1 Thursday 25 February, 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
6 Ms. Petersen, we believe there is a matter you need to raise?
7 MS. PETERSEN: Yes, Your Honours. Based on an issue that came up
8 yesterday, there's a document that I would like to show the witness to
9 refresh his recollection. It's not a document that I included in my
10 initial notice to the Defence of documents I'd like to use in
11 cross-examination. It is a Defence document on their 65 ter list. I
12 sent them a notice yesterday afternoon. I believe they have no objection
13 to me using it, but I wanted to seek leave of the Court since this is not
14 included in my notice to the Defence.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
16 Mr. Djurdjic.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] The Defence has no objection,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 Yes, that will be done.
21 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you.
22 JUDGE PARKER: If we could have the witness.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Please sit down. The affirmation
25 you made to tell the truth still applies.
1 Ms. Petersen.
2 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 WITNESS: MOMIR STOJANOVIC [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Cross-examination by Ms. Petersen: [Continued]
6 Q. Hello, sir. Yesterday we began speak being the operation in the
7 Caragoj valley. Do you remember that?
8 A. I apologise, I'm not receiving interpretation into Serbian. Only
9 into French.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Do you now receive -- [B/C/S on English channel]
12 MS. PETERSEN:
13 Q. Sir, yesterday we began speaking about the operation in Caragoj
14 valley, do you recall that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you agree that there were two platoons of the
17 52 Military Police Battalion who took part in that action?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. PETERSEN: All right. If we could have on the screen
20 Prosecution Exhibit P338.
21 Q. And, sir, this is the war diary of the 52nd Military
22 Police Battalion that we were looking at at the end of the day yesterday.
23 MS. PETERSEN: And if we could go to page 11 in English and
24 page 15 in B/C/S and look at the entry for 28 April, 1999.
25 Q. Now, sir, just to provide context for this, while there were two
1 platoons that were participating in this action, I believe you said
2 yesterday that the whole of the 52nd Military Police Battalion was in
3 Pristina; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, in the broader area of Pristina.
5 JUDGE PARKER: If you could wait a minute, Ms. Petersen, we have
6 the wrong page on the screen in English.
7 MS. PETERSEN: If we could have, I believe it's page 11 in
8 English, and it should be the 28th of April. And if we could just scroll
9 down and over to the side so the last column shows. Thank you.
10 Q. So we see for the 52nd Military Police Battalion at the beginning
11 it says there was no action against the BVP positions during the day.
12 Now, that was likely speaking of the battalion that was in
13 Pristina, do you agree? They had no action against it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, off to the side we note that the name of private Zeljko, son
16 of Rajko Tosic, and it gives information about him.
17 MS. PETERSEN: If in the English we could then go to the next
18 page to the rest of this entry.
19 Q. It says for the same day:
20 "During the night, we lost private Zeljko, (son of Rajko Tosic)
21 from VP military post 8070/5 who was killed in the Ramoc sector while
22 private Dragan Erdeljan," I don't know if I pronounced that right, "was
23 wounded, (a self-inflicted wound to the heel)."
24 Now, sir, Ramoc is a village in the Caragoj valley; correct?
25 A. Ramoc is a village in the Caragoj valley.
1 Q. Thank you, sir. So this entry in the war diary indicates to us
2 that this platoon was in the Ramoc sector; correct?
3 A. This page of the war diary shows that these two platoons were
4 among other places also in the Ramoc sector.
5 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, yesterday we spoke about the death of your
6 relative Milutin Prascevic and you initially had a difficult time
7 recalling when his death occurred, and you also stated that you were not
8 aware that the KLA was involved. Is that a fair description of your
10 A. The description is that I didn't know that the KLA was involved,
11 but as for the year, I was wrong. You corrected me, and I accepted the
12 correction. I couldn't remember which year he was killed, but it was, in
13 fact, in 1999 as you have said.
14 MS. PETERSEN: If we could look at Defence 65 ter 01101 and I'll
15 give the ID number; it's D008-5293.
16 Q. Now, sir, we see here, this is a criminal report from the
17 Ministry of the Interior Secretariat in Djakovica. Were you familiar
18 with reports? Did you ever see reports like this in the course of your
20 A. Yes, I am familiar with such reports.
21 Q. And does this look like the type of report that you would see?
22 Does this look like what you recall?
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. PETERSEN: Your Honours, I'd like to tender this document.
25 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1544, Your Honour.
2 MS. PETERSEN:
3 Q. All right. Now, I'd like you to look at this to see if it
4 refreshes your memory about the time and circumstances of your relative's
5 death. If we can see, first of all, just looking down the page, the
6 crime that's being charged is terrorism; correct?
7 A. That's what it says in this criminal report, terrorism.
8 Q. And then if we scroll down a bit, we see the victims of this
9 crime, the first is your relative, Milutin Prascevic, and it says, Police
10 officer from the PS Police Station of Djakovica SUP.
11 Now, first I'd like to ask you, sir, you, I believe, testified
12 that Mr. Prascevic was not a MUP officer; he was a civilian working in
13 the MUP in Djakovica. Now, looking at this, it appears that he was
14 considered to be a police officer, does it not?
15 A. I told you yesterday that Milutin Prascevic worked at the
16 Djakovica SUP
17 whenever he was on duty, he wore civilian clothes. I'm not aware, or,
18 rather, for a while, he did work in uniform, in earlier years, but in the
19 period that you are referring to, he worked in civilian clothing.
20 Q. Sir, are you saying that he was -- you are saying that he worked
21 in civilian clothing. Are you saying that he was not a police officer?
22 I'm not speaking about what clothes that is he wore. I'm speaking about
23 his official function. Is it your understanding that he was a police
24 officer or not?
25 A. No, no, I'm not claiming that he was not a police officer. I
1 can't claim that with certainty. I never got involved into that issue.
2 He was my relative, and we never co-operated on any issue. I'm not
3 claiming that he was not a policeman. I am just telling you how he
4 appeared every time I met him and every time he came to Djakovica while
5 on duty in the morning or in the afternoon hours, he would always
6 invariably wear civilian clothing.
7 Q. All right, sir. So just to clarify at the transcript page 11811
8 when you stated:
9 "Mr. Prascevic was not a MUP officer. He was a civilian working
10 in the MUP in Djakovica."
11 That is not your answer now?
12 A. It is hard to make any conclusions based on what you said. He
13 was a member of the SUP
14 whether he wore a uniform sometimes and whether he was a police officer,
15 I can't claim that with certainty. But I know that he was a member, a
16 worker, on the secretariat of the interior in Djakovica.
17 Q. All right. Sir, what I'm interested in is your knowledge, and I
18 believe it was your testimony that Nike Peraj was wrong when he called
19 this individual a police officer. And I just am wanting to clarify that
20 you are now saying you are not sure if he was a police officer or not.
22 A. I would like to correct you. As far as I remember,
23 Mr. Nike Peraj in his testimony said that Milutin Prascevic was chief of
24 state security, and you can verify this in the transcript. I told you
25 that he had never been chief of state security.
1 Q. And we went over this yesterday, sir. I showed you a correction
2 to the witness statement of Mr. Peraj where he said, yes, this man was
3 not a chief in state security. He was an inspector at the Djakovica SUP
4 Do you now agree that he did work at the Djakovica SUP and was a
5 policeman there, or is your answer that you aren't sure?
6 A. I agree that he was an inspector of the Djakovica SUP. Now,
7 whether he worked in civilian clothing or in uniform, I'm not sure. I'm
8 telling you that whenever I saw him, he was in plain clothes. I think
9 that we can agree on that.
10 Q. All right. Thank you, sir.
11 Now, looking back at this exhibit, we see the other victims of
12 this incident. And there appear to be five. And we don't need to go
13 through the names. But it appears they're police officers from the
14 Djakovica SUP
15 MS. PETERSEN: Going in the English to the next page, and we can
16 stay in B/C/S on the same page.
17 Q. It says that:
18 "At 1725 hours on 21 April 1999, the duty service of the
19 Djakovica SUP
20 was underway on a police patrol from the Djakovica SUP police station.
21 The patrol, which was on regular duty, was travelling down a village road
22 from the direction of Madanaj toward the village of Meja
23 attacked by a DTG
24 community. The terrorist attack was carried out by unidentified
25 terrorists from ambushes laid by the road on the right-hand side of the
1 moving vehicle at a distance of about 30 metres."
2 And it then goes on to describe the fate of the individual
3 officers involved; some were initially injured, one survived, and the
4 rest were killed in this attack.
5 Sir, looking at this report, does it refresh your recollection
6 that from the very beginning this was believed to have been a terrorist
7 attack by the KLA?
8 A. As I have told you yesterday, I told you what I had to say. Now
9 you are asking me change my testimony. I told you that as his relative,
10 I heard that allegedly a MUP patrol - and I see this note for the first
11 time today - but that the patrol was attacked in a place mentioned in
12 this note and that based on my conversation with my relatives, I learned
13 that he had set out to intervene and to help those who had been attacked.
14 On that occasion, he was gravely wounded, and he died on the way to the
16 Further on, I did not conduct any investigation. I did not
17 inquire. I did not investigate as to where he was attacked. I knew that
18 an additional number of people who were wounded also died, and that's all
19 that I knew at the time.
20 Q. Sir, I'm asking you if this refreshes your recollection about
21 your knowledge that it was the KLA who did this. Is your answer no, this
22 does not refresh your memory that at the time you were aware it was a KLA
24 A. I can't state with certainty who carried this out, but we are
25 talking about April of 1999, and I don't see who else could have done it
1 except for the terrorist KLA.
2 Q. And what I'd like to address here, though, is your knowledge at
3 the time. And what I'm having difficulty understanding, sir, is that
4 part of your job was to know what the KLA was doing; correct?
5 A. Part of my job was to know what KLA was doing and preparing
6 vis-à-vis the army units and military facilities.
7 Q. I believe for most of the first day of your testimony, we went
8 through all of your reports about activities of the KLA, times when they
9 crossed the border, a meeting that they had in Switzerland. Is it your
10 testimony that you knew -- you knew about a meeting of the KLA in
12 killed your relative?
13 A. I told you yesterday that it wasn't within my scope of
14 authorities to investigate the killings of the MUP members, but, rather,
15 those of members of the army. In this particular case, I never launched
16 an investigation because it was others who were responsible for doing
18 Q. Well, sir, it wouldn't really take an a investigation, would it?
19 The criminal report the day after said it was a KLA terrorist attack.
20 There's no further investigation needed. I'm asking if you knew about
21 that or not?
22 A. Please, in the Caragoj valley, there was 137th KLA Brigade
23 deployed, and they had committed horrendous crimes against the army
24 members. Much before this event back in 1998, I knew that there was a
25 terrorist organisation of the KLA active in that area. I'm repeating
1 once again that I did not need to conduct any particular investigation.
2 I see this document for the first time; I believe it is correct; I don't
3 see why the SUP
4 will appreciate that my job was much broader than investigating the
5 killing of a MUP member, be it even my relative. I suspect that you
6 think that I as his relative was supposed to conduct some sort of
7 investigation, and I am telling you that I neither had the time, nor was
8 I required to do that under the law, nor did I have the abilities to do
9 it, nor did I do that.
10 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you if you conducted an investigation. I'm
11 asking you if you believed at the time that the KLA was responsible for
12 your relative's death?
13 A. At that time I couldn't know that with certainty. I could have
14 my suspicions, but I couldn't know with certainty. I didn't have the
15 indicators that would be relevant enough to conclude that. It -- it was
16 possible that somebody killed my relative because that person held a
17 grudge against him. I suspected that this was a terrorist act carried
18 out by the KLA, but I did not have the necessary information to claim
19 that with certainty.
20 Q. I see. So your suspicions were that it was the KLA?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you, sir.
23 Now, the action in the Caragoj valley took place on April 27 and
24 28 of 1999; correct?
25 A. Based on such documents as I have studied during the Milutinovic
1 trial and during my preparation for the present evidence, my conclusion
2 was the operation was carried out over those two days.
3 Q. And you've also testified that you received reports. I believe
4 in this trial you said you received a report about that operation on the
5 morning of April 27th, that it was on-going; correct?
6 A. Yes, both the morning and the evening of the 27th and the same on
7 the 28th of April, followed by a written report on the progress of the
8 entire operation.
9 Q. Thank you, sir. Do you agree that one of the objectives of the
10 Caragoj valley action was to catch the terrorists who killed your
11 relative Prascevic and the other MUP officers?
12 A. No, I do not agree with your statement. The operation in the
13 Caragoj valley had nothing to do, at least not the way I see it, with the
14 murder of Milutin Prascevic. From a military point of view, the
15 operation should have been launched by the army much earlier than this.
16 I am talking about the army, mind you. Particularly given the fact that
17 it was from those positions in the Caragoj valley that the lives of our
18 men were taken almost on a daily basis, or indeed anyone moving down that
20 Another reason being, the corps was focusing on the border-line
21 itself, whereas the Caragoj valley was behind our backs. That was why
22 the operation was planned for such a late stage at a time when the
23 assessment was made among the military that these terror strikes and
24 murder by those members marauding the area could no longer be tolerated.
25 Q. Sir, based on the dates, the murder of your relative and the
1 other MUP officers, four MUP officers, killed was on the 28th of April;
2 this operation began six days later. Are you saying that this was not
3 the final straw, the final trigger, or at least a goal of this operation
4 to find the people who had just six days earlier killed four MUP
6 A. I'll explain. Individual incidents have no bearing on army
7 decisions, particularly not those that effected individual MUP members.
8 Secondly, the army's motivation for the operation was not this particular
9 killing, rather, the reasons were as I mentioned a while ago. Lastly,
10 had an operation been planned to retaliate, and I'll say no worse,
11 because of this murder, it certainly would have been planned and launched
12 much sooner rather than to wait for a full seven days afterwards.
13 Q. Sir, we heard from Milos Dosan, I believe, about a week ago, who
14 you said was the commander of the 52nd Rocket Brigade. He agreed with
15 your testimony that you had just given that the primary goal was to
16 neutralise terrorists in the Caragoj valley, but he said one of the other
17 goals was to catch the killers of these policemen. Now, he would know,
18 would he not, being there on the scene?
19 A. I'm not familiar with Mr. Milos Dosan's statement or indeed his
20 evidence before this Tribunal. Nevertheless, he was the
21 Djakovica garrison commander. He may have had broader information.
22 Nevertheless, what I'm telling you is if you look at the corps level
23 command, which was superior to the corps's forward command post in
24 Djakovica in terms of giving orders, the motive for this operation, the
25 trigger for this operation was not this particular killing, not at that
1 time, not at that time during the planning -- not at any time during the
2 planning stage. It was simply that many of our soldiers would be killed
3 along that road on their way to the border post. They would get into
4 their vehicles and drive towards the border post. The terrorists in that
5 area would simply approach the road, get close to them, fire on them, and
6 kill those soldiers, which is something that continues to happen
7 systematically throughout 1998 and 1999.
8 Perhaps you would like to make an effort and track down
9 information on the soldiers who were killed in 1998 and 1999. No doubt
10 you will have to conclude, if you look at information indicating the time
11 and place of their death, that many of the deaths quite frequently
12 occurred along that road.
13 Q. Sir, so it's just coincidence that this operation took place six
14 days after the killing of these MUP officers; is that what you're telling
16 A. Yes, if you ask me, it's no more than a coincidence. The
17 operation had long been in the making. As far as I know, the planning
18 started before Mr. Prascevic ever got killed. Let me assure you that as
19 far as the army's involvement was concerned, the motive was certainly not
20 Mr. Prascevic's murder or death.
21 Q. All right, sir. In the Milutinovic case, you said that at the
22 time of this operation:
23 "I myself was elsewhere. I can't remember which location now."
24 And that was at T-19842. On Tuesday, however, you told us that
25 you were in Pristina on both days; is that correct?
1 A. The latter, yes. I tried to think back, go back to my records,
2 and it turns out that I was in Pristina.
3 Q. All right. So since you testified in Milutinovic, you have
4 remembered that you were, in fact, in Pristina on these two days?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, let's talk about planning a bit. You spoke earlier about
7 the role the security sector played in planning operations, how you would
8 give various information but we could describe it at location and
9 strength of terrorists; correct? I realise it was a bit more extensive
10 than that, but it was basically information about terrorists in the area
11 of the anti-terrorist operation.
12 And we discussed how it was important that this information be up
13 to date. Do you recall that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, you were asked in Milutinovic whether you participated in
16 this capacity that we just described in the planning of the Caragoj
17 valley action and you said no. And this was at the transcript
18 page 19840.
19 Now, sir, you just told us that the plan for this action was
20 commenced much earlier than the death of these police officers. How
21 would you know that if you were not involved in the planning of this
23 A. This is what I said: Whenever command officers of the
24 Pristina Corps were spending time at the forward command post, we would
25 keep receiving information through briefings from the officers at the
1 forward command post that there were always problems along that road, and
2 terrorists were striking from the village of Smolnica
3 explain, because things are not as simply as they might seem. The
4 villages that is you are discussing, Pacaj, Racaj, Dolosaj,
5 Ceremet [phoen], Nivokaz, are all in a valley, which is precisely the
6 reason it's called the Caragoj valley. Further up the hill, there is the
7 village of Smolnica which had quite a fateful reputation among us because
8 of all the terrorist activity. They used that as a perch, as a strong
9 hold, upon which to descend upon us using that road. There was an
10 ongoing discussion about this. Our units were between the Caragoj valley
11 and the Albanian border. What that meant in practical terms is that we
12 always had the terrorists behind our backs. This was this ongoing
13 discussion about the fact that one had to comb the area and track down
14 the terrorists. This was discussed on several occasions before this
15 operation was eventually planned and carried out on the 27th and 28th.
16 When I said that the operation had long been in the making, it
17 was in that context. It wasn't in a purely practical sense. The option
18 of an operation like that was being considered for a very long time. And
19 our superior command from Nis
20 of the heavy losses we suffered along that road. So that was a back-drop
21 to me saying that the operation had long been in the making, as I
22 originally phrased it.
23 Q. Well, sir, there's a difference between talking about a problem,
24 having ongoing discussions, as you call it, about a problem, and actually
25 planning to do an action. Do you agree?
1 A. Fully, yes.
2 Q. So participating in ongoing discussions don't make an action
3 happen; right?
4 A. I agree with you. Nevertheless, I would appreciate an
5 opportunity to explain one thing.
6 Q. Well, let me ask you this, sir, you will agree, while there may
7 have been on-going discussions about the problem of terrorists in this
8 area, an action was not commenced until six days after the killing of
9 these MUP officers? Will you agree with me on that?
10 A. That is obvious if you look at the date. The operation was
11 launched six days after the murder of those police officers. There was
12 no two ways about that.
13 Q. And I believe you also -- one of your criticisms of Nike Peraj's
14 witness statement was he said that you had discussed with him a plan for
15 this area and you said there was no pre-existing plan for this area, he
16 is wrong. Is that accurate?
17 A. There was no specific plan. What I'm telling you is that there
18 were talks, discussions. I don't know if a plan was put together by the
19 forward command post, but if indeed it was, it was probably on the eve of
20 the operation itself, that the plan came together, which is often the
21 case with such operations.
22 Q. And you did not participate in this plan; that's your testimony?
23 A. No, I did not participate.
24 Q. Sir, doesn't it -- didn't you have an interest in making sure
25 that this action would be as successful as possible? Even if this was
1 just a general anti-terrorist action, those terrorists had just killed a
2 relative of yours. Didn't you have any interest in participating in this
4 A. You have been asking me a number of hypothetical questions, I'll
5 try to be as specific as I can in my answer. An operation is planned and
6 implemented and then it results in something, it yields certain results.
7 Who is responsible for all of this? The relevant command implementing
8 the operation. The role of the security service is not to be involved in
9 the planning or implementation of the operation, rather, if required by
10 the relevant command authorities, it is supposed to provide relevant
11 information on what we termed the "blue," which we used as a code-name
12 for the KLA, always information in relation to a certain area in which
13 the command was interested in launching an operation.
14 In a case at hand, we have this operation in the Caragoj valley.
15 There was so much information regarding that floating about already that
16 the command authorities simply required no further operation to plan the
17 operation. They had all they needed. Other than that, the distance
18 between the forward command post and the valley as the crows flies is no
19 more than about 3 kilometres. What that means is that our units were
20 right there next to the Caragoj valley, between the valley and the border
21 belt. So this area was constantly patrolled by security officers
22 monitoring the situation in their respective areas of responsibility.
23 The Caragoj valley was the responsibility of both the 549th Motorised
24 Brigade and a combat group of the 125th Motorised Brigade. The
25 operatives in these units were --
1 Q. Let me just stop you there, because I think we are getting far
2 afield of the initial question. My question to you is this: You
3 explained to us that in general your section would assist with actions by
4 providing up-to-date information about the KLA, and that this information
5 was crucial in an anti-terrorist action so the troops would know exactly
6 what they were up against, correct? We've discussed this.
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now, I'm asking you if we have discussed this. I don't -- do you
9 recall that we have gone through that?
10 A. Ms. Prosecutor, yes, indeed, we have discussed it. What I do not
11 agree with is your conclusion based on that exchange that we had.
12 Military security service information was no more than information
13 pertaining to one of the bodies relevant to the planning process. You
14 had the intelligence bodies, you had the actual knowledge gathered on the
15 ground, the 14th Intelligence Group, the state security, you had all this
16 information being pulled together and all these different types of
17 information were useful for planning any anti-terrorist operation,
18 including the one in the Caragoj valley.
19 Q. Sir, my understanding was that your section was sort of the
20 clearing house for all this information. You received information from
21 state security, from counter-intelligence, from your various operatives,
22 and then you pooled that and passed it on to the Pristina Corps? They
23 weren't meeting regularly with state security, were they?
24 A. State security channelled only some of the information we
25 received from state security. The information obtained by us through our
1 own activity, the information obtained by the
2 14th Counter-intelligence Group, it didn't actually have a presence in
3 the unit, the intelligence group, nevertheless, it was a body that kept
4 monitoring the situation throughout the area and briefing us on it.
5 As for information that came to the intelligence group, we were
6 not kept up to date on that because they went straight to our command --
7 both of our commanders to report to them.
8 Q. What I'd like to clarify here is, is it your testimony today that
9 you did not participate in the planning of this action, as you frequently
10 did before actions by giving up-to-date intelligence about the KLA, you
11 did not do that for this action because there was enough information, as
12 you say, already floating around? Is that your testimony?
13 A. Counter-intelligence work is something that the military security
14 service does on a daily basis. Terrorism, as one of the three focuses of
15 our work, is also something that we do every day. We were permanently
16 gathering information or intelligence and forwarding any intelligence
17 that we obtained to the forward command post of the Pristina Corps in
18 Djakovica, with Veroljub Zivanovic, Colonel Veroljub Zivanovic as its
19 commander. My own operatives kept reporting on the location, the
20 manpower, the intentions, the plans, and all it this information was
21 being pooled and channelled towards the forward command post. It was in
22 that capacity that we as security officers were involved in the planning,
23 as you say. As for planning, the deployment of particular units or the
24 modalities in which the operation would unfold, now these were some
25 stages that we were not involved in and were never asked to participate
2 Q. Sir, when you say your own "operatives kept reporting on the
3 location, the manpower, the intentions, and the plans, and all of this
4 information was being pooled and channelled toward the forward command
5 post," was that through your section; is that what you mean? Or were all
6 these separate entities just reporting, throughout the army, intelligence
8 A. I am afraid I have to say you weren't following my previous
9 answer closely.
10 Q. Well, answer the question now. Is it -- I would like you to
11 answer the question now. Is it through you? Is intelligence information
12 distributed through you or not?
13 A. Each unit has intelligence officers and this is different and
14 separate from the security organ. These are two different organs. The
15 intelligence one briefs the commander orally and the security one does as
16 well. This can be done orally or in writing. Nevertheless, they both
17 brief their superiors in a technical sense up the chain of command. All
18 the security organs of the units that were in the Caragoj valley or in
19 the general area, all of them were submitting their reports orally to the
20 commander at the forward command post, but they were all pooling all of
21 their information in order to arrive at the overall picture as concerned
22 security throughout Kosovo. They were forwarding this information to me.
23 We've been look at these telegrams over the last couple of days, these
24 were collective reports on all of the developments that were unfolding in
25 Kosovo at the time.
1 Q. So let me make sure I have this right. When we spoke the other
2 day about the reports you would receive on a daily basis, you said you
3 would receive reports from the security organs at the brigade level; is
4 that right?
5 A. I would receive reports from my direct subordinates, the security
6 chiefs in the brigades who in their turn received reports from their own
7 subordinates, who were the security organs in the combat groups.
8 Q. So are you telling us now that those individuals not only
9 reported to you, but they were also reporting to the forward command post
10 in Djakovica?
11 A. Yes. The forward command post was set up and included a number
12 of different offices in different sectors of the Pristina Corps Command.
13 Artillery, infantry, operatives, intelligence, the most senior officer
14 there was an officer from the military security service, and he was a
15 component, so to speak, of the forward command post. All of the security
16 officers, and I am talking about the units being deployed near the
17 border, would forward their information to him. And normally when there
18 were meetings of the forward command post, he would brief everyone else
19 on this information.
20 Q. Now, so this was not your summary of the information that went to
21 the Pristina Corps. You are saying that the Pristina Corps forward
22 command post got all the raw information, all the reports channelled into
23 them; you didn't assist at all in pooling that information before it went
24 to them? They got it the same as you got it?
25 A. There is a base security officer who is part of the forward
1 command post who is in charge of co-ordinating all the security organs,
2 all the combat groups in that area. And when I say that area, I mean the
3 border belt. He then receives information from his subordinates on the
4 situation as it was on the ground and on the situation that prevailed in
5 his own units. Then he extrapolates, based on this information; he
6 proposes measures; and he makes assessments, all of which he then
7 forwards to me, containing any information that might prove to be of
8 relevance for the command process. Normally, this information includes
9 counter-intelligence or perhaps information that was only meant for the
10 security people, such as the work of agents, the working methodology.
11 This is not something that he would be forwarding to the forward command
12 post; rather, he would be informing the command.
13 And he would only be informing the command concerning that part
14 of all this collective information he was sending to me concerning the
15 activities, the location, and the manpower of the terrorist units in that
16 particular area.
17 Q. All right, sir. In your testimony on Tuesday, you were asked to
18 look at paragraph 96 of Nike Peraj's statement, which says that in the
19 Djakovica headquarters, the forward command post, there was a wall-sized
20 map on which Jeftovic was marking details of the Caragoj valley
21 operation. And in response to that, you said at page 11813:
22 "Secondly, at the forward command post, there was a working map,
23 but it was a general map kept daily indicating terrorist locations and
24 border incidents. I don't think that the Meja action map was ever put on
25 a wall."
1 First I'd like to ask you, your memory of this map at the forward
2 command post 11 years later indicates you must have been quite familiar
3 with that forward command post; is that fair? You were there a lot?
4 A. I was moving about and driving around almost every day; that was
5 the nature of my job as chief of security. There were many units there,
6 60.000 men, so many brigades, so many subordinate units. If there had
7 been no manoeuvres like that, I don't think those people I told you about
8 yesterday would have been killed. Nevertheless, I'm trying to tell you
9 something about the map and Mr. Nike Peraj. There was this forward
10 command post in Djakovica and there was an operations room there. What
11 was there on permanent display was a map containing the following: The
12 disposition or the exact locations of our border posts along the Albanian
13 border; the exact locations of our combat groups within the border belt;
14 the exact locations of all the other combat groups further behind the
15 border belt; as well as the exact disposition and location of the
16 terrorist units.
17 Now, this was the map that was being updated constantly all the
18 time as the units were moving about. There were all these symbols on the
19 map but also what was indicated was the number of weapons, the number of
20 tanks, the number of guns, and the manpower of the terrorists units.
21 Whenever there was an individual operation being planned throughout
22 1998 and 1999, there would have been a very detailed assessment and plan
23 being drawn up containing what we call secondary orders or suborders in
24 relation to an operation that was being planned. And the same was the
25 case with the Caragoj valley. There would have been a plan from the
1 relevant officer to carry out such and such an operation with such and
2 such an objective, and there would be a decision to launch this operation
3 telling us exactly how the operation had to be performed.
4 And then also we would draw on this map the exact lines of
5 movement of these units through the area and how they would be
6 co-ordinating. The map is part of this master plan for the operation at
7 Caragoj valley, and the map was not hanging on a wall in the operations
8 room at Nike Peraj suggested; rather, what was there was this permanent
9 map, not the one that was being updated every day, all the time.
10 Q. Sir, you were in Pristina on April 27 and April 28, were you not?
11 And that's a yes or no question.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you have just gone to great lengths to tell us that you did
14 not participate in the planning of this operation in the Caragoj valley;
16 A. I did not participate.
17 Q. Okay. So, sir, you have no firsthand knowledge of what was on
18 the wall on the forward -- in the forward command post on April 27th
19 and April 28th, do you?
20 A. I don't have information as to what is in the map, which is the
21 official map recorded for that action. But I'm telling you that ever
22 since the command post was established in June of 1998 until the end of
23 the war, the same map with the same elements was displayed. And I am
24 telling you that whenever I went on the ground, I saw the map that I
25 described to.
1 Q. So you have firsthand information of that map being on the wall
2 on the days that you were there; but on the two days of this action, you
3 weren't there, you don't have first information about what was displayed
4 in that forward command post, do you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, you were asked in Milutinovic when you heard about this
7 operation, and I'd just like to go through your testimony there. You
8 said at page 19841, you learned about the operation later, not in whole,
9 but on a need-to-know basis. You then said at a little bit later, you
10 said that you learned about it from Captain Perovic, chief of security,
11 on the evening of the 28th of April. You also said that you received
12 reports every night and every morning. And this is at page 19844.
13 Now, I believe on Tuesday you told us that you learned of the
14 action on the morning of April 17th. And I would just like to clarify,
15 do you stand by that answer, sir? I'm sorry, not April 17th; April 27th.
16 A. I will explain. 1st Class Captain Sergej Perovic was the highest
17 ranking officer among the security officers in that period when the
18 action in Carragojs was planned and carried out. We in the security
19 section would frequently send to the forward command post the officer who
20 would eventually co-ordinate the work of the security organs, and they
21 would be on a seven-day shift. At that time it was Captain Perovic.
22 In the Milutinovic case, I said that -- what I learned on the
23 28th about the entire action and its course. And I told you yesterday,
24 and I can repeat it now, that the information that the action was being
25 planned came to me in the morning on the 27th. I didn't know about the
1 details of the operation, how it transpired, whether there were any
2 problems or not. On the 28th, I received a verbal account. And several
3 days later, when the mail arrived, I received a written report on the
5 Q. Sir, did you learn what units were involved in this action?
6 A. At the time, I didn't know. But as I was preparing to testify in
7 the Milutinovic case and in this case, I came across some information as
8 to which units had participated in that action. It is not within my job
9 description to know how an action would be carried out and what units
10 would participate. However, it is up to me to know whether, in the
11 preparation for an action, there were any unlawful steps committed,
12 whether there was anything done against the rules of service.
13 Q. All right. So at the time, you did not know what units were
15 A. At the time, I didn't.
16 Q. All right. Now, sir, in the reporting that you got about this
17 action, did you learn that MUP and VJ units, including the platoon of the
18 52nd Military Police Battalion, were sweeping down the Caragoj valley and
19 expelling all the Albanian residents?
20 A. In the report that I received that these two military police
21 platoons participated, I knew about that, and I knew that part of our
22 units participated in the blocking of the Caragoj valley, and that the
23 other part of the units together with the units of the Ministry of
24 the Interior was involved in sweeping the terrain in order to locate
1 I remember that in that information it also said that due to that
2 action being carried out, a large number of civilians left their homes as
3 the action was underway and these civilians set out towards Djakovica.
4 The plan of the action was not to expel civilians, nor were there any
5 such information in the report that I received, rather the objective of
6 that action was to locate terrorists in that area.
7 Q. So the information you got was that people were just voluntarily,
8 spontaneously leaving their homes, that it was not the VJ and the MUP who
9 were directing them to leave their homes? That was your information?
10 A. No. There was no such information about people leaving their
11 homes voluntarily and setting out towards Djakovica. No. The
12 information that we received was that as a result of combat operations, a
13 large group of local residents got together and set out towards
15 Q. Voluntarily, of their own choosing? That was your information?
16 A. We did not receive information as to whether it was voluntary or
17 not. That part was not referred to. However, what was written in there,
18 I will repeat, is that as a result of combat operation, a large number of
19 the residents of those villages organised a column and set out towards
20 Djakovica. It didn't say whether it was by force or voluntary.
21 The information about the population being expelled by force from
22 their home did not reach me at the time. I received no such information.
23 Q. Well, you're saying, sir, that there was information that a large
24 convoy of people left. It wasn't clear whether it was, let me get your
25 exact language here, you did not receive information as to whether it was
1 voluntary or not. That part was not referred to. Now, expelling
2 civilians, that's a crime that you should know about; right? It was
3 within your job description to know if something like that happened;
5 A. The expelling of civilians by the army members would have
6 constituted a crime that I would have needed to be informed of.
7 Q. So when you get information that a large convoy of people has
8 left an area and it's not clear whether it was by force or not, that's
9 something you should probably look into, isn't it?
10 A. Yes. I checked even back then every action. And all the
11 information that came to us indicated that members of the army did not
12 enter houses, expel population, or do any other unlawful acts.
13 Q. So you are saying you did carry out an investigation of this?
14 A. I did not carry out an investigation. I received information
15 from the ground, from my security officers. And the information that
16 reached me did not indicate that the soldiers were engaging in any acts
17 that were unlawful or contrary to the international humanitarian law.
18 Q. I believe you stated in the Milutinovic trial, and this is at
19 page 19846:
20 "The security officer informed me that from the viewpoint of
21 engagement of the army, the action was carried out properly, without any
23 So you were satisfied with that, sir? That was all you needed to
25 A. In the statement that you quoted, I summarised the essence.
1 That's not how the statement read. The report was somewhat broader. It
2 spoke about the killing of the soldiers, the problems they encountered,
3 what terrorists they came across. I simply summarised that in the
4 statement that I gave. That wasn't the complete information, just the
6 Q. I'd like to read to you some testimony of a former member of the
7 company of the platoon of the 52nd Military Police Battalion who
8 participated in that action.
9 MS. PETERSEN: This is a protected witness, Your Honours, so we
10 would need to go into closed session, please.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 11931-11932 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are now in open session.
3 MS. PETERSEN:
4 Q. Sir, I'll repeat the question. There's also been evidence in
5 this case that approximately 300 Albanians were killed during this
6 action. Did you learn anything about this at the time?
7 A. At that time, I had no information concerning that. Namely, that
8 the population was treated inhumanely in the course of that action and
9 that there had been murders. I heard about the murders when I was asked
10 by Mr. Stamp in the Milutinovic case about what you are asking me now.
11 Following that, I made inquiries. And during my testimony in the
12 Milutinovic case, it was put to me that some corpses that had been found
13 later in 2000 and 2001 near Belgrade
14 positively identified as residents from that area. And this information
15 greatly surprised me.
16 However, I believe in the reports that the commanders received; I
17 believe in the reports of my operative officers submitted to me. And if
18 there was any excessive conduct and if there were civil victims there, I
19 am convinced that the army did not participate in it.
20 Q. Well, sir, these were things that you should have known about at
21 the time, had they occurred; right?
22 A. Yes. And I will tell you --
23 Q. And it's your testimony that you didn't hear about this at all
24 and so you conducted no further investigation? That's your testimony
25 here today?
1 A. It is my testimony that I did not have any information at the
2 time. As to nowadays based on the Milutinovic case and the information I
3 read from other cases, I know that there are reasonable grounds to
4 believe that crimes had been committed against civilian population.
5 Please let me remind you of just some of the elements. Security service
6 organs obtained intelligence that in the Izbica village, Srbica
7 municipality, there were 140 mounds, graves observed. We -- upon hearing
8 this, we immediately took some steps and established that members of the
9 army never participated in any action in the Izbica village. These
10 corpses were exhumed, an autopsy was carried out, and criminal
11 proceedings were instituted. We reported this.
12 We also reported to the military organs about the crime in the
13 village of Zlavinja
14 in the other about 20, oh, I'm in the sure.
15 Let me just conclude, please. And also in Pusto Selo. So, tell
16 me, had we known that something had been committed, a crime against
17 civilians, why do you think that we would have failed to take steps and
18 failed to report this to those in authority? I'm telling you that we had
19 no information, no knowledge about any crime being committed there.
20 Q. All right, sir, let's talk about Izbica for a minute. Sir, isn't
21 it true that you investigated the dead bodies of elderly civilians in
22 Izbica after there was very bad international press that these bodies had
23 been found there? Correct?
24 A. That's correct. The commander of the Pristina Corps ordered to
25 the commander of the unit, which was quite far away from Izbica, to go
1 into reconnaissance mission. We reported this, pathologists arrived, and
2 this entire investigation that we conducted which was aimed at
3 determining who perpetrated this showed that the army had never entered
4 Izbica nor carried out any combat operations in Izbica.
5 We would have continued with that --
6 Q. Sir, sir --
7 A. -- but we were bombed for 78 days.
8 Q. My question was just if this investigation took place after bad
9 international press about these bodies being found. And I believe you
10 answered the question that that was correct.
11 My next question is: Are you aware that those bodies were later
13 A. I did not understand your question. What do you mean happened to
14 the bodies?
15 Q. That the bodies disappeared at a certain point. Are you aware of
17 A. No. All I know, let me please explain, is that the army was
18 involved in securing the area when the exhumation had been ordered. The
19 team of pathologists and investigating judges from Kosovska Mitrovica and
20 from the military medical academy in Belgrade
21 autopsy, a criminal report was filed to the relevant military prosecutor
22 in charge of that area. And I don't know how far that case came.
23 As for cases in Sales and Mali Repa [phoen] I know that criminal
24 proceedings were instituted thanks to our information, evidence, we
25 collected and submitted. So that's why I said, Why do you think that --
1 Q. Sir, are you aware that some of those bodies that went missing,
2 the human remains, were later found in a clandestine mass grave?
3 A. No, I didn't know that.
4 Q. Let me ask you this: Now, I realise you say you are not aware
5 that the bodies disappeared and then some were later found in a mass
6 grave, but is that something that you would call a successful
7 prosecution, when the primary evidence disappears and is later found in a
8 mass grave? Is that a success, sir?
9 A. Madam Prosecutor, I don't think that you are misinterpreting what
10 I said on purpose. I mentioned Izbica in the context of making a report,
11 in the context of receiving any sort of information about a crime being
12 committed in the positive sense because we went there and immediately
13 reported that we had found 140 -- or, I'm not sure how many graves. And
14 I'm not saying that that was a successful investigation, but I'm now
15 returning to your question.
16 Do you wish to impute to me or is it just my perception that the
17 security organs knew of some crimes - and I still don't have full
18 information about what had been done in the Carragojs action - so you are
19 imputing to me that I knew of this and failed to report? Everything that
20 we learned of, we reported. It is possible that we didn't know
21 everything. No service can know everything. But I'm telling you that we
22 always acted appropriately once we received information. So once we
23 received it, if we did not receive such information that we were unable
24 to carry out any sort of investigation or make any reports, we were not
25 duty-bound to do that.
1 Q. So, sir, you are providing Izbica as an example to us, as a
2 positive example of work of the security service?
3 A. No, that would be Mali Alas, Ribari, Gornja Klina, where several
4 dead bodies were thrown into a well. I can give you a good many examples
5 that were documented by the security officers and reported. I did give a
6 number of details as I was being examined by the Defence team,
7 nevertheless, I assume the documents are available to you, those in the
8 possession of military and judicial organs. If you go to those and
9 inspect those, you will be able to see how many killings and crimes were
10 prosecuted based on information provided by the military security service
11 of the Pristina Corps.
12 MS. PETERSEN: Your Honours, I see that it's time for the break.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Can I draw attention to the transcript
14 page 31, line 21. I think a most material answer of the witness as it
15 was translated to us was:
16 "At the time, I had no information concerning that."
17 Whereas the transcript says:
18 "At the time, I had in information concerning that."
19 I think the "no" was important to the witness's evidence and
20 should be noted as an error.
21 You were saying you had no information that approximately
22 300 Albanians were killed during the Caragoj valley action. Your word
23 "no" was wrongly put in the transcript.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour. You are
1 JUDGE PARKER: We will have the first break now and resume at
3 [The witness stands down]
4 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Petersen.
8 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Q. Now, sir, before we broke you mentioned at some point hearing
10 about bodies found in a mass grave in Batajnica, and I'd like to talk to
11 you about that for a minute. There's evidence in this case that the
12 human remains of the Albanians who were killed in the Caragoj valley
13 operation were later found in a mass grave in Batajnica. When did you
14 learn about this, sir?
15 A. I mentioned that in the Milutinovic trial as well. I learned
16 through the media when they first broke the news in the
17 Republic of Serbia
18 before Mr. Stamp asked me whether I knew that the bodies or some of the
19 bodies were from the Caragoj valley. I replied I didn't know, which was
20 true, I didn't. What I did learn in 2001 or 2002 was the reports I read
21 in the media that some refrigeration trucks were found containing bodies
22 as well as some graves.
23 Q. Sir, you -- this is the type of information that as a security
24 officer you should have known about; correct?
25 A. This is the type of information that, as a military security
1 officer, I would have expected to know only insofar as the information
2 had anything do with the VJ, the Army of the Federal Republic
4 Q. Well, you know now that these bodies found -- many of the bodies
5 found in Batajnica have been tied back to the operation in the Caragoj
6 valley which the VJ actively participated in. The fact that so many
7 people died in that operation at the time seems like something that you
8 should have looked into, does it not?
9 A. As a human being and as a matter of professional interest, I
10 would have shown a lot of interest when the news was broken. But after I
11 left Kosovo and Metohija, I was no longer working with the military
12 security service. I was assigned to some other command duties.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it seems to me that
15 my learned friend is drawing conclusions here that are for the Chamber to
16 draw, where she says that bodies were found in Batajnica that were
17 originally the result of the operation in the Caragoj valley. Since
18 these questions are being asked, could we please see some references
19 being shown both to the witness and to us regarding these conclusions. I
20 think that is for the Chamber to judge. I will not go any further than
21 this for the time being.
22 JUDGE PARKER: You are quite right. If there is to be a finding
23 of fact, it will be for the Chamber. It is, though, the Prosecution case
24 that these -- this is the position, and that is being put to the witness
25 for his comment, properly so. That doesn't mean to say that because
1 Ms. Petersen suggests it, we will necessarily find that or anything like
2 it. That's for the future.
3 Carry on please, Ms. Petersen.
4 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Now, sir, you were, in fact, the chief of security for the
6 Army of the Serbia
7 A. Yes, that's correct. I was first chief of the military security
8 service administration which was part of the defence ministry. And after
9 that I worked on the reform of the military security service as it was
10 being transformed into the military security agency, of which I was also
11 acting as head for a while during the period you just specified.
12 Q. Now, this was after these bodies had been found in Batajnica;
14 A. This was after the information came out or throughout Serbia
15 bodies had been found in Batajnica.
16 Q. Now, sir, in your capacity as chief of security from
17 2003 to 2005, did you conduct any investigation at that time into these
19 A. No. For two different reasons: Firstly, while I was holding
20 that post, it was never the case that a relevant state body, relevant
21 body of the state judiciary, never submitted to me a request that I
22 should look into the investigation concerning those bodies. Secondly,
23 between 2003 and 2005, and I think it applies to this very day as well, I
24 would even go as far as to say back in 1999 and 2000 when the
25 international forces came to Kosovo and Metohija it would have been
1 exceedingly difficult to look into a matter like that simply because we
2 had no access to potential witnesses simply because we couldn't actually
3 go there for security reasons.
4 When I look at the area today, I'm talking about Djakovica area
5 and Caragoj valley, it is still impossible for any Serb to go there and
6 be safe. My information indicates that over the last ten years the only
7 way Serbs have been able to go there was under the escort of the
8 international forces, specifically to the Decani monastery in the
9 Pec parish, to visit. This still applies as we speak.
10 Q. Sir, in your position as chief of security, could you not have
11 easily found out such things as what units were involved in the
12 operation, without going to Kosovo?
13 A. While preparing for my evidence here and for my appearance in the
14 Milutinovic trial --
15 Q. No, no, that's not my question, sir. My question is: In 2003
16 and 2005 you are telling us, I could not have investigated this because I
17 couldn't go to Kosovo. My question is: Couldn't you have found out,
18 number one, what units were involved; number two, much of the Serbian
19 army was in Serbia
20 involved in those actions; number three, the bodies had been found there,
21 the bodies were no longer in Kosovo. As a person whose career has been
22 spent gathering information, couldn't you have figured out some
23 investigative steps to take?
24 A. In the archives of the military security service, and those
25 archives and records are kept with great pedantry and include documents
1 ranging back to 1945, there is nothing, no information, indicating any
2 inhumane treatment or indeed any crimes that allegedly happened in the
3 area. Secondly, when the operation was carried out and afterwards, we
4 were always trying to gather information in our units, those involved in
5 the operation, or any other operation. This was a daily task for the
6 military security service and its officers.
7 We would gather information every day concerning the situation in
8 these units, and we never came across any hint, anything at all,
9 indicating that army members at the time in that area committed anything
10 at all that was unlawful.
11 Q. Now, when you say you never came across any hint, you're
12 referring to the reports and information you received, right, sir,
13 because you weren't there? So you're saying, In the reports I received,
14 I was not told of this?
15 A. What I'm saying is that some of the units involved in that
16 operation, having left the area, arrived in Serbia proper. These units
17 were still being looked into by the military security service. I'm
18 talking about the period that you asked me about between 2003 and 2005.
19 I'm talking about the whole period that followed the war. We never at
20 any point in time received any additional information indicating that the
21 army members committed any crime or anything at all in the area that was
23 Q. Well, let me read you a part of your testimony in Milutinovic and
24 then I have a question following it. In Milutinovic at page 19856,
25 Judge Chowhan asked you in relation to investigating these bodies, he
2 "I mean there were newspapers which you did read, and there's no
3 denying this fact. Why weren't you disturbed about that? Why didn't you
4 go ahead investigating? Why didn't you find out?"
5 And you answered:
6 "Certainly every normal person would be upset, and I was upset.
7 And I would try to get informed about the further course of the acting
8 and contact all my colleagues and connections through Kosovo and Metohija
9 if I had known about it then. But what I'm saying to Mr. Stamp is that
10 at that time we had not a single piece of information or indication that
11 the members of the army had committed a murder of even one person, let
12 alone such a large group."
13 My question to you, sir, is: You were supposed to be conducting
14 investigations. Isn't the entire point of an investigation to ascertain
15 for yourself what happened? Not just to say well, I haven't had any
16 reports, no one has told me, so I guess it didn't happen?
17 A. Any investigation must have a trigger, something circumstantial,
18 at least, that triggers it. What I'm telling you, there was nothing
19 circumstantial that we had to go on, no information indicating anything
20 like that at all about those units committing any crime or doing anything
21 unlawful at all in the area at the time. Nevertheless, I'm telling you,
22 regardless of that, the job of a security officer is to have certain
23 operatives in the units to know on a daily basis what people are talking
24 about, especially from my purview. What people are talking about, what
25 people are commenting on, what people are discussing, and if there is
1 anything at all indicating the existence of any sort of unlawful
2 activity. I'm telling you this continued well after the army had
4 To this very day, no one from the military security service ever
5 came across anything at all indicating that any members of the army on
6 that day in that area did anything unlawful at all. Why, then, would I
7 be launching an investigation? And what sort of an investigation? Based
8 on just what? If you are implying that I should have an investigation
9 outside the official work of the military security service vis-à-vis some
10 civilians, other citizens, the interior ministry, if that's what you're
11 suggesting, I'm under no legal obligation to do anything like that.
12 Moreover, I would have been in violation of clear rules governing the
13 work of the military security service.
14 Q. Sir, isn't it the case that you didn't investigate this because
15 you knew well about the Caragoj valley operation, you had called for
16 retribution for your relative's death, and it was not in your interest
17 for the truth of this action to come out?
18 A. That is what you say, and what you say is entirely erroneous.
19 Q. All right.
20 MS. PETERSEN: If we could go to Defence Exhibit D160, please.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Before you do, page 42, line 7:
22 "To this very day," the transcript says "to one."
23 I'm sure the witness said "no one." The "to" should be "no."
24 Thank you.
25 MS. PETERSEN: If we could just go to D160 in both the B/C/S and
1 the English, just the first page.
2 Q. Now, stepping back in time a little bit, sir, this is the
3 UN Security Council Resolution 1199 dated 23rd September, 1998. Were you
4 aware of this UN resolution at the time?
5 A. I wasn't familiar with the substance, but I was aware of its
7 Q. All right. Let me just read the sixth paragraph in both of them
8 starting with "gravely concerned."
9 "Gravely concerned at the recent intense fighting in Kosovo and
10 in particular the excessive and indiscriminate use of force by Serbian
11 security forces and the Yugoslav Army which have resulted in numerous
12 civilian casualties and according to the estimate of the
13 Secretary-General the displacement of over 230.000 persons from their
15 My question to you, sir, is: In response to this claim in this
16 UN Security Council resolution, did you conduct any investigations?
17 A. I'll repeat for the umpteenth time, whenever we came across any
18 information from our own purview concerning any violations of the
19 International Humanitarian Law and International Law of War, we always
20 launched investigations in a timely manner. If you go to the judicial
21 bodies, if you go to the bodies of command, and if you go to the military
22 security service, you'll find clear evidence of that. We did that every
23 time we implemented what the resolution says.
24 Q. So is your answer, when you got information from within the VJ
25 from the sources that reported to you, you investigated those, but this
1 allegation, this claim in this Security Council resolution was not
2 something that triggered any investigation on your part?
3 A. This would have been sufficient for us to focus in order to see
4 whether there was anything like that happening over there. To step up
5 our security measures, to step up our counter-intelligence work. But
6 only as far as that particular aspect was concerned.
7 MS. PETERSEN: All right. If we could now go to --
8 Q. Well, first let me ask you this. Now, you held the position of
9 chief of the Pristina Corps security section until August of 1999; is
10 that correct?
11 A. I was chief of the military security section up until
12 mid-July 1999. I went on leave then and then on the 1st of September I
13 was back receiving further education in one of the military schools.
14 Q. Okay. Now, on the 27th of May, 1999, an indictment from this
15 Tribunal against President Milutinovic, Sainovic, Ojdanic, Milosevic, and
16 Stojiljkovic was publicised, and it charged those individuals with war
17 crimes committed in Kosovo in 1999. Did you know of this indictment at
18 the time, sir?
19 A. Yes, I knew of the indictment.
20 Q. Sir, did you take any steps to investigate the allegations in
21 this indictment?
22 A. Yes, steps were always taken at the level of the security
23 administration and the security sector of the 3rd Army. I was their
24 subordinate. And they certainly got busy trying to run more checks in
25 order to ascertain whether in 1998 and 1999 any members of the army had
1 committed any crimes or indeed murder.
2 The Defence counsel produced some documents the other day, there
3 are more of those, but if you just focus on those, you will see that on
4 the 26th, 27th, and 29th of June there were some crimes, documented ones,
5 that were eventually prosecuted. What this means is these occurred after
6 the army had already withdrawn from Kosovo.
7 Q. Sir, you were asked in Milutinovic if you investigated the
8 allegations in the indictment, and you said at page 20068:
9 "I did not launch an investigation. There was no reason for
10 anything like that. I know with great certainty and I knew exactly what
11 I did and I knew exactly what my subordinates did."
12 Sir, you didn't conduct any investigations, did you?
13 A. I am afraid you misunderstood what I said in relation to the
14 cases that I mentioned a while ago on the 26th, 27th, and 28th, the
15 investigations had been initiated much earlier on during the war. As to
16 the other question, Did I launch any investigation after the NATO
17 aggression, I said then and I'm saying now I did not launch any
18 investigations. I was or we were at every point in time under an
19 obligation to conduct investigations in our units, any time we came
20 across anything indicating that a crime was committed. If you mean
21 investigations in terms of gathering intelligence, in that case my answer
22 is that is an ongoing process, we always do it. We did during the war as
23 we do now.
24 Q. My specific question to you, sir, is did you look at this
25 indictment, see the specific allegations in the indictment about specific
1 crimes committed, and then based on that conduct an investigation in
2 response to the indictment?
3 A. At the time when the indictment was issued, I was aware only of
4 some basic elements of the indictment. At the time, I didn't have the
5 indictment in my hands, nor was it available to me. My command level, or
6 rather, my position is such that the indictment was not meant to be sent
7 to me. However, what I learned from the media concerned the substance,
8 the basic elements of that indictment.
9 As for the entire indictment, no, I didn't know of it.
10 Q. Now, sir, part of your job was to investigate crimes by the VJ.
11 This indictment is alleging that the VJ committed mass war crimes, and
12 you were still in your position for at least two more months after this
13 indictment came out. How is it not part of your job to look into the
14 truth of the allegations?
15 A. It wasn't two months, I need to correct it, it was just one
16 month. And as far as I remember, the indictment says that the security
17 forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia committed misdeeds or
18 committed violations of the International Humanitarian Law, deported
19 population, engaged in mass looting and burning of homes. Those are the
20 elements that I remember from the indictment.
21 You are now asking me for the umpteenth time whether I conducted
22 investigations. Up until the last day of war, whatever information we
23 gathered, we acted upon it and acted upon what was already in progress.
24 After the army withdrew, we learned of information indicating that there
25 was a need to conduct new investigations.
1 Q. Sir, just to be clear on this. I'm not asking you in general
2 whether you conducted investigations in your job. What I was asking you
3 is whether this indictment triggered new you investigations. It seems
4 your answer to this is no, but I don't want to put words in your mouth.
5 Is your answer no or yes?
6 A. Your question is vague, ambiguous, in the operative sense.
7 Whether investigations were conducted in practical terms continuously?
8 No, they weren't, because there was no relevant information.
9 Q. And, sir, I guess if I could just turn back to your answer in
10 Milutinovic when you were asked about investigations based on this
11 indictment, you said:
12 "I did not launch an investigation. There was no reason for
13 anything like that. I know with great certainty and I knew exactly what
14 I did and I knew exactly what my subordinates did."
15 Do you stand by that answer, sir?
16 A. I fully stand by that answer. But you wanted a broader
17 clarification, and I have told you that in the operational sense --
18 Q. That was the only answer -- or question I was asking you. I
19 believe you answered it there. All right.
20 Now, in Milutinovic you were asked how many commanders were
21 prosecuted for serious offences specifically against Kosovo Albanians.
22 You answered at page 20061:
23 "No disciplinary measures were taken in relation to any brigade
24 commander for any violations of the International Humanitarian Law,
25 International Law of War during the clashes. There was no information
1 indicated that anything like that had occurred."
2 Do you stand by that answer, sir?
3 A. Madam Prosecutor, you did not interpret the question faithfully
4 as concerns my earlier evidence. The question was whether any steps were
5 taken against any brigade commander on account of his responsibility for
6 violating provisions of international humanitarian law. And I told you
7 no. However, as regards the lower command level, and I can give you
8 examples, steps were taken due to violations of international
9 humanitarian law and laws of war.
10 So my reply pertains to brigade commanders which is the highest
11 command level after the corps commander.
12 Q. Sir, let's look at one of your other answers at page 20063. You
13 were asked about commanders at any level and if they were prosecuted for
14 crimes perpetrated against Kosovo Albanians, and your answer was:
15 "As far as I can remember, based on all the surveys, I think
16 there must have been around 10 such officers, and I'm talking about
17 officers now."
18 Do you stand by that figure, sir?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, sir, during your testimony on direct, we heard a lot of
21 information, detailed information, about the activities of the KLA right
22 down to meetings that they were holding in another country in
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Sir, how is it that you can know about a meeting of the KLA in
2 expelled and 300 people being killed right in Djakovica? How is that?
3 A. When analysing Albanian separatism and terrorism, we didn't
4 analyse it just in the territory of Kosovo
5 linked to the extreme Albanian immigration residing in Switzerland
7 environments, and they provided intelligence to us. This is something
8 that all intelligence and counter-intelligence services nowadays do. So
9 we are no different from them.
10 Your question is how come. And that was our routine, permanent
11 job. And then you asked how come we were able to gather such information
12 and on the other hand were unable to collect plain information. The
13 answer is that we did not investigate some hot spot. We did have
14 information that a large group of civilians was on its way to Djakovica
15 and now you are asking me how come we didn't learn that those civilians
16 were treated inhumanely. I'm telling you that there was no way we could
17 obtain such information because we did not have our people among those
18 civilians. We had no positions among them. Even (redacted), who was an
19 agent of the security service, didn't tell us that. K73, the protected
20 witness, didn't tell us this either. And their constitutional
21 obligation, both of them, was such that they as soldiers of the army of
22 the Yugoslavia
23 were duty-bound to report it to relevant authorities.
24 So the question is how come they did not inform Captain Perovic,
25 Colonel Dosan, or myself of those events or anybody at the forward
1 command post? Wasn't that logical for them to inform any army member of
2 what they had seen, heard, or observed.
3 MS. PETERSEN: First, just as an administrative matter, maybe we
4 can deal with this at the end of the session, but I will probably need to
5 close some portions of that answer.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I'm, at the moment, having a name redacted,
7 page 49, line 16 and 17. If there's more, raise it when you wish.
8 MS. PETERSEN: All right. Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Now, sir, I don't want to get too much into a debate about this.
10 For your information, the information of (redacted) was that
11 Captain Perovic was well aware of this.
12 But, sir, let's go back to your knowledge. Now, it's my
13 understanding, from what you've said, your sources that report to you
14 about crimes within the VJ are all within the VJ, correct? They are your
15 security officers, commanders, the officers themselves, operatives;
16 they're within the VJ. Is that correct? That's what triggers the
18 A. The sources of information of the security service,
19 [indiscernible], and that is prescribed for all services including the
20 military security service. One of our services were people, persons, all
21 the members of the army. There was one source. In addition to that, we
22 had special people who had a special cooperative relationship with the
23 security service. The third type of sources were commanders who were at
24 the top of the chain of command. The following source were -- was the
25 media and electronic media. So, as I have said to you, there were
1 numerous sources.
2 Q. Well, sir, I think we've been through this a lot. It appears to
3 me that the answer to that question, the question that I just asked you,
4 if we are looking at all the sources you just named, you named members of
5 the army; special people with a cooperative relationship, which I believe
6 are also within the army, if I've understood your testimony correctly;
7 commanders; and I think you would say the security organs below. Those
8 are the primary people who report to you every day; correct? That's your
9 primary source of information of what's going on with regard to VJ crimes
10 or those security organs?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And, sir, let me ask you this: In the case of systematic,
13 planned activity that is criminal such as expelling civilians, are you
14 not, in effect, relying on the army to report on itself?
15 A. Yesterday or the day before, I said that in addition to our
16 agents, our collaborators in the army, we also had our collaborators out
17 in the field. The protected witness, whose name I'm not going to
18 mention, who does not have a pseudonym that starts with a K, is our
19 person from that area. And he did not report anything to anyone. Had we
20 had some of our people, some of our agents within that group of people
21 that had formed a refugee column, I'm sure that he would have informed us
22 of that, but we didn't. We had our people elsewhere in the territory.
23 And in that group we did not have a person who could have informed us of
25 Q. Well, sir, I believe the testimony from that witness that we have
1 is that Captain Perovic who reported to you daily was well aware of the
2 situation. So either for some reason he didn't tell you, or he did and
3 you're not telling us everything you know today?
4 A. He never told me that, and I inquired several times. And his
5 statement was quite different from the statement of the gentleman that
6 you have mentioned. His statement was that he didn't know.
7 Q. All right. Sir, let's move on to another topic now. You said
8 that in 1998 you did not attend meetings of the Joint Command; is that
10 A. I did not attend the meetings where co-ordination and concerted
11 action were discussed, that's true.
12 Q. Okay. You'd heard about them, but you yourself did not attend?
13 A. Yes, I have heard of such meetings, but I never attended them.
14 Q. Now, it was from Milan Djakovic that you got this information
15 about the Joint Command, or that you heard of it, I'm sorry, you heard of
16 the Joint Command?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. And I believe you said in your testimony here that
19 you gave reports on the security situation in Kosovo and Metohija to
20 Djakovic and that it's your understanding that he then took those to the
21 Joint Command meetings; is that a fair summary of your evidence?
22 A. I had an obligation vis-à-vis the chief of the department who
23 planned operations, and that was Colonel Milan Djakovic, to forward all
24 information to him concerning terrorists. He, in turn, exchanged that
25 information in various meetings where planning and co-ordination were the
1 topics of the day with the MUP staff in Pristina. And occasionally he
2 would issue a report, sort of a news bulletin, containing that
3 information. And that was quite useful for me in making my own
4 assessment of the situation in Kosovo.
5 MS. PETERSEN: If we could look at -- this was government's --
6 it's now an exhibit, but I have -- it's Prosecution 65 ter 02945, and the
7 Exhibit number is now 1543. If we could just have that on the screen.
8 And if we could, in that, go to page 10 in the English, and in the B/C/S
9 page 2.
10 Q. And in B/C/S the relevant portion is that box number 2, if we
11 look at it in English, this is from the Pristina Corps Command Security
12 Sector dated November 11, 1998. And it appears to be an intelligence
13 report, and it states at the top:
14 "To the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija."
15 Is this an example of the type of information that you would pass
16 to Djakovic that he would then take to the Joint Command?
17 A. No, this is not an example. This refers to the
18 11th of November, 1998. On one or two occasions, and perhaps it was just
19 this single case I -- if Colonel Djakovic was in hurry to get to the
20 meeting with the MUP staff, the co-ordination meeting, then he would tell
21 me to type up the information that I acquired in the preceding seven
22 days. The regular routine was for me to type up or convey verbally to
23 Djakovic whatever information I had for him to take to this meeting where
24 co-ordination and concerted action were discussed.
25 Q. So if I understand correctly, sometimes you just gave him the
1 information that he would pass on, but there were some occasions where
2 you wrote up something like this? Is that accurate?
3 A. In the 99 per cent of the cases, I would forward the typed-up
4 information to the chief of the operations department, Colonel Djakovic.
5 In this case and perhaps some additional two or three cases, when he was
6 in a hurry, I would ask him how to draft the document, and he would tell
7 me, Address it to the Joint Command and bring it downstairs to my office
8 and I would take it with me.
9 Q. Now, in Milutinovic you said you may have written multiple
10 reports such as this. Does that sound right to you now?
11 A. No, I don't remember. This was very seldom for this to be in
12 writing. Normally it would just be typed up on a plain piece of paper
13 because Djakovic and I were from the same command, and I would just hand
14 it to him and would he compare it to the information coming in from the
16 which came out -- which was published sometime from June 1998 to late
17 November 1998.
18 Q. Sir, are you aware of David Gajic from the state security
19 department attending the Joint Command meetings in 1998?
20 A. In 1998, David Gajic was chief of the state security department
21 for the territory of the entire Kosovo. Based on the information I
22 received from Djakovic and on the information I received from
23 Colonel Slobodan Djindjic who was deputy security chief of the 3rd Army,
24 and I told you yesterday that occasionally he would visit the Pristina
25 Corps security department, and I think that on two occasions he also
1 attended these meetings of co-ordination and concerted action.
2 I learned that Gajic would also occasionally attend these
3 meetings or somebody else from his state security department.
4 Q. And did you know of other people who attended the meetings? Did
5 you know if Sainovic attended the meetings?
6 A. My source of information was Djakovic or, on two or three
7 occasions, it was Djindjic as I have told you. And they told me that
8 Nikolai Sainovic occasionally attended those meetings.
9 Q. All right. Now, after the Joint Command meetings, would Djakovic
10 bring new information back that had been reported by the state security?
11 Would you be informed of that?
12 A. The meetings of co-ordination and concerted action between the
13 Pristina Corps and the MUP staff in Kosovo and Metohija were not held on
14 a regular basis. Based on what I know, they were held in the aftermath
15 [as interpreted] of some anti-terrorist organisation. But when Djakovic
16 or Tesovic or somebody else from the operations department pursuant to an
17 agreement reached by Pavkovic or somebody else about exchanging
18 information, in those situations, I would send to Djakovic on a daily
19 basis our information and somebody would bring it from the MUP or he
20 would go to the MUP to get that information, and then, almost daily, a
21 bulletin would be published covering the entire situation in Kosovo,
22 including attacks on civilian population, crimes committed by terrorists,
23 security, communication, what were the plans of the army units and what
24 they had done. This was just a snap-shot of the security situation, and
25 it was published in the form of a bulletin, and it was known as the
1 Report of the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija.
2 Q. And did that include information from the state security service,
3 to your knowledge?
4 A. In that bulletin, most of the information was from the area of
5 intelligence and security.
6 Q. I'm not sure if that answers my question. I just want to know if
7 it included information from state security. Is that a yes?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, at this point in 1998 you were still sending
10 intelligence telegrams to both the 3rd Army and the General Staff; is
11 that right?
12 A. Up until the beginning of the NATO aggression, yes, both the
13 3rd Army and the General Staff.
14 Q. And in 1998 the chief of the security administration in the
15 General Staff was General Dimitrijevic; is that correct?
16 A. It was Colonel-General Aleksandar Dimitrijevic, yes, indeed.
17 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, did -- I believe you said that a
18 Radojko Stefanovic took over for Djakovic around January of 1999 in your
19 Milutinovic testimony; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, January 1999. Late January/early February. But I'd leave
21 it at January. It's a very small discrepancy, if anything; I'm not sure
22 I can be perfectly accurate.
23 Q. All right. Thank you, sir. And in your Milutinovic testimony at
24 20050, you said that Stefanovic continued to provide with you information
25 discussed at the Joint Command meetings; is that correct?
1 A. No. He was providing me with information about this bulletin
2 that I mentioned called the "Report of the Joint Command." During 1999,
3 there were no co-ordination and concerted action meetings on account of
4 NATO air-strikes.
5 Q. Let me just read the exact testimony so we make sure --
6 MS. PETERSEN: Oh, sorry, thank you.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I'm being told that - this is
9 page 55, line 9 - it says that the co-ordination meetings were held
10 after, in the aftermath of anti-terrorist operations. And I do believe
11 that the answer referred to before anti-terrorist operations.
12 JUDGE PARKER: You wish to clarify that, Ms. Petersen?
13 MS. PETERSEN: Which line was it specifically?
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Page 55, line 9. He talks about
15 the time these co-ordination meetings were held.
16 MS. PETERSEN:
17 Q. Okay. Sir, in speaking about the Joint Command meetings at this
18 point in the transcript it says:
19 "The meetings of co-ordination and concerted action between the
20 Pristina Corps and the MUP staff in Kosovo and Metohija were not held on
21 a regular basis. Based on what I know, they were held in the aftermath
22 of some anti-terrorist organisation."
23 Was that your answer or is there something that you would like to
24 correct there?
25 A. No, that's not correct. I talked about the co-ordination and
1 concerted action meetings; Pavkovic and Djakovic decided to term those
2 Joint Command meetings. I said those weren't held on a regular basis,
3 rather, only whenever an anti-terrorist operation was being planned or
4 was in the making.
5 Q. And that was your understanding from Djakovic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. Now, just to be clear, the testimony I was just
8 putting to you from Milutinovic on page 20050, the question was:
9 "Who informed you about the information shared by the state
10 security at these meetings?"
11 Your answer was:
12 "The chief of the operative department of the Pristina Corps
13 Command General Djakovic put that to me and then Radojko Stefanovic."
14 And you were asked who was Radojko Stefanovic, and you said:
15 "Colonel Radojko Stefanovic was from the beginning of 1999, well,
16 he replaced Colonel Djakovic as chief of the department for operative
17 affairs of the Pristina Corps Command."
18 So that's the question to you. Did you continue to get
19 information from Colonel Stefanovic when he took over in 1999 about
20 information from state security at these Joint Command meetings?
21 A. Yes, I don't think what can be -- I don't see what can be
22 disputed about that. I said that during the NATO air-strikes, there was
23 always from the MUP or someone from army who would go get the information
24 that related to intelligence and security related matters, all the way up
25 until April when all this information ceased. But this information was
1 previously used to draft the so-called report of the Joint Command or an
2 information bulletin, whatever you prefer to call it. What I said about
3 concerted action and the exchange of information between the
4 Pristina Corps and the MUP staff in terms of planning and carrying out
5 anti-terrorist operations, there was none in 1999. It was physically
6 impossible, given the fact that both the Pristina Corps Command and the
7 staff were located dispersively, i.e., they were at several different
9 Q. I'm not sure I understand that. It was physically impossible to
10 have a Joint Command meeting; is that what you are saying?
11 A. It was physically impossible. And because of the general
12 situation, we were trying to set up a defence operation. We were
13 expected to be attacked by an enemy landing. The focus during the NATO
14 aggression was on preparing our defence.
15 Q. Sir, how was it physically impossible? Who couldn't meet?
16 A. The assessment was right after the beginning of the NATO
17 aggression that there would be no need anymore for these co-ordination
18 and concerted action meetings, that being the reason those were not held
19 throughout 1999. Nevertheless, the bulletin continued to be produced
20 right up through mid-April. Someone, for example, knows where the MUP
21 staff is located, they get the information that the state security
22 service gave to the MUP, then I go down a flight of stairs to see an
23 operative officer to get my information. This is then typewritten in the
24 Pristina Corps, it's filed away, and a copy of the bulletin is served on
25 the MUP staff while another copy is forwarded to the
1 Pristina Corps Command. So there were times when those --
2 Q. So these reports were still being issued by the Joint Command
3 during this time?
4 A. No, the reports were being produced by the
5 Pristina Corps Command, and they weren't just being sent to the MUP staff
6 and the Pristina Corps by road, rather, they were sometimes also sent to
7 some state bodies dealing with negotiations with Rugova and other
8 Albanian leaders, and as far as I remember --
9 Q. If -- let's try to keep the answers related to the questions so
10 that we can move through this a little more quickly, sir. You are saying
11 that these came from the Pristina Corps Command. While they may have
12 been drafted there, these were -- these said "Joint Command," did they
14 A. I'll answer directly. The co-ordination and concerted action
15 meetings held by Pavkovic and Djakovic in 1998 and termed by them
16 Joint Command meetings, co-ordination and concerted action with the MUP
17 on the eve of any anti-terrorist operation, those were never held during
18 the NATO aggression.
19 Q. My question --
20 A. Nevertheless --
21 Q. My question for you is whether these reports said
22 "Joint Command." That is the question.
23 A. Yes, up until April. Most of the documents were produced by the
24 Joint Command in relation to each operation that was launched.
25 Nevertheless, Colonel Radojko Stefanovic took over from Djakovic and that
1 was when what he found when he took over. It was by inertia that he
2 continued to write the same kind of thing. He had just become an
3 operative and then Djakovic, who continued by inertia, continued to use
4 this term, Joint Command. Nevertheless, in practical terms, these
5 co-ordination and concerted action meetings, be it in the MUP or in the
6 army, were no longer held.
7 Q. Now, do I take it your testimony is that the words
8 "Joint Command" on these reports coming out were just a holdover? That
9 was just on the form? It had no more meaning than that. Is that what
10 you are telling us?
11 A. Madam, I will endeavour to clarify. The Joint Command is a term
12 somewhat awkwardly agreed on by Pavkovic and Djakovic. It was mostly
13 used in 1998 during the anti-terrorist operations and continued to be
14 used up through late November when the OSCE Mission arrived and
15 established control in Kosovo and in that period of time there were no
16 more anti-terrorist operations to speak of. To all practical intents.
17 These were co-ordination and concerted action meetings. This
18 Joint Command, did it exist in the sense that you're asking? If it had
19 existed, it should have been -- it's establishment should have been
20 ordered by someone, Set up such and such a Joint Command. It would have
21 needed to have an establishment and structure. The Joint Command shall
22 comprise the following ... and then on like that.
23 Next thing, this Joint Command would need to have a place in the
24 chain of command so that everyone knew who was subordinated to it and who
25 were its superiors. It should have been made very specific what their
1 tasks and obligations were.
2 Q. Sir, my --
3 A. Therefore --
4 Q. Sir, my question to you is this: You have stated there were
5 these reports or bulletins coming out that said Joint Command up until
6 April 1999. Are you saying that although they say Joint Command, that
7 wasn't really who they were from? Is that what you're saying?
8 A. I'm trying to explain two different terms to you here. The
9 document's entitled "Joint Command;" the other is a document entitled
10 "The Report of the Joint Command." These are two different things. Now
11 please ask me what exactly you expect me to explain about these two
13 Q. Well, first, we can agree that multiple documents, orders, and
14 reports came out in 1999 saying they were from the Joint Command; is that
15 correct? We can agree on that?
16 A. They were designated as the Joint Command, but they did not issue
17 from the Joint Command.
18 Q. But they said they were from the Joint Command?
19 A. No, they just said the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija.
20 Q. Why don't we --
21 A. I'm trying to explain --
22 Q. Why don't we look at one of these documents to assist us.
23 MS. PETERSEN: If we could look at P973. Actually, why don't we
24 go a little bit later. If we could look at P1328.
25 Q. And we see this is dated 15th April, 1999. At the top it says
1 it's from the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija, and it gives an
2 order to break up and destroy the Siptar terrorist forces in the Rugovo
4 MS. PETERSEN: And if we could look at the last page in both
5 documents. Scrolling up a little bit, I guess it's the second to the
6 last in English. Down at the bottom.
7 Q. It says:
8 "The Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija shall command all
9 forces from the Pristina sector during the conduct of combat operations."
10 Now, sir, we won't go through all of these here, but there are
11 numerous of these orders coming from the Joint Command in evidence in
12 this case, and most of them have some type of statement like that at the
13 bottom also in some form. If you could just tell us, this appears very
14 clearly to be an order from a Joint Command. Are you telling us that in
15 1999 this did not exist; is that your testimony?
16 A. It did not exist in 1999. This is not an order by the
17 Joint Command. This is an order by the Pristina Corps.
18 Q. Sir, we have heard evidence in this case, we have gone through
19 documents and heard evidence that it is important that a particular stamp
20 be in a particular corner and a particular received stamp be in a
21 particular place and that if those things aren't there, then the document
22 is not authentic. You are telling us that a document can say it is from
23 something, it can be from an origin that doesn't even exist, and that's
25 A. I'll simplify. If you can bring back page 1 and then I'll
1 explain the whole document to you by your Chamber's leave, of course.
2 Q. Well, let's try to keep it focused on the question which is your
3 contention that the Joint Command does not -- is a body that does not
5 A. Yes. This document, your question for me is to comment on this
6 document, right? Do you want me to explain why --
7 Q. My question for you is, with the title that it's coming from a
8 Joint Command and a statement at the end about the Joint Command
9 commanding, how can you say that this body does not exist?
10 That's my question to you.
11 A. Yes, I can say that. Firstly, if you look at the filing number
12 for this document, it's from the Pristina Corps Command. Secondly, all
13 these documents were written at the Pristina Corps Command. Thirdly,
14 throughout this document, all you see are assignments for the units of
15 the Pristina Corps. Had there been such a command as the one you call
16 the Joint Command, then the document wouldn't read such and such a unit
17 of the Pristina Corps and such and such an assignment. It would have
18 been joint security forces, meaning the MUP and the army are to carry out
19 such and such assignments.
20 Why does the title say the Joint Command and why does the
21 signature say the Joint Command? It was based on agreement. This was a
22 signal to subordinate commanders, specifically the commander caring out
23 these particular operation, that these activities had been co-ordinated
24 and agreed upon between the MUP staff and the Pristina Corps Command.
25 The commander knew when he received an order like this that the same
1 order would be received by the commander who in this situation is
2 co-ordinating this on the MUP side. What this means is they have to meet
3 up, they have to set out everything in great detail as to how they would
4 be implementing this operation. The Joint Command here is a signal to
5 the commander of the appropriate unit, meaning that these activities were
6 agreed, co-ordination and concerted action between the MUP staff and the
7 Pristina Corps Command. That's what it means. Most of the documents
8 bear this marking.
9 Q. So, sir, you're explaining that this is a mechanism for
10 co-ordinated action between the MUP and the VJ, correct, which was still
11 very necessary during the NATO bombing period in 1999?
12 A. It wasn't necessary during 1999. It was by pure inertia. It was
13 something that was in the computer of the Pristina Corps. It was
14 Stefanovic and all those operatives who were there. It was by pure
15 inertia they continue to type up orders using this phrase.
16 Q. Sir, I need you to listen to the specific question I'm asking
17 you. I ask you if co-ordinated action, co-ordination, between the VJ and
18 the MUP was still important in 1999?
19 A. It always was.
20 Q. And this is a mechanism for achieving that; these orders of the
21 Joint Command co-ordinate that action between the VJ and the MUP;
23 A. I'll explain now.
24 Q. No, no. I just need -- if you disagree with me, then say so. If
25 that is accurate. I believe that's what you just said, I'm trying to
1 repeat what you said accurately. Is that right or not, sir?
2 A. No, that's not right. Throughout 1998, there were meetings,
3 co-ordination and concerted action meetings, between the MUP and the army
4 that were held. In 1999, during NATO aggression, no meetings were held.
5 This clerk from the Pristina Corps would go to see an operative. Most
6 frequently, I think it was Colonel Adamovic at the MUP staff. And then
7 they would deal with this together. The two of them would do the
8 co-ordination bit; he would then go back and type up a document like this
9 for use by subordinate units. And this was hint to them that this was
10 something that had been agreed with the MUP staff in Kosovo.
11 Q. So is it your testimony that the co-ordination between the VJ and
12 the MUP amounted to a clerk from the Pristina Corps going to see an
13 operative; is that what you're saying?
14 A. Yes. The chief of the operations department would normally, or
15 his clerk, would normally meet with the chief of the operations
16 department in the MUP staff.
17 Q. Okay. I'm sorry I thought you said an operative.
18 MS. PETERSEN: I have a different topic to go on at this point.
19 I notice we are about five minutes from the break. It would be a good
20 point to break, if you don't mind breaking a little early.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will resume at five minutes to
23 [The witness stands down]
24 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Petersen.
3 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask you some questions about the 1st June, 1999,
5 meeting. This meeting was over ten years ago; correct? Eight years
6 before you testified in the Milutinovic case.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you yourself did not take notes at this meeting; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How many people were at this meeting?
11 A. Seven.
12 Q. Now, let's go through who you've said was there:
13 General Pavkovic, one; Lazarevic, correct, two; Sainovic, correct;
14 Andjelkovic, correct; Mico Valotic [phoen], correct; Kovacevic, correct;
15 yourself; and Vasiljevic?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. So eight. Now, was there possibly another MUP representative
18 there? Oh, I'm sorry, we forgot to say Lukic, so nine. In addition to
19 that, was there possibly another MUP representative there?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Sir, when you testified in Milutinovic at page 19801, you said:
22 "Possibly there was another MUP representative."
23 In the last two years, has your memory gotten better about this
25 A. That's what I -- I don't know, maybe there was a clerk from the
1 MUP staff there as well. But as for these nine, I'm certain; for the
2 rest, I'm not. But I think that it is more likely that my answer is no,
3 that there were just nine of them, as far as I could remember.
4 Q. So it's possible there was a clerk for the MUP, and I think you
5 said "for the rest, I'm not sure." Is it possible that were other people
6 at this meeting?
7 A. Completely impossible.
8 Q. Well, you said two years ago that there might have been another
9 representative from the MUP; you're telling us you now you're not sure.
10 It sounds like you are not actually positive about the attendees at this
12 A. I am telling you that these nine were there certainly. And in
13 saying so, I'm conscious of the fact that I'm not certain whether
14 General Lukic sat on his own or there was somebody there sitting next to
15 him. If there was an additional person, then it was one of his clerks.
16 However, it is much more likely that there was nobody else there apart
17 from these nine persons. But please do not forget that it's been 11
19 Q. All right. So nine, maybe ten. All right.
20 This was a short meeting, sir?
21 A. Very short. Not longer than 15 minutes.
22 Q. You didn't know about it beforehand, before you were invited?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So it's fair to say you were sort of invited at the last minute
25 to go to this meeting?
1 A. No, one of the senior officers from the information centre gave
2 me a message from the corps commander that I should come to this meeting,
3 and that General Pavkovic would be there too.
4 Q. And that was on the day of the meeting; correct?
5 A. It was on the day of the meeting.
6 Q. Now, sir, you didn't have to do any special preparation for this
7 meeting, did you?
8 A. No, because corps commander could call me frequently, and usually
9 his requests vis-à-vis me were always identical, he needed to know about
10 security issues.
11 Q. Now, other than Pavkovic who invited you, I believe you said you
12 didn't know who was going to be there until you arrived and saw them; is
13 that fair to say?
14 A. I didn't know who would be there. I didn't know that until I
15 entered the room.
16 Q. All right. Sir, you were asked several questions about the
17 testimony of General Vasiljevic, and I'd just like to go through a few of
18 these things. At page 11788 of the transcript, you were asked:
19 "I'd like to show you portions of General Vasiljevic's testimony
20 before this Tribunal."
21 Going on to the next page. In the transcript he said that he
22 called General Pavkovic and told him that he had arrived in Pristina.
23 Pavkovic wanted to see him and invited him to the Pristina Corps Command.
24 Does this correspond to what you know? And you answered:
25 "I have no knowledge of General Pavkovic speaking to
1 Mr. Vasiljevic, but I explained in detail the only meeting which I
2 attended when I saw Pavkovic."
3 Now, I'd like to correct something here. In reality,
4 General Vasiljevic's testimony was this, and I'd like you to comment on
5 this. He says he arrived in Pristina on June 1st, and on page 5691 of
6 the transcript he says:
7 "The evening of 1st of June we were briefed on the situation by
8 the head of the security service of the Pristina Corps Colonel
9 Momir Stojanovic. However, military regulations order us and it's a
10 matter of ethics that when ever somebody comes to a command post, the
11 commander should be informed of that. Colonel Stojanovic phoned
12 General Pavkovic telling him that I arrived in Pristina."
13 Does this accord with your memory? Could it have happened that
15 A. No, did I not call Colonel Pavkovic on the phone. The premises
16 where the staff of the security organ was housed contained several
17 telephones and several rooms, so I don't know whether somebody informed
18 Pavkovic. I couldn't call Pavkovic myself because he was way high up. I
19 could have talked to Lazarevic, but I didn't. It is possible that
20 Vasiljevic, while staying in those premises, talked to Pavkovic on the
21 phone, telling him that he was in the area of responsibility of the
22 Pristina Corps. However, this did not take place in my presence. I'm
23 not aware of him talking to Pavkovic.
24 Q. All right. Next at your testimony the other day, on page 11789,
25 the question was:
1 "General Vasiljevic further states that the two of you went to
2 the command of the Pristina Corps and that General Pavkovic said, Stay
3 here, there will be a Joint Command meeting followed by a dinner. Does
4 this tally with what you know?"
5 And you said:
6 "Definitely not. Since General Vasiljevic was sitting next to
7 me, I didn't notice" --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down when reading. Thank you.
9 MS. PETERSEN: Sorry, sorry.
10 Q. "... I didn't notice him speaking to anyone after the meeting. I
11 don't even know whether, under such circumstances, any dinner was planned
12 and whether it would have been possible."
13 Now, in the Milutinovic trial, the Court heard from Andjelkovic,
14 who you recall was at this meeting, and he stated - this is an exhibit in
15 this case, it's P1541, page 67 - he said that he did have a dinner at
16 this meeting.
17 Is it possible that you're just mistaken and that some people
18 were invited to a dinner and you were not necessarily aware of it? Is
19 that possible?
20 A. First you quoted my previous statement in the Milutinovic trial;
21 you said some things that I didn't actually say back then, that I went to
22 the Pristina Corps Command. The place that I went to was the information
23 centre of the Pristina Corps Command, not the Pristina Corps Command
24 itself, and that was the room that the meeting was held in.
25 Q. I think -- I think we have a little misunderstanding. What I
1 just read from -- to you was from this case, and it was a question
2 about -- well, let me just re-read it because I think we have a
3 misunderstanding about what I am asking you.
4 This was a question put to you in this case. General Vasiljevic
5 further states that the two of you went to the command of the
6 Pristina Corps and that General Pavkovic said:
7 "Stay here, there will be a Joint Command meeting followed by a
8 dinner. Does this tally with what you know?"
9 And you answered:
10 "Definitely not. Since General Vasiljevic was sitting next to
11 me, I didn't notice him speaking to anyone after the meeting. I don't
12 even know whether under such circumstances any dinner was planned and
13 whether it would have been possible."
14 So that was the testimony here.
15 My question for you was: In light of testimony by
16 Mr. Andjelkovic in the Milutinovic case, that he did have dinner with
17 this meeting; is it possible that you're mistaken in your claim that it
18 wasn't even possible to have a dinner? That's my question.
19 A. You've read a number of things that I have stated. It's all
20 accurate. I stand by it. I wasn't wrong. The evening that the meeting
21 was concluded, General Vasiljevic left with me and went back. There was
22 no talk of any dinner or anything like that. Now, about the seven days
23 that he spent in Kosovo and Metohija, did he attend dinner with someone
24 or not? I really don't know. All I can tell you about is the meeting.
25 Q. Well, first, sir, the testimony of Mr. Vasiljevic is that he was
1 invited to a dinner but did not stay and left with you. So just to be
2 clear about that. But let me understand your testimony here. Are you
3 telling us that even though Mr. Andjelkovic says he attending a dinner,
4 that's impossible, no dinner happened?
5 A. I'm saying that we did not attend any sort of dinner after that
6 meeting. I wasn't invited. Vasiljevic was seated right next to me. And
7 we went back to where we came from, the deployment area of the security
8 section of the Pristina Corps. That is the whole truth.
9 Q. And I'm asking you: Is it possible that General Vasiljevic was
10 invited to this dinner and you were not aware of that?
11 A. It's possible. That evening, after that meeting, no, it was
12 impossible, because he want back with me to the deployment sector of the
13 security section. I'm sure that he did not attend any dinner that
14 particular evening because he was with us security officers looking into
15 our problems. Was there perhaps a different day, because he was in
16 Kosovo from the 1st to the 7th, and then perhaps on that other day he
17 attended dinner somewhere, well, that's certainly a possibility. I don't
18 have any information indicating that.
19 Q. Sir, I clarified for you that General Vasiljevic said he was
20 invited to a dinner but did not stay and left with you. My question is:
21 Is it possible that he was invited to a dinner and you are not aware of
23 A. It's possible that he was invited. Nevertheless, we left right
24 after the meeting. When was it that he could have been invited? Maybe
25 someone whispered an invitation into his ear, Stay for dinner, which I
1 can hardly be expected to know or have noticed.
2 Q. Certainly, sir.
3 Now, the next thing I'd like to look at is still on the page of
4 your testimony 11789, your testimony in this case. You were asked:
5 Next General Vasiljevic states that the place where you were was
6 something like an operations room with maps on walls and lots of
7 officers, does this correspond to the location you remember as the place
8 of the meeting?"
9 And you answered:
10 "No, the operations room is usually next to the office of the
11 corps commander. The corps commander was deployed in several locations
12 around Pristina, changing locations from time to time, and the operations
13 organ was always next to the commander because that person was in charge
14 of suggesting what combat operations would be undertaken."
15 And then I believe you said that it was in fact the information
16 centre where you were.
17 Now, I understand that you say you were in the information
18 centre, General Vasiljevic believed he was in the operation centre. My
19 question for you is this, sir: There's no dispute that the two of you
20 were at the same meeting together; right?
21 A. We were at the same meeting, yes.
22 Q. Okay. Sir, you testified in the Milutinovic trial; correct?
23 We've spoken about that.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When you testified in that trial, as you sit here today, can you
1 tell us which people in the courtroom took notes?
2 A. It was Mr. Stamp who was examining me. I don't know who was
3 taking notes in the courtroom. The lawyer was Mr. Bakrac, but I don't
4 know who was taking notes.
5 Q. All right, sir. Now, no one can blame you for that, right,
6 because that's not normally something that we notice and commit to
7 memory, will you agree? Who's taking notes, who's not taking notes?
8 A. I agree.
9 Q. All right. In Milutinovic, you were asked at transcript
10 page 19805.
11 "That 10 to 15-minute meeting that you spoke about, did anybody
12 keep notes? Did anybody make a record?"
13 And you answered:
14 "Let me repeat. Nobody kept minutes or a record. Nobody even
15 took notes."
16 Now, sir, is it your testimony that for this meeting almost 11
17 years ago, you remember that no one in the room even took notes? Is that
18 your testimony?
19 A. No, Madam Prosecutor, I misunderstood. You asked me at the
20 Milutinovic trial in the courtroom, that was my understanding of your
21 question, who was examining me and who was taking notes. And now you're
22 asking me about a specific meeting. Was anyone taking notes? No one was
23 taking notes at that meeting because it was extremely brief and extremely
24 unpleasant. No one was taking notes.
25 Q. So your testimony to us is that you recall, for all of those
1 people in the room, you remember and have committed to memory for
2 11 years who was taking notes or that no one was taking notes?
3 A. Yes, fully. There were nine of us there, and we were all in that
4 room roughly the same size as this room. We were all close together.
5 There was no need after all. This was a meeting where information was to
6 be exchanged. Given the nature of the information, I don't know what
7 there was to take down. Some action, some assignment. I remember
8 clearly and with a great degree of certainty that no one there was taking
10 Q. Well, sir, when information is exchanged, some people may jot
11 that information down on a piece of paper; correct?
12 A. Yes, some people jot it down later on after the meeting.
13 Regardless of that, does the information tally with what was actually
14 said? Well, that's a different issue, isn't it?
15 Q. I'm asking you about your memory of a meeting almost 11 years ago
16 where you're telling this Court that you know, you remember today, that
17 no one took notes at that meeting. That's what I'm asking you about.
18 So, sir, when Mr. Sainovic was speak to you, he was delivering
19 information about political negotiations; right? When he was speaking to
20 you, were you looking around the room to see if anyone -- instead of
21 looking at him, were you looking around the room to see if anyone was
22 writing anything down?
23 A. Madam Prosecutor, no one had a note pad in front of them to begin
24 with. They should probably -- wouldn't have written this down on the
25 desk in front of them. This was the most difficult meeting that I ever
1 attended. It was an extremely unpleasant meeting because the meeting
2 concerned the decision for me to leave my native area. I did notice one
3 thing, and I'll tell you who commented on what. What I noticed is that
4 no one had a note pad or a notebook open in front of them to jot things
6 Q. So while you were learning this difficult information, you took
7 the time and effort to look around and note whether anyone was writing in
8 a notebook and remember that; is that your testimony?
9 A. Yes. I'm entirely certain. I had sufficient presence of mind to
10 notice that. It's a very small room, a relatively small room, nine
11 people sitting there, I would have noticed someone writing things down.
12 It wouldn't have been that difficult.
13 Q. Now, how about this additional MUP representative who may or may
14 not have even been there, do you remember if he was or wasn't taking
16 A. No. My certainty is not 90 per cent, but it's quite high. I'm
17 quite certain, though, that only General Lukic, the commander of the
18 MUP staff was there and no one else from their ranks.
19 Q. All right, sir. Now, you, I believe, have stated that this was
20 not a meeting of the Joint Command; am I right?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. Now, sir, we've established that you didn't have advanced
23 knowledge of this meeting; you were invited to it the day of it; it was a
24 15-minute meeting that you attended and then left. Correct? All those
25 things are true? And we've also established that in 1998 when the
1 Joint Command --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We've established in 1998, when you agree that the Joint Command
4 was meeting, you yourself did not attend any of those meetings; correct?
5 In 1998.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So you have no firsthand knowledge of those meetings; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So, sir, you have no firsthand basis for saying whether this was
10 or was not a meeting of the Joint Command, do you?
11 A. How could I say that this was a Joint Command meeting if it had
12 no planning purpose or anything like that? General Pavkovic, who as the
13 first to address those assembled, told us that Mr. Sainovic had arrived
14 and that he wanted to inform us on the progress of the negotiations, the
15 talks between Mr. Milosevic and the two mediators at the final stage --
16 while it was in progress, I wasn't sure about the final stage. So this
17 was the information shared with us by Mr. Pavkovic as he was opening that
19 Q. But, sir, you are stating an opinion that you know this was not a
20 meeting of the Joint Command, and I'm asking you how you have any
21 firsthand basis for knowing that?
22 A. I'm not talking about any firsthand basis. I know about the
23 co-ordination and concerted action meetings, at least based on what
24 Djakovic told me or what Djindjic told me, the two times he attended
25 those. There were always different people attending. You hardly ever
1 had the same people attending these meetings. The only people who were
2 always the same group were those from the MUP staff and those from the
3 Pristina Corps Command.
4 Q. Sir, you would agree that you have no firsthand knowledge of what
5 a Joint Command meeting is or is not like; correct?
6 A. I categorically claim that that was no Joint Command meeting. If
7 you allow, the people present at that meeting were the most responsible
8 people and the people with the highest degree of responsibility to do
9 with the withdrawal of the JNA from Kosovo: The chief of the security
10 service, the chief of the military security service, the state security
11 service, the MUP staff commander, the president of the provisional
12 Executive Council of Kosovo, also the commander of the civil protection,
13 Mr. Andjelkovic.
14 Q. Correct, sir. Many of the same people who attended the
15 Joint Command meetings in 1998, were they not?
16 A. When those people were attending co-ordination and concerted
17 action meetings, who was there, I just don't have that information. By
18 and large though, those same men attended those meetings, at least, based
19 on my second-hand information, such as I received from Djakovic and
20 Colonel Djindjic.
21 Q. All right, sir. We'll move on to another topic now.
22 You said in your testimony the other day that you have no reason
23 to lie in your testimony; correct?
24 A. Absolutely correct.
25 Q. You have no personal interest here; is that right?
1 A. I do have a personal interest here because anything that I did
2 during my time in Kosovo and Metohija and anything that I did for long
3 years in the military security service is the truth that I know about
4 Kosovo and Metohija which is also my PhD thesis, the genesis of the
5 separatist movement. My uppermost motive in appearing here is to
6 contribute to the establishment of truth. That is also my sole motive, I
7 should say.
8 Q. Now, sir, you were a loyal member of the VJ; correct?
9 A. Are there any disloyal members of a regular army? Of course I
10 was a loyal member.
11 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, this Tribunal has prosecuted people you
12 worked with and respected; correct? General Lazarevic, General Pavkovic.
13 During the NATO bombing, you were on the same side as them, were you not?
14 A. During the bombing, I was in Kosovo.
15 Q. I mean, you were on the same side of that conflict. You,
16 Pavkovic, Lazarevic, you fought on the same side together; correct?
17 A. Yes. We were on the side of our constitutional rights, and we
18 were on the side of everything that that stood for. The protection of
19 the country's constitution and territorial integrity.
20 Q. And General Djordjevic was on that side too also? You were on
21 the same side as General Djordjevic; correct?
22 A. If Kosovo is what you mean, I know that General Djordjevic was in
24 would have been on the side of protecting the integrity of his country,
25 which means the same side as me.
1 Q. Well, that was what I was asking you, sir, but I find it
2 interesting that you are aware that general Djordjevic was in Belgrade
3 Did we not speak at the beginning of the cross-examination about your
4 awareness of General Djordjevic's whereabouts? Do you recall we talked
5 about that?
6 A. We did talk about that, yes. Nevertheless, I'm talking about
7 this as a whole. I'm talking about the gist of who was in
8 Kosovo and Metohija all the time. And General Djordjevic certainly
9 wasn't; he was chief of the public security sector.
10 Q. Well, when I asked you questions about his whereabouts, you
11 seemed to not really have very specific information about that; is that
13 A. Madam Prosecutor, he was assistant minister in the public
14 security sector, where on earth could he possibly have been? He was in
15 the Ministry of the Interior, where else? You can't possibly be
16 imagining he should have been elsewhere. He was assistant minister.
17 Q. Sir, are you saying that because of an idea about the role of
18 Mr. Djordjevic or because you had actual information about where he was?
19 A. The former, his role.
20 Q. All right, sir. Are you telling us that General Djordjevic was
21 in Belgrade
22 understanding that this is the Defence's theory of the case?
23 A. No. I'm telling you that based on how the MUP functions, how the
24 army functions, or indeed the federal institutions. In 1999, my
25 knowledge indicates that General Djordjevic was not in Kosovo. On
1 several occasions during the anti-terrorist operations, he was in Kosovo.
2 I don't follow General Djordjevic's movements or whereabouts myself, but
3 I did happen to have this piece of information.
4 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, the indictment in this case charges that
5 the VJ and the MUP committed widespread war crimes in Kosovo in 1999. Do
6 you understand that?
7 A. I have no reason to doubt the well-founded nature of the
8 indictment. I should assume that relevant evidence was gathered before
9 the indictment was raised.
10 Q. I'm just asking you if you know that that is basically what the
11 indictment charges.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, sir, that's when you yourself were in Kosovo, correct, with
14 the VJ?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And part of your job was to detect and investigate such crimes;
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So the charges in this indictment are pertinent to you. In
20 effect they mean that you either failed to detect massive crimes going on
21 all around you or you're not telling us everything you know? Do you see
23 A. What I'm telling you is this: Assessments made by official
24 organs, my own superiors --
25 Q. No, that is not the question I'm asking you. I'm asking you if
1 you understand the pertinence of the charges of the indictment to you?
2 The charges in the indictment in effect mean or assert that you would
3 have either been ignoring widespread crimes or are not actually telling
4 us that. Do you understand that the indictment has that import, is
5 pertinent to you in that way? That's what I'm asking you.
6 A. Neither is true in fact. I didn't know about --
7 Q. I'm not asking you if you knew. I'm not asking you -- I'm asking
8 you if you understand that because this indictment charges that there
9 were widespread crimes, what that means for you is that you would either
10 have not done your job or are not telling us what you actually know.
11 That's what I'm asking you. Not if those are true, but if you understand
12 that that's what the indictment -- how the indictment relates to you
14 A. The allegations made in the indictment left a strong impression
15 on me. The simple reason being I happen to believe that within the
16 framework of my functional duty at the time, the duty I was discharging
17 at the time, along with my subordinates, we knew quite well what the
18 behaviour was of the army in Kosovo and Metohija in 1999. I do not
19 dispute the possibility that some members of the army on a sporadic basis
20 committed --
21 Q. Sir, I have to stop you here. Maybe I'm not being clear enough.
22 I am not asking you about your knowledge of crimes right now. I am
23 asking you about your own personal reasons for not wanting this
24 indictment to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If the charges in
25 this indictment are proven, then the only logical conclusion is that you
1 yourself did not do your job, that you did not investigate crimes that
2 were going on all around you, or that you aren't telling us what you
3 know. Do you understand that that is the logical conclusion of the
4 indictment being proven in this case? That is what I'm asking you, and I
5 would like an answer to that question.
6 A. Madam Prosecutor, you are cutting me off. I have every intention
7 of answering all of your questions. I fully stand on the side of all of
8 these crimes being punished. I will contribute in any way I can but only
9 as far as I can stretch my knowledge. The nature of my job was precisely
10 to prevent such things from happening.
11 The other part of your question, I am here to give evidence about
12 anything that I know. If you are asking me about something I don't know,
13 that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm trying to conceal something that I
14 actually do know.
15 Q. All right. Let's move to a different question, sir. You have
16 read the witness statement of Nike Peraj more than once; correct?
17 A. Yes. At the time it was available to me, during my preparation
18 for the Milutinovic trial, and then again during my preparation for my
19 appearance here in this trial.
20 Q. So you know that in his statement he says, and I will list a few
21 things here, you know that he says, one, that you told him --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Public or private?
23 MS. PETERSEN: This is okay for public.
24 Q. You know that he says that you told him in advance that there
25 would be plans to expel the Albanian population from Djakovica and, two,
1 that you called for retaliation for your relative's death; you know that
2 he states that. Sir, I submit to you that you have a strong personal
3 reason to undermine the testimony of Nike Peraj. Do you agree?
4 A. Madam Prosecutor, I'm entirely calm and my conscious is at ease.
5 Far be it from me to react to some nebulous allegations being made, full
6 of lies, nothing at all to do with the truth. I don't feel the need now
7 or ever to take this out with Mr. Peraj in any way, simply because I have
8 my wits about me and I'm fully conscious of my own actions. It is not my
9 plan to look into the motives that drove Mr. Peraj to tell the lies that
10 he did in his evidence and in his statement. My mind and my conscious is
11 entirely at ease with that.
12 Q. Sir, I don't think you are answering my question. My question to
13 you was: You have -- because of his allegations against you, which you
14 know of, you have a strong personal reason to want to undermine his
15 credibility before this Court, do you not?
16 A. I've no reason to do anything. The only thing I have reason to
17 do is to say that that is an untruth, Madam Prosecutor. I have no reason
18 at all to busy myself with Nike Peraj's statement, which not only in
19 relation to this particular statement, positively teems with lies. He
20 was acting under the influence of the terrorist KLA, simply because he
21 stayed on in Kosovo. And perhaps he was - I'm speaking
22 hypothetically - simply ordered to say what he did.
23 Q. Sir, you say you have no reason at all to busy yourself with his
24 statement but you do agree that you've read it multiple times and have
25 gone through paragraph by paragraph, have you not?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. PETERSEN: Your Honours, I just have one more area to cover.
3 We could either try to push through or -- it's not that much longer. Or
4 we could -- you will see me again in the morning, hopefully not for very
6 JUDGE PARKER: The witness clearly can't finish today with
7 re-examination, and we have, at the most, two minutes remaining. I think
8 it would be preferable to delay until the morning, the completion of your
10 We adjourn until tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
13 to be reconvened on Friday, the 26th day
14 of February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.