1 Wednesday, 14 July 2010
2 [Defence Closing Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. We sit today to hear the final
7 submissions of the Defence in this trial.
8 Good morning, Mr. Djordjevic. Is it intended that the accused
9 have anything directly to say to the Chamber or will you be making
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] We have agreed that I shall be
12 making the submissions, but if the need arises then the accused will
13 address the Court too.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, colleagues of the
16 Prosecution, good morning to everybody. Since the Trial Chamber has
17 already had an opportunity of studying the final brief presented by the
18 Defence, we're not going to deal again with its overall contents. That
19 is why we're going to use this opportunity of pointing to the erroneous
20 understanding and interpretations in the final brief of the Prosecution
21 and also to point out that viewed as a whole the Prosecution has not
22 proved its case or its charges against Mr. Djordjevic and that the
23 Trial Chamber, therefore, should bring in a judgement of acquittal.
24 Over the past three years in the pre-trial phase and the trial
25 phase, the Prosecution and the Defence managed to reach an accord on
1 various agreed facts. In addition to certain facts about which the
2 parties in the proceedings agreed in the pre-trial phase, they also
3 managed to reach an agreement on 263 exhibits before the trial even
4 started. After that, the two parties in these proceedings on several
5 occasions managed to reach an agreement on the acceptability of certain
6 evidence. However, differences remained in an assessment and
7 interpretation of the evidence. The Defence claims that the Prosecution
8 helped pick up its case to try to adapt it to the picture it tried to
9 paint and the story it wished to tell in which Vlastimir Djordjevic is
10 guilty of certain acts which he neither committed nor did he know about
11 them nor did he intend any such acts to be committed. Nor did those acts
12 come under his responsibility as assistant minister of the interior.
13 The Defence is very surprised by the fact and with regret notes
14 that many parts of the Prosecution final brief do not reflect the
15 evidence that was presented during these proceedings, and the conclusions
16 that the Prosecution makes on those grounds are absolutely unfounded and
17 not based on the evidence presented before this Court. Not only did the
18 Prosecution make the wrong conclusions, but in reading the final brief we
19 ascertained that the evidence listed in the footnotes do not reflect the
20 evidence that the Prosecution wishes to prove and that many quotations
21 were tendentious and erroneous and that quotation marks were put to
22 certain facts which the witness never said, and this can be easily
23 verified by looking at the transcript.
24 When somebody quotes something and when quotation marks are put
25 to a passage, it is assumed that he is quoting word for word something
1 that an individual said during his testimony or statement.
2 Unfortunately, in many places of the Prosecution's final brief that has
3 not been the case. Furthermore, instead of providing the witness
4 answers, the Prosecutor is, in fact, quoting his own questions and
5 thereby giving the answers he wished to hear, not what the witness said.
6 What was stated in the paragraphs does not reflect what was stated in the
8 Sometimes that is a half truth or something construed by the
9 Prosecution. Sometimes it is completely untrue. The Defence believes in
10 the Trial Chamber, and it also believes that the Prosecutor will not
11 manage to lead the Trial Chamber astray. In view of the limited time
12 that the Defence has for presenting its oral arguments, we will not have
13 occasion to analyse each and every paragraph and the erroneously
14 interpreted piece one by one or footnote or quotation, but we shall only
15 quote a few typical examples. Because of the aforementioned, I should
16 like to ask you that when you come to analyse the final brief of the
17 Prosecution, you pay attention to every quotation and each and every
18 footnote that he uses to support it or where there is lack of support.
19 And therefore, the Trial Chamber should bear in mind three essential
20 points. First, the SRY was a sovereign state which was made up of Serbia
21 and Montenegro
22 provinces, Vojvodina and Kosovo Metohija. This is of vital importance
23 for understanding the actions taken by the SRJ and Republic of Serbia
24 all its aspects and understanding the way the MUP functioned with respect
25 to the entire state. In that sense, the other point that you should bear
1 in mind is the following, the time-period during which the events took
3 The Prosecution, to a large extent, relied on events from 1998,
4 although in the -- if we look at the indictment, it is evident that the
5 relevant period comprises the time from the 24th of March, 1999, up to
6 the 20th of June, 1999.
7 Your Honours, when you come to analyse the evidence and make your
8 judgement, I'm sure you'll be convinced that Vlastimir Djordjevic in no
9 way is responsible for deportation, forcible transfer, killings, or
10 persecution as stated in the charges in the indictment. The third point
11 that you should bear in mind is the following: All the anti-terrorist
12 actions were undertaken in order to suppress terrorist threats and to
13 neutralise armed combat groups and not against the civilian population.
14 From the evidence you will see that no order, plan, or activity was ever
15 issued, or rather, acted with criminal intent, but in the sense of
16 fighting against burgeoning terrorism in the province of Kosovo
17 Metohija. As is now the Prosecutor wishes to prove joint criminal
18 enterprise and you need a criminal element in order to prove that. What
19 is necessary is that a joint plan for a joint criminal enterprise
20 includes the committing of a crime under statute para 1036, the state of
21 SRY fought against strong terrorist forces who, according to certain
22 assessments, under military control held up to 75 per cent of the
23 territory of Kosovo
24 population and represented a threat to legitimate state organs.
25 The fact that terrorism had its stronghold in the secessionist
1 intentions cannot make it acceptable. The international community did
2 nothing to help the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in its struggle
3 against terrorism. Already at the beginning the SRY was thought to be
4 the bad guy and the international community portrayed it as such and
5 tried to tie the state's hands in its struggle against terrorism on its
6 sovereign territory, allowing terrorist forces to increase and to
7 manipulate the situation in a way which led to the terrible events which
8 happened in the course of 1999.
9 Entering into an analysis of the allegations in this trial, the
10 Prosecution endeavoured to include a highly superficial political history
11 and the history of events which represented a framework for the events
12 that took place in the course of 1998 and 1999. The Prosecution
13 completely erroneously portrays relevant history and does not base it on
14 objective sources but exclusively on the assertions made by Albanian
15 politicians and journalists. With respect to historical issues, the
16 Prosecution first of all quotes Fred Abrahams from the Organisation of
17 Human Rights Watch. Here it is necessary to state that Mr. Abrahams is
18 not an expert nor did the Prosecution call him as an expert in historical
19 matters. The Prosecution as we see quotes Mr. Abrahams as an objective
20 source; however, he did not have at his disposal facts which would enable
21 him to view the situation in a neutral way. Without a doubt he confirmed
22 that he didn't even read the constitutional texts and laws which
23 represent the basis for understanding key historical events. In addition
24 to that, as we stressed in our final brief, Mr. Abrahams stated -- well,
25 gave his version of historical events on the 24th of January, 2002
1 several months after he was -- he interviewed Ibrahim Rugova, the leader
2 of the Secessionist DLK [as interpreted] Party; the Albanian politician,
3 Veton Surroi; and Albanian journalist, Baton Haxhiu.
4 A historical overview which was presented without conducting
5 interviews with Serbian politicians and journalists and without getting
6 to know the relevant legal texts can be nothing more than a synthesis of
7 an interview which was published on behalf of the Prosecution in
8 co-operation with the investigators of the OTP. Therefore, it is not
9 surprising that the facts which Mr. Abrahams presents as being historical
10 facts coincide with the statements made by these persons. Reading
11 listening to the arguments presented by the Prosecution, everybody who is
12 an observer might think that the Serbs illegally and unlawfully conducted
13 an invasion against a third independent country. I think that we must
14 all bear in mind that everything that took place took place in Serbia
15 state in which its army and its police had every right to be on the
16 territory of its own country. What would have happened in any other
17 country in the world, I ask you, had burgeoning terrorism, rebellions,
18 secessionist, or whatever we like to call it, movement tried by armed
19 struggle to cut off parts of its sovereign territory? Every country
20 would respond to that in similar fashion, as did the SRJ and Serbia
21 save its country and retain its territorial integrity and sovereignty.
22 Whether the emotions of a nation, the emotions it has towards its
23 country and its territory is something unusual, no it is normal that
24 every country in every state of the world has patriotic feelings in the
25 country in which he lives, where he was born, where his forefathers
9 As the beginnings of the plan to retain lasting Serbian control
10 over the province in paragraph 37, which is to be found in the portion
11 describing the legal changes by which the Serb leadership wanted to place
12 Kosovo under its direct control, mention is made of special measures
13 taken by the Presidency of the SFRY. The SFRY is not Serbia; it is a
14 Federation within which Serbia
15 just one of the member states. The Prosecution forgets or intentionally
16 leaves out the fact that those measures were introduced because of the
17 violence of Kosovo Albanians and that Serbia did not introduce it, but
18 a federal state which was then made up of Slovenia, Croatia
20 measures were taken by the Presidency of the SFRY within the frameworks
21 of its constitutional authority and it was supported by the Assembly of
22 the SFRY because they were undertaken in order to safe-guard the
23 territorial integrity and constitutional order of the SFRY, securing
24 public law and order, freedom, life, work, and the normalisation of the
25 overall situation in the autonomous province of Kosovo
1 The Prosecution furthermore states in paragraphs 50 and 51 that
2 the Assembly of the SFRY adopted a programme of preventing the emigration
3 of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo in January 1990, which condemns the
4 implementation of the goals of Albanian nationalists for an ethnically
5 pure Kosovo. And this quotes an example that the Serbian political
6 leadership was convinced that the demographic balance of Kosovo had to be
7 changed in order to retain political control over the province.
8 We should once again like to stress that this programme was
9 adopted by the Assembly of the SFRY, that is to say six member states,
10 not the Serb leadership. Would the National Assembly of the Republic of
12 human rights and the rights of national minorities, would it observe in
13 point 4 of the declaration - and this is otherwise Exhibit P55 - what it
14 did observe with -- by providing exact information and which is only in
15 part stressed by the Prosecution in paragraph 52 of its final brief that
16 none of this happened. And finally, in paragraph 53 the Prosecution
17 states and draws the conclusion that this inflammatory rhetoric led to
18 systematic crimes against the Kosovo Albanians stipulated in the
20 This kind of conclusion is only one completely distorted
21 political construction which the Prosecution wished to present in order
22 to justify its accusations. No difference is made between the decisions
23 taken by the former SFRY, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and Serbia
24 and they don't enter into the reasons for which all these states had to
25 undertake certain measures on the territory of the autonomous province of
1 Kosovo and Metohija.
2 In 1999, the Republic of Serbia
3 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as one of its member, the other was the
4 Republic of Montenegro
5 province of Vojvodina were integral parts of the Republic of Serbia
6 Within the autonomous province of Kosovo
7 Montenegrins, Serbs, Turks, and Roma, as well as other minorities living
8 there. And regardless of their national affiliation, they had equal
9 political and other rights just like everybody else in Serbia, all other
10 Serbian citizens. Since the constitution of the Republic of Serbia
11 passed on the 28th of September, 1990, determined the sovereignty of the
12 Republic of Serbia
13 In the Republic of Serbia
14 Kosovo and Metohija forms a territorial autonomy. In official use in the
15 Republic of Serbia
16 of the Republic of Serbia
17 use their language and script in the manner prescribed by law. The
18 separatist aspirations of the Albanians have their roots in the mid-1960s
19 of the 20th sentry when the slogan was put forward "Kosovo Republic
20 And just as Witness Jokanovic in these proceedings explained to us, this
21 slogan represented the call of the Albanian separatists for Kosovo and
22 Metohija from a non-state status to be given the status of a republic,
23 which meant the status of a state, and thereby members of the Federation
24 and the right to self-determination until secession.
25 In the history of Yugoslav federalism Kosovo and Metohija never
1 had the status of a state, just like the autonomous province of
2 Vojvodina, with the proviso that the position of the autonomous provinces
3 changed depending on the will of the ruling political majority which was
4 manifest through the constitutions of the SFRY and the Federal Republic
5 of Yugoslavia
6 parties did not have as their aim to realise the rights of the Albanian
7 nation within the frameworks of the Republic of Serbia
8 view of the fact that those rights were equal rights enjoyed by all, but
9 the secession from Serbia
10 independent and autonomous state of Kosovo.
14 Prosecutor's interpretation of the political historical context is mostly
15 incorrect. Every sovereign country in the world is authorised and takes
16 measures to preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty. You
17 cannot have in one state, in addition to legal organs of authority, a
1 universities, faculties, tuition according to tuitions powers and
2 programmes of some other state, I ask you? Isn't it normal that in one
3 country a teaching plan and programme is applied of the country on which
4 territory it is and throughout its territory. In mid-1998, along with
5 the material and financial assistance from abroad, the KLA undertook
6 broad-based terrorist activities to cut off Kosovo and Metohija from
9 non-Albanians and Albanians alike, who did not want to join the terrorist
10 forces, cutting across the main communication routes and preventing
11 normal activity from taking place and taking territory by the KLA, the
12 state was forced to defend the sovereigty and territorial integrity,
13 lives and property of all citizens living on the territory of Kosovo
15 Bearing in mind all of the above, OTP's thesis and conclusions
16 about origins of the JCE are erroneous and especially with regard to the
17 place and role of Vlastimir Djordjevic. Vlastimir Djordjevic is charged
18 with being a member of the JCE, together with Slobodan Milosevic,
19 Nikola Sainovic, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, Sreten Lukic, Dragoljub Ojdanic,
20 Nebojsa Pavkovic, Vladimir Lazarevic, as well as Radomir Markovic,
21 Obrad Stevanovic, and Dragan Ilic.
22 Vlastimir Djordjevic was a professional member of the MUP and he
23 acted in keeping with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Serbia
24 and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as well as decisions by competent
25 state bodies and he did not participate in the creation of the state
1 policies. He undertook measures and actions within the remit of his
2 position in the republican MUP in keeping with Minister Stojiljkovic's
3 decisions. He never attended any meeting where political issues were
4 discussed or where political decisions were made. He was not a member of
5 any political party including even the ruling SPS. He attended meetings
6 upon invitation by President Milan Milutinovic and the minister of the
7 interior Vlajko Stojiljkovic as part of MUP delegations, and at such
8 meetings the security of the state was discussed.
9 He never got involved in any discussions at the meetings that he
10 attended. He didn't report or contributed to any decision-making
11 processes. Vlastimir Djordjevic did not have any personal relationship
12 with Slobodan Milosevic, and his only contact with him were at official
13 meetings. Djordjevic did not receive a single task from Milosevic and he
14 did not act pursuant to his orders or tasks and no single evidence to
15 that fact was adduced.
16 In para 18, the OTP alleges that Milosevic had very significant
17 de facto authorities over the MUP without any corroboration. His
18 allegations that Milosevic implemented control over the Joint Command
19 through Sainovic and Minic, the OTP in paragraph 262, footnote 586,
20 proves, based on the testimony of Witness Vasiljevic. In 1998
25 he presented his view of Sainovic's authority over Pavkovic, Lazarevic, and
1 Lukic, and he never even mentioned Djordjevic. In transcript that's page
2 5699 to page number 5700. He met the president of the Republic of
4 the Republic of Serbia MUP headed by the minister.
5 Vlastimir Djordjevic met Nikola Sainovic at meetings within the
6 framework of the MUP delegations, and in 1998 during the implementation
7 of the plan for countering terrorism, he participated at meetings in
8 Pristina attended by politicians, soldiers, and policemen. However, he
9 did not receive a single order from Sainovic and there is no evidence to
10 corroborate that. There is no single piece of evidence that Sainovic
11 issued a single task to Djordjevic, that he was his superior, and that
12 Djordjevic reported to Sainovic.
13 One has to bear in mind that Sainovic was the vice-president of
14 the federal government, and as of October 1998 he was also the president
15 of the commission for cooperation with the KVM. And that he had
16 contacts with the MUP and the staff of the MUP in Pristina within the
17 framework of his authorities and tasks. In the course of 1999 during the
18 war, the only meeting that Sainovic took place in the month of May when a
19 report was submitted to the Supreme Command Staff. Djordjevic had a
20 single meeting with General Ojdanic in May 1999 at the debriefing to the
21 superior command staff. All the other contacts with -- at the
22 Supreme Command Staff and the Main Staff of the army were by
23 Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic. During 1998 and during 1999,
24 General Ojdanic, pursuant to the decision of this Tribunal, IT-05-87,
25 dated 26 February 2009
1 did not appeal that part of the decision.
7 General Lazarevic, according to the decision of this Tribunal, IT-05-87,
8 dated 26th February 2009, was not marked as a member of the JCE, and the
9 Prosecution did not appeal that part of the decision.
10 Vlajko Stojiljkovic was the minister of the interior and Vlastimir
11 Djordjevic's superior. In keeping with the decisions of
12 Minister Stojiljkovic, in 1999 Djordjevic did not spend any time in
13 Kosovo and Metohija. He was rather in Belgrade, where he was in charge
19 Stojiljkovic was responsible for the work of the MUP in the
20 entire territory of the Republic of Serbia
21 authorities he could alter the regular organisation and the authorities
22 of the MUP, which indeed he did when he issued a decision on the
23 establishing of the MUP staff, dated 16 June 1998, and when he
24 transferred the RJB authorities and responsibilities of the RJB chief to
25 the MUP staff, which he had established. He also transferred some of the
1 authorities of the RDB and the responsibilities of the RDB chief.
2 Therefore, when it comes to implementing tasks pertaining to the
3 competence of the MUP staff, the head of the staff for countering
4 terrorism is responsible exclusively to the minister and nobody else.
5 Radomir Markovic, up to the end of November 1998, was the
6 assistant minister of the interior in charge of the crime police and
7 analysis, and then pursuant to a decision by the minister, he was
8 assigned to the position as the chief of the RDB and stayed in that
9 position throughout the war. Markovic, as an assistant minister and as
10 the chief of the RDB, received his tasks exclusively from the minister.
11 The minister was his only superior and the department chiefs could not
12 issue tasks to each other. Pursuant to the ministerial decision on the
13 establishing of the staff for countering terrorism, the task for
14 countering terrorism, a special security task in Kosovo and Metohija were
15 transferred to the MUP staff which comprised members of both the
16 departments and their organisational units in Kosovo and Metohija as well
17 as the police units deployed there.
18 The police chiefs of neither of the departments could issue tasks
19 for the MUP staff for countering terrorism, nor could they issue tasks to
20 the members of their units belonging to their departments who were sent
21 to Kosovo and Metohija for anti- -- to counter anti-terrorist activities
22 and to engage in special security tasks.
23 In the course of 1999 Radomir Markovic and Vlastimir Djordjevic
24 discharged duties as the chiefs of departments within the remits defined
25 by the minister. General Obrad Stevanovic was the assistant minister in
2 of the high school and the police academy. The Prosecutor's allegation
3 that Obrad Stevanovic was the chief of the police administration were not
16 THE INTERPRETER: Can you slow down for the benefit of one and
17 all, thank you.
18 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Major-General Sreten Lukic,
19 pursuant to the minister -- the decision of the minister of the interior,
20 dated 16 June 1998
21 countering terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija. Pursuant to a decision,
22 Exhibit P57, the tasks that were given to the Staff derogated the
23 competencies of both MUP departments to the extent that their
24 competencies and responsibilities had been transferred to the MUP Staff,
25 therefore Sreten Lukic could not be answerable to Vlastimir Djordjevic
1 for his work or be subordinated to him or to the RDB chief, but only to
2 the minister who had taken that decision.
3 By its nature, the staff was an inter-departmental body. It
4 comprised both the RJB and the RDB as well -- in terms of both the
5 personnel and the organisation and that's why it was answerable only to
6 the minister. The minister entrusted the planning, organisation, and the
7 management of anti-terrorist activities and special security tasks to the
8 MUP staff. Therefore, the head of the staff could be answerable to --
9 for his work and the work of the Staff only to the minister and the
10 minister was the only person who could give him any tasks or orders.
11 General Dragan Ilic was the chief of the crime police
12 administration. From the 4th of December, 1998, he was appointed a
13 member of the collegium. The only chief of the RJB administration from
14 the base of the minister who was appointed a member of the collegium by
15 name was the chief of the UKP and all the other chiefs of the RJB
16 administration attended the collegium meetings upon minister's
18 I would like to point to an error in the transcript, line 21 on
19 page 16, one word is missing, and that is the MUP staff.
20 When minister general -- when General Radomir Markovic was
21 assigned to the position of the chief of the RDB, pursuant to a decision
22 on the minister, the minister did not appoint the assistant minister in
23 charge of the work of the crime police, and when he appointed him as a
24 collegium member, the minister directly issued tasks to the chief of the
25 UKP, General Ilic, both at collegium meetings as well as during their
1 personal contacts. There's no single piece of evidence that
2 General Dragan Ilic was a member of the joint criminal enterprise.
3 The OTP persistently insinuates that there was indeed a plan but
4 that plan simply did not exist. In its final brief, the OTP continuously
5 mentions the names of certain persons who were allegedly members of the
6 joint criminal enterprise, despite the fact that those persons were
7 tried, and at their trials it was not established that they were members
8 of any joint criminal enterprise. All the elements which point to the
9 existence of guilt have to be proven beyond any reasonable doubt. The
10 audacious allegations are simply not enough to deprive a person of his
11 freedom. In no event did the OTP prove beyond any reasonable doubt how
12 could Vlastimir Djordjevic fit into the allegations contained in the
13 indictment, let alone how he can be held responsible for any of those
15 Vlastimir Djordjevic is sitting in this courtroom today only
16 because he was the chief of the RJB and the assistant minister during the
17 relevant time-period. There is no evidence about his criminal intent or
18 actions. The Trial Chamber cannot hold him responsible only because of
19 the fact that during the relevant period he was in a certain position in
20 the Ministry of the Interior. At that time, a large number of people
21 worked in the MUP and they had all sorts of different authorities. There
22 were other assistant ministers, but those people are not here today.
23 They are not accused before this Tribunal. And when I say that, I mean
24 Obrad Stevanovic, Rade Markovic, Dragan Ilic, and let's stop there.
25 The Prosecution alleges that those men were also members of the
1 joint criminal enterprise. The Prosecution put those men on their
2 witness list, but it did not bring them in to provide testimony before
3 this Trial Chamber. One thing is certain: If there were -- if there was
4 any information about the existence of any plan, this -- these people
5 would have that information. So how come they were not invited, they
6 were not called to testify? They were not called to testify only because
7 of the fact that they do not have the information about the existence of
8 any such plan. They were not called to testify because they did not have
9 any information that would charge Vlastimir Djordjevic. Therefore,
10 people who closely co-operated with Djordjevic were not brought here to
11 testify because they do not have any information that would corroborate
12 the Prosecutor's allegations and there is no such information in the --
13 in the record.
14 The OTP alleges that there was a joint criminal enterprise aimed
15 at committing crimes alleged in the indictment. According to the
16 Prosecutor's allegations contained in the second paragraph, the goal of
17 that alleged joint criminal enterprise was to secure permanent Serbian
18 control over the autonomous province of Kosovo
19 ethnic balance. That goal, which is to secure permanent control over
20 one's own territory in its own, is not a criminal goal.
21 During the relevant period, Kosovo and Metohija was part of the
22 territory of the Republic of Serbia
23 for that territory to be under the control of Serbia. The problem
24 actually was the fact that that control was being permanently lost under
25 the wave of terrorism and criminal -- crime. All efforts undertaken to
1 regain control were aimed against or targeted against the terrorist army,
2 which according to all the descriptions represented a strong force and
3 which did not adhere either to the rules of warfare or the rules of the
4 cease-fire agreed with the mediation of the international community.
5 In order to prove the existence of a joint criminal enterprise,
6 one has to prove the existence of the following criminal element, and
7 that is that at the joint plan of that joint criminal enterprise included
8 the commission of a crime envisaged by the statute, paragraph 1036. In
9 that sense, the Prosecution did not prove the existence of a joint
10 criminal enterprise; on the contrary. The state organs were duty-bound
11 to provide for the security of their own citizens. More specifically,
12 the Ministry of the Interior was duty-bound to secure the security of its
13 own citizens which included their protection from terror and violence --
14 acts of violence committed by terrorist forces, as well as to protect
15 citizens from shelling and other extraordinary circumstances.
16 This duty unambiguously arises from Article 1 of the Law of the
17 Internal Affairs and Article 2 of the rules of the internal organisation
18 of the MUP.
19 All crimes alleged in the indictment are part of the plan which
20 allegedly was implemented in -- during the period between the 24th of
21 March and the 20th of June, 1999. The OTP continuously imposes an
22 allegation that 800.000 Kosovan Albanians were expelled from the
23 province, but they didn't manage to prove why they left. The numbers are
24 unclear in terms of their ethnicity, and the only thing that
25 Mr. Neil Wright could present was the fact that Albanians from Kosovo
1 constituted a large majority.
2 If, according to the estimates, approximately 80 to 85 Kosovar
3 Albanians lived in the territory, why is it strange then that the large
4 majority of the people who left the territory were, in fact, ethnic
5 Albanians? No one has put in any effort to determine how many members of
6 other ethnic communities left the territory of Kosovo
7 relevant period. This information would confirm that the percentage of
8 the people from other ethnic communities that left Kosovo and Metohija
9 was proportionately greater than that of the Albanian population. Since
10 no evidence has been adduced as to the way in which this plan was
11 adopted, what it contained, who was in charge of the plan, and what it
12 was supposed to achieve, the Prosecution is trying to show that this plan
13 must have existed, stating in its paragraph 48 -- 458 the following:
14 [In English] "The scale of the crimes, their repetition in
15 village after village throughout Kosovo and the sheer number of victims
16 demonstrate that there was an organised high-level plan to persecute and
17 expel Kosovo Albanians and discourage them from ever returning."
18 [Interpretation] As the Prosecution claims, a conclusion must be
19 drawn to that effect on the basis of crime-base evidence, despite the
20 lack of any evidence that anyone had actually planned or ordered anything
21 of the sort. Crime-base evidence does not show that the plan even
22 existed, the plan that the Prosecution is trying to show existed. There
23 was movement of population and there were crimes, but one cannot draw a
24 conclusion from that that there must have been a plan. This was merely a
25 result of a situation in a war-ravaged area, a situation in which
1 movement of population was a logical consequence. The Prosecution claims
2 that there must have been a campaign of expulsion; however, it is quite
3 strange that the Prosecution fails to take into account the fact that the
4 rest of the people left too and the percentage was the same, as
5 highlighted in the final brief of the Defence and as presented in the
6 UNHCR data.
7 It is quite astounding that 17.500 mostly Serbs left Kosovo in
8 the period of only three days, between the 14th and the 16th of June; we
9 can see that in Exhibit P737 and at pages 21 to 23. This was certainly a
10 sizeable percentage of the Serb population that still remained in Kosovo
11 and Metohija and it occurred in the time-period relevant for the
12 indictment. Those Serbs left the province of their own free will, in the
13 same way in which the rest of the population had done in the previous
14 months, not in line with any plan. If you have a war in a certain area,
15 then as a consequence the population will flee.
16 Several witnesses in their statements and their evidence before
17 the Court stated that they simply feared the unknown. There is a very
18 small number of examples that indicates that there was the pattern that
19 the Prosecution is trying to depict as a co-ordinated widespread and
20 systematic. There are many more examples of people hearing this kind of
21 rumours and leaving because there was a campaign to spread fear. Some
22 witnesses in their evidence stated that they had been told to leave, but
23 not by Serbs but by KLA members or their village elders. Whatever their
24 motives, they cannot be represented as a plan to expel the
25 Kosovar Albanians.
1 A large number of these people left for Montenegro, which was
2 part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Many left for Serbia
3 north of Kosovo, although the UNHCR did not put in a lot of effort to
4 actually record how many of them and who they were. There is absolutely
5 no reason why those people would want to leave to the areas -- to those
6 areas had they really been fleeing the forces of the FRY or Serbia
7 Crime-base evidence adduced by the Prosecution does not corroborate the
8 conclusion that there was an organised plan or orchestrated efforts.
9 This evidence confirms quite the opposite. There was a climate of war,
10 chaos, and confusion. The Prosecution is trying to show that there was a
11 plan to expel people, but the evidence adduced before this Court confirms
12 that this was, in fact, voluntary movement of people, of population.
13 This evidence shows that people chose, of their own free will, to leave
14 the areas where there was fierce fighting, where bombs rained down, and
15 where they lacked basic means of livelihood.
16 There is virtually no evidence that would fit into this pattern
17 the Prosecution alleges existed to the fact that the Serb forces
18 methodically channelled Albanian refugees to the borders and transit
19 points. This is at para 512. Quite the opposite. The record abounds
20 with evidence of groups moving from town to town within Kosovo because
21 people thought that they should go wherever the group is going.
22 In several situations the Serb forces actually made those people
23 go back. There is nothing systematic in this kind of movement of people
24 which would amount to evidence of the existence of any kind of methodical
1 Based on the examination of the crime-base evidence, it is quite
2 clear that people left for a variety of reasons, mostly boiling down to
3 their personal choice, to go to safer areas. It was a matter of personal
4 choice then and not a widespread and systematic plan, as alleged in the
5 indictment. All evidence of all the witnesses should be considered very
6 carefully in order to discern the real reason for their departure instead
7 of settling for what the Prosecution is claiming. In many cases, the
8 Prosecution indicated that the witness would testify of about how he or
9 she was expelled and in the course of the cross-examination it would turn
10 out that they had gone because they had heard something was going on or
11 because they hadn't felt safe.
12 For every allegation of deportation or forcible transfer, it is
13 necessary to prove that there was a lack of choice on the part of the
14 alleged victim and the intent to effect the permanent displacement.
15 Mr. President, Your Honour, I would now like us to move into
16 closed session.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 14460-14461 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] In order to prove that within a
14 joint criminal enterprise there was a plan that covered the commission of
15 those crimes, one has to ask how the plan would be implemented without
16 any orders or instructions. There is no link between the acts committed
17 on the ground attributable to irresponsible individuals and the putative
18 plan made at higher levels simply because there was no any such plan.
19 There's only any attempt on the part of the Prosecution to establish a
20 link between all the tragic incidents that happened during the state of
21 war. In order to corroborate its arguments, the Prosecution is trying to
22 bring back the images of the Holocaust of the Second World War,
23 especially when it alleges that there was organised transport and the
24 destruction of the personal identification documents in order to wipe out
25 those persons' identities. However, these allegations are unfounded and
1 they cannot serve to show there was any kind of a plan.
2 As regards the organised transport, the Prosecution is trying to
3 paint a picture of people being rounded up, being put on board trains and
4 buses and taken away; however, the evidence does not corroborate this
5 vision painted by the Prosecution. The only evidence, as regards the
6 organised transport, pertains to the scheduled departures of trains and
7 buses and just a few buses. At the worst there were just a few special
8 trains and buses added to the regular timetable to accommodate a large
9 number of people who wanted to leave. In order to corroborate its
10 argument that people were transported out of the country, the Prosecution
11 relies on the evidence presented by Bajram Bucaliu. However, Bucaliu,
12 who was familiar with the timetable, actually says that he decided to go
13 to Macedonia
14 not allowed to cross the border on that day, and this strikingly
15 undermines the argument that there was a plan to deport those people, the
16 people went back home and the next day they simply returned to the
17 railway station to catch the next train.
18 In addition to Bucaliu, the Prosecution relies for the most part
19 on the testimony of Witness Nazalie Bala. What is missing from her
20 description of how she went to the railway station is the fact that the
21 Pristina city centre had been fiercely bombed on the 28th and the 29th of
22 March. It is reasonable to assume that people were panic-stricken when
23 bombs started falling in their midst. The evidence of this witness is
24 consistent with the evidence of Emin Kabashi, in that they both say they
25 saw a large number of people on the railway station. However, Kabashi
1 does not say that people were forced to board the trains. In fact,
2 Kabashi waited there for three days before he was able to leave with his
4 Furthermore, unlike Witness Bala, Kabashi does not say anything
5 about being forced to cross the border at Djeneral Jankovic. In fact, he
6 stayed the next six days there waiting. Generally speaking, the claims
7 made by Witness Bala about the armed forces guarding the buses are
8 questionable as regards their reliability, and her political affiliation
9 and interests bring into doubt her credibility, especially in light of
10 the fact that she has ties with the Council for the Defence of Human
11 Rights and Liberties and she's a member of the Democratic Party of Kosovo
12 led by Hashim Thaqi, Exhibit P421, transcript page 2176.
13 When there was evidence about the buses in a small number of
14 cases, they were often hired by witnesses themselves because they wanted
15 to leave. This proved to be the case in Gerxhaliu's case who organised
16 transportation by bus to Montenegro
17 that the buses were hired by civilians, Exhibit P284, transcript page
18 930. The Prosecution also relies on claims made by Halit and
19 Hyseni Berisha as regards to two buses in Suva Reka. That's P598, page
20 4, and Hyseni is testifying about the same thing. The buses were used to
21 transport people who left the town and did not have their own cars.
22 It is not known who actually hired those two buses. This was not
23 part of any systematic pattern as the Prosecution would like to show.
24 This was just a couple of buses hired by unidentified private persons.
25 These were not elements of a system effecting the expulsion, just
1 privately hired buses used by the people to leave this area until the
2 air-strikes finished and until the state of war ended.
3 This is all the evidence adduced in order to prove there was a
4 comprehensive plan to transport people out of the country. However, the
5 Prosecution simply used the regular transportation system and scheduled
6 departures to depict them as a system for the deportation. This was not
7 sufficient to prove that there was a plan, just as it would not be
8 sufficient to go to central station here in The Hague. Let me illustrate
9 the point in this way where you can see the railway traffic going on. If
10 you had the state of war in the Netherlands
11 guards in the station and it would be full of people trying to leave and
12 seek shelter in other areas nearby. There's absolutely nothing which
13 would show us how the transportation was organised in order to achieve
14 the deportation of the people because there was no such organisation of
15 the transportation, especially not one that could be called widespread
16 and systematic.
17 The same goes for the allegations regarding the confiscation and
18 destruction of IDs. The Prosecution is trying to show that as a part of
19 a comprehensive, unwritten tacit plan; however, if we analyse the
20 evidence carefully, the Trial Chamber will see that there is virtually
21 not a single case where the witnesses themselves lost their personal IDs.
22 In their evidence they, in most cases, say they heard about that
23 happening or that they thought they saw it happen to other people, and it
24 is quite strange that we are expected to believe that the witnesses who
25 testified before this Tribunal are exceptions who accidentally managed to
1 keep their documents with them. It is absolutely impossible to even try
2 to understand how this could be a part of a widespread and systematic
3 plan when in the record you have evidence that after their IDs were
4 checked people received their IDs, were given back their IDs, as Witness
5 Florim Elmi Krasniqi said at page 631 -- at Exhibit P631, page 6. In
6 paragraph 502 the Prosecution notes that Krasniqi and other witnesses
7 were not left without their personal IDs, which is in full opposition to
8 the existence of a methodical plan.
9 The most compelling evidence on the confiscation of personal
10 documents was provided by Gerxhaliu who said the following:
11 "[In English] Those documents that were issued in Albanian
12 language by the Ministry of the Interior of Kosova, then they tore them
13 up and threw them away."
14 [Interpretation] That's transcript page 3120 -- 29. It is
15 important to mention this, in view of the fact that the Ministry of the
16 Interior of Kosovo did not exist. That personal documentation was issued
17 by the parallel authority which was unlawfully established on the
18 territory of the sovereign republic of Serbia
19 documents were confiscated at all, what happened was what usually happens
20 with unlawfully issued personal documents, which are always of course
21 confiscated. An example of this was provided by Emin Kabashi, who stated
22 that only the IDs of women were checked. The fact that men's ID cards
23 were not checked shows that there was no consistent plan; and secondly,
24 the ID card of one woman was returned, and that's in transcript 2374.
25 The fact that the unlawful parallel government issued personal documents
1 explains stories similar to this, where one ID card was returned while
2 another was confiscated. Only unlawfully issued personal documents were
3 confiscated, and this can be seen from the fact that the witnesses
4 frequently crossed the border with their legal passports and just threw
5 away the Kosovo ID cards.
6 It is important to stress that the documents were very frequently
7 handed over even when not asked for, as we were able to see from the
8 evidence adduced, the keeping back of lawful documents had no negative
10 The Prosecutor is trying to make a big thing out of the burning
11 of personal documents on the basis of what was stated by
12 General Drewienkiewicz and Ciaglinski. According to General DZ, he just
13 quickly glanced through six documents which were in a heap of documents
14 that were burnt. He never confirmed what type of documents they were and
15 it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect that those six documents belonged
16 to Kosovo Albanians, while in that heap of other documents you had
17 documents belonging to other ethnicities. He does not know who set fire
18 to the documents nor why they were burnt, so that the observation made
19 that this was part of a plan is mere speculation, especially bearing in
20 mind the fact that General DZ himself was not convinced that any plan
21 ever existed.
22 There are several reasonable reasons which could be ascribed to
23 the burning of documents, and one of those reasons is that they -- it
24 meant the destruction of old or archived documents, documents which had
25 expired. The fact that Ciaglinski saw the burning of a large quantity of
1 archive material immediately before the MUP left the territory reinforces
2 this theory. Ciaglinski saw that various documents were being destroyed,
3 not only ID cards, and that is to be found on transcript page 5377 to
4 5378. He also has a photograph on which you can't see much except for a
5 bit of smoke, but he has no photographs showing the documents themselves.
6 In addition to that, he did not show us any burnt documents which he says
7 he took. Although he was not able to comment the destruction of the
8 archive as a routine part of the work of every organisation,
9 Michael Phillips testified that the KLM did the same before it withdrew
10 from Kosovo and Metohija. He explained that they did not do that because
11 they wanted to hide that documentation from anyone, but quite simply that
12 they didn't want to leave the documentation behind, so that finally they
13 ended up by destroying large quantities of material, transcript page
15 There is no reason why we should not apply the same rule to old
16 citizens' archives in Kosovo and Metohija. Witness K54 never received
17 any such orders nor did any member of the Army of Yugoslavia receive them
18 or the MUP, nor did they testify that they'd ever received any orders of
19 that kind. Witness K54 testified that he was at the border crossings but
20 he never saw that personally taking place, transcript page 4389, 4418 to
21 4419. Generally speaking, in the records there's no proof or evidence
22 that the checking or confiscation of personal documents was widespread
23 and systematic and that it was a policy. Moreover, there is no proof
24 that any such policy ever existed or that any of the border authorities
25 were informed of any such plan. The confiscation of ID cards in order to
1 wipe out somebody's identity would have absolutely no effects since
2 citizens, just like in any other country, were able to get new ID
3 documents at any time.
4 The basic documents of citizens were never destroyed and all
5 citizens of Kosovo and Metohija could have issued their birth
6 certificates and other personal documents. They could do this on the
7 territory of Serbia
8 They did that then and they're still doing it today.
9 When it comes to accusations relating to the crime of murder, the
10 Prosecution has failed to show that those acts were ordered, or rather,
11 that there exists any link between the murders and some sort of plan.
12 Even in cases where the Trial Chamber can ascertain that the crime of a
13 murder took place, these were unfortunate incidents involving individuals
14 and they were acts which were in no way linked to any sort of plan or
15 joint criminal enterprise.
16 Adding incidents in Podujevo into the indictment is something
17 which weakened the Prosecution's arguments most, because this incident is
18 absolutely contrary to the existence of any such plan which would be
19 implemented. The incident in Podujevo occurred on the 28th of March,
20 1999, and it coincides in the -- within the period, which according to
21 theory -- the theory of the Prosecution, the Serb forces were
22 implementing the forcible transfer of individuals, murder, prosecution,
23 according to a plan, including deportation. However, in Podujevo there
24 was no plan for expulsion. If there existed a widespread and systematic
25 plan, why then did not that plan incorporate Podujevo too? Because there
1 was no plan and the Prosecution knows full well that the evidence related
2 to the incident in Podujevo are directly against the grain of the
3 existence of any all-embracing plan.
4 Although in Podujevo an act of murder had taken place, it is
5 clear that it wasn't ordered nor permitted nor accepted, even less so.
6 Assistance to the victims was given by the doctors of MUP. The victims
7 were sent to hospitals in Pristina and Belgrade. Had there really been a
8 widespread and systematic plan, none of these measures would have been
10 The forensic evidence presented by the Prosecution is not
11 convincing enough. With respect to the incident in Izbica, there is
12 great doubt about where the bodies were found first and under what
13 conditions and how these individuals lost their lives in the first place.
14 There are significant indices to show that instead of a crime there was a
15 montage, and the Court should reach the conclusion that the forensic
16 evidence presented was suspect, fraught with doubt, and therefore cannot
17 be used to support the allegations made by the Prosecution.
18 The same is true for Kotlina, where the site of the crime was
19 contaminated by the villagers much before the official investigating
20 teams arrived on the spot, even during the investigation. In addition to
21 that, the Prosecution theory does not coincide with the report of the
22 Austrian forensic team either.
23 In numerous cases the forensic evidence quite simply does not
24 tally with the testimony given by witnesses. As an example Dr. Stankovic
25 testified that the Austrian report on the alleged killings in Kacanik in
1 no way supports the allegations contained in the statement given by
2 Witness Hazbi, Loku. The crime base is not connected with
3 Vlastimir Djordjevic at all and is difficult for the Defence to respond
4 because it is so far-fetched and far away from his responsibilities.
5 Numerous witnesses were called who spoke of the original want -- alleged
6 wanton destruction, but it is considered that the damage was not seen by
7 witnesses. Riedlmayer also couldn't confirm who inflicted the damage,
8 let alone the intention to intentionally commit damage. The Prosecution
9 says that Riedlmayer's findings, as well as what the witnesses saw on the
10 ground, shows that the Serbs intentionally destroyed Albanian cultural
11 and religious sites. There is no evidence which shows that anybody
12 committed these crimes with the intention coinciding with the crime of
13 persecution. Riedlmayer has absolutely no qualifications or expertise on
14 which to base his assessments and evaluations. This area was subject to
15 different combat operations, and therefore collateral damage represents a
16 reasonable explanation for fires and shooting. Certainly without
17 reliable witnesses, we cannot ascribe this to the SRJ forces in Serbia
18 only on the basis of assumptions.
19 The Prosecution claims:
20 [In English] "The targeted nature of the damage demonstrates that
21 it was the result of deliberate acts by the Serb forces, not NATO
22 air-strikes. Religious and cultural sites of Serbs and other ethnicities
23 were spared."
24 [Interpretation] Not only is that not true, but on the basis of
25 this one cannot conclude anything about who and why inflicted damages on
1 those facilities. We must remind ourselves that there were military
2 operations underway and that the protection of cultural heritage does not
3 represent a priority if such facilities are being used for military
4 purposes. And there we have a related judgement of the Blaskic trial
5 judgement, paragraph 185, see also the Second Protocol of The Hague
6 Convention of 1954, Article 6.
7 Certain evidence indicates that the damage inflicted was caused
8 by the NATO bombing as well. Vlastimir Djordjevic had no knowledge of
9 the fact that any crime of wanton destruction had been committed, and
10 even if the Court ascertains that in certain cases there was intentional
11 damage, Vlastimir Djordjevic was not in the field, in the area, and could
12 not have seen anything like that taking place.
13 As a summary of all this, the Prosecution attempted to insinuate
14 the existence of some sort of plan on the basis of the crimes committed
15 during a war, whereas there never was any such plan. In the Federal
16 Republic of Yugoslavia
17 moment when these unfortunate incidents took place. The fact that in war
18 ugly things happen does not prove that an all-embracing plan existed for
19 things like that to happen. The victims and fear were never part of any
20 plan, but the results of these events.
21 The Defence, in its final brief, pointed to ten other reasons for
22 this population movement. See paragraph 729. In the absence of any
23 proof and evidence of the existence of a plan, it is sufficient to look
24 at a reasonable reason where we have reasonable doubt with respect to the
25 existence of a tacit plan. We mentioned reasonable reasons for the
1 movement of population; and, first of all, we'd like to focus on the
2 non-selective bombing of NATO forces, the fear of people that they would
3 be caught up in the cross-fire of combat, manipulation by the KLA,
4 propaganda by the KLA and NATO. All these reasons throw great doubt on
5 the reasons for which 800.000 people moved, for which Neil Wright says
6 that to a large extent they were Kosovo Albanians, especially bearing in
7 mind that a similar percentage of the non-Albanian population also left
8 Kosovo. But this was recorded in a far less adequate way.
9 Proof that a plan existed was compiled at top level and that
10 Vlastimir Djordjevic knew about it is something that the Prosecution
11 bases and sets out in paragraph 171 of its final brief. The allegations
12 made in that paragraph are a drastic example of how the Prosecution makes
13 its conclusions on the basis of incorrectly quoted witness statements and
14 testimony, thereby manipulating the facts in order to prove their case.
15 Paragraph 171 relates to a video recording of the rally of the
16 Serbian Radical Party and Vojislav Seselj's speech at the rally. The
17 video was compiled by the BBC
18 Milosevic," and it was Exhibit P1510. We should like to ask you to focus
19 your attention on that. Under quotations, the Prosecutor claims that
20 Djordjevic's words, with respect to this video when they allegedly quote
21 him and place quotation marks, they say that Djordjevic said as follows:
22 "The parliament fully supported Milosevic's rejection of the
23 conditions set out in Rambouillet as did the Serbian public. The Serbian
24 deputy premier uncovered what Milosevic planned to do next. If NATO --
25 NATO starts bombing and if an American aggression takes place, we Serbs
1 will suffer significant casualties, but there will be no more Albanians
2 in Kosovo."
3 And as a footnote, they mention the transcript of the testimony
4 of Vlastimir Djordjevic, transcript page 10044 to 10045.
5 The Defence was highly surprised and assumes that the Prosecution
6 made a chance error in this particular case and not an intentional one,
7 placing words into Vlastimir Djordjevic's mouth, something he didn't say,
8 which is in complete contradiction with his response. All the words
9 under quotation -- quoted under quotation marks as being uttered by
10 Vlastimir Djordjevic were, in fact, the words of the BBC narrator from
11 the video shown, and the transcript pages which the Prosecution quotes is
12 from the audio recording of the video.
13 Vlastimir Djordjevic's reply is to be found on the following page
14 of the transcript, 10046, and it is completely contrary to what the
15 Prosecution claims. This is what he said:
16 "I really don't know anything about this rally of his, and
17 otherwise it is well-known that he uses all -- every misfortunate that
18 befalls the Serbian people for his own political gain, to score political
19 points. He did not deliver this speech as the vice premier, and this is
20 the first time that I see this. What he said over there, who was this
21 binding upon? It is part of Seselj's political story. He always had
22 some of his own comments to make, but all of them were to promote his own
23 personal gain."
24 Then on transcript page 10145 in response to the following
1 "Did you not know that while you were planning the defence of the
2 country, certain individuals in the leadership were bent on the expulsion
3 of the population of Kosovo Albanians from Kosovo as a solution to the
4 problem in Kosovo? Were you not aware of the fact that many people in
5 the leadership expressed these same views?"
6 And Vlastimir Djordjevic on that same transcript page replied:
7 "Never did I hear anything like that from any politician, any
8 such intent or any such plan or any such activity or anybody who was
9 supposed to implement that plan if any kind of thing like that existed
10 with respect to the expulsion from Kosovo and Metohija."
11 This quotation I think best illustrates the Prosecution's designs
12 by -- and in which way it quoted witnesses and drew conclusions and tried
13 to prove mens rea with Vlastimir Djordjevic about the existence of a
15 Your Honours, I think this is the right time to take a break.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, indeed. We will have the first break
17 now and resume at 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
21 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 [Interpretation] The Prosecutor did not prove how the
23 Joint Command met in the course of 1999, or rather, how it might have
24 co-ordinated the alleged expulsion plan. Joint anti-terrorist actions
25 took place also in 1999; however, the so-called Joint Command, a task
1 force which comprised a number of individuals and held regular meetings
2 with Djordjevic in attendance, had been disbanded in 1998. Even if it
3 had existed, Vlastimir Djordjevic could not be a member. Since paragraph
4 256 of the Prosecution brief alleges that the Joint Command comprised the
5 senior MUP and VJ leadership in Kosovo and Metohija, the question arises
6 as to how could Djordjevic be one of its members who often attended its
7 meetings, bearing in mind that during the indictment period he was not in
8 the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, but rather in Belgrade.
9 Vlastimir Djordjevic personally was unaware of the existence of
10 any JC command which might have continued to work after the October
11 Agreements. In terms of planning and implementation, the co-ordination
12 of anti-terrorist activities involved the MUP staff of counter-terrorism
13 and the Pristina Corps during the course of 1999 as well. There was
14 never co-ordination at the MUP and Main Staff of the army of the 3rd Army
15 level when it came to the planning or implementation of anti-terrorist
9 There is no evidence that Vlastimir Djordjevic or anybody from
10 the RJB centre had participated in planning actions in Kosovo in case of
11 NATO intervention. If such a plan had indeed existed at the RJB level,
12 it would apply to the territory of entire Serbia because all RJB
13 instructions uniformly regulated the actions of all organisational units
14 in the territory of entire Serbia
15 that Djordjevic on the 1st of June, 1999, went to the meeting of a
16 Joint Command; however, there's no proof that he actually attended such a
17 meeting or that in such a meeting was indeed a meeting of the
18 Joint Command. With the only exception being Witness Vasiljevic's
19 recollection that Djordjevic attended that meeting, but he didn't take
20 the floor. However, he did not note Djordjevic's presence in his
21 notebook and no other evidence of Djordjevic's presence at the meeting
23 Stojanovic testified and confirmed that none of the allegations
24 are correct. Djordjevic himself stated that on that day he was not in
25 Pristina and he did not attend any meetings. Witness Vasiljevic stated
1 that he attended the meeting on the 1st of June, 1999, in Pristina
2 together with Djordjevic and that the meeting had been presented to him
3 as a Joint Command meeting. He did not consider himself a Joint Command
4 member. Even if Djordjevic had possibly attended that meeting, that
5 would not constitute proof that Djordjevic was a JC member in 1999. The
6 OTP thinks that Vasiljevic doesn't have a motive to testify falsely and
7 that Witness Stojanovic has such a motive. One has to bear in mind that
8 Witness Vasiljevic provided his statements to the OTP as a suspect and
9 that he had never received a notification that the OTP no longer treated
10 him as such.
11 Witness Stojanovic, on the other hand, was never a suspect. The
12 OTP allegation in paragraph 1075 that Djordjevic as the highest-ranking
13 MUP officer commanded and controlled MUP units and attached units during
14 combat operations has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The OTP
15 did not proffer evidence to corroborate such allegations. Article 54 of
16 the regulation on the organisation of the MUP prescribes that departments
17 are headed by chiefs of departments. This was corroborated by Djordjevic
18 during his testimony when he explained the regulation on the internal
19 organisation of the MUP, Exhibit P357. The notorious fact is that the
20 regulation on the internal organisation of the MUP was passed by the
21 minister of the interior and regulated the command of the MUP. However,
22 the minister has the authority to change the MUP's competencies,
23 organisation, and even responsibilities in keeping with the requirements
24 and takes decision accordingly. With a view to provide for the most
25 rational use of all MUP resources for anti-terrorist activities in Kosovo
1 and Metohija, the minister of the interior on the 16th of June, 1998
2 issued a decision on setting up a staff for countering terrorism in
10 Sending RJB units to Kosovo and Metohija is part of the
11 implementation of the decision of the minister of the interior. In the
12 dispatches there is no reference to the task that those units were
13 supposed to carry out. The deployed units received their tasks from the
15 The police units in Kosovo and Metohija were answerable to and
16 reported to the MUP staff about the tasks they had carried out and they
17 are not answerable to the departments from which they had been sent. The
18 regulation on the internal organisation of the MUP applies only to the
19 organisation of the public security sector. The minister defined the
20 organisation of the state security sector by a special regulation. Since
21 these are two completely separate basic organisational units of the MUP
22 whose only head is the minister, when issuing his decision on the
23 establishment of the staff for countering terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija,
24 the Minister Stojiljkovic could not and indeed did not invoke the Rules on
1 or the Rules on the internal organisation of the RDB, Exhibit P1349.
2 He found the legal foundation in Article 7 of the Law on Internal
3 Affairs, Exhibit P66, and Articles 433, para 1, and Article 69 of the Law
4 on State Administration, Exhibit P69. And thus derogated the provisions
5 of the regulation on the internal organisation of the MUP and the
6 regulation on the internal organisation of the RDB in the part providing
7 for the responsibilities of both chiefs for the implementation of the
8 tasks which he had transferred onto the MUP staff and established the
9 responsibility of the staff for the implementation of the tasks.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down. Thank you.
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Irrespective of their
12 affiliation to the department --
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic, this is the second time you're
14 going a little too fast for the interpretation.
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Yes.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I know there's a time demand, but if -- what you
17 say needs to be recorded so if you could just --
18 MR. DJORDJEVIC: I was just warned from the interpreters and I
19 heard about that, but I am afraid about the time and all things --
20 JUDGE PARKER: Well, it's better that you be heard and recorded
21 accurately --
22 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Okay. Yes, yes.
23 JUDGE PARKER: -- and leave some minor stuff, if necessary.
24 MR. DJORDJEVIC: I will take care of that. Thank you.
25 [Interpretation] Irrespective of their affiliation, all members
1 of the MUP in Kosovo and Metohija and all organisational units of the MUP
2 in Kosovo and Metohija were subordinated to the staff when it came to the
3 implementation of the tasks of countering terrorism and special security
4 tasks in Kosovo and Metohija, so that the number of members of one or the
5 other department in Kosovo and Metohija who were involved in those tasks
6 are not important.
16 the MUP in the organisation and management of the MUP are not important.
17 And based on the evidence, the Trial Chamber will make inferences about
18 this disputable issue.
19 About its work and the work of the staff for countering terrorism
20 as well as of all the planned and implemented actions in Kosovo and
21 Metohija, the Chief of Staff reported to the minister. There is no
22 single piece of evidence that he reported to the chief of the RJB about
23 any of those issues. If Lukic went to Belgrade every week in order to
24 report back to Stevanovic and Djordjevic and the Prosecution refers to
25 Witness Byrnes in footnote 746 to prove that. However, the witness heard
1 all that from Lukic. He does not have first-hand knowledge about all
2 that. In the Milutinovic case he also mentioned that Lukic told him that
3 Stevanovic was the one who was reporting, and in this case he also added
13 The way the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
14 was regulated by an instruction which regulated the obligation of all
15 organisational units about daily reporting in the territory of Serbia
16 The Prosecution erroneously interprets Exhibit P1056 which is a dispatch
17 of the then-deputy minister and the chief of the RJB, Radovan Stojicic,
18 dated 19th of April, 1996, Exhibit P1056, paragraph 347, footnote 808,
19 and paragraph 3453, footnote 821, by which he established the obligation
20 to report to the MUP staff in Pristina.
21 The instructions contained in that decision with regard to the
22 informing in the relevant period were not in effect. They referred to
23 the staff which Stojicic had formed as the chief of the sector whose
24 members were -- whose members were members of one department only and
25 that was the department of public security. From the moment when the
1 minister established the MUP staff for countering terrorism on the 16th
2 of June, 1998, from the members of both of the departments, those
3 instructions were no longer binding upon the head of the -- or the chief
4 of the MUP staff for countering terrorism.
5 The best example of an incorrect interpretation on the part of
6 the OTP that information was conveyed via the chain of command from the
7 MUP staff to the MUP centre in Belgrade
8 in which he evokes Exhibit P57, bullet point 3, that minister's decision.
9 In this bullet point, it says explicitly that the Chief of Staff, when it
10 comes to his work, the work of the staff is answerable to the minister to
11 whom he reports about the security developments, measures taken, and the
12 results of those measures. For that reason, the Prosecution cannot find
13 reference for its further delegation -- allegations that Lukic was
14 directly answerable to minister -- to the minister and Djordjevic and
15 that he played a key role when it came to collecting intelligence from
16 the organisational units at Kosovo and Metohija and conveying such
17 information and intelligence to the centre in Belgrade.
18 There is no single piece of evidence that Lukic was duty-bound to
19 report to the centre in Belgrade
20 the tasks that he was given by the minister; the contrary is true. So
21 the whole thing could be seen from the point of view of the Prosecutor
22 accepting that it's no single piece of evidence corroborating allegations
23 that Lukic was answerable to Djordjevic and that he reported to him.
24 The conclusion of the OTP that Vlastimir Djordjevic as the chief
25 of the RJB issued tasks and instructions to the SUP units to the MUP
1 staff and special units because he sent dispatches, and we state -- and
2 he stated by way of examples P132, P1202, P1203, D433, P715, P717, P356
3 is contrary to the evidence which the Prosecution proffers in
4 corroboration of all its allegations. All the dispatches were sent to
5 all the organisational units to the RJB in the territory of Serbia
6 units, and because of the role of the MUP staff that the minister had
7 established, they were also sent to the staff not to issue staff any
8 tasks, but also to -- for their information so that the staff could issue
9 their specific orders within the framework of its own tasks and
10 authorities vis-a-vis the SUP
15 minister's decision and communication with the organisational units which
16 were supposed to implement the decision in keeping with the decision on
17 the establishment of the PJP units.
4 The Defence underlines once again that regular security tasks
5 across the entire Serbia
6 authority of the RJB.
7 The Prosecution has absolutely erroneously understood the
8 position of Vlastimir Djordjevic in the MUP in the course of 1999, and
9 that's why the allegations against him are -- cannot be born.
10 The Prosecution has corroborated its allegation that Djordjevic
11 was number two man in charge of the RJB units in Kosovo and Metohija
12 exclusively by quoting military General Vasiljevic in a number of places
13 in its final brief. Witness Vasiljevic, when he gave his statements to
14 the Prosecution, was not familiar with the MUP documents. And in the
15 long years in which he was interviewed several times by the Prosecution,
16 he had never been shown the decision of Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic,
17 Exhibit P57. That's at page 5887, lines -- line 25, and 5888, 1 through
18 3 in the transcript.
19 Even the Prosecution in fact objected in his cross-examination by
20 the Defence when he was asked about the organisation and functioning of
21 the MUP, noting that the witness was not familiar with the organisation
22 of the MUP, that he only -- as regards the control, saying that he has
23 only general knowledge and that he was asked to speculate. That's at
24 page 5887, lines 2 through 7 of the transcript.
25 Therefore, his evidence about the role of Vlastimir Djordjevic is
1 based exclusively on his assumptions and opinions.
2 The Prosecution's conclusion that the international
3 representatives identified Djordjevic as the RJB leader in Kosovo and
4 Metohija is completely inaccurate. Not even the verifiers who mentioned
5 many politicians and members of the VJ and MUP in their statements
6 mention Vlastimir Djordjevic. Drewienkiewicz, Ciaglinski, Maisonneuve,
7 Phillips do not mention Djordjevic in their statements to the Prosecutor
8 or, indeed, in their evidence. The only international representative who
9 does mention him and Shaun Byrnes, who speaks about the period when
10 Djordjevic was tasked with representing the MUP, together with Stevanovic
11 and Lukic, in the talks in October 1998. It is the only instance where
12 Byrnes says quite specifically he remembers he saw him, although he
13 believes there might have been other encounters. When he met Djordjevic
14 in October 1998, Byrnes assumed on the basis of his appearance and
15 behaviour what his role was. In the cross-examination in the Milutinovic
16 case, that's Exhibit P1214, transcript page 12230, and in the present
17 case, transcript page 8230 through 8233, Byrnes stated that, in fact, he
18 was unfamiliar with the way in which MUP was functioning and structured.
19 In paragraph 1104 of its final brief, the Prosecution states for
20 the first time that Vlastimir Djordjevic and the minister of the interior
21 worked in tandem. To support this claim, the Prosecution quotes our
22 dispatch, Exhibit P702. The conclusion that Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic
23 worked in tandem with Vlastimir Djordjevic is erroneous. The minister of
24 the interior is the only person who has original powers stipulated by the
25 law and sub-laws. Two basic organisational units in the MUP were the RJB
1 and the RDB. The chiefs of the RJB and the RDB were subordinate to the
2 minister, and they did their job exclusively in line with the decisions
3 of the minister. The minister and the department chiefs did not in any
4 way work in tandem.
5 The minister made all the decisions and they were implemented
6 through the departments. The manner in which control was exercised in
7 the MUP depended on the person of the minister. As for the relationship
8 between Minister Stojiljkovic and Vlastimir Djordjevic, the only
9 conclusion that can be drawn was that this was a relationship between a
10 superior and his subordinate. The evidence has shown what kind of
11 manager Vlajko Stojiljkovic was, the methods in which he exercised
12 control. In the relevant period, there was no deputy minister. From the
13 time he was appointed the minister, Vlajko Stojiljkovic had four
14 assistants for lines of work in the public security sphere; and as of
15 December 1998 when General Markovic was appointed the chief of the RDB,
16 he had three assistants.
17 Assistant ministers were in charge of lines of work in the public
18 security sphere and acted in accordance with the orders and instructions
19 of the minister, which was in line with the law, and this served to
20 reduce the powers of the RJB chief who was one of the assistant
21 ministers. The assistant ministers had only one superior, the minister,
22 and there was no subordination among them.
23 The collegium, as a management method in the ministry in the
24 tenure of Vlajko Stojiljkovic, shows that the minister took all the
25 decisions, and this was made formal on the 4th of December, 1998, when
1 the minister's collegium was established. The composition of the
2 collegium indicates that formally it comprised the assistant ministers,
3 the chief of the crime police administration, and the chief of the
4 Belgrade SUP
5 fact, its meetings were attended by all RJB administration chiefs.
6 The direct control over the MUP operations without consulting the
7 RJB chief is illustrated by the appointment of the Belgrade SUP chief
8 Branko Djuric, the dismissal of the Vranje SUP chief, Stojmenovic, the
9 disbanding of the SAJ
10 administration chiefs in the MUP headquarters and to the SUP chiefs, and
11 the establishment of the MUP staff for the suppression of terrorism.
12 To illustrate his manner of address and management and how he
13 issued tasks, let me quote from a dispatch dated the 25th of March, 1999
14 Exhibit D784 in which Vlajko Stojiljkovic says, inter alia:
15 "You received the orders what to do from me personally."
16 Then goes on to say:
17 "Arrest persons without recourse to a judge and keep them in
18 prison until I decide otherwise. If you allow these occurrences, you
19 will face the same consequences."
20 All the RJB instructions sent to the organisational units and
21 SUPs in Serbia
22 and that is why in the dispatch dated the 24th of March, 1999
23 Exhibit P702, where he orders measures referring to an RJB dispatch of
24 the 18th of February, 1999, as our dispatch. Obviously, given lack of
25 evidence, the Prosecution wants to use this language used by the minister
1 to suggest to the Chamber that Minister Stojiljkovic and Djordjevic
2 worked in tandem.
3 Now I would like to say something about Annex E of the
4 Prosecution, that is Exhibit P1037, it's a chart showing the structure of
5 the Republic of Serbia
6 of the MUP in the Republic of Serbia
7 the indictment. It's merely wishful thinking on the part of the
8 Prosecution. This is what they wished the MUP organisation had been.
9 The chart accurately shows that Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic was at the
10 head of the ministry and that Radomir Markovic was chief of the RDB and
11 Vlastimir Djordjevic, chief of the RJB. It also reflects accurately the
12 relationship between the minister, the MUP staff, and the deployed and
13 detached units in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the SUPs in Kosovo and
14 Metohija. What is missing in the chart, however, is the RDB centre and
15 the RDB branches in Kosovo and Metohija, which as organisational units
16 were subordinate to the staff in performing their tasks in the
17 suppression of terrorism.
18 There can be no single chart showing the MUP chain of command
19 vis-a-vis the regular security tasks and vis-a-vis the anti-terrorist
20 activities and special security tasks in Kosovo and Metohija. And that
21 is why the chart incorrectly shows that the police administration was the
22 chief of the -- was headed by Obrad Stevanovic, that the police
23 administration was in control of the PJP units in Kosovo and Metohija,
24 that the RJB was in charge or exercised control over the MUP staff, and
25 the SAJ
1 were -- are shown as separate units, whereas in fact they were part of
2 the PJPs.
3 Another error is that the RDB is shown to have exercised control
4 over the units of JSO in Kosovo and Metohija and that those units in
5 Kosovo and Metohija were under the control of the MUP staff. At the same
6 time, we would like to highlight the contradictions and inconsistencies
7 in the table whose author is unknown to the Defence because the RJB
8 linked with the MUP staff in Kosovo and Metohija and the RJB units, yet
9 there is no link established between the RDB and the MUP staff in Kosovo
10 and Metohija while the JSO, as their unit, took part in the
11 anti-terrorist activities in Kosovo and Metohija and was subordinate to
12 the MUP staff.
13 Disarming the Albanian villages and arming of non-Albanian
14 civilians are two completely separate processes. The illegal importation
15 of weapons and the arming of the Albanian population in order to achieve
16 their secessionist goals is entirely illegitimate and illegal. First of
17 all, it is contradictory if you apply common logic to say that Albanian
18 villages were being disarmed. Who, when, and how armed the Albanian
19 villages and how could they have armed them in contravention of the
20 existing laws and without the knowledge of the legal state authorities?
21 Possession of rifles is a crime and possession of side-arms and hunting
22 weapons without a proper permit is also a crime. The Serbian Assembly
23 issued a decision to amnesty the Albanian civilians who had obtained
24 their weapons illegally and surrender them. The MUP staff for the
25 suppression of terrorism ran the action to collect all those weapons, and
1 there is no decision issued from the RJB headquarters dealing with this
3 The SUPs in Kosovo and Metohija were in touch with the staff and
4 reported to it as to the implementation of those activities, and they
5 acted in accordance with the tasks they received from the staff.
6 Confiscating weapons from the separatists, the KLA, is standard
7 procedure. Any state in the world would do the same thing. It is only
8 natural to prevent armed secession by severing routes used to bring
9 weapons in and by seizing weapons that are already there. Those
10 activities taken in 1998 cannot have anything to do with the time when
11 NATO attacked the FRY and the period relevant for the indictment.
12 If the Prosecution argument were to be accepted, then it would be
13 illegal to seize weapons from the terrorists in Afghanistan or anywhere
14 else in the world and it would be unacceptable to prevent procurement and
15 illegal importation of weapons.
16 The Prosecution has distorted an event in the village of Istinic
17 that Vlastimir Djordjevic and Defence Witness Vukmir Mircic testified
18 about. Their evidence shows that the security organs of the FRY and
20 clashes with heavily armed KLA terrorists, which would result in numerous
21 casualties among the many civilians who were in the village at the time.
22 The Prosecution has presented an act that saved the lives of thousands of
23 Albanian civilians as disarming in order to facilitate their expulsion
24 six months later.
25 In paragraph 246, the Prosecution says that the decision to
1 establish and to arm the reserve police squads, the RPOs, was taken at
2 the level of the MUP headquarters in Belgrade, yet fails to provide any
3 evidence to that effect because such evidence does not exist. No such
4 evidence has been shown in the course of this case.
5 RPOs were never discussed in the MUP headquarters, nor were any
6 decisions taken. And the fact that the assistant minister, Stojan Misic,
7 was unfamiliar with the term and with their existence illustrates the
9 There is not a single shred of evidence that MUP from Belgrade
10 sent any kind of instructions relating to the arming of the non-Albanian
11 population. All defence tasks in the territory of Kosovo
12 were done within the VJ, the Yugoslavia Army, and the MUP staff and the
13 Prosecution erroneously quoted Djordjevic in its paragraph 1110 to the
14 effect that MUP provided logistical support to the RPOs, whereas he
15 stated that the MUP staff did those jobs and that Blagoje Pesic was the
16 staff member in charge of those tasks. The documents that the
17 Prosecution refers to are in fact the correspondence between the MUP
18 staff and the SUPs in Kosovo and Metohija regarding the RPOs, and there
19 is no other evidence that MUP sent any other kind of instructions.
20 The minutes from a meeting of the staff of the 17th of February,
21 1999, where the minister is informed about the RPO shows -- show that
22 those tasks were within the jurisdiction of the MUP staff and Djordjevic
23 could have no influence over them at all.
24 The Prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that
25 Vlastimir Djordjevic had effective control over the MUP forces in Kosovo
1 and Metohija. Based on the incident in Racak, one cannot conclude that
2 in 1999 Djordjevic took direct part in combat activities of the MUP in
3 Kosovo and Metohija and in the planning and co-ordination of joint combat
4 operation of the MUP and the Yugoslav Army.
5 In its final brief, the Defence explained the time and role of
6 Vlastimir Djordjevic in Racak, that's in paragraph 73 through 93, and
7 Exhibit P869, page 3, the last three items, entries for the 16th of
8 January, 1999, about the conversation and the visit by
9 General Maisonneuve to the Urosevac SUP chief shows that on the day after
10 the action to arrest terrorists in the village of Racak
11 Janicevic, when asked who commanded the units, replied that it is general
12 knowledge who issued orders to the police to fight criminals and that not
13 even he as chief of the police could take final decisions.
14 The staff has to decide. The staff issued the order.
15 Defence Witness Mitic confirmed that Djordjevic was not in Racak
16 on the 15th of January, 1999
17 Prosecution showed him the transcript from the Milosevic case where
18 Janicevic says that Djordjevic was in Stimlje on the 15th of January,
19 1999, at 11.00 a.m.
20 1999, and approved the arrest action.
21 General Maisonneuve note on the conversation with Janicevic was
22 made a day after the action in Racak. It was drafted by Maisonneuve's
23 associate and Janicevic then confirmed that the staff approved the
24 action. Six and a half years after the event, Janicevic testified as a
25 Defence witness, stating for the first time that General Djordjevic was
1 also present in the staff. There is no reason for Janicevic to neglect
2 to mention on the 16th of January, 1999 that Djordjevic had approved the
3 action and to designate the staff as the body that actually issued the
4 task. It is obvious that it was in somebody's interest to involve the
5 RJB chief in the process of issuing the task to carry out the action in
6 Racak more than six years after the event. None of the witnesses heard
7 in this case confirmed Djordjevic's presence in Kosovo and Metohija
8 before the 15th of January, 1999, and his arrival from the Pristina
9 airport to the MUP staff on the 15th of January, 1999, was described by
10 Witness Cankovic. The Prosecution did not call or examine
11 Witness Janicevic in this case about this event and did not put it to
12 Djordjevic in its cross-examination in order for him to be able to say
13 something about it.
14 Witness Mitic, who was in constant communication with the SUP
15 chief Janicevic and who was heard by this Chamber, said that Janicevic
16 never mentioned Djordjevic regarding the approval of the plan to take
17 action in Racak and Janicevic actually told him that the MUP staff had
18 planned the action.
19 Vlastimir Djordjevic was never in Racak. The only role that
20 Vlastimir Djordjevic had, vis-a-vis the qualifications of the event in
21 Racak, was to go to Pristina on the orders of the minister on the 17th of
22 January, 1999, to provide assistance to clear up the whole situation in
23 Racak. When he arrived in Pristina in the MUP -- in the MUP staff
24 headquarters, he was told that a plan was made to put Racak under the MUP
25 control and that the plan had to be implemented on the 18th of January,
1 1999. On the 18th of January, 1999, Vlastimir Djordjevic went to the
2 police station in Stimlje, where Janicevic, the chief of the Urosevac SUP
3 was, as was the chief of the police department Radomir Mitic,
4 investigative judge Danica Marinkovic, deputy public prosecutor, the
5 pathologist Dobricanin and the crime scene technicians from the Urosevac
7 chief, was told that and the investigation team, headed by investigative
8 judge Danica Marinkovic, went to Racak to carry out an on-site
10 The allegations made by the Prosecutor in paragraph 160, to the
11 effect that the investigating judge conducted an investigation not to
12 uncover the truth of what happened in Racak but rather to deflect and
13 shift the responsibility from MUP and not supported by anything,
14 investigating judge Danica Marinkovic did her best to conduct an
15 investigation on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of January, 1998. But because
16 of the KLA action, she was not successful in that. And the fact that the
17 on-site investigation only took place on the 18th of January, 1999,
18 cannot be ascribed to any ill intent on her part.
19 On the 15th of January, 1999, the Government of the Republic of
21 invitation of Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic, Vlastimir Djordjevic went
22 with members of the government -- he flew to Pristina on the 15th of
23 January, 1999. In the previous days, Vlastimir Djordjevic was otherwise
24 in Belgrade
25 he signed a dispatch, Exhibit P1205, which was sent to all the SUPs and
1 others on the territory of Serbia
2 government decisions of the SRJ and RS with respect to supplies on Kosovo
3 and Metohija measures to prevent weapons smuggling goods in short supply
4 on the territory of Kosovo
5 On one single occasion Vlastimir Djordjevic was in the police
6 station in Stimlje on the 18th of January, 1999. He was just there once.
7 And he confirmed just like witnesses Mitic, Mladenovic Danica Marinkovic,
8 who explained how the events took place during those days. Their
9 testimony is clear, truthful, accurate, and corroborate each other. All
10 the Prosecutor's allegations are based on the testimony of Witness K86,
11 who, for a number of reasons, cannot be thought to be a reliable witness.
12 And we said more about that subject in our close -- final brief. And
13 that he adjusted his story to suit the Prosecution and to implicate and
14 to involve Vlastimir Djordjevic in at least one operation.
15 Therefore, the Prosecutor has not shown beyond reasonable doubt
16 that in 1999 Djordjevic took part in any kind of planning and commanding
17 of MUP actions in Kosovo and Metohija, during which period crimes were
18 committed stipulated in the indictment which represented a means for
19 accomplishing the joint criminal enterprise.
20 Vlastimir Djordjevic was not broadly involved arrest implicated
21 in the ordering and co-ordination of the operation to hide bodies.
22 Djordjevic did not have a leading role in covering up the killings that
23 the SRJ committed against Kosovo Albanians. Before we begin to analyse
24 each of the paragraphs which the OTP stipulates in its final brief, it is
25 important to repeat a sentence uttered in his defence by
1 Vlastimir Djordjevic. He said:
2 "I did not know whose bodies were in the truck which was found.
3 I did not know who the people who had lost their lives were. I did not
4 know where they had lost their lives or in what way. I did not know
5 whether they were buried, nor did I know where they were from and in what
6 way they were transported, let alone who organised the transport."
7 This sentence directly speaks about the knowledge of
8 Vlastimir Djordjevic and his role in the uncovering of bodies on the
9 territory of Serbia
10 April, 1994 [as interpreted], and lasts for about 20 days, Djordjevic
11 exhaustively explained in his defence before this Trial Chamber, and, in
12 that way along confirmation by numerous witnesses who were direct
13 participants in the events, he explained that he did not know of the
14 existence of any plan or task issued to cover up the bodies, that he
15 didn't have any knowledge or information that any bodies existed -- or
16 rather, that not a single shred of evidence was presented to indicate
17 that Djordjevic had a reasonable reason to assume that any such idea ever
19 Explanations contained in the final brief of the OTP which relate
20 to points 527, 532, Berisha massacre Suva Reka 533-535, Izbica, 536-546,
21 Djakovica-Meja, 547, 551 other cases cannot in any way be linked to
22 Djordjevic. During proceedings not a shred of evidence was presented
23 which would beyond reasonable doubt indicate that Djordjevic had any
24 knowledge whatsoever that the people in Suva Reka, Izbica or Meja had
25 lost their lives, let alone when, where, and how they were buried.
1 The discovery of the refrigerator truck in Tekija municipality,
2 Kladovo, is linked to the first knowledge that Vlastimir Djordjevic had
3 about the existence of corpses of the territory of the Republic of Serbia
4 outside Kosovo and Metohija. His first knowledge stems from the 6th of
5 April, 1999, after 2000 hours. He was surprised when the chief of SUP
6 Bor, Caslav Golubovic, informed him about the fact. This surprise was
7 explained by Golubovic. Witness Golubovic said that he had called up
8 Vlastimir Djordjevic as chief of the department, but had he been unable
9 to reach him he would have conveyed the information to someone else in
10 MUP which shows that there was no previous plan or agreement linked to
11 informing Vlastimir Djordjevic in situations of this kind.
12 Witness Golubovic told him on that occasion that on the banks of
13 the Danube
14 with about 20 bodies and that the municipal prosecutor's office had been
15 informed of the fact and that the investigating judge and operative of
16 MUP Kladovo had gone out on site. And when the prosecutor and judge saw
17 the number of bodies they left the site and said they would inform the
18 competent district prosecutor's office, which they did.
19 About this event, the district prosecutor's office and judge in
20 Negotin were informed about this by the duty service of the OUP of
21 Kladovo, and this was confirmed by Witnesses Golubovic and Radojkovic.
22 The fact that the judge and prosecutor were informed of the event is
23 something that the OTP fails to mention in its final brief. After
24 hearing information conveyed to him by Golubovic, Djordjevic told
25 Golubovic that as far as any further proceedings were concerned that he
1 should wait because he had to inform the minister about the events and to
2 consult him to see what would be done next. He did inform the minister
3 about everything that he had learned from Golubovic, and then the
4 minister issued instructions whereby the bodies, after the necessary
5 procedure, should be buried nearby where they were found and that the
6 chief of the secretariat should be informed that all conduct be closed to
7 the public and that the press should not write too much about this event.
8 After 10 to 15 minutes, Djordjevic called Golubovic and told him
9 that the minister had instructed that the bodies after the procedure be
10 conducted should be buried in the vicinity where they were found, which
11 Witness Golubovic resolutely confirms in his statement, both in the
12 Milutinovic trial and before this Trial Chamber as well. Despite all the
13 evidence shown and testimony, the only two participants in the
14 conversation who -- which identical, logical, and convincing, the OTP in
15 paragraphs 558, 559, 1189, and 1190, states that Djordjevic ordered the
16 bodies to be buried in Kladovo with the proviso that everything should
17 remain confidential, therefore completely contrary to the evidence
18 presented and the statement and testimony of the witnesses. Obviously,
19 it was intentionally omitted to state that Djordjevic was conveying the
20 minister's instructions and that he told Golubovic of this. Certainly
21 Djordjevic would not have needed to call Golubovic 10 to 15 minutes later
22 had he known of the existence or organisation of any bodies on the
23 territory of Serbia
25 Djordjevic certainly would not have been surprised to hear
1 information conveyed to him by Golubovic if he had organised or knew of
2 the existence of any corpses on the territory of Serbia
3 certain that Djordjevic told Golubovic that he was conveying instructions
4 from the minister of the interior whom he had previously informed about
5 the event and been given instructions about what should be done next.
6 At that point in time, Vlastimir Djordjevic did not know whose
7 bodies were in the truck which was found. He doesn't know who the people
8 were who had lost their lives, he did not know where they lost their
9 lives or in what way. He doesn't know whether they were buried not does
10 he know where they came from or how they were transported, let alone who
11 organised the transport. Having forwarded the minister's instructions,
12 Vlastimir Djordjevic once again goes to see the minister and proposes the
13 formation of a commission or team of experts to establish how it came
14 about that these bodies were found where they were found. When he saw
15 that General Djordjevic was resolute in investigating the whole matter,
16 the minister intimated that he was behind the whole story and that
17 certain incidents did take place in Kosovo and Metohija and that
18 something needed to be done to prevent the knowledge of these bodies
19 because of NATO propaganda and justification of the overall aggression
20 and bombing.
21 Therefore, this was the moment when Vlastimir Djordjevic learned
22 what was going on, on the 6th of April, 1999, after talking to Golubovic
23 and after receiving information and having a discussion with the
24 minister. Vlastimir Djordjevic then learned that on the territory of
1 victims of certain individual acts in Kosovo and Metohija. After that,
2 Vlastimir Djordjevic had two more telephone conversations with
3 Caslav Golubovic. In those conversations, Golubovic insisted that in
4 view of the number of bodies and in view of the lack of capacity on the
5 territory of the secretariat, that the transport of the bodies should be
6 organised to Belgrade
7 General Djordjevic conveyed that information to the minister.
8 The minister told him to convey the information to the chief of the
9 secretariat in Bor and to find a vehicle to load up the bodies and that
10 that truck should set out in the direction of Belgrade and should convey
11 the message to Golubovic to ensure that they had the telephone number of
12 the driver of the truck with the bodies as well as the fact that the
13 truck in which the bodies were found should be destroyed.
14 The place and method of where they were to be transported and how
15 this was to be resolved was up to the minister; it was the minister's
16 concern, and that's what happened. And after that, Djordjevic had
17 nothing -- no more information about what happened to the trucks from
19 When he -- in commenting these parts, the OTP in paragraphs 561,
20 1190 and 1191, states that Djordjevic, when he heard that they could not
21 complete this by the morning, ordered Golubovic to load up the bodies
22 into a new truck and send it to Belgrade
23 statements made by witnesses and the evidence produced. It is clear that
24 Djordjevic once again conveyed the minister's orders, but of course that
25 is nowhere to be found in the Prosecutor's final brief. The fact that
1 Djordjevic had no further information, nor was in any way involved in the
2 truck's further journey with the bodies, is accepted by the OTP in a way
3 when in paragraph 1191 they state that Golubovic was called up by
4 somebody from the minister and asked about the licence plates and
5 telephone number so that Ursuljanovic could be seen off to the final
6 destination. The logical conclusion is that had Djordjevic known
7 anything about the destination to which the minister would have sent the
8 truck he would have told Golubovic that. Had he known the destination
9 and further decided where the truck was to go, he would have --
10 Djordjevic would have called him up personally and not somebody from the
12 If we bear in mind furthermore everything I have stated thus far,
13 Djordjevic's statement is very convincing and logical.
14 During his last talk, Djordjevic told the minister that up until
15 then he had nothing to do with any of the case and that he did not wish,
16 in any way furthermore, to be involved in any of it. On that occasion,
17 the minister warned him and said that the matter was serious and that he
18 should mind what he was doing. The minister claimed that these were
19 individual incidents and that they should be treated as such and resolved
20 as such. Golubovic no longer had any contact with Djordjevic, and best
21 proof and evidence that Djordjevic had no knowledge of the further
22 transport of the bodies from Tekija is the fact that the Prosecution
23 notes in its final brief as well when, as the man who ordered Witness K93
24 to go and pick up the bodies with the truck in Tekija, and states
25 Petar Zekovic, assistant minister, completely corresponds to what
1 Djordjevic said, who claims that the minister took over all further
2 action after talking to Golubovic.
3 In paragraph 566, it says that Golubovic told Sperlic that
4 everything concerning the refrigerator truck should be kept closed and
5 that all dispatches in that regard should be destroyed. In this
6 paragraph, the contents of the statement is suspect which was not based
7 on the evidence adduced or information obtained from any witness about
8 the destruction of any dispatches, and also the fact that as proof and
9 evidence of this Exhibit P386 is quoted, that is to say an Official Note
10 by the Working Group on an alleged conversation with Vukasin Sperlic.
11 Apart from the Official Note, information of this kind contains no other
12 elements which would make them an official act of any kind or document.
13 They were compiled in contravention with police procedure and rules that
14 were in force when an Official Note is written. They lack the basic
15 elements which an Official Note must always have in order to be
16 considered an Official Note. That is to say there's no reference number,
17 there's no date or location where the interview was conducted. There is
18 no signature on the part of the person compiling the Official Note or the
19 person responsible for the contents of the Official Note. And with
20 respect to the statement made by Vukasin Sperlic, as in most cases, there
21 is no signature by the person compiling the information contained in the
22 Official Note.
1 like and what form it must take and what information it must contain.
2 Golubovic, Radojkovic, and even Witness K84 himself, claiming that they
3 were only for local use, confirmed that the papers which were compiled by
4 the Working Group and were titled Official Note, could not be used for
5 any official purpose, least of all as a piece of evidence in court. And
6 I refer you to Article 83 of the ZKP.
7 Despite all the weaknesses with respect to what the witnesses
8 said regarding the Official Note, K87 and K93 said that the statements
9 contain large number of untruths and that 90 per cent was the free
10 interpretation of Witness 84, whereas for certain serious accusations
11 they termed them as lies and said that they had never uttered them.
12 These two witnesses were precisely the witnesses who spoke about the
13 bodies and the way in which Djordjevic acted with respect to the bodies
14 in Serbia
15 precisely in their Official Notes.
16 And referring in paragraph 1194 about Djordjevic's order for
17 the -- to destroy the refrigerator truck found in Kladovo, the Prosecutor
18 fails to mention that it was the minister's order which Djordjevic merely
19 conveyed on to Golubovic. In paragraph 1195, a reference is made to the
20 district prosecutor Krstimir Nestorovic who told the task force that the
21 case was proclaimed a secret and that the general public should not have
22 been informed about anything, and that was based on the hearsay testimony
23 of Witness K84. The task force and Witness K84 were never interviewed by
24 the aforementioned prosecutor, and there is no single piece of evidence
25 that points to the case being in any way proclaimed a secret. When
1 Prosecution witnesses were interviewed about this, the following is what
2 is said about the matters. Witness Golubovic confirmed that the
3 information on what had happened was never classified; on the contrary,
4 statement of judicial bodies were not even warned not to talk about what
5 they had seen. Classified information primarily referred to the state of
6 war which had been proclaimed in the vicinity of the Romanian border and
7 that was to prevent the onset of panic among the population and the
8 traffic being interrupted on the main road.
9 When it comes to the allegation in paragraph 1195 that the
10 investigation was stopped and that the instruction came from the highest
11 level in Belgrade
12 Djordjevic, we did not hear any testimony or see evidence to corroborate
13 such allegations. Again, these are uncorroborated statements and
14 unfounded conclusions, and not only that. The Prosecutor completely
15 ignores K84's testimony and his answer to the question as to how come
16 that during his two previous testimonies he failed to mention that
17 Djordjevic had said to Prosecutor Nestorovic that all should be
18 classified. He answered this:
19 "Actually, those were rumours. Rumours had it that it all had
20 come from the highest level. In the way I see it, why would Djordjevic
21 call the prosecutor in Negotin? He would have called Golubovic. That
22 would have been the chain of command, the appropriate chain of command,
23 but those were rumours."
24 In transcript page 2119.
25 Thus, based on rumours, the Prosecutor in his final brief in
1 paragraph 1195 draws its conclusion, failing to mention rumours about
2 Djordjevic contacting Prosecutor Nestorovic in Negotin from the highest
3 level in Belgrade
4 inference is inappropriate and malevolent. A huge injustice would be
5 done to anybody who was convicted based on the evidence and
6 interpretation of evidence of this kind and charges brought against the
7 accused in this way.
8 Witness Golubovic stated -- Witness Golubovic stated that the
9 district judge and prosecutor were informed, they were informed by the
10 municipal judge and the prosecutor who were at the site, and they were
11 also informed to the duty -- through the duty service in Kladovo which
12 informed the judge in Negotin.
13 Witness Radojkovic stated that it was impossible for the police
14 to force the judiciary to come to a crime scene. They could also not
15 park the truck full of bodies by the road and wait for the judiciary
16 bodies to turn up. An analysis of the evidence and the witness
17 testimonies clearly demonstrate that the Prosecutor's conclusion in
18 paragraph 1199 is not founded on the evidence presented during the trial
19 and also that such a conclusion cannot be made beyond reasonable doubt.
20 It cannot be claimed that Vlastimir Djordjevic, the minister, or anybody
21 else for that matter, had no intention to perform post mortems in keeping
22 with the procedure. Vlastimir Djordjevic did intend for the procedure to
23 be followed at the moment when he learned from Caslav Golubovic about the
24 existence of the bodies. At the moment when he learned about the
25 existence of the bodies, he ordered a team to be set up to investigate
1 the facts. At that moment, Vlastimir Djordjevic didn't know who the
2 bodies belonged to, he didn't know who the people were who had lost their
3 lives, he didn't know where they had lost their lives, how, he didn't
4 know whether they had ever been buried, and he didn't know where they
5 were being transported from and how and let alone who the transport was
6 organised by.
7 The investigating judge and the prosecutor of the municipal court
8 came to the crime scene, together with a pathologist. When they left the
9 crime scene, the district prosecutor and the investigating judge were
10 informed about everything, both by the MUP, the duty service, as well as
11 by their colleagues from the municipal court. The MUP could not force
12 the judiciary bodies to come to the crime scene. At that moment, the
13 aggression of the NATO forces and the shelling are under way. The state
14 of war had been proclaimed. Everything was happening close to the
15 Romanian border by a very busy road and the lorries by the road and an
16 unbearable stench was coming from it.
17 Something had to be done, even if the judiciary bodies had not
18 come to the crime scene. Thus, they were informed, but they didn't turn
19 up and there was no way for the MUP to force them to go to the crime
20 scene. The story about the secrecy of the matter is based on the
21 testimony of Witness K84 about rumours, whereas the eye-witnesses present
22 an entirely different story. Clearly, the OTP's wrong when they allege
23 that Djordjevic's only intent was to cover up the whole matter. The
24 exact was opposite. Djordjevic did not do anything to cover up the facts
25 about the refrigerator truck being found in Tekija. Just like the
1 allegations in paragraph 1199 is not correct, one cannot accept the
2 allegation that the actions to cover up the bodies in Batajnica continued
3 for the next two months.
4 It has been clearly demonstrated through the trial, which was
5 corroborated by Witnesses K87, 88, and Djordjevic himself. The burials
6 went on for no longer than 20 days.
7 No single piece of evidence adduced during the trial points to
8 the conclusion proffered by the Prosecution in paragraph 1200 when they
9 claim that it was either Djordjevic himself on his own who organised the
10 transport of the bodies from Tekija to Batajnica or in concert with the
11 minister. This conclusion is based on assumptions and it certainly
12 cannot be drawn beyond reasonable doubts as the evidence shows that
13 somebody else from the ministry and not Djordjevic participated in the
14 transport of the bodies, and that it was somebody else from the ministry,
15 and not Djordjevic, who spoke to Golubovic and driver Ursuljanovic about
16 the transport of those bodies.
17 It can be clearly concluded that Witness K93 was sent to Tekija
18 and later on to Batajnica by Assistant Minister Zekovic and not
19 Djordjevic. This all tallies with the moment when Djordjevic said to the
20 minister, "I no longer wish to participate in all this," and the moment
21 when the minister said that, the transport of the bodies was his concern
22 from then on.
23 The same paragraph brings another conclusion, and that is that it
24 is not realistic to believe that Djordjevic distanced himself from the
25 whole matter at that moment, and that only a few days later he
1 participated in the burial of the bodies in Batajnica.
2 There is a very clear explanation for this erroneous conclusion
3 on the part of the OTP. The OTP fails to state the fact that the
4 minister called General Vlastimir Djordjevic to his office in April 1999,
5 a few days after he received information from Perucac lake and told him
6 that the trucks which transported the bodies from Tekija was then in
7 the area where the special anti-terrorist unit had its own shooting range
8 and that the bodies were supposed to be buried there. That was the 13th
9 May centre in Batajnica. What ensued was a discussion involving
10 General Djordjevic and the minister, and then the minister said to
11 Djordjevic -- reminded him, rather, that the latter had already refused
12 to carry out his direct orders on two occasions and that was with regard
13 to Tekija and Perucica but the situation was very serious, that the war
14 was going on, that the entire territory of Serbia
15 destruction, and that at that moment that was the way to deal with the
16 bodies in Batajnica.
17 General Vlastimir Djordjevic at that moment, bearing in mind the
18 situation in Serbia
19 territory, he caved in and he accepted to carry out the minister's order.
20 That is why seven to ten days later after the discovery of the
21 refrigerator truck in Tekija, Vlastimir Djordjevic participated in the
22 burial of the bodies in Batajnica. That was the moment when
23 Vlastimir Djordjevic actually learned that the bodies from the
24 refrigerator truck in Tekija were to be found in Batajnica, and that was
25 the moment when Vlastimir Djordjevic learned about the true intentions of
1 the minister. That was the moment when Vlastimir Djordjevic accepted to
2 participate in the burial of the bodies in the area of the 13 May centre
3 in Batajnica, not before, no way.
4 The Prosecutor, in paragraph 1202, concludes that Djordjevic, in
5 his defence, tried to pass on the entire responsibility onto the
6 minister; however, that that was entirely unimportant with regard to the
7 indictment, since together with the minister and some other key
8 political, military, and police figures he's charged with having
9 committed the crimes so that the participation of any other person does
10 not deny his individual responsibility. This paragraph shows the essence
11 of the erroneous and intentional interpretation of Djordjevic's defence
12 and evidence presented during the case in order to support the
13 Prosecutor's allegation.
14 In paragraph 567 of the OTP, there is no reference or evidence
15 with regard to the bodies which appeared in Perucac lake. In the second
16 sentence it is stated that the bodies were collected and buried under
17 Djordjevic's command. An entirely different situation can be found in
18 paragraph 1203, where the OTP's trying to use the statement of
19 Djordje Keric, who was at the time the chief of SUP in Uzice. He
20 presented several contradictory statements in order to explain his own
21 role and the role of Vlastimir Djordjevic in the whole chain of events.
22 A further analysis will show that Witness Keric, in an entirely
23 unconvincing way, tried to explain how come that under oath before the
24 Trial Chamber of the district court in Belgrade he provided a statement
25 which was totally contrary to the statement that he also under oath
1 provided to -- before this Trial Chamber.
1 And this is what the evidence shows. A few days after the events
2 in Tekija and Kladovo, General Vlastimir Djordjevic received an
3 invitation from the chief of the secretariat in Uzice, Djordje Keric, who
4 had informed him that some bodies may have appeared on Perucac lake and
5 that they were floating on the surface of the water. When he received
6 that information, General Djordjevic was taken by surprise and he ordered
7 the former to check the information and to come back to him. Keric did
8 come back to him and told him that in addition to the bodies there is
9 also part of the trailer which can be seen and that it also contains some
11 Vlastimir Djordjevic received the information and conveyed the
12 information to Minister -- to the minister. Keric did not issue any
13 order or instruction [as interpreted]. When he conveyed the minister --
14 the information to the minister, he also shared his position with the
15 minister. He said that his position is unchanged and he didn't wish to
16 have anything to do with the whole matter. The minister didn't provide
17 any comments and didn't issue him any tasks or instructions.
18 A couple of days later, Keric again called General Djordjevic and
19 informed him that he had buried the bodies near the dam, and this is all
20 that Vlastimir Djordjevic knew about the bodies in Perucac lake.
21 Djordje Keric confirmed in his statement that everything was
22 exactly as General Vlastimir Djordjevic stated. Djordje Keric stated
23 under oath on 8 June 2005
24 Trial Chamber for war crimes and investigative Judge Milan Dilparic which
25 can be seen in Exhibit D316, in his statement, Witness Djordje Keric in
1 six different places to the questions put to him by the investigative
2 judge about the role of Vlastimir Djordjevic in the burial of the bodies
3 by the lake stated the following:
4 "For a while, Zoran Mitricevic and I talked about what to do and
5 finally we decided that we would recover the bodies from the water and
6 that we would bury them close to the Perucac dam. Zoran, himself,
7 suggested that and I don't think that we had any other possibility at the
8 time. The chief of the department did not provide us with any
9 instructions. We did not have any other way to act. We decided to
10 recover the bodies from the water and to burry them. We had consulted
11 with Zoran, we asked him what to do. His suggestion was for the bodies
12 to be recovered and buried. I agreed with that. We didn't have any
13 other possibility. Your Honour, nothing else could be done at the time."
14 Further on he says:
15 "We didn't have any other solution that would have come to us
16 from Belgrade
17 were no suggestions on the part of the department chief with regard to
18 the bodies. The only thing that happened was what the chief said what
19 happened is really wrong, is really bad. I said that since there was no
20 clear position taken by the department chief, the bodies should be
21 recovered and interred until further notice, until the investigation is
22 completed, until it can be determined who did it and what was actually
24 When you compare statements that Witness Keric gave to the war
25 crimes chamber in Belgrade
1 this witness cannot be trusted and that everything he stated before the
2 ICTY, which is completely contradictory to what he had said before the
3 war crimes chamber in Belgrade
4 Witness Keric obviously knowingly tried to play down his role in
5 the whole event and to falsely accuse Vlastimir Djordjevic for his
6 actions regarding the bodies found in the Perucac lake.
7 The statement made by Vlastimir Djordjevic regarding the bodies
8 found in the Perucac lake is consistent, life-like, convincing, and based
9 on other evidence. The allegations that Djordjevic had instructed Keric
10 not to inform the public prosecutor and the judge are inaccurate and are
11 designed to play down Witness Keric's personal responsibility and show
12 his intent to levy unfounded accusations against Djordjevic which he
13 tried to do directly before this Tribunal in his testimony.
14 Unlike Keric, the accused Djordjevic stated in his evidence
15 clearly and unequivocally that he had never told Keric not to relay the
16 information that had been given to him to the investigating judge and the
18 Any comparisons between the situation with the truck found at
19 Tekija and the bodies found in the Perucac lake is inappropriate and
20 unfounded. Djordjevic's actions in his conversations with the Bor SUP
21 chief Golubovic were completely different and occurred in completely
22 different circumstances than those when he dealt with the Uzice SUP chief
24 In order to analyse everything that is said in the Prosecution
25 final brief in paragraphs 568 through 581, and the conclusions made
1 regarding the events in the 13th May centre in Batajnica, in paragraphs
2 1217 through 1226, we will try to explain the facts as they have been
3 presented in the course of the proceedings here.
4 The facts say that the minister invited General
5 Vlastimir Djordjevic to his office in April 1999 a few days after the
6 information had come in regarding the Perucac lake and told him that the
7 trucks used to transport the bodies from Tekija were now located in the
8 training area of the special anti-terrorist unit and that the bodies
9 should be buried there. This was the 13th of May centre in Batajnica.
10 There was a discussion between General Djordjevic and the minister, and
11 when minister told Djordjevic that he had twice refused to obey a direct
12 order from him regarding Tekija and Perucac and that the situation now
13 was quite serious. He warned him that there was a war going on, that
14 there was a lot of destruction in the territory of the whole of Serbia
15 and that this was what needed to be done with the bodies in Batajnica.
16 The order was to inform the people from the SAJ who were in
17 charge of the training area to bury the body in their centre. He told
18 him that he should relay to them that those were the bodies of the
19 victims of NATO air-strikes and the terrorists and that after the war
20 ended there would be an exhumation and regular procedure would be
22 General Djordjevic then contacted Witness K87, who in turn tasked
23 Witness K88 with burying the bodies. The minister informed Djordjevic
24 about each and every truck that arrived in the 13th of May centre in
25 Batajnica, and Djordjevic would in turn relay the information to
1 Witness K87. Djordjevic never knew the time and the point of departure
2 of the trucks that arrived in the 13th of May centre in Batajnica. These
3 facts have been determined based on the hearing of the immediate
4 participants, direct participants, in the burial of the bodies,
5 Witnesses K87 and K88 and the Witness K93 and General
6 Vlastimir Djordjevic, himself.
7 In paragraph 576, the OTP quotes the evidence of Witness K87
8 regarding the broken trailer. Yet, on that occasion the OTP fails to
9 quote from the evidence of Witness K87 where he speaks about his
10 conversation with General Djordjevic, where general told him to mark in
11 some way the spot where the bodies were buried in order for an exhumation
12 to be carried out when the time came for that. The trailer truck was
13 left there to mark the spot where the bodies were buried.
14 When the Prosecution speaks about the testimony of Witnesses K87
15 and K88 in paragraphs 571 and 572 and the conclusions about the role of
16 Lipovac and Basanovic in paragraph 1223, the Prosecution fails to quote
17 what Witness K87 said about the event described by K88. Lipovac's only
18 role was to bring the fuel that was put into the trucks on several
19 occasions. So two witnesses say completely different things about the
20 same event. And Witness K87 says that Lipovac never had anything to do
21 with this whole thing, apart from bringing fuel for the trucks. In
22 paragraph 577, it is stated that Witness K88, upon his return from
23 Kosovo, took part in a number of additional burials. The Defence is in
24 the dark as to where the Prosecution has come across this claim. This is
25 an arbitrary claim and it contradicts the evidence of Witness K88, who
1 confirms in all his statements that he was present in the period of 20
2 days -- over the period of the 20 days when the trucks arrived in the
3 13th of May centre in Batajnica and that he had gone -- and that he went
4 to Kosovo after that.
5 [In English] I will take just a minute more.
6 [Interpretation] When it comes to the number of trucks brought to
7 Batajnica, the Prosecution states there were six of those, referring to
8 the evidence of Witness K88, but neglects to mention that in his
9 statement, Witness K87, and in his evidence, Witness Djordjevic, claimed
10 that there were three or four. Witness K88 states that K87 told him
11 about the arrival of each and every truck, so this is his source of
13 In paragraph 1220, the Prosecution is trying to determine when
14 the first truck came to Batajnica and concludes that this was on the 8th
15 of April, 1999. On that day Vlastimir Djordjevic did not have any
16 information to the effect that there were any trucks in the 13th of May
17 centre in Batajnica, least of all that there were any bodies in those
18 trucks. The minister informed Vlastimir Djordjevic about the existence
19 of those trucks a few days after the events at the Perucac lake, so it
20 was sometime between the 15th and the 20th of April, which is consistent
21 with the evidence of Witness K87, that General Djordjevic contacted him
22 about a month after the war started, sometime between mid- and late
23 April. This is yet another piece of evidence that shows that
24 General Djordjevic learned at that time that the trucks with the bodies
25 were actually in the 13th of May centre in Batajnica. As soon as he
1 learned about that, and as soon as he accepted the orders from
2 minister -- from the minister, Djordjevic contacted K87. Had he known
3 about the existence of the trucks with the bodies and had he organised
4 the arrival of those trucks to the centre in Batajnica, as the
5 Prosecution alleges, certainly those trucks would not have been standing
6 there at the training area for days, as Witnesses K87 and 88 say in their
7 evidence, but Djordjevic would have contacted them earlier. This
8 evidence by those witnesses confirm the Djordjevic defence case, that the
9 whole process of burying the bodies in the 13th of May centre in
10 Batajnica took 20 days at the most and not two months, as the Prosecution
11 claims in several places in its final brief.
12 I think this would be an appropriate time for the break,
13 Your Honour.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will resume just after 1.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.05 p.m.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
18 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you.
19 [Interpretation] Before we continue, I would first of all like to
20 thank the interpreters for bearing with me and for following me at my
21 rate of speed, but there are two minor mistakes in the transcript. I
22 think they need to be corrected and then I would like to say for the
23 record that at page 76, line 7, [In English] And instead of "dresses," it
24 should be in the record, "bodies."
25 [Interpretation] So instead of the word "dresses" there would be
1 the word "bodies."
2 At page 76, line 21, the interpretation is wrong because it says
3 that Keric never issued orders and it should read that orders were never
4 issued to Keric. So now I will continue.
5 If one reads carefully not only what the witnesses spoke about,
6 but what the OTP has written in its final brief in chapter 3(B), item 5
7 [as interpreted], it is quite clear that these are events that took place
8 in the period from the beginning and until the 29th of April, 1999
9 the latest. And this corresponds to the time-period in which the bodies
10 were buried in the 13th of May centre in Batajnica and it also tallies
11 with what witnesses K87, K88, K93 spoke in their evidence and what the
12 accused Djordjevic himself said in his defence.
13 Our next topic is Petrovo Selo. Vlastimir Djordjevic does not
14 have any knowledge or information about the bodies buried in
15 Petrovo Selo. In the course of the trial, no evidence has been adduced
16 to establish any ties between Vlastimir Djordjevic and this event in any
17 way. The allegation the OTP makes in paragraph 1185 and 1230 that in the
18 same time-period MUP covered up the bodies in the SAJ base in
19 Petrovo Selo and that this was part of the same operation is entirely
20 arbitrary and is not based on any facts or evidence adduced in the course
21 of this trial. There is not any piece of evidence adduced in the course
22 of the trial that would establish any link between Vlastimir Djordjevic
23 and the events in Petrovo Selo.
24 The first untrue claim made here is that the base in Petrovo Selo
25 was an SAJ
1 the evidence of the witnesses clearly show that this was a PJP base. In
2 the course of the trial it was likewise determined who directly
3 participated in the burial of the bodies in Petrovo Selo. Witness K93
4 testified about that and identified persons who issued the tasks to him
5 and persons that he communicated with. Vlastimir Djordjevic is not among
6 them, and he even went a step further to state clearly:
7 "I never communicated with Vlastimir Djordjevic and I never
8 received any orders from him."
9 Witness K93 testified about the transportation of the bodies to
10 Petrovo Selo, stating that he received all the instructions related to
11 the departure for Kosovo and the transportation of the bodies directly
12 from the assistant minister, General Zekovic, and that once he was in
13 Kosovo and Metohija he spoke on the phone with General Sreten Lukic, who
14 was the head of the staff for the suppression of terrorism in Kosovo and
16 In paragraph 1233, the OTP starts a sentence with the following
18 "Djordjevic was also with Lukic, his direct subordinate, involved
19 in certain talks regarding the cover-up with Witness K93."
20 As regards the conversation in Lukic's office between K93 and
21 Lukic, Djordjevic was there for just a few minutes of it. The proposal
22 that K93 should go to Bujanovac was given by Lukic before Djordjevic ever
23 entered the office. At the time Djordjevic was already retired, and he
24 was not in a position to agree or disagree with the decision taken by
25 General Sreten Lukic, who was the chief of the RJB at the time.
1 In its final brief, OTP accepts the evidence of Witness K93, but
2 when he speaks about the return of Witness K93 from Petrovo Selo, that's
3 paragraph 592, they, the OTP, says in quotation marks "because they
4 needed it." That's what they say, quote/unquote, because they needed it
5 when the OTP speaks about the truck that was used to transport the bodies
6 to Petrovo Selo.
7 If you look at the evidence quoted as the source for this claim
8 or quote, since there is -- there are quotation marks here, it is not
9 clear which document was actually used as a source for this claim.
10 Witness K93 never stated that in his evidence before this Chamber or in
11 his statement. That's Exhibit 1065 at pages 3 through 4, as indicated in
12 the footnote 1433 in the final brief.
13 Paragraphs 599 and 1232 are quite unclear. In those paragraphs
14 the OTP states that three persons were found in Petrovo Selo, they were
15 identified as the Bytyqi brothers, and that they had been transferred
16 from the prison in Prokuplje to Petrovo Selo on Djordjevic's orders. If
17 those allegations are made because the Prosecution failed to adduce any
18 evidence in the course of the trial to link Djordjevic with Petrovo Selo
19 and the grave sites found there, the Defence sees it as a desperate move
20 and would not stoop to comment. If this is the way to prove Djordjevic's
21 involvement in the murder of the Bytyqi brothers, we would like to note
22 that proceedings are under way in Serbia
23 persons are accused and Djordjevic only appeared as a witness in that
24 trial. The names of the Bytyqi brothers, or any incidents related to
25 them, are not covered in the indictment against Djordjevic before the
1 ICTY and their names, the names of the Bytyqi brothers, are not listed in
2 any of the annexes to the indictment.
3 Any insinuation on the part of the OTP that the link between
4 Vlastimir Djordjevic and the grave in Petrovo Selo is based on the fact
5 that the refrigerator truck was found in the Danube near Tekija was based
6 on the fact that the refrigerator truck found in the Danube
7 was destroyed there is completely unfounded and is contrary to the
8 evidence adduced in the course of the trial. Witness Golubovic confirmed
9 that he had relayed to his subordinates the order that the truck should
10 be destroyed and not the location where the truck should be destroyed.
11 Witness Radojkovic confirmed that after receiving an order from Golubovic
12 he decided to destroy the truck in Petrovo Selo. He chose the location.
13 In paragraphs 1227 to 1229 the OTP attempts to prove that the
14 burial of the bodies in Batajnica was part of a greater plan devised at a
15 higher level and that Djordjevic was in charge of the operation to cover
16 up the bodies. The OTP bases its whole construction on a statement made
17 by Zivko Trajkovic, the former SAJ
18 said in 1999 something along the lines of: That is the decision taken by
19 people who are much more important than you and I, so don't ask me too
20 much about it. And this formulation something like -- when he said
21 "something like," is not by chance because that's what Witness Trajkovic
22 said, that's how he put it when he recounted what Djordjevic had told him
23 11 years ago. So Trajkovic himself is not quite sure that Djordjevic
24 said this, but the OTP has taken this as being certain evidence of it
25 being a plan devised at a much higher level.
1 Djordjevic in his statement clearly explained that the words
2 quoted by Trajkovic is not what he actually said to him, and that's quite
3 all right because Trajkovic himself does not claim that he remembers the
4 authentic words uttered by Djordjevic, the accused Djordjevic, said that
5 somebody above him decided about that and that is true. And that was the
6 then-minister of the interior Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
7 During the proceedings and Prosecution case, not a shred of
8 evidence was presented to back up the existence of any plan at a higher
9 level. During the proceedings, not a shred of evidence was presented to
10 speak about the holding of a meeting at which assignments or roles were
11 assigned in order to carry out the burial of bodies all over Serbia
12 During the proceedings, not a shred of evidence was presented to back up
13 the OTP's assertion that the plan to cover up the bodies, in addition to
14 the minister and Djordjevic other leading political military and
15 political personages took part.
1 existed. And the next step was to organise transport from Kosovo and
2 Metohija to the territory of Serbia
3 role did Vlastimir Djordjevic play in that.
4 An answer to that question is quite a simple one and can be
5 summarised in Vlastimir Djordjevic's own words. In his defence he said:
6 "I didn't know whose bodies were located in the truck that was
7 found. I didn't know who those people were who had lost their lives. I
8 did not know where they had lost their lives and in what way. I did not
9 know whether they were buried nor did I know where they were from or in
10 what way they were transported, let alone who organised the transport."
11 The Trial Chamber was told quite sincerely that his -- Djordjevic
12 told the Trial Chamber sincerely when he received the knowledge. He
13 described in detail what his role was in the so-called cover-up of the
14 bodies on his part and what his relationship was towards this act and how
23 "I felt that everything that was happening was happening against
24 the will of General Vlastimir Djordjevic, and I gained the impression
25 that he hoped that everything would come to an end, that it would all be
2 And then he goes on to say:
3 "The general was nervous and deep in thought. That's the
4 impression I gained. He told me that there was an assignment which we
5 had to carry out and that that was our duty. Then he told me what it was
6 about. He said that those people had to be buried. He said that they
7 were the victims of NATO bombing and that we shouldn't talk too much
8 about it, but that we should wait until the end of the war to carry
9 identity the identification of those people so that they could be buried
10 properly and that it was important to mark the spot where they were
11 buried so that everybody would know where this was done and how it was
12 done. It is clear," he concludes, "that Vlastimir Djordjevic was taken
13 by surprise when -- about information on bodies in Serbia coming from
14 Kosovo and Metohija. And it is clear that he had no information, nor did
15 he, in any way, participate in the transport of bodies from the territory
16 of Kosovo and Metohija to the territory of Serbia
17 deduce that he never took part in any meeting in which he discussed the
18 cover-up of Kosovo Albanians."
19 Furthermore, the Prosecutor has failed to prove beyond reasonable
20 doubt that Djordjevic, by deploying volunteer and paramilitary units,
21 contributed significantly to implementing the joint criminal enterprise
22 by allowing their deployment and attaching them to the MUP units in
23 Kosovo and Metohija. Vlastimir Djordjevic did not have any knowledge and
24 could not have sent other units except the RJB units to Kosovo and
25 Metohija pursuant to the minister's decision. There is no proof in
1 evidence whereby Vlastimir Djordjevic had knowledge that in Kosovo -- to
2 Kosovo and Metohija paramilitary units were sent outside the RJB. In
3 these proceedings it has been established that only one group of
4 reservists was attached to the SAJ
5 Prosecution claims that it is -- which the Prosecution claims is a
6 paramilitary unit.
7 Without entering into the question of whether the Skorpion units
8 were added and attached to the SAJ
9 formed to protect the oilfields in Slavonia and whether it was a
10 paramilitary units during the time of its formation and existence.
11 Prosecution Witnesses K92 Stoparic and Trajkovic confirmed that the
12 government decision and the Ministry of Defence decision of Slavonia
13 Baranja, and Western Srem that a unit was formed to protect the oilfields
14 and the borders at the end of 1992, which was included into the
15 Territorial Defence of Slavonia
16 under the command of the Army of Srpska Krajina in 1995. The unit was
17 disbanded, it handed over its weapons and equipment to the Army of
19 the Skorpions, after being disbanded up until the 25th of March, 1999
20 were never rallied into any unit whatsoever and did not undertake any
21 activities at all.
22 The second question which can be posed is what the composition of
23 the reservists was who were attached to the SAJ, or rather, were they
24 former members of the disbanded unit which provide security for the
25 oilfields in Slavonia
1 basis of Prosecution witness testimony, we can just conclude that a small
2 number of the reserve force that was accepted were members of the
3 disbanded unit from Slavonia
4 taken into the reserve formation had nothing to do with this disbanded
6 The next question which begs an answer is: How can a
7 paramilitary unit exist without any equipment and arms? And we consider
8 that it is not contested that the equipment and weapons were given to the
9 reservists only once they had become part of the reserve force. There was
10 no knowledge about the crimes committed by the members of the reserve of
11 the MUP who were former members of the unit to secure the oilfields carried
12 out during the war on the territory of the former SFRY at the time they
13 were engaged in 1999, and this was confirmed by Prosecution and Defence
14 witnesses alike and this -- knowledge about this was gained many years
16 As to the earlier -- the criminal past and the events of the
17 crime in Podujevo and members of the reserve force of MUP attached to the
19 cannot be held responsible for sending any volunteer or allegedly
20 paramilitary units to Kosovo and Metohija which was outside the RJB.
21 Djordjevic just simply carried out decisions taken by the minister to
22 deploy men to RJB units. All other paramilitary units mentioned by the
23 witnesses, if they were sent, were not sent to units of the RJB nor were
24 they sent by Vlastimir Djordjevic nor did he have knowledge of any
25 sending of paramilitary units to Kosovo and Metohija as he clearly stated
1 in his testimony.
14 This was confirmed by a number of other witnesses as well, and we
15 can conclude this by reading the law governing the internal affairs.
25 Vlastimir Djordjevic had no knowledge nor is there any proof of
1 that, whereby the members of the reserve force, members of the SAJ, were
2 ever a paramilitary unit. His only knowledge was that some of these
4 Baranja, and Western Srem, and that there were people from Novi Sad
5 Ruma, and the surrounding parts.
6 Zivko Trajkovic, the commander of the SAJ unit, found and
7 selected people to make up the reserve force. As there is lack of
8 evidence, the Prosecutor relies on a statement made by K92 on the 29th of
9 June, 2005, which is not an exhibit in these proceedings and it is cited
10 in reference 3168 of the OTP's final brief. In footnote 3228, at the end
11 of paragraph 1178, the OTP once again quotes from document P1595, without
12 saying that the document was not admitted but just MFI'd and then links
13 it with Vasiljevic to whom this document was never shown. The
14 Prosecution, in the absence of evidence, is using documents which were
15 not admitted into evidence in this case and upon which there -- a
16 decision cannot be based.
17 Paragraph 231 where they say that notorious paramilitary groups
18 in 1998 went to Kosovo and during the period of the indictment they quote
19 Vasiljevic, who, apart from the Skorpions, has no knowledge whether any
20 other groups went to Kosovo and Metohija and Stoparic who exclusively
21 talks about the Skorpions as being a reserve force which was attached to
22 the SAJ
23 Furthermore, as to the quotation the paramilitary units
24 replenished the MUP units, there's no reference about that in that same
1 Paragraph 203 presents more constructs about special operations
2 units and its alleged satellite units. Footnote 447 and 448 to
3 corroborate the allegations, the Prosecutor quotes Witness Stoparic.
4 However, the witness did not speak about Kosovo and Metohija, but rather
5 about Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia
6 unrelated to the special operations unit's structure and the indictment
8 In paragraph 234, footnotes 519, 520, and 522, the Prosecution
9 refers to Stoparic's witness, but that does not refer to Kosovo and
10 Metohija but rather to Slavonia
11 reference to official RDB and IDs, the Prosecutor refers to Vasiljevic's
13 In footnote 521, with regard to the presence of Arkan's Tigers in
14 Kosovo, the Prosecutor quotes Witness K82, who, on page T8457, says that
15 he personally doesn't know whether they were ever in Kosovo and Metohija.
16 In paragraph 236, in footnote 527, the Prosecutor quotes Cvetic in
17 respect of bullet point 7 of the dispatch dated 18 February 1999, Exhibit
18 P356; however, the Prosecutor fails to refer to the transcript page
19 T6679, i.e., the witness's explanation of the police jargon term "to put
20 under operative control."
1 position or function, especially bearing in mind that the evidence in
2 question is supported by official records which are accessible.
13 I will apologise to the Trial Chamber and I will ask for a little
14 bit more time if that is granted, I will be able to finish very quickly.
23 In paragraph -- just a moment. Please bear with me.
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] In terms of the sentencing,
1 which is something that Defence has to present its position. As the
3 that Defence pleads for acquittal for the aforementioned reasons.
4 We have tried to present the briefest possible summary of the
5 reasons why the Defence believes that that would be appropriate, although
6 this closing brief could go on much longer if we were to deal with
7 everything that we couldn't tackle in the closing brief. The procedure
8 is such that the Defence, just like our learned friends from the
9 Prosecution, always have to deal with the matters that they need to
10 explain themselves. We've tried to do that at this time in order to be
11 able to clarify as many facts as possible.
12 Therefore, once again, I would like to repeat that the Defence
13 believes that acquittal is an appropriate decision for the defendant
14 Djordjevic. The Defence, with all due respect, claims that even if all
15 the allegations presented by the OTP, the proposed range would not be
16 adequate. And bearing in mind that the Prosecution has not proven its
17 allegations, the sentence range is not appropriate and when analysing the
18 presented evidence, the honourable Trial Chamber will see that the
19 allegations were not proven by the Prosecution beyond any reasonable
20 doubt, which is quite appropriate because Vlastimir Djordjevic is not
21 guilty of any accounts.
22 We would like to bring our final argument to the end, and we
23 would like to thank you for having read our final brief, based on which
24 we would propose for Mr. Djordjevic to be acquitted on all counts. We
25 would like to thank to the entire technical staff of this Tribunal. We
1 would like to thank the Chamber's staff, the Registry staff, and all of
2 those who have supported us in these proceedings. We would like to thank
3 our colleagues from the Prosecution for their fair conduct and
4 co-operation that has been extraordinary and contributed to these
6 I will also like to correct something in the record. On page 72,
7 line 25, where it should say -- just a moment, please. Bear with me. I
8 will have to consult my legal assistant.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] During the receipt of those
11 persons and their engagement.
12 That would be all, Your Honours. Once again, I would like to
13 thank you for your patience and we apologise for having tried to say as
14 much as possible, and that's why we have had a problem with the
15 interpretation and the interpreters -- but means most and that's how we
16 acted. Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
18 The Chamber would like to thank counsel, both for the Defence and
19 the Prosecution, for the way in which the case has been conducted, their
20 attention to timeliness which has enabled us to finish the case in a
21 faster time than most would have anticipated, and which I think from the
22 quality of the written submissions that we have received and now the oral
23 submissions, makes it clear that attention has been able to be focused
24 primarily on the important matters of fact and law. All of that the
25 Chamber appreciates and it will assist us in the task that lies ahead.
1 Given that the evidence and submissions have now concluded, the
2 hearing will be formally closed. The Chamber must reserve its decision
3 and give consideration to the evidence and the submissions it has
4 received. That, of course, is no short or easy task. We must apply
5 ourselves conscientiously to that. We will deliver our decision as soon
6 as we are clear in our ultimate finding about the matters in dispute and
7 have prepared our written decision. We will attend to that with the same
8 conscientious attention and attention to time that we know has been
9 displayed throughout the trial by all.
10 So thank you in the courtroom for your support. We will mention
11 later how much the contribution of those assisting the courtroom has
13 We now, therefore, reserve our decision and will deliberate in
14 due course. You will be informed of the date of when we are ready to
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.