1 Wednesday, 22 July 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 1.37 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: While the witness is coming in, I should mention
6 that we were delayed in starting because of a technical problem which has
7 now been remedied.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I'd remind you the affirmation you made to tell
12 the truth still replies, and Mr. Stamp is finishing his questions.
13 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. Good afternoon.
14 WITNESS: DJORDJE KERIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examination by Mr. Stamp: [Continued]
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Keric.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. Last night I was reflecting on some of your answers yesterday,
20 and I noticed that on a couple of occasions you made statements about
21 Obrad Stevanovic, although I did not ask about him at the time. And I'd
22 like to clarify some of these statements you made. You did tell us that
23 you don't know about the segregation of activities or tasks that was made
24 at the top of the MUP; however, you said that Mr. Stevanovic was directly
25 accountable to the minister of interior. And this wasn't in relation to
1 a question which I asked you, but you volunteered that. Can I ask, did
2 you attend the collegium meetings, the ministers' collegium meetings?
3 A. First of all, if I may, I'd would just like to say what I meant
4 when I mentioned Mr. Stevanovic with regard to the questions yesterday.
5 Obrad Stevanovic was mentioned in the context of documents, or rather,
6 dispatches which were sent to the secretariats by the ministry and in the
7 context of PJPs which were run, actually, because he was the commander of
8 PJPs of the police of Serbia
9 in the rank of the assistant minister of the interior of the
10 Republic of Serbia
11 Q. Yes, yes, I understand what you are saying and to some degree you
12 are repeat what you said yesterday. I just want you to focus on my
13 questions just for now. We'll get to the explanations. Did you attend
14 meetings of the ministers' collegium?
15 A. Thank you. I did attend collegium meetings once a year. That
16 was standard practice that heads of SUPs or secretariats of the Interior,
17 which were territorial units, to participate at the beginning of every
18 year at working meetings held at the Ministry of the Interior --
19 Q. When was the last one you attended before you left for the
20 federal ministry?
21 A. I think the last meeting I attended was held at the beginning of
22 1998. I think it was in the first quarter of that year because that was
23 standard practice for these meetings to take place in the first quarter
24 every year. During --
25 Q. Thank you. You've answered that. The minister also had meetings
1 with his assistant ministers. Did you attend any of those with the six
2 assistant ministers present?
3 A. As a rule, on such meetings you always had minister and his
4 associate and he was in charge of these working meetings. I didn't
5 attend these meetings many times. I perhaps attended several such
6 meetings during my entire career.
7 Q. I'm speaking specifically about meetings that the minister had
8 with his assistant ministers. Did you attend any of them and when?
9 A. No, I've never attended any such meetings. That's the so-called
10 narrow core collegium at the level of the minister and no heads of SUP
11 attended such meetings.
12 Q. And do you know how often and when Mr. Stevanovic was in Kosovo
13 in 1998?
14 A. Well, I wouldn't know that --
15 Q. Okay --
16 A. -- and I don't know how many times he came to Kosovo in 1998.
17 Q. How about 1999? Do you know how often he was there in 1999?
18 A. No, I don't know anything about that because I was appointed to
19 the federal ministry after the 1st of May, 1999.
20 Q. What about before the 1st of May, 1999, do you know how often he
21 was in Kosovo and what he was doing there?
22 A. No, I don't know anything about that. When I was the head of the
23 secretariat in Pristina in the earlier period, he used to come to visit
24 the secretariat but it didn't happen too often, perhaps several times a
1 Q. Okay. Well, I was focussing in the last question on 1999. How
2 about Mr. Djordjevic, the chief of your section, the public security
3 department, do you know what or how often he was in Kosovo in 1998 and
4 what were his role -- what was his role there?
5 A. I have no information about that, and I wouldn't know how many
6 times he came to Kosovo in 1998 nor 1999, in the area of
7 Kosovo and Metohija --
8 Q. Very well. In that period, do you know what was their respective
9 role, that is, Mr. Djordjevic and Mr. Stevanovic, in respect to PJP
10 operations in Kosovo? Are you in a position to tell us about that?
11 A. With regard to the role of PJPs in Kosovo and Metohija --
12 Q. No, that's not what I asked. Are you able to tell us about
13 Mr. Djordjevic's and Mr. Stevanovic's respective roles in respect to PJP
14 operations in Kosovo in 1999 and 1998?
15 A. With regard to the role of Obrad Stevanovic, he was the commander
16 of all PJPs, and I think he had a direct role in assigning, commanding,
17 and other issues regarding the operations of the PJPs. In terms of
18 Mr. Djordjevic as chief of the public security department, I wouldn't
19 know what his role was in Kosovo in 1999.
20 Q. I'm asking you specifically about his role in respect to the
21 PJPs, and I'm asking about 1998 and 1999. Do you know what, if any, role
22 he had in respect to the PJPs in 1998 and 1999?
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, dear Colleague Stamp,
25 he's been asking the same question for the fourth time and last three
1 times the witness has already responded. And I believe that it's not
2 appropriate to ask the same question for the fourth time because he --
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 Carry on, please, Mr. Stamp.
5 The witness's form of answering is the problem, Mr. Popovic.
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. Yes, just if you could focus on the question I asked you. Do you
8 know if General Djordjevic had any role in respect to the PJP operations
9 in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999 and what was it?
10 A. I do not know what his role was in terms of subordination and --
11 in the years of 1998 and 1999 and the PJP's operations.
12 Q. You also indicated -- again, I noted on reflection when you were
13 discussing the documents, that these documents, that is the documents
14 deploying the special forces, the PJPs, to Kosovo were signed by
15 Mr. Obrad Stevanovic in many cases. That is something you volunteered.
16 Can I just ask you: How many documents did you see in your career or --
17 withdrawn. I don't want to go over your entire career so I want to put
18 it specifically to 1998 and 1999.
19 How many documents in that period deploying PJP from Serbia
20 proper to Kosovo did you see signed by Mr. Stevanovic?
21 A. I don't think I've seen any -- any of these cases.
22 Q. Okay. Another thing I saw in the transcript which I'd just like
23 to clarify, there's an answer in which you were -- you referred to the
24 police administration and the PJP and you said:
25 "... I know for certain that the police administration was
1 subordinated to public security department. The command of the PJP, I
2 think I've already mentioned this, I think this was in a special status.
3 Formally it was within the police administration. However, I think that
4 it was at a higher level and that it had closer ties with the minister
5 rather than with police administration."
6 Firstly, was the police administration subordinate to the chief
7 of the public security section?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was the PJPs and their organisation a part of the police
11 A. Well, in a broader sense, yes.
12 Q. And what you seem to be indicating is that apart from the formal
13 situation the -- it was at the higher level and that it was closer -- it
14 had closer ties with the minister rather than the police administration.
15 When did this situation arise when the PJP command had closer ties with
16 the minister than the police administration?
17 A. I say literally as far as I can remember that they were tied
18 closer to the minister. At the times when the security situation
19 escalated and at the times of NATO air-strikes as well as at the times
20 when there was some conflicts in the area of Kosovo and Metohija, so
21 these were the situation you refer to as far as I can say.
22 Q. If we just could move on to something else. You indicated that
23 the standard procedure under the -- or within the framework of the law of
25 were discovered, there ought to have been a report to the investigating
1 judge and the relevant prosecutor who had jurisdiction over cases of that
2 nature, for them to proceed with an investigation. Yet, you obeyed
3 Mr. Djordjevic's command to send somebody to organise the burial of these
4 bodies in a mass grave. Can you explain why you obeyed this command,
5 having regard to what you know the law stated?
6 A. A standard procedure prescribed by the law is as you've
7 explained, but according to the principle of subordination we were
8 obliged to respect and comply with orders from the ministry and senior
9 officials in line with orders. If we had not done that, we would have
10 been subject to disciplinary proceedings or we would -- would have been
11 perhaps removed from the ministry or assigned to different positions.
12 Q. The -- did the chief of the public security department or sector
13 have the power to do that?
14 A. According to the principle of subordination and as the chief of
15 the public security department, which means that he's head of one of the
16 departments that we had, public security and state security departments,
17 and he was able to do that and there was no alternative solution to that.
18 Q. Ver well. Thank you very much, Mr. Keric, for your answers.
19 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have nothing
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
22 Mr. Popovic.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Popovic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Keric.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. I'm Aleksandar Popovic, member of the Defence team of
3 General Vlastimir Djordjevic. Together with me today are
4 Ms. Marie O'Leary and Mr. Dragoljub Djordjevic. I'm going to be putting
5 some questions to you.
6 A. Go ahead.
7 Q. But before we start, I would kindly ask you to bear in mind that
8 the two of us speak the same language and that we might get carried away
9 in our discussion. Therefore I would kindly ask you to wait before you
10 start giving your answer to allow the interpreters to do their part of
11 the job.
12 A. Go ahead.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Can I also add, Mr. Popovic, that please keep
14 short questions or else you will need to slow down considerably because
15 your speech is very quick. So short questions will overcome that.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I'll bear that in mind. My
17 questions are indeed going to be short, and my introductory remark,
18 however, was rather fast.
19 Q. Mr. Keric, as I was reading your curriculum vitae I saw that
20 during the period between 1994 and 1997 you were the head of the SUP in
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So I will start with that part, and I will ask you about the
24 security situation in the territory of Kosovo
25 Pristina at the time, and in order for me to be more precise, were there
1 any pressures put on the Serbian population during that period or did the
2 Serbian population move out in large numbers from the KiM territory?
3 A. During the period between 1994 -- or rather, the
4 1st of June, 1994, and 23rd June, 1997
5 Pristina was changeable, as it were. During that period, there were lots
6 of acts, terrorist acts, explosions, arson, buildings were destroyed and
7 blown up. From time to time there were also ad hoc and organised
8 destructions of public law and order. All that resulted in the
9 emigration of the non-Albanian population from the region of
10 Kosovo and Metohija and Pristina, particularly the Serbs were moving out
11 in large numbers. So the situation was very volatile.
12 Q. Thank you. My next question is this: Am I right in saying that
13 during the period while you were in Kosovo members of the Albanian ethnic
14 group participated in the work of the state organs and organisations, not
15 only as staffers, but also as high-ranking officials in leadership
17 A. There were such cases, but not on a large scale. As far as I can
18 remember and as far as I followed the situation, sometime in 1990 or 1991
19 most of the Albanians left state institutions, including the
20 Ministry of the Interior and others. So in this period in question while
21 I was head, there were some sporadic cases or individual cases that they
22 were either high officials in the Ministry of the Interior or the
23 secretariat in Pristina and other state organs in -- the
24 Ministry for Transport and other sectors and departments but their
25 numbers were never large at that time.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Keric. And now my next question refers to the
2 events in the 1990s about which we have heard from several witnesses who
3 have testified before this Trial Chamber. I would like to take you back
4 to the alleged poisoning of Albanian students in the 1990s in the
5 territory of Kosovo. First of all, my question is this: Do you know
6 anything about that?
7 A. Yes, I'm aware of that situation. The poisoning of students in
8 primary and other schools started as a mono-national poisoning, that's
9 how it looked like at the time, and this started in the territory of
10 Podujevo municipality. Only a few hours later it spread over the entire
11 territory of Kosovo
12 drafted which should have served as the basis for large-scale protests
13 and demonstrations. If you tell somebody that an act of poisoning of
14 children, students, was premeditated, then this is a major foundation and
15 basis and an introduction to other protests, unrests, and possibly a
17 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Keric. And let me conclude, am I right
18 in saying that all the adequate measures were undertaken at the time and
19 that in that particular case it wasn't established that Albanian pupils
20 had indeed been poisoned. It was actually a propaganda act as you called
21 it and the goal of that propaganda act was to stir large-scale protests
22 of Albanians in Kosovo?
23 A. Reports prepared by medical teams who examined the allegedly
24 poisoned students were negative; in other words, no poisoning had taken
25 place during that period, which shows that some -- something else was an
1 underlying cause of all that. There was another objective behind that
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Keric, you were the head of the Uzice SUP between
4 June 1997 and 1st of May, 1999. The first question I have about that
5 stint has to do with the NATO air-strikes. We're starting with the
6 23rd of March and until the 1st of May, 1999, when you left that
7 position. Could you please tell us what locations in the territory of
8 your secretariat were bombed. And in respect of the time-period, I would
9 kindly ask you to say something specific about Cikota, post in Uzice, and
10 the civilians victims and casualties that were inflicted at the time?
11 A. Between June 1997 and the 1st of May, 1999, while I was the head
12 of the secretariat in Uzice, to be more precise from the month of March
13 when the campaign started until the 1st of May, the area that was bombed
14 and the targets were military targets in the area of the Uzice
15 secretariat, or rather, the Uzice district. The Ponikve Airport
16 shelled every day on several occasions every day. It was a military
17 airport. The radio relay facilities were bombed as well as the
18 observation posts of the military.
19 And in addition to the military facilities, there was also
20 collateral damage to certain civilian facilities. For example, the main
21 post office in Uzice was bombed and was razed to the ground as a result,
22 and the civilian facility in Cikota was also bombed. You asked me about
23 that. There were also some human casualties there. I believe that three
24 individuals who had been performing certain duties in that facilities --
25 facility were killed. And the facility belonged to the medical centre of
1 Cikota, the department for the treatment of the thyroid gland. That was
2 one of the big such institutions in the territory of Serbia
3 Q. Mr. Keric, the shelling of the post office in Uzice or Cikota,
4 were those extraordinary events in the Uzice secretariat?
5 A. From the beginning of NATO campaigns, the state of war was
6 proclaimed and all the events during that period were treated as
7 extraordinary events which were taken place under the state of war
8 because the country was in the state of war.
9 Q. Thank you. Did these events have to be reported to the ministry
10 or the sector of public security in Belgrade?
11 A. In any such case, we informed them about the material damage,
12 human casualties. We sent the ministry Telex messages from reserve
13 locations because the facilities of the ministry had been relocated to
14 some improvised locations because there was an imminent danger that the
15 main building of the secretariat would be shelled, and it did happen on
16 several occasions actually.
17 Q. Thank you. Mr. Keric, am I right in saying that so far you have
18 provided several statements about the things you testified about
19 yesterday and today, the first one was to the Working Group on the
20 27th of January -- 27th of July, 2001, and then on the 8th of June, 2005,
21 in Belgrade
22 A. It is true I provided those statements upon a request issued by
23 officials organs and institutions, the Ministry of the Interior, and the
24 special court for war crimes in Belgrade
25 Q. Thank you. Yesterday at the beginning of your testimony you told
1 us that due to the lapse of time you will only tell us those things that
2 you remember. Am I right in thinking that in 2001 and 2005 your memory
3 might have been better and you remembered some things better than you do
4 today, nearly ten years or even ten years after the events in question?
5 A. Yes, it is only understandable that some events fade with the
6 passage of time and that I can't really reconstruct all of them properly,
7 as I was able to when it was closer to the events.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at Exhibit P66.
9 Q. Mr. Keric, we have the document before us. This is the
10 Law on Internal Affairs. What I would be interested in at the moment is
11 Article 7 of the law. We will look at it very briefly. I'm going to
13 "The Minister shall determine the manner in which the
14 Ministry of the Interior performs its duties and issues instructions for
15 their performance."
16 Am I right in saying that this is the principle governing the
17 work of the Ministry of the Interior and that that was indeed the role of
18 the minister in it?
19 A. The minister was the number one person when it came to decrees,
20 instructions, the passing of laws. There's no ambiguity here at all.
21 Q. Thank you. Mr. Keric, am I right in saying that when it comes to
22 the event involving dead bodies that you have spoken about, that you were
23 informed about that by the head of the MUP in Bajina Basta and that you
24 informed General Vlastimir Djordjevic by direct telephone line?
25 A. Yes, in answer to the Prosecutor's question, I explained that
1 that was indeed the case.
2 Q. When you spoke with General Djordjevic, he was in Belgrade,
3 wasn't he?
4 A. I said that he was in Belgrade
5 line in Belgrade
6 Q. And this was not just about that one conversation but all the
7 conversations that you had with him, and you said that there was several
8 such conversations?
9 A. Yes, there were several such conversations because the
10 circumstances imposed the need for us to speak more frequently, and we
11 spoke every time by way of a direct telephone line in the ministry in
13 Q. Am I right in saying that when you spoke to General Djordjevic
14 and told him what you had received about -- as information about the dead
15 bodies in Perucac Lake
16 A. Judging by the tone of his voice, he was obviously taken by
17 surprise, and his comment was something along these lines: This is
18 really not good. What happened is really not good. That's the way I
19 understood him. He was very unpleasantly surprised I would say.
20 Q. Am I right in saying that your impression was that it was a piece
21 of news for him as well?
22 A. I can't confirm, but I can say that his reaction was somewhat
23 unusual. The event itself provoked certain uncertainties amongst us who
24 were on the ground and who had responsibility for the territory because
25 nothing of the kind had happened before. And for me, that was also
1 something unusual, something that was posing an additional burden and it
2 was an unpleasant event, both professionally and in any other term.
3 Q. Mr. Keric, am I right in saying that during the conversation,
4 General Djordjevic never issued an order to you as to what to do? He
5 always said, I'll get back to you later?
6 A. He didn't say that he didn't know what to do. On several
7 occasions when I informed him about the event -- to be more specific, the
8 first time when I asked him whether I should inform the prosecutor and
9 others, he told me that he would get back to me a bit later and he did,
10 maybe an hour later, and this repeated on several occasions two or three
11 times during the day that I had to wait for answers about the way I
12 should proceed. I was waiting for the answers from Djordjevic who was in
14 the initial or original conversation.
15 Q. In reference to that, am I right in saying that just like you
16 were duty-bound to report on that incident to your immediate superior,
17 General Djordjevic, he was also in his turn duty-bound to inform his
18 immediate superior, the minister, about such an incident?
19 A. I wouldn't know that. The logic of the matter following the
20 principle of subordination would speak in favour of that. In this
21 specific case, his superior was the minister. I don't know whether he
22 reported about the event to the minister or not.
23 Q. Thank you. Mr. Keric, am I right in saying that during your
24 first conversation General Djordjevic told you that at that particular
25 moment you should not call the investigating judge or prosecutor because
1 the chief of the department for crime prevention had to go to the crime
2 scene to see what had actually happened there?
3 A. I explained that yesterday in answering the prosecutor's question
4 he told me that the chief of the department of -- for crime prevention,
5 Mr. Dimitrijevic [as interpreted], Zoran, should go to the crime scene to
6 secure it to see what the event was all about. And after that when we
7 spoke again we would receive instructions about the possible reporting to
8 the prosecutor or the investigating judge as the persons who have
9 jurisdiction to launch some other investigative actions.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] And now can we look at P200.
12 MR. STAMP: And while we wait for it, Your Honours, I think that
13 there might be an error in the transcript at 16, 6, unless this is a new
14 person we are being told about, that is page 16, line 6.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I can clarify this.
16 Q. Mr. Keric, in the transcript to my question you said who the
17 chief of crime prevention police was. Can you repeat his name.
18 A. At that time when the bodies turned up in Perucac Lake
19 of the crime prevention police department was Major Zoran Mitricevic who
20 is currently head of the police administration in Uzice.
21 Q. Thank you. I believe that we have clarified this problem.
22 Let us go back to Exhibit P200. This is a decree on implementing
23 the Law on Criminal Procedure during the state of war. I'm going to ask
24 the Court to produce Article 6 in that decree.
25 Mr. Keric, this decree was in force during NATO air-strikes, or
1 rather, after the state of war was declared. Could you please look at
2 Article 6, bullet point 3 thereof. It says here:
3 "The organ of the interior may in urgent cases carry out
4 investigative activities even without a decision of the public or state
5 prosecutor ..."
6 A. And what's your question?
7 Q. Am I right that at that point in time this was a valid provision?
8 A. I am -- I was not familiar with this decree at the time, and as
9 far as the specific case is concerned, I would say that probably at the
10 moment when we learned about the bodies, but we did not know where they
11 originated from, on whose orders they had been transported and placed
12 there, and why, what was the reason or motive for something like that.
13 Most probably we never looked at that article at the time. If we had
14 known that this was a result of an air-strike or -- and another action,
15 then we would have undertaken specific measures applicable to such
16 conditions as provided for by this article.
17 Q. Thank you. However, am I also right in saying that this had in
18 total General Djordjevic to order you to first send Mitricevic -- or
19 rather, he didn't know what the person's name was. He referred to him by
20 his position, to check what that was all about?
21 A. That was a legal provision. There's no comment that I can
22 provide. You can see the provision yourself.
23 Q. Thank you. Mr. Keric, am I right in saying that you didn't tell
24 General Djordjevic that the bodies were civilians because you yourself
25 did not have such information at your disposal?
1 A. I believe that I told him that the bodies were of unknown persons
2 and unknown religious and ethnic affiliation, that the bodies were in
3 advanced stages of putrification and decomposition, and that there were
4 no particular markings to show us where the bodies originated from.
5 That's the information that I conveyed to him.
6 Q. Thank you. Can we then conclude that there was no indicia to
7 tell you that those were bodies of Albanians?
8 A. At the moment there was no indicia to tell us that the bodies
9 belonged to persons of Albanian ethnic origin. Moreover, initially I had
10 my doubts, which I also said in response to the Prosecutor's question,
11 and I thought that the bodies had been excavated from a mass grave in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina where the war operations had been taking place as
13 you may well know. At that moment, we didn't know anything about the
14 bodies or the vehicle in which they had been transported there. The
15 first indication about the bodies being the bodies of Albanians was
16 something that I learned from the mass media, from "Vecernje Novosti,"
17 the newspaper with the highest circulation, and that was in July 1995 [as
19 Q. The year that we have in the transcript, I believe that you said
21 A. Either I misspoke or the interpreter misinterpreted, but the year
22 was 2001. The year 2001 is correct.
23 Q. Thank you. Am I right in saying that you carried out all the
24 orders, bearing in mind that the air-strikes were underway, the state of
25 war was in place. There was a lot of emigration. You had to save people
1 from various adverse events, and so on and so forth.
2 A. At that time, since we didn't know where the bodies had come
3 from, on whose order, and with what intent, I did not dwell upon the
4 problem during those two days because, as I've already explained, the
5 entire areas and facilities in our territory came under air-strikes and
6 we had other priorities which was salvage operations of materiel and
7 humans, that was the first reason; and the second reason was that I was
8 getting ready for my move to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. So
9 during those two days I never went to the lake, and I did not get
10 involved in any concrete activities. I thought that the chief of the
11 crime prevention department would do that because such cases of foul play
12 and this as a result of those were under his jurisdiction.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at P357 and the
15 page number is D002-0364.
16 Q. Mr. Keric, while we're waiting for the document, let me tell you
17 that this is the regulation of the internal organisation of the MUP. I'm
18 interested in Article 6.
19 Can you read from the screen? You don't have to read aloud. I'm
20 just inquiring.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. My question is this: Am I right in saying the PJPs, in keeping
23 with this regulation, are established by the minister?
24 A. When it comes to this issue, I have already stated my opinion
25 partly in response to the Prosecutor's question. I said that the PJPs
1 were closely tied to the minister of the interior, and when it -- when I
2 say the "PJPs," in addition to the ones that we referred to yesterday and
3 today, I also imply a Special Anti-terrorist Unit and units for special
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Keric, you have been a police officer for a long
6 time. You have held some very responsible duties. My question is this:
7 Do you remember that there were also Special Police units?
8 A. We've been discussing that for two days now. Special Police
9 units did exist and their command was at the level of the
10 Ministry of the Interior, as I've already explained.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see the Exhibit P58.
13 Q. Mr. Keric, this is a decision on the training or education of
14 Special Police units. Am I right in saying that on the basis of
15 Article 6 of the rules on the internal organisation, the article which we
16 saw in the previous document, the minister of the interior is responsible
17 for training?
18 A. Yes, that's clear. There is no need to comment that.
19 Q. Can you read under paragraph 2, under point 2, sub-point 2.
20 A. "The tasks and duties" --
21 Q. No, that's the first one, the next one, please.
22 A. The third one?
23 Q. No. It says number 3.
24 "Professional education, training, and maintenance" -- sorry,
25 "bringing into readiness, mobilising, and engaging the PJMs on performing
1 tasks defined in paragraph 1 of this item shall be done upon the orders
2 of the minister and when approved by the minister also upon the orders of
3 the chief of the public security department."
4 I believe I tried to explain that in response to the Prosecutor's
5 questions during yesterday's sessions when I said that the PJPs and the
6 commander who had the status of an assistant minister were more closely
7 tied to the minister when it came to equipment, training, and all other
8 PJP units' issues.
9 Q. So -- so we're not talking here about closer ties or not -- but
10 we're saying that bringing into readiness, mobilising, and engaging was
11 something that was ordered only by the minister or by somebody who had
12 the approval of the minister?
13 A. Yes, that is in the decision. If it's there then that's correct.
14 I was not part of the top management of the ministry and I couldn't say
15 who had which powers at that time. It's in the decision, and from the
16 decision it's very clear.
17 Q. Mr. Keric, am I right in saying that Special Police units, PJPs,
18 were formed for the territory of the entire Serbia and not only for the
19 purpose of the area of Kosovo?
20 A. Yes. These units were set up for the entire area of Serbia
21 they were structured as detachments. To be more specific, the
22 35th Detachment had Special Police units of the secretariats, Valjevo,
23 Kraljevo, Sabac, Novi
24 Q. Thank you. Am I right in saying that these units were used in
25 regular and extraordinary circumstances in the entire territory of the
1 Republic of Serbia
2 A. They were used when needed in the entire territory of the
3 Republic of Serbia
4 Kosovo and Metohija.
5 Q. Am I right in saying that these units were used to prevent and
6 suppress demonstrations and unrests in the territory of the entire
8 A. In -- during regular security situations, these units were used
9 to maintain public order and peace when some mass events took place.
10 They were also used to prevent demonstrations. And during the state of
11 war, they had special powers. But at that time I was not part of the
12 ministry, and I couldn't comment on that, especially with regard to the
13 year 1998 and 1999.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we see Exhibit P257.
16 Q. Before that, I apologise, I have a suggestion or a comment. On
17 page 21, line 1 and 2, instead of "under authorities" it says "after the
18 decision." So I will repeat my question.
19 Mr. Keric, as we said, the deployment of special units and
20 establishment, was that something that was only done under the orders of
21 the minister and somebody authorised by the minister?
22 A. Yes. Bringing into readiness, establishment, and deployment was
23 done in accordance with the orders of the Special Police commander. It
24 was usually the head of the public security department, I suppose. And I
25 also think since the establishment was something under the authorities of
1 the minister upon the proposal of the commander, it was also verified by
2 the minister. These are people who were able to bring forces into
3 readiness and deployment of units to be assigned.
4 Q. Let's not assume. Let us take a look at the decision on the
5 formation of the 124th Intervention Brigade of the PJPs or Special Police
6 units. You can see again that on the basis of Article 6 of the rules on
7 internal organisation, this decision was made. Can you again look at
8 Article 2, paragraph 2. The sentence begins with:
9 "Putting the intervention brigade on standby ..."
10 A. It says undoubtedly that:
11 "Putting the intervention brigade on standby, assembly, and
12 engagement for the tasks in paragraph 1 shall be done upon the orders of
13 the minister ..."
14 Q. Thank you. Am I right in thinking that members of the
15 intervention brigade formed duties when they were not engaged in PJPs?
16 A. All police officers, policemen, performed their regular policing
17 duties until the moment when they issued an order that they should be
18 mobilised and deployed in the performance of an extraordinary task.
19 Q. Thank you. Am I right in thinking that once a unit was
20 deployed - and I'm talking about a PJP - you did not receive any reports
21 about the units' activities?
22 A. PJPs and their activities were beyond our jurisdiction and
23 control. Therefore, we were not in a position to receive any reports
24 about their activities, about their engagement, about the interventions
25 that they were involved in. We only received information and reports if
1 some of the unit members from the territory of our secretariat were
2 wounded, injured, or killed.
3 Q. Thank you. Am I right in saying that you reported to the police
4 administration and the command of PJPs only about members of PJPs who
5 were deployed or if somebody did not go to the field and why?
6 A. I already provided an answer to that question yesterday. I and
7 chiefs of regional secretariats or most often chiefs of police
8 departments used their professional line to send the reports to the
9 commands of PJPs or the public security sector about the number of people
10 who were engaged, the way they were transported, and the directions of
11 their movement.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic, before we lose it off the screen,
13 page 23, line 9 to 11, the transcript has recorded only part of the
14 paragraph 1 which is on the screen -- paragraph 2 which is on the screen
15 before us. The witness referred to it as the minister being authorised,
16 but the paragraph goes on to say:
17 "... and on his authorisation of the chief of the public security
19 I think that omission should be noted before we lose it off the
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honour. I shall
22 therefore repeat my question.
23 Q. I'm going to kindly ask you, sir, to read under Article 2,
24 paragraph 2, which begins with the words:
25 "Putting the intervention brigade on standby ..."
1 My question to you was: Who was it who was authorised to put on
2 standby, assembly, and engage members of the Special Police unit?
3 A. In one of your previous questions or in answer to one of your
4 previous questions I've already explained that because the same provision
5 is contained in the decree on the establishment of such police units.
6 The text is the same:
7 "Putting the intervention brigade on standby, assembly, and
8 engagement ..."
9 And intervention brigade is just one of the units. It is not in
10 the broader sense of that term within the framework of PJPs as far as I
11 understand. And I continue:
12 "... assembly and engagement for the tasks in paragraph 1 of this
13 item shall be done on the orders of the minister and, on his
14 authorisation, of the chief of the public security department."
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the Court please produce
18 Q. Mr. Keric, this is a dispatch that you had an occasion to see
19 yesterday. My question is this: Is this a normal dispatch of the kind
20 that you received and saw during your work?
21 A. It's a standard dispatch dealing with the preparation and
22 informing people who belonged to PJPs about sending them on a mission,
23 informing them about the time that -- when they would be sent on that
25 Q. Thank you. I believe that the dispatch also concerns your own
1 Secretariat of the Interior?
2 A. Yes, it does concern my secretariat because it says the
3 engagement of members -- or rather, it says that the engagement is hereby
4 finished and that they will be replaced by other detachments and other
6 Q. And now, could you please look at that third paragraph in this
7 document. It starts with the following words:
8 "The members of the PJP are to be dispatched in their
9 intervention uniforms for urban conditions with joint weapons ... with
10 short-barrelled and long-barrelled guns ..."
11 My question to you, sir, is this: Am I right in saying that the
12 weapons in question are weapons that members of a PJP are issued with in
13 their own unit?
14 A. In my view, this is the establishment weapons.
15 Q. Yes, that's my question.
16 A. The establishment weapons that they are issued with for their
17 policing duties normally and with all the particular weaponry that is
18 listed here and pieces of equipment.
19 Q. You've already spoken about this, but let me put it this way: Am
20 I right in saying that the police administration provided only logistical
21 support to PJPs?
22 A. As far as the police administration at the ministry level is
23 concerned, I don't know whether they only provided logistical support;
24 and when it comes to the police department as the organisational unit
25 within the Secretariats of the Interior, the organisational unit of the
1 police administration, they only -- they did not even provide logistical
2 support. They were only in charge of informing men about the mission,
3 the time, and the mode of transportation. Everything else is within the
4 jurisdiction of the command of PJPs.
5 Q. I'll take the opportunity, Mr. Keric, to ask you something else.
6 Am I right in saying that you were not in command of PJPs once they were
7 sent out to Kosovo and Metohija?
8 A. In the structure of the duties that I performed from the very
9 beginning until the moment I was retired, I was never in command of PJPs,
10 nor did I have such authorities ever.
11 Q. Thank you very much.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce the
13 second page of this same document.
14 Q. Mr. Keric, we've already discussed this -- or rather, you already
15 spoke or started commenting upon this document yesterday. And the issue
16 here is that the dispatch was not signed. Am I right in saying that a
17 document which is not signed in this particular form could not be sent by
18 the normal communication means? What I'm saying is that the chief of
19 communications would not have accepted an unsigned document for sending?
20 A. I believe that the person best suited to answer your question is
21 the chief of communications administration or the person in charge of
22 communications. In my opinion, he could not send a document that was not
23 signed in somebody's own handwriting.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] And now could the Court please
1 produce P346.
2 Q. Mr. Keric, this is another dispatch, and this was shown to you
3 yesterday. The number it bears is 587. My question to you is this: Is
4 this a customary dispatch?
5 A. Judging by the style of writing, the heading, the text, this is a
6 standard form of dispatch.
7 Q. Am I right in saying that in this dispatch there is no reference
8 to any anti-terrorist activities?
9 A. Not on page 1. I can't see anything.
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 2.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The term "terrorism" is not
12 mentioned on page 2 as far as I can see.
13 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Am I right in saying that this dispatch actually deals with
15 securing meals and payment of per diem; the regular duties and relief of
16 people from regular duties; the equipment that should be given to them
17 when they're sent on a mission; how long they would stay? In other
18 words, there is no single reference to any combat activities or
19 anti-terrorist activities?
20 A. In this particular case, the issues discussed here fall within
21 the purview of logistics.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] And now I would kindly ask the
24 Court to produce P01195 which has been marked for identification.
25 Q. Mr. Keric, this is yet another dispatch that was shown to you
1 yesterday and is the answer to dispatch number 587 dated
2 21st March, 1999
3 First of all, am I right in saying that this dispatch was sent by the
4 chief of department -- rather, then the chief of the secretariat?
5 A. I already answered that in response to the Prosecutor's question,
6 and it says unambiguously that the dispatch was signed by the chief of
7 the police department and not the chief of the Kikinda Secretariat. And
8 the dispatch was sent to the command of the PJPs with the ministry.
9 Q. Does that fact also illustrate that those were the most customary
10 and regular activities, the most normal type of reports that were sent at
11 the time?
12 A. I believe that I've already said that. This is just a regular
13 report. Reports of this kind could have been sent by the police
14 department because the tasks described therein fall within the purview of
15 the police administration and PJPs, and they could also be sent by the
16 chief of the secretariat, which was the most common case as we have
17 already seen.
18 Q. Thank you very much.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the Court please produce
21 Q. Mr. Keric, this dispatch was shown to you yesterday as well. My
22 question primarily refers to this. Am I right in saying that everything
23 that is contained herein falls within the scope of regular policing
24 activities? And if -- we can also show you the second page, should you
25 wish us to do so.
1 A. As far as I see it, this dispatch refers to the time when the
2 security measures were stepped up. There were some calculations with
3 sending people out on missions. And there was an increased number of
4 sick-leave days and absence without permission. And I believe that the
5 whole dispatch is the result of that. I'm not very clear on what it
6 says. In any case, this was in 1998.
7 Q. My next question is this: Am I right that this was sent to all
8 the secretariats in the entire territory in the Republic of Serbia
9 A. Yes, all the secretariats which you can see in the heading.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that we
12 have come to the break time.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 We must have our first break now. We resume at 3.30. The Court
15 Officer will assist you in the break.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.00 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 3.31 p.m.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Popovic.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Keric, I apologise for a digression, but let's go back to the
21 beginning of my questioning today. I would like to know, with regard to
22 the poisoning case or the alleged poisoning of Albanian students that we
23 talked about, were you in the territory of Kosovo
24 you had been there, what was your function?
25 A. At that time of the poisoning event, I was in Pristina. I don't
1 have my legal decision with me, but I spent about 40 days in Pristina.
2 And during that time-period the poisoning case happened, the alleged
3 poisoning, in primary schools. First it was primary schools but other
4 schools as well later. I was the coordinator for security affairs, if we
5 may call it that way, in the security centre in Pristina involving
6 several municipalities of the Pristina region, municipalities included
7 were Lipljan, Glogovac, Podujevo, Kosovo Polje. I may have missed out
8 some municipalities. So that's the area we covered from the secretariat.
9 Q. Thank you. My question was about your direct involvement or
10 direct information you received since you were in the area.
11 A. At that period the head of the security centre was
12 Hajid Bujoki [phoen], he was an Albanian, and he coordinated all
13 activities in the territory of Pristina
14 regarding the poisoning event.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's now see Exhibit P01203 MFI
17 Q. Mr. Keric, another exhibit which was shown to you yesterday
18 during the afternoon session, it may seem to you as a repetition, but I
19 have some questions with regard to that document. Am I right in saying
20 that this dispatch was sent to all secretariats in the territory of
22 A. Yes, it was sent to all secretariats.
23 Q. Am I right in saying that a dispatch of this type, we can see
24 that this is a dispatch ordering update of plans and so on. Is this kind
25 of dispatch in line with the Defence Act, and I think you are well
1 positioned to say that.
2 A. Yes. The mobilisation plan as terminology relates more to the
3 military organisation. In extraordinary circumstances, it also relates
4 to the MUP organisation, especially when it comes to mobilisation of
5 Special Police units and the active staff.
6 Q. Absolutely. However, can you tell us from the way the dispatch
7 was written, is this concerned with regular police activities of the
8 public security department?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Keric.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I see P1205 now.
12 Q. Mr. Keric, this is a dispatch from the 15th of January, 1999.
13 And my question again is this: Is this a dispatch for the entire
14 territory of the Republic of Serbia
15 A. Yes, for the entire territory of the Republic of Serbia
16 Q. Could you please look at the first sentence. You don't have to
17 read it out. That's the sentence beginning with:
18 "The government ..."
19 So my question with regard to that sentence is this: Am I right
20 in saying that the basis for sending this dispatch are the relevant
21 decisions of the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the
22 Government of Serbia
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Mr. Keric --
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the second page of this
1 dispatch, please.
2 Q. Yesterday some questions were put forward to you with regard to
3 what it says on the second page. Can you please read the paragraph, the
4 first paragraph, on this page. And I will have some questions about it
5 after you've read it.
6 A. I'm ready.
7 Q. This is my question: Am I right in saying that in this dispatch
8 they're talking about regional secretariats, covering travel routes, and
9 check-points toward the province of Kosovo and Metohija?
10 A. This dispatch is about regional secretariats which are close to
11 the Kosovo and Metohija province, but at the same time, this dispatch was
12 sent as a mandatory dispatch to the secretariats in the territory of
13 Kosovo and Metohija in terms of stepped-up checks of travellers, luggage,
14 and vehicles, and so on.
15 Q. I agree. But in the sentence it says that:
16 "... it's therefore necessary for the regional secretariats
17 covering the travel routes and check-points towards the AP KiM and
18 Republic of Montenegro
19 A. I said this is intended to the secretariats, regional
20 secretariats, which are close to the Kosovo and Metohija.
21 Q. Yes. The last part says:
22 "The MUP of the Republic of Serbia
23 and regional secretariats in order to verify whether the ordered measures
24 are being implemented in their entirety."
25 Am I right in saying that regional secretariats covering travel
1 routes and checking points toward AP KiM will be covered? So this is in
2 fact the control exercised over something which was suggested in the
3 previous paragraph?
4 A. Yes, this is the control exercised by the ministry, according to
5 what I can see, and by the secretariat, so both the ministry and the
7 Q. Can you please tell me, were check-points something that existed
8 in the entirety territory of Serbia
9 most important routes throughout Serbia?
10 A. There was no reason to have them. In this specific case, there
11 were some specific measures for the Kosovo and Metohija province. And
12 this dispatch is about -- about those parts of Serbia which are close to
14 Q. So this is towards not in the territory of Kosovo
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. That's important to say. I have another question about this
17 dispatch or several ones. Can we be more precise and say that these are
18 local secretariats, not regional, because it's not the same when you have
19 regional and local secretariats?
20 A. Yes, we're talking about local secretariats. Maybe that's better
22 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] If we can please go back to the
23 first page of this document. Thank you.
24 Q. Mr. Keric, in the heading we can see that this dispatch dated
25 January 15th, 1999
1 was sent on the date of January the 15th, 1999?
2 A. Well, that's -- I suppose that's true.
3 Q. It says "Belgrade
4 sent from Belgrade
5 A. Yes, according to the date that's not an issue.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Keric.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please see
8 Exhibit D258.
9 Q. Mr. Keric, am I right in saying that this dispatch was sent to
10 all Secretariats of the Interior in the territory of Serbia
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you please tell us who sent the dispatch?
13 A. It was sent by the chief of administration,
14 Major-General Slobodan Spasic.
15 Q. Could you please tell me, is this dispatch a regular type of
16 activity? So does it talk about regular types of police activities?
17 A. This dispatch was sent by the chief of administration of the
18 fire-fighting department or the fire protection police sections, and it
19 is related to fire protection measures if I see well from the dispatch.
20 Q. So these are regular police activities?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see Exhibit D255.
24 Q. Mr. Keric, was this dispatch also sent to all secretariats in the
25 territory of Serbia
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could you please tell us who sent the dispatch?
3 A. It was sent by the chief of administration,
4 Major-General Dragan Ilic. He was head of the crime police department
5 within the MUP of Serbia
6 Q. Am I right in saying that this dispatch also describes regular
7 police activities?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please produce
11 Exhibit D262.
12 Q. Mr. Keric, was this dispatch also sent to all secretariats in the
13 territory of Serbia
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please turn to page 2.
16 Q. Could you please tell us who sent the dispatch.
17 A. Assistant Minister, Major-General Petar Zekovic.
18 Q. Does this dispatch also talk about regular police activities?
19 A. Yes, it covers the area for which the general was in charge.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we see Exhibit D261.
22 Q. Mr. Keric, was this dispatch sent to all secretariats in the
23 territory of Serbia
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to page 2 of the
2 same document.
3 Q. Could you please tell us who sent the dispatch.
4 A. It was sent by the assistant minister,
5 Major-General Stojan Misic.
6 Q. Does this dispatch also describe common and regular police
8 A. Yes, it's part of the jurisdiction or remit of this assistant
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the
12 Court Officer to put up Exhibit D04285. I will repeat the number. The
13 number is D004-2859. Thank you. That's the document I was looking for.
14 Q. Mr. Keric, these are minutes from the county court or district
15 court in Belgrade
16 it's minutes of a conversation with you, Mr. Keric. Do you remember that
17 this interview happened on the 8th of June, 2005, in front of this judge?
18 A. I think I gave the statement in 2003 if we're talking about the
19 exact year. It may have happened later. That was my second statement I
20 gave after the statement given to the Working Group of the MUP in
22 Q. That's right. Mr. Keric, do you remember that the investigative
23 judge of the district court in Belgrade
24 your statement you talked about the same issues you talked about here
1 A. Yes, I think that these questions covered the same topic and I
2 think that most of the questions were related with the same case.
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Keric, am I right in saying that -- considering
4 we said that was 2005, am I right in saying that back then you were able
5 to remember some things better than today since four years have passed
6 since then?
7 A. I think it was 2003 - I may be wrong - but of course it's
8 understandable that after the passage of time some memories can be -- can
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I suggest this
12 exhibit to be confirmed or accepted -- admitted into evidence.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any particular passage to which you draw
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the full statement to
16 be tendered into evidence because the witness talked about the same
17 issues which were discussed today and yesterday. There are some parts
18 which are of minor or major relevance, but the entire statement is a
19 logical part, logical statement, which was given back then to the
20 investigating judge in Belgrade
21 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, the witness seems to be questioning
22 the date. And the date of this document is in 2005. So I think the
23 witness has to be asked questions about the contents for him to verify
24 whether or not this is his statement and to explain whatever answers he
25 might have given insofar as the relevance of the issues in this case.
1 JUDGE PARKER: My concern was to know which parts of this
2 document were thought to be material to the account that he has given in
3 evidence here. If you are relying on particular differences, they should
4 be drawn to his attention and his comment obtained.
5 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Of course.
6 Could we turn to page 5, paragraph 1, in B/C/S. I would assume
7 that it is the same also.
8 Q. Mr. Keric, kindly look at the sentence starting with:
9 "At some time ..."
10 That's the seventh line of that paragraph.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you please read this sentence to us.
13 A. "For some time Zoran Mitricevic and I consulted about what to do
14 and he suggested that they be recovered and buried. The burial should
15 take place in the vicinity of Perucac dam. This is what Zoran suggested
16 and I believe at that time we did not have any other option. Since the
17 number of bodies went up I believe that we should not inform either the
18 investigating judge or anybody else. I informed Mr. Krivokapic, the
19 investigating judge, I believe that his name was Momcilo or Momo in
20 Uzice, I informed him about the event and I don't know whether they came
21 to the scene of the crime because I did not get involved after that."
22 Q. Mr. Keric, in this sentence it says that you and Zoran consulted
23 as to what to do and you agreed, you and Zoran Mitricevic. You decided
24 to take the bodies out of the water and bury them. So this was an
25 agreement between you and Mitricevic. You're not talking about the chief
1 of the public security sector and his order?
2 A. I believe that this is a mistake in the interpretation. I can't
3 be sure. In any case, the fact is that we could not do anything without
4 the orders and consultations as I described them yesterday. Whether
5 there came a time when we were discussing dilemma as to what to do --
6 because for a long time we were not aware of the position of the head of
7 the sector. I believe it is possible that there had been conversations
8 to that effect. In any case, the burial only took place after the order
9 of the chief of the sector.
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now go to page 7,
11 paragraph 2.
12 JUDGE PARKER: The English page was not on the screen about that
13 passage. Do you know which it is for our purposes?
14 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we received the
15 English translation very late and that is why we did not manage to find
16 the corresponding references for what I am reading from in the B/C/S
17 version. I believe that it won't be a problem locating that.
18 Can we go to page 6 in the English version, please.
19 MR. STAMP: The last passage that this was referring to is in the
20 bottom of page 3 in the English, the last two lines of page 3 and the
21 first full paragraph of page 4.
22 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] It's the last sentence which
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
25 Now you were turning to another paragraph.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] yes, please. Page 7 in B/C/S,
2 paragraph 2. Could we also display the English version. I believe that
3 the text is on page 6, page 6 -- page 6 is the corresponding page. Or
4 perhaps page 5 in the English version. Maybe you should try that.
5 Q. Therefore, you can now look at the page. Mr. Keric, on page 7
6 the investigating judge puts a question to you.
7 "Let's go back to the chief of sector, did he provide you with
8 any instructions or not?"
9 And your answer is this:
10 "He did not provide us with any instructions."
11 A. I'm sorry, I can't hear your question. I did not hear your
13 Q. Is it better now?
14 A. Yes, now it's better.
15 Q. Page 7, and I'm reading, the investigating judge is putting a
16 question to you.
17 "Let's go back to the chief of sector. Did he provide you with
18 any instructions or not?"
19 A. I can't hear you. I believe that we have a technical error. I
20 can't hear your question. Now I can hear you.
21 Q. Can you hear me?
22 A. Yes, now I can hear you.
23 Q. The investigating judge asks you:
24 "Let's go back to the chief of the department. Did he or didn't
25 he give you any instructions?" Or not -- hold on. I have not put my
2 A. I apologise.
3 Q. Your answer:
4 "He did not give any instructions. We had no other way out but
5 to act."
6 The next question on the part of the investigating judge:
7 "Then tell me, who decided to have the bodies recovered from the
8 water and buried?"
9 Your answer:
10 "We decided. We consulted Zoran. We asked him what to do. He
11 suggested that they be recovered and buried. I agreed with that. We had
12 no other option, Your Honour. At the time we could not do anything
14 Mr. Keric, quite contrary to what you told us yesterday, is it
16 MR. STAMP: Firstly, he should inquire of the witness whether or
17 not this is his recollection of what was asked and what was said.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
19 Carry on, please, Mr. Popovic.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Keric, this is quite contrary to what you stated yesterday?
22 A. What I stated yesterday is correct. I don't remember this
23 interpretation, although this interpretation was valid for a while until
24 we had a confirmation of the chief of department about how to deal with
25 the bodies. And the final position was for the bodies to be recovered
1 and buried in the soil in the vicinity of Perucac dam.
2 Q. However, Mr. Keric, the question was:
3 "Then tell me, who decided to have the bodies recovered from the
4 water and buried?"
5 Your decisive answer was this:
6 "We decided."
7 You didn't say "the chief of department." You said:
8 "We decided. We consulted Zoran, asked him what to do. He
9 suggested that they be recovered and buried. I agreed with that ..."
10 Absolutely nowhere is there a reference to the "chief of
12 A. This was a preliminary conversation pending the final decision of
13 the chief of department.
14 Q. Mr. Keric, did the investigating judge warn you at the beginning
15 of your statement that you were duty-bound to tell the truth?
16 A. I know that, and I took a solemn declaration, just as I did
17 yesterday before this Trial Chamber.
18 Q. Did he also warn you that false testimony is an offence?
19 A. I believe that this is not a subject of my -- today's testimony,
20 and I would kindly ask the Trial Chamber to take into account what I said
21 yesterday. I adhere by that, and I adhere by the statement that I
22 provided yesterday before this Trial Chamber.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now turn to page 8 of the
24 same statement. That's also the following page in the English version.
25 Q. The investigating judge asked you:
1 "Therefore, if I understood you well, you did not have any option
2 that would have come to you from Belgrade
3 to do with the bodies."
4 You answer:
5 "We did not have any solution provided to us."
6 So you are asserting, you're claiming for the third time in this
7 statement that there was no other solution or order from Belgrade on the
8 table. You yourselves decided what to do with the bodies.
9 A. I've already explained that there was no way we could have not
10 carried out the order to recover the bodies and bury them. I already
11 explained that yesterday in answering the Prosecutor's question and
12 today. We didn't know. I didn't know as the chief of the secretariat
13 where the bodies came from, on whose orders, who put them at the dam, and
14 with what intention and goal was this done. In my view, the way I
15 understood things, this violated all the codices, moral, professional,
16 and this was contrary to the provisions of both the international and
17 national laws.
18 Q. This is all good and well, Mr. Keric, but that was not my
19 question. I'm reading for the third time. There was a very clear
20 question put to you by the investigating judge, and you, equally clearly,
21 answer that you did not have any solution that would have been ordered to
22 you from Belgrade
23 dead bodies. When did you speak the truth? Are you telling us the truth
24 today or did you tell the truth then?
25 A. Both then and now. I believe that something was missed from the
1 interpretation of my answers. Without consulting my superiors in the
2 ministry, I could not have undertaken measures to recover and bury the
3 bodies, and -- nor did I have any reason to do so. And these reasons
4 arise from the fact that I've previously explained to you.
5 Q. Let's move on to the following paragraph. The investigating
6 judge says:
7 "Tell me, did anybody from Belgrade mention anything, and here
8 I'm primarily thinking of the chief of the department, in connection with
9 those bodies, did he suggest what should be done apart from what you
10 said: That nobody was to be informed about it?"
11 Witness Djordje Keric answers:
12 "There were no suggestions, Your Honour, except when I first
13 contacted the chief of the department to inform him that some bodies had
14 surfaced, that there were floating bodies ..."
15 Mr. Keric, the fourth time you clearly answer a question put to
16 you and you say clearly that there were no suggestions from Belgrade.
17 The very clear question put to you here was whether there were any
18 suggestions on the part of the chief of the department, and you again
19 claim there were no suggestions. Are you still trying to tell me that
20 what you're saying today is absolutely the same to what you were saying
22 A. I don't remember everything in view of the passage of time. I
23 don't remember what I said at the district court. And I repeat, the
24 truth is what I said yesterday and what I'm saying today, before this
25 Trial Chamber. Everything was done in consultation and especially the
1 recovery and the burial of the bodies from Perucac dam. It was all done
2 on the order of the head of the department, Colonel Djordjevic.
3 Q. Mr. Keric, we have still not come to an end of our discussion
4 about the statement.
5 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] On page 13, paragraph 1, in B/C/S,
6 and we will have to try and find the corresponding page in English. Yes,
7 we have the correct English page. Let's look at the penultimate
9 Q. Mr. Keric, again you're answering the judge's questions and you
10 are saying:
11 "He couldn't have received such an order. I certainly wouldn't
12 have given it nor would I have carried out such an order from the
13 ministry level. Actually, I said that because the chief of the
14 department had no clear stand that the bodies were to be recovered and
15 buried on land until further notice, until the investigation was
16 completed, until it was known what this was all about, where they were
17 from, and who had done this ..."
18 Mr. Keric, this could not have been put any more clearly. And
19 I'm asking you again: What is the truth? This is the fifth time in this
20 statement that you repeat to a very precise question that you personally,
21 you and nobody else, ordered for the bodies to be recovered and buried on
22 land until further notice.
23 A. You want my answer? I did not have any reason or motive or
24 authority to do so without consulting the chief of the department first.
25 If you look at the Official Note of the Working Group of the
1 Ministry of the Interior dating back to July 2001 when I provided my
2 first statement, then you will see that I said it very clearly there,
3 that I said to the chief of the department that I didn't want to
4 participate in the recovery and the burial of the bodies, primarily
5 because I was not aware of where they came from and under whose orders.
6 I was quite revolted by that act, and at one point I said to the
7 inspectors who had gone there to organise the recovery of the bodies that
8 this defies all the principles of common sense and that whoever did that
9 was no less than a psychiatric case, to put it that way.
10 Q. Mr. Keric, I don't doubt it for a second that you were very
11 embittered when you learned about all that; however, my question is this:
12 You were warned by the investigating judge in Belgrade that a false
13 testimony is a criminal offence. And after that you claim in five
14 different places that you were the one who issued the order for the
15 bodies to be recovered and buried. And there is no single place where
16 you make a reference to the head of the public sector department.
17 Moreover, you say very clearly that he did not have anything to do with
18 all that, that you did not receive any instructions from him. And now,
19 four years later, you come here and you are telling us something
20 completely different.
21 A. This is not something completely different. I apologise. The
22 act was committed by somebody. Somebody brought all the bodies to the
23 dam and they did what they did. Everything else was just paraphernalia,
24 the recovery, the burial, and everything else. At that moment when
25 nobody knew where the bodies came from, who had committed the crime, and
1 with what intention.
2 What the inspectors did on the screen, for example, maybe Zoran
3 Mitricevic had consulted his superior, the head of the administration of
4 the crime police of Serbia
5 maybe this was done in order to receive instructions for the bodies to be
6 buried pending the investigation on the origin of the bodies and the
7 perpetrators who committed the crime. That was the main objective in my
8 view, to elucidate the crime. It was not my main point to see who it was
9 who issued the order. And I don't think we should dwell upon the
10 circumstances any longer. I adhere by the statement provided to the
11 Trial Chamber.
12 As to how this interpretation came about and whether there are
13 any dilemmas in this interpretation, Your Honour, I'm really not sure.
14 The essence of the matter is the whole event and not the action of
15 recovery and burial.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Keric. Let's now move on to a different matter
17 that I would like to discuss with you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Does this still concern this statement?
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I've still not
20 finished dealing with the statement. I have a couple more questions
21 arising from the statement and then I will tender it into evidence. I
22 believe my reasons will be clear.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We are now still with
25 the same statement, page 11, paragraph 3, in the B/C/S version. I
1 apologise once again for not knowing the corresponding page in the
2 English version, but I hope ...
3 Q. So when a direct question was put to you by the investigating
4 judge, did you -- were you informed at some point that there is a
5 refrigerator lorry in the lake; your reply was:
6 "No. I was informed that it's a refrigerated lorry only from the
7 mass media later on. I think that I found about it -- found out about it
8 in the newspapers for the first time. Before that, nobody or at least
9 myself didn't know anything about it."
10 Mr. Keric, is there any difference between this and what you said
11 before this Trial Chamber?
12 A. My reply was the response to the question on whether that was the
13 refrigerated truck with the bodies of Albanians which we already talked
14 about. At that point in time, neither myself, Mitricevic, nor the group
15 of inspectors knew that this was a refrigerator truck -- it was actually
16 a container of the truck with bodies of unknown origin. At that point in
17 time we didn't know whether these were of Albanian ethnicity or some
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
20 tender this evidence, and I think I've provided sufficient number of
21 reasons for the admission.
22 MR. STAMP: Can I just ask that counsel indicate what is the
23 provenance of this document.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] This is an official document from
25 the court in Belgrade
1 chambers, investigating judge.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Is that apparent on the document anywhere?
3 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. You can see that on the first
4 page of the document. In the upper right corner the registration number
5 of the case is given and the heading starts with:
7 Milan Dilparic, in the presence of the recording clerk Katica Lekic ..."
8 and so on and so on, "... proceeding with the questioning of the witness
9 Djordje Keric."
10 JUDGE PARKER: We haven't seen the whole document. Is there at
11 seal or a signature of the judge at the end of the document, or something
12 of that nature?
13 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] this is a reproduction of an
14 audio-tape, and the audio-tape is available at the district court in
16 investigating judge at page 15, which is the last page of the document,
17 states that the interview ended at 10.10. And if there's need, we can
18 deliver also the audio-tape. We can request that from the court.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Is this a typewritten transcript prepared by the
20 court ?
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] yes.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Have you got some covering letter from the court
23 to show that it was sent to you?
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] let me just say that the same
25 transcripts have already been used in this -- in these proceedings, some
1 of them were used when we had witness Veljkovic by Mr. Stamp's, and we
2 have the supporting documentation from the National Council which is in
3 charge for the cooperation with the ICTY. And we can -- we can give you
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp is presently questioning the
6 authenticity of this document.
7 We're told, Mr. Stamp, that you yourself used it in part --
8 MR. STAMP: No, no, I have not used this document --
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I didn't say this document. I said
10 this type of document.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Counsel will address the Chamber, not each other.
12 MR. STAMP: Indeed. Documents emanating from the district court
13 have been used, but if I was asked by the Chamber where I got it from, I
14 would have said that I got it from the district court, from Mr. Dilparic.
15 I'm just asking where did the Defence get this document from. That is
16 all. I mean, all of these documents, if the Prosecution use them, we can
17 explain and show a trail of evidence where we got them from.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
19 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber will, Mr. Popovic, mark this document
20 for identification, pending some verification, covering letter, or
21 something, to indicate its source.
22 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] We will send you that.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be D00316 marked for
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I've completed my
2 questioning. Thank you.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic, thank you very much for that and for
4 the directness and selection of your questioning.
5 Yes, Mr. Stamp, any re-examination?
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Re-examination by Mr. Stamp:
8 Q. Can I ask you first of all, Mr. Keric, in respect to this
9 statement that you gave to investigating judge Mr. Dilparic on more than
10 one occasion you said that your recollection is that you gave this
11 statement in 2003. Can you recall if you were employed or what were you
12 doing as your occupation at the time you were interviewed by
13 Judge Dilparic.
14 A. Dear Mr. Prosecutor, I don't remember exactly whether it was 2003
15 or 2005. I thought originally it was 2003, but Mr. Dilparic will know
16 exactly. On the 1st of July, 2002, I was retired from my position in the
17 Ministry of the Interior, and when I was giving my statement I was a
18 retired person at that time.
19 Q. Okay. Very well. This document I have or has you saying -- and
20 the first part I want to read to you is the first part the Defence read
21 to you. It says that you said:
22 "At one point Zoran Mitricevic consulted also about what to do
23 and where we could start recovering the bodies from the water and putting
24 them, that is, laying them on the ground, burying them near the Perucac
25 dam, which Zoran himself also suggested and I don't think we had any
1 option at that time."
2 Do you recall saying that to Mr. Dilparic?
3 A. No. I do not recall in what context it was said. If it was
4 said, I suppose it was said at the moment of the interview when we still
5 didn't have the clear view of the chief of department. Without the clear
6 view of chief of department, we had no authority to undertake any
7 measures of burial --
8 Q. My question was simply whether or not you recall saying to
9 Mr. Dilparic what I just read to you, and I take it from what you are
10 saying is that you don't recall that?
11 A. No, I do not recall that. I can't recall exactly what I said.
12 Q. It also is recorded here that you were asked by the investigating
14 "Let's go back to the chief of the department. Did he or didn't
15 he give you any instructions?"
16 This document records you as saying:
17 "He didn't give any instructions. We had no option but to act."
18 Do you recall telling the investigative judge that?
19 A. I don't recall that. I said -- I remember I said we shouldn't do
20 something about the bodies until the final decision is made about the
22 Q. Further, you were asked about this passage, the document says --
23 that the investigating judge asked you:
24 "Tell me, did anybody from Belgrade mention anything? And here I
25 am primarily thinking of the chief of department in connection with those
1 bodies. Did he suggest what should be done apart from what you said,
2 that nobody was to be informed about it?"
3 And the document goes on to say that you answered:
4 "There were no suggestions."
5 Do you recall telling Mr. Dilparic that there were no suggestions
6 by Mr. Djordjevic in that regard?
7 A. I don't recall that. I probably said that something like that
8 happened at an initial stage, where we had no clear stand from the chief
9 of department about the burial.
10 Q. And it says here in this document that the investigating judge
11 asked you:
12 "If I understand correctly, you had no solution ordered by
14 I should re-read that last part.
15 "So if I understand you correctly, you had no solution ordered by
17 And this is -- you replied:
18 "We had no solution at all."
19 Do you recall saying that?
20 A. I don't recall answering that. It may be that we talked about
21 measures that were applied during the first day because the order about
22 the burial happened on the second day after the consultations with the
23 chief of department.
24 Q. And do you recall telling Mr. Dilparic that no instructions were
25 received from the ministry or from the chief of department of the
2 A. I do not recall that. I think that I said we were asking for
3 orders on what to do in terms of the burial of bodies on the land near to
4 the dam site.
5 Q. Very well. You were asked some questions and in one of your
6 responses you referred to your original statement to the Working Group
7 that interviewed you when this event became a matter of public note. I
8 think it was suggested to you that your memory in 2005, when you were
9 supposed to have given what's written in this document, would have been
10 fresher than it is now. So I would like to allow you to have a look at
11 the document or your statement of 2001.
12 MR. STAMP: Could we bring up document D004-2856, that's the
13 B/C/S; and the English translation is D004-2853. Let's just go to the
14 end of both documents first. While we are there we can see it's your
15 statement of the 27th of January, 2001.
16 Q. That's your signature, Mr. Keric?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This is a signed statement that you gave in 2001 when this issue
19 broke in the press?
20 A. Yes. This statement was given in 2001.
21 MR. STAMP: Could we return to the first page of it. Look at the
22 first paragraph, for the record, at the top it was given at the premises
23 of the crime police administration of the MUP.
24 Q. Is that your memory?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. STAMP: And if we now turn to page 2 -- or before we move we
2 should probably just read into the record for the English at least. I
3 think we should remain on page 1 in the B/C/S -- no, no, I think we can
4 move to both -- let me read what the bottom of page 1 in the English
5 says. Can we scroll down, please.
6 Q. "One day in April 1999 as chief of the secretariat in Uzice I
7 received a telephone call from the chief of the Bajina Basta OUP
8 Captain Slavko" - and if we could move to page 2 because it's
9 Captain Slavko Petrovic. Could we move to the B/C/S corresponding
10 section, please - "he told me that in the area of Perucac Lake
11 Bajina Basta a number of dead bodies emerged and were floating on the
12 surface. At that moment I suspected, as there was a war on the territory
13 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that these dead bodies were from that area,
14 that they were a consequence of the mopping-up of the terrain. So I
15 ordered Captain Petrovic to hold off taking further action until I
16 personally contacted the MUP officials.
17 "I phoned General Vlastimir Djordjevic the chief of the Public
18 Security Service. I informed him about the event and asked for his
19 opinion on the procedure to be taken, suggesting to him that we inform
20 the representatives of the judicial organs. General Djordjevic told me
21 to send Zoran Mitricevic, the chief of the Uzice SUP to obtain the
22 necessary information and then to inform the General of the situation and
23 not to inform the representatives of the judicial organs ..."
24 Is that what you see in your copy and do you recall making that
1 A. Yes, I recall giving such a statement. But just let me correct
2 you. You said that Mr. Mitricevic was the chief of the Uzice SUP. At
3 that time he was the chief of the crime police department in the
4 Uzice SUP
5 conferred orders to him.
6 Q. Yes. Thank you. I was reading what's in the statement. You
8 "Pursuant" --
9 In the next paragraph. I -- is that on your page? You said:
10 "Pursuant to the order of General Djordjevic, Zoran Mitricevic,
11 and Slavko Petrovic, the chief of the Bajina Basta OUP, were sent to the
12 spot. And then there the above mentioned informed me over the phone that
13 some 20 dead bodies were floating in the water close to the
14 hydro-electric power zone and the left bank from the up-stream direction.
15 Having received information from the spot, I again informed the chief of
16 the service, General Djordjevic and he ordered that measures be taken for
17 the clearing --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down while reading.
19 MR. STAMP: I'm so sorry. My apologies.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Popovic.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if this is the way to
22 admit the statement without requiring to tender it by means of reading
23 every part of it, I think it's much simpler, in fact, for him to do that;
24 but the fact is that only a few paragraphs are relevant, and I don't
25 think the entire statement should be read. That's my objection.
1 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I don't propose to read the entire
2 thing. I just want him to confirm whether or not he said certain things
3 because --
4 JUDGE PARKER: You are entitled to have the witness read those
5 parts of the statement you think are either confirmatory of the evidence
6 he's given or deal with parts that you suggest are contrary to what is
7 being put to him by Defence counsel. I haven't yet detected that you're
8 reading unnecessarily against that background, but I'm sure you'll bear
9 that in mind, Mr. Stamp.
10 MR. STAMP: I'm guided, Your Honours.
11 Q. I'll return to where I started on this last passage.
12 "Pursuant to the order of General Vlastimir Djordjevic,
13 Zoran Mitricevic and Slavko Petrovic, the chief of the Bajina Basta OUP,
14 were sent to the spot. There and then the above mentioned informed my
15 over the phone that some dead bodies were floating in the water close to
16 the hydro power-plant zone and the left bank from the upstream direction.
17 Having received the information from the spot, I again informed the chief
18 of the service, General Djordjevic, and he ordered that measures be taken
19 for clearing up the terrain, saying that he will send the representatives
20 of the Republic of Serbia MUP to the spot for coordination of the
21 clearing of the terrain."
22 Do you recall saying that in your statement to the
23 MUP Working Group?
24 A. Yes, I recall giving the statement, and we did have that
25 interview. The issue whether somebody did come from the ministry is
1 something to be answered by the crime police department chief because he
2 was there all the time and he was there when the decision was made to
3 make the burial.
4 Q. In this statement you said that General Djordjevic ordered that
5 measures be taken for the clearing-up of the terrain. Could you explain
6 what you mean or what you meant when you said this in your statement.
7 What does that -- what were you saying here?
8 A. What I meant was the retrieval of bodies from the dam, from the
9 container, because a number of bodies were kept in the container of the
10 lorry and putting them on the land. So that's what the term covers,
11 retrieval and the preparation of bodies to be buried in line with the
12 orders that came after from the chief of department.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Popovic.
14 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, but
15 there is something in the transcript. It says "asanacija" in the B/C/S
16 version, not clearing-up of the -- and I think there's some difference.
17 But the Serbian version is more credible because the statement was given
18 to the organs in Serbia
19 "asanacija "is the word used.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Are you able to tell me your understanding of the
21 word "asanacija"?
22 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] My understanding of the word is
23 that that's a word which is used in military terminology and it means
24 clearing-up of the field in an appropriate way, but I think that the word
25 "asanacija" is used in all other languages because I suppose it's not a
1 Serbian word by origin. So it means the removal of bodies, animals,
2 people, and so on.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We know the sense in which you understand it. I
4 don't at the moment think that that suggests there's something
5 fundamentally wrong with what is being put to us in this interpretation
6 that is here. You would give it a specific context of a military
7 cleaning up, perhaps after a battle. I don't think anything needs to be
8 done about that at the moment. If you feel there is an important
9 interpretation issue, you should raise that with the service.
10 Mr. Stamp, are you still questioning?
11 MR. STAMP: I'm sorry. Yes, Your Honour. May I just have a
12 moment to ...
13 [Prosecution counsel confer]
14 MR. STAMP: I have nothing further in re-examination,
15 Your Honours.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Keric, you'll be pleased to know that that
18 completes the questions for you. The Chamber has your evidence over
19 yesterday and today, as well now it has the statement that you made
20 originally in 2001 and the later one that you gave to Judge Dilparic, if
21 we find that is confirmed. So we've got a great deal of material to
22 consider. We are grateful for your attendance here and for the
23 assistance that you've been able to provide. You may now return to your
24 normal activities. You go with our thanks. The Court Officer will
25 assist you. Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp, I'm reminded that the statement to the
4 Working Group, did you mean to tender that?
5 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, I think at this stage it should be
6 received in evidence to provide a full context.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01212.
9 JUDGE PARKER: That completes the evidence at this stage I think,
10 Mr. Stamp. Is that correct?
11 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
13 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honours, that completes the evidence we
14 have available for this term.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any procedural matter you need to raise?
16 MR. STAMP: It is something in line of a proposition, if I might
17 take the liberty of doing that, Your Honours, and to give the Court
18 information --
19 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber is not used to being propositioned,
20 Mr. Stamp.
21 MR. STAMP: Offer a suggestion, may I put it that way. Based on
22 the remaining witnesses and the efforts we are making to get them, many
23 of them are difficult to bring, we foresee that we would probably be
24 closing the case some time around the first week of October. Having
25 regard to the schedule as we know it in to the future. And it's really a
1 matter for the Court. I was wondering if the Court might find it
2 convenient just to indicate a provisional agenda or a provisional
3 schedule as to how matters would stand in the -- thereafter. There would
4 be perhaps a motion by the Defence, there would perhaps be issues as to
5 the Defence case, and they might be given some time. I just suggest it
6 because we are coming to the end of the year, and we have a lot of issues
7 in respect to staffing and budgets that we probably would want to address
8 depending on scheduling and timing and which might assist us. I just
9 throw that one out.
10 I also indicate that there may be two or three witnesses on the
11 list that the Prosecution will indicate that it will not call to testify
12 and will do so as a final decision is made during the recess. That is
13 all I have to say, Your Honours. Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
15 Is there any particular procedural matter you would wish to raise
16 at this stage, Mr. Djordjevic?
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Since the Trial Chamber doesn't
18 often get propositioned to, I am not going to proposition to the
19 Trial Chamber. I'm going to say there are no procedural matters to
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 Can I indicate, as this concludes the evidence available this
23 week and we then go into court vacation, that the Chamber is increasingly
24 conscious that we're coming toward the end of the list of Prosecution
25 witnesses. We have concluded today the evidence of the 94th witness on
1 the Prosecution list. We propose to resume again on Monday, the
2 17th of August. And in the three weeks following that, we will probably
3 progress through the majority of the remaining witnesses, even though one
4 or two of them can be expected to be longer than the average witness.
5 It seemed to the Chamber that at that point, that is, after three
6 more weeks of evidence, it would be convenient to give both parties an
7 opportunity to reflect over their position, and in particular enable the
8 Prosecution to determine which, if any, final witnesses they would intend
9 to call. And both this period of the vacation and a period when we've
10 heard three weeks more of witnesses in late August/the beginning of
11 September would be an opportune time to enable the Defence to really
12 finalise the thinking that has no doubt got under way at the present as
13 to the course that their Defence might take once the Prosecution has
14 finished its evidence.
15 Therefore, the Chamber would not sit from Thursday, the -- or the
16 3rd of September until the week commencing Monday, the 21st of September.
17 That is two weeks. Although, I think Monday, the 21st, is a
18 United Nations holiday, so it would mean Tuesday the 22nd. But that
19 would be for the purpose of enabling a final consideration by the
20 Prosecution of whatever might then remain of its case and the Defence to
21 consider in anticipation its position. The Defence at that point would
22 need to consider whether or not a motion under 98 bis was contemplated,
23 and failing that would need to be giving attention to its case outline,
24 list of proposed witnesses and exhibits, and the steps that are required
25 by the Rules before we'd commence hearing any Defence evidence that is
1 intended to be called. In the Chamber's view, the three weeks of the
2 vacation and those two additional weeks then in mid-September should very
3 much enable both parties to be fairly clear about their position.
4 The Chamber does not want at this point to press the Defence for
5 any indication of its intentions, but what Mr. Stamp is hoping to glean
6 is whether there can be some prediction of the length of time that might
7 lie ahead after the close of the Prosecution case, how long the Defence
8 would suggest it needs before commencing evidence, if that is the course
9 taken, and roughly how long that evidence might take.
10 Now, Mr. Djordjevic, if you want to give some general,
11 non-binding indication of that, the Chamber would welcome it; but if
12 they're matters you still have under consideration, we understand that as
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] At this moment, I am not able to
15 provide you with any such indications; however, what the Trial Chamber
16 may have noticed is very good cooperation between the Defence and the
17 Prosecution when it comes to dealing with procedural matters outside of
18 the courtroom. Whatever can be agreed between the two parties will be
19 agreed in view of the expeditiousness of the trial.
20 I would only ask my learned friend Stamp to inform us in due time
21 what witnesses will be taken off the list because that may have an
22 implication on the timing and also have consequences on the actions of
23 the Defence. I expect, even without me saying this, that my learned
24 friend Stamp will do his utmost to provide us with information in time
25 and this will be beneficial both for the -- both parties and for the
2 JUDGE PARKER: Your position is understood, Mr. Djordjevic. Can
3 the Chamber indicate then for the guidance of counsel on both sides that
4 if there is to be a Rule 98 bis motion - we don't in any way suggest that
5 there should be, but that's a matter for -- Defence decision - if there
6 is to be a motion, the Chamber would expect that motion to be moved
7 quickly at the end of the Prosecution case and would not be contemplating
8 any adjournment to enable a long case to be prepared. And in the spirit
9 of the new Rule of 98 bis, parties can expect the Chamber to deliver a
10 decision orally as the Rule now contemplates within a day of the
11 completion of the submissions on 98 bis. So there will not be any long
12 delay if Rule 98 bis is pursued.
13 If we are to proceed to Defence evidence, and that is subject to
14 98 bis and to the judgement of the Defence, we would also indicate that
15 it is the Chamber's inclination to allow close to the minimum time, which
16 are necessary for compliance with the Rules, from the end of the
17 Prosecution case to the start of the Defence case. Certain documents
18 have to be prepared and filed, but both Defence and Prosecuting counsel
19 should expect that we would be looking in the order of two or three weeks
20 at the most between the Prosecution case and the start of the Defence
21 rather than any longer period that might commend itself to counsel.
22 Now, of course if there is a particular issue or problem
23 presented by that, the Chamber would expect to hear formal submission and
24 reach a view. But our expectation is that we will move quickly and in
25 the shortest time that is fair and reasonable from the Prosecution case
1 to the hearing of any Defence case.
2 Until we have some idea of the length, the number of witnesses,
3 and the length of those, we cannot form any prediction, Mr. Stamp, as to
4 the ultimate length of time that the trial will take. You will
5 appreciate that. But you can expect a short period between close of
6 Prosecution case and commencement of Defence case.
7 I think that is all that we can usefully do at this stage to
8 assist counsel in knowing what lies ahead as we're reaching the end of
9 the Prosecution evidence. Our concern, as I have I think indicated
10 before, is to try and ensure the completion of the evidence in this case
11 in as short a time as can be done with fairness to both sides, and that
12 will continue to be our objective.
13 We wish you a profitable vacation, and we resume again in just
14 over three weeks' time on Monday, the 17th of August.
15 We now adjourn.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.05 p.m.
17 to be reconvened on Monday, the 17th day of
18 August, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.