1 Friday, 20 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 WITNESS: NIKE PERAJ [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
10 JUDGE PARKER: I would remind you the affirmation you made at the
11 beginning of your evidence still applies. Now Mr. Djordjevic has some
12 questions for you.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Peraj, good morning. I'm Dragoljub
16 Djordjevic, attorney at law, Defence counsel for the accused Vlastimir
17 Djordjevic, and I would like to put some questions to you. I hope that
18 through them we will be able to better explain the situation in terms of
19 the facts concerning everything that you have stated so far in all ways,
20 written statements, oral statements, testimony and so on and so forth.
21 Mr. Peraj, first of all, I would be interested in your personal
22 details. First of all, I would like to hear what your wife's name is,
23 where she is from, from what town.
24 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, I think --
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
1 MR. STAMP: I think -- although I rise with regret, but I think
2 if we're going to proceed in that direction, counsel first needs to
3 indicate to the Court what possible relevance the domestic affairs of the
4 witness could be to the issues in this case.
5 Secondly, counsel needs to consider whether or not wherever he's
6 going, if it is at all appropriate, should be done in private session.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic.
8 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I appreciate what Mr. Stamp
9 said, Your Honour. However, the questions that I'm going to put are not
10 of a nature that would require closed session. The questions are such so
11 that we would get a general impression as to where he lived, how he
12 lived, what he did, and under what conditions he later left the Army of
14 moving in that direction.
15 As for the broader context, I assume that my colleague Mr. Stamp
16 is going to interrupt me several times. That is what I wish to say at
17 this point.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic, the Chamber is not persuaded that
20 there would be in this line of questioning anything of sufficient
21 relevance to justify the time it would take. We are interested in
22 learning about the facts of -- that are relevant to this case. If there
23 was some very particular issue about the personal life of the witness in
24 general terms, that might be different, but a general examination is
25 something which seems to the Chamber to be quite beyond what we would
1 value hearing. So if you could move on to some other area of
2 questioning. Thank you.
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Trial Chamber
4 has ruled, so I'm not going to go into the reasons that led me to adopt
5 this line of questioning. However, I'm going to move on in a far more
6 direct manner than until now, I believe.
7 Q. Could the witness tell us how many brothers and sisters he has
8 and where they were in 1999, whether they were in Kosovo and Metohija.
9 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] In order for you to understand
10 my line of questioning, my question is whether any of the witness's close
11 relatives or distant relatives were members of the KLA. When I ask this,
12 my question is actually put in relation to his more distant relatives,
13 his brothers-in-law and so on. We hear that the witness is from Ramoc,
14 and my question is in that context.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Please proceed.
16 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. I expect to hear your answer. I don't know if you've heard the
19 A. Yes, I did hear the question. I have four brothers, four
20 sisters. My father died in the year 2000. My mother is still alive.
21 One brother and his sons lived in Dallashaj during the war, and he still
22 lives there now, while the three other brothers were not in Kosovo at all
23 during the war because they live and work in Switzerland.
24 This is my answer.
25 Q. The second part of my question was whether any of your distant
1 relatives or close relatives were members of the KLA.
2 A. No one from my family was ever a member of the KLA. As regards
3 distant relatives, I don't know. If you mean distant relatives, the
4 extended family, well, it would be a long story.
5 Q. Thank you for your answer, sir, Mr. Peraj. Let us clarify
6 something. There seem to have been several problems in relation to your
7 question that Mr. Pal Gjokaj or Paul Gjokaj. I'm not sure because in the
8 transcripts we have different names that appear, and in your statements
9 too. Let me remind you, this is a person who said you conveyed your
10 information that the terrorists of the KLA would be attacked in the
11 village of Ramoc. Later on, you said that that was the reason why they
12 did not liquidate you, I mean the members of the KLA. "Most probably,"
13 those were your words. But who is Mr. Gjoklaj? Is he related to you at
14 all? You did say something, and you kept saying that he was a
15 brother-in-law or something to that effect. Let us try to clarify the
17 A. First of all, Pal Gjoklaj never informed me personally where the
18 KLA units were. Secondly, Pal Gjoklaj is [Realtime transcript read in
19 error, "not"] my wife's brother.
20 Q. That's not my question. That was not my question. I'm asking
21 you about the part of the statement that you gave.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP: I'm just wondering as a matter of the record. I see
24 here at line 17, "Pal Gjoklaj is not my wife's brother." When I think I
25 heard a translation in the positive. I think. I might have been wrong.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: We didn't heard translation in B/C/S. I'm
3 talking because of my client, what Mr. Stamp said.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Just carry on, please, Mr. Djordjevic.
5 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So please, Mr. Peraj, could you enunciate his name very
7 specifically now because we really want to have his right name in the
8 transcript. It's Gjoklaj, it's Gjokaj, it's Pal, it's other things, so
9 could you please slowly enunciate his name so we that have it for the
11 A. I can see here on the transcript, although I don't read English,
12 but it's correct in the transcript: Pal Gjoklaj.
13 Q. Excellent. My next question: You stated in your statement that
14 he is your wife's brother; is that correct, your wife's brother?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Thank you. In our language there's an expression for that, I
17 mean in B/C/S. The word is "surak" in B/C/S. That is brother-in-law,
18 wife's brother. So you will agree that "surak" would be the right word
19 for that particular relationship; right?
20 A. I agree, yes. "Surak" means the wife's brother. So my wife's
21 brother in this case.
22 Q. To go back what I had said, you mentioned to this person, your
23 brother-in-law, your surak, that there would be an action against the KLA
24 and that this had to do with the village of Ramoc
25 explained that there's a village called Madanaj right next to Ramoc and
1 that's where the forces were. You did not have full knowledge about
2 this. You said that there was no KLA in Ramoc. So could you tell me,
3 why did you say to your wife's brother that on the following day or
4 whenever, an action was being prepared against the KLA? What was the
5 point of that message?
6 A. First of all, the villages Madanaj and Ramoc are next to each
7 other. The place where the KLA soldiers were is very close to the house
8 of Pal Gjoklaj. Previously, the KLA soldiers were not there at all, not
9 even close to that area. I received information from several people that
10 they were there. This was at the beginning of June 1999.
11 After the massacres in Meje and Korenice, a lot of blood had been
12 shed. Many people had been killed, and these people had gone there to be
13 closer to Gjakove, in order to enter Gjakove, because the Kumanovo
14 agreement had been signed for the withdrawal of the forces from Kosova.
15 For this reason, it had been planned for all of them to be
16 liquidated together with 40 civilians that had been together with them,
17 people who had been in the mountains and had survived the Meje massacre;
18 and for that reason, knowing what kind of massacre had happened there, I
19 thought that these people should not die in vain. And if this action
20 would take place, some families that were in the Ramoc village, ten
21 families altogether, would suffer.
22 At that time, almost everything was over, the war was over, and
23 that is the reason why I informed Pal Gjoklaj to tell them to leave the
24 place they were in at the time.
25 This is my answer.
1 Q. Mr. Peraj, you said that at that time the Kumanovo agreements had
2 already been signed. It is a generally known fact, and therefore, I'm
3 not going to show you any documents in relation to this particular
4 matter, but we all know that immediately after the Kumanovo agreement was
5 signed, the army and the police of Serbia withdraw from -- withdrew from
6 the area, especially from the area of Djakovica. So logistically, they
7 started preparing for withdrawal straight away. They started withdrawing
8 their materiel and technical resources. That is the right expression for
9 all the resources of this kind that an army has. You were a member of
10 the army, so I'm sure that you're familiar with it. So I would like to
11 know about these activities in June.
12 It was clear to everyone that the army and the police and the
13 paramilitaries were withdrawing at the time since NATO forces were
14 entering. So that's my first question. Why was this done, and where did
15 you get information about the presence of the KLA in that area? How did
16 you come about such information?
17 A. On that day when the people who were there would be attacked in
18 the evening, I met Dragan Pekovic, who was a postman. He was, in fact, a
19 guardsman at the post office. His son, Aleksandar Pekovic, was a
20 policeman, and Dragan asked me whether I would take part in the action in
21 the evening. I said to him that I didn't know anything about any action.
22 What kind of action are you talking about, I asked him. He told me that,
23 This is the last time that my son will take part in such an action, and
24 that if his son would survive this action, nothing would happen to him
25 anymore, so in the meaning that his son would not die in action.
1 This is my answer.
2 Q. Did the postman know you personally?
3 A. He's my neighbour in Dallashaj. He lived there since he was a
4 child. We've been neighbours, and we've been very close. Then he went
5 to live in Piskote. He worked as a postman in the village of Skivjan
6 Our children know each other as well.
7 Q. He asked you whether you were prepared to go into action in the
8 village of Ramoc where your closest relatives live, where your closest
9 family members live; right? That's what he asked you?
10 A. Dragan asked me, Are you going to take part in the action tonight
11 in the evening? And I asked him, What are you talking about; I never
12 took part in any action. And he told me all the details that I explained
13 to you. He told me about the members of the KLA.
14 Q. It would be clearer to me if he had said to you, There's going to
15 be an action; try to get your own people out, your own family members.
16 But I don't really understand this. But never mind, that's your answer.
17 Now you're referring to a part of your statement that is in
18 paragraph 105 where you describe this particular event.
19 The second part of my question was: How was it you knew, first
20 of all, that there was some KLA Brigade out there? How did you know that
21 personally? And how did you have very specific information about this
22 brigade, namely that there were 126 members in uniform and 40 volunteers?
23 This is the very beginning of paragraph 105. You say --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please slow down. We cannot
25 follow him.
1 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. [No interpretation]
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not interpret what was
4 read out.
5 JUDGE PARKER: You're going too fast for the interpreters.
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Yes. I appreciate that, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps you could put a short question, and the
8 interpreters can take it up.
9 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. I'm
10 looking at the transcript now to see what was in the transcript at all.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The reference to paragraph
12 105, that was read out very fast. That's what we didn't interpret.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You said in paragraph 105 in the beginning of June 1999, the Army
15 of Yugoslavia
16 KLA, about 126 uniformed members and 40 volunteers. That is the very
17 beginning of paragraph 105 of your statement. I'm asking you the
18 following: How do you know at that moment that the KLA was in Ramoc, in
19 that village; and secondly, how is it that you have this very specific
20 information like 126 uniformed members and 40 volunteers? That is the
21 first part of my question.
22 A. I learned this later from Pal Gjoklaj and some other people who
23 were there in the 137th Brigade. I mean, they told me about the numbers,
24 the 126 and the 40 people.
25 When I went to Pal Gjoklaj to tell him and warn him, I didn't
1 know the numbers, but a couple of days later I learnt the number of
2 people that were there. After the war, I heard the same thing about the
3 number of people who were there.
4 Q. Regardless of what kind of a military formation it was, the
5 figures, especially during the war, are strictly confidential. Could you
6 please tell me whether Pal Gjoklaj gave you -- gave you this information
7 because you worked as some kind of an intelligence officer for the Army
8 of Yugoslavia
9 that. What other context could it be for these exact figures to be given
10 to you, and why is it important at all after everything is said and done?
11 What is the nature of your contact with Pal Gjoklaj, and what was the
12 context in which this exact figure for volunteers and uniformed persons
13 was -- were given to you? I think that it should be treated as top
14 secret for such a military formation during the war. So in what context
15 were you talking about that?
16 A. Your Honours, I would kindly ask you to instruct the counsel to
17 ask me short and clearly defined questions, not three, four, five
18 questions at once.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I think that's a valid point, Mr. Djordjevic. If
20 you look, you've got about, in the transcript, ten lines in which you
21 have indicated three or four different things you want to inquire about.
22 I think it would help everybody if you could just deal with them one at a
23 time and just go through it that way rather than put the whole picture
24 with a number of questions all at once. Thank you.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will comply to
1 the extent in which it is possible, but in this situation where I asked
2 this question over ten lines or a few questions, I did it in a way which
3 I deemed to be necessary, but let me try to rephrase it to make it as
4 short as possible.
5 Q. Will you agree with me, Mr. Gjoklaj -- or, rather, Mr. Peraj,
6 that at that time the information about the strength of the 137th Brigade
7 of the Kosovo Liberation Army should have been treated as a military
8 secret given that there was a state of war? Would you agree with me?
9 A. For the Yugoslav Army, for the MUP, yes, it would be a military
10 secret, but not for this. I don't see any secrecy here. They were 126
11 members and 40 volunteers. I don't know why it would constitute a secret
12 for him to tell me. He told me that this was the case. Now, as to
13 whether he gave away the secrets of the KLA or not, that is of no
14 relevance to me.
15 This is my answer. I will continue with another question that
16 you asked. Pal Gjoklaj and some others told me later that what I did was
17 in fact very good because these people survived, and they didn't
18 [microphone not activated] at risk, and they didn't undertake any
19 military action. You may call them terrorists. Maybe I can call them
20 terrorists, too, but they had their own name: The Kosovo Liberation
21 Army. We can call them as we wish, but this is what they were called.
22 Q. At that time, you were an officer of the Yugoslav Army. Did you
23 take an oath of loyalty to that organisation that you belonged to? Did
24 you take an oath?
25 A. I did take an oath, but this was not an oath for me to work
1 against the constitution of former Yugoslavia
2 international convention, because Yugoslavia
3 international conventions, and if you abide by them you should not kill
4 people on the streets. They did not undertake any actions. They had
5 free hands to imprison them all and treat them as POWs but not execute
6 them. Excuse me, but I have the right to refuse to carry out such
8 Q. [Previous translation continues]... that later. You're now
9 wasting our precious time. This is not about refusing to obey orders.
10 Please don't go out of the context of my questions. I asked you whether
11 you took an oath and you said yes. So my next question -- please,
12 please. So we are agreed. I promised that I would be concise and brief.
13 So could you please give me brief answers and have some respect for the
14 time that we all here in the courtroom have because if you answer outside
15 of what I asked you, then it just makes no sense.
16 Nobody said that civilians should get killed. We are now talking
17 about the KLA, and that's why I'm asking you this. You took an oath. At
18 that time, you were a member of the Army of Yugoslavia. You tell Pal
19 Gjoklaj that the KLA should get out of there because an action was
21 I want to ask you this: Who did you work for at the time? So we
22 have one military force, the Kosovo Liberation Army, the KLA, whatever
23 it's called, and we have another force, the Yugoslav Army. At that time,
24 the Yugoslav Army is directly confronted -- it confronts the KLA in a
25 war. So now I'm asking --
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic, you're now getting into another
2 extremely long speech. You asked a question, whether the witness whether
3 he had taken an oath. He has said yes. I think your next question is:
4 "Were you at that time a member of the Yugoslav Army," and the witness
5 has yet had an opportunity -- not yet had an opportunity to answer that.
6 If you can see what I mean? Just get to the point to the question.
7 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Judge, please, please. Before I
8 go on, I will, of course, comply with everything that you've just told
9 me, but I would like to ask the witness to answer my questions the way I
10 ask them because the witness is moving away from the context, obviously.
11 JUDGE PARKER: That's why I've intervened. You're not just
12 asking a question; you're making a speech, putting in lots of facts that
13 you want to be understood. You need to put a short question to the
14 witness and get from the witness an answer, yes or no. If you agree with
15 the answer, you move on to your next question. If you don't agree with
16 the answer, you can ask something else about that. Okay? We really must
17 move on dealing specifically with short questions if we're to get
18 anywhere. Thank you.
19 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. This is crystal clear to
20 me, but I don't get specific answers, so I have to apologise for being
21 long-winded here.
22 Q. Were you a member of the Yugoslav Army at that time? Did you at
23 that time collaborate with the Kosovo Liberation Army - that's in early
24 June - or no?
25 A. I was a member of the former Yugoslav Army. I did not
1 collaborate with the UCK or KLA.
2 Q. Did you tell Pal Gjoklaj that an action was in the offing and
3 that the KLA should pull out from that area?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So you don't consider that to be tantamount to collaboration with
6 the KLA and giving away military secrets of the Army of Yugoslavia? I'm
7 talking about only the KLA here.
8 A. Because of what I had seen in Meje, in Korenice, and other
9 places, at that moment I was not at all interested in the fact of whether
10 they were KLA or terrorists or whatever. They were human beings to me.
11 I didn't want anyone to die in vain. I helped people who were of Serb
12 and Montenegrin ethnicity too.
13 Q. My next question is this: Were you able to inform only the
14 civilians that they should take shelter because there was an action about
15 to be launched by the Yugoslav Army? Could you have done that?
16 A. I informed him for the whole group, the civilians that were
17 together with the Brigade that met the Brigade in the mountains. These
18 40 persons were persons who escaped from the convoy on the 27th of April.
19 Therefore, I told Pal to inform them, the group, so that they could leave
20 and not remain there. Otherwise, they will be liquidated. I even told
21 him where they can take shelter and survive.
22 Q. Those were your neighbours, villagers from the village where you
23 yourself were born. You explained to the Judges that you used your
24 authority to prevent the execution of 12 of your fellow countrymen,
25 people of the same ethnic background, and you mentioned the Scepanovic
1 and others. Could you have done the same thing now to protect the
2 civilians as you had done on that occasion using your authority?
3 A. The civilians were together with the KLA members.
4 Q. Could you please tell me, you said that there were 40 volunteers
5 in addition to 126 uniformed members. Does it mean that the 40
6 volunteers were not in uniforms? Am I correct if I understand it in that
8 A. The word "volunteer" is not correct in this context. They were
9 not volunteers as such. They were volunteers to join their family to
10 wherever they went. They met the KLA members in the mountains, and the
11 KLA took them under their care so that they could help them with food and
12 everything else. I wouldn't call them proper volunteers.
13 Q. What would you call them?
14 A. I would in fact call them lost, people without hope.
15 Q. Were they actually members of the KLA, or were they volunteers?
16 Because I assume that elements of the KLA were organised on a voluntary
17 basis at that time, or can we say at that time it was already a
18 professionally organised army?
19 A. At the moment they left their families and took to the mountains
20 in order to avoid the check-point, these persons, in my opinion, are not
21 persons who joined the KLA. Even if we assume they were volunteers or
22 they were armed, that would not be a big deal in my view.
23 Q. Well, your opinion is quite clear to me. I will not be asking
24 any more questions about that. Let me go back to your brother-in-law,
25 Pal Gjoklaj, that person who attended some of your interviews when you
1 gave statements after the Yugoslav Army pulled out of Kosovo. So Pal or
2 Paul Gjoklaj, was he present when you were giving those statements?
3 A. Pal Gjoklaj was present. I was in his house. Pal Gjoklaj is an
4 English teacher, and to be honest, he helped the translator, the
5 interpreter, with certain terms. He -- the interpreter, was young, not
6 very experienced, so he helped with the terminology. Pal Gjoklaj did not
7 have any other influence.
8 Q. As regards the written statements that you gave to the KLA
9 members immediately after the pull-out of the army and the police, do you
10 remember doing that? Do you remember giving a written statement to the
11 KLA members at any time?
12 A. This is true. I don't remember the details. Ten years have
13 passed since.
14 Q. And was your brother-in-law Gjoklaj also present when those
15 statements were being given or written down?
16 A. No. No, no.
17 Q. Thank you for your answer. And was Pal Gjoklaj a member of the
18 KLA or a volunteer or anything of the sort?
19 A. I can tell you with full responsibility that he was not a KLA
20 member, never.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. Maybe a supporter, yes, but that I don't know.
23 Q. Thank you. You have this statement in front of you in hard copy,
24 so I won't call it up on the screen. Could you please look at
25 paragraph 5 of that statement. Could you please explain that:
1 "When I arrived in Djakovica the situation was already
2 degenerated." It's the very beginning of paragraph 5. "The VJ army
3 units occupied the territory of Djakovica
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The counsel is kindly
5 asked to slow down when reading.
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. So I'm not going to explain all of that. So my question to you
8 is: To "take" or "occupy" in military jargon means to wrest the
9 territory away from the enemy, and since this is what it looks like, now
10 I would like you to ask explain to me who was it that the VJ took the
11 territory of the Gjakove municipality from? Of course, we're talking
12 about your statement of the 8 and 9th of August, 2006, and that's P313.
13 A. The formulation is not correct of this one word. They took
14 positions in the entire territory of Gjakove
15 I tried to say. They were dislocated in all the Gjakove municipality
16 territory. The army was already there, so there's no logic to occupy
17 something that they already possess.
18 Q. And what does it mean the situation had already deteriorated?
19 A. In fact, the situation deteriorated. Sporadic actions were
20 ongoing on the part of the KLA against the army and police members.
21 Moreover, the deployment of police and paramilitary forces there and
22 reservist forces who committed wrong-doings - I'm now speaking about the
23 time-period of December 1998 - this is what I meant by the situation
24 deteriorated. It didn't look that it was going to get any better but
25 worse, in fact.
1 Q. Thank you. Well, it's much clearer now. Paragraph 6, Colonel
3 he doing at the time?
4 A. Milos Djosan was the commander of the brigade where I worked.
5 Q. Thank you. That was your answer, but my question has, first of
6 all, to do with the relationship that you had as a captain first class.
7 That was your rank; right? And in light of that rank that you held, how
8 much contact did you have with Colonel Djosan at the time?
9 A. I would say everyday contact.
10 Q. Direct contact or through his subordinates such as, for instance,
11 Mr. Stankovic, his deputy?
12 A. Both direct and through his subordinates.
13 Q. Who were you in contact with in that period? Who was your
14 immediate superior? That's what I'm talking about. Djosan, Stankovic,
15 who else?
16 A. With Novica Stankovic, too, who was the chief of the brigade
17 staff. There was another first class captain from Leskovac. I don't
18 remember his name. He also worked in the same brigade.
19 Q. Please tell me, according to your statement, you transported the
20 bodies of the soldiers to Pristina, Nis, and wherever it was that you
21 were taking them. How had those guys got killed? You said over 40, that
22 you yourself transported over 40 of them. Soldiers, I'm talking about
24 A. These soldiers were killed mainly in the border area, and on two
25 or three occasions - I'm not quite sure how many - during NATO bombing
1 when they targeted the radars -- correction, radar, I know of a case when
2 eight soldiers and a non-commissioned officer were killed as they entered
3 a minefield.
4 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell me, Mr. Milos Djosan, during
5 the action that you're talking about, the action that you label a
6 massacre, was Djosan your immediate superior at that time too?
7 A. I mentioned it earlier that at that time he was commander of the
8 Brigade I was a part of.
9 Q. Talking about international conventions, and I can see that
10 you're quite familiar with them. In light of the circumstances, as a
11 member of the Army of Yugoslavia and as a human being, did you ever
12 report terrible crimes, atrocities against civilians in Meje, Meje-Orize,
13 Korenica, and other locations where you claim they happened? Did you
14 report that to Milos Djosan so that he could take appropriate measures
15 against the perpetrators and attempt to identify them?
16 A. No, I did not report to him because together with me was the
17 person whose task it was to report to him, and I think that he must have
18 reported what happened to Djosan. Other people, too, must have told him
19 what happened.
20 Q. Mr. Peraj, you're an officer of the Army of Yugoslavia, an
21 Albanian. Didn't you feel it was necessary for you to do this personally
22 in respect of your commander?
23 A. I did not inform him directly. Whether you believe me or not,
24 what can I do? I had friendly contacts with Milos Djosan. I met him. I
25 had met him before, and Milos Djosan is a good person. He was a good
1 person. He had a good heart, and he told me -- please, I would apologise
2 here, but I will say this in Serbo-Croatian: Peraj, what is happening is
3 so sad, it cannot be sadder.
4 Q. I agree with you.
5 A. So what more can I report to him?
6 Q. I agree with you, precisely because of what you said, that you're
7 in daily contact with him. You see him every day. That's what you
8 stated a few moments ago in relation to my question, and that's why I'm
9 asking you, was it not possible that you didn't indicate this to him?
10 And then my next question: Do you know if this man initiated many
11 proceedings against persons who committed crimes in that territory for
12 rape, theft, arson? Do you know that? Were you aware of that since you
13 say that you were in daily contact with him, you were well informed?
14 That's why I'm asking you this.
15 A. Yes, I'm aware of several things, and that's why I mentioned here
16 that he was not a bad person. He was a good man generally.
17 Q. Thank you. You said that you did not take part in any fighting.
18 Is that correct? You said that you didn't take part in a single action.
19 A. From the day of my birth until this day -- I'm sorry. From the
20 day I was born to this day, today, here, I never participated in any
21 military action or police action.
22 Q. Thank you. Could you please explain to me part of your
23 statement, or perhaps I should say the last one. You said several times
24 that in accordance with the law, all participants in any operations
25 during the war are resubordinated to the army. You said that that is
1 what the law says.
2 What law did you mean, if you can tell me. If not, could you at
3 least try to give all of us a description as to what you meant?
4 A. As far as I remember, I think I corrected something here, but in
5 the beginning I based myself on the principle that used to be in force.
6 Q. Let's me just remind you. Later on, you spoke about this in
7 detail, that some people were not interested in anything any longer and
8 that they moved away from the military. We'll get to that. But I just
9 wanted to know what you meant by this resubordination to the Army of
11 Then we are going to move on to this other matter.
12 A. I don't understand this term you're using, "resubordination,"
13 because in Albanian it doesn't make any sense as a term. If you could
14 use the Serbo-Croatian term.
15 Q. The gist of this question is as follows: During the war, during
16 the days of the war, the police is resubordinated to the army of
18 system of defence that you described, as well, that existed in the former
20 namely that everyone has to be subordinated or resubordinated to the army
21 when there is a war situation, and, indeed, there was a law to that
23 A. My line of thinking was that if the operational staff, the
24 commander of which, "verhovni" in Serbo-Croatian, the Supreme Commander,
25 he's the head of the state, and if the staff reaches the conclusion that
1 it is necessary for some units to join other forces in operations that
2 would take place, they decided sometimes that certain police units would
3 be subordinated to army units. This is what I was thinking about.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic, did you have a particular
5 reference in the statement?
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] That is precisely what I wish to
7 point out. [In English] Right now.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Paragraph 10 of your statement, P313, paragraph 11, it says in
11 paragraph 11 there was a war that -- there was a law that said that
12 during the war other structures should be resubordinated to the Army of
14 thought, but you know this. And then 11, paragraph 11:
15 "The MUP was subordinated to the main commanders of the Army of
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] So these are the references in
18 relation to the question I've been putting. I've asked the witness what
19 he thinks, what he knows. If that's it, then that's it.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is where I made the correction
21 because MUP is a separate organisation. There could be coordination of
22 actions and operations between the two organisations, but never said that
23 MUP was commanded by the Yugoslav Army, and I think I made that
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Why did you do that only now? Why is this the first time, in
2 fact, that you're doing it?
3 A. I saw that it was a mistake because it's just one word and it
4 changes the whole meaning. It's not even a sentence, just one word that
5 changes it.
6 Q. That's why I'm asking you, Mr. Peraj, because this is the first
7 trial of a police general. But, all right, I accept the amendment that
8 you made only now. It is 11 years later that your memory has been
10 Further on, you speak of paramilitary units. It is all within
11 the main topic that is called "Armed Groups Overview I." And then you
12 say in paragraph 12 -- now I shall be moving on from one paragraph to
13 another because obviously you don't remember what it was that you had
14 stated. You talk about the Territorial Defence that operates together
15 with the MUP, and then you talk about Arkan's Tigers, Seselj's White
16 Eagles, then Franko Simatovic, the Frenki's. You believe that all of
17 them are paramilitary units; right? I didn't hear your answer. Frenki's
18 men, the Tigers, the White Eagles, are they all paramilitary units?
19 That's my question.
20 A. All of them, yes.
21 Q. Thank you. My next question: You say that these units were
22 subordinated to the MUP, right, these paramilitaries units? Am I right
23 when I say that?
24 A. MUP supported and coordinated their actions with them. I saw
25 that with my own eyes, both in Meje, but especially in Meje, and in town.
1 One other explanation: Had MUP and the army not accepted them,
2 these forces would have fought against them because they were criminals,
3 in my opinion.
4 Q. Well, you agree with me, then, that these units in fact evaded
5 both military and police control and that they acted on their own, these
6 criminals. Can you just answer?
7 A. I agree with what you said, that they also carried out
8 independent operations, but nobody hindered them. Nobody stopped them,
9 and that is the point.
10 Q. Thank you. At any rate, in your view they are what is meant when
11 one says "paramilitary," but then you're talking about the police and the
12 military who did not stop them. When you say "paramilitary," if we look
13 at the etymology of the word, there is the military, and we're talking
14 about the police. So they can be paramilitary. You believe that it can
15 mean para-police as well. When somebody says paramilitary to me, I think
16 that they're referring to something that may be the military but not
17 necessarily. I would like to hear your comments, if any, in respect of
19 A. I agree with you to some extent because in the army, especially
20 in the brigade where I was working, some -- such forces came under the
21 pretext that they had been sent by the defence ministry of Yugoslavia to
22 help us, and in fact they were members of Seselj's party, Arkan's party,
23 and Vuk Draskovic's party. So there was this suspicion that they had
24 been in agreement to send paramilitary forces to help the army and the
25 police. They did not stay long in the army, though, not even a couple of
1 days, because they were not disciplined. Discipline was their weakest
2 point. So in the regular and -- army and police forces, of course, there
3 are rules, there is discipline, and I don't deny that, but there was
4 discipline in the army.
5 Q. When you say reservists the Army of Yugoslavia, who are they?
6 You're talking about them, aren't you? Also, what was the fate of this
7 service in the military since you say that Serbs, Montenegrins, Roma,
8 were all there?
9 A. The reservists in the army are those members who have completed
10 military service and whose names was on the lists in the municipalities,
11 and in case of need, they are mobilised and joined certain units in times
12 of war.
13 Another distinction we -- I would like to make: It was said in
15 brothers? Why aren't you doing anything?" So these were members of this
16 party, and they were sent as volunteers, and they were not on these
17 reservist lists. These were other people. And that is the distinction I
18 would like to make. The reservists are people that can be mobilised,
19 while the paramilitaries were impossible to put under control and
20 disciplined, neither by the army nor by the police.
21 Q. My question was very clear, and you've moved towards volunteers
22 again and paramilitary and police forces. My question was a specific
23 one. Reservists: You said that among them there were Serbs, and
24 Montenegrins, Albanians, and Roma. What happened with the reservists
25 during the NATO action -- or, rather, in the period between the 24th of
1 March up until June 1999? Did the reservists function or not? Were
2 there Albanians and Roma from Kosovo among them, Serbs, et cetera? What
3 happened to that particular branch of the military, that part of the
4 military, that organisational structure of the army?
5 A. What period are you talking about?
6 Q. 24th of March, 1999; the 12th of June, 1999.
7 A. A large majority of these reservists were deployed and became
8 part of these paramilitary units, the Seselj, the Frenki's. They were
9 not happy with the discipline and the rules in the army, so they had free
10 hand to loot and kill. They were outside the control there.
11 Q. What about the reservists who were ethnic Albanians? I mean
12 those joined the paramilitaries because they looked the looting. What
13 about the reservists of Albanian ethnicity? I don't believe you meant
14 them, as well, when you said what you said, that they joined Arkan and
16 A. There were very few Albanians. You could count them by the
17 fingers on one hand because they did not report to the units they served
18 before. They refused to join. I mean the Albanians. There were some
19 Roma, and that would be my answer.
20 Q. You will agree with me that the Albanian population in Djakovica
21 in that area was a majority as for that military department, an absolute
23 A. Considering the number of people living there, yes, it is true
24 that most of the population was of Albanian ethnicity. However, I would
25 like to reiterate here. They did not respond to the call for
1 mobilisation because the situation was very exacerbated, and it was
2 impossible for Albanians and Serbs and Montenegrins to be in the same
3 unit. It was impossible.
4 Q. I shall thank you for your answer, and I'm not going to ask you
5 anything else.
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since the next set
7 of my questions has to do with the organisation and chain of command and
8 will take up quite a bit of time, I believe that this would be a most
9 appropriate moment for the first break.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will have the first break now, and
11 we will resume at 11.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
14 JUDGE PARKER: While we're waiting for the witness,
15 Mr. Djordjevic, we're looking ahead to the next witness. Do you think
16 there will be much time to spare for the next witness today? We may
17 simply finish this witness and not move to another one, is the
19 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Your Honours, I think that till the end of our
20 working day, we will cross this witness.
21 JUDGE PARKER: You'll finish this witness today?
22 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE PARKER: So we could look to the idea that we won't start
24 another witness. Very well. That's helpful, Mr. Djordjevic, and I'm
25 sure Mr. Stamp will take notice of that.
1 MR. STAMP: Yes, I'm grateful. That helps to organise and save
2 the witness having to wait around all day. Thank you very much, Your
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: You're welcome.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. As I've already indicated, we will now continue with the chain of
8 command, rules of procedure in the army, military rules since you come
9 from that organisational structure, and I think it would be useful for us
10 in terms of clarifying the case at this trial.
11 Mr. Peraj, in paragraph 6 of your statement you say that the
12 staff of the corps of the Army of Yugoslavia received orders from the
13 ministry of defence in Belgrade
14 command? First of all, let me ask you this: Do you understand the term
15 "chain of command"?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Could you then tell us, the corps staff or
18 headquarters, who are they responsible to? Who do they report to? They
19 are located in Kosovo. Who do they report to in organisational terms?
20 A. The command of the Brigade that I was part of reported to the
21 command of the corps; then the command of the corps reports to the army
22 in Nish
23 Q. You're referring to the 3rd Army in Nis. We will agree about
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. As regards the chain of command the way that you've explained it
2 to us briefly, could you please tell us, how were reports sent from the
3 field, so from the very scene where something happened? Can you explain
4 to us the reporting procedure about the events in the field? Do you know
5 that, beginning, for instance, with the brigade level.
6 A. The lowest level in the specific case, the second level, the
7 command of the brigade where I worked, commanded by Djosan, the corps
8 command, part of it was stationed in Gjakove. The reporting can be done
9 in writing because the two commands were close to each other, but also
10 they can report using telegrams.
11 Q. Let me remind you. In paragraph 28 of your statement -- when I'm
12 referring to the statement, I always refer to the statement of the 8th
13 and 9th of August. It's been admitted into evidence in this case. So if
14 I'm referring to any other statement, I will specify that, but when I say
15 just "statement," I'm talking about the statement that you have in front
16 of you in hard copy. Let me remind you. In paragraph 28 you say:
17 "Colonel Branko Kotur would forward the information to the
18 commander of the 3rd Army in Nis
19 Who is Colonel Kotur then?
20 A. Colonel Kotur was in the corps command, in the corps staff, and
21 received orders from the corps commander. He represented the corps in
22 the absence of the commander or his deputy. He had the post of the chief
23 of the operations staff.
24 Q. Thank you. And then you go on to say that he forwarded the
25 information to the commander of the VJ headquarters or staff in Nis, to
1 General Colonel Dusan Samardzic. How do you know that, and who is Dusan
3 A. Since Milan Kotur exercised the post, he had --
4 Q. Milan
5 A. I apologise. It's Milan
6 Q. I apologise. That means that in paragraph 28 --
7 A. Excuse me, Branko Kotur.
8 Q. Then it's okay. Please do continue.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The speakers are kindly
10 asked not to overlap.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] His duty was to inform the corps
12 commander either directly or indirectly of what was happening.
13 As for Dusan Samardzic, he was the commander of the 3rd Army in
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. The information that Colonel Kotur forwarded to Samardzic, was it
17 then forwarded to the ministry of defence in Belgrade? Do you know that,
18 or do you not know that?
19 A. That was the task of the army command to forward the information.
20 Q. Thank you. My next question for you, Mr. Peraj, is this: What
21 kind of training did you do when you were transferred to Djakovica?
22 A. As I mentioned earlier, initially I was the second reporting
23 officer for training and exercise issues. My specific duty was to
24 prepare the soldiers for providing physical guard duty of the barracks
25 and of other features or places where the command of the brigade and its
1 representatives were stationed. I exercised this duty until the very
2 end. I had an assistant who was responsible for the guards in my
3 absence, for example, when I was tasked with other duties.
4 Q. My next -- my next question for you, Mr. Peraj: The volunteers
5 from Serbia
6 come from Serbia
7 didn't have to report to anyone in their field upon their arrival, or did
8 they report to somebody and place themselves under somebody's command?
9 How did the chain of command function there when it came to the
10 volunteers coming in from Serbia
11 A. First of all, and I do not rule out this possibility, they could
12 come in unorganised manner but also in an organised manner. Buses from
13 Nish Expres came; busloads of volunteers came to the cultural centre in
14 Gjakove. Those who came in an organised manner, they had a
15 representative and the necessary documentation proving that they were
16 handed over to the command of the garrison in Gjakove. However, some
17 from the bus would just get off, pick up their suitcases, and walk in the
18 town on their own. Those who came in an organised manner, their personal
19 details were taken down, and they were dislocated to the different units,
20 subordinated to different units.
21 Q. Let us go back to what you said about the presence of the
22 paramilitaries from various political parties, and I would like to spend
23 some time with them now. I would like you to explain to us how is it
24 that you know that, when and where you saw them, those people who belong
25 to Arkan's Tigers, as you say. If you saw them, when did you see them;
1 where were they billeted; who did they report to; who was in charge of
2 them when they reported or when they arrived in Kosovo; and what is the
3 name of the person in charge who received them in the Army of Yugoslavia
4 once they arrived in Djakovica?
5 A. These units, especially the Arkan's unit, were mixed up and fully
6 cooperated with each other, to my knowledge. They were mainly based in
7 the Pashtrik hotel, and I've seen them there with my own eyes. I was
8 even present there for an intervention. The other units, the Seselj
9 units and Frenki units were stationed in some buildings near the stadium.
10 Q. I'm sorry. I want to continue asking questions about Arkan's
11 Tigers, so we will then move on to Seselj's men, if we can agree on that.
12 You say that they were billeted in the Pastrik hotel. You're
13 talking about Arkan's Tigers, but my first question was -- I understand
14 what you're saying. They couldn't come to Kosovo without reporting to a
15 certain military staff or organisational unit in order to let them know
16 that they were there. Is this what they did? Did they have to report to
17 the army when they arrived so that everybody knew who they were and that
18 they were there?
19 A. I agree to some extent with what you're saying, that they had to
20 report to someone, and probably they did, but I have my doubts in terms
21 of a previous agreement. There must have been a previous agreement for
22 their arrival there.
23 These units did not live well together with the army. They were
24 not cooperative at all with the army. To what I've seen, and I have a
25 lot of information about this, they were always seen in the company of
1 the police.
2 Q. Mr. Peraj --
3 A. So I think they had an agreement with someone. As I mentioned
4 earlier, if they didn't have such an agreement with someone, these forces
5 would have been fought by both the army and the police. Both the army
6 and the police would have tried to stop them. It was a total anarchy.
7 Q. I agree with you in this regard. Members of Arkan's paramilitary
8 formation, the Tigers, you say that they were there. How did they get
9 supplies with -- of materiel and equipment in the field? How were they
10 supplied with food?
11 A. To what I know, they were not supplied with these items directly
12 from the army. They had their own weaponry and equipment. They had
13 different kinds of light weapons. I am sure that they were not provided
14 with foodstuffs by the army.
15 I myself have distributed food to some units. These units were
16 self-organised. The kitchen was there, and they would get themselves
17 food. Even the hotel worked under their orders, served them. They were
18 the ones who were in charge, who issued the orders.
19 Q. You say that you intervened on one occasion in the Pastrik hotel.
20 What was the name of their commander? If you intervened there, you had
21 to have remembered that because you probably had to talk to him if it was
22 an intervention. And could you please explain to us, what kind of an
23 intervention are we talking about here?
24 A. I went for an intervention following an order from Colonel Djosan
25 because some soldiers had used alcohol. Alcohol was greatly used in
1 Pashtrik hotel. It's only a street that separates the Pashtrik hotel and
2 the cultural centre. There were gun-shots fired because they were drunk,
3 so my commander said to me, Go and check what's going on, since it was
4 confirmed that there was no attack in question. He said to me, Go and
5 fetch these soldiers, and you can tell them on my behalf that the hotel
6 will no longer serve alcohol drinks. And he advised me not to try and
7 enter into an argument with them. All of them were members of the Arkan
9 They were drunk. They knew me by face because I moved around
10 there almost on a daily basis. They offered me a beer. I told them that
11 I could not have a beer because I was on duty, but then one of them said
12 to me, Well, I will throw the beer away then. So in B/C/S I said, I'll
13 just take a sip, then.
14 So I asked them who their boss was, and their reply was, We are
15 all bosses here. You are a good man, so it would be better for you to
16 leave; otherwise, something might happen to you.
17 So I went back. I reported to the commander, and after ten
18 minutes or so Novica Stankovic with six or seven soldiers went there, and
19 his presence was followed by gun-shots fired in the air.
20 Q. How do you know that those were Arkan's Tigers? How can you be
21 certain of that when you say that they did not report to you, that they
22 ignored you?
23 A. Sir, they told me in person on several occasions that -- to whom
24 they belonged. That was no secret. They were proud of being Arkan's
25 Tigers. They did not hide this fact from anyone. You may believe me or
1 not, but this was the truth.
2 Q. Finally, could you just tell me very briefly what kind of light
3 weapons, small arms they had, what kind of uniforms they had, and could
4 you explain to me what you said in your statement when you're talking
5 about Arkan's Tigers; you say that there was a rumour that they were
6 extremely disciplined, but then you mentioned case involving the son of a
7 friend of yours who killed himself because he was a drug addict. But did
8 you have any knowledge then that it was an extremely disciplined military
9 organisation - I'm talking about the Arkan's Tigers - and could you
10 please tell us what kind of clothes they wore and what kind of weapons
11 they had.
12 A. I apologise, Your Honours. Could you please again instruct the
13 counsel to ask short and clearly defined questions. Again, these are
14 two, three, four questions in one. I will answer his questions one by
16 Q. How -- or, rather, what kind of small arms did they have?
17 A. They had automatic rifles, 7.62 millimetres, 9 millimetres;
18 revolvers; and I don't know of anyone not carrying knives, but not knives
19 that are included in the military equipment. Those were knives that were
20 called daggers, the kind that hunters used . They were wearing chains,
21 60, 70 centimetres long. I didn't see any rocket-launchers or heavy
22 machine-guns. They had light weapons. They also had hand-grenades.
23 Q. Was there some other noticeable detail on all of this in addition
24 to what you've said?
25 A. Most of them had the emblem of Arkan's party, the one they used
1 to carry in the war in Bosnia
2 were mainly camouflage. However, some of them would wear mixed civilian
3 and military clothing, civilian trousers and military jackets. They also
4 wore handkerchiefs on their heads. Yes, them, too, the Tigers, black
5 scarves on their heads.
6 I will tell you something else, that they coordinated their
7 actions between each other, and they would stay together because the only
8 place where alcohol was served was Hotel Pashtrik. There were other
9 coffee-shops, as well, but you said never mind them. So that's who they
10 were, people from Frenki's unit and Seselj's unit.
11 Q. From Frenki's and Seselj's unit. What are we discussing now, the
12 Tigers or Frenki's men and Seselj's men? Now I don't understand.
13 A. We spoke about Arkan's Tigers in Pashtrik, but these two also
14 went there, and they stayed together there, and that's why I mentioned
15 it, not for any other reason.
16 Q. Who was this that was engaged in this mutual coordination,
17 Arkan's Tigers or someone beyond that? What are you exactly referring
19 A. Arkan's Tigers, Seselj's White Eagles, Frenki's units. All of
20 them coordinated amongst themselves. They never argued with each other.
21 They were very well coordinated. I never heard of any problem in their
22 midst. However, who did the coordination, I don't know. It must have
23 been somebody high up. I don't want to give you my ideas here.
24 Q. You don't know. But of course. My question at the outset had to
25 do with alcohol and discipline. You mentioned that you had heard that
1 this was the case among Arkan's Tigers, rather, that they did not drink
2 alcohol at all and that they had maximum discipline among their army
3 ranks. Was that your impression?
4 A. No, that's not correct. In terms of discipline, they were a
5 little more disciplined. Arkan's people were more disciplined. However,
6 they would drink until they were totally drunk, and I know this for a
7 fact, and I saw them with my own eyes together in Pashtrik.
8 Q. Finally, look at paragraph 42 of your statement. Of course, it
9 is P313 for the umpteenth time today. Paragraph 42. How do you explain
10 the beginning of this sentence? You say that:
11 "I had no contact with the White Eagles or Tigers other than
12 bumping into the Tigers once at the Pashtrik Hotel in Djakovica."
13 So you did not see them. You had no contact with them. You
14 bumped into one of the Tigers. Now, I really wonder how the interpreters
15 are going to interpret that. Quite an expression, isn't it? Bumping,
16 yes, bumping into the Tigers. Right. That's right.
17 A. Well, sir, I did not have direct contact with them. I just saw
18 them in the street, but I did not speak to them. I mentioned what
19 happened in Pashtrik. Apart from that, there's nothing else. I saw them
20 in the street.
21 Q. That's a good answer. Fine. Tell me, camouflage uniforms, what
22 colour were they? I mean the Tigers' uniforms.
23 A. It was very similar to the army uniform with very slight
24 differences. The colours were a little lighter. It was a camouflage
25 uniform but lighter colours.
1 Q. Did they wear any kind of caps or helmets or anything of the kind
2 or nothing whatsoever?
3 A. Most of them were not wearing anything on their heads.
4 Q. Did they have any radio equipment? Every member of the Tigers,
5 was that on their chests?
6 A. The ones I ran into, I did not see them having any radio
7 equipment. I did see some in Prishtina, but they were commanders in
8 1997, 1998, and I remember seeing them with such equipment, very
9 sophisticated ones.
10 Q. Do you know what was the name of Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan's,
12 A. I can't recall it now. I used to know the name.
13 Q. Do you know what the emblem of the Tigers looked like? They wore
14 it, and I'm not going to say how and where they wore it, but what did
15 this emblem look like, the one that the Tigers wore?
16 A. I can't remember for the moment. It's been a long time. Some of
17 them I know, but I'm not sure, so I don't want to assume here, make
18 assumptions. However, the most important thing is that they admitted
19 themselves to be part of that force.
20 Q. Thank you. Tell me, do you know in what actions they took part,
21 and if so, where? The specific area, please. I'm referring to Arkan's
23 A. They took part in Meje, in Meje, together with other forces as
25 Q. Within your brigade, did you have an intelligence officer?
1 A. Intelligence officer? No, I don't think so. A security officer,
2 yes, but he could have covered both fields.
3 Q. Did the security officer know about the presence of Arkan's
4 Tigers out in the field; and if so, what was his name?
5 A. Seregj Perovic was the security officer. And to be honest, you
6 didn't ask the question, but I will say this: I think that he knew about
7 everything, and he told me who belonged to which and from whom should I
8 be careful and protect myself.
9 Q. We are going to move on to Seselj's White Eagles. When did they
11 A. As far as I remember, they arrived by the end of 1998.
12 Q. Where?
13 A. In Gjakove. Maybe they arrived earlier in another part of the
14 country, but in Gjakove they arrived in 1998. It was before New Year's
16 Q. Tell me, how did they get there? What did they use for
18 A. I don't know how they got there and what means of transportation
19 they used. I did not see them.
20 Q. How do you know, then? How do you know that they arrived?
21 A. Well, they could be seen in Gjakove, in the streets, that they
22 had arrived. They did not just drop from the sky. Of course, they came
23 from somewhere. Whether it was an organised way of arriving or not, I
24 don't know. I know what vehicles they used when they moved around in
25 Gjakove, yes, but how they arrived, I don't know.
1 Q. Thank you for this answer. Tell me, did they report to your
2 army, to your command, that they had arrived? Did they place themselves
3 under your command or someone else's command, if you know, and you were
4 in Djakovica at that point in time.
5 A. As far as I know, no, because if they had reported to the
6 command, we would have a list, a register of some sort, and we would have
7 to support them with food supplies, weapons, vehicles. Please believe me
8 that they had better vehicles. The members of these units, they had
9 better vehicles than the commander of the brigade, much more
10 sophisticated vehicles that they had looted from people, they had taken
11 away from people. I don't know where from.
12 Q. So you did work on establishing the provenance of these vehicles?
13 A. These vehicles were not army or police vehicles. They were
14 vehicles that had been looted from the people, very good jeeps and
15 Mercedes cars, and they didn't care what they did to those people. If
16 those people so much as tried to resist, they would be killed on the
17 spot. Of course, the army and the police did mobilise some vehicles,
18 civilian vehicles, but, however, they would give a certificate that this
19 was taken for a temporary period for the needs of the army or the police.
20 However, unfortunately, they were never returned, but we won't enter into
22 Q. Actually, we've moved in the completely wrong direction. This
23 question is of really no relevance to this case. I do apologise to the
24 Honourable Trial Chamber and to my colleague Mr. Stamp. However, I got
25 carried away by what you were saying, although that is impermissible, so
1 I do apologise to all concerned.
2 We will agree that the Serbs organise themselves in different
3 parties, and they arrived in Kosovo without the knowledge of the military
4 and without any kind of organisation. Everybody was waging his own
5 little war in Kosovo and perhaps elsewhere too. No one reported to
6 anyone. No one didn't -- know officially that they were there. No one
7 provided them with food, materiel, technical resources. Every army
8 brought in their own resources, their own vehicles, their own food and so
9 on and so forth. Will you agree with me?
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic, I'm afraid this is another speech.
11 I think I'll just have to interrupt you each time you launch into one
12 from now on, or we'll find we can't finish. You had the evidence from
13 the witness, so I don't think you need to try to summarise it.
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Will the witness agree with me
15 that political parties in Serbia
16 Kosovo and they acted independently without any kind of liaison with
17 others? At least that is what I infer on the basis of what the witness
18 has been telling us.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Are you able to assist with that, Mr. Peraj?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Honourable gentlemen, I -- I'm not
21 saying that they were armies. They were mobilised forces by political
22 parties, and my personal opinion is that the chairmen of these parties
23 coordinated with somebody high up on these issues because otherwise --
24 because had it been otherwise, the army would have acted against these
25 forces and would not have allowed these forces to arrive there.
1 On the basis of these facts, I think that there was a preliminary
2 agreement between them to send forces. They called them voluntary
3 forces, volunteers. However, the situation on the ground was completely
4 different. Even if they had previous understanding between each other,
5 they did not act upon such understanding or agreement.
6 This would be my answer.
7 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. My question is: As for the volunteers -- I mean, I'm not going
9 to call them Arkan's men or Seselj's men or Russians or whatever. I'm
10 just going to call them volunteers.
11 Did you, as the army, receive them in Djakovica? You explained
12 something to us, that you were writing down the names and surnames of
13 these people, et cetera. Did they go through any kind of training?
14 Could you please respond to that? That has to do with what you stated
15 today, namely, that you kept some kind of records of volunteers who were
16 coming in, as far as I can remember.
17 A. In a situation of war, there is no training because there is no
18 time for training. These volunteers had been previously trained in
20 cases when they came and they registered, and the next day they were sent
21 to the front.
22 Q. Well, that is why they came; right? But did you register all of
23 them? Was it possible for anyone to enter the area of responsibility of
24 your brigade without you knowing about that? Was that feasible at all?
25 A. Illegally, yes, not legally. However, you reminded me of
1 something here. The same unit that came as volunteers, they said, and I
2 heard them myself and I quote: We have been told to stay in town, and if
3 there is need, we will stay in town and we won't go to Koshare. Djosan
4 told them, Thank you for coming, but this is where we need you now. And
5 everybody left and went to town.
6 The military police was engaged then to go and catch them
7 wherever they were. They didn't want to come for the proper patriotic
8 reasons. They had come for other things.
9 Q. This is a matter that I don't wish to discuss. Quite simply, I
10 got the answer that I was interested in, so tell me: How did you make a
11 distinction between the members of Seselj's party, the volunteers of
12 Seselj's party and others? What kind of weapons did they have? What
13 kind of side-arms?
14 A. Of Seselj's people, almost none of them carried automatic rifles.
15 Knives dominated, and pistols. They changed their uniforms almost daily.
16 Where they got them, I don't know. Military uniforms, police uniforms,
17 combined uniforms, headscarves, different kinds of emblems. They were
18 tattooed on their bodies everywhere, and they showed everything very
19 openly, and they were singing songs. And I apologise again to the
20 interpreters because I will confuse them. [Witness sings]. It's a song
21 about Seselj, and I suspect that they were drug users, heavy drug users.
22 I heard from my colleagues that they used a lot of drugs.
23 Q. So your colleagues mingled with them. Could you please give us
24 some names of those colleagues of yours who told you that about Seselj's
25 men, first names, last names?
1 A. Mostly the security officer. In our everyday conversations, he
2 told me about their behaviour, yes, and he told me to be careful and not
3 to use my jeep because they would cake it away from me.
4 Q. You're talking about Officer Perovic; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. My last question about Seselj's guard, the White Eagles, is: Do
7 you know who their commander was, and what actions did they take part in,
8 if any?
9 A. I don't know the name of the commander of the Seselj's unit.
10 However, I'm 100 percent sure that they took part in the -- in Meje and
11 in Korenice, but also in town, in looting houses and setting them alight.
12 Q. Could you please tell me, who is Franko Simatovic? Do you know
14 A. I never met him. I know that he was the commander of the
15 so-called Frenki's, named after him. I know that he was in charge of
16 this unit when it was formed initially, before it arrived in Kosova.
17 Frenki Sumatovic, Simatovic, something like that.
18 Q. Simatovic.
19 A. A lot has been said about him on television, newspapers, media in
20 general, but personally I don't know him.
21 Q. What kind of a unit was that, Frenki's men? Who were they? Do
22 you know that?
23 A. From what I know, he was the commander of this unit, which was a
24 special unit, Special Anti-Terrorist Unit. This is what I know.
25 Q. And let me ask you this: Let's say from the 1st of January,
1 1999, until June, the 12th of June, 1999, was there a Special
2 Anti-Terrorist Unit under the command of Frenki Simatovic, Franko
3 Simatovic, or was there perhaps something else? Had it already been
4 disbanded by that time?
5 A. I apologise, Your Honour, but it would take me quite some time to
6 elaborate and explain this. If you give me permission to give an
7 elaborated answer, then I will.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... in existence at that time or
9 not? That's my question. Yes or no?
10 A. In Gjakove specifically, there were Frenki's forces, and I will
11 explain to you how they were organised in Gjakove. Not all the unit of
12 Frenki was in Gjakove. There were certain persons tasked with mobilising
13 other persons into their own units.
14 Q. Do you remember, if you say that Frenki's men were in Djakovica,
15 and that's what you're saying, who was their commander? Who was his
17 A. I do not know their commander. I was told by my colleagues, and
18 they mentioned this very often, a certain colonel by the name of
19 Kovacevic who was assigned with the task of coordinating these forces.
20 This is what I heard. Personally, I cannot ascertain or deny this
21 information. However, their presence in Gjakove was open.
22 Q. My next question: Where were Frenki's forces, members of that
23 special unit, billeted?
24 A. Behind the Vllaznimi stadium in a building. They removed the
25 civilian population from that building and moved themselves in.
1 Q. Could you please tell me, where were Seselj's White Eagles
3 A. In a building which is opposite to the Hajdar Dushi gymnasium.
4 There were several military apartments in these buildings in the past.
5 That's where they were mostly seen, but they did change their location
6 often. That was like a point of a -- a meeting point for them, close the
7 to the army centre.
8 Q. Could you please tell me, do you have any knowledge of Frenki's
9 men participating in any actions?
10 A. I did not hear of an operation that -- in which they participated
11 on their own.
12 Q. Now I would like us to look at D001-5784, it's the English
13 version; and D001-5782, that's in Albanian. This is the statement of the
14 17th of June, 1999, that the witness gave, signed, and wrote in his own
15 hand. And in the English version, we in fact have a translation of that
16 handwritten statement.
17 Could you please look at this statement in English, Mr. Peraj.
18 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to
19 look at the signature in the Albanian version. I want to ask Mr. Peraj
20 if it is indeed his signature, so could that part of the statement please
21 be shown on the screen. It's at the end.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The statement in handwriting, first
23 of all, that is not my handwriting. I think that the signature has been
24 falsified, forged perfectly, perfidiously. I do have notes, not here
25 with me here today, and you can see from my notes that this is not my
2 Just a small detail as proof. It says here, "Deklaroi." I would
3 never write it like that. I would write it with a J in the end. So
4 that's why I'm saying that my signature has been forged perfidiously.
5 It's not my handwriting.
6 Q. Do you know who handed this document over to the OTP of the
7 Tribunal, this forgery? So you're claiming this is a forgery?
8 A. Completely. That's not my handwriting. We should be clear on
9 this, and the person who sent this must know who did the forging. It's a
10 complete forgery. I have my suspicions about who could have done this,
11 but I'm not going to say that.
12 Q. Well, this is not of interest to us, perhaps some other
13 proceedings, but let me ask you this: Mr. Peraj, you testified in the
14 Milutinovic et al case. You gave a number of statements. Were you ever
15 shown this statement by the Prosecution since my learned friend Mr. Stamp
16 referred to all the statements, to the sublimation of all the statements,
17 and the sublimation is contained in P313, so did you ever state that this
18 statement of the 17th of June, 1999, apparently written in some kind of
19 block capitals, is a total forgery as you stated here today?
20 MR. STAMP: May I just state -- may I just intervene --
21 JUDGE PARKER: We will let the witness answer first, Mr. Stamp.
22 MR. STAMP: Very well.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With regard to the statement on the
25 right-hand side, I'm telling you that this is not my handwriting, and it
1 is a forgery, pure forgery. And my signature, too, has been forged
2 perfidiously, copied. The statements that I gave to the investigators --
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Have you ever, ever signed a handwritten statement --
5 MR. STAMP: May I --
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] The witness -- or, rather, Your
7 Honour, I insist on getting an answer to that. Before giving the floor
8 to the Prosecution, could I please have the answer?
9 JUDGE PARKER: Answer to what, Mr. Djordjevic?
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I'm asking you, have you ever before today say anywhere that this
12 statement -- or, rather, that this signature is not yours and that this
13 is all a total forgery? So did you ever say that ever before today?
14 A. This is the first time I see a statement in handwriting. I don't
15 know where you got it from. Maybe you should tell us who provided you
16 with this forgery. This is not my statement, and you can prove this. I
17 can bring you notebooks with my handwriting, and you can have an expert
18 in handwriting do the analysis, and you will see that this is not my
20 JUDGE PARKER: All right. Now, Mr. Stamp, you've been waiting a
21 moment to intervene.
22 MR. STAMP: I think the witness was about to say what I wanted to
23 say at line 47 -- at page 47, line 15, when he said, "The statements I
24 gave to the investigators ..." I think he was about to say what I will
25 say now.
1 Counsel for the Defence has said that I represented at some point
2 in time that in the statement we have in evidence as the witness's
3 statement is a sublimation of all witness's statements. That is not
4 correct, and I wish to just correct that for the record, and that is at
5 yesterday at page 1182, lines 18 to 23. The statements which we referred
6 to, which the Prosecution refers to and has used and tendered in this
7 case are statements which were taken by officers of the OTP of this
8 Tribunal and not all possible statements which the witness might have
10 JUDGE PARKER: Well, thank you for correcting that. I must say I
11 didn't understand that from what you said yesterday, and I'm sure that
12 will help Mr. Djordjevic. The statement Exhibit P313, Mr. Stamp says is,
13 as it were, a putting together of statements made by the witness to the
14 Office of the Prosecutor, not of other statements.
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] This is also a document that we
16 received practically from our colleagues from the Prosecution, and I am
17 really happy I hear the witness say this, and this is why I'm going ask
18 for this document to be admitted into evidence in its entirety, the
19 document that the witness claims is a complete forgery.
20 JUDGE PARKER: At the moment, he says it isn't his statement. We
21 can mark it for identification and keep it in the court record, but it
22 won't be an exhibit until somebody can identify what it is. It will be
23 marked for identification, Mr. Djordjevic.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D00031 MFI, Your Honours.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Peraj, you've been patiently waiting to
2 say something.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just shortly, Your Honour, if you
4 allow me.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Please.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't see anything which is in
7 conflict with what I've said in my previous statements. However, this is
8 not my handwriting. I just wanted to tell you that I didn't see any
9 threat from this statement.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I don't think we need to bother further with
11 that, Mr. Peraj. Thank you for that.
12 Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. As regards the Territorial Defence, just one short question. You
15 said in the statement of yours, that's paragraph 36, that the Territorial
16 Defence involved people from the ages of 15 to 65. Did you really mean
17 that, from 15 to 65 for the Territorial Defence? Is it true that you
18 said that simply --
19 A. Eighteen to 65.
20 Q. Well, that's more sensible. So we have that corrected now.
21 Could you explain to us the difference between the Territorial
22 Defence and the civilian protection? That's paragraph 37. You are
23 talking about both.
24 A. Civil protection is under the umbrella of Territorial Defence,
25 and they have their own specific tasks.
1 Q. You say that the operational commander of the Territorial Defence
2 for the Gjakove municipality was in fact Nikola Micunovic, aka -- well,
3 the nickname has nothing to do with his real name, but could you please
4 tell us, what does it mean, "operational commander"? How are we to
5 understand that?
6 A. Can you give me the number of the paragraph, please?
7 Q. Thirty-seven, Mr. Peraj, line 3. We can see that he was in fact
8 in peacetime just -- he played just an administrative role, but what was
9 he doing during the war? What is it, the operational commander of
10 Territorial Defence, and who did he report to? You say that here. You
11 say that he reported to Mayor Stanojevic. So who is Micunovic, and who
12 is Stanojevic? But first of all, my first question to you is:
13 "Operational commander of the Territorial Defence," what does that mean?
14 A. Commander of the Territorial Defence in Gjakove, for Gjakove
15 municipality, that is, was Momcilo Stanojevic, while Nikola Micunovic was
16 the commander of the mobilised forces of the Territorial Defence, which
17 was under the command of the mayor of the municipality, which in war-time
18 assumes the role of the commander of these Territorial Defence forces.
19 Q. So let's clear this up. Stanojevic or Micunovic?
20 A. Micunovic was the person who reported to Stanojevic. However,
21 the operational part of the work, of the job, he was responsible for the
22 operational part of the work. This is the meaning of the operational
23 commander that I mentioned.
24 Q. The fact that they reported -- that Micunovic reported to Djosan,
25 does that mean that the Territorial Defence had placed itself under the
1 command of the Yugoslav Army? Is that how I should understand it?
2 A. In fact, in a municipality where there is a military district or
3 military formation, rather, like a brigade, which is not a small
4 formation, the other forces that are involved in military activities fall
5 under the command of the garrison commander, with the exception of cases
6 when it is has been ordered previously to do otherwise, because it is
7 possible for an officer or a higher-ranking officer to come and be
8 assigned there in that district and take over the command.
9 Q. And please tell me, the reservists and the Territorial Defence,
10 during the war did they operate together, or were they also operating
11 separately without any particular coordination?
12 A. We should understand each other here. Reservists were mobilised
13 by both Territorial Defence and the army. Therefore, the Territorial
14 Defence, the army, and the police had to have full coordination between
15 themselves. However, the army is more responsible vis-a-vis the
16 Territorial Defence units. Whatever the case, they have to closely
17 cooperate in the territory, that is in municipality, in the municipality
18 in this case.
19 Q. Well, that's the essence of my question. In practice, did they
20 operate like a single organisation, the territorials, the Territorial
21 Defense, the reservists of the army? That's my question.
22 A. It resembled a single organisation, but in reality it was
23 different. Nikola Micunovic was involved in a verbal argument with
24 Djosan about this issue. So I cannot speak of good relations here
25 because something was not functioning in that respect.
1 Q. Thank you. Let's wrap up because I can see that we have to have
2 our break.
3 Could you please tell us: Mr. Micunovic, he was a retired
4 military man or something else, and then he was reactivated? What was
6 A. I don't know that he had been retired. Well, even if that was
7 the case, quite normally he would have been mobilised. He worked in the
8 sector which, in B/C/S, is Vojni Odsek, a military district in Gjakove.
9 Q. Did he have any rank?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What rank?
12 A. As far as I know, he was a first class captain at least, but I
13 think he was promoted to major at the time. I don't remember, as I said,
14 what was his initial rank before he was promoted.
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I suggest that we
16 take our break now.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic. And we
18 resume at 1.00, and you will bear in mind the need to leave some time to
19 Mr. Stamp for re-examination. Thank you.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
22 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I please
23 address you?
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I will try to the best of my
1 ability to cut my cross-examination short in order to allow this witness
2 to complete his testimony before this court today, but in light of the
3 importance of the circumstances that I wanted to ask him about, I would
4 like to ask you - and this concerns, also, the interpreters who are
5 present here - I have learnt that there is no trial scheduled for this
6 afternoon, and I realise that we will need more time because Mr. Stamp
7 has to have the right to re-examine the witness, but could release
8 extend, perhaps, our sitting time today so that the witness's testimony
9 could be completed today?
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic, we're not in a position that we
12 can simply adjust to take this afternoon's sitting because different
13 interpreters are arranged for this afternoon's sitting and because
14 commitments have been made by Judges in other matters. What we can do to
15 try and help is to extend to the maximum edge of the present tapes, which
16 will give us perhaps another ten minutes, and that is all we can do. So
17 you'll just have to move as quickly and as to the point as you can.
18 Thank you.
19 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will
20 then continue with my cross-examination of this witness.
21 Q. Mr. Peraj, could you please tell me, what do you know about the
22 relationship between the last name that you mentioned in your statement,
23 Adamovic, and the last name of Kovacevic? What do you know about that?
24 A. I know that Adamovic was a MUP commander. I wanted to have an
25 appointment with him once for personal reasons, and I was told that he
1 was ill and was in Belgrade
2 Colonel Kovacevic. And I will say this again - this is what I heard -
3 Kovacevic was acting as -- in his place for some time.
4 Q. For a time, or did Kovacevic remain there until the end of the
6 A. He stayed there for quite some time, as far as I know, but I'm
7 not sure about later on.
8 Q. Mr. Peraj, according to the information that the Defence has,
9 Mr. Kovacevic was appointed after Adamovic, the chief of the Djakovica
11 A. I'm not sure. I don't know, but it could be as you say. I don't
12 deny -- I can't deny that he was. Maybe he was given that post, but I
13 don't know. However, I know that the colonel's name was mentioned
14 several times in our conversations and in our briefing sessions in the
16 Q. Well, it's strange that you don't know that since you spoke about
17 your briefings, the briefings between the army and the police in great
18 detail, so it's strange that you don't know that since you were in
19 Djakovica at the time.
20 My next question has to do with paragraph 22 of your statement.
21 I would like you to give you this reference so that we can cut this
22 short. You say that in the area of Djakovica there were over 170 tanks,
23 and then in the same paragraph you say that you know that the man who
24 worked at the gas station said that in late April he fuelled 60 tanks
25 that day.
1 Is it possible that there were so many tanks at the time when the
2 NATO air-strikes were going on, and how do you know that there were so
3 many tanks there at that time? And nothing else, just that.
4 A. With regard to fueling, which is Serb is Tankiranje, there was a
5 non-commissioned officer who told me about that. I can't remember his
6 name now. It was his duty to supply petrol. And he told me that there
7 would be a lot to do in the future days, as well, to supply petrol to
8 other tanks. I'm very sure about that because when the convoy formed to
9 withdraw, I can tell you that there could have been even more than I
10 already said now.
11 These tanks did not move from the places they were deployed,
12 especially after the NATO bombing started. They did not move from their
13 positions for security reasons and also because they did not need to use
15 The Prizren-Gjakove-Decane-Peje axis was the most important one
16 because of an eventual attack from the Republic of Albania
17 earlier on, tanks were positioned along this line that I mentioned.
18 Q. Let's clear this up. This number of tanks, we're talking about
19 Djakovica or the whole of Kosovo?
20 A. Not the whole of Kosova, just Gjakove, Decane, and the other part
21 towards Prizren.
22 Q. Based on what information did the Yugoslav Army expect attacks
23 from the Republic of Albania
24 A. It was being said that if the bombing would not be successful,
25 then ground forces, NATO ground forces, would come and would enter
1 through that territory. That was what was said, but it never came true.
2 That's why the preparations were made before such a thing could happen.
3 There were many things said about these things on television, in the
5 Q. A brief question for you, Mr. Peraj. Were there any incursions
6 from the Republic of Albania
7 groups belong to, if you know, and when did this happen, if you know?
8 A. To my knowledge, there were groups that crossed the border,
9 various groups of civilians but also members of the KLA. They crossed
10 from Albania
11 the Albanian army, no.
12 Q. Thank you. My next question, Mr. Peraj, is this: After the Army
13 of Yugoslavia
14 when I'm asking you this, before you give me your answer, could you
15 please look at paragraph 108 of your statement. [No interpretation]
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Could we please look at D001-5900, that's the
18 Albanian version; and D001-5907, that's the English version. And before
19 we get this on the screen, could we please ask the witness to look very
20 carefully at this statement in the Albanian language and to tell us this:
21 After the usher has presented the statement to him in full, the first
22 page, second page, third page and so on, to say whether this is a
23 statement that he gave or not. It's in B/C/S. Fine. The witness under
24 understands the language.
25 Could he just tell me whether --
1 MR. STAMP: I'm not sure --
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm not sure whether this is
3 indeed the statement. Let me just check once again. No, that's not the
4 statement. Just a moment, please.
5 D001-5900. Yes, that's the Albanian version. And in the English
6 version -- in the English language, 5907, D001-5907. Yes, that's
7 correct. That's it.
8 Could the witness please be shown this statement, all the pages
9 in the Albanian language from page 1 to the last page. If he could tell
10 us whether this is indeed his statement.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I would like to say
12 that you can see that this handwriting is different from the previous
13 one. Secondly, yes, I wrote this myself.
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
15 Could we then have on our screens D001-5925.
16 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ...
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: I'm sorry, I'm in a rush and I forgot it.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D00032, Your Honours.
20 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we have D001-5925 in the
21 English language; and in the Albanian language, it's D001-5929. It is
22 the transcript of a purported audio and video recording of a conversation
23 with Nike Peraj, who is present here. So I would like to ask him if he
24 is aware of this transcript, if he knows anything about it. [In English]
25 In English, as far as I can see, it is only summary.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Would you please look at this transcript in
3 A. This is not in Albanian. However, it's not a problem. I would
4 like to have it zoomed in, please.
5 Your Honours, may I answer?
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I gave a statement in the premises
8 of this Tribunal to two prosecutors. I can't remember the name -- their
9 names. There was a lady with them, and I also gave a statement to --
10 Paolo Stocchi I think was his name. So I gave a statement, and it was
12 MR. DJORDJEVIC: I didn't receive translation. Now it's okay.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Okay. The witness said he gave two statements in
14 this Tribunal, the first two prosecutors, there was a lady with him, and
15 he also gave a statement to a Paolo Stocchi.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. This was in the presence
17 of Paolo Stocchi. I gave statement to the Belgrade prosecutors here in
18 the Tribunal, in the presence of Paolo Stocchi. I gave them a statement
19 about the things that I had also said before.
20 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Do you remember the time when you gave this statement?
22 A. No, I don't remember the date. About two years ago. I think
23 that Milosevic died, or maybe Babic died in that period. It was at that
24 time, but I can't give you the dates.
25 JUDGE PARKER: March 2006.
1 MR. DJORDJEVIC: That's right. [Interpretation] Your Honour, now
2 I would like to tender this statement into evidence. Now I don't want to
3 be asking any more questions about it because we don't have enough time.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, please, Mr. Djordjevic. It will be
6 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, before we get to that.
7 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Okay. Thank you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
9 MR. STAMP: This document, there's no translation of it in the
10 language of the Tribunal -- in the language of the Tribunal. I
11 understand that what we're seeing here is not a translation of the
12 document but someone's summary. So it's --
13 JUDGE PARKER: The document will be marked for identification
14 together with the summary.
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] But then in that case, Your
16 Honour, since we have a summary here, can we then submit a request for a
17 full translation of this document into English and then to have it
18 admitted into evidence in this case once the translation has been
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. You've anticipated very well. That's what
21 can occur, but you will need to ask the Translation Unit to do that.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D00033 MFI, Your Honours.
23 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm grateful to you,
24 Mr. President, Your Honour.
25 Q. Now I would like to ask you this. This is the first time,
1 Mr. Peraj, that you mentioned the forward command post of the police. If
2 I'm not mistaken, it was a prayer house, and it is in Lokaci Dusna
3 [phoen], the village of Lokaci Dusna. Now, I would like you to tell us
4 this: You told us that you didn't speak to anyone but that you saw a
5 police general there; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you now tell me -- can you describe what this man looked
9 A. I hope you won't get offended by this. He was about as heavily
10 built as you, a little bit taller. He had grey hair, almost white, white
11 facial features, red blotches on his face. This is how he looked. He
12 was wearing a camouflage uniform with the brown colour dominating, the
13 same as the army, but it was very good design, and he kept his rank
14 markings. Generally -- on the shoulders. Generally, in times of war
15 they don't keep their ranks, they don't show them, but they felt safe
16 there, it seems.
17 Q. Mr. Peraj, apart from concluding that the gentleman was
18 well-built and looked good, I would like to ask you this: Did you
19 remember his name?
20 A. No. I never mentioned his name because the person I was with
21 addressed him as chief or boss, and they never used names.
22 Q. Mr. Peraj, can you tell me why this is the first time you've said
23 this? Until now, you've never mentioned the forward command post of
24 Dusna, of the police. This is the first time you're doing this. Why?
25 What is the reason you're doing this for the very first time now?
1 MR. STAMP: Your Honours. Your Honours, that is not correct.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP: In his evidence before and in his statements, he has
4 mentioned the forward command post. As a matter of fact, in one of the
5 maps that we tendered, which was a map that he said is based on a map
6 that he has drawn and is a map from, I think, the year 2004, the forward
7 command post of the police is marked on it. I can't remember the exhibit
8 number, but that is one of the maps that was tendered on Wednesday.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Does that help your recollection,
10 Mr. Djordjevic?
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] No.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It is Friday afternoon.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] [Overlapping speakers] No, I
14 wouldn't have done that if I remembered. I know it's Friday afternoon,
15 Your Honour. I would like to say that the witness never did mention,
16 first of all, this kind of agreement or discussion in the staff, and that
17 is the main reason why I'm asking him that and saying that it's the first
19 Secondly, does the witness know that it was only the army that
20 had the so-called forward command post, whereas the police does not
21 really do that kind of thing in its activities and its operations.
22 Perhaps the witness called it that, but --
23 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we can see if the witness can comment on
24 that, Mr. Djordjevic.
25 It's suggested, Mr. Peraj, that the -- only the army has forward
1 command posts, not the police. Is that something that affects your
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand the question. It is
4 possible that -- it is possible because that brigade is not a small
5 brigade. It had the task of cleaning or mopping up the terrain because
6 there were allegedly terrorists there. This was a brigade that was
7 engaged in specific conditions or circumstances, and it plays the same
8 role automatically, and they have their own command staff.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Are you saying this is an army brigade or a police
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A police brigade for special
13 JUDGE PARKER: So you think it may be because of its special
14 function that it used a forward command post. That's the point of your
15 answer, is it?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, because someone has to command
17 with this brigade. Someone has to follow the operations closely of this
18 brigade, and this was an elite brigade, a strong brigade in terms of men,
19 and it is completely understanding that a higher-ranking officer shall
20 command with such a brigade. This was a very important area for the
21 Yugoslav State
22 Before the war and during the war, the tasks were such and the
23 subordination was such so that everybody should know who commands with
24 which unit, who belongs to which unit. So this was a special brigade.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
1 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Why is this the first time that
2 he mentions attendance at such a meeting with such high-ranking
3 commanders? The witness never stated this before. Even what my
4 colleague Mr. Stamp said, that he marked forward command post of the
5 police on the map, I could agree with that, but never before have I come
6 across this kind of a statement of his where he speaks of this police
7 command post where he sees the general and all these other people who are
8 discussing matters there, including other people who have very high rank
9 and so on and so forth. Why is this the first time that he's saying
10 this? Why has he never said so before?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't asked specifically about
12 this brigade in the past, just like you're asking me now. That's the
13 reason. There's no other reason. I wasn't asked in details before, Who
14 did you see there, how did they look, and so on and so forth.
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. No one's asking you now in any kind of detail either. This is
17 your statement. How is it that --
18 A. Your question led me to this answer.
19 Q. No. That's what you claim in your testimony in direct
20 examination. It's not that I provoked you to say this. You had already
21 said it.
22 But my next question - our time is limited - the first time you
23 say that this was a meeting that you attended when the massacre in Meje
24 was planned. Tell me, were you personally in attendance there at that
25 meeting, and in what capacity did you attend that meeting? I never saw
1 this before. I never saw you claiming anywhere that you attended a
2 meeting where the massacre in Meje was being planned literally. You are
3 saying now for the first time that you attended a meeting where the
4 massacre in Meje was being planned.
5 A. We were not convened there to have a meeting. It was a meeting
6 for other things. Persons mentioned in the statement were supposed to
7 take part in the funeral of an officer -- of an officer who had been
8 killed in Meje, and I was living there at the time. I had my guards. I
9 had people from the military police with me there. These people came. I
10 knew Momir Stojanovic very well. Perovic was with me there. I was there
11 in the corridor of the building when they entered. He stopped for a chat
12 with me, so at this meeting this thing was mentioned.
13 It was said at the meeting that at least 100 people should be
14 killed and the whole territory burnt down. I've mentioned this in my
15 previous statement as well. At the time, I understood this to be a
16 reaction of the anger.
17 The first cousin of Prascevic is Momir's wife. They were somehow
18 in-laws. This is how I understood it at the time, as a reaction to an
19 anger, but unfortunately what was said there came true. I'm not saying
20 that he planned it, but I heard this being said, and unfortunately, it
21 really happened.
22 Q. I asked you about all of this because I did not see that that was
23 your testimony earlier on, Mr. Peraj.
24 Now my next question: The first time you say that at 2200 hours
25 on the 27th of April - I'm going to slow down because this is way too
1 fast for the interpreters - at the cultural centre, across -- over the
2 shoulder of Zdravko Vinter, you said that you read a report on an
3 operation carried out, and it is mentioned that 74 terrorists were killed
4 in -- and 68 in Korenica. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In your statement of 2000, in paragraph 31, your statement of the
7 18th of April, 2000, you say that four days after the Meje incident, you
8 saw on this computer this information that I put to you a few moments ago
9 concerning the terrorists who were killed in Meje and Korenica, but you
10 do not refer to Zdravko Vinter in your statement of the 18th of April,
11 2000. Why not?
12 MR. STAMP: May I just say --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this paragraph, I've made a
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
16 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, if he is going to direct the witness to
17 some previous statement he's made in a statement, I think counsel should
18 show the witness the statement and quote precisely what the witness is
19 purported to be saying in the statement.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I would not disagree with you, Mr. Stamp, but as a
21 matter of practical convenience, we have often been able to proceed
22 successfully in a less formal way, but --
23 The witness points out he's corrected the paragraph,
24 Mr. Djordjevic. It's paragraph 31, I think.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Okay. And the number of this statement is
1 D001-5788, and D001-5797. [Interpretation] So before we actually see it,
2 I'm just going to try to get an answer from Mr. Peraj as to why that was
3 not stated then. I know what the witness did, correct, but I'm asking
4 him why did he state what he stated then? Why was it not handled this
5 way, as he ultimately corrected it? What's the reason?
6 JUDGE PARKER: Do you remember what was in that statement,
7 Mr. Peraj, or do you need to look at it first?
8 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Here it is on the screen, Your
9 Honours. [In English] In B/C/S, not in Albanian, as far as I can see,
10 but I think that there is not any problem about that.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Is it paragraph 31 that we should turn to?
12 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Yeah.
13 JUDGE PARKER: So we will get paragraph 31 on the screen.
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Yep. No, it is not 31. It's at paragraph 50
15 and 66.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry. Are you saying it's no longer 31 but
18 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Fifty, 66, paragraph 41, and my
19 colleague Mr. Stamp mentioned a supplementary statement where the witness
20 changed all the things that he said in those paragraphs.
21 JUDGE PARKER: The Albanian version, I'm told, has some 34
23 MR. STAMP: And may I just say, Your Honour, may I just say that
24 I said no such thing. I did not mention in a statement where the witness
25 changed all the things that he said in those paragraphs. I didn't say
2 JUDGE PARKER: In my hand is a statement dated the 18th of April,
3 2000, Mr. Djordjevic. Is that the one that you have in mind?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your
6 Honour. I want to know why he did not mention Mr. Vinter at the time at
8 JUDGE PARKER: Is there a particular paragraph that deals with
9 this event?
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: It's, I think, page 5 of this statement.
11 JUDGE PARKER: We'll see whether page 5 can be brought up onto
12 the screen.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: In the B/C/S there is no that. It is about
14 Major Zivkovic and -- but in that statement, for sure -- I have to find a
15 hard copy because I also can't see on the ...
16 Yeah. That's the page 7, in fact. [Interpretation] Second
17 paragraph starts: "[In English] Four days later, the incident in Meje, I
18 saw in the computer we had at a cultural centre that 68 men were killed
19 in Meje and 74 men in Korenica ..." and so on.
20 JUDGE PARKER: And what is your question?
21 MR. DJORDJEVIC: In his statement, in his -- [Interpretation] of
22 the 8th and 9th of August admitted into evidence under 92 ter in full,
23 the witness mentions Officer Vinter, and he says that he noted that he
24 saw this report looking over his shoulder. Why did he not say that at
25 the time but only in this statement? So why this discrepancy? It will
1 turn out to be important.
2 MR. STAMP: Your Honour --
3 JUDGE PARKER: Just pause at that question.
4 Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. STAMP: If we look at what has been shown to the witness here
6 in the statement of 2000 or what is written: "Four days later, the
7 incident in Meje, I saw in the computer we had at the cultural centre, 68
8 were killed --"
9 JUDGE PARKER: We're about to deal with that, Mr. Stamp. We're
10 about to deal with that.
11 MR. STAMP: If my friend is representing to the witness that the
12 witness --
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp, if you could be seated, please.
14 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, may I just make the point with
15 respect --
16 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please be seated, Mr. Stamp.
17 MR. STAMP: Very well.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Not very well. If you're asked to be seated, be
20 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, I have --
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Now be seated, please.
22 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, I have --
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp, please be seated.
24 MR. STAMP: Very well.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Djordjevic, you want to put to the
1 witness that in paragraph 31 he has not mentioned the name of a
2 particular person, Vinter; is that correct?
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] That's correct. When we're
4 talking about --
5 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] -- the 18th of April statement.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
8 Mr. Peraj, if you look at paragraph 31 in front of you, you've
9 described seeing a report about these bodies at the cultural centre on a
10 computer. Can you give an explanation why in that paragraph you did not
11 mention the name of the person Vinter?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did mention his name both during
13 my testimony in the Milosevic trial and Milutinovic trial in this court.
14 It's not the first time I mention his name.
15 JUDGE PARKER: When you gave this statement in April 2000, when
16 you were dealing with the subject matter in paragraph 31, is there a
17 reason why you did not mention the name of that particular person?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To tell you the truth, I'm not
19 clear either. I know that I mentioned his name, and I don't know why it
20 doesn't appear there. I state here with full responsibility that the
21 person behind the computer was Zdravko Vinter.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Now, is there anything further,
23 Mr. Djordjevic, you want to ask about that?
24 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Judge, I am satisfied with this
25 answer, and I will move on to my next question. My next question is
1 Seregj Perovic.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Is this your last question, Mr. Djordjevic?
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] This is my last topic, Seregj
5 JUDGE PARKER: And how long would you expect to be on that?
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Till 2.00.
7 JUDGE PARKER: I'm afraid that is too long for the tape. We're
8 going to have to conclude the evidence on Monday, and on Monday you may
9 expect to have ten minutes, not five minutes.
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: That's correct, Your Honour. Thank you.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
12 Mr. Stamp, I had to be rather abrupt with you earlier. There are
13 times when if the Chamber asks you to be quiet or be seated in the middle
14 of questioning, you must accept that.
15 MR. STAMP: I understand, Your Honour, and I'm prepared to accept
16 it, as I did.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Well, even at this moment your mood suggests that
18 you may not be, but we will put that aside, and please understand that if
19 you are asked to sit, you should sit.
20 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour. I just --
21 JUDGE PARKER: At some other time, you may want to raise the
22 matter again.
23 Now, the point you were going to make, as you've half-indicated
24 it, was very obvious to the Chamber, and there was no need to make it.
25 MR. STAMP: Very well.
1 JUDGE PARKER: And I tried to in this questioning pin down the
2 one question that was being asked.
3 MR. STAMP: I see that.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. STAMP: May I just apologise to the Court, but I thought at
6 the time, at that time, that I was raising something that it was my duty
7 to raise, to stand on my feet and say it, but I intend to abide by the
8 rulings of the Court.
9 JUDGE PARKER: We can well understand that was your position, and
10 this is why we are parting in good harmony I trust, Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP: Yes, indeed.
12 JUDGE PARKER: We are now, unfortunately, having to continue your
13 evidence on Monday, I'm afraid, Mr. Peraj. We have a time limitation
14 that we can sit, and we've reached just beyond that time. Our tapes will
15 run out at any moment. So I'm afraid we cannot finish your evidence.
16 There will be more questions from Mr. Djordjevic, more from Mr. Stamp.
17 The Chamber may have some.
18 You need to say something?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. It is not
20 possible for me to continue my evidence on Monday. If I am forced to,
21 then that's a different story, but unfortunately, it's not possible for
22 me. As of Tuesday, I've made it known to the officers that my wife is
23 ill. She's suffering from high blood pressure.
24 Personally, I don't have anything against coming and testifying
25 on Monday and staying here for the weekend. I'm even available in the
1 evenings. I know that it's not possible in this court, but because of my
2 wife, please believe me that it really isn't possible for me. However,
3 if you obliged me to come and testify, then I will do that. If you issue
4 an order about that, then I will do. Otherwise, I'd rather not.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for making your position clearly known.
6 You can see the position we have reached and the difficulty. I am
7 unaware of the flight schedules that would enable you to get home, but I
8 can say that it is anticipated that your evidence on Monday would be
9 finished by 10.30 in the morning, and it may be possible to arrange a
10 flight for you then to be home by Monday evening.
11 We're sorry about that, Mr. Peraj, but that is the way the matter
12 has gone.
13 We now adjourn until Monday morning at 9.00.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.59 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Monday, the 23rd day of
16 February, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.