1 Wednesday, 8 July 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read aloud the affirmation that
9 is shown to you now.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will. I solemnly declare that I
11 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, please sit down.
13 Yes, Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
15 WITNESS: VELIBOR VELJKOVIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examination by Mr. Stamp:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Veljkovic. I hope I haven't mangled your name.
19 A. Veljkovic.
20 Q. Could you please tell us your name and your date of birth.
21 A. My name is Velibor and my last name is V-e-l-j-k-o-v-i-c.
22 Q. And your date of birth, please.
23 A. 19th November, 1971.
24 Q. I understand you are a police officer. Can you tell us briefly
25 about your career in the police, when you started, what ranks you held,
1 and what posts are the places you were stationed at.
2 A. I started working for the police as of 25th of April, 1994; and
3 in the Secretariat of the Interior of Prizren and the police station in
4 Suva Reka, I began working as of August 20th, 1994. And I remained there
5 working until the withdrawal of all military and police forces from
6 Kosovo and Metohija.
7 Q. Please continue, I'm sorry.
8 A. After I arrived at the police station in Suva Reka, the first two
9 years I was a beat policeman, maybe two or three shifts in the traffic
10 control, and within the sector itself, but for the most part I worked as
11 a beat police officer. After that, by decision of the commander of the
12 station, I was involved in misdemeanours. In other words, I entered
13 information on misdemeanours involving traffic accident into a computer
14 and then later on once a court decision was issued, I would also enter
15 that in the computer database and basically that was my work.
16 As of 1997 by the decision of the same commander, together with
17 another colleague I was in charge of the station records. I attended a
18 course to be able to do this, and I remained in this position until we
19 withdrew from Kosovo. Whereas the colleague who worked with me, pursuant
20 to a decision by the commander, he was involved in special missions in
21 the field and he only came to do -- he was only involved in work relating
22 to the police records when I was away or over the weekends. And this was
23 when the police -- when the attacks against the police began in 1998.
24 And I remained in this job until 11 June, 1999, until the withdrawal.
25 Q. Thank you. While we are at the withdrawal, can you tell us what
1 happened to the records of the Suva Reka police station at the time when
2 you withdrew in June 1999?
3 A. A few days prior to the withdrawal and during a break in the
4 air-strikes, the police station commander told me that all the papers,
5 all the documents from previous years, I mean, the years up until 1998,
6 that I should destroy all those records. So I went to the station and
7 all these records that really I selected, not him because he wasn't there
8 any more, I selected the papers that I felt should be destroyed and I
9 took them and burnt them. And as for the documentation and records of
10 1998 and 1999, I packed them and loaded them on a truck which arrived a
11 little later and took them away when -- at the time when we withdrew to
13 Now, what happened with the archives and the files in Krusevac, I
14 really wouldn't know. Whether they were just archived or destroyed, I
15 don't know.
16 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us who was the commander of the
17 station in 1999 and what is his name? You just mentioned that you
18 received orders from him.
19 A. The commander of the Suva Reka police station as of June 1996
20 until the moment of withdrawal was Radojko Repanovic.
21 Q. Can you tell us if you recall the names and ranks of the other
22 senior persons at the police station at that time and the jobs that they
23 were tasked with?
24 A. I believe that the only higher position was the chief of station.
25 There were no other senior ranks in Suva Reka itself.
1 Q. Who was the chief of station?
2 A. The chief of the station was Dobrivoje Vitosevic.
3 Q. So what is the difference between the chief of station and the
4 commander of the station?
5 A. The chief of the station was in charge of the civilian aspect, in
6 other words, the administrative work and crime prevention. Whereas the
7 station commander, together with his deputy and assistants, was in charge
8 of duties relating to the uniform police.
9 Q. Which section were you a part of, the administrative or the
10 uniform police?
11 A. I was -- my post was administrative, and although I did
12 administrative work, I did wear a uniform and I was in charge of the
13 schedules of the police officers who were on patrol and so on, and I also
14 supervised them.
15 Q. Can you recall the names of the deputies and their assistants to
16 the station commander Mr. Repanovic?
17 A. We only had one deputy and one assistant commander. The deputy's
18 name was Dragan Borisavljevic, whereas the assistant commander was
19 Nenad Jovanovic.
20 Q. Was there a PJP unit attached to the Suva Reka police station?
21 A. No, there wasn't. Within the Suva Reka police station there were
22 only employees who had regular posts at the Suva Reka police station and
23 who were members of the PJP by -- pursuant to a decision of the
24 commander, but later on there were also some men who were attached from
25 other units.
1 Q. Do you know if Nenad Jovanovic had any association or position in
2 the PJP?
3 A. I wouldn't know anything about that. He was more involved with
4 members of the reserve force, police force, and preparing monthly
5 reports, which would contain the working hours and the outcome of
6 different assignments. As for the special unit, the PJP, I really
7 couldn't say anything more about it.
8 Q. Were there members of the DB, and by that I mean the
9 department of state security, at Suva Reka police station?
10 A. There were, but we were in the same building but they had a
11 separate entrance and exit, so these members of the DB had a special
12 office, a separate office. Now, how their work was organised and what
13 the delineation of work between the police officers and the DB officers
14 was, I really wouldn't know.
15 Q. Can you say whether or not there was cooperation or lack of
16 cooperation with the DB officers and the officers from the department of
17 public security?
18 A. I couldn't say.
19 Q. Do you remember the -- who was the commander of the DB personnel
20 that were at the station in 1999?
21 A. I can't recall. I don't know who their officer was -- their
22 chief was.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you recall a particular day - I don't know if I
24 should lead you to the dates, I'll ask you to recall the date - in
25 Suva Reka when a significant amount of Albanian people were killed?
1 A. That was on the 26th of March, 1999. That was the first -- so
2 when I was questioned for the first time by our men at the ministry in
4 could not recall the date. And then they told me -- they asked me if I
5 could remember approximately what the weather was like. I know -- or
6 what the time was, and they told me that at the time we were still at the
7 station, we hadn't moved out, withdrawn. I think this was -- and then I
8 told him that I thought this was in the first -- during the first week of
9 the air-strikes, and then they confirmed that and told me that, yes, it
10 was on the 26th of March, 1999. So when we know that the air-strikes
11 began on the 24th of March, 1999, then that means that I was about right.
12 Q. Can you recall or did you discover the family name of persons in
13 a large group of those Kosovar Albanians who were killed?
14 A. As for the family you are asking me about, I know where the house
15 was. This was at the house in Suva Reka at Restanksi Put. On
16 Restanksi Put Street, I think there was no number, no street number. It
17 was on the right-hand side of the road from the direction of Suva Reka
18 towards Pecane.
19 Q. We'll get to that. Do you remember the family name? Did you get
20 to discover the family name of some of the people who were killed on the
21 26th of March?
22 A. I was only told. I didn't know who the family was, but during
23 the interview, the first interview, I was told that it was the family
24 Berisha, the killing of the Berisha family.
25 Q. Now, that morning, the morning of the 26th of March, 1999
1 what time did you arrive? Well, did you go to work at the police station
2 that day, and if so, about what time did you arrive there?
3 A. At the time, I slept in the building which was on the same
4 compound where the police station was in Suva Reka. The sleeping
5 quarters were on the same premises, within the same compound where I
6 worked. It was about 5 to 6 metres from my office. My working hours
7 were from 7.00
8 on the premises of the police station, which is to say that on that day,
9 on the 26th of March, 1999
10 opened it.
11 Q. Now, in the morning, that morning, was there an incident which
12 occurred in the courtyard outside the police station?
13 A. That morning, no.
14 Q. Later on in the day or at any time in the day, was there an
15 incident that occurred in the courtyard of the police station?
16 A. In the course of the day, I think around noon, yes, there was an
17 incident. Maybe a little earlier or a little later, but about that time.
18 Q. Could you just tell us what you saw and what you heard when that
19 incident occurred?
20 A. On the 26th of March around 12:00
21 I was working because the schedule was only done formally. So there was
22 about 10 to 15 minutes of work for me there. I locked up the office and
23 decided to go and sit with the colleagues at the duty office, duty
24 station, which was in Suva Reka.
25 Unaware of what was about to happen, I just ran into trouble.
1 When I came to the station itself, I found my colleague
2 Sladjan Cukaric, Radovan Tanovic, Miroslav Petkovic there, they were at
3 the very entrance to the OUP building and with them was
4 Commander Repanovic. The colleagues that I mentioned, Sladjan Cukaric,
5 Radovan Tanovic --
6 Q. I have to interrupt you. I'm just going to ask you to mention
7 those names again, to repeat them, but a little bit more slowly this
9 A. The colleagues were Sladjan Cukaric, Radovan Tanovic, they were
10 members of the active duty force. And there was also Miroslav Petkovic,
11 he was a member of the reserve police. The three of them were at the
12 very entrance of the Suva Reka police station. They had automatic rifles
13 and flak jackets. The commander Radojko Repanovic was also there.
14 Just as I was getting ready to enter the Suva Reka OUP building,
15 Commander Repanovic told me, I can't recall the exact words, but I
16 figured that what he had told me was, in fact, a criminal offence. He
17 told me to go with the colleagues that I -- whose names I mentioned,
18 somewhere. I don't recall what I replied, but I just refused. I simply
19 refused to go with him and entered the premises of the duty operations
20 room. And he, as my superior, did not say anything else after that.
21 Q. Before you continue, I'm sorry to interrupt you, I just want to
22 clarify something and to tell us as best as you can from memory, did he
23 tell you to go and do anything and why did you figure that what he told
24 you was a criminal offence? Just tell us what he said you were to do,
25 from the best of your memory.
1 A. Let me tell you something first, I can't recall what he said
2 exactly. Over the four statements I gave, I told everyone questioning me
3 that I can't recall. In any way, I realised that following through
4 that -- with that order would constitute an offence or a breach of work
6 Q. What offence?
7 A. The crime of murder. It would be the gravest breach of work
8 duty. When one fires a weapon, it is very easy to kill someone or
9 disable them for the rest of their life.
10 Q. Very well then, we'll return to that. Let's continue the
11 narrative. He told you to go, and you refused to go with them; you went
12 into the police station. What happened after that? Sorry, you went into
13 the OUP building, what happened after that?
14 A. After that, I think I sat on a chair that was next to the person
15 in charge of the duty officer at that point in time. Although I cannot
16 remember who that person was. A lot of time has passed. I can't tell
17 you who was there at the duty office. I simply sat down in the room
18 where we kept those detained.
19 There had been a person brought in two or three days prior to
20 that. He was suspected of carrying out an armed attack against a patrol.
21 I saw that man. In my view, he was between 50 and 60 years of age. His
22 height was around 1Dusa0 centimetres and some 90 kilos of weight. He was
23 balding. What was left of his hair was grey. He wore a sweater. It was
24 white with a black pattern. He had black pants. He was brought in as a
25 suspect. I don't know which part of the Suva Reka territory they found
2 Under the law, one of the reasons for bringing in a person
3 without an order was if that person was caught in the process of
4 committing a crime. That is to say, the attack on the police. They
5 brought him a few days prior to that, and it was unknown what would
6 happen with him. I don't know who had the key of the detention room at
7 that time.
8 In any case, he was eventually taken out of the station building.
9 I don't remember who took him out. In any case, they took him out and
10 brought him to the courtyard. Less than half a minute later, I heard
11 shots from a fire-arm, although I don't know which fire-arm it was. I
12 don't know if it was an automatic rifle or the CZ-99 handgun. I heard
13 several shots, I believe.
14 When I came out of the building, I saw him dead in the courtyard.
15 Next to him in the courtyard was Sladjan Cukaric, Radovan Tanovic, and
16 Miroslav Petkovic; they were all there. Which one of them shot him dead,
17 is something I cannot say.
18 Q. I take it from what you are saying, they had weapons with them?
19 A. The question is a bit unclear.
20 Q. Were they armed with weapons?
21 A. My work-mates?
22 Q. Those that you saw in the vicinity of this man who had been shot.
23 A. Yes, they were armed. As I told you, they had an automatic rifle
24 and a CZ-99 handgun.
25 Q. About what time did this occur?
1 A. Between 12:00
2 Q. Was this before or after Commander Repanovic told you to go with
3 the men?
4 A. It was right after that. Perhaps it all took place within five
6 Q. And what ethnicity was this man who had been shot in the
7 courtyard of the police station?
8 A. He was Albanian. I didn't know his name at the time. But when I
9 was being questioned by the investigative judge, he told me that that
10 person's name was Petrit Elshani. Up to that point, I didn't know this
11 person's first and last name.
12 Q. Can you tell us what happened after that? Did you remain there,
13 did your colleagues remain there?
14 A. Who do you have in mind? Did you want to ask me whether my
15 work-mates were sent elsewhere or whether they remained in the station
16 yard? Could you please clarify that.
17 Q. Very well. When you went out into the courtyard and you saw this
18 man who had been shot dead there, tell us what happened after you arrived
19 there and saw what you saw.
20 A. Some 10 minutes later, Radovan Tanovic as well as Sladjan Cukaric
21 and Miroslav Petkovic, who was a reservist, simply left. They went
22 towards Cara Dushana Street; I can't recall exactly in which direction
23 they left. Whether they went towards Recani or Pecane, or in the
24 direction of Prizren, this is something I cannot recall.
25 Q. And after they left, did you hear sounds indicating that anything
1 was occurring in the area of Suva Reka? The town of Suva Reka, I'm
3 A. After the murder of Petrit Elshani, I was in the courtyard of the
4 police station and then I went inside and sat in the duty service room,
5 after having seen the three of my work-mates leave. Some ten minutes
6 later in close vicinity, I heard shots from an automatic rifle which came
7 from the direction of Pecane. I wanted to go out to see from which house
8 the shots were coming. It occurred to me that perhaps a family was being
10 I was out on the pavement in Cara Dushana Street which is as one
11 exits the police station yard in Suva Reka where there was always the
12 vehicle of the intervention patrol parked. I saw a house perhaps
13 100 metres away from the Suva Reka police station being on fire. I saw
14 people running away from the house, some of whom were falling dead. I
15 simultaneously heard those automatic rifle shots being fired.
16 Those who were not hit crossed Restanksi Put and entered the yard
17 of the bus station still running. In the courtyard of the bus station
18 there is also a shopping centre, and I thought that some of them were
19 trying to find refuge in any of the shops. In front of the station there
20 was a vehicle, but I can't remember its registration plates, which had
21 arrived from the direction of Prizren. I saw some people in the yard of
22 that house. There may have been five or six of them. They were dead.
23 Although I observed that from a distance of about 100 metres, I could
24 still clearly see that.
25 I can't remember who it was that told me to start loading up the
1 corpses. It was a logical thing to do, that those people had to be
2 buried, otherwise contamination occurs and there may be an outbreak. I
3 was told, in any case, to go and load the corpses --
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. I picked up my automatic rifle from the admin office. I took my
6 side-arm. I can't remember whether I already had it on me or whether I
7 picked it up at the same time I did the rifle from the office. In any
8 case, I set out with two other -- with two reservists. (redacted)
10 (redacted) We picked up the corpses. I think we
11 picked up the man who was in the yard first. I then I started --
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please move into closed
15 JUDGE PARKER: Closed. Private.
16 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
13 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much.
14 Q. Since we have paused here, Mr. Veljkovic, I'm going to ask you to
15 just give us a couple of more details from the narrative you just gave.
16 You had reached a point where you set off with other reservists to
17 collect the bodies. You said the shots you heard while you were in the
18 police station came from automatic rifles which came from the direction
19 of Pecane. Where is Pecane?
20 A. Pecane is about 3 to 4 kilometres from the territory of
22 the direction of two of the closest settlements, that's why I said
23 Pecane, although it's not all that close from Suva Reka. In any case,
24 it's not too far either. It was still within the territory of the
1 Q. Well, you say it come from the direction of Pecane, about how far
2 away, can you estimate, the sounds of those gun-shots came from?
3 A. As I told you, when I came -- well, first of all, I was in the
4 building when I heard the shots. When I came outside, one could hear the
5 shots even better. Then I saw those people falling down, being killed,
6 and the house was already on fire. Then it occurred to me that an
7 Albanian family is being killed.
8 Q. Could you see who was or were firing these shots when you came
9 out of the station?
10 A. I could not see that. I could only hear the shots but not who
11 fired them.
12 Q. When you said you saw people running away from the house, can you
13 describe these people? Were they -- by sex, age, or were they civilian
14 or military? How were they dressed?
15 A. When I came there, I saw that these were only civilians. They
16 were not military personnel. They had no weapons.
17 Q. What were their approximate ages and sex of these people?
18 A. Let me tell you this, from the distance where I was, I couldn't
19 exactly see how old they were and of what gender; but when I went to the
20 pizzeria where they were killed, I saw that some children were there as
21 well, perhaps 5 or 6 years old, some were 12 or 15 years old. There were
22 also women and some men there. In any case, it was predominantly women
23 and children.
24 Q. What ethnicity were these people?
25 A. They were Albanian. I subsequently learned that this was the
1 Albanian family Berisha.
2 Q. You told us also that you can't remember who it was who told you
3 to start loading up corpses. Where were you when you were told that you
4 should go and start loading corpses?
5 A. I can't recall exactly, but I think I was just outside the
6 Suva Reka police station.
7 Q. And you said there was a truck that arrived from Prizren, I
8 believe you said. Did you use a truck in the process of loading the
10 A. Yes. First, Petrit Elshani was put onto the truck, and then
11 together with my two work-mates I went towards the Berisha family home to
12 load the corpses there. I can't recall who the driver was. I don't
13 think he was from the territory of Suva Reka
14 foot following the truck which drove slowly. Once by the corpses we
15 simply loaded them onto the trailer of that truck.
16 Q. How many bodies in front of that house?
17 A. I can't remember exactly, although I spoke about that at the time
18 when my work-mates testified in this case as well. I'm also using some
19 information that I heard on the Serbian TV. I think there were five or
20 six of them, and I believe my work-mates confirmed that.
21 Q. Very well. Now, I want you to be clear with us, make a clear
22 distinction between something that you might have discovered or you were
23 told and something that you saw and observed otherwise directly yourself,
25 After you loaded those bodies in the -- from in front of the
1 house, the Berisha family home, where next did you travel to and what did
2 you do?
3 A. We went in the direction -- well, one comes across two villages
4 following that road: To the right one goes to Pecane, and if you
5 continue straight on you reach Studencani. We went towards Studencani.
6 It was inconceivable to reach Studencani by that time, let alone enter
7 it. But in any case, at some point on the road, the driver turned the
8 truck and we went back to the Suva Reka police station.
9 As we were moving towards Studencani, I heard a hand-grenade
10 explode. I don't know which hand-grenade exactly, what type, since I'm
11 not an expert in that. The sound came from the direction of
12 Restanksi Put, somewhere from the area of the Metohija Vino winery and
13 where the municipal hall is as well as the defence Secretariat. Perhaps
14 after the detonation itself --
15 Q. While you travelled from the police station towards the place
16 where the truck turned around, did you and your two colleagues from the
17 reserve do anything? What were you doing as you travelled in the truck?
18 A. We loaded those five or six bodies and then went towards
19 Studencani. Whether there were any other corpses further up the road
20 away from the house is something I cannot recall. Maybe there were some
21 corpses there of people who had been killed earlier, in any case, I
22 cannot say anything precisely. We went up the road to a certain point
23 where we turned back. I'm telling you that there were five or six
24 corpses on that truck that we loaded.
25 Q. Do you know who organised the truck?
1 A. I can't remember that. Actually, I don't know. The true answer
2 is that I don't know.
3 Q. What happened when you returned to the police station?
4 A. I simply returned towards the police station when I heard that
5 explosion from the Metohija vino company. I also heard automatic rifle
6 gun-shots. After that, I went in the direction of the gun-shots because
7 I was -- I presumed that the people who had fled the house wanted to hide
8 in a shop. They did so, but that presented them with no refuge. I went
9 to see where they were killed, still hoping that they were not, that they
10 were alive.
11 I went along Cara Dushana Street with the two work-mates, and I
12 apologised for having disclosed one of their names. No one told me
13 previously whether anyone was a protected witness or not. I was moving
14 in that direction to see whether the people were killed and whether they
15 needed to be loaded on to the truck. When I was some 30 to 40 metres
16 away next to the gas station, I saw some people. I can't remember all
17 who was there, but I realised that the family members were killed in one
18 of the nearby shops.
19 As I came close to the pizzeria, I think it had opened two or
20 three years before that and was only 10 metres away from the main street,
21 Cara Dushana Street. As I came close, I saw some people there, and I'll
22 only tell you about those that I'm certain of. It was Tanovic, Cukaric,
23 and Petkovic who were standing outside the pizzeria in front of the door.
24 When I saw that, I realized those people were killed.
25 I approached the door and I saw dead people. From where I stood,
1 I could see that these were predominantly women, children, and a few men.
2 That's it. Then we simply started loading them.
3 Q. Were they all dead or not?
4 A. Yes, they were dead. Could you repeat your question, please?
5 Q. When you saw these people in the pizzeria, you said:
6 "When I saw that, I realised these people were killed. I
7 approached the door, and I saw dead people."
8 What I want to know is: Every body inside that pizzeria you saw
9 was dead when you first stepped in?
10 A. At my first impression, they were dead. And in my view, they
11 were all dead. Whether they actually all were dead or not, I can't
12 really recall, but in my view they were.
13 Q. You said "we simply started loading them." While you were
14 loading them, did any body speak?
15 A. Nobody said a word.
16 Q. Can you recall if any of the Albanians inside that pizzeria that
17 you thought was dead spoke or moved?
18 A. When I began loading the bodies onto the truck, I can't recall
19 exactly how much time passed, but there was a woman lying by the door.
20 And during my first interview in Belgrade in late February 2003, I was
21 told she was wounded --
22 Q. Just tell us for the time being exactly what you saw or heard
23 while you were in the pizzeria.
24 A. I had loaded a few bodies and there was a woman by the door, I
25 thought she was dead. She was about 65 to 70 years old. She wore the
1 Albanian-style pants, and she said something to me in Albanian, although
2 I can't speak Albanian, and she reached out with her arm. And then I saw
3 that one of her arms, I can't recall which one it was, that she was
4 wounded in the arm. And then she said something to me and I was startled
5 and I had both a rifle and a pistol on me. I had left the rifle by the
6 door and then I was startled when I realised that she was alive. I
7 picked up the rifle, and I think I said, Oh, she is alive; when one of my
8 colleagues entered the pizzeria, fired a shot, and killed the woman.
9 So in fact, that woman was slightly wounded at the time and she
10 would have survived but then she was shot and killed. I cannot say who
11 fired and who shot her execution style in the pizzeria, but then I just
12 continued loading the bodies.
13 Q. What do you mean you cannot say who fired? You can't recall or
14 you don't know the person or you didn't see the person who fired? Would
15 you like to go into private session to say who fired, if you can?
16 A. I can't really say. I can't say who shot her. I simply cannot
18 Q. Did you recognise any of the people who were laying down in the
20 A. When this woman was shot dead, I continued loading the bodies.
21 And then after awhile, I can't say exactly how much time later, I saw a
22 man whom I knew. He was about 35 to 40 years old. He was dressed in
23 black. He had a dark complexion, black hair. He was about 6 feet tall,
24 about Dusa0 kilos, and I know that he was a bus driver. He just said --
25 I saw him actually getting up to his feet and he said, You've shot my
1 entire family dead. Spare me at least.
2 I left the room again and again somebody entered the pizzeria,
3 fired a shot, and killed the man. And I can't recall who it was who shot
5 Q. Did you load these bodies from the pizzeria on the same truck
6 that you had travelled with to on the Restanski Put Road or was there
7 another truck?
8 A. I think that we loaded all the bodies onto the same truck where
9 we loaded the bodies from the Restanksi Put. I don't think that another
10 vehicle came.
11 Q. The loading of the bodies from the pizzeria, was that supervised
12 by anybody?
13 A. Well, let me tell you, there were people from the Suva Reka --
14 from the Suva Reka utility company, he came, and then I think
15 Dr. Boban Vuksanovic came -- arrived later. He was the director of the
16 medical centre. I don't know if he was there when I arrived, but I think
17 he came later. And they too helped with the loading of the bodies.
18 And then I realised that this was a horrible incident. There
19 were, I don't know exactly how many bodies, I just went to the compound,
20 the police station courtyard. I didn't want to load the bodies any more,
21 and I think that the people from the funeral home or the utilities
22 company, public utilities company, came and they continued loading on the
23 bodies. And it was impossible at the time to just leave and go to
24 Pristina because there were terrorists attacking from all sides.
25 Q. I know you will not be able to tell us precisely how many bodies
1 were in the pizzeria, but can you just give us an approximation, a sort
2 of ball-park figure as to how many bodies you saw in the pizzeria?
3 A. Well, let me tell you, during the interviews, and I was
4 interviewed on a number of occasions, and when I made my statement before
5 the deputy public Prosecutor --
6 Q. Just tell us what you remember. We will look at those if we need
7 to refresh your memory. But for the time being, tell us what you
8 remember in terms of the amount, the approximate amount of bodies that
9 were there?
10 A. Well, I would say, and maybe I'm wrong, that there were about 100
12 Q. I'm talking about the pizzeria now, about how many from the
14 A. Well, about that number. In my assessment, about 90 to 100
16 Q. Can we just have an look at an aerial photograph of the area. We
17 are not going to go through all of what you told us, sir, but just to
18 point out one or two places to -- so we could understand the narrative
19 more clearly.
20 MR. STAMP: It is 50 -- sorry, 05337.01. That's a 65 ter number.
21 Q. Can you arrange yourself -- oh, that's a marked map.
22 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, this is a map marked by the witness. I
23 don't know if that would be -- if we should start with an unmarked map.
24 JUDGE PARKER: I think it would be better if the witness marked a
25 fresh map, Mr. Stamp.
1 MR. STAMP: Could we replace this with D13. Thank you.
2 Q. Let's start by -- if you can be given a marker or a pen. If you
3 could put a circle around the SUP
4 drawing, just identify them where they are in your mind first and then
5 put a circle around them. Can you do that? Do you see them?
6 A. Well, the SUP
7 mark it now. The main police station building and also the other -- the
8 other buildings in the compound. Do you want me to just mark the main
9 building or also the auxiliary facilities?
10 Q. Just mark the main police building.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Thank you. And could you put a number 1 at the place you were
13 standing at when you first saw the bodies running from the house and
14 running from the vicinity of Restanksi Put. That is, the place where you
15 were at when you first saw these civilians running away.
16 A. Do you want me to put number 1 there?
17 Q. Yes, please.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. And could you put a number 2 on the house or immediately in front
20 of the house that you saw these people running from?
21 A. Approximately here, although I've already marked it by putting 2.
22 Q. Where is the house? Which one is the house? Just put an X on
23 the house, if you can.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Can you put just the initials RS on the street that you refer to
1 as Restanksi Put. Just, if you can, put RS, the initials, on the street
2 that you refer to as Restanksi Put. Or, let me ask first, where is that
3 street in relation to the number 2?
4 A. That's in this area between all these houses and the bus-stop.
5 So the vehicles that you see, the parked vehicles, that is in fact
6 Restanksi Put, and where the sign is, that is the intersection or the
7 very beginning of Restanksi Put Street.
8 Q. I see. So where the 2 is at, where you said you saw the people
9 running, that is Restanksi Put?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, can you just draw an arrow on that street to indicate the
12 direction that you travelled on the truck after you picked up the bodies,
13 the five bodies. Just an arrow on the street on Restanksi Put pointing
14 in the direction that you travelled with the truck.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Where, if you could tell us, did you pick up the five or so
18 A. At the stop where I put number 2, approximately there. But the
19 bodies were not on the road itself, rather, they were some five or six
20 metres away. Whether this was the property -- on the property of the
21 Berisha family or whether this was just public ground, I really couldn't
23 Q. Now, how far along Restanksi Put did you travel before you turned
25 A. I think it was a 15 minute ride or maybe a bit longer.
1 Q. Approximately. I understand one can't tell the exact distance.
2 Approximately how many metres or kilometres do you think you travelled up
3 to the point where you turned back?
4 A. About a kilometre, a kilometre and a half.
5 Q. And while you were travelling up to the road junction that you
6 turned back on, did you see anything or anyone on the road?
7 A. No. You mean whether I saw anyone alive or heaven forbid some
8 dead bodies?
9 Q. Dead bodies in particular, since you mentioned it. Did you see
10 any dead bodies further along Restanksi Put?
11 A. I don't think so. I don't think there were any, but I'm not
12 sure. I'm not sure. I can't really say for sure. But my answer is: I
13 don't think so.
14 Q. While you travelled along Restanksi Put after having loaded the
15 five bodies onto the truck, did you travel in the truck or did you walk
16 behind the truck as you indicated you had been doing previously?
17 A. Both on the way out and on the way back I was on foot.
18 Q. On the way back, did you load anything onto the truck or did any
19 of your colleagues do so?
20 A. On the way back, no. I know for certain that we -- I didn't on
21 the way back.
22 Q. When you returned to the police station with the truck, how many
23 bodies were on the truck?
24 A. I was sure that these were only the people from the area that I
25 marked with number 2. And when I returned, when I came back, I just went
1 in that direction. I did not enter the premises of the OUP, but I just
2 went on to the pizzeria. I've already explained that.
3 Now, after that, when there were a few bodies left, I went to the
4 police station on my own and other men stayed back to load the remaining
5 bodies and they went to Prizren and so on.
6 Q. You said that while you were on your way back with the truck on
7 Restanksi Put, you heard the sound of a grenade exploding and it seemed
8 to be coming from the Metohija Vino. Can you see the Metohija Vino
9 warehouse here, and if so, could you mark it with a number 3?
10 A. Yes, you can see it here, and I've marked it.
11 Q. And can you mark the vicinity where the pizzeria is or the place
12 where the pizzeria is with a small number 4. Just identify it in your
13 mind first and then mark it with a small 4.
14 A. Here.
15 Q. What is that building that you marked, what looks to me like an
16 M or?
17 A. That is this building, green, and here I can also see the petrol
18 station, and this is the building close to the petrol station where there
19 was an employee working, so it's some 15 metres away. The first cafe on
20 the right-hand side on the Cara Dushana Street, that's the pizzeria so it
21 was there, and then there was also the bus station and some other
22 companies. I don't know exactly who the owners were. So this is what I
23 marked, and I realised that in fact this looks like an M rather than a
24 number 4.
25 Q. Yes, very well. The green building, which -- what building did
1 you say that was?
2 A. Well, I think that pizzeria, that very pizzeria where the people
3 were killed, I think that's the building. Whether this was owned by the
4 Berisha family or not, I don't know.
5 Q. Okay. Let me -- you mentioned the first cafe on the right-hand
6 side of a street. What is the name of the street you mentioned?
7 A. The cafe was on Cara Dushana Street on the right-hand side viewed
8 from Suva
9 the left-hand side.
10 Q. What is in that cafe?
11 A. That facility, that cafe, there were just tables and chairs and a
12 bar. It was not a large cafe. Maybe 20 to 30 square metres, not bigger.
13 Q. Is that cafe the same as the pizzeria or where was it in relation
14 to the pizzeria?
15 A. It is the same. One in the same. I referred to it as a pizzeria
16 and then as a cafe or rather a catering establishment. So that is the
17 catering establishment I mean.
18 Q. Well, can you put a number 5 - because I'm not sure I
19 understand - a number 5 at the place where this cafe is on
20 Cara Dushana Street on the right-hand side?
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. You marked that number 5 over the number 4.
23 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I wonder if we approached a convenient
24 time? If we are there yet.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, we'll have the first break now.
1 Now, this exhibit needs to be received.
2 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We will do so.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be assigned P01070, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE PARKER: As I said, we will have the first break now, and
6 we resume at 11.00.
7 The court officer will give you guidance during the break.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
12 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Q. Apart from those people who were killed that day, can you tell us
14 what happened in respect to the other Albanians who were living in
15 Suva Reka on that day?
16 A. When I returned from the pizzeria, I heard from someone that the
17 order was that those competent within the ministry from Belgrade
18 that the killing should cease, and that the Albanians were to be told
19 that they had to leave the territory of Suva Reka within half an hour,
20 otherwise that they would meet the fate of the Berisha family.
21 When I heard that, I was in the police station building in
22 Suva Reka when the phone rang, the land-line of the duty service, and an
23 Albanian woman was on the other end. I cannot repeat her words verbatim,
24 but she asked what was this all about. We were told that we had to
25 leave. I told her that, indeed, they had to leave. She asked me where
1 to, and I told her to Albania. She asked me, What are we going to do in
2 Albania? I didn't want to continue this conversation. I simply said, Go
3 to Albania; you have to leave otherwise you will suffer the fate of the
4 other ones.
5 People who were nearby heard the firing in the Berisha compound
6 and everyone knew what had taken place. I hung up and within half an
7 hour there was an en masse departure of the members of the Albanian
8 community by vehicles. They all went towards Prizren and Albania.
9 As of that moment, there was no more killing. People simply
10 left. We resumed our work. Two or three days later, we abandoned the
11 police station in Suva Reka and we relocated to different locations. The
12 bombardment stopped. We left Kosovo and never went back to the station.
13 Q. You said someone told you that the order was for the
14 Kosovar Albanians to leave. Was that person a policeman or a civilian?
15 A. I can't say. I think I heard that from my work-mates, although
16 I'm not certain.
17 Q. And where were you when you heard it?
18 A. As I've said, in the police station building.
19 Q. How about the houses of the Kosovar Albanians in the Suva Reka
20 area, did anything -- was anything done to these houses or to some of
22 A. Along Restanski Put Road, I know that some Albanian houses were
23 set on fire. Those behind the station were not. People packed their
24 basic belongings and left. Whether the rest of their property was
25 subsequently looted is something I can't say.
1 Q. In respect to the killings that occurred that day, do you know
2 whether any investigation was conducted into these murders at that time?
3 A. I can't say. I didn't hear of any investigation from the
4 colleagues. As for the rest, I really can't say.
5 Q. Mr. Veljkovic, you were not able to recall what precisely
6 Mr. Repanovic, the station commander, told you to do and I'm wondering if
7 I could, with the leave of the Court, remind you of what you said on a
8 previous occasion and ask you if that refreshes your memory as to what
9 Mr. Repanovic said.
10 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, with your leave, may I just put to him
11 something from his statement and ask him if he remembers?
12 JUDGE PARKER: The more appropriate course would be to show the
13 witness the statement and allow him to read it.
14 MR. STAMP: Very well.
15 JUDGE PARKER: But before we come to that point, Mr. Djurdjic.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Briefly, Your Honour. I think
17 firstly we should put to the witness what Mr. Stamp has in mind and then
18 show any documents. Mr. Stamp referred to something, but it is unknown
19 what order by Commander Repanovic he had in mind. First, he should state
20 his position to the witness and then show him the statement, if
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE PARKER: In the Chamber's view, the witness should be
24 allowed to read any relevant part of his statement and then see whether
25 or not that refreshes his memory.
1 MR. STAMP: With the assistance of the usher.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
3 MR. STAMP: Could I, with the assistance of the usher, just hand
4 him a copy of his signed statement and the translation into Serbian.
5 Q. Mr. Veljkovic, there is one statement there --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please switch off the
8 MR. STAMP: Mr. Veljkovic -- I'm so sorry. I will try not to
9 flip the pages while the microphone is on, but it needs to be on now.
10 Q. Can you look at the statement which is signed, there's a signed
11 copy there?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And that's your signature?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. And --
16 A. There is a signature of mine on every page. I can't deny that.
17 Q. And if you go to the translation -- could you look this way,
18 please. In B/C/S, sorry in Serbian, have a look at paragraph 16.
19 Paragraph 15. And I'll just read the first paragraph.
20 A. The highlighted part?
21 Q. Could you read all of paragraph 15. Just read it.
22 A. "A bit later I was in the police station and heard that
23 Commander Repanovic addressed a group of policemen in a small room. I
24 saw that the following were present: Shift leader, Milovan Gogic;
25 Sladjan Cukaric; Radovan Tanovic; reservist, Ivica Novkovic; Ramiz Papic;
1 and several other reservists whose names I cannot recall. The deputy
2 commander was not present. He was out in the field. The assistant
3 Jovanovic was not present and Vitosevic was in the building but in his
4 own office. Repanovic told the men in the room that they were to go from
5 house to house and kill the Albanian civilians. He did not say why this
6 was to be done and he did not specify any particular individuals. He
7 just said that they were all to be killed. Repanovic ordered me to go
8 with them and take part in the killing but I refused. Repanovic did not
9 say anything when I refused the order."
10 Is that the paragraph?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. That was the 15th paragraph. Let me tell you something.
13 Q. Wait. Before you do, can I just ask you if you recall whether or
14 not this is what happened, if that refreshes your memory as to what
15 happened in the police station that morning?
16 A. I'll explain a few things to you now, and it is up to you whether
17 you will accept it or not. Given that I signed each of the pages of the
18 statement given at Jevrem Grujica Street, number 11, in Belgrade, on the
19 18th of January, 2006; this was the forced statement. In all forced
20 statements, I relied on my memory, or the idea of events, as well as on
21 the interjections of the people questioning me. That was also a problem
22 at the main hearing in Belgrade
23 statement there are no longer three but ten people. Then the judge asked
24 me what about the other seven? The people who interrogated me were very
25 familiar with the case itself.
1 In this paragraph, for example, I said that I was in front of the
2 police station in Suva Reka and came across the people I referred to,
3 without going into the names again. However, the person interviewing me
4 would say, In addition to those people, there were this and that one.
5 And I mentioned Cukaric Tanovic and Petkovic as well as my commander
6 Repanovic. And then I was told by them, by the interviewers, that on top
7 of those there were some other people and we learned from other witnesses
8 that this was so, that Gogic was present at the meeting as well as the
10 And then I said I have to trust the interviewer. I can't say,
11 You know what, you are lying because those people were not there. I
12 can't do that. And then I said, If other witnesses said that these
13 people were in attendance, then you could include them in my statement.
14 And then what was combined or joined was my statement as well as the
15 statement of other witnesses.
16 Well, without going into any details, but I did undergo certain
17 unpleasant things because their relatives would tell me, On top of these
18 you mentioned this and that person. And then at the main hearing, I
19 decided to tell exclusively what I thought was true and to explain why
20 some of the statements did not tally. When I explained that, the
21 presiding judge in Belgrade said to tell them what you saw, what I saw,
22 rather than what I was told by others. And then I told them my idea of
23 the events referring to what others said as well.
24 Realistically speaking, the other witnesses had no reason to
25 blame anyone without a sound basis. This is as far as the 15th paragraph
1 goes. I do stand by my signature.
2 Q. Very well. You told us earlier when you testified that
3 Mr. Repanovic told you to go. All I'm asking now is: Do you remember,
4 having read that, what he told you and the other policemen to go and do?
5 A. No, there was no written order.
6 Q. No, no, I'm not asking about a written order. I'm asking about
7 events as they transpired that morning. And I'm asking you about what
8 Mr. Repanovic said to the police officers who were gathered that morning.
9 And all I'm asking you is: Do you recall whether or not Mr. -- or let me
10 rephrase that question.
11 Do you remember what Mr. Repanovic told you and the men to go out
12 to do?
13 A. Concerning the morning, I can't recall whether I entered the
14 station in Suva Reka in the auxiliary building. I can't say whether I
15 heard from him or from any other work-mate of mine about the morning
16 order. By the time I left at noon
17 was that I came across at the entrance of the police station.
18 I cannot recall the order itself exactly. It may strike you as
19 illogical, but I realised that the order was illegal, therefore I refused
20 to carry it out. Under the law, as an employee, I was duty-bound to
21 refuse to carry out an illegal order. However, if an order is legal,
22 then -- and I still refuse, then there are consequences to bear. I could
23 be fired.
24 In any case, the superior would be duty-bound to sanction such
25 behaviour. Someone can tell me to bring in a person or do something else
1 which would fall under --
2 Q. Thank you, maybe I wasn't precise enough, so I'm going to be very
3 precise. This statement that you gave, it was read back to you? Do you
4 recall that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And what you just read here is that Mr. Repanovic told the men in
7 the room that they were to go from house to house and kill the Albanian
8 civilians. Do you recall him saying that?
9 A. I don't. Some people interviewing me told me that another
10 witness had said that, and then I replied that if another witness said
11 that then it might be correct.
12 Q. In respect to that same issue, do you recall that you -- you were
13 interviewed by the war crimes judge Milan Dilparic and that transcript
14 was taken of the interview and this was on the 5th of March, 2004
15 you recall that?
16 A. Yes, I think it was on the 5th of March, 2004, where the
17 interview was recorded. An audio recording was made. I answered the
18 questions asked. Although, I was rather frightened and you can see that
19 from the answers that I provided because I would repeat the same answer
20 up to ten times and so that's how it went.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the statement that
23 is here at issue was a statement made to the investigators of the ICTY,
24 and I did not see any other statements on this 65 ter list. And I -- so
25 I wouldn't -- I don't know, and I wonder if they may be used. This is
1 just a matter of principle.
2 JUDGE PARKER: This is a statement in 2006. As I understand the
3 evidence of the witness, his reason for things being in this statement is
4 that he had been interviewed earlier than 2006 in Belgrade and he had
5 given evidence before an investigating judge in Belgrade before 2006.
6 And that things that appear in this statement are not his recollection
7 but what was put to him by those who interviewed him in Belgrade. That's
8 how we get to the other statements. It is the witness's explanation for
9 the contents of this statement.
10 So carry on, Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. I have the transcript here,
12 and it is difficult to use, but, Your Honours, can I just read the
13 relevant part of the transcript to him?
14 JUDGE PARKER: Of what transcript, Mr. Stamp?
15 MR. STAMP: The transcript of what I just described. An
16 interview in Belgrade
17 JUDGE PARKER: How do we reach that, Mr. Stamp?
18 MR. STAMP: The witness --
19 JUDGE PARKER: This is your witness examination-in-chief. It's
20 one thing to show him something to ask whether it refreshes his memory
21 and if that's solely what you are doing ...
22 MR. STAMP: Indeed. Indeed. I have no intentions of crossing
23 him. I just want to remind him of something he said.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. I'm going to read something from your transcript.
2 MR. STAMP: And this is page 5 and 6 in the English transcript.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps you better have the witness confirm that
4 he gave evidence or he was interviewed. I'm not clear yet which it is
5 that you are dealing with. On a certain date and a certain situation.
6 MR. STAMP: Very well.
7 Q. I think you told me that you recall being interviewed in 2004,
8 the 5th of March, 2004, by the war crimes judge Milan Dilparic; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And a transcript was taken of the interview. Do you recall that?
11 A. Yes, I recall it.
12 Q. In fact, it was audio recorded?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I'd like to read to you the transcript from the record that I
15 have and ask you basically if that helps to remember what was said.
16 MR. STAMP: On the B/C/S of the transcript, it's not paginated,
17 but it is at the evidence registration number K040-8554, for the benefits
18 of counsel.
19 Q. Question by the investigating judge:
20 "Tell me, you said in this report that you know that there was an
21 order to go from door to door and kill Albanians in Suva Reka. Who gave
22 that order?"
23 Your answer was:
24 "The order was given first by superior officers so I got it from
1 You were asked:
2 "From whom did you personally hear it?"
3 And you said:
4 "From -- from -- the order was from the station commander
5 Radojko Repanovic and he said he probably -- and he did not make
6 decisions or the station commander only and for the rest."
7 You were asked:
8 "How did he tell you this?"
9 And you said:
10 "You see that day when there were killings," I mean, he said:
11 "Go there, load, and kill. And even a few days before that there
12 were killings. But I do not know how he had said that, he must have said
13 go from house to house and kill, probably something to that effect."
14 Then you were asked:
15 "Did he say this in front of you when you heard him say it?"
16 And you said:
17 "I didn't hear that when he said it but when I saw people go kill
18 and him standing and watching quietly, I mean dead people being loaded,
19 ones were killing the others were loading, I mean, well, now I heard that
20 this order had come from Belgrade
21 So do you recall saying that?
22 A. Well, if this was audio recorded that means that no transcript
23 was taken. And if it was audio recorded, then that would mean that
24 that's what I said. Although, I began, as I've told you already, I was
25 rather frightened during this audio recording. And I got confused. And
1 as time went on, I have also begun to forget things. And I fear that
2 maybe some of my presumptions may lead to some people being held to
3 account, but it is true what I said there. I've signed the transcript,
4 the audiotape is there. If it's not here, it's in Belgrade for sure.
5 And I do stand by what I said.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I have no objection, but could I
8 just have the page number because the one that was given K040-8554 does
9 not exist. It starts -- the whole document begins with K040-8556.
10 MR. STAMP: I think I could hand a copy to counsel. This might
11 be a better copy that starts from 8551. I think that will -- this is a
12 copy that was disclosed.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Is there a 65 ter number?
14 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honours. This was a matter of disclosure to
15 the Defence. We didn't know how we would anticipate --
16 JUDGE PARKER: So it's not in e-court?
17 MR. STAMP: It's not in e-court.
18 Q. Yes, I understand what you are saying, Mr. Veljkovic. So there
19 was some confusion. So later on the investigating judge - and this is
20 page 29 in the English and K040-8560 in the B/C/S. He said:
21 "I'm asking you one more time, are you sure that is
22 Radojko Repanovic told you and go and kill everybody who is alive and to
23 collect the dead?"
24 And you said:
25 "I am sure. I was in front of him when he said, Come on, you go
1 as well as to load them."
2 Having heard what I've just read of the transcript, can you tell
3 us if you -- or what you recall that Radojko Repanovic said that morning?
4 A. I can only stand by what I've already said, what I heard from
5 him, but I can't say what order he issued. I can only tell you about
6 what I heard him say on that day after noon, after 12:00
7 say anything about the morning. So as of 12:00 and on, that's one thing;
8 but as for the morning hours, from 7.00 to noon, I couldn't say anything
9 about what he said then.
10 Q. What did you hear him say after 12:00? And this is in respect to
11 the events that you just testified about. What did you hear him say?
12 A. When I arrived there, Radovan Tanovic, a colleague who was killed
13 seven days before the withdrawal, and Sladjan --
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not get the last name.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were getting ready to go, and
16 Commander Repanovic was with him. And I think he told me to join them.
17 And then, as I've already said, I brazenly refused. I said, No, I'm not
18 going there. Something to that effect; I can't exactly remember the
19 words I used. And I can't also tell you what his exact words were, but I
20 can just tell you the meaning, the intent.
21 Q. Well, tell us the meaning or the intent as you understood them.
22 A. The meaning, the essence of what was said, I've already
23 explained, and I couldn't add anything. I just have no further answer to
24 that question.
25 Q. Very well. Just for clarification, you said among the people
1 there there was Radovan Tanovic and Sladjan Cukaric, is that what you
3 MR. STAMP: I'm just trying to correct, Your Honours, what is at
4 line 39 -- what is at line 6 at page 39.
5 Q. Correct, Sladjan Cukaric?
6 A. Yes, Sladjan Cukaric and Radovan Tanovic. I know they were
7 members of the active protective police forces. And also there was a
8 reservist, Miroslav Petkovic. I've already said that. And that's how I
9 see this, and I can reiterate this as many times as you want me to.
10 Q. That's fine. Can you recall if Cukaric was known by any other
11 name, any -- a nickname, so to speak?
12 A. Sladjan Cukaric had a nickname, "Jajce." Although, when I was
13 questioned the first time, the people who interviewed me, and I think
14 this was on the first occasion, the 27th of February, 2003, already then
15 they told me that his nickname was Jajce. And that's how I know it. I
16 think he arrived in Suva Reka in January 1999 and remained there until
17 the moment of the withdrawal of the police from Kosovo.
18 Q. I just read to you a part of the transcript of the audio
19 recording of your interview by the war crimes judge, in which you said
20 that -- in which you then said that Radojko Repanovic told you to go
21 load. And I'd also like you -- the question is going to come shortly.
22 I'd also like you to look at page 16 of your statement to the OTP in
23 2006. And if you could read aloud the first two sentences of
24 paragraph 16.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] No objection, but the copy was
2 also marked and highlighted. This, of course, was probably something
3 Mr. Stamp needed, but I don't really mind the witness reading from that
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, okay, I'll read out the first
6 two sentences as you've instructed me to do:
7 "I did not go out with a group of police immediately but followed
8 them after about 15 minutes. I was ordered by Repanovic to go after them
9 and load the bodies because I had refused to kill them."
10 He probably ordered me to do this. Somebody did order it, but
11 you have to understand this was three years ago. This was in 2006, and
12 three years have elapsed since, which is not a short period of time. It
13 is possible that he was the one who had told me to go and load the dead
14 bodies, but maybe not.
15 But let's assume that it was him --
16 MR. STAMP:
17 Q. No, no, we can't do that.
18 A. Let's take it that it was him who said that to me.
19 Q. I was asking you if you remember who told you having seen that,
20 and I think the sense of your answer is that you do not remember.
21 But where was he when you were told to go and load the bodies of
22 the people who had been killed, can you remember that? And the question
23 is: Where was he?
24 A. I have two things that I can propose here, two propositions. So
25 I can't really claim with certainty where he was. He was either in his
1 own office or in the courtyard of the police station. He could not have
2 been in any other place.
3 Q. Very well. You told us earlier - and I'm moving on to something
4 else, Mr. Veljkovic - that you did not see who fired the shots at the
5 people who were trying to escape from the Berisha family house and the
6 environs of that house. And for the same purpose of trying to jog your
7 memory, I'd like you to read your statement at paragraph 16 in the middle
8 of that paragraph where you say:
9 "... I saw a large number of people coming out of the house and
11 Can you just read that sentence and the next sentence.
12 A. Let me just find that place. Is this midway through the
13 paragraph or midway in this statement or toward the end? I can't really
14 find it. You are referring to paragraph 16?
15 Q. Yes, midway through paragraph 16, it's a rather long paragraph,
16 but midway, approximately, you have a sentence beginning:
17 "There I saw a large number of people coming out of the house and
19 A. Yes, now I can see it:
20 "There I saw a large number of people coming out of the house and
21 running away in all directions. There was a group of police officers
22 standing outside the front of the house shooting the people as they ran
23 away. After a short time I heard the sound of an explosion. We then
24 walked" --
25 Q. Thank you. And I'd just like to read again from the same
1 transcript of the audio recording of your testimony in Belgrade. This is
2 page 16. The investigating judge asked you:
3 "Did you see any people running toward the trading centre?"
4 And you answered:
5 "Towards the trading centre. Yes, I saw that."
6 The investigating judge asked you:
7 "What did you see?"
8 And you answered:
9 "The running -- because they entered one big house. They were
10 locked inside, these people, as many as there were. I guess there were
11 many. I think they were men, women, and children. And then they broke
12 the door and entered, and when they found them there they killed some of
13 them and some ran away and this running --"
14 And then interrupted [sic] judge asked you:
15 "Did you see that or not?"
16 And you answered:
17 "I saw them shoot. When they were running they shot."
18 The investigating judge then asked you:
19 "Do you know who was shooting at them?"
20 And you said:
21 "I know that this Tanovic was shooting a lot."
22 And the investigating judge then asked you:
23 "What about Jajce?"
24 If I've got on the pronunciation correctly. Then you said:
25 "He was a bit better than him too."
1 The investigating judge then asked:
2 "In what sense better?"
3 And you answered:
4 "He was shooting at them less than --"
5 And the investigating judge asked:
6 "But he was shooting as well. Was anybody else shooting?"
7 And you said:
8 "I think that this Miroslav Petkovic or Petrovic was shooting as
10 The investigating judge then asked:
11 "That means that they were shooting these people in the back?"
12 And you answered:
13 "Well, yes, as they were running. They were shooting at them
15 From what I just read to you from what you said in Belgrade
16 also what you told the investigating officer from the OTP in 2006, can
17 you recall now who shot these people who were running from the Berisha
18 family house and the vicinity thereof?
19 A. This was, as I've already said, audio recorded, and I was rather
20 scared. And now as you read this, it seems funny to me how I spoke about
21 some things. Well, first of all, you cannot see someone shooting. You
22 can hear a shot. You can't see it. You can see a murder. And I said I
23 saw a shot. So I really did not say it properly. I heard the shots.
24 So those people that I mentioned, now I have some doubts. And
25 maybe this was sinful of me, but I had to suspect that they were the ones
1 who were shooting at these people because they had left in that
3 Now, whether all of these people whose names I mentioned shot or
4 whether one of them just broke down the door and sent these people out
5 and whether of the three of them only one of them shot, I'm not sure.
6 But I suspected that it was these people who were shooting.
7 Now, if that is incorrect, if they were not the ones who shot,
8 then that means that my assumption was incorrect. But I had to assume
9 that it was them because they had gone in that direction. But if my
10 statement is incorrect, that's a different matter.
11 Q. Okay. When you saw the people escaping from that area, from the
12 area of the house, do you know where these policemen were, or did you see
14 A. I did not see these people. Because this was a big house, they
15 were probably in the immediate vicinity, probably behind the wall, the
16 wall of the house, and I couldn't really see them from where I was.
17 Q. Okay. Very well. Let's, if we may, move on to something else
19 You said earlier that you could not recall or that in fact you
20 did not or nobody loaded the trucks while it drove on the
21 Restanski Put Road. Nobody loaded the trucks with any body.
22 Can I just refer you again to your statement and the question
23 basically is, having read it: Does it remind you as to what you were
24 doing with the truck as it travelled a kilometre down the
25 Restanski Put Road?
1 If you could go again to your statement at paragraph 16 and read
2 the last three sentences of that paragraph aloud and slowly.
3 A. It probably starts with, as you are instructing me, with the
4 words "We continued along the Restanski Put ..."
5 Is that where you want me to read from.
6 Q. Yes, please.
7 A. "We continued along the Restanski Put passing more bodies as we
8 went. We reached the junction with the Studencane-Pecane Road
9 truck did a U-turn and then on the way back we picked up bodies on the
10 road. When we reached the end, Ivica, the other officer and I, returned
11 to the police station while the truck turned right and drove off in the
12 direction of Prizren."
13 Q. After the part where you said that "on the way back we picked up
14 the bodies on the road," what is the next sentence? Can you just look at
15 the statement. I'm asking you because on the translation I have --
16 there's sentence which you seem to have missed out.
17 A. Do you mean the part which says:
18 "We reached the junction with the Studencane-Pecane Road
19 the truck did a U-turn and then on the way back we picked up bodies on
20 the road."
21 Q. Next sentence.
22 A. "When we reached the end, Ivica, the other police officer and I,
23 returned to the police station while the truck turned right and drove on
24 in the direction of Prizren."
25 Let me clarify this a bit because I am aware of the fact --
1 JUDGE PARKER: Before you do that. You appear to have left out
2 twice now a sentence that is in your statement in the English
3 translation. Would you look again carefully in your statement. There is
4 a sentence that finishes:
5 "On the way back, we picked up the bodies on the road."
6 Now, the very next sentence in your language, what does it say?
7 From that point, read directly.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think this is the last sentence:
9 "When we reached the end, Ivica, the other officer and I" --
10 JUDGE PARKER: Sir, the point is, there is no sentence between
11 those two. Is there any reference to a number of bodies being picked up
12 on the road? 20 bodies?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that sentence is not here. If
14 you could, perhaps you could read it out and then I will have it
15 interpreted and perhaps I can provide you with an answer concerning that
16 particular sentence.
17 JUDGE PARKER: The sentence that concerns me is:
18 "In total there were about 20 bodies on the road."
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not in here. I probably did
20 say so; it is possible. It is possible that in the course of the
21 previous few days, people were being killed in that part, but I can't say
22 anything more than that.
23 JUDGE PARKER: So you say that that sentence is not in the
24 Serbian version of the statement?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see it here.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
2 Yes, Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. Mr. Veljkovic, that is probably an error in the translation into
5 the Serbian. In the copy that you signed that was read back to you, it
6 has also the statement:
7 "In total there were about 20 bodies on the road."
8 You just said that you probably did say so, it is possible. My
9 question is this: Having heard this - and that is what you said, and
10 that is what was read back to you - can you recall what you were doing
11 when you travelled on the road, on the Restanski Put Road, back to the
12 Suva Reka police station? Can you recall now?
13 A. I followed the vehicle on foot; the vehicle on which the corpses
14 of the killed Albanians were. Whether there were some additional corpses
15 which I loaded or not, I can't say.
16 When I was being interviewed by your colleague in Belgrade
17 seems to have been a small misunderstanding regarding that. This
18 statement of mine was hence given a different meaning. According to that
19 translation, it seemed that I was in two different places at the same
20 time. Your colleague asked me, Once you came back from Restanski Put
21 Street, what happened? I said that I went to the Suva Reka police
22 station. However, I omitted to mention the pizzeria which I explained to
24 Then I nicely remember that your lady colleague simply
25 interpreted to me what your colleague was asking me about in English, to
1 the effect that I was not providing full answers. He asked me what was
2 in the building. He showed me a map of Suva Reka, including the building
3 where the people were killed, telling me that I was trying to avoid
4 giving him a precise answer to the crucial question. And I told him,
5 Well, I don't think you even put that question. Then he said, I did but
6 you are trying to avoid answering it. And then I explained to him what I
7 explained to you, i.e., what happened at the gas station and the pizzeria
8 where the people were killed.
9 I explained the situation in detail in five or six sentences
10 perhaps. In the end he said, and this was interpreted to me, that he
11 asked me that and he again repeated I was trying to avoid answering it.
12 I simply gave up at that point because I believe that any insistence on
13 my part could only have a negative impact.
14 When I was in Belgrade
15 4th of November last year, your presiding colleague in Belgrade, when she
16 read the statement, asked me, How could you be in two different places
17 the same day at the same time? This is of course impossible. I
18 explained to her, and she was satisfied with the answer.
19 I'm now recalling what happened.
20 Q. The bodies that you loaded in front of the Berisha family house,
21 I think you might have said this already, but I'll ask this in case you
22 haven't: Were they civilians, men, women, children; can you describe who
23 these people were?
24 A. These were mostly women and children in front of the house. I
25 already said so and I can repeat.
1 Q. Okay.
2 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I wonder if I might be allowed to go
3 into private session for two questions.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 7086-7088 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. That concludes your examination, does
5 it, Mr. Stamp?
6 MR. STAMP: Indeed it does, Your Honours. Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 Mr. Djurdjic.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Before I
10 begin, could Mr. Stamp please provide the reference for the last
11 question. What are the pages he was quoting from?
12 MR. STAMP: It's page 23 in the English. It will take me some
13 time to find the B/C/S, but I can find it and give it to counsel later
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
16 And thank you, Your Honours, for indulgence.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
18 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Veljkovic.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. I am a Defence team member appearing on behalf of the accused
21 Djordjevic. My name is Djurdjic. With me is Ms. Marie O'Leary, another
22 team member. I have a few questions of you in order to clarify some
24 Given that we speak the same language and so as to enable those
25 interpreting to do their work properly, please wait for me to conclude my
1 question and pause shortly before providing your answer. I will do the
3 A. Could we have a short break first? I need but a few minutes.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we are near the time
5 for the break. May I suggest that we take the break now and then we go
6 on until the end of the session today?
7 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will take the second break now and
8 resume at 10 minutes to 1.00.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Veljkovic, you have explained your career. In 1999 in March,
16 what was your rank?
17 A. I was a corporal.
18 Q. Thank you. In March 1999, were you employed at the police
19 department in Suva Reka?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Within that department of the interior in Suva Reka or the OUPs,
22 as we call them, was there the police station of Suva Reka included in
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So the OUP was at a higher level containing the police station.
1 Who headed the OUP?
2 A. Dobrivoje Vitosevic. I think his rank was that of a lieutenant.
3 Q. The station commander was Mr. Repanovic; am I right?
4 A. You are.
5 Q. Am I correct in saying that the Suva Reka OUP was within the
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. In addition to the Suva Reka OUP, it also comprised
9 the OUP in Orahovac and in Dragas?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. To go back to the police station in Suva Reka within
12 your OUP, you told us that the deputy commander was Mr. Borisavljevic and
13 assistant was Mr. Jovanovic?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. Am I right in saying that Mr. Borisavljevic, during the relevant
16 time, that is to say the 26th of March, was not at work in the Suva Reka
17 police station?
18 A. You are quite right about that.
19 Q. Thank you. To go back to your duties, within your purview, that
20 is to say the administrator of the police station, what were your tasks,
21 administratively speaking?
22 A. As regards the administrative part, before the terrorist attacks
23 commenced, I usually drafted the daily work-plan.
24 When the commander was there, I would do that together with him.
25 When he was absent, that would probably be done with the deputy or the
1 assistant. We would agree on any potential changes as well as the tasks
2 issued to the beat policemen, to the patrols, and the traffic police.
3 Mr. Repanovic made decisions and in his absence then the deputy
4 or assistant commander. Everything would be done for the next day. I
5 would simply go and pick up an order to execute a task which had
6 previously been reviewed by the commander, his deputy, or assistant.
7 In any case, one of them had to sign. I would pick up that. It
8 would all be registered then. If there were reports, they went into the
9 report log-book. I classified them, assigned them registered numbers,
10 and forwarded them to any administrative clerk if needed.
11 The person in charge always included all the addressees.
12 Concerning any orders, I was supposed to follow up in terms of any
13 results. If there were no results, that was even better because then it
14 meant that the police had no work to be done. If there were results,
15 this would be entered into the computer. And the orders were classified
16 by types of task. Each month, I would file them in their respective
18 Q. When the commander was there, he was issuing all of the tasks to
19 the members of the police station; if he was absent, then it was his
20 deputy and in turn his assistant, as you have explained?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In addition to the work-plan, did you draft any other lists?
23 A. I also registered all of the meetings. I did the same with any
24 orders for the issuing of weapons and equipment. Then the orders would
25 be classified by sector. If orders had been implemented, then any
1 follow-up activities would be entered.
2 Q. Thank you. Specifically, did you keep the attendance log and did
3 you keep or help the commander in the drafting of rosters?
4 A. Could you please repeat the first part of your question.
5 Something is unclear. Just the first part.
6 Q. Did you keep attendance logs, those who were at work and those
8 A. Yes. That was all entered in the computer. It would all be done
9 on a monthly basis. As for the reserve, force that needed to be kept by
10 hand because the computer did not have that capacity. Only their names
11 were in the computer but not attendance.
12 Q. What about rosters?
13 A. For the station itself, it was kept by the commander. It was
14 kept on a monthly basis. The first and last names of the workers were
15 entered in ball-point pen, and the working hours were entered by pencil
16 because if there were any subsequent changes they could more easily be
18 Such duty rosters until June 1998 were kept by the commander of
19 the station. Once the terrorist attacks commenced, he simply entrusted
20 me with keeping those lists, those rosters, under his supervision. Of
21 course, I couldn't assign any working hours the way I pleased. I would
22 always have to consult with him.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you have anything to do with the daily events
25 A. No, only the duty officer did.
1 Q. Thank you. Do you know what was entered into that log?
2 A. Any misdemeanours, disturbances of law and order, crimes, arson,
3 traffic accidents, as well as anything else that fell within the scope of
4 authority of the public security sector. As for the daily log, there
5 were problems because those in the duty office were not always familiar
6 with the type of events they had to enter. Sometimes they put in remarks
7 which were unnecessary and sometimes they would omit things. They
8 usually kept entries on a separate sheet of paper and then they would
9 consult with their superior on the actual entering of items.
10 Q. Thank you. Could you now tell me, please, what were the daily
11 tasks of police officers at the Suva Reka police station?
12 A. The tasks at the police station were not the same in every police
13 station, but they are similar. In other words, there was the duty
14 service, the beat police, there was only one area of responsibility, as
15 it were, for the beat police. Next there was traffic control. There
16 was, again, just one traffic area of responsibility, and they would take
17 care of whatever it is that it involved. Then we had the patrol duty,
18 and they also had to keep track of their work, as well as operative
20 As for my work, it came down to oral orders. And there was
21 nothing, there were no orders that I should issue or prepare.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, could you tell me, please, these are the regular
23 duties, regular tasks, up until the outbreak of the war. Now, were there
24 any changes in the tasks after the beginning the war, let's say after
25 the 24th?
1 A. Well, as of June 1998, in fact, to be precise, we only had the
2 patrol duty. The patrol shifts were eight-hour shifts, whereas the beat
3 police duties and the traffic police no longer existed. Especially not
4 the traffic control. It was impossible to actually conduct traffic
5 controls because there were terrorists everywhere, so it was out of the
7 Q. All right. We'll get back to that. Now, we've already said that
8 the deputy was not there. Now, I would like you to clarify that a bit.
9 Am I correct in saying that the police station, or rather, the department
10 of the interior in Suva Reka had a PJP platoon that was part of the 5th
11 Company -- that was part of the 5th PJP Company in Prizren?
12 A. Well, most of the members of the PJP unit, when there was a
13 mission, they would go to Prizren where their tasks would be issued
14 orally. Whereas, the rest of us remained in Suva Reka.
15 Q. Thank you. So when they went to Prizren they were on different
16 assignments and they were not registered as doing assignments in
18 A. Well, let me explain that. In the scheduling of tasks, they were
19 present, but not in the mission itself. The actual work. So the
20 commander or his deputy would tell me which people to write down as
21 absent or on leave, on business leave, and then once that was over, once
22 they -- their leave was over, then I would also record that in the books.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, is it correct that as of the
24 26th of March, 1999, members of the PJP platoon from Suva Reka together
25 with their commander were engaged for a mission outside the territory of
1 Suva Reka, that they were actually with the Prizren PJP company?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Witness, do you remember that on the
4 25th of March, 1999, a platoon of police officers, a platoon of 30 men,
5 let's say, was -- left the police station and went to provide security
6 for the road in -- the communication line in Djinovci?
7 A. I can't recall that.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, do you remember where, for instance,
9 Zoran Arizanovic, Krunoslav Jankovic, Slavoljub Jovanovic, and many other
10 persons were -- persons who were members of the police station in Suva
11 Reka, where they were, in other words, on the 24th?
12 A. As or Zoran Arizanovic, I know that he was in the duty service.
13 Now, whether that changed, whether his assignment changed and that did
14 happen, I don't know. Whether he was in some different position or not,
15 I can't recall. As for Krunoslav Jankovic that you mentioned, he was a
16 member of the reserve forces. And as for some of the others that you
17 also mentioned, I can't really say. I'm not sure whether they were
18 providing security for the police station in Suva Reka, or whether they
19 were in some other location, I really can't tell.
20 Q. Could you tell me where were they or where were you --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure.
22 MR DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. -- on the 25th of March, 1999, between 5.00 and 8.00 a.m.
24 A. I really can't tell you. I can't recall. Or rather, are you
25 asking me about a.m. or p.m., 5.00 to 8.00? I think I was asleep, but I
1 can't really recall.
2 Q. Thank you. Well, let's try and go about this in a roundabout
3 way. Now, do you remember that food rations and water was taken by
4 patrols, the patrol policemen, to members of the police station who were
5 not in Suva Reka?
6 A. Yes, I remember that. This was taken from a restaurant where the
7 food rations were packed and then they were taken.
8 Q. Do you remember where the food was taken?
9 A. I can't really recall but this would have been taken to
10 observation posts where they would be.
11 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, when you mentioned the observation
12 post, could you tell us what the observation posts were where policemen
13 from the Suva Reka police station were assigned?
14 A. Well, I can tell you with certainty that there was one
15 observation post by the church, but I can't recall the complement, who
16 exactly was in this -- at this observation post, but there were also in
17 some other places. I can't really recall.
18 Q. Thank you. How about Siroko?
19 A. I can't remember. Its possible, but I don't know.
20 Q. How many people were assigned to these duties; do you remember?
21 A. I can't recall, but I would say no less than three men. Maybe
23 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Mr. Veljkovic, just one last thing that I
24 would like you to clarify. The church steeple, wasn't that part of the
25 area that was secured by the police station?
1 A. No. No. People actually took turns and there were two-hour
2 shifts. Most of these men who secured these posts were reserve police.
3 Whether there were also some active duty policemen, I wouldn't know. I
4 can't tell you for sure.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, you told us that all the administration and
6 everything that had to do with the reserve forces, in other words, the
7 records, were kept by Nenad Jovanovic. Am I correct that the daily
8 rosters, the work plans, also envisaged the activities of the reserve
9 forces as well as the regular police forces?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Am I correct that once the reservists were activated, they
12 automatically became authorised personnel in the same manner that the
13 regular police officers were?
14 A. I'm not sure I understand your question.
15 Q. Well, when I say to you that when the reserve officers were
16 activated for work at the police station, they had all the same powers as
17 the regular police officers?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Was it common practice that members of the reserve force would
20 always be accompanied by a regular police officer for these various
21 assignments that we mentioned a little earlier, the beat police, the
22 patrol duty, traffic police, and so on?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. You told us that members of the reserve forces
25 provided security for the Suva Reka OUP, that that was one of their
2 A. Yes. But I cannot say with certainty that it was also an
3 assignment carried out by the regular police.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, you mentioned a few moments ago the security of
5 the station and some sacks. Now, could you tell us how the OUP station
6 was secured and how this was done?
7 A. Yes, well this began in April 1998. Bunkers were built,
8 constructed. So then there would be a guard who would stand guard there.
9 There was -- he was armed with an automatic rifle, and I think there was
10 also a machine-gun deployed there. These --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last
12 answer. The interpreter did not understand what he said.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I must interrupt you. The interpreter has not
14 been able to clearly hear and follow what you've been saying. So you
15 were last asked up to the OUP station and how it was secured, and you
16 answered that there was a guard who was armed with an automatic rifle and
17 there was also a machine-gun deployed there. Now, what you said after
18 that has not been able to be interpreted.
19 Could you repeat the essence of what you were saying.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. I will repeat my
21 answer. At the guard post, there were sand sacks that were placed there
22 in a semi-circle and the reason for that was security for the guards.
23 Because in the event of an attack by Albanian terrorists, if fire was
24 opened, whether from close-up, from afar, this was there to provide some
25 sort of shelter for the guard. Shelter from small-arms fire. If not,
1 then, of course, there would be severe consequences for the guard, but
2 then that's something else.
3 As for the machine-gun, it was there simply because it's effects
4 were higher than those, and the results are better than those that you
5 could effect with automatic rifle fire under the right conditions. If
6 such conditions did not exist, all right, then you wouldn't use it. But
7 this was there just as a measure of prevention.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Q. But I just think there was one thing that was omitted from the
10 transcript. How many guard posts were there?
11 A. I think there were four such posts. It's possible that there
12 were fewer or maybe more.
13 Q. Thank you. Were there incidents involving attacks on these guard
14 posts, and if so how many of them and how long? For how long?
15 A. As for attacks, in 1998 and 1999 there were no attacks against
16 the Suva Reka police station. However, there were some in 1997 which is
17 the time when we were having the last periods of peace. I know that I
18 was on leave and sometime in October 1997, I believe, my colleagues told
19 me that there was -- had been an attack by terrorists, by attackers, who
20 attacked the police station from the main road, the Cara Dushana Street.
21 And according to these accounts that I heard from my colleague, they were
22 moving in a vehicle in the direction Prizren-Pristina. They fired a
23 number of bullets. Fortunately, none of the colleagues were either
24 wounded or killed.
25 Whether my colleagues at the time used their own weapons in order
1 to prevent these men from fleeing, I don't know. But I know that there
2 was an a investigation conducted at the time and that there were some
3 minor damages to the facade of the building.
4 Q. Thank you. Were there individual incidents involving attempts to
5 shoot at the guards who were guarding these, as you call them, bunkers?
6 A. Not against the men who were at the police station working for
7 the police station. As for the special units, the PJP units, I really
8 wouldn't know about that, and I couldn't go into that. But as far as the
9 men who were members of the police station were, there were no such
11 Q. Excuse me, I'm not sure that you understood my question properly.
12 I don't mean were there any attacks against the police station itself;
13 but against the guards, the individual guards?
14 A. No, there weren't any. When you said individual guards, I
15 automatically understood that to mean also the police station.
16 Q. Now, tell me, how were these men who went on patrols, how were --
17 what kind of equipment did they have with them, and what kind of uniforms
18 did they have on?
19 A. They had blue camouflage uniforms, and they were fully armed with
20 automatic rifles, four clips of rounds. They went and patrolled certain
21 areas. I don't know if they elected to do so or were ordered to do so,
22 but that's how it worked.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, was this the case in 1997 and 1998? Was that
24 the standard procedure that they would go out equipped like that?
25 A. Yes. Ever since the terrorist attacks began, that was their
1 standard equipment.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, could you tell us when these terrorist attacks
3 started, and what did they involve as far as you knew?
4 A. Well, let me put it this way: There were -- there had always
5 been incidents involving shooting at members of the police in Kosovo.
6 However, beginning in March, March 1st, 1998, when the terrorists
7 rebelled, then it became an every-day occurrence, and people had to go on
8 patrols, which they didn't really like, but they had no choice, they had
9 to go, because nobody really wanted to know whether they would get killed
10 there or not. Anyway, they had to go. So this started in March 1998 and
11 it went on until our withdrawal in 1999, when we had no respite
13 Q. Do you recall any attacks on civilians who were not of Albanian
14 ethnicity as well as on those Albanians who were loyal to the
15 Republic of Serbia
16 A. I think in April 1998. That is when the Albanian terrorists
17 started killing those who refused to join the KLA. They did not kill
18 Serbs at the outset. I remember a person who came to the station who
19 provided information on the people who possessed arms illegally.
20 In April or May 1999, I heard that he was found dead somewhere
21 around the village of Restane
22 throat was slit.
23 As for any kidnappings, in June, 1999, in mid-June, within two or
24 three days, some Serb civilians were kidnapped by the Albanian
25 terrorists. The fate of those people is still unknown. Among them was a
1 work-mate, Miodrag Krstic who arrived some three weeks -- who left work
2 three weeks before he was kidnapped. He simply applied to be dismissed.
3 After that, he was ill. He went to Belgrade
4 his return, he was kidnapped. His fate is still unknown. As is that of
5 his brother as well as some other people who were kidnapped.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness kindly
7 be asked to move closer to the microphone. Thank you.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Veljkovic, I lack discipline and yet I still have to warn you
10 to speak more slowly so that the interpreters could interpret everything
11 you say and that it be translated into the transcript. Hence, can you
12 speak more slowly.
13 A. Do I need to repeat my last answer?
14 Q. I don't know. I think everything is in the transcript concerning
15 my last question. Just slow down a bit.
16 In the territory of Suva Reka
17 You mentioned, among others, Restane; Djinovci -- sorry, not Djinovci,
18 Budakovo; Belance; et cetera.
19 A. Blace, not Belance. It's Belanica or Blace.
20 Q. Yes. Could the police go there on patrol as of the summer of
21 1998 onwards?
22 A. No, as of that point they no longer went there.
23 Q. Why?
24 A. For their personal safety.
25 Q. Were there any attacks on the police patrols moving about that
2 A. There was certain danger and the people were simply not being
3 sent there anymore. They could not mount any attacks on the police if
4 the police were not present. There was a lot of danger there because
5 these were ethnically purely Albanian villages. No one wanted to send
6 them there.
7 Q. In Suva Reka itself, were there any attacks such as the attack on
8 Milorad Nisavic in the summer of 1998?
9 A. I am very well familiar with that event, I think it was
10 June 1998, in the morning between 8.30 and 9.00. My colleagues and I
11 returned from breakfast. And just as I entered the auxiliary building
12 where I was supposed to start work, one could hear a lot of firing in
13 Suva Reka from the direction of Prizren. There was a group of people
14 firing and there seemed to have been one person responding. And I
15 thought to myself, Here comes a war.
16 However, that only lasted briefly. Perhaps five or six seconds.
17 Two minutes later, people rushed in and a work-mate said, Look, Milorad,
18 or Debeljko [phoen] as we called him, was wounded. When I saw him, his
19 entire left side of the body was covered in blood and I said, He was hit
20 in the stomach. But then I thought that had he been hit in the stomach,
21 he would not have been able to walk. Later on, it turned out he was
22 wounded in the left arm.
23 As he was getting out of the vehicle at the bridge where there
24 was a newspaper stand and having wanted to get a newspaper, he was
25 sprayed with bullets from across the road. As he was approaching the
1 stand to buy that newspaper, the attackers opened fire. I don't know how
2 many there were. Thanks to his composure and skill, he managed to return
3 fire. In any case, he was seriously wounded in that attack. However,
4 the person working at the stand who was Albanian was killed on the spot.
5 Milorad Nisavic was taken to the health clinic and then
6 transferred to Prizren. He spent over half a year there. First one and
7 a half months in hospital and then on treatment. He returned to work
8 just prior to the bombardment. He subsequently told us that he could
9 recognise those who opened fire on him from some 7 or 8 metres. They
10 wore no masks. Of course, we couldn't tell him, No, it was impossible
11 for you to see.
12 Q. Thank you. Within the station compound, you had a building which
13 served as a dorm. As of the summer of 1998, could you walk around
14 Suva Reka, especially its outer parts?
15 A. No, no. That would be putting up a challenge to your own fate.
16 Q. Why?
17 A. To walk around at night on the street when there are terrorist
18 attacks? I can't call it anything else.
19 Q. Thank you. Mr. Veljkovic, did you know that there were traffic
20 check-points along the main roads?
21 A. I think it was only patrolling and preventive checks, but I don't
22 think there was such a thing as official check-points.
23 Q. I'm not asking you about the police station of Suva Reka itself,
24 but did you travel on different roads in Kosovo and Metohija? Did you
25 come across check-points where traffic checks were carried out?
1 A. Yes, there were some, for example, in Stimlje and in the
2 territory of Suva
3 Q. Am I right in saying that all vehicles that would come upon such
4 a check-point would be checked irrespective who the driver was or what
5 the vehicle was, all vehicles were checked?
6 A. Only individual vehicles. This was a major road with dense
7 traffic, therefore not all vehicles could be stopped. You would create
8 bottlenecks resulting in columns of vehicles. Only individual vehicles
9 were stopped.
10 Q. Was this done in order to locate any weapons or other illegal
11 objects that may be found in such vehicles?
12 A. As of the beginning of the attacks, it was done preventively,
13 exclusively for that reason, to see whether someone was a terrorist,
14 whether there was any arms and munitions smuggling. That was the main
16 Q. Looking at the registration plate on a vehicle, can you tell who
17 that vehicle belongs to?
18 A. You mean to what person? What do you mean?
19 Q. When you sigh a vehicle approaching with registration plates.
20 A. No. Of course you could tell an official vehicle apart with
21 police plates, but if the vehicle has civilian plates then you can't.
22 Q. Do you remember any attacks in January 1999 -- sorry, let me ask
23 you something else. In the summer of 1998, do you recall whether any
24 roads were blocked such as between Pristina and Suva Reka at
25 Duljenje [phoen]?
1 A. I think, yes. As of June 1998.
2 Q. How long did that last?
3 A. Until September.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have
6 Exhibit D002-4026. Can we zoom in on the central part of the map,
7 please. Could we please go down a bit, a bit more. So that we have
8 Pristina on the top. I can't see Prizren. There. A little bit more to
9 see the lower part of the Prizren area.
10 Q. Mr. Veljkovic, if one goes from Suva Reka via Dulje and Stimlje
11 to Pristina, how many kilometres is that?
12 A. I never measured that but my work-mates told me that it's
13 about 70.
14 Q. And once the road was blocked, you had to go through Prizren via
15 Sredacka Zupa and Strpce to reach the road between Skopje and Pristina to
16 turn towards Pristina?
17 A. You are quite right.
18 Q. How much longer did one have to travel that route?
19 A. By an hour or an hour and a half.
20 Q. And that lasted for almost three months?
21 A. Until September 1998. Once the road between Prizren and Pristina
22 was deblocked, then for a short while vehicles could move. But as of
23 December and January when even fiercer terrorist attacks began on the
24 police, then that ceased as well. And one still had to go via Brezovica
25 or the route you described.
1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Veljkovic, in July 1998, as far as Orahovac,
2 Zociste, and Velika Hoca, and Retimlje were concerned, do you remember
3 that the KLA occupied those settlements?
4 A. I'm familiar with that. I did not participate in those
5 operations. I can't give you any details, but I do know about that since
6 some of my work-mates went there. Orahovac was under attack, the very
7 centre of town, and people were kidnapped from their homes and executed.
8 Some of my colleagues were seriously injured and some killed. That
9 lasted for about two or three days, I think. This is as far as any
10 knowledge of mine goes, since I didn't participate in those operations.
11 Q. I'm familiar with that. But can you tell us anything that would
12 be interesting for the Chamber to hear and that you had heard from your
13 work-mates who were there? If you have any additional details that were
14 shared with you.
15 A. Nothing more. These were quite bad events which did not deserve
16 any additional questions. I didn't ask. All of them basically said the
17 same story, that any patrolling would be flirting with death.
18 Q. Until the war began, how many officers from the police station in
19 Suva Reka were wounded or killed?
20 A. Up to the beginning of the war, I know of three colleagues who
21 were killed. I also know that there was a number of them who were
22 lightly or gravely injured. I do know for certain that the three were
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have
25 Defence document D0024-2254 [sic].
1 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, and with respect to my friend, I see he
2 is moving on to something else. And I am wondering if, having regard to
3 the time, we could do that tomorrow. And I could spend the last two
4 minutes raising an issue of scheduling and asking for the guidance of the
6 JUDGE PARKER: Would that be a convenient time for you,
7 Mr. Djurdjic?
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I fully support my learned friend
9 Mr. Stamp.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 Could I point out before we move from the evidence, Mr. Djurdjic,
12 that we have heard a very great deal about events, particularly in 1998
13 to date in your cross-examination. The events we are concerned with are
14 events that occurred essentially in March of 1999 with this witness. And
15 we had hoped that tomorrow you may be able to focus on those because
16 there are other witnesses we need to deal with this week.
17 We must adjourn shortly so that we will continue tomorrow at
18 9.00. The Court Officer will show you out now. We have to deal with a
19 procedural matter.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. I just rose to mention that
24 on Friday we have scheduled Ambassador Knut Vollebaek who at this point
25 in time has an extraordinarily tough schedule and he asked that he be
1 completed that day. Otherwise it will be very difficult to get him back
2 here within the near future. After this witness, we have scheduled Mr.
3 Phillip Coo. And subject to the Court, I was wondering if either we
4 break Mr. Coo's testimony if he is not completed by Friday and interpose
5 Ambassador Vollebaek on Friday, or if perhaps after this witness, we
6 reschedule Mr. Coo to be the next witness immediately after
7 Ambassador Vollebaek.
8 And I'm now reminded that we have the videolink issue next week,
9 so there is some difficulty. But I think Mr. Coo is flexible.
10 JUDGE PARKER: When are the videolinks planned next week?
11 MR. STAMP: For Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and if not
12 completed, on Thursday as well.
13 JUDGE PARKER: How many witnesses is that?
14 MR. STAMP: So far three. We think they could be done in two
15 days and we hope that the Court might look kindly upon our application to
16 add a fourth. But we think that if there are four, we could do them in
17 three days at the most. They are all crime-based witnesses under rules
18 92 ter or 92 bis.
19 JUDGE PARKER: There is a growing tendency for time slippage
20 which the Chamber is going to become more concerned about. I mention
21 that as a general proposition because it seems to me that with respect to
22 the videolinks next week if there is proper discipline by counsel, it
23 ought to be possible to deal with the three witnesses presently listed in
24 two days, Monday and Tuesday. I'm not in a position to tell you whether
25 there will be an additional witness or not at this point.
1 With respect to this week, Mr. Stamp, this witness presently
2 before us ought to be completed well in the course of tomorrow. And I
3 would expect that we can then, if you haven't a short witness available,
4 commence the evidence of Mr. Coo. The Ambassador can be interrupted in
5 the course of the evidence of Mr. Coo, and his evidence should not take
6 the full day so that we can on Friday presumably return to evidence of
7 Mr. Coo.
8 Now, whether we will complete Mr. Coo before the videolink I
9 think is ambitious, so that it is likely that you are going to have to
10 arrange with Mr. Coo to be available next week when the videolinks come
11 to an end. We can't, at this moment, estimate when that will be, but you
12 will be able to maintain liaison with him about timing.
13 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much. Thank you very much,
14 Your Honours. I will be guided by that and proceed in that manner.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
16 Could I mention that in the week following, as I've mentioned to
17 counsel, we are not going to sit on the Thursday and Friday to allow
18 people to return for the vacation. On the Wednesday, which will be the
19 last sitting day, there is a Plenary in the morning. And for that
20 reason, we will not be able to commence until later in the day. And it
21 is presently planned that we will sit from 1.30 until 4.30. The
22 courtroom is required at 4.30 for another matter, so we will have to
23 conclude our hearing on that day by 4.30. But to enable that, we will
24 commence at 1.30 rather than the 2.15 which would be the normal time.
25 Is there another matter, Mr. Djurdjic?
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I will be brief, Your Honours. If
2 I understood my colleague Mr. Stamp correctly, he informed us a while
3 ago, and we accepted that, that Mr. Vollebaek has to come on Friday to
4 testify and that his testimony should be completed on Friday. We are
5 aware of that.
6 As for Mr. Coo, I don't know if there will be enough time to hear
7 him, but I understand that the Prosecutor can bring him at any point in
8 time and that he is flexible. But I do not understand the videolink
9 part. On the original list we had two witnesses proposed and now there
10 is another witness being proposed here and we object to that witness
11 testifying via videolink. Of course, depending on the decision by the
12 Trial Chamber, that might be three as well. But as for the fourth
13 witness, which is at issue here, he has never been a witness before the
14 ICTY before.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp, will you please liaise with
16 Mr. Djurdjic as to the witnesses that are the subject of present orders
17 for videolink and as to the additional witness that you propose so that
18 Mr. Djurdjic is well aware of the witnesses presently ordered and the
19 possibility of a further one.
20 MR. STAMP: I will do that, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn now and resume tomorrow morning
22 at 9.00.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.53 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 9th day of
25 July 2009, at 9.00 a.m.