1 Tuesday, 23 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 be seated. Mr. Djurdjic continues.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: MOMIR STOJANOVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examination by Mr. Djurdjic: [Continued]
14 Q. Good afternoon, General.
15 Sir, we did tab 52 yesterday, that was the last thing we did,
17 General, sir, what I'd like to know is this: In 1999 during the
18 Kosovo Verification Mission operation in Kosovo and Metohija, did you
19 know anything, or did you do anything about their dealings with certain
20 Albanians whose activities were at the time targeting the VJ and
21 generally speaking the security forces of Yugoslavia and the Republic of
23 A. We went through a number of documents yesterday showing that we
24 knew that the Kosovo Verification Mission in Kosovo and Metohija which
25 was established following the signing of the Milosevic-Holbrooke
1 Agreement was monitoring all of the army and MUP activity, but they were
2 also supposed to monitor any activities by the KLA terrorists. We knew
3 that the mission sometimes exceeded its mandate. They were sometimes in
4 contact with certain citizens and they sometimes visited some terrorist
5 HQ. They would give away information regarding the location, activities,
6 and manpower of the VJ and MUP in Kosovo and Metohija. I believe that
7 definitely exceeded their mandate, what they were there for.
8 In addition to that we had information indicating in two
9 particular cases, or rather, two particular cases where we managed to
10 actually document the fact that some members of the Kosovo Verification
12 in terms of getting them to do intelligence work for them.
13 Q. Thank you very much. Do you remember the case of Bekim Kastrati
14 could you tell us anything about that?
15 A. Yes, indeed, I do remember that. He was an ex-colonel of the VJ
16 or rather, ex-sergeant of the VJ. Sometime early 1998 he led the ranks
17 of the VJ and got a job with the Kosovo Verification Mission at their
18 Pristina HQ. We managed to obtain some intelligence indicating that he
19 was in touch with certain members of the Kosovo Verification Mission, and
20 at a certain point in time, he was, in fact, gathering intelligence on
21 the activities of certain army units, VJ army units and MUP units
22 regarding potential NATO targets and regarding the effects of NATO
23 air-strikes. We tried to put a stop to this activity on his part. He
24 was, in fact, working with another three Albanians.
25 As soon as early January 1999, there was a meeting where he met
1 with two US
2 Metohija. He received assignments at that meeting, and he was told on
3 how to keep them informed about any movements by the VJ and the MUP. He
4 was also to keep them up to date on the effects of NATO air-strikes on
5 certain targets in the general Pristina area. For that purpose, he was
6 given a mobile telephone.
7 Following the withdrawal of the Kosovo Verification Mission, he
8 was given a satphone as well. He was actually recorded using that phone
9 in order to get in touch with these two officer to submit reports to
10 them. This was after the Kosovo Verification Mission had left Kosovo
11 already, and by this time they were stationed in Skopje, Macedonia
12 order to prevent him from doing that, from continuing to do that, we
13 arrested and prosecuted Mr. Kastrati. During the actual trial, he
14 admitted to these activities.
15 Q. Could you please go to tab 53 now.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we also have D011-3392. I'd
17 like to that see that on our screens. That's 1805, Your Honours. That's
18 the Defence document number. Your Honours, the Defence moves that the
19 exhibit be added to our 65 ter list, please.
20 JUDGE PARKER: There seems no opposition, yes.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] The document number is D011-3342.
22 JUDGE PARKER: We are told it is not in e-court.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] We might have got the numbers
24 wrong, but I believe Ms. O'Leary will be able to track down the right
25 number. 3342. I may have misread 3342. 011-3342.
1 Q. General, sir, this is a sentence passed by the military court
2 attached to the military district command in Pristina, the 8th of April,
3 1999. The sentenced person is Bekim Kastrati. Does this sentence
4 concern the activities that you discussed a while ago on the part of
5 Bekim Kastrati? Was he eventually convicted?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. Could you tell me one thing. Do you remember exactly when you
8 arrested Bekim Kastrati?
9 A. He was arrested, I believe, on the 13th of March, 1999.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May this document please be
12 exhibited. Thank you.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00769.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please now have Exhibit
17 Q. Tab 54 for you, sir. This is a combat report by the Pristina
18 Corps Command, the date is the 4th of April, 1999. It was dispatched to
19 the 3rd Army Command. General, sir, I would like to know more about
20 paragraph 5, if you could please shed some light on that.
21 A. Paragraph 5 of this report informs the superior command by the
22 fact that as of the 4th of April, 1999, mixed check-points started work
23 throughout Kosovo and Metohija of the Ministry of the Interior and the
24 VJ. These check-points were set up along access roads to major townships
25 and cities in order to check any passing civilian traffic in the case of
1 the Ministry of the Interior as well as any passing military traffic in
2 the case of the VJ.
3 The paragraph also states how many criminal reports were filed
4 for offences committed on that day.
5 Q. Were all persons checked as well as all vehicles passing these
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Thank you. General, sir, did you have any knowledge about ethnic
9 Albanians leaving the area early 1999?
10 A. The departure of ethnic Albanians throughout 1998, I would say,
11 was a wide-spread phenomenon. Albanians from rural environments tended
12 to move to towns, major towns partly in a bit to avoid forcible
13 mobilisation and partly because they were driven out by some KLA
14 activities, partly also because there had been some operations by the
15 security forces during which there was firing from their homes and
16 houses. Those were damaged as a result.
17 In 1998 I had the impression that the Albanians in Kosovo and
18 Metohija tended to group more and more in urban centres and towns.
19 Sometime late in February and early in March that year, it was becoming
20 clearer and clearer that there would be NATO air-strikes against the
21 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Particularly in late March and early
22 April 1999 there was a mass movement of the Albanian population. They
23 were leaving Kosovo and Metohija en masse, as it were.
24 Q. According to your information what were the reasons for that
1 A. The situation was quite difficult. More than other areas
2 throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Kosovo and Metohija, was
3 being subjected to daily strikes by NATO and nightly strikes, if I may
4 put it that way. One of the reasons was certainly the fear felt by the
5 population. They were fearing the effects of NATO air-strikes.
6 Another reason would be the fact that in Pristina, for example,
7 where my own security section was located, although supplied to other
8 towns too, living conditions were quite miserable for the population. I
9 also know that the transformer station was targeted by air-strikes in
10 Pristina, therefore, there was no electricity. The waterworks building
11 was targeted as well. This continued throughout, almost up until the end
12 of April. There was a thick plume of smoke above Pristina all the time
13 because the oil derivative warehouse, a major one, was also targeted near
14 the Serb cemetery in Pristina.
15 The post office building was targeted too. Many people from
16 Kosovo and Metohija were working abroad somewhere in the EU, and they
17 were unable to get in touch with their relatives in Kosovo and Metohija.
18 Another thing was rumours were circulating as well as a good deal of
19 misinformation. There was talk indicating that Chetniks would come in
20 from the part of Kosovo neighbouring on Serbia. Leaflets were being
21 dropped by planes all over the place. There was a lot of misinformation
22 around. Nevertheless, the one fundamental reason for this trend was the
23 actual fear that people felt. They were afraid in terms of their own
24 physical safety.
25 Q. What about the members of the other ethnicities in Kosovo, were
1 they leaving too?
2 A. Ever since the start of NATO air-strikes those primarily who
3 could muster the courage to actually cross the territory of Kosovo
4 Metohija, the Serbs were moving back to Serbia, the Albanians were moving
5 further south towards Macedonia
6 fact all those who had a place to go tried to leave Kosovo and Metohija
7 and find refuge elsewhere.
8 Q. What about the military aspect? Was it convenient that all these
9 people were leaving Kosovo and Metohija?
10 A. I answered this question already while testifying in the
11 Milutinovic trial. As for us soldiers, as for any soldier possessing any
12 military knowledge at all, no matter how modest, one thing was absolutely
13 clear. Our units and our positions were prepared to face an enemy
14 landing, and the best thing for us would have been to keep the area as
15 densely inhabited as possible, the reason being NATO's aviation would
16 have had a much harder time identifying potential targets and selecting
17 targets for their air-strikes.
18 We had no doubt about one thing at the Pristina Corps HQ. People
19 leaving was a very unfavourable trend for us, very undesirable. We tried
20 to use the local authorities to influence these trends and to keep people
21 from leaving. We knew that as soon as we were alone, left alone in
22 Kosovo and Metohija, anything would easily have become a potentially
23 military target as well as easy prey for NATO's aviation.
24 Q. Did you hear of the existence of a plan to forcefully move the
25 Albanian population out of Kosovo and Metohija in 1999?
1 A. I never heard of the existence of such a plan.
2 Q. Did you have any operative information about the VJ and members
3 of the Ministry of the Interior encouraging people to move out or
4 instigating such migration in Kosovo and Metohija?
5 A. Concerning any members of the MUP, I did not have information to
6 that extent. As for the Army of Yugoslavia, I'm certain that it was not
7 trying to force the population move out of Kosovo and Metohija by any of
8 its measures.
9 Q. Had any MUP members undertaken such measures, would you have
10 received information to that effect?
11 A. Had any members of the MUP, given that Pristina is a large town
12 tried to do something of the sort, I would have received at least some
13 information from my subordinate security organs as well as from ordinary
15 Q. Thank you. Were there any calls to put a halt to the people
16 moving out of Kosovo and Metohija?
17 A. I think on the political level, there was a number of talks with
18 representatives of moderate Albanian political parties. I also know that
19 the staff of the Supreme Command in April, I believe, put out a
20 proclamation. They tried to have it printed in the Albanian news,
21 primarily in "Koha Ditore" but in other Albanian papers as well. It was
22 served -- it would serve to make clear to the Albanian population that
23 they should not leave their homes and that they are safe where they are,
24 and that they should stay in their homes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have D180.
2 JUDGE PARKER: This document, is that a document on the screen,
3 are you wanting to tender it?
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, certainly. It
5 will -- it's already an exhibit we are told. P946. Thank you.
6 Thank you, Your Honour. It has taken us so long that I've
7 forgotten which exhibit I wanted to have. Now we have D180.
8 Q. Is this the proclamation you referred to? It is your tab 55.
9 A. Yes. You can see in the stamp that it says the General Staff of
10 the Army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, could we please have
13 Q. It is your tab 56. This is a report of the security section of
14 the 3rd Army Command dated 13 April 1999
15 staff, its security administration. And item 1, General, it says that
16 members of the Pristina Corps in the area of the village of Ajnovci
17 killed terrorists Nazmi Milaku and Aslan Sopi. Did you notify the 3rd
18 Army Command security department of this, or did this information
19 originally come from you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you tell us something about the role of these two arrested
22 terrorists, and please comment on item 3 of this document?
23 A. The two terrorists were in the area of Novo Brdo. This is where
24 they were arrested, having previously participated in a number of crimes
25 about which they gave statements. In item 3 it is stated that Mr. Sopi
1 was witness to 20 Serb civilians in December 1998 when there was a
2 cease-fire and while the OSCE Mission was in Kosovo. Those 20 civilians
3 were killed by Siptar terrorists. He also states that in the village of
4 Bradas five Serbs were killed. This is but a portion of their statement
5 which is much much longer.
6 Q. Thank you. Could we go to item 5 next, please. Just a moment,
7 let us see it on the screen first.
8 A. Carrying out their functional duties, the security organs of the
9 Pristina Corps in very difficult and almost unbearable circumstances
10 strove to perform those duties as best they could, which is why they
11 frequently encountered obstacles. Before commenting item 4, I will
12 mention only a few such obstacles.
13 In the performance of his duties, the chief of security of the
14 549th Motorised Brigade was killed, Captain 1st Class Dragan Mikicevic.
15 He was killed by Siptar terrorists in the area of Orahovac. In the
16 performance of his duties, the chief of security of the tactical group
17 252, Major Vojin Lukic was killed by Siptar terrorists in the area of
18 Lipljani. In the performance of his duties during on-site investigation
19 in the area of Volujak along the road between Klina and Djakovica, NATO
20 airplane struck his armed personnel carrier killing Lieutenant Milic and
21 his four soldiers.
22 Another team was moving to carry out an on-site investigation
23 along the road between Pristina and Pec. Their armoured personnel
24 carrier was killed having come across a mine planted by terrorists. The
25 whole crew was killed. We saw yesterday in an exhibit that there was
1 mention made of a vehicle with eight members of the military police being
2 kidnapped. In item 5 it is stated that in the process of bringing in two
3 conscripts who had committed a criminal offence from Prizren to Pristina
4 in the area of the Dulje pass, VJ members were kidnapped by the KLA. The
5 two conscripts, a reserve captain, a driver, and the member of the
6 military police from the 549th Brigade were all kidnapped. They are
7 still considered missing.
8 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you. I seek to tender this document into
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00770.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have D006-3191.
13 Q. It is your tab 58. Here we see the security department of the
14 3rd Army Command forwarding a document on the 16th of April to the
15 Supreme Command staff concerning the statements of Nazmi Milaku and Aslan
16 Sopi. Could you please comment page 3 of the English. We see part of
17 the statement of Milaku Nazmi. I'm interested in the end of the first
19 A. Yes, these two Albanian terrorists, after an interview was
20 conducted with them, were taken to the military investigative prison
21 following the orders of the chief of security in Nis. Their
22 interrogation was resumed there. These statements came about as a result
23 of those interrogations. Milaku Nazmi, among other things in this
24 statement, says that in the action Dolac, Dobre Vode, Stepenice, Iglarevo
25 and so on, he personally killed three army members and wounded two MUP
1 members. Also he stated that they suffered greater losses. He also says
2 we, meaning terrorist staffs, were often visited by humanitarian
3 organisations which brought us foodstuffs and medication.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to page 6 in
6 the English, which is part of the statement of Aslan Sopi. It is your
7 page 2.
8 Q. The second paragraph is what I'm interested in where it says, "in
9 addition to that type of assistance."
10 A. Yes. In the second paragraph, Aslan Sopi, the arrested
11 terrorist, stated that:
12 "We received monetary and other types of aid from your
13 compatriots employed abroad, and in particular, we received aid and food
14 and medicaments from international humanitarian organisations. We also
15 received assistance from two members of the KVM, two Germans, and a
16 Frenchman who was 40 years old. They came almost every day and sometimes
17 twice a day to see Remi, that is Mustafa Rustemi aka Remi commander of
18 the KLA Lab operational zone."
19 He goes on to say, And gave him information. Remi's interpreter
20 was from Podujevo and spoke German and English. What is particularly
21 surprising is something that occurs in this last paragraph. It says:
22 "In addition to the information already mentioned, the three OSCE
23 members, immediately prior to the OSCE Mission departure from Kosovo,
24 brought military maps with the exact locations of VJ and MUP units
25 positions in Kosovo and Metohija."
1 Q. Thank you. These statements were provided to the members of the
2 military police. It's 52nd Battalion in Pristina. Thank you very.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00771.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have D006-3298.
7 Q. It is your tab 57, Defence document 137. This is a report of the
8 14th Counter-intelligence Group dated 15 April, 1999. Please have a look
9 at the third paragraph from the bottom. I believe it is the second page
10 of the English version.
11 A. Yes, in the third paragraph from the top, it says that KLA
12 terrorist staffs regrouped and adjusted their actions to the conditions
13 under NATO air-strikes whereby they joined the operational zones of Salja
14 and Lab. It covered the general area of Podujevo up to --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the end of his
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Terrorists are faced with shortages
18 of food --
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. No, no, no. It says Salja and Lab. According to the latest
21 information, that's the paragraph. What does it say in the rest of that
23 A. The so-called special unit comprising of 150 terrorists is active
24 against the VJ and the MUP from this formation.
25 Q. What about the rest of the sentence in addition to the joining of
1 two zones?
2 A. Terrorists are facing.
3 Q. Those forcefully mobilising the remaining Albanian population?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. So what was your information at the time concerning the treatment
6 of Albanian civilians by the KLA who were in refugee groups?
7 A. Speaking of the villages that were not effected by combat
8 activities in 1998 and early 1999, their inhabitants did not move to
9 larger towns. For that reason, they were facing a shortage of manpower.
10 For that reason, the terrorists were exerting pressure throughout that
11 period in a bid to mobilise all able-bodied men to fight with them.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. May this be
13 received, please.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00772.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] D006-3312, please.
17 Q. Tab 59 for you, sir. Defence Exhibit number 141. Rather Defence
18 document number 141. Just a minute, please, we'd like to have that on
19 our screens first.
20 Could you please comment on paragraph 1 of this document. It's a
21 telegram, I believe, or a letter sent by the 3rd Army Command security
22 department to the Supreme Command staff. Paragraph 1, please, if you
23 could focus on that.
24 A. Paragraph 1 focuses on the case of four soldiers belonging to the
25 52nd Artillery Rocket Brigade of the anti-aircraft defence. They have
1 their HQ, their command at Djakovica, and some of their units were in
2 Crmljan village. This is a case that was documented by the military
3 police security organs. Some persons were also prosecuted. These four
4 soldiers attempted to rape four Albanian women.
5 During the war when it came to the units of the VJ we had a total
6 of three cases of rape and two cases of attempted rape. I can give you
7 the exact locations. Nevertheless, all of the persons involved were
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. May this be received,
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00773.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] D010-0163, please.
14 Q. Tab 60 for you, sir. As we see, it's a telegram by the Pristina
15 Corps Command dated the 22nd of April, 1998 dispatched to the 3rd Army
17 Could you please explain what this is about? What sort of
18 activities is it that we are looking at here and focus on paragraph 1 of
19 this telegram first.
20 A. If I may just set the record straight. This is no telegram.
21 This is a report produced by the units for electronic surveillance and
22 disruption. This was submitted to the Pristina Corps Command on a daily
23 basis and also to the competent bodies or authorities within the 3rd
24 Army. This is a journalist report indicating that the Serb forces around
25 the village of Babaloc were trying to take control of a hill-top in order
1 to be able to exercise control over the entire area. Nevertheless, they
2 were being hampered in their attempt. They don't have any statements or
3 declarations made by any of the Serb officials. They don't know what is
4 being done politically about this. Nevertheless, they got a statement
5 from the KLA which they believe was sufficient for their purposes.
6 Q. Thank you very much. Could you please just explain on the
7 left-hand side, I'm looking at the bottom the document, technically
8 speaking is this a telegram or what?
9 A. Technically speaking, yes, it's a telegram.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. May this be
11 received, please.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00774, Your Honours.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] 65 ter OTP document 5056.
15 Q. This is tab 61, General, sir.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. 65 ter
17 4056. 4056.
18 Q. It's an Official Note by the security organ, Major Miroslav Babic
19 in this case, the 27th of April, 1999.
20 Sir, could you please comment on paragraph 3 of this Official
22 A. This is an Official Note of the chief of security of the 175th
23 Infantry Brigade. It was deployed in the general area surrounding this
24 check-point described here in the village of Klokot
25 awhile ago, this is along the axis roads to Gnjilane and Vitina. We had
1 mixed check-points along the axis roads to major towns. He is here
2 describing the work of this mixed check-point set up along this road and
3 manned by VJ and MUP members. There were some problems there because the
4 municipality authority and some of the MUP bodies were adamant that the
5 check-point should be removed since it was easy to spot from a plane and
6 was certain to be targeted.
7 The Official Note in paragraph 4 goes on to describe how the
8 check-points operated. Two unidentified persons in camouflage uniform
9 broke into the home of an Albanian village of Podujevo
10 loot the house and then the MPs from the check-points stepped in with
11 some MUP organs. They used the daughter of that Albanian as a human
12 shield, took her as far as the garden fence and then took her elsewhere,
13 nobody knew where.
14 It also states that two military conscripts from that brigade
15 broke into the home of two old Serb ladies. They seised some items there
16 as well as weapons and money. The military police from that check-point
17 arrested these two. The items were seised back from them and handed over
18 to the military prosecutor.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. May this be
20 received, please.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00775.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] D006-3303.
24 Q. We have here a report by the 3rd Army security department, 2nd of
25 May, 1995. This is addressed to the Supreme Command staff, specifically
1 their security administration. But I'm looking at paragraph 12 here, if
2 you could focus on that, sir, please, and comment. This is page 5 in the
3 English translation.
4 A. This is a summary report that was drafted by the security
5 department of the 3rd Army on a daily basis. They were under an
6 obligation to submit this on a daily basis to the security administration
7 of the Supreme Command staff. Paragraph 12 is the last paragraph. It
8 provides an overview in relation to two days, the 1st and 2nd of May,
9 1999. The security organs of the military police filed a total of 48
10 criminal reports to the relevant authorities and the prosecutors. They
11 are here listing categories of persons and the type of criminal offence
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May this be received, please.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00776.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] D006-3204. Tab 63. Defence
18 document number 124. Thank you. Page 2 of the English.
19 Q. Page 2 for you, sir, as well. We have electronic operations
20 here, paragraph 2. Did you know anything more about this, sir?
21 A. Indeed, they are analysing the results of electronic surveillance
22 work. Among other things they obtained intelligence based on intercepted
23 conversation between a member of the Albanian terrorist groups and a
24 collocutor. They learned that they had some Serbs whom they captured,
25 and these were now being kept in the Republic of Albania
1 is probably here to those Serbs who had been kidnapped earlier on in
3 Q. Thank you very much. Let's move on to page 6 of the English. In
4 your document that is page 4, sir. It reads:
5 "Over the last 24 hours the information centre had received a
6 total of 197 calls."
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Where was this information centre, and what exactly did they do?
9 What sort of activities? We see that this is as late as the 5th of June,
11 A. This is the information centre that was attached to the Pristina
12 Corps Command. Throughout the war, it kept operating, and it was, in
13 fact, operating in the basement of the Grand Hotel in Pristina. They had
14 several computers there where they kept records of all members of the
15 Pristina Corps in terms of the units that they belonged to and their
16 location at the time.
17 The information centre released information both to the media and
18 the press. There was a media centre in the hotel itself. The hotel
19 continued to operate throughout the war. They were up on one of the
20 upper floors, and the information centre was in the basement in what used
21 to be a pool billiard room. It was from there that they would normally
22 release information to people such as parents who wanted to know about
23 the fate of their children who were at the time members of the Pristina
25 Q. Thank you very. In addition to the information centre at the
1 grand hotel, did the corps also have other components relevant to its
2 command stationed there during the war?
3 A. No, none.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Petersen.
5 MS. PETERSEN: The document that I'm seeing on the screen did not
6 seem to be what they were just talking about. I don't know if I have the
7 wrong -- if we are talking about a different exhibit or if anyone else is
8 having the same concern. I didn't see anything about an information
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mine is dealing a lot with boots and underwear,
11 Mr. Djurdjic. You may have the wrong page or the wrong document.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I hope only the page is wrong. D,
13 when I see that, that is quite correct. Persons killed. But let me
14 check this again. Could we please have page 1 back on our screens
15 because that's the easiest way to check the B/C/S, please. It should be
16 the 5th of June, 1999, which it is. Thank you very much.
17 Now let's move on to page 6 of the English. I think it's the
18 first paragraph on that page, on page 6 in the English document. Page 6,
19 and the paragraph number is number 4 towards the bottom, towards the end
20 of paragraph 4, it reads, "over the last 24 hours," but that appears to
21 be on the next page. There you go. "During the past 24 hours ..."
22 Q. Sir, Witness, what I should ask you is this: This is an
23 information centre. This is the information centre at the Pristina
24 Corps. Did all the elements of the Pristina Corps Command have external
1 A. Under the regulations then in force, the relevant regulations,
2 any element in the combat disposition of the Pristina Corps Command would
3 have enjoyed protection measures.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Can you tell me who was in the security
5 detail protecting this information centre of the Pristina Corps during
6 the war?
7 A. I'm only talking about command elements, specifically the command
8 elements of the Pristina Corps. Those were secured by members of the
9 military police, meaning members of the 52nd Battalion of the military
10 police in the present case.
11 Q. Thank you. Did you ever go to that information centre during the
12 war in 1999? If so, what were the reasons?
13 A. I went there several times. My officers from the section went
14 there too. One of the reasons being that was where we were receiving all
15 of our mail from our superior command. They went there to pick up the
16 mail in order to forward it to the appropriate commands. I went there to
17 ask questions about certain members of the police battalion. My clerks
18 went there to seek information about certain persons who were subject to
19 criminal proceedings. We didn't know which unit to find them in because
20 the units kept shifting in terms of their location and also the makeup of
21 these units was not permanent. It was changing all the time.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May this be received, please.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00777.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have D008-6914.
2 Q. It is your tab 64. Just a moment, we still don't have it. It is
3 the security section of the 3rd Army Command, the 21st of June, 1999 sent
4 to the security administration. Please explain.
5 A. This comes from the security section on the 21st of June, sent to
6 the Supreme Command staff and its security administration following our
7 work. Security organs of the Pristina Corps concerning all the
8 information they had about the commission of a crime, always lodged a
9 criminal report. In 1998, we submitted 1.570 criminal reports against
10 members of the Pristina Corps and its resubordinated units for different
11 types of crime.
12 During the 78 days of bombardment between the 24th of March and
13 the 10th of June, we submitted 246 criminal reports. 78 days is a short
14 time to shed light on a crime. Therefore, many investigative activities
15 were resumed after the NATO aggression, after which the territorial
16 competent courts took over those cases.
17 This concerns a terrible crime committed by a member of the 37th
18 Motorised Brigade by the name of Stefan Jekic, a military conscript,
19 while commanding a volunteer platoon ordered to his soldiers to place a
20 civilian on a meadow following which they forced him to run, and they
21 exercised their shooting on him.
22 Q. Thank you very much. What does it mean "a volunteer platoon"?
23 A. Among the units of the Pristina Corps there were volunteers who
24 had arrived through the collection centre in Belgrade in Gradska [phoen]
25 Street and another section in the village of Medjak
1 passed security checks and certain training. Such people were then sent
2 to the different units of the Pristina Corps. The command of the
3 Pristina Corps, I know that very well, was against any volunteers being
4 received from the outset. However, it was the position of the superior
5 command that this should go on because people should not be prevented
6 from defending their homeland. We all know what sort of trouble
7 volunteers can bring. It is for that reason that the command of the
8 Pristina Corps ordered its subordinate commanders to disperse all
9 volunteers arriving in their unit across all of their subordinate units
10 so as not to allow any greater concentration of volunteers in a single
11 unit. This is a volunteer platoon of such nature from the 137th
12 Motorised Brigade.
13 Q. Thank you. I wanted to ask you this: If a person, who has war
14 time deployment duty, moves to a theatre, can such a person be a
16 A. No, such a person cannot be considered a volunteer.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I seek this into evidence.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00778.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. To illustrate this further, we'll show a few documents concerning
23 the resumption of your work after the cessation of hostilities. You
24 continued prosecuting the perpetrators of criminal offences.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] For that reason, I would kindly
1 ask to be shown document D008-4512. Sorry, D008-4152.
2 Q. The document is dated the 25th of June. Supplemental report of
3 the security organs of the 3rd Army Command.
4 A. Yes, as far as I can recall, this is concerning Rados Avramovic,
5 military conscript from the 37th Motorised Brigade. There was a refugee
6 column in the area of Drenica in the village near Glogovac. He singled
7 out an Albanian woman and raped her. Subsequently he fled, but according
8 to the information I had, he was found shortly afterwards and prosecuted.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00779.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have D008-4155.
14 It is also a document of the 25th of June, 1999 from the 3rd Army.
15 Another supplement.
16 Q. Can you tell us something more about that.
17 A. This is another example of a terrible crime. The report is about
18 three military conscripts from the 27th Motorised Brigade. I think it
19 was the village of Cirez
20 passed. They tied an Albanian to a tractor there, killed him, and then
21 burned him.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I seek to tender this
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00780.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. D008-4160.
3 Q. The same type of document from the security section of the 3rd
4 Army dated the 9th of July. Can you tell us anything about that? It is
5 your tab 68.
6 A. 67 or 68?
7 Q. 68.
8 A. In this document there is information which came from the
9 security organ of the Pristina Corps. It has to do with a crime
10 committed by a group of volunteers from the 185th --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: 175th.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- Infantry Brigade in the area of
13 the village of Prilepnica
14 municipality. The group was headed by Vlado Zmajevic. The entire case
15 file was processed. This group of volunteers as well as another group of
16 volunteers from the same brigade, headed by Vlado Zmajevic committed a
17 number of crimes as well in the village of Zegra
18 these volunteers were first driven out of Kosovo and Metohija, and next
19 we conducted a complete investigation. Once we had sufficient evidence,
20 we issued arrest warrants, all of them were arrested, prosecuted, and
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I seek to tender this.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00781.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Djurdjic, or do you
2 prefer to go until quarter to?
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Certainly. Or we can take the
4 break as well.
5 JUDGE PARKER: We will continue, thank you.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I'll agree with having a break if
7 you desire so, but I can go on as well.
8 JUDGE PARKER: No, we will continue. I thought you were
9 indicating you needed a break, but we'll continue.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please have
12 Q. General, this is an information note of the security department
13 of the 3rd Army Command dated the 13th of May, 1999. Does this
14 correspond to what you know about how reports were drafted by the
15 security administration?
16 A. Yes, it does.
17 Q. Thank you. The information contained therein, did any of that
18 information come from your security section of the Pristina Corps?
19 A. There is no information which it come from the security section
20 of the Pristina Corps.
21 Q. Thank you. Concerning the crime which took place in Podujevo, do
22 you know whether there were any prosecutions launched against anyone?
23 A. This event took place on the 28th of March, 1999, I believe, in
24 Podujevo where the 211th Armoured Brigade of the Pristina Corps was
25 billeted. One morning the chief of the security of that brigade called
1 me to tell me that in the town of Podujevo
2 Since I had information that that unit was stationary at that point in
3 time, I ordered that the incident be investigated in full.
4 The information subsequently gathered by the security organs of
5 the Pristina Corps pointed out that a group, a reserve group of the MUP
6 of Serbia
7 Kursumlija or Prolom Banja. Several of them came out of their bus and
8 opened fire on the civilians there. As far as I remember, 12 civilians
9 were killed, including a number of children, I believe.
10 It was ascertained by the security organs of the corps was that
11 the same unit was driven out of Kosovo the same day. I don't know what
12 their fate was from that point on, but I do know that an investigating
13 magistrate from Prokuplje carried out an investigation. He was afraid
14 initially to carry out an on-site investigation, but he eventually did so
15 two days later. I know that as early as 2000, two people were prosecuted
16 in Prokuplje. As far as I could gather from the media later on, the
17 entire group was subsequently prosecuted.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May this be received.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the status of the document will be
22 changed from MFI
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Line 33 it says that there was a
24 reserve group of the MUP, whereas it should be a reserve formation or
25 reserve force of the MUP. Line 23, I apologise.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Could we have the number of that document, please?
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] The previous one? D210.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] General, I'd like to change topics
6 Perhaps, Your Honour, this would be a good time for the break so
7 as to resume in continuity when we return.
8 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at 10 minutes past 4.00.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Recess taken at 3.39 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. General, sir, are you aware of the term Joint Command?
16 A. Yes, I am aware of that term.
17 Q. Could you tell us when you first heard of that term and under
18 what circumstances?
19 A. I first became aware of the term when Colonel Djakovic told me
20 about it. He was then the chief of the operations department in the
21 Pristina Corps Command. Colonel Djakovic told me that there was an
22 internal agreement between him and General Pavkovic to undertake
23 activities in terms of co-ordination concerted action between the VJ and
24 the MUP, and to call it that.
25 Q. When did Djakovic tell you that?
1 A. Sometime in June 1998.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you receive any additional information regarding
3 this co-ordination effort between the army and the MUP? If so, who did
4 you receive it from?
5 A. I received information to the effect that the term Joint Command
6 started to be used in late June and particularly throughout July, August,
7 and September 1998. The term was in reference to some joint meetings of
8 the MUP staff for Kosovo and Metohija and representatives of the Pristina
9 Corps Command.
10 At these meetings, co-ordination concerted action were discussed.
11 They would also inform each other about the situation in Kosovo. It was
12 about co-ordination and concerted action vis-a-vis the anti-terrorist
13 activities by the MUP and the VJ in Kosovo.
14 Q. Thank you. Was this the same period when the plan to combat
15 terrorism was implemented in the summer and early autumn 1998?
16 A. Yes, that's right. We were looking at some documents yesterday,
17 and I believe the batch included one my own documents dated the 24th of
18 July, in which I put forward an assessment of the overall security
19 situation in Kosovo and Metohija. I believe that some other technical
20 bodies, such as the state security and political bodies also presented
21 their own assessments.
22 Sometime in late July 1998, the conclusion was reached that the
23 security situation was exceptionally difficult and precarious at the
24 time. For this reason, the plan was to launch an anti-terrorist
25 operation in order to combat terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija.
1 Q. Thank you. At the time that this was first implemented, was
2 there a forward command post of the 3rd Army that was set up as well?
3 A. Yes, around that time in the month of July, the Pristina Corps
4 Commander realised that the situation along the Albanian border was very
5 difficult. He issued an order to set up a forward command post of the
6 Pristina Corps in the Djakovica garrison. In addition to that, the 3rd
7 Army commander wanted to be able to better monitor the situation in
8 Kosovo, so he also set up a forward command post for the 3rd Army in the
9 Kosovo's heros barracks in Pristina.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you ever attend any co-ordination meetings
11 between the MUP staff and the Pristina Corps Command, as you said?
12 A. No, I never attended any such co-ordination meetings. There were
13 other people who were in charge of that, specifically officers from the
14 operative organ of the Pristina Corps Command. As far as I know,
15 normally the Colonel Djakovic would go to these meetings, and sometimes
16 his administrative assistant Lieutenant-Colonel Tesevic was also there.
17 I'm not sure if any other officers were ever there attending these
19 Q. Thank you. Do you know where these meetings were held?
20 A. I can't be positive about it, nevertheless based on what Colonel
21 Djakovic told me at the time, I seem to remember these meetings being
22 held at the MUP staff in Kosovo and Metohija. I am not sure if there
23 were any other venues being used for these meetings.
24 Q. Thank you. Based on your information at these co-ordination
25 meetings, were any decisions ever taken on how to use any units of the
2 A. No. No such decisions were ever taken at those meetings because
3 the VJ units had a clear chain of command as far as their operations in
4 Kosovo and Metohija were concerned. And everything was co-ordinated by
5 the 3rd Army Command. The Pristina Corps itself was subordinated to it.
6 Q. Thank you. Did you ever hear that at any point throughout 1999,
7 the chain of command, such as defined by the regulations, was at any
8 point violated, especially during the war?
9 A. No, I never heard about that. The chain of command continues to
10 operate as envisaged.
11 Q. Thank you. Back to these co-ordination meetings in 1998. How
12 long did these meetings go on for, do you perhaps know anything about
14 A. The co-ordination meetings between the MUP staff and the Pristina
15 Corps were quite frequent in late July 1998. They continued throughout
16 September and October, all the way up to mid-November, or thereabouts,
18 Q. Thank you. Did you share any information with commander
19 Pavkovic, or did you perhaps receive any information from these
20 co-ordination meetings?
21 A. Yes. As I pointed out yesterday, all the information was being
22 pulled or channelled, all security-related information, into the security
23 section. We kept track of all the locations, manpower, intentions, and
24 ambitions of the KLA, and we also kept track of the problems along the
25 border of the Republic of Albania
1 On a daily basis Colonel Djakovic wanted me to submit such
2 information to the command organs. They had the information whenever
3 there was an anti-terrorist operation or action in the offing or in
4 progress. As far as I know, Colonel Djakovic would also submit such
5 information to organs of the MUP during their co-ordination.
6 Q. Thank you. Throughout 1999, was the work performed by the
7 security section of the Pristina Corps ever checked or reviewed?
8 A. During the NATO aggression, there were two occasions when the
9 Supreme Command staff sent people there to review the work of the
10 security section, and the security bodies throughout the Pristina Corps
11 as an overall structure. There was General Geza Farkas, one of the
12 security section chiefs. I think I'm talking about early May 1999, that
13 was the first time.
14 And the second time a review was held was between the 1st and the
15 6th or 7th of June, 1999, and this was performed by the deputy chief of
16 the security administration, General Aleksandar Vasiljevic, and by the
17 assistant chief of the security administration, General Branko Gajic, and
18 the chief of the security department of the 3rd Army, Colonel Stojadin
19 Antic. Those three men reviewed the work of some security organs and
20 sections in the specified period of time.
21 Q. During these reviews did General Vasiljevic and the other people
22 who were there for that purpose ever spend any time with the Pristina
23 Corps commander, or indeed with the 3rd Army commander?
24 A. No, they didn't spend any time with the 3rd Army commander.
25 Nevertheless, General Vasiljevic, and this was the done thing under the
1 military procedures then in place, naturally got in touch with the 3rd
2 Army Command who was at the time in Pristina.
3 Q. Do you know if General Pavkovic and General Vasiljevic met during
4 that time? If so, when, and how did this come about?
5 A. What I know is that throughout their stay, those six days they
6 spent in Kosovo, General Vasiljevic only ever met General Pavkovic once.
7 This occurred at a meeting to which I too was invited. They had invited
8 me to that meeting from the Pristina Corps and the security organs there.
9 General Vasiljevic was there too. They said that he too should be there.
10 At that meeting, General Vasiljevic met General Pavkovic.
11 Q. Prior to this invitation were you aware of the fact that a
12 meeting would be held, or was the invitation sudden and unexpected?
13 A. No, even earlier on during the war, the scheduling in relation to
14 command meetings was not that specific really. At any rate, I was at my
15 command post, and we would normally carry out routine assessments.
16 Whenever someone, some of the clerks and assistants, for example, would
17 convey an order by General Lazarevic telling us to go to a meeting saying
18 that the 3rd Army commander General Pavkovic would be there too.
19 Q. Thank you. Before you went to that meeting, did you know what
20 exactly would be on the agenda?
21 A. No, I didn't. I expected that as per usual, the commander would
22 want me to brief him on the security situation as it was.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us where you went with General
24 Vasiljevic, and was there anyone else who came with you? I mean, when
25 you were actually on your way to the meeting.
1 A. When we were on our way to the meeting, there were only General
2 Vasiljevic and I. We went to a room that housed the information centre
3 of the Pristina Corps at the time.
4 Q. Thank you. Who was there when you arrived, and what happened
6 A. When we came to the information centre room of the Pristina Corps
7 Command, in addition to a number of officers using the computers there
8 sorting out various records to do with soldiers who were in those units,
9 seated at the table were General Pavkovic, next to him, General
10 Lazarevic, and quite near in a semicircle was the MUP staff commander for
11 Kosovo and Metohija, General Lukic, as well as chief of the state
12 security sector for Kosovo and Metohija, Misa Vilotic. General
13 Vasiljevic exchanged greetings with General Lazarevic and all the other
14 persons present there. Afterwards we simply sat down at the table.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you remember the date the meeting took place?
16 A. I believe on the 1st of June, 1999.
17 Q. Thank you. Did anyone tell you why the meeting was convened in
18 the first place?
19 A. When we came to that room, I looked at the expressions of those
20 in attendance, and I immediately realised that everyone was somehow taken
21 aback, and everyone was silent, which surprised me. I realised that
22 General Pavkovic and General Lazarevic were quite pale. It was then that
23 General Pavkovic addressed us saying that we were expecting the arrival
24 of Mr. Sainovic who had arrived from Belgrade to brief us on the
25 political situation.
1 Q. For the sake of the transcript, can you repeat the name of the
2 person who was in charge of state security in Kosovo in 1999.
3 A. At the time the head of the state security sector in Kosovo and
4 Metohija was Mr. Misa Vilotic.
5 Q. Thank you. Save for Generals Pavkovic and Lazarevic, and
6 yourself as well as Mr. Vasiljevic, were there any other representatives
7 of the VJ at the meeting?
8 A. Not at the beginning, but later on General Slobodan Kovacevic
9 arrived. He was chief of the administration for tank and armoured units
10 at the Supreme Command staff. He arrived from the field a bit later. I
11 don't think he was familiar with the agenda of the meeting.
12 Q. Did Mr. Sainovic finally arrive, and what was the actual agenda?
13 A. When we sat down, there was no discussion. I told you that
14 everyone was silent. Shortly after, Mr. Sainovic entered the room,
15 escorted by the president of the temporary Executive Council of Kosovo
16 and Metohija, Mr. Andjelkovic, first name Branislav. They sat down at
17 the same table where Generals Lazarevic and Pavkovic were.
18 As per soldierly protocol, whenever a superior enters or a senior
19 politician, we rise to our feet. We did so and then they sat down next
20 to Lazarevic and Pavkovic.
21 Q. What was the topic of the meeting?
22 A. The whole meeting was surprisingly short. It lasted only about
23 quarter of an hour, perhaps 20 minutes. We were addressed by the 3rd
24 Army commander, General Pavkovic. He said that Mr. Sainovic had just
25 arrived from Belgrade
1 situation and the development during the negotiations process. As far as
2 I recall, by that time there were already talks between the president of
3 the FRY and the representative Trojka concerning the cessation of
4 hostilities in Kosovo in an attempt to come up with a peaceful solution
5 for Kosovo.
6 Next Mr. Sainovic told us that the negotiations between President
7 Milosevic and the representative delegation were nearing their end
8 whereby an agreement would be signed. It was likely that the agreement
9 will entail the withdrawal of the MUP and VJ from Kosovo. Misa Vilotic,
10 the head of the state sector rose. Upon hearing that, he asked what was
11 all about and who signed that, he said: "There's no way I would shake
12 hands with Hashim Thaqi."
13 General Kovacevic, who was sometimes a misfit, and he added
14 something to the effect, and I apologise for my words, We are being
15 screwed, it seems. General Lazarevic said that he had an action underway
16 somewhere in Jablanica, I believe, although I'm uncertain, and General
17 Lukic said that he also had certain activities undergoing at that time.
18 Then Mr. Sainovic told them this: The agreement will be signed, if it
19 hasn't been already. You need to see for yourselves what you will do
20 with those activities.
21 They have to be completed. See what you can do with the
22 competent commands. They have to stop because there would be an
23 agreement followed by the withdrawal of the army and MUP from Kosovo and
25 After that information was shared, none of those in attendance
1 said anything. I followed General Vasiljevic out of the room. When
2 Mr. Sainovic addressed me in passing. He said, Colonel, how are the
3 Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija going to react to such an agreement? I
4 asked him, or rather, I told him this, Sir, once the first soldier leaves
5 Kosovo and Metohija, you can count on all non-Albanian population leaving
6 Kosovo and Metohija for fear of their safety. Mr. Andjelkovic who
7 otherwise frequently smiled, laughed at that point. I addressed him
8 brusquely, and I told him that this was difficult for me to bear given
9 that I was a soldier and someone who hails from Kosovo.
10 We left the room, and I don't know what followed in that meeting.
11 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you this: Could Mr. Andjelkovic's name be
13 A. I know they usually referred to him as Baki, but it could be that
14 his name is Zoran. I'm not sure.
15 Q. Thank you. So you and General Vasiljevic left the room. You
16 left the information centre. Where did you go next?
17 A. We went to the deployment area of the security section of the
18 Pristina Corps.
19 Q. Did you discuss the meeting on your way?
20 A. No. We discussed some current security issues in Kosovo and
21 Metohija concerning the work of security organs, but we didn't discuss
22 the meeting. It was my impression as if General Vasiljevic had known
23 ahead of time that there would be an agreement signed shortly.
24 Q. Thank you. I'd like to show you portions of General Vasiljevic's
25 testimony before this Tribunal in this case. At page 5691 and 5692 of
1 the transcript, he said that he called General Pavkovic and told him that
2 had arrived in Pristina. Pavkovic wanted to see him and invited him to
3 the Pristina Corps Command. Does this correspond to what you know?
4 A. I have no knowledge of General Pavkovic speaking to
5 Mr. Vasiljevic, but I explained in detail the only meeting which I
6 attended when I saw of Pavkovic.
7 Q. Thank you. General Vasiljevic further states that the two of you
8 went to the command of the Pristina Corps and that General Pavkovic said,
9 Stay here, there will be a Joint Command meeting followed by a dinner.
10 Does this tally with what you know?
11 A. Definitely not. Since General Vasiljevic was sitting next to me,
12 I didn't notice him speaking to anyone after the meeting. I don't even
13 know whether under such circumstances any dinner was planned and whether
14 it would have been possible.
15 Q. Thank you. Next General Vasiljevic states that the place where
16 you were was something like an operations room with maps on walls and
17 lots of officers. Does this correspond to the location you remember as
18 the place of the meeting?
19 A. No. The operations room or an operations room is usually next to
20 the office of the corps commander. The corps commander was deployed in
21 several locations around Pristina changing locations from time to time.
22 And the operations organ was always next to the commander because that
23 person was in charge of suggesting what combat operations would be
25 It could be that General Vasiljevic concluded this: There was
1 Colonel Djokic there, who was the assistant commander for mobilisation
2 and personnel affairs, and by nature of his task he is in charge of
3 keeping records of those killed, wounded, and missing among the soldiers.
4 Q. General, as of the beginning of the war did the operation centre
5 of the Pristina Corps, as well as the command headed by General
6 Lazarevic, move to the Grand Hotel?
7 A. No. The Pristina Corps Command could not be close to the Grand
8 Hotel in tactical terms because it was close to the peacetime corps
9 command building, and it was expected to be targeted at any moment by
10 NATO aircraft.
11 Q. Thank you. General Vasiljevic further says that in addition to
12 Pavkovic and Lazarevic, as well as yourself, there were also MUP generals
13 there: Generals Djordjevic, Stevanovic and Lukic. Does this correspond
14 to your knowledge?
15 A. At that meeting General Djordjevic was not present, and nor was
16 General Stevanovic.
17 Q. Before your testimony today, when did you testify before this
18 Tribunal last, and when?
19 A. I testified before this Court in the Milutinovic et al. case. In
20 particular, during the case of General Lazarevic since during the war I
21 was his chief of security section. I don't know whether it was a year or
22 two years ago.
23 Q. This may seem a silly question, but was General Djordjevic on
24 trial at that time when you testified here?
25 A. No. Mr. Milutinovic was on trial as well as General Ojdanic,
1 General Pavkovic, General Lazarevic, and General Lukic. As well as
2 Mr. Sainovic.
3 Q. Thank you. Who did you meet from the Defence team of
4 Mr. Djordjevic and when for the first time?
5 A. I'm not clear about your question.
6 Q. Mr. Djordjevic has his Defence team. My question is this, when
7 did you meet for the first time any of the members of the Defence team of
8 Mr. Djordjevic? And if so, when?
9 A. The only person I met is you. A month ago you came to Nis where
10 I live with my family. You introduced yourself and asked me if I wanted
11 to testify in these proceedings.
12 Q. Thank you. Mr. Vasiljevic goes on to say in this case that as
13 you were returning from the meeting he asked you what this Joint Command
14 is. Is that true?
15 A. No. There was no discussion of the so-called Joint Command.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that this
18 portion of the Milutinovic trial took place in closed session. Perhaps
19 Mr. Stamp could give us a hand with that. Ms. O'Leary has drawn my
20 attention to that. Having read all of this, I know that a part of this
21 evidence was presented in closed session. I'm not sure if we should go
22 into closed session for that purpose right now. I'm talking about the
23 8th of June specifically.
24 JUDGE PARKER: At the moment nothing has appeared which suggests
25 there's any reason for us to be in closed session. I don't know what it
1 is that you propose, Mr. Djurdjic.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my attention has been
3 drawn to the fact that some of this took place in closed session in the
4 Milutinovic trial. Right now to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure which
5 particular portion. I believe it's my next question, therefore, we might
6 just press on and see what happens.
7 Q. Sir, did you ever tell Mr. Vasiljevic that you had been sent away
8 from Joint Command meetings?
9 A. How could I possibly have been sent away from these meetings if I
10 never attended one to begin with?
11 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Vasiljevic goes on to state you told
12 him that you had been informing General Dimitrijevic about Joint Command
13 meetings. Is that true, sir?
14 A. I never informed General Dimitrijevic about Joint Command
15 meetings. As for General Dimitrijevic throughout 1998 while he was chief
16 of the security administration, I may have spoken to him twice.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm not sure if this
18 should be done in closed session or not because I hear that the question
19 that I'm about to ask was, in fact, asked in closed session. To be
20 perfectly honest, I see no reason for that now, but I think it is up to
21 you, Your Honours, to choose the course of action that I should take.
22 JUDGE PARKER: [Overlapping speakers] ... as to whether something
23 occurred or not occurred, I don't think that requires us to be in closed
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Stojanovic, General Vasiljevic appeared as a witness in this
2 trial suggesting you lied when you said that General Djordjevic did not,
3 in fact, attend this meeting. He assumes you changed your statements.
4 A. I never change my statements. I believe my memory still serves
5 me well, and I still recollect everything that I saw, that I heard in all
6 the meetings I attended. Following my appearance in the Milutinovic
7 trial, I never discussed this with anyone at all.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise to my learned
10 MS. PETERSEN: I just was --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Petersen.
12 MS. PETERSEN: I would just request some page references for
13 these statements of Vasiljevic, please.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Indeed. The last one was 5930,
15 lines 9 through 15.
16 Q. Mr. Stojanovic, would you have any reason to do anything else but
17 to tell the truth?
18 A. The same thing applies to the present situation as to any other.
19 Throughout my whole life, my job has been to look for the truth. I don't
20 see any reason now, or ever, for me to not do just that.
21 Q. Thank you. Did anyone specifically ask you to not tell the truth
22 regarding General Djordjevic's presence at the meeting that took place on
23 the 1st of June, 1999?
24 A. No such request has been made to me regarding this matter or any
25 other. I can afford to be very categorical about that. I was never
1 asked by anyone to not tell the truth, or indeed, to say something that
2 somebody else wanted me to say. All I'm telling you here is based on my
3 recollection things I saw, things I heard, meetings I myself attended.
4 Q. General, do you know Nike Peraj?
5 A. I know Captain 1st Class Nike Peraj exceptionally well. I'm also
6 quite well acquainted with his entire family.
7 Q. Since when have you known him?
8 A. Mr. Nike Peraj, or rather Captain Nike Peraj (redacted)
9 (redacted). I first heard of him when I arrived in
10 Kosovo and Metohija to serve there back in 1993 [Realtime translation
11 read in error "1998"]. Later on, I was in a position to contact him many
12 times over some quite specific matters to do with the work of the
13 (redacted). The tasks that Mr. Peraj was performing
14 required the presence of an experienced operative, some of the tasks,
15 that is. Given the fact that I was chief, and given the fact that that
16 was the MO established by my predecessors as chiefs in the security
17 section of the Pristina Corps. I can state with certainty from what time
18 on exactly Captain 1st Class Nike Peraj (redacted)
19 (redacted), regardless of that, it certainly applied throughout
20 this entire time. The time I met him back in 1993 and 1999 when the army
21 withdrew from Kosovo and Metohija. I'm saying throughout this time,
23 JUDGE PARKER: You pause, Mr. Djurdjic. First, the transcript
24 page 43, line 3 has 1998. I believe the witness said 1993.
25 Ms. Petersen.
1 MS. PETERSEN: I think that this material has been covered in
2 private session before, so if we are discussing it, we should be in
3 private session, and if this part of the transcript could be made
5 JUDGE PARKER: Well, that raises the question of what was the
6 reason for the earlier private session because at the moment, nothing
7 occurs to me that requires this evidence to be in private session. Is
8 there something that you could assist me with? Mr. Stamp, I see you
10 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour. I was just making -- well,
11 referring to my own memory. I believe that the evidence in respect to
13 (redacted) was taken in private session both in this case and in the
14 prior case, in the Milutinovic case. There were some sensitive issues in
15 respect to what his role was and what he was doing, and private session
16 had been requested.
17 JUDGE PARKER: For the moment then, based on what you recall, we
18 will redact references to Captain Peraj (redacted)
19 (redacted). There are, I think, two or three such references in the
20 transcript. And we will revisit that if necessary at some later time.
21 But out of caution, we will redact that now.
22 While we are dealing with that subject and before it goes off the
23 screen, we seem to have the dates 1993, 1999, and 1998 somewhat
24 confusingly in the record. I think 1998 may have been an error because
25 it was in the context of when this witness first met Captain Peraj, and I
1 think you said that was 1993. And is the end of the captain's service
2 that you are speaking about in 1999?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the end of the captain's
4 service and also what we were meant to discuss in closed session.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. That's just confirming that area.
6 Now, do you have further questions about this subject? Are they going to
7 require closed session in view of the ruling or not?
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I propose that we
9 avoid using the person's name. As far as I understand, the transcript
10 will show what it shows, and we will all know who we were talking about.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, for
12 professional reasons, I would like to ask you to perhaps choose the
13 option of going into closed session. There might be consequences.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE PARKER: We think the practical way forward at the moment
16 is to hear evidence on this subject from now on in closed session. At
17 the moment it's not clear why that is necessary, but as we heard evidence
18 earlier in closed session and in view of what has just been suggested by
19 the witness, we think the safer course is to hear the evidence out in
20 closed session. We may have reason later to reconsider whether there was
21 any necessity for this in light of what it is that may emerge, but for
22 the moment out of precaution we will deal with the matter in closed
24 Closed session. For practical reasons we will go into private
25 session rather than closed.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 11789-11801 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic. We are in open session.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We've run
20 some checks during the break and we now know that when the statement of
21 this witness was discussed in the Milutinovic case, the witness that we
22 mentioned, it was actually done in open session, not in closed session.
23 That is regarding Mr. Stamp's earlier attempts to shed light on the
24 matter. Therefore, I assume that we may now proceed.
25 Q. General, when did you find out about the operation in the
1 Carragojs valley?
2 A. I found out about the operation in the Carragojs valley on the
3 27th, the morning of the 27th, as a matter of fact. The subordinate
4 security chiefs were under an obligation to report to me on the situation
5 in their own areas of responsibility each morning and each evening. This
6 included any operations being performed by the army. I specifically
7 learned about this on the 28th. And then after that each of the security
8 organs were duty-bound to submit a written report on the progress of the
10 This was then collated with the telegrams that were coming in and
11 a single document was then drawn up.
12 Q. Let us leave the operation aside for a moment. When one
13 commences an operation, an operation that is planned, how exactly do the
14 security organs keep the Pristina Corps Command informed? What is the
15 substance of the information that you are likely to receive in a
16 situation like that?
17 A. Prior to the commencement of an operation, the security organs
18 would normally report that on such and such a day, such and such an
19 operation is planned, the objective being this or that.
20 Q. What if there's nothing extraordinary or out of the ordinary
21 happening during an operation that warrants reporting to the Pristina
22 Corps? What were the reports you received like in situations such as
24 A. In such situations, I received no reports at all. One thing is
25 certain, however, any time an operation is completed, I must get a
1 report, an oral report, followed by a written report detailing aspects
2 such as which operation was launched and completed, how it was
3 implemented, and whether the security organs came across any problems
4 during the operation.
5 Q. Thank you very much. Let us now go back to the specific
6 situation -- operation that we were talking about. When exactly did you
7 receive a report following the completion of the Carragojs valley
9 A. Communications equipment was used to forward to me an oral report
10 on the 28th, and then depending on how soon my mail got there normally
11 within two or three days, I would be receiving a written report as well.
12 Q. Thank you. Following the operation in the Carragojs valley, was
13 there any indication of any unusual or extraordinary circumstances that
14 arose during the operation?
15 A. Based on the reports I received on this operation my assistant
16 for staff and security affairs who at the same time was responsible for
17 technical guidance of the military police, the only piece of information
18 I received was that a soldier, a military policemen specifically, was
19 killed during that operation. That was the only thing that stood out.
20 Q. Where were you on the 27th of April 1999 and on the 28th?
21 A. In Pristina.
22 Q. I will now be showing you portions of witness Peraj's statement.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] This is P313. Exhibit P313.
24 Q. First of all, I would like to ask you this, paragraph 6 of the
25 statement in which the witness states that Colonel Dosan was responsible
1 for the VJ units across Djakovica municipality for the MUP, specifically
2 the reserve unit, and that the VJ Corps staff was receiving orders from
3 the defence ministry in Belgrade
4 A. Could we blow the image up a little, please. Colonel Dosan was
5 only responsible for the 52nd Artillery Rocket Brigade of which he was
6 commander. What was your other question, sir, please?
7 Q. The witness goes on to state that he was also responsible for the
8 MUP and the reserve units.
9 A. Neither Colonel Dosan nor any other commander from the Pristina
10 Corps Command were ever responsible for the MUP. He was the brigade
11 commander and at the same time the commander of the Djakovica garrison.
12 Q. Finally, the witness says that the VJ Corps staff was receiving
13 orders from the defence ministry in Belgrade?
14 A. That is entirely untrue. That would have violated the
15 subordination principle. The corps is the third-ranking unit under the
16 defence ministry. It is not an operative unit that receives an order
17 from the defence ministry. It's the Chief of General Staff that receives
18 it, and then he goes through the 3rd Army on to the Pristina Corps
19 Command, and the Pristina Corps Command forwards this down to their own
20 units including the 52nd Brigade of which Dosan was commander.
21 Q. Let me just ask you this: What about the defence ministry in
23 A. The defence ministry is a technical body, but there was actually
24 the Supreme Command staff at the period under consideration, and in terms
25 of operative command over the army, this was the relevant body.
1 Q. Witness, I'm not sure you understand what I'm asking you. We are
2 talking about war time circumstances now, okay, Supreme Command staff,
3 but what about the defence ministry, the defence ministry of the Federal
4 Republic of Yugoslavia
5 A. I can't remember.
6 Q. All right. The defence minister had the power to issue orders to
7 the VJ General Staff?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. A what about the Supreme Defence Council?
10 A. Well, you see, there is one thing, the Supreme Defence Council is
11 a supreme body in terms of running the VJ. There were the presidents in
12 that council of both the republics, Serbia and Montenegro
13 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and then it had some
14 additional members such as the defence minister of the Federal Republic
15 of Yugoslavia
16 Q. He would have attending meetings as would any other persons
17 actually invited by the Supreme Defence Council?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. And who had the right to make decisions?
20 A. The Supreme Defence Council did.
21 Q. The three presidents that you mentioned as members of that body,
22 right, is that who you mean?
23 A. Yes, that's who I mean.
24 Q. Can you explain how then could the defence minister possibly have
25 issued any orders to the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command or rather
1 the Supreme Command staff?
2 A. The Supreme Defence Council had the power to issue orders to the
3 staff and then the staff would then send the orders down the chain of
4 command to the units.
5 Q. And then the defence ministry is what?
6 A. A technical body, it's a technical body dealing with problems
7 within the defence ministry, such as the budget, such as supplies and
8 equipment, but the Supreme Defence Council was the body that actually had
9 the power to issue orders.
10 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 8, please. I think we are on the right
11 page of the English.
12 The witness says that he left the VJ three days before KFOR
13 arrived in Kosovo. He had learned from a source in Montenegro that the
14 Serbian military court in Nis
15 soldiers to 15 years imprisonment for desertion.
16 A. As I said awhile ago, when he left the army -- well, actually,
17 the army first left Kosovo and Metohija and then after that KFOR arrived
18 which happened over a number of stages. As for the other thing, I
19 actually don't know about that. Nevertheless, I believe I can say that
20 this person was never convicted by any court.
21 Q. Paragraph 20 goes on to state that between February and March
22 numerous volunteers joined, mostly from Russia. Does that ring a bell?
23 Did such a thing occur, as a matter of fact, in February or March? Were
24 there any volunteers before the war?
25 A. No, there were none before the war. The first volunteers started
1 arriving in April 1999.
2 Q. Thank you. Further down in paragraph 21 we see this: The
3 witness claims that Frenki's units were reservists of the VJ for awhile.
4 Can we just go back to the previous page. I think you can see the
5 beginning of that paragraph now, sir.
6 A. I don't, as a matter of fact, but I believe I can answer
7 straightaway. Frenki's men, I think the gentleman is here referring to
8 the special operations units and they were never VJ reservists nor were
9 they ever an organic component of the army.
10 Q. Were they a paramilitary unit?
11 A. This is a regular unit under the authority of the state security
13 Q. Thank you. In para 23, the witness says that the RS Brigade of
14 about 1.000 personnel arrived before the NATO bombing and that it was
15 deployed to Rezina?
16 A. Please, this is definitely untrue. No unit of Republika Srpska
17 was present in Kosovo and Metohija during that period. How is it
18 possible for a brigade to March from Republika Srpska down to Kosovo
19 under NATO bombardment? It would be crazy to plan something like that.
20 Q. Was it possible for any unit to enter Kosovo and Metohija
21 especially the size of a brigade, and that you, as the chief of the
22 security section, would be ignorant of that?
23 A. No, especially not a unit such an armoured vehicle brigade. Such
24 a brigade usually has about 250 tanks, armoured personnel carriers or
25 other types of vehicles.
1 Q. Further down in para 25 the witness says that that brigade was in
2 the Djakovica area and that his unit provided logistical support?
3 A. Such a brigade was never in the area of Djakovica.
4 Q. In paragraph 28 --
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] We need the next page in the
6 B/C/S, please.
7 Q. The witness says that concerning the collection of information
8 and reports from the different commanders in the field, Colonel Kotur was
9 in charge of that at the staff level. He forwarded that information to
10 the VJ general Colonel Dusan Samardzic. From Nis that information was
11 sent on to the minister of defence in Belgrade?
12 A. This is completely untrue. Colonel not Branko but Milan Kotur
13 was one of the officers from the command of the Pristina Corps who was at
14 the forward command post of the Pristina Corps Command in Djakovica. In
15 terms of establishment, he was the chief of infantry in the Pristina
16 Corps. This type of reporting could not have existed. Colonel Kotur
17 could have reported to the forward command post in Djakovica and then the
18 forward command post could pass information on to the Pristina Corps
20 Also, he was never in charge of collecting information as is
21 stated here.
22 Q. What about this part where it says that the 3rd Corps Command
23 passed information on to the Ministry of Defence in Belgrade?
24 A. They probably had in mind the command of the 3rd Army. The 3rd
25 Army Command could only have sent information to the Supreme Command
2 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 40. The witness states that in the area of
3 Djakovica, there were 200 members of paramilitary units, mostly Arkan's
4 and Seselj's men, whereas there were some 30 of Frenki's men.
5 A. In the previous case I testified, I said that in the area of
6 Kosovo and Metohija there were no Arkan's units nowhere including
7 Djakovica. As for any of Frenki's men, as he calls them, that was a JSO
8 unit. They were not in Djakovica, they were in Decani, above the
9 monastery in Visoki, Decani, not in the town of Decani itself. There
10 were only active-duty soldiers and conscripts who had been mobilised.
11 Q. In paragraph 57, the witness states that you were his good friend
12 and that in early 1999 you mentioned to him a plan of ethnic cleansing
13 that the Serbian forces would carry out against the Kosovo Albanian
14 population in the municipality of Djakovica
15 A. I claim in full responsibility that the term "ethnic cleansing"
16 is alien to me. I have never said such a thing to anyone, including this
18 Q. In para 59, the witness says that in April 1999 after an attack
19 Milutin Prascevic was killed in an ambush set up by the KLA. He also
20 says that he attended a meeting in a private home in Djakovica near the
21 barracks attended by the chief of the state security Sreto Camovic, a MUP
22 corporal by the name of Kovacevic, Captain Sergej Perovic, an officer
23 from the security of the 69th Air-borne Brigade, and yourself. And that
24 during that meeting, you apparently said to Micunovic and Kovacevic, or
25 rather ordered them to execute an operation in the Carragojs valley in
1 retaliate for Prascevic's murder and that on that occasion at least one
2 hundred people were supposed to be killed and all houses set on fire.
3 A. Having testified before and in the course of this testimony, I
4 had occasion to go through the entire statement of this witness. It is
5 my position that it is full of untruths and lies. This entire paragraph,
6 for instance. First of all, Milutin Prascevic was not a MUP officer, he
7 was a civilian working in the MUP in Djakovica. Secondly, such a meeting
8 was never held. Third, some people he refers to such as Kovacevic, I
9 have never met or seen that person. I have only heard of him as being a
10 chief of SUP
11 held, and I have never said something of this sort.
12 Q. In paragraph 62, the witness states that he attended a meeting
13 when the massacre in Meja was planned. This was in the same building
14 where he had been stationed in with his unit, where he was in charge of
15 security. Apparently you saw him on that occasion and greeted him, and
16 you took him as one of his soldiers. He also states that at that
17 meeting, the massacre in Meja was planned.
18 A. For umpteenth time, I must say the following: In terms of my
19 functional duty, I was in no position to plan any activities. I did not
20 have that authority. It was not in my job description. I could not have
21 ordered such an action. I was not at this meeting, and this is a pure
23 Q. In para 65, the witness states that the operation was headed by
24 Goran Jeftovic, a staff officer of the Pristina Corps in charge of
1 A. The operation in Meja was not led by Lazarevic because he was not
2 in Djakovica at the time. Jeftovic was not in charge either because
3 Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftovic was one of the officers at the forward
4 command post who was in charge of providing security and guard service
5 for the command post. The operation was led by the forward command post
6 headed by commander, Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps Colonel
7 Veroljub Zivkovic.
8 Q. In paragraph 95, the witness states that Milos Dosan did not
9 approve the operations in Korenica and Meja, he did not approve of it,
10 that's why he had Micunovic arrested for his participation. However,
11 Micunovic remained behind bars for only three days.
12 A. What paragraph was it?
13 Q. 95.
14 A. Colonel Dosan as brigade commander could not have either
15 approved, approved of, or dispute the action. He was only another unit
16 commander of which there were several. Such an action could have only
17 been planned and ordered by the forward command post. This piece of
18 information stating that Colonel Dosan had Micunovic arrested is a lie.
19 Neither was Micunovic subordinated to Colonel Kotur, nor could Colonel
20 Kotur have anyone arrested. There were organs in charge of that. He
21 could have informed the military police or those competent to do so.
22 Brigade commanders do not arrest other officers.
23 Q. Had there been an arrest, would you as the chief of security
24 section of Pristina Corps have been informed of it?
25 A. Certainly. I would have been informed of any arrest, orally and
1 by written reports.
2 Q. In paragraph 96, the witness goes on to say that in Lazarevic's
3 office there was a map in clear talc covering an entire wall. Jeftovic
4 was marking the map in details about the operation occurring in the
5 Carragojs valley. He says that the data indicated on the map tallied
6 with what he could see in the field.
7 A. Please, there is a procedure indicating who is allowed to enter
8 the operations room in terms of title or function, even certain senior
9 officers had no access to it, and especially not a mere captain 1st class
10 such as Nike Peraj. Secondly, at the forward command post there was a
11 working map, but it was a general map kept daily indicating terrorist
12 locations and border incidents. I don't think that the Meja action map
13 was ever put on a wall.
14 Also, this witness, by the way, did not complete any military
15 schooling. How could he have interpreted that map and get his bearings
16 on it?
17 Q. Paragraph 97, there the witness states that in conversations with
18 you and Perovic during 1998 and in early 1999, as well as from
19 operational briefings he attended in Djakovica and Pristina, and based on
20 operational maps presented in these briefings, he became aware of the
21 general military plan for the Djakovica area.
22 A. Firstly, such conversations never took place. Secondly, there
23 were no plans prepared ahead of time for any area including the Djakovica
24 area. The only thing that existed were plans of disposition of our units
25 and terrorist positions. On such documents one could also see where our
1 border posts were located as well as our forces in the border area.
2 Q. General, the 72nd Special Brigade, whose brigade was it and what
3 kind of a brigade was it?
4 A. In the Army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, there were two
5 elite units. One was the 63rd Air-borne Brigade and the other was the
6 73rd Special Brigade commanded by the Special Forces corps. And then in
7 turn under direct General Staff command, the 73rd Special Brigade also
8 had under it an anti-terrorist battalion as well as a scouting sabotage
10 Q. Was this brigade or any of its part in 1999 in Kosovo and
11 Metohija during the war?
12 A. Yes. I don't know exactly when. The whole brigade was not
13 there, only the anti-terrorist battalion of the 72nd Special Brigade was
14 there since it was resubordinated to the command of the Pristina Corps.
15 Q. Do you know who commanded the anti-terrorist battalion, I think
16 that's what you called it, yes, of the 72nd Special Brigade?
17 A. The battalion was commanded directly by the corps commander.
18 Q. Do you remember who was the commander of that 72nd Special
20 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Jovanovic. I may have gotten the last name
21 wrong, but I can't quite remember. The name escapes me.
22 Q. It's difficult to keep track of all the names, isn't it?
23 JUDGE PARKER: I got lost between the 73rd and the 72nd. Are
24 they two distinct units? One is said to be the 73rd Special Brigade as
25 appears at the end of page 62 beginning of page 63. And then at 63, line
1 7 and a bit later we hear of the 72nd Special Brigade. I think the
2 context says they are referring to what earlier was said to be the 73rd
3 Special Brigade, is that correct, or is there something I have missed?
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is the 72nd
5 Special Brigade. And that is the unit that the witness is discussing.
6 And the other special unit in the VJ was the 63rd Parachuter's Brigade.
7 The 72nd is the special Brigade. The 73rd is an error in the transcript.
8 JUDGE PARKER: [Overlapping speakers] ... but what we have here
9 just about to go off the screen is two references to the 73rd Special
10 Brigade. Now, is that incorrect? Perhaps the witness can tell us.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the 72nd Special
12 Brigade. The 63rd Parachuter's Brigade.
13 JUDGE PARKER: The references to 73rd Brigade at the end of page
14 63 beginning of 64 should be to the 72nd Special Brigade. Then at line
15 12 we have mention of the 72nd Special Battalion. Should that be the
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I may have been
18 speaking too fast. Everything you've just said is perfectly correct.
19 Just that it's not the 72nd Special Battalion. It's the anti-terrorist
20 battalion which is part of the 72nd Special Brigade.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you too, Your Honour, for
23 clarifying this.
24 Q. Another thing that I want to ask you, General, sir, let me ask
25 you this again. I've asked you this a number of times already. Was
1 there any unit of the Pristina Corps that was actually under your
3 A. I'll repeat this, but if you go to any military documents or
4 archives this should be easy enough to check, not a single unit was under
5 my command.
6 Q. Let me show you now what Witness K-73 said. You were told who
7 the witness was during proofing, right? In order to protect the person's
8 identity, we shall not be using the person's name. This is Exhibit P330.
9 That's his statement. There is something in particular that I'd like to
10 point out to you.
11 JUDGE PARKER: It's under seal.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Let's try 330A, in that case.
13 That one is not under seal. I don't think that should pose a problem
14 then. This should be page 7 in the B/C/S. Just a minute, please. Can
15 we have the previous page back in the English because it's the beginning
16 of the document that I'm looking at.
17 Q. Paragraph 33, the witness says that at the time the 72nd Special
18 Brigade and his own anti-terrorist detachment would be under the command
19 of Colonel Momir Stojanovic chief of security in the Pristina Corps?
20 A. This witness's statement is inaccurate.
21 Q. Very well. He goes on to state as follows:
22 "Three weeks after our arrival in Nasec we received orders from
23 Colonel Stojanovic to ambush vehicles at a crossroads near Nasec no
24 matter if there were Albanians or Serbs in those vehicles?"
25 A. Pursuant to orders by the corps commander I was given a task.
1 Officially I was on my way to the Prizren garrison. The commander also
2 knew that I was a native of Kosovo and that I was familiar with the area.
3 My task was to take that battalion away, to March it away from there and
4 take it to a children's resort, an abandoned one, on the banks of the
5 Drim river, so that's what I did. I took that battalion away. I marched
6 it out of the area. And I didn't stay for any time at all. I did not
7 receive any orders then or ever to that battalion, nor indeed did I have
8 the power to do that.
9 As far as I know the battalion was used for in-depth securing
10 activities of the state border near Mount Pastrik where the border
11 offices could no longer withstand attacks by the terrorists. Pastrik on
12 the border post of Kosare were the two points where the greatest pressure
13 was being exerted by the terrorists. Later during the NATO air-strikes
14 there was an attempt at breaking through there in order to create two
15 corridors to allow two large groups of terrorists to get in and link up
16 with those inside Kosovo.
17 Q. Sir, who was the commander of the 52nd Military Police Battalion?
18 A. Major Stevo Kopanja.
19 Q. And what about A-73's rank?
20 A. A-73, well, first of all, I never saw that witness. He was there
21 as a soldier on a contract and then he was an active soldier after which
22 I believe he held the rank of lance corporal. Nevertheless, don't take
23 this at face value, simply because I am not sure. I do apologise, just
24 one thing. I do happen to know his father.
25 Q. Please no names.
1 A. Yes, yes, I understand that. He was an active duty captain
2 working with a reconnaissance company. I spoke to his father, that being
3 the only reason I know who this person is.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] This is K-73. Not A-73. Just for
5 the transcript. That is the witness we are talking about.
6 Q. My next question: Can a squad commander attend meetings held by
7 the battalion commander?
8 A. The rules on the work of VJ staffs clearly state that. They
9 state the terms for such meetings, and I think the units in Kosovo fully
10 complied with that. Only the direct subordinates to the battalion
11 commander can do that, in this case, company commanders and independent
12 platoon commanders only if there were any independent platoons.
13 Q. Paragraph 40 of the witness's statement says that while they were
14 still in Junik, Commander Kopanja convened all of the officers and
15 instructed them to start cleaning up the area from the Albanians who were
16 there. He clearly said that all the Albanian civilians should be sent
17 towards Korenica where the MUP people would be waiting for them with a
18 list of names indicating who the terrorists were.
19 A. I very much doubt the accuracy of this particular portion of the
20 witness's statement. First of all, how can Kopanja possibly know ahead
21 of time that there is an operation being planned for a certain area? I
22 don't think even higher ranking officers had access to that kind of
23 information. He was a battalion commander in charge of something
24 altogether different.
25 Secondly, there were exceptionally honourable officers working in
1 these military police units. When these positions were awarded to them,
2 all of them were previously vetted. I simply can't believe that the
3 commander of this unit could ever have stated anything like that simply
4 because he would have been altogether unfamiliar with any plans to do
5 with the forward command post.
6 Q. Do you know where the commander of the 52nd Military Police
7 Battalion was stationed?
8 A. The command and by virtue of that fact the commander of the 52nd
9 Military Police Battalion throughout the NATO aggression were stationed
10 in the general Pristina city area. All of the elements of the Pristina
11 Corps Command, which was his primary duty, the security of those
12 elements, I mean, were, in fact, within the general Pristina area.
13 Q. Just in case you remember, was the 52nd Military Police Battalion
14 in April 1999 in Junik in its entirety including all its elements?
15 A. No, this never happened throughout the war. The battalion was
16 never whole in a single piece as it were because of the nature of their
17 duties and business. As far as the 52nd Military Police Battalion is
18 concerned, only two of its platoon were at one point resubordinated to
19 the 152nd Military Police Company [as interpreted] which itself was part
20 of the 125th Motorised Brigade whose focus was on the Junik mountains and
21 the General Kosare area engaged in bloody battles with the terrorist,
22 suffering over 100 casualties and deaths. This 125th Military Police
23 Company before these two platoons were sent there and resubordinated had
24 been decimated. The company commander had been wounded. Two other
25 commanders had been killed. There were other soldiers who had been
1 killed, therefore the corps commander, in order to raise their morale and
2 in order to strengthen the company, that those two platoons be
3 resubordinated to the 125th Motorised Brigade.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] There is something that I've
5 noticed, page 68, line 10, reads the 152nd Military Police Company. It
6 should be the 52nd. Now here it reads 125th Motorised Brigade whereas
7 you said --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 125th Military Police Company
9 that was part of that brigade.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. The 125th company's --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: One speaker at a time,
13 please. Repeat both the question and the answer. Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, you will notice that the previous
16 question and answer were not interpreted because you and the witness were
17 overlapping. You'll have to go over it again if you think it important.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, sir, two platoons, of the 52nd Battalion of the military
20 police, who were these resubordinated to?
21 A. The two platoons were resubordinated to the 125th Motorised
22 Brigade and now became part of the 125th Military Police Company which
23 itself was part of that brigade.
24 Q. Who was the direct immediate superior to the commanders of these
25 platoons that were resubordinated to the 125th Military Police Company
1 that was itself part of the 125th Motorised Brigade?
2 A. Their immediate superior was the commander of the 125th Military
3 Police Company, and his superior was the commander of the 125th Motorised
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
7 Thank you very much for your evidence, sir. Thank you very much, Your
8 Honours, for bearing with me and allowing me to complete my examination.
9 No further questions, thank you.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic. Clearly with a minute to
11 go we will need to adjourn. We continue tomorrow morning at 9.00. I am
12 afraid this has taken longer than expected, so we must ask you to return
13 again tomorrow. A Court Officer will assist you out. We now adjourn to
14 resume at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day of
18 February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.