1 Thursday, 23 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry to be sitting too high. I'm suspicious about
6 what's under this seat. That's better.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one administrative matter before we resume
9 with the witness. There's an application for videolink testimony from a
10 witness whose name isn't confidential, although the application is
11 partially confidential, and that is the witness Dusan Loncar. The reasons
12 are set out in a document which you should have received. Is there to be
13 any Defence response to that application?
14 If there's uncertainty, I don't need an immediate answer, but if I
15 can have an immediate answer, it would help.
16 [Defence counsel confer]
17 MR. VISNJIC: Well, Your Honour, I think it's --
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. VISNJIC: After the break we will give you the answer.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. He may be a more important witness to the
21 Defence than the Prosecution for all I know. I think both sides have an
22 interest in the witness and you know that, as is not unusual in these
23 cases, it is a question of health that arises in relation to his
24 attendance rather than whether he should give evidence by videolink.
25 The reason I ask for a fairly prompt answer is because there is
1 videolink testimony next week and it did strike us that it may be possible
2 to link this in with the other videolink testimony and save more than one
3 trip to the region. And if therefore the application is to be granted, we
4 would like to grant it fairly quickly. So if you could let me know at the
5 break or let one of the staff know, we can deal with it.
6 Good afternoon, Mr. Pesic.
7 THE WITNESS: [Microphone not activated].
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry we were talking over you there, but there
9 are certain other arrangements that have to be made on a day-to-day basis
10 and we try to deal with these as quickly as we can when they arise.
11 Your evidence will now continue. Please bear in mind that the
12 solemn declaration to speak the truth which you took at the beginning of
13 your evidence continues to apply to that evidence today.
14 Mr. Hannis.
15 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 WITNESS: ZLATOMIR PESIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examination by Mr. Hannis: [Continued]
19 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel. When we left off yesterday, I just asked
20 you about a reporting scheme. But before we continue today, I wanted to
21 go back for a moment and ask you --
22 MR. HANNIS: First of all, could we show the witness Exhibit P24.
23 Q. And, Colonel, we'll bring up a document for you momentarily, I
24 hope, and I want to ask you a question concerning the mobilisation and
25 activation of the reserves.
1 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, I may have given the wrong number here. I
2 apparently misspoke. I need Exhibit 1924. My apologies.
3 Q. Colonel, do you have that on the screen in front of you now?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. HANNIS: Is it possible that we can have the English and B/C/S
6 side by side? Thank you.
7 Q. Do you recognise what that is and can you explain for the Judges
8 and the rest of us what it is.
9 A. I recognise this request made by the 3rd Army command seeking an
10 approval to mobilise part of the military territorial detachment from the
11 military district of Pristina, specifically in this document from the
12 military district of Pristina from Urosevac, Obilic, and from the
13 formation of the Kosovska Mitrovica VOD, the 54th Detachment Vucitrn. As
14 for Pec, the 113th Detachment from Djakovica, from the VOD of Prizren, the
15 70th VTOD Suva Reka and 185th VTOD Novo Brdo.
16 Q. All right. And this document is from the 3rd Army command, which
17 on this date in March 23rd of 1999 was commanded by General Pavkovic;
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. HANNIS: Could we show the witness the next exhibit, 1925.
21 Q. Colonel, you -- can you recognise this and tell us briefly what it
23 A. This is the response, or rather, the approval of the General Staff
24 of the VJ following the earlier request that was made.
25 Q. And this one is signed by General Ojdanic, who was the Chief of
2 A. That's what it says --
3 Q. Now, you --
4 A. -- at the bottom of the document.
5 Q. Now, you as the -- the head of the military district, did you then
6 subsequent to this receive any order or directions with regard to your
8 A. Certainly. I must have received an order from the 3rd Army
9 command, since I was their subordinate. It must be in the archives.
10 Q. Even though you don't have a document in front of you, do you
11 recall about that time, the day before or the day of the NATO bombing,
12 receiving direction to activate certain units or the reserve component?
13 A. I'm trying to recollect. I must have obeyed the order specified
14 in item 3, which specifies the start of the mobilisation for the 25th of
15 March. I must have seen it through. There was no other option.
16 Q. Is there any doubt in your mind that you did see that through and
17 activate or engage in the call-up on or about the 25th of March?
18 A. I don't believe I was able to deviate from the order. It is an
19 order, a binding document. As far as I recall, we must have seen it
20 through. I don't have the document I received here; therefore, I don't
21 know on what day, at what time, and when it was registered in my command.
22 And I don't have the time when it was forwarded to the military sectors,
23 that is my orders to the sectors in Pristina, Pec, Mitrovica, and Prizren.
24 I hope we saw that through within the deadline prescribed, although I
25 can't recall exactly.
1 Q. When you say you can't recall exactly, are you saying you can't
2 recall exactly whether you performed the action within the deadline or
3 whether you performed the action at all?
4 A. We did perform the action. I just can't talk about the exact
5 time. Maybe we were a bit late. In any case, it says the start of
6 mobilisation is the 25th of March at 0000 hours. It must be somewhere in
7 the archives. There must be a piece of paper by which I ordered the
8 subordinate military sectors to see it through.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, in this connection, we earlier had
11 evidence that in wartime the military district which was normally
12 subordinated to the 3rd Army would become subordinate to the
13 Pristina Corps.
14 MR. HANNIS: Correct.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, how does this tie -- a direct order from the
16 3rd Army to the military district tie in with that evidence?
17 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, that would be -- I would argue
18 that that's an argument that some sort of extraordinary state must have
19 been declared or in existence at that point in time.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
22 Q. Colonel, I want to move to paragraph 17 of your statement. You
23 mention that you had a company of military police and that the military
24 sectors also had a platoon of military police. How were those military
25 police utilised once the NATO air-strikes began? Did you continue to have
1 control over them or were they resubordinated to brigades or what happened
2 to them?
3 A. Military police platoons with the sectors comprised some 30 men,
4 and they were exclusively intended to secure the command of the military
5 district -- that is, sector. And the command can have as many as 500
6 staff. It can have several command posts, and those men are used to
7 secure the command and its movements. They can secure the commander
8 himself or parts of the command or any type of movement of the
9 aforementioned organs along any axis or in any direction.
10 Q. Related to that issue of movement, you in paragraph 27 mention the
11 transports coming from Serbia and the fact that they had to go through one
12 of three routes. You mentioned that you had to organise armed escorts,
13 that is military police, for all the transportation. So in addition to
14 taking care of the command, were your military police escorting convoys or
15 transport that were coming into Kosovo from Serbia during this time?
16 A. We seem to have mixed the time-periods here. First I would like
17 to respond to Mr. Bonomy's question pertaining to resubordination; that
18 was his previous comment. The military district in peacetime was always
19 subordinated to the command of the 3rd Army. At a certain point after the
20 bombing, after the 24th of March - and there must be a document in
21 existence - the military district was subordinated to the commander of the
22 Pristina Corps. All the documentation supporting that should be in order.
23 As regard your last question, the escorting of convoys, at that
24 time I was assistant commander for logistics with the Pristina Corps in
25 1998, which is the most characteristic one, especially after May, until
1 the end of that year and the beginning of the air-strikes. This was the
2 most difficult period in my career with the Pristina Corps command. I
3 believe paragraph 27 speaks for itself. The convoys to logistically
4 secure the convoys for the Pristina Corps came along the three axes or
5 directions from Serbia proper.
6 In order to provide complete security along those lines of
7 communication, a vehicle convoy had to enter Kosovo and Metohija along one
8 of those three routes; from the north through Mitrovica, from central
9 Serbia across the Varda, and in the south from the area of Bujanovci, and
10 then they would stop and wait for military escort due to the lack of
11 safety along the communication routes. This demanded daily engagement of
12 the military police from the units of the Pristina Corps. It was usually
13 the 15th Brigade military police unit that was used. They were located in
14 Pristina. Daily they were tasked with escorting convoys to the
15 destination and back.
16 Q. Thank you, Colonel. That was a confusion on my part. So
17 paragraph 27 is referring to 1998 when you were still the head for
18 logistics with the Pristina Corps?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 19 of your statement you made a
21 correction. It originally read: "I don't know if there was a structure
22 in place to bring together village defence with the MUP civil defence and
24 You indicated that "village defence" should be changed to
25 read "reserve police detachments." In connection with that you told us
1 that at the provincial level you were a member of the provincial staff of
2 civil defence. Can you explain to us what was the job of the provincial
3 staff of civil defence, and how does civil defence relate to the army
4 reserve in the military territorial detachments?
5 A. In paragraph 19 I corrected the part referring to bringing
6 together village defence; instead, I wanted to introduce reserve police
7 detachments with the MUP. I did not have any knowledge on the activation
8 of such reserve police detachments; however, I came across such people
9 when touring my detachments and I concluded that there must have been a
10 link to the MUP and that someone must have been commanding them.
11 Civil defence is an unarmed type of organisation. It is tasked to
12 take care of people and property. The coordination in place was not
13 sufficiently clear to me at the time because I lacked a lot of
14 information. By taking part in the work of the provincial staff of civil
15 defence, I tried to distinguish between the reserve police detachments,
16 which were most likely subordinated to the MUP, and civil defence, which
17 was subordinated to the military detachment of the Ministry of National
19 Q. And you say the civil defence were unarmed?
20 A. Civil defence or civil protection -- well, we cannot call them
21 civil units. We should call them civil protection or civil defence, and
22 they are tasked with taking care of people and property in extraordinary
23 circumstances, in case of natural disasters, et cetera.
24 Organisationally speaking, they are within the Ministry of
25 National Defence. On behalf of the Ministry of Defence for the province
1 of Kosovo, Mr. Ilic appeared. I think his office was called sector or
2 detachment of the Ministry of Defence. It didn't have much to do with the
3 MUP or with the army.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if I can be of assistance.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: The witness said page 8, row number 19: "We should
7 call them the civil protection units" because it is obvious that the first
8 sentence and the second sentence are not -- don't make any sense.
9 So he says it is not -- it was not -- it was not acceptable to
10 call them the defence -- the defence unit -- the civil defence unit, but
11 civil protection units. It can be clarified by the -- with the witness.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you care to do that, Mr. Hannis?
14 MR. HANNIS: I'll try, Your Honour.
15 Q. Colonel, were there two different bodies, one that was called
16 civil defence and one that was called civil protection? Or was there only
17 the civil protection unit, or staff, or whatever the correct term is?
18 A. The staff of civilian protection had specific clothes, which were
19 usually dark blue, and it bears no resemblance to any sort of military
21 Q. And what was the job of civil protection? Were -- did they help
22 sanitize the terrain by removing dead animals and things like that?
23 A. Yes, certainly. They participated in taking care of people,
24 forwarding food, however, this was a specific situation in which they were
25 engaged precisely to do that. They were asked to distribute food to
1 Albanian refugees. We used their vehicles and their people to try and
2 distribute food and assist the Albanian population that was fleeing.
3 Q. In your statement in paragraph 19, however, there is a reference
4 to civil defence and to the provincial staff of civil defence. Can you
5 explain to me, is there another body or organ that was called civil
6 defence, which is different from civil protection?
7 A. No. As for the staff of civilian protection, Mr. Ilic was one of
8 the members who was there on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, in charge
9 of those issues. As for defence, that was up to the territorial units,
10 the detachments I mentioned, which were subordinated to military sectors.
11 Q. In Kosovo, then, after the -- after the NATO bombing started, can
12 you tell me among the Serbs, who had -- who had uniforms and weapons that
13 were involved in protecting the territory and combatting the KLA and
14 defending against a possible NATO invasion. There would have been the VJ,
15 the regular VJ; the VJ reserve; the MUP and their various special units,
16 including MUP reservists; the military territorial detachments, which many
17 of were resubordinated to the army. Were there any other armed groups
18 that were involved in protecting the territory or combatting the KLA,
19 et cetera? Was there a village command, a village defence, a local
20 defence, any other group like that? Or have I covered every one?
21 A. Precisely so.
22 You mentioned all of the armed formations. The units of the
23 Pristina Corps, according to the wartime formation and deployment,
24 comprised those units and each of those units had a part of the reserve
25 forces. The MUP units, according to their formation and deployment, had
1 their own reserve forces. The TO units had detachments which were fully
2 manned by reservists.
3 That's the extent of my knowledge, and I did not come across any
4 other armed formations.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Should I have a clear picture, Mr. Hannis, of
6 what's meant by a TO unit?
7 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I can ask a couple questions about
8 that. I think I know what we're referring to.
9 Q. Colonel, when you mentioned the term "TO unit," are you talking
10 about the units under the military district or the -- those that were
11 activated by the military sectors or the military territorial detachments?
12 Is that what you mean by "TO units"?
13 A. The TO units are military territorial units or detachments
14 subordinated to the military districts. These units do not exist in
15 peacetime. In wartime, these are territorial detachments. The company
16 battalion terminology that is used in the corps of the units is equivalent
17 to what is referred to as detachments in this case.
18 MR. HANNIS: Is that clear now, Your Honour?
19 Q. Now, I have a question for you --
20 MR. HANNIS: If we could show the witness Exhibit P1968, please.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
22 MR. FILA: [Microphone not activated].
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Fila.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence opposes the
25 use of this document. It objects to it because the Prosecutor has not
1 arrived at paragraph 34, if I'm right, 32, 33, 34. Secondly, it's a
2 document the witness knows nothing about, because as he says in 1999 he
3 was not in the corps command. He doesn't know whether there was a command
4 in 1999, and we cannot question him about a document he has never seen
5 before, which he does not know exists, since he doesn't even know whether
6 the command existed in 1999.
7 How then can a document be introduced that I cannot cross-examine
8 the witness about? For this reason, we object to this document.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: That objection is repelled. There seems a clear
11 foundation in paragraph 32 for knowledge on the part of the witness. His
12 statement indicates that he can give information that may be explored, and
13 in any event the Bench can be relied upon to exclude from consideration
14 anything that turns out to be irrelevant or inappropriately introduced
15 into the transcript.
16 Mr. Hannis.
17 Sorry, Mr. Fila has more to say.
18 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I just wish to add that he corrected
19 paragraph 32. Please take note of that, Your Honours. He corrected
20 paragraph 32 of his statement. The document refers to the year 1999;
21 that's why I rose to my feet. Paragraph 32 is amended with an additional
22 statement by the witness. To the witness's knowledge, this institution
23 did not exist in 1999 so he cannot talk about it. Your Honours are right
24 that this is found in paragraph 32, but the witness amended this
25 paragraph, which is why I objected.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, my determination takes account of what you've
2 just said, Mr. Fila. So the objection remains repelled.
3 Please continue, Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Colonel, do you that document on the screen before you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And did you have a chance to see that document when you were
8 proofing with us earlier in the week?
9 A. Yes, this week, yes.
10 Q. Was that the first time you'd seen it?
11 A. Yes, the first time.
12 MR. HANNIS: I want to go to page 2 on, I believe, both the B/C/S
13 and the English. I have just one specific question.
14 Q. And under item number 2 at the top of the B/C/S page can you --
15 well, let me ask you if this is correct. The English version says: "Task
16 of the Pristina Corps. The Pristina Corps with reinforcements and the
17 armed non-Siptar population in KiM," Kosovo and Metohija, "shall support
18 MUP forces in defeating and destroying the STS in the zone of
19 responsibility," that is the shiptar terrorist forces."
20 Can you tell us, Colonel, what that term, "the armed non-Siptar
21 population," would be referring to? Would that be one of the groups we
22 talked about just a little bit earlier? Or is that something else other
23 than the army, the army reserve, the police, the police reserve, and the
24 military territorial detachments?
25 A. I think the author of this text is not a proper professional if he
1 doesn't list the proper units. I myself fail to understand what this
2 refers to, so I couldn't reply to your question. This is the first time
3 I've heard this term "the armed non-Siptar population."
4 Q. Colonel, are you aware that Serb civilians were being provided
5 with weapons by the army before the start of the NATO campaign in Kosovo?
6 A. I do have some information about this. When the so-called
7 district territorial defence was disbanded, the staff was disbanded, some
8 of these old weapons no longer needed by the army were distributed to some
9 parts of the population at their own request for their own personal
10 protection after they had gone to Belgrade in large numbers asking for
11 protection. But this information comes from public or general knowledge
12 and my contacts with members of the Pristina Corps.
13 Q. And were those persons Serbs?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a part of the last
16 sentence of the witness's reply was not interpreted. It refers to the
17 time when he gained this knowledge. He mentioned a time but it has not
18 entered the record.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Pesic, when did you learn of this?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most probably when I arrived in the
21 Pristina Corps. I arrived in December 1995, so it would have been during
22 the year 1996 and maybe 1997. From conversations with various people in
23 the command, with colleagues, and so on.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Hannis.
1 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
2 Q. Colonel, I would next like to show you Exhibit P1415, 1415.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if you're going on to something else --
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: -- I would like to ask what the district
6 Territorial Defence was that was disbanded and when it was disbanded.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am not able to be
8 very specific. Most probably it was in 1996 or 1997. Excuse me. It was
9 before 1994 or 1995, because I know that General Bojovic was the chief of
10 that provincial Territorial Defence staff, and that from that duty he was
11 transferred to the duty of commander of the Pristina Corps. So that would
12 be the time-frame, but I'm not sure, either 1994 or 1995.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: And what was the district Territorial Defence?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The provincial Territorial Defence
15 staff -- I must apologise because I don't have much information about it,
16 but that is the command and control of some territorial units on the
17 territory of Kosovo and other parts of the country.
18 In the former Yugoslavia, there were staffs of the Territorial
19 Defence, from republican staff level down to provincial staff level and
20 then municipal staff level. But I cannot recall the precise way these were
21 organised. General Bojovic, as far as I can recall, was at the head of
22 that staff. After it was disbanded, he was appointed commander of the
23 Pristina Corps.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Hannis.
1 MR. HANNIS:
2 Q. In that regard, Colonel, was the old TO, the Territorial Defence,
3 in many ways was that the predecessor to what became in -- by 1998,
4 sometime earlier, the military districts, the military sectors, et cetera?
5 Wasn't that the predecessor body that was responsible for reserves and
6 mobilisation and call-ups?
7 A. I'm sure that the republican, provincial, and municipal staffs
8 were subordinated to the Ministry of Defence, and they had those
9 territorial units.
10 As for what the military district and military sectors were doing,
11 these were done through secretariats of national defence attached to the
12 municipalities. And later on this passed under the purview of the
13 military sectors and districts.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. HANNIS: We'd like to look next at Exhibit P1415.
16 Q. Colonel, do you see that on your screen now? This is an order
17 from the Pristina Corps command dated 26th June 1998 signed by General
18 Pavkovic relating to the issuance of weapons or the distribution of
19 weapons and ammunition?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have just a very brief objection to
22 the translation of this document. I know this has come up before, but
23 it's not a true translation in that it contains language that is not in
24 the original. In the first paragraph it contains the phrase following the
25 word "Siptar," "derogatory for Albanian," and that's not in the original
1 document, and I think CLSS has no business commenting on documents but
2 simply has to translate them. And I think it's offensive to this Tribunal
3 for these kinds of documents to appear as official translations.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you wish to comment on that, Mr. Hannis?
5 MR. HANNIS: I don't know if the Court received it, but I know
6 earlier in this trial that that was an issue. We had received some
7 communication from CLSS about that particular translation. It's my
8 understanding it is actually a subject of some debate within CLSS, even
9 among the native Albanian speakers, about whether it's derogatory or not.
10 But I guess I have a question regarding the other things that are not
11 appearing in the official language. For example, RJ is noted to be war
12 units. B/O is noted to be military conscripts, et cetera. So I guess I
13 want to inquire, first of all, if that's my learned friend's only
14 objection in regards to "Shiptar."
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I think as a general matter if it's a matter
17 of just explaining an abbreviation, that's one thing; but when it starts
18 turning into comment that is controversial I think that is an extremely
19 different matter. And I thought this matter had been dealt with some time
20 ago but I'm now receiving fresh translations from CLSS that contain that
21 same language, and I just don't think it's appropriate for them to be
22 doing that.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we take account of that comment and we'll
24 consider whether any steps need to be taken to investigate the issue
25 that's raised. It doesn't impact upon the conduct of the trial and
1 therefore we can proceed meanwhile to use the documents that have these
2 phrases in them.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I certainly think it has no impact
4 upon the Chamber that sits here, and I'm not concerned about that; it's
5 the public impact of something like this that creates a sense that is
6 probably false.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: It's only right to observe, though, that the matter
8 did arise earlier in the trial and was addressed by the Trial Chamber at
9 that stage. Documents which have been translated it would be very
10 difficult to go through and send back for further translation, bearing in
11 mind the demands on the CLSS for translation in the various trials that
12 are ongoing here. So this requires some thought on the part of the
13 Chamber and we shall let you know if any action is required.
14 MR. HANNIS: One last thing in connection with that, Your Honour.
15 I think Mr. Surroi testified about this issue and indicated that
16 "Shqiptar" is the Albanian word for Albanian, but he also indicated that,
17 yes, it can often be considered derogatory in certain contexts. It
18 depends who's speaking to whom and in what context, and I think the Trial
19 Chamber is aware of that and we're all aware of that, and we'll proceed
21 JUDGE BONOMY: If it's as simple as that, then it would appear on
22 the face of it to be inappropriate for it to be included in the
23 translation because it's a matter of debate. And -- but it may not be as
24 simple as that, Mr. Hannis. Thanks.
25 MR. HANNIS: Okay. Thank you.
1 Q. Colonel, in this document I would like you to look first at
2 paragraph 1, which says: "Organise and carry out technical preparations
3 for distribution of weapons and ammunition to military conscripts assigned
4 to RJ," which I understand means war units, "of the Pristina Corps, the
5 Pristina Military District, and the 202nd Logistics Base."
6 In June of 1998, you were the head of logistics for the Pristina
7 Corps command; correct?
8 A. No. The assistant commander for logistics of the Pristina Corps.
9 The commander of the 202nd rear base was a different person.
10 Q. Okay. But you were head of logistics for the Pristina Corps;
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Were you aware of this order at the time it was issued?
14 A. I think this order was issued in the staff of the command of the
15 Pristina Corps, and it didn't have much to do with the organ at whose head
16 I was because that was a separate entity within the Pristina Corps.
17 This, however, is addressed to have the to the units who are to
18 carry out certain organisational and technical preparations. Up to that
19 time, all the units had their own weapons and equipment in their own
20 depots. This is the first time I have seen this order, and I did not do
21 anything about it with the organs I was in charge of.
22 Q. As head of the logistics, what was your relationship with the
23 202nd Logistics Base? Wasn't that something that fell under your purview?
24 A. No. The 202nd base was subordinate to the command of the
25 3rd Army. Our needs, or rather, the needs of the Pristina Corps were
1 supplied by making requests to the 3rd Army, and they issued orders to the
2 commander of the 202nd base.
3 Q. And did you have any direct relationship with the commander of the
4 202nd Logistics Base, since you were head of logistics for the
5 Pristina Corps?
6 A. No. There was no subordinate/superior relationship between us.
7 We were equal in relation to the 3rd Army command, and we could do nothing
8 without the knowledge of the 3rd Army command through documents.
9 Q. Let me take you to paragraph 3 and the second paragraph under that
10 item number. It says: "On the basis of the lists, call up military
11 conscripts in small groups to the army barracks or organise distribution
12 and issue of weapons in Serbian and Montenegrin villages. Devote special
13 attention to security measures, secrecy and camouflage discipline in
14 carrying out this task."
15 Do you know why there was no distribution of weapons in villages
16 other than in Serbian and Montenegrin villages?
17 A. I don't wish to be misunderstood because in paragraph 1 of this
18 order I saw that only organisational and technical preparations were being
19 carried out, and yet your question is about what I was just saying. As
20 far as I know from day-to-day life in the area, they were asking the army
21 for weapons for their own personal safety, especially in areas with a
22 majority Albanian population.
23 Q. Colonel, are you saying that this is only an order to prepare and
24 not actually distribute?
25 A. That's how I understand it, but I have to say this is the first
1 time I've seen it. My organs did nothing in relation to this task. Where
2 weapons are concerned, the chief of the technical service was subordinate
3 to me, at the request of a unit of the Pristina Corps would deal with the
4 supply of weapons and ammunition.
5 We were not waiting for the year 1998 or June in order to supply
6 the units according to the establishment. No one could have more weapons
7 in their depot than was envisioned by the establishment and the various
8 military specialties listed in the establishment. My services and the
9 other organs in the other services had completed those tasks long before.
10 It was the corps command that decided what was to be done and when. It
11 was up to us to carry out occasional checks to see how the weapons were
12 being stored in the depots. We were checking the technical aspect. Other
13 organs were in charge of making -- checking how these were guarded and
14 checking other aspects of this whole issue.
15 Q. Colonel, I believe you did get a chance to look at this document
16 earlier in the week during proofing, did you not?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Number 4 says: "Conduct the issuing of weapons and ammunition in
19 keeping with Rules on Materiel Management." That would seem to suggest
20 that this was more than just preparation but it was going to be actual
22 A. I think this is an instruction as to how the distribution is to be
23 carried out, I assume after some kind of signal is given; and the
24 procedure envisioned is one that my organs, the technical service, and the
25 financial service prescribed, the manner in which equipment and materiel
1 is issued. There were unified forms to be filled out when a conscript
2 reported to do his military service or reservists to serve in a military
4 Q. Number 6 says that: "After completing the distribution, prepare
5 and organise inhabited places for defence. And the military departments
6 commanders are responsible for organising this in their zones of
7 responsibility in cooperation with the MUP and local self-government
9 You did not become head of the military district until January of
10 1999; correct?
11 A. The district, yes, the commander of the military district in
12 January 1999.
13 Q. And in number 6 my --
14 A. And I can tell you -- may I?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. That I didn't find any of this there, that something like this had
17 been done. There was a period of about a month or a month and a half
18 before the aggression when I was able to visit some military sectors once
19 and others twice in order to see for myself what the situation was, the
20 combat-readiness of those units, their familiarity with documents, the
21 peacetime documents regulating actions carried out in wartime. I have no
22 information that any of this was implemented, preparing villages,
23 fortifications, and so on. At that time, the commanders of the military
24 sectors were only asking to be replenished with materiel they needed,
25 newer uniforms, and vehicles.
1 Q. The next item in number 6 says: "Form units in each village
2 according to the military structure." Did you after you became head of
3 the military district visit the Serbian and Montenegrin villages in Kosovo
4 to see whether or not units had been formed of villagers who had received
6 A. As I said, I don't know about this document and I cannot offer any
7 thoughts on the situation in the field. And none of it was mentioned to
8 me by any of the military sector commanders in respect of any of this
9 being implemented.
10 I have to say, though, that I didn't tour their warehouses, their
11 depots. I wasn't able to see whether their weapons were there or whether
12 the weapons had been distributed, and I was never informed of this.
13 Q. And there doesn't appear to be any indication in this order, does
14 there, Colonel, about under whose authority these village units were going
15 to fall?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. Number 8 says: "I forbid formation and engagement of any
18 volunteer units, except those comprising local village inhabitants." If
19 the local village inhabitants so armed with weapons formed a unit that --
20 some kind of volunteer unit, under whose authority would they be, the
21 army's because they'd received the weapons from the army? Or the military
23 A. Most likely, if they were founded indeed.
24 Q. Okay. We'll leave that. Let me move on to something else.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, before you do.
1 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Pesic, you're a military man of some
3 experience. You've given a possible interpretation of this document that
4 would suggest it was simply instructing preparations be made and setting
5 out a scheme which might be followed when a signal was given. Would you
6 look, now, please at paragraph 10 and tell me how that might fit in with
7 the explanation you've given.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, reading the first paragraph,
9 that was my conclusion; but reading paragraph 10, now I realise there were
10 deadlines. That is why I say I see this order for the first time. And on
11 the distribution list you have a number of items. But I have never seen
13 When reading the first paragraph, it appeared to me as some sort
14 of preparations, but now having seen that there were deadlines it is most
15 likely that someone was ordered to do that within the time prescribed. I
16 have no knowledge of that, and I didn't see any of it in the field during
17 that month or so, or rather, from the moment when I took up my duties and
18 the moment when the aggression began.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Pesic.
20 Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Let me move, then, to paragraph 26 of your statement. You
23 mentioned that in 1998 the Pristina Corps had a forward command post in
24 Djakovica, and at that time Lazarevic as the deputy commander was posted
25 there. You say that you were never in Djakovica and: "Pavkovic held that
1 against me."
2 Now, how do you know he held that against you?
3 A. It was a comment I made, or rather, that's what the word was among
4 my colleagues when we met for daily briefings; and I believe that
5 Mr. Pavkovic himself knew that my place wasn't to be there. And according
6 to the then and now rules, the assistant commander for logistics never
7 goes to the so-called forward command post. What is found there is parts
8 of the units of the command, whether it is the command of a brigade,
9 division, or army. And the assistant commander for logistics forms the
10 rear command post, which is much different from the forward command post.
11 There were some specific instances and with the view of the proper
12 functioning of that organ headed by General Lazarevic, whereby I always
13 had someone from the important services there, from the basic services,
14 and I kept rotating them. There was always either someone from the
15 technical department or from the quarter-master's office or from the
16 medical unit. One of them was there always at any given point.
17 Therefore, these were rumours, although it may have applied to the
18 other colleagues of mine who didn't understand that I had to be at the
19 rear command post in order to secure supplies for them in order it that
20 they could receive them in time, irrespective of their location.
21 Q. Thank you. I want to move to paragraph 31. You had mentioned
22 that you were unhappy about the situation in Vucitrn because you found one
23 of your detachments had been split into smaller groups.
24 MR. HANNIS: Could we show the witness Exhibit P1988, please.
25 Q. And you also mentioned you were displeased because your artillery
1 battalion under the 37th Brigade was engaged to provide security for
2 the VJ. You spoke a bit about this yesterday. Can you tell us what this
3 document is. It's dated the 23rd of April, 1999.
4 A. We've dealt with this yesterday, I believe, when we talk about an
5 improper engagement of the military territorial detachments. For example,
6 the instance here was the use of the anti-aircraft artillery battalion
7 which was part of the 15th Brigade. In this document, the commander of
8 the 549th Brigade explains how he used the military territorial
9 detachments within his area of responsibility. That was his decision.
10 However, if they had been subordinated to him, he decides on their use.
11 As I said yesterday, when I went to Prizren, I didn't come across
12 Mr. Delic but I managed to find his deputy and we had a discussion about
13 this. He was the person who praised the ability of the detachment, and I
14 was content to hear that.
15 Q. Was there anything improper about what's in this order? It just
16 appears it's relocation of the territorial detachments from the populated
17 areas. Was there anything wrong about that per se?
18 A. In essence it wasn't improper. He was responsible for the entire
19 AOR. As to how to use the given units, it is up to the commander, and on
20 this occasion he used them, he used the detachments they way he deemed
21 fit. Whether the members of the detachment liked it or not, well, it was
22 his decision.
23 What my concern was that they were insufficiently trained to
24 perform such tasks. However, they were successful in completing them, and
25 I believe General Lazarevic on one occasion praised this particular --
1 that detachment from Djakovica which had been subordinated to them.
2 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 33 you make reference to the operations
3 officer Djakovic. What was his first name and his rank?
4 A. His rank was that of a colonel, his last name Djakovic. I cannot
5 recall the first name. He was assistant Chief of Staff for operations and
6 training. I believe that was the proper title.
7 Q. And you mentioned that he wrote daily reports compiled at the
8 information processing centre. Is that -- is that the body that would
9 issue combat orders from the Pristina Corps during the time of a state of
11 A. It was the regular practice that units forward daily operative
12 reports --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I apologise. What time does that refer
15 to? Should my -- could my learned colleague tell us what year, what day,
16 and what body we're talking about.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, this particular question, Mr. Fila, is quite
18 clear. The question is whether the information processing centre is where
19 combat orders were issued in time of war, so we're talking about the
20 period from March -- the middle of March 1999.
21 Could you answer that question, please, Mr. Pesic --
22 Mr. Bakrac.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting. You
24 are correct; however, I understood Mr. Hannis linking this question to
25 Djakovic himself, and it is another issue whether Djakovic was at that
1 post at that time. Therefore, we need that clarification. You are
2 correct as to the body referred to, but it refers to Djakovic directly.
3 Perhaps my learned friend from the Prosecution could clarify that with the
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think it's necessary, Mr. Bakrac. You can
6 deal with the matter in cross-examination. This particular question is a
7 more general one, and that is whether the information processing centre
8 was the place at which combat orders were issued.
9 Can you answer that, please, Mr. Pesic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We are talking about 1998 when
11 Djakovic was at this position. He was assistant Chief of Staff for
12 operations and training. The standard practice is that units forward
13 their daily reports to the operations centre with the Pristina Corps
15 MR. HANNIS:
16 Q. Let me break it down. In your original statement in paragraph 33
17 you said the Joint Command did exist in 1999. However, in your
18 supplemental information you informed us that that was a mistake and it
19 should read the Joint Command did exist in 1998. That was a change you
20 made to your statement; correct?
21 A. In paragraph 33 it should be 1998, yes.
22 Q. Yes. And we noted that in your supplemental information.
23 In 1998, when Colonel Djakovic was operations officer at the
24 information processing centre, was he writing reports for the Joint
1 A. In that period, I was in the centre almost non-stop, as well as
2 Colonel Djakovic. The duty to collect daily reports lay with the officer
3 on duty at the operations centre.
4 In terms of structure, the operations centre was subordinated to
5 Djakovic. As for the drafting of the daily reports, the duty operations
6 officer would usually do that. Often, however, Djakovic himself took part
7 as well. He asked information from me, and I secured information
8 pertaining to the logistical support of the units of the Pristina Corps.
9 To whom Djakovic forwarded the summary of the reports, I don't know. In
10 standard procedure it should have been sent to the command of the
11 3rd Army, to which the corps was subordinated. The extent of my knowledge
12 and me hearing that there was a body coordinating the tasks of the police
13 and the military, well, he must have had similar information. And that
14 body must have had similar information. That's why I conclude that
15 Djakovic must have been sending information to them as well.
16 Q. And you said you did not see a copy of the report. You're talking
17 about these daily reports?
18 A. In the report authored by Colonel Delic [as interpreted], well,
19 reports were typed out at the computer centre. I wasn't present during
20 that stage. We didn't discuss this Joint Command document, but it was
21 always there between the lines; and back in 1998 I expected that there
22 would be some improved, some better, coordination with the MUP in place.
23 Q. Let me ask you to clarify something. Your answer was translated
24 as saying "in the report authored by Colonel Delic." Did you mean Colonel
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. My original question was, though, you say you didn't see the
3 report compiled by him. You never saw any of those daily reports he was
4 writing at that time in 1998?
5 A. There was no need. I worked on my part of the report pertaining
6 to the logistics support of the units, be it via reports or requests made.
7 He would then collect information from the other bodies within the
8 command, and the drafting of the document was done in our information
9 centre, or rather, information technology centre.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The actual expression used by the witness is the
11 information processing centre.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
13 Q. Let me move on, Colonel. Paragraph 38 of your statement you
14 mentioned when the war started you saw large movements of people. And the
15 English next sentence says: "I personally tried to prevent a convoy from
16 Obilic of 3 to 400 people."
17 I don't know if that is a mistranslation. What did you try to
18 prevent the convoy from doing? Does that mean you tried to prevent them
19 from leaving?
20 A. Yes, precisely.
21 Q. Do you recall approximately when this was. After the NATO bombing
23 A. Certainly, although I cannot recall the month. Maybe late April,
24 early May -- well, late April most likely.
25 I came across that convoy that was moving along the axis of
1 Obilic-Slatina and onwards towards Urosevac and Skopije. When talking to
2 the people at the head of the convoy - and there were several vehicles
3 there as well - they told me that they felt insecure, unsafe, and that's
4 why they wanted to leave. I asked them not to go because safety was poor
5 elsewhere as well. I saw women, the elderly, children, and I persuaded
6 them to take a turn towards the first village, and we met at a junction.
7 They listened to what I said and they went down to that village.
8 The agreement we reached was for me to go to Obilic, to the MUP
9 there, to investigate. The reply I received from the few people I met at
10 the police station was that they knew of that as well and that they were
11 unable to keep them. I learned that the convoy was headed by the former
12 municipal president of Obilic municipality; he was a well-known figure.
13 And it was precisely he that I talked to. He was quite assertive. He
14 seemed to be a serious man, an intellectual even. They said they had
15 spoken to him as well, and I told them I -- that I was able to divert them
16 for a while.
17 I returned after an hour or an hour and a half, but they were no
18 longer there. They went on.
19 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Zecevic is on his feet.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, it's again the transcript.
21 I believe the witness said in 31 -- page 31, row second -- rows 2
22 and 3: They said they had spoken to him as well, and they were unable to
23 divert them as well. I mean, it can be clarified with the witness because
24 this is not what he said.
25 Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
2 Mr. Pesic, is that consistent with what you said?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes -- well, even the MUP was
4 unsuccessful in trying to persuade them to stay because the former
5 municipal president figured as the leader, and he persuaded them to
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Mr. Hannis.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. Is this an appropriate time?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, very well.
11 We have to break at this point, Mr. Pesic. Again the usher will
12 show you where to wait for the next 20 minutes or so while we have our
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll resume at five past 4.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Judge.
21 Q. Colonel, we're just talking about the convoy from Obilic and your
22 conversation with the MUP. In that paragraph, paragraph 38, you
23 mentioned: "I also listened to comments from people in the military
24 territorial detachments that the people were leaving in an organised
1 When did you hear these comments? Was this on more than one
3 A. Well, I have already told you that in the course of a day I would
4 visit more than one detachment, maybe two or three, depending on the
5 direction I was travelling in, Mitrovica, Pec, Prizren, so depending on
6 the direction.
7 There were various comments I heard, but ones I liked especially,
8 which is why I mentioned them here, was that many people regretted that
9 entire villages were leaving and entire neighbourhoods in Pristina. There
10 were individuals who were embittered because they had good friends among
11 those people, colleagues from work.
12 For example, in Kosovo Polje. After the departure of those
13 people, some socially owned enterprises were no longer able to operate.
14 So people expressed concern about those departures. They weren't really
15 familiar with the situation, so they were asking for information. Why
16 were these people leaving? Was it under pressure? And various comments
17 were made by members of the detachments. And they were saying that these
18 people were leaving in an organised way, that they had prepared this
19 departure earlier, previously, because they were leaving successively in
20 organised groups. There were many cases where people regretted their
21 departure because they had been neighbours for a long time. They had
23 When I mentioned the attempt to create a Siptar detachment in
24 Dobrevo, I saw Serbs in conversation with these people in my presence who
25 were trying to persuade them. And some of those people left on the same
1 day. And on the following day more left and a large number had left by
2 then in spite of the efforts of their neighbours to convince them to stay.
3 Q. Pardon my interruption, Colonel. I think you've answered my
5 I take it, then, you said you were travelling throughout Kosovo
6 visiting your detachments. Did you hear these comments about people
7 leaving in an organised manner throughout the entire province? Did you
8 hear that everywhere you went?
9 A. Well, it depended. In some places there were comments about
10 people leaving. In other places they were not in a situation to leave.
11 When my members went to visit their families, they would hear that people
12 had left the village. They would also get information that people had
13 left and then come back, and then again there were cases where those who
14 had returned were alleged to pose a threat to the Serbs who had stayed.
15 And there were requests by people to be able to go home and protect their
16 homes. So there were various kinds of situations.
17 Q. In the course of your travels around Kosovo to visit your
18 detachments, did you note that there were a number of Kosovo Albanian
19 villages that had been, if not completely, largely destroyed and that
20 there was no one living there anymore?
21 A. I did not have occasion to come upon deserted villages. I was in
22 charge of communications. I was in a civilian vehicle with one or two
23 policemen from the reserve forces who were assigned to me, and we stuck to
24 the main roads for reasons of personal safety. That's why I did not leave
25 the main roads --
1 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter corrects herself. The
2 witness did not say "I was in charge of communications," but "I was using
3 the main roads."
4 MR. HANNIS:
5 Q. And you didn't see any deserted or --
6 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me.
7 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Mr. Lukic, sorry.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: Just one intervention. I think that the witness said
10 "two policemen from my units." And here we have "two policemen," so
11 maybe that should be clarified.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Pesic, you said that you were in a civilian
13 vehicle with one or two policemen, and you said which units they came
14 from. Could you tell us that again, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so, from my police. In
16 the command of the military district, there was a reserve police unit and
17 I travelled with one or two of them in a civilian vehicle for security
19 The establishment vehicle which was olive-green or olive-grey, I
20 did not use it; that was a camouflage vehicle.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
22 MR. HANNIS:
23 Q. Thank you. Did you have occasion to travel on the main road from
24 Djakovica to Decani during your visits?
25 A. I did not. I did not travel on the main road from Djakovica to
1 Decani, especially because I had only one territorial company in Decani
2 because the number of Serb and Montenegrin inhabitants were so small.
3 Therefore, this company was attached to the detachment in Djakovica. So I
4 was able to see that in Djakovica, not in Decani.
5 Q. How about between Djakovica and Prizren?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And doesn't the main road pass --
8 A. Excuse me, excuse me. Djakovica-Prizren I wasn't there because
9 the command post of the 544th Brigade -- 549th Brigade was near Djakovica.
10 And there I met the deputy commander of that brigade who informed me about
11 the detachment in Djakovica.
12 Q. Did you live in Pristina during the war months?
13 A. The first 15 days the command of the military district was located
14 in the municipal building of Kosovo Polje. For security reasons, the
15 command was relocated to the library in the centre of Pristina until the
16 end of the war, that was the provincial library.
17 Q. Were you staying at the command during those first 15 days in
18 Kosovo Polje?
19 A. All 15 days in the command, in the building of the Kosovo Polje
20 municipality. I saw many reasons to provide a more secure location for
21 such a large command, and therefore, I issued the decision that we should
22 relocate to the building of the provincial library in Pristina.
23 Q. In paragraph 39 of your statement you indicate that you were
24 staying with relatives in Pristina when you heard shooting during the
25 night. At what time-period was that?
1 A. I can't pin-point it. For security reasons, the members of my
2 command did not stay in the provincial library building around-the-clock;
3 they all had quarters in Pristina and most of them were permitted to leave
4 to avoid having a lot of people concentrated in one spot because of
5 possible bombing and losses. A minimum number of people remained in the
6 library building.
7 I myself spent little time in the command, except for the morning
8 briefings with my associates, and then people would go off to carry out
9 their tasks. At night, I spent very few nights in that building, but in
10 the neighbouring buildings I had friends, relatives, officers of the
11 reserve forces, reserve officers, belonging to my command. I would spend
12 the night with some of them, escorted by my police; from time to time I
13 would spend the night there.
14 And on more than one occasion I experienced what I describe in
15 paragraph 39. We were helpless. There was nothing we could do. That
16 would happen late at night. You would hear the sound of vehicles
17 arriving, stopping, followed by shooting, perhaps the shattering of glass
18 or something breaking, and then the vehicles would leave. And in the
19 morning we would find out that this had been an ordinary robbery. And I
20 concluded that in the course of the day, by day-time, some extremist
21 elements would be observing a store, for example, with goods they were
22 interested in, and then by night they would arrive, shoot into the air so
23 that nobody would look out of the windows, and it would be then easier for
24 them to do what they wanted to do and leave.
25 There were Albanian residents in those buildings, people I knew.
1 I'm referring to the buildings where I spent the night. We would run into
2 each other in the entrance-ways, when entering the building, for example,
3 not often in the evening, but in the morning, yes.
4 Q. What part of Pristina was this in? Do you know the name of the
6 A. In the very centre of Pristina. The library is right in the
8 Q. And if I understand your earlier testimony, this would have been
9 some 15 days after the NATO bombing began. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, yes. No, not 15 days, but after 15 days I relocated.
11 Perhaps 25 or 30 days after the bombing.
12 Q. Okay. Where -- can you tell me where you spent the nights the
13 first 15 days of the bombing.
14 A. The first 15 days in the building of the Pristina municipality, or
15 rather, Kosovo Polje. I apologise. In the offices of the Kosovo Polje
16 municipal building.
17 Q. In those first 15 days, were you travelling around visiting your
18 detachments in Kosovo?
19 A. Not in those days.
20 Q. When you then transferred or relocated to Pristina after those
21 first 15 days, did you notice that the overwhelming majority of the Kosovo
22 Albanian population of Pristina was no longer there?
23 A. I don't have that information because I wasn't concerned with
24 Pristina. Pristina is a large town and I did not go into the various
25 neighbourhoods of the town. It's a large town. I didn't have any reason
1 to walk around the town.
2 Q. Did you hear from your relatives or anyone else in Pristina about
3 what had happened to the Kosovo Albanians who lived there at the beginning
4 of the war?
5 A. In the building where I went to see relatives and friends, there
6 were Albanians. I heard that in conversations with my men who said that
7 groups from certain parts of town would suddenly turn up as if under
8 orders at the entrances to their buildings with their luggage all ready.
9 They would suddenly turn up on the street as if in response to a signal
10 and set off, most often in the direction of the Kosovo Polje railway
12 Q. Did you also hear that they were assisted in setting off to the
13 railway station by the police?
14 A. From those conversations, I heard that for their own security it
15 was observed that there were policemen around here and there.
16 Q. Okay. Let me leave that topic, Colonel, and before I continue to
17 the end of the statement I have to go back one time to paragraph 32. This
18 is where you say: "I know the Joint Command was set up in 1998 to
19 coordinate the VJ and the MUP."
20 You mention attending a meeting at which Mr. Milutinovic was
21 present, along with General Lukic from the MUP and other individuals from
22 the VJ and the MUP. In your supplemental information you tell us that you
23 were invited by General Pavkovic to this meeting.
24 Do you recall approximately when that meeting was?
25 A. I cannot recall the time. I can be mistaken by a month because it
1 was quite sudden. I was summoned and I think that there weren't any
2 associates around at the time. He called me to come. I think he didn't
3 want to be on his own; that was the impression I had. And it is very hard
4 for me to pin-point the time.
5 Q. Do you remember how many people approximately attended this
6 meeting? Are we talking about ten or a hundred?
7 A. Not more than about 20. I didn't recognise anyone there. General
8 Pavkovic sat in the front row; he greeted the people he knew. I found a
9 seat in the third or fourth row. It was a small hall. There weren't more
10 than 20 people in it.
11 Q. You say in your statement that General Lukic briefed
12 Mr. Milutinovic and then Mr. Milutinovic addressed the audience, but you
13 don't recall what he said at that meeting?
14 A. In view of the fact that Mr. Lukic briefed Mr. Milutinovic and
15 welcomed him, I concluded that he was their guest, because in the nature
16 of things General Pavkovic was senior in rank and it was not usual for a
17 junior to welcome someone. So I concluded that Mr. Milutinovic was a
18 guest of the MUP, and that's why he was welcomed by Mr. Lukic. Of course
19 we all rose to our feet. They shook hands, and Mr. Lukic sat down next to
20 Mr. Milutinovic at the high table.
21 Q. And Mr. Milutinovic was the president of the Republic of Serbia at
22 the time; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Had you ever met him before?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Wasn't this rather a special occasion for you, to be in the
2 presence of the president of your republic at such close proximity?
3 A. I was honoured to be invited by Mr. Pavkovic. I saw the president
4 of the republic in the flesh.
5 Q. But you don't recall anything he said?
6 A. Seven years have elapsed since then, but the issues he dealt with
7 all related to the political and security situation in the republic and
8 how it was reflected on the situation in Kosovo. That's my attempt to
9 paraphrase it, but I certainly could not recall the actual words he used.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you. In paragraph 40 you make reference to the army
11 helping people and giving them food, and you talk about civilians from
12 Istok and how the detachment and municipal leaders had helped people
13 return to their villages. You speak in some detail about that Istok
14 incident earlier in your statement, but you said you believe that the MUP
15 may have spread rumours about the detachment there and the alleged setting
16 up of the camp. Regarding the relations between the MUP and the VJ, I
17 would like to show you an exhibit; this is P196. Did you know the chief
18 of police in Pristina in May of 1999, Mr. Janicevic?
19 A. Not personally. I did not know any of the leaders of the MUP
20 personally or in an official capacity. I didn't have any need or duty for
21 any such thing.
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. Objection to
23 the use of this MUP -- these minutes. The witness is an officer of the
24 Army of Yugoslavia. These are minutes of a meeting held in the MUP staff
25 for Kosovo not attended by any officers of the Army of Yugoslavia. And
1 the meeting took place in 1991. I fail to understand how documents can be
2 tendered through these -- this witness that have nothing to do with him.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the 1991 is a misprint for 1999, which also
4 appears as a date on the document. You'll see it's --
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] 1999, yes, yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues]...
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] But that's the MUP of Serbia. This
8 document has nothing to do with this gentleman. He's not a policeman.
9 There is no basis in any part of his statement or the addendum to his
10 statement. I don't know where this is leading. I assume that the OTP can
11 find a policeman to whom to show these documents.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, thank you, Mr. Fila. However, a sufficient
13 foundation has been shown in principle for reference to matters or
14 documents dealing with the MUP in view of the responsibilities the witness
15 had for MUP reservists. And I've already indicated that should
16 something -- should it later emerge that the witness has nothing valuable
17 to say about the document, we are perfectly capable of excluding it from
19 Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
21 Q. Colonel, can you see that document on your screen. Did you have a
22 chance to look at that earlier in this week when we were proofing, in
23 anticipation of your testimony?
24 A. Our proofing, yes, during our proofing.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. HANNIS: Could we go to page 8 of the English and I believe
2 it's page 4 of the B/C/S.
3 Q. Yes. Colonel, this is under the heading of the chief of SUP in
4 Pristina Colonel Bogoljub Janicevic is speaking. And Can we go to page 9
5 of the English and I think we're still on the right page of the B/C/S if
6 we can scroll to the bottom of that page.
7 Mr. Janicevic is speaking and one of the things he's talks about
8 is "cooperation with the VJ is poor." Can you locate that on the page
9 that's in front of you? I can't read Cyrillic well enough to find it
10 myself. There's a mention of a Colonel Cirkovic in that particular bullet
11 point. I don't know if you see his name on that page. We're trying to
12 make it a little larger for you.
13 A. Could you scroll down a bit, please.
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] With your leave, it's the 17th line
15 from the top in Serbian.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see it on my screen.
17 Further down. The other direction.
18 MR. HANNIS:
19 Q. Do you see it, Colonel?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And right below that he says: "There are many problems in
22 connection with active-duty and reserve VJ soldiers. They drive around in
23 vehicles without licence plates and have items whose origin is unknown."
24 Next bullet point: "The military is not taking sufficient
25 measures and most crimes are being perpetrated by VJ members, and
1 volunteer units with VJ uniforms must be disbanded."
2 You were in Pristina at the time, and were you aware of any of
3 these problems that Mr. Janicevic is talking about?
4 A. That particular area is within the AOR of Colonel Cirkovic. I
5 have knowledge that there were some mixed composition units in that area,
6 even part of my police took part, and I don't believe this particular
7 sentence is the best one one could make stating that there were problems.
8 Q. How would you state it then. From your position and your view,
9 how was the cooperation between the VJ and MUP in Pristina?
10 A. Personally I didn't have much contact or any need for such contact
11 of that nature. I don't have any information from the field, from the
12 military sectors. I think the cooperation was sufficient. In the reports
13 I received, I have no further knowledge of that. As for the area that I
14 moved within, within the area of responsibility of the 15th Brigade, I
15 don't think there were any problems there.
16 Q. Well, what happened the suggestion that VJ members were perhaps
17 engaged in some kind of inappropriate activity? It sounds like the
18 suggestion is that they are driving stolen vehicles with stuff in it that
19 no one knows where it came from. He seems to be suggesting the VJ is
20 involved in looting. Wouldn't you be concerned about that?
21 A. I don't have any such knowledge. I am quite certain that ... the
22 standing formations of the Pristina Corps didn't do that. I know that the
23 officers at check-points did their jobs well, and I had problems crossing
24 a check-point because our policemen could be too assertive, too emphatic.
25 They wouldn't realise that I was one of the commanders. They wouldn't let
1 know who to let through or not, and there was an incident involving myself
2 in the area of responsibility of Colonel Cirkovic.
3 Apart from that, I don't have any other knowledge, especially
4 pertaining to any possible use of vehicles when looting. All the vehicles
5 had stickers or symbols on them as vehicles that had been mobilised for
6 the use of the military. A few luxury personal vehicles may have been
7 used to transport such goods, but as for any transportation vehicles,
8 well, I have no knowledge of that.
9 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Ackerman is up, Your Honour.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it's too late with regard to this
11 question, but I think the question was improper and argumentative when
12 Mr. Hannis suggested that the language seemed to indicate looting. I
13 think that may be is one thing it might indicate, but certainly not clear
14 in that regard. I think it's argumentative and leading and -- although I
15 can't object to that because it's already been answered, I would hope that
16 Mr. Hannis would be more careful in the future about leading and
17 argumentative questions.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
19 Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. I think you mentioned that, Colonel, to us in proofing that there
22 was a procedure whereby during the state of war the army could - I'm
23 trying to think of the word - appropriate vehicles for military purposes.
24 Is that correct? Requisition?
25 A. I didn't understand the question.
1 Q. All right. I had understood you to say I think that during
2 proofing you mentioned that there was a procedure whereby during a state
3 of war the army was authorised to requisition or appropriate civilian
4 vehicles or private company vehicles for purposes of the military's use.
5 A. Yes, yes. It is a planned activity to provide sufficient number
6 of vehicles for the units. That planned activity is implemented by
7 military sectors in order to meet the needs in this case of the Pristina
8 Corps and the needs of the military territorial detachments.
9 In peacetime what is planned for are the vehicles to cover the
10 need for mobilisation and, if needed, private citizens or companies can
11 provide their vehicles.
12 Q. I'm sorry, Colonel --
13 A. It is a planned activity in peacetime.
14 Q. Yes, you're right, and that is in your statement in paragraph 14.
15 I forgot where I had seen it before.
16 Finally, paragraph 41 --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you finished with that document, Mr. Hannis?
18 MR. HANNIS: I am, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that particular document will not be admitted
20 because the witness has indicated no knowledge of the events that are
21 referred to in it, and there should be no doubt about its lack of any
22 positive assistance to us. The parts that were necessary for your
23 questions were adequately quoted in the transcript.
24 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I should indicate that the
25 number is 1996; I think it was listed as 196. But for purposes of the
1 record --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I've certainly got it noted as 1996. Thank you.
3 MR. HANNIS: Okay. I think we're straight then.
4 Q. In paragraph 41, Colonel, you mention on the second day of bombing
5 you got information about two bodies in an industrial zone where one of
6 your units were located. Did you write a report about this, these bodies
7 that were discovered in the area secured by one of your units?
8 A. In order to provide security for important facilities, a unit of
9 mine, an engineering company, which is a non-combat unit armed only with
10 infantry weapons, was used in the area of the -- in the industrial area of
11 Pristina. A large number of warehouses can be found there, such as those
12 of the UNHCR, the Red Cross, the Medecins Sans Frontieres, the
13 Mother Teresa organisation, as well as many other companies from Serbia.
14 I decided to provide that security by using that company of mine in order
15 to prevent any theft or looting --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry to interrupt you, but we really have to
17 make a little more progress here. And the question was: Did you write a
18 report about this. Can you answer that yes or no.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. That company's
20 commander reported to me that upon their arrival they came across two
21 corpses. He didn't know what to do with them.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I must -- I must insist that you answer my question
23 which is: Did you write a report about it, yes or no?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Mr. Hannis can now follow up if he
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. What do you know about the bodies? Were they men or women or
5 A. According to the report of the chief of security whom I sent to
6 investigate, these were two male corpses.
7 Q. Did you know -- did the report indicate the ethnicity of these two
8 dead males?
9 A. The chief of security's conclusion or assumption was that they
10 were Albanian.
11 Q. And were they dressed in civilian clothing or some type of
13 A. In civilian clothing.
14 Q. And did he -- was he able to observe any kind of wounds or
15 possible cause of their deaths?
16 A. I don't know. But in my contacts with the MUP I insisted that
17 they deal with the case because it was not within our competence.
18 Q. Do you know if the case was ever solved or any perpetrators
20 A. The case was taken over by the MUP once my chief of security
21 submitted his report. As to the fate of the case, I really don't know.
22 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I'm finished. I have no further
24 questions of this witness.
25 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
2 We've had an indication of the time that's likely to be occupied
3 in cross-examination. I think we should indicate now that having taken
4 account of what the witness has actually said in the time consumed that
5 may be of significance for the trial, it's appropriate for us to indicate
6 an outside limit that we feel is reasonable for cross-examination. And
7 looking at where we are today, we've got the rest of today and the first
8 session tomorrow, and that would seem to me to fit in reasonably with the
9 requirements of cross-examination.
10 So, please, would you reflect that in your efforts to allocate
11 time and priorities for cross-examination of the witness. You don't have
12 to take as long as that, of course, I urge you to remember.
13 Mr. O'Sullivan.
14 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, I will go first, followed by General
15 Pavkovic, General Lazarevic, General Lukic, Mr. Sainovic, and General
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. O'Sullivan.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. O'Sullivan:
19 Q. Colonel, my name is Eugene O'Sullivan, and I represent
20 Mr. Milutinovic. Good afternoon.
21 Colonel, I really only have one question for you, or seeking your
22 assistance, if possible, on one matter, and it has to do with whether or
23 not we can establish the date of the meeting where Mr. Milutinovic was
24 present and you were present in the MUP building in 1998. I know you've
25 said today that you cannot recall the date and your statement says that it
1 maybe was May or June 1998. And I realise that a lot of time has gone by,
2 but we have heard evidence in this case which I will put to you in the
3 hopes that it may jog your memory and you can tell me whether it does.
4 MR. O'SULLIVAN: And for the record, I'm referring to the evidence
5 of Dr. Dusan Dunjic.
6 Q. Sir, I'm going to suggest to you that the meeting occurred in
7 September 1998, and I'll tell you why I'm suggesting that. At the
8 beginning of September of 1998, in Glodjane near the Radonjic lake there
9 was a killing of approximately 30 people by the KLA, which made big news.
10 Do you recall that event in September -- at the beginning of September
12 A. It was probably during the time when I was at the centre of the
13 Pristina Corps command.
14 Q. Right. But does the -- does the beginning of September sound like
15 the right time to you that the people -- the bodies were found in the
16 canal that leads to Radonjic lake? Does that sound about right?
17 A. In the proofing with the Prosecutor in the last few days, I stated
18 that on occasion I could go wrong as much as two months. Sometimes I
19 worked around-the-clock and 1998 was far more difficult for me than 1999
20 was and I cannot pin-point the exact time. However, I was able to
21 establish here today and yesterday that I could go wrong as much as two
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we look at it more simply.
24 Do you remember the event Mr. O'Sullivan has referred to, the
25 killings at the Radonjic lake?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am familiar with it.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 And I take it, Mr. O'Sullivan, you could try to use that
4 recollection to jog the memory, but it doesn't follow that the witness
5 needs to remember the month.
6 MR. O'SULLIVAN: All right. Thank you.
7 Q. Colonel, I want you to understand that we're not -- and I'm not
8 criticising you in any way for having perhaps lost track of time, but I'm
9 suggesting to you that the visit of Mr. Milutinovic to the area on the day
10 that you were at that meeting was in the latter part of September. And
11 the reason for his visit was a one-day visit to Pristina and the area
12 where in fact he visit Radonjic lake and laid a wreath of flowers. And at
13 one point in that day-trip he was in the MUP building in Pristina and
14 that's the event you recounted in your evidence.
15 Does that refresh your memory, and can you tell us whether or not
16 that's how you recall it?
17 A. Again, I can state that I may have been wrong as much as a few
18 months and I am prepared to accept your proposition. It concerns the
19 organs of the MUP, and there must be some documentation to corroborate
20 when the republican president was there.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I have no further questions.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Mr. Ackerman.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
2 Q. Colonel Pesic, I have very few questions for you, and I think we
3 can probably get through them fairly rapidly.
4 The first issue that I would like to address is the subordination,
5 the resubordination of the military district to the Pristina Corps, and in
6 that connection I'd like you to look at a document which you predicted
7 during your testimony must exist, and that is 4D85. I think you can see
8 that document on your screen now.
9 Now, this is a document dated the 8th of April of 1999, and I
10 think this is the document that you were predicting must exist that deals
11 with the subordination to the Pristina Corps. Am I correct in that
13 A. Okay. That's it. This is a well-known document.
14 Q. Yes. And the document provides, does it not, that -- that this
15 resubordination was effective at 0600 hours on April 7th of 1999; correct?
16 You'll see that in the second paragraph.
17 THE INTERPRETER: The witness was inaudible.
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. You have to answer the question again; they weren't able to hear
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you give your --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree that this document concerns
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, does it not actually refer to an
25 earlier order which is the effective one -- well, this is giving effect to
1 it but there must be a 3rd Army order.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: There is, it refers to that order, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: And the dates shown --
4 MR. ACKERMAN: The 3rd Army order was April 7th. This one is
5 the 8th. It's just passing it -- in the normal chain of command, they
6 come all the way down through the chain and finally get to this level.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: And what I wanted to establish was the date, Your
9 Honour, and I think we've done that.
10 Q. I'd like you now to look at another document -- this document
11 is -- well, just while we're on this document, look up in the upper
12 left-hand corner and you'll see where it says under Pristina Corps command
13 there are some numbers, 455-130.
14 Now, it's the case, isn't it, that those numbers 455-130, the 455
15 tells you that that is an order coming from the Pristina Corps, and then
16 130 is just the number of that particular order. That's the way those
17 numbers work, isn't it?
18 A. Further down in the text I read: "Based on orders of the command
19 of the 3rd Army number 3372-1 of 7 April," therefore what Mr. Bonomy asked
20 me, based on this -- that order, the Pristina Corps command drafted this
21 order on the resubordination.
22 Q. But I think you've misunderstood my question or it may have not
23 been translated properly to you.
24 My question really is that number 455 up there at the top, if you
25 knew nothing else, that number would tell you that it is an order coming
1 from the Pristina Corps, wouldn't it?
2 A. If I were given a preceding document with that number, I could
3 answer. There is a log-book with the Pristina Corps command where you
4 have all the numbers in sequence. I don't know about the numbers. All I
5 can say is that this is an order on the resubordination.
6 Q. Well, I'm not sure we're communicating. For instance, when you
7 issued orders from the military district, those orders were always
8 preceded with the identifier for the military district, which was number
9 139. You know that, don't you?
10 A. It doesn't have to be like that. I don't have much experience
11 with registers and log-books. I'm not sure. I cannot answer this.
12 Q. Okay. So you don't -- somebody else would put those numbers in
13 there and you weren't responsible for them I guess is the position you're
14 taking and we can move on from that.
15 A. Yes, it is a bookkeeping matter, that of log-books. It concerns
16 documents only.
17 Q. I understand. We can deal with that with someone else.
18 The one thing I do want to point out in that regard is with
19 document P1968.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: And I'd like to have that brought up, please.
22 Q. You saw this document earlier today, and I think you'll recall
23 without having to look at it that it's a document, if you look at the last
24 page, that purports to be a document of the Joint Command for Kosovo and
25 Metohija. Do you see that? And then if we go back and look at the first
1 page, and if we're correct that the number 455 designates Pristina Corps,
2 this document was issued under the 445 [sic] number of the Pristina Corps
3 455-73; correct?
4 A. I don't see that this order has been entered in the log-book at
5 all because it hasn't got a number.
6 Q. I'm sorry. It's not -- we have to scroll up to the top and then
7 you'll see the number.
8 A. Oh, yes.
9 Q. Okay. I now want to look at another document, P1415, that you've
10 also seen earlier today. The first thing I want to draw your attention to
11 with regard to this document, and this is a document that's issued by
12 General Pavkovic while he was commander of the Pristina Corps, if you look
13 at the first paragraph, you see that this issue was ordered pursuant to an
14 order of the 3rd Army, order number 168-104 of 26 June 1998; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And based upon your knowledge of the chain of command, I take it
17 you would also agree that that order issued by the 3rd Army had to be
18 either issued originally by the Chief of Staff of the General Staff or
19 approved by the General Staff; correct?
20 A. Your question is not clear to me. Does it refer to this document
21 alone or to the previous document and this one? This document is issued
22 pursuant to an order of the 3rd Army.
23 Q. Yeah, and my question -- and I may not be asking them precisely.
24 We saw documents earlier today. One of those documents, you might recall,
25 was a request by General Pavkovic when he was 3rd Army commander to the
1 General Staff to resubordinate certain units of the military district.
2 That request was then approved by the General Staff and then the
3 resubordination order was issued. What I'm asking you about this
4 particular document was that before the 3rd Army could issue this order,
5 they would have had to have approval from the General Staff, the Chief of
6 the General Staff, or they were issuing an order pursuant to an order of
7 the Chief of the General Staff. Isn't that true?
8 A. Well, you're asking me to do the job of an expert witness rather
9 than an ordinary witness. There are issues which are in the purview of
10 the army commander and others which are in the purview of the corps
11 commander. But I cannot be precise in my answer because I don't want to
12 cause confusion. The competences of the army commander are clear and of
13 the staff, but I am unable to assist here with a precise answer.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Chief of Staff rather
15 than staff.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. You've given your answer and thank you. You've had plenty of
18 opportunity to study this order. Do you see anything in that order that
19 orders something illegal?
20 A. You mean the entire order, the contents of the order?
21 Q. Yeah, does the order order someone to do something illegal? Is
22 there anything illegal ordered by that document? There's not, is there?
23 A. The competences are strictly regulated at each level, but I do not
24 wish to be an expert witness. I cannot comment. I'm sure that everybody
25 issues the order he's authorised to issue.
1 Q. Well, this doesn't require you to be an expert witness. You are
2 a -- you were a colonel in the army and you knew, as a colonel in the
3 army, that you were duty-bound to carry out any order you received unless
4 that order was illegal. Now, if that -- this order had been issued to
5 you, would you have felt duty-bound to carry it out, or do you see
6 something in it that would be illegal and justify you to refuse to carry
7 it out?
8 A. I would carry out this order, yes.
9 Q. All right. That's all I want to know.
10 A. It does not conflict -- it does not conflict with the basic
11 principles of command and what can and cannot be done.
12 Q. All right.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: I want to look now at document P1988.
14 Q. Now, Mr. Hannis was showing you this document today and asking you
15 about your knowledge of it, and you talked about a unit here that had
16 something to do with anti-aircraft. Is that true? Is there an
17 anti-aircraft unit involved here?
18 A. In this case, no. There was actually no anti-aircraft unit
19 involved here, no.
20 Q. Okay. What is the nature of the unit that they're trying to
21 relocate away from a populated area? What kind of a unit is that?
22 A. These are military territorial units, mostly infantry.
23 Q. Now, this -- this issue was ordered on the 23rd of April of 1999;
24 that was during the period of the NATO bombing, was it not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And if one wanted to protect the civilians in those villages from
2 NATO bombing, it might be wise to move military units out of those
3 villages because they were the targets of NATO bombing, weren't they?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I want to know if you had any responsibility at all as commander
6 of the military district for reservists of the MUP. Were you responsible
7 for MUP reservists?
8 A. Responsibility in the sense of bringing up to manpower levels at
9 their request.
10 Q. But that was simply a matter of supplying bodies at the request of
11 MUP. You didn't have any supervisory authority over people who were
12 previously designated as MUP reservists, did you?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay. With regard to the meeting that Mr. O'Sullivan talked to
15 you about that you were invited to by General Pavkovic, he spoke about
16 your -- your update to your statement, your supplemental information
17 sheet. And you dealt with paragraph 32 in that supplemental information
18 sheet, and you said that you and Pavkovic were only passive participants
19 of that meeting; in other words, you were the audience basically. Neither
20 one of you participated in any way, did you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Yes you agree with what I said?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Okay. One final question. You talked about the two bodies that
25 were found in the industrial zone, and you were asked if they were wearing
1 civilian clothing. And I want to ask you this question: Based upon your
2 experience, was it possible to identify a KLA member by whether they were
3 wearing a uniform or civilian clothes? Was that a way you could identify
4 a KLA member?
5 A. I can't answer with any precision because I did not have any
6 occasion to run into members of the KLA. I assume that some had uniforms
7 and some didn't, but this description indicates that they were civilians
8 and this was in the first few days of the bombing. So we concluded that
9 this had been a show-down connected with looting of buildings. These were
10 buildings that had a lot of goods in them, and we concluded that they were
11 the victims of a show-down.
12 Nearby we found that some business premises had been looted. This
13 happened on the 25th or the 26th. I can't be very precise about the date,
14 but it was in the first few days of the bombing when individuals took the
15 opportunity to try looting. And we concluded that this had been a
16 show-down among them.
17 Q. Thank you. That's all I have.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
19 Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Mr. Pesic. My name is Mihajlo
23 Bakrac, an attorney-at-law, one of the Defence counsel for General
25 I will skip over the first page of my notes because I think we
1 have already cleared up the time when the resubordination of the
2 territorial units to the Pristina Corps took place.
3 What I'm interested in now, sir, is whether according to the rules
4 of combat -- well, in fact, first I'll ask you the following. You said
5 that in wartime the military sectors were subordinated to the brigades and
6 that as a commander of the military district you had no command
7 responsibility over the units. Were all the units subordinated to the
8 Pristina Corps?
9 A. In the order we saw here, it says that they're resubordinated to
10 the military -- to the Pristina Corps. This referred to the military
11 district and the base, the entire military district and the 202nd base
12 were subordinated to the Pristina Corps.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could there be a pause between question and
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. According to the rules of combat, could lower-level units from
17 some be resubordinated?
18 A. Yes. The rules provide for the resubordination of levels, of
19 units, perhaps not to the same level of command, but commands of the same
20 level are resubordinated, or rather, there's no resubordination envisaged
21 but in this situation the brigade commands are responsible for their area
22 in which there were military sectors, which is why the military sectors
23 were resubordinated to the brigades which were part of the corps.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, you're both using the same language,
25 and therefore we need to be conscious of the need to have a break between
1 the end of the question and the beginning of the answer and also between
2 the end of the answer and the beginning of the question.
3 Mr. Bakrac.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'll do my
5 best not to overstep the time-limit and yet meet the demands of the
7 Q. Mr. Pesic, would you agree with me if I were to tell you that on
8 the 1st of May, 1999, out of 24 detachments, which in your statement you
9 say existed within the territorial district, only 11 detachments were
11 A. The resubordination of a military sector implied the
12 resubordination of the detachments within it. You may have come across a
13 document which lists only some particular detachments which were
14 resubordinated initially. However, the resubordination of the Prizren
15 military sector implied the resubordination of all the detachments.
16 Q. Without enumerating each individual detachment, is there a
17 possibility that some detachments were not used and did not participate in
18 the tasks?
19 A. That's up to the brigade commander in his area.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pesic --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, is that a suitable point to interrupt?
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, any advance on this question of
24 whether there will be any response to the application for a videolink?
25 Mr. Fila.
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have discussed it among
2 ourselves, and what concerns us is, first, that as a rule I feel that a
3 witness of such importance should not be questioned through videolink.
4 The witness is mentioned in the indictment many times and he's very
5 important, especially for the fate of Sainovic.
6 However, bearing in mind that we wish to expedite the proceedings,
7 I never oppose anything proposed by the OTP which could facilitate this.
8 The issue is the health of this person. I will not go into it because
9 it's confidential, but I believe that his witness -- that his health will
10 be at risk. And in our area he could not be a witness and testify. So I
11 require three days to think about it.
12 He has to have a medical check-up on the 9th of December. If on
13 the 9th of December he is told it's all right, we will take the risk;
14 otherwise, I am afraid that there may be dire consequences.
15 Therefore, I would not like to express my -- any position right
16 now as to whether we support this or not, because it says here that the
17 medical check-up is to take place in a month, which means the 9th of
18 December. And then maybe in the last week of December this can be done,
19 if it has to be done. But I would not like to take any position until
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'll deal with that in just a second.
23 We have to break shortly, Mr. Pesic, so could you again please
24 leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll see you at 6.00.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I may have misunderstood you, Mr. Fila, but you
2 left me with the impression that you might be suggesting that for medical
3 reasons the witness should not testify at all. Is that what you envisage?
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No. I'm afraid that if I were to agree
5 I would have this man on my conscience. I do want him to testify but want
6 him to be fit to testify.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. Are there any circumstances,
8 though, in which you envisage insisting that he comes to The Hague to give
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I think he is an important witness, as
11 Your Honour has said, and that for this reason he should be here. But if
12 he's really ill - and I have no reason to disbelieve it - then I don't
13 think that he should not testify; and therefore, I would agree with
14 Mr. Hannis's proposal that this be done by videolink. If the OTP thinks
15 it's a good idea, then it's a good idea. But I do not want to take the
16 risk of agreeing to his testifying in his present condition. And you will
17 see for yourself that he is to have a medical check-up on the 9th of
18 December, and then we will see whether he is fit to testify; and if he's
19 fit to travel, he can come here; if not, we can do it by videolink. But
20 we only received this yesterday.
21 I am not saying that he should not testify. On the contrary, I
22 agree with Your Honour that he is a very important witness, but I cannot
23 agree with this situation right now.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have a little bit different concern.
1 This is an important witness and a witness that I think we're all
2 working about one or two witnesses ahead is about as far as we can go
3 because of the pace. When you suggested that this witness may be part of
4 a videolink as early as next week and the problem with that is when you're
5 doing a videolink you must supply any documents you want to use with that
6 witness substantially in advance of their testimony. I have an e-mail
7 from Mr. Haider saying that he would like any documents by Monday. I
8 think it would be difficult for me to go through all the material I have
9 to go through with regard to Witness Loncar and come up with the documents
10 I might want to put to him and have them in Mr. Haider's hands by Monday.
11 I think that might be quite difficult.
12 So that's just a practical concern. I have no objection to him
13 testifying by videolink. I think that the motion makes out a case for
15 While I'm on my feet, may I raise another matter or would you
16 prefer that I do it later?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: No, go on now with it.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this refers to the witness that is
19 currently on the stand, and it is a matter that I think is of some
21 The night before he took the witness-stand we got about an
22 eight-page new statement that had been given to UNMIK by this witness. It
23 turns out that that statement is of little moment in terms of this
24 witness's testimony, but we were informed that it was a statement that had
25 recently come to the attention of the Prosecution.
1 I inquired into that and learned that it had been given to the
2 Prosecution in June before the trial even started and was part of eight
3 volumes of documents that were supplied to the Prosecution by UNMIK. The
4 explanation was that the record search with regard to the witnesses had
5 been done in May, and since the documents didn't arrive here until June it
6 wasn't until they were contemplating calling this particular witness that
7 they did another search and discovered this document. And that is
8 alarming to me for this reason. It would seem to me if the Prosecution
9 got eight volumes of documents from UNMIK that would raise an immediate
10 red flag that they ought to be carefully considered because this is a
11 Kosovo case and that they obviously have to do with Kosovo.
12 The deeper concern I have about that is whether or not within that
13 eight volumes of documents there's Rule 68 material that should have been
14 turned over to us some time ago, whether there's other material that could
15 contribute to the furtherance of justice in this case. It may be
16 symptomatic of what Mr. Hannis and I and the other counsel for the accused
17 here have been saying to you over and over in motions, is that we're not
18 getting adequate preparation time, and therefore things we should be doing
19 are not getting done, things are falling through the cracks, and I think
20 this -- I am convinced the Prosecution wasn't playing any games with us,
21 that what they tell us happened happened exactly that way.
22 We are all very overwhelmed with the work we have to do, and we're
23 just not getting done the things we should be doing.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I interrupt you there because there are no
25 tangible signs of the problem that you repeatedly raise and we have
1 indicated to you that there will be time in due course, if necessary, when
2 we will explore or allow interruptions to enable points that can be
3 established to be investigated.
4 This particular issue is one which when you've had an opportunity
5 to explore it fully with the Prosecution you should raise with us if there
6 remains a particular matter that requires our attention. And I think that
7 ought to be done in a written filing.
8 Meanwhile, we'll adjourn and we'll resume at five past 6.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.38 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Bring the witness in, please.
12 On the videolink application the Defence should respond, if they
13 intend to, by Monday in writing.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Pesic, we stopped at the issue of the detachments which had
18 been resubordinated to the brigades according to the rules of engagement
19 and for a longer period of time.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I heard the witness
21 say "yes." Perhaps that should be recorded in the transcript.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear the witness
23 say anything.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Just carry on, please, Mr. Bakrac.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Pesic, I'm interested in something else now, and it will be
2 important once the Defence case begins. I wanted to clarify something
3 that is found in paragraph 7 of your statement. You said that in 1999 the
4 Pristina Corps was commanded by Mr. Lazarevic and that assistant commander
5 for morale was Colonel Starcevic. Would it refresh your memory if I said
6 that in 1999 assistant commander for morale in the corps was Colonel
7 Marinkovic rather than Stankovic. Stankovic was assistant commander with
8 the 3rd Army. Would you agree with me?
9 A. Yes, I would. This is a matter of a few months and there were
10 shifts, people moved about, and I may have mixed things up after seven
11 years. These are facts we are talking about. There are orders in
13 Q. Mr. Pesic, I'm not criticising you in any way, but if we have
14 these witnesses here tomorrow we have to have a clear picture as to their
16 You also stated that the assistant for operations was Colonel
17 Djakovic. Would you agree with me if I said that the chief of operations
18 was Colonel Stefanovic and that Djakovic was in the 3rd Army?
19 A. I agree with that as well. These were the moves made immediately
20 prior. I don't know whether it was at the end of 1998 or early 1999, but
21 there were changes within the corps and I accept anything that can be
22 verified by facts.
23 Q. Mr. Pesic, to repeat, I'm not criticising you; I just wanted to
24 have this clear on the record and it suffices that you confirm you agree
25 so that we can move more quickly.
1 Is it also correct, as you stated in paragraph 7, that Colonel
2 Stefanovic was the Chief of Staff of the corps? Would you agree if I said
3 that the Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps in 1999 was Colonel Zivkovic
4 and not Colonel Stefanovic?
5 A. There was some shifts in a short period there as well. There was
6 a colonel whose name I cannot recall. He was there for a brief period,
7 and then the changes continued. It is possible I was mistaken.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pesic. To move to another topic, or rather, I will
9 follow your statement.
10 In paragraphs 10 and 11, you discuss the bringing up to strength
11 of the Pristina Corps by using reservists. Would you agree with me that
12 when we talk about 1999 and the time of war, the Pristina Corps was, to a
13 large extent, brought up to strength ex-territorially with people from
14 outside of Kosovo due to the lack of sufficient numbers of military-aged
15 men of some certain specialties in Kosovo itself?
16 A. I agree and I believe I mentioned that, that the predominantly
17 ex-territorial principle was used to bring the Pristina Corps up to
19 Q. Can we clarify one thing regarding the bringing up to strength.
20 You mentioned the law on mobilisation as stipulating that the military
21 sector was tasked with sending conscripts to the Army of Yugoslavia, to
22 the MUP, and to the civilian protection, if I understood correctly.
23 A. I'm not sure about the civilian protection.
24 Q. Is it also correct, Mr. Pesic, that the reason for the use of
25 reservists to bring the MUP up to strength was that there was a general
1 shortage and that you deployed MUP reservists upon their request and based
2 on their choice?
3 A. My knowledge as regards that is limited. I spent a short time in
4 that position because shortly afterwards there was the 24th of March.
5 Subsequently, dealing with certain issues, I did notice some examples of
6 good cooperation with the MUP and not so good cooperation; namely, certain
7 MUP stations and certain MUP bodies took the liberty of taking the men
8 themselves by or through private channels, by knowing them. And such
9 people had their wartime deployment, which was different. And they -- and
10 I tried to resolve these issues immediately prior to the 24th or maybe
11 once the aggression, the bombings, had already started.
12 Q. I agree, but let me interrupt you. Therefore, they were part of
13 the record, but as for the supply of materiel, uniform, weaponry, they
14 received those from the MUP?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And at the moment when they became the reservists of the MUP, they
17 were under no command of the VJ. Isn't that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pesic. This is what I wanted to clarify.
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, page 67, line 11 --
22 no, 13 and 14. My question was that the MUP reservists were also part of
23 the record with the military sectors for the reasons of simplicity, to
24 have a unified record, whereas the interpretation was that there was a due
25 to a general lack of men [as interpreted]. That was not my intention. I
1 wanted to show that there was an attempt to unify, or rather, have a
2 single register of able-bodied men.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, I don't have the place for this, Mr. Bakrac,
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Page 67, lines 13 and 14.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: That's to do with bringing the MUP up to strength,
7 is it?
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. My question was
9 whether the MUP reservists were also part of the record with the military
10 sectors so that there would be a unified register of conscripts and not
11 because of the shortage.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: That's so far removed from what's on the transcript
13 that you should ask the question again to clarify the position.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. I was hoping
15 that the subsequent questions cleared it up, but let us deal with that
16 detail --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: As long as you're happy that they have, but there's
18 no way I can sort out that mistake, and if you think it still needs to be
19 sorted out you'll need to ask the question again.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Pesic, to repeat -- to ask you once again: Is it correct that
22 the MUP reservists were also on the records of the military sectors so
23 that there would be a unified record of conscripts or of able-bodied men?
24 A. Yes, certainly, I agree.
25 Q. Thank you. Let us move on.
1 Mr. Pesic, would you also agree with me, if you have any such
2 knowledge, that throughout the time of war all units of the Pristina Corps
3 did not mobilise the entire reserve force because they were able to
4 increase the number of recruits serving their military term and that the
5 mobilisation of certain portions of the units was also done in May 1999?
6 A. Since it was the task of the military sectors, I do not have an
7 extensive knowledge about it. But I know that there were such instances.
8 The problem was the shortage of vehicles and not so much the shortage of
10 Q. Did you know, Mr. Pesic, that a significant number of military
11 conscripts from Kosovo and Metohija remained -- did not get mobilised
12 until the end of the war because their specialties did not correspond to
13 the needs of the corps units?
14 A. Yes, there were such instances, and I could see it for myself. I
15 could see some of those people hanging out in various cafes.
16 Q. Thank you. Is it also correct that those who had not been
17 mobilised were those conscripts who had had their uniforms and equipment
18 from an earlier period?
19 A. Once placed, they remained in such units where commanders took
20 more care to plan and then they would ask for replenishment from the ranks
21 of some younger men. Therefore, some older people remained in units for a
22 longer time, unfortunately.
23 Q. We may not have understood each other. Is it correct that there
24 was a number of conscripts who were not mobilised?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. My question is, therefore, that whether these conscripts were
2 those who had been issued with uniforms before, as reservists, before the
3 war. They had it at home?
4 A. Possibly there were some, but they were earlier generations. They
5 were not re-called to return uniforms, although they were taken off the
7 Q. That was what I meant. Did you have occasion to see such
8 not-mobilised members wearing uniforms while you were moving around?
9 A. It was not unusual to see people, men, wearing parts of uniform,
10 not complete uniforms, but wearing either the top or the trousers.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: When -- when and where would you see people wearing
12 parts of uniform?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One could see them every day. They
14 used it as normal clothes, which I believe was the subject of an order
15 that was issued I don't know exactly when but it was issued by, I believe,
16 the corps commander who stipulated in that order that the matter should be
17 taken under watch and that such people should be prevented from going
18 around wearing parts of uniforms. I think such an order existed. I can't
19 remember in which period. But this phenomenon had been observed and I
20 believe it was the subject of an order.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: When you saw this happening every day, what action
22 did you take about it?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, you would see them in
24 passing, driving by. You would see people in the street. Those were
25 individual cases, and I didn't think it made sense to stop and tackle such
1 people on the spot, to ask them where they got the uniform, why they were
2 wearing it. I personally did not take any measures.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: One hears of responsible military officers when
4 they encounter indiscipline seeking name, rank, and number and then
5 following it up later. Nothing of that nature was done?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I'm trying to say is that there
7 is an order, an instruction or recommendation, to take steps, and those
8 steps could have been taken only by the military police.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think the interpreter
11 missed one detail. The witness said that those persons were mainly
12 unarmed. We can check it on the tape. But it would be on the page 71,
13 between lines 14 and 16.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. It didn't cross my mind that being armed was
15 an issue here, and therefore I'm happy to accept what you say.
16 What disturbs me, Mr. Pesic, is the attitude I think I've heard
17 before in this case that if there's an order requiring something to be
18 done, then everyone else can wash their hands of it. Was that the general
19 approach, that this was a military police matter and therefore another
20 officer like you could just wash your hand of it?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What matters is a specific judgement
22 in a specific case. You can encounter a poor peasant who's using this as
23 cheap clothing. He's using it as long as it's in his possession, as long
24 as it's available. It's a judgement call. You have to make a quick
25 assessment of what kind of individual that is, whether he has a purpose in
1 wearing that uniform or he's just wearing it for no reason, no particular
2 reason at all, or if it's a case of abuse.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Pesic, is it also correct that certain military conscripts
6 from military territorial detachments were relieved from units at the
7 beginning of the war to help out in utility companies, in security details
8 on important facilities, as civilians during the war?
9 A. Yes. We did feel certain pressure of that kind because there were
10 some military conscripts who were indispensable to normal life in town.
11 They were indispensable to the population, both the Serbs and the
12 Albanians. Businesses could not operate without them, bakeries could not
13 operate without this personnel. At one point, there was even a shortage
14 of personnel in cemeteries. There was no one available to dig graves, so
15 we had to relieve personnel from their normal military duties to do that.
16 Q. You spoke of your personal efforts in engaging Albanians in
17 mobilisation drives. You spoke of that. You will agree then if I say
18 that there was never any coercive mobilisation of Albanians?
19 A. There was a good intention to set up a unit of that kind and send
20 a message to renegade groups that they do not enjoy the sympathies of even
21 their own citizens, their own fellow countrymen. Some were willing to
22 join, but most were not. Some were willing to accept weapons as long as
23 nobody found out about it.
24 Q. So they feared extremists among their own ethnic community?
25 A. Yes. That's why they felt reluctant to become part of such a
1 detachment, which we intended to call the Albanian Territorial Detachment.
2 And the unemployment of Albanians in socially owned enterprises was
3 100 per cent in all age groups.
4 Q. Do you know that there were any volunteer detachments among the
5 Goranis, for instance?
6 A. I had information from the military department of Prizren that
7 they did get organised and that they were joined, integrated, into one of
8 our territorial detachments called Gora that grew at one point from 370
9 men to close to 600.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pesic. You spoke about the commandeering of
11 machines and equipment from individuals and enterprises, businesses. Do
12 you know that under the Law of Mobilisation and according to a decree
13 issued by the Federal Government, it was a legal possibility envisaged by
14 the law?
15 A. Yes, of course that was a legal, planned activity of the military
16 department which was supposed to move to the jurisdiction of the Ministry
17 of Defence precisely in that period. However, we dealt with it because we
18 had the necessary records of commandeered vehicles from either private
19 persons or companies.
20 Q. And that activity was planned back in peacetime; it was not an
21 ad hoc activity undertaken suddenly in the state of war.
22 A. It was the same kind of planned activity as the mobilisation of
24 Q. And did the military department of Pristina and the
25 Pristina Corps, in enforcing this obligation, act totally within the law?
1 A. We, but we did not comply with all the requirements and
2 obligations of the Pristina Corps because of a shortage of vehicles. They
3 did exist on paper, in planning documents. We had files for those
4 vehicles, but the condition of the vehicles was not good enough to meet
5 the requirements of the units.
6 Q. I'm sorry. At the beginning of this last answer we should have
7 a "yes."
8 If I understood you correctly, Mr. Pesic, the planned -- it was
9 planned to commandeer many more vehicles than were actually commandeered
10 during the war?
11 A. This activity was conducted in keeping with the strictly
12 prescribed actual requirements of the units, and we did the planning
13 aspect of the job in peacetime. But at the moment when mobilisation
14 started, we did not fully implement the plan because when inspecting the
15 vehicles we realised their condition was either not satisfactory or their
16 profile did not correspond to the requirements of the unit.
17 Q. I'll ask you one more thing that needs to be clarified on the
18 record. We spoke about a unit at Dragas, and it's on the record that a
19 volunteer detachment was formed. What I understood is that those people
20 were mobilised on a voluntary basis.
21 A. That was a territorial detachment in Dragas that was built up with
22 volunteers from that area, and that's why it grew to the number I
23 mentioned, almost 600.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: If you've finished with that question, can I ask
25 you, when you commandeered a vehicle, how did you mark it to show that it
1 was a military vehicle?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There exists regulations governing
3 the marking of such vehicles. Planning documents were prepared in
4 peacetime for such vehicles, and when commandeered they are placed on
5 record, accepted by a commission, and they are marked with a triangle,
6 with a certain lettering, Army of Yugoslavia. And that was a sign that
7 the vehicle had been requisitioned, commandeered.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is that triangle displayed?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the wind-screen, visibly. On the
10 right-hand side of the driver.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: So that when the vehicle was driven along the road
12 at a reasonable speed, an outside observer would never know whether it was
13 a military commandeered vehicle or not?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those triangles were visible. Their
15 size was quite adequate. It was easy to notice.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Something that's easy to notice on a wind-screen is
17 going to interfere with the visibility of the driver, is it not?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were not in front of the
19 driver; they were in front of the passenger seat on the right-hand side.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Pesic, is it correct that up to 1998 the entity that had the
23 military obligation -- that handled the military obligation was the
24 military district in a certain area and then in 1998/1999 that was taken
25 over by the Ministry of Defence.
1 A. If you mean the commandeering of vehicles, it was a transition
2 period, and that's exactly when the bombing happened.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I asked about the
4 materiel obligation and not military obligation in my last question. That
5 was page 76, line 15.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you confirm that you were referring to the
7 commandeering of vehicles?
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I was talking about the materiel
10 THE INTERPRETER: Which would in English, interpreter's note, mean
11 something like property liability.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The obligation to provide property for the requirements of the
14 army. That was or that became one of the competences of the Ministry of
15 Defence in 1998/1999.
16 A. The preparation was done by the Ministry of Defence in peacetime
17 for wartime needs, securing materiel reserves for the needs of military
18 units. Specifically speaking of vehicles, they were in the jurisdiction
19 of military districts and military departments. In 1998, this particular
20 duty was supposed to be taken over by the bodies of the Ministry of
21 Defence. However, the transition was never implemented and the vehicles
22 remained within the jurisdiction of military districts and departments.
23 However, the preparation was done by the Ministry of Defence.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Pesic, you testified that some of these units were used to
1 some extent. Do you know, do you have information, about the losses
2 during the war in your military district? I'm speaking only about the
3 members of these units.
4 A. Out of the members of the military district, 54 were killed and
5 108 were wounded.
6 Q. And that's about 0.4 per cent of the total?
7 A. 0.3 or 0.4 per cent, because the total strength varied precisely
8 because our -- because of our duty to relieve some conscripts for other
10 Q. Is it correct that the members were mainly engaged in security
11 duties, securing facilities, installations?
12 A. For the most part. Most of them were killed or wounded during
13 ambushes and explosions on roads.
14 Q. You also testified that the military district received daily
15 combat reports. You received daily combat reports. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes, but not regularly because of the prevailing situation.
17 Q. Meaning that the communications were often in trouble during the
18 war and sometimes did not function during the war for several days
20 A. Yes, and sometimes only courier communications were available.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, your question about the losses during
22 the war -- oh, yes, sorry, I missed the words "during the war." It's
23 clear in fact. Thank you.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Is it also correct, Mr. Pesic, that not a single military
1 territorial unit had any village defence duties?
2 A. Not specifically because the detachment was made up of men from
3 several villages in one municipality, and they were protecting the
4 property of one specific municipality. The prevailing principle in
5 establishment was the municipal principle. A small municipality like
6 Klina could only set up a small detachment of two companies. That was the
7 whole municipality of Klina, consisting of several villages.
8 Q. And their duties involved mostly securing important facilities and
10 A. For the most part.
11 Q. You were asked previously, and also shown a document of the
12 549th Motorised Brigade, referring to an order of the Pristina Corps. Do
13 you remember an order of the Pristina Corps commander to the effect that
14 military territorial units should abandon population centres and the cited
15 reason was that they should avoid air-strikes targeting military
16 positions, to organise defence from ground aggression, and to enable the
17 civilian population to continue normal life during the war, diminishing
18 the risks?
19 A. I remember that order. Decisions were made depending on the
20 specific situation of each detachment and each territory. Specifically I
21 can say that the Podujevo detachment was never in Podujevo; it was always
22 busy securing other installations and facilities outside, because there
23 are no strategic facilities in Podujevo as a municipality, they were
24 mostly in Pristina securing water-supply facilities.
25 Q. You were asked -- and I'm going to show you a Defence exhibit
1 related to that. You were asked by Mr. Hannis in examination-in-chief
2 about the civilian protection staff and whether you were a member.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we see in e-court, please,
4 Defence Exhibit 5D29. I believe we have it in English and in Serbian, and
5 I would appreciate it if we could see them both.
6 Q. Do you see on the left-hand side, Mr. Pesic, it reads: "Decision.
7 Pursuant to the decision to form a temporary Executive Council," and then
8 it specifies the members. "The decision is made to form the staff to
9 coordinate activities of the civilian structures for the area of the
10 autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija."
11 Is this the staff you testified about, the staff of civilian
12 protection which is actually called the staff for the coordination of the
13 work of the civilian structures?
14 A. I can tell you that I've never seen this decision. In my personal
15 contact with Mr. Petar Ilic and with Mr. Dragan Markovic, I learned that I
16 was a member of that provincial staff. And then I relayed this to General
17 Lazarevic as soon as I could, and I sought his permission to attend the
18 meetings of the staff.
19 Q. In item 3 --
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Perhaps we could scroll down.
21 Q. -- as regards the task of the staff, it reads: "Based on
22 demonstrated need and conditions of war and aimed at better organised
23 assessment and resolution of significant issues and the functioning and
24 coordination of all structures in the province, the staff is entrusted
25 with monitoring on a daily basis and taking adequate measures in the
1 supply of energy, consumer goods, vital foodstuffs, medicines, medical
2 supplies, health care services, taking possession of goods," and so on and
3 so forth.
4 Did these measures encompass the entire population of Kosovo and
5 Metohija, including the Albanians?
6 A. If we supplied shops in various towns in Pristina itself and other
7 settlements, then anyone could go there and get goods. There was never a
8 particular type of distribution to the Serbian population in this or that
9 location. However, we did target certain Albanian groups who were out of
10 their settlements.
11 Q. It is also mentioned that the goods will be distributed for
12 humanitarian needs. Would this imply what you've just stated?
13 A. Part of the goods was distributed through trade companies, so as
14 to avoid abuse. It would officially be forwarded to a trading company,
15 which would then put the goods in their records and distribute it to the
16 overall population.
17 As for the fleeing Albanian population, such goods were
18 distributed in places where they were at that moment.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pesic. You mentioned Mr. Petar Ilic and you said
20 he was the provincial secretary on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Is
21 it correct that at that time he was also the chief of the secretariat of
22 defence of Pristina, tasked with the protection of civilians and -- of
23 population and property and that he was subordinated to the Ministry of
25 A. I believe it's -- this sums it up. I don't know his exact
1 function. But as regards peacetime as assistant commander for logistics,
2 I dealt with such issues in my contact with him as regards supply of
3 units. I cooperated with some of his organs.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pesic, in paragraph 22 of your statement -- or,
5 rather, in paragraph 24 you state that certain parts of the 3rd Army staff
6 were deployed to Pristina. Did you have in mind the forward command post
7 of the 3rd Army or some other parts of that command?
8 A. According to our rules of engagement, such situations are
9 envisaged, and yes, I could call it a forward command post, and its
10 existence would be fully justified under the circumstances. I welcomed
11 that move because I could deal with many issues concerning supply in a
12 quicker manner because I had the people I needed there.
13 Q. And who was there at the forward command post on behalf of the
14 3rd Army?
15 A. I believe the commander himself was there at a certain point, the
16 commander of the 3rd Army, General Samardzic. Then there was General
17 Stanmirovic [phoen] at a certain point, but I wasn't much interested in
18 that. I was interested in the logistics bodies which were there because I
19 had to deal with them within my competences. And there were people from
20 various branches or various services of the logistics there.
21 Q. Thank you. We are talking about the time of war in 1999. Is it
22 also correct that the command of the Pristina Corps could be found in
23 several locations and that these locations changed constantly?
24 A. There were moments when I didn't know where the command of the
25 Pristina Corps was. However, their courier always knew where to find me.
1 Q. I'm not a military expert, but I will venture a question. Was use
2 of camouflage justified in such situation?
3 A. Yes. For that level of decision-making, I believe the decisions
4 made were proper. However, I stubbornly refused to move from where I was
5 because I knew it was an important facility for the entire province and
6 that there would be no bombing, no strikes against that facility.
7 Q. I presume you have in mind the library?
8 A. Yes, the building. It's a separate building having a commanding
9 view of Pristina.
10 Q. However, your personnel in the library was unarmed. You used the
11 unarmed members of your command?
12 A. My command comprises -- comprised 56 men, out of which there were
13 ten women, around 20 civilians who began wearing uniforms as of the moment
14 of their mobilisation and they lived nearby. So as to prevent possible
15 losses, I allowed most of them to spend their nights at home, for the
16 reason of safety of their families; and only the minimum number of people
17 remained at the command.
18 Q. Yes, but they were unarmed?
19 A. They had side-arms, hand-guns, and I always had a few policemen
20 close by but they were not highly visible. They were within the building
21 itself, though, and you couldn't see a single police vehicle anywhere near
22 the building, and I also had a civilian policeman on board -- policeman in
23 civilian clothes.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Bakrac please repeat the question.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: You're being asked to repeat that question,
1 Mr. Bakrac.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Pesic, in peacetime and outside of Kosovo and Metohija, was it
4 also normal that military sectors were housed in civilian buildings
5 instead of military buildings?
6 A. It depended on the conditions, but they were never in barracks.
7 Sometimes they would be with the command of the garrison or in some
8 civilian buildings.
9 Q. For the most part, they were with the Municipal Assemblies?
10 A. At the previous stage when the military sectors were under
11 Municipal Assemblies, yes. And for the most part, civilians were
13 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 26 you mentioned 1998. Is it correct --
14 well, first of all, there is something that isn't clear and I wanted to
15 clarify that with you.
16 You say that the Pristina Corps in 1998 had one forward command
17 post in Djakovica and the Pristina Corps commander, Lazarevic, was usually
18 there. This could be read in two ways. I wanted to clarify this. Isn't
19 it correct that in 1998 the then-Colonel Lazarevic was Chief of Staff of
20 the Pristina Corps and that in Djakovica there was a forward command post?
21 A. You are correct. I believe that this is a matter of translation
22 or a typing error. I believe it is sufficiently clear. I agree with you
23 that he, as the Chief of Staff, was in Djakovica for a while.
24 Q. I'm asking you this because you were asked about that by my
25 learned friend Mr. Hannis, and he was referred to as the deputy commander;
1 however, he was the Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps and he was at the
2 forward command post in 1998 in Djakovica. Isn't that correct?
3 A. We agree on that.
4 Q. Did you also know that the then-Colonel, and now General,
5 Lazarevic in 1998 as of April until the end of that year was in Djakovica
6 at the forward command post and that there was no possibility to leave
7 that forward command post?
8 A. Certainly, I agree.
9 Q. You've testified on 1998 already, and you dealt with during your
10 examination-in-chief and your touring of the forward command post.
11 In paragraph 28 you say that there was a command post in Djakovica
12 in 1999, and you probably have the same forward command post in mind. And
13 you say that on one occasion you went to see Colonel Zivkovic. Is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can we agree that Colonel Zivkovic was at the forward command post
17 in Djakovica throughout 1999 and he was the -- one of the chiefs of the
18 Pristina Corps?
19 A. I believe it is so. I believe he was there throughout.
20 Q. You've also stated that when touring Djakovica and Prizren in
21 April and May 1999 --
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a correction for the
23 transcript. Line 24, page 85 -- no, sorry, line 3, it should read: "As
24 the Chief of Staff" -- [In English] One of the chiefs.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wonder if this is a
2 good moment.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I was hoping you were nearing the end, Mr. Bakrac.
4 Have we long to go with you?
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you've held it against
6 me once already and I had no time to apologise and explain.
7 In our jurisdiction we make no time assessments, and I'm
8 particularly bad at it. And I don't want to speculate. If I provide you
9 with an assessment, I may well go wrong because I'm not very well versed
10 in it, but I believe half an hour, 45 minutes for me to conclude.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's certainly going to be way over what we
12 had envisaged, Mr. Bakrac. So I ask you and the others who have to follow
13 you to look closely at what is necessary in view of what substance has
14 emerged from the evidence of this witness.
15 Mr. Zecevic.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, I didn't want to -- I'm sorry. I
17 didn't want to interrupt while my colleague was cross-examining the
19 On page 73, line 14, I believe it's important, the witness said
20 when he was talking the -- why the Albanians were reluctant to join the
21 army he said they feared the retribution or the revenge from the
22 extremists. And maybe the witness can be asked about that. He clearly
23 said that, but it didn't show in the transcript.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Which line are you talking about?
25 MR. ZECEVIC: 73, 14. Page 73, line 14. When he was giving the
1 reasons why the Albanians were reluctant to join the army. He said they
2 feared retribution.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I note what you say, but I think the answer
4 is there. Because the question is: So they feared extremists among their
5 own ethnic community.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Well --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: But I note what you say. I doubt if it really
8 significantly alters the context of his answer. Thank you.
9 We've been unable to finish your evidence today, Mr. Pesic, so
10 you're required to return tomorrow to continue; that will be at 2.15.
11 Please remember what I said to you last night that you don't have any
12 discussion with anybody about any aspect of your evidence until you return
13 here tomorrow at 2.15.
14 Now could you please leave the courtroom with the usher. Thank
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: 2.15 tomorrow.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Friday, the 24th day of
20 November, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.