the
4 smallest circle of people as necessary."
5 MS. KORNER: Can we now go, please, to paragraph 5. Volunteer
6 units in the zone of the 2nd Military District, which is page 6 in
7 English. And it's page 6 in B/C/S as well, actually.
8 Q. And there's obviously a map. And then it talks about, in
9 paragraph (d), number of people in the zones of the - "corpses" I think
10 not - I think it is "corps."
11 And then, at paragraph (f): "The JNA distributed 51.900 pieces
12 of armament, (75 per cent), and the SDS, 17.298 pieces."
13 Would you accept that the JNA or that General Kukanjac is saying
14 that they distributed weaponry to the Serbs in March?
15 A. Yes, Ms. Korner. This is what it says. Although I'm not
16 familiar with this document.
17 Q. No. And in Sarajevo, 300 automatic rifles have been distributed
18 so far, to the retired officers. And for three or four days there'll be
19 a hundred armed people they will defend, protect. Residential areas.
20 Would you agree from the context that these 300 automatic rifles
21 in Sarajevo have been distributed to retired Serb officers?
22 A. Yes, Ms. Korner.
23 Q. Should I go back -- and we're going to look at another document
24 in a minute -- wasn't it right that the JNA was on the side of the Serbs?
25 It was already, effectively, its army.
1 A. Ms. Korner, I told you that, just like in Croatia, in the
2 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina the Serbian people was equal to the two
3 other peoples, and it was one of the constituent peoples. Without their
4 political will, the other two peoples decided to leave the Federation, to
5 break away. And the Serbian people, as far as I remember, had, as its
6 political option, staying in the Federation.
7 Q. Well, I don't want to enter into the argument now about the
8 referendum against the plebescite and all the rest of it. But what I'm
9 concerned about, what I'm asking you about, is, the JNA was supposed to
10 be an army of all the peoples but what it was doing was arming the Serbs,
11 wasn't it?
12 MR. KRGOVIC: Specify when it says "army." Particular corps or
13 army, JNA, general.
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. Do you want to answer the question, General?
16 A. Ms. Korner, I've already said this. The other two peoples did
17 not accept the JNA, which was still the regular military force there.
18 Q. It -- whether it accepted the JNA or not, the JNA was quite
19 deliberately arming non-military people, effectively, as -- to be used
20 against the other constituent peoples in Bosnia; that's right, isn't it?
21 A. This is just a single example of what happened in the area of
22 responsibility of that corps.
23 What I know from practical experience in Croatia is that the
24 families of military personnel and the whole residential buildings in
25 which they lived were surrounded and besieged by the paramilitary units
1 of the Croatian army at the time. I suppose that these were distributed
2 in a bid to protect precisely those families.
3 Q. Why? Why do you suppose that, as opposed to it being an
4 offensive distribution to be used to take over territory that was not
5 populated by Serbs?
6 A. Ms. Korner, I believe that the weapons were distributed primarily
7 to protect the Serbs.
8 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... yes. I --
9 A. This effort was based on historical precedents from earlier wars.
10 Q. Right. Well, let's not waste any more time. Can we look at one
11 further paragraph, please, which is at the top of page 8 in B/C/S, under
12 paragraph 6: Warehouses of war equipment ...
13 MS. KORNER: No, page 6 in English, please. Next page in English
14 and next page in B/C/S.
15 Q. Do you see the paragraph that begins:
16 "Reserves of material (9.930 barrels and 200 tonnes of
17 ammunition) from the Territorial Defence, from the joint warehouse Rabic,
18 near Derventa, to be transferred to Banja Luka," although on the map
19 Ugrinski Lug is already shown "because the part of the material will be
20 temporarily stocked there. The (secret) action of the transfer is in
22 So, secretly, large quantities of ammunition were being
23 transferred by the JNA to Banja Luka. Do you agree?
24 A. I do agree, Ms. Korner. I don't know the reason behind it,
1 Q. Well, I suggest to you, on what happened later, General, the
2 reason was to take over territories by force that did not contain Serb
4 A. Ms. Korner, I told you, based on my practical experience in
5 Slovenia and Croatia, the armies being organised at the time were
6 attacking JNA storage facilities and warehouses, taking away weapons and
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may I ask that this document also be
9 exhibited. It was produced in order to deal with his contention that the
10 JNA -- or -- there is no support of the Serbs from the JNA, as opposed to
11 any other army.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: I think it's completely irrelevant for this case.
13 It was said because -- I turn on Serbian.
14 [Interpretation] Where in his report does the witness say
15 anything about weapons, about warehouses, about how weapons were
16 distributed? I think this bears no relevance to our present case at all.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, it's dealt with because the whole
18 tenure of the General's report about the formation of the VRS is that
19 this was no more than a response to the formation -- the formation of the
20 Army of ABiH and the HVO, and this document shows that, effectively, way
21 before that, the Serb army was being helped created, if you like, by the
22 provision of supplies and weaponry from the JNA. And, equally, his
23 assertion that the JNA was not on the side of the Serbs.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, with all due respect, Your Honours, if that
25 is the Prosecutor's position in their case, they should have stated so in
1 their pre-trial brief so we can provide the -- the adequate response
2 during our Defence case, that we are on notice that this is the
3 Prosecutor's case. Because, so far, we never understood that this is a
4 part of the Prosecutor's case, who was and at what time were the armies
5 formed and who was supplying which ammunition and the -- and -- and the
6 weapons to whom.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, we have -- I'm so sorry, but that is
8 utterly misleading.
9 We have always said that the JNA was responsible for arming the
10 Serbs. It is in our pre-trial brief. We've raised this question of
11 which army was formed first during -- or it was raised by the Defence,
12 and we have always made it clear that we did not accept that the armies
13 of ABiH and HVO, as such, were created at an early stage, such as this.
14 So it's quite, quite misleading.
15 JUDGE HALL: Yes. But the question still arises as to why wasn't
16 this document tendered during the presentation of the Prosecution's case.
17 MS. KORNER: Well, because, Your Honour, we didn't have a General
18 saying -- we didn't have a report saying that the VRS is only formed as a
19 result of the formation of the -- the other armies.
20 And, Your Honours, this document has been disclosed forever and
21 ever and ever. So it's not a question as though it wasn't -- that the
22 Defence weren't -- knew about it.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE HALL: The document is admitted and marked.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2389, Your Honours.
1 MS. KORNER: Now can we have a look, please, at a document of the
2 following day, the 1st of April, which is document 20-- oh, sorry, not
3 the next day. Ten days later. 20227, tab 6.
4 Q. 17th Corps, 1st of April, to the 2nd Military District Command.
5 "During the 31st of March," and this is paragraph 4, "to the
6 1st of April, the conflict escalated in the area of Bijeljina. According
7 to unverified information, Arkan's people entered Bijeljina. In the part
8 of the town where the Muslims reside, the barricades were erected. The
9 passage to the town is blocked. In the town, explosions and rifle fire
10 can be heard."
11 Now, do you know about the fact --
12 A. Ms. Korner, I don't have the document in front of me.
13 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... oh, I'm sorry.
14 There you go, I'm sorry. I didn't realize it. Paragraph 4.
15 A. Thank you.
16 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... have a read of it.
17 MS. KORNER: Mr. Zecevic, paragraph 88, for you, of the pre-trial
19 Q. Right. General, have you read that part?
20 A. Yes, I'm looking at it.
21 Q. Right. You know about, don't you, Arkan's Men going into
22 Bijeljina and killing and terrorising the Muslims there?
23 A. Yes. I do know that this paramilitary unit was in the area.
24 Q. Right. Now, do you think, from what you're saying, it was the
25 duty of the JNA to prevent Arkan's Men from attacking the town in this
1 way and killing the Muslims?
2 A. I think you're right, Ms. Korner.
3 Q. But they didn't, did they? They just stood by and watched and
4 did nothing. They reported it to the 2nd Military District.
5 A. If that is, indeed, what happened, and I can't judge, myself,
6 based on this dispatch, then the commander of that unit, in that area,
7 should have prevented the paramilitary units committing those crimes.
8 Q. Well, you would expect, wouldn't you, if he'd done anything about
9 it, for him to report in this report, We are taking the following action.
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have an objection
11 to this line of questioning.
12 Is Ms. Korner testifying here about the murders committed by
13 Arkan? What exactly are these questions based on? And why about this
14 particular situation? Where exactly does the document say they killed or
15 massacred such and such a number of people, or is Ms. Korner, indeed,
16 testify to that effect?
17 MS. KORNER: Right. I'm pretty certain we've got evidence in
18 about this somewhere. But I'll change the nature of the question.
19 Q. If, during the course of the attack on Bijeljina by Arkan, which
20 is reported here - and I think we -- yes, we will find -- in fact, the
21 evidence is coming in a minute - you would have -- and if this commander
22 had done anything to stop it, you would have expected him to report it,
23 wouldn't you?
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have it in no
25 uncertain terms. Where does the document indicate that an attack
2 MS. KORNER: I'm not going -- I'm not even going to deign to deal
3 with that.
4 Q. If the commander was going to do any -- had done anything,
5 General, you would have expected it to have been in this report, wouldn't
7 A. I agree, Ms. Korner.
8 Q. Thank you. Now can we look, please, then, at the next report,
9 the following day, which is document 6A, 2024--
10 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated] Yes, yes, General.
11 The General is indicating something.
12 MS. KORNER: Oh, I think he'd like some water.
13 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
14 MS. KORNER: Sorry, could we have up - I think I did say -
15 document 20227. Tab 6 -- no, tab ... sorry. Yes, tab 6. No, tab 6A.
16 20 -- sorry, 20246.
17 Q. This is the following day. And in paragraph 2 he talks about
18 this waiting generates tension with conscripts. In order to strengthen
19 the forces in the Bijeljina garrison, 3 tanks, et cetera. One truck
20 carrying soldiers. And after the conflict ...
21 Right. Then after paragraph 4, oh, well, paragraph 4:
22 [As read] "The situation in the area is still very complex ...
23 was the worst situation in Bijeljina at present. After heavy fighting,
24 and at around 9.30 the situation calmed down ... on the 2nd of the 4th,
25 the party leaders do not control the situation and are not capable of
1 stopping the activity. For this reason they are not able to even enforce
2 the curfew set for between 8.00 and 6.00, and the MUP at present refuse
3 to participate in mixed patrols with JNA. So far we know of three
4 persons killed, 15 to 20 wounded ... but it is certain there are more
5 killed and wounded than that. And the road leading from Bijeljina to
6 Zvornik is blocked in places ..."
7 Would you agree this is still talking about the incursion of
8 Arkan and his men into Bijeljina?
9 A. Ms. Korner, we don't see that specifically here, as we did in the
10 previous document.
11 Q. Yes. But it's clear, isn't it, that he's talking about
12 Bijeljina. He's talking about the people waiting in the -- the garrison,
13 the re -- I mean, the increasing in the strength of the armaments.
14 A. As far as I can tell, based on this, it is impossible to say who
15 of the warring parties are in this conflict, Ms. Korner.
16 Q. [Previous translation continued] ... let's look, we'll see for
17 sure in paragraph 8.
18 MS. KORNER: Can we look at paragraph 8, please; page 2 in
19 English, and I think it's page 2 in B/C/S.
20 Q. "The situation in the zone of the corps is very unfavorable. The
21 situation is especially difficult in Bijeljina, where the armed conflict
22 between the citizens of Serb and Muslim ethnicity continues. The corps
23 command engaged part of 336 motor brigade forces in order to strengthen
24 the defence of the barracks, although the barracks have not been attacked
25 so far ... no fighting in ... Brod and Derventa ..."
1 Now, again, by the next day, the JNA unit there has done nothing
2 to prevent the interethnic conflict, has it? What it's done is reinforce
3 its own barracks.
4 A. I'm not aware of the reasons, Ms. Korner. Was that unit or
5 command also under siege in one way or the other? What were its tasks at
6 the time? I don't know. It is difficult for me to judge this particular
7 action. Nevertheless, I do agree, if, indeed, the unit was in a position
8 to stop any interethnic clashes from breaking out, it should have done
10 MS. KORNER: Yes. Well, Your Honours, I see the time.
11 JUDGE HALL: So we take -- we take the adjournment, to reconvene
12 tomorrow afternoon.
13 There are two things in terms of scheduling that we would point
14 out before we rise. One is that Mr. -- in terms of the witness scheduled
15 to begin on Monday, the -- our own projection is such that, Mr. Krgovic,
16 there would be -- it appears to us that the -- that witness's testimony
17 will, in all likelihood, extend into Thursday. And let me say,
18 parenthetically, that notwithstanding the Prosecution's indication that
19 they need double the amount of time allocated for the
20 examination-in-chief, that in consistent with our usual practice of being
21 given -- as -- as a basis, the equivalent amount of time, that testimony
22 is likely to extend into Thursday, and we should reserve Friday as a
23 possible spillover day. And therefore it would not be prudent, having
24 regard to the fact that this trial would then be in a two-week recess, to
25 take another witness for next week.
1 And in terms of the witness at present on the stand, we would
2 require, Ms. Korner, that you complete your cross-examination by the end
3 of the first session on Friday.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.55 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day
7 of September, 2011, at 2.15 p.m.