1 Wednesday, 26 August 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. We'll go into private session and
6 the witness can be brought in, please.
7 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Mr. Stamp has some questions for you.
10 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Examination by Mr. Stamp:
12 Q. Witness, I think you are aware that for the purposes of your own
13 security I'll be referring to you as K89 for the duration of your
15 MR. STAMP: And with the leave of the Court I'd like to start by
16 showing you a document and that is 65 ter number 02578 [sic].
17 Q. And I just want you to look at it and tell me whether or not the
18 information contained thereon reflect your personal details?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. STAMP: Thank you. Could it be shown to the Defence, please.
21 Defence counsel.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, just for the record, I think I should
24 indicate that the 65 ter number is 02598.
25 JUDGE PARKER: You tender that under seal?
1 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honours. Thank you very much.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01272
3 under seal.
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. K89, do you recall attending this Tribunal before, particularly
6 on the 24th and the 25th of January, 2007, to give evidence in the trial
7 of Mr. Milutinovic and others?
8 A. Yes, I do remember that.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Stamp kindly speak into the
10 microphone, please. Thank you.
11 MR. STAMP:
12 Q. Since you have been here on this occasion, have you had an
13 opportunity to review the transcript or record of your evidence in that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And is the evidence recorded in the transcript true and accurate
17 to the best of your recollection and belief?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. That is, if you were to be asked the same questions that you were
20 asked -- if you were to be asked the same question that you were asked on
21 that occasion, will your answers be the same or significantly
22 substantially the same?
23 A. Yes, mostly the same.
24 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, the transcript -- the transcript,
25 Your Honours, is 05115, and I tender it and ask that it be received as an
1 exhibit under seal.
2 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received under seal.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01273
4 under seal.
5 MR. STAMP: And there's a public redacted version of the said
6 same transcript. It's 05353, which I also ask to be received as a normal
8 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01274.
10 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, the witness in his previous testimony
11 at pages 9154 to 956 -- that is 9154 to 9156 of the transcript had marked
12 two maps to refer to places that his evidence related to. May I just
13 inquire of the Court whether it would be preferable to have him remark
14 those marks or else I could tender those two maps that he marked before.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Tender them.
16 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. The maps are
17 05116 --
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not quite sure
20 whether I understood Mr. Stamp correctly. Is he proposing these two
21 documents to be tendered into evidence? I apologise if I am upon my feet
22 without reason, but the proposal would be by the Defence that those two
23 maps are not going to take up too much time before this Trial Chamber,
24 that they be marked again because I think the Defence will be using it
25 during its examination. So that would be useful if we were to do that
1 now and not to admit maps which have already been marked.
2 JUDGE PARKER: They, by order of the Court, have now already been
3 received in evidence. I am afraid your cross-examination may have to go
4 over territory again.
5 Carry on please, Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much. For the record they are 05116
7 and 05117. And they were referred to in the transcript as IC115 and
8 IC116 respectively.
9 JUDGE PARKER: And the Registrar is about to give them the
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, should the document be under seal?
12 MR. STAMP: No, I don't think there's any need for that.
13 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 05116 will be Exhibit P01275, and
14 65 ter 05117 will be Exhibit P01276, Your Honours.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. K89, I just have one or two questions by way of clarification in
17 respect to your previous testimony which we have on record and it's
18 pretty comprehensive. You said when you were last here --
19 MR. STAMP: For the record, Your Honours, that is page 9127 of
20 that transcript.
21 Q. -- that during the period from the 25th of March and for about
22 20 to 23 days thereafter your unit was involved in participating in
23 search activities in the vicinity between Orahovac and Djakovica; do you
24 recall that?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, as I ask that question, I just recall
2 that it has been the practice of the Court for a short summary to be
3 read. I don't know if it's necessary in this case. I could proceed to
4 do so now.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be helpful and you might also confirm
6 whether you meant page 9127?
7 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, the particular point I was coming
8 to in the questioning is at that page.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Summary please, and then move on.
10 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 The witness is a former member of the Army of Yugoslavia who was
12 deployed in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999. And the witness in his testimony
13 described the uniforms and the weapons that he was issued with and the
14 training that he received prior to his deployment in Kosovo.
15 In 1998, the witness's unit was deployed to a VJ camp in Sulani
16 near Djakovica where mortars and artillery were set up and they fired on
17 several targets from that position, particularly upon the village of
18 Smolnica or towards the direction of the village of Smolnica
19 The witness remained -- the witness and the unit remained in that
20 area for about three to four months, and he testified that on at least
21 one occasion in August 1998 his unit was instructed to fire at the
22 Smolnica mosque where they were told that there were KLA persons present.
23 Around September or October 1998 the witness's unit moved from
24 Sulani to Zub, and from that position the witness's unit continued to
25 fire towards the area of the town of Smolnica
1 witness's unit remained, that is Zup, until the beginning of hostilities
2 on the 24th of March, 1999.
3 On that day, the -- some members of the witness's unit were
4 deployed for operations in the villages between Djakovica and Orahovac.
5 Just before they set off for those operations, their commander or a
6 senior commander in the VJ told them that not a single Albanian
7 ear [Realtime transcript read in error "heir"] was to remain in Kosovo
8 and that their identification papers were to be torn so as to prevent
9 them from coming back.
10 The witness and his units took part in house-to-house searches in
11 the area for 20 to 23 days where they searched for weapons and KLA
12 personnel. He describes that there were different groups involved
13 together or different arms group -- armed groups operating together with
14 the VJ in these search operations including the police and also members
15 of Arkan's Tigers. And he describes the uniforms and other paraphernalia
16 worn by the different groups.
17 On one occasion during these search operations, the witness saw
18 members of the VJ separate about 15 to 20 men from the women and children
19 that were members of a refugee convoy and executing these men by shooting
20 them. He testified that these victims were ordered to don KLA uniforms
21 prior to being shot. His evidence also described in general the torching
22 of the houses on orders that they received from their superiors and on
23 the presence of large convoys of women and children of Albanian --
24 Kosovo Albanian women, children, men, and other civilians who had left
25 their homes and were heading for the Albanian border.
1 And he also testified that these convoys were stopped many times
2 on the road and their identity documents were taken away and torn up by
3 members of the armed forces.
4 The witness also testified that he assisted in loading bodies,
5 approximately 8 of them who had been shot and who were dressed in
6 civilian clothes and being ordered to escort them by lorry to the
7 power-station near Pristina called Obilic where the bodies were left with
8 other members of the VJ.
9 These bodies were collected from villages in the area of
11 Thank you very much, Your Honour, that is a summary of the
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 MR. STAMP: If I may proceed, Your Honours.
15 Q. K89, if I may get back to the question I was asking you earlier,
16 you said at 9127 of the transcript that during these operations that you
17 were involved in at the villages near to Orahovac, among the armed forces
18 that were involved in the searches of the people were policemen and
19 Arkan's Tigers and you said that you did not know who commanded the
20 Tigers, Arkan's Tigers.
21 Can you tell us on how many occasions you saw members or persons
22 who were described to you or appeared to be Arkan's Tigers participating
23 in search operations with the police?
24 A. Well, I might have seen them twice perhaps. I can't remember
25 exactly. A little before the attack started. And then afterwards around
1 Orahovac. It was September, March, April -- no, April, I think, 1999.
2 Q. When they were operating in the field with the police involved in
3 these searches, can you say how they travelled, by what means they
5 A. Well, I don't know by what means. I saw them going on foot.
6 They were walking as a unit, and infantry. Perhaps they had their
7 vehicle, I'm sure they did, some military vehicle, but we thought -- we
8 said to each other, Who are these different uniforms? And then they
9 said, Well they're Arkan's Tigers.
10 But we didn't have any contacts with them at all. I didn't know
11 they were those men. We had no contacts. I was just told they were
12 Arkan's Tigers, that's all.
13 Q. And when they were involved in these searches, about how many of
14 them were there?
15 A. Well, I don't know exactly how many. There were quite a few of
16 them. I don't know. There were soldiers and policemen and the others.
17 I don't know how many there were exactly, I can't remember. I can't give
18 you a figure.
19 Q. And these persons that were described as the Arkan's Tigers, for
20 about how long did you see them present participating in the search
21 operation with the police?
22 A. Well, I don't know exactly. At the beginning -- well, two or
23 three days when we were there, they were already there and then we stayed
24 on last because we were provided security for our soldiers, our infantry
25 as a sort of protection, as a shield, and we didn't see them any more
1 after that. So I don't know how long they were there, were they there
2 for one day or more, I don't know, I can't say.
3 Q. The first time you came across those persons that you referred to
4 as Arkan's Tigers while you were in Kosovo, was when? Can you remember
5 approximately when?
6 A. I don't know exactly what the date was, but I don't think the
7 NATO forces -- well, there wasn't any NATO bombing when they were passing
8 by. Now, where they were going -- well, we had some water -- we didn't
9 have any water at Zub where we were, but we had to go down there.
10 Perhaps they had a tent there or something. I really don't know, I don't
11 know how they came to be there.
12 Q. And where was it that you encountered them first?
13 A. Well, it was below Zub. I don't know.
14 Q. Thank you. If we could move on to something else. You also
15 spoke about the killing of some 15 to 20 men who were taken from a
16 column, forced to don KLA uniforms, and then shot execution style by
17 members of the VJ?
18 MR. STAMP: And this is at 9137 and 9144 of the transcripts,
19 Your Honour.
20 Q. And you also said that you saw someone that you call (redacted) do
21 it. Just to be clear about your testimony, there are just one or two
22 things that I'm not entirely clear. I'd like to just go over with you
23 what exactly you saw. Did you see when VJ soldiers separate -- or may I
24 just withdraw that and put it this way: Did you see how the men were
25 separated from the women in the column?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you see them being taken away to the place where they were
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And where is it they were when they were forced to change their
6 civilian clothes into KLA uniforms?
7 A. Well, they were about a hundred metres away from us roughly.
8 They were to the left of us. It was the surrounding area of Orahovac. I
9 don't know which village exactly. They have a different accent, so I
10 can't say which village they came from. But I know that it was in the
11 surrounding area of Orahovac.
12 Q. Yes. I just want us to focus just for a couple of minutes on the
13 incident itself, not generally where they are from.
14 Did you see the person or the persons who fired on them and
15 killed them?
16 A. Well, I don't know. We were there, the column of refugees came
17 by, and some people were freed there or released. These were
18 individuals. I don't know if they were in the KLA army or what, but they
19 were separated.
20 Q. Yes, but just please try to just focus on what I'm asking you
21 now. The firing of the machine-gun on to the men, the 15 or 20 men who
22 had been taken apart, did you see that occur?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you said it was (redacted) who fired with a machine-gun, can you
25 explain why you said it was (redacted) who fired with the machine-gun?
1 A. It's true that I said that it was (redacted), but in my opinion he
2 was using a machine-gun. And any soldier issued with a weapon and
3 handling one, I mean, I don't know. I cannot -- I said that then, but
4 now I'm not sure. It's possible, everyone was wearing the same uniforms,
5 it's possible it was somebody else. Perhaps regular soldiers should not
6 behave like that. I'm not sure, I cannot be sure. I don't know. I
7 mean, there was fire from the machine-gun. I don't know.
8 Q. Who -- which soldier, which member of your unit normally had
9 possession of the machine-gun that was used?
10 A. Not from our unit because we were --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I remember
13 correctly, the witness did not mention that (redacted) was from his unit, so
14 I don't know what the reference would be to put the question in this
15 particular way.
16 MR. STAMP: May I just --
17 JUDGE PARKER: [Microphone not activated] Just checking that ...
18 I don't see any particular reference to the unit, Mr. Stamp.
19 MR. STAMP: I think I could just save time by doing it this way.
20 Q. Who normally had possession of the machine-gun that was used to
21 do the killing?
22 A. The infantry had machine-guns, light machine-guns. (redacted) was
23 using one. Other than him, I don't know.
24 Q. When you saw the soldier fire on the group of men, could you see
25 that soldier's face from the distance you were at?
1 A. I couldn't see because he had his back to me, so I wasn't able to
2 see. Even if he had been facing me, I wouldn't have been able to see.
3 Q. Now, at the place where the men were separated from the women and
4 the event occurred, apart from the VJ, were there other armed forces in
5 the vicinity?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. And do you remember the approximate date of this event? Just
9 A. Well, I think it was sometime in April, the 7th or the 8th, but I
10 don't know. I can't remember.
11 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, K89.
12 Your Honours, I have nothing further for the witness for the time
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
15 Is it you, Mr. Popovic?
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Popovic:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. K89. I'm Aleksandar Popovic in the Defence
19 team of Mr. Vlastimir Djordjevic, and I'm here with Ms. Marie O'Leary and
20 Mr. Dragoljub Djordjevic. I'm going to put some questions to you in
21 reference to your statement. But I would like to ask you, since we speak
22 the same language, please to wait for me to complete my question and to
23 reply after that so that we can make it possible for the interpreters to
24 do their job properly.
25 MR. STAMP: If I may, I'm so sorry to interrupt.
1 Your Honours, I had intended, and I am afraid it's not a very
2 good morning for me. When we were mentioning a particular name of one of
3 the members of his unit, I had intended to ask to go into private session
4 for that, and somehow something happened and I completely --
5 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps if we redact the name.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Popovic.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I absolutely agree
9 with Mr. Stamp, but I would like to repeat one more time that that was
10 not a member of his unit.
11 Q. Mr. K89, would I be correct if I were to say that you provided
12 two statements to date: the first one to the investigators of The Hague
13 Tribunal on the 23rd of January, 2006; and the second one in the
14 Milutinovic et al. case on the 24th and 25th of January, 2007?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like to look at your statement from
17 January 2006. Did you have the opportunity, after providing the
18 statement, to read it back?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you have the opportunity in that statement to make any
21 corrections of anything that was not a reflection of what you had
22 actually said?
23 A. Well, there were some things -- well, I cannot remember
24 everything, but I don't know.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you sign the statement?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And that statement of the 26th of January, 2006, reflect
3 faithfully the events in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me when you went to serve your
6 military term of duty?
7 A. I went on the 18th of March, 1998. I went to Valjevo.
8 Q. And how did you go to serve your military term of duty? Did you
9 receive a regular summons and after that report to the mobilisation
10 office, or was it in some other way?
11 A. I went to report voluntarily to join the army, just like all the
12 citizens go, and then I received a summons from -- and then I was sent to
13 the Army of Yugoslavia
14 Q. If I understood you correctly, you voluntarily applied to go and
15 serve your military term of duty?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In paragraph 4 of the statement from January 2006 you say:
18 "In February of 1998 I received papers or a summons to serve the
19 regular military term of duty in the Army of Yugoslavia."
20 So did you receive a summons which would be the usual procedure,
21 or did you, as you have just said, report voluntarily?
22 A. Well, it was like this, I went that month and asked the officials
23 in the recruitment office to send me. I went there voluntarily and then
24 I was sent a summons to report there in March 1998, to report to such and
25 such a barracks.
1 Q. When you say it was like this, that you went that month, which
2 month are you talking about in 1998?
3 A. Maybe it was February 1998, perhaps late February, to receive a
4 pre-summons, then you get some money for the trip, and then I received
5 the actual summons on the 13th or the 14th of March, the proper summons
6 to which barracks to report and so on.
7 Q. Thank you. Well, can we be precise now, what summons are you
8 talking about when you refer in your statement that you received a papers
9 ordering me to serve that national service in February 1998?
10 A. Well, to understand it correctly, you receive a pre-summons, I
11 think that was in February. This was the pre-summons. And then the
12 actual summons with the stamp and the money is something that you receive
13 in March. This was a couple of days before the 18th of March.
14 Q. Thank you. So after receiving the summons, you were sent to the
15 Valjevo barracks. Am I correct when I say that you went through basic
16 infantry training in the Valjevo barracks?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And is it correct that your military specialty or the VES was the
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is it correct that the basic infantry training that you went
22 through in Valjevo takes two months and 23 days?
23 A. Yes, I think that is right.
24 Q. And you went through this whole training in Valjevo?
25 A. I don't know exactly if I was there for the entire duration, but
1 we were there for two months, two months and a bit in Valjevo. Then it
2 was a little bit accelerated, so I don't know. But we probably were.
3 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that during the basic infantry training
4 that you completed in Valjevo there is a part that is conducted in
5 classrooms of a closed type and which is conducted in the form of
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And am I correct that in the course of the theoretical part of
9 the training, there is a part that refers to the conduct of soldiers in
10 peacetime and wartime?
11 A. I think that there is, but, well, perhaps I wasn't there when
12 that was being taught but probably there is something about conduct, but
13 I did not really learn that. I learned the insignia, the signage, about
14 the rifles. I mean, but it should be there, the rules for the conduct of
15 a soldier, but I didn't learn that. I don't know for what reason why,
16 but it definitely should be part of it.
17 Q. Thank you. Am I correct when I say that members of the infantry,
18 after the basic infantry training, are transferred and deployed in
19 accordance with the requirements of the army to the appropriate locations
20 and assigned to the tasks that are required?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Am I correct when I say that after you completed the basic
23 training as an infantry man were sent from Valjevo to Djakovica? I think
24 you said that.
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. So can we conclude that you actually completed the entire
2 infantry training period, and that after that you were sent on for your
3 further duties where you would go through further training in the course
4 of serving your military term of duty in the Army of Yugoslavia?
5 A. I don't know whether we passed the regular training or
6 accelerated training, I have no idea, but I think we did complete it.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you remember when you arrived in Djakovica, what
8 date that was?
9 A. I don't know exactly what the date was, whether it was the end of
10 May or beginning of June. I really can't remember. I can't remember the
11 exact date.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may we go into
14 private session now, please.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
16 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
14 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise.
15 Q. Mr. K89, when you arrived at the barracks in Djakovica, which
16 unit were you assigned to? Which brigade, battalion, company?
17 A. We arrived at the barracks and from there, well, we stayed there
18 for an hour or two, and then we were sent off to a mountain post at Zub.
19 And I was in the 120th Mortar Company. I think it belongs to the
20 infantry, that one, I'm not quite sure. But I think I was assigned to
21 the infantry generally speaking with a mortar of 120 millimetres.
22 Q. K89, have I understood you correctly. Did you say that you
23 belonged to the company that was 120 millimetres, but do you remember the
24 brigade or battalion you belonged to?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Can you tell us when you left the barracks in Djakovica? And we
2 are still talking about 1998 after your arrival from Valjevo.
3 A. Well, we didn't even spend the night in the barracks. We were
4 just there on the day we arrived. And from Pristina to Djakovica, it
5 might have been the afternoon or later, anyway, we were there -- in
6 Djakovica for two or three hours where we were issued rifles, helmets,
7 another set of uniforms, and were driven in trucks up to our positions.
8 Because before that, up at those positions there was a previous unit, and
9 they had just completed their military service, that unit.
10 Q. Where did you go then?
11 A. We went to Sulani, I think, whether that's the village - or is it
12 a mountain? - because -- it's probably the village. It's called Sulani.
13 But there was a mountain above the village, but I think it was -- Sulani
14 was the name of the village.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Now, may we have a look at
17 65 ter 0065. It's a map. And page 21 of that, please. It's a 65 ter
18 exhibit. 615. I think that's page 27. We need page 21. Thank you.
19 That's it. May we zoom in, please. That's fine, thank you.
20 Q. Now, K89, do you see on that map some of the villages that you
22 A. Well, all I can see here is Zub. Whether it's a village or a
23 mountain, I don't know, but that's where we were.
24 Q. Can you try and find this village Sulani that you referred to on
25 the map. Since you found the other place, perhaps that will give you a
1 better orientation.
2 A. I can't find Sulani. But I do see Zoi [as interpreted] it's
3 somewhere -- well, as I said, is that the name of a mountain or is it the
4 name of something else, I'm not sure. And I can't find Sulani on this
5 map, which is where our position was.
6 Q. Thank you, I haven't managed to find it either. I can't see
7 Sulani. But as you know, the surrounding places you were in - and since
8 you know, as you've already told us, and we'll get back to that later
9 on - what places were targets, can you use that to find your way around
10 this map and show us roughly where this place Sulani might be?
11 A. Well, it should be somewhere around Zub and northwards, we were
12 in that general area.
13 Q. Would you take a marker and mark in this area where you think you
14 were. Draw it in on the map and put a number 1 there, please.
15 A. I'm not quite sure. I think it's somewhere here. But as I say,
16 I'm not sure.
17 Q. Can you place the number 1 there, please.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what the distance was from this place
20 that you've marked to Smolnica? If you can see Smolnica on the map, can
21 you put a 2 next to Smolnica.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. You haven't told me yet what the distance was from
24 Sulani to Smolnica.
25 A. Well, I don't know what the distance was exactly. It was across
1 the hill. As the crow flies, perhaps 5 or 6 kilometres. But I'm not
2 quite sure. I don't know the exact distance from Sulani to Smolnica.
3 Q. Well, I'll try and refresh your memory. Now, in paragraph 15 of
4 your statement of January 2006, the last sentence there when you're
5 referring to which villages you targeted from Sulani, you say:
6 "The village was called Smolnica and was 8 or 9 kilometres north
7 of our position."
8 A. Well, I really don't know. As I say again, I'm not quite sure
9 what the exact distance was. It might have been even more than 9
10 kilometres. I'm not a hundred per cent certain how many kilometres there
11 are from Sulani to Smolnica because it's across the hill. It's over the
12 hill, so I couldn't really calculate the distance or see it. But judging
13 by the mortars, it might have been 7 or 8 kilometres, maybe closer, maybe
15 Q. The distance we are referring to is the distance you mention in
16 the Milutinovic trial. Now, am I right in saying that in any event you
17 remember the distance better in 2006 when you spoke about it than you are
19 A. Well, mostly the same, 2006 just like today. As I say, I'm not
20 quite sure. Now, whether -- even 2006 was seven or eight years later, so
21 I can't remember what the exact distance was and what the exact village
23 Q. K89, from the time you arrived in Sulani, you were one of the
24 servers, one of the crew on a 120 millimetre mortar; am I right in saying
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Let's go back to Sulani. But staying with this map
3 for just a moment, after Sulani, you went to Zub; am I right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Before we mark Zub on the map, let me ask you this: Do you know
6 what the range of a 120 millimetre mortar is and can you explain to us
7 whether this depends on the filling or something else? On the charge or
8 on something else?
9 A. Well, I don't know the exact range of the mortar. I think there
10 are some special mines that are used, or some special charges, but I
11 don't really know what its exact range is.
12 Q. Would you agree with me when I say that the range with a 600 [as
13 interpreted] charge, and is a 600 charge the highest charge?
14 A. I think so.
15 Q. I think there is an error in the transcript, it says 600. I said
16 6, a 6th charge. Would you agree with me that the range of a 120
17 millimetre mortar with a 6th charge is 6.300 metres?
18 A. It's possible.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Does not range vary with altitude and temperature?
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Maximum range with a 6th charge
21 judging by the literature and this information of commanders of mortar
22 units is 6.300 metre, and that's what I base my question on. Yes, it can
23 vary, but I think we are talking about a maximum range here, that that
24 figure is the maximum range.
25 Q. Now, witness would you agree with me that the maximum range of a
1 120 millimetre mortar with a 5th charge is 5.500 metres?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. When we are on the subject, let me ask you this, do you consider
4 a reliable source information from the commander who was -- is a captain
5 now, (redacted)?
6 A. Well, I do agree with him, (redacted). I suppose he knows about
7 these things.
8 Q. K89, I'm asking you this for the simple reason that you said that
9 from Sulani - and you marked Sulani - that you targeted Smolnica. Now,
10 in your statements - and I quoted paragraph 15, and you repeated this in
11 the Milutinovic trial. It says that Smolnica was 8 or 9 kilometres away
12 from Sulani. Now, if we take into account the range that I mentioned for
13 the 120 millimetre mortar, can you explain to us how it was possible to
14 target Smolnica from Sulani then?
15 A. Well, it's like this: I said that we targeted in that direction,
16 in the direction of Smolnica. I don't know whether we could have hit
17 Smolnica or not. I couldn't see it. It's not flat land, it's across the
18 hill. So I wasn't clear on what we were targeting. Perhaps there was
19 another village in front of Smolnica. I don't know what Smolnica is in
20 fact - is it a village or a town? - perhaps the KLA had a stronghold,
21 perhaps the Albanians had a stronghold around the village or in the
22 village itself, but I'm not quite clear on that. I don't actually know.
23 Q. Can I conclude that you actually don't know if you could hit
24 Smolnica from Sulani with mortar fire? When I say Smolnica, I think of
25 the village of Smolnica
1 direction of Smolnica wherever that was?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So to continue with Sulani, when you came to Sulani --
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps we could move
5 to a private session, please.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 8428-8432 redacted. Private session.
23 [Open session]
24 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Excuse me, Your Honour, because I interrupt you.
25 Our client again didn't receive the translation and at the first session
1 there was no any translation for him.
2 JUDGE PARKER: It can only be to do with some switch.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, for the record, we are in open
6 JUDGE PARKER: I will speak now to see whether a translation
7 comes through to your client. No, still nothing. I will try once again
8 to see whether something comes. It appears the answer is no translation
9 is reaching. Are we on the correct channel? Perhaps try the other
10 channels to see whether the translation comes through. I will keep
11 speaking here in the hope that we can find a channel. I wonder whether
12 any of the arrangements now have produced sound for the accused? If I
13 remember the last time this occurred, it was merely a matter of a switch
14 not having been thrown.
15 I will speak again. Yes, well it certainly is coming through on
16 the Judges' sets.
17 MR. POPOVIC: Yes, we have too.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Are the earphones working on other channels? I
19 think the channel should be channel 6 that is selected. Can we now have
20 some translation to test again.
21 The problem is overcome. Thank you. And thank you for the
22 interpreters who kept talking with me.
23 Could I suggest that if your client has any problem in future, he
24 should indicate straightaway so that there is no continuation.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: There will be no more further problems about
1 that because we already make a deal about that that he intervene
2 immediately if he have any problem with translation.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Good. Very good.
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 Yes, Mr. Popovic.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Q. Witness, we were talking about crossing from Sulani into Zub.
9 Can you tell us whether the whole unit crossed over to Zub, or was the
10 situation different?
11 A. Yes, the whole unit crossed over.
12 Q. I have to remind you then, in view of your answer, of
13 paragraph 23 of your statement. In the first sentence you say:
14 "Only two of the mortars from our company went to Zub."
15 Now, which is it, what you said in your statement or is the truth
16 what you are telling us here today?
17 A. Well, it's like this: From Sulani, we withdrew on the
18 24th of March when the bombing started because two of the mortar men went
19 to Zub, and we went to the environs of Orahovac, some 20 of us, or
20 whatever, we went there.
21 Q. Witness, this is a little confusing and quite different from what
22 you said earlier. Let's take it step by step. When did you move from
23 Sulani to Zub?
24 A. This is how it was: On the 24th of March, it might have been
25 the 25th. We went from Sulani, most of us, the majority of us, with two
1 mortars, we went to -- around the village of Orahovac, and the unit was
2 withdrawing from Zub. And what remained of our mortar unit, they
3 transferred to Zub. And that was after the 24th.
4 Q. You are talking about the 24th of March, 1999; right?
5 A. Yes, after the 24th.
6 Q. How, then, are we to understand what you said in paragraph 22 of
7 your statement and in the Milutinovic transcript where you say:
8 "Around September or October 1998, we moved from Sulani to Zub"?
9 So my question to you is this: Did you move from Sulani to Zub in
10 September or October 1998 or the 24th of March?
11 A. Well, I can't say exactly, we changed around. Moved our
12 positions. So maybe it was -- well, whether it was 1998 or 1999, we
13 moved our positions, we went round from Sulani to Zub, to an outpost that
14 was called Deva. Now, when this was, when we changed our positions, I
15 really can't say.
16 Q. Can I then conclude that you don't actually know when you moved
17 from Sulani to Zub?
18 A. Well, it could have been straightaway, but I really can't
19 remember. I'm not sure. Whether it was before NATO or after NATO,
20 1998 or 1999. I really can't say. I'm not sure.
21 Q. Let's try and summarise everything you've said so far. Can you
22 be as precise as possible. Where were you personally from the moment you
23 arrived in Sulani which was June 1998, up until the beginning of the NATO
24 bombing, that is to say the 24th of March, 1999?
25 A. Well, mostly we were at Zub, at Sulani, underneath the Deva
1 outpost, those were our positions. Now, where we were exactly when the
2 NATO bombing started, whether we were at Zub or Sulani, I can't remember
4 Q. I'm just not clear on one point. Were you at Zub or not at Zub
5 before the 24th of March, 1999?
6 A. I don't know exactly.
7 Q. Thank you. On the 24th of March, 1999, do you remember what
8 happened then on that date?
9 A. No, I can't really remember.
10 Q. Do you remember what your movements were on that day? Where were
11 you? Was there any interesting event that happened on that day?
12 A. Well, we didn't know where we were going. We didn't move around
13 a lot because NATO started its bombing. So whether that was early in the
14 morning of the 25th or not. Anyway, one unit went there, went to
15 Orahovac or the vicinity of Orahovac, and where our positions were
16 exactly, I don't really know.
17 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, might your unit have been moving
18 towards Deva on the 24th to replace another unit that was up there. And
19 I'm quoting from part of your statement, so I just want to know whether
20 you stand by what you said then or do you have something different to
21 tell us now?
22 MR. STAMP: Could you just indicate what part of the statement,
23 please. Thank you.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly. It's paragraph 25
25 which says:
1 "On the 24th of March, we were moving to relieve one of the units
2 in Deva."
3 The first sentence of paragraph 25.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know how they
5 understood it. I didn't go. Well, our unit didn't to relieve anyone,
6 but to protect this outpost Deva, so that the NATO forces, well, or the
7 infantry was coming from Albania, and the KLA. So we defended this
8 border post or Deva outpost.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Can you tell us where you set out from?
11 A. You mean from what place?
12 Q. Yes, from what direction?
13 A. Well, I don't know whether we were at Zub or Sulani at that point
14 in time. Anyway, we were moving towards the Deva border post. I know
15 when we were withdrawing from Orahovac that we were underneath the Deva
16 outpost. Whether it was to the left or the right of Deva, and the
17 Babaj Boks border post. I can't remember.
18 Q. Thank you. But if I heard you correctly, you said something that
19 wasn't recorded. You said you yourself didn't go to Deva; is that right?
20 Am I right?
21 A. I did go, but after the 24th, some 20 days after the 24th, when
22 we were around Orahovac village and were withdrawing we were up at the
23 positions there. So I was there afterwards. But I didn't go there
24 straightaway. I didn't go there then.
25 Q. Let us conclude. On the 24th, you did not go to Deva but you
1 went towards Deva on -- the first time 20 days later when you returned to
2 Orahovac; am I correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In your statement in paragraph 25 you state in the first
5 sentence --
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] And before I read this, I would
7 just like to ask the Chamber if we can move into private session.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 8440-8443 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Q. Witness K89, now I'm going to move to the part when your unit was
8 sent to Orahovac. Can you please tell me what the primary task of your
9 unit was when you were sent to Orahovac?
10 A. I think our task -- I don't think, I know that our task was to
11 follow the infantry who were going in front of us and that we were
12 supposed to look out and guard their back in case anyone from the
13 villages opened fire so that we would then be able to fire at them.
14 Q. So am I correct in saying that you were practically the rear unit
15 that was supposed to provide fire support to the infantry units on the
16 frontline, support with your 120 millimetre mortars?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me how far the rear unit should
19 be behind the first line of infantry in order to be able to provide fire
20 support to them, the 120 millimetre unit?
21 A. Well, I don't know exactly, but I think at least half a kilometre
22 back. I don't know precisely what the distance should be.
23 Q. Would you accept if I were to say that the distance between the
24 rear 120 millimetre mortar unit that is supposed to provide fire support
25 to the first line of infantry should be at least 1.500 metres? Again I'm
1 talking about someone who was the commander of your company and also the
2 fact that I consulted some military manuals, those are the sources for my
4 A. Yes, this is possible.
5 Q. In order to provide this fire support properly, did you also need
6 to have a firing position?
7 A. I didn't understand, I am sorry.
8 Q. Did you have to have a proper firing position, a constructed fire
9 position in order to be able to provide fire support? I'm talking about
10 a posted observer at a certain distance who would be reporting of the
11 direction and the range required in order to achieve precise fire, and
12 that the mortars would need to be placed at an elevation or in a valley
13 in order to achieve the required results?
14 A. Well, I don't know. I think that should have been like that.
15 Probably my observer or spotter was somewhere. I don't know. I mean, we
16 were just part of the infantry. We didn't actually set up the mortars.
17 They were on the back of the truck. We didn't take them down and install
18 them anywhere. We didn't have a specific position.
19 Q. Thank you. In this specific case when you were firing in the
20 environs of Orahovac, how far away from you from the first infantry
22 A. We did not use any mortars in Orahovac.
23 Q. That wasn't my question. I wasn't asking you if you used them.
24 I assume that the fact whether you would use them or not didn't depend on
25 you or not but on whether the infantry needed mortar fire or not; is that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So my question is: You, as the firing support for infantry
4 units, how far back were you from the first infantry lines when you were
5 in the environs of Orahovac?
6 A. Well, we might have been 150 to 200 metres behind them, or
7 perhaps closer. I'm not quite sure. We weren't too far off.
8 Q. So from a distance of 150 to 200 metres, you were supposed to
9 give fire-power support to the 120 millimetre mortars at their positions;
10 right? Is that at all possible?
11 A. Well, I don't know. That's the distance we were at. Perhaps
12 they knew no support would be needed. I don't know why we were at that
13 distance if we weren't able to provide fire support from where we were
15 JUDGE PARKER: Could you help me with something. You've told us
16 that the mortars, you didn't unload from the trucks. They remained on
17 the trucks, did they?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, correct, they were attached to
19 the trucks.
20 JUDGE PARKER: What weapons did you have?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had an automatic rifle.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Q. K89, if you were at a distance of 150 to 200 metres from the
25 infantry frontline, am right in saying that you and your mortars were
1 under threat, were jeopardized by the fire-power of the opposite side?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Would you change your testimony if I were to tell you that
4 Lieutenant (redacted), whom we've already mentioned, gave a statement to the
5 Tribunal's investigators and that in that statement he said that you
6 never approach closer to 1 kilometre from the frontline, infantry
8 A. Well, I don't really know. Perhaps what he said was true, but I
9 know that we were there in that area, and that we were at that distance.
10 Now, why we were at that distance, I'm not quite clear. But we did go
11 together with them. We also went on our own. We were there for a couple
12 of days, just our mortar unit.
13 Q. There's a difference in what he says and what you say. In fact,
14 it's the exact opposite. There's an enormous amount of difference. If
15 you say that what he says might be true, then some of what you said or
16 what he said -- well, the truth can't be both ways, so would you change
17 your testimony if I put it to you that that is what he said? Do you
18 allow for the possibility of him being right?
19 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, it's asked and answered and most of his
20 question is composed of arguments.
21 JUDGE PARKER: I think you can certainly clarify whether the
22 witness holds to his position that at least at times he was just
23 150 to 200 metres or something like that behind the frontline. If he
24 holds to that, I don't think you need anything more, Mr. Popovic.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I was just
1 prompted by what the witness said when he said that perhaps what
2 (redacted) is saying was correct, was the truth. That's the only reason
3 I went on to ask him my subsequent question, but we can move on to
4 another area.
5 JUDGE PARKER: That's why I'm saying you can ask him whether he
6 remains his view that they were at times only 150 to 200 metres behind.
7 You have already told him what the lieutenant said.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
9 Q. I'd like to move on to paragraph 28 of your statement dated
10 January 2006 and the events you talked about in the Milutinovic trial.
11 Here you refer to the event when you actually saw the killing. And my
12 question to you linked to this paragraph is this: Was it a terrible
13 event that imprinted itself on your mind and do you remember it so well
14 that you can provide us with more detailed information linked to this
16 A. Well, I was in the army. Of course, I didn't like seeing what
17 was happening. I didn't take it lightly. Well, I don't know. I saw
18 what I saw and it did embed itself in my memory.
19 Q. Thank you. Now my first question is, do you remember where this
21 A. It was in the environs of Orahovac. I don't remember which
22 village exactly, or the date.
23 Q. Very well. In your 2006 statement when you refer to this event,
24 you say that, just let me find that passage:
25 "If they were wearing civilian clothes they would dress them in
1 KLA uniforms."
2 Now, my first question linked to that is this: Does that mean
3 that among them there were some people who did not have civilian clothes
5 A. I don't understand your question.
6 Q. Let me try and explain. It says here, "if they were wearing
7 civilian clothes." When you say "if they were wearing," I'm asking you
8 whether it was possible that they were wearing something else? Wearing
9 other clothes?
10 A. No, they just had civilian clothes.
11 Q. So all of them were wearing civilian clothes?
12 A. Right.
13 Q. Very well. You say -- you go on to say:
14 "... they would dress them in KLA uniforms."
15 Can you tell us how you saw these -- what those uniforms looked
16 like? Can you tell us what the uniforms looked like?
17 A. Well, the uniforms were similar -- well, the colour was lighter.
18 It was rather like the Yugoslav Army uniforms but with different
19 insignias on the shoulders. They had the UCK or KLA insignia. They were
20 similar to the Yugoslav Army uniforms, but the colour was different. It
21 wasn't the same shade. But not much different.
22 Q. Now that you are speaking about uniforms, you talk about pants,
23 jackets, what do you mean when you say "uniform"?
24 A. Well, trousers, jackets, just like any uniform. Just like the
25 Yugoslav Army uniforms. But theirs was a bit different; it wasn't like
1 ours. There were some red ones. Well, there was more colour on their
2 uniforms than the Yugoslav Army ones.
3 Q. And what happened, can you describe what happened? They ordered
4 what? They ordered the civilians to take their uniforms off and put on
5 the other ones or what? Can you explain what they actually did.
6 A. Well, there was a column, they were refugees, mostly men but
7 women too. And they separated some of them, a couple of them. There
8 might have been some younger people too, whether they had received
9 information saying that these people had been in the army or whatever,
10 that, I don't know, but I saw them changing clothes and putting uniforms
12 Q. Let's stay with that for a moment. When you say "I saw them
13 putting uniforms on them," can you tell us what it was they ordered and
14 what items of clothing they were putting on?
15 A. Well, I don't know what they were ordered to do. Probably they
16 were told to take off their civilian clothes and put on the uniforms
17 because they were 1-, or 200 metres away from us, so I couldn't hear what
18 they were actually saying. I couldn't hear any order being issued.
19 Q. And what parts of the uniform were they putting on? What items
20 of clothing, of uniform?
21 A. Well, I don't know. As I say, their uniforms were similar to
22 ours. Probably it was the uniform of the KLA.
23 Q. So you don't know what parts of uniforms these civilians were
24 putting on?
25 A. Well, I think the entire uniform set; trousers, shirts, jackets.
1 The lot.
2 Q. Very well. In paragraph 28 of your statement of January 2006,
3 you also say the following:
4 "I saw one man making a video recording of how the soldiers were
5 dressing the bodies of the UCK -- of the bodies in UCK uniforms."
6 Am I right saying that you are talking about dead people and not
7 living people?
8 A. Well, I said they were -- no, they were putting on the uniforms
9 themselves. They weren't dead bodies. The people themselves, the
10 civilians, they were putting on these uniforms. So possibly there was a
11 misunderstanding, perhaps they didn't understand what I said.
12 Q. But you are talking about a man video recording this, filming it,
13 filming the soldiers dressing the bodies in KLA uniforms. There's no
14 mention here of anybody taking off their clothes and putting on uniforms?
15 A. Yes, we did see a man. I and another person were there. Whether
16 he had a camera or whether he was making a recording of some kind, he had
17 something in his hand anyway, and he ran away when he noticed us, the two
18 of us. But let me say again -- well, perhaps I said that, but I don't
19 think I said bodies. They were ordering them. I didn't hear the order.
20 But anyway, they were putting on uniforms.
21 Q. Are you sure whether they were putting on uniforms or maybe they
22 were bodies that were being dressed in uniforms afterwards?
23 A. I'm certain that these people were putting on the uniforms
24 themselves. That they weren't bodies. You mean dead bodies? They
25 weren't dead bodies.
1 Q. Yes, I'm just reading your words from the statement here.
2 A. No, they were living people.
3 Q. Now, when you said that this person was recording something or
4 filming something, what did he look like?
5 A. Well, he was wearing civilian clothes. I don't really know. He
6 wasn't very tall or anything. He was -- had brown hair. But you could
7 see that he had something in his hands, that he was holding something.
8 Whether it was a camera or whatever. I'm not sure. But he was standing
9 behind -- the person next to me said he was probably filming this or
10 recording this or whatever.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may we move into
12 private session for a moment, please.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 8453-8456 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Witness, just a few more questions in order -- that we have left
10 to go through. First of all, one about Arkan's Tigers. Am I correct
11 that the unit that you described as being a unit of Arkan's Tigers is
12 something that you are not sure about, you don't know that personally?
13 A. Well, yeah, it's true, I don't know that it was them.
14 Q. Am I correct when I say that what you heard from someone does not
15 mean that it is true? You allow for the possibility that that other
16 person could have made a mistake?
17 A. Yes, of course.
18 Q. And am I correct that you didn't see any markings or insignia
19 which would indicate that the unit was what you said it was?
20 A. Well, they didn't have any markings indicating Arkan's Tigers.
21 They had these red or blue berets. They didn't have the coveralls that
22 we had.
23 Q. Thank you. Am I correct when I say that you didn't see their
25 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Is this something that should be in private? It
7 could be a basis for identification. Private.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 8459-8479 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. I was thanking you for your further
2 attendance here and for the assistance that you have given. We have your
3 evidence today and what you have said in your previous testimony which we
4 will consider in due course. So you are now free to go back to your
5 normal activities, and a Court Officer will assist you when we rise.
6 We now adjourn until 9.00 tomorrow morning.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 27th of
10 August, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.