1 Wednesday, 21 April 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down. The affirmation you made to tell
9 the truth continues to apply, and Mr. Stamp is finishing his questions.
10 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
11 WITNESS: ZORAN SIMOVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Simovic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Did you participate in any meeting with either Mr. Djordjevic or
17 Mr. Milanovic, or Mr. Trajkovic in respect to the engagement, the
18 original engagement or re-engagement of the Skorpions?
19 A. No, I did not. Only with Mr. Trajkovic, I had the one meeting.
20 Q. So the circumstances in which they were -- in which the decisions
21 were made to engage them and to re-engage them are matters which you know
22 only by hearsay being a non-participant?
23 A. Everything I heard, I heard from Commander Trajkovic about the
24 reserve force being engaged. I didn't know who was to be engaged
25 precisely. During a regular SAJ
1 a reserve force be brought in. That's all I can tell you.
2 Q. Can you say when this meeting was?
3 A. That meeting took place in February.
4 Q. Was this early February or towards the latter part of February;
5 do you remember?
6 A. In the second half of February. I can't tell you a precise date,
7 but in the second half of it.
8 Q. Did you attend a meeting, a MUP staff meeting, on the 17th of
9 February, 1999, that was attended by the minister, Mr. Djordjevic;
10 Mr. Rado Markovic, the head of the state security sector; Mr. Stevanovic,
11 in Pristina; Mr. Lukic, the entire leadership of the MUP in Pristina?
12 A. I was not a member of the staff, and I did not attend a single
13 staff meeting in Pristina.
14 Q. Okay. Whether you call it a staff meeting, do you remember
15 attending a meeting in mid-February in Pristina, attended by the
16 minister, Mr. Djordjevic; Mr. Rade Markovic; assistant minister,
17 Stevanovic; General Lukic; do you recall attending any meeting like that?
18 A. I repeat, I did not attend a single meeting of the MUP staff in
19 Pristina, and I was not its member. I could not have participated in
20 such meetings.
21 Q. That's not exactly what I asked the last time. Do you remember
22 ever attending a meeting where Mr. Djordjevic, and the minister, and
23 Mr. Rade Markovic were both -- where all three were present in February
25 A. No, I don't.
1 Q. Okay. Very well. So these decisions were made at a level above
2 your position, that is what I take your last few answers to mean?
3 A. What decisions do you have in mind?
4 Q. The decisions to engage paramilitaries and volunteers and groups
5 like the Skorpions.
6 A. It happened without my knowledge. I could not have known or
7 influenced any decisions of that nature, only the SAJ commander could
8 make such proposals. I couldn't.
9 Q. Very well. If I may show you another document quickly. This is
10 P356. I represent to you, sir, that there was a meeting of the -- a
11 meeting involving the minister, Mr. Djordjevic, Mr. Markovic, Mr. Lukic,
12 the entire leadership of the MUP in Pristina. You didn't attend, but I
13 represent to you that there was such a meeting. And following on from
14 this meeting on the next day, this is a dispatch issued by
15 Mr. Djordjevic. If we could just look at the front. Can you recall if
16 you ever saw this dispatch?
17 A. No. I have never seen this dispatch. I can see in the heading
18 that there is no mention of SAJ
19 Q. One moment. I think I might have misstated something. Very
20 well. If we could go to paragraph 7. Well, first, let's just confirm
21 who sent it.
22 MR. STAMP: If we go to the last page in B/C/S and the
23 penultimate page in English.
24 Q. This was a dispatch of Mr. Djordjevic. And if we go to item 7,
25 there was this order issued in respect to compiling lists and
1 establishing control of volunteer and paramilitary units and their
2 members. Did you -- were you familiar with this order?
3 A. No, I was not. This dispatch was not sent to the special unit at
5 Q. Very well. If we could move on to something else then,
6 Mr. Simovic. You said that in May, early May 1999, the Skorpions along
7 with the regular SAJ
8 you tell us where that was? Do you recall the nearest municipal seat to
9 where your activities were? Or where the combat operations were
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could you repeat the name of the mountain for
12 the interpreters.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the area of mount Jezerce
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. Right. Thank you. Jezerce Planina; is that the area?
16 A. Yes. Or Jezerce Planina, or you can say mount Jezerce
17 suits you best.
18 Q. Where is this? Can you --
19 A. In Kosovo and Metohija. I don't know how to explain it any
20 better, in what area.
21 Q. Which was the nearest municipal capital to where this operation
22 took place?
23 A. Well, we can say Strpce.
24 Q. Okay. Very well. In that period of time or on or about the 1st
25 and 2nd of May, 1999, were your units engaged in operations in the area
1 north-east of Vucitrn?
2 A. No, they were not.
3 Q. At that time in early May 1999, were the two side attachments
4 acting in -- together as one unit?
5 A. SAJ
6 Q. Very well. Do you recall participating in operations in the
7 vicinity of a town called Skrovna and Slakovci in the Vucitrn
8 municipality in May?
9 A. I don't recall that. We were assigned tasks all over Kosovo;
10 however, at that point in time, my unit was not in that particular area.
11 Q. Very well. If we could move on to another topic. I think you
12 said that the commander of the SAJ
13 there were bodies that had been buried there, at the 13 May training
14 range. Can you recall about when it was that he told you this?
15 A. It wasn't the commander of the SAJ premises who told me. It was
16 Mr. Djokovic, commander of the security squadron of the SAJ. Once we
17 returned there after the war, he told me that at the 300-metre firing
18 range, some bodies had been buried just behind the breastwork.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Instead of squadron
20 it should have been SAJ
21 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I wish to ask just two questions in
22 private session.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
24 [Private session]
11 Page 13710 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
12 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Mr. Simovic. Thank you, Your Honours. I
13 have nothing further for this witness.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
15 Mr. Djurdjic.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Re-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Simovic.
19 A. Good morning.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
21 be asked to approach the microphone.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Stamp asked you a moment ago about the SAJ meeting with
24 Mr. Trajkovic and the Pristina SAJ commander. You said that it happened
25 in the latter part of February, you omitted the year though.
1 A. I had 1999 in mind.
2 Q. The usher is trying to indicate to you that you should approach
3 the microphone because the interpreters cannot hear you properly.
4 A. I am certain that it was in 1999.
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Simovic, tell me this, please, who is responsible
6 for the overall situation and ability of the SAJ unit in order to execute
7 its tasks?
8 A. The SAJ
9 Q. Who was that in 1998 and 1999?
10 A. Commander Trajkovic.
11 Q. Was Commander Trajkovic familiar with the staffing levels of the
12 units as well as the level of training and equipment provided?
13 A. Yes, we kept him always informed, that is to say, Commander
14 Stalevic who commanded the Pristina unit and myself who was in charge of
15 the special unit in Belgrade
16 Q. Did the chief of the sector, could he [Realtime transcript read
17 in error "we"] have been familiar with the needs of the SAJ unit?
18 A. No, unless he had previously been informed by the SAJ commander.
19 Q. In your knowledge did Commander Trajkovic towards the end of
20 February 1999 acquaint the sector chief with the needs of the SAJ
21 A. At one of the meetings we had, Commander Trajkovic, Mr. Stalevic,
22 and myself attended it. He did tell us that he informed the chief of the
23 sector about our staffing levels problems and that he had told him we
24 were in need of a reserve force, as well as that Mr. Trajkovic had the
25 people for that. The chief of the sector needed to clear that with the
1 minister, that they be admitted into the reserve force and engaged.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have P1594. Your
4 Honours, page 8, line 16, instead of "we" it should be "he."
5 Q. Mr. Simovic, you can see the front page where it says
6 "indictment." The date is 14 April 2008. The document of the
7 Prosecutor's Office for war crimes in Belgrade. The first accused is
8 Zeljko Djukic. Can you tell us whether you can see here if he had served
9 his military service?
10 A. Yes, he had. It also says that he is an invalid of war.
11 Q. What about his previous criminal record, what does it say?
12 A. Could you please scroll up so that I would be able to see the
13 rest of the text.
14 Q. I don't think there's anything else on that page.
15 A. Well, there's no mention of any criminal record.
16 Q. Thank you, could we now move to page 2, item 2 of this
17 indictment. Number 2 is Medic, Dragan. What does it say about prior
19 A. No prior convictions.
20 Q. Thank you. Look at number 3. It says Dragan Borojevic. Can you
21 see whether he had any prior convictions, and if so, in which year?
22 A. In 1996 in Beli Manastir.
23 Q. Where is Beli Manastir?
24 A. In the Republic of Croatia
25 Q. What about the next one, can you tell us in which year and where?
1 Do you see the next --
2 A. Yes, I see Miodrag Solaja.
3 Q. No, not the next name. What are the next convictions for the
4 person we were discussing?
5 A. It was in Donji Miholjac.
6 Q. And where is Donji Miholjac, Mr. Simovic?
7 A. I think in the Republic of Croatia
8 Q. And further below?
9 A. Yes, it says the court in Vukovar.
10 Q. Which year?
11 A. 1998.
12 Q. The court in Vukovar, please. Which year was this conviction?
13 A. 15 May, 2005
14 Q. Where is Vukovar?
15 A. Republic of Croatia
16 Q. He was sentenced to how many years?
17 A. 12 years imprisonment.
18 Q. From what you see here, were these convictions made in the
19 presence or the absence of the accused?
20 A. Towards the end of 1995, all the Serbs from that area moved to
22 had committed any crimes, but just because they were Serbs.
23 Q. Thank you. Tell me, did this man serve in the army? Did he do
24 his regular military service?
25 A. He did, in Sarajevo
1 Q. What about Miodrag Solaja, number 4, did he have any convictions,
2 and if so, where and when?
3 A. In 2003 he was convicted before the court in Vinkovci.
4 Q. Will you read it out?
5 A. In 2003 he was convicted by a judgement of the municipal court in
6 Vinkovci, K number 631/03 dated 18 April 2004 for the crime stipulated in
7 Article 177, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of Croatia, sentenced to,
8 et cetera.
9 Q. Now, tell me, did any of these persons get any convictions in
10 1999 or for 1999 in the Republic of Serbia
11 A. None of them were convicted in Serbia.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now call up P40.
13 Q. We will see on the screen a judgement of the district court in
14 Belgrade K number 1803 against the accused Sasa Cvjetan, dated 13
15 February 2004. Can you tell us whether this person had any prior
16 convictions? And if so, when?
17 A. He was convicted in 2001 in Bijelo Polje and in 2004 in Novi Sad
18 Q. Thank you. Was he convicted in 1999?
19 A. He was not convicted before 1999.
20 Q. Mr. Simovic, can you tell us how the MUP of Serbia checks people
21 for prior convictions?
22 A. The Ministry of the Interior does the checks through the
23 secretariat of Internal Affairs in the place of residence.
24 Q. Who keeps records of convictions?
25 A. The Secretariat of the Interior, they keep them.
1 Q. Thank you. Can the MUP ask for reports for records of
2 convictions outside of the Republic of Serbia
3 A. Only through the courts, otherwise it cannot.
4 Q. Can somebody's prior convictions be established on the basis of
5 witness statements or citizen statements?
6 A. No, no, certainly not. Only from the records of convictions, not
7 from hearsay or statements.
8 Q. Mr. Stamp showed you yesterday part of the evidence given by
9 General Vasiljevic where he stated that members of certain units had been
10 convicted to multiple years in prison. I'd like to ask you if you had
11 ever seen any document corroborating this statement of General
13 A. I have never seen such a document nor do I know of any.
14 Q. Has ever a document been shown to you that would indicate when
15 General Vasiljevic became aware of prior convictions of concern members
16 of the reserve unit?
17 A. I'm not aware of that.
18 Q. Mr. Stamp asked you yesterday whether members of the reserve unit
19 must have combat experience. Could you tell us what you understand
20 combat experience to mean?
21 A. Combat experience is understood to mean experience in an actual
22 war, not experience gained through military service because out of 100
23 per cent of those who served in the army, only perhaps 9 or 10 per cent
24 had combat experience.
25 Q. When men are admitted into the reserve force of the MUP, is the
1 regular military service the only requirement?
2 A. Under the law, the person must have done their regular military
3 service and must have no prior convictions.
4 Q. When the members of the reserve unit came for the second time to
5 Kosovo Polje and when a certain number of them were seconded to you,
6 would you tell me how you assigned them?
7 A. I told you, I held a meeting with them and based on their
8 military specialty they gained during their regular military service, I
9 assigned them.
10 Q. What did you actually do?
11 A. Based on their military specialty, I formed certain groups that I
12 could use as required.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can you hear me? The microphone
14 is switched on.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter can't hear counsel.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, now we can hear one another.
17 I have here certain documents shown to you by Mr. Stamp earlier. We are
18 all able to read them, I won't show them to you. Your Honours, I have no
19 further questions for Mr. Simovic. Thank you, Mr. Simovic, for giving
20 evidence as a Defence witness. Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic.
22 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Simovic, I have a couple of questions, and I
24 would like to take you back to your evidence two days ago, especially to
25 the events in Podujevo. Could you please explain the size of the unit
1 you were the commander of? How many members did this unit have?
2 A. You mean my SAJ
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
4 A. At that time around 80 men. Between 70 and 80 because one of my
5 platoons remained in Belgrade
6 There were several men who were injured and were absent from the unit.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How many of them were present in Podujevo when
8 you arrived in this village?
9 A. My entire SAJ
10 70, 80 men.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And do you know how many, as you call it, reserve
12 police members were present at that time in Podujevo?
13 A. Your Honours, do you mean only members of the reserve unit that I
14 brought? Because in the area of Podujevo, there were many reservists who
15 had been seconded to the police station of Podujevo. They also had their
16 own reserve. If you mean the reserve unit of the MUP that I had brought
17 from Prolom Banja, there were two bus loads of them. That means over
18 100, perhaps 115 or 120.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You explained that this unit of reserve police
20 force didn't have a commander. Who was responsible for them? Who could
21 issue orders to them?
22 A. They were a reserve unit of the MUP, and a reserve force of the
23 MUP is seconded normally to some active duty force. And when that is
24 done, they fall under the responsibility of the one to whom they are
25 seconded. Mr. Trajkovic told me that when I come there, I should meet
1 with Mr. Medic because he was in charge of them. Now, in which way he
2 was in charge of them, whether based on a verbal agreement with Trajkovic
3 or otherwise, I don't know, but in any case, on the orders of
4 Mr. Trajkovic, I made contact with Mr. Medic.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm very sorry, but I didn't understand you.
6 Could you explain again. Those members of the police force, the reserve
7 police force, you have taken to Podujevo. Who on the spot could issue
8 orders to them, to those you personally have brought to Podujevo?
9 A. They were brought there, and they were supposed to be seconded to
10 the special unit, the command of the special unit. The then commander,
11 Trajkovic, was not in Podujevo. They were supposed to be seconded to SAJ
13 them into my unit, then the commanders of SAJ Pristina and SAJ Belgrade,
14 that is myself, would have been responsible for them. However, as soon
15 as they came, they did what they did, and I just returned them to Prolom
16 Banja. At that time, they were under the command of the MUP of Serbia.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You said that several timings, but in Podujevo
18 when these reserve police force members were present in Podujevo, who
19 could issue orders to them on the spot in this moment in Podujevo? Who
20 was responsible for them? I'm not asking you who was responsible present
21 in Belgrade
22 who was responsible for them?
23 A. On the spot in Podujevo up to the moment they are absorbed, only
24 once they are absorbed into our units then Commander Trajkovic, Commander
25 Stalevic, and I would have been be responsible. Trajkovic was absent.
1 Stalevic and I were there. But they were never absorbed into our units
2 because they had already done what we discussed. They were turned back.
3 I just received an order from Commander Trajkovic to bring them, and I
4 brought them under my authority, but they had by that time not yet been
5 seconded to the command of the SAJ
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, are you saying that there was nobody
7 present who could issue orders to them in that moment they were present
8 in Podujevo?
9 A. At that moment when they were there, when they were just brought
10 there, and if they had been seconded to us, from that moment of
11 secondment they would have been under our command. They were still
12 undergoing the procedure of admission, but that procedure was never
13 completed because they had done what they had done and at my own
14 initiative and on my own authority, I turned them back.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If I understood you correctly, you took them to
16 Podujevo; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And from that moment on, there was nobody in the
19 command of these reserve police force members because they were not
20 subordinated to you? I don't understand that. Somebody must have been
21 in command.
22 A. I can only tell you what I know and what actually happened. I
23 received from Commander Trajkovic an order to go and get them. At that
24 time they were still reservists of the MUP of Serbia until the moment
25 they are resubordinated, seconded. From the moment of resubordination,
1 they would have been the responsibility of the person who took them over,
2 but the procedure of resubordination had never been completed because of
3 what they had done. They were turned back. They were supposed to wait
4 on the buses until accommodation is found for them, until the procedure
5 of their admission and secondment is completed, and from the moment of
6 completion of that procedure, they would have been the responsibility of
7 the one who accepted and admitted them. At that time they were not
8 responsible to me because I only brought them on my authority and turned
9 them back on my authority when they had perpetrated that crime.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And you didn't hand over them to anybody else, to
11 another commander? You brought them there without turning over them to
12 the command of somebody else?
13 A. No, they were supposed to be under the command of the SAJ. Since
14 the SAJ
15 completed they would have been admitted by the commander of SAJ Pristina
16 and myself. However, that procedure was never completed because of what
17 they had done, and I turned them back.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Some minute ago, you told us that your unit
19 comprised of around 80 policemen of the SAJ unit. How many of them did
20 you ask who was responsible for the crime committed in the courtyard?
21 How many of them you personally asked?
22 A. I asked those who were around on the spot. I mean, the regular
23 members of the SAJ
24 Dr. Dragan, who belonged to SAJ
25 asked if they had seen who had committed the crime. One of my COs
1 Vulevic was also there, and him I also asked. Nobody had seen who had
2 committed the crime. All they knew was that these men were members of
3 the reserve force who had been -- supposed to stay on the bus, but they
4 left the bus.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I asked you how many of them did you personally
6 ask. You answered those around. How many have been present to whom you
7 put this question?
8 A. Really at this moment, Your Honour, I can't remember how many.
9 There were several of them, a number of them. I told you how many things
10 happened in such a short time. All the members of my regular unit, I
11 asked all of them. They didn't see. If they had seen, they would ex
12 officio arrested these people on the spot because the SAJ is the most
13 professional unit within the MUP.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If you only asked those who were present and
15 around you at that moment, it can't be 80. How could you say that nobody
16 of your unit, nobody among those 80 did see the crime?
17 A. Your Honour, the members of my unit were resting. They were in
18 various buildings in Podujevo. Just a certain number of them happened to
19 be on the spot who heard the shooting and ran out. So it was not my
20 entire unit was on the spot. There was just a certain number of them who
21 were around. It's not a large number. I asked all of those who were
22 present out of my regular unit members. They didn't know who had
23 committed the crime. If they had known, they would have certainly
24 arrested the people concerned on the spot.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You told us something about how you secured the
1 site, the crime site. Can you explain that any further, how was the
2 crime site secured?
3 A. I never said I secured the crime scene. I just didn't go there
4 not to trample on the evidence.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment. I try to find the relevant part.
6 Two days ago in the transcript page 56, line 15 you said:
7 "In order not to" -- you were asked why you didn't enter the
8 courtyard and then you said, I quote:
9 "In order not to trample on the trace evidence. So I was really
10 trying hard, and that's why I went to Podujevo immediately in order to
11 ensure that the site was secured."
12 How was the site secured, and what had you done and ordered?
13 A. I informed the competent authority, and that was the OUP
14 Podujevo, about what had happened. They were supposed to go out to the
15 crime scene immediately and secure the crime scene so that an on-site
16 investigation can take place. After informing the OUP Podujevo, the
17 staff, and General Djordjevic, I did not return to the scene. Instead, I
18 left for Belgrade
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can I take it that you didn't secure the crime
20 site personally, you just informed the OUP; is that correct?
21 A. All authorised official are familiar with the procedure. They
22 know that after an incident, they are not to go to the crime scene so as
23 not to tamper with any evidence. That is why I only informed the OUP in
24 Podujevo so that they could take measures as soon as possible in order to
25 preserve evidence.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In the transcript of the same day, page 60, line
2 10 and the following, you said, I quote:
3 "That I organised the providing assistance to these people and
4 also to make sure that the trace evidence was not displaced and to secure
5 the crime scene."
6 To secure the crime scene. Again, you left Podujevo with your
7 unit and informed the OUP. How can you say that you secured the crime
8 scene? What measures to secure the crime scene did you take?
9 A. The members of my unit who were on the spot as well as the
10 physician who was there administering first aid, that is what I had in
11 mind when I said that I took care that assistance be provided. I made
12 sure that an ambulance arrived there so that those in need could be
13 transported. When I say that we secured the spot, I meant that my
14 members were there but that no one could actually go to the crime scene
15 so as not to destroy any evidence. That is why I went to Podujevo to
16 inform the OUP there, which was the competent body. They had the
17 necessary personnel such as scene-of-crime officers who were there to
18 properly secure the location pending arrival of investigative
19 authorities. Any authorised official knows that after an incident one
20 should not move about the crime scene so as not to destroy any evidence.
21 This is what you learn in the police high school as well as at any police
22 course. We have the subject called scene-of-crime techniques where the
23 policemen are taught the basic measures so as not to destroy evidence.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'd like to stop you here. That was not my
25 question, what you learned in theory. I would like to know the situation
1 on the spot. When you left the area around this courtyard, the crime
2 scene, who was present from the OUP? Which person was present to be able
3 to secure the crime scene?
4 A. I left the crime scene for the Podujevo OUP informing them of
5 what had taken place. They were supposed to send out an expert team
6 immediately to do their work.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Could you explain how the situation
8 around this courtyard was when you and your unit and the reserve police
9 force members entered the buses and left. What -- how was the situation
10 in that moment?
11 A. I can't remember everything precisely. Right after Podujevo, I
12 boarded the bus and went for Belgrade
13 was at that point in time. I know what the situation was when I left the
14 place though because I left some of my members behind to secure the scene
15 awaiting those from the OUP Podujevo to arrive. However, what the
16 situation was like at the moment I started for Belgrade, that is
17 something I don't know.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is very interesting that you tell us now
19 that you left some members of your unit behind to secure the scene.
20 That's the first time that I hear it. Can you tell me how many members
21 of your unit you left behind and which orders did you issue to them?
22 A. I believe I said so a moment ago. It was those members whom I
23 had encountered at the crime scene when I went there for the first time.
24 They remained there. No other members. Only those who had been there
25 when I came there before going to Podujevo, the same people stayed.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When did they leave? When did you see them
3 A. I don't understand. When I left and came back, or?
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I just want to know when you saw them again after
5 you have left them back?
6 A. My members?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, we are talking about them.
8 A. As I've said already, my unit members who were at the location
9 were still there. I went to the Podujevo OUP informing them and telling
10 Medic that he should join the rest of the reserve members on the bus to
11 go back to Prolom Banja. After I arrived in the Podujevo OUP, I no
12 longer went back to the crime scene. Together with my driver, I went to
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the members of your SAJ unit, where were they
16 at that moment?
17 A. At that moment they were resting save for a few of them who were
18 still at the crime scene. The rest of them were in our facility.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yesterday you were asked by the Prosecutor if you
20 were the police officer of the highest rank present in -- at the crime
21 scene, and you answered that you didn't see all of the members of the
22 other units and you don't know. Did you try to find out if there's
23 another high-ranked police officer at the crime scene?
24 A. At the location where I was and where my unit members were, I was
25 the most senior person in terms of rank. I was lieutenant-colonel at the
1 time. After that, I went to Podujevo. As for whether there were any
2 officials there equal to my rank or senior to me in the immediate
3 vicinity or the general area of the crime scene, that is something I
4 don't know. At that point in time there were regular police in Podujevo
5 as well as the army and special unit of the police, hence I don't know.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm not talking about the army, but about the
7 police. You said you were the police officer of the highest rank present
8 directly on the spot outside the courtyard where the crime was committed;
9 is that correct?
10 A. It is correct.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Another topic, you said that Dr. Markovic tried
12 to assist all those who were injured at that place. How do you know that
13 he could give first aid to all injured people?
14 A. At that moment at the scene there were three or four wounded
15 people, that is what I know. Dr. Dragan administered first aid expertly
16 to all of them and ensured that they be transported to the hospital in
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How did you know if these 19 people, these dead
19 bodies were really dead or still alive?
20 A. At that moment I didn't know what the number of people was and
21 whether there were any other wounded among them. I'm only telling you
22 what I know.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You knew that there was a killing at the
24 courtyard and there were dead bodies. How did you establish the fact
25 that these are really -- these people are really dead or still alive?
1 A. When I was informed by my unit members that there had been a
2 crime committed at that location and that there were some wounded people
3 as well as that Dr. Dragan was administering first aid to them, I didn't
4 know what the number of those killed was among the people in the
5 courtyard and whether there were any other wounded. I can only tell you
6 what I recall and what is true to the best of my knowledge.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have no further questions. Thank you very
9 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Simovic, I have a few questions for you, but
10 let me say this straightaway, I fully appreciate that you have been
11 testifying for quite sometime, and I will try my endeavour best to be as
12 brief as possible. But there are matters that I would like you to assist
13 me with. Fair enough?
14 A. Fair enough, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you very much. Now, in the transcript of the
16 day before yesterday, you reported as saying that once the men of the
17 reserve force had been attached to your unit, you held a meeting with
18 them. You said -- you did not identify any of them as being participants
19 in the incidents in Podujevo. Yesterday you said, however, that you did
20 not say "identify," you said "recognise." You said you did not recognise
21 any of the men as being participants in the incident at Podujevo. Do you
22 agree with that yesterday?
23 A. That's correct, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you.
25 A. I said that I did not -- I had recognition in mind the first time
1 around, not identification.
2 JUDGE BAIRD: My question to you now is this: For you to be able
3 to recognise whether or not the men were participants in the incident at
4 Podujevo, you had to know who the participants were beforehand, wouldn't
5 you not say so? Otherwise, how could you recognise them?
6 A. Your Honour, when I was at the scene and when I saw several
7 reservists there, this is what I meant when I said that I didn't
8 recognise any of them. It's not that I knew that someone had committed
9 the crime and that I wasn't able to recognise them afterwards. I only
10 meant those whom I had seen there.
11 JUDGE BAIRD: But, therefore -- but if you had seen them and you
12 now would have been in a position to recognise them when you interviewed
13 them; is that what you are saying?
14 A. Had I seen anyone committing the crime at the location, I would
15 have detained that person immediately. I said that those from the
16 reserve force who were at the scene who appeared during re-engagement, it
17 is among that group that I couldn't recognise any of them from Podujevo.
18 That was what I meant.
19 JUDGE BAIRD: I'm not following you. You were able to recognise
20 the faces of all those men so that you could have concluded that they
21 were not participants in the incident at Podujevo, were you not?
22 A. No. At the scene I saw several members of the reserve force.
23 JUDGE BAIRD: Yes.
24 A. What I said was that when they arrived in Kosovo Polje, out of
25 the people I saw there, there were none of those whom I had seen before.
1 Commander Trajkovic did say that the reserve force was to be returned
2 although --
3 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you very much.
4 A. -- purged of certain members during re-engagement.
5 JUDGE BAIRD: Now, you said you did not look to see the bodies in
6 the courtyard because you did not want to interfere with the trace
7 evidence, did you not?
8 A. Yes, I said --
9 JUDGE BAIRD: Yes.
10 A. -- that I didn't want to go to the crime scene so as not to
11 interfere with any evidence.
12 JUDGE BAIRD: But your men were moving about there, were they
14 A. Several people were there with Dr. Dragan before I came there in
15 order to pull out those wounded. However, when I arrived there, there
16 was no one moving about the crime scene anymore.
17 JUDGE BAIRD: But tell me, you did say in the court at Prokuplje
18 that the scene was really crowded with members of different units all
19 mixed together; did you not say that, at the court in Prokuplje?
20 A. Your Honour, let me explain. At the scene where it had taken
21 place, there were some of my unit members helping. In the general area
22 of the scene in the street and around the houses, there were some other
23 members of the regular police and the reserve police of the OUP.
24 However, at the crime scene itself, there were some of my members, Dr.
25 Dragan, one of my officers, and a few members of the reserve force. This
1 is what I had in mind.
2 JUDGE BAIRD: So, therefore, when you said "the scene was really
3 crowded with members of different units all mixed together," what scene
4 were you referring to?
5 A. I had in mind the general area, not the crime scene itself, but
6 within the perimeter of 20 to 40 metres.
7 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you very much. Now, tell me, how long did
8 the incident at Podujevo last? How long did it last?
9 A. Time-wise I really can't say.
10 JUDGE BAIRD: An idea, a rough estimate? Any idea at all?
11 A. Very very briefly. When I heard bursts, I went immediately to
12 the location.
13 JUDGE BAIRD: Now then, so you ran outside directly after you
14 heard the two long volleys?
15 A. I was some 300 metres away. Having heard the volleys, I knew
16 immediately that something unforeseen had happened. I ran outside to
17 identify the direction and move towards there. Some of my members who
18 had also heard those bursts of gun-fire who were closer to the scene ran
19 out too and came to the scene itself. It was my officer by the name of
20 Vulevic and a number of others. When I arrived there, they had already
21 been there at the scene.
22 JUDGE BAIRD: When you got on the spot, there were members of the
23 reserve force there, were there not?
24 A. There were both my unit members, those of the active force, and
25 some reservists.
1 JUDGE BAIRD: Right. So there you are, you are on the scene, you
2 ran outside after hearing the volleys of fire, you had this feeling that
3 something bad had happened, and as it turned out, something bad had, in
4 fact, happened. You are also satisfied that the shooting was not done by
5 your men. So did you go to the reservists and say to them, Look here,
6 what is going on, who did this shooting? Did you as a man in authority
7 call for an explanation at all from these men?
8 A. All those who were at the scene -- well, I put a question to all
9 of them and everyone was silent. It was only my unit members who were
10 there, told me, Boss, we didn't see who did this. If they had seen
11 anyone, we would have detained that person immediately.
12 JUDGE BAIRD: So are you saying that you also made inquiries of
13 the reservists?
14 A. Of the reservists whom I saw there who were at the scene. This
15 is what I stated in my statement as well.
16 JUDGE BAIRD: Well, you spoke of speaking to your men, but we
17 didn't hear you say speaking to the reservists.
18 A. I did say, Your Honour, that I also asked the reservists who were
19 outside the bus who were on the location who had done that, and I stated
20 that they were all silent.
21 JUDGE BAIRD: To this Chamber? To this Chamber?
22 A. I believe it was on day one. Perhaps it should be
23 double-checked. I think I said that I asked the reservists who were
24 there what had happened, but that no answer came my way.
25 JUDGE BAIRD: It will be checked, thank you. Now then, tell me,
1 Mr. Witness, you said the engagement of the special unit outside the
2 territory of Kosovo was something only the minister could decide, outside
3 Kosovo. Agreed?
4 A. I do not understand.
5 JUDGE BAIRD: You said earlier in your evidence that the
6 engagement of the special unit outside of Kosovo was something only the
7 minister could decide. But at the same time, in the territory of Kosovo
8 and Metohija from the time the MUP staff was established in 1998, the
9 minister transferred power to the MUP staff so that this staff set up by
10 the minister was able to engage SAJ
11 minister. Yes?
12 A. That is correct.
13 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you.
14 A. The MUP staff of the Republic of Serbia
15 JUDGE BAIRD: I want to know if you agree or not because I have
16 another question to follow. Now this applied to all the units --
17 A. In the territory of Kosovo
18 responsible for all units. It is the MUP staff established by the
19 minister. They were responsible for all the units in Kosovo.
20 JUDGE BAIRD: Yes. It applied to all units in Kosovo because the
21 minister set up the staff by his own decision, and this staff had all the
22 power to the minister. Now, Mr. Stamp asked you what you meant when you
23 said, "the staff had all the powers of the minister," and you replied
24 that you were trying to say that if the minister could engage the SAJ
25 outside of Kosovo and Metohija, then the MUP staff was equally able to
1 engage the SAJ
2 A. The staff established by the minister, the staff to counter
3 terrorism in KiM.
4 JUDGE BAIRD: My question to you is this: Were you aware of any
5 occasion when the MUP staff engaged the SAJ without informing the
7 A. Outside the territory of Kosovo
8 Pristina staff? The Pristina staff established by the minister could
9 engage the SAJ
10 JUDGE BAIRD: Were you aware of any instance when this was done?
11 A. Well, the staff issued tasks to all units in Kosovo and Metohija
12 without ministers approval. It doesn't matter whether it was the PJP or
13 the SAJ
14 JUDGE BAIRD: It happened across the board. Yes, all right. But
15 one thing I would like you to help me with here, and perhaps -- now, the
16 staff could have engaged the SAJ
17 chief of sector could not engage the SAJ without the permission of the
18 minister. Can you explain that?
19 A. I don't understand the chief of the sector. Who do you have in
21 JUDGE BAIRD: I'm quoting what you said. You said the chief of
22 sector could not engage the SAJ
23 Did you not say that?
24 A. No one could engage the SAJ
25 one. Only the staff in the territory of KiM
1 could do so. Otherwise, outside Kosovo, it was only the minister. In
2 the territory of Kosovo
3 But also the minister could do it, of course.
4 JUDGE BAIRD: You have made that quite clear. Thank you. Now,
5 I'm coming to the end of my questions. I shouldn't be very long. Now
6 you said that during the war in 1999, you and Stalevic did not submit
7 written reports, but upon the completion of each operation, you would
8 analyse the operation together with Trajkovic, and he would then report
9 to the staff. Now, my question to you is: When you and Stalevic
10 analysed the operation with Trajkovic, did Trajkovic take notes of what
11 was being discussed?
12 A. Your Honour, I said that after each action, after each operation,
13 we analysed the operation, the three of us together. Trajkovic, Stalevic
14 and I. Now, after that, Trajkovic went to the staff. Whether he
15 informed the staff in writing or orally, I don't know.
16 JUDGE BAIRD: But my question is: As you all were there
17 analysing the work, did you see Trajkovic taking any notes at all?
18 A. I really don't remember.
19 JUDGE BAIRD: Very well. Was there any reason for you and
20 Stalevic not submitting written reports? Was there a reason for that?
21 A. We did not submit written reports, but instead we met with
22 Trajkovic after every operation and made an analysis; whereas, Trajkovic
23 as member of the staff went to the staff to inform them, whether in
24 writing or verbally, I don't know. But during the war, we really did
1 JUDGE BAIRD: But there was no reason for --
2 A. No, there was no reason. It was just accepted that a SAJ
3 commander -- the SAJ
4 orally, I don't know. Stalevic and I did not write any reports.
5 JUDGE BAIRD: Whose idea was it not to have written reports?
6 A. It was not an idea. Trajkovic as the commander informed the
8 JUDGE BAIRD: He informed the staff?
9 A. Yes, yes, but Stalevic and I didn't. The commander of SAJ
10 Pristina or I did not inform the staff. That was done by Trajkovic who
11 was himself a staff member.
12 JUDGE BAIRD: That seems the end of my questions for you,
13 Mr. Simovic. Thank you very much, indeed.
14 JUDGE PARKER: We will have the second break now and resume at
15 five minutes past 11.00. It's the first break, I believe.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
19 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic.
21 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Before we start, I would I like to introduce and
22 ask for permission our intern, Mr. Dobrica Stefanovic, he would like to
23 be present to the trial with your permission, and also, you know other
24 member of the team.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Familiar faces, but many of them.
1 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Yes.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, we welcome the new intern to your team. He
3 may, of course, be present.
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Sit down again, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: I'm still unclear about one area of your evidence,
9 and I hope that we can clear that up fairly quickly. This concerns again
10 the members of this reserve force that came with you to Podujevo. I
11 think you told us that it was Commander Trajkovic who had given you
12 instructions to collect this force from Serbia and bring it to Podujevo;
13 is that correct?
14 A. That's correct. On the 27th around 1700 hours when he returned
15 from Pristina, he had been for a check-up at the hospital, then he
16 returned back to the headquarters and came to Podujevo.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Was he then going to go to Belgrade?
18 A. If he had not been injured, he would not have gone to Belgrade
19 JUDGE PARKER: On the 27th, was he going to Belgrade after he had
20 spoken to you?
21 A. Yes. After we had that talk, he went to Belgrade.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Was that for medical treatment or because of the
24 A. He went to organise the funeral.
25 JUDGE PARKER: At that stage, the dead member of your unit was
1 still -- his body was still in Kosovo; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. It was transferred from Bradas to the hospital to the
3 forensic department.
4 JUDGE PARKER: And do I correctly understand that there were
5 still uncertainty whether the body could be released to be conveyed to
7 for the completion of the forensic examinations?
8 A. We did not know with any certainty when the body would be
9 transported to Belgrade
10 JUDGE PARKER: You went yourself to Serbia to where this reserve
11 force had been assembled; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, I went to Prolom Banja.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Was that on the 27th or the 28th?
14 A. On the 27th I went on the instructions of the commander to see
15 where they were stationed, that's the first time I saw Mr. Medic and told
16 them that early the following morning between 4.00 and 5.00 a.m.
17 come to fetch them.
18 JUDGE PARKER: So you were able to see Mr. Medic on the 27th at
19 Prolom Banja; is that correct?
20 A. I saw him on the 27th when I came to Prolom Banja.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Did you see him on the 28th at Prolom Banja?
22 A. Yes, on the 28th as well.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Did he travel with the reserve force to Podujevo?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE PARKER: There were two buses, as I understand you, for
1 conveying this force?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Did you travel in one of those or in a separate
5 A. No, I was in my car, the car I had arrived in.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Medic, did he travel with you or in the buses
7 or in some other way?
8 A. I really can't recall whether he was in my car or in one of the
9 buses. I can't remember.
10 JUDGE PARKER: At Podujevo you left to go to the OUP building; is
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Was Mr. Medic with you?
14 A. Yes. He came with me.
15 JUDGE PARKER: What was to happen to the two bus loads of the
16 reserve force when you went to the Podujevo building, the OUP building?
17 A. They were supposed to stay on the buses until accommodation is
18 found for them and then be placed in their accommodation in Podujevo.
19 JUDGE PARKER: In what way were they told of this?
20 A. I told Medic to tell them not to get off the buses until
21 accommodation is found for them.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Did he do that?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE PARKER: When you and Medic went into the OUP building,
25 were the men still on the buses?
1 A. They should have been on the buses but it later turned out that
2 some of them got off.
3 JUDGE PARKER: When you left the buses, were the men still on the
5 A. Yes, when the buses arrived, they were inside the buses. When I
6 went inside the OUP, in the time it took me to get to the OUP building,
7 some of them had got off.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Where were the buses parked? At the OUP building
9 or somewhere else?
10 A. They were parked, I don't know at which distance from the OUP
11 building, so that when I went inside the OUP building, I don't know what
12 happened meanwhile. It later turned out that a few of them got off the
13 bus, did what they did, and you know the rest.
14 JUDGE PARKER: You say a few of them got off the buses. Do you
15 know whether all of them got off, some of them got off?
16 A. Some, not a large number. I don't know the exact number.
17 JUDGE PARKER: How do you know that?
18 A. I know that because when I got to the scene, I saw a few of them
19 and later my unit members who were on the spot told me that there were
20 some of them outside the buses.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Did you see the buses when you left the OUP
23 A. Yes, yes, I saw them.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Did you see whether there were some men still in
25 the buses or not?
1 A. Yes, there were people on the buses.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Now, in the OUP building, what were you doing?
3 A. The commander of the Pristina SAJ Stalevic was there, and we were
4 supposed, on the orders given by Trajkovic before he had left Podujevo,
5 to find accommodation for the reservists to absorb them into our units,
6 and after these actions, to report back to the staff. However, in the
7 meanwhile, they had committed what they had committed, and I took the
8 decision to return them to Prolom Banja.
9 JUDGE PARKER: You say they -- there was to be a report back to
10 the staff. Is that the staff at Pristina responsible for terrorist
11 action, anti-terrorist actions, or is that the SAJ staff or some other
13 A. When I say "staff," I mean the staff for combat against terrorism
14 in Pristina.
15 JUDGE PARKER: And who was to make that report?
16 A. Well, once we had completed the accommodation of the personnel,
17 then either Stalevic and I would have made the report. It didn't matter
19 JUDGE PARKER: One or other of the two lieutenant-colonels; is
20 that correct?
21 A. Stalevic was a colonel at that time, a higher rank than mine.
22 JUDGE PARKER: What was the time that you were in the OUP
23 building? Are you able to give us an estimate of that?
24 A. I really can't say with any certainty how much time we were
25 inside because after all that happened, I lost the sense of time. I
1 can't say whether it was half an hour or an hour. I can't be sure.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Could it have been longer?
3 A. Longer than what?
4 JUDGE PARKER: Than an hour?
5 A. No, it couldn't have been longer than an hour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: And what was the reason for that delay? Was there
7 some problem about accommodation?
8 A. Well, it was necessary to find appropriate premises where people
9 could be stationed. That place had to be safe, secure. It had to be
10 close so that they are not scattered around. First of all, we had to
11 find that accommodation and then place them, that's why we told them to
12 stay on the buses until they are accommodated. However, in the meanwhile
13 if -- some of them left the buses and after that you know what happened.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Had you found accommodation?
15 A. No, in the meanwhile, they were returned.
16 JUDGE PARKER: What about the task that you and Stalevic had of
17 dividing this reserve force between your two units, had you made any
18 progress with that?
19 A. No, we did not have time because they were returned in the
20 meantime. We were supposed to divide them after finding accommodation.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Who was looking for the accommodation then?
22 A. I told my unit members to see if there was any available
23 accommodation anywhere and to report back to me when they find it.
24 JUDGE PARKER: And I take it from what you say that there had
25 been no report back to you about accommodation?
1 A. Because they didn't find accommodation. They were only about to
2 look for it because we had also arrived on a territory that was strange
3 to us, new to us, and we didn't know the situation there.
4 JUDGE PARKER: What did you, Stalevic, and Medic do while your
5 men were looking for accommodation?
6 A. We gathered in OUP Podujevo. We were not taking any steps yet.
7 We needed to rest a bit, have some coffee, and then go forward with
8 carrying out the instructions of Commander Trajkovic. In the meantime,
9 the shooting was heard and we had not had time to do anything.
10 Immediately afterwards, I made my decision and turned them back.
11 JUDGE PARKER: What was Medic doing with the two of you, Stalevic
12 and yourself?
13 A. Commander Trajkovic designated Medic as a liaison man with those
15 JUDGE PARKER: Your instructions then had been to go and collect
16 these men, bring them to Podujevo, to accommodate them, to divide them
17 between the two SAJ
18 after that?
19 A. After that if the procedure had been completed, they would have
20 been seconded to us, and if they hadn't committed what they had
21 committed. So if the situation was regular, if there had been no
22 problems, if we had accommodated them, if we had divided them, informed
23 the commander of the SAJ
24 reported to the staff, then they would have become part of the SAJ units.
25 Since none of this happened, I took them back.
1 JUDGE PARKER: So you felt that they would not in any way be part
2 of the SAJ
3 along with the commander of the Pristina unit, they had been
4 accommodated, and you had made a report both to Commander Trajkovic and
5 to the MUP staff in Pristina; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. Either Commander Stalevic or I would have taken care of
7 that. We would have informed the staff that the procedure of admission
8 had completed. We would have had lists, and they would have been
9 seconded attached to us. However, this procedure never occurred, and you
10 know the reasons. So on the authority that Trajkovic gave me, I as the
11 one who brought them --
12 JUDGE PARKER: I stop you because you are going on with a long
13 recitation. I'm asking you, as so many others have done, shorter
14 specific questions and you want to tell the whole story again. Why is it
15 that you considered it necessary before these men became part of your
16 unit or some of them became part of your unit, that they be accommodated,
17 that you have lists, and that you make two reports, one to Commander
18 Trajkovic in Belgrade
19 A. I had to inform Commander Trajkovic that I had executed his
20 order. And I would have reported to the staff in Pristina because in the
21 territory of the entire Kosovo and Metohija, that staff was responsible
22 for all units sent there or attached to a unit there, so any unit that
23 had arrived from Serbia
24 staff because from that moment on, the staff would have been responsible
25 for them.
1 JUDGE PARKER: I can well understand that the staff in Pristina
2 needed to know that this force was now in Podujevo and divided between
3 your two units and as it were ready for action, but why is it that a
4 report had to be made before they became part of your SAJ unit and part
5 of the Pristina SAJ
7 A. I don't know which report you mean. I just said that once they
8 arrived they were supposed after being accommodated and assigned to
9 units, the staff and the commander had to be informed. However, that did
10 not happen because before accommodation was ever found, they left the
11 buses without anyone's permission, they did what they did, and
12 afterwards, I did whatever was in my power, I actually took them back.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I'm exploring the processes that you have not
14 spoken about. We'll leave the report to the staff in Pristina. Let's go
15 to the report to Commander Trajkovic. Is it your evidence that these men
16 would not have become part of your unit and part of the Pristina unit
17 until you had actually spoken to Commander Trajkovic and reported that
18 you had completed his instructions?
19 A. If everything had been all right, even if I hadn't been able to
20 reach Trajkovic, I would have informed the MUP staff in Pristina because
21 they were in charge of and responsible for all units in Kosovo and
22 Metohija, because I report to the SAJ
23 then I go on to the higher instance and the MUP staff was above Commander
25 JUDGE PARKER: It seems to me that it would be a very strange
1 circumstance if you weren't able to reach Commander Trajkovic in
3 something, that there could be no completion of the action with respect
4 to the subordination of these men to your unit and to the Pristina unit,
5 everything held up until such time as you could find where Commander
6 Trajkovic was and actually tell him. Do you agree that if you hadn't
7 been able it to reach Commander Trajkovic, you could have gone on and
8 simply reported to the staff in Pristina that you had completed what was
9 required and these men were now divided between your unit and the
10 Pristina SAJ
11 A. If I had not been able to reach Commander Trajkovic, Stalevic and
12 I would have informed the staff that we had executed the order of
13 Commander Trajkovic our direct superior, because he had received
14 instructions from the staff that we may receive the reserve force if
15 everything had been all right. However, since all of that happened, I
16 made the decision to turn them back because I thought that was the most
17 rationale thing do at the moment.
18 JUDGE PARKER: I think we understand each other clearly there.
19 Your instructions that had been given you by Commander Trajkovic were
20 that you were to bring these men to Podujevo, find them accommodation,
21 and with the other commander divide them between your two units; is that
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE PARKER: If you had sat down with the other commander when
25 you arrived in Podujevo and divided the list of the men in two with each
1 unit to find accommodation, what more would you have needed to do to
2 complete the subordination of these men to your units?
3 A. We were supposed to accommodate them, to hold a meeting, to
4 inform higher levels, and once we had informed the staff to make the
5 staff aware that they were now under our command, that they had been
6 attached to us, and we disposed of them, then that would have been the
7 end of the procedure. So if everything had gone as it had been supposed
8 to, the staff would have been informed and then it would have been
9 considered that they had been attached to us.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Is it really that it was because you and Stalevic
11 had relaxed and had a cup of coffee together that this process had not
12 been completed?
13 A. This process had not been completed because there was a war going
14 on and because of many other circumstances. Another factor that came
15 into it was that we had lost a member just before that. So all the
16 circumstances came together, the bombing, the war, what happened in
17 Bradas. None of those factors played in our favour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Let's focus again on Mr. Medic. You mentioned
19 today for the first time that Commander Trajkovic designated him as the
20 liaison officer; is that what you meant to say?
21 A. Your Honours, I said the first day that Commander Trajkovic
22 directed me to find Mr. Medic, also known as Boca, there, who was the
23 contact person for them, the liaison. So when I arrived in Prolom Banja,
24 I first laid eyes on Mr. Medic, I had a talk with him, the first thing he
25 asked me was, where is Zile, meaning Commander Trajkovic, and I explained
1 what had happened, that Commander Trajkovic had to go to Belgrade
2 conveyed the order of Commander Trajkovic that they were to be ready by
3 the next day, and then I returned to Podujevo.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Did you go back overnight on the 27th to Podujevo?
5 A. Yes, I went back to Podujevo, and the next morning very early, I
6 came to collect them.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Where were these men housed overnight on the 27th,
9 A. Prolom Banja is a spa. There is a hotel there. And they were in
10 the hotel of the spa. That's where they were housed.
11 JUDGE PARKER: And it was to Medic that you turned to ensure that
12 they would be ready for transport early the next morning?
13 A. Commander Trajkovic had told me that he would be there. Now,
14 whether Mr. Trajkovic had spoken to him in the meantime, I really don't
15 know whether he had any understanding with Mr. Medic, I don't know. All
16 I know is that Mr. Trajkovic told me that I should go there on the 27th,
17 and that he would be there as a sort of liaison, and that the following
18 day I should bring them to Podujevo.
19 JUDGE PARKER: And it was Medic, whom you told on the 27th, that
20 the men should be ready for transport the following morning?
21 A. On the orders of Commander Trajkovic and in that room where Medic
22 was, there were some other reservists present, so I told everyone in that
23 room that they should be ready early the next morning. I didn't speak to
24 all of them individually to convey the order of Commander Trajkovic.
25 JUDGE PARKER: You say you issued a general order to anybody who
1 heard, or that you spoke to Medic about the arrangements for transport
2 the next morning?
3 A. I only told them that they should be ready the next morning to
4 board the buses. I also told them that I would be there the next morning
5 to take them over, and I did so.
6 JUDGE PARKER: And was it not Medic who was responsible for them
7 to be ready?
8 A. Medic was only a go-between. To repeat, Mr. Trajkovic told me
9 that Medic was there to liaise with them. As for what kind of
10 relationship Mr. Trajkovic had to Mr. Medic, that is something I don't
11 know. And whether Mr. Trajkovic orally appointed Medic to liaise with
12 them, that's something I'm not familiar with. I only know that the
13 reserve force cannot have an officer of their own. They can only have
14 officers upon being attached to an official unit and then the unit they
15 were attached to takes care of all that such as the issuing of orders,
16 logistics, et cetera.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Is it your evidence then that nobody commanded
18 these men on the 27th or the 28th?
19 A. No one from the MUP was with them when they arrived. Only the
20 reservists were in Prolom Banja.
21 JUDGE PARKER: You haven't answered my question.
22 A. Whether Mr. Trajkovic -- well, I don't know that. If Trajkovic
23 had issued orders or had spoken to Medic to be with them pending my
24 arrival, well, that may have been as well, but I'm not familiar with
1 JUDGE PARKER: Well, who was their commander? Are you able to
2 suggest an answer to that? On the 27th and the 28th.
3 A. I cannot presume that. I can only say to you what Commander
4 Trajkovic told me about the way to liaise with them. That's all.
5 JUDGE PARKER: What about Commander Trajkovic, had he command
6 authority over them?
7 A. I don't know that. On the 27th, Commander Trajkovic left the
8 territory of Podujevo having issued the order to me, which I implemented.
9 He told me who to contact, who was supposed to liaise with them. Whether
10 he had spoken to Mr. Medic telling him that I would arrive and that he
11 was there to liaise with them, that is something I don't know.
12 JUDGE PARKER: We have heard all of that several times. I'm
13 asking you more specifically, is it your evidence that commander
14 Trajkovic could not have given them orders?
15 A. Commander Trajkovic could not have given them orders unless they
16 were attached to us. Only after their attachment, he would be able to do
17 so. Whether he had an oral arrangement made with Trajkovic, that is
18 something I'm not familiar with --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: With Medic.
20 A. That is something I don't know. But without any attachment to
21 the SAJ
22 needed to be followed for the SAJ
23 as reservists. That is all I know about that. For example, the second
24 time around when they arrived in Kosovo Polje, the procedure was followed
25 and they were properly attached to us.
1 JUDGE PARKER: You made it clear that Medic had no command
2 authority over them.
3 A. As far as I know, yes.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Well, what command authority could he have over
5 them in Serbia
6 A. I don't know that. I really don't.
7 JUDGE PARKER: You say now that Commander Trajkovic had no
8 command authority.
9 A. In my opinion, Mr. Medic was just another reservist. I didn't
10 know him, and I met him then for the first time. It was for the first
11 time that I could see the reserve unit in Prolom Banja. Before that when
12 Commander Trajkovic told me that he had the right men for us, he just
13 said that he had men whom he had met in a different area. That is all I
14 know. Anything else I would tell you now would not be the truth of it.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Was Medic an officer of the MUP?
16 A. Of the active or reserve force?
17 JUDGE PARKER: Either.
18 A. Yes, he was a member of the reserve force. As of the moment when
19 they were received individually into the reserve force following
20 minister's orders. Having become members of the reserve force, they were
21 issued with the regular police uniform used at the time and with weapons.
22 They were the MUP's reserve force, as I said in my testimony the day
23 before yesterday. The MUP reserve force could only be engaged following
24 an approval of the minister.
25 JUDGE PARKER: And Trajkovic could not give them any order?
1 A. Not before their attachment to the SAJ.
2 JUDGE PARKER: And Medic was not an SAJ officer?
3 A. He never was.
4 JUDGE PARKER: If those two buses on the way to Podujevo had been
5 ambushed by a KLA force, are you saying that there is nobody who could
6 command them? Those reserve force members?
7 A. At that point in time when they were --
8 JUDGE PARKER: No one; is that your answer?
9 A. No, no, that is not what I'm trying to say. I really don't know.
10 I never thought about such a situation being possible.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Right. But you are very adamant that you couldn't
12 have commanded them?
13 A. I could only command them following their attachment to my unit,
14 not before that. I merely followed my superior's orders. He could have
15 ordered anyone else to go and pick them up, and that person would have
16 done the same.
17 JUDGE PARKER: On what authority could he pick them up and bring
18 them to Podujevo if they were not SAJ and not subject to his command?
19 A. As I said, on the 27th, before arriving in Podujevo,
20 Mr. Trajkovic went to the staff. He informed them that someone was to go
21 to take them over and that he had been told that there were reservists in
22 Prolom Banja. Had he not been wounded, he would have been the one to
23 collect them after the operation to execute the attachment process to the
25 way they did, on his return, the SAJ
1 so. The task was not implemented for reasons you are familiar with, the
2 procedure was not followed through, and following my decision to have
3 them returned, I informed the staff because I wasn't able to get in touch
4 with Commander Trajkovic by phone. I informed the sector chief and that
5 is all I could have done under the circumstances.
6 JUDGE PARKER: The assignment you were given by Commander
7 Trajkovic, with respect to these men collecting them as you say, bringing
8 them to Podujevo, you did not see that in any way as giving you authority
9 to command these men?
10 A. No. I could only have authority following their attachment
11 because in that case, that reserve unit would have been attached to the
13 JUDGE PARKER: We've gone over that same thing. You didn't
14 understand that you in any way were to command these men and bring them
15 to Podujevo?
16 A. On commander's orders, I was merely a liaison officer who was
17 supposed to receive them until the entire procedure is followed through.
18 Had they been attached to my unit, I would have been responsible for
19 them. This is the way I understood it.
20 JUDGE PARKER: And you can't suggest on what lawful authority
21 Commander Trajkovic could have done what you did? That is, bring the men
22 to Podujevo?
23 A. Commander Trajkovic, even if he had gone to pick them up and had
24 standard procedure been followed, they would have been considered part of
25 the regular MUP force, provided, of course, that the procedure I
1 mentioned was followed.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Not only followed, but completed, as I understand
3 you? It's only after you had finished your coffee, found accommodation,
4 divided up the men between the two units, and reported to the MUP staff
5 in Pristina, only after completion of that would these men have been part
6 of the SAJ
7 A. They would have been attached to the SAJ. They would have not
8 been SAJ
9 never had a reserve force. This SAJ
10 has no reserve force. We don't have one. Our staffing levels are
11 brought up based on the MUP reserve force numbers.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE PARKER: On what basis did you act when you said that the
14 men should stay in the buses in Podujevo on the morning of the 28th? Was
15 that just a social suggestion, or was that an order of a
16 lieutenant-colonel of the SAJ
17 A. I merely executed the order of my superior, the SAJ commander
18 pending the whole procedure being complete. Before that, they were
19 supposed to stay on the buses so as to avoid any problems. They did not
20 obey --
21 JUDGE PARKER: Was that an order of Commander Trajkovic that they
22 must stay on the buses, or is that something you decided?
23 A. It was something I told them to do based on my own authority
24 awaiting the completion of the procedure. Had that been done, everything
25 else I have been explaining would have taken place. We would have
1 informed the MUP staff that things were in order and that the reserve
2 force members were attached to the SAJ
3 were under our command.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Now, there's one matter I haven't asked. Are you
5 saying that there had been no arrangements made to accommodate this force
6 of over 100 men in Podujevo before they arrived?
7 A. The entire SAJ
8 27th arrived in the area of Podujevo. We had difficulties finding
9 accommodation ourselves. Once they arrived they were supposed to stay on
10 the buses until such time when accommodation was found for them. I have
11 explained why, we tried to find accommodation close by so that they
12 wouldn't disperse and that proper security measures were followed.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Simovic, I just have one inquiry to make. Now,
15 in answer to Judge Parker awhile ago, you said that the first day, you
16 said that the first day that Commander Trajkovic directed you to find
17 Medic who was the contact person for the reserve men, the liaison? Did
18 you tell that to Judge Parker awhile ago?
19 A. I told His Honour that Commander Trajkovic told me that once I
20 was in Prolom Banja to seek out Mr. Medic and get in touch with him.
21 JUDGE BAIRD: He was the contact person?
22 A. Yes, that is what I was told by my commander, Mr. Trajkovic.
23 JUDGE BAIRD: Okay. Now, I want to direct your mind to the
24 evidence you gave on that first day, and I shall read it for you:
25 "When I arrived in Prolom Banja, I was instructed by
1 Mr. Trajkovic to look for a certain Boca, his name is Slobodan Medic.
2 And that he was with this reserve force of the MUP but that in an oral
3 agreement between him and Mr. Trajkovic he was in a way responsible for
4 them, for this force."
5 Do you recollect saying that on the first day?
6 A. If I did say so, then I have no reason to question what you have
7 just said. I wasn't trying to hide anything. This is what I was told by
8 Commander Trajkovic.
9 JUDGE BAIRD: No, no, the question I'm asking you now, and I
10 would like to hear from you, when you say he was in a way responsible for
11 this force, what do you mean by in a way responsible for this force?
12 A. I meant what I said, that he was the contact person. Whether he
13 had any arrangements with the command, that is something I don't know.
14 But I didn't mean to suggest that he commanded them.
15 JUDGE BAIRD: I see. When you say responsible, you mean he was
16 the contact person?
17 A. Yes. Yes, that is what I had in mind.
18 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you very much, indeed.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Simovic, I have another question related to
20 the question of finding accommodation. What did you have in mind when
21 you ordered your unit to find accommodation? How could that happen?
22 A. When I refer to finding accommodation, my men, that is to say,
23 active duty members of the SAJ
24 underway, and given that many Serbs and Albanians who lived in Podujevo
25 had left because of the danger of being bombed seeking shelter with
1 friends in safer areas, hence there were empty houses there. I had in
2 mind that they should find empty houses where there were no occupants at
3 the same time trying to stay together in one location. We couldn't
4 accommodate all of them in Podujevo though because any MUP facility would
5 have become a target, hence we could not accommodate them there.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What was your estimation how many days you would
7 stay in this area with your unit?
8 A. I really can't say. It turned out that on the 28th, the rest of
9 the unit left Podujevo. One never knows. That very much depends on the
10 subsequent task.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Unusually, the Chamber has asked a number of
13 questions of the witness. Mr. Stamp, is there anything that you would
14 want to ask arising from what the Chamber has asked?
15 MR. STAMP: No further questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Never after your questions, Your
19 JUDGE PARKER: You will be pleased to know, Mr. Simovic, that
20 that concludes the questions for you. We would thank you for your
21 attendance and for your assistance, and you may, of course, now return to
22 your normal activities, and a Court Officer will assist you out. Thank
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you
25 for the patience you exhibited.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 MR. STAMP: If it pleases, Your Honours, there's the outstanding
3 matter I'm just reminded of the document 0611.
4 MR. PARKER: Yes.
5 MR. STAMP: There had been an issue as to some of the pages and,
6 in fact, there were some pages which did not belong, which have now been
7 removed from the document in e-court, so I ask that it be received in
9 JUDGE PARKER: So this now is something that's done by
10 arrangement with Mr. Djurdjic?
11 MR. STAMP: Well, we --
12 JUDGE PARKER: Not so. I see he shake his head but very sternly.
13 So I will turn to Mr. Djurdjic.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] We stopped when Mr. Stamp
15 introduced a document. I objected then waiting further use of the
16 document, but Mr. Stamp did not put questions to the witness concerning
17 the document today. First of all, that document has nothing to do with
18 the witness, and the witness cannot confirm any of its contents. That
19 was the basis of my objection, and I believe it could not be admitted on
20 that basis.
21 The second thing is that the contents of the document as they are
22 in e-court are incorrect. Only the first two are, whereas the other
23 three have nothing to do with the previous document.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
25 MR. STAMP: In respect to the contents of the document, as in
1 e-court now the contents I see are correct. There was before that an
2 attachment at the end of the document which did not belong to it and that
3 has been removed.
4 In respect to the admissibility of the document, the witness --
5 although the witness had not seen the document before, this document is a
6 document which on the face of it is a document from the Ministry of
7 Internal Affairs of Serbia, the administration for organised crime, and
8 bears the stamp of that ministry, and it relates to an official
9 investigation of that ministry, and an attachment includes a list of the
10 Skorpion unit members. This is an attachment that is referred to at the
11 end of the document, and if one looks at the list, it mentions names of
12 Skorpion members that have been mentioned in court. It mentions
13 Mr. Slobodan Medic at number 1, Mr. Dragan Borojevic at number 14. He is
14 the named accused in the indictment that is before the Court, another
15 exhibit, number 43, Dejan Demirovic, another Skorpion member whose name
16 the witness has testified to. Zeljko Djukic at number 49. At number 65
17 Dragan Miric [phoen]. Goran Stoparic at number 99 who testified before
18 the Court. Sasa Cvjetan, number 110. So the document not only purports
19 on its face and bears a stamp of the minister of interior, it has the
20 indicia -- many indicia that it's a reliable document, and it's an
21 official document from the ministry. The contents of the document, as I
22 indicated in respect to that one attachment, is something that is in
23 evidence, or is corroborated by the evidence before the Court.
24 The other attachments would be the statement of Mr. Zoran Simovic
25 and the statement of Mr. Radislav Stalevic. The statement of Mr. Simovic
1 has already been received in evidence. That is a previous statement that
2 he gave to the investigators, the organisation that was involved in the
3 investigation on behalf of the Prokuplje court in 2001, 2002. And the
4 other statement is a statement of Radislav Stalevic that we propose to
5 tender separately as well in the course of that forthcoming evidence.
6 Probably if the document is brought up, much of what I say would become
7 quite clear. 0611. 06111.
8 So the objection basically is the witness has not accepted some
9 of what was put to him. The main thing that was put to him was that the
10 unit was founded as a volunteer unit and that it was transferred to the
11 reserve formation of the MUP SAJ
12 However, there are other elements of this document, which is supported by
13 the evidence, even the evidence of Mr. Simovic as to what happened at
14 Podujevo, and the document on its face is -- and based on the
15 representations I have, is an official document from the administration
16 for the prevention of organised crime.
17 JUDGE PARKER: This is a July 2001 document; is that correct?
18 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honours. It is the 11th of March, 2002
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 MR. STAMP: I had indicated earlier that the date is on the
21 official, to the left of the official stamp in the original B/C/S
22 document but for some reason it was omitted from the translation.
23 JUDGE PARKER: And the nature of the document is a request from
24 the administration for the prevention of organised crime to the district
25 court, to a district court requesting an investigation.
1 MR. STAMP: It is a report from the administration for the
2 prevention of organised crime to the Prokuplje district court to provide
3 information to the court in respect to the investigation which the court
4 was then conducting. And these are investigations that the witness
5 testified about and referred to.
6 JUDGE PARKER: So this is the actual response of the ministry's
7 organised crime administration?
8 MR. STAMP: Indeed it is.
9 JUDGE PARKER: To a request from the court?
10 MR. STAMP: From the court, yes.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Now, were you going to go to attachments or not?
12 MR. STAMP: Yes. The only attachment on the document, if we look
13 at the third page of the document of the English, it refers to three
14 attachments, four attachments. One of the attachments is the statement
15 of Zoran Simovic was used with the witness and was tendered separately.
16 The next attachment of statement of Radislav Stalevic, we propose,
17 depending on whether it becomes relevant for the purpose of
18 cross-examination, to tender that later on. And so -- and there's a
19 third attachment of the statement of Srdan Manojlovic, which we don't
20 propose to tender at this stage but we tender if becomes relevant
21 depending on the cross-examination of the witness Stalevic. So the only
22 other attachment is a list of Skorpion members, and that is attached to
23 the exhibit as it is now in court. So if we move to the next page of the
24 document in both English and B/C/S, we would see the list of the Skorpion
25 members, and it lists in four pages 130 of them. One could see that the
1 first name on the list is Slobodan Medic. Number 14 is Borojevic, as I
2 indicated. So this list is quite consistent with the testimony of the
3 witness, that these were members of the group.
4 I won't go through it, but there are names that the Court will
5 quite readily recognise as members of the group. One of them did testify
6 before the Court. So this again supports the authenticity of this
7 document. What had happened is that there was an additional document
8 that had been attached to the exhibit which did not belong as part of the
9 exhibit, and that additional document has now been removed, so the only
10 attachment on the exhibit as it is now is the list.
11 JUDGE PARKER: And it is the Prosecution's submission that this
12 should be admitted for proof of its contents, not merely as proof of the
13 fact that there was such a report made?
14 MR. STAMP: As proof of the fact of the report and as proof of
15 the contents.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 MR. STAMP: Of course -- thank you very of, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Is there anything further, Mr. Djurdjic?
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I -- there is. Overnight
20 without prior notification to the Defence, the document that is not
21 contained as an attachment was removed. Second, apart from the first
22 page of the document, and none of it is confirmed by the witness, the
23 list that follows what Mr. Stamp is showing now has not been shown to the
24 witness at all, and he made no comment at all. All the comments he made
25 were to the effect that he doesn't know what they were doing and how they
1 were doing it. That document has been known to the Prosecution for a
2 long time. There have been other witnesses to whom this document would
3 have been familiar.
4 On the other hand, if there had been any mention of this at the
5 outset, that is at the beginning of today's session, we have another
6 document of this kind that is regularly on the 65 ter list under the
7 number 05220, it contains certain information that this document does
8 not, and I would have presented it. And I would have had questions to
9 put to the witness about it. If the intention is to admit the document
10 through this witness, I would have certainly had questions. But since
11 the witness knows nothing about this document, he was unable to confirm
12 anything, and now Mr. Stamp is mentioning a list that has not been shown
13 to the witness at all. As for what was shown, the witness said I have no
14 idea about this.
15 So if the witness is still here and if you intend to have the
16 document admitted, then I would kindly ask you to bring the witness back
17 to let me show him the document that I have that contains very relevant
18 points, the contents is almost the same but a bit more complete.
19 However, this document that the Prosecution introduced
20 subsequently, 0611, I don't see any reason why they are trying to have it
21 admitted now. We have a similar document in a different version.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE PARKER: In the view of the Chamber, Mr. Stamp, the
25 document should not be received. The document may be an official
1 document, and that is it's apparent condition, but no witness has been
2 able to speak to the reliability or truth of the contents of the
3 document, and no witness has spoken about the list and the second and
4 third statements, which are said to be attachments to it, and as you have
5 indicated, the other attached statement is separately and properly
6 already an exhibit. So in the Chamber's view, it would not be in the
7 interest of justice in this case to receive this document.
8 MR. STAMP: Well, Your Honours. Could it be marked nonetheless?
9 JUDGE PARKER: It certainly can be marked for identification.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01596 marked
11 for identification.
12 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE PARKER: In view of the time, that seems a convenient
14 moment for the break.
15 MR. STAMP: It is, Your Honours. But there's another thing that
16 was -- I was a little bit remiss.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Have you got another procedural matter?
18 MR. STAMP: A very important procedural matter, Your Honour. I
19 should have introduced to the court Ms. Jessica Jones, who is assisting
20 the Prosecution with these two witnesses. I was a little bit negligent
22 JUDGE PARKER: We also welcome Ms. Jones, yes.
23 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 MR. PARKER: We will have the adjournment now and resume just
25 before 1.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic, your next witness is.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Stalevic, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Will you please read aloud the affirmation that's
10 shown to you now.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Now, I think Mr. Popovic has some questions for
17 Mr. Popovic.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 WITNESS: RADISLAV STALEVIC
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Popovic:
22 Q. Mr. Stalevic, good afternoon.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 Q. Mr. Stalevic, before we begin with the examination, I will ask
25 you since we both speak the same language to hear out each of my
1 questions and then only begin with your answer to facilitate the work of
2 the interpreters.
3 Can you tell us your name? Your full name.
4 A. My name is Radislav Stalevic.
5 Q. Thank you. When were you born and where?
6 A. I was born on the 20th October, 1961 in Babici village, Pec
7 municipality in Kosovo and Metohija.
8 Q. Are you a member of the Ministry of the Interior, and if so,
9 since when?
10 A. I've been a member of the Ministry of the Interior since 1981
11 when I began to work there.
12 Q. Could you tell us briefly about the positions you occupied within
13 the Ministry of the Interior in your career?
14 A. When I finished primary school, I went to the secondary school of
15 Internal Affairs in Vucitrn, and after graduating, I began to work as a
16 police officer in OUP, the police department of Djakovica. Two months
17 later in 1981, I transferred to the unit for special operations in the
18 provincial secretariat of Kosovo and Metohija, which was just formed. I
19 worked as a police officer until 1983 and then at the proposal of my
20 superior officers, I was sent to the military academy for land forces in
22 I graduated from that academy in 1987 and began to work as an
23 instructor in the school for Internal Affairs in Vucitrn. One year later
24 in 1988, I was transferred from the secondary school of Internal Affairs
25 I was re-assigned, in fact, to the unit in which I worked before the
1 school, that is the unit for special operations of the provincial
2 secretariat for Internal Affairs as a commander. As the commander.
3 Until 1990, or rather, 1992, I was commander of this unit, and
4 when -- then that unit was taken over by the republic secretariat for
5 Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia
6 commander of the special anti-terrorist unit, and that unit was based in
7 Pristina. I remained commander of that unit until 2000.
8 After year 2000, I was appointed deputy commander of the special
9 anti-terrorist unit of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
11 assistant commander of the gendarmerie of the MUP. In 2004 I was
12 assigned to the newly established detachment of the gendarmerie of Novi
13 Sad within the Ministry of the Interior, and I'm still there.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stalevic. I'd like to go into more detail about
15 your positions and assignments in 1998 and 1999.
16 A. In 1998 and 1999, I was commander of the special anti-terrorist
17 unit based in Pristina. I was the commander of that special unit.
18 Q. Before we go further into the organisation of the special
19 anti-terrorist unit, I would like you to briefly describe when this unit
20 was established, how it was established, and how it developed to the best
21 of your knowledge.
22 A. This special anti-terrorist unit, SAJ, was established in 1992 as
23 a special unit for anti-terrorism. It had its base, its seat, and the
24 command of the special anti-terrorist units. That command was in
1 command was Zivko Trajkovic at the time.
2 Q. Before you continue with that answer, you told us you were the
3 commander of the unit of the provincial secretariat which was taken over
4 in 1992 by the Ministry of the Interior. Can you clarify that a bit?
5 A. Yes, I said already that I began to work as a police officer in a
6 special unit, in fact, a unit for special operations which belonged at
7 the time to the province secretariat. And after finishing the school
8 that I mentioned, I was appointed commander of that unit in 1998. More
9 exactly, on the 14th of June, 1998, when I received my letter of
10 appointment from the then-provincial secretary Rrahman Morina.
11 Q. Which year was that?
12 A. 1988. The 14th of June, 1988. That was the day when I received
13 my letter of appointment and began to work. Later on that unit for
14 special operations did not function within the MUP. It was a provincial
15 province unit. In 1990 when the police officers, and there were
16 Albanians, Montenegrins and Croats, et cetera, when all of them or most
17 of them left the unit in 1990, the unit continued to operate with a
18 smaller number in 1992. It was still at that time the unit of the
19 province secretariat, and in 1992, it became part of the republic
20 secretariat of Internal Affairs. It became part of special
21 anti-terrorist units.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stalevic.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] To clarify a bit further the mode
24 of operation of this unit, I'd like to call D401.
25 Q. This document will appear on your screen, and I will put to you
1 you some questions related to the document.
2 Mr. Stalevic, this document is dated 5 April 1996. It's a
3 decision establishing special anti-terrorist units adopted by the
4 then-minister Zoran Sokolovic. In item 1 of this decision, it says that
5 special anti-terrorist units are hereby established as separate units of
6 the public security sector of the Ministry of the Interior of the
7 Republic of Serbia
8 Could you give us a brief comment.
9 A. I can't see much on the screen. I don't know if we could make
10 the letters larger. Yes, I can see, paragraph 1, that special
11 anti-terrorist units are established with headquarters in Belgrade
12 Sad, and Pristina.
13 Q. Were there indeed units in Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Pristina?
14 A. Yes, these three units existed. One in Novi Sad, one in
15 Pristina, one in Belgrade
16 Q. You were commander of which one?
17 A. As I said earlier, I was commander of the special anti-terrorist
18 unit in Pristina.
19 Q. Who is the commander of the entire special anti-terrorist unit in
20 1998 and 1999?
21 A. The commander of the special anti-terrorist unit in 1998 and 1999
22 and earlier was Zivko Trajkovic.
23 Q. How many men did the SAJ
24 A. The SAJ
25 Q. Thank you. Do you know how many members the other two units, the
1 one in Belgrade
3 A. We had approximately the same number of men, about 100 men. The
5 Q. So how many men in total did the entire special anti-terrorist
6 unit have?
7 A. Around 300. 100 per unit.
8 Q. And the command of the entire special anti-terrorist unit was
10 A. The command was in Belgrade
11 Ministry of the Interior building is as well, and among these 300 men, we
12 also had each one deputy commander, one analyst, and a driver.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you now look at paragraph 2 of this decision. I
14 don't want to read it, it's a long paragraph. You can read it for
15 yourself. Those are the tasks and duties of the special anti-terrorist
16 units. Just tell us whether they are correctly listed, whether these
17 were indeed the duties of special anti-terrorist units?
18 A. Yes, these were the tasks and duties of special anti-terrorist
20 Q. Thank you. How was a special anti-terrorist unit organised?
21 What did it have within its complement that is stipulated in paragraph 3,
22 but I suppose you can describe it briefly?
23 A. My special anti-terrorist unit, SAJ Pristina, had a command and
24 three platoons. In the command of each unit, there was a command deputy,
25 assistants, the record keeper, a physician, and a driver. There were
1 also platoons. The 1st Platoon in the SAJ
2 platoon, and the 2nd Platoon was a support platoon. The 1st Platoon had
3 30 men, the 2nd also around 30 men. And the 3rd Platoon was a security
4 platoon practically a technical service, so the total number was 100, 105
6 Q. Thank you. Now, turn to the next page of the document, please,
7 in both versions. And I'll ask you, Mr. Stalevic, to look at paragraph
8 7. Paragraph 7 reads:
9 "With the adoption of this decision, the decision of the Ministry
10 of the Interior number 1752/92 of 30th June, 1992, and DT 01 number
11 4185/93 of 1st January, 1994, I rendered null and void."
12 Tell me, did these decisions mentioned here have any relevance to
13 the special anti-terrorist units, and what?
14 A. Yes, these decisions were in place and the special anti-terrorist
15 unit existed in 1992 and the decisions made in 1992 were rendered null
16 and void when the new decision was made in 1996.
17 Q. All right. What were your powers as the commander of the special
18 anti-terrorist unit Pristina?
19 A. What do you mean by "powers", competencies?
20 Q. What were your powers regarding this SAJ Pristina?
21 A. I was the commander of that unit, the SAJ Pristina unit. I
22 conducted training for police officers in that unit. I trained,
23 commanded, and controlled them in all our duties and tasks.
24 Q. Who decides about the engagement, the employment of a special
25 anti-terrorist unit?
1 A. Decisions about the employment of a special anti-terrorist unit
2 are made by the minister of the interior.
3 Q. And who was your direct superior who issued you with orders in
4 1998 and 1999?
5 A. In 1998 and 1999 I and my unit were directly subordinated to
6 Commander Zivko Trajkovic who issued me with orders.
7 Q. Thank you. And do you know who gave orders to Zivko Trajkovic
8 regarding anti-terrorist actions that the unit carried out in Kosovo and
9 Metohija in 1999?
10 A. I do know. I do know about 1999. Commander Trajkovic received
11 his orders for the staff for the combat against terrorism of the province
12 of Kosovo and Metohija, that was the MUP staff.
13 Q. You mentioned the staff for combat against terrorism in Kosovo
14 and Metohija. Where do you get your knowledge about the activities of
15 that staff in 1999?
16 A. Sometime in the latter half of 1998 Commander Trajkovic came to
17 my base, the base where we were stationed, and that was Ajvalija and
18 informed me that the ministry had set up a staff, a MUP staff for combat
19 against terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija, and he informed me that he
20 learned the staff was headed by Sreten Lukic and David Gajic. He too was
21 a member of the staff, and Milorad Legija was the commander of the unit
22 for special operations. Milorad Lukovic, also known as Legija.
23 Q. So did Zivko Trajkovic specifically receive orders for
24 anti-special operations from the MUP staff for Kosovo and Metohija?
25 A. Yes, he did.
1 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that your unit was directly
2 subordinated to the MUP staff in Kosovo and Metohija when executing
3 anti-terrorist operations in Kosovo?
4 A. At that time our unit was subordinated to the staff for
5 combatting terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija.
6 Q. When you say it was subordinated to it, could you please clarify.
7 First of all, do you know in what way Zivko Trajkovic received his orders
8 from the staff for combatting terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija?
9 A. Zivko Trajkovic was a member of the staff. Whenever he returned
10 from the staff to the command in Ajvalija, he brought excerpts from
11 topographic maps, and he would acquaint me and Simovic with the axes and
12 movements necessary to be made in the course of the operations.
13 Q. Was such a topographic map excerpt the only thing you could see
14 on such occasions?
15 A. As I said, I was shown only the topographic maps excerpts.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you know how Trajkovic received such excerpts, if
17 you know, of course?
18 A. Such excerpts needed to implement operations were given to
19 Trajkovic directly. Or someone would bring them from the staff to him.
20 In other situations he could also send a courier to pick up such an
21 excerpt from the staff.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Stalevic, after operations were completed, did
23 you submit reports, and if so, to whom?
24 A. After operations were complete, we always conducted analyses with
25 our commander Mr. Trajkovic. On such occasions we pointed out any
1 problems we had in the course of the operations, and then he, in turn,
2 informed the MUP staff for combatting terrorism in Pristina about that.
3 Q. In order to provide a more comprehensive answer, did you submit
4 any written reports to Commander Trajkovic concerning your operations?
5 A. No, I did not. We only conducted analyses, and the commander
6 submitted reports to the MUP of Serbia staff in Kosovo.
7 Q. Thank you. Did Commander Trajkovic take part in your operations?
8 A. Commander Trajkovic participated basically in all of the
10 Q. Thank you. Is there a difference in organisational terms between
11 the SAJ
12 A. Yes, there was a difference. In 1998 in the special
13 anti-terrorist units of the Ministry of the Interior, well, there were
14 three such units; the one in Novi Sad, the one in Belgrade, and the one
15 in Pristina. Towards the end of 1998, the minister of the interior, the
16 then-minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic, disbanded the SAJ unit of Novi Sad
17 hence the difference. Up to that point in 1998 towards the end, we had
18 had three SAJ
19 and upon disbandment of the third, we were left with only two, the ones
20 in Pristina and Belgrade
21 Q. Concerning the number of unit members, what did that mean in
22 terms of overall numbers? How many members were there in early 1999?
23 A. As I've said already, all the three units were approximately
24 equally strong. When the third unit was disbanded, we had one-third of
25 the men of special policemen less in relation to 1998, which
1 significantly decreased our operational ability, the ability of the SAJ.
2 Q. To be precise in terms of numbers, how many members of the SAJ
3 were there in 1999?
4 A. In 1998 we had a number of casualties, those wounded and killed.
5 The number was between 50 and 60. Similar to the number of the unit of
6 the Belgrade
7 Q. How many approximately would that be?
8 A. Well, we had between 100 and 110 that year.
9 Q. As opposed to the 300 back in 1998?
10 A. In 1998 there had been 300. And when that unit was disbanded,
11 the two units were left with about 100 men each in 1998, which
12 significantly decreased our operational ability.
13 Q. When speaking of those remaining in early 1999, were you able to
14 efficiently meet the requirements posed before you with the number of men
15 you were left with?
16 A. Given that our operational ability decreased, we had great
17 difficulty in responding to the requirements and tasks put before us in
19 Q. Did you have any reservists in your SAJ unit?
20 A. No. An SAJ
21 selected individually to the SAJ
22 and active-duty personnel, and we never had a reserve force as a unit.
23 We never had any reserve force of the SAJ since it was an elite unit, and
24 as such, it could not have reservists.
25 Q. Thank you. Were any additional tasks issued to the SAJ in early
1 1999? Did you have any such information, or were you informed about it,
2 were you ordered to do something to that effect?
3 A. In early March at one of the meetings I attended alongside
4 Simovic, Zivko Trajkovic informed us that he had attended a meeting in
5 mid-February when Mr. Vlajko Stojiljkovic attended as well. He required
6 that the SAJ
7 NATO aggression was looming. He informed us that given -- that our
8 operational ability was reduced, we were supposed to come up with a
9 reserve force of the MUP.
10 Q. Thank you. When Zivko Trajkovic informed you of the need of this
11 greater engagement, did he also propose how to deal with the situation
12 especially in view of the fact of the number of people you had?
13 A. At that meeting, he told us that he would see to it that a
14 reserve force be found. Indeed, later on he told us that he had spoken
15 to Mrgud whom he had known from Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Sermia [as
16 interpreted] about that reserve force. Apparently Mrgud told him he knew
17 of the people who could make part of that MUP reserve force.
18 After that, Trajkovic informed the chief of the sector about the
19 fact that he located a number of reservists who could be made part of the
20 unit. He also said that Mr. Vlastimir Djordjevic, the sector chief, told
21 him that the minister's decision still awaited on the issue of joining
22 the MUP by the reserve force.
23 Q. Thank you. You said this was in early March. What was otherwise
24 regular length of time one would need to become a member of the SAJ, say,
25 in peacetime?
1 A. As I've already said, I believe, those people were screened. We
2 had very good co-operation with the interior high school in Sremska
3 Kamenica and the best and ablest men were chosen from that high school.
4 They were either assigned to various secretariats and SUPs, and then in
5 time we would test them as the best. We would test their physical
6 prowess and carry out medical checks to have them selected. The process
7 lasted quite a while, but at that point in time, we could not embark such
8 a process in view of the looming NATO aggression. It was expected, not
9 necessarily looming, but we believed it would take place nonetheless.
10 Q. You said that he had spoken with someone named Mrgud who told him
11 he knew of some men who could comprise a reserve force of the MUP. Did
12 Zivko Trajkovic tell you whether he personally knew any of those people
13 Mrgud referred to?
14 A. In Slavonia
15 1992, Trajkovic was there in the area. He knew Mrgud as well as a number
16 of other people, probably some of those who were to be included into the
17 reserve force.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, we seem
19 to have two minutes left, and I'm about to embark upon a lengthy topic.
20 Do you think it would be better to stop now, otherwise I can go on, if
21 you deem it necessary?
22 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We'll adjourn now, Mr. Popovic. We
23 resume tomorrow morning at 9.00. A Court Officer will assist you during
24 the break. We resume at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.
2 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day of
3 April, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.