1 Monday, 15 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Please be seated. The affirmation you made still
9 applies, and we now have some further questions, Mr. Stamp.
10 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours, and good afternoon.
11 WITNESS: RADOMIR MITIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp: [Continued]
14 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mitic.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. We had before this Court some evidence that Mr. Sainovic called
17 Mr. Djordjevic while Mr. Djordjevic was at the Stimlje police station,
18 and this was on the 15th of January, 1999 when the operation began.
19 A. I didn't say that, sir. I didn't say that he spoke to Sainovic.
20 These are your words.
21 Q. Yes, they are. Mr. Mitic, I'm just telling you for the time
22 being the evidence, and I want to show you something and then ask you
23 some questions about it.
24 A. All right.
25 MR. STAMP: I'd like to bring up 00605, that's the Prosecution 65
1 ter number.
2 Q. Mr. Mitic, Mr. Sainovic was interviewed by members of the OTP and
3 he answered some questions. I'd like to show what you his answers were
4 in that regard, and ask you some questions about these answers.
5 MR. STAMP: If we could go to page 723 of this interrogatory.
6 Q. The record or the transcript of the taped interview, Mr. Mitic,
7 record has both the English translation of what Mr. Sainovic said as well
8 as what he said in Serbian, so I had like you to read what he said. In
9 particular, while you were reading what I show you, I want you to focus
10 on the circumstances in which Mr. Sainovic said he called, the date, and
11 the place he called. So for this page you can have a look at all of it
12 to get your context, but I'm particularly interested in what is in the
13 middle of the page.
14 MR. STAMP: I don't know if you could pan it so the witness could
15 see the entire page.
16 Q. When you are through, you can let us know, Mr. Mitic. You are
17 through with that page?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. STAMP: Could we move to the next page, please.
20 Q. And the next page I think you only need to focus on the last two
21 or three answers of Mr. Sainovic on the next page, which is page 725 of
22 the record. And for this part, can you read all of page 726. That's the
23 next page. Again I ask you to focus on time, date, circumstances, and
24 who he says he calls.
25 Having regard to what you just read, Mr. Mitic, do you not now
1 recall that -- well, let me break it up into two bits. Firstly, that
2 Mr. Sainovic -- sorry, that Mr. Djordjevic was at the Stimlje police
3 station on the 15th, the morning of the 15th, I'm not asking about
4 whether or not he was there on the 18th, he might have been there or the
5 18th or not, I don't know about that, I'm asking about the 15th. Do you
6 not now recall that he was there on the morning of the 15th of January,
8 A. No, sir. What I remember is the 18th because the chief of SUP
9 ordered me in his presence to carry out my task, and that's why I
10 remember. Nothing else. I don't remember anything about the 15th or
11 better, I did not see General Djordjevic on that day.
12 Q. I'm not asking about the 18th, he might have been there on the
13 18th as well. But the 15th, focus on the morning of the 15th. Do you
14 not recall that that morning Mr. Djordjevic received at least one
15 telephone call from Mr. Sainovic?
16 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I can tell you how often I saw General Djordjevic
17 in my career. I saw him twice, and I exactly remember only the 18th, and
18 I -- the first time I saw General Djordjevic was in 1987.
19 Q. Very well.
20 A. While I was attending a management course. He taught us the
21 subject of organisation and functioning --
22 Q. That's interesting, but take the date out and let's just focus on
23 the call. Whatever date it was, do you not recall that Mr. Sainovic
24 called Mr. Djordjevic while he was there?
25 A. No, believe me. On the 18th I took the on-site investigation
1 team to Racak. When we returned, I didn't see General Djordjevic again.
2 Q. At that time who or what position did Mr. Sainovic occupy?
3 A. Believe me that I can't tell exactly. I know that he was the
4 representative of the cabinet of the Republic in Kosovo and Metohija.
5 Whether he was in a co-ordination body or something, I really don't know,
6 but I know that he had an official position.
7 Q. And at that time -- well, on the 15th, was it correct that
8 Mr. Lukic was in Pristina?
9 A. I don't know that. I didn't see General Lukic. I know that the
10 chief of the SUP contacted the staff several times. Whether he spoke to
11 General Lukic or someone else, I don't know, because I didn't have any
12 close ties with General Lukic.
13 Q. Is it your evidence, Mr. Mitic, that at no time did you discover
14 that Mr. Lukic directed Mr. Sainovic to call the Stimlje police station
15 for any reason?
16 A. No, believe me, this is the first time I've heard of it. Never
17 have I heard that before.
18 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, could we move into private session. I
19 wish to ask some questions about a particular witness.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Private, please.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 12815-12826 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. Mr. Mitic, you said, if I could find it, at 12714, that when they
22 were -- or the procedure in respect to the anti-terrorist actions within
23 your police area, was that the chief of the secretariat compiled a
24 proposal and sent it to the staff, namely, to arrest terrorists, in this
25 case we are speaking of Ivaja, Kotlina, and Pustenik, and the action was
1 carried out, and you said that you knew that the Urosevac company of the
2 PJP took part, and to quote, you said, "I'm not sure but I think it was
3 also the PJP up the Miljani [phoen] SUP and members of the army." You
4 recall that there was some co-ordination with the VJ in respect to some
5 of the operations, anti-terrorist operations that were conducted by the
6 Urosevac police?
7 A. I didn't understand your question. Could you be more precise. I
8 didn't really understand you.
9 Q. Is it not true that some anti-terrorist operations that the
10 police from the Urosevac SUP were of involved in also involved a
11 co-ordinated assistance of the VJ?
12 A. You see, if this refers to Ivaja Kotlina, that area there, I have
13 already explained that a PJP company from Urosevac participated. I'm not
14 sure, but I think there was also a company from Gnjilane, and some
15 soldiers from the Urosevac barracks.
16 Q. Well, let me ask, don't you recall, or do you recall that there
17 were MUP anti-terrorist actions where the MUP acted in co-ordination with
18 the VJ?
19 A. I will repeat. The PJP received assignments from the staff. How
20 they regulated those relations, I don't know. I'm not aware of that. An
21 order arrived that a PJP company from Urosevac should participate. They
22 left to carry out their task, and they reported to whoever it was that
23 sent them there.
24 Q. Yes, but right throughout your testimony, you have been telling
25 us about stuff you know even when you are not there. And you've been
1 telling us about what has been communicated to you by your SUP chief.
2 I'm just asking you, do you not know that in some of these anti-terrorist
3 operations, the VJ co-ordinated with the MUP in Urosevac SUP area?
4 A. Let me repeat, Mr. Prosecutor, I don't know what their precise
5 role was. I do remember who participated, but how this was regulated in
6 the plan, I don't know, because I did not participate in drawing up the
8 Q. Okay. I think -- so I think based on what you are saying, your
9 answer is yes, there were co-ordinated actions with the VJ and the MUP,
10 but you don't know how this was regulated in the plan because you did not
11 participate in drawing up the plan; is that your answer?
12 A. Yes, more or less. They did participate in that particular
13 action, but what the role of the various participants was, I wouldn't
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. Thanks.
16 These plans you said would you drawn up by the staff in Pristina
17 and was sent to your SUP chief; is that correct?
18 A. No, the plan was not sent to the SUP chief. He only received
19 notification that the unit should get ready and follow that assignment.
20 The company commander got his orders from the staff, whether he actually
21 went to the staff in Pristina or whether the orders were delivered to him
22 in some way, I don't know.
23 Q. And I think you told earlier that Colonel Jelic was a commander
24 of the 243rd Brigade in Urosevac. Did he meet with your SUP chief from
25 time to time in respect to these co-ordinated anti-terrorist actions?
1 A. They knew each other and met often privately, but as for this
2 concrete -- this specific operation, I don't know whether they met and
3 made agreements about operations. Nor did Jelic's entire unit take part.
4 For him to take part in the organisation of the rest. One of his
5 officers took part in one combat group, but not the entire barracks.
6 That's why Jelic wasn't in a position to talk to Bogi. It was the staff
7 that made such decisions and passed on the decisions to the units.
8 Q. Do you know if a meeting, that is, Mr. Jelic meeting with your
9 SUP chief at any time in respect to any anti-terrorist action that the
10 MUP proposed to take part in, and that's apart from the Racak operation?
11 A. No, I told you about Racak. I know you are now returning to
12 Racak again. Speaking of Kotlina one time and Racak another time.
13 Except for a briefing, there was no other meeting to make arrangements
14 about Racak. And as for Ivaja, there was no reason for Janicijevic to
15 meet Jelic about it because they didn't plan the action, the staff had
16 planned the action.
17 Q. When there was a requirement for the MUP or the PJP from Urosevac
18 to participate in an action, you said Mr. Janicijevic, your SUP chief
19 would be notified. Would he tell you about this, or how did he become
20 aware of the notification that the Urosevac PJP were supposed to be
21 engaged in an action?
22 A. Well, you see, the chief of the secretariat having learned of the
23 use of the PJP would pass on to me who was the chief of the department of
24 the police the information to pass on to the commanders of the police
25 station, because members of the PJP from Urosevac, Kacanik, Strpce, and
1 Stimlje were there, and I believe that one or two squads were even
2 provided by the traffic police station.
3 So I was duty-bound, either me or my officer in charge of these
4 jobs, to prepare a unit, that is a squad or a platoon or whatever, and
5 send the people to this specific location with the technical equipment
6 that is, vehicles, gear, et cetera. And my task is accomplished when
7 they inform me how many people they sent there and once they report to
8 Lecic who was the company commander. That's where I'm out of it. Then I
9 informed the chief of the SUP that the unit arrived there in full
10 strength or that possibly someone was missing, and that Lecic continued
11 to carry out activities in accordance with the plan which was adapted by
12 the staff.
13 Q. And in the course of this organisation that you were involved in,
14 you don't know of any meetings between any VJ personnel and your SUP
15 chief in respect to the carrying out of these anti-terrorist operations
16 or actions?
17 A. Mr. Prosecutor --
18 Q. I'm just asking --
19 A. You know what, they never had meetings, I mean, the chief of the
20 SUP and a representative of the army because they didn't plan the
21 actions. The chief of the SUP merely sent proposal to the staff
22 concerning the problems in the field. And the proposal was actually a
23 security assessment, or rather, the security assessment was part of it.
24 So this proposal was submitted to the staff, and the staff then plans the
25 activities to -- subsequent activities.
1 Q. You said that in respect to the Racak operation, Mr. Jelic was
2 present at one of the briefings solely so that you would know what was
3 going on to avoid the consequences of a friendly fire even though it is
4 your testimony that the VJ did not participate in the Racak operation.
5 In those other operations or actions that involved the co-ordinated
6 action of both the VJ and the MUP, can you tell us how was this
7 co-ordinated in Urosevac?
8 A. You know how, let me repeat. Lecic got his assignment from the
9 staff in Pristina, and I suppose, but I cannot be certain, that the
10 military commander, the leader of the combat group or whatever we may
11 choose to call it, received some instructions, but not from Jelic, but
12 from Pristina. He received a plan of engagement, possibly even from
13 Jelic, I wouldn't know. But that was the chain of command that was in
15 MR. STAMP: Could we look at P947 quickly.
16 Q. Mr. Mitic, while it's coming up, did you do your military
18 A. No, I didn't. While I attended secondary police school -- or
19 rather, the fact that I attended secondary police school was counted as
20 if I had served in the army.
21 Q. In any case, I'm going to show you a couple of VJ documents, and
22 I hope that you might be able to assist us.
23 A. Well, certainly, if I know anything.
24 Q. This is a regular combat report from Colonel Jelic of the 243rd
25 Brigade to the Pristina Corps Command of the 13th of April, 1999
1 you look at item 1.2 it indicates:
2 "Pursuant to a decision of 12 April 1999, a blockade was
3 implemented and in an ensuing concerted action with the Urosevac PJP
4 company, the STS," and that is the terrorists, "in the Firaj, Brod, and
5 Slatina sector were crushed and destroyed."
6 Do you remember this action in mid-April, 1999? Do you remember
7 dispatching the PJP from Urosevac to take part in this?
8 A. Yes, I remember. I don't remember all details, but I remember
9 the operation.
10 Q. Did you go on the scene of the operation?
11 A. No, I didn't.
12 Q. Very well. Do you know whether or not the MUP entered or the PJP
13 company of the MUP entered Slatina and Brod?
14 A. Believe me that I am not acquainted with the details of the
15 operation. I don't remember them. Whether they entered Firaj and Brod,
16 I don't know, because these places are in Strpce municipality. Firaj,
17 Brod, yes, it's that municipality, whereas Slatina I believe belongs to
18 the Kacanik municipality. But believe me, I don't remember the details.
19 MR. STAMP: Very well. Let's look at P767.
20 Q. A Joint Command order of the 15th of April, 1999, strictly
21 confidential number 455-152. If we go to the last item or the last
22 paragraph of item 4, we could just see what the operation it relates to,
23 or the date of the operation it relates to. And that is on page 4 in the
24 English copy. This is for the 24th of April, 1999, 0600 hours. And I
25 think you can see there on your copy. And if you go back to the first
1 page, first paragraph of item 1. It tells you about the area where this
2 operation is focused on or the villages in the general area of Mount
3 Jezersko villages are Budakovo, Jezerce, Nerodimlje, Petrovo and Plesina.
4 If we could move on to the second paragraph, paragraph 2. It basically
5 says that the task of the Pristina Corps with reinforcements from armed
6 non-Siptar population was to support the MUP in routing and destroying
7 the STS in the general area of Jezerce, Budakovo. Have a look at the
8 entire paragraph. I don't wish to read it.
9 My question is, do you remember this operation?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And were the PJP from Urosevac involved in this operation?
12 A. I remember the operation to some extent, but I cannot state with
13 any degree of certainty who took part in it. Budakovo belongs to the
14 Suva Reka municipality. Jezerce, Nerodimlje, Petrovo, and Plesina are in
15 the Urosevac municipality. I vaguely remember, but I couldn't really
16 tell you with any degree of certainty who exactly took part in it.
17 Q. But wouldn't it be likely that the Urosevac PJP would be involved
18 in this operation?
19 A. I suppose that it did.
20 Q. And can I ask if you -- if you went on -- went in the area where
21 those villages are located, where the Urosevac PJP would have been
22 engaged at?
23 A. Well, you know, when this operation was first conducted in the
24 mountains of Jezerce, I went to an area called Sastav Reka [phoen] but
25 that's at the foot of mount Jezerce
1 and that's as far as I went, I didn't go any further. Except for an
2 on-site investigation which I attended once, but that was -- had nothing
3 to do with this operation. The first time operation Jezerce was
4 conducted, that's when it was, but I don't remember the date.
5 Q. Talking about the 23rd of April and thereafter. Very well.
6 Let's move to another document.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Before you do, line -- page 23, line 24, the word
8 "non-" should be inserted before Siptar population.
9 MR. STAMP: Yes, thank you very much, Your Honours. Could we
10 look at P956, please.
11 Q. That document, if we see the first page here, it's a war diary of
12 the 243rd Mechanised Brigade which we got from the Pristina Corps
13 archives. It's from the 24th of March, 1999 to the 10th of June.
14 And if we could move to page 7 in English, and that is an entry
15 for the 31st of March. If we can get that entry in B/C/S.
16 While we are getting it up, Mr. Mitic, was it sometimes, or was
17 it the responsibility of the police, according to law, the law then in
18 force, to direct volunteers to their various military -- or the military
19 establishments to which they should go to?
20 A. I don't understand. Could you please explain what you mean.
21 Q. If persons wanted to volunteer to fight in the war, what would
22 the responsibilities of the MUP do in respect to these persons? Could
23 the MUP accept these volunteers, or would you be required to transfer
24 them somewhere else, and I am talking about according to law, not what
25 actually happened?
1 A. No, you see, we didn't have volunteers in our ranks, we had the
2 reserve police force. We had active-duty police officers and the reserve
3 police force. We have never had volunteers.
4 Q. So did you direct volunteers who wanted to fight, or was it your
5 duty to direct them to the appropriate VJ recruitment centre in your
7 A. No, they never contacted us. Nobody contacted the police if they
8 were volunteer. You saw from earlier documents that check-points were
9 set up at the administrative border with Serbia proper, so such units
10 were held back, not even individuals could pass through.
11 Q. Well, the first entry for this day, the 31st of March is that:
12 "Volunteers keep arriving at the unit. They are issued with equipment
13 and assigned to units immediately."
14 I think the Court has heard evidence that that would be the
15 responsibility of the police would be to direct volunteers to the VJ
16 according to law, so I'll just ask you this: Did you know that
17 volunteers were being incorporated into the 243rd Brigade?
18 A. Believe me, I'm not privy to that. I've only heard it now from
19 you. In going about my tasks and doing my work, I never heard of anybody
20 contacting us and being referred to the army. I don't know of any such
22 MR. STAMP: Very well. If we could look to the bottom of the
23 page in English, I think we need to go to the next page in B/C/S.
24 Q. It says: "Part of a combat group and the reinforced tank company
25 have been engaged in providing support to MUP forces along the following
1 axes: Blace village, Tumicina village, Banja village, Semetiste village,
2 Kravasarija village. It's an operation on the 31st of March, 1999
3 you recall whether or not MUP units from Urosevac SUP participated in
4 this operation?
5 A. These places are outside the territory of my secretariat. I'm
6 not sure to which municipality they belong. Well, if that was a task,
7 probably, probably the units were involved. But I wouldn't know because
8 these villages are not on my territory.
9 MR. STAMP: If we look at page 8 in English, and I think it would
10 be the next page in B/C/S. But I want to see the entry for the 1st of
11 April, [Realtime transcript read in error "February"] 1999.
12 Q. It says TG, I think it means tactical group, and the reinforced
13 tank company from tactical group 252 have been engaged in providing
14 support to MUP forces along the axes of the same villages: Blace
15 village, Tumicina village, Banja village, and Semetiste village,
16 Kravasarija village. To so operation continued on to the next day. Do
17 you know where those villages are, in which municipality?
18 A. Well, you know apart from Blace, there is a village by that name
19 in the Kacanik municipality, but I really don't know these other
20 villages. So this may be an area which I'm not familiar with. But in
21 Kosovo, I suppose that there are several villages by the same name as
23 Q. Very well.
24 MR. STAMP: I don't know, Your Honour, if this is a convenient
1 JUDGE PARKER: It is, Mr. Stamp. Page 27, line 4, February
2 should be April.
3 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. We adjourn now and resume
4 at quarter past 4.00.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Sit down, please.
10 Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. If we could move to page 12
12 of this document, and we are still on the war diary of the 243rd Brigade.
13 Q. Entry for the 6th of April, do you have that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. It says:
16 "From 0630 hours to 1600 hours, the batch of the mixed anti-tank
17 artillery battalion and the PJP sealed off the villages of Kamena Glava
18 and another village, which is illegible. The STS offered weak resistance
19 in the sector and the villages were mopped up. Two hunting rifles were
21 Can you assist us, can you make out which village that is, it
22 says, "sealed off the villages of Kamena Glava and another village?"
23 A. No, I can't really. I can't read the name of this village.
24 Q. Okay. But in so as far as Kamena Glava is involved -- is
25 referred to, do you recall that on the 6th of April, the PJP from
1 Urosevac was involved in an operation there, do you recall that
3 A. I remember it vaguely, but I can't say for certain anything about
4 it. I remember something happened in Kamena Glava, I don't recall the
5 name of the other village, nor do I remember any details.
6 Q. Very well. Could we see if we can look at these places that we
7 just discussed on a map?
8 MR. STAMP: Could you look at P823. That's the Kosevo atlas and
9 if we could go to page 18, which is a map of the area, of the Urosevac
10 area, or part of it. Can we pan out a little bit. Let's try to work
11 with that.
12 Q. Do you know or can you point out where Slatina and Brod is?
13 A. I think it's here.
14 Q. And --
15 A. And this.
16 Q. Well, I think you've circled -- put two circles on the map, one
17 of them --
18 A. Slatina is the first one, and Brod is the second one. I think
19 they are there but the writing is quite small.
20 Q. Very well. I think we'll have to expand this a little bit so we
21 can be sure.
22 MR. STAMP: If we could mark them again, please.
23 Q. And you see Vata there as well to the east of Slatina, do you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you just put a circle or an oval around these three villages,
1 Brod, Slatina, Vata?
2 A. Yes, I see them.
3 Q. Could you circle them, please.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. The -- this looks to me to be about, what, 8, 10 kilometres from
6 Urosevac as the crow flies, Mr. Mitic. You agreed with me earlier that
7 the PJP from Urosevac was involved in an operation there on the 13th of
8 April. We have evidence from somebody by the name of Sesdi Lama [phoen]
9 who testified that at about that time, at about the 13th of April, forces
10 of the FRY and Serbia
11 those villages and killed many inhabitants and set the others -- and
12 forced the others to leave. Did you not receive any information about
14 A. I didn't hear that there were any paramilitaries on the territory
15 of my secretariat. I'm hearing it for the first time now from you.
16 Q. Did you hear that security forces from the FRY and Serbia
17 those villages on the 13th, killed many of the villagers, and expelled
18 the remainder?
19 A. No, I never heard that. If there was an anti-terrorist action,
20 it's possible that terrorists got killed in those operations, but that
21 there was an action to drive out the people, I never heard that. I'm
22 hearing if for the first time from you. And you mentioned paramilitary
23 forces, I don't know what you meant by that, because there were no such
24 forces on our territory.
25 Q. Ever heard of a Serbian Chetnik movement?
1 A. Yes, they existed in World War II. I know such a movement
2 existed in history, but it's not true that they existed on my territory.
3 Q. Very well. We'll get to that shortly. When, for example, this
4 operation that we spoke of the 13th of April, when Mr. Lecic returned to
5 the Urosevac police station after an operation like this, did he have to
6 give a report as to the casualties that might have occurred as a result
7 of an operation like this?
8 A. Lecic submitted a report most probably to his command or to the
9 staff. He did not submit any report to the Urosevac SUP. In these three
10 villages, well, to be quite honest, I don't remember the action there,
11 unless it was an action when a military convoy was attacked because I
12 know that something was done then, but I think another village was in
13 question. I don't know. I can't be sure.
14 Q. Yeah, but when I showed you the order of the combat report in
15 respect of that operation you said you knew about it and your Urosevac
16 PJPs were involved in that operation. In any case, the question is this,
17 after your PJPs were involved in an operation, did they not report as to
18 whether or not there were any civilian casualties, and that is report to
19 your SUP?
20 A. You know what, if people got killed in the operation, most
21 probably a team was sent out to carry out an on-site investigation, and
22 then the crime investigation department of the police would have been
24 Q. So they would have had to file reports about civilians who are
25 killed in the operation?
1 A. Regardless of whether they were civilians or terrorists, if there
2 are casualties in an operation, most probably the criminal investigation
3 police would have been called upon to carry out an on-site investigation.
4 Q. Very well. Could you find on this map Kamena Glava for me. It's
5 another place where we saw that there were VJ and MUP co-ordinated
7 A. I think this is Kamena Glava, although the writing is quite
9 Q. Well, yes, I think you have it there. Also called Komogllave in
10 Albanian we can see.
11 A. Yes, Komogllave, that's the Albanian name. In Albanian, you say
12 Komogllave, and in Serbian you say Kamena Glava.
13 Q. We saw the report just now, just before the break, of this
14 co-ordinated action, of a co-ordinated action of the VJ and the MUP in
15 which they mopped up Kamena Glava on the 6th of April, 1999. And we have
16 evidence before the Court, Mr. Mitic, from Florim Krasniqi that on the
17 7th and around the 7th of April, he saw that village and the surroundings
18 on fire. The houses had been burnt, or were burning. Do you know about
19 that, Mr. Mitic, that these village, the villages in Kamena Glava were
20 torched in the course of this operation?
21 A. Well, as for Kamena Glava, I remember there was an action that
22 was carried out. I don't remember the details, but I do know from before
23 that we always had the worst extremists in Kamena Glava, and many KLA
24 members came from that village. I think they set up a sort of nucleus
25 there and spread to the surrounding villages, so this action was carried
1 out in order to arrest these terrorist groups.
2 Q. Yes, but I'm talking to you about evidence from Krasniqi, Florim
3 that at the time of this operation, he saw the village on fire, and in
4 addition to that, another witness, Bedri Hyseni said that at the time of
5 this operation, the 6th of April, people were expelled from Kamena Glava
6 and its surroundings. Did Mr. Lecic or any of the PJPs from Urosevac
7 mention any such thing to you, the expulsion of the civilians and the
8 torching of the civilian houses in these villages at that time?
9 A. Where there is fighting, where there is action, of course some
10 houses catch fire from the fighting, either from mortar shells, hand-held
11 mortars, or other weapons because the Albanian terrorists had both
12 mortars and hand-held rocket-launchers. They had heavy weapons. So that
13 was certainly a consequence of the fighting, but as for expulsions,
14 believe me, I cannot give you any information about other areas, but with
15 respect to the area covered by the Urosevac SUP, we did our utmost to
16 make sure that no one expelled people or forced them to leave. I
17 explained that I personally went to the railway station to talk to the
18 people and to tell them to take shelter and not to leave.
19 Q. Okay. That is what you are saying you did. Just let's focus on
20 Kamena Glava. You are saying that there was fighting and the terrorist
21 had these weapons, but that is not the evidence we have before the Court
22 from the witnesses in respect of this area, and I'll reread to you the
23 combat report that I just showed you from the 243rd Brigade for that day.
24 It says:
25 "From 630 to 1600 hours, the mixed anti-tank artillery battalion
1 and the PJP sealed off the villages of Kamena Glava and another illegible
2 village. The STS offered weak resistance in the sector and the villages
3 were mopped up. Two hunting rifles were seised. Two terrorists were
5 This reports indicates to me that there was not much resistance,
6 and it was the VJ supporting the MUP that had the heavy artillery. So
7 the --
8 A. It's not correct, in Kamena Glava perhaps they didn't have a
9 heavy artillery but they certainly did in the surrounding villages, and I
10 can't recall the names of the villages around Kamena Glava in the
11 direction of Kacanik, but they were linked to the area of Vitina
12 municipality, and from there, they fired because there may not have been
13 strong forces in Kamena Glava itself, but there were in the neighbouring
14 villages, and they knew that they had a few fellow fighters in Kamena
15 Glava so they fired on the police.
16 Q. Let's focus on Kamena Glava. These two witnesses mentioned
17 Kamena Glava, torching of the civilian houses, expulsion of the civilian
18 population in the course of that operation, or at least on those dates.
19 You are saying you never received any reports from any PJP from either
20 Mr. Lecic or anybody else about this?
21 A. No, and there were no expulsions. I can affirm that there were
22 no expulsions because we all did our utmost to prevent this happening in
23 our area. There were people transiting through our area because there's
24 railway station there and there were vehicles bringing people from other
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. STAMP: If we could, Your Honours, could this point map be --
3 this marked map be received.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 Mr. Djurdjic.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I object to this manner of marking
7 the map. Mr. Stamp says mark these villages and the witness marks them
8 and then he puts questions about things the witness did not say but about
9 other documents. I think Mr. Stamp could have circled these villages
10 himself and the witness could have commented.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Many times, Mr. Djurdjic, with both Prosecution
12 and Defence, questions witnesses have identified on maps, the locations
13 by circling the named towns. That's all this is doing. The Chamber will
14 receive this marked map.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the map will be Exhibit P01556.
16 MR. STAMP: If we could look at page 17 of P823.
17 Q. I think you said, Mr. Mitic, that during the Jezerce operation,
18 that was referred to in one of the documents I showed you, you went to --
19 to a village in the foothills. If we could just pause, Mr. Mitic, I'll
20 find precisely what you said.
21 A. It's not a village, Mr. Prosecutor. It's a place called --
22 Q. I'll find it. You were telling us what place you went to, that
23 would help?
24 A. Sastav Reka this is where two rivers flow together, coming from
25 two different directions, it's a confluence actually of two rivers.
1 Q. Yes. You said that "that's at the foot of mount Jezerce
2 observation points there, and that's as far as I went. I didn't go any
3 further." Can you remember about when it is that you went here, was this
4 at about the time of the operation, and I remind you that the operation
5 according to the combat order was on the 23rd of April, 1999?
6 A. No, no. I was -- in 1998 I was there when the first terrorist
7 action was carried out.
8 Q. So when you said you went to an area called Sastav Reka, that was
9 in 1998?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The first
12 anti-terrorist action.
13 MR. STAMP:
14 Q. Well, in the course of the operation in April 1999, did you go
16 A. No.
17 Q. We've had evidence before the Court of torching of Albanian
18 villages and deportations of Albanian civilians from the villages in that
19 area. Did you receive any reports from any of your PJP commanders about
20 any such thing?
21 A. Well, this area of Jezerska Planina and the village of Jezerce
22 all this was a terrorist base. The civilian population had gone to the
23 town of Urosevac to stay with friends and relatives long before these
24 anti-terrorist actions. In 1998 and 1999, these people were living in
25 Urosevac, so they could not have been expelled from these villages
1 because they had already moved out and gone to stay with friends in
2 Urosevac. They stayed in an area of town in the direction of the village
3 of Nerodimlje, we had information about that, and they didn't dare go
4 back to their villages because of the terrorists.
5 Q. Let's firstly identify where we are. Do you see the villages
6 that were referred to in that Joint Command order? Do you know where
7 Budakova is? Can you make out where Budakova is?
8 A. That's the municipality of Suva Reka
9 Q. Yes, but you remember that the order referred to -- I think you
10 did say you recalled the action, referred to axis including that village
11 but also villages in your SUP? Can you find where Plesina is? That was
12 the next one that you mentioned.
13 A. Plesina. There's lower and upper Plesina, which do you mean?
14 Q. You were telling us that you recalled the action. Do you recall
15 the action which Plesina did the action involve?
16 A. I believe it must have been Gornja Plesina, upper Plesina. But
17 they are almost one village, they are only a few hundred metres apart.
18 Q. Do you see the area? Can you circle the area?
19 A. Jezerce is here.
20 Q. Plesina?
21 A. Plesina, I can't seem to be able to find it.
22 Q. If you go down 6 kilometre to the east, south-east of Jezerce?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And above that to the north about 3 kilometres, Nerodimlje?
25 A. Yes, yes. But, you know, I don't know in which context
1 Nerodimlje was mentioned, but there couldn't have been any fighting
2 there, only in Donje Nerodimlje near the woods there are some -- some
3 buildings or maybe hamlets that may have been the site of fighting, but
4 Gornje Nerodimlje couldn't have been a site of fighting.
5 Q. I am happy to see that you know where there was fighting from
6 where there was not. So, therefore, you should be able to tell us this:
7 Were villages, villages and hamlets, in the surrounding area of all these
8 towns torched during these operations or actions in the period following
9 the 24th of March?
10 A. You know what, not at Gornje Nerodimlje. That was a mixed
11 village with Albanian and Serb population. As far as Plesina is
12 concerned, most probably in the course of combat, there were -- there may
13 have been damaged houses, but certainly there was no massive burning of
14 houses. And at Nerodimlje, there were -- there was fierce anti-terrorist
15 fighting as early as 1998, but it's not true that there was massive
16 burning of houses and the expulsion of population.
17 Q. Okay. Let's be clear, for my part let's say we accept that there
18 were KLA, the KLA had strongholds in some of these areas, particularly
19 Jezerce and Nerodimlje, because that's the evidence we've heard, but did
20 you receive any information that there was wide-scale torching of
21 Albanian hamlets and villages throughout this area?
22 A. Well, I'm telling you, it's possible that in that mountainous
23 area toward the woods up there, Gornja Plesina, where there was fighting
24 that there may have been damaged houses, but there was no massive burning
25 of houses. And as for Jezerce, I don't know how much was destroyed, in
1 the earlier anti-terrorist operations because they offered strong
2 resistance in all directions. The stronghold was in Jezerce.
3 Q. Okay. That's the distinction I'm trying to get you to focus on.
4 Not just damaged houses but torching of entire villages and hamlets.
5 Within the entire area of the SUP Urosevac, did you ever receive any
6 report as to the torching of homes of Kosovo Albanian civilians?
7 A. No, only in anti-terrorist operations when there was combat. So
8 some houses were damaged during combat, but there was no massive
10 Q. Very well, if I could move on.
11 MR. STAMP: And before we move on, could this document also be
12 received in evidence, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01557.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. You told us earlier that the SUP chief had dual responsibility or
17 shared responsibility along with the field commanders for grave breaches
18 of discipline when the PJPs were engaged in the field, or can I just read
19 the evidence because I want to avoid any ... page 12631:
20 "If a grave violation" and Your Honours, the record actually says
21 grey violation, but I think based on my note it should be grave
23 "If a grave violation or breach of official duty occurred, the
24 commander in the field takes all necessary measures to establish the
25 facts involved and after that he informed chief of the SUP and submits a
1 proposal to initiate disciplinary proceedings."
2 And the next question was "and then the SUP where that person is
3 from would conduct disciplinary proceedings."
4 And your answer was "yes, correct."
5 Next question: "Within a PJP unit be it at the level of a
6 detachment or company, were there any disciplinary organs or not?" And
7 you said "no, there weren't."
8 When a PJP unit in the field or the command of a PJP unit in the
9 field has information that this grave violation occurred, what was the
10 formal requirement for him in informing the SUP chief? Would he have to
11 do so in writing, was there a requirement that he should report it in
12 writing, that's my question?
13 A. Well, you actually asked several questions but I'll make an
14 effort to provide an answer.
15 Q. I'll withdraw everything else I said, and ask you, having regard
16 to what I quoted about what you just said, that the commander in the
17 field takes all necessary measures to establish the facts involved and
18 after that inform the chief of the SUP and submits a proposal to initiate
19 disciplinary proceedings, was this submission done in writing?
20 A. If a serious breach of official responsibility was committed
21 nobody was in better position to establish that then the commander in the
22 field or if he was absent, then his deputy or another commanding officer,
23 and if it was established as a fact, it was called different -- it was
24 called differently earlier than it was today. But anyway, once the
25 relevant facts and circumstances were established, but company commander
1 files a disciplinary report against the police officer and forwards it to
2 the SUP chief.
3 Q. And it seems pretty much logical from what you are saying that
4 this disciplinary report that is filed is in writing?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. While you were chief of the OUP for Urosevac, did you see any
7 such disciplinary reports from the PJP commanders in respect to MUP
8 members committing crimes like torching of houses or murder against
9 Kosovo Albanian civilians?
10 A. You know something, whether or not such disciplinary report was
11 filed of that kind, I don't remember, but I don't think so. But there
12 were disciplinary reports even criminal proceedings or misdemeanour
13 proceedings were launched against some officers on other grounds, such as
14 theft, abuse of official position, or the like, but what you said, no, no
15 such cases are known to me.
16 Q. Very well. Do you know of any policemen from your SUP be engaged
17 to participate in escorting trains or civilians through Urosevac towards
18 the border, that is, during the war in 1999?
19 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor.
20 Q. Did you --
21 A. The -- just allow me to finish. The police station, there was a
22 police station for the escort of vehicles at Kosovo Polje. They were the
23 only police officers who could accompany or escort trains. No other
24 police officers did what you were inquiring about. So there was a police
25 station for escorting trains at Kosovo Polje, that was their specific
1 task. They escorted trains that went in the direction of Belgrade or,
2 but I'm not really familiar with what exactly they did.
3 Q. Okay. So I take it that the Urosevac police were not involved in
4 escorting trains, that was the police from Kosovo Polje?
5 A. No, I'm saying that the Urosevac police played no part in that.
6 I don't know when the police from Kosovo Polje escorted anybody or where
7 to. I cannot really say anything about that.
8 Q. Apart from being the PJP commander for those units in Urosevac,
9 Mr. Lecic was also deputy commander of the Urosevac SUP, am I correct?
10 And that is in 1999.
11 A. You know how it was, when he had no work as a PJP member, then
12 his regular duty was that of the deputy commander of the Urosevac police
13 station. So when he wasn't busy in the PJP, he went about his regular
14 work at the police station in Urosevac.
15 Q. So when he about his regular work, he reported to you and through
16 you to the SUP chief; is that correct?
17 A. You know how it was, he was deputy commander, and he carried out
18 the orders of his commander and I as chief of the department of the
19 police. You said OUP several times, but I wasn't chief of that. I was
20 chief of the department of the police. And I communicated directly with
21 the commanders and monitored their work, their activities, et cetera.
22 Q. So when Lecic was involved in the field and was engaged in the
23 regular duties in Urosevac, who did he report to?
24 A. Well, we must keep these things apart. While he was busy as a
25 PJP member, he reported to the staff of the MUP in Pristina. And when he
1 was carrying out his regular work and regular tasks, he reported to the
2 commander of the police station and that was Vukasin Damjanovic.
3 Q. And who did the commander of the police station report to?
4 A. I told you a minute ago, but I can repeat. The commanders of
5 police stations were responsible to me and I was responsible to the chief
6 of the SUP.
7 Q. Thank you. If we could have a look at some documents that you
8 were shown. I'm not -- let's look at one or two of them. I don't think
9 we need to go through all of them.
10 MR. STAMP: P1205.
11 Q. You were shown many dispatches signed by Mr. Djordjevic and the
12 first question you were asked was which SUPs they were addressed to, and
13 your answer invariably was to all of them, all 33 of them. But I also
14 notice, and I am not going to bother going through these documents, there
15 are about ten of them with you. You also notice that they are also
16 addressed to the MUP staff Pristina, to the head, did you also see that?
17 And we are now looking at P1205.
18 A. Yes, that's what I said. To all SUPs from 1 through 33 in the
19 Republic of Serbia
20 chief there.
21 Q. You are saying that last part now that it's also addressed to the
23 MR. STAMP: Maybe we could look at another one, P1206.
24 Q. Similarly, you see this is addressed not only to the 33 SUP
25 chiefs but also to the MUP staff in Pristina, to the head. You see that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And I can tell you that, you know, the other documents that you
3 were shown including D438, P1207, P717 and some others that you were
4 asked about the SUPs they were addressed to, they were also addressed to
5 the chief or the head of the MUP staff in Pristina.
6 MR. STAMP: Could we move to P717.
7 Q. Similarly addressed to all 33 MUP chiefs as well as the chief of
8 the MUP staff in Pristina among others. Shall we go to page 2 in both
9 the English and the B/C/S. If you look at the first paragraph that
10 starts on page 2 in B/C/S, and this would be the third paragraph that
11 starts on page 2 in English, let's look at the third and fourth paragraph
12 in English that starts on page 2, and the first and second that starts on
13 page 3. I selected these two paragraphs primarily because they relate to
14 police operations in Kosovo in particular.
15 Just read them quickly, and if we could move to page 3 in both
16 B/C/S and English.
17 A. Did you say paragraph 2, "prevent the spreading of terrorist
19 Q. Yes, the first paragraph that begins on page 2 in the B/C/S, and
20 the second paragraph that begins at page 2 in B/C/S.
21 A. That is the prevention of the spreading of terrorist activities
22 of Albanian separatists, especially in the area of AP Kosovo and
23 Metohija, as well as the possible planting of explosive devices at vital
24 industrial traffic, religious sports, residential, catering, and other
25 places of general interest, and places where citizens gather in large
1 number, I believe that's what it says. And the following paragraph says:
2 In the territory of AP Kosovo
3 of facilities and places where Serbs, Montenegrins, and members of the
4 nationalities loyal to the Republic of Serbia
5 often gather in large numbers."
6 Q. Before we move on, I just wanted to settle an issue of
7 translation, so I was going to ask you to read the first part of the
8 first paragraph slowly again because I just want to be clear about one
9 aspect, whether it says inside or outside Kosovo. Could you just reread
10 that please, and we'll have a translation.
11 A. Prevent the spreading of terrorist activities by Albanian
12 separatists especially in AP Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the possible
13 planting of explosive devices at vital industrial, et cetera, facilities.
14 Q. Thank you. Can I just mention that because, Your Honours just
15 for the record, there's an error in the English version where it says
16 outside. It should be inside or in.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. And at page 43, line 21, all 33 SUP
18 chiefs is what should be read instead of all 33 MUP chiefs.
19 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I ask this paragraph
22 to be enlarged to enable the witness to read it. I mean, the one to
23 which Mr. Stamp is referring now.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it can be seen better now
25 because previously the letters were quite small.
1 "Prevent the spreading of terrorist activities of Albanian
2 separatists, especially outside the area of AP Kosovo and Metohija..."
3 MR. STAMP: Thank you, counsel.
4 And if we could move to page 3. In English it would be the third
5 paragraph, in B/C/S it would be the first paragraph that begins on that
7 Q. You can read that one to yourself. You don't need to read that
8 one aloud.
9 A. Did you say the first one or the marked paragraph?
10 Q. No, the first paragraph that begins on that page. First bullet
11 point that begins on that page.
12 Mr. Mitic, weren't all the addressees of this order responsible
13 to comply with the order of General Djordjevic?
14 A. Yes, they were all duty-bound to do so, to act in accordance with
15 this dispatch.
16 Q. And similarly with the other dispatches that Mr. Djordjevic
17 issued, they were duty-bound to comply with those orders?
18 A. Well, they weren't always orders. Sometimes for the purpose of
19 informing some services, it doesn't have to be orders every time. We
20 didn't receive orders all the time. Sometimes we received information as
21 to what should be done, step up security measures to secure facilities or
22 whatever. This was just about reminding us of our legal obligations,
23 they weren't orders strictly speaking.
24 Q. But when they were orders, the addressees were duty-bound to
25 comply with these orders?
1 A. The instructions in the dispatch must be carried out, so we must
2 act in accordance with it. I don't know which order you mean
3 specifically, to secure facilities, to step up the activities of the
4 police, something else maybe.
5 Q. I remind you that some of the orders or dispatches from General
6 Djordjevic were addressed to General Lukic, and you said all the
7 addressees were duty-bound to act in accordance therewith. On what basis
8 would Mr. Lukic be duty-bound to act in accordance with the orders issued
9 by General Djordjevic? What is your basis for saying that?
10 A. You know what, in my opinion this was for information for the
11 staff to be aware of everything and everybody did their job, but the
12 staff was in charge of following all the activities in Kosovo, so --
13 Q. Just listen to my question. You said that the addressees had
14 been duty-bound to comply with the orders of General Djordjevic. We see
15 that the head of the staff General Lukic was an addressee, and I'm merely
16 asking on what basis would General Lukic be obliged to comply with
17 General Djordjevic's orders?
18 A. Well, I'm trying to explain this to you. General Lukic was
19 informed for his information so that he could monitor whether the SUPs on
20 the territory of Kosovo
21 General Lukic was at the head of the staff but the staff could not carry
22 out all these measures and activities on its own, so it was his duty to
23 follow whether all the secretariats in Kosovo and Metohija had acted on
24 the instructions in the dispatch. That was his only duty. You couldn't
25 explain everybody's duty in the dispatch because it was addressed to all
1 of them, but his role would have been to control the carrying out of the
2 instructions in the dispatch.
3 Q. And if a SUP chief failed to carry out the instructions or failed
4 to carry out the instructions properly, what is your understanding that
5 Mr. Lukic should do about it?
6 A. General Lukic, if chiefs of SUPs in Kosovo and Metohija failed to
7 carry out the instructions in the dispatch, would have initiated
8 disciplinary measures against them.
9 Q. How would General Lukic initiate disciplinary measures against
10 SUP chiefs? Who would he address it to?
11 A. Well, I never heard that any such thing ever actually happened,
12 and everybody had to comply with the Law on the Interior. All authorised
13 officials were equally responsible.
14 Q. Very well. Let's proceed to something else quickly.
15 Were there reserve police squads in the police area of the
16 Urosevac SUP?
17 A. The reserve police force within the Urosevac SUP was the one
18 envisaged in the plan, and they were engaged as needed, but no units were
19 ever formed. They simply carried out the regular duties within the scope
20 of the police stations. They were never used in any anti-terrorist
21 actions. They only carried out regular tasks and assignments, together
22 with active-duty policemen. They never carried out any activity on their
24 Q. I think you are talking about reserve policemen in
25 contradistinction to active-duty policemen. But do you know of persons
1 in Serb villages who were armed for the purpose ostensibly of defending
2 those villages and they were called, or the groups of them were called
3 reserve police squads? Do you know of those?
4 JUDGE PARKER: Your answer, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These were reserve police squads
6 who were securing their villages. That's what I stated. Their village
7 or their street. These were people who were not in the reserve police
8 force, but you know how it was, a military conscript was anyone who had
9 done his military service and then he could have been liable either for
10 military service or for service in the police. These members of the
11 reserve police squads could have been reservists in the police who had
12 not been activated at that point in time, or they could have been reserve
13 soldiers not activated at the time, and these people might have been in
14 the reserve police squads. Nobody paid them, they did not have health
15 insurance or any pension insurance or any kind of remuneration. Their
16 task was simply to guard their own villages or streets and watch over the
17 safety of the people living in those villages or in those streets.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I just wanted to say that there
20 was a problem with interpretation. We did not get the proper
21 interpretation for reserve police squad in our headphones, but it's
22 entered correctly in the transcript. It's correct in the English
23 version, reserve police squad, RPO.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
25 MR. STAMP: Thank you. If we could look at P901.
1 Q. This is an order of the then-Pristina Corps Commander General
2 Pavkovic, dated the 26th of June, 1998. If you look at paragraph 2, he
3 says, distribute automatic rifles, semi-automatic rifles, automatic
4 rifles, semi-automatic rifles, light machine-guns, sniper rifles, and
5 necessary communications equipment to military conscripts. Do you recall
6 that these were the weapons that were distributed to these RPOs?
7 A. I am not familiar with this document. It was not available to
8 me, but I do remember, yes, I can't recall what year that was in, but I
9 think in an earlier period it was through the All People's Defence that
10 some weapons were distributed.
11 Q. Well, this is the 26th of June, 1998. If you look at the third
12 paragraph, second paragraph, on the basis of the list, the lists are
13 referred to in the first paragraph of item 3, on the basis of the list
14 "... call up military conscripts in small groups to the army barracks or
15 organise distribution and issue of weapons in Serbian and Montenegrin
16 villages. Devote special attention to security measures, secrecy, and
17 camouflage discipline in carrying out this task."
18 Were you aware firstly that these weapons were distributed to
19 persons in Serb and Montenegrin villages?
20 A. No, it wasn't just distributed to Serbs and Montenegrins.
21 Weapons were distributed to some Albanians as well. All those guarding
22 villages or streets in towns. All those who were under threat from
23 Albanian terrorists were given weapons. There were Roma who were given
24 weapons, so it wasn't just Serbs and Montenegrins.
25 Q. This doesn't seem to -- what I trying to remember the expression,
1 well, you know, loyal. This doesn't refer to loyal, non -- or loyal
2 citizens of non-Serbian ethnicity, this refers specifically to Serbs and
3 Montenegrin villages. Do you see that?
4 A. Well, what it says here is one thing, but I'm telling you what
5 actually happened, and I'm talking about my area. There were Albanians
6 who were threatened by Albanian terrorists, and they were given weapons.
7 I can even give you some names, if you like. Although it may not be
8 proper to mention their names for their own security.
9 Q. Well, tell me about how many Albanians in Urosevac SUP area were
10 armed, just --
11 A. Well, I can't give you the precise numbers but well, 10, 20, it
12 wasn't 100, so several dozen perhaps. But there were whole Roma
13 villages, whole Roma neighbourhoods who were frightened. They came to
14 see the chief of the SUP and said that they felt imperiled, they thought
15 they that they would be attacked by Albanian terrorists, so entire
16 neighbourhoods, Roma neighbourhoods had the weapons distributed to them.
17 Q. Can you say do you know why this distribution was done in secret,
18 or maybe I should put it this way, do you know why General Pavkovic
19 stated that the distributors should devote special attention to secrecy
20 in this distribution?
21 A. I don't know, but I can make an assumption, to avoid panic among
22 the population. When people of any ethnicity saw weapons being
23 distributed, they would panic so most probably that was the reason why,
24 to avoid the spreading of panic among the population.
25 Q. If we could move -- well, if we could look at the last item 6 in
1 English, just the first paragraph. Are aware that the MUP participated
2 in this distribution of weapons to the villages referred to?
3 MR. STAMP: Sorry, if we could just move to the second part of
4 item 6 in English.
5 Q. But you can read all of it in B/C/S I see, so my question is
6 whether or not you knew of the MUP's participation in this from June
8 A. Yes, it was done by my office, sir, and we distributed some of
9 the weapons and other weapons were distributed by the military.
10 Q. Thank you. Who had responsibility for monitoring and controlling
11 these reserve police squads, or which organisation had that
13 A. Well, to the best of my recollection, the the commander of each
14 police station was responsible for his area, and where there were members
15 of the reserve police squad. At SUP level, there was an officer in
16 charge of this that was in my squad who was in contact with the commander
17 if they had any information to provide about what they had observed on
18 the ground, then the members of the reserve police squad would inform the
19 commander of the police station who would then forward the information to
20 the officer in charge of the police squad.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. STAMP: Let's have a look at P688.
23 JUDGE PARKER: I think I must ask you to do that after the break,
24 Mr. Stamp, if that's --
25 MR. STAMP: I'm so sorry, Your Honours, yes, Your Honours. And
1 I'm wrapping up, I should indicate to the Court.
2 JUDGE PARKER: We were waiting for you to finish this exhibit.
3 We will resume at 10 minutes past.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 --- Recess taken at 5.38 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
9 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 If we could have a look at P769. Sorry, P688. And if we could
11 go straight to page 3 in both of them.
12 Q. Just to identify where we are, these are the minutes of the
13 meeting of the MUP staff, sorry, in Pristina on the 28th of July, 1998
14 And this was one attended by the minister, Mr. Stojiljkovic among others,
15 Major-General Lukic, and you'll see near the end of it, indeed you'll
16 also see that chief of the SUP for Urosevac, Bogoljub Janicijevic
17 attended. And could we move straight to page 7 of the English, page 8 of
18 the B/C/S?
19 This is the last paragraph in the English on page 7. Well, while
20 we are there, we see that Mr. Janicijevic gave a presentation at that
21 meeting. If we could move to the last paragraph in English. This is the
22 middle of the page in B/C/S. Captain Pesic made a presentation in
23 respect to the number of squads that were formed and the number of
24 weapons that were issued. He said there were 243 RPOs.
25 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, where I had indicated earlier with the
1 witness Cvetic when he was here earlier that there was a general
2 mistranslation. It says reserve police station, but it is actually
3 reserve police squads it should be translated to and that weapons were
4 issued to 54.683 persons.
5 Q. Well, do you recall -- let me ask you about your SUP first. Do
6 you recall how many weapons had been distributed in your SUP by July
8 A. I don't remember the exact number.
9 Q. Approximately how many?
10 A. I wouldn't know. I can't give you a figure. I simply don't
11 recall the number.
12 Q. Did Captain or Mr. Janicijevic report to you and other senior
13 members in the SUP on the deliberations at this meeting?
14 A. Yes, most probably he did. He informed us of what had taken
15 place after every meeting.
16 Q. Well, do you remember this one in particular?
17 A. Yes, I remember he informed us. Can you just tell me the date
18 when this was?
19 Q. This is the 29th of July, 1998.
20 A. I think I remember that he did convey this to us.
21 Q. And did he convey to you that the plan was, according to Captain
22 Pesic here in the last sentence of his presentation, that when all this
23 is finished about 60.000 persons have been issued weapons?
24 A. He didn't tell us these details, but as for the number of weapons
25 distributed, I think that this information was sent from our SUP to the
1 staff, it to Blagoj Pesic who was in charge of this.
2 Q. Very well.
3 MR. STAMP: If we could look at P1055.
4 Q. This is a report on the visit and meetings held commanders of the
5 RPOs, and it was prepared by Mr. Pesic. I don't think we need to go to
6 the last page. And this is the 16th of February, 1999.
7 MR. STAMP: If we could just scroll down in English.
8 Q. Meetings were conducted with the relevant or authorised persons
9 from the Urosevac SUP at about 1230 hours on the 16th of February, 1999
10 Do you recall these meetings where Mr. --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And this is with Mr. Pesic and with Major-General Stojanovic from
13 the staff?
14 A. Yes, Momcilo Stojanovic, that's right. Well, if you allow, as
15 far as I remember, I believe that the chief of the SUP, myself, then four
16 commanders of police stations, and I believe the officer in charge of
17 equipment and armaments were present at that meeting. We were about six
18 or seven. That information may be included here, but unless I am
19 mistaken, there were seven of us who attended that meeting.
20 Q. Did any of the RPO commanders attend?
21 A. Yes, I can't remember exactly. I believe that two of them were
22 absent with a justified reason, but the rest were there.
23 MR. STAMP: Could we move to page 8 in the English. Page 7 in
24 the English. Sorry, I'm seeing that it's page 6 that I want.
25 Q. I am looking at the second paragraph here where it says:
1 "The RPO commanders had sent urgent requests to the MUP and other
2 official bodies to take the strictest measures to curb such similar and
3 negative occurrences that affect the unity of Serbs and Montenegrins and
4 undermine the defence of towns and villages."
5 Do you see that part?
6 A. Which paragraph are you referring to? I've read all this, so
7 what are you interested in?
8 Q. Do you recall from what you have seen that the purpose, the prime
9 purpose of these RPOs was to arm the conscripts in Serb and Montenegrin
11 A. No, that wasn't the purpose, Mr. Prosecutor. The purpose was for
12 them to defend themselves against terrorists. They had a fully defensive
14 Q. I see. But it was for Serb and Montenegrin villages to defend
15 themselves, that was the programme in respect of these RPOs?
16 A. Well, you know what, the ones who were in jeopardy, defended
17 themselves. In this specific case they were in jeopardy, but there were
18 also Roma and others who were in jeopardy from the terrorists.
19 MR. STAMP: Okay. If we could look at the chart on page 7 in
21 Q. It's take a quick look, particularly on the row for Urosevac.
22 This is an overview of the number of weapons distributed. Is this the
23 information you gave to Captain Pesic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. 36 RPOs, 1.928 weapons, 1.928 weapons issued by the MUP, 3.023
1 issued by the VJ?
2 A. Yes, yes. This is the information that we sent to Captain Pesic,
3 or rather the officer in charge of these matters, where I sent it to
4 Captain Pesic.
5 Q. Your evidence, I take it, is that maybe 20 or some dozens, less
6 than 100 Albanians received weapons; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 MR. STAMP: Okay. Could we look at P85.
9 Q. This shows a very -- I think you would agree that this is a very
10 important meeting of the MUP staff. The entire leadership of the police
11 is there, we can look at the participants. And in his opening remarks,
12 among other things, General Lukic said, and this is about the third or
13 fourth sentence in General Lukic's opening remarks:
14 "RPO, and that translation again is wrong, it's reserve police
15 squads in nearly all villages inhabited by Serbs are very active. The
16 service has increased its activities in towns." This is the 17th of
17 February, the day after Captain Pesic and General Stanojevic visited the
18 RPOs in Kosovo and issued their report, it's the last document we looked
19 at. Did Mr. Bogoljub Janicijevic, your SUP chief, brief you and others
20 in the SUP about this very important meeting of the 17th of February,
22 A. I don't know what you mean, but they took measures. Well,
23 clearly the members of these reserve police squads had to be vigilant in
24 their villages because they had to expect terrorist attacks at any given
25 moment, so they had to be vigilant and look out for possible attack
1 against their street or neighbourhood or village. That was their
3 Q. But these were -- we were not only talking about the RPOs, we are
4 talking about RPOs in villages inhabited by Serbs, Mr. Mitic; isn't that
5 the true position?
6 A. You see, this isn't combat activity, this is defensive activity
7 of the reserve police squads. They were told to be vigilant.
8 Q. They are vigilant and they ostensibly were to defend villages,
9 but they were --
10 A. Yes, right.
11 Q. Serbian villagers who were armed, sir; is that correct?
12 A. But not only Serb villages, I said that there were also Roma. I
13 cannot really tell to who exactly the weapons were distributed. That
14 would be guess-work. But I know that entire neighbourhoods in the city
15 were Roma neighbourhoods and that Plaseski Put [phoen] and Urosevac
16 itself there was the Cvetko Kojlovic [phoen] Street on the road to
17 Dugaljovo [phoen], they also requested weapons. And at Bijelinski Put
18 [phoen] there were Roma at several locations who came to ask for weapons
19 because they felt threatened.
20 Q. These documents, when I speak about the RPOs, seem to be
21 referring to Serbs and Montenegrins. You were not at all be reminded
22 that it was primarily Serb and Montenegrin citizens or villagers who were
23 armed with these 60.000 weapons? You don't recall that?
24 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I don't know what the documents say, but I
25 remember this extremely well. Weapons were given to everybody who was in
1 jeopardy from the terrorists. Irrespective of their ethnicity, Serbs,
2 Montenegrins, Turks, Roma, whoever felt in jeopardy and who wanted to
3 defend their villages together. There were also Albanians and Serbs who
4 jointly guarded certain streets, yes, there were.
5 MR. STAMP: Could we look at P767.
6 Q. This is a joint command order that we looked at before. The
7 Joint Command order for routing and destroying STS forces in the area of
8 Jezerce dated the 15th of April. And if we could go immediately to item
10 A. I apologise, there's never been a joint command. You cannot put
11 it that way. I don't know of the existence of a Joint Command ever, at
12 least to my knowledge. I don't know what kind of agreements they made
13 here in the staff, but in the area of my SUP, what you are now trying to
14 put to us, you can believe me when I say that there's never been a joint
15 command. Everybody had their respective tasks.
16 Q. I wasn't asking about the Joint Command. It says Pristina Corps
17 with the reinforcements and armed non-Siptar population of Kosovo and
18 Metohija supports the MUP forces in routing and destroying the STS in the
19 area of responsibility. Who were these armed or the members of the armed
20 non-Siptar population?
21 A. I don't understand the question really.
22 Q. The order for this joint MUP VJ anti-terrorist action refers to
23 the engagement of the armed non-Siptar population of Kosovo and Metohija
24 in support of the MUP forces. I am asking who were the members of this
25 group, the armed non-Siptar population?
1 A. I don't know what kind of language they used. You have to ask
2 them. I cannot answer this question because I don't understand this. I
3 don't know what the author of this report meant. I really don't.
4 Q. I suggest to you, Mr. Mitic, that the armed persons, the armed
5 persons of Serbian and Montenegrin ethnicity or armed non-Albanians then,
6 were engaged in some of the anti-terrorist operations with the MUP and
7 the VJ during the war in 1999?
8 A. That is not correct. Most certainly it isn't. I don't know what
9 expression this officer whoever it was used. Armed non-Albanian people,
10 that is not correct. I can tell you the purpose of the reserve police
11 squads. They were under strict control to do only what they were
12 supposed to do and they were never used for any other tasks, any special
14 Q. That brings me to my last suggestion. I suggest to you that
15 insofar as many of these armed Serbs or Montenegrin persons, the members
16 of these RPOs committed crimes against the Kosovo Albanian population, it
17 was the responsibility of the police to control them and to prevent this;
18 wouldn't you agree with that at least, that the police were responsible
19 to protect the Albanians from these armed non-Albanian persons?
20 A. You see, it's the duty of the police to protect the citizens from
21 everybody, the terrorists and whoever could threaten their safety. What
22 was the purpose of these reserve police squads? Only to protect
23 themselves, no active duties, only defensive tasks to protect their
24 villages or streets. And it's impossible for anybody to have used such
25 units for anti-terrorist actions.
1 Q. Do you know -- well, I think I've asked you before and you've
3 MR. STAMP: Nothing further in cross-examination, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Stamp.
5 Mr. Djurdjic.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Re-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
8 Q. I would first like to ask you, Mr. Mitic, when there's a
9 mobilisation, specifically in times of war, what happens with military
10 conscripts and police conscripts?
11 A. When there's a war, everybody acts in accordance with their war
12 time assignment. That's where they are supposed to go.
13 Q. Thank you. Tell me, did you know whether these RPOs were active
14 after the state of war was declared in 1999?
15 A. I can only repeat that the RPOs sole purpose was to protect
16 themselves against terrorists, to protect their safety and they were not
17 involved in any anti-terrorist actions, I can claim that with full
19 Q. Thank you. Have you heard of a single case when an RPO member
20 misused this role of protecting their village and committed a criminal
22 A. No.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please see document
25 P767 on the screen.
1 Q. Witness, under item 1, what does it say?
2 A. Item 1 has the heading "enemy," the enemy.
3 Q. Thank you. And item 2?
4 A. The "task of the Pristina Corps."
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please see item 5.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Unit tasks."
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you. Do tell us, under 5.1, to who was the task assigned?
9 A. TG 252, the 2nd Armoured, I can't read the rest.
10 Q. Thank you. Whose unit is that?
11 A. It's a military unit.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see the following
14 page of the B/C/S original.
15 Q. Under 5.2, to who was this task assigned?
16 A. To the 243rd Mechanised Brigade.
17 Q. Can you tell me what kind of unit that is?
18 A. It's a military unit.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Let's go to the next page in the
21 English version.
22 Q. 5.3, can you tell us to who this task was assigned?
23 A. To the 549th Motorised Brigade -- well, it's a brigade but I
24 don't know the rest of the abbreviation.
25 Q. Thank you. What kind of unit is that?
1 A. Military unit.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please see Exhibit
4 P1055. Could now page 7 of the English version be displayed as well as
5 page 5 of the Serbian version.
6 Q. Witness, I would like to know under item 6 there is Urosevac in
7 this table about distributed weapons. Did you have a register of
8 distributed weapons, weapons distributed by the army?
9 A. No. We had separate registers.
10 Q. Could you provide this information about the weapons distributed
11 by the army?
12 A. No, probably it was the staff who provided this information.
13 Q. Thank you. In line 6 of this table, which information were you
14 in a position to give?
15 A. We were in the position to give information about the number of
16 RPOs and the number of weapons issued by the MUP as well as the quantity
17 left in our storage.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please see pages 7 --
20 or rather, page 6 of the English version and page 4 of the Serbian
22 Q. Mr. Stamp asked you to read the last but one item, or rather,
23 paragraph, about the RPO commanders having sent urgent requests to the
24 MUP and other official bodies to take the strictest measures to curb such
25 and similar negative occurrences. Now, please, tell me, in the previous
1 paragraph what is referred to?
2 A. Well, you know, there were discussions and stories of sorts that
3 some Serbs were selling their houses and leaving Urosevac. There were
4 such comments, such and similar comments.
5 Q. And was the MUP in charge of dealing with such requests as put
6 forward in this previous paragraph?
7 A. Most certainly not, but people had various queries and they
8 thought that they had to raise that, but certainly the police couldn't
9 solve their problems, not these problems.
10 Q. Thank you. And were there problems because these persons left
11 their villages, problems in defence?
12 A. Yes, there were such problems.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please now have document
16 Q. Mr. Mitic, this is a document issued by the Pristina Corps. Tell
17 me, did you know to whom these weapons were distributed?
18 A. Most probably to military conscripts.
19 Q. Well, don't say most probably, but read what it says in item 2.
20 A. Yes, yes, to military conscripts. These were persons who had
21 done their military service and who were able bodied.
22 Q. That you. Did you have anything to do with the distribution of
23 these weapons?
24 A. No, they were distributed by the army, I think.
25 Q. Did you know how many weapons were distributed and to whom?
1 A. We didn't know that because we were members of the police and
2 they were keeping their own records. If we happened to check someone, he
3 would show us the note stating that the weapon had been issued by the
4 military. That's how we knew about this.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please have P717 on
7 the screen.
8 Q. Mr. Mitic, tell me, in connection with item 1 in this dispatch,
9 what was the reason why this dispatch was sent?
10 A. To step up activities because of the upcoming Christmas and New
11 Year holidays.
12 Q. Thank you. We see that this is a rather long dispatch, did it
13 relate to almost all the lines of work existing in the MUP?
14 A. Yes, for the most part, even today such dispatches arrive just
15 ahead of the New Year and Christmas holidays.
16 Q. Will you tell us what sort of activity of the ministry is
17 referred to in this dispatch?
18 A. Preventive work, stepping up prevention, patrolling certain
19 facilities, squares, streets, and so on, so this dispatch contains
20 instructions for police work.
21 Q. Thank you. Is there anything in this dispatch concerning
22 anti-terrorist plans or activities?
23 A. I don't think so. In fact, there's always something about
24 anti-terrorist activities, yes. So, yes, because even today this is
25 mentioned because there's always a threat of terrorism anywhere.
1 Q. But what measures?
2 A. Stepping up activities, that is checking person's vehicles,
3 luggage, and so on.
4 Q. Is there anything about planned anti-terrorist activities?
5 A. As far as I can see from this dispatch, no.
6 Q. Thank you. And in connection with this part shown to you by my
7 learned friend, Mr. Stamp, where it says that in the border areas and in
8 the border belt measures should be taken in co-operation with the Army of
10 A. No. The border police was responsible to a different
12 Q. And was the border police carrying out their regular activities
13 on the border?
14 A. Exclusively.
15 Q. Thank you. I'd now like to ask you something as follows:
16 Mr. Stamp asked you about the line of reporting when the PJP unit from
17 Urosevac was engaged in anti-terrorist or other tasks. Did you ever
18 receive a report when the PJP unit, or rather, company of the Urosevac
19 SUP was engaged on PJP tasks?
20 A. No, they reported only to whoever engaged them.
21 Q. Mr. Stamp asked you whether you received reports on the return of
22 the PJP Urosevac company as to whether Albanian civilian houses have been
23 set on fire, members of the Albanian ethnic minority expelled, so I'd
24 like to know whether you ever received any report that such things were
25 done by the MUP or by the Army of Yugoslavia?
1 A. No, never.
2 Q. Thank you. Were you ever present on the ground when an
3 anti-terrorist action was being carried out during the war of 1999?
4 A. I was never present there, but when visiting the organisational
5 units, I would learn about the plan, or rather, the chief would of inform
6 narrow circle of us that an anti-terrorist action was being planned.
7 Q. Did you ever receive a plan, and did you ever have occasion to
8 see a plan for an anti-terrorist action such as the two or three orders
9 that were shown to you today?
10 A. I never saw a plan of that kind. It would be sent to the company
11 command or the commanding officers of the PJP. They would be the ones
12 who would see the plan.
13 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mitic, do you have any knowledge of any measures
14 of torture, physical maltreatment, or use of electricity and other means
15 against persons brought in for questioning?
16 A. I never received any such information nor did anyone ever
17 complain to me of that.
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Stamp put to you, I don't want to mention the
19 name, but may I say the number of the witness, Your Honour?
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. He put to you a statement made by Witness K-86. I will now read
23 out to you again page 5125, line 7 to 11:
16 MR. STAMP: Just to avoid errors, I'm wondering if we could just
17 put the passage on the screen because what was read and what was said is
18 not what I have. And I thought there was a misunderstanding early on
19 when there was an objection when I read the passage that I have. So
20 there might be a misunderstanding. If we could just put page 5126 up,
21 line 16.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm doing this for
23 the sake of interpretation. It's possible that Mr. Stamp is right, but
24 both the witness and I received interpretation into Serbian which
25 differed from what was in this line of the transcript, which is why I
1 read it out, 5126, last sentence.
2 JUDGE PARKER: You may put what is in the transcript to the
3 witness to see whether he agrees with it. Is that what you have in mind?
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, while we are waiting
5 for this to come up on the screen, this is a protected witness, so does
6 this have to be redacted from the transcript or not, even though we have
7 not mentioned his name? I understood you to say that we may remain in
8 open session.
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 JUDGE PARKER: The evidence itself was given in closed session so
11 this will need to be private.
12 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
10 JUDGE PARKER: That completes the questions for you, you will be,
11 I'm sure, pleased to know. We thank you for your attendance here and for
12 the assistance you've been able to give, and you are now free to return
13 to your normal activities. When we rise an officer of the court will
14 show you out.
15 We will now adjourn. The Chamber would thank all the staff who
16 have stayed beyond normal hour to enable this evidence to be completed.
17 We resume tomorrow morning at 9.00.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.
20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 16th of March,
21 2010, at 9.00 a.m.