1 Thursday, 13 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we were at approximately paragraph 215,
8 216, 217.
9 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR VASILJEVIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]
12 Q. General Vasiljevic, you'd been telling us yesterday about the
13 meeting you attended on the 1st of June, 1999, and the last topic that we
14 covered was the apparent authority that Sainovic had. Just to develop
15 that particular point, can you remember and tell us the order in which
16 people entered the conference hall in which the meeting was held and how
17 people reacted when Sainovic entered.
18 A. Yes. I already described the seating arrangement at the table
19 where we were. The last ones to come to this meeting were Mr. Sainovic
20 and Andjelkovic. When they walked into that room, we all got up, and
21 after they sat down at that table, the meeting began.
22 Q. And the meeting was in a conference room, I think, in a high-rise
23 facility in Pristina, and you were all seated at a conference table, but
24 in other parts of the hall, just to give the Judges a picture, were there
25 other members of the 3rd Army and the Pristina Corps working on maps and
1 doing other sorts of work?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Leading you to the conclusion that this room was what sort of
4 command post?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. That it was a form of command post?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. The maps had friendly and enemy things marked on them and matters
9 of that sort.
10 In the course of the meeting, was the previous 24 hours reviewed
11 but nothing in detail outside the previous 24 hours?
12 A. Yes. This was a brief routine report as to what had been going on
13 over the past 24 hours. First, General Lazarevic gave some brief
14 observations regarding NATO operations, and then General Djordjevic, from
15 the MUP, spoke about MUP operations. There was nothing special going on
16 there that I would remember. It all ended with a brief summary as to what
17 should be done during the following day. For the most part, the general
18 from the MUP said that during the course of the next day, the terrain
19 should be cleaned in the area of Drenica. So that was, briefly, that
20 particular meeting.
21 Q. And as to MUP activities, did Sainovic have to approve them?
22 A. That's not the way the meeting went. And the climate was not like
23 that. It's not that a formal conclusion was supposed to be adopted. It
24 was simply stated that everything was all right and everything was
25 evolving according to plan. So I think that I could put it this way:
1 That it was a rather easy-going atmosphere, the kind in which these people
2 met every day.
3 Q. Very well.
4 MR. NICE: I've got a few exhibits, Your Honour. In order to save
5 time, I think Exhibit tab 39 can be skipped certainly at this stage. The
6 next exhibit is an exhibit already produced, Exhibit 320, tab 57, which
7 I'd like the witness very briefly to look at.
8 Q. As this comes to you, General Vasiljevic, this is a document that
9 I think you're not familiar with. You've been invited to review it while
10 you've been here. If its form appears to you to be regular, what does it
11 suggest to you as to the coordination function of the Joint Command in
12 respect of the VJ and the MUP?
13 A. This is the work plan of the communications station, and we're
14 talking about radio communications. This station is the code name Pastrik
15 command. And in addition to that, 12 other participants in the network
16 are mentioned, including units from the army of Yugoslavia and units from
17 the MUP.
18 Q. Very well. We'll have that back, please. Tab 40 of -- tab 40 of
19 Exhibit 387. If we could put the English version on the overhead
21 General, dated the 17th of April, 1999, from the Supreme Command
22 Staff, addressed as a command post, reading: "Link: Kosovo and Metohija
23 Joint Command order, strictly confidential ....
24 "Suggestions: Continue comprehensive preparations," and various
25 other points, and it's signed by Ojdanic.
1 Your interpretation of this document in respect of what the Joint
2 Command was able to do and instruct the VJ to do, and perhaps more
3 importantly, how do we read Ojdanic's function in all this?
4 A. This document shows that previously there had been an order issued
5 by the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija in which the way in which the
6 forces were to be used was probably regulated. I assume that the
7 commander of the 3rd Army informed the Chief of General Staff about that.
8 And then suggestions are presented as to what should be corrected in that.
9 I mean, it's interesting that he gives suggestions. He is
10 actually Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command. It is not customary for
11 him to give suggestions. It would only be natural for him to give orders
12 as to how the forces should be used. So this shows the position of the
13 Joint Command, and it shows this kind of duality. There is a command for
14 using forces in Kosovo, which is binding upon the commander of the 3rd
15 Army. He is supposed to act accordingly. And then he, on the other hand,
16 has the chief -- has his own superior, and he has this Chief of Staff of
17 the Supreme Command, and he gives him suggestions. This is a kind of
18 duality that is not typical for command and control.
19 Q. Finally, what does it suggest to you as to who had primacy;
20 Pavkovic-Sainovic, or Pavkovic-Ojdanic, if we can put it in those simple
22 A. I think that Pavkovic, in the most unpleasant situation of all,
23 because practically he had two commanders. He had one who was down there
24 in the field, in Kosovo, and who issues orders, and he also has
25 subordination, according to the vertical line, vis-a-vis the Chief of
1 General Staff. Now, whether this suggestion had the force of an order
2 issued by the Chief of General Staff, that is something that I don't know.
3 I don't know how they acted upon this, but there is some kind of duality.
4 Q. With Sainovic having a critical role?
5 A. Well, I think he did, but I cannot say this with certainty because
6 I was not in a position to see it specifically, but I think so, yes.
7 Q. Tab 41, please, of Exhibit 387, going back to August, 1998. This
8 document, General. A long document, so we'll only look at it and seek
9 your comment on it.
10 MR. NICE: First page, please, Usher.
11 Q. We see that this is a document from the Pristina Corps command
12 forward command post at Djakovica. The decision on the joint engagement
13 of the MUP and VJ, and we see decision, combat disposition, tasks for
14 units. Over the page, reference to --
15 MR. NICE: Second page, please, Usher.
16 Q. Reference to fire support, combat support measures, logistical
17 support at the bottom of the page.
18 MR. NICE: Third page, please, Usher.
19 Q. Technical support, quartermaster, medical, traffic, fire,
20 gathering confiscated weapons. And then at the foot of the page, command
21 and communications: "Combat operations will be commanded by the Joint
22 Command for Kosovo and Metohija from forward command post in Djakovica.
23 Organise communications in accordance with the communications plan that
24 will be drawn up by the chief of communications. Readiness of
25 communications ..."
1 And then the last page, forward reports as follows. Thank you.
2 "Organise coordinated action with MUP forces during preparations and
3 combat operations." Signed by Nebojsa Pavkovic and sent to the Republic
4 of Serbia MUP, PJP command, and various other addressees identified there.
5 General, looking at this document, August 1998, what does it
6 reveal as to the Joint Command's authority over both the VJ and the MUP,
7 and what does it reveal as to whether they were at that time operating
8 within their own chain of command?
9 A. First of all, this document was drafted in a way which is correct
10 from a military point of view. We see here in the last item, command and
11 communications, that the command is carried out by the Joint Command. The
12 army is practically operating in concert with the MUP forces that are
13 carrying out operations, and this shows that they also give them fire
15 Now, whether the General Staff was informed about this is
16 something that I don't know about. It is my assessment that the Joint
17 Command actually had executive command in terms of engaging forces in
18 Kosovo and Metohija. However, in it there was a military part and
19 probably a part from the MUP that led the MUP units and who was then head
20 of the Joint Command. That was the person that made all the most
21 important decisions.
22 That is what I can see from the document, because at that time, I
23 was not in service.
24 Q. Of course. Tab 42, please. Back to a time when you were in
25 service, 29th of May, 1999. From Chief of the Supreme Command Staff,
1 General Ojdanic, to the commander of the 3rd Army personally and coming
2 from the Supreme Command Staff. This is a reminder to do various things.
3 What does this show you, General Vasiljevic, about the authority that
4 Ojdanic was exercising at this stage and through this document?
5 A. Perhaps there can be a bit of a dilemma regarding the following:
6 It is not stated here, "I hereby order..." It is said, "I hereby
7 caution..." However, if I were the commander who received this particular
8 paper from the command, I would have taken it as an order. So what it
9 says is what is cautioned, what is supposed to be done, and this is
10 binding upon the commander of the 3rd Army because in the preamble, it
11 says that there is information about operations that could be carried out,
12 and he draws the attention of those concerned to this.
13 So it should have said, "I hereby order," but irrespective of the
14 verb that is actually used here, "I caution," it does have the force of an
16 Q. Thank you very much. Tab 43, the last in this short exercise.
17 This is a document from the 7th of July, 1998, so before your
18 time. Command of the 125th Motorised Brigade. Signed by Dragan
20 The heading is "Ban on operations without the knowledge and
21 approval of the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija." It then leads off
22 with being pursuant to the order of the Joint Command at an earlier date,
23 the order prohibits the execution of operations by units and formations
24 without the approval of the Joint Command. That's probably all we need
25 look at on this three-page document.
1 What does this -- how does this fit with your understanding of the
2 operation of the Joint Command in 1999?
3 A. Well, again, it has the force of a mini Supreme Command down there
4 that is in charge of the joint operations of the army of Yugoslavia and
5 the MUP in Kosovo and Metohija. Obviously, it can be seen here that there
6 was individual use of certain units and that support was required from the
7 units of the army of Yugoslavia to the MUP, and this was not verified
8 through the Joint Command, and there may have been some improvisations and
9 some problems in that. And in this way, they are trying to put order in
10 the chain of command. Still, the Joint Command is the one that is issuing
11 specific orders regarding operations in Kosovo.
12 Q. In a way generally appropriate for the engagement of multiple
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Even if at the time there appears to be some, as you say,
16 disorganisation or whatever. Right. Thank you very much.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we then come to a short closed session,
18 with the Court's leave. Paragraphs 219 to 221.
19 [Private session]
13 Page 15978 – redacted – private session
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. Paragraph 224 briefly. Basically --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. In case it becomes relevant, can you help us, please, with -- very
2 briefly, with military territorial commands? What were they?
3 A. Military territorial commands did exist within the JNA, and they
4 were commands which carried out mobilisation. They kept military records
5 and also sent out recruits to the army. They were subordinated to the
6 army command.
7 Q. And in the area with which we are particularly concerned, was
8 there a Pristina Military Territorial Command for Kosovo and a Nis
9 Military Territorial Command for the remainder of Southern Serbia?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. When operational, they would be under the command of VJ brigades?
12 A. No, not the brigade command, the army command, if you're thinking
13 about the command of the military district.
14 Q. You have some examples from recollection of detachments of
15 military territorial commands in Istok, Klina, and Djakovica.
16 A. The military territorial detachments were units which were --
17 which were within the frameworks of the military departments and under the
18 command of the military districts. So they were units which were, first
19 of all, intended to exert control over the territory in which they were
20 located, however, the territorial -- military territorial detachments
21 could have been deployed and engaged outside the territories on which they
22 were originally located. So that means that was the reserve formation.
23 And there were cases of that kind, for example, with the 7th Infantry
24 Brigade from Krusevac, for example, and the military territorial
25 detachment from Brus, for example, from that particular area. And that
1 was attached to the command and therefore comes under its composition and
2 under its command. I don't think that is anything extraordinary. I think
3 it is the regular procedure.
4 Q. Very well. Can we look at tab 44, Exhibit 387. This is a
5 document --
6 MR. NICE: If we can look at the first page, please, Usher.
7 Q. -- 26 June 1998, so before your re-engagement. "Pursuant to the
8 3rd Army's Command Strictly Confidential Order... the aggravated political
9 and security situation in Kosovo and Metohija, and in order to defend and
10 protect the citizens from the Siptar... terrorist groups, I --" and the
11 order comes from Pavkovic -- "Order: Organise and carry out technical
12 preparations for distribution of weapons and ammunition to military
13 conscripts assigned to war units of the Pristina Corps, the Pristina
14 Military District and the 202nd Logistics Base."
15 And then halfway down the page, within paragraph 3 at the end of
16 it: "On the basis of the lists, call up military conscripts in small
17 groups to the army barracks and organise distribution and issue of weapons
18 in Serbian and Montenegrin villages. Devote special attention to security
19 measures, secrecy and camouflage discipline in carrying out this task."
20 Paragraph 6: "After completing the distribution, prepare and
21 organise inhabited places for defence."
22 Over the page. "Military department commanders are responsible
23 for organising this in their zones of responsibility in cooperation with
24 the MUP..."
25 And then at 8: "I forbid formation and engagement of any
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 volunteer groups except those comprising local village inhabitants."
2 Now, you've seen this document, General. Were you aware, before
3 sight of this document, of this type of village defence preparation?
4 A. No, I did not know about that.
5 Q. Looking at the document, and unless you find anything to suggest
6 that it's unreliable, what does this suggest to you about the nature of
7 the plan set out in the document? Was it indeed apparently a secret plan?
8 A. Well, I don't think that I could say that a secret plan actually
9 existed on the basis of this. What this is about is the division -- the
10 issuance, actually, of weapons and military materiel to the reserve
11 component of the JNA units or, rather, the army of Yugoslavia as it was at
12 that time. And this was conditioned by the concrete political security
13 situation on the ground in the territory. And those weapons could be
14 issued to the reservists - that wasn't anything strange - that belonged to
15 the war units of the army of Yugoslavia deployed on the territory of
16 Kosovo and Metohija.
17 So this is actually a caution for secrecy, this issuance of
18 weapons, and the issuance of weapons could have been carried out on the
19 basis of an official order, because assessments are made for the issuance
20 of weapons, that that was necessary for the units to be established, and
21 not to waste time, the weapons and equipment were issued to the conscripts
22 to have with them. This order came from the command, the army command.
23 All I can assume is that the commander himself did not do it on his own
24 bat but he had probably received instructions of this kind from the
25 General Staff.
1 Now --
2 Q. I think that's probably enough, but the position is you weren't
3 aware of it until you saw the document in court or, rather, here.
4 A. No, I was not.
5 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 226, please. Did the Supreme Command Staff
6 have two volunteer reception centres for the VJ of which you were aware?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Regulated and with the stipulation that volunteers should be
9 integrated into the VJ as individuals and there should not be the question
10 of integration of units.
11 A. Yes. There were strict orders with regard to that procedure.
12 Q. Paragraph 230. The MUP staff of Kosovo was, I think you've
13 already told us this, headed by General Lukic. And did you infer from
14 this that there was coordination of operations of the MUP as directed by
15 the Joint Command?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Paragraph 233. Were there some MUP special units engaged in
19 A. Yes, there were.
20 Q. We'll deal with one or two of them. Was there an SAJ
21 anti-terrorist unit commanded by Zivko Trajkovic?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Were there intervention brigades of the PJP and detachments of the
24 PJP assigned at the municipality level?
25 A. I think that -- I don't think there were intervention brigades at
1 municipal level. These were larger formations, whereas the detachments of
2 special police forces were deployed in the municipalities, yes.
3 Q. There was an OPG, an operational sweep group, which was a part of
4 the PJP?
5 A. It wasn't an Operational Group. It was an operational sweep
7 Q. Yes. That's what I said, or intended to say. Did you understand
8 that Colonel Goran Radosavljevic, or Guri, was overall commander of the
9 PJP units in Kosovo?
10 A. All I can say is something that the security organs in Kosovo
11 reported back to me about the situation. So they had information that
12 these groups were being commanded by a man whose nickname was Guri, and
13 they had his code name for the radio communication system. Now, what his
14 actual name was, I don't know. So this was what the security organs knew
15 about it.
16 Q. And who did you assess to be the overall commander of PJP units in
17 Serbia at that time?
18 A. As far as I know, that was General Stevanovic.
19 Q. An OPG unit was of apparently what size so far as you were
21 A. From the information that I received from the main security centre
22 when I was in Kosovo, these were smaller groups numbering between 20 and
23 30 men. They had light weapons, and they were with the local population
24 in the area.
25 Q. A quick review of Exhibit 319, tab 38, please. Ministry of the
1 Interior of Serbia, Secretariat of the Interior, Djakovica police station,
2 listing members of the 123rd, possibly intervention brigade, 4th company,
3 3rd platoon of the Djakovica Secretariat of the Interior for payment of
4 per diems and there's a platoon of 24 men and a further list over the page
5 of 13.
6 What is this? How does this correspond with what you understood
7 of special MUP units in the area at the time?
8 A. What we can see is that there was the 123rd Intervention Brigade,
9 that that existed, and that this is a list of the members of the 3rd
10 platoon of the 4th Company. Now, as the Ministry of the Interior is
11 mentioned here, the police station in Djakovica in actual fact, most
12 probably this platoon was from Djakovica and perhaps the whole company was
13 too of the Intervention Brigade which was deployed on the territory of
14 Djakovo municipality.
15 Q. Thank you very much. The RDB special units, or the special unit
16 the JSO, had what equipment, please, and what uniforms?
17 A. That was a unit for special operations of the state security
18 service, and it had special equipment, state of the art, the best quality
19 type of special categories. What was characteristic was that they had
20 special camouflage uniforms and they wore red berets, and also they had a
21 specific type of hat. And they could be recognised readily by the Hummer
22 four-wheel drive vehicles, special ones they had to move about in Kosovo.
23 They had different types of weaponry, ranging from an anti-aircraft gun to
24 automatic rifles and so on.
25 Q. Their name? What was the name of the unit and their commander?
1 A. Well, the sign and insignia that it carried was known as the Grey
2 Wolves, and the commander was Milorad Ulemek and his nickname was Legija.
3 Q. Did the members of this unit appear to have previous operational
5 A. Well, I think that that isn't contested, yes.
6 Q. And Legija's superior was?
7 A. Well, his first superior, his immediate superior was Frenki
8 Simatovic, and the unit as such was, in practical terms, under the command
9 of the chief of the state security department, who was Rade Markovic at
10 that time.
11 Q. We'll hear about a meeting you had with the accused in May of
12 1999, but just forecasting one element of that, on that occasion, did Rade
13 Markovic acknowledge the use and deployment of the JSO in one Kosovo
15 A. Yes, he did. And it was the village of Jezerce.
16 MR. NICE: Short closed session, please.
17 [Private session]
13 Page 15988 – redacted – private session
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. Were Arkan's Tigers present in Kosovo?
24 A. Yes, they were.
25 Q. Based where, under whose command?
1 A. According to the information which we had and which was later
2 confirmed at a meeting by Rade Markovic himself, they were in Kosovo
3 Polje. And our information told us that there were about 100 men there.
4 Rade Markovic stated that 100 of them had responded but that he took only
5 30 as volunteers. And they were deployed in a separate camp, if I can
6 call it that. It was some kind of facility in Kosovo Polje. And
7 according to what Rade Markovic himself said, because on the previous days
8 some -- they had committed some crime, they killed a married couple, an
9 Albanian couple, he ordered them to go back and leave Kosovo.
10 Q. They were under the command of whom so far as you understood it?
11 A. The report said, the security report said that they were under the
12 command of some -- of the man whose nickname was Guri.
13 Q. Thank you. How well known at that time generally was the Arkan
14 reputation and thus the potential for difficulties that Arkan's Tigers
15 would always bring?
16 A. Well, his reputation was well known, because for a long -- it
17 covered a long period of time and it's a long story. But from that first
18 information as to the formation of the Serbian volunteer guards, in that
19 first nucleus which numbered about 30 people, there was not a single
20 individual who had not already perpetrated crimes and had been found
21 guilty of those crimes and sentenced.
22 And secondly, they went around in public with their long-barrelled
23 weapons, although the issuance of this kind of weaponry was regulated by
24 separate rules and regulations.
25 Yes, they did have a reputation. Everybody knew that they had
1 taken part in many evil acts.
2 Q. Arkan himself, on your information, was he equipped with any
3 official identification papers?
4 A. Yes, he was. He had these identification papers from the former
5 Yugoslavia, and he never went around without his ID papers. However, the
6 members of his reserve formation had the same kind of IDs.
7 Q. There are a few more points, please, before we turn to the meeting
8 with the accused. The subordination of the MUP to the VJ during a state
9 of war. Were you aware whether Ojdanic had asked the accused to issue any
10 subordination order?
11 A. Yes, I was aware of that. He did.
12 Q. Did the MUP respect it?
13 A. No, it did not.
14 Q. And as you understood it from Ojdanic or from other sources, what
15 happened when Ojdanic drew this problem to the accused's attention?
16 A. Well, according to what he -- General Ojdanic told me - and this
17 was sometime after he had retired - he told him that, all right, that
18 problem would be solved in due course. But we didn't write out the order
19 because of the problems with the MUP of Serbia but so that the MUP of
20 Montenegro should be placed under the control of the army. And General
21 Ojdanic showed me this from his official notes, official working notes.
22 And I remember that this was written down in red ink. So this
23 subordination, to all intents and purposes, never took effect in the
25 Q. Tab 45 of Exhibit 387, please. This is a short document, General,
1 from Colonel Mile Stanojkovic.
2 MR. NICE: Just the first page, please, Usher, on the overhead
3 projector, thank you.
4 Q. This is the 19th of April, 1999, 3rd Army, Supreme Command Staff
5 sector for operations and staff affairs, coming from the command post, and
6 it says: "Pursuant to an order from the president of the Federal Republic
7 of Yugoslavia and in keeping with Article 17 of the Law on Defence ... I
8 order: Internal affairs units and organs shall be subordinated to you in
9 your zones of responsibility.
10 "Commanders of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd armies and the navy shall
11 regulate all other issues that emerge from this item 1 with their own
13 Does this fit with your understanding of efforts to subordinate
14 the MUP?
15 A. Yes. These were orders that went along the chain of command, and
16 there's no dispute about it. The commands in the ground were informed
17 that they -- that the MUP units are being resubordinated with respect to
18 command over them and their use. The question is only whether this was
19 implemented, and as far as I know, it was not.
20 Q. Can we look at tab 46, please, of 387. This is, of course, as
21 we're going to see, a document that comes about a week or eight days after
22 your meeting with the accused to which we'll shortly turn, but it's dated
23 the 25th of May of 1999, and comes from General Pavkovic. It relates to
24 the resubordination of units and organs of the Ministry of the Interior to
25 the 3rd Army command, more specifically to the commands of the Pristina
1 and Nis Corps and reports officially on the resubordination of MUP forces
2 to the forces of the VJ army. You can read it or scan it quickly.
3 And paragraph 2: "The noncompliance with orders on
4 resubordination has entailed problems concerning joint operations."
5 Paragraph 3: "The security regime in the territory has not taken
6 root in the spirit of the law."
7 You've reviewed this document. What comments do you have on it?
8 A. This only confirms what I've already said. The command of the 3rd
9 Army is actually appealing to the Chief of Staff to do something at the
10 level of the Supreme Command for this subordination to start functioning.
11 However, what I find interesting here is another point. There was a Joint
12 Command, and that Joint Command was the body that should have addressed
13 this problem rather than burdening the Chief of Staff with this. The
14 executive command was in the hands of Mr. Sainovic down there, who was
15 there for that purpose, to coordinate the activities of the army and the
16 MUP. And also, it can be seen that the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia
17 has not forwarded, if it received the order - and I assume that it did -
18 it did not do anything to implement it.
19 Q. See if I follow that correctly. Had there been genuine desire and
20 cooperation of the Joint Command for this subordination to take place in
21 the way evinced in the document, you would have expected this problem to
22 be routed not in the way it was but to be routed back to Sainovic?
23 A. Yes, because he had competence over MUP organs as well. But the
24 first problem is that the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia did not pass
25 on this order to subordinated units. That's the main problem.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Finally on this stage, tab 47 of 387. It's a long document, and
2 I'm only going to ask your comments on it. We can review it in detail
3 later. It's a document of the 27th of May of 1999, from the Command of
4 the Pristina Corps to the command of the MUP, and it's an order to crush
5 and destroy the SDS in the Prekaze area, and then the order is set out in
7 The Chamber, rather than wearying the usher, we can see the
8 various headings that are set out.
9 How does this strike you as to its form; well formed, proper
11 A. Yes, it is, and very well done militarily.
12 Q. It comes from General Lazarevic and of course goes to the command
13 of the MUP. And indeed this is the MUP's copy, I think. Is that correct,
14 General? And in the absence of any other comments you want to make, we'll
15 move on to another topic.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where crimes were committed on the territory, did the VJ have
18 jurisdiction over those crimes? Should they, if aware of crimes, have
19 been investigated, dealt with by a military police and judge system,
20 handed over to civilians at certain stages?
21 A. While touring security organs in the territory of Kosovo and
22 Metohija and according to information I received and also later on that I
23 had occasion to learn, all uncovered cases of crimes and looting were
24 processed and proceedings were conducted through the military prosecutor's
25 office in the Pristina and Nis Corps. I know of only one case while I was
1 in Kosovo that there were certain indications about Gornja Klina, that a
2 crime had been committed there, and the reaction to it was not very
3 efficient. The competence for establishing responsibility for crimes
4 depended on the unit that was active in the area, whether it was the MUP
5 or the army of Yugoslavia. If it was the MUP, then it was the competence
6 of civilian judicial bodies or the MUP, and vice versa. If it was in the
7 area of operations of the army of Yugoslavia and consequent to its
8 operations, then the military prosecutor needed to be informed of the
9 same. He would order the military police to carry out an investigation
10 and then the judicial proceedings would be instituted.
11 Q. A particular crime that you can help us with: Rozaje on the 18th
12 of April, 1999. What did the Serbian MUP unit do there?
13 A. This was committed by a unit, according to the security organ's
14 reports, under the command of a certain Dragan Stojanovic who, with a
15 number of vehicles, was searching or expelling a group of civilians who
16 had sought shelter in the area of Rozaje, a location called Kaludjerski
17 Las. And when they reached them there, they executed a large number of
18 people. About 10 were wounded, among them a little girl and a woman. And
19 the military police learnt about the event and carried out an urgent
20 investigation. The wounded were transferred to medical institutions, and
21 the competent MUP in Rozaje was informed of the same. What was done after
22 that, I don't know.
23 MR. NICE: Very short closed session, please.
24 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. On the 8th of May of 1999, did the deputy head of the UB of the
1 Pristina Corps meet you in Belgrade, informing you that the security
2 service had become aware of crimes committed against civilians? Did you
3 ask him to write a report on what he told you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you inform General Farkas of this report at a function that
6 was celebrating VJ day, and did Ojdanic -- I beg your pardon. The report
7 went to Ojdanic by Farkas, and did Ojdanic pass the details to the accused
8 on the 14th of May?
9 A. I must make some minor corrections in what you've said. General
10 Geza was informed immediately after the first information was received
11 from Kosovo, and he informed General Ojdanic not on the day of the army of
12 Yugoslavia, because that is observed on the 16th of June, but on the day
13 of security. That is the 13th of May, 1999. And on the 14th of May,
14 General Ojdanic informed us that he had informed the now accused about it
15 and that a meeting had been scheduled about the problem of crimes for the
16 17th of May.
17 Q. Was General Pavkovic ordered to come to Belgrade to brief General
18 Ojdanic on alleged crimes, and were you also instructed to attend to
19 provide information which your service had or had gathered?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. On the 16th of May, was there a meeting of the General Staff
22 attended by Generals Pavkovic, Farkas, Colonel Gajic, and yourself, where
23 criminal activities were discussed as was the topic of how to present this
24 material to the accused on the following day?
25 A. Yes. I was present at the meeting as well.
1 Q. The material provided, did it include details on volunteer groups
2 and problems at volunteer centres?
3 A. Only one case was mentioned which was problematic, in the
4 reception centre in Grocka where a group of volunteers entered without the
5 usual procedure of training and checkups. But this was just mentioned in
7 The main issue was reports about crimes committed by members of
8 the army of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. And did General Pavkovic assert that the MUP were accusing the
10 army of committing crimes where he claimed no crimes had been committed?
11 A. Yes. He stated -- specifically he made accusations that MUP was
12 making against the army of Yugoslavia regarding some 800 persons but that
13 all the examinations carried out, or investigations carried out by bodies
14 of the 3rd Army had established that this was responsibility for the death
15 and not for crimes committed against 271 people.
16 After this information was passed on to MUP, MUP came out with its
17 own figures according to which they have 326 persons under their
18 responsibility. Then when these two figures are added up, they don't make
19 800. And I remember that this was discussed on the 16th in the evening.
20 Q. The meeting with the accused was on the following day. In the
21 same location, the Supreme Command location that the previous meeting had
23 A. That was, for me, the first meeting of some sort of a staff at the
24 command post. Yes, that's right. That's true.
25 Q. Who was present at the meeting with the accused?
1 A. Among the generals there was General Ojdanic, General Nebojsa
2 Pavkovic, General Geza Farkas, myself, and Colonel Gajic. On the other
3 side was Mr. Sainovic and Rade Markovic.
4 Q. Did you present information - just yes or no - on reports of
5 crimes committed by the VJ and by volunteers in Kosovo?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did General Pavkovic give his account which mentioned bodies in
9 A. Yes, that the army is being accused of those crimes, whereas it
10 had not had any operations in that area at all.
11 Q. What did Rade Markovic say about that?
12 A. After the presentations by General Pavkovic, Rade Markovic joined
13 in the discussion. He said that volunteers were a necessary evil that
14 accompany any war, that it is true that he had sent -- or, rather, that he
15 had received an offer from Arkan for 100 of his members from the Tiger
16 unit, that he had taken 30 - I've already said that - and that he was also
17 aware that Boca, whom we have mentioned, had been in Kosovo but that he
18 had been informed by Djordjevic that he had been sent back.
19 Q. Was there any discussion about the numbers killed in line with the
20 figures you've referred to as being mentioned on the previous day?
21 A. Yes. General Pavkovic referred to these numbers in his report, as
22 well as to the problems linked to the MUP's accusations against the army,
23 that it had committed crimes and that there were no such cases among them,
24 as he said.
25 Q. What did the accused say, first of all to Markovic, as to what he
1 should do to sort out the problems with MUP volunteers?
2 A. He said that he should meet with Minister Vlajkovic and General
3 Djordjevic and resolve this problem of volunteers, those that were
4 specifically referred to, and that they should be told -- that their heads
5 would not roll on that account but that there was no reason to protect
6 them. And secondly, he said that such drastic cases as were mentioned
7 have to be urgently sanctioned and dealt with and that the so-called great
8 Serbs acting in this way and committing crimes were inflicting great
9 damage to everything that Yugoslavia had so far achieved in the war.
10 And then he also said that the borders towards Republika Srpska
11 needed to be secured further, and that care should be taken that no
12 further volunteer units should crop up somewhere in Kosovo, which would
13 cause problems, and that also attention should be paid to the possibility
14 of forces being infiltrated from Albania and Macedonia. And I remember
15 very well that he said, "We must make sure that they don't put up their
16 flags forming some sort of a border for Kosovo."
17 Those were the main points made in his presentation. There were
18 other details but I don't think they're important.
19 Q. Minister of Internal Affairs Stojiljkovic was not present. Was
20 anything said about him?
21 A. It was not explained to us, but it was strange. There were five
22 generals from the army of Yugoslavia and not a single general in command
23 of the public security forces in Kosovo. And no explanation was given as
24 to why they were not present there.
25 Q. I'll come back to some other features of the meeting that may have
1 struck you as surprising in a second, but we haven't yet heard what
2 Sainovic said if and when he spoke, in summary. Can you help us?
3 A. Yes. He said that he was hearing for the first time of this
4 centre and the presence of Arkan's men in Kosovo Polje, that he would
5 check out the veracity of that report.
6 Regarding volunteers, he said that there were people who were
7 purchasing, for large sums, uniforms of either the army or the MUP so as
8 to be able to infiltrate themselves into Kosovo and to loot there. And he
9 suggested that perhaps it wouldn't be a bad idea to send to Kosovo a body,
10 a neutral body from Belgrade to investigate all the allegations made at
11 the meeting.
12 Q. What was the accused's reaction to that recommendation?
13 A. In his statement, this recommendation was first mentioned by
14 General Pavkovic, who had suggested that a state commission be formed as a
15 neutral body that would investigate all the allegations being made by the
16 MUP and also by the army and to establish the objective truth as to what
17 was true in all these allegations.
18 I found it interesting that the accused left this out altogether,
19 as if it hadn't been mentioned, though I believe it would have been a good
21 Q. Do you remember anything that the accused said at the time that he
22 did not react to recommendations of the kind we've heard about the army
23 and the difference between the army and the MUP?
24 A. Yes. He said that the supreme level of the army was well defined
25 but that Minister Stojiljkovic, together with General Djordjevic, needed
1 to deal with the situation in MUP and put some order there. He also said
2 that through the General Staff, the command of the army's work should be
3 improved in Podgorica. Rather than when catching a group of terrorists
4 from Pec they send them back to Kosovo to be investigated over there
5 instead of that being done in Montenegro itself.
6 Those were some of the comments he made. There are many details.
7 I can't reproduce the whole meeting, and I don't know to what extent it's
9 Q. The presence of Arkan's Tigers would have been in contravention on
10 the -- of the policy or law on incorporation of volunteers. When that was
11 -- volunteer units, rather. When that was mentioned, how, if at all, did
12 the accused react?
13 A. He didn't react at all, as if it hadn't been mentioned.
14 Q. Did he act surprised or did he ask any questions as to how this
15 might have happened?
16 A. No. Even Mr. Sainovic expressed doubts that they were in Kosovo,
17 though previously Rade Markovic had unequivocally stated that 30 of them
18 had gone there with his knowledge and permission.
19 Q. Did the accused himself contribute in any positive way, concrete
20 way, on how the criminal problem or the volunteer problems should be
22 A. Except for what I have said already, that drastic cases needed to
23 be addressed, that this Boca had to be handed over to the judicial organs,
24 there was no further discussion about it.
25 The conclusion was that there were certain problems in cooperation
1 between organs of the military security and the state security of Serbia,
2 and he instructed that that cooperation needed to be normalised, that a
3 joint meeting needed to be held as soon as possible, at which all these
4 differences and problems between the two needed to be resolved. That is
5 what he said.
6 And as a consequence of this meeting in the General Staff, I know
7 that General Ojdanic, on the 28th of May, held a meeting with the military
8 judicial organs and --
9 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt you, General Vasiljevic. It's
10 time for a break.
11 MR. NICE: [Microphone not activated]
12 JUDGE MAY: And then you'll be finished.
13 MR. NICE: Yes. After that, there's only one question, with your
14 leave, I might ask, which will probably complete all I want from the
15 meeting, but I'm in your hands.
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now. Twenty minutes
17 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Concluding your evidence on the meeting of the 17th of May, you've
22 already made certain observations about the reactions of the accused.
23 When the meeting ended, did you all leave or were some bidden to stay
25 A. We generals left, and the accused said to Rade Markovic that he
1 should stay on.
2 Q. Did anybody else stay on?
3 A. The accused, Mr. Sainovic, and Rade Markovic.
4 Q. Given the setting of this meeting and its purpose, did that seem
5 to you appropriate or not?
6 A. The reason for holding this kind of meeting was that it was a
7 normal thing to do. But what was wrong was that not everybody who was the
8 best versed in the situation on the ground were not there. Stevanovic,
9 Lukic. And I certainly think that the Minister of the Interior, Vlajko
10 Stojiljkovic, should have been there as well.
11 Q. Let's move on. From your visits to the territory and from the
12 reports you received - paragraph 262 - was it your judgement that -- well,
13 when in your judgement were the most intensive operations that were
14 conducted by the VJ, between what dates? Between the VJ and the MUP.
15 A. I cannot give an exact date, but at any rate, it was sometime in
16 April 1999.
17 Q. Well, between the 23rd of March and April or what?
18 A. Then; from the beginning of the conflict with NATO until the end
19 of April.
20 Q. On your visits to the territory in June, did you notice
21 destruction in rural areas? Did you notice dead animals? Did you make
22 any observation about the number of civilians you found left?
23 A. Yes. I did not see dead civilians, though. There were less of
24 them in the urban areas. So this rural area, rather, was abandoned,
25 empty. In the urban areas, the situation was normal.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Of reports of crimes brought to your attention by UB units in
2 Kosovo, was there one that involved volunteers commanded by Colonel
3 Slobodan Stosic?
4 A. Not Colonel Stosic, Lieutenant Colonel Stosic. In his unit, there
5 was a small group of volunteers as well.
6 Q. And what did you understand that they had done?
7 A. It was not my understanding, it was specific knowledge that I got.
8 Volunteers nicknamed Dugi and Oto liquidated six or seven Albanian
9 civilians and threw them into a well. That's in the village of Gornja
10 Klina. And then they dug up that well. I found out about that case, and
11 then I ordered that a military police patrol be sent there to carry out an
12 on-site investigation. However, they could not enter the area because it
13 was already under -- this entire area was under control of the Albanian
15 Stosic was tried before a court in Nis.
16 Q. Short --
17 A. Military court.
18 MR. NICE: Short closed session to end the examination-in-chief.
19 [Private session]
13 Pages 16008-16015 – redacted – private session
4 [Open session]
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
6 JUDGE MAY: Do you want to say something in private session or in
7 open session?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, as you were discussing this in
9 private session because it concerned the witness's safety, may we just
10 clear up whether things are quite clear? As far as I understood the
11 witness --
12 JUDGE MAY: We'll go back into private session.
13 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're back into open session.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] General, you're testifying openly, are you not,
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you ask in any previous procedure or contacts that you had
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 with the opposing party over there not to testify in public but to testify
3 A. No.
4 Q. So you never asked to give your testimony in closed session,
6 A. No.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I wish to make an objection on
8 that score, Mr. May, because this is the umpteenth time that we have a
9 witness under a code name who in fact did not ask to testify secretly but
10 he is treated as somebody who testifies secretly, and you will recognise
11 that this narrows down the area in which I myself or my associates can go
12 about the business of collecting information with regard to this
13 particular witness. And I should like that practice to be put a stop to.
14 JUDGE MAY: We take the point. We are not going to go into it
15 now, but we can raise it with the Prosecution in due course. Yes.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. When did you become a JNA general?
18 A. You mean when I was promoted?
19 Q. Yes. When did you become a general? When were you promoted to
20 the rank of general?
21 A. On the 22nd of December, 1990.
22 Q. So that was a time of peace, the time when the SFRY was still in
23 existence, and the times of a regular way for promoting persons to the
24 rank, invoking all the procedures according to the law and the rules and
25 regulations that were upheld in the army; right?
1 A. Right.
2 Q. Does that mean that you had to have completed and graduated from
3 all the military schools?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. To qualify you for that rank and that you did not skip over a
6 single military school, including the school for national defence; right?
7 A. Yes, right.
8 Q. Which means that in order to arrive at the rank of general, you
9 had to show sufficient levels of knowledge as to the rules and regulations
10 of the SFRY and particularly those from the constitution to the defence
11 laws regulating the functioning of the armed forces; is that right?
12 A. Well, not quite. We didn't have a subject that was taught at
13 military school which would mean studying the constitution. That is a
14 general knowledge area for each and everyone.
15 Q. Yes, but I assume that as a general who reached the rank of
16 general on a regular basis, regular procedure, do you assume that you
17 would have to know provisions related to the armed forces?
18 A. Yes, in general terms.
19 Q. Right. Fine. Do you know by definition - and I'm going to quote
20 Article 240 of the constitution of Yugoslavia - article 240, para 2, the
21 armed forces - and I'll skip a bit there related to the Socialist Federal
22 Republic of Yugoslavia et cetera and so forth - make up a unified whole
23 and are composed of the Yugoslav People's Army as a common armed force for
24 all the nations and nationalities and all the working people and citizens
25 of the country -- yes, I've been asked to slow down a bit. I shall read
2 As I was saying, are composed of the Yugoslav People's Army as a
3 joint armed force of all the nations and nationalities and all the working
4 people and citizens of Yugoslavia and the Territorial Defence as the
5 broadest possible form of an organised armed general people's total
6 national defence.
7 I assume you know about that.
8 A. Yes. Nothing that I want to challenge there.
9 Q. Fine. Right. You don't want to challenge anything. So the armed
10 forces are united and uniform and they are composed of the JNA and the
11 Territorial Defence. Fine.
12 Now let's go on to Article 313, which stipulates the following:
13 The Presidency of the SFRY is the highest level of -- in the country and
14 commands the armed forces of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
15 I don't suppose that is in dispute?
16 A. No, it is not.
17 Q. So it is in command of the armed forces that are made up of the
18 JNA and the Territorial Defence.
19 The Yugoslav state Presidency determines the plan for the use and
20 deployment of the armed forces of the Socialist Federal Republic of
21 Yugoslavia in case of war and orders their deployment in times of peace.
22 The Presidency of Yugoslavia can direct matters of control and command and
23 pass them on to the Federal Secretary for National Defence. The Federal
24 Secretary for National Defence is responsible to the Presidency for the
25 duties that have been passed down to him.
1 So none of that is being challenged, and I assume that you know
2 about it all.
3 A. Yes. And you are reading it, so you are well aware of that too.
4 Q. Yes, I'm well aware of it and that's why I'm asking you the
5 questions, because this relates to the beginning of your testimony in
6 which you put forward assertions which are contrary to these rules and
7 regulations. You were saying that the Territorial Defence was commanded
8 by the president of the republic in the republic, et cetera, which, from
9 the regulations I have quoted, would appear to be incorrect. And I'm
10 going to remind you of the law on total national defence, which I assume
11 you've read in view of the fact that you were a JNA general and you knew
12 the law on total national defence or all people's national defence. That
13 is something you would have to have known, I assume. But not to quote. I
14 don't want to repeat that the armed forces were a unified form of
15 organisation. That is not being questioned at all.
16 In Article 88, it says: In the Federal Secretariat for National
17 Defence, a military council shall be established. The military council in
18 addition to the Federal Secretary for National Defence is composed of the
19 following, the Chief of the General Staff, the deputy of the Federal
20 Secretary, the under-secretary, the assistants, the principal inspector
21 for national defence, the commanders of the armies, the commanders of the
22 Territorial Defence of the republics and the commanders of the Territorial
23 Defences of the autonomous provinces.
24 Therefore, all of them together. Are you challenging that?
25 A. No. That should be as it stands.
1 Q. Now in the portion that speaks about control and command of the
2 armed forces, and it is repeated that the Presidency, as the topmost
3 organ, is in command of the armed forces and then it goes on to stipulate
4 all the competencies and authorisations it has, and then it says it
5 appoints and releases of duty, at the proposal of the republican and
6 provisional organs, the commanders of the Territorial Defence of the
7 republic or the commanders of the Territorial Defence of the autonomous
8 province concerned.
9 So the commanders of the Territorial Defence, as a component part
10 of the armed forces of each republic and every autonomous province, is
11 appointed by the Presidency of the SFRY as the Supreme Commander of the
12 armed forces. Is that something that is challenged?
13 A. No, because they are generals, a decree is written, but the
14 proposals come from the republics themselves.
15 Q. Article 111 stipulates the following: Control and command in
16 Territorial Defence is effected by the commanders of the Territorial
17 Defence and the senior officers in the Territorial Defence institutions,
18 in keeping with the law, pursuant to the law.
19 And Article 115 goes on to say that the commanders of the
20 Territorial Defence of the republics and the commanders of the Territorial
21 Defence of the autonomous provinces are responsible, according to Article
22 130 of this law, and accountable to the Presidency of the SFRY. Is that
24 A. No. In normal situations that doesn't come under dispute. It
25 shouldn't do. When the SFRY, the Socialist Federal Republic of
1 Yugoslavia, exists in its complete form and the Presidency together with
3 Q. The Federal Secretary for National Defence may issue orders,
4 instructions and other acts to the commanders of the Territorial Defence
5 in implementing the orders of the SFRY from the Articles and pursuant to
6 the Articles mentioned, and the command of the armed forces vested in it
7 by the SFRY.
8 Therefore, you were trying to move along the lines of the opposing
9 party and explain the implicits of the Territorial Defence and said that
10 the Territorial Defence came under the authority of the president of the
11 republic. As you can see, Territorial Defence was not under the
12 competency and authority of the president of any republic and not even my
13 own at the time as president of the Republic of Serbia. It came under the
14 authority and competence of the armed forces themselves or, rather, the
15 military structures. And you yourself, just to confirm that point, spoke
16 about the fact that the Territorial Defence in the area of responsibility
17 of the military districts was subordinated to the commands of those
18 military districts. Isn't that right?
19 JUDGE MAY: That was several questions there. The first question
20 was: The Territorial Defence wasn't under the competency of the president
21 of any republic, including that of Serbia, but under the authority of the
22 armed forces or the military structures. General, do you agree with that
23 or not?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, first of all, it is my
25 duty to state one thing: I wish to say that I haven't come here to work
1 for any side whatsoever, either the Prosecution or the accused, but to
2 tell the truth to the best of my knowledge. So that was a response to a
3 remark made by the accused a moment ago.
4 And secondly, everything that was read out from the law relates to
5 a normal situation in which a unified Socialist Federal Republic of
6 Yugoslavia is in existence and a situation in which the Yugoslav state
7 Presidency exists as the collective commander.
8 As far as I recall, in the constitution of Serbia, and I think it
9 dates back to 1989 or 1990, that particular constitution - and I'm sure
10 the accused will know that better than me, he has the rules and
11 regulations with him no doubt - there was a provision which stated, and
12 I'm going to paraphrase it now, but the gist of it was the following: If
13 certain decisions are made which are to the detriment of the interests of
14 Serbia and its defence, then the provisions from that constitution will
15 come into force. I said that I'm paraphrasing that particular portion.
16 Now, everything that has been read out refers to a normal
17 situation. However, if I may be permitted to ask the accused a question,
18 if he had no authority vis-a-vis the Territorial Defence. I recall on one
19 occasion that he did a review of troops, a brigade of the Territorial
20 Defence, in fact. He reviewed the troops, I don't know on the basis of
21 what competencies and authority if he indeed had no authority.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. It wasn't a review, it was a training session, and I was invited
24 by the Territorial commander -- Territorial Defence of Serbia to see
25 what it liked like. And as you know full well, that was standard
1 practice. The civilian authorities would be invited to attend a training
2 session, some exercises or some other activity along those lines, even of
3 the military units, not only units of the Territorial Defence. But this
4 was not the case in my particular instance.
5 But I'm very pleased to see that you mentioned this article of the
6 Serbian constitution, and indeed I expected you to bring it up, which is
7 why I have it in front of me here and now, and this is what it states.
8 I'll read slowly. I have been warned by the interpreters, so I'll do my
9 best to read slowly, because it is, of course, true that the Republic of
10 Serbia did enact a uniform constitution and has all the rights and duties
11 emanating from it.
12 But this is what it says in Article 135: The rights and duties of
13 this republic - and it is the Republic of Serbia - which is within the
14 composition of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and has
15 pursuant to this constitution and which according to the federal
16 constitution are implemented in the federation, shall be implemented in
17 keeping with the federal constitution.
18 And the Republic of Serbia, as you know - and I hope you're not
19 going to deny this - with its entire behaviour supported Yugoslavia --
20 supported the federation and in keeping with its constitution in which it
21 says that its rights and duties --
22 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop this. This is just a long speech.
23 What is the question for the witness?
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Are you aware of the fact that, according to this Serbian
1 constitution, the rights and duties which the Republic of Serbia, which is
2 within the composition of the SFRY, and has, according to this
3 constitution that it has, and according to the federal constitution should
4 be realised in the federation, will be realised in keeping with the
5 federal constitution? Did Serbia adhere to that?
6 A. You mean implemented in the republic or what?
7 Q. No. Her rights are implemented in keeping with the federal
8 constitution and the ones which are regulated in the federation shall be
9 implemented according to the federal constitution. So this constitution
10 emphasises that everything that is in keeping with the federal
11 constitution and belongs to its rights and duties it cedes to the federal
12 constitution. Is that right or not?
13 A. Well the question is how was this reflected in practice?
14 Q. Well, I don't know what examples you have from practice, but did
15 you, on the basis of one of your examples in practice, draw the
16 conclusion, for example, because you used the word "I assume," you kept
17 saying "I assume" when you were asked by Mr. Nice if so-and-so happened,
18 if the members of the Territorial Defence were present, you mentioned from
19 Valjevo, for example, from some other place in Serbia, and you said you
20 assumed --
21 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... question.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Did you have to have agreement from the president of the Republic
24 of Serbia? Your answer was, "I assume it was necessary."
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. Well, this kind of agreement was neither asked for nor was it
2 necessary, according to these provisions, because the armed forces use the
3 Territorial Defence units in their areas of responsibility.
4 Now, were you shown this map at the beginning of your testimony?
5 I think you said it was incorrect because the borders of the military
6 districts were not drawn in as they have been here. You said that they
7 were further to the east, that they were more due east.
8 Now, is it contested that the borders of the military districts in
9 no way followed the republican borders, the areas of responsibility of the
10 military districts? They were not deployed according to state frontiers
11 and republican borders but across Yugoslavia which was divided in three
12 military districts, and they did not look at the republican borders at
13 all. They were just three different sections of the country. Is that so
14 or not?
15 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer instead of these endless
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, what you're saying I'm not
18 challenging. I said the same thing, actually.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Oh, fine. Right. And is this contested, and I made a note of
21 what you said: In an area where the JNA -- where the JNA was, the
22 Territorial Defence was subordinated to the JNA.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I wrote that down in my notes on the basis of what you said during
25 your testimony. I made a note of that.
1 And especially when it comes to combat operations. It must be
2 subordinated -- they must be subordinated to the JNA; is that right?
3 A. Yes. But I don't know what Territorial Defence you're talking
4 about because I was talking about two types of Territorial Defence,
5 particularly in the case of Slavonia.
6 Q. Well, I don't know about two types of Territorial Defence. All I
7 know about is the concept of Territorial Defence as a whole, which is
8 established on a given territory in conformity with the law.
9 Now, if you think -- are thinking of a type of Territorial Defence
10 that was formed in Eastern Slavonia, for example, as a separate
11 Territorial Defence, then that's another matter, but then you ought to
12 explain that.
13 A. Well, I have explained it. Perhaps you ought to explain what
14 other type of Territorial Defence existed.
15 Q. I assume, since you say there are two types of Territorial
16 Defence, then you should explain it, not me. I'm not aware of two types
17 of Territorial Defence.
18 A. I was explaining about the Territorial Defence headed by people
19 from your MUP.
20 Q. We'll come to that. That was not my MUP, it is the MUP of the
21 Republic of Serbia. And there too you made a number of professional
22 errors which are not deigned of a general who was head of the security
24 JUDGE MAY: Don't bother to answer that. That sort of comment,
25 which is a slighting and unnecessary one, must be supported. Don't make a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 general comment of that sort unless you can support it. Now, what you
2 should be doing is asking questions and not making comments of that sort.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am putting questions, Mr. May,
4 with the greatest of pleasure, as this is a very useful witness.
5 Unfortunately, not for the other side, as they believe, because we will
6 bring the truth out to the fore.
7 JUDGE MAY: Let's get on. Let's get on.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I'm saying,
9 that such errors should not be allowed to pass.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Did you, insisted by -- Mr. Nice insisted. Did you answer that
12 the head of the DB was accountable to the president of the republic? Is
13 that what you said?
14 A. There was no insistence on his part. I said that the head of the
15 state security, in the period I am aware of, was directly linked to you.
16 That was one point.
17 And secondly, that when you became president of Yugoslavia, that
18 same head of the SDB was moved from the Republic of Serbia and linked to
19 you, and that is true. And I was not prompted to say this in any sense.
20 Q. Very well. And now I'm asking you, the state security department,
21 is it one of the departments of the Ministry of the Interior of the
22 Republic of Serbia? At least, in those days was it?
23 A. Are you talking according to the regulations?
24 Q. Yes. According to the regulations, the constitution, the law, the
25 law on the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and so on.
1 A. That is all true, according to regulations.
2 Q. Does the head of the state security department have a superior?
3 Is that the Minister of the Interior?
4 A. That is what it should be.
5 Q. So the head of the state security department is accountable first
6 to the Minister of the Interior. Isn't that so?
7 A. That is how it should be.
8 Q. And is it true that the Minister of the Interior is a member of
9 the government of the Republic of Serbia?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. He implements the laws of the Republic of Serbia and is
12 accountable to the government of Serbia?
13 A. There is no dispute as to the regulations, just please put the
14 question to me.
15 Q. My question is: How, then, are you developing a pattern according
16 to which the head of the state security is accountable directly to me and
17 the president of the republic? You have also drawn out a diagram
18 regarding the military structure, with some errors. We'll come back to
19 that. And you indicated the links. As for this diagram, this structure,
20 you made it off the bat and in accordance with what this Prosecution here
21 is claiming.
22 A. Please don't keep linking me to the Prosecution as if we were in
23 cahoots. I have come here to testify, neither against you nor in your
24 favour. I have come here to tell the truth to extent I know it.
25 Specifically in response to what you're saying now, I am familiar
1 with all those regulations, and there's no dispute about that. But the
2 situation is different when it comes to the reality. You cannot deny that
3 the head of the state security was appointed according to your own choice.
4 So I'm talking now about the year 1991 or, rather, 1990 when I joined the
5 security administration.
6 Q. And who was the head of the state security when you joined it?
7 A. Zoran Janackovic. That is a man who, as far as I know, was --
8 Q. Wasn't Tosic before him? Or maybe he'd left when you joined.
9 A. No. I was absent at the time.
10 Q. I see. So it was Zoran Janackovic?
11 JUDGE MAY: Let's go back to Mr. Janackovic. General, you were
12 interrupted. You said: "Zoran Janackovic. That is a man who, as far as
13 I know, was ..." Did you want to add something to that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was interrupted with this flood of
15 words, so I cannot finish what I was saying.
16 Zoran Janackovic was not a person employed in the state security
17 service. He had no experience with the internal affairs department, and
18 he was appointed to a professional position, obviously on the basis of a
19 recommendation and liking of the accused, because I know that they were
20 close friends.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I just wanted to clear up this question with respect to the
23 regulations and whether things functioned accordingly. But if it didn't,
24 how do you know that it didn't?
25 A. I can give you a partial answer to that straight away. At a
1 meeting held on the 17th of May, 1999, which was not attended by the
2 Minister of Internal Affairs of Serbia, you tasked the head of the state
3 security department to pass on to the minister what you are saying, as if
4 he was of higher rank than the minister.
5 Q. Do you know that that head of the state security department was
6 the assistant of that minister, and as the minister was not present, his
7 assistant was present. Isn't it only logical for the assistant who is
8 present, because the minister is not present, to convey to him what
9 happened at the meeting, just as you would pass on to your superior
10 whatever needed to be passed on if he was absent? What is more logical
11 than that? He represents the Ministry of the Internal Affairs of Serbia.
12 He's the assistant minister, a post he was appointed to by the government.
13 And at -- every morning at meetings of the government, each head reports
14 on the activities of his department.
15 JUDGE MAY: I'm stopping you because this is going well beyond the
16 original question.
17 General, can you answer what's being put by the accused here?
18 Would you wish him to clarify the question?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I recognise the point of the
20 question. Let me say straight away it is not normal for a junior to be
21 told what he should tell a senior. I was there not only because I was in
22 the army. Any conclusions that may have been reached, I would pass on to
23 my immediate subordinate. So we seem to not be hearing one another.
24 The head of the state security is allegedly said to be subordinate
25 to the minister, and the president is asking him to pass it on to the
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. How do you know that I did not invite him to the meeting? And do
4 you know, for instance, General --
5 JUDGE MAY: Wait. There was a question. "How do you know that I
6 did not invite him to the meeting?" That was the question.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that no general from the MUP
8 was present, nor was the Minister of the Interior, if we're talking about
9 the meeting on the 17th of May. Now, whether after that you passed on
10 this information, I don't know. I assume you did. I just said what you
11 told Rade Markovic, that he should pass on to the minister what was
12 discussed at the meeting.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. And you find that that is not logical, that he should brief the
15 minister about everything said at the meeting? You don't find that
17 A. For me, it was not logical for five leading generals to attend the
18 meeting from the army without anyone from at least approximate rank from
19 the MUP, who are familiar with the situation on the ground, to attend that
20 meeting. I find that illogical.
21 Q. General, you don't know, for instance, but we'll come to that
22 meeting because that came at the end of your testimony, so we'll come to
23 it in due course, but do you happen to know that the minister was supposed
24 to come, and only an hour prior to the meeting he apologised because he
25 had a high temperature and he said, "But Rade's there, and he will inform
1 me about everything," which is quite customary, and there's no drama, no
2 big deal that someone didn't attend the meeting. This was no secret
3 meeting for the Minister of the Interior or for any of you from the army.
4 A. Let me tell you now. On the contrary, it shouldn't be any secret.
5 But first of all, you didn't tell us why those responsible people from the
6 public security were not present. If he was ill, surely another three
7 generals did not have a temperature.
8 Q. So I needed to justify myself to you why someone was not attending
9 a meeting.
10 A. It's not a question of justification, it's a question of regular
12 Q. But we'll come that meeting. But maybe you'll feel embarrassed
13 when you see some things linked to that meeting, embarrassed on account of
14 the things you said here.
15 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no problem.
17 JUDGE MAY: These are not proper comments. If you've got some
18 questions, you can ask them, not commenting like this.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Therefore, if we take into consideration the regulations that I've
22 read out to you, the method in which the army functioned, as well as the
23 armed forces of Yugoslavia, tell me, please, was it logical for you to say
24 that the commander of the Territorial Defence of Vojvodina, General
25 Mandaric in those days, was at the command post of General Panic, the
1 commander of the 1st Army? Was that logical?
2 A. Yes. I mentioned this as a positive case; where units of the
3 defence of Vojvodina were active, that their commander should be present.
4 Q. So that is fully in compliance with the rules.
5 A. Yes, absolutely so.
6 Q. So we've made that clear. In that context, you said that I said
7 that Serbia was not at war. What's so bad about that?
8 A. Of course Serbia was not at war.
9 Q. We did support Yugoslavia, and we supported the JNA in its
10 functions, but Serbia was not at war. Or do you consider that Serbia was
11 at war?
12 A. Can I answer now?
13 Q. That's why I'm asking you.
14 A. As to the remark that Serbia was not at war, and then you go on to
15 say that Serbia supported the JNA, why, then, was there no reaction to the
16 failure of thousands of military reservists to respond to the call-up? I
17 think about 12.000 of them for whom criminal charges were filed because of
18 avoidance to serve.
19 Q. That's a question that the army should have dealt with and not the
20 bodies of the Republic of Serbia. You know that well.
21 A. No. The army addresses a request to the MUP to find such people
22 and bring them to the army.
23 Q. That's a rather unimportant question regarding your testimony, so
24 we'll move on. There are several things that you mentioned here as some
25 kind of facts. I will follow the order in which you spoke, and probably,
1 according to the concept of Mr. Nice, he goes to some less important
2 things and then the most important things, and he goes back and forth, so
3 it's rather confusing, this order of his, but you say, for instance,
4 speaking about the arming, you say that paramilitary units in Eastern
5 Slavonia had some trophy rifles, automatic Thompson rifles, which you
6 assumed had been taken from the warehouses of the Territorial Defence of
8 A. That's not what I said. I said that I knew that such weapons
9 existed within the Territorial Defence of Serbia. I know that for
10 certain. And then I assume that from those depots they were distributed
11 in that area.
12 Q. So you assume that from those depots these weapons were given to
13 Eastern Slavonia. That is your assumption.
14 A. I have some more precise information which I didn't mention, and
15 that is specifically that it came from one particular warehouse of the TO
16 in the environs of Belgrade on the road leading to Valjevo. So from that
17 warehouse, some weapons went to Slavonia.
18 Q. You mentioned here various persons who took part in the
19 distribution of weapons, certain colonels, certain other officers and so
20 on. And as far as I was able to gather, this did not happen on the basis
21 of instructions from higher-level structures of the JNA who were the
22 owners of these warehouses. But this went according to some friendly
23 connections, people wanting to help somebody without any specific orders
24 coming along the chain of command, "Deliver those weapons. Arm those
25 people." Is that right or not?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. So let's make this quite clear: Then you took as an example a
3 request which you yourself called a megalomaniac, and it was shown here as
4 an exhibit where somewhere in Bosnia the leadership is addressed and asked
5 that the army provide for the needs of the police helicopters, armoured
6 vehicles, anti-aircraft guns, weapons, communications devices, and you
7 yourself said it was a megalomaniac as a request addressed to the army.
8 That's what you said, isn't it?
9 A. Yes. But this happened in different time periods. These -- this
10 individual distribution of weapons, a couple of pieces, maybe more, this
11 occurred sometime in the first half of 1991. And as for these requests
12 that you are referring to now, came in 1992. So that is in the period
13 when the forces of the TO and the MUP in Krajina were preparing to
14 constitute themselves as units which would later come under international
16 So these are two different time periods.
17 Q. Yes. But we're talking here about Bosnia, not Croatia at all.
18 A. You didn't say Bosnia or Croatia.
19 Q. But you said it was Bosnia, and you showed a document relating to
20 Bosnia. The document was shown here listing a request needed for --
21 materials needed in Bosnia.
22 A. I will explain. Those were units that were also asking for
23 weapons because they were close to Krajina. This is the centre in Banja
25 Q. But my question is the following, General: Was that request
1 complied with?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Well, what, then, does such a request prove, a request addressed
4 by a local leadership to the army which the army did not comply with?
5 What does that prove, then?
6 A. It doesn't prove anything. I said it was a megalomaniac request
7 that was not met.
8 Q. You didn't say that it was not met. You just said it was
9 megalomaniac and so on. But it was not met?
10 A. As far as I know, it was not complied with.
11 Q. Very well, then. We are going to pause between question and
12 answer because of the interpreters. You said that in the autumn of 1990
13 in Krajina, there were some high officials of the MUP of Serbia.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When Babic testified here, he managed to mention three of them who
16 were there at different points in time. How many can you enumerate, those
17 who were in Krajina in 1990? And Krajina is also in Yugoslavia, in
18 Croatia, in Europe, and so on and so forth. Citizens of Yugoslavia were,
19 therefore, in Krajina. So how many of them were there there?
20 A. As for that period that you are referring to, I know of one only.
21 Q. Oh. So one MUP high official in 1990 was in Krajina.
22 A. That's the part that I know about. Perhaps there were more of
23 them, but I know of one.
24 Q. All right. And then on the basis of that, that this one official,
25 who perhaps may have been from that area originally, and as you know full
1 well the one that we are mentioning does come from that area so he simply
2 came to his native region. So does that provide for the statement that we
3 heard here from the opposing side that the officials of the MUP of Serbia
4 were staying in Krajina in 1990?
5 A. I was staying in Dubrovnik in 1990, in 1991, in 1989. So --
6 JUDGE MAY: It does not matter what the Prosecution said. You are
7 referring to a statement, as you call it, from the other side. I take
8 that to be a reference to the Prosecution. It's not for the witness to
9 answer questions about what they said. All he can give evidence about is
10 what he himself saw or heard, or indeed his evidence.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. All right. Then as far as your personal knowledge is concerned,
13 you are not contesting anything. You just know of one person who worked
14 in the MUP of Serbia and who was in Krajina in 1990; is that right?
15 A. First of all, this is a high official of the MUP of Serbia, not
16 any official. That is one thing.
17 Secondly, he was not there on a private visit in Krajina and in
18 Knin. He came with very specific assignments, and we had statements about
19 that that we gathered towards the end of 1990 when we worked on
20 documenting illegal armament both by the Serbs in Croatia too.
21 Q. Let's not mention any names because that bothers you. This man,
22 does he originally come from Krajina?
23 A. I'm not aware of his origins. Judging by his name and surname, he
24 may be from there.
25 Q. All right. Then I can tell you that originally he does come from
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 There is another thing that I'm going to challenge, but did you
3 claim that Captain Dragan was a man of the DB, the state security, and
4 that they brought him from Australia?
5 A. As far as the information that we received went, yes, that's
7 Q. Fine. Thank you. You said that around Sid some paramilitary
8 formations appeared and that no one knew who was sending them. Is that
9 the way you put it?
10 A. Yes, specifically concerning the camp where training was carried
12 Q. Please, did anybody send them or were they volunteers?
13 A. Specifically I can mention a case that you are aware of, when
14 Mr. Seselj had a rally, either at the square of the republic or by the
15 trade unions building, and he was sending volunteers to the theatre of
16 war. And this was on television.
17 Q. General, you know full well that all opposition parties had many
18 rallies, and I could not recall each and every rally, and I was not really
19 all that interested either, but isn't it correct that all opposition
20 parties had many rallies at that time? Is that right or is that not
22 A. That is not a problem. That is not an answer to what I said to
24 Q. I'm asking you the following now: Since you mentioned Dusan
25 Silni, Mirko Jovic and then the Serb guard of the SPO and the Serb Radical
1 Party, practically all major opposition parties set up some kind of
2 volunteer detachments. Is that right?
3 A. At that time, they were trying to outdo each other in proving
4 their Serbdom, and they were proud of that.
5 Q. But is this being challenged, that these were exclusively
6 opposition parties in Serbia that were doing that at the time?
7 A. That is what I was talking about in that section of my statement.
8 Q. And perhaps the Socialist Party of Serbia, as the ruling party,
9 did they set up some kind of volunteer units of their own or were all
10 these detachments that you referred to established by various opposition
12 A. I mentioned what was said in the TV programme made by the BBC, The
13 Death of Yugoslavia, where Mr. Seselj stated that he armed and sent his
14 own volunteers on -- according to the assignment issued to him by Jovica
16 Q. General, General, does that mean you are testifying here on the
17 basis of having watched the BBC?
18 A. No; on the basis of what I heard Mr. Seselj say publicly. And
19 partly he talked about that when he showed up in Vukovar.
20 Q. All right. If we have time, I'm going to ask you what else you
21 saw on the BBC, but this is what you said that you saw on the BBC. All
23 Is it being contested that opposition parties set up these
24 paramilitary formations?
25 A. Well, it shouldn't be contested.
1 Q. Oh, so it's not being contested.
2 A. But it's not only them.
3 Q. What do you mean? Did the Socialist Party of Serbia perhaps
4 establish some volunteer units?
5 A. You are reducing it to parties now.
6 Q. You said that opposition parties set up some kind of volunteer
8 A. Yes, but in addition to that, the people from the MUP.
9 Q. Ah, we're getting to that now, but just let me ask you one thing:
10 Is it being contested that these opposition parties, precisely those that
11 established these units, tried to topple me and the existing regime in
12 Serbia on the 9th of March, 1991, and throughout the period of ten years,
13 is that being contested? But let's --
14 JUDGE MAY: Wait a moment. Wait a moment. You've asked a
15 question. Let the witness answer.
16 You are being asked, General, about the 9th of March, 1991, a
17 specific question. Can you answer that, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I can answer that in Serbia,
19 going from one party to another, the attitude of these parties varied
20 towards the president. There was a right -- there was a right wing
21 position that was taken and then there were others who went into
22 coalitions with the SPS, the Socialist Party of Serbia.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Perhaps we can go further on. If these opposition parties that
25 established these detachments were organised -- I mean, these detachments
1 were organised by the police, and you claim that I controlled the police,
2 if that is correct, then the police worked against me. And if the police
3 did not work against me, then what you have been saying cannot be true.
4 Is that right or is that not right, General?
5 A. No, that's not right.
6 Q. So the police organised paramilitary formations of opposition
7 parties that were working against the existing government, the existing
8 president, and so on, the police of that same existing government?
9 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer that to clarify it, and then
10 we'll adjourn.
11 Yes, General. Can you answer that question or would you wish the
12 accused to clarify it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's clear. First of all, I did not
14 claim that these paramilitary groups of the parties were organised by the
15 people from the MUP.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Oh, so you are not claiming --
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, let the witness finish. It's
19 impossible if you keep interrupting.
20 Now, continue, General.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, but it was my
22 understanding that that was his assertion. If that's not his assertion,
23 then he can finish straight away.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here's my answer: Even where they
25 knew about this, they did not take measures according to the law. They
1 tolerated it.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, can I ask you something? Do you know how many
4 extremists, Muslim extremists from the territory of Serbia, from Sandzak
5 fought as volunteers in the army of Alija Izetbegovic? Was it a large
7 A. I don't know.
8 JUDGE MAY: We're now going off on a totally different tangent. A
9 totally different tangent, and we're going to adjourn. Twenty minutes.
10 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. So I put a question to you: Do you know how many volunteers,
15 Muslim extremists from Sandzak went to fight in the army of Alija
16 Izetbegovic? That means from Serbia. And your answer was that you do not
17 know; is that right?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Wasn't it your job, since you headed the security administration
20 of the JNA, to know about things like that precisely?
21 A. No. That is precisely what the state security of Serbia was
22 supposed to be doing, because these are citizens of the Republic of
23 Serbia. They are not military personnel.
24 Q. However, if the state security did not prevent those extremists
25 from going to fight in Alija Izetbegovic's army, can you infer on that
1 basis that the state security sent them to fight there?
2 A. That's not what I said.
3 Q. But why do you infer that the state security sent these volunteer
4 units of these opposition parties that you mentioned?
5 A. I didn't say that they sent them.
6 Q. What did you say, that they didn't prevent them from doing that?
7 A. I said that they could have prevented them had they had some
8 information about that, and they did have some knowledge about that.
9 Q. How did they not prevent these people from going from Sandzak?
10 According to the same logic, they should have had that kind of knowledge.
11 A. I don't know whether they had that kind of knowledge.
12 Q. Oh, you don't know.
13 A. Now you are resorted to inverted logic.
14 Q. Oh, never mind. You said that you had information about a high
15 official in Krajina who came from the MUP. Does that mean that you as the
16 JNA security administration processed this official and that's how you had
17 this information?
18 A. No. Had we processed him, we would have had a lot more
20 Q. Do you have operative information or do you not?
21 A. There is this operative information that he was staying in Krajina
22 and that he had a pseudonym, that he introduced himself as being someone
23 else rather than who he was, and that, in contact with Martic, he was
24 involved in the organisation of Serbs, volunteers, who later entered the
25 camp in Golubici.
1 Q. All right. Tell me, since you had this particular information
2 about one official of the police from Serbia who is a citizen of
3 Yugoslavia and, therefore, he was staying in the territory of Yugoslavia,
4 and you find that to be suspicious, did you have any information about
5 some representatives of the police or similar services of foreign
6 countries who were in the area at that time or around that time, if you
7 had this particular piece of information about this one official from
9 A. Again you are obfuscating the issue. I can talk about that
10 information as well. I can talk about paramilitary formations and what
11 the MUP of Croatia was doing precisely in that area.
12 Q. Oh, all right. The MUP of Croatia. But some other foreign
13 countries, did you have information about that?
14 A. No. In the region of Krajina, no.
15 Q. What about the area of Croatia? Did you have that kind of
16 information for Croatia as a whole?
17 A. There was one case around Opatovac, I believe, where bodies were
18 found with IDs coming from foreign countries. But you should know at
19 least that the security service of the JNA was not an almighty service
20 controlling every single person. They had their own line of work and
21 something that would come in as information that came in along with other
22 kinds of information was also forwarded further on, but it was not our
23 task to follow everything that was going on in Yugoslavia.
24 Q. All right. But if you claim that the security service of the army
25 of Yugoslavia was not almighty, and of course I respect that, doesn't the
1 same thing go to -- for the state security service, that they were not
2 almighty either?
3 A. I'm not talking about them being almighty in the sense of that
4 they cannot obtain information. I am trying to say that they are not
5 supposed to compile information that does not fall within their own line
6 of work. Also, the state security cannot know what the situation is in
7 the army because they are not in charge. However, they are in charge of
8 and responsible for knowing what the situation is amongst the citizens.
9 Q. As much as possible.
10 A. Yes, as much as possible.
11 Q. Have we clarified this, then, that it is not correct that the
12 police of Serbia stood behind these paramilitary formations that you
14 A. Which formations specifically?
15 Q. Well, you mentioned Dusan Silni, Mirko Jovic, SPO, SRS,
16 practically all of them opposition parties.
17 A. So we can discuss this individually. I have no information that
18 the state security service was behind the Dusan Silni detachment.
19 However, the fact remains that this detachment from the territory of
20 Serbia came there. And there is also the fact that two days after having
21 given this information about the crime in Lovas to the Federal Secretariat
22 for National Defence, that I forwarded this information to the MUP of
23 Serbia as well, believing that they are in charge of these persons who,
24 from the territory of Serbia, came practically to the territory of
1 I am not aware of any reaction of theirs in spite of the fact that
2 a crime had been committed. I gave information about specifically 12
3 persons whom we had identified, and one of them was a Greek, judging by
4 his last name.
5 So I think that everything is quite clear.
6 Q. Well, that is precisely what is not clear, because you say that
7 the police of Serbia, according to what you've said, were supposed to
8 operate in the territory of Croatia in order to throw light on a crime
9 that was committed in Croatia. Wasn't that within the powers of the army
10 under whose control that area was?
11 A. No. As far as the army is concerned, the military prosecutor was
12 informed from the following aspect; that two military persons, the
13 commander and the deputy commander of the detachment from Valjevo, partly
14 participated in this event. However, the security service and the MUP of
15 Serbia received information about 12 persons from that detachment who
16 actually forced the Croats to be a human shield.
17 Q. All right. Did you come to know that the police of Serbia did not
18 do anything about persons who were citizens of Serbia who had committed
19 some crimes?
20 A. That's not what I said. Don't put words in my mouth.
21 Q. Don't you know that as early as the beginning of 1993 persons were
22 tried in Serbia for having committed crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina because
23 it was established that they were our citizens?
24 A. I'm not aware of that. I only know of the case of the Yellow
25 Wasps, Zuta Osa, and I think that this trial was held in Loznica. I don't
1 know about any other cases.
2 Q. You do not know that measures were taken against perpetrators of
4 A. As far as I can see now in Belgrade, it is only now that some
5 persons are standing trial, and these were persons that were brought into
6 custody before by the MUP of Serbia and then they were sent off to
7 Republika Srpska because it was said that they were under their
8 jurisdiction and that's where they were actually set free.
9 Q. Is that the responsibility of Republic of Serbia?
10 A. Now these very same persons are being tried in Belgrade.
11 Q. So what is your explanation?
12 A. I think that what I've said is quite clear, that at that time that
13 was tolerated. A modus operandi had been found. When somebody was
14 supposed to be brought to justice, then they would be extradited and
15 handed over, allegedly, to another area where they were supposed to be
17 Q. Oh, and they were citizens of Serbia?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I'm not aware of this information, but I wish you'd give it to me.
20 A. I know. Specifically I know about Lukic. He is a citizen of
22 Q. Lukic who?
23 A. This group that took part in liquidations around Visegrad.
24 Q. Isn't that a citizen of Republika Srpska, rather,
1 A. To the best of my knowledge, no.
2 Q. I've heard of the name, but as far as I know, this is a citizen of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, Republika Srpska.
4 You mentioned a unit, or perhaps I didn't write it down properly,
5 a unit called Crnogorac. Is that the way you put it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You say that you do not know who was in that unit.
8 A. I don't know specifically.
9 Q. But you know who commanded the unit?
10 A. I did have information about that.
11 Q. Who commanded the unit? I mean, if this is something that does
12 not jeopardise your safety and security, please give an answer. So you
13 don't have to answer anything that would jeopardise you in any way.
14 A. I think that I mentioned that name in private session.
15 Q. Let's not mention any names then. Did he go there as a volunteer
16 or did somebody send him?
17 A. I don't know about that.
18 Q. Oh, you don't know about that. All right. You said that as for
19 the presence of some officials, Colonel Petrovic informed you about that,
20 and he was a security organ somewhere there in Eastern Slavonia; right?
21 A. Colonel Petkovic, not Petrovic.
22 Q. Oh, Petkovic, then.
23 A. And there were other officers too.
24 Q. And you said that some officials of the MUP came to the area of
25 Sid to visit General Arandjelovic or Andjelkovic, commander of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 division; is that right?
2 A. Arandjelovic.
3 Q. Arandjelovic, commander of the division.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you said that this Colonel Petkovic of yours was sent away
6 from these meetings.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Does that mean that he would come to meetings with them and then
9 the commander would send him away or did they simply come to pay a visit
10 to the commander of the division and talk to him, ask him about the
11 situation, collect information, et cetera?
12 A. No. He saw them coming to see the commander, and he wanted to be
13 present but then he was told that there was no need for him to be there.
14 Q. That means that they weren't discussing security issues. Perhaps
15 they had come privately.
16 A. Well, I don't know why they would keep coming on a private basis
17 to visit the most responsible commanders.
18 Q. All right, tell me this, then --
19 MR. NICE: Your Honours, this was all covered in private session.
20 I don't know whether the witness has given thought to it.
21 JUDGE MAY: General, if you want to go into private session, just
22 say so.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as we've started talking about
24 this particular area and if he's going to continue along those lines, we
25 can stay in open session.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. So we established the fact that your security organ, that is to
3 say Colonel Petkovic, did not attend those talks but that he informed you
4 as to the content of those talks. So how could he inform you if he didn't
5 attend the talks themselves?
6 A. Well, don't put words into my mouth and say things I didn't state.
7 I didn't say that he informed me as to the discussions that had been held.
8 Q. So you don't know what they talked about.
9 A. Just a moment, please. Take it slowly. I want to explain what I
11 It was unnatural that the organs of internal affairs should come
12 to visit the commanders, and they were probably coming officially, paying
13 official visits. And it wasn't natural -- just a moment, please -- that a
14 security organ was not present, because if the problems -- problems of
15 security were being discussed, then they would be the competent organ.
16 Q. Did you use the word a moment ago "probably officially"? What if
17 they hadn't come officially? You assumed they come officially and you say
18 probably. That is your assumption.
19 A. No, I didn't say probably officially.
20 Q. You did use the word "probably officially."
21 A. Well, yes, it was probably officially, but did they come
22 privately? You know why they came.
23 Q. I don't even know that they went. But you were explaining, let's
24 take another example, that in 1989, as early on as then, while you were
25 the division commander in Sarajevo, when you would go to visit a general,
1 one of your colleagues who held a higher rank, you came across there
2 somebody who was a later high official of the state security. So do you
3 assume that they knew each other on a private basis and liked to have a
4 chat and visit each other?
5 A. The command and headquarters is not a place where you go to see
6 someone privately.
7 Q. Do you wish to say that nobody ever visited you privately at your
9 A. While I was in the security administration, if I did have a
10 private visit, then it did not take place in my office; I had to go to the
11 room for visitors. When I was a general as well, that applied then too.
12 Q. So you're talking about the General Staff, are you?
13 A. The other commands as well. The rules are the same; the room for
14 visitors is where you go for private visits.
15 Q. So the commander of an army, for example, if somebody's coming to
16 see him privately, is not allowed to receive that private visitor in his
17 working office but has to go to the visitor's room; is that what you are
19 A. Well, commanders can do anything they like, but I'm talking about
20 rules and regulations. And here, quite obviously, these were not official
21 visits and that it was building up relationships which would later come to
22 their finale. The final act would come later.
23 Q. So this is your assumption, that somebody in 1989 was in fact
24 building up relations with somebody -- or, rather, the state security was
25 building up relations with someone in the army in 1989, and you exclude
1 any private friendships, socialising on a private basis, and things of
2 that kind?
3 A. I think I have said enough on that subject, and the people who are
4 called upon to draw their own conclusions will be able to do so.
5 Q. Well, those conclusions are not that deep that they cannot be
7 I'm not quite sure whether this next question was discussed in
8 private session. I haven't noted that down, but let me just mention what
9 I'm talking about. The 28th of June, 1992, when General Panic issued an
10 order of some kind. Was that discussed in private session? You were
11 asked. That was the question that you were asked.
12 A. I can't remember that, the 28th of June, 1992.
13 JUDGE MAY: Just ask your question.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Well, my question is, as I have noted it down, the following:
16 That the commander of the Territorial Defence, Panic, ordered -- so Panic,
17 who was in command in that area. Do you remember that?
18 A. Yes, but it wasn't the 28th of June, it was the 28th of January,
20 Q. Well, then I read it out wrongly. Yes, I noted down the 28th of
21 January. Did we discuss that in private session?
22 A. Well, I can talk about it in open session too.
23 Q. In open session too. Right. So he asked the commander of the
24 Territorial Defence that Arkan's unit be sent away from the territory,
25 from that area, and somebody told you, you said, that Radovan Stojicic at
1 that time said that there wouldn't be any problems on that score because
2 it would be within the frameworks of a brigade to be established by the
3 MUP of Serbia. Is that what you said?
4 A. I didn't mention the commander of the Territorial Defence. You
5 probably misspoke on that score. But an order did come out to disband and
6 disarm the paramilitary formations.
7 Q. And that order was quite in order; right?
8 A. Yes. On the 10th of December. Of the Presidency. And according
9 to that order, these formations and units were --
10 Q. Were to be disbanded?
11 A. Well, they hadn't been disbanded yet, and then General Panic
12 issued an order to General Petkovic to come into contact with Stojicic and
13 to caution him about that, and I said what he answered.
14 Q. All right. But you say that Stojicic on that occasion said
15 there'd be no problems because they'd come under the formation of the
16 guards formed by the MUP of Serbia. That's what you said.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Well, did the MUP of Serbia actually form a brigade in Eastern
19 Slavonia? Do you happen to know that there was any kind of MUP of Serbia
20 brigade in Eastern Slavonia?
21 A. Well, I'm just saying what this man answered, not what he did
23 Q. No. You're telling us what somebody told you he had been told and
24 not what he had answered.
25 A. No, no, no. That wasn't any wives' tale.
1 Q. I'm asking you about a material fact. To the best of your
2 knowledge, was any kind of brigade of the MUP of Serbia formed on the
3 territory of Eastern Slavonia? That's my question, please.
4 A. Well, I'd have to go back and remember as to whether I received
5 information of that kind, but I did have information that it was in a unit
6 of this kind, in a brigade of this kind, that some of the people from the
7 formations I mentioned earlier on did form part of that new formation.
8 Q. Well, don't you find something illogical there? Was it not a
9 question of the formation of units which was affected by the authorities
10 of Krajina in the area? I don't know that any Serbian MUP Brigade existed
11 in the area. Do you know about that? Do you have knowledge about its
12 existence? That's what I'm asking you; was there, to your knowledge, a
13 brigade by the MUP of Serbia established in Eastern Slavonia?
14 A. Well, that question contains something I would like to ask you:
15 Why did General Zivota Panic tell Colonel Petkovic that for Arkan's units
16 he was to caution Stojicic Badza that they should be disbanded? What
17 would have to do with that? That's the question.
18 Q. Well, what you said was that part of those people or some of those
19 people were citizens of Serbia, and therefore, he was drawing attention to
20 the fact that citizens of Serbia, volunteers who had come there, should be
21 sent away from the area. So what other explanation could you have?
22 That's the logical explanation. Do you have a different explanation?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Well, tell us then.
25 A. My explanation is that Arkan's units at that time was under the
1 absolute control of the people from the MUP of Serbia.
2 Q. How do you base that assertion? What do you base that assertion
3 on that Arkan's volunteer guards were under the control of the MUP of
4 Serbia? I'm hearing that for the first time.
5 A. And did you hear that they had official identification cards of
6 the state security of Serbia?
7 Q. I heard that Arkan had an ID card issued by the federal MUP and
8 state security or, rather, the Federal Secretariat for the Interior at the
9 time the secretariat was headed by Stane Dolanc. He was the federal
10 secretary of the day. That's what I heard, and I'm sure you know all
11 about that better than me.
12 A. Well, those identification cards were changed.
13 Q. I don't know whether they were changed but is what I'm telling you
14 correct, this piece of information, that he did have documents issued by
15 the federal SUP to him during the SFRY when Stane Dolanc, a Slovene, a
16 leading Slovenian politician, was at the head of the state secretariat?
17 A. Well, that was at that early period of time.
18 Q. So that's correct, is it?
19 A. Well, I assume it is.
20 Q. We, let's leave behind that farce about Arkan and the MUP of
21 Serbia if it's quite clear that it was the federal SUP from the one time
22 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
23 A. Don't put words into my mouth, please, and say things I didn't
25 Q. You mentioned, and you can decide for yourself whether this
1 jeopardises your safety and whether we need to go into private session to
2 discuss it further, the meeting on the 25th of February, 1992, in Vukovar,
3 where you said -- you told us the people who attended the meeting, and you
4 said that they decided to place a commander for the Territorial Defence in
5 Vukovar. Do you need a private session?
6 A. Well, if we don't name names, I don't need to go into private
8 Q. All right, then. May I quote one name which is not a threat to
9 you? And the name is Goran Hadzic, who was at that time the president of
10 Eastern Slavonia, the president of the Assembly, or the Prime Minister,
11 whichever you like, of the autonomous province of Eastern Slavonia; is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Well, was it under his competence and authority to appoint a
15 commander of the Territorial Defence?
16 A. Well, what came under his competence and authority, if you were to
17 read the rules and regulations and laws you read out to begin with, then
18 it would appear that this was some sort of improvisation following along
19 from that. However, it is not the aim of my discussion to address those
20 issues but that two men from the MUP of Serbia were appointed to be the
21 commander and the Chief of Staff of the Territorial Defence.
22 Q. All right. Tell me this, then: Those two men for whom you say
23 were from the MUP of Serbia, I don't know, I don't know the names so I
24 can't say for sure myself, but were they, at the time, working in the MUP
25 of Serbia or had they come as volunteers because they originated from the
2 A. Well, I can't quite understand how an active duty officer can
3 become a volunteer.
4 Q. Why not, if he leaves his work post and goes off somewhere to be a
6 A. Well, he would have had to leave his work post first.
7 Q. How do you know he didn't?
8 A. Well, because I said the two men came from the MUP of Serbia.
9 Q. Well, they couldn't work in the MUP of Serbia and be in the
10 Territorial Defence over there. That's impossible. They might have had
11 some job to do in the MUP of Serbia and weren't able to continue doing
12 that job if they went over there.
13 A. All I said was that they were from the MUP of Serbia and were
14 appointed to that post; and second, that Badza Stojicic was also an
15 official of the MUP of Serbia.
16 Q. Well, when he did that he wasn't an official of the MUP of Serbia.
17 A. I don't know that.
18 Q. Who could he carry on his work and function in the MUP of Serbia
19 if he was over there on a volunteer basis to help with the defence in
20 Eastern Slavonia, for example?
21 A. Well, we would have to go into private session if you want me to
22 respond to that.
23 Q. This is a logical question. It doesn't call for a private session
24 at all.
25 JUDGE MAY: If the witness feels more comfortable in a private
1 session, we'll go into private session.
2 [Private session]
13 Page 16065 – redacted – private session
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. All right. You said that somebody had been appointed, quite
11 obviously by the competent organs over there, to head the Territorial
12 Defence, and you also said at the same time and parallelly speaking about
13 other matters, that active officers were appointed at the head of TO
14 Krajina, active officials of the JNA, officers of the JNA. Is that what
15 you said?
16 A. They were sent to take up posts in the Ministry of Defence of
18 Q. Active officers?
19 A. Yes, they were active, and on the basis of procedure, they were
20 sent there. Before that, they had been active officers.
21 Q. Now, does that confirm that the Territorial Defence was under the
22 control of the JNA?
23 A. In that area, yes.
24 Q. Fine. Right. I have something to ask you now related to the
25 financing that you talked about. You said that Yugoslavia, the army of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Yugoslavia financed or gave financial assistance to the army of Republika
2 Srpska and the army of Srpska Krajina from Serbia, and it is not disputed
3 that it did give financial assistance. So please tell me this: Answer a
4 very simple question now, please. Did the army of Yugoslavia -- because
5 you linked this up, did it have any functions with respect to issuing
6 orders to combat activity of the army of Republika Srpska and Republika
7 Srpska Krajina? Did it do that?
8 A. I don't have any knowledge about that because I was outside active
9 duty service at that time.
10 Q. Well, then, is it clear that these were separate armies, separate
11 institutions, separate states, and from this materially it has to be
12 separated because it is not in dispute? Is that right or not?
13 A. Why would one army send requests to another army to send soldiers
14 who dodged the call-up?
15 Q. I didn't quite understand what you said.
16 A. Why was there correspondence addressed by one army to another
17 army, asking officers to be sent to them which refused to respond to the
18 call-up if these were two separate armies in absolute terms?
19 Q. First of all, is it clear that while the SFRY still existed, these
20 were all officers of one and the same army called the Yugoslav People's
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you hear speak about the meeting between Branko Kostic and
24 Veljko Kadijevic and Alija Izetbegovic when they agreed that members of
25 the JNA originating from Bosnia-Herzegovina should return to Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina? Did you mention that meeting?
2 A. Yes, I did. But it wasn't General Kadijevic but Blagoje Adzic.
3 Q. Yes, yes. I'm sorry. I made a mistake. So Branko Kostic, the
4 vice-president of the Presidency of Yugoslavia, and Blagoje Adzic, when he
5 had replaced Kadijevic, anyway the number one man, number one general in
6 the army, had a meeting with Alija Izetbegovic at which Izetbegovic
7 requested that members of the JNA originating from Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 should all return to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that so?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And that they should leave the JNA and come to Bosnia and
12 A. He was implying the Bosniaks in the first place, but he also
13 requested that citizens who are not from the territory of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina and are members of the JNA should leave Bosnia and
16 Q. Very well. And did the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, when it
17 was formed on the 28th of April, 1992, withdrew all citizens born in
18 Serbia and Montenegro - that is the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - from
19 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Is that right or not?
20 A. A little later. There was some delay, but yes.
21 Q. But the dynamics was determined by logistic and technical problems
22 but certainly not by any hesitation to do that; isn't that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Why is it strange then if the authorities of the Republic of
25 Serbian Krajina ask -- make the same request as Izetbegovic made from
1 Hadzic and Kostic to allow officers coming from their area, born there, to
2 return and join the army of the Republika Srpska Krajina?
3 A. These were active-duty officers of the army of Yugoslavia.
4 Q. But when we were talking about Izetbegovic, they were also active
6 A. But I'm not talking about Izetbegovic.
7 Q. Yes, but I am. Wasn't he referring to active duty officers to
9 A. Those who wanted.
10 Q. Wasn't it in this case too those who wanted?
11 A. Those who wanted could remain in the army of Yugoslavia. But
12 contrary to their wish, another army was asked to extradite them, to put
13 it very crudely, to an army in another state, and this was a request made
14 to the Chief of Staff of the Main Staff.
15 Q. I have a very clear-cut piece of information in that connection,
16 but let us clear this up first: Did anyone among the citizens of Krajina
17 or Republika Srpska, was anyone sent by force to the army of Republika
18 Srpska and the army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina by the JNA, or were
19 they officers from that area who wanted to go there and assist in the
20 defence of those areas?
21 A. I do not know that they were taken there by force, but I do know
22 that those who didn't want to go suffered certain consequences with
23 respect to the status they enjoyed at the time, and I mentioned examples,
24 the example of a Macedonian who happened to be born in Sarajevo, and on
25 whom pressure was brought to bear that he would have to go to Sarajevo
1 again to join the army of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. That was a problem in the army and that is meaningless, just by
3 the place of birth. It has nothing to do with that. It was just a
4 bureaucratic problem.
5 A. Yes, and you intervened.
6 Q. If I hadn't intervened, it would have probably been solved
7 differently. But didn't you say a moment ago that no one was forced to
8 join the army of Republika Srpska or the Republic of Serbian Krajina even
9 though they were citizens of those republics and not of the Federal
10 Republic of Yugoslavia?
11 A. But I said something else which you're not mentioning.
12 Q. Which?
13 A. That there was a pressure on them with regard to the status they
14 had in the service. I might also add that all those persons didn't have
15 the usual ID of a citizen of Yugoslavia but, rather, they had a marking on
16 their ID with the letter "T" or "Transit," meaning that they had served in
17 the army of Yugoslavia, and for many years they could not acquire Yugoslav
18 citizenship. So this process of granting citizenship to members of the
19 army of Yugoslavia was accelerated only after the changes of the 5th of
21 Q. Which members of the army of Yugoslavia? Who were from that other
23 A. Yes. They couldn't get citizenship for years. It was not
24 possible to resolve their status.
25 Q. And they were officers of the army of Yugoslavia?
1 A. Yes, they were officers. And they submitted a request to that
2 effect, but for years this was tabled in the ministry.
3 Q. But you know very well that the question of citizenship was
4 resolved in the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs and not the MUP of
5 Serbia. You should be familiar with those regulations.
6 Yes, but let me ask you, is this true -- in view of your
7 testimony, I have here a completely different information or version, so
8 please would you comment on it and tell me whether it is correct or not.
9 "All officers who, as volunteers, went to Krajina and Bosnia were
10 called up as a result of requests from Krajina and the Republika Srpska."
11 Is that right or not?
12 A. I don't know. I'm afraid I'm unable to give you a clear-cut
13 answer. I don't know.
14 Q. Very well. But if we're talking about active-duty officers of the
15 JNA, and they were called up and this question was raised in the JNA, you,
16 for instance, are from Krajina, and you are asked by the leadership of
17 Krajina to assist them in the defence, you're an active-duty officer of
18 the JNA, and you have to raise the issue with your superiors in your unit;
20 A. Yes. Allow me to answer. I did respond to such questions by
21 saying that he could go there, but that he should first be demobilised
22 from the JNA, that he should terminate his service in the JNA, after which
23 he can go where he wants to. That's what happened. You're probably
24 referring to the army of Yugoslavia, but you mentioned the JNA.
25 Q. No. I meant the army of Yugoslavia. Discussions were organised
1 with those officers, or interviews, who at the request of people from
2 Krajina or from Republika Srpska were required to go back there, and at
3 those meetings, they would state whether they want to go to their native
4 area or not. And here is the information I have: At those meetings,
5 about 80 per cent of those who were requested to go back there refused to
6 go. I don't know whether this figure is accurate. I thought until now
7 that if a larger number accepted to go -- but those who refused to go, no
8 one sent there on the part of the army of Yugoslavia because they had no
9 right to do so in view of the fact that there was fighting in another
10 state. Therefore, those who refused to go were not ordered to go, either
11 to Bosnia or to Krajina. Is that right or not?
12 A. It is true that meetings were held with those officers.
13 Q. And then they discussed with them whether they wanted to go or
15 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is also true that those
17 discussions did have the effect of a certain psychological pressure. This
18 was just not mere voluntariness. I would not have been asked in one
19 particular case to intervene so that that officer would not go there. So
20 I think if it had been absolute voluntariness, a man would say he didn't
21 want to go and nothing would happen.
22 As far as I know, there were two distinct periods, the period of
23 1993, when there was clear pressure brought on such officers.
24 Q. On the part of whom?
25 A. On the part of officers in responsible positions, that he had to
1 go to serve in Bijeljina. I have the specific case of one of my deputies.
2 Q. Was he from Bijeljina?
3 A. He was from Bijeljina. Either he would be pensioned off or he
4 would go to Bijeljina. And I had to intervene to keep him in active
5 service. This was in 1993.
6 In 1992 -- that is the second half of 1992 and the beginning of
7 1993. Later on, this was -- the pressure was reduced.
8 Q. But in the second half of 1992 and beginning of 1993, weren't you
9 already retired?
10 A. I'm talking to you globally about this period.
11 Q. Yes, but you're saying second half of 1992 and 1993. You were a
12 pensioner at the time. What assistant are you talking about?
13 A. Allow me to answer your question. I cannot give you an answer if
14 you keep interrupting me.
15 So this particular case I'm talking about happened in April 1992,
16 the specific example I'm mentioning, when a man had to retire or go over
17 there. But I'm speaking about the situation globally, from mid-1992 to
18 1993. I can tell you who was pensioned off in that period and why the
19 climate afterwards changed.
20 You mentioned the meetings that were held when people were
21 persuaded to go. That's a different situation in relation to 1992 and
22 1993. And this was also used for a kind of ethnic cleansing of the army
23 of those who were not born in Serbia and Montenegro.
24 Q. What are you talking about? Cleansing from Serbs who were not
25 born in Serbia, is that what you're saying?
1 A. Not just that. Let me tell you that I was asked by a high-ranking
2 general to remove from service all those who were not Serbs and
3 Montenegrins, and even a Croat who had been discovered, a very important
4 case in Croatia that is public knowledge, and I refused to do that.
5 Q. General, you were quite right in doing that, but do you know,
6 General, that that never was the policy of Yugoslavia nor the policy of
7 the political leadership of Yugoslavia or Serbia, to remove anyone on the
8 basis of their ethnicity from the army of Yugoslavia? After all, in 1999,
9 your immediate superior, the chief of the security administration in the
10 army of Yugoslavia, was a Hungarian. And there were generals who were
11 Muslims and Albanians and people of all ethnicities in the army of
12 Yugoslavia. Only in Serbia and Montenegro. And in Serbia, while I was
13 the president, no one was discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity.
14 Are you aware of that?
15 A. I will give you an answer. First of all, when we spoke on the 5th
16 of March, 1992, about why my deputy had been replaced, General Tumanov,
17 who was a Macedonian, you literally gave me the following answer: "When
18 in the Macedonian army they appoint a Serb as deputy chief of their
19 service, security service, then we will appoint Tumanov here for the
20 chief." So that is one example.
21 Q. But Tumanov wasn't replaced then for that reason.
22 A. I'm not going into the reasons for his replacement. But that's
23 out of the question. There were questions given to us as to whether we
24 were married to Muslims, and you received such information even in the
25 year 2000.
1 Q. That is not true, but let's move on.
2 A. What I am saying is true. And secondly, when you're talking about
3 Geza, there's no dispute that he's Hungarian, a citizen of Yugoslavia,
4 though. I don't know whether you know that when your Minister of Internal
5 Affairs, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, came to see General Ojdanic for a meeting
6 and asked whether General Ojdanic was alone, when his adjutant said that
7 Geza was inside - I feel embarrassed in saying this but I have to say it -
8 he said, "Are you still keeping that Hungarian here?" If I'm embarrassed
9 to say that, I've still decided to say it, I'm not making it up. I'm
10 talking about the climate that was in evidence. There is no dispute that
11 there were generals who were Albanian and those who were Hungarian and
12 Muslim. There's no dispute over that. But I do know that many other
13 honourable men, among them numerous pilots, Slovenes, Croats, who did
14 something that maybe a Serb would not have done in those days also had to
15 leave their positions. That is how the commander of the air force was
16 removed and all others.
17 Q. Which commander of the air force was removed?
18 A. Zvonko Jurjevic.
19 Q. And did you perhaps follow when I showed a tape here or played a
20 tape of a conversation between Kadijevic and Tudjman after the signing of
21 the cease-fire in Igalo, in the presence of Lord Carrington, when Tudjman
22 says to Kadijevic, "Very well, even Jurjevic has not returned to you," and
23 Kadijevic tells him, "I know why he didn't return. It's up to him." So
24 he wasn't replaced, but he stayed on when he went to Zagreb for a weekend
25 and never returned. So he said it's to his credit.
1 Why are you saying that when it's not true, when we have material
2 fact that he abandoned the service?
3 JUDGE MAY: Wait a minute. Let the witness deal with the
4 conversation which was alleged to have been on the tape.
5 Can you help us at all about that particular case, General?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can. So you've made a mistake.
7 It is not Zvonko Jurjevic, it is probably General Tus.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Tus went before him and he became the Chief of General Staff in
10 Croatia. Isn't that right?
11 JUDGE MAY: Let him finish. Let him finish.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Jurjevic was retired. I believe on
13 the 8th or 9th of February, 1992. He still lives in Belgrade. He hasn't
14 gone anywhere. And he was persecuted. I know that. I know that
15 personally. He was chased with a knife and with a pistol in the streets
16 of Belgrade because he was proclaimed to be a traitor. And he's a greater
17 Yugoslav than I am.
18 Let me tell you one more thing. As far as Tus is concerned, he
19 did not escape or run away. He was pensioned off according to normal
20 procedure, and he went to live where his family was, namely in Zagreb. So
21 he did not desert the JNA. He was pensioned off, and he went to Zagreb.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. When was he pensioned off?
24 A. He was pensioned off in June 1991.
25 Q. All right. Is that at the time when you yourself say that I did
1 not have any influence on the top military leadership?
2 A. Well, the top military leadership that I was in, these are the
3 closest --
4 Q. Well, there's one top military leadership, not a hundred of them.
5 JUDGE MAY: One at a time, please. Let the witness finish. Don't
6 interrupt his train of thought.
7 You were dealing with the top military leadership, General.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So this is a rather indefinite term.
9 Who are actually the generals in the top military leadership? I consider
10 as the top military leadership the federal secretary, the Chief of General
11 Staff, and their closest associates who make up the top staff of the
12 federal secretary. And there are other high-ranking generals who were in
13 the General Staff, but they did not belong to what I call the top military
15 To the best of my knowledge, in that stage you did not have
16 considerable influence over that top military leadership.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. I did not have any influence.
19 A. I'm saying that there were some generals, and I gave examples of
20 who you directly talked to.
21 Q. Who did I talk to directly?
22 A. That was in closed session.
23 Q. This is not under wraps in any way. Who was it that I talked to,
24 and why do you infer on that basis that I have influence over the military
1 A. I'm just saying now that it is unusual for the president of a
2 republic, any republic, to communicate without the knowledge of his
3 superior of any -- with any general, and that is what you did then.
4 Q. Please, wait a minute. I don't see that this is a question for a
5 closed session. I hope you will agree with that. Is that right?
6 A. All right. What is it that we should discuss?
7 Q. Please. You say that I spoke on the telephone with Zivota Panic.
8 Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Was Zivota Panic commander of the 1st Army then?
11 A. No, he wasn't.
12 Q. What was he?
13 A. He was deputy Chief of General Staff for the ground forces.
14 Q. All right. For the ground forces. So at any rate, he was in
15 charge of the ground forces.
16 Do you know, first of all, as for General Panic, I knew him only
17 superficially. I had only a few contacts with him. Do you know that at
18 that time when I was looking for him I actually answered his telephone
19 call because they connected me because he had called me before that. And
20 do you know why he called me? Now, that is again a question that has to
21 do again with your own internal procedure, not mine, because I am a
22 well-brought up person and I respond to calls that are made to me. He
23 called me because the police --
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
25 MR. NICE: Your Honour, paragraphs 118 and 119 --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice, please.
2 MR. NICE: Paragraphs 118 and 119, the witness may be really being
3 pushed into a position of going into open session where he has little
4 chance but to agree to the accused's proposals.
5 JUDGE MAY: Let's go into private session then.
6 [Private session]
13 Page 16082 – redacted – private session
13 Page 16083 – redacted – private session
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assume that I'll be given Monday
15 and Tuesday of next week for my examination of this witness, because I
16 started my cross-examination in the latter half of today. So could you
17 please tell me. I don't want to get any surprises and shortenings which
18 would upset my cross-examination, so could you tell me now how much time.
19 He began the week before last to testify, in fact.
20 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. Let us work that out.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE MAY: On a rough calculation, it seems you've got 7 hours,
23 45 minutes. But that's a rough calculation. So that, I think, will take
24 care of tomorrow and Monday. But work on that basis.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. But that would then be less
1 than two and a half days, Mr. May, whereas he testified for three days.
2 Tomorrow is the second day, Monday the third day, and examination-in-chief
3 took longer than three days.
4 JUDGE MAY: We've worked it out on an hourly basis, not on a daily
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, then, work it out on an hourly
7 basis, it comes to the same.
8 JUDGE MAY: That's the ruling for the moment. We will adjourn and
9 sit again tomorrow morning, 9.00.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Friday, the 14th day of
12 February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.