1 Wednesday, 9 December 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. Good afternoon.
7 WITNESS: VLASTIMIR DJORDJEVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp: [Continued]
10 Q. If I could take you back, Mr. Djordjevic, to the 21st of July,
11 1998. You said you attended a meeting in Belgrade at
12 President Milosevic's office or at -- somewhere that he kept meetings,
13 and Mr. General Pavkovic presented a plan at that meeting. Did you see
14 whether or not he had a written plan, apart from the map which you saw?
15 A. I saw the map clearly as well as the papers that he relied on
16 while speaking. Now, whether that was a plan or not, I don't know. I
17 sat across from him, several metres away from him, so I couldn't really
18 see what papers he was relying on to give his report.
19 Q. Do you know if anyone in the MUP obtained a copy or copies of the
20 five-phase plan?
21 A. I personally never saw that plan, nor do I know that any of the
22 attendees at that meeting had a copy of that plan.
23 Q. I'd like to show you a couple of documents. They're not -- well,
24 you could look at them and I'd just like to have your comment on one or
25 two things.
1 MR. STAMP: Could we have P1226, please.
2 Q. This is a letter from General Pavkovic, then the head of the
3 Pristina Corps, the commander of the Pristina Corps, to the 3rd Army
4 commander. And here he refers to what the plan envisages, if you look at
5 the second sentence on the main body of the document. Were these areas
6 the -- included in the unblocking operations that were contemplated in
7 the plan or that you heard him speaking about at the meeting in Belgrade
8 A. On that occasion he spoke in general terms about basic activities
9 that were to be implemented down there, and the first and most important
10 task at that point in time was unblocking this main road that we have
11 already mentioned.
12 Q. The Pristina-Pec road?
13 A. Yes, yes, Pristina-Pec-Komorane-Kijevo-Klina, that's one road,
14 and then the other road was from Pristina via Stimlje to Suva Reka and
15 then on to Prizren.
16 MR. STAMP: Could we move on to 1227.
17 Q. And this was phase one, phase two of the five-phase plan he's
18 referring to here? We -- just orient yourself quickly. This is another,
19 without going to the next page, it's another dispatch from General
20 Pavkovic to the third commander -- to the 3rd Army commander. And just
21 focus, if you can, on the first sentence of the document which refers to
22 implementing or implementation of the second stage of the plan and then
23 to item 2. I think in your last answer this is what you referred to, the
24 unblocking of the Dulje-Suva Reka-Stimlje road.
25 A. And your question is?
1 Q. These were the -- you are familiar with these areas? These were
2 the plans that were contemplated by -- or -- by General Pavkovic --
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. And you see in item 3 -- and if you see in item 3, as in the
5 previous document, he refers to this global plan as being the outcome of
6 the order of President Milosevic, the president of the Federal Republic
7 of Yugoslavia
8 A. That's not how it was. The plan stemmed from the order of the
9 Supreme Defence Council, which had a session some ten days prior to that.
10 And the plan envisaged anti-terrorist activities in Kosovo in several
11 phases. Here you can see quite clearly that the commander of the
12 Pristina Corps requests from the army commander permission to act in
13 accordance with the global plan that had already been adopted, to develop
14 it further, and to envisage the forces and the area where there would be
15 further activities. So this has to do with the development of
16 lower-level documents stemming from the plan. So the commander of the
17 Pristina Corps asked for permission from the army commander, and upon
18 receiving that permission these lower-level documents would be further
19 developed concerning specific actions to be undertaken in a specific
21 Q. Yes, thank you. What I really wanted to focus on is -- without
22 going back to the previous document, I'll just read the part that I
23 referred to. He said at the meeting of the president of the FRY held at
24 his office on the 21st of July, 1998, an order was given to implement the
25 plan for combatting terrorist forces. And in this document which you
1 have, you see -- where are you?
2 MR. STAMP: If you could go back, please, to the first page of
3 this document, item 3 -- oh, item 3 in B/C/S is on the second page.
4 Q. If you read item 3 in English you see it says that:
5 "This engagement of the most minimal force of the PrK," that's
6 the Pristina Corps, "ensures good support of the MUP units and the
7 energetic and quick conduct of tasks in the spirit of the order of the
8 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."
9 All I'm asking here -- you know, you see that he is referring in
10 these two documents to the same plans that you discussed the previous
11 day, of unblocking these roads. Didn't the order come from
12 President Milosevic to proceed? This is what Pavkovic seems to be
13 saying -- or General Pavkovic seems to be saying in these two documents.
14 A. Well, in all of these documents that we are looking at now, in
15 Pavkovic's letter and in addressing the commander of his 3rd Army, it
16 clearly says that pursuant to the general plan adopted by the president
17 of the FRY, that plan needs to be implemented now. And he asks his
18 commander for a permission to make that plan operational; that is to say,
19 to develop further lower-level documents based on which that plan can be
20 implemented. So it's not contentious at all that they're working
21 pursuant to this general plan.
22 Q. I just wanted to know if seeing these two documents from
23 General Pavkovic, if you agree or you're aware that President Milosevic
24 ordered that you officials in Kosovo proceed with the plan. In both of
25 the documents General Pavkovic refers to the order of President Milosevic
1 to proceed. Is that your awareness, that he ordered you to proceed?
2 A. That who ordered that?
3 Q. General Milosevic -- sorry, the FRY President Milosevic.
4 A. Let me tell you this: In Milosevic's office the global plan was
5 adopted, and at that point in time it was said, "Now it's up to you to
6 start implementing this." This was all that was said in Milosevic's
7 office. And based on that plan there were all these activities within
8 the corps, in the 3rd Army, and with police forces. So it wasn't like
9 Milosevic issued specific tasks during certain phases, no. At that point
10 in time the plan was adopted and it was said that police and military
11 forces would be tasked with working together in order to combat terrorist
12 activities in Kosovo and in accordance with the plan that had been
14 Q. Okay. Now, since I can't get an answer, can I put it this way:
15 Did President Milosevic adopt the plan and was he the person who said,
16 "Now it is up to you to start implementing this"?
17 A. Yes, that's how it was. The plan was definitely adopted by him.
18 Q. Did you at that meeting hear him or anyone make reference to the
19 setting up of a Joint Command involving political representatives along
20 with the senior leadership of the MUP and the VJ?
21 A. Neither from him nor from anybody else at that meeting did I hear
22 that some Joint Command would be set up, nor did I hear anything
23 concerning any Joint Command. All that was said was that this plan would
24 have to be implemented together by army and MUP forces and that certain
25 politicians would be visiting the area with their tasks.
1 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at P1245, please.
2 Q. This is a document from the Federal Ministry of Justice of the
3 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of the 12th of July, 2002
4 response to some questions put to it by the representatives of this
5 Tribunal. And in the first bullet point you'll see that they say:
6 "The Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija was formed on the
7 order by the FRY President in June 1998 without any specific document."
8 Do you have any reason to contest the truth of this statement?
9 Can you say that this is not true, that he formed the Joint Command in
10 June 1998?
11 A. I did not attend any meetings where Joint Command was
12 established. This document here says June 1998, and my opinion is that
13 this is not correct, that what is written here is not correct; that is my
14 personal opinion, based on what was done later on in the territory of
15 Kosovo and Metohija.
16 Q. Well, you see it also says that the work was terminated in late
17 1998, the work of the Joint Command. Is that your understanding or could
18 you commend on that?
19 A. As I have said, this document is totally new to me. And in my
20 view, what is described here is not true, does not correspond to the
21 truth of what was happening in Kosovo during these anti-terrorist
22 activities. In my view, there was no Joint Command, not at all. Now,
23 who wrote this here and for what reasons, I couldn't speculate. I know
24 that no Joint Command existed down there nor am I familiar with any
25 activities of that Joint Command.
1 Q. So you would not be able to tell us whether or not the
2 Joint Command did in fact continue to operate in 1999?
3 A. It didn't operate in 1998 either. Now, do you really wish me to
4 speculate about this? I can tell you what we did at the meetings and
5 what co-ordination work we conducted in situations where I attended
6 meetings and so on. Now, as to Joint Command, how it was established, I
7 really don't know.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mr. Djordjevic
10 answered Mr. Stamp's questions three times before Mr. Stamp, in his
11 following question, drew a totally opposite conclusion. I don't think
12 that that's permissible. If the accused said three times that the
13 Joint Command did not exist and that he didn't know about this document
14 from 1998 and he believed it to be untrue, then how could the next
15 question be formulated claiming that the Joint Command existed and that
16 it existed in 1998 and so on?
17 JUDGE PARKER: I don't read the passage of questions the way you
18 do, Mr. Djurdjic. I don't think there's any basis for interfering with
19 the cross-examination at the moment.
20 Carry on, Mr. Stamp.
21 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. You have referred us to the meetings and what you did at the
23 meetings. Perhaps we could look at that.
24 MR. STAMP: With the leave of the Court could the witness be
25 handed a copy in B/C/S of P886, that is the notes of the meeting of the
1 Joint Command, because we'll be moving from place to place in that
2 document and it might be more convenient if he had a copy. May I,
3 Your Honours?
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
5 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
6 Can we look at P -- sorry, page 140 to 142 in e-court.
7 Q. And, Mr. Djordjevic, for you this is the meeting of the 28th of
8 October. Let's look at page 140 in English first.
9 Just to orient ourselves, you see that this -- at this meeting
10 Mr. Minic opened the meeting. And can you make out from your copy that
11 you were present at this meeting?
12 A. No, I did not attend the meeting.
13 Q. Are you on the 28th of October?
14 A. I concluded my activities in Kosovo on the 5th or 6th October,
15 1998, when the implementation of the global plan was completed. And from
16 that point on I had nothing to do with any activities in Kosovo and
17 Metohija, nor was I present there.
18 MR. STAMP: Can we scroll down to the bottom of page 140 on the
19 English version, please.
20 Q. If you look on your version in B/C/S, Mr. Djordjevic, do you see
21 that after Mr. Gajic speaks you are recorded to have spoken?
22 A. No. I wasn't there then.
23 Q. Do you see a reference to you speaking?
24 A. Yes, it says "Gen Djordjevic" here. Can we -- I can't read this.
25 Q. It records you saying here:
1 "Following the pull-out of police units, I believe they will
2 become more self-disciplined and behave more correctly."
3 You were speaking about the implementation of the October
4 Agreements, which required police units to withdraw -- some police units
5 to withdraw. And if you continue on, Mr. Djordjevic, you'll see that
6 General Lukic spoke after that and then you spoke again according to
7 these minutes. And this is page 141 now in the English.
8 MR. STAMP: Could we move on to page --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't remember attending
10 this meeting. I know that after the signing of the agreement, pursuant
11 to the order of the minister, General Stevanovic went to Kosovo and he
12 informed of the obligations that police units had in relation to the
13 agreement, but I really do not remember this meeting.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. And the second entry you are quoted as being suggesting -- or
17 "Can we submit information about the DTS," I think that's an
18 acronym for the terrorist, "attacks on members of the MUP and the VJ to
19 Mr. Sean of the CSCE," I think that should be Mr. Shaun Byrnes of the
21 Can you remember ever expressing a view that the attacks that
22 were continuing in October should be submitted or information on the
23 attacks should be submitted to Mr. Byrnes?
24 A. No, I really don't remember this meeting at all. As I've said,
25 my involvement in Kosovo ended once the global plan was implemented, and
1 from that time on I did not take part in any of the meetings, in
2 particular meetings of this kind.
3 Q. Did you go to October in -- did you go to Kosovo at all in
5 A. In the second half of October I took part in the signing of the
6 agreements. I also had some family problems. My father had died. And I
7 really cannot recall having been there or -- in fact, I didn't have any
8 other obligations, or I did not receive any orders from the minister to
9 go down there and to do anything. So it's really completely unclear to
10 me. The first time that I went back down there was when
11 President Milutinovic was there, and then on the 15th of January, and
12 then in 1999. That was the first time that I went back there. I don't
13 remember this meeting at all.
14 Q. Very well. If we look at page 142 in English and for your copy
15 it's the last entry for that day, the 28th of October. Mr. Minic said
16 that you should have a thorough discussion on how to work with the OSCE
17 or the CSCE. And in the next sentence he goes on to say:
18 "I think that this command should remain unchanged and work until
19 the end of the year, meeting when necessary."
20 Wasn't Mr. Minic referring to the Joint Command, the command that
21 existed which -- involving the meeting of the senior members of the MUP
22 and the politicians, including yourself?
23 A. Now, who thought what, who said what, I can't really say that
24 myself. Quite a lot of people spoke here, people who used that term,
25 people who used it in their communication with other people. But I, as
1 far as any participation is concerned, I can't recall this meeting. The
2 next time when I was in Kosovo was when President Milutinovic was there.
3 I accompanied him. And then I went back to Kosovo on the 15th of January
4 when the Serbian prime minister visited Kosovo, and there were two or
5 three other meetings down there during the war. And that sums up -- this
6 is the sum total of my visits to Kosovo.
7 Q. Generally speaking during the course of 1998 when you attended
8 these meetings, weren't -- wasn't it Mr. Minic or, if he wasn't there,
9 Mr. Sainovic who led the meetings, who was the leader of this group of
10 participants in these meetings?
11 A. Well, it's not a group of participants. We have representatives
12 of the army, of the police, and some politicians who had some tasks down
13 there, who got together. Those meetings were usually opened by
14 politicians. They would present opening remarks. That's how it was
15 usually done. And then everybody would deal with issues in their line of
16 work. They would brief the other participants about the most salient
17 facts, and that's how it was done. The politicians, the military men,
18 and the policemen would all inform the other participants about their
19 line of work.
20 Q. I think you would agree with me that Mr. Minic and Mr. Sainovic
21 were the most senior persons from the state governing apparatus of Serbia
22 and the FRY who attended those meetings?
23 A. Yes, the highest-ranking persons as far as I know.
24 Q. If we look at the document you have, that's the minutes, if you
25 look at the first meeting - and this is page 2 in English, you see the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Opened by the Assembly president, Mr. Minic. And after various
4 persons had made their contributions, if you could look at the end of the
5 notes for that day. And in English this is page 4. You see what is
6 described here as conclusions of Mr. Minic, and he says, among other
8 "Training must continue.
9 "Carry out inspections."
10 And that was the normal format of the meetings of -- of
11 high-level administrative bodies in Serbia. I think you mentioned that
12 was the format of the MUP collegium minutes -- MUP collegium meetings.
13 You met, everybody said what they had to say, and the leader at the end
14 would give his conclusions, in which he would give out instructions.
15 Isn't it the same thing Mr. Minic is doing in giving the conclusions?
16 He's giving instructions based on what he heard at the meeting?
17 A. Well, of course not. Minic listened to what all the participants
18 in the meeting had to say, and then he presented his own view. And I can
19 say with full certainty that Minic could not have issued any orders to
20 the police forces in Kosovo. And from all the documents, we have been
21 able to see that all the orders that pertain to the drafting of documents
22 were done by the Pristina Corps commander on the orders of his superior
23 command, that's the 3rd Army command; and it says here in item 3
24 elaborating further tasks, General Pavkovic. Well, he's the one who
25 actually kept the notes. That was his impression of what was going on.
1 For me, the most important thing is that at this meeting Pavkovic
2 says that the following action should be carried out in accordance with
3 the general plan, and in order to prepare those documents he informed the
4 police structures as to what axes would be done in the days that followed
5 and what the MUP staff for the prevention of terrorism could see on the
6 basis of this plan in terms of what forces would be needed for the
7 involvement. And through its representative in the planning process, he
8 would give his input for the drafting of the plans. And that's how it
9 was done.
10 The order to carry out tasks contained in the general plan were
11 done by the Pristina Corps, with the input from the MUP staff for the
12 prevention of terrorism. So the MUP staff had its own institutions, so
13 to speak, that functioned 24 hours a day. The Pristina Corps had its
14 command and its superior commands that were also working
15 around-the-clock. So this meeting here took one hour, one hour, 15, one
16 hour, 45 - the meetings of this kind took that long more or less - and
17 after that the people would go back to their jobs. And then the next day
18 or a couple of days later we would again all gather together, we would
19 exchange information and so on and so forth.
20 So everybody had their own command and at those meetings we
21 simply exchanged information --
22 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, much of what you just said, again you have said
23 it before. I didn't ask you for this information. I'm trying to move
24 through quickly. Just, please, focus on what I ask and give direct
25 answers which -- and on that can I move on to another and ask you to just
1 focus on the question. If we look at page 15 of this document in
2 English. For you, sir, it's the meeting of the 27th of July, 1998
3 see Mr. Minic, who is the Assembly president, says to:
4 "Continue the plan at 0700 hours as agreed."
5 Do you have it there? Yes. And if we look at another example of
6 the 10th of September, 1998, that's at page 84 in English. If you could
7 find the 10th of September, 1998.
8 You see Mr. Minic is reported here to be saying:
9 "Go into Dubrovnik
10 situation is like ...
11 "Go into Papracani village and have the police occupy it."
12 There's a VJ to do that and have the police occupy it.
13 Later on:
14 "Go into all villages and pressure them into handing over
16 "Secure the road and control the territory.
17 "The army will adopt a plan on arrangement of the territory on
19 "The MUP should do the same ..."
20 And this document is replete with situations like that. Look at
21 it and look at the statements by the other participants at this meeting,
22 and you will see the language here is in the nature of reporting. They
23 are reporting and he is commanding. Can you see that, that on the face
24 of this document ...
25 A. Well, according to what it says there, I wasn't there. But
1 regardless of whether I was present or not, I in general terms said what
2 should be done and how. So Minic and other politicians just listened to
3 the reports from other people, and they heard what the Pristina Corps had
4 planned and what the Pristina Corps and the MUP staff had actually
5 implemented. So he listened to that and he simply repeated what had been
6 done in terms of concerted action by the police and the army or what they
7 had planned to do on that day.
8 So the Pristina Corps and the MUP forces did not wait for this
9 order by Minic. It was not an order at all. I don't know. The army and
10 the police forces did not wait for him to issue an order before they
11 launched an action. They had an obligation to work in accordance with
12 the general plan and with the documents drafted by the Pristina Corps.
13 And they simply reported as to how far they had gone in terms of the
14 implementation so that the army forces and the MUP staff and the Pristina
15 Corps command would be kept fully briefed in the course of the
16 implementation of the tasks in here.
17 I don't consider this to be an order. If he had not ordered this
18 to the army and to the police, that would mean that the army and the
19 police would not do that; and quite the contrary was true. They had
20 their own plans, their own orders, and they acted in accordance with
21 that. This was just an exchange of information. At those meetings I
22 never saw any maps or plans that were debated --
23 Q. Yes, yes --
24 A. -- and then that some decisions were made. This was not done.
25 Q. I think you told us before that the maps and the planning at the
1 operational level was done by the Pristina Corps. But what I'm
2 suggesting to you is that it was done on the basis of the Joint Command
3 decisions led by Mr. Minic and Mr. Sainovic.
4 May I give you a couple of examples but this time with
5 Mr. Sainovic. If you look at page 108 in the English copy, it's the 22nd
6 of September. Now, of course Mr. Sainovic, if you look at that, you
7 could see that he listened to everybody including yourself. And he says,
8 among other things - this is his first comment at this meeting of the
9 22nd of September - and at the bottom of the page in English he says.
10 "Regroup forces (transfer two PJP companies).
11 "Continue the operation tomorrow."
12 If we go to page 109 in English, and Mr. Djordjevic, it's the
13 next entry or the next record of Mr. Sainovic speaking, he says:
14 "When the operation ends, we must then engage the intervention
15 unit to surround the village where the terrorists are."
16 These sound to be instructions given on the basis of what has
17 been said to him by the police and military leadership, Mr. Djordjevic.
18 Why would Mr. Sainovic, who is the vice prime minister or the vice
19 president of the FRY, be making these statements or issuing these
20 directions in respect to police and military activity?
21 A. My response is the same as the one that regards Minic. His
22 thoughts or his initiatives or his proposals as far as the army and the
23 staff MUP are concerned were not tantamount to orders. The army and the
24 police received orders from others, not from Sainovic, Zoran Andjelkovic,
25 or Minic, who were there.
1 Q. I think you said Mr. Sainovic had responsibility for foreign
2 affairs. Is that your recollection?
3 A. No, I never said he was responsible for foreign affairs.
4 Q. Do you know what his --
5 A. Sainovic was responsible for communication with the foreign
6 representatives in Kosovo, and he was also the chairman of the Federal
7 Commission for Co-operation with the OSCE.
8 Q. So his role at these meetings, I think, what he could offer, if
9 those were his sole functions down in Kosovo was briefings and what was
10 transpiring in his contacts with these representatives of foreign
11 organisations, not so?
12 A. As far as I can recall, all of those politicians who were down
13 there had their specific purviews. Minister Matkovic was in charge of
14 the economic situation in Kosovo; that was his sphere of responsibility.
15 Milomir Minic primarily dealt with the social and political structures in
16 Kosovo. Sainovic was primarily obliged to deal with the international
17 structures down there, to communicate with them. And Zoran Andjelkovic,
18 as the president of the Provisional Executive Council in Kosovo and
19 Metohija, was more concerned with the general issues of public
20 administration in that area, in Kosovo. So they were not commanders.
21 They did not exercise command over the army or the police.
22 Q. Well, if you could go to the meeting on the 26th of September.
23 MR. STAMP: And this is English at page 112.
24 Q. Similarly, you see the military represented by General Pavkovic.
25 If you read it you'll see it is basically in the nature of reporting.
1 General Lukic then speaks, and it is generally telling about what
2 happened in the past. Both of them are usually speaking in the past
3 tense. You see then Mr. Sainovic closes the meeting, and he uses -- he's
4 recorded as speaking about what you should do, he who is supposedly
5 responsible for communication with overseas representatives, speaks to
6 the leadership of the police and the army in this way. Wasn't it
7 Mr. Milosevic who authorised him and Mr. Minic to speak to the leadership
8 of the police and the army in that way, to give them instructions?
9 A. I don't know about that order. I don't know whether Milosevic
10 ordered anything to them. I know about the obligations that the staff
11 had down there, the obligations related to anti-terrorist activities, and
12 the politicians who were present there were entitled to comment on what
13 the people attending the meeting briefed each other, what the
14 representatives of the army and the police said to each other by way of
15 exchanging information. Other than that, they did their job in
16 accordance with the plans and not in accordance with any orders that
17 Sainovic or Minic or anybody else might have issued to them. They could
18 comment. They could say that perhaps something should be done
19 differently in their line of work, but they were not issuing orders, not
20 at all.
21 Q. Well, you will agree with me here at least that Mr. Sainovic here
22 was not speaking about anything in his line of work, foreign affairs?
23 A. Well, it's possible that there were no activities within his
24 sphere of activity, so that's how it was -- so he talked about this.
25 Q. During the period when the five-stage plan was being implemented,
1 would you -- or how frequently did you attend these meetings?
2 A. When I was in Pristina, I usually attended those meetings. I
3 didn't attend them when I was absent, but as a general rule I was
5 Q. If you could look at the meeting of the 12th of August, 1998
6 MR. STAMP: This is page 41 in English or in English the meeting
7 begins at page 39, but if we could just move straight to page 41.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, what date are we talking
10 MR. STAMP:
11 Q. The 12th of August, 1998. General Pavkovic -- I think since it's
12 a fairly long meeting I should tell you there, it's the second time that
13 General Pavkovic intervenes. He speaks about -- he speaks that
14 operations should continue at Slup, Voksa, and Dulje. And you also
15 intervened to say to:
16 "Do Voksa and Slup and engage the army."
17 And Mr. Minic, as he's warned to do, closed the meeting by
19 "Proceed further with the process on these three points: Slup,
20 Voksa, and Lodja and prepare them."
21 Do you recall this meeting? That can be answered yes or no.
22 A. Right now after so many years, I naturally do not remember this
23 meeting. I remember that there were activities in this area, but now to
24 ask me to remember that the meeting was held on the 12th and that
25 somebody drew conclusions and wrote down something, I really couldn't do
1 that. I could just give you comments on what I had read here --
2 Q. Very well, you have answered my question --
3 A. -- I suppose that the meeting was held --
4 Q. If we could look at the next day, the 13th of August.
5 MR. STAMP: English page 44 [sic].
6 Q. You will see Mr. Pavkovic. Maybe I could help you if you can't
7 find it. I think this is the second intervention by Mr. Pavkovic, near
8 the end before Mr. Minic gives his conclusions. Mr. Pavkovic said that
9 the Slup and Voksa action would begin with the 8th Detachment and that
10 the Chief of Staff will lead the action in accordance with the -- well,
11 let's say the suggestion by Mr. Minic in the previous meeting. I just
12 want to point that out to you and ask you if you recall that.
13 A. Here at the top it says that I wasn't present that day, and also
14 what is quite typical is that Mr. Stanisic was present, he was there for
15 a couple of days --
16 Q. Very well, never mind, never mind.
17 A. -- and he would always come to these meetings where he had things
18 to say.
19 Q. We're not interested in Mr. Stanisic. Mr. Stanisic is not the
20 issue. It's your presence and you're quite correct.
21 So we have traced the development of that operation. I'd like
22 now first to look at P1232.
23 You see that this is an order from the Pristina Corps command
24 dated the 14th of August, 1998. You see that?
25 A. Yes, yes, I do. Actually, this is the first time that I see a
1 decision of this sort. I have never seen anything like this up till now.
2 Q. In your preparations for your defence, and even in the course of
3 this trial, you haven't seen any Pristina Corps order like this? Is that
4 what you are saying?
5 A. What I want to say is that I saw for the first time decisions of
6 this kind here --
7 Q. Okay --
8 A. -- during preparations, after my arrival in The Hague
9 Q. Okay. This decision is on breaking up the terrorist forces in
10 Slup and Voksa. And if we could move to the -- to page 3 in English,
11 which is the last page in B/C/S -- well, let's move to page 4 in English
12 first. You see it's signed by Chief of Staff, Colonel Lazarevic, as he
13 then was. Last page in B/C/S.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And if we could remain there in B/C/S but go to the previous page
16 in English -- no, no, remain there in B/C/S but go to the previous page
17 in English. So please -- thank you. Thank you very much. And we are
18 looking at item 6 at the bottom, and can you also look at item 6. The
19 order that:
20 "Combat operations will be commanded by the Joint Command for
21 Kosovo and Metohija with the PrK forward command post in Djakovica."
22 Isn't that how the system worked? I think you said earlier that
23 plans would be drafted by the Pristina Corps professional staff and
24 issued to the various people, the various units, that would participate?
25 A. Yes. At this period of time, in August, Chief of Staff of the
1 Pristina Corps was Colonel Lazarevic, who was at that time permanently
2 stationed at the forward command post of the Pristina Corps in Djakovica.
3 He did not come to Pristina -- at least I didn't see him there. He was
4 in Djakovica the entire time at the forward command post, and his main
5 activities had to do with the protection of the border. These villages
6 and these areas described here are close to the border.
7 Now, as to why he formulated it in this way here, I really
8 couldn't tell. I don't know what he means when he says that the combat
9 operations will be commanded by the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija
10 with the Pristina Corps forward command post in Djakovica. He was the
11 Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps at the forward command post in
12 Djakovica, and I wasn't there with him in order to know how this text
13 written in this document was implemented in practice.
14 Q. Let us go back to the first page. Just to be sure, the item 1
15 orders that the combat group is to be engaged to support the MUP forces
16 in breaking up the enemy forces in Slup and Voksa villages. You were
17 area that this operation that you discussed at the Joint Command meeting
18 would involve MUP forces?
19 A. I'm telling you that it wasn't a meeting of the Joint Command.
20 It was our co-ordination --
21 Q. Very well --
22 A. -- and naturally Pavkovic briefed on this and I knew that both
23 the forces of the army and the police would be engaged in that area.
24 Q. Did you see any type of order that was given or sent to MUP
25 forces who would participate in this action?
1 A. No, not a single document. I personally didn't see a single
2 document, either in relation to this action or any other action. I only
3 saw a document pertaining to the first meeting and what was issued there
4 collectively. I didn't see that commander of units received any order,
5 and all of the documents went from the Pristina Corps to the staff; and
6 then the staff would distribute them to whoever needed them. I
7 personally never saw either this decision or any other decision of this
8 type, nor the map that commanders normally received. Out in the field I
9 only saw the maps of locations based on which they informed the staff
10 about the whereabouts of individual units.
11 Q. Can we have a look at document with 65 ter number 04487. And
12 what is coming up is an attachment to this decision that is in front of
13 you now.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I'm trying to find this, this
16 exhibit, in the list provided by the OTP and I can't find it. But never
17 mind me, Ms. O'Leary can't find it either.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Can you assist, Mr. Stamp?
19 MR. STAMP: I am told it's not on the list, but -- so I'll just
20 move on.
21 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, in your sojourn in Kosovo during these
22 operations, you saw only one map that set out or described the
23 disposition of MUP forces for these operations; is that your evidence?
24 A. I saw an encrypted map which unit commanders had, depicting
25 locations in figures. The staff of the MUP had the same map, as did
1 commanders of military units and their commands within the corps. So
2 those were the maps based on which unit commanders could report to the
3 staff without referring to the name of a location, but rather just giving
4 figures which were codes for locations. They would call the staff and
5 say, "I am near village 42." That's the only map I saw, that's the
6 encrypted map produced by the Pristina Corps.
7 Q. Well, weren't you aware that for each order like the one we just
8 looked at for operations, there was a specific map for that operation
9 which accompanied the order?
10 A. As I have said to you, I knew that they received excerpts about
11 activities that were to be conducted and that were depicted on the map.
12 I'm not sure whether this document that we saw, order, the textual part
13 of it was distributed at all. I know that for PJPs --
14 Q. Can you just focus on -- Mr. -- simply, simply, were you aware
15 that for each operation there were issued specific maps that delineated
16 the disposition of forces, including MUP forces, for that specific
17 operation? Were you aware of that?
18 A. Well, of course I was.
19 Q. Good. That's a straight answer. Thank you.
20 Now, you were in the field in this period for many of these
21 operations. Were you not interested in seeing the instructions and the
22 maps that governed how the MUP forces were to participate in these
24 A. It was the commanders who were duty-bound to work pursuant to
25 those maps. I myself was out in the field, and I didn't really like maps
1 because it's not what I'm very knowledgeable about. I did not interfere
2 in their work with maps. They had their own responsibilities. I was
3 present there. They moved about pursuant to the orders given to them and
4 pursuant to the maps distributed. They harmonised that with the members
5 of the army, and there was no need for me to supervise whether they were
6 moving in accordance with what was written in the maps or not. I wasn't
7 really interested in those maps.
8 Q. How about the written text, the excerpts, that accompanied these
9 maps to the unit commanders, you weren't interested in reading these --
10 even one of them for all of these operations that you went out on?
11 A. Well, that was the task of the staff. They also participated in
12 drafting these plans. They would send their representative, and then
13 they were duty-bound to convey that to all the units that were under
14 their command. That was their responsibility. I was outside of that
15 process of handing down orders and what was contained in documents and
16 maps. I really don't know whether there were any written orders. I know
17 that they received excerpts on the maps. Now, as to what was actually
18 inside, to tell you the truth, I don't know; I never looked into any of
19 those envelopes.
20 Q. In July, August, September, early October -- well, you have told
21 us you were in the field most of the times. But about how many
22 operations did you oversee or did you monitor?
23 A. I really couldn't tell you, couldn't give you any figures now. I
24 spent most of the time out in the field when these actions were
25 conducted, so I couldn't give you any figures. Now, there were broader
1 operations there covering several areas. I dealt with one axis and one
2 area; other people dealt with others. So it wasn't possible for me to
3 oversee all of that. Instead, I would mostly focus on the areas that
4 were considered to be most problematic or expected to be. That's where I
5 was. So if we look at the total number of those operations, I perhaps
6 was there in one-third of them because there were really many of them in
7 our area.
8 MR. STAMP: Could we look again at P886, at the minutes of the
9 meeting. And we want to get to page 24 in English. I think it's
10 page 27. Can we have a look at page 27 in English. It's a meeting for
11 the 1st of August, 1998.
12 Q. And you are speaking here that preparations for the -- tomorrow's
13 operation have been completed, and that is in respect to the launching of
14 the third phase of the plan. Do you recall that meeting?
15 A. There was a meeting. Now, as to whether I remember it, there was
16 a meeting, I was present, and they recorded here what I had allegedly
17 said. This was recorded by the person who took down the minutes. We
18 don't know how it was done. My intervention here deals exclusively with
19 the implementation of the plan that had been previously drafted by the
20 Pristina Corps. I here speak of the direction that needs to be taken,
21 and this is the sense of my words here.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I probably should advise that a
24 document I referred to earlier by its 65 ter number, 01434, had been
25 received in evidence as P1424 in -- 1422, P1422. I just state that for
1 the record.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
3 MR. STAMP: Can we look at D312 -- sorry, D324. I'm sorry.
4 Q. You see General Pavkovic here is requesting of the 3rd Army
5 commander approval to continue operations according to the above plan,
6 that's in the last sentence of the document. But in the first sentence
7 he notes that:
8 "It was decided at a meeting of the Joint Command ... held on the
9 31st of July, 1998 ... to launch the third stage of the plan on the 2nd
10 of August ..."
11 Can you -- or may I just put it this way: Does this not remind
12 you now that the combat plans, the combat orders that were prepared by
13 the Pr, the Pristina Corps, were prepared on the basis of Joint Command
15 A. What I know is that the commander of the Pristina Corps could not
16 adopt any documents about implementing the general plan without
17 previously receiving an order from his superior command. Now, as to what
18 kind of communication he had with his command, what he wrote to them, and
19 what they responded and what they ordered, I know nothing about that.
20 All I know is that based on an order of some sort of a co-ordination body
21 in Pristina, he was not authorised to move his units and carry out
22 assignments. He could only receive assignments from his superior
23 command, which was the command of the 3rd Army.
24 Q. And he -- you observe that he requests that approval on the basis
25 of the decision of the Joint Command -- well, very well, that is
1 something on the face of the document.
2 I really should have shown you before the --
3 A. I really don't know anything about their communication and
4 correspondence, what they wrote to each other. I don't know that. I
5 know that he would come in the evening to that meeting. He would inform
6 us that he had just arrived from the meeting at the forward command post
7 of his corps in Pristina. He would say, "We talked about this and that,
8 I received such orders." Now, as to any further details, I really don't
9 know about that.
10 Q. Well, if you look at the meeting of the 30th of July, that's a
11 Joint Command meeting, the last -- and I think you have the minutes here.
12 And this is at page 25 in the English.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. 30th of July, the last thing there is the execution of the third
15 phase. General Pavkovic in the letter we were looking at earlier
16 referred to a decision of the Joint Command of the 31st of July. I can
17 tell you and you can see that that is not there on the 31st, but if you
18 look for the previous day you will see part of the conclusions at the end
19 of the meeting refers to exactly what you were saying, the execution of
20 the third phase.
21 You observe that? And --
22 A. Well, I don't. I can't find it in the documents here, but of
23 course there was debate about the activities in the previous period and
24 what was ahead in the days that followed. So this is nothing strange
25 that was the methodology of work at those meetings. So people would be
1 briefed, this stage was completed, or we have this stage ahead of us, or
2 such and such a task has to be carried out which is in this stage. And
3 on the basis of this discussion preparations are to be made, and those
4 documents were then used as a basis for further action. So it is not
5 controversial that security problems and security situation and
6 anti-terrorist activities were discussed at those meetings, inter alia.
7 Each of those politicians addressed problems that concerned him, but as
8 Djakovic told us, he wrote down what was of interest to him. He didn't
9 write down everything that was said and everything that was discussed
11 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I was wondering if it's a convenient
13 JUDGE PARKER: We will have the first break now, to resume at
15 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 4.24 p.m.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
18 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 If we could move on and have a look at P890.
20 Q. This is a decision by General Pavkovic, then commander of the
21 Pristina Corps, on the joint engagement of MUP and VJ forces in -- if we
22 look in paragraph 1 in various areas including Glodjane village, Prilep
23 village sector. You are aware of this operation, aren't you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, I remember when you testified you spoke -- you were shown a
1 video -- well, we'll get to that later. And if you could go down, if you
2 could go to page 2 -- or let's scroll down in the B/C/S and stay on the
3 same page in the English. And I think we'll have to go to the top of the
4 next page in the B/C/S, please. You'll see, among other things, at 2.3.1
5 the reference - which is at the bottom of the page in English - to
6 sending the 1st Motorised Battalion to Glodjane village. You see that?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 MR. STAMP: If we could move to page 3 in the English, which is
9 the last page I think in B/C/S. The bottom of page 6 in the English,
10 command and control, that's item 6.
11 Q. General Pavkovic says, as you have seen before, that the:
12 "Combat operations will be commanded by the Joint Command for
13 Kosovo and Metohija ..."
14 Now, you say that you never saw any of these orders in that time,
15 neither did you see any of the excerpts that were given to the MUP units
16 that were involved. But were you aware that at least in military circles
17 they were referring to the command of these operations as being under the
18 Joint Command? Were you aware of that?
19 A. Well, it's absolutely not correct, what you're saying now. This
20 statement that the exercise of command over combat was carried out by the
21 Joint Command from the forward command post of the Pristina Corps in
22 Djakovica -- well, that's something that I am completely unaware of. I
23 don't know what Joint Command. If we now take as a starting point that
24 the Joint Command was Sainovic, Minic, Matkovic, and all those people who
25 were down there, and if that means that they went to Djakovica, to the
1 forward command post, to exercise command from there, well, that's not
2 what happened. That's not how it was done. Civilians were never at
3 command posts, they never exercised command. That was the first time
4 that I saw Colonel Lazarevic - he was a colonel then - since he was the
5 only person at the forward command post of the Pristina Corps as the
6 Chief of Staff of the staff in Djakovica.
7 Q. When was the first time you heard the expression "Joint Command"
8 used in reference to the operations that began in June/July 1998 in
10 A. I don't know when. It was the usual term that was used widely in
11 the military circles by them, but if we look at the 22nd of July, the
12 first meeting that was held, the person taking the notes says attending:
13 Milomir Minic, the president of the Assembly, it's not correct. He was
14 the president of the committee in the Yugoslav Assembly -- well,
15 Sainovic, that's correct; Zoran Andjelkovic, minister;
16 Djordjevic Rodoljub, deputy MUP, well --
17 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, Mr. Djordjevic, please, please. I'm not saying
18 that what you're saying is not interesting. I just want to know when it
19 is, if you can recall approximately, you heard the expression
20 "Joint Command" used in respect to the command or management structures
21 that were in place for Kosovo in this operation in 1998?
22 A. I'm now telling you the first meeting that we held, nobody stood
23 up, Minic, Sainovic, or anyone else to say: This is the Joint Command, I
24 am the commander, this is my deputy, these are the members. This did not
25 happen, and it never had that form. And then days later in the course of
1 the communication, the term "Joint Command" was used. To my mind it was
2 used to label this kind of a meeting where we exchanged information. But
3 if you say a command, it has to have its elements: The commander. It
4 has to have a permanent structure. Well, if --
5 Q. Thank you. You said days later - and that is your answer - days
6 later in the course of communication the term was used.
7 When you first heard this term being used, what sort of
8 communication, was it oral or written?
9 A. Well, there was no communique. It was just in regular
10 conversation. It was not official. That term was just used as jargon,
11 but it was primarily used by the military. And Djakovic explained that
12 he coined the term even before all that was done down there in Kosovo.
13 But to my mind, those meetings did not have any features that would mark
14 it as a command of any sort.
15 Q. If we could move on and have a look at P1422. This is another
16 order issued by the Pristina Corps for operations in the Djakovica sector
17 dated the 19th of September, 1998. And if we could look at page --
18 A. Not Djakovica, Cicavica.
19 Q. Yes, my pronunciation is really bad. That's what I meant. Sorry
20 about that. Cicavica.
21 If we look at page 5, please, in the English which is in Serbian
22 page 3. At the task of the neighbouring units he describes what the MUP
23 forces, what axes or what the forces would be doing. Just have a read of
24 that and tell me if you recall this operation.
25 A. Item 4, right?
1 Q. Yes. Items 3 and the first sentence of item 4.
2 A. Yes. Item 3 says that elements of the MUP forces in the
3 Likovac-Poljance-Srednja Klina road -- Mitrovica road, Ovcarevo,
4 Komorane, up to Belacevac, throw a wide cordon around the territory and
5 control it to prevent an influx or spillover of the sabotage and
6 terrorist forces from the combat sectors --
7 Q. Yes, do you remember this order -- sorry, do you remember this
8 particular operation that is being referred to here?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And you see in the second paragraph of item 3 he says:
11 "Part of the Serbian population in the Serbian settlements shall
12 cut off the right bank of the Sitnica river to prevent the DTS from
13 crossing ..."
14 And you see in the second sentence of item 4:
15 "Engaging territorially based MUP forces and the Serbian
16 population, throw a wide cordon around ... Cicavica ..."
17 You were aware, Mr. Djordjevic, at that time that the -- there
18 were armed members of the ethnic Serb population that was being used to
19 supplement the MUP and the VJ forces in these operations?
20 A. No, I didn't know that.
21 Q. Were you aware that just about the time when this five-phase plan
22 began there was a programme to arm members of the ethnic Serb population
23 in the villages in Kosovo?
24 A. Well, the question is imprecise. When the plan or the programme
25 were adopted -- what kind of programme for civilians are you talking
1 about if you're asking me if I knew about that?
2 Q. Do you know about any plan or policy of arming ethnic Serbs in
3 the middle of 1998 in Kosovo, that's ethnic Serb civilians?
4 A. I know that at that time, after the operations started, in some
5 ethnically Serb villages reserve police squads were set up and people who
6 were members of those squads were issued some weapons. Now, as to any
7 details of arming the Serb population in more general terms, I couldn't
8 really tell you that --
9 Q. Very well --
10 A. -- but I think at any rate --
11 Q. Just to remind you, you recall that this operation that we're
12 discussing was also discussed at Joint Command meetings. If you look at
13 the meeting for the 19th of September, 1998, in the document you have.
14 MR. STAMP: This is P886, if we could go to 103, page 103.
15 Q. And it's also in your document, you could probably find it if you
16 want to, the 19th of September, the entry for the 19th of September. And
17 General Lazarevic is referring to the plan for Cicavica. That is the
18 first person who spoke. You still maintain, Mr. Djordjevic, that you are
19 not aware that in this action as well as in other actions armed Serb --
20 armed ethnic Serb civilians were used to supplement the MUP and the VJ
22 A. As a force acting in co-ordination with the army and the police
23 in the implementation of some plans, they were not used. If there were
24 any armed ethnic Serbs, civilians, if operations were carried out in an
25 area, their only obligation was to protect their own village and they
1 were not part of any attacks or offensive operations. But whoever wrote
2 the plan included this category too. But based on my presence in the
3 field, armed villagers never joined the police or the army forces to act
4 jointly, to take part with them in anti-terrorist activities, never ever.
5 Q. Okay. So I take it that in respect to the order I just showed
6 you, you are aware of the operation but you don't know about the part of
7 the order that says that the Serbian population shall cut off the right
8 bank of the river and shall participate with MUP forces in throwing a
9 cordon, you don't know about that?
10 A. In that action I was on the other side of the mountain. Since
11 there was a mountain there, I was on the other side so I don't know. I
12 didn't see then -- or actually in any other operation where I was present
13 that the armed civilians were used to reinforce the army and the police.
14 In 1998 there was no need for that, really.
15 Q. In other words, you cannot -- you have no explanation as to why
16 General Pavkovic would include that in this order?
17 A. I don't know why he put it.
18 Q. Very well. Can we move on to look at P11 -- sorry, P1229. This,
19 without going over to the next page, is signed by
20 Lieutenant-General Pavkovic, commander of the Pristina Corps as he then
21 was. He speaks here, first line, item 1 of a meeting in Belgrade on the
22 31st of August, 1998, presided over by the president of the Federal
23 Republic of Yugoslavia
24 that you were at this meeting?
25 A. Yes, I was.
1 Q. Along with -- from the MUP, that is, General Lukic,
2 General Stevanovic, and the minister?
3 A. Yes. According to the order of the President of Serbia,
4 Milutinovic; Vlajko Stojiljkovic, the minister; myself; Generals Obrad
5 Stevanovic and Lukic; and state security chief, were -- we were all
6 there. And at that meeting, the Pristina Corps commander briefed those
7 present on the involvement of the units of his corps and the army in the
8 implementation of the plan so far. The head of the MUP staff for the
9 prevention of terrorism, General Sreten Lukic, briefed the meeting about
10 the participation of the police units. And then General Pavkovic
11 presented the plan for the implementation of the fifth stage in the plan
12 to prevent terrorism. So that's how it was, yes.
13 Q. And if we look at page 2 in the English, item 4, I think it is
14 also page 2 in the B/C/S but perhaps we could scroll down first to see if
15 it's on the first page of the B/C/S. Well, it begins, you could read
16 those three lines and then we could move to the next page in B/C/S.
17 A. Which item? Is it item 4?
18 Q. 4, 4, please.
19 A. Could you please put back the first page. At a meeting of the ZK
20 for Kosovo and Metohija on 10 September, I repeated that request and
21 proposed the following --
22 Q. No --
23 A. -- I don't know what he's writing about here, it's really not
24 clear to me.
25 Q. Well, do you remember -- well, firstly doesn't ZK, what you see
1 there, doesn't that refer in Serbian to the Joint Command?
2 A. Yes. Based on this letter, yes, this could stand for
3 Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija.
4 Q. And he's saying that during a briefing of the Joint Command it
5 was pointed out that a VJ had not formed rapid intervention helicopter
6 units as the SRJ president had ordered at the meeting of the 31st of
7 August, 1998
8 31st of August, 1998, there was discussion and an order that there should
9 be rapid intervention helicopter units?
10 A. I know that that topic was included in the discussion -- I think
11 that at a meeting with President Milosevic as well, but I cannot be
12 certain at this time. I know that it was envisaged that in order to
13 proceed as efficiently as possible there should be a team established
14 which would use the helicopters of the Army of Yugoslavia and that there
15 should be also MUP members involved, but it's been too many years since
16 then and I can't remember any details. I just know that there were some
17 discussions concerning this. I cannot remember what duties the MUP staff
18 had and what the Pristina Corps was supposed to do.
19 Q. Do you recall it being discussed at the meetings of the body
20 referred to as the Joint Command?
21 A. I think that it was discussed there as well.
22 Q. Okay. Let's look at -- have a look at that -- but before we do,
23 if you look at the next page, just at the bottom there, the last
24 paragraph you see before "we propose." You see that General Pavkovic,
25 having complained that everything had not been done by the 3rd Army
1 command in respect of delivering these -- these rapid intervention
2 helicopter units, he says:
3 "We are giving the members of the Joint Command for Kosovo and
4 Metohija the opportunity to report to the president of the Federal
5 Republic of Yugoslavia
6 the plan."
7 Isn't General Pavkovic here saying that the Joint Command could
8 report to the VJ, to the supreme commander, the president, for failing to
9 carry out its decisions?
10 A. He says there:
11 "We are giving the members of the Joint Command for Kosovo and
12 Metohija the opportunity to report to the president of the FRY that the
13 Army of Yugoslavia
14 Once again, this is the command of the Pristina Corps
15 communicating with the army commander and other members that he mentions
16 here, and again this is his vision of the matters. The MUP staff did not
17 have such problems and it did not address anyone on this issue. Now, as
18 to what were his motives in writing this, I really wouldn't be able to
19 tell you. I know that there were problems of organising this unit and
20 that ultimately it wasn't organised.
21 Q. Yeah, but in Serbian -- when you read the Serbian, he's
22 effectively saying that the Joint Command could report to the VJ, to the
23 supreme commander, President Milosevic; isn't that what it's saying?
24 A. That's correct. That's what it says there.
25 Q. And if we could look briefly at the P886, that's the minutes of
1 the meeting, at -- for the 11th of September, I think, 87 -- oh, I think
2 you're absent from this meeting, Mr. Djordjevic, but you could still go
3 ahead to find the meeting of the 11th of September. You see that
4 General Pavkovic -- I'm sorry, I have I think the wrong reference here.
5 Thank you.
6 It's not here. Pardon me, I think we will have to return to that
7 reference once it's found. But you recall that the rapid intervention
8 units were decided upon or discussed at least at Joint Command --
9 meetings of this body that is sometimes referred to as the Joint Command?
10 A. That's correct. You're completely right. It was discussed, but
11 no decision was made nor could it have been made. At that meeting and at
12 those various gatherings where we tried to agree, we could only give
13 proposals. And this is one such case. However, the request and the
14 proposals of these people here - and I think they are from the 3rd Army
15 or perhaps from the army in general - this never materialised. They
16 never ultimately came out with these proposals nor could it have been
17 done by what you call Joint Command. So nobody ultimately gave those
18 helicopters because they would have needed an order for that, they would
19 have needed to establish that unit, and to send those helicopters into
20 combat assignments. It wasn't done because these people here did not
21 really have any Joint Command with all the power that normally goes along
22 with it.
23 Q. If we could move on to another part of that -- this record, and
24 this is page 140 I think in the copy you have, but it is the
25 meeting - and I'm moving on to a slightly different topic. It is the --
1 it is page 140 in the English. Meeting of the 28th of October --
2 A. Would you please give me the date.
3 Q. 28th October. You had indicated before that you can't recall
4 being present at this meeting, and I had shown you two passages where
5 you're recorded to have spoken.
6 MR. STAMP: If we scroll down to the bottom there and then move
7 on to the next page in English where General Djordjevic speaks.
8 Q. It says there that you asked if you could submit information
9 about the terrorist attacks on members of the MUP and the VJ to Mr.,
10 obviously, Shaun Byrnes of the OSCE. And finally if we could look at the
11 last page in English, the end of the meeting. I think I had shown you
12 where Mr. Minic referred to continuation of the command. He said the
13 command should remain unchanged, but what I want to focus on is the
14 person who spoke before that, General Pavkovic, who, in the English,
16 "We must bear in mind the use of armed people and how to include
17 them in defending roads."
18 Can you recall participating in any of these meetings where the
19 use of armed people was discussed? And that is the use of armed people
20 by the MUP and the VJ.
21 A. I'm -- apologise. I wish to say just one sentence. The last
22 meeting I attended was on the 6th of October. After the 6th of October
23 until the 28th of October you cannot see me attending any of the meetings
24 of this body called the Joint Command, and then after 22 days I show up
25 at this meeting as shown here in the minutes. So the situation --
1 Q. So, Mr. Djordjevic --
2 A. -- is completely unclear to me. I do not remember that these
3 meetings Pavkovic briefed on the use of civilians in order to protect
4 roads. I simply do not remember that. At that time, in my view, there
5 was absolutely no reason to engage some armed Serb civilians. So that is
6 not clear to me at all. It is clear to me when we are discussing reserve
7 police squads or some other units, I know what we're talking about, what
8 their duties were, and so on. But this here, I really cannot comprehend
9 it. It's been a long time and I am sure that armed Serb civilians were
10 not used in anti-terrorist activities as a force that acted in
11 co-ordination with the army and the police. Now, who recorded what here,
12 who uttered what, I really don't know how to comment on this.
13 Q. You see in the document, you just mentioned that, that it records
14 quite clearly when you're absent for a long stretch of meetings. It also
15 records quite clearly when you're present. You see that?
16 A. Yes, I can see that.
17 MR. STAMP: Could we look at P1221.
18 Q. The last entry from the Joint Command -- from the minutes of
19 Joint Command that we were looking at refer to you as saying that -- as
20 asking if you could submit information about the DTS attacks on members
21 of the MUP and the VJ to Mr. Byrnes, and I want you to bear that in mind
22 as you look at this document. This is an operations report of the
23 Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija dated the 28th of October, 1998
24 and it gives information on a variety of issues.
25 MR. STAMP: If we could move to page 2 in the English, also page
1 2 in B/C/S.
2 Q. You see it refers to "terrorist actions." Under item II, Roman
3 numeral II, (b) "against the MUP. 1, in Retimlje village, Orahovac; 2,
4 Gornja Klina village, Kosovska Mitrovica; 3," you can see that in the
5 B/C/S copy "Komorane village on the Prizren-Djakovica road."
6 MR. STAMP: And if we could move to page 3 in the English and
7 page 3 in the B/C/S.
8 Q. It continues to list the actions, the terrorist actions as it is
9 put, against the MUP -- well, first, were you aware of these terrorist
10 actions that is reported in this document?
11 A. How would I know that?
12 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
13 A. There are allegations here and most likely that's how it was. I
14 wish to tell you this. I concluded my activities on the 5th of
15 October --
16 Q. Mr. --
17 A. -- on the 5th of October I went to Belgrade. I worked as chief
18 of public security there. I took part in negotiations with OSCE and
19 NATO. I buried my father, and following that I returned. And then
20 according to this I was there for just one day before going back to
23 Q. Mr. Djordjevic --
24 A. I don't know under whose instruction it was written. I don't
25 know to whom it was addressed, I know nothing of this document.
1 Q. -- please answer my questions. Please. Were you aware -- were
2 you aware of these --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- terrorist actions, as they are reported here?
5 A. Now, you're asking me after ten years to recall a specific
6 anti-terrorist -- or, rather, terrorist action. It says here that there
7 was a terrorist activity on such and such day at such and such hour. I
8 have no reason to doubt this, but neither did I know then nor do I know
9 now that this terrorist activity was really conducted because I wasn't
11 Q. That would be the short answer, and I'm going to ask you again:
12 Please just focus on the questions and answer the questions that I ask
14 Had you ever seen any report like this before, an operational
15 report of the Joint Command?
16 A. No, never.
17 Q. You note that it is of the same date as when the Joint Command
18 minutes, the minutes of the meeting of the Joint Command, record you as
19 saying -- as asking whether or not you could report the KLA actions, the
20 DTS attacks on members of the MUP and VJ to Mr. Byrnes? I'm suggesting
21 to you, Mr. Djordjevic, that these attacks recorded in the minutes --
22 sorry, in the report here are the same attacks that you were referring to
23 when you attended that Joint Command meeting.
24 A. It is not contentious that the staff knew about all of these
25 events listed in the report. It is also not contentious that the staff
1 informed Shaun Byrnes and KDOM about all of these terrorist activities;
2 that has already been clarified here. But at that time I neither knew of
3 this information -- I simply didn't have it because I was out of all of
4 this for some 20 days. As I have told you, most likely all of this
5 information contained here about these events is correct, but I simply
6 don't know about this because I was completely out for about -- for a
7 certain period of time.
8 Q. What do you mean by "completely out"?
9 A. I did not deal with these matters. I had no contact with these
10 matters. I told you what my duties were between the 5th of October up
11 until -- I don't know. It says here that I attended this meeting. I'm
12 telling you that I spent 22 days in Belgrade
13 I have told you about earlier. As for these activities, the staff was
14 informed about all of this.
15 Q. Let's look at P87. This is the next day, 29th of October, 1998.
16 It's headed the "Minutes of the Meeting of the Operations
17 Inter-Departmental Staff for the Suppression of Terrorism in Kosovo and
18 Metohija 1998," held at Beli Dvor palace Belgrade, 29th of October, 1998,
19 chaired by President Milosevic, and including you among the leadership
20 figures present.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you remember that meeting?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. If we could move to page 2 in English, let's start at the bottom
25 of page 1 in B/C/S, so it should remain on the same page in B/C/S and go
1 to page 2 in English. In the presence of all these dignitaries and
2 leadership figures, including yourself, the minutes there record
3 General Pavkovic as speaking on behalf of the Joint Command for Kosovo
4 and Metohija. General Pavkovic went on to make a presentation. Do you
5 remember that General Pavkovic spoke on behalf of the Joint Command at
6 that meeting?
7 A. General Pavkovic spoke at the meetings held previously regarding
8 these matters. He spoke about the forces of his corps. And when it
9 comes to police forces that acted in co-ordination with the army, then it
10 was General Sreten Lukic, head of the MUP staff, who briefed on that.
11 Q. Yes, but --
12 A. Now, who recorded these minutes and how this was drafted, I
13 really wouldn't be able to tell you. I saw these minutes now for the
14 first time during preparations for the trial.
15 Q. Well, the minutes were compiled - we don't need to go to the back
16 of the document - by Lieutenant-General Slavoljub Susic, who was the
17 chief of the cabinet for the Supreme Command of Yugoslavia. And he puts
18 it here in his record that General Pavkovic spoke on behalf of the
19 Joint Command. Do you recall - and this is a simple question, you could
20 answer: Yes, I recall; no, I don't recall - do you recall that
21 General Pavkovic did so, that he spoke on behalf of the Joint Command?
22 A. Please. First of all, I don't know that I was a member of the
23 operational staff for the prevention of terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija,
24 inter-departmental staff, and I am unfamiliar with the term. And I did
25 not attend meetings as member of the inter-departmental staff. Now, I
1 don't know why the minute-taker used this name to label that meeting. I
2 don't know that. It would be good --
3 Q. Mr. Djordjevic --
4 A. -- for that to be explained, how come that now we have this term.
5 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, let's -- let's focus on the questions I'm asking
6 you. Was General Pavkovic introduced or was it mentioned that he was
7 speaking on behalf of the Joint Command?
8 A. Sir, this is not a black or white situation. You have to explain
9 things. If he had spoken on behalf of the Joint Command, then he would
10 have included all the components of all the structures that were present
11 there, the army, the police, and he would brief on everything that was
12 done in Kosovo. On that occasion and on previous meetings, he always --
13 Q. Can I take it that your answer is you do not recall that? That's
14 all I want to know. We're wasting time now. All the question asked is
15 whether or not you recall whether what is recorded here is correct, that
16 General Pavkovic spoke on behalf of the Joint Command. Can we have your
17 answer so we could move on?
18 A. I remember that he spoke on behalf of the Pristina Corps, and the
19 head of the MUP staff spoke on behalf of the MUP forces that were engaged
20 down there.
21 Q. Could we move on to page 3 in the English and also in the B/C/S.
22 You see at the bottom there in referring to the outcome of the
23 implementation of the plan, he said:
24 "The following tasks were set in the said plan.
25 "Taking measures to reinforce the security of the state border in
1 the border belt and in depth.
2 "Organising, equipping, and co-ordinating the operations of the
3 MUP and VJ forces to oppose terrorist forces more successfully.
4 "Taking control of territory in Kosovo and Metohija by MUP and VJ
5 forces, and the establishment of conditions to unblock roads and occupied
6 territory" --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel is kindly asked to slow down when
9 MR. STAMP:
10 Q. Do you recall that you reported on those tasks, among others?
11 A. Well, I did not present any reports at those meetings and nobody
12 ever asked me anything. But I remember that Pavkovic presented briefings
13 on the implementation of the global plan for anti-terrorist activities
14 which he himself drafted. And now when actions according to that plan
15 were completed, he spoke about the implementation of the plan, the plan
16 that he had presented at the first meeting on the 21st of July. So now
17 he is saying what was done in accordance with this general plan.
18 Q. And if we could go to the next page you see number 4 is:
19 "Arming the Serbian and Montenegrin people and establishing
20 reserve police units to defend Serbian villages."
21 You recall that that was a part of the plan?
22 A. No, I don't remember that it was an integral part of the plan --
23 Q. Do you recall that --
24 A. -- well, if you mean the establishment of the reserve police
25 squads, well, I don't recall that being part of the plan. I remember the
1 activities that related to that, but I don't recall whether it was or was
2 not a part of the plan.
3 MR. STAMP: And if we could move to page 7 in both.
4 Q. You spoke of General Lukic, who also made a contribution at this
5 meeting. You even see here it is recorded by Lieutenant-General Curcic:
6 "Major-General Sreten Lukic submitted a report on the work of the
7 Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija, devoting special attention to the
8 higher professional successful co-operation between the army and the
9 police commands and units in performing the following tasks ..."
10 Can you recall General Lukic making a presentation on the work of
11 what is recorded here as the Joint Command.
12 A. Well, I have to say once again, you have to take into account
13 what the note-taker is saying about the co-operation between the units of
14 the army and the police, but he's using the term "milicija." At that
15 time "milicija" was not the term that was used; it didn't exist. So this
16 is just a free interpretation on the part of whoever was taking the notes
17 and the minutes --
18 Q. "Milicija" --
19 A. -- all the terms that he's using here --
20 Q. Please stop, please stop, please stop. Please just focus on the
21 question. Joint Command, that is the question or the part I want you to
22 focus on says:
23 "Major-General Lukic submitted a report on the work of the
24 Joint Command ..."
25 Is that your memory of General Lukic's presentation?
1 A. I remember quite clearly that he submitted a report, but he did
2 not submit a report on the engagement of the Joint Command for Kosovo and
3 Metohija. This is a free interpretation of whoever drafted the minutes.
4 Sreten Lukic submitted the report at the meeting on the topics that are
5 listed here, the participation of the police in the implementation of the
6 plan and the engagement in the previous period.
7 Q. Let's go to page 9 in English, page 10 in B/C/S. Without going
8 through the entire document, can I remind you or is it your memory that
9 Mr. Milomir Minic also made a presentation at that meeting?
10 A. I think he did.
11 Q. And we see in conclusion he said:
12 "The operations staff should provide an assessment of how
13 successfully the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija has fulfilled the
14 authorisations conferred upon it."
15 Do you recall him saying that?
16 A. Well, after ten years I really can't say. I remember that he
17 took part in the discussion, but now as to what he dealt with in his
18 intervention and what his proposals were -- with the best of intentions I
19 can't tell you whether he really did intervene in those terms as he is
20 recorded here.
21 Q. Let's look at page 12 in English and the B/C/S. And you want to
22 go to the bottom of page 12 in the Serbian version and the third --
23 fourth paragraph of page 12 in the English version. Surely,
24 Mr. Djordjevic, you would remember what the president of the country
25 said. This recalls the President of the Republic of Serbia
1 Milan Milutinovic, as considering that the reports submitted by the
2 members of the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija should be accepted.
3 Do you recall that Mr. Milutinovic said that?
4 A. Well, how could I remember that after ten years? But I don't
5 doubt that he actually said that, but I can't really remember it because
6 I didn't take notes and after ten years it's really impossible for me to
7 say what Milan Milutinovic said. I remember that Perisic intervened. I
8 remember that all of those people did say something, but I can't really
9 say now what is it that they said and whether he really did intervene on
10 the issues that we see here in the minutes.
11 Q. Well, this is the president talking about a group of people that
12 you were a part of.
13 A. You're asking me if I remember, if I recall. You will admit that
14 ten years is a long time. It's too long time for me to be able to
15 remember every sentence that he uttered. It's likely that he did say
16 everything that is recorded here, but at this point in time I can't
17 remember whether he did or did not.
18 Q. If you look at the top of page 13 - if we could move to that in
19 B/C/S and stay on the same page in English, please - we have the
20 president of the country saying -- or the president of the country being
21 reported as supporting the proposal for consideration of the continued
22 status of the Joint Command.
23 "Milutinovic believes that the Joint Command should continue
24 functioning for a while, although thought should be given as to whether
25 it should continue in its present membership or whether some changes
1 should be made."
2 Again, the president is commenting on a body that you were a part
3 of and he is proposing that the body continue to operate. Do you
4 remember him saying that?
5 A. I don't doubt that he said that.
6 Q. And if we look at page 13 in English and it's also page 13 in
7 B/C/S, the bottom of page 13 in B/C/S, we see the intervention of
8 Deputy Prime Minister Sainovic. Do you remember that Deputy Prime
9 Minister Sainovic also participated, he had comments to make at this
10 meeting, do you?
11 A. As in the case of other participants in the discussion, I
12 remember that they did say something; but now as to what they were saying
13 and what the topic was, I really can't now say. Because I didn't take
14 notes, I didn't produce any kind of aide-memoire --
15 Q. Very well --
16 A. -- and I don't doubt the record, the minutes, that really he did
17 say what is recorded here.
18 Q. That the -- that he agreed with the continued activity of the
19 Joint Command. That's what he says here. Is that what you have read?
20 A. I can't find the place in the text, but I don't doubt the fact
21 that it was -- it may have been debated too.
22 Q. The text here says at the bottom last two lines in your Serbian
24 "Deputy Prime Minister" --
25 A. Could you --
1 Q. -- I think it's that it there --
2 A. -- scroll -- well, you can't see it.
3 "The Vice-President Sainovic agreed with the opinion to consider
4 the -- whether it is appropriate" -- well, he says that the number of
5 people should be reduced and that they should be better prepared for more
6 effective action in new conditions. This is what it says here. I
7 suppose that the new conditions actually mean the agreements that were
8 signed following the mediation of the international community in the
9 crisis down there, and now it is quite natural that the engagement of the
10 forces of both the army and the MUP should be adjusted to the new
11 conditions. This is how I interpret it now that I'm reading it.
12 Q. Very well. Well, let's move to page 14 in English and page 15 in
13 Serbian. This section I feel -- quite sure that you won't fail to
14 remember this because this is President Milosevic himself speaking.
15 "President Milosevic recommended to the president of the Republic
16 of Serbia
17 explain the substance of the agreement which we have reached with the
18 representatives of the international community to the presidents of
19 districts and municipalities."
20 And if we move to page 15 in the English and this is the same
21 page at the bottom of page 15 in the B/C/S, so the B/C/S page should
22 remain the same. Continuing his speech, President Milosevic in the third
23 paragraph from top in the English version:
24 "Continuing his speech, President Milosevic pointed to the need
25 for the continuing function of the Joint Command for Kosovo and
1 Metohija ..."
2 This is President Milosevic speaking about a body that you were a
3 part of. Do you recall that he said this?
4 A. Well, I would be only too glad to be able to tell you that I
5 remember it, but I don't. I don't doubt that he actually did say that.
6 And then he says some kind of a co-ordination staff. I don't know now.
7 The Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija and the co-ordination staff, I
8 don't know what this co-ordination staff is. And I said that the title
9 of this document is minutes from the meeting of the operational staff.
10 Now all of a sudden there is this co-ordination staff. I really, in
11 light of all the terms that are used here by the man who signed the
12 minutes, I can't -- well, co-ordination staff and President Milosevic is
13 supposed to have said that. This is the first time that I hear about
14 co-ordination staff. I know that the state commission for the
15 co-ordination of the activities with the OSCE was established and that it
16 was chaired by Nikola Sainovic, and I know that Milan Milutinovic was
17 ordered to go to Kosovo --
18 Q. Mr. --
19 A. -- that he went there and so was I --
20 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, I'm sorry, you're going way beyond now what I was
21 asking you about, and I wasn't really focusing on the title of the
22 document, just the contents. You know, sometimes the title may be a
23 matter of an administrative filing system. It's the contents.
24 Just before we move from this document, can I ask you did you
25 know Lieutenant-General -- I'm sure I'm going to get the pronunciation
1 wrong, but I think you mentioned the name before - but Lieutenant-General
2 Slavoljub Susic?
3 A. I know a Curcin but there might be a Curcic too. I know the name
4 and I may know the man by sight but that's all.
5 Q. Let's look at the remainder of the document. You know the person
6 who signed as having compiled these minutes?
7 A. Yes, I can see that and I know him.
8 Q. Who was --
9 A. He was the head of the military office of the president of the
10 FRY. But I would like to ask you to show me when the minutes were
11 actually drafted --
12 Q. That was on the front page --
13 A. -- please.
14 Q. -- the minutes are dated the 2nd of November. Can we move on to
15 another document, P770. You can take my word for it, Mr. Djordjevic,
16 they are dated the 2nd of November, but we have to move on quickly.
17 P770, please.
18 A. Yes, yes, I can see that. Yes, fine.
19 Q. These are the minutes of a MUP staff meeting of the 5th of
20 November, 1998. You will recall I showed you from the notes of the
21 previous meeting on the 29th of October, President Milosevic recommended
22 that President Milutinovic should go to Kosovo and explain to the senior
23 people there the way the country would proceed in the future, to explain
24 what had been agreed and what would be done. You recall that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And this meeting, I think that's where you have it there in
2 B/C/S, these minutes, the 5th of November, minutes held at the MUP staff
3 in Pristina on the 5th of November. The meeting was attended by
4 President Milutinovic; Minister of Interior Stojiljkovic; Colonel-General
5 Djordjevic, chief of the public security department; Lieutenant-General
6 Markovic; various other MUP generals and senior persons. It says: Staff
7 member Nikola Sainovic and Milomir Minic, Zoran Andjelkovic, all of the
8 major actors in Kosovo being present, General Pavkovic as well from the
9 VJ, and the SUP
10 Now, you were asked about this document by counsel for Defence,
11 and you said that this was Mr. Milutinovic down there supporting the
12 people in Kosovo, it was a show of support.
13 Be that as it may, I wanted to ask about one part of it.
14 MR. STAMP: And if we could go to page 2 of this presentation.
15 And it's page 2 in English as well -- or the next page in English. At
16 the top, about five or six lines from the top.
17 Q. The president, now in Kosovo, says:
18 "With regard to the Yugoslav Army and the police, everything will
19 stay the same as it has been up to now, (a Joint Command, VJ army units
20 will not withdraw, and the police forces have only been reduced by the
21 number that has already been withdrawn)."
22 You remember the president, President Milutinovic, saying that
23 the Joint Command would remain?
24 A. Well, I don't doubt the words as they are written here. It's
1 Q. But do you recall it? I ask you because I think it's important
2 because you are recorded as having been at these meetings all through the
3 offensive. These meetings involve massive use of force and massive,
4 massive, police/army operations. It certainly must have been important
5 in your career. They occupied you for the better part of one year, and
6 the president is saying that this body should continue. That's why I
7 keep asking you if you remember him saying that. Do you remember him
8 saying that?
9 A. Right now I do not remember, but I do not doubt that he uttered
10 those words. I can't tell you that I remember when I don't remember
11 whether he said "Joint Command" or as is written here remains, the army
12 units are not being withdrawn and police forces are being reduced, and so
13 on. They had to act in accordance with the agreements that had been
14 signed. Had we not done it, we would have been bombed again.
15 Q. Right. That, again, is interesting but not on point. Back to
16 the Joint Command which is the point I want to focus on. You will agree
17 with me, having said you don't doubt that he used these terms that are
18 recorded in these minutes, you'd agree with me that he could not be using
19 the term "Joint Command" loosely as you said it was being used?
20 A. Well, it's true, but I think that it was not a Joint Command.
21 Even though he used that term, it does not pertain to some sort of a
22 command; it pertains to co-ordination between the entities that were to
23 act there. A command needs to have certain attributes, certain duties.
24 There has to be everything that is needed for a command. It is a
25 generally accepted term for the co-ordination that existed between the
1 forces that were active there.
2 Q. Yes. Okay. Mr. Djordjevic, I have to say that we are going a
3 little bit slower than I was anticipating, so I'm going to ask you again
4 to just focus on the questions and answer them directly --
5 JUDGE PARKER: I'm going to have to ask you, Mr. Stamp, to
6 continue at 20 minutes past 6.00.
7 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: We have reached our tape time.
9 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.53 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 6.22 p.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
13 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Can we have a look at P902.
15 Q. And while the document comes up, may I ask you, Mr. Djordjevic,
16 you said - and we're moving on to Racak - you said that the minister
17 ordered you to go down there to assist if you needed. What sort of
18 assistance did you contemplate you could give?
19 A. That event caused great concern, both with the minister and with
20 the entire leadership of Serbia
21 information as quickly as possible and to make available information that
22 would clarify this event. The accusations that were uttered by Walker
23 the press conference -- the minister wanted to neutralise that to some
24 extent. We actually wanted to see what had happened there. So the
25 minister issued an order for me to go there. I went there and I stayed
1 there on the 17th in the afternoon and on the 18th until the members of the
2 police came in and enabled the on-site investigation team to do their job.
3 Q. So it sounds to me that you went down there basically on a
4 fact-finding mission?
5 A. I don't know how I – how was I supposed to establish facts. My
6 task was to assist the staff down there to, first of all, conduct an
7 on-site investigation and that is the basic activity that is the starting
8 point for establishing facts, to make it accessible to judicial organs,
9 and then to see the whole course of events. It wasn’t my task to analyse
10 the entire event from the beginning until the end. My task was only
11 regarding the first part of the job which had to do with making it
12 possible for the on-site investigation team to do its job on the ground
13 and I was sent to do this task and I attended the execution of this task.
14 Q. Well, what did you do actually? How did you assist them to do
16 A. I have said that the overall situation caused great concern among
17 the leadership of Serbia
18 addition to the staff which was operationally in charge of those tasks,
19 so that I could be of assistance to the staff and for this job of
20 facilitating the on-site investigation to be done properly. Well, that
21 was the task and my assistance to the staff basically.
22 Q. Did you leave on the 18th or on the 17th?
23 A. I received an order on the 17th at around lunchtime. The
24 minister gave me the order to go down there, and then General Lukic after
25 about an hour sent a helicopter to fetch me, and on the 17th in the
1 afternoon I arrived at the staff.
2 Q. Maybe I'm not asking the question. I just want to move quickly.
3 I just want to know: When did you leave Racak, what day -- not Racak, I
4 mean Stimlje police station?
5 A. I arrived at the police station on the 18th in the morning hours.
6 It could have been 9.00 or 10.00 in the morning --
7 Q. When did you leave?
8 A. From there I left once the on-site investigation team reached the
9 mosque where the bodies were. So the minute they were able to conduct an
10 on-site investigation and once that territory was under the police
11 control, I returned to the staff. So it could have been sometime around
12 1300 hours. So on the 18th I left the police station in Stimlje, and I
13 arrived in Pristina sometime around 1300 hours.
14 Q. Had an on-site investigation been conducted and completed by 1300
15 hours on the 18th?
16 A. I can't be certain that the investigation was concluded by that
17 time. What was important for me was that the on-site investigation team
18 arrived in the area and that they were able to conduct an on-site
19 investigation. The minute they approached the mosque which was near the
20 police station, my presence was no longer necessary and I returned back
21 to Pristina.
22 Q. So you left when they approached the mosque? You have answered
23 that. Sorry. I withdraw that question.
24 So you were told, according to your previous evidence, everything
25 that had occurred during the police operation in detail by the staff.
1 Can you tell us which units were involved in the operation?
2 A. As far as I can remember now, I think that a company of PJP unit
3 from Urosevac participated in it and also some members of the operational
4 pursuit groups also took part, but I'm not absolutely certain about that.
5 I think that these were the forces that took part in the operation.
6 Q. How many men? How many men approximately? I know you won't
7 recall exactly how many men.
8 A. The company had 90-odd men, and perhaps additional 30 to 40 from
9 elsewhere. So 130 men, but I'm -- don't know exactly where they were
11 Q. What was Goran Radosavljevic's role?
12 A. I think that at that time he participated together with the
13 members of the operational pursuit group in that operation.
14 Q. Was he the commander of that group, the OPGs?
15 A. No, no. He was a member of the staff. And as a member of the
16 staff he took part in that operation. At that time, in the establishment
17 sense, he wasn't a commander of that unit. There was approximately one
18 squad each from the company and from the 124th Brigade. They had their
19 own squad leaders, but Goran Radosavljevic took part in that operation as
21 Q. Did the VJ participate?
22 A. I don't know that the army participated. I know that they had
23 regularly deployed units in the area. They had camps in the vicinity of
24 Stimlje, but I don't think that they took active part in the operation.
25 Q. Why is it you left only when the team approached the mosque, yet
1 your responsibility was to ensure that the team, the on-site team,
2 conducted the on-site investigation appropriately?
3 A. I didn't tell you that nor was that my task --
4 Q. Stop a minute there --
5 A. -- I went there --
6 Q. Please stop. I just want to be sure that I'm not misquoting you,
7 because I recall after asking you two or three times you provided the
8 answer, and this is at page 58, line 3 --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Stamp.
10 MR. STAMP: Sorry.
11 Q. After about my third question as to what you were supposed to be
12 doing down there I suggested to you that you were on a fact-finding
13 mission and you said:
14 "I don't know how I was supposed to establish the facts."
15 And you said:
16 "My task was to assist the staff down there, first of all, to
17 conduct an on-site investigation."
18 And then at page 58, line 1, you said:
19 "I was there to assist the police members in enabling the
20 investigative team to conduct an on-site investigation and I did that."
21 All I'm asking -- that is what you said?
22 A. That's not at all of what I said. Not a line of what you said is
23 what I had said. I don't know how they do interpretation here, but that
24 is definitely not what I said.
25 Q. Well, you said it twice according to this. Okay. We'll check
2 I'll ask you again then. What were you supposed to be doing down
4 A. Please, given what the situation was, namely, that after the
5 intervention this territory where the event took place fell under the
6 control of KLA, and given that Walker
7 that a massacre had been committed there, a crime, and so on, there were
8 two or three attempts and then on the 15th, 16th, and even 17th, the
9 on-site investigation team attempted to conduct an on-site investigation.
10 They attempted to establish in a professional manner what had happened
11 there. It wasn't possible to do that because the area was under the
12 control of the KLA.
13 The political tensions and concern among all entities, including
14 the international community and Serbia
15 expected to enable the judicial organs to conduct an on-site
16 investigation and to see what the situation was on the ground, whether
17 there were any casualties, and so on, to establish everything that an
18 on-site investigation is supposed to establish. The minister issued an
19 order to the staff for the staff to draft a plan on yet another attempt
20 to enter the village to see whether there were any bodies of the people
21 who had been killed in the village and to see what the situation was.
22 All of this took place until the 17th when the minister issued an order
23 for me to go down there as well.
24 My task, given the seriousness of this situation, was to be
25 present there and to provide assistance should it be needed. In
1 accordance with that order, once I arrived there on the 17th in the
2 afternoon, upon familiarising myself with these matters that I just
3 described to you, I believed that it was necessary for me to go directly
4 to Stimlje and to see how this operation that had been planned before my
5 arrival was being conducted. I went on the following morning to Stimlje,
6 and I was present there until the moment when there were all the
7 necessary preconditions for the investigation team to come to the area
8 where the operation was conducted.
9 The moment they were able to do that, the moment it became
10 possible for the investigation team to do that, given that the entire
11 territory was at that point in time under the police control, I realised
12 that my presence there was no longer necessary and I returned to
13 Pristina. All the professional and expert measures that needed to be
14 conducted with regard to the on-site investigation was done by the
15 judicial investigations team. I wasn't there to effect were to exert any
16 influence on their work. My role there was to ensure that all the
17 preconditions were met for them to carry out their on-site investigation.
18 Once I ascertained that it was possible for them to do that, I returned
19 back, first to Pristina and then shortly thereafter to Belgrade.
20 Q. So at the time you left, all you knew up until then is that they
21 had arrived at the mosque; is that so?
22 A. Could you please repeat the question. I don't understand it. I
23 don't want to have any misunderstandings.
24 Q. When you left, when you left, your information was that they had
25 arrived at the mosque, the team, the investigating team?
1 A. Well, when the police put under the control the territory --
2 Q. Mr. Djordjevic --
3 A. -- where the operation had been conducted -- but please, I have
4 to explain, to clear things up. Please go ahead.
5 Q. When you left where was the team? Were they arriving at the
6 mosque? Is that what you know when you left?
7 A. Well, the police entered the mosque, found the bodies of the
8 victims - they were lined up in the mosque - reported to the SUP chief
9 who was there, right next to me. And the on-site investigation team that
10 was already there -- that was also there, the on-site investigation team
11 was told that they could go and carry out the on-site investigation.
12 They left. Some 15 minutes later they reached the mosque. The police
13 was already there. So at that time we knew that there were some 40
14 bodies in the mosque because the police when they entered the mosque saw
15 that. And they informed the SUP
16 Q. No --
17 A. -- reported or informed the staff head about that.
18 Q. Now, as far as that operation is concerned, was it only in the
19 mosque that bodies were found?
20 A. Yes. All the bodies were in the mosque. As they said at the
21 time, they were lined up and the investigative judge confirmed that in
22 his report following the on-site investigation. Those were the bodies
23 that were found there. Now, whether there were other bodies too, it's a
24 different issue. There was some information to the effect that there
25 were some other bodies there that had been buried by the KLA previously
1 because those were the bodies of their prominent fighters. That was some
2 information that reached us, but I cannot really say it was a fact. The
3 only bodies that were found were those in the mosque.
4 Q. At the time of your presence down there in Kosovo and on the 17th
5 and 18th in Pristina and Racak, do you know if the Joint Command was
6 still operational? Was it still in existence and functioning?
7 A. No, I didn't know that.
8 Q. The document in front of you is the record of a meeting of the
9 collegium of the Chief of Staff of the -- of VJ with all the commanders,
10 including the Chief of the General Staff present. It's P902. And the
11 date is the 21st of January. If we move to page 11 of this -- of these
12 minutes -- sorry, page 9. Let's go to page 9 first in English, which is
13 page 7 in B/C/S. I'm going to move very quickly.
14 General Dimitrijevic was in charge of supreme -- sorry, security
15 administration for the army. In the middle of this passage where he's
16 speaking he speaks of:
17 "The OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission has been coming up with
18 elements of the participation by the army."
19 And he goes on to ask questions about whether or not the army
20 participated in the event. If we go to the last line:
21 " ... on the 16th of January in the morning ... where the MUP
22 had carried out a mopping-up operation in Racak village and ... there was
23 some 60-something killed."
24 And if we could move to page 11 in the English, page 10 in the
25 B/C/S -- top of page 10 in the B/C/S. And the bottom of page 11 in the
1 English. And the Chief of the General Staff in these minutes address the
2 inquiry. The second paragraph he said:
3 "If the forces have to be used, nobody is denying that right of
4 those who have the right to order it, but that means that if this joint
5 staff, command, or whatever decided that the operation in Racak ...
6 could not be carried out without the assistance of the Yugoslav Army, we
7 know very well who must be asked for approval, if the FRY President
8 orders, in spite of all the risk, that the Army be used, this decision
9 must be carried out but bearing in mind the restrictions contained in the
10 agreement, neither Pavkovic nor I have that right ..."
11 The Chief of Staff is referring to the use or to the engagement
12 of the army in the Racak operation.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Do you have a specific question, Mr. Stamp?
14 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour. I withdraw the statement.
15 JUDGE PARKER: You withdraw.
16 Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Well, if the counsel is
18 withdrawing the statement then I don't have an objection, but I think
19 there was a switch here.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. Yeah, the general says if this joint staff, command, or whatever
22 decided the operation in Racak could not be carried out without the
23 assistance of the army, can you -- or do you know what information the
24 general would have about the existence -- the continued existence of the
25 Joint Command at this stage?
1 A. Well, this is the first time I see this document. You started
2 with General Aco Dimitrijevic. In his intervention he speaks about the
3 16th of January, saying that the mop-up operation was carried out and
4 there was some 60 people who were killed. But that's not true. The
5 operation was conducted on the 15th, and on the 15th and the 16th and the
6 17th the figure was not known. And --
7 Q. Yeah, I'm asking --
8 A. -- now whether the army took part and in what way, I didn't know
9 that at the time. I didn't have any information to that effect in the
10 field. We have heard various testimonies here, but this is the first
11 time that I see this kind of discussion at the General Staff. To the
12 extent of my knowledge at the time, the Yugoslav Army did not take part
13 in the operation. It was present in the area, but I think that -- well,
14 I didn't have any information that it used any of its assets. That's
15 based on the information that I had at the time.
16 Q. But, the Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army is also
17 referring to the Joint Command?
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I would like us to go back to page
20 9 in the Serbian version so that we can see who is actually saying this.
21 Where does it say that this is the Chief of the General Staff? I really
22 don't see whether it is a Chief of the General Staff. I think that there
23 is a mistake here --
24 JUDGE PARKER: It's under the heading Colonel-General Ojdanic.
25 MR. STAMP: Could we ...
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] In the Serbian version, Your
2 Honour, that's not what we're seeing, because the Serbian version is not
3 on that page. Could we please have the page where we can see that this
4 is General Ojdanic --
5 MR. STAMP: [Previous translation continues]...
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] -- but in the Serbian language
7 because we see only the text because there is not a single name here.
8 MR. STAMP: Could we on the Serbian version look at the bottom of
9 the preceding page.
10 Q. Who is that do you read there?
11 A. Yes, Dragoljub Ojdanic.
12 Q. Colonel-general?
13 A. Colonel-General Dragoljub Ojdanic.
14 Q. And let's get back to what he said on the next page. All I'm
15 asking: He refers to the existence of the Joint Command and their
16 possible involvement in this operation. Now, you were attending
17 Joint Command meetings and you were down there at the time when this
18 operation occurred, you were on the spot. My question is this: Do you
19 know what facts the general would have to cause him to believe that the
20 Joint Command was still functional?
21 A. You are drawing conclusions that are invalid. First of all, I
22 was not a member of the --
23 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
24 A. -- please, I was not a member of the Joint Command, and I did not
25 attend the meetings of the Joint Command. On that day I went to the MUP
1 staff and I discussed this issue with General Sreten Lukic. I did not
2 attend the meetings and I don't know whether they were held at the time
3 and I don't know what the situation was. I had a specific task. I
4 described to you -- for you what my task was, and when I completed it, on
5 the orders of the minister, I went back to Belgrade --
6 Q. Very well. Now --
7 A. -- and during my stay here on the 17th, in the evening, I did not
8 attend any meetings except that one meeting with the head of the staff.
9 Q. Do you know why the general used language indicating that this
10 staff or Joint Command continue to function?
11 A. Well, at this area the MUP staff for the prevention of terrorism
12 still existed. The Pristina Corps was still there. Both the Pristina
13 Corps and the MUP staff were duty-bound in light of the delicacy of the
14 situation to have a certain co-ordination, to co-ordinate their
15 activities. I don't know how else I can explain this and how to try and
16 get into the head of the Chief of the General Staff and to know what he
17 meant when he said that.
18 Q. Very well. Let's move on.
19 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at P1052.
20 And I suppose, Your Honours, it might be a convenient time
21 because I'm moving on to an entirely new topic.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have checked.
24 Could we please look at page 1 of this document in the Serbian version so
25 that we can see the date of this document. At the bottom of the page,
1 Your Honour, you can see that this is the collegium of the Chief of the
2 General Staff of the Yugoslav Army of the 24th of December, 1998
3 MR. STAMP: If you look at the previous page, the cover page, you
4 see it says on the 21st of January, 1999 --
5 Q. Let me ask you a question, Mr. Djordjevic. How could the general
6 be discussing the Racak operation in December 1998? Is that possible?
7 Or please don't answer.
8 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, if I could just address this. The
9 document seems to be a standard printed form with a date the 24th of
10 December, 1998, appearing --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Which document is that?
12 MR. STAMP: This is the document P902, which is on the screen.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Well, that is showing a date of the 21st of --
14 MR. STAMP: January --
15 JUDGE PARKER: -- January 1999.
16 MR. STAMP: Indeed, Your Honours.
17 Oh, it now becomes clear to me. I think in the copy in B/C/S we
18 are missing the first page, so counsel didn't apparently get that first
19 page. I think we have to correct that and put the first page.
20 JUDGE PARKER: We'll hear from Mr. Djurdjic.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what's
22 on the first page of the B/C/S because I don't have it, but if you scroll
23 down the BH -- B/C/S version, at the bottom of the page it says the
24 collegium of the Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, the
25 24th of December, 1998. The original is in B/C/S, so we see here that
1 this is the collegium of the 24th of December, 1998. There could not
2 have been any mistake there, and I think that we should clear this up, to
3 get to the bottom of it. But when this was first placed on the screen it
4 appeared to me that I saw the date the 24th of December, 1998, but then
5 we moved on to another page.
6 JUDGE PARKER: If you look at the English version, it has the
7 same date at the bottom, 24 December 1998
8 passages of the transcript to which the witness has been referred appears
9 clearly to be discussing events that occurred in January 1999 unless
10 there were two such events with very similar circumstances if you look at
11 what is said.
12 This is a matter which we can't pursue further tonight because
13 we've gone past 7.00, but we will continue the hearing tomorrow at 2.15.
14 If there is any further substantive matter to be raised, it can be raised
15 then. If the issue is simply that the date at the foot shows 24 December
16 1998 and the minutes on the first page suggest 21 December 1999, the
17 Chamber is -- 21st of January, 1999, the Chamber is aware of that
18 discrepancy and will have to give it consideration. If there are further
19 facts relevant to the date that need to be brought out, they can be
20 brought out tomorrow when we resume at 2.15.
21 MR. STAMP: Your Honour --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
23 MR. STAMP: -- may I quickly ask permission if I may correct the
24 B/C/S version by putting the cover page, the first page, there.
25 JUDGE PARKER: You may. And I suggest you make a copy available
1 to Mr. Djurdjic overnight.
2 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn now and resume tomorrow at 2.15.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.
5 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day of
6 December, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.