1 Friday, 21 August 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.14 a.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning to everyone and to you, Mr. Byrnes.
7 We are sorry that there were technical problems which have delayed our
8 start by a quarter of an hour. If I could remind you, Mr. Byrnes, that
9 the affirmation you made to tell the truth still applies.
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Kravetz.
12 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 WITNESS: SHAUN BYRNES [Resumed]
14 Examination by Ms. Kravetz [Continued]
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Byrnes.
16 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could please have Exhibit 0538 [sic].
17 Q. Mr. Byrnes, yesterday when we left off we were discussing an
18 incident that took place in December 1998 in the Podujevo area, and I
19 would like to show you two more documents in connection to that incident
20 and ask you to comment on those documents.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: It's Exhibit 05348. I see the Exhibit number is
22 written incorrectly on the transcript. I'm requesting 05348. Yes,
23 that's the document.
24 Q. Do you now have that up on the screen before you, Mr. Byrnes?
25 A. Yes, ma'am, I do.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: Could we please zoom in on the first page, first
3 Q. And we see that this is another KDOM daily report. It's dated
4 21st December, 1998
5 attention to it and ask to you comments on it. It's the paragraph
6 commencing with:
7 "FRY Army VJ forces flouted the cease-fire today..."
8 A. This was simply a report that we made to our embassy in Belgrade
9 based on information provided by our team in the field, and the team was
10 positioned close to the air field where the VJ battle group, the VJ MUP
11 battle group was bivouacked.
12 Q. And is this the same battle group that we were speaking about
13 yesterday that you had been informed would be conducting training
14 exercises in the area of Podujevo?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And what exactly happened, if you recall, on this date in that
18 A. I don't -- let me say, I was not present at the scene. My
19 information is the result of reports provided by our people and KVM
20 people. And what I know is reflected in this document.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this document into
23 evidence. It's 05348.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01248.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: And if we can look at one last document in relation
2 to this same area. It's 05349. If we could have that up on the screen.
3 If we could zoom in on the first page.
4 Q. Mr. Byrnes, we see that this is another KDOM daily report. It's
5 dated 27 December, 1998. And we see it begins by indicating that both
6 sides continue to violate the fragile cease-fire. And I would like to
7 direct your attention to paragraph 2 which referred to an action carried
8 out by VJ armoured units and Serb police in the village of Obrandza
9 of Podujevo. If you could comment on that paragraph.
10 A. Let me begin my comment by repeating what I said earlier, I was
11 not present on the scene. My knowledge is, therefore, based on reports
12 from our people there and those reports are reflected in this summary
13 paragraph. But secondly, let me just say that the -- this paragraph
14 describes two important things. One, is the way Serbian security forces,
15 and by that I mean the police and the army, were working together. It
16 was -- we would -- in our terms it would be a combined arms operation.
17 They worked together in the Podujevo area against the KLA in an effort to
18 secure their strategic line of communication.
19 The VJ would provide covering fire from armour and artillery. I
20 don't recall they had artillery, I think they relied on their tank-based
21 heavy weapons, and the police would serve as infantry and assault
22 positions, in this case, we identified it as a fortified KLA position.
23 The second point I would make is this paragraph underscores what
24 we and KVM sought to do in these sorts of situations and that was to stop
25 it, and as you can see, we did not succeed.
1 Q. Yesterday when we began speaking about the Podujevo incident and
2 I showed you the first report in relation to this, you said that your
3 units or your observers had observed a convoy leaving Marshal Tito
4 barracks in Pristina and the convoy included Serbian police and Serbian
5 vehicles. Prior to this deployment to the Podujevo area, had you
6 observed such type of joint deployments, convoys which included both VJ
7 and police units?
8 A. To the best of my knowledge, no.
9 Q. And before this action which is discussed and described in the
10 document we are looking at today, were you aware of any sort of joint
11 actions carried out by VJ and armoured police units?
12 A. No, not actions that were so integrated as this one was.
13 Q. In what sense was that action integrated? What do you mean by
15 A. What I mean by that is the paragraph describes the police and the
16 army clearly working together against a target, a KLA objective, with the
17 army providing covering fire from its armour, and the police engaging in
18 an infantry assault in an effort to take that position.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this document into
21 evidence. It's 05349.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01249.
24 MS. KRAVETZ:
25 Q. I would now like to show you one last document, and it's a
1 document dated January 26, 1999
2 you have the document before you, Mr. Byrnes?
3 A. Yes, ma'am, I do.
4 Q. This is --
5 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could zoom in on the first page, thank you.
6 Q. This is a KDOM update report dated 26 January, 1999, and we see
7 that the first line indicates:
8 "US KDOM observed the FRY police and military attack on
9 Racak-Pettovo-Malopoljce area throughout the day on January 15th."
10 Do you recall this specific incident?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. Do you recall when it is that you first received information
13 about an attack taking place in the area of Racak?
14 A. To be very clear, I was back at our headquarters in Kosovo Polje.
15 We received a call sometime in the course of this day, I have no
16 recollection of precisely when, but I received a call from army --
17 US Army major Brad Scott who was the -- in command of the patrol that we
18 had positioned outside Racak. I received a call from him that VJ and the
19 police were launching an attack on that village. That was sometime in
20 the course of that day. My vague recollection it was in the afternoon.
21 Q. Now, you've referred to a patrol, a patrol and to army major
22 Brad Scott being in the vicinity of Racak. Why was this patrol sent
23 there in the first place?
24 A. Over the preceding several days there had been an increase in
25 tension in this general area. The KVM which had an outstation in what
1 was called in those days the city of Urosevac
2 teams in the area had observed a build-up of Serbian security forces both
3 police and apparently the army and General Drewienkiewicz, the KVM
4 operations chief, called me several days before this and asked if with
5 the resources we had we could augment the KVM patrols in the area so that
6 we would -- we would be -- there would be a more substantial
7 international presence and hope was with that -- with that presence both
8 sides might calm down, might stand down.
9 So we maintained a patrol every single day in the area, and
10 that's why Major Scott was there.
11 Q. Yes, you wanted to add something?
12 A. I was going to add just for the Court's information a
13 parenthetical comment. US KDOM was made up of US foreign service
14 officers, about 50 per cent of our complement was US foreign service, and
15 the other half were US military officers, mostly US Army, some marine
16 some air force. So it was a mixed diplomatic and US military mission.
17 We were -- we were unarmed. And these sorts of situations when we had
18 conflict my preference and my policy was to put a military officer in
19 charge of the team, but each team always had a diplomat with it as well.
20 Q. Now, you've mentioned that you had received information that
21 there had been an increase in tension in this area. What exactly was
22 happening in the area prior to the 15th of January when this attack
24 A. What I recall was that there were -- there was increasing low
25 level conflict in villages around Urosevac and the neighbouring town of
1 Stimlje. Stimlje lay directly on the road connecting Prishtina,
2 Urosevac, and Prizren; and western Kosovo was one of the strategic
3 roads -- one of the most important internal strategic roads for the
4 Yugoslav security forces and it was on that road that the Serbian army,
5 the VJ, had been permitted to establish a small base for one of these
6 battle groups. That battle group was located, if my memory serves me
7 correctly, at Dulje which was probably about 20 kilometres farther west
8 of the Racak area.
9 There had been an increase in tension between the police and
10 several of the Albanian villages in the days leading up to this. The
11 KLA, to be quite frank, had played its own part. The KLA, the
12 Nerodimlje - this was a part of the Nerodimlje zone - its zone commander
13 had become increasingly aggressive, pressuring villages where there were
14 mixed populations, Serbian police had responded. It's a situation in
15 which I would be hard put to point the finger of blame at actually who
16 started it. We got into a, shall we say, an unvirtuous cycle of one
17 little bit of violence provoked another and it just kept building up.
18 And at one point our judgement and KVM's judgement too, I think,
19 was that the increase KLA activity was of greater and greater concern to
20 the Serbian security officials who had a legitimate interest in keeping
21 this strategic road open.
22 Q. Now, you have -- you indicated that this patrol had been sent to
23 this area to try to decrease the tension that was building up there. Was
24 there anything specific or unusual about the situation there that was
25 reported to you by your patrol?
1 A. Yes. In many respects this was a watershed. I distinctly recall
2 when Brad called us to report the launching of an attack, he said the
3 Serbian police units that assaulted the village had moved through - and I
4 repeat - moved through, the KDOM position which had been established
5 between the Serbian police units in the background and the village.
6 Let me add here, and I think I spoke to this yesterday, it was
7 our practice and also the practice of KVM in such highly tense
8 situations, we sought to place our people in between the conflicting
9 forces to the extent that we could without putting our own people at
10 serious risk. And our instructions were to keep our people out of harm's
11 way. But as long as conflict hadn't started and if could get in between
12 and at a safe distance we would put our vehicles and our people in
13 between in the hopes that this would calm the situation down and at least
14 prevent the outbreak of fighting.
15 And what was -- what was so important and so significant about
16 this particular incident was that when Brad called we both realised that
17 my deputy Mike Dina [phoen], US Marine Corps colonel, this was the first
18 time since we had been in Kosovo that the Serbian security forces, in
19 this instance the police, had simply ignored our presence, and they had
20 moved through, if you will, they moved through our line and went on into
21 attack the village. And every previous incident, whether it was in
22 western Kosovo, whether it was in the Lap region up on Podujevo which was
23 close to the border with Serbia
24 heart of Kosovo, this had not occurred before. So when this happened, I
25 realised, and I'm sure General Drewienkiewicz as well, that something
1 significant had changed. That's why this report was so important. We
2 signalled that to Washington
4 Q. Now, we see in the second sentence that this report refers to
5 VJ armoured units and mortars firing into the village and tanks of rounds
6 of fire hitting civilian houses. And when we were speak being the
7 Podujevo incident you had indicated that you had referred to that action
8 as an integrated action and indicate that the VJ in joint actions would
9 provide fire and that the police would serve as infantry in assault
10 positions. Would this action in Racak be another example of that type of
11 integrated action that you were speaking about earlier?
12 A. Yes. Probably, I would say -- probably the best adjective to use
13 is "coordinated" action. The VJ provided covering fire on target before
14 the assault began. But this -- yes, this is -- the tactics were similar
15 to what we saw in Podujevo.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this report into
18 evidence. It's 05350.
19 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01250.
21 MS. KRAVETZ:
22 Q. Just before we move away from this document, I just wanted to ask
23 you about the heading. It's called a "KDOM Update" the reports we had
24 seen up until December were called "KDOM Daily Reports." Is there a
25 reason for the change in the designation of these reports, if you recall?
1 A. I don't. I can only speculate. I don't remember.
2 Q. Okay. Just going back briefly to the deployment of the VJ
3 company to Podujevo and the MUP units that accompanied that company,
4 after the period that we saw end of December, were these units sent back
5 to barracks, the VJ unit, did it go back to barracks and the police unit,
6 was it sent back to its own garrison after December 1998?
7 A. My recollection is that that battle group remained in place all
8 the way up to the time of the NATO intervention in March. That's my
10 Q. And based on your recollection, was that type of deployment, this
11 battle group deployment in that area, allowed under the
12 October Agreements?
13 A. No.
14 Q. What about the police units that accompanied that battle group,
15 did they also remain in the area of Podujevo?
16 A. My recollection is yes.
17 Q. And was that sort of deployment of police units in that area
18 allowed under the October Agreements?
19 A. I don't think so.
20 Q. Were any sorts of complaints raised with Serbian officials from
21 the VJ or the MUP with regards to this deployment in the Podujevo area
22 and the fact that these units remained in that area?
23 A. Yes, they were. And, again, that was Ambassador Walker and KVM's
24 responsibility. And I know from my own regular contact with him and with
25 General Drewienkiewicz that they were -- they were -- they raised their
1 objections on this particular incident on a very regular and very
2 vigorous basis. Let me say, I was not -- just to make sure the record is
3 absolutely clear, I was not present when they did so.
4 Q. When you refer to this particular incident, are you referring to
5 the Podujevo incident or -- I saw you pointing at the screen, so I wasn't
6 sure if you were referring to the report currently being displayed or the
7 Podujevo incident.
8 A. No, ma'am, I was referring to the Podujevo incident.
9 Q. Thank you for that.
10 Until when did you remain in Kosovo, Mr. Byrnes?
11 A. Until the day before the NATO conflict, NATO intervention.
12 Q. And did you later return to Kosovo?
13 A. Yes, I returned with the American military units that went in --
14 I think, if I recall, two days after General Michael Jackson led the
15 British advance elements of what became KFOR, and I believe that was on
16 the 16th of June.
17 Q. And during the period between your departure in March and June,
18 where were you based?
19 A. I was initially based in Skopje, Macedonia, then I was shifted to
20 Tirana, Albania
21 Q. During this period, did KDOM continue to produce reports on the
22 situation in Kosovo?
23 A. Yes, we did.
24 Q. And how were you able to obtain information as to what was going
25 on in Kosovo during that period?
1 A. Primarily from refugees who were coming, streaming across the
2 border among whom were many people that we had contact with. Albanian
3 journalists from Pristina, some political figures from particularly the
4 Rugova's party, the LDK, that sort of -- people like that.
5 Q. So the information contained in those reports would have been
6 from people inside of Kosovo who were departing from Kosovo?
7 A. Yes, ma'am.
8 Q. Did you personally have contact with any of these refugees who
9 were leaving Kosovo?
10 A. I did.
11 Q. And what sort of information did they give you, if any, as to why
12 they had left and what was happening on the ground?
13 A. They -- in a word, they left -- they told us, they told me
14 personally on a number of instances, they left under duress or they left
15 out of fear for their lives.
16 Q. And what was it that they were fearing? What was the reason for
17 the fact that they felt they had to leave?
18 A. The -- I would break this down at a minimum into two categories.
19 People who were prominent political figures, for example, people who were
20 in Rugova's inner circle in the LDK, the Democratic League of Kosovo,
21 left because they professed to fear they might be picked up and killed
22 because of their -- the political role they played and because of their
24 At this point Rugova and the LDK had walked away from their
25 previous ambition or aspiration which was to have the autonomy granted to
1 Kosovo by the 1974 Constitution, to have that -- and which had been
2 removed effectively by Slobodan Milosevic; they wished to have that
3 autonomy restored.
4 They had moved away from that and were now seeking outright
5 independence which was also, of course, the goal of the
6 Kosovo Liberation Army. So these people, when the conflict began and the
7 Serbian police moved in and clamped down on the political elite as well
8 as anybody in the population they considered, I would assume they
9 considered a threat to them, people like Rugova's inner circle became
10 very concerned about their safety and welfare and their lives and began
11 to flee.
12 They initially did not do so. Many, many, many of them stayed.
13 As you know, Rugova stayed and was even entertained in Belgrade by
14 Milosevic on one occasion. But in any case, the people around him did
15 begin to leave.
16 Other people -- and let me address a second category. The second
17 category, I would just call, sort of, citizens generally. Particularly
18 in the urban areas, Pristina, Djakovica, Prizren, Urosevac, they
19 reported - and I repeat - they reported, I was not inside, none of my
20 people were inside, we did not see this with our own eyes, it was
21 reported also by some media. In any case, the other category of people
22 we would interview, we would meet as they crossed border, or we would see
23 in refugee camps reported that the Serbian police had begun
24 systematically moving through Albanian neighbourhoods, particularly in
25 Pristina and Kosovo Polje, and either ejecting people, Albanians, ethnic
1 Albanians, from their homes on the spot or giving them three hours, six
2 hours, I don't remember the details, but it was a very short time. In my
3 judgement, an unreasonable amount of time to leave.
4 And people then reported that the police, when they had a little
5 bit of time to get their items to get some things together, assembling
6 their families, the police would then come to the neighbourhoods, round
7 them up, and they would be herded. And that was the term used on many
8 occasions. They would be herded by the police or paramilitaries from, in
9 this case, Pristina to the railroad station in Kosovo Polje and there
10 they would be crammed into anything, any carriage, boxcar, or passenger
11 carriage, and trains would take them to the border, Macedonian border, at
12 Blace. And we had countless stories from this ordinary individuals,
13 school teachers, shopkeepers, that sort of thing, of this kind of
15 These people, I would conclude that these people -- these people
16 were forced to move. They left under duress. Many of them perhaps would
17 have taken the risk and stayed, but they were basically being forced out.
18 I hope that answers your question adequately.
19 Q. Yes, thank you. Just a few more questions. Were you personally
20 at the border?
21 A. On many occasions, yes.
22 Q. And this would have been the Macedonian border, if I understand
24 A. Yes, I was personally at both the border at Blace, which is the
25 closest border to Skopje
1 another border crossing north of Tetovo in the mountains where people
2 from western Kosovo would come across. I was up there a couple of times.
3 Usually - I'll amplify - I would get calls sometimes from even the
4 secretary of state asking me to go to the border to wait for and assist
5 with, if you will, the formalities.
6 People of some significance and significant political interest to
7 the United States, people -- usually were people close to Rugova who we
8 had worked closely with and had been in touch with us somehow or other by
9 cell phone. They had been in touch with a friend in Washington, they had
10 advised that they were going to leave, they were going to flee. So I
11 would be sent to the border to, if you will, meet and greet. And I did
12 that on a number of occasions.
13 Q. And this information that you said this second category of people
14 had provided as to the reasons of their departure, was this information
15 that you received first-hand at the border, accounts that you heard
16 directly from the refugees, or was this information reported to you?
17 A. Both. I -- again, I was at the border. I heard first-hand from
18 people what I related. Other members of my team were doing the same
19 thing, and therefore I had information from them. And of course there
20 were also western journalists, not just American journalists, but there
21 were journalists from the major European papers that were covering this,
22 and we would collect as much information as we could from them as well.
23 And this information was, shall we say, readily available and on a
24 first-hand basis.
25 Q. Thank you for that.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I have no further questions for the
2 witness at this stage.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Kravetz.
4 Mr. Djordjevic.
5 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. I just need some time
6 to prepare for the cross-exam.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Byrnes. I am the Defence
9 counsel for the accused here. And in keeping with the rules of this
10 Tribunal, it is my turn to ask you some questions, primarily those that
11 are of interest to the Defence, but also for the purpose of establishing
12 the facts of the matters you are testifying to.
13 Mr. Byrnes, you told us yesterday that you were retired and that
14 you had worked for the State Department of the United States. Could you
15 briefly describe your diplomatic career. From your CV in the early days
16 you were the first secretary of the US
17 you started. So please, briefly, your diplomatic career.
18 A. I entered the United States Foreign Service in June of 1975. And
19 after our training course I was assigned as a second secretary in our
20 embassy in Moscow
21 were primarily administrative. I had responsibility for the arrival and
22 departure of personal effects of our diplomats and as well as the
23 furnishings of our apartments. That's how we started our young diplomats
24 off in those days.
25 And after, I returned to Washington in 1978 and spent two years
1 on the what we call the Soviet desks, the office of Soviet union affairs.
2 And in 1980 I was transferred as a 2nd secretary to our embassy in
4 In 1985 I returned to Moscow
5 until late 1989. I returned to Washington
6 Georgetown University
7 Department of State and was deputy director of the offices of East
8 European and Yugoslav affairs.
9 In 1992 I was transferred to Ukraine where I was in the team that
10 established our first embassy in that newly independent state. I stayed
11 there until 1994 when I returned to Washington to the State Department.
12 And then in 1995 I was posted to our embassy in Rome as political
13 minister councillor. And as you know, in 1998 I was then assigned to our
14 embassy in Belgrade
15 Subsequently, late -- September 1999, I was sent as chief of our
16 diplomatic mission to the republic of Montenegro
17 in 2002 and returned to Washington
18 Balkan affairs until I retired in December of 2004.
19 Q. Thank you. You mentioned an academic year at
20 Georgetown University
21 A. My wife is -- was also a foreign service officer, and the
22 department had a fellowship, it was called the Rusk Fellowship, it was
23 named after the former secretary of state Dean Rusk. And actually the
24 Rusk family had established and funded, and it was to enable a diplomatic
25 couple, a husband and wife team from the foreign service, to spend a year
1 teaching and advising students at Georgetown University
2 spent that year as members of the faculty of the School of
3 Foreign Service at Georgetown University
4 effect, mentoring students, most of whom were interested in joining the
5 foreign service. It was, in effect, a year off.
6 Q. Thank you. Would you be so kind as to tell us about your formal
7 education that preceded your diplomatic career?
8 A. I graduated from Yale University
9 and history, after which I entered the United States Navy and served five
10 years as an officer. And in 1970 when I left the navy, I enrolled as a
11 graduate student in Russian history at Stanford University and from there
12 I entered the foreign service in mid-1975.
13 Q. In your CV I read that you speak Russian, but I seem to remember
14 in one of your statements I also read you speak Serbo-Croat; is that
16 A. I think it's more correct to say that I spoke pretty good Russian
17 a number of years ago. It's receded. And I did speak some Serbian, yes.
18 Q. You say you speak some Serbian, how did you learn it? Is it
19 simply because Russian is a language from the same family of languages
20 and you had the opportunity to practice it in Kosovo and Metohija and in
21 the former Yugoslavia
22 Serbo-Croat language?
23 A. No, the former. It is a member of the Slavic family, and I had
24 the opportunity to learn it, if you will, on the ground in Serbia
25 beginning in 1980.
1 Q. Thank you. In response to some of the last questions by my
2 esteemed colleague Ms. Kravetz, you said that you had left
3 Kosovo and Metohija, or rather, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the
4 time, when the NATO bombing started approximately, and you said you
5 transferred to Tirana and Skopje
6 A. I spent several weekends at Ohrid. We had transferred a part of
7 our remaining US KDOM team to Ohrid where -- in order to interview
8 refugees who were being transferred, once they came across the border in
10 established in southern Albania
11 transferred a part of our team to Ohrid where they could -- once they
12 could cross the border into Albania
13 drive or so from the border, and they would spend a day in the camps,
14 interviewing, collecting information about alleged human rights
15 violations and that sort of thing.
16 I visited that team on -- I recall on several occasions either
17 from Skopje
18 Q. Thank you. As you explained, you had contacts also with citizens
19 who had left the territory of Kosovo
20 Albanians, of course. But I'd like to know if you had interviewed or had
21 contacts with members of other ethnicities who had fled Kosovo because it
22 was a multi-ethnic community, or did you only speak to ethnic Albanians?
23 A. I don't recall speaking to Serbs from Kosovo at the time or Turks
24 or Roma or Gorani; and I frankly don't recall whether members of our team
25 had those experiences either. My recollection is the people from Kosovo
1 that I spoke with either in Macedonia
2 from Kosovo.
3 Q. So only to Albanians is your answer. Thank you.
4 During your tenure between the beginning of NATO bombing and the
5 entry of NATO forces into Kosovo and Metohija, apart from the citizens
6 and people involved in politics, and you mentioned the president of the
7 so-called republic of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova and his party. Apart from
8 them, during your tenure in that period, were you in constant touch with
9 members of the Kosovo Liberation Army in Skopje, Ohrid, and Tirana.
10 A. During that time I was in touch with members of the
11 Kosovo Liberation Army. I recall the KLA had representatives in Skopje
12 and we would meet with them on a regular basis. I don't recall whether
13 it was every day or not, but we would meet with them to try to -- primary
14 purpose was to get information from and their sources on what was going
15 on inside Kosovo.
16 I recall I met on one occasion with a relatively senior KLA
17 officer in Ohrid who had been, he said, wounded in action and evacuated
18 to Macedonia
19 were in Ohrid. And in Tirana, I was sent to Tirana in large part to have
20 regular contact with the political leadership of the KLA and with the
21 political leadership of the LDK.
22 The LDK leaders around -- and let me start with them, the LDK
23 leaders around Rugova who fled Kosovo eventually settled in Tirana. And
24 the two -- I can't remember all three, but there were three of them that
25 we met with in the embassy there on a regular basis. One was
1 Edita Tahiri who was generally considered the foreign minister of
2 Rugova's government and then another was Naim Irli [phoen], who was head
3 of the youth wing of the LDK, they had succeeded in fleeing Kosovo. And
4 they represented the LDK and they were in effect the formal, our formal,
5 the formal contact between the LDK and Washington.
6 With regard to the KLA, their spokesman Jakup Krasniqi who had
7 been the primary point of contact for us when we were in Kosovo, and by
8 "us," let me be clear, was not just me, he was the KLA point man when any
9 senior western official came in. For example, if Dick Holbrooke came in
10 to talk to KLA people, it was always Krasniqi he met with. If Chris Hill
11 came in, as he did frequently, to negotiate, up to the period before
12 Rambouillet, Chris -- the man Chris met with to negotiate was Krasniqi.
13 If Wolfgang Petric who was the EU special representative for Kosovo, for
14 the Kosovo issue, came it was with Krasniqi he met. So forth and so on.
15 Krasniqi had been transferred by the KLA to Tirana at some point
16 after the conflict began, in effect, I think, to continue these contacts
17 with western representatives. So I was sent to Tirana to be that person.
18 Our embassy was too thinly staffed to do so. And plus as excellent as
19 our officers and our ambassador there were, they lacked the expertise on
20 Kosovo that I had.
21 Q. In response to another question in direct examination by
22 Ms. Kravetz, you said you had been on the border in the mountains of
23 western Tetovo and that you were there because of reports and
24 information, be it from Washington or Kosovo, that precisely such people,
25 political representatives of Kosovo would be crossing the border, and you
1 said you were there to help those people.
2 But in your answer you said those were people of political
3 interest to the United States. Now, you spoke about the LDK, Rugova's
4 people, about Krasniqi. What did you mean when you said "of political
5 interest"? What at the time was the political interest of the
6 United States?
7 A. The political interest to the United States throughout the period
8 of time I spent in Kosovo was avoiding conflict and finding a political
9 resolution to this very complicated issue. Let me illustrate my answer
10 and particularly the -- its relationship to my being present at the
11 border crossing above Tetovo by saying I specifically on one occasion I
12 was specifically asked to go to that border crossing, the one above
13 Tetovo, to wait for and help across the border Ms. Edita Tahiri who I
14 mentioned earlier, she was one of Rugova's closest collaborators and was
15 as I said earlier, was considered the foreign -- she was his point man in
16 his relations with the west. She spoke excellent English. If I recall,
17 she spent some time abroad. She was a professor at Pristina University
18 seemed to be very able. We had been dealing with her since at least
19 1991, 1992, when the LDK was established.
20 She was of interest to us because, one, she was close to Rugova,
21 she was in effect his foreign policy advisor. And she was one of the
22 people that, looking ahead, we would want to work with once the conflict
23 was over, once, you know, conflicts do end and then the challenge is
24 putting, if you will, Humpty Dumpty back together again so it works. And
25 to do that you need people, you need politicians who enjoy authority at
1 home enjoy credibility and with whom you can work. That was the
2 political interest with the United States and particular in this
3 particular instance. I hope that answers your question.
4 Q. Well, it is an answer. Thank you, Mr. Byrnes.
5 Now, let's go back to the period between your departure when the
6 NATO bombing started, your departure from the Federal Republic
7 of Yugoslavia
8 meetings as you yourself said which were frequent ones between the KLA
9 and the representatives of KDOM and the American Embassy and so on and so
10 forth. Now, my question is linked to that. It's quite clear, in view of
11 the fact that the bombing had started, the bombing of the Federal
12 Republic of Yugoslavia
13 political representatives of the federal Yugoslavia while the bombing was
14 going on because it was a completely different type of politics. The
15 politics of war.
16 Now, you said that you had contacts with the KLA, daily ones in
17 fact, at their representative offices in Skopje. Am I right when I say
18 that those contacts linked to what your response was when you told me
19 about how you gained information that you gained information from KLA
20 representatives about the Serbian forces, where they were, what their
21 movements were, and that at the same time information was exchanged about
22 the objectives and targets, in fact, that NATO would be bombing in
23 Kosovo, that you discussed this with the KLA representatives so as to
24 help perhaps the civilians who were under the supervision, once again, if
25 I can say this, of the KLA. Am I right in saying that?
1 A. No, you are not right. If I may, let me clarify this point by
2 point. I did not say that I had daily contacts with KLA representatives
3 in Skopje
4 mistranslation of what you said. As far as I know, KLA did not have an
5 office in Skopje
6 met with them. But my recollection, and I think it's pretty correct, is
7 we did not see them every day. Often they would call us.
8 Next point. With regard to military information, and this is
9 what you are driving at, I think. We were of course interested in what
10 was going on in the country, we were in effect at war. But in terms of
11 targeting, we didn't target. That was done by NATO. We had no way of
12 providing targeting information. The other thing we were interested in
13 and we used every source we could get access to, was to obtain
14 information on the humanitarian situation in Kosovo. And yes, the KLA
15 did have such information because they were in the hills where, because
16 of the bombing, because of the military action, and because of the, what
17 I understood to be the action of Serbian security forces, ethnic
18 Albanians and perhaps people from other minorities were being either
19 driven from their villages or they were fleeing from their villages of
20 their own volition to avoid fighting, to avoid being targeted, whatever.
21 They were leaving their villages and fleeing into areas that they thought
22 would be safe, where they would be at less risk.
23 And what I recall was, as you know, you are probably as familiar
24 as I am with the geography and terrain of Kosovo, there is a range of
25 hills running more or less across Kosovo in a north-south direction.
1 They were fleeing into these hills. They were fleeing into areas -- into
2 the hills north of Pristina and Mitrovica, they were fleeing into the
3 hills east of Pristina. And we were concerned about -- we were concerned
4 about their welfare. There were women, children, old people.
5 So, yes, we tried to collect information on that. We sought that
6 from refugees streaming across the border, we sought it from the KLA, we
7 sought it from journalists who had stayed in Kosovo and then came out.
9 Let's see, to be honest, I'm not sure if I addressed all the
10 points, because I can't see the other question on my screen anymore.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Byrnes.
12 My next question is this: Did you, in talking to the
13 representatives of the KLA, give instructions before the beginning of the
14 NATO bombing how they should behave, what policy they should conduct with
15 the local population, and what to do generally? And I'm asking you this
16 because I have information from some internal reports that you were used
17 by KDOM which came into my hands and which I have had an occasion to
18 read, I found that there. But we'll discuss this later.
19 A. Is there still a question on the floor?
20 Q. Did you give political advice to the KLA how to behave on the
21 ground before the beginning of the NATO bombing? How it should behave
22 and what its conduct should be towards the local population; that's my
24 A. Could you be a little more specific than that? Are you -- for
25 example, are you asking me did I give instructions to the KLA about how
1 they should behave after the conflict began, are we talking about before
2 the conflict began, are we talking about a period in October 1998,
3 January 1999? I'd like a little more specificity.
4 Q. Well, I can't be more specific than that. I think my question
5 was clear. Did you give political advice to the KLA before the NATO
6 bombing? The period, of course, is the time when you appeared in
7 Kosova-Metohija, that is to say, from 1998 onwards until the
8 24th of March, 1999, I believe. Did you give them advice as to how to
9 behave except for a truce or cease-fire, advising a cease-fire or truce?
10 A. I don't mean to be humourous, but I wish I could have given
11 advice to them on how to behave. This was one of the most frustrating
12 aspects of the job. The KLA was not, frankly, interested in our advice.
13 They were interested in our presence, and they were interested in our
14 engagement. But in terms of direct advice, no.
15 Secondly, if you consider advice, my going to them, either on my
16 own or on instructions, to protest KLA actions particularly relating to
17 the murder of Serbian civilians, the harassment of Serbian civilians, the
18 kidnapping of Serbian civilians and that sort of thing, if you consider
19 that advice, I will have to say in answer to your response, yes, I gave
20 them advice.
21 Unfortunately, in all too many circumstances the advice that I
22 either gave on my own, which I just related, or on instructions from
24 Q. Thank you for that answer. Do you know about the case of the
25 abduction of the vice-president, I think, of the municipality -- well, a
1 Serbian municipality, his name was Bojanic his surname was Bojanic. Do
2 you know about this abduction of the vice-president in Kosovo Polje? And
3 he was vice-president of the municipality.
4 A. Yes, sir, I remember the case. What I remember, and my memory is
5 fuzzy, but what I remember is he was murdered. Perhaps he was abducted
6 and then murdered, but I remember the poor man was murdered.
7 Q. Correct. The representatives of the KLA said that they had
8 nothing to do with that. They did not accept blame, but they were
9 advised by somebody to act in that way. Do you have any knowledge about
10 this or none at all?
11 A. What I remember, sir, is the KLA representatives denied
12 responsibility for Mr. Bojanic's murder. As to them being advised by
13 somebody to deny that, I have no knowledge of that. We certainly would
14 not have provided such advice.
15 Q. Staying with the topic of your departure from Kosovo, in 1998 did
16 you and your team leave Kosovo?
17 A. Yes. We left -- we left just prior to Dick Holbrooke's
18 negotiations with Belgrade
19 October Agreement. I remember we were pulled out the morning of that --
20 of those negotiations.
21 Q. And what was the reason for your departure or the fact that you
22 were "pulled out"? The words you used.
23 A. The reason was that, as I recall, NATO had issued an op order
24 which was the step prior to actually ordering a bombing attack, and
25 Dick Holbrooke was in the final stages of negotiations with Milosevic on
1 this issue, on what led to the agreement. Dick wasn't entirely sure that
2 he would get the agreement. What he was confident of is if we didn't get
3 the agreement, that NATO was not bluffing. They would have attacked.
4 There would have been a bombing attack on some place in Serbia
5 did not -- neither Dick Holbrooke nor Washington wanted American
6 diplomats and servicemen inside Yugoslavia
7 bombing it. So we were pulled out on the morning of his, I guess, the
8 final, may have been the day of dead-line, I don't remember exactly. But
9 we were pulled out just so that we would not be in harm's way.
10 Q. And am I right in saying this was October 1998?
11 A. Yes, you are.
12 Q. Am I right that the bombing did not take place but that the
13 October Agreement, as it was called, was reached? And am I right in
14 saying that the bombing was suspended?
15 A. Yes, you are.
16 Q. Do you happen to remember the details of the agreement, the most
17 important details of the October Agreement?
18 A. Well, to the extent that yes, I do, and certainly the extent that
19 we looked at -- we reviewed that agreement together in this courtroom
21 Q. Thank you. Why did the so-called activation order did not take
22 place? The order for the bombing, the agreement was signed, was
23 concluded; was it carried out?
24 A. The simple answer to that question is no.
25 Q. May I have a complicated answer, not a simple answer? Why, then,
1 did the bombing not take place if the agreement was not carried out?
2 A. Well, the complicated answer is that the sides signed the
3 agreement, Holbrooke signed it, I guess, with Milosevic, and we made a
4 good-faith effort on our part to see that it was implemented. But
5 implementation did not depend certainly entirely, but did not depend on
6 us. At the end of the day, Racak destroyed that agreement.
7 Q. We'll come to Racak in due course, although it's not in the
8 indictment in the way it was previously, but linked to this agreement
9 once again we'll have to discuss it point by point, the points that were
10 supposed to have been carried out. And I hope I can get suitable --
11 adequate answers from you.
12 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Now, with the technicalities, we
13 started the day today 15 minutes later, does that mean that I have 15
14 minutes more before the break? Yes, thank you.
15 JUDGE PARKER: No, I haven't indicated. You could have it, if
16 you would prefer, but we would be equally happy to break now. So it's a
17 matter for your assessment.
18 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I'd prefer to have the break
19 now, Your Honour, please, since we are going on to a new area, or set of
20 questions which are going to be separate and unique.
21 JUDGE PARKER: We'll have the break now and resume at 11.00.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Byrnes, tell me, please, to the best of your recollections
4 when did you see the accused Vlastimir Djordjevic for the first time?
5 A. During the -- sir, during the negotiations in Belgrade on the
6 24th and 25th of October. That's my best recollection.
7 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, on that occasion, what was your
8 first contact with General Djordjevic like, was he introduced to you, did
9 you get to know each other directly or in some other way, did you happen
10 to meet in some other way?
11 A. I don't have any direct recollection of introductions. We were
12 both members of a very large group of people brought together to
13 negotiate this agreement. I'm sure there was some sort of formal
14 introduction; but to get to the rest of your question, I never had any
15 direct one-on-one contact with him on that occasion, certainly that I
17 Q. And who led your team, your group? On the 25th of October, 1998
18 A. The group that dealt with the agreement relating to the Serbian
19 police in Kosovo was led by General Naumann, a German military officer
20 who was the head of the NATO Military Committee.
21 Q. Tell me, please, what did Mr. Djordjevic look like at the time
22 when you saw him for the first time, or rather, what was he wearing? Was
23 he wearing a uniform, was he not in uniform?
24 A. My memory of what General Djordjevic was wearing is fuzzy at
25 best. My recollection is he was in uniform as were his colleagues,
1 General Lukic, General Stevanovic, and Colonel Mijatovic. But again my
2 memory is fuzzy.
3 With regard to the first part of your question, I recall him as
4 very impressive, very imposing, big man, with a very -- a very definite,
5 what we would call command presence. He was a man who was very much in
7 Q. Thank you. Now, you've just told me that as far as you remember
8 he was wearing a uniform. However, leaving your -- reading your reports
9 and notes from your talks to the investigators, I came to the conclusion
10 that you never actually saw General Djordjevic in a uniform, am I right
11 in saying that? But I'm saying that, and let me give a reference to why
12 I'm saying it, it was from the 30th to the 31st of October, 2001,
13 page 32. The sentence in the paragraph under the title of "Djordjevic"
14 which is D00 --
15 MS. KRAVETZ: I am sorry to interrupt my learned colleague, but
16 it is my understanding that any references to this interview notes must
17 be done in private session. If my learned colleague is going to be
18 citing from the interview notes, he needs to request to go into private
19 session for that purpose.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Are these the interview notes that you are dealing
21 with, Mr. Djordjevic?
22 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Well, since he said he saw him
23 in uniform, I would like to go into private session, yes. Yes, my answer
24 is yes.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Are you referring to the interview notes?
1 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Are you going to make any reference to the content
3 or are you merely going to say there is a reference at a page?
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Just the part of the statement
5 where the witness -- well, today's witness says that he never saw him in
7 JUDGE PARKER: Can we move into closed session.
8 [Private session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Yes, carry on, please, Mr. Djordjevic.
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 As I was saying, it was D004-3079. That's the exhibit number.
13 Of the 30th and 31st of October, 2001, page -- or, rather, the third
14 page, second sentence. And it's under the title of "Djordjevic."
15 Q. It says there that you never saw General Djordjevic in a uniform.
16 Now that you look at this, can you state your views? Was he wearing a
17 uniform as you said today, or was he not wearing a uniform as you said
19 A. Well, what I said earlier in my previous response was my memory
20 was fuzzy and I don't recall whether he was or was not wearing a uniform.
21 Nearly 11 years later, my memory is even fuzzier. I will stick with what
22 I said during the interview, I think that was much closer to the time of
23 the event and my memory was much -- was clearly more clear.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Byrnes.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] So I just wanted to have the
1 document admitted in that part and then we can go on in open session.
2 JUDGE PARKER: You are wanting just that segment that is under
3 the heading "Djordjevic" to be an exhibit, is that what you are saying?
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] That's right. Yes.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Do you really need it as an exhibit? The witness
6 now has made clear that he would prefer to stay with what he said at that
7 time and that what he said at that time, it's clear on the transcript, is
8 that he had never seen the accused in uniform. I think that might be
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely. Thank you,
11 Your Honour. It needn't be admitted. Can we go back into open session
12 now, please.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Open.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
16 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Byrnes, tell me, please, when and how you learned what
18 functions and posts Mr. Djordjevic held within the frameworks of the
19 ministry, foreign ministry, what his rank was, function, et cetera?
20 A. I don't have a precise recollection of when I first learned that
21 Mr. Djordjevic was deputy minister of Internal Affairs and was the head
22 of the police -- the public order section of that ministry. This may
23 have been explained to me when I arrived in August and spent a day at the
24 embassy in Belgrade
25 General Lukic who at some point after my arrival when I called on him in
1 Pristina made a point of going over the organisation chart of the
2 ministry so that I and my EU KDOM colleague understood the chain of
4 But again, to be very precise, my understanding during my time
5 there was that General Djordjevic was the deputy minister of interior in
6 charge of the public order structure of that ministry.
7 Q. Excellent. In this answer you also answered another of my
8 questions that I only intended to ask now, namely, how well you know the
9 structure of the Ministry of Interior, the chain of command, et cetera.
10 You've just answered that. So you are more or less familiar with the
11 organisation of the ministry.
12 Do you know the difference, which is important to this Defence,
13 between deputy minister and assistant minister in terms of functions?
14 A. I certainly understand it as those terms are used in our system,
15 and let me explain my understanding, I think that will be of help. In
16 brief, the deputy minister is senior to an assistant minister. That's
17 how it works in our system.
18 Q. It's the same with our system.
19 When and who told you that Mr. Djordjevic was the deputy interior
20 minister, not assistant minister?
21 A. I can't give you a precise answer. I simply don't remember. But
22 let me add, because General Djordjevic chaired the Serbian side of the
23 police Working Group, my understanding was that he did so because he was
24 the senior professional, non-political official of the Serbian police.
25 And we all understood, there were formal introductions before the
1 negotiations started, and he was introduced in that capacity.
2 Q. Mr. Byrnes, I have to tell you one thing, and we also have
3 documents about that in this case. Mr. Djordjevic, the accused in this
4 case, never held the post of deputy minister of the interior. His
5 highest position in his career ever was assistant minister. Generally
6 speaking, so far whenever you spoke of Mr. Djordjevic, you mentioned for
7 the first time yesterday that he was -- or used to be deputy minister of
8 the interior. You did not mention it in your statement to the
9 investigators in 2001 or in your testimony in the Milutinovic case. In
10 your testimony in that case you used the term assistant minister which
11 was correct. Can you explain this?
12 A. I appreciate the explanation you offered. To the extent that
13 there's some difference in my use of terms, I would attribute to simply
14 confusion and the fact that as time passes, memories become fuzzier, less
16 I think it is important just to reiterate, that my understanding
17 at the time was that General Djordjevic was the senior career official in
18 charge of the police element, oversaw and charged the police element of
19 the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
20 Q. That will definitely not be in dispute, but it was in the
21 interest of this Defence to clear this up. Do you know who appointed the
22 general you mentioned a moment ago, General Sreten Lukic, to lead the
23 Ministry of the Interior staff for Kosovo and Metohija?
24 A. No, I don't. I don't know the exact -- the name of the precise
25 official who made that appointment.
1 Q. Thank you. And do you know when he was appointed chief of the
2 MUP staff in Kosovo and Metohija in Pristina?
3 A. No, I don't have a precise date for that. No.
4 Q. Would I be right in saying that you came to Pristina on the
5 12th of August, 1998?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Who led the staff in Pristina at the time? Was it
8 Lukic or someone else?
9 A. My recollection, Mr. Djordjevic, was that General Lukic told me
10 at the time that General Stevanovic had been in charge of the police in
11 Kosovo, but that he, General Lukic, was taking over that responsibility.
12 That's my recollection.
13 Q. Would you allow the possibility that his real name is Stevanovic,
14 not Stefanovic?
15 A. Sir, your Serbian is better than mine, certainly.
16 Q. The last name, there's a difference only in one letter.
17 V versus F. Obrad Stevanovic; correct? You said this person, this
18 Obrad Stevanovic was a deputy to General Djordjevic, the accused here.
19 Are you certain of that? Where did you gain that knowledge?
20 A. My recollection was that he -- he being General Stevanovic, told
21 me that, General Lukic told me that, and he was a senior police official
22 who I saw in uniform. Logic suggests that as a senior police official he
23 would be subordinate to the man who was -- the overall commander of the
24 Serbian police.
25 Q. Would it change anything if I said that General Obrad Stevanovic
1 had absolutely the same kind of position -- I have some interference in
2 my headset, I'm sorry. There's a problem.
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Channel 6 has awful
4 interference, Your Honour. I can't hear a thing. Thank you.
5 Q. Would it change anything in your mind if I tell you that
6 General Obrad Stevanovic had the same position, namely, assistant
7 minister of the interior, and we have documents on appointments there so
8 he was absolutely on the same level as General Djordjevic?
9 A. I appreciate the information which clarifies a point that I don't
10 remember being -- having a clear understanding of.
11 Q. Thank you. You told us yesterday that General Lukic was
12 answerable to General Djordjevic. Is that your assumption or an
13 inference based on something or are you sure of that?
14 A. What I recall is that General Lukic would make a weekly trip to
16 General Stevanovic and General Djordjevic. General Lukic, to the best of
17 my recollection, did not -- was not more specific about that
18 relationship -- those relationships.
19 Q. Thank you, that clarifies a lot.
20 Do you remember who was the minister of the interior at the time
21 in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and in Serbia
22 A. What I recall, Mr. Djordjevic, was there was a man who was not, I
23 believe, a career official of the minister of Internal Affairs but what
24 we would call a political appointee, and it was a man I -- by the name, I
25 think it was Stojiljkovic.
1 Q. Vlajko Stojiljkovic. Do you agree it's the right name and
3 A. What I can say is that my -- what I remember is that a man named
4 Stojiljkovic was the minister of Internal Affairs at the time. That's
5 what I remember. And you've provided a first name. I never met the man.
6 I never had anything to do with him.
7 Q. Again, concerning the relationship between General Lukic and the
8 accused here, for the first time yesterday in your evidence you mentioned
9 that the relationship between Djordjevic and Lukic was such that Lukic
10 was clearly subordinate to General Djordjevic and reported to him.
11 However, I must remind you of a portion of your evidence in the
12 Milutinovic case.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] May I call up on the screen
14 P1214. It's the transcript from the Milutinovic case. On page 12145,
15 line 25. And the next page, 12146. But let's first look at line 25. We
16 need to scroll down a little. Next page, please. Lines 1 to 4.
17 Q. Please look at this. You say that was the first time you met
18 General Lukic, that it was your recollection that he, or somebody else
19 told you that he General Lukic, was replacing General Stevanovic -
20 misspelled Stefanovic here - as the Serbian police chief in Kosovo.
21 Secondly that General Lukic reported to Belgrade to General Stevanovic.
22 At that time you did not mention Djordjevic, nor did you mention the
23 minister of the interior, you mentioned specifically General Stevanovic.
24 Why, for what reason did you mention General Djordjevic in this context
25 yesterday for the first time?
1 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I believe that is not an accurate
2 representation of the testimony of the witness in the previous
3 proceedings and later down on the same pages it's an answer that
4 indicates that my learned colleague is not citing this evidence
5 accurately, and I direct your attention to the line 7 through 9 of the
6 same page.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It does appear, Mr. Djordjevic, that the witness
8 first gave evidence about meeting the accused and then he was asked what
9 about Obrad Stevanovic, which is line 19, and the witness then carried on
10 speaking about General Stevanovic, and that led him to speak about
11 General Lukic. So I think the context is a little different from what
12 you were putting a moment ago.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Be that as it may, I would still
14 like to hear the answer of the witness to this question:
15 Q. Did he have clear knowledge, reliable knowledge, that
16 General Lukic reported it to General Djordjevic, or he just inferred that
17 from the system of police organisation? Because in this writing he
18 clearly mentions General Stevanovic?
19 A. Mr. Djordjevic, the answer is the latter. To be very direct and
20 very honest, I did not have direct knowledge of the specific
21 relationship. I told you earlier that General Sreten Lukic told me he
22 reported to General Stevanovic and to General Lukic [sic] but my clear
23 impression, and I recall the conversation I had with General Lukic when
24 he said he was replacing General Stevanovic, he did tell me that he would
25 be reporting to General Stevanovic. The other thing I would add was that
1 in terms of chain of command in the Serbian police and Ministry of
2 Internal Affairs, it was clear just from the role General Djordjevic
3 played during the negotiations on 24 and 25 October 1998, that both
4 General Stevanovic and General Lukic were subordinate to him. But I hope
5 that answers your question.
6 JUDGE PARKER: On the screen as I see page 39, line 14, or
7 thereabouts, in your answer, there, Mr. Byrnes, you have a sentence in
8 which you said: "I told you earlier that General Sreten Lukic told me he
9 had reported to General Stevanovic and to General Lukic." I think that
10 is what you said, but it seems not to have been what you intended to say.
11 Did you mean there that he reported to General Stevanovic and to
12 General Lukic or to somebody else? Sorry --
13 THE WITNESS: General Djordjevic.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Yes, I think you repeated the name
16 THE WITNESS: I am sorry. Nearly 11 years later, my impression
17 remains clear that when Lukic -- when General Lukic went to Belgrade
18 his weekly visits, he was reporting to General Stevanovic. I know -- my
19 recollection is that on occasion he talked about reporting to seeing
20 General Djordjevic, but to be very clear, my understanding was -- and
21 let's go back to, sort of, chain of command terms. General Stevanovic
22 was the next man up the chain of command. I hope that helps clarify my
24 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you. Mr. Byrnes, have you ever had occasion to find out in
1 your conversations with General Lukic and other policemen you had contact
2 with during your tenure in Kosovo in 1998 speaking of the chain of
3 command, with any documents on their appointments, responsibilities,
4 areas for which they were responsible? Did you see any such documents?
5 A. Not that I recall at this moment, no.
6 Q. Thank you. About that meeting that you mentioned very frequently
7 in your statements, the meeting in Belgrade on the 24th of October. On
8 the other side of the table, General Djordjevic had the main role in the
9 negotiations, and you say you had the impression that General Djordjevic
10 had shown a very good knowledge of the facts in Kosovo. What did you
11 mean by that, that General Djordjevic had a very clear picture and very
12 good knowledge about the facts in Kosovo?
13 A. What I meant was that he had a -- he had a clear understanding of
14 the location and deployment operations, that sort of thing, of the
15 Serbian police in the province.
16 Q. Reading the transcript, I came away with the impression that the
17 fact the he had shown such clear understanding of the facts in Kosovo was
18 in a way a surprise to you. Is that a false impression on my part? Were
19 you surprised that he had such a clear understanding of the facts?
20 Perhaps I did not understand this very well, maybe you could help me.
21 A. Sir, I don't recall being surprised at his command of the facts
22 relating to the situation in Kosovo.
23 Q. He led a team that conducted the negotiations on behalf of the
24 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Am I right that he was leading the team,
25 he was sitting in the middle of the table; correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And I suppose that it was quite normal when such serious state
3 level negotiations, high profile negotiations were taking place, the
4 generals should be very well informed, and that includes him,
5 General Naumann, and you; right?
6 A. That's correct, and that's why I was not -- I don't recall being
8 Q. Thank you. I'm sorry, that's why I asked the question, and now
9 everything is perfectly clear.
10 I'm curious about another thing. On that 24th of October, did
11 you recognise in General Djordjevic a professional rather than a
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. During those negotiations, were you and your team informed of all
15 the positions and places where the so-called check-points of the Serbian
16 police and army were located at the time?
17 A. I believe we were, and certainly I had knowledge of those
18 positions effective the day before or so of my arrival in Belgrade. I'd
19 come directly up from Pristina, and we in KDOM had monitored that sort of
20 information as close as we could. We had a pretty, pretty good handle on
22 Q. Thank you. You said yesterday that at the invitation of
23 General Clark and Ambassador Holbrooke you took part in the negotiations
24 as an expert. Can you tell us what kind of expert you were there? What
25 was your specialty at the time?
1 A. Well, from General Clark and Ambassador Holbrooke's standpoint, I
2 had better knowledge of the geography of Kosovo, the deployment and
3 operations of the Serbian police and the army, and -- than any other
4 member of our delegation. That constituted my expert knowledge.
5 Q. Thank you. From the answer you gave me today, I understood that
6 your delegation was in fact led my General Naumann, but he can see that
7 they asked you to be the person to sign the agreement. How are we to
8 understand that? It's a little unusual, to be quite frank.
9 A. Well, I addressed this question yesterday, but I'm happy to
10 answer again. Both General Clark and General Naumann decided that it
11 made good sense to have me sign the agreement instead of General Naumann
12 because I was on the ground in Kosovo and General Naumann would return to
13 NATO headquarters in Belgium
14 to monitor the implementation of this agreement and bring any issues that
15 might arise directly to the attention of the Serbian security
16 authorities, in this case the police in Kosovo. That was the logic
17 behind the decision to have me sign it.
18 Q. Thank you. Strong reasons, I agree with you there. But my next
19 question is this: Why weren't you the leader of the team, the leader of
20 the group from the very beginning in view of your capabilities, which you
21 obviously had? Why was it a general going back to Belgium who led the
22 team who would be signing up to this and not you?
23 A. I think -- I can only speculate about that. I think the question
24 would be best addressed to General Clark.
25 Q. Very well. During the duration of these talks on the
1 24th of September in Belgrade
2 General Djordjevic would interrupt the talks fairly frequently, well, not
3 frequently, but he did interrupt the talks, he would get up, he would
4 leave, and come back. And you make your suppositions about that. But I
5 want to ask you about the facts. Can you remember at what point in time
6 was it that General Djordjevic interrupted his talks with you,
7 apologised, got up, and left? That's my first question.
8 A. I have no direct recollection of that kind of detail, sir.
9 Q. Well, I didn't suppose that you could after so many years, more
10 than ten years that you have detailed recollection about that. But do
11 you have any direct recollection of the fact that these interruptions
12 occurred at points in time when an answer was needed to some very
13 sensitive questions? Can you remember that part of things?
14 A. Logic suggests that the point you are -- you're right, but I
15 would be dishonest if I said I have a precise memory or recollection of
16 it at this point when an issue over -- say, for example, placement of
17 observation points came up that General Djordjevic interrupted. I
18 simply -- my memory doesn't go far that back in that kind of detail. I'm
20 Q. And were there any consultations on the spot among the members of
21 the Serbian team, or rather, the Yugoslav team, or rather,
22 General Djordjevic? Did he consult the people that surrounded him in the
23 room and on the premises where you were in?
24 A. My recollection is that during the actual negotiations there was
25 no consultation among the Serbian police officers present. They did -- I
1 also remember that they did talk among themselves during breaks.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Now may we have Exhibit P1214,
3 the Milutinovic transcript please, and the page is 12158. May we have
4 the exhibit put up on our screens, please. Lines 4 and 5.
5 Q. Now, do you remember, because it has -- it was eight years before
6 today's testimony here, do you remember that General Djordjevic left
7 talks on a number of occasions and you said we understood he was making
8 phone calls. So your answer was that in other words he went to consult
9 someone, whereas today you have -- you take the position that you can't
10 actually say anything about that.
11 Now, where did you get your impression at the time that he went
12 to go and consult someone and make some phone calls, whereas today you
13 have a slightly different explanation, you say that yes he did leave but
14 you can't remember what the reasons could be or why; if you can answer
15 the question. If not, fine.
16 A. To be very clear, my -- in one of my previous answers I said that
17 during the actual negotiations, I saw -- I do not recall the Serbian
18 police team consulting among themselves. And what I meant exactly by
19 that was when we were in the room negotiating, General Naumann leading
20 negotiations on our side and General Djordjevic on the other, while we
21 were present in the room, I had no recollection of consultation taking
22 place among the Serbian police officials on the other side of the table.
23 To be clear, I have no recollection. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, but
24 I can't remember that.
25 Point two: When we did take break, I recall sometimes people get
1 up and stretched and stood around in the room in little groups. Our team
2 did that, and the Serbian police team did that, and there was discussion.
3 It might well have been about where we were going to have dinner that
4 night. I wasn't party to that. But in any case, there was discussion
5 among the Serbian police officials on the other side of the table. There
6 were also breaks when we would -- of longer duration when we would leave
7 the room, and I saw members of the Serbian police team standing together
8 in the hall or in a corner talking. What they were talking about, I
9 don't know.
10 Now, point three: I recall General Djordjevic leaving the room
11 on several occasions. My recollection is that he said he was leaving the
12 room to make phone calls or one of his colleagues said he was leaving the
13 room to make phone calls, but that's a recollection of an event that's
14 quite distant now. But what I am completely confident of is that he left
15 the room on several occasions.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Byrnes.
17 Now, the next topic I'd like to address. It's your alleged
18 meeting with General Djordjevic in Pristina, or rather, when you saw him.
19 You said yesterday that you saw General Djordjevic once again after the
20 negotiations in Pristina and that it was a rather large meeting, and the
21 reference there is yesterday's transcript 8186, page 21 -- or 921. You
22 say there when you saw General Djordjevic after the October Agreement
23 that you can't remember exactly -- well, you say it was a large meeting
24 in Pristina, but you don't remember when that was. And then you go on to
25 say on the next page 8187, line 6 to 15, you say:
1 I remember that I was -- on our side -- Nicholas Turnbull from
2 the EU KDOM; General William Walker was there, I think that was the
3 ambassador; his assistant, Michael Phillips, a British deputy; and the
4 deputy leader of the OSCE, General Drewienkiewicz. Those are the people
5 that I remember seeing at the meeting. And on the other side there was
6 Nikola Sainovic, Veljko Dalovic, in fact the head of the Pristina
7 municipality, and General Djordjevic. I quite frankly cannot remember
8 whether General Lukic was there, but logically he would have had to have
10 Now, can you remember roughly speaking since not much time
11 elapsed when that could have been, this large meeting in Pristina, as you
13 A. I can't remember precisely when this happened, but given the
14 composition of the participants of the meeting, it would have had to have
15 taken place after the signature or after the conclusion of the
16 October Agreements.
17 Q. Yes, without doubt, that is the case. I thought you could be
18 more precise. But if not, then I'll skip my next questions.
19 However, since you were in Pristina for a long time already and
20 you spent a long time there, you know the institutions, th buildings, and
21 so on and so forth, could you tell us, this meeting, what premises was it
22 held in? Where was it in Pristina?
23 A. My recollection, sir, was this meeting was held in the
24 Hotel Grand.
25 Q. I see, the Grand Hotel. Can you tell us, since it was obviously
1 a very important meeting in view of the people you mentioned having
2 attended it especially those from the international community, what was
3 the subject of the meeting, what topic was discussed, what was the main
4 subject and the reason for convening the meeting in the first place?
5 A. I don't remember the exact agenda, sir, but given the quality and
6 character of the participants, the meeting had to have dealt with the
7 arrival and establishment and operations of the new OSCE
8 Kosovo Verification Mission which the sides had agreed to. And we had
9 present the leaders of that new mission.
10 Q. Very well. At the time, did you have any personal contacts with
11 General Djordjevic? On that occasion, I mean.
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. I'm now going to have to clear up something that you said eight
14 years ago in the Milutinovic case when you testified there. It is P1214
16 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] And may we have pulled up
17 page 12145, please. Lines 10 to 14.
18 Q. Now, the substance of this is the following : In response to a
19 question by my learned colleague Prosecutor Hannis when he asked you
20 whether you could remember on what other occasion you met
21 General Djordjevic, you said:
22 Yes, I met General Djordjevic on another occasion in Pristina.
23 It was a very brief meeting, and to be quite frank, I don't remember what
24 the substance of that meeting was.
25 Now, you mentioned this meeting -- well, you don't mention the
1 meeting, you don't mention any of these important participants or any of
2 this. So can you tell us why you made no mention of these important
3 people at the time and you don't mention that it was a very large and
4 important meeting, that meeting in Pristina? You say none of that here.
5 That's my question.
6 A. I was referring to the meeting we've just been discussing, and I
7 think I made no mention of the issues that you just raised because of the
8 context of the question.
9 Q. Very well. Now, I have to tell you, working on this case we have
10 read a heap of reports, and Drewienkiewicz reports, [indiscernible] you
11 mentioned Drewienkiewicz, but -- and they recorded or took notes of every
12 meeting and all the events, whether important or less important. And
13 this kind of meeting in Pristina has not been recorded anywhere in the
14 notes that we looked through. So was it an extraordinary event of some
15 kind? But since you don't remember the reason for the meeting or the
16 agenda then perhaps that was the reason?
17 A. I have, as I said before, a very vague recollection of this
18 meeting. I do remember it being in one of the meeting -- large meeting
19 rooms of the Hotel Grand. And given the location of the meeting, my
20 recollection it was a more of a protocolary event in which newly arrived
21 OSCE KVM leadership was meeting senior Serbian officials who had
22 responsibility for Kosovo. It was -- in my recollection it was basically
23 social but, I am sorry, my memory is not clear on that. But I do
24 remember a meeting at the Hotel Grand with this leadership involved.
25 Q. Thank you for that answer. And that rounds up my examination of
1 of this meeting and your talks with General Djordjevic. But did you ever
2 see him at any time afterwards, either in Kosovo or in Belgrade
3 time after that?
4 A. I have no recollection of ever seeing General Djordjevic again
5 after that.
6 Q. Tell me, please, did you ever take part in any meeting where the
7 minister of the police, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, was present, whom we have
8 already mentioned?
9 A. I have no recollection of ever meeting General Stojiljkovic,
11 Q. Thank you. The next topic I'd look to address is Podujevo. Am I
12 right in saying that the main communication line between Pristina,
13 Podujevo, and Nis
14 nor was traffic and the passage of people hindered in any way on this
15 road? And I'm talking about 1998.
16 A. My recollection, sir, is slightly different. What I -- I would
17 agree with your statement that it was never cut off. The Serbian police
18 and army kept that road open. But my recollection also is that there
19 were a couple of incidents which -- in which vehicles -- and my
20 recollection is vague, but I think they were civilian vehicle, vehicles
21 driven by Serbian civilians, they weren't army vehicles or they weren't
22 our vehicles, were shot at from points close to the road. This, of
23 course, triggered a response from the Serbian security authorities and
24 the road was kept open. But my impression -- my recollection is that
25 stretch of road, particularly the stretch closer to Podujevo, was
1 becoming increasingly dangerous for Serbian civilian traffic as the
2 autumn wore on.
3 Q. I was just checking the interpretation because there's something
4 that's not quite logical, just like when you said that General Lukic
5 informed General Lukic. That from the positions of the army that were
6 shooting at Serb civilians in cars. Did you mean from KLA positions, the
7 Kosovo Liberation Army, or did you mean that the Yugoslav Army actually
8 shot at Serb civilians?
9 A. I meant by the KLA. Let me add, too, that because of the
10 importance of that road, the Serbian police increased its patrols, its
11 armed patrols on the road to ensure that it stayed open. And in
12 connection with that, that activity was in complete compliance. It was
13 completely consistent with the October Agreements.
14 Q. Thank you. This was indeed an important communication line, an
15 important route. Do you know -- happen to remember what the main
16 railroad was between Serbia
18 A. The main railway communication line ran parallel to this road.
19 Q. Would you agree with me when I say that you are actually wrong,
20 that the main railway communication line from Serbia to Pristina went via
21 Kosovska Mitrovica and then towards Pristina from Kraljevo and that the
22 road from -- the communication from Pristina northwards towards Podujevo
23 and Nis
24 the main communication line was from Mitrovica to Kosovo Polje and
25 Pristina and then further on towards Djevdjelija and the border with
2 A. Well, sir, no one likes to admit that they're wrong. You are
3 certainly right that there is and remains a railroad line running from
4 Kosovo Polje to Mitrovica and on north. And that was an important line,
5 and particularly in the 1990s when the Trepca mines were in full swing
6 the railroad was used to bring the gold and -- or whatever they were
7 mining there to the places where it would be processed. My memory is,
8 and I concede, I can be wrong on this, my memory remains that the line
9 running north from Pristina paralleling the road Podujevo,
10 Kosumlje [phoen], and on to Nis
11 may well be wrong.
12 The important point here is that the highway was of enormous
13 strategic significance because that was the route that certainly army
14 reinforcements or army deployments from the main garrison in Nis would
15 have had to come. They could have, of course, gone west to Raska and
16 then come down to Mitrovica, but that was a much longer route and would
17 have taken more time.
18 Q. I asked this question because of the series of other questions
19 that I intend to ask. I didn't want to discredit you in any way, just to
20 jog your memory in view of the fact that the main railway route was this
21 one: Raska -- Kraljevo-Raska, and then further on towards Kosovo Polje
22 and Pristina. But anyway, thank you for your answer.
23 My next question is this: Am I right in saying that after the
24 signing of the October Agreements and after the withdrawal of police and
25 military forces, the KLA took control of the positions that had been left
1 open by them and with their actions in November and December of 1998 it
2 jeopardized traffic, both railway traffic and road traffic, would that be
4 A. I would agree, generally, it's right. I would be a little more
5 specific, sir. KLA, to the best of my knowledge, did not occupy -- I
6 remember there were a line of VJ bunkers and trenches that lay west of
7 the Podujevo-Pristina road that were abandoned or vacated by the army.
8 They were in some places as close as 200 metres to the road. We never
9 observed the KLA moving into those positions, and in fact, both US KDOM
10 and OSCE KVM put down strong markers repeatedly with the Lap zone
11 commanders not to do so. The reason we did so was obvious. The KLA in
12 that zone was moving in to VJ and police positions that were adjacent to
13 the road but at a greater distance and on higher ground. And that was a
14 clear violation of the agreement.
15 Now, again, let me repeat the KLA was not party to that
17 Q. That's quite clear. Now, speaking of the KLA, am I right in
18 saying that in March 1999, the KLA entered Podujevo?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. Let me just -- they entered in terms of patrols. They didn't
22 enter -- they did not occupy Podujevo.
23 Q. In terms of patrols and did not occupy -- I'm sorry, but how
24 could they carry out patrols if Podujevo was not under their control?
25 You have me confused now.
1 A. Podujevo was not under their control. KLA -- KLA units operating
2 in the suburbs of Podujevo began to penetrate into the city to carry out
3 subversive actions to -- in particular to threaten Serbian residents,
4 and, as I recall, on at least one occasion, there may have been more, but
5 I have a very distinct recollection of one occasion they kidnapped at
6 least one Serbian policeman. But they did not have the armed strength to
7 take control of the city.
8 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Can I now call up D157. This is
9 a KVM report dated 26 February through 4th March, 1999. Let the document
10 stay on the screen.
11 Q. I would like to ask you, General, what was the security situation
12 in November and December 1998 in Podujevo and around Podujevo? And here
13 we see the report that covers that story as well. Are you familiar with
14 the report?
15 A. This report that covers 26 February, March 4? I don't -- we
16 received the KVM reports because we were part of the international
17 community there. I'm sure I received this and read it. It doesn't
18 immediately look -- let's put it this way: I have not seen this report
19 in quite a while, but I'm sure I saw it back in 1999.
20 Is there a question?
21 Q. Yes, I have questions about that because you surprised me. In
22 preparing for this examination, I found this report and somewhere towards
23 the end I found a portion with a subheading "other locations" and it
25 "KLA forces. KLA forces managed to carry out a successful attack
1 on the city itself victorious over the Serbs."
2 So it was not only patrols, they occupied Podujevo after all.
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we have page 2, please.
4 The next page. I cannot see that bit in Serbian or in English. Thank
5 you. The subheading is in fact "Elsewhere."
6 [In English] Top of this page.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Can we agree that after all, the KLA attacked
8 Serbian forces, won a victory, and occupied the city?
9 A. No, sir, we can't. I think we are going to quibble over the
10 term, what does "occupy" mean. I never -- I never had the understanding
11 that the KLA at any point prior to the NATO intervention in March 1999
12 took control of -- took physical control of Podujevo, and that meant they
13 had driven out Serbian security forces.
14 If you want a detailed answer to that, you would have to go to
15 OSCE KVM which had a substation in Podujevo. What I -- I was not in
16 Podujevo when this attack took place. I have a recollection of the Lap
17 zone commander aggressively attacking Serb civilians and Serb security
18 forces in the Podujevo area as we got into 1999, we got closer to the
19 NATO intervention. However, as I said earlier, if KLA had succeeded in
20 taking and occupying and holding Podujevo, I have learned about it for
21 the very first time today.
22 I think what this brief paragraph refers to is that a KLA unit
23 penetrated the city from the suburbs, carried out an attack on, I assume,
24 Serbian security forces, and then presumably killed some people, seized
25 some weapons, it's not specific. But in any case, it could be considered
1 a defeat for the Serbian forces, and withdrew. But again, I was not
2 present, and I repeat, if the KLA had ceased control of Podujevo and held
3 it in the period prior to the NATO intervention, I'm learning about that
4 for the first time.
5 Q. Very well. Now, regarding the methods of the KLA, you say you
6 were familiar with these KVM reports on the situation in Kosovo. This
7 was just one detail that I mentioned. However, in the same report
8 towards the end there is a conclusion, and it says that the attachments
9 to the report are the deployment of the VJ in Kosovo, activities of the
10 VJ outside of Kosovo - I did not understand that part of the report - and
11 VJ forces on the outskirts of Kosovo. And there is also an evaluation.
12 It's the seventh out of nine pages in B/C/S, I could not give you the
13 English reference now, but it should be headed "Conclusion."
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we display that page,
15 please. Could be page 7 or 8 in English.
16 Q. And there's also an assessment. You say you were a recipient of
17 this report. Would you read this first paragraph or let me read it:
18 "Recognising the power of the media, ethnic Albanians will
19 continue to work on international sympathy for their cause. The plight
20 of the internally displaced persons remains their strongest weapon and
21 therefore other incidents involving the movement of large numbers of
22 people can be expected. Careful examination of each scenario needs to
23 take place and one is no longer able to make the assumption that
24 internally displaced persons indicates a Serb attack will take place. It
25 should be remembered that ethnic Albanians monitor Albanian television
1 and such a medium could well be used in conjunction with other methods to
2 increase the propaganda effort.
3 "Over reaction by Serb forces will also be the intention of the
4 KLA - again utilising the power of the media coverage, TV footage of Serb
5 tanks lined up provide a powerful image against the brave KLA fighters in
6 a subsequent shot. The KLA are unlikely to wish to provoke another
7 Racak, therefore the provocations will be in areas they are confident of
8 either defending or at least free of retribution."
9 Can you comment on this passage? You say you received the report
10 at the time and I suppose you are familiar with it.
11 A. I think it's an accurate assessment of KLA strategy at that time,
12 this period post-Racak, late -- I guess late February, early March. I
13 think it's a fair assessment of their strategy and their goals.
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I think it's time for the break,
15 Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We have reached the hour, we will
17 resume at 1.00.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
23 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. [Interpretation] May we
24 have Exhibit 65 ter 414 pulled up, please.
25 Q. Mr. Byrnes, are you familiar with this document that we see on
1 our screens?
2 A. I don't think so, sir.
3 Q. Very well. I'll have to remind you then that in the Milutinovic
4 case you were examined in detail by the Defence on what it says in this
5 document here. And the basic point being, or rather, the subject of this
6 document is that it is from the Decani municipality president, he is
7 addressing the government, and it is linked to the security situation in
8 Podujevo municipality. This document is dated the
9 11th of December, 1998, as you can seen on the Serb original, the upper
10 right-hand corner. And I'm going to ask you about some of the things it
11 says here, since you were already in Kosovo, or rather, your mission and
12 you were already in Kosovo at this point in time, I'm going to ask you
13 whether you know about the events that are referred to here in this
15 Now, in this letter, in the second paragraph, the author of the
16 letter, and it is the president of Podujevo municipality says the
18 "During the past two months..." so we're talking -- if this is
19 December, then it's October or November that he's referring to, 1998, in
20 Podujevo. "... the security situation in Podujevo municipality has
21 deteriorated dramatically with a tendency towards further deterioration.
22 The final aim of everything that is happening to us today is the total
23 exodus and destruction of the Serbian population from Podujevo
24 municipality and the formation of an ethnic border of the desired greater
1 Tell me, please, can these allegations or part of these
2 allegations be considered to be correct? Is what it says here correct or
3 partially correct?
4 A. It certainly is correct that the security situation in Podujevo
5 municipality had deteriorated dramatically and was continuing to
6 deteriorate. That's certainly correct. With regard to the assertion
7 about the Serbian population, I don't know this but my sense of the KLA
8 leadership in that part of -- in the Lap region, that part of Kosovo, was
9 in fact to drive out the remaining Serbs.
10 With respect to the creation of greater Albania, that's a
11 subjective judgement. I just -- I don't know whether that's accurate --
12 I don't know whether that is in fact accurate -- an accurate description
13 of the way KLA leadership in that part of the country thought or not.
14 But in terms of the security situation, yes, it's accurate.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Now, may we turn to the second
17 page of this same document, please.
18 Q. Among other things it says here in line 13 or 14, because it's
19 all one paragraph, that after the Yugoslav army left its positions, that
20 terrorist gangs, and this refers to the KLA, blocked almost half the
21 territory of our municipality starting with the villages of Donja Ljuta
22 and Popovo through Luzane, Sakovica, Burnica, Sibovac, Glavnik, Sekiraca,
23 Gornja and Donja Lapastica, Velika Rijeka, Brodos, Bajicina, Dobratin,
24 and so on and so forth. Do you have any knowledge about that, was this
25 correct? And we're dealing with December and a few months before that.
1 A. It's consistent with my recollection of what was going on in that
2 area then.
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] May we now look at page 3,
5 Q. It says:
6 "In recent weeks this area has witnessed a type of force
7 mobilisation of the population fit for military service into the
8 so-called KLA. Anyone who refuses to respond to the call-up is kidnapped
9 and taken away to their prisons and there tortured and beaten."
10 Do you have any knowledge about that?
11 A. I have no direct knowledge. I know -- what I recall at the time
12 was there was an effort to recruit however they chose to do so but there
13 was an effort to recruit more soldiers into the ranks of the KLA. The
14 allegation about call-up, kidnapping, and this sort of thing, all I can
15 tell you is that we heard rumours to that effect, but I certainly was
16 never able to confirm that.
17 Q. Tell me, please, you were speaking about the abductions, but tell
18 me, did KDOM intervene whereby the Serbs kidnapped should be liberated if
19 they had the knowledge and information that they had indeed been
20 kidnapped by the KLA?
21 A. Yes, we did.
22 Q. Can you tell us a little more about that?
23 A. I'm not sure I understand the question, sir.
24 Q. My question was this: You mentioned kidnappings. Did KDOM ever
25 or was it ever in a situation to intervene and prevail upon the KLA to
1 free these citizens if there were any Serbian citizens who had been
2 kidnapped? If you know about this at all.
3 A. Yes. As a matter of policy, whenever we learned of kidnappings
4 we sought to ascertain the facts and intervene. We did so on a number of
5 occasions. I remember personally -- it's sometime, I believe it was in
6 late 1998, being in Likovac and Drenica, having been out there to see the
7 Drenica zone commander. I remember as we prepared to leave seeing KLA
8 bringing in five, what I recall were five people who were clearly Serbian
9 peasants. I left that day two or three hours later with five Serbian
10 peasants who had been kidnapped near Vucitrn and we took them home. So
11 we did succeed sometimes.
12 Let me add another point with regard to -- since we are talking
13 about Podujevo, I remember I believe it was in early December a Serbian
14 policeman was kidnapped in front of his house or in the city and
15 General Lukic asked both KDOM and KVM to intercede to see if we could
16 free him and we succeeded in that instance in having the KLA release this
17 fellow to us.
18 Q. Thank you. Tell me now, please, do you have any knowledge about
19 the existence of a camp full of civilians organised by the KLA on the
20 territory of Kosova-Metohija?
21 A. I have no direct knowledge of such things. To be perfectly
22 frank, the only knowledge of any sort of credibility that's come to my
23 attention is that that came out of the trial in this court of
24 Fatmir Limaj who was a senior KLA officer in Drenica. And according to
25 the allegation, and apparently it was confirmed, there was some sort of a
1 camp run by the KLA near Lapusnik west of Pristina. That, sir, is the
2 only camp which I have any knowledge of.
3 Q. Thank you. So you'll agree with me that while you did your tour
4 of duty and while the KDOM and KVM mission existed in Kosovo in 1998 and
5 1999, you never personally learned of the existence of any camps for
6 civilians, would that be right?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. Thank you. Tell me now, please, did you in your mission, or
9 rather the KVM and KDOM, were you ever witness to the locality where the
10 KLA conducted executions of civilians, whether they be of Albanian
11 ethnicity who were disloyal or Serbs or other ethnic groups such as some
12 pits or other places of execution? Did you have any information about
13 that, that a large number of civilians who were killed were placed in
14 localities and places like that?
15 A. I was never a personal witness, but we were aware of reports,
16 some cases they were no more than allegation or rumour, but we were aware
17 of reports of this sort of thing happening. For example, I remember
18 there was a report that I think was investigated by -- not by us or the
19 KVM but another international organisation, it was a report of KLA
20 executions of civilians in a place called Klecka which was west of
21 Pristina. I was never there.
22 I was, on one occasion, and I think it was sometime in
23 September of 1998, I was asked by Mr. Odalovic to accompany, I believe it
24 was Odalovic, to in any case accompany a team of experts, forensic
25 experts, along with my EU KDOM colleague Nick Turnbull to Western Kosovo
1 We first went to Djakovica and met the mayor and then he joined our party
2 and we were taken to a small reservoir near Glodjane where there are
3 remains of a number of Albanian civilians, I don't remember the exact
4 number, but it was somewhere in the area of ten, I believe, including
5 some Albanian Catholics, their remains had been found along a river-bed
6 or banks of the reservoir that fed it. The allegation was that the
7 KLA -- local KLA had executed these people, apparently for -- on charges
8 they collaborated with Serbia
9 then take tonne a make-shift morgue which I vaguely recall was, I think,
10 it was in the basement of either a hospital or a hotel. It was a very
11 large building. And we were shown, you know, remains and bits and pieces
12 of clothing and that sort of thing. But that clearly happened.
13 To the best of my knowledge, it was never established precisely
14 who had executed these people, but I'll leave it at that.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] May we move on to page 4 of the
17 text we have on our screens.
18 Q. Further on in this letter it says that:
19 "Already in early October, most Serbian families from the
20 villages of Gornja and Donja Lapastica, especially young people with
21 small children, had left their homes succumbing to the threats and terror
22 and Podujevo municipality offered them temporary accommodation." And so
23 on and so forth.
24 Now, do you know there was this persecution of Serb families in
25 the villages in Podujevo municipality?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about that, the numbers
3 involved and so forth, the way in which they were expelled?
4 A. I -- don't frankly, sir, I don't remember numbers. What is
5 important to me in my memory is that there was in certain locals in
6 Kosovo great pressure from the KLA on Serbs to leave. Harassment,
7 pressure, this would sometimes lead to murder or to kidnappings, in any
8 case, it was great pressure. Podujevo was by no means unique. This was
9 happening elsewhere in Kosovo.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
12 document into evidence.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00351.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I suspect that number should be D351 or 0351?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, the number should be D00351.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] May we now have the next exhibit
18 pulled up, P835 is the number. It's an agreement of the verification
19 mission for Kosovo.
20 Q. Mr. Byrnes, I assume you are familiar with this document, with
21 the agreement. Am I right?
22 A. I was familiar with it. Sir, I've seen it years ago, but, yes, I
23 was familiar.
24 Q. You see where the title says "Agreement" and then you have
25 points 1 to 6, et cetera. I'd like you to focus on item 5 where it says
1 that the:
2 "KDOM will act in place of the OSCE Verification Mission pending
3 its establishment. Once OSCE is operational, KDOM will be absorbed by
4 the Verification Mission
5 Was that put into practice?
6 A. In principle, yes.
7 Q. In principle, yes. What was not implemented? Did KDOM stay on
8 and continue working despite the fact that the OSCE Verification Mission
9 was set up, or rather the KVM?
10 A. The answer is that the great majority of US KDOM and EU KDOM
11 resources were transferred to OSCE KVM and that transfer was completed,
12 in my recollection, by early January 1999, at which point KVM was fully
14 To give you an example, I think in early December, US KDOM had
15 something like 300 US
16 and foreign service officers, and we had something -- something close to
17 7-, or 800 local national employees as interpreters, drivers, that sort
18 of thing. Most were ethnic Albanians, but we had a good portion of
20 In -- by mid-January, US KDOM had about 15 officers and perhaps
21 30 local national employees, all of our remaining personnel resources had
22 been transferred to OSCE KVM all but four or five of our vehicles had
23 been transferred to OSCE KVM. Now, the question is why did Nick Turnbull
24 remain as head of a separate EU KDOM outside the OSCE KVM umbrella, and
25 why did I -- the answer to that is that the US and the EU intensified the
1 pace of negotiations with on one hand Belgrade, and on the other hand the
2 Albanian parties in Kosovo in an effort to find a decision.
3 As part of the unfolding of events that began best probably back
4 in March of 1998 in Prekaz, the KLA had grown in size and strength, but
5 probably more importantly, the KLA had received greater and greater
6 support from the ethnic Albanian population. In other words, at the
7 expense of Rugova's LDK.
8 As a consequence, the KLA became to be seen as a political factor
9 that had to be party to any agreement that was -- we were able to reach
10 with Beograd
11 wouldn't work and we had in front of us the experience of the
12 October Agreement. KLA had not been part of that. Bill Walker and Nick
13 and I and our colleagues had worked very hard to try to get the KLA to
14 accept this agreement and abide by it. And, you know, in retrospect I'd
15 have to say we had enjoyed only limited success.
16 So, to get to the point, both Washington and Brussels
17 that they needed to maintain small, in effect, diplomatic missions in
18 Kosovo outside of the OSCE framework to support the negotiations. So
19 Nick Turnbull supported -- it was mostly logistically he supported the
20 efforts of the EU special envoy Wolfgang Petric, he was also the Austrian
21 ambassador to Yugoslavia
22 supporting Chris Hill who was our ambassador [indiscernible] with special
24 And it was particularly important because both Nick and I and our
25 teams had contact with the KLA in the field and we'd had this contact
1 since the previous summer. The missions, our missions, our diplomatic
2 missions in Macedonia
3 to try to engage the KLA and bring them into a political process meant
4 you had to have people on the ground. So that's where we were kept up.
5 Now, let me address one other issue. It was decided in
7 was decided that it would be completely inappropriate for this work, this
8 diplomatic work, it would be completely inappropriate for this diplomatic
9 work to be done through or by OSCE KVM. OSCE KVM was set up by this
10 agreement and had a very different mission. And so for that reason, they
11 decided that was the second reason, they decided to keep us separate. It
12 was purely bilateral diplomatic issue that was not in OSCE KVM's so to
13 speak work requirements.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Byrnes, you anticipated four of my next questions
15 so you've saved us a lot of time.
16 My next question, since you are very familiar with this topic and
17 very well versed in it, namely the KLA, I would appreciate your personal
18 evaluation, although it doesn't have to be an expert one. When the KLA
19 actually became a political force.
20 A. Is -- the question is when did the KLA become a political force?
21 Q. Precisely. When in your assessment did they actually become a
22 political force? At which moment? When did they become aware of that,
23 or maybe they received some sort of instruction, I don't know. When did
24 they become aware that they also needed to act politically, not only
1 A. Sir, in I think in a very broad sense, the KLA or OVK became a
2 political force in the public -- the Kosovo public's mind. I think that
3 occurred when two or three KLA soldiers appeared at the funeral of an
4 ethnic Albanian, I believe he was a school teacher who died in, I can't
5 remember the particulars, but he was killed in some sort of incident with
6 the Serbian police. I believe it was November of 1997. His funeral -- I
7 was not present, I've read about this. But his funeral brought out large
8 numbers of people. And at some point during the funeral, two or three
9 people, masked people, showed up in uniform with KLA. That was, as I
10 understand, the first public -- there were rumours that the KLA existed
11 according to the historical literature, but that was, sort of, their
12 first public, if you will, exposure. And that apparently caught much of
13 the public imagination. Young people, particularly students who were
14 active in the student movement at Pristina University began to flock out
15 to the country-side to join this group and to resist what they considered
16 Serbian oppression.
17 And I think from that point on, the importance, the political
18 significance inside Kosovo of the KLA began to grow because, particularly
19 among young people, they saw there was now an organisation that was, if
20 you will, fighting back against the Serb oppressors, if you will. In the
21 meantime, President Rugova the -- and his team were continuing to preach
22 basically passive resistance. And in the minds of the Kosovo population,
23 the situation on the ground and their quality of life was deteriorating.
24 So KLA activity began to increase after that. They became more
25 and more popular. And, you know, certainly, I think by the fall of 1998,
1 shortly after I arrived, there was no doubt in the public's mind that the
2 KLA existed, and it seemed clear to me, my own contacts with the Pristina
3 political elite, the Albanians, the journalists, the professors, the
4 lawyers, the young people, particularly the young people, there was no
5 doubt that the KLA had captured their imagination and they had become
6 very popular. They were increasingly seen as the solution.
7 Now, the other part of your question dealt with, I think, the
8 process of bringing the KLA leadership into the political process.
9 Believe me, that was not easy. Chris Hill expended and Petric expended
10 countless hours and energy trying to persuade the KLA leadership to join
11 the process, to in effect, abide by the principles laid down in this
12 agreement that we have on the screen. And eventually to go to
14 As you no doubt know, I escorted the OVK delegation to
15 Rambouillet. I went out to Sedlare to pick them up and take them to the
16 airport. Right up until the time we arrived in Sedlare I had -- I wasn't
17 confident that that they would show up and that they would go. It went
18 right down to the last second. I hope that answered your question.
19 Q. Thank you for that. Just one clarification. When exactly did
20 the KLA enter the international political arena? When did they become
21 involved with the international community? What is your evaluation? We
22 understand from your answer that Ambassador Petric put a lot of effort
23 into that as did Christopher Hill. But what precise moment do you think
24 it was?
25 A. Sir, maybe it's a translation issue, I'm not quite sure what you
1 meant by "when they became involved." I mean, a meeting with a senior
2 official or what do you have in mind? I'm trying to answer the question.
3 Q. Thank you. My question is when did the KLA get their own
4 political leadership that also became active in relations with the
5 international community, not only internally?
6 A. I'm chuckling because I could read a lecture on this. This is a
7 subject that I've been curious about. I could read a lecture on this
8 that would go on for a couple of hours, and I know we don't want to do
9 that on a Friday afternoon.
10 Very briefly and broadly, I've learned subsequently that the KLA
11 political leadership was actually established in December of 1993. In
12 terms of the -- there were then internal struggles. There was under
13 pressure from the diaspora, particularly in Switzerland, a consensus was
14 achieved sometime in the late summer of 1998 to put together a political
15 leadership which was centred on Hashim Thaqi the current prime minister
16 of the republic of Kosovo
17 and dirty answer to your question.
18 Q. Thank you. Apart from Hashim Thaqi, did you recognise any other
19 KLA political representatives? I wouldn't like to make any suggestions
20 myself. No, it's obviously an interpretation issue. My question is:
21 Can you name any other ethnic Albanians from Kosovo apart from
22 Hashim Thaqi who were political representatives of the KLA? Not only in
23 Kosovo itself but outside of Kosovo in the diaspora.
24 A. Yes, the former titled political representative of the KLA in
25 Kosovo was actually a former political prisoner named Adem Dimaqi who was
1 not in the field. He had an office in Pristina. He was the formal --
2 that was his title, political representative of the KLA.
3 The core of the political leadership that we actually dealt with
4 in the field were Jakup Krasniqi, Rame Buja, and Sokol Bashota. Let me
5 say, those -- that was the Troika that we did business with. Whenever a
6 senior western representative came, in particular Chris Hill or Wolfgang
7 Petric, to negotiate or try to negotiate agreements, these were the
8 people they dealt with. These were the people we took visiting American
9 senators. And I remember Senator Warner and Senator Robert Dole who was
10 a failed presidential candidate came out at least once and wanted to meet
11 the KLA leadership. These were the people, Krasniqi, Buja, Bashota, who
12 met and discussed serious issues with such senior people.
13 And just as a footnote, Thaqi was not in Kosovo to the best of my
14 knowledge. I was told by these people that he had left in
15 October of 1998 and was in western Europe. I saw him for the last time,
16 I think, in early October. And I did not ever see him again until he
17 showed up at the Rambouillet conference in Paris in February of 1999.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic, we are going to have to keep a
19 very close eye on time.
20 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the direct
21 examination the Prosecution used much more time than announced
22 originally. And I am not able to shorten my cross-examination. And
23 despite all my best efforts, I still have two important topics to cover
24 that would take around one hour and a half, that is an entire session,
25 with your leave.
1 JUDGE PARKER: That seems incredibly long, Mr. Djordjevic. This
2 session would normally finish in about 5 minutes from now. I do agree
3 the Prosecution took longer than anticipated, but you have since then had
4 very considerable time. Would you like to spend the next quarter of an
5 hour dealing with the essence of the two topics that you have remaining?
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm prepared to make the
7 effort, but I'm not sure I will be successful. But I'm prepared to give
8 it a try.
9 JUDGE PARKER: You may have to be successful, Mr. Djordjevic.
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] That too I will understand,
11 Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: We have great faith in you.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for this.
14 Q. Mr. Byrnes, let's also try with shorter answer, although you are
15 a real university professor, I must confess.
16 Your mission remained together with the KVM, you explained for
17 what reason. You are efforts were geared at establishing political
18 contact with the leadership of the KLA, and on the other hand, the KVM
19 also worked with the Serbian authorities. Just tell me, was there any
20 coordination between KVM and the KDOM in that sense, in their efforts to
21 coordinate certain things?
22 A. Yes. We coordinated closely with KVM on basically operational
23 questions. For example, the effort to secure the release of eight VJ
24 soldiers who were captured by the KLA north of Mitrovica in
25 January of 1999. We worked together to secure that -- their release. We
1 worked together in Podujevo and during the late December problems there
2 to try to calm that down.
3 On the negotiations, the national efforts, we generally kept them
4 informed or Petric and Hill kept them informed, but that was it.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] D004-3308, please. It's the
7 translation of the Limaj interview. Translation of the transcript.
8 Thank you.
9 Q. Are you familiar with this statement of Mr. Limaj, Mr. Byrnes?
10 Does it ring a bell what you are reading on the screen?
11 A. I don't think so.
12 Q. Very well. From this transcript I will read out short passages
13 that reflect the essence of what he said. He answers this question here
14 in this way:
15 "You know that we established contact with the Americans through
16 Hill or perhaps it was the Holbrooke visit, but still I believe the real
17 contact was through the American KDOM led by Shaun Byrnes who deserves
18 exceptional credit because he saw what it was, he was with us on a
19 day-to-day basis, and he has a clear understanding of the military policy
20 of the KLA. I think he is one of those prominent personalities who gave
21 a real assessment of the KLA. I think the real reason is associated or
22 identified with Shaun Byrnes."
23 Would you give us a brief comment on this statement by
24 Fatmir Limaj?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We don't see this text on
1 the screen.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Limaj says that you had a key role in recognising the role
4 and the objectives of the KLA on every possible level including on the
5 international level. Can you comment on what he said, briefly?
6 A. Yes, I saw by -- certainly by late 1998 that the KLA enjoyed
7 considerable, considerable support among the Kosovo population. It
8 controlled a fair amount of territory and it had a great deal of
9 influence in short. And what I argued was that we no longer could deal
10 solely with Ibrahim Rugova as the representative of the Albanians in
11 Kosovo as we tried to move forward to reach some sort of a deal that
12 would -- political deal that would resolve the crisis.
13 I argued that the KLA was not only real as a military force, but
14 it had enormous political support and had to be part of any agreement.
15 If it was not part of that agreement, that agreement risked failing.
16 Q. Thank you. To the question whether this Shaun, meaning you, is
17 the person who enabled the KLA to go to Rambouillet, Fatmir Limaj
19 "Yes, I think he deserves special credit because he created us
20 and he represented realistically what we did and how we reacted as the
21 KLA because Shaun Byrnes had spent a lot of time in Kosovo and was always
22 prepared to meet with us, anywhere, any time, and we were open and honest
23 with him."
24 So a very brief question: Are you responsible -- are you the
25 person responsible for the KLA being represented at Rambouillet?
1 A. To be frank, I think Limaj has given me a lot more credit than I
2 deserve. I think that Chris Hill and -- I would add, Wolfgang Petric
3 does not get enough credit for what he did and his contribution in
4 Kosovo. I know that, as an aside, the KLA told me that they would not go
5 to Paris
6 they seemed actually genuinely concerned that that plane would be shot
7 down by the Serbs if I wasn't on it. So I went. I hope that's a good
9 Q. Thank you. On that occasion when they were going to Rambouillet
10 for negotiations, was the KLA promised that if they agreed to the
11 deployment of NATO troops in Kosova and Metohija that they would get a
12 referendum on independence within three years?
13 A. Not that I'm aware of.
14 Q. Was the subsequent inclusion of this referendum on independence
15 the reason why the Rambouillet negotiations were broken off without the
16 prior consent of Mayorski?
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the name of the
18 other person.
19 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I asked, in response to the interpreter's note, this Paris
21 agreement, when it was amended to include a clause on a future referendum
22 on independence, was it the case that the Russian ambassador Mayorski was
23 not informed of that in advance?
24 A. I'm sorry, I cannot help you on this. I don't know the answer.
25 I accompanied the KLA delegation to Rambouillet, stayed a day or two
1 there to see my wife who came up from Rome, and I went right back to
2 Kosovo. I did not participate in the Rambouillet negotiations.
3 Q. Thank you. On the subject of Racak, do you know how much
4 pressure was exerted on the Finnish pathologist Helena Ranta by
5 Ambassador Walker after she presented her report?
6 A. No, I do not.
7 Q. Are you aware that all those killed, all the men killed in Racak
8 were able-bodied men fit for military service?
9 A. I was not at Racak. I never saw the bodies. I'm not aware of
10 that allegation. My understanding from the reporting I've seen is that
11 there were at least some children. But again, I wasn't there. I did not
12 see this with my own eyes.
13 Q. Do you know that not a single person among those killed in Racak
14 was shot at close range? Are you aware of that?
15 A. No, I'm not.
16 Q. Is it the case that the Ministry of Interior had informed the KVM
17 and the KDOM that they would step up activities in response to escalating
18 terrorist activities in Racak? The Ministry of Interior of Serbia
19 A. I frankly don't remember that. The minister of interior's
20 address for such a communication would have been KVM, not KDOM, but ...
21 Q. You are not aware that there exists documentation that the
22 Ministry of the Interior of Serbia and the MUP staff in Kosovo led by
23 General Lukic had informed the KVM about this?
24 A. Sir, I don't remember that.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. We have already discussed daily reports
1 covering KVM and KDOM activities. The report on Racak was drafted on the
2 26th, almost 11 days after the Racak incident, that is 11 days later. My
3 colleague Ms. Kravetz asked you about this. So it was not a daily
4 report. Can you explain how come this report was written so much later?
5 The one dated the 26th.
6 A. Sir, my recollection is we did submit a report earlier. I think
7 the 26th January date is the date of the Department of State's
8 submission, public submission, of that report.
9 Q. Thank you. Are you aware that General Maisonneuve, when he spoke
10 to Drini on the 17th of January, also discussed the fact that there were
11 wounded soldiers from Racak in the hospital? Are you aware of that
12 statement by General Maisonneuve?
13 A. Sir, I don't remember that.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there are many
16 other details that I could ask about, and the witness has already told us
17 a lot, but I understand it's important to finish his examination today.
18 And that's why I will conclude here.
19 Thank you, Mr. Byrnes, for all the answers you've provided.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Djordjevic, for your
22 I look at you without encouragement, yes, Ms. Kravetz.
23 MS. KRAVETZ: I'll try to take five minutes, no more than that,
24 Your Honours. I know we are pressed with time.
25 Re-examination by Ms. Kravetz:
1 Q. Mr. Byrnes, just very briefly, I have a couple of questions
2 arising out of cross-examination.
3 First of all, when you were being asked about the period after
4 you had left Kosovo, that is, after March 1999 and the time you spent on
5 the border, you referred to accompanying a US KDOM team that would go to
6 refugee camps and collect information about alleged human rights
7 violations. Was the information that was collected during this
8 interviews as refugee camps later put together in your daily reports that
9 were sent to Washington
10 A. I recall that we pulled it together, but I believe those reports
11 were sent in on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
12 Q. And why did you consider it necessary to conduct these interviews
13 at the refugee camps and collect this information?
14 A. We did so under the instructions from the Department of State.
15 Q. Thank you. Moving on to a different topic, my learned colleague
16 asked you about the NATO op order and the reason why it was not
17 implemented and asked whether this was the October Agreements had been
18 carried out. And during the course of your answer, this was at page 28,
19 lines 23 to 24, you said, you made the comment that:
20 "At the end of the day, Racak destroyed the agreement."
21 I just wanted you to amplify that statement, whether you could
22 explain what you meant by it?
23 A. In brief, there had been a growing -- an increase of violence in
24 December and the international community also -- and there were an
25 increase of what the international community considered to be violations
1 of the agreement by the Serbian side. And the killings at Racak, the
2 number was taken -- was seen as a spike, a very serious spike. And
3 provoked on the one hand anger at what was seen in Washington, Brussels
4 and elsewhere as a clear violation of the October Agreement by the
5 Serbian side.
6 And secondly, provoked very deep concern that we were on the
7 verge of the outbreak of a widespread conflict in the province of Kosovo
8 basically open warfare between both parties. And provoked -- prompted
9 the decision to call the conference, bring the parties together, get the
10 KLA to the table, and try to find a resolution which would avoid conflict
11 and save lives.
12 Q. Thank you for that answer.
13 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I have no further questions in
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you again.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE PARKER: You will be pleased to know, Mr. Byrnes, that that
18 concludes the questioning of you. The Chamber is grateful that you have
19 been able to attend and for the assistance that you've been able to give,
20 and we thank you for that. And we thank Ms. Johnson for her assistance.
21 We now adjourn, and we'll resume on Monday.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.05 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Monday, the 24th day of
25 August, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.