1 Friday, 10 July 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Gopalan, good morning.
6 MS. GOPALAN: Good morning, Your Honours. The next witness is
7 Mr. Knut Vollebaek.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
11 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read aloud the affirmation that
13 is shown to you now.
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
15 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: KNUT VOLLEBAEK
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
18 Please sit down.
19 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Gopalan has some questions for you.
21 Examination by Ms. Gopalan:
22 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vollebaek.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Sir, could you please state your full name for the record.
25 A. My first name is Knut, K-n-u-t, and my last name is Vollebaek,
2 Q. Thank you, sir. And what is your date of birth?
3 A. It's the 11th of February, 1946.
4 Q. Sir, what position do you currently hold?
5 A. I am the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.
6 Q. And prior to holding this position --
7 A. My immediate prior position was Norway's ambassador to the
8 United States of America.
9 Q. And could you briefly set out your previous roles prior to being
10 ambassador to the United States of America.
11 A. When -- where do I start?
12 Q. You can begin with your involvement in the foreign ministry 1973,
13 just briefly.
14 A. Okay. Yes. I joined the Norwegian foreign service in 1973, I
15 have been posted to India
16 1990 I was state secretary deputy foreign minister in Norway; and from
17 1997 to March 2000 I was foreign minister of Norway.
18 Q. Thank you, sir. Sir, did you testify in the trial of
19 Prosecutor versus Milutinovic in this Tribunal in January 2007?
20 A. I did.
21 Q. And have you had the opportunity to review your testimony in this
22 case recently?
23 A. I have.
24 Q. Sir --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly pause between questions and answers for
1 the sake of the interpreters, thank you.
2 MS. GOPALAN:
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
4 A. Could you please repeat because I was interrupted and told I that
5 I should pause between the questions and answers so I didn't hear your
6 question, if you could repeat.
7 Q. I most certainly will, sir. And just as a reminder, as the
8 interpreter has mentioned, since we are speaking in the same language we
9 need to be mindful about pausing between question and answer.
10 A. I shall pause.
11 Q. I will repeat my question.
12 Having reviewed your testimony in the Milutinovic et al. case, if
13 you were asked the same questions again, would you provide substantially
14 the same answers?
15 A. Yes, I would. I hope I could have changed the English language
16 but otherwise the substance would be the same.
17 Q. Thank you, sir.
18 MS. GOPALAN: I now seek to tender the Milutinovic transcript
19 which is 65 ter 05200, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: That will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P01071, Your Honours.
22 MS. GOPALAN:
23 Q. Sir, did you also testify in the trial of
24 Prosecutor versus Milosevic in this Tribunal in July 2002?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. And have you recently had the opportunity to review your
2 testimony in that case?
3 A. I have looked at that also, yes.
4 Q. Thank you, sir. And having reviewed your testimony in the
5 Milosevic case, if you were asked the same questions again, would you
6 provide substantially the same answers?
7 A. Yes, I would. I understand there were some misunderstandings
8 with respect to dates that were lately corrected, but otherwise I would.
9 Q. Thank you, sir.
10 MS. GOPALAN: I now seek to tender the Milosevic testimony of
11 this witness, and that is 65 ter 02632.
12 JUDGE PARKER: That too will be received.
13 MS. GOPALAN: And --
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01072.
15 MS. GOPALAN:
16 Q. And finally, sir, did you provide a statement to the
17 Office of the Prosecutor in this Tribunal in January 2002?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. And having -- have you had the opportunity to review this
20 statement recently?
21 A. I have, yes.
22 Q. Thank you, sir. And having reviewed the statement, are you
23 satisfied that its contents are true and accurate to the best of your
24 knowledge and belief?
25 A. As far as I can recall, yes.
1 Q. Thank you, sir.
2 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, I seek to tender this witness's
3 statement into evidence and that's 65 ter 02634.
4 JUDGE PARKER: That will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01073.
6 MS. GOPALAN: I will now read out a brief in-court summary of
7 Mr. Vollebaek's evidence, Your Honours.
8 The witness held a number of offices in the Norwegian
9 Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1973 to 2000. From the
10 1st of June, 1993, to the end of that year he was deputy co-chairman for
11 the International Conference of former Yugoslavia, which dealt with
12 Balkan issues.
13 In that year, in 1999, as the Norwegian foreign minister he also
14 served as the chairman in the office of the OSCE. The witness will
15 describe the OSCE's mandate, origins, and membership.
16 In 1998, the OSCE received a special mandate to deal with Kosovo.
17 The witness will describe impressions of and discussions with
18 Slobodan Milosevic, Nikola Sainovic, Milan Milutinovic, and other
19 officials in relation to Kosovo. The witness will describe his visits to
20 Kosovo that in March 1999 he observed a build-up of Serbian forces. The
21 witness also observed a large number of people travelling on tractors.
22 The numbers were greater than he had seen on previous occasions, and he
23 observed that the situation in Kosovo had worsened.
24 The witness had discussions with Milosevic regarding this
25 build-up of forces and the displacement and burning that he witnessed.
1 The witness met with Ibrahim Rugova several times and observed that
2 Rugova showed a willingness to negotiate with Milosevic. On several
3 occasions, he liaised between Ibrahim Rugova and Slobodan Milosevic. He
4 also met with representatives from the KLA. The witness will testify
5 about his decision to withdraw the OSCE from Kosovo.
6 That's the end of the in-court summary, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 MS. GOPALAN:
9 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I don't know if this is my business,
10 but could I make one correction to the summary that I think the
11 representative of the Prosecutor as far as I can see says "in that year,"
12 that could lead to a misunderstanding that it refers back to 1993, and it
13 should of course be 1999.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
15 MS. GOPALAN:
16 Q. Thank you for that, sir.
17 Sir, as you know, your testimonies and your statement are before
18 the Trial Chamber, and therefore I only have some questions that relate
19 to clarifying and highlighting certain areas of your evidence.
20 Now, let's begin with the OSCE, the Organisation for Security and
21 Cooperation in Europe
22 you state that you were the chairman-in-office of the OSCE in 1999.
23 That's the same reference in the B/C/S.
24 Now, before we go into the details of your role as chairman,
25 could you provide some background on the OSCE. What is the OSCE and what
1 was its role?
2 A. The OSCE is a pan-European security organisation. It was
3 established on the basis of the Helsinki Declaration of 1975. It started
4 as a conference and the organisation itself was established in 1994. The
5 system, if I may say, is that there is a rotating chairmanship which is
6 taken by foreign ministers of each or different participating states.
7 And in 1999 I, as then-Norway's foreign minister, had the chairmanship of
8 the organisation.
9 At that time, if I recall correctly, it was 54 participating
10 states, as we call it, because the legal status of the organisation is a
11 little bit doubtful. Today there are 56. But I -- as far as I recall
12 there were 54 in 1999.
13 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, you mentioned that you were the chairman of
14 the OSCE in 1999. Could you tell us what your responsibilities were as
16 A. The responsibility of the chairman is to -- I may say to run the
17 organisation. There is a Secretary-General that has the administrative
18 responsibility; and the chairman-in-office, as it is called - or now the
19 chairperson in office since we have a female foreign minister as --
20 chairing it - is more a political role. So it's taking on the
21 priorities, the activities, the direction of the organisation, and trying
22 then, since this is a security organisation, to address security issues
23 that come up within the participating states, conflict prevention,
24 conflict resolution. And in that respect, Kosovo, in my time as
25 chairman-in-office, became of course a very important issue.
1 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, you mention in your statement that the OSCE
2 received a special mandate in 1998 concerning Kosovo, and this is in the
3 English page 3, paragraph 4; and in the B/C/S, page 3, paragraph 2. Now,
4 could you explain to us, sir, what the OSCE's special mandate in relation
5 to Kosovo entailed.
6 A. The mandate that was given to the OSCE by the Security Council, I
7 think that relates to two Security Council Resolutions, if I remember
8 correctly, 1166 and 1190, I think both are from October 1998, but be that
9 as it may, there were two Security Council Resolutions that asked the
10 OSCE to monitor the situation, to keep the Security Council informed, and
11 then also try to address the conflict in order to find a solution to it.
12 Q. Thank you. Sir, you said that in respect to Kosovo in your time
13 as the chairman-in-office of the OSCE, Kosovo was an important issue.
14 Now, could you provide some background on why Kosovo was an important
15 issue at that time for the OSCE.
16 A. Well, as this Court, Your Honours, is very well aware of, this is
17 a major European problem and a major European issue. We were then at --
18 when I started as chairman-in-office, we were at the brink of a war
19 because it was obvious that the situation between the Kosovo Albanian
20 population of Kosovo, which was then a part of Yugoslavia, and the
21 leadership in Belgrade
22 It was a conflict that was a very serious conflict. And also we saw a
23 situation where one group of peoples, the then-Kosovo Albanians, were
24 harassed, intimidated, persecuted in a way that was contrary to any kind
25 of standards of human rights and particularly then, of course, contrary
1 to the whole -- whole -- the principles of the OSCE.
2 As you will recall Yugoslavia
3 policies were -- was already suspended from the organisation. But I had
4 made it clear also to Mr. Milosevic, whom I met already in 1998 in my
5 capacity as foreign minister, that I aimed at bringing Yugoslavia
6 into the OSCE. I thought that was very important for Europe and also for
7 the situation in that region. And so that's why I took this on as a
8 major task, in order to see if we could bring Yugoslavia back, defuse the
9 tension, and make sure that we didn't have a conflict that would have a
10 spill-over effect also for the whole region.
11 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
12 MS. GOPALAN: Now I would like to call up 65 ter 00455, please.
13 Q. Sir, a document will appear shortly on the screen. Sir, are you
14 able to recognise this document?
15 A. Well, that's the Security Council Resolution as far as I can see.
16 I can't -- yes, I probably can read it if I can get closer.
17 MS. GOPALAN: Would you be able to zoom in a little bit, please.
18 Thank you.
19 Q. So is that more visible?
20 A. That's right, yes, certainly.
21 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, this says:
22 "Security Council Resolution 1160, 31st of March, 1998.
23 Now, the second paragraph beginning:
24 "Welcoming the decision of the Special Session of the
25 Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in
2 Could you comment on that paragraph, please.
3 A. If you want me to comment on the decision of the Special Session
4 of the Permanent Council, I don't think I will be able to do that, no.
5 Q. Are you able to provide any background to the reference here
6 without referring to the decision per se?
7 A. No, I don't think so. I guess this must have been a discussion
8 on the situation in Kosovo, but -- because this was before my time as
9 chairman-in-office, we had a Polish foreign minister as chairman, I was
10 part of the Troika, I should probably have known, and if I had been able
11 to go through my papers I would probably know; but if you look at the
12 third paragraph, of course, it refers to the situation in Kosovo, and I
13 suppose also then that a Special Session was dealing with the situation
14 in Kosovo. But I cannot go into detail about what it was all about.
15 Q. Thank you, sir.
16 MS. GOPALAN: If we could move on then to paragraph 7 of this
17 same document. I believe it's in the next page, and if we could zoom in
18 on paragraph 7. Could we zoom in on paragraph 7, please.
19 Q. Are you able to see that paragraph, sir?
20 A. Yes, I am.
21 Q. Would you be able to comment on this paragraph?
22 A. Well, as I -- I've already stated, I mean, we have the major
23 efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Kosovo, and this
24 then gives us the support of the -- of the Security Council of the
25 United Nations, which we, of course, needed. As you may know, the OSCE
1 doesn't have a mandate as such like the United Nations through its
2 Security Council to take on - what should I say? - conflict resolution.
3 And so we needed a mandate from the United Nations in order to do the
4 activities that we wanted to do in order to find a resolution to the
6 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
7 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, I seek to tender this document into
8 evidence, please.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be an exhibit.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours that will be Exhibit P01074.
11 MS. GOPALAN: Could I now call up D160, please.
12 Q. Sir, do you recognise the document on the screen before you?
13 A. That's another Security Council Resolution. None of them are
14 from October, I understand, as I said, one from March and the other from
15 September. But this is 1199, the other one that gave the OSCE the
16 mandate to address the situation in Kosovo.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MS. GOPALAN: If and we could just move on to paragraph 4 of this
20 Q. Sir, paragraph 4 which is at the top of the page refers to the
21 earlier resolution that we just saw. Would you please comment on this
23 A. Well, it -- well, as you see, it says:
24 "Demands further that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
25 addition to the measures called on under the previous resolution, then
1 implement immediately the following ..."
2 And then you have some concrete measures that should be taken:
3 "Cease all action by security forces ...
4 "Enable an effective continuous international monitoring...
5 "Facilitate, an agreement with the others the safe return of the
6 refugees ..."
7 Which was another important issue.
8 "Make rapid progress on the dialogue between the Albanian
9 community and the authorities in Belgrade ..."
10 So these were the four main activities that I did address as
11 chairman-in-office at that time.
12 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
13 Sir, we've already heard some testimony before this Trial Chamber
14 on the role and function of the Kosovo Verification Mission. Could you
15 tell us, what is the relationship between the OSCE and the
16 Kosovo Verification Mission
17 A. As you will see in this paragraph (b) -- 4(b), it says that we
18 should have an international monitoring or continue the effective
19 international monitoring in Kosovo, and this was done then at the first
20 place through a group called K-D-O-M, KDOM, as far as I recall. And then
21 in -- well, I guess it must have been in October then, 1998, there was an
22 agreement signed between Milosevic and Richard Holbrooke, to which -- and
23 then later on between Foreign Minister Geremek and President Milosevic,
24 to which President Milosevic then accepted the establishment of what we
25 called the Kosovo Verification Mission. And the -- so the
1 Kosovo Verification Mission then was established as an agreement between
2 the OSCE and the Yugoslav president in order then to continue
3 verification in Kosovo and strengthen it -- was the aim -- was to
4 strengthen the monitoring.
5 Q. Thank you, sir. And what was your role in relation to the
6 deployment of the Kosovo Verification Mission to Kosovo?
7 A. Well, the deployment started already before I took over as
8 chairman-in-office on the 1st of January, 1999. I think at least some of
9 the members were in place before Christmas of 1998. It was in full
10 force, I think, in February 1999, when I -- during my chairmanship.
11 We -- Norway
12 implementation of this agreement, and I was, as far as I could recall,
13 not directly involved in the negotiations but my staff was heavily
14 involved. So Norway
15 the agreement and the implementation of it also before I took over as
17 Q. Thank you, sir.
18 MS. GOPALAN: Could we now call up P835, please.
19 JUDGE PARKER: The last document, it's already an exhibit?
20 MS. GOPALAN: Yes, that's right.
21 JUDGE PARKER: The number is?
22 MS. GOPALAN: D160.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 MS. GOPALAN:
25 Q. Sir, do you recognise this document on the screen?
1 A. Well, I know that there is an -- that there was an agreement.
2 I -- if you hadn't shown it to me, I wouldn't necessarily have recognised
3 it. But, yes, there was such an agreement, yes.
4 MS. GOPALAN: Perhaps we could go to the last page of this
5 document - and this may assist with your recollection. The second-last
6 page. My apologies.
7 Q. Sir, at the bottom left-hand corner --
8 A. Mm-hmm.
9 Q. -- the name chairman-in-office --
10 A. Office --
11 Q. Yes, "Geremek" appears above chairman-in-office,
12 Mr. Bronislaw Geremek?
13 A. Mm-hmm.
14 Q. Who was Bronislaw Geremek?
15 A. Bronislaw Geremek was a foreign minister in Poland and he was my
16 predecessor as chairman-in-office of the OSCE. He was chairman-in-office
17 for the period 1998.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MS. GOPALAN: Could we move on to the first page again, please.
20 Q. Sir, the paragraph beginning:
21 "The OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission ..."
22 This is below Roman numeral I which is headed "Establishment
23 and Termination" refers to a resolution of the UN Security Council,
24 calling upon the OSCE to establish the mission. Could you explain what
25 this paragraph is referring to, please?
1 A. This paragraph then refers to Security Council Resolution 1190,
2 as far as I recall, which gave us then the necessary mandate to have a
3 monitoring mission in Kosovo and asked us to implement that resolution,
4 which we then did through this establishment.
5 Q. Thank you, sir. I'd now like to move on to another area. This
6 is the reporting procedure between the KVM and the OSCE. Could you tell
7 us where the OSCE Secretariat was located?
8 A. The Secretariat of the OSCE was at that time and still is located
9 in Vienna
10 Q. Thank you, sir. And could you explain to us what the reporting
11 procedure was, if any, in relation to the verifiers on the ground and the
12 OSCE Secretariat in Vienna
13 A. The Kosovo Verification Mission was one, you may say, even though
14 it was special, but it was one of a number of field missions that the
15 OSCE had at that time and still has today. And these field missions are
16 then requested or are expected to report to Vienna to the
17 Secretary-General, meaning political office of the Secretary-General that
18 will receive these reports.
19 The reporting varies, of course, according to activities and the
20 importance of the situation. As far as I recall, in the situation in
21 Kosovo there were almost -- at least part of the time there would be
22 daily spot reports. I don't know if that was for the whole year, but at
23 least to a large extent there would be daily reports because of the
24 seriousness of the situation.
25 Q. Sir, these daily reports that you mentioned which were then sent
1 up to the political office of the Secretary-General in Vienna, what would
2 happen to them after that?
3 A. I'm afraid I don't know exactly what happened to them, but they
4 would probably be analysed and they would, I guess -- I don't know if
5 they always would, but at least to -- sometimes if they were important
6 news they would be disseminated, particularly then to the members of the
7 Troika, the leadership of the organisation that is organised through a
8 Troika, which is the previous chairman, the present, and the future. And
9 then based on this, of course, action would be taken.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MS. GOPALAN: Could we call up 65 ter 00662, please.
12 Q. Sir, this document on the screen, are you able to comment on the
13 type of document it is, if you know?
14 A. Well, this would be -- would be a KVM spot report -- or here I
15 see they call it "Interim Report." But it would be one of these daily
16 reports. I see it covers the day of the 10th of January, so I suppose
17 then it means that it's a -- it's just for that day. And it would go
18 through then the different areas of responsibility for the mission.
19 Q. And if we have a look at the second paragraph, the second line,
20 there is a reference to the situation of the eight VJ prisoners being
21 held by the KLA. Was this something you were involved in?
22 A. Yes, I was. I -- as far as I recall, I visited Belgrade just the
23 following day. The visit was scheduled in advance because, as I said,
24 Kosovo was such an important issue. Very soon after I took over the
25 position as chairman-in-office, I wanted to go to Belgrade
1 on to Kosovo to discuss the situation.
2 When I planned this visit, I didn't know that this hostage
3 situation would come up, so a lot of time was actually devoted to that in
4 my conversation with Milosevic who was, of course, very upset with it,
5 and also then when I came to Pristina we -- this was followed up and
6 we -- as far as I recall then, we managed to release the hostages.
7 Q. Thank you, sir.
8 MS. GOPALAN: I'd like to tender this document into evidence,
9 Your Honours.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01075.
12 MS. GOPALAN:
13 Q. Sir, you mentioned this meeting you had with Milosevic in
14 January 1999. Could you give us other examples, if any, of when you met
15 with President Milosevic?
16 A. Well, I met with him on several occasions during my time as
17 foreign minister, I already came to Belgrade
18 period as chairman-in-office, as far as I recall, the 11th of January was
19 the first one, but because of the so-called Racak massacre I came back
20 already, if I recall correctly, on the 15th of January. And then I must
21 have been back one more time, I think, in February or early March. So
22 those were my visits to -- probably early March, that were my visits to
24 Q. Thank you. Now, this Racak incident that you mentioned - and
25 that's set out in the statement page 5, paragraph 7; and the B/C/S is
1 page 5, paragraph 2 - would this have been an example of an incident that
2 would have been reported via the KVM reporting procedure that we just
3 spoke about?
4 A. Certainly.
5 Q. And could you explain how information on Racak was reported from
6 the ground level verifiers and upwards?
7 A. Well, Racak was somewhat special. I cannot recall that I had any
8 written information about it because it kind of broke into the -- into
9 the media through the statements made by the head of the
10 Kosovo Verification Mission, Mr. William Walker, which meant that we had
11 to deal with them immediately. So there was maybe some kind of an
12 unusual reporting in that case.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, if it were more of a usual incident, for
14 example, if it were violation of the Jovanovic-Geremek Agreement that we
15 just saw, how would that information have been passed on?
16 A. Well, it would have, as we talked about earlier, gone from the
17 mission to the secretariat and then probably some information -- but also
18 then there was a lot, of course, information going on on the phone also
19 between Oslo
20 since this was such an important issue but also a very difficult and
21 dangerous situation.
22 It was important to be more or less continuously updated, which
23 meant that my staff, not myself, but my staff would be on more or less
24 continuous contact with the different parties to the activities, which
25 then was both the secretariat in Vienna, of course, but also then the
1 government in Belgrade
2 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, what was your role in relation to the Racak
4 A. Well, my role then was -- or became particularly to try to secure
5 that we could continue having a head of a verification mission, because
6 in view of Mr. Walker's statements, President Milosevic wanted to declare
7 him persona non grata and throw him out, which would have as I saw it --
8 well, it was a violation of the agreement because I was the one to
9 appoint the head of the mission, and I was to appoint -- the person to
10 sack one; it was not President Milosevic's prerogative. And also it
11 would -- it would ruin the whole mission. I mean, we wouldn't have been
12 able to continue the activities as I saw it.
13 So I went, and urgently, to Belgrade and negotiated with
14 President Milosevic, and after some deliberations I secured his continued
15 presence and position as head of the verification mission.
16 Q. And what about investigations relating to the Racak incident?
17 A. That was, of course, very important. We wanted immediately to
18 have investigators and forensic experts. Mr. Milosevic was skeptical or
19 reluctant. As far as I recall, he then said that he would call his own
20 forensic team. And if I remember correctly, he called some forensic team
21 from Belarus
22 least there were some Finnish leadership. I don't know if it was
23 composed of others also.
24 But because of the problems we had with President Milosevic at
25 that time and the other forensic team that was already engaged in Racak,
1 it took, as far as I recall, about a week before the OSCE forensic team
2 could get to the scene and to the site and be involved.
3 Q. And what did they report following their visit to the site?
4 A. Well, there is an extensive report by the OSCE forensic team that
5 I -- I'm afraid I do not recall, but I remember that we had discussions
6 with the leaders of the team, that they were upset or deplored the fact
7 that they had not been able to come to the scene earlier because, as they
8 would probably put it, the evidence was tampered with. And so they had
9 said that they had problems actually verifying what had gone -- had been
10 going on.
11 Q. Thank you, sir. I'd now like to move on to another area. This
12 is your visits to Kosovo. Now, you referred to your visits to Kosovo in
13 your statement - that's at page 3, paragraph 6, of the English - and you
14 say you visited Kosovo five times in 1999. And that was three times
15 before the NATO bombing. You also described visiting several villages
16 that were totally destroyed in March 1999.
17 Now, if you remember, are you able to name any of these villages
18 that you saw?
19 A. Well, I'm afraid I can't remember many names, but I remember that
20 we -- in March, I suppose it must have been around the 15th of March
21 because it was close to the withdrawal of the Kosovo Verification
23 then I visited Racak because I visited the sites; that I remember. And
24 then we -- as far as I recall, we also went to a village called Podujevo,
25 or a city, that's more maybe a bigger place than just a village. But
1 then we saw smaller villages in the neighbourhood particularly that of
2 Podujevo that were destroyed.
3 Q. And could you tell us how they had been destroyed?
4 A. Well -- well, they were -- some of them was -- most of the
5 houses, you may say, had been blown off the roofs, there had been
6 shelling, there had been fighting, so the houses had been damaged in a
7 war-like situation, I would say.
8 Q. And in addition to seeing these houses, did you also observe --
9 were you able to observe any people?
10 A. Well, we spoke with people in the Podujevo, as far as I recall,
11 we went out to the cars on the way and we spoke to some locals there
12 because we were interested in their assessment of the situation and how
13 they also viewed the KVM at that time. And I also -- by the -- one of
14 the military personnel of the KVM, I was taken both to a KLA post and to
15 one post manned by the army, the Yugoslav Army.
16 They wanted to show me or let me meet with the people that they
17 met with on a daily basis because that was part of their work, so to say,
18 both to monitor and to try to defuse the situation, to talk to both
19 sides. And also then to see how close the military people on both sides
20 were located actually. And also then to show the danger to the civilians
21 because they were then to a large extent kept between these fronts which
22 were very close to each other. And we also then saw, of course, people
23 on the roads, as I have referred to in earlier testimonies. I mean, that
24 was the time when we saw people that I would say were fleeing from their
1 Q. If you recall, are you able to provide an approximate number of
2 the people you saw?
3 A. No, that I couldn't. But -- but they were many enough that we
4 clearly noticed them and commented on it, and I referred to them also
5 later on when I spoke to Mr. Milosevic because they made a great impact
6 on me.
7 Q. And what was his response to the information you conveyed to him?
8 A. This -- this information then came at a later stage. This
9 came -- when I spoke to him -- when I mentioned this to him was actually
10 on the 24th of March morning before the NATO bombing started. And to
11 give a little bit of a background, I didn't know that the bombing would
12 start at that time, but since the Rambouillet talks had broken down, I
13 knew that they were imminent.
14 And I had got an agreement with the then-NATO
15 Secretary-General Javier Solano to make a last effort to convince
16 President Milosevic to have a military observation mission because we
17 couldn't only have a civilian one because we couldn't fulfil our mandate
18 with a civilian monitoring mission.
19 And then I had been promised that if I convinced
20 President Milosevic to allow negotiations to re-open for a military
21 presence, the bombing would be postponed. So this was my offer to him,
22 which he refused because he said there were no problems in Kosovo. Then
23 I referred to my visit on the 15th of March where I had then seen people
24 fleeing, and I had seen houses burning, and I had also seen an increased
25 number of Yugoslav Army -- or representatives of the Yugoslav Army or
1 military personnel that was according to then my military advisors in
2 violation of the agreement because the number exceeded what had been
3 agreed. And that he -- I mean, he laughed at me and said that the people
4 travelling were people on picnic and the houses burning were hay burning
5 and the military personnel, they were there in order to defend me,
6 protect me, and that I was watching too much CNN. So I didn't achieve
7 anything unfortunately.
8 Q. Thank you for that, sir. Now, you also mentioned that you went
9 to Kosovo after the bombing twice.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Are you able to recall where you went on any of these trips?
12 A. Well, of course, I went to Pristina because we met with -- well,
13 we had -- then the OSCE returned to Pristina, so we had people there.
14 But also then we met with the local authorities. I also then -- on my
15 first visit, I don't recall the date, but it was soon after the war
16 ended, I went -- made a point of going to the Decani monastery which is,
17 as you may know, a very important Orthodox sanctuary, and I made that a
18 point in order to show that this war and the actions we had taken were
19 not against the Serbs. We were very adamant that Kosovo should also be a
20 place where Serbs could live.
21 And I stayed over night that in order as a -- to whatever extent
22 it had a meaning, an act of solidarity. And I also then visited Pec,
23 which is the headquarters of the Serbian Orthodox church, and areas in
24 that region. And as far as I recall, I also visited Kosovo Polje, where
25 we actually saw some graves, if I recall correctly, about close to 20
1 people maybe or something, 40, and we actually also there met with an
2 Orthodox bishop or priest that was there and families that were looking
3 for their -- their dead ones. They were watching the graves. I may have
4 visited other cities or villages, but I must admit, I do not recall that.
5 Q. And in relation to the places that you recall visiting, are you
6 able to comment on the condition of the buildings that you saw there?
7 A. Many places we saw destroyed buildings, not everywhere, but many
8 places. But our comments at that time and what we also heard from some
9 of the Kosovo Albanians that we met when they were fleeing and also upon
10 their return was that these houses -- of course, some of the houses were
11 destroyed by bombing, there is no doubt about that, but many of them were
12 actually destroyed by people on the ground blowing up houses.
13 I am not a military expert, but I had a number of military
14 experts and advisors which could show me the effect of the blowing off of
15 roofs of houses which meant that there had been not a bombing from the
16 outside on the roof but from an explosion inside that blew off the roof,
17 which meant that there had been ground activities.
18 Q. And where did you meet these Kosovo Albanians who were fleeing
19 who gave you this information?
20 A. Well, we met -- the first group we met on the border between
21 Kosovo and Albania
22 started, so it must have been late March or early April -- I think,
23 actually, it must have been already late March, just some days after the
24 war started, because we could also then hear the planes in Kosovo. And
25 they told stories about their conditions and why they had been fleeing.
1 But then when we came back also then we met with those who had already
2 started returning because some people started returning fairly soon.
3 Q. And were they able to tell you who it was on the ground who was
4 blowing up these houses?
5 A. Well, of course, according to the Kosovo Albanians these were
6 Serbs, there were no doubt about that -- they had no doubt. I could not
7 verify that, but according to those who were fleeing, that was their
9 Q. Thank you, sir.
10 Now, you referred earlier on to the breakdown of the Rambouillet
11 talks. Could you provide some background on the Rambouillet talks.
12 A. Well, this was an effort then when -- when the international
13 community in addition to me as chairman-in-office, one saw that this --
14 the conflict was building up and one was afraid of a war, and also the
15 Security Council Resolution, as far as I recall, also provided for the
16 European Union and others to be involved. And you had a Contact Group
17 of, if I recall correctly, the United States, France
19 between the Yugoslav government and the Kosovo -- or local authorities,
20 KLA particularly I suppose. And -- well, not only KLA because Rugova was
21 there, so it was a broad Kosovo Albanian delegation.
22 And these talks then, as far as I recall, took place in February,
23 started in Rambouillet, went on for a couple of weeks, and then there was
24 a break. There was a draft agreement or preliminary agreement, to which
25 the Serbs, as far as I recall at that time, were fairly positive but the
1 Kosovo Albanians were not. And so there was a recess for about two,
2 three weeks, and then it was reconvened again in Paris itself, not in
3 Rambouillet, and broke down immediately afterwards because then the Serbs
4 had changed their opinion, as had the Kosovo Albanians. So it -- but it
5 meant that there was still no agreement on this draft agreement.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, you mention a draft agreement.
7 MS. GOPALAN: Could we call up 65 ter 474.
8 Q. And if you could tell us if you recognise ...
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document is a
11 book written by a group of authors. This is not an official document,
12 and I don't believe that it can be used as evidence in this case. If
13 there had been a draft document, then it should be located. We shouldn't
14 be doing this by the use of books, particularly since in this case the
15 witness would be required to read the whole book and then comment it.
16 And what he knew about this draft agreement, he already said. Therefore,
17 this is not the original draft of the agreement, and therefore the
18 witness will not be able to recognise it.
19 JUDGE PARKER: We will watch that and see what use is intended.
20 Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic.
21 Carry on, please, Ms. Gopalan.
22 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. Sir, this document on the screen, are you able to recognise it?
24 A. Well, not in this printed version because I don't think I've seen
25 the -- at that time it wasn't printed like this, but I do remember that
1 there was an interim agreement that was present between the two sides and
2 that was -- that had been basis for discussion. And this was how far
3 they came, yes.
4 Q. I have here a hard copy of the full agreement, if it will assist
5 you to flick through it and confirm that this is the agreement that you
6 had in mind.
7 MS. GOPALAN: With Your Honours' leave.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
9 MS. GOPALAN: If it's necessary.
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you. I'm not certain that it will help me
11 too much. We -- Your Honours, it's a long time ago, so I remember very
12 well, Your Honours, that we discussed this, but I'm afraid I can't
13 remember each and every article of it. But there is no doubt that it is
14 something called the interim agreement for peace and self government in
15 Kosovo. That is for sure.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Is it a signed document that you have there,
17 Mr. Vollebaek?
18 THE WITNESS: I don't think so, because I don't think it was ever
19 signed. That was the problem, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: It was -- some may have.
21 THE WITNESS: Is it a signed document? Not here. I don't think
22 it is signed.
23 You know, Your Honour, the -- as I said, the Serbs were fairly
24 positive at that time, but the Albanians were not very positive. So that
25 was why one took the recess in order to ask the parties to look at it
1 again and see if there were things that they would -- yeah, to find a
2 common ground then for an agreement. Unfortunately, that worked out
3 maybe differently from what the negotiators had hoped for because the --
4 the Serbian delegation came back then with a number of changes to what we
5 perceived or we thought they had agreed to while in Rambouillet. So I
6 remember that the negotiators were very upset when the groups met again.
7 So -- there was a text that they had been working on and a text
8 that they took with them home, but it was not signed.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, may I tender this document into
11 evidence, please.
12 JUDGE PARKER: There is a difficulty, isn't there? The witness
13 doesn't recognise it. It's not something within his present memory. It
14 appears he thinks no more than that to be what it says it is. I think
15 we'll have to wait for some other time.
16 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you, Your Honours. We will deal with it some
17 other time then.
18 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
19 Now, you were talking about the breakdown of the Rambouillet
20 talks and the Paris
21 following these talks between the parties?
22 A. Following the Rambouillet and the Paris talks?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Not to my recollection, because that was the problem. If there
25 had been an agreement, we wouldn't have had a war.
1 Q. Thank you, sir.
2 MS. GOPALAN: Could I now call up 65 ter 460, please. If we
3 could zoom in on paragraph 1.
4 Q. Sir, do you recognise this document?
5 A. Well, this is another of these daily reports from the
6 Kosovo Verification Mission, yes.
7 Q. And the first sentence describes your meeting with the
8 President Slobodan Milosevic --
9 A. Mm-hmm --
10 Q. -- as disappointing. Now, could you provide some background to
11 this sentence.
12 A. Well, this was in the -- in the -- in the recess period, so to
13 say, after the first part of the talks in Paris, after the Rambouillet
14 and before the Paris
15 fulfil the mandate of monitoring and defusing the conflict in Kosovo,
16 there was a need for an international military presence, an armed
17 presence. And the Kosovo Verification Mission was an unarmed presence
18 and they were not able, as I saw it, to fulfil the mandate. And in
19 order, then, to be able to fulfil the mandate, we wanted or needed an
20 armed presence, like United Nations would have in a number of countries
21 and situations when there are conflicts. But President Milosevic refused
23 Q. Thank you, sir.
24 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, I'd like to tender this document into
25 evidence, please.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01076.
3 MS. GOPALAN: Could we call up now 65 ter 461, please.
4 Q. Sir, do you recognise this document on the screen?
5 A. This is another daily report, yes.
6 Q. And could you please comment on the first sentence of this
8 A. This was then after my visit to Belgrade, I went to Pristina, as
9 I often did, and met then with the -- with members of the Albanian
10 negotiating team, probably then Mr. Rugova, and some others I suppose.
11 Q. Thank you, sir.
12 MS. GOPALAN: I'd like to tender this document into evidence,
13 Your Honours.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01077.
16 MS. GOPALAN:
17 Q. Sir, I'd now like to move on to another topic, the withdrawal of
18 the KVM, and this is set out in your statement. It's the last paragraph
19 of the English, and in the B/C/S it's page 12 as well and it's
20 paragraph 2. Now, in relation to withdrawing the KVM on the
21 20th of March, 1999, you say that the decision to withdraw the KVM was
22 yours. Could you tell us why you took this decision?
23 A. Well, I took the decision because it was then obvious for me that
24 the KVM didn't have a role any longer to play. It was a difficult
25 decision, and I had prolonged it for a long time because, as you will
1 recall then, the Kosovo Verification Mission was composed of
2 representatives of a number of countries. And while the KVM at the early
3 stages of its -- of the implementation of the mission had a lot of
4 confidence from the local community, as they realised that the mission
5 could not fulfil their expectations, could not defend them, could not
6 protect them from the harassment and intimidation that they suffered, of
7 course they turned against because they were frustrated and they were
8 upset with this. Which also meant -- it meant two things: One was that
9 the -- well, the view of the mission was deteriorating, but also, then,
10 that members of the mission were, again, harassed by the local
12 So I had some ministers of foreign affairs indicating to me that
13 we should withdraw because they had problems in their parliaments and
14 with their local constituency, that their young men and women
15 participating in the mission were in danger. And I then convinced them
16 that we -- as long as there was a possibility or a hope for a peaceful
17 settlement, we should be there. And to me then my personal dead-line, so
18 to say, was the talks in Paris
19 whom I spoke, that as long as we have ongoing discussions, we should keep
20 the verification mission there because otherwise it would be a gap
21 between the political activities in Paris and the on-the-ground
22 situation, so to say. And that could -- if the situation on the ground
23 deteriorated, it could also have a bad effect on the political
25 As the talks broke down, and it was -- the two parties went home
1 and it was obvious that there were no possibility to have, as I saw it, a
2 peaceful settlement, I then felt that I had no option but to take the
3 decision to withdraw -- the withdrawal. Again, based both then on the
4 situation with respect to the safety and security of the members of the
5 KVM, and I was personally responsible for their safety and security; and
6 also then because of the situation of the view or the perception of the
7 OSCE in Kosovo. We have had, as you may recall, in fairly fresh memory,
8 the situation in Srebrenica, and I would not in any case like to have had
9 a similar situation where we -- as then the OSCE in this case would be
10 standing idle watching atrocities going on.
11 Q. Thank you, sir.
12 Now, in general, could you describe how successful the KVM was in
13 fulfilling its mandate, bearing in mind the time-frame from
14 January to March 1999. Was there change in the success? Are you able to
15 comment on how successful the KVM was generally?
16 A. We were obviously not very successful since we ended up in war,
17 so we didn't fulfil the mandate, which was in a peaceful settlement. As
18 I said, I felt when I visited -- the two first visits I made to Kosovo I
19 felt there was a very good atmosphere between the population and the
20 monitors. There was -- when we were travelling in the OSCE cars there
21 were nice signs, people were happy to see us. When I came on my last
22 visit, which I think that must have been around the 15th of March, the
23 situation had changed, it was a negative attitude. People were angry.
24 And so it was obvious, as I said, that there was a frustration,
25 disappointment, with the mission from the local community side.
1 Q. Are you able to provide a specific reason or reasons as to why
2 the situation had changed by March 1999?
3 A. Well, there were, of course, large or great expectations from the
4 Kosovo Albanian side that we would be able to find a peaceful settlement
5 and find a political -- political solution to the problem, which we
6 didn't. And at the same time there was, I think - and maybe more
7 importantly - an experience on the ground that the situation for the
8 local population was deteriorating, meaning that there were an increased
9 number of incidents where the local population then was harassed. And I
10 then said to Mr. Milosevic that that I felt was, at least in part, due to
11 the increased number of military personnel that we had seen in Kosovo.
12 Q. Thank you, sir. Now I'd like to move on now to what you saw in
13 the border, and this is set out in your statement - page 13, paragraph 3,
14 of the English; and page 12, paragraph 4 of the B/C/S. You say you were
15 surprised that at the border there was a large number of people expelled
16 and you saw a stream of tractors coming.
17 Now, to begin with, which border were you at?
18 A. This was, as far as I recall then, my first visit to the region
19 after the war had started, and as I recall it must have been late March
20 or very early April, but I think it was late March. That was the border
21 between Kosovo and Albania
23 that -- and I visited them afterwards, but my first visit was to Albania
24 Because we knew -- or we heard then from the UNHCR and from Albanian
25 authorities that people were coming out.
1 And -- so I was at the border fairly early in the morning. I had
2 come up from Tirana to -- I'm afraid I cannot recall the name of the
3 border post. And we were looking in to Kosovo and there was a narrow
4 winding road with the largest number of tractors I ever seen in my life.
5 I didn't know that there were so many tractors in the world. And these
6 were people then that had, according to their stories which we heard as
7 they crossed the border, been expelled and forced to leave their homes
8 and properties in Kosovo.
9 Q. And how did you get this information from these people?
10 A. Well, I got it from the people themselves. I'm afraid, I speak
11 neither Serbian nor Albanian, but I normally had very good interpreters.
12 So I had interpreters with me, and I could -- most of these people
13 were -- some had been walking, apparently, but most of them were on
14 tractors or hangars of tractors. And it -- there was a process then on
15 the border. So as they were waiting both -- we developed a system where
16 they got a bottle of water immediately and then a loaf of bread next and
17 then the third station was registry because that was very important for
18 us. And while they were waiting then in this line, I could walk up to
19 these people that were waiting and ask, Where are you from? What had
20 happened to you? And who are you? And all that.
21 Q. And did you learn who had expelled them?
22 A. Well, according to these people that came, there were Serbs, as
23 they said, and there were some then military, some police, there were
24 different stories. Also then some claim that they had been out walking
25 in the afternoon and when they came home their apartment was occupied by
1 another couple and protected by the police. So there were different,
2 different stories, but they were all unison in their version of the story
3 that they were forced to leave and they had been told that they were not
4 wanted in Kosovo any longer.
5 Q. And your reference to registering these individuals, that it was
6 important for you, why was that important?
7 A. According to their stories and what we saw, they had no
8 identification documents. And -- so that had been what we were told,
9 that had been taken from them early -- at an early stage. And they --
10 their tractors did not have number plates. And apparently that were cut
11 off later in the process, but during -- on the road during -- on the way
12 to the border they were also -- they had lost or they were taken away
13 from them. So according, again, to their stories then, they had been --
14 this had happened in order for them to not be able to return. So for us
15 it was very important then to make sure that we had a proper registry of
16 these people. So we asked everyone to state their name and address and
17 date of birth and number plates of their tractors and all that.
18 Q. Thank you for that, sir.
19 Now, in your statement you also say - this is the last sentence
20 on page 13:
21 "My impression was that when I met the refugees nobody complained
22 about KVM or NATO but it was the Serb forces that were the problem."
23 Now, in the B/C/S that's page 15, paragraph 3.
24 Sir, the sentence that I just read out to you, that nobody
25 complained about KVM or NATO but it was the Serb forces that were the
1 problem, could you explain for us what you mean by that?
2 A. No, I mean by that that when -- in connection with the war, there
3 was, of course, a discussion on the effect of the bombing. War is
4 terrible always; bombing is horrible. And there is no doubt that also
5 the war in the bombing did some damage. But I was surprised then that
6 these people, none of them, as I stated that time and as I repeat today,
7 none of them actually blamed NATO or the bombing for their leaving
8 because that, of course, was Mr. Milosevic's story later on, that these
9 people had been fleeing because of the bombs. And I didn't meet anyone
10 that claimed that. But they had a number of stories then about military
11 and civilian and police that had harassed them and had forced them to
13 Q. Sir, you've already mentioned that you had occasion to meet the
14 refugees at the Albanian border?
15 A. Mm-hmm.
16 Q. Did you meet refugees elsewhere around this time?
17 A. Also at the Macedonian or the border between Kosovo and the
18 former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The situation there was different
19 because they -- they were in a kind of no man's land and we built a camp
20 for them there and -- but I also met with a number of refugees there. As
21 far as I recall -- yeah, different organisations, but also NATO actually
22 bought -- or built a military camp for them.
23 Q. And the stories that you heard about the reasons for fleeing,
24 where did you hear them?
25 A. Well, I heard them both places. I mean, they were consistent
2 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
3 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, at this stage I have no further
4 questions for this witness, and I apologise for going over time.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Gopalan.
6 Mr. Djurdjic, is it going to be more efficient for us to have the
7 necessary break now and let you start after the break or can you continue
8 for the next 12 minutes or so?
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I think it is better that we have
10 the break now so that I can be more prepared and continue in one go. In
11 any case, I will do as you please.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will do that. We must have a
13 half-hour break for the tapes to be rewound now, Mr. Vollebaek, and we
14 will continue at ten minutes to 11.00. A Court Officer will assist you
15 in the break.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.19 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vollebaek, my name is Veljko Djurdjic,
22 Defence team member of the accused, Vlastimir Djordjevic. With me is
23 Ms. Marie O'Leary, another team member.
24 First of all, I would like to ask you how to address you, whether
25 you'd like to be addressed with your excellency, ambassador, sir, since
1 I'm not completely familiar with the rules and the protocol given the
2 function you now hold.
3 A. I am very easy on protocol, so you can call me Mr. Vollebaek or
4 if the Judges allow you could even say "Knut."
5 Q. Thank you. For the umpteenth time you have provided another
6 testimony before this Court and that one lasted one hour and 15 minutes
7 up to now. I intend to ask you questions that you have not yet been
8 asked or to offer us a deeper insight into some of the things you have
9 been asked before.
10 Ambassador, in 1998, you were the ambassador of the
11 Republic of Norway
12 A. Yes, I was. First of all, I think it's important that Norway
13 not a republic. The king will be very upset if we didn't correct that.
14 So Norway
15 His Majesty's foreign minister, yes.
16 Q. I apologise for this grave mistake. In that capacity, you were
17 appointed a member of the Troika that presided over the OSCE?
18 A. That's right. The OSCE had decided before I came in, actually,
19 as foreign minister that in 1999 the -- whoever was foreign minister of
21 in government in 1997, in which I then became minister of foreign
22 affairs; and in that capacity, I joined the Troika of the OSCE as of
23 1st of January, 1998.
24 Q. Thank you. The chairman-in-office of the OSCE at the time was
25 Mr. Geremek, minister of foreign affairs of Poland. Who was the third
1 member in 1998?
2 A. You ask a difficult question. That was -- in 1998 it was whoever
3 had been chairman-in-office before Professor Geremek, it was Denmark
5 Q. Thank you. What about 1999, who was appointed as the third
6 member, since you and Mr. Geremek were still on board?
7 A. It's not an appointment. It's an election by all participating
8 states, it's a consensus. Austria
9 Q. Thank you. Ambassador, when you provided your statement in 2002,
10 you pointed out that you had no access to any documents that had to do
11 with the testimony you provided. Did you, in the meantime, review such
12 documents? Did you acquaint yourself between then and now with those
13 documents, and I mean to say your notes?
14 A. Well, as you know, I was called back to witness in the case of
15 Mr. Milutinovic. And when I was called back then, I did -- well, first
16 of all I looked at my -- and I was confronted, so to say, with my
17 testimony in the Milosevic case, and I looked at my statements. And I
18 also have looked at some of my notes and I have recently also then spoken
19 to some of my staff members in order to help my memory, yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Speaking about corrections, let us try immediately
21 and do two corrections. I think that it was recorded in the transcript
22 that you came to Serbia
23 that date because I think that the first meeting you had in Serbia
24 the 11th of January concerning military troops and the second one was on
25 the 21st of January, of the same year. Would you agree with that?
1 A. If you say so, yes, probably, if you've seen reports on that. I
2 thought it was earlier, but -- because I know that I came back very
3 quickly afterwards, I felt it was too quickly, but it could be the 21st.
4 I wouldn't object to that.
5 Q. Thank you. And one more date. We have here an exhibit
6 containing the chronology of major events relating to the
7 Kosovo Verification Mission, and as you said today on the
8 2nd of March, 1999, you paid a visit to Pristina. After that date and
9 until the departure of the KVM - and that was on the
10 20th of March, 1999 - there is no mention, as far as I could see, of any
11 visit of yours to Pristina, especially not on the 15th of March. I find
12 it impossible for you to have visited Pristina on the 15th of March
13 without that being recorded. Do you agree that this happened before the
15 A. If you say so -- again, you may probably be right. As I said
16 earlier, this happened ten years ago. I remember some of the events. I
17 remember the impressions it made on me, but I am -- I stand to be
18 corrected when it comes to dates.
19 Q. Thank you. I'm not trying to correct you. I'm just trying to
20 remind you of certain things.
21 Now I'd like to move to the portion of your statement that
22 concerns OSCE. You said that in 195 -- 1998 the OSCE had 54 members and
23 that it grew in 1994 from the European Conference and became an
24 organisation; is that correct?
25 A. Well, what I tried to say was that the establishment of the OSCE
1 is based on this conference on security cooperation Europe which is
2 established on the Helsinki Declaration of 1975. In order, then, to make
3 it more efficient and an organisation, it changed its name and its status
4 in 1994 to an organisation. And then, as far as I recall, in 1999 then
5 when I was chairman-in-office there were 54, we call them participating
6 states since it's not really a membership organisation as such with
8 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, please, what was the fundamental
9 mode of operation of the OSCE in terms of decision-making process?
10 A. The OSCE is based on consensus.
11 Q. Thank you. But you said that the FRY was suspended at the time.
12 Were there any other rules and regulations governing the internal
13 decision-making within the OSCE or was this the sole rule that you
14 mentioned, the rule of consensus.
15 A. I'm not sure that I understand your question, sir.
16 Q. A minute ago you said that the decisions were made by consensus.
17 I'm asking you: Were there any other rules and regulations that would
18 amend this rule when it came to decision-making?
19 A. There were a number of rules and regulations, but if you mean
20 that the organisation didn't have the right to take a decision because
21 there was one participating state suspended, we -- that was not perceived
22 as the case. So the organisation was definitely perceived as being able
23 to take decisions with the 53 present participating states.
24 Q. In other words, the consensus was not a sine qua non?
25 A. Well, there was a consensus among those who then did participate
1 then and were present, and -- but one state had been suspended and --
2 but, that didn't stop us from being actively engaged and that was the
3 view of the 53 participating states.
4 Q. Thank you. So once a certain number of participating countries
5 in the organisation reached an agreement, this is deemed to be a
6 consensus and you just disregard the rest; or do you need a majority to
7 reach a consensus?
8 A. Well, consensus is a consensus, sir. But it had been agreed by
9 the others that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia violated the
10 fundamental principles of the organisation, and as such could not
11 participate at that time. I may also remind you, sir, that the
12 Security Council of the United Nations, of which Russia is a
13 Permanent Member, and all the other members, accepted that the OSCE was a
14 legitimate organisation that had the right to operate, and as such gave
15 us the mandate. So there was no doubt in the international community of
16 the legitimacy of the organisation and its operations.
17 Q. Thank you. I know that the United Nations shall not interfere
18 with how the OSCE operates.
19 Now, I would like to move to Security Council Resolutions that
20 laid down the terms of reference for the Kosovo mission mandate.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] For that purpose, can I please
22 have Exhibit P1074.
23 Q. Ambassador, if you would be so kind to take a look at this
24 beginning -- or more precisely, paragraph 3 which starts with:
25 "Condemning the use of excessive force ..."
1 Would you be able to comment this particular part of the
2 resolution, your own comment?
3 A. Well, it states -- it states clearly that we -- or the
4 international community at that time condemned any kind of violence that
5 had or did take place in Kosovo.
6 Q. Yes, but it says here that the Serbian police forces are being
7 accused of applying excessive force not in -- proportionate --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat. The
9 interpreter didn't understand his statement.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, there was some difficulty
11 experienced by the interpreters following your meaning in your last
12 question. Would you find reformulating it.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 Q. Ambassador, in this paragraph, an excessive use of force by the
15 Serbian police forces is being condemned against civilians, but also that
16 applies to all terrorist acts undertaken by the Kosovo Liberation Army as
17 well as any support to terrorist activities in Kosovo, including finance,
18 arms, and training.
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please move to item 2,
21 if possible. That's on page 2, the next page.
22 Q. With respect to this item, I would like to ask you whether you
23 are aware that the leadership of the Kosovo Albanians had condemned
24 terrorist acts?
25 A. If I understand you correctly, sir, you referred to paragraph 2,
1 where it says:
2 "Calls upon the Kosovar Albanian leadership to condemn terrorist
4 I know that there was disagreement, as you know, as well as I do,
5 probably better, there were different political parties and factions on
6 the Kosovo Albanian side and there were some that were more - what should
7 I say? - willing to accommodate with President Milosevic and other.
8 Mr. Rugova was one of those who were looking for a compromise, while
9 others did not want such a compromise.
10 Q. Thank you. But my question was: After this resolution was
11 passed, did any political party of the Kosovo Albanians condemn these
12 terrorist actions? Are you aware of that?
13 A. That could be, but I cannot recall that.
14 Q. We can now see Exhibit Number D160.
15 Ambassador, we are now going to look at Resolution 1199. Would
16 you agree with me that this actually represents a basis and a legal
17 basis, actually, for the introduction of the Kosovo Verification Mission
18 and all the subsequent legal instruments that were adopted at a later
20 A. If it was the basis for all the subsequent legal instruments, I'm
21 not certain, but it was definitely the resolution that we used as a basis
22 for establishing the KVM, yes.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at page 2.
25 Q. Ambassador, if we look at item 1 we see that the Security Council
1 is actually requesting a cease-fire to be implemented.
2 A. That's correct. That's what we tried to achieve, sir.
3 Q. Thank you. Then in item 2 they demand that the humanitarian
4 situation be improved in order to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Then in item 3 they call upon the parties to establish a
7 political dialogue in order to seek a solution, a negotiated political
8 solution; am I right?
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] And now can we turn the next page
10 in English.
11 Q. Mr. Vollebaek, as regards item 4, I'd like us to comment
12 sub-item (a). Do you agree that, pursuant to this item, the FRY forces
13 were requested to halt all actions only with respect to the civilian
14 population, and that there is no mention here of any terrorist forces?
15 A. I guess that this (a) mentions the security forces, yes, that
16 must be the Yugoslav Army, yes, I suppose so.
17 Q. Yes, but only with regard to the civilian population but not
18 terrorist forces?
19 A. It -- yes, it looks like that's the case, yes. But -- yes.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have Exhibit P835.
22 Q. Let us clarify one thing, Ambassador, and I think that it's been
23 there from the beginning of this trial. I may be wrong but you were, at
24 the time, a witness and a participant in those events. In the aftermath
25 of the Resolution 1199, the US
1 Mr. Holbrooke, who held talks with the president of the FRY as a
2 Special Representative; do you remember that? And as far as I know --
3 just can you say yes for the first part of my question?
4 A. Well, if the first part of the question is whether I remember
5 that there were talks between Ambassador Holbrooke and
6 President Milosevic, the answer is yes.
7 Q. Thank you. According to the evidence in file and some other
8 indicators, we have never heard of any document signed by Mr. Holbrooke
9 and Mr. Milosevic, but that - if I'm not wrong - the outcome of these
10 talks was an agreement for the Kosovo Verification Mission between
11 Mr. Geremek, the chief office of OSCE, and Mr. Jovanovic, who was the
12 foreign minister of the FRY, and I think that took place on the
13 16th of October, 1999 [as interpreted]?
14 A. In one way, sir, if I may say so, I'm to a certain extent happy
15 that you haven't seen the document between Mr. Holbrooke and
16 Mr. Milosevic either because I haven't and I was very upset at that time
17 that I hadn't seen it because it was referred to at numerous occasions by
18 Mr. Milosevic when he disagreed with me. So I was very upset about not
19 having seen it.
20 But that be as it may because we did have a basis for the
21 establishment of the KVM in the agreement that you just referred to, sir,
22 which was a signed agreement between the Government of the Federal
23 Republic of Yugoslavia
24 would say that whatever agreement there might have been between
25 Ambassador Holbrooke and President Milosevic then opened the way and
1 prepared a basis for this agreement that we -- that we had.
2 Q. Thank you. It's been ten years now, or rather, 11 years now.
3 Over this period of time, have you ever seen this
4 Holbrooke-Milosevic Agreement or not?
5 A. I haven't, and I still feel a little bit stupid by not having
6 that, so as late as yesterday I called my then-Chief of Staff who is now
8 And that, to a certain extent, comforted me.
9 Q. I think you're wrong. This document doesn't exist, the
10 Holbrooke-Milosevic document.
11 A. Well, then President Milosevic was lying to me on a number of
13 Q. Everybody's talking about these discussions and they believe that
14 it was translated into this agreement. Now, let's move to the agreement,
15 Mr. Ambassador. I'm talking about the Geremek-Jovanovic Agreement signed
16 on the 16th of October, 1998.
17 Can you please look at paragraph Roman numeral I, item 1.
18 Ambassador, based on this agreement was there any establishment of the
19 Kosovo Verification Mission envisaged?
20 A. Yes, I mean, we started very quickly. I mean, as you see, it
21 says that we should be able to establish a mission, and we did. And as I
22 said earlier today also, we had people in place already before Christmas
23 of 1999 -- 1998, sorry, sorry, sorry.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you please now look at item 5.
25 Ambassador, do you recall that the KDOM was set up sometime in
1 midyear, or rather, late June/beginning of July, and that it compromised
2 the diplomatic monitoring missions of Great Britain, European Union, USA
3 France, and I think the Federal Republic of Germany, I'm not sure. And
4 this item provides until your verification mission becomes operational
5 they were going to conduct these affairs?
6 A. I'm afraid, sir, that I cannot confirm the composition of KDOM,
7 but I agree with you that KDOM was established before KVM; and KVM was
8 the successor to KDOM.
9 Q. Thank you. I would like now to move to chapter --
10 Roman numeral II, and that's on the next page. Roman numeral II, item 1.
11 In your view, what was the principal task of the verification
12 process for the mission that had just been established?
13 A. Well, we should verify, as it says, in compliance with all
14 parties of the Security Council's Resolution and report on.
15 Q. Thank you. And can you please now look at Roman numeral III,
16 item 1.
17 A. I just got the first line, I'm afraid.
18 Q. Yes, you'll get the next page shortly. Am I right in saying that
19 in separate mandate, under 1, one of the tasks is to verify how
20 cease-fire is being maintained.
21 A. That's certainly so, and I -- the mission also did that.
22 Q. Thank you. Under item 2, does it provide for information about
23 the movement of forces in the previous week be handed over or dispatched
24 to the Kosovo Verification Mission
25 A. It says so in the agreement, yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Let me just ask you this: Were you familiar with
2 this agreement in 1998 and 1999 when you were --
3 A. Of course I was familiar with --
4 Q. -- chairman-in-office of the OSCE?
5 A. That was the basis for my activities. So I wouldn't have done my
6 job if I hadn't familiarised myself with the document, sir.
7 Q. Thank you. Could you please now look at item 3.
8 A. Yes, I already did.
9 Q. Now, let's see how you understand item 3. Did you have any
10 discussions with Mr. Walker concerning the application of this item 3 of
11 this separate mandate? Were there any issues between the two and did you
12 discuss them? Were you encountering any problems?
13 A. Not to my recollection.
14 Q. Thank you. And then regarding item 2, were there any discussions
15 and problems between the two of you, do you remember that?
16 A. Not to my recollection. Of course you will know, sir, that I did
17 not receive all the reports that were sent to KVM. I was not the
18 recipient of all KVM reports to Vienna
19 staff considered it was necessary for me to see.
20 Q. Thank you, sir. Given that we have established that Mr. Walker
21 was at the head of the verification mission and that all decisions in the
22 name of the mission were taken by him and you were the highest-ranking
23 officer in the OSCE who had sent this mission, I'm interested in how this
24 flow of information went between Mr. Walker and you as a political
1 Now, in that respect, would you please look at item 4.
2 Concerning item 4, were you being informed by Mr. Walker about certain
3 problems in terms of their applying or employing the mission on the
5 A. Well, I -- I was informed when there were problems, yes, and I
6 was informed, for instance, as I referred to earlier today the question
7 of the Racak massacre, that created a problem between the
8 Government of Yugoslavia
9 also, sir, that of course there was a leadership team of the KVM mission.
10 You refer to Mr. Walker as a kind of -- the only one. He was
11 definitely the head of the mission, and I of course related to him, since
12 I had appointed him; but when I visited Pristina and visited the mission,
13 we were also sitting together with a whole leadership team where there
14 were a number of different persons from different nations responsible for
15 different parts. So this was a team-work and not a one-person activity.
16 Q. Thank you, Ambassador. What I told you about is something I
17 learned from the various members of the mission, such as General Javier
18 and Mr. Ciaglinski and Mr. Drewienkiewicz. I was referring to some
19 information they provide during their testimony on the work of the
20 Kosovo Verification Mission and its seat in Pristina.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have P837 next.
22 Q. Ambassador, are you familiar with this document?
23 A. Not to my recollection, no. But I may have seen it but I cannot
24 recall it.
25 Q. This should be, or rather, it is the minutes of a meeting. The
1 document was signed by Mr. Nikola Sainovic, Mr. Vlastimir Djordjevic,
2 General Klaus Naumann, and General Wesley Clark. As we will see, it has
3 to do with Resolution 1199 mentioned in paragraph 2 and the position of
4 the federal government, which agreed to its implementation since its
5 official signed it. I just wanted to acquaint you with this page of the
6 document, and perhaps now we can move to the next page.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have the English
8 version as well.
9 Q. Ambassador, in late 1998 and early 1999, and in the course of
10 that year, were you familiar with this document and its contents?
11 A. I cannot recall having seen this document, but I was familiar
12 with an agreement or an understanding between -- well, us, the
13 international community being represented by NATO and the Yugoslav
14 government on the level of numbers of military presence or security
15 equipment -- or security presence in Kosovo.
16 Q. Thank you. I'm asking you about this for the following reason:
17 I was wondering whether there is any reason for me to go through this
18 document if you were not familiar with it and if you were not
19 implementing it at the time.
20 A. Well, I cannot judge that, sir; that must be up to you. But I
21 may have seen it but I cannot recall it.
22 Q. Thank you. Let's try then and go through it briefly. In para 1,
23 under that paragraph in its second part, in its second paragraph, did it
24 envisage for the FRY to take on the obligation of reducing or down-sizing
25 its security presence in terms of personnel in Kosovo and Metohija?
1 A. Well, as I said, I was not privy to this negotiations, that was
2 not my task. I had -- first of all, as I recall, this document was
3 already signed in 1998 during the previous chairman-in-office. So it may
4 be that the then-chairman-in-office was more involved than -- in it. So
5 I was only informed at a later stage that there were certain limits to
6 the presence of the -- or to the number of the security forces present in
7 Kosovo and that there were an agreement on that number. And as far as I
8 recall, that was not disputed in my conversations with
9 President Milosevic.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we next look at item 7.
12 Q. I won't go into any other details since I realise that your
13 knowledge of this document is only general, because you had a very senior
14 position in 1998 as well. In any case, am I correct in saying that in
15 item 7 it was envisaged that the withdrawals and deployments of the FRY
16 forces will be terminated by noon
17 latest until --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: By noon the
19 27th of October --
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. -- and at the latest by noon
22 be notified on the new structures and numbers.
23 A. I see that from the exhibit on my screen, sir, but I -- and I
24 cannot recall those dates.
25 Q. The dates are not so important. I'm interested in contents. Do
1 you remember that NATO issued an order to attack the FRY which was
2 suspended subsequently, and the FRY was expected to meet the obligations
3 envisaged by the document that we have before us?
4 A. I'm not certain that I understand your question, sir. This
5 document was dated in 1998, and to my knowledge there was no order by
6 NATO to attack Serbia
7 Q. NATO did issue an order. By virtue of Mr. Solana's decision, it
8 was stayed. All of these agreements had dead-lines that had to be met in
9 that respect. Perhaps you do not recall that NATO Activation Order?
10 A. No, I obviously do not.
11 Q. Thank you. However, given what we just saw, and this served as
12 the basis for verification, there were dead-lines set and it was also
13 determined that the KDOM was to notify those in charge on the compliance.
14 Do you remember that the FRY indeed complied of which both the OSCE and
15 the UN were informed?
16 A. I do not recall, but -- no, I don't -- but I -- but since we were
17 working on this and there was a process with the implementation of the
18 Security Council Resolution and the implementation of the
19 Kosovo Verification Mission, I -- my understanding was -- or I got
20 information that the basis for the implementation of our activities was
21 in place. So that -- I guess that means that it was by those who should
22 have or should do the verification they were satisfied that we could go
23 ahead with the implementation.
24 Q. Ambassador, please have a look at Roman numeral III of this
25 document, its last sentence. That sentence begins with:
1 "However, as a last resort ... the State authorities ..."
2 And so on.
3 Do you agree with me, Ambassador, that the signatories of the
4 agreement agreed that the FRY had the right to respond to terrorist
5 attacks directed against the authorities and citizens in such
6 circumstances in which the lives and safety are jeopardised?
7 A. Yes, I do, but if you, by that, imply that the activities taken
8 by the Yugoslav government in Kosovo were proportionate and designed to
9 do that and that we overreacted by withdrawing the KVM and the war, I
10 would refute that, sir, and say that I disagree with you.
11 Q. Thank you. We haven't reached that period yet. We're still at
12 the beginning. We're now merely reading through the agreement. I wanted
13 to know when it was signed and what was signed. We are about to move to
14 the process of verification.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we next have Exhibit P836.
16 Q. My first question in this regard is this: Were you familiar at
17 all with this agreement reached in late 1998 and during your mandate in
19 A. No, and I don't think I should have been.
20 Q. Very well. It is one of the documents that the KVM was supposed
21 to implement. In any case, let us move on.
22 Ambassador, did you actively participate in the formation of the
23 verification mission following the decision on its establishment?
24 A. Not in -- on a daily basis. I took it upon myself to assist the
25 then-Foreign Minister Geremek in the implementation of this agreement,
1 and Norway
2 staff was very much actively involved, but I was not.
3 Q. Thank you. I will not go into any details then, but I wanted to
4 ask you something about the status of the different members of the
5 verification mission on a general level, and I don't mean their
6 international status as diplomats in the FRY but their status within the
7 OSCE itself. Were they international officials within or working for the
8 OSCE as the representatives, or were they the representatives of their
9 states, or both perhaps? Basically, who did the members of the
10 Kosovo Verification Mission work for?
11 A. They, of course, worked for the OSCE and they were responsible to
12 me and to nobody else, as all international civil servants are supposed
13 to be.
14 Q. Thank you. Who paid the members of the KVM?
15 A. Well, sir, you ask difficult questions. Now, I guess they
16 were -- some came probably from the OSCE budget, but most of it was extra
17 budgetary funds I would think because this was an extremely costly
18 operation, and -- so a number of us paid. I know that Norway
19 a bit. So I guess one went around begging for funds as international
20 organisations normally do and -- in order to be able to finance it.
21 But to make it clear, the salaries of course to my knowledge came
22 from -- well, came from Vienna
23 Maybe we have a system in the OSCE of secondment. So it could be that
24 some of the members were actually seconded. That could very well be.
25 But still, they would be employed by the OSCE and then, in this case, for
1 instance, Mr. Walker by me, appointed by me. But it could be that some
2 of their salaries were -- for some of them were seconded. I don't -- I
3 cannot recall the situation, actually, at that time. Today we have a
4 system where some people are seconded and some are not. In my office,
5 for instance, here in The Hague
6 that are paid directly by the organisation.
7 Q. Thank you. If I understand you well -- well, let's try to use
8 the example of the relationship between Norway and the OSCE. Norway
9 a state, made payments to the OSCE funds, and then the OSCE made use of
10 those funds as needed?
11 A. That is correct. But in addition to this kind of membership fee
12 that we pay into the budget, the OSCE is also heavily dependent upon
13 extra budgetary funds. That means that countries pay to a specific
14 project in addition to what is their membership fee. And I know that in
15 the case of KVM we needed extra budgetary funds in order to make that
16 operation possible because the OSCE didn't have budget that would allow
17 for such a costly and big operation. But in -- and so it is partly then
18 coming from the ordinary budget of the OSCE and partly coming from extra
19 budgetary funds from the different participating states.
20 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to reporting. Was the OSCE and its
21 staff in Pristina duty-bound to --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Was the KVM and its staff in Pristina duty-bound to report to the
25 OSCE, i.e., to you in Vienna
1 A. They were -- they were reporting to the OSCE, yes. They were not
2 reporting directly to me. They were reporting, as I said earlier, to the
3 secretariat; and then I was informed on a need basis.
4 Q. Thank you. During the relevant time, were you informed that
5 reports were being sent outside the OSCE from the Pristina headquarters?
6 A. I was not, and that would have been a violation of the rules.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you have any knowledge of what the criteria
8 used -- what was the criteria used to select those working for the OSCE
9 in terms of their nationality and qualifications?
10 A. Well, we, first of all, tried to get the best people possible to
11 meet the requirements of the position that they're going to fulfil;
12 secondly, one is also then looking for a balanced representation from the
13 different areas or different regions of the -- from where the
14 participating states come.
15 Q. Thank you. You mentioned several times towards the close of your
16 examination-in-chief that this was a civilian verification mission not a
17 military one, and that in your view it should have been a military one.
18 Don't you think that a civilian mission has greater weight than a
19 military mission or a military presence in a given territory would have,
20 particularly since it had to rely on its civilian verifiers representing
21 the international community?
22 A. Well, I don't think that I said that I wanted the KVM as such to
23 become a military mission, but I wanted it to change its position in
24 February when it became obvious that President Milosevic didn't respect
25 the agreement and the mandate of the mission, and the mission, being a
1 civilian mission, could not fulfil its mandate.
2 I agree with you that there are many -- many advantages to a
3 civilian mission, but that, of course, requires that both sides comply
4 with it. It doesn't have a cloud. It doesn't have -- it doesn't have
5 power to implement its mandate if the two sides or whatever sides you
6 have don't cooperate with the mission.
7 And we saw then that the sides, also the KLA, did not respect the
8 mission. So we, of course, had to address that on several occasions
9 also. But -- so we lost power. We couldn't fulfil the mandate, and in
10 that way, I could not accept to have a mission continuing without
11 fulfilling its mandate.
12 Q. Ambassador, according to the agreements and the resolution we
13 saw, the basic and primary task of the verification mission was to
14 monitor the cease-fire and eventual violations of it. Having in mind the
15 way the mission worked and implemented that, it started being very
16 efficient as of January in that regard. Do you agree with that?
17 A. Yes, I agree. I -- as I said earlier, I felt that when I visited
18 the -- Kosovo, particularly maybe the second time -- you know, when I
19 came at the first time, it was at the beginning of its mission and they
20 had not deployed everywhere. So I got the impression at that time that
21 maybe they were not in full force yet.
22 But then when I came there the second time, I felt it was fairly
23 efficient, it was well received. And then when I came back the third
24 time, and that may have been the 2nd of March as you say -- I'm sorry
25 that it was that early because it proved then that the agreement that we
1 had really were undermined very quickly.
2 Q. Thank you, Ambassador. I will try to jog your memory a bit since
3 we are on that topic. You were in Belgrade
4 the talks with the FRY president on the 11th of January, 1999.
5 Unfortunately, no substantial matters were discussed at that point in
6 time. What was discussed heavily at that point in time were the
7 kidnappings that were occurring in Kosovo at the time. Am I correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. The second time there were any talks in Belgrade was on the
10 20th of January, 1999, when the FRY government decided to proclaim
11 Mr. Walker persona non grata, and it was because of that that you arrived
12 in Belgrade
13 with the OSCE policy. Is that correct?
14 A. Sir, I think it was more than expressing my disagreement. I was
15 telling President Milosevic that he was violating an agreement and that
16 it was none of his business, actually, to withdraw the head of the KVM;
17 that was only by business. And also explain to him that the whole
18 mission would fall. It was not just changing the head of a mission.
19 So -- but that's true, we -- that was the main issue at that
20 time, yes.
21 Q. I just wanted to remind you about the dates, and I may have gone
22 a bit more widely. But do you agree that it all had to do with Racak
24 A. Certainly. No, the visit on the 20th of January, as you say, was
25 because of Racak and the serious situation then that happened with the --
1 or occurred or resulted in the -- President Milosevic's desire to declare
2 Mr. Walker persona non grata.
3 Q. Thank you. You will agree with me that you said that at that
4 time, irrespective of the Racak problem that we will discuss separately,
5 that the situation was otherwise satisfactory and that people trusted the
6 KVM as well as that it was successfully implementing its mandate, that
7 was in late January 1999. Is that correct?
8 A. I wouldn't say that the situation was satisfactory and that we
9 were fully implementing; I think that is to go too far. But it's true
10 that the -- there were confidence in us from the local population and
11 that we -- that we felt that we could do -- or else I was told and I saw
12 for myself also that there was a good relationship and that we could do
13 the job that we were supposed to do. That doesn't mean that they were
14 not reporting along the way about skirmishes and disagreements and
15 problems on -- with both sides, but we felt that we did a useful job,
17 Q. Thank you. Today you mentioned a rather unusual way that
18 Mr. Walker informed about Racak regarding yourself. You said that you
19 learned about that actually from the newspapers. Am I correct in
20 concluding that?
21 A. As far as I recall, yes, it was -- anyway, as you say, an unusual
22 way of information. I -- this broke through the media, and as far as I
23 recall, I also learned it through the media.
24 Q. Ambassador, don't you think that you, as a chairman-in-office,
25 when talking about this event which has been characterised by many,
1 including yourself, as a massacre, a report should have first been sent
2 to you urgently; and then as a political head or political leader of the
3 OSCE to take a stand on that, instead of Mr. Walker, chief of the staff
4 in Pristina, doing that?
5 A. Yes, I agree with you. And I told Mr. Walker that very clearly,
6 that I was not very happy with this incident or the way that he handled
7 it. And I also told Mr. Milosevic, because he, of course, wanted to use
8 this for whatever it was worth and even quite a bit more as I saw it,
9 that was right.
10 But at the same time, the mishandling of a report system cannot
11 defend or diminish the gravity of what happened in Racak. And it was, of
12 course, irrelevant for whatever happened. There are two different
13 questions there of totally different proportions. And so it didn't
14 excuse what happened, nor President Milosevic's reaction to it, nor his
15 denial of the forensic mission that the OSCE wanted to send; rather to
16 the contrary, at least in my mind. It strengthened my suspicion that
17 something really wrong had gone on since Mr. Milosevic would not allow
18 the OSCE forensic team to come to the scene immediately.
19 Q. Thank you. Let me just ask you this: On what day did you find
20 out about the Racak incident; do you remember?
21 A. No, I do not recall.
22 Q. Well, allow me to remind you. The incident in Racak took place
23 on the 15th of January, 1999. Mr. Walker was in Racak on the
24 16th of January, 1999, and held a press conference in Pristina on that
25 same day. You yourself learned about this from the media, so that could
1 have been the 16th, on the evening, or the next day, on the 17th, if this
2 story was covered by the media?
3 A. Well, if it is correct what you say, that Mr. Walker had a press
4 conference on the 16th, I suppose I would have been informed about it on
5 the 16th; it would have been strange otherwise.
6 Q. When was the first time that you had a contact with Mr. Milosevic
7 after this event?
8 A. I do not recall, but I know that I was on the phone, maybe not
9 with Mr. Milosevic, but with the Foreign Minister Jovanovic very soon
10 because this became then a problem. And as a result of that, I went as
11 quickly as possible to Belgrade
12 Q. A short while ago you told us that you talked to Mr. Milosevic
13 about the OSCE forensic team. So I would like to know, When was it that
14 you discussed this particular subject with Mr. Milosevic?
15 A. Well, I discussed it, I remember very clearly when we had this
16 meeting where we also discussed the situation with Walker, but then it
17 was already clear that the OSCE forensic team had not been allowed in.
18 Again, the establishment of a forensic team is not my business.
19 This is, of course, the organisation's business. And as I said, I spoke
20 to Foreign Minister Jovanovic and I also called Mr. Milosevic on the
21 phone, but if this was then the 17th or the 18th or the 19th, I am not
22 able to recall.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know at all whether the OSCE team ever arrived
24 in Pristina; and if it did, on which date?
25 A. I cannot tell you the date, sir, but my -- at least I have seen a
1 report from an OSCE forensic team under, as far as I recall, a Finnish
2 leadership. And I think I even, if I recall correctly, spoke to the
3 person at that time. So I suppose they arrived.
4 Q. We'll come to that document later. On the 21st January, 1999
5 Ambassador, you attended talks in Belgrade. According to the report that
6 we are going to see now, I believe that the forensic team on that day was
7 already in Pristina and was working together with the team who had
8 already started work there. Did you know anything about this at that
9 time or even today?
10 A. It could very well be. I know that they worked together with the
12 working or when they finished working, but I know the Finns were -- or
13 the head of the team who was a Finn and, as I said, was dissatisfied and
14 regretted that they could not have been there earlier. And they claim
15 that the report was not as good as it could have been if they had been on
16 the scene earlier and without having this team from Belarus arriving at
17 an earlier stage and being active there before they came.
18 Q. Thank you. Do you know that Mr. Walker was in Racak on the
19 16th January, 1999
20 A. Well, he had been to Racak and he had seen -- that was, of
21 course, the whole -- the reason why he had a press conference because he
22 was shocked and he was -- he was very moved. And that was also what I
23 explained to Mr. Milosevic when I saw him then on the 20th, that -- I
24 mean, whatever you say about reporting procedures, I would say that
25 Mr. Walker's reaction to a certain extent was a very sane one, a normal
1 one, from any human being that is witnessing something like what had
2 happened in Racak. At the same time, you might expect that from head of
3 a mission and a seasoned ambassador that there are -- that you control
4 your reactions. But I -- and, again, to a certain extent I have great
5 sympathy for Mr. Walker in spite of the fact that I -- this -- criticised
6 him for the way he had handled it. But I understand his reaction, so
7 I -- I think it was a normal reaction from his side, in spite of the fact
8 that it may not have been very helpful at that time.
9 Q. Thank you. According to some estimates, he headed off towards
10 Racak on the 16th of January, accompanied by 50 journalists and TV crews
11 altogether, and that is when he left Pristina. Did you know that?
12 A. I didn't know the number of TV crews or anything like that, but I
13 suppose he was accompanied by some people, yes.
14 Q. Thank you. Did Mr. Walker inform you that the KLA were in Racak
15 on the 16th of January and that he talked to the commander of the KLA for
16 the Racak zone?
17 A. I cannot recall that, but he may very well have done that, but I
18 cannot recall it.
19 Q. Thank you. Do you remember being informed that as early as on
20 the afternoon of the 15th of January Racak was in the hands of the KLA,
21 that they had control over it?
22 A. Not that I recall, but visiting Racak later -- and as I mentioned
23 earlier today, I saw that there was no problems, seeing that there had
24 been fighting, so there was obviously fighting that had been going on in
25 that area. But I'm not now able to testify to any dates.
1 Q. Thank you. Ambassador, were you informed that during the visit
2 to Racak on the 16th of January, bodies were removed -- moved around,
3 that casings were picked up as souvenirs, and that the crime scene was
4 not secured, which resulted in its being polluted?
5 A. I was informed, as far as I recall, that the crime scene was not
6 secured but I was not informed about any of the other details that you
7 refer to.
8 Q. Thank you. Were you informed as to when was it the first time
9 that the police forces of Republic of Serbia
10 crime scene investigation was conducted?
11 A. That could be, but I cannot recall it.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please have
14 Defence Exhibit D003-0947 on our screens, please.
15 Q. Ambassador, I would just like to inform you about one single
16 fact, and that is that the scene-of-crime investigation report was
17 compiled by the investigating judge of the court in Pristina on the
18 18th of January, 1999. Now I would like to ask you if you knew that
19 Mr. Gil Gilberson and Ed Soleven from the OSCE were present at the scene?
20 A. I cannot recall that I have been informed about that.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Gopalan.
22 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, we do not have a translation of this
23 report, but it would assist us if we are provided with a description of
24 this document. I'm not sure if the information provided in the question
25 suffices to inform us of what this document is. So perhaps Defence
1 counsel could tell us at the very least what this document is.
2 JUDGE PARKER: First, Mr. Djurdjic, is there a translation of
3 this document?
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] It does exist, Your Honours, only
5 I wasn't aware of that. And it's D003-0 --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the last four
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] D004-0035.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It appears to be on the screen now, Ms. Gopalan.
10 That should meet your needs.
11 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just wanted to
13 emphasize that I'm using this document to put the questions. I am aware
14 that the ambassador is not familiar with this document. I only wanted to
15 know whether he know that two OSCE members, Mr. Ed Soleven and
16 Mr. Fantini [as written] Giovanni were present in the course of the
17 on-site investigation in Racak on the 18th of January, 1999, which is to
18 say, on the fourth day after the event.
19 A. As I said, sir, I do not recall. But it wouldn't surprise me, so
20 to say -- I mean, this was, of course, a very important event and I would
21 expect the KVM to follow this up very actively.
22 Q. Thank you, Ambassador, but as I understand, the KVM made all
23 efforts in order to inform you about everything that was going on and
24 then four days after the event, the Serbian authorities entered Racak.
25 Did they inform you why that happened that way?
1 A. That could very well be but, sir, again these are actually some
2 years ago and I do not recall every sequence of this. I recall very well
3 when the news broke. I recall my conversations and negotiations with
4 Mr. Milosevic. I recall my later visit to Racak. All that made a great
5 impression on me. Every single detail of what happened in between,
6 despite of the fact that it was serious and important, I do not recall
7 because there were other people between me and the actual implementers
8 that dealt with those on a day-to-day basis.
9 Q. I fully understand that, but I perceive you as man number one in
10 the OSCE at the time.
11 Let me ask you one more thing: Had you ever been informed that
12 the KLA had imposed, or rather, requested a precondition that the Serbian
13 investigating judge should be allowed to enter the scene without any
14 security guards except in the presence and accompaniment of OSCE
16 A. That could very well be, sir, but I do not recall.
17 Q. Thank you. Do you remember that you had received information
18 about the presence of the KLA in Racak and that fighting had been going
20 A. As I said, when I visited Racak later on there was no doubt that
21 there had been fighting going on. At what time I was informed about that
22 fighting, I do not recall.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you ever receive a report from the verifiers that
24 the Serbian forces had reported to the Kosovo Verification Mission that
25 an operation against terrorist forces was going to be launched in Racak?
1 A. Not to my recollection.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you ever receive a report that former members of
3 the Kosovo Diplomatic Mission from the United States were supposed to be
4 at a certain place in Racak on the 15th of January and to observe the
5 action that was to be taken against the Kosovo Liberation Army and they,
6 however, did not fulfil that task?
7 A. No, I was not and I didn't even know that Kosovo had a diplomatic
8 mission at that time nor in the United States nor anywhere else. It was
9 not an independent state as far as I recall.
10 Q. Apparently there was a mistake. The Kosovo Diplomatic Mission
11 the US
12 A. Well, the United States did not have a diplomatic mission in
13 Kosovo either. I guess they may have had some representatives covering
14 Kosovo from Belgrade
16 forth. So I guess the only diplomatic mission that the United States had
17 in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was in Belgrade
18 have had people looking after the situation in Kosovo, which we otherwise
19 did at that time.
20 Q. I'm talking about the 15th of January when these people became
21 members of the Kosovo Verification Mission.
22 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question, sir.
23 Q. All right. Ambassador, what I have just put to you is a
24 statement of one of the verifiers from the KVM. I wanted to ask you
25 this: Are you sure that you received accurate and true information about
1 any situation in general and the situation in Racak in particular?
2 A. Yes, I'm fairly certain -- because, you know, we were not only
3 dependent upon the information from one source, our information and the
4 information I received came from different sources. And when we assessed
5 the overall situation with respect to what had happened in Racak, I think
6 the sources that I could rely upon and the information that I received
7 indicated that there had been an action or that had taken place that was
8 a clear violation of basic human rights and that it was actually carried
9 out by military forces against civilians.
10 I understand, for instance, that there were found elderly people
11 in the grave and there were found very young, almost children, and so
12 there were not to my understanding -- and there were no -- I was told
13 there were no military uniforms or anything like that on the people. So
14 it was not -- it could not be put as a result of a military action
15 between two sides.
16 Q. Thank you. Ambassador, this very same verifier told us, or
17 rather, stated in his statement that the FRY army was not in Racak. But
18 let me ask you something different. Did the report that you saw contain
19 the details of the victims as to their gender, sex, age, et cetera? Did
20 you see any details of that kind?
21 A. It's, again, difficult to remember, but I remember, as I just
22 said, that I was told that the -- or the information I received indicated
23 at least that the group was not a typical military group. And so I was
24 told about the age of the people and also about the sex of some of them.
25 So -- but exactly how old they were and how many there were under each
1 gender, I was not -- well, I may have been told, but I don't recall it.
2 Q. Thank you. There was only one female aged, I believe, 19,
3 perished in this incident, and I think she's been buried at the cemetery
4 of the KLA. And there was one young boy, 15 to 16 years of age. All the
5 rest of them were adult males. Has anyone ever told you this what I just
6 told you, or did you possibly have this information at the time?
7 A. I had the impression -- I don't recall the number of females and
8 males. I remember -- I was told that there were -- may have been just
9 one female then. I also was told that there was a young boy. But I also
10 was told that there were elderly men that one was -- didn't think would
11 be in any kind of military service. But the number and the age, I may
12 have been told, but I do not recall.
13 Q. Now you have put me into a very uncomfortable situation. What do
14 you mean when you say "elderly" people? Please, where do you draw the
15 line when you say this person is fit for military service age-wise?
16 A. I can assure you, sir, that that line has changed considerably
17 over the years. So the elderly become older and older according to me.
18 But -- so I can't remember exactly at that time 11 years ago I --
19 probably the line was somewhat lower than what it is today.
20 Q. Thank you. Let's move on. We still have a little time before
21 the break, so I'll ask you about Racak.
22 Tell me, how come that Mr. Walker decided on his own, without
23 your consent, to hold this press conference and to provide the
24 information that he did? So he didn't obtain prior consent from you as
25 the chairman-in-office of the OSCE?
1 A. Well, I guess you have to ask Mr. Walker about that to get the
2 real answer. What he told me and what I accepted and understand was that
3 he was so outraged about what he saw and he was so upset that he -- he
4 could not wait, so to say, to make this known. He felt that this was
5 very important. So it was, as he explained it, a human reaction to
6 something that he found was outrageous.
7 Q. Thank you. Ambassador, do you know that trenches had been dug
8 around Racak, that there were fortifications there of military type? Did
9 you know that?
10 A. That could be, but I must admit that I don't recall that now, but
11 there -- I don't know. I don't recall it.
12 Q. Thank you. I believe that General Maisonneuve and
13 General Drewienkiewicz was photographed -- the whole area of Racak was
14 photographed on the 16th. Have you ever seen this footage of Racak?
15 A. As far as I recall, I saw some pictures, yes. Whether those are
16 the pictures you refer to, I don't know, but I saw some pictures, yes.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
19 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Djurdjic? We will
20 have the second break now, and we will resume at five minutes before
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, may I just -- I hope the
23 representative of the Defence knows that I have only today. I'm afraid I
24 can't make many more days available, so that you may inform him that he
25 has to put the important questions to me during the course of today.
1 JUDGE PARKER: You'll be pleased to know that was done yesterday.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: And we will finish at 1.45 today.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: And that, of course, will allow some time to
6 Ms. Gopalan.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Ambassador, I'm so sorry to hear that you have to leave because I
12 need to speed things up, but let's finish with the topic of Racak. Were
13 you informed by anyone that the KVM representatives, Mr. Henry and
14 Mr. Pedersen were present when the bodies were exhumed and once the
15 autopsies were under way?
16 A. I remember the name Mr. Pedersen. That could be, but I -- again,
17 I must admit that I do not recall. You know, to repeat myself, I was not
18 informed about all the details with this respect.
19 Q. Thank you. You were informed by Ms. Helena Ranta who was the
20 head of the forensic team from Finland
21 there were no signs of mutilation on the bodies?
22 A. I don't exactly remember what she said, but what I remember from
23 the report was that they regretted that they had come in late and that
24 there were -- they had problems in part of the verification because of
1 Q. Thank you. I absolutely agree because one needs certain other
2 elements in addition to the autopsy to have a complete expertise. Did
3 you know that the bodies were transferred from the location to a mosque
4 and the investigating judge found the bodies in that mosque and that
5 subsequently the corpses were transferred to the Forensic Institute?
6 A. I'm not certain about the mosque. I heard that the bodies were
7 transferred, if they were, to this Forensic Institute, whether that was
8 via a mosque or not, I am not able to confirm that I knew.
9 Q. Thank you. Just one brief question: Did you know that
10 Mr. Walker threw a pencil at Ms. Helena Ranta during their conversations
11 when he found -- when he saw the findings of the forensic team?
12 A. That he threw a pencil at her? No, I was not informed about
14 Q. Thank you. Did you know that he exercised pressure as well as
15 the Finnish foreign minister exercised pressure on her in order to change
16 the findings of her forensic team?
17 A. No, I was not informed about that.
18 Q. Thank you. Have you read the book she wrote concerning Racak and
19 the work of the team? It goes a few years back.
20 A. No, I haven't.
21 Q. Thank you. Let's move on.
22 Ambassador, am I right in saying that the Yugoslav delegation in
23 Rambouillet accepted the agreement that was tabled by the Contact Group?
24 A. The first -- the draft agreement that we saw earlier, that I was
25 shown earlier, that was tabled on the 20 -- or that we had then
1 discussions on February -- I guess it was dated the 23rd of February.
2 That -- to my knowledge, that was accepted or not accepted, but it was
3 positively received by the delegation.
4 As you will know, I was not part of the Contact Group, so I
5 didn't participate in the day-to-day negotiations. I was called in
6 twice, once then in Rambouillet and once later on in Paris
7 the members of the Contact Group and the two delegations. But when it
8 was decided then to have this recess, my understanding was that the
9 Yugoslav delegation was fairly positive to the draft, yes.
10 Q. Do you agree that the talks were interrupted because the members
11 of the Kosovo delegation belonging to the KLA had to consult with the
12 commanders in the field first before signing the agreement in
14 A. Whether they wanted to consult with the commanders in the field
15 or not, I don't know exactly, but they wanted to have consultations, yes.
16 But my understanding was also that the Serb or the Yugoslav delegation
17 needed to confirm or to have an approval that they -- I'm not certain
18 that they have the full mandate to sign there and then.
19 Q. Thank you, Ambassador. You know very well that any agreement
20 that is originally signed subsequently needs to be ratified by the state
21 assembly. In any case, let us move on to another topic.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have D157 next.
23 Q. Ambassador, we will see a KVM report of the 26th of February for
24 the period until the 4th of March, 1999. The first page, the first two
25 paragraphs under the heading "KLA," were you informed about the fact that
1 in the Djeneral Jankovic area a hundred KLA members crossed the border,
2 entering it?
3 A. Yes, probably -- I don't know. I can't remember if there were a
4 hundred and all that, but I was informed about different violations, yes,
6 Q. Have a look at bullet point 1. Were you -- did you know that
7 they were actually supporting a mass movement of refugees so as to have
8 that portrayed as one of the consequences of the Serb offensive?
9 A. Well, I -- well, I was informed about violations. As I said, if
10 I was in detail informed about exactly what was going on, I'm not
11 certain. And as I said earlier, I was not actually privy to all these
12 reports because they went to Vienna
13 were violations on both sides, and we opposed both sides in that respect.
14 Q. Thank you, but I believe this is an important point. The KLA
15 first acted and then manipulated the internal displaced persons so as to
16 paint a picture of a humanitarian catastrophe and to persuade the
17 international community that the FRY were in violation of the agreement,
18 hence providing an excuse for the international forces to intervene. In
19 my view, that is very important.
20 A. Well, sir, they were not very successful then because according
21 to this report we knew what they were doing. So that was not any reason
22 for any kind of international intervention because they were -- this
23 is -- as you told me, this is a KVM report and it clearly says that there
24 is manipulation by the KLA. So if the KLA wanted to manipulate us, they
25 were unsuccessful in manipulating us.
1 Q. I think they were successful because on the 1st or 2nd of March,
2 when you arrived in Kosovo, that the situation had deteriorated
3 significantly, that you saw many IDPs, and that you believed that the KVM
4 was no longer able to fulfil its mandate?
5 A. Well, sir, with all due respect, even though this may have been
6 the case, and I don't doubt that because I say we knew there were
7 breaches of the agreement on both sides, we -- I mean, I had with me
8 experts and people from the mission that actually could distinguish who
9 was doing what at what time and where, so we were not that easily fooled.
10 Q. Very well. But the world media carried the information they
11 received from Albanian sources, and that is how the world public opinion
12 was being created.
13 A. Well, I did not base my decisions on public opinion, sir, and you
14 will know that the world media misinforms us every day, so that's nothing
16 Q. Thank you. Did you know that the staff of the KVM as one of the
17 sources of information used the media, i.e., the people working for the
18 various media?
19 A. Of course we used media as a source of information in Kosovo, but
20 we also, as you will know, as long as we managed with -- as long as we
21 could have people out in the field, we had field representatives. That's
22 the strength of the OSCE. That's the situation even in Kosovo today. So
23 it means that we have people in the local villages that can inform us
24 directly, so we're not dependent upon second-hand sources for our
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Page 2, please. There should be
3 something saying:
4 "On other locations ..."
5 Can we go back to page 1 in the English version, the first page,
6 please. The second page.
7 Q. The part that reads:
8 "On other locations the KLA forces in the Podujevo area managed
9 to carry out an attack in the town itself - effectively taking the fight
10 to the Serbs ..."
11 Do you see that part?
12 A. No, sir, where are you?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, the heading is actually
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, I see that, mm-hmm.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Ambassador, it was precisely at the time of your visit in
18 Pristina and when you were taken to Podujevo. At that time, the KLA
19 liberated the city, the town, from their point of view, of course. Did
20 you know that at the time when you were in Pristina on the 2nd of March?
21 A. I think even on the 2nd of March I went to Podujevo, as far as I
22 recall, and I think that the reason why we went there was they had
23 been -- that the KVM had been very actively involved there. And also
24 that this was the time, as far as I recall, that we also saw the KLA
25 position and the VJ position. So I visited both sides and we were told
1 about the military activities in that area as far as I recall.
2 Q. Such activities in which the KLA attacked and took over Podujevo?
3 A. Well, I'm not certain that I understand your question, whether I
4 was informed about KLA activities; is that the question?
5 Q. You just read the part in which it is stated that the KLA managed
6 to enter Podujevo.
7 A. Yeah -- well, yes, I -- again, I know that we visited Podujevo
8 because -- because that was an important area for the KVM and they wanted
9 to show me that area and the activities. What I was told, with all due
10 respect, ten years ago or even more than ten years ago, I must admit, I
11 do not recall.
12 Q. Thank you. And it is then that you saw the destroyed roofs of
14 A. Yes, then and on later occasions, yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Page 5 of the document, please.
17 Q. Can you please look at the part titled "Assessment" and then what
18 follows. Am I right in saying that the subheading is:
19 "KLA: Exploiting the media."
20 And that from this KVM report it is clear that:
21 "... ethnic Albanians will continue to work on international
22 sympathy for their cause. The plight of the IDPs remain their strongest
23 weapon ..."
24 Were you familiar with that?
25 A. Yes, I suppose I was. I can't remember that sentence, but we
1 were, of course, very well informed that KLA used the situation for their
2 cause and this was also one of my arguments when I spoke to
3 President Milosevic, that he should be cooperating with us because I
4 couldn't see that he had anything to lose from working with us and
5 accepting our cooperation.
6 Q. Thank you. Please look at the last sentence in this conclusion:
7 "The KLA are unlikely to wish to provoke another Racak.
8 Therefore, the provocations will be in areas they are confident of either
9 defending or at least free of retribution."
10 Were you informed of that, that is to say that there was
11 information available to the effect that Racak was a provocation to be
12 exploited with the media?
13 A. I may have been told about this report. I don't recall that.
14 But even if there was a provocation, which I think happened quite often
15 from the KLA side, I think a proper army or a proper police force, like
16 the Yugoslav Army and the Yugoslav police cannot use provocation as an
17 excuse for attack on civilians.
18 Q. Very well. When the KLA does that and when they say it was done
19 by the FRY forces, it seems that, again, it was upon the FRY to deal with
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] In any case, could we please move
22 on to P847, item 4, please.
23 Q. Ambassador, this is a KVM report of the 15th of March, 1999
24 Please look at item 4, sub-item (a). Did you know that after the KLA
25 entered the area of Kacanik the KLA commander prohibited the UNHCR to
1 evacuate the IDPs there and the KVM interpreted that as an attempt to use
2 the Albanian civilians as a live shield, human shield?
3 A. If I was particularly informed about this incident, I am not
4 certain but that could very well be. I was briefed on a daily basis on
5 the deterioration of the situation. And as I said earlier, this was a
6 deterioration that was caused by a lack of -- lack of cooperation with us
7 from both sides. But we were there partly to monitor the situation but
8 also partly to protect the civilians. And because of this lack of
9 cooperation, we could not protect the civilians and the whole reason for
10 our withdrawal was that we could not fulfil our mandate. So this only
11 underlines my decision to withdraw.
12 And also, if you allow me, sir, this was one of my arguments when
13 I had my conversation and discussions with President Milosevic. Why
14 couldn't he cooperate with us? If the culprits were KLA, if the culprits
15 were on the other side and the perpetrators, then of course it could be
16 in his interest to open up the Kosovo region to an international military
17 observer force.
18 Q. Thank you. Am I not right in saying that it was in the interests
19 of the KLA to have the situation destabilised in order for international
20 forces to enter Kosovo? That was their goal in view of their ultimate
21 goal of having an independent Kosovo, since having a foreign military
22 presence there would basically be a statement to the effect that this was
23 no longer territory of the FRY?
24 A. But if, with all due respect, President Milosevic did not
25 [Realtime transcript read in error missing word "not"] want an
1 independent Kosovo, it should have been definitely in his interests to
2 cooperate with us in order to have the international force there because
3 then we could have avoided the war and we could have also, I think,
4 avoided an independent Kosovo.
5 Q. Ambassador, I don't want to go into politics. I'd like to stay
6 with the facts during that time. Conclusions are then left to the Court.
7 I especially want to steer clear of any political conclusions. The
8 situation on the 1st of March was destabilised. You see from the
9 documents I showed you that the KLA wanted to provoke a destabilisation.
10 To corroborate that, I would like to move to P1076 and this will have to
11 do with your response having to do with the military presence.
12 A. But, please, if you allow me, sir, one comment before we move on.
13 Q. Be brief, please.
14 A. I will be very brief, but you -- with all due respect, you speak
15 to politician -- I was a politician at that time. I'm not a politician
16 any longer. So my -- I was not a monitor. My task was to find a
17 political solution to this conflict, and, of course, I used political
18 arguments in my conversation with Milosevic.
19 Q. I agree with that. You were the most prominent political figure
20 at the time in Europe
21 KVM. Let's look at this document of the 1st of March, 1999, when you
22 were in Belgrade
23 the results of your visit to Belgrade
24 Ambassador, am I right in saying that you insisted on NATO forces
25 entering Serbia
1 this KVM report, NATO, military forces, that is to say?
2 A. I insisted on -- I don't think it says NATO -- well, deployment
3 of NATO-led military force. That was what we wanted. Yes, that is true.
4 Of course I insisted on that because that was the only solution we saw to
5 avoiding a war. And I explained to Mr. Milosevic that it would be upon
6 his invitation and it would be a situation which was similar to other
7 countries where you have an international military presence. So it would
8 not be any kind of undermining his authority or anything like that, but
9 it would be assisting him in keeping law and order and in avoiding the
10 conflict that we saw looming.
11 Q. Why NATO forces? Why didn't you turn to the UN so that it could
12 define the mandate of these international military forces? You insisted
13 on the NATO forces. To cut things brief, Norway was at the time a member
14 of the NATO Pact and it was implementing both NATO policies and
15 OSCE policy?
16 A. Sir, with all due respect, I think I managed to keep the two hats
17 separately. I was very consistent and concerned that I should be the
18 OSCE chairman-in-office when I -- when I acted as the
19 OSCE chairman-in-office and not the foreign minister of a NATO country.
20 It is quite right that Norway
21 At that time, and even today, you will know that the
22 United Nations do not have capacity to be very actively involved
23 militarily, and it was agreed that the most likely and the only realistic
24 military force available on short notice - and we needed a force on short
25 notice - would be NATO forces. So this was not undermining the
1 United Nations.
2 You would also remember that both the chairman of the national --
3 of the Assembly of the United Nations and also the Secretary-General
4 referred to this as a viable solution.
5 Q. Doesn't it strike you as cynical -- well, on the 24th when you
6 had a telephone conversation you said, Invite NATO forces and then we
7 will not bomb you, then that would constitute a voluntary invitation so
8 as to prevent the war from taking place?
9 A. No, sir. With all due respect, I did not find that cynical at
10 all. I found it a moral obligation. Mr. Milosevic had over the years --
11 and even harassed, intimidated, misused his power against a people in
13 losing our -- any kind of moral authority. So we were forced by
14 Mr. Milosevic's lack of willingness to cooperate with us to do what we
16 Q. Who decided that the FRY should be attacked?
17 A. Well, that -- well, first of all, there were discussion in the --
18 what you would call the international community because there was a
19 discussion in the United Nations about this. We did not reach, as you
20 will know, a Security Council Resolution on that, which I do regret. I
21 think there should have been a proper UN mandate for this. We did not
22 reach that.
23 At the same time, there were what we call Chapter 7 language in
24 the UN both and by the Secretary-General and the Chairman of the Assembly
25 of the United Nations, which in my view gave the necessary basis for
1 the -- to start the war. And the reason for that was that we were afraid
2 that this could spread to the region. This was not any longer just an
3 internal Yugoslav matter; it was a matter of regional dimension, which
4 then gives, according to the UN Charter, the right of the international
5 community to intervene. So it was an intervention based on the fear of a
6 major catastrophe for the whole region.
7 Q. Ambassador, that was a very comprehensive answer. If I
8 understand correctly, it was not the UN that decided the -- that the FRY
9 be attacked. They actually opposed it. So who was it precisely who
10 decided that the FRY be attacked?
11 A. The decision to go to war was, as you very well know, sir, taken
12 by NATO. But I would not say, when you have the statements by the
13 Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Chairman of the Assembly,
14 I would not say that the United Nations was opposed. As you know, there
15 were different views and Russia
16 Permanent Members of the Security Council and they can lay down vetoes.
17 And it was not possible to get a Security Council Resolution for this.
18 But to say that the UN, as such, was opposed, I would beg to disagree
19 with you, sir.
20 Q. Contrary to the UN Charter - I don't mean you, but rather NATO -
21 decided to launch an attack on the FRY; am I right? Just yes or no so
22 that we can move on.
23 A. No.
24 Q. Thank you, thank you. So you worked in compliance with
25 international law. Let's move on. Did Mr. Walker used to inform you
1 about his meetings with some international figures such as the
2 Chief of Staff of the KLA?
3 A. Not that I recall, but I suppose he had meetings with a number of
4 actors on the ground and should; that was why he was there. He had
5 meetings with the representatives of the federal Yugoslav government and,
6 of course, local authorities and KLA. It was part of his job.
7 Q. That's not what I'm asking you. I'm asking about officials
8 outside the FRY, representatives of Russia and other countries. So that
9 which went beyond the mission's mandate in the FRY?
10 A. That he had meetings with the Russia government; is that what you
11 are meaning? Yeah, well -- no, not -- well, that could be. I must
12 admit, I don't recall with whom he had meetings. He might have had a
13 number of meetings. He was of course an interesting person at that time
14 and we had a number of delegations coming to Kosovo, governmental
15 delegations, and there would probably be governmental representatives
16 from a number of countries. So I wouldn't be surprised if he also met
17 with Russian representatives.
18 Q. Thank you. Did he inform you about his meeting with
19 General Ivashov who, at that time, I believe was at the head of the
20 political department of the Russian Ministry of Defence?
21 A. Not that I recall, sir.
22 Q. Do you remember at all that there were objections raised by
23 Russian officials concerning the way in which the KVM wrote its report
24 and also that Mr. Walker was liaising and maintaining contacts with
25 members of the KLA?
1 A. Not particularly links with KLA. That -- I can't remember that I
2 heard that. I had discussions and meetings with then-Foreign Minister
3 Igor Ivanov, the Russian foreign minister, where he complained about
5 mission. And we had discussions with that which I then took up also with
7 Q. Thank you. When the KVM left Kosovo and Metohija on the
8 20th of March and the war started, they did have liaison officers for
9 NATO; right?
10 A. There were maybe some liaison officers for NATO in the KVM, I
11 don't know, but that -- yes, I guess -- well, I must admit, I don't
12 recall exactly that but that would not be so surprising maybe.
13 Q. And do you know what was their assignment? I'm talking about
14 these liaison officers who liaised between the KVM and NATO?
15 A. Well, I suppose their assignment was what any liaison officer's
16 assignment is, to keep links open between one organisation and another.
17 Q. Do you know that the KVM liaison officers used to hand over
18 information received from the KLA to NATO for the purpose of prosecuting
19 a war against the FRY?
20 A. No, I'm not informed about that.
21 Q. Do you know people -- a man called Richard Ciaglinski and
22 David Meyer from the KVM?
23 A. I can't recall those names, no.
24 Q. Have you ever heard that a letter from the KLA was dispatched and
25 sent to General Clark from the Main Staff of the KLA through the liaison
1 officer at the KVM?
2 A. Not that I recall.
3 Q. Thank you. Ambassador, do you know that during the war, members
4 of the KVM used to go back to their respective home countries and hold
5 press conferences there?
6 A. No, I was not -- I suppose that they would go home to their home
7 countries from time to time, but I was not informed about press
8 conferences that I can recall anyway.
9 Q. Did you ever allow anyone in your country to hold a conference --
10 press conference during the war in your capacity of the
12 A. Anyone from the KVM to come and hold a press conference in
15 Q. You didn't understand me, Ambassador. Did you allow any member
16 of the KVM to go back to their home country, Great Britain, Germany
17 et cetera, and hold a press conference there in their Ministry of Defence
18 or whatever? Do you know of any such case?
19 A. No, I don't know that I gave that permission ever.
20 Q. Thank you. Let me now read certain portions from a press
21 conference, and I would like you to tell me whether you are familiar with
22 that at all.
23 "As you know, 12 days ago we were ordered to leave. Up until
24 then we maintained contact with the KLA. The air-strikes have positive
25 effects on the ground. The attack launched by the Serbs two days ago
1 near Malisevo has been seriously hampered by air-strikes because four
2 tanks and one artillery placement were destroyed ..."
3 Did you have any of this information at your disposal while you
4 held your position as a chairman-in-office?
5 A. I'm not certain that I understand what you refer to, sir, but if
6 you say "12 days ago we were ordered to leave ..." of course then this
7 was not during the KVM presence and activity this was afterwards. So I
8 don't know exactly when people were released of their duty. But I would
9 say it's quite different if you hold a press conference after you have
10 left mission or while you are on mission, so I think your argument, with
11 all due respect -- well, I don't understand it. But, yeah -- I don't
12 understand it is my short answer.
13 Q. Ambassador, you have understood perfectly. These are speaking
14 notes of Mr. Drewienkiewicz for his press conference in the
15 Ministry of Defence in London
16 1st of April, 1992 -- 1999.
17 Thank you very much for answering my questions, and I'm very
18 sorry that I had to shorten it due to your other commitments.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. With
20 this I conclude my cross-examination.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Djurdjic.
22 Ms. Gopalan.
23 MS. GOPALAN: Just a few questions, Your Honours.
24 Re-examination by Ms. Gopalan:
25 Q. Sir, I have a number of clarificatory questions arising from
1 Defence counsel's cross-examination. This relates to your visit to
2 Kosovo in March 1999. You were asked about the date on which you went to
3 Kosovo during that period. Now, when the question was put to you,
4 reference was made to a chronology of events by Defence counsel. I
5 wonder if I could show you that chronology of events and perhaps that
6 might assist you in remembering when it was you went to Kosovo in
7 March 1999.
8 MS. GOPALAN: I believe Defence counsel was referring to P844, if
9 we could have that up on the screen, please. And if we could go to
10 page 6. If we could zoom in on that. I believe this page sets out the
11 chronology of events from February onwards and also the early part of
13 Q. If you could glance at the document and let us know if this helps
14 you remember when it was you made your visit to Kosovo in March 1999,
15 before the war.
16 A. Well, this ends on my screen with the 5th of March, but it says
17 clearly that I visited on the 2nd of March, visit of the
18 chairman-in-office of review planning for the new mandate.
19 Q. So I take it, then, that your visit to Kosovo was on the
20 2nd of March?
21 A. I suppose so, yes -- well, it doesn't -- these dates don't go
22 further than the 5th, so I don't know if it says anything about my visit
23 later on --
24 Q. We can go on to the next page if that helps you.
25 A. Since I'm not mentioned at all here, I suppose that the
1 2nd of March must have been my last visit before the war.
2 Q. Thank you, sir. And just to clarify, you gave some evidence on
3 what you saw during your visit to Kosovo in March in relation to villages
4 around Podujevo and civilians, et cetera. Did you view, observe, these
5 incidents during this trip that we just spoke about, the one on the
6 2nd of March?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. And am I correct that your subsequent visits to Kosovo in March
9 were after the bombing?
10 A. Yes, and they were not then in March, they were later on, because
11 as you know the bombing started on the 24th of March. So I came back
12 then after the war, and I must admit I don't know exactly when. It could
13 have been in July.
14 Q. Thank you, sir. Sir, I don't have any further questions for you.
15 Thank you very much for coming to testify.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Gopalan.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE PARKER: Could I mention for the transcript that perhaps in
19 fairness to the memory of President Milosevic, page 79, line 1, a word
20 "not" has been omitted. I think what was being said by the witness was:
21 "If President Milosevic did not want an independent Kosovo ..."
22 It would be problematic if we left the transcript uncorrected in
23 that material matter.
24 May I thank you, Ambassador, for your attendance once again, for
25 the assistance that you have been able to give, and, of course, you may
1 now return to your normal activities.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE PARKER: I would thank counsel for their attention to time
5 today. We continue on Monday with the videolink evidence that has been
6 arranged. I think it's sitting in the afternoon, 2.15. We now adjourn.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Monday, the 13th day of
9 July, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.