1 Monday, 14 August 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, good morning everyone. This is the first
7 occasion on which we are sitting for either a morning or afternoon
8 session, and if I might simply indicate that normally we will sit for two
9 periods of an hour and a half and one of roughly an hour to finish. And
10 these will be interrupted by breaks which will only be 20 minutes or so,
11 so they're going to be difficult to deal with. But the object of the
12 exercise is obviously to sit for a minimum of four hours, if we can, each
14 Now, Mr. Stamp, your next witness.
15 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour. He is present in court. He
16 is Nike Peraj.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Peraj, would you please make the solemn
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Says the witness in Serbian.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Please be seated.
23 Now, Mr. Peraj, what language will you generally use in the course
24 of your evidence?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My mother tongue; Albanian.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
2 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
3 WITNESS: NIKE PERAJ
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examination by Mr. Stamp:
6 Q. Could you please state your name.
7 A. Nike Peraj.
8 Q. And I understand, Mr. Peraj, that until June 1999 you were a
9 member of the Army of Yugoslavia.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And when you left the army, what rank were you?
12 A. Captain of the first order.
13 Q. And under what -- when, precisely, and under what circumstances
14 did you leave the army?
15 A. Three days before the Yugoslav army withdrew from Kosova.
16 Q. And under what circumstances?
17 A. I went to my home, and -- and didn't go any further.
18 Q. And where was your home at that time?
19 A. The building near the high school.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, if I'm not mistaken, what you wanted to
21 establish was why the witness left the army, or have I misunderstood your
23 MR. STAMP: Not exactly, but that is --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the question was under what circumstances did
25 he leave the army. Is that not why did he leave the army?
1 MR. STAMP: Quite similar to why. Circumstances may not
2 necessarily incorporate the motive, but I could lead him because it's --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, are you not intending to pursue that?
4 Because you're not getting an answer to that question.
5 MR. STAMP: I will pursue it because I think it should come from
6 his mouth.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
8 MR. STAMP:
9 Q. You are -- you deserted the Army of Yugoslavia when you departed?
10 A. In fact, I didn't desert the army. I just stayed in my hometown,
11 in my place.
12 Q. Did you subsequently receive any information as to any proceedings
13 or action that the army took in respect to your remaining at home?
14 A. Officially not. I wasn't notified of any such proceedings.
15 Q. Yes. Did you hear from anyone as to whether or not there were any
17 A. I heard from a friend of mine that because of that reason, I was
18 taken to the military tribunal without me being present and sentenced to
19 15 years of prison. This was proven to me also in this very tribunal by
20 the deceased Mr. Milosevic.
21 Q. Now, did you give various statements to investigators of the OTP,
22 including a statement in April 2000, February 2001, and on the 8th of May,
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And since you arrived here for testimony in this case, did you
1 review another statement which incorporated what you had said in those
2 previous three statements plus a few additional comments that you wanted
3 to make? And this was on the 9th of August this year.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the matters in that statement that you reviewed on the 9th of
6 August are correct to the best of your knowledge and belief?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. STAMP: That, Your Honours may it please, is Exhibit P2253.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, unlike some of the other documents you
10 presented with witnesses, this one is presented exclusively in terms of
11 Rule 89(F).
12 MR. STAMP: Indeed, Your Honour. Thank you.
13 Could we put on the screen Exhibit P325. I don't propose to take
14 a long time because the statement is quite long and comprehensive, but I
15 think I could try to make sense out of a couple of maps that he referred
16 to in his statement.
17 Q. In the course of giving a statement, the second statement, in
18 2001, did you mark on a map the positions where various units of the
19 Yugoslav military forces were and where the population movements were on
20 the 27th and the 28th of February, 1999?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. STAMP: Can we have on the screen Exhibit P325, please.
23 Q. Sir, can you make out that map on the screen in front of you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is that the map on which you marked certain places and positions
1 that you were showing to the investigator during your statement?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. STAMP: Now, could we have a look at Exhibit P326.
4 Q. And while it is brought up, did you -- were you shown and did you
5 review a computer-generated map which more clearly showed the same
6 markings you had made in the previous map you had seen? And is that the
7 computer-generated map before you?
8 A. Yes, that's exactly the same.
9 Q. And --
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 MR. STAMP: I just realised that this map on the -- in e-court is
12 in black and white, which it is not supposed to be. The purpose of the
13 computer-generated map was to more clearly show what he had marked, and
14 this doesn't help us. I'm wondering if we could put --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Put it on the ELMO, please.
16 MR. STAMP: -- a colour copy on the ELMO.
17 May I just make an inquiry.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. STAMP: I'm afraid that map is on A3, and it's probably a
20 little bit too large for the ELMO.
21 Could you put it -- put the map further up so we could see the
22 lower part of the map on the screen. Okay. Right there. Thank you.
23 Q. Now, you gave a lot of details in your various statements about
24 the events of the 27th and the 28th of April [Realtime transcript read in
25 error "February"] in which you personally witnessed the --
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I understood your earlier questions to be related
3 to the 27th and 28th of February, but that's a mistake, is it?
4 MR. STAMP: It would be.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Again, the transcript is showing February. What
6 month is it?
7 MR. STAMP: It's April 1999.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 MR. STAMP:
10 Q. There are some green lines to the southern or to the bottom part
11 of the map, green broken lines. Can you make out those lines?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. What do they signify?
14 A. They show the positions of the Yugoslav army.
15 Q. Now, do you know which unit of the Yugoslav army, or units?
16 A. There were several units of the Gjakova Brigade, of Prizren, and
17 Prizren [as interpreted], which I have seen myself, I have visited before.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not sure that that's accurately reflected in
19 the transcript either. Could you clarify, Mr. Peraj, what units of the
20 Yugoslav army were there, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The -- I have indicated that with
22 the arrows running on the side of the green. I have displayed it in
23 green, actually. That was Brigade number 68 -- 63 of the parachutists of
24 Nis. That with blue shows the special units of MUP of Serbia. The broken
25 lines on the side, also in green, show the presence of the garrison of
1 Gjakova and Prizren soldiers.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. And you're saying that they -- or I should ask you. The two green
5 lines with the arrows at the end signify what? What do the arrows in
6 particular signify?
7 A. One is actually blue, one is -- the blue shows the positions of
8 the special forces of Serbian MUP, the direction they assaulted, whereas
9 the green arrow indicates the forces of the Brigade number 63, Parachutist
10 Brigade of Nis.
11 Q. And that green arrow also indicates the direction in which they
12 were moving. Is that so?
13 A. Both arrows show the direction from where they have attacked.
14 Q. Now, across the middle of the map there's a broken black line with
15 the numbers indicating dates on two sides of it; one 27/4/99 and the other
16 below saying 28/4/99. What do those dates and the broken black line
18 A. The date of 27th of April, 1999, shows where the attack was
19 interrupted at night and that it continued, it resumed, on the second day,
20 on the 28th.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, on which page of the statement do we
22 find matters relating to this?
23 MR. STAMP: This is -- may I refer to a paragraph number instead
24 because we are talking about different languages.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
1 MR. STAMP: I think this is from paragraphs 57 until 97.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. And the broken black line across the middle, what does that
5 indicate? Do you see that on the map?
6 A. The red line, which is in the middle, indicates the direction of
7 the movement of the population.
8 Q. Well, as you're speaking about red lines, there are two red lines.
9 Could you just indicate what each one signifies.
10 A. One of them indicates the direction of population movement, which
11 went in the direction of Junik. From Junik, Dobrosh, Sheremet, Dallashaj,
12 Racaj, Meja, Gjakova.
13 Q. And that --
14 A. Whereas the second line signifies the movement which goes from
15 Korenica, Orize, in the direction of Gjakova.
16 Q. The second line is the one going across the page, at the bottom of
17 the page, going from left to right across the bottom of the bottom. Is
18 that it?
19 A. I didn't understand the question.
20 Q. Which one, which of the red lines you refer to as the second line,
21 signifying the movement of people from Korenica to Djakovica city?
22 A. On my left. That is the one that shows this --
23 Q. I was asking if that is the one that is going from left to right
24 at the bottom of the page.
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Peraj, where the lines meet each other, what
2 happened there? We seem to have two -- the map represents two convoys of
3 refugees. Did they cross over each other or did they sort of merge
4 together and go in two directions at that point? Can you clarify that.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the crossroads at Orize,
6 where both convoys met. But after that, some people in one convoy went in
7 the direction of Albania from Qafa e Prushit. The remainder continued
8 their voyage towards Gjakova, Prizren, reached Morine.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 MR. STAMP:
11 Q. Now, back to the broken black lines across the middle of the map
12 between the two dates. What do those lines signify?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: We've had an answer to that, Mr. Stamp, to say that
14 was the point they reached on the 27th, overnight.
15 MR. STAMP: Very well.
16 Q. Do they signify anything apart from that, Mr. Peraj?
17 A. This shows that at night they stopped and then they continued the
18 next day.
19 Q. I see. Very well. Now, you have indicated with red circles two
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And in your statement you refer to a check-point that was in front
23 of the store of Krist Sokoli, just opposite the school where you saw four
24 dead bodies.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Paragraph number?
1 MR. STAMP: That is paragraph 69, I'm sorry.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. Do you recall that, Mr. Peraj?
5 A. Yes, I do recall that very well.
6 Q. Which check-point is that on the map in front of you? Or to your
7 left, actually.
8 A. It's the crossroads where both arrows, both lines, cross.
9 Q. You also spoke of another check-point in front of somebody by the
10 name of Hasanaj's house. Do you recall speaking about that?
11 MR. STAMP: For the record, that's paragraph 73 and thereafter.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
13 MR. STAMP:
14 Q. And that, I take it, would be the other check-point indicated on
15 the map?
16 A. In fact, that shows the movement of the population. That was the
17 first place where the population met in Meja.
18 Q. Thank you. And that is the second check-point on the map?
19 A. Yes, according to their direction.
20 Q. You also --
21 MR. STAMP: Is that clear?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: No, it's not clear to me. But if by "second
23 check-point" you mean the same one, then it's clear, because Meja appears
24 on the map near the one you've already referred to. It's not entirely
25 clear to me that these are simply two isolated check-points, of course.
1 You've haven't established that there only are two, albeit there are
2 circles, but they're very big circles.
3 MR. STAMP: Yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: So that the second part is not at all clear.
5 MR. STAMP: Perhaps the witness could be given a pen and could we
6 ask him to mark the check-point on the map, just to make it absolutely
7 clear, since there are very big circles.
8 Q. Is there something you would like to say, Mr. Peraj?
9 A. I want to make a clarification. According to the direction of the
10 population towards the south of Carragojs, that convoy of people, that met
11 at the cross-point, the first cross-point, which was in Meja. The second
12 cross-point for the same group of people was Orize, whereas for the people
13 coming from Korenica in the direction of Gjakova, the second cross-point
14 for -- first, excuse me, for them was Orize.
15 Q. I see. I'm going to ask you to put -- can you see that map beside
16 you to your left? To your left.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it possible for you to put a number 1 in the circle at the
19 check-point which you describe as the check-point -- the first check-point
20 for the population moving south from the Carragojs area.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, the one -- Mr. Peraj, the one that you've
22 marked number 1 has within it the name Meja Orize, and in your previous
23 answer you said that that was the second check-point for the group of
24 people coming down the valley.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we take -- I've been there
1 myself. If we take, for me, the first point was Orize. The second was
2 Meja. This is how I have seen them.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Now --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But if we look at the direction of
5 the population towards Llugu i Carragojs --
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. Can I ask this by way of clarification --
8 A. -- for them, Meja was the first check-point. For them, again, the
9 second check-point was Orize.
10 Q. Okay. I think --
11 A. Whereas for the people that moved from Korenica in the direction
12 of Gjakova, the first check-point was in Orize.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, unless I can't see an Orize -- a second Orize
14 on the map, then the bottom convoy doesn't appear to go through Orize. It
15 may be this is an example of maps simply confusing the situation.
16 MR. STAMP: Very well.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm certainly confused at the moment.
18 MR. STAMP:
19 Q. Let's take this step by step. The check-point you have marked
20 number 1, Mr. Peraj, and that is where the two convoys meet, that is a
21 check-point where? What is the area where that check-point is called?
22 A. The check-point I put a number 2 is Orize, check-point near the
24 Q. I see. And the one above that, what is that area? What do you
25 call that area?
1 A. Where I've put number 1 in Meja was in the vicinity of Hasanaj's
3 Q. Could we just go back. You marked a check-point on the map.
4 Could you point to it, please. Point to the check-point that you marked.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: He's marked two check-points on the map. He's put
6 a 1 and a 2.
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. The check-point that you marked number 1 -- I'm sorry to have to
9 ask you again. The check-point that you marked number 1, what area is
10 that check-point in?
11 A. Check-point number 1 is in Meja, near the house of Hasanaj.
12 Q. And check-point number 2 is in what area?
13 A. Check-point number 2 is in Orize, near the school, and the store
14 of Krist Sokoli, Krist Sokoli.
15 Q. So just for clarification, you are saying that check-point number
16 2 would be the first check-point that the population moving from Korenica
17 would pass through. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. And check-point number 1 would be the first check-point that
20 people coming down the Carragojs valley would then come to?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. But you were coming, according to your statement, from Djakovica
23 when you went to the first check-point. Could you point to the first
24 check-point you went to which you describe in your statement, and that is
25 a check-point in front of the school. Just point it again, please.
1 A. [Indicates].
2 Q. So the first check-point you went to is the one marked number 2.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, you have marked the MUP command post with a blue
5 circle. Do you see it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you have marked the VJ command post with a green circle. Do
8 you see that?
9 A. [Indicates].
10 Q. You said in your statement that both command posts had a clear --
11 or from both command posts there was a clear view of the valley. I would
12 like to ask you these two questions specifically: In respect to the MUP
13 command post, could the two check-points be seen from that command post?
14 A. No. Only the direction of the police forces.
15 Q. Could the two check-points be seen from the VJ command post?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. STAMP: Could we briefly -- thank you very much. Could that
18 be given an exhibit number.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sabbah, a number for that?
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, that will be Exhibit IC8.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Stamp.
24 MR. STAMP: Could we put on the computer screen, please, Exhibit
1 Q. Now, is that a map of all of Djakovica, the shaded area being the
2 area where the operation took place? Can you see it?
3 MR. STAMP: Can we make it a little clearer?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but it doesn't show the entire
5 territory of Gjakova. This shows only the territory where the operation
6 took place.
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. And that is the shaded area?
9 A. Yes. In this shaded area, the operation took place, whereas the
10 map shows the territory of Gjakova, yes.
11 Q. Finally, you said that General Lazarevic coordinated the operation
12 from Djakovica. How did you become aware of this?
13 A. The night of the 28th of April -- correction, in the morning of
14 28th of April I ask, if possible, to go and visit my home in my native
15 village. So I had to ask permission to enter that zone. I was there
16 together with Sergej Perovic. In the basement of a building near Cafe
17 Lajic, that is Lajic Cafe, was General Lazarevic, Lieutenant-Colonel
18 Jeftovic, who followed in the map the operations -- the operation taking
19 place on the ground which continued on the 28th.
20 Q. The building near Cafe Lajic is in Djakovica?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you go into the basement of the building?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Did you go into any particular room or office of that building?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Whose room or whose office was it?
2 A. That was where Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftovic was. And the general
3 was quite near, General Lazarevic was quite nearby.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, which paragraph is this?
5 MR. STAMP: This is paragraph 65. I'm sorry, Your Honour, I tried
6 to --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. STAMP: -- to make references to the paragraph.
9 Q. And you said -- I get it from the translators that you said there
10 was General Lazarevic, Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftovic, who followed in the
11 map the operations. What are you speaking of? What map and what
12 operations are you speaking of?
13 A. I mean the operation of Llugu i Carragojs.
14 Q. That's the operation in the Carragojs valley on the 27th and 28th
15 [Realtime transcript read in error 28th and 29th] of April, 1999. Is that
16 what the map indicated?
17 A. Yes, the 27th and the 28th, not the 29th. It was the 27th and the
18 28th of April.
19 Q. Thank you. You -- in your statement you refer at various
20 passages --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: You're moving off that subject?
22 MR. STAMP: I'm moving off.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a comment. The -- when I read this paragraph
24 65, I wrote in the margin: What is the source of this information? And
25 you've obviously clarified that with the question, because when you read
1 the statement it's not at all clear how he knew this information. And yet
2 here we have, I would have thought, the sort of information that really
3 matters in this trial and it's not mentioned in the statement. It's
4 puzzling to me that that's how these statements are compiled. In any
5 event, carry on to the next topic.
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. In -- at various parts of your statement --
8 MR. STAMP: And for the benefit of the Court, primarily paragraphs
9 21, 37, and 51.
10 Q. -- you refer to a Major Nikola Micunovic. Was he a member of the
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And lastly, because it is not altogether clear from your
14 statement, you said that on that afternoon you left -- the afternoon of
15 the 27th you left the cultural centre and went to the Catholic church to
16 take your family, and you did so with your brother.
17 MR. STAMP: This, Your Honours, is at paragraph 67.
18 Q. Why did you go to tell your -- to take your family? Did your
19 brother tell you anything?
20 A. He told me -- he arrived and told me that they had been expelled,
21 they had to get out, leave their house, and that in Meja a lot of people
22 had been arrested and detained -- no, they were not arrested, they were
24 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
25 Q. Thank you very much --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Did your brother live in Meja?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he didn't live in Meja. He
3 lived in Dallashaj.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
7 Now, Mr. --
8 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I want a little clarification on this.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Certainly.
10 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry to bother you with a bit of
11 clarification which I'm seeking. You said that you went away to your
12 home. I mean, you were in the army, you went away to your home. And
13 repeatedly when questioned you did not explicitly state the reason for
14 going home. Is it already contained in paragraph 19, 20, 21, and 25 of
15 your written statement? Should we take that as the reason, because you
16 didn't want to say it orally?
17 MR. STAMP: Before he answers, Your Honour, he doesn't have the
18 statement in front of him. So if he could be given a copy, it might be --
19 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Yes, yes.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE CHOWHAN: [Microphone not activated].
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 MR. STAMP: Paragraph --
24 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I think the -- I'm sorry, I was referring to one
25 of the statements which was given to me, but the one which he has supplied
1 to the Court overall for use would correspondingly have paragraphs 69, 70,
2 et cetera. Does he rely on that for explaining why he -- why he stayed
3 back home?
4 MR. STAMP: I think, Your Honour, he's referring to paragraph 8 in
5 the statement, should I call the compendium statement -- the compilation
6 statement of the 9th of August. Paragraph 8 deals with the issue that
7 Your Honour is referring to.
8 Q. Mr. Peraj, could you look at paragraph 8 of your statement in
9 front of you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not the point that's being made, Mr. Stamp.
11 We've already had the information in paragraph 8. What Judge Chowhan is
12 asking is what was the reason for desertion. And he's asking if it's
13 contained in the section which starts about paragraph 69 and thereafter,
14 or is he able to give some other explanation for staying at home and not
15 returning to the army?
16 Can you help us on that, Mr. Peraj? Judge Chowhan is anxious to
17 know, what was your reason for abandoning your duties in the army?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'd like to say first of all that I
19 didn't take an active part as a member of the Yugoslav army. I did not
20 take part in any action, in any operation. And I had over 20 family
21 members in Dallashaj, 21 family members. And I did not think it
22 reasonable after the -- they withdrew, that I should go back to Serbia
23 with them because otherwise I would have become an enemy of my own people.
24 I would have been known as an enemy of my people, without having done
25 anything wrong to anyone.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Peraj.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
4 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, we have the order for cross-examination.
5 General Lazarevic, General Pavkovic, General Ojdanic, Mr. Milutinovic,
6 Mr. Sainovic, and General Lukic.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
10 Q. Mr. Peraj, I am Mihajlo Bakrac, attorney-at-law, member of the
11 Defence team for General Lazarevic.
12 Mr. Peraj, in your statement you said that on the 21st of
13 December, 1998, you took over your duties in the 52nd Artillery Rocket
14 Brigade in Djakovica. And that is paragraph 4 of your latest statement.
15 Can you tell me what your duty was exactly in terms of establishment?
16 A. I was the second assistant in the operational staff, teaching
18 Q. Can you tell me -- is it correct that in paragraph 6 of your
19 statement - I'm talking about the statement dated the 8th and 9th of
20 August, 2006 - did you say there that the 52 Artillery Rocket Brigade was
21 directly subordinate to the VJ Corps headquarters in Pristina and that the
22 VJ Corps headquarters received orders from the Ministry of Defence in
23 Belgrade? Is that the chain of command that you were aware of?
24 A. The 52nd Brigade in Gjakova was under the command of the corps,
25 whereas the corps itself was under the command of the army in Nis.
1 Q. And the army in Nis?
2 A. And the army in Nis was under the command of the General Staff in
4 Q. Is it correct that you stated what I read out to you just now,
5 what I quoted?
6 A. I -- that's what I said and that's, as far as I'm aware, the way
7 it was, but there might be a translation mistake somewhere. I don't know.
8 But that, what I just said, is the way it was.
9 Q. But in your statement you said that the corps command received
10 orders from the Ministry of Defence. Isn't that correct?
11 A. That's not what I stated. Maybe that is a mistake made by someone
12 else. Maybe somebody wrote it down that way, but that's not what I said.
13 I know that, at least. It was that -- I was telling you who was in
15 Q. Mr. Peraj, in another paragraph of your statement, in paragraph
16 number 10 that is, you said that there was a law that during wartime other
17 structures would come under the command of the VJ. These other structures
18 were the MUP and components of the TO, the Territorial Defence. In
19 paragraph -- or rather, I beg your pardon. I mean: What did you mean
20 when you said that according to the law -- or rather, that that is the way
21 it was according to the law?
22 A. I know, according to the constitution, that all armed forces,
23 including the police, Territorial Defence, and all the rest, are all under
24 the command of the General Staff.
25 Q. So that's what you read in the constitution, right?
1 A. Well, that's the way it was, as far as I know.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please show Defence Exhibit
3 5D4. Could we have it on e-court, please.
4 MR. STAMP: Just to indicate to the Court, these have not been
5 disclosed to us. Neither have we received any notification, as required
6 in the order on procedure and evidence.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's difficult to accept when it's already
8 in e-court, is it not?
9 What's happened here, Mr. Bakrac?
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did place this on
11 e-court, but perhaps I'm wrong in believing that this was already part of
12 the Prosecution disclosure. This is the law on national defence -- or
13 rather, the law on defence.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you're saying it's not a Prosecution exhibit
15 but it's a document given to you by the Prosecution in the course of
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes. That document was in that set
18 of documents submitted by the Prosecution.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP: I'm trying to find the document. If it is the law on
21 defence, if it is something that the Prosecution would have disclosed to
22 the Defence, then it would have -- it will be tendered by the Prosecution
23 through a witness eventually, or if the Court so orders in a -- in
24 response to a motion that we have filed for the receipt of evidence, if
25 that is it. But we are trying to find the document that has been referred
1 to, and I think we have. However --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Does -- well, first of all, does it have a P
4 MR. STAMP: Yes, it does, but it would take some time to find it.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
6 MR. STAMP: We could overcome these difficulties if the order of
7 July -- the order of the Trial Chamber of the 11th of July, at paragraph
8 3, that a list of the documents and other materials to be used by the
9 party when cross-examining a witness be disclosed to the opposing party,
10 then we would have it and we would be able to give the Court all the
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Bakrac, that order remains in force. I
13 appreciate that there's been a request to reconsider it, and that's being
14 given active consideration and will be dealt with in the course of this
15 week, but you should, on the basis of the existing arrangements, have
16 disclosed specifically a list of the documents that you would be referring
17 to. Now, why was that not done?
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I already explained that
19 I thought that while -- in view of -- well, I thought it was in the
20 Prosecution's set of documents. So from the very outset I actually
21 misunderstood this. Well ...
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the order requires more than that. It
23 requires you to list the items which you will be using, and indeed the
24 request to reconsider acknowledges that that step should be taken but
25 suggests that a different time-frame should be employed, and the
1 time-frame should be once the witness has taken the solemn declaration.
2 So at this point in time, even on the basis of the request to reconsider,
3 a list should have been given to the Prosecution. Now, they are not
4 taking serious exception to this and therefore we can proceed, but other
5 Defence counsel should note the point that if there are documents to be
6 used in the course of cross-examination of this witness, they should be
7 immediately disclosed in the form of a list to the Prosecution.
8 Carry on, Mr. Bakrac.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. In the
10 meantime we found it, if it will be of assistance. This is P1874.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, can I again make a practical suggestion. When
12 we have P1874, unless there is some -- some difference in the more or less
13 identical Defence document, it's simply going to cause confusion and
14 unnecessary work if we bring in an additional exhibit. So it would be
15 helpful not to refer to 5D4, unless there's something peculiar about it
16 you want to rely on. If it's simply a question of a document that there
17 is no dispute over the terms of, then please use, if you can identify it,
18 the Prosecution exhibit number. All right. Thank you. So we'll use
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. So this is the law on defence. And in paragraph 17 -- or rather,
22 article 17 it says the following: "In the case of imminent threat of war,
23 a state of war, or a state of emergency, the units and organs of the
24 Ministry of the Interior may be used for carrying out combat tasks."
25 Mr. Peraj, that's what this law says, they may be used. It's not
1 that they have to be used and that there has to be resubordination. Do
2 you agree with me?
3 A. Yes, I agree they can be used, but --
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Peraj. Since you have agreed with me on this, in
5 paragraph 46 of this last statement of yours, you said that all armed
6 groups of the Army of Yugoslavia, the MUP, and others were subordinate to
7 the VJ in theory. Is that what you meant, what we agreed on just now; in
8 theory, according to the law, they may be used?
9 A. First of all, I can say that the police forces were used even
10 before. But as to your second question, the situation -- as I said, the
11 situation on the field was completely different at that time.
12 Coordination between the army and other forces was not at the requisite
13 level, as far as I know.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Peraj. Do you know that in the second half of
15 April, orders were written on resubordination that were never actually
17 A. Which paragraph are you talking about? Where did I say that?
18 Q. No, Mr. Peraj. That's not what you said. That is my question.
19 Do you know that in the second half of April, towards the end of the month
20 of April, orders were written on resubordination that were never actually
21 implemented? The resubordination of the MUP to the army. Do you know
22 about that?
23 A. No, I don't know about written orders like that.
24 Q. Is it correct that in paragraph 11 of your statement, you stated
25 that the MUP was subordinated to the VJ commander or leadership, but this
1 happened only on the basis of agreements?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it correct that in another paragraph, in paragraph 12 of this
4 statement, you said that paramilitary units were not under the control of
5 the VJ army? Yes or no.
6 A. No, they weren't, because in the barracks, the -- there were
7 normal soldiers and they were not allowed to enter the barracks. There
8 were only reservists of the armed forces, which --
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Peraj. I just put this very brief question to you.
10 Is it correct, Mr. Peraj, that in paragraph 15 of your statement you said
11 that the commanders of the Army of Yugoslavia in Djakovica arrested many
12 of the regular soldiers and reservists who committed different types of
13 crimes. Is that correct? Yes or no.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is it also correct that in the same paragraph you stated that the
16 military court convicted five of them, five out of eight reservists. Is
17 that correct?
18 A. I heard about that from officers in the barracks.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Peraj. Is it correct that also in paragraph 15 you
20 stated that you know that the commanders of the Army of Yugoslavia did not
21 order soldiers to commit crimes and that these were only isolated cases?
22 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Peraj.
24 Is it also correct that you stated that a number of reservists at
25 the beginning of the war joined the paramilitary units?
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Bakrac, there can, in appropriate
3 circumstances, be good reasons for a cross-examiner going back over
4 exactly what a witness has said in examination-in-chief. There can be
5 reasons for it, but in a court of this nature, where there's no need to be
6 grandstanding to a jury or emphasising points in examination for effect,
7 whether dramatic or otherwise, it's doubtful if there's any useful purpose
8 to be achieved by simply reiterating the favourable points from the
9 statement for your case. That can all be dealt with in your arguments in
10 due course.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I'll try. I
12 thought that I should draw the witness's attention to those parts of his
13 statement that are important for our Defence, for our Defence team, that
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And what's your reason for doing that? I mean, if
16 there's a good reason, then I --
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Because in the last statement, there
18 -- well, it seems contradictory and unclear as to what is correct and
19 what is not. I mean --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, this is all argument, Mr. Bakrac. It would
21 be helpful if you would confine the cross-examination to what's
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Peraj --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, page 26:20 --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Paragraph, you mean?
3 MR. ZECEVIC: No, page 26, line 20.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yeah, of the transcript.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, of the transcript, there is no answer of the
6 witness. It wasn't recorded. The witness said yes. I heard that, but it
7 was not recorded in the transcript. 26, 20. Thank you.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, you're correct from my -- according to my
9 recollection, Mr. Zecevic. So we can regard the answer at line 23 as
10 relating to the whole of that question. All right. Thank you very much.
11 Carry on, Mr. Bakrac.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Peraj, is it correct that at the Milosevic trial you stated
14 that reservists came to military units, but when they saw that they could
15 not take that kind of discipline, then they decided to join the
16 paramilitary forces. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, there have been many cases like that, yes.
18 Q. In your statement, Mr. Peraj, you talk about territorial units.
19 At that time, did the Territorial Defence still function?
20 A. I think there were some changes in the names of the forces. Every
21 municipality had its own force. Earlier they were called Territorial
22 Defence. These were forces which were mobilised and were commanded by
23 Nikola Micunovic.
24 Q. And they were subordinate to who?
25 A. The mayor of the municipality of Gjakova, who during -- in wartime
1 is the main commander of Territorial Defence for the municipality --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And the Micunovic --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and who is de facto commander, or
4 under the -- under the command of the commander in -- of the barracks, if
5 a barracks exist there.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: The Micunovic you've now mentioned is a different
7 person from the Micunovic about whom you were asked questions by
8 Mr. Stamp; is that correct?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it's the same person.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, the same person. I thought the previous one
11 was Dragan Micunovic.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it is Nikola Micunovic, but we
13 also call him Dragan. He has two names.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
15 Mr. Bakrac.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Peraj, will you agree with me that this Territorial Defence,
18 as you call it, was responsible to the military district, not the corps
20 A. It could be that way, yes.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Peraj. You talked about Nikola Micunovic now and
22 you called him "Dragan." Is it correct that he was an administrative
23 officer in the military department when there was no state of war?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Mr. Peraj, in your statement, in paragraph 22 you said that in the
1 area of Djakovica there were over 170 tanks.
2 A. Yes, that's what I said. That's what I said, yes.
3 Q. You said that you know that because a man who was at the fuel
4 point had just fueled 60 tanks on that day, on the 27th.
5 A. That's true, but only on that day.
6 Q. Is it correct that in the transcript -- or rather, in the
7 Milosevic case you said that, as far as this was concerned, that person
8 told you that he had fueled 40 tanks rather than 60 tanks?
9 A. That's possibly a mistake. I said "60" and I have material to
10 prove that there were 60.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Since there may be a dispute on this, can you give
12 us a transcript page number for the Milosevic trial?
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. It is page 4707,
14 lines 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Peraj, are you telling me now that there was a total of 60
18 tanks. Is that right?
19 A. No, I didn't say that there were 60 in all. There were more tanks
20 in the territory of Gjakova than that.
21 Q. How --
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Oh, I'm so sorry, Your Honour. I
23 have the impression that you wanted to say something.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, no. Once you've completed this point, we
25 can have our break.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. But tell me now, on the basis of this fact, that this person told
3 you that he had fueled 60 or 40 tanks, how did you come to the conclusion
4 that there were over 170 of them?
5 A. The person, who we say in Serbian was "tankirao," he told me they
6 went to get fuel. And he said: I'm really tired because all day today
7 I've been busy filling the -- filling up all the tanks with fuel, 60 of
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues] ...
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll break there and try to resume at 10
12 minutes to 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Peraj, is it correct that you stated that at the end of
18 February and in early March in the area of Djakovica there was a Republika
19 Srpska Brigade there?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. That brigade from the RS was in the area of Djakovica to try and
22 prevent any attacks from Albania and to provide security for those units
23 which were in front of the others?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You said that brigade had T-55 tanks. Do you know where those
1 tanks were from?
2 A. Yes, although I'm not sure where they came from. I think -- I
3 think they belonged to them, because if they were to take up other tanks,
4 to bring in other tanks, it would have taken too much time to -- to
5 exercise the tank units, the people running the tanks. So they could have
6 been brought in from Serbia because there were tanks there and other
7 anti-aircraft equipment.
8 Q. If I understood you correctly, they were also used for
9 anti-aircraft defence. Is that correct?
10 A. Not the tanks themselves but the other equipment.
11 Q. Mr. Peraj, did you know that as of the 10th or 11th of April,
12 1999, there was a land attack on the national border towards Albania?
13 A. I don't know the exact date, but at the time there were sporadic
14 attacks at the border.
15 Q. Mr. Peraj, you say "sporadic attacks." Did you know that at that
16 time, on the axis of Rosevo and Gorazup, there were 113 [Realtime
17 transcript read in error "a great number"] killed and a great number of
18 soldiers wounded by the KLA attacks carried out at the national border?
19 A. I don't know the number. I said "sporadic." What I meant by this
20 was from time to time there were attacks, there were encounters with Serb
21 forces. And where -- at the places on the border where Serb forces were
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, I thought I heard a specific number in
24 your question, but it's not reflected in the transcript. Was there a
25 specific figure of persons killed or did you just say there were a number
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I mentioned a specific
3 number. There were 113 killed and 375 wounded soldiers.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And are you posing the question on the basis that
5 that was on a specific date or dates, or over a period of time?
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] During April, when that operation of
7 attacking the national border was carried out.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, does that mean your question relates
9 specifically to the 10th and 11th of April?
10 MR. BAKRAC: No, Your Honour. Perhaps it's better if I
11 reformulate it, the question. I wanted to ask the witness if he knew that
12 those attacks at the national border lasted throughout April and even in
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said I know of sporadic attacks,
15 but not of large or long attacks. And at the end of March or the
16 beginning of April, I don't remember, but I do know there were -- that a
17 lot of military people who died from NATO bombings, I do remember that.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Since you mentioned NATO bombings, did NATO planes often target
20 Djakovica and its surroundings?
21 A. They attacked various localities, in particular the old barracks
22 in Gjakova and the radar in Ljupanar [phoen], and a few other places,
23 mostly where they thought the armed forces were situated.
24 Q. Did they also bomb Cabrat, which is not far from the old town in
1 A. Yes. But Cabrat, there were no losses in Cabrat. There was an
2 improvised maquette of tanks there, a model of tanks, a fake model, to
3 lead the planes in on short wave, and there were stoves there for heating
4 to show that there was warmth so that the planes would hone in on them.
5 Q. Mr. Peraj, are you familiar with the Operation Arrow 1?
6 A. I've heard about it, but I didn't read the documents, the specific
7 documents, about it, but I did hear about it.
8 Q. Have you read the book entitled "Boj Na Kosarama," "The Battle at
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you know that, apart from members of the KLA, some foreign
12 mercenaries also used to cross the national border?
13 A. I don't remember. For foreign mercenaries, as you say, yes, there
14 were KLA. They did cross the border, of course.
15 Q. Did you know that in Djakovica at the cemetery, some KLA members
16 were buried, but they were not of Albanian background, ethnic background?
17 A. I don't know. For the Albanians, I know that there were Albanians
18 buried there who were members of the KLA.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Peraj. You will agree, I believe, then, that there
20 were fights in Djakovica between the members of the KLA and the VJ?
21 A. There were no -- there was no fighting in the city of Gjakova.
22 Q. But there was fighting in the area around the town of Djakovica?
23 A. As far as I can remember, there was only one case in Cabrat when
24 five or six persons entered the area to visit their families, and they
25 were ambushed by Yugoslav forces. I know in Kosara, Molnice, and up at
1 the border there was fighting, as I said, but they were sporadic, as I
2 said earlier.
3 Q. Were there any attacks on the police and military forces in the
4 Carragojs valley in March and April 1999?
5 A. As far as I can remember, at the beginning of April there were two
6 cases of which I am aware, in the Llugu i Carragojs. There was one case
7 where Milutin Prascevic was killed with four other policemen, five
8 altogether thus, and two or three days earlier there was another incident
9 where a Montenegrin was killed, Vojislav Pekovic, near the village of
10 Racaj. I know about these two incidents in concrete terms. I know
11 because I took part in the burial of the fellow Pekovic.
12 Q. When did those attacks occur, these two attacks? Can you remember
13 the date?
14 A. The exact dates I don't remember because there were a lot of
15 things going on at the time, but I do remember it was in April, April.
16 Q. Would you agree that it was in the second half of April 1999?
17 A. No. Around the middle of April, not towards the end. Not at the
19 Q. Mr. Peraj, would you agree if I said that the forces of the VJ, or
20 some forces of the VJ were grouped along the line of
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Would you agree that such deployment of VJ units was a logical
24 choice, given the close proximity to the national border, to Albania, and
25 the length of the border in that area? And you said that in that area
1 there was only sporadic fighting.
2 A. I would agree that it would be normal for such forces to be
3 deployed in that area because -- because they were expecting attacks from
4 Albania, that KLA soldiers would be entering from Albania with NATO
5 support. But up to that time - if I may continue - they didn't come -- or
6 at least, there was no confrontation up to that time.
7 Q. But, Mr. Peraj, you said yourself it was logical to expect an
8 attack of the KLA which would come alongside other NATO attacks.
9 A. I could agree, but it is not logical, however, to expel the whole
10 population of the territory and to massacre the population in Meja.
11 That's not something which should be done. There were entirely civilian
12 population there.
13 Q. Mr. Peraj --
14 A. It is logical, as you say, that forces be deployed in the area
15 because there was a danger coming from the border, but there were no
16 people in the area anymore.
17 Q. Has the in-depth line starting from the national border up towards
18 the interior of the -- of Kosovo, was it extended from 5 up to 10
19 kilometres by a decision of the federal government?
20 A. I heard that the -- that the border was expanded -- there were
21 three different borders; the first one, the second one, and a third one, a
22 border belt, which means that the whole thing was wider. But they were
23 divided into three sections, one, two, three, and there were major
24 differences in them as to the operations which were carried out in these
25 various belts.
1 Q. Did you know that in military theory of all modern armies, that in
2 the border belt there should be no civilians in situations such as this
4 A. Yes, that is known, but the situation was entirely different as to
5 what I'm talking about.
6 Q. Mr. Peraj --
7 MR. STAMP: I'm sorry, the witness was about to explain what he
8 meant. Maybe I'm mistaken.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it's fairly obvious what he meant.
10 Please carry on, Mr. Bakrac.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Peraj, given the fact you just mentioned, that it is a common
13 understanding not to have civilian population in the border belt and that
14 it was logical to expect a land invasion by the joint KLA and NATO forces,
15 wouldn't it also have been logical for the civilian population to leave
16 the area in which such an attack may occur?
17 A. That would be logical, as you say, but to forcefully expel the
18 whole population along the border belt and to expel them to Albania and
19 then to burn all their houses and burn and destroy all their valuables;
20 that's not logical. People were being killed during the expulsions;
21 that's not logical. Why did they burn down their houses?
22 Q. Mr. Peraj, we talked about this Prizren-Djakovica-Pec line just
23 now and this border belt that is closest to Albania. Does it not coincide
24 with what you drew on the map as Exhibit 143 -- or rather, P326? When you
25 talked about the deployment of VJ forces, are those not precisely the
1 lines for which we established that it would be natural to expect them to
2 be attacked from Albania?
3 A. No, no, that's not the lines that I marked. These were lines to
4 support operations undertaken by the police and the 63rd Brigade, but at
5 the check-points there were paramilitary forces and the police,
7 Q. Yes, Mr. Peraj, we've heard about that from your statement. We've
8 heard about that. I'm interested in the following: Is it correct that
9 these lines coincide with what you and I have been concluding now, the
10 border belt, the main roads right next to the border of Albania, which is
11 57 kilometres long. Do you agree with me? I'm asking you whether those
12 lines coincide.
13 A. The lines show support for the forces. It has nothing to do with
14 the border lines. Those were other forces at the border. And the lines
15 which were drawn there are different, which -- the ones which I drew on
16 the map.
17 Q. But, Mr. Peraj, it was precisely on this map that you drew this,
18 and today on page 7 of the transcript, lines 18 and 20, you told us that
19 you marked a line where the forces stopped on the 27th and the 28th -- or
20 rather, where they spent the night between the 27th and the 28th. Do you
21 agree that that is far above Meja and Orize?
22 A. Look, the forces were not allowed to go further than Meja. At the
23 check-points there were certain forces who were waiting for the people --
24 Q. No, sir -- no. Mr. Peraj, P326 is the Prosecution exhibit where
25 you drew a dotted line, and today you explained - and that is on page 7,
1 lines 18 and 20 of today's transcript - you explained that that line is
2 the line where the forces actually stopped on the 27th of April and where
3 they spent the night between the 27th and the 28th of April. Is it
4 correct that this is at the level of the village of Ponosevac, Nec, and
5 Racaj, that are considerably before the village of Meja. Is that right?
6 A. I have to explain something, if I may.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, you may.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 27th the operation began.
9 The forces which were going in the direction of Junik and Dobrosh expelled
10 the population, and the populations went on its way on the 27th. Those
11 who arrived in Meja on that day - because the population was in a state of
12 despair; it was a terrible crisis with arms going off and houses being
13 burnt down - so when they left their houses -- immediately after they left
14 their houses, their houses were burnt down. So they were in panic. And
15 then -- please hear me out.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... this is not an answer to my
19 A. They didn't -- they couldn't go around -- they couldn't use side
20 roads. Everything was blocked off. They had to use the main road, the
21 one that I marked on the map. And the forces --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Peraj, hold on. The question you are
23 being asked is seeking clarification of evidence you gave earlier, which
24 is evidence about where the forces that were in the valley spent the night
25 of the 27th of April, and you gave evidence that the broken black line on
1 the map, which is P326, was where they spent the night. And you're being
2 asked to clarify that that is, in fact, the position; and secondly, that
3 that is considerably before the village of Meja. Now, what's the answer
4 to that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Firstly, the line is before Meja,
6 higher; and secondly, the next day the action continued.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Mr. Bakrac.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Peraj, on the 27th of April, the Serb forces were not in the
11 village of Meja. Isn't that right?
12 A. No, they were. They were there. At the end -- at the edge of the
13 village of Meja.
14 Q. When you say "at the edge," you are talking about a smaller unit
15 that assisted you. In conversation with Scepanovic, I mean. Is that what
16 you mean?
17 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
18 Q. So this is a smaller unit, and you said that they were not in Meja
19 at all. You said this was a smaller unit of 20 to 30 men, soldiers. Is
20 that right?
21 A. It was in Meja, near a tire repair shop. That's where they were,
22 at the edge of the village of Meja.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my question was -- I
25 mean, when he means when he's talking about that, whether he meant that
1 small military unit that assisted him in conversation with Scepanovic, or
2 rather, in this discussion with this Scepanovic. The witness said "yes,"
3 but it was not recorded in the transcript.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, that's noted as a correction to the
5 transcript, Mr. Bakrac. Which paragraph in the statement do we find that?
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I went off on a tangent
7 and I'm a bit lost in my questions, but if you give me a moment -- it's
8 paragraph 72, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Peraj, is it correct that paramilitaries were different from
12 the Army of Yugoslavia in terms of their hats, ski caps, bandannas,
13 arm-bands, and so on?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is it also correct, Mr. Peraj, that you never saw any paramilitary
16 units at the locations where the Army of Yugoslavia was?
17 A. I said that there weren't any in the barracks. In the army,
18 normal army barracks, there were no paramilitaries. That's what I said.
19 They weren't even allowed in.
20 Q. But, Mr. Peraj, Mr. Peraj, in paragraph 45, the last sentence, I
21 am going to read it out. You talked about Frenki's men and what they
22 wore. And then you said: "I never saw them at VJ locations."
23 A. What I mean by "locations" are the barracks, not in the sense of
24 territory. I mean places where there were barracks and ...
25 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Peraj, that the Army of Yugoslavia and the MUP
1 in Djakovica had separate commands?
2 A. Well, that's normal that the army should have its own command and
3 the police another command.
4 Q. Isn't it only natural, especially in a state of war, that these
5 two commands should have informal meetings between themselves?
6 A. Yes, it's normal; formal and informal meetings. But it's not
7 allowed -- but it's not that it's not allowed.
8 Q. At meetings that were held, as you say, twice a day, did you
9 personally ever see General Lazarevic there?
10 A. I saw him enter the building there during one of the meetings.
11 Q. You saw him entering the building where the army was stationed.
12 Is that right?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. But you did not see him attending meetings.
15 A. It would only be logical, when the commander enters a building
16 where the meeting is being held, it is only logical that he would take
17 part in the meeting, or to observe the meeting, at least, somehow.
18 Q. But if that is where the command post was, or part of the command,
19 in that building, is it not logical, then, to assume that he went to the
21 A. Normally meetings were not held in the command. Usually they were
22 held in other places for security reasons.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The building to which you refer was which
24 building? Where you saw Lazarevic enter.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the building of the palace of
2 JUDGE BONOMY: What other things did General Lazarevic normally do
3 at that building?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what else he did. I
5 think he was visiting the command of the barracks of Gjakova. He was
6 probably giving advice or instructions, commands.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honour, for your
9 assistance. We've clarified this now.
10 Q. Mr. Peraj, do you know -- I'm sorry. Strike that, please.
11 Mr. Peraj, can you recall when and how many times you saw Mr. Lazarevic?
12 A. I don't remember the exact dates, but I know that it was certainly
13 two times, but I don't remember the exact dates. On one occasion it was
14 the 28th of April, I believe.
15 Q. So on the 28th of April you saw him entering the cultural centre.
16 Is that right?
17 A. No, no, that's not true.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm assuming, Mr. Bakrac, that the 28th of April is
19 the event that we've already heard described in the basement of the cafe.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what it was.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. A few moments ago
22 the witness said that he saw him entering the cultural centre, and I asked
23 him how many times, and he said twice. And I asked about the date, and he
24 said --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, that's not what you asked him. You asked
1 him how many times he had seen General Lazarevic. You didn't ask him how
2 many times he had seen him entering the cultural centre. So perhaps you
3 need to clarify the question.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Where was this basement where you saw him on the 28th of April?
6 A. I explained it earlier. It was a building close to Cafe Lajici.
7 The street was called Marsal Tito. Now the street is called Mother
8 Teresa, "Nena Terese."
9 Q. And what was there in that building?
10 A. I did not look around to see what was there in that building. I
11 explained to you about Jeftovic --
12 Q. I'm asking you what part of the Army of Yugoslavia was there.
13 A. As far as I could see, the temporary headquarters was set up
14 there, of the corps, army corps, and the commander was there, as a matter
15 of fact.
16 Q. So in that building the temporary headquarters of the command were
17 located there, only temporarily, right?
18 A. Yes, part of the headquarters. Not the whole command, not the
19 entire thing, but part of it was there temporarily.
20 Q. What part was that? What part was that that was there?
21 A. Well, I was not the commander to know which parts were there. I
22 saw the people I mentioned earlier. De facto, the commander must have
23 been there.
24 Q. So when you say, "the commander must have been there," that means
25 that you never saw him, that you're just assuming this, right?
1 A. No. I said where the commander is the staff must be there. The
2 commander was there. With regard to the other part, I'm not able to say
3 anything about them.
4 Q. Tell me, Mr. Peraj, where was the command of the Pristina Corps at
5 that time?
6 A. I don't know, sir, where that was, where the command was. The
7 whole -- the entire command, where they were located, I don't know.
8 Because it was logical that the whole building could not contain all of
9 them, all those people, and also because of security reasons they've had
10 to go on the ground and look at things. Sorry, I have to finish this.
11 The command was there, but it was a very small staff. And the security as
12 well, the guards, but I don't know where the entire command was located.
13 Q. So, Mr. Peraj, it is your assertion that the command of the
14 Pristina Corps was in Djakovica, not in Pristina. Is that right?
15 A. No, that's not what I said and that's not what I am saying.
16 Logically, part of the command, with the commander, would be -- was in
17 Gjakova because of the importance of the terrain there, as you stressed
18 yourself, because the forces deployed there between Peja and Decan and
19 Gjakova, Prizren, near the border, there were forces there, so it would be
20 logical --
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... heard that.
22 MR. STAMP: [Previous translation continues] ... explain his
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you ought to let him finish his answer,
25 Mr. Bakrac, in view of the uncertainty there is in this matter.
1 Carry on, Mr. Peraj, complete that answer, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I -- I understand that it would be
3 logical for the commander at that time to be in Gjakova, and he was in
4 Gjakova. It was very important for the deployment in the area,
5 Gjakova-Peja-Decan-Prizren, on that line. We were expecting battles,
6 heavy fighting there. They did not take place, but that's what we were
7 expecting there.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Peraj, in line 16 you said that it was logical that he would
10 be there as commander, that is to say that you are basing this on a
11 logical assumption, but it's not that you know this; right?
12 A. I know he was. I saw him with my own eyes, I saw him there, in
13 the basement of that building. And it is completely logical for him to be
15 JUDGE BONOMY: For the avoidance of any doubt there may be, is
16 that building a different one from the cultural centre to which you
17 referred earlier?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, it's another building.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Bakrac.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Peraj, do you know what an IKM is?
23 A. Excuse me, could I add something? To these -- for the B/C/S
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you listing to a B/C/S translation?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I'm listening to the
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's proceed and just answer the next
5 Mr. Bakrac.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Peraj, you are listening to interpretation into the Albanian.
8 Do you know what a forward command post is, "istureno komandno mesto"?
9 A. Yes, I know what that means.
10 Q. Was there a forward command post in Djakovica, the forward command
11 post of the Pristina Corps?
12 A. When part of the main command is deployed in another location,
13 that's what you're talking about? That's it. Part of the command of the
14 corps was in another locality before the fighting started.
15 Q. What fighting are you talking about?
16 A. I mean the fighting that took place along the border belt, and the
17 case of Meja, although there was no real fighting there. I included my
18 explanation about Meja in the whole thing.
19 Q. Mr. Peraj, in 1998 was the Pristina Corps command in Pristina
21 A. At the end of 1998 I know that it was in Pristina, but not
23 Q. And as for Djakovica, did the corps command have its forward
24 command post there?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is it also correct that the chief of corps spends his time at the
2 forward command post?
3 A. General Lazarevic had been head of the staff of the corps, and it
4 would be entirely logical, and I agree with you, that he could go wherever
5 he wanted with his forward posts, and he could visit the units he wanted.
6 Q. Are you trying to tell me that you didn't know that in 1998, as of
7 April and until December, that General Lazarevic, being the chief of
8 corps, was at the forward command post in Djakovica? Are you trying to
9 tell me that you didn't know that?
10 A. In the period I'm talking about, it is logical that he be there,
11 and it was certainly there, and I know that in Gjakova --
12 Q. Mr. Peraj, I asked you and I keep asking you specific questions,
13 and yet you expand on a period I didn't include in my question. Are you
14 trying to tell me that you, being a military person who served in
15 Pristina, did not know that as of April 1998 and until December of that
16 year, General Lazarevic, as the chief of corps, spent his time at the
17 forward command post in Djakovica? A simple yes or no will do.
18 A. He may have been, and it would be most likely that he were,
19 because there was a forward command --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Please don't expand again on logic. Are you saying
21 again that you don't actually know?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not observing all his
23 movements. I just say that he logically would have been there.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we shall record that as "I don't know,"'
25 Mr. Bakrac, and if you're happy with that, we can move on.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Peraj, do you know who was the Chief of Staff of the Pristina
3 Corps in 1999?
4 A. You mean General Lazarevic?
5 Q. Therefore, simultaneously he was the commander of the Pristina
6 Corps as well as the Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps. Is that what
7 you're trying to tell me?
8 A. No. Firstly, General Lazarevic was not there all -- for all of
9 1999. General Lazarevic took his orders from General Pavkovic. He got
10 his position from General Pavkovic, rather. And I don't know if it was
11 from the beginning of 1999.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Duty, not orders.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Peraj, are you trying to tell me now that you cannot
16 distinguish between a corps commander and a commander of staff -- and the
17 Chief of Staff of the corps?
18 A. No, I know what the difference is, what the commander is, of each
19 and who the head Chief of Staff is.
20 Q. Very well, then. Since you can distinguish between the two, I'm
21 asking you: Who was the Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps in 1999?
22 A. I said that in 1999, perhaps at the beginning of the year, as far
23 as I know, General Lazarevic took over his position from General Pavkovic.
24 Q. Took over the duty of the Chief of Staff. Is that what you are
25 trying to tell me?
1 A. No, as commander. General Lazarevic was made commander of the
2 Pristina Corps, whereas Pavkovic went to Nis.
3 Q. Excellent. Now that we understand each other, I will ask you
4 again: Who was the Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps in 1998 [as
5 interpreted], for the third time; can you tell me that?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Unless it's a translation issue -- please don't
7 answer that. Unless it's a translation problem, the question was
8 previously 1999. So what is --
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] It must have been a translation
10 problem. I believe I said "1998." In any case, I apologise if the
11 mistake was mine.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You're now -- well, it was previously posed several
13 times as 1999. It's now posed as 1998. Please start again and ask that
14 question, and this will be regarded as the final version.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Peraj, do you know who was the Chief of Staff of the Pristina
17 Corps in 1999?
18 A. I can say -- I'd like to say it again. In -- at the beginning of
19 1999, for the first three months - I don't remember the exact dates - but
20 as far as I know, until -- during that time General Lazarevic was Chief of
21 Staff. And then, he took over as commander of the corps.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And after he became commander of the corps, who was
23 the Chief of Staff?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember it for the moment.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. If this interpretation is correct, you are telling us that in
3 1999, or during the first three months of that year, General Lazarevic was
4 the Chief of Staff of the corps. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. We are discussing April now. Do you know who was the Chief of
7 Staff in April 1999 for the Pristina Corps?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: He's just said he doesn't know the answer to that
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Peraj, in April, in Djakovica, was there an -- a forward
12 command post?
13 A. Yes, there was.
14 Q. Who commanded the post?
15 A. On the 28th of April 1999, it was -- at least, I saw it was
16 commanded by General Lazarevic, who was commander, whereas in the field at
17 Qafa e Osekut, the command was represented by Colonel Milan Kotur,
18 together with the Chief of Staff of the Gjakova Brigade, Colonel Novica
20 Q. Mr. Peraj, does that mean that in that basement next to Lajic Cafe
21 there was a forward command post of the Pristina Corps? Are you trying to
22 tell me that?
23 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
24 Q. Mr. Peraj, what business did you have at the forward command post
25 of the Pristina Corps, then?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the previous answer by
2 the witness hasn't been recorded in the transcript. The witness said,
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. That's noted, Mr. Bakrac.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 28th I went with Sergej
6 Perovic. As I said, I needed to get authorisation to go back to visit my
7 village. I went to find out what was going on there. That's the reason I
8 went there on the 28th, about 8.30 or 9.00.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Excellent, Mr. Peraj. Did you have such an authorisation on the
11 27th of April when, as you said, you moved about in the field? Did you
12 ask for such an authorisation and were you given one?
13 A. I never said that I went on the 27th. You are changing things.
14 You're trying to confuse me.
15 Q. No, Mr. Peraj. I'm asking you this: Did you have a permit, did
16 you ask for one, when you toured Meja, Orize, and so on and so forth, on
17 the 27th of April, as it is stated in your statement?
18 A. I didn't ask for a permit, because it was an urgent matter and I
19 didn't request any permission for that.
20 Q. According to your statement, on the 28th in the morning there was
21 also an urgent matter to attend to. Isn't that correct? And who was it
22 that told you that you needed a permit?
23 A. It was Sergej Perovic who said so. He said I needed to get
24 permission to enter that zone and to go there, because it was impossible
25 otherwise to go to that village. But -- because I wanted to get as close
1 as possible to look at the terrain.
2 Q. Who issued you with such a permit?
3 A. We didn't receive it in writing, but Lieutenant-Colonel Jeftovic
4 told me that I could go, but he told me exactly where I could go.
5 Q. Therefore, you could have obtained that permission via telephone
6 as well. Is that correct? Or by way of radio that Perovic had?
7 A. He did, but it was very close to where I was being stationed at
8 the time, and for that reason. It was only a hundred metres away from the
9 place where I was stationed.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Peraj, the question was very specific. You
11 could have, rather than go there, got permission either by telephone or by
12 radio. As a matter of fact, was that a possibility?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It would have been possible, yes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Mr. Bakrac.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Peraj, what rank and duty did Colonel Jeftovic have at that
19 A. He was a lieutenant-colonel and worked for the operational staff
20 of the corps.
21 Q. And he was in charge of issuing such permits; is that correct?
22 A. I -- he was not interested in the detail. He just said: You may
23 go. And he asked where the command was, whether it was in Qafa e Seda
24 phoen] or in Duznje.
25 Q. Therefore, Mr. Peraj, the person who, inter alia, coordinated
1 operations asked you whether the command was in Qafa e Seda or in Duznje.
2 Is that what you're trying to tell me?
3 A. No, no. Jeftovic told us where it was, the command post in the
4 field of the army, the command post of the police and the army. That's
5 what I meant. And Perovic had a miniature map in his pocket which was
6 identical with the one that was in the basement of the building.
7 Q. How long did you stay in the basement of that building?
8 A. Five or six minutes.
9 Q. Where did you spend that time?
10 A. Near where the map was on the wall. There was a narrow corridor
11 without light, without natural -- without a door, sorry, without an
12 outside door. So we stepped a few steps back and talked, Jeftovic and I.
13 And he said he was very sorry that my family had been expelled from the
14 village, like everyone else.
15 Q. Mr. Peraj, therefore, during those few minutes you spoke to
16 Colonel Jeftovic standing, and you were in the corridor of that house; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Initially we talked near the map on the wall for two or three
19 minutes, and then we stepped back two or three steps and talked for
20 another five minutes, perhaps, because there was no time because
21 everything had to be noted down on the map.
22 Q. Excellent. What had to be noted down on the map; your permission
23 to go?
24 A. Look, are you joking or what? You don't note down people's
25 permissions or authorisations on a map. What you do is note the movements
1 of forces because the map is -- was coded --
2 Q. Mr. Peraj, in answering to my question in line 18, you said that
3 you spoke to Jeftovic next to the map for about two or three minutes, and
4 then you stepped back two or three steps and talked for another five
5 minutes because there was no time and everything had to be noted down on
6 the map; hence, I asked you what had to be noted down. You were telling
7 us about the conversation, how long it lasted and where you were when you
8 spoke to Colonel Jeftovic.
9 A. The conversation lasted a total of five or six minutes, the whole
10 conversation, I would think.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think there's a question in there,
12 Mr. Peraj, but the question will come.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Peraj, you said there was no time, that you spent that period
15 talking to Colonel Jeftovic. How did you manage to notice the details on
16 the map?
17 A. I had seen the map earlier, I had seen it on the 28th when Perovic
18 and I had had it in our hands and we looked at it in detail. That's why
19 it was ...
20 Q. You and Perovic had that very map and you had studied it in
21 detail, and then you put it on the wall in his office. Is that what
22 you're trying to tell me?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: In Jeftovic's office.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Perovic had a copy of the map
25 which was identical with the one on the wall. The wall map was a big one,
1 whereas Perovic's copy was a small one which could be folded and put into
2 his pocket.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Bakrac, we'll need to interrupt you again.
4 Mr. Peraj, just one point before we adjourn: You mentioned again
5 just a short time ago the expulsion of your own family, and you told us
6 earlier where your brother resided. Where did your own family reside?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My family and my brothers live in
8 the village of Dallashaj and they lived in the village of Dallashaj at
9 that time. My brother did not leave his family.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 And, Mr. Bakrac, do you have much more cross-examination for the
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I'll try to speed
14 things up so as to finish within the next session.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. The -- we will adjourn. This time we
16 will actually adjourn for half an hour, roughly, so we will resume at 10
17 to 1.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before I continue, I owe
22 you an apology. And for the transcript, just a change in the P number of
23 the law on defence, the exhibit that I first used. P985 is the exact
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Peraj, before the break we talked about a meeting you had with
3 Colonel Jeftovic when you met him in the basement, and you said that you
4 saw the same map at Perovic's up to the last detail. If you spent only a
5 short period of time with Colonel Jeftovic, and if you talked all the
6 time, how could you compare all the details on this map and the one that
7 Perovic allegedly showed you?
8 A. The reason they were the same and why I was able to see, or what I
9 could see on the map which was most important was the direction of attack
10 on the one map, and you can see that on the map that I drew, too. And
11 Perovic had the same map, and I verified that on the 28th of April in the
13 Q. And, Mr. Peraj, after this brief conversation as you were standing
14 with Jeftovic, you left that basement. Isn't that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Well, now, Mr. Peraj, I am going to read something out to you,
17 something that you said today in the morning. Transcript page 15, lines
18 15 through 17, where you asserted, that is to say four hours ago, that at
19 that time Lazarevic and Jeftovic were in the basement and that they were
20 working on a map. Can you explain this kind of difference in your
21 statement to me, that is to say between this morning and now?
22 A. In my opinion, there's no difference. They were both there.
23 Lazarevic was near the map --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm struggling to find a difference, too. What's
25 the point you're making, Mr. Bakrac?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness does not
2 mention Lazarevic. He said that he talked with Jeftovic briefly in the
3 corridor for a few minutes only, and beforehand he said that Jeftovic and
4 General Lazarevic were working on that map. The transcript, page 15,
5 lines 15 through 17, not that he was talking to Jeftovic and all the rest
6 that he told us now. Let me not take up more time.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I explain something briefly?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: No, Mr. Bakrac will ask you any other questions he
9 feels he should ask you. Just answer them as they're posed.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So what is correct? Is it correct -- I mean, is what you said
12 just now correct or is what you said this morning correct?
13 MR. STAMP: The witness has already said --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: If you would care to put the two separate versions
15 to the witness, then we'll get a clear answer, but at the moment I can't
16 see a difference between the two, so you'll have to explain it both for me
17 and I think also for the witness.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Peraj, while you were talking to Jeftovic briefly for five
20 minutes, as you were standing there, and when you established that the map
21 was a detailed map, did you see Mr. Lazarevic at that time, too?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And what did you see? What was Mr. Lazarevic doing?
24 A. At that moment he had five or six conversations - telephone,
25 walkie-talkie - going on, and he was taking notes about activities in the
1 field. And Jeftovic was noting them down on the map accordingly.
2 Q. But you say that Jeftovic was talking to you as you were standing
3 there. How could he at the same time be not noting these things down on
4 the map and talking to you at the same time? Doing all of that at the
5 same time?
6 A. At the moment when we were talking to one another, he only made
7 one note on the map. He had gone three steps back, and when he was
8 talking to me he was not writing on the map for that moment. There was no
9 reason there -- he had a moment.
10 Q. So what was General Lazarevic doing then? You said that he was
11 dictating things to Jeftovic for him to note down, and now you say that he
12 was not noting it down. So what is ultimately correct and true?
13 A. He was talking on the telephone at that time.
14 Q. Do you remember what he was wearing at the time, General
16 A. He was wearing a uniform, of course. Military uniform.
17 Q. What kind of uniform?
18 A. The same kind that we -- the same kind of uniforms that we wore.
19 Q. The regular olive green-grey; right?
20 A. Yes, camouflage colours.
21 Q. Mr. Peraj, you said that these headquarters were in a basement
22 near the Lajic Cafe. Is it true that in your statement dated the 18th of
23 April, 2000, on page 4 - that's in the B/C/S version and in the English
24 version - paragraph 5 -- or rather, 15 of the B/C/S version. In the
25 English version -- I mean, no -- I'm sorry, it's the English version. I
1 beg your pardon, page 4 of the English version, and did you state the
2 following: "At 1130 hours -" the reference is made to the 27th of July --
3 no, sorry, April - "I went to the cultural centre in Djakovica. Since the
4 cultural centre was one of the safest places, there the VJ army had
5 established its headquarters."
6 Please be so kind as to tell me now: Where were the headquarters
7 put up; in the cultural centre or the basement that you're talking about
9 A. Part of the staff, not all of it, part of the staff of the Gjakova
10 Brigade where I was, it was in the palace of culture, the basement of the
11 palace of culture, whereas the other part of the Gjakova Brigade was in
12 another place. And at the time, part of the staff of the corps was in the
13 basement near the Lajici Cafe.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: This is paragraph 67 of the statement we've been
15 dealing with. It would be helpful, if you insist on using the earlier
16 statements, that you relate them to the paragraph numbers of the statement
17 we are working on.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. For a moment I
19 looked at the old statement that had not been marked with paragraphs, so
20 that's why it happened. I'm sorry.
21 Q. Mr. Peraj, is it correct that first of all in your first
22 statement, the one that you gave on the 18th of April, 2000, you did not
23 mention at all that on the 27th or 28th you saw General Lazarevic in
24 Djakovica, especially not that he was in charge of some kind of operation?
25 A. If I didn't mention that, it's because no one asked me about it.
1 If they had, I would have told them.
2 Q. You talked in detail about an incident, and you did not mention
3 such an important thing - important for you as a soldier - because nobody
4 asked you about it. Is that what you're trying to say now?
5 A. As to what you said earlier about Lazarevic, no, no one asked me
6 about it. What happened in Meja was much, much more important than the
7 other things.
8 Q. So for you, as a military man, it was not important at all who was
9 in charge and who was in command, and you did not deem it necessary to
10 make any reference to it. Is that what you're trying to say?
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But it was evident --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp is on his feet.
14 MR. STAMP: I know counsel can ask a question more than once but
15 this is the third time he's asked him about not stating something about
16 General Lazarevic, whereas he has already said twice that he wasn't
18 JUDGE BONOMY: No, he hasn't said one way or the other. He said
19 if it's not in my statement, then it must be because I wasn't asked about
20 it. There's nothing wrong with pursuing this if there's no reference to
21 it in the statement.
22 Now, carry on, Mr. Bakrac.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So, Mr. Peraj, you are trying to tell me that for you that was not
25 an important detail at all, right, and that you did not mention that at
1 all to the investigators of the Tribunal?
2 A. At the time, much more important for me were the events in Meja
3 and Korenica. The fact that 376 persons were executed, that was much more
4 important for me.
5 Q. Mr. Peraj, this is also a fact that is directly related to that
6 operation. Isn't that right?
7 A. As to the operation, I stand by what I said and who did what, and
8 it is the learned Judges who will make a decision at the end of the trial
9 on everything.
10 Q. Mr. Peraj, are you trying to say to me that in your first
11 statement you did not make any suggestions as to who it was that was
12 standing behind that operation? Is that what you're trying to say?
13 A. I am endeavouring to tell you only the things I saw with my own
15 Q. No, Mr. Peraj, please don't talk to me about things I did not ask
16 you about. I am asking you whether in your first statement you talked
17 about who it was that was planning and carrying out the operation, or did
18 you not make any reference to it? That's the only thing I'm asking you.
19 Just that and nothing else.
20 A. I'm certainly not the person who could organise and plan
21 operations. They were planned at a much higher level and authorised at a
22 much higher level --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The question you're being asked, Mr. Peraj, is
24 whether you can remember if, when you gave your first statement to the
25 Office of the Prosecutor, you made no mention of who was responsible for
1 organising the operation at Meja.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] And, Your Honour -- I'm sorry, and
3 for carrying it out, implementing it as well, if I may add that.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Responsible were the commanders of
5 the forces involved.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Peraj, that means that in the first statement you talked about
8 who the persons responsible for this operation were. Yes or no.
9 A. I'd like to read a passage from my first statement.
10 Q. May I assist you in that, Mr. Peraj? On the last page of the
11 first statement, dated the 18th of April, 2000, in the third paragraph
12 from the bottom -- I mean from the end, the last paragraph, the third
13 paragraph -- no, sorry, the second paragraph: "Nikola Micunovic,
14 nicknamed Dragan, Milan Kotur, and Kovacevic are the men responsible for
15 the massacre of Meja and Korenica. They planned and led the entire
16 operation." Is it correct that this is what you stated to the
17 investigators of the Tribunal?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So, Mr. Peraj, it is not correct that you were not asked about who
20 organised the action and carried it out, right?
21 A. These people were in the field when -- and they were acting and,
22 logically, they would have received orders or authorisation from someone
23 higher up.
24 Q. But, Mr. Peraj, you claim to have seen that someone who was
25 carrying out, organising, and implementing that action. Have you recalled
1 that only now?
2 A. I said earlier that in the field when the operations were taking
3 place at the Qafa e Osekut, I saw, and I was with him for over an hour, I
4 saw Milan Kotur and Novica Stankovic, whereas in Duznje I saw the
5 commander of the special police forces.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: The question you're being asked is when was it you
7 first mentioned to the Office of the Prosecutor that you had seen
8 Lazarevic doing what you say he was doing in the basement?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I remember, I mentioned
10 that several times.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 Now, Mr. Bakrac, is there a number for the original statement of
13 the 18th of April, 2000?
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, my
15 Defence team is going to check that, and perhaps Mr. Stamp can assist me,
16 too, if he is about to rise. We will check the number.
17 MR. STAMP: If Your Honour's referring to the paragraph number, I
18 think it's paragraph --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, I was wanting the exhibit number, if it has
20 one. It hasn't been --
21 MR. STAMP: No, no --
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No. No, Your Honour. But the
23 statement exists in Serbian and in English, and we can give it an exhibit
24 number, a Defence exhibit number.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed --
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] It is marked P2248.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, it does already have a P number?
3 MR. STAMP: Yeah.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, that's what I wanted to know. So it's P2248.
5 Thank you.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Peraj --
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] May I proceed, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Peraj, is it also correct that up to the 8th and 9th of
13 August, 2006, you did not know that you had seen General Lazarevic on the
14 28th, not on the 27th, as you had stated in this statement -- I mean as
15 you stated today. I beg your pardon.
16 A. You mixed up the year 2006, and I'm not clear about your question.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the question is whether in fact the 8th and
18 9th of August was the first time that you mentioned this to the Office of
19 the Prosecutor, and that's the 8th and 9th of August this year, when you
20 made the latest statement.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I have mentioned him before as
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No. Your Honour, my question was --
24 perhaps it was misinterpreted.
25 Q. In the statement that you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor on
1 the 8th and 9th of August, 2006, in paragraph 65 it says that operation
2 was coordinated from Djakovica by Lazarevic and Lieutenant-Colonel Goran
3 Jeftovic. On the 27th of April, 1999, the push reached the line that I
4 have marked on the map, whereas today you said to us that you saw General
5 Lazarevic on the 28th. Was it only today that you remembered that?
6 A. No, no. I knew it before, too.
7 Q. Why did you not say this to anyone until today?
8 A. I said it before, but maybe --
9 MR. STAMP: [Previous translation continues] ...
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry, I didn't hear that.
11 MR. STAMP: The objection is that the question asserts something
12 which the witness has not accepted. He did not say that he has not said
13 that before until today. And as a matter of fact, I think before he was
14 proceeding to say that he had said it before and was interrupted.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, that seems to be correct.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. It seems to me
17 there has been a misinterpretation. I will repeat.
18 Q. Is it correct that only today you said for the first time clearly
19 that you did not see General Lazarevic on the 27th of April, but rather,
20 on the 28th of April, in the morning. Is that correct? And can you tell
21 me or can you point out to any statement in which you had previously said
22 that you saw him on the 28th in the morning?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, not only is that a double question, but it's
24 a very difficult one to deal with. First of all, where do we read in
25 paragraph 65 that the witness said he did see General Lazarevic on the
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was only asking the
3 witness the following: Has he ever, either to the OTP investigators or to
4 anyone else, told that he saw General Lazarevic on the 28th in the
6 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a -- that question you have asked, but you
7 -- read the beginning of your question. It raises the question of him
8 saying he did not see General Lazarevic on the 27th. Now, you're asking
9 whether in one of the other statements he gave to the Office of the
10 Prosecutor he mentioned seeing General Lazarevic in the basement on the
11 28th. Is that right?
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes. I asked him whether he ever
13 said that to anyone, or was it today for the first time.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's confine it to the Office of the
15 Prosecutor rather than to anyone.
16 And, Mr. Peraj, can you help us with that? Prior to the statement
17 -- prior to court today, did you say to anyone from the Office of the
18 Prosecutor that you had seen General Lazarevic in the basement on the 28th
19 of April?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: When was that? When did you say that to someone?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said it before, but I don't
23 remember the dates. I also said it now --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Do you remember the name of the person
25 or who the person was to whom you said it?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paolo, I think.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Peraj, as regards the action discussed here, did you know
7 about that action before the 27th of April?
8 A. What do you mean? Which action?
9 Q. The operation we've been discussing here all day. Prior to the
10 27th of April, did you know that this operation was going to be carried
12 A. I heard that an operation is going to take place, but not any
13 fixed date was given for that.
14 Q. Who told you anything about such an upcoming operation?
15 A. Much was said among colonels -- lieutenant-colonels who were
16 staying where I personally was staying, in that part of the staff.
17 Q. Therefore, this means that a legitimate military operation was
18 being planned. It didn't strike you as anything unusual. There was
19 nothing in that that bothered you. Isn't that correct?
20 A. Initially it didn't strike me as something unusual, but when the
21 most terrible thing happened, then of course it seemed to me very unusual.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Peraj.
23 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry to interrupt. I have to ask a question,
24 with permission from Mr. Peraj. Now, you knew previously what had
25 happened and you knew that a -- there were -- something is being planned.
1 Did you not inform friends and people beforehand that this may happen and
2 they may take care of it?
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you answer that, Mr. Peraj?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do. When I heard that an
6 operation was going to be undertaken, I sent word through my father, to my
7 brother-in-law, and some friends, relatives, to be careful because an
8 operation was about to take place, but that the operation was to be of
9 that size I, too, didn't know, and of course I couldn't tell them.
10 Because, if you allow me, Your Honours, to continue, it never entered my
11 mind that people would be forcefully displaced and their houses set on
12 fire and that what happened in Meja was going to happen. That was really
13 beyond my understanding. I would not have believed that was going to come
14 true. So there was no way how I could make that situation more tragical
15 than I thought it would be. I just sent them word to be cautious, to take
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Peraj.
18 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Did you also discuss this with your -- with any of
19 your friends who were there with you at that time, besides sending message
20 to your relations?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To tell you the truth, there were
22 some officers who were sad because of what happened and expressed their
23 surprise at -- especially at what occurred.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Bakrac, you've had a fair opportunity to
25 cross-examine. Have you much more for the witness?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Pardon me. I have but a few, maybe
2 ten minutes' worth.
3 Q. Mr. Peraj, could we try to speed things up. You said you saw a
4 map in the basement of some transparent material. Can you explain me
5 exactly what that map was. What sort of material is that?
6 A. It was kind of transparent paper, because usually for those kind
7 of maps they are used under a piece of glass or with some light, but the
8 place was very small to put a big glass and put light under it. That's
9 why I think the map was -- I don't know the exact word for that, like what
10 kind of paper it was, like nylon sort of paper, foil paper.
11 Q. And it was suspended on the wall; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Why does one put the light on the other side of the map or below
14 the map? Can you explain that? Are any lights put below or underneath,
15 since you mentioned the glass, and so that the markings on the map would
16 be visible? Is that correct?
17 A. Yes. In normal situations, yes, but at wartime - please, let me
18 finish - different means may be used. White walls or black walls. I
19 don't remember now the colour, but I know it was not black. So at wartime
20 you can resort to any means you can lay hands on.
21 Q. What colour was the wall?
22 A. Like light cream, yellow, similar to the colour that we see here
23 in the courtroom.
24 Q. Mr. Peraj, in your statement, in paragraph 83 you stated that on
25 the 27th you saw Major Zdravko Vinter typing a report concerning that
1 action. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Where did Major Vinter work at the time; in which department?
4 A. At that time the major worked as an ordnance, that is taking care
5 of personal affairs of officers.
6 Q. And he was typing out a combat report. Is that right?
7 A. Yes, but he also was kind of commander of the staff or substaff
8 for the crisis -- or to say emergency staff.
9 Q. Mr. Peraj, you spent a number of years with the military. Who is
10 the person in charge of typing out combat reports?
11 A. At wartime, this can be done by the person who is authorised or
12 ordered to do that.
13 JUDGE CHOWHAN: As a military man, you know that when there's a
14 combat they normally try to put different words to different text. I
15 mean, then it's called as cryptic or encrypt or whatever. It's not the
16 straightforward language. Do you know that? It's not the straightforward
17 language; it's done in a different way.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this case, I can tell you in full
19 responsibility that sometime at around 10.00 at night, when we returned
20 from the briefing, the notes were in a notebook; and from that notebook,
21 he typed that on the report that I mentioned for the corps -- army corps.
22 And I saw him write -- explicitly writing that on the 27th of April in the
23 region of Meja, 68 terrorists were liquidated, while in Korenica 74
24 terrorists were liquidated. This is what he wrote.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. If I understood you correctly, Mr. Peraj, he was to send that
2 report to the command of the Pristina Corps. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Mr. Peraj, if I understand correctly, Major Vinter typed out an
5 action report in order to be sent to the corps commander who was commanded
6 -- commanding the action from that very same place. Is that what you're
7 trying to tell me?
8 A. The person who commanded the operation knew even better than Major
9 Vinter. Major typed the report that was presented at the briefing,
10 whatever was said there. But according to the rules, you have to write --
11 to prepare the reports from one lower level to another, no matter what you
12 knew, because that was to be kept as a record. So I saw him that day
13 typing out that report addressed to the army corps, irrespective of the
14 fact that he knew, but this is a rule.
15 Q. Mr. Peraj, you said that you had seen Major Vinter put that report
16 in an envelope. Is that correct? Is that true?
17 A. Yes, afterwards. He left it for around an hour or so on the
18 table; it was open. After taking it out of the typewriter, he left it on
19 the table.
20 Q. Mr. Peraj, in all of your statements up until today, you said you
21 just looked at the report briefly, and now for the first time we hear that
22 you spent an hour alone in the room with that report. Weren't you
23 interested in reading it out in detail, and which of the two is correct?
24 MR. STAMP: I cannot accept that.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, he didn't say what you've attributed to him
1 in his evidence just now.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I wasn't
3 following the transcript simultaneously. This is what I received in
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, he didn't say he was looking at it for an
6 hour, nor did he say in the statement that he only saw it briefly.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Peraj, if I understood your testimony here today well, you
9 stayed alone in the room with the report once that Major Vinter had left
10 it, had left the room. Is that correct?
11 A. No, that's not true. There were many other persons there. There
12 were some soldiers, too, from the command who are there, work as security
13 staff. There were at least two such soldiers who worked -- used to work
14 in the command. Perovic was there, and one or two other officers whose
15 names I can't remember now.
16 Q. And you said he put that report in an envelope. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Mr. Peraj, first of all, is it correct that you didn't mention
19 that report in your statement dated the 18th of April, 2000?
20 A. Can you please make it clear to me again, this question?
21 Q. In your statement given to the OTP investigators dated the 18th
22 of April, 2000, you didn't mention this report.
23 A. I have mentioned this report in previous statements, but it is a
24 fact that I didn't mention the cover. I must say that what I'm telling to
25 you now before this very Court I bear moral, material, and any other
1 responsibility. Because things -- at the moment other things can come to
2 my mind which I feel I must give testimony. I am saying only the truth
3 for what I know.
4 Q. Is it correct that in the Milosevic case - this is page of the
5 transcript 4730, lines 5 through 7 - there you stated that you couldn't
6 remember that previously?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Lines 4 through 7.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What do you mean I didn't remember
9 that previously?
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I'm asking you this: Is it correct that in the case against
12 Milosevic, once asked why you hadn't mentioned that previously, you said
13 that you couldn't remember that at the time. Is that correct?
14 A. Either I have problems with the translation, but the question is
15 not clear to me. What do you exactly mean when you say I didn't
16 remember? What didn't I remember?
17 Q. In the Milosevic case you said that you hadn't mentioned that in
18 your statement because you hadn't remembered it at the time. I provided
19 the page and line reference.
20 MR. STAMP: What --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on, Mr. Peraj, there's an objection here.
22 MR. STAMP: It is probably better if counsel reads the relevant
23 question and answer from the Milosevic case, because what he's asserting
24 to the witness is an interpretation of an answer that he had given to a
25 question. That is not what the witness said precisely.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, how much more cross-examination do you
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise, but I
4 cannot make an estimate since I need to pose the same question three times
5 over to the witness.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I don't think that you've had a lack of
7 reasonable answers overall. 20 minutes ago you had 10 minutes left. We
8 now have to adjourn, unfortunately, in the middle of this. And one has to
9 ask the question whether this approach to cross-examination, this
10 particular approach at the moment, is serving any useful purpose;
11 referring to previous answers without putting the passage in front of the
12 witness and -- in any event, I wonder whether in fact it's any different
13 -- it is different from what he's saying today. I really don't know.
14 You have to give consideration to how you prepare yourself for
15 cross-examination to make best use of the time. It seems to me that
16 you've had an adequate opportunity to cross-examine this witness. What
17 areas do you think you've yet to deal with?
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this area and another
19 one, but of course it will all depend on the answers. But I believe five
20 or six questions at the most.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, regrettably, we'll have to interrupt it and
22 resume with you tomorrow, but I'm getting closer to the point where we may
23 have to consider time limits, regrettably, in view of the way some
24 cross-examination last week and this one today has been developing. I
25 remain very reluctant to do this, but I'll have to review the position.
1 Anyway, we shall resume tomorrow at 2.15.
2 Mr. Ackerman, I'm sorry that when we started this morning I didn't
3 recognise your presence. It was only after we were underway that I
4 noticed that you were here, and the Bench are pleased to see you here and
5 we look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm very pleased to be
7 here, and I appreciate that.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 So 2.15 tomorrow.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of
12 August, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.