1 Monday, 26 October 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon and welcome back. We resume with a
6 witness now for whom there are protective measures, so it will be
7 necessary to go into closed session. While that is happening, could I
8 remind you that because of a Plenary meeting of Judges this afternoon, we
9 must finish at 4.45, which will I think be most conveniently arranged for
10 us sitting for an hour, having the usual break, and then sitting for one
11 further hour to 4.45 when we have the cessation for the day. So it will
12 be a short day.
13 Tomorrow we will now be sitting in the morning. The programming
14 had Judge Baird sitting in two courtrooms at once. He has many skills,
15 he tells me, but he has yet to perfect that one, so he will now be
16 sitting with us in the morning tomorrow morning and in another matter
17 tomorrow afternoon. So just be alert tomorrow morning, you need to wake
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in closed session, Judge
20 [Closed session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 WITNESS: JOHN CROSLAND
19 Examination by Ms. Kravetz:
20 Q. Good afternoon, sir. Could you please start out by stating your
21 full name for the record.
22 A. My name is John Harry Crosland.
23 Q. I understand, sir, that you're a retired colonel with the British
24 army with some 37 years of experience?
25 A. That's correct, ma'am.
1 Q. And I also understand that you held the position of defence
2 attache at the UK
3 23rd March 1999
4 A. That's correct, ma'am, yes.
5 Q. In relation to your work as defence attache of the British
6 government, did you provide a statement to the Office of the Prosecution
7 on 30th and 31st October 2006, which refers to your work specifically in
8 the years 1998 and 1999?
9 A. I believe that's correct, yes.
10 Q. And have you had a chance to review your statement before coming
11 to court today?
12 A. I have had that chance, thank you.
13 Q. Now, in proofing last week when we met, you indicated that there
14 were some corrections you wanted to make to your statement. In order to
15 proceed efficiently through these corrections, I propose to read them out
16 and have you confirm if the corrections accurately reflect what you
17 believe should be stated in your statement.
18 MS. KRAVETZ: And I wish to indicate, Your Honours, just for the
19 reference of the Court, that these corrections were also made in the
20 Milutinovic case; however, there was some confusion in that case with
21 regard to the dates of certain incidents, and the witness has requested
22 that we correct -- make these corrections once again just for the clarity
23 of the record.
24 Q. So the first correction concerns paragraph 50 and 51. You
25 indicated in proofing that these paragraphs had been inappropriately
1 merged and that some information which pertained to paragraph 50 was
2 contained in paragraph 51. And I'm going to read out -- paragraph 50
3 should start out. The first sentence it should read:
4 "On 27th August 1998
5 the VJ shelling Suva Reka which had occurred shortly before. His
6 reaction was that force would be met with appropriate force."
7 Is that correct that that paragraph should start out with that
9 A. That's correct, thank you.
10 Q. And later on in that same paragraph, this is a sentence that
11 starts with:
12 "Ojdanic had stated that force would be met with force and then I
13 pointed out that on another occasion, I had observed four hours of direct
14 and indirect fire on Dunjic, Prilep, Rznic, and Glodjane which had
15 created a deteriorating security and humanitarian problem. The general
16 agreed with my observations."
17 A. That is also correct, yes.
18 Q. Now moving on to paragraph 51, you indicated that the first
19 sentence should read:
20 "On approximately 28 September 1998, Lord Ashdown also went to
21 see Mr. Milosevic directly after his visit to Kosovo on one occasion and
22 I believe made comments to Mr. Milosevic regarding the shelling west of
23 Suva Reka and other incidents as referred in the paragraph above."
24 Is that correct?
25 A. That is also correct, yeah.
1 Q. And moving on to paragraph 69, and this is towards the bottom of
2 the paragraph, there's a sentence that reads:
3 "There are two extra VJ brigades (211th Brigade from Nis and
4 1st Armoured Brigade from Belgrade
5 of Kursumlija."
6 And you added this phrase:
7 "And an armoured brigade at Raska possibly the 37th Motorised
8 Brigade on the two major approach routes."
9 Is that correct?
10 A. That is also correct.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I -- also just for the clarity and
12 for the understanding of the Chamber of this statement, there are a
13 number of exhibits that are referred to in this statement which are
14 referred to as exhibit with a number to be assigned, and I just wish to
15 indicate for the reference of the Chamber what the exhibit numbers in
16 this case are of those exhibits and I'll just -- I'll make reference to
17 the specific paragraph where these are mentioned. The first one is at
18 paragraph 35, line 2, and it's a document dated 5th June 1998, and it
19 parentheses it says, "Exhibit number to be assigned." The 65 ter exhibit
20 number for that document is 02552, and the ERN is indicated in that
22 The second one is in paragraph 50, line 2. Again what -- there
23 is a reference to an exhibit number to be assigned. The 65 ter exhibit
24 number for a document with ERN R0636194, R0636195 is 02554.
25 A further document is in paragraph 61, line 1. Again, it's
1 referred to an exhibit number to be assigned. The 65 ter exhibit number
2 for that document is 02553.
3 In paragraph 60 there's a reference to an exhibit number 2166.
4 That's an exhibit number from the Milutinovic case, and the exhibit
5 number for that document in this case is P87.
6 Paragraph 73, there's a reference to three operation orders and
7 they're listed with their corresponding ERN numbers. The exhibit number
8 for ERN K0520028 is D105. The exhibit number for K0520036 is P971, and
9 the exhibit number for K0520043 is P970.
10 Finally one last reference to an exhibit, paragraph 14, line 6,
11 incorrectly refers to an exhibit as P2166 and this is an exhibit which
12 are the minutes of a meeting of the Pristina MUP staff of
13 17 February 1999
14 JUDGE PARKER: Before you proceed, line 25 of 6 you've quoted the
15 number there. I think it should end with 42 rather than 43. Is that
17 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes, it's K0520043 -- 42, I'm sorry. Yes.
18 JUDGE PARKER: 42 ?
19 MS. KRAVETZ: 42, yes.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: This is referring to paragraph 73 of the statement.
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 MS. KRAVETZ:
24 Q. Now, sir --
25 MS. KRAVETZ: I see my learned colleague is on his feet.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Indeed, Mr. Djurdjic.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I'm
3 slightly confused by what colleague Kravetz has said because previously
4 she gave me a list which is on the notification, and now we have been
5 given exhibits which are not on the list. Namely, the numbers of the
6 exhibits given on the list and most of them should actually be assigned
7 numbers. Actually does this -- no, I agree in principle with this
8 approach. But this means that all documents that had been used in the
9 Milutinovic case and have -- and were tendered and accepted with this
10 witness would have to be on that list. The Defence has four or five
11 documents which have not been accepted during this case and which were
12 tendered and adopted into the file during the Milutinovic case through
13 this particular witness so that we also intend to tender them for
14 admission into the file, just as the Prosecution is doing, that is if
15 you've understood me.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Can I say we will shortly -- when Ms. Kravetz is
17 finished identifying the documents she proposes to tender, we will first
18 receive the previous statement as an exhibit. We will then receive each
19 of the exhibits that she tenders being exhibits that were tendered in the
20 course of the earlier trial and are referred to in the statement. And if
21 there are then additional exhibits that you want to tender in the course
22 of your cross-examination, you may do so.
23 We will, I think for convenience, receive now the statement,
24 Ms. Kravetz.
25 MS. KRAVETZ: And that is fine, Your Honours. I was just going
1 to confirm with the witness that he agreed that the contents of the
2 statement were true and accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief
3 now that these corrections have been made.
4 THE WITNESS: That is correct.
5 MS. KRAVETZ: I do wish to indicate that the documents that my
6 learned colleague is referring to that were not on the notification are
7 documents that we do not intend to use in this -- during the testimony of
8 this witness in these proceedings. I am just indicating the exhibit
9 number of these documents for the ease of reference of the Chamber and
10 the Defence since the statement only refers to them by their ERN number.
11 So I seek to tender the statement, and it's 65 ter 02645.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be assigned P01400, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. And if you -- when you have
14 finished identifying the statements you -- the exhibits you propose to
15 tender, I will arrange for the Court Officer to assign them numbers and
16 to indicate in a short memo to the parties and to the Chamber the numbers
17 that are assigned.
18 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, at the start of today's session we
19 provided the Registry and Defence with a list of the exhibits that we
20 propose to tender and with -- and this short list indicates also the
21 paragraph numbers where these exhibit numbers are referred to.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, and that's --
23 MS. KRAVETZ: So that has already been done.
24 JUDGE PARKER: That is most helpful. I just see that your last
25 indication of the number at 8 -- page 8, 1, was not complete. It was
1 number Exhibit P1400, as I understood. Thank you.
2 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Now, sir, did you also previously testify before this Tribunal in
4 the case of Milutinovic et al. in February 2007?
5 A. That's correct, yes.
6 Q. And before coming to court today, did you have the opportunity to
7 review the transcript of your previous testimony?
8 A. I did, yes.
9 Q. And having reviewed that transcript, if you were asked the same
10 questions today that you were asked during your testimony in that case,
11 would you provide the same answers?
12 A. Yes, I would. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you, Witness.
14 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this transcript. We
15 have two versions in the e-court system, a redacted public version, which
16 is 05211, and an under seal unredacted version, which is 0521101. The
17 reason we have two versions is because some -- there was some discussion
18 during the previous testimony of this witness that took place in closed
19 session, so we have redacted that from the public version. And I seek to
20 tender both versions of this transcript into evidence.
21 JUDGE PARKER: We will receive, first, the full transcript.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Which is under 65 ter number 0521101 and that
23 will be assigned P1401, under seal, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. And then the redacted version.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Which is under 65 ter 05211 would be assigned
1 P1402, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
3 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I will now proceed to read the
4 in-court summary for this witness.
5 The witness is a retired British army officer. Between 1996 and
6 March 1999 he was the British military attache at the UK embassy in
8 during his tour of duty. He describes the locations where these forces
9 were seen, their tactics, and the various uniforms, weaponry, and
10 vehicles used. The witness speaks about the escalating tensions between
11 the KLA and Serb forces in 1998, and the operations by Serb forces. The
12 witness travelled throughout Kosovo in 1998 and early 1999, and recounts
13 instances where VJ and MUP forces used excessive and disproportionate
14 force which resulted in wanton damage to civilian property, killed
15 livestock, and looting. The witness describes troop movements throughout
16 1998 and into 1999.
17 The witness also describes meetings and briefings that he had
18 with various senior Yugoslav military officers in 1998, including
19 General Ojdanic, General Dimitrijevic, and General Perisic. The witness
20 raised complaints with the VJ about the heavy-handed tactics used by
21 VJ units during their operations. The witness speaks about the presence
22 of VJ and MUP units from outside Kosovo after the 1998 October agreements
23 and the build-up of these units in 1999. Specifically, he describes
24 VJ/MUP actions in Podujevo in December 1998 and in Racak in January 1999.
25 Finally, the witness describes the coordination between the MUP
1 and the VJ in combat actions during the 1998 summer offensive and joint
2 operations preceding the NATO 1999 campaign.
3 That is the end of the in-court summary, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 Now, are there any more documents that you propose to tender from
6 the statement or the transcript?
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I propose during the course of my
8 examination to go through some documents. These are documents that are
9 referred to in the statement, so they are the -- some of them are on the
10 list -- well, all of them are on the list that have been handed to the
11 Registry this morning and --
12 JUDGE PARKER: We will receive those identified documents now.
13 They will become exhibits. Numbers will be assigned and a list will be
14 provided to counsel of those exhibit numbers in due course. Thank you.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Your Honour, with the leave of the Court, I would like to hand --
17 have the usher hand to the witness a list of the -- a hard copy of the
18 documents that we're going to be going through today, just so he can
19 review them and comment on them with greater ease and can refer to them.
20 These are all documents that were listed in our notification.
21 I should also point out that the witness has with him in court
22 today a map. It's his personal map of Kosovo province that he brought
23 with him and he would like the Court's leave to be able to refer to this
24 map should the need arise during the course of his testimony in these
1 JUDGE PARKER: We will assess that if the need arises.
2 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm just pointing it out
3 because the witness has it in front of him, just so you're aware.
4 Q. Witness, I would ask you to first turn to tab 1 of your bundle of
5 documents. This is the witness statement, the 65 ter 02645.
6 MS. KRAVETZ: And I would ask for page 7 in the English to be
7 displayed. It's page 9 in the B/C/S.
8 Q. And, sir, I would like to direct your attention to paragraph 28.
9 This is on page 7 of the hard copy that you have before you. In
10 paragraph 28 you refer to having seen, on 5th March 1998, the biggest
11 build-up of MUP forces to date, with over 200 MUP present at a
12 check-point in Komorane, and then you refer to an assault at Donje Prekaz
13 in the compound of the Jashari family, and you mention that you
14 photographed bodies there.
15 Could you just very briefly explain to the Court how it is that
16 you came to be there at the Jashari compound and what was your purpose of
17 your visit to that locality.
18 A. When the tensions began to start in Kosovo, the various NATO
19 Defence Attaches, the American, Canadian, French, Italian, German, Dutch,
20 and the UK decided that they would monitor events in Kosovo in order to
21 report to their respective governments of the situation that was starting
22 to escalate. When the presence of the Kosovo Liberation Army became
23 apparent from 1996 onwards until the scenario you've just been told in
24 Donje Prekaz happened in early 1998, on this particular occasion I was
25 touring with the American defence attache in the knowledge that something
1 had happened in the Drenica area. And therefore, we came from Pristina
2 along the main road towards Pec to the crossroads at Komorane where there
3 was this very large gathering of MUP. We subsequently -- we were not
4 allowed into that area for obvious reasons. We then drove on down to
5 Klina and we came around the north through Rudnik, and the whole area was
6 under severe MUP coverage as this operation commenced.
7 It was sometime later that I secured entry to the area of
8 Donje Prekaz, where the Jashari family home had been quite literally torn
9 apart. We heard from other sources that persons had been taken to
10 Pristina and then bodies were returned to the area dead. These are the
11 bodies that I photographed.
12 Q. Now, in your statement you refer to having seen this build-up on
13 the 5th of March, 1998. Was this the first time that you toured Kosovo
14 that year?
15 A. No, it wasn't the first time, but I think the build up of this
16 particular operation had been initiated by a KLA attack on the police
17 station at Rudnik, and I -- forgive me, I cannot remember but I think two
18 or three MUP were killed and therefore this operation, if you will, was
19 in retaliation for that attack on the Jashari family.
20 Q. And you indicate in that same paragraph that you believed it was
21 the MUP who had carried out the operation and you refer to the JSO and
23 the basis for that statement?
24 A. Your Honours, I've made many statements to this Court and there
25 are many reports that I made to -- both to my government and back to
1 Belgrade. Those were the details in 1998 which were correct, and I will
2 stand by those reports. So yes, they were those units involved. But
3 we're now talking about some 12 years later and a lot of water has passed
4 under the bridge.
5 Q. Thank you for that. Now, in the next paragraph you
6 indicate - this is paragraph 29 - that on 24th March, you reported the
7 first obvious indications of Serbs building up to conduct a joint strike
8 in the Decani area, and in the next paragraph you also speak about a
9 build-up of the VJ occurring in the Decani area and of VJ forces
10 providing fire support for western Kosovo. Up until that time - and
11 we're talking very early 1998 - what did you understand to be the role of
12 the VJ forces in Kosovo?
13 A. This initial operation, like many counter-insurgency operations,
14 is normally run by the police, in this case the MUP. But it would be
15 disingenuous to say that it was not a combined operation because any
16 operation that is dealing with an internal security situation and
17 particularly bearing in mind that within Kosovo you had 52 Corps with
18 some 15 to 20.000 Vojska Jugoslavije personnel currently stationed in
19 Kosovo itself. So it makes complete sense that there is coordination
20 between the two major security forces, the MUP and the VJ, and that
21 inevitably both would become involved in what became a very complex
22 operation against the Kosovo Liberation Army.
23 In Decani in particular, this was a deployment of artillery,
24 presumably to cover the western area, both out towards Pec in the north
25 and down towards Djakovica in the middle south of the area. Again, it
1 makes reasonable sense. It just shows the possible heavy-handed use of
2 force that was to become very prevalent throughout 1998 and into 1999.
3 Q. And just to clarify your answer, you refer to the 52nd Corps.
4 Which unit or which corps specifically are you speaking about?
5 A. The 52 Corps is the Pristina Corps, which is part of 3rd Army
6 based in Nis, and in the early days that was commanded by
7 General Lazarevic.
8 Q. Now you --
9 A. And General Pavkovic as well.
10 Q. Now, just going back to my question. In these initial visits
11 that you -- or tours that you carried out in Kosovo in 1998, I was asking
12 about what you understood to be the role of the VJ forces in Kosovo based
13 on the information you had as defence attache.
14 A. The VJ had basically four roles. As I've indicated to
15 Your Honours that they had permanent presence within the area and
16 therefore they obviously had to protect their own bases, their own
17 exercise areas, the international borders to Albania and Macedonia, and
18 also the lines of communication between those bases throughout Kosovo.
19 Q. And did you see these roles of the VJ in Kosovo change at any
20 time in 1998?
21 A. Yes, they changed probably in the autumn, in September/October,
22 when it appeared that the MUP required more help to deal with the
23 emerging Kosovo Liberation Army. And there are certain skills that the
24 MUP did not have, in particular they didn't have personnel trained in
25 artillery or in the use of tanks and other heavy weapons.
1 Q. Thank you. We will return to this topic later on during my
2 examination. I would just like to move away from your statement and ask
3 you to turn to tab 2 of your bundle of documents.
4 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is 65 ter 00688, if we could have that
5 document displayed on the screen.
6 I would just like to point out, Your Honours, that the document
7 we have on the screen has some redactions. These are redactions that
8 have been made by the Rule 70 provider, and -- in granting us
9 authorisation to use these documents in these proceedings. So all the
10 documents that we will be using today you will see have similar
12 Q. Now, sir, do you recognise this document? We see it's a document
13 that has a subject: Kosovo sitrep, and it's dated 11th/12th May 1998.
14 This is tab 2 of your bundle.
15 A. Yes, I do. Yes.
16 Q. Could you very briefly explain to the Court what this document
17 is, what it consists of.
18 A. During the period 1998 to 1999, Your Honours, I made about
19 80 written reports which were sent via Belgrade back to our foreign
20 commonwealth office and also to the Ministry of Defence, and this is one
21 of those what we call situation reports of events that happened on the
22 dates shown at the head of each of these reports.
23 Q. Now, if you turn to the second page under number 7, we see the
24 name Donnelly on the document as the person signing off this document.
25 Could you explain who that is.
1 A. Ambassador Donnelly was my ambassador during this period, and as
2 part of his team within the British embassy in Belgrade, all my reports
3 were passed through him for his political comment, if that was thought
4 necessary. And as I've stated before, it was a question of myself as the
5 defence attache working in tandem with Ambassador Donnelly on the
6 political side to ensure that we produced the most accurate reports of a
7 very challenging situation that was going on in Kosovo.
8 Q. And you say that you were working in tandem with
9 Ambassador Donnelly on the production of these reports. What was your
10 role in the production of these reports?
11 A. As his defence attache, with my considerable experience, I would
12 give my comments on the military situation, where I thought it might be
13 going, what we could try and do to help the situation, and he would
14 accept that and he would add his political thoughts on the situation from
15 his viewpoint back in Belgrade
16 Q. So would it be fair to describe this document that we have here
17 on the screen and that you have before you as a contemporaneous report of
18 the security situation on the ground based on your observations and the
19 information you had at the time? Would that be an accurate description
20 of what it is?
21 A. That's a very accurate way of stating it. Thank you.
22 Q. Now, if you could go back to page 1 and I'm interested in
23 paragraph 2, which refers to Ponosevac. I'm just waiting for our
24 electronic system to display that on the screen.
25 Now, you make some observations there about the village of
1 Ponosevac and I would just like to ask you to comment on this, and it's
2 the paragraph that starts:
3 "Road from south to Ponosevac 'carpeted' in empty cases including
4 40-millimetre grenades."
5 A. Your Honours, the area of Ponosevac is a very isolated village
6 close to the Albanian border which was an MUP station, an area where
7 there was considerable activity both from the KLA and from the MUP
8 security forces. On this particular day when we were down there, the
9 road literally was carpeted with empty shells and there was no sign of
10 any villagers. There had been a lot of structural damage done to the
11 houses by shell fire. There were dead animals in the field and the whole
12 area, as I say, was vacant of any local population.
13 Q. Now, if you could turn to paragraph 7, which is on the second
14 page in the English. It's on page 3 in the B/C/S version of this
15 document and it's a paragraph that has the heading: "Assessment." And
16 it says:
17 "Situation could rapidly spin out of control ..." and the last
18 sentence is what I'm interested in.
19 "Heavy-handed terror action in Ponosevac area indicates that the
20 tactical thought process has not changed."
21 Could you explain what that last sentence refers to or what that
22 comment refers to.
23 A. Sadly, throughout the Balkan conflict we have seen very
24 heavy-handed tactics in which -- usually it's innocent civilians that get
25 in the way of the opposing forces and one had hoped that we might have
1 avoided this in Kosovo. Sadly, as you can see from this report, even in
2 the early days we were back to the same shelling and wanton destruction
3 of villages. When I challenged this it was because -- the reason behind
4 it was that the Serbian security forces were clearing the routes of
5 ambush positions by blowing up the houses. All that this creates is a
6 population that may not have been interested in either party being in the
7 area, but after their house had been removed, they certainly weren't
8 going to be signing up for the party that had removed their house. And
9 this was the start of that particular campaign where villages were
10 wantonly damaged and destroyed.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit is
14 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: It's on my list of documents, yes -- well -- with
16 further documents I think I'll just indicate that they're on my list of
17 documents so exhibit numbers will be assigned in due course. I think
18 that's easier.
19 Q. Could we now move to 65 ter 00687, and this is tab 3 in your
20 bundle of documents. And this is again a report. It's dated
21 28th May 1998. And if we zoom in on this first page at the bottom, we
22 see that it says: "A two-day tour of western Kosovo," and then there are
23 a series -- and this is under the heading "Summary," a series of
25 Sir, did you participate in this two-day tour of western Kosovo
1 that this report refers to?
2 A. Yes, I did, yes.
3 Q. Now, we see that this is a much lengthier report than the one we
4 just looked at, it has four pages. Would this report have been compiled
5 in the similar fashion as the first report that we were discussing?
6 A. That's correct, yes.
7 Q. I would like to ask you to turn to page 2, and this is page 2 in
8 the English, the bottom part, and it's page 6 in the B/C/S. And it's
9 number 4 that has a heading: "House burning in villages north of
10 Decani." And if you could tell us about that, what this specific section
11 refers to, this section on house burning in villages north of Decani.
12 A. The major road that leads north from Djakovica through Decani, up
13 to the major town of Pec
14 between the KLA, the UCK, and the Serbian forces. And in military terms,
15 it was a linear defence that the Serbian security forces tried to put
16 into place in order to stop KLA reinforcement from Albania. So this
17 particular road from Djakovica through Decani to Pec, either side of that
18 there was fierce fighting throughout 1998. And most of the villages
19 along this particular road, Prilep, Decani itself, Gornji Streoc, were
20 destroyed, held by Serbian security forces, and attacked fairly regularly
21 by the KLA that was also in force in this area.
22 Q. Now, if we look at page 3 - and I see it's already displayed in
23 our e-court system - it's page 7 in the B/C/S, there is another heading,
24 this is number 5, which refers to burning houses in Dolovo. Is this --
25 what you saw in this area similar to the type of destruction of property
1 that you saw in the Decani area?
2 A. Yes. Your Honours, as I've said already, the -- we were into a
3 series of assaults in various areas where the villages along the major
4 roads were targeted and a huge amount of damage was done to these
5 villages. And this was current throughout most of Kosovo at that
6 particular stage.
7 Q. Now, just referring to this same document I would like to ask you
8 to turn to the last page, this is page 4, and it's a paragraph right
9 under number 9. And in the English this -- in the B/C/S it would be
10 page 9 and it's page 4 in the English. And I would like to direct your
11 attention to a paragraph that starts with:
12 "During our tour we believe that the VJ is giving material
13 support. Vehicles repainted blue, logistics, et cetera."
14 Could you comment on that observation that's made in this report
15 in that paragraph.
16 A. As I've indicated to the Court, the Pristina Corps, the VJ, had
17 always within based in the province of Kosovo
18 ability to provide logistic support and that makes eminent sense to use
19 the logistics in place and the various bases that they had quite legally
20 around the area of Kosovo. Several vehicles, mainly armoured personnel
21 carriers, and what we'll call BOV-3s which are primarily designed for
22 anti-aircraft fire, some of these we found to be painted blue over the
23 VJ green. And I would suggest to the Court that normal police operations
24 do not require anti--aircraft and heavy anti-aircraft guns, machine-guns,
25 of 20- 30- and 40-millimetres. These machines were used to blow up or
1 blow down, rather, villages in what I would call stand-off attacks.
2 Q. And how frequently did you see evidence of these sort of
3 machine-guns that had been painted blue and been used by -- in police
4 operations in this manner?
5 A. These are mentioned in the many reports that I tendered, and this
6 was common throughout 1998 and into 1999.
7 Q. And did you see evidence of that throughout Kosovo, that this
8 sort of equipment was being used in police operations or was this --
9 A. Yes --
10 Q. -- specific to some areas of the province?
11 A. No, I think it is fair to say it happened throughout Kosovo.
12 Q. And in your experience, what would be the significance of
13 this - and we're here now talking about the period of end of May
14 1998 - that you began to see evidence of the VJ giving material support
15 to the MUP?
16 A. As I've said, it makes sense that if you've got logistics in
17 place, then you use the logistic capability to further your own
18 operations. It's a different -- or I would suggest it is different when
19 the Vojska Jugoslavije starts to support with both direct fire from tanks
20 and indirect fire from artillery into what is a counter-insurgency
21 operation. This is -- this will inevitably lead to not only a lot more
22 damage but also loss of life from the civilian population.
23 Q. And just to follow-up on that answer, you started about the VJ
24 starting to support with both direct fire and indirect fire. What is the
25 difference between the two, and I'm speaking from the layman perspective.
1 What is the difference between providing direct support and indirect fire
2 support in these operations?
3 A. In the military, direct fire support is from the likes of a tank
4 or an anti-aircraft armoured personnel carrier firing direct, i.e., line
5 of sight, onto a target; and indirect fire comes from artillery or
6 mortars that can be adjusted on to the relevant targets but they will not
7 usually be line of sight.
8 Q. Now, you also said -- in that same answer you said this will
9 inevitably lead to not only a lot more damage but also loss of life from
10 the civilian population. Could you elaborate on that, why is that?
11 A. In any counter-insurgency operation there is or there are various
12 levels of force that security forces usually go through the process of
13 using minimum force and then escalating the force required as
14 appropriate. I would suggest that using heavy artillery and
15 anti-aircraft fire onto villages is a very heavy-handed use of
17 Q. Okay. Thank you for that. I will like to move away from this
18 exhibit, which is 00687, and if you could look at tab 4 of your binder in
19 this --
20 MS. KRAVETZ: And I would like to have 00685 displayed up on the
21 screen, and this, again, is a document that's on my list of documents
22 that was handed to the Registry earlier today.
23 Q. Now, we see, sir, that this is a report. It's dated
24 30th July 1998
25 before. And I take it that this report was compiled in a similar fashion
1 than the ones that you have been commenting on so far.
2 A. That's correct, yes.
3 Q. Now, I would like to draw your attention to the paragraph on the
4 first page called "Summary." And if you could look at the second
5 sentence, at the end of the second line it says:
6 "Met assault force of SAJ, PJP and VJ lined up for attack on
8 Was this something you personally observed, these forces lined up
9 to attack Malisevo?
10 A. Yes. We had travelled from Orahovac out of the Serbian-held area
11 north towards where we suspected there was a major headquarters of the
12 Kosovo Liberation Army in Malisevo. We were escorted in by the KLA into
13 the KLA headquarters and questioned for some time and then released to
14 travel north up to a village in the area of Lapusnik on the main
15 Pristina-Pec road. It was in that area that we noticed the force as laid
16 down in this report, including tanks, T-55s, and there was a further
17 force west of Lapusnik in the area of Kijevo. And it was quite clear,
18 talking to the commander of this force, that not only were they slightly
19 surprised that we had arrived from Malisevo, his objective, but that it
20 was where they were going once we had got -- left the area.
21 Q. And you've referred to another force in Kijevo in this report.
22 We see it says that -- it refers to the JSO, PJP, and the VJ being at
23 Kijevo. Here this report refers to the period of end of July 1998. By
24 that time had you observed on the ground any change in the way that the
25 forces deployed on the ground had been operating? And I'm referring
1 specifically to the change of how VJ and MUP forces were operating on the
3 A. Yes, because it -- at this particular time, as I've reported in
4 several of my other operational reports, that in theory the KLA held
5 about 75 per cent of the area of Kosovo. There are four major routes
6 from -- roughly from west to east across the area of Kosovo. In the
7 north from Mitrovica going west to Klina the road was blocked at Rudnik.
8 Coming south, coming from Pristina through Komorane to Lapusnik, the road
9 from there was also blocked by the KLA. And if you come further south
10 from Pristina down towards Stimlje, the KLA also held that particular
11 road. The only road that was open to the VJ to resupply their western
12 forces was the road that came from Pristina south to Urosevac, and then
13 over the hills down into Prizren which was a very long route and very
14 difficult route because of the mountain passes. I say the KLA controlled
15 it. They had blocked the roads and they had, in military terms, fairly
16 weak positions on the three roads in the north that I've indicated.
17 I think the Serbian security forces - and they will have to
18 answer that question; I can't - they realised that they would have to do
19 something to, if you will, regain control of the area. And therefore, I
20 presume a decision was taken to involve the Vojska Jugoslavije in more of
21 the day-to-day operations. And this culminated in a fairly major push in
22 September/October of 1998, where in effect they did clear these roads.
23 But as in many Balkan conflicts, you clear the area and if you don't
24 remain in the area, the area quickly goes back again under control of the
25 opposing side.
1 Q. And just to clarify your answer, you say that in theory the KLA
2 held about 75 per cent of the area of Kosovo. Are you stating that
3 because of the control of these roads that you have mentioned?
4 A. It's -- forgive me, it was a very fluid situation. And as I
5 tried to indicate that one side would gain the upper hand and then the
6 other side would decide that it was its turn to gain the upper hand. The
7 KLA did not have the fire-power that the VJ -- or the Serbian security
8 forces could bring to bear, and therefore would use what we call the
9 shoot-and-scoot tactics. There would be a Serbian security reaction,
10 quite rightly, and the situation would go back under Serbian control.
11 But then they would probably withdraw back to their bases and "control"
12 would go back to the Kosovo Liberation Army.
13 Q. Now, in this specific report that we're looking at we see that
14 there was a joint MUP and VJ assault group preparing to attack Malisevo.
15 Was this the first occasion where you saw that, a joint combined
16 operation, or had you seen that before in other tours of Kosovo?
17 A. I think this is the first time we'd seen what I referred to as
18 two combat groups, which is roughly company size, 100, 200 people, of
19 both joint forces. And the forces concerned were the VJ with tanks and
20 the MUP with their much better trained areas, the JSO and the SAJ,
22 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I just have a question. I know we're
23 supposed to -- we have an unusual sitting time this afternoon and I
24 understand we're breaking at 3.15.
25 JUDGE PARKER: You can go on for a few minutes if that's more
2 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you.
3 Q. If we could turn to the next page, sir, and this is page 3 in the
4 B/C/S, page 2 in the English under number 3. It says page 4 and then
5 there's a 3. And it talks about:
6 "The tour turned west on the main road in the direction of
7 Pec ..."
8 Are you there? Do you see that passage in the report?
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. And then again it refers to -- the last sentence of that
12 "The tour continued west along the main road ..." and it talks
13 about a mixed force of VJ/MUP up to Grebnik VCP."
14 What is VCP
15 A. It's a -- what we call a vehicle check-point.
16 Q. Okay. And my question specifically deals with the paragraph
17 which has -- which is referred to as "Comment" and starts with the
19 "Every village from Lapusnik westward has suffered deliberate
20 damage by cannon and HMG
21 businesses trashed."
22 If you could comment on that specific observation that's made in
23 the report.
24 A. It was at this particular stage that when we were touring in
25 Kosovo on more or less a daily basis, we would come across areas that had
1 been destroyed, wantonly destroyed. Generally along the main roads and
2 any villages that in Serbian terminology could harbour KLA. So the
3 statement is as it sounds, every village along that area was damaged.
4 There was daily fires. Corn was set alight. Petrol stations were
5 damaged and any businesses were wrecked.
6 Q. And the reference to HMG
7 Is that what --
8 A. Yes, I'm sorry. That's correct, heavy machine-gun fire.
9 Q. Now, if we turn to the next page. It's page 4 in the B/C/S and
10 page 3 in the English. It's a paragraph that starts with "Bravo: Wanton
11 damage," and the sentence -- the first sentence reads:
12 "Every village adjacent to both avenues into Malisevo had
13 suffered severe damage ..."
14 Is this an observation that you made after the attack that was
15 referred to at the start of this report had taken place? Did you return
16 to Malisevo?
17 A. We -- yes, we returned to Malisevo, and as it says in
18 paragraph Charlie, that the Troika group which I took down to Malisevo to
19 show -- show these gentlemen the damage that we were talking about and
20 this was prevalent throughout Kosovo.
21 Q. And why is it that you did not remain in Malisevo when you saw
22 preparations for an assault on that village?
23 A. The KLA didn't invite us to stay, but I don't think they would
24 have anyway. But we were asked to leave so we left going north, and we
25 then came into contact with the Serbian security forces, as we've just
2 Q. Thank you. Now, on the same page towards the bottom there's a
3 paragraph Alpha under "Major questions yet to be answered," and it's at
4 the bottom of page 4 in the B/C/S. And it says:
5 "Loc/number of civpop ..." I take it "civpop" refers to civilian
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And it refers to operations in several villages that are
9 mentioned there and then it says:
10 "Numbers could exceed 100.000 total."
11 Why is this information contained in the report?
12 A. This was part of the assessment of what was becoming displaced
13 persons, internally displaced persons, which was a phrase that we were
14 not allowed to use at that particular time. But it was quite clear that
15 the villagers that had been frightened away from their villages were
16 either living rough or over the border in Albania or actually moved into
17 Crna Gora into Montenegro
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I can stop here because I want to
20 move on to a different document.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Thank you for that.
22 The court will need to be closed for the witness to leave. We
23 will have the first break now and resume at 3.45.
24 If you wouldn't mind waiting there, Mr. Crosland, until the
25 screens are down and we will resume at 3.45.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.20 p.m.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 --- On resuming at 3.46 p.m.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Kravetz.
8 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Could we please have 00686 up on the screen.
10 Q. And, sir, this is tab 5 in your bundle of documents. If you
11 could have a look at that document.
12 JUDGE PARKER: We have now caught up with all of the documents
13 that have been tendered so far so that as you deal with each new
14 document, if you want to tender it, it will be on the spot, Ms. Kravetz.
15 MS. KRAVETZ:
16 Q. Sir, we see this is a report dated 7th August 1998 and I would
17 like to -- for you to turn to page 2. This is number 2, civpop and
18 wanton destruction. And it's also page 2 in the B/C/S version of the
19 document. In this paragraph there's a reference to:
20 "Throughout entire area very few civpop were seen ..."
21 And if we -- and I'm interested in what is the fourth sentence of
22 this paragraph which starts from:
23 "From Grebnik VCP
24 of this road have been completely trashed."
25 If you could comment on that portion of the paragraph.
1 A. As we were saying previously, throughout this period in 1998 into
2 the summer and into the autumn area, unfortunately it was very obvious
3 that a very heavy-handed security operation was underway and that all
4 villages along most main roads were destroyed, and even going down the
5 smaller roads in the area one would come across villages that also had
6 been trashed, crops burnt, animals killed, and the -- as I said, the
7 civilian population were nowhere to be seen.
8 Q. And did you witness this destruction in this specific area
9 referred to in this area in the same way you had in the other areas that
10 we've discussed before in relation to other -- the other reports we've
11 been discussing so far?
12 A. Yes. We were more or less in the area on a permanent basis and
13 therefore able to ascertain the ongoing damage virtually day by day.
14 Q. And when you say that all villages along the main roads and
15 specifically I'm interested in this -- what this report refers to, it
16 refers to a specific road, it says all villages have been completely
17 trashed. Approximately how many villages are we speaking about, if you
18 recall, in this --
19 A. Well, I think by the end of the operations in 1998, I'd seen in
20 the region of 2 to 300 villages.
21 Q. Which had --
22 A. That had been damaged in one way or the other.
23 Q. In this specific report, do you know approximately how many
24 villages it's referring to when it's talking about this axis from Grebnik
25 eastwards, if you recall?
1 A. I can't recall precisely, but the major villages along the
2 roadside, all of these had been very heavily damaged.
3 Q. Now, you've told us that you have extensive military experience,
4 when we started out you said some 37 years of military experience. Based
5 on your experience, did you -- while you were touring this area and
6 witnessing this sort of damage done to civilian housing and to villages,
7 did you see any sort of military purpose in this destruction or what's
8 been referred to in the various reports we've looked at as wanton
10 A. I think I've told the Court on several occasions that in a
11 counter-insurgency operation, the security forces have a job to do to
12 maintain security within what was then a sovereign state, Kosovo, part of
13 former Yugoslavia
14 against what was an increasing threat from the Kosovo Liberation Army, is
15 for them to judge.
16 However, as we have seen and as I've stated on -- in most of my
17 reports, that the wanton damage that took place throughout the whole
18 province of Kosovo cannot have helped the Serbian security forces' plan
19 to look after the local population. And what we saw in increasing
20 numbers was internally displaced persons, IDPs, moving out of their
21 homelands and hiding in various areas, one of which was the Pagarusa
22 valley which is north of the area of Suva Reka. And into this area at
23 various points there was something in the region of probably above a
24 hundred thousand, probably close on 400.000 personnel. It is very
25 difficult to know exact -- the exact numbers. There were also people
1 fleeing westwards into Albania
3 As I've said before, the situation was extremely fluid, but
4 because there was a lack of personnel around and then when the Kosovo
5 Verification Mission
6 their tasks was to try and ascertain where the IDP, the internally
7 displaced persons, were.
8 Q. And just to clarify your answer, it says at line 35 -- 25 of the
9 transcript, page 31, it says "probably close to 400.000 personnel." Is
10 that a reference to civilian population or IDPs? Is that what you meant
11 by "personnel"?
12 A. That's correct, yes.
13 Q. And going back to my question, I had asked specifically about the
14 purpose -- if you saw any military purpose in what you've referred to as
15 wanton damage throughout the province in -- when these operations were
16 being conducted?
17 A. No. As I've said, I -- if you lose the trust of the civilian
18 population in a military operation, then you have a very difficult job of
19 regaining that trust, and particularly if you've committed huge damage to
20 houses, property, and businesses throughout Kosovo, and this is sadly
21 what happened during 1998 and into 1999.
22 Q. Now, going back to the documents in -- just directing your
23 attention to the last paragraph called: "Final comment," and this is
24 also at the end of the document in the B/C/S, it refers to a large MUP
25 convoy seen returning to Pristina with large Serbian flags.
1 Could you comment on this specific section and tell us whether
2 this is something you personally observed, and what you understood was
3 happening when this convoy entered or returned to Pristina on that
5 A. Well, as we're aware, throughout the Balkan countries there is a
6 huge rise of nationalism from whichever nationality that happens to be
7 more or less top of the pile. And when it was presumed that the Serbian
8 security forces were starting to regain control, when they returned to
9 their bases on what we would call a rumo [phoen], a turn around of other
10 units taking their places, then quite rightly they were welcomed back for
11 having gone out and done their bit as security forces. And this would
12 take the form of the Serbian flags being waved and small crowds going out
13 to welcome their troops home, which is perfectly understandable.
14 Q. And was this something you witnessed yourself on this occasion,
15 what's referred to here in the report?
16 A. That's correct, yes.
17 Q. I would now --
18 MS. KRAVETZ: Well, before I move on to the next document, I seek
19 to tender this exhibit, it's 00686, and I understand it's been assigned
20 an exhibit number. I should just mention it. I've been provided the
21 memo by --
22 THE REGISTRAR: It has been assigned as P01408, Your Honours.
23 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you.
24 Q. Now moving on to tab 6, this is 00682. This is a report dated
25 10 September 1998
1 And, sir, I would like to direct your attention to the bottom of
2 the first page, paragraph 2, which it says: "IDP concentration." I'm
3 just waiting for the document to come up on the screen. And if you could
4 comment on the information that's contained in that paragraph,
5 paragraph 2, which begins with:
6 "IDP concentration between 5 to 15.000 ..."
7 A. I mentioned to the Court that the Pagarusa valley, which is some,
8 I suppose, 10 kilometres north of Suva Reka, had been an area into which
9 the villages' IDPs had fled to get out of the way of ongoing military
10 operations. And it -- I think if I remember correctly, it was probably
11 from the Pagarusa valley that these people were now trying to return to
12 rebuild their life back in the various villages that they'd been chased
13 out of.
14 Q. Now, if we turn the page we see paragraph 3 to 5 contains some
15 reference to destruction of villages, and then in paragraph 6, did you
16 make an assessment of what lays in store for these people in the coming
17 winter months in that paragraph, paragraph that starts --
18 A. This -- sorry. This was of very great concern to the authorities
19 as to how people would get on in the winter, which in Kosovo, as you may
20 well be aware, it can get very cold indeed with snow covering most of the
21 area. And it was something that concerned the Kosovo Verification
22 Mission when they came into the area in October and all the major NGOs,
23 non-governmental organisations, that were there to try and -- or
24 hopefully trying to support the civilian population, whether it be Serb
25 or Albanian was irrelevant, but it was of serious concern that people
1 would be without proper shelter in the forthcoming winter.
2 Q. And if we look at paragraph 7 there's a reference to figures, and
3 a specific figure given there is 171.000 as of the 3rd of September,
4 1998, of civilian populations. Is this the figure that at the time was
5 the estimate of the number of displaced persons within Kosovo?
6 A. As I indicated to the Court, the -- to try and get an exact
7 figure was a very difficult science, but it was generally accepted that
8 there were large numbers of person -- of people in Crna Gora, in
11 Q. And this specific number would be the number within Kosovo or
12 also included the number of persons who had crossed the border into other
14 A. I would suspect that this number is within the territory of
16 Q. Now, just looking at the bottom of the document we see the name
17 Landsman. Other documents we looked at had the name of
18 Ambassador Donnelly. Could you tell us who Mr. Landsman --
19 A. David Landsman was, Your Honours, the deputy head of mission and
20 in the absence of Ambassador Donnelly would sign the telegraphs, which is
21 very normal procedure within the embassy.
22 Q. And you have already explained to the Court how these documents
23 were prepared. I take it that this one which is signed by David Landsman
24 was prepared in a similar fashion as other ones that we have looked at?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Now I would like to take you to a final document and ask you a
2 question also in relation to a comment you make in your statement. This
3 is 0 --
4 MS. KRAVETZ: Well, I seek to tender this document before we move
5 forward, 00682.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That has been assigned P01413, Your Honours.
8 MS. KRAVETZ:
9 Q. The last tab in your binders, tab 7, 00684. And it's a report
10 dated 6 November 1998
11 General Dimitrijevic, and I'm interested in the second page, if we could
12 turn to paragraph number 5. And this is page 2 both in the English and
13 the B/C/S.
14 Do you recall this meeting in November 1998 with
15 General Dimitrijevic?
16 A. Yes, I do, yes.
17 Q. And do you recall what position General Dimitrijevic held at the
19 A. General Dimitrijevic was the head of counter-intelligence, and
20 therefore a very senior member of the Vojska Jugoslavije.
21 Q. Now, in that paragraph you say that:
22 "General D did admit that the VJ had overstepped the mark during
23 the summer offensive but also said that the VJ had had to step in in
24 order to salvage the MUP."
25 Now, you've referred to this specific report in this meeting in
1 paragraph 55 and 56 of your statement, and in relation to that specific
2 comment you said in paragraph 55:
3 "He knew that I had personally seen the cooperation between the
4 VJ and the MUP during many operations and was trying to lessen the impact
5 of VJ actions."
6 Could you explain why it is that you understood when he -- when
7 General Dimitrijevic told you -- made this comment to you that he was
8 trying to lessen the impact of VJ actions or -- during the summer
10 A. As I've tried to explain to the Court, I'd had many conversations
11 with General Dimitrijevic, General Perisic, and General Krga.
12 General Perisic was Chief of General Staff about to be replaced by
13 General Ojdanic. And General Krga was also head of intelligence. And I
14 suppose because of my experience, one was granted an audience with these
15 three in particular in an attempt to try and help defuse what was a very
16 complex and demanding situation in the area of Kosovo.
17 As I've also said, the Vojska Jugoslavije had stationed in Kosovo
18 Pristina Corps of some 20.000 personnel, and inevitably as the conflict
19 widened they would become involved in an attempt to stop this conflict.
20 Unfortunately, as we've seen, the use of force was excessive. The damage
21 done by the Serbian security forces in toto, as I've stated on many
22 occasions, was also very obvious to anyone that travelled in Kosovo at
23 that particular time. At this stage in November 1998,
24 General Dimitrijevic and General Perisic to an extent had indicated that
25 they were not in the chain of command and that General Pavkovic was
1 reporting direct to President Milosevic, which as the two senior -- or
2 then the two senior VJ officers was an extraordinary situation.
3 As we've also seen throughout the Balkan conflict, that the
4 retaliation by each side as it comes to the top of the pile and gets more
5 powerful than the other side tends to react in a very aggressive way.
6 And sadly, this was true in the province of Kosovo
7 General Dimitrijevic's comments that inevitably the Vojska Jugoslavije
8 had been dragged into this particular conflict.
9 Q. And when you say that he was trying to lessen the impact of VJ
10 actions that had occurred, what exactly was he -- did you understand him
11 to be referring to?
12 A. I had made it clear in my reports and I had shown photographic
13 evidence to both General Dimitrijevic and General Perisic of the damage
14 being done and had indicated that this intelligence was now back in
15 various capitals and eventually people would be brought to court to
16 answer for these crimes.
17 Q. So you understood his comment to be in relation to that, to the
18 fact that you had drawn his attention to the information you had about
19 what had occurred on the ground during --
20 A. Yes, as I've said, by then he appeared not to be in the chain of
21 command and he did not particularly welcome what was going on in Kosovo.
22 But as I've said, it's a very confusing and volatile situation. And as
23 I've said again many times, too much force was used and much too much
24 destruction took place. But I can't answer for the commanders on the
25 spot. They were presumably ordered to carry out these operations.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you for that. I want to now draw your attention
2 back to your statement, and this was tab 1 of your bundle of documents,
3 specifically to events that you witnessed in early 1999. And this is
4 the -- specifically I'm referring to the Racak operation. And you've
5 referred to this in paragraph 67 of your statement, and this is on
6 page 14 of your statement in the English, at the bottom. It's
7 paragraph 67.
8 In paragraph 67, you refer to your first trip into Kosovo in 1999
9 and you state that that was on 12 January and it lasted until
10 14th January, and then that you returned on 16th January until
11 17th January. And you indicate that you were in Kosovo in the aftermath
12 of the Racak incident.
13 Can you just first start by telling us when it is that you heard
14 about what had occurred in Racak in the month of January 1999?
15 A. Your Honours, this incident took place just west of a place
16 called Stimlje, which was really the border of Serbian control and going
17 into Kosovo Liberation Army area. And I think if I recall correctly,
18 just before this incident happened three MUP were assassinated on the
19 road coming out of Crnoljevo towards Stimlje. This caused a very major
20 reaction by the Serbian security forces and this was at the time that the
21 Kosovo Verification Mission
22 General Drewienkiewicz, or DZ as we called him for short, and was
23 probably the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of NATO
24 willingness to try and see this incident through in a peaceful manner.
25 There was a major deployment. I arrived on the afternoon that
1 this incident took place, on the 31st of January [sic], and so the damage
2 had already been done. And I think I actually even recall Ambassador
4 inappropriate word, with what had happened and the implications that the
5 Serbian security forces had more or less forced on themselves by carrying
6 out a very heavy-handed operation in retaliation to their personnel being
8 Q. Just to clarify the dates. You indicate, and this is at the
9 start of paragraph 67, that you were in Kosovo from the 12th to
10 14th January and then a second trip on 14th and 7 -- 16th to 17th
11 January, and I see in the transcript we have on the 31st of January. Did
12 you mean to say 31st of January or were you speaking about another date?
13 A. I apologise, I may have used the wrong date. I'm sorry.
14 Q. Maybe if we just take this one step at a time. You say that your
15 first trip was from 12 to 14th January. Do you recall what was the
16 purpose of that trip, the first trip that you made --
17 A. That was just yet another trip down to Kosovo to tour around to
18 gain information, to go and visit the Kosovo Verification Mission which I
19 had briefed and led into Kosovo. So it was a liaison visit as all the
20 other visits had been throughout my time there.
21 Q. Did you -- during this tour from the 12th to the 14th of January,
22 did you go to the area of Stimlje and the vicinity of the village of
24 A. I -- yes, I think we did. I mean -- I apologise, it's a long
25 time ago and I used to be in and out of this place basically on a daily
1 basis, but it would have been a place to which I would have gone because,
2 as I indicated to the Court, it was the front line between the Serbian
3 forces and the KLA forces.
4 Q. Now, in paragraph 67, and this is on page 15, so it's the middle
5 of paragraph 67 in that -- on that page, it says:
6 "By the amount of troops, both the MUP and -- in all its elements
7 and the VJ were concentrating in that area -- or concentrating that area,
8 it became clear that an operation was about to take place."
9 Did you personally observe this build-up of VJ and MUP elements
10 concentrating in this area or this is some information you received from
11 other sources?
12 A. I think if I remember correctly it was from both. It would be
13 reports from the Kosovo Verification Mission, whose job it was to monitor
14 the area, and I was down there in order to try and also monitor what was
15 going on. So it would have been joint -- they would have briefed me and
16 I would have gone out on the ground to verify what they had said.
17 Q. Now, in this same paragraph you say that you went -- you returned
18 on the 16th until the 17th and that you were in Kosovo during the
19 aftermath of the Racak incident and visited the scene. Why is it that
20 you visited the scene, you went to Racak village after the incident took
21 place and if you could tell us about what you were able to observe there
22 when you got there.
23 A. As I've indicated to the Court, Ambassador Walker was extremely
24 angry and concerned that his mission - it's unfair - was able to stop
25 this incident but his mission was clearly there when this incident
1 happened. The consequences of it were quite clear, that NATO could,
2 after an incident of this nature, take appropriate action, whatever that
3 happened to be. General DZ, who I knew well, was also very concerned.
4 And therefore, as part of my job as defence attache to inform my
5 ambassador to make his report back to our government, I went to the area
6 where the problem had been to ascertain for myself that what was being
7 reported was correct.
8 Q. And what were you able to observe there once you arrived to the
9 scene of the incident?
10 A. Well, it was very difficult to get close because the Serbian
11 security forces were all over the area, but it was quite clear that a
12 number of people had been killed. And I think if I remember correctly,
13 there were more bodies that were not visible at that particular time.
14 Q. Now, in your statement you indicate when you're referring to this
15 operation - this is again in paragraph 67 - that it was quite clear that
16 there had been a coordinated move between the VJ and the MUP to clear out
17 the KLA, specifically there was close cooperation between the MUP and the
18 VJ corps based in Pristina under the command of General Lazarevic. Can
19 you explain why it is that you believed that this had been a coordinated
20 action, why you've made this assessment in your statement?
21 A. In any counter-insurgency operation, as I've stated this
22 afternoon and on other times, it's essential that whatever security
23 forces are being used to carry out what is a very complex operation, that
24 there would be a coordination cell and the obvious place for that would
25 have been in Pristina where both the MUP had a headquarters and the
1 Pristina Corps also had its own headquarters.
2 The reason for coordination is pretty obvious. If you're trying
3 to win a counter-insurgency operation, you need to be able to inform the
4 local population about what is going on. You also need to coordinate the
5 military action between the various elements of your counter-insurgency
6 force; and therefore, I find it extraordinary that the senior people
7 mentioned here, General Pavkovic, Lazarevic, Ojdanic, and Lukic, and
8 Stevanovic, would not have been together masterminding the plan in
10 Q. So this is your own assessment in -- of the situation based on
11 the information you had of how this action took place?
12 A. Yes, it's the -- it's -- in the counter-insurgency operations
13 that I've been involved with around the world, it is standard procedure
14 and it makes very -- it makes absolute sense to coordinate your
15 activities both militarily and civilian in trying to help the civilian
16 population, possibly allowing non-governmental organisations in to
17 support the displaced persons. And this inevitably needs to have a
18 coordination centre. So, as I say, in many other areas one has seen a
19 coordination centre as standard -- what we would call standard practice.
20 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much for that.
21 A. Thank you.
22 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, at this stage I have no further
23 questions for this witness. I referred earlier to one of the reports we
24 were looking at, this is 65 ter 00684, and I seek to tender that exhibit
25 into evidence.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That 65 ter, Your Honours, has already been
3 assigned P01411.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Colonel.
8 A. Dobar dan, good afternoon.
9 Q. Good afternoon. It seems that you still speak and understand
10 Serbian well. I'm Veljko Djurdjic, a member of the Defence team of the
11 accused, Vlastimir Djordjevic, and here with me today is
12 Ms. Marie O'Leary, another team member. I'll try to do something today.
13 Since you have testified before this Tribunal a number of times, I will
14 ask you -- try and ask you what others haven't asked you.
15 Colonel, having read the statements you've given so far, I found
16 out that you graduated from military academy. But with regard to some
17 facts that we learned, I would like to know whether you also had some
18 civilian specialisation. Did you graduate from any civilian faculty; and
19 if so, which?
20 A. No, I went to what is called prep school and then to public
21 school in England
24 Q. Thank you. Colonel, am I right in concluding that you were in
25 the infantry and you were also specialised as a paratrooper?
1 A. That's correct, sir.
2 Q. Thank you. I drew the conclusion from your statements that you
3 graduated from the academy at Sandhurst
4 A. That is correct, sir.
5 Q. Thank you. And for two years you served in a military unit; is
6 that correct?
7 A. That's correct, sir.
8 Q. Thank you. I would also like to know what you did after these
9 two years of service. What were your positions after that?
10 A. In the normal run of events I was a junior officer, a lieutenant.
11 I carried out a tour of duty training soldiers in the parachute regiment,
12 and then I went for selection to the special air service and successfully
13 completed selection for that regiment.
14 Q. Thank you. Were -- are these all of your duties that you had
15 until 1996, when you became military attache in Belgrade?
16 A. No. I fulfilled a number of appointments as I became more
17 senior, which is a completely normal military career in the British army.
18 Q. Thank you. Until 1996, did you have any combat experience?
19 A. I had many combat experiences around the world in various
20 operational theatres, some of which are of a classified nature and I am
21 not entitled to tell this Court of those particular operations.
22 Q. Well, is there any unclassified information that you could share
23 with this Tribunal for us to know more about your combat experience? And
24 one more thing, did the British government waive your right to keep
25 military secrets or didn't it?
1 A. I can tell you, Your Honours, about experiences in Northern
3 government and I'm not at -- I'm not allowed to speak about those other
5 Q. Thank you. I asked you this because at the end of your answers
6 that you gave to the OTP you said that throughout the world you took part
7 in security operations and that you have much experience and that you
8 know that there is always a coordination centre. I'm not asking
9 questions about your positions or duties that you -- while performing
10 intelligence work. I'm exclusively interested in your combat experience
11 as an infantry officer or a paratrooper if you took part in military
12 operations conducted either by your country, the UK, or by NATO. Of
13 course, I'm not interested in classified operations or security
14 operations of other types.
15 A. I can repeat, I've been involved in operations in
16 Northern Ireland. I've been involved in operations in the Middle East.
17 I took part in the Falklands
18 Kosovo from 1996 to 1999, and I went back in with KFOR as an observer or
19 liaison officer, rather, to General Mike Jackson.
20 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you the following: As a
21 military attache of Great Britain, were you staff of the UK embassy?
22 A. Yes, we were accredited staff to our embassy in Belgrade
23 more importantly, we were also accredited through the FLS, the Foreign
24 Liaison Service, to the Vojska Jugoslavije. And on the start of my tour
25 of duty there, I was officially presented to General Perisic, who was
1 then the Chief of the General Staff, which is as normal procedure on any
2 defence attache joining a post in another -- in a host country.
3 Q. Thank you. I'm a layman when it comes to these issues, but I
4 would like to know, were you sent to the British embassy in Belgrade as a
5 Foreign Office staff or a staff of some other ministry?
6 A. No. All our defence attaches or military attaches are posted to
7 host nations from the Ministry of Defence and attached to their
8 individual embassies for a tour of duty that can be two years, three
9 years, or sometimes longer.
10 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now what I would like to know, did you as
11 defence attache have your own personnel that worked on the issues you
12 dealt with; and if so, how many personnel did you have?
13 A. I had one senior warrant officer and he -- personal assistant,
14 and that was the sum total of my staff in Belgrade.
15 Q. I apologise, but does that mean an additional three assistants or
16 that -- does that include the warrant officer or not?
17 A. No, normally throughout my three years there, there would be two
18 of us who would actually go out and work and we would have a secretary
19 who would remain in Belgrade
20 Q. Thank you. Colonel, since you worked for the Ministry of
21 Defence, did you personally, from your Belgrade office, send reports to
22 the Ministry of Defence?
23 A. Yes. As I've indicated to the Court, my boss in Belgrade
24 ambassador, initially Ambassador Roberts and then Ambassador Donnelly.
25 And I worked as part of his diplomatic team assigned to former
2 we have an embassy which has a defence or military attache included
3 within its diplomatic staff.
4 Q. Colonel, please provide me a direct answer to the following
5 question: Did you as military attache personally send reports to the
6 Ministry of Defence of Great Britain?
7 A. I apologise if I didn't make it clear. I sent my reports through
8 my ambassador, as part of his team, to the Ministry of Defence, and that
9 is perfectly standard procedure throughout the world.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] If possible, I ask that we now
12 show 65 ter exhibit number or document number 00688. It was used today,
13 but I think it wasn't assigned an exhibit number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: This, Your Honours, is identified as P01404.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] All right.
16 Q. Colonel, it's page 1 in my version, and it says: "Summary."
17 Who is the author of this summary?
18 A. At the top of the reports, Your Honours, it says from Britmilrep
19 which is signal slang for British military representative Belgrade
20 therefore that would be coming from myself.
21 Q. All right. Could you tell me whether this entire report, dated
22 the 13th of May, 1998
23 drafted by the ambassador?
24 A. Well, to be honest, Your Honours, I can only see page 1 so I
25 can't make a complete comment on this report. But as I indicated to the
1 Court earlier, my job as a military or defence attache was to input my
2 thoughts on the military situation in Kosovo as I saw it nearly on a
3 day-to-day basis during 1998 and 1999. And my ambassador or the deputy
4 ambassador, as again I have indicated to the Court, would add any
5 political comment that he thought was relevant to the situation. So you
6 could say it is a joint report as part of a team reporting on a very
7 complex situation that developed throughout 1998 and 1999.
8 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I should like to observe another thing. It
9 is of the essence for me for you to tell me what is your direct knowledge
10 of things and what is the knowledge that you obtained from some other
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] So if the usher could bring up the
13 first page of this document in the English language on the screen, I
14 would be grateful.
15 Q. From the reply which you have just given me, one could not
16 ascertain what is it that is authorised by you and what is it that was
17 authorised by the ambassador or an assistant of his or a third person.
18 So please take a look at page 1 of this telegram. Can you tell me what
19 information in it was contributed by you and what was imparted by some
20 other persons?
21 A. On page 1, I would suspect that, bearing in mind this is nearly
22 12 years ago, that the majority of that information on page 1 and page 2
23 was contributed by me since it concerns military activity. But as I've
24 tried to make it clear, I was working as part of a team to my ambassador
25 in an attempt to represent and report as accurately as possible. And
1 from some of these reports, as you are well aware, I would have
2 conversations through the FLS
3 deteriorating in the province of Kosovo
4 Q. Thank you, Colonel. But still one thing is not clear to me. Who
5 bears responsibility for the content of the telegram sent by the
6 ambassador to the Ministry of Defence and signs it if all of this is your
7 report and there are no interventions in it whatsoever by the ambassador
8 and it is sent and signed by him, this telegram, that is?
9 A. So, as I've indicated, there is a seamless transition between the
10 ambassador, who is head of the team, diplomatic team, in Belgrade, of
11 which I am part of his team. I have made the military content in this
12 particular telegram, and the ambassador as the head of the overall team
13 in Belgrade
14 normal procedure in all our embassies throughout the world.
15 Q. Can I ask you this, Colonel: On the 13th of May, 1998, were you
16 in Kosovo and Metohija or were you in Belgrade on that date?
17 A. The report is of the two days that I was in Kosovo on the
18 11th/12th of May. The report was probably put together on our return to
20 automatic recorder or in my own notebook, and then on return to Belgrade
21 I would have drafted a report which the ambassador or his deputy would
22 have seen. And then that report would have been sent to various people,
23 the Ministry of Defence included, as normal standard procedure.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we see Exhibit P01404, that is
1 a report from the 28th of May, 1998. It was on the 65 ter list under
2 number 00687. 1405.
3 Q. Colonel, this is a report, if I'm right, and if I'm not, please
4 correct me, of the 28th of May, 1998. Am I right?
5 A. That is the date of the report, yes.
6 Q. You stated that you personally witnessed the events which are
7 described in this report; is that correct?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. Would you please tell me when was this report drawn up?
10 A. Well, as you see at the bottom of the report, day one was the
11 26th of May, and it's a two-day tour of western Kosovo so we would have
12 been touring on the 26th/27th of May, and the report, as I've mentioned
13 already to you, sir, would have probably been written as dated on the
14 28th of May, when we returned to Belgrade. Sometimes I would have sent
15 this by various means back to Belgrade
16 So that might help you understand the fact that there are the gaps
17 between when the tour took place, the visit, and the actual report being
18 sent back to the Ministry of Defence and other person -- and other
20 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that it is
22 time we adjourned for today.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Djurdjic. We do need to
24 adjourn now because of a Plenary meeting of all the Judges. Before we
25 adjourn, could I mention that there has been received today a motion of
1 the Prosecution concerning Witness K87, and it proposes the use of
2 Rule 92 quater. As we understand that that is the one remaining witness,
3 we need to deal with that matter expeditiously. And the Chamber would
4 propose to receive oral submissions both from Prosecution and Defence
5 about the matter at the end of the evidence of the present witness,
6 Mr. Crosland, whenever that may be, tomorrow or Wednesday.
7 We will adjourn now and resume at 9.00 in the morning, and the
8 screens will be closed for the witness to leave. Tomorrow morning at
9 9.00, Mr. Crosland.
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.48 p.m.
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 27th day of
13 October, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.