1 Monday, 7 December 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
7 WITNESS: VLASTIMIR DJORDJEVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examination by Mr. Djurdjic: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Djordjevic.
11 A. Good morning.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have just
13 received a translation for D432 that was MFI'd, and therefore I would
14 seek to tender it into evidence.
15 JUDGE PARKER: [Microphone not activated]
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 JUDGE PARKER: -- document that will become Exhibit 432,
18 Mr. Djurdjic.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, just a slight digression. After the signing of
21 the agreement with Mr. Byrnes in October 1998, have you ever met him
22 after that date?
23 A. Never.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have Exhibit P703.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness's both
2 mikes be switched on, please.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, this is 113 in your binder. This is a dispatch
5 of the 31st of December, 1998, or rather, a letter signed in your name.
6 Can you tell us briefly what this is all about.
7 A. These are some clarifications that were distributed to all the
8 secretariats, and they relate to the procedure of the employment
9 procedure for the employees of the MUP. The main message in this letter
10 was that the vetting procedures that had been in place before from
11 henceforth would be done by the Secretariat of the Interior, whereas some
12 other vetting that were on the archive of the State Security Service
13 would be used in individual cases.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now have document
15 P1205. It's dated the 15th of January, 1999.
16 Q. It's your tab 114. Can you tell us the content of this dispatch,
18 A. This dispatch as well as some previous ones referred to in this
19 dispatch relate to primarily the transportation of foodstuffs, medicines,
20 oil derivatives, et cetera, in the area of both Serbia and into
21 Kosovo and Metohija. There's also information contained therein that the
22 Government of Serbia
23 the supply of these staple necessities in Kosovo and Metohija. This
24 implies the information -- the obligation that have to be undertaken by
25 the secretariats and the public security units in order to effect the
1 control of these goods delivered to Kosovo in order to prevent any kind
2 of abuse, that is to say that it's been delivered to its true recipient.
3 This is the dispatch sent to all the secretariats and all to the public
4 security units.
5 Q. Can you please explain in more detail the penultimate paragraph
6 on page 2 which reads that it is necessary that the regional secretariats
7 covering the roads and the check-points towards the AP KiM and Montenegro
8 should step-up control of passengers, luggage, and vehicles. Which
9 particular secretariat does this refer to?
10 A. We spoke about this earlier. In the past, there was an order
11 issued to the secretariat that are close to Kosovo, especially the Pec
12 secretariat which is on the border with Montenegro, to establish
13 check-points in order to control passengers, luggage, and probably stop
14 any smuggle of deficiency goods such as weapons and ammunition.
15 These check-points had been set up previously, and, in this
16 letter, it is said that a better control should be in place in order to
17 prevent smuggling and possible abuse of import of this stuffs that were
18 in shortage.
19 Q. Can you tell us which particular secretariat this referred to.
20 A. Those were Novi Pazar, Leskovac, Vranje, that is to say, the
21 secretariats. I -- also Prokuplje was included there as well, but only
22 five or six of them that were close to the territory of
23 Kosovo and Metohija.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look document
1 D001-2910, that's 1205 according to 65 ter.
2 Q. And in your binder it's 115. Mr. Djordjevic, what were you doing
3 on the 15th of January, 1999
4 A. On the 15th of January, 1999, I came to work as usual and I sent
5 this dispatch that we have just discussed. After that, according to
6 previous tasks received from the minister, together with him and other
7 members of the government I went to Kosovo because the Government of the
8 Republic of Serbia
9 their meeting in Pristina. So pursuant to the minister's order, I was
10 part of that delegation. And sometime during the morning we set off.
11 Some members of the government flew, some road in a car. Anyway, the
12 meeting was convened for 1200 hours in Pristina.
13 Q. How did you travel to Pristina?
14 A. I flew together with the minister. And at the Pristina airport
15 we were met by the head of the MUP staff, General Sreten Lukic; and after
16 that, we went to the meeting of the government. I attended this meeting.
17 It had its agenda, and there was certain topics discussed there. After
18 the government which didn't last -- after the meeting, which didn't last
19 long, we went to the premises where the MUP staff was housed, and with
20 top officials of the secretariat and the staff from Kosovo and Metohija,
21 we had a meeting attended by the prime minister and the vice prime
22 ministers who were on the delegation of the government as well as some
23 politicians from Kosovo and Metohija.
24 Q. Thank you. Do you remember what was discussed at this particular
1 A. Well, basically this was a meeting that the Government of Serbia
2 used practically to render its support to the police forces that were
3 carrying out very responsible tasks down there. That was a standard
4 meeting dedicated to this topic, short information or report was given on
5 the security situation; and after that the prime minister addressed the
6 meeting by giving his support. That was the topic.
7 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, do you remember who submitted the
8 support on the -- the report on the security situation on -- in
9 Kosovo and Metohija?
10 A. This short outline of the security situation was submitted by the
11 head of the staff, which was the usual practice whenever other officials
12 attended such kind of meetings.
13 Q. Thank you. What did you do next on the 15th of January?
14 A. After this meeting held at the MUP staff premises, the delegation
15 went for lunch; I was there as well. After the lunch, the prime minister
16 and the minister of the interior went back to Belgrade, whereas the other
17 members of delegation continued their work according to the preset
18 schedule. What was important at that point was, when I came to the room
19 where we were supposed to have lunch, Goran Radosavljevic, member of the
20 staff, informed me in passing that there had been an action carried out
21 in order to arrest terrorists in the village of Racak
22 action there were terrorists killed.
23 I received this piece of information as something utterly
24 unofficial that he imparted on me, but given that the minister and other
25 members were already at lunch, I informed them about this incident that
1 Goran Radosavljevic told me about without giving any numbers or going
2 into any details. I just conveyed what he told me in passing.
3 After the lunch, as I said, the prime minister and the minister
4 left for Belgrade
5 Q. Thank you. Did you know that a terrorist action was to be
6 carried out before Mr. Radosavljevic told you about it?
7 A. That was not a terrorist action, that was an anti-terrorist
8 action. Of course I didn't know about it, because I had just arrived
9 from Belgrade
10 character and, as he put it at the time, this was only about arresting
11 terrorists that had inflicted considerable losses in the previous day on
12 the police force, and their activities resulted in the blockade of main
14 Therefore, I had heard nothing about any plan for such an action,
15 but after the minister and other delegation members had left on the
16 premises of the staff, because I didn't receive any further information,
17 I wanted to know what the situation was and what actually had happened in
18 Racak. The people and the staff told me these few things, that this was
19 an action of such a nature and its objective was to apprehend the
20 terrorists for whom there was intelligence that they were in a specific
21 house in Racak. The entire action was designed by the Secretariat of the
22 Interior in Urosevac with the participation of the staff, and, according
23 to some previous obligations that were laid down, the plan was made by
24 the secretariat in Urosevac. It was verified by the staff, and the staff
25 itself in accordance with its obligations towards the verification
1 mission was duty-bound to notify the verification mission that such an
2 action with a view to apprehending a group of terrorists in a village was
3 to be carried out. That is when they told me that they had notified the
4 verification mission about the impending action. Actually, they did it
5 on the day before, and they said that the action was to take place on the
7 What they also told me was that towards the end of this action
8 and the settling of accounts with these terrorists, a fierce
9 counter-attack was launched by the terrorist forces which had regrouped
10 in the neighbouring villages. And they managed to push back the police,
11 and practically the police had to leave the area and the area remained
12 under the control of terrorist forces.
13 Therefore, the staff didn't have any further information either
14 about the consequences of this anti-terrorist action or, let's say, the
15 action to arrest the terrorist group that was in the village. That's
16 what they told me on that evening. This is all I know about the action
17 of the 15th of January.
18 Q. On the 15th of January, 1999, did you go to Stimlje?
19 A. No, I already described what I did on that day, and I didn't go
21 Q. On the 15th of January, did anyone mention to you any civilian
22 casualties resulting from the Racak action?
23 A. Nobody at the staff at that time knew anything about the number
24 of casualties and who they were, what gender they were of. So, in other
25 words, the staff had no detailed information. All they knew that there
1 were casualties.
2 On the 15th, they didn't have this information available. After
3 the action or towards its action, they told me that they had attempted to
4 carry out an on-site investigation in the village but that was impossible
5 because the police forces had practically left the area under the
6 pressure of the terrorists. Therefore, no investigation could have done
7 on that day. What the staff knew was just general information, but they
8 had no specifics.
9 Q. Can you tell us what you did on the 16th of January, 1999?
10 A. According to plan, along with the government delegation
11 consisting of, among others, vice prime ministers, I went to Prizren.
12 This delegation had some political meetings, as planned before, and the
13 next meeting was in Pec attended by the local politicians as well.
14 We flew in a helicopter to Prizren, and after that I returned to
15 Pristina. And with Ratko Markovic, the vice prime minister, I went to
16 Pec where I attended these political talks and meetings that the
17 government delegation had in the area.
18 In the early evening or late afternoon after the talks had
19 finished, I went back to Pristina. I had some previous arrangements, and
20 I also agreed that, with the minister, to go to Mount Kapaonik
21 also had a meeting, and I wanted to take advantage of the forthcoming
22 weekend to spend some time skiing.
23 On the 16th, after I had finished all the business that I had
24 with the government, I asked Savo Stalevic, who was the commander of the
25 Pristina special unit, and since I had come by airplane and I didn't have
1 a car to take me to Mount Kapaonik
2 far from Pristina. We had this meeting there, which he attended as well,
3 and on the morning of the next day, we spent time skiing with them at
4 Mount Kapaonik
5 17th is how I spent my time in Kosovo and how I went to Kapaonik after
7 Q. Did you receive any information on the 16th about the Racak
9 A. I had to leave immediately after the meeting in Pec for Kapaonik,
10 so practically on that day I didn't receive any information about what
11 had happened in Racak or about the situation in Kosovo in general as well
12 as in Serbia
13 Q. Thank you. Did you know that the KVM head, Mr. Walker, held a
14 press conference; and if you did know, where were you when you learned of
16 A. I learned that when I watched TV on Kapaonik later on in the
17 evening, on the news. I simply acknowledged that information without any
18 particular measures on my part or any particular interest concerning
20 Q. Thank you. What did you learn next about the Racak events, and
21 what did you do about it?
22 A. Around noon
23 minister. He called me on my mobile and ordered me to go to Pristina
24 because the situation grew more complex and that I should assist if
25 needed in order to clear up the situation concerning Racak. Following
1 that phone call and his order, I also received a phone call from
2 Sreten Lukic who told me that he would be sending a helicopter to pick me
3 up. An hour or two later, the helicopter indeed arrived; and sometime in
4 the afternoon, on the minister's orders, I returned to the staff.
5 It was there that I was informed in detail about everything that
6 was at the disposal of the staff by that point in time. I was told that
7 there had been an operation and everything else that I shared with you
8 that was told to me on the 15th. I was also told that they attempted to
9 carry out an on-site investigation, both on the 16th and the 17th, but
10 that the team was unable to conduct it due to terrorist attacks.
11 I was also told that on the 17th of January the police station
12 was attacked as well as some other facilities nearby. The head of the
13 staff advised me that on the minister's orders a plan was drafted to go
14 back to the area of the village of Racak
15 situation is, what had taken place indeed, and whether there were any
16 killed, and also to secure the location for the on-site investigation
17 team to do their work. I was told that the plan was drawn up and that
18 according to the plan the next morning, in the morning, they should go
20 Q. Thank you. While you were in Pristina and the staff concerning
21 Mr. Walker's press conference, did you receive any information about the
22 targets of those activities and who the victims were?
23 A. Yes. I was informed in detail about what Mr. Walker said at the
24 press conference. He called it a civilian massacre and I was also given
25 all the other information. The head of the staff also told me that the
1 minister was greatly concerned as well as many other senior officials in
3 learning what the situation was and to see whether what Mr. Walker said
4 at the press conference is true.
5 Q. Thank you. What information did the staff have concerning the
6 victims of this anti-terrorist operation?
7 A. Up to that time, that is to say, on the 17th in the late
8 afternoon, the staff did not have any information about the casualties in
9 detail because the territory was still practically under KLA control.
10 The only information we had was the information that came from
11 Mr. Walker.
12 Q. That was Mr. Walker's information. What information did the
13 staff have about the activities undertaken and about what took place in
15 A. I do not understand the question. The staff knew what the
16 activities undertaken were. And I told you already, there was an
17 anti-terrorist operation according to a pre-set plan and the obligations
18 we had towards the verification mission. I was trying to tell you that
19 at that point in time the staff was not aware of the consequences. They
20 didn't know what the casualties were, what kind of persons they were,
21 because we had no control over the territory, the police that is.
22 Q. Thank you. During the rest of your stay in Pristina, what
24 A. In the morning, on the 18th of January, when the operation of
25 returning to Racak village began, I went to the Stimlje police station
1 since I wanted to see for myself what the situation was and to see what
2 the effects of the entering of the police force to Racak were. I came
3 upon the chief of the SUP
4 an on-site investigation team headed by an investigative judge and an
5 autopsy expert, Dr. Dobricanin, as well as deputy county prosecutor from
6 Urosevac. In the police station, a scene-of-crime team was put together
7 that was to accompany the other staff to the location.
8 I also noticed the damage on the police station building
9 sustained during the attack on the previous day, that is to say,
10 the 17th. Before noon
11 In the mosque they found lined up bodies. Information about that was
12 sent to the chief of the SUP
13 entire territory was under police control by that time and the chief
14 advised the investigating judge of that who was there as well, whereupon
15 the judge set out with the entire team of judiciary officials as well as
16 police to carry out an on-site investigation. Since the police had
17 access to the territory, it was possible to ascertain what had taken
18 place and who the casualties were.
19 I went to the staff, after which I returned to Belgrade.
20 Concerning the information the chief of the secretariat received about
21 the situation in the village and the bodies found, he sent that
22 information on to the MUP staff because they were very interested in
23 receiving any new piece of information. According to my knowledge, the
24 investigating judge, while I was still in Pristina, issued an order for
25 the bodies to be sent to the forensic department in Pristina. I also
1 know that the paraffin glove prints were taken and the rest of the
2 procedure was under the control of the investigative and judicial
4 Q. Thank you. Did you inform the minister upon your return to
6 that while you were still in Pristina?
7 A. I spoke with him on the phone from Pristina, but the head of the
8 staff advised him before I did based on the information he had received
9 from the SUP
10 suggested that I go back to Belgrade
11 further reasons for my stay.
12 There is one thing I would like to point out that has to do with
13 my stay in the Stimlje Police Station. In the overall activities which
14 were there to enable an on-site investigation and in order to put the
15 territory under police control, the terrorists killed the assistant
16 station commander in Urosevac, Mr. Mekic. While I was there, his
17 brother-in-law --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Father-in-law.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- came in. He was very bitter at
20 having learned of his son-in-law's death. It was a very grave situation
21 that I was witness to. After that, I returned.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Based on all the investigating procedures and information you
24 had, what were you basically told about what had happened in Racak?
25 A. After the initial and subsequent detailed analyses that were
1 carried out as well after the autopsies that were undertaken by the
2 judiciary, it was ascertained that the wounds sustained by the victims
3 did not indicate that a crime had been committed or that they were
4 liquidated or shot point-blank. It was ascertained, rather, that those
5 were gun-shot wounds characteristic of combat and combat activities in
6 general. In other words, these would be usual injuries that people
7 sustained in conflict.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could D001-2910 be admitted into
11 Q. Could you please go to tab 119 next.
12 JUDGE PARKER: The document will be received, Mr. Djurdjic.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D437.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Next, I
15 would kindly ask for P139.
16 Q. Which is tab 119 in your binder.
17 Mr. Djordjevic, this is a dispatch of the 16th of February, 1999
18 It contains your first and last name, but someone signed for you. Can
19 you tell us what the dispatch is about, briefly.
20 A. This dispatch was sent on the 16th of February to certain SUPs as
21 well as detachment commanders and the staff in Pristina and the joint
22 affairs administration in the ministry. This is a standard type of
23 dispatch which follows a minister decision on the engagement of certain
24 units in order to send new units to the field or to replace the units
25 which are already in the field. The secretariats are requested to
1 provide for additional units to be engaged. This is a standard type
2 dispatch without which the units could not be sent in the field. It
3 contains all the details we have already discussed. These are, so to
4 say, technical obligations that have to be undertaken by the secretariats
5 and the joint affairs administration in the ministry, so as to enable
6 those units to depart ready to conduct their special tasks.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we next go to P85.
9 Q. Tab 120.
10 A. On the 17th of February, the minister, together with the most
11 senior officials of both the state and public security services, visited
12 the MUP staff in Pristina. He held a meeting with all members of the
13 ministry engaged in the staff. General Sreten Lukic briefed them on the
14 security situation, and other participants in the meeting reported on
15 their respective areas of responsibility, which was followed in turn by a
16 longer address of the minister.
17 He first addressed certain political aspects and the news among
18 the politicians as well as issued detailed orders on the conduct of the
19 Ministry of the Interior as well as the staff and its organisational
20 units in the area of Kosovo and Metohija. These were detailed orders
21 that were later on followed by the staff.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, on the first page in both versions,
23 we see the words of General Lukic, and then in the seventh line from the
24 bottom in the Serbian version it says:
25 "A plan of the RJB has been worked out to prevent and hinder the
1 entry of NATO troops into our territory. The staff planned when this is
2 ordered to carry out three mopping-up operations in the areas of
3 Podujevo, Dragobilje, and Drenica areas."
4 Can you tell us what this is about? What is it that
5 General Lukic speaks about here?
6 A. In the earlier dispatch that I sent on the 7th of October, when
7 there was a threat of bombing looming over us, we saw that there was an
8 order to bring up-to-date all defence plans. And here, again, when it
9 was completely obvious that a NATO offensive was about to occur with a
10 great likelihood of them coming in with land forces into our territory,
11 the duty of the RJB was vis-ā-vis the plans on activities aimed at
12 hindering the entry of NATO forces to work on those plans. All of those
13 plans were to be brought up-to-date, and they also had to ensure
14 personnel, especially those from reserve forces, so as to be ready for
15 the entry of enemy land forces.
16 And then in later documents we saw that, for the other parts of
18 with the army in order to respond properly to this offensive. There was
19 some indications that NATO forces would enter from other areas, not just
20 from the territory of Albania
21 was about, and what he spoke of here could only pertain to that
22 particular situation.
23 Other than that, that's what it was. The RJB had a plan dealing
24 with this situation. This was a general plan as developed by the
25 Ministry of the Interior on how to proceed in that situation.
1 Q. But it says here that the staff planned to do this once it was
2 ordered. What does that mean?
3 A. Now, as to what the staff planned, that wasn't something that the
4 staff could have received from the RJB. I know that the staff could only
5 act based on the plans developed at that point in time by the army. I'm
6 not aware of any particular planning activities of the staff, and I don't
7 know who this order was supposed to come from. So it is not clear to me
8 what the head of the staff meant when he reported on this.
9 Q. Thank you. Now at which point in time did the head of the staff
10 say - and also in relation to which situation did he say - that this
11 would happen?
12 A. The basic approach here is that should there be an attack by
13 terrorists launched in Podujevo, Dragobilje, and Drenica areas, and there
14 was also this looming attack of NATO forces, that at that point in time
15 they were to be engaged in mopping-up or sweeping activities in order to
16 get rid of terrorists in that area. This was done because there was a
17 lot of terrorists in that area and also in order to do a quality work on
18 defence preparations. First they had to neutralise the terrorists in
19 that area so as to prevent them from potentially assisting the enemy
20 forces once they entered into the territory.
21 Q. Thank you. Was that plan to be applied if NATO forces did not
22 enter our territory?
23 A. I think that an operation of such a large volume and with so many
24 participants would not be conducted had there not been this expectation
25 that NATO forces would enter the territory and that there would be a
1 bombing campaign.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Now could we see the last page of
4 the B/C/S version of the document and in the English version as well.
5 Q. The third bullet point from the bottom, we see that in his
6 address the minister stated that SAJ
7 and engaged.
8 A. Well, you see that at that point in time he issued a lot of
9 detailed orders, and, in this particular situation, he had information
10 that the SAJ
11 preparations and in the activities. And in that context, he says that
12 there should be more effective inclusion and engagement of the SAJ in the
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have P5356.
16 Q. Which is tab 121 in your binder.
17 A. This is a dispatch --
18 Q. Just a minute. This is Exhibit P356, and this is a dispatch of
19 the 18th of February, 1999, dispatch number 312. On the last page we can
20 see that you signed it. Can you briefly explain the content and
21 significance of this dispatch.
22 A. Well, this is dated 18th of February, 1999. It was evident at
23 that point in time that there would be a military aggression carried out
24 against FRY by NATO alliance, and based on that assessment, as well as
25 orders that the minister gave on the previous day to everybody who were
1 at the staff in Kosovo, I sent this dispatch to all organisational units
2 first of all within the seat of the ministry and then to all chiefs of
3 SUPs, to the staff in Pristina, to the border crossing police stations
4 where it says 1-35, to the commander, and also to the state security
5 department for them to be informed of this.
6 So here you see detailed instructions concerning preparations for
7 defence against the potential aggression, as well as in case that
8 terrorist activities from Kosovo spread out into the rest of the
9 territory of Serbia
10 should be brought up-to-date with a focus on preparations for being on
11 alert, preparations for mobilisations, and defence preparations.
12 Further on, they -- this document speaks of various duties in all
13 fields of work of the ministry in order to tell them how to conduct
14 preparations for the upcoming attack. What you can also see here is an
15 order that all secretariats need to plan relocation from their regular
16 premises, and there's a number of other tasks within all lines of work of
17 the ministry.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see page 2 of the English
21 Q. And as for you, Mr. Djordjevic, you can look at item 7. I think
22 it's page 2 for you as well. Could you comment on item 7, please.
23 A. This item specifies that there should be a stepped-up control or
24 intensified control over existing paramilitary and other formations who
25 had participated in various conflicts in the territory of the former
2 intelligence and other measures and actions, they should prevent the
3 departure or stay of such units in the territory of Kosovo
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see D004-1675.
6 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we will see a dispatch dated the
7 2nd of March, 1999. So can you just briefly tell us what the purpose of
8 this dispatch was.
9 A. In the previous dispatch, we saw that it was ordered that there
10 should be constant duty services established in all municipal units, in
11 all regional secretariats, and so on; and then it was decided that it was
12 too much of a burden for the senior personnel, following which it was
13 ordered that they should be on passive duty shifts and that all other
14 measures remained as earlier so that, in a way, their task became
16 Q. Thank you. Did we say to whom this dispatch was sent?
17 A. Just like previous dispatch, 312, it was sent to all
18 organisational units. So it followed the basic dispatch. So all of
19 those entities that received the previous dispatch also received this
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see D010 -- I
23 apologise. Could the previous document please be admitted into evidence.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D438.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now see
2 D010-0317. It's 1203 under Rule 65 ter motion of Defence.
3 Q. It's tab 123 in your binder.
4 A. This is a letter --
5 Q. No, no, I apologise. We have a wrong document. So 00128 --
6 0022879. It's 1203 on the 65 ter list, D001-2879. That's the one.
7 A. This is a letter sent by the minister to the
8 Deputy Prime Minister, Nikola Sainovic, who was the chairman of the
9 commission on co-operation with the OSCE, the one that we mentioned
10 earlier. So Knut Vollebaek sent some complaints to Zivadin Jovanovic,
11 minister of foreign affairs, complaints on a lack of -- on the fact that
12 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not abide by certain previously
13 agreed provisions, and then the minister wrote a letter to him
14 individually addressing each of these complaints. The staff verified the
15 complaints from that information and then sent, in turn, the information
16 to the minister, explaining in detail each particular instance. The
17 office of the minister received this information from this staff, and
18 here the minister forwarded it to the chairman of the state commission
19 for co-operation with the OSCE, who -- which was Nikola Sainovic.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have this admitted into
22 evidence, please.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D439.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have P716.
1 Q. Which is tab 124 in your binder. Mr. Djordjevic, this is a
2 dispatch dated 16th of March, 1999, where you are listed as the sender.
3 Could you just briefly tell us -- just a minute so that we have the
4 English version on the screen. It's all right now.
5 A. Yes. This is a dispatch that was sent to all SUPs, to the staff
6 in Pristina, and to all chiefs within the specialty lines of work, within
7 the seat of the RJB at the ministry. And it deals with the residence and
8 domicile of the citizens, all citizens, because at that point in time in
10 living there who had not completely regulated their status, as a result
11 of which this dispatch was sent with instructions on what to do in such
12 situations. So this is a dispatch dealing with routine tasks concerning
13 registering citizens, drawing up appropriate lists, identification papers
14 of citizens, and so on.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the exhibit
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we have a dispatch here of the 18th of March.
20 Can we please look the exhibit. Yes, we have it.
21 Mr. Djordjevic, with regard to this dispatch of the
22 18th of March, 1999, could you please comment on it and tell us what this
23 is all about.
24 A. This is a usual dispatch relating to the sending or rotation of
25 members --
1 MR. STAMP: What's the exhibit number, please?
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] It's P137. So it's dated the
3 18th of March.
4 Q. Please go ahead, Mr. Djordjevic.
5 A. This is one of the many that had been sent before or after. It
6 relates to the obligations of secretariats, that elements of their units
7 should be dispatched. And they are informing the MUP staff as well, the
8 secondary school in Sremska Kamenica as well - because they had buses at
9 their disposals which were, at the time, used, quite frequently, to take
10 members to Kosovo. So this is a standard dispatch that, as I said, had
11 been sent many times before and later to the competent secretariats in
12 order to act accordingly.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at P138.
15 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we see the same date, only the reference number
16 is different. Can you tell us in the briefest possible terms what this
17 dispatch is about.
18 A. This dispatch was sent to other secretariats compared to the
19 previous ones. Everything else is the same. It is only sent to the
20 secretariats that have to act accordingly, that is to say,
21 Kragujevac, Zajecar, and Pristina secretariats, and the command of the
22 detachment in Kragujevac, as well as the staff in Pristina. As for the
23 rest, it's identical.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at
1 Exhibit P1206.
2 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, this is a dispatch of the 22nd of March, 1999
3 that you signed personally. Let us just wait for a second before it
4 appears. And it's your tab 127. Can you tell us, briefly.
5 A. This is a dispatch sent on the 22nd of March, which is
6 immediately before the commencement of the bombing, in which all the SUPs
7 and border police stations as well as organisational units within the
8 ministry head office are instructed, in compliance with a general
9 dispatch 312 of the 18th of February, to act in accordance and to
10 activate all the measures because the attack on Yugoslavia was about to
11 take place.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at
13 Exhibit D258.
14 Q. It's your tab 128. Mr. Djordjevic, let us just be patient until
15 it appears on our screens.
16 Mr. Djordjevic, what we see here is a dispatch dated the
17 22nd March, 1999, signed by the head of the administration,
18 Major-General Slobodan Spasic. Can you tell us who this person is, and
19 what's the essence of this dispatch?
20 A. This dispatch was also sent on the eve of the war itself by the
21 head of the administration of fire-fighting police, who, in compliance
22 with his duties and responsibilities, instructed all the SUPs to
23 intensify their work in order to engage members of the territorial
24 fire-fighting units. These territorial fire-fighting units were under
25 the professional leadership of this particular chief or this
1 administration. Now, in view of the fact that an attack was imminent in
2 which the territorial fire-fighting units would have a special role, the
3 head of this administration wanted them to be fully prepared to carry out
4 their fire-fighting work properly. And he also instructed other measures
5 to be undertaken with regard to providing supplies to the civilians with
6 water and other needs that this particular service can provide.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we now have a
9 new binder given to the accused containing various copies of documents?
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, our last evidence was a telegram of the
13 22nd of March, 1999. What I'd like to know is, immediately before the
14 war began and when the state of an imminent threat of war was conveyed,
15 were any meetings held at the ministry; and if yes, what kind of
17 A. Of course that meeting was held there. The minister and his
18 assistants in charge of various lines of work met, and there was general
19 discussion about the obligations imposed by the previous dispatch
20 number 312. On the 24th, the minister, in view of the fact that the
21 state of war had already been declared, this dispatch described the
22 danger of Yugoslavia
23 different now, and the federal government had proclaimed a state of war.
24 Consequently, the minister, in his dispatch dated the 24th, ordered
25 additional measures.
1 Q. Thank you. We haven't come to that yet. Can you please wait a
3 Can you tell us at that meeting what kind of discussion was held,
4 and were any specific tasks issued with regard to the beginning of the
6 A. A discussion was held about the obligations of all organisational
7 units concerning the impending war. And after the meeting, the minister
8 invited to his office Mr. Obrad Stevanovic -- General Stevanovic, and
9 myself, where he gave us specific tasks and assignments for the
10 forthcoming period. That is when he told General Obrad, who had been
11 told at the previous meeting where the NATO forces would be concentrated,
12 he said to General Obrad Stevanovic at this meeting that the most serious
13 activity would be taking place in the area of Kosovo and Metohija; that
14 the staff that had already been set up by the minister should continue
15 its activities as before, but that in view of a large number of manpower
16 engaged down there and the very complex situation that was anticipated,
17 he instructed Obrad to go to Kosovo and help them there and convey the
18 minister's order in order to be able for us to respond to this highly
19 complex security situation.
20 This is also when he told Obrad that, in accordance with his
21 responsibilities, he would be answerable to him for the uniformed forces,
22 and the majority of these forces through special units were already
23 engaged down there. And he told Obrad that since he was very well
24 familiar with the situation down there, it was necessary for him to stay
25 in Kosovo and Metohija for the ministry and to operate successfully and
1 for the task to be completed. At that -- on that occasion, he told me
2 that my duty was to be in charge of regular public security work, but he
3 gave me a particular assignment of maintaining a 24-hour contact with all
4 heads of the SUPs and that their responsibilities that stemmed from the
5 previous dispatches should be monitored by me as well as the activities
6 that they -- that the NATO pact was carrying out in their respective
8 So my particular responsibility related only to the SUPs
9 within [as interpreted] Kosovo and Metohija when it comes to NATO
10 attacks. In other words, everything else that concerned the territory
11 outside of Kosovo and Metohija became my responsibility. And in that
12 respect, the heads of the SUPs briefed me about all the problems that
13 they were facing in their respective areas about each air-strike and
14 about any action that had to be taken in every specific situation. So
15 from that moment on until the end of the war, I was constantly in
16 communication with all these heads.
17 Q. Thank you. Just for the record, Mr. Djordjevic, can you tell me
18 which particular SUPs according to minister's orders were you responsible
20 A. I was responsible for, according to minister's orders, to the
21 SUPs outside of the territory of Kosovo
22 Q. Thank you. The record shows that the minister assigned you the
23 duty of being responsible for the secretariats inside the
24 Kosovo and Metohija. Is that correct?
25 A. No, that's not correct.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 Mr. Djordjevic, from the 24th of March, 1999, onwards - that is
3 to say until the withdrawal from the Kosovo and Metohija territory by the
5 Kosovo and Metohija except when you were there on the ground?
6 A. The NATO air-strikes were carried out on a daily basis against
7 the whole territory of Serbia
8 areas of secretariats outside of Kosovo. I was in contact with them on a
9 daily basis.
10 As for the heads of the secretariats in Kosovo and Metohija, I
11 never spoke to them during the NATO air campaign, that is to say, they
12 had their own communications channels for sending information. And all
13 other heads of secretariats were obliged to keep in touch with me. And I
14 used to call them a few times a day, depending on the problems that they
15 faced in their respective areas.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we, please, now see
17 Exhibit P702.
18 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we see the minister's dispatch of the
19 23rd of March, 1999, or we shall see it shortly. That one --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the number of
21 the exhibit.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Tell us briefly about this dispatch.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] It's Exhibit P702.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we see it on the screen. On
1 the 23rd of March, 1999, is sending this dispatch to heads of the lines
2 in the ministry head office in all secretariats and all commanders of
3 border patrol units and the SUP
4 the federal government on the 23rd of March had declared a state of war
5 or an imminent threat of war, and practically he is ordering them to act
6 in accordance with the previous orders -- order contained in dispatch 312
7 sent on the 18th. Basically, he reminded them of their general
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have Exhibit D237,
13 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we have another dispatch dated the
14 24th of March, 1999. Can you please tell us, very briefly, what this is
15 all about.
16 A. This is a dispatch sent just before the bombing. The bombing
17 started that same evening. It was sent to both the state and public
18 security services, to all chiefs of SUPs, the staff in Pristina, and all
19 the border patrol stations. This contains a decision relating to special
20 measures that the Government of Serbia had adopted with relation to the
21 proclamation of a state of war. And it contains the obligations of all
22 organs and organisations of the Government of Serbia, including some of
23 the obligations of the Ministry of the Interior. In that respect, the
24 minister had ordered the services in -- within the ministry to act in
25 accordance with the Government of Serbia's decision.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we next have D238, please.
2 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, it is tab 131 in your binder. It's a dispatch of
3 the 25th of March, 1999, by Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic. Could you tell
4 us briefly what it's about.
5 A. After the first day of bombardment, the next day he sent this
6 dispatch specifying measures in order to step up operational work as well
7 as the mobilisation of the reserve forces and to engage fire-fighting
8 police units as well as fire-fighting crews in general. He proposed
9 specific measures to all Public Security Service departments after day
10 one of the bombing campaign.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have D255 next.
13 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, it is tab 132 in your binder. A dispatch of the
14 26th of March, 1999, signed by Major-General Dragan Ilic, head of
15 administration. Can you tell us who he is and what was the purpose of
16 the dispatch as well as who it was sent to.
17 A. It was sent by the crime police administration head,
18 Major-General Ilic, on the 26th of March to all the SUPs in Serbia
19 well as the MUP staff in Pristina. In the dispatch, he warns of possible
20 speculations and illegal trading with certain types of food that was --
21 that they were short of, as well as the manipulation with prices. It was
22 his role to follow such issues, and he proposed measures to be taken if
23 such black-market measures are detected. This is more or less part of
24 his regular duties as the head of the crime police administration.
25 Q. Thank you. Let's look at paragraph 2 of the dispatch. Could you
1 please read that and comment.
2 A. I think we have already dealt with this dispatch. It seems that
3 it was basically the minister who had issued an order by a previous
4 dispatch, and Mr. Ilic is now forwarding that order.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Next could we please have 65
7 ter document 4063.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This dispatch --
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Djordjevic. This is a dispatch of the
11 27th of March, 1999, signed by Major-General Stojan Misic. What was his
12 job at the time, and what's the gist of this dispatch?
13 A. The dispatch was sent by Major-General Stojan Misic, assistant
14 minister to the federal interior ministry, and all the SUPs as well as
15 the Pristina staff and border police stations and to the organisational
16 units in the seat of the ministry. The dispatch deals with the issue of
17 bringing up-to-date of all lists of foreigners with a permanent residence
18 as well as issuing travel documents to military conscripts. It also
19 regulates certain status matters.
20 The assistant minister was answerable to the minister for his
21 part of work. It has to do with personal documentation as well as the
22 issue of status of certain citizens as well as foreign nationals in
24 government decision on the proclamation of a state of war had taken
25 place, he proposes measures to them.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe it is time
2 for a break, but before that I would seek to tender this document.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D440.
5 JUDGE PARKER: We will break now and resume at 12.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 11.32 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.02 p.m.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would
10 kindly ask for D253.
11 Q. In your binder it is tab 134, Mr. Djordjevic. Let us wait a
12 second until it appears on the screen. This is a dispatch of the
13 27th of March, 1999. Tell us briefly who it was sent to and what its
14 purpose was.
15 A. The dispatch was sent on the 27th of March by the
16 Assistant Minister Stojan Misic to all organisational units of the public
17 security sector as well as the MUP staff. It deals with the issue of the
18 role of locators in the bombing of ground targets. In order to have
19 precise strikes, NATO air force made use of locators placed in the
20 vicinity of facilities to be bombed. Stojan Misic sent this dispatch,
21 advising the organisational units of that and instructing them how to
22 behave should they come across locators and how to disable them.
23 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to page 1, please.
24 Mr. Djordjevic, something is illegible here or at least I don't
25 see who drafted this. We see "assistant minister" but not what follows.
1 However, on this cover page it says that this was a dispatch from the
2 chief of the public security department or service.
3 A. Yes. In the dispatch itself, one cannot see the signature,
4 but -- well, I don't exclude the possibility that I sent it. In any
5 case, I am fully familiar with the situation and with our instructions to
6 the secretariats concerning locators.
7 Q. Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, can you tell us what were the
8 operational capacities of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit at the
9 beginning of the war in 1999?
10 A. Towards the end of the previous year, that is to say, 1998, the
11 minister of the interior disbanded a part of the SAJ. There were some
12 issues remaining from their previous engagements, therefore the
13 operational capability of the SAJ
14 significantly reduced as pointed out by the minister himself during the
15 meeting at which the unit commander was present, when he stated that
16 their activities up to that point were insufficient and that they should
17 step-up their activities.
18 Q. Thank you. We see in the decision on the formation of the SAJ
19 that there had been three units at the beginning of the war or in the
20 previous period, rather. At the beginning of the war, how many SAJ units
21 were there?
22 A. At the beginning of the war, what was left were two
23 anti-terrorist units: the one in Belgrade
24 well as the commanding staff headed by Mr. Trajkovic. Those were the
25 forces of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit of the MUP of Serbia.
1 Q. Thank you. Did the SAJ
2 A. The SAJ
3 of the specific tasks that they were supposed to be used for was such
4 that the most trained and best members of the professional force are
5 needed. All those tasks, even under regular circumstances, could have
6 been undertaken by the professional members of the SAJ. However, when
7 this unit is engaged in wartime conditions, the problem is, as we have
8 said, that a part of the unit had been disbanded as well as that some of
9 its members could not -- could no longer be used in combat at the time
10 due to injuries. The second problem was that it did not have its own
11 reserve force to man the unit to its full capacity.
12 Q. Can you tell us who was responsible for the situation in the
14 A. The person responsible for the situation in any unit, including
15 an SAJ
16 are before his unit and needs to undertake all measures necessary to have
17 the unit ready in terms of personnel and equipment in order to fulfil the
18 tasks expected of them. At the meeting, the minister warned that the
19 unit should be used more efficiently. After that, the commander of that
20 unit, relying on his obligations received from the minister, wanted to
21 make the unit better prepared in order to carry out tasks in wartime
23 Q. Thank you. You said "at that meeting," which meeting did you
24 have in mind and when did it take place? You said at that meeting the
25 minister warned of something.
1 A. Yes. The meeting took place on the 17th of February, 1999, in
2 the MUP staff facilities in Pristina.
3 Q. Thank you. What about other units which fell within the public
4 security sector, did they have their reserve forces and how did it
5 function, how did those units -- reserve units function?
6 A. In the area of regional and municipal secretariats, there were
7 so-called wartime units of those secretariats and municipal departments
8 as well as separate units in the areas of those secretariats. All those
9 war units and separate units had their reserve force, which, within the
10 framework of general preparations of all the units, when trained for
11 wartime circumstances, had been designated. Any police unit which had
12 its reserve force had people appointed to it, and those people underwent
13 certain training. Therefore, one could say that according to the plan,
14 all units were manned by both professional personnel and reserve
16 Q. This was on a tangent because we were discussing the topic of
17 commanders being responsible for the units. What about Mr. Trajkovic,
18 the SAJ
19 any measures in order to secure sufficient staffing of the SAJ?
20 A. Yes. After the meeting that we have just discussed or a few days
21 later, he came to see me. He acquainted me with the situation and the
22 issues in the unit concerning the total number of men he could raise for
23 the forthcoming activities. On that occasion, he said that he needed
24 first and foremost to have people not in order to carry out combat
25 activities since the professional part of the SAJ was tasked with that;
1 rather, he wanted to have men to secure the territory that had been taken
2 by the professional force. They were also needed to secure accommodation
3 for the entire unit so that the professional staff could have more rest
4 time for any ensuing combat activities. He pointed out that particular
5 problem. He said that with the number of men he had at his disposal, he
6 wouldn't be able to meet the expectations and orders of the minister.
7 He suggested that the unit be reinforced with certain reserve
8 forces, the task of which would be as I have just stipulated. We were
9 both aware that, within the overall structure, he had no ability to
10 engage any reserve forces on his own. I agreed with his proposal that he
11 try to come up with a number of men who could be engaged and that we were
12 to discuss their ways and means of engagement later on. In that regard,
13 he did undertake certain steps, and later he came to see me again.
14 He said that he had some men, some of whom he had known since his
15 engagement in Slavonia
16 was used. He said they had experience, and they could be used for the
17 tasks which he considered them to do. He suggested that they should be
18 used to compensate for the shortage of staff in the SAJ.
19 The only possibility was to have them brought into the MUP
20 reserve force and later on seconded to the SAJ. As far as the
21 information went, he had about a hundred men he could use. And I used
22 that information to acquaint the minister with the situation in the SAJ
23 and to propose to him what the commander had suggested on how to resolve
24 the shortage of staff.
25 The minister decided that those men be engaged as a MUP reserve
1 force and later attached to the special unit. After that - speaking in
2 general terms - I acquainted Trajkovic with that decision, as well as the
3 police administration, which otherwise is tasked with the manning of the
4 reserve force and their engagement. I told both the commander and the
5 police administration that they should deal with the issue of engagement
6 of those men as part of the MUP reserve force in technical terms and that
7 they should be equipped and issued with arms as well as to put them at
8 the disposal of the special unit, much the way it was done with other
9 units otherwise.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a dilemma now
11 on how to proceed. Could we go into closed session, please, because --
12 JUDGE PARKER: Closed.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 [Private session]
11 Pages 9699-9700 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, did you know what the destination of the reserve
18 forces that had been attached to the special unit was?
19 A. Based on the information I received from the police
20 administration, I knew that the members of reserve forces would be
21 brought to the territory of Kosovo
22 be there awaiting further instructions from the staff in order to join
23 the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit whose reserve forces they were.
24 Q. Can you please explain to us what it means "on this side." Is it
25 this side of the border?
1 A. That means that they could not just enter the territory of Kosovo
2 without a prior decision of the staff, without a prior decision on
3 engaging them in that area. That means that they remained in the
4 territory of Serbia
5 the special unit.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, did you know why they were supposed
7 to be stationed in Serbia
8 awaiting, that they -- why were they waiting for the decision before
9 being transferred to the territory of Kosovo
10 joining the SAJ
11 A. I just knew that they would be on this side and that they would
12 wait for a further order from the staff in order to be attached to the
13 Special Anti-Terrorist Unit. So they were on this side of the line.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know who made the decision to send the reserve
15 forces from Prolom Banja to the territory of Kosovo
16 you know where they were sent, when, and what was the occasion?
17 A. Naturally, later on, I learned - and it was the only possible way
18 it could have happened - namely, that it was done pursuant to the
19 decision of the staff. Nobody asked me to make a decision on that nor
20 did I make the decision to have them join the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit
21 nor did I issue any such order, that is to say that they acted upon the
22 decision of the staff and the staff - as I have learned later - sent some
23 men there to conduct the preparations necessary for them to join the
24 special unit and for them to be engaged.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us when did you learn, what did you
1 learn, and from whom did you learn about how it transpired that the
2 reserve forces of the ministry were sent to Kosovo and Metohija?
3 A. I have no personal knowledge, I had none at that point in time.
4 This means that for the moment they came to the location pursuant to the
5 order of the staff, until that time I knew nothing. I don't know when
6 this order was made to have them join the SAJ. The first time I learned
7 of them joining the SAJ
8 committed some crimes down there. On the 28th, when this crime was
9 committed, I learned that they had come to the territory of
10 Kosovo and Metohija.
11 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us how you learned of this, from whom,
12 and what actually happened?
13 A. Prior to that -- I need to say that one or two days prior to that
14 Trajkovic, the SAJ
15 hospitalised. So I learned about what these reservists had done from the
16 commander of the Belgrade
17 following that event and all the measures that had been undertaken until
18 that moment, called me and told me about the crime that the members of
19 reserve forces had committed.
20 Q. Thank you. Did he tell you what he, Mr. Simovic, did following
21 the crime which took place?
22 A. Yes. He was visibly agitated, and he told me that on that
23 occasion they killed a dozen or more persons, that the special unit
24 provided first aid to those who were wounded, transported them to a
25 hospital and did whatever else was needed, that he immediately informed
1 the staff about the incident, and that upon the order of the staff, he
2 gathered all those reservists and immediately sent them back to the
3 position at which those reservists had been prior to that, that is to
4 say, to the territory of Serbia
5 He also told me that the territorial OUP in Podujevo was also
6 informed about the incident and that they had undertaken measures to
7 document everything, to conduct an on-site investigation, and to continue
8 putting in place measures necessary to secure evidence. I accepted
9 everything that he told me, all the information that he provided, because
10 everything had already been undertaken, all the necessary measures. That
11 is to say, the unit had been sent back pursuant to the staff decision and
12 that they undertook steps to document everything and to conduct an
13 on-site investigation.
14 Q. First of all, when he told you about this crime, did he tell you
15 who the victims were?
16 A. Yes, yes, he told me that those were ethnic Albanian civilians.
17 Q. Thank you. He informed you after all these measures had already
18 been taken. Do you know why he called you specifically?
19 A. He told me on that occasion again that this whole process of
20 involving reservists and reinforcing the SAJ, that this was told him by
21 General Trajkovic and that with regard to the engagement of the
22 reservists and since Trajkovic was wounded at the time and he knew
23 everything, he wanted to inform me as well. He was in such a state of
24 mind that he probably wanted to share that with me as well.
25 Q. Thank you. And this unit was sent back from Kosovo and Metohija
1 to the territory of the administrative part of the Republic of Serbia
2 A. Yes. Practically, they committed this crime during the first 20
3 minutes or half an hour that they were there, whilst already they had not
4 been technically attached to the SAJ
5 immediately thereafter were again collected and sent back to the place
6 where they had been before going into Kosovo.
7 Q. Did you inform anyone about what you heard from Mr. Simovic?
8 A. Yes, I informed the minister. The minister told me that he had
9 already heard from the staff about this event and that, pursuant to the
10 staff decision, the process of returning these reservists as members of
11 the SAJ
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now have document
13 003-1467, and that's 1225 according to 65 ter list.
14 Q. And it's tab 135 in your binder, Mr. Djordjevic.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] 1436. Let me repeat the number:
16 it's D003-1436.
17 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, did you know that an investigating judge
18 conducted a crime scene investigation?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. Do you know that other operational actions were taken to detect
21 the perpetrators of this crime?
22 A. Yes. I know that this was done, and, in that respect, certain
23 measures were taken at a later stage in order to find out who did this
24 and to establish their criminal responsibility. There were lots of
25 problems in uncovering the truth, but eventually the whole incident was
2 Q. We see that the on-site investigation was conducted on the
3 30th of March, 1999. Do you know why it took all this time between the
4 commission of the crime to the compiling an on-site investigation report?
5 A. I really don't know the reason for that. I know that the
6 incident took place on the 28th of March. I don't know why they waited
7 to carry out the crime scene investigation on the 30th, which means that
8 more than 24 hours had elapsed since the incident. I don't know the
9 reason for that. All I know is that the on-site investigation was to be
10 conducted properly and that evidence was to be collected for further
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document
14 into evidence, please.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D441.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we heard that these reservists that had been
19 attached to the SAJ
20 happened next with regard to how they were treated? Do you know anything
21 about that? And if you do, please tell us.
22 A. These reservists remained in the same location where they had
23 been before. I think that was in Prolom Banja in the facilities that had
24 previously been used to accommodate the units before they crossed over to
25 Kosovo. So they remained in those facilities for a few days. I also
1 know that a number of them, after they had been brought back from Kosovo,
2 had left these facilities. And a few days later, based on the minister's
3 decision, an order -- or, actually, I issued an order for this reserve
4 force to be sent home. They were instructed to return the weapons that
5 had been issued to them, and it was acted in accordance with my order.
6 The unit commander, Trajkovic, personally carried out this. He went to
7 the facility that they had been staying in and conveyed these orders that
8 I had given him.
9 Q. Thank you. After this injury took place, were you in contact
10 with Mr. Trajkovic?
11 A. Those were the days of the fiercest bombing of Serbia, of all its
12 towns and cities. So whenever Trajkovic called him [as interpreted],
13 that is when I spoke to him. Otherwise, I had no reason to maintain any
14 contact with him specifically. Whenever he felt he needed something from
15 me, he would call me and ask for certain issues to be resolved.
16 Q. After he had been injured, did Trajkovic go to Belgrade?
17 A. Yes, he was in Belgrade
18 days in Pristina. He arrived in Belgrade, and he got in touch with me,
19 and we met.
20 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, on page 45, line 15, it says here whenever you
21 called Mr. Trajkovic. Would you please confirm: Did you call
22 Mr. Trajkovic, or was it the other way around?
23 A. Mr. Trajkovic called me whenever he needed something; therefore,
24 it was his initiative to establish contact with me. However, if I needed
25 him, I would call him. But basically it was him who called me to tell me
1 about his problems and possibly help him with solving them.
2 Q. Can we continue where you stopped. You said that upon his return
3 to Belgrade
4 you talked about?
5 A. Our first contacts were related to the return of the reservists
6 from the SAJ
7 return home. After that, we would meet whenever he needed certain
8 manpower for Kosovo and Metohija. He would come again and wished and
9 proposed for a number of reservists to be engaged again. Therefore, the
10 disarming of the reservists, or, rather, the return of their weapons did
11 not have the effect of seizing their status of the MUP reserve force. So
12 they retained their status as such.
13 In view of the fact that his unit was expected to be engaged in
14 some broader actions down there, he proposed and requested that a number
15 of these reservists be re-activated and that for his conduct and
16 behaviour down there he would be personally responsible and that
17 everything would go smoothly. That is how it happened that a number of
18 reservists were recruited again within the MUP for the SAJ. And during
19 their repeated recruitment at the assistance of Commander Trajkovic
20 and -- or so the decision of the minister and my participation in this
21 whole matter, they were engaged for two weeks down there until the
22 completion of this wide operation in which the special unit and some
23 hundred members of the reserve force of the special unit took part in.
24 After this engagement which lasted for two weeks, this unit was
25 returned, that is to say, the special unit was returned along with
1 members of its reserve force.
2 Q. Thank you. Can you please repeat what was your role in the
3 sending back of these reservists to Kosovo and Metohija?
4 A. This could not have been done without the minister's decision.
5 Therefore, when Trajkovic proposed to me to re-engage them, I, of course,
6 went to see the minister again; I presented the problem to him; and he
7 gave his approval for re-engaging the members of the MUP reserve for the
8 needs of the SAJ
9 technically by Mr. Trajkovic and part of the police administration who
10 was in charge of recruiting reservists.
11 Q. Thank you. Now without mentioning any names in order to avoid
12 going into closed session, when you talked with Trajkovic about
13 demobilising the reserve force following their return to Prolom Banja, do
14 you know whether Mr. Trajkovic went alone to fulfil this task?
15 A. He made a proposition at the time that his friend who had been
16 involved in the selection of these reservists to accompany him, due to
17 the fact that the both of them knew very well this man who was the leader
18 of these reservists before they were attached to the special unit. I
19 agreed with this proposition, that is to say that the two of them should
20 try and finish this in the safest possible way, that is, to have them
21 return their weapons and to make sure that no incidents occur.
22 Therefore, I agreed for the two of them to go down there, to accomplish
23 this mission, and that is what they did.
24 Q. Thank you. Have you ever met Mr. Slobodan Medic?
25 A. No, I've never met him, and his name meant nothing to me after we
1 had learned what had happened down there. Until then, I didn't know of
2 him; I didn't know his name. I only knew that they were in touch with
3 some persons in order to locate and find the people that they were
4 interested in recruiting.
5 Q. Thank you. At the time when these reservists were engaged in
6 March 1999
7 actually, did you know whether they had committed any crimes in any other
8 parts of the former Yugoslavia
9 A. The Ministry of the Interior and I had no information of any of
10 those reservists, if they had stayed in any conflict areas outside the
11 borders of Serbia
12 information, they would not have been included into the reserve force.
13 Q. After the events in Podujevo, when was it that you heard for the
14 first time that certain members of the reserve force committed certain
15 crimes in the territory of the former Yugoslavia?
16 A. I learned about that for the first time during the Milosevic
17 trial here, when a footage was shown. I followed that trial, and that
18 was the first time that I was informed about the crime they committed.
19 Q. Thank you. At the time of their engagement in the reserve force
20 in March 1999, what information did you have about where those people had
21 come from and what kind of persons they were?
22 A. At that time, I personally had no information whatsoever about
23 how many of them had any previous combat experience and where they hailed
24 from. I didn't know any of them, and I did not participate in their
25 selection. For me it was important that the unit be provided with a
1 reserve force so that it could perform its duties. As for its personnel,
2 that was something that was outside my field of interest. That was done
3 by other services at lower levels. I was not included in it.
4 Q. Thank you. I didn't mean you personally, but having discussions
5 with different people, some of which you referred to, did you know where
6 those people were from and what their experience was which would qualify
7 them to become reservists of the MUP?
8 A. I learned of that from Trajkovic. He told me that he knew some
9 of them from the times when he was in the area of Slavonia, Baranja, and
10 Western Sirmium. He did, however, say there were only a few of them that
11 he knew and that most of them had no previous experience having hailed
12 from Sid, Novi Sad
13 He didn't tell me what the number of those who had previous
14 experience is and how many of them had none. He just told me that he
15 knew some of them. In any case, that was the extent of the information I
16 had, and it came exclusively from him.
17 Q. Thank you. Given that this reserve force was supposed to be
18 attached to the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, how did it come about that
19 people were engaged for whom it was unknown whether they had any previous
20 experience that would be necessary to become a part of the SAJ?
21 A. At that time, Yugoslavia
22 had to make use of any people we had available in order for the unit to
23 be able to complete its tasks. They did not need any special training or
24 knowledge of weapons with a view to performing the tasks Trajkovic had
25 envisaged for them. They were supposed to be there simply to secure any
1 Special Anti-Terrorist Unit facilities or to man the front lines
2 previously reached by the professional staff.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we next please have
6 Q. It is a 65 ter document 158 and tab 136 in your binder.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] There seems to be a mistake.
8 65 ter 1581 and D009 --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Djordjevic [sic] please repeat the
10 last four digits.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I'll repeat. D -- yes, this is
12 the number.
13 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we see here a report on the engagement of the
14 reserve force of the SAJ
15 heading of the document -- can you read it out to us.
16 A. This is not the document you were talking about.
17 Q. Please read the one that is on the screen.
18 A. This is not the document. It's the wrong document.
19 Q. Just a minute, Mr. Djordjevic.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] D009-0785. That's the right
22 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, while we're looking for the document - and we'll
23 go back to it later - could you please tell us what were the
24 circumstances under which this report saw the light of day, and do you
25 know why it was put together and who was supposed to receive it?
1 A. The minister of the interior wanted to receive a more detailed
2 report on the engagement of the reserve force for the needs of the SAJ,
3 hence he ordered me to ask the commander of the unit to draft a detailed
4 report about everything that had to do with engagement of the reserve
5 force for the need of the SAJ
6 returned from Kosovo, I ordered him accordingly. He drafted a report
7 that he sent to me, and I, in turn, forwarded it to the minister. It
8 contains all the elements that have to do with the engagement of the
9 reserve force for the needs of the SAJ
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have D010-8692.
12 JUDGE PARKER: While that's happening, could the report be
13 Exhibit P86?
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that P86 is only a
15 version of the document that the OTP has. I found that entire document
16 with a heading, stating the Ministry of the Interior, and indicating who
17 drafted it. I wanted to put that to the witness to comment. On the
18 first page, there is a part that was not translated in the version that
19 was admitted into evidence. This is a more complete version of the text.
20 This would be a full document. That is why I asked for the D document.
21 This document was disclosed to us by the OTP when they were disclosing
22 these documents for the second time. I also came across such documents
23 in Belgrade
24 That is why I am asking for D010-8692 to be put on the screen.
25 Ms. O'Leary, do we have this document in e-court?
1 Ms. O'Leary confirms, Your Honour.
2 MR. STAMP: What number is it on the 65 ter list, if you could
3 kindly give us that information, please.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] 65 ter 0581 --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1581.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] -- on the Defence list.
7 This is it in B/C/S. We have it in English as well.
8 Q. In the heading, Mr. Djordjevic, can you tell us which
9 organisational unit drafted this document?
10 A. This was put together by the special anti-terrorist group on the
11 13th of May, 1999.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to the second
14 page of the document.
15 It seems like in the English version I still need a portion that
16 is on the first side -- page.
17 Can you scroll down in the B/C/S, please. The English is fine
18 now, and I see the top of the B/C/S page.
19 Q. Could you please read out the first four lines of the second page
20 in Serbian. In English it is the fifth paragraph, the first four lines.
21 A. "On the 27th of March, 1999, at about 1600 [as interpreted]
22 hours, on the approval of the MUP staff and with the chief of the service
23 being advised, Zoran Simovic, SAJ commander Belgrade
24 Banja in order to take over members of the reserve force to be engaged."
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] These are two parts of the
2 document which were not translated as part of the exhibit that was
3 admitted into evidence. It was illegible, and, as such, these portions
4 were not translated. Therefore, I propose that this complete document be
6 JUDGE PARKER: Line 52, line 22, the English transcript suggests
7 that it was 1600 hours. The original appears to be 1800 hours. That
8 having been noted, this will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D442.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we hear of the Skorpions here all the time as a
12 unit that was attached to the SAJ
13 heard of that name, the Skorpions?
14 A. No. At the time of the engagement when Trajkovic informed me of
15 this, the name of Skorpions was not mentioned anywhere. Later on, this
16 was linked with Slobodan Medic, who indeed had had a unit which, in the
17 territory of Slavonia
18 However, in their communication with me, it was never mentioned. I
19 didn't know of that name. All I was interested in was that special unit
20 had ensured a certain number of reservists that could be engaged for
21 certain purposes. So this name, the name of the unit following us,
22 learning of all the misdeeds that they had committed in the territory of
23 the former Yugoslavia, this name emerged only after that.
24 Q. Thank you. Did you see the lists of the reserve forces in their
25 records, and did anyone inform you of that?
1 A. Nobody informed us either of the names or of any information as
2 to who was placed in the reserve forces. As I have told you, I was told
3 by the police administration and later on by Trajkovic that a certain
4 number of persons was located, that they were put on their reserve
5 forces, and that later that they were engaged to carry out certain tasks.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, when the war began, was there any
7 relocation within the Ministry of the Interior in Belgrade?
8 A. Yes. We, within the ministry, knew that all facilities of the
9 ministry, both in Belgrade
10 be a target for attacks of NATO forces. This is why an order was issued,
11 both in the secretariats and within the seat of the ministry, to abandon
12 the premises that had been used until that time for our work. And we
13 were practically spread out through a number of facilities, a number of
14 locations - I'm now talking about the seat of the ministry - so a number
15 of locations throughout Belgrade, and the same applied to all the
16 secretariats. They abandoned their facilities and went to other
17 facilities based on old plans, and they conducted their work in these
18 other facilities.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us something about the communication
20 between the seat of the MUP and various SUPs in the territory of Serbia,
21 outside of Kosovo and Metohija during the war?
22 A. The communication was -- went mostly via telephone, which was
23 operational until the relay centres were destroyed, the relay centres
24 used by the ministry for radio communication, and depending on which
25 telephone centre in which secretariat was hit. That is to say that
1 technical services for communications within the ministry did their best
2 so that in those circumstances where relay towers and so on were
3 destroyed, they could provide communication with the ministry either via
4 direct telephone communication or via patching and making other channels,
5 creating other channels, which I really don't know much about in the
6 technical sense. I can tell you that our communication with the
7 secretariats in the territory of Serbia outside of Kosovo was extremely
8 difficult in those times.
9 Q. Thank you. Was there a courier service?
10 A. Yes. The courier service existed back in normal times, that is
11 to say that twice a week a courier would bring mail from all secretariats
12 and then take the mail from the seat of the ministry, the mail that was
13 theirs. And this was continued during the war so that certain documents
14 reached the seat of the ministry and various SUPs via courier service.
15 When the regular communication channels were disrupted, couriers were
16 used more frequently.
17 Q. Thank you. Were there any collegium meetings held during the
18 war, collegium being senior staff members; and if so, what was discussed
19 at those meetings?
20 A. Just as in regular times, even in those special times, collegium
21 meetings were held at which chiefs of various administrations informed
22 the minister about the situation, the security situation, in their
23 jurisdictions, mostly focusing on the consequences of bombing campaign as
24 well as the participation of ministry units in providing assistance and
25 in any action taken during the bombing - I'm now referring to the entire
1 territory of Serbia - and the ministry, in addition to these
2 extraordinary tasks, had to conduct its regular routine tasks: ensuring
3 law and order, providing security at the state border, issuing passports,
4 IDs, driver's licences, and so on. So even under those difficult
5 conditions, they had to conduct their regular public security tasks, and
6 they needed to inform the minister of that as well.
7 Q. Tell me, please, at these collegium meetings, was there any
8 discussion of planning and conducting various anti-terrorist operations
9 in the territory of Kosovo
10 A. There was never any discussion at collegium meetings of specific
11 concrete tasks of the special unit or unit for special operations down
12 there in Kosovo, nor were reports on that matter provided at collegium
13 meetings. The only issues that were reported on were logistical issues
14 that the administration for joint affairs of police had to carry out. So
15 they would perhaps inform about the equipment, communication channels,
16 and they would also inform on whether there were any casualties among the
17 ranks of policemen down there in Kosovo. So that was the only topic that
18 they provided information on at the collegium meetings.
19 Q. Were there any special meetings where planning and conducting of
20 anti-terrorist operations was discussed, and did you attend any such
22 A. Such meetings were never organised at the seat of the ministry,
23 nor was there anyone who could have briefed on that because that
24 information was available only to the staff down there. And the staff
25 was the only body that could have informed of it. It never happened that
1 any anti-terrorist or combat plans or their implementation was discussed
2 at the seat of the ministry.
3 Q. During the war, were you informed about the staff in Pristina,
4 about planning or conducting any anti-terrorist operations?
5 A. We have gone over all types of information provided from the
6 staff to the ministry, and everything that I was informed of was
7 contained in the reports that we received in that way. I was practically
8 informed of all instances where police members were killed, because I
9 sent condolences cables on behalf of the ministry. However, throughout
10 the war, I never received any sort of a plan nor did I take part in
11 planning any anti-terrorist or combat activity against any kind of forces
12 in the territory of Kosovo
13 Q. Thank you. And did you ever receive any report in any form from
14 them about the actions planned and conducted, carried out, by them?
15 A. I was not informed either of planned activities or any action
16 they took pursuant to those plans, that is to say that nobody was
17 duty-bound to inform me of this nor was I informed of it.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I think it's time for our
20 technical break.
21 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn now and resume in an hour's time
22 at 2.30.
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.34 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 2.34 p.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, could you please tell us, when did you and how
3 did you learn of --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please repeat the question. The
5 interpreters didn't understand.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 6th of April --
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Can you please stop. My question was: When and from whom did
9 you learn for the first time of the existence of bodies? And please tell
10 us about that.
11 A. The first information on the existence of bodies reached me on
12 the 6th of April after 2000 hours from Caslav Golubovic, chief of the
13 secretariat. He called me at that time and said that on the bank of the
14 Danube in an area near Tekija there was a refrigeration truck with 20-odd
15 bodies, that municipal prosecutor was informed of it, and that several
16 prosecutors and an investigating judge went to the site, as well as some
17 of the operatives from the office in Kladovo, under whose jurisdiction
18 this area comes. At that time, he also informed me that when the
19 municipal prosecutors realised that there were a number of bodies there,
20 they left the site, saying that they would inform the district
21 prosecutor. Caslav told me that the police had also informed the
22 district prosecutor's office too.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me what SUP did Caslav head?
24 A. Secretariat of the Interior in Bor. He was the chief of that
1 Q. Thank you. Would you please tell us what happened then and what
2 did you do?
3 A. I told him that as for any further action, he needed to wait
4 because at that time for me that was a significant event and that upon
5 learning of it, I was duty-bound to inform minister about it so that we
6 could see what to do with the bodies that had been found. This is to say
7 that I was really taken aback by this information, and I, following that,
8 went to the minister; and I informed him of everything that I had learned
9 from the chief of the secretariat, namely, that bodies had been found in
10 a refrigerator truck, bodies which, based on their clothing, resembled
11 bodies from the territory of Kosovo
12 He also told me that on the truck there was a sign, the name of a
13 company which was from the territory of Kosovo. So immediately upon
14 learning of it, I informed the minister about it. And after a detailed
15 briefing where I conveyed everything I knew, I asked for instructions on
16 what to do further. He ordered me to convey to the chief of the
17 secretariat that following the routine procedure, the bodies were to be
18 buried in an area where they had been found. He also instructed me to
19 tell the chief of the secretariat that all further action in relation to
20 this should be kept confidential so that the public was not informed. He
21 told me this without commenting on any of the information which I had
22 conveyed to him about the event. So without any comments he --
23 Q. Thank you. Let me interrupt you. Would you please tell me, at
24 that point in time, where was the ministry located, or rather, the
25 facilities, the premises, where you worked?
1 A. After moving out from the seat of the ministry, we changed seven
2 to eight locations at least. I think that at this point we were located
3 at the bank premises in Lole Ribara Street. I know that after every
4 relocation my office was always next to the minister's office whenever we
5 changed locations.
6 Q. Thank you. Tell me about other administrations, where were they?
7 A. Wherever we found appropriate premises. So administrations were
8 spread out throughout the town in various locations. Joint affairs
9 administration with assistant Zekovic and the entire financial service
10 were in one location as well as the assistant minister in charge of that
11 area. Crime investigations police had their own location, and in our
12 location, in addition to the minister, we also had Misic assistant
13 minister's office. So we were spread out in different locations.
14 Q. All right. Thank you. Now tell me what happened after this
15 conversation you had with the minister.
16 A. I called Caslav Golubovic, and I conveyed to him the instructions
17 of the minister, that following the procedure, the routine procedure, the
18 bodies were to be buried in the immediate vicinity of the location where
19 they had been found. I also conveyed the instruction concerning the
20 media. This means that in my conversation with him I made it clear to
21 him that this was an instruction from the minister that I conveyed to
23 Q. Thank you. After your conversation with Mr. Golubovic, what did
24 you do next in the ministry in Belgrade?
25 A. I already said that with the emergence of these bodies was of a
1 surprise for me, and I wanted to clarify this matter with the minister in
2 some way. I wanted to establish with him what this was exactly all
3 about. According to the initial reports, it seems that according to the
4 vehicle where the bodies were found and according to the clothes, that
5 those were persons from Kosovo and Metohija. And judging by the clothes,
6 they were specifically ethnic Albanians. So having all that in mind, I
7 wanted this situation to be clarified. And I reiterated that in my
8 conversation with the minister. And I suggested that we should establish
9 a commission or a group who would investigate the whole matter and to see
10 how it happened for those bodies to be found there.
11 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us when you had this conversation that
12 you just retailed to us?
13 A. It took place immediately after I conveyed these instructions to
14 the chief of the SUP
15 issued to him because all these people were there gathered on the bank of
16 the river Danube, therefore he should be made aware of how to act. After
17 I conveyed these instructions from the minister to him, I wanted to
18 clarify with the minister exactly what had happened.
19 Q. Can you tell us what else did you discuss with the minister?
20 A. I told him that the situation as it was required a full check and
21 that all the facts needed to be established. I suggested that he set up
22 this commission or a group to investigate that. He didn't respond to my
23 suggestion at all. Then I proposed that I myself would set up such a
24 group to investigate the situation. Only after he had realised that I
25 was committed to taking steps in order to clarify the whole matter, he
1 made it known to me that he was fully behind it; that certain incidents
2 had happened down there; and that something should be done in order to
3 prevent the revelation of the finding of these bodies because of the
4 whole NATO campaign and bombing. And he also added that no further
5 measures should be undertaken in order to establish the true facts, that
6 is to say to establish the origin of the bodies and how they were killed.
7 So at that point in time, his decisions were such. But, nevertheless, he
8 instructed me to act with the chief of the secretariat and to keep him
9 apprised of everything that I hear from the chief and about everything
10 that was of importance and to inform him about everything without any
12 Based on this conclusion of his and his explanation, I left his
13 office and proceeded with doing some other jobs because there was another
14 bombing strike during that night.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you speak later on the phone with Mr. Golubovic?
16 A. Yes, I think we spoke on the phone twice after that. And in this
17 first conversation, Golubovic said that during this operation of pulling
18 out the refrigerator truck from the water, because it was partially
19 drowned in water, they noticed that in addition to these 20-odd bodies
20 that there were additional bodies. He suspected, or rather, he told me
21 that in the area of his secretariat and with the resources that they had,
22 it was not possible to carry out the proper procedure, that is to say the
23 autopsy of the bodies and later their burial, given the number of the
24 bodies that had emerged from this refrigerator truck.
25 So he proposed for this procedure to be carried out either in
2 completed. However, I insisted, pursuant to the former order of the
3 minister, be -- that this be conducted since the situation changed and
4 since the minister instructed me to keep him updated all the time.
5 After that, I went to see the minister again, told him that the
6 situation had changed in the intervening period, and that practically the
7 whole procedure as I had been told would be able to be carried out in the
8 area where the bodies were discovered and that the chief of the
9 secretariat was adamant that these bodies should be transported either to
11 in such circumstances.
12 Q. Thank you. In your conversations with the minister, did he give
13 you any more details about where the bodies had come from, and did he
14 impart any new information to you?
15 A. No, no. There was no additional information apart from the
16 information I received in the first conversation when I insisted on
17 establishing the facts and when he said to me what he said, that he was
18 behind it. He didn't offer any further details relating to the dead
20 Q. Did you yourself insist on his providing additional information
21 and did he comply?
22 A. We had these conversations every time we were in contact because
23 I wanted any sort of information because I knew that I had nothing to do
24 with this business, neither did I know how these people died nor where
25 they were buried, where and how they were dug up, how they were
1 transported, et cetera. I knew nothing about it. So due to that, I
2 insisted that he gave me more details. But after what he had told me, he
3 didn't offer any information that I wanted to hear. So that is how I
4 reacted and this is how we had these conversations.
5 Q. After this conversation with Mr. Golubovic in which it was stated
6 that those bodies could not be buried there and the whole procedure was
7 not to be conducted in Kladovo, what happened then?
8 A. I conveyed the opinion of the secretariat's chief and the
9 proposals that he had made, and then the minister instructed me to point
10 out to him that he should find a vehicle, load the bodies into it, and to
11 send it to Belgrade
12 to do and added that the minister said that Caslav should only provide
13 telephone numbers of the drivers who are going to drive the vehicles for
14 transportation in order for them to get in touch with him and what the
15 final destination was going to be.
16 The minister also told me that the location where the bodies were
17 going to be transferred would be his concern, and the only thing he told
18 me was to tell Caslav that those bodies should be loaded into a truck and
19 that the refrigerator truck from which they had been extracted should be
21 That's what I did. I passed on this instruction to Golubovic,
22 but he told me that he only had one truck and that it was not enough for
23 all the bodies, that he needed another vehicle but that he couldn't
24 provide it. I told him that, according to the previous order, he should
25 send the vehicle with as many bodies as they were able to put into it,
1 and as for another vehicle, I was going to see what can be done because,
2 as I said, there were bodies still lying there on the ground.
3 The whole situation was - how shall I put it? - very frustrating
4 for me as well and very unpleasant, and my patience was running out.
5 After that, I went to see the minister again. And, on that occasion, I
6 told him that until then I definitely had nothing to do with the whole
7 affair and afterwards I wouldn't want to interfere and have anything to
8 do with it anymore. I gave him Golubovic's number, and I said that
9 somebody should contact him and see where the bodies were going to be
11 I also told him that another truck needed to be sent down there
12 to collect the remaining bodies. And, practically, I said that as far as
13 I was concerned, I didn't want to have anything to do with that anymore;
14 and in light of all my duties and responsibilities that I had vis-ā-vis
15 some other territory, not Kosovo, that I didn't want to be part of that
16 any longer.
17 With this, all my contacts with the minister and with
18 Caslav Golubovic were over at that point as far as I was concerned.
19 After that, I never spoke to Caslav again nor did I insist with the
20 minister on clarifying the matters. He only warned me to be careful
21 about what I was doing, that this was a serious matter, and he repeated
22 this story that he told me during our first or second meeting when he
23 said that these were isolated incidents and that at that point this was
24 how it should be done.
25 Q. Do you have anything to add?
1 A. No, that was sufficient for me. I said, All right. Do as you
2 like. I don't wish to take part in this whole matter any longer.
3 Q. Thank you. After that date, did you receive any information
4 about new bodies? And if you did, can you tell us about it.
5 A. Unfortunately, yes. A day or two later - I'm not quite
6 sure - the chief from Uzice called me, Djordje Keric, the chief of the
7 Secretariat of the Interior there, and told me that there were a few
8 bodies floating in the Perucac lake on the Drina River
9 no other explanation about this, these were generally only official
10 information he had, he said that the regional OUP had been informed. I
11 told him to investigate it and to call me later.
12 When he called me later, he said that in addition to those
13 bodies -- the team that he had sent out onto the ground had told him that
14 in addition to those bodies floating on water, there was a kind of
15 freight box as kind of part of some truck also in the water, and that in
16 that box there were some bodies too. I received this information, and
17 apart from what I had told him earlier to try and investigate more, I
18 didn't instruct him anything specifically because after having received
19 this information, it was my duty to inform the minister.
20 Consequently, I went to see the minister; I conveyed this
21 information to him; I told him who I received it from and what had been
22 found in the water. I told him what my opinion about all that was. He
23 didn't comment; he didn't give me any instructions; and didn't ask me to
24 pass them to anyone. I believed that he was going to settle this matter
25 with someone else, that he wanted to exclude me from the whole matter.
1 And with this conviction, I left his office.
2 After that, the chief of the secretariat Keric called me and told
3 me that all the bodies that had been found in the water and in the
4 vehicle in that area had been buried. I passed this information to the
5 minister without making any comments whatsoever, and I also didn't
6 receive any feedback comment from him. This is as far as this incident
7 on the lake was concerned and the exchange of information I had with the
8 chief from Uzice.
9 Q. Thank you. How many conversations did you have with Keric?
10 A. Only two. The first one when he informed me about it, when I
11 told him to check what it was about; and the second one when he conveyed
12 to me what else was found in the lake. That was the extent of my
13 communication with that chief of SUP.
14 Q. Thank you. When did Mr. Keric tell you that the corpses were
16 A. After the first conversation, a day or two later I think -- in
17 any case, the very next conversation we had was when he told me that the
18 bodies were taken out of the water and buried next to the dam.
19 Q. Can you tell us whether that was it in terms of the information
20 you have about the existence of those bodies?
21 A. Shortly after the event at Perucac, I received a phone call from
22 the minister, perhaps a day or two later, telling me that the trucks that
23 were used to transport the bodies from the Danube and Tekija were in the
24 area where the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit had its training compound. He
25 told me that the trucks were there and that the bodies from the Danube
1 were still there.
2 There was again a discussion, and he told me that he was fully
3 aware of me telling him that I no longer wanted to be involved in that
4 situation and that I, on two occasions, refused to carry out his orders,
5 but that this was a very serious situation. He wasn't specific about
6 anything in terms of where the bodies had come from, but he simply told
7 me that the bodies needed to be buried in the area of the training
8 compound where the trucks were. He reminded me that there was a war
9 going on, that Serbia
10 destruction, and that this was the way to resolve the situation with the
11 bodies in Batajnica.
12 Having in mind the entire situation in which Serbia was at the
13 time, that is to say there were air-strikes, destruction throughout the
14 territory, as well as having in mind the instructions I had received, I
15 gave in and followed his instructions and orders. I asked him what was I
16 to do from that point on. He said that since I was already familiar with
17 the matter and that I knew from our previous contacts that these were
18 bodies which came from Kosovo and Metohija, in other words, that these
19 were the bodies of Albanians, that it was necessary to bury them and that
20 I should convey to those from the special unit that they should bury them
21 in their training compound.
22 He also told me that I should tell them that these were victims
23 of NATO air-strikes or dead terrorists and that it was necessary to bury
24 them. He also told me to tell them that an exhumation process would be
25 undertaken later on in order to follow the procedure.
1 At that point in time, he basically issued this order to me to
2 convey that information to those I was supposed to convey orders to.
3 Q. Can you tell us what did you do next?
4 A. I got a phone number of the person who was in charge of the
5 compound. I summoned him to my office. I think I managed to locate him
6 in the evening when I received my orders. And the next morning, he was
7 in my office. I told him about his tasks as it was described to me. I
8 told him that these were the bodies of persons who were killed by
9 air-strikes or in combat with the terrorists and that they should be
10 buried inside the special unit's compound.
11 Q. Let me interrupt you here for a moment. The person you summoned
12 to your office, where was he located?
13 A. As the other people in the ministry knew, we were advised that
14 the compound was damaged during an air-strike. We were told that the
15 part of the unit that was supposed to secure the facility was relocated.
16 I didn't know where he was at that point in time, but I did manage to get
17 in touch by phone, asking him to come to my office.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what followed?
19 A. I transmitted that order to him. And as he was leaving my
20 office, we met the minister who was passing down the hall. I told the
21 minister that this was the man who was supposed to wrap up the whole
22 matter, after which he left.
23 Once the bodies were buried, he called me and told me that the
24 thing was finished, that is, that the bodies had been buried.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please move into closed
2 session for a moment.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
4 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, what ensued?
20 A. After that, things were quiet for a while concerning that topic.
21 After a few days or maybe ten days or so, the minister called me again,
22 twice, as far as I recall, telling me that at the same location there was
23 some other vehicles and that it should be resolved the same way, i.e.,
24 that I should call that commander again and issue him the same orders as
25 before. So everything was clear; there were no special questions in
1 relation to the first instance when I received similar orders. I passed
2 that information on. It was wrapped up, much like in the first case.
3 The commander followed the orders. And after that, I told the minister
4 that he should no longer count on me in such matters and that I was no
5 longer interested in any of it. I told him that bygones were bygones,
6 but that he should not try to involve me in it again because I had done
7 much in the past although I disagreed with it.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether you had any part in the
9 transport of those bodies from Kosovo and Metohija?
10 A. I learned of the existence of those bodies in the territory of
12 the second time from Mr. Keric; and on the following two occasions, the
13 minister told me that the bodies were already in the special unit's
14 compound. That is all the information I had about the corpses. I
15 learned about the corpses in each of these instances, either from the
16 chiefs of the secretariats or after they had been transported to the
17 special unit's compound.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you ever learn who organised the transport of
19 those bodies?
20 A. No, never. I never learned of who was involved in that
22 Q. Thank you. Did you ever learn or were you told by the minister
23 what were the locations that those bodies came from and how they were
25 A. We never discussed any particular locations. He never told me
1 they come from this or that area; I simply didn't know that. The only
2 explanation I was given was the one that I have shared with you, and that
3 was that it involved certain incidents. That was the extent of his
4 explanation, nothing more than that.
5 Q. Thank you. You told us that the minister told you on two more
6 occasions that there were bodies in the Batajnica compound. Did you ever
7 discuss that matter later with him?
8 A. Not during the war. After the war, on one occasion, after having
9 discussed the issue with Trajkovic, I spoke with him. I asked him, What
10 will happen with the problem? And he told me not to worry, that it was
11 his concern, and that he would do as he deemed fit. That was the end of
12 my inquiry into the matter vis-ā-vis him.
13 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, having heard all you said, can you tell us what
14 your opinion or position was on the matter?
15 A. I was greatly dissatisfied with such a turn of events, especially
16 because I was convinced that there was nothing I could have done to
17 prevent such loss of life for the persons involved. I could in no way
18 influence the situation in which they were killed. That is why I felt
19 sorry to have been forced to follow instructions that I did. I have to
20 say that after the arrival of the minister towards the end of his
21 mandate, not only during the war, I was not on good terms with him. And
22 all that may have contributed to perhaps me not paying sufficient
23 attention. I was greatly dissatisfied then, and, of course, it will stay
24 with me for the rest of my days.
25 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, the war started on the 24th of March, 1999
1 you tell us, did you visit Kosovo; and if you did, when was that?
2 A. From the beginning of the war, or rather, in mid-April, I was
3 twice there, once for a half day and the next time for a full day. So
4 that was in mid-April, and then after that I went down there towards the
5 end of the war, that is to say, after the signing of the
6 Kumanovo Agreement. My visit related to the obligations that were
7 conveyed to the chiefs of secretariat regarding the withdrawal of the
9 Q. Can you tell us, when was the first time you went to Kosovo?
10 A. That was, I think, on the 16th of April. It was a blitz visit by
11 the minister because he wanted to put up an appearance there and to boost
12 the morale and encourage the warriors and the police in Kosovo, as well
13 as the Serbs who were living there. So we had this quick meeting with
14 the chiefs of the secretariat and members of the staff. Also present at
15 this meeting were a couple of politicians.
16 The point of the whole discussion was not the problems existing
17 at the time, but, rather, a press conference in which the minister
18 addressed the media and conveyed to the people, to the population, and to
19 members of the MUP as well to take good care of the people and to
20 encourage them in a way.
21 In that meeting, since there were some personnel problems
22 relating the replacement of two or three chiefs of secretariats, I took
23 the opportunity to hand in two decisions to the chiefs of secretariat who
24 were present there. After that meeting and the press conference, we
25 returned to Belgrade
1 Q. Thank you. You said that these decisions were handed in to
2 someone. Can you tell us more about it, what kind of decisions you were
3 talking about?
4 A. Those were the decisions on appointment of chiefs of Pristina,
5 Urosevac, and Kosovska Mitrovica secretariats that had been issued by the
6 minister as well as the decisions on the termination of office of chiefs
7 of Mitrovica and Pristina secretariats that I signed by minister's
8 authority, and I took this opportunity to hand over this decision to
9 Mr. Petric, the chief of Pristina secretariat; Cvetic of Kosovska
10 Mitrovica; and I also handed over the decision to Bogoljub Janicijevic,
11 chief or the future chief of SUP
12 Urosevac SUP
13 Mr. Janicijevic and Bozidar Filic, these decisions were only later
14 delivered to them.
15 Q. Thank you. If I understood you correctly, you returned to
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the counsel please
18 switch off the microphone while the witness is talking.
19 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the answer of the
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. How and when these decisions were taken? Before that, can you
24 please answer me how you travelled to and from Pristina.
25 A. We rode in cars because it was impossible to use any other means
1 of transportation; airplanes were out of the question because there was
2 war. And as for the decisions on appointment, in these three cases
3 referring to the SUP
4 on dismissal was issued by me by authority of the minister.
5 Q. Yes, we heard about that. But was there any meeting held in
7 A. I'm not quite sure that I understand your question. What are you
8 referring to?
9 Q. Well, you said who and how passed these decisions, but was that
10 preceded by a meeting in the ministry; and if so, who decided to appoint
11 a number of chiefs and to dismiss others?
12 A. The decisions on appointment were made by a minister, and these
13 people had already been in their respective posts as chiefs of SUP. And
14 their performance had been taken into account when the minister took this
15 decision, but I cannot recall any specific meeting preceding these
16 decisions. He just made these decisions and issued them.
17 Q. You said that after this meeting you went back to Pristina a
18 couple of days later. Can you tell us how and why?
19 A. Yes. I think it was two days later. The minister wanted to see
20 how this hand-over of duties was going on, and he wanted me to oversee
21 this personally in the secretariat in question. I set off in the morning
22 from Belgrade
23 I first went to the staff HQ, where I report to the head of the
24 staff and other members; after that I went to the Pristina SUP, where I
25 met the chief of the SUP
1 expired, but he was still there nevertheless. His name was Petric; we
2 had a conversation; and he informed me about a visit that
3 Janicijevic, Bogoljub paid him a visit and that was the man who was
4 supposed to replace him. They discussed the replacement, but they agreed
5 first for the replacement in Urosevac to take place, where Janicijevic
6 was to hand-over his duty and after that the hand-over of duties would be
7 carried out in Pristina.
8 Then I went to Urosevac, where I saw that the hand-over procedure
9 of -- between the former and the future chiefs of secretariats was in
10 progress. I spent some time with them. I monitored how that hand-over
11 was going on. And I learned about the whole procedure. And after that,
12 in the afternoon, I went back to the staff in Pristina.
13 Q. Thank you. Were you interested in the hand-over of duty in
14 Kosovska Mitrovica?
15 A. I was supposed to go to Kosovska Mitrovica too; however, the
16 incoming chief was somewhere in the field, and the staff hadn't delivered
17 the decision to him as yet. So there was no point of me going there. So
18 I decided that after visiting these two secretariats and spending some
19 time in the staff, to go back to Belgrade
20 me to perform.
21 Q. Before you returned to Belgrade
22 activities in Pristina?
23 A. At the time when I was at the staff HQ, the commander of the
24 Pristina Corps telephoned the staff and wanted to speak to the staff
25 commander and to arrange a meeting with him. We all went there together,
1 that is to say Sreten Lukic, the head of the staff; Obrad Stevanovic; and
2 I went to the location where the Pristina Corps staff was evacuated.
3 General Pavkovic and General Lazarevic and Colonel Djakovic were there at
4 the time.
5 On the premises of the Pristina Corps, there was
6 General Pavkovic, who, at the time, was the commander of the
7 1st [as interpreted] Army District; the commander of the Pristina Corps,
8 General Lazarevic; and Colonel Djakovic, who, I think, was carrying out a
9 different duty as opposed to the one that he did when I knew him before.
10 That happened when he was transferred to the command. We greeted each
11 other, after which General Pavkovic showed us a dispatch that he had
12 received from the Chief of Staff, Ojdanic -- Chief of General Staff,
13 Ojdanic, which envisaged resubordination of police units and organs of
14 the interior under the Law on Defence, if I'm correct.
15 This document virtually contained one sentence only. I read it
16 because I was sitting next to General Pavkovic, but we were rather
17 surprised by the content of this dispatch, especially we from the police.
18 I told Pavkovic that it was only this morning that I had come from the
19 ministry; we hadn't received any dispatch to this effect; and it was
20 totally unclear to me how the Chief of General Staff was going to
21 resubordinate organs of the interior without the knowledge of the
22 minister of the interior. That was my objection. And I expressed my
23 opinion that this was not how things should be done because, in any case,
24 the minister of the interior should and must have -- should have been
25 informed about such a decision.
1 My objection was particularly aimed at the resubordination of the
2 organs of the interior, as it was stated in the dispatch. I said that I
3 was going to inform the minister about all of this because I was going
4 back to Belgrade
5 minister's. I also suggested to General Pavkovic that he, on his part,
6 also seek some additional information or instruction from the
7 Chief of General Staff in order to clarify this sentence that was
8 somewhat problematic with a view to the entire situation. So that was
9 the conversation we had. We finished with this issue. And after that, I
10 returned to Belgrade
11 I informed the minister about the main tasks that he sent me to
12 Kosovo to perform and also about what I had seen in the office of the
13 3rd Army commander. He told me that he knew nothing of it. But having
14 received this information from me and having been warned about some
15 possible problems, he told me that he was going to clarify this issue.
16 Therefore, as far as that was concerned, I thought that my role
17 was over because he said what he said. A few days later, he informed me
18 that the whole issue regarding resubordination and the dispatch in --
19 dispatching question had been settled and resolved. As far as I know,
20 after that, MUP never received any written order or any letter from the
21 Chief of General Staff to the effect of resubordinating units and organs
22 of the Interior. Therefore, I believed that they resolved this issue
23 between them, this issue of resubordination.
24 Q. Thank you. After this, after the 18th of April, did you ever
25 hear about any problems relating to resubordination of police to the
2 A. I know of no instance in which any unit refused to carry out any
3 assignment that had been incorporated and planned by the Pristina Corps
4 and which envisaged the engagement of police, that is to say to carry out
5 an anti-terrorist or any other operation. I know of any such incident in
6 which orders were disobeyed [as interpreted]. There may have been some
7 minor delays and things like that, which is normal in situations like
8 this, but I don't know of any incident in which any of the unit failed to
9 carry out the plan.
10 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, my question was: After the 18th of April until
11 the end of the war, did you hear of anyone raising the issue of the
12 problem of resubordination of MUP? Did you or didn't you?
13 A. No, I didn't hear anything about it. This question was never
14 raised until the end of the war. The police kept doing their job in
15 concert with the Yugoslav Army according to the regulations.
16 Q. After the war, did you every hear any mention of the problem of
18 A. Yes, I did hear it after the war, but after the war is a
19 different period; that was after the war. There were some stories about
20 failure by units to resubordinate, but that primarily came from members
21 of the Yugoslav Army. I myself didn't have any direct knowledge except
22 of hearsay.
23 Q. How did you hear about this after the war, that is to say that
24 MUP failed to resubordinate?
25 A. It was in the statements of General Pavkovic that the police was
1 not resubordinated to the army. But apart from that, I have no further
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, we heard from General Vasiljevic that
4 on the 1st of June, 1999
5 date? And tell us what you know about that in general.
6 A. I heard about that from him too. On the 1st of June, I was not
7 in Pristina, and I did not attend any meetings where
8 Aleksandar Vasiljevic was in attendance. I would definitely remember
9 that. I'm certain that I did not attend the meeting he referred to,
10 either here or elsewhere.
11 Q. Can you tell me when did you meet General Vasiljevic?
12 A. I met him during a joint meeting with the Chief of the
13 General Staff, Mr. Ojdanic. There was a MUP delegation headed by the
14 minister. We discussed certain issues there, and it is there that I saw
15 Aleksandar Vasiljevic for the first time.
16 Q. Thank you. When did that meeting take place, when you met him?
17 A. In the first ten days of June, I think, more or less. All I can
18 add is: Out of all those present there, I never attended a single
19 meeting --
20 Q. Go on and perhaps then my colleague can intervene.
21 A. In 1999, I never attended a single meeting where Momo Stojanovic
22 was also in attendance. He was the chief of security of the
23 Pristina Corps in 1999, although I'm not quite certain of that. In any
24 case, we never attended the same meeting together.
25 Q. For the transcript, Mr. Djordjevic, when did you meet
1 General Vasiljevic in person, what month of 1999 was it?
2 A. Around the 10th of July, 1999, if I'm not mistaken.
3 Q. Thank you. One more thing, Mr. Djordjevic, General Pavkovic
4 commanded which army?
5 A. He commanded the 3rd Army, including the Pristina Corps.
6 Q. Thank you. It seems to me that you referred to it by mistake as
7 the 1st Army, and therefore I'm glad to have corrected that.
8 Mr. Djordjevic, during 1999, that is to say from the beginning of
9 1999 until the end of the war, did you attend any meetings with the
10 Yugoslav President, Mr. Milosevic?
11 A. Yes, I attended a meeting of the 4th of May, 1999, attended by
12 the participants of some of the previous meetings I had taken place in.
13 The Serbian president was there, the ministers of the interior, the
14 chiefs of the General Staffs, et cetera, including the most senior
15 officers of both the army and the police, as well as some politicians,
16 although I don't remember which ones exactly. I attended that meeting as
17 well on the 4th of May, 1999.
18 Q. What took place during that meeting?
19 A. Kosovo was on the agenda as well as the rest of Serbia. The
20 point of the meeting was to have the commander of the 3rd Army,
21 General Pavkovic, brief the others as well as Mr. Sreten Lukic who was in
22 charge of the MUP staff in Kosovo. Their briefings had to do about --
23 with the situation and other security elements in Kosovo and Metohija up
24 to that time in wartime conditions.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see D008-4068.
2 Q. It is tab 153, Mr. Djordjevic. It is 65 ter 877.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The number in line 19 may
4 be D008-4048 instead of 68.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we have here the paper "Politika" of the
7 5th of May, 1999, containing an article about the meeting you just
8 referred to. Does this reporting accurately reflect what took place in
9 the meeting?
10 A. Yes. The title itself says:
11 "Tasks for the defence of the country, singling out the fight
12 against terrorism, and general security in Kosovo and Metohija."
13 So what was discussed were general countries [as interpreted] and
14 the defence of the country as well as this general security situation in
15 Kosovo. This article pretty much accurately reflects what took place in
16 the meeting.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have this document
19 as a separate document. I think there is link to another document. I
20 think it is a letter to the staff of the 5th or 6th of May containing a
21 similar attachment, showing the cover page of "Politika," although I
22 think that copy is illegible. That is why we provided this copy as well
23 as its translation. Perhaps it might be better to introduce this
24 document into evidence, given the fact that we have its translation and
25 that we can read it.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, do you know the exhibit number of
2 the other copy?
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately not off the cuff.
4 It is a P number I believe. I can -- I would be able to tell you that
5 tomorrow but not right now.
6 JUDGE PARKER: This will be received, and we'd be grateful if you
7 could let me know that tomorrow.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D443.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will
10 check and advise you accordingly.
11 Q. Mr. Djordjevic --
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] First, could we have P764.
13 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, this is the minutes of the staff of the
14 4th of April, 1999. When did you see this document for the first time?
15 A. I became familiar with all the minutes of staff sessions as I was
16 preparing for these proceedings. That includes this document.
17 Q. Thank you. In the minutes of the 4th of April, we see that all
18 PJP detachment commanders are present, as well as those from the SAJ,
19 JSO, as well as Mr. Stevanovic and Mr. Lukic. We can also see the
20 agenda. I'm particularly interested in page 4 in the B/C/S, but, first
21 of all, page 3. In the English also page 3.
22 A. What is my tab number?
23 Q. 138.
24 A. On page 3 of this document, we see forthcoming tasks issued by
25 the head of the staff of the ministry to all those in attendance.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we go to the next page,
3 please, in both versions.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Obrad Stevanovic addresses a number
5 of issues here. He was an assistant to the minister.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is two minutes to
9 4.00. Can I carry on or ...
10 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Djurdjic.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, let's look at D257 next. It is tab 140. Please
13 provide us with concise answers.
14 A. This is a dispatch of the crime police administration chief,
15 General Ilic. He informs the SUPs and the staff that there was a change
16 because a decree law was put into force pertaining to wartime conditions.
17 He states that there were changes to certain rights and duties of
18 official -- police officials when establishing criminal liability. It
19 involved certain aspects of authority as envisaged by the law.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, during the war, did you ever go to
21 Kosovo and Metohija with General Ilic?
22 A. In 1999, during the war, I was never in Kosovo with Dragan Ilic.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether Dragan Ilic, during the war,
24 visited Kosovo and Metohija; and if so, when and under what
1 A. I know that he was there twice, I believe. The travel orders for
2 all chiefs of administrations in the seat of the ministry have to be
3 signed by myself as their immediate superior; without those, they
4 wouldn't be issued with any per diems. That is when I had occasion to
5 see that he indeed travelled. I also know that he went there on
6 minister's orders, that is to say the minister of the interior.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you know what his tasks were when he was in
8 Kosovo and Metohija?
9 A. When he went for the second time and returned on the 2nd of June,
10 he came to me with a travel order, wishing to resolve the issue of per
11 diems. He told me he had been there and that he was there to mainly
12 instruct the chiefs of SUPs as well as to the chiefs of crime police
13 departments in those SUPs concerning the improvement of work in on-site
14 investigations under wartime conditions and how to provide a quality
15 work, secure evidence, and so on and so forth. What he told me after his
16 return was that he followed some instructions and orders that he had to
17 convey to his chiefs in that part of the country.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see P1050, please.
19 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, now we shall see a letter of the
20 6th of April, 1999, with your signature. Would you please tell us
21 briefly the subject matter and the purpose of this dispatch.
22 A. By way of this dispatch, all the organisational units as well as
23 various other entities within the SUP are informed by me about the
24 changes concerning the disciplinary responsibility. And I highlight
25 basic regulations and provisions of that decree.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see D259.
2 Q. -- which is tab 142 with you, Mr. Djordjevic. We will see a
3 letter dated 9th of April on the screens, 9th of April, 1999.
4 MR. STAMP: [Previous translation continues]...
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. This is signed by Stojan Misic, assistant minister. Please tell
7 us what is the subject matter of this dispatch and who it was sent to?
8 A. Given that he was responsible for this line of work within the
9 ministry, the line of work concerning travel and also implementation of
10 the law on hazardous substances and their transportation, and also some
11 decisions about domicile, residence, of citizens and identification
12 cards, since he was in charge of all that, he sent a letter to all SUPs,
13 all border crossing stations, as well as the staff in Pristina, informing
14 them of these regulations and instructing them to inform all of the staff
15 members of the changes in the regulations.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see 65 ter document 5230
18 of the OTP.
19 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we will now see a dispatch showing that you
20 signed it. It's dated the 11th of April, 1999. So could you, as briefly
21 as possible, tell us what the purpose of this dispatch was and to whom it
22 was sent.
23 A. The dispatch was sent on the 11th of April to all chiefs of SUPs,
24 to commanders of all border police stations, and to the MUP staff in
25 Pristina; and this dispatch conveys the order of the
1 Supreme Command staff concerning the taking-in of volunteers who were
2 foreign nationals into the units of the Yugoslav Army and what needed to
3 be done in order for this to be implemented. So from the moment such
4 volunteers appeared at the border crossing until they were sent to a
5 unit, all of those steps are regulated in relation to what the staff of
6 the MUP needed to do.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see 9260, please.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: D260, please.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] D260.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Are you tendering the last document?
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Yes, I am.
14 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D444.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] All right. So we have 260.
17 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, this dispatch is dated 11th of April, 1999, so
18 could you please tell us something about it.
19 A. This is a dispatch dated 11th of April. It says:
20 "MUP of the Republic of Serbia UPP," which is border police
22 So this administration is sending to all SUPs and to their border
23 police stations as well as to the MUP staff in Pristina this information
24 concerning some obligations that federal customs administration has under
25 a decision of the federal government and also the obligations which
1 should be those of the border police and how they need to help the
2 federal customs administration. So this is a dispatch containing
4 Q. All right. Thank you.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see now D008-0524.
6 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, this is your tab 146.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see the second page.
8 This is a dispatch dated 18th of April, 1999. And for the Prosecution,
9 this is 912 on the 65 ter Defence list.
10 Q. Would you please tell us, briefly, what this letter is about? It
11 was signed by you.
12 A. This letter conveys the order of the federal defence minister
13 concerning the obligations of the army, Ministry of the Interior, and
14 some other institutions relating to the destruction of unexploded
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have this tendered into
18 evidence, please.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D445.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Could we now see D261 --
23 Q. -- which is tab 147 in your binder, Mr. Djordjevic. And we will
24 see that it's a dispatch dated the 19th of April, 1999, signed by
25 Assistant Minister, General Stojan Misic. Very briefly, to whom it was
1 sent and what is its subject matter?
2 A. This dispatch of the 19th of April was sent to all SUPs,
3 informing them of certain obligations of the service recording the
4 domicile and residence of citizens, plus some provisions concerning
5 identification cards. So how to resolve certain practical issues in that
6 domain. It was signed by assistant minister in charge of these matters.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see P1280 -- 1208.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, this is a dispatch
11 containing instructions from the Assistant Minister, General Zekovic, who
12 was in charge for general and joint matters. And here it deals with
13 issues covered by the disciplinary court and higher disciplinary court.
14 This gives further explanation to a dispatch that I sent about the newly
15 emerged factors during the wartime situation.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Thank you. What tab did you look at now?
18 A. I think that I looked at 148, yes, yes. I'm looking at 148.
19 Q. Thank you. You have something before you?
20 A. Oh, yes. This is a dispatch which was sent to all organisational
21 units within the department and also outside of the department. It was
22 sent by me on the 29th of April, and it pertains to customary procedures
23 on promotions awarded to staff members on the occasion of the holiday of
24 the Ministry of the Interior or it was called the security -- security
25 forces day, the 13th of May. Certain people were given awards on that
1 day. And this document contains proposals for who should be given such
2 an award.
3 Q. All right.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Now, could we have D262 --
5 Q. -- which is your tab 148.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Tendering that last one?
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] We have it already -- it's already
8 in evidence, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This, here, are some additional
11 pieces of information by General Zekovic. They were sent to the
12 organisational units of the department. Since he was in charge of
13 everything relating to the disciplinary court and higher disciplinary
14 court, this is just a further explanation of my previous dispatch
15 concerning disciplinary proceedings in wartime.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see D008-0637,
17 65 ter 928.
18 Q. Tab 150, Mr. Djordjevic.
19 Mr. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see the next page of this
20 document, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a letter in which on the
22 29th of April, 1999, Minister Stojiljkovic informs the President of
24 main roads, and all those locations where this infrastructure was damaged
25 and what reparations were made and how the traffic was redirected and so
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have this tendered into
4 evidence, please.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D446.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, we're right on the crunch point of
8 time with the tape. Where are you situated?
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I'm at the very end, Your Honours.
10 I think that I won't need more than half an hour and maybe quite a bit
11 less than that.
12 JUDGE PARKER: We'll look forward then to hearing you tomorrow at
13 2.15 for quarter of an hour, Mr. Djurdjic. But I think we have covered a
14 lot of ground today. I thank you for that. But we will need to be
15 watching time closely.
16 We adjourn now until 2.15 tomorrow.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.20 p.m.
18 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 8th day of
19 December, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.