1 Tuesday, 18 May 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning to those in court and those in
7 And good morning to you, sir, the witness for today in Belgrade
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please stand and read aloud the
10 affirmation that is shown to you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
14 Now, we will commence this morning by asking Mr. Popovic if he
15 has some questions for you, and you will, I expect, hear questions from
16 him and you will answer him as though you were here in the courtroom
17 because we can see and hear you, and you will be able to see and hear
18 Mr. Popovic.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
20 WITNESS: SLOBODAN SPASIC
21 [Witness appeared via videolink]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examination by Mr. Popovic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Spasic.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. Mr. Spasic, before we begin with our interview today, I will ask
2 you. Because you and I speak the same language, after you hear the
3 question please wait for a while and only then give your answer because
4 in that way we shall enable the interpreters to do their work properly.
5 Mr. Spasic, can you first of all please tell us your first and
6 last name.
7 A. My name is Slobodan Spasic, father's name Pavle.
8 Q. When and where were you born?
9 A. I was born on the 21st of April, 1946, in Sremska Mitrovica.
10 Q. Can you tell us what education do you have?
11 A. I'm a mechanical engineer. I have a BA in that field.
12 Q. Mr. Spasic, were you a member of the Ministry of the Interior;
13 and if so, since when?
14 A. Yes, I was a member of the Ministry of the Interior since 1973
15 and until 2001.
16 Q. Were you retired in 2001?
17 A. Yes, I retired in late September 2001, at my own request.
18 Q. Mr. Spasic, can you briefly explain for us what duties you were
19 assigned to discharge within the Ministry of the Interior during your
20 professional career.
21 A. From the 1st of January, 1973, until November 1977, I worked in
22 the republican secretariat of the interior, which is now the MUP, as an
23 inspector for prevention and technical and fire prevention department.
24 In late 1977, I was transferred to the secretariat of the interior in
2 deputy chief of the administration for the fire prevention department of
3 the secretariat in Belgrade
4 the administration for the fire prevention and technical department. And
5 I held this position until 1994. After that, I was transferred to the
6 Ministry of the Interior as the chief of the fire prevention police
7 administration, and I remained in that position to the end of my career,
8 that is to say until the time when I retired.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you please be more precise about the duties that
10 you had in the Ministry of the Interior during 1998 and 1999.
11 A. During 1998/1999, I was the chief of the administration of the
12 fire police of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia
13 Q. Thank you. Mr. Spasic, before we deal with your scope of work, I
14 wanted to ask you some basic things about the Ministry of the Interior.
15 First of all, who is managing the Ministry of the Interior?
16 A. The Ministry of the Interior is managed by the minister who is
17 appointed by the government, with the approval of the Republic of Serbia
18 that is to say the Assembly of the Republic of Serbia
19 Q. What authorities did the minister of the interior have in terms
20 of discharging his duty?
21 A. The minister managed the work of the minister, he issued orders,
22 instructions, regulations, and all the other authorities that he had
23 according to the law; that was why he also had a team of associates who
24 help him to discharge all these duties. He also had the authority as
25 minister to make appointments or to dismiss people. He had quite
1 extensive authorities in terms of the work of the ministry.
2 Q. Please tell me how were the duties discharged within the Ministry
3 of the Interior, that is to say which organisational units did the
4 ministry consist of?
5 A. The Ministry of the Interior had two basic organisational units
6 to -- two departments. One was the state security department and the
7 other one was the public security department. So these were the basic
8 units that the ministry consisted of.
9 Q. As for the public security department, what were the
10 organisational units that it consisted of?
11 A. The public security department included organisational units
12 which were active at the ministry seat, as we called it. These were
13 various administrations, and we had the organisational units that were
14 outside of the seat of the ministry and were still part of the public
15 security department.
16 Q. Thank you. Please tell us, were there any territorial
17 organisational units?
18 A. Yes, there were. These were the secretariats of the interior,
19 which were 33 in number in the territory of the Republic of Serbia
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Spasic. As for the subject that we're discussing
21 now, I will ask for the document D357 --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: P357.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] It should be document under tab 1.
24 If we could please pull that up on the screen.
25 Q. If you can see the document, these are the rules about the
1 internal organisation of the Ministry of the Interior. Let us just go
2 through it briefly in connection with the subject we're talking about.
3 If we could look at Article 13 of these rules, it is page 9 in the B/C/S
4 version and page 10 -- I apologise, page 9 in English version and page 10
5 in the B/C/S version of this document. Under Roman numeral III, the
6 organisational units of the ministry, at the seat of the ministry, and
7 their remit of work are mentioned. I have to say that I cannot see the
8 document in front of me, and I hope that the Trial Chamber and other
9 participants can see what I'm talking about. No?
10 It's all right now. Please, Mr. Spasic, please have a look at
11 Article 13 and give us a brief comment in connection with the subject
12 that we were just talking about.
13 A. These are the organisational units which were active at the seat
14 of the ministry. These are administrations which had certain authority
15 to carry out certain duties. That was the crime police administration,
16 the police administration, the traffic police administration, the
17 operations centre, the border police administration for foreigners and
18 administrative affairs, fire prevention, police administration, analysis
19 administration, information technology administration, communications
20 administration, administration for joint affairs of the ministry, and the
21 board and lodging administration.
22 Q. Mr. Spasic, can you tell us if the administration whose head you
23 were in 1998/1999 is listed here.
24 A. Yes, it is. That is under number 6, the fire prevention police
1 Q. Now that you mention that, can you please -- can we please have a
2 look at Article 19, which is page 17 in B/C/S and page 15 in the English
3 version. This is Article 19, the subtitle is the fire prevention police
4 administration. Does this article regulate the duties which are part of
5 the responsibility of the fire prevention police; and if so, can you tell
6 us what were these duties and tasks?
7 A. Yes, that is correct. This article defines the duties and the
8 authorities of the administration. The administration had the basic task
9 to improve fire prevention. And in the prevention, it dealt with the
10 problems of prevention work and the problems that fire-fighting units
11 faced in their work. The basic task of this administration was to
12 improve fire prevention by passing various rules, issuing instructions,
13 co-ordinating the work in the field, monitoring special productions such
14 as the production of gases, explosives. Then to issue regulations about
15 safe work in terms of fire prevention. So that was one of the aspects of
16 the administration's work. The other aspect was the control and
17 improvement of the work of fire-fighting units in the territory of the
18 Republic of Serbia
19 Q. In paragraph 2 of this article we can see that the administration
20 had some departments. Can you please tell us what this was. Please go
22 A. As I said, the administration dealt with two groups of work.
23 There were also two departments entrusted with jobs of that nature. One
24 department was the department for the promotion and monitoring of
25 fire-fighting activities, and the other department was the one for the
1 monitoring of the work of the fire-fighting units. These were the main
2 two task divisions actually in the administration.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Misic -- I'm sorry, Mr. Spasic. Who was your
4 immediate superior in 1998 and 1999?
5 A. During 1998 and 1999 my immediate superior was deputy --
6 assistant minister, Major-General Stojan Misic.
7 Q. Thank you. And now can we look at P263, which relates to your
8 answer given just now. This is in tab 2 in your binder. So, Mr. Spasic,
9 this is dispatch 650 of the 4th of June, 1997, sent by Minister Vlajko
10 Stojiljkovic. Can you briefly comment on this dispatch, please.
11 A. This dispatch signed by the minister, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, we are
12 being informed about some personnel decisions within the ministry,
13 stating that the acting chief of the public security sector would be
14 Lieutenant-General Vlastimir Djordjevic, the deputy -- assistant
15 ministers Petar Zekovic and Obrad Stevanovic were being appointed to
16 these jobs and the powers of certain assistant ministers were being
17 defined in order to deal with certain fields of work. Major-General
18 Rade Markovic is being appointed as the assistant minister in charge of
19 crime police; General Misic is being appointed as assistant minister for
20 the administrative affairs for foreigners, administrative and legal
21 affairs, and as well as fire prevention and communication affairs.
22 Q. Thank you. Sir, on the basis of this dispatch everyone was
23 informed about the people appointed to deal with fire-fighting duties
24 directly. But could you please tell us, who did you receive your orders
25 and instructions from in 1998 and 1999?
1 A. Pursuant to this dispatch I received my instructions from
2 Major-General Stojan Misic; however, some instructions I also received
3 directly from the minister. So I was in the position of having to carry
4 out certain instructions that I had received directly from the minister.
5 Q. The instructions that you received directly from the minister,
6 was General Misic consulted or informed about these instructions? Do you
7 know anything about that?
8 A. I don't think that he was informed about it. I think that this
9 was done without his knowledge, in view of the fact that while executing
10 those instructions many things were not known to him that directly had to
11 do with the things that I was instructed to do by the minister.
12 Q. And these instructions that you received from the minister, did
13 they have to do with your professional duties and the professional tasks
14 of your administration?
15 A. Yes, unfortunately in certain situations the minister issued
16 instructions that delved into the professional matters. So we had a lot
17 of problems that had to do with instructions that were not sufficiently
18 professionally grounded in terms of executing these assignments because
19 he considered himself to be a professional in all the fields relating to
20 security, including this very narrow specialised professional type of
22 Q. Are you aware of any reasons or any grounds based on which the
23 minister would consider himself to be competent in your professional area
24 which you consider to be highly specialised?
25 A. Yes. I do know the reason for that because when I started out in
1 the MUP in 1973, Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic was the chief of the
2 secretariat of internal affairs in Pozarevac, one of the organisational
3 units of the MUP. And he was at the head of that secretariat. After
4 that he was transferred -- he actually moved into political and economic
5 affairs. And on the basis of that, he considered himself to be competent
6 and a professional in all aspects of MUP work because he had been a chief
7 of a small secretariat and felt this was a qualification which would
8 allow him to declare himself a professional in many spheres and to issue
9 orders pertaining to those professional spheres.
10 Q. Mr. Spasic, for the purposes of the transcript could you please
11 repeat your answer about the specific areas the minister felt he was a
12 professional in.
13 A. For all areas that had to do with public security, including
14 traffic police work, fire-fighting, administrative affairs. He
15 considered himself to be an expert. Since he had once been a chief he
16 felt that he was competent in all these areas and that he could provide a
17 competent view relating to all areas of public security.
18 Q. Mr. Spasic, you talked about your personal experience, but where
19 is your information coming from about the experience of other
20 administration chiefs and heads of other administrations?
21 A. This type of work that I had the opportunity to see, to
22 experience, if I can put it that way, was something that other colleagues
23 also had the opportunity to see, to see this attitude. This is something
24 that we discussed amongst ourselves because often these would be orders
25 that were actually not justified from a professional expert point of
1 view. So this is something that we would discuss amongst ourselves, we
2 would discuss these problems. But we were forced to carry out the
3 minister's orders because he was our highest-ranking superior. I spoke
4 with my colleagues who were working on the same floor that I was working
5 on. These were my colleagues from the crime fighting police, such as
6 Dragan Ilic, who would often during the week speak with me. We would
7 spend time together, and then it would happen that during our
8 conversation there would be a call from the minister or he would be
9 receiving some orders from him over the telephone. So this manner of
10 work was something that not only I was familiar with, but all the other
11 superior officers were in the position to receive direct orders from the
12 minister and to be also accountable to the minister for the
13 implementation of those orders.
14 Q. Excuse me. Mr. Spasic, other than the topics that we spoke
15 about, how did the minister handle or manage the Ministry of the
17 A. There were different ways. There were documents, written
18 documents, that were issued, but his main manner or method of work was
19 through the collegium which would meet at regular intervals, for example,
20 every Monday or every Tuesday they would meet regularly. So that was one
21 of the ways of managing the ministry which was used not only by Minister
22 Vlajko Stojiljkovic, this was a method used by other ministers too. This
23 was one of the ways of managing the ministry by using the collegium.
24 Q. Could you explain the collegium as a management method of the
25 MUP, please.
1 A. The collegium functioned in such a way that corresponded to what
2 the minister wanted. When I came to the service in 1994, this was a
3 public security service collegium, and it was headed by the chief of the
4 public security administration. And all the chiefs of administrations
5 would participate in the collegium meeting. With the arrival of
6 Vlajko Stojiljkovic, the collegium -- he actually placed himself at the
7 head of the collegium and a different method or relationship came into
8 being. His method of work was different. Once he came, the collegium
9 became the collegium of the public security department.
10 Q. When we're talking about the collegium, I would like us to focus
11 primarily on the period which began when Mr. Vlajko Stojiljkovic was
12 appointed the minister of the interior, and I would like us to look at
13 that period from the point of time when he came to the head of the
14 ministry and then the period up to December 1998 and then the period
15 after December 1998. And I'm going to show you a document which will
16 indicate why I'm focusing on that period. But could you please explain
17 how the collegium started to operate from the point in time when
18 Mr. Vlajko Stojiljkovic became minister.
19 A. When Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic assumed his duties, the
20 collegium -- he personally would attend the collegium meetings, and it --
21 the sessions were opened as a rule by the chief of the public security
22 department. Then he would give the floor to the minister, who would then
23 give us a relatively brief report. He would give us an assessment of the
24 security situation, and then he would receive reports from the chiefs of
25 the administrations, which is what we would do. We would speak about the
1 work of the administrations, the problems that had occurred between two
2 collegium sessions. After that, reports would be submitted or would
3 report on matters of interest, the assistant ministers. And then the
4 minister would conclude the collegium session by issuing assignments for
5 the forthcoming period, which we were expected to include in our plan of
6 work and which we were supposed to implement.
7 Minutes were kept and the collegium was attended by a member of
8 the analysis administration. So after going through all the documents
9 which would be something that he was in charge of, we would be given the
10 minutes from that particular collegium session where the tasks issued by
11 the minister for the forthcoming period would also be stated.
12 Q. Mr. Spasic, can we go back to your previous answer because the
13 transcript does not reflect what you answered to me. I'm going to put
14 the question to you again. These are lines 8 and 9 on page 11. Can you
15 please tell me what happened -- or rather, what happened to the collegium
16 of the public security chief from the point in time when Minister Vlajko
17 Stojiljkovic assumed his duties as minister?
18 A. Well, there was a major difference. Before he arrived, the
19 collegiums were not attended by representatives of the state security
20 department. With the arrival of Vlajko Stojiljkovic, members --
21 actually, the chief of the State Security Service and his deputy,
22 Mr. Rade Markovic and Mr. Curcic also attended these collegium meetings.
23 This was a change in the work of the collegium because the state security
24 representatives, these two, would also attend this meeting of all the
25 chiefs of the public security service departments, because this was not
1 the case before. The work of the collegium did not include the
2 attendance by these two representatives.
3 Q. My question is the following. You did clarify that, but it's
4 represented a little bit differently in the transcript. So can you
5 please answer the following. Is it true that from the point in time
6 Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic came to the ministry as minister, there was
7 a collegium of the chiefs of the public security sector?
8 A. Yes, it did exist. The collegium existed. I don't know how to
9 call it. It was the -- not in the same composition to include members of
10 the State Security Service. We didn't call it the public security sector
11 collegium anymore. It became the collegium of the minister. This is
12 what we called it and it was attended by all the chiefs of the public
13 security sector and representatives of the state security sector. From
14 the point in time that Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic became minister, it
15 was no longer the collegium of the public security service.
16 Q. From the point in time when Vlajko Stojiljkovic came to head the
17 ministry, was there any other collegium in existence, other than the one
18 that you have just described to us?
19 A. I don't know of any other collegium.
20 Q. Thank you. I'm now going to ask to look at D208, please.
21 Mr. Spasic, this is the decision on the forming of the collegium
22 issued by the minister. The date is the 4th of December, 1998, and this
23 is the reason why I in my previous questions asked you about the period
24 up to the 4th of December, 1998, and now we're going to talk about the
25 period after the 4th of December, 1998. First of all, can you tell us,
1 looking at this decision, what the composition of the collegium was that
2 was established by the minister.
3 A. This decision names the members of the collegium, and this
4 decision was adopted after Mr. Radomir Markovic was promoted to the post
5 of chief of the public security department. And the decision refers to a
6 certain number of public security and a certain number of state security
7 officials as the collegium members. And we can see from the decision
8 that there was no assistant minister for crime fighting. This was when
9 Dragan Ilic was appointed as chief of the crime prevention and fighting
10 administration. The chief of the secretariat in Belgrade also
11 participated in the collegium. This ministerial collegium comprised
12 representatives from the public security sector and representatives from
13 the state security sector, with the proviso that it also included the
14 assistant ministers, except for Dragan Ilic who did not have that rank
15 but was in charge of crime-fighting affairs, because Rade Markovic who
16 was assistant minister for crime fighting was not replaced by anyone who
17 would then be in charge of that particular section.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Spasic. Just for the transcript, what was the
19 function that Mr. Radomir Markovic had?
20 A. Do you mean before or after the 4th of December?
21 Q. After the 4th of December.
22 A. He was the assistant minister, and he was chief of the state
23 security department, Radomir Markovic I mean.
24 Q. Thank you. Now I will ask you to have a look with me at page 2
25 of this document. And before I direct your attention to a specific
1 paragraph of this document, please tell me: Did you attend the meetings
2 of the collegium after the 4th of December, 1998?
3 A. I attended the meetings of the collegium because this decision
4 made it possible to invite other people to the collegium meetings, if
5 these people were invited by the minister. That was why I attended the
6 meetings of the collegium and participated in its work. By this
7 decision, it was envisaged that the minister could invite others who were
8 not personally listed in the decision.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Spasic. As you have given such answer, can we
10 please now look at the last page of this document, that is page 4. We
11 can see a paper that says collegium, list of collegium participants, and
12 certain persons are listed here. Can you please have a look at the list
13 of these persons and tell us whether these persons attended the meetings
14 of the collegium. Is there anyone who is left out, or is there any
15 person who is listed here but did not attend the meetings of the
17 A. As far as I remember, and as I'm looking at the list of the
18 participants of the collegium now, Miodrag Zavisic, who is listed here,
19 did not attend the meetings. As far as I remember, the others mostly did
20 attend the collegium. It was the regular composition of the collegium,
21 but as far as I remember, Zavisic did not participate in the work of the
23 Q. Please tell me whether chiefs of administrations of the state
24 security department attended the collegium meetings.
25 A. Chiefs of administrations of the state security department did
1 not attend the collegium meetings, except for the chief of the state
2 security departments. Chiefs of administrations and other organisational
3 units of the state security department did not participate in the work of
4 the collegium.
5 Q. Did the minister issue any tasks to the members of the state
6 security departments at the collegium meetings?
7 A. No. The minister did not give any tasks to representatives of
8 the state security departments at the collegium meetings.
9 Q. Thank you. Mr. Spasic, please tell me, were there any collegium
10 meetings during the NATO aggression, between the 24th of March until the
11 10th of -- until the 20th of June, 1999?
12 A. Yes. The collegium meetings were held during that time as well,
13 and those who were present varied. It depended who could be present or
14 not, but the meetings were held during the bombing campaign and the
15 aggression. The meetings were held in various locations where the seat
16 of the ministry was located at the moment, but the question was only
17 whether all the members of the collegium would be able to attend the
18 meetings because it depended on the locations where they were deployed at
19 the time. So the meetings were held with many difficulties because the
20 ministry, that is to say the seat of the ministry, was in various
21 locations. There were many problems because of that, but the collegium
22 was active.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what were the problems that the
24 collegium dealt with during 1998 and 1999 until the end of the NATO
1 A. The issues that the collegium dealt with were duties relating to
2 the public security, just like before. That was its responsibility
3 before the NATO aggression and so it was during the aggression, because
4 the life in the republic was continuing normally, or not normally, but it
5 simply continued. And all the problems that existed in the republic
6 before the beginning of the NATO aggression did not cease to exist. I
7 mean crime and everything else. That was why the collegium still dealt
8 with public security issues that it used to deal with before this period.
9 Q. Please tell me also whether you were informed at these meetings
10 about the general security situation in the republic; and if so, in what
12 A. Very briefly, there were no special analyses or statements. The
13 minister would give us a general assessment about the situation in the
14 republic and the security in just a few words, and that was all that was
15 discussed at the collegium -- or rather, we did not discuss it, but we
16 just received the minister's statement in the form that he thought was
17 sufficient for a particular meeting.
18 Q. Did you discuss planning and managing anti-terrorist operations
19 or actions in the territory of Kosovo
20 meetings held in 1998 and 1999?
21 A. No, we did not discuss this at the collegium meetings because it
22 was not an issue that we would address at the public security collegium
24 Q. Can you tell me whether you had a chance at these collegium
25 meetings at any time to learn about a report about planned or conducted
1 anti-terrorist operations that were carried out in the territory of
2 Kosovo and Metohija.
3 A. No. There was a statement by the minister that a staff had been
4 formed in Kosovo and that it would deal with problems that had to do with
5 the situation in Kosovo. So at the collegium of the public security
6 department, the collegium that I attended, we did not discuss any sort of
7 plans or anti-terrorist operations, or any other problems connected with
8 these operations.
9 Q. Now that you mention the staff, what sort of information did you
10 receive? What kind of staff was that and what did the minister tell you
11 about that?
12 A. The minister told us that in order to deal with the problems and
13 manage the duties in Kosovo, a staff had been set up, that it would
14 report to him; and that was the information that we had, that he would
15 deal with resolving problems that had to do with Kosovo. He said that it
16 was his decision to set up such a staff.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have a look at
19 Exhibit P57.
20 Q. Mr. Spasic, this is a decision to establish a ministerial staff
21 for the suppression of terrorism dated the 16th of June, 1998, and on the
22 last page of this decision we can see that it was made by Minister
23 Vlajko Stojiljkovic. I will ask you to go through this decision with me
24 quickly. As the minister informed you that the staff had been set up,
25 can you please look at the Roman numeral I. It says there:
1 "Head of staff Major-General Sreten Lukic."
2 Which department did Mr. Lukic belong to?
3 A. He was a member of the public security department.
4 Q. After him, deputy head of the staff is listed, Mr. David Gajic.
5 From which department was Mr. David Gajic?
6 A. Mr. Gajic was a member of the state security department.
7 Q. If you look, the fourth person listed, assistant head for special
8 operations, Milorad Lukovic. Can you tell me which department
9 Mr. Lukovic came from?
10 A. Mr. Lukovic was a member of the state security department. He
11 was the commander of the -- of a state security unit.
12 Q. Could the chief of the public security department issue any
13 orders to members of the state security department?
14 A. No. Such a possibility did not exist. Members of the public
15 security department could issue -- could not issue orders to members of
16 the state security department, nor could it happen the other way around.
17 That is to say that each department had its own scope of responsibilities
18 and could not issue orders to members of the other department.
19 Q. Who was the person that could issue orders to members of both
21 A. The only person who could make this decision and issue such
22 decisions was the minister, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, and that is visible
23 because he was the person who appointed the persons listed here. He
24 signed it and he was the only person within the ministry who had the
25 authority to issue orders to both departments.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you please have a look at page 2 of this
2 document, Roman numeral II, which mentions the task of the staff. And
3 can you tell us if this corresponds with the information that you
4 received from the minister or the information that you had.
5 A. This was the task that the staff received from the minister. We
6 did not have information about this nor were we involved in these kind of
7 duties. We did not know what it was. They were authorised by the
8 minister to organise the duties in the way in which the minister defined
9 it here, but we did not have the information.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you please look at the paragraph marked with the
11 Roman numeral III
12 report to?
13 A. As I said, the head of the staff reported to the person who
14 appointed him to this position. And according to this decision, he
15 reports personally to the minister. And he's responsible for his work or
16 the work of the staff directly to the minister.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Spasic. Could we please have a look at
18 Exhibit D434. Mr. Spasic, this is a summary from -- of the meeting held
19 in Belgrade
20 of secretariats in Belgrade
21 First of all, can you tell me how frequently were the meetings of the
22 minister with the chiefs of secretariats held and was this regular
24 A. It was the usual practice, and the meetings were held every three
25 months. The period between two meetings was three months. That was one
1 of the aspects of our work in which the chiefs of secretariats did
2 participate, so they were organised quarterly at the ministry.
3 Q. Tell me, did you attend such meetings?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What was discussed at such meetings?
6 A. The work during the last three months or since the previous
7 meetings was analysed at these meetings. The chiefs of administrations
8 would note the problems that the service had and which had to do with the
9 work of the secretariats. They would also issue instructions to the
10 chiefs of secretariats on how to overcome these problems. So it was an
11 overview of the work between the two collegium meetings, also an overview
12 of the results of the work and the problems that were noted in that
13 specific period which had an impact on the achievement of planned tasks.
14 So the chiefs of secretariats were alerted about all this.
15 Q. Mr. Spasic, were anti-terrorist activities of police forces in
16 the territory of Kosovo
17 at these meetings?
18 A. No. These meetings, as I said, served to analyse the work by
19 specific duties of the public security department, and there was no
20 analysis of the anti-terrorist operations. We discussed the regular
21 duties that had to do with public security and the problems which arose
22 during the discharging of these duties, particularly the problems that
23 were noted by administrations which co-ordinated the work of all
24 secretariats in the territory of the republic.
25 Q. Thank you. In connection with what you just told us, could we
1 please have a look at page 8 in the English version of this document,
2 that is to say in the B/C/S version; and page 6 in the English version of
3 this document. Mr. Spasic, this is quite a large document, but I will
4 direct your attention to the section that I managed to find in the
5 document and which treats information that has to do with the territory
6 of Kosovo and Metohija. So can you please have a look at paragraphs 3
7 and 4 and tell us very briefly, what is the data mentioned in these
9 A. I'm not sure what section you have in mind.
10 Q. Paragraphs 3 and 4, the paragraph which begins with:
11 "This year in the autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija ..."
12 and the following paragraph which begins with the words:
13 "Terrorist gangs of Albanian separatists..." et cetera.
14 A. I cannot find it.
15 Q. It's a document which is a summary of the minister's meeting with
16 the chief of the secretariats of the 16th of October. If you cannot find
17 it, look at the upper right-hand corner of the Serbian version and you
18 will find page 5. Have you found it?
19 A. So underneath the paragraph "poredne verdene" [phoen] in the
20 overall period. Is that it?
21 Q. In the upper right-hand corner you have the number 5, and the
22 paragraph begins:
23 "In this year in the region of AP Kosovo ..."
24 A. We're not able to find where that is.
25 Q. Well, we don't want to lose precious time, so we will skip that
1 and continue and perhaps we will come back to this later. I'm just going
2 to ask you to tell me this: This meeting and other meetings of that
3 kind, until the end of the NATO aggression, did it ever review any kind
4 of plans for combatting and suppressing terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija?
5 A. No, we never did. We mostly had statistical overviews of the
6 events from the sphere of public security. We didn't review any plans,
7 and we really did not deal with those matters at the collegiums. This
8 was an analysis of the work for the previous three months of the work
9 relating to public security, and I have found the paragraph now.
10 Q. Regardless of that, let us just carry on. Let us look at D258,
12 A. 258.
13 Q. That's right. This is telegram number 595 of the 22nd of March,
14 1999, which you sent. Do you have that document in front of you?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Can you please tell me, who did you send this telegram to and
17 what does it say?
18 A. As you can see from the heading, the telegram was sent to all the
19 secretariats, and it has to do with the preparations of the service for
20 -- this was an additional instruction because we were asking the fire
21 prevention police administration to bring their work up to full alert and
22 what was even more important for us was to prepare all of our resources
23 for the possibility of supplying the population with drinking water.
24 Because our equipment is not suitable for use and transport of drinking
25 water, we asked our cisterns, a certain number of our cisterns, to be
1 chemically treated in such a way that they could then be used to carry
2 drinking water. And this is because we were expecting destruction which
3 would require certain types of equipment in order to clear the debris.
4 Then it was necessary to make sure our equipment was in full working
5 order, and also we would need to use fire-fighting equipment from other
6 facilities and companies that had such equipment so that this equipment
7 could be used when needed. Thus, this is an instruction for the service
8 to prepare for the possible use of equipment that we didn't have but that
9 would be essential for our action in clearing the debris and providing
10 assistance to the population.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Spasic. For the purposes of the transcript, can
12 you please tell us why was the telegram sent in the first place,
13 preparations for what?
14 A. For alleviating the consequences of the NATO bombing, which was
15 expected on the basis of the developments that were occurring.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Spasic. Did you ever go to Kosovo in the period
17 of 1998 and 1999?
18 A. No, I never went there because there was no need for me to go. I
19 had a lot of things to do to organise and prepare the whole service
20 throughout the whole territory of the republic. So at that time I did
21 not go to Kosovo. I didn't even go to the other parts of the republic
22 because there were so many things that we had to do to prepare our
23 equipment. As I said, we had a lot of difficulties because this period
24 was preceded by the period of the embargo when we were not able to
25 procure many things that would have been of assistance to the citizens
1 once the bombing did occur, and this is why we had to invest the utmost
2 effort to bring the service up to scratch in order to be able to work to
3 its best possible potential after and during the NATO bombing.
4 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, did you and your administration
5 participate in any kind of anti-terrorist actions or preparations in the
6 territory of Kosovo during 1998 or 1999?
7 A. No. My force did not participate in any kind of action of that
9 Q. Can you please tell us what your activities were once the
10 aggression began on the 24th of March, 1999.
11 A. By its very nature, the service that I was at the head of meant
12 that we were very busy, working hard, in the period when the aggression
13 on our country began. All the operations by the NATO air force were
14 carried out during the night, and because my service had an extremely
15 complex assignment to protect the citizens, the lives of citizens, from
16 the consequences of the NATO bombing, it was our duty to monitor the
17 events. So from the beginning of the bombing until the end, for that
18 period, I spent every night up all night in the headquarters following
19 what was going on throughout the territory of the republic.
20 Q. Did you go to the places where the seat of the Ministry of
21 Internal Affairs had been located?
22 A. Always. I would always be in those locations because I was one
23 of the members of the leadership who spent that entire
24 two-and-a-half-month period working throughout the whole time that the
25 NATO bombing lasted.
1 Q. Can you please tell us all the locations where the relocated MUP
2 ministry was during the NATO bombing campaign.
3 A. Because of the danger of bombing, we would periodically move the
4 headquarters. The first headquarters was located at our sports centre in
5 Makis, then we moved can be then we moved to Studenci Trg square. From
6 there we moved the headquarters to the Partizanski Put company's hostel.
7 After that we went to an elementary school in the Crveni Krst
8 neighbourhood. And after that the last location of the HQ where we spent
9 the longest was at the premises of the Komercijalna Bank in Lola Ivo
10 Ribar Street
11 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us who was with you at all of
12 those places?
13 A. The chief of the department was with me as well as our
14 colleagues, generals, assistant ministers. I was there every day, every
15 night, and they would switch according to an established rota for the
16 shifts. And during the day they were at the HQ. As I said, I was there
17 every day, and the chief of the department was with me there every day.
18 Q. Was the minister there with you?
19 A. Yes, he was. But he didn't spend his whole time there. He would
20 come and go. The government was working. They had their own work. He
21 would come and he spent quite a lot of time with us.
22 Q. When we're talking about all of these places where you were
23 during the NATO bombing campaign, I'm primarily interested in the way
24 your work was organised in all of those places where you were, how many
25 premises did you have, how was the work organised, how many people were
1 there at all times. Can you answer that?
2 A. Well, the space was quite confined. There was one main room
3 where I sat with the assistants and the chief of the department, and
4 there was also the room used by the minister. I failed to mention the
5 chamber of commerce of Serbia
6 a lot of time as well, the HQ.
7 Q. Can you please tell me what your role was as the duty officer and
8 who did you maintain contact with?
9 A. As the duty officer, it was my duty to keep in touch with all the
10 secretariats -- actually, it was their job to keep in touch with me and
11 to pass on information about the NATO bombing, the number of the
12 projectiles spent, the facilities damaged, and to actually inform me
13 about that after the action was completed.
14 Q. Did you communicate with the members of your administration
15 throughout the whole territory of the republic?
16 A. For a time, yes. At the beginning while this was possible, to
17 maintain telephone contacts with the secretariats in Kosovo and Metohija,
18 yes. After the lines were cut, we kept in touch with the secretariats in
19 the territory of Serbia
20 receive information about the events in Kosovo through this secretariat
21 in Pristina. The other secretariats had direct contact with us.
22 Q. What sort of communications did you have at your disposal as the
23 duty operations officer?
24 A. I had telephone communications and each time our HQ was
25 relocated, the signals administration or department would set up the
1 communications that we would be using. And then there were also some
2 messengers that we used when we were unable to use regular telephone
3 communications, but we would be immediately informed about events by
4 telephone except for the things that were happening in Kosovo. Because
5 from the point of time when communications were severed because of the
6 bombing, we lost communication with the secretariats in Kosovo and our
7 only communication proceeded through the Pristina secretariat.
8 Q. Can you please tell me, did anyone else have telephone
9 communications at their disposal other than yourself at all of these
10 locations where the HQ was?
11 A. Other than this room where we were on duty, and we had the
12 telephone communications there, the minister also would have his own
13 separate area where he sat and he also had telephone communications at
14 his disposal so that he could communicate with people without us having
15 any information or insight into that.
16 Q. Thank you. The information about the consequences of the NATO
17 forces bombing, was that the only information you received as the duty
18 operations officer?
19 A. I would only receive information about the effects of the
20 bombing, also about the number of casualties, the number of projectiles.
21 This was the only kind of information that I was receiving.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you make reports on the basis of this information
23 that you received; and if you did, who did you send the reports to?
24 A. The NATO forces attacks were carried out according to a certain
25 rhythm. They would begin in the evening. The actions for the most part
1 lasted until morning, and after 6.00 a.m. they would stop. I and my
2 colleague who was on the duty shift with me as well as our colleagues
3 from the analysis department, we would all draft a report that was
4 supposed to have been finished sometime by 7.00 a.m. Then we would send
5 this report to the minister, we would send it to the prime minister, and
6 we would send it to the president of the republic.
7 Q. Just to clarify, who was the prime minister and who was the
8 president of the republic at the time?
9 A. The prime minister was Mr. Mirko Marjanovic, and the president of
10 the republic was Mr. Milutinovic.
11 Q. Mr. Spasic, I will show you two documents now and ask you to go
12 through them as quickly as possible. First it's D008-5990.
13 This is an Official Note dated the 30th of March, 1999, from the
14 Pristina secretariat, which talks about the bombing of the SUP building
15 in Pristina and the fact that it burned, together with the inventory and
16 the documents that were in the building. My question for you is if
17 you're familiar with this and if members of your department participated
18 in alleviating the consequences of this incident.
19 A. I am familiar with this. Members of the service that I managed
20 did intervene in order to alleviate the consequences, but when I see the
21 report now it's an Official Note compiled by the people who conducted the
22 on-site investigation after the NATO forces attack. And why I remember
23 this report is because special connections that we had with Pristina were
24 destroyed on this occasion and we could not communicate by these special
25 phones as we call them.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I would tender this document into
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00927, Your Honours.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please see
7 Exhibit D010-0317.
8 Q. Mr. Spasic, this is a dispatch number 3024, if I'm not mistaken,
9 dated the 3rd of April, 1999, which talks about the bombing of buildings
10 of the federal and republican Ministry of the Interior in Kneza Milosa
11 Street in Belgrade
12 Strahinja Petrovic. I wonder if you're familiar with any of the details
13 about incident, and if so, what. But please be as brief as possible.
14 A. I'm absolutely familiar with this incident, because immediately
15 after the NATO air force attack on our building I went to the site, and I
16 managed the operation to extinguish the fire. The chief of the
17 department and myself came to the site immediately. I co-ordinated the
18 work, and as this was a huge fire, because incendiary ordnance was used
19 in this attack, quite a lot of forces that we had in Belgrade
20 participated in extinguishing this particular fire. We also used the
21 assistance of the public utilities company, which helped us with water
22 cisterns, and we used the assistance of military fire-fighting units.
23 The fire was big on two facilities of special interest, and three members
24 of the fire-fighting department were injured, not seriously. They were
25 released from hospital quickly. But we came to the site very quickly,
1 the chief of the department and myself. And the minister and other
2 top-ranking officials came there very quickly as well. But as I said,
3 the fire spread across a big part of the building and destroyed a lot of
4 materiel and documents which were stored in the SUP building. Incendiary
5 bombs fell on the republican SUP
6 building was attacked by destructive bombs. So it was destroyed because
7 it toppled, whereas the building of the republican SUP burned. That was
8 why we had to engage very strong forces to extinguish the fire in this
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Spasic.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would tender this
12 document into evidence.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00928, Your Honours.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please see
16 Exhibit D254.
17 Q. Mr. Spasic, it is a dispatch number 10 --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters could not catch the number and
19 the date.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Can you see this dispatch in front of you.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The date is the 4th of May, 1999, that's the right dispatch. Can
24 you please tell me if you're familiar with this dispatch.
25 A. Yes, I am because together with the chief of the department I
1 prepared it for the ground, and I sent it when it was signed by him.
2 Q. Thank you. What I'm particularly interested in the dispatch is
3 on page 2 in both versions. That's paragraph 3 in the Serbian version,
4 which says:
5 "If it is assessed that -- if there is information or assessment
6 that the aggressor could attack again, organise interventions so that
7 those who will participate in extinguishing the fire and the equipment
8 would not be in jeopardy, but they should be close to the site and ready
9 for intervention."
10 Can you tell us, what was the reason for this instruction?
11 A. At the very beginning of the NATO attacks, the minister requested
12 that in certain facilities such as the building of the republican SUP, I
13 should deploy forces so that there would be -- right there at the site.
14 I did not do that, and I suffered certain consequences afterwards. But
15 it turned out that that was justified, I mean not to send the forces to
16 the very location that was expected to be a target of the bombing. And
17 this dispatch is a consequence of the attack on the federal Ministry of
18 Defence when our employees started the intervention at the request of the
19 minister. And then there was another attack and 12 firefighters were
20 seriously injured on that occasion, four vehicles were destroyed. And
21 therefore, in agreement with the chief of the department, I prepared this
22 dispatch and he sent it out to our organisational units. He said there
23 that people and equipment should be saved and that they should only
24 intervene when they were certain that there -- the conditions were good
25 for a safe intervention. Because as I said, 12 people were seriously
1 injured and four vehicles were completely destroyed because there was a
2 repeated attack after the intervention had started, because the NATO
3 attack had not stopped, and the lives of our men were threatened because
4 of that.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please look at
7 Exhibit D008-6697.
8 Q. Mr. Spasic, just briefly, this is an overview of the attacks
9 carried out by the NATO Pact in the period between the 24th of March and
10 the 2nd of May, 1999. Roads are mentioned. Can you tell me if you're
11 familiar with this document.
12 A. Yes, I am.
13 Q. Was this document drawn up on the basis of information which you
14 received as the duty officer at the minister HQ?
15 A. This is an amalgamated document which lists all the incidents
16 that we registered in the reports that we were receiving from the ground
17 in this period, and it corresponds with the reports which I was receiving
18 in this period on a daily basis.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Spasic.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would tender this
21 document into evidence.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00929, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Popovic?
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would ask to have
1 the break now and I would need just a short period after the break with a
2 few questions for this witness so that I ensure that my learned friends
3 from the OTP have sufficient time for the cross-examination.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much for that, Mr. Popovic.
5 Mr. Spasic, we have a break now for technical reasons, and it
6 will also give you an opportunity to rest for a little while. We resume
7 in one half an hour, that is in a half-hour from now, just after 11.00.
8 If you could be ready, we will continue at that time and Mr. Popovic will
9 continue with his questions.
10 We now adjourn.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. I see you're ready, Mr. Spasic, and
14 Mr. Popovic will now continue.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Spasic, we will continue. Can we please look at
17 Exhibit D011-5115. Mr. Spasic, that is the last document in your binder.
18 The title of the document is the overview of the attacks of the NATO
20 of June, 1999. First of all, are you familiar with this document and can
21 we see the following page, please. Could you please look at the next
22 page. Are you familiar with this document?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. If we look at the next page, we can see in the columns the time,
25 place, the facility, number of projectiles, the consequences and the
1 intervention. These are the headings of the columns. Is this the type
2 of information that you received from the members of your administration
3 as the duty operations officer at the relocated ministry HQ?
4 A. Yes, I did receive all this information because in dealing with
5 the consequences of these events, the members of the service that I was
6 at the head of were involved and I received all this information. This
7 is the information relevant for that mentioned period. If you look at
8 the last column, interventions, you can see that team 93 participated in
9 each of those interventions, and that is actually the service of which I
10 was chief.
11 Q. In order to confirm what you are saying, I would just like to ask
12 to look at page 18 in the B/C/S and page 8 in the English. This is an
13 overview of the NATO Pact attacks on the territory of the Republic of
15 We are looking at this document on our monitor. Sir, have you managed to
16 find it in your binder?
17 A. Yes, from the 3rd, 4th, to the 5th.
18 Q. No, from the 2nd of April, 1445 hours, until the 4th of April at
19 0510 hours -- the 3rd of April.
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. Can you look at column 30050, Belgrade, the building of the
22 republican MUP, major materiel damage, two firefighters injured during
23 their intervention. Is this what we were talking about earlier and is
24 that the type of information that you were receiving?
25 A. Yes, that is true. It's just that I think that there were more
1 projectiles -- actually, there were three projectiles which hit the
2 building of the republican SUP
3 federal SUP
4 because after the actual strike I was there together with the chief of
5 the department. And so we already knew what this was about even without
6 this report.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
8 tender this document, please.
9 JUDGE PARKER: This is a different document, is it, Mr. Popovic,
10 from the one we received just before the break? Yes.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, precisely. The
12 document that we looked at before the break had to do with the
13 communications, rail traffic, road traffic, and roads. And this refers
14 to the events on the territory of the whole republic during the NATO
15 bombing campaign, and the strikes are referred to here. So it contains a
16 little bit more detailed information than the document that we looked at
17 before the break.
18 JUDGE PARKER: This will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00930, Your Honour.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Spasic, did you see General Djordjevic in the course of 1999
22 in the period from the beginning of the NATO aggression, the 24th of
23 March, until the withdrawal of the forces from Kosovo and Metohija, which
24 was on the 10th of June, 1999?
25 A. I pointed out already several times that I saw him on a daily
1 basis. Perhaps once or twice for different reasons also, but I would see
2 him every day because every evening we would sit and decide who would be
3 on duty with me, who would be assisting me in my work during the night.
4 So this was a daily contact that we had. I think once or twice, if I can
5 remember correctly, that I did not see him, perhaps one or two days I did
6 not see him. Otherwise, our contact was every day because the two of us
7 would make the schedule of those who would be working during the day to
8 compile the information that was arriving from the field.
9 Q. When you say that you saw him every day, can you tell us where
10 you saw him, where was it that you saw him every day?
11 A. We saw each other at all the locations where the HQ was located,
12 wherever it was that the HQ was operating from he would be in the same
13 operations room that I was in. This applied to all the locations that I
14 referred to where the staff was located during the NATO bombing campaign.
15 Q. Which town are we talking about?
16 A. Belgrade
17 that whole period and he was right there with me, at the same location
18 where the HQ of the ministry was.
19 Q. Can you please tell me, did you go out to the actual sites of the
20 NATO bombing attacks where the bombing strikes occurred during the
21 bombing -- NATO bombing campaign?
22 A. Of course. We very often went to the sites, especially if
23 special, important facilities were involved or facilities where there
24 were victims or civilian buildings where it was necessary to organise an
25 effective protection for the endangered civilians, perhaps next to the
1 republican and the federal MUP buildings. For example, we would go
2 together with General Vlastimir Djordjevic to the secretariat for
3 National Defence, that ministry; then we would go together where the
4 maternity clinic of the Dragisa Misovic hospital was struck where there
5 were some casualties too, and where the small children and the women who
6 were there were in danger. Then we also went to the gynaecology clinic,
7 where we had to take measures in order to protect the women there because
8 that hospital building is quite close to the republican SUP building. So
9 the secondary activities which were a consequence of the strikes at the
11 General Djordjevic and I went there to see that maternity clinic, to
12 determine the degree of danger, and to devise measures in order to help
13 the victims, the patients.
14 Q. Sir, during the NATO bombing campaign, since you were at the HQ
15 of the MUP that was relocated, what was the main preoccupation of the
16 chief of the department, and generally the main preoccupation of the
17 public security department chief during the NATO bombing campaign?
18 A. Their main preoccupation and their focus of interest, both of the
19 chief of the department and myself and all the other chiefs of
20 departments, was to help the threatened population because the attacks
21 were quite barbaric, conducted with rocket ordnance and missiles. So
22 there was no way to help the population in any other way, except to
23 organise direct evacuation and to organise conditions for them to
24 condition with their lives, to help them. So that was one of the main
25 activities that the chief of the department was dealing with other than
1 his regular duties, that I was really not knowledgeable about. By the
2 very nature of his post, he was the one in charge of dealing with the
3 effects of the bombing campaign, and together with him because he was my
4 superior and had greater authorities, together with him we would take
5 measures to help the endangered population that had found itself in that
7 Q. Thank you. For the purposes of the transcript, line 18 should
8 state administration instead of department. That's the first word.
9 Mr. Spasic, when you talked about the locations where the MUP HQ
10 was, can you please tell me whether General Djordjevic had a separate
11 office, an office of his own in those places.
12 A. No, he did not because it wasn't possible to provide him with
13 that. It was not possible to have separate offices. There was just one
14 central, main room where all the activities were being organised and
15 executed. It was an HQ. And the only isolated area was the area
16 allocated to the minister.
17 Q. Can you please tell us whether Mr. Djordjevic had his own
18 telephone line, separate telephone line?
19 A. No, he didn't. Nobody had a separate telephone line except the
20 minister. We all used the same telephone line which was installed in the
21 operations room where we were on duty.
22 Q. And can you please tell me, when you were there were you ever
23 present when Mr. Djordjevic spoke with the HQ for the suppression of
24 terrorist activities in Kosovo and General Lukic?
25 A. I can state with quite a high degree of certainty that he did not
1 because I would be the first one to pick up the phone and I never
2 responded -- picked up the phone when General Lukic would be at the other
3 end. So during the time that I was present - and that was for most of
4 the day every day - I can say that they did not have contact together, at
5 least not when I was there. It would be quite probable that if they were
6 having regular contact, I would have picked up the phone at least once
7 when that occurred. And as far as I know, this did not happen.
8 Q. Mr. Spasic, what was your impression, what was the relationship
9 between General Djordjevic and the minister of the interior,
10 Mr. Vlajko Stojiljkovic?
11 A. It's my impression -- and not just my impression, it was evident
12 that their relations were quite cool.
13 Q. Thank you. And at the end, did you ever in the course of 1998 or
14 1999 hear that there was any kind of plan or agreement in the Ministry of
15 the Interior, whereby the Albanian population in Kosovo would be expelled
16 from Kosovo?
17 A. I never saw or heard anything like that, and I don't think that
18 such a plan existed because this is something that I would have known for
19 sure. As an argument for this assertion of mine that such a plan did not
20 exist, I can say that in the service that I was heading there were many
21 Albanians in a lot of these places. And had there been any tendencies or
22 aspirations to eliminate them, definitely this would have happened in my
23 service as well because they occupied some pretty high-ranking positions.
24 So they would have been removed from my service as well. I am sure that
25 there were no such plans present in the ministry that I knew about. I
1 didn't know of any.
2 Q. When you're talking about members of the Albanian ethnic minority
3 who were employed in your administration, could you please tell us which
4 posts there were, and what are the people that you're talking about.
5 A. I'm talking about the commander of the firefighters' unit in Pec,
6 he was an Albanian. The chief of the division in -- of the fire-fighting
7 division in Prizren was also an Albanian. In Pristina there were several
8 department commanders who were Albanians and who worked together the
9 whole time. So I think that there was no location in Kosovo where my
10 service was active without having Albanians as part of the staff. There
11 were no differences or divisions as far as employment was concerned. And
12 stating this with full responsibility. They had equal status with all
13 the other members of the service.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you ever see in the course of 1998 or 1999 that
15 there was any kind of plan or agreement within the Ministry of Internal
16 Affairs which would seek to change the ethnic structure in Kosovo by
17 expelling the Albanian minority population from Kosovo?
18 A. I never heard of such a plan and such a plan was never reviewed
19 in our department when I was present.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Spasic.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am now ending my
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Popovic.
24 Ms. -- yes, Ms. Gopalan.
25 There will be some questions for you now, Mr. Spasic, by
1 Ms. Gopalan.
2 Cross-examination by Ms. Gopalan:
3 Q. Mr. Spasic, you said today that the minister did not give any
4 tasks to representatives of the RDB at the collegium. Now, these were
5 the head of the RDB, Rade Markovic; and his deputy, Mr. Curcic. Now, do
6 you recall saying that, that the minister didn't issue tasks to reps of
7 the RDB at the collegiums?
8 A. Yes, I do. He did not issue any assignments to representatives
9 of the RDB.
10 Q. Are you then suggesting that the minister had no authority to
11 issue tasks to RDB representatives?
12 A. I didn't say that because I already pointed out that the minister
13 was superior, both to the public security and the state security
14 department. But the specific nature of the duties of those two
15 departments were not compatible in order to be able to issue orders at a
16 meeting like this to the state security department. I assume that the
17 minister -- actually, the minister probably did issue assignments to them
18 at other types of meetings which would not be reviewed at the collegium.
19 The topic of review at the collegium would be matters relating to public
20 security. So for that reason, he would be issuing orders only to us, not
21 to them, because this collegium dealt with public security matters in the
23 Q. Sir, so you're saying that because the collegium dealt with
24 matters of public security, the minister was not able to issue tasks to
25 the members of the RDB?
1 A. I didn't say that he was not able to, but that he didn't have any
2 need to do that at these particular meetings because those assignments
3 had nothing to do with the type of public security jobs that we were
4 performing, that we were executing, and that we were responsible for.
5 Q. Now, sir, do you recall saying that the minister set up the MUP
6 staff because he was the only one with authority to issue orders to the
7 RDB and the RJB?
8 A. Yes. By law the minister was the person officially in charge of
9 both those departments, and he would be the only one who could issue
10 documents of that nature which would be applied in both the departments.
11 He did have that authority as minister.
12 Q. Now, sir, could you then explain what seems to be a contradiction
13 to me. Now, you say that by law the minister was officially in charge of
14 both departments, but you say that he was only able to issue orders in
15 the context of the MUP staff but not to members of the MUP collegium who
16 were RDB members. Why is that?
17 A. I didn't say that. I did not say that in that way, that he was
18 the only one who could issue that. I mean, they were responsible to him,
19 but I did not say that in this particular way that you said it. I was
20 not interpreted correctly if it came out that way. I did not say that.
21 The minister could issue orders to both of the departments, but when we
22 were having that meeting, the collegium meeting, this was a collegium
23 which reviewed the work problems from the public security service sphere.
24 Q. Sir, you also said that it was the minister's decision to set up
25 the MUP staff. Do you remember saying that?
1 A. Yes, the minister issued a decision to form the staff, yes.
2 Q. Now, sir, do you know that prior to the minister's decision,
3 Mr. Djordjevic had also issued a decision to set up -- or establish the
4 MUP staff?
5 A. As far as I know, Mr. Djordjevic, the chief of the department,
6 did not make a decision on the forming of the MUP staff. I think that
7 that was the staff of the public security department, which he was
8 authorised to do and that he was in charge of. And he was authorised to
9 issue that kind of decision. I didn't see the document, but I know that
10 the chief of the department did issue a decision on the forming of the
11 staff of the public security staff, not the MUP staff. MUP would
12 encompass both of these departments.
13 Q. Sir, the public security department is also part of the MUP;
15 A. I pointed out that the MUP comprises two departments: The public
16 security department and the state security department. Mr. Djordjevic
17 was authorised to issue orders which were valid for the members of the
18 public security department. And a decision which he made to set up a
19 staff implied members of the public security department who were supposed
20 to discharge duties from the remit of work of the public security
22 Q. And do you know that in appointing and setting up this staff,
23 Mr. Djordjevic also appointed Mr. Lukic as the head of the MUP staff?
24 A. I don't know. I have not seen that decision, but if that is what
25 the decision says, Mr. Djordjevic had the right -- I'm not sure, who do
1 you mean he appointed as the head of the staff? Could you please repeat
3 Q. Yes. I said Mr. Lukic was appointed as head of the MUP staff by
4 Mr. Djordjevic.
5 A. Mr. Lukic is a member of the public security department. He was
6 an assistant in the city secretariat of the interior, and as a member of
7 the public security department he could have been appointed as head of
8 the staff by Mr. Djordjevic.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Gopalan, just to ensure that my understanding
10 is correct and the transcript can be understood correctly, when you refer
11 to the MUP staff are you referring to that staff established essentially
12 in Pristina dealing with anti-terrorist activities?
13 MS. GOPALAN: That's correct, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
15 Mr. Popovic.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it seems to me that
17 everything was clear until you asked this question just now. I would
18 kindly ask Ms. Gopalan to be specific as to the staff which she has in
19 mind and to mention the date when it was set up, because it was not the
20 staff for the prevention of terrorist activities which Mr. Djordjevic set
21 up. There was no such staff.
22 JUDGE PARKER: That is one of those issues which I'm sure we will
23 hear much about, Mr. Popovic. But as I understand, there were decisions
24 approximately a week apart in June of 1998. Are we on the right track?
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
2 MS. GOPALAN:
3 Q. Now, sir, having regard to what we have discussed so far in
4 relation to this MUP staff, you would agree with me then when you said
5 that it was the minister's decision to set up this MUP staff, this was
6 not an entirely accurate statement?
7 Sir, did you hear the question?
8 A. It was a question for me?
9 Q. Yes. Would you like me to repeat it?
10 A. Yes, please.
11 Q. Now, sir, we've discussed Mr. Djordjevic's involvement in setting
12 up a MUP staff. Now, having had this discussion, you would agree with
13 me, then, that when you said the minister made the decision to set up the
14 MUP staff, this statement was not entirely accurate?
15 A. I repeat, the minister issued a decision to set up the MUP staff.
16 If you have a look at the personnel, the staff included representatives
17 of both public and state security departments, and only the minister
18 could do that. Mr. Djordjevic could not have set up such a staff. It
19 was only the minister who could set it up because the staff included the
20 representatives from both departments.
21 Q. We'll leave that for now, sir. Now, in 1998 would you agree with
22 me that the situation -- the security situation in Kosovo was a complex
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And in 1999 the security situation in Kosovo was also complex;
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In fact, Kosovo was in the forefront of the NATO attacks;
5 A. I would not agree with that. According to the data that we have,
6 the entire republic was exposed to NATO attacks. It was not that Kosovo
7 was at the forefront. If you analyse the information that we received
8 from the ground, the picture that we get about the attacks is that they
9 were equally distributed throughout the republic.
10 Q. So Kosovo was also a victim, so to speak, of the NATO attacks?
11 A. The statistics that we kept and judging by the incidents in
12 Kosovo, yes, Kosovo suffered as well.
13 Q. Now, the security situation in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999 was within
14 the remit of responsibility of the public security department; correct?
15 A. It was within the remit of work of the Ministry of the Interior.
16 I could not say who particularly was responsible because the
17 responsibility was not defined in such a way that the public security
18 department was in charge of the security situation in Kosovo. It was
19 part of the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior. It was
20 responsible for the security situation in the whole republic.
21 Q. Sir, do you know that the RJB was responsible for sending
22 policemen to Kosovo to deal with the security situation?
23 A. The public security department was responsible for sending
24 policemen and organising police service in the entire republic, not just
25 in Kosovo. So as it sent policemen to Kosovo, it sent them and deployed
1 them in other areas of the republic. It was responsible for the
2 operation of police in other parts of the republic, not just in Kosovo.
3 Q. Now, just focusing on Kosovo, do you know that around 14.000 MUP
4 personnel were sent to Kosovo by the RJB?
5 A. I'm not familiar with this information. As I was doing very
6 specific segment of work and I was not in touch with the organisation of
7 the police service, I cannot talk about these numbers because that was
8 not part of my remit of work. I did not have such information, and I was
9 not interested in information relating to the part of service that had
10 nothing to do with me. I was facing numerous problems, and I had a lot
11 to do that had to do with the security of the citizens of Serbia
12 did not have enough time to take into account all the numbers, and I am
13 not familiar with these particular figures.
14 Q. Now, sir, a question about the MUP collegiums. Now, you would
15 agree with me that apart from the Minister Stojiljkovic, the assistant
16 ministers, so Mr. Markovic, for example, and Mr. Djordjevic, were very
17 high-ranking MUP members who attended the collegiums.
18 A. It is a fact that is not in dispute.
19 Q. Sir, you have said that anti-terrorist operations were not
20 discussed during MUP collegiums; do you recall that?
21 A. Yes. That's what I said, and I stand by that.
22 Q. Now, sir, I've already given you the number of units that were
23 involved at ground level in Kosovo. Now, do you know that the MUP
24 collegium also dealt with requests for replenishing units in Kosovo?
25 A. The MUP collegium did not deal with the number of units or the
1 number of the members of units that were sent to Kosovo. At the MUP
2 collegium meetings we discussed the logistics necessary to discharge
3 these duties, and that was the necessary equipment, accommodation,
4 transportation, and everything else. But as for these numbers, that was
5 not discussed at the collegium meetings.
6 Q. And you also discussed the requests for troop rotations at these
7 meetings, didn't you?
8 A. I do not know that that was discussed, and this is a statement
9 that I cannot confirm.
10 Q. Well, we've heard testimony in this courtroom that this was a
11 matter that was discussed during MUP collegiums. Now, having regard to
12 these matters that were discussed in the collegium that you say, the
13 logistics, the necessary equipment that had to be sent, do you also know
14 that these issues were permanently on the agenda of the MUP collegium in
15 order to monitor the situation in Kosovo?
16 A. I never said that that was on the agenda. I'm not sure where you
17 received this information, that this was on the agenda regularly. I
18 don't remember it. We did not receive such information and especially
19 not regularly.
20 Q. Sir, we have heard testimony from Mr. Misic, so your direct
21 superior, that questions relating to logistical requests, the
22 reinforcement and engagement of units, were constantly on the agenda
23 because there was no other way for us to monitor the current situation in
24 Kosmet. This is at T14087 for my learned counsel's reference.
25 Now, what I'd like to know is: Do you remember these matters
1 being discussed?
2 A. I repeat, I do not remember this, and it was not something I was
3 interested in.
4 Q. Sir --
5 A. In my work-plan, I did not have anything connected with this. I
6 don't remember it. This is the first time I hear that these figures and
7 the fact that they were discussed. Because I wish to note also that that
8 was 12 years ago, and for me to remember something that happened 12 years
9 ago, particularly figures, especially as I'm convinced that I would
10 remember at least some of it, I don't remember that this was discussed at
12 Q. Sir, you started off by saying that anti-terrorist operations
13 were not discussed during MUP collegiums. Now, I've given you some
14 examples of matters relating to anti-terrorist operations that were
15 discussed in the MUP collegium. Now, is it your testimony that you had
16 this information in terms of the logistics of the units on the ground but
17 no one spoke about what these units were actually doing during these
18 collegiums, that you didn't discuss the security operations in Kosovo.
19 Is that your testimony?
20 A. I declare that there was no discussion about any anti-terrorist
21 activities at the collegium meetings. And as for logistics, that was
22 normal because it was necessary to justify the costs and to state what
23 they were. But as for the anti-terrorist activities themselves, I assert
24 that that was not discussed at all at the collegium meetings because the
25 composition of the collegium was such that it was very varied, both in
1 professional terms and in terms of the problems that it could deal with,
2 so that there was no discussion of anti-terrorist activities. That's
3 what I repeat. And at least I'm not aware of that. If somebody else was
4 present when it was discussed -- though I think I attended all the
5 collegium meetings, and I think that there was never any discussion of
6 such anti-terrorist activities.
7 Q. Now, sir, we've already spoken about the composition of the
8 collegium, and you've said that there was no dispute about the fact that
9 a number of the collegium members were extremely high-ranking members of
10 the MUP. Now, sir, we have a very complex security situation, a very
11 serious situation. We have high-ranking members of the police meeting to
12 discuss the logistics relating to the security situation. But your
13 testimony is that these high-ranking MUP officials failed to discuss any
14 matter relating to what these MUP units did in Kosovo. You were just
15 interested in the cost implications of sending troops to Kosovo. Is that
16 your testimony?
17 A. I'm saying what I know about the whole situation. There was no
18 discussion about anti-terrorist activities at these MUP meetings. I
19 think that professionally speaking this is not done in plenary session,
20 which are attended by other representatives of services that have nothing
21 to do with such areas of work. This is why I still assert that I was not
22 present at the collegium meetings where such issues were discussed. They
23 were not discussed at the collegium meetings that I attended.
24 Q. Sir, of the collegium meetings that were held, how many did you
25 actually attend?
1 A. All the meetings that were held on Mondays or Tuesdays that I was
2 invited to attend by the minister's office.
3 Q. So you're saying that these matters could have been discussed in
4 meetings that you did not attend?
5 A. But it doesn't necessarily mean that these were the collegium
6 meetings. I said that anti-terrorist activities were not discussed at
7 the collegium meetings, and I have no other information about that.
8 Q. Now, sir, you were also asked today about a meeting that took
9 place in October 1998, and this is D434, that's the exhibit number. And
10 it was a meeting between the minister and the SUP chiefs. Do you recall
11 talking about this meeting today?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. Now, sir, my understanding of what you said about this
14 meeting -- and just to set some context is that this was a meeting
15 attended by high-ranking members of the RJB, including Mr. Djordjevic.
16 Now, you said that anti-terrorist activities of the police forces were
17 not discussed at these meetings. Do you recall that?
18 A. Yes, I remember.
19 MS. GOPALAN: I see my learned colleague on his feet.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, I'm aware of that, but I'm waiting for you to
21 finish this particular line of questioning, Ms. Gopalan. Is it a
22 convenient moment?
23 MS. GOPALAN: Yes.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Popovic.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just to clarify and
1 because of the question that is asked, if we look at this document,
2 Mr. Djordjevic was not present at the meeting. This may help with the
3 precision of the question and what might ensue.
4 JUDGE PARKER: And it's also a matter that can be dealt with in
5 re-examination, Mr. Popovic. We want to get through this evidence
6 quickly today, and I think most of your interventions are matters that
7 you can deal with in re-examination. Thank you.
8 Yes, Ms. Gopalan.
9 MS. GOPALAN:
10 Q. Let me rephrase the question, sir. Now, this was a meeting
11 attended by high-ranking members of the RJB, and now you said that
12 anti-terrorist activities were not discussed at this meeting and such
13 meetings. Is that correct, do you recall that?
14 A. Yes, that is what I said.
15 Q. Now, sir, are you saying that Mr. Djordjevic did not attend other
16 meetings with other high-ranking MUP officials where anti-terrorist
17 operations were discussed?
18 A. I don't know if there were such meetings and if he attended them
19 because I did not attend them nor was I invited to such meetings.
20 Therefore, I cannot say whether he attended any such meetings or not.
21 This is a question to which I cannot answer because I did not attend
22 them. I have already replied that at the meetings that I attended, such
23 as these, anti-terrorist activities were not discussed.
24 Q. So --
25 A. Now, what were all the kinds of meetings that were held by the
1 minister or somebody else, this is something I don't know. I'm just
2 responding about the meetings that I did attend.
3 Q. In that case, sir, so you don't know anything about a meeting
4 attended by Mr. Djordjevic in Belgrade
5 leadership, including President Milosevic, where anti-terrorist
6 operations were discussed?
7 A. I'm not a MUP official of such a high rank that I would know
8 where my superiors are, let alone when they had meetings with officials
9 higher than those who were my immediate superiors, neither do I know that
10 there was such a meeting, nor who chaired it, nor who attended it. This
11 is the first time I hear of this meeting because I was not of such a rank
12 where I would be informed about such meetings.
13 Q. Now, sir, you've said that you were of not such a high rank that
14 you would be aware of meetings attended by your superiors. Now,
15 following on from that, did you attend any meetings in which
16 anti-terrorist operations were planned?
17 A. No, I never attended such meetings.
18 Q. Did you receive --
19 A. Nor did I know that they were held or if they were held at all.
20 Q. And I take it then, based on your answer, that you were not
21 informed about the results of such meetings after they had completed.
22 A. No, because the topics were probably not of interest for my
23 service and nobody felt that any personnel from my service would be
24 required in these activities. So this is probably why I did not take
25 part in the meetings either.
1 Q. And so, sir, you kept yourself busy then with matters relating to
2 your line of work, so fire-fighting?
3 A. Not fire-fighting only, but also fire-fight -- anti-fire-fighting
4 measures as well. Fire-fighting is only just one aspect of that
5 particular service.
6 Q. Now, sir, you've also said that you were not interested in
7 matters that had nothing to do with you. Do you recall saying that just
8 slightly earlier today?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Sir, since you were not a high-ranking MUP official and you kept
11 yourself busy with matters relating to your line of work and that you
12 also did not attend meetings in which anti-terrorist operations were
13 planned, now having all that in mind you would not have known about any
14 plan to expel if there had been one; correct? You wouldn't have seen one
15 because it was outside your line of work.
16 A. No, no, I wouldn't have. It was outside of my line of work, and
17 I didn't know of such plans, nor did I take part in actions provided for
18 under such plans, either myself or members of my service. So I don't
19 know absolutely that such plan exist, nor did I participate in any way in
20 the discussion about them, the preparations for such plans, or the
21 implementation of such plans, and neither did I know they existed.
22 Q. Now, sir, at the time of the NATO bombing, could you clarify for
23 me the number of telephones that were functioning in your headquarters
24 that you were based at in Belgrade
25 A. We had a telephone through which we received information from the
1 field, and there was also a telephone that the minister had at his
3 Q. So there were two telephones that were functioning at your
4 headquarters in Belgrade
5 A. I don't know how many were working. I'm talking about two that
6 we used.
7 Q. So you had access to two telephones at that time?
8 A. We -- I actually had access to just one telephone, through which
9 I received information. The access to the other phone was only for the
11 Q. And there were no cell phones available?
12 A. There were cell phones, but we had banned them because they could
13 have been used to guide projectiles to strike our facilities. There was
14 a ban on using mobile phones at locations where the HQ was located.
15 Q. I see. Now, sir, the information that you received through this
16 telephone that you had access to -- and I think you said today that:
17 "We would be immediately informed about events by telephone,
18 except for what was happening in Kosovo."
19 Do you recall saying that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, sir, let me see if I understand this evidence correctly.
22 We've already established early on that there is a war going on; correct?
23 Sir, did you hear my question?
24 A. I don't understand the question.
25 Q. You agree with me --
1 A. No, could you please repeat your question.
2 Q. I will, sir.
3 Now, at this time there was a war going on; correct?
4 A. Yes, I agree.
5 Q. And as you mentioned earlier, the bombing affected both Kosovo
6 and Serbia
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you'd agree that this would be a pretty serious situation for
9 a country to be in?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And that this situation had been prompted by events in Kosovo,
12 that the NATO bombing had been prompted by events in Kosovo; do you agree
13 with that?
14 A. Well, I don't have an answer to that. That is not a question,
15 it's an assertion, why did they bomb us. I believe that they had no
16 reason to bomb us.
17 Q. Let me rephrase the question, sir, in that case.
18 Now, given the centrality of the Kosovo situation to the NATO
19 bombardment, how is it that you did not receive information about what
20 was happening in Kosovo when you had information about other areas? That
21 doesn't strike me as being logical.
22 A. I didn't say that in the way that you are trying to interpret
23 what I said. We received information in the shortest possible period
24 after the events about the consequences of the bombing in the territory
25 of the republic, except from Kosovo. The information about the effects
1 of the bombing in Kosovo would only arrive from Pristina. This
2 information was most often sent by messenger to Pristina, and then only
3 was it passed on to us from Pristina. So we would be receiving this
4 information with a delay, not for any other particular reason, but
5 because technically this was not possible. I have to explain the whole
6 situation. Fire stations were places where people were on duty round the
7 clock, and these fire stations were not exposed to the actions of the
8 NATO forces. They all had regular telephone lines with us, through the
9 post office. But when the MUP centre was destroyed and when the
10 telephone exchange in Kosovo was destroyed, we could no longer have
11 direct communication with our units. The only option was that one link
12 with Pristina. All the information from Kosovo would flow to Pristina,
13 and then from Pristina would be sent to our staff. From other places
14 other than Pristina, information would be sent by messenger.
15 Q. Sir, we've heard testimony in this case that mobile phones were
16 used by the units in Kosovo during the war. Now, given the importance of
17 having information on what was happening in Kosovo, why is it you
18 received this information with a delay, compared to the other sources of
19 information you had?
20 A. I don't know of any kind of method whereby information was
21 received through mobile telephones, and I repeat that we had banned the
22 use of mobile phones in our facilities in order to prevent them from
23 being used to guide missiles. And I repeat that I did not hear of any
24 instances of information being relayed to us through mobile phones. We
25 didn't have mobile phones in our staff. And in our units mobile phones
1 were not used to maintain a line of communication with us.
2 Q. Now, sir, a witness who testified here, Mr. Trajkovic, said that
3 mobile phones were not usually used during the war - this is at
4 T9090 - but it was used for passing on very important and short
5 information, as they didn't have any other means of communication when
6 they were in the field, so when the units were in the field. Now, did
7 you know about that, that this was a form of communication that was
9 A. No. I am not aware of that, and I did not use this method of
10 communication. I didn't have any need to use this method of
11 communication because the information that I required I would receive via
12 a land-line, and I would use that information received through the
13 land-line. In my work we did not go into the field. We had our duty
14 shifts at the fire stations, and they used land-lines to convey
15 information to us. They didn't have any need to use mobile phones for
17 Q. Sir, those are all my questions for you today.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Gopalan.
19 Yes, Mr. Popovic.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm going to be very
22 I would like to ask to see P760, please.
23 Re-examination by Mr. Popovic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] I don't know if Mr. Spasic can see this
25 document. These are documents that the Prosecution said that they would
1 use in their cross-examination today.
2 Mr. Spasic, do you have the document in front of you?
3 A. I'm just looking for the document.
4 MS. GOPALAN: If I may assist, I think it's tab 22 in the
5 witness's binder.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Spasic, this is a document of the 11th of June. It's signed
8 by assistant chief of the public security department, assistant minister,
9 and can you please tell us what it says.
10 A. [No interpretation]
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch what the witness
12 read. Could he please repeat his answer.
13 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at Exhibit P50 --
14 JUDGE PARKER: There's an answer been missed, Mr. Popovic.
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Spasic, I'm going to repeat my question. This is a document
17 of the 11th of June, signed by assistant minister, chief of the public
18 security department. And can you please read the title of this document.
19 A. The document in front of me, if that's the document that you're
20 referring to, is the decision on the composition of the staff, leaders
21 and members of the staff of the Ministry of the Interior of the
22 autonomous province of Kosovo
23 Q. Thank you. And our -- is anti-terrorism or suppression of
24 terrorism mentioned anywhere in this heading of this document?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at Exhibit P57,
4 Q. Yes. Can you read this decision of the 16th of June, adopted by
5 Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic, can you please read the heading of this
7 A. The decision -- the document is: The decision to establish a
8 ministerial staff for the suppression of terrorism.
9 Q. Mr. Spasic, who issued the decision on the establishment of the
10 ministerial staff for the suppression of terrorism in Kosovo and
12 A. This decision was issued by Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic. That
13 is precisely this one that we have read out.
14 Q. Thank you. Just one more question, Mr. Spasic. If logistical
15 matters were to be discussed that you said were discussed at the
16 collegium, could you please tell us which administrations would be in
17 charge with these -- of dealing with these matters?
18 A. The administration -- the police administration, and the common
19 affairs administration would be in charge of those matters. They were in
20 charge of seeing to the needs of all the organisational units, so this
21 would be the administration for general affairs would be fulfilling the
22 requests of specific administrations. Actually, one of the
23 administrations that also was dealing with logistical matters would be
24 the police administration; they would submit a request to the general
25 affairs administration, asking them to provide the means for them to be
1 able to have the means to fulfil their tasks.
2 Q. And who would approve the requests to these administrations and
3 issue permission for these administrations to meet the requests?
4 A. The exclusive right to decide on such requests, whether to accept
5 or deny these requests, lay with the minister. The minister was the only
6 authorised person who could make decisions on requests of this nature.
7 Q. Mr. Spasic, thank you very much.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am finished with my
9 re-direct with this. Thank you.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Popovic.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Spasic, I have a couple of very short
14 questions. You told us that your direct superior was the assistant
15 minister, Major-General Stojan Misic. Could you tell us who was the
16 direct superior of this person, of Stojan Misic?
17 A. Stojan Misic's immediate supervisor was the assistant minister by
18 the nature of his function as well as the chief of the administration and
19 then the minister -- actually, the minister was the superior to all the
20 assistant ministers. They were carrying out the duties of assistance to
21 the minister.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. I understand that. You were
23 referring to Mr. Djordjevic when you told us his immediate superior was
24 the assistant minister as the chief of administration, the administration
25 for public security I think; is that correct?
1 A. The tasks covered by Mr. Stojan Misic were in the sphere of
2 public security. So that is why I thought that he was in some way
3 responsible for his work to Mr. Djordjevic, but by the nature of his
4 position and his work he was actually responsible to the minister,
5 Mr. Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that. Who was the deputy of
7 Mr. Djordjevic as head of the public security administration?
8 A. I don't know of such a position, the public security
9 administration. I know the public security department and Mr. Djordjevic
10 as the head of the -- the chief of that department did not have a deputy.
11 There was no deputy provided for a chief of the department in the public
12 security department.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And in case of his absence, who stood in for him?
14 Who carried out his duties?
15 A. If he was absent, nobody stood in for him, nobody actually
16 carried out his duties.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You told us that you received orders from the
18 Minister Stojiljkovic directly. Did you inform your directly superior,
19 Mr. Misic or Mr. Djordjevic, about these duties issued by the minister to
21 A. No, because it was not customary if I received a direct order
22 from the minister for me to interpret his order to others. Because if
23 you would respect the hierarchy, his order was -- if it was done
24 according to the proper hierarchy, I would receive the order from my
25 immediate superior. But in this case, I would directly inform the
1 minister about the results that I achieved while executing the order that
2 I had received directly from him, from the minister.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Were your direct superiors satisfied with this
4 situation? It is quite unusual that the direct superior doesn't know
5 about such an order given by a more high-ranking official, like a
7 A. I cannot be the judge of that. I'm just saying how we worked. I
8 don't know if they accepted that or not. There was no comment from them.
9 I assume that it was an agreement amongst them that the minister could in
10 some way -- I don't know how their relationship was, how it was. But it
11 was a fact that when the minister issued an order to me, he asked me to
12 inform him back about it personally, and I was not authorised to convey
13 his orders or to inform others about them.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. We saw this morning some documents,
15 some lists, of damaged facilities because of the NATO bombing, the
16 documents D929 and D930. Did they include also damaged facilities in
17 Kosovo or only in Serbia
18 A. I think that all the facilities were throughout the entire
19 Republic of Serbia
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. And can you -- from your
21 recollection, can you tell us which kind of facilities were listed in
22 these lists primarily.
23 A. For the most part, these were infrastructure facilities, civilian
24 facilities, including hospitals even, as well as industrial facilities
25 which were working for the needs of -- and we described that as
1 special-purpose production, for the needs of the army. They would be
2 manufacturing special-purpose products for the army. They would be
3 damaged, but then a lot of the neighbouring facilities such as roads and
4 bridges were also exposed. One such facility is the maternity clinic in
5 the centre of Belgrade
6 such objects. There was no selection or differentiation in making these
7 strikes. It was difficult to guess the criteria according to which these
8 targets were picked. The television Belgrade building, some housing,
9 civilian facilities, and then maternity clinics, and some other
10 facilities which by any criteria would not be selected as targets, but
11 these were just facilities that were intended only for civilian use.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for your answers.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Spasic, I have understood from your evidence
14 that during the NATO bombing, fire prevention and assistance to the
15 members of the public in respect of the damage from the bombing was one
16 of your primary responsibilities. Do I correctly understand that?
17 A. Yes. That was precisely my duty throughout the bombing campaign.
18 JUDGE PARKER: I take it from what you have indicated that the
19 fire-fighting units of the ministry throughout the republic reported to
20 you all bomb damage that occurred; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that was the assessed damage because there was a huge number
22 of attacks on all kinds of property, and the procedure for assessing
23 actual damage requires a lot of time. This was just the first
24 information that we received, the assessment of damage rather than the
25 actual damage. The actual damage was much greater, and we managed to
1 ascertain this information only later on after the on-site investigations
2 had been conducted. This was just the information that stated the number
3 of incidents, the kind of facilities, and the number of projectiles that
4 were used. As for the consequences and the amount of damage, we
5 established that later on through separate on-site investigations.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I understand that one of your functions then and
7 one of the functions of your organisation was to prepare a report by
8 7.00 a.m.
9 republic. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes. The bombing would stop after 6.00 a.m., and with the
11 members of the analysis administration who were on duty at all times I
12 would compile this report, and at 7.00 a.m. I would give it to the
13 minister, and a courier would bring it to the prime minister and the
14 president of the republic. So that was the time by which we would
15 conclude our reports for the previous 24-hour period and then we would
16 dispatch them to the said addresses.
17 JUDGE PARKER: And to assist you with that, your units throughout
18 the republic would telephone in to you damage as soon as they could after
19 there was a bombing incident?
20 A. Yes. If you're familiar with the work of fire-fighting units,
21 then you must know that their composition includes communications centres
22 which are manned permanently by crews which have continuous connection
23 with the relevant bodies, and these crews would inform us immediately
24 about the facilities that were targeted and the number of projectiles
25 that hit them. Then later on, as I said, we would establish the amount
1 of damage, and the duty officer was immediately informed about an
2 incident, especially if intervention units were to be sent there. So we
3 had practically immediate information about any incident and all the
4 information -- all the interventions were reported to the duty officer,
5 who would send the intervention unit to the ground. And then when he
6 received information from such an intervention unit, he would inform us
7 about everything that was of interest for us; and then we would further
8 inform our leadership.
9 JUDGE PARKER: And you had land-line communication with each of
10 these communication centres of the fire-fighting service; is that
12 A. Let me repeat what I said. We had communication with all centres
13 until the moment when the post office in Pristina was destroyed. After
14 that, we only had communication with Pristina and not with other areas in
15 Kosovo. We did have communication with other centres in the Republic of
17 information via Pristina because the only telephone line that still
18 operated was the line between Pristina and Belgrade. Therefore, the
19 centre in Pristina was informed about the incidents throughout Kosovo,
20 and then the centre from Pristina forwarded the information to us.
21 JUDGE PARKER: How many communications centres were there of the
22 fire-fighting service in Serbia
23 A. I cannot tell you the number because I do not remember, but I can
24 say that every populated place that had more than 10.000 inhabitants had
25 to have a fire-fighting unit and a communications centre as an integral
1 part of it. So all such places were able to inform us about incidents in
2 their area through these communications centre. Each populated place
3 that had more than 10.000 inhabitants had to have such ability.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Perhaps you could help me, is that
5 likely to be more than 20 communications centres?
6 A. Many more because we had 33 secretariats in the territory of the
7 republic, so there must have been many more. Each secretariat covered
8 several populated places that had more than 10.000 inhabitants, and each
9 fire-fighting unit had such a centre. I couldn't say how many there were
10 at the time, but there were many more. So 33 secretariats means that
11 there were many more communications centres that were used by the
12 fire-fighting service.
13 JUDGE PARKER: And from what you were saying, it would be your
14 primary role each night during the bombing to man the telephone at the
15 headquarters to receive these reports; is that what was happening, you
16 were on duty virtually every night?
17 A. Precisely. I was the only high-ranking MUP official who was on
18 duty every night and collected this information and co-ordinated the work
19 of the service on the territory of the entire republic. The
20 co-ordination was very important. There were fires, such as attacks on
21 oil refineries, that required very complex interventions and a large
22 number of troops. I was the one who co-ordinated these forces. So for
23 two and a half months, I never missed a single night when I was not on
24 duty and did not collect the information from the entire republic. The
25 information flowed to where I was stationed, and together with the
1 personnel from the analysis administration I prepared the report so that
2 it would be ready by 7.00 a.m.
3 information to be sent out.
4 JUDGE PARKER: And from what you've been saying, do I understand
5 correctly that your location had to move many times to avoid the risk of
6 bombing to your own location to the headquarters?
7 A. Yes. We changed a number of locations in the city which were
8 unknown and had not been announced to anyone in advance. And as soon as
9 it was possible to move in and for these facilities to be used, we would
10 transfer to a new location.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Are you able to remember roughly how many
12 different locations you were in during the bombing?
13 A. If you followed my testimony, I mentioned precisely all the
14 locations, and I can repeat. The first location was at the MUP sports
15 centre; the second location was at Studenci Trg in Belgrade; the third
16 location was at single-man's hostel; the fourth location was at the
17 chamber of commerce of Serbia
18 Komercijalna Banka, a bank in Belgrade
19 we were stationed in these two and a half months. We spent the longest
20 period of time at Komercijalna Banka because this is where we stayed
21 until the 10th of June.
22 JUDGE PARKER: And it was a matter of finding a location where it
23 would be possible to accommodate the headquarters staff; is that what was
25 A. We looked out for locations. While we were at one location,
1 there was a specific service that would find the following location and
2 prepare the logistics for our work there. That implied the telephone
3 lines and everything else that is necessary for a longer stay. In these
4 premises, someone would be staying and working for 24 hours a day. That
5 means that the next location was always prepared in advance. There was a
6 particular service that did that. When it was assessed that the location
7 that we were using at the moment was not safe anymore, we would transfer
8 to a new location that was technically equipped so that the staff could
9 continue with its work there.
10 JUDGE PARKER: How big was the staff that moved to these
11 different buildings? Would it be 20 people or 100 people or 300 people?
12 Can you give me some idea.
13 A. Between 15 and 20 people served at the headquarters. And members
14 of the headquarters, these were all assistant ministers, all chiefs of
15 departments, the minister, the head of his office, representatives of the
16 analysis administration which -- who helped us with records. There were
17 communications experts who enabled the work of the communications system,
18 and also the personnel who made it possible for us to stay there in terms
19 of hygiene and various technical matters, because we stayed there
20 24 hours a day.
21 JUDGE PARKER: And the communications system you mentioned, was
22 there radio communication as well as telephone?
23 A. We only used telephone communication because radio communication
24 was very vulnerable, in the sense that it could be bombed. That was why
25 we only used telephone lines, land-lines. I already noted that the use
1 of mobile phones was prohibited and so was the use of any kind of radio
2 equipment. We only used the land-line telephone.
3 JUDGE PARKER: And you could be at a location for some weeks
4 before moving from what you're saying; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that is correct. We spent up to two weeks in some of the
6 locations, and in some others only for a few days.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE PARKER: I want to thank you for your assistance today.
10 We've come to the end of questions for you. It has been of assistance to
11 us, and we thank you for being available there in Belgrade. We need to
12 close down the television link that we now have, so you are now of course
13 free to go back to your normal activities. Once more, we thank you and
14 the Court staff in Belgrade
15 [The witness withdrew via videolink]
16 JUDGE PARKER: If there is no other matter, we need now to
17 adjourn, to resume tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.49 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 19th day of
20 May, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.