1 Thursday, 22 April 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 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. I'd remind you of the
9 affirmation you made to tell the truth which still applies.
10 Now, Mr. Popovic.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 WITNESS: RADISLAV STALEVIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Examination by Mr. Popovic: [Continued]
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Stalevic.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. We'll continue where we left off yesterday. My last question to
18 you and your last answer yesterday were related to the information you
19 received from Mr. Trajkovic, about his contacts with the gentleman called
20 Mrgud, and the information that he had passed to Djordjevic, namely the
21 fact that the minister's decision was being awaited about the admission
22 of those men. What happened next?
23 A. While we were waiting for the minister's decision to admit these
24 men into the reserve force, it became already certain that the NATO
25 aggression was going forward and it indeed began on the 23rd and the
1 24th, and our unit was at that moment relocated for the purposes of our
2 next assignment in the area of Kursumlija heading for Podujevo.
3 Q. What about that reserve force of the MUP, was it seconded to your
5 A. No, it was not at that time.
6 Q. Can you explain to us what happened, why wasn't it seconded, and
7 how the situation developed from the beginning of the NATO aggression?
8 A. With the beginning of the NATO aggression, we went forward with
9 the operation that had been planned for that period and we set out after
10 passing Krpina village we reached Bradas village, and as we arrived there
11 we stopped to link up our units. On the 26th in the evening, Trajkovic
12 left. I don't know where. It was 10.00 or 11.00, I'm not sure when
13 Trajkovic called me on the radio and told me to wait for him on the road
14 leading from Podujevo via Krpina village towards Bradas. I took my car
15 with the driver and Dr. Markovic and went down to the road. The
16 Krpina-Podujevo road, and my car went ahead of the commander's vehicle.
17 In that other vehicle there were the commander, his driver, and some
18 other persons.
19 Some 50 to 60 metres from the place from which I started to meet
20 him, I saw in the rear view mirror an explosion, and I heard the
21 explosion, and I saw thick black smoke. I stopped immediately, got out
22 of my car, and I saw that the vehicle driving behind me, the vehicle of
23 my commander Trajkovic was there. Dr. Markovic got out of the car with
24 me. And I saw the commander lying by the road in some gully filled with
25 water. I approached to see what was wrong with him. He said his neck
1 was hurting, he was injured, and next to him there was Zoran Basrak,
2 member of the special unit, and Nikola Pedovic [phoen] an analyst working
3 with Mr. Trajkovic and Radovan Aleksic who had been the driver of
4 Commander Trajkovic.
5 The doctor started administering first aid immediately first to
6 Radovan Aleksic but then he realised the man was dead. After that we
7 organised transport for our injured colleagues and the commander to the
8 Pristina hospital for a check-up and transport for the body of Radovan
9 Aleksic to the forensic department of the hospital for a postmortem.
10 When they left for Pristina, I was called by Dragan Markovic,
11 my physician, saying that Mr. Trajkovic had light injuries and that he
12 would go to the MUP staff in Pristina for combatting terrorism.
13 Q. Before we go on, let's clarify one thing. When you talk about
14 the time between 10.00 and 11.00 saying that Trajkovic called you on the
15 radio and told you to meet him on the road leading from Podujevo via
16 Krpina village towards Bradas, what date was it?
17 A. Your question was not quite precise. Trajkovic called us on our
18 own radio communication. It was 10.00, 11.00 in the morning. It was not
19 the Pristina-Bradas road, it was between Krpina and Bradas. On the 26th,
20 Trajkovic left to go somewhere, and the incident I described was on the
21 27th of March, 1999.
22 Q. Could you now tell us what happened after you received this
23 information about the injuries to Commander Trajkovic?
24 A. When I was told that he was only lightly injured and that he
25 would be able to go to the staff, on the same day, the 27th, Trajkovic
1 and the doctor Dragan Markovic returned to the police department of
2 Podujevo, which was located just outside Podujevo. He came and told us
3 that he had been at the staff and that the staff had decided that the
4 reserve unit from Prolom Banja would join us in Podujevo, and he ordered
5 Simovic, commander of the special anti-terrorist unit Belgrade, to go and
6 to reach an agreement and make arrangements about bringing that reserve
7 unit of the MUP.
8 Q. We need to clarify something for the record. This police
9 department OUP Podujevo, where was it at that moment?
10 A. On the 27th when we arrived from Bradas, the OUP Podujevo had
11 been relocated from its normal peacetime location and it was -- its new
12 location was close by to its normal peacetime location. I as the
13 commander of the SAJ
14 our headquarters was.
15 Q. To be quite precise, this new location was in Podujevo itself?
16 A. 50, 70 metres from the normal location of OUP Podujevo.
17 Q. We had to clarify because it was not quite clear in the record.
18 Tell me about that meeting you had with Trajkovic after he returned to
19 Podujevo on the 27th. What exactly did Trajkovic tell you and Simovic at
20 that meeting?
21 A. Well, on that day, that afternoon on the 27th when he came, he
22 said he had received approval from the MUP staff to bring in this reserve
23 force of the MUP the next day, that is the 28th. He instructed Simovic
24 to go to Prolom Banja and agree about bringing in that reserve force of
25 the MUP to Podujevo.
1 Q. Thank you. Did he instruct Simovic to make contact with anyone
2 in Prolom Banja who would be the contact person for bringing these
4 A. I was present at that meeting when the commander, Mr. Trajkovic,
5 gave instructions to Simovic to go to Prolom Banja and to look for one
6 certain Slobodan Medic.
7 Q. Now, tell us what happened next. Did Commander Trajkovic remain
8 in Podujevo?
9 A. No, he did not remain in Podujevo that evening because his own
10 driver had been killed, he told us that he would go to organise the
11 funeral of the late Aleksic, and then he set out for Belgrade. And
12 Simovic also left at the same time with him because it was in the same
13 direction, Belgrade
14 were accommodated. We are talking still about the 27th March, 1999.
15 Q. Thank you. Did ultimately members of the reserve force arrive in
16 Podujevo and how?
17 A. On the 27th Simovic went to talk to them in Prolom Banja, and on
18 that day they did not arrive. Simovic went again the next day, the 28th,
19 to Prolom Banja, and brought them in the morning of the 28th.
20 Q. Where were you when the reservists arrived?
21 A. When this reserve force of the MUP arrived, I was in this new
22 location of OUP Podujevo very close to the normal location of the OUP,
23 and I was there with Dr. Dragan Markovic.
24 Q. And what happened next?
25 A. After awhile, Simovic, the commander of the Belgrade SAJ came to
1 that new location of the OUP and there was with him an unfamiliar person
2 who introduced himself as Boca. They came into the headquarters and they
3 sat down with me there, and Dr. Markovic was still there. And 30 minutes
4 or so later we heard short volleys of automatic fire. And then I don't
5 remember any more who ran out first, was it Dr. Markovic or was it
6 Simovic, but they ran out of the building of the headquarters, and we ran
7 out towards the place where these volleys had come from.
8 I remained in the headquarters, together with this man Boca.
9 I don't know whether there was anyone still there, but Boca and I
10 remained at the headquarters.
11 Q. At that time did you know what was happening and what was this
12 all about?
13 A. I didn't know what was happening, but through radio
14 communication, I heard that there were injured people. Shortly
15 thereafter when we heard there were injured people through radio
16 communication, Dr. Dragan Markovic called me and told me that there were
17 injured civilians, and that they should be transported to hospital to
18 receive medical assistance.
19 I gave my vehicle and my driver sent to the place where
20 assistance was needed, and I organised the transport of these
21 civilians to a hospital in Pristina.
22 Q. Where were you during all this time that you are talking about?
23 A. I was on the premises of this staff, which was in the close
24 proximity of the OUP, as I said, 50 to 70 metres. And with me there was
25 this person called Boca. So that was the OUP premises where the staff
1 was accommodated.
2 Q. Thank you. What happened next?
3 A. After some 30 or 40 minutes, Commander Simovic came to the staff
4 premises and instructed Boca, this person Boca, to go towards Podujevo to
5 put people on the buses and to return them to Prolom Banja from where
6 they had come. As soon as they boarded the buses, Simovic went together
7 with them from Podujevo towards Prolom Banja.
8 Q. Can we just go back a little. When Simovic arrived in the office
9 where you and Boca were, what did he tell you?
10 A. Simovic told Boca that members of this MUP reserve force had
11 killed some civilians and that my Dr. Markovic went there to offer them
12 assistance, and because of that he shouted at Boca and told him to get on
13 the buses and to go back from where they had come from.
14 As soon as he came in and after he told Boca to get on the bus
15 and return his men back, while I was still there at the OUP command
16 post, before that, as soon as he came in he reported this to the
17 police station, or rather, the person who was in charge of that OUP.
18 After that, after he had decided to send the reserve forces back, he
19 informed the MUP staff for terrorism -- anti-terrorism in Pristina.
20 Q. Thank you. Tell me, what happened after that, or rather, at that
21 moment, did you know how many people had been injured?
22 A. After these men boarded the buses and Simovic sent Medic back,
23 Dr. Markovic came to the staff headquarters where I was. He told me that
24 he had took care of those wounded people and that he had transported
25 them, but he also told me that there had been killed people as a result
1 of this crime, but he didn't tell me how many. At that point we left our
2 personnel to secure the crime scene since we notified the OUP Podujevo
3 about the crime, and they were expected to arrange for an on-site
4 investigation, that is to say, to summon an investigation judge and carry
5 out all the procedures that were prescribed in such situations.
6 Q. In your unit, did you have scene-of-crime technicians or any
7 other qualified personnel who were capable of carrying out an on-site
9 A. The special anti-terrorist unit had never been involved in crime
10 scene investigations or other investigations of that kind. That was an
11 elite unit that was intended for completely different tasks. We never
12 had a person qualified to carry out this kind of investigation because
13 that was the duty of investigating organs, and it was up to them to
14 arrange this investigation.
15 Q. After this incident, did you do anything to establish whether any
16 members of your unit had been involved in it?
17 A. Well, I -- after we sent this notification to the OUP and the
18 officer in charge there so that they could carry out the on-site
19 investigation, I lined up my men and also the men from Belgrade after
20 Tetinac had left, and I asked both groups whether any of them committed
21 this crime or if they had seen the perpetrators. They answered that they
22 hadn't committed any crimes and they hadn't seen who had done it.
23 After that I instructed the platoon commanders to check the
24 status of weapons of my members and the members of the Belgrade
25 special unit. They did so, and they told me that they all had their
1 combat sets that had issued to me. We call it BK, that's a combat kit
2 which contains certain number of ammunition, and each bullet was
3 registered with the police officer who had issued it.
4 Q. Thank you. On the 28th of March, did your unit remain in
5 Podujevo, or was it given a new assignment?
6 A. No, it did not remain in Podujevo. They were given a new
7 assignment on the 28th, and I and both units went to Kosovo Polje, and
8 one part went to Kosovska Gracanica which was close to my base.
9 Q. Mr. Stalevic, it is obvious that on the 28th of March, the
10 research forces of the MUP were not attached to your unit. During combat
11 operations in Kosovo until the 29th of June, 1999, was reserve force ever
12 attached to your unit, the reserve forces of the MUP?
13 A. Sometime in the second half or towards the end of April the
14 reserve force of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
15 special anti-terrorist unit of the MUP of Republic of Serbia, and they
16 remained there until the 9th or 10th of May, if I'm not mistaken. So in
17 total some 10 days starting from the date when they join us towards the
18 end of April.
19 Q. Can you describe to us the circumstances under which this
21 A. We had daily actions in that particular period, and we went from
22 one action to another. One day Zivko Trajkovic went to the staff
23 premises and asked for the reserve forces to be re-introduced. That was
24 granted by the staff, and after that they were engaged through the police
25 administration, or rather, approval was given for the reserve MUP forces
1 to be attached to us in Kosovo Polje.
2 As I saw that happen towards the end of that month and they
3 came to Kosovo Polje, they were brought then by Commander Trajkovic,
4 and after that, after we had billeted them in Kosovo Polje the
5 commander issued tasks, issued to me and the then-commander of the
6 Belgrade SAJ
7 from the MUP, from their reserve force.
8 Q. These members of the reserve force that were attached to your
9 unit at the end of April, did they have any connection with the people
10 who were in Podujevo on the 28th of March?
11 A. Yes, but --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: No, I didn't know
13 whether they had any connections with the men who were in Podujevo on the
14 28th of March.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I know is that Commander
16 Trajkovic said then that these reserve forces would be screened and that
17 he would personally guarantee for the execution of the tasks when they
18 become attached to our unit in Kosovo Polje.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. Can you please describe, once these reserve forces
21 came to Kosovo Polje, how they were attached to your unit and placed
22 under your command and control.
23 A. These members of the MUP reserve forces were first billeted in
24 Kosovo Polje and the commander [microphone not activated] these men to
25 Mr. Simovic and me. I held a meeting with them, I asked them about their
1 military specialties, and according to that, I fitted them into my unit.
2 On that occasion they were mostly used to secure our facilities and the
3 flanks of our units, that is to say, the lines reached after we had
4 carried these actions in 1999.
5 Q. Thank you. Tell me, in what way did these reserve forces carry
6 out the tasks that you gave them?
7 A. When they arrived at the end of April, they carried out these
8 tasks together with us in a professional and responsible way during the
9 ten days of their engagement.
10 Q. Thank you. In 1999 were you aware of the fact that members of
11 the reserve forces that were attached to your unit, or did you know that
12 they had committed any crimes in the wars that were waged in the former
14 A. Could you please repeat the question.
15 Q. In 1999, did you know that members of the MUP reserve forces
16 attached to your unit carried out any crimes in the former Yugoslavia
17 before that?
18 A. No, I didn't know anything about that in 1999 to the effect that
19 members of the MUP had carried out or committed any crimes in the
20 territory of the former Yugoslavia
21 Q. Mr. Stalevic, are you acquainted with General Vlastimir
23 A. I know that General Djordjevic was the head of the department, or
24 rather, the assistant minister of MUP of Republika Serbia. I used to see
25 him but I was not acquainted with him.
1 Q. How many times have you seen, if you have seen, Mr. Djordjevic
2 during 1998?
3 A. I saw him a few times in 1998. A few times.
4 Q. Can you perhaps remember when? I know it was a long time ago,
5 I'm not looking for an exact date.
6 A. As far as I can remember, I think I saw him when in 1998 we
7 carried out actions and we entered Malisevo. I also believe that I saw
8 him during the liberation of the road that had been blocked, the road
9 between Pristina and Komorane, or rather, Pec. And I also think that I
10 saw him once in 1998 at Cicavica when we carried an action of crashing
11 the Siptar terrorist groups. At the foot of that mountain there was a
12 group of refugees of Albanian Siptar civilians. I reached the place
13 where those refugees were. Those were the people who were trying to
14 escape combat operations that were carried out both by the Siptar
15 terrorists and our army. Dr. Dragan Markovic was constantly with me,
16 came and asked me for a vehicle to be used to transport a heavily
17 pregnant woman to Pristina. I gave this vehicle to the doctor, and he
18 took this woman to Pristina hospital.
19 The women and children who were there were given food and
20 water by us as of much as we could afford to do.
21 Q. While we are on the subject, tell us about how the special
22 anti-terrorist unit treated civilians whom they encountered in the
23 territory of Kosovo
24 A. We were completely professional and official apart from
25 situations like the one I just described. We had no contact with
1 civilians in places where there were Siptar terrorists, where they
2 offered resistance, we carried out operations against them. And I'm now
3 talking about the special anti-terrorist unit.
4 Q. I'd like to go back now to the role of General Djordjevic in 1998
5 when you saw him on the locations where you saw him. Do you know what
6 his role was?
7 A. In the course of 1998, or rather, the second half of 1998 when we
8 were in combat against Siptar terrorists, he would come to see the troops
9 if we needed any assistance, rest, or food. He did not have a command
10 role whatsoever.
11 Q. Did Mr. Djordjevic at any time give you any order in that period?
12 A. Mr. Djordjevic never gave me any orders. I was given orders by
13 my own commander, Zivko Trajkovic.
14 Q. And were you present, did you hear, or did you see him give any
15 kind of order whatsoever to Zivko Trajkovic related to the operations you
16 were carrying out in KiM?
17 A. No, no, I was never aware of something like that.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you ever see Vlastimir Djordjevic in 1999,
19 specifically from the beginning of combat operations until the end of
20 June 1999? And if so, when?
21 A. I saw him once in 1999, at least I think it was in 1999. And
22 that was on the 15th, or rather, 16th January. There was a session of
23 the government being held in Pristina and the chief of sector attended so
24 that members of my unit provided security to the members of the
25 leadership who attended, and on the 15th, or rather, the 16th, he called
1 me in the afternoon saying that he needed to go to Mount Kopaonik
2 skiing, on a skiing trip. I offered my help. I said I could organise it
3 but that I wanted to go too because I had worked as a ski instructor in
4 special units.
5 So I provided an escort vehicle from my unit to go to
6 Zvecani which is just after Mitrovica, and that afternoon, the chief of
7 sector and I set out with this escort. At Zvecani the escort left us and
8 turned back, and we went on to Mount Kopaonik
9 day, and around noon
10 look, something cropped up, the situation in Kosovo and Metohija got
11 complicated. They will send a helicopter to fetch me. You go on skiing,
12 and if need be, they will call you too.
13 So that was on the 17th when he left. I stayed on for some
14 more skiing, and soon afterwards, I went back. I was met by a vehicle
15 at Zvecani, and I went back to my base at Ajvalija. That was the night
16 of the 17th.
17 Q. Thank you. After that day, the 17th of January until combat
18 operations were finished on the 10th of June, did you see him again in
19 Kosovo or anywhere in the territory of Serbia
20 A. No, that was the one time when I saw him, and the day when we
21 were skiing together.
22 Q. Mr. Stalevic, at any time in 1998 or 1999 did you hear or see
23 that there was any plan within the Ministry of the Interior to expel the
24 ethnic Albanian population from the territory of Kosovo
25 A. I've never seen any kind of plan to expel the Albanian
1 population, either in 1998 or 1999.
2 Q. In 1998 or 1999, did you ever hear or see that there was any plan
3 or understanding within the Ministry of the Interior in order to expel
4 the Albanian population and thus change the ethnic composition of Kosovo?
5 A. No, I've never seen anything like that. I never heard about it
6 or seen anything of the kind.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Stalevic. Your
8 Honours, I've finished my examination-in-chief.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Popovic.
10 Mr. Behar.
11 MR. BEHAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Behar:
13 Q. Good morning, sir.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. My name is Eliott Behar. I'm counsel for the Prosecution, and
16 I'll have some questions for you this morning. Sir, I want to start by
17 asking you some very basic questions about the incident that took place
18 in Podujevo. Now, I take it that you are well aware as of today of how
19 serious this massacre was. There were 19 people who were killed, at
20 least a dozen women and young children were machine-gunned in a group
21 against a wall, and there were five survivors, each of whom was a child
22 and several of whom were grievously injured.
23 Is that something, sir, that you are now aware of?
24 A. This is a rather long question. I knew at the time because the
25 doctor went there and came back and told me, I knew that there were
1 people injured and that they had been given assistance and they were
2 later transported to the hospital in Pristina. The doctor also told me
3 that some people were dead. He didn't tell me how many dead. I learned
4 later about what you mentioned in this very long question.
5 Q. Now, sir, I take it that this event would have been particularly
6 memorable for you, and that you would certainly remember where you were
7 and who you were with when this incident took place; is that fair to say?
8 A. Well, that incident when it happened, I was at the headquarters
9 not far from the OUP Podujevo. I was on the premises of the headquarters
10 with Boca, Slobodan Medic, when the incident occurred. I was not right
11 there on the spot.
12 Q. Let me go through this because I want to make sure I have this
13 exactly right. You are saying you were at the headquarters. Were you at
14 the location of the OUP Podujevo itself?
15 A. I was at the headquarters of OU Podujevo which had been relocated
16 from its peacetime location. It was relocated to another location very
17 close by to the normal location 50, 70 metres away. That's where I was.
18 Q. And at that time, the time that the shooting occurred, it seems
19 to me we have a couple already different versions of who you were with.
20 Who exactly were you with, sir, in the OUP Podujevo building at the time
21 the shooting took place?
22 A. The correct version is this, when we heard those two volleys of
23 fire, at the headquarters at the OUP Podujevo, there was I, Dr. Markovic,
24 Zoran Simovic, and this man Boca. I can't remember exactly if anyone
25 was -- anyone else was there, but the four of us were certainly there
1 when we heard those volleys of fire.
2 Q. And so when just earlier you said I was on the premises of the
3 headquarters with Boca, Slobodan Medic, you didn't mention anyone else,
4 did you just forget at that time to mention Mr. Simovic and Dragan
6 A. I am unable to follow the transcript or the interpretation, but
7 on that day I was at the headquarters with this man Boca, whose name is
8 Slobodan Medic. Afterwards, Simovic came with this man Boca, that's how
9 he introduced himself when he came in, just Boca.
10 Q. Okay. Let me just explain this. Before we go on, sir, if
11 there's anything that you don't understand in the translation that you
12 are receiving or in something that's said, please let me know, we'll
13 rephrase it. I want to make sure that we are on the same page.
14 Now, again, and right now you have just mentioned Simovic came in
15 with this man Boca. Just to be absolutely clear, your position is that
16 you were at the OUP headquarters at the time the firing took place with
17 Mr. Simovic; with Boca, Slobodan Medic; and with Dragan Markovic; is that
19 A. Dragan and I were at the headquarters. We were there. After
20 awhile, Simovic arrived together with Slobodan Medic, and from the moment
21 of their arrival, 30 minutes afterwards, we heard this shooting.
22 Q. Thank you, sir. I think that's clear.
23 MR. BEHAR: If we can see Exhibit 06117, please. I'll just
24 indicate, Your Honours, there are -- these are documents within the 65
25 ter numbers that contain several statements, so when I call them up I'll
1 be asking for the specific statement, and I think I'll propose to tender
2 them at the end once I've dealt with several of the statements already.
3 I hope it doesn't get too complicated. But I'm looking for -- the
4 English translation would be K054-6763, and in B/C/S, I'll need page 11.
5 Q. Sir, do you recall giving an interview on the 3rd of April, 2002
6 to the district court in Prokuplje? This is a record of that interview
7 on the screen.
8 A. I recall that. I remember I was at Prokuplje and that I gave
9 this statement.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. BEHAR: If we can see the next page in the English and the
12 B/C/S, please.
13 Q. Now, here, sir, you say starting from the second line, if we
14 could just zoom in a little bit.
15 "On the 28th of March, 1999, I was quartered in a house in
16 Podujevo near the Podujevo OUP, and Dr. Markovic was with me. While we
17 were sitting there, the doctor was called via radio communications to go
18 urgently to the place from where they were calling. He left immediately
19 and I remained in the house."
20 Do you recall saying that, sir?
21 A. I remember, Mr. Prosecutor, this interview, and I remember also
22 making the statement that Dragan Markovic and Zoran Simovic were with me
23 in the OUP headquarters and also Boca, but in this statement here it says
24 I was with Dr. Markovic. When I was giving this statement, I spoke to
25 the investigating judge for about 20, 30 minutes about the incident
1 itself, and after that, the judge started dictating a statement for the
2 record and said that it would be quite sufficient otherwise the statement
3 would have been too long, and he extracted only the main elements
4 considering that I was not a direct participant of the incident.
5 Q. But you will agree with me, sir, that in that statement there is
6 no mention of Mr. Simovic, there's no mention of Boca, and, in fact, you
7 are not even at the OUP, you are in a house. Do you agree with me, sir,
8 that this statement is different from the account that you just gave us?
9 A. You see, Mr. Prosecutor, I was giving a statement about who was
10 at that headquarters. The headquarters was moved to a new location not
11 far away. Apart from me and Dragan, there was Simovic and Boca and then
12 when I was in Prokuplje, I was also saying this same thing, but the
13 Prosecutor there said that there was no need for all that to be reflected
14 in the statement, it would make the statement too long, and I agreed and
15 I signed the statement I gave then, and it's correct and truthful, the
16 statement I gave then.
17 Q. Sir, I'm not too concerned with the length of this statement,
18 what I'm concerned with is that it provides a materially different state
19 of fact. And that is, in fact, your statement -- pardon me, your
20 signature at the bottom of this statement, is it not?
21 A. Yes, it is my signature, but I only gave a statement insofar as
22 the Prosecutor was asking questions and I said what I knew. And the
23 investigating judge said it was quite enough. I agreed with him and I
24 signed that statement, and it's true.
25 Q. I think we have that position, sir. Let's move on and look at
1 something else.
2 MR. BEHAR: If we can look at 06118, please. And here in the
3 English I'll need K054-6915. B/C/S if we could have page 36. I'm not
4 sure that that is the right statement in English. Let me just have a
5 moment's indulgence. It's page 14 in English, please.
6 Q. So if we can look here, sir, at the final paragraph in English
7 starting from the second line, I'll read from, you say:
8 "On the critical day, the 28th of March, 1999, I was in Podujevo.
9 As I was a member of another unit, I was objectively in no position or at
10 the scene, nor did I see what happened, but the moment I was informed
11 that some people had been hurt, I gave my doctor my vehicle, and my
12 driver and I ordered taking all measures to help the wounded."
13 Do you recall saying that, sir?
14 A. It says, yes, commander of the special unit in Pristina on the
15 day, 28th March, 1999
16 unit. Yes, I was a member of another unit. I'm from the special
17 anti-terrorist unit, I'm not from the reserve force of the MUP. And I
18 was, therefore, from another unit. The regular unit of the Ministry of
19 the Interior.
20 Q. That's fine, sir. That's not the part I'm concerned with.
21 A. And I was --
22 Q. What I'm concerned with is your statement that you were informed
23 that some people had been hurt and that at that point you gave your
24 doctor -- you gave the doctor your vehicle, and that you ordered taking
25 all measures to help the wounded. I'm asking you if you recall saying
2 A. I'm just saying it says here that I'm from another unit, and I
3 was indeed from another unit because those men were the reserve force of
4 the MUP. And as for this other part that I provided a doctor to go to
5 the scene, I did provide a doctor to go and give assistance to the people
6 at the scene. I was asked to provide a vehicle and assistance to be
7 given to the injured people. But I'm stating with full responsibility
8 that I had not seen this statement or signed it as such. I know what I
9 said, but I don't know what was written. I didn't have time to read what
10 was written there. I'm saying the same thing then as now, that we were
11 not from the same unit because they were a reserve unit, and that I sent
12 a doctor to give assistance to the injured and that a vehicle was asked
13 from me to transport them to the Pristina hospital, that's true, I did
14 provide that.
15 Q. I think we have your position, sir. I can tell you this is a
16 record of your court appearance. So it's not a statement. This one is
17 not a statement, this is what you said in court. But I can see, sir, it
18 says right on the top of that same page that you took an oath. Do you
19 recall taking an oath just as you took one here to tell the truth in
21 A. I was telling the truth then, and I'm telling the truth now, but
22 I don't know at this trial what they were writing. I didn't have time or
23 opportunity to read it, and I'm stating with full responsibility again
24 that we were not from the same unit. I am from the special
25 anti-terrorist unit of the MUP, and they were from the reserve force of
1 the MUP.
2 Q. I know that, sir. That's not contentious. It's not at issue
3 here. My point was that once again then, and I am certain that you took
4 an oath to tell the whole truth, at no point did you mention Mr. Simovic,
5 at no point did you mention Boca. Once again on that account you were
6 just with the doctor.
7 Sir, let me move on.
8 A. In this statement that I'm looking at, I didn't mention it, but
9 as I said, this refers to this MUP reserve forces when I say that we were
10 not member of the same unit. I never looked at this statement, I didn't
11 read it, and I didn't sign it. I did give a statement though, and I know
12 I did that when I attended this trial.
13 Q. Sir, what I find interesting is that when you gave this version
14 of where you were, there were other witnesses who corroborated your
15 account at the same time. And I'd like to take you through that and give
16 you a chance to comment.
17 Now, sir, you, Dragan Markovic, and Zoran Simovic all gave
18 statements on the same day, the 3rd of April, 2002. Do you recall
19 that? I'll just ask you, do you recall giving a statement on the same
20 day as Dragan Markovic and Zoran Simovic?
21 A. I know that I was on that day at the Prokuplje court, that I gave
22 a statement about this incident. They were there probably, but I cannot
23 remember with any degree of certainty that they were there on the same
24 day. I know that I was there in Prokuplje on that date.
25 MR. BEHAR: If we could see 06117, please. And in the English
1 it's K054-6753.
2 Q. Now, sir, I want to take a look at the statement that was given
3 by the doctor you've mentioned, Dragan Markovic, who you said that you
4 were with. If we look at page 2 in the B/C/S and the English. If we
5 look at the second paragraph, and it is the, I believe it's the third
6 line. I'll start reading at the third line. Dr. Markovic said:
7 "Our group included Stalevic, the commander of the Pristina
8 special unit. After awhile, you could hear one - at least, I think that
9 is what happened - long burst of fire."
10 Now, Dr. Markovic, so he has already said he is with you --
11 sorry, are you having trouble seeing that?
12 A. No, I can't find that particular portion.
13 Q. It should be in the second paragraph there, sir. You see a line
14 that says, "our group included Stalevic..." if you can find your name on
15 the page?
16 A. Yes, yes, I have found it.
17 Q. He says:
18 "Our group included Stalevic, the commander of the Pristina
19 special unit. After awhile you could hear one - at least, I think that
20 is what happened - long burst of fire."
21 Now, if you continue on to the last sentence in the paragraph,
22 Dr. Markovic says:
23 "The burst of fire that could be heard was nearby, and after five
24 minutes, I was called over radio communication by the SAJ Belgrade
25 Commander Simovic to urgently come to the building near the municipal
1 centre because there was some need for my intervention."
2 Do you see that part, sir?
3 A. Yes, yes, I do.
4 Q. So it's clear from this version of events, sir, that you and Dr.
5 Markovic are together as you said in your initial statement, and that you
6 are in a different place from Mr. Simovic because Dr. Markovic has said
7 that Mr. Simovic called him on the radio. Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I can see this statement. At the time I was not far away of
9 the headquarters of the original -- there was Dragan Markovic as well and
10 Simovic and Boca joined us later. So approximately 30 or 45 minutes
11 later we heard short bursts of fire. I don't know who went out first,
12 but then I heard on the radio communication --
13 Q. That's fine, sir. We have that, sir, and that's fine. I'm
14 talking about the moment of the shooting, and that's mentioned in this
15 statement. But I want to take you through something else.
16 MR. BEHAR: If we can look at Mr. Simovic's statement. This is
17 again 06117. The English is K054-6753. Actually, that may be the same
18 one. Sorry, 6756, please. It's page 4 in B/C/S.
19 Q. So, sir, we can see this is indeed the same date, April 3rd,
20 2002. This is Mr. Simovic's statement. And if you look at the next page
21 in English and B/C/S. If you look at the fourth paragraph in B/C/S, sir,
22 and in English we can look at the final paragraph. There's a single line
23 there that says -- sorry, it's just before -- in English it's the line
24 just before the final paragraph. Mr. Simovic says:
25 "I went to the command post, i.e., the 'staff,' with Boca and
1 some of his men."
2 So there Mr. Simovic didn't say anything about you. On this
3 version you are not with Mr. Simovic at the staff. Do you see that?
4 A. Can you please point this precise portion to me. I can't find
6 Q. I believe it's the fourth paragraph in B/C/S from the top. It's
7 directly, if you see --
8 A. Here where it says, "I went to the town command i.e., the
9 headquarters with Boca and some other men," is that what you are
10 referring to?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. When Boca came and also Zoran Simovic, I was at the headquarters
13 which was not far away from the OUP, and I was there the whole time. So
14 my statement that I made about my being at the OUP headquarters, I can
15 categorically confirm that I was there at the time when Simovic and Boca
16 came. I don't remember about these other men. I know that Simovic and
17 Boca came, and I know that for certain. And I also know that Markovic
18 was there. I'm not sure whether anyone else was there, but I'm sure
19 about the four of us.
20 Q. Sir, we've seen three versions now, yours, Mr. Simovic's version,
21 Dragan Markovic's version, all of this having the same state of affairs
22 of you being with the doctor and not with Mr. Simovic.
23 Let me be very direct about what I'm suggesting, sir, because I want to
24 give you a chance to respond.
25 I'm going to suggest that you and Mr. Simovic and Dr. Markovic
1 and perhaps others participated in a coverup in 2002 when you provided
2 this testimony. Is that true?
3 A. I was not carrying out any cover-up. I claim with full
4 responsibility, and I did that then and I'm doing it now, that I was at
5 the headquarters, that Simovic was there as well. And I didn't attempt
6 to do any cover-up. When Markovic called me and told me that there were
7 injured people, I gave him a vehicle to transport them to Pristina. So
8 there was no cover-up.
9 Q. That's fine. And let me just be clear, sir. I have your
10 position now on where you were, what I'm trying to focus on is what you
11 said in 2002. Let me get your comment on another exhibit.
12 MR. BEHAR: P493. If we can see page 13 in the English and page
13 14 in B/C/S.
14 Q. Sir, these statements and this testimony surrounds what took
15 place at the Prokuplje court. Do you recall that Goran Stoparic also
16 testified at the Cvjetan trial at the Prokuplje district Court, the same
17 trial that you are giving statements for?
18 A. I was in Prokuplje at the time, but I don't remember this person
19 giving a statement. I don't know which name you mentioned, Goran
20 something. All I know is that I gave a statement on that day and I
21 returned immediately.
22 Q. I'd like to focus on what he said here, if we look at paragraph
23 83, if we can just scroll down in the English slightly. Now, in the
24 second line, sorry, it's the -- starting from the third line into
25 paragraph 83, Mr. Stoparic explains this:
1 "The first time, or the first trial, was in Prokuplje district
2 court. I was approached by the lead Defence lawyer for Sasa, Zarko
3 Kalanj, who wanted me to help Sasa. I was provided with a statement
4 already written out. This statement was not true."
5 My question for you is this, sir: Were you approached by that
6 lawyer or by anyone else and asked to conspire to cover up the truth
7 with respect to that massacre and with respect to your evidence?
8 A. The only thing I did was give statement. Nobody approached me.
9 I gave it of my own volition, and nobody approached me on that day. I
10 answered the questions asked by the judge, and I described the incident.
11 Therefore, no one approached me in the sense that you are implying.
12 MR. BEHAR: If we can just quickly look at the next page in
13 English, it's the same page in B/C/S.
14 Q. If we can look at paragraph 84, here, sir, you just mentioned
15 your testimony, Mr. Stoparic said:
16 "When I was called to give evidence I said that I could not
17 remember. This is how I answered all the questions. I was afraid to
18 tell the truth to the court." Then he says: "Everyone that gave
19 evidence lied in order to help Sasa."
20 Is that true, sir, did you lie in order to help Sasa, and were
21 you aware of anyone else at the time lying in order to protect Sasa?
22 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I don't know what this Stoparic person said. As
23 far as I'm concerned, I can categorically say that I never told a lie. I
24 told only what I knew about what happened on the 28th in response to the
25 questions that I had been asked. I didn't lie either then or now.
1 I'm telling you the truth about this incident, this massacre that took
2 place on the 28th.
3 MR. BEHAR: Your Honours, I see we are nearing the break and I
4 suspect that the next set of things I need to show the witness may take a
5 little longer than five minutes. If it's convenient I can break now or
6 I'm happy to press through as best I can.
7 JUDGE PARKER: If it's going to be more practical, we will break
8 now. It's only five minutes. We will adjourn and resume at five minutes
9 to 11.00.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Recess taken at 10.28
12 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Behar.
15 MR. BEHAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Sir, when we left off last time we looked at a set of statements
17 from the 3rd of April, 2002, which had a state of affairs in which you
18 were with the doctor at the time that the massacre took place. I'd like
19 to take you through what I say is another version with respect to where
20 you were at the time of the massacre.
21 MR. BEHAR: If we could see Exhibit 06108, please.
22 Q. Sir, this is a statement that you gave to the MUP Working Group
23 on the 15th of February, 2002
24 MR. BEHAR: And if we can look at the second page in English.
25 Just scroll down a bit in B/C/S. If we can have the next page in
2 Q. So if we look here, sir, at the third paragraph down I'll start.
3 Here you say:
4 "I attended a meeting in the Podujevo OUP where the units
5 accommodation and manner of engagement were discussed." Then you say:
6 "In addition to me, the following were present at the meeting:
7 Commanders of units, engaged in the Podujevo area, a representative of
8 the MUP staff; Zoran Simovic, commander of the Belgrade SAJ; and Boca.
9 While the meeting was in progress I heard to bursts of automatic fire.
10 After that, Zoran Simovic went out to see what was going on."
11 Do you recall saying that, sir? And just to be clear, I'm not
12 asking you what happened, I'm just asking you if you remember saying
13 that in 2002?
14 A. Mr. Prosecutor, on that day when this happened, I was present at
15 the meeting at the headquarters relocated in Podujevo not far away. Also
16 present at this meeting were Commander Simovic, Boca, and the doctor. I
17 don't remember anyone else being in attendance, as I said before.
18 Q. Let me point stop you. I'm trying to be as clear as I can.
19 I'm not asking you about what happened. I think you've been very clear
20 in repeating what you say happened that day. I'm just asking you with
21 respect to this statement that's on the screen, I'm asking you if you
22 remembered giving that statement on the 15th of February, 2002? Do you
23 remember that?
24 A. Yes, yes. I gave that statement. I didn't remember when this
25 was exactly, but I can see it here, and you can see that this statement
1 was taken by a Working Group of the Ministry of the Interior.
2 MR. BEHAR: And if we can just look at the next page in English
3 and B/C/S.
4 Q. Is that your signature, sir, at the bottom of the page there,
5 really in the middle of the page?
6 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
7 Q. Would you agree with me, sir, that the doctor is not mentioned as
8 being with you in this statement; is that correct?
9 A. I can claim with full responsibility now and I did so then when I
10 made the statement, that Dr. Markovic was with us at this meeting. As
11 far as I can see here, this Working Group that took those statements for
12 the record from us didn't sign it.
13 Q. But you signed it, sir. You signed it to confirm that it was
14 accurate; correct?
15 A. The statement is accurate about what I'm talking about, and that
16 is to say that present at the meeting was the doctor, that he was there,
17 that SAJ
18 Q. Sir, was that statement that you gave on the 15th of February,
19 2002, was that your evidence, or did someone else write that out for you
20 or tell you to say that?
21 A. No. You mean this statement that we are looking at right now?
22 Q. Yes, just talking about this specific statement. I'm asking you,
23 did you go there and give your own evidence independently, or did someone
24 else write that out or tell you to say that on your behalf?
25 A. No, they just came to take a statement, this Working Group.
1 Nobody had written anything or told me anything. I said what I'm
2 repeating now, and what is written here was actually compiled by them.
3 As I said, the doctor, myself, Simovic, and Boca were at the meeting on
4 the 28th.
5 Q. And just so we are entirely clear, sir, did you collaborate with
6 anyone else, and what I mean by that is, did you speak to any other
7 witnesses about what your evidence should be before you gave that
9 A. I never discussed anything with any other witnesses as you are
10 indicated. No, never.
11 Q. What I find interesting, sir, and I'll give you a chance to look
12 at it, is that in some respects, this statement is, in my submission,
13 almost identical to what Mr. Simovic said.
14 MR. BEHAR: If we can see P1590, please. In fact, before I move
15 on, Your Honours, I would seek to tender that statement.
16 JUDGE PARKER: This is the statement of the present witness now
17 on the screen?
18 MR. BEHAR: That's correct. And it's the only statement under
19 that 65 ter number.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be Exhibit P01597.
22 MR. BEHAR: So if we could see now P1590, please.
23 Q. Sir, you can see that this is the statement of Mr. Simovic, you
24 can see from the date there it was given on the same day, the 15th of
25 February, 2002.
1 MR. BEHAR: And if we can stay on the same page in B/C/S but look
2 at page 2 in English. Perhaps just zoom in to the middle of the page.
3 Q. In the third paragraph down, sir, Mr. Simovic said:
4 "The following were present at the meeting in the Podujevo OUP:
5 Commanders of units engaged in the Podujevo area; a representative of the
6 MUP staff; Radislav Stalevic, commander of the SAJ Pristina; and Boca.
7 While the meeting was in progress, I heard two bursts of automatic fire
8 and rushed outside to see what was going on."
9 Are you able to explain that similarity, sir, not just
10 in the content but in the wording of the statement to what you had
12 A. I should not like to explain this. Simovic gave in statement and
13 signed it as his own. I didn't discuss with anyone how to give my
14 statement, and again, I can only state with full responsibility that I
15 was at that meeting with Markovic, Simovic, and this Boca. I don't
16 remember clearly whether anyone else was present on that day on the 28th.
17 Q. This interview, sir, on the 15th of February, 2002, do you recall
18 where it took place?
19 A. That interview when I was giving this statement I think, if I'm
20 not mistaken, because I'm not completely sure, I think it was at the
21 command of the gendarmerie somewhere in Belgrade. That's where the
22 gendarmerie of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
23 Q. That's correct, sir, we can see that if you scroll up to the top
24 of the document, it indicates that. In fact, at that time, sir, both you
25 and Mr. Simovic were employed working for the gendarmerie, were you not?
1 A. I said that yesterday, in 2001 I started working with the
2 gendarmerie as assistant commander of the gendarmerie of the MUP of the
3 Republic of Serbia
4 that had been newly formed, the Novi Sad gendarmerie detachment. And
5 it's true that I gave a statement at the command of the gendarmerie
6 because my detachment was at that time in Novi Sad. It was set up
7 sometime in 2002. I can't remember the date.
8 Q. That's fine, sir. That's going beyond my question.
9 While we are looking at Mr. Simovic's statement, sir, I'd like
10 to look at what you both said about the redeployment of the Skorpions
12 MR. BEHAR: If we look at page 2 in B/C/S, the next page in
13 B/C/S, and page 3 in English. It's also the following page in English.
14 In English if we look at the final paragraph on the page. In B/C/S it's
15 the third paragraph from the bottom, I believe. Perhaps in the B/C/S if
16 we can just scroll left a bit. Thank you.
17 Q. Here Mr. Simovic said:
18 "After the killing of civilians in Podujevo, I know that the unit
19 whose members were the perpetrators of this act was suspended from any
20 further engagement and after a period of time, outside of my activities,
21 it was engaged again in the MUP reserve force."
22 Do you see that, sir, that passage?
23 A. I can see that.
24 Q. Great. I'm just asking you at this point to remember that.
25 Remember that passage.
1 MR. BEHAR: Now, if we can see your statement again, if we look
2 at 06108 once again. In fact, I think I just tendered that.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Exhibit P1597.
4 MR. BEHAR: Thank you, Your Honour. If we can look at page 3 of
5 the English, page 2 of the B/C/S. It's the last paragraph.
6 Q. Here once again, sir, it says:
7 "After the killing of civilians in Podujevo, I know that the unit
8 whose members were the perpetrators of this act was suspended from any
9 further engagement and after a period of time, outside any of my
10 activities, it was engaged again in the MUP reserve force."
11 Do you agree, sir, that those paragraphs are identical?
12 A. This is my statement, the statement I gave. I am aware of the
13 fact that they were turned back after this incident. They were excluded
14 from any engagement, and after awhile they were again re-engaged as the
15 reserve force of the MUP. So what I stated here is correct.
16 Q. Sir, again just focusing on this statement that you gave. Is it
17 a coincidence, sir, that several items appear word for word the same in
18 your two statements, or did Mr. Simovic and yourself sit down together,
19 perhaps the two of you or perhaps with a third party, and come up with an
20 account of what to say?
21 A. Prosecutor, I never agreed or discussed with anyone what to say.
22 This statement was taken by the Working Group of the ministry operating
23 at that time, and it is exactly as is written here, the members of this
24 reserve unit were suspended. That's what I stated on that day.
25 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask you some question just moving to a somewhat
1 different topic with respect to the materials that you reviewed before
2 you testified here today. Did you have a chance, sir, before you
3 testified here, to review Mr. Djordjevic's testimony?
4 A. No, no. I did not.
5 Q. And did you speak with anyone, sir, anyone who had any interest
6 in this case prior to testifying here today, in fact, prior to you
7 beginning your testimony yesterday about your evidence or about this
9 A. No, I did not speak with anyone about my evidence.
10 Q. There were a couple of things, sir, that struck me as somewhat
11 unusual about the evidence that you've recently given. I'd like to give
12 you a chance to respond. Just earlier today, sir - I can give my friend
13 the reference, it was at page 13, line 20 of today's transcript - you
14 were asked if you had seen Mr. Djordjevic in 1999, and you responded --
15 in your answer you said:
16 "Well, at least I think it was in 1999." And then you went on to
17 provide the exact date that you saw him on, which I would note was the
18 same date that Mr. Djordjevic gave us. Did you have any assistance, sir,
19 in remembering that date, January 16th, that you gave us?
20 A. Well, you see, I know that it was only once that -- once in 1999
21 that General Vlastimir Djordjevic was in Kosovo and that I provided
22 police officers from my unit to guard these republican authorities, and I
23 recall that it was on the 16th that I got a call from him that he was
24 going to Kopaonik mountain. He had arrived by plane, and some sort of
25 transportation needed to be organised. And as I said, I also wanted to
1 go skiing, and I said I would organise the transport.
2 Q. That is fine. I'll go through that testimony with you as well,
3 but what I'm curious about, sir, is that specific date, and just to put
4 the question to you again, you seem to have gone from not even being sure
5 what year this was to being able to pin-point the exact date that you
6 were with Mr. Djordjevic, and I'm asking, you did you have any assistance
7 in remembering that it was that date? What helped you to recall that it
8 was exactly January 16th ten years ago?
9 A. Since he was there only once, and I am a commander of the special
10 unit and I remember it was a weekend, I know he was going skiing, and I
11 know for sure, and I claim with full responsibility that it was on the
12 16th of January. I know for a fact that he asked me to transfer him on
13 the 16th of January. It was a weekend, we went skiing, and I know I went
14 back to my base on the 17th January, 1999.
15 Q. Is there any document, sir, that you saw that contained the date
16 the 16th of January, or did somebody speak to you about the date the 16th
17 of January?
18 A. I've never seen any document regarding either the 15th or the
19 16th of January. It's just that I know that this session was held then.
20 I remember the session, and I remember it was the 16th when he asked me
21 to get him to Kopaonik.
22 Q. Sir, I notice that when you were testifying again previously
23 today, when my learned friend was questioning you, when you gave the date
24 of the 16th, you slipped twice and, in fact, you said it was the 15th
25 then you changed it to the 16th. I see again today just now you said the
1 15th or the 16th. Sir, what is the significance of January 15th?
2 A. Now and when I was questioned by the other lawyer, I'm saying
3 that there was a session held at that time on the 15th and the 16th, and
4 it was on the 16th that the chief of sector assistant minister asked me
5 to get him to Mount Kopaonik
6 join him. It was on the 16th for sure, and I remember that on that date
7 I went to Mount Kopaonik
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The
10 question has already been answered, but my objection had to do with the
11 way the question was asked because what the witness said just now and
12 earlier contained no wavering between the 15th and the 16th, so my
13 objection had to do with the evidence he gave earlier today.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
15 MR. BEHAR: I think I can move on, Your Honours, but I think the
16 transcript speaks for itself.
17 Q. Sir, this session you are referring to taking place on the 15th
18 and 16th, can you explain what that was?
19 A. It was a session of the government of the Republic of Serbia
20 in Pristina and places around Kosovo, and it was finished on the 16th,
21 and after the session was over, the chief asked me to organise transport
22 and get him to Mount Kopaonik
23 Q. But the 16th is the date that you saw Mr. Djordjevic, according
24 to you; correct?
25 A. He called me on the telephone on the 16th, and then I organised
1 my own car and the escort to go as far as Zvecani, the escort was
2 concerned, and the two of us went on to Kopaonik and the date was the
4 Q. That's fine. Sir, are you aware of the significance of the date
5 of January 15th, 1999
6 should say, what of significance to the events in Kosovo?
7 A. I don't know what happened on that day. All I know is that on
8 that day after I was called, I transferred the chief of the sector,
9 General Vlastimir Djordjevic to Kopaonik.
10 Q. Are you aware of the Racak incident, sir?
11 A. No, I'm not familiar with the incident in Racak.
12 Q. You've never heard of it? Never heard about anything happening
13 in Racak on the 15th of January?
14 A. On the 16th I certainly didn't know anything about it, but later
15 when I returned from Kopaonik, I watched television and learned from the
16 media that something happened in Racak. That's after my return from
17 Kopaonik, so on the 16th, I wasn't aware of it.
18 Q. So when you said about 30 seconds ago, no, I'm not familiar with
19 the incident in Racak, what did you mean by that, sir?
20 A. You, you asked me, Are you aware of the incident on the 16th. I
21 did not know of any incident, but I learned when I returned from
22 Kopaonik. I watched it on television. There was some conference
23 regarding the event. It was maybe the 17th, I'm not sure. But I know I
24 watched it on television.
25 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask you about another piece of your testimony.
1 This is from yesterday, and just so we're clear, I'll take you to it.
2 MR. BEHAR: If we could look at yesterday's testimony. It's
4 Q. This will be in English in the transcript, sir, but I'll read it
5 to you, so you'll receive the translation. I'll start from line 10.
6 Sir, you were asked in chief:
7 "When Zivko Trajkovic informed you of the need of this greater
8 engagement, did he also propose how to deal with the situation especially
9 in view of the fact of the number of people you had?"
10 And, sir, you went on to discuss what Mr. Trajkovic, things
11 that Mr. Trajkovic did and then told you. So you said:
12 "At that meeting, he told us that he would see to it that a
13 reserve force be found. Indeed, later on he told us that he had spoken
14 to Mrgud whom he had known from Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Sermia,
15 which I think is perhaps Western Srem, about that reserve force.
16 Apparently Mrgud told him he knew of the people who could make part of
17 that MUP reserve force. After that, Trajkovic informed the chief of the
18 sector about the fact that he located a number of reservists who could be
19 made part of the unit. He also said that Mr. Vlastimir Djordjevic, the
20 sector chief, told him that the minister's decision still awaited on the
21 issue of joining the MUP by the reserve force."
22 Do you recall saying that yesterday, sir?
23 A. This is a very long passage that you've just read. Like I said
24 yesterday --
25 Q. All I'm asking you -- I'm not asking you about the content, I'm
1 just asking you simply now, do you remember saying that yesterday? I'm
2 not asking you if it's true, I'm just asking if you remember saying it?
3 A. I said yesterday that Zivko Trajkovic had spoken to Mrgud --
4 Q. I don't need you to repeat it. In fact, perhaps I'll just move
5 on, we have the transcript. What I want to ask you about that passage,
6 sir, is that it strikes me that in that passage you are showing a
7 remarkable memory for a conversation that you had more than ten years
8 ago. And if we look specifically at what you are saying in that
9 paragraph, sir, you are relating details of things that Mrgud told
10 Trajkovic that he had told Djordjevic. You are also talking about things
11 that Trajkovic told you that Djordjevic said about the minister. My
12 question for you, sir, is: Are you saying today that you are able to
13 independently remember all of those things from a conversation that took
14 place ten years ago?
15 A. You see, it's the usual procedure. It all happened that way at
16 the time, and I remember it and I should always be able to remember that
17 when admission into the reserve force of the MUP is concerned, when Zivko
18 Trajkovic said that a reserve force could join us, of course, he had had
19 to tell the chief of the sector that there is this possibility and that
20 he had to await the minister's decision on their admission. Of course,
21 that's the usual procedure. It has nothing to do with the length of time
22 that passed since. It was the normal procedure whenever reservists were
23 engaged through the administration.
24 Q. But, sir, we are not just talking here about a usual procedure.
25 You purported in your testimony to remember specific details about what
1 was told to you by Mr. Trajkovic about conversations with a number of
2 people, and these were specific conversations with specific people about
3 specific events. What I'm asking you, sir, is, are you saying that you
4 are able to remember all of that detail? Do you remember your
5 conversation with Trajkovic so well that you can say that all of those
6 things you've told us are accurate?
7 A. I remember that conversation the way I stated here, that
8 Trajkovic conveyed these things. Now, whether I would be able to repeat
9 at every moment what exactly was said, but I remember, I'm still saying
10 that that is what Trajkovic said. That's what he conveyed to us
11 concerning the engagement of this reserve force of the MUP.
12 Q. Sir, I think one can't help but notice that the evidence you
13 related in that passage would seem to line up very well with the talking
14 points of Mr. Djordjevic's Defence. What I'd like to ask you, sir, is,
15 did you specifically make that statement? Did you specifically recollect
16 those conversations in order to help Mr. Djordjevic's Defence?
17 A. I did not discuss the details and what I said here about the
18 information provided to us by Mr. Trajkovic, I didn't share these details
19 with anyone except yesterday when I was giving evidence before this
20 Court. I said what I knew.
21 Q. Let's move to a different topic, sir. Going back to Podujevo.
22 After this massacre was committed and after those women and children had
23 been shot, what happened to the Skorpions?
24 A. When these were killed, it's not the Skorpions, please, it's a
25 reserve force of the MUP. When these civilians were killed, Simovic -- I
1 don't know what happened on the spot except what Markovic informed me,
2 namely that a car was needed to transport these people to the hospital,
3 and when he came back, he informed me that there were dead people there,
4 and Simovic --
5 Q. Let me stop you. Let me just focus the question very
6 specifically. What happened to these Skorpions or this MUP reserve unit?
7 Did they remain in Podujevo, or were they sent back, and can you explain
8 how that happened? First let me ask you, did they remain in Podujevo
9 after the incident?
10 A. After the incident they stayed in Podujevo for another half an
11 hour. Simovic told Medic when he came to the staff that he should go
12 back with the reservists to Prolom Banja, and they were sent back to
13 Prolom Banja on the same date, that is on the 28th of March, 1999
14 Q. Did Mr. Simovic order the Skorpions to go back to Prolom Banja,
15 Skorpions or the MUP reserve force? Did Mr. Simovic order them back to
16 Prolom Banja?
17 A. Yes, Simovic instructed not the Skorpions, but Slobodan Medic,
18 aka Boca, and I was present there at the relocated OUP Podujevo staff.
19 He instructed him to get the reserve forces together and to send them
20 back to Prolom Banja from where he had taken him early the previous
22 Q. Why did Mr. Simovic make that order?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Taken them early the
24 previous morning.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. Simovic has issued
1 an order to Boca to the effect of returning the reserve forces of the MUP
2 of Republika Serbia
3 committed the crime.
4 MR. BEHAR:
5 Q. So Mr. Simovic was aware of that? Are you aware that Mr. Simovic
6 was aware of that, sir, that a crime had been committed?
7 A. He only said that the reservists that had been brought committed
8 the crime and that these particular reserve forces of the MUP of
9 Republika Serbia were to be sent back to Prolom Banja.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my objection refers
12 to the transcript. In order to avoid some later misunderstanding, this
13 refers to line 17 where it states that the witness said "early the
14 previous morning," this may create confusion. I think that the witness
15 corrected himself and said particularly which morning he meant.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Behar, do you want to follow that up?
17 MR. BEHAR: I'm not sure I see the issue. I see both times it
18 says earlier the previous morning. I'm not sure it's --
19 JUDGE PARKER: Leave it for Mr. Popovic in re-examination then,
20 if you are not concerned.
21 MR. BEHAR: Right. I think I understand the issue, and I don't
22 see a problem with it, and certainly my friend is free to explore it if
23 he does.
24 Q. Sir, if we can look at a statement you gave once again.
25 MR. BEHAR: This is 06118 once again. The English is K054-6915.
1 Actually, if we could look at page 36 in the B/C/S, in the English page
3 Q. Sir, I want to look at the final line here. You just told us
4 that Mr. Simovic ordered the Skorpions, or the MUP reserve force as you
5 are now calling it, to go back to Prolom Banja, but if we look here at
6 this statement, I'll just read you the last lines, you say -- you said:
7 "I really don't know why the Skorpions unit was sent back to
8 Prolom Banja on the same day. I'm not familiar with that, because, as I
9 said, I belonged to a completely different unit, which was under my
11 Do you recall saying that, sir? And again, I'm not asking you
12 what happened, I'm asking you, do you remember making that statement?
13 A. I gave a statement in Prokuplje but I reiterate that it's not
14 about my not knowing about it. They were a different unit, as I said,
15 the reserve force of the MUP of Republic of Serbia that came on that day
16 and the special unit were two different formations. As for why this unit
17 was sent back, I was present at this meeting at the relocated staff when
18 Commander Simovic ordered Boca to take them back to Prolom Banja. I was
19 present there. But again, I don't know. As I said, I haven't seen this
20 statement. At the time when I gave it, I didn't read it, and I didn't
21 sign it. So I claim with full responsibility that the truth is that I
22 knew that they had been sent back precisely because of the crime they had
23 committed, and that is why Simovic told Boca to do that on that day when
24 we were at the meeting at the staff premises.
25 MR. BEHAR: If we can just look at the -- quickly look at the
1 next page in English. Perhaps it's not there.
2 Q. Sir, let me just take you right back then to be as specific I can
3 about what you said in that statement. Perhaps we can go back in the
4 English again. The very first thing you said in that line, sir is:
5 "I really don't know why the Skorpions unit was sent back to
6 Prolom Banja."
7 You just told us today why it was sent back. You told us that
8 you knew Mr. Simovic made that order. My question to you, sir, is: Did
9 you intentionally lie to the court in Prokuplje?
10 A. Mr. Prosecutor, as I said before, I know, I know that this unit
11 was sent back because of the crime that it committed on that day, and I
12 categorically claim that I was present when Mr. Simovic ordered for them
13 to be sent back because these reservists of the MUP did something, and I
14 claim with full responsibility that this is the truth what I'm telling
15 you now, it's not that I didn't know. Quite the contrary, I knew about
16 that, however, I did not read this statement, I did not sign it, and I
17 don't know anything about this -- its content. I see it for the first
19 Q. Sir, did you yourself go back with this Skorpion or MUP reserve
20 unit to Prolom Banja? Did you accompany them?
21 A. No, I didn't accompany them when they went to Prolom Banja.
22 After this unit was told to go to Prolom Banja, they complied, but I
23 remained in -- there. Zoran Simovic was the one who went with them. He
24 escorted them to Prolom Banja, which is not far away from Podujevo. I
25 did not escort these men to Prolom Banja.
1 Q. Did Mr. Simovic ask you to go with them to Prolom Banja?
2 A. As far as I remember, I don't know. He didn't ask me to do that.
3 Q. Because yesterday, sir, or actually, on Monday --
4 MR. BEHAR: Perhaps we can look at that. This is the testimony
5 of 19th of April at T-13588.
6 Q. If we look at line 13, this is what Mr. Simovic said about that,
7 sir. I'll just read it, so you'll receive the translation. Mr. Simovic
9 "Once I had organised those ambulances for the wound, I was told
10 that there were fatalities, and I decided to take back that reserve unit
11 to Prolom Banja. I issued an order to my own unit members that they take
12 back to the bus everyone they catch, and when I met up with Mr. Stalevic,
13 I told him to go back with that reserve unit to Prolom Banja."
14 Is that true, sir?
15 A. I'm saying with full responsibility that Simovic didn't tell me
16 to go to Prolom Banja. The statement that I gave -- every time I made a
17 statement about that day, I said that I was at the headquarters and that
18 Simovic informed Boca about what happened and that it was Simovic who
19 escorted this unit to Prolom Banja. I definitely did not leave the
20 Podujevo OUP on that day, or rather the relocated headquarters. I
21 remained there with men from both units. When I say "units," I'm talking
22 about Belgrade
23 After that event, pursuant to Simovic's order, the reserve forces
24 were sent back to Prolom Banja.
25 Q. What did Mr. Simovic do with those MUP reservists when he
1 returned them to Prolom Banja?
2 A. I don't understand your question. Can you please repeat it. I
3 don't think I heard it properly.
4 Q. Certainly. You told us that Mr. Simovic returned with the MUP
5 reservists to Prolom Banja. What I'm asking you is, what happened when
6 they returned? What did Mr. Simovic do when he took them back?
7 A. When he came to the headquarters, he notified the Podujevo OUP
8 about the crime they had committed. After that when he told Boca to get
9 people ready to be returned and after he had informed the MUP in Kosovo
10 and Metohija, he sent the men back to Prolom Banja, to the point where he
11 had taken them from on the previous day.
12 Q. But, you said that Mr. Simovic took them back. Am I
13 understanding that correctly, did he go back with them?
14 A. After sending the notification, he came to the headquarters and
15 he instructed Boca to take the reserve forces back. He informed the
16 command, the staff for the Kosovo and Metohija. After the reservists set
17 off, he went in his own car towards Prolom Banja first and then further
18 on towards Belgrade
19 Q. So that's what I'm asking you about, sir. When Mr. Simovic went
20 with the reservists to Prolom Banja, what happened? Did you find out,
21 and I suspect you would find out from him from speaking to him, what did
22 he do in Prolom Banja?
23 A. He took the reserve forces to Prolom Banja. He notified the MUP
24 staff, and then he left for Belgrade
25 fellow officer Radovan Aleksic.
1 Q. He also notified Mr. Djordjevic; correct?
2 A. The reserve forces of the MUP were returned to Prolom Banja.
3 Simovic should have informed General Djordjevic as well. Whether he did
4 that or not, I really don't know. I don't know what Simovic did in the
6 Q. And can you explain why he should have informed General
8 A. Well, the reservists who were sent to us were sent immediately
9 back to Prolom Banja after the crime. Therefore, they went to the
10 territory of Republic of Serbia
11 Kosovo and Metohija. They were sent back to Serbia, and we should have
12 sent information to that effect in view of what happened in Podujevo.
13 They were again put at the motel where we had put them, and the organs in
14 charge should have undertaken measures to discover and detect the
15 perpetrators of the crime.
16 Q. Okay, sir, let's take a bit of a step back here. I'm going to
17 ask you some more general questions about the SAJ. Now, the SAJ was part
18 of the public security department; correct?
19 A. The special anti-terrorist unit of the MUP belonged to the
20 Ministry of Interior, and at the time it was part of the public security
22 Q. And General Djordjevic was the chief or the head of the public
23 security department; correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And if you needed something, if the SAJ needed something,
1 equipment, materiels, weapons, more men, or guidance, it was General
2 Djordjevic that your unit would approach; correct?
3 A. Not my unit, but the commander of the SAJ would approach the
4 chief of the department if he needed any equipment or anything else.
5 That is to say, Zivko Trajkovic, the commander of SAJ. It was not up to
6 me to communicate with the head of the department because I had my
7 commander above me who reported directly to the chief of the department.
8 And I reported to my commander Zivko Trajkovic.
9 Q. Right, and I understand there's a hierarchy, there's a chain of
10 command. You report to Trajkovic, Mr. Trajkovic reports to Mr.
11 Djordjevic, when you need any of those things I just mentioned; correct?
12 A. I don't understand your question. This is the regular way in
13 which SAJ
14 Trajkovic was with us, and it was him to whom we relayed problems that my
15 unit might have with supplies, equipment, training, et cetera. According
16 to this logic, it was Trajkovic who should pass on this information to
17 the head of the department. And that exclusively referred to training
18 and providing equipment.
19 Q. Okay. I think that's clear, sir. I'd like to look at some of
20 the operations that your unit was involved in.
21 MR. BEHAR: And if we could look at P886, please. And I'll need
22 page 57 in English, page 59 in B/C/S.
23 Q. Sir, this is a record of meetings of the Joint Command for Kosovo
24 and Metohija. These are minutes that were taken for the 23rd of August,
1 MR. BEHAR: I see that the B/C/S is upside down. There we go.
2 Q. I just want to ask you about what Mr. Djordjevic said. Really,
3 sir, I'll go through it with you and then I'll have a specific question.
4 You'll see here, sir, that General Djordjevic is speaking at this Joint
5 Command meeting. He refers to a number of -- a number of MUP units, the
6 3rd MUP detachment continue activities around Sedlari, the 2nd
7 detachment, the 1st detachment, then the special units should proceed to
8 Duga and link up with Javor and Klecka. Do you see he is giving this
9 whole range of instructions, sir, with respect to different forces,
10 different detachments? What I want to ask you about, sir, is at the very
11 bottom, it says, he says:
12 "Conclusion: The Prizren and Belgrade companies and the SAJ
13 special anti-terrorist unit, to proceed along the Dulje-Rance direction."
14 You see that there? I see you are nodding. So I'll ask you,
15 sir, do you recall being present in that area? In other words, do you
16 recall being present along the Dulje-Rance axis at this time, it would be
17 in late August of 1998?
18 A. Well, I cannot remember exactly now whether I was there or not.
19 It was a long time ago, but from this document, I absolutely cannot see
20 anything. It is totally illegible. I've never seen a document of this
21 kind specifying that I had this particular task.
22 Q. That's fine. As long as you can understand, I suppose, sir, what
23 I read to you, which I know is interpreted. But with respect to
24 Dulje-Rance and whether your unit was there, am I understanding correct,
25 you may have been but you are not sure? Is that fair?
1 A. It is possible that I was there. We are talking about 1998, so
2 it was possible that I was at Dulje, but I've never seen something like
3 this. I really cannot find my bearings in this document, and I cannot
4 see what my task would be stemming from this document. I can assure you
5 that I never received such a task. I used to receive a map with axis
6 plotted in it, but something like this was never specifically said to me.
7 Q. I understand that, sir. These are actually just notes from a
8 meeting that Mr. Djordjevic was at but I wanted to ask you about the
9 content, and I think you've answered that. Let me move to
10 Mr. Djordjevic's presence in the field in 1998. You spoke already today
11 about Mr. Djordjevic in the field. For my friend, the reference is page
12 12, line 3. You said you were at Malisevo -- sorry, you said that Mr.
13 Djordjevic was with you in the field in Malisevo between Pristina and Pec
14 and at Cicavica. Are you able to remember any other times when Mr.
15 Djordjevic was with you in the field, sir?
16 A. As I said, when we were unblocking the road during those summer
17 actions, I said that I saw him on that occasion on the Lapusky-Kievo-Pec
18 [phoen] road, and we removed those roadblocks at that time. The second
19 time I saw him was when we were entering Malisevo, and I don't recall the
20 date, the exact date, I saw him at the foot of Mount Cicavica
21 these combat operations, I saw quite a few refugees there, and as I said,
22 it was in a field where these people were, we gave them food and water
23 from our own supplies. After that my doctor, Markovic, said Governor,
24 there's a heavily pregnant woman and if you would please provide a
25 vehicle to take her to Pristina. And I did so. So, as I said, I saw him
1 on a number of occasions.
2 Q. Was Mr. Djordjevic there with the SAJ, or was he co-ordinating
3 the personnel -- the MUP personnel more generally? Let me be clear, was
4 he there with the SAJ
5 A. No, I was with my SAJ
6 well, and there was another unit from Novi Sad. Commander Zivko
7 Trajkovic commanded the SAJ
8 to visit the units, not only SAJ
9 they needed anything, how things were going on, et cetera.
10 MR. BEHAR: I see. If we could look at P889, please.
11 Q. Sir, this is an order of the Pristina Corps Command from the 16th
12 of February, 1999. You can see it's an order, just reading it, calling
13 for the elimination of Albanian terrorist forces in the sector of Malo
14 Kosovo, Drenica, and Malisevo?
15 MR. BEHAR: If we look at page 5 in B/C/S and page 6 in English.
16 Q. Now, just under heading number 5 there, you see where it says
17 "task", you'll see there, sir, it calls for a co-ordinated action between
18 the VJ and the PJP and the SAJ
19 A. I can see that, the reference to the SAJ of the MUP. I can see
21 Q. Now, what I want to ask you, sir, is do you remember
22 participating in that co-ordinated action? Were you there on the ground,
23 and do you remember that?
24 A. I think I took part with my unit in that area, but as for the
25 assignment in this form, it's not an assignment to my unit. We just
1 received extracts from topographic maps. I have never seen this before.
2 Q. No, I understand that. I just wanted to ask you about your
3 involvement on the ground.
4 MR. BEHAR: Let's look now at P85.
5 Q. Now, sir, these are the minutes of a MUP staff meeting in
6 Pristina that took place on the 17th of February, 1999. And we can see
7 right at the top of the document, the meeting was attended by Minister
8 Stojiljkovic, Mr. Djordjevic, Rade Markovic, Obrad Stevanovic, also all
9 members of the MUP staff including Mr. Lukic, all SUP chiefs, and PJP,
10 and SAJ
11 Do you recall being present at this meeting, sir?
12 A. It's certain that I did not attend this meeting. I see it's
13 written here that all members of the staff attended, and as soon as it
14 says that MUP staff attended, it's certain that I did not because I was
15 not a member of the staff.
16 Q. But, in fact, sir, many more people attended -- many people
17 attended this meeting, and if you look at the top, it specifically says,
18 and SAJ
20 yourself and Mr. Simovic; correct?
21 A. Well, you see, when you read this it reads clearly, members of
22 the staff, Zivko Trajkovic was a member of the staff. And at these
23 meetings, Simovic and I had absolutely no need to attend because our
24 units were small and there was no need. That's why Zivko Trajkovic was
25 appointed as a member of the staff for combatting terrorism in Kosovo. I
1 did not attend this meeting.
2 Q. Well, let's move to look at the content, sir. If we look at --
3 just staying on the first page about two-thirds of the way down.
4 Unfortunately, it's one long paragraph, but there's a line -- maybe we
5 can just scroll both pages down to the bottom. Mr. Lukic says:
6 "A plan of the RJB, public security department, has been worked
7 out..." do you see that, where he says "a plan of the RJB has been worked
8 out"? Towards the bottom in the B/C/S, sir.
9 A. No, I don't see it. Where is it?
10 Q. Let me just read it then, sir. You'll receive the translation.
11 Mr. Lukic says:
12 "A plan of the RJB has been worked out to prevent and thwart the
13 entry of NATO troops into our territory." Then he says: "The staff
14 plans, when it is ordered, to carry out three mopping-up operations in
15 the Podujevo, Dragobilja, and Drenica areas, but was waiting for an order
16 to do so."
17 Do you see that, sir, or do you at least understand as you
18 received the translation?
19 A. What you've just read, I understood in interpretation, but I did
20 not attend meeting, and I don't know what Sreten Lukic said there.
21 Q. Let me ask you more specifically, sir, do you recall
22 participating in those mop-up operations in Podujevo, Dragobilja, and
23 Drenica, in those areas?
24 A. I've already said that I had taken part in operations, actions,
25 but not actions of mopping up. I said I took part in that action when
1 combat began in Malo Kosovo and that's precisely Bradas village and the
2 area I've been talking about from the beginning. I was there with my
3 unit in 1999. And I think it was the 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th March when
4 the air-strikes began. My unit was involved in the work to destroy
5 terrorist groups in villages Palatna, Metohija, Bradas, that area.
6 Q. Okay. Let's follow along then. If we look at page 4 in the
7 B/C/S and page 3 in English. Now, this is the Minister Stojiljkovic is
8 putting forward a number of forthcoming tasks for everyone in the MUP.
9 And you we'll see one of them towards the end, I'll just point this out
10 to you, sir, one of them is "more effective inclusion and engagement of
11 the SAJ
12 A. Yes, I can see that. I can see that written.
13 Q. So this would have been not long before, as you've just
14 described, the Podujevo operation and those other operations that you
15 went to perform, correct? This is mid-February and what you were talking
16 about was towards the end of March?
17 A. Here at this meeting it was said that the unit should be better
18 and more deeply engaged because NATO air-strikes against our country were
19 about to begin, and it's a conclusion of this meeting that we should get
20 involved, we should be more engaged in these actions.
21 Q. Now, another -- another point forthcoming task that the minister
22 puts out here, sir, I believe it's the 12th from the top, if you can
23 count down, this is what I'd like your comment on. He says, the minister
25 "Approach and engage volunteers carefully, linking their
1 engagement through the reserve police force when assessed as necessary."
2 Do you see that, sir?
3 MR. BEHAR: I'm not sure if it's on that page in B/C/S.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
5 MR. BEHAR: Perhaps we can go back a page in B/C/S.
6 Q. It should be actually at the bottom.
7 A. I can see it now.
8 Q. Right. I'll just read it again one more time so we are clear.
9 "Approach and engage volunteers carefully, linking their
10 engagement through the reserve police force when assessed as necessary."
11 Do you follow that?
12 A. It's written here, but I don't know who said this, and I did not
13 attend this meeting anyway, so I can't know what was said there.
14 Q. Well, the minister said it, and if we could scroll back one page
15 in the B/C/S, you can see it, and in the English.
16 A. Just a moment. It says "engage volunteers" in this passage. We,
17 the special anti-terrorist unit, never had any volunteers, and the
18 ministry never had any volunteers.
19 Q. That's, in fact, just what I wanted to ask you, sir, because in
20 fact, engaging volunteers into the police was not allowed, was it?
21 A. As far as I know, the police does not have any volunteers. At
22 that time in the police we only had reserve forces of the MUP. Certainly
23 not volunteers.
24 Q. And to go the one step further, sir, in fact, using volunteers in
25 the police would be contrary to law, would it not?
1 A. Well, according to our regulations in the ministry, we don't have
2 volunteers. Volunteers do not exist. We never had any. I can only
3 answer to that. As for the rest, we never had any reserve force in the
4 MUP. Sorry, sorry, I made a mistake, we didn't have any volunteer units,
5 and volunteer units do not exist in the MUP.
6 Q. So I guess what I'm putting to you, sir, is it would not be legal
7 to simply engage a bunch of volunteers, put them in a uniform and then
8 insert them into the police; is that correct?
9 A. I maintain with full responsibility that we did not have any
10 volunteers within our reserve force. We did not have any volunteers
11 among reservists. There were reservists engaged by the MUP of the
12 Republic of Serbia
13 Ministry of the Interior. They were the reserve force. That was
14 organised by the MUP, and we did not have volunteers ever.
15 MR. BEHAR: If we can look at P356, please.
16 Q. Now, sir, this is a dispatch that was sent from Mr. Djordjevic to
17 all SUPs, to the MUP staff, and to a number of others, as you'll see at
18 the top of the page there. You can see this was sent out the very next
19 day following the meeting that I just showed you.
20 MR. BEHAR: Perhaps we can just very quickly look at the final
21 page, and I'll show you that it does indeed come from Mr. Djordjevic.
22 Now, if we could look at page 2 in the B/C/S and page 3 in English.
23 Q. Looking at point number 7, very top of the English and towards
24 the bottom in the B/C/S, Mr. Djordjevic says:
25 "Through intensified intelligence and other measures and actions,
1 carry out the necessary checks, compile lists, and establish complete
2 control over volunteer and paramilitary units and their members."
3 Do you see that, sir?
4 A. Yes, I can see that.
5 Q. So it would appear from this, sir, that Mr. Djordjevic is looking
6 to make use of volunteers and paramilitary units and for the ministry to
7 exert control over them. Do you agree with that?
8 A. No, I don't agree with that. I've never seen this before. And
9 anyway, I can't see the statement, which you are referring to, concerning
10 complete control over volunteer and paramilitary units. I maintain with
11 full responsibility that the Ministry of Interior never had a
12 paramilitary or a volunteer unit in the force where I worked.
13 Q. What were the Skorpions, sir? Were the Skorpions not a
14 paramilitary unit?
15 A. The Skorpions, emphasising again, when they came to us, they were
16 a reserve unit of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
17 with the prevailing procedure. The minister had made a decision, and
18 they were sent to us to Prolom Banja. They were brought to us and turned
19 back the same day, and the second time around when Zivko Trajkovic
20 brought them, they were part of our unit.
21 Q. Sir, I understand well that they were made part of your unit. My
22 question for you is, were the Skorpions a paramilitary unit?
23 A. No, the Skorpions were a reserve force of the MUP engaged by the
24 Ministry of the Interior.
25 Q. Okay. Then let me put it somewhat differently --
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic has been waiting patiently.
2 MR. BEHAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I actually have three
4 objections in one. First of all, the witness has never at any moment
5 mentioned Skorpions in his evidence, and to put words in his mouth as to
6 what kind of unit they were is not based on his evidence. Second, when
7 the witness is shown documents, the first thing to be asked is whether he
8 knows anything about the document because if we look at the first page,
9 we'll see this document had never been made available to his unit. And,
10 third, we should also take care to -- of the extent to which this unit
11 can be helpful concerning legislation and certain other matters that are
12 being brought up now.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I make the observation, Mr. Popovic, that this is
14 cross-examination. It's not examination-in-chief. He may be asked if a
15 Skorpion unit was a paramilitary unit. He has no bother, as I've
16 listened to his evidence, in answering that question just as the
17 reference to Skorpions appears many times in statements that he has made.
18 Carry on, please.
19 MR. BEHAR:
20 Q. Sir, to re-approach this issue with the Skorpions, what I want to
21 ask you is, were the Skorpions a known paramilitary unit before they
22 became part of the MUP reserve force?
23 A. No, no, they were not. Before they came in, I did not know them
24 as Skorpions. In 1999, I knew them as a reserve force of the MUP when
25 they came to join us, and I did not know of any earlier name they had had
1 maybe from before.
2 Q. Knowing what you know now, sir, today, do you accept that the
3 Skorpions were a paramilitary unit before they joined the MUP reserve
5 A. Before they joined the reserve force of the MUP, I was never
6 aware that they had been a paramilitary unit. I know that once they
7 joined, they were the reserve force of the MUP.
8 Q. I'm saying, sir, knowing what you know today, what you know now,
9 would you agree that the Skorpions were a paramilitary unit before they
10 joined the MUP reserve force?
11 A. I'm just saying about the period when they joined us, that was a
12 reserve unit of the MUP, a reserve unit of the Ministry of the Interior
13 that had undergone the procedure of approval to be attached as our
15 Q. I don't think I am getting an answer, sir, but I see we are at
16 the time for the break. I'm in the hands of the Court.
17 JUDGE PARKER: We'll have the second break now and we resume at
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Behar.
24 MR. BEHAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Welcome back, sir. I want to spend the remainder of our day
1 talking somewhat more generally about the SAJ. Now, members of the SAJ
2 were normally selected from amongst the ranks of regular police through a
3 vetting process; is that correct?
4 A. Members of the SAJ
5 officers within the then-secretariats. Very often we would choose
6 members from the secondary school of the interior in Sremska Kamenica
7 after a year or two of schooling if they proved to be good. They were
8 most often good students, good athletes, and they had good physical --
9 physical characteristics that would be suitable for the service.
10 Q. And you, in fact, had recruiters that would look closely at the
11 mental and the physical capacities and qualities of any potential
12 candidate for the SAJ
13 A. Not a single candidate could be admitted unless first we have
14 completed all the physical checks with them, medical examinations, and
15 other tests. After that, they would undergo training and I would take
16 part in the selection process. Only after that, if they proved to be
17 satisfactory during training, could they become members of the special
18 anti-terrorist unit of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
19 exclusively such candidates would be admitted.
20 Q. And then once these candidates were admitted and into the SAJ,
21 then they were, in fact, intensively trained; correct? You had a
22 significant amount of training for all of your SAJ members?
23 A. That was the standard training according to plans for the SAJ
24 including the recruitment and selection of members of the SAJ.
25 Q. Is it fair to say, sir, that you regarded yourself within the SAJ
1 as the best of the best from within the MUP?
2 A. Well, it would be immodest for me to say that. As I said
3 yesterday in my evidence, I was sent from the SAJ as a police officer
4 because I was a good student at the military academy, and as such, I was
5 admitted into the SAJ
6 say that I was the best of them. However, I was the commander of the SAJ
7 of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
8 Q. Sir, I heard that one of the mottos or saying that the SAJ had
9 was, we train for years for a job that takes seconds to complete. Are
10 you familiar with that? Was that something you've heard?
11 A. Well, I've never heard such a saying. We were being trained for
12 every-day tasks. As much as we were trained, we were capable of
13 providing the performance that was incorporated in what you are saying
14 and you are citing. It is true that we were an elite unit, that we were
15 well trained, and that we were capable to act as an elite unit of the MUP
16 of the Republic of Serbia
17 Q. Well, I read that quote in a long article written about the SAJ,
18 but what I took it to reflect, sir, was the difficulty of the job that
19 your unit has to do. And, in fact, you carry weapons that have great
20 destructive force, and it's not safe, certainly, for just anyone to be
21 walking around with weapons of that strength; would you agree with that?
22 A. I didn't understand your question as you put it. I didn't
23 understand the question.
24 Q. Let me put it again, sir. The reason for all of this great
25 selection and care into who gets into the SAJ, and the reason for all
1 this training for your men is because you do, in fact, a very difficult
2 and a very delicate job. Would you agree with that?
3 A. The training of our police officers was specific. As I said
4 yesterday, as a unit, we were intended to combat terrorism, to be
5 involved in the incidents of disturbance of public law and order to a
6 greater extent, including hijacking of planes and other transportation
7 means, and we had to undergo high-quality training for that, and we had
8 high-quality members in the SAJ
9 Q. And as members of the SAJ
10 could, in fact, if in the wrong hands or if not handled responsibly,
11 could be very dangerous; correct?
12 A. We didn't have what you are saying we had. Our people were
13 trained to handle weapons. They were well prepared for every possible
14 task, and I was always with them, so it could never happen that they
15 might abuse the weapons that you are mentioning, so they were well
16 trained for the tasks that they were expected to carry out. That is why
17 we trained them, that is why we had medical checks, psychological checks,
18 all kinds of tests that have to be carried out with a unit of that kind.
19 Q. Sir, with all of this careful selection, with all of this
20 training for your SAJ
21 when you have these men, these men who call themselves the Skorpions,
22 within minutes of getting off of the bus for their very first deployment
23 gathered up unarmed civilians including women and children and use those
24 weapons issued to them to kill, to kill civilians. What I have trouble
25 understanding, sir, is how men of this calibre could be integrated into
1 your elite SAJ
2 A. You asked me several questions here. SAJ was an elite unit.
3 This reserve force of the MUP that you mentioned was never part of the
5 police members of a special anti-terrorist unit.
6 Q. Well, we heard quite clearly yesterday, sir, from Mr. Simovic,
7 that the intention was to join them up with the SAJ, and, in fact, that
8 was being concluded, according to him, right before the massacre took
9 place, so regardless, and we may not agree on that, but it's clear that
10 the intention was always for them to join the SAJ unit; isn't that right?
11 A. That is not right. They were brought there as the MUP reserve
12 forces, and they were brought to Podujevo. They were not included in our
13 reserve forces of our units. They were not attached to our units. After
14 this crime, Mr. Simovic ordered Boca to return them from where they had
15 come from, that is to say, to Prolom Banja.
16 Q. But then some weeks later, sir, they were, in fact, incorporated
17 into your SAJ
18 A. They were not deployed in the SAJ. When they returned a few
19 weeks later, the proposal of Zivko Trajkovic remained the reserve force
20 of the MUP. Upon their arrival in late April, they were divided between
21 me and Simovic, and part of that unit was incorporated in our further
22 tasks. So only second time around when they arrived, Zivko Trajkovic,
23 the commander gave a number of men to me and to the commander of the
25 checked what their military specialties were, and after this -- the
1 reserve forces of the MUP were attached to us, we proceeded with carrying
2 out the tasks that were assigned to us.
3 Q. So they were then, incorporated into the SAJ. But let me ask you
4 this, sir, is it fair to say that these mean, these MUP reservists and
5 self-named Skorpions, had absolutely no business being armed, uniformed,
6 transported, and then joined up with your highly trained SAJ units? Is
7 that a fair comment, sir, that they did not belong in the ranks of the
9 A. This is a very long question, and you are at the same time
10 providing an answer. I'm telling you those were reserve forces of the
11 Serbian MUP, which pursuant to the then-MUP minister, Vlajko
12 Stojiljkovic, were engaged, or rather, admitted into the reserve force,
13 and it was supposed to be attached to us on the 28th when Tetinac or
14 rather, Simovic brought them to Podujevo.
15 Q. Let me ask you this more directly, sir. In your view, was it
16 irresponsible to take these men and incorporate them into the MUP reserve
17 unit? You know your men, you know these men, in your view, was it
19 A. My opinion is with regard to this and to readmittance is the
20 following: Zivko Trajkovic, the then-commander of --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the title of
22 Mr. Zivko Trajkovic. The interpreters didn't catch that.
23 MR. BEHAR:
24 Q. Sir, we didn't get the interpretation after you said something
25 about Zivko Trajkovic. If you could perhaps just repeat your answer
1 again. You said my opinion is with regard to this, and to readmittance
2 is the following: Zivko Trajkovic, then if you could just repeat your
3 answer, please.
4 A. Yes, Zivko Trajkovic guaranteed that these men would carry out
5 their tasks in an extremely responsible and professional way once they
6 were admitted into the reserve forces of MUP when he brought them to
7 Kosovo Polje second time around which took place in late April.
8 Q. Well, sir, would one person guaranteeing something give you as a
9 professional enough confidence that men who had been involved in an
10 incident as serious as that massacre could be trusted once again to be?
12 A. As I said, and I would like to underline that, Commander
13 Trajkovic or special units of MUP of the Republic of Serbia
14 for these men that they would act in an honourable and professional way.
15 Why should I not believe my commander that that wouldn't be the case?
16 MR. BEHAR: If we could see D401, please.
17 Q. Now, sir, the obligation for your men to be qualified was, in
18 fact, directly stated in this decision that governs the existence of the
20 established the SAJ
21 "It shall also be the task of the SAJ to maintain the necessary
22 level of professional and mental and physical fitness of its members for
23 carrying out tasks and responsibilities from Article 1 of this item in
24 accordance with the plan and programme for training the SAJ."
25 So do you see that, sir?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Now, sir, would it be possible to incorporate a bunch of men into
3 your unit without knowing at all what their qualifications were? In
4 other words, let me be more specific about that, sir. Before anyone was
5 going to incorporate some men into the MUP reserve and then into your
6 unit to fight with the SAJ
7 they were, what they had been doing before, what kind of weapons
8 experience did they have, and what had happened if they had fought
9 before, what happened when they fought before? Do you agree, sir, that
10 the person who made the decision would need to know all of that
12 A. I do not agree with you because the decision on the reserve force
13 was taken by the minister of the interior, and after that, the commander
14 of the unit Trajkovic was in charge. I'm still maintaining that this was
15 the reserve force of the MUP and not the reserve force of the special
16 unit. The special unit had never had amongst its ranks any reserve
17 forces. As I told you, there used to be SAJ Belgrade, SAJ Pristina, and
19 Q. We can even leave aside for a moment, sir, which specific person
20 made the decision. In fact, I'll come to that in a moment, but what I'd
21 like you to answer is, anyone, anyone who was involved in the decision of
22 incorporating these men into the MUP reserve, they would have to know who
23 the men were, what they were doing, what they had been doing before, what
24 experience they had; do you agree, sir? All these things would need to
25 be known by the people that made that decision?
1 A. Well, as far as this is concerned, that all should have been done
2 by the police administration of the MUP. They should have carried out
3 this vetting procedure. The Ministry of the Interior of Republic of
5 about the people with criminal record and, therefore, they would not be
6 allowed to carry out those duties. That applied to people who had served
7 in the military. Unless they hadn't served in the military, they
8 couldn't be admitted into MUP. Those were some basic principles that had
9 to be abided by when people were admitted into the reserve forces.
10 Q. Now, sir, if we can continue looking at this document. Let's
11 look at paragraph number 5, if we can just scroll down in the English and
12 the B/C/S. You can read this --
13 MR. BEHAR: We need the next page in the B/C/S, I see.
14 Q. So I'll read this aloud, sir, but you can read it as well on the
15 page. It says:
16 "The provision of Articles 4 to 6 of the regulations on job
17 planning in the Ministry of the Interior," it goes on, "shall be
18 applicable to questions pertaining to internships, probationary work, and
19 exceptional assignment to posts of the SAJ after first obtaining
20 permission from the chief of the department of public security."
21 So, sir, there are a number of things listed there, and one of
22 them is exceptional assignment to posts of the SAJ, and this item,
23 sir, specifically says that first the permission needed to be obtained
24 from the chief of the department, who was Mr. Djordjevic. Do you see
25 that section here, sir?
1 A. Could you just explain which passage. Is it number 5? Issues
2 related to probationary work, internships. I have to explain that the
3 word here is not members [B/C/S spoken], it's[B/C/S spoken]. That's
4 young officers on trial period whom we took from secretariats, and I said
5 already, we took them for testing, screening, fitness tests,
6 psychological tests. This provision applies to them and their admission,
7 and that means they undergo procedure before being admitted into SAJ.
8 Q. I understand that, sir, and, in fact, if we look, this is talking
9 specifically about people who are going to be brought into the SAJ, made
10 members of the SAJ
11 questions pertaining to internships, probationary work, and the last one
12 is exceptional assignment to posts of the SAJ, and then, sir, it says:
13 "For any of those things, permission needs to first be obtained
14 from the chief of the department of public security."
15 Do you follow that?
16 A. I can see that. I've already said that. The chief of the public
17 security department is the one who approves the plan of training, and in
18 this period indicated here, he was the one who approved the plan and he
19 helped us with equipment and other supplies to the unit, and as far as I
20 can see, this paragraph applies to that.
21 Q. And, in fact, sir, the chief of the department is the only senior
22 leadership position that's identified in this entire document; correct?
23 It refers to the chief of the department. There's no other reference in
24 this document to other senior leadership positions? In fact, I don't
25 even see any reference to the minister, sir.
1 A. I think the decision was adopted by the minister. It's written
2 at the bottom of the page. But regarding this paragraph you are asking
3 me about, it refers to young employees on trial period, trainees,
4 et cetera. We worked in special anti-terrorist units, Pristina, Novi
5 Sad, and Belgrade
6 into the special anti-terrorist units, and by that I mean us commanders
7 of these three SAJ
8 Q. Well, I agree with you, sir, that this paragraph is dealing in
9 several respects with admission into the special anti-terrorist unit. I
10 would point out as well, one of the things is that -- where there were to
11 be exceptional assignments, you see that phrase, "exceptional
12 assignments"? Any exceptional assignment to be posted to the SAJ
13 required the permission of the chief of the department. And that was Mr.
14 Djordjevic; correct?
15 A. I can't give any comment on this, and from what you see -- from
16 what you are saying, I don't think the chief of department could do that.
17 It was in my exclusive competence to train, to prepare people, and to
18 propose admission into the SAJ
19 commander of the second unit did the same for his unit and the third unit
20 the same.
21 Q. Sir, you've told us several times today that these men, the
22 Skorpions, were introduced to your unit by the way of the MUP reserve.
23 You keep referring to them as MUP reservists. So if we can, let's look
24 at the Law of Internal Affairs and see what that says about reserves.
25 MR. BEHAR: If we could see P66. If we can see page 9 in the
1 English and page 3 in the B/C/S. Page 9 in the English.
2 Q. So, sir, let's look at Article 27 together, if we can. You see
3 Article 27 there, I'll just read it. It says:
4 "In case of an imminent" --
5 A. Just a moment. Can we zoom in on this article. I can't really
6 see it. Thank you.
7 Q. The article says, sir:
8 "In case of an imminent threat of war or war, the Ministry of the
9 Interior shall be brought up to strength with conscripts from the reserve
10 force of the ministry."
11 And then this is what I want to ask you about, sir. The next
12 paragraph, says:
13 "Only conscripts meeting the requirements prescribed by the law
14 for work in the ministry may be assigned to the reserve force of the
15 Ministry of Interior."
16 Do you see that, sir?
17 A. I can see that.
18 Q. So, I take it, sir, as a commander of a unit that took on these
19 MUP reserves, this legal provision is something you would have been aware
20 of; correct?
21 A. Well, I knew that they are supposed to have completed their
22 military service and to be conscripts.
23 Q. And, in fact, sir, this article specifically is catered to or
24 directed to an imminent threat of war or war. So, in fact, this is what
25 applies during a war or during an imminent threat of war; correct? This
1 isn't a peacetime provision only.
2 A. Now, upon admission into the reserve force of the MUP, this job
3 was done by the administration, the relevant administration within the
4 MUP, and they handled the entire procedure for admission of members into
5 the reserve force.
6 Q. In fact, sir, there are a number of laws that govern
7 qualifications, both for reservists and of course for members of the
8 police, but I would suggest to you that one of the main reasons, if not
9 the main reason to have those laws and regulations was to prevent the
10 possibility that a group like this, like these self-named Skorpions, a
11 group that contained criminals would be heavily armed by the state, would
12 be deployed into civilian areas, and that they would kill people. Would
13 you agree, sir, that that was one of the purposes, if not the main
14 purpose for such laws?
15 A. I would not agree with you. They were a reserve force of the
16 ministry, and I have to emphasise once again, that screening for these
17 men who were admitted into this reserve force was handled by employees of
18 the ministry. They had conducted the vetting and screening, both looking
19 into records and checking that they had done their military service.
20 Q. Sir, was the fact that these men were admitted into the MUP
21 reserve, these men who called themselves the Skorpions, was this not a
22 failure of the process?
23 A. When these people joined the reserve force of the ministry, from
24 that moment on, I know them as the reserve force of the Ministry of the
25 Interior, not as Skorpions.
1 Q. Sir, at what point did you learn that these men were the
2 Skorpions? At what point did you learn that it was the Skorpions who
3 would be joining you?
4 A. I did not know when they were coming from the MUP of the Republic
5 of Serbia
6 afterwards did I learn that this was the Skorpion unit. Later on. At
7 that time I did not know. To me, as a commanding officer, they were a
8 reserve force of the MUP.
9 Q. Sir, when did you learn that they were the Skorpions? You said
10 much later. When?
11 A. Well, sometime in 2002 or 2003 I learned of that name, the
12 Skorpions. I think it was in 2002. As for the period before, Zivko
13 Trajkovic told us at the time that he had been there and that he knew
14 that man Mrgud.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the record, this
17 is a very important point. Line 23, page 72, the witness did not say
18 that this was the Skorpion unit. He said that some of those men were
19 Skorpions. We can, of course, check by listening to the tapes, but since
20 it is entered into the transcript in this language, I had to intervene
22 JUDGE PARKER: You want that checked?
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
24 JUDGE PARKER: We'll have that done.
25 MR. BEHAR: Thank you.
1 Q. Sir, you said you learned, you think, in 2002. How did you learn
2 in 2002 that these were the Skorpions?
3 A. Then and now, I'm saying that this unit when they came to us,
4 that was a unit from the reserve force of the MUP of the Republic of
8 Q. We have that position from you, sir. What I'm asking you is,
9 when you did find out that they were called the Skorpions - you say it
10 was in 2002 - how did you find out that they were the Skorpions at that
12 A. In 2002 when I was making a statement or giving evidence, I heard
13 somebody called them or referred to them as Skorpions. That means in
14 2002. That year, the year in question, 1999, I did not know that they
15 were Skorpions. I claimed for a fact that they were the reserve force of
16 the MUP.
17 MR. BEHAR: I see we are at the break time, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Is it the case that you are deliberately delaying
19 tending certain matters into evidence that were considered today?
20 MR. BEHAR: There were some matters, which I believe I will use,
21 the earlier 65 ter documents that I was -- I think I will use some more.
22 I'm not sure if I've omitted to tender a recent document.
23 JUDGE PARKER: So you prefer to wait until tomorrow, is that it?
24 MR. BEHAR: I think that would be best, and I will certainly
25 revisit and see if I've forgotten anything as well.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We adjourn now. We resume at 9.00
2 tomorrow morning. A Court Officer will assist you during the break.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
5 to be reconvened on Friday, the 23rd day of April,
6 2010, at 9.00 a.m.