1 Tuesday, 16 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
8 JUDGE PARKER: The affirmation you made to tell the truth still
9 applies. If you could sit down, please.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness's microphones
11 are off.
12 JUDGE PARKER: And Mr. Popovic is continuing his questions.
13 WITNESS: MILOS DOSAN [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examination by Mr. Popovic: [Continued]
16 Q. Thank you, Your Honour. Good afternoon, General.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. Before we continue, I wanted to remind you to pause briefly after
19 I have finished putting my question, wait for the transcript, please, and
20 then provide us with your answer so that we can help the interpreters.
21 We will continue where we left off yesterday. We'll go back to
22 the statement of Nike Peraj. In your binder it is tab 25.
23 We were with paragraph number 53. Paragraph 53 where it says:
24 "The MUP needed VJ support for large operations, and the VJ would
25 order the MUP in large operations how to deploy and what to do."
1 We can move on to paragraph 54 immediately the last sentence
2 because it is related to paragraph 53, it says:
3 "Usually, when the MUP did inform the VJ what operations it had
4 planned, the VJ had no ability to prevent the MUP operation."
5 A. This is not true. The army had its own chain of command, and the
6 MUP had its own. They never interlinked. Neither could the army
7 influence any MUP actions, nor did the army ever have a need to try and
8 prevent any MUP actions. That is simply incorrect. Each of us had our
9 own exclusive chain of command which we abided by throughout the NATO
10 aggression, and we never deviated from it.
11 Q. Thank you. Let's go to paragraph 65. Here witness Peraj
12 mentions an incident in Meja. In paragraph 65 he says:
13 "The operation was co-ordinated from Djakovica by Lazarevic and
14 Lieutenant-Colonel Goran Jeftovic, staff officer for operations in
15 Pristina Corps. Could you please comment this?
16 A. This is not true. General Lazarevic on that day the 27th of
17 April was with me, or rather I was with him at the command of the
18 Pristina Corps in Pristina. So physically he could not have been
19 elsewhere. As for any control of that action, as I said yesterday, it
20 was commanded or led by Colonel Milan Kotur. He was an officer of the
21 Pristina Corps, but he was not the commander. And he could only have
22 been there following orders of the command or of the Chief of Staff, and
23 he commanded from the forward command post in Djakovica.
24 Q. Thank you. When you say that General Lazarevic was with you in
25 Pristina, can you tell us what was the reason for that, a bit more
2 A. Yes. It was the national holiday of the then state which was
4 that a group of officers including General Lazarevic, as well as myself,
5 received certain decorations. There was a ceremony of awarding those
6 decorations at the command of the Pristina Corps. After that, there was
7 a short cocktail session and we returned to my -- and we returned to our
8 respective units. Therefore, General Lazarevic was not in Djakovica on
9 that day.
10 Q. Thank you, General.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I am unable to follow the
12 transcript. Thank you. Could we next move to paragraph 80.
13 Q. There, General, it is stated:
14 "Close to a Serbian house in Meja, I saw three jeeps with members
15 of the Arkan's paramilitary unit. I knew they were from his unit because
16 I had seen them in front of our barracks in Djakovica. I recall my
17 commander ordering me to allow access to those paramilitaries to our
19 Can you please comment upon this?
20 A. This is a complete untruth, as I've already said. There were no
21 paramilitary formations in Djakovica. As for me allegedly ordering him
22 to grant them access to our barracks, that is absurd. At that time,
23 there was no one in our barracks because they were being constantly
24 targeted. I could not have been in a position to direct anyone to be in
25 any barracks because the barracks were being targeted every night. This
1 is completely untrue and has nothing to do with reality.
2 Q. Thank you. Have a look at paragraph 83 next. There Peraj says:
3 "Majors Zdravko Vinter who worked in the personnel department
4 prepared a report for the staff of the 3rd Army in Nis. In the report,
5 the VJ stated that 74 terrorists had been killed in Korenica, and 68 in
6 Meja. On this occasion, I was able to read over Major Vinter's shoulder
7 part of the post-operation report saying terrorists had been killed.
8 Vinter used large fonts when typing."
9 Do you have any comment?
10 A. The same as before, I just wanted to add another thing. This was
11 simply impossible to have happened because in the chain of command, there
12 is a specific way of who orders whom and who reports to what person. A
13 brigade commander cannot report to an army commander, and especially not
14 through his subordinate officer who is even lower in terms of rank than a
15 brigade commander.
16 I also know where Major Vinter was at the time. This was in the
17 cultural hall, in the cellar. It was very dark, and it would not have
18 been possible to see what another person was typing, especially not over
19 one's shoulder. Major Vinter had no need and had received no orders to
20 type out any report, especially not in the command of the 3rd Army. I
21 reject this allegation as completely unrealistic and untrue.
22 Q. Thank you. Next paragraph 93, please.
23 "Milos Dosan, commander of the ARBD, theoretically speaking was
24 the person who was supposed to command military operations in the area of
25 Djakovica, but the operations I saw in the valley of Carragojs
1 ordered by General Lazarevic, Colonel Kotur, and other staff officers of
2 the Pristina Corps. Dosan, who hailed from Bosnia and was around 48
3 years of age, was a sensitive person. He sympathized with those who
4 suffered. He was not aggressive and should have been promoted to the
5 rank of general, but his deputy after the war was promoted and received a
6 rank senior to his own."
7 Can you comment this?
8 A. There are a couple of true things here. For instance, that I
9 hail from Bosnia
10 person. I don't see how that could be used against me. And this has no
11 impact on my abilities as officer. I was made general, but my deputy was
12 not Colonel Novica Stankovic, who was my establishment deputy, was never
13 made general. Therefore, the rest is incorrect, save for the origins of
15 Q. Thank you. At the beginning of this paragraph, it is stated that
16 you were the person who was supposed to order military operations in the
17 area of Djakovica. Can you comment that?
18 A. Yes. As the brigade commander, I had tasks, orders, and duties
19 to command all anti-aircraft units, my anti-aircraft units. I could not
20 have commanded over any land operations or actions. I'm not an expert in
21 that. By profession I'm an engineer. This was far beyond my expertise,
22 and I could not have been able to command any land actions. As I said,
23 that action was commanded by Colonel Kotur. General Lazarevic did not
24 command that action. And I was not supposed to and I did not command
25 that action. That is the truth behind this.
1 Q. Thank you, General. Could you please look at paragraph 95. It
3 "Dosan did not agree with the operation in Korenica and Meja and
4 arrested Micunovic for his involvement in it. However, Micunovic
5 remained in prison for only three days."
6 Can you give us your comments on this?
7 A. I'm not the one who plans or approves or disproves of actions.
8 That is done by my Superior Command. So I did not approve actions or did
9 I plan them. As for the arrest of Micunovic, I did not arrest him. I
10 had no reason to arrest him or even any pretext to arrest him. It's not
11 true that he was in prison for three days either. What is particularly
12 not true is that he was released on the basis of a request made by
13 Vojislav Seselj, Zelko Rozantovic, Arkan. Quite simply that could not
14 have happened. Whoever was arrested was taken to the military court
15 straightaway, and I would have known about that, so none of this is true.
16 Q. Thank you. Could you now look at paragraph 96. Witness Peraj
17 says here:
18 "I got authorisation to go to Ramoc from Lazarevic and Jeftovic
19 in the headquarters in Djakovica. They passed this authorisation on to
20 Kotur at the command post in north-east of Osek. In Lazarevic's office
21 there was war-sized map covered in clear talc on which Jeftovic was
22 marking details of the operation occurring in the Carragojs valley. The
23 details I saw on the map were confirmed by what I saw when I went to the
25 Can you give us your comments on this paragraph and the ability
1 of Nike Peraj to see this?
2 A. In Djakovica there was the forward command post of the Pristina
3 Corps, and he says here that that is that office. Although that is not
4 General Lazarevic's office. He could not enter that command post. Only
5 commanders can access command posts and only when they are asked to do so
6 by the authorised officer involved. So he did not have an opportunity of
7 seeing that map. Even if he had seen a map, at least half an hour is
8 required to note details on a map, especially in infantry, to compare
9 information from the map to information coming from the field. Nike
10 Peraj as we have seen was a teacher by training. He did not complete the
11 military academy. He was a traffic officer. Even if he had seen a map,
12 he could not have made any comparisons or drawn any conclusions of this
14 Q. Thank you, General. Could you please look at paragraph 97 now,
15 where the following is stated:
16 "Through discussions with Stojanovic and Perovic in 1998 and
17 early 1999, from operational briefings that I attended during the same
18 period in Djakovica and Pristina and from operational maps that were
19 presented in these briefings, I became aware of the general military plan
20 for the Djakovica area. The territorial area of Djakovica municipality
21 near the Albanian border had been divided up into three geographical
22 areas or belts, which were to be cleared of Kosovo Albanian civilians one
23 after the other. The villages of Meja and Korenica were included in the
24 second belt."
25 Can you give us your comments on this?
1 A. These allegations are just the same and totally in the spirit of
2 what has been said so far. All of these are fabrications that cannot be
3 proven by anything and are unrealistic in their own right. Quite simply,
4 there were no such plans. If I as brigade commander do not know about
5 such plans, it is highly unlikely for anyone of my lower-ranking
6 officers, especially in my own command and in my own brigade to know
7 that. So that is absolutely not correct.
8 Especially this is not true, that there were areas from which
9 Albanian civilians were to be cleansed. We always struggled for the
10 protection of these civilians, and we were not pleased at all to see
11 columns of refugees. I did not see any one of us feeling right about
12 seeing these columns of refugees. There were also Serbs moving to Serbia
13 and Montenegro
14 My father left his home, and my relatives left their homes. I know what
15 that feels like. So there certainly were no such plans.
16 Q. Thank you, General. I showed you some paragraphs from one of the
17 statements given by Nike Peraj, he gave several statements, this is was
18 the last one, and I quoted over 20 paragraphs to you, and you said that
19 every one that I quoted to you was not true or was a lie. Can you make
20 any assumptions as to why Nike Peraj would make such statements before
21 this Court?
22 A. I thought about Nike Peraj for a long time because I received
23 Nike Peraj at the brigade command, I talked to him, and I saw him often.
24 When I say that, I mean that we moved very often, we were in a very small
25 area, so we did see each other rather often. This is my observation: He
1 carried out the tasks that I entrusted to him properly, and he properly
2 reported on them. I think that Nike Peraj was brought into a particular
3 situation to choose between the truth on the one hand and life on the
4 other hand. Not only his own life but the life of his nearest and
5 dearest. He made the logical choice. And that most people would perhaps
6 do in his position. I don't know else I could explain that, namely that
7 an officer makes this kind of statements. Personally, I'm convinced that
8 quite simply he was forced into doing that and that he had no choice,
9 either to say this or to lose someone close to him or his very own life.
10 That's my assessment. That is what I think of him as a witness.
11 Q. Thank you. Do you know the reason why someone would want to have
12 him killed, and if so, who is it who would threaten him in that way?
13 A. Well, of course, first of all, it would be the members of the
14 terrorist army. He was within the army --
15 JUDGE PARKER: Is this evidence we are to accept as something of
16 the knowledge of the witness, or is the witness trying to imagine a
17 possible explanation? It has not been made clear.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is a witness who
19 knows Nike Peraj personally, and he had the opportunity of spending quite
20 a bit of time with him. He was his immediate superior. Knowing the man
21 and knowing the situation that prevailed in Kosovo and Metohija at the
22 time in 1998 and especially in 1999, I think -- I assumed that --
23 JUDGE PARKER: I think you are answering at length the answer
24 shortly being this is the witness's imagination. He is trying to find an
25 explanation. If that is the case, could you move on to the next.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well, I'll move on to my
2 next question.
3 Could we please have on our screens D006-4389.
4 Q. It's tab 26 in your binder. Yes. General, the date of this
5 document is the 3rd of May, 1999. It says: "Information concerning
6 attempted rape." If you know this document, could you tell us briefly
7 what it's about?
8 A. Yes. This is a document that I signed, and we are sending it on
9 to the corps command. We are sending a report on what had happened,
10 attempted rape, that is. It was committed by two soldiers in the area of
11 Osek Hilja. We are informing the corps command about what we had done.
12 Of course, the soldiers were arrested and handed over to the security
13 organs and further on to the military judiciary.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this document,
16 Your Honours.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00706.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I'd like to see
21 Q. Number 27 in your binder. General, we see a document of yours
22 dated the 4th of May, 1999, that you are sending to the Pristina Corps.
23 And you are saying where the civilian population is deployed. I'm
24 interested in paragraph 3 that says:
25 "The town of Djakovica
1 there are another 20.000 to 25.000 inhabitants in villages."
2 First of all, can you tell us on the basis of which information
3 did you in turn send this information on?
4 A. We forwarded this information on the basis of the information
5 that we received from the municipal authorities, from the municipal
6 government, that of course had information about the local population.
7 Also we received information from members of the MUP. They have records
8 of the civilian population as well. So this document is based on that.
9 We did not do any counting. We simply base that document on that
10 information that we received.
11 Q. Thank you. What is your information, what was the population of
12 Djakovica before the NATO bombing started?
13 A. Before the aggression started, the population of Djakovica was
14 between 50- and 55.000. That is in total.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you have any information as to how many Serbs
16 there were in Djakovica before the NATO aggression started?
17 A. About 3.500 Serbs were there before the NATO aggression started.
18 Q. After the NATO aggression started and during the NATO aggression,
19 do you have any information about how many Serbs left the area of
21 A. About 50 per cent of the Serbs left the area of Djakovica.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this document
24 please be tendered.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00707.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, while we are discussing the people who left the
4 territory of Kosovo
5 for people leaving, especially the territory of the municipality where
6 you were yourself?
7 A. Of course I know because I was there all the time. There are
8 several reasons. The first and basic reason is fear from indiscriminate
9 persistent NATO bombing. That is the first and basic reason. And
10 especially fear of ammunition containing depleted uranium. The next
11 reason is fear of cross-fire because while the NATO aggression was on,
12 terrorists were also very active and fighting against terrorists was
13 taking place on the ground.
14 The third reason was the persistent propaganda and fear of
15 retaliation if they would not move out. Quite simply, the situation was
16 such down there that a normal person could hardly take it. I am an air
17 defence officer, and I was afraid. I can tell you that there were
18 officers who were afraid and who fled. There were soldiers who didn't
19 dare leave shelters. Fear is a normal phenomenon, especially for those
20 who do not know and who cannot seek shelter or mask themselves and take
21 other measures in order to protect themselves from air-strikes.
22 Also, it is hard to leave first, but it is also hard to be the
23 last person to stay. It was very hard for someone to stay if everybody
24 was leaving. It was hard to say, I'm just going to stay on. People were
25 afraid and that is only human. That is what I see as the reason for
1 population movements. That is valid anywhere in the world. So that went
2 for Serbs, Siptars. It was actually even stronger among the Siptars
3 because it also had to do with propaganda and calls made to them. Serbs
4 were running for their lives, the Albanians were running for their lives
5 too from the bombing. However, they had their own guides, they had
6 certain localities as to where they were supposed to show up, at what
7 point in time, which routes they would take and so on.
8 Yesterday, I talked about what happened in Meja, and I concluded
9 that the man who was in front of them was just their guide, nothing else,
10 and I can explain that very easily. I can explain on the basis of what I
12 Q. Thank you, General.
13 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we have D006-4401 next.
14 Q. General, it is your tab 29. It is your order of the 11th of May,
15 1999. I'm interested in item 1. It says:
16 "Use all available measures within your jurisdiction to prevent
17 any attempt at crime or its occurrence in the unit's combat disposition
18 sectors. Vigorously prosecute and apply other measures against
20 So May 11. Can you comment briefly?
21 A. This is in no way different to other orders. We systematically
22 monitored this persistent trend of respecting international humanitarian
23 law and fair combat, although it is difficult to wage a war fairly
24 against terrorists. In any case, we strove in any situation and at any
25 level to undertake all necessary measures in order to avoid the situation
1 in which unsoldierly conduct could serve as yet another excuse for the
2 population to move and to leave their residence, place of residence.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document into
5 evidence, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00708.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honour, I have two
9 or three documents left that I wanted to use, and I will move through
10 them quickly. I wanted to ask you this: Since the documents in question
11 are maps drawn up by this witness, as such were not on the 65 ter list
12 forwarded to the OTP, although we included them in the notification of
13 documents we may use with this witness, if there is no objection by my
14 learned colleague, I wanted to show those maps to the witness.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I see that your learned colleague is again
16 co-operative with your wishes, so please continue, Mr. Popovic.
17 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for that. Could we
18 please have D010-2340.
19 Q. General, please look at the screen since I think you will be able
20 to see things much more clearly than in the binder and the hard copy you
21 have in front of you.
22 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] It is D011-2340. That's the map.
23 Thank you.
24 Q. General, the title is "Deployment of the Units of the 52nd ARBR
25 During the NATO Aggression." Are you familiar with this map? If you
1 are, could you please tell us who created the map and what is the
2 information contained therein?
3 A. The map is familiar because I created it based on a number of
4 documents and war diaries of my subordinate units, as well as
5 co-operating units. We can't make things out clearly, but the map shows
6 the positions of the units of the 52nd Air Defence Brigade.
7 Q. General, we can see the key in the lower left-hand side corner.
8 It says, Deployment of the 52nd ARBR before the 9th of April, and then
9 after the 9th of April. Can you clarify why this is so?
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]Yes, this is much better. Could we
11 zoom out now so that we could see the different colours and so that the
12 witness could explain to us what each colour means. Perhaps we could use
13 the magic pen by Your Honours' leave.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We have two periods here. One is
15 before the attempted land phase of the aggression. That is to say,
16 before the attack on Kosare and afterwards. Before the attack on Kosare,
17 the brigade units were concentrated mostly around the town of Djakovica
18 in certain areas and locations from which they were able to engage
19 air-space targets. In keeping with the envisaged tactics of the use of
20 those units.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. What colour was used for that?
23 A. I can't really make out the colours because it is unclear as it
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please zoom in. I think
1 it is yellow.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so too. Yes. So mostly
3 around Djakovica.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] That's good. Thank you. Much
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the colour we can see.
7 After the 9th of April and after the land phase of the aggression began,
8 given the intended purpose of the brigade units, they were deployed
9 throughout Kosovo and Metohija with the aim of defending certain elements
10 of the corps command deployment. In Djakovica what was left there was
11 the command and the logistics battalion. In the general area of
12 Djakovica, there was the 3rd Artillery Battalion, as you can see here.
13 This is the 3rd Battalion and the 1st Battalion was sent to the area of
14 Kijevo. The 2nd Battalion to the area of Pristina. Am I of moving this
15 or is someone else?
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. No, it's not you.
18 A. The 3rd Battalion was in Djakovica and Pec, the 1st Battalion in
19 Kijevo, the 4th Battalion in the area of Pristina, and the 2nd Battalion
20 in the area Gnjilane. Their task was to defend the air-space concerned
21 and defend certain facilities which may be attacked in the course of the
22 land phase of the aggression which was expected to take place. Kosare
23 was a clear indication of the possibility of such an aggression.
24 Q. Thank you. General, we can see certain parts, boxes with text.
25 What is the text about?
1 A. I symbolically tried to indicate where -- the places where
2 certain members of my unit were killed by either terrorists or NATO
3 aircraft, as well as to indicate the locations at which NATO airplanes
4 targeted civilians in separate incidents. I can't make everything out on
5 this map.
6 Q. We needn't go into any further detail. It is all in evidence.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] In any case, I seek to tender this
8 document into evidence, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00709.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we next have D011-2349. It
12 is another map.
13 Q. General, it might again be easier for you to follow this on the
14 screen. The title of this document is, "Locations Targeted by NATO
15 Aviation in Kosovo and Metohija." Tell us, are you familiar with this
17 A. Yes, I am. I created it based on the war diaries of my units, as
18 well as those of the co-operating units and after various analyses, we
19 made after the NATO aggression was ended. This is what we tried to
20 indicate on this map.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please zoom in on the
22 bottom part of the document. Thank you.
23 Q. Can you see the key as well as civilian losses due to NATO
24 targeting in Kosovo and Metohija?
25 A. I can see it.
1 Q. What does the key say?
2 A. Place of attack, attack on a column, use of depleted uranium, as
3 well as attacks per units and areas in Kosovo by month. Had we gone into
4 any further detail, the map would have become illegible, but we can see
5 here clearly what locations were hit during the first month of the
6 aggression, the second, and the third. They are indicated in different
8 For example, in red we have the period between the 24th of March
9 and the 25th of April. In blue, between the 25th of April and the 24th
10 of May. In yellow, between the 25th of May and the 11th of June. We
11 also have separate indications of attacks which took place on the -- on
12 Orthodox Christmas. This was quite illustrative of their tactics because
13 they wouldn't let us rest even during our Christmas. This was disastrous
14 for our combat morale and morale amongst the civilians. When we were in
15 such a position to hear of our soldiers and civilians being killed during
17 Q. You said that the period between the 25th of April and 24th of
18 May was in red. It seems orange to me?
19 A. Yes, you are right. I'm having difficulty seeing the true
20 colours of this map.
21 Q. Thank you. Please leave it as it is. Again we see certain text
22 boxes. What do those boxes contain? What kind of events?
23 A. In the textural part, I specified those locations at which
24 civilians were killed. For example, on the 3rd of May there was an
25 attack by a NATO aircraft against a civilian bus where 17 people were
1 killed and 44 wounded. On the 14th of April, a refugee column in Meja,
2 which we have mentioned. Next the 1st of May, attack on a civilian bus
3 in Lucani on an overpass where 40 civilians were killed. Among those
4 civilians, there were parents who went to visit their sons in Kosovo and
5 Metohija. On the 13th of May, a refugee column was attacked in Korisa on
6 the 22nd of April, a refugee centre was attacked in Bistrazin
7 accommodating the refugees from Republika Srpska Krajina, they were there
8 on a cattle farm. This is all indicated in symbolic terms, but in
9 addition to indicating the locations, we also wanted to indicate where
10 depleted uranium was used.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please zoom in on the
13 bottom right-hand side corner. There is a table there.
14 Q. In it we have civilian losses due to NATO attacks in Kosovo and
15 Metohija. Can you comment the table itself?
16 A. Yes. We have civilian losses indicated here, but only when such
17 events occurred in groups and where there was a number of casualties in a
18 single location. This does not indicate individual buildings being
19 targeted when individuals were killed or if a single vehicle was
20 attacked. And we know that occasionally they even targeted individual
21 passenger vehicles on the move. This only indicates the more important
22 events which in a way attracted some media attention and that were
23 reported about and whereby the explanation offered was that it was all
24 collateral damage. For example, Aleksinac, Surdulica and others were
25 attacked as well, but that was in Serbia
1 the figures in Kosovo itself. In total, 320 civilians were killed there
2 in only these few individual actions by NATO aircraft.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go back to the
5 central part of the document.
6 Q. General, I see certain triangles here. What were they used for?
7 Can you also tell us what were the usual targets of NATO aircraft?
8 A. Each of the triangles indicates a single air attack. An attack
9 could mean a single bomb or a single missile or 20 missiles or 20 bombs
10 or 300 pieces of ammunition with depleted uranium. So an attack as such,
11 this does not indicate hits or type of ammo because that would have been
12 very difficult to count. All this happens at high velocity from great
13 heights. This merely indicates the number of individual attacks. We can
14 see here that all the attacks were mainly concentrated around populated
15 areas, such as Pristina, which was in the lead. Next Prizren, and
16 Djakovica. To some extent it was also Gnjilane and Urosevac. But this
17 axis from Srbica via Pristina down to Kacanik, and the other prong
18 between Istok, Klina, Djakovica, and Prizren all the way down to Albania
19 These were the two prongs of their attacks. They were basically
20 directing people towards Albania
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. I tender this
22 document into evidence.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00710.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. And the last document
2 Q. General, that is tab 34 in your binder. I would not dwell on
3 this one for a long time as it is about the NATO attack in zone 2 of the
4 549th Motorised Brigade. Can you just tell me if you are familiar with
5 this document, who drew it up, and on the basis of what information?
6 A. Yes, it's a document that talks about who attacked and with how
7 many projectiles on Djakovica and the environs. As the 2nd Motorised
8 Battalion had its own defence zone in that area, this is a document which
9 was drawn up only on the basis of the war diary of the commander of the
10 2nd Motorised Battalion. And it depicts the kinds of ordnance used, what
11 was dropped where in his defence zone. The time is not depicted here,
12 but the ordnance is, so we can see rockets, bombs, cluster bombs, then
13 there are flash bombs which were dropped in the Kosare region. Then also
14 ammunition with depleted uranium. Then we also have one marking for
15 attacks on the refugee column, and also attacks on the refugee
16 settlement. That was his zone of responsibility as the infantry units do
17 have a zone of responsibility by contrast to anti-aircraft units.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I tender this document
19 into evidence.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00711.
22 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, did you ever hear during 1998 or 1999, that there was a
24 plan or agreement in the Yugoslav Army to expel the Albanian population
25 from the territory of Kosovo
1 A. I assert that I never heard about such a plan from anyone.
2 Q. During 1998 or 1999, did you ever see or hear that there was a
3 plan or an agreement within the Yugoslav Army to change the ethnic
4 composition of the population in Kosovo by expelling the Albanian
6 A. No. Just like in the answer to my previous question, I never
7 heard or saw that there was such a plan from anyone, nor did I implement
8 any sort of plan, nor did I do any such thing, nor did I receive any
9 orders that might support such a plan. So I energetically refute any
10 possibility that I was ever aware of the existence of any kind of plan
11 aimed at changing the ethnic composition of the population of Kosovo and
13 Q. General, when you attending meetings as the garrison commander
14 and met up with civilian authorities and the MUP organs, did you ever
15 hear or see or discuss any kind of plan to expel the Kosovo Albanians and
16 change the ethnic composition of Kosovo?
17 A. Never. Not at a single meeting. I have said what we discussed
18 at these meetings and that was the sole reason for us to meet when that
19 was possible considering the dangers both from the enemy, from the
20 air-space, and also the Siptar terrorist forces on the ground.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] General, thank you. I hereby end
22 my direct examination.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Popovic.
24 Ms. Kravetz.
25 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Cross-examination by Ms. Kravetz:
2 Q. Good afternoon, General.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. Yesterday during the course of your testimony you told us that
5 from mid-1998 to the end of 1999, you were the commander of the 52nd
6 Artillery Rocket Brigade and were based in Djakovica municipality;
8 A. Yes, in the town of Djakovica
9 Q. And you also told us that you, in your capacity as commander of
10 this brigade, you regularly toured your units, the units of this brigade?
11 A. Yes, that is correct.
12 Q. And if I understood correctly, you also had frequent or regular
13 meetings with the senior officers of your brigade, that is with battalion
14 commanders, company commanders?
15 A. Yes, not with all officers, but with commanding officers and
16 organs of the command. I had meetings with organs of the command on a
17 daily basis and with the commanding officers as necessary. Considering
18 that certain artillery battalions and their commanders were deployed very
19 far away, for example, in Gnjilane or in Pristina or Kijevo, wherever an
20 artillery battalion was deployed, its commander was also there. That was
21 why I had regular meetings with command organs and occasionally, and
22 mostly while I was touring the units, I would talk with the commanders of
23 these units and the officers who were in charge of the units.
24 Q. And where did these daily meetings that you had with commanding
25 officers take place?
1 A. Until the beginning of the NATO aggression, we held the meetings
2 at the commander's office in the Metohija barracks or in the Devet
3 Jugovica barracks. My unit was deployed into these two barracks in
4 Djakovica town. Most often they were held at the Metohija barracks where
5 my command was located. After the beginning of the NATO aggression, we
6 kept moving from one location to another.
7 Q. So after the beginning of the NATO campaign, your command post
8 moved from different -- or was based in different locations, you moved;
9 is that correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Sir, you also told us that your direct superior, while you held
12 this position of brigade commander, was General Lazarevic, the Pristina
13 Corps Commander; correct?
14 A. In the first period it was General Pavkovic. And then beginning,
15 I think, at the new year or since the end of 1998, it was General
16 Vladimir Lazarevic.
17 Q. Thank you, yes. And the main command post of the Pristina Corps,
18 was in Pristina?
19 A. It was the same as with the brigade. Until the beginning of the
20 aggression, it was in the building of the Pristina Corps Command, and
21 then after that once the aggression began, it was also moved to various
22 locations either within the town or in the surrounding area.
23 Q. And as a brigade commander, did you have the duty to send regular
24 reports to the Pristina Corps commander, be that General Pavkovic in 1998
25 or General Lazarevic in 1999? Was that one of your duties?
1 A. Yes. We sent daily reports but we had an advantage because a
2 forward command post of the Pristina Corps was located in Djakovica all
3 the time so we could bring the telegrams physically to them, but in any
4 case, they were considered reports like any others, so the answer is yes,
5 we did inform the command about all events.
6 Q. And in these daily reports you would have included any activities
7 your units were engaged in, any losses, any events that took place in
8 which your unit participated?
9 A. As for combat reports, which we sent regularly, they had their
10 usual format. For example, under item 1, enemy activities were
11 described. And then under item 2, activities of our forces would follow.
12 Item 3, related to certain events such as those which you just mentioned.
13 And finally, expenditure of ammunition and fuel would be included, and I
14 think the last fifth item was the situation on the roads. Everything
15 that was important for a unit to able to function normally.
16 Q. And if we just focus on 1999 when General Lazarevic was commander
17 of the Pristina Corps, in addition to sending these regular daily reports
18 and the combat reports that you've spoken about, did you also participate
19 in meetings or briefings with other brigade commanders and with General
21 A. That happened perhaps once or twice as far as I can remember at
22 the command in Pristina. Just once or twice throughout the NATO
23 aggression in 1999. The commanders were in different places. It was
24 very difficult and dangerous to reach Pristina, and commanders were
25 mainly in charge of operations. They had to carry out their basic tasks,
1 and, as I said, it was very risky and dangerous to travel around Kosovo
2 and Metohija, especially since the beginning of the NATO aggression, but
3 even before that.
4 Q. I understand, sir. And did General Lazarevic tour his units
5 deployed in the field, the different brigades? I'm speaking about the
6 period in 1999.
7 A. Yes, he did tour them. As a rule, a plan of a tour of units is
8 made or it could be by the commander's personal decision. He was doing
9 that. Just like I was touring my own units, he was also touring his
10 subordinated units, and he was doing that very frequently.
11 Q. And based on your interactions with General Lazarevic and the
12 time you worked together when you held this position of brigade
13 commander, would you say that he was commanding officer that kept himself
14 well informed of what was going on in the ground, of events on the ground
15 and the activities of his units? Would that be a fair assessment of
16 General Lazarevic?
17 A. General Lazarevic was a commander whom any officer would wish for
18 his superior in every respect. It was important for him to know what the
19 situation was like in units. It was important for him to receive
20 reports. He tried to help us so he was a fine man and a fine commanding
22 Q. And based on that answer you gave, sir, would it be fair to say
23 if any large-scale operation had took place that involved units of the
24 Pristina Corps, General Lazarevic would be aware of such an operation?
25 He would be aware of the details of these operations?
1 A. I would use the word action rather than operation. Operation is
2 a very general term. In military terminology, the word "operation"
3 implies a huge area, numerous forces, a period of time varying between 5
4 to 10 days, and so on. Actions were carried out in Kosovo and Metohija,
5 and there was only one operation being carried out and it was the
6 operation of defence against the NATO air campaign.
7 Q. Thank you for that correction, sir. I am a layperson and I may
8 confuse terms which for you are very clear and very distinct.
9 Sir, just going back to my question, based on the answer you gave
10 that General Lazarevic was a commander whom any officer would like to
11 have as his superior in every respect, would it be fair to say, sir, that
12 if he -- if there were any large-scale actions which involved units of
13 the Pristina Corps Command, he would be fully informed of some -- of
14 these actions, of the details of such actions?
15 A. He would be informed if conditions were such that he could be
16 informed. What do I mean by that? There were certain days on which due
17 to the attacks of NATO aircraft all our communication systems were
18 destroyed, and it was difficult to maintain courier service also because
19 of this disruption of communication. But believe me, whenever it was
20 possible for him to be informed, he demanded to be informed. However,
21 there were situations, even in my own unit, when for as much as five days
22 I could not get in touch with my artillery battalion deployed in Kijevo
23 or for example in Gnjilane.
24 Q. Thank you, I understand that, sir. You've spoken about the
25 forward command post of the Pristina Corps, and you said that it was
1 based throughout in Djakovica, and would I be correct to understand that
2 you were referring to both the period of 1998 and 1999?
3 A. Yes, you are right, both.
4 Q. In 1998, General Lazarevic was Chief of Staff of the Pristina
5 Corps; correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And, sir, is it also correct that he was based almost very
8 regularly or permanently at the forward command post of the Pristina
9 Corps in Djakovica during that period, I'm talking about 1998?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Do you recall who was the Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps,
12 or who became Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps in 1999 when General
13 Lazarevic was promoted to commander of the Pristina Corps?
14 A. Yes, he was appointed commander and promoted to the rank of
15 general, but it doesn't matter. I remember that it was Colonel Veroljub
16 Zivkovic who became Chief of Staff. From that moment onwards, he was in
18 Q. So once Colonel Zivkovic became Chief of Staff, he was based at
19 the forward command post of the Pristina Corps in Djakovica?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. And the purpose of this forward command post, would it be fair to
22 say that the purpose was to monitor closely the situation on the ground
23 in Djakovica and especially the situation along the border area?
24 A. Well, you're right. Military rules envisage that the so-called
25 forward command post should be positioned in areas that were under the
1 highest degree of threat. The commander should be there, the deputy
2 commander, or an officer who they believe is professional enough to make
3 appropriate decisions, but there has to be an authorisation for him to do
5 Q. And when you refer to the commander being at the forward command
6 post, who are you speaking of? Would this be Colonel Zivkovic, or were
7 you speaking about someone else?
8 A. I said theoretically that it would be as follows: At a command
9 post as soon as the commander arrives there, it automatically becomes the
10 forward command post. However, forward command post is always placed in
11 areas that are under the highest degree of threat, and it is usually the
12 Chief of Staff who is there. Just like General Lazarevic was until he
13 became corps commander. Also, Colonel Zivkovic, who later became a
14 general too, of course, he was also in Djakovica all the time.
15 Q. Okay. And you've told us that General Lazarevic regularly toured
16 units in the field. I take it, sir, that he would also -- if the need
17 arose, he would also come to the forward command post in Djakovica?
18 A. Whenever General Lazarevic came to tour the unit in Djakovica, he
19 regularly went to the command post, and then we, the commanders who were
20 closest to Djakovica would come as well. So that would be myself, the
21 commander of the border battalion, that is to say all of those who
22 gravitate towards that particular position.
23 General Lazarevic never came to the command post or to Djakovica
24 without me knowing about that. That is, after all, what military rules
25 call for, namely that the brigade commander has to be informed of the
1 arrival of the corps commander, although it is his right to come whenever
2 he so wishes.
3 Q. I understand, sir. And once the NATO bombing campaign began in
4 1999, did the forward command post at Djakovica move locations in the
5 same way that you've explained the Pristina Corps Command in Pristina
6 moved locations?
7 A. Yes, yes. That change did take place from the barracks Devet
8 Jugovica where it was before the aggression, the forward command post was
9 moved according to the same system according to which I moved my command
10 post. That is the principle involved with regard to all units, that they
11 should be on the move all the time, as it were.
12 Q. So I understand from that answer that it did not have a fixed
13 location once the NATO campaign began in 1999? Speaking about the
14 Djakovica forward command post?
15 A. Well, that command post moved less frequently than, say, my
16 command post, but it was not at a single place all the time either.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. Yesterday during the course of your testimony
18 you were shown the war diary of your brigade, and I don't want to go into
19 too much detail, so I'm not going to bring it up on the screen, but do
20 you remember, sir, discussing with my learned colleague and Mr. Popovic
21 the war diary of your brigade?
22 A. Yes, I remember that.
23 Q. And if I understood your evidence yesterday correctly, you
24 indicated that all important events that concern your brigade were
25 recorded in this war diary?
1 A. For the most part. For the most part. Sometimes something could
2 have been missed but for the most part that was the case.
3 Q. So this would include any losses suffered but your brigade, any
4 activities the units were engaged, attacks or any incidents that concern
5 the units in your brigade, correct? This would be the type of
6 information that you -- that would be included in this war diary?
7 A. Yes, for the most part.
8 Q. Now, just a moment ago we were talking about reporting and your
9 reporting duties to the Pristina Corps Command. In your reports to your
10 superiors -- or would the reports to your superiors correspond, meaning
11 in the terms of information contained within those reports, with the
12 information that had been included or written down in the war diary of
13 your brigade?
14 A. Well, not necessarily. Not necessarily because the form of a
15 combat report is strictly prescribed. It is exactly stated what should
16 be included under which paragraph. Whereas a war diary does not have a
17 particular form. In that case --
18 Q. Sir, if I can just interrupt you there. I understand the
19 distinction. Maybe I'll just make my question simpler.
20 Would the reports to your superiors coincide, to a large extent
21 with what -- I'm just speaking about the information included in the war
22 diary, that is information about activities, events, losses suffered by
23 the brigade, et cetera? I understand the format is completely different,
24 we've seen examples of reports here in this court.
25 A. Well, in most cases. Some things may have been missed, but as a
1 rule that should be the case. However, perhaps there's something else I
2 should add. For instance, in the war diary, the amount of ammunition or
3 fuel spent was never recorded. Also what the situation of the roads was,
4 things like that. That was an integral part of the combat report.
5 However, key events in the brigade were usually recorded there.
6 Perhaps sometimes there may have been some omissions or, well, the
7 problem was that combat reports regularly had to be sent by 1600 hours.
8 By 1600 hours, we had to file our combat reports. If something would
9 happen after 1600 hours on that day, then such an event would not be
10 included in the combat report for that day.
11 Things are different with the war diary. The war diary wasn't
12 sent anywhere. It was at the command all the time so every event could
13 have been recorded in the war diary, even those that were not recorded in
14 the combat report for that day.
15 Q. And just one final question before we take the break, just to
16 finish with this topic. You said that if an event took place after 1600
17 hours, that would not go in the combat -- the daily combat report. But
18 would that -- but it would go in the war diary. But if I understand,
19 based on what you've told us of reporting, that it would be included in
20 the next day's combat report, so it would be reported on?
21 A. Yes. Yes. If it was of particular significance.
22 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, sir. Your Honours, I see it's time for
23 the first break.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will have the break now and resume
25 at 4.15.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 4.19 p.m.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Yes, Ms. Kravetz.
6 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Sir, yesterday during the course of your evidence, you told us
8 that in addition to being brigade commander, you were also commander of
9 the Djakovica garrison; correct?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. And you told us that during 1998 and 1999 from time to time to
12 resolve specific matters, you would meet with the president of the
13 municipality and the chief of the Djakovica SUP?
14 A. Yes, that's what I said.
15 Q. Do you recall the name of the chief of the Djakovica SUP in 1998,
16 who he was?
17 A. His last name was Adamovic in 1998. I cannot remember his first
18 name, but I know his last name was Adamovic.
19 Q. Would the person that you are referring to be a Mr. Dusko
20 Adamovic; is that the person you are speaking about?
21 A. Possibly Dusko, but know it's Adamovic, and I know that he left
22 that position at the end of the year.
23 Q. And when he left that position at the end of 1998, who replaced
24 him? Do you remember the name of the person who replaced him?
25 A. Yes, I remember. He was replaced by his deputy until then,
1 Colonel Milovan Kovacevic.
2 Q. Did Colonel Kovacevic remain in the position of the chief of the
3 Djakovica SUP
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, yesterday, and this starts at transcript page 11381, you
6 told us that in 1999 you had talks or meetings with these persons, the
7 chief of the SUP
8 the municipality, and you said that you would meet occasionally in order
9 to resolve specific issues. Do you recall saying that, sir?
10 A. Yes, I recall that.
11 Q. And on the next page, this is 11382, you said during these
12 meetings you did not go into the subject of activities or tasks of
13 others, they were very brief meetings, short meetings, sometimes you said
14 even standing up, you wouldn't even sit down. Do you recall saying that,
16 A. Yes, that's what I said.
17 Q. So I understand from the evidence that you gave yesterday that
18 you would meet with the president of the municipality and Mr. Kovacevic
19 since we are talking about 1999, only when the need arose. These were
20 not regular meetings, they were only occasional meetings?
21 A. You are right, yes.
22 Q. And there would be no exchange of information during these
23 meetings about the activities that you were carrying out or that the MUP
24 was carrying out, you wouldn't have any sort of exchange of information
25 of the tasks each other was carrying out?
1 A. No, we would meet briefly and only in order to deal with the
2 matter at hand. Not everybody would be there every time. Sometimes it
3 was only myself and the president of the municipality. Sometimes perhaps
4 it was the president of the municipality and Mr. Kovacevic. But we would
5 just meet in order to resolve a particular problem. We did not go into
6 other obligations or discussions or tasks, and we didn't have time to do
7 so either.
8 Q. And do you recall the name of the president of the municipality
9 in 1999? Who was he?
10 A. I think his first name was Milan or perhaps Momcilo, but his last
11 name was Stanojevic. I think it was Momcilo Stanojevic.
12 Q. And yesterday when you were referring to these meetings, you said
13 the types of issues that were discussed were water-supply, power supply,
14 those types of things, no?
15 A. Yes, for the most part.
16 Q. Sir, you've told us that you testified before in the Milosevic
17 case, and I wanted to read a passage when you were put questions by
18 Mr. Milosevic in relation to these meetings. Do you recall testifying in
19 the Milosevic case about these meetings that you held with the SUP chiefs
20 and the chief of the municipality?
21 A. Well, I don't remember that particular question, but if that's
22 what the transcript says, I'm sure that no one just made it up.
23 Q. Okay. So the passage I'm referring to starts at page 45405, and
24 Mr. Milosevic in this passage is asking you about events in Djakovica
25 municipality. Specifically he is asking you about a massacre on Ymer
1 Grezda Street and which was -- had allegedly taken place on the 26th of
2 March, 1999. And you were asked:
3 "And you were the commander of the Djakovica garrison at the time
4 were you not?"
5 And you say: "Yes. I was the commander of the Djakovica
6 garrison at the time, and I did have talks with the president of the
7 municipality and also head of the Ministry of Interior."
8 And later on you were asked:
9 "When you say talks, did you have regular meetings, you were the
10 garrison commander?"
11 You say: "Yes."
12 "Did you have any regular meetings with those leaders, civilian
13 police, and other leaders at the level of Djakovica municipality?"
14 And you said: "Yes. We did have meetings from time to time.
15 When the need arose."
16 "How frequent would they be?"
17 And you say: "Well, two or three times a week depending on the
18 situation. And therefore we exchanged information, each other's
19 information, and at no point did I receive any information to that effect
20 which would indicate that anything like that was going on in town or had
21 happened in town."
22 Do you recall giving that testimony, sir?
23 A. I believe that that is what I said. If that is what is written
24 there, but I believe that that is what I said. However, there's
25 something else I would like to add. When I say "meetings," I would have
1 an officer in my unit who was in charge of garrison affairs and that was
2 Major Zdravko Vinter. He went to these meetings more often when it was
3 necessary if matters in town were being dealt with. That's what I meant.
4 But anyway, what I did say was true.
5 Q. Now, on the next page of this transcript, this is 45406, you are
6 asked again about the same event I referred to, and Mr. Milosevic says:
7 "Could something like that have happened without you knowing?"
8 And you say:
9 "No, that could not have happened. Something like that could not
10 have happened without me knowing about it. Learning about it from the
11 head of the municipality or from the chief of the police in Djakovica."
12 Do you recall giving that evidence, sir?
13 A. As for the chief of SUP
14 did not mean them personally just like I as commander of the unit always
15 have someone to stand in for me. I did not mean that the president of
16 the municipality would have to call me personally or that Milan Kovacevic
17 would have to call me personally. Rather, one of my officers would find
18 out in the municipality or in the MUP if something like that had
19 happened. That's what I meant. It's not that I met up with them every
20 day or that I have occasion to do that.
21 Q. You did say, sir, that something like that could not have
22 happened without you knowing are learning from it from the chief of the
23 municipality or from the head of the municipality of the chief of police
24 of Djakovica, so you are speaking about your personal knowledge that you
25 would -- information that you would have obtained from them?
1 A. That's what I think to this day. Had something like that
2 happened, I probably would have found out. I've already said quite a few
3 of my officers lived in Djakovica and they would hear this information
4 and I would know about it. Once I would find out, I would notify my
5 superiors. However, I did not receive any information about these
6 alleged events or did I know about any such thing.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all microphones
8 please be switched off when the witness is speaking. Thank you.
9 MS. KRAVETZ:
10 Q. Sir, but the testimony you provided in that case in relation to
11 these meetings that you held with the SUP chief of Djakovica and the
12 president of the municipality is quite different than the one you gave
13 yesterday. You, in fact, said these meetings were regular, you exchanged
14 information, and you are even suggesting that information on crimes would
15 have been exchanged at these meetings.
16 A. When I say an exchange of information concerning crimes, I still
17 assert there -- there was information -- had there been information in
18 circulation about the existence of certain crimes, I would have known
19 about it. I would have either been told that by the municipal organs or
20 by my officers who were in town.
21 I have no knowledge of such crimes, and I don't think I said that
22 I had any knowledge of those crimes back then.
23 Q. Sir, I'm just asking about the evidence you gave on these
24 meetings. Would you agree with me, sir, based on the previous testimony
25 that we read out that these meetings, in fact, were not occasional, but
1 that they occurred on a regular basis, sometimes two and three times a
3 A. No. Not me personally with the municipal president and the chief
4 of MUP.
5 Q. But during your previous testimony, you did not make that
6 distinction. In fact, you said that you would meet with them, you said:
7 "Yes, we did have meetings, and we exchanged information." You were
8 speaking about yourself attending these meetings.
9 A. At the time I either said occasionally or I misunderstood the
10 interpretation. May have not been sufficiently attentive.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: I see my learned colleague is on his feet, but.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
13 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Concerning this
14 question, although we already have an answer, concerning the part
15 Ms. Kravetz read out, the response was that two or three meetings were
16 held, but never did the witness say that he attended them personally.
17 That is why I objected to the way this question was put.
18 JUDGE PARKER: That can be dealt with in re-examination if you
19 wish. Thank you.
20 Carry on, please, Ms. Kravetz.
21 MS. KRAVETZ:
22 Q. Sir, just to finish off with these meetings, you told us
23 yesterday that there was no exchange of information on -- no exchange of
24 information about each other's tasks, but you did say before that the
25 purpose of these meetings was to exchange information, correct?
1 A. The purpose of those meetings was not exclusively to exchange
2 information. For example, from the chief of MUP, I received information
3 of my soldiers for attempted rape in Crmljan I received that piece of
4 information from him because there was a police unit there at Crmljan and
5 a bit further afield there was a unit of mine there. These two units
6 were separate, having separate tasks. The inhabitants complained to the
7 police commander who was there. The chief of MUP called me and told me
8 about it. The first piece of information I received about the attempted
9 rape came from him. This is what I also understand as exchange of
11 Q. So these meetings were not only about re-establishing
12 water-supply, but if there was any information about crimes committed in
13 the town, they would be discussed at these meetings?
14 A. No. He called me the very moment by phone when he learned about
15 it. He did not wait until the meeting that was to be held the next day.
16 He called me right away to tell me that my soldiers had attempted to rape
17 two Albanian women in Crmljan. This was not a process of gathering
18 information in order to present them at a meeting. At the moment he
19 learned that, he called me. I got that information from him immediately
20 given the circumstances and importance of that event because it was out
21 of the ordinary.
22 Q. And just a last question in relation to this, when you were
23 responding to Mr. Milosevic, you said had any events as the ones he was
24 asking you about occurred, you would have learned that from the chief of
25 the Djakovica SUP
1 that was exchanged between you?
2 A. I still believe if something like that were to take place and if
3 people knew about it, that he would let me know. Why not? One must
4 notify others of crimes. Whenever I learned of a crime, I took measures
5 and informed my superiors. I do not wish to depart from that rule. I
6 firmly believe if there is a crime, it should be made known.
7 Q. If you were to learn of any crimes involving MUP officers, would
8 you inform the chief of the SUP
9 A. Of course I would.
10 Q. I want to move away from this topic, sir, and take you to an
11 exhibit that you were shown yesterday.
12 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is D687. If we could have that up on the
13 screen, please.
14 Q. And this is a statement that you gave to the Commission For
15 Co-operation with the ICTY. Do you recall looking at this statement
16 yesterday, going over it with my learned colleague?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. I just wanted to clarify something in relation to this statement
19 and which I'm not sure if it was clarified yesterday, and it concerns the
20 date. We see in the Serbian version that the date indicated that this
21 statement was taken as the 28th of December 2002, while in the English
22 it's shown as November. Which one is the correct date, sir? Do you
23 recall if this was December as indicated in the Serbian when you gave
24 this statement to the commission?
25 A. I think it was December, although I'm not completely certain. I
1 see no reason why I would have put anything differently.
2 Q. And if I understand your evidence in relation to how this
3 statement came about, you said yesterday that you were called to an
4 interview by this commission for co-operation?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you said you were shown a book that was published by the
7 Humanitarian Law Centre?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. The Humanitarian Law Centre, sir, is that an institute or
10 institution that's based in Belgrade and is headed by Natasha Kandic?
11 A. I don't know where the seat of that organisation is. Natasha
12 Kandic does appear in our media stating that she is the director of that
13 fund or of that centre. I didn't even know much about the Humanitarian
14 Law Centre prior to the publishing of that book.
15 Q. And in your statement, it indicates that this report which you've
16 been referring to as book was called a "Kosovo As Seen, As Told."
17 A. I think that's the title of the book.
18 Q. And I understand, sir, that you were shown portions of the book
19 relevant to the events described here in your statement?
20 A. Yes, I was shown that. Other commander were shown something
21 else. They indicated certain passages from the book.
22 Q. And just to understand how this statement came about, once you
23 were shown these portions of the book, what were you asked to do?
24 A. They asked me to read a certain paragraph and to write what I
25 could recall about the specific event.
1 Q. And in the Milosevic case when you testified about this, and this
2 is at page 45627, you indicated also that you had the book at your house
3 for two days and you leafed through it and read the part relating to
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Are you aware, sir, that this publication by the Humanitarian Law
7 Centre was the Serbian translation of a report that had been published
8 some years prior by the OSCE under the same name, "As Seen, As Told," or
9 "Kosovo, As Seen, As Told?"
10 A. I supposed as much. I supposed that it was a translation.
11 Q. But you didn't see in the cover of the report that it said OSCE
12 human rights division?
13 A. I didn't pay attention, but I'll take your word for it, why not.
14 Q. And I imagine, sir, that when you read the portions of this
15 report that related to Djakovica, you realised or noticed that the
16 allegations contained within the report were based on statements taken
17 from refugees that had fled Kosovo during the events that we are
18 concerned with in 1999?
19 A. I think that in the footnotes there were some initials. I think
20 it said that these were statements of certain witnesses or refugees from
21 Kosovo and Metohija.
22 Q. And these would have been Kosovo Albanian refugees that it also
23 would have been stated in the report, correct, who these persons cited in
24 the Djakovica section were?
25 A. I don't know. I don't remember who these people were. It did
1 say, though, that these were Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija.
2 Q. Okay. Now, if we just focus on the statement which is on the
3 screen before us, I believe when you were going through this yesterday
4 with my learned colleague you indicated that once -- I'm referring
5 specifically to, I don't know if we have it -- yeah, we have it on the
6 screen -- to the portion that mentions on the night when the NATO
7 aggression started, I was at the Cabrat hill near Djakovica. And you
8 told us yesterday you confirmed that that is where you were when the NATO
9 bombing campaign began?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. And we are speaking about the night of the 24th of March, 1999?
12 A. Yes. The day the aggression began.
13 Q. Now, in relation to this statement yesterday, you said that from
14 Cabrat hill you saw buildings burning in the old town of Djakovica in
15 Katolicka Street; do you recall saying that?
16 A. Yes, I do. I said what I had seen, and it is the way you just
17 read out.
18 Q. And you said, sir, that you had come to the conclusion that the
19 fire had been caused by NATO bombing?
20 A. Yes. That's what I said.
21 Q. Now, if we turn to page 2 of your statement, and it's the first
22 paragraph in the English, you say that because you were observing the
23 firing from the hill, you could not reach any conclusions as to what had
24 caused the fire on Katolicka Street; that is correct, sir?
25 A. I couldn't see it, but I could make my own conclusions because
1 prior to that, I had heard an explosion.
2 Q. And you were, in fact, in a shelter that night, a shelter you
3 were occupying up on Cabrat hill?
4 A. Yes. It was a shelter underground. One could hear things in it,
5 but not see what is going on outside, not until you peek out, that is.
6 Q. And just to finish off that same sentence, you say, "but I assume
7 this was the consequence of strikes by NATO planes."
8 Now, based on what you've told us, sir, I understand this was not
9 your personal knowledge, you didn't personally see that the fire on
10 Katolicka Street was caused by NATO bombing?
11 A. I said I had heard an explosion and that afterwards I saw the
12 street in flames. I supposed that the fire broke out as a result of NATO
13 aircraft strikes.
14 Q. So can we agree, sir, that this was just an assumption from your
15 part that the cause of this fire was NATO bombing?
16 A. I discussed this with my subordinate officer who had seen it
17 happen. From the shelter itself, I did not see when the bomb landed in
18 Katolicka Street, although I heard it. And I did see Katolicka Street
19 ablaze. But in my immediate vicinity, there was an officer who drew up a
20 statement. I asked him what it was that he had seen. He told me that he
21 saw NATO planes strike at the appropriate time. Based on his statement
22 and what I could observe, I presumed that NATO air-strikes caused the
23 burning of -- the burning down of Katolicka Street.
24 Q. Okay. So what you -- I mean, what you personally observed was
25 the fire?
1 A. Yes. I saw the fire myself.
2 Q. But you have no personal knowledge of what happened on that
4 A. It is not clear to me what you mean by personal knowledge.
5 Q. I'm speaking about your personal observation, and I'm just asking
6 a yes or no question.
7 A. Personally I didn't see the bomb land, but I heard it after which
8 I saw Katolicka Street on fire.
9 Q. What you told us earlier that you had heard was an explosion,
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. And from the hill you saw fire?
13 A. Of course.
14 Q. And that's the extent of your personal knowledge?
15 A. I have personal knowledge from my subordinate officer.
16 Q. I'm just asking of your knowledge. You've explained about your
18 A. Very well. Yes. It is as you say.
19 Q. Sir, when this statement was made, this is in December 2002, the
20 trial against Slobodan Milosevic was underway in The Hague, correct?
21 A. I don't remember. I do remember, though, that I testified here
22 in 2005. I really cannot recall when his trial began.
23 Q. Do you recall when he was arrested, Mr. Milosevic? I mean, that
24 must have been in the news in your country, no? Covered quite
1 A. Of course. It was widely covered. Everyone was talking about it
2 in our country.
3 Q. And do you recall when that was?
4 A. I think it was in March or April, perhaps late March, early April
5 of 2000 or 2001. I'm not sure. No, not 2000, 2001 probably.
6 Q. And are you aware, sir, that the indictment against Mr. Milosevic
7 included allegations regarding the destruction of the old town of
9 A. In the indictment against Mr. Milosevic, there are all sorts of
10 allegations from the original sin onwards. Among others, allegations
11 about Djakovica.
12 Q. Okay. So I take that as a yes. Sir, are you aware that this
13 commission for -- or the so-called Commission for the Co-operation with
14 the ICTY was established by General Pavkovic?
15 A. I don't know who established it. In any case, I followed their
16 order or request.
17 Q. And do you recall approximately when it was established?
18 A. I suppose it must have been at some time before they summoned me.
19 I really don't know when it was established exactly.
20 Q. Okay. And in this statement you say - this is at the end - you
22 "I declare that my unit and I did not have anything to do with
23 the allege destruction either of this part of Djakovica town or of this
24 place of worship."
25 Do you recall saying that, sir, in your statement?
1 A. Of course, I can see it before me. That's what I said. I still
2 stand by it.
3 Q. And when you came here to testify in the defence of
4 Mr. Milosevic, you brought this statement with you, did you?
5 A. I don't know if I brought it with me or if I handed it over to an
6 attorney in Belgrade.
7 Q. And this was one of the statements that you made to the
8 commission that was discussed during your testimony in the Milosevic
10 A. That is correct.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: I want to look at another of these statements, sir.
12 This is D689.
13 Q. And this is a statement dated the previous day, 27th December,
14 2002. And it refers to unit activities on 1st April, 1999. Do you
15 recall going over this one yesterday with my learned colleague?
16 A. Yes, I recall that.
17 Q. And can I take it, sir, that this statement was prepared in the
18 same way as the previous one we've looked at?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So you were again called by members of the commission and shown
21 portions of the report "As Seen, As Told" that concerned events in
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And on the basis of what you read, then you prepared this
25 statement that we have here?
1 A. Yes. Based on what I could remember and what I read, that is how
2 I drew up the statement.
3 Q. Now, I have a question in relation to this statement. You say -
4 and this is towards --
5 MS. KRAVETZ: Maybe we can see page 2 on the screen in both the
6 English and the B/C/S.
7 Q. You say in the almost two last paragraphs:
8 "I learned of the alleged crime committed in the Cerim quarter
9 from the Humanitarian Law Fund book, "Kosovo: As Seen" -- here it's
10 written, "As written or As Told."
11 And then you say: "I affirm that no one from my unit has any
12 connection with the alleged crime in the Cerim quarter."
13 Having read this statement of yours, sir, I'm just wondering
14 which alleged crime in the Cerim quarter you are referring to?
15 A. It says here "alleged." I believe in Serbian it said the
16 "aforementioned," which is different. Allegedly, that is something that
17 one claims. Although, it may be uncertain. It could be hypothetical.
18 That's what allegedly means in our language.
19 Q. Mm-hmm. But, sir, which crime are you referring to in the Cerim
20 district that you are denying having had any connection with?
21 A. Well, this alleged crime that is written about in this book of
22 the Humanitarian Law Fund. In this statement, I'm actually responding to
23 some of the paragraphs in that book where this alleged crime in Cerim is
25 Q. And which crime is that?
1 A. It mentions some civilians there.
2 Q. And what specifically did it say about these civilians, this
3 book? I'm just trying to understand what your statement is about because
4 it's not explained there.
5 A. A picture was shown there. I think it was a house, a burned-down
6 house. And it said something about a street. I don't even know where
7 that street is, but an alleged crime was described there. I read that
8 and then I wrote on the basis of that.
9 Q. And what had had happened at this house according to the report?
10 A. Well, right now I can't remember exactly, but I know that what
11 was mentioned was an alleged crime against some civilians as far as I can
12 remember. Now, it's been quite awhile, but as far as I can remember,
13 that is what it was about. And also about the burning of some house.
14 Q. This alleged crime against civilians, would that have been a
15 massacre, sir, in the Cerim district?
16 A. Well, if I say alleged crime, then I could say alleged massacre
17 as well, you see. You are saying alleged crime to me now and then you
18 you give me a concrete form of crime. I don't know how to define it now,
19 but what I said here was that as for this alleged crime that was
20 described in the book, I have no knowledge about it whatsoever. But I
21 claim that it certainly wasn't committed by any member of my unit, that
22 alleged crime, I mean.
23 Q. Okay. So you are denying any participation in an alleged crime,
24 but you don't remember which crime that was?
25 A. Let's put it that way.
1 Q. Sir, in this statement you refer - and this is on the same page
2 we are looking at - to a statement by a 3rd Battalion commander, Major
3 Dusko Vukasinovic. Do you see that? You say:
4 "According to a statement, one of the platoons was located in
5 Vinarski Podrum facility in the immediate vicinity of the Cerim quarter."
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is this a statement you looked at before preparing your own
8 statement about this alleged crime in the Cerim district?
9 A. Yes. When the commission called me and when they gave me the
10 task to describe that event, I then called the commander of the unit that
11 was nearby, that was a wine cellar, Vinarski Podrum, and I asked him
12 whether he had any knowledge of that alleged crime. I told him to write
13 up what he had said to me then. As I read his statement, I then wrote my
14 own statement.
15 Q. And this wine cellar that you referred to, Vinarski Podrum, is
16 that a locality where members of your brigade were based?
17 A. Yes. Part of the unit, a smaller unit, perhaps a platoon.
18 Maximum up to 20 men, perhaps even less.
19 Q. And was this also in the Cerim district?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you know which neighbourhood of Djakovica that was?
22 A. Well, it's on the right-hand side of the road. Perhaps it's 400
23 or 500 metres away from the Cerim neighbourhood.
24 Q. And in your statement you say that on the night of the 1st of
25 April, you travelled by -- you headed to Djakovica town to the bridge
1 command post and you travelled this route and once again observed no
2 activities in the Cerim quarter?
3 A. Yes, that's the way it was.
4 Q. Did you just happen to have been driving through the Cerim
5 quarter on the night of the 1st of April?
6 A. No, it didn't just happen. That night, or rather, the 30th of
7 April [as interpreted], we had a unit of ours in Ljug Bunar which is also
8 not very far away from Cerim and radar of ours was hit there and two of
9 my soldiers got killed on that occasion. We were then trying to get them
10 out to rescue them, and when that job, I mean, maybe I shouldn't say job,
11 activity, when that was over, then I left and went to the command post,
12 of course.
13 Q. Now, sir, are you aware that the -- oh, I'm sorry, I see my --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Just for
16 the transcript, the date that was registered in the previous answer,
17 could my colleague just have a look at that and could she perhaps check
19 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Kravetz, I leave that to you.
20 MS. KRAVETZ:
21 Q. Sir, I was speaking about the night of the 1st of April, and we
22 have on the transcript that you are referring to that night the 30th of
23 April. Is that correct? That you were speaking about the 30th of April?
24 A. May I have a look at my statement? If that's what the statement
25 says. No, that our radar was hit on the 31st, between the 31st and the
1 1st. Around 2300 hours on the 31st. As we are extinguishing the fire,
2 as we were trying to save the soldiers, it did actually spill over to the
3 1st, so I was going back on the 1st of April, yes, it would be the 1st of
5 Q. Okay. So you are speaking about the night from the 31st to the
6 1st of April? 31st of March to the 1st of April?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you say in your statement that you have no information of any
9 kind about an alleged crime in this quarter, in the Cerim quarter?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Are you aware, sir, that the indictment against Mr. Milosevic
12 contains specific allegations concerning the Cerim quarter? When I'm
13 speaking about specific allegations, I mean a massacre of civilians.
14 A. I don't know what I'm supposed to answer in relation to that. Do
15 I know that that is written in the indictment? As I have already said,
16 everything is written in the indictment against Mr. Milosevic. If you
17 are asking me about a specific event, I hereby state that I have no
18 knowledge about that.
19 Q. Sir, I'm asking specifically if you knew that Mr. Milosevic when
20 he was on trial here at The Hague was accused, among other things, of a
21 massacre in the Cerim quarter, massacre of civilians, specifically on
22 Milos Gilic Street?
23 A. I know that that question was put when I was testifying here,
25 Q. So you are aware that that was one of the allegations against him
1 at the time when this statement was prepared?
2 A. When I testified here, I knew that that question was being asked
3 because he asked me about that too. When I wrote this statement, I did
4 not know that that was contained in his indictment.
5 Q. But you had read specific allegations in the report, "As Seen, As
6 Told," about events in that district, before preparing your statement?
7 A. Of course. On the basis of that which was written in that book
8 of the Humanitarian Law Fund, I was actually given the task of writing my
9 statement, otherwise, I wouldn't have known about that, about that event.
10 And I never would have thought about that. I mean, when I received that
11 book, then I read what was written there about Cerim.
12 Q. Sir, we've had testimony here from former residents of the Cerim
13 district about a massacre that took place on 157 Milos Gilic Street, and
14 it's a massacre that involved the killing of 20 civilians in a house
15 which was later burnt down. Have you heard about that incident, sir?
16 A. I read that in that book otherwise, I hadn't heard of it. How
17 else would I have heard about it? I did not know anything about that.
18 Q. So you do recall what the specific allegations or the alleged
19 crime referred to in your report had to do with?
20 A. Yes, yes. Some civilians were being referred to in a house, but
21 I couldn't remember the name of the street.
22 Q. And, sir, based on the evidence we have of persons who were in
23 the neighbourhood at the time these civilians were shot at by members of
24 the MUP, killed, and then the house was set on fire, did you know about
25 that incident, sir?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Had a massacre of that nature taken place in the Cerim district,
3 would that have been reported to you by members of your unit who were on
4 the ground?
5 A. Had they had such knowledge, yes.
6 Q. And had a massacre of that nature taken place, would that also
7 have been reported to the head of the SUP in Djakovica?
8 A. If I had found out about something like that, I would have
9 notified him about that.
10 Q. In fact, sir, if a massacre of that nature had taken place in the
11 Cerim district, it would have been quite difficult to hide it, no? It
12 would have been -- information about that would have been shared and
13 would have become known by you and by the head of the SUP?
14 A. I don't know about that. I had not found out about that. I
15 cannot make any assumptions. I didn't find out about anything.
16 Q. Very well, sir. I want to move away from this statement now and
17 ask you about some testimony you gave yesterday regarding the large-scale
18 movement of the civilian population in Kosovo. Do you remember speaking
19 being that, sir, yesterday?
20 A. Of course. There were movements by civilians. Now, the question
21 was what people considered to be large scale. I said that I saw groups
22 of people. The biggest group that I had seen was between 200 and 300
23 persons. There was movement, yes, and now what people say in terms of
24 what was large scale or smaller scale, that varies, but there were --
25 there was movement by people, yes.
1 Q. And you said, sir, yesterday, that when the NATO bombing began in
2 March of 1999, you began seeing this movement on a daily basis, and I
3 believe you gave the same numbers you've just given, 200, 300 persons?
4 Do you recall giving that testimony?
5 A. Well, if not every day, but it was frequent at any rate. Very
6 frequent. Since I was not in Djakovica every day but when I was there,
7 there was movement very frequently.
8 Q. And, sir, you said that some five or six or ten days after the
9 NATO bombing began, especially when people started talking about
10 ammunition with depleted uranium, and you said - and these are your
11 words - "they arrived in waves." You were speaking about the refugees.
12 Do you recall saying that?
13 A. It wasn't ammunition that was coming in waves, it was refugees
14 that were coming in waves, yes, that is what I said.
15 Q. And you said they weren't single families, they were, in fact,
16 large groups moved on foot and tractors?
17 A. Yes, yes. There were certain places where they would gather and
18 wait for one another, and then they would continue their journey
20 Q. And when you say they would continue their journey together, I
21 understand from the evidence you gave yesterday that they were continuing
22 a journey leaving Djakovica, in fact? They were heading out of Djakovica
24 A. For the the most part, yes.
25 Q. And this reference you made to "they arrived in waves," this
1 would mean that, if I understand you correctly, approximately towards the
2 beginning of April, that is six or ten days after the NATO bombing
3 campaign began, end of March, beginning of April, that is when you saw
4 the largest groups of refugees heading out of town, these waves of
5 refugees that you are speaking about?
6 A. Well, for the most part, the beginning of April or end of March.
7 Q. So that was the period when you saw the largest groups of
8 refugees heading out of town? End of March, beginning of April?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, yesterday and also today you said that -- you you referred
11 to the fact that these persons were leaving for fear of ammunition
12 containing depleted uranium. In fact, yesterday you said that these
13 waves of refugees, you started seeing them after people started talking
14 about ammunition with depleted uranium; do you recall saying that, sir?
15 A. I recall saying that, but I did not say that that was the main
16 reason. I said one of the reasons. I said there was the bombing, any
17 kind of bombing, then at the end I said knowledge that depleted uranium
18 ammunition was being used.
19 Q. Yes, I understand you have also today indicated other causes not
20 only depleted uranium, but you did say that this was one of the causes
21 that you considered to be the reason why these persons were leaving, fear
22 of ammunition being used by NATO containing depleted uranium?
23 A. Yes, inter alia.
24 Q. And how do you know that, sir?
25 A. I know that because certain people talked to refugees and there
1 was -- there was talk going around town that depleted uranium ammunition
2 made men sterile, and that is what they were particularly afraid of.
3 That was their concern about their offspring. That's what I heard from
4 some of my soldiers and officers. I had soldiers and officers from
5 Djakovica who knew people who were leaving. They had talked to them. I
6 didn't hear that from anyone because I didn't talk to anyone since I
7 don't speak a word of Albanian, but I did hear these things. I had
8 knowledge of that kind.
9 Q. Sir, so this is not personal knowledge? You spoke to no one
10 about this? You did not ask the refugees yourself about this?
11 A. I personally did not talk to a single refugee who had said that
12 kind of thing.
13 Q. Sir, earlier in this case, some weeks ago, we had the testimony
14 of General Petkovic, the chief of administration of land forces. Do you
15 know who he is?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. And General Petkovic told us that he conducted some sort of study
18 on the use of depleted uranium by NATO, and he said that the first
19 physical samples of this type of ammunition being used in Kosovo was not
20 found until sometime in late April, sometime around 20th of April, 1999.
21 Do you accept that testimony, sir?
22 MS. KRAVETZ: I can give a reference. I believe this is in his
23 statement D512, page 2. The date of 18th of April is given.
24 Q. Sir, this would have been -- 18th of April would have been well
25 after the time when you said you saw the large waves of refugees leaving
1 town, correct?
2 A. I cannot fully agree with him because I was in Djakovica, and I
3 saw an A-10 aircraft operating. That is the only aircraft that uses
4 depleted uranium ammunition in addition to cruise missiles that can also
5 have warheads containing depleted uranium. However, now you are trying
6 to say to me that the use of depleted uranium ammunition was the only
7 reason for population movement, but I said --
8 Q. Sir, sir, sir --
9 A. -- that was one of the reasons.
10 Q. I'm not suggesting that. I'm just referring you to your
11 statement of yesterday when you said that the refugees began arriving in
12 waves when word spread that NATO was using depleted uranium. And you
13 have told us that you recall saying that yesterday, so I'm not suggesting
14 that that is the only reason that you said was the cause of the movement.
15 But you, in fact, had no personal knowledge that that was the reason why
16 the refugees were leaving in such large waves towards the end of March,
17 early April?
18 A. I said that that was one of the reasons, that they had heard --
19 Q. I'm not challenging that you said there were other reasons. What
20 I'm asking you specifically is, or what I'm putting to you is that you
21 had no personal knowledge that that was the reason why there was such a
22 large-scale movement, these waves of refugees leaving Djakovica town in
23 the end of March, early April? You have no personal knowledge that this
24 was one of the reasons?
25 A. I don't agree with you.
1 Q. You are, in fact, sir, just simply speculating that that was the
2 reason that they were leaving?
3 A. Of course I'm not speculating. I don't speak Albanian. I didn't
4 discuss this with any of the refugees, but I had information coming from
5 my officers and soldiers who could speak Albanian who told me that.
6 Personally, I didn't speak to a single refugee.
7 Q. And I was just asking for your personal knowledge, sir. Thank
9 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I think it's time for the break. I
10 think Your Honour indicated that we are breaking at 5.30.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, we will break now and resume at 6.00.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 --- Recess taken at 5.31 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Kravetz.
17 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Sir, I want to now turn your attention to an operation that you
19 spoke about extensively during your testimony, and this is an operation
20 with a code-name Reka. Do you remember being asked some questions about
21 that by my learned colleague?
22 A. Yes, it was actually an action called Reka.
23 Q. Okay. We'll refer to it as action Reka. I understood from your
24 testimony, sir, that this is an action that took place over two days, the
25 27th and 28th of April, 1999?
1 A. That is so.
2 Q. And you've indicated that a logistic battalion of your brigade
3 under the command of Zlatko Odak took part in this operation? I
4 apologise if the pronunciation of the name is incorrect.
5 A. Your pronunciation was quite good, however, the name of the unit
6 is incorrect. It was not a battalion. It was a company. The difference
7 is quite important in terms of size. Major Odak was the commander of the
8 logistics battalion.
9 Q. Yes, I think I misspoke there. So it's a company from this
10 logistic battalion which was commanded by Major Zlatko Odak, correct?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. And I think you spoke about this action taking place in the
13 Carragojs valley?
14 A. I pronounce it as Carragojs, that's how it's spelled, and that's
15 how I pronounce it, although I'm not positive that is the correct name.
16 In any case, we refer to that area as Reka.
17 Q. And the general area of Reka, does that also include the Trava
19 A. That's the same name.
20 Q. Okay. So I said general, we won't be too picky with
21 pronunciations here, so don't worry about that. The village of Meja
22 sir, is this a village that is close to the town of Djakovica, in fact,
23 just outside the town?
24 A. I think it's some 7 or 8 kilometres away from the town.
25 Q. And would it be correct to say that this village, if you are
1 heading out of Djakovica going west, this would be somewhere towards the
2 start of this Carragojs valley area?
3 A. I suppose so. I suppose so. I have never been to Meja and I
4 don't really know that exactly. Although, I suppose it is in that
5 general area.
6 Q. Okay. And you've told us, sir, during the course of your
7 evidence, that this company from your brigade was deployed on Cabrat
8 hill? You've, in fact, marked it on a map; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you said that the highest point of this hill was of above
11 Djakovica town?
12 A. Yes, possibly.
13 Q. So, in fact, the area where your company was deployed was a
14 vantage point in that area, from where you would have visibility to
15 localities surrounding Djakovica?
16 A. No, it was not. From that place one could not observe Djakovica.
17 You could only observe the rear where the company was deployed. It was
18 at an elevation. They could see this way, but on the other side there is
19 a forest, and it is still pretty far from Djakovica. That is not the
20 place at Cabrat hill where I was when the aggression started. It's not
21 the same place.
22 Q. Maybe my question wasn't clear. I wasn't saying whether it was
23 vantage point to look out to Djakovica, but you were high enough so you
24 could look in the point opposite direction? So looking west?
25 A. From that place, well, to the west, it's actually south-west, but
1 one can't see much from there. It is at the edge of a forest. I visited
2 them, and I saw their positions.
3 Q. And you've told us that this action, Reka, was led by Milan Kotur
4 from the Pristina Corps forward command post?
5 A. Yes. By decision of the forward command post of the Pristina
6 Corps, he commanded that action.
7 Q. You also said that the purpose of the action was to neutralise
9 A. Yes, the basic goal of that action was to have that area, which
10 is strategically very important, in which there was a great number of
11 terrorists, and from which they made incursions and carried out attacks
12 on our columns to neutralise that area, to have the area clear of them.
13 Q. You also said, sir -- well, before I put that question, on the
14 days preceding the Reka action there had been a killing by the KLA of
15 five policemen in the general area of Meja; correct?
16 A. I heard something about that, but well, yes, I think it happened.
17 As for whether five people were killed or if there was anyone wounded,
18 that's something I'm not completely sure of.
19 Q. A local policeman by the name of Milutin Prascevic was among
20 those killed, correct?
21 A. I think his name was Prascevic or Prosevic, in any case, similar
22 to that.
23 Q. And this was someone you knew yourself?
24 A. No.
25 Q. When you testified about this action in the Milosevic case, and
1 this is at page 45436 of the transcript, you were asked about this
2 action. And you said:
3 "It was common knowledge that that part belongs to the general
4 area of Reka and there were many terrorists."
5 And then you say:
6 "It was an area where terrorists engaged in large-scale
7 operations and activities, and it's true that terrorists killed five
9 And you were referring to a statement that was being put to you
10 and you said:
11 "He mentions Prascevic, I knew Prascevic myself."
12 Is that correct, sir, the evidence that you gave in the Milosevic
13 case, that Prascevic was a policeman that you knew yourself?
14 A. I heard of him, but I didn't know him personally. Prascevic, I
15 couldn't recognise that person if I met him.
16 Q. And you don't recall saying when you testified here earlier that
17 this was, in fact, a person that you knew yourself?
18 A. I don't remember that.
19 Q. Sir, in relation to this same action, you say:
20 "As for Meja" - and this, I'm reading your Milosevic transcript,
21 same page - "it was an anti-terrorist operation exclusively which was
22 legal, lawful with the aim of rounding up the killers of those
24 Do you stand by that statement, sir, that this was a legal,
25 lawful action aimed at rounding up the killers of these five policemen?
1 A. That was not the goal of that action, and it wasn't the only
2 goal. Quite a contrary. I think the basic goal of the action was to
3 neutralise the Siptar terrorist forces in that area --
4 Q. Sir --
5 A. So as to secure --
6 Q. I just want to go back to my question. I read something out to
7 you, and I'm just asking if you stand by what you said in the Milosevic
8 case? I can read it out again, that this was a legal, lawful --
9 A. Please do.
10 Q. That this was a legal, lawful action with the aim of rounding up
11 the killers of these policemen. This is what you said when you testified
12 here the previous time. Do you stand by that, sir? It's really just a
13 yes or no question.
14 A. Do you want me to tell you whether I said so or -- could you
15 please repeat. I'm not sure what I should answer to.
16 Q. Sir, I'm putting to you what you said when you testified here
17 previously as to the aim of this action, and I'm asking whether you stand
18 by that statement, by what you said when you testified in the Milosevic
20 A. At the time, I didn't sufficiently explain the basic goal of that
21 action when I said that. Perhaps I didn't use the right words to explain
22 what was the main reason for that action.
23 Q. I'm not sure you are answering my question, sir. I understand
24 that you are saying there might be more than one goal for the action, I'm
25 just asking if this was one of the aims, to round up the killers of the
1 five policemen, which is what you said when you testified here the
2 previous time?
3 A. I would need to know the question put to me at the time. Was the
4 question for me to enumerate all the goals of that action or maybe the
5 question was put in such a way that I provided this answer.
6 Q. Sir, the question simply -- you were being put a statement by
7 another witness and this is a statement you gave on your own about the
8 action, and all I'm asking, sir, is whether you stand by it or not, and I
9 don't believe you are answering my question. It's simply just a yes or
11 A. I claim that the basic goal of the action Reka was to neutralise
12 the Siptar terrorist forces in the Carragojs valley. As for whether it
13 was legal, of course it was. It was a legal action. It had been planned
14 and of course, among other things, one of the goals was to catch the
15 killers of those policemen. This was one of many incidents which took
17 Q. And that was all I was asking, sir.
18 Now, if we move on from this point, this action, the Reka action,
19 did not only involve a company from your brigade. In fact, it involved
20 many units from other brigades as well, correct?
21 A. Several units participated, among others mine.
22 Q. And among those units that participated was the 125th Motorised
23 Brigade, correct?
24 A. I don't know about that one. It is possible that it
1 Q. But you don't recall hearing about that from Major Odak, which
2 units were involved?
3 A. Major Odak could only have seen the units which were adjacent to
4 him. This was the second battalion of the 549th Brigade. He could not
5 have known of the participation of other units. The 125th Brigade was at
6 Kosare, in that part of the area.
7 Q. You've referred to the 2nd Battalion of the 549th Brigade, do you
8 know who commanded that battalion?
9 A. The commander of that battalion was Colonel Vlatko Vukovic.
10 Q. Now, you say you don't have any recollection of whether the 125th
11 Motorised Brigade participated in this action; am I understanding you
13 A. I don't know whether it participated or not. It may have, it may
14 have not. It was decided by the person who planned the action.
15 Q. I want to show you a document in connection to this action.
16 MS. KRAVETZ: This is P950. If we could have that up on the
18 Q. This is a document dated 27th of April, 1999, sent by the 125th
19 Motorised Brigade Command to the Pristina Corps Command in the Djakovica
20 forward command. You have the document there, sir, in front of you?
21 A. Yes, I can see it. I can see it as a document of the 125th
22 Motorised Brigade although it's a bit difficult to read. In any case, I
23 can see it's their document.
24 Q. Yes, it is.
25 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could turn to page 2, and I'm looking for
1 number 2.
2 Q. I'm just waiting for that to be up on your screen, sir. We see
3 that the second sentence of number 2 says:
4 "Part of the forces is engaged in mopping up the terrain from STS
5 in the general area of Reka in keeping with your decision."
6 Do you see that, sir?
7 A. Which item was that?
8 Q. Number 2.
9 A. "Units of the brigade are focused on reinforcement, setting up
10 obstacles." I don't see that. On page 1 or page 2?
11 Q. Second sentence of number 2.
12 A. "Part of the forces is engaged in mopping up the terrain from STS
13 in the general area of Reka, in keeping with your decision." Yes, that's
14 what it says.
15 Q. I know this is not a document from your brigade, sir, but would
16 you agree with me based on what we've been discussing that this reference
17 here to the general area of Reka is, in fact, a reference to the same
18 action that we've been speaking about?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And we see in the Serbian version - it's not up on the screen in
21 the English - that this is a document that was sent by the commander
22 Colonel Dragan Zivanovic. That would be the commander of the 125th
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. In addition to this unit that we spoke about, the battalion from
1 the 549th and the 125th Brigade and the elements from your brigade that
2 you spoke about, do you know, sir, that there were also -- or there was
3 also a MUP unit involved in this action? Do you have any information on
5 A. I only have information about my unit and the unit adjacent to
6 mine. As for the rest of the forces, including the 125th Brigade, I have
7 no information or knowledge about that. They may have been there and yet
8 they may not have. I have no knowledge based on which I could assert
9 that they did or did not participate.
10 MS. KRAVETZ: Okay. And if we could just have another document
11 up since you've mentioned the 125th. This is P920.
12 Q. And, sir, I was speaking specifically about whether there was a
13 MUP unit involved, and you responded as for the rest of the forces
14 including the 125th Brigade you have no information of knowledge. I'm
15 understanding that also includes the MUP unit, you had no information of
16 whether there was a MUP unit involved?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Now, if we look at the document here in front of you, sir, we see
19 it is again a document from the command of the 125th Motorised Brigade.
20 This is dated 28th April. So it's the day following the document that we
21 just looked at. And we see that this is a regular combat report sent by
22 this unit.
23 MS. KRAVETZ: And I would like to go in this document, I believe
24 it's on the same page in the B/C/S, but in the English it's number 2.
25 Q. And the second sentence says:
1 "Some forces have been used to clear the terrain of STS in the
2 general Reka sector, as per your decision."
3 Again, sir, based on what we've been discussing here, would you
4 agree with me that this reference here to an action or participation in
5 clearing the terrain in the general Reka sector will be -- is a reference
6 to the same Reka action that we've been speaking about?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you for that. Now, sir, we'll move away from this document
9 and while you were being questioned about this action by my learned
10 colleague, you were shown a statement that you gave to the Commission for
11 Co-operation with the ICTY, and this is D703.
12 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could have that up on the screen.
13 Q. This is a statement dated 27th December, 2002. Do you recall
14 discussing this with my learned colleague during your testimony
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. And, sir, if I understood your testimony yesterday correctly, you
18 wrote this after you read allegations in what you've referred to as a
19 book called "As Seen, As Told?"
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. And we've already looked at two other statements of yours that
22 were given to this commission. I understand, sir, from your evidence
23 that this statement that we have here, the 27th of December, 2002
24 statement was prepared in a similar fashion as the other ones that you've
25 prepared, that is, you were called by the commission, shown these
1 allegations, and asked to respond to them?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Sir, if we turn to page 2 of this statement, and I just want to
4 direct your attention to the second paragraph. It's a paragraph starting
6 "On 27th and 28th of April, part of my unit, the intervention
7 company, which comprised sections of the logistics battalion and command
8 battalion, participated in an operation to seal off the designated
9 territory in the Cabrat sector from elevation 478 to k. 442 (overlooking
10 the poultry farm)" it says.
11 Is this the same positions you were referring to yesterday during
12 the course of your evidence when you drew on the map the location of your
13 unit on Cabrat hill?
14 A. I did not quite understand the interpretation I received. So
15 could you please repeat your question.
16 Q. It was a rather long question so probably my fault, sir. I just
17 read a passage which is the second paragraph here, and my question was
18 just simple. It refers to your -- part of your unit being deployed on
19 Cabrat hill. Yesterday you drew on a map an area of deployment, and I'm
20 just asking you to confirm whether what you drew on the map yesterday
21 refers to the same area that's being discussed in the statement that you
23 A. Yes, yes. What I drew yesterday does relate to the positions of
24 my unit on Cabrat hill, yes.
25 Q. Now, earlier today, sir, my colleague was putting to you
1 several - I think it was at the beginning of today's session - several
2 passages of the statement of one of your subordinates, Nike Peraj. Do
3 you recall going through several passages of that with my learned
4 colleague earlier today?
5 A. Yes, I recall that.
6 Q. And there was one passage, in, I believe, it was paragraph 65 of
7 Nike Peraj's statement which referred to this operation Reka being
8 commanded from the forward command post by several officers including
9 General Lazarevic. Do you remember that was put to you?
10 A. I remember that that is what was written in the statement.
11 Q. And you told us, sir, that that was not true? You said it was, I
12 believe the words you used was "physically impossible." This is at
13 transcript page 2, line 14 onwards of today's transcript. Because you
14 said that General Lazarevic was, in fact, with you on the 27th of April
15 in Pristina. Do you recall that, sir, saying that it was physical
16 impossible --
17 A. The 27th of April, not the 28th. He was with me on the 27th of
18 April, not the 28th.
19 Q. I said 27th of April, sir. And the passage, in fact, in
20 Mr. Peraj's statement referred to the 27th, and you said that is not
21 true, General Lazarevic was with me. Do you recall saying that, it was
22 physically impossible because he was in Pristina with you attending, I
23 think, an award ceremony, did you say, sir? That you were attending an
24 award ceremony on the 27th of April in Pristina?
25 A. Yes, we were together at that ceremony.
1 Q. Sir, just drawing your attention to paragraph 3 of this statement
2 that you yourself wrote, you say:
3 "Between 1300 hours and 1400 hours on the 27th of April, 1999, I
4 personally inspected the unit on the sealed-off line and ensured that
5 they had taken correct position."
6 And you say:
7 "As I did so, I pointed out some minor things they had failed to
8 do while fortifying the camouflage position because NATO aircraft were
9 flying over the area the whole time."
10 Do you see that paragraph, sir?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. So, sir, it is in fact physically impossible, using your same
13 words, for you to be at an award ceremony with General Lazarevic in
14 Pristina and also be inspecting the line -- the sealed-off line that your
15 unit had set up on Cabrat hill, correct?
16 A. Correct. I reviewed the unit perhaps somewhat later. I
17 inspected it somewhat later. When I wrote this statement I really could
18 not remember all details. This statement was written on the basis of
19 memory only, without any documents. I'm not sure, I mean, I wrote that
20 it was between 13- and 1400 hours, but it must have been somewhat later.
21 I arrived from Pristina via Igarevo and Kijevo which is the shortest
22 route. Now that I go back, as I try to remember it, it was on the same
23 day but it must have been later.
24 Q. So you are saying that General Lazarevic was with you part of
25 that day but not the whole day because you did spend part of the day
1 reviewing your -- or inspecting your units up on Cabrat hill?
2 A. He was there, or rather, I left the ceremony before he did. I
3 don't know how long he stayed there, but I came straight there to inspect
4 that unit after the ceremony. In a way, it was in passing that I did
5 that because that is the way you do go to Djakovica anyway.
6 Q. And you say you have no idea how long General Lazarevic remained
7 at the ceremony?
8 A. That's right, I have no idea.
9 Q. You, in fact, have no idea of what were the whereabouts of
10 General Lazarevic for the rest of that day because he wasn't with you
12 A. Of course. It's not for me to ask General Lazarevic where he is,
13 but I did leave and he stayed on.
14 Q. So when you said, sir, that the statement made by Mr. Peraj that
15 General Lazarevic was commanding the action from the forward command
16 post, Djakovica forward command post of the Pristina Corps, in fact, sir,
17 when you said that that was not true, that is not correct, is it? He may
18 have -- Mr. Peraj could be completely correct when he is saying that,
19 that General Lazarevic was commanding this action?
20 A. It's not the same thing to go and inspect a unit and to go and
21 command a unit. That action in Meja started in the morning on the 27th,
22 and I was with General Lazarevic around 11.00, 12.00. There was a
23 cocktail afterwards, a reception, and we stayed, say, until 2.00 or 3.00.
24 For him to go and command, he would have to go to the command post first,
25 familiarise himself with the situation, and then command. However, that
1 is not what happened.
2 Q. But you really don't know, sir, if that's what happened because
3 you've told us that you do not know what were the whereabouts of General
4 Lazarevic once you left that awards ceremony?
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. And you've also told us today earlier in your evidence that when
7 you were speaking about General Lazarevic, that he was someone who would
8 tour units in the field and who would always be informed of actions that
9 would take place that involved his units, correct? You recall saying
10 that when you were speaking about him?
11 A. There is no dispute in terms of that. He had units all over
12 Kosovo and Metohija. It's action Reka, but he had actions going on
13 throughout Kosovo and Metohija and he could have gone to inspect any unit
14 at any point in time. I really don't know where General Lazarevic was
15 when I left Pristina. I don't know, and it wasn't his obligation to tell
16 me, and it's not customary for me to ask him where he went.
17 Q. So he could have gone to the forward command post of -- in
18 Djakovica of the Pristina Corps?
19 A. I don't know. I'm saying that I did not see him. I was not
20 there either. I was not at the command post, that is. I did not see
21 him, and I know that he stayed on after me. That's what I can tell you.
22 I cannot speculate as to where he was, whether he could have arrived
23 there, whether he did arrive there and so on.
24 Q. So the truth is, you don't know? You don't know if he was there
25 or not?
1 A. The truth is that I did not see him there and that he stayed on
2 in Pristina after I left.
3 Q. When you say "I did not see him there," did you personally go to
4 the forward command post of the Pristina Corps while this action was
5 taking place?
6 A. No.
7 Q. So you wouldn't know if he was there or not? You weren't there?
8 A. I was not there. My Chief of Staff, Colonel Stankovic, was
9 there, and he would have told me had the commander come. If the
10 commander was in Djakovica, I'd have to know that. Whenever the
11 commander came, I as brigade commander was duty-bound to meet him there,
12 to salute him, report to him, and if the corps commander came to
13 Djakovica, I would have to know that.
14 Q. But, sir, based on what you've told us about General Lazarevic as
15 a commander and the way he kept himself well informed of the actions of
16 his units, you would agree with me that an action of this nature
17 involving so many different units of the Pristina Corps Command would be
18 an action that he would have been fully informed of?
19 A. First of all, it's not that that many units participated. If it
20 was the case, it was parts of units. You showed me the 125th Brigade
21 document a few moments ago, I believe what I saw in the commander's
22 report. He said part of his unit, and then part of my unit was there.
23 Now, if someone were to interpret this, they might say two brigades.
24 However, that didn't even have to be two companies, to say it could have
25 been two companies only. That is not any kind of meaningful force that
1 it would be a task of primary importance for the corps commander. The
2 corps commander deals with other matters. After all, it is not customary
3 for the chief of the staff of the corps to be at the same place where the
4 corps commander is. The Chief of Staff of the corps was certainly there.
5 Colonel Milan Kotur was the one who was in charge of the action, so I
6 assert that General Lazarevic was not there, to the best of my knowledge.
7 Q. To the best of your knowledge, but you don't know that for sure?
8 A. Well, I cannot be sure because I wasn't with him all the time,
9 stuck to him. How could I know? Also, I would have been informed had he
10 come to Djakovica, but my Chief of Staff did not inform me about that.
11 Q. You've told us that. Sir, when actions were carried out by
12 Pristina Corps units that involved multiple units, would these actions
13 have to have the approval of the Pristina Corps Commander before being
14 carried out?
15 A. A forward command post had the right to make decisions.
16 Therefore, I don't know about that. I do know that the tasks that I
17 received from the forward command post I treated the same way as any
18 other task that I was given by the corps commander. I cannot go into
19 that now.
20 Q. Sir, could a large-scale action involving multiple units of the
21 Pristina Corps be launched without the knowledge of General Lazarevic?
22 A. I don't know about that.
23 Q. You don't know. You don't know whether he had to approve actions
24 that involved multiple units of the Pristina Corps?
25 A. The forward command post was in Djakovica, and the Chief of Staff
1 was there.
2 Q. Sir, I'm asking you about General Lazarevic, not about the
3 Pristina -- the Djakovica forward command post.
4 A. I don't know whether he had to know or not. I cannot give you an
5 answer to that.
6 Q. You don't know whether he had to be even informed of actions that
7 involved multiple units of the Pristina Corps?
8 A. To approve is one thing and to be informed is another. I'm sure
9 that he could have been informed.
10 Q. And you are saying that large-scale operations that involve
11 multiple units did not require his approval? They did not require the
12 approval of the commander of the Pristina Corps; is that what you are
14 MS. KRAVETZ: I see my learned colleague is on his feet.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Your answer, sir?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, units did not
18 participate. It was parts of units that participated. If parts of units
19 participate, depending on the size of the force involved, he may or may
20 not be informed. However, the forward command post in Djakovica had the
21 right to plan and order us commanders to carry out certain actions that
22 had been planned according to their concept.
23 I cannot go into the relationships and authority between the
24 forward command post and the corps. I cannot tell you exactly now.
25 MS. KRAVETZ:
1 Q. I'm not asking that, sir. You said that depending on the size of
2 the force involved, he may or not be informed. So I take it from that,
3 sir, that you were speaking about a sizeable operation involving multiple
4 units or sections of units, however you want to call it? This is
5 something that he would have been informed about?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. This is something that he would have had to approve before the
8 operation or the action was launched, if we are talking about a
9 large-scale sizeable action involving multiple units?
10 A. I don't know about that. What I do know is that I had to receive
11 from the corps commander everything that had to do with my unit, or I can
12 receive a task from the forward command post. You are asking me to go
13 into some kind of relationships that go beyond my powers. The corps
14 command is above my level. I know what my obligations are vis-à-vis the
15 corps command, and I know what the rights of the corps command are in
16 respect of me. As for the relations between the forward command post and
17 the corps command and corps commander, I don't know about that in great
18 detail, and the situation may vary from one case to another.
19 Q. Okay, sir, we'll leave that.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
21 Mr. Popovic.
22 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The
23 objection is no longer valid because the question has been answered.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
25 MS. KRAVETZ:
1 Q. Sir, I want to - we have very little time left today - show you
2 another statement.
3 MS. KRAVETZ: This is, in fact, I should point out, Your Honours,
4 in the English it's part of D730, but we noticed when looking at this
5 document that the corresponding B/C/S translation hasn't been uploaded as
6 part of D730, so we have uploaded it as a separate exhibit in e-court for
7 the purpose of being able to show the witness the B/C/S version of the
8 document. And this is 65 ter 60 -- 06050. If we could have that up on
9 the screen.
10 Q. This is, again, a statement that you prepared for the Commission
11 of Co-operation, and it's dated also 27th of December, 2002, like the one
12 we had looked at previously, and it refers to activities of your unit on
13 the 28th of April, 1999. Do you see that, sir?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Sir, when you -- this statement -- when you prepared this
16 statement and the previous one that we looked at, did you consult any
17 other documents other than the book or report "As Seen, As Told?"
18 A. No, we had no documents. We had no documents made available to
19 us. It was only based on memory and memory only.
20 Q. You've told us, sir, that you yourself didn't participate in the
21 Reka action, correct? You weren't involved, it was your subordinate,
22 Mr. Zlatko Odak?
23 A. Yes, I was not there. I just visited them. I checked on that
24 unit, but I was not involved in the action itself, no.
25 Q. And if I understood your evidence yesterday and today correctly,
1 the information that you have about this operation is the information
2 that Mr. Odak gave to you?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. So just drawing your attention, sir, to paragraph 2. We see at
5 the bottom part you are referring to a seal-off operation on the
6 following line, and then you said:
7 "To the left trig point 442, to the right 478 Batraki, aimed at
8 preventing the withdrawal of STS
10 You see that, sir?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. And you say at the bottom of the statement:
13 "I hereby state categorically that neither I nor anyone else from
14 my unit committed or participated in any war crime during that time. I
15 also do not have any knowledge that such a crime was perpetrated by any
16 other unit."
17 Do you see that, sir?
18 A. Yes, I see that. I do.
19 Q. I take it you stand by that, what you stated here?
20 A. Yes.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I seek to tender this exhibit into
22 evidence 65 ter 0650.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01539.
25 MS. KRAVETZ:
1 Q. Sir, do you know if your subordinate Major Odak was interviewed
2 by this commission in relation to this incident that we've been
4 A. I think that he did testify here.
5 Q. I'm asking if he gave a statement to this same Commission for
6 Co-operation with the ICTY?
7 A. Oh, this commission, yes.
8 Q. And were you present during the time that he gave his statement?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you consult his statement before preparing yours?
11 A. I think so.
12 Q. So you had a look at his statement before you did yours?
13 A. Yes, I had a look at it.
14 Q. I had asked you earlier, sir, if you had consulted any other
15 sources other than the book called "As Seen, As Told," and you had told
16 me that you had not. Do you recall saying that?
17 A. Not any document, but I didn't mean statements. I mean, I
18 thought documents that could be found in archives and things like that.
19 I'm saying that I did not look at other documents from the brigade from
20 that given period, but Odak's statement, yes, I did have a look at that.
21 If you meant at that point in time when you were asking me whether I
22 looked at something like his statement too, then I certainly did. I'm
23 saying now, yes, I did.
24 MS. KRAVETZ: And if we could have that up on the screen, it's 65
25 ter 06045.
1 Q. Sir, I'm just going to draw your attention to the bottom of this
2 document if we could scroll it down, the paragraph beginning with, "On
3 the 25th of April, I was given the task," and I'd like to direct your
4 attention to the sentence that refers to the following line for the
5 seal-off operation and then it indicates the trig point for the
6 operation, and it goes on to say, "with the aim of preventing the
7 withdrawal of STS
8 Do you see that?
9 A. The aim of his unit I carried out indispensable preparations for
10 carrying out combat task within which I regulated; is that what you
12 Q. Mm-hmm.
13 A. The procedure for the unit and individuals in the event of
14 encountering the Siptar terrorist forces --
15 Q. Sir, sir, I'm going to stop you there because we are running out
16 of time. Sir, I put to you that this sentence that refers to the trig
17 point and the aim of preventing the action is, in fact, almost verbatim
18 in this statement that you prepared for the commission?
19 A. Well, I did say that I used Odak's statement because I wasn't
20 there. I wrote my statement on the basis of his statement. Just as the
21 commission gave me the task of writing my statement, I called him and I
22 said, "How did all of that go, write it up." Because he was there all
23 the time. I was there for 10 or 15 minutes. I went there, I visited
24 them, made certain remarks, and left.
25 As for the events that are being asked about here, my only
1 knowledge comes from him as commander of the unit. I never said that I
2 was there all the time. My statement is based on Major Odak's statement.
3 Q. Okay. So you looked at the statement and made sure that both
4 statements contained the same information?
5 JUDGE PARKER: I think the answer of the witness was that he had
6 asked the major to write what occurred. He then read what the major
7 wrote and he wrote his statement based on what the major had said.
8 MS. KRAVETZ: I withdraw that question. Your Honour --
9 JUDGE PARKER: We do need to stop.
10 MS. KRAVETZ: I seek to tender this exhibit and my apologies for
11 going over time.
12 JUDGE PARKER: This will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be Exhibit P01540.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what the
16 possibilities of the Court are, but our request, the request of the
17 Defence is to go on for about 10 minutes or so. The redirect will be
18 very short so if Ms. Kravetz does not have many more questions, then we
19 would complete our redirect very quickly, and we would greatly appreciate
20 it if you could extend our working hours a bit so that we would finish
21 this witness.
22 JUDGE PARKER: We would often like to accommodate you,
23 Mr. Popovic, but that sort of request creates many problems. They are
24 problems about transport and your client being returned to custody.
25 There are problems about the times for the interpreters and the other
1 support staff, some of whom are outside this courtroom, and my experience
2 is that those problems are such that it is not justified for us to extend
3 our time.
4 I'm sorry about that, but given the time that's been spent with
5 the witness in examination-in-chief, I don't think we can hurry
6 Ms. Kravetz, and I don't believe that in fairness to the administrative
7 organisation, that we can just on the spur of the moment extend the
8 hearing. So we must continue tomorrow.
9 We adjourn.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.
12 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 17th day of
13 February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.