1 Monday, 22 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic is continuing his questions.
9 WITNESS: VUKASIN JOKANOVIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Examination by Mr. Djurdjic: [Continued]
12 Q. Thank you, Your Honours. Good afternoon, Mr. Jokanovic.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. For the sake of the transcript could we please clarify a few
15 things. After the vote was held concerning the amendments to the Serbian
16 constitution, did the Kosovo Assembly resume its work?
17 A. There was a 20-minute break after which the Assembly continued
18 working in Chambers. An introductory address was then done by Mr. Susuri
19 who was the deputy prime minister of the Kosovo government. The Yugoslav
20 programme on the prevention of people immigrating from Kosovo and
21 returning those who had immigrated to come back was considered, as well
22 as the issue of appointments and elections. A number of judges and court
23 presidents were elected as well as prosecutors.
24 Q. Thank you. You said that after the Assembly held on the 23rd of
25 March, 1998, there was a European parliament delegation which came to
1 visit who comprised the delegation and who received it?
2 A. I received the European parliament delegation. Whether they met
3 with anyone from the official institutions in addition to meeting me,
4 that is something I don't know. I do think their intention was to visit
5 only the speaker of the Assembly. I held talks with them, they were
6 fruitful. I explained the situation in Kosovo and discussed with them
7 the provincial Assembly session in question as well as the contents of
8 the amendments that were carried a few days before that.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have P286.
11 JUDGE PARKER: While that is coming up, Mr. Djurdjic, line 19 of
12 page 1, I don't think we have the correct name of the deputy prime
13 minister of the Kosovo government.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Jokanovic, can you slowly tell us the first and last name of
16 the vice-president of the executive Chamber or council of Kosovo
18 A. It was the vice-president of the Executive Council of Kosovo
19 Hazir Susuri with two Ss. Do I need to repeat that?
20 Q. No, that's fine. Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Mr. Jokanovic, on the screen we have the transcript of a
22 statement by Mr. Rugova, which he gave, actually this is his testimony in
23 the case against Mr. Milosevic.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to the 3rd of
25 May, 2002, page 4191.
1 Q. There's no need for you to try to find what I'm looking for.
2 I'll read out to you what Mr. Rugova said in his answer. Lines 4 to 12
3 Mr. Rugova states:
4 "Yes, the Kosovo Assembly was supposed to discuss the suspension
5 of the federal status of Kosova inside the Federation and its autonomous
6 status. Great pressure was brought to bear on the deputies of the
7 parliament to vote in favour of that measure, but the public was against,
8 that is to say, the citizens and people at large. Pressure and violence
9 was used. I remember there were tanks surrounding the parliament
10 building. In the parliament building itself, there were police, secret
11 police dressed in civilian clothes. Therefore, the members had to vote
12 under pressure. Some members did vote."
13 Mr. Jokanovic, there is a number of issues contained in this
14 answer. I would like to break them down. First of all, did the Kosovo
15 Assembly discuss the suspension of the status of Kosovo within the
17 A. The Kosova Assembly did not discuss such suspension of Kosovo
18 within the Federation. It could not have because the position of the
19 province was prescribed under the SFRY constitution. These amendments
20 did not go to change the status of province within the Federation itself.
21 It is contained within the amendments themselves, amendments 9 through to
23 Q. Thank you. Were there any tanks around the parliamentary
24 building of Kosova during the session?
25 A. There were no tanks around the parliament building. There was
1 also a statement to the effect that there were armoured vehicles. There
2 were none of those either. The situation was quite calm around the
3 Assembly building. There were 180 journalists and reporters,
4 representatives and guests from all over the country. No one, however,
5 took note of that. No one published that fact. No paper in Yugoslavia
6 or in the world carried that. As for the tanks and armoured vehicles and
7 the police inside the building, this is something I heard only as late as
8 1986 when Baton Haxhiu he was a witness here, I believe, I'll recall his
9 last name later. He interviewed me for the "Koha" newspaper. He put
10 that very question to me. "Koha" translated into Serbo-Croatian means
11 time. Baton Haxhiu. I gave him that interview and I basically said
12 everything I'm telling you now.
13 Q. Thank you. Next Mr. Rugova says that there were secret police in
14 the building dressed in civilian clothes and that because of that, the
15 Assembly deputy said to vote under pressure. Were there any pressures
16 exerted, Mr. Jokanovic?
17 A. The Assembly, much as any other Assembly in the world, had its
18 security service at the entrance. No one could enter the building unless
19 they were invited or working in the building, or if they had not been
20 accredited as journalists. As for any secret police, that's something
21 I'm not aware of. I would have known had there been any. Any deputy or
22 at least one of the them would have mentioned that for sure. They were
23 not in the Assembly building.
24 Q. Thank you. On the same page, lines 14 to 16, Mr. Rugova states:
25 "I remember ten members voting against it. Then these members
1 were sentenced, punished somewhere, sent to prison somewhere."
2 Mr. Jokanovic, was anyone sentenced because of voting against the
3 changes out of the representatives there and deputies?
4 A. The members of the Assembly as in any other Assembly enjoy
5 immunity. They cannot be prosecuted unless their immunity is revoked by
6 the Assembly itself. So the delegates who voted against could not have
7 been arrested or prosecuted in any way.
8 Q. Thank you. You said that at a later point there were also some
9 amendments carried concerning the provincial constitution. When did that
10 take place?
11 A. In mid-1989, say in June or July. I can't recall exactly. This
12 happened based on the amendments to the Serbian constitution. Before
13 that, there had also been amendment made to the federal constitution.
14 Those amendments had to do with certain economic issues as well as issues
15 of self-governing of associated labour, as we called it at the time. It
16 was necessary to carry out this harmonisation exercise between the Kosovo
17 constitution with the constitutions of Serbia and the federal
19 So during the session in June or July, those amendments were
20 carried to the Kosovo constitution. I explained the gist of those
21 constitutions after which there was a vote. They were carried
22 unanimously. There were no issues surrounding the whole thing because
23 the provincial status was preserved within the Federation, i.e., that the
24 province was a constituent part of Serbia
25 been the bedrock of the constitutions -- of the constitution of the 1989.
1 Q. During the session in June, were there any delegates against the
2 amendments made to the Serbian constitution which took place in March?
3 A. I cannot recall them individually, but the Assembly comprised the
4 same members. I can't tell you exactly who was present because it's been
5 a long time, and I couldn't definitely recall every person's name. I
6 presume they were there although some of them may have been absent. In
7 any case, there was sufficient two-third majority at the Assembly which
8 were in favour of the amendments to the constitution of Kosovo.
9 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, until which time the provincial
10 Assembly worked in that composition?
11 A. The Assembly worked in that composition until December. In
12 December new elections were scheduled in Kosovo and in the Republic of
14 response of the voters was quite large. The deputies were elected for
15 the new Assembly in those elections as well as the members of the Serbian
16 Assembly following which all organs and all bodies was established both
17 in the province and in the Federation which is to say that Djordje
18 Bozovic was elected speaker of the Kosovo Assembly. Kamdonce [phoen],
19 was president of the Presidency, and other officials were appointed to
20 various offices, to the crisis council and so on. All other organs were
21 established within the province.
22 Q. Can you just tell us in which year these elections were held?
23 A. In December of 1989.
24 Q. Do you remember what the political situation was like in the SFRY
25 after those general elections and throughout 1990?
1 A. In 1990 the political situation in Yugoslavia was quite
2 unfavourable. The relations deteriorated and the situation was quite
3 unfavourable in view of the prospective and the survival of Yugoslavia
4 I don't remember exactly the date, but during that period of time, from
5 the central committee of the legal communists of Yugoslavia, the
6 delegates of Slovenia
7 the delegates from Croatia
8 communists was significantly weakened, and this heralded the
9 disintegration of Yugoslavia
10 that preserved the unity of Yugoslavia
11 element at preserving the unity of Yugoslavia was the League of
12 Communists of Yugoslavia
13 started disintegrating, this heralded the falling apart of Yugoslavia
14 which in its turn caused the situation in the entire country to be very
15 unfavourable and difficult.
16 Q. Thank you. Following those elections, who was the president of
17 the Presidency of Kosovo and also who was the president -- chairman of
18 the League of Communists in Kosovo?
19 A. In that year it was Rrahman Morina who was the chairman of the
20 League of Communists. Prior to him it was Azem Vllasi.
21 Q. What about the president of the Executive Council which was the
23 A. The president of the Executive Council in the previous
24 composition was Nazim Mustafa and after that --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the name.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. How did the events in SFRY that you just described effect the
3 situation in Kosovo and Metohija?
4 A. The events in Yugoslavia
5 the League of Communists as the element that kept the country together
6 directly affected the situation in Kosovo since it became evident that
7 the disintegration of Yugoslavia
8 being prepared in Slovenia
9 on in Kosovo the political parties that were established, the democratic
11 and also those that were not registered, all of them started working
12 quite actively. They saw their chance in the disintegration of
14 separating Kosovo from Serbia
15 the conduct and the event of people in Slovenia and later on in Croatia
16 But to make it clear, unlike Slovenia and to some extent Croatia
17 there was a major constitutional hindrance that prevented Kosovo from
18 becoming independent. Kosovo was not a republic, and Albanians,
19 according to the constitution, were not a nation but a nationality.
20 Whereas the constitution of Yugoslavia
21 cessation only to the republics and only to nations, and this province
22 did not have that right under the constitution.
23 This is why a separatist activity was being conducted in Kosovo
24 which grew into a separatist nationalist movement aimed at giving an
25 identical status to Kosovo even if it was unconstitutional but granting
1 it the status of a republic so that they could use it in order to achieve
2 their goal.
3 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us how did the events in Kosovo and
4 Metohija unfold following that, according to what you know?
5 A. In mid-1990 this newly elected Assembly due to all of these
6 events in Yugoslavia
8 could tell you about the problems that I was most familiar with, and
9 those were problems in the provincial Assembly. It was head by Bosa
10 Djordjevic, and the Assembly had major difficulties in work, the work
11 could not transpire in a normal atmosphere. Rather there were frequent
12 chaotic situations, people pushing each other away from the speaking
13 podium and having major conflicts in the work -- in the session of the
14 Assembly among the delegates. Something that a president of the Assembly
15 Djordje Bozovic frequently mentioned was that Albanian delegates wanted
16 to read the declaration on independence of Kosovo at the Assembly session
17 and then suspended work of the session. Djordje Bozovic and other
18 delegates disagreed with that, and the work of the Assembly was
19 discontinued because it couldn't continue normally, and it couldn't
20 continue in a normal atmosphere where delegates would take the floor in a
21 normal procedure.
22 Q. After the work of the Assembly was disrupted, what happened
23 afterwards --
24 MR. STAMP: I'm not objecting, and I have no problems with the
25 witness answering the question. It's just that the witness in the
1 introductory part of his testimony yesterday indicated that he had been
2 elected to a position outside of Kosovo by the latter part of 1989. So,
3 therefore, in 1990 and thereafter he would be involved in work outside of
4 Kosovo. Not that the evidence is not admissible, but the usual practice
5 is that if it is going to be hearsay, he should at least give the basis
6 for his information, the basis for the evidence that he is giving.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, I think you followed that.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can you hear me? I think that the
9 witness is about to lay the foundation as to where he gained the
10 knowledge about what had happened there.
11 JUDGE PARKER: It's not a matter of thinking. You should ensure
12 that he first has done so. If you could achieve that, thank you.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I were to give an
14 explanation, then I would be testifying, and we have a witness here in
15 the witness box so this is why I would like --
16 JUDGE PARKER: Your questions must lay the foundation and then
17 the relevant evidence.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, in mid-1990 what office did you hold?
20 A. I was in Belgrade
22 Q. Thank you. As deputy president of the Assembly of Serbia, did
23 you have contact with the president of the Kosovo Assembly and with the
24 delegates in the Kosovo Assembly, and if so, describe those contacts to
1 A. I mostly was in contact with the president of the Kosovo
2 Assembly, Djordje Bozovic. I had official contacts with him via
3 telephone and in personal contact, and I also had contacts with other
4 delegates on various occasions, but mostly with the president, Djordje
5 Bozovic. Since I was from Kosovo, when it came to any major problems and
6 issues, they would inform me. He, Djordje Bozovic, would inform the
7 president of the Serbian Assembly but also me. And then the president of
8 the Serbian Assembly given the fact that I was from Kosovo would also
9 inform me about what he had learned from Djordje Bozovic and about the
10 work of the Kosovo Assembly. So the prosecutor is quite right, I was
11 indeed in Belgrade
12 the source of the information I received was the president of the Kosovo
13 Assembly and also on some occasions president of the Serbian Assembly.
14 Q. Did you attend any meetings where president of the Kosovo
15 Assembly was also present in mid-1990 and if so, what happened at that
17 A. Yes. Djordje Bozovic, president of the Kosovo Assembly, came to
19 Assembly, a meeting with the president of the Serbian Assembly and other
20 political leaders in Serbia
21 proposals as to what needs to be done. A meeting was held in Belgrade
22 I was asked to attend that meeting by the then-president of the Serbian
23 Assembly Zoran Sokolovic, and I did come to that meeting as did other
24 officials of Serbia
25 informed us that they were unable to continue working normally, that the
1 Assembly was faced with a situation where any normal work was no longer
2 possible and they didn't want to continue with their Assembly session in
3 Pristina. They didn't want to go back to Pristina. After long talks and
4 efforts to convince them, delegates did return to Pristina and continued
5 the work of the provincial Assembly, but it didn't last for a long time.
6 Once they resumed their work, they worked only briefly because Dr.
7 Stanoje Dogandzic, a university professor, took the floor and on behalf
8 of some delegates, he spoke saying that the Assembly did not have the
9 necessary conditions for normal work, and he asked the president of the
10 Assembly to officially address the authorities so that the Assembly
11 discontinued its work. There were some commotion, from what I could
12 understand, and once again the Assembly was suspended. And then a
13 request was sent to the Serbian Assembly to temporarily dismiss the
14 Assembly of Kosovo.
15 Q. And how did the Serbian Assembly react to this proposal?
16 A. The Assembly scheduled sessions of all three Chambers and adopted
17 the law on dissolving the provincial Assembly which said that until the
18 new Assembly was re-established, the republic Assembly would continue the
19 work of the provincial Assembly.
20 Q. And what was the reaction of the Albanian delegates in the Kosovo
21 Assembly after the Assembly was dissolved?
22 A. Given the information that Djordje Bozovic had and that he
23 conveyed to me, and given that there was an effort to read the
24 declaration at the session of the Assembly, when the Assembly was
25 dissolved, a number of delegates assembled in front of the Assembly
1 building. One of those who was present came from the circle of public
2 figures and renowned figures. I think he was from the provincial
3 theatre, and he read the declaration according to which Kosovo was
4 independent and Kosovo was declared to be a state. There was a TV crew
5 that recorded that and the reading of that declaration took place right
6 next to the building of the provincial Assembly.
7 Q. According to your knowledge, when did this take place, this
8 reading of the declaration in front of the provincial Assembly building?
9 A. That was in 1990 when Yugoslavia
10 tensions escalated, when the work of the Assembly of the province became
11 quite difficult, and when other organs could no longer function.
12 Q. Thank you. Do you remember the month when that took place?
13 A. I remember that it was either in June or July.
14 Q. Which year?
15 A. 1990.
16 Q. What about the session when the amendments to the constitution of
17 the Republic of Serbia
18 A. On the 23rd of March, 1989, which is to say, some 18 months prior
19 to that.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Jokanovic, what was the nature of your
21 relationship with the Albanians that you worked and lived with in Kosovo
22 and Metohija?
23 A. I was born in Kosovo. I completed my elementary and secondary
24 school in Kosovo. For most of my work life I worked in Kosovo until the
25 year 1990, so my relation with the Albanians, the Turks, and members of
1 other nationalities and obviously with the Serbs, were very good. They
2 did not only involve our common work, are our common political activity
3 but also we used to spend time socially, privately, and we would visit
4 one another's homes. We celebrated together different weddings and other
5 festivities, so generally speaking, I had very good relations with
6 Albanians. I had many friends who were Albanians and Turks. I also have
7 such friends today. Unfortunately some of those Albanian friends are my
8 former friends, I certainly hope they will be my future friends as well.
9 Some of them are also coming to see me in Belgrade, we visit regularly
10 and we discuss the current issues in Kosovo.
11 Q. Mr. Jokanovic, you told us that you were from the village of
12 Grmovo. Could you tell us in your village what was the ethnic
13 composition of the population there?
14 A. I was born in Gornje Slatina because my father who was a teacher
15 at the time worked in that village, and his native village and my native
16 village was Grmovo was the adjacent village to Gornje Slatina. So in
17 Grmovo, I had a family house, and this is the village that I considered
18 to be my home village.
19 You asked me about the ethnic composition of Grmovo. In my
20 village of Grmovo the ethnic composition changed as it did everywhere
21 else in Kosovo, so in 1960s there were more than 70 houses that belonged
22 to Serbs and Montenegrins, and some 15 that belonged to Albanians. Later
23 on, the number of houses as well as the population was reduced, and
24 before the NATO bombing, we had some 30 plus Montenegrin and Serbian
25 houses and over 100 Albanian houses. Out of the population of some 550
1 or 600, who were Serbs, that number was reduced to approximately 150. So
2 the ethnic composition changed, the Albanians are nowadays a majority,
3 and the number of Albanian households also forms a majority.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you still have a family house in your home
6 A. In Kosovo and in my home village, I still have some property, but
7 the house that I used to have there, after I first came were first of all
8 destroyed and later on burnt down, so no Serbian or Roma house remained
9 there. The church was also mined and the graveyard was desecrated. My
10 house in Grmovo there was an attempt by some Albanian neighbours to
11 prevent the burning of my house. However, they were unable to do that,
12 and they could not resist armed people who came there, so I later on
13 received some pictures of my house that were sent to me by a friend of
14 mine, an Albanian, immediately after it was pulled down. So I still have
15 some property in Kosovo. I have some land that I inherited, but I still
16 cannot do anything with that land as its rightful owner due to the
17 problems in Kosovo.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see the document
21 Q. Mr. Jokanovic, could you please tell me what is it that you can
22 see on these three pictures that are on the screen right now?
23 A. Well, the first photo is a small house in a village built in a
24 typical style of that village and this is what it used look like, and the
25 remaining pictures are what you could see after KFOR came to Kosovo. So
1 I remained without my home house, without my place of birth, which
2 obviously has spiritual repercussions for any person.
3 Q. Another thing, what is the ethnic composition of the population
4 of your village of Grmovo
5 A. Unfortunately in my village of Grmovo
6 either Serbian, Roma, or any other nationality there nowadays. The
7 houses that were destroyed are still destroyed. As you can see on these
8 pictures, and they haven't been repaired, and I would like my house to be
9 repaired that I hope that the last years of my life I will be able to
10 spend there again.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Jokanovic, for
12 your testimony. Your Honours, with this I have completed my questions.
13 Could we just please tender these pictures into evidence?
14 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00909.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic. Mr. Stamp is
17 is getting organised. When you are ready, Mr. Stamp.
18 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours, and good afternoon.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
20 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Jokanovic.
21 A. Good afternoon.
22 Q. Can you recall saying at any time that the 1974 constitution of
23 the SFRY constituted a grave injustice to the Serbian people?
24 A. Yes, I can recall the statements of that time. Many people were
25 saying that in Serbia
1 documents which pointed to this fact. I spoke about a Blue Book when I
2 was asked by the counsel. I also mentioned other discussions, and the
3 conclusions of the highest bodies of the Yugoslav League of Communists
4 also talked about an inadequate position of Serbia in comparison to other
6 What I didn't say was that some of the university teachers and
7 intellectuals were politically persecuted, and Professor Djuric was
8 imprisoned for one year because he resisted that constitution which put
11 Q. It was your view, was it not, that it gave Kosovo too much
12 autonomy and it left the Serbs living in Kosovo vulnerable to
13 discrimination by a government of Kosovo that was dominated by Albanians?
14 A. As a public personality, as a politician, I gave a number of
15 statements and I gave certainly statements to that effect. And they were
16 truthful. And the position of Kosovo pursuant to the 1974 constitution
17 nearly put Kosovo at the same level as republics, and Serbia was divided
18 in three parts. So this was that unfavourable position which furthermore
19 influenced the position of Serbs and Montenegrins who then started to
20 move out from Kosovo. So maybe I didn't use those same words, but I made
21 statements to the same effect.
22 Q. And you were shown a document.
23 MR. STAMP: Could we bring it up again, it's D905.
24 Q. It's a conclusion of the SFRY Assembly on the 3rd of March, 1989
25 This was a conclusion, is that it? Yes. Now, in accordance with these
1 conclusions, did the federal authority, that is the SFRY authorities,
2 assume responsibility for police security within Kosovo as a part of
3 special measures to be implemented for Kosovo?
4 A. All the different bodies in the Federation at the level of the
5 republic and at the level of the province, so in line with these
6 conclusions they are different tasks for the organs of the republic and
7 organs of the province. They are all stipulated clearly item by item,
8 obviously we can read them all out, and particular items are very
9 significant in view of the minor strike that we had prior to this. So
10 the federal Assembly stated that it was inadmissible for the functioners
11 to be replaced or dismissed away from the institutions of the system.
12 Also it calls for criminal responsibility of persons who committed such
13 acts and so on and so on. In line with these conclusions, the federal
14 executive committee also passed a number of conclusions whereby they
15 wanted to put these conclusions into practice, and prior to these
16 conclusions, there was a decision of the Presidency of the Socialist
17 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to introduce special measures.
18 Q. Right. And among the special measures introduced was that the
19 SFRY authorities would assume responsibility for police security within
20 Kosovo. Do you recall that?
21 A. If possible, if you could assist me with this. I would like to
22 know which particular item of the conclusions you are pointing to.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I can only tell you that this is
25 number 5 in your binder and maybe Mr. Stamp can help you with this.
1 MR. STAMP:
2 Q. I'm not pointing you to a particular provision in those
3 conclusions. I'm asking, I'm suggesting that the conclusions taken as a
4 whole resulted in the federal SFRY authorities assuming control of the
5 security situation in Kosovo. Is that your memory?
6 A. No, I can't recall that they didn't fully assume the authority
7 for the security in the territory of Kosovo
8 Kosovo there were the relevant bodies there. There was the Executive
9 Council and also there were police units there, so there were also
10 security organs there, so they carried out their responsibilities
11 pursuant to the constitution and the law. And those also listed in the
12 items of these conclusions. And you could not act outside of what was
13 stipulated in these conclusions.
14 Q. Did the special circumstances and special measures discussed in
15 those conclusions, were these eventually set out in decisions of the
16 Serbian authorities? Or perhaps I could show you the decisions.
17 MR. STAMP: Could we look at P71 quickly.
18 Q. This is the 26th of June 1990. Do you recall this decision?
19 A. This was a decision, I can't read this very clearly, decision on
20 special circumstances in the territory of the autonomous province of
21 Kosovo. Yes, this decision was probably made in line with the previous
22 conclusions, and indeed Zoran Sokolovic was president of the Assembly at
23 the time and the presidents of the chambers listed down here were indeed
24 presidents of the chambers at the time. And indeed we did have special
25 circumstances at the time, which was the result of the decision made by
1 the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic
2 MR. STAMP: And if we could look at P496. We have to go to page
3 2 for the translation. That's page 2 of the document on the right.
4 Thank you.
5 Q. Can you just tell us firstly from your copy what is the date of
6 this law?
7 A. I can't see the date. It was in June. I believe it might have
8 been 30th. I think it was June the 30th. No, no, it's not the 26th or
9 the 28th. I'm not sure. The 26th it seems. June 1990.
10 Q. Now, do you recall the previous decision, and this law had the
11 effect of enabling the SFRY authorities to take control of the security
12 responsibilities in Kosovo.
13 A. This law is related to the previous decision by which it was
14 established that special circumstances were in place. Based on that
15 Assembly decision, this law was promulgated on how the authorities were
16 to act under such circumstances. However, this is a republican law
17 speaking of the republican organs, bodies in Serbia. It is based on
18 these conclusions and special circumstance that the provincial organs
19 also pronounced their own measures arising from the conclusions of the
20 federal Assembly during the period of time when they were operational.
21 The conclusions were dated the 3rd of March, 1989.
22 Q. Right. And I just show you these documents hoping that you may
23 remember, if you do, that part of a special measures involved the
24 take-over of the security apparatus in Kosovo by the SFRY authorities and
25 the Serbian authorities.
1 A. One can speak of the bodies of the Federation and Serbia as
2 taking over responsibility for the situation in Kosovo after mid-1990
3 when the process of disintegration of Yugoslavia began and when the
4 separatist movement in Kosovo began changing into a national movement.
5 There was an attempt made to paralyse the entire system including
6 education, health care, economy as a whole, by people leaving their jobs,
7 deserting properties and because of the worsening inter-ethnic relations,
8 which was the reason for the introduction of special interim measures
9 which came about at a later point.
10 Q. Yes, and when you speak just now of bodies of the Federation of
12 mid-1990, the responsibilities included the responsibilities for the
13 security organs in Kosovo. Is that so?
14 A. The security organs in Kosovo pursuant to these conclusions had
15 their own remit and the Executive Council pronounced a number of measures
16 based on the conclusions of the 3rd of March. That responsibility
17 existed for the provincial bodies until the period when they ceased to
18 exist or function when the Assembly was dissolved as well as a number of
19 other bodies.
20 Q. Very well. If I could just take you back to some aspects of your
21 evidence earlier. You were giving us or telling us the circumstances in
22 which the Kosovo parliament or Assembly was dissolved. Do you recall
23 that on the 2nd of July, 1990, members of the Kosovo Assembly were
24 prevented from entering the Assembly building?
25 A. The Assembly ceased its work before that. I think Mr. Bozovic
1 pronounced that. And the continuation of the Assembly work was expected.
2 I presume this was in that interim period when the delegates could not
3 sit without the speaker. That is why we had the occasion when the
4 declaration was read out in front of the Assembly building.
5 Q. But the declaration --
6 MR. STAMP: Okay. Let's look at 65 ter 00904.
7 Q. Was the declaration read out before, two days before the Kosovo
8 Albanian parliament or Assembly was dissolved? This is the
9 constitutional declaration of Kosovo as an independent unit of the
10 Yugoslav Federation of the 3rd of July, 1990. Can you read the document
11 on your screen?
12 A. Yes, I can read it. Could we please zoom in though. Could you
13 please put your question now but precisely. What is your question about
14 this declaration?
15 Q. If we zoom out to the top where we could see the date. Firstly,
16 was the declaration of independence that was read out, was that on or
17 about the 3rd of July, 1990?
18 A. It's been a lot of time but it is likely that it was read out
19 then. As for what was published in the "Official Gazette" and concerning
20 what the presiding of the session is reported as having said, this was an
21 illegal act. The printing of this issue was an illegal act without the
22 knowledge of the federal organs. The Assembly still had its president,
23 deputy president, and Executive Council. This declaration was read out
24 in front of the building signed by the president or the speaker and
25 signed by the delegates in attendance which is highly unusual. This does
1 not have the characteristics of an official state document. This was
2 merely a manifestation of that movement which wanted to grow to become a
3 national movement in order to create all the necessary preconditions
4 which would eventually result in their right to cessation coming about.
5 Q. Yes. And it was read out on the steps of parliament because they
6 were locked out of parliament?
7 A. The Assembly is presided over by the speaker. If there's only
8 one Chamber, then there's one speaker only. When the Assembly is not in
9 session, the delegates are not in the building. As far as I know, the
10 speaker would not have allowed them to enter and read out a declaration
11 such as this one which is is unconstitutional declaring a state.
12 Q. Very well. And thereafter the Serbian Assembly formally
13 suspended the Kosovo Assembly?
14 MR. STAMP: If we could look at that. P1497 [Realtime transcript
15 read in error "497"]. Could we tender the declaration which is before
16 the Court.
17 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01583.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I think the exhibit number should be 01583.
20 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, that is correct. Thank you very
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it seems to me that
24 the number of this exhibit was entered incorrectly. It should have been
25 1497 as previously stated by the Prosecution, whereas here I see 49. I
1 would kindly ask Mr. Stamp to tell us what the correct number is.
2 MR. STAMP: P1497.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 Q. Can you make out this? This is a law dissolving the Kosovo
6 A. This was the 5th of July. Yes, the law on the dissolving of the
7 Assembly. I think I've already provided a number of answers to some of
8 the previous questions put by counsel concerning the date.
9 Q. Yes, you have. Just one question on this, do you you recall now
10 that the sequence of events was that Kosovo Albanian Assembly men or
11 Assembly members were locked out of the Assembly, then they read their
12 declaration of independence, which you say is illegal, we accept that's
13 your view of it, and then the Serbian Assembly officially dissolved the
14 Kosovo Assembly? Is that the sequence of how things occur?
15 A. Regarding the sequence and the dates in question, this jogs my
16 memory. You are correct. First there were problems in the Kosovo
17 Assembly and the Assembly could no longer resume its work normally
18 because there had been attempts to read out the declaration inside the
19 building during the session, but the other delegates would not have it.
20 There was some discussion and arguments among the delegates, and the
21 speaker called the session off. That's why the group of delegates in
22 favour, probably on the next day, read it out at the entrance of the
23 Kosovo Assembly building. What follows is Bozovic and the group of
24 delegates going to Belgrade
25 that the Assembly could no longer sit, and it was dissolved. The
1 Republic of Serbia
2 defend its territorial integrity in sovereignty by virture of these
3 measures and would not have parts of its territory carved out illegally.
4 Q. Thank you. Just could you assist us with the translation of
5 Article 2 of this law on the termination by reading it out fully for us.
6 Just read it slowly so we could get a translation for the record.
7 A. I hope you can hear me well. Article 2:
8 "The rights and duties of the Assembly of the SAP Kosovo are
9 being taken over by the Assembly of the SR Serbia and the Executive
10 Council of the Assembly of the SAP Kosovo. The Executive Council of the
11 Assembly of the SR Serbia until such time that a new Assembly of the SAP
12 Kosovo and Executive Council are formed."
13 This is Article 2 adopted by the Serbian Assembly in June.
14 Article 3 --
15 Q. No, no, that's fine.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: July 1990.
17 MR. STAMP:
18 Q. You mentioned also that this declaration of independence was
19 declared invalid.
20 MR. STAMP: Could we look at another document. 01870 is the 65
21 ter number. Could we go to page 2 of the English. I believe, Your
22 Honours, we should remove page 1 from the record. That relates to the
24 JUDGE PARKER: Are you moving that that should occur?
25 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honours. Well, it's not yet in evidence,
1 but in due course I think the proper thing would be to remove the first
3 JUDGE PARKER: Well, yes.
4 MR. STAMP: And if we could --
5 Q. This is a decision on the constitutional declaration of the
6 independence of Kosovo. If you look at item 1 we'll see what the
7 constitutional court of Serbia
8 on to the decision on page 4. 4 in English and it's the last page in the
10 Q. The decision was to quash the declaration. Yes, is that the
11 decision that you spoke of earlier?
12 A. This is the decision of the constitutional court of Yugoslavia,
13 not of Serbia
14 Q. I'm sorry.
15 A. Because this decision was put on the agenda by the constitutional
16 court of Yugoslavia
17 unconstitutional. This declaration was unconstitutional because the
18 right to secession and self-determination was given only to republics and
19 nations, not to provinces and nationalities. So basically the court
20 confirmed what I said here and thereby the decision of the constitutional
21 court declared this other declaration to be unconstitutional.
22 When one reads it, one can see that in its form and in its
23 content, it is not a legally valid document. It was a decision to voice
24 their desires and goals. That's what that document was, it wasn't
25 something based on the constitution.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Everything is fine. The page in
3 English is the correct one, but the page in Serbian does not correspond
4 to the English one. But now give than the witness has said what he has
5 said, the document itself doesn't matter. We should be showing the left
6 side of the document, not the right side. It's good now. Could you now
7 scroll up. This is something else. This is something concerning the
8 Criminal Code. Yes, this is what we want to see.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] President of the constitutional
10 court Milovan Buzadzic, yes, he was the president of the constitutional
11 court of Yugoslavia
12 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. Could this document also be
13 receive in evidence without this first page.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Without the first page. It will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01584.
16 MR. STAMP:
17 Q. If we could turn now, Mr. Jokanovic, to discuss briefly those
18 amendments of the March 1989. I think it was the 29th of March, 1989
19 Prior those amendments, Kosovo Assembly had the power to veto
20 constitutional change that the Serbian Assembly might propose. Is that
21 your understanding of the situation?
22 A. Yes. I understand. In that period of time, the Republic of
24 which was to create constitutions because the Assembly of Kosovo could
25 have vetoed any amendment of the constitution of Serbia.
1 Q. And that was one of the main grievances that many people had in
2 respect to the 1974 constitution, the 1974 SFRY constitution?
3 A. This was one of the main complaints, but not the only one by no
4 means. There were others. Other complaints concerning the defence
5 system, state security, and typical functions of a state which any state
6 in the world needs to have. The Republic of Serbia
7 did not have some of those standard state functions.
8 MR. STAMP: Could we look at P6. Document P6. The constitution
9 of the Republic of Serbia
10 Q. Now, is it true, Mr. Jokanovic, that as a result of this
11 amendment, an amendment that took away the right of the Kosovo Albanian
12 Assembly to veto constitutional changes or changes with Serbian
13 constitution, this constitutional amendment or this constitution was
14 passed in September 1990?
15 A. On the 23rd of March, 1999 is when the constitutional amendments
16 were adopted, and when it comes to amending the constitution, it involves
17 a very complicated procedure. As for the constitution in 1990, it was a
18 completely new constitution which introduced a multi-party system, which
19 was a new democratic system that represented a discontinuation from the
20 old communist regime. So they introduced a multi-party system and they
21 also adopted various solutions in accordance with European standards and
22 solutions that exist in some other European constitutions. This
23 constitution is -- something is a cross between the French and the German
25 Q. Yes. When this new constitution of 1990 was promulgated, could
1 the Kosovo Albanian Assembly veto it?
2 A. No, the Kosovo Assembly nor the Vojvodina Assembly could have
3 vetoed it.
4 Q. They had lost that power as a result of the amendments in 1989?
5 Is that so?
6 A. They lost the right to veto. The Republic of Serbia
7 could create its own constitution and a new complex procedure was
8 established aimed at trying to find a harmonised solution, and if that
9 did not succeed within a period of six months, then they could schedule a
10 referendum, so they chose a solution whereby a referendum would replace a
12 Q. Did they -- my next question, Mr. Jokanovic, is did the 1990
13 constitution further restrict the limited autonomy that was being
14 exercised by the -- exercised by the Kosovo Albanians, but I see it's
15 time for the break, so I will ask that question again when we resume.
16 Your Honours, I wonder if it's a convenient time.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, we'll have the first break now and
18 resume at a quarter past 4.00.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic. You looked as though you were
24 coming to your feet, I thought you had another point. Mr. Stamp,
25 Mr. Djurdjic was wanting to upstage you once again.
1 MR. STAMP: I realise it couldn't be a matter of you mistaking me
2 for him, must have been otherwise. Thank you very much, Your Honours,
3 I'll proceed.
4 Q. Mr. Jokanovic, this is the constitution of Serbia, the Republic
5 of Serbia
6 Article 73, which is the general provisions with regard to the powers of
7 the Serbian National Assembly. It will come up on the screen. I'm not
8 sure if there's one in your binder.
9 Mr. Jokanovic, it's being shown on the screen, on the screen in
10 front of you. Article 73.
11 A. Yes. 73.
12 Q. The general overarching powers of the national Assembly are set
13 out there. You recall particularly articles 1 and 2 -- items 1 and 2 of
14 that article? It had the power to decide on the constitution and to
15 adopt laws and other regulations and general enactments.
16 MR. STAMP: And if we could move to Article 109 in respect to the
17 powers of the Kosovo and Metohija autonomous province.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can this be enlarged, please.
19 MR. STAMP:
20 Q. Can you make it out now.
21 A. If you could please zoom in, I have a hard time seeing. These
22 are the powers of the autonomous province which is to say that this
23 constitution maintains the old system, mainly where Serbia has two
24 province, Kosovo and Vojvodina. In Article 109 establishes the powers of
25 autonomous provinces.
1 Q. If you look at item 4.
2 A. This item speaks of implementation of laws, other regulations,
3 and general enactments of the Republic of Serbia
4 has been entrusted to the organs of autonomous province and it also
5 adopts regulations on implementation of this legislation whenever
6 specified so by law, which means that the law needs to be checked to see
7 when it is that the organs are to implement laws in the territory of the
8 entire republic and the province. This means that based on this article,
9 they were to adopt a law specifying when the situations in which republic
10 organs are to implement the laws in the territory of the entire republic
11 including the province.
12 Q. And if you look at Article 110. It's right there in the English.
13 A. As I have said in my examination-in-chief, the status of the
14 province changed over time so that from 1945 until 1963, the highest
15 legal act was the statute and then they had the constitutional law and
16 then the constitution. In 1974 they were granted the constitution.
17 This new constitution introducing multi-party system, this new
18 democratic constitution envisages once again that the highest enactment
19 within the province is once again the statute.
20 Q. And in all of these provisions, the statute-making powers of the
21 Kosovo Albanian is made subject to the authority of the Assembly of the
22 Republic of Serbia
23 A. Which article do you have in mind?
24 Q. You see Article 10 there --
25 JUDGE PARKER: You mean 110?
1 MR. STAMP: 110, thank you very much, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: And do you mean the second paragraph?
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. And the second paragraph thereof, which is at the top of the
6 A. The highest legal enactment is this statute adopted by the
7 autonomous province and its Assembly based on the prior approval of the
8 national Assembly, they are referring to the National Assembly of Serbia,
9 which is to say that the National Assembly of Serbia needs to give its
11 Q. Is it correct that the effect of these provisions that I've just
12 shown you was to restrict or limit the authority of the Kosovo Assembly
13 which it had previously processed before the amendment of 1989?
14 A. One could say that the entire system was changed. Prior to this
15 we had a socialist system based on self-management and delegate system,
16 whereas now we had something similar to the system elsewhere in Europe
17 in other European countries. So if you look at the constitution from
18 1974 and this constitution, this put provinces in a different position.
19 Pursuant to this constitution, the province had the so-called territorial
21 Q. Indeed, but what I'm asking you is this, isn't the effect of
22 these provisions, the two provisions that I showed you, isn't it one of
23 limiting the authority which is the Kosovo Assembly previously possessed?
24 A. In this entirely new system and in these entirely new
25 circumstances, in this new multi-party political system, if we were to
1 compare this to the previous socialist system, then, yes, the province
2 now had an entirely different status, and it was a restricted status.
3 MR. STAMP: And if we go to Articles 125, and I'm just interested
4 in item 1, if we could look quickly at that.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we could please enlarge this.
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. Here we can see what was the authority of the constitutional
8 court of Serbia
9 shall rule on conformity of law then statutes of autonomous provinces,
10 other regulations and general enactments with the constitution."
11 MR. STAMP: And if we could look at Article 30 [sic] now and then
12 I'll ask the question. Sorry, 130, Article 130. Quite correct.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you like me to comment on
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. Well, perhaps you could, please, before the question.
17 A. So here we can see what is the jurisdiction of the constitutional
18 court of Serbia
19 about the laws of the republic or statute of autonomous provinces, were
20 in line with the constitution of the Republic of Serbia
21 the statute of an autonomous province, if it was contrary to the Serbian
22 constitution and if this was thus established by the constitutional
23 court, then probably the constitutional court would determine that the
24 particular provision of this statute was unlawful or unconstitutional.
25 Q. Now, prior to this constitution being promulgated in 1990, did
1 the constitutional court of Serbia have the authority to decide upon the
2 laws, the constitutional -- well, the laws of the autonomous provinces,
3 in particular Kosovo and Metohija?
4 A. Once again, I will repeat that this was an entirely new social
5 and political system, and it is rather difficult to compare this new
6 multi-party system with the system as we had it after 1974. But if we
7 were to compare it, then this could not be done pursuant to the 1974
8 constitution because at that time provinces had their own constitutional
9 courts, so they had nearly all the authorities of the republics.
10 Q. And, as a matter of fact, by December 1990 the Serbian Assembly
11 effectively abolished the Kosovo constitutional court?
12 MR. STAMP: If we could move to P20.
13 Q. Do you recall that, Mr. Jokanovic? That the Serbian Assembly
14 after passing this constitution giving them the power to adjudicate over
15 the constitutional, over the laws of Kosovo and Metohija, they eventually
16 abolished the constitutional court of Kosovo and Metohija?
17 A. Now, in this new constitutional and political system of Serbia
18 there could not have been a constitutional court of Kosovo and Metohija
19 because the constitutional court is established at the level of a state,
20 and now this province, Kosovo and Metohija, had a status of a territorial
21 autonomy, and as such it could not have a constitutional court. Whereas
22 in line with the 1974 constitution, it did have a constitutional court.
23 Q. Right. And you recall that this decree before you, this is a
24 decision relieving of duty the Judges of the Kosovo constitutional court,
25 that was in December 1990?
1 A. Well, given the provision that I just commented on a short while
2 ago, this decision was made also to relieve of duty the judges of the
3 constitutional court which existed according to the previous system and
4 which now did not exist anymore, so this was a decision on relieving the
5 Judges of the constitutional court of Kosovo of their duties.
6 Q. Very well. You testified earlier, Mr. Jokanovic, that when there
7 was discussions on the proposed constitutional amendments in 1989, there
8 was a significant amount of resistance by the Kosovo Albanians to these
9 proposals. There were political protests, demonstrations, strikes.
10 Would I be correct in saying that at that time in 1989, these proposed
11 amendments were not popular with the Kosovo Albanian population in
13 A. In 1989, the situation was somewhat different because in 1989
14 there was still a wish to keep Yugoslavia
15 province within the Republic of Serbia
16 was at the time was such that a majority of Albanians was also in favour
17 of it and therefore they voted for the amendments of the constitution.
18 But after Yugoslavia
19 Q. Yes, yes. I'm not asking you about a majority of the Albanians
20 in the Assembly just yet. I'm asking you about the Albanian population
21 in general. Wouldn't you agree with me that these strikes and these
22 protests and demonstrations indicated that these proposed amendments were
23 not popular with the general Albanian population in Kosovo?
24 A. Well, it is difficult to say that nobody made any surveys, any
25 research into the popularity or the percentage of the population that was
1 in favour or against the proposals. There were many speculations, many
2 rumours around and attempts to pass these proposals. I can't agree that
3 the majority of the Albanian population was against the proposal.
4 However, at the time the separatist movement was already there and in
5 time it turned into a much wider, much more serious nationalistic
6 movement, and in 1989, we still believed that the Yugoslav League of
7 Communists was going to stay, and at that time there was 100.000 members
8 of the League of Communists in Kosovo who supported the system as we
9 headed at the time and a great number of Albanians as well as Roma and
10 other nationalities lived well under such system. However, the
11 circumstances were changing, and this is why the wish to have a separate
12 state grew.
13 Q. You read part of the testimony of Mr. Ibrahim Rugova where he
14 said that the delegates or the representatives of the Kosovo Albanian
15 parliament or Assembly were put under great pressure to pass the
16 amendments in March 1989, and I think you will agree with me that these
17 amendments to some degree or to a considerable degree reduced some of the
18 powers which that Assembly had before. Can you tell us why in those
19 circumstances they would agree to reducing the authority that they had
21 A. The constitutional amendments simply included changes to the
22 provisions stipulating some of the state functions, whereas the position
23 of the province within the Federation within Yugoslavia remained the
24 same, so they kept their status and they kept their authority to regulate
25 all the issues and implement all the legislation at the level of the
1 province. So they kept a high level of autonomy, and at the same time
2 they remained a constitutional element within Yugoslavia. This solution
3 was accepted by a large number of Albanians as well because all the 22
4 Municipal Assemblies approved the amendments, and in the Municipal
5 Assemblies obviously there were delegates from particular Assemblies, all
6 the political organisations also approved them, and this was the
7 socialist Alliance
8 system was such that the delegates conveyed the opinions of their
9 constituents and they voted in line with the decisions passed by their
10 constituents in their Assemblies. They were bound by such decisions.
11 The same was done by the League of Communists and members of the League
12 of Communists had to act in a given way. At that time the League of
13 Communists was still stable and powerful, there was the provincial
14 committee, and as he told you at that time in Kosovo there were 100.000
15 members of the league of communists and the largest number of the
16 Assembly delegates were also members of the League of Communists. So
17 based on the principle of democratic centralism, they were bound by the
18 decision of the central committee of the League of Communists and the
19 Executive Council of Kosovo, so as members of the communist league they
20 were obliged to vote in the way in with which they did. We describe this
21 system as a democratic centralism. Now, we could discuss how a system
22 could be both democratic and centralised at the same way, at the same
24 Q. You agree with what Mr. Rugova said that within the context that
25 these Assembly members were put in, they were put under great pressure to
1 vote as they did, weren't they?
2 A. I can't say that they were pressured. I obviously understand
3 while Mr. Rugova said what he did because he believed that Kosovo what
4 supposed to secede and to become an independent state. This was his
5 position as a member of the democratic Alliance of Kosovo. And obviously
6 his intention was to make sure that what was happening in Slovenia
8 impossible, and this is why he tried to use different illegal actions to
9 raise Kosovo to the level of a republic, and we saw that illegal document
10 that was signed by delegates, so this was simply an attempt to create
11 preconditions for what was to follow. So they simply copied the
12 situations in Slovenia
13 Q. Let's move on from there.
14 MR. STAMP: Could we look at 06096 quickly. 65 ter 06096.
15 Q. This is a transcript of a BBC report of the 6th of February,
16 1991. And it says that:
17 "Vukasin Jokanovic, vice president of the Serbian Assembly on the
18 4th of February, during talks with a group of primary school teachers
19 from Pec stressed that due to the situation and dedication system in the
20 province, many new measures would be introduced shortly in addition to
21 the reduction in the amount of teaching Albanian. School headmasters
22 will be given wider powers to enable them to carry out their duties more
24 The question is do you recall saying this?
25 A. Unfortunately I cannot recall this statement, that this statement
1 is rather different from my entire political engagement and a number of
2 other statements I gave. So I am not sure who conveyed this statement
3 and how they did it, so I believe this is an example of propaganda.
4 Because my name was -- carried certain weight, and at that time if these
5 words were put into my mouth, this would imply that I supported the
6 trends which went into direction of establishing Kosovo as a state and
7 jeopardising Albanian population there, and I never ever with any
8 statements of mine questioned the quality of Albanian population. And
9 you can find thousands of my statements to that effect. My son searched
10 the net and he found three or four hundred of my statements to this
11 effect. So I can't recall this statement, and I believe it is false. I
12 believe it was something that was put into my mouth, apparently there was
13 an interview and so on.
14 Q. I have your answer, I have your answer, Mr. Jokanovic. We just
15 saw it and thought we'd give you an opportunity to comment on it.
16 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours, I have nothing
17 further for the witness.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
19 Mr. Djurdjic.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Re-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
22 Q. Mr. Jokanovic, first of all, could we have P1469. There's no
23 need for you to look through the binder. Please look at the screen.
24 A. Thank you, counsel.
25 Q. What we are about to see on the screen is the law on the work of
1 republican organs under special circumstances together with the decree on
2 the promulgation of such measures. It is P1469. What we have here. So
3 P. I believe Mr. Stamp used it just a moment ago. This is not the
4 document, Witness.
5 A. Well, I had to see it for myself.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] 1496. Apologies. Could we now
7 see ...
8 Q. This was published in the "Official Gazette" on the 26th of June,
9 1990. In Article 1 before the decree, what was the basis for the
10 promulgation of this?
11 A. Article 1?
12 Q. No, no, no. There is a decree preceding this.
13 A. I don't see it.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we go back to the top of the
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Pursuant to Amendment 49, item 7.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Is it really 49? Or 39 perhaps?
19 A. 39. I apologise.
20 Q. What does it say then?
21 A. Pursuant to Amendment 39, item 7 of the constitution of the
22 Socialist Republic of Serbia, this decree shall be put into force on the
23 promulgation of the law on the work of republican organs under special
24 circumstances by the various bodies of the Republic of Serbia
25 Q. Where does it say that, Mr. Jokanovic?
1 A. Where does it say?
2 Q. We'll go back to it, but please look at Article 2 of the law, so
3 Article 2, item 1?
4 A. Article 2, item 1 states when special circumstances come into
5 effect. In item 1 it says, Activities directed at overthrowing the
6 constitutional order and the territorial integrity.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 A. Item 2?
9 Q. Yes, we have items 2, 3, and 4 but let's not waste time. Please
10 look at para 2 of Article 2, what does it stipulate?
11 A. That the Assembly of the Republic of Serbia
12 the proposal of the Executive Council of the Assembly of the Federal
13 Republic of Serbia
15 Q. Actually, the right side of the page at the top. Centre it
16 please. Yes, thank you.
17 A. That upon the proposal of the Executive Council of the Assembly
18 of the Republic of Serbia
19 republic have arisen or ceased.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Next could we please have Exhibit
23 Q. Mr. Jokanovic, this is a decision establishing that special
24 circumstances have arisen in the territory of the Socialist Autonomous
25 Province of Kosovo
1 was published on that day the "Official Gazette" of Serbia
2 figure there of 519, and what does it say just below that? What was the
3 reason or the basis on which this decision was made?
4 A. Pursuant to Article 2 of the law on the work of republican organs
5 in special circumstances and Article 120 of the rules, the Assembly of
6 the Socialist Republic of Serbia at the session of the council of
7 associated labour on the 26th of June issued the decision establishing
8 that special circumstances have arisen in the territory of the socialist
9 autonomous province of Kosovo, meaning that precisely the circumstances I
10 referred to before had arisen.
11 Q. What was this decision based on?
12 A. Article 2 of the law on the work of republican organs in special
13 circumstances, in brackets, the "Official Gazette" of the Republic of
15 Q. Is this the law we just saw?
16 A. Yes, it is. Certainly the decision was a result of that law. It
17 could not stand on its own.
18 Q. Thank you. When was the decision of the SFRY Presidency on the
19 introduction of special measures in Kosovo and Metohija made?
20 A. In early March 1989.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have Exhibit
24 Q. This is the so-called constitutional declaration published in the
25 "Official Gazette" of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo
1 3rd of July, 1990. First of all, Mr. Jokanovic, we see here a list of
2 those who signed allegedly the list, the declaration. Did you ever see
3 the original list and the signatures of any of the people mentioned here?
4 A. I never did. It would be highly unusual to have people sign a
5 certain piece of legislation, or enactment. Throughout my career I have
6 never seen such an instance of people's names being published in the
7 "Official Gazette" that way. As to whether they indeed signed it is a
8 matter of further research or investigation, if I may say so.
9 Q. Thank you. Did you ever hear of a person presiding over a
11 A. Only in cases when a new Assembly is being established and then
12 there is a presiding officer standing in for the speaker, but his sole
13 authority is to declare that there will be a vote for the election of
14 Assembly officials. Such a presiding officer neither according to the
15 rules nor according to the constitution does not exist during the process
16 of Assembly establishment. It is usually the most senior member who can
17 preside during such a session.
18 May I add something?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. Looking at the list followed by the abbreviations which stands
21 for my own signature, I see a number of people who participated in or
22 contributed to the session of the 23rd of March 1989, and there they
23 voiced their support for the amendments. Whereas here, they seem to be
24 signing a declaration proclaiming Kosovo an independent state, and this
25 act even refers to the constitution of the SFRY calling the SFRY a
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to page 2 now.
3 Please zoom in on the middle of the page. Yes, please go down a bit
4 where it says "contents".
5 Q. It says here, Contents, probably of this issue of the "Official
6 Gazette". Can you comment on that?
7 A. This "Official Gazette" was published illegally. Seldom is an
8 "Official Gazette" published with a single item. In the contents, we see
9 that there is a reference made of Yugoslavia
10 federation. As the declaration says, this is what they refer to
12 they invoke this right to declare Yugoslavia
13 that time it was still an SFRY, a federation.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we go to P1497 next.
16 Q. This is the law on the secession of work of the Assembly of the
17 Autonomous Province in Kosovo and the Executive Council of the Assembly
18 of Kosovo published on the 5th of July, 1990. Could you please comment
19 on Article 1 of the law.
20 A. I referred to this article before.
21 Q. Do not read it out loud, just comment.
22 A. At this moment, the Assembly of Kosovo had not been operational
23 because they tried to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity
24 of the country. It is also stated here that their work was directed
25 against the constitutional system and the Republic of Serbia
1 It also states that the territorial integrity of Serbia is being brought
2 into question so as to carve out a piece of its territory.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now have
5 Q. What we have now is the decision to assess the constitutionality
6 of the constitutional declaration of Kosovo as an independent and equal
7 unit within the framework of the Federation (confederation) of Yugoslavia
8 as an entity equal to other units in the Federation (confederation).
9 This was a decision of which constitutional court?
10 A. The Yugoslav constitutional court. Here we see the name of
11 Milovan Buzadzic who was the president of the constitutional court of
13 Q. Thank you. According to item 1, who initiated this procedure to
14 assess the constitutionality of the declaration?
15 A. The constitutional court itself. It had the right to do things
16 upon its own initiative or following proposals made by certain bodies.
17 Q. Thank you, I won't go through the whole decision, but I want to
18 see the penultimate paragraph. This is it. Yes. Can you comment
19 briefly. What did the constitutional court ascertain?
20 A. So as not to read the whole thing, the constitutional court
21 concluded that the declaration was contrary to the constitution of
23 republics did as states. This also applies to nations alone rather than
24 nationalities. Nationalities could not make such declarations and
25 proclaiming the province a republic serves to exclude its territory from
1 the Republic of Serbia
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have the next page
3 in both languages.
4 Q. The reasons are stated here as well as what violations of the
5 constitution of Serbia
6 like to ask you, Mr. Jokanovic, who took part in adopting this decision?
7 Where were these judges of the constitutional court from?
8 A. Milovan Buzadzic, Hervoje Barcic [phoen]. They were all from
9 other republics, from Croatia
10 would say he was from Montenegro
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Branislav Ivanovic was most likely from Serbia
12 Pjeter Kola was from Kosovo. I know him, he was an eminent lawyer.
13 Kapraroff [phoen] was probably a Hungarian. Vejlko Markovic was from
15 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, what was the ethnicity of Pjeter
17 A. Pjeter Kola was an Albanian from Kosovo and Metohija, and he held
18 various offices in Kosovo and Metohija. Mostly administrative bodies and
19 also legal positions similar to the positions that I held.
20 Q. Thank you. Were these judges from all republics and provinces of
22 A. Yes. That's how the constitutional court was organised in its
23 composition. They had judges from all republics and provinces within
25 Q. Thank you. You said that in the constitution of 1990 a new
1 multi-party system was introduced, and I would like to know whether the
2 Albanian political parties that were established in accordance with this
3 constitution took part in the political life in Serbia and whether they
4 also participated in the elections?
5 A. The Albanian parties did not take part in those elections. I
6 know that one political party was registered and there were also others,
7 and none of them participated because the participation in those
8 elections would be contrary to their separatist and nationalist platform
9 and programme which later developed its military side. Therefore, they
10 boycotted the elections. However, not all of the Albanians participated
11 in this boycott because some of the Albanians were on the ballots of some
12 of political parties. On the ballot of the socialist party there were
13 four Albanians, and they were elected to the new republic Assembly as
14 delegates. I remember the names of some of them even. And they worked
15 and took part in the work of the republic Assembly. They took part in
16 adopting all of these enactments that we have mentioned here.
17 Q. This constitution, did it regulate the status of provinces within
18 the Republic of Serbia
19 A. While following this trial on television, I heard many witnesses
20 saying that the province was annulled, voided, which is not true. That's
21 not what the constitution said. There was a province called Vojvodina
22 and a province called Kosovo. Vojvodina had all of its organs, it had
23 its Assembly, its Executive Council, and all of the other organs
24 envisaged in the constitution. Whereas, Kosovo did not avail it itself
25 of that right. They had a right to be represented in the Assembly of
2 want to establish a provincial Assembly because they thought that by
3 doing so they would endanger their main goal, which was to have Kosovo
4 established as a separate state and to have it secede from Serbia
5 [Realtime transcript read in error "Kosovo"] and Yugoslavia.
6 Q. Thank you. When we spoke about the amendments to the
7 constitution of Serbia
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Line 15, it should read "to secede
9 from Serbia
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you referring to the transcript
11 now? Thank you.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. When speaking of the 1989 amendments to the constitution of
15 constitution of Serbia
16 tell me, please, whether the Republic of Serbia
17 the amendments of the provincial constitutions?
18 A. The Republic of Serbia
19 consent or affect in any way the adoption of the Kosovo constitution.
20 According to its constitution, Kosovo was fully independent to adopt its
21 own constitution and in that regard Serbia
22 Q. Thank you. Did the constitutional court of Serbia have the power
23 to evaluate the constitutionality of the provisions of the Kosovo
24 constitution to see whether it was in accordance with the federal
1 A. The constitutional court of Yugoslavia could assess, could
2 evaluate whether certain provisions of the republic or provincial
3 constitutions were in accordance with the federal constitution.
4 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, by way of these constitutional
5 amendments which were adopted, or rather, to which they received a
6 consent, what mechanism was there to amend the constitution of Serbia
7 without the consent of the provinces?
8 A. There was a special amendment envisaging a complex procedure that
9 would replace the right to veto. Once the Assembly of Serbia determined
10 the text of the amendment, they would try to obtain a consent from
11 provincial Assemblies. If they did not manage to obtain that consent
12 then a parity based committee with representatives from Kosovo,
13 Vojvodina, and Serbia
14 find a consensus, and then the adoption of that new amendment or that new
15 constitution would be postponed by six months. If within these six
16 months they failed to reach a consensus for a certain amendment, then the
17 Assembly of Serbia
18 referendum in which all citizens holding a right to vote would
19 participate casting their votes. So that means that before those
20 amendments would be adopted, there needed to be a referendum, and this is
21 this complex procedure for circumventing the veto that I told you about.
22 Q. This referendum, did all citizens of the Republic of Serbia
23 a right to vote could participate in it?
24 A. Yes, all of the voting citizens of the Republic of Serbia
25 participate including those living in provinces in Vojvodina and Kosovo,
1 and naturally those living in Serbia
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, could we now see P8,
3 please. Could we now see Amendment 39, which should be page 25. I meant
4 to say Amendment 29, I apologise, 29 not 39. In your binder that's tab 7
5 and pages 318 at the bottom of the page.
6 A. Page 318, Amendment 29.
7 Q. Yes, that's right. Would you please take a look at it.
8 A. I've looked at it.
9 Q. Could you now give us a brief comment, please, of this amendment,
10 when it comes to the assessment of whether the provincial constitution is
11 in accordance with the constitution of Serbia.
12 A. If the provincial constitution contradicts the constitution of
14 provide its opinion first to the Assembly of Serbia and then based on
15 that opinion, the Assembly of Serbia, if it should establish that those
16 provisions were in contradiction of the Serbian constitution could not
17 void them immediately, but would inform the provincial Assembly of it
18 giving them a one year dead-line to remove this contradiction. If the
19 provinces fail to remove the contradiction within that period of time,
20 then those provisions would not be implemented, would not be implemented.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, I've no
22 further questions for witness Jokanovic. Thank you, I have completed my
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to ask you something for
2 clarification. On Friday you spoke about and told us about a visit of a
3 delegation of a European institution, and it is recorded as parliamentary
4 delegation of the council, there's a word missing, council of Europe
5 think. Today you spoke about I received the European parliament
6 delegation. These are, I think, two different bodies. Was it a
7 delegation of the parliamentary Assembly of the council of Europe
8 the European parliament just for clarification?
9 A. I think that it was a delegation of the European parliament. So
10 it was a parliamentary delegation of the council of Europe, that's how it
11 was. Parliamentary delegation of the council of Europe. So a parliament
12 was visiting a parliament of Kosovo.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, and the council of Europe was a body and
14 European institution in which the socialist -- the Federal Republic
16 the member states of the European Union, that means that was a
17 parliamentary Assembly of the council of Europe. That's correct, yes?
18 Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I remember not being
20 fully familiar with European institutions, I thought it was a
21 parliamentary delegation of the European Union. I think that's how I
22 remember it, but I could go over my documents to refresh my memory as to
23 its formal name. It's been 30 years since then. At any rate, they came
24 from a European institution and they were called a parliamentary
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Jokanovic, that completes the questions for
2 you. The Chamber would like to thank you for your attendance here in The
3 Hague and for the assistance that you have been able to give. You are,
4 of course, now able to return to your normal activities. When we rise a
5 Court Officer will show you out. Once again, thank you.
6 We will now adjourn and resume with the next witness at 6.00.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 --- Recess taken at 5.28 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Please read aloud the affirmation shown to you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a second, sir.
16 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
17 and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 WITNESS: VUKMIR MIRCIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examination by Mr. Popovic:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mircic.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. Mr. Mircic, before I ask with my questioning. First of all, I
3 would kindly ask you since both of us speak the same language, once
4 you've heard my question could you please wait for a moment so that the
5 interpreters are allowed to do their job properly?
6 A. Mr. Mircic, could you first of all state your name.
7 A. My name is Vukmir Mircic.
8 Q. Thank you. When were you born?
9 A. I was born on the 17th of September, 1958, in the village of --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't catch the name
11 of the village. Municipality of Decani
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Could you please repeat the name of village in which you were
15 A. Kodralija.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mircic. Could you tell me if you were a member of
17 the MUP and if so, since when?
18 A. Yes, I've been a member of MUP since 1986. I worked in the
19 public security sector.
20 Q. Thank you. Are you still a member of MUP?
21 A. Well, now I'm -- I have been retired.
22 Q. When did you retire?
23 A. I retired in 2006.
24 Q. All right. Could you please explain us briefly what were your
25 duties within the Ministry of the Interior during your career?
1 A. I was chief of the Decani department of Internal Affairs which
2 belonged to the secretariat of MUP in Djakovica, and I was posted there
3 on 1st of January, 1993.
4 Q. And prior to the 1st of January, 1993, what were your duties
5 within the Ministry of the Interior?
6 A. I was an inspector at the state security sector. And later on I
7 was chief of detachment of the state security sector in Decani.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us, during the course of 1998
9 and 1999 what was your position within the Ministry of the Interior?
10 A. I was at that time still chief of the department for Internal
11 Affairs of Decani, which belonged to the SUP of Djakovica.
12 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us what was the territory covered by
13 your department of Internal Affairs?
14 A. The Decani Department of Internal Affairs started -- let me start
15 from the border with the Republic of Albania
17 The length of the border with Albania
18 the border that belonged to the municipality of Decani
19 Q. Thank you. What were your authorities as chief of the Department
20 of Internal Affairs?
21 A. Well, my authorities were stipulated by all the laws and
22 regulations adopted by the MUP. So the regulation on internal
23 organisation and as chief I was tasked with monitoring the work of the
24 police that fell under my jurisdiction, so the police station in which I
25 had commander and assistant commanders who were in charge of the police
1 stations within my Department of Internal Affairs. And the police
2 station was also linked to the police department within the Secretariat
3 of the Internal Affairs in Djakovica.
4 Q. Could you tell us who was immediately superior to you in 1998 and
6 A. In 1998 and 1999 my directly superior was the chief of SUP of
8 Q. Thank you. In 1998 and 1999 did you receive all the orders
9 exclusively from the chief of SUP of Djakovica?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were you a member of the mixed commission for state border?
12 A. Yes. I was appointed in 1996 by the federal SUP of Yugoslavia
13 a president of the LMK, which was local mixed commission for border, for
14 the border in the sector 4th, which was the border with the Republic of
16 or six members of this commission was myself as president and then
17 experts, some of them were members of the Army of Yugoslavia given that
18 we were discussing the border and border-related issues.
19 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us briefly what was the task of
20 this mixed commission?
21 A. Yes. Our task was to consider the incidents that occurred on
22 either side of the border. If it occurred on the Albanian side, then
23 they will notify us and obviously we considered this. If there was an
24 incident on our side, we did the same. So all the border-related
25 incidents, forest fires, illegal crossings, and different other incidents
1 were considered jointly once a year both on our side and on their side of
2 the border. So we had all the documents, we considered these incidents
3 and passed relevant decisions. Decisions were whether we would register
4 an incident, whether we would erase it from the register. If we couldn't
5 agree, then the issue would be discussed by the second instance
6 commission within the federal SUP.
7 Q. What was the nature of your co-operation with the Albanian side
8 with their mixed border commission, and how did you contact them?
9 A. Well, we would set a date and time for a meeting. I would go to
10 the border crossing, usually Qafa Prushit [phoen], which was in the
11 territory of the municipality of Djakovica
12 commission I would go and meet their side there, so we exchanged letters
13 and in this way a meeting was organised. They would come to our side
14 with certain documents, and we would spend some time together and discuss
15 all these incidents in order to try and establish the real truth
16 concerning the incidents.
17 The same was done on the Albanian side. So they also had teams
18 which encompassed representatives on the police, the army, and other
20 Q. What was the nature of your co-operation?
21 A. Until 1998, I can say that it was correct, it was based on mutual
22 respect, but often the Albanian side came with some really hard
23 positions, so they had an input from an officer or somebody else, and
24 they tried to convince us of that belief. But we also made quite a
25 number of joint investigations. In 1996, 1997, even prior to those
1 years, the border with Albania
3 cross that border. And this is what happened after the regime in Albania
4 changed when Salih Berisha came to power, so it was well known fact that
5 there was anarchy in Albania
6 then they were smuggled to the territory of Kosovo
7 prevent such occurrences on a number of occasions, and they did prevent
8 them and this is why we had several opportunities to carry out joint
9 investigations. But because of rather complex security situation, we
10 couldn't do this because the Albanian side opened fire to us.
11 I warned their president of the commission on several occasions
12 about this, about the incidents in the field, and he would tell me that
13 he didn't know who fired. This was just a pretext with which they tried
14 to prevent us from discovering the real situation.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mircic. Now that we are discussing these issues,
16 could you please tell us what was the security situation in the territory
17 of your OUP in 1998 and 1999?
18 A. In our estimate the security situation in the territory of the
19 municipality of Decani was a very complex one. What made it more
20 difficult was the arrival of terrorists to the territory of the
21 municipality of Decani and also to the arrival of weapons. So in
22 parallel, all the villages were armed. There were orders issued to
23 certain persons to go to Albania
24 that was armed was signed in some way during the night. They would fire
25 several times in order to inform the adjacent villages that they were
1 armed, and I can also tell you that this is something that started to
2 happen back in 1990s when I was still working for the state security
3 sector. The terrorist groups were coming in. They were trained there in
4 the town of Labinot, and on several occasions we discovered those illegal
5 organisations and we also prosecuted them.
6 I can also mention one terrorist attack in Decani itself carried
7 out by Salih Ceka [phoen] which two other persons in a cafe where both
8 Serbs and Albanians were coming, and on that occasion four or five
9 civilians were injured.
10 Q. Could you please focus on the year 1998 and 1999 now. This is
11 what we are particularly interested in. Could you please tell us given
12 the position of your Department of Internal Affairs, what was the
13 security situation there?
14 A. The security situation was very complex. My municipality was
15 ethnically clean so to say so all the villages were Albanian, purely
16 Albanian, particularly the villages next to the border. In my
17 municipality I had approximately 700 Serbs, very few of them in some
18 villages and even if those villages, the Serbian houses were at large
19 distance from one other, and 99.9 per cent of the population was
20 Albanian. And in 1998 and 1999, the situation was just as I described
21 it, and the Serbs and Montenegrins started to move out from this region
22 much earlier after 1981.
23 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Mircic. We will talk more about this
24 when we see some documents, but now, first of all, I would like a Defence
25 binder to be provided to you. The first binder obviously, if Your
1 Honours will allow this, I would like to show you some documents and when
2 you see the documents on the screen, I will also inform you where you can
3 find them in your binder.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see the Exhibit
5 P357. Sorry, P5357.
6 Q. This is number 1 in your binder.
7 Mr. Mircic, these are the rules on the internal organisation of
8 the Ministry of the Interior.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see page 6 in
10 B/C/S. This is Article 4. I assume that it is the same page in the
11 English version.
12 Q. Could you please take a look at Article 4. In Article 4 you can
13 see that within the secretariat referred to in Article 3 of these rules,
14 the former -- the following departments of the Internal Affairs are
15 established, and then we can see here Decani in Djakovica. So is this
16 the article that regulates the department of the interior in Decani?
17 A. Yes, these are the rules on the internal organisation of the
18 Ministry of the Interior.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please take a look at
21 Article 5. This is page 8 in both versions.
22 Q. So here in Article 8 we can see --
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. This is page 7 in
24 English and Article 5. For the sake of Their Honours and other
25 participants in this trial, we have to take a look at Article 5 in
1 English as well.
2 Q. So it says, Department of the interior and police stations under
3 Article 4 of these rules shall directly perform tasks relating to
4 Internal Affairs on the territory of these municipalities. Could you
5 please comment on this article?
6 A. By virtue of this article, several departments are being charged
7 in taking over security responsibilities in the municipalities mentioned
8 therein, which is in keeping with the Law on the Interior.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to Article 36,
10 page 34 in the Serbian and 31 in the English.
11 Q. The subtitle -- have you found Article 36? The subtitle is
12 "organisational units in the municipalities." And Article 36 we see a
13 department of the interior is responsible for, and I won't go reading the
14 whole article, but I just wanted your comment in terms of the tasks and
15 duties of the departments of the interior?
16 A. In the Article 36 it says that a department of the interior is
17 there to provide security to citizens and property in the area of the
18 municipality, as well as to protect law and order, process crimes, border
19 issues are mentioned as well. So this article regulates the scope of
20 authority per departments concerning their work in the field.
21 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 2, it is stated that a department of
22 interior consists of a police station. Within your OUP was there a
23 police station?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to approach
25 the microphone.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Mircic, please approach the microphone given that the
3 interpreters can hardly hear you. Thank you. Within your OUP, were
4 there any police detachments?
5 A. Yes, there were two. In Ursnic [phoen] and Junik.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Article 48, please. I believe it
8 is page 39 in the English.
9 Q. Article 48. Yes, briefly only. Article 48 describes the scope
10 of work of police stations. In the last of paragraph it is stated that
11 police stations may include police branch stations or substations.
12 A. Yes, it prescribes that there may be branch stations within OUPs
13 and below police stations.
14 Q. So police substations as part of police stations?
15 A. Yes, as part of OUPs and the police stations within the OUP of
17 Q. Thank you. What were the tasks and duties from the interior
18 domain which you performed as part of the OUP?
19 A. That was stipulated by way of our internal organisation as per
20 rules. We were supposed to work on crime prevention, preserving law and
21 order, protect property and safety, property and citizens, administrative
22 affairs, issuing of personal documents, driving licences, weapons,
23 permits, and licences. Everything mentioned in the rules of the work of
24 interior organs.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you also perform duties which fell within the
1 domain of regular police task, routine tasks?
2 A. Yes, by all means.
3 Q. Thank you. I have to ask you yet again to pause before
4 answering. Did you during 1998 and 1999 take part in the performing of
5 special security related tasks in the area of Kosovo and Metohija? When
6 I say you, I mean you as the chief of the OUP and your OUP as such?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Thank you. How was the work of your OUP organised in 1998 and
10 A. As with other routine tasks before that period, i.e., protecting
11 property, citizens, providing security, issuing IDs, drivers licences,
12 administrative affairs, traffic.
13 Q. You've already said this, but I had in mind the way the OUP was
15 A. The same as other routine, regular tasks and situations.
16 Q. How many members did your OUP have?
17 A. According to the structure, there should have been 117 [as
18 interpreted] employees with the P status, meaning uniformed personnel.
19 Q. Did you say 111?
20 A. Yes, 111.
21 Q. Thank you. Something else was recorded.
22 A. But we were never able to reach that figure so the most we had
23 was about 80 P status personnel.
24 Q. Thank you. Within your OUP, were there any reserve policemen?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How and when were they engaged?
2 A. Members of the reserve force were usually engaged by order of the
3 minister of the interior.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have P66.
6 Q. It is your tab 2. Mr. Mircic, this is the Law on the Interior.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]Could we see Article 28, please.
8 In the English it's page 9.
9 Q. Article 28, first paragraph. Can you read it and tell us,
10 please, whether it stipulates who and under what conditions can call on
11 reserve police force members?
12 A. It says, The minister may call up the members of the Ministry of
13 the Interior as a reserve force to perform certain peacetime duties of
14 the ministry, in particular to prevent activities aimed at threatening
15 the security of the republic.
16 Q. Thank you. There's no need to read it all. We can see it for
17 ourselves. Was it foreseen under this article --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Did this article
19 prescribe how reserve police forces could be mobilised?
20 A. Yes, and it states that it should happen pursuant to the
21 minister's decision.
22 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have D102, it is
23 your tab 3.
24 Q. This is an order to call up and engage reserve forces personnel
25 to carry out certain peacetime tasks of the ministry. First of all, do
1 you recognise this document?
2 A. I do. From a collegium meeting with the chief of the
3 secretariat. He acquainted us with this order based on the law of the
4 interior on Article 28 on the call-up of reserve police members in order
5 to complete certain tasks on behalf of the ministry. And this order
6 prescribes the mode of operation.
7 Q. Could you please go to item 5. Comment briefly, please.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak out and approach
9 the microphone.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Every six months such orders were
11 put in place.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Please approach the microphone so
13 that the interpreters can hear you. Very well. Could we next have D103.
14 Q. It is your tab 4.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Briefly only, are you familiar with this document?
17 A. Yes. This is a similar order to the previous one except that the
18 date is the 1st of January, 1999, which means that such orders came into
19 being every six months or so, as I've already explained.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Next could we please have D101.
22 Q. It is your tab 5. Instruction on or directive on the performance
23 of Internal Affairs duties by reserve forces personnel of the ministry.
24 Comment briefly, please. It was issued by Mr. Vlajko Stojiljkovic, the
1 A. Yes, this directive follows from the minister's order. It
2 contains basic provisions. First it regulates the performance of duties
3 and the way of reporting and informing per each and every item that
4 needed to be acted upon.
5 Q. Thank you. We saw certain documents which serve as the basis for
6 call-up of reserve police force members. In your OUP area what was the
7 situation like and what need did you have for any reserve forces and were
8 they engaged as part of your OUP?
9 A. Given the number of population in the municipality of Decani
10 had very few reserve members who were engaged in routine tasks alongside
11 active-duty policemen in patrols, on the beat, and at check-points.
12 Q. Were there any specific circumstances concerning the engagement
13 of reserve members and their serving alongside active-duty members?
14 A. The reserve force could never set about a task independently.
15 There were always to be accompanied by an active duty policemen, usually
16 it would be the chief of a sector or the head of a patrol. Reservists
17 could never independently perform tasks, and they were not trained to do
19 Q. Thank you. Within your OUP you said you had substations. Can
20 you tell us where they were located?
21 A. In the village of Ursnic and Junik.
22 Q. Thank you. Who established these substations and how were they
24 A. As we said already, the minister issued a decision on internal
25 organisation of these substations. Within their respective areas they
1 had sectors for the performance of their tasks. They performed sectoral
2 work in the field.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have P257.
5 Q. It is your tab 6. But before that, could you please tell us
6 whether as part of your OUP you ever had any members of the PJP?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. How many such PJP members were there in your OUP?
9 A. Within my OUP there were usually at the level of one platoon,
10 meaning 20 to 30 men strong headed by the platoon commander.
11 Q. Thank you. Which company did those PJP members belong to?
12 A. To the SUP -- to the Djakovica SUP company.
13 Q. I would like to put some general questions to you about PJP
14 units. Do you know when those units were established and whether they
15 were established for the entire territory of the Republic of Serbia
16 A. Yes, I was aware of that. I was informed by the chief of the
17 secretariat. We regularly held staff meetings, collegiums, and in one of
18 such meetings the chief of the secretariat informed his immediate
19 subordinates that 124th Intervention Brigade was created by the minister
20 by way of a decision issued by the minister.
21 Q. For the sake of clarity, when you say chief of the secretariat,
22 who do you have in mind?
23 A. Chief Kovacevic in the Djakovica SUP.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, as for the decision that is on the screen, we
25 will return to it later. I wanted to focus on some general matters. Do
1 you know about PJPs, when they were established and whether they were
2 established for the territory of the entire Republic of Serbia
3 A. I already said about when they were established. And yes, they
4 were established for the territory of the entire Republic of Serbia
5 Q. Were those regular police units, or were they engaged as needed?
6 A. They are not regular police units. They were engaged as needed.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, members of PJP units, when they were not engaged
8 within such units, what duties and tasks did they perform?
9 A. They performed regular routine duties and tasks just like all
10 other police members.
11 Q. Tell me, please, do you know that PJPs in the 1990s, but before
12 1998 and 1999 were used in the territory of the Republic of Serbia
13 if you do have such information, then tell us when?
14 A. They were used in mass demonstrations, which were held in Serbia
15 and primarily in Belgrade
16 Q. All right. Now, I would like us to focus on PJPs within your
17 OUP. How did you assemble and deploy members of PJPs, to be more
18 precise, based on whose orders were they assembled and where were they
20 A. Given that the minister adopted the decision on creating PJPs, it
21 was done on the basis of his order. And then also based on the regional
22 secretariat who within their line of work would send it to relevant OUPs.
23 We would be informed either by dispatch or by phone that we needed to
24 assemble a PJP with certain uniforms, with certain resources, and that we
25 needed to deploy them to where they needed to be added to the Djakovica
1 SUP company. The station commander was immediately in charge of that.
2 He would convey this to the platoon commander. The platoon that belonged
3 to the Decani OUP, and this is how they were organised.
4 I would always be informed of their engagement and deployment --
5 deployment of the members of the PJP Decani OUP had who were within the
6 composition of the Djakovica SUP.
7 Q. What was the relationship between members of PJP who came from
8 your organisation to you from the moment they were deployed?
9 A. They had no responsibility vis-a-vis me. Either disciplinary nor
10 any other. They were subordinated to their company commanders. They
11 were already under the command of people who headed those companies and
13 Q. Thank you. Did you receive any reports about members of PJP who
14 were originally from your OUP after their deployment?
15 A. We would receive such reports in exceptional circumstances. If
16 they were wounded out in the field or killed, so if there were any
17 victims among the members of PJP, and if they were originally from our
18 OUP, yes, we would be informed of such consequences.
19 Q. And were those the only reports you received in relation to
20 members of PJP from your OUP?
21 A. Yes, those were the only reports. No other reports.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak up and speak
23 into the microphone.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I will ask you to speak into the microphone. And to make a pause
1 before answering my question.
2 Mr. Mircic, did you you receive any sort of information about
3 anti-terrorist actions or operations conducted by members of PJP units
4 from your OUP?
5 A. No.
6 Q. After deploying members of PJP, would you inform the police
7 branch station within the secretariat on anything?
8 A. That would normally be done by the commander of the substation.
9 Q. What would he inform them of?
10 A. He would inform them about the composition of the unit, whether
11 there were people who were absent, people who did not respond to a
12 call-up, whether anybody was ill. Basically to inform them about the
13 composition, about the strength of the unit.
14 Q. Thank you. And once that unit returned after completing their
15 tasks and these members of PJP unit who were originally from your OUP,
16 who would normally inform you about their imminent return and about when
17 they needed to report to their regular duties?
18 A. The chief of the police substation would inform with -- within
19 his line of work, and I would also receive a copy of a dispatch.
20 Q. Mr. Mircic, thank you. Do you know who commanded forces of PJP
21 units in Kosovo in 1999?
22 A. Yes, I do. That was the staff which was headquartered in
23 Pristina. They were in command of PJP units in Kosovo and Metohija.
24 Q. Can you tell us who headed that staff?
25 A. Sreten Lukic was the head of that staff. General Lukic. The
1 staff was established from two departments, state security department and
2 public security department. Lukic's deputy was Gajic, David Gajic.
3 Q. What was his position?
4 A. He was deputy of Mr. Lukic.
5 Q. And he belonged to which department?
6 A. To the state security department.
7 Q. Mr. Mircic, given that you first worked for the state security
8 department and then for the public security department, tell us, please,
9 whether the chief of the public security department could issue any sort
10 of orders to the members of the state security department?
11 A. No, out of the question. He could only issue his orders within
12 his line of work, which was the public security department.
13 Q. And who could then issue orders to this body which assembled
14 together both members of the public security and state security
16 A. Lukic, General Lukic could.
17 Q. Do you know who established this staff headed by General Lukic?
18 A. Yes. That staff was created based on the decision of the
19 minister of the interior of Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
20 Q. How do you know of this?
21 A. We were told of this in our regular meetings with the chief of
22 the secretariat, collegium meetings. He informed us that the staff had
23 been created and that chiefs of secretariats were members of the expanded
24 composition of that staff.
25 Q. Thank you. On that occasion, did the chief of the secretariat
1 tell you to whom the staff headed by Lukic was responsible?
2 A. Yes, he told us. He told us that the staff headed by Lukic was
3 directly responsible to the minister, Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mircic, did you visit your units, members of PJP
5 from your OUP after they had been deployed?
6 A. No, I never visited them.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, given that we have this decision on the screen,
8 the decision on establishing the 124th Intervention Brigade of the PJP,
9 tell us please, do you know of this decision?
10 A. Yes, I'm familiar with it. It was read at one of our collegium
11 meetings within the Djakovica SUP. We were informed of it as part of our
12 regular duties. This is a decision number such and such, pursuant to
13 which the 124th Intervention Brigade of PJPs was established.
14 Q. Tell me, please, were members of a PJP unit from your OUP
15 deployed to the 124th Intervention Brigade?
16 A. Yes, since they were members of the company of the Djakovica
17 secretariat. They became members of the 124th Brigade because 124th
18 Brigade was for the territory of the entire Kosovo.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mircic.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see D008-0594, which
21 is your tab 7.
22 Q. Mr. Mircic, this is a dispatch from the 13th of April, 1998
23 which it says that:
24 "We have intelligence that all men fit for military service from
25 the village of Crnobreg, Decani municipality have been armed with
1 standard issue weapons and artillery shipped illegally from Albania
2 the arrangements made by the DSK."
3 Could you please comment on this, and does this reflect the
4 security situation in the Decani area?
5 A. Yes, this is just one of the pieces of information concerning the
6 village of Crnobreg. All villages were armed, Albanians and terrorist
7 groups were armed and established in each village.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see page 7 in the
10 B/C/S version and in the English one as well. And as for my learned
11 friend from the Prosecution and the Chamber, I will tell you that the
12 same information is repeated on the pages in between, so I think it would
13 be a waste of time if we were to spend much time on it.
14 Q. So, Mr. Mircic, would you please look at page 7 and the document
15 there. That is a dispatch dated 13th of April, 1998. And in the middle
16 of that document they say:
17 "We also have information that other terrorist groups are
18 acquiring artillery guns as well. For example, a terrorist group in
19 Jablanica has in their possession four guns which according to our
20 information had been stolen from the Army of Yugoslavia in the area of
22 Did you have such information that KLA had this type of weaponry
23 as well?
24 A. All intelligence received from the ground indicated that they had
25 both heavy weapons and small arms. They had recoilless guns, mortars,
1 112 millimetres and 60 millimetres. They had heavy machine-guns, 12 and
2 7. They had shoulder rocket-launchers. They had explosives and mines.
3 They had the entire arsenal within the infantry weaponry and small arms.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now turn to page 9 of the
6 same document.
7 Q. Mr. Mircic, again this is dispatch number 27. 13th of April,
8 1998. In the first paragraph they state --
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] It's on the following page in the
10 English version. Yes.
11 Q. We have intelligence that:
12 "On the 12th of April, 1998 in the village of Istinic
13 municipality leaders of the DSK had a meeting with Siptar residents of
14 the village of Istinic
15 themselves and for a terrorist group from Jablanica to be deployed in the
16 village to defend it from the Serbian aggressor."
17 Are you familiar with this?
18 A. Yes, just like all the previous information, the village of
19 Istinic belongs to the same group, in the vicinity of Decani. The main
20 role was played by the staff headed by Ramush Haradinaj in the village of
21 Jablancia. All the villages were barricaded with trenches surrounding
22 them and protected by heavy weaponry that they had their place. Every
23 village had a local commander and every village had establishment
24 terrorist groups.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, could you please turn to the last --
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic --
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] One more minute.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Q. Very quickly, Mr. Mircic, on the 12th of April, the following
6 Serbian and Montenegrin families left their homes for security reasons,
7 and then they go on to list the names of these families and the names of
8 family members. Did you have any such information, can you tell us
9 something briefly about it?
10 A. Yes, the families that were in minority in those areas -- in
11 those villages moved out. They came to Decani for their own personal
12 safety. On the road to Decani terrorist groups would detain certain
13 persons in the staff in the village of Glodjani
14 Haradinaj hails and where his staff was. We had an eye-witness who had
15 been released from that staff. He was a Montenegrin by origin and
16 Haradinaj's father released Kostadin Stijovic [phoen]. He refused to
17 lock him up, and this man came to me at the SUP and told me about
18 everything that had happened, which is to say, that he had been released
19 due to some friendly causes.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mircic, and before
21 we break for today, could we have this document admitted into evidence,
22 please, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00910.
25 JUDGE PARKER: We must resume now for the evening. We resume
1 tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning. A Court Officer will assist you when we
3 [The witness stands down]
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd day of March,
6 2010, at 9.00 a.m.