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
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
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
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
2 instructor for special physical, up until 1986. On April 1st in 1986, I
3 was transferred to the R SUP
4 special operations unit which at the time was attached to the detachment
5 for security at the R SUP
6 commander of the special SAJ
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
19 1978 as a special actions unit of the ministry of the Republic of Serbia
20 until 1992 when it was dubbed SAJ
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
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
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
1 unit within the sector of the interior of the RJB. It will have its
2 seats in Belgrade
3 command was in the building of the Republic of Serbia Ministry of the
4 Interior at Mesa
5 three units was there. The Ministry of the Interior of Serbia has three
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
10 the commander of the SAJ
11 said he was the commander of the Belgrade SAJ in Belgrade, he was the
12 commander of the Belgrade SAJ
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
21 the SAJ
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
25 Your Honours, may I continue?
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
5 the Interior of the Republic of Serbia
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
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
16 hijacking of the then YAT plane so that the then-Ministry of the Interior
17 of the Republic of Serbia
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
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
4 to entrust with a certain task, whether that would be the SAJ Belgrade,
5 Novi Sad
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
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
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
20 the war in 1999?
21 A. In the summer operations of 1998 and the war in 1999, in 1998 the
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
2 unit, your base?
3 A. My unit was based in Batajnica near Belgrade at the 13 May
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
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
11 A. All the operations on the territory of Kosovo
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
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
23 A. Member of the staff.
24 Q. And who established the staff?
25 A. Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
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
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
2 Q. And what does the heading say?
3 A. Commanders of the PJP, SAJ
4 Q. Chiefs where?
5 A. The chiefs of secretariats in the territory of Kosovo
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
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
20 A. All the plans for the employment of our units and the assignments
21 in the territory of Kosovo
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
1 would convene a meeting of all the three commanders in the period while
2 Novi Sad
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
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
10 Q. So during the war, which units made up the SAJ?
11 A. During the war, the SAJ
12 Pristina and SAJ
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
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
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
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
20 security situation that prevailed in the beginning of 1999?
21 A. Since the SAJ
22 operations in 1998 involved a large number of losses, deaths, and
23 injuries, and once the SAJ
24 capacity was reduced, diminished. At some of the meetings with
25 Mr. Trajkovic we discussed options for replenishing, reinforcing our
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
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
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
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
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
9 while he was a member of the Territorial Defence of that territory, of
10 that area.
11 Q. Mr. Simovic, was the SAJ
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
1 go to Belgrade
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
8 Q. Mr. Simovic, you told us that Commander Trajkovic told you that
9 he was going to Belgrade
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
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
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
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
22 was then transferred to the Belgrade
23 armoured trucks, TAM
24 personnel in certain situations.
25 Q. Thank you. And where were these trucks on the 27th and the 28th
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
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
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.
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
1 Banja, and I also informed the head of sector, Mr. Vlastimir Djordjevic, in
3 phone. And since I was returning that unit to the territory of Serbia
4 the whole of the MUP in Belgrade
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
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
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
17 Banja, and I continued on to Belgrade
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
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
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
17 Q. And do you know when commander Trajkovic arrived in Kosovo and
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
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
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
17 post of the SAJ
18 air-strikes had begun and the SAJ
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
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
1 your return, what was the -- what were the operational capabilities of
2 the SAJ
3 A. As I said, the SAJ
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
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?
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
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
18 A. Yes, some of them were assigned to the SAJ in Belgrade
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
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
15 their employment.
16 Q. Thank you. From that time on when they returned to Belgrade
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
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.
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
14 procedure. The MUP in Belgrade
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
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
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
24 A. In 1999, in the territory of Kosovo
25 with Mr. Djordjevic. I met with him on the 12th of May, 1999, in
2 promoted into colonel.
3 Q. Where was the SAJ
4 A. The Belgrade
6 suburb of Belgrade
7 Q. Did there come a time when you learned that in that base of the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
12 Q. I'm now going to show you a statement on page 9107, lines 9 to
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
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
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
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
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
1 explain that to us?
2 A. Yes. SAJ
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
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
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
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
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
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
25 A. I said that I heard that from my conversation with Trajkovic,
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
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
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?
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
25 Q. I know that. But these -- you told us that from the 24th of
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
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
10 Pristina because we were under the same command.
11 Q. When you say "we cannot act independently of Belgrade
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
16 the same command." What do you mean?
17 A. I don't think you understood. I said that SAJ Pristina and SAJ
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
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
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
12 to all units in the territory of Kosovo
13 staff by his own decision, and this staff had all the powers of the
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
19 engage the SAJ
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
1 Q. Approximately?
2 A. I would hate to make a mistake. It could have been 10.00 or
3 11.00 a.m.
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
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
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
20 not have a reserve force, and they had still not been attached to the
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
16 A. Dr. Dragan was the only professional there, the only doctor
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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,
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.
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.