1 Monday, 29 June 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. We are ready, I believe, for the
6 next witness, Ms. Kravetz.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Good morning, Your Honours. The next witness is
8 Mr. Martin Pnishi.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, sir.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to you.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Please read aloud the affirmation that is shown to
14 you now.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Now, there are some questions for you. We start
20 with Ms. Kravetz.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 WITNESS: MARTIN PNISHI
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examination by Ms. Kravetz:
25 Q. Good morning, sir. Could you please statement your full name for
1 the record.
2 A. Good morning, my name is Martin Pnishi.
3 Q. When and where were you born, Mr. Pnishi?
4 A. I was born on the 9th of March, 1944, in Ramoc, Gjakove
6 Q. And in 1999 where were you living, Mr. Pnishi?
7 A. From 1973 until today I have been living in Meje, in Gjakove
9 Q. Thank you. Sir, did you provide a statement to the Office of the
10 Prosecution in April 2000 in relation to events that you witnessed in
11 your village of Meja
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Before coming to court today, did you have the opportunity to
14 review that statement?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And I understand, sir, that there's a correction you wish to make
17 to that statement that you indicated to one of my colleagues in proofing.
18 I am going to read out the passage that you wish to correct and just ask
19 you to confirm if the correction is right. This is a passage that is on
20 page 3 of the statement, second paragraph, and it is a sentence that
21 currently reads:
22 "Two of them stopped in the courtyard near the porch. They wore
23 masks and green camouflage uniforms."
24 I understand that this should read, the last sentence:
25 "They wore masks and blue camouflage uniforms."
1 Is that correct?
2 A. Yes, the uniforms were camouflage.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is using the colour "verdhe"
4 which -- and the witness qualified that it is grass coloured.
5 MS. KRAVETZ:
6 Q. Okay. So this should read they wore masks and camouflage
7 uniforms which were grass colour; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Other than for that correction, sir, are you satisfied that the
10 information contained in this statement is true and accurate to the best
11 of your knowledge and belief?
12 A. Yes, it is true and correct.
13 Q. Thank you. Sir, I understand you also made an addendum to the
14 statement which is dated March 2002?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you have the chance to read that addendum before you came to
17 court today?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. And having reviewed that addendum, are you satisfied that the
20 information contained within that addendum is true and accurate to the
21 best of your knowledge and belief?
22 A. Yes, it is correct.
23 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, both of these, the statement and the
24 addendum are in the e-court system under the same Exhibit number. This
25 is 65 ter 02236, and I seek to tender that into evidence at this stage.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, two will be received as one exhibit.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P1033, Your Honours.
3 MS. KRAVETZ:
4 Q. Mr. Pnishi, did you previously testify before this Tribunal in
5 the case of Milutinovic et al.?
6 A. Yes, when I came here for the second time.
7 Q. And did you have the chance recently to go over the transcript of
8 the testimony in that case with the help of a language assistant?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. If you were asked the same questions today that you were asked
11 during your testimony in the Milutinovic case, would you provide the same
12 answers, sir?
13 A. I would give the same answers, yes. I would tell about the
14 things that I saw with my own eyes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this transcript into
17 evidence. It's 05064, and I ask that that be received.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, that will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1034, Your Honours.
20 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I will now proceed to read the court
21 summary for this witness's evidence.
22 The witness is from the village of Meje
23 He describes how since the autumn of 1998 VJ tanks had been deployed
24 above Cabrat hill overlooking Meje. The police were also present, and
25 Serb forces occupied the area.
1 On the 22nd of April, 1999, in Meje village, five MUP officers
2 were killed. One of the victims was Milutin Prascevic. Following this
3 incident, many of the witness's neighbours came to his house for shelter.
4 Already by that date, there were villagers who had been expelled
5 from surrounding villages who had come to Meje seeking refuge. Among --
6 a number of these were sheltering in the house of Mr. Pnishi's brother,
7 also in Meje, which came under fire later that day on the 22nd of April.
8 On the 23rd of April, 1999, the witness and his family left their
9 home in Meje and sought refuge in the neighbouring village of Jahoc
10 On the morning of 27th April, the witness, his wife, and his son
11 Mark, returned to their home in Meje to feed their livestock. At around
12 7 a.m.
13 forces appeared unexpectedly in Meje. The witness went to the second
14 floor of his house from where he saw that many soldiers and police had
15 surrounded the entire area. At about 7.30 that morning, two MUP
16 personnel accompanied by the persons who the witness describes as Russian
17 soldiers arrived to the witness's house and told him to leave his house
18 with his family as they were about to burn it. They had with them a man
19 the witness knew as Kole Duzhmani from the village of Korenica
20 witness began making preparations to leave and put his invalid wife in a
21 wheelbarrow. The men received an order on the radio and then took
22 Duzhmani to the neighbouring house which was owned by the witness's
23 brother. The witness then heard gun-shots and saw the house being set on
24 fire. He saw Duzhmani's bullet-ridden body 19 days later.
25 That same morning on the 27th of April the witness saw that Serb
1 forces had set up a check-point near his house. The check-point was
2 manned by VJ soldiers, police officers, and paramilitaries together with
3 armoured vehicles. The witness also saw a large number of civilians
4 heading towards Meje from surrounding villages. At the check-point
5 Kosovar Albanians men were separated from the women and children and some
6 were sent to the school at the entrance of the village on the left side.
7 The witness also saw that the Kosovar Albanians were forced to discard
8 their identification papers.
9 Later that same morning, police, soldiers, and paramilitaries
10 gathered near the school. The witness took his wife to his godfather's
11 house in Jahoc. From there Mr. Pnishi had a view of the Ura e Travas
12 bridge in Jahoc. He saw Serb policemen march seven young men to the
13 bridge; one officer then killed them all with the machine-gun. Shortly
14 after that, fearing that his son may be among the victims, he witness
15 went to the bridge and checked the bodies; did not recognise any of them.
16 On the 2nd of May the witness saw the bodies on the bridge being
17 collected by gypsies using a tractor.
18 In June 1999 after returning to Kosovo, Mr. Pnishi went to the
19 execution site near Shyt Hasanaj meadow in Meje, he explains that he saw
20 the signs of some 74 bodies that had been burnt there. He also saw
21 evidence of a bulldozer having been used in that area.
22 That is the end of the in-court summary, Your Honours.
23 Your Honours, we had initially listed an associated exhibit to be
24 tendered with this witness -- with the Milutinovic transcript,
25 unfortunately the copy of this exhibit - and this is a map that had been
1 marked by the witness in the previous proceedings - the copy that's in
2 e-court is not legible. So I'm going to ask the witness to go again
3 through the markings of the same map just so this can be clarified and
4 his transcript can be understood.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 MS. KRAVETZ: Could we have 65 ter 00035 up on the screen.
7 Q. Mr. Pnishi, a map is going to appear on the screen before you.
8 I'm going to ask you to make some markings on this map.
9 MS. KRAVETZ: And would kindly ask the usher if the usher could
10 assist the witness in making these markings.
11 If we could blow up the area around the town of Djakovica which
12 is around the middle of the map.
13 Q. Sir, in your statement you describe events that took place in
14 your village on 27th of April. I would first like to ask you to look at
15 the map and if you could please place an X to indicate approximately
16 where you were living at that time.
17 A. In the village of Meje
18 Q. We see two villages marked Meja, one which is closer to Djakovica
19 and the one you have marked which is called call Meja-Orize?
20 A. I live in Meje. Orize is next to Meje as a matter of fact; the
21 road divides the two.
22 Q. Okay. In your statement you indicate that you saw a huge crowd
23 coming from the village of Guska
24 arrow - and this is on page 4, first paragraph on the top - the direction
25 in which you saw that huge crowd of people coming from Guska to where you
1 were -- Guska and Korenica villages.
2 A. Would you like me to make a straight arrow or follow the road?
3 Q. Just indicate as best as you can the direction from where you saw
4 them coming and the direction this huge crowd you saw coming from Guska
5 and Korenica villages were heading?
6 A. This is the direction they followed from Guske to Korenica and
7 then to Meje.
8 Q. Now, you also say that you saw people coming Junik towards Meja,
9 and you say that they were walking on the main road and this convoy --
10 there were people from 17 villages - this is the same paragraph. Can you
11 draw and arrow to -- we don't see Junik here on this map as we've zoomed
12 in, but can you indicate the general direction from when these people
13 were coming just with a line?
14 A. Junik is up here, but I cannot see it on the map. Junik is close
15 to the Albanian border and then they went to Dobrosh, Dallashi, Rypaj,
16 Orize, and Meje here. Right here. So the people from Junik followed
17 this direction.
18 MS. Kravetz: Just for the clarity of the transcript, the witness
19 has drawn a line from the top left of the map towards the village of Meja
20 starting from the village of Dobros
21 A. Yes, it's Dobrosh.
22 Q. Now, when you say that these people in the convoy were from 17
23 villages, would this have been villages that were on the road that you
24 have just drawn? Is this where you believe that these persons were
25 coming from?
1 A. Yes. From Meje, Jahoc, Rypaj-Madanaj, Ramoc, Dallashi,
2 Neci i Eperme, Neci i Ulet, Sheremet, Dobrosh, and Junik up there. Junik
3 and Batusha are up in the map here, but I can't see them. 17 villages
5 Q. And just roughly can you tell us approximately how many people
6 were in this convoy, how big was this convoy that you saw coming from the
7 direction of Junik and going down that road that you've drawn on the map.
8 Just estimate, are we talking of hundreds of people or less?
9 A. Approximately 1.000. Over 1.000. There were loads of people.
10 In the beginning people came from Korenice and Guske. And about half an
11 hour, an hour later, people from Junik and the other villages came.
12 There were children, elderly people, all kinds of people.
13 Q. Now, you speak in your statement about going to your godfather's
14 son in the village of Jahoc
15 where that is.
16 A. Jahoc is here.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, you speak about having witnessed the killing of
18 seven men on a bridge - and you describe this in your statement, we are
19 not going to go over the details - but I would like to know if you are
20 able to mark that location for us on the map, if that is visible on this
21 map, this bridge that you speak about, the Ura e Travas bridge in Jahoc?
22 A. It should be somewhere here.
23 MS. KRAVETZ: Just for the sake of the transcript, the witness
24 has made a marking next to the village he has circled as Jahoc. It's a
25 marking right above the village of Meja
1 A. It is between Jahoc and Meje.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I asked that this marked map be
4 received in evidence.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1035, Your Honours.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, at this stage I have no further
8 questions for the witness.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Ms. Kravetz.
10 Mr. Djurdjic.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Pnishi. My name is Veljko Djurdjic, I'm a
14 member of the Defence team for the accused Vlastimir Djordjevic.
15 Assisted by Ms. Marie O'Leary, also a member of our team.
16 I have a few questions for you. And I would like a few
17 clarifications. I'd like to avoid repetitions because you have already
18 given two written statements and testified before.
19 Let's pick up where you left off with Ms. Kravetz. You were
20 living in Meja village; correct?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Thank you. How far is Meja village from Meja-Orize?
23 A. From the village of Orize
24 There is a stream that goes under the bridge, it's called the Trava
1 Q. From your house to the village of Meja-Orize
3 A. But I live in Meje. I live at the entrance to the village. And
4 then there's a road and you can go to Jahoc. It's only about 100 metres
5 from my house, bridge is.
6 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't ask you about Jahoc. Can you tell me how far
7 is it from Meja to Jahoc, let's say?
8 A. It just -- the stream that divides them, there are houses on both
9 sides of the stream. And on one side of the stream is one village, and
10 on the other side of the stream is the other village.
11 Q. You are telling me this about the distance between Meja and
13 A. I'm speaking about Meje and Jahoc.
14 Q. Where is Meja-Orize?
15 A. There is a road between Meje and Orize, it's the asphalt road
16 that divides the two, the one that goes to Gjakove, and also to Junik in
17 the other direction.
18 Q. Thank you. And where is Jahoc?
19 A. Between Jahoc and Meje is a stream which is called Trava stream,
20 so it's just the river between the two, the Trava river.
21 Q. So there's no distance dividing them, it's practically one and
22 the same place; if there's one bridge dividing these places, it's
23 practically one place, not three different places?
24 A. Yes, you would say so. It's the same area.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May I call up 65 ter 00035.
2 Q. Where is Meja, Witness? If you find it, put a line under Meja.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. I'm sorry. Can you see well with your eyeglasses?
5 A. I cannot see without my glasses and these glasses are not very
6 good either, but I'm doing my best.
7 Q. Are you short-sighted?
8 A. Yes, yes, I do have a problem. I cannot see very well.
9 Q. That's why I'm asking you, because looking at this map on the
10 condition that it's accurate, and we've assumed so far that it's
11 accurate, you keep marking another village, not the one where you live.
12 A. Here is Meje. I can see two Mejes here.
13 Q. Correct. And I'm asking you now, you've underlined the second
14 Meja, so I'm asking you between the first Meja and the second one, what
15 is the distance?
16 A. There are two Mejes here, however, there there is only one Meje.
17 Here is Meje-Orize and Jahoc. This one here should be Meje. There are
18 no two Mejes, there are only one, although I can see two here on the map.
19 Q. Well, I see the village of Orize
20 village. Does a village called Orize exist?
21 A. That is another Orize outside Gjakove, but it's on the other
22 side, on the side of Bistrazin. It's sort of town settlement. Whereas
23 where I live in that area you have Meje, Orize, and Jahoc.
24 Q. All right. Could you tell me whether Meja is located on the main
25 road between Djakovica and Junik?
1 A. Yes, it's by that road, the main road, the asphalt road goes
2 through the village of Meje
3 Q. Thank you. What's the distance between your house and the centre
4 of Djakovica?
5 A. Two and a half kilometres to 3 kilometres, I would say.
6 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me what is the distance between Meja
7 and the village of Guska
8 A. The distance between Meje and Guske horizontally speaking is 3
9 kilometres. However, if you take the road then it would be 4 kilometres
11 Q. Thank you, from your house can you see the village of Guska
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. And can you see the village of Korenica
14 A. If I go to the second or third floor of my house, then I can see
15 Korenice village as well. I can see some of the houses in that village.
16 Q. Thank you. Can you underline the village of Korenica
17 village of Guska on the map, please.
18 A. Korenice is written twice on the map, and Guske also. Shall I
19 encircle them?
20 Q. Two names are encircled. If you can't see which is the right
21 one, you can encircle both of them.
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. So what is the distance between your house and Korenica?
24 A. Two and a half kilometres.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me these black lines, are these roads
1 that are marked here on the map?
2 A. This is the main road. Yes, they do show the roads, the black
4 Q. Does this mean that from Djakovica if you want to go to Guska you
5 would take this lower road here on the left to the intersection and then
6 furthermore to the right to Orize-Jahoc and to the left to go to
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. You're welcome.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
12 exhibit into evidence.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D230, Your Honours.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Pnishi, my learned colleague started with a correction to
17 your statement, but as far as I understood, there was nothing that you
18 actually corrected in your statement; am I right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Having read your statements, Mr. Pnishi, I understood
21 that you were born in the village of Jahoc
22 lived with in the village of Jahoc
23 A. I was born in the village of Ramoc
24 Q. I apologise. In the village of Ramoc
1 A. With the villagers of Ramoc.
2 Q. Did you have a father, any uncles, did you live with them? So
3 I'm talking about your family that you lived with.
4 A. We were eight children altogether. We lived with our mother. My
5 father died in 1952, so my mother brought us up.
6 Q. Mr. Pnishi, is Sokolj Pnishi a brother of yours?
7 A. No. He is a relative, a distant relative who has the same last
8 name as my family. He is no longer living. He died about 20 or so years
10 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me, you said that in 1973 you moved to
11 Meja, where did you live before that, before 1973?
12 A. Before we moved to Meje, we lived in Nec village. From Ramoc we
13 moved to Nec in 1960, I believe, and we lived in Nec until 1973. In 1973
14 we moved to Meje.
15 Q. Thank you. What did your family do for living?
16 A. At that time, my late brother who died about 25 years ago worked
17 in Gjakove. Another brother also was employed, I was employed too, so we
18 lived from our salaries.
19 Q. Thank you. Did you have any land?
20 A. Yes, in Nec -- we sold our land in Ramoc in order to buy a piece
21 of land in Nec.
22 Q. And did you continue to own that land that was in Nec after you
23 moved to Meja?
24 A. No. We sold it to a relative who lived in Ramoc. He bought our
25 land and house in Nec, whereas we moved to Meje.
1 Q. Thank you. You had a house in Meja, I can see that you had a
2 brother in Meja. Were these houses on the same plot of land or were you
3 in different places in the village?
4 A. They were on the same plot of land. When we bought that plot of
5 land, we bought it together. We built our houses on that piece of land
7 Q. Thank you. How big was the land, the surface of the land that
8 you had in Meja? I'm talking about the land surface.
9 A. We have one hectare of land, each of us.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. You're welcome.
12 Q. Your house, how distant is it from the main road?
13 A. My house from the main asphalt road is about 200 metres away.
14 Q. Thank you. Between your house and the main asphalt road, are
15 there any other houses?
16 A. Between my house and the main asphalt road, there are no houses.
17 If you come from the other direction, then there are.
18 Q. Thank you. And what is that other direction?
19 A. Between the Trava bridge and my house there were houses. There
20 was a neighbour of ours who lived there, his name was Dragan. A road
21 separates my house from his house.
22 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell me what is your educational
23 background, which school have you completed?
24 A. I've completed secondary school.
25 Q. So what was your occupation?
1 A. I was a traffic policeman.
2 Q. When did you start working as a traffic policeman?
3 A. From 1st of January, 1969, up until 1983.
4 Q. Thank you. And where did you work?
5 A. In Rahovec.
6 Q. Thank you. Did you live in Orahovac while you worked there as a
7 traffic policeman?
8 A. I lived in Rahovec too, but I also travelled because my family
9 was not with me. I commuted to work most of the time.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you retire as a traffic policeman?
11 A. Yes, I had an operation and I was no longer able to continue with
12 my work, so I was retired as an invalid.
13 Q. Thank you. You did not have any housing resolved in Orahovac?
14 A. There was a house where I slept when it was late to go home.
15 Q. Did you have any traffic related problems while you worked with
16 MUP in Orahovac?
17 A. No, I never had any problems.
18 Q. Did you have a traffic incident in 1974?
19 A. Yes, a train accident. I survived.
20 Q. Thank you. And did you suffer a traffic accident in Djakovica in
22 A. No, I didn't.
23 Q. In 1974, were there criminal proceedings at the municipality
24 court in Orahovac because of that train accident and because somebody
25 left the scene?
1 A. It would take a long time to explain this matter, but there was.
2 Most probably there was.
3 Q. Thank you. Were you convicted for two months of imprisonment
4 with a conditional sentence of one year?
5 A. Honestly, I've forgotten. I can't remember.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pnishi, could you tell me, when was
7 Milutin Prascevic killed?
8 A. Milutin Prascevic was killed on the 22nd at 1700 hours. I was in
9 the courtyard. I heard the gun-shots in Meje from the centre of the
10 village somewhere; and shortly after, I could see police and army going
11 upwards and some people from the village then told me then five policemen
12 were killed and Prascevic was one of them. This happened on the
13 22nd of April.
14 Q. All right. How can you be certain that this was on
15 April the 22nd? What is your foundation for this claim?
16 A. I remembered the date and the hour I heard the gun-shots. I'm
17 absolutely certain about it.
18 Q. You gave your statement in April of 2000 so this was almost one
19 year, actually exactly one year after the incident, and according to all
20 the data, Prascevic wasn't really killed on the 22nd. So I'm wondering
21 how come that you know the exact date and time. If you only said April,
22 okay; but you are mentioning the exact date and time in your statement.
23 A. It's not only me who knows this, people from that area know it as
24 well. We can never forget that date because they were shooting at our
25 houses. After that, there was a calm period of five days until the 27th.
1 That's why I'm telling you I will never forget that date.
2 Q. Mr. Pnishi, it wasn't five policemen that were killed, it was
3 only three, if I can say "only."
4 A. I was told that five policemen were killed, and this is how I
5 recorded it in my own mind. Prascevic was amongst these five policemen.
6 Q. Thank you. Which road were these policemen on when they were
8 A. On the road that goes to Gjakove, Meje, Junik. They were killed
9 in the village, in the middle of the village.
10 Q. Could you, from your house, see the place in which they were
12 A. No. You cannot see that place.
13 Q. Thank you. Is this place after the intersection when you turn
14 towards Meja, Orize, and Jahoc?
15 A. You have to follow the road going to Junik for another 1
16 kilometre or 1 and a half kilometre from the intersection.
17 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me who told you about the identity of
18 those that were killed?
19 A. The villagers who lived in that part of the village. They left
20 their houses, they fled their houses and went towards the lower part of
21 the village. It's the villagers who told me.
22 Q. When did they tell you this?
23 A. The very same day, maybe half an hour later after they arrived
24 where I was, the police were shooting and they had to leave their houses.
25 They came to my house, we sat down in the basement, and that's where they
1 told me. And we also saw the police going from Gjakove to Meje in their
2 vehicles. Lots of them.
3 Q. And who told you the identity of the persons killed?
4 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I believe this question has been asked
5 and answered already.
6 JUDGE PARKER: The question has been asked, not specifically
7 answered. It may not be able to be, but please carry on, Mr. Djurdjic.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I received a partial answer, but
9 he heard from villagers who had arrived that some policemen had been
10 killed. I'm asking about the identity of the policemen.
11 Q. Who told you which policemen were killed?
12 A. Well, I can't give you the exact names and surnames. There were
13 many people who came at the same time, children, women, men; and they
14 told me that five policemen had been killed in Meje. What names could I
15 give you? I didn't note down the names of the people who told me the
16 information. There were about 30 people who came at the same time. I
17 don't remember who of them told me.
18 Q. Thank you. And how did they know that policemen had been killed,
19 did they tell you that?
20 A. They had seen what had happened because while they were fleeing,
21 they had seen the scene of the incident.
22 Q. What did they tell you about what they had seen?
23 A. They told me that five policemen had been killed in Meje. I had
24 heard the shots myself. And they also told me that Milutin Prascevic was
25 among them. And all the people who came, men, women, children, said the
1 same thing.
2 Q. So you can't tell us who told you about it. You can just tell us
3 that the incident happened, no details?
4 A. No, I can't give you exact names. I'm sorry. There were many
6 Q. You don't know where the car was, which car, who was in the car,
7 how the people in the car were dressed, who attacked the car, from which
9 A. No, they didn't tell me anything else. They just told me what I
10 just related to you, and they fled their houses immediately.
11 Q. And why did they flee?
12 A. Because they were shooting at their houses, from the asphalt road
13 towards their houses. They broke the window-panes and they were shooting
14 against all the houses that were along the road.
15 Q. If that is so, Mr. Pnishi, then how did they manage to leave
16 their houses and reach you?
17 A. They left their houses, they came down the village and to my
18 courtyard. They wanted to leave as soon as possible because they wanted
19 to escape from any retaliation. They wanted to be away from the scene of
20 what had happened.
21 Q. Thank you. Was there any fire at the policemen from their
23 A. No, none of the villagers of Meje opened fire. Never.
24 Q. How do you know that?
25 A. We had never had any problems of the sort in Meje. Meje had
1 always been encircled by police and army. We didn't dare, we couldn't
2 even fire a shot. It wasn't possible.
3 Q. Thank you. And who killed the policemen?
4 A. As to who killed them, only God knows. For eight months Orize
5 and Meje had been encircled, Jahoc too. There were police and soldiers
6 all around us. And I don't know who killed them, only God knows.
7 Q. How do you know that it was none of the villagers?
8 A. I am a hundred per cent sure that this person who killed them was
9 not from Jahoc or Meje because had they been from Meje, we would have
10 been killed, all of us. No one would have remained alive.
11 Q. Thank you. Tell us now, where did Pnishi Sokolj live?
12 A. Sokolj Pnishi from Ramoc went to Nec, but he died about 30 years
13 ago, I think.
14 Q. Yes. And his son is Nik Pnishi; correct?
15 A. Yes, Nik. Nik Sokolje, yes.
16 Q. And Nik Sokolje was the KLA commander in Nec, wasn't he?
17 A. To be honest, as far as I know he was not; but maybe he was, I'm
18 not sure. He was young. Nik Sokolje was really young, but maybe he was.
19 Q. Did you hear that on the 14th of August, 1998, Milovan Vuksanovic
20 was attacked and killed?
21 A. No, I'm not aware of this case. You said Milovan Vuksanovic, no,
22 I'm not aware of that.
23 Q. Yes, a policemen. But never mind, if you don't know, let's move
24 on. Do you know that Nik Pnishi was in prison throughout the war in
25 1999, a prison in Prizren? He was released after the war and he came
1 back to Nec?
2 A. You said Nik Pnishi, yes, he was in prison after the war, and
3 then he went back to Nec. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. In 1998, was there any fighting around where you
6 A. In Meje-Orize and Jahoc, there was no fighting whatsoever. There
7 was no fighting in Korenice or Nec either. Only in Dobrosh I think there
8 was fighting.
9 Q. Well, I see here in your statement you mentioned Nec, Smolice,
10 and Dobros as places where you said there had been fighting. Who was the
11 fighting between? Who fought?
12 A. The Serb police and army forces with the KLA.
13 Q. And what was the KLA doing?
14 A. The KLA were trying to defend their homes, their villages, their
15 people, as much as they could. On the 30th of April -- no, I'm sorry,
16 the 30th of July, army forces from Gjakove went to that direction. And
17 on the 2nd of August, Nec, Smolice, and Dobrosh fell. The KLA was
19 Q. Thank you. And what was the purpose of the KLA? What was their
21 A. The purpose of the KLA was to defend their own homes and their
22 own people, their own homeland. They tried to do their best. They
23 resisted as much as they could, but then they were destroyed and
24 everything fell in the hands of the Serb army and police from the
25 2nd of August, 1998, onwards.
1 Q. Thank you. And do you remember what happened with Orahovac
2 sometime on the 18th of July in 1998, or Zociste or Pagarusa?
3 A. I can't remember. These places are far from where I live.
4 Q. But you were working in Orahovac. Did you hear that the KLA had
5 taken control of Orahovac and Zociste and Pagarusa on the 18th of July?
6 Was that defending the village?
7 A. There were no news on television at that time. The Albanian new
8 had been suspended, so we did not have anywhere to learn these things
10 Q. But did you find out later?
11 A. No, I didn't hear about these events. It's very far from where I
12 live, I told you.
13 Q. And how far is that? How far is it from Orahovac to Meja?
14 A. About 30 kilometres. 28, 30.
15 Q. You were living in Meja and working in Orahovac but tell me, in
16 your time were civilians allowed to carry weapons such as rifles, some
18 A. If they had the appropriate licence from the relevant body, they
19 could have hunting rifles or a pistol, that too with a licence. If they
20 did not have a licence, they could not have a gun at home.
21 Q. Thank you. Those people who had these weapons without licence,
22 did you as a policemen arrest such people? Did you start proceedings
23 against them?
24 A. Whoever was found in possession of a gun without the proper
25 licence was imprisoned as envisaged by the law.
1 Q. Thank you. And would it be fair to say that concerning automatic
2 and semi-automatic weapons and especially grenades and heavier weapons,
3 these were not allowed to be in the possession of citizens because
4 licences were not issued for them?
5 A. Of course not. That's true.
6 Q. Thank you. And criminal complaints were filed against such
7 people, and criminal proceedings were started against such people. And
8 the procedure was that the police submitted a criminal report to the
9 Prosecutor's Office, the Prosecutor's Office started the prosecution,
10 et cetera?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Thank you. Am I right in saying that it was also not allowed to
13 smuggle weapons across the border, and illegal border crossings were also
14 not allowed?
15 A. It wasn't, yes.
16 Q. Thank you. While you were a traffic policemen, did you inspect
17 vehicles, passenger cars travelling on the road, let's say,
18 Prizren-Djakovica or Orahovac-Xerxe?
19 A. Yes, I used to stop thousands and thousands of cars, yes.
20 Q. Thank you. And this was routine work that you performed as a
21 traffic policemen, wasn't it?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Thank you. Were civilians scared of you when you stopped them
24 and searched them?
25 A. Of course, I would think so. If somebody feels that he is guilty
1 of something, they would.
2 Q. Thank you. And did anyone shoot at you while you were carrying
3 out your inspections?
4 A. No, there was no such case.
5 Q. Thank you. You say that on the 22nd April these villagers came
6 to you. How long did they stay?
7 A. They stayed all night that night in my house and my brother's
8 house. The next day they went back to their homes, and for four or five
9 days there were no patrols; we didn't see any police or army. Everybody
10 went back to their own homes.
11 Q. Thank you. Did you stay at home in Meja with your family?
12 A. That day I left and went to Jahoc. I crossed the bridge on Trava
13 and went to another house. I decided not to stay because they shot at
14 our house previously, so that's why I took my family and went to Jahoc.
15 Q. Thank you. When was it earlier that your house was shot at?
16 A. That night. That night when those policemen were killed. When
17 the police forces were coming, they were also shooting at the houses, at
18 the windows. For example, my brother was nearly wounded. The bullet
19 went through the window and into the wall very near to where he was.
20 Q. Thank you. So these people fled from the shooting and came to
21 another place where there was shooting and all the time they were there,
22 the shooting went on; is that what you are trying to tell me?
23 A. Well, as it became dark, they couldn't leave our houses. They
24 waited until morning, everything was quiet in the morning, and they went
25 back to their own houses while I went to Jahoc.
1 Q. Yes, but when did it become dark?
2 A. Well, about 8.30, 9.00 in the evening. Maybe 8.00. I couldn't
3 tell you exactly, it's been ten years.
4 Q. 8.30 or 9.00 p.m.
5 A. Well ...
6 Q. Thank you. And what time was it and what day was it when you
7 left your home?
8 A. We left the next day. Everybody else went back to their own
9 homes while my family and myself went to Jahoc in the morning.
10 Q. Tell me, who were the people who accompanied you to Jahoc?
11 A. Myself, my two sons, my daughter, two daughters-in-law, my wife,
12 my brother with his wife and son, my other brother with his wife and
13 three children. All of us left.
14 Q. What about your third son, where was he?
15 A. My third son -- before that day he had already gone to Jahoc. We
16 would not stay at the same place all the time. We were separated into
17 five different houses where we stayed during that period.
18 Q. Which son left earlier and when earlier?
19 A. Genc his wife and his children.
20 Q. Thank you. What about your brother Gjelosh, did he leave on the
21 same day to Jahoc?
22 A. He also had left earlier, but we would come from time to time to
23 feed the animals, the livestock.
24 Q. You went to Jahoc to feed the animals?
25 A. No, we would go from Jahoc back to our homes to feed the animals.
1 Q. All right. Thank you. What livestock did you keep?
2 A. I had three or four cows, about 30 pigs, about 100 chicken. They
3 all needed to be fed.
4 Q. Thank you. And did you go every day from Jahoc to Meja?
5 A. No, I didn't go every day, but we went every other day or every
6 third day to feed them.
7 Q. Was the livestock kept in pens?
8 A. Yes. They were kept in pens until the 27th of April. On the
9 27th of April, I opened the gate, and they went wherever they wanted.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe it is time
12 for the break.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will adjourn now and resume at
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Pnishi, you told us that you have disability retirement due
22 to an operation, a surgery that you had. Could you explain a bit what
23 was the surgery all about?
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, what is the possible relevance of
25 that question to the matters we have to decide?
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I can't answer that otherwise I
2 would reveal my intention, but if you believe that this is not relevant,
3 then I will skip this question and I will move on. That's all right. I
4 will move on.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Witness, when did you leave Ramoc to go towards Meja; what
8 time was it? I'm talking about April the 23rd, 1999.
9 A. It's not Ramoc but Jahoc.
10 Q. Yes, you're right, I was mistaken.
11 A. We are talking about the 27th of April.
12 Q. No, I'm talking about April the 23rd. No, no, actually, it was
13 the 27th.
14 A. On the 27th of April at around 6.00 in the morning, I left Jahoc
15 with my wife and went to my village to feed the livestock. I fed the
16 animals, then my son Mark came. He asked me why I returned to the
17 village. I told him that I went there to help. And as of 7.00, the
18 offensive began.
19 Q. When did you leave Jahoc? What was the time?
20 A. 6.00.
21 Q. And what was the time when you arrived at Meja?
22 A. From the house where I was staying in Jahoc, my house is about
23 100 metres away. As I said, the Trava river divides the two villages,
24 the bridge over Trava river, that is.
25 Q. How did you go from Jahoc to your own house?
1 A. On foot.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 A. You are welcome.
4 Q. You said that you saw that the army surrounded the entire area.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 65 ter 00035
6 on the screen.
7 Q. Could you encircle the area that was at that time surrounded by
8 the army?
9 A. It encompassed Meje, Madanaj, Rypaj, Orize. This area. This
10 area was surrounded by army and police. If you want me, I can encircle
11 these villages.
12 Q. Thank you. And from your house when you arrived to your house at
13 7.00 a.m.
14 entire area?
15 A. Not in the entire area, but I saw their presence in Meje, Orize,
16 and Jahoc. This area was encircled by army and police. I guess they
17 took up their positions at night. And in the morning the firing started.
18 Q. And you saw thousands of soldiers and members of the police; is
19 that correct?
20 A. When I went up on the second floor, I can see from there the
21 whole area at 2 kilometre distance. I can see the whole area of Meje,
22 Orize, and Jahoc. There were thousands of personnel and different types
23 of military vehicles.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me, the soldier, the policeman that was
25 the nearest to you, how far from you was he?
1 A. The nearest to me were those who entered my courtyard, my house,
2 the others were outside the wall. There were others in the streets, on
3 the intersections. Many of them. It was impossible to count them.
4 Q. Mr. Witness, I'm asking, at the time when you saw the army and
5 the police that encircled this area, the policeman or the soldier that
6 stood the closest to you at the time, how far was he from you? So what
7 was the distance between you and that person?
8 A. They were all around my house, next to the wall. They were also
9 on the streets, in the neighbourhoods. Very near to where I was.
10 Q. Mr. Witness, were they already there at the time when you came to
11 your house?
12 A. From the house of my godfather where I was staying up to the
13 bridge there was no police presence, and there were no police at my gate.
14 When I went inside to feed the animals, I noticed that they started to
15 advance and to fire their weapons.
16 Q. The first time you saw them, how far were they from you? This is
17 my question.
18 A. I was inside my house on the second floor and in my courtyard,
19 whereas they were outside the courtyard next to -- or around the wall.
20 And then they entered my yard. They came in.
21 Q. Mr. Witness, we'll come to those policemen or people wearing
22 uniforms that you are just describing in awhile, but now I'm talking
23 about point 5 on page 2 of your statement, or actually in Albanian
24 page 3, paragraph 1; and in Albanian language and on page 2, paragraph 5,
25 in the English version.
1 So you did not mention any policemen and any soldiers in the
2 surrounding area at the time when you came to your house, so you say, I
3 don't know where they came from, probably they took positions overnight.
4 So I'm just wondering, those that fired their arms, how far from you were
5 they when you saw them? If you can remember this. If you can't, we'll
6 move on.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I believe this question has been asked
8 several times and the witness has given the answer that he is able to
9 give regarding this question.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Carry on please, Mr. Djurdjic.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Witness, can you describe that or can you not so we will move
14 A. As I already told you, I was in my courtyard, they were behind
15 the wall on the other side, 3 to 4 metres away. I was inside the
16 courtyard; they were outside around the wall.
17 Q. Could you tell me when you first saw Duzhmani, Kole where was
18 that? Or could you possibly, first of all, mark your house, first of
19 all, where it currently stands?
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mark it on what, Mr. Djurdjic?
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] This document that still has not
22 been admitted into evidence, Your Honours. So now we see the area where
23 he saw the police and the army, so I would just like to mark his house on
24 the map.
25 Q. Mr. Witness, if you can't see it, please tell me, I can't see it,
1 and we'll move on. But if you can, please mark the position of your
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Let us proceed. It's quite okay.
4 I would like to tender this document into evidence.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You need another map for me to be
6 able to mark my house on it.
7 JUDGE PARKER: This marked map will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be received as
9 Exhibit D231. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Witness, where was Duzhmani, Kole when you first saw him on
12 April the 27th?
13 A. I was in my courtyard, Kole Duzhmani spent that night in Jahoc.
14 On his way back with his bicycle, in order to be able to go to Korenice
15 he had to pass by my house, by that road. He was stopped by the police
16 at the Pashk Markaj's house. The police took him with them from the
17 bridge. And they stopped with him at the gate to my courtyard.
18 Q. Thank you. Your brother Gjelosh, did he also spends the previous
19 night at Racaj?
20 A. Not Racaj, Jahoc; that's where he spent the night.
21 Q. At Jahoc, actually. At Jahoc. And what happened with Kole later
23 A. Kole Markaj that morning was brought before my gate at gunpoint.
24 They asked him whose house is this, he said this is Martin Pnishi's
25 house. They knocked at the door. I went to open the gate. The
1 policeman asked me, Who is inside your house? I replied that my family
2 was there. And then they said, Take your family out; we are going to
3 burn the house.
4 I went straight to my house, collected my wife, placed her in a
5 wheelbarrow, and I asked them, Shall I join the convoy towards Albania
6 And they said, No, no, you should stay here. The policemen were staying
7 a little bit further. It was the soldiers who did the talking. They
8 said to me, No, your place is here in the well. They told me to jump
9 into the well. I refused. I said to them, No, I'm not going to jump.
10 If you want to kill me, kill me here on the spot.
11 They started to hit me, to kick me. I fell on the ground. They
12 continued to kick me while I was on the ground. And at that time,
13 someone outside behind the wall was speaking on the radio, communicating
14 with these people who were with me. They asked these people whether
15 Gjelosh Kola was present. They said, Yes, Kola is here. And then they
16 said, Destroy him. While I was still on the ground, they took Kole -
17 they mixed up the name of Kole Markaj and Gjelosh Kola.
18 They took Kole to my brother's house where they executed him. In
19 the meantime I what had gone to the second floor of my house, and I was
20 observing from there what was going on. I could see the convoys coming
21 from the direction of Korenice, from Junik, how they were executed, and
22 so on.
23 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me, this radio transmitter that you
24 saw and heard, what did it look like?
25 A. It was a radio transmitter like the ones that were used at the
1 time by the army and the police.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you use that radio transmitter when you worked as
3 a policeman; is that the kind of transmitter that you used?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Can you tell me in which language did they talk, those people
6 standing in front of your yard with the ones who were inside your yard?
7 What language did they use?
8 A. Those from behind the wall asked if Gjelosh Kola was there. It
9 wasn't Serbian or Croatian. The language they used resembled the Russian
10 language. If they spoke in Serbian or Croatian, I would have been able
11 to understand it because I understand this language very well.
12 It was kind of a mixed language. It wasn't pure Serbian, I would
13 say. That's where from I could tell that they were not members of the
14 Serb army.
15 Q. Mr. Witness, I'm asking which language was used by people
16 standing outside your courtyard when they spoke to those people who were
17 inside your courtyard?
18 A. Those who were outside spoke Serbian. I understood what they
19 said very well. However, the two soldiers who were in my courtyard, they
20 didn't speak Serbian. Their reply was in a language that resembled
22 Q. Thank you. And you, when you spoke to those soldiers who were
23 inside your courtyard, which language did you and them use?
24 A. I addressed them in Serbian.
25 Q. Thank you. And when they addressed you?
1 A. They couldn't speak Serbian very well. They mixed Serbian with
2 Russian. I could tell very well that they were not Serbs.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. You are welcome.
5 Q. But those people told you to leave your house but not to go
6 towards Albania
7 A. The Serb policemen were the first ones to speak in Serbian. They
8 told me to remove my family from the house. I placed my wife in the
9 wheelbarrow, I told my son to push the wheelbarrow, and personally I
10 asked them whether I should join the convoy to go to Albania. That's
11 what I wanted to do initially. But in their reply they said, Your place
12 is here in the well.
13 They removed the cover of the well and pointed into the well,
14 said to me that that's where I belonged. And when I refused, they
15 started to kick me. I fell on the ground, and they continued to kick me.
16 This is what happened.
17 Q. Thank you. So your son and your wife left Meja and went towards
19 A. That happened at 9.00 or 10:00 when we left towards Jahoc. The
20 army and the police gathered at the school, that's where the main point
21 was. As they left towards the school, there was no policemen or soldier
22 near my house, that's where we left. I dragged my wife, placed her in
23 the wheelbarrow, and we proceeded towards the bridge, towards Jahoc.
24 Q. Mr. Witness, a short while ago you said that your son placed your
25 wife in a wheelbarrow to take her away. Where were they at the time when
1 you climbed to the second floor of your house?
2 A. My wife and my son at that time were in front of the entry door
3 or front door. The policemen executed Kole, then set the house on fire.
4 Kole didn't leave, and that's when I was sure that he was killed because
5 I heard gun-shots previously. Then I went to the place where my son and
6 wife were. And after the army and the police withdrew from the area
7 where my house was and went towards the school, we decided to leave and
8 we set off in the direction of Jahoc.
9 Q. Mr. Witness, when you were by the well, where were your son and
11 A. Right there watching what they were doing to me. Kole Duzhmani
12 also was there. Two or 3 metres away from where I was.
13 Q. Did your son and wife come up to you when these persons left the
15 A. I got up myself. When they left my courtyard and went to my
16 brother's house, I went on the second floor to see what was going on
17 around the house.
18 Q. And what were your wife and son doing all that time?
19 A. They were staying there. Sometimes they would come up to where I
20 was to look around as well like me. My wife couldn't, but my son would
21 come and join me where I was.
22 Q. How far is your brother's house from your house?
23 A. There is just a wall that's between two houses. They are next
24 door practically.
25 Q. And what is the distance between the houses?
1 A. Ten metres or so.
2 Q. When you left the yard, when you went out, who did you find in
3 the street along with your wife and your son?
4 A. When I left to go to Jahoc, there was nobody on the street. No
5 police, no army, everybody has left and went to the school. There was no
6 one between my house and my godfather's house. No one at the bridge as
8 Q. And when did the army and the police leave?
9 A. It was about 9.00 when they withdrew from the area and went to
10 the school where the main check-point was.
11 Q. Tell me, did you see that your brother's house was burning?
12 A. Of course I did because there was a kind of noise that we heard,
13 like a puffing noise, and then seconds later we could see the flames and
14 the smoke. It was just 10 metres away from where I was staying, how
15 could I not see it?
16 Q. Thank you, what time was it when the house was set on fire?
17 A. It was around 8.00, 9.00. Maybe 9.30.
18 Q. Thank you. And did your brother's house burn? Did it burn down?
19 A. Nothing remained. All the rooms were burned. I think they used
20 incendiary devices to set the rooms on fire.
21 Q. Thank you. Was the house burning when you set out for Jahoc?
22 A. It kept burning throughout the night until the next morning.
23 Everything inside burned.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. You're welcome.
1 Q. Your house was not set on fire, was it?
2 A. My house and my other brother's house was not burned.
3 Q. You returned to Meja 17 -- that is, 19 days later, didn't you?
4 A. 19 days later because I couldn't go to my house before that. I
5 didn't dare. There's only 100 metres between the house that I was
6 staying and my own house in Meje, but I didn't dare go.
7 Q. Can you tell me the name of that brother whose house was burned
9 A. Gjelosh Pnishi.
10 Q. Thank you. And where was your brother on the 27th of April?
11 A. Before and on the 27th of April, he was in Jahoc. He did not
12 stay in his own house at that time.
13 Q. Thank you. When Kole was taken to your brother's house, it was
14 empty, wasn't it? I mean, there was no one living there.
15 A. No, it was my brother's wife who had also come to feed her
16 animals. She had come with her son who was 12 years old at the time.
17 Q. And when did she leave the house?
18 A. Together with us. On the 22nd of April this was, and after that
19 we did not return to our houses. We would go every two or three days to
20 feed the animals.
21 Q. You said she had come to feed the animals. After she had done
22 that, when did she physically leave the house?
23 A. She left the house when the police went inside her house with
24 Kole Markaj or Kole Duzhmani. When the police went at her door, she
25 opened the door. The police put a knife at her son's throat and
1 threatened her and him, but then she fled together with her son and
2 joined the people on the street.
3 Q. Did she go to Jahoc?
4 A. No, she went on the main road and joined the convoy of people
5 that left towards Albania
6 Q. And what was the next time you saw her?
7 A. Two months later, or two and a half months later when they came
8 back from Albania.
9 Q. Apart from you, your wife, and son, there were no other persons
10 in your house, were there?
11 A. On that morning of the 27th of April, there was just us. Myself,
12 my son and my wife. As I told you earlier, my family were staying in
13 five different places. My brother's -- my brother's children, they were
14 all staying in different places.
15 Q. Thank you. And you went from your house to Jahoc at a certain
16 point? I forget what time it was.
17 A. Yes. It was about half past 9.00 in the morning. Maybe 10:00.
18 Around that time. I took my wife. I was carrying her and my son was
19 walking behind me and we walked towards my godfather's house.
20 Q. Thank you. Apart from the people in your yard, our son and your
21 wife, you did not speak to anyone else that day while you were in Meja?
22 A. There was nobody else to speak to. As I told you, they took
23 Kole Duzhmani, then they left my house and there was nobody else where we
25 Q. If did you go into your brother's house, the one that was burned
1 down when you returned 19 days later?
2 A. 19 days later, the situation became a little bit calmer, and I
3 decided to go have a look at my brother's house to see whether something
4 could be salvaged. I went with Frano, and we went to each and every
5 room. Everything had been burned. And when we went to the kitchen, we
6 found Kole Duzhmani still lying there. Frano said, Look at the body. We
7 decided to have a look at the body just in case it was my brother,
8 because we didn't know where he was, whether he had gone to Albania or
9 not. But it was not him. It was Kole Markaj or Kole Duzhmani.
10 Then I went back to the house where I was staying, the house had
11 been totally destroyed -- not the walls and the cement, but everything
12 inside had been destroyed.
13 We asked permission from the police to bury Kole Duzhmani, and
14 they gave us that permission. He was from Korenice, but we could not go
15 to Korenice to bury him, so we buried him in Jahoc.
16 Q. And everything inside your brother's house had burned down. What
17 about your property?
18 A. No, nothing in my house was burned. But it had been looted by
19 gypsies and Ashkalis, and I could see them looting my house from my
20 godfather's house. They took everything of value that they could find,
21 and I didn't dare do anything about it. I couldn't do anything about it.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Pnishi, I have no
23 further questions for you.
24 Thank you, Your Honour, I have completed my cross-examination.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic.
1 Ms. Kravetz, is there any re-examination?
2 MS. KRAVETZ: No, Your Honour, I have no questions for the
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Pnishi, you'll be pleased to know that
5 completes the questioning. The Chamber would like to thank you for
6 coming once again to The Hague and for the assistance you have been able
7 to give to us. We have your statement and the transcript of the evidence
8 you gave when you were here last time as well as what you have said
9 today, and we will consider all of that.
10 You may, of course, now return to your normal activities, and the
11 Court Officer will assist you to go. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Kravetz.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, the next witness is
16 Mr. Ljubinko Cvetic, and he will be led by Mr. Stamp who, as I
17 understand, is on his way down to the court.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. While that is happening, could we
19 mention that it will be necessary to make an alteration to our sitting
20 times tomorrow. We will sit from 9.00 until 12.30 with one, the normal
21 break, in the middle of that. So that will be two full
22 one-and-a-half-hour sessions. But we will adjourn at 12.30 and not sit
23 again tomorrow, resuming then on Wednesday at 9.00.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, Mr. Cvetic. Good morning,
1 Mr. Cvetic, are you able to hear me now?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, good morning.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Could you please read out the affirmation that is
4 shown to you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Can you please sit down.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp has some questions for you.
10 Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
12 THE WITNESS: LJUBINKO CVETIC
13 [The witness answered through interpreter]
14 Examination by Mr. Stamp:
15 Q. Mr. Cvetic, can we start by you stating your full name and date
16 of birth.
17 A. Ljubinko Cvetic. Born 27 September, 1954.
18 Q. And I understand, Mr. Cvetic, that you were formally a senior
19 member of the MUP Serbia, so could you please just tell us briefly about
20 your career just by telling us the positions that you've held and when,
21 from the beginning of your time in the MUP of Serbia?
22 A. I've been with the MUP of Serbia from the 1st February, 1989. I
23 was head of the joint Secretariat for Internal Affairs. In 1990, on the
24 15th of April, I was appointed head of the Secretariat for Internal
25 Affairs Kragujevac.
1 On the 12th August, 1996, I was relieved of that duty. And on
2 the 1st January, 1997, I was appointed, or rather, assigned to be head of
4 Q. Kosovska Mitrovica in Kosova-Metohija?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. STAMP: Can we look at document 65 ter number 01880.
7 Q. I think that's your letter of appointment to the post in
8 Kosovska Mitrovica Secretariat?
9 A. Yes, this is the decision to assign me to carry out the duties of
10 the head of SUP
11 it's the decision to send me there.
12 Q. Who signed that decision?
13 A. This decision was signed by deputy minister, head of sector,
14 Lieutenant-Colonel Stojkovic. Stojicic, sorry, Radovan Stojicic.
15 Q. Thank you. How long did you remain in Kosovo as chief of
16 Kosovo Mitrovica SUP
17 A. Well, you see, pursuant to that decision, I was sent there as of
18 1st January, 1997, but in reality I went to Kosovo on the 16th December,
19 1996. Pursuant to the decision on terminating my duties in Kosovo as of
20 30th April, 1999, I stopped carrying out those duties under the decision;
21 but in reality, I had stopped carrying out those duties on the 16th of
22 April, 1999, because it was the 16th of April, 1999, where a meeting was
23 held at the MUP staff in Pristina where it was communicated, in view of
24 the fact that I had completed the duties I was assigned to, that any
25 further need for me to continue there did not exist. And another person
1 was appointed to that job.
2 I stayed with the SUP
3 28th of April because from the 16th of April until the 28th of April I
4 was handing over my duties to my successor.
5 Q. Thank you. Since you mentioned the decision or the decision to
6 terminate your time there, could we look at 01884.
7 MR. STAMP: And before we proceed to that one, could 01880 be
8 received in evidence, Your Honours.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be received as
12 Exhibit P1036. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 MR. STAMP: And if we could look briefly at 01884. If we could
14 scroll down on both the English and the B/C/S to the end. The end is on
15 page 2 on the English copy.
16 Q. That is a decision terminating your tenure at
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And it's signed by?
20 A. The decision was signed by the assistant minister, chief of
21 department Colonel-General Vlastimir Djordjevic.
22 Q. And you know his signature?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You said you were told at a meeting on the 16th of April that you
25 were not required anymore. Who told you that at this meeting?
1 A. At that meeting, there were chiefs of Secretariats, the minister
2 of the interior, the chief of the department of public security, there
3 was the president of the interim council of Kosovo and Metohija, and
4 president of the communist party department, late Mr. Zivkovic, and I was
5 told this by head of the department of public security
6 General Djordjevic. He said that there were certain changes in human
7 resources in different Secretariats in the area of Kosova-Metohija, and
8 he mentioned the changes in Kosovska Mitrovica SUP and in Pristina SUP
9 well as in Urosevac SUP
10 He informed us Ljubinko Cvetic will terminate to be the chief of
11 the SUP
12 1st of January, 1997, because he completed his tasks and therefore there
13 was no need for his further engagement. The chief of
14 Kosovska Mitrovica SUP
15 Mr. Janicijevic. And the previous chief of the Pristina SUP also was
16 terminated at that position, and at that position of the Pristina SUP
17 head was going to be carried out by Mr. Bogoljub Janicijevic who was
18 previously head of Urosevac SUP
19 Urosevac SUP
20 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Bozidar Ilic.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All this was conveyed to us by the
23 head of public security department.
24 Q. Thank you. Could we look, briefly, Mr. Cvetic, at the structure
25 of the MUP, the public security section of the MUP. Which position --
1 well, you've already said that the head of the public security sector was
2 assistant minister Djordjevic. What bodies or organs fell under him or
3 were subordinated to him?
4 MR. STAMP: And as you speak, could we bring up P357 the Rules of
5 Internal Organisation of the MUP.
6 Q. I'm asking you, Mr. Cvetic, what organs or bodies were
7 subordinate to Mr. Djordjevic as head of the public service department of
8 the MUP, or public security department of the MUP?
9 MR. STAMP: Could we move to Article 2 of this document, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Djordjevic -- actually, the
11 public security department of the MUP of Serbia within its composition
12 had the following organisational units: At the seat of the ministry
13 there was the police administration; secondly, the criminal police
14 administration; thirdly, traffic police administration; fourthly,
15 operational duty centre; fifth, the administration for communications and
16 encryptions; then the administration for analysis and administration for
17 IT or computers. So this was at the ministry's headquarters. All the
18 Secretariats of the interior in the territory of the Republic of Serbia
19 and there were 33 such Secretariats in total - were linked to the public
20 security department. The head of that department was Mr. Djordjevic.
21 Q. Very well. If we could just look at the rules quickly.
22 MR. STAMP: Let's move to Article 13. It's at page 9 of the
23 English, and it's page 9 to 10 of the B/C/S.
24 Q. I think this is difficult to read. I'll see if I can find a hard
25 copy for you.
1 Do you remember that Article 13 lists the organisational units
2 that were at the seat of the ministry in Belgrade?
3 A. Yes, and I listed them. Maybe I didn't list all of them, but
4 those were the ones I could remember. But in these rules in Article 11,
5 it says as follows:
6 "At the seat of the ministry there shall be the following
7 organisational units: Crime police administration, police
8 administration, traffic police administration, operation centre, border
9 police administration, fire prevention police administration, analysis
10 administration, information technology administration, communications
11 administration, administration for joint affairs of the ministry, and
12 board and lodging administration."
13 These are the organisational units at the level of the ministry,
14 but not all of them belonged to the public security sector.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that once
17 again we have a problem with these rules. As the witness just read from
18 the hard copy, he read that this was Article 11.
19 I apologise, Mr. Witness, is that correct? You read Article 11?
20 Yes, well that particular Rules of Interior Organisation is not valid.
21 Mr. Stamp when he read said Article 13 and this indeed were the rules
22 that were in effect at the time. So this is supposed to be Article 13.
23 And if he sees this as Article 11, then this is not the correct rules.
24 And the correct rules has been admitted into evidence as Exhibit P357.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, the document is on the screen in
1 both languages, it is Article 13. So you are correct. You may have
2 heard a translation or there may have been a misspeaking of Article 11
3 for 13, but the document which is the exhibit is Article 13. Thank you.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. However, the
5 hard copy that was given to the witness is a wrong document and this is
6 why he read this out from a wrong document.
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. Mr. Cvetic, the article which you read that lists the
9 organisational unit, which article is it?
10 A. I apologise, I was mistaken. I apologise to the Defence counsel.
11 This was not Article 11, but rather Article 13. So I apologise for this.
12 This hard copy is also very difficult to read.
13 But there was no other error. Even without these rules, I stated
14 which were the organisational units at the level of the ministry's
15 headquarters which belong to the public security sector. And there is
16 nothing different there. So the organisational units which I listed
17 without having the rules in front of me are the organisational units
18 which belonged to the public security sector.
19 Maybe I skipped some of them. For example, I have skipped fire
20 prevention police administration and border police administration.
21 However, the administration for joints affairs of the ministry and board
22 and lodging administration did not belong to the public security sector.
23 These were some joint services that were used by the entire MUP as far as
24 I knew at the time.
25 Q. Thank you. Just look at item 2, the police administration. Who
1 was head of that administration, do you know?
2 A. Head of the police administration was General Obrad Stevanovic.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. [No interpretation]
5 Q. I heard the witness say something, but I did not hear an
7 A. Yes, I wanted to say that Mr. Obrad Stevanovic was at the same
8 time an assistant minister. And at the position of the head of the
9 police administration, people were replaced. And for a certain period,
10 Mr. Stevanovic held this position.
11 Q. In 1999 and 1998 did he hold that position?
12 A. In 1998, yes. In 1999, I believe he was replaced. Somebody else
13 was the head of that administration, but I'm not entirely sure who that
14 was. Mr. Obrad Stevanovic, however, was an assistant minister. And in
15 1998, he indeed was head of the police administration. At the same time,
16 he was also commander of all the Special Police units, so-called PJPs.
17 Q. Apart from the organisational units at the seat of the ministry,
18 there were other organisational units of which you headed one, the
19 Secretariats of Interior; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. STAMP: If we could move to Article 2 of this document. I
22 think it's on page 4 in the English version, and -- I am sorry, I'm not
23 sure of the page in the B/C/S version. It would be then page 3, the
24 previous page in English.
25 Q. Article 2 of the rules which I think speaks for itself, this
1 article, sets out the functions of the Secretariats of the Interior. And
2 Article 3 lists the 33 Secretariats of the Interior that were set up for
3 administrative purposes in Serbia
4 MR. STAMP: If we could scroll in English to page 4, now.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. But Article 2
6 where it talks about tasks following within the purview of the Ministry
7 of the Interior, these are the tasks taken over from the Law on Internal
8 Affairs, so these are the tasks that are stipulated in the
9 Law on Internal Affairs. And Article 3 indeed mentions the
10 organisational units within the territory of the Republic of Serbia
11 Within the territory of the Republic of Serbia
12 33 Secretariats, each of them encompassing the territory of certain
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. And how many in Serbia
16 A. In the territory of Kosovo
17 Q. And just as an example using your Secretariat Kosovska Mitrovica,
18 can you describe its territorial jurisdiction?
19 A. The Secretariat in Kosovska Mitrovica was established to cover
20 the territory of the district of Kosovska Mitrovica and it covered the
21 following municipality: Leposavic, Zvecan, Zubin Potok, Vucitrn, Srbica,
22 and Kosovska Mitrovica where its seat also was. But at Leposavic,
23 Srbica, and Vucitrn, there were departments of the interior. And at
24 Zvecan and Zubin Potok, there were police stations.
25 Q. The departments of interior that you mentioned and the police
1 station that were subordinate to each SUP, they are, I take it, listed in
2 Article 4 of these rules; do you recall that?
3 A. Please allow me to have a look at Article 4. Yes, that is
5 Q. We see, for example, your SUP
6 Article 4?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. STAMP: Could we bring up document 02555.
9 Q. This is an organogram of the structure of the MUP. I'm sorry,
10 it's in English, so I may have to explain one or two aspects of it to
11 you. But I think you can understand most of the departments referred to
12 here by the acronyms used. At the top we have the minister and
13 subordinate to him would be the state security department headed by
14 Rade Markovic and the public security department headed by
15 Vlastimir Djordjevic.
16 Now, to the right of that there is a box with police
17 administration headed by Obrad Stevanovic. Can you tell us if that is
18 correct having regard to your earlier answers and to the rules which
19 indicate that the police administration was one of the organisational
20 units of the public security department? Is that correct there or should
21 it be subordinate to the public security department?
22 A. From this diagram which I can see on the screen, I can conclude
23 as follows: That the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia was organised in
24 two branches. The first one being the state security sector or
25 department and the second one the public security sector. Within the
1 state security sector, here we have an organisational unit which belonged
2 to that sector; and within the public security sector, we can see the
3 organisational units, and these are special anti-terrorist units,
4 operational sweep groups, and Special Police units. And all the
5 Secretariats, seven of them, in the territory of Kosovo
6 In parallel to this, the public security -- in parallel to the
7 public security sector, there is also the police administration. The
8 police administration cannot be placed at the same level as the public
9 security sector because it falls within the remit of the public security
10 sector and it is actually one of the organisational elements of the
11 public security sector.
12 Q. Thank you. We also see a line here from the
13 Secretariats of the Interior going to the MUP staff. Were the
14 Secretariats of the Interior subordinate to the MUP staff, and if -- can
15 you also explain the relationship of subordination with the public
16 security department seat or headquarters in Belgrade?
17 A. You see, the Secretariats for the Interior are organisational
18 units of the Ministry of the Interior; and the MUP staff in Pristina,
19 this is a mid-command between the Ministry of the Interior and the
20 Secretariats for the Interior in Kosovo and Metohija. So this MUP staff
21 was established simply for the territory of Kosovo
22 functions as an intermediary command between the Ministry and the
24 So the Secretariats reported at the same time to the
25 Ministry of the Interior in Belgrade
1 And they received information in the same way, in the same way in which
2 they reported about their activities.
3 Q. I take it from what you are saying, that the
4 Secretariats of the Interior were subordinate to the MUP staff, it being
5 an intermediate level of command, but they were also subordinate to the
6 public service -- public security department headquarters in Belgrade
7 my understanding correct?
8 A. All Secretariats were subordinate to the public security sector
9 and the MUP staff in Pristina was also subordinate to the public security
10 sector. The head of the public security sector established the MUP in --
11 staff in Pristina in the first place by a decision he made. And he also
12 stipulated his responsibilities, tasks, and obligations. Therefore, all
13 the Secretariats in Kosovo and the MUP staff in Pristina were subordinate
14 to the public security sector.
15 Q. I see in the boxes for the Secretariats of the Interior the names
16 of persons. Are these the persons who -- are these the person who were
17 head of these Secretariats at the time you were there or at least in
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And there are some boxes for some special units above that, the
21 JSO, the SAJ
23 understand -- withdrawn.
24 Were the persons there mentioned the heads of those organisations
25 in 1999?
1 A. I would appreciate a higher degree of specification of the
2 question. I told you already that the names listed as heads of
3 Secretariat are correct, but I don't see any other persons. Oh, I do.
4 The unit for special operations, yes, that is indeed the person who was
5 at its head, or rather, the commander of the unit for special operations.
6 The special anti-terrorist unit, the person shown in the box was head of
7 the section for special units within the police administration. And each
8 special anti-terrorist unit had its own commander, there were three of
9 them, three such units.
10 As for operational sweep groups, they do not belong with special
11 units. And neither do Special Police units, or specialised police units,
12 PJP. They cannot be considered as Special Police units.
13 As for anti-terrorist units, I said there were three of them.
14 And there was a head of section who coordinated their work and did all
15 the planning. That was the person whose name was seen in the box.
16 Q. So the head of the special anti-terrorist unit was
17 Zivko Trajkovic and the special operations unit, the JSO, was
18 Milorad Lukovic?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. STAMP: We'll get back to these units, but I think now,
21 Your Honours, it's time for a break. Could we tender this document,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the document shall be admitted as
25 Exhibit P1037. Thank you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE PARKER: We must have the second break now. We resume at
3 [The witness stands down]
4 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
8 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Q. Mr. Cvetic, can you briefly describe for us what were the PJPs or
10 Special Police units?
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I believe, Your Honour, that it is
13 the right time to clarify one thing that has to do with the
14 interpretation and translation and that has been going on for years now.
15 It concerns the PJPs, Special Police units. In some trials this was
16 dealt with by using the acronym PJP, the Serbian acronym so the witness
17 understands what it means. In Serbian actually there are two words,
18 "specijalna" which in English would be "special," and "posebna" is a
19 different word, and I believe the English word for that is "separate."
20 And to avoid confusion, especially when we are talking about units for
21 special operations, SAJ
22 about these specialised police units, PJP, we should either use the
23 acronym PJP or translated as Separate Police units.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Mr. Djurdjic. At this moment the
25 Chamber would not be in a position to know whether one of those is
1 preferable to another, but we all seem to understand PJP.
2 Carry on, please, Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
4 Q. Could you just describe the organisation and the function of the
6 A. Within the framework of the police, it's an organisational
7 unit -- in fact, as organisational units within the public security
8 sector there are regular police forces; there are specialised police
9 units, PJP; and also special anti-terrorist units. Regular police forces
10 are forces within the Secretariat for Internal Affairs, that are used to
11 control the territory to hold up law and order, and protect citizens and
12 property. Whereas PJP are better equipped and better trained than
13 regular police, and these PJP are formed in larger population centres to
14 deal with more complex security problems.
15 To be specific, PJP were established in 1992 or early 1993, and
16 they were called "Posebne Jedenice Milicije," PJM. Later they were
17 renamed into PJP. In Belgrade, there were two detachments of PJP; in
18 Novi Sad, one detachment; in Kragujevac, one detachment; in Uzice, one
19 detachment; and one detachment in Nis. And there was also a Kosovo
20 detachment in based in Pristina.
21 The Kosovo detachment of PJP based in Pristina was there until
22 June 1998. In June 1998, the Kosovo detachment of PJP grew into the
23 124th Intervention Brigade, whereas special anti-terrorist units are the
24 most elite units of the Ministry of Interior, namely, of its public
25 security sector. And they are intended only for the gravest security
1 problems, that is fighting terrorism.
2 Q. Thank you. We'll get to the special anti-terrorist units, let's
3 if we can, just focus on the PJPs for a moment. Were there PJPs attached
4 to the Secretariats of the Interior?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness sit closer to the
6 microphones, please. Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, from each
8 Secretariat of the Interior -- let me start again. Each
9 Secretariat of the Interior in the Republic of Serbia, assigned part of
10 its personnel to the PJPs. For instance, to form the detachment in
11 Kragujevac, personnel was given from Kragujevac, from Jagodina, from
12 Zajecar, from Bor, from Pozarevac, and from Smederevo. The same is true
13 of the other detachments of PJPs established in territory of Serbia
14 Q. Now, the detachment that was established in Pristina and which
15 became the 124th Intervention Brigade, how was that manned?
16 A. That detachment was filled in keeping with the same methodology
17 that applied to the formation of PJPs in other areas of Serbia
18 Secretariats of the Interior in the territory of Kosovo, various
19 Secretariats provided a certain number of personnel depending on size.
20 For example, Kosovska Mitrovica SUP
21 detachment. Some Secretariats provided a platoon, others a company-size
22 unit. All these formed the Kosovo detachment of PJPs, which became in
23 June 1998 a re-organised 124th Intervention Brigade.
24 To conclude, all Secretariats from Kosovo and Metohija provided
25 part of their personnel to the Kosovo detachment of PJPs, depending on
1 the size of the Secretariat.
2 Q. Did the Secretariats themselves have PJP units that were attached
3 to the Secretariats themselves?
4 A. Organisationally speaking, yes, because the personnel still
5 remained part of the Secretariat. And those people were assigned to
6 those Secretariats in terms of human resources. But these units could
7 not be used by the Secretariats without the approval of the detachment
8 command, and the orders were given by the staff or the ministry and
9 handed down to the command of the detachment.
10 Q. You mentioned earlier that the PJPs had responsibility for more
11 complex tasks. Could you just describe what you mean by that, what sort
12 of tasks were the PJP used for?
13 A. First of all, those were tasks such as dealing with disturbances
14 of law and order on a larger scale, dealing with clashes and fighting
15 terrorism, preventing disorder. Those were mainly the tasks in which
16 PJPs were engaged.
17 Q. In 1998 and in 1999 were all the personnel, the PJP personnel in
18 Kosovo attached to SUPs in Kosovo or were they replaced with PJP
19 personnel outside of Kosovo?
20 A. Well, in 1998 and 1999 PJPs from all parts of Serbia were engaged
21 in the territory of Kosovo
22 the Republic of Serbia within the framework of the Ministry of Interior
23 were engaged in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija in 1998 and 1999.
24 Those are the detachments that I listed in my previous testimony,
25 two detachments from Belgrade, one from Novi Sad, one from Kragujevac,
1 one from Nis, and the Kosovo detachment which later became the 124th
2 Brigade. Those were A units, A-class units.
3 In addition to the PJPs from these detachments, there were also
4 B-class units. To be specific, in Kosovska Mitrovica there were two PJP
5 detachments, the 35th detachment and the 85th detachment. And that was
6 true of other Secretariats in the territory of Kosovo as well.
7 PJP units from the complement of Secretariats of Internal Affairs
8 in Kosovo and Metohija were part of the Kosovo detachment and later
9 became the 124th Intervention Brigade. They were engaged not only in
10 their own territory, but throughout Kosovo, as were other detachments
11 that came from the Republic of Serbia
12 Q. Who or which organ had the power or the authority to mobilise the
13 PJP for combat activities?
14 A. Well, decisions to engage PJPs were made exclusively on ministry
15 level, and only the minister of the interior was able to take such
16 decisions or a person authorised by the minister. It was usually the
17 chief of the public security sector who would issue an order to mobilise
18 the PJPs, or in other words to order their engagement.
19 Q. And when they were on the ground in manoeuvres or operations, who
20 commanded them in Kosovo?
21 A. You see, we should make a distinction between a person who is
22 able to take the decision to use PJPs and the person who commands the
23 PJPs. Command on the ground over PJPs was within the exclusive authority
24 of the PJP commander. The commander of a PJP unit commands that unit on
25 the ground, but the PJP unit commander has no authority to make the
1 decision to use the PJP unit. He is able to take command and to issue
2 orders only when a decision had been taken by a superior commanding
3 officer to engage that PJP unit.
4 Q. What were -- if we could move on, what were the OPGs? And I
5 think I say with trepidation that that's an acronym for
6 Operation Sweep Group?
7 A. Yes. Operational sweep groups or operational pursuit groups were
8 established within Secretariats in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
9 In other Secretariats covered by the Ministry of Interior, there were no
10 operational sweep groups.
11 In early December 1998, a decision was taken at the MUP staff in
12 Pristina that every Secretariat in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija
13 should allocate 10 to 15 men, the best trained and the best equipped ones
14 from the regular complement of the police force or from the PJPs. And
15 these men would undergo additional training in the duration of 10 to 15
16 days in special training centres outside Kosovo. And these operational
17 sweep groups were within each Secretariat. And each Secretariat had a
18 commander of the Operational Sweep Group.
19 In other words, all these operational sweep groups were headed by
20 the assistant head of MUP staff in Pristina in charge of special
22 To conclude, operational sweep groups were better trained and
23 better equipped than PJPs, but they were not better trained or better
24 equipped than special anti-terrorist units, they were something in
1 Q. Did the assistant head of the MUP staff in Pristina who was in
2 charge of special operations who headed these OPGs, what was his name?
3 A. His name was Goran Radosavljevic.
4 Q. And you now mentioned the special anti-terrorist units, could you
5 describe briefly and basically their organisation and their functions?
6 A. As far as I was aware special anti-terrorist units were
7 established in the city of Belgrade
8 Belgrade inn the SUP
9 there were three special anti-terrorist units. Their mission in
10 Kosovo and Metohija was exclusively to fight terrorism and to participate
11 in anti-terrorist actions.
12 Q. And lastly, briefly, the JSO, what were they, and what
13 organisational department did they belong to?
14 A. The special operations unit was established within the public
15 security sector and belonged only to that sector.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: They were
17 established within the state security sector, and the public security
18 sector had no authority over it. There was only one special operations
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And it was headed by the person
21 whose name is shown in this schematic, Milorad Lukovic.
22 MR. STAMP:
23 Q. On this chart before you we see that there's a line between the
24 special operations unit and the MUP staff for Kosovo. Was there any
25 relationship, and if so what was it, between the special operations unit
1 and the MUP staff of Kosovo which was headed by General Lukic was part
2 of -- or JV, that is, public security department?
3 A. Sorry, are you asking me about special anti-terrorist units or
4 about the special operations unit?
5 Q. The special operations unit, the JSO. What was the relationship,
6 if any, between them and the MUP staff of Kosovo? The MUP staff of
7 Kosovo --
8 A. I said already that the MUP staff for Kosovo had no authority
9 over the JSO.
10 Q. And --
11 A. Coordination, joint meetings, analysing the security situation,
12 consultations about particular assignments, all that existed; but the MUP
13 staff did not have the authority to use -- to make the decision to use
14 the JSO for special operations.
15 Q. Now, what was the relationship and the hierarchy between the PJPs
16 and the public security department headquarters in Belgrade? Or may I
17 just rephrase the question. What was the relationship and the hierarchy
18 of command between the PJPs in Kosovo and the public security department
19 in Belgrade
20 A. Well, the public security sector of the MUP of Serbia was the
21 only one who could take decisions to use, to employ the PJPs in
22 Kosovo and Metohija. While the commander of those units was in the hands
23 of unit commanders.
24 Q. If we could move on. Can you tell us briefly about the number,
25 the total number of police personnel in Kosovo between 1998 up to the
1 NATO intervention in March 1999, and tell us if it fluctuated and why?
2 A. Well, in July 1998, anti-terrorist operations took place in
3 Kosova and Metohija. At that time in the territory of
4 Kosovo and Metohija, there were 14.570 policemen. These operations
5 lasted from the 25th of July until end September, 1998. With the signing
6 of the Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement, there was a reduction in the number
7 of police personnel in Kosovo and Metohija. The number was reduced by
8 4.500. To be more precise, after the Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement was
9 signed, 10.021 policemen remained in Kosova-Metohija.
10 Q. When was this agreement signed, do you recall?
11 A. It was signed in October of 1998, and in October this reduction
12 took place. It was in the second half of the month of October.
13 Q. And did the number of 10.000 plus policemen as of October 1998
14 remain the same going into 1999 or was there any -- or were there any
16 A. Well, later in early 1999, or more precisely in March of 1999,
17 there were some changes because we were threatened to -- we had immediate
18 threat of war. And once the state of war was officially proclaimed,
19 there was a change and the number was increased.
20 Q. Can you describe further about when, if you can recall a date,
21 did the mobilisation to increase the numbers begin, and what were the
22 numbers eventually after the policemen were mobilised?
23 A. The mobilisation, as a strategic act, encompasses two periods:
24 the preparation of mobilisation and the execution of mobilisation.
25 The preparation started earlier, it started in early 1999, or
1 more precisely, in February of 1999. And the execution of the
2 mobilisation started in March of 1999, that is, at a meeting held in the
3 MUP headquarters in Pristina held on the 17th of March, 1999,
4 General Lukic stated that all the Secretariats should prepare and
5 undertake all the necessary measures to go forward with mobilisation of
6 the members of the reserve police forces, so that the ratio between
7 active policemen and reserve policemen should be one to one.
8 More specifically, for SUP
9 following: In SUP
10 officers, and we had to mobilise additional 665 reserve policemen in
11 order to achieve this ratio of 1 to 1.
12 Furthermore, he said that given that the negotiations at
13 Rambouillet were very difficult, it could be realistically expected that
14 we could have an act of aggression. At the very first sign that there
15 will be an aggression, or the very first sign will be the withdrawal of
16 the verifying mission from Kosovo.
17 Q. Yes, we'll discuss that further later. For the time being, can
18 we just see if we can establish figures. About how many policemen or
19 what was the number of policemen approximately in Kosovo after
20 mobilisation in March 1999?
21 A. Well, the number was the same as in 1998, and this is 14.571.
22 Q. And if you could tell us more precisely, I think you can, about
23 your SUP
24 in total after mobilisation was completed?
25 A. At Kosovska Mitrovica SUP there were regular police forces, then
1 PJPs that were sent to Kosovska Mitrovica SUP, the 35th [Realtime
2 transcript read in error, "55th"] and the 85th detachment, and also we
3 had reserve police units that were trained in June of 1998 to be able to
4 defend settlements, inhabited settlements. So each inhabited settlement
5 in the territory of Kosova, which also means in the territory of SUP of
6 Kosovska Mitrovica, had a Serb police unit. The regular police units of
7 the SUP
8 1.990; and in reserve police units, we had a total of 6.034. So in total
10 This was the number of armed police officers in the territory of
12 MR. STAMP: Before I proceed, Your Honours, just to point out
13 that at line 7 of this page, I think the witness said the 35th and the
14 85th detachment.
15 Q. We are going to get to the reserve police units later, these were
16 6.000 plus men, I think you said. But just explain briefly for us what
17 was the distinction between a reserve policeman and a member of a reserve
18 police unit?
19 A. Reserve policemen could be reserves to the regular police units
20 or reserves to the reserve police units. Reserve police units had a
21 lower degree of training, lower degree of equipment, and weapons in
22 comparison to the regular police units. These regular police units were
23 subordinated to the Secretariats, so they were not tasked to defend
24 inhabited settlements as were the reserve police units.
25 The reserve police units did not even have an entire uniform,
1 they just had parts of uniforms, for example, hats, possibly shirts or
2 belts and so on. Reserve policemen on the other hand had the entire
4 Q. And when you say that the reserve police units were engaged to
5 defend settlements, what do you mean by settlements?
6 A. When I say inhabited settlements, I'm talking about various
7 settlements within the territory of a municipality, so it's a village or
8 a local commune.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. STAMP: If we could look at 0224 quickly, please. 01224, I
11 believe. And go to page 2 in both, please. We are on the wrong page.
12 Could I just find it. Could we go to page 2, page 3 in the English. I
13 apologise for this, Your Honour, I had the number in the binder but
14 apparently the document was taken out of the binder.
15 Your Honours, having regard to the time, I think I could move on
16 and I could get back to this tomorrow when I can find the -- find my copy
17 of the document.
18 Q. I'd like you to briefly describe for us what the security
19 situation in Kosovo was in 1998. You told us about anti-terrorist
20 operations that took place from July to September or October 1998. Were
21 there any actions in your area, anti-terrorist actions in your area
22 before that time?
23 A. Well, when I spoke, I said that the anti-terrorist operations
24 started on July the 25th, 1998, and they lasted until the end of
25 September of that year. The security situation in Kosovo was very
1 difficult and very complicated. The terrorism was expanding. We had
2 very many terrorist attacks against members of the police forces, but
3 also against members of the army, Serbians, or loyal Albanians in Kosovo.
4 There were quite a few persons killed, injured; Albanians, Serbs, or
5 soldiers alike. And because of this, we decided to carry out
6 anti-terrorist operations.
7 Besides this, a number of companies and even a number of
8 settlements were taken over by the terrorists. More specifically, in the
9 territory of Kosovska Mitrovica SUP at the Trepca oil and steel factory
10 which had one of its companies -- one of its plants in the village of
11 Bare in Bajgora and which produced the equipment for [microphone not
12 activated]. This particular plant was taken over by the terrorists, so
13 the director of the company had no more control over his plant.
14 In that particular factory, the terrorists started to produce
15 uniforms for their members. In the settlement of Malisevo in Kosovo also
16 fell to terrorists, and due to this very grave situation, because the
17 movement was also very difficult, it was impossible to move at night in
18 Kosovo at the time. All the communications were blocked. So it was
19 decided at the staff to carry out anti-terrorist operations. However, it
20 wasn't the staff's decision to carry out these operations, but rather
21 this was the decision of the headquarters at the highest possible level
22 with the so-called joined headquarters.
23 When you asked me whether there were any anti-terrorist
24 operations before July of 1998 in the territory of
25 Kosovska Mitrovica SUP
1 an action whereby we wanted to catch a terrorist group and destroy the
2 terrorist group, the so-called Drenica group in the settlement
3 Donji Prekaz in the municipality of Srbica
4 period between the 5th and 7th of March in three of the hamlets.
5 Q. In this action, can you tell us where was -- if you know, where
6 was this action conceived, planned, and who commanded the action?
7 A. At that time, at the level of the Ministry of Interior, an
8 intersectorial command was established --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Intersectorial staff
10 was established.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And within that staff there were
12 members of the public security sector and of the state security sector.
13 The head of that joint staff was head of the state security sector and
14 his deputy was chief of the public security sector.
15 The planning and organisation of this particular action was the
16 responsibility of this joint staff. And the units in the field were
17 commanded by the commanders of these units. In this particular
18 operation, the units of the Ministry of the Interior which took part in
19 the operations, so besides the units of the Ministry of Interior also
20 special anti-terrorist units of the state security sector participated in
21 the operation.
22 So we had the unit for special operations from the public
23 security sector and special anti-terrorist units of the state security
24 sector. The commanders of these units and a person from the
25 Ministry of the Interior that was in charge of all the special
1 anti-terrorist units were in the field, and also a person from the staff
2 of the Pristina MUP and also deputy commander of the Pristina SUP staff
3 were in the field and they took direct command over the units that
4 participated in this particular operation.
5 The decision on participation of these units in the operation was
6 taken by this intersectorial staff. So most probably the intersectorial
7 staff when making this decision also informed the highest level of the
8 state authorities. This is my assumption because otherwise such an
9 action could not have been planned nor organised.
10 Q. Who was chief of the RDB, the state security at that time, March
11 of 1998?
12 A. The chief of the state security sector at the time was
13 Mr. Jovica Stanisic.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp, we've run over time, is that a
15 convenient moment?
16 MR. STAMP: Yes, it will be.
17 JUDGE PARKER: We must adjourn now for the day and resume
18 tomorrow morning at 9.00. So an officer of the court will give you more
19 precise instructions, but we will continue your evidence in the morning
20 at 9.00. Thank you.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.
22 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 30th day of June,
23 2009, at 9.00 a.m.