Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 13568

 1                           Monday, 19 April 2010

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.

 5             JUDGE PARKER:  We welcome you all back, and we are glad to see

 6     that people have managed to be here.  There was some uncertainty,

 7     obviously, about that.  We are able to carry on as planned.

 8                           [The witness entered court]

 9             JUDGE PARKER:  Good morning, sir.

10             THE WITNESS:  Good morning.

11             JUDGE PARKER:  Would you please read aloud the affirmation that

12     is shown to you now.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will

14     speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

15             JUDGE PARKER:  Please sit down.  Mr. Djurdjic has some questions

16     for you.

17             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.  Good

18     morning to my learned friends from the Prosecution.

19                           WITNESS:  ZORAN SIMOVIC

20                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

21                           Examination by Mr. Djurdjic:

22        Q.   And good morning to you, Mr. Simovic.  Our next witness is Mr.

23     Zoran Simovic.  Mr. Simovic, as we speak the same language, please try to

24     speak slowly so that we can get a good transcript and a good translation.

25     Therefore, please answer slowly and make a pause between my question and

Page 13569

 1     your answer.

 2             For the transcript, could you please tell us your full name and

 3     your personal details.

 4        A.   My name is Zoran Simovic.  I was born on the 10th of February,

 5     1961 in Novi Pazar.  I completed the secondary school for police academy

 6     in Sremska Kamenica.  I started to work in 1979, and I also completed the

 7     college for the interior and then the faculty --

 8             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please repeat what school at

 9     university level he completed.

10             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   Mr. Simovic, could you please repeat for the transcript the

12     schools that you completed?

13        A.   I completed the secondary school for the interior, the police

14     academy in Sremska Kamenica in 1979.  Then I completed the college, the

15     police college in Belgrade, and at the university of Belgrade I graduated

16     from the school of defectology.

17        Q.   Thank you.  Could you please tell us what your present job is?

18        A.   I currently -- am currently the assistant commander at the

19     gendarmerie command.

20        Q.   Is that part or within the MUP of the Republic of Serbia?

21        A.   Yes.  The gendarmerie is the unit of the police of the minister

22     of the interior of the Republic of Serbia.

23        Q.   Tell us, please, briefly something about your career.

24        A.   When I graduated from the secondary police academy in 1979 I

25     began work as a policeman at the city secretariat of the interior in

Page 13570

 1     Belgrade.  At the Belgrade SUP, I worked as a police officer and

 2     instructor for special physical, up until 1986.  On April 1st in 1986, I

 3     was transferred to the R SUP of Serbia, the Republic SUP of Serbia to the

 4     special operations unit which at the time was attached to the detachment

 5     for security at the R SUP, the republican SUP.  In 1992, I was appointed

 6     commander of the special SAJ unit in Belgrade where I remained until

 7     1999.

 8             After 1999 I was transferred to the police administration, and I

 9     remained there until 2001 when the gendarmerie was established and then I

10     was transferred to the gendarmerie where I remain to this day.

11        Q.   Thank you.  On page 3, lines 3 and 4, it says Special Operations

12     Unit and, in fact, it should be Special Activities Unit.

13             In 1998 and 1999, what positions were you on?

14        A.   I've mentioned that between 1992 and 1999 I was the commander of

15     a special anti-terrorist unit of the Serbia MUP for Belgrade.

16        Q.   Thank you.  Could you please tell us a few words about the

17     organisation and functioning of the Serbia MUP SAJ unit?

18        A.   The SAJ unit of the Republic of Serbia MUP was established in

19     1978 as a special actions unit of the ministry of the Republic of Serbia

20     until 1992 when it was dubbed SAJ.  In the meantime, it had changed its

21     name on several occasions.  In 1976, [as interpreted] the minister of the

22     interior, Mr. Sokolovic established a especially anti-terrorist units of

23     the Republic of Serbia MUP, which as part of its composition had three

24     units, the Belgrade SAJ unit, the Pristina SAJ unit, and the Novi Sad SAJ

25     unit.

Page 13571

 1        Q.   Just a moment, please.  In transcript it says in 1976 minister

 2     Sokolovic established this special unit.  Could you just tell us what

 3     year actually it was?

 4        A.   No, actually it was in 1986, or rather 1996, I apologise.

 5             MR. DJURDJIC:  [Interpretation] Thank you.  Could we now please

 6     show the witness D401.  And, Your Honours, could we please provide the

 7     witness the binder with the documents so that we could actually move

 8     along more speedily?

 9             JUDGE PARKER:  Yes.

10             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   Mr. Simovic, I will mention the tab in your document binder, and

12     before us, we will see in a moment document D401.

13             JUDGE PARKER:  There is a technical problem at the moment.  If

14     you could wait, Mr. Djurdjic.

15             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we are going to

16     dwell on this document for awhile, so we can actually have it on the

17     monitors later on.

18             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you.

19             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]

20        Q.   Mr. Simovic, tell us, please, in keeping with this decision by

21     Minister Sokolovic, could you describe the structure and organisation of

22     the SAJ unit.  The decision is dated April 5, 1996.

23        A.   As I've already mentioned, Minister Sokolovic issued this written

24     decision to establish a special anti-terrorist unit.  Under number 1 it

25     says that the special anti-terrorist unit is established as a separate

Page 13572

 1     unit within the sector of the interior of the RJB.  It will have its

 2     seats in Belgrade, Pristina, and Novi Sad.  In other words, the SAJ

 3     command was in the building of the Republic of Serbia Ministry of the

 4     Interior at Mesa Milosa 103.  The command was there -- the command of all

 5     three units was there.  The Ministry of the Interior of Serbia has three

 6     SAJ units:  Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Pristina.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Tell us, please, in 1998 and 1999 who was the

 8     commander of the SAJ?

 9        A.   From the time when the SAJ was established in 1992 up until 1999,

10     the commander of the SAJ was Colonel Zivko Trajkovic.  And I've already

11     said he was the commander of the Belgrade SAJ in Belgrade, he was the

12     commander of the Belgrade SAJ in Belgrade -- he was the commander of the

13     SAJ in Belgrade, Stalevic was the commander in Pristina, and Curcic was

14     the commander in Novi Sad.

15             JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Djurdjic, we seem to be having some

16     inconsistency about the date.  Page 4, line 20 speaks of the decision of

17     the minister of the 5th of April, 1996.  Page 5, line 7 speaks of 1992.

18     Is one of those wrong, or is there some explanation?

19             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I will explain it, Your Honours.

20     This decision of April 5, 1996, actually put out of force a decision on

21     the SAJ of 1992.  Such a unit called a SAJ was first established in 1992

22     under that name, and then in 1996, Minister Sokolovic established a

23     different structure and tasks of this unit that was called a special

24     anti-terrorist unit, short for SAJ, S-A-J.

25             Your Honours, may I continue?

Page 13573

 1        Q.   Witness, who was the commander of the Belgrade SAJ?

 2        A.   The commander of the Belgrade SAJ, actually, that was me.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Very well.  What were the tasks of the SAJ unit?

 4        A.   The SAJ was entrusted the most complex tasks by the Ministry of

 5     the Interior of the Republic of Serbia.  Its tasks were to protect the

 6     republic, its citizens, and especially in situations of hijacking of

 7     airplanes or other means of transportation, hostage situations, arrests

 8     of dangerous individuals and criminals where there is an expectation that

 9     fire-arms might be used, as well as in situations where there are major

10     disturbances of law and order.

11        Q.   Did you -- were you also trained for preventing and fighting

12     terrorism?

13        A.   Yes.  Well, the primary task of this unit was to fight terrorism,

14     and this in the aftermath of the events in 1996 [as interpreted] in

15     Germany when the Israeli sportsmen were killed, and then there was also a

16     hijacking of the then YAT plane so that the then-Ministry of the Interior

17     of the Republic of Serbia decided to establish a unit to fight terrorism.

18        Q.   Thank you.  In the transcript it reads that this crime against

19     the athletes at the Olympic games in Germany was in 1996?

20        A.   No, it was in 1972.

21        Q.   Could you tell us, please, Mr. Simovic, who decided to use this

22     unit to handle these tasks as you mentioned them?

23        A.   The decision to employ the unit could be made only by the

24     minister of the interior, and he did this via the chief of sector because

25     the SAJ unit was part of the sector.

Page 13574

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Who was the operational commander of the units?

 2        A.   The operational commander of the unit was the unit commander.  In

 3     fact, the SAJ commander who received orders would then decide which unit

 4     to entrust with a certain task, whether that would be the SAJ Belgrade,

 5     Novi Sad, or Pristina.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  On line 21 on this page it says that the decision to

 7     use this unit is made by the ministry?

 8        A.   No, actually, it's the minister who takes that decision.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  Tell us, please, what was the structure and how was

10     the Belgrade SAJ organised, the unit at whose head you were?

11        A.   The structure of the unit whose commander I was was as follows:

12     It had its command, three platoons, each platoon had three squads which

13     numbered approximately 100 men, and the operational composition of the

14     unit was between 50 and 60 men.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Was it approximately the same structure in the SAJ

16     Pristina and the SAJ Novi Sad?

17        A.   All three units had an identical structure.

18        Q.   Thank you.  What was the complement, the fullness of the

19     complement of the SAJ, especially during the anti-terrorist operation and

20     the war in 1999?

21        A.   In the summer operations of 1998 and the war in 1999, in 1998 the

22     SAJ had an almost full complement while in 1999 pursuant to a decision

23     made by the minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic, the SAJ Novi Sad was abolished

24     in 1998 so that removed one-third of the personnel.

25        Q.   You told us that the base, the headquarters of the SAJ was in

Page 13575

 1     Belgrade, was in the Mesa Milosa Street, but where was the seat of your

 2     unit, your base?

 3        A.   My unit was based in Batajnica near Belgrade at the 13 May

 4     centre.

 5        Q.   Mr. Simovic, during the 1999 war, where was your unit employed?

 6        A.   During the war in 1999 on the 23rd of March, 1999, the unit was

 7     sent to the province of Kosovo and Metohija.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  Could you tell us who planned the activities of your

 9     unit during the war when you were in the territory of Kosovo and

10     Metohija?

11        A.   All the operations on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, that

12     means from July until early October, and during the war, were planned by

13     the headquarters for anti-terrorism which had its base at the SUP -- at

14     the MUP Pristina.

15        Q.   You said July until early October, which year do you mean?

16        A.   I mean 1998 because the headquarters for combat against terrorism

17     in Kosovo and Metohija was established in June that year.

18        Q.   Can you tell us how do you know that these headquarters were

19     formed in June, this staff was formed in June?

20        A.   Well, in regular situations, Mr. Trajkovic and I had two meetings

21     a month, and depending on the situation, it could be more.  However, at

22     one of these meetings, Mr. Trajkovic informed all the commanders, that

23     is, me, Stalevic and Curcic, that a decision had been made by the

24     minister to establish the staff for combat against terrorism for Kosovo

25     and Metohija that he himself was a member of that staff, that the General

Page 13576

 1     Sreten Lukic was appointed head of the staff, David Gajic from the public

 2     security sector was appointed his deputy, and another member of the staff

 3     was Milorad Ulemek, also known as Legija, commander of the JSO unit, unit

 4     for special operations that belonged to the state security sector.

 5        Q.   Thank you.  Who gave you your assignments during these

 6     anti-terrorist activities from July to early October 1998?

 7        A.   As I said earlier, all the assignments were issued by the staff,

 8     and I personally received my assignments from my commander,

 9     Mr. Trajkovic.  When I say staff, I mean the staff for combat against

10     terrorism for Kosovo and Metohija.

11             MR. STAMP:  Before you proceed with the next question, I'm

12     wondering, Your Honour, if perhaps we could clarify what the record at

13     page 8, lines 23 and 24, if I probably heard correctly or not.  It says,

14     David Gajic from the public security sector.

15             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]

16        Q.   Witness, you heard the Prosecutor.  Could you clarify?

17        A.   I said the head of the staff was General Lukic, and his deputy

18     was David Gajic from the state security sector and so was Milorad Lukovic

19     [as interpreted] also known as Legija, he was also from the state

20     security sector.

21        Q.   To clarify the transcript in the same line, what was Mr. Zivko

22     Trajkovic?

23        A.   Member of the staff.

24        Q.   And who established the staff?

25        A.   Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic.

Page 13577

 1        Q.   Thank you.

 2             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] If e-court is now working, I would

 3     like to call up D106?

 4        Q.   And for you, it's tab 2.

 5             JUDGE PARKER:  It doesn't appear yet to be working.

 6             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Well, it's still not that great a

 7     problem.  I think we can explain in another way.  The witness has the

 8     relevant decision before him.

 9        Q.   Witness, this is the decision of the minister dated 19 July 1998

10     awarding certain rewards or decorations for members of the PJP, SAJ, and

11     JSO.  Were you familiar with this decision when it was made?

12        A.   Yes, because we were commanders of our respective units, and we

13     made lists and gave them to Commander Trajkovic, and he carried them to

14     the staff so that these remunerations could be distributed to people.

15        Q.   To which sector did the PJP and SAJ units belong?

16        A.   The PJP and SAJ belonged to the public security sector.

17        Q.   And what about the JSO, the unit for special operations, which

18     was a police unit?

19        A.   It was a special unit of the state security sector.

20        Q.   Thank you.  We can't have it in e-court, but I'd like to review

21     D107.  It's binder [as interpreted] number 3 for you, witness.  It's a

22     dispatch from the ministry staff from Pristina dated 20th October, 1998.

23     Could you tell us to whom was it sent?

24        A.   I see it was signed by the head of the staff, Major-General

25     Sreten Lukic, but it was sent to the units of the PJP, the SAJ, and the

Page 13578

 1     JSO.

 2        Q.   And what does the heading say?

 3        A.   Commanders of the PJP, SAJ, and JSO, and chiefs.

 4        Q.   Chiefs where?

 5        A.   The chiefs of secretariats in the territory of Kosovo and

 6     Metohija.

 7        Q.   We see that this is an order to pay out those rewards and

 8     remunerations from the 17th of September until 11 October.  Was it usual

 9     to receive such dispatches during anti-terrorist operations?

10        A.   Yes, it was.

11        Q.   Were they acted upon?

12        A.   Yes.

13        Q.   And did people actually receive these remunerations, these

14     bonuses?

15        A.   Yes, everything written in the dispatches had to be executed.

16        Q.   You said the activities were planned by the MUP staff in

17     Pristina, but would you tell us how you as commander of the SAJ Belgrade

18     and other commanders of the SAJ received your assignments during the 1999

19     war?

20        A.   All the plans for the employment of our units and the assignments

21     in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija for the police were issued by the

22     staff for combat against terrorism.  Our commander, Trajkovic, was a

23     member of that staff and he was also our commander.  He, as a commander,

24     received assignments from the staff that would be an extract on a

25     topographic map with the axis of operation drawn in.  With that map, he

Page 13579

 1     would convene a meeting of all the three commanders in the period while

 2     Novi Sad was still within our complement.  That Commander Stalevic and I

 3     would work in detail on the plan and then he would give us specific

 4     assignments individually according to the axis that had to be followed.

 5        Q.   Just tell us, when exactly was that ministerial decision whereby

 6     the SAJ Novi Sad ceased to exist?

 7        A.   It was the decision of Minister Trajkovic, [as interpreted] and I

 8     believe it was towards the end of December that the SAJ Novi Sad was

 9     abolished.

10        Q.   So during the war, which units made up the SAJ?

11        A.   During the war, the SAJ or the SAJ command were made up of SAJ

12     Pristina and SAJ Belgrade.

13        Q.   Could you explain technically how it worked receiving assignments

14     from the staff during the war in 1999?

15        A.   Assignments were received by Commander Trajkovic who either went

16     to the staff or would send the courier to get the assignments or a

17     courier came from the staff to Commander Trajkovic bringing assignments.

18        Q.   Line 2, page 12, who was the minister of the interior towards the

19     end of 1998, the one who abolished that unit of the SAJ?

20        A.   In 1998 and 1999 the minister was Vlajko Stojiljkovic.

21        Q.   During the war in 1999, to whom would you report after an

22     operation was completed?

23        A.   During the war in 1999 both I and Commander Stalevic did not

24     submit written reports, but would upon each operation completed analyse

25     the operation together with Commander Trajkovic, and he would then report

Page 13580

 1     to the staff.  Whether he did it in writing or orally, I don't know.

 2        Q.   While we are on the subject, could you tell us during those

 3     anti-terrorist operations in the summer of 1998, how did reporting after

 4     operations completed work?

 5        A.   In 1998 and during the war we acted exactly as I just described.

 6             I'm sorry, Your Honours, if I can just add.  When I say 1998,

 7     that means the period from the establishment of the staff for combat

 8     against terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija.  I'm looking at another thing

 9     though.  I see on the transcript the word "operation" used constantly

10     whereas I use the word "action".

11        Q.   Mr. Simovic, you told us that towards the end of December 1998,

12     the SAJ Novi Sad was abolished.  How did that affect your operational

13     capacity, I mean the capacity of the SAJ as a unit?

14        A.   As I said before, the operational capacity of the SAJ was reduced

15     by about 30 per cent because one unit was gone and that meant around 100

16     men.

17        Q.   That was towards the end of 1998.  Could you tell us if any steps

18     were made to improve the operational capacity of the SAJ in view of the

19     fact that this unit in Novi Sad was abolished and in view also of the

20     security situation that prevailed in the beginning of 1999?

21        A.   Since the SAJ was involved in assignments in Kosovo and the

22     operations in 1998 involved a large number of losses, deaths, and

23     injuries, and once the SAJ Novi Sad was abolished, our operational

24     capacity was reduced, diminished.  At some of the meetings with

25     Mr. Trajkovic we discussed options for replenishing, reinforcing our

Page 13581

 1     units.  When I say "our units", I mean SAJ, not SAJ Belgrade.

 2             Since the regular procedure for admission into a special

 3     anti-terrorist unit is long, the SAJ recruits from the regular police

 4     force, preferably the best police officers.  And then the procedure of

 5     admission takes several months.  And since we didn't have that time in

 6     this particular case, Mr. Trajkovic told us in our discussions that we

 7     need to find a possibility to recruit from the reserve police force from

 8     the reserve of the MUP.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  Now, tell us, please, what was the security situation

10     in February and March 1998 -- 1999, in other words, before the 20th of

11     March; do you recall?

12        A.   Yes, I remember that it was very complex.  We were expecting a

13     NATO strike against Serbia, and Mr. Trajkovic at one of the meetings, I

14     believe this was in the second half of February, said that the minister

15     had called for a greater involvement of the SAJ in the following period,

16     and on that occasion, he discussed this with a certain Mrgud, whom he

17     knew, in terms of there existing an amount or a number of men in -- from

18     Srem who had moved from Croatia to Serbia, and that if they met all the

19     requirements to be admitted into the reserve force, that then this should

20     be discussed with the minister via the chief of sector so that they can

21     immediately proceed with the procedure to recruit these new men into the

22     reserve force -- police force.

23             What I mentioned here, that the chief of sector had to discuss

24     this with the minister, that was a reference to the fact that

25     Mr. Trajkovic could not do this directly.  He could not discuss this with

Page 13582

 1     the minister directly.  It could only be done through the chief of

 2     sector.  And the minister was the only one who could actually take this

 3     decision on recruitment of personnel into the reserve force.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  Did Mr. Trajkovic tell you anything about these men

 5     that he felt should be admitted into the reserve force of the Ministry of

 6     the Interior?

 7        A.   Trajkovic?  Trajkovic told us that he knew a certain number of

 8     these men, that he had met them in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem

 9     while he was a member of the Territorial Defence of that territory, of

10     that area.

11        Q.   Mr. Simovic, was the SAJ unit actually reinforced by this reserve

12     force, the reserve MUP unit?  And if so, how did you learn about this?

13        A.   Well, let me just point one thing out.  The special

14     anti-terrorist unit, the SAJ, did not have its own reserve force, and it

15     never had had it.  That is why we explored this possibility of having a

16     regular reserve force attached, the regular reserve force from the

17     Ministry of the Interior of Serbia attached to the unit.

18        Q.   Thank you.  But I was actually asking you whether that reserve

19     force was actually attached to the SAJ unit, and if so, how did you learn

20     about that?

21        A.   I understood your question the first time around, but I was

22     waiting for the interpreters to do their job.

23             On the 26th, I believe it was on the 26th of March, on the axis

24     of operation where we were employed, Commander Trajkovic said to me and

25     Mr. Stalevic, that the reserve force of the Republic of Serbia MUP, which

Page 13583

 1     was supposed to be attached to our unit, was in Prolom Banja.  In the

 2     evening, on the 26th of March, 1999, Trajkovic went that night in the

 3     direction of Podujevo.  I don't know where he went.

 4             On the following day, on the 27th in the morning hours, I believe

 5     it was around 11.00 but I cannot recall the time with precision,

 6     Mr. Trajkovic called us on the radio from Podujevo and informed us that

 7     in Bradas village he would come to meet us, and he meant Stalevic and

 8     myself, and this was where our operation was supposed to end.

 9             He called Mr. Stalevic and asked him to go to the main road to

10     meet him there in order to escort him to the centre of Bradas village

11     where I was waiting for them.  Not far from where I was in the centre of

12     Bradas village, some 30 metres or so away, Mr. Stalevic's jeep drove by,

13     and behind his jeep was Commander Trajkovic's jeep, which actually ran on

14     to -- into an anti-tank mine.  There was a very loud explosion, a blast.

15     I saw thick black smoke, and this jeep was blown up in this blast and

16     thrown off the road.

17             I ran towards the place where the anti-tank mine was set off and

18     Commander Stalevic, who was in the immediate vicinity, had already got

19     off his vehicle, and as Mr. Markovic, the doctor of our unit, was in the

20     vehicle with him, they were already there on site, and they were

21     administering first aid to the wounded.  However, unfortunately, Aleksic,

22     Mr. Radovan Aleksic, died on the spot.  There was no help for him.  And

23     Mr. Trajkovic and his driver, Basara, Zoran and the analyst Petrovic,

24     Nikola were taken by Dr. Dragan after first aid was administered to the

25     hospital in Pristina where they were to undergo a detailed examination,

Page 13584

 1     and the body of the late Aleksic was transferred to pathology, to the

 2     forensic pathology department at the Pristina SUP.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Could you tell us the doctor's name, please, for the

 4     transcript?

 5        A.   Dr. Dragan Markovic.

 6        Q.   Mr. Simovic, could you tell us, please, what you did next?

 7        A.   After Dr. Dragan took the wounded men and drove off toward

 8     Pristina, Commander Stalevic and I went to Podujevo, to the OUP.

 9     Stalevic telephoned the staff from the Podujevo OUP and informed them of

10     the incident.  In the meantime, Dr. Markovic conveyed to us by radio that

11     Commander Trajkovic was slightly wounded, that he went to the

12     anti-terrorist staff in Pristina, and -- headquarters in Pristina and

13     that he would then come to the Podujevo OUP to meet with us.

14        Q.   Let me just ask you something.  What happened with your units,

15     your own and Mr. Stalevic's unit?

16        A.   Our units were deployed at Podujevo, and they were resting

17     pending the next assignment.

18        Q.   Thank you.  After the wounding on the 27th of March, 1999, did

19     you see Commander Trajkovic?

20        A.   Mr. Trajkovic was not wounded.  He was injured.  I saw him around

21     1700 hours in Podujevo.  He came to see Sava and me.  He had the stiff

22     collar around his neck.  He didn't have any fractures.  He just had a

23     contusion, a concussion of the head, and he said to Stalevic that both

24     units should remain in Podujevo.  And as he was unable to go and take

25     over the reserve force unit which was in Prolom Banja because had he to

Page 13585

 1     go to Belgrade to organise the burial of the late Aleksic, he assigned me

 2     to do that.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  You said here "Sava."  Could you tell us the last

 4     name of this person?

 5    A.   Well, out of habit, I will probably use the name Sava because that is

 6   the habitual usage, but that is the commander of the Pristina SAJ, Radislav

 7   Stalevic, whom everybody calls Sava and whom we all know by that name.

 8        Q.   Mr. Simovic, you told us that Commander Trajkovic told you that

 9     he was going to Belgrade to organise the burial of your dead member, and

10     you were assigned to go to Prolom Banja to actually take over the reserve

11     force.  Did you do as you were instructed?

12        A.   Yes.  I complied with Mr. Trajkovic’s order because he told me

13     that after he was given assistance, medical assistance, he had been to

14     the MUP staff for combat against terrorism in Pristina and that they

15     agreed, or rather they gave permission to go to the reserve force unit at

16     Prolom Banja.  And I went together with Mr. Trajkovic, well, actually, we

17     each went in our own vehicles because when you go from Podujevo in the

18     direction of Belgrade, you go actually on the same road, some 15

19     kilometres, and then I split and I went right towards Prolom Banja where

20     this reserve force of the Republic of Serbia MUP was stationed.

21        Q.   Can you tell us, please, what happened in Prolom Banja when you

22     arrived there?

23        A.   When I arrived in Prolom Banja, I was instructed by Mr. Trajkovic

24     to look for a certain Boca.  His name is Slobodan Medic, and that he was

25     with this reserve force of the MUP but that in an oral agreement between

Page 13586

 1     him and Mr. Trajkovic, he was in a way responsible for this force.  I met

 2     Mr. Medic and was introduced to him because that was the first time that

 3     I saw him.  I hadn't met them before.  He asked me about Djila referring

 4     to Commander Zivko Trajkovic.  I told him what had happened and that

 5     Mr. Trajkovic had to go to Belgrade and that I came to arrange for the

 6     next day, the 28th, for them to be ready and that I would come to pick

 7     them up in order to escort them to Kosovo and Metohija to Podujevo.

 8        Q.   On line 24 on page 18, it says he asked me about Djila?

 9        A.   No, not Djila, Zile.  Z.

10             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  Z-i-l-e.

11             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Well, very well, there is no other

12     way that we can spell this.  We can just spell it with a Z but, in fact,

13     it's Zile.

14        Q.   Did members of the reserve force while they were in Prolom Banja

15     have a vehicle that they had arrived in?

16        A.   Yes, they were transported by buses from Belgrade to Prolom

17     Banja, and the same buses were still there.

18        Q.   Thank you.  Now, Mr. Simovic, tell us, please, did you have

19     transport vehicles in your units that could be used by these reserve --

20     members of the reserve force of the MUP once they were attached to you?

21        A.   Yes.  When the Novi Sad SAJ was disbanded, all of its equipment

22     was then transferred to the Belgrade and Pristina SAJs so that we had

23     armoured trucks, TAM 110 and 150 trucks that were for transport of

24     personnel in certain situations.

25        Q.   Thank you.  And where were these trucks on the 27th and the 28th

Page 13587

 1     of March, 1999?

 2        A.   Some of them were with us, with the unit, and others were at the

 3     forward command post of SAJ Pristina in Gracanica.

 4        Q.   These armoured trucks, is that what you meant, were they

 5     armoured, bulletproof?

 6        A.   No, they were not factory made like that, but they were later

 7     provided with an armour that stops rifle ammunition.

 8        Q.   These trucks that we were discussing, were they at your disposal

 9     throughout the 1999 war?

10        A.   Yes, it was equipment that belonged to the SAJ command.  Now, how

11     it would be distributed between Belgrade and Pristina did not matter.

12        Q.   What happened after their discussion with Mr. Medic in Prolom

13     Banja?  What happened next?

14        A.   I told Mr. Medic that between 4.00 and 5.00 a.m. I would come to

15     pick them up.  And I went to Podujevo where my unit was deployed to talk

16     some more with Mr. Stalevic because I was supposed to go to Belgrade

17     after bringing that reserve to the funeral of Mr. Aleksic, and I had some

18     outstanding operational matters to discuss with Mr. Stalevic.

19        Q.   And what was going on on the 28th of March 1999?

20        A.   On the 28th, as I said, I went with my driver and body-guard to

21     Prolom Banja.  They were waiting in their buses.  I went ahead of their

22     two buses to Podujevo and upon arrival, I told Mr. Medic and members of

23     the reserve unit not to leave the buses until accommodation is provided

24     for them, and then Medic and I went to the Podujevo OUP where Commander

25     Stalevic was waiting for us to discuss the following steps.

Page 13588

 1             We got into Podujevo, and after awhile I heard two long volleys

 2     of fire from automatic weapons.  I ran outside because I had had a

 3     feeling that something bad had happened.  And indeed, some 300 metres

 4     from OUP Podujevo, I saw a group of my own unit members and ran towards

 5     them.  When I got there, I found Dr. Dragan Markovic giving first aid to

 6     wounded civilians.  There were a few more members of the SAJ who were

 7     helping the doctor in this job, and I did my best to organise ambulances

 8     urgently to transport the wounded people to the hospital in Pristina.

 9             One of my subordinate commanding officers, platoon Commander

10     Vulevic, informed me that members of the reserve unit, whom I had brought

11     and who had been supposed to stay on the buses, had fired on civilians.

12     I did not see who fired, nor were my own unit members able to tell me.

13     Once I had organised those ambulances for the wounded, I was told that

14     there were fatalities, and I decided to take back that reserve unit to

15     Prolom Banja.

16       I issued an order to my own unit members that they take back to the bus

17     everyone they find, and when I got to Podujevo, where Mr. Stalevic was

18     present too, I told Mr. Medic to go back to the bus with members of the

19   reserve force and return to Prolom Banja.  While my people were collecting,

20   gathering the members of their return unit and returning them to their

21   buses, I was in OUP Podujevo and discussed with some of the officers there

22   how to take all the necessary steps to secure the scene of the crime and do

23  an on-site investigation.  The OUP Podujevo informed an investigating judge.

24  I informed the MUP staff for combat against terrorism located in Pristina

25  about the decisions I had taken, namely to return that unit back to Prolom

Page 13589

 1  Banja, and I also informed the head of sector, Mr. Vlastimir Djordjevic, in

 2  Belgrade, because I could not reach my own Commander Trajkovic on his cell

 3  phone.  And since I was returning that unit to the territory of Serbia, and

 4   the whole of the MUP in Belgrade was relocated in view of the air-strikes,

 5   I did not know where each of the administrations were temporarily located,

 6   I needed to inform someone to take care of this reserve unit.

 7        Q.   You said an investigating judge was informed and there was an

 8     on-site investigation headed by an investigating judge, and you said that

 9     the competent police authorities filed their criminal reports and that

10     the criminal proceedings were instituted against the persons who had then

11     at that time been found to have perpetrated this -- crime in Podujevo?

12             MR. STAMP:  [Overlapping speakers] ... or to the Court where it

13     is that the witness said all of that which you just recited?

14             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] He said an investigating judge was

15     informed, and I asked, was an investigating judge informed, and did the

16     competent authorities in the police start proceedings against persons

17     whom they had found to have perpetrated this crime in Podujevo.  I don't

18     see the problem.  The witness told us --

19             JUDGE PARKER:  Is it your proposition, Mr. Stamp, that this goes

20     beyond what the witness actually said?

21             MR. STAMP:  Yes, Your Honour, it goes way beyond what the witness

22     said.  I suspect the witness will say it, but counsel shouldn't give

23     evidence.

24             JUDGE PARKER:  I think you have anticipated a great deal of what

25     the witness might say if asked, Mr. Djurdjic.  If you want this evidence

Page 13590

 1     from the witness, you need to explore it from him in the ordinary way.

 2             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] All right.

 3        Q.   Witness, you said an investigating judge had been informed by OUP

 4     Podujevo.  Do you know if an on-site investigation was carried out?

 5             JUDGE PARKER:  Already you are anticipating more than the witness

 6     has actually said.  I suspect it's in your head as what ought to have

 7     been said, but it hasn't been said.  If you want to have details of an

 8     investigating judge being informed and acting, you need to get it from

 9     the witness.

10             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   Witness, do you know after you informed OUP Podujevo of the

12     incident which measures were then taken?

13        A.   I informed OUP Podujevo so that they can take the following

14     steps, further steps, but I don't know what further steps were taken

15     because by that time I was no longer in Podujevo.  I had immediately left

16     for Belgrade.  I escorted the reserve unit to the fork leading to Prolom

17     Banja, and I continued on to Belgrade to attend the funeral of the late

18     Aleksic.  I informed the OUP of what had happened, that they needed to

19     organise further investigative work.

20        Q.   Do you know what OUP Podujevo did about it?

21        A.   At that time I didn't because I was no longer in Podujevo.  I had

22     already left for Belgrade.

23        Q.   But did you find out later?

24        A.   After I returned from that funeral, I learned that an on-site

25     investigation had been carried out, that the investigating judge had come

Page 13591

 1     to the scene of the crime, that officers of the OUP Podujevo had been to

 2     Prolom Banja and taken certain steps.  I don't know anything else.

 3        Q.   Do you know if anyone was prosecuted in relation to this incident

 4     in Podujevo on the 28th of March?

 5        A.   Yes, I know it was reported in the media, and I had been invited

 6     to provide a statement in the case.  There was a prosecution, and the

 7     perpetrators were arrested, not all of them at the same time, but

 8     depending on how evidence was collected but all the -- those involved in

 9     this incident had been prosecuted.

10        Q.   How long did you stay in Belgrade after you left on that 28th of

11     March?

12        A.   Not long, a day or perhaps two.  I went there just for the

13     funeral, and I can't remember whether the body of the late Aleksic was

14     transferred from Pristina on the 29th or the 30th.  But as soon as this

15     funeral was over, I went back to Kosovo and Metohija because my unit was

16     there.

17        Q.   And do you know when commander Trajkovic arrived in Kosovo and

18     Metohija?

19        A.   I think Mr. Trajkovic arrived some seven days later.

20        Q.   Seven days after what?

21        A.   After he left for Belgrade.

22             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I believe, Your Honours, it's time

23     for the break.

24             JUDGE PARKER:  Yes, Mr. Djurdjic, it is.  Could I say that

25     searching back over the record by Judge Fluegge, some of what you thought

Page 13592

 1     you had asked, you had asked.  You were partly right, and we were partly

 2     right.  Sorry about that.  We now adjourn for the first break.  We resume

 3     at 11.00.  A Court Officer will assist you during the break.

 4                           [The witness stands down]

 5                           --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.

 6                           --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.

 7                           [The witness takes the stand]

 8             JUDGE PARKER:  Please sit down.

 9             THE WITNESS:  Thank you.

10             JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Djurdjic.

11             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

12        Q.   Mr. Simovic, before the break we discussed your return to Kosovo

13     and Metohija from Belgrade during the war in 1999.  Tell us, please, did

14     you continue with your assignments together with your unit in KiM after

15     you returned, after the funeral of your colleague in Belgrade?

16        A.   When I returned from Belgrade I stopped by the forward command

17     post of the SAJ unit, which was in Gracanica, because the NATO

18     air-strikes had begun and the SAJ command had been transferred, so that I

19     went to the forward command post in order to determine or establish where

20     exactly my unit was.

21             At that point in time, my unit was deployed at Kosovo Polje where

22     the forward base of the SAJ was located.  Commander Stalevic too was in

23     Kosovo Polje, and then we just resumed our assign -- our tasks, carrying

24     out our tasks as assigned.

25        Q.   In the course of your further activities during the war and after

Page 13593

 1     your return, what was the -- what were the operational capabilities of

 2     the SAJ unit?

 3        A.   As I said, the SAJ was an exhausted unit.  We did not have a

 4     sufficient number of men because one of our units had been disbanded, and

 5     we absolutely needed to improve our manpower levels and replenish our

 6     ranks.  When I arrived soon after me Commander Trajkovic arrived too, and

 7     at one of the meetings that we had, Commander Stalevic and I raised this

 8     issue to see whether there was a possibility for actually getting more

 9     men for our unit.

10             Mr. Trajkovic, as he was a member of the staff, was in regular

11     communication with the staff, and he mentioned this problem as well.  In

12     the meantime, he suggested that Sava and I, or actually for our needs

13     that the reserve force of the MUP be re-activated, which on the 28th in

14     Podujevo had done what it had done.

15             He said that he was now present, that he, too, would meet them,

16     and that they would actually purge the ranks from those men who took --

17     who participated in the unfortunate incident in Podujevo and that he was

18     responsible for them.  A few days later, we asked him whether there was

19     any news in that respect, and he told us that the staff was in agreement,

20     and that through the chief of sector, the minister had approved their

21     deployment, and the police administration was assigned the task to equip

22     them and that we could expect their arrival in Kosovo and Metohija in a

23     couple of days.

24        Q.   Thank you.  Did they eventually arrive, those members of the

25     reserve force of the MUP?

Page 13594

 1        A.   Yes.  Members of the reserve force, I can't remember the exact

 2     date, but it would have been toward the end of April, arrived at our

 3     forward command in Kosovo Polje, the forward command of the SAJ.

 4        Q.   Could you tell us, please, what tasks were members of the reserve

 5     force of the MUP assigned when they were attached to your unit?

 6        A.   Members of the MUP reserve force were not assigned the tasks that

 7     regular members of the SAJ were assigned.  We employed them for guard

 8     duty, for holding the lines that we had reached in the course of our

 9     operations, and in some instances where it was necessary, they were also

10     assigned some easier tasks.

11        Q.   Thank you.  Did members of the MUP reserve force participate in

12     activities conducted by your operational teams?

13        A.   No.  Members of the reserve force could never work together with

14     the operative or technical teams of the SAJ members.  They could only

15     carry out tasks that were assigned within their own reserve force.

16        Q.   Did a certain number of men from the reserve force, were they

17     attached to your SAJ unit in Belgrade?

18    A.  Yes, some of them were assigned to the SAJ in Belgrade and some to the

19   SAJ in Pristina.  Once the members of the reserve force were attached to my

20   unit, and this was in Kosovo Polje, I organised a meeting with these men. 

21   I hadn’t – I didn’t recognise any of them as being a participant in the

22   unfortunate event in Podujevo.  What I wanted to know was that they had all

23   done their military service because that was a requirement for all members

24   of the MUP reserve force.  They would have had to have done their military

25   service.  And based on what military branch they had served in and what

Page 13595

 1     occupational specialty they had while doing their military service, they

 2     would be used in order to establish groups or teams that were -- that

 3     would then be capable of carrying out certain tasks.

 4        Q.   Did members of the reserve force take part in any of your

 5     activities during the war?

 6        A.   Yes.  There was an action, a major operation in the area of

 7     Jezerska Planina where they took part together with my unit in an action,

 8     and they carried out all the tasks they were assigned properly in a

 9     disciplined manner and efficiently.

10        Q.   Thank you.  Other than that one action, were members of the

11     reserve force also employed in some other activities of yours?

12        A.   After this action was completed, and it was completed on the 9th

13     of May, members of the Republic of Serbia MUP reserve force were sent

14     back to Belgrade and disbanded because there was no longer any need for

15     their employment.

16        Q.   Thank you.  From that time on when they returned to Belgrade up

17     until the end of the war, were they ever resubordinated to the SAJ unit?

18  A.  Once they returned on the 9th of May, they left Kosovo, and they were no

19  longer on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.  In other words, they were

20  sent back to their homes.  Now, this reserve force, I don't know exactly the

21  date, but they were disbanded by pursuant to a decision of the minister and

22  the reserve force that had been attached to our unit was disbanded.

23        Q.   From that time when they returned to Belgrade up until the end of

24     the war, were they ever again attached or resubordinated to the SAJ?

25        A.   No.

Page 13596

 1        Q.   Thank you.  In the course of 1999, were you aware that any member

 2     of the reserve force that was attached to the SAJ had committed or was

 3     committing or committed any criminal offences in the territory of Kosovo

 4     and Metohija in 1999?

 5        A.   I didn't know of any such criminal offences, but in order for

 6     someone to become a member of the reserve force of the MUP, such a member

 7     would have had to apply for the reserve force and would have to be

 8     processed according to the same procedure as any member of the regular

 9     reserve force.  So that they would not be eligible if they committed any

10     criminal offence or had any criminal record.  So that when the members of

11     the reserve force came to Kosovo and Metohija, I never suspected any of

12     them of having committed any criminal offence because all of those checks

13     would have had to be done in Belgrade in the course of the application

14     procedure.  The MUP in Belgrade would check the criminal records, they

15     would check the court records.

16        Q.   Thank you.  Could you tell us, please, what was your relationship

17     with General Vlastimir Djordjevic?

18        A.   We had a professional relationship.  In other words, we had

19     official ties and contacts but nothing out of the ordinary.

20        Q.   Did you attend any meetings where he was present?

21        A.   Yes.  I attended meetings where the chief of sector was also

22     present, but this was before the events in 1998 and 1999 when, as a

23     commander of the special unit, when I needed to obtain certain equipment,

24     I had occasion to have contacts with the chief of sector and sometimes,

25     for instance, we would send our men for training abroad and so forth.  So

Page 13597

 1     we only had official contact, nothing other than that.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  In 1998 during anti-terrorist activities conducted in

 3     the summer of 1998, did you have occasion to meet General Djordjevic?

 4        A.   In 1998 during the summer operations, I saw him on several

 5     occasions in Kosovo and Metohija.  I can't remember exactly how many,

 6     three or four times perhaps, and even on one occasion on an axis of

 7     operation where we were engaged in Malisevo he came to visit us.  The

 8     driver was driving his vehicle, he was with Commander Trajkovic, with

 9     Savo, and me.  He asked us how the operation was developing.  He asked

10     whether we had any casualties.  He asked us about the men.  So just

11     normal questions.  He stayed with us some two to three hours, I don't

12     know exactly how many.  But as for any other occasions, I really can't

13     recall because a lot time has passed.

14        Q.   Thank you.  Now, in relation to executing these anti-terrorist

15     operations in the summer, have you ever received any assignments from

16     Mr. Djordjevic?

17        A.   We did not receive any assignments from Mr. Djordjevic, nor did

18     Mr. Trajkovic while he was with us.  We received our assignments

19     exclusively from the staff for combat against terrorism for Kosovo and

20     Metohija.

21        Q.   Thank you.  During the war in 1999 when you were in Kosovo and

22     Metohija, did you have occasion to meet with Mr. Djordjevic, General

23     Djordjevic?

24        A.   In 1999, in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija I did not meet

25     with Mr. Djordjevic.  I met with him on the 12th of May, 1999, in

Page 13598

 1     Belgrade in the newly relocated MUP because it was at the time when I was

 2     promoted into colonel.

 3        Q.   Where was the SAJ base in Belgrade, the Belgrade unit?

 4        A.   The Belgrade unit?  I said at the beginning that the base of the

 5     SAJ Belgrade was at the so-called 13 May centre in Batajnica, which is a

 6     suburb of Belgrade.

 7        Q.   Did there come a time when you learned that in that base of the

 8     SAJ in Batajnica there were bodies buried?

 9        A.   About the bodies buried on the territory of the SAJ base, I found

10     out after my return from Kosovo after the agreement had been signed when

11     my unit left Kosovo, and my unit and the SAJ Pristina and the command of

12     the SAJ all had their bases destroyed by the bombing, so we were all

13     relocated to the 13 May centre.  My subordinate commander, commander of

14     the 3rd Platoon, Zoran Djokovic told me about it.  He said, Boss, I have

15     to tell you, and I already told Commander Trajkovic, just behind the

16     perimeter of the target training-ground there are bodies buried.

17        Q.   Did you do anything about it?

18        A.   Since Mr. Trajkovic and the whole command of the SAJ was there --

19     in fact, first of all, I couldn't believe what Djokovic was saying.  I

20     went to see Trajkovic and said, Is this true what Djokovic told me?

21     Trajkovic said, Yes, it's true.  The minister has been informed and don't

22     you worry, it's none of your concern.  I left completely dazed in

23     disbelief that something like that could have happened in my centre, and

24     I say "my centre" because we had taken over that centre from the federal

25     Secretariat of the Interior, and still I couldn't muster the courage to

Page 13599

 1     go and see where those bodies were buried.

 2        Q.   During the war, were you based in the 13 May centre?

 3        A.   No, it was not our base.  During the period when there was a

 4     state of war, Djokovic and the other members of the SAJ who guarded the

 5     base had relocated the headquarters and the base so that apart from the

 6     guards, there was no one there.

 7        Q.   What I'd like to know is when you conduct training, when you

 8     conducted training, did you conduct any training behind that para-pit of

 9     the target training-ground?

10        A.   I think I said earlier that this part of the compound was never

11     used for any sort of training.  It's completely covered by underbrush,

12     although, it is a part of the territory of the centre.

13        Q.   Mr. Simovic, in our case we have already heard Mr. Zivko

14     Trajkovic who was commander of the SAJ in 1998 and 1999.  He has already

15     testified, and I would like to put to you some passages from his

16     testimony and ask you to comment.

17             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we get page 9087 of our

18     transcript.  28 September 2009.  The number is 90, 9087.

19        Q.   Mr. Simovic, witness Trajkovic said in lines 1 through 6:  "In

20     the period from the 24th," -- you will get the transcript in English so

21     you don't need to look at it.  I will be reading to you in Serbian.

22             "From the 24th when the NATO intervention began in Kosovo, I

23     contacted Mr. Djordjevic, and he told me that one combat unit was ready

24     to join us.  At that time, as we were involved in carrying out another

25     specific task, I could not give any kind of approval, and I said that we

Page 13600

 1     should wait until completion of this action that was underway and only

 2     then would we be able to accept this unit in a proper manner because we

 3     needed vehicles for them, and we had no vehicles resubordinated to us for

 4     that purpose, and we couldn't drive them around Kosovo in buses."

 5             And then on page --

 6             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel repeat the pages.

 7             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] 9089 and 9090.  I'm repeating the

 8     pages 9089, line 25, and page 9090, lines 1 through 4.

 9        Q.   The answer of Mr. Trajkovic:

10             "Well, first of all, as our units were quite mobile, we

11     frequently moved from one area to another.  So in order to be able to

12     accept them, we had to review together with the staff the possibility to

13     have some field vehicles bring these people to the place where they would

14     be quartered.  That's what I had in mind first."

15             Now, I'd like to ask you, Mr. Simovic, on the 28th and 29th of

16     March, did you have any transportation vehicles in the field available to

17     drive around these reservists if they should be resubordinated to you?

18        A.   As I said, they arrived on the 28th on buses.  In Podujevo our

19     unit had trucks to transport its own personnel, and we got these trucks,

20     as I said before, when the SAJ Novi Sad had been disbanded.  We received

21     part of their equipment.  And another part of the equipment was the

22     forward post in Gracanica.  So we had vehicles.

23             As far as weapons are concerned, they had been issued weapons by

24     the police administration, and they had already arrived in Kosovo with

25     weapons.

Page 13601

 1             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] The pages I quoted were different.

 2     They were 9089, line 25, and page 9090, lines 1 through 4.

 3        Q.   Mr. Simovic, I will now put to you another passage from the

 4     evidence of Mr. Trajkovic on page 9092, lines 5 through 7, and lines 8

 5     through 14.  The Prosecutor's question was:

 6             "What happened with these men that Mr. Djordjevic discussed with

 7     you or that you discussed with Mr. Djordjevic while you were in the

 8     hospital?"

 9             The witness, Mr. Trajkovic, answered:

10             "I learned later that Mr. Simovic -- when Mr. Djordjevic was

11     informed about this incident, he agreed with Mr. Simovic that this unit

12     be introduced, and we would see later on expecting that they would stay

13     in Podujevo for several days, that we would see later on how to provide

14     transportation for these people.  And he went with his driver to Prolom

15     Banja, which is very close to Podujevo, and escorted these men to

16     Podujevo."

17             That's the end of the passage.  Now, my question to you,

18     Mr. Simovic:  Before this unfortunate incident in Podujevo happened, had

19     you been in contact or discussed with General Djordjevic?

20        A.   The only thing true about this is that I went to Prolom Banja to

21     fetch them, and nothing else.  On the 27th, Mr. Trajkovic came to OUP

22     Podujevo, and he said that the staff had given its approval for me to go

23     fetch them, and then he left for Belgrade.  Mr. Trajkovic was not

24     hopitalised.  He was not lying in the hospital as an in-patient.

25        Q.   Thank you.  On the 27th of March, did you talk to Mr. Djordjevic

Page 13602

 1     before this happened on the 28th?

 2        A.   I spoke to Mr. Djordjevic on the 28th when I informed the MUP

 3     staff that I had made my decision and returned the reserve unit and

 4     notified Mr. Djordjevic because I couldn't get Trajkovic on the line.  I

 5     notified them because measures needed to be taken to admit these people

 6     or readmit these men on the territory of Serbia and that I wanted to get

 7     feedback.

 8        Q.   Although you partly anticipated my next question, I would like us

 9     to look at page 9093, lines 6 and 7, lines 8 through 11, 12 through 14,

10     and 15 through 18.  The Prosecutor asked:

11             "While you were in the hospital, did you receive any information

12     about what happened with these men on the 28th of March, 1999, at

13     Podujevo?"

14             Mr. Trajkovic answered:

15             "I think we are talking about the 27th of March because they were

16     introduced just after I was taken to the hospital, unless I'm mistaken,

17     but I think all this took place on the same day, and it was the 27th."

18             The next question:

19             "Very well, but there was just around that time an incident in

20     Podujevo involving these men.  Did you learn about the incident while you

21     were in the hospital?"

22             And Mr. Trajkovic answered:

23             "Yes, I learned about it on the next day, on the 28th.  I can't

24     remember who the officer was who came to visit me, but he informed me

25     about what had happened just after their arrival, the arrival of this

Page 13603

 1     combat group to Podujevo."

 2             The next question to you, sir, is:  After he was injured, did

 3     Mr. Trajkovic spend any time in the hospital?

 4        A.   As I said before in my evidence, Mr. Trajkovic came to OUP

 5     Podujevo on the 27th around 5.00 p.m.  He talked to me and Mr. Stalevic

 6     and then on the same day, he left Kosovo and went to Belgrade to organise

 7     the funeral of the late Aleksic.  So the best of my knowledge, Trajkovic

 8     was never hopitalised.

 9             On the 27th, he had just been taken to the hospital in Pristina

10     to have a detailed check-up and then he immediately went on to Belgrade,

11     and I met him in Belgrade at the funeral of the late Aleksic.

12        Q.   I'm now going to show you a statement on page 9107, lines 9 to

13     13.

14             "Djordjevic requested a report because I previously noted that

15     reports about the incident in Podujevo were also written by Mr. Simovic

16     as the commander of the Belgrade SAJ and Mr. Stalevic as the commander of

17     the Pristina SAJ, as they were two directly superior officers who were

18     there at the time when the incident happened."

19             Mr. Simovic, did you write any report about the events in

20     Podujevo of the 28th of March, 1999?

21        A.   The event or incident of the 28th of March, 1999 was not covered

22     in any report written by either me or Mr. Stalevic.

23             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Mr. Simovic, thank you

24     for answering my questions.  Your Honours, I have now completed my

25     examination-in-chief.

Page 13604

 1             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you very much, Mr. Djurdjic.

 2             Mr. Stamp.

 3             MR. STAMP:  Thank you, Your Honours.  I had imagined that we

 4     would not have to proceed with this witness so soon.  In any case, I will

 5     proceed.

 6                           Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:

 7        Q.   Mr. Simovic, just a couple of background questions.  You told us

 8     earlier that you graduated from a school, and the record indicates a

 9     school of defectology.  What course did you do, and which school did you

10     graduate from?

11        A.   It was not a course.  I completed the secondary school for

12     Internal Affairs, the high school of Internal Affairs, and also the

13     faculty of defectology.

14        Q.   Very well.  And when was this?

15        A.   I completed high school or secondary school in 1979, and I

16     started to work as a rookie police officer.  I completed my high school,

17     I think, in 1992, and then I graduated from university for learning

18     disability 1996.

19        Q.   Very well.  When the SAJ was re-established -- or I should just

20     ask you this question first.  In 1996 the minister Sokolovic made or

21     issued an order, a decision, to re-establish the SAJ, and maybe it could

22     be brought up.

23             MR. STAMP:  D401.  Is the system working?

24        Q.   And I think, Mr. Djurdjic explained that this was, in fact, a

25     re-establishment of the SAJ, but you didn't testify to that.  Can you

Page 13605

 1     explain that to us?

 2        A.   Yes.  SAJ, S-A-J, was formed in 1992, and it had the same powers

 3     and the same units in 1992.  There was also a command with three units.

 4     By adopting the decision in 1996, the minister of Internal Affairs,

 5     Mr. Sokolovic, placed all the other decisions out of effect, so there

 6     isn't much difference between 1992 and 1996 in the forces themselves.

 7        Q.   And in 1996, to whom did Mr. Trajkovic report?

 8        A.   As the commander of the special anti-terrorist unit SAJ was there

 9     in 1992 right until the end, Mr. Trajkovic.  Since the unit was part of

10     the public security sector, he reported to the chief of the sector, but

11     the order for the unit to go into action can only come from the minister.

12     The minister makes the decision, and the chief of the sector would deal

13     with its actual deployment or actions, if you understood me.

14        Q.   In other words, the minister set the overall policy, framework,

15     and decided that the SAJ could be mobilised, but once they were mobilised

16     by the minister's decision, Mr. Trajkovic would report to the chief of

17     sector, Mr. Djordjevic?

18        A.   Like I said, only the minister can order the engagement of the

19     SAJ.  The decision is implemented by the chief of the sector.  He would

20     convey the minister's decision to the commander, to Trajkovic, and

21     Trajkovic would decide which unit and how many members would be used for

22     any particular task.  And I can give you an example, if you wish.

23        Q.   No, no, so you are saying that the minister decided on the

24     engagement, and the chief of the sector was merely a conduit, a

25     lubricated conduit just to transfer that decision to Mr. Trajkovic.  What

Page 13606

 1     other role apart from communicating the minister's decision did the chief

 2     of the public security department have in respect to the operations of a

 3     SAJ?

 4        A.   The chief of the sector, because he couldn't engage the SAJ units

 5     without the permission of the minister and was the immediate superior to

 6     the SAJ, would implement all the requests of the SAJ and would assist in

 7     all possible assignments that the SAJ had, whether this was training or

 8     equipping, upgrading and the like.

 9        Q.   I see.  You testified earlier that in respect to the engagement

10     of the Skorpions, that group of reservists -- well, before I go to the

11     question, did you know that they were referred to as the Skorpions,

12     because that's what I will call them?

13        A.   I didn't know that they were referred to as Skorpions.  In a

14     conversation with Mr. Trajkovic when we discussed the reserve forces and

15     when he said that a person by the name of Mrgud was the one that they

16     spoke to about that, that those members who would join the MUP reserve

17     forces would also include those who were in the unit in Slavonia,

18     Baranja, and Western Srem that was called the Skorpions, but I really

19     didn't have any information about that because I met Mr. Medic for the

20     first time when I went to get them.

21        Q.   Yes, we are going to get to that in due course.  I just wanted to

22     find out when you became aware of this name.  So it seems to me that you

23     are saying that Mr. Trajkovic told you that they were called the

24     Skorpions?

25        A.   I said that I heard that from my conversation with Trajkovic,

Page 13607

 1     even before they had been admitted to the reserve forces, and up until

 2     that time, I didn't know that.

 3        Q.   Very well.  Well, you said that when these discussions were

 4     taking place to engage these Skorpions into the reserve formation of the

 5     SAJ, Mr. Trajkovic spoke with Mr. Djordjevic because he couldn't speak

 6     directly to the minister.  Is that your testimony?

 7        A.   I didn't say that Mr. Trajkovic communicated with the chief of

 8     the sector.  All I said was that he informed the chief of the sector that

 9     he should let the minister know and to see if the minister would permit

10     that or not.  I never mentioned the word Skorpions in my testimony or in

11     what -- in what I was saying.

12        Q.   Now, I ask you again having regard to what you just said that

13     Mr. Trajkovic had to speak or inform the chief, as you put it, to whom

14     did the head of the Skorpions -- sorry.  To whom did Mr. Trajkovic, your

15     commander, report, who in the MUP did he report to?

16        A.   Outside of the Kosovo and Metohija territory and beyond the

17     combat area in peacetime conditions, his superior in the MUP was the

18     chief of the sector.  With the establishment of the staff in Kosovo and

19     Metohija for anti-terrorist fighting, not only Trajkovic, but all the

20     units in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija were under the jurisdiction

21     of the staff because they were sent there by the minister.

22        Q.   I'll ask you again.  To whom did your commander, Trajkovic,

23     report?  Who in the MUP?  Which individual?  He must have had, I

24     understand it based on some evidence we've had before, he must have had a

25     superior officer in the MUP.  To whom did he report?

Page 13608

 1        A.   That's what I said.  In regular conditions when it was not an

 2     extraordinary situation, his superior was the chief of the sector,

 3     General Vlastimir Djordjevic.

 4        Q.   And in respect to their operations in Kosovo during the war in

 5     1999, to whom did he report?

 6        A.   Commander Trajkovic was the member of the staff which was formed

 7     in 1998.  I think it was in July, and he was directly responsible to the

 8     head of the staff or the staff for anti-terrorist actions in Kosovo and

 9     Metohija.  This was not only Trajkovic, but all the senior officers who

10     had been sent to Kosovo.

11        Q.   Yet when it came to the engagement of these men that I referred

12     to as the Skorpions, he did not go to the minister through Mr. Lukic, he

13     went to the minister through Mr. Djordjevic.  Can you tell us why, having

14     regard to your evidence, that these men were to assist you on operations

15     in Kosovo?

16        A.   Yes, but the staff was informed with that, and they were in

17     agreement.  Then Mr. Trajkovic, through the chief of the sector, got in

18     touch or the chief of the sector conveyed to the minister that he should

19     issue an order or decide that the reserve forces should be activated,

20     because as a special unit, we don't have a reserve force.  We cannot have

21     our own reserve force, and that is why in a given situation we need to

22     use the reserve forces of the MUP to be reattached to us.  So this would

23     not constitute the reserve force of the SAJ, but the reserve force of the

24     MUP, which would be attached to the SAJ, or assigned to the SAJ.

25        Q.   I know that.  But these -- you told us that from the 24th of

Page 13609

 1     March your unit was sent to Kosovo and Metohija; is that correct?

 2        A.   The 23rd.

 3        Q.   23rd.  Thanks.  And they along with Mr. Stalevic's unit -- both

 4     SAJ units were now engaged in operations in Kosovo for the duration of

 5     the war?

 6        A.   I don't understand the question.  I said that we arrived in the

 7     Kosovo and Metohija territory on the 23rd.  What is it with Stalevic now?

 8     He is a commander of equal status as I so we can function under the

 9     united command of Trajkovic.  We cannot act independently of Belgrade or

10     Pristina because we were under the same command.

11        Q.   When you say "we cannot act independently of Belgrade or

12     Pristina," what do you mean by that?

13        A.   I never said that we were acting independently.

14        Q.   You said -- I'll quote what you said, Mr. Simovic.  You said "we

15     cannot act independently of Belgrade or Pristina because we were under

16     the same command."  What do you mean?

17        A.   I don't think you understood.  I said that SAJ Pristina and SAJ

18     Belgrade had a united command, and that is the SAJ command.  In other

19     words, Mr. Zivko Trajkovic.  I don't understand why you mention

20     Mr. Stalevic at all.

21        Q.   All I was asking you earlier was simply that after the 23rd of

22     March, 1999, both your unit and Mr. Stalevic's unit were operational in

23     Kosovo and Metohija for the duration of the war; is that correct?

24        A.   I can't say exactly.  I think there was one break when we gave

25     our men some rest in Belgrade, but I can accept that from the 23rd until

Page 13610

 1     the end of the war we were in the territory of Kosovo.

 2        Q.   And what I want to come back to is why, having regard to the fact

 3     that you are now engaged in Kosovo and Metohija, was it necessary for

 4     Mr. Trajkovic to get the sanction of the minister through Mr. Djordjevic

 5     and not Mr. Lukic?

 6        A.   The engagement of the special unit outside of the territory of

 7     Kosovo was something that only the minister could decide.  At the same

 8     time in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija from the time the MUP staff

 9     was established in 1998, the minister transferred his powers to the MUP

10     staff so that this staff set up by the minister was able to engage SAJ in

11     the territory of Kosovo without informing the minister.  And this applied

12     to all units in the territory of Kosovo because the minister set up the

13     staff by his own decision, and this staff had all the powers of the

14     minister.

15        Q.   I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean.  When you say "the

16     staff had all the powers of the minister," what do you mean by that?

17        A.   I was trying to say that if the minister can engage the SAJ

18     outside the territory of Kosovo, then the MUP staff is equally able to

19     engage the SAJ in Kosovo.  This MUP staff had both sectors represented in

20     it, the public security and the state security.  Do you understand now?

21        Q.   I wasn't asking you that.  Let me get back to the question I was

22     asking you.  The MUP staff, according to you, is responsible for the

23     operations in Kosovo and Metohija during the war.  And the MUP staff,

24     Mr. Lukic, was the head of the MUP staff.  The question is simply this:

25     Why didn't Trajkovic convey his operational needs for this reserve unit

Page 13611

 1     to the minister through Mr. Lukic instead of through Mr. Djordjevic as he

 2     did?  That's all I want to hear.  Why go to Mr. Djordjevic when Mr. Lukic

 3     was the person you are saying is responsible in Kosovo?

 4        A.   Mr. Lukic was in charge of Kosovo but not in charge of Serbia

 5     proper, so that the minister had to make a separate decision to activate

 6     reservists.  Only the minister could make the decision to activate the

 7     reserve force of the ministry.  Nobody else but the minister could do

 8     that because the administration of the police that is in charge of the

 9     whole procedure for admitting reservists, and this administration is in

10     Belgrade.

11        Q.   Very well.  I think we'll move on and return to this.

12             This person who was killed in the -- killed on the 27th of March

13     when Mr. Trajkovic's vehicle struck a mine, what was his name, can you

14     remind us?

15        A.   The body-guard and driver of Mr. Zivko Trajkovic was killed.  His

16     name was Radovan Aleksic.

17        Q.   Was he killed on the spot, if you understand what I mean?  Killed

18     at about the time when the mine hit the vehicle, or was he -- or did he

19     die later?

20        A.   I said he was dead on the spot.  And his body was transferred to

21     Pristina to the forensic department of the hospital in Pristina.  He was

22     transported from Bradas where he was killed on the spot.

23        Q.   Do you know when his body was taken to Belgrade?  What date?

24        A.   I can't tell you the exact date, whether it's the 29th, the 28th,

25     or the 30th, I can't be sure.  All I know is that I went to attend the

Page 13612

 1     funeral.  I spent a couple of days in Belgrade, and after the funeral, I

 2     returned to Kosovo.  But I cannot tell you the exact date of the funeral.

 3        Q.   Well, he was killed on the 27th.  Was the funeral the next day,

 4     two days after, three, four, five days after?  Can you approximate?  A

 5     week after?

 6        A.   I said that.  You just don't understand me.  This man, Aleksic,

 7     got killed on the 27th.  From this spot where he was killed, he was

 8     transferred to the forensic department of the Pristina hospital.  I left

 9     for Belgrade on the 28th, and I don't know whether the funeral was on the

10     29th or the 30th.

11        Q.   So you are saying his funeral could have been two or three days

12     after he was killed?

13        A.   I'm trying to say that a postmortem had to be carried out.  The

14     body had to be moved to Belgrade for burial.  That's why I can't say with

15     any certainty whether the funeral took place on the 29th or the 30th.  If

16     you let me, I'll call his family in Belgrade and find out the exact date,

17     if you wish.

18        Q.   Well, we'll get back to the date, but if you have the opportunity

19     to do so, please, because we are going to get back to the date of that

20     funeral.  But you will say, Mr. Simovic, that that funeral was not on the

21     28th of March, the date of the killings at Podujevo?  Is that your

22     evidence, that certainly that was not the date of the funeral?

23        A.   No, I mean to say that I can't remember whether the funeral was

24     on the 29th or the 30th.

25        Q.   Very well.  So do you say, therefore, that it could not have been

Page 13613

 1     on the 28th, that is, the day of the Podujevo incident?

 2        A.   I can't say anything.  I can only say I don't remember the date

 3     of the funeral and that it was on the 29th or the 30th.  You keep

 4     referring me back to the 28th, I'm telling you 29 or 30.

 5        Q.   Very well.  We'll get to that.  What was your relationship with

 6     this driver and body-guard of Mr. Trajkovic?

 7        A.   We were as close as brothers.

 8        Q.   How long had you known him for?

 9        A.   For over ten years.

10        Q.   Now, did you tell some investigating magistrate or an

11     investigating magistrate in respect to the Podujevo incident that you had

12     to leave on the day of the incident to attend the funeral?

13        A.   It was not just any funeral.  It was the funeral of my associate

14     Mr. Aleksic.  It's true that I had to say I'm going and I said that.

15        Q.   I'm talking about the date.  Did you tell any magistrate that you

16     left to go to the funeral, that is, you left Podujevo to go to the

17     funeral in Belgrade on 28th of March?

18        A.   Yes.  I said I had to go because I was expecting the mortal

19     remains to be transported --

20        Q.   No, no.  The question is whether you told them that you left to

21     go to the funeral on the 28th?

22        A.   You have to understand, according to our customs --

23        Q.   Mr. Simovic, Mr. Simovic --

24        A.   -- when somebody is very close, you have to stand by the coffin

25     right up to the funeral.

Page 13614

 1        Q.   Did you tell the magistrate that you went to his funeral on the

 2     28th?  Yes or no?  Did you say that?  Can you recall saying that?

 3        A.   I left on the 28th to participate in the wake.  I said I was

 4     going on the 28th to attend the funeral.

 5        Q.   So you are saying now that -- or may I ask you this:  Is it

 6     possible that your dear friend, as close as a brother, could have had or

 7     there could have been a wake for him the day after he was killed, on the

 8     28th?

 9        A.   You just don't understand.  We still mourn him to this day.  A

10     man who lays down his life cannot be mourned for just one day.  You mourn

11     him permanently.  The funeral took place on the 29th or the 30th.

12             MR. STAMP:  Your Honours, in this regard there are quite some

13     documents that I need to show the accused -- show the witness, sorry.

14     And I probably want to take the break a little early to organise my

15     papers.

16             JUDGE PARKER:  Yes, I think that would be more practical.  We

17     will have the second break five minutes early.  We will resume at five

18     minutes to 1.00.  We'll now adjourn.

19                           [The witness stands down]

20                           --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.

21                           --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.

22             MR. STAMP:  Before the witness is brought back, Your Honours,

23     please accept my apology, I thought we were to return at, sorry, at 1.00

24     actually, so I thought I was on time.

25             JUDGE PARKER:  I think your lateness has been compensated, so we

Page 13615

 1     will overlook both omissions.  As long as it doesn't happen again.

 2             MR. STAMP:  Very well, Your Honours.

 3             JUDGE PARKER:  At least on those occasions when the Chamber is

 4     here on time.

 5                           [The witness takes the stand]

 6             JUDGE PARKER:  Please sit down.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 8             MR. STAMP:  Thank you, Your Honours.

 9        Q.   Mr. Simovic, did you participate in any way in the investigation

10     of the crime that was committed at Podujevo on the 28th of March?

11        A.   No, I did not.

12        Q.   Is it correct that if crimes are committed by police officers

13     when they are engaged, that the commanding or the superior officer has a

14     duty to collect all relevant information in respect to those crimes?

15        A.   My role as the SAJ commander, when something happens in the

16     territory of an OUP of Podujevo or anything, is to report, and I did

17     report to OUP Podujevo, that killings had occurred in Podujevo.  I did

18     not see who had fired, nor did any of my unit members see who had

19     committed these crimes.  But the competent organ, the OUP Podujevo, did

20     take the necessary follow-up steps and investigation starting with

21     notification of investigating judge.

22        Q.   Did you, on the 28th when you went to the scene, ascertain to

23     your own satisfaction that none of your men had seen who fired?

24        A.   If any one of my unit members had seen anyone shooting, that

25     person would have been arrested on the spot.  Since none of my unit

Page 13616

 1     members saw who had fired, all that was done was to give first aid to the

 2     survivors, to save those who could be saved, and I reported to OUP

 3     Podujevo so that other measures and investigation could be undertaken,

 4     which was later done.

 5        Q.   I'm not talking about other measures now.  I'm going to ask you

 6     to focus on my question.  We have a lot of material to cover, so just

 7     please answer the questions I ask you.

 8             Is it that you decided that none of your men had seen who had

 9     fired because nobody was arrested, or did you do anything that day to

10     satisfy yourself that none of your men had seen who fired?

11        A.   When I came to the scene, because I hadn't been on the scene when

12     the incident happened, I came when it was all over.  My unit members, and

13     that means the active duty personnel of the SAJ who were on the spot, had

14     not seen who had done it.  I did what I could --

15        Q.   Mr. Simovic --

16        A.   And that was to organise help to inform the OUP Podujevo and then

17     the OUP Podujevo was supposed to take certain steps.

18        Q.   Right.  I am going to ask one more time, please.  What, if

19     anything, did you do that day to ascertain whether any of your men had

20     seen who fired?

21        A.   When I came to the scene I found Dr. Dragan Markovic and some of

22     my unit members giving first aid to those injured, and I organised

23     ambulances to transfer those injured to Pristina, and I asked the unit

24     members present if they had seen anyone shooting.  They answered no.  If

25     I had known at that moment who was the perpetrator, I would certainly

Page 13617

 1     have taken certain steps.

 2        Q.   Very well.

 3        A.   At that moment I did not know and I couldn't do anything at

 4     random.

 5        Q.   Very well.  Do you remember which unit members you asked?

 6        A.   Dr. Dragan Markovic, the platoon commander Spasoje Vulevic and

 7     some other men whose name escape me at the moment because it was 12 years

 8     ago.  At this moment I can only give you the names about which I'm sure.

 9     I said the same things in the statement that I gave before the

10     investigating judge and before the court in Belgrade.

11        Q.   Did you -- did Mr. Vulevic say anything to indicate to you that

12     he knew who had done the shooting?

13        A.   Vulevic told me on the spot that members of the reserve had fired

14     those who had arrived by buses in my escort, but he hadn't seen who

15     exactly had done it.  He couldn't point his finger at anyone and say this

16     man fired.

17        Q.   Did you question any of the reserves who were present near the

18     scene?

19        A.   On the scene, as I just arrived and talked to my own unit

20     members, they told me they couldn't say who had done it, and when Spasoje

21     Vulevic, the commanding officer, asked the reservists if they had seen

22     who had done it, they didn't answer at all.

23        Q.   So you -- you did not interview any of these reservists that day?

24        A.   I did not.  I just gave an order that everyone get on the bus so

25     that I can return them to Prolom Banja so that they should be assembled

Page 13618

 1     so that all the appropriate investigative steps could be carried out.

 2        Q.   Did you cause any of your staff to interview any of those men

 3     that day?

 4        A.   I did not ask any of my unit members to do that because we were

 5     not specialised for that sort of interview.  The OUP Podujevo provided

 6     the premises and the presence of an investigating judge, conducted an

 7     on-site investigation, and from then on the Prosecutor's Office took over

 8     and did their job.

 9        Q.   Were you there when the investigating judge arrived?

10        A.   No.

11        Q.   You can answer my questions simply.  When from the information

12     you received did the investigating judge arrive?

13        A.   By that time I was no longer there.  I don't know when the

14     investigating judge arrived because by that time I had left for Belgrade.

15        Q.   When did the Prosecutor arrive?

16        A.   I'm telling you again, I was in Belgrade.  I had informed the MUP

17     staff about what had happened.  I had notified OUP Podujevo to take steps

18     because it was in their jurisdiction.

19        Q.   Very well.  When you returned or before you returned, just bear

20     with me for a moment, the reservists, this unit of reservists, about how

21     many of them were there on the 28th?

22        A.   I fetched them from Prolom Banja, and there were about 100 of

23     them, perhaps more than 100.  I can't give you the exact number.

24        Q.   What time of day did the shooting of these people occur?

25        A.   In the morning.

Page 13619

 1        Q.   Approximately?

 2        A.   I would hate to make a mistake.  It could have been 10.00 or

 3     11.00 a.m.  I can't tell you exactly.

 4        Q.   These reservists at the time when you escorted them to Podujevo,

 5     they were under your command, were they not?

 6        A.   Not yet.  I had only taken them over.

 7        Q.   So when you say you took them over, can I take it that means that

 8     you were responsible for giving them orders?

 9        A.   No.

10        Q.   You told them -- very well.  You told them to remain in the

11     buses.  You told Mr. Boca, Mr. Slobodan Medic to return them to Prolom

12     Banja, did you not?

13        A.   Before he left for Belgrade, Mr. Trajkovic told me that a certain

14     Slobodan Medic was in some way in charge of those reservists, and when I

15     met Slobodan Medic, it was the first time I laid eyes on the man.  And

16     when we moved towards Podujevo --

17        Q.   You are going into a history that I'm not really asking.  Did you

18     order Mr. Medic to take them back to Prolom Banja after the incident?

19        A.   I ordered my officers, or rather, the members of my unit who --

20     that all the reservists should get back on their buses, and then I went

21     to the Podujevo OUP and told Mr. Medic that he should, together with the

22     reservists, get back on the bus and then from there on to Prolom Banja.

23             The unit of the reserve force had still not been attached or

24     resubordinated to the Belgrade SAJ unit.

25        Q.   But at that time the members of the unit and Mr. Medic were under

Page 13620

 1     your supervision and control?

 2        A.   I only brought them there pursuant to an oral order from

 3     Commander Trajkovic because he was the one who was supposed to pick them

 4     up, so I contacted this person, Medic, Slobodan, because that's what I

 5     was told by my commander, that that is the person to contact, and had

 6     these not been MUP reservists, had it been anyone else as a colonel of

 7     the MUP, I would certainly have taken this opportunity to send these men

 8     back and have the investigation properly conducted and these people

 9     brought to justice because what had been done in Podujevo was really

10     unacceptable, not only to me as a human being but professionally.

11        Q.   You said:

12             "Had these not been MUP reservists, had it been anyone else, as a

13     colonel of the MUP, I would certainly have taken this opportunity to send

14     these men back and have the investigation properly conducted and these

15     people brought to justice."

16             Would you say, Mr. Simovic, that there was no proper

17     investigation of this incident in March 1999?

18        A.   What I'm saying is that they were reservists of the Serbian MUP

19     at that point in time.  They were not SAJ reservists because the SAJ does

20     not have a reserve force, and they had still not been attached to the

21     SAJ, and in the investigative steps that were taken subsequently, I

22     wasn't there to say -- to be able to say whether it was done properly or

23     not, but I assumed that it was because all of those who were involved in

24     this were actually taken to court and in the end they were also indicted

25     for the acts that they had committed.

Page 13621

 1        Q.   I'm talking about March and April.  Do you know -- did you

 2     satisfy yourself in March and in early April when you returned, that

 3     there had been a proper investigation and the perpetrators were arrested?

 4     Let's say April, early April when you returned.

 5        A.   When I returned, I was at the base where my unit was in Kosovo

 6     Polje.  I was not in Podujevo so I didn't have any contact with anyone

 7     regarding this unfortunate incident.

 8        Q.   Very well.  So you didn't have any contacts.  In your experience,

 9     Mr. Simovic, as a policeman, had men under your command, well, you said

10     they weren't under your command, so I'll ask you this:  In your

11     experience as a policeman, had men whom you had taken over, as you put

12     it, murdered as many as a dozen civilians, a dozen to 19 civilians

13     including women and children?  Has that ever happened in your experience,

14     apart from that day?

15        A.   Members of the reserve force who committed this act, and I can

16     say that in my experience, in my practice, I've never experienced any

17     incident of that sort, and that is why at that point in time I did -- I

18     tried to do my best.

19        Q.   Well, you did your best?  Very well.  Did you discover that

20     morning that these men were alleged to have lined up women and children

21     and executed them with the MUP issued weapons, high-powered weapons from

22     point-blank range?  Did you discover that that day?

23        A.   On that day, I was not present.  I only said -- I just said how

24     long I had stayed in Podujevo and how long that stay of mine lasted.  So

25     when I came to the site and determined and established what I could, I

Page 13622

 1     put them back on the buses, I went to the police department, and returned

 2     to make sure that they would head for Belgrade and then I left for

 3     Belgrade.

 4        Q.   Yes.  Please don't repeat that mantra.  I'm asking you, did you

 5     you discover that day as you tried your best, as you put it, that these

 6     reservists that you had taken over had lined up women and children and

 7     shot them at point-blank range?  Did you discover that?

 8        A.   At that moment, I did not get any information from my members

 9     that anyone had lined people up and shot them because had any of my men

10     seen that, I would certainly have reacted.  So I did and acted pursuant

11     to the information that I was able to obtain from my men who were on

12     site, and as an officer, I informed the OUP so that they would take the

13     necessary steps because it was within their jurisdiction because I did

14     not have the professional staff that would be capable of conducting an

15     on-site investigation.  That kind of investigation would have to be

16     conducted by an organ in the territory where the act had been committed.

17     My unit was an anti-terrorist unit, and we did not have in our ranks

18     investigators, special forensic technicians and so on.  We didn't have

19     that kind of profile of police officer.

20        Q.   When you went on the scene or at any time that day, did you

21     discover approximately how many victims there were?  And remember, you

22     said that you were doing your best.  Did you discover how many women and

23     children were murdered that day?

24        A.   My men who were on site said that several civilians had been

25     killed.  I could not go and count the bodies because in that way I could

Page 13623

 1     actually destroy the trace evidence that was there, so I just asked how

 2     many victims there were and they said they didn't know, they said there

 3     were several.  What I did is when I saw that there were survivors, I did

 4     everything I could in order to save those civilians.  I believe there

 5     were four injured persons, and I'm glad to say that they were all saved

 6     and they are alive and well to this day, and I'm happy for that.

 7        Q.   Where did you first see these survivors?

 8        A.   Could you please repeat your question.  I'm not sure if I

 9     understood you correct.  Did you ask me whether I saw them later on

10     afterwards, or whether I saw them there?

11        Q.   Yes, you saw survivors there.  Where did you first see them?

12     Where were they located?

13        A.   That was near the courtyard.  Dr. Dragan was administering first

14     aid to a civilian, and one of my members was carrying a child towards the

15     ambulance.  This was in an area between the road and the courtyard of

16     that building.

17        Q.   You are saying that you knew that persons had been murdered in

18     the courtyard and you did not look inside the courtyard?

19        A.   Well, I've already told you why I didn't do that.

20        Q.   Very well.

21        A.   In order not to trample on the trace evidence.  So I was really

22     trying hard, and that's why I went to Podujevo immediately in order to

23     ensure that the site was secured because that's absolutely necessary in

24     order to make sure that when the investigation is conducted, the -- it

25     can be established what had happened.  And I am saying again that I did

Page 13624

 1     whatever was possible at that point in time.

 2        Q.   I'm not asking you about that.  How many people were killed at

 3     Podujevo by these reservists that you took over?

 4        A.   I didn't know the number at the time.

 5        Q.   Do you know now?

 6        A.   I believe about 19 people.  I'm not absolutely certain.

 7        Q.   When did you discover in the course of doing your best that it

 8     was approximately 19 people had been killed?

 9        A.   I heard of that only later on when an investigation was started

10     or instigated against the perpetrators of that crime.

11        Q.   When was this that you discovered that the men, these men had

12     killed 19 people?  When?

13        A.   I've already said that I did not discover it myself.  I only

14     learned that later on when the trial was -- actually proceedings were

15     started against Demirovic and Sasa, I believe.

16        Q.   Do you know when this was?  Can you tell us which year, for

17     example, did you learn that these men that you took over had killed 19

18     civilians?

19        A.   I believe it was in 1999.

20        Q.   And can you remember the month?

21        A.   No, I really cannot.  Twelve years on and after all the work that

22     I have behind me, I really can't remember the month.

23             MR. STAMP:  Can we, Your Honours, have a look at document with 65

24     ter number 06118.

25        Q.   If we could start by looking at the front page.  I don't think we

Page 13625

 1     have a translation of the front page, of the first page.  But does that

 2     indicate that this is a record of the trial in the Prokuplje district

 3     court against Sasa Cvjetan and Dejan Demirovic on 9th of October, 2002?

 4     You can see that?

 5        A.   Yes, I can see it.  It is a note on the main trial, or record of

 6     the main trial in Prokuplje.

 7        Q.   You remember you testified at that trial?

 8        A.   I remember.

 9        Q.   I'd like us to move to page 2 in the English.

10             MR. STAMP:  Your Honour, for the time being we only have a

11     translation of -- we had to do a translation on a priority basis because

12     of certain pressures in the Tribunal with the translators, so we only

13     have a translation of those parts which the Prosecution wanted to show to

14     the Court, but the entire document is in B/C/S and has been disclosed to

15     the Defence, so they have the remainder of it.

16             If we could move to page 2 in the English, which is page 31 in

17     the original.

18        Q.   You said that you were at the staff in Podujevo to make

19     arrangements.  And if you could look at the middle of the page in

20     English, I'll just read it:

21             "I don't know exactly how long the meeting lasted.  In any case,

22     at some point during the meeting we heard automatic fire.  I can't

23     remember now all the weapons that were fired because it is difficult to

24     define precisely as it depends on the conditions, the location, the

25     position, and the distance.  In any case, I immediately went to the scene

Page 13626

 1     where I found Dragan Markovic helping the wounded civilians."

 2             Do you see that part?  Do you have that part in front of you,

 3     Mr. Simovic?

 4        A.   Can I just see the last sentence so that I can find that area?

 5     Could you quote the last sentence -- the sentence before the portion that

 6     you are referring to?

 7        Q.   I'm speaking about where you said:  "I immediately went to the

 8     scene where I found Dr. Dragan Markovic helping the wounded civilians."

 9        A.   If I can just find the "immediately", that part.

10             JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Djurdjic.

11             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] If I may be of assistance to the

12     witness, that's the fifth line from the top, Mr. Simovic:

13             "I don't know exactly."  Now, I don't know which portion

14     Mr. Stamp was referring to.

15             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  Mr. Stamp's portion begins

16     three or four lines lower.

17             MR. STAMP:

18        Q.   Yes, if you look 12 lines down you see where you referred to

19     finding Dr. Markovic helping the wounded civilians.

20        A.   Yes, I can see it now.  Yes.

21        Q.   You went on to say:

22             "He was a physician for our unit, I mean the Belgrade SAJ.  He

23     was a doctor of the SAJ unit.  I took measures to provide an ambulance

24     and ensure the quickest possible transfer to a medical institution where

25     further treatment was to be provided.  The scene was really crowded with

Page 13627

 1     members of different units all mixed together.  I did not enter the area

 2     where the civilians were killed because professional medical care was

 3     being provided there."

 4             Let's stop there.  You told this Court that you did not even go

 5     to look because you did not want to displace forensic traces.  You told

 6     that court then that it was because people were being treated.  Which

 7     reason is true?

 8        A.   I am afraid I didn't understand the question.

 9        Q.   You gave to this Court one reason for not even looking to see the

10     bodies in the courtyard.  And the reason you gave to this Court was that

11     you did not want to interfere with the evidence, with the crime scene.

12     You told the other court, this court that I'm directing you to, that the

13     reason that you didn't even look in to see who had been killed or how

14     many was because medical care was being provided there.  Which reason is

15     true, what you told the Prokuplje court or what you told this Court?

16        A.   Both reasons are true.  Both of them.  That I organised the -- us

17     providing assistance to these people and also to make sure that the trace

18     evidence was not displaced and to secure the crime scene because if you

19     are listening carefully to what I said, everything that I had said

20     earlier is actually repeated here, but of course, I cannot use the same

21     exact words in my statement then and now 12 years later.

22        Q.   Mr. Simovic, the record clearly shows that you gave completely

23     different reasons.  Can you see that?

24        A.   What I've said here is that I did not go to see the bodies in

25     order to prevent the destruction of trace evidence.  And as I said, one

Page 13628

 1     of the reasons too was that I tried to save lives, so both these reasons,

 2     if you understand what I'm trying to say.

 3        Q.   Who was providing professional medical care?

 4        A.   Professional medical care was provided by Dr. Dragan Markovic.

 5     He was the doctor with the SAJ unit.

 6        Q.   Sir, I just wanted to know the name.  You must just focus on the

 7     questions I ask you and answer them, otherwise we'll be here the whole

 8     week.  Was he alone in that place providing medical care in that

 9     courtyard?

10        A.   Professional medical care was provided by him because he was a

11     doctor, Dragan Markovic, but I already mentioned his name earlier, he was

12     the SAJ doctor.

13        Q.   Was he the only person in the courtyard?  That's the question.

14     Was he the only person in the courtyard providing professional medical

15     care?

16        A.   Dr. Dragan was the only professional there, the only doctor

17     there.

18        Q.   I was asking you about professionals, I wasn't asking you

19     about -- well, I did use the expression professional medical care.  So

20     I'll ask you this:  Was he the only person in the courtyard giving

21     assistance?

22        A.   I have listened very carefully to your words, and I always try to

23     answer your questions.  You asked about professional medical care.  Dr.

24     Dragan was the professional, but other SAJ members assisted him in

25     providing medical assistance.  They would pass on his bag to him or hold

Page 13629

 1     the IV bottle.  You are not listening carefully to my words.  Dr. Dragan

 2     was the only doctor there who was providing medical assistance, and he

 3     was being helped by active-duty SAJ members who were there on the spot.

 4        Q.   I'm talking about in the courtyard where the civilians were

 5     killed.  This what you said:

 6             "I did not enter the area where civilians were killed because

 7     professional medical care was being provided there."

 8             Is it your evidence that Dr. Markovic was in the courtyard

 9     providing medical assistance and was assisted by members of the SAJ?

10        A.   I think that Dr. Dragan was providing professional medical

11     assistance.  As far as I can recall, it was on the side of the road and

12     not where the bodies were.  The wounded had been transferred.  They had

13     been taken to a place by the road, but I can't quite recall every detail.

14     It has been 12 years.

15        Q.   But this is an important detail.  This is where the bodies were

16     of the most extraordinary incident in your career, or one of them.  You

17     said, I'll read it again:

18             "I did not enter the area where the civilians were killed because

19     professional medical care was being provided there."

20             Did Dr. Markovic provide professional medical help in the

21     courtyard?

22        A.   I cannot really state that with certainty.  I can't say with

23     certainty whether this was happening in the courtyard or on the side of

24     the road.  And I don't know how to describe to you what that looked like,

25     where the courtyard was, where the building was, and where the road was.

Page 13630

 1        Q.   So you don't know if Dr. Markovic provided any medical help to

 2     anybody in the courtyard?

 3        A.   I know that the doctor provided professional medical assistance

 4     and saved four people.  I know that.

 5        Q.   I'm talking about the courtyard, Witness.  Do you know if any

 6     medical assistance was provided by the doctor in the courtyard?

 7        A.   I'm telling you again, I'm not sure whether this was in the

 8     courtyard or outside of it, but professional medical assistance was being

 9     given.

10        Q.   You said further:

11             "This is why I immediately called the commander of the Skorpions

12     Slobodan Medic and ordered him to gather his unit and return to Prolom

13     Banja."

14             You told the Court today more than once to my questions that you

15     did not give Medic or any of these men orders.  Your expression was you

16     just took them over.  Is it not true, sir, that you were responsible for

17     these men to the extent that you could give them orders, or were you

18     lying when you testified in Prokuplje?

19        A.   I state here with full responsibility that they were not under my

20     command and that they had not been subordinated attached to the SAJ, that

21     is how it was then and I repeat the same now.

22        Q.   Did you order -- sorry.

23             JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Djurdjic.

24             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] The interpretation that I received

25     from the record that Mr. Stamp is quoting, I heard that it was said,

Page 13631

 1     translated, he did not order Medic to return.  And I don't know what you

 2     mean by lies because as I read the Serbian version of this record, I

 3     don't want to actually interfere, but I think what is put to the witness

 4     should be put to them fairly and exactly as recorded in this record.

 5             MR. STAMP:  I was reading from the translation.

 6        Q.   Mr. Simovic --

 7             JUDGE PARKER:  We are already six minutes over time, Mr. Stamp.

 8     We've been trying to allow you to reach a logical point, but I think it's

 9     going too far.

10             MR. STAMP:  Yes, Your Honours.

11             JUDGE PARKER:  I think tomorrow you should, if you wish, return

12     to this subject, have the witness read the passage in the statement, and

13     then the passage in his evidence, which you say is different, and get his

14     comment.  But that can be done tomorrow.

15             MR. STAMP:  Very well, Your Honours.  Thank you very much.  Could

16     it since it has been shown it to the witness and he said he testified

17     there, could it be received in evidence, Your Honours.

18             JUDGE PARKER:  How long is this document?

19             MR. STAMP:  I think it's about 35 pages in the original.

20     However, at least in respect to this witness, I don't imagine the

21     Prosecution is interested in more than five pages, but there are other

22     witnesses that it might relate to.

23             JUDGE PARKER:  At this moment you've only put to the witness

24     something like a quarter of a page.

25             MR. STAMP:  Indeed.

Page 13632

 1             JUDGE PARKER:  We will not receive the whole document as a matter

 2     of convenience.  The transcript will reveal that quarter of a page.  If

 3     it is that you are going to deal a with a lot more of the document, the

 4     position may change.

 5             MR. STAMP:  Very well.

 6             JUDGE PARKER:  We will adjourn now.  We must adjourn, and we

 7     continue tomorrow, Mr. Simovic.  We resume tomorrow at 2.15.  A Court

 8     Officer will assist you during the adjournment.  We now adjourn.

 9                           [The witness stands down]

10                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.52 p.m.

11                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of April

12                           2010, at 2.15 p.m.